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Author Topic: Shooting at Ft. Hood Texas 11/05/09 13 dead, 43 wounded-(Murder Charges)  (Read 553918 times)
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« Reply #920 on: December 28, 2009, 09:37:19 PM »

Bomber warns: there are more like me in Yemen

Al-Qa'ida claims responsibility as inquest into airport security begins

By Guy Adams in Los Angeles
Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The man accused of trying to blow up an airliner over Detroit has claimed he was just one of a string of recruits trained in Yemen and poised to attack, as the regional wing of al-Qa'ida said last night that it was behind the failed Christmas Day bombing.

In an online statement, al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula – believed to be an alliance of militants based in Saudi Arabia and Yemen – said it had armed Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab with an explosive device in retaliation for a crackdown on the group.

Yemeni forces, helped by US intelligence, carried out two airstrikes against al-Qa'ida operatives in the country this month – the second just a day before the attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253.

Making his first public statement, three days after the Christmas Day scare, US President Barack Obama vowed to "dismantle and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us, whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, or anywhere where they are plotting attacks against the US homeland. We will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable," he told reporters in Hawaii where he has been holidaying with his wife, Michelle, and daughters, Malia and Sasha.

Yesterday reports surfaced that the would-be bomber Abdulmutallab might have had an accomplice at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, where he was in transit from Lagos to Detroit.

Fellow passengers Kurt and Lori Haskell told reporters that they saw the suspect board the Northwest Airlines flight in Amsterdam on Friday morning with the help of a tall, well-dressed man aged about 50.

The US couple also suggested that the Nigerian had been allowed to board without a passport. The mystery man told airline agents that Abdulmutallab had "lost" the document, they said. "The guy said: 'He's from Sudan and we do this all the time'," Mr Haskell recalled. Dutch authorities said they would be trawling through airport CCTV footage to verify the reports. "At this moment we have no information on whether there was another guy," a military police spokesman said.

In London, the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, said he suspected that Abdulmutallab had not been working alone. "We don't know yet whether it was a single-handed plot or [whether there were] other people behind it – I suspect it's the latter rather than the former," he told the BBC. Mr Johnson confirmed that Abdulmutallab, who graduated from University College London in 2008, was refused a student visa last May because the new course he wanted to attend was bogus. It was also revealed last night that Abdulmutallab was president of the UCL Islamic society between 2006 and 2007.

With Abdulmutallab's family in Nigeria also saying they had reported his disappearance to security agencies months ago, after becoming concerned about his increasing militancy, questions were being asked as to why he still had a valid US visa. Mr Obama said he had ordered an urgent review.

American fears of a sustained terror campaign have been stoked by reports that Abdulmutallab told investigators there were more "just like me" who would soon strike.

ABC News cited FBI sources as saying that the Nigerian had spent a month in Yemen, where his training had included lessons in how to detonate the device, and how to evade airport security screening procedures by sewing the explosive PETN into the fabric of his underpants.

"He managed to penetrate all devices and modern advanced technology and security checkpoints in international airports bravely without fear of death," the al-Qa'ida statement said. He had been "relying on God and defying the large myth of American and international intelligence, and exposing how fragile they are." As well as claiming credit for the Detroit plot, the statement urged the killing of Western embassy workers in the region as part of an "all-out war on Crusaders".

Friday's attempted bombing, which would have killed all 289 people on board the plane, only failed because the 80 grams of PETN failed to detonate properly, allowing Abdulmutallab to be overpowered by passengers and crew. The militant group blamed the hitch on a technical fault.

The Obama administration admitted for the first time yesterday that the country's system for preventing terrorist attacks had failed miserably. "No one is happy or satisfied," said the Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano. She said an extensive review was under way. Mr Obama said security measures had been stepped up at airports and that air marshals had been added to planes entering and leaving the US.

The thwarted Christmas terror attack has thrown the global spotlight on to Yemen, a highly fragmented and unstable nation on the Arabian peninsula. Washington has been pressing Yemen to take tougher action against local al-Qa'ida militants for more than a year, and this month has seen two major hits. On 17 December, 30 militants were reported killed in a government airstrike which opposition groups claim killed 50 civilians, including women and children.

Then on Christmas Eve – the day before Abdulmutallab struck – Yemen's military targeted a gathering of top militant leaders. A possible fatality there was reported to be US-born radical cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, who has been linked to the US Army officer who shot dead 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, last month. Major Nidal Malik Hasan had reportedly corresponded via email with Al-Awlaki.

That attack on the militant leaders in Yemen was what prompted the Detroit strike, according to the al-Qa'ida statement. Abdulmutallab was yesterday at a US federal prison in Milan, Michigan, awaiting trial. A court hearing scheduled for yesterday morning was postponed until 8 January at the prosecution's request. Although that prevented the public from getting further clues as to how Abdulmutallab – son of one of Nigeria's wealthiest men – became the latest face of international terrorism, further details about his alleged radicalisation emerged in emails that he apparently sent over the past six years.

The messages, also obtained by ABC News (but not, so far, quoted directly by the news organisation), apparently saw him wrestle with the question of whether his religion permitted him to attend a high-school prom, and worry about a string of low college test scores. He also expressed strong opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Timeline to a terror strike: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab

Summer 2005

*Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab leaves The British School, an expensive preparatory school in Lomé, the capital of Togo, with high marks in his international baccalaureate.

*He has a reputation for Islamic scholarship and is seen as so religious by fellow pupils that they call him The Pope. Towards the end of his studies, aged 17, he becomes the leader of the Islamic Religious Society at the school.

September 2005 to June 2008

*Completes a three-year engineering and business finance degree at University College London.

*Lives in a £3m central London apartment owned by his family.

*Does the "bare minimum" of work at university, according to fellow students. He is seen to spend a lot of time praying and avoids socialising.

*Visits East London Mosque – known to host hardline preachers – at least three times.

June 2008

*Granted a multiple-entry visa by the US embassy in London allowing him to enter America.

January to July 2009

*Attends Wollongong University, a branch of an Australian public university in Dubai, for about seven months.

May 2009

*The Nigerian is denied a British visa by the UK Border Agency. In his application he claims he plans to attend a six-month course, starting in September, but authorities suspect it is a bogus establishment. He is placed on a UK immigration watch list.

August-December 2009

*Travels to Yemen, where his mother's family comes from, in search of an extremist education. He has told investigators that al-Qa'ida operatives there supplied him with the explosive device and trained him on how to detonate it.

December 2009

*He travels to Ghana on 16 December and buys a $2,831 return ticket from Lagos to Detroit via Amsterdam from a KLM office in Accra.

*On Christmas Eve he arrives in Lagos where he spends one day before boarding a plane to Amsterdam carrying a small shoulder bag, an American visa and an explosive device concealed on his body.

......... Miranda Bryant


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« Reply #921 on: December 28, 2009, 10:06:41 PM »

Delta airliner incident confirms we folks are on our own

December 28, 1:24 PMSpiritual Life ExaminerRabbi Ben Kamin

Janet Napolitano, the US Homeland Security chief, has already flip-flopped with her remarks about the “system” failing / not failing.  For the umpteenth time in governmental pronouncements, the doctrinal “An extensive review is underway” has been released—another impressive evasion from the people who seem fixated on our airport shoe wear, 1040 forms, and sales tax, but who could not nail the latest Muslim terrorist who lit up his pants on a Delta airliner coming into Detroit.

    Brave, selfless, focused, private citizens saved the day once again.

Who subdued Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the suspect who terrorized Flight 253 a few days ago?  Who provided the security and defense for some 300 civilian passengers, men, women, children, who were just trying to travel somewhere on Christmas?

Not federal marshals, nor US Rangers, nor even any of the tight-jawed athletes with the things in their ears who protect the President from everything but party crashers.  People brought “Mr. Adbulmutallab” down (government spokespeople are always very polite when they refer to homicidal beasts who would blow up civilian aircraft on their watch).  Yes, people—like you and me.

Brave, selfless, focused, private citizens saved the day once again.  They did not have the time, one is certain, to even think of the ironies, the incongruities, let alone the layer upon layer of failures that their government has heaped upon them.

They did not think of the failure of the US Army to protect its own soldiers from another lunatic Muslim at Fort Hood and of so many failures down the line since the most unspeakable government malfunction of all: September 11, 2001, when the most powerful nation in history was unable to stop 19 despicable Koranic zealots from killing 3,000 innocent people with our civilian aircraft, while destroying downtown New York City and bombing the Pentagon.  Only the ultimate sacrifice of American civilians on board a third aircraft likely spared the US Capitol that day.

And for this, almost a decade later, we get “an extensive review” and the hope that another anonymous group of American citizens will yet save another day.

Meanwhile, Grandma, step over to this special line for further examination, please.


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« Reply #922 on: December 28, 2009, 10:14:48 PM »

Investigators Recover SIM Cards During Searches of Homes Tied to Abdulmutallab

By Catherine Herridge
 - FOXNews.com

Cell phone-related materials, including SIM cards, were recovered during searches of "flats or apartments of interest" connected to Flight 253 bomber suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Fox News learned Monday.

Cell phone-related materials, including SIM cards, were recovered during searches of "flats or apartments of interest" connected to Flight 253 bomber suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Fox News learned Monday.

SIM cards, which store cell phone numbers and incoming or outgoing calls, may be able to determine who was talking to whom in the months and days prior to Abdulmutallab's flight from Nigeria to Detroit.

The cards are now being analyzed as investigators continue searching locations where Abdulmutallab may have stayed.

The discovery comes as a court hearing to determine whether the government can get DNA from the suspect was postponed. The federal court in Detroit says a hearing scheduled for Monday has been delayed until Jan. 8. No reason was given.

On Monday, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula reportedly claimed responsibility for the attempt.

Investigators believe the suspect was radicalized before he went to Yemen, sources told Fox News. According to one source, Abdulmutallab traveled to Yemen sometime near the end of last year or early this year. He was there for several weeks or months, and investigators believe Abdulmutallab was "vetted for the mission" while in Yemen.

Investigators are still working to confirm whether the suspect was trained in Yemen and received explosive material there. Of the device, one source said it's "very likely that it did" come from Yemen.

The suspect also traveled within the last year to England, the Netherlands, and one other unnamed European country, Fox News has learned. He was also in Nigeria and Togo. One source said he "bounced around a bit."

Evidence collected shows that Abdulmutallab also was a "big fan" of radical imam Anwar Al-Awlaki, as Web traffic shows Abdulmutallab was a follower of Awlaki's blog and Web site

So far no evidence has been revealed that the two exchanged e-mails or talked one-on-one. Awlaki is an American born in New Mexico, now living in Yemen, and is the same imam from whom alleged Fort Hood shooter Malik Nidal Hasan sought spiritual advice.

Awlaki was reported to have been killed in an air strike by Yemeni forces last week, but it is now unconfirmed whether he is one of the 30 extremists killed.


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« Reply #923 on: December 28, 2009, 10:20:21 PM »

US War on Terror Reaches Yemen

IslamOnline.net & Newspapers

The US plans to spend over $70 million in the next 18 months on training and equipping Yemeni military, police and coast guard forces.
CAIRO — The US has opened a new front against the Al-Qaeda in Yemen amid reports the militant group has exploited the country's instability to regroup and build new bases, The New York Times reported on Monday, December 28.

A former top official of the CIA told the daily that the spy agency sent many of its top field operatives with counterterrorism experience to Yemen a year ago.

Senior military officers also confirmed that members of America's most secretive special operations commandos have also begun training Yemeni security forces.

The US plans to spend over $70 million in the next 18 months on training and equipping Yemeni military, police and coast guard forces.

It is also helping Yemen with military hardware and intelligence in its efforts to crack down on Al-Qaeda.

The American daily revealed last week that Washington provided Yemen with firepower and intelligence to conduct a series of deadly strikes on Al-Qaeda in the past 10 days.

"Yemen now becomes one of the centers of that fight," Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, told Fox News.

"We have a growing presence there, and we have to, of Special Operations, Green Berets, intelligence," added the influential lawmaker who visited Yemen in August.

Gen. David H. Petraeus, the American regional commander, and John O. Brennan, President Barack Obama's counterterrorism adviser, paid separate secret visits to Yemen last summer.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to expanded overt and covert assistance in the fight against Al-Qaeda.

Washington fears Yemen could become Al Qaeda’s next operational and training hub.

Growing Threat

Al-Qaeda has reportedly been gaining more ground in Yemen in recent years.

"Al-Qaeda started in Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula, but it was raised and nurtured in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and other places," Yemeni terrorism expert Saeed Obaid told the Washington Post Monday.

"Now it is clear that it is coming back to its roots and growing in Yemen."

Obaid said Al-Qaeda has recently escalated efforts to exploit Yemen's instability to regroup and prepare for major operations against the US and its allies.

"Yemen has become the place to best understand Al-Qaeda and its ambitions today."

The Yemeni government is battling Shiite rebels in the north and a secessionist movement in the south.

Abdulelah Hider Shaea, a Yemeni journalist, says the group now has about 100 core operatives in addition to countless sympathizers and immense tribal support in southern and eastern provinces.

Shaea, who interviewed Al-Qaeda leader in the Arab Peninsula this year, said he saw several Muslims with Australian, German and French citizenships.

The group has launched five attacks this year, compared with 22 in 2008, said Western diplomats, noting the targets have been higher-profile.

Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the head of Saudi Arabia's counterterrorism operations, hardly escaped an Al-Qaeda suicide attack in August.

Last month, the group ambushed and killed three senior Yemeni security officers and four bodyguards in Hadramawt province.

There have been increasing Yemeni ties to plots against the US.

Washington is already investigating a possible Yemen link to an attempt by a young Nigerian to blow up a plane over Detroit on Friday.

Umar Farouk Mutallab, 23, reportedly told American investigators he got the explosive device from an Al-Qaeda associate in Yemen.

A man charged in the June 1 killing of a soldier at a recruiting center in Little Rock, Arkansas, had traveled to Yemen.

Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni-born American imam, has been linked to Nidal Malik Hasan, the American Army major who faces murder charges over the Fort Hood shooting spree.

Al-Qaeda operatives bombed the US destroyer Cole in October 2000 off the port of Aden, killing 17 American sailors.


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« Reply #924 on: December 28, 2009, 10:24:48 PM »

Attorney: Hasan's 'religious rights' prohibited

Chad Groening - OneNewsNow - 12/28/2009 5:00:00 AMBookmark and Share

One of the nation's foremost critics of Islam says it's absolutely reprehensible that the lead attorney for the man charged in the murderous rampage at Fort Hood last month is trying to paint his client as a victim.


Nidal Malik HasanArmy Major Nidal Malik Hasan is suspected of killing 14 people, including an unborn baby, while wounding more than two dozen others at the Army post in Texas on November 5. Hasan remains hospitalized at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where he is paralyzed from the chest down.
The San Antonio Express-News recently reported that Hasan's attorney, John P. Galligan, claims the Army is violating his client's religious rights because it prohibited him from praying from the Koran in Arabic with a relative. Hasan was reportedly on the phone with his brother when the guard cut the conversation short because the suspect was not speaking English. The military has restricted Hasan to only speaking English to visitors or on the phone, unless an Army-approved translator is present.
Robert Spencer"It's very common for Islamic jihadists to claim victim status when they're in prison," notes Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch. "Part of the al Qaeda playbook is that they should always claim that they have been tortured, whatever the truth may be."
In Spencer's opinion, Galligan's claims are at fault. "It's reprehensible for this lawyer to be demanding that Nidal Hasan be given free and unrestricted access to the ideology that led him to commit those murders," he argues. "It would be like saying that a Nazi war criminal has to have a copy of Mein Kampf in his jail cell."
The Jihad Watch director concludes that the military is completely justified in imposing the language restrictions on Hasan.


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« Reply #925 on: December 28, 2009, 10:38:42 PM »

Suspect: Abdul Farouk Abdul Mutallab

Al Qaeda terror plot that was born in Africa

By Mark Almond
Last updated at 8:05 AM on 28th December 2009

For the passengers and crew trapped in claustrophobic terror on the Delta flight to Detroit, Christmas Day came close to being a day of death, not the traditional celebration of new life.

At first sight the choice of December 25 is as incendiary as possible for someone wanting to spark a global Muslim-Christian war.

Thankfully, the would-be suicide bomber, Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab, wasn’t thinking clearly. Like Richard Reid in December 2001, his bizarre behaviour frustrated his fiendish plot. What was going through his mind is probably impossible for the rest of us to fathom.

But below him wasn’t the Bible-bashing WASP America hated by jihadi fundamentalists. Detroit is the Muslim capital of America.

Had Abdulmutallab’s bomb brought the plane down Lockerbie-style, its wreckage would have slaughtered people on the ground below, some probably part of the 150,000-strong Muslim community in Detroit.

It is not clear how many Muslims were among the passengers, but some of the names of eye-witnesses to the drama on board are as Muslim as the would-be bomber’s own.

Although Abdulmutallab was screaming about Afghanistan when he was overpowered, it is to Africa we should look for the source of his fanaticism.

Because of the symbolism of Christmas Day, it is easy to forget there is also a terrorist civil war among Muslims going on.

In the past year, Abdulmutallab’s native Nigeria has witnessed bloody clashes between Christians and Muslims, and also violent attempts to impose rigid Sharia law on fellow Muslims by the local equivalent of the Taliban.

Hundreds of people were killed in July in a brutal clash between the Nigerian army and these rebels from Boko Haram based in the city of Maiduguri.

Boko Haram wanted strict Sharia law and a ban on Western education as well as foreign films and music. Their victims were Muslims who did not conform to their version of God’s will.

Across a swathe of territory between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, a bitter struggle between Muslim sects is being fought out.

From the Western Sahara to Somalia and Yemen on either side of the entrance to the Red Sea, Sunnis and Shiites, friends and foes of Al Qaeda, are battling it out. Their conflict draws in outsiders. Christian Ethiopians back one side in the Somali civil war.

French and American agents help West African governments against local rebels. Although since September 11, 2001, terrorism has seemed global, the local turf wars between rival Muslim prophets and gangsters feed into the international crisis.

It is easy to dismiss the bloody civil wars in Yemen, Somalia and around the fringes of the Sahara as from another age.

But what links the terror on a airliner over Mid-West America with Yemen and Nigeria is a combination of international air travel, instant communications and the internet, and the seething hatreds and frustration of millions of underemployed but educated young men in North Africa and South-West Asia.

It is the poisonous but potent cocktail of resentments and rivalries that should worry us more than the failings of airport security on Christmas Day.

It is believed Abdulmutallab was a link in the chain connecting the conflict inside Yemen with anti-American fundamentalists who want to copy Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist tactics.

He was on American security watch-lists because of his links with Yemeni firebrand Anwar Al Awlaki who was in email contact with the Muslim US army psychiatrist who shot 13 of his fellow soldiers in Fort Hood, in Texas, last month.

Although Al Qaeda has a grip on the public imagination as the centre of a spider’s web of terrorist cells, numerous fundamentalist preachers such as Al Awlaki promote terrorist acts against Westerners and Muslims.

In the West, we are still barely touched by the civil wars between rival fanatics in Africa and Asia. Let’s hope it stays that way, but what hope is there for people on the ground there?

Oxford historian Mark Almond is Visiting Professor of International Relations at Turkey’s Bilkent University.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1238688/Al-Qaeda-terror-born-Africa.html#ixzz0b2s7VjA7

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« Reply #926 on: December 29, 2009, 08:03:21 PM »

Abdulmutallab and Al-Awlaki  (CBS/Muhammad ud-Deen)

Did Abdulmutallab Meet Radical Cleric?
American-Born Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki Already Linked to Fort Hood Suspect Hasan and Several 9/11 Attackers


Play CBS Video Video Yemen's New Wave of al Qaeda:  http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6033294n&tag=related;photovideo 
After al Qaeda took responsibility for the attack on Northwest flight 253, Sheila MacVicar reports on the new wave of trained al Qaeda in Yemen that included Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

(CBS)  The suspect in the Christmas day bombing attempt on Northwest Flight 253 may have been in contact with a radical imam, Anwar Al-Awlaki, linked to the 9/11 hijackers and Fort Hood Shooting suspect.

Sources tell the CBS News investigative unit that they believe Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab communicated with Al-Awlaki while Abdulmutallab was a student in the United Kingdom.

Both men lived in London, though it is not clear whether their time there overlapped. Abdulmutallab apparently attended a talk by Al-Awlaki at London mosque, though Al-Awlaki, barred from entering Britain since 2006, addressed the meeting by video teleconference.

Since leaving the United States in 2002, Al-Awlaki has mainly lived in Yemen, where Abdulmutallab also spent several months this year.

Special Report: The Christmas Day Terror Attack

Investigators are looking at whether there was a relationship between them and whether the imam played a role in preparing him for martyrdom in this attack or had a role in the attack itself. Investigators believe Al-Awlaki may have helped him on his road to radicalization.

Al-Awlaki was born in the United States and moved back to Yemen in 2002. Al-Awlaki reportedly corresponded by e-mail with Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who is charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, on Nov.5.

Special Section: Tragedy at Fort Hood

Al-Awlaki denied inciting the army psychiatrist to carry out last November's deadly shootings at Fort Hood, instead pointing the finger of blame at the United States.

Known for his incendiary anti-American teachings, Al-Awlaki faulted American foreign policy for creating the conditions which ignited the rampage in which 13 were killed, according to the text of an interview posted on Aljazeera.net. An English translation of the Q&A was supplied to CBSNews.com by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

"I did not recruit Nidal Hasan to this operation; the one who recruited him was America, with its crimes and injustice, and this is what America refuses to admit," the cleric said. "America does not want to admit that what Nidal did, and what thousands of other Muslims do against America, is because of its unjust policies against the Islamic world. Nidal Hasan is a Muslim before he is an American, and he is also from Palestine, and he sees the oppression of the Jewish oppression of his people under American cover and support. True, I may have a role in his intellectual direction, but nothing beyond that, and I am not trying to absolve myself of what he did because I do not support it. No, but because I wish I had had the honor of having a bigger role in what happened than the role I really had."

Al-Awlaki and Hasan reportedly became acquainted when Al-Awlaki served as the imam of the Dar Al-Hijra Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va.

He said Hasan contacted him by email a year ago to ask whether the killing of American soldiers and officers could be justified as religiously legitimate, and that they continued their correspondence until the middle of this year.

Al-Awlaki earned degrees in engineering at Colorado State and in education leadership at San Diego State, according to his Web site. In addition to serving as an imam in northern Virginia, Al-Awlaki worked at a mosque in San Diego.



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« Reply #927 on: December 29, 2009, 08:13:00 PM »

Awlaki personally blessed Detroit attack

By Victor Morton

The Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner had his suicide mission personally blessed in Yemen by Anwar al-Awlaki, the same Muslim imam suspected of radicalizing the Fort Hood shooting suspect, a U.S. intelligence source has told The Washington Times.

The intelligence official, who is familiar with the FBI's interrogation of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, said the bombing suspect has boasted of his jihad training during interrogation by the FBI and has said it included final exhortations by Mr. al-Awlaki.

"It was Awlaki who indoctrinated him," the official said. "He was told, 'You are going to be the tip of the spear of the Muslim nation.'"

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula took credit Monday for the Christmas Day attack on Northwest Airlines 253, an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight. The al Qaeda group and U.S. officials both say Mr. Abdulmutallab was able to smuggle explosive powder in his underwear and only a detonator failure prevented him from blowing up the plane and killing almost 300 passengers and crew.

Mr. al-Awlaki, an American-born imam who formerly led a large Northern Virginia mosque but now lives in Yemen, has gained considerable public notoriety in recent months because of his influence on Maj. Nidal Hasan, another U.S.-born Muslim.

Mr. al-Awlaki had e-mail contact with Maj. Hasan as many as 20 times from December 2008 until the Fort Hood shootings, where Maj. Hasan is accused of killing 13 people. Mr. al-Awlaki praised Maj. Hasan's actions as a "hero" and said all Muslims in the U.S. military should "follow the footsteps of men like Nidal."

Several British news sources, including Sky News and the Daily Mail, have reported, in vague terms, that authorities suspect unspecified links between Mr. Abdulmutallab and Mr. al-Awlaki. Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, has said an al-Awlaki/Abdulmutallab link "appears" to be the case.

"It appears that just like with Major Hasan, Awlaki played a role in this," he told ABC News. "All roads point back to Yemen; they point back to Awlaki. I think it is a pretty deadly combination."

According to the U.S. intelligence official, Mr. Abdulmutallab cited Maj. Hasan in his interrogations, but only to praise his religion's diversity, as "an example of how Islam accepts even American soldiers."

Mr. Abdulmutallab did not show any operational knowledge of the Army major or the Fort Hood attack.

In his FBI interrogation, according to the U.S. intelligence official, Mr. Abdulmutallab spoke of being in a room in Yemen receiving Muslim blessings and prayers from Mr. al-Awlaki, along with a number of other men "all covered up in white martyrs' garments," and known only by code names and "abu" honorifics.

The official said such clothing and the lack of familiarity among the men suggests al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula intends to use the men in that room in suicide missions.

The intelligence official's description comes in the wake of several reports that Yemen is breeding scores of jihadists ready to strike the West.

Yemen's top diplomat said Tuesday that hundreds of al Qaeda militants are in his country and pleaded for foreign help and intelligence in rooting them out.

They may actually plan attacks like the one we have just had in Detroit. There are maybe hundreds of them -- 200, 300, Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi told the Times of London.


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« Reply #928 on: December 29, 2009, 08:17:20 PM »

Imam in Yemen linked to Flight 253 suspect

Published: Dec. 29, 2009 at 6:08 PM

DETROIT, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A New Mexico-born Muslim imam who has lived in Yemen for several years has been linked to the man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound jetliner.

Anwar al-Awlaki gained notoriety last year through his connection to Maj. Nidal Hasan Malik, the U.S. Army psychologist charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood in Texas. U.S. intelligence agencies say al-Awlaki has ties to al-Qaida in Yemen, ABC News reported.

Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University in Washington, told ABC in an e-mail that al-Awlaki "is seen as effective in communicating with and radicalizing Western jihadis and wannabe jihadis."

In addition to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the young Nigerian who allegedly tried to blow up Northwest Flight 253, and Malik, al-Awlaki has links to a group of young Muslims convicted of planning a terrorist attack at Fort Dix in New Jersey and to another group convicted in Toronto.

Kenneth Katzman of the Congressional Research Council said al-Awlaki was "not being heavily pursued" for a long time.That changed with the Fort Hood shootings, and he was reportedly a target of a Dec. 24 airstrike in Yemen, although he is also believed to have survived.


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« Reply #929 on: December 29, 2009, 08:30:46 PM »

Obama: US intel had info that should have triggered 'red flags' of possible airliner attack

Obama Blames 'Catastrophic Breach of Security'


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« Reply #930 on: December 29, 2009, 08:36:09 PM »

Thank you for bringing the news, Heart.   an angelic monkey

  " Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."  - Daniel Moynihan
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« Reply #931 on: December 29, 2009, 08:36:36 PM »

Online poster 'Farouk 1986' appears to be Christmas Day alleged bomber

 Kim  Wendel
 Updated: 12/29/2009 5:41:32 PM  Posted: 12/29/2009 5:35:59 PM
LAGOS, Nigeria -- Internet postings thought to be written by a Nigerian bombing suspect suggest he's a lonely and religious man who fantasized about becoming a Muslim holy warrior.

The 300-plus entries may have been posted by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, though officials have not verified that.

The 23-year-old is charged with trying to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day.

The writings show a growing alienation from family, a shame over sexual urges, and hopes that a "great jihad" will take place across the world.

The posts, which began in 2005, show a teenager looking for a new life outside his boarding school and wealthy Nigerian family.

They also paint a portrait of someone who says he has no friends and needs someone to hear him.

U.S. officials have had no immediate comment.


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« Reply #932 on: December 29, 2009, 08:39:08 PM »

Thank you for bringing the news, Heart.   an angelic monkey

Hey there Muffy!  You are welcome!  Hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas and hope the New Year is better and more prosperous than the last.

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« Reply #933 on: December 29, 2009, 08:41:41 PM »

US plane plot sign of reach of Al Qaeda

By Paul Handley
Agence France-Presse

RIYADH - An Al Qaeda cell in Yemen thought to be linked to an alleged attempt by a Nigerian to blow up a US airliner is increasingly determined and able to carry out international operations despite recent attacks targeting its leadership, analysts told AFP.

Left alone for years by the Yemeni government to build, despite US and Saudi pressure, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) led by Yemeni and Saudi radicals has become second only to the Al Qaeda operation along the Afghan-Pakistan border in its ability to project an international threat, they said.

The alleged attempt by 23-year-old Nigerian suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallib to blow up a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day by mixing volatile chemicals hidden on his body was only the most recent of a series of attempted AQAP attacks this year.

US security officials told US media this week that Abdulmutallib was suspected of training with an Al Qaeda bombmaker in Yemen.

That came four months after a high-profile attempt by a Saudi AQAP operative to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s top internal security official, Deputy Interior Minister Prince Mohammad Ben Nayef.

The man, pretending to turn himself in, was just metres from Prince Mohammad when the shrapnel-less explosives hidden on his body detonated prematurely, killing the bomber but causing no other casualties.

“The incident on the American airliner tells us that this group is able to plan and direct operations outside,” said Riad Kahwaji, head of the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis.

“It also tells us that Al Qaeda, [which] has been decentralising over the years, has a new franchise opened up in Yemen.”

Al Qaeda operation in Yemen first made news with the October 12, 2000 suicide bombing of the destroyer USS Cole in Aden, which killed 17 sailors.

After several other attacks, the group was relatively quiet inside the deeply impoverished country between 2003 and 2007.

“The story had it that there was an undeclared agreement between the authorities and this group” that Sanaa would leave them alone if they refrained from attacks inside the country, said Kahwaji.

But the group launched into a new virulent period around the time of the merger inside Yemen of the previously separate Saudi and Yemeni Al Qaeda operations, under the new AQAP banner.

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for deadly attacks on Western tourists in July 2007 and January 2008.

Then on March 18, 2008, the group killed two people and wounded 20 in an attempt to strike the US embassy in Sanaa, the first of two last year.

Meanwhile, viewing the US-allied Saudi monarchy as a key ideological enemy, the group plotted operations against Saudi targets with smuggled weapons and operatives from Yemen.

Saudi authorities have made scores of arrests and captured dozens of suicide bomber vests, many hundreds of assault weapons and bomb-making materials in several roundups of suspected Al Qaeda cells this year.

“This is an indication of how much Al Qaeda in Yemen can be a danger to Saudi Arabia,” Saudi interior ministry spokesman General Mansour Al Turki said.

“The border is almost 1,800 kilometres long, with mountains and desert. It is hard to control.”

In November, the London-based Gulf States Newsletter said three known AQAP operatives, including a senior leader, were believed to be hiding inside Saudi Arabia.

Turki could not confirm that, but said: “We have to consider that any one of them can be in Saudi Arabia” at any time.

Strikes aimed at the group’s Yemeni and Saudi leadership this month underscore a new coordinated focus on them involving Sanaa, Washington and Riyadh, according to Kahwaji.

Yemeni officials said more than 60 people were killed in a December 17 air strike against a suspected training camp in Abyan and a December 24 strike on an Al Qaeda meeting in Shabwa province.

Mohammad Saif Haider, a Yemeni expert on AQAP, said mostly second-tier Qaeda officials were killed, while top leaders escaped unharmed.

Also unscathed was the radical imam Anwar Al Awlaqi, who lives in Shabwa and has ideological links to Al Qaeda as well as ties to the US Muslim soldier accused of shooting 13 people dead at the huge base at Fort Hood, Texas, on November 5.

The operations against Al Qaeda underscore a newfound commitment in Sanaa to battle AQAP with extensive behind- the-scenes assistance from Riyadh and Washington.

“There is a new active front taking shape against Al Qaeda in Yemen,” said Kahwaji.

US reports said US intelligence and commando trainers have been working in Yemen for more than a year, and that the US had a strong hand in the December air attacks on Al Qaeda locations.

The exact nature of those attacks remains unclear, although they are claimed by the Yemeni air force.

Kahwaji said he did not know who exactly carried out the attacks, but added: “Accurate surgical strikes are something only the US and Saudi Arabia can do.”

The United States operates a regional counter-terrorism base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, just across Bab Al Mandab Strait from Yemen.


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« Reply #934 on: December 29, 2009, 08:50:37 PM »

Fort Bragg officials increase awareness of weapons policy

Posted: Today at 3:32 p.m.
Updated: Today at 6:28 p.m.

Fort Bragg, N.C. — In response to the November shooting rampage at Fort Hood that left 13 people dead, Fort Bragg officials are trying to increase awareness of its weapons registration policy

The policy applies to military personnel and civilians who enter Fort Bragg or travel on the post.

“Under the current regulation, all military or civilian personnel that bring privately owned firearms onto Fort Bragg are required to register the weapon with the provost marshal’s office,” Fort Bragg Emergency Services Director George Olavarria said in a release on Tuesday. “This applies regardless of the person’s status. Personnel who are traversing the installation without entering through an access-control point are not required to register their weapons.”

A state-issued concealed handgun permit does not allow owners to carry their concealed weapons on Fort Bragg.

“Under no circumstance will the transportation of loaded or concealed handguns, shotguns or rifles be permitted on post, except by duly authorized law enforcement personnel or by military personnel in the performance of their official duties,” Olavarria said.

Infrequent travelers are not required to register their weapons on post but are subject to being searched, according to officials.

Weapons can be registered at the All-American Expressway access-control point; in the basement of the Soldier Support Center; at Gavin Hall in the 82nd Airborne Division area; at McKellar’s Lodge Hunting and Fishing Center; and at the Fort Bragg Clay Target Center.

To register a weapon, personnel are required to bring their military identification cards or any other government-issued identification, along with the weapon’s caliber, type, model number, finish and manufacturer.

“Do not bring the firearm into the registration office,” Olavarria said.

Ammunition being transported on post must be stored separately from the cased and unloaded firearm, Olavarria said.

Military personnel who don’t comply with the rules are subject to judicial or non-judicial punishment, according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Civilians and other government employees who don’t comply could face prosecution in federal court and possibly be barred from post, referred to civilian authorities or subject to disciplinary and administrative action.

Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the Nov. 5 attack at Fort Hood, Texas.


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« Reply #935 on: December 29, 2009, 09:10:47 PM »

Renewed assault against the US

December 29, 1:32 PMHuntington County Political Buzz ExaminerMark Shoffner

The recent events have brought some questions. The shooting at Ft. Hood http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33678801/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/, the failed Christmas Day  attack http://cargogsanetwork.com/airplane-bomb-attack-on-northwest-flight-253-amsterdam-detroit, the disruptive passenger on the same flight a day later.

At least two (Ft.Hood and the Christmas flight) have ties to the Yemen operative base of Al Qaeda. Both are tied to a former US Islamic preacher Anwar al-Awlaki. It seems as if Yemen is the new Afghanistan as far as extremist assaults on the US. They started with the USS Cole http://www.al-bab.com/yemen/cole1.htm.

President Obama said in response (not leaving his holiday compound) that the attempt was a reminder of the war of terror. He also implemented new security procedures for air travel http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Politics/al-qaeda-responsible-terror-plot-president-obama-criticism/story?id=9439744.

But a search has shown that the attempted attack was carried out by a man that was banned from England. He was on the watch list but not the no fly list. The attack came a few days after his own father, a banker http://www.france24.com/en/20091227-umar-farouk-abdulmutallab-father-had-warned-us-authorities-nigeria?autoplay= had warned the US about his son's extremist views.

The President's reaction and the refusal to end his holiday trip, makes many question his ability to respond to attacks. Two of the governments organizations toward terrorist attacks, apparently have no head of their respective departments. Some have questioned his ability to deal, because of the Gitmo residents and their facing of justice. And the attempted bomber was placed in civil custody instead of being acted upon as were those in Gitmo.

Some also wonder, with good reason, if these episodes are nothing more than a precursor to larger scale attacks. Could it be, that those which seek to destroy the nation, are using these attacks as diversions? Americans have become complacent in vigilance. Almost with the same attitudes of the pre 9/11/01 attacks. Is it possible, that those who seek to do us harm are drawing our resources and watches away from other areas of interest, so that  a large scale attack can be made elsewhere?

With the government's silence, the President's view of political correctness, and the complacency of the American public, one would be wise to view these extremist episodes as the beginnings of something bigger.


Video: Al Qaeda in Yemen says it is fighting the US - 22 Dec 09

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« Reply #936 on: December 29, 2009, 09:22:33 PM »

Officials: U.S., Yemen reviewing targets for possible strike

By Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent
December 29, 2009 8:27 p.m. EST

Washington (CNN) -- The U.S. and Yemen are now looking at fresh targets in Yemen for a potential retaliation strike, two senior U.S. officials told CNN Tuesday, in the aftermath of the botched Christmas Day attack on an airliner that al Qaeda in Yemen claims it organized.

The officials asked not to be not be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information. They both stressed the effort is aimed at being ready with options for the White House if President Obama orders a retaliatory strike. The effort is to see whether targets can be specifically linked to the airliner incident and its planning.

U.S. special operations forces and intelligence agencies, and their Yemeni counterparts, are working to identify potential al Qaeda targets in Yemen, one of the officials said. This is part of a new classified agreement with the Yemeni government that the two countries will work together and that the U.S. will remain publicly silent on its role in providing intelligence and weapons to conduct strikes.

Officially the U.S. has not said it conducted previous airstrikes in Yemen, but officials are privately saying the Yemeni military could not have carried out the strikes on its own.

By all accounts, the agreement would allow the U.S. to fly cruise missiles, fighter jets or unmanned armed drones against targets in Yemen with the consent of that government.

One of the officials said Yemen has not yet consented to the type of special forces helicopter-borne air assault that would put U.S. commandos on the ground with the mission of capturing suspects for further interrogation. That is also a capability the U.S. would like the Yemenis to eventually develop the official said.

At this point, the U.S. believes there may be a few hundred al Qaeda fighters in Yemen centered around a group of key network leaders. U.S. intelligence believes some key leaders were killed in recent airstrikes but is still working to confirm details.

U.S. military and intelligence officials describe to CNN an al Qaeda network with organized command and control that has evolved and grown over the past year. U.S. intelligence concludes there are several training camps similar to those established in other countries where one or two dozen fighters at a time train.

The U.S. and Yemenis are also looking into the possibility the Nigerian suspect in the airliner incident trained at one of the camps.

One of the camps was among the targets in each set of airstrikes earlier this month.


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« Reply #937 on: December 29, 2009, 09:28:18 PM »

Radical Imam Tied to Terror Plots Has Gone 'Operational' in Yemen


The radical Yemen-based cleric connected to two violent plots in the U.S. has "gone operational," a senior U.S. official told Fox News, suggesting Anwar al-Awlaki is becoming an increasingly significant figure in Arabian Peninsula terror networks.


Radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, shown here, has gone "operational," according to an official.

The radical Yemeni-based cleric connected to two violent plots in the U.S. has "gone operational," a senior U.S. official told Fox News, suggesting Anwar al-Awlaki is becoming an increasingly significant figure in Arabian Peninsula terror networks.

Al-Awlaki was thought to have been killed in an air strike by Yemeni forces last week, but that is now unconfirmed. The senior U.S. official told Fox News that the cleric, an American citizen now living in Yemen, had previously been devoted to "propaganda and spiritual guidance," but went operational in the past year.

The volatility of the region has also raised major concerns over the Obama administration's move to release Guantanamo Bay detainees there. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula -- a network led by two former Guantanamo detainees -- claimed responsibility on Monday for the attempted bombing on Christmas Day of a Northwest Airlines flight headed to Detroit.

So far no evidence has been revealed that the suspect in the Northwest attempt, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, exchanged e-mails or talked one-on-one with al-Awlaki. But collected evidence shows that the suspect was a "big fan" of al-Awlaki, and Web traffic shows Abdulmutallab was a follower of his blog and Web site.

Al-Awlaki, the imam from whom alleged Fort Hood shooter Malik Nidal Hasan sought religious advice, is in the heart of a region that is becoming increasingly volatile. The senior U.S. official told Fox News that the Arabian Peninsula terror network has branched out beyond Yemen and Saudi Arabia and has shown "intent to hit Western targets and the homeland."

The instability of the region is reviving criticism of the Obama administration's plans to transfer some Guantanamo detainees to Yemen, which has an abysmal record of keeping detainees in prison.

All the suspects convicted of being involved in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole have either been released by Yemeni authorities or managed to escape in a 2008 jailbreak.

The two Al Qaeda leaders in question with the Arabian Peninsula network reportedly were released to Saudi Arabia from Guantanamo in 2007 and were then set free after completing a controversial "rehabilitation program."

As Saudi Arabia is considered by some to be an alternative destination for terror suspects who would otherwise go to Yemen, the options may continue to narrow for where to send detainees the administration does not want to keep in U.S. custody.

"Some of these people were deemed not dangerous when in fact they were," said Danny Gonzalez, spokesman for pro-military organization Move America Forward, which urged Obama to put a moratorium on transferring detainees pending a full review.

Sources said Abdulmutallab traveled to Yemen before the alleged bomb attempt and may have been "vetted for the mission" and supplied with explosive material while there.

Fox News' Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.


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« Reply #938 on: December 29, 2009, 09:39:44 PM »

Obama takes 'war on terror' to Yemen

As Obama vows to track down the would-be bombers, he could be creating a new launch-pad for attacks against the west

Barack Obama's steely vow to hunt down all those responsible for the attempted bombing of an American airliner on Christmas Day has left a crucial question unanswered: whether it was his personal order to US military forces to attack two suspected al-Qaida bases in Yemen with cruise missiles on 17 December that triggered a "revenge" terrorist operation against the Northwest Airlines plane one week later.

According to a report aired on 18 December by the American ABC News network and not denied by the White House, US and Yemeni government forces jointly targeted al-Qaida training camps in the Arhab district, 60km north-east of the capital, Sana'a on 17 December. Another alleged camp in the village of al-Maajala, in Abyan, 480km south-east of Sana'a, was also hit after US officials determined "an imminent attack against a US asset was being planned" there.

Both targets were bombed repeatedly from the air by Yemeni air force planes. Subsequent official estimates said about 35 militants were killed. But Yemeni opposition spokesmen said a total of between 60 and 120 people had died during bombardments of the two targets and a third location. They said many of those killed were civilians, including women and children. They denied the villages contained al-Qaida camps.

Television pictures broadcast from Yemen by the Arab news channel al-Jazeera on 18 December showed dozens of bodies covered in sheets.

Citing unidentified administration sources, ABC News reporter Brian Ross said the US military fired two cruise missiles during the attacks, one at each alleged camp, after Obama personally gave the go-ahead. "White House officials tell ABC News the orders for the US military to attack the suspected al-Qaida sites in Yemen on Thursday came directly from the Oval Office," Ross reported.

American officials have neither confirmed nor denied a US role in the air strikes, while the Yemeni government has insisted only its own forces were involved. "We are not going to get into any details at this point," one US official said. The official added that Yemen and the US "co-operate closely on counter-terrorism".

But White House officials could confirm that Obama telephoned Yemen's, Ali Abdallah Salih, after the raids to "congratulate" him on his efforts to combat al-Qaida.

Asked about a New York Times report on 19 December of US involvement in the attacks, Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said: "Yemen should be congratulated for actions against al-Qaida." The newspaper said Obama had approved US military and intelligence support, following a request from the Yemeni government. The assistance was intended to help stem growing attacks against American and other foreign targets in Yemen.

According to an Associated Press report, also published on 19 December, residents of Abyan said there was no al-Qaida training camp in the area and that the air attack had destroyed homes – a collection of mud brick houses, huts and tents – in the rural tribal area. The report said a mass grave had been dug for those killed.

Obama's actions in supporting the Yemen attacks appear to have had a bigger than expected impact. In a statement issued on Monday claiming responsibility for organising the failed bombing of Northwest Airlines flight 253, al-Qaida said the plot was specifically intended to avenge US attacks on the group in Yemen and "unjust aggression on the Arabian peninsula".

"From here, we say to the American people: since you support your leaders and you stand behind them in killing our women and our children, rejoice for what will do you harm. We have come to you with slaughter and we have prepared for you men who love death as you love life," that statement said.

The US military's support for the Yemeni operations marks a significant escalation in US involvement there and may presage a deepening intervention in coming months as Obama follows up on his vow to track down the would-be bombers. Speaking on Fox News on Sunday, Senator Joe Lieberman called for immediate, extended "pre-emptive" military action in Yemen to counter the terror threat.

Obama has taken a close interest in combating the al-Qaida build-up in Yemen since taking office in January. He sent his senior counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, to Sana'a in September and issued a statement proclaiming Yemen's security to be "vital" to the US national security interest.

Last month Yemen announced it had signed a military co-operation pact with the US, although Washington was unforthcoming about the details. Yemen's official Saba news agency said the co-operation agreement was signed during talks in Sana'a between the two countries' militaries.

Now, having taken the plunge, Obama faces the prospect of the opening up of another front in the "war on terror" as jihadis displaced by US military action in Afghanistan and Pakistan make the trek south – and attempt to turn the Arabian peninsula into a new launch-pad for attacks against the west.


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« Reply #939 on: December 29, 2009, 09:43:38 PM »

ABC News: Photo of Failed Bomber’s Potentially Explosive Underwear

Posted by JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief in International, Science & Technology.
Dec 28th, 2009

ABC News has posted this photo of the potentially explosive underwear worn by alleged Northwest 253 bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. As is well-known by now, it failed to go off, otherwise it could have been the first catastrophic crotch crash. The troubling thought: a harbinger of future air catastrophes? Meanwhile, from now on if a guy in a pickup bar says he has dynamite between his legs it’ll mean it’s time to call security.

Meanwhile, Al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate is taking credit for the bombing attempt.


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