Posts Tagged ‘FBI

06
Aug
10

Accused NYC subway plotter pleads not guilty

NEWS
Accused NYC subway plotter pleads not guilty
New Charges Leveled Against NYC Man With Ties To Zazi, Others in Alleged Terror Plot.

Friday, August 6, 2010

••• One of the men accused in an alleged al-Qaeda bomb plot against New York’s subway system has pleaded not guilty.

Adis Medunjanin, 26, entered the plea on Friday at an arraignment in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
The main suspect in the alleged 2009 conspiracy, Najibullah Zazi, pleaded guilty earlier this year.

Last month U.S. prosecutors said al-Qaeda leaders helped set up the plot as part of a Pakistan-based campaign against U.S. and British cities.

According to new charges, Zazi, Medunjanin and Zarein Ahmedzay, who has also pleaded guilty, were recruited by al-Qaeda member Adnan El Shukrijumah.

He was described as being one of three leaders of al-Qaeda’s external operations program.
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22
Jun
10

Times Square car bomber details his chilling plot

NEWS
Times Square car bomber details his chilling plot

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

••• Admitted terrorist Faisal Shahzad was so eager to tell how he plotted to kill Americans in Times Square, he went to court with a prepared statement.

U.S. District Judge Miriam Cedarbaum refused to hear him read it on Monday, instead challenging the Pakistan-born American citizen to just say “what happened.”

In an unapologetic, matter-of-fact courtroom colloquy that followed, Shahzad offered chilling details about how he trained with the Pakistani Taliban to build bombs, then returned to the US to launch an attack that would avenge attacks on Muslims by U.S. forces overseas.

“One has to understand where I’m coming from,’ he said in an unusual departure from tightly scripted guilty pleas, with his defence lawyer and prosecutors sitting in silence in federal court in Manhattan. ‘I consider myself … a Muslim soldier.”

Shahzad, 30, admitted leaving a sport utility vehicle rigged with a homemade bomb in bustling Times Squares on a warm night on May 1.

The bomb failed to go off, and the Bridgeport, Connecticut, resident was arrested trying to leave the country on a Dubai-bound flight two days later.

Authorities say following his capture, Shahzad voluntarily started talking about the botched bombing right away – a pattern that continued in open court, where he agreed to plead guilty to 10 terrorism and weapons counts without the benefit of a plea deal and with certainty he’d face life in prison.

“I want to plead guilty, and I’m going to plead guilty 100 times over,” he said.

Until U.S. forces leave Muslim territory, he added, “we will be attacking U.S.”

Sentencing was set for October 5, and prosecutors say that at least one of the counts to which Shahzad pleaded guilty carries a mandatory life term. With no parole in the federal system, that means he would die behind bars.
Widely circulated snapshots of Shahzad – a U.S.-trained financial analyst and married father of two – show him with a neatly trimmed beard, all smiles and looking carefree behind sunglasses driving a car, or standing next to his American wife. When led into court on Monday, he had on a white skull cap and prisoner’s uniform, his beard shaggy and his demeanor full of pride and absent of remorse.

Shahzad traced his plot to a 2009 trip to Pakistan that began only three months after he received his U.S. citizenship.

While staying with his parents, he ventured into the lawless Waziristan region in December with “a couple of friends … to join the (Pakistani) Taliban.” He didn’t describe the friends any further.

But an intelligence official in Pakistan told The Associated Press that CIA investigators have been given access to two Pakistani men who helped Shahzad reach Mir Ali town in North Waziristan, as well as to three other suspects being held by Pakistani authorities.

The official insisted on anonymity because Pakistan’s intelligence agency does not allow its operatives to be identified.

Shahzad said he sought and received five days’ training in explosives before returning to the United States in February to pursue a one-man scheme to bring death and destruction to New York with funding from the militant group.

The indictment said he received $5,000 in cash on February 25 from an unnamed coconspirator in Pakistan and $7,000 more on April 10, sent at the coconspirator’s direction.

Authorities say the bomb malfunctioned, emitting smoke that attracted the attention of an alert street vendor, who notified police, setting in motion a rapid evacuation of several city blocks.

The judge kept up a steady back-and-forth with Shahzad, questioning how it was possible he pulled off the near-bombing solo.

“You built the bomb all by yourself?” she asked.

“Yes. … Nobody helped me,” he replied.

She also pressed him on how he could target U.S. civilians if his goal was to retaliate against U.S. forces, asking of the potential in Times Square that night, “Did you look around to see who they were?”

“Well, the people select the government,” Shahzad said. “We consider them all the same. The drones, when they hit …”

Cedarbaum interrupted again: “Including the children?”

Shahzad answered: “Well, the drone hits in Afghanistan and Iraq, they don’t see children, they don’t see anybody. They kill women, children, they kill everybody. It’s a war, and in war, they kill people.

They’re killing all Muslims.”

Later, he added: “I am part of the answer to the U.S. terrorising the Muslim nations and the Muslim people. And, on behalf of that, I’m avenging the attack.

Living in the United States, Americans only care about their own people, but they don’t care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die.”
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• Source(s): Department of Justice
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22
Jun
10

Times Square bomb accused Faisal Shahzad pleads guilty

NEWS
Times Square bomb accused Faisal Shahzad pleads guilty

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

••• Pakistani-born American Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty on Monday to the Times Square car bomb bid “100 times”, defiantly warning of more attacks on the United States until it leaves Muslim lands.

Reading out a combative statement in court, Shahzad portrayed himself as a Muslim warrior and showed no remorse as he pleaded guilty to all 10 charges, including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and terrorism.

“I want to plead guilty 100 times because unless the U.S. 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 U.S. and be out to get them,” he said, speaking in perfect English.

Asked by judge Miriam Cedarbaum why he tried to kill innocent Americans, 30-year-old Shahzad, who wore a white Muslim skullcap during the 90-minute proceedings, was unrepentant.

“Listen, you are attacking children with your drones in Afghanistan,” he said. “I would not consider what I did was a crime. I’m aware it’s a violation of the United States laws, but I don’t care for the laws of the United States.”

Shahzad was pulled off a flight to Dubai on May 3, two days after he parked a car containing a rudimentary explosive device in New York’s Broadway entertainment district.

The attempted bombing on a busy Saturday night was foiled when street vendors spotted smoke emanating from the back of a Nissan Pathfinder and alerted the authorities.

A 53-hour manhunt ensued, ending with Shahzad’s arrest as his plane was about to taxi for take-off from John F Kennedy Airport to Dubai.

“Americans only care about their people but they don’t care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die.”
– Failed bomber Faisal Shahzad

U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said there was no plea agreement between Shahzad and the U.S. government.

Shahzad was assured and determined as he spoke in detail in court, describing eerily how he plotted the attack to cause maximum casualties and waited for a bomb to go off that never did.

“I walked to Grand Central station. I was waiting to hear a sound, but I did not hear any sound so I went home,” he said.

“I didn’t choose a specific building, but I chose the center of Times Square, and obviously, the time, 6.30 pm, and obviously, a Saturday, May 1st.”

Shahzad told the judge he had undergone bomb-making training during a 40-day stay with the Pakistani Taliban in Pakistan, between December 9 and January 25.

The five days of bomb-making training involved “the whole thing – how to make a bomb, how to detonate it,” he said.

On returning to the U.S., Shahzad said he planned the bombing alone and acted all by himself, telling the judge: “Nobody helped me.”‘
A 10-count indictment handed down on Thursday alleged that Shahzad received two payments totalling $12,000 from an unidentified co-conspirator in Pakistan.

He used the money to buy a semi-automatic nine millimetre Kel-Tec (Kel-Tec CNC Industries Inc.) rifle in March and the Nissan Pathfinder, for which he paid $1,300 cash in a supermarket parking lot on April 24, it alleged.

He then bought components for ‘improvised explosive and incendiary devices’, loaded them in the Pathfinder, and on May 1 drove the sport utility vehicle to Times Square, the complaint said.

Shahzad pleaded guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, attempted act of terrorism transcending national boundaries, attempted use of a destructive device in a terrorist conspiracy and a string of other conspiracy, explosives and weapons related charges.

Shahzad has co-operated fully in custody, waiving Miranda rights that protect detainees from incriminating themselves, U.S. justice officials say.

“Faisal Shahzad plotted and launched an attack that could have led to serious loss of life, and today the American criminal justice system ensured that he will pay the price for his actions,” Attorney General Eric Holder said, reacting to the guilty plea.

The son of a respected Pakistani air force officer, Shahzad attended an elite Pakistan Air Force college before coming to the United States to study at the age of 18 and eventually becoming a naturalized American citizen.

The botched car bombing left residents, visitors and authorities in Times Square jittery, with several ‘suspicious packages’ that later turned out to be harmless sparking false alarms.

U.S. aviation officials also changed security regulations, shortening the amount of time for airlines to check updated “no-fly” lists, after Shahzad was able to board his flight despite having been added to the list.
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• Source(s): Department of Justice
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21
Jun
10

NYC car bomb suspect faces terror, weapons hearing

NEWS
NYC car bomb suspect faces terror, weapons hearing

Monday, June 21, 2010

New York’s Times Square bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad pled guilty to failed use of a weapon of mass destruction Monday afternoon.

Shahzad’s noon arraignment was postponed until 4:30 p.m. No reason was given.

Last week Shahzad was indicted on 10 courts including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Shahzad entered the plea to the first of 10 charges in the indictment, but said he planned to plead guilty to all of them. He reportedly told the judge he wanted to “plead guilty and 100 times more.”
He also warned that unless the U.S. leaves Muslim lands, “We will be attacking U.S.”

The botched plot involved a gasoline-and-propane bomb that failed to ignite in an SUV parked in the center of Times Square on May 1.

Soon after his arrest on May 3, he reportedly cooperated with investigators.

The 30-year-old Pakistani-born Shahzad, who became a U.S. citizen last year, was arrested aboard a Dubai-bound jetliner two days later that was minutes from leaving New York’s JFK International Airport.
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• Source(s): Department of Justice
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20
Jun
10

Al-Qaeda Lays Out Conditions for Peace With U.S.

NEWS
Al-Qaeda Lays Out Conditions for Peace With U.S.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

••• Al-Qaeda’s U.S.-born spokesman has warned President Barack Obama the militant group may launch new attacks that would kill more Americans than previous ones.

In a taunting, 24-minute message that dwelled on Obama’s setbacks, including the loss of the Massachusetts Senate seat to the Republicans, Adam Gadahn set out al-Qaeda’s conditions for peace with the US, including cutting support for Israel and withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

Gadahn said if you compared the number of dead Muslims ‘with the relatively small number of Americans we have killed so far, it becomes crystal-clear that we haven’t even begun to even the score,’ he said, dressed in a white robe and turban.

‘That’s why next time, we might not show the restraint and self-control we have shown up until now,’ he said. Even if al-Qaeda was defeated, ‘hundreds of millions of Muslims’ would still fight the U.S., he added.

Al-Qaeda offered the same conditions for an end to hostilities to then President George W. Bush in 2007, including the release of all Muslim prisoners and cutting off aid to Middle East governments.

Gadahn’s statement was notable for its mocking tone, in which he described Obama as ‘a devious, evasive and serpentine American president with a Muslim name’, and seemed to delight in his setbacks.

‘You’re no longer the popular man you once were, a year ago or so,’ he crowed, ascribing his drop in popularity to the escalation of the U.S. wars abroad.

At the time of Obama’s election, many analysts said al-Qaeda was worried his race and Muslim family connections would make him more appealing to Muslims and Arabs angry at Bush’s foreign policy.

In its statements since his election, al-Qaeda has taken pains to show the continuity between Obama’s foreign policy and that of his predecessor.

Gadahn is wanted by the FBI since 2004 with a $1 million reward for information leading to his arrest or conviction. He is also known as Azzam al-Amriki, Arabic for the American.
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02
Jun
10

Times Square Bomber Case Delayed

NEWS
Times Square Bomber Case Delayed

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The court case for Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-born American accused of planting a car bomb in Times Square, will be postponed by three weeks to allow him time to speak with authorities, a judge said on Wednesday.

At the prosecutors’ request, endorsed by Shahzad, Judge Theodore Katz put off the first hearing until June 21.

‘The granting of such a continuance best serves the ends of justice and outweighs the best interests of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial,’ he said in a statement.

Shahzad, a 30-year-old Pakistani-born naturalised U.S. citizen, was arrested apparently trying to flee the country on a flight to Dubai on May 3, on charges of leaving a bomb-packed SUV in the bustling heart of New York’s Times Square.
Officials have said he has cooperated fully with investigators after repeatedly waiving his legal his Miranda rights, which protect detainees from incriminating themselves, and had also waived his right to a speedy court appearance and a lawyer.

Based on information provided by Shahzad, U.S. authorities have carried out several raids in the U.S. northeast, including a May 13 operation that led to the detention of three suspects from Pakistan accused of funnelling money to him.

Shahzad faces five charges, including attempted use of weapons of mass destruction and attempting acts of terrorism across national boundaries, both of which carry maximum sentences of life in prison.
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• Source(s): Department of Justice
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04
May
10

Barack Obama: America will not be ‘terrorized’

NEWS
Barack Obama: America will not be ‘terrorized’

The President on Times Square: “But as Americans, and as a Nation, We Will Not Be Terrorized”

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

President Barack Obama says the failed Times Square attack is a sobering reminder of current security threats, but vowed America would not be terrorised or cower in fear.

The president said the FBI and law enforcement officers had all the tools they needed to investigate the attack and would probe whether the Pakistani American suspect arrested on Monday had links to foreign extremists.

‘This incident is another sobering reminder of the times in which we live,’ Obama said in a speech to the Business Council in Washington on Tuesday.

‘Around the world and here at home there are those who would attack our citizens and who would slaughter innocent men, women and children in pursuit of their murderous agenda.’

‘They will stop at nothing to kill and disrupt our way of life.’

Obama said hundreds of lives may have been saved by the vigilance of citizens and law enforcement authorities in New York when the car bomb attack was thwarted on Saturday night.

And he promised that Americans would stick together and keep their heads held high after the failed attack.

‘We know that the aim of those who try to carry out those attacks is to force us to live in fear and thereby amplifying the effects of their attacks, even those that fail.’

‘But as Americans, and as a nation, we will not be terrorised.’

‘We will not cower in fear. We will not be intimidated.’

Speaking hours after a suspect was pulled off a plane about to depart for the Middle East, Obama said ‘justice will be done’ in the incident.

The president said ‘hundreds of lives’ may have been saved through quick action by ordinary citizens and local, state and federal authorities.

Earlier, spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters that Obama had been informed a few minutes after midnight about the arrest of a suspect, Faisal Shahzad.

Shahzad, a Pakistan-born U.S. citizen, is suspected of driving a bomb-laden SUV into Times Square last Saturday and parking it on a street lined with restaurants and Broadway theatres.

Shahzad, was taken into custody late Monday by FBI agents and New York Police Department detectives at Kennedy Airport after he boarded a flight to Dubai, according to officials.
• Source(s): The White House
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