September 25, 2009
DENVER - An Afghan immigrant wanted to carry out a massive New York City terror attack involving hydrogen peroxide bombs on commuter trains to coincide with the Sept. 11 anniversary before federal authorities foiled the plan, a U.S. prosecutor said Friday.
U.S. prosecutor Tim Neff told a federal judge in Denver that Najibullah Zazi "was intent on being in New York on 9/11" for a possible terror attack.
"The defendant was in the throes of making a bomb and attempting to perfect his formulation," Neff said. He called the evidence a "chilling, disturbing sequence of events."Neff ordered Zazi, a 24-year-old Afghan-born coffee cart owner in New York and Denver airport shuttle driver, transferred to New York City to face charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. It wasn’t immediately known when the U.S. Marshals Service would fly Zazi to New York.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer ordered Najibullah Zazi held without bail pending his transfer to New York, where a federal grand jury indicted him on the terror charges, which carry a possible life sentence upon conviction.
The U.S. indictment says Zazi received explosives training from al-Qaida and bought large quantities of hydrogen peroxide and nail-polish remover at beauty supply stores to make bombs, possibly to detonate on New York City commuter trains.
Zazi has denied any involvement with terror.
Shaffer earlier dismissed a charge accusing Zazi of lying to federal authorities. Zazi was arrested Saturday on that charge — considered a holding charge until the federal indictment was handed down on Thursday.
Prosecutors told the judge Zazi posed a significant risk to the public and had few ties to the Colorado community, making him a flight risk.
Investigators have fanned out across the Denver area and New York City, going to beauty shops, home improvement stores and neighborhoods Zazi frequented looking for possible accomplices, while the government issued national terrorism warnings for sports complexes, hotels and transit systems.
A law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday that Zazi had associates in New York who were in on the plot. Court papers say that during the summer, Zazi and three unidentified associates bought "unusually large quantities" of hydrogen peroxide and acetone — a flammable solvent found in nail-polish remover — from beauty supply stores in the Denver area, products with names like Ion Sensitive Scalp Developer and Clairoxide.
Zazi searched a Queens home improvement store Web site for another ingredient needed to make a compound called TATP (Triacetone Triperoxide), the explosives used in the London bombings that killed over 50 people, prosecutors said.
Zazi has publicly denied being a terrorist since his arrest. He left a Denver court Thursday without commenting.
The government motion seeking to deny bail laid out a chronology of the alleged scheme, which prosecutors said had been in the works for over a year.
Zazi — a legal U.S. resident who immigrated in 1999 — began plotting as early as August 2008 to "use one or more weapons of mass destruction," when he "and others" traveled from Newark, N.J., to receive explosives training in Pakistan, prosecutors said.
Within days of returning from Pakistan in early 2009, he moved to the Denver suburb of Aurora, where he used a computer to research homemade bomb ingredients and to look up beauty supply stores where he could buy them, according to prosecutors.
A second law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation said associates of Zazi visited Colorado from New York to help him buy the chemicals, using stolen credit cards to make the purchases before returning to New York.
Security video and receipts show that some of the purchases were made near a Colorado hotel, according to court papers. On Sept. 6 and 7, Zazi checked into a suite at the hotel with a kitchen and a stove, the papers say, and tried to contact an unidentified associate "seeking to correct mixtures of ingredients to make explosives."
"Zazi repeatedly emphasized in the communications that he needed the answers right away," the papers said. "Each communication" was "more urgent than the last."FBI explosives testing later found residue in the vent above the stove, authorities said.
On Sept. 8, court papers say, Zazi searched the Internet for home improvement stores in Queens before driving a rental car for a two-day trip to the city. The visit triggered a series of searches in Denver and New York City over the past two weeks, and netted backpacks, cell phones and a scale at a home where Zazi spent the night.
A law enforcement official said Thursday that authorities had been especially worried about Zazi’s Sept. 10 visit to the city because it coincided with a visit by President Barack Obama, and considered arresting him right away. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation continues.
Beauty supply store employees in New York and the Denver suburbs said authorities had been there recently asking whether anyone had come in buying a lot of hydrogen peroxide or acetone.
At Beauty Supply Warehouse in suburban Denver, Paul Phillips said a co-worker told investigators he had sold chemicals to Zazi. Company president Karan Hoss said the firm turned over security video of a man matching Zazi’s description to the FBI. A check of sales found that someone bought a dozen 32-ounce bottles of a hydrogen peroxide product in July. More was purchased in late August, Hoss said.
Zazi’s father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, and a New York City imam, Ahmad Wais Afzali, also appeared in court Thursday on charges they lied to investigators. Mohammed Zazi, 53, was ordered freed under court supervision in Denver until an Oct. 9 hearing. Afzali, who was accused of tipping off the Zazis to the federal probe against them in a tapped telephone call, was released in New York on $1.5 million bail.
Afzali’s attorney, Ron Kuby, denied his client knew anything about a plot.
"Obviously, the government would not be consenting to bail if it thought he was involved in a terrorism conspiracy," he said.
September 5, 2009
Earlier this year, quite by happenstance, I read a book written by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter James B. Stewart.
"Heart of a Soldier" tells the story of two men who, well before it happened, foretold not only of the terrorist attack of 9/11 but also the 1993 bombing in the World Trade Center parking garage that preceded it.
One of the men, Rick Rescorla, was chief of security for Morgan Stanley with an office in the World Trade Center. He died on 9/11, but not before he shepherded all but six of Morgan Stanley's 2,700 employees to safety because of a well-prepared and well-executed evacuation plan. He'd have made it out, too, had he not gone back in the building looking for those six.
The other man, Daniel J. Hill, is still alive.
With another Sept. 11 approaching I wanted to talk to The Man Who Predicted 9/11.
Although the primary focus in Stewart's book is on Rescorla — a bona fide hero for his actions on 9/11 — I found Hill to be an even more fascinating character.
- It was Hill who converted to Islam as a young U.S. Army paratrooper stationed in Beirut in 1958.
- It was Hill who learned fluent Arabic.
- It was Hill who joined the Mujahedeen Freedom Fighters in Afghanistan and fought the Soviet invasion there in the 1980s.
- It was Hill who personally met Osama bin Laden.
- It was Hill who used information from Islamic extremists to warn Rescorla that terrorists would use the underground parking garage for a car bomb attack on the World Trade Center.
- It was Hill who asked the U.S. government to assist him in an assassination attempt on bin Laden in 1998 (the request was rejected).
- And it was Hill who warned the FBI just weeks before Sept. 11, 2001, that his Mideast contacts told him "something big" was about to happen in the United States, in New York, Washington, D.C., or Philadelphia — maybe all three.
"Oh, that blew over pretty fast," he said. "Most of the people even in my hometown don't know any of that stuff."He didn't want to talk about the past. He wanted to talk about the future.
The very near future.
The man who predicted 9/11 is worried that its sequel is imminent.
"Muslims that I talk to say things like, 'America thinks they're safe now. They've forgotten about 9/11. But watch, Daniel. Stay near your TV. It's going to be bigger than 9/11,' " he said.Hill said the next terrorist attack will involve suitcase nuclear bombs that will be detonated in small, low-flying two-seater private airplanes manned by men hanging onto the belief that, like the 9/11 hijackers, they are about to die as martyrs and enter paradise.
He is not alone in suggesting such a scenario. A 2007 book, "The Day of Islam," spells out the details, as do any number of Internet sites, about a plot called "American Hiroshima."
The nukes, he said, will be detonated over New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Miami, Houston, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
I asked Hill, "Why now?"
"Eight years from 1993 to 2001, eight years from that 9/11 to this 9/11," he said. "Symbolism. They're big on symbolism."Eight years ago, Hill predicted the attack would come on Oct. 16 — almost in the middle of that year's Ramadan (the timing of Ramadan varies from year to year). He was about a month off.
"Ramadan started two weeks ago Saturday," he said, referring to the Muslim holy month of fasting. "It always hits around Ramadan."
"I don't know the second, hour or day. I just know they have the means, will, motivation and desire to do it," he said, noting that it's believed that years ago the suitcase nukes, acquired from former USSR operatives, were smuggled into America across the Mexican border.Hill said he has warned the FBI, the CIA and others in government. For the past two years, he's sent out proposals for a book on the subject. All he's gotten back are rejections.
"To most people, I am a deviant personality," he said.But there's no arguing his credentials.
"I'm a Muslim," he says. "I'm a special ops expert, I'm a terrorist and I've lived among Muslims. I fought the Russians with the same guys we're now fighting in Afghanistan. I met Osama. I volunteered to assassinate him. I know (the enemy) so well because I've worked, slept and prayed alongside them for years. I've become one of them. I know their nature, I know their culture, I know how they think. I can quote the Koran like a Southern Baptist minister can quote the New Testament. I know these are people who do not tire, who do not quit. There are odds this won't happen, but they aren't big odds."Lee Benson's column runs Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I hope you're wrong," I told him.
"Yeah. I hope so, too," he said.
Guest List for White House Ramadan Reception
Here is who attended President Obama's "iftar" dinner on September 1, 2009, plus what the president actually said.
September 10, 2009
The FBI since the September 11 attacks has forged ties with a number of Muslim groups linked to a secretive organization that calls for the methodical takeover of the United States.
Human Events has obtained an eight-page memo written by Washington Field Office officials which celebrates the way the FBI, whose mission is law enforcement, has created these "partnerships."
Critics, some within the FBI, say the bureau is increasing the statue of groups whose long-term ideological goal is to bring Islamic law to America through jihad, or struggle.
A former agent told Human Events the bureau is dealing with the groups that maintain an under-the-radar alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood. The ultra-secretive Muslim Brotherhood, with chapters worldwide, is the glue for a network of Islamic groups.
"The FBI leadership is relying on the Muslim leaders, who are known Muslim Brotherhood, to give them direction on how to go after the enemy in the community," the ex-agent said. "These are the very people who have advocated overthrowing the American government."The former agent pointed to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood manifesto ("An Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America") discovered in 2004 in an FBI raid on a suspected Islamic extremist, Ismael Selim Elbarasse.
The document first came to light in 2007, when Justice Department prosecutors filed it in the case against the Holy Land Foundation, a Palestinian Hamas front that funneled millions of dollars to the outlaw terrorist group.
Written by a group of Brotherhood members in 1991, the paper says the group has begun "A new stage of Islamic activism stages in this continent." It said the goals were approved four years earlier at secret conferences of Muslims in this country.
One section states it goal of taking over the United States:
"Understanding the role of the Muslim Brother in North America: The process of settlement is a "Civilization-Jihadist Process" with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."Human Events examined the Islamic groups the FBI has befriended, presented with awards, invited to agent conferences and shared the speakers platform -- all under the guise of outreach to the Islamic community.
"All those documents in Elbarasse's home were phenomenally important because for the first time it revealed the Muslim Brotherhood's existence," said Steve Emerson, who runs the Investigative Project on Terrorism and exposes radical Islam. "They disclosed the whole structure of the Muslim Brotherhood, which up until that point had not been known. It showed their agenda. That discovery was absolutely the greatest intelligence yield in 40 years."
The most prevalent is the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a prominent Brotherhood member, according to Justice Department documents. The department named ISNA among scores of unindicted co-conspirators in the successful prosecution of Holy Land and its operatives.
The FBI has given awards to ISNA officials. It placed ads in its monthly publication asking Muslims to apply to become agents. "Today's FBI. It's for you," the ad says.Some FBI agents are disturbed at his outreach. They point, for example, to a panel discussion last year at Yale.
ISNA ran an ad that says: "We congratulate the FBI on 100 years of service to our country. Here's to continuing a shared partnership in securing the values, rights and freedoms we all hold dear as Americans." There is no endorsement of the FBI's counter-terrorism role.
On the panel was Louay Safi, an Islamic scholar and supporter of President Obama. Joining him that day was Valerie Caproni, the FBI's top lawyer who weighs in on whether the bureau should investigate suspected extremists. The discussion was called, "Behind the Blindfold of Justice: Security, Individual Rights, & Minority Communities After 9/11."In a 2003 publication, "Peace and the Limits of War," Safi wrote:
Safi is a Syrian-born author who advocates Muslim American rights through his directorship of ISNA's Leadership Development Center. He advocates direct talks between Washington and Iran's leaders. He has spoken out against various law enforcement raids on Islamic centers.
"The war against the apostates [non-believers of Islam] is carried out not to force them to accept Islam, but to enforce the Islamic law and maintain order."At ISNA's annual convention in Washington in July, one speaker, Imam Warith Deen Umar, criticized Obama for having two Jewish people -- Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod -- in the White House. "Why do this small number of people have control of the world?" he said, according to a IPT transcript. He said the Holocast was punishment for Jews "because they were serially disobedient to Allah."
He also wrote, "It is up to the Muslim leadership to assess the situation and weigh the circumstances as well as the capacity of the Muslim community before deciding the appropriate type of jihad. At one stage, Muslims may find that jihad, through persuasion or peaceful resistance, is the best and most effective method to achieve just peace."
Emerson's group collected literature at the convention approved for distribution by ISNA.
It said the pamphlets and books featured "numerous attempts to portray U.S. prosecution of terrorists and terror supporters as anti-Muslim bigotry; dramatic revisionist history that denied attacks by Arab nations and Palestinian terrorists against Israel; anti-Semitic tracts and hyperbolic rants about a genocide and holocaust of Palestinians."Asked if the FBI should sever ties with ISNA, Emerson said:
"ISNA is an unindicted co-conspirator. It's a Muslim Brotherhood group. I think in terms of legitimacy there should be certain expectations of what the group says publicly. If it continues to espouse jihad and anti-Semitism, I think it nullifies it right to have the FBI recognize it."But the FBI, according to the internal memo obtained by Human Events, actually celebrates these ties.
"This relationship is designed to share cultural, linguistic and contextual expertise between the FBI and community members for the greater protection of our country and our civil liberties," the memo states. It adds, "The collaboration between the Arab, Muslim and Sikh Advisory Council and the FBI Washington Field Office has developed into a meaningful relationship of mutual trust and understanding and has provided significant progress regarding local religious centers."Another section states, "It is the mission of the FBI to balance political freedoms with security."
When read this statement, the former agent told Human Events, "No it is not."
The memo specifically lauds ISNA's vice president, Imam Mohammed Majid.
"Imam Majid has represented the voice of moderate Muslims in the DC/Northern Virginia community and has stepped forward to denounce acts of hate and terrorism," the FBI memo says.The FBI, under pressure from agents in the field, did sever ties with one Holy Land co-conspirator and Brotherhood Member -- the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR. The FBI used CAIR representatives to teach its agents about Islam.
"It was crazy all these years with CAIR, when CAIR was telling the worst horrible stories about the FBI and was telling people not to cooperate with the FBI," Emerson said.John Miller, the FBI's chief spokesman, provided this statement to Human Events:
"In General, the FBI conducts outreach with a number of respected groups and leaders within the Arab-American and Muslim-American communities. While we are willing to talk to many groups, when it comes to any type of formal relationship or partnership, there is a process for vetting."Mr. Scarborough is a national security writer who has written books on Donald Rumsfeld and the CIA, including the New York Times bestseller "Rumsfeld's War."
Concerning CAIR, Miller said, "As a result of evidence gathered by the FBI and presented during the Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas, the FBI suspended all formal contacts with CAIR. Determining whether CAIR can be an appropriate liaison contact depends on addressing questions and issues raised in the trial about CAIR’s leadership . That does not affect the ability of CAIR or any member of CAIR to report any crime, suspicious activity or violation of civil rights to the FBI."
September 3, 2009
On September 25, Dar ul Islam, a mosque in Elizabeth, N.J., is slating a massive Friday "jummah" prayer event at the west front of the U.S. Capitol (on the very site that President Obama gave his inauguration speech not so long ago).
This is not a joke. Click on this site and the strains of the sonorous Islamic call to prayer (which will be heard at the Capitol, I am guessing), will flow from your computer's loudspeakers. The mid-day summons to Allah will echo amongst Washington's most august monuments -- the site says "for the sole purpose of prayer." And "the peace, beauty and solidarity of Islam will shine through the America's capital."
Solidarity? America's Muslims have such on-and-off mosque attendance statistics, it's impossible to get a realistic count of how many of them there are in this country. Methinks a lot of other religious groups aren't going to be happy about this jummah rally. "A Day of Islamic Unity," the event is called. Well, I guess if Louis Farrakhan could preach from the same spot during the Million Man March nearly 14 years ago, so can these folks. They're talking about reserving 500 buses and talking about 50,000 attendees, so this could be one big clump of folks who head for lunch at Union Station afterward.
The Star-Ledger in Newark came out with the story about all this on Thursday. The idea, according to organizers, is to celebrate Muslims already being an integral part of American society.
Well, if you can have giant menorahs on the White House lawn each December, you can have Muslims praying about one-quarter mile to the north. So if Islamic muezzins will chant out the "adhan," the call to worship, to folks kneeling on prayer rugs on the west front lawn, does that make the Capitol dome a minaret?
Nearly 3,000 Gather at the Capitol for Muslim Prayer
What I Saw at the (Muslim Prayer) Revolution
Visitors to Washington D.C. today got to hear what residents in Hamtramck and Dearborn, Michigan, as well as areas of London, Amsterdam and other Western cities already endure five times a day: The sound of amplified Muslim prayers lifted to Allah.
Homeland Security chief warns of threat from al-Qaeda sympathizers in U.S.
Obama cites US systemic and human failure on Detroit plane attack
Failed airliner attack was tardy wake-up call for US anti-terror agencies
CIA was tracking underwear bomber since August '09
UK plane bomber intelligence was passed to US
Gordon Brown: full body scanners likely to be introduced following Christmas bomb scare
Gordon Brown promises full body scanners at UK airports
Most U.S.-Bound International Air Travelers Said to Get Expanded Screening
Military-Industrial Complex Set to Make a Killing from Body Scanners
Chertoff Linked to Body Scanner Manufacturer
Richard Clarke: Detroit Patsy Incident is What We Need to "Get Over" Privacy Fears
Canadian Press : Naked airport scanners to be installed in 11 airports within two months
EU nations divided on use of airport body scanners
Security officials ignore Flight 253 witness
Obama: We Knew Enough to Stop Terror Attack
NYC Terror Plot Suspect Charged with Conspiracy to Detonate Bombs
Two more arrested in suspected New York bomb plot
Two arrested over New York City 'bomb plot'
Christmas incident was ‘’screw up" – Obama said
‘Palpable level of angst’ over terror threat
Terrorist attack in Britain is 'highly likely'
Report: Al-Qaeda aims to hit U.S. with WMDs
Red Alert: Intelligence Chiefs “Certain” Their Bosses Will Stage Terror Attack Soon
Judge Napolitano on The Alex Jones Show: False Flag Event To Save Obama’s Presidency
Senators Warned of Terror Attack on U.S. by July
Warning Signs of Impending Olympic Attack
‘Credible But Not Specific’ Threat of New Terrorist Attack
Ireland’s police chief warns of terror threat to mainland Britain
France on high alert as officials warn of possible terrorist attacks
New terror threat warnings for France, security increased
UK government says cyber attacks and terrorism facing UK
‘Credible But Not Specific’ Threat of New Terrorist Attack
NYPD Holds Drill To Prep For Mumbai Style Attack
Terror threat to restaurants as Al Qaeda calls for attacks on government workers in D.C.
Barack Obama accused of exaggerating terror threat for political gain
US terrorism alert dismissed as Obama politicking
Updated 10/18/10 (Newest Additions at End of List)