Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Northern Virginia man set to appeal in terrorism case

A Northern Virginia man who warned the creators of the animated TV show "South Park" that they risked death for mocking the Prophet Muhammad is planned to plead guilty to supporting an al-Qaida-linked terrorist group, according to court records.
Zachary Chesser of Bristow, a 20-year-old dropout from George Mason University, is planned for a plea hearing today in federal court in Alexandria, court records show. He is charged with providing material support to a terrorist group, communicating pressure and soliciting crimes of violence.
According to a court affidavit, Chesser tried to join the al-Shabab terrorist group in Somalia this year and post online propaganda for it. Authorities say Chesser took his infant son with him to the airport to make his travel shows more harmless.
A call to the U.S. attorney's office in Alexandria was not immediately returned yesterday. Chesser's attorney, federal public defender Michael Nachmanoff, decline comment.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nation boldly faced extremism and terrorism, says PM

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Monday said that Pakistan had bravely confronted the challenges of terrorism and extremism, adding that the resiliency of the masses and state institution had been tested.
Addressing a select gathering on the event of a farewell lunch hosted in honor of outgoing US Ambassador Anne W Patterson, he said democracy had taken roots in Pakistan, as was vividly demonstrated by the vibrancy of parliament and the debates in the media. Commenting on the role of the outgoing ambassador in strengthening bilateral relationship between the two countries, the PM said that Pakistan considered her a good friend and an outstanding representative of the US.
The PM said that during her tenure, the country’s friendship with the US had transformed into a comprehensive partnership, adding that Pakistan particularly attaches great value to the contribution that the outgoing ambassador had made in this regard. The PM wished her good luck in her future endeavors. Patterson, while reciprocating the views, said that she was pleased to see the transformation of bilateral relations into a long-term planned partnership, which was beneficial for the two countries.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ruling in terrorism trial analysis a setback for Obama

The Obama administration's prosecution of terrorism expects in U.S. criminal courts could be hobbled by a federal judge's decision to bar a key government witness from testifying in the first analysis of a prisoner who was held by the military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

U.S. prosecutors in Manhattan are trying Ahmed Ghailani of Tanzania on charges that he conspired with Islamic militants to bomb the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in which 224 citizens were killed. Ghailani's defense lawyers argued he was forced in interrogations while in CIA custody.

Judge Lewis Kaplan refused to permit a witness testify because he was located as a result of testimony coerced from Ghailani, a setback for the Obama administration.

The Obama administration has frequently said that U.S. criminal courts in the past have handled prosecuting terrorism cases and have pressed to have detainees from Guantanamo tried that way regardless of criticism from Republicans.

The decision, if prosecutors are unable to overturn it, could make it harder for the administration to win approval from the U.S. Congress to prosecute terrorism expects in criminal courts. That effort was previously facing challenges despite the fact that President Barack Obama's fellow Democrats control both chambers.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sweden increased terrorism threat level

Sweden increased its terrorism threat level on Friday based on a classified intelligence evaluation, but authorities said an attack was not imminent and the threat was still low compared to other European countries.
The Swedish Security Service said it had raised the estimated threat level for terrorism targeting the country to "elevate" from "low", based on an analysis of security by the National Centre of Terrorist Threat Assessment.
Political violence is rare in Sweden, which has approximately 500 troops stationed in Afghanistan as part of a NATO-led force.
"The assessment is based on cleverness indicating a shift in activities among certain groups in Sweden, judged to be targeted at Sweden," the security police said in a statement.
"It should be emphasized that the threat is not at present assessed to be imminent. Compared to the situation in several other European countries, the threat level to Sweden is still low."