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Issue 435 -- May 29- June 04, 2010

Front Page

News Headlines

U.S. Is Said To Expand Secret Actions In Mideast

Somalia Pirate Attacks Up From Last Year

Local and Regional Affairs

Somali Diplomat Concerned About Texas Terror Alert  

Somalia Militia Attack Kenya Village 

'Pirates' Claim They Were Just Fishing For Sharks... With Rocket Launchers 

Somali Terror Member May Be Heading To Texas 

Investigation Opens Into German Mercenaries In Somalia

Prosecutors Demand 7-Year Sentences For Piracy


The Status Quo Is No Longer Acceptable In Buhoodle

Features & Commentary

Istanbul Declaration

International News


Ethiopians Vote Meles Zenawi Counts!!!!

Riyale Is Unwilling To Recognize Or Identify With The Feelings And Needs Of Others

 Plot Highlights New Terror Worry


Washington, May 29, 2010 – White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan said the U.S. is "facing a new phase of the terror threat," in which home-grown radicals are increasingly plotting attacks inside the U.S.

Mr. Brennan made the comments in advance of the Obama administration's new national-security strategy document, to be unveiled Thursday. He said during a speech Wednesday that the document "explicitly recognizes the threat to the United States posed by individuals radicalized here at home."

His comments came the same day a Jordanian teenager who tried to blow up a Dallas skyscraper last September pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges. He could face up to 30 years in prison.

Hosam Smadi's arrest was part of a wider blitz of terror arrests last autumn, a record year for terrorist indictments in the U.S. Mr. Brennan cited those plots—many of which involved Americans or naturalized Americans—as exemplary of the "new phase" in which al Qaeda is "increasingly relying on recruits with little training…attempting attacks with little sophistication." This new trend is due in part, Mr. Brennan said, to U.S. success in striking al Qaeda's central operations.

The "unprecedented pressure" brought to bear on al Qaeda over the last 16 months has made it "harder than ever for [al Qaeda] to move, raise funds, recruit, train and plot attacks," he said.

Mr. Brennan's comments came just hours before Mr. Smadi, 19, pleaded guilty in a Dallas courtroom to last September's attempted bombing of the Fountain Place skyscraper. Mr. Smadi's case underscores in many ways the shifting terror threat, in which lone operators with few formal links to al Qaeda suddenly become radicalized and move from violent words to violent action in a matter of months.

Mr. Smadi came to the U.S. in 2007 on a tourist visa, after being educated in Christian schools in Jordan. He moved from California to Texas, and worked at a local barbecue restaurant.

Starting in early 2009, he became radicalized while trawling Islamic websites, according to his indictment, which said that Mr. Smadi "stood out" in jihadi chat rooms for his violent rhetoric. FBI operatives made contact with Mr. Smadi, provided him with a fake truck bomb, and arrested him in September after he tried to detonate the bomb underneath the Dallas building.

"Brother, by God, we shall attack them in a manner that hurts, an attack that shakes the world," Mr. Smadi wrote in Arabic to one of the an undercover FBI agent while planning the attack.

Write to Keith Johnson at keith.johnson@wsj.com

Source: The Wall Street Journal






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