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Tag: al Qaeda

FBI: Pensacola Gunman Who Killed 3 Sailors Planned Attack with Al Qaeda

Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Saudi Air Force officer who killed three sailors at a military base in Florida in December 2019 worked with Al Qaeda to plan the attack, federal authorities said.

The connection was made after FBI technicians finally gained access to a cell phone that Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani tried to destroy, Attorney General William Barr said at a news conference, according to a New York Times report.

The FBI and Justice Department criticized Apple for refusing to unlock the gunman’s phone.

Authorities said the gunman, a Saudi Air Force cadet training with the American military in Pensacola, communicated with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to plan the attack, which injured eight others.

Apple said it helped the FBI and gave investigators access to the gunman’s online storage accounts.

“The false claims made about our company are an excuse to weaken encryption and other security measures that protect millions of users and our national security,” Apple said in a statement.

FBI Agent: Terrorists Working to Take Down America’s 911 Emergency Response System

Aristedes Mahairas (FBI photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There’s an infinite number of scary scenarios involving terrorists.

Here’s one: The FBI is warning that terrorists are working to acquire the cyber skills to carry out catastrophic attacks that could involve taking down America’s 911 emergency response system, Business Insider reports.

Aristedes Mahairas, a special agent in charge of the New York FBI’s Special Operations/Cyber Division, tells Business Insider terror groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda are plotting attacks that could wipe out online networks to maximize casualties.

“The concern is that the cyber terrorists will one day be able to simultaneously execute an attack in the virtual world and in the physical world,” Mahairas tells the publication.

FBI Interviews Muslims Following Warning of Possible Terrorism Attack on Eve of Election

fbi logo newBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fears that al-Qaeda may be planning attacks the day before the U.S. election have prompted the FBI to question Muslims in several states, a Muslim community leader told the Dallas Morning News. 

The North Texas Council on American-Islamic Relations said it has received repots that FBI agents were questioning Muslims from Kansas, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma.

“It was made apparent to us that the FBI has a list of a couple hundred people they are wanting to visit and ask a series of eight generic questions intended to drum up information about the attacks,” Alia Salem, the group’s director, said.

The FBI in Dallas declined to comment.

On Friday, intelligence officials said al-Qaeda may be planning attacks on the eve of the election.

“The FBI and [Department of Homeland Security], working with our federal, state and local counterparts, share and assess intelligence on a daily basis and will continue to work closely with law enforcement and intelligence community partners to identify and disrupt any potential threat to public safety,” the unnamed source told CBS News.

FBI Helped Facilitate Ransom Exchange Between Americans, al Qaeda

 
By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI helped facilitate ransom payments to al Qaeda from the family of Warren Weinstein, an American who was kidnapped at gunpoint and held hostage for four years before being killed in a U.S. drone strike, CNN reports.

“Over the three and a half year period of Warren’s captivity, the family made every effort to engage with those holding him or those with the power to find and rescue him,” a spokesman for the family said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to source in a Wall Street Journal report, the agency “vetted a Pakistani middleman used by the family to transport the money and provided other intelligence to enable an exchange.”

Problem was, the money likely went into the wrong hands, the family said.

Ooops!! Feds Screws Up; Didn’t Have Court Stenographer in Brooklyn Courtroom During Verdict of Convicted al Qaeda Terrorist

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A source tells The New York Daily News:

“I have never heard anything like this happening before — ever.”

John Marzulli of the Daily News writes that the court may have to be a do-over of the verdict in the federal Brooklyn trial of convicted Al Qaeda terrorist Abid Naseer.

Apparently the problem was there was no stenographer in the courtroom when the guilty verdict was read Wednesday for Naseer on three counts of conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization and to build a bomb to attack a shopping center in Manchester, England.

About 100 people were in the courtroom at the time including federal agents, lawyers and reporters.

As a result of the oversight, a second verdict might be necessary, The Daily News reports.

Possibilities include getting affidavits from courtroom witnesses or reassembling the jury and having the verdict read again.

 

Weekend Series on Crime: al Qaeda Recruiting Women

FBI Director James B. Comey Steadfast in Keeping Terrorism As Top Concern for Bureau

FBI photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When James B. Comey became the FBI’s new director last year, many observers believed he’d usher in a new era at the bureau by shifting some of the focus away from terrorism.

But the New York Times reports that Comey, a former Justice Department prosecutor who focused on gun cases, appears to have underestimated the threat still posed by terrorism.

“I didn’t have anywhere near the appreciation I got after I came into this job just how virulent those affiliates had become,” Mr. Comey said, referring to offshoots of Al Qaeda in Africa and in the Middle East during an interview with the Times at the J. Edgar Hoover Building. “There are both many more than I appreciated, and they are stronger than I appreciated.”

Comey said he therefore will keep terrorism as the main focus of the FBI.

President Obama appeared to indicate last year that the U.S. would move past terrorism soon and that “we have to recognize that the scale of the threat resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

bin Laden’s Son-in-Law Convicted of Conspiracy to Kill Americans

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sulaiman Abu Ghayth, the son-in-law of Usama bin Laden, and a senior member of al Qaeda, was convicted Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan on three counts, including conspiracy to kill Americans.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement: “This verdict is a major milestone in the government’s unrelenting efforts to pursue justice against those involved with the September 11 attacks. I can imagine no more fitting outcome, and no stronger message to those who would harm our nation and its people: that no amount of distance or time can weaken America’s resolve to pursue, capture, and hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

“I want to especially note that this verdict has proven that proceedings such as these can safely occur in the city I am proud to call home, as in other locations across our great nation. It was appropriate that this defendant, who publicly rejoiced over the attacks on the World Trade Center, faced trial in the shadow of where those buildings once stood.

“We never doubted the ability of our Article III court system to administer justice swiftly in this case, as it has in hundreds of other cases involving terrorism defendants. It would be a good thing for the country if this case has the result of putting that political debate to rest. This outcome vindicates the government’s approach to securing convictions against not only this particular defendant, but also other senior leaders of al Qaeda.