Dutch AIVD Information Prevents al-Qaeda Attack

April 16 2013

 

Dutch security service AIVD has said in a briefing to MPs that it passed information on to foreign security services which helped foil an al-Qaeda attack. According to the briefing the information gathered at the end of last year led to the “arrest of three al-Qaeda terrorists who were sent to Europe to carry out the attack”. In a statement to parliament, Home Affairs Minister Ronald Plasterk gave no further details. “We have to protect our sources and cannot go public with our successes” a spokesman told the broadcaster.

F.B.I. Arrests Second Suspect in Bomb Plot Against Bank

The Bangladeshi man who was arrested Wednesday on charges that he plotted to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York had an accomplice in San Diego, who was arrested later on unrelated child-pornography charges, a law enforcement official said on Thursday.

The man described as the accomplice, Howard Willie Carter II, was arrested after an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation found 1,000 images and three video files containing child pornography on a laptop and hard drive in the trash near Mr. Carter’s apartment, according to a government document. Officials used material stored on the computer to trace it back to Mr. Carter.

The computer also contained e-mails addressed to “Yaqeen,” a name that Brooklyn prosecutors said Mr. Carter had used in the plot to bomb the Federal Reserve building.

On Wednesday, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged the Bangladeshi man, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction and with providing material support to Al Qaeda. They said he had tried to detonate what he believed was a 1,000-pound bomb hidden in a van parked near the Federal Reserve building, on Liberty Street, in the financial district.

French intelligence curtailed tracking of Toulouse gunman

French intelligence services curtailed supervision of Islamist gunman Mohamed Merah a few months before his shooting spree in Toulouse despite his known links to extremists, according to leaked documents. The reports from France’s DCRI domestic intelligence service, seen by AFP, show that Merah was under intense surveillance throughout 2011 but that agents decided to reduce monitoring.

They show that Merah, who had been under surveillance since 2006, was identified as a “privileged target” at the beginning of last year after returning from a trip to Afghanistan, where he was detained in November 2010. Surveillance from March to July indicated he was in regular contact with “the radical Islamist movement in Toulouse”, said he was showing “paranoid behaviour” and that he was receiving funds from extremists.

French intelligence services have been repeatedly criticised for failing to prevent Merah’s attacks. Merah, a self-described Al-Qaeda sympathiser, shot a rabbi, three Jewish schoolchildren and three French paratroopers in attacks in and around the southern city of Toulouse in March, before being shot dead in a police siege.

Canadian woman runs safe house for Al Qaeda suicide bombers

The Toronto Star – July 12, 2012

 

A Canadian woman at the centre of Somalia’s Al Qaeda is known among the intelligence agencies that track her and the foreign militants who praise her simply as “Mama Shabab.” It is an honorific title for former Toronto resident Fadumo Jama, who intelligence agencies allege is the den mother of al Shabab who runs a safe house for Western fighters recruited into the militant Islamic organization.

While she moves frequently, using forged passports from African countries, it is believed she has operated a home in the Somali town of Merca for at least four years and has supported American and European recruits in the weeks before their suicide bombing missions. Jama is a well-known figure to intelligence agencies in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Somalia, yet her name does not appear in any public documents and she has not been charged. Her role facilitating Western recruits exemplifies the increasing importance of women to the Shabab — although her position of authority is rare, as most females are recruited only as wives for the fighters or suicide bombers. Canadian Security Intelligence Service director Richard Fadden told a Senate committee earlier this year that this was an emerging trend.

Two young Toronto women raised in Canada after their parents fled Somalia when the government collapsed two decades ago were among those reportedly lured into the group last year, defying their families and flying to Kenya’s capital before crossing the border.

Additional information on the Millatu Ibrahim group

June 15

 

Millatu Ibrahim defines itself as Takfiri, a radical interpret of Islam. Basic information retrieved from blog-pages describe the Millatu Ibrahim group call Muslims to witness Allah in front of the public with the “Shuhahda” and distance themselves from any other unbeliever “Kufr” in order to be on the “safe side” of Islam.

 

Denis Cuspert (36) alias Deso Dogg alias Abu Talha Al-Almani started is public activity as a “Gangster Rapper”. His songs are about violence and crime among youth in German cities. He was born and raised in Berlin by his German mother as his father, who was from Ghana left the family when Cuspert was a baby. Cuspert had a difficult childhood: he was often in conflict with his stepfather, a former American Army soldier and strict disciplinarian. He was sent to a home for difficult children and returned after five years. He experienced racism at school and begun to participate at demonstrations against the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and the Iraq war in 2003. Having joined Turkish and Arab youth gangs in Berlin, he committed crimes for which he was sentenced to prison.

 

Cuspert became a known figure in the socially problematic areas of Berlin. His “nasheeds” (Islamic vocal songs) praising Al Qaeda’s late leader, Osama bin Laden (“Your name flows in our blood”), or the Taliban leader Mullah Omar have made him a high ranked rapper in the Jihadi scene. In 2011, he was prosecuted for possessing illegal weapons and ordered to pay a fine.

 

Recently, Cuspert has left Berlin for Bonn, calling the city a “lost case”. Little is known about Cuspert’s real motivation to move. Commentators speculate that the reason is the increasing authorities’ pressure after the release of his hate, violence-praising “nasheeds” in May 2012.

 

Cuspert is believed to have inspired the self-radicalized Arid Uka, who shot two American airmen at the Frankfurt airport in March 2011. His “nasheeds” would “incite violence and unrest through inflammatory videos and fiery speeches that praise terrorists and attack the West”.

 

Mohamed Mahmoud (27), also known as Abu Usama al-Gharib, was born in Vienna, Austria. His father was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and asked for political asylum in Austria. Mahmoud joined an Al Qaeda training camp in Iraq in 2003 and founded the youth organization “Islamic youth in Austria”.

 

After moving to Berlin, he was sentenced to four years prison for hate speech and activities in terrorist and criminal organizations. Already during his time in prison, Mahmoud was in contact with Cuspert. They became closer after that Mahmoud was released in September 2011. In the same period, Mahmoud moved from Berlin to Solingen and became the dominant Imam of the local “Millatu Ibrahim mosque”.  Mahmoud and Cuspert have been regarded as “online pioneers” of the German Jihadi scene, providing Islamists with an entertaining and heterogeneous platform to interact on.

Toulouse hostage gunman, claiming to be linked to al-Qaeda, arrested

News Agencies – June 20, 2012

French police have detained a gunman who held four people hostage at a bank in the southern city of Toulouse for almost seven hours. The man initially demanded money but when he was refused, a shot was fired and the hostages taken. Claiming to be linked to al-Qaeda, he demanded to speak to the elite Raid police unit that killed Islamist gunman Mohamed Merah nearby in March.

He freed two hostages before police stormed the bank and detained him. The gunman was said to have been wounded in the thigh, but not seriously. His two remaining hostages are not thought to have been harmed.

A police union source told the regional newspaper Ouest-France it was not clear whether the man’s claim about al-Qaeda was “serious or a fantasy”. The hostage-taker was believed to be around 30 years old and known to the authorities, Toulouse newspaper La Depeche reported. He was from Castres, to the east of Toulouse, and one source told the paper he was a schizophrenic who had broken off his treatment.

Irish citizen taken off UN list of al-Qaeda supporters

 

A Libyan born naturalized Irish citizen has been taken off a list of the UN Security Council imposing sanctions on suspected al-Qaeda supporters. The individual has tried for three years to clear his name from the list. No reasons for removing him from it were given.

The UN Security Council list of al-Qaeda supporters imposes sanctions on those mentioned, including a travel ban, a freeze of assets and a weapons embargo.

Described as a “close associate” of Osama bin Laden, he has been accused of providing logistical and financial support to al-Qaeda cells in Europe and other alleged terrorist organisations. The individual himself has denied all charges.

Al Qaeda contemplated giving Canadian journalists ‘special media material’ for 10th anniversary

The Toronto Star – May 4, 2012

 

When Al Qaeda contemplated the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, the organization didn’t forget to include Canada in its plans. Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn mused the organization should reach out to a group of 30 to 50 select journalists and writers who would be candidates to receive “special media material” on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

 

It was important, Gadahn stressed to Osama bin Laden and others in January 2011, that Al Qaeda not rely on Jihadi Internet forums, which he said were “repulsive to most of the Muslims,” or Al Jazeera. Instead, Gadahn wrote the group should target journalists in seven countries — the U.K., U.S. and Canada in the west, as well as Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen. Among the journalists Gadahn favoured were Eric Margolis, a longtime columnist with the Toronto Sun, and Canadian author Gwynne Dyer, a syndicated columnist based in London.

100 Muslims protest against religious radicalism in Paris

May 4, 2012

 

A hundred Muslims gathered on the steps of the Opera Bastille in Paris to “say no to religious radicalism” and proclaimed their attachment to France and the values of the Republic.

 

With French flags on their jackets and under a banner saying “Together against fanaticism”, demonstrators observed a moment of silence in memory of “Children of Toulouse and Montauban,” victims of Mohamed Merah, responsible for seven murders in both cities in March, and who claimed, according to the Interior Minister, Claude Gueant, to have links with Al Qaeda.