Entries in terror (12)


Japanese Plane Plunges 6,234 Feet in 30 Seconds

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- What goes up, must come down.  Very quickly.  Especially if you press the wrong button.

That lesson was learned the hard way by a Japanese pilot who nearly tipped a plane full of 117 passengers on a flight from Naha, on the southern island of Okinawa, to Tokyo nearly three weeks ago.

The 38-year-old co-pilot at the helm of the All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight hit the wrong button while trying to push the unlock door button to let the captain back into the cockpit after he stepped out to use the restroom.

But instead of pressing unlock, the co-pilot hit the rudder trim controls -- a mistake that tipped the Boeing 737-700 more than 130 degrees to the left and sent it plunging 6,234 feet in 30 seconds, all while flying at a height of 41,000 feet.

Though the incident occurred Sept. 6, it was just revealed Wednesday by ANA, hours after the airline debuted its new-generation Boeing Co. 787 “Dreamliner” jets.  Shin Nagase, a senior executive vice president at ANA, bowed deeply in front of TV cameras at a news conference to apologize for the trouble caused by the incident.

Computer images released by the Japan Transport Safety Board show the plane nearly turning upside down.  Luckily, the flight’s passengers did not seem to realize the gravity of the situation since it was already dark outside when the incident occurred around 10:50 pm.

Two flight attendants were slightly injured, and six passengers became airsick or reported neck pains aboard the flight, which later landed safely in Tokyo.

Four senior ANA officials have been reprimanded by the airline as a result of the incident.  The Japan Transport Safety Board has also launched its own independent investigation into the incident.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Indian Police Search for Four Suspected Terrorists in Mumbai

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(MUMBAI, India) -- A terror alert has been issued in Mumbai, India, where police are searching for four men suspected of entering the city with plans to carry out a terrorist attack.

Indian police believe the men belong to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the militant group based in Pakistan that was allegedly responsible for the three-day terrorist siege in Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people.

The group is planning to strike over the holidays, around the Christmas and New Year festivities, according to police.

"It is going to be a violent attack which will cause disruptions," said Himanshu Roy, the joint commissioner of the Mumbai Police at a news conference. "The four have recently arrived in Mumbai. We believe the threat is serious."

"We are not in a position to reveal their nationalities now but they are LeT members," said Roy, who did release the sketch of one of the four suspected militants.

The four men were named as Abdul Karim Musa, Walid Jinnah, Noor Abul Elahi and Mehfooz Alam.

Police put additional men on duty in public places and set up checkpoints along the city's major roads Friday. They closed roads near the Gateway of India landmark and the Taj Mahal hotel. Traffic and activity in most of Mumbai, however, has remained normal.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Secretary Clinton Defends Raids, Reacts to Karzai's Criticism

File photo. Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday defended the use of special operations raids in Afghanistan after Afghan President Hamid Karzai called for a halt on such actions in an interview with The Washington Post published over the weekend.

“We believe that the use of intelligence driven precision targeted operations against high value insurgents and their networks is a key component of our comprehensive civilian military operations…there is no question that they are having a significant impact on the insurgent leadership and the networks that they operate,” Clinton said. She said the U.S. shared Karzai’s concerns and has discussed them with him.

“We believe that these operations are in the best interest of the Afghan people, the Afghan government and the ISAF troops who are working with their Afghan counterparts to secure the country,” she added.

In a separate interview with The Washington Post, General David Petraeus, the head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, suggested President Karzai’s remarks could undermine the U.S.-led effort there and said he was “astonished and disappointed” with Karzai’s call for reduced military operations and that some raids in the south be discontinued.

Skeptics of putting a timeline on the war, including Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, have argued that it is based on nothing more than politics.

Clinton was careful to note, however, that “the pace of transition of security responsibility obviously depends on the ability of the Afghan National Security Forces and the Afghan National Police forces to be able to take charge. That’s why this a conditions based, gradual transition process, not some one-time event.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Report: US Deploying Predator Drones in Yemen

Photo Courtesy - United States Air Force

(WASHINGTON) -- The Washington Post reports the U.S. has Predator drones deployed in Yemen but has fired no missiles because government officials have no solid intelligence telling them where to shoot.  The Post, quoting unnamed U.S. government sources, says the unmanned Predator aircraft have been there for months but without clear information on al Qaeda operatives' whereabouts, there is no point in shooting. 

The drones would target a branch of al Qaeda that claims to be behind several attacks on U.S. targets that could have been disastrous, had they succeeded.  They include the recent attempt to detonate packages aboard cargo planes and the 2009 Christmas Day attempt to blow up a commercial airliner.

A senior administration official tells the Post that leaders of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have gone into hiding after a series of U.S. cruise missile attacks augmented by Yemeni forces.

Pressed on whether the drones would be free to shoot, a second administration official reportedly said, "The only thing that does fall into the 'no' category right now is boots on the ground."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Militants Ambush NATO Base in Afghanistan

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- An overnight attack on a NATO base in the southeastern Afghan province of Paktika left 30 militants dead and five coalition soldiers wounded.

Insurgents surrounded the post and attacked with small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars before NATO called in close air support.

The attack is the region's second this month.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Canadian Pleads Guilty to Terror Charges

A drawing by artist Janet Hamlin shows Omar Khadr attending a pre-trial session Dec. 12, 2008. Image Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images(GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba) -- The last Westerner held at Guantanamo Bay has pleaded guilty to five terrorism charges, including the murder of an American sergeant during a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan.

Under a plea agreement, a jury of military officers at Guantanamo will decide Omar Khadr's sentence.

Pleading guilty, his lawyers said, could spare the 24-year-old Canadian from a possible life sentence and allow him to be transferred to Canada.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Saudi Intelligence Warns of European Terror Attack

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PARIS) -- Saudi intelligence services have warned their European counterparts of a terrorist attack “on the [European] continent, notably in France,” French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said Sunday.

The threat is said to have originated from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Officials in Europe and the United States are on high alert because of a credible but unspecified threat of commando-style terror attacks by militants with Western passports.

The U.S. State Department on Oct. 3 issued a travel alert for Europe to remind travelers of the potential for terrorist attacks on public transportation and tourist locations.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


French Police Arrest 12 in Separate Anti-Terror Operations

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(PARIS) -- French police have arrested three men on suspicions of aiding would-be terrorists and for an alleged link to an individual thought to be connected to al Qaeda.

According to local reports, the men are believed to be part of a logistical cell that offers accommodation and fake identification to those attempting to enter the country after training in the areas of Afghanistan or Pakistan.

A man police believe to be the cell's leader was arrested this week in Italy.

In a separate operation, French police arrested a woman and eight men on suspicions of arms and explosives trafficking. The arrests follow a nine-month investigation by French anti-terrorism police.

The two sweeps are not believed to be connected. All 12 arrests were confirmed to ABC News by the French prosecutor’s office.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Airport Lobbies Possible Terror Targets in European Plot, Official Says

Image Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Pakistani intelligence officials say that a drone strike inside Pakistan has killed eight German nationals in the Waziristan region of Pakistan. US officials could not immediately confirm the report.

The strike comes a day after the State Department issued a travel advisory for Americans traveling to Europe because of the potential threat of Mumbai-style commando attacks on civilians, possibly by terrorists of German origin based in Waziristan. Authorities learned of the possible plot this summer from a German national who had been training for jihad in Pakistan and was captured in Afghanistan.

In an interview Sunday, Pakistan's Ambassador Husain Haqqani told ABC News that the plot's leaders had been identified and targeted.

"I think that several people who were involved in the plotting have been targeted, and the others are certainly on the radar of U.S., Pakistani and European intelligence services," Haqqani said.

The suspected German militants killed Monday in Waziristan reportedly belonged to a group called Jehad al Islami.

Among the possible targets in the suspected European terror plot are pre-security areas in at least five major European airports, a law enforcement official told ABC News. Authorities believe terror teams are preparing to mount a commando like attack featuring small units and small firearms modeled after the Mumbai attack two years ago.

The State Department issued a highly unusual "Travel Alert" Sunday for "potential terrorist attacks in Europe," saying U.S. citizens are "reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure."

One scenario authorities fear is a repeat of the 1985 attack on the Rome and Vienna airports, when Palestinian extremists threw grenades and opened fire on travelers waiting at ticket counters injuring 140 and killing 19, including a small child.

A curfew was ordered this weekend at Ramstein U.S. Air Force Base in Germany, with soldiers told to remain at home and not to wear uniforms off base "in response to a threat condition," a Ramstein spokesperson said. The U.S. European Command (EUCOM) commented, "With the increased reports of terror activity throughout Europe, the US and its allies are working to ensure the safety and security throughout the region. The US and partner nations are working to investigate and prevent possible terror threats."

But despite public alerts, there are still concerns the terror group may go ahead with attacks.

"If they believe they can pull it off, I think there's every reason to believe they may go ahead and try it," former FBI agent Brad Garrett, now an ABC News consultant. "These plans go together at a particular point in time, and it may be perhaps that they are at a juncture with people, equipment and locations that they need to do it now."

U.S. Homeland Security Issues Terror Bulletin

ABC News reporters checking European airports over the weekend reported no obvious signs of heightened security, but authorities said such steps would not necessarily be visible.

The U.K. upgraded its terrorism warning to "high" from "general" for France and Germany but would not comment on specifics.

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI sent a bulletin to local U.S. law enforcement agencies Sunday morning, saying there was currently no information about specific threats to U.S. targets, but they are monitoring recent terrorist threat reports regarding Europe and would continue to "assess."

The bulletin noted al Qaeda affiliates and those who "follow their ideology" may inspire those with "the ability to access the U.S. legally" and expressed concerns about possible attacks using "small arms, lone shooters and small unit tactics."

Federal authorities urged localities to raise general security awareness, including training private security staff to take note of individuals "loitering for no apparent reason, sketching or pace counting."

In a phone conference with reporters Sunday, State Department officials took pains not to discourage travel to Europe with the alert and gave few concrete steps to take.

"Use common sense," said State Department Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy. "If [tourists] see unattended packages or hear loud noises, quickly move away from them."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


'Key Facilitator' to Alleged Times Square Bomber Held

Photo Courtesy - US Marshals(ISLAMABAD) -- A man described as a 'key facilitator' to the suspect in the failed Times Square car bombing attempt has been detained for his alleged involvement in the May 2010 plot. Faisal Abbasi was apprehended on his way back from Waziristan and has been in custody for some time, ABC News has learned. Suspect Faisal Shazhad has pleaded guilty to his involvement in the bombing and is due to be sentenced Oct. 5 in New York.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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