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Entries in Plot (6)

Monday
Oct222012

Jordan Foils ‘Major Terrorist Plot’

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(AMMAN, Jordan) -- Eleven men have been arrested by Jordanian intelligence services which accuse them of planning a “major terrorist plot” involving an attack on shopping centers, residential buildings and foreigners, including diplomats.

Jordan’s state-run news agency, Petra, reported on Sunday that the plan was uncovered months ago during its early stages as the accused terrorists carried out surveillance on potential targets and armed themselves with explosives, guns and mortars.

The men were described as “terrorists associated with the ideology of Al Qaeda.”  Photos posted on the agency’s website showed four of the men with the bushy beards often associated with Salafism, an ultra-conservative brand of Islam.

The plot, it was reported, was dubbed “9/11 (2),” and would start with an attack on diplomats in hotels.  Then, two shopping malls would be bombed, followed by other attacks using TNT and “new types of explosives to be used for the first time.” 

Some of the weapons allegedly came from Syria and the accused were said to have consulted with al Qaeda explosives experts over the Internet.  Suicide bombers and car bombs would also be used.

The Jordanian authorities said the group was “under constant surveillance at every stage” and that they had started choosing members to carry out the attacks.

“Their objective was to create a highly destructive explosive that would cause the highest number of casualties and extensive physical damage,” said the statement on the Petra website.

Jordan has not seen the protests and violence that many of its neighbors have during the so-called Arab Spring, but discontent with the ruling monarchy is growing.  Earlier this month, King Abdullah II dissolved parliament and new elections have been announced for January.  Around 15,000 people, most of them supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, called for reform on Oct. 5 in the biggest demonstrations the country has seen since the Arab Spring began.

Jordan has also taken more than 200,000 Syrian refugees, with that number expected to grow dramatically in the coming months as the violence in Syria continues unabated.  A second refugee camp is due to open to cope with the influx.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May102012

Russia Says It Foiled Sochi Olympics Terror Plot

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- Russian authorities said on Thursday they have foiled a terror plot targeting the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Ten weapons caches, which included anti-aircraft missiles capable of taking down low-flying planes, were uncovered in Abkhazia, one of the breakaway regions that Russia defended in a brief war with Georgia in 2008, according to the Russian news agency Interfax.

The report quotes a spokesman for the Russian National Anti-Terrorist Committee as saying that the Federal Security Service (the FSB, which replaced the KGB), has determined that terrorists planned to move the weapons to Sochi in the next two years with the intention of staging an attack during the Olympic games on the Black Sea coast.

Interfax reported that the FSB, in cooperation with Abkhazia’s State Security Service, raided a series of sites last week as part of an investigation into the Abkhaz Jamaat, which the report says is part of a Chechen terror group that has declared an independent Islamist state called the Caucasus Emirate.

The United States announced last year a $5 million reward for information leading to Doku Umarov, the leader of the Caucasus Emirate.

The weapons stashes reportedly included three Igla and Strela model portable air missile defense systems, two anti-tank missile systems, a mine launcher with 36 shells, a flame gun, 29 grenade launchers, 12 improvised explosive devices, 15 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, 655 shells for a grenade launcher, 39 grenades, a sniper rifle, two automatic weapons, 15 kilograms of TNT, and more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition.  Authorities also found topographic maps of the area.

Interfax quotes a Russian official pointing the finger at Georgia, saying the weapons entered from there.  It says that three people were detained during the operation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb272012

Plot to Assassinate Russian PM Vladimir Putin Foiled, State TV Says

ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Russian and Ukrainian authorities say they have foiled a plot to assassinate Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

According to reports on Russian state-owned Channel One TV, two men were arrested in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, where they were allegedly learning to make homemade explosives.  The duo was said to have been planning to place mines along Putin's daily route to work sometime after the March 4 election, in which the prime minister is expected to win.

In interrogation videos that were aired on TV, the two men admitted to the plot.  One man appeared bloodied and confessed he was hired by the infamous Chechen militant leader Doku Umarov.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct172011

Iran 'Ready to Study' Alleged Assassination Plot, Official Says

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(TEHRAN, Iran) -- Iran is "ready to study" allegations by the U.S. that elements of the Iranian government "directed" a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to America in or outside a crowded Washington, D.C. restaurant, Iran's foreign minister said Monday.

Washington has been trying to "mislead the world public opinion" against Iran, but the Middle Eastern nation is now "ready to study the case patiently, urging Washington to present any existing documents on the issue," Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency reported, paraphrasing Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. Salehi made the comments while warning Saudi officials to be "cautious towards such U.S. scenarios," IRNA said.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week the DEA and FBI had disrupted a plot "conceived, sponsored and...directed from Iran" to murder the Saudi Arabian ambassador in the U.S. capital which potentially would have been followed up by bombings of the Saudi Arabian and Israeli embassies. The U.S. said an Iranian-American, 56-year-old Manssor Arbabsiar of Corpus Christi, Texas, was working for elements of the Iranian government -- specifically Iran's elite military unit the Quds force -- when he attempted to hire hitmen from the feared Zetas Mexican drug cartel to carry out the hit, but Arbabsiar was unwittingly speaking to a DEA informant from the start.

Iranian officials had previously said the alleged plot was nothing more than a "fabrication" and a "politically-motivated move" in a new wave of anti-Iranian propaganda.

However, top U.S. officials, including President Obama, said the U.S. is confident that the allegations made against Iran could be clearly backed up by evidence.

"We would not be bringing forward a case unless we knew exactly how to support all the allegations," Obama said Friday.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said last week the U.S. had been in direct contact with Iran and had also briefed representatives for a number of other nations on the details of the alleged plot.

Nuland said Thursday that while the scheme seems "like something out of a movie... As you begin to give more detail on what we knew and when we knew it and how we knew it, it has credibility."

Obama said during his Friday address Iran "would pay a price" for their alleged actions -- even if it was not clear Iran's top leaders had participated in or were even aware of the alleged plot.

"Even if at the highest levels there was not detailed operational knowledge, there has to be accountability with respect to anybody in the Iranian government engaging in this kind of activity," the president said. "The important thing is for Iran to answer the international community why anybody in their government is engaging in these kinds of activities."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May112011

Osama Bin Laden Operational Journal Among Evidence from Raid

CNN via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A journal apparently handwritten by Osama bin Laden is among the trove of evidence recovered by U.S. Navy SEALs in the operation that killed the al Qaeda leader more than a week ago, U.S. officials said Thursday.

The notebook, which was described by one official as a "professional journal," detailed al Qaeda doctrine, potential targets and how to carry out attacks against them. U.S. intelligence analysts conducted a handwriting analysis of the journal and believe it was personally written by bin Laden, who another official described as a "meticulous note-taker."

The notes describing potential plots against the U.S. rail system -- which prompted an advisory from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security last week -- were part of the journal, officials said.

Previously, officials said the evidence recovered from bin Laden's compound amounted to a veritable "playbook" of al Qaeda operations, from potential terror attack targets to information on international safe houses and other top commanders.

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 on the 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 FBI and Department of Homeland Security bulletin 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 at the time 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."

Analysts have been poring over the documents in the nine days since bin Laden was killed and still no imminent plots have been discovered, though officials said there is still much work to do.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May062011

Osama Bin Laden Raid: Al Qaeda 'Playbook' Revealed

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. intelligence is now in possession of a veritable "playbook" of al Qaeda operations -- from potential terror attack targets to information on international safe houses and top commanders -- thanks to the Navy SEAL raid that took down Osama bin Laden Sunday, officials told ABC News on Friday.

The cache of electronic and handwritten materials includes numerous hallmark al Qaeda plots including attacks on infrastructure targets such as water supply and transportation including rail and air. In the past, al Qaeda planned for attacks on water supplies have included an interest in mining dams and in poisoning water supply. In the days since the SEAL raid, intelligence experts have also have found what appears to be information about safe houses around the world and about al Qaeda leadership.

It is unclear just how active bin Laden was in coordinating any operations or in blessing overall strategies and plots. What is clear, officials said, is that intelligence analysts see weeks ahead of data mining and linking the cache of materials to past knowledge of plots that has come from detainees, cases and various forms of intercepts and surveillance.

While as yet no specific plots have been uncovered, there is a clear interest in attacks on the for most prominent U.S. cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

The materials make clear that while at times in the past it has been suggested that dates are not a factor in Al Qaeda attack planning, in fact, one of the terror group's aspirations was to launch attacks on symbolic dates like Sept. 11, in hopes of giving even greater resonance to any success.

A bulletin issued Thursday by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security and obtained by ABC News describes the terror organization's chilling desire to derail a train 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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