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Headley example of counter-terror cooperation: US

December 23, 2010 08:30 IST

The United States has put the case of David Coleman Headley, Mumbai terror attack suspect now languishing in a Chicago jail, as one of the key counter-terrorism cases on information sharing with its partners.

"David Coleman Headley, a US citizen and Chicago, Ill resident, pleaded guilty to a dozen federal terrorism violations, admitting to helping plan November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, that killed more than 160 people, as well as later plotting to attack a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed," said John Brennan, the top counter-terrorism advisor of US President Barack Obama.

Brennan briefed the White House media on the steps taken by the Obama administration with regard to counter-terrorism in the year 2010, which among other things included information sharing counter terrorism highlights.

"Headley admitted he attended Lashkar-e-Tayiba training camps in Pakistan on five occasions and traveled to India five times to surveil targets on behalf of Lashkar. He also admitted that he conspired with accused terrorist leader Ilyas Kashmiri and others in plotting an attack on the Danish newspaper," Brennan said in his prepared statement distributed to the White House media.

Information sharing across the federal government has increased significantly and productively since 9/11 and continues to improve every day.

The intelligence community is cooperating with homeland security, law enforcement, and other key partners around the globe to fuse domestic and foreign intelligence in an effort to identify and disrupt homeland threats posed by alleged extremists.

Besides Headley, the other prominent cases mentioned in the Brenna's list were Najibullah Zazi who pleaded guilty to several federal terrorism violations in connection with his role in an Al Qaida plot to bomb the New York subway system in September 2009 and Raja Lahrasib Khan, a naturalised US citizen and Chicago, Ill resident, who was arrested on federal charges for allegedly attempting to provide funds overseas to Qaida.

Khan was charged with two counts of providing material support to terrorism. On April 2, a superseding indictment was unsealed charging Colleen R LaRose, aka "Jihad Jane," and Jamie Paulin Ramirez, both US citizens, with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists in connection with their alleged travels to Europe to participate in violent jihad.

LaRose was further charged with conspiring to murder an individual in Sweden and working with others to recruit individuals via the Internet to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe.

On May 4 Faisal Shahzad, a naturalised US citizen from Pakistan was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, and other federal crimes for attempting to detonate a car bomb in Times Square, New York on the evening of May 1, 2010.

On June 9, Syed Hashmi, was charged with providing material support to Al Qaida and providing military gear to others who transported the gear to Al Qaida associates in Pakistan, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty in April.

On September 1 a criminal complaint was unsealed charging Hakimullah Mehsud, the self-proclaimed emir of the Pakistani Taliban for his alleged involvement in the murder of seven American citizens on December 30, 2009 at a US military base in Afghanistan.

The complaint charged Mehsud with conspiracy to murder US citizens abroad and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) against US citizens abroad.

On September 23 Aafia Siddiqui was sentenced in New York to 86 years in prison for attempted murder and assault on FBI agents and military officers in Afghanistan.

In 2008, Siddiqui was detained in Afghanistan by local authorities who found documents in her possession that referred to "a mass casualty attack", and "dirty bomb" and that listed various US landmarks.

On October 27 Farooque Ahmed, a naturalized US citizen from Pakistan, was arrested on charges of assisting others whom he believed to be members of Al Qaida in planning multiple bombings at Metrorail stations in the Washington, DC area.

On October 29, two packages, each containing a bomb, were discovered on separate cargo planes as a result of intelligence received from Saudi Arabia. The packages, bound from Yemen to Chicago, Ill, were discovered en route during stopovers in England and Dubai.

AQAP claimed responsibility for the plot. On December 15, Abdul Kadir was sentenced to life in prison for his role in a plot to bomb JFK International Airport in Queens, NY In August 2010, Kadir and co-defendant Russell Defreitas were convicted of conspiring to attack JFK International Airport by exploding fuel tanks and the fuel pipeline under the airport.

Another defendant, Abdel Nur, pleaded guilty before trial. A fourth alleged member of the plot, Kareem Ibrahim, faces trial on the same charges.

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