Somali Terror Suspect in U.S. Court, 9 Feared Dead in Afghanistan Plane Crash
A Somali man, Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, appeared in a New York City courtroom, months after he was detained in the Gulf of Aden on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities. He faces charges of aiding al Qaida — specifically the Yemen-based offshoot known as al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula — and al Shabab, an extremist group based in Somalia.
Warsame was held and interrogated on a Navy ship before his formal indictment in New York, marking the first time a foreign terror suspect has been transferred directly to civilian court instead of being held in a military facility, mainly Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“The case represents the Obama administration’s attempt to find a middle ground between open-ended detentions in secret prisons, as practiced by the George W. Bush administration, and its commitment to try as many terrorism cases as possible in civilian courts.
“With the capture of Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, the administration appeared to split the difference, with military and intelligence officials interrogating him secretly for two months before bringing in law enforcement officials to question him for purposes of an indictment. He is the first foreign terrorism suspect captured by the administration outside the United States and moved to this country for trial.”
Warsame pleaded not guilty on nine counts and could face life in prison if convicted of the charges.
Nine Believed Dead in Plane Afghanistan Plane Crash
A plane chartered by the U.S. military crashed in a mountainous part of eastern Afghanistan late Tuesday, sending flames shooting up from a mountaintop. NATO and Afghan rescue teams are headed to the site, which has not been easily accessible, leading to fears that all nine passengers aboard the plane perished.
The cargo-laden plane, a Russian Ilyushin-76, was bringing a shipment to Bagram Air Base in Kabul and had passed a full inspection in February. It was operated by the Azerbaijan company Silk Way, and its passengers included citizens of Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Russia. The flight had originated from Baku.
No foul play or insurgent activity is suspected in the crash.
Hundreds of Militants Launch Border Raids in Pakistan
Hundreds of militants crossed the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan, launching a series of raids that resulted in the deaths of at least five people. The raids echo similar raids that have strained relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan and raised questions about the containment of Taliban and al Qaida militants. The area’s terrain makes it difficult to enforce.
The most recent attacks, which reportedly involved rockets, mortars and other heavy machinery, targeted several schools and a mosque. Officials said three of the militants were killed and another three captured.
On June 1, militants attacked the Upper Dir region of Pakistan, sparking a three-day fight.
U.S. forces have reduced their presence in eastern Afghanistan, which some Pakistani officials say has enabled insurgents to operate more freely.
‘News of the World’ Center of Phone Hacking Investigation
The father of one of the victims of the 7/7 London terror attacks six years ago said he believes his phone was hacked, the latest in a series of accusations leveled against “News of the World,” a British tabloid owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Graham Foulkes’ son David died in the July 7, 2005, subway bombing. He said his phone number and other personal information were located in the files of a journalist from the paper.
The latest charge follows a scandal over the hacking of a missing teenager’s phone, when journalists allegedly deleted some messages from friends and family to clear space in her inbox for further messages. Milly Dowler, 13, was later found murdered.
“News of the World” journalists allegedly targeted celebrities and public figures in an effort to get stories. Prime Minister David Cameron said the charges are “absolutely disgusting.”