Breaking: FBI stages terror raid in Miami (Update: ABC says plan was to bomb Sears Tower) (Update: “Jihad”)
posted at 7:34 pm on June 22, 2006 by Allahpundit
Just across on CNN. Early reports say the area’s flooded with agents. Six to eight suspects are thought to have been arrested, and they’re not believed to be Muslim. If that proves true, expect the lefties to jump all over this one. If not, not.
As always, standby for updates.
Update: CNN says no weapons or bomb-making materials have been found, but according to the link above, the FBI’s been planning the operation for four months. Word is it’s domestic terrorism, not a foreign plot.
CNN is killing Fox on this, by the way. Nothing at all on FNC.
Update: The U.S. Attorney’s Office says there’ll be a press conference tomorrow, but Robert Mueller will be on Larry King tonight at 9.
ABC News has learned that federal agents, including the FBI, are launching a series of raids tonight targeting a suspected terror cell based in Miami. According to sources familiar with the investigation, the group allegedly planned to bomb the FBI building in Miami and the Sears Tower in Chicago.
The group has been under surveillance for some time and was infilitrated by a government informant who allegedly led them to believe he was an Islamic radical. The suspects are described as African Americans and at least one man of Caribbean descent.
Update: Fox says seven men were arrested. Five are citizens, one is an illegal alien from Haiti, the last is a permanent resident from an unspecified country. Apparently Alberto Gonzales himself will be giving the presser tomorrow morning.
Update: Government officials tell Fox the men were plotting “to wage jihad in conjunction with Al Qaeda.” So much for the early reports.
Update: Al Qaeda’s had its eye on homegrown recruits for awhile now, as demonstrated by the arrests of the Canadian 17. Remember this piece from the Times of London?
One aim is to create an army of “white-skinned” militants, men born in Europe and America who can convert to Islam and become harder for the authorities to detect as they cross the world on their missions, including suicide attacks…
Experts were struck by how the network was radicalising non-Arabs to alter the profile of its operatives. This included using women recruits, such as the 38-year-old Belgian waitress, born to a white, middle-class Christian family, who died in a suicide attack against US troops in Baghdad last November.
Update: Eight days ago…
Update: Suddenly CNN is getting killed. Paula Zahn is still yammering on about the possibility of unnamed “domestic targets” when ABC broke the news about the Sears Tower a good 45 minutes ago.
Update: CNN’s on the case now. Zahn’s correspondent says it wasn’t just the Sears Tower and the Miami FBI building — there were other buildings in southern Florida targeted too.
Update: Here’s video of the Fox “jihad” report.
Update: The AP says the men “had no apparent ties to Al Qaeda or other foreign organizations.” Harris Faulkner just said on Fox that the suspects thought they were hooking up with AQ when in fact they were really conspiring with undercover federal agents. Similar to how the Mounties pinched the Canadian jihadis, as you’ll recall.
Update: Only three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and the Kossacks questioning the timing.
Update: Captain Ed notes that the AP has updated its initial report with new details on the jihad angle.
Residents living near the warehouse said the men taken into custody described themselves as Mulims and had tried to recruit young people to join their group, which seemed militaristic.
The residents said FBI agents spent several hours in the neighborhood showing photos of the suspects and seeking information. They said the men had lived in the area about a year.
The men slept in the warehouse, said Tashawn Rose, 29. “They would come out late at night and exercise. It seemed like a military boot camp that they were working on there. They would come out and stand guard.”
She talked to one of the men about a month ago: “They seemed brainwashed. They said they had given their lives to Allah.”
Update: New details from CNN: the suspects allegedly had taken photos of their targets and one of them had made an oath to Al Qaeda.
Update: More from Reuters:
“In the past couple of days, the U.S. government has taken into custody seven people who were conspiring to conduct jihad (holy war) in the United States,” the law enforcement source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“They thought they were dealing with al Qaeda,” the source said, adding the suspects had been trying to buy weapons and other things needed to carry out attacks.
The men — part of a radical Black Muslim group — were planning terror acts in Miami and Chicago, officials say…
Benjamin Williams, 17, said the group had young children with them sometimes.
“We were under the assumption that they were opening up a garage business,” he said, adding that they wore normal clothes “but sometimes they would cover their faces. Sometimes they would wear things on their heads, like turbins [sic].”
Update: Patterico questions the timing:
Why would this happen now, just when: evidence is coming to light that WMD (or perhaps former WMD) have been found in Iraq; Karl Rove is not being indicted; a report has found no evidence of a deliberate cover-up at Haditha; and Zarqawi has been killed?
Update: Seven were arrested, but how many were involved?
The 12 to 15 men in their 20’s and 30s appeared to be from Haiti and from the Bahamas.
”I bet they’ve gone across the water” [a neighbor] said, believing some had escaped the federal agents.
Update: A blog called National Terror Alert flashes back to March of this year, when police reported suspicious activity going on around the Sears Tower.