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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Feb 16, 2012

The privileged student from an affluent Nigerian family who became known as the "underwear bomber" received four life sentences Thursday, the maximum penalty for trying to kill almost 300 people aboard a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day 2009.  "This court has no ability to control his motivation, which appears to be unchanged," said U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds, before issuing the sentence to a packed courtroom in downtown Detroit. "I can control his opportunity to act on those intentions."

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab didn't react to the sentence but said "Allahu akbar," before being handcuffed and escorted out of the courtroom.  The sentence capped an international ordeal stretching from Detroit to Yemen, where Abdulmutallab underwent training as an al-Qaida operative.  Five passengers of Northwest Flight 253 gave testimony Thursday about how their lives had changed but insisted the terror bid, and Abdulmutallab, were failures.

Read more: The Detroit News

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the privileged son of a wealthy Nigerian banker, returns to federal court in Detroit on Thursday to receive a mandatory life sentence for trying to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253, four months after pleading guilty and admitting it was a suicide mission for Al Qaeda.  The hearing is an open platform for passengers and crew who want to speak, but only five of nearly 300 are expected to address the court, according to the government.

On the second day of the trial in October, Abdulmutallab suddenly pleaded guilty to all charges.  In a defiant speech, he said he was carrying a "blessed weapon" to avenge Muslims who have been killed or poorly treated around the world.  He admitted he was inspired by Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American-born cleric and leading Al Qaeda figure in Yemen who was killed by a U.S. drone strike last fall.

Read more: Fox News

The NYPD has stepped up security precautions here to combat a potential terror attack by Iran.  CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer has learned the Iranians may already have drawn up an attack blueprint.  Officials are on the alert for what they are calling an “off the shelf” terror attack by Iran, a plot the nation’s spies may have already developed for use when the timing is right.  The fear is Iran may think the right time is now.

Anti-terror cops pulled over a rental truck in Times Square on Wednesday, searching its undercarriage for a bomb.  The NYPD is also on the alert for motorcycle riders armed with so called “sticky bombs” that can be attached to a car in the blink of an eye.  It’s part of a stepped up security alert by law enforcement officials who fear the increasing international belligerence of Iran could lead to a terror attack here in New York City sometime soon.

Read more: CBS News

Israeli officials have firmly denied claims that a plot to assassinate Israel's defence minister, Ehud Barak, in Singapore had been thwarted by local security agencies working on information from Mossad.  Al-Jarida, a Kuwaiti newspaper, said that three members of an Iranian Hezbollah cell were detained in Singapore this week after Mossad agents passed on intelligence.  An Israeli official said the report was "completely wrong", adding:  "No one knows anything about any incident.  There has been no alarm."

Barak was in Singapore to visit the air show and meet officials.  The claim followed three attacks and attempted attacks on Israeli targets this week, in Delhi, Tbilisi and Bangkok.  Bangkok police said on Thursday that the three suspects in the bungled attack in the Thai capital were intending to target Israeli diplomats.  Two of the suspects, both Iranian, are in Thai police custody.  The legs of one were blown off when a device detonated.  A third Iranian suspect was detained in Malaysia.

Read more: The Guardian

A leader of al-Qaida's wing in Yemen has been killed by his brother at a mosque, in a family dispute which then led to the brother being killed in a revenge attack, according to tribal and security sources.  Tareq al-Dahab – brother-in-law of U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki who died in an American drone attack last year – was killed with five bodyguards by his brother Hizam and fighters from the Dahab tribe while praying in the early hours of Thursday at a mosque in al-Baydah province.

"Tareq al-Dahab and five of his bodyguards were killed in a mosque in the al-Manasih area near his home," said a tribal source.  "His brother Hizam had three men with him and they killed Tareq and his men easily because they surprised them."  Tareq's followers later avenged the deaths by blowing up Hizam's house, killing him, tribal sources said.  A third brother, Nabil al-Dahab, is now expected to become al-Qaida's leader in al-Baydah.

Read more: The Guardian