American Morning

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October 12th, 2011
10:38 AM ET

Global implications for the foiled Iranian terror plot

U.S. agents disrupted an Iranian "murder-for-hire" scheme targeting Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. on Tuesday.  Attorney General Eric Holder said the alleged plan was directed by elements of the Iranian government, but Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is saying this "is a fabrication."   Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, and Gholam Shakuri, an Iran-based member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, are accused of a conspiracy to murder a foreign official, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism, the FBI said Tuesday.

The Saudi ambassador was not the only intended target, U.S. officials said. The suspects also discussed attacking Israeli and Saudi embassies in Washington and possibly Buenos Aires, Argentina, a senior U.S. official said. It is unclear why the Saudi ambassador was targeted, the official said, or how widespread knowledge or approval of the plot was within Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government.

CNN Natl. Security Contributor Fran Townsend assesses the threat level for Americans working oversees – and here at home.


Filed under: Iran • Terrorism
October 12th, 2011
10:34 AM ET

Former CIA official on the viability of an Iranian terror plot

U.S. agents disrupted an Iranian "murder-for-hire" scheme targeting Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. on Tuesday. Attorney General Eric Holder said the alleged plan was directed by elements of the Iranian government, but Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is saying this "is a fabrication." Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, and Ali Gholam Shakuri, an Iran-based member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, are accused of a conspiracy to murder a foreign official, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism, the FBI said Tuesday.

The Saudi ambassador was not the only intended target, U.S. officials said. The suspects also discussed attacking Israeli and Saudi embassies in Washington and possibly Buenos Aires, Argentina, a senior U.S. official said. It is unclear why the Saudi ambassador was targeted, the official said, or how widespread knowledge or approval of the plot was within Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government.

This mornign on American Morning, Ali Velshi talks with Chad Sweet, a former CIA official, who explained the significance of this intelligence feat – and why the United States might not be so lucky in the future.


Filed under: Iran • Terrorism
September 30th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Is killing of Al-Awlaki a major blow to Al Qaeda?

Sajjan Gohel with the Asia Pacific Foundation on what the killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki means for the future of Al Qaeda.


Filed under: Al Qaeda • Terrorism
September 30th, 2011
04:50 PM ET

Rep. Peter King: Al-Awlaki was as dangerous as OBL

Rep. Peter King talks about the airstrike that killed American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.


Filed under: Al Qaeda • Terrorism
September 29th, 2011
10:48 AM ET

Terror plot against the Pentagon averted yesterday

Rezwan Ferdaus, a 26-year-old man from Massachusetts, was arrested Wednesday for allegedly plotting an attack on the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol with a remote-controlled model aircraft filled with C-4 plastic explosives.

Ferdaus, who has a physics degree from Northeastern University in Boston, was also charged with trying to provide material support and resources to al-Qaeda to help the terrorist organization carry out attacks on U.S. soldiers overseas.

Today on American Morning, CNN national security contributor Fran Townsend explains how serious of a threat Ferdaus was and how the investigation played out.


Filed under: Terrorism
September 9th, 2011
10:35 AM ET

NYPD Commissioner Kelly: 'Terrorism is a theater and this is the world’s biggest stage’

Washington (CNN) - U.S. officials have "specific, credible but unconfirmed" information about a potential al Qaeda threat against the United States coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"We have received credible information very recently about a possible plot directed at the homeland that seems to be focused on New York and Washington, D.C.," a senior administration official told CNN Thursday.

New York City is already on higgh alert, with ceremonies set to take place at the World Trade Center cite this Sunday.

This morning on American Morning, Christine Romans talks with New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who says though there is an increased police presence in the city, it's up to citizens to be on alert as well.

"We have a big city and obviously it's an open city," Kelly says. "That's why we're a functioning and successful city. But we need the public's help. We need them to be vigilant."

See the entire interview here.


Filed under: Terrorism
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