Posted tagged ‘Somalia’

Times Square Bomber Receives Life In Prison

October 5, 2010

Faisal Shahzad, the man who plotted to drive a homemade car bomb into Times Square, leaving it to explode,  has been sentenced to life in prison.

Credit: Associated Press

From the Associated Press:

A judge gave Faisal Shahzad (FY’-sul shah-ZAHD’) a mandatory life prison term at his sentencing Tuesday in Manhattan federal court. The bomb he had packed into the back of an SUV sputtered, injuring no one in a Times Square packed with tourists.

Calling himself a Muslim solider, a defiant Shahzad pleaded guilty in June to 10 terrorism and weapons counts.

Shahzad, a former budget analyst from Connecticut and a Pakistani immigrant, was arrested two days after his May 1 attempted bombing.

From CNN:

Shahzad pleaded guilty in June to all 10 counts in an indictment against him. At the time, he told the court, “I want to plead guilty 100 times because unless the United States pulls out of Afghanistan and Iraq, until they stop drone strikes in Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen and stop attacking Muslim lands, we will attack the United States and be out to get them.”

Charges against Shahzad included attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy and attempt to commit international terrorism, among others, authorities have said.

74 Dead in Uganda Bombings

July 12, 2010

The leader of an Islamist militant movement in Somalia said in a Web site posting that Uganda would be targeted for retribution over the massacres perpetrated against Somalis, which many believe to be a claim of responsibility for the bombings that killed at least 74 people Sunday.

From CNN:

“My message to the Ugandan and Burundian nations is that you will be the target for our retribution to the massacres perpetrated against the Somali men, women and children in Mogadishu by your forces,” said an Arabic statement from Sheikh Abu Al Zubeir, identified as “the Emir of Al-Shabaab in Somalia.” The statement was posted on an al-Qaeda affiliated website which previously has carried statements and videos from Al-Shabaab.

The website set up a page Monday to “receive congratulations” on Al-Shabaab’s behalf for the “blessed operations” in Uganda.

The three explosions ripped through two venues where crowds were watching the World Cup final match on Sunday.

Men Held at JFK Airport Planned ‘Violent Jihad’

June 7, 2010

It appears that two men who were arrested at a JFK airport in New York planned to travel to Somalia to wage violent jihad, and also had expressed a willingness to commit violent acts in the United States.

From CNN:

Mohamed Mahmoud Alessa, 20, of North Bergen, New Jersey, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 24, of Elmwood Park, New Jersey, were taken into custody Saturday at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The two intended to take separate flights to Egypt on their way to Somalia “to join designated foreign terrorist organization al-Shabaab and wage violent jihad,” federal prosecutors said in a statement.

The two are charged with conspiring to kill, maim and kidnap people outside the United States, according to court documents.

Read the criminal complaint against Alessa and Almonte (PDF)

Pirates Hijack Four More Ships Near Somalia

April 14, 2009

Somali pirates hijacked four more ships today, even as America’s top military commander said the United States is reviewing its options, including whether to go into pirate villages.

From ABC News:

The pirates have now seized four ships since the dramatic rescue of American Capt. Richard Phillips Sunday, who was taken hostage during a failed hijacking attempt.

Just as the cheers were dying down for the daring rescue of Phillips that left three pirates dead, Somali pirates swooped down on more victims. This time they struck in the Gulf of Aden along the north coast of Somalia.

Two Egyptian fishing boats were hijacked, according to Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, which said the boats carried a total of 18 to 24 Egyptians.

Somali Pirates Vow Revenge

April 13, 2009

Pirates in Somalia have vowed revenge after the U.S. military killed three pirates and freed a U.S. ship captain who had been held hostage for several days.

From CNN:

The pirates told a Somali journalist that they were angered by the U.S. action, as well as a French raid Friday that killed two pirates and one hostage and freed four hostages.

“We have decided to kill U.S. and French sailors if they happen to be among our future hostages,” said Abdullahi Ahmed, a member of a pirate group based at Harardhere, a coastal town in central Somalia.

Members of the U.S. Navy shot and killed three pirates who had been holding Capt. Richard Phillips hostage in a lifeboat on Sunday evening, a military official said. The pirates seized Phillips after a failed attempt to hijack his ship, the Maersk Alabama.

For five days the pirates held Phillips in the lifeboat as U.S. Navy ships closed in and lingered nearby.

On Sunday, U.S. Navy snipers opened fire on the lifeboat after seeing one pirate point an AK-47 at the captain’s back, the U.S. military said. The shootings occurred as one pirate was aboard the USS Bainbridge negotiating over Phillips’ fate.

Navy Seals Rescue Hostage Captain

April 12, 2009

Great news on this Easter Sunday!

From CNN:

U.S. forces killed three pirates Sunday and rescued cargo ship Capt. Richard Phillips, held hostage in a lifeboat since Wednesday, after seeing him in “imminent danger,” a senior defense official told CNN.

The official contradicted earlier reports that the captain jumped into the water off Somalia on Sunday.

Three of the pirates on the lifeboat with Phillips were shot and killed, the U.S. Navy said. A fourth pirate was aboard the nearby USS Bainbridge negotiating Phillips’ fate when the shootings occurred. He has since been taken into custody, officials said.

Pirates Seize Another Ship

April 11, 2009

Pirates have captured an Italian-flagged tugboat with 16 crew including 10 Italians today. This hijacking is the latest in the Gulf of Aden.

From Reuters:

The tugboat, with enough fuel and food on board to last a month, was believed to be heading toward the Somali coast, the head of the Italian company that owns the boat told Reuters.

“I’ve entered into contact with the families (of the crew),” Claudio Bartolotti, head of Ravenna-based Micoperi Srl, said, adding there were also five Romanians and one Croatian on board.

Bartolotti denied reports the 75-metre-long tugboat was U.S.-owned, saying his company had recently purchased it.

NATO alliance officials on a warship in the region had previously described the boat as U.S.-owned, Italian-flagged.

International interest has focused this week on the plight of an American hostage, Richard Phillips, held by four pirates on a lifeboat flanked by U.S. naval warships in a high seas standoff since Wednesday.