"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened." -- Winston Churchill
Hawaii, DC Terror Arrests Seen as Part of a Wider Plot IPT (hat tip Eileen)
Arrests Seen as Part of a Wider Plot IPT News October 27, 2010
Federal agents arrested a man Wednesday for plotting to bomb the Washington, D.C., subway system, the Justice Department announced. It was the second arrest in as many days involving Americans hoping to wage violence for al-Qaida or the Taliban, and federal law enforcement officials believe it is part of a wider attempt to launch terrorist attacks.
Farooque Ahmed, 34, of Ashburn, Va., was indicted Wednesday for attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization, collecting information to assist in planning a terrorist attack on a transit facility, and attempting to provide material support to help carry out multiple bombings in the D.C. Metro subway system.
Ahmed's arrest follows that of Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, arrested Tuesday in Hawaii for lying about a failed attempt to go to Pakistan and join the Taliban. Shehadeh said he was planning to travel to Pakistan to wage jihad, but after that plan failed he tried to join the U.S. Army. According to the indictment, Shehadeh said that in the Army he "would be provided with training, transportation and a weapon" that would help him attack Americans.
Ahmed and Shehadeh are considered to be part of a wider plan by U.S. citizens or residents hoping to serve elements of the Taliban and al-Qaida to conduct terrorist attacks throughout the country, a federal law enforcement official told IPT News.
There are multiple ongoing investigations of radical Muslims who are believed to have received training or direction from Pakistan-based terror groups in order to carry out attacks here, the official said. In the last eight months, U.S. authorities have detected a dramatic increase in the number of planned Islamic terrorist attacks in the United States or against Western targets abroad.
vidence for this comes from four categories, the official said.
- Actual tracking of foreign terrorist recruiters, including some with U.S. passports, who have been sent here to select terrorist candidates to carry out major attacks in the United States.
- Evidence showing a substantive increase in international travel of terrorist operatives into the United States and Europe. They have either been dispatched by al-Qaida-linked groups or are "lone wolf" types who have connected to groups in both Pakistan and Yemen in order to volunteer to carry out attacks.
- A substantial increase in the "terrorist chatter" that has preceded previous major attacks.
- The capture and interrogations of key Islamic terrorists by U.S. allies who have revealed details of plots and names of operatives who have been sent or trained to carry out attacks.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a speech Monday that law enforcement officials believe terrorist groups are preparing to launch attacks. Those officials, she said, "are operating under the premise that individuals prepared to carry out terrorist acts are already in the country, and may carry out these acts of violence with little or no warning."
Al-Qaida leaders outside the United States have increased their calls for attacks in this country. In May, Anwar al-Awlaki, an American cleric believed to be living in Yemen, issued a 45-minute video urging attacks on American civilians to retaliate for the deaths of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Awlaki invoked the Prophet Muhammad, whom he said waged battles that had civilian casualties.