LOS ANGELES TIMES: Two men who professed devotion to Al Qaeda — one a convert to Islam, the other a Jordanian native — were charged Thursday with plotting to blow up buildings in Illinois and Texas. In both cases, the men thought they were working with Al Qaeda operatives when they were really working with undercover federal agents. One man, according to authorities, planted what he thought was an explosive outside a Dallas skyscraper, while the other parked a van, supposedly armed with a bomb, outside a federal courthouse in Springfield, Ill. The devices were fakes. Neither case is related to the charges against Najibullah Zazi, 24, a Denver airport shuttle driver indicted in New York on charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. MORE
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD: An Afghan immigrant who received explosives training from al-Qaeda went from one beauty supply store to another, buying large quantities of hydrogen peroxide and nail-polish remover, in a chilling plot to build bombs for attacks on US soil, authorities said. Najibullah Zazi [PICTURED, RIGHT], a 24-year-old shuttle driver at the Denver airport, was indicted in New York on charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. MORE
ASSOCIATED PRESS: Michael Finton [PICTURED, BELOW LEFT] had been closely monitored by federal agents including an FBI special officer who posed as a low-level al-Qaida operative in the months leading up to his arrest, according to a federal affidavit in his case. The affidavit said the officer on Wednesday presented Finton with a van containing materials he described as explosive but which actually were harmless. The two men parked the van at the courthouse and close to the office of U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., which Finton allegedly hoped also would be damaged.They then drove a short distance to where Finton twice used a cell phone to try to detonate the explosives, the affidavit said. He was arrested immediately.
A similar scenario played out Thursday in Texas, where the FBI had been keeping tabs on Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, 19, Smadi since an undercover agent discovered him in an online extremists group, according to an affidavit in that case that did not specify a date. “He stood out based on his vehement intention to actually conduct terror attacks in the United States,” FBI supervisory special agent Thomas Petrowski wrote in the affidavit. Three undercover agents communicated and met with Smadi over several months, posing as members of an al-Qaida sleeper cell, according to the court documents. They allege he discussed targeting military recruiting centers, credit card companies, the airport or an armory before settling on a building containing a bank branch.
Agents provided Smadi with what he believed was a car bomb but was actually an inert device, according to Petrowski’s affidavit. Smadi drove to Dallas on Thursday, parked his vehicle in a garage beneath the targeted office tower and set the device’s timer, Petrowski’s affidavit said. Smadi met up again with the agent, who drove several blocks away and Smadi dialed a cell phone in an attempt to detonate the car bomb, according to the affidavit. MORE
TOM WAITS: What’s He Building?
ASSOCIATED PRESS: The FBI is investigating the hanging death of a U.S. Census worker near a Kentucky cemetery, and a law enforcement official told The Associated Press the word ‘fed” was scrawled on the dead man’s chest. The body of Bill Sparkman [PICTURED, RIGHT], a 51-year-old part-time Census field worker and occasional teacher, was found Sept. 12 in a remote patch of the Daniel Boone National Forest in rural southeast Kentucky. The Census has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, pending the outcome of the investigation. Investigators are still trying to determine whether the death was a killing or a suicide, and if a killing, whether the motive was related to his government job or to anti-government sentiment. Investigators have said little about the case. The law enforcement official, who was not authorized to discuss the case and requested anonymity, said Wednesday the man was found hanging from a tree and the word “fed” was written on the dead man’s chest. MORE
RELATED: Obama’s decision to hire ACORN workers to conduct the Census, even though they are under indictment in several states for election fraud, is a good reason to resist the census worker’s invasive questions. Some of the ACORN workers have been convicted of identity theft. They can not be trusted with my personal information. Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann plans told “America’s Morning News,” she plans to answer only one question when the census taker knocks on her door in 2010. She plans to give the ACORN worker only the number of persons in her household and nothing more…
“I know for my family the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home,” she said. “We won’t be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn’t require any information beyond that.”
I agree with Rep. Bachman. She believes citizens are only obligated to give the this limited amount of information and is encouraging others to do the same. When the census rolls around in 2010, my answer will also be to tell them how many people live in our house and nothing more. It’s my protest against Obama’s choice of hiring criminal ACORN workers to take sensitive information. MORE
RELATED: The Census Bureau severed ties with ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), a national group that had been one of 80,000 unpaid partners to help the agency promote participation. The relationship was attacked by conservatives, including Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck. The House voted last week to cut all federal funding to the group after ACORN employees were caught on video advising a couple posing as a pimp and prostitute how to lie about their jobs and hide earnings. The Southeastern Legal Foundation, an Atlanta-based group that advocates limited government, and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., are sending out a “Census Defense Form” to raise money to fight what they call “Obama‘s dangerous plans to rig it against conservatives.” MORE