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Entries in Plot (12)

Saturday
Feb162013

Students Accused of Bringing Weapons to School, Plotting to Kill Classmate

Kevin Horan/Stone(SPOKANE, Wash.) -- Two young boys are accused in court documents of planning to kill one of their female classmates at their elementary school in Washington state.

The boys, ages 10 and 11, devised a plan to lure their female classmate away from Fort Colville Elementary School in Washington in order to kill her, school officials said, according to court documents released this week.

The 11-year-old told school officials that he and his accomplice had been planning their attack, initially citing what they considered the girl's annoying personality to school officials as their motive to kill, according to the documents.

Their plan unraveled Feb. 7, however, after a fourth-grader witnessed the 11-year-old removing a knife from his backpack on the school bus the morning of their planned attack, according to the documents. The student informed a teacher of the sighting upon arriving to school, which is when the two boys' backpacks were searched.

A knife, a .45 semi-automatic pistol and a full ammunition clip were discovered in the 10-year-old's backpack, the court papers said.

The 11-year-old allegedly explained the plan to school officials.

"I was going to kill her with the knife and [the 10-year-old] was supposed to use the gun to keep anyone from trying to stop me or mess up our plan," the 11-year-old said, according to court records.

The two boys allegedly told a third student of their plot, offering to pay him $80 if he remained silent on the proposed plan, prosecutors said.

The boys both told officers, according to the court documents, that although they had been friends with their main, female target for several months, she became rude and began to pick on them, which triggered their rage.

The 10-year-old boy said he obtained the firearm from the room of his older brother, who had taken the weapon from their dead grandfather's home a few months prior, prosecutors said. Officers confirmed the weapon was registered to the grandfather's name.

The two boys were taken to Coleville's juvenile detention facility, Martin Hall, where they were being held on a $100,000 bond, according to court records and Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen.

They are charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, tampering with a witness and conspiracy to possess a firearm, according to The Spokesman-Review.

Attorneys for the two boys declined to comment on the accusations.

Rasmussen told ABC News that in the state of Washington, there is a presumption that children between the ages of 8 to 12 do not have the mental capacity to understand crimes they are planning to commit. After the age of 12, a child is deemed to have that mental capacity.

A mental capacity hearing has been scheduled for the two boys on Feb. 20. At that meeting, evidence will be presented to determine whether or not the mental capacity presumption can be overturned. Several factors, such as the age and maturity of the suspects, if they knew the acts involved were inherently wrong, and whether there was an attempt for secrecy, are just a few factors to be considered, said Rasmussen.

If convicted, however, the boys could be incarcerated in a juvenile hall, possibly up to the age of 18.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec192012

Florida Terrorism Suspect Planned New York Attack, Feds Say

Broward County Sheriff Dept.(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) -- A Florida terrorism suspect arrested along with his brother last month was planning a lone wolf attack in New York City, according to Justice Department officials.

At a detention hearing in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Tuesday, federal prosecutors said Raees Alam Qazi traveled to New York in late November to obtain explosives to carry out an attack, possibly in Times Square.

Qazi and his older brother, Sheheryar Alam Qazi, were arrested on Nov. 29 and charged with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

The disclosure by Justice Department prosecutors at a court hearing is a new detail in a case that was initially announced by the Justice Department along with a three-page indictment that provided no details behind the terrorism charges.

Prosecutors have alleged that Raees Alam Qazi traveled to New York on Nov. 23, but returned to the Florida area days later. At one point, two government sources said, he managed to slip surveillance while in New York, only to be located later.

"There are no specific or credible terrorism threats to New York at this time. Raees Alam Qazi's plans were aspirational," an FBI spokesman said. "He had no specific plan or targets identified to carry out an attack."

According to officials, Raees Alam Qazi is described as a suspected lone wolf terrorist inspired by al Qaeda. Officials allege the suspect attempted to reach out to Islamic radicals affiliated with al Qaeda overseas.

Prosecutors at Tuesday's hearing alleged that Qazi read Inspire Magazine, and may have been influenced by lectures of Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical cleric killed in a U.S. drone strike, who has been at the heart of many U.S. terorrism cases. Prosecutors say Qazi also gathered information on explosives.

The indictment alleges that between July 2011 and Nov. 29, 2012, the suspects were conspiring to "provide material support and resources -- including property, services, funding, lodging, communications equipment, personnel and transportation -- knowing and intending that this support be used in preparation for and in carrying out a violation of law -- namely, a conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction."

Unlike many recent terrorism cases, this was not an FBI sting operation in which the FBI approaches suspects they believe are interested in committing possible acts of terror. Law enforcement officials tell ABC News that Qazi had been monitoring FBI sting cases.

Qazi and his older brother are naturalized U.S. citizens who arrived in the United States and were granted lawful permanent residency in November and October 2000 respectively.

Raees became a naturalized citizen in July 2006, and according to a Nov. 30, 2012 FBI-DHS intelligence bulletin obtained by ABC News on the case, Raees "most recently traveled to Pakistan from July 2011 to February 2012 according to DHS travel data. Upon his February return to the United States, Raees claimed during secondary inspection by DHS Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that the purpose of his travel was to visit family and vacation."

According to the DHS-FBI intelligence bulletin Sheheryar Qazi became a naturalized U.S. citizen in September 2009. He returned from a trip to Pakistan in January 2011 stating the purpose of his travel was to visit family members, according to DHS travel data and U.S. Customs and Border Protection information.

"The alleged activities of Raees Alam Qazi and Sheheryar Alam Qazi highlight the continued interest of violent extremists in conducting terrorist attacks in the Homeland. We strongly encourage federal, state, local tribal and territorial counterterrorism to remain alert and immediately report potential indicators of pre-operational activity," the bulletin states.

A White House official told ABC News' Jake Tapper that President Obama was briefed about this case even before the arrest.

A review of Justice Department cases from this year shows that there have been 19 terrorism cases brought in 2012 alone.

Defense attorneys for the two men declined to comment when contacted by ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov212012

Missouri Woman Charged in Scheme to Kill Boyfriend's Ex-Wife

Greene County Sheriff's Office(SPRINGFIELD, Mo.) -- A Missouri woman was arrested in a murder-for-hire scheme after she allegedly paid an undercover police officer $200 and gave him the keys to a Jeep in exchange for killing her boyfriend's ex-wife, according to Springfield police.

Diane Elaine Greer, 47, of Nixa, Mo., admitted her involvement, according to a probable cause statement from the Springfield Police Department, but said it was her boyfriend who wanted his ex-wife dead, because she would "never leave him alone."

Greer also told police she believed there was a financial motive for the hit, according to the statement.

Thomas was arrested on Nov. 2 on unrelated charges. While he was in jail, police say Greer decided to proceed with the plan to kill his ex-wife, telling a friend that her boyfriend's incarceration would provide him the perfect alibi for murder. Police say they were tipped off by the friend.

On Nov. 9, an undercover officer met with Greer and agreed to carry out the hit. Police said the officer was given a $200 cash deposit, some musical equipment, a butcher knife to carry out the killing, and a key to a Jeep, which he would be able to take after the murder.

The target of the plot, who is identified by the initials C.T. in a police statement, met with authorities on Nov. 13 to be staged with make-up to make it appear as if her throat had been slashed. Photographs of her appearing to be dead were shown to Greer the next day, who, police said, thanked the undercover officer for carrying out the killing.

In the days after she believed C.T. had been murdered, authorities gathered more evidence as Greer told her friend, who was working with police, that she was concerned because she had not seen C.T.'s obituary.

On Tuesday, Greer was summoned to police headquarters, where she was interviewed and "attempted to act surprised" when shown the staged photos of her boyfriend's ex-wife dead.

After she denied her involvement, the undercover officer who she believed carried out the hit, walked into the room.

"Greer put her head down and admitted she knew who he was," police said.

Greer is being charged with assault in the first degree and is being held without bond.

Thomas is not being charged at this time, a police spokesperson told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep172012

Neighbor Says Accused Chicago Bomb Plotter 'A Very Nice Guy'

ABC News (CHICAGO) -- A preliminary hearing for accused Chicago bomb plotter Adel Daoud was delayed until Thursday after his attorney was granted more time to review the case.

Daoud's attorney, Thomas Durkin, told reporters that he is "suspicious" of the charges against his 18-year-old client, whom he described as "impressionable" and "immature."

"This doesn't smell like a terrorism case," Durkin said. "It smells like there's something wrong with this case."

While Daoud remains in custody, residents in his suburban neighborhood of Hillside said they were surprised by the news of the 18-year old's alleged attempt to target a downtown bar last Friday night.

"I would consider him a very nice guy. He waved, talked. For a teenager seeing him cut his parents' grass, you know, that type of thing, I would have taken him as a very good boy," Frank Howaniac, who's lived on the quiet residential street for 32 years, told ABC News Monday.

Howaniac was sitting outside his house at 9:30 Friday night when suddenly a caravan of federal authorities came driving down the street and went to Daoud's house.

Another neighbor, Souha Ibrahim, said she too was taken aback by the news of the teenager's arrest.

"I am surprised," Ibrahim said. "I'm surprised by what he did."

"He's a little kid. He was just brainwashed or something. He's so naïve," said another neighbor, Moussa Issa. "Somehow something happened there. He was just different. He wouldn't show up as much."

At the Islamic Foundation School in Villa Park, where Daoud went to school, members of the school administration wanted no part of the press.

"We don't have any statement to make at this time," school secretary Khaja Mohiuddin told ABC News. "You are wasting your time, so please leave."

At Daoud's house a woman -- who declined to identify herself -- directed ABC News to contact Durkin. On his way into the courthouse for Daoud's detention hearing, which was rescheduled for Thursday, Durkin, accompanied by Daoud's father, told reporters that he was "pretty suspicious" of the allegations against the suburban teenager.

"I think a lot of questions ought to be being asked about why the government wants to detain him," Durkin said, claiming that Daoud "wasn't too dangerous until last Friday night."

"I think it's a very suspicious charge," Durkin argued. "I think there's a lot of suspicious facts in there."

"Does it sound like he was on the Internet talking nonsense? Sounds like it, if the government is to be believed," Durkin stated. "Does that mean he has radical Islamic beliefs? I don't know. I know that my kids when they were 18 might have said some stupid stuff. Does that mean they believed it? I don't know."

Durkin said he had talked to people at Daoud's school and "they've said that he's very awkward socially. You saw him. I mean, he looks pretty immature to me."

Only blocks away from the courthouse, Mike Feirstein, who owns Cal's Liquors and Cal's Bar on Wells St., just on the outer edges of the Loop, told ABC News that he believes his bar was the one Daoud is accused of targeting on Friday. Feirstein's bar sits on a busy street corner, with the El train tracks directly across the street and another popular bar, Cactus, next door. The Chicago Fire Department has a station across from Cactus Bar and one firefighter told ABC News that the area was indeed the site of Daoud's alleged attempt to detonate a fake car bomb as undercover agents stood ready to pounce.

The affidavit says Daoud settled on his unnamed target because it was a bar, a liquor store and a concert venue and would be filled with "the evilest people" on a weekend night. Cal's was hosting musical performances from local bands on Friday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
May072012

Al Qaeda Bomb Plot Thwarted; Aimed to Coincide with Bin Laden Anniversary

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. and European officials say that even though an al Qaeda bomber was stopped before he could board a plane for the U.S., the threat is far from over -- there are believed to be several other would-be bombers with similar non-metallic devices that could get through most airport security screening.

Federal officials confirmed Monday that the U.S., working with other intelligence agencies, recovered an explosive device that resembles other bombs manufactured by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. They described it as a refinement of the so-called underwear bomb with which AQAP recruit Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to take down Northwest flight 253 to Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.

This most recent plot was timed to coincide with the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death, but the bomber was apprehended before he could purchase plane tickets or choose a U.S.-bound flight. As ABC News first reported last week, the plot led the U.S. to order scores of air marshals to Europe to protect U.S.-bound aircraft. Flights out of Gatwick Airport in England received 100 percent coverage, according to U.S. officials.

Authorities say no flights were ever actually in danger.

As ABC News detailed last week, al Qaeda bombmaker Ibrahim al-Asiri, who designed Abdulmutallab's underwear bomb, was again the mastermind of the plot, according to U.S. and other intelligence sources. The latest bomb, according to authorities, was an improved version of Abdulmutallab's bomb, which failed to detonate properly.

The new bomb that was intercepted had what is being called "a highly refined detonation system" and is now being examined by FBI bomb technicians.

"The FBI currently has possession of the IED and is conducting technical and forensics analysis on it," said the FBI in a statement. "Initial exploitation indicates that the device is very similar to [bombs] that have been used previously by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in attempted terrorist attacks."

White House officials said President Obama was briefed on the plot in April by his counter-terror advisor, John Brennan.

Just one week ago, Brennan denied there was any such plot. "There is not credible reporting right now that there is an active plot underway to coincide with the anniversary of the bin Laden takedown," said Brennan then.

On Monday, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council said, "While the President was assured that the device did not pose a threat to the public, he directed the Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement and intelligence agencies to take whatever steps necessary to guard against this type of attack."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar082012

Wife Blogs ‘What a Guy!’ As She Plots to Kill Husband, Say Cops 

AbleStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- The wife of a Houston firefighter was blogging about their plans to renew their vows and gushing “What a guy!” about her husband while also making arrangements for a hit man to kill him, according to court documents and her personal blog.

Brittany Rachelle Martinez, 24, was sad and scared to death as she appeared before a judge Thursday morning on charges of solicitation of capital murder, her lawyers claimed, according to ABC News affiliate KTRK.

“It’s a bizarre scenario, and we are going to delve into it and talk to as many witnesses as we possibly can,” defense attorney George Parnham told KTRK.

Martinez, an EMT and the mother of two children, was arrested Tuesday and is being held at the Harris County Jail without bail.

Prosecutors said Thursday in court that Martinez tried to arrange the murder plot of her husband, Adrian Martinez. According to court records, Martinez provided a friend with $1,000, along a picture of her husband and a copy of his work schedule, to hire a hit man.

Martinez approached a friend, the manager of a north Houston restaurant call Casa Ole, on Jan. 17 about her marital problems and admitted she wanted him killed, court papers state.

She gave the manager a $500 down payment on Feb. 4 and promised another $1000 to $2,000 after her husband was dead, according to court papers. Martinez said she did not want to have contact with or meet the hit man, the papers state.

On Feb. 21, Brittany Martinez posted lovingly to her blog, Crew de Martinez, about the couple's upcoming wedding anniversary.

“In the overall plan of the year, Adrian and I will be celebrating our 5th anniversary this coming October, for which we will be throwing a formal party/vow renewal,” the blog states. “We will be able to have the wedding we didn’t get to have and say our vows again, this time truly understanding what those words mean. I have picked out the dress, we decided on the venue and the rest is a simple case of creativity and saving. Eeek, I’m so excited! J”

Martinez’s post goes on to comment about the couple’s life in their new home, and updates the progress her two children have made in the past months.

She boasted on her blog about her husband’s career, pointing out that he is a certified firefighter and nationally registered paramedic.

“He also works part-time as a paramedic for the Cy-Fair VFD on their massive ambulances. What a guy!” she posted.

Martinez reached out to her friend again to say she wanted her husband killed as soon as possible, particularly before he noticed she took more money from the bank, the court documents state.

That day, Brittany Martinez dropped off another $500 with her husband’s work schedule, with the dates March 3 and 5 circled. Along with the schedule was a note that indicated her husband’s physical description, vehicle description and the warning, “cameras at the car lot across the street,” court papers allege.

Later that day, the manager recorded a phone conversation he had with Brittany Martinez. According to documents, she was giving detailed instructions on how and when the murder of her husband should occur.

If convicted of the charges, Martinez could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb222012

Animal Rights Activist Charged in Hiring a Hitman to Kill Fur-Wearers

U.S. Department of Justice(CLEVELAND) -- An animal activist planned to pay a hitman $730 to gun down a random person wearing fur outside of a Cleveland library. A criteria for any gunmen considering the offer was that they do not wear, "anything that looks remotely like fur," according to a police affidavit.

"I would like to create an online community on Facebook which would allow me to find someone who is willing to kill someone who is wearing fur toward the end of October 2011 or early November 2011 or possibly in January 2012 or February 2012 at the latest," Meredith Lowell allegedly wrote on a Facebook page she had established under the alias Anne Lowery.

Lowell, 27, was arrested Tuesday on one charge of conspiracy to commit murder. According to an affidavit filed by federal authorities, Lowell solicited a hitman to kill the first person he saw outside of a Cleveland Heights library who was wearing fur and, "preferably 14 years old or older but should be at least 12 years old."

The FBI took notice of the posting last November and assigned an undercover employee to correspond with Lowell, pretending to agree to get the job done. 

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A 14-page affidavit that detailed Lowell's alleged correspondence with her "hitman," which took place over the course of several months, was filed in U.S. District Court.

After exchanging messages on Facebook, Lowell began to open up to the FBI operative and revealed that Anne Lowery was a pseudonym. The two moved their correspondence to email since "it is easier for us to communicate," Lowell wrote.

Lowell sent many of the emails from the Coventry Branch of Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, where authorities claim she planned to have the murder take place. In those emails, she wrote of her desire to escape a home where her family ate meat, wore wool, and used animal products, the affidavit states.

Jennifer Kaden, co-founder of the Cleveland Animal Rights Alliance, said she checked her membership records and found that no one in her organization had ever dealt with Lowell, who she called "misguided" and "dangerous."

Lowell remains in federal custody and faces a detention hearing next Tuesday to determine whether she will be offered bail.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct242011

Iranian-American Pleads Not Guilty in D.C. Assassination Plot

Nueces County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Manssor Arbabsiar, a Texas man accused of conspiring to kill the Saudi ambassador in a plot that U.S. authorities say was "conceived, sponsored and directed" in Iran, pleaded not guilty in a New York federal court Monday morning.

U.S. authorities say that Arbabsiar, 56, of Corpus Christi, Texas, plotted with members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards to kill Saudi ambassador Adel al-Jubeir with a bomb attack at a D.C. restaurant. Arbabsiar, an Iranian-American, attempted to hire hitmen from Mexico's Zetas drug cartel, say officials, but was actually speaking to a DEA informant.

Arbabsiar pleaded not guilty to five counts, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiracy to murder a foreign official.

Gholam Shakuri, whom U.S. officials describe as a member of the Quds force, part of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, is also charged in the alleged plot, but remains at large. He is believed to be in Iran. Arbabsiar was arrested in New York on Sept. 29.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder claimed on Oct. 11 that the DEA and FBI had disrupted a plot "conceived, sponsored and...directed from Iran" to murder al-Jubeir, which potentially would have been followed up by bombings of the Saudi Arabian and Israeli embassies.

The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against five Iranians allegedly tied to the plot and additional sanctions against an airline company allegedly linked to the Quds force.

A lawyer for Arbabsiar did not return requests for comment, but the defendant's wife, Martha Guerrero, said he was wrongly accused.

"I may not be living with him being separated, but I cannot for the life of me think that he would be capable of doing that," she told ABC News' Austin affiliate KVUE, noting the two had been separated some time. "He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm sure of that."

Iranian officials have strongly rejected the U.S. accusations, calling them a "fabrication." The head of the Iranian mission to the United Nations penned a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressing "outrage" at the allegations.

"The U.S. allegation is, obviously, a politically-motivated move and a showcase of its long-standing animosity towards the Iranian nation," the letter says.

The case, called Operation Red Coalition, began in May when Arbabsiar allegedly approached a DEA informant seeking the help of a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, according to counter-terrorism officials.

Arbabsiar reportedly claimed he was being "directed by high-ranking members of the Iranian government," including a cousin who was "a member of the Iranian army but did not wear a uniform," according to a person briefed on the details of the case.

Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen, expressed "utter disregard for collateral damage" in the planned bomb attacks in Washington, according to officials.

The complaint describes a conversation in which Arbabsiar was allegedly directing the informant to kill the Saudi ambassador and said the assassination could take place at a restaurant. When the informant feigned concern about Americans who also eat at the restaurant, Arbabsiar said he preferred if bystanders weren't killed but, "Sometimes, you know, you have no choice, is that right?"

U.S. officials said Arbabsiar met twice in July with the DEA informant in the northern Mexico city of Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas, and negotiated a $1.5 million payment for the assassination of the Saudi ambassador. As a down payment, officials said Arbabsiar wired two payments of $49,960 on Aug. 1 and Aug. 9 to an FBI undercover bank account after he had returned to Iran.

Officials said Arbabsiar flew from Iran through Frankfurt, Germany, to Mexico City Sept. 29 for a final planning session, but was refused entry to Mexico and later put on a plane to New York, where he was arrested.

Officials said Arbabsiar is now cooperating with prosecutors and federal agents in New York.

"Though it reads like the pages of a Hollywood script, the impact would've been very real and many lives would've been lost," FBI Director Robert Mueller said of the foiled plot.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug172011

Tampa School Massacre Thwarted

Tampa Police say they have thwarted Jared Cano's "catastrophic" plot to blow up a school on the first day of classes. (WFTS/ABC News)(TAMPA, Fla.) -- A Tampa teenager has been arrested and charged with plotting to kill two school officials and 30 students with bombs on the first day of school scheduled for next week in what would have been the most serious school attack since the Columbine massacre.

Jared Cano, 17, wrote a manifesto that detailed his plans for his attack starting at 5 a.m. next Tuesday, Police Chief Jane Castor said at a news conference Wednesday. The manifesto included information about the layout of Freedom High School in Tampa, Fla., and where exactly Cano was planning to place bombs in the school.

Castor also said they recovered bomb making material from his home including fuses, shrapnel, accelerant and plastic tubing. No firearms were found in his family's apartment, police said.

The arrest on Tuesday came just hours after someone alerted police about Cano's alleged plot, Castor said. The tipster's identity has been kept confidential but that person was praised Wednesday as a "hero."

Police said that Cano specified in his manifesto his goal of surpassing the number of students who were killed and injured during the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.

On April 20, 1999, Columbine High School seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, wielding automatic weapons, slaughtered 12 students and one teacher. Another 24 were injured in the 45-minute rampage.

Cano is the latest student to express admiration for the Columbine killers. Seung-Hui Cho sent a tape praising Klebold and Harris before going on a shooting spree at Virginia Tech that left 33 people dead in 2007.

The teen's manifesto targeted two individuals "in the administration at Freedom High School," both of whom have been alerted that they were target, the chief said. Cano expressed feelings of "ill will" towards both of them in the manifesto.

He also targeted 30 students for death, the police said.

Police said they have no reason to believe that anyone else was involved in the bomb plot. They reported that the family, who has been cooperative, did not know that their son had materials to build a bomb in his room.

Cano has been charged with threatening to throw, project, place or discharge a destructive device. He also faces charges for possession of bomb-making materials, cultivation of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.

Lewis Brinson, assistant superintendent for administration of Freedom High School, said school will open on Tuesday as scheduled, with counselors available to students if necessary. Electronic messages have also been sent out to parents of students informing them that the school is working with the Tampa Police Department to keep the school safe.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May062011

Al Qaeda Train Plot: Did Osama Bin Laden Personally Author?

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- American intelligence analysts are seeking an example of the handwriting of Osama bin Laden to see if it matches the handwritten document discovered in his compound that discusses a possible attack on American train lines, according to people briefed on the process.

The document was among the first pieces of evidence translated from Arabic by the CIA-FBI analysts obtained in the Navy SEAL raid because it did not require the decoding that the seized computer discs and hard drives will, according to those briefed.

"The read-out from the electronic media will take much longer," said one person.

Analysts said the proposed rail plot was dated in February, 2010 and indicates a "low-tech" sabotage operation using trees and cement blocks was being considered, suggesting al Qaeda concluded it would be difficult to obtain explosives.

A bulletin issued Thursday by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security and obtained by ABC News said al Qaeda considered conducting the train attack on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

"As of February 2010, al-Qa'ida was allegedly contemplating conducting an operation against trains at an unspecified location in the United States on the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001," the document reads, using an alternate spelling for bin Laden's terror group. "As one option, al-Qa'ida was looking into trying to tip a train by tampering with the rails so that the train would fall off the track at either a valley or a bridge."

In a statement, DHS press secretary Matt Chandler stressed that the message it sent out to its rail partners about a potential al Qaeda plot was "based on initial reporting, which is often misleading and inaccurate and subject to change. We remain at a heightened state of vigilance, but do not intend to issue [a National Terrorism Advisory System] alert at this time." Chandler said the Transportation Security Administration would also send a bulletin to its rail sector stakeholders.

"We have no information of any imminent terrorist threat to the U.S. rail sector, but wanted to make our partners aware of the alleged plotting," said Chandler. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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