Tag Archives: Politics

Homegrown violent extremists continue to plot within the homeland

BALTIMORE

A United States citizen, Antonio Martinez, also known as Muhammad Hussain, 22 of Baltimore, Maryland, plead guilty Thursday to attempted use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction against an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville, Maryland. Martinez aka Hussain, was arrested on December 8, 2010, after he attempted to detonate explosives at the station.

U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the guilty plea and thereafter, Rosenstein made the following statement:

“We are catching dangerous suspects before they strike, and we are investigating them in a way that maximizes the liberty and security of law-abiding citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Rosenstein. “That is what the American people expect of the Justice Department, and that is what we aim to deliver.”

Special Agent in Charge McFeely stated that the threat from homegrown violent extremists remains high. McFeely further stated that the FBI and its police partners rely on a two way flow of information with the Muslim community at large. Together, he added, they are working to stop those that have perverted the Islamic faith into something it is not.

According to Martinez’ plea agreement, on Oct. 22, 2010, he raised the subject of attacking military targets with a confidential source of the FBI. During recorded conversations between Martinez, the confidential source and an FBI undercover agent, Martinez spoke about his anger toward America, his belief that Muslims were being unjustly targeted and killed by the American military and his desire to commit jihad to send a message that American soldiers would be killed unless the country stopped its “war” against Islam by targeting an armed forces recruiting center in Catonsville.

Martinez attempted recruiting numerous people for his operation, all declined, with one who went as far as attempting to change Martinez’ mind about committing jihad. According to a statement of facts, both before and during the investigation, Martinez was outspoken about his militant beliefs by posting said beliefs on his public Facebook page and in two Facebook chats with the confidential source of the FBI. Martinez actually attempted to detonate an explosive device at the armed forces recruiting station, and he admitted that the bomb was intended to kill military service members who worked in the building. Set forth in the court documents, however, agents investigating Martinez ensured that the bomb was inert and no danger was presented to the public.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for April 6, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. although if the court accepts the plea, Martinez should be sentenced to 25 years in prison. At present, the government and Martinez have agreed to the sentencing and disposition of the case.

For more information, please see the National Press Release of the Federal Bureau of Investigation entitled: Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction in Plot to Attack Armed Forces Recruiting Center

Read the entire article at Allvoices.

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Egypt’s newly elected parliament dominated by Islamists

CAIRO

Two days before the assembly’s first meeting following the thwart of Hosni Mubarak close to 1 year ago, it is apparent that the Muslim Brotherhood Islamists led by the Freedom and Justice Party emerged as the largest group in Egypt’s new parliament winning 235 of the 498 elected seats in the lower house. . The new parliament, due to hold its first session on Jan. 23, “is the best celebration of the Egyptian revolution,” Freedom and Justice said in a statement according to a report in Bloomberg.

A breakdown of election results from party lists:

332 members of parliament

Freedom and Justice – 127

Nour party – 96

Wafd party – 36

Egyptian Bloc – 33

The assembly is to select a committee that will write a new constitution, though the exact powers of parliament remain unclear. Protesters that ousted Mubarak continue to call for mass rallies on January 25, the anniversary of the beginning of the Egyptian uprising against Mubarak. And although Egyptians have had seven weeks of democratic elections, it has failed to calm tensions between activists and the military council that took power from the ousted President. The military council has said it would cede power when a president is elected in a national vote by the end of June.

Read the full article at Allvoices.

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Airspace over Madagascar closed to prevent return of exiled former President

JOHANNESBURG

Marc Ravalomanana , Madagascar’s ex-president while attempting to end his exile from the country while flying from South Africa had his plans thwarted mid-air when the commercial plane he was a passenger in was forced to turn back after authorities of Madagascar closed their airspace to prohibit his return. The commercial plane returned back to Johannesburg Saturday just after 2 p.m., about the time it had been expected to reach Antananarivo, the nation’s capital. Antananarivo was founded circa 1625 by King Andrianjaka where Madagascar’s ex-president had served as Mayor prior to having served as the nation’s president from 2002 to 2009.

Reporters on board said the commercial plane did not stop to refuel in Mozambique as originally planned, according to Peter Mann, Ravalomanana’s spokesperson. Ravalomanana has been exiled in South Africa since being thwarted from the presidential seat in 2009. Although in exile, Ravalomanana is credited with improving the country’s infrastructure along with making improvements in education and health. The exiled president, however, has faced criticism for his lack of progress against poverty.

Read the full article at Allvoices.

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