January 21, 2010 |
In a tacit admission that the U.S. squandered a chance to gain valuable information after the failed Christmas Day airliner bombing, the nation's intelligence director testified Wednesday that authorities had been too quick to read the suspect his Miranda rights and grant him access to an attorney. Dennis C. Blair said that a newly created team of elite interrogators should have been called in to question Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and that top officials in Washington should have been consulted.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 2010 |
Some international travelers faced increased scrutiny Monday from airport security officials before boarding flights bound for Los Angeles and other destinations in the United States. Flying from Saudi Arabia, a UC Irvine student and his father, both Bahraini, said they encountered more security than usual at London's Heathrow Airport, where they passed through metal detectors and, like other passengers, underwent pat-down searches. Then, after arriving at Los Angeles International, they were questioned by authorities as they claimed their luggage at the Tom Bradley terminal, and officials searched a book bag the student was carrying.
January 2, 2010 |
An interesting Thursday story in the Styles section of a certain American newspaper (Hint: It's located on 8th Avenue, near Times Square in New York) opined that Africa was going to be "The In Continent" of 2010. The paper went on to list various recent examples of this trend in design, fashion, music and cinema, from African-patterned haute couture to the hit Broadway musical "Fela!" and the blue-hued aliens in James Cameron's "Avatar." That news may come as a surprise to the owners, patrons and sonic talents that assembled, sweatily and joyfully, on New Year's Eve at Zanzibar, the Santa Monica club where Africa has been "in" since, oh, roughly some time around 2002.
December 31, 2009 |
The federal government's no-fly list has come under intense scrutiny from congressional leaders and President Obama after last week's attempted bombing aboard a Northwest Airlines flight bound for Detroit. The list is intended to keep known or suspected terrorists from boarding airplanes within or headed for the United States. It includes about 3,400 people, roughly 170 of them U.S. residents. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man accused of trying to detonate an explosive on Flight 253 on Christmas Day, was listed on a broader database of about half a million names.
December 29, 2009
What does it take to be banned from air travel? U.S. officials are reviewing the watch list and screening procedures, but not all lists are equal: Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database : This is the largest collection, with about 550,000 people. U.S. intelligence and law enforcement as well as allies can nominate "known or suspected terrorists" for this database. The TIDE list is maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center and was set up after the Sept.
December 29, 2009 |
The family of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man charged with attempting to destroy a transatlantic airliner, expressed shock at his actions in a statement released Monday, adding that they were thankful no lives were lost. Abdulmutallab's father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, is a wealthy former Nigerian banker, who recently retired as chairman of First Bank and was a government minister under former President Olusegun Obasanjo. A statement signed "The Mutallab Family" described the family's alarm in recent months as Abdulmutallab, known to friends and family as Farouk, cut off contact and disappeared.
December 27, 2009 |
U.S. counter-terrorism officials on Saturday were looking at possible connections between Al Qaeda-linked militants in Yemen and a 23-year-old Nigerian man charged with attempting to destroy a Northwest Airlines plane on its final approach to Detroit Metropolitan airport. According to a criminal complaint and FBI affidavit, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab carried a destructive device aboard Flight 253 on Christmas Day in what authorities said was an attempted terrorist attack that could have killed all 290 people aboard.
December 26, 2009 |
In what was described as an act of terrorism, a Nigerian passenger attempted to ignite an incendiary device aboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Friday as the plane began its approach for landing, federal officials said. Other passengers overpowered the man and the plane landed safely. The suspect, identified as Abdul Mutallab, 23, suffered severe burns as a result of the attempt, authorities said, and two of the other 277 passengers reported minor injuries.
October 26, 2009 |
Nigeria's main militant group declared an indefinite cease-fire Sunday, raising the prospect of peace in the oil-rich Delta region after nearly three years of hostilities have crippled production. Though the group has declared cease-fires before, this indefinite truce has greater significance because it comes soon after several high-profile militant commanders agreed to take part in a government amnesty to disarm. Last week, Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua met with longtime militant leader Henry Okah, which the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta says led to its decision to declare the latest cease-fire.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 20, 2009 |
A man sought for questioning in the massive Station wildfire that killed two firefighters has been arrested and charged with setting a smaller blaze less than a week before in Angeles National Forest, authorities said Monday. Babatunsin Olukunle, a 25-year-old Nigerian national, appeared briefly in a Pasadena courtroom and pleaded not guilty to the felony charge of setting a fire Aug. 20 on U.S. Forest Service land. "We are going to talk to him about the Station fire, but we're not going to list him as a suspect [in that fire]