No Homegrown US Islamist Terror Network proven by FBI arrests

A deceptive impression has been gained from the rash of FBI (preventive) arrests in recent weeks that a home-grown network of Islamist terrorists is raising its head to strike in the US, like the one which has taken shape in Britain.
However, in America, the cases were all in different states, unrelated to each other and the suspects reeled in were small fry.
The case of Najibullah Zazi, 24, the Afghan shuttle van driver, was the most serious. In other cases, unrelated to the first, a Jordanian Muslim was detained trying to blow up a Dallas office tower and two American Muslims were taken in for questioning.
In contrast, local jihadi networks in Britain managed to attack the London railways system in July 2005, killing 51 people, tried and failed to plant liquid explosives on seven transatlantic airliners bound for the US from Heathrow in 2006, and staged an attack on Glasgow airport in June 2007.
No organized terror network on this scale appears to have sprung up in America although the latest arrests appear to suggest that the country’s transport systems and high-rise buildings are in danger.
Naibullah Zazi was accused Friday before a US federal court in Denver, Colorado, of plotting to detonate explosives – possibly on the anniversary of the World Trade Center bombings of 9/11. Assistant US Attorney Timothy Neff said there was evidence he and his associates had purchased materials for an explosive such as hydrogen peroxide and acetone. In his New York hotel room, he tried to “cook” them after driving in from Denver. Bits of the components were found in the room’s air conditioner.
Nine pages of instructions for building a bomb were found on his computer. Zazi admitted under questioning that when he paid a family visit to the Pakistani city of Peshawar last year, he received explosives training from al Qaeda instructors. The judge ruled he could be transferred to New York for trial.
Federal agents tailed Zazi after his associate, Ahmad Wais Afzali, Imam of Queens, New York – and a secret FBI informer – fingered him.
Hosam Maher Husein Smadi Smadi, a 19-year old Jordanian, was arrested in an FBI sting Thursday, Sept. 24. An avowed supporter of al Qaeda, he parked his SUV which he believed was packed with explosives outside Fountain Place in Dallas and dialed a cell phone which he thought would detonate his truck bomb.
The “explosives” had been planted on him by an FBI agent posing as a fellow Islamist and the incident ended with his arrest.
Last month, two men, Daniel Patrick Boyd and Hysen Sherifi, were charged in North Carolina with plotting terrorist attacks overseas and against the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia. They were among seven suspects arrested for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and for conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim and injure people overseas. A new indictment presented Thursday charged them with “conspiring to murder U.S. military personnel.”
The main difficulty with the Zazi case, the biggest of the three, is that it rests on intent rather than actual wrongdoing, such as the construction of a finished bomb or proven choices of targets. The FBI explained the weakness of its case was down to Imam Afzali who tipped Zazi off that the FBI was onto him immediately after betraying him. The Bureau had no chance to gather enough evidence for a solid case against the suspected terrorist.
According to debkafile‘s counter-terror experts, the Afghan would-be bomber’s chances of conviction are comparable to those of the 24 British detainees accused of conspiring to plant liquefied bombs on airliners. They too were only shown to have assembled components for explosives but never assembling them.
None were caught spying out targets at Heathrow and today many experts doubt it is possible to make the liquid bombs they are accused of plotting to use.
Therefore, only 11 of the 24 suspects were brought to trial in April 2008. The jury, however, were divided on eight of the suspects and found only three guilty of attempted murder.
British law enforcement authorities could not let this go unchallenged; their security measures in all UK national and international airports were on the line. They decided to go for a second trial for eight of the suspects. But this time too, a jury nailed only two on the reduced charge of conspiracy to blow up airliners. The prosecution had to back down on the more serious charges of terror and attempted mass murder for lack of solid evidence.
If the American Afghan terror suspect does not lose his nerve under questioning and insists on his innocence, he has a good chance of getting away with a light sentence at worst.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email