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.

Norton, Ohio: Muslim police officer files religious discrimination lawsuit

Fired Norton police officer Nicholas Matheny has filed a federal lawsuit, contending city officials discriminated against him and violated his civil rights by terminating him because of his Muslim faith.

The suit, seeking job reinstatement, a court injunction to end the alleged discrimination and damages for lost pay, was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.

Matheny, 30, adopted the Muslim faith in early 2010 and initially kept the conversion quiet, according to the suit, because of anti-Islamic sentiment in the police department, including emails he said he received from his direct supervising officer.

But in September 2010, when Matheny handed out wedding invitations to two colleagues, with the heading “May Allah Bless This Marriage,” the alleged discrimination came to a head, the suit said. Just as Matheny was ending his final shift before his wedding, the suit said, Chief Thad Hete told him he would be fired.

Krekar approves the decision of being detained for another eight weeks

It was reported last Wednesday that Mulla Krekar’s detention had been extended for another eight weeks. He accepts the decision made by the District Court in Oslo, which also informed the public that his case will be decided in a minor court hearing. Krekar’s defendant Arvis Sjöding informed the Aftonposten (Evening Newspapers) that Krekar understood that chances of him being released in wait for the trial were minimal and for that reason he had accepted the Court’s decision without official meeting in the courthouse. The newspaper further presented the details of the case by disclosing that Krekar will most likely appeal the previous conviction given by the District Court in the Court of Appeals and that he will do so most likely in October. According to the prosecutor Marit Bakkevik this is the period that suits both parties in the case.

It was on March 26th (2012) that Krekar was sentenced to five years in jail for a death threat made to Erna Solberg, a leader of the Norwegian right-wing party (http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/artikkel.php?artid=10064736). He had appealed the court decision just a day after, however his demand was declined. The Kurdish Imam was initially arrested by the PST (Norwegian Police Security Service) only to be detained for eight weeks (in wait for the prosecutor’s initial decision to prosecute him). Subsequently, the court decided that it would be highly dangerous to let Krekar free in wait for court hearings as the nature of his threat (to Bekkevik) was interpreted to be especially serious. Krekar’s defendant Sjödin points out the Krekar is involved in several projects, one of which is writing a book.

More about Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad (Mulla Krekar):

 A 56-year-old Muslim cleric of Kurdish origin from northern Iraq and a father of four. Since 1991 he has been living in Norway claiming asylum due to high risk of imprisonment and torture in Iraq due to his political activities. He has been controversial throughout his stay in Norway which has been one of the reasons the Norwegian government did not grant him citizenship despite residing in the country for the past 21 years. Some of the alleged controversies include public statements where he had supported insurgent attacks against the U.S. and ally occupation of Iraq. He has also been the leader of Ansar A-Islam until 2003, an armed group in northern Iraq conducting violent attack against the occupying forces after 2003 and thereafter event the regional Kurdish government forces. He had denounced his leadership, nevertheless, the threat of extrajudicial treatment and torture still remains according to the Norwegian authorities who have not been willing to deport him to Iraq. In March 2012 he has been convicted to a five-year prison sentence due to repeated death threats made both to a prominent politician and a Kurdish-Norwegian writer.

Woodbridge man sentenced to 12 years for terrorist propaganda video

A Woodbridge man was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for providing material support to the foreign terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, also known as LeT, according to federal authorities in Virginia.

The 24-year-old Jubair Ahmad, a native of Pakistan, pleaded guilty in December in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to producing a violent jihadist video.

Ahmad admitted that he had communicated with Talha Saeed, the son of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, authorities said. Talha Saeed instructed Ahmad to make a propaganda video to include a prayer calling for the support of jihad and Islamic freedom fighters playing in the background.

Sentencing set for man after guilty plea in bomb plot

BALTIMORE — A Maryland man who said he wanted to wage jihad against the United States faces sentencing for plotting to bomb a military recruiting center.

Prosecutors are recommending a 25-year prison term for Antonio Martinez, who is to be sentenced Friday morning in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Martinez pleaded guilty in January. Prosecutors say he armed a fake bomb in a vehicle he parked in front of a Catonsville recruiting center in December 2010. They say he then went to a vantage point and used what he thought was a detonator when an undercover agent told him soldiers were in the building.

The 22-year-old acknowledged in the plea agreement that he was motivated by what he felt was a war by the United States against Islam.

On 10th anniversary, Guantanamo Bay’s future is unclear

Just over a year ago, Saiid Farhi, an Algerian, was flown home from the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after a federal court ordered his release.

No one has left since.

The string of victories that Guantanamo detainees enjoyed in U.S. District Court has been reversed by the federal appeals court in Washington. The Obama administration has insisted that restrictions imposed by Congress are so onerous, it cannot repatriate or resettle the detainees it has cleared for transfer. And as the facility approaches its 10th anniversary on Wednesday, human rights groups have bemoaned its seeming permanency and the Obama administration’s failure to close it.

To mark the anniversary, Guantanamo detainees on Tuesday began three days of protests, according to an attorney for a handful of the men. Some refused to return to their cells for the four-hour nightly lockdown and slept in the recreation areas. Others said they would refuse food for the duration of the protest. A number of human rights groups, including Amnesty International, are also planning a demonstration outside the White House on Wednesday, followed by a march to the Supreme Court.

Of the 171 detainees remaining at Guantanamo, 59 have been cleared for transfer. The Obama administration has determined that an additional 30 Yemenis could be repatriated if conditions improve in their homeland. The remainder would be prosecuted or held indefinitely, the administration has said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that President Obama remains committed to closing the facility at Guantanamo.

Judge says American defense contractor can sue Rumsfeld personally over torture allegations

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has ruled that former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld can be sued personally for damages by a former U.S. military contractor who says he was tortured during a nine-month imprisonment in Iraq.

The lawsuit lays out a dramatic tale of the disappearance of the then-civilian contractor, an Army veteran in his 50s whose identity is being withheld from court filings for fear of retaliation. Attorneys for the man, who speaks five languages and worked as a translator for Marines collecting intelligence in Iraq, say he was preparing to come home to the United States on annual leave when he was abducted by the U.S. military and held without justification while his family knew nothing about his whereabouts or even whether he was still alive.

Court papers filed on his behalf say he was repeatedly abused while being held at Camp Cropper, a U.S. military facility near the Baghdad airport dedicated to holding “high-value” detainees, then suddenly released without explanation in August 2006. Two years later, he filed suit in U.S. District Court in Washington arguing that Rumsfeld personally approved torturous interrogation techniques on a case-by-case basis and controlled his detention without access to courts in violation of his constitutional rights.

Va. man gets 23 years in plot to bomb Metro stations

An Ashburn man who federal prosecutors said plotted to “kill as many Americans as possible” by bombing Washington Metro stations was sentenced Monday to 23 years in prison.

Farooque Ahmed, 35, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, pleaded guilty to two terrorism-related charges in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. Federal authorities said Ahmed conspired with people he thought were al-Qaeda operatives to bomb Metrorail stations at Arlington Cemetery, Pentagon City, Crystal City and Court House. In reality, he was dealing with people working for the U.S. government.

According to court documents, Ahmed “surveilled, photographed, videotaped, diagramed” and helped gather information to plan “multiple bombings to cause mass casualties” at Metrorail stations.

CAIR: Judge Blocks Oklahoma Anti-Islam Amendment

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today announced that a federal judge in Oklahoma has temporarily blocked an anti-Islam state ballot measure (SQ 755) that would have amended that state’s constitution to forbid judges from considering Islamic principles (Shariah) or international law when making a ruling. U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange of the United States District Court — Western District of Oklahoma today granted a temporary restraining order blocking certification of the recently-passed ballot measure by the Oklahoma State Board of Elections.

CAIR says the ballot measure would infringe on the constitutional rights of ordinary Oklahomans — including the right to wear religious head scarves in driver’s license photographs, choose Islamic marriage contracts, implement Islamic wills, or to be buried according to one’s religious beliefs.

Judge Miles-LaGrange also scheduled a hearing on November 22 for arguments as to whether she should grant a preliminary injunction that would extend the restraining order until a final determination is made in the case.

Time Square Bomber to be Sentenced

Prosecutors asked the judge, Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum of Federal District Court, to impose a mandatory term of life imprisonment on Mr. Shahzad, who is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday. “The premeditated attempt to kill and maim scores of unsuspecting innocent men, women and children with a homemade bomb can only be described as utterly reprehensible,” the prosecutors said.

Shahzad said, he wanted to plead guilty “100 times,” citing American military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, drone strikes and other issues. “We will be attacking U.S.,” he added, “and I plead guilty to that.”

Mr. Shahzad later told the authorities that he believed that the attack on May 1 would kill at least 40 people, having monitored his target for three months through live video feeds on the Internet, to determine which areas drew the largest crowds and when they would be busiest, the prosecutors said.