Thursday, 15 January 2015

US Homegrown Islamic Terrorism Now

The Department of Homeland Security is increasing security checks at American airports because of concerns over new bomb-making instructions released by al Qaeda in Yemen (AQAP), the terrorist group which U.S. intelligence agencies believe may have been behind the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, U.S. officials tell media. 

They say the new measures will feature additional random checks after passengers make it through security and will include passenger pat-downs, bag checks and hand swabs for traces of explosivesThe new issue of AQAP's Inspire magazine, released on December 24, featured instructions on how to build what AQAP called a "hidden bomb" from easily purchasable materials. 

It also included directions on how would-be lone wolves worldwide can evade airport security scanners and sniffer recent months, AQAP's leadership has repeatedly stated hitting the United States is a priority. The new issue of Inspire made clear it viewed lone wolf attacks by its supporters in the West as an increasingly important part of these efforts.

The magazine claimed the recipe was for a simplified version of the device used in an attempt to blow up a U.S. passenger jet over Detroit five years ago.

On Christmas Day 2009, Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called "underwear bomber," attempted to detonate an explosive device built by Ibrahim al Asiri, AQAP's master bomb-maker, on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. The main charge a white powdery explosive called PETN which airport security scanners at Amsterdam airport did not detect failed to detonate as the plane approached Detroit.

The new recipe does not involve the manufacture of PETN, a substance difficult for extremists to manufacture or obtain in the West. Instead, it contains similarities to a bomb formula put out by the group in the first issue of Inspire in 2010 called "Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom." That recipe was downloaded and used by the Boston bombers and several other extremists in plots on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the new issue, AQAP suggested its external operation division had greenlighted sharing the recipe because al Asiri and his team had developed a new generation of more sophisticated devices.

In 2012 Saudi and Western intelligence foiled a plot by AQAP to bomb a U.S. plane with an updated version of the underwear device.
It is not clear if the recipe is viable or if it would have enough explosive power to endanger an aircraft. Nor is it clear if the device would have any chance of getting through explosive scanners at airport security.

U.S. officials and explosive detection experts tell CNN that advanced detection equipment, including body scanners, should catch even previously hard-to-detect explosives like PETN, even if detection experts say they don't provide a 100% guarantee. But U.S. officials say advanced body-scanning technology is not available in some smaller U.S. airports.

The authors of the latest issue of Inspire magazine claimed that if enough lone wolves launch attempts with their suggested device, some would get through.
The magazine stated that even if the devices were detected or malfunctioned they would bring terror to the West.

The key aim, the group stated, was to undermine the American economy. It listed several American airline companies, as well as British and French carriers as targets. It said that lone wolves should claim responsibility by writing emails timed to be distributed after their operations.

In the 112-page issue the group also mentioned recent lone wolf attackers in Canada, the United States, Australia and France, calling a hatchet attack on NYPD police officers in Queens in October "splendid."

Counterterrorism officials on both sides of the Atlantic been concerned about technical instruction provided by Inspire magazine for several years.
In August 2013 the British security agency MI5 revealed to the UK parliament's intelligence and security committee that "Inspire" has been "read by those involved in at least seven out of the 10 attacks planned within the UK since its first issue (in 2010). We judge that it significantly enhanced the capability of individuals in four of these 10 attack plots."

The actual lone wolf…
Ohio man arrested for plotting attack on U.S. Capitol.
The father of an Ohio man arrested Wednesday for allegedly plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol says his son could never have carried out the plan.
"He's a big mama's boy, you know. His best friend is his kitty cat," John Cornell told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."

"There's no way he could have carried out any kind of terrorist plot," the father said. "I think Chris was coerced into a lot of this."

Christopher Lee Cornell, 20, came to the FBI's attention several months ago for alarming social media posts in which he talked about his support for violent jihad, according to a criminal complaint. He allegedly wrote under the alias Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah.

The FBI engaged in an undercover operation, with the help of a person who began cooperating in exchange for favorable treatment on his criminal exposure on an unrelated case.
Cornell allegedly told that source he had been in contact with persons overseas, and that he had aligned himself with ISIS.
He did not think he would receive "specific authorization to conduct a terrorist attack in the United States, but stated that he wanted to go forward with violent jihad and opined that this would be their way of supporting ISIL," the complaint said, using another name for ISIS.
According to the complaint, Cornell wrote: "I believe that we should just wage jihad under our own orders and plan attacks and everything ... I believe we should meet up and make our own group in alliance with the Islamic State here and plan operations ourselves."

He was plotting, with the undercover FBI operative, to set off pipe bombs in the U.S. Capitol and shoot people as they fled, the complaint said.
Cornell and the operative allegedly met in Cincinnati in October and again in November.
He researched the targeted government buildings and the construction of pipe bombs, saved money for the attack and bought weapons and ammunition, the complaint said. Cornell was arrested Wednesday.

His father said his son, who lived at home in Green Township, Ohio, recently took up an interest in Islam but had never mentioned ISIS.
"He explained to me, you know, that Islam wasn't a terrorist group. It was a way of life," John Cornell told CNN’.

"I don't think Chris could hurt a fly," he said. "He's such a loveable, kind person."
According to a law enforcement source, the plan posed no threat to lawmakers. But the complaint indicated that the plot was in its late stages.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also known as the Islamic State and ISIS, is seeking to create a fundamentalist religious state across Sunni areas in those two countries