Osama bin Laden
Al Qaeda, which has announced plans to target India, is keen on recruiting youth trained in computers or aeronautics for its terror designs and is taking the help of banned terror outfit SIMI for this, officials with access to intelligence inputs have revealed.
Sources said intelligence inputs shared by central agencies with the police in some major cities including Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai talked of Al Qaeda not only planning to recruit disgruntled youth but had a target to pick up those familiar with use of computers or having knowledge about aeroplanes.
They said that Al Qaeda, which was responsible for the Sep 11, 2001, attack on New York’s World Trade Center but has no reported presence in India till now, is using Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives in Pakistan to establish contacts with the sleeper cells of SIMI to recruit educated Muslim youth. Read the rest of this entry »
By Aya Elbrqawi, 28 February 2014
Photo: Kate Thomas/IRIN
A rebel fighter chats with a friend in central Benghazi (file photo).
Benghazi — Derna residents live a life of fear. Al-Qaeda has transformed their eastern Libya port city into a new base for its global campaign and as the prime export centre for jihadists.
Known for its long history of fierce fighters and proud tribes, Derna has faced relentless violence. Now it will not have a say in national governance because it is too unsafe to vote.
Posted : Wednesday Jul 11, 2012 14:51:57 EDT
KHARTOUM, Sudan — A man who spent a decade as a prisoner in the U.S. detention facility for militants in Guantanamo Bay returned Wednesday to his native Sudan after completing a shortened sentence for aiding al-Qaida in Afghanistan.
Ibrahim al-Qosi was getting reacquainted with his wife and two daughters and other family members and will spend some time in a government-sponsored reintegration program in the capital, Khartoum, before returning to his hometown, said his lawyer Paul Reichler.
Al-Qosi, who recently turned 52, had not seen his family since he was captured and sent to the U.S. base in Cuba in early 2002. His release brings the prison population down to 168.
“I guess you call this probably the best birthday present he ever received,” Reichler, a Washington-based specialist in international law, said in a phone interview from Greece, where he was speaking at a legal conference.
The Pentagon and state-run media in Sudan confirmed al-Qosi’s release.
Al-Qosi admitted serving food and providing other services at a militant camp. He was among the first prisoners taken to the Guantanamo, the hastily arranged detention center to hold men suspected of ties to al-Qaida and the Taliban after the invasion of Afghanistan.
From a high of nearly 700, the population is now down to less than 170. President Obama vowed to close the prison but has been prevented from doing so by Congress.
Al-Qosi, who moved to Afghanistan in 1996 to work with Islamic militants, struck a deal with U.S. military prosecutors in July 2010, pleading guilty to providing material support to terrorism and conspiracy in exchange for a 14-year sentence that would be shortened to two years from his conviction. It spared him the possibility of a much longer sentence, perhaps even life.
He was never accused of any specific acts of violence. He worked as a cook and helped gather supplies for a militant camp. His lawyer said he may have accompanied Osama bin Laden as part of an entourage but was never a member of the terrorist leader’s inner circle. Bin-Laden, founder of al-Qaida, was killed in a U.S. raid in Pakistan last year.
The United States sent home to Sudan on Tuesday one of Guantánamo’s longest-held prisoners, a 52-year-old confessed al Qaida foot soldier and sometime driver for Osama bin Laden whose release was seen as a crucial test case of the Barack Obama-era war court.
Ibrahim al Qosi pleaded guilty to terror charges in July 2010 in exchange for the possibility of release after serving a two-year sentence.
U.S. troops spirited him from the remote base days after his war crimes sentence ran out and dropped him off in the capital city Khartoum about 8 p.m. Miami time Tuesday night, Wednesday in Sudan, U.S. government sources said.
The Pentagon has not yet disclosed the transfer — which reduced the number of foreign prisoners at the Navy base in Cuba to 168 — to give Sudanese officials time to put the returnee in a rehabilitation program in the Horn of Africa nation. But the repatriation demonstrated that the Obama administration is still in the business of deal-making and downsizing the prison camps even as the Defense Department is planning to spend $40 million on an undersea telecommunications cable to the base in southeast Cuba.
Now-grown “child soldier” Omar Khadr could go next, to a lock-up in his native Canada. The White House is also reportedly considering transferring some Taliban captives at Guantánamo to Afghanistan as part of a regional peace accord there.
The release of Qosi was the first of a convicted war criminal since the Bush administration sent home Yemeni Salim Hamdan in 2008. Qosi’s attorney argued the U.S. had no reason to fear the Sudanese man.
“He is now in his 50s, eager only to spend his life at home with his family in Sudan — his mother and father, his wife and two teenage daughters, and his brothers and their families — and live among them in peace, quiet and freedom,” said Washington, D.C., attorney Paul Reichler, who defended Qosi without charge for seven years.
By LWJ Staff June 1, 2012
|Michael D. McCright, a.k.a. Mikhial Jihad.|
Last week, Michael D. McCright, a.k.a. Mikhial Jihad, a previously convicted felon from the north Seattle suburb of Lynnwood, pled guilty to lesser charges in a case involving his attempt to force a government vehicle carrying two Marines off the road and cause a collision on an interstate highway in Seattle. The incident occurred on July 12, 2011 and resulted in McCright’s arrest in Seattle on Sept. 8. McCright is linked to another American jihadist who plotted a suicide attack against Marines.
According to the Seattle PI, the Marine staff sergeant in the car targeted by McCright told police that the suspect’s “eyes widened and he appeared to become angry” when he saw the uniformed men, and that shortly thereafter McCright deliberately swerved his car into the path of their vehicle, forcing it off the road, then stopped right in front of it.
Court documents filed following McCright’s arrest indicate he has links with at least one of two men accused of plotting a suicide attack on a south Seattle Marine processing and intake center. The deputy prosecutor in McCright’s case said that McCright’s cell phone was used three times to call Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, a Des Moines, Wa., resident who is being held along with Walli Mujahidh, of Los Angeles; the calls from McCright’s phone were made prior to the July 22, 2011 arrests of Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh. The FBI decided to continue to investigate McCright’s possible links to domestic terrorism. And according to KING5 news, “[a] federal criminal justice source said the FBI had McCright on their radar even before the July 12 road rage incident.”
Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, a.k.a. Joseph Anthony Davis, and Walli Mujahidh, a.k.a. Frederick Domingue Jr., are accused of conspiring to murder federal agents and officers and conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction, for their roles in plotting a suicide attack on the Federal Way MEPS center in south Seattle. Initial charges were filed in late June 2011 shortly after their arrest in an FBI sting operation; further charges were added in July, including weapons violations and solicitation of a crime of violence. In August, the trial was postponed due to the complexity of the case and the quantity of evidence gathered by the FBI and police, The Associated Press reported. Both Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh pled not guilty at the time
In December, Mujahidh’s attorney said her client suffered from mental illness and “a fundamental misunderstanding of Islam,” and said he would plead guilty in the case, according to AP.
It is unclear how Mujahidh and Abdul-Latif had initially become acquainted, although Mujahidh had lived in Seattle before moving to California. Both men have criminal records; Mujahidh for domestic violence and theft, Abdul-Latif for theft, assault, and robbery, for which he served 31 months in prison, AP reported. Nor has it been explained just how McCright came to know Abdul-Latif.
All three men appear to be converts to Islam. According to AP, Abdul-Latif admired Osama bin Laden and had apparently posted videos on YouTube calling for jihad and extolling al Qaeda‘s leadership in Yemen and endorsing radical Islam. “We need to establish jihad with the tongue, with the heart and with the hand,” he said in a video posted in May 2011.
The federal complaint in the case describes the detailed preparations Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh made for the suicide attack plot over a period of months leading up to their arrests. Abul-Latif, who had spent some time in the Navy in the mid-1990s, was designated as the “emir” or leader of the cell. The men originally intended to cause a devastating attack at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Army base near Tacoma, but changed their focus to the MEPS center in south Seattle, which was located next to a daycare center. They conducted reconnaissance of the site, and sought to purchase fragmentation grenades, machine guns, bulletproof vests, and ammunition for the attack, in which they planned to kill as many soldiers as possible.
Sheila Dabu Nonato
Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images
A journalist in Washington, D.C. views al-Qaeda documents found at Osama bin Laden’s compound in the raid that killed the terrorist a year ago. According to the declassified documents, two Canadian journalists were to receive “special media material” on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Two Canadians were among a select group of international journalists singled out by al-Qaeda to receive “special media material” on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, according to declassified documents captured during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last year.
Eric Margolis and Gwynne Dyer were to have been provided with a password and site address to download information provided by the terrorist group “at the right time,” according to the documents, released Thursday in a report by the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at the West Point military academy.
Messrs. Margolis and Dyer were among a dozen journalists named in one of the letters, including renowned British war correspondent Robert Fisk and American Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh. It also named journalists from Norway, Pakistan, Egypt and Jordan.
Journalists Gwynne Dyer, left, and Eric Margolis were to receive “special media material” from al-Qaeda on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, according to declassified documents.
Mr. Margolis said the documents need to be approached with caution “because there have been a lot of bogus reports, documents and videos that have come out of that area.”
Inland-born jihadist Adam Gadahn – raised on a Winchester goat farm – has resurfaced in letters released this week that were tied to the attack against al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
Gadahn, 33, has been in Afghanistan and Pakistan for more than a decade, officials believe, acting as a propagandist for the terrorist group. He was the first American since World War II to be charged with treason when a California court indicted him in 2005.
Now called Azzam the American and Azzam Al-Amriki, Gadahn wrote a 21-page letter in January 2011 suggesting strategies for spreading al-Qaida’s message for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The letter was released with others Thursday as part of a purge of previously classified material by Combatting Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The letters were collected from bin Laden’s Abbottabad, Pakistan compound, where he was killed by U.S. Special Forces during an attempt to capture the terrorist leader on May 1, 2011.
In the letter, Gadahn offers suggestions on how to communicate with western media, including the idea of offering a handful of journalists a chance to interview high-ranking al-Qaida members, including bin Laden, for the attack anniversary. Gadahn also chastises Western media for not challenging U.S. officials and condemning the jihadist movement.
“They are all on one level except (Fox News) channel which falls into the abyss as you know, and lacks neutrality too,” Gadahn wrote, according to a translation of the original letter.
But Gadahn is also critical of some terrorist factions in the missive, openly condemning terror sects that bomb mosques while Muslims are praying.
“It has been exploited to distort the picture of the pious and loyal Mujahidin,” he wrote. “Now many regular people are looking at the Mujahidin as a group that does not hesitate to take people’s money by falsehood, detonating mosques, spilling the blood of scores of people in the way to kill one or two who were labeled as enemies.” Read the rest of this entry »
(US Military Academy at West Point/ Associated Press ) – This handout document provided by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point shows page three , of four, of a handwritten document by Osama bin Laden. Letters from Osama bin Laden’s last hideaway, released by U.S. officials intent on discrediting his terror organization, portray a network weak, inept and under siege _ and its leader seemingly near wit’s end about the passing of his global jihad’s glory days.
By Associated Press, Published: May 4
Images after Osama bin Laden’s death: As the anniversary of the May 2, 2011, death of Osama bin Laden approaches, here are images showing the compound where he was killed as well as Americans’ reactions to the news.
“Even though we have the chance to attack the British, we should not waste our effort to do so but concentrate on defeating America, which will lead to defeating the others, God willing,” reads one letter, which scholars believe was written by bin Laden or a top deputy. “We want to cut this tree at the root. The problem is that our strength is limited, so our best way to cut the tree is to concentrate on sawing the trunk of the tree.”
FEAR OF DRONES: The CIA’s unmanned aircraft had al-Qaida looking toward the sky. In one letter, bin Laden suggested getting most of al-Qaida’s members out of Waziristan, the lawless frontier area along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border that has been beset by U.S. drone airstrikes.
“The brothers who can keep a low profile and take the necessary precautions should stay, but move to new houses on a cloudy day” when visibility for U.S. drones is reduced, bin Laden wrote.
He also encouraged al-Qaida’s leaders to stay far from their troops to reduce the likelihood of being killed.
ON THE U.S. MEDIA: Like any public figures, bin Laden and his advisers were mindful of the media. Adam Gadahn, one of bin Laden’s spokesmen, provided a summary of his view of U.S. TV cable news.
“From the professional point of view, they are all on one level except (Fox News) channel which falls into the abyss as you know, and lacks neutrality too,” he wrote.
CNN seemed to be closely collaborating with the U.S. government, but its Arabic version was better, Gadahn wrote. Read the rest of this entry »
LONDON — An extremist cleric who has avoided Britain’s efforts to deport him to Jordan for more than a decade was told Thursday he may have dealt a new blow to the country’s exasperated government.
British lawmakers were told a new appeal lodged Tuesday by the Palestinian-Jordanian preacher Abu Qatada, who has fought attempts to expel him from the U.K. since 2001, is likely to be considered by the European Court of Human Rights.
An advisory note sent to Britain’s Parliament by the Council of Europe – which is responsible for the court – said the cleric had submitted his latest effort to contest his deportation “just in time” to beat a deadline.
“I sometimes wish I could put him on a plane and take him to Jordan myself,” Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday, reflecting widespread frustration over the case. “But government has to act within the law.”
Cameron acknowledged he was growing alarmed at the delays that have prevented Britain from removing a man identified in court hearings as having been the late Osama bin Laden‘s spiritual envoy in Europe.
The British leader‘s anger comes after he believed his government had finally succeeded in drawing the protracted legal saga to a close.
Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff to meet U.S. Generals to discuss November NATO incident; Pakistani opposition leaders resistant to recommendations on U.S.-Pakistan relations; Rep. Dana Rohrabacher alleges that Pakistan has “radical Islam[ist]” government; Two major U.S. oil companies interested in TAPI pipeline; German embassy employee found dead in Islamabad; Unidentified assailants blow up gas pipeline in Peshawar; German-Afghan man on trial for being part of al Qaeda claims innocence; Indian Prime Minister meets with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani; Leaked letter describes weaknesses in Indian military; Delegation of Pakistani defense and security officials meet with French counterparts; Pakistan’s Supreme Court to hear Hussain Haqqani’s petition to record his statement via video link; Yemen urges Pakistan to release Osama bin Laden’s widow and children.
- The Pakistani military announced that Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani will meet with CENTCOM Commander General James Mattis and U.S. Commander in Afghanistan General John Allen in Islamabad on Wednesday to discuss the November 26 incident in which NATO forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. According to a senior Pakistani military official, the meeting will also “look at border security and coordination measures and how to improve them.”
- Pakistani opposition leaders were resistant to the Parliamentary Committee on National Security’s (PCNS) recommendations on U.S.-Pakistan relations during Tuesday’s proceedings of the joint session of Parliament. Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan pointed to a clause that called for bringing to justice those responsible for the November cross-border attack, and said that since the U.S. has refused to even admit that it was at fault in this instance, there would be no use in passing such recommendations. Chief of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Maulana Fazlur Rehman warned that if the government passed any resolution unilaterally, the JUI-F would not let it be implemented. Rehman added that making the reopening of NATO supply routes conditional on a U.S. apology was the “easy way out,” because the U.S. “would do whatever it takes to serve its purpose.” Senator Rabbani attempted to alleviate the opposition’s concerns by reminding them that the government would not have closed the NATO supply routes and had the Shamsi airbase vacated “if it wanted to satisfy the [U.S.]”
- According to a senior advisor to the Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy in the U.S., two “major [U.S.] oil companies are interested” in the Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan India (TAPI) pipeline. The proposed pipeline is expected to transport natural gas from Turkmenistan’s gas fields through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then finally to India. The governments of the four countries are planning to finalize the TAPI pipeline deal by July 31, 2012.
- Three U.S. Congressmen, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Rep. Louie Gohmert and Rep. Steve King, sought “self-determination” for the “oppressed” people of Balochistan at a news conference held at the National Press Club on Tuesday. Rohrabacher alleged that Pakistan has a “radical Islam[ist]” government that has been “providing weapons and resources to radical Muslim elements” who use them against the U.S. He added that Pakistan is not a friend of the U.S., but is “really our enemy.”
- The Express Tribune reported on Wednesday that police recovered the bodies of a German embassy employee and one other unidentified person from Rawal Dam in Islamabad. The employee, Fayaz Ali, had been reported missing by his family on March 22. According to investigators, the dead bodies were four to five days old, but investigators have still not determined if the two men were murdered.
- Unidentified assailants blew up a gas pipeline on the Ring Road in Peshawar on Wednesday morning. No casualties were reported from the explosion.
- A German-Afghan man on trial in a German state court for providing funds to al Qaeda claimed on Tuesday that the funds were not intended for terrorism. Ahmad Wali Siddiqui had previously told the court that he lived in an apartment in Pakistan near the Afghan border that was provided by al Qaeda, but he was not an al Qaeda member. On Tuesday, Siddiqui testified that he transferred money from Hamburg to an al Qaeda contact in Pakistan in 2010, but he said that he never saw the money again and that it was intended for his own expenses.
- A policeman was killed and another was injured when unknown gunmen opened fire on the home of a Shariat Court judge in the Mumtazabad area of Multan on Wednesday.
- Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh briefly met with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani during the nuclear summit in Seoul on Tuesday. According to the Indian Foreign Secretary, Singh and Gilani had a “very good meeting,” and Singh said he “plans to visit Pakistan” and “wants to make some concrete developments in the India-Pakistan relationship.” Speaking to an Indian news agency after the meeting, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar emphasized that both countries recognized “the need to go beyond the stage of dealing with the ‘trust deficit’ and move towards a ‘result-oriented dialogue.’” Khar said that it was fortunate that both Pakistani and Indian leaders were “committed to taking the bilateral relationship forward through dialogue,” but she added that “the people of both countries need to have the confidence that this dialogue will help Pakistan and India resolve their issues.” Read the rest of this entry »