January 19, 2010

American Ex-Cons in Yemen

Posted: 07:49 PM ET

In a report to be released Wednesday, the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations examined Al Qaeda’s role in International terrorism.

The Chairman of the committee, Massachusetts’ Sen. John Kerry said,” Al Qaeda has been pushed out of Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S. and allied forces”.

He also said that Al Qaeda’s recruiting tactics have changed and the group wants to recruit more American citizens to “carry out attacks in America”.

Read the report here. Tell us what you think.

Filed under: Drew Griffin • Special Investigations Unit

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January 18, 2010

Toronto bomb plotters sentenced; alleged mastermind gets life

Posted: 04:56 PM ET

Zakaria Amara was living in this home at the time of his arrest in spring of 2006.

Zakaria Amara, a man prosecutors say wanted to create a Canadian version of 9/11, was sentenced Monday to life in prison in Canada.

Amara, 24, has been described as the mastermind of a group known as the Toronto 18 - a group of teenagers and young adults who were rounded up in the spring of 2006. Police say the group of young Muslim men from suburban Toronto - all Canadian citizens - were planning to blow up three one-ton ammonium nitrate bombs inside vans parked in downtown Toronto.

A police informant who infiltrated the group told CNN that Amara was planning to time the three explosions for September 11, 2006, the five-year anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Centers in New York.

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Filed under: Special Investigations Unit

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January 13, 2010

Army Medic thought Psychiatrist was a terrorist

Posted: 01:08 PM ET

Hasan patient

An Army Medic suffering from severe anxiety and depression arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the spring of 2007. His course of treatment included an MRI for a shoulder injury and counseling with the Army psychiatrist assigned to his case.

That doctor was Major Nidal Hasan, now charged in the terror attack at Fort Hood, Texas that left 13 dead, 32 wounded. And from moment they first met, the Army medic (who wants to remain anonymous) says he knew something was wrong.

"He's a terrorist," the medic told CNN's Drew Griffin on his impression of his first visit with the doctor.
"I didn't even, like nothing else came in my mind that was the first thing that came in my mind. I really did. I don't know why I thought that but I really did."

The medic's account of his treatment under Dr. Nidal Hasan comes as the Department of Defense is releasing a scathing report on its handling of the Major's army career. Specifically, the Defense Department review questions why years of bad performance and unprofessional behavior by Hasan did not raise warning flags about his suitability to be an army psychiatrist.

In a 12 year military career, Hasan repeatedly scored below average academically, had a poor attendance record and needed close monitoring in emergency rooms.

In 2007 he questioned why muslim soldiers should be involved in fighting other muslims; suggested that sharia muslim law trumped the us constitution.

The same year, his supervisor chastised Hasan for not being reachable while on-call, and counseled him that his research project about internal conflicts of Muslim soldiers was not a topic appropriate for the program.

Despite all the warning signs, in 2009 Hasan was given yet another recommendation to be promoted, and he was sent to Fort Hood, Texas.

According to his former patient, Hasan rarely showed up for appointments, and when he did, seemed to care little for the soldier he was assigned to help.

"He seemed odd," the patient tells CNN. "If you've seen the picture of him when he went into that grocery store and he had a big smile on his face, you never saw that smile, as a doctor. When he was taking care of patients you never saw that smile."

Instead, the patient describes a "very harsh stare" with "fire burning eyes".

"There was no doctor patient relationship there," he said. "You might as well have been talking to a wall."

The patient never complained about the treatment he was getting, saying he was "too messed up at the time" to complain about anything. He says Hasan never talked about religion when he met with him, and never openly showed his Muslim faith.

The medic has since been discharged from the Army.

Filed under: Drew Griffin • Special Investigations Unit

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