HOUSTON — The group known as Anonymous claims to have hacked into the email accounts of more than two dozen Texas law enforcement agencies or officials in retaliation for arrests of its supporters and what it sees as harassment of immigrants by authorities in the state.
The group appeared to briefly take over the website of the Texas Police Chiefs Association on Thursday, replacing its home page with one that listed police departments and officials whose email accounts Anonymous said had been hacked. The group posted a statement on the police website saying it was “attacking Texas law enforcement” because of arrests of its supporters and what the group sees as harassment of immigrants by authorities in the state.
Robert Mock, one of the individuals whose personal email account was apparently breached, said he had only been made aware of the possibility earlier Thursday.
“I’m upset, as anybody would be whose account was hacked into,” he said. “This wasn’t my work account. Got my private information out there. I don’t even know what’s out there.”
Anonymous listed Mock as being a lieutenant with the Houston police department, but Mock said he had left the department about four years ago. Mock said he still worked in law enforcement in the Houston area but declined to say where he was employed.
In addition to his cellphone and water bills, Anonymous also posted emails of jokes that were forwarded to Mock that made fun of Arabs and Muslims.
Between 20.000 and 25.000 people gathered in Birmingham’s Summerfield Park last Thursday to attend a public funeral prayer for the three Muslim men who died last week while protecting their community from rioters (as reported). Syrian Muslim scholar Scheik Muhammad al-Yaqoubi led the prayers and honored the three young men by referring to them as “martyrs”. The father of one of the victims, Tariq Jahan, who had been praised for his reaction to the deaths and his appeal to stop rioting, also addressed the mourners. According to the Guardian, he thanked the crowd for their presence and said: “This is for the three shaheeds [martyrs]. Please remember them”. A private burial ceremony was held later on Thursday.
Meanwhile, four men have been charged with murder and three more arrests have been made on suspicion of being involved in the murder of the three men.
Danish Intelligence agency PET has arrested four men on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack against the Copenhagen offices of Jyllands-Posten newspaper. The terror attack in Mumbai in 2008 was allegedly their inspiration. According to the agency, the arrests were made in suburban Copenhagen and were made following a long-term surveillance operation in collaboration with the Swedish Security Service SÄPO.
Three of the suspects are Swedish residents and reportedly arrived in Denmark December 28, and PET said the attack was to be carried out “in the following days”. All four suspects have Middle-Eastern or North African backgrounds. In addition to the arrests in Copenhagen, Swedish officials arrested a fifth suspect in Stockholm at the same time. During the arrests, Danish police found an assault rifle and silencer, ammunition, as well as plastic strips, which are often used by police as hand restraints.
According to PET, the group planned to kill as many people as possible in the building that houses Jyllands-Posten. Jakob Scharf, head of PET, described the suspects as “militant Islamists that had connections to international terror networks”. “The arrests underscore the terrorist threat that Denmark faces, and in particular anyone who is connected to the Mohammed drawings,” Scharf said.
No religious group should expect special treatment when it comes to enforcement of the law, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in response to reports that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had apologized for arresting Muslims on terrorism charges during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
On Aug. 25, 2010, the RCMP and Ottawa Police arrested two Ottawa men–Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh, Misbahuddin Ahmed — suspected of conspiring with others in Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit terrorism. A third man, Khurram Syed Sher, was picked up in St. Thomas.
The next day, Aug. 26, the RCMP and city police staged a special, hour-long meeting with members of Ottawa’s Muslim community with the ostensible purpose of ensuring them that their community was not regarded with undue suspicion despite the arrests. However, at least one officer was heard apologizing during the meeting for the arrests having occurred during Ramadan, which ran last year from Aug. 12 to Sept. 9.
Prominent members of the Muslim Canadian Congress applauded the Prime Minister’s remarks, saying it is about time that senior government officials emphasized the unitary nature of Canadian law, and that religious sentiment cannot be allowed to interfere with the law.
Salma Siddiqui, vice-president of the Congress. “We have one law in Canada and it applies to everybody. We need to stop all this political correctness.” “At the meeting I commented, ‘Would you apologize to other Canadians if you arrested someone on Christmas?'”
24 December 2010
Police have met Muslims at a Cardiff mosque to discuss the arrests of five men in the city suspected of terrorism offences. Properties across Cardiff have been searched by officers after dawn raids on Monday, when 12 arrests were made in total across the UK.
Police met community leaders at the Jalalia Mosque and Islamic Education Centre in Riverside, Cardiff, on Friday. Saleem Kidwai, of the Muslim Council of Wales, welcomed the visit, and said: “The chief inspector came in the mosque and talked to the community just to reassure them that we are all in this together and we have to deal with this together,” he said.
News Agencies – August 26, 2010
Canadian Muslim leaders were variously stunned, outraged and wary at news from Ottawa that the RCMP had broken up an alleged terrorism cell with suspected links to al-Qaeda. Few details were released about the people rounded up in the bust, but they are suspected of planning a terrorist attack in Canada and authorities anticipate more arrests.
“It’s sad to hear such news. It’s disturbing,” said Imam Habeeb Alli, secretary of the Canadian Council of Imams. The Muslim Canadian Congress expressed “shock” at the developments and commended RCMP for the operation.
The Ottawa case is considered the most significant counterterrorism operation in Canada since the 2006 Toronto 18 arrests. The ringleader in the Ottawa case allegedly attended training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Similarly, in the Toronto 18 case, ringleader Fahim Ahmad was linked with a network of extremists stretching from Canada and the United States to Pakistan and the Balkans.
Janet Napolitano’s had this to say in assessment of domestic security this week: “These recent arrests should remove any remaining comfort that some might have had that if we fight the terrorist abroad, we won’t have to fight them here,” she said. “If only the world were that simple. The fact is that home-based terrorism is here. We are seeing young Americans who are inspired by al-Qaida and radical ideology.”
Five men in the last five months have been arrested on terror charges in the US. Their efforts to carry out violent jihad plans varied in sophistication, with more serious plots raising questions as to whether a rise in homegrown radicalism may be taking place in America.
“For the most part, these guys are not totally dangerous on their own,” said Scott Stewart, vice president of tactical intelligence at Stratfor, a global intelligence company. “The grass routes guys are amateurish and don’t have the ability to do (large scale) damage… when they get dangerous is when they get a trained operational commander who has skills to plan and do surveillance.”
Jena McNeill, policy analyst for homeland security at the Washington, D.C.-based Heritage Foundation, said that while the United States always faces some type of terror threat, the danger of home grown terrorism has not increased.
“I don’t want to downplay the possibility that it could increase, but it is not as bad as Europe,” she said, adding that radical Islam poses a greater danger across the Atlantic than it does in the United States.
The dramatic arrests of Saad Khalid and Saad Gaya, members of the “Toronto 18” terrorist group that was planning to detonate truck bombs in downtown Toronto in 2006, was captured on a video released by the court. The video is among dozens of Crown exhibits that form the case against Zakaria Amara, who admitted on October 8 he was the leader of the bomb plot. An Ontario judge approved their release, allowing Canadians to view them for the first time.
The videos show the terrorists testing an electronic detonator and meeting in the dark. Also released was a video of a test explosion conducted by the RCMP, which built and detonated a bomb using the same formula as the terrorists. The result is a huge blast that flipped a metal shipping container.
Amara, 24, pleaded to two counts of terrorism and is to be sentenced in January. Khalid, Gaya and Ali Dirie have also pleaded guilty and another man, Nishanthan Yogakrishnan, was convicted. Another six are awaiting trial.
On September 8 police in The Hague found a doll depicting Freedom Party (PVV) leader Geert Wilders hanging from a tree near the central station. The doll had a picture of Wilders affixed to it with a knife, and smeared with a substance intended to look like blood. Police arrested four individuals aged 18-19, students from the Hague art academy. Two of them have since been released, according to Trouw.
The first year student who made the doll explains that he wanted to respond to the position of Muslims. He feels they are “in a manner of speaking, being hung from the highest tree”, Telegraaf reports. According to the maker, the photo of Wilders has nothing to do with the politician as a person, but symbolizes the movement he stands for.