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.
It was a scheme to bomb downtown Toronto that even a confessed conspirator, 22-year-old Saad Khalid, now acknowledges as “a despicable crime.” Prosecutors say the ringleaders of the so-called “Toronto 18” debated whether to plant metal chips in bombs to maximize the number of people injured – and spoke of their coordinated explosions dwarfing the impact of the 2005 London subway bombings that killed 50 commuters.
Khalid asked a Canadian Superior Court judge for clemency during sentencing. Having already pleaded guilty to involvement in the foiled bomb plot, he became the first person arrested to speak of the crime. “I am not a lunatic who is hell-bent on destruction of Western civilization,” said the middle-class McMaster University student. His mistake, he said, arose from a “disagreement on the issue of Canadian foreign policy, specifically Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan.” He also told Mr. Justice Bruce Durno he has a better understanding of Islam since being jailed.
An Ottawa university has replaced a professor accused of involvement in a deadly Paris bombing nearly three decades ago. Hassan Diab was teaching a part-time summer course in sociology at Carleton University. He has been a Canadian citizen since 1993.
The university said it had hired Mr. Diab to teach in the summer session because of an unforeseen leave taken by the course’s original instructor.
Mr. Diab has maintained his innocence since he was arrested in late 2008. He was released on bail March 31, 2008, under strict conditions that include wearing a GPS-monitored ankle bracelet. A Canadian Jewish organization had criticized Mr. Diab’s hiring, saying that an alleged terrorist should not be teaching impressionable university students.
Mr. Diab is expected to face a hearing in January, when a judge will decide whether he should be sent to France to face allegations he participated in the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue that killed four people and wounded dozens of others. The university said the action was being taken “in the interest of providing its students with a stable, productive academic environment that is conducive to learning.” His colleagues at Carleton have issued several petition letters.
Nine suspects, deemed Islamist militants, went on trial in Paris accused of plotting bomb attacks. Safe Bourada, 38, the suspected leader of the group, served a 10-year sentence for his role in Islamist attacks in France in 1995. Prosecutors claim he recruited most of the defendants while in prison.
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U.K. prosecutors will retry seven British Muslims who they claim conspired to blow up several passenger planes bound for North America from London after a jury days ago failed to reach a verdict.
The men will be retried for conspiring to kill passengers by detonating homemade liquid-based bombs on trans-Atlantic flights, Ken Macdonald, the U.K.’s head prosecutor said today in an e- mailed statement. The arrests in 2006 caused airport chaos with about 2,400 flights canceled in London alone. The investigation led to airport restrictions on more than small amounts of fluids in hand luggage that remain in effect around the world. The London jury on Sept. 8, after a five-month trial, was unable to decide whether the men were guilty of plotting to blow up aircraft. The panel convicted Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain on charges of conspiracy to murder not specifically related to the plot to bomb jets bound for the U.S. and Canada. The three men convicted, along with Ibrahim Savant, Arafat Waheed Khan, Waheed Zaman and Umar Islam, will again face charges of trying to bomb flights. Savant, Khan, Zaman and Islam will also be retried on the same general conspiracy to the murder charges of which Ali, Sarwar and Hussain were found guilty. The panel cleared an eighth defendant in the case of all charges. Defense lawyers at Tuckers and Arani & Co, who have been acting on the case, didn’t return messages seeking comment. James Lumley reports.
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Investigators believe Attila Selek is part of a cell of Islamist terrorists led by Fritz Gelowicz, who allegedly plotted to bomb US Army bases in Germany. But Selek, who was arrested last week in Turkey at the end of an interview with SPIEGEL, insists he is innocent. Holger Stark reports.
More details are emerging in the case of the three Islamists who were recently arrested for planning a bomb attack in Germany. Investigators believe that a 15-year-old boy smuggled the detonators from Istanbul to Germany — inside the soles of a pair of shoes. Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark report.
By ANAND GIRIDHARADAS BANGALORE, India, July 14 – A third man was charged with a terrorism offense on Saturday in the failed car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow, but on a minor charge that underscores the primacy of the focus on the two main suspects. One of them, Dr. Bilal Abdulla, was arrested after he emerged from the flaming wreckage of a Jeep Cherokee that slammed into the Glasgow airport terminal two weeks ago. He was charged with conspiring to cause explosions. The other main suspect, Kafeel Ahmed, 28, has not been charged: He is in critical condition from burns suffered in the attack and doctors are doubtful that he will survive. But interviews with Indian investigators and relatives are beginning to offer a clearer picture of a disciplined, professional and rigorously religious young man who was, perhaps surprisingly, helping to design airplane parts for the huge American manufacturer Pratt & Whitney even as he grew more intent on defending Islam around the world.