Three Muslim residents from Uzbekistan, Iraq, and an Uighur, looking to add a whole lot of red to the modern, multicultural tapestry. Funny how that keeps happening. “Officials: 3 arrested in Norway al-Qaida bomb plot,” by Ian MacDougall, Matt Apuzzo, and Adam Goldman for the Associated Press, July 8:
OSLO – Three suspected al-Qaida members were arrested Thursday for what Norwegian and U.S. officials said was a terrorist plot linked to similar plans to bomb New York’s subway and blow up a shopping mall in England.
The three men, whose names were not released, had been under surveillance for more than a year. Two were arrested in Norway and one in Germany. Officials would not say what country or site was the target of the latest terror threat.
Officials believe the men were planning attacks with portable but powerful bombs like the ones at the heart of last year’s failed suicide attack in the New York City subway — an attack U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has called one of the most serious terrorist plots since 9/11. On Wednesday, U.S. prosecutors revealed the existence of a related plot in Manchester, England.
Those arrested in Norway included a 39-year-old Norwegian of Uighur origin who has lived in the country since 1999 and a 31-year-old citizen of Uzbekistan who had a permanent Norwegian residency permit, said Janne Kristiansen, head of Norway’s Police Security Service.
The man arrested in Germany was a 37-year-old Iraqi with a Norwegian residency permit, Kristiansen said.
She did not say exactly where the arrests took place but said all three men “had connections to Oslo.”
U.S. officials in Washington believe the Norway plan was organized by Salah al-Somali, al-Qaida’s former chief of external operations who is in charge of plotting attacks worldwide. Al-Qaida usually keeps its plots compartmentalized, and officials do not believe the suspects in Norway knew about the other plots. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.
The Norwegian Police Security Service said only that the three were arrested on suspicion of “preparing terror activities.”
Al-Somali, who was killed in a CIA drone airstrike last year, has been identified in U.S. court documents as one of the masterminds of the New York subway plot. Two men have pleaded guilty in that case, admitting they planned to detonate explosives during rush hour. A third man awaits trial.
Officials said it was not clear the latest men arrested had selected a target for their attack but they were attempting to make peroxide bombs, the powerful homemade explosives that prosecutors say were attempted in both New York and England.
The Norwegian security police declined to discuss a possible target of a planned terror attack, but said Norwegians had no cause for concern.…