Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blog 10: UK Toy Car Terror Plot

Today, Thursday April 18, 2013, there was a terror plot targeting British reserve troops, where the convicted tried to use a toy car that was packed with explosives.  Britain's domestic spy agency of M15 and the police were able to stop the the attackers before they could execute this deadly plot.  The attackers names are as follows: Zahid Iqbal, Mohammad Sharfaraz Ahmed, Umar Arshad, and Syed Farhan Hussain.  The four men were previously arrested, a year ago, after a operation by the M15 and the police in the town of Luton, north of London.  In March, the men pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct in preparation fr acts of terrorism.  The four men also admitted, today, to "facilitating, planning, and encouraging" overseas travel for terrorist purposes.

Prosecutors found downloaded files that contained instructions for an attack, survival equipment, and collected money for terrorist purposes.  Also found was a recording of the discussion of the attack, sending a toy car, which would carry a homemade bomb, under the gates of an army reservist center in Luton, as well as speaking the instructions in an Al-Qeada manual to make an improvised explosive device.  Prosecutors also stated that the men gained the inspiration for this attack from the 2010 first issue of an online magazine known as "Inspire".  The same online magazine gave instructions on how to create a pressure cooker bomb, which is the same type of explosive device that was used in Monday's attack at the Boston Marathon.  The men have all received a jail sentence anywhere between 5 and 16 years.

Below is what is classified as terrorism by the FBI:

"There is no single, universally accepted, definition of terrorism. Terrorism is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85).

The FBI further describes terrorism as either domestic or international, depending on the origin, base, and objectives of the terrorist organization. For the purpose of this report, the FBI will use the following definitions:

  • Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.
  • International terrorism involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or any state. These acts appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping. International terrorist acts occur outside the United States or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to coerce or intimidate, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.
The FBI Divides Terrorist-Related Activities into Two Categories:
  • A terrorist incident is a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States, or of any state, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
  • A terrorism prevention is a documented instance in which a violent act by a known or suspected terrorist group or individual with the means and a proven propensity for violence is successfully interdicted through investigative activity.
Note: The FBI investigates terrorism-related matters without regard to race, religion, national origin, or gender. Reference to individual members of any political, ethnic, or religious group in this report is not meant to imply that all members of that group are terrorists. Terrorists represent a small criminal minority in any larger social context."

By reading the report, this is an act of International Terrorism and terrorism prevention.  With the recent events that have been going on in the United States, Boston and Texas, as well as suspected criminal activities that have risen awareness on college campuses, this isn't a situation to take lightly anymore.  After the 9/11 attacks and the war with Iraq, we have all felt like that we could breathe for a little and not worry about anymore plots.  However with these recent events that have taken place the past few weeks of this month, it will make you think twice.  Security breaches seem to be at an all time high in the nation now. 

Tiara Paylor
4/18/2013 9:57 p.m.


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