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Tag: drone

FBI: Moroccan National Planned to Attack School, Federal Building with Radio-Controlled Plane

istock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Moroccan national accused of plotting an attack with a radio-controlled model airplane was arrested Monday by FBI agents, the CTPost.com reports.

El Mehdi Semlali Fahti, 27, is accused of plotting to crash the plane into a school and a Connecticut federal building.

FBI agents said they found wires and tools inside the High Ridge Drive apartment where Fahti had been living. It’s unclear whether explosives were also found.

The plot was revealed to an undercover agent in five recorded conversations. According to the FBI, Fahti said he studied bomb attacks and even made a chemical bomb while in high school in Morocco.

He claimed that funding for the plot would come from cash from money-laundering and drug-dealing, according to CTPost.com.

Homeland Security Tests Robotic Fish Designed to Sniff Out Contraband

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s a like a drone for the ocean.

Homeland Security is testing a six-foot-long robotic fish that is designed to find contraband in a ship’s hull, The Rancher reports.

Equipped with sophisticated sensors, the BIOSwimmer is shaped like a tuna and highly maneuverable.

Serving as the launching ground for the robotic fish is a century-old battleship that saw two World Wars, The Rancher wrote.

“Texas Parks and Wildlife is pleased to make the Battleship TEXAS available to serve the nation in the interests of strengthening port security,” says Andy Smith, TPWD’s ship manager. “The tests underway this week will be instructive in the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to refine this innovative technology so it may be deployed to make our maritime environment safer. The Battleship TEXAS is showing us that you’re never too old to be of service to your country.”

Column: Obama Administration Gets Free Pass on Use of Drones

John E. Sununu
Washington Post Columnist

A year ago, Attorney General Eric Holder first spoke in public about the Obama administration’s program to target and kill US citizens overseas. At the time, it seemed an extraordinary assertion of power, and certainly one that no president had previously dared to make. Holder’s speech was intended to reassure skeptics that the White House took this power very seriously. He explained to his audience in somber tones that targets would have to be deemed an “imminent threat” whose capture “was not feasible.”

To some, such vague terms were cause for even greater alarm. For Congress, however, they calmed the waters — at least for a year. With the exception of a few steady critics like Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, most elected officials have quietly gone along. In fact, neither the Senate Intelligence Committee nor its House counterpart has ever held a public hearing on the drone programs — let alone the targeted assassination of US citizens.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

U.S. Drones Take Out #2 Guy in al Qaeda

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. drones continue to pick off targets in Pakistan.

CNN reports that a drone killed al Qaeda’s number 2 guy — Abu Yahya al-Libi.

CNN reported that the hit was one of the most significant hits since the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

“There is no one who even comes close in terms of replacing the expertise (al Qaeda) has just lost,” said the U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, according to CNN.

To read more click here. 

Confessed Terrorist Tried to Help FBI Track Down Other Terrorists; Tells of Plot to Kill CEO of Drone Manufacturer

By Sebastian Rotella
ProPublica

CHICAGO—Confessed terrorist David Coleman Headley was so eager to cooperate after his 2009 arrest that he worked with FBI agents to try to engineer the capture of a suspected mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks and proposed setting up another kingpin for a missile strike, according to testimony in federal court Tuesday.

Headley, a Pakistani-American businessman who has pleaded guilty in the Mumbai case and a plot against Denmark, testified that during two weeks of interrogation in October 2009 he worked with FBI agents to try to lure Sajid Mir, a member of the Lashkar-i-Taiba militant group and a suspected mastermind of the Mumbai attack, out of Pakistan so he could be arrested. The attempt failed, Headley testified, and Mir remains a fugitive.

Headley also offered to travel undercover to the tribal areas of Pakistan and present Ilyas Kashmiri, an al Qaeda-connected leader indicted in the Denmark plot, with an ornate sword that Headley suggested could be outfitted with a homing device to set up a U.S. missile attack, according to his testimony.

Headley revealed Tuesday that Kashmiri wanted to assassinate the chief executive officer of the Lockheed Martin Corp, which manufactures the Predator drone, as retaliation for the missile strikes that have killed scores of militants in Pakistan.

“Kashmiri was working on a plan,” Headley testified. “He said he knew people who had already done surveillance. And he asked if weapons were available in the U.S.”

Headley, who did not further describe the details of the plot, met with Kashmiri twice in Pakistan in 2009, according to his confession. Officials with the FBI and the Justice Department declined to comment on Headley’s mention of a plot targeting Lockheed CEO Robert J. Stevens. Lockheed officials also declined comment, citing a policy of not discussing specific threats against the company.

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Napolitano Says Unarmed Reconnaissance Drone Will Soon Fly Over Texas

Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Lone Star state’s air space is about to get a little more activity.

Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, testified at a Senate hearing Tuesday that an unarmed reconnaissance drone plane will fly over Texas to bolster security at a time when the drug violence along the border has reached new heights to help, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

She said Texas is the last Southwest border state to receive a drone because its “airspace is more crowded”, the Express-News reported. She said an exact date when it will begin flying has not be established.

“The FAA now has to go in and carve out, as I understand it, space for the Predator,” she said, according to the paper.

To read more click here.