Tag: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (page 2)

Osama Steals Credit For Detroit Failed Plane Attack

Osama bin Laden released a videotape yesterday claiming credit for AQAP and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's failed bomb plot on the Delta flight to Detroit on Christmas Day.

In a short recording carried by the Al-Jazeera Arabic news channel, bin Laden addressed President Barack Obama saying the attack was a message like that of Sept. 11 and more attacks against the U.S. would be forthcoming.

"The message delivered to you through the plane of the heroic warrior Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was a confirmation of the previous messages sent by the heroes of the Sept. 11," he said.

"America will never dream of security unless we will have it in reality in Palestine," he added. "God willing, our raids on you will continue as long as your support to the Israelis will continue."


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Captain Underpants vs. Professor Poopy-Pants?

Marc Lynch has a new post at Foreign Policy, Don't Let Captain Underpants Bring Back the GWOT, on the mass over-hysteria about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and his failed bomb plot on the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

But is too much to ask that the national discourse over the failed bomber be more mature and analytical than "Captain Underpants vs Professor Poopypants "?

Lynch cites with approval this WAPO op-ed, "Don't Panic, Fear is Al Qaida's Real Goal," which is well-worth a read. He also correctly notes: [More...]

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Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab Attends Court, Not Guilty Plea Entered

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab appeared in federal court in Detroit today. A guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

His head was shaved, which according to observers, made him look even younger than his 23 years.

He is represented by the Federal Defender's office. His parents have hired U.S. lawyers from Nigeria to observe the proceedings and keep them informed, but Federal Defender Miriam Siefer (an excellent attorney) told the court their office expects to continue to represent Umar.

Umar faces a possible life sentence on the first count in the Indictment, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

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Yemen: Abdulmutallab Got Explosives at Nigeria Airport

A senior Yemeni official today in explaining Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's movements, says he got the explosive device during his layover in Lagos, Nigeria when changing planes, not in Yemen. His layover, they have previously said, was 35 minutes.

But the official, Rashad al-Alimi, the deputy prime minister for national security and defense, cited Yemeni investigations and said that the Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, had acquired the explosives used in the failed attack not in Yemen, which he left on Dec. 4, but in Nigeria, where he changed planes at the Lagos airport on Dec. 24, boarding a flight to Amsterdam and then Detroit.

There are some inconsistencies. And where was he between December 4 and December 24? Ghana says he arrived there on December 9, from Ethiopia. They believe he had a 4 hour lay-over in Nigeria. (This can't be too hard to check.)

And more speculation on the role of cleric al Awlaki.

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Report on Detroit Plane Intel Failures , Obama To Discuss

The White House is releasing a declassified version of the security review of the alleged attempted terror attack by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Christmas Day.

President Obama will speak at 4:30 pm, ET. You can watch him live at the White House website here.

Following the report, Obama is expected to unveil new steps aimed at avoiding further attacks. The BBC also reports that Yemen's Deputy Prime Minister Rashad al-Alimi said today that Abdulmutallab met with cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Shabwa, the Yemeni province where he lives and that Abdulmutallab was recruited while a student at the University College London (UCL). The Guardian is reporting Yemen may arrest al Awlaki.

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Abdulmutallab Indicted in Michigan

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23 year old Nigerian failed "underpants bomber," has been indicted in Michigan.

The six count Indictment, returned today, is here.

The charges include attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder, attempt to destroy an aircraft, willfully placing a destructive device on an airplane, possession of a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence, and carryng/using a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence.

The first count carries a possible penalty of life in prison.

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U.S. and U.K. Close Yemen Embassies

The U.S. and U.K. closed their embassies in Yemen due to threats by al Qaida Arabian Peninsula (AQAP.)

The embassy statement is here.

Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan told ABC's This Morning:

“I spoke with our ambassador in Sana, Steve Seche, early this morning and last night, looked at the intelligence that is available as far as the plans for al Qaeda to carry out attacks in Sana, possibly against our embassy, possibly against U.S. personnel,” Mr. Brennan said. “We decided it was the prudent thing to do to shut the embassy.”


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Changing Theories on the AQAP Failed IED Attack on Saudi Prince

Experts are now questioning prior accounts of the August 28, 2009 failed IED assassination attempt by a suicide bomber on Saudi prince Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

AQAP quickly claimed control of the attack. It was believed that the suicide bomber, Abdullah Hassan Taleh al-Asiri, had hidden the bomb in his anal cavity, and that it was activated by remote control cell phone signals. Here's a pretty good Stratford account.

The video above, which shows a happy al-Asiri describing the attempt ahead of time, also contains the cell phone call that occurred during al-Asiri's meeting with the prince 14 seconds before the bomb went off (killing only al-Asiri), and explains the then widely-accepted version of how it went down. [More...]

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Obama Directly Blames AQAP in Yemen For Detroit Attack

Even though Al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula, an off-shoot of the central al Qaeda took responsibility last week for the failed Detroit plane attack of Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, today was the first time that President Obama directly accused the group. In his radio address, he said:

"We know that [Mr Abdulmutallab] travelled to Yemen, a country grappling with crushing poverty and deadly insurgencies," said Mr Obama, who is on holiday in Hawaii.

"It appears that he joined an affiliate of al-Qaeda, and that this group, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, trained him, equipped him with those explosives and directed him to attack that plane headed for America."

Obama also discussed the U.S. planned response: [More...]

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Abdulmutallab : Keeping Focus As The Story Changes

There's so much anonymous source material being touted in news articles, it's difficult to ascertain who's got the details right.

ABC News now has a different version of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's father's reasons for contacting authorities regarding his son. Now, it's an alarming last phone call he made to his father.

ABC News' sources said that during Abdulmutallab's final call, he told his father the call would be his last contact with the family. He said that the people he was with in Yemen were about to destroy his SIM card, rendering his phone unusable.

And, the father went to Nigerian intelligence authorities who promptly took him to the CIA. [More...]

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Al Awlaki Confirms He's Alive, New Connections to Abdulmutallab

The question seems to be, has American born Muslim cleric Al Awlaki gone from inspirational to operational?

ABC News reports he confirmed by phone to a reporter today that he is alive and the Yemeni strike last week missed him and his house. The WSJ has more on Al Awlaki who is emerging as a key figure in the investigation.

The Washington Post reports Rashad Mohammed al-Alimi, Yemen's deputy prime minister for defense and security affairs, also says Al Awlaki is alive and that he may have met with Abdulmutallab at a house in Shabwa in Southern Yemen. The school he attended in August and September may have been a cover.[More...]

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The National Counterterrorism Center May Have Dropped The Ball

The New York Times, in reporting on the security failures responsible for failing to detect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and his failed bomb attempt, focuses on the National Counterterrorism Center -- and discloses there was electronic surveillance:

That's the agency that supposed to act as a fusion center, connecting dots in information received from various agencies, so that the failures in intelligence gathering associated with 911 don't happen again.

The remedy, proposed by the Sept. 11 commission and passed by Congress in 2004, was to place a single director of intelligence over the nation’s 16 spy agencies. At the core would be the National Counterterrorism Center.

...Intelligence analysts from one agency now routinely serve for a time in another agency, to develop personal ties. Databases of suspected terrorists are far more complete and accessible. The ban on hoarding data is strictly enforced.

So what's the problem? Maybe we're wiretapping so much and accumulating so much information, much of which is useless, it's not possible to accommodate it all and isolate the information that matters. [More...]

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