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Archive for the ‘The Global Jihad’ Category

Apr
23

The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday the sentencing of a New York man convicted in a terrorism financing case:

A New York businessman was sentenced Monday to more than 10 years in prison for trying to funnel money to a terrorism training camp in Afghanistan through an undercover agent posing as a wealthy Middle Easterner.

Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari pleaded guilty in September to charges of terrorism financing and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Judge Alvin Hellerstein sentenced him to 121 months, plus three years of supervised release. He faced up to 20 years behind bars.

Alishtari was operating a phony loan investment program when he met the undercover agent. Prosecutors said he accepted an unspecified amount of money from the agent to transfer $152,500 he believed was being sent to Pakistan and Afghanistan to support a terrorist training camp.

Alishtari, also known as Michael Mixon, thought the money would be used to buy night vision goggles, medical supplies and other equipment and advised the agent he had to be “three steps away” from the money so it could not be traced back to him.

Alishtari also pleaded guilty to stealing millions of dollars from victims through the fraudulent loan investment program. The judge ordered him to pay restitution to victims in the scheme, but a figure has not been determined.

The judge said at sentencing Alishtari knew what he was doing.

“You knew these ends were assisting terrorism that was of a type, that it was on the edge of causing substantial death and destruction to people like you and me,” the judge said. “The very fabric of civilization is endangered by terrorism.”

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Apr
11

ABC News is reporting that an award-winning Iranian nuclear scientist has defected to the United States:

An… Iranian nuclear scientist, who disappeared last year under mysterious circumstances, has defected to the CIA and been resettled in the United States, according to people briefed on the operation by intelligence officials. The officials were said to have termed the defection of the scientist, Shahram Amiri, “an intelligence coup” in the continuing CIA operation to spy on and undermine Iran’s nuclear program. A spokesperson for the CIA declined to comment. In its declassified annual report to Congress, the CIA said, “Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons though we do not know whether Tehran eventually will decide to produce nuclear weapons.” Amiri, a nuclear physicist in his early 30s, went missing last June three days after arriving in Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage, according to the Iranian government. He worked at Tehran’s Malek Ashtar University, which is closely connected to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, according to the Associated Press.

The Daily Alert, prepared by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs adds this note mentioned in the above video:

Amiri has been extensively debriefed since his defection. One Iranian web site reported that Amiri had worked at the covert Qom facility.

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Apr
03

A few weeks ago, this blog cited reports that an American “JihadJane” has been apprehended for recruiting Muslim terrorists via the internet. Now comes a report about a co-conspirator with “JihadJane” who has been charged in the US terror plot:

Federal prosecutors filed terrorism charges Friday against a pregnant American woman in the so-called Jihad Jane case. The two American women are accused of plotting online to attend a terror training camp.

Jamie Paulin-Ramirez flew from Ireland Friday to Philadelphia, where she was arrested by agents with the joint terrorism task force there. Her 6-year-old son flew with her and was placed in the custody of child protective service workers.

Last month, authorities in Ireland detained Paulin-Ramirez, originally from Colorado, and six others as they investigated an alleged plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist whose drawing had offended many Muslims.

Those seven suspects in Ireland were linked to Colleen LaRose [a.k.a. JihadJane — ed.], a 46-year-old woman who had traveled to Europe but was arrested last fall when she returned to the United States.

The new indictment charges that LaRose and Paulin-Ramirez, 31, separately traveled to Europe to support violent jihad, or Muslim holy war. The court papers also say that once LaRose was in Europe, she invited Paulin-Ramirez to join her to attend a “training camp.”

Paulin-Ramirez, prosecutors charge, accepted the invitation and asked to bring her 6-year-old son with her. She and the boy traveled to Europe last September and on the day of her arrival, she married a co-conspirator whom she knew only from online discussions, authorities said.

Last August, Paulin-Ramirez and LaRose allegedly had a computer conversation in which LaRose said “when our brothers defend our faith (and) their homes, they are terrorists … fine, then I am a terrorist and proud to be this.”

According to the indictment, Paulin-Ramirez replied, “that’s right… if that’s how they call it then so be it I am what I am.”

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Mar
11

Anyone who may still think that the United States is secure and invulnerable to infiltration by Islamic Jihadists should read and consider this. The Los Angeles Times reports that a self-proclaimed American “JihadJane” has been nabbed for recruiting Muslim terrorists through various online platforms:

Using e-mail, YouTube videos, phony travel documents and a burning desire to kill “or die trying,” an American woman from Pennsylvania helped recruit a network for suicide attacks and other terrorist strikes in Europe and Asia, according to a federal grand jury indictment unsealed Tuesday.

Colleen R. LaRose, who dubbed herself “JihadJane,” was so intent on waging jihad, authorities said, that she traveled to Sweden to kill an artist in a way that would frighten “the whole Kufar [nonbeliever] world”…

The 46-year-old woman bragged that she could go anywhere undetected…

Authorities said LaRose solicited funds for terrorist organizations, helped arrange phony passports and other travel records, and used the Internet to recruit women to kill in Europe and men in Asia. LaRose was arrested Oct. 15 in Philadelphia.

David Kris, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s National Security Division… emphasized, “[this] underscores the evolving nature of the threat we face.”

Michael L. Levy, the U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, said the case shows “the use terrorists can and do make” of communicating through e-mails and videos around the world. He called LaRose “yet another very real danger lurking on the Internet.”

The other danger, authorities said, is that radical jihadists are turning to home-grown U.S. citizens to carry out their plots. “Terrorists are looking for Americans to join them in their cause,” Levy said, adding that LaRose “shatters any lingering thought that we can spot a terrorist based on appearance.”

A Washington Post piece on the alleged American terrorist adds:

As an American citizen whose appearance and passport allowed her to blend into Western society, LaRose represents one of the worst fears of intelligence and FBI analysts focused on identifying terrorist threats.

She looked for recruits whose physical appearance would “blend in with many people” and go undetected in Europe and the United States.

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Mar
10

The AP reports that a California man has been nabbed assisting Arab students in U.S. visa fraud:

A California man was charged Monday with operating a ring of illegal test-takers who helped dozens of Middle Eastern nationals obtain U.S. student visas by passing various proficiency and college-placement exams for them, federal authorities said.

The allegations reveal a potentially dangerous security breach in the country’s student visa system and underscored the vulnerability of a tracking process that relies on schools and testing centers to verify the identities of people taking the mandated exams.

Eamonn Daniel Higgins, 46, of Laguna Niguel made an appearance in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana on one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud as federal immigration agents arrested 16 of his suspected clients who remained in Southern California…

Over a seven-year period, Higgins collected tens of thousands of dollars from foreign students from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Kuwait, Turkey and Qatar before he or his accomplices took their exams at ten southern California community colleges and universities using doctored IDs.

Higgins may have worked with hundreds of foreign students, although authorities have only been able to definitively identify 119.

They believe 48 students remain in the U.S., and authorities are seeking all of them…

A search of Higgins’ home turned up 60 fake IDs, college testing materials and completed exams and payment information from foreign students, court papers said.

Most of those students were presumably just interested in the exceptional educational and economic opportunities available in the US, but certainly if it was this easy to get them in it would be easy to get terrorists in the same way.

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Feb
28

This blog previously reported that Afghan immigrant Najibullah Zazi plead guilty to charges connected to a New York subway bombing plot. The Associated Press now reports that 2 more Afghans have been indicted in the New York City bomb plot:

Two high school classmates of admitted terrorist plotter Najibullah Zazi were indicted Thursday in a foiled scheme to bomb New York City subways that a prosecutor said was directed by “al-Qaida leadership.”

Zarein Ahmedzay and Adis Medunjanin, both 25, pleaded not guilty in federal court in Brooklyn to charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and providing material support to the al-Qaida terrorist network.

The three men were planning an attack on city subway lines last September under the direction of leaders of the al-Qaida terrorist network that would have been similar to the 2005 London subway bombings that killed more than 50 people, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Knox said.

“The facts alleged in this indictment shed further light on the scope of this attempted attack…,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “This attack would have been deadly”…

Medunjanin and Ahmedzay — who authorities say traveled to Pakistan with Zazi in 2008… faced charges in the alleged plot.

Medunjanin has pleaded not guilty to charges he conspired to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. His lawyer, Robert C. Gottlieb, said this week he didn’t know whether Zazi told prosecutors anything about his client but Zazi’s decision to plead guilty “obviously affects the overall prosecution.”

Ahmedzay has pleaded not guilty to charges that he lied to the FBI during the probe about places he visited during the 2008 trip.

Zazi’s uncle, father and a Queens imam face lesser charges in the case.

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Feb
25

The New York Times reports that an Afghan immigrant plead guilty to charges concerning a bombing plot in the New York subway:

The Afghan immigrant at the center of what the authorities described as one of the most serious threats to the United States since 9/11 pleaded guilty Monday to terrorism charges in what he said was a Qaeda plot to detonate a bomb in the New York subway.

Najibullah Zazi admitted that he came to New York last year… to kill himself and others on the subway using a homemade bomb.

He characterized the plot as a “martyrdom operation” that he was just days away from executing when he realized he was under government surveillance.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said… : “This attempted attack on our homeland was real, it was in motion and it would have been deadly.”

Zazi told the court he went with friends to Pakistan in August 2008 to join the Taliban in fighting the U.S. in Afghanistan.

While in Pakistan, he received training in making bombs, and was persuaded by Qaeda operatives to return to America to be a suicide bomber. They discussed possible targets, including the New York subway system.

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Feb
23

The BBC reports that Colonel Richard Kemp, a top British military officer, noted that the ‘UK combat doctrine has been Influenced by IDF.’ The BBC report stated:

Col. Kemp said the advice he received from the Israeli armed forces on how to tackle Afghan suicide bombers had been invaluable, and formed the basis of official army guidelines used by soldiers on the ground there.

He added that UK soldiers did not have to deal with the same amount of criticism from the international community as does the IDF.

“When we go into battle we do not get the same knee-jerk, almost Pavlovian response from many, many elements of the international media and international groups, humanitarian groups and other international groups such as the United Nations which should know better… of utter automatic condemnation. We don’t have to put up with that.”

Col. Kemp, previously cited on the IRIS blog here and here, was reported to have spoken the above comments cited by the BBC while speaking out yet again for the Israel Defense Forces, this time at a UK Zionist Federation dinner on Sunday in London according to this report from The Jerusalem Post:

“I was a professional soldier for 30 years in the British army and it was my honor and privilege to work alongside the IDF on a number of occasions during that time,” he said.

“I found in my time that the British forces and British government had no stronger ally than Israel and the IDF.”

The former commander… said he wrote the British army’s doctrine on suicide bombing based on help he received from an Israeli army expert on the issue.

“I went to Afghanistan to take over the British forces in 2003 and it was the first time I found myself in a situation where we faced suicide bomb attacks.

“I found that no one in the British forces had worked out a means to try to tackle suicide bomb attacks and how to train our soldiers to handle that situation,” Kemp said.

“…I spoke to a friend at the Israeli embassy and asked if he could help. I thought he would have me meet the defense attache’ at the embassy, but within days a brigadier-general, the top expert the IDF had on suicide bombing, came from his base in the Golan to London specifically to spend about four hours giving me a full briefing on the subject.

“As a result I devised a policy that subsequently became the British forces’ doctrine for dealing with suicide bombing,” he said…

The colonel said that some of the challenges British forces face in Iraq and Afghanistan are comparable to the challenges Israel faces in Gaza and Lebanon…

Comparing the predicament of British forces currently fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan to what Israel is up against, he said, “They fight among the people, they use their own population as weapons of war and that was certainly true of Hamas in the Gaza conflict. They deliberately sacrificed their own people, deliberately did their best to lure Israeli forces to attack their civilian population, and the same thing happens in Afghanistan.

“Taliban forces use the same tactics of trying to draw our forces onto their civilian population that they pretend to protect.”

The colonel repeated his opinion that the IDF went to considerable lengths to protect human life during Operation Cast Lead.

During the Gaza conflict Kemp said… that the IDF was going out of its way to save Palestinian lives, while Hamas were deliberately using civilians as human shields. He also said the IDF was a world leader in humane warfare that seeks to protect civilian lives as much as possible.

“Israeli forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare,” Kemp told the UN Human Rights Council last year.

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Feb
21

The New York Post reports that five Muslim soldiers were nabbed in a food poisoning probe at a US military base:

Five individuals were arrested amid a probe into food poisoning at Fort Jackson U.S. military base, Fox News reported on Thursday (EST).

Sources told Fox the five men were detained in December over allegations that they attempted to poison the food supply at the South Carolina base.

They were all part of the base’s Arabic translation training program, referred to in the Army as “Lima 09″.

“Each of them uses Arabic as his first language,” one source told Fox News.

In an earlier report, before the arrests emerged, a military source told Fox News the suspects were Muslims.

CBN News reported that the five arrested men were Islamic and cited a source who said they may have been in contact with five Washington, DC Muslims, who were arrested in December after authorities uncovered their plans to travel to Pakistan to wage jihad against the U.S.

However, it was unclear whether the men were still in custody.

An ongoing probe into the alleged Fort Jackson plot began two months ago, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division spokesman Chris Grey told Fox News…

The investigation has surfaced in the wake of a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas last November, which killed 12 people and wounded 31 others.

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Feb
17

The New York Times reports that an Australian court has sentenced five Muslim men to prison for a terrorist plot against the Australian government.

The Times report states:

An Australian court on Monday sentenced five Muslim men to prison terms of 23 to 28 years for conspiracy to commit acts of terror…. The court ordered that the names of the men not be released.

Prosecutors said they had stockpiled dangerous chemicals, firearms and ammunition as part of a plan to wage Islamist jihad against the Australian government.

Justice Anthony Whealy of the Supreme Court of New South Wales said the men were driven by “intolerant, inflexible religious conviction.”

A report by The Australian describes the demeanor of the convicted terrorists upon hearing their sentences:

Moments after judge Anthony Whealy ordered the five… terrorists to serve lengthy jail sentences, the men looked calmly around the courtroom and smirked, confirming that none had any remorse for plotting violent jihad on Australian soil.

…The judge said the men seemed to “wear their imprisonment like some kind of badge of honor,” seeing it as “a test of their faith and a burden willingly borne as a duty arising from their fundamentalist religious conviction.”

The Times report continues:

The suspects had been arrested in 2005 after months of surveillance, wiretaps and searches of their homes, police officials said. The police found bomb-making guides and radical Islamist literature that was said to endorse mass murder and martyrdom as part of jihad…

The judge said Monday that some of the seized material glorified Osama bin Laden and included graphic images of violence involving hostages…

One of the men had trained at a Lashkar-e-Taiba camp in Pakistan. Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist group based in Pakistan, has been blamed by the United States and India for a number of bold terror attacks, including the rampage by gunmen through Mumbai, India, in November 2008 in which more than 160 people were killed.

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Feb
14

Associated Press reports on Saturday’s terror attack in India which killed 9 and wounded 57 in at a bakery in the city of Pune. The report notes:

The explosion…, caused by a bomb left in an unattended bag, was the first major terrorist attack in India since the 2008 Mumbai massacre.

It ripped open the German Bakery in… Pune, 125 miles (200 kilometers) southeast of Mumbai. Thick patches of blood and severed limbs littered the popular hangout, which is close to a meditation retreat and a Jewish center officials say were previously scouted by a terrorist suspect now detained in the U.S.

Israel National News reports that the were no Israeli casualties resulting from the attack.

The AP report continues:

Dozens of relatives waited at the city morgue to take home the bodies of victims as authorities performed autopsies…

Hindu nationalist leaders blamed the attack on Pakistan and demanded the government call off next week’s peace talks, the first between the nuclear-armed neighbors since the Mumbai siege.

“India’s initiative to hold peace talks with Pakistan is misconceived and adventurous,” said Arun Jaitley, a top leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.

He said India shouldn’t restart peace talks until Pakistan stops allowing terrorists to base themselves there and punishes those involved in the Mumbai attacks. “Terrorism and talks can’t coexist,” Jaitley said…

The bombing was the first major terrorist strike in India since 10 Pakistan-based gunmen rampaged through hotels and a train station in the financial hub of Mumbai for 60 hours in November 2008, killing 166 people.

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Feb
08

Last Tuesday’s session of the highly-regarded Herzliya conference featured Israel’s president Shimon Peres’ speech where he lauded PA prime minister Salam Fayyad, praising him for his efforts to establish a Palestinian state.

Peres hailed Fayyad comparing him to David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister.

Ynet notes:

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has been compared to David Ben-Gurion more than once due to his pragmatic policy, which has been manifested in his plan to establish a Palestinian state within two years.

Weeks before he was showered with lavish praise by Peres, Fayyad led a group who tossed products manufactured in Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria into a fire and authorized funding for families of terrorists who launch attacks against Israeli civilains and soldiers alike.

Fayyad made demands for a complete freeze of Jewish construction “in settlements, and in eastern Jerusalem” during his Herzliya speech and declared that PA would establish a state in mid-2011.

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