Religion of Peace in action

Is that Muslims or just typical Toronto??
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

Is that Muslims or just typical Toronto??

Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

I hope that the dim bulbs who phoned 911 and emergency services to complain about the Amber Alert on their phones get charged. If your phone is waking you up in the night, TURN THE GODDAM THING OFF, ya moron.

I don't mind amber alerts as long as they don't interrupt my scifi shows.
MANDEL: Freed homegrown jihadist remains 'high risk to public safety'
Michele Mandel
February 22, 2019
February 22, 2019 7:28 PM EST
Kevin Omar Mohamed. (Handout Photo)
It’s clearly a bad sign when the Parole Board had labels you a “high risk to public safety” but must release you nonetheless.
Kevin Omar Mohamed will soon be out of prison, freed on mandatory release after serving two-thirds of his four-and-a half-year sentence for participating in the activities of a terror group.
According to a parole board decision obtained this week by Global News’ Stewart Bell and Andrew Russell, the panel worries the Whitby man still harbours “dangerous radical religious beliefs” and “may continue to commit terrorist related offences.”
So how concerned should we be about this wannabe jihadi?
“Absolutely concerned,” says Phil Gurski, a former Canadian Security Intelligence Service analyst and author of The Threat from Within: Recognizing Al Qaeda-Inspired Radicalization and Terrorism in the West.
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“He clearly showed that he was radicalized, had made an effort to travel, got caught, got tried and he essentially got a slap on the wrist. My understanding is that he hasn’t gone to any counselling or any deradicalization, meaning he’s being released with no indication that his ideology is any less concerning today than it was two years ago.”
Mohamed has been in custody since his arrest in March 2016 by the RCMP.
The former University of Waterloo engineering student had flown to Turkey and crossed into Syria in 2014 with the intention of joining Jabhat Al-Nusrah, an affiliate of al-Qaida.
According to the agreed statement of facts, “his purpose was to enhance the ability of that group to commit terrorist activity.”
Mohamed met with members of the terror group but abandoned his plans when his mother and brother followed him to Turkey and convinced him to return to Canada.
Back home, he continued as an armchair instigator on social media. As Justice Bruce Durno would later determine, “His Tweets encouraged and counseled others to commit hate.”
Under several pseudonyms, Mohamed called attacks against Western targets “beautiful” and identified himself in his profile as a “supporter of international terrorism.”
He encouraged radicalized Muslims who couldn’t travel to do their part at home.
“Maybe you shouldn’t live in the lands waging war on islam unless your (sic) planning attacks against them, perhaps either get out or attack,” he wrote in one tweet.
“If someone wants to attack the west, and is scared of large-scale attacks he could start small, like burning cars and kufar [non-believers] in parking lots,” he wrote in another.
Days after the 2016 terror attacks in Belgium, a post on his Twitter account showed an image of travellers being gunned down and he asked: “Where can I get the Brussels airport MOD (modification)” for the violent video game Call of Duty?”
Two days later, Mohamed was under arrest.
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When he was tracked down hiding on the Waterloo campus, investigators found a large hunting knife in his black computer bag and in a university locker, “handwritten notes taken from Al-Qaida publications which outlined targets, how to generate a plan, discussed firearms and grenades, and preparing then executing the operation.”
Mohamed faced up to 10 years in prison, but in a sweetheart deal the Crown and defence agreed at his sentencing hearing in October 2017 that he should serve only four-and-a-half years due to his early guilty plea and agreement to enter a de-radicalization program.
But now it seems the aspiring jihadist has refused to participate in anything like that program — and yet he’s being released anyway.
Gurski worries Mohamed may now emerge from prison as a “rock star” to his followers. “And he could say, ‘If you think I was pissed off before…”
Fear not, however. The parole board has imposed conditions on his release, including staying away from Internet and taking “religious counselling” — the same counselling he’s eschewed before.
Deported 9/11 convict apparently paid 7,000 euros
Associated Press
February 28, 2019
February 28, 2019 8:48 AM EST
In this Friday, Nov. 17, 2006 photo Moroccan Mounir el Motassadeq, centre, is arrested by German police in front of his appartment in Hamburg, Germany. Fabian Bimmer / AP
BERLIN — German prosecutors said Thursday that they are investigating how a Moroccan man convicted of helping the Hamburg-based Sept. 11, 2001, suicide pilots was apparently paid some 7,000 euros ($10,525) before he was deported to his homeland last year.
Mounir el Motassadeq was deported in October, shortly before completing his 15-year sentence for membership in a terrorist organization and being an accessory to murder.
An investigation by Hamburg prosecutors centres on an apparent cash payment shortly before his release and deportation of money that had accumulated in his prison account, used in Germany to hold money earned by inmates by working and funds paid in by relatives, among other things.
The money is generally transferred to inmates on their release, but el Motassadeq was on a list of terror suspects whose assets are frozen and aren’t allowed to receive any funds. German weekly Der Spiegel first reported on the matter.
Prosecutors’ spokeswoman Nana Frombach said they are investigating a suspected violation of Germany’s foreign trade and payments act following a complaint by the country’s central bank, or Bundesbank, which is supposed to approve any exemptions from the ban on payments to people on the terror list.
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Frombach said the investigation is currently directed against persons unknown, because investigators need to clear up who ordered the alleged payment.
El Motassadeq was first arrested in Hamburg in November 2001. Following a legal saga that dragged on for years, he was convicted of membership in a terrorist organization and being an accessory to the murder of the 246 passengers and crew on the four jetliners used in the attacks in the United States in 2001.
El Motassadeq was convicted of being part of the so-called Hamburg cell, which included three of the four Sept. 11 pilots — Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah.
U.K. sex grooming gang's 'appalling catalogue of abuse'
Brad Hunter
February 28, 2019
February 28, 2019 5:31 PM EST
These nine men were convicted of being members of a sex grooming gang who raped vulnerable underage girls.
Members of a sickening sex gang which preyed on underage girls have been jailed for more than 140 years.
South Asian sex grooming gangs have become rife in the United Kingdom.
A number of inquiries have revealed that the gangs are often protected by institutional political correctness.
Now, according to the London Evening Standard, nine members of a Bradford gang have been jailed for an “appalling catalogue of abuse” against young, vulnerable girls.
The newspaper reported that the gang repeatedly raped two girls who were living in a children’s home.
Court heard the sex assaults “deprived them of their childhoods”.
The grooming gang followed a familiar pattern: Vulnerable girls were targeted, given drugs, booze and passed from man to man.
Cops say Basharat Khaliq, 45, was the sex grooming gang’s ringleader.
Even after the girls left the children’s home, the abuse continued and only came to light following another child exploitation probe.
“These two girls were deliberately targeted because of their vulnerability,” said Paula Craven, of the Child Protection Services.
“Sadly, the exploitation followed a pattern which is all too familiar in cases of this kind. These victims suffered an appalling catalogue of degrading emotional and sexual abuse which has deprived them of their childhood.”
Craven added: “Sexual exploitation impacts on victims in many different ways. It feeds on vulnerability and eats into trust and feelings of self-worth. It changes lives forever.”
Convicted were: Ringleader Basharat Khaliq, 45; Saeed Akhtar, 55; Naveed Akhtar, 43; Parvaze Ahmed, 36; Izar Hussain, 32; Zeeshan Ali, 32; Kieran Harris, 28; Fahim Iqbal, 28, and Mohammed Usman, 31.
“I would like to highlight the courage and tenacity of the victims to go through the court process and who have maintained trust in the police and the criminal justice system throughout,” Det.-Supt. Jonathan Morgan said.
They are starting to act like the Royals.
Tutor charged in sex assault of young girl
Kevin Connor
March 5, 2019
March 5, 2019 1:39 PM EST
Sexual assault suspect Nitinkumar Joshi, 55Toronto police handout
A Toronto tutor has been arrested in connection with a sexual assault involving a 13-year-old girl.
Toronto police allege the suspect, independently employed as a tutor working out of his home in the area of Lexington Ave. and Martin Grove Rd., sexually assaulted the girl between Aug. 2016 and Oct. 2018.
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He also communicated with her on social media, police say.
Nitinkumar Joshi, 55, of Toronto has been charged with sexual assault and sexual interference.
Police say he’s been known to tutor outside of his residence to both high school and university students.
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Anyone with information is asked to call 416-808-7474 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477.)
Police hunting alleged fake Uber driving rapist
Sam Pazzano Courts Bureau
March 6, 2019
March 6, 2019 9:57 PM EST
Muhammad Fahad (Toronto Police photo)
An Etobicoke man accused of posing as an Uber driver and raping a female passenger is now wanted by Toronto Police after he allegedly absconded on Family Day weekend.
Muhammad Fahad, 35, who faces sexual assault and theft under $5,000 charges, had been free on a $10,000 bail since he was arrested on Aug. 21, 2017.
Police are now searching for Fahad, who has family in Pakistan.
Police alleged a man impersonated an Uber driver and picked up a woman waiting for a ride outside The Rebel night club on Aug. 20, 2017.
The fake Uber driver brought her to a secluded location where he sexually assaulted the 25-year-old terrified woman, police alleged.
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The man then dropped her off at her east GTA-area home but first he took her debit card from her purse and charged her ride.
Police found items consistent with a rape kit inside the vehicle of the alleged assailant when it was searched.
Fahad was released on bail conditions, including never working or holding himself out to be a driver or chauffeur. He is banned from The Rebel night club property on 11 Polson St. and was ordered to stay away from the alleged victim. He was supposed to deposit his passport and travel documents.
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Fahad had previously worked as an Uber driver and a taxi driver, sources told the Toronto Sun.
His bail conditions also ordered him to stay at his Dixon Rd. home between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. unless he was accompanied by one of his four sureties.
Fahad never showed up at his Dixon Rd. apartment home on Family Day weekend, which violated his curfew condition. His four sureties – three of whom lived with him – withdrew a few days later.
Fahad had a trial date set for February 2020.
Arrest made in alleged TTC bus sex assault
Kevin Connor
March 7, 2019
March 7, 2019 1:44 PM EST
An image released by Toronto Police of a suspect in an alleged sex assault on a TTC bus on Feb. 28.
A suspect wanted in an alleged sexual assault on a TTC bus late last month has been arrested
On Feb. 28 around 3:30 p.m., Toronto Police say a man allegedly sexually assaulted another passenger on a northbound bus on Islington Ave. He then exited in the Steeles Ave. W. area.
Police released an image of a suspect last week in hopes of identifying him.
On Thursday they announced that with the public’s assistance, a suspect had been arrested.
Babamu Ibrahim Hussain, 35, of Toronto, is charged with sexual assault.
MANDEL: Former anesthetist and serial sex abuser George Doodnaught seeks parole
Michele Mandel
March 8, 2019
March 8, 2019 10:16 PM EST
Dr. George Doodnaught a prominent North York anesthesiologist was found guilty in 2013 of sexually assaulting 21 patients while unconscious and recovering from surgery. (Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun)
After serving half of his 10-year sentence for sexually assaulting 21 patients, disgraced former anesthesiologist George Doodnaught believes he’s done his time.
Even if his victims continue to suffer.
The Sun has learned Doodnaught, 70, is applying for full parole next month from his minimum security prison in Gravenhurst, the same camp-like centre that houses drunk driving killer Marco Muzzo. When he appears before the parole board to plead his case, sitting there will be at least four former patients determined to stop his release.
At the forefront is Debra Dreise, Doodnaught’s final victim and the fearless woman who went to Toronto Police in 2010 and finally ended his reign of bedside terror.
“It boggles my mind: Not only did he get a light sentence of only 10 years — but he’s already applying for full parole,” says Dreise. “For the 21 women he was convicted of assaulting, that only amounts to 2.85 months per victim. I don’t think that’s enough.”
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The father of five was convicted Nov. 19, 2013, on 21 counts of sexual assault, almost all committed while the female patients were undergoing procedures at North York General Hospital where he was a respected anesthesiologist known for his “touchy-feely” approach.
Ranging in age from 25 to 75, the women were under conscious sedation and unable to resist when Doodnaught used their bodies to satisfy his perverted sexual needs. Some were fondled and kissed while others were forced to perform fellatio or manually masturbate Doodnaught during operations that spanned from 2006 to 2010 — all while he hid behind the blue privacy curtain that spanned the operating table.
Debra Dreise refuses to be one of George Doodnaught’s nameless and faceless victims anymore. She was the final patient sexually assaulted by the disgraced anesthesiologist. (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun)
Some of the women tried to come forward, but no one believed them. Before Dreise, four patients had complained to the hospital only to have their memories dismissed as drug-induced hallucinations. And so he continued.
While Doodnaught was eventually convicted of assaulting 21 women, the College of Physicians and Surgeons — when revoking his licence last year — found there were actually 31 victims in all, with his crimes dating back to 1992. In addition to losing his right to practise medicine, he was ordered to pay $497,860 to cover counselling costs.
Doodnaught lost an appeal of his conviction in 2014 and began serving his 10-year sentence at Warkworth Penitentiary and was transferred this past December to Beaver Creek Institution.
Dreise doesn’t understand how he can apply for parole when he’s never accepted responsibility for what he’s done to so many women.
“I don’t think he’s ever indicated he’s remorseful for what he did,” she says. “Somebody like that, who is all about power and control, he isn’t rehabilitated. He’s just older.”
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In her victim impact statement she’s submitted to the parole board, the 48-year-old mother of two has tried to explain how she is still haunted by the assault. Her panic attacks and anxiety are so debilitating that she still hasn’t been able to return to work as a financial advisor at a bank.
Her twins were just a year old when she went to NYGH for a hysterectomy . While in a twilight, conscious sedation and unable to move due to an epidural, Doodnaught kissed her, molested her breast and forced his penis into her mouth.
“I continue to have nightmares,” Dreise explains. “If I see somebody who resembles him, my body goes into a reaction that is crippling. I begin shaking and I can’t control it.”
So as determined as she is to attend Doodnaught’s parole hearing, she is terrified of being back in such close proximity to the serial predator. She’s also been warned that he’ll likely get parole no matter what she says. Still, she feels she must be there to speak out — for herself, her fellow victims and as an example to others.
“Yeah, it’s scary,” Dreise acknowledges. “But we’ve got to take a stand and explain how it’s impacted us and at least have our voices heard.”
And to show her sick abuser that she is not the weak or helpless victim he hoped she’d be.
Accused rapist wins new immigration hearing
Sam Pazzano Courts Bureau
March 11, 2019
March 12, 2019 8:47 AM EDT
Muhammad Fahad (Toronto Police photo)
An Etobicoke man accused of posing as an Uber driver and raping a female passenger is a refugee claimant who alleges the Taliban marked him for death and terrified his family after he donated $700 to a Christian church in Pakistan.
Muhammad Fahad, whose refugee claim was denied last January, will have a new hearing — if he shows up.
Fahad’s appeal lawyer, Christina Gural, and Department of Justice counsel agreed adjudicator Rose Andrachuk made some mistakes in her judgment last January and both consented to a new hearing.
Fahad is on the lam after he allegedly absconded on Family Day weekend from sexual assault and theft charges stemming from an August 2017 incident.
Fahad, 35, a self-described liberal Sunni Muslim, wanted to marry a Lithuanian Christian woman. He fled his native Pakistan in January 2012 for Canada on a visitor’s visa. Within a week, Fahad pursued a refugee claim.
Earlier, Fahad upset his uncle by rejecting an arranged a marriage to his daughter, so his uncle spread false rumours that Fahad converted to Christianity, immigration documents revealed.
Fahad was subsequently fired from his job by his “fanatic Muslim” employer in United Arab Emirates, Fahad’s affidavit stated.
Police hunting alleged fake Uber driving rapist
In January 2012, Taliban terrorists attacked his parents’ home by “forcefully trying to enter” and “shooting off gunfire” outside.
The next day, the Taliban threatened to “behead” Fahad as soon as they saw him, stated Fahad. Taliban gangsters kept terrorizing his family to turn him over.
“The extremists demanded $4,000 Canadian from his family for the unpardonable sin of donating funds to a Christian church, accusing him of being an agent of Christianity and threatening death,” Fahad said in his affidavit.
The family paid the ransom but the terror never stopped. In September 2013, four masked men invaded the parents’ home.
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A fatwa — death sentence imposed by religious decree — was imposed in April 2014. Fahad’s family posted a notice of disinheritance, but their Taliban tormentors never quit.
Two masked home invaders struck in October 2015, assaulting them and setting his house on fire, the documents stated.
Last January, the Immigration Refugee Board ruled that Fahad was not credible and denied his refugee claim.
Fahad has been free on a $10,000 bail since he was arrested on Aug. 21, 2017. Police alleged a man impersonated an Uber driver, picking up a woman waiting for a ride outside The Rebel night club on Aug. 20, 2017.
The fake Uber driver brought her to a secluded spot where the woman was sexually assaulted, according to police.
Man faces 19 charges in human trafficking of three teens
Canadian Press
March 14, 2019
March 14, 2019 2:19 PM EDT
Alijah Weir-Mohammed, 23, of no fixed address, is charged with human trafficking in Durham Region.
A man wanted in multiple human trafficking investigations in Ontario has been arrested.
Durham Regional Police did not indicate the other jurisdictions where the man is wanted, but say he faces 19 charges related to incidents in their region.
The charges, which include human trafficking, sexual assault and forcible confinement, relate to three alleged female victims, aged 14, 15 and 19.
Alijah Weir-Mohamed, of no fixed address, was arrested on Wednesday in Bowmanville after a brief struggle, police said, adding they are looking for four more men in connection with the case.
Weir-Mohamed is also known as: Mike, Q, M.K Mason, Alijah Mercer, Alijah Mohammad, M.K. Young, Alijah Weir, MYKAH, and A.J.
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Police say they want to ensure there are no other victims and are asking anyone with information to contact them at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5600.
Born into al-Qaida: Hamza bin Laden’s rise to prominence
Associated Press
March 17, 2019
March 17, 2019 9:51 PM EDT
In this image from video released by the CIA on Nov. 1, 2017, Hamza bin Laden is shown at his wedding. (CIA via AP, File)AP
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The boy is only 12 years old and looks even younger and smaller kneeling next to the wreckage of a helicopter, flanked by masked jihadis carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles with bandoliers strapped across their chests.
Hamza bin Laden, with a traditional Arab coffee pot to his right and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher to his left leaning against the debris, made his worldwide television debut reciting a poem in a propaganda video just weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks planned by his father Osama.
Years after the death of his father at the hands of a U.S. Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan, it is now Hamza bin Laden who finds himself squarely in the crosshairs of world powers. In rapid succession in recent weeks, the U.S. put a bounty of up to a $1 million for him; the U.N. Security Council named him to a global sanctions list, sparking a new Interpol notice for his arrest; and his home country of Saudi Arabia revealed it had revoked his citizenship.
This wanted poster released by the U.S. Department of State Rewards for Justice program shows Hamza bin Laden. (U.S. Department of State Rewards for Justice via AP, File)
Those measures suggest that international officials believe the now 30-year-old militant is an increasingly serious threat. He is not the head of al-Qaida but he has risen in prominence within the terror network his father founded, and the group may be grooming him to stand as a leader for a young generation of militants.
“Hamza was destined to be in his father’s footsteps,” said Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent focused on counterterrorism who investigated al-Qaida’s attack on the USS Cole. “He is poised to have a senior leadership role in al-Qaida.”
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Much remains unknown about him — particularly, the key question of where he is — but his life has mirrored al-Qaida’s path, moving quietly and steadily forward, outlasting its offshoot and rival, the Islamic State group.
Hamza bin Laden’s exact date of birth remains disputed, but most put it in 1989. That was a year of transition for his father, who had gained attention for his role in supplying money and arms to the mujahedeen fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Osama bin Laden himself was one of over 50 children of a wealthy, royally connected construction magnate in the kingdom.
As the war wound down, bin Laden emerged as the leader of a new group that sought to leverage that global network brought together in Afghanistan for a new jihad. They named it al-Qaida, or “the base” in Arabic.
Already, bin Laden had met and married Khairiah Saber, a child psychologist from Saudi Arabia’s port city of Jiddah who reportedly had treated bin Laden’s son by another wife, Saad, for autism. She gave birth to Hamza, their only child together, as al-Qaida itself took its first, tentative steps toward the Sept. 11 attacks.
“This boy has been living, breathing and experiencing the al-Qaida life since age zero,” said Elisabeth Kendall, a senior research fellow at Pembroke College at Oxford University who studies Hamza bin Laden.
Hamza, whose name means “lion” or “strength” in Arabic, was a toddler when the bin Ladens’ life in exile began. They moved to Sudan after bin Laden’s criticism of the kingdom hosting American forces during the 1991 Gulf War alienated the Al Saud royal family.
Under growing international pressure after bin Laden declared holy war on the U.S., Sudan pushed him out and the family moved again to Afghanistan in 1996. Hamza bin Laden was 7.
Al-Qaida’s attacks against the U.S. began in earnest in 1998 with the dual bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. Its 2000 suicide attack against the USS Cole off Yemen killed at least 17 sailors.
Hamza bin Laden appeared in photographs alongside his father or in propaganda videos in this time, hanging from monkey bars in military-style training or reciting a poem in classical Arabic, garbed in a camouflage vest.
In this Nov. 5, 2001 image made from video broadcast by the Qatari-based television station Al-Jazeera, a young boy, centre, identified as Hamza bin Laden, reads a poem about Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar in Ghazni, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Al-Jazeera via APTN, File) AP
Then came Sept. 11, 2001. The co-ordinated al-Qaida hijacking sent two U.S. commercial airliners slamming into the World Trade Center in New York, one striking the Pentagon and another crashing in rural Pennsylvania, all together killing nearly 3,000 people.
So at age 12, Hamza bin Laden appeared in the video above the wreckage of a helicopter, likely a remnant of the Soviet occupation, not a U.S. warplane as al-Qaida claimed at the time.
He recited a poem praising his father’s ally, Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, as the “lion of Kabul,” ran in a field with other boys and held a pistol above his head as if fearless of American airstrikes. It marked the last moments before the U.S.-led invasion would topple the Taliban and send Osama bin Laden fleeing into the mountains of Tora Bora and, from there, Pakistan.
Hamza later remembered receiving prayer beads from his father with his brother Khalid before leaving him.
“It was as if we pulled out our livers and left them there,” he wrote.
And then, like his father, Hamza bin Laden disappeared.
Hamza bin Laden and his mother followed other al-Qaida members into Pakistan amid the U.S.-led coalition bombing campaign on Afghanistan. From there, they crossed into Iran, where other al-Qaida leaders hid them in a series of safe houses, according to experts and analysis of documents seized after the U.S. Navy SEAL team raid that killed the elder bin Laden in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad.
The connection between al-Qaida and Iran has been a murky one, firmly disputed by Tehran. Iran, the Mideast’s predominant Shiite power, on its face seems a strange home for the Sunni Arab militants. Sunni extremists views Shiites as heretics and target them for violence.
But al-Qaida under Osama bin Laden made inroads with Iran during his days in Sudan, according to the U.S. government’s 9-11 Commission. The commission said al-Qaida militants later received training in Lebanon from the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which Iran backs to this day.
Before the Sept. 11 attacks, Iran allowed al-Qaida militants to pass through its borders without receiving stamps in their passports or with visas obtained at its consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, according to a 19-page, unsigned report found among Osama bin Laden’s personnel effects in the Abbottabad raid. That helped the organization’s Saudi members avoid suspicion. They also had contact with Iranian intelligence agents, according to the report.
Iran offered al-Qaida fighters “money and arms and everything they need, and offered them training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon, in return for striking American interests in Saudi Arabia,” the report said.
This matches up with the 9-11 Commission’s report, which found that eight of the Sept. 11 hijackers passed through Iran before arriving in the United States. However, the commission “found no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9-11 attack.”
It’s unclear why Iran allowed the al-Qaida members, including bin Laden’s children and wives, to enter the country immediately after the 9-11 attacks. Iran’s president at the time, the reformist politician Mohamed Khatami, and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned the attack, and Iran helped the ensuing U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. However, by January 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush declared Iran as part of an “Axis of Evil” alongside Iraq and North Korea.
Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not respond to a request for comment.
By April 2003, just weeks into the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein, Iranian intelligence officials had had enough of al-Qaida being beyond their control. It rounded up all the al-Qaida members it could find and detained them, apparently at a series of military bases or other closed-off compounds, according to contemporaneous accounts by several al-Qaida militants.
In Iran, Hamza’s mother Khairiah Saber urged the al-Qaida lieutenants there to take her son — now a teenager — under their wing. Hamza wrote to his father recounting the Islamic theology books he studied in detention, while expressing frustration that he was not among the jihadis in battle.
“The mujahedeen have impressed greatly in the field of long victories, and I am still standing in my place, prohibited by the steel shackles,” Hamza wrote in one of his letters found at Abbottabad. “I dread spending the rest of my young adulthood behind iron bars.”
But those shackles ended up keeping him and the other al-Qaida members safe as the U.S. under Bush and later President Barack Obama targeted militants across the Mideast in a campaign of drone strikes. Hamza’s half brother Saad escaped Iranian custody and made it to Pakistan, only to be immediately killed by an American strike in 2009.
“That probably saved (Hamza) that he was in Iran during that period where everyone else was being knocked off, detained,” said Tricia Bacon, an assistant professor at American University who focuses on al-Qaida and once worked in counterterrorism at the State Department. “It probably was one of the better places to be able to re-emerge at a later time.”
Hamza during this time even married into al-Qaida, picking a daughter of Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, an Egyptian who the U.S. says helped plan the November 1998 embassy attacks. The two had two children, Osama and Khairiah, named after his parents.
“I ask God to place their image in your eye,” Hamza wrote his father. “He created them to serve you.”
By this time, rumours of al-Qaida members being in Iran had reached a fever pitch. A teenage daughter of Osama bin Laden, Eman, somehow escaped imprisonment in late 2009 and made her way to the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. Iran’s then-Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said at the time: “We don’t know how this person went to the embassy or how she entered the country.”
Khalid bin Laden, another son of the wanted terrorist, later would write a letter that was posted online and addressed to Iran’s supreme leader saying his siblings were “beaten and repressed.”
After years of imprisonment, an opportunity emerged for the al-Qaida members held in Iran. Gunmen in late 2008 kidnapped an Iranian diplomat in northwestern Pakistan. He would be freed in March 2010 as Hamza and others also left custody.
Osama bin Laden thought of sending Hamza to Qatar for religious scholarship, but his son instead went to Pakistan’s Waziristan province, where he asked for weapons training, according to a letter to the elder bin Laden. His mother left for Abbottabad immediately, where her husband was in hiding, with Hamza hoping to come as well.
But on May 2, 2011, the Navy SEAL team raided Abbottabad, killing Osama bin Laden and Khalid, as well as others. Saber and other wives living in the house were imprisoned. Hamza again disappeared.
In August 2015, a video emerged on jihadi websites of Ayman al-Zawahri, the current leader of al-Qaida, introducing “a lion from the den of al-Qaida” — Hamza bin Laden. The younger bin Laden was not shown in the video, speaking only in an audio recording. With a voice deepened from the tinny recitals he offered as a child, he praised al-Qaida’s franchises and other militants.
“What America and its allies fear the most is that we take the battlefield from Kabul, Baghdad, and Gaza to Washington, London, Paris, and Tel Aviv, and to take it to all the American, Jewish, and Western interests in the world,” he said.
Since then, he has been featured in around a dozen al-Qaida messages, delivering speeches on everything from the war in Syria to Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip as U.S. president. His style resembles his father’s, with references to religious studies and snippets of poetry, a contrast to the gory beheading videos of the Islamic State group, which had risen up from al-Qaida in Iraq to seize territory across Iraq and Syria.
“He’s not blood and guts,” said Kendall, the senior research fellow at Pembroke College at Oxford University. “His speeches are more literary and educated.”
While al-Zawahri still controls al-Qaida, the multiple messages have raised speculation that the terror group may be trying to plan for the future by putting forward a fresh face — albeit one they have so far only showed in old photographs of Hamza bin Laden as a child.
Meanwhile, the Islamic State group has seen its territory slip away as it was pounded by a U.S.-led coalition, Russian airstrikes and Iranian-backed forces.
That has left al-Qaida as the prominent jihadi group standing.
“I think as ISIS’ strength continues to deteriorate, the international community has perhaps realized that there are other terrorist groups — including the ones that never went away, such as al-Qaida,” said Sajjan Gohel, the international security director of the United Kingdom-based Asia-Pacific Foundation, using another acronym for the Islamic State group.
“In fact, al-Qaida has been quietly growing, regaining strength, letting ISIS take all the hits while they quietly reconstitute themselves,” he added.
The State Department named Hamza bin Laden as a “global terrorist” in 2017, then followed up in February with the bounty on his head as the U.N. blacklisted him.
The designations show officials consider him a threat.
“There is probably other intelligence that indicates something’s happening and that’s what put this thing on the front burner,” said Soufan, the former FBI agent.
But what’s happening within al-Qaida remains a mystery. Hamza bin Laden hasn’t been heard from since a message in March 2018, in which he threatened the rulers of Saudi Arabia. Why remains in question. Rumours have circulated he himself was targeted in an attack. The CIA also published video of him in November 2017 at his wedding in Iranian detention, showing the first publicly known photographs of him since childhood.
An image from that video now graces his U.S. wanted poster.
“Will he be successful? We don’t know. Will he live long to do what his father was able to do? We have no idea. We might drone him tomorrow,” Soufan said. “But this is the plan. This is what they wanted to do. This is what he is destined, I believe, to do from the beginning.”
Suspect confesses to Utrecht tram shooting, says he acted alone
Associated Press
March 22, 2019
March 22, 2019 11:13 AM EDT
Gokmen Tanis is led away by police in Utrecht, Netherlands, Monday March 18, 2019, after a shooting incident on a tram. (Foto de Volkskrant via AP)
UTRECHT, Netherlands — The main suspect in a deadly shooting in a tram in the central Dutch city of Utrecht has confessed to the attack and said he acted alone, prosecutors announced Friday.
The shooting is being investigated as a possible extremist attack, but prosecutors would not say if the suspect, Gokmen Tanis, has said anything about his motive.
“The 37-year-old suspect this morning confessed the criminal acts he is charged with” at a hearing before an investigating judge, the public prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Prosecutors did not elaborate on the confession and said the motive for Monday’s attack, which left three people dead and three more seriously wounded, remains under investigation.
Tanis, a Utrecht resident of Turkish descent, was arrested hours after the shooting and is being held on charges including multiple murder or manslaughter with terrorist intent.
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Prosecutors have said the suspect, who has a long criminal record, did not know any of those who were shot on the tram, according to their investigations so far.
They say the nature of the shooting and a note found in a getaway car led to strong suspicions of an extremist motive.
In a statement Thursday, the local prosecution office said investigations also are continuing into whether the suspect’s actions “flowed from personal problems combined with a radicalized ideology.”
The team investigating the shooting has asked a forensic psychiatry and psychology institute to carry out a personality test on the suspect.
At Friday’s behind-closed-doors hearing, an investigating judge extended Tanis’ detention by two weeks so that investigations can continue. In a statement, the court said the judge ruled that “the suspicion is strong enough to detain the man for longer.”
A 40-year-old man who was detained a day after the shooting because Tanis was arrested at his home has been released without charge after no evidence was found that the man helped Tanis in the shooting, prosecutors said.
Later Friday, a silent march will be held from Utrecht’s main railway station to the intersection where the shooting happened in a show of solidarity with the victims. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the mayors of the Netherlands’ four biggest cities are to take part.
LEVY: Amber Alert for slain girl, 11, set off wave of 911 complaints
Sue-Ann Levy
March 23, 2019
March 23, 2019 6:38 PM EDT
Riya Rajkumar (Peel Police handout)
The night an Amber Alert was issued for a missing girl — later found murdered in Brampton — callers “misused” the 911 system to levy insensitive complaints about the national emergency system, a newly released report says.
The report to the Peel Police Services Board states 911 calls increased by 65% in the four hours after the alert was issued for Riya Rajkumar late on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, which was also her 11th birthday.
Some 43% of the 208 calls received were determined to be “misuse” of the 911 system, the report says.
The young girl was found dead in the basement of her father’s Brampton home an hour after the alert was issued at 11:30 p.m.
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Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, who was found and arrested north of Toronto as a result of the alert, was charged with first-degree murder in her abduction. He died in hospital six days later of a self-inflicted gunshot wound suffered prior to his arrest.
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The report says while many citizens called to assist the investigation, others were displeased with having their TV programs interrupted — particularly the Leafs game.
A sample of recorded calls — provided in the report — includes complaints the Alert was an “invasion of privacy.”
Other callers chastised police for “destroying” their TV show.
“No one can watch TV until this child is found…you can’t take away TV completely…it has to be secondary,” one caller said.
Still others — without a trace of embarrassment it seems — claimed it was not a “national emergency” because the young girl was with her father.
Another wanted to lodge a complaint that police were “abusing” the National Emergency System.
The report adds that complaints continued to come into 911 and through the Peel police switchboard “well into the day” on Feb. 15 — after it had become clear that young Riya Rajkumar was dead.

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