FBI Says Terror Arrest Averted Threat In Mall Case

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On the day after Thanksgiving last year, federal authorities in southern Ohio arrested Nuradin Abdi on suspicion that the Somali immigrant was plotting with al Qaeda operatives to blow up a shopping mall, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. “We thought that if something was going to be done, that might be the time,” said Richard Wilkens of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Cincinnati. “He was a threat to national security.” Yesterday, Abdi’s Abdi’s indictment on terrorism-related charges was announced. Family members in Columbus described him as an immigrant who loved freedom and hated terrorists, while law enforcers portrayed him as a man determined to harm his adopted country. They said he made contact with an an Qaeda operative, traveled to Ethiopia for military-style training in preparation for “violent Jihad,” and plotted to detonate a bomb in a Columbus-area mall. “This was an ugly threat,” said Kevin Brock of the FBI in Cincinnati. “It was a hateful threat.”

Court records link Abdi – who ran a cell phone business in Columbus – to former Columbus truck driver Iyman Faris, serving a 20-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to providing material support to al Qaeda. Prosecutors allege that Abdi, 32, obtained bomb-making instructions and plotted with Faris and other, unnamed conspirators to attack a mall. Brock said investigators did not think that an attack was imminent when Abdi was arrested. “There are no malls in imminent danger, then or now,” Brock said. “We became aware of the threat in time to avert it.”

Link: http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/06/15/loc_loc1amallterr.html

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