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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Feb 2012

Interpol said that 25 suspected members of the loose-knit Anonymous hacker movement have been arrested in a sweep across Europe and South America.  The international police agency said in a statement Tuesday that the arrests in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain were carried out by national law enforcement officers working under the support of Interpol's Latin American Working Group of Experts on Information Technology Crime.

The suspects, aged between 17 and 40, are suspected of planning coordinated cyberattacks against institutions including Colombia's defense ministry and presidential websites, Chile's Endesa electricity company and national library, as well as other targets.  The arrests followed an ongoing investigation begun in mid-February which also led to the seizure of 250 items of IT equipment and mobile phones in searches of 40 premises in 15 cities, Interpol said.  Earlier Tuesday, police in Spain announced the arrest of four suspected Anonymous hackers in connection with attacks on Spanish political party websites.  These four were among the 25 announced by Interpol.  A National Police statement said the four included the alleged manager of Anonymous' computer operations in Spain and Latin America, who was identified only by his initials and the aliases "Thunder" and "Pacotron." 

Read more: Associated Press

A former Baltimore County man pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder and conspiracy in plots to kill former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and to bomb a hotel in Indonesia.  Majid Shoukat Khan, a 1999 graduate of Owings Mills High School, entered the plea before a war crimes tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, where he has been held with other high-value detainees.  Members of Khan's family and news reporters watched the arraignment from Fort Meade via a secure video feed.

Khan, 32, was charged this month with murder in violation of the law of war, attempted murder in violation of the law of war, spying, providing material support to terrorism and conspiracy.  He pleaded guilty to all charges.  He is accused of delivering $50,000 in al-Qaida funding to finance the August 2003 bombing of the J.W. Marriott hotel in Jakarta that left 11 dead and 81 wounded, of volunteering to kill Musharraf and of plotting to attack gas stations in the United States.  Assuming the military commission accepts his plea, Khan will be the seventh Guantanamo prisoner to be convicted.  Karen J. Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, said he is in some ways the most significant.  Getting a plea from someone like this solves the problem of how to try these guys without using evidence obtained through torture."

Read more: Baltimore Sun

Investigators in Egypt arrested an al Qaeda leader on Wednesday, authorities and state media reported, although there is doubt about the man's identity.  Alaa Mahmoud, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said authorities in Cairo arrested Mohamed Mohamed Ibrahim Makkawi.  Authorities think that Makkawi could be the alias for a top al Qaeda leader named Saif al-Adel.

Al-Adel is the man who briefly led al Qaeda and was indicted for his role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa.  If Makkawi is al-Adel, the arrest would represent a major blow to al Qaeda, which already is reeling from the death of Osama bin Laden and the capture or killing of other senior leaders.  The man was arrested Wednesday at Cairo's airport on an Emirates Airlines flight from Pakistan, Mahmoud said.  He has been wanted on charges of terrorism and conspiring to topple the regime, he said.  The United States has offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to the capture or conviction of al-Adel.

Read more at: CNN 

U.S. prosecutors have turned to an old strategy with terrorist detainees by offering plea bargains in exchange for testimony, sources tell The Miami Herald.  Majid Khan, 32, who spent his teenage years in the Baltimore area and returned to Pakistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is expected to plead guilty Wednesday, the newspaper said.  Khan allegedly volunteered for an attempt to kill former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and acted as a courier to carry money to Thailand for a deadly bombing at the Marriott Hotel in Bangkok in 2003.  Sources told the Herald Khan has agreed to testify at military commissions in exchange for allowing him to return to Pakistan.  Khan was living legally with his parents in Baltimore when he returned to Pakistan against their wishes.  President George W. Bush announced his arrest in 2006.

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Reports of a foiled plan to assassinate the Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, have set off waves of scepticism as distrust of the government erupted publicly just days before Sunday's presidential election.  Russians have long been quietly cynical of their leaders, and the internet has been home to widespread irreverence about Mr Putin and his government.  But the street protests that have roiled Moscow since December's parliamentary elections have had wide resonance.

Despite numerous details about the alleged plot and confessions shown on national television, disbelief reverberated throughout Moscow.  Even in the national parliament, the Duma, politicians questioned the report.  Even believers were uncomfortable about the timing. 'The event dates back to February 4 and news about it has emerged today, on the last week before voting,' said Sergei Mironov, a Duma deputy, presidential candidate and head of A Just Russia.  'I have the feeling that all this is not a mere coincidence.

Read more: Sydney Morning Herald