Jewish World Review March 27, 2003 / 23 Adar II, 5763
Homeland Security update
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | All seems calm on the homefront - so far, so good. "It's been a phenomenal success so far, knock on wood," says MSNBC's homeland security/terrorism expert Steve Emerson. There are a number of stories we are following though on the war on terror, though.
FEMALE AL QAEDA?
THE FBI is now on the hunt for another al Qaeda supporter, this time it's a female. It's the first time they've put out a notice for a female, named Aafia Siddiqui, and the person in queston is supposed to have provided support for some senior al Qaeda suspects. She may also be connected to dirty bomb suspect Jose Padilla.
"In the world of two and three degrees of separation, she is believed to have knowledge of key players. She is also married to a man the FBI's interested in," says Emerson. Siddiqui and fer husband, Dr. Mohammed A. Kahn, are both former residents of Boston and and are believed to be currently located in Pakistan. In a statement released by the FBI, they say that they have no information indicating that Siddiqui is connected to specific terrorist activities, but that they would like to locate and question her.
"The FBI is pulling pieces of the puzzle together in ways you and I would have never dreamed of," Emerson tells Abrams. "They're finding people, interviewing them, and then ruling them out or in."
If she is a female al Qaeda, does this mean we are likely to see women in these roles?
"In Lebanon and in Gaza, up to 15 percent of suicide bombers were women," says Emerson. "There was also one woman known to have volunteered on the Sept. 11th attacks. So we might be seeing equal-opportunity jihadists."
RICIN IN PARIS
The French interior ministry found traces of ricin in the Gare de Lyon railway station in Paris. Two small flasks were left in luggage depots and were discovered by workers there.
Emerson recalled that the only other Ricin incident to date happened in London, because of leads that originated in Paris. "From what it sounds like, it seems like it was deliberately left there for someone to use and pick-up, presumably for terrorist purposes," he says. "This is very alarming if this is true," he adds.
He however, adds that Ricin is difficult to disperse. "It's not useable by crop-duster or aerosol can. It depends upon actual contamination. Direct exposure is needed, but even then you can still take care of it."
FBI HUNTS AL-QAIDA SUSPECT IN U.S.
The FBI was hunting Thursday for a suspected al-Qaida operative named Adanan El Shukrijumah. They sent out a a nationwide bulletin to police urging them to be on the lookout for El Shukrijumah, who supposedly has pilot training and may be in the United States and planning a "major attack." The FBI officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said authorities fear the man could be "another Mohammed Atta."
"This story was broken by NBC's Pete Williams," says Emerson. "There is this person trained in the U.S. as a pilot, who lived in the U.S., trained in Saudi, and who took an oath of allegiance to Bin Laden. He's a known member of the Al Qaeda, known by intelligence to be armed and dangerous, and likely involved in plotting another attack."
According to Emerson, his name has come up on flight
logs and piling in planes around the world. The worry,
Emerson explains, is because of his pilot capability, the oath
of allegiance he has taken, (which many al Qaida officials
refuse to do). "He has a lot of passports, he knows a lot of
dialects, he speaks perfect English too. I can't say whether
or not he's an imminent threat, but the FBI may be right
because they have multiple sources of information -
documents, detainees, and even his family himself."
Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
03/20/03: Did I misunderstand the French?