General security, policy
1. Report: Iran may be month from a bomb; Rift widens on Iranian nuclear deal as Israel, Arabs warn against allowing enrichment
2. US nuclear officers napped with blast door left open
3. Report: Chinese military engaged in political warfare against the United States
4. Boston Marathon 'bomber' tied to 2011 killings
5. Brothers plead guilty in WA to conspiracy to illegally export firearm parts to Thailand
6. Ramzi Yousef's lawyer now representing Abu Anas Al Liby; won't say how he is getting paid; Appeals court affirms Ahmed Ghailani verdict
7. One Via Rail terror suspect to seek bail, other in legal limbo
8. Facebook, Twitter grapple with terrorists' use of social media for messaging, communications
9. Canadian pleads guilty in NY to terrorism charges in connection with Tamil Tigers
10. ACLU asks DOJ to probe surveillance of Muslims by NYPD
Air, rail, port, health, energy & communication security
11. How FBI nabbed Northeast Portland man accused of pointing laser beams at planes
12. Wall Street learns from simulated cyber attack
13. Bottom line drove security clearances at USIS, former employees say
Financing, money laundering, fraud, identity theft, civil litigation
14. NJ man sentenced in long-running, international counterfeit goods trafficking Sscheme
15. NY federal appeals court holds Lebanese Canadian Bank can be sued by terror victims
16. Indictment unsealed, posters issued for fugitives charged in multimillion-$ int'l cyber fraud scheme
17. Twelve charged in LA in ATM card skimming scheme that caused thousands in losses to banks
18. Naturalized US citizen charged with immigration fraud for failing to disclose terrorism conviction
19. Spy chief distances Saudis from US; move raises tensions over policies in Syria, Iran and Egypt
20. Foreign jihadists storm Syria in record numbers; In a weapons shell game, Russia is still arming Syria
21. Algerian troops find huge arms cache on Libya border; UN adds Benghazi suspect to al Qaeda sanctions list
22. Ya'alon: West Bank seeing 'infectious wave of terror attacks,' but no signs of intifada; PA forces thwart Hamas attack drone plot in West Bank; Makeshift grenade hurled at Israeli school bus in West Bank
23. In Nigeria, wedlock seen as terror fix
24. Intel agencies warn against threat to Israeli tourists in Rajasthan
25. Sochi Olympic security concerns arise after Russian bus bombing; Bomber may have targeted shopping center
26. Belgium dilemma over Syrian 'jihadis'
27. EU says distrust of US on spying may harm terror fight
Comment / analysis
28. IPT News: Palestinian Bomber's Chicago Arrest Triggers Misguided Anger
The Investigative Project on Terrorism Update is designed for law enforcement, the intelligence community and policy makers for non-profit research and educational use only. Quoted material is subject to the copyright protections of the original sources, which should be cited for attribution, rather than the Update.
GENERAL SECURITY, POLICY
Iran could produce enough weapons-grade uranium to build a nuclear bomb in as little as a month, according to a new estimate by one of the USA's top nuclear experts.
Oren Dorell, USA TODAY 8:20 a.m. EDT October 25, 2013
IPT NOTE: The cited report is posted at http://isis-online.org/uploads/isis-reports/documents/Breakout_Study_24October2013.pdf, and summary at http://www.isis-online.org/uploads/isis-reports/documents/Breakout_Study_Summary_24October2013.pdf
Iran could produce enough weapons-grade uranium to build a nuclear bomb in as little as a month, according to a new estimate by one of the USA's top nuclear experts. The new assessment comes as the White House invited Senate staffers to a briefing on negotiations with Iran as it is trying to persuade Congress not to go ahead with a bill to stiffen sanctions against Iran. "Shortening breakout times have implications for any negotiation with Iran," stated the report by the Institute for Science and International Security. "An essential finding is that they are currently too short and shortening further." David Albright, president of the institute and a former inspector for the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, said the estimate means that Iran would have to eliminate more than half of its 19,000 centrifuges to extend the time it would take to build a bomb to six months…
Rift widens on Iranian nuclear deal as Israel, Arabs warn against allowing enrichment
By Joby Warrick, Washington Post Published: October 23 | Updated: Thursday, October 24, 8:53 AM
Correction: Earlier versions of this article, including the Thursday print edition of The Washington Post, misstated one of the conclusions of an independent analysis released Wednesday. The study calculated that Iran is now capable of producing enough weapon-grade uranium to fuel an atomic bomb in less than six weeks, using the equipment and know-how it already has. The Obama administration on Wednesday acknowledged a widening gulf with key Middle Eastern allies over nuclear talks with Iran, as Israeli and Persian Gulf Arab leaders pressed for drastic cuts to Iran's atomic infrastructure that Tehran has insisted it will never accept. The differences came into stark relief as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to lecture Secretary of State John F. Kerry at a joint news conference, warning against a "bad deal" that would allow Iran to retain any capability to make enriched uranium. Iran, which last week began a new round of nuclear talks with the United States and five other world powers, says it will never agree to give up its right to make uranium fuel for peaceful nuclear energy…
By Robert Burns-Associated Press Wednesday, October 23, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Air Force officers entrusted with the launch keys to long-range nuclear missiles have been caught twice this year leaving open a blast door that is intended to help prevent a terrorist or other intruder from entering their underground command post, Air Force officials said. The blast doors are never to be left open if one of the crew members inside is asleep — as was the case in both these instances — out of concern for the trouble an intruder could cause, including the compromising of secret launch codes. Transgressions such as this are rarely revealed publicly. But officials with direct knowledge of Air Force intercontinental ballistic missile operations told The Associated Press that such violations have occurred, undetected, more times than in the cases of the two launch crew commanders and two deputy commanders who were given administrative punishments this year. The blast door violations are another sign of trouble in the handling of the nation's nuclear arsenal…
Report shows use of semi-secret front groups, influence operations aimed at 'disintegrating enemies'
BY: Bill Gertz October 22, 2013 4:59 am Washington Free Beacon
China's military is using covert political warfare operations to influence U.S. policies and opinions toward Beijing while working to defeat perceived enemies like the United States and Taiwan, according to a report on the sub-rosa activities. The activities of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Political Department (GPD) include funding pro-China activities abroad, recruiting intelligence sources, spreading propaganda, engaging in media activities, funding front groups that promote Chinese strategy and goals and supporting perceived "friends" of China. The report is the first public study of Chinese military political warfare and was produced by the Project 2049 Institute, http://www.project2049.net/documents/PLA_General_Political_Department_Liaison_Stokes_Hsiao.pdf, an Arlington, Va. think tank focused on bringing democracy to China and other Asian countries by 2049…
4. Marathon 'bomber' tied to 2011 killings
By Associated Press October 23, 2013 | 4:03am
BOSTON — Slain Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was named as a participant in an earlier triple homicide by a man who was subsequently shot to death while being questioned by authorities, according to a filing made by federal prosecutors in the case against his brother, surviving bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. According to the filing made Monday, Ibragim Todashev told investigators Tamerlan Tsarnaev participated in a triple slaying in Waltham on Sept. 11, 2011. In that case, three men were found in an apartment with their necks slit and their bodies reportedly covered with marijuana. One of the victims was a boxer and friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Todashev, a 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter, was fatally shot at his Orlando home during a meeting with an FBI agent and two Massachusetts state troopers in May, authorities said. He had turned violent while being question, according to authorities. The filing is prosecutors' attempt to block Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from getting certain information from authorities, including investigative documents associated with the Waltham slayings…
Government Filing Accuses Slain Boston Marathon Bomber in 2011 Triple Homicide
by Abha Shankar • Oct 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm IPT News
… In their filing, prosecutors argued against providing Tamerlan's brother, and surviving Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev, access to information, including investigative documents, related to the Waltham triple murder. Dzhokar Tsarnaev "might want access to the information now in order to prepare to defend against it," prosecutors said. They argued that "the government had already disclosed to Tsarnaev that, according to Todashev, Tamerlan Tsarnaev participated in the Waltam triple homicide"…
Bellevue Resident and Brother from Thailand Face up to Five Years in Prison
US Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington October 22, 2013
Two brothers who were arrested in June 2013 in connection with a conspiracy to illegally ship firearms parts to Thailand, have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle to conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. NARES LEKHAKUL, 36, a lawful permanent resident of Bellevue, Washington, pleaded guilty today and NARIS LEKHAKUL, 42, a Thai citizen arrested in June 2013 at SeaTac Airport pleaded guilty last week. Both men are scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones on January 24, 2014. In their plea agreements the brothers admit that NARIS LEKHAKUL, while living in Thailand, identified the firearms parts he wanted ordered and shipped overseas. Initially the gun parts were sent to his brother NARES' home in Bellevue, Washington, where NARES LEKHAKUL attempted to disguise the shipments which were sent on to Thailand. After one shipment was seized in 2011, NARIS LEKHAKUL recruited four other people to receive the shipments of firearms parts, disguise them, and send them on to Thailand…
Published October 22, 2013 Associated Press
NEW YORK – An alleged Al Qaeda member accused in a pair of 1998 U.S. embassy bombings maintains his innocence and was shaken by the experience of being snatched off the streets of Libya and interrogated for a week aboard an American warship, his new lawyer said Tuesday. Abu Anas Al Liby "is upset because he was seized in front of his home at gunpoint and blindfolded, and not knowing why," the attorney, Bernard Kleinman said following a hearing in federal court in Manhattan. Al Liby, also known as Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, was indicted more than a decade ago in the twin 1998 bombings at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans. He was brought to the United States last week and pleaded not guilty while being represented by two federal defenders. Kleinman -- whose clients have included Ramzi Yousef, the convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and another man detained at Guantanamo -- said he had been retained privately to represent Al Liby. The 49-year-old defendant confirmed in court through an Arabic interpreter that he wants Kleinman as his lawyer. Kleinman declined to discuss how he was being paid following the hearing…
By JOSH GERSTEIN 10/24/13 10:10 AM EDT The Daily Beast
IPT NOTE: The opinion is posted at http://www.investigativeproject.org/ext/11139
The U.S. government did not violate the rights of Al Qaeda operative Ahmed Ghailani by holding him for nearly five years in a Central Intelligence Agency interrogation program and at Guantánamo Bay before bringing him to New York to face criminal charges, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld Ghailani's conviction on a conspiracy charge related to the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, as well as his life sentence on that charge… The ruling (posted here) could have major significance in other cases by boosting the legal legitimacy of holding suspects under military detention for a period of time and then transferring them to the civilian criminal justice system, as was done earlier this month with another embassy bombing suspect, Abu Anas Al-Libi…
7. One Via Rail terror suspect to seek bail, other in legal limbo
BY SAM PAZZANO, TORONTO SUN OCT 21, 2013 02:31 PM EDT | UPDATED: 08:18 PM EDT
TORONTO - Alleged Via Rail terrorist Raed Jaser will seek bail on Nov. 20, while his co-accused — Chiheb Esseghaier — remains in legal limbo, representing himself on serious charges as a trial date may loom next year. The 31-year-old Esseghaier is looking for a defence lawyer who shares his belief that he ought to be tried by the Qur'an, not the Criminal Code. Jaser's lawyer John Norris said so far Esseghaier hasn't found a lawyer, but it's possible a judge could appoint a "friend-of-the-court" counsel who will represent the Tunisian on legal matters and protect his rights to a fair trial. On Monday, Norris asked and received the adjournment for his client's bail hearing, which was scheduled to begin that day. Justice Ian Nordheimer granted the adjournment until Nov. 20, after Norris informed him that a surety was out of the country. Crown attorney Sarah Shaikh consented to the delay for the bail hearing, which is expected to last three days…
8. Islamist Terrorists Shifting from Web to Social Media
Facebook, Twitter grapple with terrorists' use of social media for messaging, communications
BY: Bill Gertz October 23, 2013 4:59 am Washington Free Beacon
Social media giants Facebook and Twitter are grappling with terrorists who are moving from websites to microblogs as a way to spread propaganda, recruit members, and communicate. U.S. officials familiar with efforts to monitor social media say Islamist terrorists have increased their use of social media in recent months. Currently, numerous U.S. and allied intelligence agencies are engaged in large-scale efforts to monitor online activities by Islamists, jihadists, and terrorists. Based on those agencies' reports, the intelligence services are having a difficult time balancing the need to keep track of terrorist group members and their statements when the Twitter and Facebook accounts are shut down for advocating violence or otherwise promoting illegal activities. On the one hand, spy agencies want social media to allow some of the terrorists' Twitter and Facebook accounts to remain open to keep tabs on them. The postings often can provide clues to online friends' and followers' locations and in some cases they can be traced electronically. In most cases, terrorists' accounts that are closed or suspended for advocating violence are quickly re-opened using slightly different names…
9. Canadian pleads guilty to terrorism charges in connection with Tamil Tigers
Piratheepan Nadarajah admitted to a conspiracy to acquire anti-aircraft missiles and attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
By: The Canadian Press, Published on Wed Oct 16 2013
BROOKLYN, N.Y.—A Canadian man has pleaded guilty in the United States to two terrorism offences in connection with the Tamil Tigers. Piratheepan Nadarajah, from Brampton, admitted to a conspiracy to acquire anti-aircraft missiles and attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Online court records, updated Wednesday, show that Nadarajah pleaded guilty last week in New York to the two counts. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 31, 2014. Prosecutors alleged Nadarajah and co-conspirators negotiated with an undercover FBI agent to buy and export $1 million of high-powered weapons and military equipment for the Tamil Tigers. Nadarajah was extradited last year alongside Suresh Sriskandarajah, who pleaded guilty in July to conspiring to provide material support to the Tamil Tigers…
By Sari Horwitz, Published: October 24, 2013 Washington Post
The American Civil Liberties Union asked the Justice Department on Thursday to investigate efforts by the New York City Police Department to conduct surveillance in Muslim communities. In a letter http://www.investigativeproject.org/ext/11126 signed by 125 state and national organizations, the ACLU and the other groups urged the Justice Department's civil rights division to open a probe of the "unlawful religious profiling and suspicionless surveillance of Muslims in New York City and beyond."… The Justice Department is reviewing the letter, spokeswoman Dena Iverson said...
AIR, RAIL, PORT, HEALTH, ENERGY & COMMUNICATION SECURITY
Lasers directed at aircraft can disorient and temporarily blind pilots, according to the FBI and Federal Aviation Administration. fbi.gov (FBI)
By Bryan Denson October 24, 2013 at 4:56 PM, updated October 25, 2013 at 5:59 AM
Police and FBI agents earlier this month employed a novel technique to catch a Northeast Portland man accused of pointing a high-powered laser beam at airliners descending into Portland International Airport.
Agents and Portland police flew airplanes over the vicinity after dark in August to draw the attention of the person responsible for aiming big green beams at the cockpits of airliners, causing extreme danger to air crews and passengers, according to an FBI affidavit http://media.oregonlive.com/portland_impact/other/laser.pdf unsealed Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court. When the beam struck one of the investigation team's planes, police and FBI agents drew a bead on the locale where it appeared to originate, Special Agent Jake Green wrote in the affidavit. Then they secretly installed surveillance cameras outside an apartment on the city's northeast side. The cameras eventually captured their suspect, Stephen F. Bukucs, aiming a laser at two commercial airliners, according to the affidavit…
12. Wall Street learns from simulated cyber attack
A cyber attack targeting the financial markets is not science fiction. To hone its defenses in the event of an attack , Wall Street tests its systems in a simulation dubbed 'Quantum Dawn 2'
Adam Shell, USA TODAY 4:11 p.m. EDT October 21, 2013
NEW YORK — Driving home just how serious the growing threat of cyber attacks are on financial markets, the industry stress-tested its trading systems and crisis management responses with simulated malicious attacks in an exercise dubbed 'Quantum Dawn 2'. And the results of Friday's test made public today by a Wall Street industry group showed a "resilient" market but one that must also remain vigilant against constant attacks. The simulation, which included "multiple" attacks aimed at causing systemic harm and enough disruption to the financial system to shut down the market, also identified areas in which the industry can do better. "Cybersecurity is a top priority for the financial industry," said Judd Gregg, a former U.S. Senator and current CEO of The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, or SIFMA….
13. Bottom Line Drove Security Clearances at USIS
Company Rushed Investigations to Meet Targets, Former Employees Say
By DION NISSENBAUM Updated Oct. 24, 2013 11:04 p.m. ET Wall Street Journal
About seven months before his company gave Edward Snowden a clean background check, Bill Mixon was flogging his executives for not pushing security clearances through fast enough. Mr. Mixon, then chief executive of US Investigations Services LLC, warned managers at its Grove City, Pa., operations that USIS wasn't meeting targets for completing clearances, say former USIS officials. Federal agencies use those clearances to decide who gets access to America's secrets… It was a demand, former USIS officials say, that Mr. Mixon made repeatedly that year: Do what it takes to finish background checks, even if they aren't thoroughly vetted. Mr. Mixon didn't respond to requests for comment…
FINANCING, LAUNDERING, FRAUD, IDENTITY THEFT, CIVIL LITIGATION
U.S. Attorney's Office District of New Jersey (973) 645-2888 October 22, 2013
NEWARK, NJ—A Passaic County, New Jersey man was sentenced today to a year and a day in prison for participating for several years in an international conspiracy to sell counterfeit sneakers and bedding smuggled from the People's Republic of China (PRC) into the United States, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Aref Abuhadba, 50, of Totowa, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to traffic in counterfeit goods. Judge Cavanaugh imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court. According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:…
15. N.Y. Trial of Lebanese Bank Held to Satisfy Due Process
By Mark Hamblett, October 22, 2013 New York Law Journal
reprinted at http://www.israellawcenter.org/page.asp?id=&show=photo&pn=1422&ref=report
IPT NOTE: Judge Sack's opinion is posted at http://www.investigativeproject.org/ext/11129. The panel issued a second opinion the same day per curiam on another issue, posted at http://www.investigativeproject.org/ext/11130.
A Lebanese bank that allegedly used an account in New York City to transfer millions to the financing arm of Hizballah can be sued in New York for deaths and injuries caused by that organization's rocket attacks in Israel in 2006, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said due process is not violated by allowing a lawsuit to proceed against the Lebanese Canadian Bank, whose sole contact with the Southern District was a correspondent bank account with American Express. The court's decision in Licci v. Lebanese Canadian Bank, 10-1306-cv, reinstates a cause of action against the bank brought by Israeli, American and Canadian citizens who were injured, or whose family members were killed or injured, during a wave of attacks by Hizballah in Israel in July and August 2006... Judges Robert Katzmann, Amalya Kearse and Robert Sack decided the due process question after having the New York Court of Appeals resolve open questions on New York's long-arm statute, N.Y. C.P.L.R. 302(a)(1)…
16. Indictment Unsealed and Wanted Posters Issued for Fugitives Charged in Multi-Million-Dollar International Cyber Fraud Scheme
U.S. Attorney's Office Eastern District of New York (718) 254-7000 October 24, 2013
Earlier today, charges were unsealed against Romanian fugitive Nicolae Popescu, the leader of an international organized crime syndicate that ran a multi-million-dollar cyber fraud scheme, and six other fugitives charged with participating in the same scheme. Interpol has issued red notices to foreign law enforcement partners seeking assistance in the apprehension of these fugitives, and the FBI has also released wanted posters (links to which are at the conclusion of this release) to facilitate their arrests… As alleged in the complaint and subsequent indictment…
Devices Placed on ATMs Captured Card Numbers and Personal Identification Numbers
FBI Los Angeles, Public Affairs Specialist Laura Eimiller (310) 996-3343 October 24, 2013
LOS ANGELES—Twelve members of an organized criminal group operating in southern California have been charged for their roles in an ATM skimming conspiracy that victimized U.S. banks and customers, causing losses in the hundreds of thousands. Nine of the 12 defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud in a criminal complaint unsealed yesterday in United States District Court. Three defendants were charged in connection with the conspiracy in a second criminal complaint filed today... Utilizing the newly coded bank cards and captured PINs, the defendants allegedly made cash withdrawals from ATMs in Los Angeles, Orange County, Las Vegas, and San Francisco…
BORDER SECURITY, IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS
IPT NOTE: US Customs & Border Protection, http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/ & http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/border_security/border_patrol/press_announce_lp.xml; US Immigration and Customs Enforcement http://www.ice.gov/news/ ; Canada Border Services Agency http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan (313) 226-9100 October 22, 2013
IPT NOTE: Court documents posted at http://www.investigativeproject.org/case/652
A naturalized United States citizen who was convicted in Israel for participating in a terrorist bombing was charged with immigration fraud, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today… Special agents arrested Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 66, at a Chicago-area residence after the unsealing of an indictment filed in federal court in Detroit. The indictment charges procurement of citizenship unlawfully. The indictment alleges that Odeh was convicted in Israel for her role in the 1969 bombings of a supermarket and the British Consulate in Jerusalem, which were carried out on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization. According to the indictment, Odeh and others placed multiple bombs at the British Consulate and in a supermarket. One of the bombs placed at the supermarket detonated, killing two and injuring others. A bomb placed at the Consulate caused structural damage to the facility. Odeh was sentenced by Israeli military authorities to life imprisonment but was released after 10 years as part of a prisoner exchange, and she then returned to the West Bank. The indictment alleges that in 1995, she immigrated to the United States and naturalized as a citizen in 2004. In her immigration documents filed in the United States, the indictment alleges, Odeh omitted her arrest, conviction, and imprisonment overseas, which were material facts for the United States government in determining whether to grant her citizenship…
MIDDLE EAST / AFRICA
Prince Bandar's Move Raises Tensions Over Policies in Syria, Iran and Egypt
By ELLEN KNICKMEYER Wall Street Journal Updated Oct. 21, 2013 10:56 p.m. ET
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief told European diplomats this weekend that he plans to scale back cooperating with the U.S. to arm and train Syrian rebels in protest of Washington's policy in the region, participants in the meeting said. Prince Bandar Bin Sultan al-Saud's move increases tensions in a growing dispute between the U.S. and one of its closest Arab allies over Syria, Iran and Egypt policies. It follows Saudi Arabia's surprise decision on Friday to renounce a seat on the United Nations Security Council… Diplomats here said Prince Bandar, who is leading the kingdom's efforts to fund, train and arm rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, invited a Western diplomat to the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah over the weekend to voice Riyadh's frustration with the Obama administration and its regional policies, including the decision not to bomb Syria in response to its alleged use of chemical weapons in August…
20. Foreign jihadists surpass Afghan-Soviet war, storm Syria in record numbers
By Kristina Wong The Washington Times Sunday, October 20, 2013
Foreigners fueled by Islamic fury are rushing to Syria to fight President Bashar Assad at a faster rate than the flow of rebels into Afghanistan in the war against a Soviet-backed regime in the 1980s, analysts say. An estimated 5,000 to 10,000 foreign fighters have come to Syria since the outbreak of the uprising in March 2011. "This is probably one of the biggest foreign-fighter mobilizations since it became a phenomenon in the 1980s with the Afghan jihad against the Soviets," said Aaron Y. Zelin, a Washington Institute researcher who studies al Qaeda and Syria. The number of foreigners in Syria has not reached the level in Afghanistan three decades ago, but that civil war lasted nine years, while the Syrian rebellion is 2 years old. Mr. Zelin said the rate of foreign recruits streaming into Syria is "unlike anything else." The foreign fighters — called jihadists, or holy warriors — come from at least 60 nations. Most are Arabs from Saudi Arabia, Libya and Tunisia, but a few dozen are from Western Europe, particularly Britain, Belgium, France and the Netherlands, Mr. Zelin said. Ten to 20 fighters have come from the United States, he said. Analysts say fighters join the rebellion out of a sense of religious duty to help fellow Sunni Muslims, but they become radicalized because the most powerful rebel groups are affiliated with al Qaeda…
In a Weapons Shell Game, Russia Is Still Arming Syria
Even as inspectors carry out a Russian-brokered deal to rid Syria of chemical weapons, Moscow is sending artillery, attack helicopter parts, and rockets to Assad. Eli Lake reports.
by Eli Lake The Daily Beast Oct 22, 2013 4:29 PM EDT
As international inspectors make unexpected progress in securing Syria's chemical weapon facilities, its chief arms supplier continues to prop up its conventional forces, according to two senior lawmakers. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Rep. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Russia was continuing to sell spare parts and other components for Syria's anti-tank and air defense systems—as well as attack helicopters. "The Russians have not disrupted their resupply of the Syrians," Rogers said. "This includes very sophisticated systems that could be just as dangerous the chemical weapons." That assessment is supported by Rep. Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Speaking to reporters Tuesday, he said he supported the deal brokered by Russia to help disarm Syria's chemical weapons, but he also acknowledged Moscow "will continue to sell Assad conventional weapons to keep him propped up for now…
Thu, Oct 24 2013 By Lamine Chikhi Reuters
ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algerian troops discovered a huge arms cache near the border with Libya, including hundreds of surface-to-air missiles, rockets and landmines, an Algerian security source said on Thursday.
"It is an arsenal of war," the source, who asked not to be named, told Reuters, adding that it likely belonged to militants. Algeria is worried about violence spilling over from neighboring Libya, where a fragile central government is struggling to contain militias and Islamist militants operating in its lawless southern desert. The source said the cache was found in Illizi in southern Algeria, about 200 km (125 miles) from the Amenas gas plant, which Libyan-based Islamist militants attacked in January, killing nearly 40 foreign contractors. The weapons included 100 anti-aircraft missiles, more than 500 MANPAD shoulder-launched rockets often used against low flying aircraft like helicopters, and hundreds of rocket launchers, rifles, landmines and rocket-propelled grenades, the source added. He did not give further details on how or when the arms were recovered….
Written by Thomas Joscelyn on October 24, 2013 12:12 AM The Long War Journal
The United Nations added Muhammad Jamal al Kashef, a longtime subordinate to al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, to its sanctions list on Oct. 18. The UN's sanctions web page for Jamal, as he is commonly known in intelligence circles, contains many of the same details included in the US government's designation earlier this month. [See LWJ report, State Department designates longtime Zawahiri subordinate.] However, the UN mentions two key aspects of Jamal's career that were omitted from the announcement of the US government's designation. The UN notes that both Jamal and members of his network (the Muhammad Jamal Network, or "MJN") are "reported to be involved in the attack on the United States Mission in Benghazi, Libya, on 11 Sep. 2012." The US announcement did not mention Jamal's connection to the attack in Benghazi, even though it was first reported by The Wall Street Journal and subsequently other outlets, including The Long War Journal. The UN describes Jamal as the head of the "Nasr City terrorist cell in Egypt in 2012." The Long War Journal has reported on Jamal's role in the Nasr City cell, which has multipleties to al Qaeda…
Defense minister says terror unlikely to stop prisoner release, blames PA incitement for recent attacks.
By JPOST.COM STAFF 10/22/2013 14:35
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Tuesday warned that an "infectious wave of terror attacks" was being seen in the West Bank over the past month, but said he did not see signs of a third intifada. Speaking during a tour of Hebron, Ya'alon said that six terror attacks had taken place in the West Bank over the past month, but added that they were carried out by individuals and did not have an organization such as Fatah or Hamas behind them. Ya'alon blamed continued incitement by the Palestinian Authority for the attacks. He said, however, that the defense establishment does not see signs of a popular uprising. "We don't see the motivation for this or preparations for this and we are doing everything in our power to prevent it." Ya'alon said that "popular terror attacks" such as rock throwing and Molotov cocktail throwing were actually down in recent months as compared to April of this year…
PA forces thwart Hamas attack drone plot in West Bank
Israeli defense officials confirm that terror cell operating near Hebron planned to launch explosive-laden UAV at targets in Israel
BY AVI ISSACHAROFF The Times of Israel October 25, 2013, 9:53 am
Palestinian security forces recently uncovered a terror cell in the West Bank plotting to launch unmanned aerial vehicles laden with explosives at Israel, Palestinian security officials told The Times of Israel Friday. During intensive activities near Hebron, in which PA security authorities arrested Hamas activists at the city's university, officers uncovered a terrorist network in the advanced stages of planning to launch a UAV into Israel. Multiple suspects were arrested and the plot was foiled. Investigation of the cell found that Hamas operatives had already run several test flights on the drone, and had intended to attach explosives to it in order to strike targets in Israel… The Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah has flown intelligence-gathering drones into Israeli territory on two separate occasions in the past year: The Israeli Air Force shot down a drone it said was operated by Hezbollah in April; and in October 2012, another Hezbollah UAV was downed over southern Israel…
Makeshift grenade hurled at Israeli school bus in West Bank
IDF: No injuries, damage reported in incident west of Jenin.
By JPOST.COM STAFF 25/10/2013
A supposed makeshift grenade was thrown at an Israeli bus transporting students to schools on Friday morning in the northern West Bank near the village of Yaabud, west of Jenin. No injuries or damage were reported. Security forces were sweeping the area. The IDF could not confirm the identity of the perpetrator...
23. In Nigeria, Wedlock Seen as Terror Fix
One Islamic City Tries Mass Weddings to Coax Single Men Into Peaceful Ways; Some Are Skeptical
By DREW HINSHAW Oct. 22, 2013 7:41 p.m. ET Wall Street Journal
KANO, Nigeria—A team of Islamic elders and bureaucrats is casting aside Nigeria's violent approach in fighting terrorism and trying something new: mass weddings. For five years, Nigeria's army and an Islamic sect called Boko Haram have pounded each other, creating a cycle of terrorism and male unemployment in Nigeria's north, and leaving what some here describe as a surfeit of single women. To help restore order, the Kano State Hizbah Board—a local bureau that implements Islamic law—is funding a spree of group weddings…
ASIA / PACIFIC
Shishir Gupta and Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times New Delhi, October 23, 2013
First Published: 01:32 IST(23/10/2013) | Last Updated: 12:46 IST(23/10/2013)
Israel was briefed last month about a possible Indian Mujahideen (IM) attack against the country's nationals visiting Rajasthan, said home ministry and Israeli sources. The threats against Israelis are being seen as further evidence that a section of the IM has adopted the pan-Islamicist agenda of al Qaeda. The home ministry carried out a joint security review of Pushkar, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer — all popular tourist destinations for Israeli and other foreign tourists — with the Rajasthan police. The Israeli embassy was briefed by Indian counterterrorism officials, but did not issue a warning to tourists "beyond the normal."…
25. Sochi Olympic Security Concerns Loom in Wake of Russian Bus Bombing
Oct. 22, 2013 By JAMES GORDON MEEK, CINDY GALLI and LEE FERRAN ABC News
Terrorism experts today warned that Monday's bus bombing in southern Russia could be the opening salvo in a new series of plots from a desperate extremist group that may target civilians up to and during the 2014 Olympics in Russia, despite assurances from Olympic organizers. Monday's bombing in Volgograd in southern Russia was carried out by a 30-year-old woman from Dagestan, authorities said, who was reportedly married to an explosives expert in the Islamic insurgency in the North Caucasus. The blast, caught on another driver's dashboard camera, killed seven people including the bomber, according to Russian investigators. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Robert Pape, Director of the University of Chicago's Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, said he has no doubt the bombing was the work of the Chechen insurgency, led by Russia's most wanted man, Doku Umarov. Pape cited the woman's reported marriage to the bomb maker, the widespread use of female suicide bombers -- called "black widows" -- by the insurgency and the fact that generally speaking, no other group conducts significant terrorist attacks of that type in the region…
Bus Bomber May Have Targeted Shopping Center
An RT TV grab shows the passport of Naida Asiyalova, the main suspect in the Volgograd bus bombing.
October 25, 2013 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Russian investigators say the woman who detonated explosives on a Volgograd bus on October 21 may have intended to attack a shopping center in the city instead. A spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, said the bomber, who was identified as Naida Asiyalova from Daghestan, was in the Akvarel shopping center for a few minutes but that there were only a few people present and she suddenly left for a bus stop. About 30 minutes later there was an explosion on the city bus that Asiyalova boarded that killed six people and wounded more than 50 others. Markin also said Asiyalova seemed to have acted alone in the Volgograd attack, but investigators are looking into possible accomplices she might have had in Daghestan. Asiyalova's husband, a wanted militant, is believed to be in Daghestan.
26. Belgium dilemma over Syrian 'jihadis'
Authorities in Belgium fear Jejoen Bontinck is an Islamist threat to their country. His Catholic father says this is nonsense. How should Europe deal with young citizens returning from Syria?
By Duncan Crawford BBC News, Antwerp 25 October 2013 Last updated at 06:43 ET
Around 20 police officers descended on a house in Antwerp last week to arrest Jejoen Bontinck. The 18-year-old had just returned from Syria, having spent eight months in the north of the country. He was held on terrorism-related charges and this week a court in Antwerp remanded him in custody for a month while police investigate his case. Mr Bontinck denies the charges. He says he worked as a driver at a hospital helping Syrians injured in the civil war… He is among scores of Europeans who have travelled to Syria in the last few years. Various estimates put the figure at 500-600. Britain, Belgium, France and the Netherlands are among EU countries to have expressed concern that their citizens could become radicalised by groups linked to al-Qaeda and potentially return to launch attacks at home…
25 October 2013 Last updated at 11:05 ET BBC News
EU leaders meeting in Brussels said distrust of the US over spying could harm the fight against terrorism.
A statement agreed by the leaders said that "a lack of trust could prejudice" intelligence-gathering co-operation. France and Germany are pushing for talks with the US to find a new "understanding" by the year's end. A number of allegations against US intelligence agents have surfaced this week, including the bugging of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone. In addition there have been claims that the US National Security Agency (NSA) monitored millions of French telephone calls. Meanwhile, Spain has followed Germany and France in summoning the US ambassador to explain reports of spying on the country. On Thursday, the UK's Guardian newspaper also reported that it had obtained a confidential memo from the NSA suggesting it had monitored the phones of 35 world leaders. The latest revelations have been sourced to US whistleblower Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who fled the country earlier this year and is now in Russia…
28. Palestinian Bomber's Chicago Arrest Triggers Misguided Anger
IPT News October 23, 2013