Dallas Bomb Plot, Others Not Connected, FBI Says

Investigators apparently sought near-simultaneous arrests to avoid the risk that one arrest would warn other suspects, even though the plots were unrelated, McCaul said.

By TODD GILLMAN / The Dallas Morning News

WASHINGTON — Federal authorities told key members of Congress on Thursday that there is no connection between a plot to blow up a Dallas office tower last week and other terror schemes disrupted at the same time in New York and Illinois.

“That was asked very directly, and they were very definitive,” said one of the lawmakers with access to classified intelligence, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, after a briefing from FBI and Homeland Security officials.

Jordanian citizen Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, 19, was arrested Sept. 24 and accused of plotting to topple the 60-story Fountain Place building. Explosives and a detonator supplied to him by undercover agents were only simulated, authorities said.

In Jordan, Smadi’s father, Maher Smadi, said Thursday that he had talked with the chief federal public defender in Dallas, Richard Anderson, and an investigator who works for Anderson.

Smadi is also getting help from Jordanian lawyers. The Jordan Bar Association has created a three-lawyer team to assist in his defense, the bar association’s secretary and one member of the team, Bassam Freihat, confirmed late Thursday.

Smadi came to the U.S. in spring 2007 on a six-month visitor visa, and stayed after it expired. The FBI says he caught its attention by expressing threats on extremist Web sites. There is no evidence he had weapons training, but the FBI says he was eager to try to hook up with an al-Qaeda cell.

“There was a lot of extreme talk going on. They developed a relationship with him, trying to dissuade him from doing what he wanted to do, but he was pretty determined that he wanted to blow up something,” said McCaul, a former federal prosecutor and the senior Republican on the Homeland Security intelligence subcommittee.

He and a handful of other lawmakers with access to classified information were briefed for the first time in a week. The portions he discussed were not classified, an aide said.

Lawmakers pressed the FBI and others to explain why Smadi’s arrest came at nearly the same time the FBI arrested a man in Illinois — an American who allegedly admires the Taliban — for trying to blow up a federal building, and a Denver-area shuttle driver who was allegedly plotting to attack New York City trains.

The Illinois suspect, like Smadi — who was living modestly in Italy, Texas, and working at a barbecue restaurant — apparently had no training and no link to any terror group, though authorities say the New York suspect did.

Investigators apparently sought near-simultaneous arrests to avoid the risk that one arrest would warn other suspects, even though the plots were unrelated, McCaul said.

McCaul said the arrest could serve as a strong deterrent and could prove useful by planting mistrust among would-be terrorists seeking each other out.

“He was going to do it with or without the assistance of other al-Qaeda operatives, which turned out to be the FBI. I think the FBI did a great job in this case,” McCaul said.

Smadi, according to his arrest warrant affidavit, told FBI agents he would “go back to Pakistan” to link up with jihadists if he couldn’t find help in the U.S. But his father said he had never been to Pakistan, and federal authorities said Thursday that they had found no evidence that he had traveled there.

Smadi’s younger brother was detained on immigration charges the day of the arrest.

Hussein Smadi, 18, is in a San Francisco-area detention facility. Authorities have not accused him of involvement in any terror scheme. But, like his brother, he has been living in this country on an expired visa and faces possible deportation; a preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Thursday that the case underscores the need to beef up immigration enforcement.

“It just emphasizes that, in addition to all of the anti-terrorism tools that we need under the Patriot Act, that it continues to be important that we know who comes into our country, why they’re here, and protect our country and keep it safe,” Cornyn said.

Like McCaul, the senator has no qualms about the resources devoted to the Smadi case by the FBI — which has a limited supply of Arabic-speaking agents — even after it became apparent that the suspect probably wasn’t equipped to wreak havoc unassisted.

“We don’t know everything that the FBI knows,” Cornyn said, adding that in any event, “they took somebody who was predisposed to attack and injure or kill Americans — innocent Americans.”

Staff writers Marjorie Korn in Washington, Dave Tarrant in Jordan and Jason Trahan in Dallas contributed to this report.


September 24, 2009 Dallas Bomb Threat http://www.911blogger.com/blog/4604

FBI caught in a lie again

Too bad we have to put up with this kind of outrageous activity on the part of the FBI.

But Propaganda Works

Joe Six Pack will hear headlines of the arrest, assume that the allegations are true, will hear "Al Qaeda" mentioned and immediately think of 9/11.

This is our challenge.

"Investigators apparently sought near-simultaneous arrests to av

"Investigators apparently sought near-simultaneous arrests to avoid the risk that one arrest would warn other suspects, even though the plots were unrelated.....and since both plots were under total control by the FBI it was easily arranged"

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, is after The Federal Reserve

McCaul is mentioned in the article above. Michael McCaul, a Congressman from the 10th Congressional District in central Texas, is Co-Sponsoring HR1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009. The Federal Reserve refuses to disclose where the trillions of dollars in federal bailouts and loans have gone, and this legislation will identify exactly where taxpayers' money is being spent. He has set up a petition on his website asking Chairman Barney Frank to have a vote on this legislation, so the bill will move out of committee and to the floor of the House of Representatives. Go to www.michaelmccaul.com if you want to sign the petition. https://www.michaelmccaul.com/home/

The Dallas Morning News & CIA Job opportunities...

The CIA is offering "National Clandestine Service Careers" as advertised on the banner ads of The Dallas Morning News.
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Dallas plot suspect's family says he was troubled, not a terrori


Dallas plot suspect's family says he was troubled, not a terrorist

08:19 AM CDT on Sunday, October 4, 2009

By DAVE TARRANT / The Dallas Morning News

AJLOUN, Jordan – Hosam Maher Husein Smadi cradled his mother, weeping. Just 16 years old, the eldest of four children, he had dreaded this moment. During his mother’s 18-month fight with cancer, he had kept vigil by her bed.

Now it was time to let her go. Along with his brother, Husein, and several loved ones, he gripped his mother’s cloth-wrapped body. They began to lower her into the freshly dug 3-foot-deep grave.

Suddenly, he froze. Please, he implored of his uncle, a doctor. Check her pulse. Maybe she is still alive.
Also Online

Archive: More on Smadi's case

Hosam Smadi’s relatives here in Jordan see that childhood trauma as evidence that he did not start out determined to blow up one of Dallas’ signature skyscrapers. He came to the United States in April 2007 because he saw it as a land of opportunity, they said. He faked a marriage to stay here. He even considered converting to Christianity. They blame the FBI for enticing him to become an Islamic extremist — and entrapping him in a dangerous gambit.

Several experts in the U.S. and the Middle East, however, said would-be terrorists often arise from among the traumatized, the dislocated and the disillusioned. The FBI must take young men like Hosam Smadi seriously, these experts said. With al-Qaeda’s senior leadership in tatters, lost loners connected only by the Internet pose one of the biggest threats to Americans, particularly when they have shown signs of anger, depression and violence in the past, as Hosam had.

“A young person with no guidance and no monitoring can be easily turned into a radical, especially nowadays with the thousands of Web sites linked to extremist groups,” said Husein Khuzaii, a sociology professor in Jordan.

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