Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Faisal Shahzad, 30, a Muslim from Pakistan who was recently naturalized as a U.S. citizen, was arrested late Monday night by Customs and Border Protection agents at JFK airport as he attempted to flee the U.S. to his native Pakistan via Dubai.

Shahzad was placed on the “do-not-fly” list earlier Monday based on information developed during the course of the investigation into the attempted vehicle bombing in Time Square. He was identified as the individual who drove the vehicle into Times Square.

Authorities are currently investigating Shahzad’s U.S. support network in the New York area, including other possible suspects who have not yet been publicly identified.

According to information provided to this author by New York authorities, Shahzad lives in Shelton, Connecticut. He became naturalized in April 2009 shortly before traveling back to Pakistan for a five-month period. Shahzad is married and reportedly maintains a wife in Pakistan. His activities while in Pakistan allegedly include meetings with at least one Pakistani based Muslim terrorist organization and time spent at terror training camps, based on information provided to this author.

Also according to information provided by a New York official, investigators are looking into Shahzad’s U.S. contacts as the probe into Saturday’s bombing attempt widens. “There is no doubt that this was an Islamic inspired, sanctioned and funded attempted terror attack against the citizens of the U.S.,” stated the New York official on the strict condition of anonymity. “There is a concern that more attacks are being planned by individuals in the U.S.as well as in other countries, especially Pakistan,” added this source.

Investigators initially identified Shahzad through the purchase of the Nissan Pathfinder used in the bombing attempt. Investigators also gathered information about Shahzad and other likely suspects from a video message uploaded 24 hours before the attempted attack by a group known as Tehreek-e-Taliban, different from the Pakistani group who originally claimed responsibility for the act.  The video featured Qari Hussein Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban leader and bomb trainer referencing the Times Square attack and promises for additional terrorist attacks inside the U.S.

That video was then followed by the release of two additional video messages from Hakeemullah Mehsud, the head of the Taliban in Pakistan believed to have been killed in a U.S. missile strike in North Waziristan last January. Although it is important to note the distinction between the messages and the groups, it is interesting to note that all of the videos were posted on the Internet by the Tehreek-e-Taliban, also known as the “Pakistan News Channel.” Additionally, investigation revealed that the messages were recorded sometime in early April.

Shahzad will be brought to the Manhattan Federal Courthouse today to be formally charged.


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Jewish and Muslim students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee clashed during an Israel Independence Day event on campus.

A Jewish student was injured and a Muslim student was arrested by campus police during the April 29 incident on a plaza located outside of the student union, the Journal Sentinel reported.

Members of the Muslim Student Association confronted Jewish students during the Yom Ha’azmaut event marking the 62nd anniversary of Israel’s founding. A Jewish student tried to throw a Palestinian flag in a garbage can.  Anti-Israel slogans and a swastika had been painted on the plaza the night before the event, the newspaper reported.

A group of Muslim and Jewish students met on the plaza Friday to discuss their future relations, the Journal Sentinel reported.

Jewish students have requested a meeting with university officials to discuss their safety at future events.

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The man police hunted for savagely beating a nurse in a Hell’s Kitchen bar bathroom after she dissed him on the dance floor has been charged.

Chief police spokesman Paul Browne says 30-year-old Mbarek Lafrem, of Norwood, Pa., was charged with assault and attempted rape. A phone number listed for him in Norwood was disconnected.

Browne says Lafrem was working at a midtown construction site and was staying at a hotel near the bar. He says Lafrem’s co-workers contacted authorities after they saw him in a video released by police.

The victim, a 29-year-old pediatric nurse at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, suffered fractures to her nose, eye socket and skull and required 50 stitches to her face in the vicious assault at the pub early Thursday morning.

Lafrem admitted he had tried to cut in while the woman was dancing with another man but she rebuffed him. He said he was drunk and angry, and when she went to the bathroom, he followed her in and brutally beat her, the sources said.

She was found lying unconscious with her pants down.

Although a rape kit came back negative, police are treating it as an attempted sexual assault.

Police had put out video footage of Lafrem walking out of the bar at 2:17 a.m. and shaking his hand as if he had injured it. He was also captured on video at a nearby store minutes later.

The victim, who underwent surgery at Weill Cornell Medical Center was recovering with her family yesterday.

“[The family] wishes to express their sincere gratitude for the outpouring of support they have received,” the hospital said in a statement.

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Five Muslim soldiers at Fort Jackson in South Carolina were arrested just before Christmas. It is unclear whether the men are still in custody. The five were part of the Arabic Translation program at the base.

The men are suspected of trying to poison the food supply at Fort Jackson.

A source with intimate knowledge of the investigation, which is ongoing, told CBN News investigators suspect the “Fort Jackson Five” may have been in contact with the group of five Washington, DC area Muslims that traveled to Pakistan to wage jihad against U.S. troops in December. That group was arrested by Pakistani authorities, also just before Christmas.

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Federal agents have charged three Miami businessmen with conspiring to smuggle videogame consoles to a shopping center in Paraguay that funds political terrorist group Hezbollah.

Khaled T. Safadi, Ulises Talavera, and Emilio Gonzalez-Neira were arrested Thursday following a nearly three-year investigation of their Miami-based export and freight-forwarding businesses. ICE agents working with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force say the three falsified invoices and export paperwork and used a network of fake addresses to mask the true destination of thousands of Sony cameras and Playstations: the Galeria Page Mall in Cuidad del Este.

The U.S. Treasury has identified Galeria Page as the headquarters for Lebanon-based Hezbollah in the tri-border region of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay; they say the manager pays a regular quota to Hezbollah based on the center’s sales.

Federal prosecutors say wire transfer payments to the Miami shippers from their contact at Galeria Page, Paraguayan national Samer Mehdi, were routed through various other business to conceal their origin. Mehdi has also been charged but remains at large.

A source said the alleged smuggling ring made “hundreds of millions” of dollars for Hezbollah.

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On sale exclusively at Target is this innocent-looking toy globe. Thousands of these trinkets have already moved out of malls, from Queens to Honolulu, and landed in living rooms and kids’ rooms across America.

But folks who forked over a buck for the miniature worlds got less than they bargained for.

These planetary models contain just about all the countries on Earth — from France to China, Singapore to Spain. But there’s one glaring exception: Israel.

In the spot where Israel should be, this word is printed: “Palestine.” Some of those who unwittingly purchased the Israel-free orbs feel as if they’ve played a role in a modern-day Final Solution.

“They’re teaching kids there is no Israel, only Palestine,” said Rabbi Gary Moskowitz, who bought a globe at the Queens Center Mall for his 5-year-old daughter. “This encourages terrorism. This foments hatred.”

Bob Kunst learned of the globe’s omission when a friend’s 12-year-old daughter in Florida asked innocently, “Where’s Israel?”

“The very people who deny Israel’s existence also deny the Holocaust,” he said.

After receiving complaints, Target, which sold the globes for several weeks, finally responded. On Sunday, it began yanking the globes from its 1,744 stores in 49 states (Vermont is Target-free), and destroying them. We hope.

“We didn’t want to offend any of our guests,” said Amy Reilly of Target customer relations, who initially said the omission of Israel was due to lack of space on the item. (Isn’t “Palestine” a longer word?)

Devrian Global Industries of New Jersey, which imported “tens of thousands” of globes from China, apologized. “Obviously, it was a mistake. We obviously offended some people. Now we’re pulling them off the shelves,” said chief merchandising officer Larry Fine.

No estimate on how many were sold.

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In a move that could complicate airport screening, a group of Muslim-American scholars issued a religious ruling this week that called upon the faithful to not go through body scanners because the scholars said the machines violate Islamic rules on nudity.

A growing number of body scanners – 450 more of them this year – are to be introduced in airports across the U.S., say Transportation Security Administration officials. Their increased use comes after the Dec. 25 bombing attempt on an airline over Detroit, heightening fears of terrorism. The suspect in the failed bombing is a Nigerian Muslim.

The Fiqh Council of North America – a national group based in Indiana – said the scanners contravene Islamic law, which is grounded in the holy book the Quran. The council consists of an executive council and a council of 10 scholars. It’s an affiliate of the Islamic Society of North America.

“It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women,” reads the fatwa. “Islam highly emphasizes haya (modesty) and considers it part of faith. The Quran has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their private parts.”

Since the Dec. 25 bombing attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab – who hid explosive chemicals in his underwear – some have called for the use of body scanners at airports to find explosives and other dangerous materials on passengers. The scanners show in graphic detail the outlines of a person’s body.

Currently, there are 40 full-body scanners – two of them in Detroit – at 19 airports in the U.S., said TSA spokesman Jim Fotenos.

One option offered to passengers who don’t want to go through a scanner would be a pat-down by a security guard of the same gender, Fotenos said.

The two members of the Fiqh Council from Michigan are Imam Hassan Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn and Imam Ali Suleiman Ali of the Canton Mosque. “Fiqh” means Islamic jurisprudence.

The director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a separate group that has a chapter in Michigan, says it endorses the fatwa.

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