X-Factor Sensation Jordi to jihadist camp

Jordi, who seven years ago participated in X Factor is in prison, suspected of taking part in a terrorist-training in Syria.
Once Jordi dreamed of becoming a star. But he converted to Islam, became an orthodox Muslim and a career in music was no longer an option.

By his neighbours he was seen as a friendly neighbour. When his neighbour teased him, calling him ‘Bin Laden’, Jordi would just wave friendly.

But in 2013 he went to Syria, leaving his wife and son. Three months later Jordi returns. Parents ask information about their sons and daughters who went to Syria and his neighbours don’t want him anymore. He friendly avoids talking to journalists. He wants peace. And he goes living secretly in Rotterdam.

Bin Laden’s son-in-law convicted of conspiring to kill Americans

March 26, 2014

 

NEW YORK — In a quick decision, a jury convicted Osama bin Laden‘s son-in-law of conspiring to kill Americans in his role as the angry voice of Al Qaeda after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Sulaiman abu Ghaith, 48, faces life in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 8.

The case has given the public its first and possibly only chance to watch a terrorism trial related to the 2001 attacks unfold in civilian court. Unlike other high-profile terrorism suspects accused of crimes arising from the attacks, Abu Ghaith bypassed the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after his arrest last year.

Instead, he was brought directly to New York, where his trial began March 5 just blocks from where the World Trade Center towers once stood.

The case hinged in part on the importance of Abu Ghaith’s role as a spokesman for the terror group. Prosecutors maintained it was an important one.

“This man was not Osama bin Laden’s puppet,” said Jonathan Cronan, an assistant U.S. attorney, as he pointed his finger at Abu Ghaith during the trial “He was not a robot.

But Abu Ghaith’s defense attorney, Stanley Cohen, dismissed the government’s case as based not on evidence but on recordings and videos, including one showing hijacked jets slamming into the World Trade Center towers and the buildings enveloped in black smoke.

“It was intended to sweep you away … in anguish and pain,” said Cohen, comparing the prosecution’s case to a movie.

“The movie’s over, the lights are back on, and we’ve walked out of the theater. Let’s look at the evidence,” he said, before dismissing the government’s allegations as “speculation” and its witnesses as liars or frauds.

Also shown repeatedly to the jury during the trial were frames of a video made Sept. 12, 2001, that showed Abu Ghaith seated next to Bin Laden and two other top Al Qaeda leaders as they tried to justify the attacks.

Jurors deliberated roughly five hours before convicting Abu Ghaith of conspiring to kill Americans, providing material support to terrorists; and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-ghaith-convicted-20140326,0,5107319.story#ixzz2yEGRhJtQ

Ex-al-Qaida spokesman recalls 9/11 with bin Laden

March 19, 2014

 

NEW YORK — Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law offered a rare glimpse of the al-Qaida leader in the hours after the Sept. 11 attacks, recounting during surprise testimony Wednesday in a Manhattan courtroom how the two met that night in a cave in Afghanistan.

“Did you learn about what happened … the attacks on the United States?” the son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, recalled bin Laden asking him.

The testimony came as Abu Ghaith’s trial on charges he conspired to kill Americans and aid al-Qaida as a spokesman for the terrorist group took a dramatic turn. His decision to take the witness stand was announced by his lawyer, Stanley Cohen, who surprised a nearly empty courtroom that quickly filled with spectators as word spread.

Abu Ghaith testified that bin Laden seemed worried that night and asked what he thought would happen next. Abu Ghaith said he predicted America “will not settle until it accomplishes two things: to kill you and topple the state of the Taliban.”

Bin Laden responded: “’You’re being too pessimistic,’” Abu Ghaith recalled.

Abu Ghaith said he wasn’t involved in recruiting aspiring terrorists and denied allegations that he had prior knowledge of the failed shoe-bomb airline attack by Richard Reid in December 2001.

His lawyers said they were hopeful that another part of Abu Ghaith’s testimony, that he had met self-professed Sept. 11 architect Khalid Sheik Mohammed, would cause the federal judge overseeing the trial to reconsider his decision to exclude Mohammed from testifying via videotape from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Washington Post.com: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ex-al-qaida-spokesman-to-testify-at-new-york-trial/2014/03/19/2b2b3a5a-af71-11e3-b8b3-44b1d1cd4c1f_story.html

Jury Selection Begins at Trial of Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law

March 4, 2014

 

In the days and weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, a Kuwaiti-born cleric, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, became a familiar figure in propaganda videos for Al Qaeda, appearing in some with Osama bin Laden, and other times alone, issuing blistering threats against the United States.

“The storms shall not stop, especially the airplanes storm,” he said in one speech, a federal indictment charges. Mr. Abu Ghaith, who later married Bin Laden’s daughter Fatima, was captured last year and brought to the United States on terrorism charges. His trial started on Monday in Manhattan with jury selection which resumes on Tuesday morning. He is the most senior Bin Laden adviser to be tried in a civilian court since the Sept. 11 attacks, experts say.

“Abu Ghaith held a key position in Al Qaeda, comparable to the consigliere in a mob family or propaganda minister in a totalitarian regime,” George Venizelos, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s office in New York, said last year. Unlike Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described architect of the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Abu Ghaith has not been accused of having advance knowledge of the attacks or being involved in terrorist operations. But prosecutors portray him as a trusted adviser and confidant of Bin Laden’s, and they believe he was probably aware of the plot in which Richard C. Reid tried unsuccessfully to blow up an airplane on a trans-Atlantic flight by detonating explosives in his shoes.

The trial, coming more than four years after the disputed and since abandoned plan to try Mr. Mohammed in Manhattan, may further the debate over whether international terrorism cases should be tried in civilian court.
Mr. Abu Ghaith, 48, has pleaded not guilty to charges that include conspiring to kill Americans and providing material support for terrorists; if convicted, he could face life in prison. The New York Police Department declined recently to discuss any security measures related to the trial, which is expected to last about a month. “This is a high-profile case,” Stephen Davis, the department’s top spokesman, said, “and we’ll take the necessary steps to ensure safety in and around the courthouse and the city.”

At least two men who had been involved in terrorism who are now cooperating with the authorities are expected to testify for the government against Mr. Abu Ghaith. They are believed to be Saajid Badat, who had agreed to carry out a shoe-bomb attack but later backed out, and Sahim Alwan, a member of the “Lackawanna Six,” a group of Buffalo-area Yemeni-Americans.
NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/04/nyregion/bin-laden-relatives-trial-may-fuel-debate-over-trying-terrorism-cases-in-civilian-courts.html?action=click&module=Search&_r=0
NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/06/nyregion/bin-laden-aide-began-qaeda-propaganda-day-after-9-11-us-says.html?action=click&module=Search&gwh=677A49224F0D0A3EC6B79A8BBC5455C8&gwt=regi

Richard Dawkins attempts to shame Twitter after Bin Laden honey criticism

November 5, 2013

 

Richard Dawkins has responded to Twitter derision after his honey was confiscated at Edinburgh airport, condemning his critics for their unwillingness to believe his public-spiritedness.

He had pointed to the restriction as proof “Bin Laden has won”, slamming the “inflexible rule-bound airport security.” He tweeted “Of course I know the airport security rules. My point is those rules are stupid advertising displays of dundridge zeal. Bin Laden has won.”

He later sought to clarify his remarks, posting: “Do you idiots seriously think I give a damn about my stupid honey? It’s the PRINCIPLE I care about. Get it? Principle, not honey, principle.”

Dawkins’ blaming of Bin Laden proved most amusing with those the scientist labelled “the tweeting twerps” seizing upon the hash tag #TweetLikeRichardDawkins.

However Dawkins dismissed ideas that he was overreacting by comparing the confiscation of honey with terrorist atrocities, writing “aren’t our rule-merchants playing into Bin Laden’s dead hands by their futile displays of stable-door-shutting?”

 

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/richard-dawkins-attempts-to-shame-twitter-after-bin-laden-honey-criticism-8922553.html

Moroccan citizen charged for inciting Jihad via Facebook

12 April 2013

 

The National Court judge Santiago Pedraz has released with charges the Moroccan citizen living in Ulldecona (Tarragona) who used his social network page on Facebook to spread links of videos that encouraged jihad and terrorist attacks.
As reported by legal sources, Ridouan Ben Omar, 23, will deliver the passport, will be prohibited from leaving Spain and will appear weekly at the offcial instances. He is accused of breaching Article 579 of the Penal Code, that considers as a delit “the distribution or dissemination by any means of messages or slogans designed to cause, encourage or facilitate the execution” of acts of terrorism.

The research, led by the Central Court of Instruction No. 1 of the National Court, began in the summer of 2011 following the publication on his Facebook profile of praising messages about prominent jihadi leaders like Ahmed Yassin, Hamas, or the deceased Osama Bin Laden.

Bin Laden Relative With Qaeda Past to Have New York Trial

WASHINGTON — Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the charismatic al-Qaida spokesman, fundraiser and son-in-law to Osama bin Laden, is likely to have a vast trove of knowledge about the terror network’s central command but not much useful information about current threats or plots, intelligence officials and other experts say.

Abu Ghaith pleaded not guilty Friday to conspiring to kill Americans in propaganda videos that warned of further assaults against the United States as devastating as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Weeks after he was first arrested in Turkey, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden who once served as a spokesman for Al Qaeda will appear in a New York courtroom on Friday to face terrorism charges that could result in life imprisonment.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who is married to one of Bin Laden’s daughters, Fatima, is to be charged with conspiracy to kill Americans, according to an indictment released Thursday. Justice Department officials described him as a propagandist who they believe has not had an operational role in Al Qaeda for years and did not participate in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, or in any plots against the United States. But one law enforcement official said that Mr. Abu Ghaith, 47, was the most senior Qaeda figure to face criminal trial in New York since America’s war against the terrorist network began.

Mr. Abu Ghaith was a Muslim preacher and teacher in Kuwait who spoke out against Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. In 2000, he traveled to Afghanistan, where he met Bin Laden and eventually married one of his daughters. He attracted wide attention in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks by making statements defending the attacks, some of them carried on Al Jazeera.

According to an indictment unsealed Thursday, Mr. Abu Ghaith appeared with Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri, who was then Bin Laden’s deputy, and warned the United States and its allies that a “great army is gathering against you.” He called upon “the nation of Islam” to do battle against “the Jews, the Christians and the Americans.”

The arrest of Mr. Abu Ghaith was the rare occasion in which a Qaeda operative was detained overseas rather than killed. The Obama administration has expanded the use of targeted killing operations in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere, asserting that they are justified when there is no possibility of capture.

Spokesmen for the C.I.A. and the White House declined to comment.

 

Newly released emails say no sailors watched bin Laden’s burial at sea after Navy SEAL raid

WASHINGTON — Internal emails among U.S. military officers indicate that no sailors watched Osama bin Laden’s burial at sea from the USS Carl Vinson and traditional Islamic procedures were followed during the ceremony.

The emails, obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act, are heavily blacked out, but are the first public disclosure of government information about the al-Qaida leader’s death. The emails were released Wednesday by the Defense Department.

Bin Laden was killed on May 1, 2011, by a Navy SEAL team that assaulted his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

One email stamped secret and sent on May 2 by a senior Navy officer briefly describes how bin Laden’s body was washed, wrapped in a white sheet, and then placed in a weighted bag.

According to another message from the Vinson’s public affairs officer, only a small group of the ship’s leadership was informed of the burial.

Although the Obama administration has pledged to be the most transparent in American history, it is keeping a tight hold on materials related to the bin Laden raid. In a response to separate requests from the AP for information about the mission, the Defense Department said in March that it could not locate any photographs or video taken during the raid or showing bin Laden’s body. It also said it could not find any images of bin Laden’s body on the Vinson.

The Pentagon also said it could not find any death certificate, autopsy report or results of DNA identification tests for bin Laden, or any pre-raid materials discussing how the government planned to dispose of bin Laden’s body if he were killed.

Man Is Accused of Jihadist Plot to Bomb a Bar in Chicago

An 18-year-old suburban Chicago man, who the authorities say was enamored with Osama bin Laden and intent on killing Americans, has been arrested after attempting to detonate what he thought was a car bomb outside a Chicago bar, officials said Saturday. There was never any danger that the suspect, Adel Daoud, would actually detonate a bomb. The plot, which ended with Mr. Daoud’s arrest on Friday, was proposed by undercover F.B.I. agents posing as extremists, according to a statement released by the United States attorney’s office in the Northern District of Illinois.

Mr. Daoud, a United States citizen who lives in Hillside, Ill., on the outskirts of Chicago, has been under surveillance for months, and in multiple conversations with agents expressed a desire to kill on a mass scale as revenge for what he believed was the persecution of Muslims by the United States, according to court papers.

Adel Daoud first came to the attention of the authorities in October 2011, when he sent out e-mails “relating to violent jihad and the killing of Americans,” according to an affidavit in support of the complaint. At one point he sent out several e-mails with a PowerPoint presentation titled “The Osama bin Laden I Know,” in which he defended Bin Laden’s tactics.

“Osama wasn’t crazy for wanting to destroy America,” he wrote. “This superpower killed millions of people.”

Mr. Daoud remained in custody after being charged in United States District Court on Saturday with one count of an attempt to use a weapon of mass destruction and one count of attempting to damage and destroy a building by means of an explosive.

Lawyers for the defendants in such cases have typically accused the government of entrapment, arguing that their clients would never have acted without being coerced by undercover agents.

Bin Laden’s personal letters reveal Muslims are part of the solution to securing the United States

On the heels of the one-year milestone of Osama bin Laden’s death, the U.S. government recently released a series of letters and messages bin Laden sent to colleagues and subordinates around the world. Among other things, the documents reveal bin Laden to have been a man who became increasingly isolated and irrelevant to Muslims due to his ceaseless bloodshed and the growing power of the Arab Spring protest movement.
Reading between the lines, the documents reveal something else from which all of us can benefit – the power of seeing Muslims as partners – rather than as obstacles – in combating violent extremism. The effects of this vision manifest themselves through the documents in at least two important ways, but the overarching point is this: It is time to underscore the vital, positive role American Muslims play in contributing to not just U.S. national security, but to the diverse religious and cultural fabric of our nation, of which we are so proud.
Learning from bin Laden’s documents can positively affect our messaging as our nation fights to push back on al Qaeda’s narrative. Bin Ladin understood that words impact perceptions, and therefore knew that his choice in language had the power to create realities for his benefit. Throughout his violent career, bin Ladin sought to push the narrative that the West was at war with Islam. When U.S. officials used religiously-laden terms such as “violent Islamist terrorism,” “Islamo-fascism,” and the like, they unknowingly played into this narrative and strengthened the impact of the terrorist’s message.