New York: NYPD confirms hatchet attack on cops a jihad terror attack (updated)

via Man with axe shot dead by police in Queens after random attack | Daily Mail Online.

New York police fear that a crazed hatchet attack on four police officers in Jamaica, Queens, today could be linked to terrorism.

Suspect Zale Thompson, 32, pictured in surveillance footage, was shot dead on the scene after slashing one cop in the arm and the other in the head at around without warning about 2pm.

The officer struck in the head was critically injured.

A 29-year-old female bystander a half-a-block away from the attack was critically injured after being shot by an errant police round. She is currently recovering from surgery at Jamaica Hospital and is listed in ‘grave’ condition.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said he’s not ruling out terrorism especially in the wake of recent terror attacks in Canada, reports CNN.

‘There is nothing we know as of this time that would indicate that were the case. I think certainly the heightened concern is relative to that type of assault based on what just happened in Canada,’ said Bratton.

A Facebook account allegedly tied to Zale Thompson features a photograph of a man dressed in Middle Eastern garb and a cover photo the shows Arabic writing.

The page says that Thompson graduated from Columbia Teacher’s College.


Screenshot from the Facebook page of the same name as attacker:

zale-thompson-arabic


And this from the Daily News:

As investigators were delving into Thompson’s background, they requested search warrants for his home so his computer could be analyzed to identify his online contacts and the type of websites he was visiting. A police source said one of Thompson’s computers contained evidence of web searches about the Islamic State and Afghanistan. But the source said investigators were initially leaning toward a belief that Thompson was mentally disturbed but not linked to a terrorist group.

“That type of question certainly comes to mind,” Bratton said at a 5 p.m. press conference when asked about a connection between Thompson and a terrorist organization. “We really cannot say yes or no to that question. This is an ongoing investigation.”

The Daily News digitally scrambled the attacker’s face but Terror Trends Bulletin had a pic of the perp who seemed to be sporting a jihadi beard:

extralarge

And this via EOTW:

nyc-attack-tweetCNN video further reported that the NYPD found indications of extremist views on his Facebook page.


Update: It was jihad: Bratton: Hatchet Attack on Cops Was a Lone Wolf “Act of Terror”

A man who assaulted a group of NYPD officers with a hatchet before they shot him dead, committed “an act of terror,” the city’s top cop said Friday.

“We at this time believe that he acted alone,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Friday. “We would describe him as self-radicalized. We would describe him as self-directed in his activities.”

Asked directly if Thompson could be considered a homegrown terrorist or a “lone wolf,” investigators said “it appears at this point” that terror was the suspect’s “intent,” though police stressed the investigation was in its preliminary stages.

And if more evidence were needed for the deluded Islamophiles:

Last month, Thompson, who says on his Facebook page that he graduated from the Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, commented on YouTube:

“If you’re looking for ‘perfect’ Muslims who never make any mistakes in their Jihad, then you will be looking in vain! If the Zionists and the Crusaders had never invaded and colonized the Islamic lands after WW1, then there would be no need for Jihad! Which is better, to sit around and do nothing, or to Jihad fisabeelallah!”

Thompson’s comment was on a video explaining the idea of creating an Islamic caliphate, or borderless kingdom, which is ISIS’ ultimate aim.

Muslim who killed Canadian soldier was son of Libyan jihadist

And his mom was “a leading Canadian immigration official.” via Michael Zehaf-Bibeau who shot dead Canadian soldier Nathan Cirillo pictured | Daily Mail Online.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the Muslim convert who fatally shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo – a 24-year-old father standing guard at Ottawa’s War Memorial – and injured another officer, was a petty criminal and the son of a leading Canadian immigration official.

Born in Quebec as Michael Joseph Hall and raised in Laval, just north of Montreal, the young man lived a quiet childhood of private schools and suburban homes, with a mother who was a high ranking federal employee.

Then, after years of run-ins with the law, he converted to Islam.

One of his friends, David Bathurst, a fellow convert, said he met him at at the Masjid al-Salaam mosque in Burnaby, British Columbia about three years ago.

Bathurst even got Zehaf-Bibeau a job at his family’s business, Bathurst Irrigation.

He said the young man lived in a small and unfurnished apartment, and that while he did not ‘at first appear to have extremist views or inclinations toward violence’ he ‘at times exhibited a disturbing side.’

‘We were having a conversation in a kitchen, and I don’t know how he worded it: He said the devil is after him,’ Bathurst said.

‘I think he must have been mentally ill.’

He cited one time Bibeau called police to the mosque to confess to a crime he had committed years before.

Bathurst said Bibeau wanted to travel to the Middle East, and he urged him to make sure it was just studying on his mind.

He says Zehaf-Bibeau told him he was ‘only going abroad with the intent of learning about Islam and to study Arabic.’

He was never able to go though, and sources told The Globe and Mail ‘he had not been able to secure a valid travel document from federal officials, who have been taking measures to prevent Canadians from joining extremists overseas.’

It’s understood that he traveled to the U.S on four occasions – most recently in 2013. Officials there are trying to trace who he met while in the country. It’s not known at this time if he made contact with any extremists, according to CNN.

Bathurst says that after friction with the elders at the house of worship, Zehaf-Bibeau was eventually asked to stop attending prayers at the mosque.

Bathurst also brought up that Zehaf-Bibeau knew Hasibullah Yusufzai, a British Columbia man, charged under an anti-terrorism law for allegedly leaving Canada to join Islamist fighters in Syria.

He remains at large.

Zehaf-Bibeau’s mother, Susan Bibeau, still lives in Montreal and works as a a federal public servant for the Immigrant & Refugee board.

She is listed as Deputy Chairperson, Immigration Division. n officer, working her way up over her 24-year career.

She holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the Université de Montréal, a Master of Business Administration from Concordia University, and a graduate certificate in business administration from the Public Administration University.

Zehaf- Bibeau’s father is a Libyan businessman named Bulgasem Zehaf who once owned a local restaurant, Cafe Tripoli.

He divorced Susan Bibeau in 1999, and there are reports that he fought in Libya in 2011.

The Washington Times quoted a fighter named Belgasem Zahef in a dispatch from anti-Gaddafi rebels in 2011. 

Describing himself as from Montreal but a Zawiyah native he said he witnessed torture when held in a regime prison. 

The media would have you think Zehaf-Bibeau was just a regular Canadian kid who converted to Islam when in fact he is the son of a known Libyan jihadist.

Sources describe Zehaf-Bibeau as ‘a man who had had a religious awakening and seemed to have become mentally unstable.’

That was not always the case though it seems.

Janice Parnell, a former neighbor of the family, said Zehaf-Bibeau was a typical teen, though one who led a very privileged life.

She said he went to a ‘private school’ and lived in a ‘nice home in a nice neighborhood,’ and that the only problem she ever had with Bibeau was that he ‘played loud music.’

Why haven’t any pictures of the jihadist been released? Just one supposed picture released by ISIS. Was Zehaf-Bibeau in contact with ISIS or vice versa? How did they get his picture?

Who did he visit on his four trips to the U.S.?

U.S. Taxpayers Funding Humanitarian Aid to ISIS (and airdropping weapons to them)

via U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS – The Daily Beast.

While U.S. warplanes strike at the militants of the so-called Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq, truckloads of U.S. and Western aid has been flowing into territory controlled by the jihadists, assisting them to build their terror-inspiring “caliphate.”

The aid—mainly food and medical equipment—is meant for Syrians displaced from their hometowns, and for hungry civilians. It is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, European donors, and the United Nations. Whether it continues is now the subject of anguished debate among officials in Washington and European. The fear is that stopping aid would hurt innocent civilians and would be used for propaganda purposes by the militants, who would likely blame the West for added hardship.

…the aid convoys have to pay off ISIS emirs (leaders) for the convoys to enter the eastern Syrian extremist strongholds of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, providing yet another income stream for ISIS militants, who are funding themselves from oil smuggling, extortion, and the sale of whatever they can loot, including rare antiquities from museums and archaeological sites.

“The convoys have to be approved by ISIS and you have to pay them: The bribes are disguised and itemized as transportation costs,” says an aid coordinator who spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition he not be identified in this article. The kickbacks are either paid by foreign or local nongovernmental organizations tasked with distributing the aid, or by the Turkish or Syrian transportation companies contracted to deliver it.

“I am alarmed that we are providing support for ISIS governance,” says Jonathan Schanzer, a Mideast expert with the Washington D.C.-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “By doing so we are indemnifying the militants by satisfying the core demands of local people, who could turn on ISIS if they got frustrated.”

sp

What becomes even more bizarre is that while aid is still going into ISIS-controlled areas, only a little is going into Kurdish areas in northeast Syria. About every three or four months there is a convoy into the key city of Qamishli. Syrian Kurds, who are now defending Kobani with the support of U.S. warplanes, have long complained about the lack of international aid. Last November, tellingly, Syrian Kurds complained that Syria’s Kurdistan was not included in a U.N. polio-vaccination campaign. U.N. agencies took the position that polio vaccines should go through the Syrian Red Crescent via Damascus when it came to the Kurds.

Western NGO partners of USAID and other Western agencies declined to respond to Daily Beast inquiries about international relief going to ISIS areas, citing the complexity of the issue and noting its delicacy.

Mideast analyst Schanzer dismisses the notion that ISIS can use an aid shutdown as leverage in its PR campaign: “I think this is false. In areas they control, everyone understands they are a brutal organization. This is their basic weakness and by pushing in aid we are curtailing the chances of an internal revolt, which is the best chance you have of bringing down ISIS.”


Update: ISIS Video: America’s Air Dropped Weapons Now in Our Hands

At least one bundle of U.S. weapons airdropped in Syria appears to have fallen into the hands of ISIS, a dangerous misfire in the American mission to speed aid to Kurdish forces making their stand in Kobani.

An ISIS-associated YouTube account posted a new video online Tuesday entitled, “Weapons and munitions dropped by American planes and landed in the areas controlled by the Islamic State in Kobani.” The video was also posted on the Twitter account of “a3maq news,” which acts as an unofficial media arm of ISIS. The outfit has previously posted videos of ISIS fighters firing American made Howitzer cannons and seizing marijuana fields in Syria.

ISIS had broadly advertised its acquisition of a broad range of U.S.-made weapons during its rampage across Iraq. ISIS videos have showed its fighters driving U.S. tanks, MRAPs, Humvees. There are unconfirmed reports ISIS has stolen three fighter planes from Iraqi bases it conquered.


 

Just because liberal rags and news outlets found some Muslims they sort of oppose doesn’t mean this insanity is new.

USAID has been robbing U.S. taxpayers to fund Muslim terrorists for many years.

Canadian soldiers run down in possible Quebec terror attack

Muslim terror attack. via Canadian soldiers run down in possible Quebec terror attack | Toronto Star. h/t Jawa

MONTREAL—The suspect in a hit-and-run that injured two Canadian soldiers in Quebec — an incident identified as a possible terror attack — has died in hospital after being shot several times by police.

Lt. Michel Brunet of the Sûreté du Québec says the 25-year-old man died a few hours after being shot in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, southeast of Montreal.

Police sources identified the suspect as Martin Rouleau, according to La Presse.

The shocking incident, which occurred at about noon Monday, also sent the two Canadian Armed Forces personnel to hospital with one fighting for his life and the other having suffered minor injuries, according to the Quebec provincial police.

The two soldiers were reportedly walking through the parking lot of a shopping centre located less than three kilometres from the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, the French-language university run by the Department of National Defence, when they were run down by a driver.

A police chase ensued and the car drove into a ditch after the driver lost control of the vehicle, police said.

Witnesses who spoke with the TVA network Monday afternoon said they saw a man emerge from the flipped vehicle that was lying in a ditch on the side of the road. The man had his hands in the air and was walking toward police when at least one officer opened fire on the suspect. The witnesses said they heard up to seven gunshots.

TVA also showed images of a knife with an elaborate handle lodged into the ground near where the incident occurred.

A source told the Star that the incident happened near the Integrated Personnel Support Centre on Blvd. du Séminaire Nord. This centre, one of several across the country, is operated jointly by Veterans Affairs and National Defence to assist veterans as well as reservists and regular force troops on issues such as return to work.

In a statement Monday evening, the RCMP said the suspect was known to federal officials.

This individual was known to federal authorities including our Integrated National Security Investigations team in Montreal who along with other authorities were concerned that he had become radicalized,” RCMP Cpl. David Falls said in a statement.

The Toronto Star can’t bare to put the words to paper: Islam, Muslim, jihad.

“Out of respect and deference to the ongoing criminal investigation arising from today’s terrible events the RCMP will not comment further except to say that we are working with our law enforcement partners to ensure all avenues of investigation are pursued,” Falls said.

 

 

Wash. State mayor sides with Islamic terror-front group CAIR, boycotts U.S. General

via Dhimmi Mayor Tim Leavitt @leavitt4mayor Caves to Terror Tied Hamas-CAIR, Smears War Hero General Boykin | Atlas Shrugs

The terrorist-tied Hamas group CAIR has been intimidating and bullying the Clark County 13th annual Mayor and Civic Leaders Prayer Breakfast to cancel their keynote speaker, war hero Lieutenant General William G. Boykin.

Kudos to the Clark County organizers for standing for what’s good and right, and refusing to submit to the sharia and rebuffing the thugs and goons over at the foreign agents at Hamas-CAIR.

But quisling Mayor Tim Leavitt has decided to “boycott” the Clark County 13th annual Mayors’ & Civic Leaders’ Prayer Breakfast to be held October 17, in submission to Islamic supremacist demands. Leavitt defines the term useful idiot.

But General Boykin deserves our gratitude and respect. Does Mayor Leavitt mean to aid and abet Hamas and the jihad against the free world?

Politely email Tim at tim.leavitt@cityofvancouver.us
Tweet at him here @leavitt4mayor

He is either clueless or complicit, but neither is an excuse for this outrage.

CAIRdiorama32

Whitewashing CAIR is whitewashing the Muslim Brotherhood. The evidence against the group is overwhelming.

I have spent years studying the evidence demonstrating that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”) is a terrorist organization operating as a front group for Hamas and its affiliated organizations. I have consulted with FBI agents, CIA agents, local law enforcement officers, and attorneys who specialize in national security law. All of these consultations confirm that CAIR was begun as a Hamas front group to carry out the Muslim Brotherhood’s anti-American agenda.

Much, but not all of this evidence, was documented in United States v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development  et al., 3:04-cr-00240-P (N.D. Texas) (“HLF”).  I have personally invested hundreds of hours reading written documented evidence and listening to audio-taped evidence that had been introduced at the trial.

The evidence shows that CAIR is a criminal terrorist organization. This conclusion is shared by the United States government. The Department of Justice named CAIR in the federal criminal trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development,[1] which concluded with multiple guilty verdicts, as an unindicted co-conspirator in a massive conspiracy to fundraise for, and otherwise pursue, the terrorist agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestine Committee, a public relations and fund raising arm of Hamas in the United States.[2]See generally HLF.[3]  Specifically, CAIR was named as one of the organizations formed by the defendants and co-conspirators to create the appearance of legality in the effort to raise funds and public support for Hamas and its jihad abroad.  As the evidence in the HLF trial demonstrated, these plans were part of the 1993 Philadelphia planning meeting carried out by Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas operatives, a meeting which the FBI secretly recorded pursuant to a lawful court order, the entire transcript of which was introduced into the record at the HLF trial.[4]


See the section on lower left sidebar for links to documents to send to Leavitt and share with others on the terrorist front group CAIR.

Bergdahl ‘deserter’ verdict won’t be released until after November elections

President Barack Obama Gives a Statement Regarding The Release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl by The Taliban

via Bowe Bergdahl ‘deserter’ investigation is complete – but verdict will not be determined until after November’s elections | Daily Mail Online.

The Army completed its investigation last week into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s disappearance from a base in Afghanistan five years ago, but the Pentagon said Tuesday that it doesn’t know when the report will be released.

‘The investigating officer has done his work, but now that work is moving through the Army system, and at each stop … there will … be questions, requirements for clarification,’ Army Colonel Steve Warren told reporters.

‘So it’s working its way through the system as would any other investigation.’

The results of the Army’s probe into whether Bergdahl deserted his post will most certainly be withheld from the public until after November’s elections, if it discloses its findings at all.

The Pentagon’s announcement has Republicans and former platoon mates of Bergdahl’s wondering what’s taking so long, as the facts of the case appear fairly cut and dried on the surface.

According to soldiers who served with Bergdahl, the 28-year-old willingly abandoned his base several days before he was kidnapped by the Taliban and taken hostage in June of 2009.

If cleared of wrong doing, Sgt. Bergdahl stands to receive $200,000 in back pay and $150,000 compensation for his troubles.

The Army said on Friday that it had received Dahl’s report and its ‘reviewing it,’ but it has no timeline for the completion of its audit.

But members of Bergdahl’s unit say they don’t understand why the Army’s assessment is taking so long.

Bergdahl’s former platoon leader, Sgt. Evan Buetow, has said on numerous occasions that after Bergdahl, then a private in the army, went missing, soldiers in his unit learned from locals they were observing over the radio that an American was wandering around town, looking for someone who spoke English so that he could communicate with the Taliban.

‘We’ve come out when he first got released, and we explained exactly what happened. He deserted his post, all on his own, and we’re now still sitting here waiting for answers,’ Buetow told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday evening.

Buetow said he was interviewed Gen. Dahl and had a ‘lengthy’ conversation with him about the details of Bergdahl’s disappearance, including the chatter the platoon heard over the radio.

‘I have a list of the people that the general spoke to during this investigation,’ Buetow told Hannity. ‘It’s everyone from the platoon, and I know exactly what they said.

‘There’s no way that they can conclude this investigation without the truth.’

The truth, Buetow said, is that Bergdahl deserted.

‘There’s not one person [from his platoon] who disagrees,’ Buetow said.

Another former platoon mate of Bergdahl’s, Sgt. Jordan Vaughn, said Wednesday on Fox and Friends that he’s also suspicious of delay, given that the military had ‘five years to investigate this, talk to everyone who was there, who was involved, talk to the family, check the emails, look at the facts.’

‘The only thing that was missing here, the only piece, is Bergdahl himself talking to him,’ he said.

Vaughn suggested that part of the problem is that Dahl is not qualified to conduct the probe.

‘I really want to see the line of questioning presented by Major General Dahl given that he is not an army investigator,’ Vaughn said.

He later referred to Dahl as a ‘general that has no experience’ leading ‘a line of questioning in a criminal investigation.’

‘What are Gen. Dahl’s credentials?’ he asked.

Vaughn said if the Army doesn’t release its finished review to the public, he and other members of Bergdahl’s platoon would ‘look into filing a Freedom of Information Act’ to obtain the report.

Fox’s Kimberly Guilfoyle, who was filling in this morning for regular Fox and Friends host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, commented that it seemed ‘very politically expedient’ that the Army is delaying the release of its report until after the election.

On Tuesday night, Hannity noted that ‘the Army says politics has nothing to do with’ the protracted wait.

‘I’m not sold,’ he said.

Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, a frequent Fox guest, told Hannity later in the show that he, too, believes the Obama administration may have asked the Army to sit on the verdict of its investigation until after Nov. 4.

‘When it comes to why it’s being withheld, it’s obvious. It’s gotta be withheld until after the election because no matter which way the report goes, Obama loses,’ he said.

‘If the White House was able to exert sufficient pressure on the chain of command in the Pentagon to whitewash Bergdahl’s actions, then there’s gonna be this huge outcry from those serving in uniform, from veterans from conservatives,’ he noted.

On the other hand, he said, ‘if it turns out that the Army got some backbone and really looked at what Bergdahl did, listened to people like Sgt. Buetow and his platoon mates, and finds that, yes, he should be charged with desertion, well then the Rose Garden ceremony looks like an even greater debacle.’

‘So Obama has dug himself into a very deep hole, and he can’t stop digging,’ he said, referring to a news conference the president held at the White House on the day of Bergdahl’s release with the sergeant’s parents.

Peters claimed that he has ‘nothing personal’ against Sgt. Bergdahl and that he’s never met him.

‘This is about a much greater issue than one individual who appears to have deserted from his post and left his comrades behind in war time,’ he explained.

‘The principle is this: the Obama administration really despises our military, in my view. And they understand why Bergdahl would desert, they just don’t understand why anybody would join the military.

Returning back to the topic at hand, Peters said that ‘if there’s a whitewash, and Bergdahl walks with all his back pay and stuff, the travesty, the precedent it sets for all future wars is that, “Hey dude, it’s OK, man. You don’t like what’s going on, walk away, we’ll cover for you.”

‘That’s profoundly wrong,’ he concluded.

priorities

Lessons from the U.S. Airstrikes on Aleppo

…they ain’t working. Or read Stratfor’s take.

When the United States began its campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on Sept. 22, it also used Tomahawk cruise missiles to attack a series of al Qaeda-related facilities in the Aleppo area. The strikes targeted al Qaeda’s regional franchise in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, as well as personnel belonging to the al Qaeda core who were in Syria working with Jabhat al-Nusra and other jihadists. The U.S. government has referred to the al Qaeda personnel it attacked in Syria as the “Khorasan Group,” but they are clearly personnel from the al Qaeda core who have been dispatched to Syria and not from some other organization.

 It appears the strikes caught the al Qaeda militants by surprise, and there are reports that al Qaeda operative Muhsin al-Fadhli, reported to be Ayman al-Zawahiri’s senior operative in Syria, was killed in the strikes. The United States also claimed that al-Fadhli and his fellow al Qaeda members were working on plots to strike the United States and Europe from their base in Syria. The group reportedly was the reason for an alert issued on July 2 warning that al Qaeda elements in Syria were working with bombmakers from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in a new plot to smuggle concealed explosive devices onto U.S.-bound aircraft.

 The fact that al-Fadhli and his companions were dispatched to Syria to plot attacks against the United States should not be surprising. The group and other jihadist militants have long operated in lawless areas in countries such as Yemen, Algeria, Somalia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mali, Libya, Iraq and Syria. The al Qaeda core also has a long history of seeking to attack the United States. We have seen the al Qaeda core dispatch operatives to work with groups of local jihadists to conduct attacks in New York (1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Africa (1998 East Africa embassy bombings.)

 The U.S. strikes against al Qaeda targets in Aleppo are noteworthy because they highlight the need of al Qaeda groups to seek sanctuary in places such as Syria. The strikes also serve as a reminder that while the campaign against al Qaeda has weakened the group since 9/11, the group can revive if it has time and space within which to operate.

  It is important to understand that sanctuary alone is not enough to produce sophisticated transnational terrorist attacks. Indeed, there are many jihadist groups that are operating in lawless areas across a wide arc of the world stretching from West Africa to the Sulu Archipelago. However, only a small number of these groups possess the requisite combination of intent and capability needed to conduct transnational attacks. Many of these groups are nationally or regionally focused and therefore have no aspiration of striking targets beyond their areas of operation. Friction between nationally focused and transnationally focused jihadists has resulted in rifts and infighting among the members of groups such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and al Shabaab. But even those jihadist groups that aspire and threaten to commit transnational attacks have been constrained by their limited capabilities. Projecting terrorist power across continents is not as easy as it appears in the movies.

As we have previously discussed, fighting an insurgency and conducting transnational terrorist attacks are two distinct things, and possessing the ability to conduct insurgent warfare does not mean that a militant group can automatically use its insurgent capabilities to carry out terrorist strikes. To project terrorist power transnationally, a militant group needs to develop the capability to employ advanced terrorist tradecraft.

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Terrorist groups like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have also sought other ways to extend their reach from places of sanctuary to attack the United States and Europe. One way they have sought to do this is by using concealed bombs to attack aircraft. For example, in the 2009 underwear bomb plot and the 2010 computer printer bomb attempt, the perpetrating group sought to use innovative and imaginative explosive devices created in its Yemeni bases to attack international aviation targets. This is because making explosive devices in areas where there is access to military-grade explosives and bomb components is easier than sending an operative to create a device from improvised components in a hostile environment.

 In response to the group’s failed attacks, security agencies have dramatically increased the scrutiny of people and cargo originating from Yemen. The country was already a fairly isolated place due to its geography, making it difficult to dispatch people and bombs without detection. The area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where the al Qaeda core is believed to be hiding, is also quite isolated and under heavy scrutiny by intelligence agencies. Because of this, relocating cells to Syria to plan and execute plots against the West makes sense. There is also an immense amount of traffic going both ways across the Syria-Turkey border, facilitating travel to Turkey as the far more convenient location to get to the United States and Europe than Yemen or Pakistan. Continue reading

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