(Fox News) Italian security forces were rounding up 18 Islamic extremists Friday who prosecutors said were behind a failed 2010 plot to attack the Vatican as well as a bombing at a Pakistan market that killed more than 100 a year earlier.
Prosecutor Mauro Mura told reporters in Cagliari, Sardinia, on Friday that wiretaps indicated the suspected terrorists, including two former bodyguards for Usama bin Laden, planned a bomb attack at the Vatican and went as far as to send a suicide bomber to Rome. Mura said the attack plans never went further and that the suicide bomber left Italy, though it wasn't clear why.
“We don’t have proof, we have strong suspicion,” Mario Carta, head of the police unit leading the investigation, said when asked for more details on a possible attack against the seat of the Catholic church.
Authorities said nine suspects had been caught, and another nine were being sought, three of whom were believed to still be in the country. One of the suspects arrested Friday had a construction business in Sardinia that participated in work for a Group of Eight summit planned for Sardinia but that was later moved to quake-stricken Aquilia, in Abruzzo to boost reconstruction. Another was an imam in the northern province of Bergamo.
Vatican secretary of state Pietro Parolin said the threat is chilling, even if it is old.
"We are all exposed and we are all afraid," Parolin said. "But the pope is very calm for this, it's enough to watch him meeting people with great clarity and serenity."
Friday, April 24, 2015
|Sevdet Besim, one of the Australian plotters, making in ISIS-associated sign in a|
picture posted to Instagram in March 2015
(The Independent) A 14-year-old British boy accused of encouraging a man in Australia to carry out a terrorist beheading and attack a war remembrance event has appeared in court.
The teenager from Blackburn - thought to be the youngest person charged with Islamist-related terror offences in the UK- was remanded in custody to youth detention accommodation after District Judge Emma Arbuthnot turned down a bail application at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London.
The boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was charged yesterday with two counts of inciting terrorism overseas.
He was arrested after police allegedly uncovered communications with an 18-year-old man in Australia. No details of the communications have been released as they form part of the investigation, Australian police said.
Five Australian teenagers were also arrested over the alleged plans to attack at an ANZAC Day ceremony in Melbourne. Police said evidence suggested that the plot involved attacking police officers.
One of the Australian teenagers has been identified by Australian media as Sevdet Besim from Narre Warren, Victoria, a suburb of Melbourne.
The alleged plot is said to have involved targeting police officers at the ceremony marking the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps’ First World War battle in Gallipoli on April 25.
Between March 15 and 26 the British teenager is said to have incited another person to commit an act of terrorism, "namely to carry out an attack at an Anzac parade in Australia with the aim of killing and/or causing serious injury to people".
It is also alleged that on March 18 he incited another person to behead a member of the public in Australia.
The boy, dressed in a police-issue grey tracksuit, spoke in a soft voice and stood with his arms folded as he confirmed his name, age and address at the start of the hearing.
ANZAC Day is the annual April 25 commemoration of the 1915 Gallipoli landings - the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
(AFP) Sid Ahmed Ghlam, a 24-year-old electrical engineering student and an Algerian national, was arrested in Paris on Sunday morning after calling an ambulance. It appears that he had accidentally shot himself in the leg.
After the emergency services alerted police that they were treating a gunshot wound, Ghlam’s car was discovered by following a blood trail.
Inside the vehicle was an “arsenal” of weapons, Molins said, including handguns, bullet-proof vests and an AK-47 assault rifle.
They also found a laptop and three mobile phones, which Molins said were used to contact an accomplice in Syria “who explicitly asked him to target a church”.
More weapons were found in Ghlam’s flat, as well as “documents in Arabic relating to al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group”.
As well as the weapons and documents, police said they had also found magnetic flashing blue lights of the type that police fix to the roofs of unmarked cars, and orange “Police” armbands used by non-uniformed officers.
Ghlam’s DNA was also found in the car of a 32-year-old fitness instructor Aurélie Châtelain who was found dead in Villejuif, a suburb of Paris, on Sunday.
Earlier, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Ghlam was known to intelligence services for wanting to fight with jihadists in Syria.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Moscow (AFP) - Russia said Monday the leader of the Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus was killed in a special operation, and militants confirmed his death.
Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee said that Aliaskhab Kebekov was "neutralised" during a special operation in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan.
Kavkaz Center website, used by rebels to release statements, confirmed Kebekov's death, saying that "our dear brother became a martyr."
Kebekov, 43, a native of Dagestan, took over as leader of the Caucasus Emirate group in 2014 after the death of its veteran Chechen leader Doku Umarov.
Russia included Kebekov on its federal list of terrorists and extremists. He was declared wanted in 2012 for taking part in an illegal armed group.
The United States named Kebekov a "global terrorist", citing his claimed readiness to carry out orders from al-Qaida.
Forces from Russia's FSB security force and interior ministry surrounded the rebels in a building and opened answering fire after attempts to negotiate broke down, the committee said.
The building where the rebels were hiding was destroyed during the fighting and the bodies were pulled out from under the collapsed walls, the Russian authorities said.
Dagestan's regional interior ministry published photos of a fire burning fiercely inside a collapsed building.
Those in the building included several women, who refused to leave, while a child was handed out and survived, Russia's anti-terrorism committee said.
Russia said Kebekov was directly involved in organising suicide bombings in the southern city of Volgograd in 2013 that killed 34 people.
It said he also played a crucial role in the financial structure of the Caucasus Emirate "practically organising the extortion of money from the public."
Former US President viewed as 'permanently damaging' to Israel, diplomatic source reveals.
I hope they extend the same courtesy to Obama beginning on January 21, 2017.
I hope they extend the same courtesy to Obama beginning on January 21, 2017.
(INN) Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has refused to meet former US President Jimmy Carter in an upcoming visit to Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Gaza due to his anti-Israeli views, Channel 10 reports Monday.
A senior diplomatic source told the news agency that Carter, who has a long history of antagonism towards Israel, is "permanently damaging" to Israel and that Israel's leaders should refrain from meeting with him, on principle. Rivlin's advisors have said the same.
In May 2014, the former President supported the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) unilateral push to join international organizations in breach of the ongoing peace talks with Israel and the 1993 Oslo Accords.
The year before, he called on the European Union (EU) to label products coming from "illegal Israeli settlements" - despite the fact that Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria is legal under international law.
In 2006, Carter wrote a book entitled "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." His claims in the book, which he continued to espouse even after factual errors were revealed, led the reporting accuracy group CAMERA to say that the ex-president “clearly has an Israel, and even a Jewish problem.”
SANAA (Reuters) - An air strike on a Scud missile base in the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital Sanaa triggered a big explosion that killed 25 people and wounded almost 400 on Monday, state news agency Saba said.
Saudi Arabia has led an alliance of Sunni Arab countries in air strikes against the Iran-allied Shi'ite Houthi group and army units loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
"Twenty-five citizens were killed and more than 398 were wounded, mostly women and children, according to a preliminary figure after the Saudi aggression's bombing today," said the agency, which is run by the Houthis.
The number could not be immediately verified, but medical sources told Reuters at least 15 people had been killed and scores wounded.
The blast hit the base on Faj Attan mountain beside the Hadda district, home to the presidential palace and many embassies, blowing out the windows of homes for kilometers around and sending a tall mushroom cloud into the air.
Resident Adel Mansour said it was the largest explosion in more than three weeks of bombing by the Saudi-led coalition.
"For the first time since the start of the bombing the windows of my house smashed," Mansour said. "My children are terrified and one of my relatives fainted because of the force of the blast."
The campaign has repeatedly targeted the Faj Attan facility along with other military bases and airports in Sanaa and throughout the country.
For some strange reason, the convicted, instead of rejoicing that they finally achieved the much coveted martyrdom, plan to appeal. It's like a commercial, where they try to sell to you something they don't want for themselves.
CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court sentenced 22 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death on Monday over an attack on a police station in a district outside Cairo in 2013, judicial sources said.
The assault was part of a wave of violence that rocked the country after the army removed elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi from power following mass protests against his rule in June 2013.
One other defendant, who is a juvenile, was given a 10 year sentence, the sources said. A lawyer for the convicted men said they would appeal.