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Suspect in 1996 Khobar Towers bombing arrested

first_imgAhmed al-Mughassil , described by the FBI in 2001 as the head of the military wing of Saudi Hezbollah, is suspected of leading the attack that killed 19 U.S. service personnel and wounded almost 500 people. The June 25, 1996, bombing at Khobar Towers, a military housing complex, was the deadliest terror attack targeting U.S. forces since the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marines’ barracks in Beirut that killed 241 American servicemen.Saudi paper Asharq Alawsat, which first reported the development, said he was arrested in Beirut and transferred to Riyadh.The Saudi Interior Ministry had no immediate comment. The U.S. official spoke on grounds of anonymity because this person was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.Al-Mughassil, also known as Abu Omran, is one of 13 people named in a 2001 indictment in Alexandria, Virginia, in connection with the bombing. Charges include murder of federal employees and bombing resulting in death. None of the 13 has yet been brought to court to face charges, according to court documents.The lead prosecutor listed in court records from 2001 is James Comey, now the FBI director.In the Khobar attack, terrorists parked a fuel trailer truck just outside the shallow perimeter of the apartment complex, 85 feet away from one of the eight-story buildings. The blast demolished one side of the building, leaving a massive crater.The U.S. later moved its Air Force contingent to the Prince Sultan Air Base, a vast compound in a remote stretch of desert south of the Saudi capital, Riyadh.A U.S. federal grand jury indictment named 13 Saudis and one Lebanese man for the bombing, saying they were part of the Saudi Hezbollah terrorist group. That group was founded by members of the desert kingdom’s Shiite minority who fled into exile in the 1980s to escape what they said was persecution by the kingdom’s Sunni majority.The 2001 indictment placed heavy blame on Iran for nurturing the attack but stopped short of mentioning any Iranians by name or linking them directly to Khobar. However, in 2006, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled the Iranian government financed the bombing, ordering it to pay $254 million to the attack’s victims. Iran repeatedly has denied being involved.last_img read more

The look
first_imgRe: “Korean-Americans fearing backlash” (April 18): I am a black American, and the first thing I do when there is any kind of rape, murder or robbery is hope the person who committed the crime is not black, because I know the whole black race will be associated with the crime. I think most minority groups do the same thing. Can the same be said about Caucasian people? When Geoffrey Dahmer was eating black people, I didn’t think all whites were looking to eat me alive. But when the Rodney King verdict was announced, I couldn’t walk down the street without getting the look. All minorities know what the look is. So don’t clump all Koreans with the act of one mentally disturbed person. In turn, I won’t lock my door just because a white person is crossing the street. – Kevin Streaty Granada Hills Religious motive? I’m sure they will uncover an excess of religious morality instruction in Cho Seung-Hui’s youth. His rant against girls and debauchery indicate that there was an insurmountable conflict between this morality training and his natural instinct to seek comfort and closeness with the most alluring girls in our society, college coeds. It was just overwhelming. In trying to prevent this type of disaster in the future, I suggest that all the institutes of higher learning initiate a “buddy system” wherein every freshman is assigned an upperclassman as a “big brother/sister.” This would uncover any basic psychological problems and, at the same time, make it easier for shy and timid students to assimilate and learn to handle their new environment. – Bernard Lehrer Ventura Land of make-believe We live in a violent society. Some of the most successful computer games are based on crime. “Grand Theft Auto” has made Take Two Interactive a very profitable company. When we look at TV, there is a plethora of crime shows. How many “CSI” versions are there? Another channel offers “Law and Order” in various versions. There are too many crime shows to list them all here. What does this say about our nation? Is it any wonder that killing occurs on our high school and college campuses? It’s all make-believe, right? – Don Evans Canoga Park Islamophobia Re: “American Muslims beginning to fear that `Islamophobia’ is gripping the U.S.” (April 11): In a nation that prides itself on diversity and inclusiveness, hate against one minority – American Muslims – still goes unchallenged and is even legitimized. Islamophobia, or the irrational fear of Islam and Muslims, continually leads to hate crimes and discrimination against Muslims and those perceived as such. Is it any surprise then, when we are confronted with a Gallup poll reporting that about 40 percent of Americans favor special IDs for Muslims, including U.S. citizens? If that kind of action was advocated against any other minority, such as blacks, Italians, Jews or Asian-Americans, there would be an uproar across the country. Let us stop demonizing one another. Let us have the courage to stand up for our American values, by showing respect and fair treatment toward each minority. Hate and fear are the hallmark of cowards, and in the end, hurt each one of us. – Masoud Nassimi Westminster `Expert’ opinion Re: “American Muslims beginning to fear that `Islamophobia’ is gripping the U.S.” (April 11): As an American Muslim, I get to hear firsthand some of the things that the community faces at work, in our public elementary schools as well as in our stores and malls. It is nice that these feelings in the American Muslim community are being brought to the surface so that some light is shed on it – sunlight is the best disinfectant. However, I noticed that in the article Daniel Pipes was noted as an “expert.” I take issue with such a classification because Pipes has shown constantly that he is an extremist. His long history of inflammatory comments proves that he is a divisive opportunist who feeds on fear and alienation rather than community building and mutual respect and understanding. – Affad T. Shaikh Palmdale Gun-control logic Re: “Bill tightening ammo-buying rules advances” (April 18): Gang crime is up 40 percent, so our illustrious Mayor Villaraigosa and his sidekicks, Sheriff Baca and Police Chief Bratton, have sponsored a bill that will make it more expensive and time-consuming for law-abiding citizens to purchase ammo for their handguns. How brilliant. I have a much better idea the posse should implement instead. Why don’t you try enforcing the immigration laws already on the books and reverse your policy making Los Angeles a sanctuary city for breeding alien criminals, i.e. gang members? California already has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country that only serve to punish law-abiding gun owners. Those laws forced almost every gun store in the city to close or move to Simi Valley or Burbank. They didn’t work, did they? – Bob Budworth Woodland Hills DWP economics Re: “DWP adds to in-house work crews” (April 18): O.K., let’s see, outside contractor … Cheaper, faster and with more quality. Soooo, we need the DWP trunkline crews because … why? – Bill Merriman Tujunga Union blues “DWP crews costly choice” (April 17): This article is an excellent example of how throughout our nation unions are costing the average taxpayer more and more in taxes. The quality of our public-school system nationwide gradually has declined to its present point because the NEA hierarchy is concerned with having political clout and does not care about our kids’ academics. I know the history of the American union movement. My dad was a union organizer in the early 1930s, and he was blackballed from getting a job in the entire state of Ohio because he was a union organizer. But part of the human nature is to go from one extreme to another extreme. I am not anti-union, but the unions have become too extreme. – Allen Conley Heatherly Reseda Stop red-light cams Re: “Red-light photos in slow lane” (April 16) The ill-conceived “red-light cameras” suffer from more than just electronic problems: Their cost of $12 million could pay for traffic officers to patrol any problem intersections. Most crashes at intersections do not involve running red lights, per LAPD statistics. The selection of the intersections does not start out with those with the highest number of crashes. The adjustment of the yellow-light length by one second can result in many extra tickets being written without any significant danger being created. Finally, this “Big Brother” ticket-imposing program has been deliberately made into an unfair money-making regime rather than being revenue-neutral. – Carl Olson Woodland Hills Investigate Pelosi A full investigation should be made of both Nancy Pelosi and Tom Lantos, who have violated both the Constitution of the United States and the Logan Act of 1798. The Constitution gives the authority to conduct foreign policy to the president of the United States. The Logan Act forbids anyone, without administrative consent, to communicate with a foreign government as to controversies with the United States. Pelosi’s trip to Syria without the consent of the president was clearly a breach of both of these rules of law. Tom Lantos, who accompanied Pelosi, was quoted as saying that they were presenting another option as to U.S. diplomacy. They both should be required to personally pay for their entire trip. -Robin G. 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