Entries in Bombing (22)


Mother of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects: 'My Family Is in the Dirt'

Obtained by ABC News(Makhachkala, Dagestan) -- The mother of the Boston bombing suspects said in a tearful phone call with ABC News on Saturday evening that she and her husband plan to travel to the United States to visit their younger son, who was arrested on Friday.

Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said she fears 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is suspected of planting two bombs at Monday's Boston Marathon along with his older brother Tamerlan, will receive the death penalty.

"I lost two sons," she said. "My family is in the dirt."

The mother did not say when she plans to travel to the United States. She fears being unable to do so, despite holding an American passport, because she is now the parent of a suspected terrorist.

Earlier in the day, Tsarnaeva and her husband Anzor Tsarnaev sought to avoid the crowd of media that descended upon the capital city in the restive region of Dagestan.

In an apparent attempt to foil journalists, relatives told those seeking interviews that the couple had left town. But just hours later the father was spotted jumping into his car near his home in central Makhachkala.

Neighbors described the family as friendly and normal.

"He wasn't too religious," one neighbor said about the father. "There was no fanaticism."

In the village outside the capital where the mother's relatives live, few were willing to talk about the family.

In the phone call with ABC News, Tsarnaeva reiterated claims made by her husband in earlier interviews that both of their sons were framed by the U.S. government.

She said her oldest son Tamerlan, the 26-year-old who was killed by police early Friday, was investigated two years ago by the FBI only because "he loved Islam" and said he "didn't do anything bad."

The FBI said in a statement released Friday that it investigated Tamerlan in 2011 at the behest of a foreign government, though it did not reveal which one.

"The request stated that it was based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country's region to join unspecified underground groups," the FBI statement said.

The bureau said that in response to the request it combed through its databases and interviewed the man and members of his family, but did not find any evidence he was tied to terror groups.

"The FBI did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign, and those results were provided to the foreign government in the summer of 2011. The FBI requested but did not receive more specific or additional information from the foreign government," the FBI statement said.

"They were all afraid of Tamerlan," his mother said, referring to the U.S. government. "They wanted to eliminate him as a threat because he was in love with Islam. For the last five years they were following him."

The anxiety of losing both her sons, Tsarnaeva said, is debilitating. She described feeling so sick she has to call for an ambulance every two and a half hours.

"I don't know how to live like this," she said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Four Dead After Bombing at Pakistani Court Complex

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ISLAMABAD) -- Four people were killed and 27 others were injured after a pair of suicide bombers tried to enter a courtroom in northern Pakistan on Monday, a senior police official said.

One of the attackers blew himself up at the entrance of the judicial complex in Peshawar; the other was shot by police.

A female judge was among the injured.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


International Manhunt Launched for Bomber’s Mystery Accomplice

Interpol(WASHINGTON) -- An international manhunt is on to identify, capture and question a man suspected of being an accomplice in a deadly suicide bombing that targeted Israeli tourists in Bulgaria in July.

Bulgarian police released three images of the man – two computer-generated and one a driver’s license photo – who they describe as possibly being of Middle Eastern origin, standing between approximately 5’7″ and 5’9″ and being able to speak English with an accent, according to a notice posted on Interpol’s website.

The man is sought in connection with the July 18 suicide bombing of an Israeli tour bus at the Burgas airport that claimed the lives of five Israelis as well as the Bulgarian bus driver and injured dozens more. The remains of the actual attacker, who also has not been identified, were discovered among the wreckage. In early August, Bulgarian police released a computer-generated image of what the suicide bomber may have looked like – a young, white male with dark hair.

Days after the attack, Bulgarian officials told ABC News they were on the lookout for several possible suspects, and two weeks ago Bulgaria’s Ministry of the Interior first posted the new computer-generated images of the supposed accomplice on its website.

Within hours of the blast, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he suspected Iran was behind the bombing and claimed it was only the latest attack in a “global pattern” of Iran-backed aggression targeting Israelis. Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman, said the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah had carried out the attack with the help of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. A day after the bombing, The New York Times reported that American officials also believed Hezbollah was responsible and had acted under guidance from Iran.

For its part, Iran “vehemently rejected” the accusation and instead said that Israel was behind the attack, Iran’s semi-official Press TV reported last month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Report: Iran's Revolutionary Guard Accused in Israeli Embassy Bombing

File photo. ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW DELHI, India) -- Five members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard tried to kill an Israeli diplomat with a magnetic bomb this February, according to a police report cited by the Times of India, an Indian newspaper.

This is the first time the Revolutionary Guard, a militia close to Iran's supreme religious leader Ayatollah Khamenei, has been directly linked to the failed attack on an Israeli embassy vehicle in New Delhi, which injured the wife of the Israeli defense attaché, her driver and two bystanders. Observers have speculated that alleged attacks or plots by Iranian suspects against Israeli targets in Thailand, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kenya and India are retaliation for the recent assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists that the Iranians blame on Israeli or Western agents.

U.S. officials have linked Iran's Revolutionary Guard to an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. that was disrupted in 2011. Attorney General Eric Holder identified one of the defendants as an Iran-based member of the Quds force, a special unit of the Revolutionary Guard.

Interpol had issued arrest warrants for four of the suspects in the New Delhi attack in March. The Times of India, citing the police investigation, adds biographical detail, describing Houshang Afshar Irani, who allegedly drove past the Israeli car on a motorcycle and attached the "sticky" explosive device, as a builder. Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, the alleged mastermind, is identified as a salesman. Their alleged accomplices, Syed Ali Mahdiansadr and Mohammed Reza Abolghasemi, are identified as a "mobile shopkeeper" and a clerk at the Tehran water authority, respectively.

Two of the men are also wanted by Thai police in connection with an alleged plot to attack Israeli targets in Bangkok. On Feb. 14, the day after the New Delhi attack, several men allegedly fled a rented Bangkok house after an explosion inside. One of the men allegedly blew off his own legs while attacking a taxi driver and police with bombs as he tried to leave the scene. Police allegedly found two unexploded bombs in the house vacated by the Iranians.

The Times of India says Indian police are seeking Ali Akbar Norouzishayan, who Thai police claim was spotted on security camera footage leaving the Bangkok house after the explosion. Interpol has not issued a warrant for Norouzishayan, whom the Times describes as a retired accountant in Tehran.

Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, also sought by the Indians, is being held in Malaysia, where he is fighting his extradition to Thailand. He was arrested in Kuala Lumpur while attempting to return to Iran a day after the Bangkok blast. Indian authorities have also reportedly accused him of taking part in a plot in Tbilisi, Georgia, where an unexploded bomb was found on an Israeli vehicle the same day as the New Delhi bombing.

The five suspects reportedly entered India on tourist visas, according to media reports citing local police, and left after the attempted assassination. An Indian journalist, Syed Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi who was employed by the Iran's IRNA news agency in New Delhi, was arrested in March in connection with the attack as an alleged accomplice.

Over the past several years, at least five scientists linked to the Iranian nuclear program have been killed, and Iran has blamed the U.S., the U.K. and Israel for the attacks. Several were killed using magnetic "sticky" bombs attached to vehicles. Some of the apparent reprisal attacks allegedly carried out by Iranian suspects used the same method.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Syrian President's Brother-in-Law, Defense Minister Die in Bombing

AFP/Getty Images(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- A bombing at Syria's national security building has killed the country's defense minister and the Syrian president's brother-in-law, and wounded other senior officials, Syrian state-run TV said.

Defense Minister Dawoud Rajha, 65, died in the attack Wednesday after four days of battles in which Syrian troops used tanks and helicopters against rebels. Rajha is the most senior official to die during the country's civil war, which has escalated since the spring of 2011.

The country's 62-year-old Deputy Defense Minister Assef Shawkat, who is Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law and a top aide, also died in the attack, according to Syrian State TV.  A source in Damascus confirmed to ABC News that that Shawkat was dead on arrival to the hospital.

State television reported that the country's interior minister, Mohammad Ibrahim al-Shaar, is in stable condition after being wounded in the attack. The head of the national security office, Hisham Bekhtyar, was reportedly critically wounded.

The Free Syrian Army and Islamist rebel group Liwa al-Islam claimed responsibility for the attack.

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In a statement made on the group's Facebook page, Liwa al-Islam said it "targeted the cell called the crisis control room in the capital of Damascus."

"We announce to Syrians in general and those in the capital Damascus in particular that thanks to God the national security office, which includes the crisis management cell in the capital Damascus, has been targeted with a bomb planted by the 'Chief of the Martyrs' battalion that is attached to Islam Brigade," the statement read.

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi appeared on State TV after the attacks, blaming "foreign elements" and calling it a "terrorist bomb attack."

"[This is a] cowardly act that will only increase the determination of the army to chase them and only add to our resolve," al-Zohbi said.

He also blamed Arab and Western governments and their intelligence services for the attack for which those responsible "will pay for dearly."

It is still unclear whether it was a suicide bomber in a car near the building or someone who was able to get close to the Syrian leaders who carried out the attack. The attack was close to Assad's residence.

The attack came during a meeting of cabinet ministers and senior security officials that included Rajha, Shawkat, Syria's interior minister, the country's head of intelligence and the head of national security.

Al Jazeera reported that Defense Minister Shawkat's bodyguard carried out the attack.

Wednesday's attack comes amid the worst violence the capital has seen during this uprising. Continued reports of clashes have been met by a huge mobilization by the Syrian army to quash the uprising.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the attacks in a statement Wednesday highlighting an "urgent need" to impose a resolution on the Assad regime.

"This incident, which we condemn, confirms the urgent need for a chapter VII resolution of the UN Security Council on Syria," he said. "The situation in Syria is clearly deteriorating. All the members of the UN Security Council have a responsibility to put their weight behind the enforcement of joint special envoy Kofi Annan's plan to end the violence.

"We call on all parties to refrain from violence," he said, "and for the Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities."

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday morning that the attack is "a real escalation in the fighting" and that the increased fighting and loss of life "tells us that this is a situation that is rapidly spinning out of control."

Both Panetta and British Defense Minister Phillip Hammond warned Syria not to use its chemical weapons stockpiles against its civilian population.

"We will hold them responsible should anything happen with regards to those sites," Panetta said, adding that the United States and its allies are working "very closely together to ensure that they are ensuring their responsibilities to effectively secure these chemical sites."

Panetta urged the United States and the international community to use what pressure they can to bring Assad to step down through the peaceful transition laid out in the Annan Plan.

"We are very concerned" by the increasing loss of life in Syria, Panetta said.

Syrian National Council member Ausama Monajed told ABC News that he believes the explosives were planted and not triggered by a suicide bomber. Monajed said he believes the attack was planned for two months, and warned of more attacks in the coming days.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Norway Shooter Anders Breivik Gets the Stage at Trial’s Close

ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images(OSLO, Norway) -- After closing arguments today, a Norwegian court will determine the fate of Anders Breivik, the right wing extremist who confessed to killing 77 people -- most of them teenagers -- in a rampage in Norway last July. But the shooter may have already won part of what he wanted all along: a world stage to spread his anti-Muslim message.

At the end of his trial, which began in April, Breivik took the stand to say that he was justified in killing dozens of youths at a summer camp for the country's liberal party and that history would exonerate him, according to local and international media reports. Breivik, who has confessed to the killing, said it was "self-defense," a preemptive strike against Muslims and "multi-culturalism" he believed were taking over Europe.

"History shows that you have to commit a small barbarism to prevent a bigger barbarism," the 33-year-old Norwegian said Friday. "The attacks on July 22 were preventive attacks to defend the indigenous Norwegian people... I therefore demand to be acquitted."

In what was described as a rambling statement, Breivik also decried perceived faults in the world, everything from Norwegians with non-Norwegian roots participating in the Eurovision Song Contest to the flippant attitude towards sex featured in the television series Sex in the City. Breivik claimed that fellow right-wing compatriots were behind a recent bomb scare at a Swedish nuclear plant.

Family members of several of Breivik's victims who were present in the court reportedly responded to the diatribe by walking out.

The court is expected to rule on the issue of Breivik's sanity before passing sentence. He will either be sent to prison or a psychiatric facility. Prosecutors have asked that he be ruled insane, but Breivik has argued that he was sane during the shooting and considered being called insane the "ultimate humiliation."

Regardless of the outcome, Breivik appears to have accomplished a key part of his plan to battle mutli-culturalism, as laid out in a 1,500-page manifesto posted online just before the massacre.

The meticulous manifesto describes a 60-year "war" against minorities in Europe waged by a secret group called the new Knights Templar and says that getting arrested is all part of the plan.

"Your arrest will mark the initiation of the propaganda phase," Breivik wrote. "Your trial offers you a stage to the world."

"In light of your newly acquired status as a living martyr for the cause, this newly acquired influential position will allow you to significantly contribute to further consolidation of either a national or pan-European Overseer organization or the establishment of a national prison movement (preferably political)," he says. "Alternatively: Escape from prison and initiate your 'bonus operation.'"

As of this report, no new right-wing pan-European Overseer organization has been identified.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Consulate in Libya Bombed by Militant Group

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- In the first attack on a Western mission since the ouster and death of Col. Moammar Gadhafi last fall, an American diplomatic mission in eastern Libya was bombed Wednesday by a militant group claiming the assault was meant to avenge the death of al Qaeda operative Abu-Yahya al-Libi, a fellow Libyan.

No one was hurt in the bombing at the consulate office in the city of Benghazi, which was largely left undamaged.  Still, the U.S. State Department condemned the bombing, which occurred two weeks before free parliamentary elections are to take place in Libya.

A group called the Brigades of Captive Omar Abdul Rahman left leaflets at the scene to take credit for the attack, which it said was in retaliation for this week's CIA drone missile strike in Pakistan that killed al-Libi, who was the top deputy of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The leaflets also contained a statement from the group, named after an Islamic militant jailed in the U.S., that said it had "prepared a message that will soon reach America in response to polluting the skies of the defiant city of Derna.”

Derna is an eastern city known for fueling the Islamic militancy in Libya.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dozens Killed after Car Bomb Explodes in Somali Capital

U.S. State Department(MOGADISHU, Somalia) -- As many as 65 people were killed in Somalia on Tuesday when a truck filled with explosives went off in a crowded area near a university in Mogadishu, according to a Somali government spokesman.

Soldiers, civilians, and students were among those killed.  Several others were wounded, including the country's minister of health.

Al-Shabab, an Islamic militant group linked to al Qaeda, told the BBC it was responsible for the attack.

Tuesday's bombing was the largest attack in Somalia's capital since al-Shabab pulled out of Mogadishu in August.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gunfire, Possible Explosion at Kabul Building Believed to House CIA

ABC News(KABUL) -- Gunfire and a possible explosion Sunday night rattled the building believed to house the CIA office in Kabul.

It wasn’t clear if the incident took place inside the building or just outside the entrance.

At least one helicopter has landed outside the building, according to local journalists.

The building is in the single most secure part of Kabul and used to be known as the Arianna Hotel until 2002, when it was believed to have been taken over by the CIA. It is just a few feet from one of the entrances to the Presidential Palace, and between two NATO military bases, as well as down the road from the U.S. embassy.

The attack appears to be the third major incident in Kabul in as many weeks — the most violent stretch in the capital in two years. Before the attack began, a U.S. official said an assault two weeks ago on the U.S. embassy and NATO base was likely the “beginning of a trend” of attacks on U.S. installations in Kabul.

The incident began at approximately 8 p.m. local time, when people inside the NATO military headquarters and the U.S. embassy both reported hearing gunshots. The embassy staff was briefly locked down, according to a U.S. official.

Spokesmen for the NATO military coalition in Kabul said they did not have any information about the incident.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Nigeria Bombing 'Horrific and Cowardly,' President Obama Says

A crowd looks on as rescue teams work in the debris of the United Nations House in Abuja on August 26, 2011.Henry Chukwuedo/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama on Friday condemned what authorities believe was a suicide car bombing at a United Nations building in the Nigerian capital of Abuja that claimed at least 18 lives.

BBC News reports a spokesman for the Islamist organization Boko Haram took credit for the attack in a telephone call with the UK news outlet.

Here is the full statement from the president:

I strongly condemn today’s horrific and cowardly attack on the United Nations headquarters building in Abuja, Nigeria, which killed and wounded many innocent civilians from Nigeria and around the world.  I extend the deepest sympathies of the American people to the victims and their families, colleagues, and friends, whom we will keep in our thoughts and prayers.

The people who serve the United Nations do so with a simple purpose: to try to improve the lives of their neighbors and promote the values on which the UN was founded -- dignity, freedom, security, and peace.  The UN has been working in partnership with the people of Nigeria for more than five decades.  An attack on Nigerian and international public servants demonstrates the bankruptcy of the ideology that led to this heinous action.

The United States strongly supports the work of the United Nations and its lasting bond with the people of Nigeria, a bond that will only emerge stronger in the wake of this murderous act.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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