Things In The News #01

Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
David Letterman Blackmailed for $2 million.

CBS worker arrested in Letterman blackmail plot
By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer
Friday, Oct 2, 2009, 4:31 AM

A CBS News employee is accused of trying to extort $2 million from David Letterman, forcing the late-night host to admit in an extraordinary monologue before millions of viewers that he had sexual relationships with female employees.

Letterman said that "this whole thing has been quite scary." But he mixed in jokes while outlining what had happened to him, seeming to confuse a laughing audience at Thursday's taping about whether the story was true.

The network said the person who was arrested works on the true-crime show "48 Hours" and has been suspended. A person with knowledge of the investigation said the suspect is Robert J. Halderman. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because authorities have not released the suspect's name.

A "48 Hours" producer named Joe Halderman was part of a team nominated for an Emmy for outstanding continuing coverage of a news story in a news magazine in 2008. Two numbers listed for Halderman were disconnected, and a message left at a third number was not immediately returned Thursday.

Letterman's "Late Show" audience was the first to hear the story, which came as a shock since the 62-year-old Letterman had married longtime girlfriend Regina Lasko in March. The couple began dating in 1986 and have a son, Harry, born in November 2003. Fatherhood and his heart surgery in 2000 had seemed to mellow Letterman, who took over as the most popular late-night comedy host this summer after NBC replaced Jay Leno with Conan O'Brien on the "Tonight" show.

Letterman sat behind his desk to outline the scheme after a monologue that targeted some frequent foils like Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney.

Three weeks ago, Letterman said, he got in his car early in the morning and found a package with a letter saying, "I know that you do some terrible, terrible things and that I can prove that you do some terrible things." He acknowledged the letter contained proof.

He said it was terrifying "because there's something insidious about (it). Is he standing down there? Is he hiding under the car? Am I going to get a tap on the shoulder?"

Letterman said he called his lawyer to set up a meeting with the man, who threatened to write a screenplay and a book about Letterman unless he was given money. There were two subsequent meetings, with the man given a phony $2 million check at the last one. Letterman joked it was like the giant ceremonial check given to winners of golf tournaments.

He told the audience that he had to testify before a grand jury on Thursday.

"I was worried for myself, I was worried for my family," he said. "I felt menaced by this, and I had to tell them all of the creepy things that I had done."

He said "the creepy stuff was that I have had sex with women who work for me on this show. My response to that is yes, I have. Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Yes, it would, especially for the women."

Whether they wanted to make the relationships public was up to them, he said.

"It's been a very bizarre experience," he said. "I felt like I needed to protect these people. I need to protect my family. I need to protect myself. Hope to protect my job."

CBS said in a statement that "we believe his comments speak for themselves."

Perhaps as a defense mechanism, Letterman sprinkled his remarks with jokes: "I know what you're saying," he said. "I'll be darned, Dave had sex."

He said he wouldn't talk further about it, and recited a Top Ten list. But it wasn't far from his mind. During banter with actor guest Woody Harrelson, Letterman said, "I've got my own problems."

It was not immediately clear when the relationships took place or how long they lasted. Letterman's "Late Show" has been on the air since 1993. Before that, "Late Night with David Letterman" aired on NBC from 1982 to 1993.

Letterman won't be taping a show Friday. Friday night's show was taped Thursday.

Alicia Maxey Greene, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney's office, declined to comment.

It's the second set of embarrassing headlines for Letterman in four months. In June, he apologized to Palin for making a crude joke about the former Republican vice presidential candidate's 14-year-old daughter. Although there was a small "fire Letterman" demonstration outside of his studio later, CBS stood by its late-night star.

Last fall Letterman sharply denounced Palin's running mate, John McCain, for abruptly canceling a "Late Show" appearance. Weeks of withering jokes by Letterman eventually forced McCain to come on the show and beg for forgiveness.

Letterman was also the victim of a 2005 plot by a former painter on his Montana ranch to kidnap his nanny and son for a $5 million ransom. The former painter, Kelly A. Frank, briefly escaped from prison in 2007 before being recaptured.

Another alleged extortion scandal surrounding a public figure, Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino, similarly forced him this summer to acknowledge an affair.
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Congratulations to Barack Obama for being awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. People were heard to gasp at the announcement since President Obama hasn't really achieved any noteworthy action in world peace, nor domestic legislation.

In a surprise, Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize
By KARL RITTER and MATT MOORE, Associated Press Writers
Friday, October 8, 2009, 6:29 AM, Eastern Daylight Savings Time

OSLO – President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation.

The stunning choice made Obama the third sitting U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize and shocked Nobel observers because Obama took office less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline. Obama's name had been mentioned in speculation before the award but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to award the president.

Speculation had focused on Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a Colombian senator and a Chinese dissident, along with an Afghan woman's rights activist.

The Nobel committee praised Obama's creation of "a new climate in international politics" and said he had returned multilateral diplomacy and institutions like the U.N. to the center of the world stage. The plaudit appeared to be a slap at President George W. Bush from a committee that harshly criticized Obama's predecessor for resorting to largely unilateral military action in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Rather than recognizing concrete achievement, the 2009 prize appeared intended to support initiatives that have yet to bear fruit: reducing the world stock of nuclear arms, easing American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthening the U.S. role in combating climate change.

"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee said. "In the past year Obama has been a key person for important initiatives in the U.N. for nuclear disarmament and to set a completely new agenda for the Muslim world and East-West relations."

He added that the committee endorsed "Obama's appeal that 'Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.'"

President Theodore Roosevelt won the award in 1906 and President Woodrow Wilson won in 1919.

The committee chairman said after awarding the 2002 prize to former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, for his mediation in international conflicts, that it should be seen as a "kick in the leg" to the Bush administration's hard line in the buildup to the Iraq war.

Five years later, the committee honored Bush's adversary in the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore, for his campaign to raise awareness about global warming.

The Nobel committee received a record 205 nominations for this year's prize though it was not immediately apparent who nominated Obama.

"The exciting and important thing about this prize is that it's given to someone ... who has the power to contribute to peace," Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said.

Nominators include former laureates; current and former members of the committee and their staff; members of national governments and legislatures; university professors of law, theology, social sciences, history and philosophy; leaders of peace research and foreign affairs institutes; and members of international courts of law.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation welcomed the award on behalf of its founder Nelson Mandela, who shared the 1993 Peace Prize with then-South African President F.W. DeKlerk for their efforts at ending years of apartheid and laying the groundwork for a democratic country.

"We trust that this award will strengthen his commitment, as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, to continue promoting peace and the eradication of poverty," the foundation said.

In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel stipulated that the peace prize should go "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses."

Unlike the other Nobel Prizes, which are awarded by Swedish institutions, he said the peace prize should be given out by a five-member committee elected by the Norwegian Parliament. Sweden and Norway were united under the same crown at the time of Nobel's death.

The committee has taken a wide interpretation of Nobel's guidelines, expanding the prize beyond peace mediation to include efforts to combat poverty, disease and climate change.
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
FBI Kills Radical Muslim Convert-Turned-Imam During Raid on Detroit Area Warehouse

Kind of shocking reading about locals involved in radical Islamic groups. While the dead man's supporters say that he was an Imam of a mosque, others point out he was a convict who converted to Islam while serving time in prison.

It turns out this Detroiter has a grown son in Windsor who is suspected as a follower.
Posted: Oct. 29, 2009
Radical mosque leader killed in FBI shootout
Feds say goal was Islamic nation in U.S.

After a 2-year investigation, FBI agents descended on a Dearborn warehouse Wednesday hoping to capture the suspected head of an Islamic fundamentalist group.

The scene quickly turned chaotic, however, in a shootout that caused agents to gun down Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, leader of the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque in Detroit. Abdullah is accused in a federal complaint of heading a Sunni Muslim group with the mission of establishing a separate Islamic nation within the United States.

Eleven other men were criminally charged in the raids, which also occurred in Detroit.

Abdullah, known to some as Christopher Thomas, died after firing on officers during the raid, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. An FBI dog also was fatally wounded.

The suspects "are members of a group that is alleged to have engaged in violent activity over a period of many years and known to be armed," a joint statement from the Detroit FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Abdullah and the others were charged with conspiracy to commit several federal felonies, including illegal possession and sale of firearms and theft from interstate shipments.

Three of the men charged were at large Wednesday night. The others are expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Detroit today for detention hearings.

Abdullah spoke of attacking Super Bowl XL
Abdullah believed he and his followers were soldiers at war against the government and non-Muslims.

"Abdullah told his followers it is their duty to oppose the FBI and the government and it does not matter if they die," FBI agent Gary Leone said in an affidavit unsealed Wednesday. "He also told the group that they need to plan to do something."

Abdullah, 53, of Detroit stayed true to his word Wednesday as armed FBI agents raided a Dearborn warehouse at Michigan Avenue and Miller. Four other suspects surrendered without incident. Authorities said Abdullah refused to surrender, opened fire and then died in a shootout in which an FBI dog also was killed.

"We're not any fake terrorists, we're the real terrorists," Abdullah once boasted to an undercover informant, according to the affidavit.

Agents also raided two Detroit homes, one in the 4400 block of Tireman and the other in the 9200 block of Genessee. The affidavits and returns for those warrants were sealed Wednesday.

The U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI in Detroit unsealed a 43-page document, however, describing a sinister, radical fundamentalist group allegedly headed by Abdullah. The document notes conversations he had with undercover agents and federal informants that ranged from talking about attacking Super Bowl XL in Detroit to blowing himself up as a final act of courage.

"If they are coming to get to me, I'll just strap a bomb on and blow up everybody," he said in a March 21, 2008, conversation.

Federal officials said Abdullah was the leader of a group that calls itself "Ummah, a group of mostly African-American converts to Islam, which seeks to establish a separate Sharia-law governed state within the United States."

"The Ummah is ruled by Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, who is serving a state sentence ... for the murder of two police officers in Georgia."

Brown came to prominence in the 1960s as a leader of the Black Panther Party.

Referring to Abdullah, Leone said in the affidavit, "He regularly preaches antigovernment and antilaw enforcement rhetoric. Abdullah and his followers have trained regularly in the use of firearms and continue to train in martial arts and sword fighting."

Why Abdullah and his followers chose Detroit as their haven remains unknown, Detroit FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said Wednesday.

According to the affidavit, Abdullah ran a mosque in a building on Joy Road in Detroit until he was evicted in January for delinquent taxes, causing a move to the 4000 block of Clairmount.

Inside the mosque, authorities said, Abdullah conducted firearms training, spewed hate and sometimes violently disciplined children by beating them with sticks.

He beat one boy "so badly with sticks that he was unable to walk for several days," Leone said in his affidavit.

During the Jan. 20 eviction, police found two firearms and about 40 knives and martial arts weapons in Abdullah's apartment within the mosque, investigators said.

Authorities said none of the charges are terrorist-related, but U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg said the case is still under investigation. Abdullah and 11 suspects were charged with felonies including illegal possession and sale of firearms, mail fraud to obtain the proceeds of arson, theft from interstate shipments and tampering with motor vehicle identification numbers.

Seven of the suspects were in U.S. District Court on Wednesday for initial appearances, one was in custody and three were still being sought.

Even as FBI investigators kept tabs on Abdullah through surveillance, he urged his cohorts to learn of the agents' whereabouts.

"Trail them, follow them, know where they house is at, and everything else," he told an informant, according to the criminal complaint. "You've got hundreds of agents right there off Michigan" Avenue.

The reference was to the McNamara Building, the headquarters of the Detroit FBI.

"The FBI knows that I will kill them," he said, adding that police also are targets, according to the affidavit.

Imad Hamad, senior national adviser and regional director of the Dearborn-based Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, said he received a call from the head of the FBI's Detroit office midday to tell him about the raid.

Hamad said FBI Special Agent Andrew Arena told him that the case was "solely criminal" and had to do with "smuggling and fraud." He said Arena revealed few details of the investigation, but said it had been ongoing for about two years.

Hamad said he didn't know the defendants.

"Agents were trying to chase some people," Hamad said Arena told him, referring to the raid. "They were giving instructions to lay down. He resisted. He pulled a gun. They exchanged fire, he was shot down, killed. A dog ... was dead as well."

The warehouse is near the heavily commercial intersection of Miller and Michigan.

Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Arena called him as well.

Walid said he knew Abdullah.

"I know him as a respected imam in the Muslim community," Walid said.

Shadi Saad, the owner of Wellcare Pharmacy on Oakman in Dearborn, said he stepped outside before lunchtime to see several people in FBI jackets with guns going toward the warehouse across the street.

He heard noises like shots and a short time later a helicopter descended.

"It was like a movie scene for a minute," Saad said.

He said he opened his business just 10 days ago. "This isn't the way I wanted it to start."

The suspects

The FBI targeted 12 people believed to be engaged in violent crimes over many years. After raids Wednesday, police still are searching for three of them.


Luqman Ameen Abdullah (a.k.a. Christopher Thomas), 53, of Detroit. Was shot and killed during the raids. He had been charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes, sale or receipt of stolen goods transported in interstate commerce, providing firearms or ammunition to a person known to be a convicted felon, possession of body armor by a person convicted of a violent felony and altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers.

In court

Mohammad Abdul Salaam (a.k.a. Gregory Stone), 45, of Detroit. Charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes and sale or receipt of stolen goods transported in interstate commerce.

Abdullah Beard (a.k.a. Detric Lamont Driver), 37, of Detroit. Charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.

Abdul Saboor (a.k.a. Dwayne Edward Davis), 37, of Detroit. Charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.

Adam Ibraheem, 38, of Detroit. Charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.

Gary Laverne Porter (a.k.a. Mujahid LNU), 59, of Detroit. Charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes and possession of firearms or ammunition by a convicted felon.

Ali Abdul Raqib, 57, of Detroit. Charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.

Mohammad Abdul Bassir (a.k.a. Franklin D. Roosevelt Williams), 50, of Ojibway Correctional Facility. Charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes, sale or receipt of stolen goods transported in interstate commerce, mail fraud, providing firearms or ammunition to a person known to be a convicted felon, possession of firearms or ammunition by a convicted felon and altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers.

A.C. Pusha, charged with receiving and selling stolen goods transported in interstate commerce.

At large

Mujahid Carswell (a.k.a. Mujahid Abdullah), 30, of Detroit and Ontario. Charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.

Mohammad Alsahi (a.k.a. Mohammad Palestine), 33, of Ontario. Charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.

Yassir Ali Khan, 30, of Ontario and Warren. Charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.

Source: FBI documents
Posted: Oct. 30, 2009
FBI defends decision to shoot mosque leader
Case reopens Muslim concerns on informants

Terrorists? Two-bit thugs? Or innocent? Those are the questions surrounding the dozen men described as radical fundamentalists charged in a criminal conspiracy that includes firearms and stolen goods offenses.

As seven suspects appeared Thursday in U.S. District Court in Detroit for detention hearings, prosecutors warned of possible retaliation for the killing of the group's leader, Luqman Ameen Abdullah. FBI agents killed Abdullah, 53, of Detroit during a Wednesday raid and shootout at a Dearborn warehouse.

"We know from his conduct yesterday that violence was intended," U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg said Thursday. Two suspects were at large late Thursday.

But defense attorneys scoffed at a 43-page detailed affidavit that highlights Abdullah's alleged hatred of government and police agencies and call for a jihad.

The suspects are not charged with any form of terrorism.

"I don't see any terrorism charges," said defense attorney Robert F. Kinney, who represents suspect Abdul Saboor, 37, of Detroit. "Terrorism is a very serious charge."

Federal authorities defended the actions they took.

Detroit FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena said Abdullah, imam of the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque in Detroit, was armed and opened fire during a raid at a Dearborn warehouse, which he described as an undercover, FBI-controlled location.

"I'm comfortable with what the agents did. They did what they had to do to protect themselves," Arena said, later adding: "We do not target religious institutions."

On Thursday, Windsor police and Canada Border Services agents arrested Abdullah's son, 30-year-old Mujahid Carswell of Detroit and Windsor, the FBI said. The Canadian Border Patrol is holding him on immigration violations.

Still at large were 30-year-old Yassir Ali Khan of Warren and Ontario and 33-year-old Mohammad Philistine, also named in the complaint as Mohammad Alsahli, of Ontario.

"We certainly warned law enforcement to be aware that there could be some retribution," Arena said.

The incident has reopened concerns over the FBI's use of informants in the Muslim world, said Imad Hamad, senior national adviser and regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Hamad said he and other Arab-American leaders have had talks with the FBI about its use of informants, and authorities insist that they use such sources only when they have specific allegations.

"The case -- regardless of the facts, regardless of the allegations, regardless of what went right and what went wrong -- brings back that issue of informants," Hamad said.

Iman was firing, FBI says Jihad El-Jihad, who said he has belonged to Al-Haqq mosque for more than 20 years, said Thursday that members have strong views on many issues, but because they are Muslim, they are considered terrorists.

The mosque had opened its doors to homeless and hungry people, starting a program many years ago to serve warm meals, El-Jihad said.

He called Abdullah "a great human being," adding: "I admire that man. I can only hope that if I'm in the same situation, I have the courage to go like he did."

Abdullah was killed after FBI agents announced arrests at the Dearborn warehouse, in which an unnamed undercover transaction was taking place, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Oberg told a federal magistrate Thursday.

Four suspects, including Abdullah, took off running and came to a locked door, she said. Then they sought refuge in a large truck parked inside.

When FBI agents called for surrender, three suspects complied: Abdul Saboor, Abdulla Beard and Muhammad Abdul Salaam, Oberg said.

Abdullah came out firing, authorities said.

Freddy, an FBI dog from Washington, was dead on arrival after being flown to a Madison Heights hospital.

"Those dogs are like family members," Arena said. "Many times those dogs have saved officers' and agents' lives, and I think that may have occurred yesterday." Agents seized six weapons, a bulletproof vest and ammunition during two search warrant executions on Tireman and Genessee in Detroit.

Help for neighborhood

Several people visiting the brick, two-story mosque on the 4000 block of Clairmount on Thursday said they didn't believe the FBI's assertion that Abdullah and the others were involved in criminal activities.

"This man was well loved. This man was like my father," mosque member Ali Shabazz, 37, said of Abdullah. "He was right here in our hearts."

Abdullah was targeted because his faith was different from other Islamic leaders, who read from prepared texts, said Wali Mohammad, 31, who paced the hallways and spoke to family and friends as they emerged from the courtroom.

Abdullah catered to the neighborhood he served -- poor and unemployed and troubled by drugs and crime, Mohammad said.

"His message was more catered to people of African descent, those who were brought here because of the slave trade and who continue to be systematically oppressed," Mohammad said, adding that the message was "Let's work and pray and pray hard. It was all about positivity, not negative."

Mohammad said he wasn't surprised at the allegations that the imam carried weapons, in part, because he said Abdullah believed himself to be in danger.

"He did not support violence in any way, shape or form," Mohammad said, adding later: "We have a right to bear arms."

4 detained, 3 released

During the detention hearings, U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Scheer ordered four of the defendants detained and three released on personal bond.

Beard, 37, of Detroit, who is charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes, was detained. Scheer said he based his decision on a recorded conversation with a federal informant in which Beard allegedly plotted to rob the manager of a check cashing store with Abdullah's permission.

Scheer also ordered the detention of Garry Porter, 59, a physical education teacher at A.L. Holmes Elementary School in Detroit who had two knives on him when he was arrested Wednesday at the school, according to Oberg.

Salaam, 45, also was detained. He is charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes and sale or receipt of stolen goods.

Adam Ibraheem, 38, of Detroit agreed to be temporarily detained due to an outstanding detention order.

Scheer released Saboor, 37, of Detroit on an electronic tether despite objections from Oberg. Oberg consented to bond for Acie Pusha, 27, of Detroit, who is charged with conspiracy to receive and sell stolen goods.

Ali Abdul Raqib, 57, charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes, was freed on $10,000 unsecured bond.
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Evidence against Luqman Ameen Abdullah

Michigan: Imam Called for Attacks on FBI, Washington DC, Police – Sought Hate, Violence Against Non-Muslims
By R.E.A.L. Organization • on October 29, 2009

A federal indictment of eleven individuals as a result of a two year investigation of individuals linked to the head of a Dearborn, Michigan area mosque, states that Luqman Ameen Abdullah, Islamic Imam of Masjid Al-Haqq, sought to promote violence against the United States government, including calls for attacks on the FBI, attacks on the U.S. federal government, calls for a nuclear attack on Washington DC, and encouraging attacks on police.

The federal indictment also documented discussions that Luqman Ameen Abdullah had showing hatred against non-Muslims, which he called "kuffars," and urged others to "start fighting the Kuffar." The eleven individuals listed in the federal indictment for various federal criminal charges include: Luqman Ameen Abdullah, Mohammad Abdul Bassir, Muhammad Abdul Salaam, Abdul Saboor, Mujahid Carswell, Abdullah Beard, Mohammad Philistine, Yassir Ali Khan, Adam Hussain Ibraheem, Garry Laverne Porter, and Ali Abdul Raqib.

Among these eleven individuals, Mujahid Carswell (aka Mujahid Abdullah), is the son of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah. Mujahid Carswell was arrested in Windsor, Ontario, Canada on October 29. FOX News reported that "The Royal Canadian Mounted Police took 30-year-old Mujahid Carswell, who was considered armed and dangerous, into custody."

On October 28, 2009, FBI agents sought to raid the Masjid Al-Haqq in Dearborn, Michigan, but when Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah fired on FBI agents during the raid, he was killed in a shootout. The October 28 FBI arrests included arrests of individuals in Detroit as well. The Detroit Free Press reported on the area raids on October 29. A joint statement by the Detroit FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office stated that the eleven suspects "are members of a group that is alleged to have engaged in violent activity over a period of many years and known to be armed."

A. Media Excerpts from Federal Indictment

On October 29, the Detroit Free Press reported stories about the efforts of Imam Abdullah to generate hate and plot violence against non-Muslims and Americans: "A look at group's alleged targets" and "U.S. government, FBI, police all enemies, leader said."

– Detroit Free Press reports on Luqman Abdullah's targets per federal indictment:
– "'Luqman Abdullah calls his followers to an offensive jihad,' the indictment says."
– "Abdullah informed an undercover agent 'that a member of his community in Detroit had shot police officers'"
– "He referred to Washington as a possible target."

— Detroit Free Press reference to comments by Luqman Ameen Abdullah of Masjid Al-Haqq:
— "We got to take out the U.S. government. The U.S. government is nothing but Kuffars."
— "Abdullah talked about overthrowing the U.S. government and said his group also needs resources 'to smash those people.'"
— "'The FBI knows that I will kill them.'"
— "At one point, Abdullah and an undercover agent were watching a TV program that featured a nuclear bomb. 'Abdullah said that he just needs a little bomb,' the indictment said. When the agent asked Abdullah what his target was, Abdullah whispered, 'Washington.'"
— "'Always remember … revenge is Islamic. …You got to get mad about it.'"
— "At one point, 'Abdullah started to jump around the room making motions with his hands as if he were shooting people saying, 'shoot cops in the head' and 'pop, pop.' Abdullah said he has a lot of experience shooting cops.'"
— "Abdullah 'said it is fine to bomb police stations.'"
— "'The worst Muslim is better than the best Kafir.'"
— "'America must fall.'"

B. Excerpts from the FBI Criminal Complaint (45 page Adobe Acrobat PDF file) Case 2:09-mj-30436 – United States of America versus Luqman Ameen Abdullah (aka Christopher Thomas), etc.

"The investigation has shown that Luqman Ameen Abdullah, Imam of the Masjid Al-Haqq, in Detroit, Michigan, is a highly placed leader of a nationwide radical fundamentalist Sunni group consisting primarily of African-Americans, some of whom converted to Islam while they were serving sentences in various prisons across the United States. Their primary mission is to establish a separate, sovereign Islamic state ("The Ummah") within the borders of the United States, governed by Sharia law. The Ummah is to be ruled over by Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rapp Brown, who is currently serving a life sentence in the Florence, Colorado Supermax for shooting two police officers in Georgia."

"In 1981, Luqman Abdullah was convicted in Wayne County, Michigan of felonious assault and carrying a concealed weapons. Further a check of law enforcement indices shows that in 1979, Abdullah was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and assault on a police officer by the Mobile Alabama Police Department; the disposition of those charges is unknown."

"Luqman Abdullah calls his followers to an offensive jihad, rather than a defensive jihad. He regularly preaches anti-government and anti-law enforcement rhetoric. Abdullah and his followers have trained regularly in the use of firearms, and continue to train in martial arts and sword fighting. Abdullah encourages members of the Masjid Al-Haqq, many of whom are convicted felons, to carry a firearm, and information obtained during the course of this investigation indicates that many of Abdullah's followers are usually armed. Abdullah preaches that every Muslim should have a weapon, and should not be scared to use their weapons when needed. Members and former members of the Masjid Al-Haqq have stated they are willing to do anything Abdullah instructs and/or preaches, even including criminal conduct and acts of violence."

"Historical Information from Confidential Source S-1″

"S-1 is a confidential source who has admitted that he was a follower of Luqman Abdullah, a faithful member of The Ummah, and involved in their criminal activities in the past. A great deal of the information provided by S-1 has been independently corroborated by recent investigation; none of it has been refuted. S-1 has proven to be reliable and credible.."

"In a deposition given under oath in December 2007, S-1 testified that on many occasions he has heard Luqman Abdullah advocate the spread of Islam through violent jihad, and violence against the United States government and against law enforcement. Although Abdullah knows that many of his followers are felons who converted to Islam while they were in prison, he encourages them to be armed at all times in preparation for a confrontation with law enforcement. S-1 saw and participated in extensive and regular firearms and martial arts training inside the Masjid Al-Haqq. S-1 saw Luqman Abdullah discipline children inside the mosque by beating them with sticks on their hands, knees, and legs, until they were covered wit bruises, including a boy Abdullah beat so badly with sticks that he was unable to walk for several days."

"S-1 testified that the members of the Masjid Al-Haqq are ready to use any means necessary to safeguard the mosque and its surrounding area from outside forces, whether they are members of law enforcement or local street gangs. If members need assistance or protection, they are instructed to call upon Luqman Abdullah and his followers rather than calling the police."

"S-1 testified that on many occasions, he heard Luqman Abdullah preach that Islam should be spread through violent jihad, and advocate violence against the government and against law enforcement. Abdullah told his followers that if the police try to take his weapons or try to apprehend him, he will respond with violence, and they will have to shoot him before they can arrest him. When he was a loyal follower of Abdullah, S-1 would repeatedly listen to a tape recording of Abdullah giving a Khutba (sermon) in 2004 and yelling, "Police so what? Police die too! Feds die too!" and "Do not carry a pistol if you're going to give it up to the police. You give them a bullet" rather than surrendering your weapons. S-1 heard Abdullah encourage his followers to pick up guns and do something" rather than try to achieve their goals through peaceful means. Abdullah often referred to law enforcement officers as "the Kafir dogs." I know from my experience and training that "Kafir" is a highly derogatory term used to describe a non-Muslim, and that "Kuffar" is the plural form of the word."

"According to S-1, Abdullah has an armed group known as the "Sutra team" that is responsible for the security of the mosque and protecting its members both from law enforcement and from local street gangs. When the Masjid Al-Haqq was located at 4118 Joy Road, the members of the Sutra team carried firearms and trained in the martial arts of kickboxing, boxing, sword fighting, and other types of self-defense within the mosque itself."

"On January 20, 2009, while the members of the Ummah were being evicted from 4118 Joy Road by the City of Detroit for non-payment of property taxes, the Detroit Police Department confiscated two firearms and approximately forty knives and martial arts weapons from Luqman Abdullah's apartment inside the mosque. The firearms have been turned over to the custody of the FBI and they are logged in to evidence. While the eviction was taking place, FBI executed a federal search warrant inside the facility. Agents found clear evidence corroborating S-1's statements that firearms training had taken place inside the facility. There were empty shell casings on the basement floor, and large holes in the concrete wall of the "shooting range." According to S-1, all weapons and fight training was geared towards violent confrontation with law enforcement and/or with local street gangs."

"Information from Confidential Source S-2."

"S-2 is a confidential source who has provided information about Luqman Abdullah and his associates. S-2 is proven to be reliable and credible; information provided by S-2 has been independently corroborated by other sources, and by consensual recordings he has made with the members of The Ummah at the direction of the FBI."

"On December 12, 2007, S-2 told me he had been with Luqman Abdullah outside the mosque on that date, and he was able to surreptitiously record their conversation. S-2 told Abdullah he had asked to donate $5,000 to pay to have someone 'do something' during the 2006 Super Bowl in Detroit. Abdullah said he had asked to donate $5,000 to pay to have someone 'do something' during the 2006 Super Bowl in Detroit. Abdullah said he would not be involved in injuring innocent people for no reason: "If there's something to be done,… it's going to be legitimate." Abdullah acknowledged that he had been involved in weapons training even before he became Muslim and stated:

"I mean things are coming… Well, see the whole point is that you have to understand. Kafir is, they watch me, like very closely. Very, very closely, you know? I mean, ridiculously closely. And, so, you know, when [unintelligible] and I do things, but it's all based on what's got to be done at the time. But when, uh, plots or something… I got some, I got some violence [in me] because of what they did to Imam Jamil [Al-Amin]…"

"The overall picture was, uh, to advance Islam. So, uh, always remember, uh, revenge is Islamic. But you have to make sure it's not personal. It's very difficult… But you have to start… You got to get mad about it."

"In reference to video clips appearing on Al Jazeera, Abdullah told S-2:"

"They send me all of this stuff… CAIR and everybody send me all of this stuff. I get sick. I can't watch… I can't do that. The, now, what would happen if that, if I'm just dwelling on that? I can't talk right, I can't give people focus.."

"And see, we're like for example, I got some stuff, man, I got some soldiers with me, so it's not like I, I don't have, you know nothing. Brothers that I know would, you know, if I say 'Let's go, we going to go and do something,' they would do it. You know. I mean, you got people who talk like they would do something, but… I wouldn't trust they would [do] nothing."

"These and other recorded statements by Luqman Abdullah confirm reporting by S-1 and S-2 that Abdullah and his followers view themselves as soldiers at war against the United States government, and against non-Muslims."

"Information from Confidential Source S-3."
"On October 10, 2008, S-3, an FBI confidential source who has proven to be reliable and credible in the past, was able to record additional statements by Luqman Abdullah at the mosque. During the Jum'uah prayer, Abdullah stated that Muslims need to cut the ties with Christians, Jews and Kuffars, and said there is no such thing as a good or bad Kafir – the only thing that matters is whether or not someone is Muslim. In reference to Christians, Jews, and the Kuffar, Abdullah stated:

"… We have to cut the ties to them, and understand, you are supposed to be the leaders. And until you act black and believe in that you are the leaders of mankind, you are going to be astray. If you can please the Christians and the Jews. You cannot please them until you follow their religion…"

"Obama is a Kafir. McCain, all the rest of them Kuffars, are Kuffars. You can't make them a good Kafir, bad Kafir…"

"The premise of Allah, and Islam said, "the worst of [unintelligible], the worst Muslim is better than the best Kafir."

"Abdullah west on to preach that Muslims need to stop fighting each other and start fighting the Kuffar. Abdullah stated:

"Contrary to our own [unintelligible], we should be trying to figure out how to fight the Kuffar. You see, we need to figure out how to be a bullet."

"On March 21, 2008, S-3 relayed a conversation about the illegal possession of firearms between himself, Luqman Abdullah and Abdul Bassir that occurred while they were driving to Maryland to attend a Muslim conference. Abdullah told S-3 that he is not willing to go back to jail. He stated that if police attempt to conduct a traffic stop on him, he will not stop. Abdullah told S-3 that he had once been stopped by police, who approached his car with their guns drawn. Abdullah stated that only because he was not able to get to his firearm to shoot the police officers, he fled the scene in his car, and evaded arrest in that way."

"On June 27, 2008, S-3 told me he had been able to surreptitiously record his conversation with Luqman Abdullah standing outside the mosque that day. S-3 reported that when he arrived at the mosque he realized Abdullah was wearing a bullet proof vest under his customary robes. Abdullah explained he was wearing it because there had been an altercation earlier with other individuals in their Detroit neighborhood who were not members of the Masjid Al-Haqq. Abdullah smiled and told S-3 that "one of the brothers" had taken care of it. S-3 told investigators that he believed this meant that a member of the group had resolved the situation through force and violence, and possibly by shooting someone."

"S-3 observed an individual he knows as "Abdul Rahim" standing with Luqman Abdullah, watching for the individuals who had been involved in the altercation. S-3 saw Rahim pull a handgun out of his shirt and aim it an approaching van. As the van neared, Rahim realized the people inside were not the individuals they had been involved with earlier, and Rahim put the gun back inside his shirt."

"Luqman Abdullah and S-3 talked about government regulations for citizens of the United States, such as driver's licenses and passports and the following exchange occurred:"

"LA: … how are we going [to have] Islam happen here and the Koresh, if you will, or Washington is trying to stop everything we do? … Well, yeah, but it's not just the fear factor, it's the whole point, of knowledge. Of understanding that "they" are my enemy, and that I should be trying to plot as to how to make moves to get some things accomplished."

"S-3: Like them plotting on you and shutting you down, so you be plotting on them?"

"LA: Yeah, that's right! And to keep going, first of all, you know, to stay alive and survive first."

"S-3 told investigators that he believes that Abdullah's reference to "the Koresh" is to a period in history when Muslims were expelled from land they considered their own. They returned later, stronger and more prepared, and reclaimed the land by force and violence from a non-Muslim government. Investigators believe that Abdullah plans to follow that example, and lead others to use forceful means against United States law enforcement."

"On July 21, 2008, S-3 spoke to Abdul Bassir. Bassir told S-3 that the United States government wants to take people down, and that if the government messes with Luqman Abdullah, "people will start taking heads." Bassir stated they are almost to that point already, because of the situation with Jamil Al-Amin. Investigators believe Bassir's statements indicate that the members of the Masjid Al-Haqq are considering taking illegal and violent action against the government because of the incarceration of Jamil Al-Amin."

"On August 5, 2008, S-3 told me he had been at the mosque that day, and spoken Luqman Abdullah. S-3 was able to surreptitiously record their conversation. Investigators reviewed and listened to the recording, and discussed the matter with S-3, and determined that Abdullah discussed his anti-government ideologies and the idea of a modern day revolution. Abdullah stated, "It might end up being where each State breaks off." Abdullah then discussed having small Islamic States separate from the nation of the United States, "like the Amish and the Mormons in Utah." Abdullah stated,

"… If you get enough property, like "Hey, leave them alone." Just like China do with the Muslims over there… You get enough [unintelligible] where you demand your rights."

"Later in the conversation, Abdullah stated,"

"We can't just be saying, 'O.K., everything is run by the U.S. government,' we got to take out the U.S. government. The U.S. government is nothing but Kuffars… Even if we was to say, 'Let's get us,' if we came up with a program like, 'Let's get us a candidate and, you know, vote for him, vote him in and stuff like that, he's a Muslim and stuff'… I mean he's still got to deal with the Kuffars [unintelligible]. So Allah's not going to be with that."

"Abdullah then began to talk about revolution and paraphrased another Muslim by stating."

"It's impossible to for you to take and change this thing around, trying to go through it the same way. You know, like 'OK, let me become a part of it then. I'm going to change it.' You cannot do that. It don't work like that. And you cannot have a non-violent revolution."

"Abdullah then stated that Muslims need to stand up, and thing will be all right only when the people who are ruling believe 'Three is no god but Allah.' Investigators believe Luqman Abdullah's statements confirm the information reported by S-1, that that the primary mission of the target subjects is to establish a separate, sovereign Islamic state (an Ummah) within the borders of the United States, to be ruled over by Jamil Al-Amin. It further confirms that Abdullah believes this can only be done through force and violence and not by political action: 'you cannot have a non-violent revolution.'"

"Also on August 5, 2008, S-3 informed me that he had made a surreptitious recording of his conversation with Luqman Abdullah in Abdullah's apartment on the second floor of the mosque. Abdullah gave S-3 a bullet proof vest to keep, and showed him a Scimitar sword with a blade approximately three to three and a half feet in length. S-3 saw a knife on the desk with a blade approximately six to eight inches long. Abdullah also showed S-3 a hatchet. Abdullah pointed to a plastic case on the floor and said "That's a shotgun." S-3 commented on the hatchet and asked Abdullah, "Do you throw hatchets, or no?" Abdullah replied, "Yeah, I can use a hatchet." As set above, Luqman Abdullah has been convicted of a violent felony, and therefore it is violation of federal law for him to have possession of either a bullet-proof vest or a shotgun."

"On October 10, 2008, S-3 was able to speak with Luqman Abdullah in the main assembly room of the first floor of the mosque and to consensually recorded the conversation."

"Abdullah discussed the spread of Islam with S-3, telling him it is not all right to simply get along with Kuffars. Abdullah stated:"

"We are going to have to fight. We going to have to fight against the Kafir."

"… I mean if… Muslims run away from that. If the only thing they trying to do is just to get along with the Kafir. That's not for the Kafir for you to get long with. It's for you to tell them that they're Kafir. "Hey, you making a big mistake man. You need to worship Allah.""

"… Only thing they trying, Muslims trying to do, is like, "Just leave me alone." Man forget about that… They smashing the Muslims all over the world and then we sit here like everything is all right. "Just leave us alone." I mean, no. Everything ain't all right. Matter of fact, you better get up from over there and leave them people alone, man. You wrong. It's no threat from the Muslims here. The Muslims here are saying, you know, "Hey just let us live here and [unintelligible]," that's the only thing they worried about… That's not good man, I don't care."

"On November 30, 2008, Luqman Abdullah and S-3 discussed a document relating to the capture of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui in Afghanistan who was wanted by the FBI for questioning relating to her loitering around the residence of Ghazni's governor, in possession of instructions on making bombs and notes about installations in the United Stats. The discussion revolved around the allegations of Siddiqui's defense attorney and her family, who claimed that Siddiqui had been held captive and tortured by the United States Government. Abdullah said:

"I'll tell you what, though. Brothers be talking about, they want to do jihad [unintelligible]. We can make some plans to do some [sound of three audible hand claps]… It ain't, it ain't go to be [unintelligible] like that. [Unintelligible]… just like they did her. I mean I ain't talking about just grabbing somebody off the street. You understand what I'm saying?… One of them super Agents. Trail them, follow them, know where they house is at, and everything else. Deal with them, deal with them the way, the way they supposed to be dealt with, man."

"S-3 then asked Luqman Abdullah how he would recognize the "super Agents" and know whom to follow. Abdullah responded by stating:"

"…. You can't, you can't deal with stuff [unintelligible] unless you dealing with it in a sense of organized… You have to wait, watch, check out, investigate. Same thing they do to you. It's not that complicated man… You got hundreds of Agents right down there off of, off of Michigan [Avenue]."

"S-3 then clarified that Abdullah was talking about the MacNamara Building on Michigan Avenue in Detroit, which houses the FBI and the IRS. Abdullah responded:"

"… No, not the IRS, not them. You ain't got to deal with them. I mean they [unintelligible], they worth the effort but, you know, you got dudes that, actual Agents that just terrorizing the people… Field Agents, I mean, but the no, they… It's a whole organized effort. Look, they got cats that's on the computer. [Unintelligible.] I mean it's not just.. It's a organized effort… I mean everything they do, down. Organized effort to betray you. But not just you, other people too. It's not just, just Muslims… Why do you think McVeigh and them [unintelligible]?"

"Abdullah then went on to state his theories about the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and the first World Trade Center bombing. Abdullah relayed his belief that the FBI bombed the Murrah Building and the World Trade Center as part of a plot to blame Muslims for violence. Abdullah stated:"

"… It's no question about, he was involved in getting that stuff done. So now, you know about what happened when, when the, when the stuff jumped off… in Oklahoma City, when the bomb went off and stuff. Hours after that. Hours. They had already put out that it was Arabs, Muslims. Because they already had a plan about that stuff. How they was going to do it. That's the FBI… I mean, see, see, McVeigh and them. Even though they did what they did, they probably was irked on, and supported and everything, by the FBI… The first World Trade Center Bombing was the FBI."

"Agents interpret Abdullah's comments as reiterating his belief that law enforcement should be eliminated, and that the only way to 'deal with them' is through force and violence. As related above, Abdullah believes there is no way to have a non-violent revolution; jihad is synonymous with violence. Abdullah's recorded statements to S-3 confirms S-1's testimony, that Abdullah is advocating and encouraging his followers to commit violent acts against the United States."

"On February 26, 2008, S-3 went to the Masjid Al Haqq and made a consensual recording of conversations he had with Luqman Abdullah, Muhammad Abdul Salaam, Abdul Saboor, and others. Luqman Abdullah spoke to them about the importance of trust; Abdullah stated that it is the people closest to a person who will cause them the most emotional harm when trust is broken; it is not what the person doe to betray him, but it is who the betrayal came from that is bothersome. Abdullah also stated that killing a person is one way to handle a person who breaks his trust. Abdullah then went into his office called Abdul Saboor in to meet with him. When they came out, Abdullah removed a knife from his clothing and handed it to Saboor. The knife had a blade of approximately five inches in length and the total length with the handle as approximately nine inches. Saboor began violently swinging the knife in a demonstration of martial arts technique. When he finished, Saboor returned the knife to Abdullah and Abdullah put the knife back inside his clothing. Abdullah claimed he had the capability of being able to penetrate a bullet proof vest with a knife. Abdullah's clothing had a hole in the side to allow access to the clothing underneath, and S-3 was able to see a portion of a metallic object that had the outline of a handgun and seemed to be weighing down Abdullah's clothing."

"Following Saboor's demonstration of martial arts techniques on February 26, 2008, Luqman Abdullah sat on the floor close to S-3, and in a low voice asked S-3 if he would be able to "get numbers" for a 2007 Dodge Ram with only 20,000 miles on it. S-3 understood that Abdullah was asking S-3 to help him obtain a new VIN for the truck that "one of the brothers" had given to him. Abdullah also admitted he once had another truck which he implied was stolen. He said that one day the police came and towed it away, but they never confronted him about it."

"On March 21, 2008, S-3, Luqman Abdullah, Mohammad Abdul Bassir, and Mujahid Carswell (aka Mujahid Abdullah, who is Luqman Abdullah's biological son) drove to Herndon, Virginia. Bassir and Carswell were there to provide security for Luqman Abdullah. During the drive, Abdullah stated that the FBI is the enemy of Islam. Abdullah stated something to the effect, "If they are coming to get me I'll just strap a bomb on and blow up everybody." Abdullah gave S-3 the impression that he has access to an explosive device. Abdullah stated that he is not afraid to die for the cause. During a discussion of illegally possessed firearms, Abdullah stated that he is not going back to jail. He state that if the police attempt to conduct a traffic stop on him, he will not stop. Abdullah said he had once been stopped by the police while he was driving a cab. The officers approached Abdullah with their guns drawn, which was the only reason Abdullah was unable to get to his gun in time to shoot them. Knowing that he was at a tactical disadvantage, Abdullah fled in the car and successfully got away. Abdul Bassir spoke of a time in which he was stopped by the police and had a stolen car on the back of his tow truck. Bassir considered himself fortunate, as he did not get in any type of trouble."

** Partial Excerpts beginning at paragraph 29 **

29 — "Abdullah again spoke of law enforcement being the devil and evil. Abdullah informed S-3 that a member of his community in Detroit had shot police officers."

31 — "Abdullah also told S-3 he wanted to get a passport, and said he wants to leave the United States permanently. When S-3 asked how Abdullah would be able to maintain his leadership role in the Ummah, Abdullah stated that he would still be able to control things from outside the country, and that "America must fall."

33 – "During the drive to Flint, Abdullah attempted to justify getting the stolen vehicle and illegally switching the VINs. Abdullah claimed if the acts were about Allah, and were in the cause of God, they constituted a form of jihad because the kuffar would harm them if they were to get caught. Abdullah related a story he claimed was in the Koran in which people in Mecca and Medina would rob and steal from the caravans, and then donate a portion of their ill-gotten gains to benefit Allah. Abdullah concluded that story in the Koran justifies stealing, robbing, and other illegal acts, as long as they profit Islam. S-3 reported that Abdul Saboor had previously told the same story to justify other criminal acts."

37 – "On June 27, 2008, S-3 attempted to make a consensual recording with Luqman Abdullah at the Masjid Al Haqq. Also present were Mujahid Carswell and several other men known to S-3. Abdullah went to his truck retrieved a paper and gave it to S-3 and spoke about pledging bayaat. The heading of the paper is a as follows:

— "This is a writing of Abdul Kareen, the Imam of Dar-ul-Islam Movement (based on the Medinah Treaty of the Prophet Muhammed Ibn Abdullah, -pboh), with Believers and Muslim of ______ represented by Imam ___ and those follow them and are attached to them and who Jihad along with them."

"Following the heading are the twenty-four rules of the movement. Abdullah told S-3 to read the paper and tell him what he thinks of it. Abdullah informed S-3 that there may be a time when he will call on him. Abdullah also said that the government plots and plans against them so they need to plot and plan in return and "do whatever it takes.""

38 – "Abdullah said he believes that Allah protects him and stated that law enforcement doesn't want to mess around with him because they'll "take it to the streets" if necessary. S-3 asked if that would be like the standoff at Waco. Abdullah replied that it would not be like Waco, but rather if they mess with him it will be a straight up war."

39 – "Also on June 27, 2008, S-3 told Abdullah he had access to stolen merchandise they could sell for profit. Abdullah said the mosque would be a good place to sell it. Abdullah told S-3 that he still wishes to get a passport. Abdullah said that most of his money comes from overseas. Abdullah looked around to ensure nobody was listening and then said most of the money comes from Canada."

40 – "On July 24, 2008, Luqman Abdullah warned S-3 that they need to be careful in their actions because of the FBI. Abdullah stated that Abdul Saboor had printed out several things from the internet including Al-Qaeda training camp manuals. Abdullah said he told Saboor to throw them away and cautioned him not to look at things on the internet. Abdullah told S-3 that he needs to be with the movement. Abdullah informed S-3 that something will happen with the Muslims "real soon" and that they should not trust anybody. Abdullah said he has a bullet proof vest he will give to S-3."

41 – "On August 5, 2008, while Luqman Abdullah and S-3 were in Abdullah's apartment in the Masjid Al Haqq, Abdullah explained to S-3 that just as states and cities are separate entities under the U.S. Government, the members of the Masjid Al Haqq are also a separate entity independent of the government under their own set of laws. Abdullah stated they follow Sharia (Islamic) Law."

42 – "On August 7, 2008, S-3 and Luqman Abdullah drove to Chicago. On the drive, Abdullah told S-3 that he has provided extensive martial arts and weapons training to his sons Umar Abdullah and Mujahid Carswell, as well as to Abdul Saboor and another man from Inkster, Michigan. Abdullah and S-3 talked about the 12 gauge shotgun Abdullah had previously showed to S-3. Abdullah stated that one of the attendees of the mosque pawned the gun to him. Abdullah told S-3 he has another 12 gauge shotgun that he may be willing to sell to S-3. Abdullah also spoke of moving outside of the United States to set up refuge and run the organization, because the United States had made it too difficult for him to do things here."

43 – "S-3 saw Abdullah in possession of a Glock 9mm handgun, serial number EBL27a. Abdullah said he has a .38 special that is registered in Michigan; he doesn't carry it. Instead, he carries one that "might have a couple bodies" on it."

46 – "Abdullah said the copes have been trying to get him for a long time because of lot of people were being killed near the mosque. Abdullah also talked about a Detroit police officer, who once arrested one of the members of the mosque who had a gun, but let him go after learning he was from the Masjid Al Haqq."

47 – "Abdullah refused to take off the gun, saying he carries a gun for a reason, and that's not the way it's going to go down. Later at the hotel, Abdullah told S-3 he has shot a lot of people. Abdullah said he does not know how many people, but it is "a lot." Abdullah said "brothers" (from the Masjid Al Haqq) talk about needing equipment. Abdullah said he tells them they do not need to purchase it because the enemy has it already for them. Abdullah also tell them if they want a bullet proof vest, simply shoot a cop in the head, and take their vest. Abdullah continued to refer to law enforcement officers as kaffir dogs and in other derogatory terms. Abdullah started to jump around the room making motions with his hands as if he were shooting people saying "shoot cops in the head," and "pop, pop." Abdullah said he has a lot of experience shooting cops. Abdullah also said in the 1980's a lot of people were found dead around the masjid, and the cops were scared of the people at the mosque. Abdullah told S-3 that the people at the mosque need to understand how much damage individuals can do. Abdullah said "we're not any fake terrorists, we're the real terrorists." S-3 said he smoked a lot of cigarettes after they got pulled over to calm his nerves. Abdullah told S-3 he must cut back on smoking to calm his nerves, because he might have to sit in a corner for a long while in order to wait to kill someone, and would not be able to smoke."

** Complete Paragraph Excerpts Continuing at paragraph 48 **

– 48. "On February 6, 2009, Luqman Abdullah gave an anti-government Khutbah during the Jum'uah service. Abdullah talked about how historically Muslims would oppose the government. Abdullah stated that there are three things that make a good Muslim: ikhlas (nature), prayer, and obedience. Abdullah talked about the current need to oppose the American Government and stated that the FBI is the enemy. Abdullah stated that two parties exist in the world, the party of God and the party of the devil. Abdullah said that only Muslims are the party of God. Abdullah also made derogatory statements about Christians and Jews. Abdullah told his followers that they need to be with the Taliban, Hizballah, and with Sheik Bin Laden. Abdullah said the American soldiers who commit suicide are cowards, and they commit suicide because they are being punished by Allah. Abdullah contrasted this with the actions of Muslim suicide bombers: what hey are doing is not suicide, but rather an act of blowing the enemy up. Abdullah told his followers it is their duty to oppose the FBI and the government and it does not matter if they die. He also told the group that they need to plan to do something.

"On February 12, 2009, S-3 and Luqman Abdullah drove to Chicago, Illinois together in order to meet an individual to get fur coats to fence (as part of Undercover Operation, explained below). On the drive there, Luqman Abdullah said, "I shot a lot of nigg*rs." He told S-3 details of the date and place a particular shooting occurred. Abdullah said no one has ever questioned him regarding the incident. Abdullah said that when he was a taxi driver, he picked up two girls. When he dropped the girls off, the girls ran from the taxi cab. A man approached Abdullah's tax cab and paid him $20 for driving the girls, while another unknown male came from the other side of the cab and put a gun to Abdullah's head. The man shot Abdullah in the head and began feeling Abdullah's pockets. Luqman Abdullah then retrieved his pistol and shot both men. Abdullah explained to S-3 that he killed both individuals. Abdullah called Mohammad Abdul Salaam who offered to find the guys that shot Abdullah, but Abdullah told him not to do that. Abdullah said he had gotten rid of the gun because he didn't want the police to find it. Luqman Abdullah refused to go to the hospital because he knew he had shot both men, but the next day at Jum'uah prayer, he fell over and passed out during his sermon, and was rushed to the hospital. Abdullah did not explain anything further regarding this incident."

"S-3 and Abdullah then drove from Chicago to Flint, Michigan with fur coats. S-3 paid for a room at the Holiday Inn. Luqman Abdullah and S-3 were watching a police show on TV when Abdullah kept saying "blow 'em up, man blow "em up." He then said, "what's this here, a bomb in there? Obviously it is. S-3 told Abdullah that when he had been in prison, an inmate he met gave him the formula for trinitrotoluene (TNT). He explained to Abdullah that the inmate went over it with him everyday for probably one month. He told Abdullah that TNT in a glass looks like water, and no one could tell what it is by looking at it. Luqman Abdullah asked if S-3 can still make TNT now. S-3 explained to Abdullah that he hasn't thought about it in a long time, and would have to sit down and write it out on paper first. Abdullah told S-3 to not talk about it aloud anymore. Abdullah told S-3 that if he could remember how to make TNT, that would be nice, and then he could teach Abdullah how to make the substance. Abdullah told S-3 to check it out and see if he knows how to make it. He also instructed him to not try it at his own house and risk blowing up his children. Abdullah said try and put the formula down on paper, but he also had to test it to see if it actually works. Abdullah then said they have to try to make it and told S-3 to figure out the formula.

"On March 15, 2009, Luqman Abdullah asked S-3 if he knew where he could get a military style pistol belt. The two made plans to go to an Army supply store so Abdullah could get a gun belt."

"On March 18, 2009, Luqman Abdullah and S-3 went to Harry's Army Surplus, 2050 North Telegraph Road, Dearborn, Michigan. While they were in the store, Abdullah told S-3 that the bailiff's took his weapons from the second floor of the Masjid Al Haqq the day they were evicted. Abdullah looked at pistols holsters, military belts, gun straps, knives and face makes that cover the entire face. Abdullah asked the sales clerk if she had a strap to fit a specific "Air Soft" AR-15 type rifle, but they did not. Luqman Abdullah told S-3 that he needed a military belt because he has a military gun, an M-15, which is similar to the "AirSoft" rifle in the store. Abdullah purchased a green padded rifle strap. He did not purchase a face mask because the shop only had winter ones."

"Luqman Abdullah gave S-3 a Compact Disc labeled, "convert to Islam" which S-3 described as pro-Taliban propaganda. Abdullah said he had received it from Abdul Saboor."

"That same day, March 18, 2009, S-3 gave Luqman Abdullah a piece of paper with what he told Abdullah was a recipe for Trinitrotoluene (TNT), because Luqman Abdullah had asked S-3 to write it down for him, Abdullah told S-3 that he would not use it "until it was time." Later that day, S-3 spoke to Abdullah on the telephone. S-3 told Abdullah that he needed to double check something with the formula and instructions for making TNT that he had given Abdullah earlier that day. Abdullah stated that he still had the paper with him and agreed to meet S-3 at Ali Raqib's store, which they were using as the mosque after the eviction from 4118 Joy Road. S-3 asked Abdullah if he wanted him to try to make the TNT. Abdullah told S-3 to make it and said he would like to be there. S-3 told Abdullah he would make a video of the test, however, Abdullah instructed him not to. Abdullah cautioned S-3 to be careful."

"Referring to the face mask that Abdullah was looking for earlier in the day at Harry's Army Surplus Store, S-3 asked Abdullah if he needed the face mask that night. Abdullah said that although he did not need it for that night, he would like to obtain one soon. Abdullah told S-3 that he did not have anything planned for that night in particular, but said "you never know when you will need it."

"On April 1, 2009, Luqman Abdullah gave S-3 a video titled "The Terrorist Next Door" which is a true story about the terrorist who tried to smuggle explosives across the border in Washington State during Y2K in an attempt to commit a terrorist attack, but was stopped and his attempt was foiled. Abdullah told S-3 to watch the video, and it would give them something to talk about."

"On April 2, 2009, S-3 picked up Abdullah from his house and drove him to Alabama. On the way, Abdullah and S-3 discussed the movie. Abdullah talked about the recruitment of terrorists by a terrorist cell. Abdullah said the terrorists' mistake was that he should have had the explosive ready to detonate when he crossed the border in case he got stopped. Abdullah said he waited too long, and it was unprofessional. Abdullah didn't agree with bombing civilian targets such as buses, which occur in Israel and the West Bank, but said it is fine to bomb police stations."

"In discussing their January 2009 eviction from the Masjid Al-Haqq at the 4118 Joy Road, Abdullah said he has something planned for "them," but now is not the right time. Abdullah did not expound on this further. Abdullah said S-3 will know when he is needed, and that is why it is important to stay in communication with each other. Abdullah said that when things happen, he wants to be in the city, as opposed to in the woods, because he would be better able to avoid apprehension and arrest in the city; he would be able to maneuver better in an urban area. Abdullah talked about the need to dig tunnels to prepare for this eventuality. Abdullah told S-3 about a time that he was eluding law enforcement. Abdullah stated that as the police were chasing him with a helicopter, he attempted to shoot at them, however his rifle misfired because they made their own ammunition and they had used too much powder."

"On April 19, 2009, Abdullah inquired if S-3 had spoken to Mohammad Philistine about obtaining more stolen merchandise to be fenced. Abdullah told S-3 that the group needed money to host a Shuraa' Counsel meeting for the Ummah. Abdullah talked about overthrowing the United States Government and said they also needed resources "to smash those people"."

"On April 24 and 25, 2009, S-3 attended the Al-Ummah National Shuraa' which was hosted by Luqman Abdullah and Masjid Al-Haqq in Detroit. On April 24, Abdullah led the Jum'uah service. During his Khutbah, Abdullah preached his typical rhetoric about the kuffar and the police and the need to establish a separate Islamic government."

"On May 15 2009, Luqman Abdullah led the Jum'uah service. S-3 characterized Abdullah's Khutbah as being very extreme and described Abdullah as being "fired up," at times yelling. Abdullah preached that they should make America like Saudi Arabia, where the Muslims took control by fighting and dying. Abdullah told his audience that although they may a plan as individuals, they need to come together as a whole. While pointing towards 4118 Joy Road, where the Masjid Al-Haqq had been located, Abdullah said "what they did to us is not over." Abdullah said they need to maintain Sabr (patience). Abdullah repeatedly spoke about the need to carry out their mission, however, he never provided the details of what the mission was. Abdullah encouraged the attendees to purchase homes in the neighborhood of the new mosque. Abdullah said that they hate the Jews and that God hates the Jews."

"Abdullah also preached that they can not merely be lukewarm in their religion, that they must be winners. Abdullah said they need to start "right here at Joy Road." He said that the government in America is nothing and has no power. Abdullah also spoke negatively about Americans in Saudi Arabia and Khuffar in the Arab Peninsula."

"On May 21, 2009, Luqman Abdullah, S-3 and another man left Detroit at approximately 6:00 a.m., after the morning prayer, in order to travel to Montgomery, Alabama to meet with an Ummah Imam who had recently been shot by the police. S-3 attempted to make consensual recordings of his conversation with Abdullah during the trip. Due to the long duration of the trip, it was not possible to record every conversation."

"During the drive, Abdullah told S-3 about a murder charge he beat in the past. Abdullah said "the Feds" have been after him for a long time, and he believes he has not been arrested because Allah is merciful to him and protects him. Abdullah stated something to the effect, "The FBI knows that I will kill them." Abdullah also stated that the police are his targets too, not just the FBI. On two different occasions during the trip while espousing anti-government rhetoric, Abdullah said he is "getting ready to meet Allah." Abdullah said that he has not been sleeping well at night because he does not know when the police are going to come after him."

"At one point in the evening, S-3 and Abdullah were in the hotel room alone. Abdullah talked about the need to be careful in using a computer and internet because that is how people get in trouble. Abdullah said he would like to get C4 or another type of explosive. Abdullah said that although he does not need the explosives, having them would be helpful for what he needs to do. At this point, the third man came back into the room, so the conversation ended."

"On the evening of May 22, 2009, Abdullah, S-3 and the third man went back to Montgomery, Alabama for a study session that Abdullah was asked to lead. Before the class started, Abdullah talked to the attendees about the times he shot other people. Abdullah gave details about how he shot his victims and how their bodies reacted from the shots. Abdullah was very excited and animated about this and even acted the events out and showed them the scars he obtained from being shot during altercations. Abdullah admitted he shot one person seven times with a .22 caliber gun. Abdullah said that he was questioned by the police about the incident. Abdullah talked about a second shooting he committed with an AK and how he had to get rid of the gun. Abdullah said that he was never questioned by the police about this incident."

"On May 23, 2009, in Alabama, Luqman Abdullah spoke abut the Dar-Ul Movement, and said they were a military force to be reckoned with. According to Abdullah, an Imam from New York is the leader. Jamil Al-Amin and Luqman Abdullah are members, as are Abdullah's close associates from Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and Cleveland. Abdullah stated he had participated in training camps, which were located in various states, with Jawallah (soldier) scouts."

"According to Abdullah, people from Saudi Arabia wanted to fund many of the Muslim groups in the United States, but wanted them all to join together as one group. Dar-Ul could not agree with all the other groups, so they split apart. Two years before Abdullah joined the movement, a shooting happened in New York and several Dar-Ul people were killed. Jamil Al-Amin said they had to divide the group because having too many people in one organization made them an easy target. According to Abdullah, the group is still Dar-Ul, but this is not widely known because of the United States government. The Ummah is a cover name for Dar-Ul."

"On June 19, 2009 while they were in Gainesville, Georgia, S-3 heard Luqman Abdullah tell the Ummah Imam that he knows somebody in the Masjid Al Haqq is working for the Feds. Abdullah told the Imam that a young man had asked him about going overseas to fight. Abdullah said that he is hopeful that anyone who is working for the Feds will come to the mosque often to pray, will see the error of his ways, and admit he has been working with the Feds. Then he will be on the inside. Abdullah also said that if somebody is trying to gather information on him, he would kill them himself or have them killed. Abdullah said that he has people who would be happy to handle the problem. Abdullah also said that he knows he is being listened to and targeted by law enforcement so he intentionally makes conflicting statements in order to protect himself."

"At one point, Abdullah spoke to the Gainesville Ummah Imam's children, who were between approximately 9 and 11 years old. Abdullah told them stories about his shooting people with a 9mm gun. Abdullah said that sometimes he carries two handguns and said that he had shot a lot of people."

"On June 19, 2009 while they were in a hotel room in Gainesville, Georgia, S-3 and Abdullah were watching a television crime show that involved a discussion of how to dispose of a body. S-3 recommended putting the body in concrete. Abdullah stated that there would be no time to do something like that it would be too difficult. Abdullah told S-3 in a matter of fact way that the bodies should just be buried. Also while watching television, there was a program with a nuclear bomb in it. Abdullah said that he just needs a little bomb. When S-3 asked Abdullah what his target was, Abdullah whispered, "Washington."

"On July 8, 2009, Abdullah paid S-3 $1,250 for his role in the July 1, 2009 acquisition of the purportedly stolen television sets (part of the Undercover Operation, below). Then Abdullah got into S-3's vehicle and placed three rounds of .38 special caliber ammunition on the dash board. Abdullah told S-3 he had a .38 caliber handgun and asked S-3 if he had anything. Abdullah said that he originally acquired the gun for someone else, so he could protect himself. Abdullah then removed a loaded .38 special caliber revolver from his back and put it on the center console of S-3's vehicle. Abdullah told S-3 that he could pay him $190 or $200 for the gun. S-3 gave Abdullah $200 for the gun, from the $1,250 that Abdullah had just paid him. Abdullah cautioned S-3 not to get caught with the gun and said that it is advantageous that it is a revolver because "it will not leave anything behind" (i.e., spent shell casings). Abdullah told S-3 to keep it on his person rather than hidden in the car in case he got pulled over. Abdullah told S-3 that he needs to be able to get his gun out before the cops get theirs. Abdullah also told S-3 that the cops cannot search his person unless he is arrested. In addition to the handgun, Abdullah gave S-3 the five rounds of ammunition that were loaded in it, as well as the three rounds he placed on the dashboard. After he left Abdullah, S-3 immediately contacted FBI and turned over a .38 special caliber revolver, described as an IND NAC DE ARMAS-BRASIL, Model 3, Serial Number 032576, with 8 rounds of .38 special ammunition. The weapon and ammunition are being maintained in evidence."

"On August 19, 2009, S-3 went to the Masjid Al-Haqq. Luqman Abdullah discussed a hadith (an account attributed to the Prophet Muhammad) in which he claimed the Prophet Muhammad said that it is okay to participate in theft; as long as that person prays, they are in a good state."

— End of Excerpts from Federal Indictment Regarding Luqman Abdullah — see the PDF of the remainder of the Federal Indictment for additional text…

C. Comments by CAIR

The Detroit Free Press reported that Dawud Walid, the leader of the Michigan chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), knew Imam Abdullah, stating that "I know him as a respected imam in the Muslim community."

The CAIR organization was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator (page 5) in the Holy Land Foundation terror finance trial.

As referenced in an article on Jihad in America, CAIR's Dawud Walid has written commentaries for the Detroit News, and has frequently been quoted by the Detroit News on issues involving Muslims.

The Detroit News further reports on CAIR's Dawud Walid's praise of Luqman Ameen Abdullah in its October 29, 2009 article "Shocked friends say imam was generous and helpful." In the Detroit News report, CAIR's Dawud Walid said Abdullah "would give the shirt off his back to people."

The Detroit News report also discusses CAIR's Dawud Walid as questioning the charges against Luqman Ameen Abdullah and others in the case, stating "But federal authorities didn't seek terrorism charges against Abdullah or others in the mosque, and Walid wondered why their religion was so prominent in the complaint against them. 'They have no linkage to terrorism nationally or internationally,' Walid said. 'What in the world does Islam have to do with these charges? Why is religion being brought into play?'"
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
The BBC and ABC TV reports that a Peruvian gang was killing people to extract and sell their fat for cosmetics. Eeww! That is despicable.
Peruvian Police: Gang Killed People for Their Fat
Peruvian police says gang killed people for their fat, allegedly for use in cosmetics
By ANDREW WHALEN Associated Press Writer
LIMA, Peru November 20, 2009 (AP)

Police say a gang in the Peruvian jungle has been killing people and draining fat from the corpses to sell on the black market for use in cosmetics, although medical experts say they doubt a major market for fat exists.

Three suspects confessed to killing five people, but the gang may have been involved in dozens more, said Col. Jorge Mejia, chief of Peru's anti-kidnapping police. He said one suspect claimed the gang wasn't the only one doing such killings.

Mejia said two of the suspects were arrested carrying bottles of liquid human fat and told police it was worth $60,000 a gallon ($15,000 a liter). The fat was sold to intermediaries in Peru's capital, Lima, and police suspect it was then sold to cosmetic companies in Europe, Mejia said Thursday, but he could not confirm any sales.

Medical experts expressed doubt about an international black market for human fat, though it does have cosmetic applications. A dermatology professor at Yale University, Dr. Lisa Donofrio, speculated that a small market may exist for "human fat extracts" to keep skin supple, but she said that scientifically such treatments are "pure baloney."

At a news conference, police showed reporters two bottles of fat recovered from the suspects and a photo of the rotting head of a 27-year-old male victim. Suspect Elmer Segundo Castillejos, 29, led police to the head, recovered in a coca-growing valley last month, Mejia said.

Mejia said Castillejos recounted how the gang cut off its victims' heads, arms and legs, removed the organs, then suspended the torsos from hooks above candles that warmed the flesh as fat dripped into tubs below.

Six members of the gang remain at large, Mejia said. Among them was the band's alleged leader, Hilario Cudena, 56, who Castillejos told police has been killing people to extract human fat for more than three decades.

This year alone, at least 60 people are listed as missing in Huanuco province, where the gang allegedly operated, though the province is also home to drug-trafficking leftist rebels.

Mejia said police received a tip four months ago that human fat from the jungle was being sold in Lima. In August, he said, police infiltrated the band and later obtained some of the amber fluid, which a police lab confirmed as human fat.

On Nov. 3, police arrested Serapio Marcos Veramendi and Enedina Estela in a Lima bus station with a quart (a liter) of human fat in a soda bottle. Their testimony led to the arrest of Castillejos three days later at the same bus station.

The three are charged with homicide, criminal conspiracy, illegal firearms possession and drug trafficking, according to a statement from Lima Superior Court. Police said they were searching for the alleged buyer.

Police dubbed the gang the "Pishtacos" after a Peruvian myth dating to pre-Columbian times of men who killed to extract human fat, quartering their victims with machetes.

Medical authorities contacted by The Associated Press said human fat is used in anti-wrinkle treatments — but is always extracted from the patient who is being treated, usually from the stomach or buttocks.

"There would be a risk of immunological reaction that could lead to life-threatening consequences" if fat from someone else were used, said Dr. Neil Sadick, a professor of dermatology at Cornell Weill Medical College in New York.

Dr. Adam Katz, a professor of plastic surgery at the University of Virginia medical school, was incredulous when told about the Peruvian ring.

"I can't see why there would be a black market for fat," he said. "It doesn't make any sense at all, because in most countries we can get fat so readily and in such amounts from people who are willing and ready to donate that I don't see why there would ever be a black market for fat, of all tissues."
Jun 19, 2006
Unbelievable! All they had to do was to go to Beverly Hills to get them for free and if using fat was truly useful then they would have invented it first in Beverly Hills anyway.
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Unbelievable! All they had to do was to go to Beverly Hills to get them for free and if using fat was truly useful then they would have invented it first in Beverly Hills anyway.
Plastic Surgeons who inject fat to reduce people's wrinkles get it from the patient's own body. Most people have excess belly fat available to use.

If there was a legitimate demand for human body fat, a doctor could provide liposuction for free and have more than enough volunteers to meet the need. That's why the case is so weird.
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Olympic Torch Relay

The Olympic Torch relay is making its way through Windsor and Essex County today. The torch relay started on the East Coast and is making its way to the West Coast and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The Torch Relay started on October 30, 2009 and will finish February 12, 2010 for those of you who are curious.


Here's a website that talks about the Olympic Torch as it heads to Vancouver.
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Pope Benedict Knocked Down by Deranged Young Woman
I just saw this on TV.

Pope knocked down at Christmas Eve Mass
Pontiff uninjured after woman lunged at him at St. Peter's Basilica

updated 7:19 p.m. ET, Thurs., Dec . 24, 2009

VATICAN CITY - A woman jumped the barriers in St. Peter's Basilica and knocked down Pope Benedict XVI as he walked down the main aisle to begin Christmas Eve Mass on Thursday.

The 82-year-old pope quickly got up and was unhurt, said a Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini.

Footage aired on Italy's RAI state TV showed a woman dressed in a red hooded sweatshirt vaulting over the wooden barriers and rushing toward the pope before being swarmed by bodyguards.

Video shot by a witness showed the woman grabbing the pope's vestments as she was taken down, with Benedict seemingly falling on top of her.

The commotion occurred as the pope's procession was making its way toward the main altar and shocked gasps rang out through the crowd that packed the basilica. The procession came to a halt and security rushed to the trouble spot.

Benedettini said the woman who pushed the pope appeared to be mentally unstable and had been arrested by Vatican police. He said she also knocked down Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who was taken to hospital for a checkup.

"During the procession an unstable person jumped a barrier and knocked down the Holy Father," Benedettini told The Associated Press by telephone. "(The pope) quickly got up and continued the procession."

Security guards tackle woman
MaryBeth Burns from Paris, Texas, was about four people away from the woman who jumped the barriers and was filming the pope's procession as the commotion started.

"I'm really mad because I had a perfect shot lined up," she said. "I'm still shaking."

Burns, who was visiting Italy with her family on a religious pilgrimage for Christmas, said the security guards immediately pulled the woman to the ground and the pope tumbled with them.

Benedict lost his miter and his staff in the fall. He remained on the ground for a few seconds before being helped back up by attendants. At that point a few shouts of "viva il papa!" (long live the pope!) rang out, followed by cheers from the faithful, witnesses said.

After getting up, Benedict, flanked by tense bodyguards, resumed his walk to the basilica's main altar to start the Mass. He did appear somewhat shaken and leaned heavily on aides and an armrest as he sat down in his chair.

Few people who were watching the Mass on giant screens set up in a rain-soaked St. Peter's Square even knew that the pope had fallen, with many saying that either they weren't looking or had arrived too late.

Benedict made no reference to the incident as the service started. As a choir sang, he sprinkled incense on the altar before opening the Mass with the traditional wish for peace in Latin.

Security breaches
It was the second year in a row there was a security breach at the service. At the end of last year's Mass a woman who had jumped the barriers got close to the pope but was quickly blocked on the ground by security.

That woman too had a red sweat shirt, but Benedettini said it was not immediately known if the same person was behind Thursday's incident.

The latest incident was the first time a potential attacker came into direct contact with Benedict, and underscored concerns by security analysts who have frequently warned the pope is too exposed in his public appearances.

There have been other security breaches at the Vatican.

In 2007, during an open-air audience in St. Peter's Square, a mentally unstable German man jumped a security barrier and grabbed the back of the pope's open car before being swarmed by security guards.

Then there was the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca in 1981. John Paul suffered a severe abdominal wound as he rode in an open jeep at the start of his weekly audience in the Vatican piazza.

The pope is protected by a combination of Swiss Guards, Vatican police and Italian police.

Delivers homily
Since the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S., the Vatican has tightened security at events where the pope is present. All visitors must pass by police to get into the square, with some going through metal detectors or being scanned by metal-detecting wands.

In a similar incident to Thursday's, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi was attacked as he was greeting the crowd at a political rally earlier this month. A man with a history of psychological problems hurled a souvenir statuette at the politician, fracturing his nose and breaking two of his teeth.

Benedict celebrated this year's Christmas Eve Mass two hours earlier than the usual midnight starting time in a move by the Vatican to ease the pontiff's busy holiday schedule.

In his homily, delivered unflappably after the incident, Benedict urged the world to "wake up" from selfishness and petty affairs, and find time for God and spiritual matters.

"To wake up means to leave that private world of one's own and to enter the common reality," Benedict said. "Conflict and lack of reconciliation in the world stem from the fact that we are locked into our own interests and opinions, into our own little private world."

Benedict's next scheduled appearance is at noon on Christmas Day, when he is to deliver his traditional "Urbi et Orbi" speech (Latin for "To the city and the world") from the basilica's balcony.
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Pope Benedict Knocked Down by Deranged Young Woman
I just saw this on TV. The Pope is okay, but this shows that his security is lax.

Pope knocked down at Christmas Eve Mass
Pontiff uninjured after woman lunged at him at St. Peter's Basilica

updated 7:19 p.m. ET, Thurs., Dec . 24, 2009

VATICAN CITY - A woman jumped the barriers in St. Peter's Basilica and knocked down Pope Benedict XVI as he walked down the main aisle to begin Christmas Eve Mass on Thursday.

The 82-year-old pope quickly got up and was unhurt, said a Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini.

Footage aired on Italy's RAI state TV showed a woman dressed in a red hooded sweatshirt vaulting over the wooden barriers and rushing toward the pope before being swarmed by bodyguards.

Video shot by a witness showed the woman grabbing the pope's vestments as she was taken down, with Benedict seemingly falling on top of her.

The commotion occurred as the pope's procession was making its way toward the main altar and shocked gasps rang out through the crowd that packed the basilica. The procession came to a halt and security rushed to the trouble spot.

Benedettini said the woman who pushed the pope appeared to be mentally unstable and had been arrested by Vatican police. He said she also knocked down Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who was taken to hospital for a checkup.

"During the procession an unstable person jumped a barrier and knocked down the Holy Father," Benedettini told The Associated Press by telephone. "(The pope) quickly got up and continued the procession."

Security guards tackle woman
MaryBeth Burns from Paris, Texas, was about four people away from the woman who jumped the barriers and was filming the pope's procession as the commotion started.

"I'm really mad because I had a perfect shot lined up," she said. "I'm still shaking."

Burns, who was visiting Italy with her family on a religious pilgrimage for Christmas, said the security guards immediately pulled the woman to the ground and the pope tumbled with them.

Benedict lost his miter and his staff in the fall. He remained on the ground for a few seconds before being helped back up by attendants. At that point a few shouts of "viva il papa!" (long live the pope!) rang out, followed by cheers from the faithful, witnesses said.

After getting up, Benedict, flanked by tense bodyguards, resumed his walk to the basilica's main altar to start the Mass. He did appear somewhat shaken and leaned heavily on aides and an armrest as he sat down in his chair.

Few people who were watching the Mass on giant screens set up in a rain-soaked St. Peter's Square even knew that the pope had fallen, with many saying that either they weren't looking or had arrived too late.

Benedict made no reference to the incident as the service started. As a choir sang, he sprinkled incense on the altar before opening the Mass with the traditional wish for peace in Latin.

Security breaches
It was the second year in a row there was a security breach at the service. At the end of last year's Mass a woman who had jumped the barriers got close to the pope but was quickly blocked on the ground by security.

That woman too had a red sweat shirt, but Benedettini said it was not immediately known if the same person was behind Thursday's incident.

The latest incident was the first time a potential attacker came into direct contact with Benedict, and underscored concerns by security analysts who have frequently warned the pope is too exposed in his public appearances.

There have been other security breaches at the Vatican.

In 2007, during an open-air audience in St. Peter's Square, a mentally unstable German man jumped a security barrier and grabbed the back of the pope's open car before being swarmed by security guards.

Then there was the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca in 1981. John Paul suffered a severe abdominal wound as he rode in an open jeep at the start of his weekly audience in the Vatican piazza.

The pope is protected by a combination of Swiss Guards, Vatican police and Italian police.

Delivers homily
Since the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S., the Vatican has tightened security at events where the pope is present. All visitors must pass by police to get into the square, with some going through metal detectors or being scanned by metal-detecting wands.

In a similar incident to Thursday's, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi was attacked as he was greeting the crowd at a political rally earlier this month. A man with a history of psychological problems hurled a souvenir statuette at the politician, fracturing his nose and breaking two of his teeth.

Benedict celebrated this year's Christmas Eve Mass two hours earlier than the usual midnight starting time in a move by the Vatican to ease the pontiff's busy holiday schedule.

In his homily, delivered unflappably after the incident, Benedict urged the world to "wake up" from selfishness and petty affairs, and find time for God and spiritual matters.

"To wake up means to leave that private world of one's own and to enter the common reality," Benedict said. "Conflict and lack of reconciliation in the world stem from the fact that we are locked into our own interests and opinions, into our own little private world."

Benedict's next scheduled appearance is at noon on Christmas Day, when he is to deliver his traditional "Urbi et Orbi" speech (Latin for "To the city and the world") from the basilica's balcony.
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
I would have posted this yesterday, but I've been having intermittent internet problems.

Would-be Christmas Terrorist Bomber Thwarted When His Homemade Bomb Fizzles Instead of Explodes on Detroit Bound Airliner

What was initially reported as a man setting off fireworks onboard a Nigeria to Detroit-bound Delta flight has now been upgraded to a bombing attempt.

Official: Firecracker set off on Detroit airliner
Dec 25 03:04 PM US/Eastern

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Delta Airlines official says a passenger aboard a plane at Detroit Metropolitan Airport set off firecrackers aboard the plane, causing a commotion and some minor injuries.

Delta spokeswoman Susan Elliott says Delta Flight 253, an Airbus 330 carrying 278 passengers, was arriving in Detroit from Amsterdam when the incident took place Friday afternoon.

Elliott says the passenger was immediately subdued. She had no details on injuries. An FBI spokeswoman in Detroit says the incident is being investigated.
Man Tries to Blow up Detroit-bound Airliner
- A Nigerian man who said he was an agent for al-Qaida tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane Friday as it was preparing to land in Detroit, but travelers who smelled smoke and heard what sounded like firecrackers rushed to subdue him, the passengers and federal officials said.
Originally published December 25, 2009 at 10:09 PM | Page modified December 26, 2009 at 9:19 PM
By Jim Irwin and Larry Margasak
The Associated Press

ROMULUS, Mich. — A Nigerian man who said he was an agent for al-Qaida tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane Friday as it was preparing to land in Detroit, but travelers who smelled smoke and heard what sounded like firecrackers rushed to subdue him, the passengers and federal officials said.

Flight 253, an Airbus A330 wide-body jet with 278 passengers and 11 crew members on board, was about 20 minutes from the airport when passengers heard popping noises, witnesses said. At least one person climbed over others and jumped on the man.

Shortly afterward, the suspect was taken to the front of the plane with his pants cut off and his legs burned, a passenger said. One U.S. intelligence official said the explosive device was a mix of powder and liquid. It failed when the passenger tried to detonate it.

"It sounded like a firecracker in a pillowcase," said Peter Smith, a traveler from the Netherlands. "First there was a pop, and then (there) was smoke."

Smith said a passenger climbed over other people, crossed the aisle and tried to restrain the man. Syed Jafri, another passenger, said he saw a glow and smelled smoke. Then, he said, "a young man behind me jumped on him."

"Next thing you know, there was a lot of panic," said Jafri, 57, of Holland, Ohio. Smith said the young man who jumped appeared to have been burned.

Once on the ground, the plane was guided to the end of a runway, where it was surrounded by police cars and emergency vehicles and searched by a bomb-disabling robot.

White House officials said they believed it was an attempted act of terrorism, and stricter security measures were quickly imposed on airline travel. Officials did not specify what those measures were.

The incident was reminiscent of Richard Reid, the so-called shoe bomber, who attempted to blow up an American Airlines flight between Paris and Miami in December 2001 by igniting his explosives-laden shoes but was subdued by other passengers. That incident is one reason passengers must remove their shoes before passing through security checkpoints in U.S. airports. Reid is serving a life sentence.

Law-enforcement officials identified the suspect in Friday's attempted attack as Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, 23. One law-enforcement official said the man claimed to have been instructed by al-Qaida to blow up the plane over U.S. soil. All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

The man was being questioned late Friday. It was unclear how Abdul Mutallab managed to get the explosive onto the plane, officials said.

An intelligence official said the Nigerian was being held and treated in an Ann Arbor, Mich., hospital. One passenger was taken to the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, hospital spokeswoman Tracy Justice said. She referred all inquiries to the FBI.

Flight 253 began in Nigeria and went through Amsterdam en route to Detroit, said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., the ranking GOP member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

"This was the real deal," he said, adding that something had gone wrong with the explosive, which he described as somewhat sophisticated. "This could have been devastating."

A senior Department of Homeland Security official said that the device Abdul Mutallab had was "more incendiary than explosive."

Abdul Mutallab told authorities, the official said, that he had explosive powder taped to his leg and used a syringe of chemicals to mix with the powder to try to cause an explosion.

Suspect in database

A federal counterterrorism official, who asked not to be identified, said Abdul Mutallab was apparently in a government law-enforcement-intelligence database, but it was not clear what extremist group or individuals he might be linked to.

"It's too early to say what his association is," the counterterrorism official said. "At this point, it seems like he was acting alone, but we don't know for sure." Although Abdul Mutallab is said to have told officials he was directed by al-Qaida, the counterterrorism official expressed caution about that claim, saying "it may have been aspirational."

A spokeswoman for police at the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam declined to comment about the case or security procedures at the airport for Flight 253. Schiphol airport, one of Europe's busiest, strictly enforces European security regulations, including allowing only small amounts of liquids and gels in hand luggage that must be placed inside clear plastic bags.

There was nothing out of the ordinary about the flight until it was on final approach to Detroit, said Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory. That is when the pilot declared an emergency, she said.

The flight landed at 12:51 p.m. EST, she said.

Delta Air Lines, which bought Northwest last year, said that "upon approach to Detroit, a passenger caused a disturbance." It said the passenger was subdued immediately and the crew asked that law-enforcement officials meet the flight.

Smith, the Netherlands traveler, said that while he was leaving the plane, he looked at where the man had been sitting and saw a pillow that seemed to have been burned. Melinda Dennis, who was seated in the front row of the plane, said the man involved was brought to the front row and seated near her. She said his legs appeared to be badly burned and his pants were cut off. She said he was taken off the plane handcuffed to a stretcher.

President Obama was notified of the incident and discussed it with security officials, administration officials said. They said he was receiving regular updates at his vacation place in Hawaii.

Federal officials said there would be heightened security for domestic and international flights at airports across the country, but the intensified levels would likely be "layered," differing from location to location depending on alerts, security concerns and other factors.

Passengers can expect to see heightened screening, with more officers, bomb-sniffing dogs and behavioral-detection specialists at some airports, but there will be unspecified, less visible precautions as well, officials said.

The FBI and the Homeland Security Department issued an intelligence note Nov. 20 about the threat picture for the holiday season. At the time, officials said they had no specific information about attack plans by al-Qaida or other terrorist groups.

Spotlight on Nigeria

In 2003, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden purportedly marked Nigeria for liberation in a recording posted on the Internet, calling on Muslims in the oil-rich country to rise up against one of the "regimes who are slaves of America."

But links to al-Qaida remained rare, though security forces claimed to have broken up such a linked terror cell in November 2007.

Security at Nigeria's two major international airports, in the capital Abuja and the megacity of Lagos, remains a point of concern.

Police often focus their time on keeping hagglers and taxi drivers out. Bags pass through X-ray scanners quickly, and those watching incoming passengers do not typically test for explosive residue on passengers' carry-on baggage or shoes.

At the gate, airline workers often check passengers again with metal detectors.

A Delta Air Lines plane was being used for Northwest Flight 253. Delta is days away from obtaining a single operating certificate from the FAA to fully integrate itself and Northwest.
U.S. knew of suspect, but how much?
- Nigerian's dad alerted U.S. to concerns but son was not put on no-fly list
NBC, and news services
updated 11:01 p.m. ET, Sat., Dec . 26, 2009

DETROIT - The young Nigerian charged Saturday with trying to blow up a jetliner on Christmas Day had been listed in a U.S. anti-terrorism database and his father warned U.S. officials about his extremism, but what the father relayed was still unclear.

U.S. government officials said Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab came to the attention of U.S. intelligence in November when his father went to the U.S. embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, to express his concerns about his son. Sources close to the family said his father, former chairman of one of Nigeria's most prominent banks, also warned Nigerian authorities.

At that time, Abdulmutallab was added to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, a database maintained by the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center and which contains about 550,000 names of people who could have terror ties. <BR itxtvisited="1"><BR itxtvisited="1">The father did not have specific information that would put the 23-year-old on the "no-fly list" or on the list for additional security checks at the airport, one official said.<BR itxtvisited="1"><BR itxtvisited="1">Neither was the information sufficient to revoke his visa to visit the United States. His visa had been granted June 2008 and was valid through June 2010. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because neither was authorized to speak to the media.

But a congressional official said the suspect did pop up in U.S. intelligence reports about four weeks ago as having a connection to both al-Qaida and Yemen.

As the investigation expanded to Nigeria, London and Yemen, joint terrorism task forces in New York, Maryland, Texas and Washington state began investigating contacts Abdulmutallab may have had there, law enforcement officials said.

The officials did not detail the contacts. Abdulmutallab's phone and computer records also were being scoured, the officials said.

One of the officials said the Maryland investigation was spurred by information that Abdulmutallab's family owns a house in that state.

President Barack Obama, on vacation in Hawaii, was being briefed regularly on the attack. What has been unclear to his inner circle was how the information the father gave to the embassy was treated by the counterterrorism center, NBC's Chuck Todd reported.

The White House is concerned about how new entries are entered into the terrorist watch list and wants to know if, in this case, the information wasn't elevated through the appropriate channels. In the words of one senior official, "the president believes in always challenging assumptions."

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told MSNBC that people in the TIDE database are not necessarily on the no-fly list and that was the case with Abdulmutallab.

"Why he was not on the no-fly list, we have to look into," said King, who is the ranking Republican member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

A security official in Amsterdam, where the Christmas Day flight originated, told Newsweek that U.S. security authorities had cleared the flight for departure.

Sources in Nigeria told NBC News that Abdulmutallab had paid $2,831 in cash for a roundtrip ticket from Lagos, Nigeria, to Detroit, and that he had no checked baggage, just a shoulder bag that he carried on.

Smiling as he is charged<BR itxtvisited="1">Abdulmutallab was charged Saturday with willfully attempting to destroy or wreck an aircraft; and with placing a destructive device in the plane.

In its charging papers, the Justice Department said Abdulmutallab had a device containing a high explosive attached to his body on Flight 253 from Amsterdam. As the Airbus 330 neared Detroit's airport on Friday, Abdulmutallab set off the device in seat 19A — but sparked a fire instead of an explosion, the government said.

A preliminary analysis of the device shows that it contained PETN, or pentaerythritol tetranitrate, according the affidavit filed in federal court in Detroit.

The Justice Department stated that after Abdulmutallab was restrained by passengers and crew, "one flight attendant asked him what he had had in his pocket, and he replied 'explosive device.'"

U.S. District Judge Paul Borman read Abdulmutallab the charges in a conference room at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. where he is being treated for burns.

The suspect smiled when he was wheeled into the hospital conference room for the hearing. He had a bandage on his left thumb and right wrist, and part of the skin on the thumb was burned off.

Judge Borman asked the defendant if he was pronouncing his name correctly.

Abdulmutallab responded, in English. "Yes, that's fine." The judge asked Abdulmutallab if he understood the charges against him. He responded in English: "Yes, I do."

The judge said the suspect would be assigned a public defender and set a detention hearing for Jan. 8.

U.S. counterterrorism officials told NBC News that, shortly after he was taken into custody, Abdulmutallab said he was working for al-Qaida and that he had been instructed to blow up the plane on approach to Detroit because it would likely produce the most casualties and collateral damage on the ground if the wreckage fell into a densely populated area.

The officials said, however, that so far there had been no solid evidence of any direct or indirect ties to al-Qaida. All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.

Two law enforcement sources told NBC News that Abdulmutallab had recently spent at least a month with extremists in Yemen, but that it was not clear if those extremists were al-Qaida members or radicals inspired by al-Qaida.

In Yemen, a government source said that authorities would take action if a link to Yemen is officially identified.

Son of retired banker<BR itxtvisited="1">In Nigeria, a retired banker said on Saturday he was meeting with security officials after his son was identified as the suspect.

Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, who retired as chairman of First Bank of Nigeria this month, said his son was a one-time university student in London who had left Britain to travel abroad. He said his son hadn't lived in London "for some time" but he wasn't sure exactly where he had gone. <BR itxtvisited="1"><BR itxtvisited="1">"I believe he might have been to Yemen, but we are investigating to determine that," the elder Mutallab said.

Nigeria's This Day newspaper cited family members as saying the elder Mutallab had been uncomfortable with his son's "extreme religious views" and had reported him to the U.S. Embassy in the capital Abuja and to Nigerian security agencies six months ago.

British officials on Saturday were searching the last known address of the suspect, who was thought to have been an engineering student at University College London, one of the United Kingdom's leading universities, according to Sky News.

Sources in Nigeria said Abdulmutallab first studied in Togo before moving to London, then on to Egypt and Dubai.

The attempted bombing occurred as Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam prepared to land in Detroit just before noon Friday.

Travelers said they smelled smoke, saw a glow, and heard what sounded like firecrackers as Flight 253, carrying 278 passengers and 11 crew members from Amsterdam, prepared to land.

Officials told WNBC that the explosives were attached to Abdulmutallab's underwear.

A man contacted to say he was seated in the same row as the suspect. The man, who identified himself as Alain Ghonda, said he "heard the explosion … at that point we thought it was outside the plane so people lifted the window blinds to look out."

"It wasn't a big explosion, it sounded like a firecracker, but it smelled like a gun had just gone off," he added.

"I looked and saw that smoke was coming out of him and he was trying to brush something off his pants … and suddenly I saw a big flame come out of him," Ghonda said. "A Dutch guy jumped over the seats and grabbed the guy on fire."

The United States quickly imposed stricter security measures on airline travel.

It was eight years ago this week that a similar attempted attack was launched by a British member of al-Qaida, Richard Reid, who tried to blow up a flight from Paris to Miami by igniting explosives in his shoes. He also was subdued by passengers and later pleaded guilty to terrorism charges.

The material used in the new attack was the same that Reid used.
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
There was another scare onboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Amersterdam to Detroit involving another Nigerian man. He apparently got abdominal distress/food poisioning around the final hour of the flight so he went to the lavatory several times, then wouldn't return to his seat when the stewardesses got concerned.

When the flight landed, law enforcement officers escorted him off the plane for questioning. As of 6:15 PM EST, the authourities have announced that the man was a Nigerian business man who got sick on the plane and that he posed no credible threat to the flight.

People are understandable jumpy since the Northwest Airlines Flight 253 incident Christmas Day with an attempted chemical bomb attempt by another Nigerian man. This man was attempting to set off the same chemicals as the infamous Shoe Bomber.
The aircraft involved was a Northwest Airlines Airbus A330-300 twinjet, with 279 passengers, 8 flight attendants, and 3 pilots aboard. It left Amsterdam around 8:45 a.m. local time (0745 UTC), and was scheduled to arrive in Detroit at 11:40 a.m. EST (1640 UTC), but actually landed around noon. The aircraft was painted in Delta Air Lines' livery, as Northwest is currently operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta; a merger of the carriers is underway.

Witnesses reported that after the plane entered US airspace, a passenger later identified as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian man, went into the plane's lavatory for about 20 minutes, and after returning to his seat at 19A (near the fuel tanks and wing) complained that he had an upset stomach. He was then seen pulling a blanket over himself. About 20 minutes before the plane landed, he secretly ignited a small explosive device consisting of a mix of flammable powder and liquid (originally reported to be firecrackers). The suspect apparently had taped a packet of powder to his leg or groin, and used a syringe containing chemicals to cause a chemical reaction, and though there appears to have been an explosion and the lower part of his body caught on fire, the device failed to detonate properly. Passengers heard popping noises like firecrackers, smelled an odor, and some saw the suspect's trouser leg and the wall of the plane on fire. A passenger said "there was smoke and screaming and flames. It was scary."

It is believed that substance used was pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), a highly explosive chemical. The suspect apparently carried it onto the plane in a soft plastic container, possibly a condom. However, much of the packaging was lost in the fire. The substance was analyzed at Quantico by the FBI. An affidavit filed in the Eastern District of Michigan indicated that preliminary findings reflected that the device contained PETN, and that authorities found the remains of the syringe believed to have been used by the suspect.

No air marshals were on the flight. Several passengers and crew members noticed the attack, and saw one passenger run forward, and tackle and overpower the suspect, keeping him in a hold down until after the landing of the plane while flight attendants extinguished the fire with a fire extinguisher and blankets. That passenger, Jasper Schuringa, a Dutch director of a media company based in Amsterdam, suffered burns to his hands while stopping the suspect. He was later taken to the University of Michigan Medical Center. The suspect having been immediately subdued, he was isolated from other passengers and restrained. A passenger removed a partially smoking syringe from the suspect's hand. A passenger reported that the suspect, though burned "quite severely" on his leg, seemed "very calm" and like a "normal individual." A flight attendant asked the suspect what he had in his pocket, and the suspect replied "explosive device".

When the attack triggered a fire indicator light within the cockpit, the pilot requested rescue and law enforcement. The incident was initially declared an in-flight emergency, before being deemed an attempted terrorist attack. The plane made an emergency landing at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Romulus, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit) almost immediately thereafter, just before 1 p.m. local time.

Reaction and investigation
While the plane itself suffered relatively little damage, the suspect suffered third-degree burns and two other passengers were injured.When the plane landed, the suspect was handed over to Custom and Border Protection officers, and taken into custody for questioning and treatment of his injuries in a secured room of the burn unit of the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor. Two other passengers incurred minor injuries.

FBI agents arrived at the airport after the plane landed, and passengers were diverted into a holding area. A bomb-defusing robot was first used to board the plane. The plane was moved to a remote area so authorities could re-screen the plane, the passengers, and the baggage on-board. In addition, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) interviewed all passengers before letting them leave.

The investigation into the incident is being managed by the FBI. It is not known how the suspect managed to smuggle the incendiary device past airport security, and what training he received, if any. There are conflicting reports as to whether the suspect was acting alone or was linked to al-Qaeda; an investigation has been initiated into whether the attempted attack was part of a larger, possibly worldwide plot.

President Barack Obama was notified of the incident by an aide while on a vacation in Kailua, Hawaii, and spoke with officials from the Department of Homeland Security. The White House said that Obama was actively monitoring the situation, and had instructed that all appropriate measures be taken regarding the attack. The White House called the attack an act of terrorism. However, Attorney General Eric Holder has not declared the incident an official terrorist act. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was also briefed, and was monitoring the incident. The day after the attack, members of the U.S. Congress pledged to hold hearings to investigate how the device passed through security and whether further restrictions should be placed on air travel. The House Homeland Security Committee and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee both announced that they would hold hearings in January 2010.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the UK would take "whatever action was necessary" in response to the attacks. The day after the incident, British police sealed off Mansfield Street, in Marylebone, London, where the suspect reportedly lived in a family-owned flat.

The incident raised concern regarding security procedures at Nigeria's major international airports in Lagos and Abuja, where tests for explosive materials are not conducted on carry-on baggage and shoes, and where bags are allowed to pass quickly through x-ray scanners.

A police spokeswoman at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol declined to comment about security procedures at Amsterdam Airport, where large numbers of passengers are processed en-route to North America from Africa. A Dutch military police spokesperson said that Abdulmutallab did not go through passport control, and the Dutch counter-terrorism agency NCTb said that it had started a probe into where the suspect originated. A preliminary investigation, however, found no security lapses, and despite being listed as having a potential terrorism connection, the suspect had a valid U.S. visa.

Vice Prime Minister Wouter Bos called Schuringa on behalf of the Dutch government, conveying compliments and gratitude for his part in overpowering the suspect. Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders, called Schuringa "a national hero" for his actions during the attack, and said that "he deserves a royal honor". Wilders said he would ask the Dutch government to award such an honor. Members of the Second Chamber (Lower House) of the Dutch parliament demanded an explanation from Minister of Justice Hirsch Ballin, given that the plane that took off from The Netherlands, asking especially how the suspect managed to smuggle the explosives on board, despite the reportedly strict security measures at Schiphol Airport.

Delta Air Lines, which owns Northwest, said that its Detroit group did not handle security for the flight and released a statement calling the incident a "disturbance," and saying that Delta was "cooperating fully with authorities".

Criminal complaint and charges
On December 26, a criminal complaint was filed against Abdulmutallab in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by Theodore James Peisig or Peissig, an FBI special agent, charging Abdulmutallab with placing a destructive device in proximity to and attempting to destroy a US civil aircraft. The U.S. Attorney's Office assigned federal prosecutors Jonathan Tukel, chief of the counter-terrorism unit, and Eric Straus, former chief of the same unit, to the case. Abdulmutallab was arraigned later the same day at the University of Michigan Hospital burn unit. He was officially charged by U.S. District Court Judge Paul D. Borman in a conference room within the hospital. Based upon these charges, Borman, who signed the complaint, said Abdulmutallab faces up to 20 years in prison for each count, and a $250,000 fine.

Borman set a detention hearing for January 8, 2010. Abdulmutallab was assigned public defenders Miriam Seifer and Jill Price.

Effect on travelers
The U.S. government did not raise the terrorist threat level, orange at the time, following the attack. However, the Department of Homeland Security said that additional security measures would be in place for the remainder of the Christmas travel period. The TSA posted a statement detailing several of the measures, including the restriction of movement and access of personal items during the last hour of flight for all planes within US airspace. The TSA also said that travelers would see more officers and dogs around airports.

British Airways said that passengers flying to the U.S. would only be permitted one carry-on item. Other European countries increased baggage screening, pat-down searches, and random searches for all passengers traveling to the US. A spokesperson for the Dutch airport used by the attacker said that heightened security would be in place for "an indefinite period".

The suspect, who arrived in Amsterdam on KLM Flight 588, a Boeing 777, from Lagos, Nigeria, was identified as 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian national and former mechanical engineering student at University College London. The university confirmed that a man named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab studied there from September 2005 to June 2008, but could not confirm whether he was the same man as the attacker. His last known address is believed to have been a $4 million apartment on Mansfield Street, Central London near the college, which was searched by the London Metropolitan Police.

The suspect is the son of prominent former Nigerian minister and banker Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, who had made a report to the U.S. Embassy one month earlier regarding his son's extremist religious views. It is believed that the suspect had such views since he attended high school, at the British International School in Lome, Togo. where he was known as a devout Muslim and for preaching about Islam to his schoolmates.

Abdulmutallab had paid $2,831 in cash for a round-trip ticket.

The suspect's name was added in November 2009, to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, a database of the US National Counterterrorism Center, but was not on any no-fly list. The suspect's name, however, had come to the attention of intelligence officials many months before that, but no "derogatory information" was recorded about him. A Congressional official said that Abdulmutallab's name appeared in US reports as having connections to both al-Qaeda and Yemen. The suspect said he had made contact with al-Qaeda through the internet, with a radical imam.

Representative King also said that the explosive device was deadly, and somewhat sophisticated. The explosives were reportedly sewn into the suspect's underwear. They failed to cause much damage because the detonator was either too weak or did not make good contact with the explosive material.

The day following the incident, attorney Kurt Haskell, another passenger at Schiphol, said he had seen a "well-dressed man" ask airline employees if Abdulmutallab could board Flight 253 without a passport, suggesting Abdulmutallab was a "refugee from Sudan". Haskell and his wife then did not see Abdulmutallab until the incident on the plane. Abdulmutallab does have a visa valid from June 2008 to June 2010, with which he visited Houston, Texas, in 2008.

Possible motives
While in custody, Abdulmutallab told authorities he had an extremist affiliation, and that he was directed by al-Qaeda. A counterterrorism official told The New York Times on December 25 that his claim "may have been aspirational". But US Representative Jane Harman (D-Calif.), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment, said on December 26 that a federal official briefed lawmakers about "strong suggestions of a Yemen-al Qaeda connection" with the suspect.

Abdulmutallab said that he obtained the device in Yemen, along with instructions from al-Qaeda as to how to use it. Authorities have not yet confirmed his statements. Abdulmutallab's father also said he may have travelled to Yemen.

The attack occurred on Christmas Day and was near the date of the eighth anniversary of Richard Reid's attempt to blow up a plane using explosives hidden in his shoe. The Taliban also released a video of Bowe Bergdahl, a captured US soldier, on the day of the attack.

The senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Pete Hoekstra, said officials in the Obama administration and officials with law-enforcement information access told him the suspect "may have been in contact with ... Anwar Al Awlaki. There are reports that he had contact and that he was recently in Yemen. The question we'll have to raise is was this imam in Yemen influential enough to get some people to attack the US again." Al-Awlaki is the former imam linked to al-Qaeda, three of the 9/11 bombers, Nidal Malik Hasan (the suspected Fort Hood shooter), and a Toronto terror cell, among others. Al-Awlaki regularly addresses British university Islamic societies by video links. Hoekstra added in an interview: "The suspicion is ... that [the suspect] had contact with al-Awlaki. The belief is this is a stronger connection with al-Awlaki" than Hasan had. On December 27 The Washington Post reported that Hoekstra said that credible sources told him the suspect "most likely" has ties with al-Awlaki. "That's a rather significant connection," said Hoekstra.

Fox News reported that Sky News sources said the suspect had links with al-Awlaki. University of Oxford historian Mark Almond, Visiting Professor of International Relations at Turkey’s Bilkent University, wrote on December 27 that the suspect was "on American security watch-lists because of his links with Yemeni firebrand Anwar Al Awlaki".

According to The New York Times on December 26, Abdulmutallab told FBI agents he contacted a radical Yemeni cleric online who connected him to the al-Qaeda affiliate, though the article states that that cleric was not believed to be al-Awlaki.

Hoekstra also said that the target of the attack may not have specifically been Detroit, but a destination similar to Detroit (which is Northwest's hub), with many incoming international travelers. The attack occurred over the city because the plane had not flown over US land prior to that time. In addition, an attack of this type (injecting chemicals into a substance to cause a chemical explosion) has not been used in previous terrorist plots, and it is possible that the attempt was a test to see if such materials could pass through screening, and how much damage the resulting blast would cause.

Second incident
On December 27, 2009, an event occurred in which a Nigerian passenger locked himself in a restroom and got into a dispute with the flight crew. This occurred on a trip of Flight 253. The crew of this flight requested emergency assistance after landing to deal with the "verbally disruptive" passenger. It was later found that this passenger was a businessman who had fallen ill during the flight. Although President Obama was also notified of the second incident, an official called it "nonserious".
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Republicans win Ted Kennedy's Senate seat!

Brown wins Mass. Senate race in epic upset
GOP victory leaves President Barack Obama's health care overhaul in doubt staff and news service reports
updated 11:03 p.m. ET, Tues., Jan. 19, 2010

BOSTON - In an epic upset in liberal Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown rode a wave of voter anger to win the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy for nearly half a century, leaving President Barack Obama's health care overhaul in doubt and marring the end of his first year in office.

Addressing an exuberant victory celebration Tuesday night, Brown declared he was "ready to go to Washington without delay" as the crowd chanted, "Seat him now." Democrats indicated they would, deflating a budding controversy over whether they would try to block Brown long enough to complete congressional passage of the health care plan he has promised to oppose.

"The people of Massachusetts have spoken. We welcome Scott Brown to the Senate and will move to seat him as soon as the proper paperwork has been received," said Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said he would notify the Senate on Wednesday that Brown had been elected.

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., said that it would "only be fair and prudent" to suspend votes on the health care bill until Brown is seated.

The loss by the once-favored Democrat Martha Coakley in the Democratic stronghold was a stunning embarrassment for the White House after Obama rushed to Boston on Sunday to try to save the foundering candidate. Her defeat signaled big political problems for the president's party this fall when House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates are on the ballot nationwide.

"I have no interest in sugarcoating what happened in Massachusetts," said Sen. Robert Menendez, the head of the Senate Democrats' campaign committee. "There is a lot of anxiety in the country right now. Americans are understandably impatient."

Brown will become the 41st Republican in the 100-member Senate, which could allow the GOP to block the president's health care legislation and the rest of his agenda. Democrats needed Coakley to win for a 60th vote to thwart Republican filibusters.

The Republican will finish Kennedy's unexpired term, facing re-election in 2012.

Brown won 52 percent to 47 percent. Turnout was exceptional for a special election in January: More voters showed up at the polls Tuesday than in any non-presidential general election in Massachusetts since 1990.

Referendum on Obama?
One day shy of the first anniversary of Obama's swearing-in, the election played out amid a backdrop of animosity and resentment from voters over persistently high unemployment, Wall Street bailouts, exploding federal budget deficits and partisan wrangling over health care.

"I voted for Obama because I wanted change. ... I thought he'd bring it to us, but I just don't like the direction that he's heading," said John Triolo, 38, a registered independent who voted in Fitchburg.

He said his frustrations, including what he considered the too-quick pace of health care legislation, led him to vote for Brown.

For weeks considered a long shot, Brown seized on voter discontent to overtake Coakley in the campaign's final stretch. His candidacy energized Republicans, including backers of the "tea party" protest movement, while attracting disappointed Democrats and independents uneasy with where they felt the nation was heading.

Coakley called Brown conceding the race, and Obama talked to both Brown and Coakley, congratulating them on the race.

The Democrat said the president told her: "We can't win them all."

Brown will be the first Republican senator from Massachusetts in 30 years.

Even before the first results were announced, administration officials were privately accusing Coakley of a poorly run campaign and playing down the notion that Obama or a toxic political landscape had much to do with the outcome.

Coakley's supporters, in turn, blamed that very environment, saying her lead dropped significantly after the Senate passed health care reform shortly before Christmas and after the Christmas Day attempted airliner bombing that Obama himself said showed a failure of his administration.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, head of the House Democrats' campaign effort, said Coakley's loss won't deter his colleagues from continuing to blame the previous administration.

"President George W. Bush and House Republicans drove our economy into a ditch and tried to run away from the accident," he said. "President Obama and congressional Democrats have been focused repairing the damage to our economy."

At Boston's Park Plaza Hotel, giddy Republicans cheered, chanted "USA" and waved the "tea party" version of the American flag.

Even before Brown won, the grass-roots network fueled by antiestablishment frustrations, sought credit for the victory, much like the liberal did in the 2006 midterm elections when Democrats rose to power.

GOP chairman Michael Steele said Brown's "message of lower taxes, smaller government and fiscal responsibility clearly resonated with independent-minded voters in Massachusetts who were looking for a solution to decades of failed Democrat leadership."

Wall Street watched the election closely. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 116 points, and analysts attributed the increase to hopes the election would make it harder for Obama to make his changes to health care. That eased investor concerns that profits at companies such as insurers and drug makers would suffer.

Across Massachusetts, voters who had been bombarded with phone calls and dizzied with nonstop campaign commercials for Coakley and Brown gave a fitting turnout despite intermittent snow and rain statewide.

Galvin, who discounted sporadic reports of voter irregularities throughout the day, predicted turnout ranging from 1.6 million to 2.2 million, 40 percent to 55 percent of registered voters. The Dec. 8 primary had a scant turnout of about 20 percent.

Voters considered national issues including health care and the federal budget deficits.

Fears about spending drove Karla Bunch, 49, to vote for Brown. "It's time for the country, for the taxpayers, to take back their money," she said.

And Elizabeth Reddin, 65, voted for Brown because she said she was turned off by the Democrat's negative advertisements, saying: "The Coakley stuff was disgusting."
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
PETA Agent Assault Canadian Government Official With A Pie

Freedom of expression doesn't include assaulting government officials!

Security was shamefully lax or non-existant. In these days of militant extremists, how is a federal government official left defenseless at a public gathering like a Press Conference?

Osama Bin Ladin would love to take credit for assassinating any government official of Canada because we have the third largest combat force in Afghanistan. I don't understand how a woman can walk up to the podium unchallenged, then hit a government official with a pie, then announce some PETA agenda. For shame!,fa9ced3a
Gail Shea and the PETA Pie
January 25, 2010
· By Sean Calder

You know, I understand that some people look upon the “cream pie” as a time-honoured tradition as a method of protest in politics. Maybe I’m not so traditional about this. I don’t like it.

Today, while Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea was delivering a speech to open the Aquatic Life Research Facility in Burlington, a PETA zealot who was sitting in the front row stood up and hit the Minister in the face with a “tofu cream pie”.

Call me squirrely, but I call that assault.

Of course, the crazy zealot was dragged away presumably shrieking about the slaughter of seals, as if that hasn’t already been beaten into the ground 12 times over.

Protesting over your cause-du-jour is one thing, but taking it to the level of assault is another. This “unidentified” woman should be charged and jailed for assaulting a public official.

And for the record, I don’t approve of the pieing of Jean Chretien either. Yeah I know, I hate the guy, but that doesn’t mean I wanted to see him assaulted.

Filed Under: Environment & Nature, Political Parties & Politicians
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
The PETA pie assault woman is an American. :doh:

Isn't interfering with the operations of a foreign government against American law? Can that pie thrower be charged with an act of terrorism?

Fisheries Minister Gail Shea joins list of Canadian politicians who have been pied
Published Monday January 25th, 2010

BURLINGTON, Ont. - Activists protesting the seal hunt laid claim Monday to having pied the fisheries and oceans minister, adding Gail Shea's name to a list of politicians who have tasted that most peculiar of political protests.

Shea was delivering a speech at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters to open the Aquatic Life Research Facility, west of Toronto, when a woman stood up in the front row and pushed the pie squarely into her face.

While police called it a "shaving cream pie" the animal rights group that took responsibility for the act called it a "tofu cream pie."

Whatever the filling was made of the incident resulted in an assault charge against an American resident.

PETA, which took credit for the incident, said in a release it was part of its campaign to stop the government's "ill-advised sanction of the slaughter of seals."

"Shame on you Gail Shea. Ban the bloody seal hunt. It is a shame on Canada, it is a shame that she has not denounced this bloody seal hunt," the protester said after covering Shea's face with the creamy white filling.

Shea, who represents a P.E.I. riding, did not require medical attention and returned to the podium after wiping the pie away.

Emily McCoy, 37, of New York City, was taken into custody and charged with assault, police said.

Politicians have often been targets for demonstrators wielding pies, some of whom went to jail.

Former prime minister Jean Chretien was hit in the face with a pie by a protester in Prince Edward Island in 2000. His attacker initially was given jail time but eventually received a conditional sentence.

A woman who missed Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach with a pie at the annual Calgary Stampede breakfast in 2007, and hit a security official instead, was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

So was a woman who threw a pie at Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier in the summer of 2007.

In 2003, a protester who hit then-Alberta premier Ralph Klein in the face with a pie at the Stampede breakfast was convicted of assault and ordered to serve a 30-day intermittent jail sentence.

Jean Charest got it in April 2003, two days before his Liberals ousted the Parti Quebecois and he was elected Quebec premier.
Terrorists are probably going to be inspired by this demonstration. What if they decided to trick westerners to do their dirty work. Suppose Al Quaida and/or Taliban offered PETA one million dollars of secret funds for each government official of one of the western democracies that they could attack. Would PETA consider that the money would be put to good use in the cause of animal liberation?
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
David Letterman's Blackmailer Pleads Guilty
- Halderman Apologizes for Trying to Extort $2M; Letterman Addresses Plea on Show
March 9, 2010

The television news producer accused of trying to blackmail David Lettermanfor $2 million by exposing the talk show host's extramarital affairs pleaded guilty today in a Manhattan court.

Robert "Joe" Halderman, an Emmy Award winning producer at CBS News, left the courtroom and apologized to Letterman.

Halderman entered a guilty plea in a deal that requires him to serve six months in prison, agree to four and a half years probation and perform 1,000 hours of community service, 500 of which will take place in a Connecticut homesless shelter.

Had he not taken a deal, Halderman, who initially pleaded not guilty to charges of grand larceny, could have faced a 15-year prison sentence.

"In September of 2009, I attempted to extort two million dollars from David Letterman by threatening to disclose personal and private information about him, whether true or false," Halderman told the court.

Outside of court, Halderman told a brief news conferrence, "I apologize to Mr. Letterman and his family, Stephanie Birkitt and her family and certainly to my friends and family."

Birkitt is a former Letterman staffer who Halderman lived with until last year. Birkitt was rumored to have carried on an affair with the late-night comedian.

In court, Halderman said, "I feel great remorse for what I've done."

Halderman, 66, waived his right to appeal and is scheduled to be sentenced May 4.

"I would like to thank the District Attorney of Manhattan, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the former District Attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, the Special Prosecutions Bureau in the D.A.'s Office, and the New York City Police Department. When they became involved with this case, I had complete faith that a just and appropriate result was inevitable. On behalf of my family, I am extremely grateful for their tireless efforts," Letterman said in a statement read by his lawyer Dan Horwitz.

Letterman addressed the plea on tonight's show, striking a solemn note before introducing his first guest. Instead of making light of the situation, the comedian thanked by name all key players involved in resolving his case.

"The matter was resolved today," Letterman told his audience. "It was handled professionally, skillfully and appropriately."

In October 2009, Letterman, 62, announced during a taping of his "Late Show" that he had sexual relations with female members of his staff and decided to go public after receiving a package left on the back seat of his car demanding money to keep the affairs secret.

The package contained a letter that said, "I know that you do some terrible terrible things and I can prove that you do these terrible things ... and sure enough what was contained in the package was proof that I do terrible, terrible things," Letterman told his audience.

The late night comic explained on air how his attorney contacted New York prosecutors to catch Halderman. Letterman later testified before a grand jury.

Halderman initially claimed that he was only trying to sell Letterman a screenplay, which included sordid details of the talk show host's life.

Halderman allegedly threatened to reveal "personal and private information" if Letterman did not accede to his demands to purchase the one-page screenplay, the Manhattan district attorney's office said at the time.

In October District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said the screenplay described a scenario in which Letterman's world would "collapse all around him" and would lead to a "ruined reputation."

Morgenthau said the screenplay "covers all the necessary facts" needed to indict Halderman with one count of attempted grand larceny in the first degree.

Halderman lived until recently with Stephanie Birkitt, a one-time personal assistant to Letterman who was alleged have carried on an affair with Letterman.

Public documents indicate that Birkitt and Halderman lived together in Norwalk, Conn., from August 2005 to August 2009. Birkitt now has an apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Halderman has been married and divorced twice, according to public records. He had two children with his second wife, and has three stepchildren. His former wife won custody of their children and now lives in Colorado.

Divorce records show that Halderman was ordered to pay $6,800 a month in alimony and child support, starting May 1, 2004.
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
World's Largest Rabbit - It's the Beast-er Bunny!

Meet Darius, the world's biggest rabbit
He's 50 pounds, 4 feet 3 inches long, and insured for $1.6M

By Mike Celizic contributor
updated 9:11 a.m. ET, Thurs., April 29, 2010

Things are hopping in Worcester, England. First, one of its residents had herself surgically transformed into curvaceous cartoon character Jessica Rabbit. Then, one of her pet bunnies officially became the world's most humongous rabbit.

Darius is the fourth world-record rabbit owned by model and grandmother Annette Edwards. Thursday, he lazed on a table at his home while Edwards showed him off on TODAY via satellite.

He's 4 feet, 3 inches from his wiggly nose to his puffy tail, and weighs in at 50 pounds. And while he's not quite the size of Wallace and Gromit's were-rabbit, he's still young — and still growing.

"He could grow another four to six inches," Edwards said. "It's quite scary."

Guinness World Records has certified Darius' record, which is based solely on his length. The record-keepers used to also list animals by weight, but dropped that measurement out of fear that people were overfeeding their pets to get them in the record book.

He thinks he's a dog

Edwards' pets just seem to jump into the record book. Another of her rabbits, Alice, had held the record before Darius shouldered her aside. Before Alice, there was Amy, who died in 2008 while on a publicity tour of Italy. Before Amy, there was Roberto.

All are members of the aptly named continental giant breed.

Darius thinks he's a dog, Edwards said. He eats at the table and lays across Edwards' lap to be petted when she watches the telly. Every day he wolfs down a bowl of rabbit chow, two apples, a dozen carrots with their leafy tops and half a cabbage.

Fortunately, since Edwards raises her own vegetables, feeding Darius isn't that expensive.

But he's no house bunny. Edwards travels with Darius, trading on his enormous size and her own Jessica Rabbit proportions. Although the blonde Edwards dressed casually for TODAY, when she makes appearances with Darius, she dons a flowing red wig, pulls on elbow-length purple gloves, climbs up on platform shoes with stiletto heels, and pours herself into a tight, red sequined dress split up to here, with a neckline that plunges down to there.

Stealing her spotlight

It's a look that last year cost her $16,000 in plastic surgery bills to achieve, but it's apparently been worth it. Still, as stunning a picture as Edwards presents, Darius is the star, which makes her hopping mad.

"Darius is now on tour all over the world. He's bringing out a book for children. You know, I'm quite jealous," Edwards said with mock annoyance. "He's actually taken over me. I'm a professional model, and he's having more fame than me. It's not fair."

Bunny bodyguard

Being a star has its benefits for the large lagomorph. Darius is insured for $1.6 million dollars, has an agent and travels with a bodyguard who reportedly makes about $100,000 a year just to wrangle a rabbit.

The 59-year-old Edwards has raised 10 children, but she's always had this thing about bunnies. She owned her first one when she was 8 and has been a fan every since.

She emphasized that Darius is not fat. He's just enormous.

"Darius is very healthy. He has lots and lots of exercise and a very good, balanced diet," Edwards said. "He's King Darius. He's a very famous bunny. He's a celebrity."

Then, in case anyone failed to notice, she added, "He's a very big boy."
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Car Bomb Attempt in Times Square, New York City!

Thank God that people noticed the suspicously parked car and did something about it.

NY street vendors praised for spotting car bomb
by Michelle Nichols

(Reuters) - Street vendors in New York's Times Square are as ubiquitous as yellow taxis, but on Sunday some of those traders were being called heroes after alerting police to a smoking vehicle that turned out to be a failed car bomb.Vendor Lance Orton, a Vietnam veteran, is being credited by local authorities and media with tipping mounted policeman Wayne Rhatigan about a suspicious Nissan sport utility vehicle on West 45th Street near Broadway on Saturday evening.

Several other vendors on that street corner also spotted the car and said they scrambled to tell the police.

"My brother told me this car has had smoke in it for a long time. Call 911," said Mohamate Niasse, 52, where was back in his stall in Times Square after the incident, alongside his brother Ali, selling pictures of the city.

Niasse, who lives in Harlem and has sold his wares in the busy midtown Manhattan district for six years, said Orton then told them he had already sent someone to alert the police.

"I thought there might have been someone in the car sleeping, so I went over there but I couldn't see anything," he said.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised Orton and Rhatigan on Sunday and had dinner with Rhatigan in Times Square. Orton -- who was reluctant to speak to the media -- had been unable to join them, Bloomberg said.

"Lance Orton saw something and did something about it," the mayor said.

Rhatigan, who smelled gun powder and realized the smoking car was something more sinister, said he was simply doing his job.

"It's just what we do," he told reporters. "As I was by the car I asked a couple of vendors 'Is this your car?' and they said 'Nah, we don't know whose this is.'"

Duane Jackson, another Vietnam vet who said he helped alert police, was back selling handbags and T-shirts across the road from where the vehicle carrying the bomb had been parked.

"There are a bunch of us disabled vets selling here, and we're used to being vigilant because we all know that freedom isn't free," Jackson, 58, told The New York Times. "All of us vets here are the eyes and ears for the cops."
Napolitano: No suspects ruled out in NY bomb scare
The Associated Press
Monday, May 3, 2010; 7:45 AM

WASHINGTON -- The head of homeland security said Monday that investigators haven't ruled out any suspects, including foreign terrorist organizations, in the case of the unexploded car bomb that was parked in New York City's Times Square on Saturday night.

"Right now, every lead has to be pursued," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told NBC's "Today." "I caution against premature decisions one way or another."

The Pakistani Taliban appeared to claim responsibility for the car bomb in three videos that surfaced over the weekend, but New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said police have no evidence to support those claims. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday that "there is no evidence tied to international terrorism."

But Napolitano called it "premature to rule in or rule out" any suspects.

She praised New York street vendors who alerted police to the suspicious vehicle, telling CBS' "Early Show" that the incident is a reminder that "everybody needs to be and is a part of the process of being watchful, of being vigilant."

Napolitano was asked whether investigators thought the Times Square bomb attempt was similar to a 2006 plot in London, in which a 35-year-old British convert to Islam was convicted of plotting to bomb several U.S. financial targets and luxury London hotels using limousines packed with gas tanks, napalm and nails.

"It's somewhat similar, but again I caution that the last thing we want to do is draw premature conclusions which may obscure the actual leads we may be following," Napolitano said in an interview on CNN.

There has also been speculation that because the SUV was parked near the headquarters of Viacom, the attack might have been related to a controversial "South Park" episode that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad dressed in a bear costume. Viacom owns Comedy Central.

"I'm not going to speculate on speculation. It's out there as one theory. There may be others," Napolitano told CNN. "What we do know is that some person or persons parked a vehicle ... (and) tried to blow it up."
US authorities investigating the failed car bombing of New York's Times Square have dismissed the earlier claim of responsibility made over the internet by a group led by Qari Hussein Mehsud.

Taliban chief 'warns of US attacks'

Video tapes have been released of what appears to be Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the main Pakistani Taliban group, warning the US of multiple attacks on its citizens.

The tapes of Mehsud, who was reported dead in a January drone attack, emerged just a day after another Pakistani Taliban group claimed responsibility for a failed bombing in New York.

An unidentified voice purportedly belonging to Mehsud, said the Taliban takes "full responsibility for the recent attack in the USA" in a video released by SITE, a US-based group monitoring Taliban media.

The video, allegedly recorded on April 19, makes no specific reference to the attack in New York City, nor does it mention that the location or that it was a car bomb.

Mehsud was presumed to have been killed in a drone strike in northwestern Pakistan, but last week Pakistani intelligence officials suggested Mehsud may have survived the attack.

Dismissed claim

US authorities investigating the failed car bombing of New York's Times Square have dismissed the earlier claim of responsibility made over the internet by a group led by Qari Hussein Mehsud.

Pakistani Taliban sources also told Al Jazeera on Sunday that they were not involved.

In a second video recording, released by IntelCenter, another monitoring agency, a man appearing to be Mehsud promises that "God willing, very soon in some days or a month's time, the Muslim [community] will see the fruits of most successful attacks of our fedayeen in USA".

"Fedayeen" usually refers to suicide bombers, which the car bomb attempt in New York did not involve.

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, said the threat apparently issued by Mehsud could have ramifications both in the US and in Pakistan.

"Will they [the US] increase the number of drone strikes into Pakistan now that Hakimullah has issued a threat?" he said.

"The claim that there will be suicide attacks in mainland USA is not something the Americans will take lightly. They will, of course, update security operations.

"The question is if the Taliban has the capability to strike on such a large distance. It's not something that many people believe is possible."

Baitullah Mehsud, the predecessor of Hakimullah Mehsud, reportedly claimed responsibility for a mass shooting at the American Civic Association in Binghamton in April 2009. That claim turned out to be false.

Strong leads

New York authorities have said they have several strong leads in the bombing investigation, including camera footage of a suspicious man leaving the scene.

Michael Bloomberg, the city's mayor, said on Sunday that there was no evidence that al-Qaeda was involved.

"There is no evidence that this is tied in with al-Qaeda or any other big terrorist organisation," he said.

Footage from 82 security cameras in the square in central Manhattan is being reviewed at police laboratories.

One sequence of film showed "a white male in his 40s" who Raymond Kelly, the city police chief, said was acting in a "furtive" manner and changing his clothes as he walked away from the area.

The police said the man was a "person of interest".

The bomb, which was discovered after a street vendor saw smoke coming out of a parked car, prompted the evacuation of thousands of people from the square and surrounding areas on Saturday evening.

Raymond Kelly, the police chief, said the amateurish device, had it exploded, would have created a "significant fireball."

The car "would have at least have been cut in half", he said.

Janet Napolitano, the homeland security secretary, said the FBI, the New York police and the government's terrorism task force were probing a "potential terrorist attack."

There was no evidence of a broader plot, but law enforcement authorities had been alerted to "stay on their toes," she said.
Jun 19, 2003
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
The authorities have arrested a Pakistan-born American citizen trying to leave the country at the JFK airport as the suspected Times Square carbomber. Good job! :clapping:

Times Square bomb suspect nabbed at airport
Pakistani-born U.S. citizen was attempting to fly to Dubai from JFK
NBC, and news services
updated 5:08 a.m. ET, Tues., May 4, 2010

NEW YORK - Authorities arrested a U.S. citizen in connection with the failed bombing attempt in New York's Times Square as he tried to leave the country, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday.

Faisal Shahzad was arrested at 11:45 p.m. ET Monday night by Customs and Border Protection agents as he attempted to board an Emirates airlines flight to Dubai at New York's JFK airport, Holder and other officials said.

"It is clear that the intent behind this terrorist act was to kill Americans," Holder said.

Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Pakistan, was accused of driving a car bomb into Times Square, authorities said. He will appear in Manhattan Federal Court later Tuesday.

Holder said the investigation was ongoing and that law enforcement officials had gathered "significant additional evidence." He urged Americans to remain vigilant.

"The American people should know that we are deploying every resource available and we will not rest until we have brought everyone responsible to justice," Holder said.

Five-month trip to Pakistan
Earlier, officials told The Associated Press that the suspect recently returned from a five-month trip to Pakistan, where he has a wife. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the case was at a sensitive stage.

Shahzad was being held in New York and couldn't be contacted. He has a Shelton, Conn., address and a phone number listed there wasn't in service. Investigators were searching his home.

Law enforcement officials said Shahzad bought the SUV that was parked in Times Square on Saturday from a Connecticut man three weeks ago and paid cash. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

NBC News earlier reported the man's name was on an e-mail that was sent to the seller of the car last month.

Pakistani police told NBC News that Shahzad was a resident of Karachi and that he had flown from the U.S. to the city on July 3, 2009, before returning to the U.S. on August 8 last year. On both occasions he flew with Emirates airlines, police said.

Faisal will face charges "for allegedly driving a car bomb into Times Square on the evening of May 1," according to a statement by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, FBI agent George Venizelos and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

'Rube Goldberg contraption'
A metal rifle cabinet placed in the SUV's cargo area was packed with fertilizer, but NYPD bomb experts believe it was not a type volatile enough to explode like the ammonium nitrate grade fertilizer used in previous terrorist bombings.

However, police said it could have produced "a significant fireball" and sprayed shrapnel with enough force to kill pedestrians and knock out windows.

James M. Cavanaugh, a former bomb expert with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who investigated car bombs and tracked the Unabomber, told The New York Times that the device and the way it was designed speak to a "grandiose purpose."

"I call this a Rube Goldberg contraption," Cavanaugh told the newspaper. "It's the 'swing-the-arm-with-the-shoe-that-hits-the-ball-and-knocks-over-a-stick-that-knocks-something-off-a-shelf' and it is all supposed to work."

He said that whoever made the bomb had "more desire than ability.

The Times also reported that Kevin B. Barry, an official with the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, said the attempted bomber had left many leads for detectives to follow.

"He was trying to cover his tracks, but he left more clues than a guy walking into a bank to rob it without a mask. This guy left everything here but his wallet," Barry said.

'Amateur hour'
Chris Falkenberg, president of Insite Security, which works with Fortune 500 companies, said the device, as described by authorities, "doesn't differ much at all from 'The Anarchist Cookbook'" — the underground 1971 manual for homemade explosives.

He said revelations that the fertilizer used could not have exploded suggested "this is amateur hour. My kids could build a better bomb than this."

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg early Tuesday thanked law enforcement officials, saying that their "focused and swift efforts led to this arrest after only 48 hours of around-the-clock investigation. I hope their impressive work serves as a lesson to anyone who would do us harm."

The Washington Post reported Monday that an FBI-led terrorism task force had taken over the investigation because of indications it was connected to international terrorism, a senior law enforcement source said.

The probe had been overseen by the New York Police Department. Responsibility for it shifted to a Joint Terrorism Task Force as Obama administration officials said the incident increasingly appears to have been coordinated by more than one person in a plot with international links, the Post reported on its website.

The Taliban in Pakistan said Sunday it planted the bomb to avenge the killing in April of al-Qaida's two top leaders in Iraq as well as U.S. interference in Muslim countries.

Some officials voiced skepticism about the claim. But former CIA analyst Bruce Riedel, who last year oversaw an Obama administration strategy review on Afghanistan and Pakistan, cautioned against dismissing a possible role by the Taliban.

"They have said they want to attack inside the United States," he said before the arrest was announced, adding there was "a very serious possibility" the incident involved "some Pakistani-American who has never built a car bomb before in his life but who is being coached either by phone or internet."

A law enforcement official said the registered owner of the SUV told investigators when questioned that the man who bought the vehicle was a stranger.

The vehicle identification number had been removed from the Pathfinder's dashboard, but it was stamped on the engine and axle and investigators had used it to find the owner of record.

Investigators also tracked the license plates to a used auto parts shop in Stratford, Conn., where they discovered the plates were connected to a different vehicle.

They spoke to the owner of an auto sales shop in nearby Bridgeport because a sticker on the Pathfinder indicated the SUV had been sold by his dealership. Owner Tom Manis said there was no match between the identification number the officers showed him and any vehicle he sold.

In New York, police and FBI have been examining hundreds of hours of video from around the area.

One clip released by investigators showed a man slipping down Shubert Alley and taking off his shirt, revealing another underneath. In the same clip, he looked back in the direction of the smoking vehicle and put the first shirt in a bag.

The SUV was parked near offices of Viacom Inc., which owns Comedy Central. The network recently aired an episode of the animated show "South Park" that the group Revolution Muslim had complained insulted the Prophet Muhammad by depicting him in a bear costume.

The date of the botched bombing — May 1 — was International Workers Day, a traditional date for political demonstrations, and thousands had rallied for immigration reform that day in New York.

Security had been also been tight in the city in advance of a visit to the United Nations by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a nuclear weapons conference.

The SUV was parked on a street lined with Broadway theaters and restaurants and full of people out on a Saturday night.

The vehicle was captured on video crossing an intersection at 6:28 p.m. Saturday. Vendors pointed out the Pathfinder to police about two minutes later. Times Square was shut down for 10 hours.

President Barack Obama telephoned handbag vendor Duane Jackson, 58, of Buchanan, N.Y., on Monday to commend him for alerting authorities to the smoking SUV.

The White House said Obama thanked Jackson for his vigilance and for acting quickly to prevent serious trouble.
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