Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Man-Caused Disaster Foiled: Two Chicago Men Charged in Danish Cartoon Terror Plot

Don't be alarmed, folks, Bill Ayers isn't one of them.
Federal authorities have arrested and charged two Chicago-area men in connection with an alleged terrorist plot focused on targets in Denmark after a newspaper there published cartoons that enraged the Muslim community.

Prosecutors in Chicago and the District said that the men posed "no imminent danger" and noted that David Coleman Headley and Tahawwar Hussein Rana have been in U.S. custody for several days while they conducted further "investigative activity."

Headley, 49, allegedly identified targets in Denmark for a possible terror strike and traveled there twice this year to conduct surveillance and to report to overseers in Pakistan with ties to al Qaeda, according to court papers.

He was arrested earlier this month at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in a flight that was to culminate in Pakistan, authorities said. He faces charges including conspiracy to murder people abroad and providing material support to terrorist groups.

A U.S. citizen who changed his name three years ago, Headley allegedly conspired with high-ranking operatives overseas, using code words to conceal the plot called the "Mickey Mouse Project." Among Headley's correspondents, prosecutors say, were two unnamed people with ties to the al Qaeda affiliated group Lashkar-e-Taiba and with Ilyas Kashmiri, the operational chief of another Pakistani organization connected to al Qaeda.

Rana, a Pakistani native who resides in Chicago where he owns a halal meat business and an immigration operation, has been charged with conspiring to provide support to terrorists by allegedly helping to arrange Headley's travels.

"The public should be reassured there was no imminent danger in the Chicago area," U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald said in a statement.
An immigration operation?


In other terrorist news, two men in New York are charged with aiding Hezbollah.
An Indian man and an alleged accomplice have been charged with agreeing to sell guns and military equipment in a sting operation to Lebanese Shi'ite guerrilla group Hezbollah, U.S. authorities said on Tuesday.

Patrick Nayyar, a 45-year-old Indian citizen who had been illegally residing in New York City, is accused of meeting with an FBI informant posing as working for Hezbollah and agreeing to sell guns, ammunition, vehicles, bulletproof vests and night vision goggles, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Nayyar and an alleged accomplice, Conrad Mulholland, face charges including conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization after they had meetings with the informant between July and September of this year, according to the indictment filed on Monday.

Nayyar was arrested on September 24 at his home in New York on separate charges while Mulholland remains at large.
Here's an FBI press release.

Glad to see we've managed to avoid any man-caused disasters.

Update: A further look at the Chicago arrests and the neighboorhood Rana hails from.

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