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Tag: al Qaeda

NY Daily News Reports that Denver Man at Center of NY Terrorism Probe Wants to Cut Deal with FBI

UPDATE: Sunday 12:45 a.m.  FBI Arrests Father and Son in Terror Probe (NY Times)

The FBI is expected to run down counterterrorism leads and check them out thoroughly. And that’s what the agency seems to be doing in this case. But it’s still not clear how big of a deal this was.denver-map

BY James Gordon Meek In Washington, Judith Crosson In Denver and Rocco Parascandola and Larry Mcshane In New York
N.Y. DAILY NEWS WRITERS

The Afghan national at the center of a reputed Al Qaeda terror cell probe was trying to cut a deal Friday after two days of FBI grilling, sources told the Daily News.

Lawyers for Najibullah Zazi, 25, were negotiating with federal officials for an agreement where he could admit receiving military training – but deny plans to injure any Americans, sources familiar with the case said.

Zazi arrived at the FBI’s Denver office Friday for a third day of questioning. He did a pair of eight-hour Q&A sessions with federal agents on the two previous days.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

NBA Star Arrested for Carrying 3 Guns (Fanhouse)

FBI Sees al Qaeda Networks Popping Up in Places Like Yemen

The FBI and other agencies are learning that trying to remove al Qaeda in one or two countries won’t destroy the movement. It’s one thing to kill people, it’s another to kill a movement.

yemen-map

By Kevin Johnson
USA Today
WASHINGTON — In the eight years since the 9/11 attacks, FBI Director Robert Mueller has spent nearly the entire time focused on one enemy: al-Qaeda.

Thousands of terrorist operatives have been killed or captured. Terrorist safe havens and training grounds in Afghanistan where operatives were trained have been destroyed.

Military forces largely have shattered al-Qaeda’s leadership in Iraq. Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden and top deputy Ayman al-Zawahri, who once closely managed al-Qaeda’s day-to-day operations, have been driven into seclusion.

Now, Mueller and counterterrorism analysts are tracking the emergence of a new threat. Al-Qaeda has morphed into a fractured network of small terrorist franchises strewn across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

For Full Story

Al-Qaeda Supporter Pleads Guilty After 5 Years of Legal Wrangling

st-paul-mapIt took five years of hard work  by Justice Dept. attorneys, but it has paid off with a guilty plea from an al-Qaeda collaborator. Sentencing is set for July 9th, where he could get over 12 years  for working with terrorists.

By Elizabeth Stawicki
Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL,  Minn. — A former Minneapolis man who’s been imprisoned for more than five years awaiting trial on terrorism charges has struck a plea deal with the U.S. government.

Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to provide support to a terrorist organization. In exchange, the government will drop four other charges that include providing support to a terrorist organization and lying to the FBI.

Warsame, a Canadian citizen of Somali descent, lived in Minneapolis as a community college student before he was arrested in 2003. The government later charged him with providing support to al-Qaeda, alleging he took part in military camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan; attended lectures by Osama Bin Laden; taught English to al-Qaeda operatives, and lied to the FBI.

Warsame’s lawyers say he’s spent more time in prison awaiting trial longer than anyone else in U.S. history — five and half years, primarily in solitary confinement. Warsame had maintained that he never knowingly attended an al Qaeda training camp but was on a spiritual journey seeking a “utopian” society in Afghanistan.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Jurors Asked About Sept. 11 in Trial Involving Plot to Blow Up FBI Offices

The ghost of Sept. 11 will forever leave a indelible mark on this country. Can jurors truly set aside the event when sitting on a jury involving suspected terrorists? That’s the question of the day down in Miami.

By CURT ANDERSON
Associated Press
MIAMI – Finding lingering emotions from the Sept. 11 terror attacks emerged as central to questioning prospective jurors Tuesday in the third trial of a group accused of plotting with al-Qaida to destroy Chicago’s Sears Tower and blow up FBI offices.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers want to ensure that the jurors ultimately chosen to hear the case against the six men accused of being a budding al-Qaida cell do not have biases because of the attacks more than seven years ago.
“Have the events of Sept. 11 or any other terrorist act affected you to such an extent that it would make it difficult for you to sit and listen to evidence in this case and be fair to both the government and the defendants?” was one question for the first 34 potential jurors.
Most jurors said they believed they could set aside any Sept. 11-related feelings and be impartial. But some were not so sure.
For Full Story

Could Lashkar-e-Taiba be the New Bully in the Terrorism World?

Like in the world of computers and video games, there’s always something new and improved about to come out. Could that be true in the terrorism world?  Is the India terror group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, the new and improved al Qaeda?

BY JAMES GORDON MEEK
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON – U.S. intelligence was caught off-guard by Lashkar-e-Taiba’s “highly sophisticated” Mumbai terror strikes last month, which top spies now consider the debut of a new “brand name” to rival Al Qaeda.
The Islamist group was formed with Pakistani government help decades ago, but U.S. officials admit underestimating Lashkar’s shift from waging a minor conflict in the Kashmir region to threatening Westerners and Jews.
“There is real concern over the fact LeT has raised its profile,” a U.S. counterterror official told the Daily News. “A lot of people are watching closely now to see if they’re plotting new attacks.”
The group is as mainstream in Pakistan as its ally Hamas is in the Palestinian territories.
For Full Story

Terrorist Extradition From Britain Slower than Molasses

There is slow justice and then there is very very slow justice. Here is the latter.

By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Foreign Service
SOUTH LITTLETON, England — Soon after al-Qaeda bombed two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998, a U.S. federal judge issued a warrant for Khalid al-Fawwaz, an accused conspirator in the attacks and a confidant of Osama bin Laden.
British police promptly arrested Fawwaz, a Saudi national, at his home in London. Two other al-Qaeda suspects were later detained nearby. British authorities pledged to extradite the men to the United States as swiftly as possible so they could stand trial.
But a decade later, none of the defendants has moved any closer to a U.S. courtroom. One died of cancer in July. The other two, including Fawwaz, remain in prison here as their hearings drag on.
As the long-delayed British extraditions show, it is extraordinarily difficult to bring international terrorism suspects to justice by prosecuting them in U.S. civilian courts. The cases underscore the challenge facing President-elect Barack Obama as he tries to find a way to close the Navy prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and end the military tribunals set up by the Bush administration to handle terrorism cases from abroad.
For Full Story

Online Jihadists Have Plan to Invade Facebook

Facebook may be the playground for everyone from entertainers to acne-faced kids. But the Jihadists in the world want to add to the mix.  Could Bin Laden one day ask to be your Facebook friend?

By Noah Shachtman
Wired Blog Network

Online jihadists have already used YouTube, blogs and other social media to spread their propaganda. Now, a group of internet Islamic extremists is putting together a plan for “invading Facebook.”
“We can use Facebook to fight the media,” notes a recent posting on the extremist al-Faloja forum, translated by Jihadica.com. “We can post media on Facebook that shows the Crusader losses.”
“We have already had great success in raiding YouTube,” the poster adds. “American politicians have used Facebook to get votes, like the house slave Obama.”
Groups like al-Qaida were pioneering users of the internet – to train, share ideas and organize. But some observers, like George Washington University professor Marc Lynch, see a reluctance to embrace Web 2.0 tools like Facebook.
“One of the biggest problems for a virtual network like AQ today is that it needs to build connections between its members while protecting itself from its enemies. That’s a filtering problem: How do you get your people in, and keep intelligence agents out?” he asks.
But as Jihadica.com author and West Point Combating Terrorism Center fellow William McCants notes, the proposed Facebook invasion “is not an attempt to replicate [existing] social networks.” Instead, “the members of the campaign want to exploit existing networks of people who are hostile to them and presumably they will adopt new identities once they have posted their material.”
The al-Faloja poster suggests seven “brigades” work together within Facebook. One will distribute videos and writing of so-called “martyrs.” Another will spread military training material. Most of them will work in Arabic, presumably. But one of the units will focus just on spread English-language propaganda through Facebook.
For Full Story