Three Convicted in Massive British Terror Plot

 

Irfan Khalid, Ashik Ali and Irfan Naseer

Irfan Khalid, Ashik Ali and Irfan Naseer

IPT - by John Rossomando:

A court in Birmingham, England has convicted three men of plotting to carry out a suicide bombing campaign inspired by the late terrorist mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki.

Irfan Khalid, Ashik Ali and Irfan Naseer were radicalized by Awlaki’s lectures and by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula’s Inspire magazine, which regularly featured the terrorist mastermind’s articles prior to his death in a September 2011 drone strike.

Police found lectures by al-Awlaki on Khalid’s cell phone, including “The Book of Jihad,” “It’s a War against Islam,” “Brutality towards Muslims” and “Stop Police Terror.”

According to the Telegraph, Khalid encouraged his fellow plotters to listen to al-Awlaki’s lectures.

Additional CD-ROMs containing talks by al-Awlaki were found in Khalid’s grandparents’ home. The terrorist leader’s messages were also found stored in Ali’s laptop and cell phone.

The trio experimented with making bombs using ammonium nitrate they removed from sports injury cold packs. Experts told the court they could have developed a viable improvised explosive device (IED) using their bomb-making recipe.

Such tactics resemble the sort of “Open Source Jihad” tactics advocated in Inspire that call for small groups or individual jihadists to make bombs and other weapons using readily available ingredients.

“They wanted to commit their own 9/11. They were critical of the July 7 [2005] bombers because they didn’t kill enough people,” said Marcus Beale, assistant commissioner of the West Midlands Police, the Guardian reported. “From evidence we presented to the court there were 8-10 bombs that they wanted to deploy, a mixture of suicide bombs and IEDs. So in terms of their capability, if they delivered on the plans that they had they would have committed mass murder on a horrendous scale.”

A coordinated series of bombings in London in 2005 killed 52 people in what is known as the 7/7 attacks.

Another of the plans the trio discussed involving the attaching of blades to the wheels of cars to mow down pedestrians came directly from an Inspire article titled, “The Ultimate Mowing Machine.”

Al-Awlaki has been tied to numerous other terror plots, including: Maj. Nidal Hasanand the Fort Hood shooting, Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab‘s plot to blow up an airliner with a bomb in his underwear and Faisal Shahzad‘s plot to blow up a truck in Times Square. The 9/11 Commission Report also stated he was tied to two of the 9/11 hijackers.

Although al-Awlaki might be gone his message lingers in his videos that are still for sale in Islamic bookstores and in more than 2,000 YouTube videos.

 

Troubling Questions About al-Awlaki, Fort Hood after ‘Misleading’ FBI Testimony

by Bridget Johnson:

A congressional probe into the Fort Hood massacre is now directed at the top of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as questions brew over whether a senior FBI official misled lawmakers in testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), chairman of the subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science responsible for funding the FBI, had asked Director Robert Mueller to come testify at an Aug. 1 hearing on the Webster Commission report into the November 2009 shootings, but the bureau sent Mark Giuliano, the FBI’s executive assistant director for national security.

The trial of Army Major Nidal Hasan, accused of killing 13 at Fort Hood, is expected to begin next week. Proceedings have been delayed by the question of whether or not the court can force him to shave his beard for trial.

In a lengthy letter to Mueller yesterday, Wolf raised concerns that Giuliano “made comments to the committee that I believe were misleading or incorrect with regard to the nature of findings in the Webster Commission report and the FBI’s understanding of Anwar Aulaqi at various points over the last decade.”

In all, Wolf singled out six troubling statements from the FBI official as “potentially misleading, uninformed or incomplete.”

At the hearing, Wolf grilled Giuliano on whether political correctness led to agents being gun-shy about aggressively pursing Hasan’s links with Islamic extremists.

“The report did not find political correctness was in any way, shape, or form responsible for his lack of going forward with the interview,” Giuliano responded.

But the Webster Commission report, requisitioned by the FBI and led by former FBI Director William H. Webster, says on two pages that the San Diego officers who reported suspicions about Hasan were told by officials in Washington that “political sensitivities” were a factor in the office’s decision not to investigate Hasan further.

“I repeatedly asked Mr. Giuiliano to cite the section of the report that found that there was no political correctness ‘in any way, shape, or form,’ but he refused. When I confronted him about misleading the committee, he admitted that I was correct on that point,” Wolf wrote in the letter to Mueller. “Later in the hearing reversed again and said that he and I just ‘disagree’ on that point.”

Wolf also noted that Giuliano’s assertion that Hasan and al-Awlaki never met in Virginia has been countered by numerous media reports stating that Hasan met his mentor in 2001 when the cleric presided over his mother’s funeral. “Please confirm for the record whether or not Maj. Hasan and Aulaqi met while he served as imam for the Dar al Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia,” Wolf asked. “If so, please provide a summary of the FBI’s full understanding of their encounters, including the funeral.”

The third point of contention involves the FBI official classifying al-Awlaki, a radical cleric who became a recruiter for al-Qaeda in Yemen, as a “propagandist.”

Giuliano characterized the terrorist as such when refusing to answer a committee question on whether violent Islamic extremism was at the root of the Fort Hood massacre.

Under questioning from ranking member Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), Giuliano said that al-Awlaki “changed and he changed a lot over the years. When he went to prison in Yemen in, you know, ’06, ’07 and as he came out and came back up online in early ’08, he still had somewhat of a moderate tone but – but began to be more of a propagandist, began to show more radical tendencies, but we could not and the [Intelligence Committee] did not see him as operational or in an operational role at that time.”

“This statement, quite simply, is fundamentally false,” Wolf wrote, citing a 2008 Washington Post article in which a U.S. counterterrorism official said there was good reason to believe al-Awlaki “has been involved in very serious terrorist activities since leaving the United States” — the same time period in which the FBI official said he “still had somewhat of a moderate tone.”

Al-Awlaki also had amassed a lengthy record of radical writings by this time, including praise of the 9/11 hijackers and Palestinian suicide bombers — far from a “moderate” tone. He even wrote of his own radicalization path, beginning with the mujahadeen in Afghanistan in the early 1990s, for al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine shortly before his death.

The Webster Commission report, Wolf pointed out, specifically notes that at least certain sections of the bureau perceived the threat posed by Awlaki around 2009 as more serious than a mere “propagandist” or radicalizer, and the Treasury Department noted al-Awlaki’s operational role in terrorist activities in announcing his July 2010 placement on the sanctions list.

Citing additional evidence from an NYPD analysis on al-Awlaki, which showed even more terror ties, Wolf said that as early as 14 years ago the FBI was keeping a sharp eye on the radical cleric — which made Giuliano’s assertions all the more confusing.

“Given this public information demonstrating Aulaqi’s long history with al-Qaeda-affiliated groups and multiple bureau investigations, please confirm for the record whether the bureau viewed Aulaqi only as ‘propagandist’ with a ‘moderate tone’ as late as 2008, or in fact regarded him as a more complex and substantial threat than Mr. Giuliano described?” Wolf wrote.

Read more at PJ Media

FBI has more explaining to do on relationship with Anwar al-Awlaki

 

Walid Shoebat:

That Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was let go in 2002 despite there being a warrant for his arrest is not news. The Denver Post reported that information shortly after the Fort Hood massacre.

However, we are learning more about some of the details about that release thanks to a Congressional hearing at which

Via Fox News:

The FBI, for the the first time, has admitted publicly that it knew the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was returning to the U.S. in October 2002 and that an FBI agent discussed the American’s return with a U.S. attorney before he was detained and then abruptly released from federal custody.

Al-Awlaki, who would become the first American targeted for death by the CIA, eventually was killed last September in Yemen by a U.S. drone strike. Since September 2009, 26 terrorism cases have been tied to him and his digital jihad, according to the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.

“I really want to get to the bottom (of this),” said Republican Rep. Frank Wolf, chairman of the committee that has oversight of the FBI. The committee was holding a hearing Wednesday on the Webster report on the FBI’s intelligence failures leading up to the Fort Hood massacre. Al-Awlaki exchanged 19 emails with Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of murdering 13 in the shooting.

Wolf noted Wednesday that the Webster report makes no mention of the 2002 incident and the FBI’s role in the cleric’s release.

That leads to testimony from a senior FBI Official:

Mark Giuliano, the FBI’s assistant director for national security, testified Wednesday that the FBI knew in advance that he was making his way back to the United States, though he didn’t explain how.

Al-Awlaki was detained at New York City’s JFK airport because a customs database flagged him based on an outstanding arrest warrant. Giuliano, under intense questioning by Wolf, also admitted Wednesday there were discussions between an FBI agent and the U.S. attorney in Colorado about the U.S.-born cleric’s re-entry and the warrant.

“Yes, sir, there was a dialogue, as there always will be,” Giuliano replied. “If a case agent has a case on somebody that is coming into the country, the system is triggered and set up so that there will be a call to that case agent.”

Former FBI agents say there are only likely two explanations: The bureau let the cleric into the country to track him for intelligence, or the bureau wanted to work with him as a friendly contact.

As Breitbart points out, a man named Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer (Ret.) appears to be vindicated yet again:

There is a possible shady explanation for al-Awlaki’s release. Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer said earlier this year that al-Awlaki worked as a triple agent and an FBI asset well before 9/11. Shaffer wrote a memoir on Able Danger, a supposed Defense Intelligence Agency data-mining program that uncovered two of the three terrorist cells later implicated in the September 11 attacks, which was censored by the Pentagon. If Shaffer is correct, American intelligence had been working with al-Awlaki from the last years of the Clinton presidency.

Shaffer was railroaded by bureaucrats when he attempted to reveal the truth about Able Danger. Here, once again, he seems to have been proven right. Bolstering his credibility further is a glaring inconsistency with how al-Awlaki’s release was handled.

Via Fox:

During Wednesday’s hearing, Giuliano could not explain a significant time discrepancy. Al-Awlaki was being held in the early-morning hours of Oct. 10, 2002, when FBI agent Wade Ammerman told customs agents that “the warrant … had been pulled back.” But that couldn’t have happened while al-Awlaki was in custody, since it was only 5:40 a.m. in Colorado where the arrest warrant originated and where the courts had yet to open for the day.

In fact, documents show the warrant was still active at that time and was only vacated later that day.

The FBI has consistently maintained that the arrest warrant was pulled because the case against the cleric was weak, and it has suggested the timing, coming on the same day the cleric re-entered the U.S. at New York City’s JFK airport, was coincidental.

Read it all.