Archive for the ‘Christmas Bomber’ Category

New Jersey jihadist arrested in Yemen worked at nuclear power plants

His mother says he is a “good Muslim.” She said it. “NJ Terror Suspect Worked at Nuclear Power Plants,” by Vince Lattanzio for NBC Philadelphia, March 11 (thanks to Benedict):

The South Jersey man who Yemini officials are calling a terrorist with links to al-Qaeda previously worked at three local nuclear power plants.Sharif Mobley, 26, is being held in a jail in Yemen after he allegedly killed a police guard and seriously injured another during a shootout at a hospital on Monday.

The Buena, N.J. native has also been accused of taking part in several acts of terrorism, Yemini officials say. He also purportedly has ties to the same branch of al-Qaeda who are suspected of attempting to blow up a U.S. airliner on its way to Detroit on Christmas.

As details of Mobley’s arrest trickle back to the U.S., more people who knew him are coming forward.

Former high school classmate Roman Castro says Mobley was always fiercely religious and tried to convert high school friends to Islam.

Castro says he ran into Mobley during an Army tour in Iraq around four years ago. The two had a short exchange, with Mobley telling him to “Get the hell away from me, you Muslim killer,” according to Castro.

A former neighbor said Mobley moved to Yemen two years ago to study Islam.

Mobley, who was born in the U.S., also worked as a laborer at three Salem County nuclear power plants, power company officials say.

Working for several contractors, Mobley carried supplies and did maintenance work at the plants on Artificial Island in Lower Alloways Creek from 2002 to 2008, PSE&G spokesperson Joe Delmar said.

Mobley also worked at other plants in the area, Delmar said.

Speaking to NBC Philadelphia Wednesday, Mobley’s mother denied claims her son was a terrorist. She called Sharif a “good Muslim” and said he’s “absolutely not a terrorist.”…

Family Security Matter

February 6, 2010

How the Christmas Bomber Spent his Summer in the United States

Steve Emerson

In August of 2008, an Islamist student made his way from London to Houston to attend a two-week program put on by the AlMaghrib Institute. This was his third course with the Institute, including two in London. On Christmas Day 2009, the very same student, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, tried to blow up a transatlantic flight with a suicide bomb he had sewn into his underpants.
AlMaghrib’s Houston-based director of the 2008 program and national Dean of Academic Affairs, Yasir Qadhi, expressed immediate concern for the aspiring terrorist’s feelings of alienation and hatred of the West.
The AlMaghrib program offered “mainstream Islamic stuff,” Qadhi told CNN, which did not challenge the claim.
“At some level,” he added, “we did not convince him of the validity of our views, and that is cause for regret.”
An examination of the views expressed by Qadhi and others at AlMaghrib, however, shows that they are far from moderate and the institute exhorts followers to carry out jihad and not integrate with the West. Such views are exposed to a wide audience, as the CNN report noted that 30,000 students have attended AlMaghrib courses throughout the English-speaking world.
On one hand, Qadhi told CNN that he and AlMaghrib are “trying to carve out a Western Muslim identity among conservative Muslims – for Muslims to integrate into Western society but maintain their Islamic identity.” Yet such statements don’t match the rhetoric heard on audio and video tapes collected by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
The tapes show Qadhi’s hatred of non-Muslims, contempt for Western society, and glorification of jihad. Qadhi has also stated that he “owed a lot to” Ali Al-Timimi, who was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of soliciting others to wage war against the United States. Even after Timimi’s conviction, to Qadhi, he is someone “who I can say (with pride) that 15 years ago, back in the early ‘90s, he played an instrumental role in shaping and directing me to take the path that has led me to where I am today.”
Likewise, AlMaghrib’s Founder and Director, Muhammad Alshareef, has encouraged audiences to take up arms to fight in Chechnya. Alshareef also encouraged Muslims to get informed about the Chechen jihad through an Al-Qaeda linked website,
(currently defunct). Alshareef stated:
“Dear brothers and sisters, in conclusion, I’d like to tell you some of the things that we can do for our brothers and sisters in Islam. First of all, that we should follow authentic views about what is happening in Chechnya. And one of the best websites that speaks of this news is Go to that site and learn about the brothers and participate in the discussion. And after you erase the ignorance from yourself, go and teach your brothers and sisters here and everywhere about what is happening. Do not let there be a silence. Go and teach them what you have learned about what is happening.”
While Qadhi professes to be part of the de-radicalization effort, CNN reports he enjoyed a starring role in the 2008 U.S.-funded Counter-Radicalization Strategy conference by the National Counterterrorism Center, his talks seethe with hatred for non-Muslims and the West. As part of a TV series named the “Fundamentals of Faith,” which was broadcast on the popular British Muslim TV ‘Islam Channel,’ Qadhi showed his contempt for all other systems of thought besides Islam:
“Here in these verses, Surat Maida, verses 49-50, Allah (swt) categorizes all types of laws into two categories, the law of Allah and the laws from others. And he calls the laws of Allah a fair and just law, and he calls all others Jahiliya, ignorant laws. It is not my right to legislate or your right to legislate. No supreme court, no system of government, no democracy where they vote. Can you believe it, a group of people coming together and voting, and the majority vote will then be the law of the land. What gives you the right to prohibit something or allow something? Who gave you the right? Are you creators? Are you all-knowledgeable? Do you understand the repercussions, the implications of the laws that you are going to pass? [Arabic] Do they wish to follow the laws of ignorance? Verily Allah is our Judge, He knows what’s best for us. [Emphasis added]”
He also said:
“This type of thinking is clear kufr, clear disbelief, to believe that you know better, or any system of government knows better, any democracy, or any… whether it be communism or socialism, any type of philosophy is better than Islam, or it is allowed legitimately, it is allowed to follow this system, this is a profession of the fact that you believe that Allah is not All-Knowledgeable… Allah forbid [in Arabic]. And that He doesn’t know what is best for us. Allah forbid [in Arabic]. Therefore this is a negation of your testimony of “La Illa Illah Allah” [There is no God but Allah]. To believe that it is permissible to follow a way of life, to follow a system of laws other than the Shariah, negates one’s testimony of Islam. [Emphasis added]”
Not only does Qadhi see Western society as incompatible with Islam, he casts all non-Muslims as people who inherently hate Muslims. Discussing the legendary Battle of Uhud, which he stresses is “a battle in which the Muslims would learn many lessons, morals, for themselves and for the generations after them,” Qadhi declared:
“”And this is the Sunnah of Allah (swt) that the Kafir [disbeliever] will always hate the Muslim – the Jews and the Christians and the Hindus and every single non-Muslim. He might allow every other religious minority or any other religion inside of his society and culture, but when it comes to Islam, because it is the religion of truth, he will find it inside of him to hate it. You cannot just be neutral when it comes to Islam; you are either a Muslim or you are a Kaffir that hates Islam. [emphasis added]”
Additionally, Qadhi has not limited his pronouncements to his hatred of the West. In a speech about the holy days in the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, Qadhi opened by declaring prayer on 10 days of this month to be a Muslim’s most sacred duty. He quickly clarified this position, however, by noting that death while carrying out jihad was the most cherished honor:
“Prophet Mohammad (saws) said that even jihad, except if a man leaves with all of his property, and all of his belonging, money and life and he dies as martyr in a battle, that is the only thing that is more beloved than a person who is practicing and praying and being a good Muslim for these ten days.”
Qadhi has also reserves particular hatred for the Jews. In a 2001 speech Qadhi portrayed Jews as the enemies of Muslims:
“I am not advising any Muslim to waste his time studying Judaism. But I am saying, why are Jews studying Islam? There is a reason. Not that they want to help us, they want to destroy us.”
In endorsing the book The Hoax of the Holocaust, Qadhi denied the Holocaust himself and attempted to spread these beliefs among young people. In the same speech explaining comments on a chapter of the Quran, Qadhi told his audience:
“Hitler never intended to mass destroy the Jews. There are a number of books out by Christians, written on this. You should read them. The Hoax of the Holocaust, I advise you to read this one. Do you want to write this down. The Hoax of the Holocaust, a very good book.”
Although Qadhi later claimed that he had “mistakenly” endorsed this book, it was not the only nasty thing he said about Jews in his speech. Qadhi repeated a classic anti-Semitic lie, degrading European Jews as “impure and filthy” in comparison to the Jews of the Middle East. Thus, while Qadhi expressed hate of all Jews, he distinguished between his hatred of European and Middle Eastern Jews when he said:
“The Sephardics don’t consider the Ashkenazis as pure Jews. They aren’t pure Jews; they are Khazars. It is only the Sephardis that consider themselves the pure race. And until recently, any Jew that wrote his name he would write at the end of it – Sephardic Jew (H), which is a word in Hebrew I forgot, but it means ‘pure.’ He would write H in brackets, that I am a pure Jew, whereas those guys are impure filthy Jews.”
Qadhi’s statements, as extreme as they are, pale in comparison to those of the director of the Institute, Muhammad Alshareef. Alshareef’s speeches, including “Why the Jews were Cursed,” are featured on jihadist websites such as Alshareef described how the Jews are cursed because
“They did not command the good or forbid the evil, they did not accept the ruling of what Allah revealed upon them, they disbelieved their book, they received food from the heavens but rejected it, they challenged their Prophet to show them Allah in this life, they took Angel Jibreel as their sworn enemy, they took the graves of their Prophets as symbols of worship … and the list goes on and on in the Qur’an and Sunnah.”
In another speech, ” The World’s Bravest People,” Alshareef asked the audience to identify with their fellow Muslims and thus go fight for them:
“And now I ask of you brothers and sisters, if the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa salaam, [peace and blessing upon him], heard the murders that were happening in Chechnya, what would he do, sallallahu alayhi wa salaam? Not only what would he do, but what would he expect from you, what would he expect from I? Are we waiting for Rasul Allah [the messenger of Allah] – sallallahu alayhi wa salaam sallam – to come back and hold up the banner, so that we will all go behind Rasul Allah, allallahu alayhi wa salaam? [Emphasis added]”
In that same speech, he glamorized jihadists, asking “Have you ever smelled 15,000 mujahid in the fragrance of death hovering over the entire army?” Later, he told his audience to “never, never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Never think that those people that were killed in the sake of Allah swt as people who have died. Allah swt is saying rather they are alive with their lord. They are with their lord receiving their provision.”
Up until recently, AlMaghrib’s web site sold video sermons of Anwar Al-Awlaki, the advisor of the Fort Hood attacker and al Qaeda’s most articulate English-speaking scholar. Awlaki, who also is believed to have advised Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, has been considered an inspiration to terrorists for years, with a profound effect on young people who are susceptible to the phenomenon of “Jihadi cool.”
It is not known what Abdulmutallab learned during his two weeks in Houston. Qadhi is right about one thing, however, it sure didn’t steer him away from violent jihad. Contributing Editor Steven Emerson, executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, is the author of six books on national security and Middle Eastern terrorism.

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Holder Admits He Made Decision to Charge Abdulmutallab as Criminal Defendent

BY Thomas Joscelyn

February 3, 2010 1:58 PM

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Attorney General Eric Holder has sent a letter defending the decision to charge Abdulmutallab as a criminal and read him his Miranda rights. This paragraph stuck out immediately:

“I made the decision to charge Mr. Abdulmutallab with federal crimes, and to seek his detention in connection with those charges, with the knowledge of, and with no objection from, all other relevant departments of the government. On the evening of December 25 and again on the morning of December 26, the FBI informed its partners in the Intelligence Community that Abdulmutallab would be charged criminally, and no agency objected to this course of action.”

(1) While those other departments were informed, according to Holder, this evidently doesn’t include the senior-most members of those departments — per their congressional testimony. Senior officials including DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano have testified that they were not informed of the decision. If they were informed, which is unlikely, then they lied before Congress. If they weren’t informed, which is likely, then this means those departments have serious communication problems because such an important decision was never communicated up the chain. In other words, assuming Holder is right, then why weren’t the senior-most officials in those departments informed?
(2) What took Holder so long to admit this?

Malaysia arrests ten tied to Christmas underwear jihadist

Isolated Extremist Update: “Nigerian underwear bomber: 10 terror suspects held,” from New Straits Times, January 28:

KUALA LUMPUR: Police last week acted quickly to forestall a serious threat to national security when they nabbed 10 terror suspects with links to international terrorist organisations.The nine foreigners and a Malaysian were also believed to be linked to a Nigerian student who attempted to blow up a US-bound flight on Christmas Day….

The New Straits Times learnt that the 10 suspects were members of a religious group linked to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, the Nigerian who was arrested in the
United States after he attempted to detonate explosives sewn into his underwear on board Northwest Airlines flight 253, which was bound for Detroit from Amsterdam.

It was learnt that foreign anti-terrorism agencies informed Malaysian authorities that the 10 were linked to Abdulmutallab and that they were in Malaysia….


On bombing suspect, tough questions for Eric Holder

By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
January 22, 2010

It seems like a pretty simple question. Who made the decision to charge Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the accused terrorist arrested for trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet on Christmas Day, as an everyday criminal, as opposed to an enemy combatant?

After all, Abdulmutallab was trained by al Qaeda, equipped with an al Qaeda-made bomb, and dispatched by al Qaeda to bring down the airliner and its 278 passengers. Even though the Obama administration has mostly abandoned the term “war on terror,” the president himself has said clearly that the United States is at war with al Qaeda. So who decided to treat Abdulmutallab as a civilian, read him the Miranda warning, and provide him with a government-paid lawyer — giving him the right to remain silent and denying the United States potentially valuable intelligence that might have been gained by a military-style interrogation?

This week that simple question — Who? — became more complicated after several of the administration’s top anti-terrorism officials testified on Capitol Hill. The director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Michael Leiter, said he wasn’t consulted before the decision was made. The director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, said he wasn’t consulted, either. The secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, said she wasn’t consulted. And the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, said he wasn’t consulted.

“The decision was made by the agents on the ground,” Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, referring to the officials who apprehended Abdulmutallab when the plane landed in Detroit. American agents questioned the accused terrorist briefly before he was taken to a hospital to be treated for burns suffered in the attempt to set off explosives hidden in his underwear. After that, Mueller testified, “in consultation with the Department of Justice and others in the administration,” the agents read him his rights.

And that was that. “Isn’t it a fact, that after Miranda was given … the individual stopped talking?” Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions asked Mueller.

“He did,” Mueller answered. But Mueller declined to say who made the decision to grant Abdulmutallab the right to remain silent.

The issue is enormously important because Abdulmutallab, newly trained by al Qaeda in the terrorist group’s latest hot spot, Yemen, likely knows things that would be very useful to American anti-terrorism investigators. He’s not some grizzled old terrorist who’s been sitting in Guantanamo Bay since 2003 and doesn’t have any new intelligence. He’s fresh material. Yet he is protected by U.S. criminal law from having to answer questions.

Why? Republicans on the Judiciary Committee increasingly believe there is only one person who can answer: Attorney General Eric Holder.

It was Holder who made the decision to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a criminal trial in New York. It is Holder who has expressed his desire to grant full American constitutional rights to foreign terrorists. It is Holder who is leading the administration’s sputtering effort to move some Guantanamo inmates to the United States. And it is Holder who is apparently cutting other parts of the government out of crucial terrorism decisions like the treatment of Abdulmutallab.

“These days, all roads lead to the attorney general,” says one well-placed Republican source in the Senate. “They seem to have aggregated quite a bit of power inside Main Justice.” The problem is, the Holder Justice Department appears to be handling terrorism issues from a defense-attorney perspective, and doing so without the input of the government’s other terrorism-fighting agencies.

That was the message of Wednesday’s testimony from Blair, Leiter, Napolitano, and Mueller, all of whom were out of the loop on the Adbulmutallab decision. Their accounts left a number of Republican senators shaken; as the GOP lawmakers see it, the decision to read Abdulmutallab Miranda rights was a dreadful mistake, one that could have serious consequences down the line. There should be some accountability.

So on Thursday all seven Republicans on the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Holder asking for a full explanation: Who made the decision and why, and whether the administration now has “a protocol or policy in place for handling al Qaeda terrorists captured in the United States.”

Republicans were troubled by the decision even before Wednesday’s testimony showed that major administration figures knew nothing about it. Now, the lawmakers want to know what happened, and they believe the only person who can tell them is Holder.

Byron York, The Examiner’s chief political correspondent, can be contacted at His column appears on Tuesday and Friday, and his stories and blog posts appears on