April 24, 2012
Significant Terrorism Events in the News: March 26 - April 23, 2012
START's Significant Terrorism Events in the News is designed to give a brief overview of the past month's most significant developments in terms of terrorism and counterterrorism. The cases were selected based on visibility in the news and regional diversity. The articles selected are intended to be a sample of current events regarding terrorism around the world and not a definitive list.
United States: Four senior citizens in Georgia on trial for terrorism plot, two plead guilty
On Nov. 1, 2011, four senior citizens from Georgia were arrested on charges that they planned to attack U.S. citizens and government employees. On April 11, it was reported that two of those individuals, Fredrick Thomas (73) and Dan Roberts (67), are now pleading guilty to the charges brought against them. One of the methods the group planned on using in their attacks was to indiscriminately poison people using ricin, a toxin derived from castor beans. Two of the individuals involved in the case showed an undercover FBI agent a storage bin of castor beans that they had collected for this purpose. The group also planned to use other weapons, including explosives and firearms. The trial against the other two defendants continues.
United States: In New York terrorism case, it is friend against friend
Najibullah Zazi, the self-proclaimed mastermind of a 2009 suicide bomb plot against the New York City subway system has testified against his one-time friend, Adis Medunjanin. Zazi testified that he and two friends from his days at a New York high school built and planned to detonate explosives in the subway system. He claims that he has decided to testify against his friend because he now believes that his actions and intentions were wrong.
Kazakhstan: 47 convicted of terrorism charges
In a closed-door court case, 47 men have been found guilty of various charges related to terrorism. All 47 have alleged ties to Jund al-Khilafah, the group that claimed to have trained the Frenchman who recently went on a shooting spree in Toulouse. Jund al-Khilafa reportedly has ties to al-Qa’ida and the Taliban. The group has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks that have recently occurred in Kazakhstan. Due to the lack of transparency in the court proceedings, some have expressed concerns regarding the legitimacy of the trial.
Denmark: Four go on trial in 2010 terror plot
The trial of three Swedish citizens and one Swedish resident started this month. They are charged with planning a shooting rampage in December 2010 during an awards ceremony at a newspaper building in Denmark. Three of the four were arrested while they were supposedly on their way to attack the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, which had published caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in 2005. The fourth member was arrested in Stockholm the same day. It is expected that one of the four will plead guilty to possessing illegal weapons, but all four will plead not guilty to terrorism charges.
India: In Escalating Violence by Maoists, Bus Bombing Kills 15 and Wounds 25
In the western district of Maharashtra, there has been a resurgence of Maoist rebel activity. According to news reports, on March 27 an improvised explosive device was detonated under a bus carrying paramilitary troops. Fifteen paramilitaries were killed and 25 were injured. Many of the injured had serious wounds and the government expects that the death toll will rise. This occurred roughly two weeks after the rebels kidnapped two Italians in an area where they have never kidnapped Westerners before. One of the demands made was for top Maoist leaders to be freed from prison. Thus far, one of the hostages has been released.
This compilation of Significant Terrorism Events in the News was edited by START Researcher Jaime Shoemaker.