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Entries in Bomb (32)

Friday
Jan132012

Arkansas Grandmother Bomb Plot: Suspect Knew Victims

ABC News(FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.) -- Investigators have learned that the Arkansas man being held on suspicion of strapping what he called a bomb to a 73-year-old grandmother and forcing take money from her account is a longtime acquaintance of the woman's husband.

Betty Davis, 73, walked into the local Arvest Bank in Fayetteville, Ark., around 10:30 a.m. Monday while her husband was tied up and held captive at their home.  She told employees she had an explosive device strapped around her ankle.

Employees at the bank called 911 and police were soon able to remove the device from Davis without incident.

Paul Bradley was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the incident, according to Fayetteville Police Chief Greg Tabor.  Police say Bradley, 60, is a longtime casual acquaintance of Dean Davis; the two met at a local restaurant, Rick's Iron Skillet.

According to investigators, Bradley waited for Dean Davis to leave his home for his morning coffee -- part of the man's daily routine -- before approaching the couple's home.

"The suspect who we know as Mr. Bradley feigned injury to get Mrs. Davis to open her door, and that's how this all begun," Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder said.

Bradley was arrested on charges of aggravated robbery, two counts of kidnapping and aggravated burglary, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office and the Fayetteville police.

"I was thinking it was someone I know from the way he talked.  He'd have to know some things about me that I used to raise cattle, and to know when I left the café," Dean Davis said as the couple appeared on ABC's Good Morning America Friday.

Bradley tied up Dean Davis after he returned to the home, according to police.  He then took a weapon from the home and strapped a fake bomb to Betty Davis' leg, drove her to the Arvest bank and demanded she take $10,000 from her account.

Bradley allegedly told Davis that the device was a bomb, and even showed her a detonator.  The bomb squad later determined the device was not an explosive.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan092012

Florida Bomb Plot Spoiled: FBI

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office(WASHINGTON) -- A 25-year-old apparent Islamic radical believed he was on the verge of going on a bombing and shooting rampage in a popular Florida bar and at other crowded establishments Saturday night when he was arrested by federal agents in part of a sting operation, the Justice Department announced Monday.

According to federal officials, Sami Osmakac, a naturalized U.S. citizen from the former Yugoslavia, had been provided the guns and explosives -- all of which had been rendered harmless -- by an FBI agent.

The FBI first became alerted to Osmakac in late September 2011 from a confidential source who told them that Osmakac was seeking al Qaeda flags. Osmakac allegedly worked for the individual who tipped off the FBI.

In a meeting with an undercover FBI agent last month, Osmakac said he wanted to obtain an AK-47 assault rifle, Uzi submachine guns and explosives for as many as three car bombs. Osmakac also allegedly told the agent that he wanted an explosive suicide belt to kill police and law enforcement that would try to stop him.

"Once I have this…they can take me in five million pieces," Osmakac allegedly told the agent during a meeting on Jan. 1, 2012.

The FBI said that during the meeting, Osmakac indicated that he wanted to carry out a series of attacks in the Tampa area and "get in somewhere where there's a lot of people" to take hostages.

"I want to do something terrifying, like one day, one night, something's going to happen, then six hours later something else," he allegedly told the FBI's undercover agent.

"They['re] like $200 trillion in debt, and after all this money they're spending for homeland security and all this, this is going to be crushing them. This is going to terrify them," Osmakac said after discussing his plans about the car bomb and how far away he should be from the blast, according to the FBI.

The criminal complaint and affidavit filed by an FBI agent in the case indicate that Osmakac had tried to spur other people to take action in carrying out attacks.

"I made many plans, but there's not enough people," Osmakac allegedly said. "I even wasted like my energy debating and talking and trying [to] inspire them."

"Honestly, I would love to go for the Army people, but their bases are so locked up, I have to do something else," Osmakac said, according to the court documents. "Whenever we can get this done I'm ready."

The FBI undercover agent allegedly offered Osmakac an opportunity to not go forward with the attack to which Osmakac stated, "We all have to die. So why not die the Islamic way?"

Osmakac told the FBI undercover agent that he did not want to meet again until the weapons and explosives were ready to be delivered, the court documents said.

A week later, on Jan. 7, the agent and Osmakac met at a Tampa area hotel and the agent showed Osmakac an item he believed was a 100 pound car-bomb. After viewing the device and receiving an AK-47 and a handgun, Osmakac asked the agent if he would tape a martyrdom video message for him.

Court documents note the tape lasted "approximately eight minutes."

"In the video, Osmakac stated his belief that Muslims' 'blood' was more valuable than that of people who do not believe in Islam. He also stated that he wanted 'pay back' for wrongs he felt were done to Muslims," the documents say.

After the video was recorded, Osmakac stashed a getaway vehicle near his intended targets which included an Irish pub and a Starbucks in South Tampa. When he returned to the hotel, the FBI undercover showed Osmakac how to arm the bomb.

Osmakac was arrested by FBI agents after he connected what he believed was a detonator for the bomb and prepared to drive off in his car.

A court appearance has been set for later Monday in Tampa. An attorney for Osmakac has not been identified. A records search indicates that Osmakac has a previous arrest in the Tampa area for battery in September 2011.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan092012

Police Name Person of Interest in Colorado Bomb That Injured Two

Comstock/Thinkstock(LAFAYETTE, Colo.) -- The ex-husband of a Colorado woman severely injured on Saturday when a package exploded inside a car she was riding in has officially been named a person of interest in the crime, Lafayette Police Commander Gene McCausey told ABC News.

Police and agents from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) executed a search warrant Saturday night at the Denver home of Michael Anthony Brittain, carting away several bags of evidence.  Brittain has not been arrested.

The search took place just hours after Brittain’s ex-wife Allyson Stone and her current husband Christopher were injured after the explosive detonated in the couple’s Volvo station wagon.

Police say the couple had just left their Lafayette, Colo., home on Saturday when they spotted a package in the driveway next to their car.  It was a brown paper bag with their names written on it, according to police.  Allyson picked it up and was in the passenger seat opening the bag when it blew up.

Investigators say Allyson sustained serious burn injuries.  A member of Allyson’s family told ABC News that doctors don’t know the full extent of her injuries, but she is expected to survive.  She is conscious and in a lot of pain.  Her husband Christopher, who sustained minor injuries, is at her side in the hospital.

Colorado court records obtained by ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV reveal ongoing tension between Allyson and her former husband.  In 2003, Brittain was arrested on domestic violence, harassment and child abuse charges. Three days later, Allyson filed for divorce.  

Three of the charges against Brittian were later dismissed and he was found not guilty on the remaining assault charge, documents show.

In February 2011, the judge in the divorce case ruled that Allyson owed her ex-husband $121,520.

“He’s so nice,” one of Brittian’s neighbors told ABC News on Sunday.  “You would never assume him out of all people.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec202011

MLK Parade Plot: Washington Man Gets 32-Year Prison Sentence

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images(SPOKANE, Wash.) -- A Washington State man who pleaded guilty to planting a bomb at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade was sentenced to 32 years in prison Tuesday, despite an attempt to withdraw his guilty plea moments before sentencing.

Authorities say Kevin Harpham, 37, planted a bomb almost a year ago, setting it to blast shrapnel onto parade marchers, but it was discovered before it could be triggered.

Harpham has extensive ties to white supremacists.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov212011

Alleged 'Lone Wolf' Terrorist Plotted Attacks on US Soldiers

Picture of alleged terrorist Jose Pimental mixing bomb materials. ABC NewsUPDATE: A New York man, inspired by late al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, was just an hour away from finishing construction on a bomb meant to assassinate U.S. servicemen returning from war and policemen when he was arrested, investigators said.

(NEW YORK) -- A Muslim convert arrested for allegedly making bombs in New York City was inspired by radical cleric Anwar Awlaki and was allegedly plotting to attack U.S. servicemen and police officers, according to officials.

A five-count criminal complaint against Jose Pimentel of Washington Heights says that Pimentel planned "to build a bomb and use a bomb to assassinate U.S. servicemen and women returning from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan."

[Click here to read the full criminal complaint]

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg said during a press conference Sunday evening that Pimentel, who's unemployed and lives with his mother, also wanted to kill police officers, and called him a "27-year-old al Qaeda sympathizer."

"We had to act quickly," New York police commissioner Ray Kelly said, "because he was in fact putting this bomb together."

When arrested, officials say, Pimentel possessed the materials necessary to build a bomb.

He allegedly manufactured a bomb on his mother's couch following the directions in the article "How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom," from al Qaeda's English-language online magazine Inspire.  Radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar Awlaki was a contributor to the magazine.

"He was a reader of al Qaeda's online magazine Inspire and inspire him it did," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said.

Officials say Pimentel is apparently a "lone wolf" with no known connection to any foreign terrorists or local radicalized individuals.

"He was not part of a larger conspiracy," Bloomberg said.

Kelly said Pimentel was inspired to act by the death of Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. strike in Yemen earlier this year.

A duplicate of the bomb Pimentel was allegedly building was detonated by police on a police range and blew apart a car.  Charges against Pimentel include criminal possession of a weapon and conspiracy in the fourth degree as a crime of terrorism.

At his arraignment Sunday night, he was ordered held without bail.

An American citizen, Pimentel was born in the Dominican Republic and came to the United States at age 8.  After converting to Islam, he went by the name Muhammed Yusef.

Pimentel spent much of his time on the Internet, according to sources, and maintained a radical website called TrueIslam1.  The website contains a link to the bomb-making article in Inspire.

Pimentel first came to the attention of authorities in May 2009, when he was living in Schenectady, N.Y.  He returned to New York City in January 2010.  Authorities say they have been tailing him for more than a year.

He has a prior arrest for criminal possession of stolen property.

Pimentel rarely left his home, authorities said, except to buy coffee and cigarettes -- one cigarette at a time, when he couldn't afford a pack -- and to smoke.  His mother did not let him smoke in the apartment.

He also smoked marijuana and drank, according to authorities, and attended Muslim religious services infrequently.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul292011

Fort Hood Bomb Plot Suspect Arrested with Al Qaeda Magazine

Ben Sklar/Getty Images(KILLEEN, Texas) -- When police searched the hotel room of the AWOL American soldier accused of planning a deadly bombing and shooting spree outside Fort Hood, Texas, between the firearms, ammunition and bomb-making materials, senior law enforcement officials said they also picked up a possible clue to the soldier's motivation -- an article from a jihadi magazine produced by al Qaeda.

The officials told ABC News Private First Class Naser Jason Abdo -- who had been granted conscientious objector status over his Muslim faith --  had apparently stashed in the room an article from the first issue of al Qaeda's Inspire magazine called "How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom."

In addition to the magazine, one senior U.S. official told ABC News Abdo had also mentioned the name of one of the most high profile leaders of the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), American-born Anwar al-Awlaki.

Abdo made his first appearance in court in Waco, Texas, on Friday where he was charged with the federal crime of possession of a non-registered firearm in addition to previous charges of possession of child pornography and going AWOL from his unit.

Al-Awlaki is considered by some U.S. security officials to be one of the most dangerous men in the world because of his ability to reach out through the Internet to so-called "lone wolf" jihadis who would attempt to carry out attacks on behalf of al Qaeda, but without any actual material support from the terror organization.  Al-Awlaki is believed to have inspired several terror plots in the U.S., from the deadly 2009 massacre at Fort Hood and the bungled Christmas Day airline bombing.

AQAP, a media-savvy affiliate of al Qaeda, has produced six issues of Inspire so far, each featuring praise for martyrs and instructional sections on firearms and explosives for the prospective terrorist.

Abdo, a Muslim soldier who's in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, attempted to leave the military in 2010 after protesting the U.S.'s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In August 2010, he told ABC News he should not have to participate in what he called an "unjust war".

"Any Muslim who knows his religion or maybe takes into account what his religion says can find out very clearly why he should not participate in the U.S. military," Abdo said then.

Days after the Army approved Pfc. Abdo's conscientious objector discharge, his release was put on hold and he was charged with having child pornography on his government-issued computer.  Military investigators had been looking at Abdo's computer files after he made "radical statements," law enforcement sources told ABC News.

After he was told he would face a court martial, Abdo went AWOL from Fort Campbell on July 4.  Though vocal in his protestations against the mission in the Middle East, Abdo did not make any public threats against the military.

But when he was discovered Wednesday, Abdo was apparently in the final planning stages of a deadly attack.  He was caught in part because a wary local gun store owner called police after Abdo visited the store to buy ammunition and gunpowder.  He was acting "suspicious," Guns Galore owner Greg Ebert told ABC News.

"There was clearly something wrong with him," Ebert said.  "We made a decision to call the police and fortunately it worked out."

After his arrest, Abdo admitted he planned to plant two bombs at a local restaurant frequented by Fort Hood soldiers and hoped to gun down any survivors of the dual blast, according to law enforcement documents obtained by ABC News.

According to the documents, military officials believe the incident "was likely isolated to the Fort Hood area and the suspect in custody, and that arrest of the suspect has mitigated any further threats related to this incident."

Abdo's former lawyer, James M. Branum, declined to comment for an ABC News report except to say on Thursday that he hasn't spoken with his client "in a long time."  Abdo now faces federal charges in connection with the alleged plot.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul282011

Soldier Arrested Near Fort Hood with Bomb-Making Materials

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(KILLEEN, Texas) -- A U.S. serviceman is in custody after he allegedly admitted he was planning an attack on the U.S. Army base at Fort Hood, Texas, the same base where 13 people were killed in a 2009 terror attack.

U.S. officials told ABC News an AWOL serviceman identified as Private First Class Nasser Abdo was arrested Wednesday attempting to make a purchase at Guns Galore in Killeen, Texas -- the same ammunition store where Maj. Nidal Hasan purchased the weapons he allegedly used to murder 13 people and wound 32 others on Nov. 5, 2009.

Multiple senior law enforcement officials report that this appears to be a classic lone wolf case – although military investigators and the FBI continue to look at Nasser’s associations. Evidence so far is that he acted alone.

Pfc. Abdo made headlines in 2010 when he refused to deploy to Afghanistan and applied for conscientious objector status, saying his Muslim faith prohibited him from doing so. At the time, he told ABC News, "Any Muslim who knows his religion...can find out very clearly why he should not participate in the U.S. military." Abdo's request was granted earlier this year.

Sources say that when authorities searched his hotel they found firearms and enough materials to make at least two bombs, including 6 pounds of blackpowder and 18 pounds of sugar. They also found some jihadist literature in his backpack. He had also apparently purchased an Army uniform with Fort Hood patches from a local surplus store.

Local police were initially alerted to the suspect by the owners of Guns Galore who reported him as "suspicious."

After he was arrested, Abdo reportedly told law enforcement he was at the base to "get even," according to law enforcement documents obtained by ABC News.

A spokesperson for the Killeen Police Department, which has the suspect in custody, said Abdo was arrested for an outstanding warrant for child pornography and did not have information about the alleged plot against the base.

Officials believe an attack was imminent, targeting a location outside of Fort Hood where soldiers frequented. Nasser is described as angry about his court martial for child pornography and angry about the U.S. military role in Afghanistan.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May082011

Delta Flight Diverted Due to Security Concern

Delta Air Lines (File)(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) -- A Delta Air Lines flight headed from Detroit to San Diego on Sunday was forced to land in Albuquerque, New Mexico after officials say a potential security threat arose onboard.

A law enforcement official told ABC News that Delta flight 1706 was on the way to San Diego, when a flight attendant discovered a note with the word “bomb” written on it. Authorities say out of an abundance of caution, the plane was diverted to Albuquerque International Sunport, where investigators will likely sweep the aircraft and examine the note for fingerprints.

Delta Air Lines issued a statement saying the flight, which was carrying 137 passengers and six crew members, had landed safely and that the airline was cooperating with authorities.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr112011

Santa Monica Synagogue Blast Suspect Arrested in Cleveland

Federal Bureau of Investigation(CLEVELAND) -- The man suspected of using a never-before-seen launcher to fire a projectile at a Santa Monica, Calif., synagogue was arrested Monday night in Cleveland, Ohio by the FBI.

Ron Hirsch, who was the subject of a nationwide manhunt, boarded a bus the same day he hurled 300 pounds of pipe and concrete into the roof of a building adjacent to the Chabad House and less than a block from the Santa Monica synagogue, police said.

Investigators confirmed that a man known as J. Fisher, a known alias used by Hirsch, purchased the bus ticket. He was originally scheduled to arrive in New York on Sunday, but surveillance video shows him getting off the bus in Denver, Colo., investigators said.

Hirsch, who is believed to have family in New York, is a transient known in Los Angeles for towing a trailer full of possessions behind a bicycle, police sources said.

The projectile appears to have been fired from an alley, bounced off the center's wall and crashed through the roof. The bang shattered windows, punctured a hole in the synagogue and sent the 300-pound metal pipe into a neighbor's house where a young boy was sleeping. The incident took place shortly before prayer services at the Chabad House Thursday morning and triggered the evacuation of about 100 people from a four-block radius.

Hirsch is also known as Israel Fisher, according to information released by police. He constructed the projectile device using elements including concrete, explosive powder, dry ice and what appears to be an expansion joint sealant, or other expanding plastic or foam.

The oddly constructed mechanical launcher appears to have been highly effective at hurling its material, although it did not seriously damage the Chabad House, which appears to have been its target.

Law enforcement officials say Hirsch attempted to stay at a Jewish center in Cleveland, where a rabbi recognized him and notified authorities.

An investigation is underway.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr112011

Temple Attack Suspect Boarded Greyhound Bus for New York

Santa Monica Police Department(NEW YORK) -- The man suspected of using a never-before-seen launcher to fire a projectile at a California synagogue boarded a New York-bound Greyhound bus after the attack and police have alerted authorities along the bus route, police said.

Ron Hirsch, who is the subject of a nationwide manhunt, got on the bus the same day he hurled 300 pounds of pipe and concrete into the roof of a building adjacent to the Chabad House and less than a block from the Santa Monica Synagogue, police said.

Investigators confirmed that a man known as J. Fisher, a known alias used by Hirsch, purchased the ticket. He was originally scheduled to arrive in New York on Sunday, but surveillance video shows him getting off the bus in Denver, Colo., investigators said.

Police along the bus' route have been alerted. The bus makes 10 scheduled stops between California and New York.

Hirsch, who is believed to have family in New York, is a transient known in Los Angeles for towing a trailer full of possessions behind a bicycle, police sources said.

The projectile appears to have been fired from an alley, bounced off the center's wall and crashed through the roof. The bang shattered windows, punctured a hole in the synagogue and sent the 300-pound metal pipe into a neighbor's house where a young boy was sleeping. The incident took place shortly before prayer services at the Chabad House Thursday morning and triggered the evacuation of about 100 people from a four-block radius.

Hirsch is also known as Israel Fisher, according to information released by police. He constructed the projectile device using elements including concrete, explosive powder, dry ice and what appears to be an expansion joint sealant, or other expanding plastic or foam.

The oddly constructed mechanical launcher appears to have been highly effective at hurling its material, although it did not seriously damage the Chabad House, which appears to have been its target.

According to the Santa Monica Police Department, Hirsch, a heavyset white male, is being sought on state charges of possession of a destructive device and unrelated local charges.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio