Posted tagged ‘Al-Qaida’

Explosion on Northwest Airlines Flight

December 25, 2009

A 23-year-old Nigerian man named Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, apparently tried to light a powdery substance aboard a Northwest Airlines flight before landing in Detroit this afternoon. Initial reports said that a man had tried to light either firecrackers or fireworks but it now appears that it could have been much worse.

There are rumors circulating on CNN and other news networks that he could have terrorist ties.

From CNN:

A passenger ignited fireworks Friday at the end of a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit, Michigan, a Delta Air Lines spokeswoman said.

The passenger was immediately subdued, according to Susan Elliott, spokeswoman for Delta, Northwest’s parent company. The incident resulted in some minor injuries, Elliott said.

A passenger was later placed in custody, the Transportation Security Administration said in a statement.

President Obama, who is spending the holidays in his home state of Hawaii, was briefed on the incident during a secure phone call with aides and “instructed that all appropriate measures be taken to increase security for air travel,” White House spokesman Bill Burton said. The president made no changes to his schedule, Burton said.

The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement Friday saying that air passengers “may notice additional screening measures put into place to ensure the safety of the traveling public on domestic and international flights.”

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Suicide Bomber Kills 12

May 7, 2009

A suicide bomber killed 12 civilians in southern Afghanistan, as police fired on a crowd of protesters in the west who were angry about civilian deaths they blame on American bombing runs.

From the Associated Press:

U.S. and Afghan investigators were examining the site of the alleged bombing deaths, but it was unclear how soon they would have a report.

In southern Helmand province, a suicide attacker on a motorbike set off his explosives Thursday near an international military vehicle in a market area of Gereshk district. The explosion killed 12 people and wounded at least 32 more, said Daud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the governor.

Ahmadi said he did not have information on whether there were any casualties among the international troops in the vehicle. A spokesman for NATO forces confirmed the incident but said he did not yet have any information on whether there were troop casualties.

In the capital of western Farah province, a protest erupted into a melee outside the governor’s office. One protester was wounded by a bullet and five more suffered other injuries after they tried to storm the main government building there, said Gul Ahmad Ayubi, a health department official in the province.

The crowd of about 150 people were protesting the deaths of civilians in the villages of Ganjabad and Gerani, said Belqis Roshan, a provincial council member. The international Red Cross and local officials said the people were killed by American bombs, though the U.S. military said that may not have been the case.

Mohammad Nieem Qadderdan, a former district chief of Bala Buluk who visited the site of Monday’s battle, said 100 to 120 people were killed. If 100 civilians died in the fight, it would be deadliest case of civilian casualties since the 2001 U.S.

Bin Laden Tape Urges Jihad Against Israel

January 14, 2009

Osama Bin Laden is urging Muslims to launch a jihad against Israel and has also condemned Arab governments as allies of Israel. This comes in a new message aimed at harnessing anger in the Middle East over the Gaza offensive launched by Israel.

From the Associated Press:

Bin Laden spoke in an audiotape posted Wednesday on Islamic militant Web sites where al-Qaida usually issues its messages. It was his first tape since May and came nearly three weeks after Israel started its campaign against Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers.

The al-Qaida leader also vowed that the terror network would open “new fronts” against the United States and its allies beyond Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said President-elect Barack Obama has received a “heavy inheritance” from George W. Bush — two wars and “the collapse of the economy,” which he said will render the United States unable to sustain a long fight against the mujahedeen, or holy warriors.

“There is only one strong way to bring the return of Al-Aqsa and Palestine, and that is jihad in the path of God,” bin Laden said in the 22-minute audiotape, referring to the revered Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. “The duty is to urge people to jihad and to enlist the youth into jihad brigades.”

“Islamic nation, you are capable of defeating the Zionist entity with your popular capabilities and your great hidden strength — without the support of (Arab) leaders and despite the fact that most of (the leaders) stand in the barracks of the Crusader-Zionist alliance,” bin Laden said.

More Than 100 Dead in India Terrorist Attack

November 26, 2008

Terrorist attacks struck the heart of Mumbai, India, on Wednesday night, killing dozens in machine-gun and grenade assaults on at least two luxury hotels, the city’s largest train station, a movie theater and a hospital.

From the New York Times:

Even by the standards of terrorism in India, which has suffered a rising number of attacks this year, the assaults were particularly brazen in scale and execution. The attackers used boats to reach the urban peninsula where they hit, and their targets were sites popular with tourists.

The Mumbai police said Thursday that the attacks killed at least 101 people and wounded at least 250. Guests who had escaped the hotels told television stations that the attackers were taking hostages, singling out Americans and Britons.

A previously unknown group claimed responsibility, though that claim could not be confirmed. It remained unclear whether there was any link to outside terrorist groups.

Gunfire and explosions rang out into the morning.

Hours after the assaults began, the landmark Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel, next to the famed waterfront monument the Gateway of India, was in flames.

Guests banged on the windows of the upper floors as firefighters worked to rescue them.

Fire also raged inside the luxurious Oberoi Hotel, according to the police. A militant hidden in the Oberoi told India TV on Thursday morning that seven attackers were holding hostages there.

“We want all mujahedeen held in India released, and only after that we will release the people,” he said. Some guests, including two members of the European Parliament who were visiting as part of a trade delegation, remained in hiding in the hotels, making desperate cellphone calls, some of them to television stations, describing their ordeal.

Terrorist Attack Coming Against New York Subways?

November 26, 2008

Federal authorities are warning law enforcement personnel today of a possible terror plot being planned against the New York City subway system during the upcoming holiday season.

From the Associated Press:

An internal memo obtained by The Associated Press says the FBI has received a “plausible but unsubstantiated” report that al-Qaida terrorists in late September may have discussed attacking the subway system.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko confirmed only that his agency and the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin last night to state and local authorities, and the information is being reviewed.

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said the warning was issued as a routine matter, but added that there may be an increased police presence in New York and other large metropolitan areas.

The report indicates that al-Qaida terrorists “in late September may have discussed targeting transit systems in and around New York City. These discussions reportedly involved the use of suicide bombers or explosives placed on subway/passenger rail systems,” according to the document.

“We have no specific details to confirm that this plot has developed beyond aspirational planning, but we are issuing this warning out of concern that such an attack could possibly be conducted during the forthcoming holiday season,” states the warning, which is dated Tuesday.

While federal agencies regularly issue all sorts of advisory warnings, the language of this one is particularly blunt.

Intelligence and homeland security officials are working with local authorities to try to corroborate the information “and will continue to investigate every possible lead,” the memo says.

Knocke, the DHS spokesman, said the warning was issued “out of an abundance of caution going into this holiday season.”

No changes are being made to the nation’s threat level, or for transit systems at this time, he said.

“However, transit passengers in larger metropolitan areas like New York may see an increased security presence in the coming days. This includes uniformed and plain clothed behavior detection officers, federal air marshals, canine teams, and security inspectors,” Knocke said.

Al Qaeda Leader Insults Barack Obama

November 19, 2008

One of Al-Qaida‘s top leaders insulted Barack Obama in a message posted earlier today, using a demeaning racial term implying that the president-elect is a black American who does the bidding of whites.

From the Associated Press:

The message appeared chiefly aimed at persuading Muslims and Arabs that Obama does not represent a change in U.S. policies. Ayman al-Zawahri said in the message, which appeared on militant Web sites, that Obama is “the direct opposite of honorable black Americans” like Malcolm X, the 1960s African-American rights leader.

In al-Qaida’s first response to Obama’s victory, al-Zawahri also called the president-elect — along with secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice — “house negroes.”

Speaking in Arabic, al-Zawahri uses the term “abeed al-beit,” which literally translates as “house slaves.” But al-Qaida supplied English subtitles of his speech that included the translation as “house negroes.”

The message also includes old footage of speeches by Malcolm X in which he explains the term, saying black slaves who worked in their white masters’ house were more servile than those who worked in the fields. Malcolm X used the term to criticize black leaders he accused of not standing up to whites.

The 11-minute 23-second video features the audio message by al-Zawahri, who appears only in a still image, along with other images, including one of Obama wearing a Jewish skullcap as he meets with Jewish leaders. In his speech, al-Zawahri refers to a Nov. 5 U.S. airstrike attack in Afghanistan, meaning the video was made after that date.

Al-Zawahri said Obama’s election has not changed American policies he said are aimed at oppressing Muslims and others.

From MSNBC:

The tape also criticizes Obama for his position on Israel, stating that this proves his “stance of hostility to Islam and Muslims”.

Al-Zawahri also urged Muslims to continue attacks against “criminal America”.

The 11 minute and 23 second message is the first public comment by an al-Qaida about Obama’s electoral victory.

In the wake of the tape, a senior counterterrorism official told NBC News there is no intelligence to indicate any impending attack on the United States or on the president-elect.

The official said statements by security officials about “high danger” during the transition were purely an “analytic concern,” based on previous al-Qaida involvement in the political process both in the United States and elsewhere.

16 Dead in Surprise Attack on U.S. Embassy in Yemen

September 17, 2008

Heavily armed militants opened fire on the United States Embassy in Sana, Yemen, on Wednesday and detonated a car bomb at its gates, in an attack that left at least 16 people dead including six of the attackers.

From the Associated Press:

Attackers armed with automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and at least one suicide car bomb assaulted the U.S. Embassy in the Yemeni capital on Wednesday. Sixteen people were killed, including six assailants, officials said.

The U.S. said no Americans were hurt.

Multiple explosions rang out outside the heavily-guarded facility, and gunfire raged for at least 10 minutes at the concrete checkpoints that ring the compound. The dead included six attackers, six Yemeni guards and four civilians, the state news agency SABA reported. Security officials said people lined up for visas were among those killed or wounded.

It was the deadliest attack on a compound that has been targeted four times in recent years by bombings, mortars and shootings. Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden, has struggled to put down al-Qaida-linked Islamic militants, often to the frustration of U.S. counterterrorism officials.

Just last month, the State Department allowed the return of non-essential personnel and family members who had been ordered to leave after a volley of mortars targeted the embassy. The attack instead hit a girls high school next door, killing a Yemeni security guard and wounding more than a dozen girls.

In the 9:15 am attack Wednesday, gunmen in a vehicle attacked a checkpoint outside the embassy with RPGs and automatic weapons, Yemeni security officials said. During the assault, suicide bombers in a vehicle made it through the checkpoint and hit a second, inner ring of concrete blocks, and detonated, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

From the New York Times:

No Americans were killed or wounded in the blast or when guards began to return fire, said a Yemeni official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

Yemeni security officials and witnesses said the death toll was at least 16, including four bystanders, one of them an Indian woman. The other dead were six attackers and six security guards, the Yemeni officials said, speaking in return for anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

Yemen’s official Saba news agency also reported that 16 people were killed.

Ryan Gliha, an embassy spokesman, said via e-mail that the attack took place at 9:15 a.m. The embassy would remain closed for now, he said, but gave no further details.

It was the deadliest attack in years on an American target in Yemen, a poor south Arabian country of 22 million where militants aligned with Al Qaeda have carried out a number of recent strikes.

The attack began when a car raced up to the heavily fortified embassy compound. Several attackers got out and began firing rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles at the guards who returned the fire, the Yemeni official said.

A second car then drove into the compound’s gate and exploded in what appeared to be a suicide bombing, the official said.

The attack was especially shocking to many Yemenis because it came during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.