One big difference is that we can’t build a fence to keep bombers out.
One big difference is that we can’t build a fence to keep bombers out.
A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:
CHICAGO — A Pakistani native who operated a Chicago-based immigration business was sentenced today to 14 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist plot in Denmark and providing material support to Lashkar e Tayyiba, a terrorist organization operating in Pakistan that was responsible for the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India. The defendant, TAHAWWUR HUSSAIN RANA, was convicted of the charges on June 9, 2011, following a three-week trial in U.S. District Court.
Rana, 52, a Canadian citizen, was ordered to serve 14 years, followed by five years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber.
“This certainly was a dastardly plot,” Judge Leinenweber said in imposing the sentence.
Rana was convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to a plot from October 2008 to October 2009 to commit murder in Denmark, including a horrific plan to behead employees of Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, and throw their heads on to the street in Copenhagen, as well as providing material support, from late 2005 to October 2009, to Lashkar, a militant jihadist organization operating in Pakistan.
Lashkar planned and carried out the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 160 people, including six Americans, before initially planning the terrorist attack in Denmark in retaliation for the newspaper’s publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
Rana was acquitted of conspiracy to provide material support to the Mumbai attacks.
“This serious prison sentence should go a long way towards convincing would-be terrorists that they can’t hide behind the scenes, lend support to the violent aims of terrorist organizations, and escape detection and punishment,” said Gary S. Shapiro, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
“Today’s sentence demonstrates that, just as vigorously as we pursue terrorists and their organizations, we will also pursue those who facilitate their violent plots from a safe distance. As established at trial, Tahawwur Rana provided critical support to David Headley and other terrorists from his base in the United States, knowing they were plotting attacks overseas. I thank the many agents, analysts and prosecutors who helped bring about today’s result,” said Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.
“It is my hope that the judge’s decision today sends a message to those who plot attacks and those who provide the support to make the plots possible, both here and abroad, that you will be held accountable for your actions. Our mission, detecting and preventing terrorist acts and eliminating the enabling support provided by terrorist sympathizers, remains our top priority,” said Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Rana is one of two defendants to be convicted, among a total of eight defendants who have been indicted, in this case since late 2009.
Co-defendant David Coleman Headley, 52, pleaded guilty in March 2010 to 12 terrorism charges, including aiding and abetting the murders of the six Americans in Mumbai. Headley, who is scheduled to be sentenced next Thursday, has cooperated with the Government since he was arrested in October 2009, and testified as a Government witness at Rana’s trial. He is facing a maximum of life in prison
The evidence at Rana’s trial showed that he knew he was assisting a terrorist organization and murderers, knew their violent goals, and readily agreed to play an essential role in achieving their aims.
The government contended that Rana knew the objective of his co-conspirators was to retaliate against and influence the Danish government for its perceived role in the publication of the Prophet Mohammed cartoons, and he knew that the goal of Lashkar was to retaliate against and influence the Indian and Danish governments and intended that the support he provided – enabling Headley’s activities – would be used toward that purpose.
In a post-arrest statement in October 2009, Rana admitted knowing that Lashkar was a terrorist organization and that Headley had attended training camps that Lashkar operated in Pakistan.
Headley testified that he attended the training camps on five separate occasions between 2002 and 2005.
In late 2005, Headley received instructions from members of Lashkar to travel to India to conduct surveillance, which he did five times leading up to the Mumbai attacks three years later that killed more than 160 people and wounded hundreds more.
In the early summer of 2006, Headley and two Lashkar members discussed opening an immigration office in Mumbai as a cover for his surveillance activities.
Headley testified that he traveled to Chicago and advised Rana, his long-time friend since the time they attended high school together in Pakistan, of his assignment to scout potential targets in India.
Headley obtained approval from Rana, who owned First World Immigration Services in Chicago and elsewhere, to open a First World office in Mumbai as cover for his activities.
Rana directed an individual associated with First World to prepare documents supporting Headley’s cover story, and advised Headley how to obtain a visa for travel to India, according to Headley’s testimony, as well as emails and other documents that corroborated his account.
Between Nov. 26-28, 2008, 10 attackers trained by Lashkar carried out multiple assaults with firearms, grenades and improvised explosive devices against multiple targets in Mumbai, some of which Headley had scouted in advance.
Regarding the Denmark terror plot, Headley testified that in the fall of 2008, he met with a Lashkar member in Karachi, Pakistan, and was instructed to conduct surveillance of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper offices in Copenhagen and Aarhus.
In late 2008 and early 2009, after reviewing with Rana how he had performed surveillance of the targets attacked in Mumbai, Headley testified that he advised Rana of the planned attack in Denmark and his intended travel there to conduct surveillance of the newspaper’s facilities.
Headley obtained Rana’s approval and assistance to identify himself as a representative of First World and gain access to the newspaper’s offices by falsely expressing interest in placing advertising for First World in the newspaper.
Headley and Rana caused business cards to be made that identified Headley as a representative of the Immigration Law Center, the business name of First World, according to the evidence at trial.
The trial evidence also included transcripts of recorded conversations, including those in September 2009, when Headley and Rana spoke about reports that a co-defendant, Ilyas Kashmiri, an alleged Pakistani terrorist leader, had been killed and the implications of his possible death for the plan to attack the newspaper.
In other conversations, Rana told Headley that the attackers involved in the Mumbai attacks should receive Pakistan’s highest posthumous military honors.
In the late summer of 2009, Rana and Headley agreed that funds that had been provided to Rana could be used to fund Headley’s work in Denmark, and the evidence showed that Rana, pretended to be Headley in sending an email to the Danish newspaper.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Collins and Sarah E. Streicker, with assistance from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles have worked on a broader investigation of the Mumbai attacks. The investigation has been conducted by the Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force, led by the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from FBI offices in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., as well as both U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
It’s a good thing I subscribe to both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Tribune.
Take a look at the front page of the Sun-Times:
Now, if I had only subscribed to the Tribune, here’s all I would have seen on the front page:
The Sun-Times also devotes pages 2 & 3 to the jihadist plot.
The Sun-Times put four reporters on the story, Natasha Kore4cki (who graduated from Jacobs High School in Algonquin), Lisa Donovan, Michael Sneed and Matt Hanley.
Clearly, some editor thought this was an important story.
Interviews with family members of Adel Daoud resulted in expressions of disbelief.
But consider this statement by the teen contained in the affidavit o FBI Special Agent Barbara J. Harner:
“[T]hey have to know it’s a terrorist attack.
“Because if the people just say oh, how like, like the thing that just happened, the, the, the Joker thing okay . . . [The FBI Agent suggested this was a reference to the mass murders at the Aurora movie theater playing the latest Batman movie.]
Oh, the person was crazy.
“Oh, that’s so sad . . .
“That’s it, okay, they forget about it after a week . . .
“You know what I mean?
“And, and if he could get away that’s good.
“Because they’ll think oh, terrorism . . . it’ll be like frantic.”
No where in any headline above the Tribune’s story on page 4 is there an indication that an Islamist-motivated jihadist was involved.
While the eventual target was in Chicago, a two-hour meeting took place in Villa Park on July 17, 2012, and again on August 6th, this time at Prairie Path Park.
The FBI Agent’s affidavit said Daoud gave him a list of”approximately twenty-nine potential targets and/or addresses, which Daoud provided to the UCE. The targets included military recruiting centers, bars, malls, and other tourist attractions in and around the Chicago area.”
His intention was to cause Americans to become afraid in ordinary places.
He talked about ordinary folks like this:
“[Y]ou can’t really take these people as regular people.
“They’re like, more like robots.”
How I wish the guy from Skokie who wrote “The Chicago Journalism Review” was still around. The Chicago Tribune’s coverage of this story surely demonstrates that a watchdog is needed.
A press release from Congressman Joe Walsh, a member of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee:
Congressman Joe Walsh Reacts to Attempted Islamic Terror Attack in Chicago
Saturday, prosecutors announced a terror suspect from Hillside, IL was arrested late Friday in Chicago.
The suspected left Villa Park with an undercover agent and fake explosives and attempted to detonate a bomb outside a bar in downtown Chicago.
A news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office stated the suspect
“expressed an interest in engaging in violent jihad, in either the United States or overseas.”
Congressman Walsh reacted in a statement,
“Fortunately, due to the great work of the FBI and law enforcement, a threat against Illinoisans and America was thwarted.
“We owe our law enforcement officers a debt of gratitude for their efforts and vigilance.
“As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, I have spoken about this threat, and this event is an alarming reminder on the threat of homegrown terror.
“However, my opponent, Tammy Duckworth continues to condemn my remarks for political gain at the expense of national security.”
“This is not a political issue,” Walsh continued.
“The issue of homegrown terror is an issue that Attorney General Eric Holder says keeps him up at night.
“I find it ironic that during the same time this attempted attack took place, Ms. Duckworth was trying to score political points during our joint appearance by criticizing my concerns about this very real threat.
“I challenge Ms. Duckworth to instead join me in urging our government to do more in addressing this issue and spend less time worrying about political correctness.”
Walsh concluded, “It’s my hope Ms. Duckworth will stop shamelessly exploiting my efforts to draw attention to this issue.
“We must continue to remember the vast majority of Muslims are a patriotic, peace-loving people.
“As a member of the Committee on Homeland Security, I vow to pursue and expose this radical strain of Islam.
“This issue is far too vital to our country to allow political correctness to prevent us from addressing this threat.”
A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:
HILLSIDE MAN ARRESTED AFTER FBI UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION ON FEDERAL CHARGES FOR ATTEMPTING TO BOMB DOWNTOWN CHICAGO BAR
CHICAGO — A Hillside man was arrested Friday evening after he allegedly attempted to detonate what he believed to be car bomb in front of a bar in downtown Chicago, announced Gary S. Shapiro, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; William C. Monroe, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Garry F. McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.
The arrest of ADEL DAOUD, 18, a U.S. citizen, was the culmination of a rigorous undercover operation during which Daoud developed his attack plans and surveilled and selected a target.
Daoud was closely monitored by law enforcement and was offered several opportunities to change his mind and walk away from the supposed attack.
“The explosives that Daoud allegedly attempted to detonate posed no threat to the public.
“They were inert and had been supplied by undercover law enforcement personnel,” Mr. Shapiro said.
Daoud was charged in a criminal complaint filed today in U.S. District Court with one count of attempt to use of a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) and one count of attempt to damage and destroy a building by means of an explosive.
Daoud had an initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys.
He remains in custody pending a detention and preliminary hearing, which was scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday in Federal Court.
Daoud faces a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison for attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a potential maximum of 20 years in prison for attempt to damage or destroy a building by means of an explosive.
According to an affidavit in support of the complaint, beginning in about October 2011, Daoud used email accounts to obtain and distribute material, some of which he purported to author, relating to violent jihad and the killing of Americans.
In about May 2012, two FBI online undercover employees contacted Daoud in response to material Daoud posted online and thereafter exchanged several electronic communications with Daoud. According to the affidavit, during these communications Daoud expressed an interest in engaging in violent jihad, either in the United States or overseas.
The affidavit alleges that, from late May to mid-June 2012, Daoud confirmed his belief in the propriety of killing Americans in a terrorist attack and then began seeking online resources regarding how to carry out an attack.
In about June 2012, Daoud was introduced to a purported cousin of one of the undercover employees, who said he resided in New York and was an operational terrorist. Daoud allegedly expressed an interest in meeting the cousin, who unbeknownst to Daoud was an FBI undercover agent.
In the course of his dealings with the undercover agent, Daoud allegedly drafted a list of approximately 29 potential targets, including military recruiting centers, bars, malls, and other tourist attractions in the Chicago area.
He then selected, researched and surveilled a target for attack to be carried out with an explosive device supplied by the undercover agent, the affidavit alleges.
About 7:15 p.m. yesterday, Daoud met the undercover agent in Villa Park and they drove to downtown Chicago.
During the drive, Daoud led the undercover agent in a prayer that Daoud and the agent succeed in their attack, kill many people, and cause destruction.
They entered a parking lot where a Jeep containing the purported explosive device was parked.
Daoud then drove the Jeep out of the parking lot and parked the vehicle in front of a bar in downtown Chicago, which was the target that he had previously selected.
According to the affidavit, Daoud exited the vehicle and walked to an alley approximately a block away, and in the presence of the undercover agent, attempted to detonate the device by pressing the triggering mechanism.
He was then arrested.
This case was investigated by the Chicago FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), which is comprised of FBI special agents, officers from the Chicago Police Department and representatives from 20 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The Justice Department’s National Security Division assisted in the investigation.
The public is reminded that a criminal complaint contains mere allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
= = = = =
Read the affidavit here.
A press release from Congressman Don Manzullo:
[WASHINGTON] – U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and member of the Subcommittee on Middle East, issued the following statement in response to the attacks against the United States in Libya and Egypt:
“Yesterday’s brutal murder of four American diplomats, including the United States Ambassador to Libya, and the attack against the United States Embassy in Egypt, are stark reminders that the U.S. remains a significant target throughout the world. We must honor the memory and service of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his colleagues by making it absolutely clear that our nation will not tolerate violence against our people. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families.
“The United States must not apologize or otherwise seek to appease those who desperately want to do us harm. When America does not speak clearly about its values and intentions, then the rest of the world is left to wonder whether we have the resolve to defend what is valuable to us. America stands on the principles of democracy, freedom, and respect for human rights. There is no excuse, no justification for what happened in Libya and Egypt.”
A press release from Congressman Randy Hultgren:
WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today released the following statement regarding the attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya:
“Today I join President Obama, Governor Romney, and all Americans in condemning this violence. It is tragic that this crime was apparently carried out in the name of religion.
“In the days ahead, I hope America will respond with discernment and swift justice for those who have killed our own.
“Today, we will mourn with the four American families who have lost their loved ones.”
“The threat we are facing from homegorwn jihadist terrorists is read, and Congressman Walsh will not bow to political correctness and ignore the issue,” Justin Roth, Walsh spokesman told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Since 9/11 there have been over 40 jihadist terror plots. For that reason Attorney General Eric Holder has said that the growing threat of American being radicalized is what ‘keeps him awake at night.’”
Locally there was the Black Muslim who plotted with a Cooperating Witness to plant a bomb in trash container at Rockford’s Cherry Vale Mall. No mainstream media I saw reported that “homegrown” terrorist.
The article does point out that Walsh is a member of the Homeland Security Committee in the U.S. House.
Walsh’s Thursday statement is here.
Friday’s Chicago Sun-Times coverage can be found here.
A press release from Congressman Joe Walsh:
“We cannot let political correctness blind us to reality.”
WASHINGTON- Today, Rep. Joe Walsh (IL-08) defended comments made at Elk Grove Village on Wednesday evening concerning the danger radical Muslims pose to American families.
“The threat that radical Islam poses to American families and our way of life is not anything new.
“It is a real threat.
“The Committee on Homeland Security, of which I am a member, has held five hearings that examined the threat of Muslim radicalization, especially radicalization within the Muslim-American community.
“Members of the Committee are not alone in this—even Attorney General Holder and Janet Napolitano of the Obama Administration have warned about the dangers of radical Islam.”
“We cannot let political correctness blind us to reality.
“While most Muslims in America and around the world are as peace loving as the rest of us, we would be foolish to ignore the fact that there is a radical minority that simply wants to destroy America and the values that we stand for.
“A recent Pew Poll said that 15% of Muslim-American men between the age of 18 and 29 could support suicide bombings.
“How people can dismiss things like that, I don’t understand, but I won’t.
“It is our responsibility as Members of Congress to protect American families.”
The following press release arrived from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago:
CHICAGO MAN CHARGED WITH PROVIDING MATERIAL SUPPORT
TO AL QAEDA BY ATTEMPTING TO SEND FUNDS OVERSEAS
CHICAGO — A Chicago man who claims to be acquainted with an alleged terrorist leader in Pakistan was arrested today on federal charges of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization for allegedly attempting to provide funds overseas to al Qaeda, federal law enforcement officials announced.
Although the defendant, Raja Lahrasib Khan, a Chicago taxi driver and native of Pakistan who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1988, allegedly discussed attacking a stadium in the United States this summer, there was no imminent domestic danger, officials said.
The investigation leading to Khan’s arrest is unrelated to a separate investigation that resulted in federal terrorism charges against Chicagoans Tahawwur Hussain Rana and David Coleman Headley in connection with the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai and a plot to attack targets in Denmark, the officials added.
Khan, 56, of the city’s north side, was charged with two counts of providing material support to terrorism in a criminal complaint that was filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Chicago and unsealed today following his arrest, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The investigation is continuing, they said.
Khan was arrested this morning while working in downtown Chicago without incident by the Chicago FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. He was scheduled to appear at 3:30 p.m. today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown in Federal Court in Chicago.
“While there was no imminent danger in the Chicago area or elsewhere, these charges, once again, affirm that law enforcement must remain constantly vigilant to guard against domestic support of foreign terrorist organizations. I am deeply grateful to the FBI agents and other members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force for their extremely hard work on this matter,”
said Mr. Fitzgerald.
Mr. Grant said:
“Over the past six months, FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Forces across the country have disrupted plots, charged and apprehended a number of individuals and secured significant intelligence, which has been of benefit here and to our allies overseas.
“Notable as most of these successes have been, it also illustrates the reality of the environment we face today, along with the critical responsibility domestic law enforcement agencies and intelligence services have in protecting the public from the violent designs of others.
“It is a complex threat that we face and we are pleased with the results today.”
“Today’s arrest and charges are the result of an outstanding cooperative law enforcement and intelligence effort and underscore the domestic and international aspects of the terror threat we face,” said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.
According to a 35-page complaint affidavit, by at least 2008, Khan, who claims to have known Ilyas Kashmiri for approximately 15 years, learned that Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda, and that Kashmiri was purportedly receiving orders from al Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin Laden.
According to Khan, during his meeting or meetings with Kashmiri, among other things, Khan learned that Kashmiri wanted to train operatives to conduct attacks in the United States; Kashmiri showed Khan a video depicting the detonation of an improvised explosive device; and Kashmiri told Khan that he needed money, in any amount, to be able to purchase materials from the “black market.”
The complaint identifies Kashmiri as the leader in Kashmir of Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami (HUJI), a Sunni extremist group located in Pakistan and Kashmir with links to al Qaeda.
In a reported interview last October, Kashmiri purportedly said that he had joined forces with al Qaeda. In January 2010, Kashmiri, together with a former Pakistani military officer, Rana and Headley, were indicted in Chicago for their alleged roles in a conspiracy to murder and maim persons in a planned attack against the facilities and employees of the Danish newspaper Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, in Denmark, as retribution for the publication of cartoons that depicted the Prophet Mohammed.
The charges against Khan allege that on Nov. 23, 2009, he sent a money transfer of approximately $950 from a currency exchange located on North LaSalle Street in Chicago to Individual A, who was in either Mirpur or Bhimber, in Pakistan.
Khan later spoke with Individual A by telephone and instructed him to give “Lala” 25,000 Pakistani rupees (approximately $300) of the money he had sent. According to the affidavit, Khan told an undercover agent that “Lala,” which means “older brother” in Urdu, is a nickname Khan uses to refer to Kashmiri, who he told the agent he had met most recently in 2008 in Miran Shah in northwest Pakistan.
Khan also told the agent that Khan believed that his telephones were being monitored, and if Khan or the undercover agent were ever questioned about their discussions regarding “Lala,” they should claim to have been referring to Khan’s actual older brother.
Just two weeks ago, on March 11, Khan and an associate, identified as “Individual B,” allegedly had a discussion during which they appeared to talk about attacking a stadium in the United States in “August.”
Among other things, Khan described that bags containing remote controlled bombs could be placed in several different locations, and then
“boom, boom, boom, boom.”
Khan further said that he would ask “Lala” [Kashmiri] to teach him how to conduct such an attack, the complaint alleges. However, there are no allegations that Khan either knew Kashmiri’s current whereabouts or had yet discussed his stadium plan with him.
On March 17, after agreeing to personally deliver to Kashmiri any funds that the undercover agent wanted to provide, Khan allegedly accepted $1,000 (ten $100 bills) from the agent.
The complaint states that Khan accepted these funds after having had prior conversations with the undercover agent in which:
On March 23, government agents at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport came into contact with Khan’s son, who was traveling to England. During this contact, agents discovered that Khan’s son possessed seven of the ten $100 bills that the undercover agent had given to Khan, according to the affidavit.
Each count of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted, the court is required to impose a reasonable sentence under the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Chicago FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, with particular assistance from the Chicago Police Department, the Illinois State Police, and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Veatch and Steven Dollear, of the Northern District of Illinois, with assistance from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
The public is reminded that a criminal complaint contains mere allegations that are not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.