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December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’

Al Qaeda Group Behind Foiled Suicide Bombing at Kansas Airport

Friday, December 13th, 2013

A 58 year old man was arrested early Friday morning at the Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kansas. The suspect, Terry Lee Loewen, believed he was about to die as a suicide bomber. He planned to detonate what he believed were live explosives in the car he was driving at the Wichita airport. He was doing this in order to “assist a foreign terrorist organization,” as charged in the criminal complaint filed against him, according to U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom and Special Agent in Charge Michael Kaste of the FBI office in Kansas City.

Loewen worked at the airport as an avionics technician.  He was arrested without incident at approximately 5:40 a.m. Kansas time, as he was about to enter the tarmac Friday morning, using his employee access card. At the time of his arrest, Loewen believed he was going to detonate explosives in his car.  He planned to die “as a martyr” in the explosion.

The explosives in Loewen’s car, however, were “inert.”

During the six months when Loewen was under surveillance, the suspect studied maps and photographs of the airport.  He also researched flight schedules in an attempt to ensure that his planned bombing would inflict harm to the greatest number of passengers.

U.S. Attorney Grissom read the charges filed Friday morning against Loewen at a mid-day press conference in Wichita.  Terry Lee Loewen was charged with one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, one count of attempting to damage property with an explosion, and one count of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

According to several reports, the foreign terrorist organization which Loewen was assisting is Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). AQAP is based in Yemen.

In FBI-recorded conversations, Loewen said,

I have been studying subjects like jihad, martyrdom operations and Sharia law. I don’t understand how you can read the Qu’ran and the Sunnah of the Prophet and not understand that jihad and the implementation of Sharia is absolutely demanded of all the Muslim Ummah.

AQAP is a Sunni Muslim terrorist group. Its former leader, Anwar Al-Awlaki, a US-Yemini national, was killed in September, 2011. Loewen mentioned both Awlaki and Osama bin Laden as inspirations for him.

AQAP is responsible for the online jihadist magazine Inspire, which Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects, is believed to have followed.

Al-Qaeda Leaders Vow to Release all AQ Prisoners, Including at Gitmo

Monday, August 12th, 2013

One of the most wanted men on the planet, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, who heads the feared Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terrorist organization, released a statement assuring his imprisoned comrades that they would soon be released.

“The imprisonment will not last and the chains will be broken,” wrote al-Wuhayshi, according to a report by Al Jazeera, posted on Sunday, August 12.  “Your brothers are about to bring down the walls and thrones of evil… and victory is within reach,” al-Wuhayshi promised.

And if anyone could make a threat like that sound credible, it is al-Wuhayshi.

In 2006, the former secretary to Osama bin Laden escaped from a maximum security prison by digging his way out.  Al-Wuhayshi also united the Yemini and the Saudi branches of al Qaeda.  This is one of the most ruthless, creative, focused terrorist leaders currently alive – and none of his colleagues are exactly warm and cuddly.

At least in part, it was Al-Wuhayshi’s call to bin Laden’s successor, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, that triggered the recent closures of U.S. embassies and consulates across much of the Middle East and Africa. In late July, Al-Wuhayshi pledged loyalty to al-Zawahiri.

In the July message, al-Wuhayshi condemned the recent waves of drone strikes launched by the U.S. “Our war with this Zio-Crusader campaign is ongoing, for they are the ones who choose war, and their people clapped for them. We are people of war; we were born from its womb and we grew up in its midst. It is as if we were only created to fight them and bother them.”

The AQAP leader also pledged to ensure that Sharia law become the law of the land everywhere.

“Our project is to institute the Shariah of Allah on Earth and reject the man-made laws and constitutions,” Wuhayshi said. “Nothing will rule the country other than the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger, Allah’s peace and prayer be upon him, [especially] not with words written in a constitution to deceive people: ‘Islamic Shariah is the source of legislation.’”

Although not part of the first wave of closures, the U.S. embassy in Yemen was shut down on Tuesday, August 6.  Unlike the U.S. outposts elsewhere in the Muslim world that were re-opened on Sunday, August 12, there is currently not even a tentative date for the re-opening of the U.S. embassy in Yemen.

There have been nearly a dozen drone strikes in Yemen conducted by the U.S since late July, but terrorism continues unabated.  Five Yemeni soldiers were killed by al-Qaeda terrorists early Sunday morning.

Another trigger for the unprecedented number of U.S. embassy closures was what seemed to have become a pattern of prison breakouts in which large numbers of al-Qaeda prisoners have escaped. There were two prisons in Iraq from which prisoners escaped, and just a few days later, more than 1,000 prisoners escaped from a Benghazi prison in Libya.  And more than 200 prisoners were released by outside agitators in Pakistan.

Naturally the question arises whether the brazen message to imprisoned al-Qaeda prisoners that they would soon be released was also intended to include al-Qaeda prisoners in the U.S. controlled prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and whether officials were concerned about this possibility.

That question may have been addressed in a series of court briefings regarding certain frisk procedures that included “genital searches” for prisoners at the Gitmo facility, and whether descriptions of those procedures could be withheld from the public.

According to a declaration signed in June by Colonel John Bogdan, the prison warden at Guantanamo, certain details about “operational-security and force-protection procedures,” if made public, “would better enable our enemies to attack the detention facilities at Guantanamo or undermine security at the facility.”

Ayman al-Zawahri, al-Qaeda’s leader, identified the [Joint Task Force-Guantanamo] detention facilities as a target during a 22-minute video posted July 31, 2013, stating: ‘The terror network will spare no effort to free prisoners held at the US military-run detention centre in Cuba,” according to Al Jazeera.

Obama’s Friday Press Conf: Threats, Emb. Closures Insignificant

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

Before leaving on a nine-day vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, U.S. President Barack Obama held a 53-minute long press conference on Friday, August 9.

The president spent his entire introductory remarks in his first solo press conference since late April, on proposed changes to the government’s surveillance laws.

The four specific steps he laid out were ones intended to mollify outrage both from the American people and U.S. allies to issues of eavesdropping and other forms of privacy invasion raised in the wake of damaging security leaks by Edward Snowden about secret U.S. government mass surveillance programs to the press.

Those four steps include amending the relevant portion of the Patriot Act, provide oversight to the judges who are tasked with authorizing the specific surveillance programs, increasing transparency regarding the different programs, including creating a website “hub” which will allow U.S. citizens and our allies to better understand the programs, and creating an outside panel of experts to review the entire enterprise to ensure that the U.S. government can maintain the trust of the people and our allies.  This review panel will be required to submit an initial report in 60 days and a final report by the end of the calendar year.

While he remained even-keeled throughout most of his ten minute presentation, the president allowed himself a few jabs at countries who have been harshly critical of the U.S. in the wake of the Snowden leaks.

It’s true we have significant capabilities. What’s also true is we show a restraint that many governments around the world don’t even think to do, refuse to show. That includes, by the way, some of America’s most vocal critics. We shouldn’t forget the difference between the ability of our government to collect information online, under strict guidelines and for narrow purposes, and the willingness of some other governments to throw their own citizens in prison for what they say online.

The president concluded his prepared remarks by praising domestic critics of the surveillance programs, going so far as saying, “our critics are also our patriots.”  But in responding to one of the reporters called on who queried how far this magnanimous position extended, the president made crystal clear, “No, I don’t think Mr. Snowden was a patriot.”

Of the questions asked by reporters of the president, the majority dealt with some aspect of the Snowden/Russian relations/surveillance review issues, two dealt with healthcare, one was about the next Federal Reserve chairman, one was on immigration reform, one was whether the U.S. is going to capture and punish the people who attacked the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, and one was whether al Qaeda has actually been “decimated.”

In other words, it apparently was of only minor significance that an unprecedented shuttering of the official face, presence and voice of America across a vast swath of the globe was of merely minor significance to the entire White House press corps as well as to the president of the United States.  No one asked – or was permitted to ask – what exactly led to the closure of the government buildings or when they were expected to re-open.

However, after the press conference ended, the State Department issued a statement that 18 of the 19 embassies and consulates which have been closed for a week will reopen on Sunday or Monday.  The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, will remain closed, and almost all U.S. government personnel were ordered to leave Yemen last Tuesday because of the potential for terrorist attacks from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. In addition, the U.S. embassy in Lahore, Pakistan, “which closed yesterday due to a separate credible threat to that facility, will also remain closed.”

You’d think there would have been more of a focus on the real, ongoing terrorist threats to the United States than on, say, who will be the next Federal Reserve chairman or even on immigration reform, neither one of which threatens to murder, maim and savage Americans in the immediate future.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/obamas-friday-press-conf-threats-emb-closures-insignificant/2013/08/10/

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