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David H. Lim
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On April 26, 2012 the Chicago Tribune reported that the trial of suspected terrorist Adis Medunjanin came to a close on Thursday. According to the article, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Loonam argued in his closing argument that Medunjanin was "ready and willing to sacrifice himself to kill." Medunjanin is facing a life sentence on nine counts of terrorism related charges. During his closing argument, Medunjanin's attorney, Robert Gottlieb, argued that his client's only intent was to protect Muslisms. The jury is expected to deliberate on Monday. Continue reading "Bosnian-born U.S. citizen "ready" to kill in New York plot: prosecutor" Continue reading
On April 25, 2012 msnbc.com reported that the White House threatened to veto the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a House cybersecurity bill. According to the article, the Obama Administration believes that the bill, "[d]esigned to defend critical U.S. industries and corporate networks from electronic attacks by foreign governments, cybercriminals and terrorist groups" is inadequate in defending civil liberties. The House is expected to vote on the bill on Friday. Continue reading "White House threatens veto of CISPA cybersecurity bill" Click here for more information on H.R. 3523 Continue reading
On April 26, 2012 CNN's national security blog reported that a bulletin distributed by the FBI, Homeland Security, and Northern Command announced there is "no credible information" that terrorists will attempt an attack to "coincide with the upcoming one-year anniversary of the U.S. raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden." While the intelligence bulletin did not find evidence of a set terrorist plan, it did note that Al Qaeda and its affiliates "remain intent on conducting attacks in the Homeland." Continue reading "No credible threat of attack on anniversary of bin Laden's death" Continue reading
According to an April 20, 2012 article on CNN's national security blog, women are increasingly playing a more significant role on both sides of terrorism. According to Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the State Department, "[n]o fewer than 50 suicide attacks have been carried out by women in the past seven years." The article notes that women choose to become suicide bombers for a number of reasons, including the loss of a husband or brother or the adoption of an extremist ideology. Yet while female terrorists are on the rise, policy makers are adjusting to the notion that women... Continue reading
On April 19, 2012, CNN's national security blog reported that officials attribute the increasing number of drone attacks in Yemen to "[i]mproved intelligence about the leadership of the al Qaeda movement in that country." According to CNN sources, the U.S. maintains various modes of intelligence inside Yemen, including both manned fighter jets and UAVs. Furthermore, while current procedures for Yemen require that the target have a "direct interest" in attacking the U.S., the CIA is currently seeking permission to conduct "signature" strikes [strikes which can be based on "suspicious behavior"] within the country. Continue reading "Intel influx leads to increased... Continue reading
On April 24, 2012 CNN's national security blog reported that Mohammed Saeed Al-Umda, also known as Ghareeb Al-Taizi, was killed last week in Yemen. The kill was announced by the Yemeni Embassy in Washington. The embassy did not state whether Al-Umda was killed by a drone or even which which country carried out the attack. According to the embassy "Al-Umda provided logistical and financial support to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and commanded several military operations in Yemen." Continue reading "Top Yemeni militant killed in strike" Continue reading
On April 24, 2012 CNN's national security blog reported that the U.S. military is reworking its spying program to "better focus on threats off the battlefield." Accoring to Pentagon officials, the new approach would focus on human intelligence conducted by U.S. military spies and assets would be shared by the intelligence community. The new program, called the Defense Clandestine Service, would predominantly focus on threats from the Asia-Pacific region." Continue reading "http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/24/military-reworking-spy-operations/" Continue reading
On April 23, 2012 CBS.com reported that Bryant Neal Vinas, a convicted American al Qaeda operative, testified during the trial of suspected terrorist, Adis Medunjanin. Vinas, who pleaded guilty to three terrorism charges, is cooperating with the federal government in hopes of a reduced sentence. While Vinas never met Medunjanin, CBS reports that Vinas testified "[t]hat he had hoped to become a martyr while causing mass casualties and a 'big economic hit' on the United States." Throughout his testimony, Vinas explained how he traveled to a Pakistan and received training from al Qaeda. While Vinas had planned to bomb the... Continue reading
On the second day of his testimony, the New York Times reported that Najibullah Zazi, a government witness in its case against suspected terrorist Adis Medunjanin, continued to testify how he, Medunjanin and Zarein Ahmedzay planned to blow up the New York City subway. Zazi and Ahmedzay have pleaded guilty to their respective charges and are testifying against Medunjanin as part of a plea agreement. According to the article, Zazi testified that he was trained by al Qaida to make bombs and outlined the process for the jury. Zazi further testified that the plan to bomb New York City was... Continue reading
On April 17, 2012 the Washington Post reported that two men from Mali have admitted to engaging in drug dealing in support of al-Qaida and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Both groups are designated foreign terrorist organizations. According to the article, the two men, Harouna Toure and Idriss Abdelrahman, were "charged with agreeing to transport cocaine through West Africa." Both men face up to 15 years in prison. Continue reading "2 African men admit drug dealing in support of terrorists in federal court case in NY" Continue reading
The FBI announced on April 13, 2012 that Jubair Ahmad, a native of Pakistan and resident of Woodbridge, VA was sentenced to 144 months in prison and five years of post-release supervision, for providing material support to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), a designated foreign terrorist organization. Ahmad pleaded guilty to material support on December 2, 2011 after admitting that he engaged in a series of communications with Talha Saeed, the son of the LeT's leader. Ahmad prepared a propaganda vieo for LeT, which was uploaded onto YouTube. Continue reading "Virginia Man Sentenced to 144 Months for Providing Material Support to Terrorist Organization" Continue reading
On April 12, 2012 the New York Times reported that Agron Hasbajrami, an Albanian citizen who had been residing in Brooklyn since 2008, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to terrorists. Hasbajrami was "accused of sending more than $1,000 to a contact in Pakistan to finance terrorist activities before deciding to head overseas to become a member of a radical Islamist group." Hasbajrami will be sentenced on September 14 and faces up to 15 years in prison. He will be deported at the completion of his sentence. Continue reading "In Brooklyn, a Guilty Plea to... Continue reading
An April 13, 2012 article in the Washington Post examined the federal government's use of informants in investigating and arresting suspected terrorists. The article referenced a study conducted by the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, which noted that since 2001, informants were used in 138 "terrorism or national security" cases, 51 of which occured in the last three years. Specifically, the Washington Post examined the role of Shahed Hussain, an informant who has worked with the FBI for the past decade. Hussain recently worked with the FBI during the investigation of Khalifa Ali al-Akili, a suspected terrorist... Continue reading
On the second day of suspected terrorist Adis Medunjanin's trial, the New York Times reported that the government's second witness, Najibullah Zazi testified. Zazi and the government's first witness, Zarein Ahmedzay, pleaded guilty to their roles in a plot to bomb New York City. They are testifying for the government as part of a plea bargain. While much of Zazi's testimony mirrored Ahmedzay's estimony, Zazi testified that he and the two others traveled to Pakistan with the intent to "do jihad" against American soldiers in Afghanistan. But according to the New York Times, Zazi "added details about their radicalization, training... Continue reading
On April 16, 2012, WSJ.com reported on the first day of terror suspect, Adis Medunjanin's trial. Medunjanin is on trial for an attempted bombing of New York City's subways before they were thwarted in 2009. He is charged with "conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to commit an act of terrorism, conspiring to commit murder abroad and conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization." According to the article, Medunjanin and two others traveled to Pakistan to receive training in use of weapons and explosives. The WSJ reports that Medunjanin is the only one of the... Continue reading
On April 12, 2012 the Washington Post reported that Pakistan's Parliament passed a resolution demanding that the U.S. end its drone campaign inside Pakistan. According to the Washington Post, the resolution serves as the first instance that "Pakistan's civilian leadership has made a serious effort to set foreign policy, long the military's domain." While the resolution demanded an end to the drone campaign, it "tactily allowed the passage of oil, food and other nonlethal goods across the country's borders to supply NATO troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan." The provision reverses the government's previous position, which "barred NATO convoys for... Continue reading
On April 12, 2012 the Boston Herald reported that convicted terrorist supporter, Tarek Mehanna, was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison and an additional seven years of supervision after he is released. Mehanna was convicted last year of conspiring to kill in a foreign country, supporting terrorists, and lying to investigators. Continue reading "Sudbury terror sympathizer Mehanna sentenced to 17 years" Continue reading
On April 10, 2012 CNN's national security blog reported that the military tribunals for alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammad and four other defendants will commence on May 5th of this year. According to the article, Army Colonel James Pohl, the chief judge for the Guantanamo military commission will preside over all five trials. According to the Defense Department, the five men are charged with the "planning and execution of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., resulting in the killing of 2,976 people." All five defendants face the death penalty. Continue reading... Continue reading
On April 10, 2012 CNN reported that the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that five terror suspects may be extradited to the U.S. The defendants had previously argued that they should not be extradited because they would be "poorly treated." According to the article, one case still remains pending before the court. One of the five individuals, Mustafa Kamal Mustafa (also known as Abu Hamza) is wanted in the United States on 11 separate charges, including conspiracy to kidnap and creating a terrorist training camp in Oregon. The court's ruling will not be final for another three months,... Continue reading
On April 6, 2012 CNN's national security blog reported that "Antonio Martinez, a Muslim convert also known as Muhammad Hussain" was sentenced to 25 years in prison for "plotting to blow up a military recruiting station." According to federal authorities, the FBI arrested Martinez in 2010 as a result of an undercover investigation. Continue reading "Maryland man sentenced to 25 years for plot to bomb military recruiting center" Continue reading
According to an April 5, 2012 article on CNN's national security blog, terrorists may create a "Facebook-like site for jihadists." According to SITE Intel Group, an organization that monitors jihadist activities online, the proposal has surfaced on the Ansar al-Mujahideen Arabic forum as "various jihadi sites have mysteriously gone dark." Continue reading "A social network site for jihadists?" Continue reading
According to an April 5, 2012 article on CNN's national security blog, the Pakistani government is requesting that the U.S. government provide evidence linking Hafiz Mohammad Saeed to terrorism. On April 2, 2012, the U.S. State Department announced that it was offering up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest of Saeed. CNN reports that the situation "comes at a time when the U.S. - Pakistan relations are strained." Saeed, who has publicly defended against any allegation of terrorist activities, stated in recent days that the Pakistani Supreme Court had cleared him and his organization of wrongdoing in... Continue reading
On April 4, 2012, the Los Angeles Time featured an opinion piece by Karla Cunningham of the RAND Corporation which analyzed the increase in female terrorists. According to Cunningham, there has been an increase in the number of female jihadists in recent years. This marks a sharp contrast from 2008, when a senior leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman Zawahiri, prohibited female bombers in the group. Cunningham contributes the growing presence of female terrorists to the deaths of male jihadists, their ability to hide bombs, and the fact that they draw fewer suspicions. Cunningham additionally notes that the U.S. has also... Continue reading
On April 3, 2012 WSJ.com featured an opinion piece by Con Coughlin which examined al-Qaeda's current strategies. Coughlin writes that over the past decade, approximately "two-thirds of al-Qaeda's original leadership have been killed or captured." Consequently, the result has shifted al-Qaeda's focus from large-scale attacks such as the 9/11 attack, to developing terrorists who will "use any means at their disposal to cause the maximum number of casualties, whether through guns, knives or suicide bombs." Coughlin reports that these "Nike terrorists" are influenced by Anwar al-Awlaki, whose "perfect command of English made him a highly effective al-Qaeda propagandist." Despite suffering... Continue reading
On April 5, 2012 CNN reported that a federal judge sentenced Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout to 25 years in prison. Bout, who is often called "the merchant of death," was convicted last year on "four counts of conspiracy to kill Americans, acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles and provide material support to a terrorist organization." Continue reading "Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout handed 25-year federal sentence" Continue reading