New York City
The NYPD has confirmed that an admittedly crude drawing of New York's Grand Central Station was found on a computer disk in the home of a suspect in the March 11, 2004 Madrid train station bombing. Authorities were quick to downplay the significance of the find, even as the media had a field day with it. Mouhannad Almallah, a Syrian arrested in Madrid March 24, was later released, but is still considered a suspect.
The latest testimony in the Brooklyn federal trial of Yemeni Sheikh Mohamed al-Moayad is a Yahya Goba, 28, a member of the "Lackawanna Six," himself facing ten years imprisonment. His courtroom recount of a spring 2001 visit to an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan, where he twice saw Osama bin Laden, wowed the media. Invoking Osama is a big strike against the Sheikh, even though he is not said to be linked to Goba.
The latest witness in the high-profile case of a Yemeni sheikh being heard in a Brooklyn federal courtroom was a New York Univeristy linguist. The scholar, Bernard Haykel, was called in to translate the word "jihad," which is repeatedly referenced in secretly-recorded tapes of the sheikh, Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad, who is charged with material support to al-Qaeda and Hamas. To the dismay of federal prosecutors, Haykel said jihad can mean "Anything that basically furthers the cause of Islam and is understood to be doing good"—not necessarily armed struggle. (NYT, Feb. 25)
The remains of 1,161 people who died at the World Trade Center will go unidentified, marking an end to a painful waiting period for families who had hoped for a different outcome.
The FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorist Task Force is investigating twin vandal attacks on Army recruiting centers in New York City--one in Manhattan's Flatiron section, the other in the Parkchester district of the Bronx. David Seigel, 19, of Litchfield, CT, was arrested for throwing a burning rag at the Parkchester facility, causing minor damage, and news reports have said that he is an "anarchist." In the Manhattan incident, a rock was thrown at the recruiting center, cracking the door, and graffiti left --including a slogan against the Iraq war an an anarchist symbol. (NY Post, Feb. 1)
NEW YORK December 15, 2004 The Court of Appeals, New York State's highest court, announced Saturday that it will consider whether dismissed and sealed cases may be considered in imposing jail sentences on four political demonstrators who protested the U.S.-sponsored occupation of Palestine and the U.S. war on Iraq.