-The U.S.A: The concern of homegrown terrorists

September 25EDITORIAL COMMENT

“today’s homegrown terrorists are not limiting their violent plans to locations overseas, but instead are willing to set their sights on American citizens and American targets, right here at home.”

– U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding

SEPTEMBER 25, 2009 –  It’s been a busy week for FBI Special Agents in the United States. For those of us living in other countries and who regularly travel to the U.S. through one of their 300 land, air and sea entry points, we sometimes conclude that their security enforcement agencies over exaggerate their intense interest in who we are. Yet, as the following three news releases attest to, so-called “self-jihadists” continue to look at ways to bring death and destruction to U.S. society. Let us not forget, the United States is ultimately their prime target. Any jihadist taken off of a street in the U.S. is one less for all us to be concerned about.

FBI Arrests Jordanian Citizen for Attempting to Bomb Skyscraper in Downtown Dallas

DALLAS—James T. Jacks, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, and Robert E. Casey,Jr., Special Agent in Charge for the Dallas Office of the FBI, announced today that Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, 19, has been arrested and charged in a federal criminal complaint with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Smadi, who was under continuous surveillance by the FBI, was arrested today near Fountain Place, a 60-story glass office tower located at 1445 Ross Avenue in downtown Dallas, after he placed an inert/inactive car bomb at the location. Smadi, a Jordanian citizen in the U.S. illegally, lived and worked in Italy, Texas. He has repeatedly espoused his desire to commit violent jihad and has been the focus of an undercover FBI investigation.

“The highest priority of the FBI and the Department of Justice remains the prevention of another terrorist attack within the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Jacks. “In that effort, it is the job of the FBI to locate and identify individuals intent upon carrying out any type of attack upon this country and its citizens/residents. Whether as part of a group or acting alone, persons contemplating such acts need to know that all components of the government are working together to ferret out their activities and to insure that such individuals face the full measure of the law. The identification and apprehension of this defendant, who was acting alone, is a sobering reminder that there are people among us who want to do us grave harm,” Jacks continued.

Special Agent in Charge Casey said, “Today’s arrest of Hosam Maher Husein Smadi underscores the FBI’s unwavering commitment to bring to justice persons who attempt to bring harm to citizens of this country and significant danger to this community. Smadi made a decision to act to commit a significant conspicuous act of violence under his banner of “self jihad.” . . .  “The arrest of Smadi is not in any way related to the ongoing terror investigation in New York and Colorado.”. . .

Superseding Indictment in Boyd Matter Charges Defendants with Conspiring to Murder U.S. Military Personnel, Weapons Violations

RALEIGH, NC—United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that on Sept. 24, 2009, a federal grand jury returned a superseding criminal indictment in the Daniel Patrick Boyd matter.

While the superseding indictment returned today includes all of the charges alleged in the original indictment of July 22, 2009, it also includes new charges against three defendants, Daniel Patrick Boyd, aka “Saifullah,” Hysen Sherifi, and Zakariya Boyd, aka “Zak.”

First, the superseding indictment charges Daniel Patrick Boyd, aka “Saifullah,” and Hysen Sherifi with conspiring to murder U.S. military personnel, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1117. The superseding indictment alleges, among other things, that in furtherance of this agreement, Boyd undertook reconnaissance of the Marine Corps Base located in Quantico, Va., and obtained maps of the base in order to plan an attack on Quantico. According to the superseding indictment, Boyd possessed armor piercing ammunition, stating it was “to attack the Americans.” A conviction for conspiring to violate Title 18, United States Code, Section 1117 has a maximum penalty of imprisonment for any term of years or life, and/or a $250,000 fine, followed by five years of supervised release.

Second, Boyd, Sherifi, and Zakariya Boyd, aka “Zak,” are also charged with possession of weapons in furtherance of a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c) . . .

Third, Daniel Boyd is also charged with the providing a Ruger mini 14 rifle and, on a separate date, .223 ammunition, to a convicted felon, each in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922 (d). If convicted, Boyd faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and three years supervised release on each of these charges. U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding commented: “These additional charges hammer home the grim reality that today’s homegrown terrorists are not limiting their violent plans to locations overseas, but instead are willing to set their sights on American citizens and American targets, right here at home.”. . .

Najibullah Zazi Indicted for Conspiracy to Use Explosives Against Persons or Property in the United States

The Justice Department today announced that Najibullah Zazi, 24, a resident of Aurora, Colo., and legal permanent resident of the United States from Afghanistan, has been indicted in the Eastern District of New York on a charge of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction (explosive bombs) against persons or property in the United States.

FBI agents in Colorado first arrested Zazi on Sept. 19, 2009 pursuant to a criminal complaint charging him with knowingly and willfully making false statements to the FBI in a matter involving international and domestic terrorism. Zazi made an initial court appearance on those charges in the District of Colorado on Sept. 21, 2009.

The government will ask that those charges be dismissed and that Zazi be transferred to New York to face this new charge.

Yesterday, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of New York returned a one-count indictment alleging that between Aug. 1, 2008 and Sept. 21, 2009, Zazi knowingly and intentionally conspired with others to use one or more weapons of mass destruction, specifically explosive bombs and other similar explosive devices, against persons or property within the United States. The indictment also alleges that, in furtherance of this offense, Zazi and others traveled in interstate and foreign commerce, used email and the Internet, and that this offense and the results of the offense would have affected interstate and foreign commerce.

“The indictment alleges that Najibullah Zazi conspired with others to use explosive devices against persons or property in the United States,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “We are investigating a wide range of leads related to this alleged conspiracy, and we will continue to work around the clock to ensure that anyone involved is brought to justice. We believe any imminent threat arising from this case has been disrupted, but as always, we remind the American public to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.”

In a detention motion filed in the Eastern District of New York and the District of Colorado, the government stated, “In furtherance of the conspiracy, Zazi received detailed bomb-making instructions in Pakistan, purchased components of improvised explosive devices, and traveled to New York City on September 10, 2009 in furtherance of his criminal plans.” . . .

(News source: NEFA) The NEFA Foundation is a charitable organization created after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The Foundation strives to help prevent future tragedies in the U.S. and abroad by exposing those responsible for planning, funding, and executing terrorist activities, with a particular emphasis on Islamic militant organizations.

(Photo credit: Alsay, Flickr)

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