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Man charged with plotting to bomb US metro stations

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-27

A Pakistani-American man was charged on Wednesday in connection with his alleged attempts to aid people he thought were al Qaeda members in a bomb plot targeting US metro stations, law enforcement sources said.

AP - A Pakistani-born man was arrested Wednesday and charged with trying to help people he believed were al-Qaida operatives in planning to bomb subway stations around the U.S. capital, the FBI said.

The FBI said the public was never in danger because its agents were aware of the man’s activities before the alleged planning took place and monitored him throughout.
 
Farooque Ahmed, 34, a naturalized U.S. citizen, had been indicted under seal Tuesday and the indictment was released Wednesday. He was charged with attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization, collecting information to assist in planning a terrorist attack on a transit facility, and attempting to provide material support to carry out multiple bombings to cause mass casualties at Washington-area metro stations. Ahmed lives a suburb outside Washington.
 
Federal investigators said starting in April Ahmed met several times with people he believed were al-Qaida operatives. During one of those meetings, investigators said, he agreed to watch and photograph a hotel in Washington and a metro station in suburban Arlington, Virginia. He also was accused of participating in surveillance, recording video of a subway station in Arlington on four different occasions, and agreeing to get security information about two stations.
 
Investigators said in a Sept. 28 meeting he gave diagrams of Arlington metro stations to a person he thought was part of al-Qaida and gave suggestions about where to put explosives on trains to kill the most people in simultaneous attacks planned for 2011.
 
At the White House, press secretary Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama was aware of the investigation before Ahmed was arrested. Gibbs also offered assurances that the public was never in danger.
 
“Today’s case underscores the need for continued vigilance against terrorist threats and demonstrates how the government can neutralize such threats before they come to fruition,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security David Kris said in a statement after Ahmed’s arrest. “Farooque Ahmed is accused of plotting with individuals he believed were terrorists to bomb our transit system, but a coordinated law enforcement and intelligence effort was able to thwart his plans.”
 
Ahmed faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted.

 

Date created : 2010-10-27

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