January 2010—Turkey—Authorities arrested more than 120 suspected al Qaeda members in raids in east and central Anatolia.
January 1, 2010—Denmark—Armed with an ax and a knife, a 28-year-old Somali man with ties to the al Qaeda-related al-Shabaab broke into the Aarhus home of cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, 75, during the night. The Danish artist’s 2005 cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban generated several death threats over the years. Westergaard pressed an alarm and hid with his 5-year-old granddaughter in a safe room while the attacker yelled “Revenge!” and “Blood!” Police arrived two minutes later and shot the Somali in the hand and knee when he brandished the ax. The man’s wounds were serious but not life-threatening. The Somali was charged with two counts of attempted murder against Westergaard and a police officer. He denied the charges. The court banned publication of the defendant’s name. He was represented by attorney Niels Christian Strauss. The Somali man had earlier been granted asylum and received a residency permit to stay in Denmark. The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (DSIS or PET) local intelligence service said he was suspected of terrorist activities in east Africa and had been under surveillance.
Westergaard had been the subject of several other threats. In October 2009, charges were brought against two Chicago-based men for planning to kill Westergaard and Jyllands Posten’s former cultural editor. In 2008, local police arrested two Tunisians plotting to kill him, but neither was prosecuted. One was deported and the other was released in late December 2009 after an immigration board rejected the DSIS’s efforts to expel him from Denmark.
On February 3, 2011, a Danish court sentenced Mohamed Geele, a Somali man, to nine years in prison after convicting him two days earlier of attempted terrorism, attempted manslaughter, and attacking a police officer with a knife and an ax, in his attack on Westergaard. Geele was to be permanently expelled from Denmark when his prison term is complete. Prosecutors had sought a twelve-year sentence. Danish authorities said Geele had links to an East African Islamist militia allied with al Qaeda. 10010101
January 1, 2010—Pakistan—A suicide bomber drove an SUV packed with 550 pounds of explosives into the middle of a village volleyball game in the village of Shah Hassan Khel in the Lakki Marwat district of North Waziristan, killing ninety-six people and injuring more than one hundred. Village leaders had formed private militias to battle the Pakistani Taliban and had recently turned in twenty-four extremists to authorities. The villagers vowed to continue to fight the Taliban.
January 3, 2010—Yemen—The United Kingdom and United States announced closures of their embassies in the wake of al Qaida terrorist threats. The United States had information that eight terrorists had been planning an attack. Three were killed by Yemeni forces; another was captured wearing a suicide vest. The next day, Japan, France, Spain, and Germany limited services at their embassies. France closed its embassy to the public. Japan halted consular services.
January 3, 2010—Kenya—Authorities arrested Jamaican-born Muslim cleric Abdullah el-Faisal, whose online sermons were listened to by would-be underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, during a preaching tour. Kenyan authorities said he was a threat to national security. El-Faisal was the imam on the London mosque attended by would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid and would-be twentieth 9/11 hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui. In 2003, the United Kingdom convicted him of inciting racial hatred in speeches that called for killing Hindus, Christians, Jews, and Americans and sentenced him to seven years. He was also accused of influencing one of the July 2005 London transit system bombers. The United Kingdom deported him to Jamaica in May 2007. Kenya deported him on January 7 to Nigeria. He was scheduled to fly on to Gambia and then on to Jamaica, but airlines in Nigeria refused to take him. He was returned to Kenya. Kenyan authorities drove him to Tanzania—from where he had arrived in Kenya—but authorities there refused entry. Several countries, including the United States, refused overflight privileges. On January 21, Kenya finally flew el-Faisal to Jamaica.
January 4, 2010—Yemen—Following a gun battle at the Raydah hospital in the Arhab region, authorities captured three wounded al Qaeda members suspected of threatening Western targets. Authorities arrested four people suspected of taking the wounded terrorists to the hospital and hiding them there. The trio included Muhammad al-Hanq, emir of the Arhab cell of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Yemeni authorities were also looking for his close relative, Nazih al-Hanq.
January 5, 2010—United States—A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) worker on January 24 admitted planting a plastic bag of white powder in the carry-on luggage of Rebecca Solomon, 22, a University of Michigan student who was flying from Philadelphia to Detroit. The TSA employee said it was a prank. TSA fired him.
January 6, 2010—Egypt—In a drive-by shooting, gunmen opened fire outside an Egyptian Coptic Christian church in Naga Hammadi City at 11:30 p.m., killing a Muslim police officer and six Copt civilians and injuring seven others during the denomination’s celebration of Christmas Eve. On January 15, 2011, Mohamed El-Kamouny, one of three defendants, was sentenced for his part in the attack. Sentencing for the other two was set for February 2011.
January 6, 2010—Russia—At 7:55 a.m., a suicide bomber drove into a traffic police station during roll call in Makhachkala, capital of Dagestan, killing six police officers and injuring sixteen others. Other officers used a police vehicle to block him from driving into the compound’s interior, so he set off the explosives. Some 150 officers were lined up for roll call. Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee in the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, said that 513 terrorist acts were conducted in the first ten months of 2009 in the Northern Caucasus.
January 6, 2010—Afghanistan—Shortly after 6:00 a.m., Taliban gunmen wearing green police uniforms and suicide vests and armed with guns and grenades attacked the Bekhtar guest house, a three-story hotel in Kabul where UN elections advisors were staying. John Christopher “Chris” Turner of Kansas City, Missouri, who works for a trucking company on contract to the U.S. military, grabbed an AK-47, herded twenty-five guests to the laundry room, and, along with a Nepalese man and UN guards, fired at the terrorists. During the two-hour gun battle, five UN staffers, two security guards, the brother-in-law of Afghan governor Gul Agha Sherzai, and the three terrorists died. Among the dead was an American. Another nine UN employees were injured; Turner was burned slightly. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid phoned the Associated Press to claim credit. 10010601
January 6, 2010—Afghanistan—A mile from the UN guest house, a rocket struck the “outer limit” of the presidential palace but caused no casualties. Two more rockets landed in the grounds of the upscale Serena Hotel, used by many foreigners. One unexploded rocket filled the hotel lobby with smoke.
January 8, 2010—United Kingdom—British police arrested three people who had made an oral threat at 9:15 p.m. to the crew on an Emirates Airlines plane as it was taxiing for takeoff for Dubai. Police boarded the plane with sniffer dogs. The trio, aged 36, 48, and 58, were held on suspicion of making a bomb threat.
January 8, 2010—Angola—Forces for Liberation of the State of Cabinda (FLEC) rebels fired Kalashnikov machineguns on the bus taking Togo’s national soccer team to the Africa Cup of Nations tournament shortly after crossing the border with the Congo. The Angolan bus driver, an assistant coach, and the squad’s spokesperson died. Two players and seven other people were injured. The players were goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale, who was shot in the chest and stomach, and a defense player, who took two shots in the back. Obilale was flown to a South African hospital. Ten security guards in two chase cars returned fire for thirty minutes. Despite entreaties by captain and star striker Emmanuel Adebayor and the rest of the team to play on, the government pulled its team. Togo had been scheduled to play against Ghana in Cabinda. The Togolese government demanded an apology for the tournament directors and the government of Angola. On January 11, Angola arrested two suspects. 10010801
January 8, 2010—Afghanistan—Three rockets were fired at the U.S. Consulate in Herat, causing no casualties. One rocket hit the building housing the consulate. 10010802
January 8, 2010—Nigeria—Gunmen attacked a Chevron pipeline that carries crude oil out of Chevron’s seven swamp fields in the Delta region.
January 8, 2010—Pakistan—Eight terrorists were killed when their suicide vest exploded in their house in Baldia, an ethnic Pashtun neighborhood in Karachi. Police seized guns, more suicide vests, and grenades.
January 9, 2010—Malaysia—Arsonists brought to six the number of churches that were firebombed during Muslim protests of a court ruling that permitted a Catholic newspaper to use the word Allah as a term for God. Firebombs damaged the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in southwestern Kuala Lumpur. In an earlier attack, the Metro Tabernacle was badly damaged. The government appealed the court’s decision and contributed $148,000 to relocate the Tabernacle. The next day, two more churches were firebombed. No one was hurt. By January 11, at least ten acts of violence had been logged.
January 9, 2010—China—MSNBC reported that an individual dropped two bottles of corrosive acid into a crowd near Temple Street in the Kowloon area of Hong Kong at 9:30 p.m., injuring thirty people, including children and tourists. Similar acid attacks since December 2008 had injured more than one hundred people. The next day authorities arrested a Chinese man in his 30s, who was on the roof of a nearby building along with caps to the bottles believed to have been used in the attack. Authorities were offering a $39,000 reward for information.
January 9, 2010—Greece—A bomb exploded in a trash bin outside the parliament building in Athens during the evening, causing no casualties. A caller told Eleftherotypia newspaper that a bomb was placed outside the building and another inside the neighboring Hotel Grande Bretagne.
January 9, 2010—Pakistan—A U.S. missile strike in North Waziristan killed Jamal Saeed Abdul Rahim, a Palestinian with possible Lebanese citizenship who was a member of Abu Nidal and possibly of al Qaeda. He was wanted by the United States for his role in the September 5, 1986, hijacking of Pan Am 73 during a stop in Karachi in which twenty people, including two Americans, were killed when the terrorists threw grenades and fired automatic weapons at the passengers. He was tried and convicted in Pakistan, but he and three accomplices were released in January 2008. The four were placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List in 2009.
January 10, 2010—Afghanistan—A roadside bomb exploded outside the vehicle of Sunday Mirror defense correspondent Rupert Hamer, 39, killing him, a U.S. Marine, and an Afghan National Army soldier and wounding photographer Philip Coburn, 43, and five Marines. The duo was embedded with the U.S. Marine Corps and was with a patrol near Nawa in the south. The two had flown to Afghanistan on December 31 for what was scheduled to be a month-long stay. Hamer left behind a wife and three children, aged 6, 5, and 19 months. He had been with the Mirror for a dozen years, covering the U.K. armed forces in the Middle East, central Asia, Oman, Bahrain, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Coburn, an eight-year veteran with the paper, had covered Afghanistan, Iraq, Rwanda, and Hurricane Katrina in the United States. 10011001
January 10, 2010—Portugal/France/Spain—Police in France and Portugal arrested four members of the Basque Nation and Liberty (ETA). In the first operation, Spanish Civil Guards in Bermillo de Sayago near the Portugal border, stopped a man driving a van that contained explosives, weapons, and documentation. During the search, the driver stole a police car and fled to Portugal, where he was arrested by local authorities. Police also arrested a woman driving a sedan who was the van’s lookout. French police detained a man and a woman, both armed, who removed 2,000 Euros from an ETA hideout in a forest near Chadrat in central France.
January 10, 2010—Afghanistan—A roadside bomb killed three Afghan aid workers employed by a German relief agency in Uruzgan Province. 10011002
January 12, 2010—Iran—A remotely-detonated bomb attached to a motorcycle killed Massoud Ali Mohammadi, 50, outside his northern Tehran home. Two other people were wounded. Neighbors thought there had been an earthquake. No one claimed credit. The government blamed the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (alias People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran, National Liberation Army of Iran, National Council of Resistance, Organization of the People’s Holy Warriors), Israel, and the United States. Mohammadi, a specialist in particle and theoretical physics, taught neutron physics at Tehran University, but had no ties to the government nuclear enrichment program. He was one of 240 university professors (and a total of 419 scientists) who signed a letter supporting the opposition candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, before the June 2009 election. He had been involved in the Jordan-based UN Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) project, which involves scientists from Iran, Israel, and other Middle Eastern countries. Fashi was convicted in August 2011 and ordered to be executed. Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the execution order. On May 15, 2012, Iran hanged Majid Jamali Fashi, 24, who had been accused of being a Mossad agent, for the murder. On June 17, 2012, Tehran announced the arrests of twenty suspects linked to the assassinations of five Iranian nuclear experts killed since early 2010.
Tehran state television on August 5, 2012, ran a broadcast of confessions of fourteen suspects, including eight men and six women, in the killing of five Iranian nuclear scientists. Suspect Behzad Abdoli said he had been trained in Israel, observing, “I entered Turkey and then was taken to Cyprus by ship. From there, I entered Israel.” Suspect Arash Kheradkish said he was trained in attaching magnetic bombs to moving cars. Other suspects were Jamali Fashi and Maziar Ebrahimi.
January 12, 2010—Yemen—Security forces killed Abdullah al-Mehdarhad, leader of a Yemeni al Qaeda cell, in a gun battle after his group was surrounded at his house in the Habban region of Shabwa Province.
January 12, 2010—Nigeria—Gunmen ambushed a bus traveling from Port Harcourt to Afam, killed a police constable, wounded a driver, and kidnapped three Britons and a Colombian, all of whom worked for Royal Dutch Shell Oil. They were freed on January 19. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta denied involvement. 10011201
January 14, 2010—Jordan—A roadside bomb exploded near a convoy of Israeli diplomats on their way home for the weekend, causing no injuries. 10011401
January 14, 2010—Pakistan—The press suggested that a U.S. missile strike on a former madrassa in Pasalkot, South Waziristan, might have killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, although the group denied it. At least ten Taliban were killed. On January 16, Taliban spokesman Azim Tariq played a tape for Reuters in which an individual who sounded like Mehsud said, “I am neither wounded nor dead. I am fine.”
January 14, 2010—Pakistan—The New York Times reported that a drone-fired missile hit a compound in the Shaktu area of South Waziristan, killing Philippine Abu Sayyaf terrorist Abdul Basit Usman. The Filipino bomb-making expert was linked to Jemaah Islamiyah. The U.S. Department of State said he was responsible for bombings in 2006 and 2007 in the Philippines that killed fifteen people. A $1 million reward had been offered for his capture.
January 15, 2010—Yemen—Six al Qaeda operatives were killed in a 2:30 p.m. air raid on two vehicles near Alajasher on the border between Saada and al-Jawf provinces in the country’s far north. Among the dead was Qassim al-Raimi, variant Qasim al-Raymi, the group’s military commander and third-ranking member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen. He allegedly planned to kill the U.S. ambassador to Yemen and was involved in the 2007 suicide bombing that killed eight Spanish tourists. Also believed dead were Abu Ayman al-Masri, Ammar Ubadah al-Waeli, Ayeth Jaber al-Shebwani, and Saleh al-Tayes. Al-Shebwani was in charge of recruitment and provided logistical support to all foreign nationals recruited in AQAP in Yemen.
January 17, 2010—Pakistan—A follow-up air strike against Hakimullah Mehsud on two vehicles was believed to have injured him. Some tribesmen in the Orakzai area said he died of his wounds and was buried there.
January 18, 2010—Afghanistan—Seven Taliban terrorists attacked the presidential palace, the ministries of finance, mines, and justice, and the Serena Hotel in Kabul. In the attack five were killed and seventy-one injured, including thirty-five civilians. All seven terrorists died. The Taliban said it was thirty-one dead officials, five dead Taliban, and thirty-one injured. Two of the terrorists were killed at the Feroshgah-e-Afghan Shopping Center. Two bombs went off at 9:50 a.m., while fourteen members of President Hamid Karzai’s Cabinet were being sworn in. A terrorist set off a suicide bomb at a traffic circle nearby. Five minutes later, three attackers hiding weapons and suicide vests ran into a shopping complex across from the Justice Ministry. One terrorist got into an ambulance and drove to the traffic circle outside the Education Ministry, where he blew himself up. Three terrorists in a building next to a movie theater conducted a gun battle with police. Local authorities on January 24 arrested the ringleader of the group and suggested that al Qaeda had coordinated the attack. Authorities said the ringleader and several others confessed to the attack by the Haqqani network. They also said ammonium nitrate was used in the attack.
January 20, 2010—Dubai—The body of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, one of the founders of Hamas’s military wing, the Izzedine al-Assam Brigades, was found in a hotel. Local officials said a “professional criminal gang” was responsible. Mabhouh’s corpse was sent to Damascus, Syria, where he had lived since fleeing the Gaza Strip in 1989. Hamas blamed Israel. Mabhouh had entered Dubai on January 19. His brother claimed that Mabhouh had suffered electric shocks, poisoning, and strangulation. He had been involved in the kidnap and murder of two Israeli soldiers in 1989. Israel also said he was involved in smuggling rockets from Iran to terrorists in Gaza.
On February 15, 2010, Dubai Police Chief Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim identified six individuals carrying fake British passports bearing the names of Israeli citizens, three Irish citizens, a German, and a French citizen as being suspects in the assassination. The suspects included one woman. He said the emirate would seek international arrest warrants; the eleven names were later placed on the Interpol Red List. Gen. Tamim also said two Palestinians were held for having provided logistical assistance, but as of February 18, they had not been charged. Dubai said that the eleven left the country within twenty-four hours, fleeing to Europe, Asia, and South Africa. The next day, governments of those countries were questioning the Dubai investigation. At least four people living in Israel, including Paul Keeley, shared names with suspects identified by Dubai police, but three of the four said they were not the people in the photos released by Dubai, and the daughter of the fourth said it was a mistake. On February 18, 2010, Dubai’s police chief said there was a 99 percent chance that Mossad was responsible. On February 24, Dubai said it was seeking another fifteen suspects, making the total twenty men and six women. Some fourteen suspects used MetaBank credit cards issued in the United States. The New York–based Payoneer firm issued some of the credit cards used by the suspects; the firm has offices in Tel Aviv. Dubai police officials said on February 28 that the Hamas member had been injected in the thigh with succinylcholoine, a fast-acting muscle relaxant, before being suffocated. Dubai also said it had arrested a third Palestinian suspect.
On March 3, 2010, Dubai’s police chief said he would seek Interpol arrest warrants for Israel’s prime minister and intelligence director. By March 9, Interpol had issued twenty-seven Red Notices, which help national police authorities to circulate arrest warrants in other countries.
On March 23, 2010, the British government expelled an unnamed senior Israeli diplomat over the alleged use of twelve false U.K. passports in the assassination.
On June 12, Polish authorities arrested Uri Brodsky, suspected of working for Mossad in Germany. They believed he helped issue a fake German passport in Cologne to a member of the hit team who had identified himself as Michael Bodenheimer and falsely claimed that his Jewish family had fled Nazi Germany.
On August 5, 2010, the Polish court of appeals announced that it would extradite to Germany an alleged Israeli agent “accused of helping to get false documents for the man who is thought to have killed the Hamas leader in Dubai.” He had been arrested two months earlier on a European warrant for procurement of a false German passport. As of early August, Dubai police had identified thirty-three suspects, who used British, Irish, French, Australian, and German passports.
January 21, 2010—India—Airports were placed on high alert amid reports that al Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists were plotting to hijack a plane belong to Air India or Indian Airlines flying to a neighboring South Asian country. Indian media said detainee Amjad Khawaja, a leader of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, had tipped his police interrogators. He had been arrested in Chennai, India, the previous week. The threat report later morphed into a plot to crash a plane from Mumbai or Delhi into London and to arrange attacks by suicide bombers on paragliders. Indian Home Ministry official U. K. Bansal told reporters, “We have intelligence reports that Lashkar-e-Taiba has purchased fifty paragliding kits from Europe with an intention to launch attacks on India.” The United Kingdom raised its threat level from “Substantial” to “Severe,” its second-highest level.
January 22, 2010—Turkey—In several pre-dawn raids, authorities arrested 120 people suspected of links with al Qaeda, including some senior members of the group’s Turkish branch, including Serdal Erbasi, alias Abu Zehr, head of the Ankara cell. Police seized weapons, explosives, medical equipment, and fake ID cards and passports in sixteen cities. The Zaman newspaper said they were planning to attack Turkish targets and the Kabul regional command center of the NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan. Turkish forces took over the rotating command of the center in November 2009. The previous week, police in Ankara and Adana arrested forty suspects.
January 22, 2010—United Kingdom—The government raised its terrorism threat level to “Severe,” its second-highest level.
January 22, 2010—Iraq—A U.S.-Iraq raid in Mosul led to the death of al Qaeda in Iraq leader Saad Uwayid Obeid Mijbil al-Shammari, alias Abu Khalaf, who had broken free from his restraints and attacked his guard. He had been involved in smugglings hundreds of suicide bombers via Syria since 2006. Military authorities said he was also a financier and arms supplier for the group.
January 23, 2010—United Kingdom—Part of Manchester Airport was evacuated after the discovery of unidentified white powder in carry-on luggage destined for London.
January 23, 2010—Iraq—Gunmen kidnapped American citizen Issa T. Salomi. He had grown up in Iraq before fleeing in 1991. He worked as a U.S. Army linguist since 2007. The group released a video with its demands for the release of four terrorists and the prosecution of “Blackwater mercenaries.” The Shi’ite group League of the Righteous (Asaib al-Haq) released him on March 25, saying the Iraqi government had agreed to release four detainees. 10012301
January 24, 2010—Qatar—In a one-minute audiotape broadcast on al-Jazeera, Osama bin Laden claimed credit for the December 25, 2009, bombing attempt against the Northwest flight and threatened further attacks against the United States. Analysts doubted that the central leadership of al Qaeda was aware of the attack in advance. Bin Laden addressed U.S. President Barack Obama, saying, “The message delivered to you through the plane of the heroic warrior Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was a confirmation of the previous messages sent by the heroes of the September 11. If our messages had been able to reach you through words, we wouldn’t have been delivering them through planes.” He said, “From Osama to Obama: America will never dream of security unless we will have it in reality in Palestine. God willing, our raids on you will continue as long as your support for the Israelis continues. Peace be upon those who follow guidance.”
January 25, 2010—Iraq—Shortly before 4:00 p.m., suicide bombers attacked the Hamra, Babylon, and Sheraton hotels, killing thirty-six people and wounding dozens. The Washington Post’s bureau is in the Hamra Hotel; three of its Iraqi employees were wounded. Several other Western news organizations are headquartered in the Hamra and the Sheraton. In the final attack, on the Hamra, two men walked up to a checkpoint and fired pistols at the four guards. One gunman lifted the security barrier, allowing a white Kia minivan with explosives to enter. A guard shot the driver, killing him and stopping the vehicle 50 yards from the hotel building. An accomplice remotely detonated the explosives. Among the injured were Wissam Mahmoud, who works at the Hamra, Washington Post staffer Naseer Fadhil, and Washington Post office manager Abu Mohammed. Observers blamed members of the former Ba’ath Party. 10012501-03
January 26, 2010—Iraq—A suicide bomber drove his truck into the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s forensics division, killing 38 people. At least 150 people were injured in this and the previous day’s hotel bombings. The Baghdad Operations Command said 9 people were killed and 67 wounded. Al Qaeda in Iraq was blamed.
January 27, 2010—Iraq—Gunmen fired on buses transporting Iranian pilgrims in the south, killing two. 10012701
January 29, 2010—Qatar—In a new tape aired by al-Jazeera, Osama bin Laden blamed the United States and other industrialized nations for global warming. He said the world should boycott U.S. products and stop using the dollar to break the U.S. economy. He observed, “The effects of global warming have touched every continent. Drought and deserts are spreading, while from the other floods and hurricanes unseen before the previous decades have now become frequent.” He said corporations,
Are the true criminals against the global climate” putting “tens of millions into poverty and unemployment…. People of the world, it’s not right for the burden to be left on the mujahideen (holy warriors) in an issue that causes harm to everyone…. Boycott them to save yourselves and your possessions and your children from climate change and to live proud and free…. The world is held hostage by major corporations, which are pushing it to the brink. World politics are not governed by reason but by the force and greed of oil thieves and warmongers and the cruel beasts of capitalism.
To end this crisis, the “wheels of the American economy” should be stopped. “This is … if the peoples of the world stop consuming American goods…. We must also stop dealings in the dollar and get rid of it as soon as possible. I know that this has great consequences and grave ramifications, but it is the only means to liberate humanity from slavery and dependence on America.” He also demanded “punishing and holding to account” corporation chiefs, saying, “this should be easy for the American people to do, particularly those who were affected by Hurricane Katrina or those who lost their jobs, since these criminals live among them, particularly in Washington, New York, and Texas.” He mentioned the December 18 climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. He also mentioned Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine.
February 2010—United Kingdom—Authorities arrested Rajib Karim. His trial began on February 1, 2011, in London. The Bangladesh-born 31-year-old U.K. citizen, a British Airways worker, had exchanged messages with radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi in 2009 and 2010 regarding a plot to blow up planes, preferably in the United States. Prosecutors said al-Aulaqi quizzed him on “limitations and cracks in present airport security systems…. Our highest priority is the United States. Anything there, even on a smaller scale compared to what we may do in the United Kingdom, would be our choice.” Karim was arrested in February 2010. He admitted offering to participate in terrorist operations, making a jihadi recruitment video, and fund-raising for terrorism. He denied he knew that the information he provided would be used for terrorism. Karim, his wife, and baby son came to Britain in 2006, settling in Newcastle in the northeast of England. He was soon accepted into a graduate entrant program at British Airways, eventually ending up as a software engineer. His brother, Tehzeeb Karim, travelled to Yemen and met with al-Aulaqi.
February 1, 2010—Iraq—A female suicide bomber killed at least forty-one people and injured more than one hundred in an attack on Shi’ite Muslim pilgrims in northern Baghdad. Women were being searched in a crowded tented area along the main road in Bab al-Sham. Among the dead were the three women who were conducting the searches. The injured included Mohammed Haider, age 2. Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was suspected.
On February 18, 2010, Iraqi security forces arrested AQI member Mohammed Shaker Mahmoud, 30, at his home in Al-Mukhaissah village in Diyala Province for recruiting female suicide bombers.
February 2, 2010—United States—In the annual worldwide threat briefing to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, senior intelligence officials testified that it was virtually certain that al Qaeda or its allies would attempt to attack the United States in the next six months.
February 3, 2010—Russia—Moscow announced that it had killed Makhmoud Mokhammed Shaaban, 49, an Egyptian militant in Dagestan who had set up the al Qaeda chapter in the North Caucasus. The federal security service said it had also killed one of his fellow gunmen. The state-run RIA news agency said Georgia had assisted him, but the Tbilisi government denied the charges.
February 5, 2010—Pakistan—A motorcycle bomb exploded in Karachi on a bus filled with Shi’ite Muslims, killing twenty and injuring sixty-nine. Another motorcycle bomb went off in front of the emergency room at Karachi’s Jinnah Hospital where the first attack’s victims were being treated, killing thirteen and wounding ninety-two. At least thirty-three were killed in the two blasts.
February 8, 2010—Qatar—Said al-Shihri, deputy chief of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, posted on an extremist Web site that “American and Crusader interests are everywhere and their agents are moving everywhere…. Attack them and eliminate as many enemies as you can.”
February 10, 2010—Nigeria—The previously-unknown Joint Revolutionary Council of the Niger Delta claimed credit for attacking the Tura manifold owned by Royal Dutch Shell in Abonnema. The manifold connects several pipelines to the Bonny Export Terminal. Authorities said the attack failed and that explosives were confiscated. 10021001
February 10, 2010—United Kingdom—The Appeals Court rejected the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s attempt to keep secret a seven paragraph summary of forty-two classified documents provided to MI5 by the CIA in 2009 regarding the treatment of Ethiopian national Binyam Mohamed during interrogation in Pakistan in May 2002.
February 11, 2010—Pakistan—Two suicide bombings in the Bannu district of the North West Frontier Province killed fifteen people, including nine police officers and six civilians, and wounded at least twenty-five, including eleven police officers, among them Bannu Police Chief Iqbal Marwat, and fourteen civilians. The second blast, eight minutes after the first, claimed the most casualties, coming when police arrived at the scene of the first bombing.
February 12, 2010—West Bank—Israeli soldiers shot to death Fayez Faraj, 41, a Palestinian who tried to stab them in Hebron.
February 13, 2010—India—At 7:30 p.m., a waiter attempted to open an unattended package which exploded, killing ninety-eight, including four foreigners, and wounding sixty in the German Bakery in Pune’s Koregaon Park. The dead included an Iranian and an Italian. The dozen wounded foreigners included citizens of Yemen, Sudan, Taiwan, and Germany. The bakery is a tourist hangout near the Osho Ashram, which was surveiled by David Coleman Headley as a potential terrorist target. 10021301
February 16, 2010—Pakistan—The Western news media reported that Pakistani and U.S. intelligence services in Karachi on February 10 had captured Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s top military commander, the Taliban’s number 2 and the most important Taliban leader to be captured since 9/11. Authorities believed he ran the Quetta Shura (leadership council) and oversaw Taliban operations across southern and western Afghanistan. He had been the deputy defense minister during the Taliban regime. He was believed to have issued the code of conduct that was given to Taliban field commanders. On February 24, 2010, Pakistan refused to hand him over to the FBI, but said that he could be extradited to Afghanistan.
February 17, 2010—Spain—Police arrested suspected Basque Nation and liberty (ETA) member Faustino Marcos Alvarez, 38, on a southbound train from France soon after it crossed into Spain at the town of Port-Bou in northern Spain. He was carrying a .38 revolver with thirteen bullets, three forged Spanish identity cards, two forged French identity cards, a laptop computer, and about $8,000 in cash. He had been a fugitive since 2002 when he fled after police dismantled an ETA unit in Spain’s northern Basque region.
February 21, 2010—Philippines—In a morning raid, Philippine Marines killed six Abu Sayyaf militants, including rebel commander Albader Parad, in Sulu Province. He had been involved in the 2009 kidnapping of Red Cross workers; all three were later released. The Marines recovered four firearms.
February 22, 2010—Qatar—In an Internet video, Ayman al-Zawahiri said in an audio recording,
Let every free Turkish Muslim who is keen on protecting his fellow Muslims know that the Turkish forces will serve the Crusader campaign in Afghanistan, which is burning the villages, destroying the houses, and killing the women and the children, occupying the lands of the Muslims, fighting the Sharia and spreading lewdness, debauchery, and corruption. The Turkish troops will carry out the same operations in Afghanistan that the Jews are carrying out in Palestine, so how would the pious, free Turkish Muslim people accept such a crime against Islam and the Muslims?
The video included a martyrdom video will by Muaath al-Turki, who praised the 9/11 attacks, asked his family for forgiveness, and said that he “can die only once for the sake of jihad.” The video said he had attacked the U.S. base in Khost, Afghanistan, killing eight U.S. soldiers and a dozen Afghans, a claim the U.S. military denied.
February 24, 2010—Pakistan—A missile strike in Dargah Mandi in North Waziristan, Pakistan, killed thirteen terrorists, including Qari Mohammad Zafar, who was wanted for questioning in the March 2, 2006, bombing near the U.S. Consulate in Karachi that killed three Pakistanis and U.S. diplomat David Foy. The United States had put a $5 million reward out for the pro–Taliban Zafar, who was a member of Lashkar-e Jangvi.
February 26, 2010—Italy—Police arrested an Italian with a criminal record and ten Kurds, most of them from Turkey, in the central and northern sections of Italy on suspicion of recruiting for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Police conducted searches of sixteen other sites
February 26, 2010—Afghanistan—The Taliban attacked a Kabul luxury nine-story Safi Landmark Hotel and two guest houses—including the Park Residence Guesthouse and an Indian-owned guest house—frequented by foreigners, killing at least seventeen, including some foreigners and three police officers, and injuring thirty-eight. The first bomb went off in a van outside the Aria guesthouse. A second bomber detonated his explosives inside the building. The other bombers entered the Park Residence; one set off his explosives and the other hid before firing on Afghan security forces arriving at the scene. A gun battle raged for four hours after the 6:30 a.m. bombings. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said five Taliban suicide bombers were involved. On March 2, 2010, Afghan intelligence spokesman Sayed Ansari claimed that Laskhar-i-Taiba, the group believed responsible for the Mumbai attacks of November 26–28, 2008, was behind the guest houses attacks. He said the suicide bombers spoke Urdu and were searching for Indian victims. Other observers said the Haqqani network was responsible for the attacks. Indian officials suggested the two groups worked together. The attacks killed six Indians, including two army doctors and an engineer, along with eight Afghans, an Italian diplomat, and a French filmmaker. 10022601
February 27, 2010—Philippines—Abu Sayyaf and Muslim separatist rebels attacked Tubigan village on Basilan Island with grenade launchers and automatic rifles, killing one militiaman and ten civilians while the residents slept.
February 27, 2010—Thailand—Small explosive devices went off during the evening at four banks in Bangkok, a day after the high court ordered the seizure of $1.4 billion of exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra’s assets in a corruption case.
February 28, 2010—France—French and Spanish police arrested Basque Nation and Liberty (ETA) leader Ibon Gogeascoechea Arronategui, 54, and two ETA colleagues—Gregorio Jimenez Morales, 55, and Beinat Aguinagalde Ugartemendia, 26—in Cahan, Normandy, in northern France. The police had established surveillance on a cottage that had been rented using faked IDs. Police said the terrorists were planning an attack inside Spain. Authorities seized three firearms, false documents, explosives, money, a stolen car, and computer equipment. Gogeascoechea was wanted for placing explosives around the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in 1997. Jimenez was wanted in connection with a failed rocket attack on a former Spanish prime minister in 2001. Aguinagalde was wanted for the murders of a Basque politician in March 2008 and of a businessman in December 2008.
March 2010—Afghanistan—Two gunmen wearing suicide vests and carrying assault rifles climbed over a wall around a USAID contractor’s office in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, then fired into the office where an American and four Afghans ran an agricultural project. The only person in the office, an Afghan secretary, survived two shots to the stomach. Security guards killed the terrorists before they could set off their devices. 10039901
March 2010—Afghanistan—Late in the month, a convoy of employees of the U.S.-based Chemonics firm was ambushed south of Lashkar Gah; three Afghans were killed. 10039902
March 2010—Pakistan—The previously-unknown Asian Tigers claimed credit for kidnapping a British journalist and two former Pakistani intelligence officers who had traveled to Pakistani’s mountainous northwest. Also kidnapped was Sultan Amir Tarar, alias Colonel Imam, who was suspected of assisting the Taliban and al Qaeda. Also held was a Pakistani documentary filmmaker. On April 30, 2010, Pakistani authorities said the kidnappers had shot to death former intelligence officer Khalid Khawaja, 58. He had been a bin Laden supporter. He had served as a squadron commander in Pakistan’s air force and was an intermediary between the government and al Qaeda. He had been a legal advisor to the five northern Virginia students who had been accused of terrorism in Pakistan. He was also involved in the 2007 storming of the Red Mosque. The Taliban released the Briton in April 2010. Tarar died in Taliban captivity in mid–January 2011. The Taliban said it was a heart attack; others said he was murdered by his kidnappers. The Taliban demanded a ransom for his body. 10039903
March 2010—Portugal—Basque Nation and Liberty member Andoni Zengotitabengoa was arrested at Lisbon’s airport before he could fly to Venezuela with a faked Mexican passport.
March 2, 2010—Philippines—Police in Manila captured three Abu Sayyaf terrorists wanted for arson and robbery during bombing attacks in Mindanao. They were detained in their Manila safe house, which contained grenades, detonating cords, and blasting caps.
March 3, 2010—Iraq—Three bombs went off in Diyala Province at government and medical buildings during the morning, killing at least thirty-three people and injuring fifty-five. The first car bomb went off at an Iraqi police station at 9:45 a.m. in Baqubah. A suicide bomber a few minutes later set off his car bomb near the main provincial building, destroying the offices of former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari’s political party. As the wounded were being transported to the emergency room, a suicide bomber on foot set off his explosives at the main gate to the hospital. Ali al-Tameemi, head of the Diyala health center, was injured in his left hand. Al Qaeda in Iraq was suspected.
March 4, 2010—Strait of Malacca—Singapore’s Navy Information Fusion Center warned that terrorists might conduct an attack in the Strait against oil tankers. Malaysian authorities conducted an anti-piracy drill in the area.
March 4, 2010—Yemen—The government arrested eleven al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula members in Sana’a following a gun battle in which one man was killed.
March 6, 2010—Pakistan—Authoritites announced the arrest in Karachi of al Qaeda operative Adam Gadahn of Riverside, California, but later withdrew the claim, saying the detainee was the previously unknown Abu Yahya Mujahideen al-Adam, an al Qaeda member from Pennsylvania.
March 7, 2010—Pakistan—American al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn posted on jihadi Web sites a video in which he called on Muslims in the U.S. military to emulate Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who shot to death thirteen people at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009. He viewed Hasan as “the ideal role model for every repentant Muslim in the armies of the unbelievers and apostate regimes.”
March 8, 2010—Pakistan—A suicide car bomber crashed through a perimeter wall and detonated 1,100 pounds of explosives, killing thirteen and wounding eighty at the Lahore building that houses a special investigative unit that interrogates key terrorism suspects. Some forty counterterrorist officials were inside the building, which collapsed. The Pakistani Taliban was suspected.
March 9, 2010—United States—The Justice Department claimed that Colleen Renee LaRose, alias Jihad Jane, alias Fatima LaRose, 46, of Pennsylvania and five other individuals had allegedly planned a martyrdom operation to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks. She faced a life sentence and $1 million fine after her indictment for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and kill a person in a foreign country, making false statements to a government official and attempted identity theft. She had been arrested in Philadelphia on October 15, 2009, and was held at the Federal Detention Center there on charges of attempting to transfer a passport stolen from her boyfriend, Kurt Gorman.
The Justice Department said she and five unindicted co-conspirators recruited men on the Internet “to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe, and recruited women on the Internet who had passports and the ability to travel to and around Europe in support of violent jihad.” In June 2008, she had posted a comment on YouTube as JihadJane saying she was “desperate to do something somehow to help” Muslims. From December 2008 to October 2009, she was in e-communication with the five men, developing plans “which included martyring themselves, soliciting funds for terrorists, soliciting passports, and avoiding travel restrictions (through the collection of passports and through marriage) in order to wage violent jihad.” She allegedly had contacted violent jihadis in South Asia and throughout Europe. The indictment said she had stolen a U.S. passport to “facilitate an act of international terrorism” and had been ordered “to kill a citizen and resident of Sweden, and to do so in a way that would frighten ‘the whole Kufar [nonbeliever world].’” She was represented by federal public defender Mark Wilson. On March 18, 2010, she pleaded not guilty; the trial was set for May. If convicted, she faced life in prison and a $1 million fine. The same day, the Philadelphia Inquirer claimed that she had confessed and was working on a plea deal.
LaRose was born in 1963 and lived in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The 4 foot, 11 inch, 100-pound middle school dropout was charged in 2002 in Pennsylvania with public drunkenness and disorderly contact. She was also charged with writing bad checks and driving while intoxicated (DWI) in South Texas, where she lived with Sheldon “Buddy” Barnum, who she had married in 1980 when he was 32 and she was 16. She had been married at least twice. She had cared for her boyfriend Gorman’s ailing father in a suburb where she had few friends. She left her live-in boyfriend in Pennsburg, outside Philadelphia, in August 2009, shortly after the father’s death, and traveled to Ireland and Sweden, possibly to launch the attack. She told e-friends she could “blend in” because of her blond hair, blue eyes, and small frame. On September 30, 2009, she told her Sweden-based jihadi fiancé, who was in an artists’ enclave, that it would be “an honour and great pleasure to die or kill for [him] … only death will stop me here that I am so close to the target!”
On March 3, Irish police in Waterford and Cork had arrested four men and three women—one an American female Muslim convert identified as Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, 31—ranging in age from their mid–20s to late 40s, plotting to kill Lars Vilks. The other suspects were living legally as refugees in Ireland. The detainees included Danijel Orsov, 26, a Croat and a Muslim convert; Nadah Sameh, a Libyan woman in her 30s; and Ghamraffan Slimane and his wife, Ilef, an Algerian couple in their late 40s who were the only people arrested who were not living in Waterford. The couple operated a bakery in Cork. On March 12, Ireland extended the detention of three suspects for three more days. On March 15, Ireland charged Ali Charaf Damache, a ten-year resident of Ireland originally from Algeria, and Abdul Salam Monsour Khalil al-Jahani, from Libya, with minor offenses. Damache made a menacing telephone call; Jahani was charged with failing to produce a valid ID document. They were scheduled to appear in court on March 19, possibly to face new charges, including conspiracy to murder. Observers suggested LaRose was in contact with the suspects.
Authorities suggested that suburban Denver mother Paulin-Ramirez was motivated by love for an Algerian Muslim rather than terrorism when she went to Ireland on September 11, 2009, and married a Muslim she had met online. She and La Rose had connected in online chat rooms. She was a nursing student and medical aide before converting to Islam. Ireland released the Leadville, Colorado, resident on March 18. She had been living in Waterford with Libyan citizen Abdul Salam al-Jahani since the fall of 2009 and was several months pregnant. She moved into a Dublin hotel with her 6-year-old son, Christian, from a previous marriage. She had previously been married to three Mexican men (she divorced one who beat her; the other two were deported for being illegal immigrants). She was born in a Kansas City suburb, where her parents divorced when she was young. She had a hearing disorder and was often targeted by bullies. The son told his grandparents that he’d been taught to shoot and had his own sword and knife. Paulin-Ramirez had changed Christian’s name to Wahid.
On April 2, Paulin-Ramirez was arrested in Philadelphia and charged along with LaRose with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. The indictment is a superseding document to a previous indictment that had charged only LaRose, who pleaded not guilty to the original four charges. LaRose was also charged with making false statements to a government official and attempted identity theft. Paulin-Ramirez was represented by attorney Jeremy H. Gonzalez Ibrahim. The indictment said the two e-mailed each other the previous summer. LaRose asked her friend to join her in Europe at a “training camp.” Paulin-Ramirez arrived on September 12, 2009, with “the intent to live and train with jihadists.” She married an unidentified co-conspirator whom she had never met. La Rose faced life in prison and a $1 million fine; Paulin-Ramirez faced fifteen years and a $250,000 fine.
On April 7, 2010, Jamie Paulin-Ramirez shook her head to plead not guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. She was silent so that her voice in court could not be compared to any potential teltaps. She faced a maximum of fifteen years in jail. Ramirez’s trial was set for May 2. She was represented by defense lawyer Jeremy Ibrahim.
On February 1, 2011, Colleen LaRose pleaded guilty to all counts at a federal change-of-plea hearing in Philadelphia. LaRose was indicted in 2009 on conspiring to support terrorists, commit murder overseas, lying to a federal agent, and attempted identity theft. She faced a life sentence. She had been held in a federal detention center isolated from other prisoners in a special housing unit since October 2009. She spent twenty-three hours per day in her cell.
March 10, 2010—Pakistan—At 9:30 a.m., terrorists armed with assault rifles and a bomb attacked the Oghi, Mansehra district offices of the U.S.-based Christian humanitarian aid group World Vision, killing six Pakistani employees. The terrorists stole a computer and telephones. They spoke Urdu, Pashto, and the Pakistani dialect Hindko when telling the aid workers that they had been “forewarned to stop spreading immodesty.” 10031001
March 10, 2010—Yemen—Authorities announced the arrest of Sharif Mobley, 26, a U.S. citizen born in New Jersey, in connection with terrorist activity. He had worked as a janitor at U.S. nuclear sites in New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, but without access to sensitive information. Yemeni authorities suspected him of killing a hospital guard, whose weapon he seized during a medical visit the previous weekend after being arrested in a sweep of eleven al Qaeda suspects in Sana’a. He attacked guards at the hospital after asking them to join him in prayer, killed one and wounded another, and barricaded himself in a hospital room. He got into a shootout with the guards as he made his way from the fifth to the ground floor, where he was apprehended. He was believed to have been in contact with Anwar al-Aulaqi. U.S. counterterrorist officials believed he had left the United States to contact al Qaeda. He was believed to have been in detention in Yemen for several weeks before the shooting. He had been under FBI investigation in Delaware and New Jersey for some time. His mother was of Somali origin. He had obtained a Yemeni visa to study Arabic.
Mobley had graduated from Buena Regional High School in New Jersey in 2002. He was a member of the school’s wrestling team and had a black belt in karate. 10031002
March 11, 2010—Georgia—Armenians Sumbat Tonoyan, 63, who once ran a dairy business, and Hrant Ohanyan, 59, a scientist at the Yerevan Institute of Physics, were arrested while attempting to sell 18 grams of 89.4 percent enriched uranium at a hotel in the Georgian capital to a representative of an Islamist group. They claimed to have much more of the material. They were instead dealing with an undercover officer. Details of their secret trial were reported by the Guardian on November 8, 2010. The duo confessed to smuggling the uranium in a lead-lined cigarette box on a train from Yerevan to Tblisi. They claimed they obtained their sample from Garik Dadayan, a smuggler involved in a 2003 Georgian smuggling case in which the stolen highly enriched uranium (HEU) was traced to a nuclear fuel plant in Novosibirsk, Siberia. He had tried to smuggle 200 grams of HEU into Georgia.
March 12, 2010—Pakistan—Seven Taliban explosions—four of them suicide bombings—killed at least forty-three people in Lahore.
March 13, 2010—Afghanistan—Four suicide bombers attacked Kandahar during the evening, killing thirty-one people and wounding forty-five at a hotel, police station, and the city’s main prison, in a possible attempt to free Taliban terrorists. Two car bombers set off their explosives at 7:30 p.m. Another was carried on a motorcycle and the fourth on a bicycle. One bomb killed women and children at a wedding hall near the prison. Rockets were also fired near the prison. A Taliban Web site deemed it a “message” to the “enemies of the mujahedin.”
March 13, 2010—India—Authorities arrested Abdul Lateef Rashid, 29, and Riyaz Ali, 23, for planning to conduct attacks in Mumbai, the country’s financial capital. The Indian citizens, detained in Mumbai’s suburb, were planning to hit an office of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and a cloth market in South Mumbai and the Thakkar Mall in Mumbai’s western suburbs. No pleas were recorded. The duo were to be charged on March 18. Police said they were receiving directions from handlers in Pakistan.
March 14, 2010—Mexico—Three individuals associated with the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez were killed in two drive-by shootings. Lesley A. Enriquez, 25, a pregnant American employee at the consulate, and Arthur Hancock Redelfs, 30, her U.S. citizen husband, were found dead inside a white Toyota RAV4 with Texas license plates after they left a children’s birthday party. She was shot in the neck and left arm; he was hit near his right eye. Authorities retrieved a 9-mm shell casing. The body of Jorge Alberto Salcido Ceniceros, 37, a Mexican state police officer and husband of a Mexican employee of the consulate, was found inside a 2003 Honda Pilot. Salcido’s children, aged 4 and 7, were injured. Drug cartels were suspected. Authorities suspected the Barrio Azteca street gang and were searching for Eduardo “Tablas” Ravelo, 41, a leader of the group on Ciudad Juarez, who joined the FBI’s Most Wanted list in 2009. A $100,000 reward was issued for Ravelo, who was believed to have ordered the killings and carried them out himself.
On March 26, Mexican soldiers arrested Ricardo Valles de la Rosa, alias El Chino, alias El 29, 42 (or 45), in the case. He was a leader of the Barrio Aztecas street gang, which is affiliated with the Juarez drug cartel and carries out extortion, murders, and drug trafficking. He was also sought in connection with the murder of Zapata Reyes, a member of the rival Mexicles gang. Valles de la Rosa reportedly was earlier charged with ten counts related to drug trafficking in the United States. He lived in la Colonia Partido Romero in Ciudad Juarez and possibly rented a residence in El Paso. He told authorities that the target was jail guard Arthur Redelfs and the others were collateral damage. The gang claimed Redelfs had abused and menaced gang member El Chano at the El Paso County Jail. De la Rosa had been arrested in October 1995 on charges of being a member of a drug trafficking ring. He served twelve and a half years in U.S. federal prisons, joining the Azteca gang after meeting its leader, David Almaraz. He was deported to Juarez in 2007 after his release from an Oklahoma prison.
Mexican officials on July 2, 2010, arrested Jesus Ernesto Chavez, 41, leader of the U.S.-Mexican Barrio Azteca drug gang, who ordered the hit on Lesley Ann Enriquez because he thought she was dealing visas to the rival Sinaloa gang. Chavez reportedly ran contract killers for the Juarez cartel. He had served five years in Louisiana for distribution of narcotics. The Mexican Army arrested him on June 1, 2008, but he was soon released. He was linked to the murder of fifteen high school athletes and neighbors at a party in a Juarez barrio in 2010. The Aztecas thought they were members of the Artistic Assassins gang.
Authorities arrested Jose Guadalupe Diaz Diaz, alias El Zorro, 32, leader of the Aztecas gang affiliated with the Juarez drug cartel, on November 18, 2010, in connection with the murders.
On November 27, 2010, Juarez authorities arrested the head of the Aztecas, Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, alias El Farmero, 32, who admitted to being behind 80 percent of all drug-related killings in Juarez in the last sixteen months, including the consulate attack. Police seized 2 assault rifles, 2 handguns, 228 cartridges for different weapons, 90 grams of marijuana, 2 cars and 2 trucks, including one that was armored. In 1996, Gallegos was arrested in the United States for drug trafficking.
March 14, 2010—Israel—Authorities arrested senior Hamas operative Maher U’dda, who had been wanted since the end of the 1990s, in a nighttime raid in Ramallah. Israel said he was wanted for the deaths of more than seventy Israelis in several attacks. The 40-something U’dda was a founder of Hamas in Ramallah.
March 14, 2010—Yemen—Yemeni authorities said that two senior al Qaeda militants planning attacks and possibly eighteen other people were killed in an air strike in southern Abyan Province.
March 15, 2010—Nigeria—Two car bombs exploded in the early morning outside a government building in Warri, minutes before state governors were to discuss a peace program aimed at the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) militants. Several people were injured in the attack by MEND. The group threatened to attack the oil infrastructure, including facilities of France’s Total SA.
March 16, 2010—France—A French policeman was killed in a clash with Basque Nation and Liberty (ETA) carjackers in a Paris suburb. Authorities arrested Spanish citizen Joseba Fernandez Aspurz, an ETA member. Police suggested that the cars were to be used for attacks in Spain. 10031601
March 18, 2010—Israel—The previously-unknown Ansar al-Sunna claimed credit for a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip that killed a Thai worker. A second strike caused no casualties. 10031801
March 20, 2010—Somalia—Sheik Daud Ali Hasan, a commander of al-Shabaab who had been leading fighting against rival insurgents in Dhobley, near Kenya, was fatally shot in Kismaayo, near al-Shabaab’s military base during the night. The group’s local chair said several suspects had been arrested. Hizbul Islam denied involvement.
March 24, 2010—Saudi Arabia—Saudi authorities arrested 113 militants with al Qaeda ties who were planning attacks against oil operations and security facilities in the east. The arrests had taken place during the previous five months against three terrorist groups linked to the Yemeni-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Most of the suspects had been captured near the Yemen border. Police seized weapons, ammunition, cameras, prepaid phone cards, and computers. Those arrested included 47 Saudis, 51 Yemenis, a Bangladeshi, a Somali, and an Eritrean. The arrests included 11 Saudis and a Yemeni from two al Qaeda cells planning suicide attacks on oil facilities.
March 24, 2010—Iraq—U.S. and Iraqi troops arrested twelve people, including three senior al Qaeda in Iraq leaders who ran an extortion and assassination network that targeted oil companies and small businesses.
March 25, 2010—Qatar—Al-Jazeera aired a seventy-four-second Osama bin Laden audiotape in which he threatened retaliation against the United States if 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is executed. Addressing “the American people about our prisoners who you are holding,” he observed,
Your master in the White House is following his predecessor in many important issues, like escalating the war in Afghanistan and unfairly treating our prisoners—led by the hero jihadi Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The White House declared that they will execute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his comrades in arms. The day America makes that decision will be the day it has issued a death sentence for any one of you who fall prisoner to us. We have been enduring your masters’ oppression for a long time, especially by supporting Israel’s occupation of our land in Palestine. Our reaction to that oppression was heard loudly on the 11th with God’s help. Justice is to be treated in the same manner…. The politicians of the White House were and still are wronging us, especially by supporting Israel and occupying our land in Palestine. They think that America, behind oceans, is safe from the wrath of the oppressed, until the reaction was loud and strong in your homeland on the 9/11 with God’s help. Equal treatment is only fair. War is a back-and-forth.
March 26, 2010—United States—The United States indicted Chicago cab driver Raja Lahrasib Khan, alias Kojak, 56, on two charges of providing material support to terrorists by trying to send money to al Qaeda and discussing an attack on a U.S. stadium. He did not enter a plea. The Pakistani-born U.S. citizen claimed to know Ilyas Kashmiri, a Pakistani extremist with al Qaeda ties. An undercover agent gave Khan $1,000 to send to Kashmiri. Court papers mentioned a March 11 phone call in which Khan talked about attacking a U.S. stadium in August with bombs that go “boom, boom, boom, boom.” Khan had told an FBI undercover agent, “If … every day, you know we are bombing somewhere… kill fifty people, one hundred people, seventy people here, other state, other state … eventually they get the message.” The resident of Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood sent a money transfer of $950 to a contact in Pakistan in November 2009 and asked that $300 go to the leader of a Sunni extremist group with ties to al Qaeda. On March 23, authorities at O’Hare International Airport stopped Khan’s son before he could board a flight to the United Kingdom with $700 cash that had been given to his father by an undercover FBI agent. Khan was to meet his son in the United Kingdom and give the cash to Ilyas Kashmiri to buy weapons and other supplies.
Khan had told an undercover FBI agent on February 23 that Osama bin Laden was well, in charge, and giving orders regarding terrorist operations. He admitted he had never met bin Laden.
March 26, 2010—Gaza Strip—Two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinians died in a gun battle on the border with Israel after an Israeli Army patrol found the terrorists planning explosives. The military wing of Hamas—the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades (also known as the al-Aqsa Brigades)—and the little-known Palestine Taliban all claimed credit.
March 28, 2010—Greece—A man was killed and a mother and her 10-year-old daughter injured when a bomb exploded during the night outside a government building in the Patissia neighborhood of Athens. No one claimed credit.
March 28, 2010—United States—Authorities arrested Khalil Ibrahim Zarou, 31, of Leesburg, Virginia, for providing a false report about planting a bomb after he said early in the morning that people should come see the explosion because there was a bomb on a Carnival Cruise Lines ship Carnival Sensation outside Port Canaveral, Florida. The threat was a hoax. The ship, with 3,470 passengers and crew, was cleared out of port at 10:45 a.m.
March 29, 2010—United States—A federal grand jury in Detroit, Michigan, indicted six Michigan residents, two Ohioans, and an Indiana resident on five counts of seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence in connection with a “Christian warrior” militia that planned to kill a Michigan law enforcement officer and then attack other police at the funeral. The charge sheet said that since August 2008, the Lenawee County, Michigan, militia group called the Hutaree conspired to oppose by force the authority of the U.S. government. The indictment noted that Hutaree members view local, state, and federal law enforcement authorities as the enemy and have been preparing to engage them in armed conflict. The group’s Web site said that Hutaree means “Christian warrior” and it was “Preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive.” “We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Anti-Christ. All Christians must know this and prepare, just as Christ commanded.” Those indicted were David Brian Stone, 45; his wife, Tina Stone, 44; his son Joshua Matthew Stone, 21, of Clayton, Michigan; and another son, David Brian Stone, Jr., 19, of Adrian, Michigan; Joshua Clough, 28, of Blissfield, Michigan; Michael Meeks, 40, of Manchester, Michigan; Thomas Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Indiana; Kristopher Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio; and Jacob Ward, 33, of Huron, Ohio. Eight of the defendants were arrested; seven appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald A. Scheer on March 29. Joshua Stone was arrested 20 miles west of his family’s home. A bond hearing was set for March 31.
On May 3, 2010, U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts announced that the nine Hutaree could be released on bond until the criminal charges against them were resolved. A federal grand jury had indicted them on charges of seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence. On May 6, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati issued a stay of the lower court’s decision to release them with electronic monitors and other restrictions. On June 22, 2010, an appeals court reversed a federal judge and ordered the Hutaree members to stay in detention while awaiting trial. Two judges of the tribunal said “no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of the community.”
On March 29, 2012, David Stone, Sr., 47, and his son Joshua Stone, 23, pleaded guilty to federal charges of possessing illegal automatic firearms two days after Federal District Judge Victoria Roberts in Detroit dropped the charges of sedition and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against the government. They faced up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The Stones “admitted that they possessed machine guns, specifically a Bushmaster .223 caliber rifle and a Double Star Corporation .223 caliber rifle respectively, knowing that the firearms would shoot and were designed to shoot automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said. Tina Stone, 46; David Stone, Jr., 22, another son of the elder Stone; Thomas Piatek, 48; Michael Meeks, 40; and Kristopher Sickles, 29, were cleared of all charges. Defendant Joshua Clough, 30, awaited sentencing after pleading guilty to a weapons charge in December 2011. Jacob Ward, 35, will be tried separately.
March 29, 2010—United States—Norman Leboon, 33, was charged with threatening to kill U.S. House of Representatives member Eric Cantor (R–VA) and his family. Cantor, the second-ranking Republican in the House, is the only Jewish Republican in the House. Leboon posted a YouTube video threatening to shoot Cantor. Leboon was arrested at his Philadelphia home on March 27. A bullet had been fired at Cantor’s office on March 23. Leboon had previously been arrested on charges of terrorist threats, assault, and reckless endangerment. He faces fifteen years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $500,000, and a $200 special assessment.
March 29, 2010—Russia—Chechen rebels were suspected when two female suicide bombers attacked the Moscow subway, killing forty and wounding more than eighty others in a rush hour attack. One detonated her device at 7:56 a.m. on a train at the Lubyanka stop near the Kremlin and Federal Security Service headquarters, killing at least twenty-three. The second went off forty-five minutes later at Park Kultury station, four stops further on the same train line, killing at least twelve. The explosive belts were packed with bolts and iron bars that served as shrapnel. Police were searching for two suspected female accomplices and released photos of the suspected suicide bombers. The Moscow subway is one of the largest in the world, with seven million riders each day.
On March 31, Doku Umarov, who in 2009 had reestablished a suicide battalion, claimed credit. He said the attacks were retaliation for a raid in February 2010 in which twenty people were killed, charging that authorities used knives to execute innocent forest villagers.
Three St. Petersburg metro stations were shut following a bomb scare.
The first bomber was believed to be the 20-year-old widow of a terrorist leader who was killed in October 2009.
Investigators announced that the second bomber was Dzhanet Abdullayeva, 17, widow of an Islamist rebel leader. Authorities shared photos of her posing with a handgun and a grenade. She grew up in Khasavyurt, 40 miles from the site of the March 31, 2010, bombing in Dagestan. Her husband, Umulat Magomedov, 30, died in a New Year’s Eve shootout with security forces in Khasavyurt. They met via the Internet.
A bus driver said the suicide bombers and a man traveled to Moscow from the North Caucasus with shuttle traders.
Authorities were investigating whether the duo were part of the thirty suicide bombers allegedly recruited by Alexander Tikhomirov before his death. They were to be trained at a madrassa in Turkey.
On April 4, Rasul Magomedov told authorities that his daughter, Maryam Sharilova, 28, a schoolteacher in Dagestan, was one of the bombers. He identified her from a photo of the severed head that had run in the Russian media and sent to him via a friend’s cell phone. He said she earned a degree in math and psychology from the Dagestan Pedagogical University in 2005. Upon returning home, she taught computer science at a local school. Her brother had been jailed for six months on weapons and kidnapping charges.
Dzhanet Abdullayeva (“Paradise” in the local language) grew up without a father.
The male counterparts of the female suicide bombers set off the explosives via remote control.
On August 21, 2010, Russian security forces killed Magomed-Ali Vagabov, orchestrator of the suicide bombings, in a raid in Dagestan Province.
March 31, 2010—Russia—Two suicide bombers killed twelve people in Kizlyar, Dagestan. The first exploded in a parked car, killing two police officers who drove up in their vehicle. As first responders arrived, a man in a police uniform walked into the crowd and set off a suicide vest, killing the city’s police chief and eight other police officers and wounding two dozen people.
April 4, 2010—Russia—A bomb went off before dawn on a railway track in Dagestan, derailing eight carriages of a freight train carrying construction materials on the line from Moscow to Azerbaijan. The bomb damaged 44 yards of track. A passenger train going from Siberia to Baku, Azerbaijan, was stranded.
April 4, 2010—India—Maoist Naxalite terrorists set off a landmine in Orissa state, killing ten and wounding sixteen.
April 4, 2010—Iraq—Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia was blamed for three suicide car bombings at diplomatic targets that killed 30 and wounded 242. The car bombers were also wearing explosive vests. An al Qaeda front group claimed credit. One bomb went off at the Iranian Embassy in the Sahiya District, killing 20, including children, and wounding 125. Another went off at the residence of the Egyptian chargé d’affaires, after a suicide bomber drove into security guards and police and killed 15 and wounded 45. A third exploded at the home of the German ambassador in Mansour district. The bomber at the German site talked his way through four checkpoints without being searched. Police speculated that one of the targets was the Mar Yosif Chaldean Catholic Church in the Mansour area or perhaps the Syrian Embassy, which is near the German’s home.
A fourth suicide bombing was foiled at the offices of the government’s embassy protective services in the Karada neighborhood of Baghdad when policemen shot and wounded the driver of a minibus carrying a ton of explosives. The bomber was identified as Ahmed Jassim, 17, who was hospitalized with a leg wound. He was believed to have been on drugs at the time of the attack. The bomb was defused.
A fifth car bomb exploded while being assembled, killing two terrorists and wounding a third.
Two “sticky” bombs, limpeted on the underside of autos in the Dora neighborhood of southern Baghdad, wounded 2 people. 10040401-03
April 5, 2010—Russia—A suicide bomber set off his explosives next to a police car and killed two police officers in Karabulak, Ingushetia. Another police officer was hospitalized with blast trauma.
A half hour later, a second car bomb went off near a police headquarters nearby, causing several injuries.
April 6, 2010—Iraq—Seven bombs exploded in Shi’ite neighborhoods in Baghdad, killing 35 and wounding 140. Al Qaeda in Iraq was suspected. In five of the bombings, explosives went off in rented rooms or stores near apartment buildings. In the Chikook neighborhood two weeks earlier, two people rented a restaurant and a convenience store, rigged explosives, and set them off at 9:00 a.m. The same took place in the Shawaka district of the old city of central Baghdad at an apartment building, a video game store, and a traditional café.
April 6, 2010—Pakistan—A suicide bomber killed fifty-one people and injured eighty-nine at a pro-government Awami National Party rally in Timaragarah in the Lower Dir district of North West Frontier Province. The rally was celebrating parliament’s change of the North West Frontier’s name to Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa Province.
April 6, 2010—Pakistan—Hours later, militants attacked the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar. A suicide bomber set off his vehicle at a security checkpoint blocking the road outside the consulate. Terrorists in paramilitary uniforms then threw grenades and fired at security forces, who repelled the attackers. The Pakistani Taliban’s spokesman Azam Tariq claimed credit, saying it was avenging drone attacks. Bodies of four attackers were found; two were wearing unexploded suicide vests. Two consulate guards were killed.
The UN announced a two-day closure of its offices in Peshawar. 10040601
April 6, 2010—India—At 6:30 a.m., between five hundred and one thousand Maoist Naxalite insurgents killed seventy-three Indian paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force officers on patrol in an isolated forest region in the Dantewada region of Chhittisgarh State during Operation Green Hunt.
April 6, 2010—United States—The FBI arrested Charles Alan Wilson in Yakima, Washington, after he left a threatening voicemail at the office of Democratic Senator Patty Murray because of her support for health care reform. The message said she had a target on her back and “it only takes one piece of lead.” He had left another message on March 22 that said, “Now that you’ve passed your health care bill, let the violence begin.” He had a concealed carry permit for his .38 caliber revolver. He was scheduled to appear in federal court on one count of threatening a federal official.
April 7, 2010—United States—The FBI arrested Gregory Lee Giusti, 48, at his home in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District for threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her support of health care reform. He was accused of making dozens of threatening phone calls to her homes and her husband’s office.
April 10, 2010—Mexico—A bomb was thrown over the wall of the U.S. Consulate in Nueva Laredo. No injuries were reported. 10041001
April 10, 2010—Afghanistan—The government arrested nine people, including three Italian medical workers, affiliated with the Milan-based aid group Emergency in Lashkar Gah, in a Quetta Shura suicide bombing assassination plot against leaders of Helmand Province. Among those targeted was southern Helmand Governor Gulab Mangal. Investigators discovered ten suicide vests, two pistols, nine hand grenades, and other explosives hidden in medicine cartons at a clinic. The Pakistani Taliban had provided the group $500,000 for the attack, which was to occur in a crowded location. Two bombs were to go off in Lashkar Gah, one in a populated area or a picnic site in the suburbs and the second at a hospital when Mangal would have visited the injured.
The government said the three Italians were responsible for killing Afghan translator Ajmal Naqshbandi following the Taliban’s kidnapping of Italian journalist Danielle Mastrogiacomo, whose release had been negotiated by an Emergency in Lashkar Gah staffer. The three Italians and five of the Afghans were cleared of charges and released on April 18. A sixth Afghan remained detained.
April 11, 2010—Sudan—Four African Union peacekeepers were missing in Darfur after they left Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state en route to their private quarters 7 kilometers away.
April 12, 2010—Northern Ireland—Irish Republican Army (IRA) dissidents set off a bomb at 12:24 a.m. outside the MI5 headquarters in Hollywood city, hours before Catholic and Protestant leaders were to elect a new justice minister. Gunmen kidnapped a Belfast taxi driver at his home and used his car to transport the bomb to the security walls of Palace Barracks, a former British Army base that houses the Northern Ireland MI5 office. One man was hospitalized for shock. Little damage resulted. British power for running the justice system had been transferred at midnight. The Real IRA claimed credit.
April 12, 2010—Afghanistan—Hosiy Sahibzada, 24, an Afghan who worked for the Bethesda, Maryland-based DAI, a global development company, was shot to death as she walked home from the DAI office in Kandahar City. 10041201
April 12, 2010—Afghanistan—An Afghan employee of the Arlington, Virginia-based International Relief and Development was shot to death in the Garmsir area of Helmand Province. 10041202
April 13, 2010—Philippines—At 10:50 a.m., a bomb went off in a motorcycle park between the Santa Isabela Cathedral and Isabela Park in Isabela City, Basilan. Other bombs were found near the city hall, a judge’s home, and a local high school. Another bomb went off during rush hour in a van parked at a grandstand at a local sports center. Some twenty-five Abu Sayyaf terrorists disguised as police officers and soldiers conducted other attacks and bombings, killing twelve people, including three Marines, a policeman, five civilians, and three terrorists, including Abu Sayyaf commander Bensar Indama, who wore a police uniform. Nine people were injured, including two terrorists who were captured. The terrorists had split into three groups when confronted by authorities, who said the terrorists planned to set off additional bombs and take hostages. Witnesses said Abu Sayyaf commander, Puruji Indama, brother of Bensar Indama, escaped. Puruji was believed behind kidnappings and beheadings.
April 13, 2010—Israel—An Israeli counterterrorism unit warned Israeli citizens in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula that terrorists were planning kidnappings in the tourist destination.
April 13, 2010—Congo—Mai Mai Yakutumba rebels abducted eight Red Cross employees in eastern Kivu Province. The government accused the terrorists of planning to use them as human shields to prevent a planned army assault. The aid group said negotiations were under way to secure their release.
April 13, 2010—Gaza Strip—Israeli troops killed at least two Palestinian militants attempting to plant explosives near a crossing between Gaza and Israel. Gaza medics recovered only two bodies, although authorities claimed to have killed four terrorists. Israel brought in tanks and helicopters in the firefight. Islamic Jihad was blamed.
April 14, 2010—Iraq—Local authorities arrested two members of al Qaeda in Iraq planning to hijack planes and fly them into Shi’ite holy shrines.
April 14, 2010—Afghanistan—A suicide car bomb exploded at 9:30 p.m. outside a Kandahar City compound used by Western contractors. Four Afghan security guards were killed and sixteen other people were wounded, among them two Americans and South African and Nepalese employees. The compound’s USAID contractors include workers from Chemonics International, the Louis Berger Group, and the Central Asia Development Group. Three buildings were damaged. 10041401
April 15, 2010—Myanmar—The government blamed terrorists for setting off three bombs at 3:00 p.m. that killed twenty people and wounded more than seventy others (according to hospital records) during a New Year’s water festival in Yangon at Kandawgyi Lake. The government said eight died, ninety were wounded. No one claimed credit.
April 15, 2010—Switzerland—Authorities arrested two Italians and a Swiss national (two men and a woman) on suspicion of planning to bomb an IBM nanotechnology research facility near Rueschlikon, 6 miles south of Zurich. Police found “explosive and further items in their car” and a note referring to “a planned attack on the branch of an international company,” according to the Federal Prosecutors Office. As of April 26, the trio was in custody. WTOP Radio reported on May 2 that the Italians were ecoterrorists.
April 16, 2010—Pakistan—A suicide bomber killed eight people in a hospital emergency room in Quetta where Shi’ites were mourning a bank manager who had been shot to death that morning. A journalist and two police officers were among the dead.
April 17, 2010—India—Two explosions went off at a crowded cricket stadium in Bangalore, injuring fifteen of the thousands of spectators an hour before the Premier League match between the Mumbai Indians and the Bangalore Royal Challenge. Officials were trying to determine if terrorists were involved.
April 17, 2010—Pakistan—At noon, burqa-wearing suicide bombers killed forty-one and injured sixty-one at a camp for displaced people in Kohat northwestern Pakistan. The second bomb went off as people rushed in to help the victims of the first bomb. Umar, a spokesman for Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al almi, said that the group was retaliating for the conversions to Sunni of two Shi’ite women from Kachai village in Kohat district. He claimed the two women were killed by Shi’ite Muslims in their village. The Pakistani Taliban was also suspected.
April 18, 2010—Iraq—Al Qaeda in Iraq leaders Abu Ayyub al-Masri, alias Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, true name Yasif al-Dardiri, and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, true name Hamid Dawud Muhammad Khalil al-Zawi, were killed in a joint U.S.-Iraqi operation against a safe house in al-Tharthar, 10 kilometers south of Tikrit. The Egyptian al-Masri was the group’s military leader; Al-Baghdadi, alias “Prince of the Faithful,” led the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group that includes al Qaeda in Iraq. Al-Masri’s assistant and al-Baghdadi’s son were killed as well when a suicide bomb went off inside the house and American forces dropped another bomb on the facility. Another sixteen terrorists were arrested. One U.S. soldier died and three were injured in a helicopter crash during the operation. On April 25, the Islamic State of Iraq confirmed that the two leaders had died.
April 19, 2010—Pakistan—The Associated Press ran a story of a foiled suicide bombing orchestrated by Abdul Baseer, 25, who sent grenades and an explosives vest ahead before boarding a bus with Mohi-ud-Din, 14, who was to be the suicide bomber. The duo would have attacked the PC International luxury hotel in Lahore frequented by Americans. The duo was arrested at the house of another suspect days before they were to set off the explosives.
Baseer, born in 1985 near the Swat Valley, claimed to have attacked a U.S. patrol in Afghanistan. He was the eldest of seven children of a wheat farmer. He attended three Islamic boarding schools, memorizing the Quran. One of them was Jamia Faridia in Islamabad, which was believed to be a madrassa used to recruit terrorists. He claimed to have done three summer internships for the Taliban in Kunar Province in Afghanistan. He later made ten suicide vests for Nazir, a Pakistani Taliban commander.
April 22, 2010—Thailand—Five M-79 grenades were fired from a shoulder-mounted launcher at a pro-government demonstration in Bangkok’s business district, killing three and wounding seventy-five. Four people, including two foreigners, were seriously wounded. Anti-government “red shirts” were suspected; the group’s leaders denied responsibility. 10042201
April 22, 2010—Niger—Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) kidnapped retired French engineer Michel Germaneau, 78. The group had threatened to kill him if several imprisoned AQIM members were not freed by July 26. In a May video, he asked the French president to find a solution. On July 22, 2010, French and Mauritanian commandos attacked an AQIM campsite, killing six terrorists. Four others escaped in the Sahara on the border with Mali. Authorities said they were trying to foil a planned attack on a military base in Mauritania. Others suggested that they were attempting to free Germaneau, who was not at the raid site.
On July 25, AQIM leader Abdelmalek Droukdel sent an audio message to al-Jazeera in which he said that the group had killed Germaneau in retaliation for the July 22 raid. Droukdel observed, “Sarkozy has failed to free his compatriot in this failed operation … he opened the doors of hell for himself and his people. As a quick response to the despicable French act, we confirm that we have killed hostage Germaneau in revenge for our six brothers who were killed in the treacherous operation.” French Prime Minister Francois Fillon announced, “We are at war with al Qaeda.” 10042202
April 23, 2010—Iraq—Ten morning car bombs went off at Shi’ite mosques in Baghdad, killing fifty-eight people. At least thirty-nine people died in two explosions in Sadr City. Residents threw bricks at arriving soldiers, who responded by opening fire, killing and injuring several. Another three car bombs killed nineteen in Hurriyah, Ameen, and Zafraniya, also Moqtada al-Sadr strongholds. The government blamed al Qaeda in Iraq.
Six bombs went off in Khaldiyah in Anbar Province, killing nine people. Targets included a contractor who worked with the U.S. military, a member of a Sunni paramilitary group, and an investigative judge.
April 25, 2010—Afghanistan—CNN reported that the Taliban was suspected of poison gas attacks against three girls’ schools that sickened eighty-eight students and teachers in northern Kunduz Province.
April 26, 2010—Yemen—At 8:00 a.m., Othman Ali al-Salwi, 22, a student from Taiz Province, died when he set off his suicide vest next to the British ambassador’s vehicle in a failed attempt to assassinate British Ambassador to Yemen Tim Torlot, 52. Three Yemeni bystanders, including at least one man and one woman, were hospitalized. No Britons were harmed by the blast, which took place a short distance from the U.K. Embassy in Noqom in eastern Sana’a. Al-Salwi was wearing sports gear with explosives strapped to his body. Torlot arrived in July 2007. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was suspected. Al-Salwi’s father said that his son had disappeared six weeks earlier. He condemned his son’s actions and said he had tried to get him to marry and find a job. The terrorist had lived in Sana’a. The next day, the government arrested dozens of al Qaeda members, including seven Yemenis with close relations to al-Salwi. 10042601
April 27, 2010—France/United States—Passenger Derek Stansberry of Florida was restrained by federal air marshals after telling a flight attendant that he had a bomb in his luggage on Delta flight 273 from Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport. The plane was diverted from its flight to Atlanta and landed safely at the Bangor, Maine, airport around 3:30 p.m. Stansberry had served as a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer until 2009. No explosives were found. The Airbus 330 had left Paris at 1:39 p.m. Paris time and was due to arrive in Atlanta at 5:25 p.m.
April 28, 2010—Egypt—A court convicted twenty-six men of membership in a Hizballah cell that planned to attack Israeli tourists in the Sinai Peninsula, fire on ships passing through the Suez Canal, and smuggle weapons, supplies, and people through tunnels to the Gaza Strip. Sentences ranged from six months to life in prison. Prosecutors had requested the death penalty for several defendants, including Muhammad Youssef Mansour, alias Sami Shehab, who had been sent by Hizballah to organize the cell in Egypt. Four of the defendants were tried in absentia. They included Mohammed Qublan and two others at large who were given life sentences.
April 30, 2010—United States—A Manhattan federal court charged Brooklyn-born Wesam el-Hanafi, 33, of traveling to Yemen to meet with al Qaida members in February 2008. He and a former accountant were charged with conspiracy to give computer advice, purchase wrist watches, and otherwise help the terrorist group to “modernize.” The indictment said the terrorists “instructed him on operational security measures and directed him to perform tasks for al-Qaida.” He also “took an oath of allegiance to al-Qaeda.” After purchasing computer software that let him securely communicate with al Qaeda, he met in the summer with an unnamed co-conspirator and the second defendant, Sabirhan Hasanoff, 34, in Brooklyn to discuss joining the group. The third person gave $50,000 to Hasanoff, who later traveled to New York City and performed unspecified “tasks for al-Qaeda.” The indictment said that El-Hanafi bought seven Casio digital watches in 2009. Prosecutors described Hasanoff as a dual citizen of the United States and Australia who has lived in Brooklyn. He has a Queens address and is a certified public accountant. A professional networking site says a Sabir Hasanoff was a senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) who graduated from Baruch College in Manhattan. A PwC spokesman said Hasanoff worked there from 2003 to 2006. At an initial court appearance in Alexandria, Virginia, the duo waived their rights to a hearing. They were detained and ordered transferred to New York for a bail hearing. They faced fifteen years in prison. El-Hanafi was represented by attorney Victor Knapp; Hasanoff by Anthony L. Ricco. Federal Magistrate Judge James C. Francis, IV, refused to grant bail to Hasanoff on May 17. Hasanoff pleaded not guilty.
May 2010—Morocco—Authorities arrested twenty-four members of an al Qaeda–linked cell and were looking for another in France.
May 1, 2010—United States—A bomb threat was found on a lavatory mirror on United Airlines flight 148 from Chicago, Illinois, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The plane landed shortly before 7:00 p.m. The threat was a hoax.
May 1, 2010—United States—Explosives were found in a tinted, dark green sport utility vehicle parked on 45th Street and Broadway near 7th Avenue in Times Square in New York City after street vendors Lance Horton and Duane M. Jackson noticed smoke pouring out of a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder with its engine running and hazard lights flashing shortly after 6:00 p.m. A firefighter reported a “mini explosion” in the back of the vehicle. Police seized three propane tanks, two filled five-gallon gas containers, two alarm clocks with batteries, 152 consumer-grade M-88 fireworks containing black powder, and 100 pounds of fertilizer in plastic bags bearing a store’s logo and held in a 78-pound GC-14P gun steel security cabinet manufactured by Stack-On. Police also found three keys, including one to the apartment of Faisal Shahzad and one to his getaway car. The SUV’s Connecticut license plate was stolen from another truck parked at an automobile junkyard near Bridgeport, Connecticut. The vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) had been scratched out from some of the car’s parts; police found the VIN on its engine block. Police believed the car was parked at 6:28 p.m. and discovered minutes later.
In a seventy-one-second video, the Pakistani Taliban said it was retaliating for the deaths of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri (two al Qaeda in Iraq leaders) and of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. The video, in Urdu, said the group took “full responsibility for the recent attack in the USA” in response to “interference and terrorism in Muslim countries, especially in Pakistan for the Lalmasjid operation” in which the Pakistani Army in 2007 stormed the Red Mosque in Islamabad. The group complained about drone strikes and the “abduction, torture, and humiliation” of Aafia Siddiqui. Spokesman Qari Hussain, a Pakistani Taliban suicide bomber trainer, claimed credit. New York Police Department sources said there was no further evidence of Taliban involvement.
Police searched for a man on a security video seen leaving the area and taking off his shirt.
On May 3—within fifty-three hours and seventeen minutes of the discovery of the vehicle—police arrested Faisal Shahzad, 30, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pabbi, Pakistan, residing in Connecticut, as he was boarding Emirates Airlines flight 202 from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Dubai. He had used cash to purchase his ticket. Police were determining why he was let onto the plane although he was on a no-fly list. Authorities arrived after the plane’s door had closed. After the plane’s doors were closed following Shahzad’s arrest, authorities had them opened a second time so that they could deplane two other persons of interest. The FBI said that it had him under surveillance before he boarded the plane but had lost him for a time.
He had purchased the Pathfinder with cash from a woman in Bridgeport, Connecticut, who advertised it for sale on Web sites. The SUV had 141,000 miles on the odometer and was available for $1,300, according to nothingbutcars.net and Craigslist.
Shahzad had also purchased a 9-mm Kel-Tec rifle from a gun shop in Shelton, Connecticut in March 2010. Investigators found the gun and ammunition magazines in an Isuzu Trooper he left at the airport.
Shahzad purchased the fireworks at Phantom Fireworks in Matamoras, Pennsylvania, on March 8. He apparently did not know the difference between the consumer-grade M-88s, which do not jointly detonate, and M-80s, which would have caused a significant explosion.
Shahzad admitted setting the bomb and to having trained in bomb-making in Waziristan, Pakistan, by the Pakistani Taliban. He had family ties in Karachi. He had no history of violence or connection to militant Islam. His family often hosted barbecues on their back deck. His wife, Colorado-born Huma Mian, often wore a veil and robe. He wore suits or khakis.
Police read Shahzad his Miranda rights several hours after his arrest. He waived his rights and continued to cooperate with investigators.
Shahzad’s father was Bahar ul–Haq, a retired vice air marshal living in Peshawar.
He had lived in the United States since January 16, 1999, after receiving a student visa at age 19. He earned a bachelor of science degree in computer science from the University of Bridgeport in 2000, and a master of business administration from the school in 2005. He earned Ds in English Composition and Microeconomics, Bs in Introduction to Accounting and Introduction to Humanities, and a C in Statistics. He had transferred from now-defunct Southeastern University in Washington. Professors called him an unremarkable student. He had worked at the Connecticut-based marketing company Affinion Group for three years as a financial analyst making $50,000 per year before leaving in June 2009. The couple had purchased a gray two-story home in Shelton, Connecticut, for $273,000 and failed to sell it in 2008, defaulting on their mortgage. He did not attend the town’s main mosque. The family—he, his wife, and two daughters—moved to Pakistan in 2009. He returned to the United States in February 2010. On April 16, he activated a prepaid cell phone that would expire within two weeks. He called the car seller, a Pennsylvania fireworks dealer, and Pakistan.
He had intended to take a connecting flight from Dubai to Pakistan.
Two people in Karachi, Pakistan were arrested in the case initially; five were in custody by May 4. Pakistani authorities said he might have had contact with Ilyas Kashmiri. Among those arrested was Tauhid Ahmed, who was in touch with Shahzad via e-mail and had met him either in the United States or Karachi. Detainee Muhammad Rehan had met with Shahzad during the latter’s visit to Pakistan. Rehan was arrested in Karachi following morning prayers at a mosque frequented by Jaish-e-Muhammad. Rehan said he had rented a pickup truck and driven with Shahzad to Peshawar, where they stayed from July 7 to July 29, 2009.
The government charged Shahzad with five felony counts in a federal court in Manhattan.
On May 6, Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq denied responsibility.
FBI investigators arrived in Islamabad on May 7, tracking Shahzad’s sources of funding for the attack. Shahzad brought $80,000 in cash into the United States when he returned from trips overseas between 1999 and 2008. Authorities believed he was in touch with Jaish-e-Muhammad. Shahzad said he was inspired by Anwar al-Aulaqi.
On May 9, the Obama administration said the Tehrik-e-Taliban had directed and probably financed Shahzad’s efforts.
On May 13, federal authorities conducted raids in four northeastern states and arrested three people (two in the Boston area and one in Maine) in connection with—perhaps unknowingly—moving money to Shahzad via hawalas. The trio was charged with immigration violations. Authorities carried boxes of evidence from a house in Watertown, Massachusetts, and searched a car at a service station in Brookline, Massachusetts. Mohammad Shafiq Rahman, 33, a computer programmer, was arrested in Maine. The Bostonians were identified as Pir Khan, 43, a taxi driver, and his nephew Aftab Ali Khan, alias Aftab Ali, a 20-something gas station attendant, who were held on immigration violations. Authorities believed they had given money to Shahzad. They lived in a 39 Waverley Avenue apartment in Watertown, Massachusetts. Pakistani authorities arrested a suspect with connections to the Pakistani Taliban who was believed to be an accomplice. The next day, Pakistani authorities questioned five people from a Karachi mosque affiliated with Jaish-e-Muhammad. On May 29, Aftab Khan was ordered to return to Pakistan by immigration Judge Robin Feder. The Khans were represented by attorneys Mary Attia and Saher Macarius.
On May 10, Pakistani authorities arrested Salman Ashraf Khan, 35, an executive with Hanif Rajput Caterers, a firm that organized functions for the U.S. Embassy. Khan attended the University of Houston in 2000, majoring in computer science. He was believed to have been a member of a group in Islamabad who assisted Shahzad. Authorities also arrested his close friend, Ahmed Raza Khan.
The Associated Press reported on May 19 that Shahzad had told authorities he had also considered attacks on Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center, the World Financial Center, and Sikorsky, Inc. He asked his questioners why his bomb failed.
On May 18, Shahzad was ordered held without bail.
On May 21, Pakistan arrested an army major in Rawalpindi.
On May 31, Pakistani authorities released former Pakistani Army Maj. Adnan Ahmad, who had been detained in mid–May for having links with Shahzad, including meeting and exchanging cell phone calls. He was cleared of the allegations. His brother, Qamar Ahmad, a computer engineer, was also expected to be released.
As of May 31, Shoaib Mughal, a Pakistani computer sales business owner from Islamabad, remained in custody. He was suspected of sending $11,000 to $15,000 from the Taliban to Shahzad with the help of Shahid Hussain, Shahzad’s friend who had lived in Pakistan and the United States and who was also in Pakistani custody.
Shahzad’s indictment by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York was released on June 17. He was charged with ten counts; the five new charges included conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, being armed with a 9-mm rifle, and committing an act of terrorism “transcending national boundaries.” The indictment said he received $12,000 from the Pakistani Taliban, which trained him in explosives in Waziristan. He received $5,000 on February 25 in Massachusetts and $7,000 two weeks later in Ronkonkoma, New York. Six counts carried life terms; life was the minimum sentence for two counts.
On June 21, 2010, Shahzad pleaded, “one hundred times” guilty to the charges. He said more attacks would come because the United States is “terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim people.” He chose the warm Saturday night because more people would be potential targets. He had no plea agreement and faced a mandatory life sentence; sentencing was set for October 5, 2010, by Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum.
On July 2, Mohammad Shafiq Rahman’s wife said he would soon be freed on $10,000 bail. Rahman was represented by attorney Cynthia Arn. The computer programmer came to the United States legally in 1999 and had no criminal record. He married in March 2010. He knew Shahzad when he lived in Connecticut ten years earlier. Arn said he had not seen him for eight years. On August 24, 2010, federal immigration Judge Brenda O’Malley reinstated bail for Mohammad Shafiq Rahman.
On September 8, 2010, Pakistan charged three young Pakistanis—Shahid Hussain, Shoaib Mughal, and Humbal Akhtar—who were close friends with Faisal Shahzad with criminal conspiracy to commit terrorism. Prosecutors said the trio confessed to helping to prepare Shahzad for the attack by setting up meetings with senior Pakistani Taliban leaders—including Hakimullah Mehsud—facilitating his training at Pakistani Taliban boot camps, and sending him $13,000.
On September 15, 2010, the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Mohammad Younis, 44, at his home in Long Island, New York, and indicted him on charges of operating an unlicensed hawala. In April 2010, he had met with Shahzad and provided him with thousands of dollars. Younis pleaded not guilty to federal charges of conducting an unlicensed money transfer business and conspiring to do so. He faced ten years in prison. Prosecutors said he unwittingly aided the terror plot.
On September 29 during the trial, prosecutors said Faisal Shahzad planted the car bomb, then e-mailed his Pakistani Taliban contacts to brag about the act. Shahzad told authorities he thought the bomb would kill at least forty people, because he had watched live video feeds of the area for three months to get an idea of when the largest crowds were present. He told interrogators that he planned a second bombing in the city two weeks later and planned to conduct additional attacks until captured or killed. Sentencing was scheduled for October 5. Prosecutors requested a life sentence.
On September 30, Pakistan arrested Faisal Abbasi, an employee of the Council of Islamic Ideology, who accompanied Shahzad while in Pakistan.
On October 5, 2010, the court sentenced Faisal to life in prison. Shahzad shot back, “Brace yourself, the war with Muslims has just begun. The defeat of the U.S. is imminent, inshallah…. We will terrorize you…. My sentence reflects life in this world, not life in the hereafter…. I’m happy with the deal that God has given me…. The Quran gives us the right to defend ourselves.”
Reuters reported the next day that Abdul Jabbar, a Briton killed in an air strike in Pakistan on September 8, 2010, had links to Faisal Shahzad.
On May 21, 2011, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents deported Aftab Ali Khan, 28, to Islamabad, Pakistan. He had pleaded guilty to unlicensed money transmitting and immigration document fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper sentenced him to time served (eleven months) with three years of supervised release. He was then released to ICE for deportation hearings.
On February 26, 2012, Duane Jackson, the Times Square vendor who alerted police to the SUV, said he would run for office in New York’s 19th Congressional District.
On June 2, 2012, a Pakistani antiterrorism court acquitted four men who had been charged with providing financial and logistical support to Faisal Shahzad. They were identified as Muhammad Shouaib Mughal, Shahid Hussain, Humbal Akhtar, and Faisal Abbasi. They had been arrested in Pakistan shortly after Shahzad tried to detonate an SUV in Times Square, New York City. Three of them were indicted in November 2010 in a Pakistani antiterrorism court. Three were released by that evening; Abbasi remained in custody to face charges in another case. 10050101
May 1, 2010—Somalia—Two bombs went off minutes apart near the Abdala Shideya Mosque in the Bakaro market in Mogadishu, killing at least thirty people and wounding scores. The area is an al-Shabaab stronghold. The first bomb went off at 12:45 p.m. when worshipers were getting ready to pray. The second went off when rescuers arrived. Abdul Qadir, director of an ambulance service, said his vehicles carried fifty-two patients to a hospital and at least forty people died. No one claimed credit. Senior al-Shabaab leader Fuad Shongole was believed to have been injured in the explosions.
May 1, 2010—India—Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States issued warnings to its citizens that terrorists were planning imminent attacks in New Delhi.
May 2, 2010—United States—Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, earlier thought dead, released a nine-minute video produced by Umar Studio in which he promised attacks on major U.S. cities. The video apparently was made in early April; he claimed the date was April 4. “God willing, very soon in some days or a month’s time, the Muslim [community] will see the fruits of most successful attacks of our fedayeen in USA.” The group had claimed credit for the unsuccessful Times Square attack of the previous day. A followup audio by Mehsud appeared to have been taped on April 19.
May 2, 2010—United States—A bomb scare interrupted the Pittsburgh Marathon while police searched an abandoned microwave oven believed to have contained explosives. Reports differed as to whether the device found near the finish line was a bomb. A police robot dismantled the device.
May 3, 2010—Afghanistan—A suicide car bomber killed an Afghan civilian and wounded two Afghan security guards outside Camp Chapman in Khost Province, the same site where seven CIA officers were killed in a December 30, 2009, bombing.
May 9, 2010—Pakistan—Local authorities arrested Faiz Mohammad, 30, as he was about to board a Thai Airways flight from Karachi to Muscat after a routine security check found that he had hidden two batteries and electrical circuits in his shoes. He claimed it was a foot massager.
May 10, 2010—United States—A pipe bomb went off at the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville, Florida, causing no injuries but some damage. On May 4, 2011, state and federal agents shot and killed Sandlin Matthews Smith, 46, of St. Johns County, Florida, after he pulled a firearm when they approached him in a field at Glass Mountain State Park near Orienta, Oklahoma. They were trying to serve an arrest warrant on him for federal charges in connection with the bombing.
May 11, 2010—Chile—Local police arrested a Pakistani man after traces of explosives set off detectors at the U.S. Embassy. U.S. Ambassador Paul Simon said Mohammed Saif Ur-Rehman had scheduled an interview.
May 12, 2010—Germany—Two Russian male pilots were arrested at Berlin’s Tegel Airport after a witness told police she believed they were planning a hijacking. They were scheduled on an Air Berlin flight to Moscow.
May 12, 2010—Indonesia—Antiterrorism teams killed five suspected Islamist militants in shootouts in and around the capital. Those killed included Ahmad Maulana and Saptono, who died in a raid in Cikampek, 45 miles each of Jakarta. Saptono was one of Indonesia’s twenty-five most wanted fugitives. The duo was wanted for several attacks, including the 2004 suicide bombing at the Australian Embassy. Authorities later said the terrorists were planning several Mumbai-like attacks in which a hotel catering to foreigners would be attacked, Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono would be assassinated at an Independence Day ceremony on August 17, and President Obama would be targeted during a visit in June. Some of the terrorists were believed affiliated with al Qaeda of the Verandah of Mecca; others were members of Lintas Tanzim.
May 12, 2010—United States—An individual suggested on a jihadi Web site that “invasions suspicious bags [sic]” be placed in “the heart of Washington and New York” to desensitize first responders to true bombs. Before the May 1 Times Square attempt, there had been 90 calls per day to the New York Police Department regarding suspicious packages; the following week, there were 140 such calls.
May 14, 2010—United Kingdom—British-born Roshonara Choudhry, 21, attacked then–Treasury Minister Stephen Timms, 55, with a kitchen knife in an area of east London with a large Muslim population. She stabbed Timms twice. He was hospitalized for a week. She was represented by attorney Jeremy Dein. The Bengali-descended woman was found guilty in the Old Bailey court in London on November 2, 2010, of attempted murder of the Labour Party parliament member. Timms had voted in favor of participation in the war in Iraq. She was believed influenced by Anwar al-Aulaqi. She was a student in English language and communications at King’s College London from September 2007 through April 2010, when she dropped out. She said she wanted to punish Timms and “get revenge for the people of Iraq.”
May 16, 2010—Yemen—Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula issued an audiotape on Islamist Web sites in which group leader Nasser al-Wahayshi warned of attacks if the United States should harm U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi. He admitted the December 25, 2009, airline bombing attempt “was a failure, but tell me, what will success be like…. It will inevitably be a disaster for you [Americans], for we are enamored with the attacks of September 11…. The threats of the United States do not frighten us…. Muslims, do not worry about the sheikh (Aulaqi), he is in safe hands.”
May 17, 2010—India—Maoist rebels set off a landmine under a bus carrying police and civilians in Chhattisgarh State, killing thirty-five people, including nineteen civilians and sixteen police.
May 18, 2010—Sudan—American aid worker Flavia Wagner, 35, was kidnapped in Darfur. She worked for the U.S. charity Samaritan’s Purse. She was freed on August 31, 2010, after 105 days in captivity. 10051801
May 20, 2010—France—French police arrested Basque Nation and Liberty leader Mikel Kabikoitz Carrera Sarobe and his deputy.
May 23, 2010—Yemen—Anwar al-Aulaqi posted a forty-five-minute video on the Internet in which he called on Muslims to kill U.S. civilians. “The American people, in general, are taking part in this, and they elected this administration, and they are financing the war…. Those who might be killed in a plane are merely a drop of water in a sea…. No one should even ask us about targeting a bunch of Americans who would have been killed in an airplane. Our unsettled account with America includes, at the very least, one million women and children. I’m not even talking about the men.”
May 24, 2010—Yemen—Sharda tribesmen kidnapped two American tourists—a man and a woman—and their Yemeni driver and demanded the release of a jailed tribesman. The two Americans were freed unharmed the next day. 10052401
May 28, 2010—Pakistan—Seven members of the Punjab provincial chapter of the Pakistani Taliban attacked mosques in Lahore, killing at least ninety-eight worshipers of the Ahmadi community, an ostracized minority sect. Another seventy-eight were wounded. Some seventy-five people died in the Model Town neighborhood when four gunmen fired at them and threw grenades. A gun battle raged in Garhi Shahu for hours after a gunman climbed on top of a minaret, firing an assault rifle and throwing grenades. Two other gunmen fired on police officers and held hostages. The three attackers set off suicide vests when police stormed the mosque, killing scores. Police arrested a 17-year-old who said the attackers had trained in North Waziristan.
May 28, 2010—India—Maoists rebels were suspected of damaging a train track that led to derailment of an overnight Gyaneshwari Express passenger train. An oncoming red cargo train then plowed into the blue passenger train, killing sixty-five and injuring two hundred. Rescuers needed three hours to reach the rural location near the small town of Sardiha, about 90 miles west of Calcutta. The Gyaneshwari Express was traveling from Mumbai to Calcutta when the derailment occurred at 1:30 a.m.
May 28, 2010—Northern Ireland—Two masked gunmen shot Robert Moffett, 43, in the face at point blank range on Shankill Road in Belfast. Police arrested a 40-year-old man.
May 29, 2010—Northern Ireland—A car bomb exploded shortly after midnight in Derry, 70 miles northwest of Belfast, causing no injuries.
May 30, 2010—Afghanistan—A U.S. air strike killed Haji Amir, the senior Taliban commander in Kandahar, and several of his fighters when he stopped at a small mud hut in the morning. He had escaped from prison in June 2008, moved to Pakistan to plan attacks, and returned to Afghanistan in April to conduct the attacks.
May 31, 2010—Pakistan—Three gunmen in police uniforms attacked Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital, killing a dozen people, including four police officers, wounding seven others, and taking several hostages. Dozens of people who were injured in the May 28 mosque attacks were being treated in the hospital. The gunmen had tried to rescue one of the terrorists from the mosque attack who was being treated in the intensive care unit. A police commando team stormed the hospital. The terrorists escaped but not with their wounded colleague.
May 31, 2010—Afghanistan—Al Qaeda admitted that on May 21, a U.S. missile had killed Mustafa Ahmed Mohammad Uthman Abu al-Yazid, alias Sheik Saeed al-Masri, 54, the number 3 leader of al Qaeda and its operational commander in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
June 2010—Indonesia—Police in central Java Province arrested Abdullah Sunata, 32, on charges of helping set up Al Qaida in Aceh, a militant network that was plotting Mumbai-style attacks on foreigners at luxury hotels and embassies in Jakarta. His trial began in the East Jakarta District Court on December 29, 2010. Prosecutors told the court that he helped set up a jihadi training camp in westernmost Aceh Province and procure M-16 assault rifles, revolvers, and other weapons for the group, which had ties to terrorists in the Middle East and Philippines. He had been released from prison in 2009 after serving time for other terrorism-related offenses. He admitted that members of his group had discussed killing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for cracking down on Islamic militants and attacking Westerners in Jakarta, but “it wasn’t our policy. We had never made any decisions on this.”
June 2, 2010—Yemen—The government announced the detention of several foreigners, including Americans, Britons, and an Australian woman, Shyloh Giddins, 30, in connection with al Qaeda activity. They were also investigating French citizens, Africans, and Asians. Some of them were believed connected to underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and radical cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi. Giddins and her two children moved to Sana’a, Yemen, in 2006 after she converted to Islam. She was arrested on May 15. She was represented by attorney Abdel-Rahman Berman. Her passport was canceled in April because she was considered a security threat. She had studied Arabic and Islam and taught English in private institutes in Yemen. Her two children were then 5 and 7 years old. By June 7, 2010, Yemeni authorities said that they had arrested thirty foreigners, including a dozen Americans, possibly in connection with a U.S.-Yemeni terrorism investigation.
June 3, 2010—United States—A federal grand jury in Houston indicted Barry Walter Bujol, 29, of Hempstead, Texas, on two counts for attempting to supply al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) with personnel, currency, and other items. Referring to AQAP, Bujol said he aimed to “die with the brothers for the cause of Allah, and to be in Heaven.” He had e-mailed Anwar al-Aulaqi asking how to provide money to overseas mujahideen. Bujol had used fourteen e-mail addresses, calling for attacks on facilities where U.S. military weapons were manufactured. Al-Aulaqi gave him a document entitled 42 Ways of Supporting Jihad. Bujol had unsuccessfully attempted thrice in February and March 2009 to depart the United States and travel to Yemen or elsewhere in the Middle East. Bujol faced fifteen years for attempting to provide support for the terrorist group and five years for aggravated ID theft by using a fake ID card, which had been provided by an FBI confidential informant. Bujol used the fraudulent Transportation Workers ID Card (TWIC) card to access a secure part of a Houston port, intending to board a ship sailing for the Middle East. The source gave him currency, prepaid phone cards, mobile phone SIM cards, GPS receivers, and public access-restricted U.S. military publications. He agreed to courier a military-issue compass to the terrorist group. The FBI arrested him when he boarded the ship with the material. He had used the alias Abu Abuadah to communicate via code with an FBI informant. Bujol used the aliases Abdul Bari, Abyu Najya, Pat Lex, and Abdul-Bari al-Ameriki al-Aswad. In February 2009, while attempting to fly to Yemen, he was arrested on an outstanding traffic warrant. He tried to leave the United States at the Canada border in March 2009 near Detroit, but was denied entry by the Canadians. Weeks later, he was arrested in New Jersey for driving on a suspended license. He was arrested on May 30, 2010, and claimed he was attempting to fly to Egypt. He attended Prairie View A&M University in Texas.
He was represented by attorney Joseph Varela. He was arraigned on June 8, 2010, in Houston, where he pleaded not guilty. U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacey ordered him held without bond.
June 3, 2010—United States—American Lebanese dual citizens Hor Akl, 37, and his wife, Amera Akl, 37, were taken into custody after an FBI informant provided them with $200,000 in cash, which they were preparing to hide in a vehicle that was to be shipped to Lebanon for passage to Hizballah. Prosecutors said the Ohio residents planned to hide up to $500,000 from anonymous donors. Charges included conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, which carries a maximum sentence of up fifteen years in prison and a fine of $500,000 upon conviction. Prosecutors said Hor went to Lebanon in March 2010 to set up the money transfer and planned to receive a commission for the deal. He worked at a Toledo bar with his brother-in-law. He told the FBI informant that his brother-in-law ran a Lebanon recreation club used frequently by Hizballah to conduct meetings.
June 5, 2010—United States—Authorities at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport arrested two U.S. citizens, Mohamed Mahmoud Alessa, 20, of North Bergen, New Jersey, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 24, of Elmwood Park, New Jersey, who had planned to take separate flights to Egypt and then to go Somalia “to join designated foreign terrorist organization al-Shabaab and wage violent jihad,” according to federal prosecutors. The duo also said they were willing to conduct attacks in the United States, according to a federal criminal complaint. They were charged with conspiring to kill, maim, and kidnap people outside the United States. The FBI was tipped off about the duo in October 2006, from an individual who warned, “Every time they access the Internet all they look for is all those terrorist videos…. They keep saying that Americans are their enemies, that everybody other than Islamic followers are their enemies … and they all must be killed.” An undercover New York Police Department officer recorded several meetings in which the duo planned to train via paintball, then obtain military gear for use overseas. Prosecutors noted that on April 25, Almonte said that, “there would soon only be American troops in Somalia, which was good because it would not be as gratifying to kill only Africans.” Alessa said in November 2009,
We’ll start doing killing here, if I can’t do it over there.” Referring to the Fort Hood shooter, Alessa added, “I’m gonna get a gun. I’m the type of person to use it at any time…. I’ll have more bodies in it than the hairs on my beard…. It’s already enough, you don’t worship Allah, so…. There’s a reason for you to die. Freaking Maj. Nidal-shaved-faced-Palestinian-crazy guy, he’s not better than me. I’ll do twice what he did.
The duo visited Jordan in 2007, hoping to go to Iraq to fight, but did not get there. The duo showed the undercover officer numerous jihadi videos, including those of U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi and some showing attacks by al-Shabaab. The two were to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge on June 7 and faced life in prison. The arrests were part of a federal investigation known as Operation Arabian Knight. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo set a preliminary hearing for June 21. Both defendants had resisted arrest. On June 10, Judge Arleo denied bail to the duo. On March 3, 2011, Mohamed Mahmood Alessa, 21, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, 24, pleaded guilty in a federal court in Newark, New Jersey, to conspiracy to murder people outside the United States by joining al-Shabaab.
June 7, 2010—Gaza Strip—Authorities killed four Palestinians in diving gear off the coast of the Gaza Strip. Israel said they were planning a terrorist attack. Two divers survived; another was missing. The group was affiliated with the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which said that they were on an unarmed training mission 250 meters from the coastline.
June 8, 2010—Turkey—A bomb injured fifteen police officers in Istanbul.
June 9, 2010—Russia—The Federal Security Service arrested Ali Taziyev, of Ingushetia Province, who it said was behind hundreds of deaths in the Muslim North Caucasus. He was a leader of a would-be independent Caucasus emirate.
June 12, 2010—Philippines—Thirty Abu Sayyaf gunmen attacked a logging camp, kidnapping three Christian men hauling timber in a rain forest near Maluso, Basilan Island. They beheaded the trio, apparently in retaliation for government offensives, during the 112th anniversary of the country’s independence. Authorities said Puruji Indama led the beheaders.
June 19, 2010—Yemen—Four al Qaeda terrorists attacked Aden’s intelligence headquarters, freeing several detainees while killing seven security officers, three women, and a 7-year-old boy. The gunmen were disguised in military uniforms and fired machine guns. The next day, the government said it had arrested the mastermind of the attack, who was a member of “terrorist groups” and had a criminal record, including a bank robbery in 2009 conducted by al Qaeda. A security official privately told the press that at least eighteen militants had been arrested after the attack and that a sedan used in the attack was found.
On June 26, Yemeni forces in Aden’s Saada area arrested thirty people following a two-day manhunt for al Qaeda operatives suspected in the attack. Nine were charged with having al Qaeda ties; the other twenty-one were charged with rioting. One detainee died. Security officials attributed the death to asthma. Defense forces said al Qaeda detainee Ghodel Mohammed Saleh Nahi had tipped them off to the terrorists’ meeting.
June 20, 2010—Qatar—U.S.-born al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn released a twenty-four-minute video in which he called President Obama “a devious, evasive, and serpentine American president with a Muslim name…. You’re no longer the popular man you once were, a year ago or so … nothing more than another treacherous, bloodthirsty and narrow-minded American war President … slithering snakelike.” He noted that Republicans had beaten the Democrats for the Massachusetts Senate seat. He demanded that the United States end support to Israel and insufficiently Islamic regimes and withdraw from Afghanistan. He complained that the United States had created “Muslim-only concentration camps” worldwide. He observed that comparing the number of Muslims deaths “with the relatively small number of Americans we have killed so far, it becomes crystal clear that we haven’t even begun to even the score…. That’s why next time, we might not show the restraints and self control we have shown up until now…. Honestly, Barack, as a president who has proven himself to be incapable of keeping intruders out of [the White House], do you really expect anyone to believe that you will be successful in your attempts to keep the mujahideen away from an entire continent?” Even without al Qaeda, “hundreds of millions of Muslims” would turn against the United States.
June 21, 2010—United States—The U.S. Supreme Court voted 6–3 in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project to uphold the federal law banning “material support” to foreign terrorist organizations. The prohibition extended to “expert advice or assistance” or “training” in international law. The majority included Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito, and Stevens.
June 22, 2010—Turkey—A fragmentation bomb went off under a bus carrying thirty to thirty-five military personnel near a military barracks in the Halkali district of Istanbul at 7:10 a.m., killing five and injuring eleven. The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, believed to be a front for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), claimed credit in a posting to its Web site.
June 23, 2010—Canada—Toronto police said a person with weapons and explosives was detained near the G-20 Summit and taken to court.
June 24, 2010—China—The Ministry of Public Security announced the arrest of ten members of an Islamic separatist terrorist group, including two ringleaders, who were planning attacks in northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region. The group was also blamed for attacks on police and bombings in Xinjiang in 2008 and was tied to an individual “dispatched from abroad.” Public security officials showed photos of confiscated knives, hatchets, bullets, and explosives that had been seized between July and October from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.
June 24, 2010—Greece—A parcel bomb went off at the Ministry of Citizen Protection in Athens, near the office of Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, killing one person. The parcel was delivered to the assistant to the secretary of the ministry. No one claimed credit.
June 24, 2010—Canada—Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers arrested a 53-year-old man who had five cans of gas, guns, a crossbow, gas tanks, and chemical products in his car near the G-20 Summit site in Toronto, security officials said. He had no explanation for why the items were in his car.
June 29, 2010—Qatar—Inspire, claiming to be an English-language online magazine published by al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula, appeared on the Internet. Various pundits questioned its provenance. Only three of its sixty-seven pages loaded properly; the PDF appeared corrupted, perhaps with a virus.
June 30, 2010—A suicide bomber failed to injure Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, who was waiting outside a Grozny theater for a concert to begin.
July 1, 2010—Pakistan—Three suicide bombers set off explosives at the gate, in the basement, and inside the country’s most important Sufi shrine in Lahore before midnight, killing 37 and injuring 175. The shrine is dedicated to Persian Sufi saint Abdul Hassan Ali Hajvery, also known as Data Ganj Bakhsh.
July 2, 2010—Afghanistan—Six Taliban suicide bombers attacked a USAID compound in Kunduz at 3:30 a.m. One set off an SUV at the entrance, killing an Afghan security guard. The five others attacked the DAI, a global consulting firm, building, killing a Filipino, a German, and another person and wounding several others before they died in a gun battle. The firm had a USAID contract to work on local governance and community development issues. 10070201
July 4, 2010—Nigeria—Gunmen kidnapped and later released a Latvian, a Lithuanian, a Ukrainian, seven Russians, and two Germans, all sailors working the oil-rich delta area. 10070401
July 8, 2010—Norway—Authorities arrested Mikael Davud, 39, a Chinese Uighur with Norwegian citizenship, on charges of planning to blow up unknown targets using the same type of explosives used in the 7/7 attacks on the London transit system in 2005. He was believed to be the leader of a Norway-based al Qaeda terrorist cell in intercepted e-mail contact with an al Qaeda operative in Pakistan. Davud arrived in Norway in 1999 as part of a UN refugee program. He obtained Norwegian citizenship in 2007. Davud and his wife traveled to Turkey in the fall of 2008, where he met an al Qaeda facilitator. He then traveled to an al Qaeda training camp in Waziristan, Pakistan. In May 2009, he e-mailed Ahmad (e-name Ismail), a mid-level al Qaeda operative in Pakistan, before returning to Norway. Ahmad was also in touch with plotters in the United Kingdom and United States. Twelve plotters were detained in Manchester, United Kingdom, in April 2009 and three arrested in New York in 2009. When the three Norway-based plotters attempted to acquire peroxide and other materiel that could be used to create the explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP), authorities directed a pharmacy to provide inert liquid instead. Davud was represented by attorney Arild Humlen.
Police found a bomb lab in the group’s Oslo basement apartment. Police also arrested Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak Bujak, 37, an Iraqi Kurd and permanent resident of Norway; and David Jakobsen, 31, an Uzbek permanent resident of Norway. Jakobsen was represented by attorney Kjell T. Dahl. The trio faced twelve years in prison.
On January 30, 2012, the Oslo District Court found two al Qaeda members—Mikael Davud and Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak—guilty of plotting to attack Jyllands Posten, a Danish newspaper that caricatured the Prophet Mohammad. A third defendant, David Jakobsen, an Uzbek who changed his name after moving to Norway, was found not guilty of terrorism but convicted of helping the duo find chemicals to be used for making explosives and was sentenced to time served—four months in prison. He served as a police informant.
Investigators linked Davud and Bujak to the planners of the plots to attack the New York subway system and a shopping mall in Manchester, United Kingdom, in 2009. Davud was sentenced to seven years in prison; he was represented by attorney Carl Konow Rieber-Mohn. Bujak was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. Davud said he was not affiliated with al Qaeda and was rather planning a solo attack on the Chinese Embassy in Oslo in retaliation for Beijing’s oppression of Uighurs. Davud had moved to Norway in 1999 and later obtained Norwegian citizenship. He said his co-defendants did not know he was planning a bombing when they helped him obtain explosives.
July 9, 2010—Pakistan—A suicide bomber killed 102, including 4 police officers, and injured 110 people outside a government office and the Yaka Ghund prison in Mohmand Agency. Several disabled people were there to obtain wheelchairs in the northwestern Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Four insurgents were among the 25 prisoners who escaped when a prison barrier wall collapsed. Officials believed the target was the office of the deputy political administrator of Mohmand. The bomber rode a motorcycle; another bomb exploded nearly simultaneously.
July 10, 2010—Brazil—Air France flight 443 flying from Rio to Paris made an emergency landing in Recife at 8:00 p.m. after a woman phoned a bomb threat to Rio’s airport thirty minutes after takeoff. The 405 passengers and 18 crew members were safely evacuated. No bomb was found.
July 11, 2010—Uganda—At 10:30 p.m. three bombs at two sites in Kampala killed seventy-six people and injured another eighty-five watching the World Cup soccer finale on television. The dead included twenty-eight Ugandans, one Irish citizen, one Indian, one American—Nate Henn, 25, of Wilmington, Delaware, who worked for the charity Invisible Children—and eleven people who are either Ethiopian or Eritrean. Five Americans were hospitalized; two were in serious condition. Among them were Kris Sledge, 18, of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, and Emily Kerstetter, 16, from Ellicott City, Maryland. Another was Betty Nbagire, 37. Those injured at the restaurant included six members of an American church mission who hailed from the Christ Community United Methodist Church in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, and were working with a local congregation. They suffered broken bones, flesh wounds, temporary blindness, and hearing problems. The first bomb went off at the Ethiopian Village restaurant; Ethiopia is al-Shabaab’s enemy. Fifty minutes later, another two exploded at the Kyandondo Rugby Club restaurant, where at least fourteen people died. The larger, second, bomb killed many who were trying to help victims of the initial bomb. Al-Shabaab claimed credit. Spokesman Ali Mohamoud Raghe told a press conference,
And the best of men have promised and they have delivered…. Blessed and exalted among men—(taking) full responsibility…. We wage war against the six thousand collaborators; they have received their response. [There are six thousand African Union peacekeepers in Somalia.] We are behind the attack because we are at war with them…. We had given warning to the Ugandans to refrain from their involvement in our country. We spoke to the leaders and we spoke to the people and they never listened to us. May Allah accept these martyrs who carried out the blessed operation and exploded themselves in the middle of the infidels.
Sheikh Abu Al-Zubeir, self-described emir of al-Shabaab in Somalia, posted on an al Qaeda Web site, “My message to the Ugandan and Burundian nations is that you will be the target for our retribution to the massacres perpetrated against the Somali men, women, and children in Mogadishu by your forces.” One of the group’s commanders, Sheik Yusuf Sheik Issa, told the Associated Press in Mogadishu that “Uganda is one of our enemies. Whatever makes them cry, makes us happy. May Allah’s anger be upon those who are against us.” During the previous Friday’s prayers, al-Shabaab commander Sheik Muktar Robow had called for attacks in Uganda and Burundi, which contribute troops to the African Union force in Mogadishu. On July 13, al-Shabaab spokesman Yonis said the bombings involved planted explosives, not suicide bombers.
By July 14, authorities had arrested six people, including four foreigners, among them two Somalis. Security officials suggested a local Muslim extremist group, Allied Democratic Forces, assisted the terrorists. Police said they are based in the mountains near the Democratic Republic of the Congo. By July 18, twenty people were in custody, including citizens of Uganda, Somalia, and Ethiopia. Some were caught near the borders with Sudan and Rwanda while trying to flee the country.
On August 11, 2010, Kenyan authorities announced that they had sent six suspects to Uganda and released another. They included suspected al-Shabaab members Idris Magondu, Hussein Hassan Agade, and Mohammed Adan Abdow. They were represented by attorney Mbugua Mureithi. Kenyan police said Abdow had made satellite phone calls to al-Shabaab members. Agade and Abdow were street traders; Magondu was a driver. Abdow, a Kenyan of Somali origin, lived in Tawa. Magondu and Agade lived in Nairobi. Suspect Salmin Mohammed Khamis, 34, was released on bail on August 9, 2010. He was accused of harboring some of the suspects. He was acquitted in the 2002 bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa. In 2003, he confessed to a failed plot to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.
On September 15, 2010, Kampala authorities arrested Omar Awadh Omar, alias Abu Sahal, a Kenyan and deputy commander of al Qaeda in the region, and Hussein Hassan Agade, one of his aides, in connection with the attack. The Uganda Web site New Vision said the duo was planning a follow-up attack. Omar was a key logistics and intelligence link to al-Shabaab and was the deputy of Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, who was behind the August 7, 1998, bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.
As of October 8, 2010, Ugandan authorities had detained thirty-six suspects from seven countries: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan. One individual admitted being recruited and trained by al Qaeda. The suspects included businessmen, university students, and leaders of small mosques. Attorney Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi represented eight Kenyan suspects. Among those detained was al-Amin Kimathi, an activist with the Muslim Human Rights Forum in Nairobi. Suspect Haruna Luyima allegedly was to set off a fourth bomb at a Kampala dance club but changed his mind; he told a press conference in August that he did not want to hurt innocent people. He claimed he had been recruited into the plot by his elder brother, Isa Luyima. Mohamood Mugisha told police he was given $4,000 by the al-Shabaab plotters to help plan the attacks, rent a house in Uganda, and drive the bombs in from Somalia via Kenya.
On November 27, 2012, three Kenyans and a Tanzanian held in the bombing in Kampala that killed seventy-six people watching a World Cup soccer match claimed that FBI interrogators had physically abused them in 2010 and 2011, according to a report by the Open Society Justice Initiative. The four were identified as Selemi Hijar Nyamandondo, the Tanzanian, and Kenyans Omar Awadh Omar, Yahya Suleiman Mbuthia, and Hussein Hassan Agade. 10071101
July 11, 2010—Yemen/United States—Anwar al-Aulaqi, clerical leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, issued a hit against Molly Norris, a Seattle-based cartoonist who launched an “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” in April, scheduled for May 20. He said the “proper abode is hellfire” of this “prime target of assassination.” He added, “This campaign is not a practice of freedom of speech, but is a nationwide mass movement of Americans … going out of their way to offend Muslims worldwide.” He also called for attacks against Swedish, Dutch, and British citizens in the English-language Inspire online al Qaeda magazine, observing, “The medicine prescribed by the Messenger of Allah is the execution of those involved…. A soul that is so debased, as to enjoy the ridicule of the Messenger of Allah, the mercy to mankind; a soul that is so ungrateful towards its lord that it defames the Prophet of the religion Allah has chosen for his creation does not deserve life, does not deserve to breath the air.” This was the first time the entire sixty-seven pages of the first edition of Inspire were successfully posted to the Internet. Another article was entitled “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom,” written by “The AQ Chef.”
On July 18, 2010, U.S. authorities said that Saudi-born graphics specialist and blogger Samir Khan, 24, was the editor-in-chief of Inspire. He had posted radical sentiments on his jihadi blog Inshallahshaheed (“A martyr soon if God wills.”) in 2007, when he was living in Charlotte, North Carolina. He fled to Yemen in October 2009. His family had moved to Queens when he was 7. When he turned 15, he attended a weeklong summer camp sponsored by the Islamic Organization of North America. He became a fundamentalist, joining the Islamic Thinkers Society while a student at John Adams High School in Queens. The family moved to New Jersey in 2000 and North Carolina in 2004. Fox News profiled him and his Web site in 2008. He had called for the death of U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and ran videos of U.S. troops injured in combat.
July 12, 2010—Russia—Authorities arrested six would-be female suicide bombers who had written “farewell letters” and were ready for deployment in Muslim Dagestan. Authorities also detained two men, one of whom was behind the two female suicide bombers who killed forty people at two Moscow subway stations in March. The women’s ages ranged from 15 to 29. Four were widows of terrorists who had died in battles with security forces. Police confiscated suicide belts and weapons.
July 13, 2010—Uganda—Police found an explosives-laden vest in a bag hidden in a Kampala nightclub. The vest was connected to a cell phone serving as a detonator. It was filled with ball bearings.
July 14, 2010—Yemen—Twenty al Qaeda gunmen attacked an intelligence and security headquarters in Zinjibar in Abyan Province. Five people—including a policeman and two terrorists—died in the gunfight. Seven suspects were arrested in Abyan.
July 15, 2010—Iran—Jundallah claimed credit for a double suicide bombing that killed twenty-eight people and wounded three hundred, including ten police officers, at the main Shi’ite mosque in Zahedan, capital of Sistan-Baluchistan Province. Iran blamed the United States. Jundallah said it was retaliating for the June execution of Jundallah leader Abdul Malik Rigi. Among the dead were members of the Revolutionary Guards and two policemen. Jundallah identified the bombers as Abdulbaset Rigi and Muhammad Rigi, relatives of the late Abdul Malik Rigi. By July 17, local authorities had arrested forty people.
July 19, 2010—Greece—Sokratis Giolias, 37, news chief at the private radio station Thema and writer for the news blog Troktiko, was killed gangland-style outside his home in Iliopoli, an Athens suburb, at 5:30 a.m. The gunmen wore uniforms and bulletproof vests. One terrorist buzzed his intercom to say that criminals were breaking into his car. He left behind a pregnant wife and one child. Cartridges from the sixteen bullets fired from two 9-mm pistols were linked to the Sect of Revolutionaries terrorist group. The group was apparently formed in February 2009, when the group said journalists were “manufacturing news to keep the public docile and subservient.”
July 19, 2010—Yemen—Anwar al-Aulaqi issued an online audio in which he said,
Imperial hubris is leading America to its fate: a war of attrition, a continuous hemorrhage that would end with the fall and splintering of the United States of America…. I could not reconcile between living in the United States and being a Muslim, and I eventually came to the conclusion that jihad against America is binding upon myself, just as it is binding on every other able Muslim…. America refuses to admit that its foreign policies are the reason behind a man like Nidal Hasan, born and raised in the United States, turning his guns against American soldiers…. If George W. Bush is remembered as being the president who got America stuck in Afghanistan and Iraq, it’s looking like Obama wants to be remembered as the president who got America stuck in Yemen.
July 19, 2010—Qatar—Ayman al-Zawahiri released a message in which he said U.S. troops would leave Afghanistan and Iraq in “defeat.” He said the Taliban and al Qaeda are “moving from one victory to another.” The Taliban will “enter Kabul in triumph and Obama will leave it in fear…. Oh Obama, whether you admit it or not, Muslims have defeated you in Afghanistan in Iraq and you will be defeated in Palestine, Somalia, and the Arab Maghreb. You will not only be defeated militarily and economically but most important you will be defeated morally.”
July 21, 2010—Russia—Between three and five gunmen raided a hydroelectric power station in Kabardino-Balkaria, in the North Caucasus, around 5:30 a.m., shooting two guards. The masked men broke into the engine room and tied up employees, two of whom were later hospitalized. The terrorists set off four bombs, destroying three generators, but did not breach the dam. No power failures were reported. Chechen terrorists were suspected.
July 21, 2010—United States—The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that Zachary Adam Chesser, alias Abu Talhah al-Amrikee, YouTube alias LearnTeachFightDie, YouTube alias AlQuranWaAlaHadeeth, 20, of Fairfax County, Virginia, was prevented from boarding a flight from New York to Uganda on July 10. He was on a no-fly list. He had claimed he intended to travel from Uganda to Somalia. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said he had used his 7-month-old son, who was traveling with him, as a cover for his intent to join al-Shabaab in Somalia. He was arrested on July 21 and charged with providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. The Muslim convert in April had made threatening statements on RevolutionMuslim.com about the South Park television show after it lampooned Muhammad by showing him in a bear suit; he said creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone would suffer the same fate as Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who was killed by an Islamist terrorist. He had been in e-contact with Anwar al-Aulaqi, who had replied twice. In a July 13, 2009, e-mail, he told al-Aulaqi about a dream he had about joining al-Shabaab. He posted al-Aulaqi’s lectures online and wrote the blog mujahidblog.com. He married a Muslim woman in 2009. Federal authorities interviewed him in May 2009. He tried to go to Somalia via Kenya in November 2009, but his mother-in-law hid the passport of his wife, Proscovia Nzabanita. The Oakton High School and Kilmer Middle School graduate, who spent a semester at George Mason University, faced fifteen years in prison. He was scheduled for a July 22 court appearance in Alexandria, Virginia. He was represented by public defender Michel Nachmanoff. On July 26, U.S. Magistrate Judge Ivan D. Davis declared him a danger to the community and his family and ordered him jailed until his trial. Chesser claimed that he had offered his services to the FBI to report on al-Shabaab.
On October 20, 2010, Chesser pleaded guilty to three charges of supporting Somali terrorists and threatening the South Park creators. U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady set a sentencing hearing for February 25, 2010. Chesser faced thirty years in prison. In the plea agreement, Chesser agreed to seek no less than twenty years, although his proffer did not limit what the judge could impose. On February 24, 2011, Judge O’Grady sentenced Zachary Adam Chesser to twenty-five years in prison.
July 21, 2010—United States—Muslim convert Paul G. Rockwood, Jr., 35, of King Salmon, Alaska, admitted being radicalized by reading Anwar al-Aulaqi’s writings and had created a fifteen-person hit list of individuals who had “desecrated Islam.” He pleaded guilty in a federal court in Anchorage and was sentenced to eight years for making false statements in a terrorism investigation. He had given the list to his wife, Nadia Piroska Maria Rockwood, who agreed to five years probation, to be served in her native United Kingdom, after she pleaded guilty to making false statements. The duo went no further to attack those listed. He had lived in Virginia before moving to Alaska in 2006.
July 23, 2010—Afghanistan—The Taliban abducted two U.S. Navy sailors following a firefight during an ambush of their armored SUV in the villages of Matinai and Dasht, in Charkh district. The Taliban and provincial government officials said that one of the hostages had been killed in the gun battle; the second was wounded and in Taliban hands. The duo vanished after driving off their Kabul base. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told Afghan reporters that fifteen Taliban members had kidnapped the sailors and killed one of them. The body of Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin McNeley, 30, of Wheatridge, Colorado, was found in a garden in the Patanak Mountains of Charkh district. NATO officials said that the sailors had taken a wrong turn. On July 28, authorities found the body of Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove, 25, of Renton, Washington, in the Baraki Barak district of Logar Province. He had sustained five gunshot wounds, including one to the head.
July 25, 2010—Thailand—A bomb wounded nine people at a Bangkok bus stop shortly after parliamentary election polls closed.
July 27, 2010—Qatar—Ayman al-Zawahiri released an audio in which he mourned the recent death of al Qaeda number 3 Sheikh Mustafa Abu Yazid, observing that the death “marks the glad tidings of the coming victory in Afghanistan, and soon the banner of the victorious Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will be flying all over this blessed land.” He also mused about the failed Times Square car bombing, the Israeli commando flotilla strike on May 31, and the proposed burqa ban in France. He told people from the U.S. and NATO countries,
You are the ones who are paying the hefty price. Your governments rejected our call for peace with all arrogance and conceit. This is why the campaigns against you kept coming one after the other…. Your leaders are collecting the money and the wealth from their war trades, and you are nothing but the fuel and the victims. We did offer you a truce once. We can all benefit, but your governments rejected our call for peace with all arrogance and conceit. This is why the campaigns against you kept coming one after the other, everywhere from Indonesia to Times Square, throughout Madrid and London. These campaigns will continue, and the jihadi reinforcement is still coming.”
The Turkish people “need to restore the dignity of the Ottoman Empire” and end all “deals and treaties” with Israel.
Regarding burqas in France, al-Zawahiri said, “Freedom in the West is selective, and it is a freedom that only guarantees their Western rights. I can say that France with all of its might and power doesn’t dare to touch the headscarf of a nun, but they defy our faith and want to transgress against our veiled Muslim women…. Every single woman who defends her veil is a holy warrior … in the face of the secular Western crusade.”
July 28, 2010—Strait of Hormuz—On August 4, 2010, the al Qaeda-inspired Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing aboard the Japanese-owned, Marshall Islands–flagged M. Star oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz near Oman designed to “strike an economic blow to the infidels.” The statement, dated August 2, was issued by the al-Fajr Media Center, an al Qaeda media wing, and posted to jihadi Web sites. The attack was the “conquest of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. In a blessed episode of our Jihad in the name of God and in order to weaken the global infidel network, a battalion from our Jihadi brethrens managed to carry out an operation in order to strike an economic blow to the infidels.” The group said it was aiming to
weaken the global infidel order that has assumed authority over Muslim lands, looting their resources, and to lift the oppression of the Muslims…. After midnight on last Wednesday, the hero, the martyrdom seeker Ayoub Tayshan, blew himself up in the Japanese tanker M. Star in the Strait of Hormuz between the United Arab Emirates and Oman causing damages, that were reported all over the international media outlets. This heroic operation will have a major effect on the global economy and the oil prices…. The enemies of God wanted to hide the truth of what happened in this operation and some even tried to explain it by saying there was a strong earthquake. But indeed, our martyrdom-seeker shook the grounds underneath them by reaching his precious goal, proving to the global infidels again that the guardians of God—the Mujahideen—will open the most difficult doors with God’s blessing, and nothing will stop them—no security system nor the intelligence service.
The ship carried a crew of thirty-one people—sixteen from the Philippines and fifteen from India—en route to Chiba, Japan, and two million barrels of oil. The ship’s owner, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd., initially said that the ship was under attack. Other observers said it had a square dent that might have been the result of a collision. Others attributed the damage to a wave started by an earthquake. Still others suggested it was hit by an explosives-carrying dinghy. A crewman was injured in the incident. 10072801
July 29, 2010—Yemen—Al Qaeda in Yemen released an internet audio in which it threatened to conduct more attacks on Yemeni forces. “You are covering for American crimes to subjugate the people of this country to serve U.S. interests in the region. These crimes will be responded to harshly…. The Aden operation came in the context of these crimes and, God willing, we will strike again when the time is right…. A message to security and national forces: God willing our swords are ready and we are resolved to cleanse the earth.”
July 29, 2010—Mexico—The United States shut down its consulate in Juarez after receipt of threats from the local drug cartel.
July 30, 2010—France—Two employees of the U.S. Embassy in France were hospitalized after handling a suspicious letter that contained tear gas. They were found to be healthy. The previously unknown Abu Dujanah al-Khorasani Brigade said in the jihadi Web site Fallujah Islamic Network,
Regarding the chemical letters that were sent to the fortress-like American Embassy in Paris, which the mujahedin were able to observe and monitor: the mujahedin were not able to target the embassy with an explosive-rigged car, so the mujahedin decided instead to send a number of chemical letters. [They] did not achieve their desired objective, due to the difficulty and complexity and the multitude of the substances involved … glad tidings about these unique and powerful operations that will shake the security of the Americans, and we promise America and its allies that what is coming is even more devious and more bitter.
Al-Khorasani was the kunya of Jordanian doctor Humam al-Balawi, an al Qaeda operative who killed seven CIA officers in a suicide bombing in Khost, Afghanistan, on December 30, 2009. 10073001
August 2010—Jordan—A rocket fired from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula hit the center of Aqaba, Jordan, killing a Jordanian and wounding four. 10089901
August 2, 2010—Worldwide—The UN completed its review of 346 al Qaeda members and 142 Taliban individuals and entities on the sanctions blacklist and de-listed 45 of them (10 Taliban and 35 al Qaeda), including firms based in the United States, Germany, Austria, Yemen, Qatar, Switzerland, Sweden, the Bahamas, and Liechtenstein. Eight of the individuals had died. Five of the firms were related to al-Barakaat, a money transfer hawala that worked in the United States and Somalia.
August 3, 2010—United States—The Treasury Department blacklisted senior Iranian officials and twenty-one Iranian parastatal businesses that were assisting terrorist groups. The firms operated in Belarus, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Luxembourg, and included Ascotec Japan, Breyeller Stahl Technology, IFIC Holding AG, Bank Torgovoy Kapital ZAO, and Onerbank ZAO (owned by the previously designated Bank Saderat). Nine of the Iranian firms conducted business in Germany. Among the individuals listed were four senior Quds Force, part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Quds Force chief financial officer Hushang Allahdad and Mohammad Reza Zahedi were named as Hizballah supporters; Gen. Hossein Musavi, head of the Quds Force’s Ansar Corps, and Col. Hasan Mortezavi were alleged to provide “financial and material support” to the Taliban. Also named were Ali Zuraik, director of Imam Khomeini Relief Committee (IKRC) in Lebanon, and Razi Musavi, Syria-based Iranian official who provides financial and material support to Hizballah. Two foundations—the Iranian Committee for the Reconstruction of Lebanon and IKRC-Lebanon—were believed to aid the flow of money and arms to Hizballah in Lebanon. Treasury also listed the Reconstruction committee’s director, Hessam Khoshnevis. The European Union the previous month had banned business with the IRGC’s Khatam al-Anbiya conglomerate.
August 4, 2010—Iran—A handmade grenade was thrown at the motorcade of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Hamedan en route from the airport to a sports arena. No injuries were reported. Iranian officials denied that it was an assassination attempt, saying that it was a celebratory firecracker thrown at a minibus carrying journalists 100 meters behind the presidential vehicle. One man was arrested.
August 4, 2010—United States—Shaker Masri, 26, was charged in Chicago with attempting to provide material support to al Qaeda and trying to hide that support. He faced fifteen years in prison for plotting to travel to Somalia and train with al-Shabaab. The New Jersey man had been accused in June 2010 of trying to join al-Shabaab.
August 5, 2010—United States—The Department of Justice, in four indictments unsealed in Minneapolis, San Diego, and Mobile, Alabama, charged fourteen people with being part of “a deadly pipeline” to Somalia that sent money, personnel, and services from the United States to al-Shabaab. Seven were U.S. citizens and ten, all from Minnesota, left the United States to join al-Shabaab. Seven of the ten were charged earlier.
A Minnesota indictment said that two Somali-origin naturalized U.S. citizens and others went door-to-door in Minneapolis; Rochester, Minnesota; and elsewhere in the United States and Canada to raise funds for al-Shabaab. The women indicted said the money would go to the poor and needy, and used fake names for recipients to conceal that the money was going to al-Shabaab. Amina Farah Ali, 33, and Hawo Mohamed Hassan, 63, raised money via teleconferences “in which they and other speakers encouraged financial contributions to support violent jihad in Somalia.” During one teleconference, Ali told others “to forget about the other charities” and focus on “the Jihad.” The indictment said Ali and others sent the funds to al-Shabaab through various hawalas. Ali was accused of sending $8,608 to al-Shabaab on twelve occasions between September 17, 2008, and July 5, 2009.
Ali and Hassan appeared in St. Paul, Minnesota, before a federal judge, who banned their travel outside Minnesota. Prosecutors did not seek their detention. Ali said, “Allah is my attorney.” She claimed to work in home health care and had lived in Rochester for eleven years. Hassan said she was a self-employed day care worker. Hassan was charged with three counts of making false statements and one count of conspiracy to provide material support to al-Shabaab. Ali was charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to al-Shabaab and twelve substantive counts of providing material support to al-Shabaab. They faced fifteen years on the conspiracy count. Ali faced fifteen years on each material support count. Hassan faced eight years on each false statement count.
A Columbus, Ohio, resident helped collect donations for al-Shabaab.
A second Minnesota superseding indictment charged Abdikadir Ali Abdi, 19, a U.S. citizen; Abdisalan Hussein Ali, 21, a U.S. citizen; Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax, 33, a U.S. citizen; Farah Mohamed Beledi, 26; and Abdiweli Yassin Isse, 26, with, inter alia, conspiracy and providing material support to al-Shabaab and conspiring to kill, maim, and injure persons abroad. Faarax and Isse had been charged in a previous criminal complaint. Faarax was charged with soliciting Salah Osman Ahmed, Shirwa Ahmed (now deceased), and Kamal Said Hassan to provide support to al-Shabaab. Faraax was charged with making false statements to the FBI in a matter involving international terrorism. Beledi was charged with committing passport fraud in October 2009.
The Minnesota superseding indictment also charged Ahmed Ali Omar, 27; Khalid Mohamud Abshir, 27; Zakaria Maruf, 31; Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, 22; and Mustafa Ali Salat, 20, with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and foreign terrorist organizations; conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim, and injure persons abroad; possessing and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence; and solicitation to commit a crime of violence. The five traveled in Somalia in 2008 and 2009.
A Birmingham, Alabama, superseding indictment charged Omar Shafik Hammami, alias Abu Mansour al-Amriki, alias Farouk, with providing material support to al-Shabaab. The three-count indictment said he provided material support, including himself as personnel, to terrorists; conspired to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, al-Shabaab; and provided material support to al-Shabaab. He faced forty-five years in prison. He grew up in Daphne, Alabama, and attended the University of South Alabama in Mobile. He appeared in a jihadist video in May 2009.
In San Diego, California, prosecutors charged Jehad Serwan Mostafa, alias Ahmed, alias Emir Anwar, alias Awar, 28, a U.S. citizen and former resident of California, with conspiring to provide material support to al-Shabaab. Mostafa was believed to be in Somalia, where he had served as a top lieutenant to Saleh Nabhan, a senior al Qaeda and al-Shabaab operative killed in a 2009 air strike. The three-count indictment said he provided material support, including himself as personnel, to terrorists; conspired to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, al-Shabaab; and provided material support to al-Shabaab.
August 6, 2010—Afghanistan—The Taliban shot to death ten members of a medical team, including six Americans, who were returning from providing eye treatment and other health care in remote villages in the north. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said that the Christian medical aid group International Assistance Mission (IAM) was “spying for the Americans” and “preaching Christianity,” which IAM denied. The six Americans, one German, one Briton, and four Afghans were on a three-week trip to Nuristan Province, driving and later hiking with pack horses to the Parun Valley. IAM lost contact with the aid workers on August 4. The team was killed in Badakhshan Province while they were returning to Kabul, unarmed and without security guards.
The dead included:
• Tom Little, 61, team leader and American optometrist from Delmar, New York, who had worked in Afghanistan for more than thirty years. Little was PNGd (labeled persona non grata) by the Taliban in August 2001 after the arrest of two U.S. and six German Christian aid workers for alleged proselytizing. He returned after the overthrow of the Taliban government in November 2001. Tom Little on February 15, 2011, was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian award.
• Cheryl Beckett, 32, an American interpreter from Knoxville, Tennessee. She specialized in nutritional gardening and mother-child health.
• Brian Carderelli, 25, an American videographer from Harrisonburg, Virginia
• Dr. Thomas Grams, an American dentist from Durango, Colorado, who provided dental care to children in Afghanistan and Nepal
• Glen Lapp, 40, an American nurse from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who arrived in 2008
• Dan Terry, 63, an American aid worker from Wisconsin who had lived in Afghanistan with his wife since 1980; they had three daughters.
• Dr. Karen Woo, 36, of London, United Kingdom, a surgeon affiliated with the Bridge Afghanistan relief organization, who was engaged to be married. She had blogged earlier that “the trek will not be easy. The expedition will require a lot of physical and mental resolve and will not be without risk but ultimately, I believe that the provision of medical treatment is of fundamental importance and that the effort is worth it in order to assist those who need it most.”
• Daniela Beyer, 35, of Germany
• two Afghan interpreters from Bamiyan and Panjshir provinces. They were identified only as Mahram Ali, 50, and Jawed, 24.
Saifullah, an Afghan member of the team, survived the attack and phoned to report the killing on August 6. He told the attackers that he was a Muslim and recited verses from the Quran. Some suggested that he fingered the rest of the team. A fourth Afghan team member survived because he took a different route home. The bodies were found next to three bullet-riddled Land Rovers in Kuran Wa Munjan district. Local police said ten gunmen robbed them, then killed them execution-style. 10080601
August 10, 2010—Afghanistan—Two suicide bombers carrying grenades set off suicide vests at a guesthouse for foreigners in central Kabul after shooting to death two Afghan employees of Hart Security, a British private security firm. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said four Taliban fighters had managed to kill twenty-three people. 10081001
August 11, 2010—Rwanda—Twenty people were hospitalized after a grenade was thrown out of a moving car in a taxi park in downtown Kigali. President Paul Kagame had been reelected with 93 percent of the vote two days earlier. Dissident leader Col. Patrick Karegeya said from exile in South Africa, “There cannot be any change through election but through violent means.”
August 15, 2010—France—At least thirty thousand worshipers were evacuated at the shrine at Lourdes on the Feast of the Assumption after receipt of a bomb threat.
August 17, 2010—Iraq—At 6:30 a.m., a suicide bomber set off his explosives among a crowd of Iraqi Army applicants in front of an army recruiting facility in central Baghdad, killing 51 and wounding 104. The government blamed al Qaeda in Iraq.
August 17, 2010—Congo—Dozens of rebels attacked a UN peacekeeping base in Kirumba, North Kivu Province, at 2:00 a.m., killing three Indian soldiers and wounding seven other peacekeepers. 10081701
August 17, 2010—Israel—A Palestinian armed with a knife and a toy gun and carrying a container of gasoline broke a window to get into the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv, but security officers shot and injured him before he could take a diplomat hostage. He requested asylum. 10081702
August 19, 2010—China—At 10:30 a.m., a man riding an electric tricycle threw explosives into a crowd of security volunteers in Aksu in Yoganqi township, Xinjiang Province, killing seven and injuring fourteen. Authorities said a man at the site was a suspected Uighur. Most of the victims were Uighurs.
August 21, 2010—Somalia—Eleven bomb makers died when their bombs exploded prematurely in Mogadishu. Seven were foreigners—three Pakistanis, two Indians, an Afghan, and an Algerian. Ten died while preparing a car bomb at their safe house in southern Mogadishu; the eleventh died while planting a roadside bomb. 10082101-02
August 21, 2010—Belgium—Police arrested Basque Nation and Liberty suspect Luis Maria Zengotitabengoa as he checked into a hotel in Ostend. In January, Spanish police linked him to an explosives-laden van in Zamora, near the Spain-Portugal border. In March, his brother, Andoni Zengotitabengoa, was arrested at Lisbon’s airport before he could fly to Venezuela with a faked Mexican passport.
August 24, 2010—Moldova—Police seized 4 pounds of radioactive uranium in Chisinau and arrested three people, including two former police officers, planning to sell the material abroad.
August 24, 2010—Somalia—At 9:45 a.m., between two and four al-Shabaab gunmen, including two suicide bombers, attacked the Hotel Muna in Mogadishu’s Hamar Weyne enclave, killing at least thirty-three people, including twenty-two civilians, five Somali soldiers, and six lawmakers in the transitional government. Another sixteen people were wounded. The gunmen wore government military uniforms. They shot their way into the hotel, killing bodyguards. The terrorists went from room to room in the three-story hotel, opening doors and firing at anyone inside. The lawmakers pulled out their own guns and engaged in a battle with the terrorists. When surrounded by soldiers, two of the terrorists set off their suicide vests. The dead included hotel staff members, a woman selling tea near the hotel, an 11-year-old shoeshine boy, and three youths who were washing cars outside the hotel. Among the injured was Mohammed Ahmed Bile, who was hit by shrapnel while walking to his job at the prime minister’s office. Bodyguard Abdi Wali Ahmed was also hospitalized with shrapnel wounds. Lawmaker Isaac Ibrahim Ali, 46, fractured his leg when he jumped out a window and landed on a pile of bodies. The government claimed to have captured an attacker.
August 25, 2010—Afghanistan—An Afghan driver shot to death two Spanish Civil Guards who were training local police forces in northwest Badghis Province. The driver had worked for the Spanish military for five months. Spanish forces returned fire, killing him. He was suspected of being a Taliban mole. 10082501
August 26, 2010—Pakistan—The Pakistani Taliban called the presence of foreign relief workers “unacceptable,” leading authorities to suggest that attacks were planned.
August 26, 2010—Canada—Authorities arrested a trio involved in an alleged homegrown terrorist plot to conduct attacks in Canada and abroad, including attacks on Canadian power plants and electrical power lines that transmit electricity to the United States. The arrests followed a year-long investigation called Project Samosa of a plot that began in February 2008.
Khuram Syed Sher, 28, a Pakistani-origin Canadian citizen and pathologist at St. Thomas–Elgin General Hospital, who competed in the Canadian Idol television show in 2008, was arrested in London, Ontario. Sher was charged with conspiracy. Sher was represented by attorney Ian Carter. Sher had moved with his wife and three daughters to London, Ontario, in July 2010. Sher played in Montreal’s Muslim Ball Hockey League and had an award named after him for the most aggressive player.
Two other Canadian citizens both from Ottawa—Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh, 30; and Indian Canadian dual nationality x-ray technician Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26—were arrested in Ottawa.
Alizadeh was charged with conspiracy, committing an act for a terrorist group and providing or making available property for terrorist purposes. He was believed to be in contact with an Afghanistan-based terrorist group and to have trained in bomb making abroad. The charges carry maximum sentences ranging from fourteen years to life in prison. He was represented by attorney Sean May. Alizadeh attended Red River College technical school in Winnipeg, Manitoba, studying English as a second language and electrical engineering.
Ahmed was charged with conspiracy. He was born in India and lived in Saudi Arabia before coming to Canada. Ahmed is married and has a 7-month-old daughter. He was a radiography technologist at Ottawa Hospital.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the trio possessed schematics, videos, drawings, instructions, books, and electrical components designed specifically for the construction of improvised explosive devices. Authorities seized more than fifty circuit boards designed to remotely detonate IEDs. Police said they were working with an “ideologically inspired group” with links in Iran, Afghanistan, Dubai, and Pakistan and were driven by “violent Islamist ideology.”
Officials said they were investigating three other suspects who worked with the trio outside Canada—James Lara, Zakaria Mamosta, and Rizgar Alizadeh. One of them was Hiva Alizadeh’s wife.
Police arrested a fourth man on August 27 on suspicion of terrorist activities but released him for lack of evidence. The prosecutor’s office gave conflicting information to the press as to whether the fourth arrest was related to that of the other three in custody.
August 29, 2010—Russia—At 3:00 a.m., between fifteen and thirty Islamist terrorists attacked a construction site in Tsenteroi village, 150 yards from the residence of Chechnya’s regional leader, Ramzan Kadryrov, setting off a three-hour gun battle that killed five police officers and twelve terrorists and injured seventeen police officers. One of the terrorists set off a grenade in a house, killing himself and a 30-year-old resident.
August 30, 2010—United States/Netherlands—Amsterdam police arrested two Yemeni men who had arrived on United flight 908 from Chicago after “suspicious items” were found inside their checked baggage. Permanent U.S. resident Ahmed Mohammed Nasser al-Soofi, 48, had come to Chicago from Birmingham, Alabama, where he was subjected to extra screening after security screeners determined that his baggy clothes contained $7,000 in cash. Hezem Abdullah Thabi al-Murisi, 37, a Yemeni in the United States on a visa, came from Memphis, Tennessee. Al-Soofi checked luggage on a flight going from Chicago to Washington’s Dulles Airport and then to Dubai. Instead of getting on that flight, he joined the Chicago-Amsterdam flight. The luggage contained several cell phones strapped to bottles of Pepto Bismol, several watches taped together, a box cutter, and three large knives. Dutch authorities arrested them for “preparation of a terrorist attack.” The media speculated that this was a dry run for an attack. Authorities removed the checked luggage when it was determined that the man did not get on that flight. Further screening established that explosives were not involved. Investigators later suggested that the two men did not know each other before boarding the plane and that the baggage items were not illegal, albeit odd. Their abrupt changes of flights apparently were due to them missing their earlier flights. They were released without charge on September 1 after questioning.
August 30, 2010—Sudan—Two Russian pilots flying for Badr Airlines were kidnapped in Nyala in Darfur Province. 10083001
August 31, 2010—West Bank— In an attack on a car, Palestinian Hamas gunmen shot to death a couple, including Tali Ames, 45, pregnant and a grandmother; a married man, in his 20s; and a pregnant married mother of one, in her 30s. The couple leaves behind six children. The victims lived in Beit Hagai settlement in the south Hebron hills. They were pulled from their car and shot again to make sure they were dead. Palestinian Authority troops rounded up dozens of male suspects and Israeli soldiers conducted house-to-house searches. Hamas claimed credit and vowed to conduct more attacks during the peace talks with Israel in Washington.
September 2010—Cameroon—Gunmen kidnapped four Ukrainians, a Croatian, and a Filipino working in oil fields off the country’s coast. They were released in October. 10099901
September 1, 2010—United States/Pakistan—The U.S. Department of State designated the Pakistani Taliban a terrorist group, allowing the U.S. government to pursue financial sanctions against the group’s affiliates. The State Department offered a $5 million reward for the capture of the group’s leader, Hakimullah Mehsud.
September 1, 2010—West Bank—Hamas gunmen fired on an Israeli car near Ramallah, injuring two Israelis, one seriously.
September 2, 2010—West Bank—Hamas conducted another drive-by shooting at Israelis.
September 3, 2010—Pakistan—A suicide bomber set off his explosives at a Shi’ite demonstration for Palestinians in Quetta, killing 73 and injuring 206.
September 3, 2010—Yemen—Authorities arrested fourteen al Qaeda members in a nighttime raid in Lawder, Abyan Province, 155 miles southwest of Sana’a.
September 3, 2010—Dubai—In early November 2010, authorities were investigating possible connections of the recent package bomb attempts to the September 3, 2010, crash of a UPS B747-400 shortly after takeoff from Dubai International Airport that killed Capt. Doug Lampe, 48, of Louisville, Kentucky, and First Officer Matthew Bell, 38, of Sanford, Florida. Initial reports said a fire had broken out in the plane shortly after takeoff en route to Cologne, Germany. Investigators had earlier said that there was no evidence of terrorism involved in the crash. Some forty minutes into the flight, the crew declared an emergency due to smoke in the cockpit. No explosion could be heard on the cockpit voice recorder. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in its November 20, 2010, edition of Inspire claimed that it had bombed the airliner, but observers noted that the group did not provide any details on the operation. Authorities stood by their view that the plane crash was an accident.
September 4, 2010—Bahrain—The government charged twenty-three Shi’ite activists with forming a “terror network … to change the political regime through illegal means” by holding secret meetings in Bahrain and abroad. Ten suspects, including eight opposition leaders arrested in mid–August, were charged with “undermining national security.” Abduljalil al-Singace, a leader of the Haq (Movement of Liberties and Democracy, a splinter group of the Shi’ite Islamic National Accord Association) opposition group, was arrested on August 14 and charged with “running an illegitimate network” and “leading sabotage cells … contacting foreign organizations and providing them with false and misleading information about the kingdom.” Also named were Mohammed Saeed, a board member of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, and Sheikh Mohammed al-Moqdad, alias Mohammed al-Saffaf. Also named were Sheikh Saeed al-Nuri, Abdulghani Ali Issa Khanjar, Jaffar al-Hessabi, Abdulhadi al-Mokhaider, and Abdulla Isa Abdulla Moqdad. Saeed was charged with receiving “financial support from foreign parties to achieve his illegitimate goals.” Also charged were exiles Husain Mashaima, secretary general of Haq, and Saeed al-Sheehabi, secretary general of the Bahrain Freedom Islamic Movement.
September 5, 2010—Spain—Three Basque Nation and Liberty (ETA) leaders announced a cease-fire in a video released to several news media outlets, including the Basque newspaper Gara. The group called on the Madrid government to “agree to the minimum democratic solutions necessary to start a democratic process.” The government noted that ETA did not indicate that the truce was permanent and did not renounce recruiting, shaking down businesses, or violence and did not suggest disarming or disbanding.
September 5, 2010—Russia—At 1:00 p.m., a suicide car bomber crashed his Zhiguli auto through the gate of a military base in Buinaksk, Dagestan, and killed five soldiers and wounded forty other people. Soldiers fired on him before he could reach the center of the base, where soldiers were quartered in tents.
September 6, 2010—Pakistan—A suicide car bomber crashed into a police building and killed nine police officers and eight civilians—including four children going to school—and wounded forty others in Lakki Marwat district in the North West Frontier Province.
September 8, 2010—Iraq—Four al Qaeda in Iraq detainees facing the death penalty escaped from U.S. custody at a Baghdad detention facility during the night. Two other detainees were caught trying to escape.
September 9, 2010—United States—A federal jury needed thirteen hours to deliberate before convicting Prouz Sedaghaty, alias Pete Seda, the co-founder of the U.S. chapter of the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation in Ashland, Oregon, of helping to smuggle $150,000 to Muslim terrorists in Chechnya. The United States had declared the Foundation a terrorist organization. He was convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud the government and one count of filing a false tax return. His attorney vowed an appeal.
September 9, 2010—Russia—A suicide car bomber set off his explosives at a busy market in Vladikavkaz, capital of North Ossetia Province, killing 16 and wounding 133. About 98 people were hospitalized, many in grave condition.
September 9, 2010—Somalia—A suicide car bomber set off his explosives at the gate to the Mogadishu airport. Terrorists in a second vehicle crashed through and drove toward the terminal. Their bombs exploded before reaching the terminal. Five terrorists and nine people were killed. The attack occurred forty minutes after the Somali president flew out of the country.
September 10, 2010—Somalia—Dahir Gurey, a Somali American al-Shabaab commander, was killed in shelling in Mogadishu.
September 15, 2010—Niger—Five French citizens, a Togolese, and a Madagascar national were kidnapped while they were sleeping in their villas in the uranium mining town of Arlit. The hostages worked for the French nuclear group Areva and Sogea-Satom, a subsidiary of the Vinci construction group. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed credit.
On November 18, 2010, Abu Mossab Abdelouadoud, alias Abdelmalek Droukdel, a leader of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, said in an audiotape broadcast by al-Jazeera that negotiations for the release of five French hostages “must be done with Osama bin Laden and according to his conditions” and that French troops must withdraw from Afghanistan. “Unless you stop interfering in our affairs and committing your injustices to Muslims, and if you want the safety for the French people, then you should to quickly pull your forces from Afghanistan.” Authorities believed the terrorists moved the hostages to Mali.
The French citizens included Francoise Larribe and her husband, Daniel, who was working at a uranium mine operated by the French firm Areva. He remained a captive as of December 13, 2012.
In February 2011, Francoise Larribe, a Togolese, and a Malagasy man were freed. The kidnappers demanded a 90 million Euro ($118 million) ransom.
In September 2012, the Sahara Media Web site ran a video of the four French hostages.
On September 19, 2012, AQIM threatened to kill the French hostages if Paris conducted a military intervention against it in northern Mali, which is controlled by AQIM and its Islamist allies. France would be “mad and provoke not only the death of the hostages, but that France would be dragged into the Azawad region which would bring France more tragedies and catastrophes.” By October 2012, AQIM was demanding 90 million Euros ($118 million) for the release of four French workers. AQIM released a video on December 26, 2012, in which Abdelhamid Abu Zeid said the hostages were alive “for the time being.” 10091501
September 15, 2010—Jordan/Israel—U.S. embassies in Jordan and Israel warned Americans of a “possible imminent threat” in the Red Sea port of Aqaba and recommended avoiding the resort town for the next forty-eight hours.
September 16, 2010—Turkey—The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) denied responsibility for a landmine that exploded under a tour bus in a Hakkari Province village, killing nine and injuring four.
September 17, 2010—United Kingdom—London police arrested six men, aged 26 to 50, under the Terrorism Act in connection with a suspected threat to Pope Benedict XVI, who was in the United Kingdom on a four-day visit. Five were detained at a garbage depot in central London. A sixth was arrested at his home. The five were held in a predawn raid on suspicion of “the commission, preparation, or instigation of acts of terrorism.” The BBC said they were from North Africa and not U.K. citizens. Some were subcontracted street cleaners.
September 18, 2010—Mauritania—Soldiers killed a dozen members of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in a battle along the border with Mali. Two soldiers were killed.
September 19, 2010—India—Two Taiwanese nationals were injured when gunmen on a motorcycle fired at their tour bus at a mosque near a popular tourist site in Old Delhi. One tourist was hit in the head and another in the stomach in the 11:30 a.m. attack. Authorities were investigating a call to an Indian news service claiming credit, suggesting that criminals, not terrorists, were involved. 10091901
September 19, 2010—Germany—An afternoon explosion in a Loerrach apartment building apparently killed a woman and child. The apartment burst into flames. Soon after, a woman armed with a weapon was seen running from the explosion into nearby St. Elisabeth Hospital, where she killed a member of the hospital staff. She then fired on responding police, seriously wounding one police officer before she was killed in the gun battle. Loerrach is near the Switzerland-France border.
September 19, 2010—Netherlands—Acting on a tip from British authorities, Schipol Airport police arrested a British man of Somali ancestry for possible links to al-Shabaab. He was en route from Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport to Uganda.
September 19, 2010—Iraq—Three car bombs in Baghdad and Fallujah killed at least 37 people and wounded more than 100. The worst bombing was in Baghdad’s northern Kazimiyah neighborhood, where a car bomb went off near a local office of the National Security Ministry in Adan Square, killing at least 29 people and wounding 111. Three rockets were fired at the U.S. Embassy. 10091903
September 19, 2010—Colombia—Government troops killed Sixto Antonio Cabana, alias Domingo Biojo, a leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, in a raid on his jungle hideout near the Ecuadoran frontier. The United States had offered a $2.5 million reward for the drug trafficker.
September 19, 2010—United States—Federal authorities arrested and charged Sami Samir Hassoun, 22, a Lebanese citizen and permanent resident alien of the United States, with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction when he placed a backpack he thought contained explosives in a trash can outside a sports bar near Wrigley Field, Chicago. The bomb was placed after midnight, when the Dave Matthews Band concert crowd was exiting. Hassoun was charged with one count each of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and of an explosive device, both felonies. He faced a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of life in prison.
Hassoun’s associate had cooperated with the FBI for months. Hassoun had talked about conducting a biological attack, poisoning Lake Michigan, attacking police officers, bombing the Willis Tower, and assassinating Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.
On April 23, 2012, he pleaded guilty to placing the backpack. He faced a thirty-year prison term. Sentencing was scheduled for August 15.
September 19, 2010—Philippines—Soldiers killed Abdukarim Sali, a leader of Abu Sayyaf, who had planned and conducted the kidnapping of three Americans and seventeen Filipinos from a resort in Basilan in May 2001. Sali was involved in beheading U.S. hostage Guillermo Sobero of California as an “Independence Day gift” to then-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Sali died in a ten-minute firefight in Lantawan, Basilan Island. There was a $7,000 reward for Sali’s capture.
September 19, 2010—Pakistan—Al Qaeda senior operational commander Sheikh Mohammad Fateh al-Masri—its third-ranking member—was killed in an air strike in Doga Macha Madakhel village in North Waziristan. The Egyptian was the emir of Qaidat al-Jihad fi Khorasan, the base of the jihad in the Khorasan which includes parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Iran. He had led attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Asia Times said that he was not a formal member of al Qaeda. He might have been a member of Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (Egyptian Islamic Group), a rival to Ayman al-Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
September 19, 2010—Afghanistan—A British woman and three Afghans, all working for Development Alternatives, which works on projects for the U.S. Agency for International Development, were ambushed and kidnapped as they traveled in two vehicles in Kunar Province. Police and the kidnappers engaged in a gun battle before the attackers escaped. 10091902
September 22, 2010—Colombia—Air strikes killed Victor Julio Suarez, alias Jorge Briceno, alias El Mono Jojoy, 57, field marshal of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, and twenty other rebels.
September 22, 2010—Nigeria—Three French citizens were taken hostage from the Bourbon Alexandre boat belonging to the oil services company Bourbon. It was not clear who captured them. The other thirteen were unharmed. Sixteen crew were on the ship when it was attacked by speedboats. The next day they were found by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). The group’s spokesman, Jomo Gbono, said it had “located the three abducted French nationals and another individual abducted in a separate incident on the same night. We are in negotiations with the abductors towards effecting a transfer of the men to the custody of MEND.” The trio was freed on November 10. It is not clear who the fourth hostage was. 10092201
September 24, 2010—Northern Ireland—The United Kingdom raised the terrorist threat level posed by Irish Republican Army dissidents to “substantial,” the middle rung on a five-point scale. The al Qaeda threat level remained at “severe,” one below “critical,” which indicates an attack is imminent.
September 25, 2010—Afghanistan—A NATO air strike in the Korengal Valley in the east killed Abdallah Umar al-Qurayshi, a senior Saudi-born al Qaeda commander who coordinated attacks by Arab fighters in Kunar and Nuristan provinces near the Pakistan border, and Abu Atta Kuwaiti, an explosives expert.
September 26, 2010—Afghanistan—The Taliban kidnapped British citizen Linda Norgrove, 36, who worked for the Bethesda, Maryland-based aid organization DAI that does work for the U.S. Agency for International Development, and her three Afghan colleagues—two drivers and a security guard—in the Chawkay district of eastern Kunar Province. The three Afghans were released by October 2. Provincial officials organized district elders, religious scholars, and provincial council members to negotiate with the terrorists. She was killed in a rescue attempt on October 8 when her captors set off a bomb. Six terrorists were killed; no NATO troops were injured. An Afghan official said she was held by two Taliban commanders, Mullah Basir and Mullah Keftan, who were both killed in the raid.
Norgrove worked in projects in Afghanistan, Laos, Mexico, Uganda, and Peru and was involved in projects for the United Nations. She joined DAI in January as a senior manager on a program to create jobs, improve local economies, and help local leaders “reduce reliance on the opium economy,” according to DAI.
Two days after the failed rescue, U.S. and British officials suggested that Norgrove might have been killed by a grenade thrown by U.S. Special Operations troops during the pre-dawn raid. 10092601
September 28, 2010—Europe—The news media, led by the Wall Street Journal, reported that al Qaeda central was planning armed attacks similar to the November 2008 Mumbai siege against London, Paris, and Berlin. The leader of the group was known only as Mauritani. ABC News reported that Ahmad Sidiqi, 36, a German of Afghan descent held in U.S. custody at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan since his arrest in Kabul in July 2010, had provided a tipoff that several groups of attackers, all with European passports, had been trained and sent from camps in Waziristan. He said Osama bin Laden had approved the attack. Sidiqi reportedly had ties to Hamburg, living there until 2009, and the 9/11 plotters. He drove the father of Mounir al-Motassadeq, who had been convicted in Germany for his role in 9/11, to visit his son in prison and vacationed with the Motassadeq family. French authorities twice evacuated the Eiffel Tower. The Associated Press quoted a Pakistani intelligence official as claiming that two British brothers of Pakistani descent and eight Germans were involved in the plot. Abdul Jabbar, 20-something, one of the Britons from Pakistan’s Jhelum district, had died in an air strike on September 8 in North Waziristan.
September 28, 2010—Spain—Authorities in Esplugues de Llobregat, a Catalan town near Barcelona, arrested Mohamed Omar Debhi, 43, a U.S. citizen of Algerian origin, on suspicion of transferring and laundering more than $81,000 for al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. He was also suspected of document forgery and tax fraud. He was sent to Madrid for questioning. Police seized a luxury car, a boat docked in Badalona, laptops, hard disks, bank records, and business incorporation documents of companies used as fronts. Authorities said Debhi used bank and human couriers to send money to Toufik Mizi in Algeria, who in turn sent the money to terrorist cells. Mizi was wanted on terrorism charges by Spain’s National Court. He had been a fugitive since 2008, escaping a police raid on a Spain-based cell that trained, provided logistic support, and funded al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb. Debhi had at one time resided in Katy, Texas, and traveled between the United States and Spain between 2003 and 2006. National Court investigative Judge Santiago Pedraz ordered Debhi released on September 30 due to lack of evidence.
September 29, 2010—Dubai—Jihadi Web sites ran a video by American al Qaeda propagandist Adam Gadahn regarding the Pakistan floods.
September 29, 2010—Yemen—ABCNews.com reported that al Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsula posted a Web video from Anwar al-Aulaqi.
September 30, 2010—Dubai—Jihadi Web sites ran a purported As-Sahab video by Osama bin Laden, lasting eleven minutes and thirty-nine seconds, entitled Pauses with the Method of Relief Work, in which he called on Muslims to invest in infrastructure and awareness programs to deal with famine, flood relief, climate change, and water pollution in Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen, Chad, and Somalia. “Sending tents and medicine is necessary, but the catastrophe is bigger and way more than what is being offered in terms of quantity, quality, and timing. We need a big transitional change in the way we act in the relief effort.” He said too much is spent on the armed forces, and added,
If they had spent one percent of what they had allocated as their budget, in a wise and honest way, we would have witnessed a change in the areas where the poor people live, and their situation would have improved accordingly…. Several studies say that if anything happens to one of the major countries producing wheat and stopped the country from exporting it a lot of people in the world and especially in our region will enter a famine and therefore, the money will not help in lifting or stopping the starvation between the people, because the bread is not available.
September 30, 2010—Nigeria—A dozen people were killed and thirty-eight injured when the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) set off two car bombs outside the Justice Ministry in Abuja during celebrations of the country’s fiftieth anniversary. In claiming credit, MEND said, “There is nothing worth celebrating after fifty years of failure. For fifty years, the people of the Niger Delta have had their land and resources stolen from them. The constitution before independence which offered resource control was mutilated by illegal military governments and this injustice is yet to be addressed.” The media reported that the group had sent a threat an hour before the bomb went off and that British intelligence had warned the government of a plot.
By October 6, 2010, South African prosecutors had charged alleged MEND member Henry Okah with terrorism-related offenses in connection with the bombings. Okah had been living in South Africa under amnesty granted in 2009. He was represented by South African attorney Rudi Krause.
October 2010—Nigeria—Gunmen attacked two pipelines belonging to Italian oil company Eni SpA. 10109901-02
October 2, 2010—Italy—Police in Naples arrested Ryan Hannouni, 28, a French citizen of Algerian origin, near the central train station. He was carrying bomb-making materials. He was suspected of having ties with a recruiting network that would send Europe-based radicals to Afghanistan and Pakistan. France requested his extradition. He had been living in Naples since early August. The next day, French authorities arrested three people whose names were in his cell phone.
October 3, 2010—Russia—A civilian Yakovlev Yak-42 carrying seventy-three passengers from Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport to Grozny was diverted to Volgograd after a telephoned bomb threat.
October 3, 2010—Europe—The U.S. Department of State issued a travel alert saying that al Qaeda and affiliated organizations were planning terrorist attacks.
October 3, 2010—Pakistan—A U.S. drone strike killed five to eight German terrorists among eleven suspected foreign militants and Pakistanis in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan. They were members of Jehad al-Islami.
CNN reported that Naamen Meziche, 40, a French citizen of Algerian descent, recruited young men praying at the Taiba Mosque in Hamburg, Germany, to join in jihad. He was believed to be in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area. Meziche’s wife told CNN that he was overseas. Meziche had connections to al Qaeda dating to the 1990s. One European counterterrorism official said detainee Ahmed Sidiqi told his interrogators that Meziche was a planner, assisted by Asadullah M., in the new reported plot which Osama Bin Laden had approved.
CNN said the logistics arranger for the group was Asadullah M., 52, a Hamburg resident of Afghan origin thought to be in the Pakistani tribal area along the Afghanistan border.
One member of the group was Rami Makanesi, 25, a German of Syrian descent. Another was Shahab Dashti, a German citizen of Iranian descent. He appeared in an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan video in late 2009. Brandishing a knife and gun, he urged other Germans to join in jihad against the United States in Afghanistan. Several other Germans in the video were firing weapons. Sidiqi said that Dashti was to be a “foot-soldier” in the plot against Europe. CNN reported that Dashti was at large in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Dashti began attending the Taiba Mosque after converting from Shi’ite to Sunni Islam to distance himself from a domineering father. Family members told CNN that he was tricked by extremists into going to Pakistan. His wife traveled with him to Pakistan and is still believed to be in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.
October 5, 2010—France—Police arrested three suspects—two in Marseille and one in Bordeaux—as part of a probe into a jihadi recruiting network to send European-based fighters to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The trio’s names were found in the cell phone of Ryan Hannouni, who was arrested on October 2 in Naples, Italy. Hannouni was suspected of having ties with the recruiting network. France requested his extradition. He had been living in Naples since early August. Some thought the trio offered housing and false ID papers.
French police in Marseille and Avignon arrested nine other people in a separate probe into radical jihadi groups. They were held on suspicion of involvement in trafficking arms and explosives. Police found a Kalashnikov automatic rifle, a pump-action shotgun, two knives, and ammunition.
It was the first time al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) were believed to have collaborated. A year and a half earlier, a Yemeni AQAP emissary to AQIM was found beheaded in Algeria.
October 5, 2010—Thailand—A bomb exploded in Nonthaburi Province, 25 miles north of Bangkok, killing four people, including electrician Samai Wongsuwan, a known Red Shirt activist from Chiang Mai. He was making a 22-pound TNT bomb when it accidentally detonated in his apartment. Nine others were injured in the explosion.
October 6, 2010—United Kingdom—The French Foreign Ministry issued a travel alert regarding a high terrorism risk in the United Kingdom, particularly in public transport and tourist areas.
October 6, 2010—Yemen—At 8:15 a.m., gunmen fired a rocket-propelled grenade at an armored vehicle carrying five U.K. diplomats in Sana’a, slightly injuring one Briton and two local bystanders. The terrorists escaped. The vehicle was carrying Fionna Gibb, the deputy chief of mission. 10100601
October 6, 2010—Yemen—A Yemeni security guard shot to death a French contractor at a compound near Sana’a for staff members of OMV, an Austrian oil and gas company. Security guards overpowered the gunman. It was not clear if he was affiliated with a terrorist group; colleagues said he had an acrimonious relationship with his boss and was about to be fired. On November 2, Yemeni officials charged Hesham Mohammed Asem, 19, with “forming an armed group to carry out criminal acts targeting foreigners” as part of al Qaeda in the death of the contractor. Prosecutors said he had links with al Qaeda cells and had been offered money by Anwar al-Aulaqi to kill foreigners. 10100602
October 8, 2010—United States/Canada—The United States deported to Canada Mohammed Abdullah Warsame, 37, a Somali-born Canadian who admitted attending al Qaeda training camps and lectures by Osama bin Laden.
October 10, 2010—Yemen—A seventy-four-page second edition of the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s e-magazine Inspire appeared on the Internet. The edition featured suggestions on how to use a pickup truck as a vehicle bomb and how to shoot up a Washington restaurant. “The Ultimate Mowing Machine” suggested attaching a steel blade on the front of a four-wheel-drive truck and driving into a crowd of pedestrians. Inspire was released in time for the tenth anniversary of the attack in Yemen on the USS Cole.
October 13, 2010—Pakistan—Authorities interrogating seven newly-arrested Islamist detainees announced discovery of a plot by Laskkar-e-Jhangvi to assassinate the prime minister and foreign minister in a gun and suicide bomb attack in Multan. The seven were arrested when the terrorists fired on them during a routine police check of vehicles near Bahawalpur. The seven were also involved in a robbery. A hearing was scheduled for October 27. Police seized arms and ammunition from the detainees.
October 15, 2010—Thailand—Government officials warned that more bombings were expected to take place during October. Bangkok averaged two bombings per week in 2010. At least 71 bombs had exploded in Bangkok, with another 43 bombs defused. Authorities noted that 32 rocket-propelled grenades, 8,000 rounds of M-16 assault rifle ammunition, and other weaponry had been stolen from an army arsenal in September. Another 69 hand grenades and 3,100 assault rifle rounds were stolen from another army depot in March. Neither theft had been solved.
October 15, 2010—Yemen—Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fired at Yemeni Intelligence Col. Riyadh al-Katabi in Sayoun, Hadramut Province, seriously wounding him. He remained in intensive care in the hospital a week later.
October 16, 2010—United States—On June 17, 2011, authorities arrested Yonathan Melaku, 22, a Marine Reservist, at Arlington National Cemetery, after he fled Fort Myer. His backpack contained 9-mm shell casings, plastic baggies with ammonium nitrate—a bomb-making material, work gloves, a headlamp, and a notebook that included references to Osama bin Laden and The Path to Jihad. The notebook included a call to “defeat coalition and allies and America” and a list of foreign terrorists. In his bedroom, authorities found a video of him driving by the Marine Corps Museum and firing several shots out of the passenger window. In the video, he said, “all right next time this video turns on, I will be shooting…. That’s what they get. That’s my target. That’s the military building. It’s going to be attacked.” On June 22, authorities charged him with three counts of causing injury to U.S. property by shooting with a firearm and causing damage in excess of $1,000, and one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, citing the shootings at five military sites on October 16, October 17, October 19, October 25, October 28, October 29, November 1, and November 2, 2010. He was specifically charged in the shootings at the Marine Corps museum and the Pentagon. He was also charged by the Leesburg Police Department on May 27 with four counts of grand larceny for stealing items from several cars. He faced a minimum of thirty-five years in prison and a maximum life sentence.
Melaku joined the Marine Corps Reserve on September 4, 2007. He had received the National Defense Service Medal and the Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal. The high school graduate lived with his parents. He was a naturalized U.S. citizen who moved to the United States from Ethiopia in 2005. He graduated from Edison High School in Franconia in 2006. He lived on Sage Drive in Alexandria, Virginia.
On January 26, 2012, Yonathan Melaku pleaded guilty to three counts, including the October 19, 2010, shooting at the Pentagon and attempting to damage veterans’ memorials on U.S. property. He admitted to using his 9-mm to shoot at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the Pentagon, and two military recruiting offices. The plea agreement called for him to serve twenty-five years in prison. Sentencing was set for April 27, 2012. Melaku was represented by attorney Gregory English, who said Melaku would otherwise have been sentenced to a mandatory eighty-five years. On January 11, 2013, U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee sentenced Yonathan Melaku to twenty-five years in prison for the shootings. Melaku planned to deface 2,379 graves at Arlington National Cemetery by scrawling Arabic phrases on the tombstones of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, shooting at more buildings, and blowing up a military fuel tanker truck.
October 17, 2010—United States—Bullet holes were found in the windows of the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, 30 miles south of the Pentagon.
October 19, 2010—Russia—Three people, including two guards, were killed and seventeen injured when a suicide bomber set off explosives at the gates of the Chechen parliament. Gunmen then fired on nearby guards for twenty minutes. Three terrorists and a civilian died when guards returned fire in Grozny.
October 19, 2010—France—The French Court of Cassation (Supreme Court) ruled that police cannot interrogate suspected terrorists without their lawyer present.
October 19, 2010—Iraq—At 4:00 p.m., a roadside bomb went off next to a convoy transporting UN Special Representative Ad Melkert, a Dutch citizen, killing an Iraqi policeman and seriously wounding three others. The convoy was going to the Najaf airport after Melkert had met with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani regarding the seven-month impasse in forming a government. The Shi’ite group Asaib Ahl al-Haq was suspected. 10101901
October 19, 2010—United States—At 5:00 a.m., a gunman fired shots at the Pentagon, possibly using a high-powered rifle. No one was injured when the bullets hit two windows on the third and fourth floors. The FBI offered a $20,000 reward on November 15, 2010, for information about the series of shootings. Tipsters were to call 202-278-2000 or e-mail WashingtonField@ic.fbi.gov.
October 22, 2010—United States—The FBI arrested Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, a 21-year-old born and raised in New York who created Islamist Web sites and posted threats of Islamist terrorist violence, including one by Anwar al-Aulaqi. He was detained in Honolulu, where he was taking target practice. He was turned away by Pakistan and Jordan. He tried to get into Somalia but was on the U.S. no-fly list. He was turned down by the U.S. Army recruiting station in Times Square; he had hoped to go to Iraq. The FBI said he wanted to learn “guerrilla warfare and bomb making” by joining a radical Islamist group. A federal criminal complaint was unsealed on October 25, 2010, in which he was accused of making false statements in an international terrorism case. He faced eight years in prison. He was represented by attorney Matthew Winter.
Shehadeh had purchased a one-way ticket to Pakistan in June 2008 on Expedia; he told a New York detective that he was going to attend an Islamic school. In June 2009, he purchased a ticket to Dubai, hoping to go to Somalia, but was already on the no-fly list. He had posted to revolutionmuslim.com under the name Abul-Qasim. During his November 2, 2010, court appearance, prosecutors opposed bail. He was represented by attorney Jeffrey Pittell.
October 22, 2010—Yemen—Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula gunned down Yemeni Intelligence Lt. Col. Abdul-Aziz Abu Abed outside his house in Mukalla in eastern Hadramut Province. The terrorists escaped.
October 22, 2010—Turkey—The government arraigned Abdulkadir Kucuk, 23, a student in e-mail contact with Zekeriya, suspected al Qaeda leader on the Aegean coast, in a court in Izmir. He was ordered into custody; his four colleagues were released on bail. Authorities found software designed to help shoot down surveillance drones in Afghanistan; CDs with video of him setting off homemade bombs in a field; and bomb-making materials, including hydrogen peroxide, nails, and gunpowder at his Kayseri home. He was a math student who was calculating angles of fire and coordinates of Israeli-made Heron drones. The four other suspects, ages 19 to 39, were arrested on October 20 on suspicion of fund-raising for the group. Turkey later detained a dozen more suspects. Authorities said the group was named Taifatul Mansura (Assembly of the Victorious).
A senior Turkish official said the Turkish al Qaeda cell was run by Zekeriya. The overall Turkish group was lead by Ebuzer, alias Serdar Erbashi, who had fought in the second Chechen war and ran al Qaeda’s Ankara cell.
October 23, 2010—Afghanistan—Three or four gunmen wearing suicide vests and firing RPGs were killed when they attacked a UN compound in Herat. Two Afghan guards were injured in the noon attack when a terrorist crashed a car bomb into a compound gate, making a hole for suicide bombers who were disguised as women wearing burqas. No UN personnel were hurt. 10102301
October 23, 2010—Dubai—Adam Gadahn, an American-born al Qaeda propagandist, released a forty-eight-minute Internet video to “to my Muslim brothers residing in the states of the Zio-Crusader coalition … from the emigrant communities, like those which live on the margins of society in the miserable suburbs of Paris, London, Detroit,” and those “arriving in America or Europe to study in its universities or seek their daily bread in the streets of its cities.” He called on them to attack Americans. He told Detroiters, “Know that jihad is your duty as well, and you have an opportunity to strike the leaders of unbelief and retaliate against them on their own soil. As long as there is no covenant between you and them, here you are in the battlefield just like heroes before you.” He praised 9/11 leader Muhammad Atta; would-be Christmas underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab; and Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan. The As-Sahab video was entitled The Arabs and Muslims: Between the Conferences of Desertion … and the Individual Duty of Jihad, and included video of Anwar al-Aulaqi.
October 23, 2010—Russia—A car bomber killed himself and a police officer in a failed attempt to attack a police dormitory in Khasavyurt, North Caucasus.
In Komsomolskoye, Dagestan, police attacked a militant hideout, killing two terrorists.
A car chase in Ingushetia ended with the deaths of two wanted terrorists.
October 24, 2010—Yemen—Authorities foiled an attempt to place 1,800 grams of dynamite near Al-Wahdah Stadium that was to be used at the Gulf Cup soccer tournament in November.
October 25, 2010—United States—Shots were fired at a Marine Corps recruiting station at 13881 MetroTech Drive in Chantilly, Virginia, that had been closed for renovations. The FBI said that the gun used in this shooting was also used in the Pentagon and military museum shootings. Authorities noted that all three shootings took place at night, at buildings—apparently to avoid casualties. They believed the shooter(s) used a high-velocity rifle.
October 25, 2010—Pakistan—Explosives hidden in milk canisters attached to a motorcycle exploded at the Sufi Islam Baba Farid shrine in Pakpattan in Punjab Province, killing seven and injuring fourteen.
October 25, 2010—United States—Omar Ahmed Khadr pleaded guilty to five separate war crimes in exchange for a sentence of eight years, one to be served in Guantanamo Bay military prison. On October 31, he was sentenced to forty years, but was to serve only eight years. On November 1, 2010, Canada agreed to repatriate him.
October 27, 2010—France—Osama Bin Laden released an audiotape in which he warned France to get its troops out of Afghanistan and not to oppress Muslims at home. Complaining about September legislation banning full-face veils, he said, “If you want to tyrannize and think that it is your right to ban the fair women from wearing the burqa, isn’t it our right to expel your occupying forces, your men from our lands by striking them by the neck? … The only way to safeguard your nation and maintain your security is to lift all your injustice and its extensions off our people and most importantly to withdraw your forces from Bush’s despicable war in Afghanistan” He said al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s kidnapping of five French citizens in Niger on September 16 was justified. “How is it right for you to occupy our countries and kill our women and children and expect to live in peace and security? As you kill us, you will be killed. As you imprison us, you will be imprisoned, and as you threaten our security, we will threaten your security and the initiator of the injustice is the true aggressor.” [A different interpretation is “The equation is clear: you are killed as you kill and abducted as you abduct, and as you damage our security we damage your security.”]
October 27, 2010—Somalia—Ten al-Shabaab terrorists publicly shot to death two blindfolded teenage girls tied to a tree in Beledweyne. Sheikh Yusuf Ali Ugas, commander of Al-Shabaab, said, “Those two girls were evil and they were spies for the enemy [the Somali government], but the mujahideen caught them and after investigation, they admitted their crime, so they have been executed.” Ayan Mohamed Jama, variously reported as 16 or 18, and Huriyo Ibrahim, 15, wore veils and blindfolds. Hundreds of local residents were forced to watch the massacre. Sheik Mohamed Ibrahim had sentenced the girls to death.
October 27, 2010—United States—The FBI announced the arrest of Farooque Ahmed, 34, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Lahore, Pakistan, now living in Ashburn in Loudoun County, Virginia. Ahmed suggested to undercover FBI agents how to bomb the Washington Metro’s Orange line stations in northern Virginia. He provided surveillance to the plotters and made suggestions on how to kill the most people. He said he was ready to “go operational” after a November hajj. He then planned to martyr himself in battle with U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was self-taught in martial arts, use of firearms, and knife and gun tactics and offered to train two undercover operatives in those skills. He also offered to purchase firearms for jihad. Federal officials removed guns and ammunition from his townhouse. He faced fifty years in prison on charges of conspiracy to support a designated foreign terrorist organization (al Qaeda), collecting information to assist in planning a terrorist attack on a transit facility, and attempting to provide material support to terrorists. He did not enter a plea. He was represented by federal public defenders Todd Richman and Kenneth Troccoli.
He had immigrated to the United States with his family in 1993. They settled in Staten Island, New York. In 2003, he graduated from the College of Staten Island with a degree in computer science. He moved to Virginia in 2005—the year he became a U.S. citizen—working in telecommunications, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was working on an online graduate degree in risk management and data security with Aspen University. When arrested, he was working as a Reston-based contractor for Ericsson telecommunications.
The FBI spotted him in January 2010 and began the undercover operation that included clandestine hotel meetings near Dulles International Airport. He provided thumb drives with surveillance videos and suggested that placing bombs in rolling suitcases would be more effective than backpack bombs. In meetings with FBI operatives, he agreed to case the Arlington Cemetery Metro station, doing so on July 7 and 13. He was handed coded messages in a Quran. He was told his surveillance videos were helpful in preparing bomb attacks against the Arlington National Cemetery, courthouse, and Pentagon City Metro stops in Arlington, Virginia, which were used by military personnel. He also surveilled the Rosslyn and Pentagon City Metro stations and recommended bombing the Crystal City Metro station. He offered to provide Metro cards and other assistance to the plotters. He also offered $10,000 for jihadi causes in $1,000 increments “in order not to raise any red flags.” He advocated setting the bombs off between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. to cause the most casualties. He sketched diagrams of three Metro stations and had agreed to surveil a Washington hotel.
The media reported that the authorities were tipped off by a source from the local Muslim community. Ahmed had a colleague who also wanted to join a terrorist group and conducted the surveillance with Ahmed. The colleague had been cooperating with the authorities.
Ahmed had listened to sermons by Anwar al-Aulaqi but apparently never met him.
His wife, Sahar Mirza-Ahmed, of Birmingham, United Kingdom, had joined Hip Muslim Moms, a support group for mothers with children under 5 years old.
Farooque Ahmed pleaded not guilty on November 9, 2010, to charges of plotting to bomb four Northern Virginia Metro stations. U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of the Eastern District of Virginia ordered him held for trial on April 11, 2011. He was charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and assisting in an attack on a transit facility. He faced fifty years in prison. Authorities seized a double-barreled shotgun, a .22-caliber rifle, a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson pistol, dozens of rounds of ammunition, $8,000 in cash, seven cell phones, four laptop computers, travel records for the family’s upcoming Hajj, and several CDs of lectures and speeches and a pamphlet by Anwar al-Aulaqi. He was represented by Kenneth Troccoli and Todd Richman of the federal public defenders office.
On April 11, 2011, Farooque Ahmed, 35, pleaded guilty to two charges in U.S. District Court. U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee sentenced him to twenty-three years in prison and fifty years of supervised release. Changing his not guilty plea from 2010, he pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization and to collecting information to assist in planning a terrorist attack on a transit facility.
October 28, 2010—Pakistan—Gunmen on a motorcycle fired on a Japanese consular vehicle in Karachi, wounding two local employees. Police suggested it could have been an attempted robbery. The three Pakistanis in the car had stopped by a bank to get cash. 10102801
October 28, 2010—United States—Several shots were fired during the night at the National Museum of the Marine Corps building in Triangle, Virginia, the second such attack in October. No injuries were reported.
October 29, 2010—United States/Europe/United Arab Emirates/Yemen—Two package bombs with out-of-date addresses of Chicago synagogues were found in cargo planes in Dubai and the United Kingdom. The Dubai package had transited via two commercial flights. The pentaerythritol trinitrate (PETN) filled bombs originated in Yemen.
The parcels were addressed to two historical figures. Diego Deza was a Grand Inquisitor during the Spanish Inquisition, succeeding Tomas de Torquemada. Reynald Krak, also known as Raynald of Châtillon, was a French knight of the Second Crusade who killed Muslim pilgrims. He was beheaded by Kurdish warrior Saladin during the defeat at the Battle of Hattin in 1187. The head was paraded around the streets of Damascus.
Yemeni authorities raided a Sana’a home and arrested Hanan al-Samawi, a woman suspected of mailing the packages; they said the United Arab Emirates and United States provided tipoff information about her. She was a medical student in her 20s who had left her phone number with a cargo company. Authorities released her when they determined it was a case of identity theft.
Authorities were searching for another two dozen Yemeni-originated packages.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was suspected. The bombs were believed to have been built by Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, 28, a Saudi based in Yemen. He had hidden a PETN-based bomb in the body cavity of his younger brother, Abdullah, who became a suicide bomber who wounded Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a senior counterterrorism official, in August 2009. Ibrahim al-Asiri was also thought to have built the underwear bomb that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to use in the foiled Christmas Day 2009 bombing.
The packages had wires and a circuit board. They were designed to defeat detection systems at airports.
The package in the UPS plane at East Midlands Airport near Nottingham, England, was found at 3:30 a.m. It contained a toner cartridge with white powder on it. The U.K. package was to fly on a UPS plane, which would have crashed if the bomb exploded on it. German authorities said the bomb passed through Cologne-Bonn airport and contained 400 grams of PETN.
The package found at the FedEx facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was to be shipped on a FedEx cargo plane to the United States. It was built inside a Hewlett Packard Laser Jet P2055 printer cartridge that contained lead azide (used in detonators), 10.58 ounces of PETN, an electric circuit, and a cell phone chip. It had flown on two Qatar Airways passenger flights before being discovered. Qatar Airways said the bombs were not detected by sniffer dogs or X-ray systems.
The United States and United Kingdom downplayed French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux’s claim that one bomb was disarmed only seventeen minutes before it was set to explode. Some authorities said the bombs were to explode in the air; they were not rigged to explode upon opening. They cited an apparent “dry run” in which clothing was shipped from the Middle East to Chicago to test whether materials could get through and the timing of when planes would be above specific cities.
Some observers suggested that an audiotape released by Osama bin Laden earlier in the month was a signal to begin the attacks.
Yemeni officials credited a tip from Saudi authorities for the discovery of the devices. On October 15, 2010, the Saudi government announced that Jabir Jubran Fayfi had surrendered in Yemen and had tipped off the Saudis about the package bomb plot. The Guantanamo Bay detainee had been released to the Saudi terrorist rehabilitation program. He rejoined al Qaeda in Yemen in 2006.
Authorities were investigating possible connections to the September 3, 2010, crash of a UPS B747-400 shortly after takeoff from Dubai International Airport that killed Capt. Doug Lampe, 48, of Louisville, Kentucky, and First Officer Matthew Bell, 38, of Sanford, Florida. Initial reports said a fire had broken out in the plane shortly after takeoff en route to Cologne, Germany.
On November 5, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed credit, saying on a Web site, “We will continue to strike blows against American interests and the interest of America’s allies.” The group also claimed credit for the September 3 crash of a UPS cargo plane in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. “We decided not to announce it so we could carry on a similar operation. We did that this time using two devices, one of which was sent via the American UPS company and the other via the American FedEx company. Since both operations were successful, we intend to spread the idea to our mujahideen brothers in the world and enlarge the circle of its application to include civilian aircraft in the West as well as cargo aircraft.” AQAP said the bombs’ design “allow us the opportunity to detonate them in the air or after their arrival to their ultimate destination, and they are designed to pass through all detectors.” The group complained about the Saudi tipoff, saying, “God has exposed you and showed the world that you are nothing but treacherous agents to the Jews because these bomb packages were headed to Jewish-Zionist temples, and you had to intervene with your treacherous ways to protect them, so may God curse you for being the oppressors.”
On November 10, 2010, the London Metropolitan Police announced that “forensic examination has indicated that if the device had activated it would have been at 10:30 hours BST (5:30 a.m. EDT) on Friday, 29 October 2010,” which would have put the plane over an unpopulated area of Canada.
On November 20, 2010, AQAP released a twenty-three-page special third edition of Inspire, in which it claimed credit for the foiled bombings and explained how it had conducted the attacks. The group said it cost only $4,200 to set up the bombs and mail them, listing “two Nokia mobiles, $150 each, two HP printers, $300 each, plus shipping, transportation and other miscellaneous expenses.” It noted, “Operation Hemorrhage … has succeeded in achieving its objectives. We thank Allah for His blessings.” The group eschewed the grand attacks previously attributed to its namesake and suggested that “the strategy of a thousand cuts,” that is, smaller attacks, were easier to conduct and tied up billions of dollars of Western economies. “It is more feasible to stage smaller attacks that involve less players and less time to launch and thus we may circumvent the security barriers America worked so hard to erect…. We have struck against your aircrafts twice within one year … and we will continue directing our blows towards your interests and the interests of your allies…. This supposedly ‘foiled plot’ will without a doubt cost America and other Western countries billions of dollars in new security measures. That is what we call leverage.”
The packages were sent to Chicago, “Obama’s city,” along with a copy of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, reflecting the group’s views “about the outcome of this operation…. We knew that cargo planes are staffed by only a pilot and a co-pilot, so our objective was not to cause maximum casualties but to cause maximum losses to the American economy.” The group had determined that toner cartridges are carbon based, with a molecular composition close to PETN, so that it could not be detected. “We emptied the toner cartridge from its contents and filled it with 340 grams of PETN.” 10102801-02
October 29, 2010—Hong Kong/Canada—A young passenger boarded Air Canada flight AC018 to Vancouver wearing a latex mask that made him look like an elderly Caucasian. Several hours into the flight, he went into the restroom, took off the mask, and emerged an Asian-looking male who appeared to be in his early 20s. Upon landing, Canadian Border Services Officers (BSOs) escorted the man off the plane where he requested refugee status.
October 30, 2010—Iraq—A suicide bomber killed twenty-six people and wounded sixty during the night at a Balad Ruz cafe in Diyala Province.
October 30, 2010—Sweden—Authorities arrested two individuals preparing to conduct terrorist attacks. Police had been tipped off about a potential bombing in central Gothenburg’s Nordstan shopping mall. Several other people were arrested but released. Other arrests were expected.
October 31, 2010—Turkey—At 10:30 a.m., a suicide car bomber wounded thirty-two people, including fifteen police officers—five of them seriously—in central Istanbul’s Taksim Square in the Beyoglu district. Only the male bomber was killed. A second unexploded device with a button detonator was found on his body. He was trying to get into a police bus when the bomb went off. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was suspected of the National Day attack. This was the last day of a PKK-declared two-month cease-fire.
On November 3, Turkish officials identified the man as Vedat Acar, 24, born in 1986 from the Gurpinar district of Van. He had joined the PKK in 2004. He entered Turkey in August through a security post on the Iraq border.
The PKK denied involvement in the attack. PKK spokesman Roj Welat said the PKK would extend its unilateral cease-fire until after Turkey holds general elections, expected to take place in summer 2011.
October 31, 2010—Iraq—At 5:00 p.m., khaki-garbed terrorists parked a Dodge SUV at the back of Our Lady of Salvation Church (Sayidat al-Nejat) in Baghdad and began throwing sacks over the 7-foot wall. Guards at the nearby Baghdad Stock Market in the Karada neighborhood became alarmed and exchanged fire with the terrorists. Two security guards were killed and 4 wounded. The terrorists set off the explosives in the vehicle. They then set off a bomb at the church’s rear door, ran inside, and took 120 hostages at the Assyrian rite Catholic Church. They conducted an hours-long siege before authorities stormed the building at 9:00 p.m. Priests shuttled the congregants to a room, but one of the terrorists caused casualties by throwing a grenade at them. At least 13 hostages, including 2 children, escaped. During a gun battle with the Golden Force antiterrorist unit, 58 people (among them 30 hostages and 7 security officers) were killed and 75 wounded (including at least 41 hostages and 15 security force members) when 2 terrorists set off explosive belts containing ball bearings. Father Thaer Abdullah and Father Wassim Sabih were killed, along with 17 security officers and 5 gunmen. Father Sabih had been pushed to the ground while grasping a crucifix, pleading with the gunmen to spare the worshipers. He was then shot. Police said most of the casualties were women and children. Among them were Radi Climis, 18, who was hit in the head by grenade shrapnel; and Marie Freij, shot in the right leg. Eight suspects were arrested.
Al Qaeda in Iraq was blamed; the Islamic State of Iraq claimed credit. The group posted on a Web site, “The Mujahideens raided a filthy nest of the nests of polytheism, which has been long taken by the Christians of Iraq as a headquarter for a war against the religion of Islam and they were able by the grace of God and His glory to capture those were gathered in and to take full control of all its entrances.”
Police later found at the scene three Yemeni and two Egyptian passports, thought to belong to the suicide bombers. Many of the terrorists spoke with non–Iraqi accents.
The church was one of six that had been bombed in August 2004.
The next day the Iraqi Communication and Media Commission said al-Baghdadiya television had links to the terrorists and ordered the station closed. The government arrested two employees who were phoned by the terrorists, who demanded the release of female prisoners in Egypt and Iraqi prisoners in Iraq. The Iraqi-owned, Egypt-based station later broadcast the demand.
On November 3, the Islamic State of Iraq said its deadline for Egypt’s Copts to release women who had converted to Islam had passed and it would attack Christians anywhere. “We will open upon them the doors of destruction and rivers of blood.”
By November 27, Iraqi security forces had arrested twelve suspected al Qaeda members, including its Baghdad leader, Huthaifa al-Batawi, in connection with the case. 10103101
November 1, 2010—Greece—A parcel bomb exploded at a private courier company in Greece, injuring a woman’s hands when she was moving packages. The bomb was in an envelope addressed to the Mexican Embassy. It was delivered by two men. Two suspects, both wearing wigs and carrying Glock 9-mm pistols, were soon arrested. One was wearing a bulletproof vest. The duo were carrying two other explosive parcels; one was addressed to French President Nikolas Sarkozy, the other to the Belgian Embassy. The packages were detonated by the bomb squad. Greek citizens Panagiotis Argyrou, 22, and Gerasimos Tsakalos, 24, an anarchist, were charged with terrorist offenses. Argyrou was charged with membership in the Greek leftist Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire and with involvement in three attacks on Greek targets in 2009 for which the group claimed credit. On November 25, 2010, the Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire posted a thirteen-page confessor letter on a Web site.
Another parcel bomb addressed to the Netherlands Embassy was found at a neighboring courier company. 10110101-04
November 1, 2010—Yemen—Authorities arrested fourteen suspected al Qaeda members.
November 2, 2010—Germany—A package containing explosives was found in the mail room of the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. A bomb squad detonated the package, which contained a pipe bomb in a hollowed-out book. The parcel had arrived on a flight from Athens. On November 25, 2010, the Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire posted a thirteen-page confessor letter on a Web site. 10110201
November 2, 2010—Italy—A package bomb addressed to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi caught fire. A bomb squad detonated the package at an airport in Bologna. The bomb had arrived on a flight from Athens. On November 25, 2010, the Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire posted a thirteen-page confessor letter on a Web site. 10110202
November 2, 2010—Greece—Two parcel bombs were found in the cargo section of the Athens airport. They were addressed to the European Union law enforcement agency (Europol), based in The Hague, Netherlands, and the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Both parcels were detonated by police. On November 25, 2010, the Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire posted a thirteen-page confessor letter on a Web site. 10110203-04
November 2, 2010—Greece—A small bomb was thrown at the courtyard of the Swiss Embassy, causing no injuries. 10110205
November 2, 2010—Greece—A bomb exploded outside the Russian Embassy, causing no injuries. 10110206
November 2, 2010—Greece—Authorities detonated a package bomb at the Bulgarian Embassy and a suspicious package addressed to the Chilean Embassy, after a courier carrying the latter parcel thought it might contain an explosive device. A third parcel, addressed to the German Embassy, was detonated near a courier office because embassy officials thought it might be a parcel bomb and sent it back, police said. This was the same courier office used for the previous day’s Mexican Embassy parcel bomb attack.
The next day, Greek government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis said the wave of parcel bombs was “not related to international terrorism and groups like al Qaeda.” Greece instituted a forty-eight-hour ban on package deliveries abroad. On November 25, 2010, the Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire posted a thirteen-page confessor letter on a Web site. 10110207-09
November 2, 2010—Iraq—Twenty coordinated explosions in Baghdad during the night killed at least 63 people and wounded 285 others. The Associated Press said 76 were killed. The attacks involved fourteen car bombs, two roadside bombs and mortar attacks in at least seventeen neighborhoods of the capital, most of them in Shi’ite neighborhoods, such as Kadhimiya in the northwest; Amil, Bayaa, and Shulaa in the southwest; Ur and Zuhour in the northeast; Sadr City, Kamaliya, and Amin in the east; and Abu Dhsir in the south. Other blasts hit the mixed Sunni-Shi’ite neighborhoods of Waziriya, Yarmouk, Jihad, and Eghraiat. Al Qaeda in Iraq was suspected.
November 2, 2010—Yemen—Yemeni prosecutors charged Anwar al-Aulaqi with incitement to kill foreigners. The government later said he was wanted dead or alive. The government also charged in absentia Hisham Mohammed Asim, 19, of Taiz with al Qaeda links and the October murder of a French national who worked for an Austrian oil and gas company in Yemen. He denied all the charges. The government charged in absentia Othman al-Aulaqi, Anwar al-Aulaqi’s cousin, with inciting violence against foreigners.
November 2, 2010—Yemen—Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was suspected of bombing a 204-kilometer oil pipeline in the volatile Shabwa Province of southern Yemen. The pipeline is operated by a South Korean state-owned Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC). The bomb caused a leak in an oil field that produces ten thousand barrels of oil per day. 10110210
November 2, 2010—Yemen—The government convicted sixteen men in the eastern province of Hadramout for supporting al Qaeda. They were sentenced to four years in prison.
November 2, 2010—United States—At least one rifle shot hit a Coast Guard recruiting office in a strip mall at 2721 Potomac Mills Circle in Woodbridge, Virginia. No one was injured. FBI ballistics tests linked the incident to four other shootings at military facilities in October.
November 2, 2010—United States—Federal prosecutors issued five counts of conspiracy to aid al-Shabaab against three San Diego residents arrested earlier in the week by the FBI. A grand jury indicted Basaaly Saeed Moalin, Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, and Issa Doreh on October 22. The indictment was unsealed on November 2, when Moalin was arraigned. He was ordered held without bail. Charges included conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, and related offenses. Moalin was accused of coordinating fund-raising efforts and money transfers to al-Shabaab with Mohamud and Doreh at the behest of the late al-Shabaab military leader Hashi Ayrow. The indictment said Moalin and Ayrow were in telephone contact. After Ayrow’s 2008 death, the trio continued to transfer money from San Diego to Somalia for weapons purchases.
November 3, 2010—United States—Federal prosecutors in St. Louis charged three men, two in the United States and one in Africa, for providing financial support to al-Shabaab. St. Louis–based Somali immigrant Mohamud Abdi Yusuf was charged with four counts of providing material support to a designated terrorist organization and one count of conspiracy to structure financial transactions. Minneapolis resident Abdi Mahdi Hussein was charged with conspiracy to structure financial transactions. Duane Mohamed Diriye, believed to be in Kenya or Somalia, was charged with three counts of providing material support to al-Shabaab. The transfers ranged from a few hundred dollars to $5,000 to purchase a car. The transfers occurred from February 2008 through July 2009.
November 3, 2010—United States/Iran—The United States designated the People’s Resistance Movement of Iran (Jundallah) a foreign terrorist organization. The group operates primarily in the Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchestan, which borders Pakistan. The State Department said Jundallah “has engaged in numerous attacks resulting in the death and maiming of scores of Iranian civilians and government officials. Jundallah uses a variety of terrorist tactics, including suicide bombings, ambushes, kidnappings, and targeted assassinations.” The group claimed credit for the July suicide bombings at the Shi’ite Zahedan Grand Mosque that killed twenty-seven people. The group is led by Al-Hajj Mohammed Dhahir Baluch. Individuals, property, and interests linked to Jundallah are prohibited in the United States. It is also illegal for Americans to provide any material support to the forty-six organizations on the terrorist list.
November 3, 2010—Philippines—U.S., U.K., and Australian authorities warned of possible imminent terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists in Manila and the south, saying citizens should stay away from airports, places of worship, shopping malls, convention centers, and places frequented by foreigners.
November 3, 2010—United Kingdom—Home Secretary Theresa May announced the arrest of an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula member who was plotting an attack in the United Kingdom.
November 4, 2010—Qatar—Ayman al-Zawahiri posted an Internet recording in which he called for retaliation against the United States for sentencing Aafia Siddiqui to life in prison for shooting at FBI agents and soldiers in 2008. “The path is clear, whoever wants to free Aafia Siddiqui and retaliate against those who assaulted her and every Muslim woman should … support the mujahideen and join them.” He told Pakistanis, “The time for action has come: your governments and army leaders have turned you into a people without dignity, without integrity … and without even value.”
November 4, 2010—Sudan—Eight militants in a vehicle kidnapped three Russian pilots who work for the United Nations World Food Program while walking in a neighborhood in the city of Nyala in south Darfur. 10110401
November 4, 2010—Greece—Police detonated a parcel bomb addressed to the French Embassy in Athens and were looking into other suspect packages at a courier company in an Athens suburb. On November 25, 2010, the Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire posted a thirteen-page confessor letter on a Web site. 10110402
November 4, 2010—Northern Ireland—A bicyclist threw a bomb at police who were investigating a robbery at a betting agent in Belfast during the night. The bomb went off on a sidewalk, hitting the officers with debris. One of the officers was hospitalized with injuries to his arm. Another was released from the hospital. A third suffered a hearing injury and shock.
November 5, 2010—Pakistan—Two mosques were attacked in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in the northwest. The first Pakistani Taliban suicide attack in Darra Adam Khel, about 40 kilometers south of Peshawar, killed at least sixty-seven people and wounded more than eighty others when a teen set off his explosives during Friday afternoon prayers. The roof collapsed on hundreds of worshipers. Tariq Afridi, a local Taliban chief of Darra Adam Khel, phoned to say that the Taliban warned members of local peace committees many times through letters and calls not to support the Pakistani military. “Whoever supports the military will see its results,” Afridi said. Four hand grenades were thrown in the second attack, which killed four and injured eighteen at Salman Khel village on the outskirts of Peshawar.
November 5, 2010—United Kingdom—The Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled that Abu Hamza al-Masri, a radical Muslim preacher wanted in the United States, could keep his passport. It said that he had lost his Egyptian citizenship and stripping him of his U.K. passport would make him stateless.
November 7, 2010—United States—At 9:00 a.m., a green laser was pointed at a plane bound for Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. The plane landed safely. This was the twelfth reported laser pointer incident involving planes landing at the airport.
November 8, 2010—Yemen—Anwar al-Aulaqi released a twenty-three-minute Arabic recording on Islamist sites in which he instructed would-be terrorists to go ahead with attacks without having to consult senior terrorist leaders. “One should not consult anyone in the matter of killing the Americans. Combatting the devil doesn’t require a fatwa, nor consultation, nor does it require prayer to Allah. They are the party of Satan, and fighting them is the obligation of the time. We have reached with them to the point where it is either you or us. We are two opposites that do not meet. They want a situation that will come to pass only without removal.” He said the jihadis versus the United States is “a fateful battle … the battle of good and evil.” He complained that Iran is attempting to dominate Sunni Muslims. “America and Israel control our ummah [community], and it will not be long before Iran comes in to take away its share of the pie…. Iranian political influence is increasing [in Yemen, spreading] a perverted creed that is alien to Yemen…. Iran today is the most developed country in the region in terms of military manufacturing … is on the verge of joining the countries that possess nuclear weapons. The first victims of Iran will be the Sunni peoples of the Gulf.”
Meanwhile, his father’s American Civil Liberties Association attorney, Jameel Jaffer, argued before a U.S. judge that Washington could not order him killed.
November 8, 2010—Iraq—Two car bombs exploded at the Shi’ite holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, killing sixteen people and wounding more than fifty others. Buses carrying Iranian religious pilgrims appeared to be the targets. Most of the dead were Iraqis. The first bomb exploded at 8:30 a.m. in Karbala near a bus at one of the city’s main entrances, killing nine and injuring thirty-four. Karbala is the site of the Shrine of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. At 11:30 a.m., 50 miles to the south, a second bomb went off at a police checkpoint in Najaf, several hundred yards from the gold-domed Shrine of Imam Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad. Seven died in that attack. 10110801
November 8–9, 2010—France—Police arrested five French citizens, some of Algerian descent, suspected of recruiting and transferring French citizens to the tribal zone on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to train for war. Three were picked up the afternoon of November 8 in Paris. Two others were detained at Charles de Gaulle Airport on their morning return to France on November 9. The four men and one woman ranged in age from 25 to 30. One of them was questioned about a plot to attack the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur. Police later said the five were planning to conduct an attack in France and one was prepared to die. One had spent time in Afghanistan; the other four were planning to go to Pakistan. Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said they “clearly belong to the radical Islamist sphere,” but the cell had been “dismantled.” On November 13, France charged the four men with “criminal association linked to a terrorist enterprise.”
November 10, 2010—Iraq—Four Palestinian Jordanians in their 20s and 30s were killed while fighting U.S. troops. Three of them had served jail terms for plotting anti–U.S. terrorist attacks.
November 10, 2010—Pakistan—In a nighttime attack, five pedestrian gunmen fired on security personnel at a checkpoint, clearing the way for a Pakistani Taliban suicide car bomber to kill eighteen people and injure more than one hundred when he crashed the vehicle into the Karachi Police Crime Investigation Department facility. Pakistani Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq told CNN that “We will continue such attacks as long as military operations continue against us.”
November 12, 2010—United States—Federal authorities arrested Nima Ali Yusuf, 24, a Somali female permanent resident in San Diego, California, of conspiring in southern California and elsewhere to aid al-Shabaab by providing money and recruits. She was arrested in San Diego. She was charged on November 15 with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and making a false statement to an FBI agent and Customs and Border Protection officer by denying sending money to anyone in Somalia in the past year. She was held without bail pending a November 18 hearing.
November 12, 2010—United States—WAMU-FM radio reported that a leaked Metro security report warned its security guards about two men who were seen videotaping in trains and on a station platform. The previous week, a rider reported that the duo were filming in the L’Enfant Plaza Station and on an Orange Line train with their video cameras held closely to their chests and waists. The rider included a photo of the two men.
November 12, 2010—Lebanon—A Lebanese military court sentenced to life in prison with hard labor twenty-four individuals, including radical Salafist cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, 52, a Lebanese Syrian national, in a terrorism case he claimed he knew nothing about. On November 12, 2010, he was found guilty in absentia of providing weapons training to Fatah al-Islam, an al Qaeda–inspired group that fought the Lebanese Army in a Palestinian refugee camp in the north. Other charges included incitement to murder, looting, vandalism, possession of explosive materials, and aiding criminals to escape justice.
In 2005, the former London resident had been banned from returning to the United Kingdom after giving a series of interviews in which he labeled the 9/11 hijackers “the magnificent 19.” He was expelled from Saudi Arabia, then spent twenty years in the United Kingdom. He had developed Hizb-ut-Tahrir in the United Kingdom and led al Muhajiroun (Immigrants) until it was disbanded in 2004. He had lived in Tripoli, Lebanon, since arriving in the country in 2005. He said he would not give himself up. On November 14, he was arrested after a car chase and shootout. There were no casualties. He had two weeks to appeal the verdict. He was released on $3,333 bail on November 24, pending resumption of the trial on December 6.
Thirty other people received lesser sentences. The defendants included Saudis, Syrians, Palestinians, and Lebanese. Charges included belonging to an armed group with violent aims, provoking criminal acts, and supplying weapons to terrorists.
November 13, 2010—Bangladesh—A suicide bomber killed three people near Khustia, 190 miles west of Dhaka. Police were investigating whether the bombing was related to the eviction of former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia from the home where she had lived for forty years. The eviction sparked violent demonstrations; more than one hundred protestors were injured.
November 13, 2010—Nigeria—The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta kidnapped seven expatriate workers from an offshore oil rig working for the London-based Afren PLC and a nearby support ship. 10111301
November 13, 2010—France—Authorities charged four men with belonging to a network sending French residents to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border tribal zones to train for combat. They were charged with “criminal association linked to a terrorist enterprise.”
November 14, 2010—Nigeria—Gunmen in five skiffs attacked Exxon Mobil’s Oso platform in the Niger Delta and kidnapped eight Nigerian crew members. The gunmen conducted a room-to-room search, beat and robbed crewmen and staff, cut the power supply, and damaged communications equipment. The field can produce 5 percent of the country’s daily output, circa one hundred thousand barrels of oil per day. 10111401
November 16, 2010—Cameroon—Gunmen killed three Cameroonian soldiers and two private Cameroonian security contractors guarding a vessel at the Moudi oil field operated by the French firm Perenco SA. No group claimed credit, although the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta was suspected in the attack on the border of Nigeria. 10111601
November 16, 2010—United Kingdom—The British government agreed to pay millions of dollars in compensation to fifteen former Guantanamo Bay detainees and one man still held there who had accused MI5 and MI6 of colluding in their alleged torture. All of them were U.K. citizens or legal residents. The U.K. government did not concede liability with regard to the torture allegations and was said to be opting to “save public money”—some $50 million to $80 million—in likely years of litigation. Security services were facing having to review 250,000 documents. This was the first time any former Gitmo detainee had received any financial settlement. Both sides agreed not to reveal the financial sum paid out, although some pundits suggested it could be $1.6 million each. Those to be paid included:
• Jamal Malik al-Harith, a Briton captured in Afghanistan and released on March 9, 2004
• Shafiq Rasul, a Briton captured in Afghanistan and released on March 9, 2004
• Asif Iqbal, a Briton captured in Afghanistan and released on March 9, 2004
• Ruhal Ahmed, a Briton captured in Afghanistan and released on March 9, 2004
• Tarek Dergoul, a Moroccan Briton captured in Afghanistan and released on March 9, 2004
• Feroz Ali Abassi, a Briton captured in Afghanistan and released on January 25, 2005
• Moazzam Begg, a Briton captured in Pakistan and released on January 25, 2005
• Richard Dean Belmar, a Briton captured in Pakistan and released on January 25, 2005
• Martin John Mubanga, a Briton captured in Zambia and released on January 25, 2005
• Bisher Amin Khalil al-Rawi, an Iraqi captured in the Gambia and released on March 30, 2007
• Omar Amer Deghayes, a Libyan captured in Pakistan and released on December 19, 2007
• Jamil el-Banna, a Jordanian captured in the Gambia and released on December 19, 2007
• Sameur Abdenour, an Algerian captured on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and released on December 19, 2007
• Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian captured in Pakistan and freed on February 23, 2009
The incarcerated Gitmo detainee to be compensated was Saudi-born Shaker Aamer, who was arrested in Afghanistan. He had yet to bring suit against the U.K. government. His release was not part of the settlement. He is married to a British citizen with whom he had four children in the United Kingdom. A U.S. interagency task force recommended against his release. He had rejected an offer of repatriation to Saudi Arabia.
Proceedings were being brought by others who were not taken to Guantanamo but were held in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia for the United Kingdom, according to the Manchester Guardian.
Among those reacting negatively were individuals who said that terrorists were being paid while victims and their families were being ignored during an economic downturn. Others wondered whether the United Kingdom was in contravention of treaties against financing terrorists.
November 17, 2010—Germany—Authorities announced that al Qaeda might be planning an attack in the country in the next fortnight. Security was increased at train stations and airports. One official said al Qaeda leader Younis al-Mauritani was planning an attack against Europe and the United States. Between two and four al Qaeda terrorists were expected to arrive in Germany on November 22. Der Spiegel suggested that another group involving six terrorists, included two who had already arrived in Berlin to be followed by four more. The additional four included a German, a Turk, and a North African. German police said there was no imminent threat to attack the Reichstag parliament building, despite a Der Speigel report. Even so, the Reichstag was partly shut on November 22. Police closed off several tracks of the Hanover train station, Berlin police officers sealed off a post office to investigate a suspicious package, and a Kiel-to-Basel train was stopped for police to check another suspicious package.
November 17, 2010—Namibia—A suspect laptop bag was found in the luggage hall of Windhoek Airport. The bag was to fly on an Air Berlin plane to Germany. A scan found batteries attached by wires to a fuse and clock, although no explosives were in the bag. It was later determined to be a test of the airport security system, although no agency came forward to identify itself as the testing group. The device was assembled by an 80-year-old grandmother working at a U.S.-based mom-and-pop security firm run by Larry Copello of Sonora, California. Copello said he had sold the device four or five years earlier. On November 20, Namibian officials arrested a Windhoek International Airport official who had admitted having some involvement with placing the bag. He was identified from closed-circuit television footage. Namibian authorities said no one from Namibia, Germany, or the United States had been involved in conducting an authorized test.
November 17, 2010—United States—A federal jury convicted Ahmed Ghailani, 36, of one count of conspiracy to damage or destroy U.S. property. He was acquitted of 284 counts of murder and attempted murder in the August 7, 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people, including 12 Americans. He was the first former Guantanamo Bay detainee to be tried in a federal criminal court. He faced twenty years to life. Sentencing was set for January 25, 2011. He was represented by Peter E. Quijano, Steve Zissou, Michael K. Bachrach, and Anna N. Sideris.
November 17, 2010—Nigeria—Authorities freed nineteen hostages—twelve Nigerians, two Americans, two Frenchmen, two Indonesians, and a Canadian—who had been held by rebels in the Niger Delta region. Authorities also seized an antiaircraft gun, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, thirty thousand rounds of ammunition, and dynamite. There were no casualties in the rescue operation. On November 20, Nigerian armed forces arrested Tamunotonye Kuna, alias Obese, 25, along with sixty-three of his gang members thought to be behind the kidnapping. 10111701
November 20, 2010—Yemen—Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula released the third edition of Inspire, its twenty-three pages devoted to the attempted mail bombings via FedEx and UPS the previous month. “We will continue with similar operations and we do not mind at all in this stage if they are intercepted. It is such a good bargain for us to spread fear amongst the enemy … in exchange for a few months of work and a few thousand bucks.” Although destruction of a plane “would add to the element of fear and shock … but that would have been an additional advantage … not a determining factor of its success.”
November 20, 2010—Colombia—Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) commander Jose Benito Cabrera Cuevas, alias Fabian Ramirez, had likely been killed in a military raid on a FARC camp. Authorities discovered several items, including weapons, computers, and a backpack, believed to have belonged to Cabrera. Four or five other FARC members were killed in the early morning raid on a jungle camp near San Vicente del Caguan, in southern Caqueta Department. Cabrera was wanted in the United States on drug charges. He had claimed credit in 2002 for the kidnapping of Presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt. He was part of FARC’s twenty-person general staff and deputy chief of FARC’s southern bloc. The United States had offered a $2.5 million reward for his arrest and accused him of cocaine trafficking. The U.S. Department of State noted that “he is responsible for over 1,000 tons of cocaine production” and was managing “all aspects of the drug trade for the southern bloc.”
November 22, 2010—Israel—An audio message in Hebrew addressed to “the attacking Jews” by the Gaza-based Jemma Ansar al-Sunna (Community of Sunna Supporters) threatened further rocket attacks into Israel. The previous day a senior figure in another Gaza-based Islamist group was slain in an Israeli targeted killing. The Internet posting said, “The killing of our brothers will not stop us from continuing the Jihad … and our rockets will continue if you do not leave the land of Palestine.”
November 23, 2010—Belgium/Germany/Netherlands—Police arrested eleven people using the jihadist Ansar al-Mujahideen Web site to plan a terrorist attack on an unspecified target in Belgium. Seven people were arrested in Antwerp, three in Amsterdam, and one in Aachen, Germany (a 31-year-old Russian who was to be transferred to Belgium). They included Belgians, Dutch, Moroccans, and Russians (Chechens). They had talked about attacking Jews and NATO vehicles in Belgium. Authorities were looking into the group’s possible links with Sharia4Belgium, a Belgian Islamist organization. The investigation began in late 2009 and included a look at financing of a Chechen terrorist group. Other arrests had earlier taken place in Spain, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia and involved “the recruiters, candidate jihadist, and financing of a Chechen terrorist organization (The Caucasus Emirate).”
Police said a separate terrorist investigation was under way in Brussels, including police searches of seventeen locations tied to a terrorist cell linked to Bassam Ayachi, who was charged in 2009 with preparing terrorist attacks.
November 23, 2010—United States—The Animal Liberation Front claimed it had sent AIDS-infected razors and a threatening note to the home of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) neuroscientist David Jentsch. It posted an unsigned communique on its Web site from the Justice Department at UCLA, saying that Jentsch used primates for National Institutes of Health-funded testing of drug addiction. “He has no business addicting primates to phencyclidine known on the streets as PCP and other street drugs using grant money from the federal government.” The professor of psychology, psychiatry, and biobehavioral sciences had used vervet monkeys to study biochemical processes that contribute to methamphetamine addiction and tobacco dependence in teenagers, and the cognitive disabilities affecting schizophrenia patients. Similar protestors set his car on fire in March 2009. He said the package with razor blades had arrived a week earlier. “The letter inside contained quite specific and heinous acts of violence to kill me…. They said they were going to cut my throat, and they named one of my students.”
November 26, 2010—Saudi Arabia—The government announced it had arrested 149 al Qaeda members, including 124 Saudis and several Yemenis and Egyptians, belonging to 19 terrorist cells during the previous eight months. One was a woman. The terrorists were planning to kill government officials, security forces, and the media. Gen. Mansour al-Turki, Interior Ministry spokesman, said, “Their general motives are spreading an ideology of hate by calling others disbelievers, collecting money to finance the deviant al Qaeda group inside and outside the kingdom, easing travel for some individuals for training in destabilized places, and executing criminal plots to spread chaos and insecurity.” Officials seized 2.24 million riyals ($600,000). Authorities said the terrorists were financing terrorism, targeting oil refineries and government buildings, training in weapons, and making hand grenades. The terrorists were using the hajj as a cover for their operations. Some of their Internet recruiting efforts included using screen aliases, such as God’s beloved, the killer, the immigrant lion, the newcomer, and the daughter of beloved Najid.
November 26, 2010—United States—Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a 19-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen born in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1991, attempted to set off a car bomb at 5:42 p.m. at the Portland, Oregon, Christmas tree lighting in Pioneer Courthouse Square. He dialed a cell phone he believed would set off the van filled with explosives parked near a major light rail transit stop and across from a federal courthouse at the “city’s living room,” which can hold up to ten thousand people. But the bomb was a fake device fabricated by FBI experts, part of a sting operation begun the previous June. Mohamud yelled, “God is great” and kicked FBI agents arresting him. He was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, which carries a sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. A hearing in federal court was scheduled for November 29.
He was not bothered by killing hundreds of families with small children, telling an undercover agent, “Huge mass that will … be attacked in their own element with their families celebrating the holidays…. I want whoever is attending that event [in Portland] to leave, to leave either dead or injured.”
Mohamud graduated from a Portland high school and attended Oregon State University (OSU) as a non-degree student but had not been enrolled since October 6. He said he had been thinking about violent jihad since age 15.
The FBI said a tip from the Muslim community led them to Mohamud. Mohamud was in e-contact with a previous radicalized OSU student living in Pakistan on the Afghanistan border, but there was no immediate evidence that a foreign terrorist group or U.S. collaborators were involved. An FBI agent sent him an e-mail in June saying he was a colleague of the co-conspirator. He met with two FBI undercover operatives in July, saying he needed help to carry out an “explosion.” At the second meeting, in August, he had picked out the squad. He later gave the agents a thumb drive with instructions for the attack. On November 4, he and the FBI agents set off a test bomb in a backpack in a remote Oregon location. That day he recorded a confessor video, saying, “Explode on these [infidels] … alleviate our pain.”
Mohamud mailed bomb components to undercover FBI operatives, who assembled the dud bomb. The afternoon of the would-be attack, he walked with two undercover FBI agents to a white van that carried six 55-gallon drums containing inert material, a detonation cord, blasting caps, and a gallon of diesel fuel. On the front seat was the cell phone. Five hours later, Mohamud and an operative drove to the target, where thousands of people were attending the tree-lighting ceremony serenaded by the musical group Pink Martini. The duo left the van and drove another vehicle to Union Station less than a mile away. Mohamud tried twice to call the cell phone to set off the bomb, then was arrested.
On November 28 at 2:15 a.m., the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center in Corvallis, a mosque Mohamud had attended, was torched. Authorities offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Mohamud pleaded not guilty in a Portland courtroom on November 29. His defense attorney claimed entrapment, which the attorney general denied. On January 31, 2013, Mohamud was found guilty of trying to blow up the ceremony. He faced a life term.
November 28, 2010—Iran—Two car bombs exploded at 7:40 a.m. in separate locations near Shahid Beheshti University, killing scientist Majid Shahriari. Fereydoun Abbasi, a senior Iranian Defense Ministry official involved with the country’s nuclear program, was injured. The two were parking their cars. In each case, the victim’s car was approached by men on motorcycles who attached explosives to the vehicles and detonated them seconds later. Both men were with their wives, who were also injured.
Abbasi had been under UN Security Council sanctions since 2007; he was believed to be involved in Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program. Shahriari was involved in the Synchrotronlight for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) as well as Iranian nuclear research.
November 30, 2010—Ireland—Police arrested four men after discovering a car bomb near the border with Northern Ireland during the night. The car was heading north on the M1 motorway near Dundalk and contained a mortar and launch tube. Dissident Irish Republicans were suspected. Police removed the bomb.
December 1, 2010—Spain—Police arrested seven al Qaeda suspects in Barcelona. Six were from Pakistan; the other from Nigeria. Thai police arrested another three individuals who said they were directing the operation in Spain. The group stole travel documents, mostly passports, and sent them to Thailand to be reworked and given to groups with al Qaeda links, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. Police seized nine passports that were to be shipped to Thailand, another that had been forged, a computer, and fifty cell phones in Raval.
December 1–2, 2010—Thailand—In arrests linked to those in Spain, Bangkok police arrested two Pakistanis and a Thai, including Muhammad Athar Butt, alias Tony, 42, a Pakistani who was suspected of directing a forging operation for al Qaeda. Butt also ran cells in Brussels and London.
December 2, 2010—United States—The U.S. Department of the Treasury listed three senior members of Pakistani terrorist groups as terrorists, imposing financial sanctions on Amanullah Afridi, senior leader of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi; Mati ur-Rehman, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi’s chief operational commander; and Abdul Rauf Azhar, a senior leader in Jaish-e-Mohammed. The United States had earlier designated the groups as terrorist organizations.
December 4, 2010—Iraq—Bombs in Baghdad killed seven Iranian pilgrims and injured more than one hundred people in morning attacks. The initial bomb went off at a bus carrying Iranians going to the Imam Musa al-Kadhim shrine, killing two and wounding twenty-eight. A few minutes later, a car bomb and two roadside bombs exploded at a rest house popular with Iranian pilgrims in the Kadhimiya Shi’ite neighborhood, killing six people and wounding twenty-four.
Meanwhile, a car bomb exploded in an outdoor market in the Baiyaa Shi’ite neighborhood in southwestern Baghdad, killing six and injuring forty-two.
December 5, 2010—Greece—Police arrested six people linked to domestic terrorism, including Alexandros Mitrousias, 21, and Georgios Karagiannidis, 30, who had ties to the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, which had claimed responsibility for a recent letter bomb campaign. Raids in Athens and other cities found weapons and explosives.
December 6, 2010—Pakistan—Two Taliban suicide bombers in Ghalanai, Mohmand, killed 50 people and injured 120. The group had distributed pamphlets twenty days earlier warning members of peace committees to not aid the government in fighting the Taliban.
December 6, 2010—Indonesia—Authorities announced that an Islamist terrorist group in Pekanbaru, capital of Riau Province, on Sumatra Island had planned to attack buses carrying foreign workers at the Chevron installation and ambush tourist speedboats in Anak Krakatau. Authorities said the information was provided by Fadli Sadama, who was captured in Malaysia and taken to Indonesia during the weekend for trial. He had been in jail for more than four years in Indonesia for involvement in ferrying explosives for a car bomb at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in 2003. After he was released from prison, he rejoined the terrorist group, robbing banks in north Sumatra to fund terrorist attacks against foreigners. He also sent some of the funds to the treasurer of Jema’ah Ansharut Tauhid, an Islamist group in Java led by Abu Bakar Baaysir. Sadama was also linked to militants in southern Thailand who were to supply weapons for attacks in Indonesia.
December 6, 2010—United States—Awais Younis, 25, alias Mohhanme Khan, alias Sundullah “Sunny” Ghilzai, was arrested after threatening on his Facebook page to use explosives in the Washington, DC, area. The Arlington County, Virginia, resident said he could put pipe bombs on the third and fifth cars of Metro (subway) trains or in Georgetown at rush hour. He was charged in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, with communicating threats via interstate communications. He told another Facebooker how to build a pipe bomb and what type of shrapnel would cause the most damage. A Facebook user from New Orleans contacted the FBI in late November and on December 5 regarding postings by Sundullah Ghilzai, aka Younis. Younis was detained on December 6; his case was unsealed on December 9. A judge ordered a mental health examination. Federal Magistrate Judge Ivan Davis denied him bail in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, on December 22, 2010. Younis pleaded guilty on March 9, 2011, after the charge was lessened to making a threat against another person via interstate communications. He was represented by attorney Frank Salvato. Judge T. S. Ellis, III, sentenced Younis to two years of supervised release and credited him for three months of time served.
December 7, 2010—India—A bomb exploded at 6:35 p.m. in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, killing a 2-year-old girl and injuring twenty others, some of whom were injured in the ensuing panic. Police found other unexploded bombs. The Indian Mujahideen claimed credit.
December 7, 2010—Georgia—The government announced the arrest of six people in connection with a series of bombings attributed to Russian Army Maj. Yevgeny Borisov, who is based in Abkhazia Province. The five explosions occurred over the previous several months and included one near the U.S. Embassy and two near the central Tbilisi rail station. One person died in the blasts, which involved metal cans packed with hexogen explosive. A search of one house yielded thirteen homemade bombs, including four packed with nails or bullets. Two more suspects were in Abkhazia. The Georgian Interior Ministry said Borisov was a Russian military intelligence (GRU) officer and had supplied the bombs, gave detailed instructions, and paid two suspects.
December 7, 2010—United States—A report made public by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on the status of former Guantanamo Bay detainees indicated that 2 of the 66 detainees repatriated or resettled by the Obama administration had returned to terrorist activities; another three were suspected of recidivism. The Bush administration had released 532 Gitmo detainees; 79 of them had returned to terrorism and 66 were suspected of rejoining groups. Thirteen Gitmo alumni were dead, 54 were in custody, and 83 remained at large.
December 7, 2010—United States—U.S. District Judge John D. Bates of the District of Columbia ruled in an eighty-three-page opinion that the Yemeni father of Anwar al-Aulaqi lacked standing to challenge in federal court the administration’s kill-or-capture order for his son.
December 8, 2010—Pakistan—A teen suicide bomber killed eighteen people and wounded thirty-three others on a bus at the Tirah Bazar market in Kohat in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, formerly known as the North West Frontier Province.
December 8, 2010—United States—Baltimore construction worker and U.S. citizen Antonio Martinez, 21, a Muslim convert renamed Muhammad Hussain, was arrested for plotting to bomb a military recruiting station (Armed Forces Career Center in the 5400 block of Baltimore National Pike) in the Baltimore suburb of Catonsville, Maryland. He had posted on Facebook in October his anger that U.S. forces were killing “Muslim brothers and sisters” overseas. Three people rebuffed his efforts to recruit them for the plot. He was arrested after attempting to detonate an inert device supplied to him by an undercover FBI agent posing as “an Afghani brother.” He and the undercover FBI agent placed the SUV bomb near the recruiting center, then walked away to a staging area. Martinez pressed what he thought was a button for a remotely-controlled detonator, then was arrested. Public defender Joseph Balter was assigned to his case. Charges included attempting to kill federal officers and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. property. He faced a life sentence plus twenty years.
The FBI had monitored him for months. The affidavit said he wanted to tell those joining the U.S. military that they would be killed. He also hoped to spark a Muslim uprising against U.S. forces. The FBI agent gave him numerous chances to back out, but he wanted to proceed. He initially wanted to shoot everyone in the recruiting center with a rifle, then moved on to the car bomb plot as the first of many he would perpetrate. Among the others would be an attack on Andrews Air Force Base using a truck filled with gasoline. He wanted to become a martyr, killing everyone in the recruiting center, climbing up to its roof, escaping, and making a last stand from a clandestine woodland camp. He was ordered held without bond pending a December 14 detention hearing. He faced life in prison.
Martinez went to school in Prince George’s County, Maryland. He said he was in the class of 2005 at Laurel High School. He had no fixed address, although some reports said he lived with his mother, who disapproved of his activities. He claimed to be married to a woman who was a senior at Pine Manor College outside of Boston. He was convicted of petty theft in Montgomery County in 2008 and placed on probation. WBAL-TV said he was originally from Nicaragua. A co-worker said he had been baptized as a Christian in 2009.
He was inspired by bin Laden and Anwar al-Aulaqi. He wrote on his Facebook wall, “IM just a yung brotha from the wrong side of the tracks who embraced Islam. We gotta rise up.”
On December 21, 2010, a federal grand jury indicted him on charges of attempted murder of federal officers and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
On January 26, 2012, Martinez pleaded guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against federal property. Although he renounced terrorism, on January 31, authorities seized from his cell a hand-drawn banner depicting crossed swords and an AK-47 assault rifle. On April 6, 2012, he was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison, then five years of supervised release.
December 10, 2010—Pakistan—CNN reported that a drone strike killed two British militants and two other terrorist suspects sitting in a car in the Data Khel area of North Waziristan. They were identified as Gerry Smith, Islamic name Mansoor Ahmed, and Stephan, alias Abu Bakar.
December 11, 2010—Sweden—A white Audi 80 Vantage station wagon car bomb containing gas canisters exploded shortly before 5:00 p.m. in Olof Palmes Gatta in Drottninggatan, a busy shopping street in the center of Stockholm. Minutes later, a second bomb exploded 200 yards away in Bryggargatan. An injured man was found nearby and later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Two other people were hospitalized with less serious injuries. The Swedish news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyra and the security service Sakerhetspolisen (SAPO) received a threatening e-mail, with a voice attachment in Arabic and Swedish, ten minutes before the explosions, from Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, 28, the suspected bomber, regarding the country’s military presence in Afghanistan and the Muhammad cartoon caricatures by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, 64. In the audio, he said, “Now your children, daughters, and sisters shall die like our brothers and sisters and children are dying…. Our actions will talk for themselves. As long as you do not end your war against Islam and humiliation of the prophet and your stupid support for the pig Vilks…. Now it’s time to act, don’t wait any longer. Come forth with whatever you have, even if it is a knife, and I know that you can bring more than knives. Fear no one, don’t fear prison, don’t fear death.” He asked his family for forgiveness for lying to them about his Middle East travel. “I didn’t go to the Middle East to work. I went there for jihad.”
Authorities suspected the suicide bomber was trying to get the bombs to a more populated area. Some reports said that he had twelve pipe bombs taped around him, but only one exploded, apparently early. He was carrying a backpack filled with nails.
On the evening of December 12, London’s Metropolitan Police searched a property in Bedfordshire, north of London, in connection with the Stockholm attack. Al-Abdaly, a disaffected Iraqi Swede, had clashed with Qadeer Baksh, chairman of the Luton Islamic Centre, a mosque north of London, during the month of Ramadan in either 2006 or 2007. Baksh objected to al-Abdaly preaching violent jihad around the mosque and accusing other Muslim leaders of apostasy. Al-Abdaly attended college in the United Kingdom from 2001 to 2004.
In the profile he posted on the dating site www.muslima.com, al-Abdaly said he was born in Baghdad and moved to Sweden with his family, including an older sister, in 1992, when he was 10. He grew up in Tranas, three hours from Stockholm. His Facebook profile lists studying sports therapy at the University of Bedfordshire and a 2004 wedding. His wife and three children were believed to live in the United Kingdom. His e-mail to Tidningarnas Telegrambyra referred to “the Islamic state,” which could have been a reference to al Qaeda in Iraq.
He had purchased the Audi in November for $1,500 from a used car dealer in Vadstena. 10121101
December 14, 2010—Iraq—Ten Shi’ite pilgrims were killed and twenty-one were wounded when a roadside bomb went off in western Baghdad’s Ghazaliya neighborhood. Fourteen Shi’ite pilgrims were wounded by a roadside bomb near a procession in Khalis, Diyala Province.
December 14, 2010—Germany—Interior Ministry police raided Salafist safe houses in Bremen, Lower Saxony, and North Rhine-Westphalia, targeting Invitation to Paradise in Brunswick and Monchengladbach and the Islamic Culture Center of Bremen. Police used statutes that had mainly been used against right-wing groups seeking to overthrow the government.
December 15, 2010—Iran—Two suicide bombers killed thirty-nine Shi’a worshipers outside the Imam Hussein Mosque in Chabahar in the southeast on the eve of the holy period of Ashura. Another ninety people were hospitalized. Among the dead was a newborn. Authorities arrested a suspect. The next day, nine suspects were in custody. Jundallah claimed credit.
December 16, 2010—Yemen—A bomb was thrown at a car carrying U.S. Embassy staffers outside a restaurant in Sana’a’s Hadda neighborhood, causing no injuries but disabling the vehicle. Local authorities arrested several suspects, including a Jordanian in his 20s. Authorities arrested Jordanian engineer Maath Mohammed Kamal Alia, 45, on suspicion of throwing the bomb. 10121601
December 17, 2010—Ivory Coast—Six armed men in a car fired on a UN vehicle in Abidjan. 10121701
December 18, 2010—Ivory Coast—Masked gunmen fired at the UN base in Abidjan. No one from UN Côte d’Ivoire was injured. 10121801
December 18, 2010—Israel—Two Western tourists from CMJ United Kingdom (short for Christian Ministry Among Jewish People) were reported missing after going hiking in a forest near Beit Shemesh and Mata, west of Jerusalem. Two men attacked them, tied them up, and stabbed them. On the morning of December 19, the body of American female tourist Christine Logan (also spelled Kristine Luken), 40, was found in a forest outside Jerusalem. Her friend, Kaye Susan Wilson, a U.K. citizen living in Israel, showed up at a picnic area with her hands bound and multiple stab wounds, saying she and her friend had been attacked. Wilson managed to escape. Wilson was in stable condition at a Jerusalem hospital and told investigators that one of the men had a long serrated knife. They appeared to be Arabs. Wilson was wearing a Star of David necklace when attacked. Her attacker carefully removed it, then stabbed her where it had hung. She was the senior tour guide of the group; Luken was the administrator for tours. Authorities were investigating whether it was a “nationalist”-based attack and were treating it as a political attack. There was no evidence of sexual assault or robbery.
On January 26, 2011, Israeli police arrested four Palestinian men from the villages of Tarkumieh and Tzurif near Hebron in the southern West Bank in connection with the case. They were to be charged with murder in Luken’s death, also with killing an Israeli woman, Neta Sorek, in February 2009, the attempted murder of Kay Susan Wilson, and the attempted murder of another couple. The four told police they were avenging the January 2009 killing of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. 10121802
December 20, 2010—Iran—The government executed eleven Jundallah members.
December 20, 2010—United Kingdom—Police arrested twelve would-be terrorists, ages 17 to 28, in 5:00 a.m. raids in London, Cardiff in Wales, and Stoke and Birmingham in central England. Five were detained in Cardiff (three at a Victorian house in Riverside; two others at Ely); three in London; three in Stoke-on-Trent; and one in Birmingham. Some were believed to be of Pakistani descent; at least five were Bangladeshi. They were held on suspicion of “preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism in the United Kingdom.” Eleven were arrested at their homes; the twelfth was grabbed at someone else’s Birmingham residence. The Times reported that they were planning to bomb nightclubs, shopping centers, and landmarks and were in contact with terrorists overseas, possibly with al Qaeda connections. ABCNews.com later reported that targets included the U.S. Embassy, London Stock Exchange, and unnamed political and religious figures. Police seized computers and cell phones. The group reportedly planned to use parcel designs published in Inspire, an al Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsula newsletter. The operation was conducted by Scotland Yard’s (Metropolitan Police) Counter-Terrorism Command, the West Midlands Police counterterrorism unit, and Staffordshire and South Wales police. The terrorist plot had begun on October 1.
On December 26, British police charged nine of the men in the City of Westminster Magistrates Court with conspiring to cause explosions, engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism with the intention of either committing acts of terrorism or assisting another to commit such acts, reconnoitering targets, downloading and researching terrorism-related material from the Internet, and testing incendiary material. The other three detainees were released without charge.
West Midlands Police identified the suspects charged as Gurukanth Desai, 28, Omar Sharif Latif, 26, and Abdul Malik Miah, 24, from Cardiff; Mohammed Moksudur Rahman Chowdhury, 20, and Shah Mohammed Lutfar Rahman, 28, from London; and Nazam Hussain, 25, Usman Khan, 19, Mohibur Rahman, 26, and Abul Bosher Mohammed Shahjahan, 26, from Stoke-on-Trent. Judge Howard Riddle ordered them held in prison until a further hearing on January 14, 2011.
On February 1, 2012, four of the British citizens—Mohammed Chowdhury, 21, and Shah Rahman, 28, both of Bangladeshi descent from London, and Wales residents Gurukanth Desai, 30, and Abdul Miah, 25—pleaded guilty to planning to bomb toilets in the London Stock Exchange, saying they had been inspired by al-Aulaqi. They had also considered attacking the home of the London mayor, two rabbis, and the London Eye, a 440-foot Ferris wheel. Sentencing was set for the following week.
On February 9, 2012, the court sentenced Mohammed Shahjahan, 27, to a minimum term of eight years and ten months. Stoke-on-Trent Islamists Usman Khan, 20, and Nazam Hussain, 26, were sentenced to eight years. The trio planned to establish a terrorist camp in Kashmir on land owned by Khan’s family. Khan and Hussain planned to receive military instruction there. Abdul Miah, 25, was sentenced to sixteen years and ten months for leading the group. His brother, Gurukanth Desai, 30, and Shah Rahman, 28, were jailed for twelve years. Mohammed Chowdhury, 22, linchpin of the group, was sentenced to thirteen years and eight months. Omar Latif, 28, was sentenced to ten years and four months. Mohibur Rahman was sentenced to five years. 10122001
December 20, 2010—Kenya—Al-Shabaab was suspected of setting off a bomb at a downtown bus station in Nairobi as passengers boarded a bus, killing two people and wounding thirty-nine. The dead person was carrying luggage that contained the bomb. Police had not determined whether it was a suicide attack. Most of the wounded were Ugandans planning on going home for Christmas. Kenyan Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said that the attacker had boarded a Kampala-bound bus carrying a Russian-made grenade in a plastic bag. When he thought he was about to face a security search, he dropped the bag, which detonated prematurely. Police said that the attacker was a Tanzanian. 10122002
December 21, 2010—Italy—At 10:00 a.m., a train engineer found a bomb-like device in a plastic bag under a seat at the Rebibbia stop on the outskirts of Rome. A bomb squad determined that it could not explode. The package contained a potentially explosive cylinder.
December 21, 2010—United States—CBS and CNN cited unnamed terrorism experts as saying that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula had considered using ricin and cyanide to contaminate salad bars and buffets at U.S. hotels and restaurants. U.S. officials downplayed the threat, noting that the story was months old and only a discussion rather than a plot.
December 21, 2010—Iraq—The Islamic State of Iraq warned on a Web site that it would continue to attack Christians until Egypt’s Coptic Church released two women the terrorists said the church was holding hostage until they renounced their conversion to Islam.
December 22, 2010—Pakistan—Pakistani authorities arrested Abdul-Rauf Rigi, leader of the Sunni Muslim ethnic Baluch group Jundallah, and eight accomplices along the Iran-Pakistan border. Iran and the United States consider Jundallah to be a terrorist group. Pakistan’s News said authorities traced his cell phone call to the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper and arrested him. Rigi is the younger brother of Abdulmalak Rigi, Jundallah’s founder, who was hanged by Iran in June 2010.
December 23, 2010—Italy—The Informal Federation of Anarchists, a splinter of the Italian Anarchist Federation (FAI), claimed credit for two mail bombs that went off at the embassies of Chile and Switzerland. No warning was issued. The bomb at the Swiss embassy seriously injured a Swiss-born mailroom worker, age 53. Surgeons removed metal from the chest of Chilean embassy employee César Mella, who lost part of his hand, sustained face and abdomen injuries, and might lose sight in one eye. A second person was hospitalized when the Chilean Embassy bomb exploded at 2:27 p.m. Notes were included in the small boxes that contained the bombs, and read, “We have decided to make our voices heard again, in words and deeds. We will destroy the system of domination. Long live FAI. Long live anarchy.” The notes mentioned Lambros Fountas, 35, who was shot dead in March while protesting in Athens. He had become a rallying point for anarchists in Greece, Spain, and Italy. A suspicious package found at the Ukrainian Embassy in Rome contained no bomb. False alarms were reported at the embassies of the Ukraine, Slovenia, and Estonia. Bomb threats were phoned to City Hall and another government office in Rome; no bombs were found. 10122301-02
December 23, 2010—Somalia—Hizbul Islam and al-Shabaab hosted a joint news conference in Mogadishu to announce their merger. They threatened to attack African Union (AU) peacekeepers in the city, as well as conduct attacks in Uganda and Burundi, which contribute troops to the AU force. 10122303
December 24, 2010—Pakistan—Some 150 terrorists attacked five security checkpoints in Mohmand Agency, killing 11 soldiers. Security forces later killed 24 attackers and another 16 on Christmas.
December 24, 2010—Pakistan—Officials said that in recent days they had detained Nasiruddin Haqqani as he was driving from Peshawar to North Waziristan. He was believed based out of Miram Shah in North Waziristan. He is the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, who leads a Taliban-affiliated tribal group.
December 24, 2010—India—Police in Mumbai issued a terrorist threat alert because four Lashkar-e-Tayyiba terrorists had entered Mumbai and were planning violence on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Police named Abdul Kareem Moosa, Noor Abu Ilahi, Walid Jinnah, and Mahfooz Alam, all between ages 20 and 30. Their nationalities were unknown.
December 24, 2010—Nigeria—At 7:00 p.m., thirty-one people were killed and seventy-four others wounded when seven bombs went off in Jos as residents celebrated Christmas Eve. Some of the injuries included leg amputations. Four bombs went off in Kabong and three in Angwa Rubuka. Islamist terrorists were suspected.
December 24, 2010—Netherlands—Rotterdam police arrested a dozen Somalis, aged 19 to 48, planning terrorist attacks. No weapons or explosives were found in searches of a pawn shop, four homes, and two hotel rooms. Six of the suspects were Rotterdam residents; one was from Denmark; five had no permanent address. Some were Dutch citizens. By December 27, six of them had been released. By December 28, only one remained in custody, and he was to be held for only three more days. The other eleven were released outright or passed to immigration authorities. The final one was freed on December 30; three remained suspects. 10122401
December 25, 2010—Pakistan—A female suicide bomber, aged between 16 and 18, set off explosives at a security checkpoint 600 meters from a UN World Food Program distribution point in Khar, Bajaur Agency, that killed 46 people, including several women and children, and injured 105 others. Pakistani Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq claimed credit, saying it had targeted people who had formed a pro-government and anti–Taliban group. Authorities believed it was the first time a burqa-clad suicide bomber had attacked in Pakistan. Tariq denied it was a woman, saying, “We have thousands of male suicide bombers ready who are keenly waiting for their turns. Then why would we use a woman, which is against the traditions of Islam?” 10122501
December 25, 2010—Saudi Arabia—Authorities shot and killed Mohammed Essam Taher Baghdadi, a male terrorist disguised as a woman at a checkpoint 400 miles southeast of Riyadh. The man, who was wanted for al Qaeda ties, was one of two people who were stopped in their car. When the duo got out of the car to present their ID cards, the disguised man opened fire and was killed in the gun battle.
December 25, 2010—Philippines—A bomb exploded during Christmas Day Mass on Jolo Island, wounding a priest and ten parishioners. Al Qaeda-linked terrorists were suspected.
December 26, 2010—Afghanistan—Four Turkish engineers were kidnapped. The group was building an Afghan national police post in Shpola village in southeastern Paktia Province, one kilometer from the border with Pakistan, near Para Chinar and Korm Agency. The engineers had relied on six armed Afghan local guards. 10122601
December 27, 2010—Italy—A bomb was found in a small metal licorice box at the Greek Embassy in Rome. The Informal Anarchist Federation left a note with the package, an A4-sized padded envelope which went through the Italian mail system. The note read, “We’re striking again, and we do so in response to the appeal sent by the Greek comrades of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire. That is why we are directing the new attack to one of the structures that represents the Greek state and its servants, in solidarity with the comrades arrested in Athens and the Conspiracy’s project which, like ours, is based on the actions and methods of revolutionary violence.” Suspicious packages, none of them containing bombs, were found at the embassies of Venezuela, Albania, Egypt, Finland, Slovenia, Sweden, Monaco, and Denmark. They were eventually determined to contain holiday packages. 10122701
December 27, 2010—Morocco—Authorities announced that they had wrapped up a six-man terrorist cell planning to attack “hot spots across the world.” The men had “considerable experience in the manufacture of explosives,” and planned to use car bombs against foreign interests in Morocco, several locations in its territory vital to national security interests, and in unspecified countries. The group was also involved in unspecified “cyberterrorism.” 10122702
December 27, 2010—Somalia—Fuad Mohamed “Shongole” Qalaf, a senior member of al-Shabaab, said in a radio broadcast in Afgoye, “We tell the American President Barack Obama to embrace Islam before we come to his country.” He was meeting with Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, former leader of Hizbul Islam, which had merged with al-Shabaab.
December 27, 2010—Iraq—Two seriatim suicide bombings killed nineteen people and wounded forty-five in Ramadi. The first bomber drove his car into the front gate of the Anbar provincial compound, where family members of thirteen police and security workers killed in a December 12 attack were arriving to receive promised government compensation. Three minutes later a second suicide bomber set off his suicide vest among the rescue workers. Many of the wounded lost body parts and were severely burned. Al Qaeda in Iraq was suspected.
December 28, 2010—Iran—The government hanged Ali Saremi, 63, for propagandizing for the Mujahideen e-Khalq (MEK) exile extremist group and “being an enemy of God.” He had been arrested several times since 1982 and was finally arrested in 2007 and sentenced to death. His wife, daughter, and two others were arrested outside Evin Prison after his execution. The family said that Saremi’s son was an MEK member living at the group’s base at Camp Ashraf in Iraq. The father traveled to visit his son, but the family said he was not an MEK member.
December 29, 2010—Denmark/Sweden—Danish police arrested four militant Islamists believed planning an “imminent” terrorist attack; Swedish police arrested a fifth suspect—a 37-year-old Swedish citizen of Tunisian origin residing in Stockholm. The group was believed ready to enter the building housing Jyllands-Posten, a newspaper that ran a cartoon of Muhammad, and “kill as many of the people present as possible.” Three of the four men were Swedish residents who had left Stockholm and entered Denmark on December 28 and 29. They included a 44-year-old Tunisian, a 29-year-old Lebanese-born man, a 26-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker living in Copenhagen, and a 30-year-old of unknown extraction. The four men were to appear in court on December 30, facing preliminary charges of attempting to carry out an act of terrorism. They were arrested in Greve, south of Copenhagen, and Herlev, to the west. Police seized an automatic weapon, a silencer, 122 rounds of ammunition, and plastic strips that could be used as handcuffs.
On June 4, the four Islamist terrorists were convicted in a courthouse in Glostrup, outside Copenhagen. The three Swedish nationals and one Tunisian resident of Sweden were each sentenced to twelve years in prison. They were identified as Mounir Dhahri, 46, a Tunisian citizen; Munir Awad, 31, of Lebanese descent; Sahbi Zalouti, 39, of Tunisian descent; and Omar Aboelazm, 32, of Egyptian descent. Counterterrorism officials in the United States and Scandinavia believe the plot was directed by al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan, who called for the terrorists to execute hostages. A prosecutor said that the terrorists might have been targeting a reception to be attended by the Danish crown prince in the same building as the newspaper.
Swedish and Danish security services had tracked the suspects in December 2010 as they drove from Sweden to Denmark with a submachine gun, a silencer, several dozen 9-mm submachine gun cartridges, $20,000 cash, and wrist strips that would be used to bind up to two hundred journalist hostages.
Dhahri, the ringleader, Awad, and Zalouti traveled to Pakistan in early 2010. Awad and Zalouti were arrested by Pakistani authorities in August 2010 before they could reach North Waziristan. Dhahri made it back from Pakistan via Athens and Brussels, from which Zalouti gave him a ride. Zalouti admitted to Swedish police he wired money from Sweden via Western Union to Dhahri in Bannu, a town bordering North Waziristan. The duo went to Copenhagen, where they cased targets. Dhahri and Awad were linked to Farid, a Stockholm-based militant of Moroccan descent suspected of being a facilitator for Ilyas Kashmiri’s terrorist network. 10122901
December 29, 2010—Vatican—A suspicious package found at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See was a false alarm.
December 29, 2010—Italy—Two small bombs exploded in front of the northern Italian headquarters of a right-wing party.
December 30, 2010—Greece—Anarchists were believed responsible for setting off a bomb outside an Athens administrative court, causing severe damage but no injuries. Police evacuated the area after receiving a telephoned warning.
December 31, 2010—Greece—A small bomb exploded just before 4:00 a.m. outside a closed nightclub in Athens. No injuries were reported. Authorities blamed extortionists.
December 31, 2010—Nigeria—At 7:00 p.m., a bomb exploded at the crowded Mammy market, within the grounds of the Sani Abacha barracks in Abuja, killing at least eleven people, including three women, and wounded thirteen, including six women.