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Entries in Terror Threat (3)

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
Sep262011

Six Men Arrested in British Counterterrorism Operation to Appear in Court

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Six men who were arrested as part of an extensive counterterrorism operation by British police last week will appear before a court in London on Monday.

The men, aged between 25 and 32, were all detained near or at their homes in Birmingham between Sept. 18 and 19 for allegedly preparing to carry out a terrorist attack in the U.K. or failing to disclose pertinent information.

According to West Midlands police, three have been charged with "planning a suicide bombing campaign/event."  Out of those three, two have also been charged with "travelling to Pakistan for training in terrorism including bomb making, weapons and poison making."

The six men will make their appearance at West London Magistrates Court Monday afternoon.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr072011

FBI Has Interviewed 800 Libyans About Terror Threat

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Armed with scripted questions, FBI agents from ten major field offices including New York, Detroit, and Denver have fanned out across the country and interviewed more than 800 members of the Libyan community to determine if there is any threat of terror attacks against American targets because of U.S. military action in Libya.

The outreach campaign, which started several days ago, was addressed Wednesday by FBI Director Robert Mueller, who said the FBI is interviewing Libyans who live in the U.S. to be "on guard" against any possible terror attacks from Libya or to locate any Libyan agents operating inside U.S. borders.

"We want to make certain that we are on guard for the possibility of terrorist attacks emanating somewhere out of Libya," said Mueller, appearing before the House Appropriations Committee, "whether it be Gadhafi's forces or, in eastern Libya, the opposition forces who may have amongst them persons who in the past have had associations with terrorist groups."

According to officials the outreach included approaches to Libyans in the U.S. on student visas. In some cases students were of specific concern because their core studies were in areas that could have direct application to the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction. The agents have approached students off campus, and all interviews conducted have been voluntary.

At the outset of military operations against Libya, U.S. officials expressed concern that Gadhafi could launch revenge attacks against the U.S. or European nations. Last month, John Brennan, assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said, "Gadhafi has the penchant to do things of a very concerning nature. We have to anticipate and be prepared for things he might try to do to flout the will of the international community."

Officials say one reason for the interviews is Libya's prior involvement in terror attacks like the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Asked whether there might also be danger from Libya's anti-Gadhafi rebels because of rumored ties between some factions and terror groups like Al Qaeda, Mueller said he did not know who those individuals with alleged terrorist links might be. "I'm not certain at this point that anybody really does," said Mueller. "This is an ongoing effort by us at the same time as the State Department and the [Central Intelligence] Agency and others to identity individuals who may be part of the opposition."

Mueller also told the committee that the FBI has concerns about former Gadhafi officials who have defected to the opposition. Said Mueller, "There may well be intelligence officers who are operating with different types of cover in the United States. We want to make sure we've identified these individuals to ensure no harm comes from them, knowing they may well have been associated with the Gadhafi regime."

FBI agents began interviewing large numbers of Libyan U.S. residents earlier this week in regions served by 10 field offices, including New York, Newark, Denver, Washington, D.C., Houston, and Detroit. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a statement Tuesday that reminded individuals of their civil rights when they are contacted by law enforcement but also noted, "American Muslims strongly support law enforcement and the protection of our national security."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







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