Depicted Terrorist Activity Follows Recommendation for I&W Change for Region
Threat Analysis Performed Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009
(Detection of Indicators of Possible Impending Al Qaeda Operation)
Threat Course of Action Development Monday, Feb. 16, 2009
(Identification of Al Qaeda likely Course of Action)
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009
Concerns grow over global reach of Somali militants
Kenya on Alert
Threat Event Analysis Matrix Development Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009
(Isolation and tracking of Al Qaeda COA indicators)
Indication and Warning Advisory Developed, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009
(Threat to personnel and assets in the region assessed as high, with danger of immediate attacks probable. Based on Al Qaeda COA indicators)
Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009
Bombing at the Khan el-Khalili Mosque in Cairo results in the death of a foreign tourist and 21 others wounded.
Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009
Somalia Suicide Bombing Kills 11 Peacekeepers
Mon, Feb. 23, 2009
Somalia Militants Launch Attacks against Peacekeepers
Monday, Feb. 23, 2009
Mali customs seize weapons bound for Qaeda
Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009
Officials: 9 killed in Algeria bombing
Friday, Feb. 27, 2009
U.S. citizen stabbed in Cairo tourist area
Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009
Egypt Petrol Bombing of Transport Center
U.S. Embassy Cairo released the following Warden Message on March 2:
Over the past two weeks there has been a series of security incidents in Cairo, including a bombing at the Khan el-Khalili on February 22 that resulted in the death of a foreign tourist, a stabbing at the Khan el-Khalili on February 27 resulting in the injury of an American citizen, and an incident with a Molotov cocktail on the Metro, on February 28, which did not cause any injuries. These events do not appear to be connected, but there is some indication that additional incidents are planned
Post Incident Counter Terrorism Findings:
By Abdel-Rahman Hussein
First Published: May 24, 2009
CAIRO: Seven people, Egyptian and foreign, with ties to Al-Qaeda were arrested in connection with last February’s Al-Hussein bombing, according to a statement by the Ministry of Interior.
They were arrested while in possession of weapons and ammunition and were planning further attacks, according to the statement. Targets were reported to have been tourist sites and oil installations in Sinai. (Economic Targets)
Two Egyptians were identified; Ahmed Mohammed Siddiq and Khaled Mahmoud Moustafa, and the Ministry of Interior claimed that they had entered the Gaza Strip through tunnels to receive training in the use of explosives.
The statement said that one of the suspects in custody had confessed to their involvement in the bombing in Khan Al-Khalili near the Al-Hussein Mosque.
Those arrested besides the two Egyptians were two Palestinians, a British man of Egyptian descent, a Belgian of Tunisian descent and a French woman of Algerian descent.
The two Palestinians are purportedly linked to a group called the Islamic Palestinian Army. It is this group that kidnapped captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit with Hamas and were also behind the kidnapping of BBC reporter Alan Johnston in Gaza last year.
It was the Belgian, according to the statement, who stated he had been instructed to travel to Belgium to contact Al-Qaeda operatives to coordinate an attack in France.
A locally made explosion went off under a bench near Al-Hussein mosque on Feb. 22 injuring 23 and causing the death of a 17-year-old female French student. Another canister was exploded in a controlled demolition by authorities.
ALGIERS, 9 June (AKI) – Algerian police have said that Al-Qaeda militants in the capital Algiers are in contact with members who live in Italy and Germany. According to the Algerian daily el-Khabar, members of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb include young people in their 30's who are living abroad.
The Algerian daily does not specify the number of members in the group, but it mentions Nasim, also known as Abu Sayyaf, who currently lives in Germany and was recently in Algeria to make contact with AQIM leaders.
Police said inquiries revealed a link between the AQIM cell in Algiers and some Algerian citizens recently arrested in Italy.
Last week, Italian police issued arrest warrants for five North Africans accused of plotting terror attacks in the northern cities of Milan and Bologna in early 2006. It is not known whether the arrests were linked to the cell in Algiers.
The five were alleged to have planned attacks against the subway system in Milan and the San Petronio cathedral in Bologna which dates back to 1390.
Police claimed the five were part of an international group which is active in Algeria, Morocco and Syria.
The Al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb evolved from the Salafite Group for Preaching and Combat, initially formed to create an Islamic state in Algeria, but is now believed to have more widespread goals.
NYT: U.S. sees new turf for al-Qaida
Intel shows small numbers leave Pakistan tribal areas for Somalia, Yemen
By Eric Schmitt and David E. Sanger
The New York Times
updated 6:46 a.m. ET, Fri., June 12, 2009
WASHINGTON - American officials say they are seeing the first evidence that dozens of fighters with Al Qaeda, and a small handful of the terrorist group’s leaders, are moving to Somalia and Yemen from their principal haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
In communications that are being watched carefully at the Pentagon, the White House and the Central Intelligence Agency, the terrorist groups in all three locations are now communicating more frequently, and apparently trying to coordinate their actions, the officials said.
Some aides to President Obama attribute the moves to pressure from intensified drone attacks against Qaeda operatives in Pakistan, after years of unsuccessful American efforts to dislodge the terrorist group from their haven there.
But there are other possible explanations. Chief among them is the growth of the jihadist campaigns in both Somalia and Yemen, which may now have some of the same appeal for militants that Iraq did after the American military invasion there in 2003.
Somalia is now a failed state that bears some resemblance to Afghanistan before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, while Yemen’s weak government is ineffectually trying to combat the militants, American officials say.
The shift of fighters is still small, perhaps a few dozen, and there is no evidence that the top leaders — Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri — are considering a move from their refuge in the Pakistani tribal areas, according to more than half a dozen senior administration, military and counterterrorism officials interviewed in recent days.
Most officials would not comment on the record about the details of what they are seeing, because of the sensitivity of the intelligence information they are gathering.
Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director, said in remarks here on Thursday that the United States must prevent Al Qaeda from creating a new sanctuary in Yemen or Somalia.
The steady trickle of fighters from Pakistan could worsen the chaos in Somalia, where an Islamic militant group, the Shabab, has attracted hundreds of foreign jihadists in its quest to topple the weak moderate Islamist government in Mogadishu. It could also swell the ranks of a growing menace in Yemen, where militants now control large areas of the country outside the capital.
“I am very worried about growing safe havens in both Somalia and Yemen, specifically because we have seen Al Qaeda leadership, some leaders, start to flow to Yemen,” Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in remarks at the Brookings Institution here on May 18.
Complicating American strategy
For the United States, the movement creates opportunities as well as risks. With the Obama administration focusing its fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda on the havens in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a shift of fighters and some leaders to new locations could complicate American efforts to strike a lasting blow.
But in the tribal areas of Pakistan, Qaeda and Taliban forces have drawn for protection on Pashtun tribes with whom they have deep familial and tribal ties. A move away from those areas could expose Qaeda leaders to betrayal, while communications among militants in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen have created a new opportunity for American intelligence to zero in on insurgents who gave up many electronic communication devices shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks to avoid detection.
A senior Obama administration official attributed some of the movement to “the enormous heat we’ve been putting on the leadership and the mid-ranks” with Predator strikes, launched from both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mr. Obama’s strategy so far has been to intensify many of the strikes begun under the Bush administration.
“There are indications that some Al Qaeda terrorists are starting to see the tribal areas of Pakistan as a tough place to be,” said an American counterterrorism official. “It is likely that a small number have left the region as a result. Among these individuals, some have probably ended up in Somalia and Yemen, among other places. The Al Qaeda terrorists who are leaving the tribal areas of Pakistan are predominantly foot soldiers.”
Measuring the numbers of these movements is almost as difficult as assessing the motivations of those who are on their way out of the tribal areas.
But American officials say there is evidence of a shift. One senior American military official who follows Africa closely said that more than 100 foreign fighters had trained in terrorism camps in Somalia alone in the past few years. Another senior military officer said that Qaeda operatives and confederates in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia had stepped up communications with one another.
“What really has us worried is that they’re communicating with each other much more — Al Qaeda in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen,” the senior military officer said. “They’re asking, ‘What do you need? Financing? Fighters?’ ”
Mr. Obama’s strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan placed the defeat of Al Qaeda as the No. 1 objective, largely to make sure that the group could not plot new attacks against the United States.
Thus, the movement of the fighters, and the disruption that causes, has been interpreted by some of the president’s top advisers as a sign of success.
But the emergence of new havens, from which Al Qaeda and its affiliates could plot new attacks, raises difficult questions for the United States on how to combat the growing threat, and creates the possibility that increased missile strikes are in the offing in Yemen and Somalia.
“Those are issues that I think the international community is going to have to address because Al Qaeda is not going away,” Admiral Mullen told a Senate committee on May 21.
The C.I.A. says its drone attacks in Pakistan have disrupted Al Qaeda’s operations and damaged the group’s senior ranks. American officials say that strikes have killed 11 of the top 20 Qaeda leaders in the past year.
“Al Qaeda has been hit by drones and it has generated a lot of insecurity among them,” said Talat Masood, a retired Pakistani general and military analyst in Islamabad.
“Many among them are uneasy and it is possible that they are leaving for Somalia and other jihadi battle fronts,” he said. “The hard core, however, will like to stay on.”
Without singling out any countries, Adm. Eric T. Olson, the head of the Special Operations Command, spoke in general terms last week about how the increased Pakistani military operations in the Swat Valley and early indications of a new Pakistani offensive in South Waziristan had put militants on the run.
“As the Pakistanis are applying pressure,” Admiral Olson told a House panel, “it will shift some of the sanctuaries to other places.”
Jack Styczynski contributed reporting from New York.
This article, Some Pakistan Qaeda Fighters Now in Yemen and Somalia, first appeared in The New York Times.
Copyright © 2009 The New York Times
Egypt Arrests Group It Says Plotted Suez Attacks
Egypt arrests group it says had links to al-Qaida and plotted attacks on Suez Canal
By MAGGIE MICHAEL
The Associated Press
JULY 9TH, 2009
Egyptian authorities arrested 25 people on suspicion of plotting attacks on oil pipelines and ships in the Suez Canal, the Interior Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
The group, which Egypt said had links to al-Qaida, was made up of two dozen Egyptians — most of them engineers and technicians — and their Palestinian leader. They also had contacts with militants in the Gaza Strip, the ministry said.
"They believe in takfiri and jihadi thought," a ministry statement said, referring to the radical Sunni Muslim ideology espoused by groups like al-Qaida.
The group planned to use explosives rigged with mobile phone-activated detonators against shipping in the busy Suez Canal, and learned about explosives from al-Qaida militants on jihadi Web sites, the statement said.
In April, Egypt announced it had disrupted a militant cell linked to Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement that also planned to target the Suez Canal.
One of the suspects in the case announced on Thursday crossed into the Gaza Strip to meet up with the Palestinian Army of Islam group to receive instructions on attacking vital and important targets in Egypt, the ministry said.
A group by that name did once operate in Gaza, but was later dismantled by the local Hamas rulers.
Egyptian authorities confiscated explosives, diving suites, electronics and a handgun linked to an attack on a Coptic Christian's jewelry shop in May 2008.
According to confessions the ministry said the group made, the detainees killed the Copt and his three workers during a robbery. They also received funds from Islamic charities abroad.
In May, Egypt announced arrests of seven alleged members of the Palestinian Army of Islam for a bombing in February at Cairo's Khan el-Khalili bazaar that killed one French woman.
Diaa Rashwan, an expert in Islamic militant groups, expressed skepticism and said there are many questions surrounding the Interior Ministry's allegations, and similar cases had never gone to court.
"Here is a catalog of accusations, targets and ties to different groups that don't fit together," Rashwan said.
In the early 1990s, Egypt battled Islamic extremists who attacked police, government officials, tourist sites and commercial interests of the country's Christian minority.
Also Thursday, a security official in northern Sinai said 1,550 pounds (700 kilograms) of TNT destined for Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip was found during a search of a storage area outside the city of el-Arish in the northern Sinai Peninsula.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said no arrests were made.
In Lebanon, meanwhile, a military court convicted 12 Palestinians, also described as inspired by al-Qaida, of committing terrorist attacks. Five of them were sentenced in absentia and given life in prison.
All the defendants, most of whom are Palestinians, were members of the militant Fatah Islam group, which battled Lebanese troops for three months in northern Lebanon in 2007. The 12 were found guilty of carrying out bomb attacks in the north and south of the country and establishing an armed gang with the aim of attacking people and weakening state authority.
Associated Press Writers Ashraf Sweilam in el-Arish, Egypt, and Hussein Dakroub in Beirut contributed to this report.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures
EXCLUSIVE: US Launches Military Strike in Somalia Against al Qaeda Target
A US Official Confirms That Nabhan's Body Was Recovered By The Attacking US Forces.
By LUIS MARTINEZ, KIRIT RADIA, DANA HUGHES, and JASON RYAN
Sept. 14, 2009—
A U.S. commando attack in Somalia has killed an al Qaeda operative who is on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists, sources tell ABC News.
The dead terrorist, Saleh Ali Nabhan, is believed to have taken part in the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He is also believed to have orchestrated the 2002 bombing of a resort hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, and a failed missile attack on an Israeli airliner leaving Mombasa airport.
Several sources tell ABC News at least one U.S. helicopter fired on a convoy carrying suspected al Qaeda targets in southern Somalia. An American official says a U.S. Navy ship was also nearby to monitor the situation and provide assistance if needed.
Ali Nabhan's death has not yet been officially confirmed, but sources tell ABC News that his body is now in U.S. custody.
Ali Nabhan, a 28-year-old Kenyan, is on the FBI's most wanted list for terrorist activities such as the resort and missile attacks as well as participation in the 1998 attack on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
An internal U.S. government report described to ABC News details Ali Nabhan's efforts in Somalia as a top al Qaeda officer in East Africa. The report claims that Ali Nabhan ran training camps in Somalia for foreign fighters, including some Americans of Somali descent. Some of the graduates of these terror camps have been tied to attacks and threats around the globe, the report states.
According to one source, U.S. military helicopters attacked suspected al Qaeda elements traveling south of Mogadishu and killed all the occupants of the convoy. Initial reports say the U.S. choppers landed on the scene and took the bodies with them. Ali Nabhan's body was among the causalities, the source said.
A U.S. official confirms that Ali Nabhan's body was recovered by the attacking U.S. forces.
In recent years, the U.S. military has been involved in operations targeting terrorists who use Somalia as a base of refuge.
It is believed that Ali Nabhan was the target of an earlier U.S. military strike in March 2008 that involved the U.S. Navy's launch of two Tomahawk cruise missiles.
In January 2007, the U.S. conducted two airstrikes by C-130 gunships to target al Qaeda operatives involved in the 1998 embassy attacks in Kenya and Tanzania. Those raids were conducted with the cooperation of Ethiopia. It is believed that a U.S. military team entered Somali territory after the strikes to assess the strike and to confirm the identities of the targets.
Somalia Is Refuge for Islamist Terrorists
In June 2007, a U.S. Navy ship fired its guns at Islamist fighters and foreign jihadists believed hiding in the Puntland region of Somalia.
The war-torn nation hasn't had a functioning government since 1991. The current Transitional Federal Government is battling al-Qaeda backed Islamist militant groups, the largest being Al Shabaab. U.S. officials have expressed concern over the country becoming a haven for terrorists, and have also admitted shipping weapons to the TFG to help the government survive.
During her African-tour last month Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reaffirmed U.S. support of the TFG "Certainly if Al Shabaab were to obtain a haven in Somalia which could then attract al Qaeda and other terrorists actors, it would be a threat to the United States."
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