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Entries in bombs (13)

Friday
Jun012012

Bombings in Iraq Kill 18, Wound 53

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- At least 18 people were killed in Iraq Thursday by a series of bomb blasts that mostly targeted Shiite civilians in Baghdad.

Government officials said it was the bloodiest day in over a month as more than four dozen others were wounded by the attacks believed to have been carried out by either al Qaeda or Sunni insurgents.

The deadliest bombing occurred outside a restaurant frequented by Shiites in a northwestern section of the capital.

According to police, 13 people died when a car bomb exploded, while 37 others were treated for injures.  Some said the blast could be heard from blocks away.

The attacks are raising fears that Iraq may be headed toward another round of sectarian warfare that nearly destroyed the fragile democracy in 2006.

Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been criticized for trying to consolidate power and marginalizing Sunnis and Kurds in the process.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May102012

Powerful Bomb Blasts Leave Dozens Dead in Syrian Capital

LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/GettyImages(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- Two powerful explosions Thursday in the Syrian capital of Damascus have left dozens dead and hundreds more wounded, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

Witnesses at the scene said the blasts that apparently targeted the government's military intelligence building were caused by car bombs.

It's expected that the number of fatalities will rise, certain to make the attack the deadliest in Damascus since the government crackdown on political dissidents began in March 2011.

While no one has yet taken responsibility for the bombings, President Bashar al-Assad will likely retaliate against rebel forces that he has previously labeled "terrorists" spurred by "foreign agitators."

The assault also underscores the failure of the six-point ceasefire agreement, which includes deploying United Nations monitors to Syria, to slow down the hostilities.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May092012

Al Qaeda Bombmaker Designs Bombs to Hide in Cameras, Hard Drives and Pets

Saudi Interior Ministry/Landov(NEW YORK) -- At the age of only 30, the al Qaeda bombmaker behind the foiled plot on U.S-bound planes has emerged as the most feared face of terror for American authorities, a master technician with a fierce hatred for America and ingenious plans for hiding hard-to-detect bombs inside cameras, computers and even household pets.

Again and again, Ibrahim al-Asiri has created bombs that get past security screening -- the underwear bomb targeting a Detroit-bound jet in 2009, bombs hidden in printer cartridges set to explode over Chicago, even a bomb hidden in the body of a younger brother who was sent on a suicide mission against a Saudi official.

A Saudi citizen who studied chemistry in college, al-Asiri's parents say he became radicalized after the death of a brother.

"It makes him dangerous," said Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., chair of House Homeland Security Committee, "and it's clear that we want to make sure that he doesn't have the opportunity to...continue to do, to build any device whatsoever, or impart his knowledge to anyone else who wants to build these devices."

U.S. authorities tell ABC News that al-Asiri's latest designs involve bombs surgically implanted in terrorists, as well as bombs hidden in pets to be carried on aircraft, cameras, and external hard drives that would explode when plugged into a laptop computer.

"[He's] very innovative in trying to find some way to get a bomb onto an airplane that will evade detection from airport screeners," explains Seth Jones, former senior advisor to the U.S. Special Operations Command and author of the just-published Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida since 9/11.

The bombmaker's hatred of the U.S. adds to the threat. "Ibrahim al-Asiri absolutely hates the United States," said Jones. "[He] hates what the U.S. culture has brought to the world. [He]'s a violent supporter of the ideology of Osama bin Laden and has tried desperately, as hard as he can, to put a bomb together that will detonate and kill as many Americans as he can. He hates American ideology. He hates Western values."

Jones said that al-Asiri is also "operationally very savvy." According to Jones, he not only designed and built the device that underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to use to take down Northwest flight 253, he was also worked with AQAP leader Anwar al-Awlaki on how to preserve the bomb and how to detonate it for maximum effect. Said Jones, "In other words he's not just building the material himself, he's interested in working with the operatives so that they can actually detonate it and kill as many Americans as possible."

Because of the threat of al-Asiri and his al Qaeda group, AQAP, the United States has vastly expanded its drone operations in Yemen, with the U.S. military and the CIA given the freedom to operate in large zones.

Al-Asiri has survived at least one U.S. drone strike in the last year.

While al-Asiri and al Qaeda's latest plot was foiled by a double agent working for U.S. and allied intelligence agencies, authorities tell ABC News there are several other plots aimed at U.S. airlines that are at the least in planning stages if not further along.

Now, the FBI continues to pore over the latest al-Asiri bomb that the double agent was able to bring out of Yemen, but at airports across the country security officials say they have yet to be briefed or receive any concrete guidance about the details of the bomb or what steps need to be taken to guard against it.

Al-Asiri's twisted genius means the threat from al Qaeda remains very real and active. But even if he were to be killed by a drone strike, said Jones, the threat would not disappear.

"Taking out al-Asiri would take out the most competent bombmaker in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," he said. "But as we've seen in Pakistan with senior al Qaeda leaders, they can replace these individuals. It may not be with somebody as technically savvy for the moment, but just taking somebody out does not mean that the problem goes away. They have other bomb experts, so they will try again."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr302012

Syrian TV Agency Says Several Dead in Bombings

LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images(BEIRUT) -- A state-run news agency in Syria says at least eight people are dead and dozens injured after two security buildings in the north-western city of Idlib were bombed early Monday morning.

According to a report from the BBC, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 20 people died in the attacks targeting security forces.

State TV says the attacks are the result of two terrorist bombs, with the Observatory claiming the bombs exploded next to the Air Force Intelligence headquarters and the Military Intelligence building.

The United Nations says its deploying monitors to Syria in an effort to oversee a peace plan, according to the BBC.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr192012

Dozens Killed, Wounded in Series of Bombings in Iraq

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- A series of bombings across Iraq Thursday morning left dozens dead and many more injured, marking the deadliest day in the country in nearly a month.

Blasts were reported in Baghdad, Baqouba, Dibis, Kirkuk, Samarra and Taji, and went on for about an hour and a half.  Security forces and government officials appeared to be the primary targets.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but officials say the attacks bear similarities to those carried out by al Qaeda

Thursday was the deadliest day in Iraq since March 20, when more than 40 people were killed and hundreds were wounded by shootings and bombings carried out by insurgents ahead of an Arab League summit.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb232012

Dozens Dead, Hundreds Wounded After Multiple Bombings in Iraq

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- Iraq came under siege on Thursday as dozens were killed and hundreds wounded in a coordinated series of attacks throughout the country.

At least 43 people died as the result of 16 car bombings as well as roadside explosions that seemed to mainly target Iraqi security forces, who’ve been criticized for not being able to contain al-Qaeda and radical militias since U.S. forces withdrew at the end of last year.

Meanwhile, the number of injured will likely reach 300 as hospitals fill up in and around Baghdad and in other Iraqi provinces.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the widespread assaults with many of the fatalities occurring in the capital.  At a Baghdad checkpoint, attackers used both guns with silencers and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to kill six police officers.

In one of Thursday’s most violent attacks, a car bomb in Musayab, south of the capital, left two people dead and wounded 95 others.

Multiple bombings were also reported in Diyala province east of Baghdad, in northern Salahidine province and in the Kurdish city of Kirkuk, where insurgents struck two police patrols with car bombs, taking the lives of eight officers and injuring two dozen more.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb222012

Bangkok Bomb Plot: Photos Show Explosives Hidden in $27 Radio

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- An alleged Iranian hit squad used $27 portable radios to hide at least five bombs that Israeli and American authorities say they intended to use against Israeli targets in Bangkok, Thailand.

Exclusive photos of one undetonated bomb, obtained by ABC News, show the inside of the radio packed with tiny ball bearings and six magnets.  Bomb experts say the magnets indicate the bomb was designed to be stuck to the side of a vehicle.

A surveillance photo of one of the alleged hit squad members, identified as an Iranian national named Saeid Moradi, shows him holding a radio in each hand.

According to authorities, a bomb exploded in the Bangkok house where Moradi and two other Iranians had been staying.  After the blast, Moradi attempted to hail a cab.  When the driver refused to pick him up, he allegedly threw a grenade, injuring four bystanders.

When police approached, Moradi allegedly threw another grenade, but lost both of his legs when it bounced back and exploded near him, according to Thai authorities.  He was arrested following the incident and remains in custody in Thailand.

After the attack, police say they discovered two unexploded bombs in the house where Moradi and the other Iranians had been staying, including the one shown in the photos.

The authorities in Bangkok say they recovered more than a pound of white military explosive from one unexploded bomb that they said was to be detonated with an M26 hand grenade fuse.  The photos show a pin that when pulled, authorities said, would trigger an explosion about four and a half seconds after it was pulled.

[CLICK HERE TO SEE THE EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS]

Israeli authorities and U.S. bomb experts say the bomb in the photos is strikingly similar to those used in other attacks last week in the republic of Georgia and India.  "While there are small differences," said one U.S. expert, "they appear to be factory made."

Multiple authorities told ABC News the devices were either slipped through airport security or were smuggled in a diplomatic pouch, which are not screened by security.

A magnetic bomb was discovered attached to the car of an Israeli diplomat in Tbilisi, Georgia and a similar device was believed responsible for the attack in New Delhi, which injured the wife of an Israeli diplomat, her driver and two passing motorists.

Iran has denied any connection with the arrests in Bangkok or to the other attacks.

Yoram Cohen, the head of Israeli's internal security service, Shin Bet, told an audience at a closed forum in Tel Aviv recently that Iran is trying to hit Israeli targets because of what it believes are Israeli attacks that have killed at least five scientists in its nuclear program.

What concerns authorities in the U.S. is that should Israel go to war with Iran, Israeli and Jewish targets in the U.S. could be hit by similar bombs in a terror campaign. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan302012

DHS: 62 Tons of Bomb-Making Chemicals Seized Since October 2010

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- More than 62 metric tons of materials used to make improvised explosive devices have been seized and 31 people have been arrested by the United States and other nations under a Department of Homeland Security program to track unusual shipments of the so-called “precursor chemicals,” DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Monday.

“We are working with more than 80 countries to prevent the illegal theft or diversion of precursor chemicals that can be used to make improvised explosive devices or IEDs. Through these efforts we have already seized more than 62 metric tons of these deadly materials,” Napolitano said in a speech on the State of America’s Homeland Security at the National Press Club.

Officials say there have been 31 arrests in conjunction with the program, mostly overseas, and according to the World Customs Organization, seizures have taken place in Afghanistan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uganda. Immigration Customs Enforcement proposed the idea to the World Customs Organization; INTERPOL is also a key partner in the initiative.

The program is an initiative to prevent the theft or illegal diversion of precursor chemicals that can be used to make IEDS by tracking unusual shipments of items such as acetone, ammonium nitrate, nitric acid and urea.

Officials say some of the triggers that flag these shipments and led to the precursor materials being interdicted include large cash payments, inappropriately packaged items, abnormal shipping routes and flags that the customer has no business need for the item being shipped.

“It’s basically a very robust and specific information sharing agreement that allows us to monitor and track the shipments of the kind of chemicals used in manufacture of IEDs and to make sure that as that commerce moves -- and some of these are chemicals that are used in agriculture, for example; they have legitimate uses as well as illegitimate uses,” Napolitano said. “Being able to separate those out and making sure that recipient is the right recipient, getting the right amount, as properly described, is what this information sharing agreement [is about]."

Napolitano said that under the Program Global Shield DHS and over 80 partner nations have recovered over 62 metric tons of precursor chemicals that could be used in IEDS since the program was set up in October 2010.

“Our ability to connect data is so much more robust than it was 10 years ago or indeed even three years ago,” she said. “Our ability to unite different types of databases so we can make the kinds of queries necessary to say, hey, look, we want to know whether this particular chemical is moving and where.” Napolitano said about how officials look for the chemicals.

Napolitano also discussed the wide swath of topics that DHS has to cover -- from natural disasters, immigration policy, airline security and protecting cyberspace.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec062011

Dozens Killed, Injured in Attacks During Holy Holiday in Afghanistan

MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty ImagesUPDATE: The Taliban has issued a statement denying any kind of involvement in Tuesday's attacks in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif.

(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- For the first time, militants targeted Shiite mourners in Afghanistan on one of their holiest holidays Tuesday, setting off bombs in downtown Kabul and the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, according to police officials.

In the most significant attack, at least 54 people were killed and 164 injured, according to the Afghan health ministry, when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the Abul Fazel Shrine in the middle of Kabul, not far from the ministry of defense and the presidential palace.  Reporters at the shrine described a horrific scene, with bodies of the dead and injured strewn across the entry of the shrine and the street outside.

Almost simultaneously, a bomb hidden in a bicycle exploded by a Shiite shrine in Mazar-e-Sharif, the largest city in northern Afghanistan, near the border with Uzbekistan.  Four were killed and 21 others were injured in that attack, according to police.

Tuesday is Ashurra, a national holiday in many Muslim countries that marks the death of the prophet’s grandson Hussein -- an event that helped cement the separation of Shia and Sunni Islam.  Shiites mark the day by mourning, often beating or cutting themselves to reenact the pain that Hussein suffered.

There has been horrible violence on Ashurra in Iraq over the years -- as well as in Pakistan -- but never in Afghanistan, which is why Tuesday's attack is troubling.  The Afghan Taliban is an almost entirely Sunni group, but there has not been major sectarian violence in Afghanistan since the initial U.S. invasion in 2001.  The worry is that this will set off more sectarian attacks and instability in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul062011

Infamous Al Qaeda Bomb Maker Designing 'Belly Bombs'

Creatas/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The latest design from al Qaeda's top bomb maker is a "belly bomb" developed to beat airport security in Europe and the Middle East where full body scanners are not widely used, according to U.S. officials.

A bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security warned, "DHS has identified a potential threat from terrorists who may surgically implant explosives or explosive components in humans to conduct terrorist attacks."

According to U.S. officials, the terrorist would detonate the bomb with a chemical-filled syringe.

"We do not think there would be enough to bring down a jetliner, but it is more likely the kind of bomb to be used in an assassination attempt," said one person briefed on the warnings.

U.S. officials told ABC News the "belly bomb" is the invention of Ibrahim Asiri, a young Saudi native who packed explosives into the rectal cavity of his 23-year old brother Abdullah for a suicide mission targeting the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince bin Nayef.  That bomb exploded prematurely, the officials said, and the only casualty was Asiri's brother.

Asiri is also credited with two other failed plots involving the bomb hidden in the underwear of a passenger on a Detroit-bound flight, and the bombs hidden in printers being shipped from Yemen to Chicago.

A U.S. official says the "belly bomb" threat information was recently obtained and led to the bulletin sent to security services overseas and the aviation security community.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration confirmed in a statement information about a new threat had been passed to U.S. air carriers and foreign partners in a statement.

"DHS/TSA recently briefed air carriers and foreign partners to provide greater insights into recent intelligence indicating the continued interest of terrorists to target aviation," the agency said.  "Due to the significant advances in global aviation security in recent years, terrorist groups have repeatedly and publicly indicated interest in pursuing ways to further conceal explosives."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio