United States/Canada/United Kingdom/Somalia – Al-Shabaab has released a graphic video calling for 'Westgate-style' attacks on shopping districts such as Oxford Street in London as well as major shopping centres in the United States and Canada. The threat is being taken seriously by security officials across the Atlantic after the group called on Jihadis living in the west to target major shopping centres in their home cities. During the 76-minute video, which was published on YouTube by Al-Shabaab's media wing, the terrorist, who has a strong English accent, recites a list of potential targets which included London's Oxford Street as well as the Westfield malls in Stratford and White City. The fighter in the video threatens action and refers to the group's 2013 siege on Kenya's Westgate Mall, in which 62 people died. The terrorist even supplied the GPS co-ordinates for the Westfield shopping centres in Stratford, East London and White City in West London. The spokesman said: ‘We call upon our Muslim brothers, particularly those in the West, to answer the call of Allah and target disbelievers wherever they are. ‘If just a handful of mujahedeen fighters can bring Kenya to a complete standstill for nearly a week, imagine what a dedicate mujahed in the West could do to American or Jewish owned shopping centres across the world? ‘What if such an attack on the Mall of America in Minnesota or the West Edmonton mall in Canada or in London’s Oxford Street. Or any of the hundred or so of the Jewish owned Westfield shopping centres. ‘All it takes is a man with firm determination, of which our Muslim ummah (community) has plenty of.’ Finishing his slowly delivered and lengthy speech, he said: ‘So hurry up and hasten to Heaven and do not hesitate. The Mall of America is taking 'extra security precautions' in light of the threat. Officials are reportedly working closely with the FBI and America's Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 'This latest statement from al-Shabaab reflects the new phase we've evolved to in the global terrorist threat in that you have groups such as al-Shabaab, ISIL (i.e. the Islamic State, or ISIS), publicly calling for independent actors in their home lands to carry out attacks. 361 COMMENT: It appears with statements similar to these that the belief that trained terrorists will be sent into countries is lower down on the priority list especially when they can be reached through radicalisation at home. Those that have been radicalised and trained will still enter other countries but with attempt similar to the latest al-Shabaab group it appears they now see the ability of getting home grown actors or Lone Wolfs saves a great deal of time and with them being under the radar more difficult to detect. COMMENT ENDS
United States – The FBI arrest of the three Islamic State members in New York is, in large part, due to a confidential informant at a mosque it was reported on the 26 Feb 15. The FBI has arrested three Islamic State (ISIS) members in Brooklyn, New York, in large part due to a confidential informant at an unidentified mosque. The conspirators discussed carrying out an attack in America if they are unable to join the Islamic State in Syria. The three suspected terrorists are Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, Akhror Saidakhmetov and Abror Habibov. Those involved made it clear that their violent intentions are not motivated by political grievances. They are motivated by the Islamist teachings that require Muslims to engage in violent jihadfor the sake of a “global caliphate” and apocalyptic prophecies. Juraboev is a permanent resident of the U.S. and citizen of Uzbekistan. It is unclear when he was radicalized but he told Islamic State members online that his family in Uzbekistan is not devoutly religious. He frequented an Uzbek website that implored Uzbeks to join the Islamic State and fight for its “global caliphate.” On the 8 Aug 14, Juraboev wrote a post on the website under a pseudonym talking about his desire to “strike fear in heart of the infidels,” referencing the Quran (3:151). He asked if he could join the Islamic State while remaining in America and if it would be acceptable to become a “martyr” by trying to shoot President Obama. The FBI saw the message traced the IP address to his Brooklyn address. He admitted to the authorities that he is a supporter of the Islamic State, would like to join the terrorist group in Syria. He said he’d kill President Obama or bomb Coney Island if the Islamic State asked him to and the “order had a basis in the Koran and the ‘Sunna’ (the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad).” The indictment summarizes his explanation as follows: “While admitting that he does not like President Obama because of his role in killing Muslims through his support of Israel and the recent bombing of ISIL [the Islamic State], Juraboev stated that he would not kill President Obama because of ill will towards him but rather because of “Allah.” He also gave the FBI a written statement about his beliefs. One part of the testimony reads, “Islamic right is fighting under caliphate against polytheists and infidels.” The Islamic State characterized Christians as polytheists in the video where it beheaded 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya. Juraboev told the FBI that the second suspect, his coworker from Kazakhstan named Akhror Saidakhmetov, also supports the Islamic State and wants to go to Syria or carry out terrorism in America. Saidakhmetov also made a post on the Uzbek website praising the Islamic State video, “Upon the Prophetic Methodology,” that claims that the Isalmic State is fulfilling “end of times” prophecies. In Sep 14, a confidential informant for the FBI at an unidentified mosque approached Juraboev and pretended to support the Islamic State. The informant met Saidakhmetov the next day and three discussed plans to join the Islamic State in Syria by travelling through Turkey. Their conversations were recorded by the informant proving that the two suspects were considering terrorist plots inside the U.S. One of their ideas was to join the U.S. military in order to share battlefield knowledge with the Islamic State, but Juraboev didn’t think that Saidakhmetov would be able to play the part. Even though Saidakhmetov professed that he would open fire on U.S. soldiers if caught, the plan was eventually dropped. Saidakhmetov also declared that he would go on a shooting spree against police officers and the FBI headquarters if he was blocked from going to Syria. The third suspect, an Uzbek in Brooklyn named Abror Habibov, is an Islamic State supporter who was willing to sponsor the other two to go to Syria. Earlier the FBI arrested Abdirahman S. Mohamud in Ohio for conspiring to provide material aid to terrorists in the Middle East. The authorities did not disclose which group that was. They apparently had a fear of something imminent as they filed charges in the local Common Pleas Court so there would be “quick action.” Additional charges are forthcoming.
The Justice Department arrested five Bosnian terrorism suspects only a couple of weeks ago for their ties to the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra. A sixth suspect who was indicted had already left the country.