Thursday, May 21, 2009

War on Terror is far from over...

Four people have been arrested in connection to what US authorities believe was a serious plan to launch a terror campaign in and around New York. Three of the persons have been named as James Cromitie (also known as Abdul Rahman), David Williams (aka Daoud and DL), and Onta Williams (aka Hamza). They were brought to court on Thursday and were ordered to be detained until the 5th June for a preliminary hearing. The three and a fourth man, Laguerre Payen (aka Amin and Almondo), have been accused attempts to bomb a synagogue and planning to target military jets at an airfield [BBC / Sky News / CNN].

The threat is being taken extremely seriously by authorities despite the group being infiltrated early on in their planning the attacks and supplied with fake explosives. According to reports the group attempted to detonate the explosives outside two synagogues in New York.

The foiling of the alleged terror plot comes as the US senate rejected an appeal by Obama for money to close Guantanamo Bay and will serve to reinforce the argument that the terror threat remains strong enough to maintain the camp. On Thursday it was also announced that the first trial for a former Guantanamo Bay detainee will take place in New York in the coming weeks. Ahmed Ghailani, who is suspected of taking part in al-Qaeda plots to bomb US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, will be the first former detainee to face trial in the United States [CNN].

Meanwhile terror attacks have continued in Iraq today. Scores have been killed in Baghdad and Kirkuk in an upsurge of violence that has swept the country in recent weeks. April was the bloodiest month since September, and despite reassuring statements from both the Iraqi government and the US military that things were getting better, most ordinary citizens are increasingly concerned [BBC / CNN].

In Kirkuk at least five were killed and 3 US soldiers were amongst 12 killed in a blast that struck in central Baghdad. Today’s attacks which left at least 23 dead came a day after 40 were killed in north-west Baghdad. More than 250 died in a series of attacks in April leading many to believe that insurgents may be regrouping as US troops prepare to downsize their operations [BBC].

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