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June 8, 2006
British Arrest Two Terror Suspects At Airports

What's better than capturing a terror suspect in an airport? Getting two of them. The London Times and the New York Times both reporton the British double play, as an American got captured at Heathrow and a Brit at Manchester:

An American citizen who once lived in New York was indicted yesterday on charges of conspiring to send money and military gear to associates of Al Qaeda to use against United States forces in Afghanistan, federal prosecutors said.

The defendant, Syed Hashmi, 26, was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London on Tuesday night as he was trying to board a flight to Pakistan, according to the United States attorney's office in Manhattan. Prosecutors said he was carrying a large amount of cash. He was jailed pending extradition proceedings.

The conspiracy alleged in the indictment was based in London, law enforcement officials said, but Mr. Hashmi, who had been living in England for two and half years, was charged in the United States because he is an American citizen. He was born in Pakistan and came to the United States as a child, officials said.

One law enforcement official said the arrest of Mr. Hashmi reinforced investigators' belief that New York was a link in a web of worldwide terrorist activity.

Hashmi belonged to a now-defunct London-based group, Al Muhajiroun, which was active in New York according to the NYT and explicitly praised the 9/11 attack. Federal sources say that Hashmi mentored another terrorist who has already pled guilty to charges of providing material support to terrorists, Mohammed Junaid Babar. Hashmi introduced Babar to his radical friends in London and apparently assisted in networking Babar's support with the two groups.

Among the support to which Babar admitted was sending military gear, including night-vision goggles, to al-Qaeda fighters in Pakistan. Hashmi's indictment specifies that he performed the same function for the Taliban in Afghanistan, which would open Hashmi up to charges of treason, if the Department of Justice was inclined to pursue that legal strategy, considering Hashmi's American citizenship. We will see if they do, but more likely they will stick with more technical but just as serious terrorism charges in order to keep the trial from becoming a media circus.

The police nabbed Hashmi as he attempted to board a plane to Pakistan carrying a large amount of cash. Any suggestions what that money would have bought?

The London Times has no name for the second suspect, suspected of taking part in the Canadian terror cell that plotted to decapitate Stephen Harper and do an armed takeover of Parliament:

A BRITON said to be a key figure in an alleged plot to bomb public buildings in Canada, including the Parliament, was arrested by counter-terrorist police as he stepped off a plane at Manchester airport.

The 21-year-old man had arrived from Canada, where security services claimed that he had been living alongside some of the 17 terror suspects arrested in Toronto at the weekend in one of the biggest operations in North America. Hours later police in West Yorkshire arrested a 16-year-old youth after documents and mobile phone records seized in Canada revealed a British link to the alleged gang of Muslim militants operating from their homes in the Toronto suburbs. ...

The suspect was born in Pakistan but is believed to have British citizenship and lived at a number of addresses in Dewsbury, the home town of Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the July 7 suicide bombers. He is understood to have spent much of this year living in Toronto.

“This is an example of the extremist soup we have in this country with lots of overlapping links,” a security source said.

The arrest of the 16-year-old in West Yorkshire resulted in a careful search of the premises, with police shutting down the street. It reminded residents of the aftermath of the July 7 bombings, when police did much the same thing while searching the house of July 7 mastermind Mohammad Sidique Khan, who lived in the same area. The teenager had connections to the man arrested at the airport by British investigators alerted to his presence by Canadian authorities. They identified him as a member of the Toronto cell, but could not catch him before he left the country.

It seems that some serious dot-connecting is taking place between intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, and that most of those dots concern the US, Canada, and Britain, and not necessarily in that order. Expect more arrests to come from these.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 8, 2006 5:27 AM

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference British Arrest Two Terror Suspects At Airports:

» Terrorist suffer another blow… this is turning out to be a pretty good day. from Morning Coffee
Other than the Killing of Zarqawi by an Air Strike some other important developments were made in the War On Terror.. British Police make two arrests. The first, An American born in Pakistan is charged with aiding Al Qaeda, the seco... [Read More]

Tracked on June 8, 2006 12:32 PM

» Pretty Damn Good day in the Fight against the Jihadists. from Morning Coffee
Terrorists ar haveing a bad day all over the World. Zarqawi was Killed in Iraq, His Brother-In-Law and an Al Jazeera Journalist arrested in Jordan, Britain Arrests two Wanna be terrorists trying to leave the country, and Israel kills a t... [Read More]

Tracked on June 8, 2006 8:30 PM


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