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Tag: al Qaeda

WikiLeaks Show Whereabouts of al Qaeda Officials on 9/11

Osama bin Laden

By Peter Finn
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — On Sept. 11, 2001, the core of al-Qaeda was concentrated in a single city: Karachi, Pakistan.

At a hospital, the accused mastermind of the bombing of the USS Cole was recovering from a tonsillectomy. Nearby, the alleged organizer of the 2002 bombing in Bali, Indonesia, was buying lab equipment for a biological weapons program.

And in a safe house, the man who would later describe himself as the intellectual author of the Sept. 11 attacks was with other key al-Qaeda members watching the scenes from New York and Washington unfold on television.

Within a day, much of the al-Qaeda leadership was on the way back to Afghanistan, planning for a long war. A cache of classified military documents obtained by the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks presents new details of their whereabouts on Sept. 11, 2001, and their movements afterward.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICE ACT STORIES

Study Says Businesses Aren’t Ready for U.K. Bribery Law (Law.com)
Internal Controls Under the UK Bribery Act (JDSupra)
Justice Dept. Continues to Show Strong Interest in FCPA Violations (JDSUPRA)
Corruption Expert Criticizes Canada’s Anti-Graft Laws (TrustLaw)
When a Bribe  is Not Always a Bribe (National Law Journal)
Ernst & Young Corruption Expert Explains Graft in India (Trust Law)
U.S.  “Kleptocracy” Initiative Key to Mideast Future (Politico)

Va. Man Who Plotted to Blow Up D.C. Area Subways Gets 23 Years; Was Caught in FBI Sting

Farooque Ahmed

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It’s serious prison time for Farooque Ahmed, 35, of Ashburn, Va., who pleaded guilty to plotting to bomb the Washington area subway system.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce in  Alexandria, Va. sentenced Ahmed, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, to 23 years in prison. Ahmed thought he was plotting with al Qaeda members to blow up the Metro system, when in fact he was dealing with undercover FBI operatives and agents in a sting.

“Mr. Ahmed today admitted he was determined to kill as many people as possible through multiple bombings at the heart of our nation’s capital,” said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride. “It’s chilling that a man from Ashburn could admit to planning these acts of terrorism, and a 23-year sentence is a just punishment. We are grateful for the outstanding work of the FBI in detecting and disrupting this plot.”

“From his home in Ashburn, Virginia, believing that he was working for Al-Qaeda, Farooque Ahmed plotted to carry out the simultaneous bombing of multiple Metro trains in the D.C. area,” said Todd Hinnen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

Ahmed was arrested by the FBI on Oct. 27, 2010.

According to court records, Ahmed met with people he thought were with al Qaeda and conducted surveillance and recorded video of Metrorail stations in Arlington, Va., on four occasions.

Column: Is Flattering Customs and Border Control Story Scare Tactic to Head Off Budget Cuts?

Jeff Stein

By Jeff Stein
Spy Talk

WASHINGTON — David Frum rightly skewered Republicans for saying the Obama administration isn’t doing enough to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, drugs and guns into the country while proposing a $600 million haircut for Customs and Border Control in the 2012 budget.

But you have to wonder whether today’s A.P. exclusive touting CBP for helping stop “more than 350 people suspected of ties to al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups from boarding U.S.-bound commercial flights since the end of 2009” is an agency scare story to head off the budget cuts.

“The tighter security rules — imposed after the attempted bombing of an airliner on Christmas 2009 — reveal a security threat that persisted for more than seven years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks,” the A.P. reported.

No doubt CBP, and other U.S. intelligence agencies have snared a number of suspected terrorists trying to get into this country: al-Qaeda and like-minded operatives wouldn’t be doing their job if they weren’t trying to get in, while our guys wouldn’t be doing theirs if they didn’t catch them.

To read more click here.

Read Associated Press story

NY Terrorist Suspect Said Something Mel Gibson-like

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

He may not be Mel Gibson, but terrorist suspect Adis Medunjanin might have done something sort of Mel Gibson-like after he was arrested last year in connection with an alleged al-Qaeda-sanctioned plot to blow up New York’s subway system.

The New York Daily News reports that FBI agent Aaron Spivack testified Monday at a pretrial hearing in Brooklyn federal court that Medunjanin, after his arrest, wanted to know if the agent was Jewish. He also called Judiasm “the wrong religion.”

“He began to talk religious talk . . . about how Judaism was the wrong religion . . . it was like a lecture or a speech,” Spivack said, according to the Daily News.

The suspect’s attorneys wanted the judge to toss the incriminating statements and said their client was denied access to a lawyer, AP reported.

Authorities allege that Medunjanin and co-conspirators Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay plotted to blow up the subway and were, in part, motivated by their hate for Israel, the Daily News reported.

As you might recall, after Mel Giblson was arrested in Malibu, Calif. on July 28, 2006, he said to the arresting officer James Mee, who is Jewish: “F— Jews…the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”

Sounds like the Medunjanin, the suspected terrorist, might have been a little more polite.

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Homeland’s Janet Napolitano Says U.S. at Most “Heightened State” Since Sept. 11 Attack

Janet Napolitano/file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Certainly it’s not what we want to hear.

Janet Napolitano, head of the Department of Homeland Security told a Congressional committee Wednesday that the terrorism threat “facing our country has evolved significantly in the last ten years – and continues to evolve – so that, in some ways, the threat facing us is at its most heightened state since those attacks.”

Appearing before the House Committee on Homeland Security, she said:

“In addition to the direct threats we continue to face from al-Qaeda, we also face growing threats from other foreign-based terrorist groups that are inspired by al-Qaeda ideology but have few operational connections to the core al-Qaeda group.

“And, perhaps most crucially, we face a threat environment where violent extremism is not defined or contained by international borders. Today, we must address threats that are homegrown as well as those that originate abroad.

“One of the most striking elements of today’s threat picture is that plots to attack America increasingly involve American residents and citizens. We are now operating under the assumption, based on the latest intelligence and recent arrests, that individuals prepared to carry out terrorist attacks and acts of violence might be in the United States, and they could carry out acts of violence with little or no warning.”

To read text of full speech click read more.

Read more »

al Qaeda in Yemen Might be Plotting Attacks on Wall Street

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI officials are warning major Wall Street banks that al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen may be plotting to attack their institutions or top executives, NBCNewYork reported.

The TV station reported that intelligence officials stressed that the threats were general in nature and there was “no indication of a targeted assassination plot” against any Wall Street executives.

At the same time, NBCNewYork.com learned that authorities fear some executives names have popped up in discussions by terrorist.

The station reported that some of the information authorities gathered came from al Qaeda writings in places like “Inspire” magazine.

To read more click here.

Guyanese National Gets 15 Years in Plot to Blow Up JFK Airport

jfk airport

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Guyanese national was sentenced Thursday in Brooklyn federal court to 15 years in prison for his role in an international plot to blow up fuel lines and fuel tanks under JFK Airport in Queens, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

Authorities charged that that Abdel Nur provided material support to the plot by trying to locate al Qaeda explosives expert Adnan Gulshair el Shukrijumah, and by introducing the plotters and presenting the plot to Yasin Abu Bakr, the notorious leader of the Trinidadian militant group Jamaat Al Muslimeen, who had been involved in terrorist attacks aimed at overthrowing the government of Trinidad and Tobago.

On June 29, he pleaded guilty.

Subsequently, a federal jury convicted Abdul Kadir and Russell Defreitas in the plot. In December, Kadir was sentenced to life in prison. Defreitas is set to be sentenced on Feb. 17.  A fourth person charged in the plot, Kareem Ibrahim, still faces trial.

Authorities say the plotters hoped the explosion and damage would dwarf the 9/11 attack.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI’s John Perren Talks Terrorism, the Internet and the Endless Battle

ticklethewire.com photo

WASHINGTON – Earlier this month, on the 5th floor of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, in the shadow the nation’s Capitol, John G. Perren, special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Branch, talked to ticklethewire.com editor Allan Lengel about lessons learned since Sept. 11, about the challenges the Internet has posed for terrorism investigations and the dedication he expects from his agents who work the endless leads and reports of suspicious activities that flow into the office.

He also expressed concerns about the potential links between terrorists and drug and human traffickers in Mexico.

“What concerns me is the infrastructure that’s already in place at the Mexican border. You have human traffic lanes already established. You have tunnels for transporting drugs. What’s to say they can’t be contacted by some terrorist organization who wants to use those human trafficking lanes to bring in operatives, to bring in people under the radar?”

Perren is no stranger to counterterrorism. He was supervisor of  the Washington Field Office’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and then assistant special agent in charge. In 2005, he  spent a half year in Iraq as the FBI’s on-scene commander before returning home to headquarters to become section chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction/Domestic Terrorism Operations Section. In 2007, the former D.C. cop was named special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Branch at the Washington Field Office. He has twice filled in as acting head of the field office. In 2011, he will become Deputy Assistant Director of the Criminal Division at headquarters.

The following is a condensed version of the conversation. The questions have been edited for clarity.

Read more »