Omar bin Laden, son of the infamous al-Qaeda leader Osama bin-Laden, has said that he wishes to meet with Pope Benedict XVI and visit the Vatican. Omar, who considers himself an ambassador for peace, has been quoted in recent interviews that a truce between the West and al-Qaeda is possible. On a program called ‘Nothing Personal’ on Italian TV network LA7, Omar said I would very much like to meet the Pope in St. Peter’s, but I have been told that it is not easy.”
Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Saleh, will ask Madrid to release an Al-Jazeera journalist jailed for seven years for collaborating with Al-Qaeda. A Spanish court imprisoned al-Jazeera reporter Tayssir Alluni in 2005 after being found guilty of acting as a financial courier to Al-Qaeda while in Afghanistan. Alluni, who is a Spanish national of Syrian origin, is known for his interview with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan just weeks after the September 11th, 2001 attacks in the United States.
An Islamist terror cell dismantled in January in Barcelona has chosen the city’s subway system as a target for a series of suicide bombings in order to maximize the carnage and loss of life, according to the testimony from a protected witness. If we attack the metro (subway), the emergency services cannot get there one of the recently arrested men said. According to a witness, who police are calling F-1 in order to protect his identity, the plan for the attacks came from Baitullah Mehsud, a Taliban leader in Pakistan’s Waziristan region. Mehsud is believed to be close to Osama bin Laden and has been blamed by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December of 2007.
A BBC documentary shown last night came under attack from one of India’s largest Islamic groups for linking their movement to Osama bin Laden and “extremist” Muslim groups around the world. Randeep Ramesh reports.
When Osama bin Laden issued his videotaped message to the American people last month, a young jihad enthusiast went online to help spread the word. America needs to listen to Shaykh Usaamah very carefully and take his message with great seriousness, he wrote on his blog. America is known to be a people of arrogance. Unlike Mr. bin Laden, the blogger was not operating from a remote location. It turns out he is a 21-year-old American named Samir Khan who produces his blog from his parents’ home in North Carolina, where he serves as a kind of Western relay station for the multimedia productions of violent Islamic groups.
Six Muslim men from New Jersey and Philadelphia are charged with plotting to attack Fort Dix with automatic weapons and possible rocket-propelled grenades; taped conversations show plan was to kill as many soldiers as possible; arrests follow 15-month investigation during which Federal Bureau of Investigation and two informers taped group training with automatic weapons, conducting surveillance of military bases in Northeast, watching videos of Osama bin Laden and and trying to buy AK-47 assault rifles; authorities describe suspects as Islamic extremists and say they represent newest breed of threat: loosely organized domestic militants unconnected to–but inspired by–Al Qaeda or other international terror groups; complaint describes effort that was alternately ambitious and clumsy, with men eager to sacrifice their lives in name of Allah; suspects include ethnic Albanian brothers Dritan, Eljvir and Shain Duka, whose immigration path is not known, but who may have fled after US-led NATO air attacks against Yugoslav forces in Kosovo; coordinator of plot is Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, Jordanian-born US citizen; other suspects include Agron Abdullahu, born in former Yugoslavia, and Serdar Tatar, legal resident of US born in Turkey; it is unclear when attack was to take place, because in taped conversation suspects say there were waiting for fatwa.
On the July 14 edition of the Christian Broadcasting Network’s The 700 Club, host Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition of America, blurred the distinction between radical Islamists and the Muslim community at large, claiming that Islam instructs its followers to commit acts of terrorism: ROBERTSON: Don’t you feel it rather interesting that every time you have a story about terrorism, it is linked to Muslim extremists? You don’t hear somebody, “Christian extremist killing film producers, Christian extremists blowing up trains.” It just doesn’t happen. But it’s Muslim extremists and, ladies and gentlemen, Islam, at least at its core, teaches violence. It’s there in the Quran in clear, bold statements. Well over 100 verses dealing with violence against infidels, and that is what they’re taught. They’re also taught to sacrifice themselves in jihad against infidels to gain paradise. It is part of the teaching of that faith. And I know people so reluctant to say, “Lets not identify those terrorists with these wonderful people.” Well, yes, they may be wonderful people, but this is what that faith teaches, and those who believe it sincerely in their hearts are those that think Osama bin Laden is their great hero. And I think we need to recognize that. Political correctness says that you’re not supposed to recognize this, but it just happens to be the truth. Every story, you see it over and over again, Muslim extremists blew up trains, Muslim extremists assassinated film producers. Muslim extremists blew up a crowded shopping center in Netanya [Israel]. Muslim extremists, it’s always Muslims, and that’s where it comes from, it’s the breeding ground. And then it’s radical clerics who incite this kind of violence, and it’s time we recognize it and begin to deal with it.