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DRY RUNS: Internal Memo Reveals Terrorists Probing Flights



 

Cell phone video from a 2010 dry run shows suspects Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al-Soofi and Hezem al Murisi being removed from plane. Al-Soofi was carrying $7,000 in cash and their luggage was found to contain mock bombs, box cutters, and long knives.

 

 

Click here to read the internal memo mentioning the dry runs and detailing the most recent one on Flight 1880 on September 2, 2013
 

Orlando, Florida -- It was a flight bound for Florida, and some airline pilots believe it also may have been a dry-run for terrorists. 

The 10 News Investigators have obtained an internal memo that details a frightening incident that brings back memories of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Since then, federal efforts have gone in place to prevent a similar attack, leading many to believe another attack what happened on 9/11 could never happen again.

Wolf Koch, who flies Boeing 767s for Delta Airlines and is the Aviation Security Committee Chairman for the Air Line Pilots Association International, says that belief "is very foolish."

Koch describes the events of 9/11 as "an incredible attack on us. It was very well orchestrated and they're going to try it again... 100 percent, no question in my mind. They're going to try it again."

According to  Koch,  many other flight crews are concerned the planning may already be underway.

A memo obtained by the 10 News investigators from the union that represents pilots for US Airways says that "there have been several cases recently throughout the (airline) industry of what appear to be probes, or dry-runs, to test our procedures and reaction to an in flight threat."

Koch says, "What most security experts will tell you that if a dry-run is occurring, the attack will shortly follow."

The pilots say the most recent dry-run occurred on Flight 1880 on September 2. The flight left Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. and headed to Orlando International.

Crew members say that shortly after takeoff, a group of four "Middle Eastern" men caused a commotion.

The witnesses claim one of the men ran from his seat in coach, toward the flight deck door. He made a hard left and entered the forward bathroom "for a considerable length of time."

While he was in there, the other three men proceeded to move about the cabin, changing seats, opening overhead bins, and "generally making a scene." They appeared to be trying to occupy and distract the flight attendants.

The 10 News Investigators contacted both US Airways and the Transportation Security Administration both confirmed the incident. US Airways says it won't discuss the details of security measures, but that it works closely with authorities. 

The TSA told us it takes all reports of suspicious activity aboard aircraft seriously, and the matter requires no further investigation  at this time.

However, a current Federal Air Marshal who works flights every week says of the TSA, "They're liars. They're flat out liars."

The Air Marshal, whose identity we are not revealing because agency rules prohibit him from talking to the media, says  the TSA doesn't want the flying public to be aware of the problems with terrorist probes.

Read more of the article here
 

 
Here's Why The Navy Is Holding A Terror Suspect At Sea

After seizing terror suspect Abu Anas al-Libi in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, U.S. forces took him to a ship in the Mediterranean where he could be interrogated for weeks or even months to come.

Why a ship?

In short, this allows the U.S. to hold and question al-Libi about his alleged role in a pair of 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa without putting him in the U.S. civilian court system, which could limit or halt efforts to interrogate him.

These "interrogations at sea" are part of the ongoing legal battles over how the U.S. should deal with terror suspects in the post-9/11 world.

The U.S. intelligence community sees al-Libi as an extremely important figure who's been part of al-Qaida for two decades and has extensive knowledge of the group.

Here's Why The Navy Is Holding A Terror Suspect At Sea

In addition to his alleged involvement in the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, al-Libi, 49, has been described as the man who handled al-Qaida's computer systems. He was on the FBI's Most Wanted list and had a $5 million bounty on his head.

The U.S. could send al-Libi to the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, where he could be questioned and held indefinitely while awaiting a military trial.

But President Obama wants to close the Guantanamo prison and therefore is unlikely to add to its population. The president has also barred the use of "extraordinary rendition," or sending suspects to secret prisons in third countries.

"Al-Libi ought to be brought to Guantanamo as an illegal enemy combatant and tried by military commission," The Wall Street Journal said in an editorial. "But it apparently offends the Obama Administration's political sensibilities less to keep captured killers on board a ship for weeks instead."

The Defense Department says that al-Libi was "lawfully detained under the law of war in a secure location outside of Libya," while multiple news organizations say he's being held on a U.S. Navy ship in the Mediterranean.

A Previous Detention At Sea

One precedent for this case was the April 2011 seizure of Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame.

He's a Somali linked to al-Shabab and al-Qaida, who was captured by U.S. forces in the Gulf of Aden and kept aboard a U.S. Navy vessel for about two months before he was ultimately sent to New York City for prosecution. Warsame pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in December 2011 and has been cooperating with the government, according to U.S. officials.

Human rights groups say the shipboard detention is just another version of Guantanamo and the secret prisons that delay or prevent fair trials from taking place. But the intelligence agencies argue that they need to question suspects to break up terror networks and guard against future attacks.

There's no time limit for how long the U.S. could hold al-Libi on a ship outside the U.S.

However, Robert Chesney, an expert on national security law at the University of Texas, told NPR that by announcing al-Libi's detention, the U.S. government will come under pressure to bring him before a U.S. judge in the near future.

"If we go more than a few more days I would imagine you will hear from some quarter or another of an attempt to begin some kind of proceeding on his behalf," Chesney said. "Now that doesn't mean that a court is going to immediately get involved ... but it does mean that there will be legal friction to emerge."

Cully Stimson, who manages the National Security Law Program at the Heritage Foundation, said that the length of al-Libi's detention at sea is likely to be a barometer of how much he's talking to interrogators.

"The longer they have him on a ship, the more we know he's talking," said Stimson, who previously worked on detainee affairs at the Pentagon. "If he clams up, he'll probably be presented in a U.S. court pretty quickly."

The Obama administration has made clear its preference for putting suspects on trial in civilian court. However, once al-Libi is brought into the U.S. legal system, he will, among other things, be read his Miranda rights and receive an attorney who might discourage al-Libi from talking.

Al-Libi was captured Saturday in one of two raids carried out by U.S. forces in Africa. The other, on the coast of Somalia, resulted in a firefight and casualties, but no suspects were captured, U.S. officials said.

Such raids expose U.S. forces to much greater risks compared to drone strikes that have been widely used during Obama's presidency. Capturing a suspect offers the possibility of valuable intelligence, however.

NPR.org
By: Greg Myer
October 7, 2013

 

 

During al-Qaeda’s early years in the 1990s, when Osama bin Laden ran the terrorist group out of Sudan, a young Libyan man who was part of his country’s besieged diaspora of Islamists used his advanced computer skills to rise to the top of the organization long before it emerged as a global menace.

After the Libyan uprising started in early 2011, Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai — who was detained by U.S. Special Operations forces over the weekend — was among the Islamists who flocked back home. He soon received an important assignment from al-
Qaeda leaders in Pakistan, according to a U.S. intelligence official: establish a cell for the network in his strategic North African homeland, which was reeling from a brutal civil war.

“He was tasked to create a terrorist network in Libya and involved in strategic planning between al-Qaeda and Libya,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an intelligence assessment. The official said the order was delivered within the past year, which might help explain why the Obama administration authorized the rare and risky “rendition” carried out Saturday by U.S. commandos.

American officials have said the capture of Ruqai, who used the alias Anas al-Libi, could yield a trove of new information about the enigmatic operative, who was instrumental in the rise of al-
Qaeda and appeared to be playing a key role in its renaissance. There is relatively little public information about what he has been doing since he fled Britain in 1999.

Ruqai, 49, is being held somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea aboard the USS San Antonio, an amphibious transport dock. U.S. counterterrorism interrogators are hopeful that he will offer new insight into the recent transformation of al-Qaeda into a decentralized network that has consolidated new footholds in North Africa.

“My guess is that he will have a good deal to tell us about what has been going on in Libya and a significant amount of information to tell us about what al-Qaeda has been up to between 2001 and the present,” said Daniel Benjamin, who recently stepped down as the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism and is a foreign policy expert at Dartmouth College. “Possibly that will help us identify priorities and decide who else needs to be paid attention to.”

Ruqai was among the Islamists drawn to Afghan battlefields in the 1980s to fight the Soviet occupation. In the early 1990s, when bin Laden set out to plan a spectacular attack against U.S. embassies in Africa from his base in Sudan, the al-Qaeda leader tasked Ruqai with scoping out targets. The group later carried out the bombings against the embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 224 people.

According to testimony provided in February 2001 by a former al-Qaeda member who became a U.S. government witness in a federal case in New York, Ruqai took photos of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi and helped develop them in an apartment. Ruqai, who has been indicted in a federal terrorism case in New York, also stands accused of gathering information on potential British and Israeli targets in the Kenyan capital.

Besides being trained in surveillance, the computer engineer had skills that were deemed invaluable for an organization with growing transnational aspirations, said Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent who investigated the embassy bombings.

“He was definitely one of their smarter people,” Soufan said in an interview. “In the ’80s and ’90s, not a lot of people knew about computers.”

By the time the embassies were bombed, on Aug. 7, 1998, Ruqai was long gone from Sudan. He was among scores of Islamists who had fled to Britain after being granted political asylum there. In 1999, Scotland Yard investigators questioned Ruqai at the urging of FBI agents investigating the embassy bombings, Soufan said.

Ruqai vanished before investigators could gather enough evidence to detain him. The following year, agents searching his apartment found a guide al-Qaeda issued to its fighters, which later became known as the “Manchester Manual.” The 180-
page document was a blueprint of al-Qaeda’s philosophy and included vast tactical guidance.

Terrorism experts said Ruqai’s next steps remain something of a mystery. Some have reported that he spent time in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. Abdullah al-Ruqai, one of the detainee’s sons, told the New York Times on Sunday that his family was held in Iran for four years under harsh conditions.

After returning to Libya in 2011 to join the rebellion against dictator Moammar Gaddafi, Ruqai did not appear to keep a low profile, despite a $5 million bounty being offered by the U.S. government for information leading to his capture. A United Nations sanctions report listed an address for him in the Libyan capital.

An August 2012 report by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress on al-Qaeda’s presence in Libya said Ruqai was “most likely involved in al-Qaeda strategic planning and coordination” between the network’s leaders in Pakistan and hard-line Islamist militias in Libya. The report said there had been “intense communications” from al-Qaeda leaders to Ruqai.

“He and others who found safe haven in the chaos that is now Libya are of great and growing concern to us,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), a senior member of the House Intelligence Committee. “The hope is that he will not only shed light on the historic actions of the core of al-Qaeda, but can also provide actionable intelligence about Libya and surrounding countries.”

Schiff said that even if Ruqai were to be kept at sea for several weeks while intelligence officials attempt to debrief him, a prolonged detention is unlikely to weaken the pending criminal case against him, because government officials handling his interrogation would be “walled off” from the prosecution.

“I think both interests can be balanced,” the congressman said.

The Washington Post
By:
Ernesto Londono
October 7, 2013

 

 
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A senior advisor to the Department of Homeland Security is an old friend of  an activist who was convicted in 2008 of financing the terrorist organization Hamas.

In an interview with The Daily Caller, Mohamed Elibiary, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, reiterated claims he made this summer that former Holy Land Foundation president and CEO Shukri Abu Baker is innocent and a victim of political persecution.

Elibiary, who in his position on the council has regular access to classified information, also said the United States insults Muslim dignity and compared the Muslim Brotherhood to American evangelicals.

Elibiary confirmed to journalist Ryan Mauro of the ClarionProject in August that he is a longtime friend of Baker. Mauro’s interview
can be read at the Center for Security Policy.

Baker and four other officials of the closed Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development were convicted of using the charity to finance Hamas in 2008. It was the largest terrorism financing trial in U.S. history. Federal prosecutors described the Foundation, which was closed by the U.S. government in 2001, as an entity of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

Elbiary first disclosed the relationship in a 2007 article in the Dallas Morning News. He met Baker as a teenager and was so moved by the terrorist funder’s explanation of alleged Israeli persecution of Palestinians that he says he began donating monthly to Baker’s foundation until it closed in 2001. The friendship continued, with Elibiary meeting with Baker for coffee the day before he was convicted.

Elibiary maintains that Baker is innocent, and in 2010 he wrote that the U.S. government was “using the law to force compliance with unjust foreign policies.” He reiterated his belief that the U.S. should not have prosecuted the Holy Land Foundation.

The Muslim activist has never disguised his support for Muslim Brotherhood extremism. In a 2006 letter to the Morning News, he defended the fanatically anti-American early Brotherhood leader and theorist Sayyid Qutb, stating, “I’d recommend everyone read Qutb, but read him with an eye to improving America not just to be jealous with malice in our hearts.”

Elibiary has been
honored by the FBI’s Society of Former Special Agents. In September he was promoted to Senior Advisor at the Advisory Council, a title held only by select members. Other Council members include William Bratton, the revered former New York police commissioner and Los Angeles chief of police; former CIA Director Bill Webster; and L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca.

“If you ever wondered why the Obama Administration believes that the Muslim Brotherhood is a moderate force for good and partners with known U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities, this interview with Mr. Elibiary helps us find an answer,” Mauro said. 

To read more, click
here

The Daily Caller
Charles C. Johnson
October 6, 2013

 

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