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September 22nd, 2009
03:15 PM ET
September 22nd, 2009
01:53 PM ET

Unclassified Documents: Terrorists still focused on luxury hotels

Najibullah Zazi is accused of making false statements to officials about an alleged bomb plot in the United States.

Najibullah Zazi is accused of making false statements to officials about an alleged bomb plot in the United States.

The U.S Department of Homeland Security

Investigators are focusing on about a dozen more people in connection with a wide-ranging terror investigation that has netted arrests in Colorado and New York City, a source familiar with the investigation said Tuesday.

Federal agents arrested three men late Saturday in connection with what the Justice Department has said was a plot to detonate bombs in the United States.

Najibullah Zazi, his father Mohammed Wali Zazi and Muslim cleric Ahmad Wais Afzali are charged with lying to federal agents.

All three suspects are originally from Afghanistan. Mohammed Wali Zazi is a naturalized U.S. citizen, while Afzali and Najibullah Zazi are permanent legal residents. If convicted, each could face eight years in prison.

The Department of Homeland Security released this unclassified report that suggests terrorists are still focused on luxury hotels. Read it here.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Terrorism
September 22nd, 2009
01:34 PM ET

Unclassified Document: Potential security threats to sports and entertainment venues

A lawyer for Najibullah Zazi disputes claims that bomb-making plans were found on his client's computer.

A lawyer for Najibullah Zazi disputes claims that bomb-making plans were found on his client's computer.

The U.S Department of Homeland Security

Investigators are focusing on about a dozen more people in connection with a wide-ranging terror investigation that has netted arrests in Colorado and New York City, a source familiar with the investigation said Tuesday.

Federal agents arrested three men late Saturday in connection with what the Justice Department has said was a plot to detonate bombs in the United States.

Najibullah Zazi, his father Mohammed Wali Zazi and Muslim cleric Ahmad Wais Afzali are charged with lying to federal agents.

All three suspects are originally from Afghanistan. Mohammed Wali Zazi is a naturalized U.S. citizen, while Afzali and Najibullah Zazi are permanent legal residents. If convicted, each could face eight years in prison.

The Department of Homeland Security released this unclassified report about potential security threats to popular sport and entertainment venues.CIP (FOUO) Notice 61-09 Potential Threat to Popular Sport and Entertainment Venues


Filed under: 360° Radar • Terrorism
September 22nd, 2009
01:05 PM ET

Social networks: A niche for the voiceless

Octavia Nasr | BIO
AC360° Contributor
CNN Senior Editor, Mideast Affairs

A Muslim call to prayer can now be accessed any time and anywhere thanks to social media networks such as Facebook and You Tube.

Across the world, Muslims are creating online communities to discuss and promote their religion. At the same time, this open discussion is exposing and highlighting issues and concerns considered taboo within Islam and the cultures in which they live.

Syrian blogger Ammar Abdel Hamid sees Facebook as a niche for the otherwise voiceless. “The internet came and gave an opportunity for activists for new voices for young people, for democracy promoters, for human rights activists' he says.

In the Arab world, gays and lesbians are taking to the internet to mingle with like-minded people and promote tolerance and understanding. This is especially significant because in their culture they are mainly rejected and still referred to in derogatory terms.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • Arab Affairs • Octavia Nasr • Technology
September 22nd, 2009
11:44 AM ET

World should shun Iran leader

Akbar Ganji
Special to CNN

This week world leaders will gather in New York for the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. While Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be among them, Iranians reject his claim to leadership. They strongly oppose any meeting or recognition of Ahmadinejad, especially by President Obama.

The pro-democracy movement in Iran today unanimously believes that he enjoys his current position because he was "reappointed" president after stealing several million votes in June 12 presidential election.

Popular protests against this state of affairs have been met with bullets from the Iranian regime. Thousands were arrested and dozens were killed. Opposition supporters have been tortured in jail and credible reports of rape have surfaced.

In recent years the Western media has not focused on the systematic human rights violations in Iran but rather on Iran's nuclear ambitions and Ahmadinejad's rhetoric toward Israel and the Nazi Holocaust. Iranians are deeply upset by the general inattentiveness of the media and world leaders to their political protests.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Global 360° • Iran
September 22nd, 2009
10:15 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Obama on the world stage

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

It’s a busy day at the United Nations today. President Barack Obama is on the world stage and will hold his first three-way summit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. What kind of progress does Obama expect to make in this trilateral meeting? Will his approach be different than that of his predecessors?

Obama will also address the UN’s Climate Change Summit and will be joined by Chinese President Hu Jintao. Both China and the U.S. are the two biggest emitters of the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming and many people believe that participation by both is essential for progress on climate change. But they remain at odds, however, over the level of China’s responsibility for carbon cuts. China may announce a plan to reduce its carbon emissions. Is the Obama administration going to set any goals or make any changes as well? Given the economic challenges, is this still a priority for the U.S.?

And we’re following developments on the terror plot. Najibullah Zazi allegedly told federal agents that he had received weapons and explosives training in an area of Pakistan with ties to al-Qaeda. Zazi and his father – who both live in Denver – and a Queens imam, have been charged with criminal offenses. It turns out federal authorities have tied as many as a dozen people to the suspected al-Qaeda linked bomb plot on U.S. soil and more arrests are expected. We’ll have the latest details on the investigation tonight.

FULL POST


Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
September 22nd, 2009
10:09 AM ET

Update: Flooding in Atlanta

David Mattingly | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

It doesn’t look like it in this photograph but the water is moving enough to make it hard for me to keep my footing. These muddy waters are very deceptive. Some of the deaths in Georgia are the result of people being swept away as they attempted to drive through flood waters.

There’s more rain in the Atlanta forecast today making it less likely to see the water retreat.

More from David Mattingly on AC360° tonight at 10 p.m. ET.


Filed under: David Mattingly • Weather
September 22nd, 2009
08:46 AM ET

Dear President Obama #246: Should I stay or should I go?

Reporter's Note: President Obama ran on, among other things, a pledge to refocus America’s military to take on a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan. Now, however, troubles in that country are making the equation as tough as a pop quiz in algebra. Thank goodness I’m staying away from the calculators, and just working on my English lessons…with a letter a day to the White House.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, right, arrives at a U.S. base in Logar Province, Afghanistan, last month.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, right, arrives at a U.S. base in Logar Province, Afghanistan, last month.

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

The mix of politics and military power has always been like my third cousin’s wedding when he was on parole: Tricky at best. (Just kidding…he was never paroled. Ha!) When modern folks bandy about that old quote, “Speak softly and carry a big stick,” the big stick can be a ballistic missile. Which, I think, must be making your job particularly tough this week.

Here we are with the latest assessment from General Stanley McChrystal saying, in effect, we’ve been in Afghanistan for eight years, we’ve lost more than 800 American troops, and now we need another new plan; one that focuses more on building the Afghans up rather than hunting the Taliban down. One that would give the Afghans a working economy, a functional infrastructure, and a sound, well-financed military so they can finally defend own interests.

I talked with some pretty knowledgeable folks about this and they all seemed to agree on two things. First, that this course of action would require committing a lot of our people for a long time to send an unambiguous message to the Taliban and all their pals: We are here to support the Afghan people in the formation of a working and stable democratic government. We will spend as much money and time as it takes. We’ve not leaving.

FULL POST

September 22nd, 2009
07:54 AM ET
September 22nd, 2009
06:59 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 9/21/09

Editor's Note: While Monday night’s AC360° drew response from viewers who were intrigued by the panel discussing the current turmoil in Afghanistan, response was dominated by feedback from those who feel that in the midst of new information on John Edwards and his mistress, his wife Elizabeth deserves respect. We heard from many who feel this story should not be in mainstream media primarily for the sake of Elizabeth. Do you agree? See some of the comments below and tell us your opinion:

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Wow, Peter Bergen, Michael Ware, AND Rory Stewart on the panel? Good job, Anderson. They're the most knowledgeable people around….

…Let the John Edwards Story go. Those involved have suffered enough and it is very disturbing to have their personal lives and problems constantly in the news. He is no longer a Candidate; Elizabeth is suffering something terrible and why visit more stories to hurt her even more….

…All your media should keep your mouths shut and your stories on ice and let the truly innocent one, Elizabeth Edwards, live the rest of her life in dignity and at least the illusion that her husband is supporting her through these last difficult times. There is nothing to be gained by the story you are doing now. Whatever 'could have been' it did not happen and those shameful people, John and his mistress, can be exposed when Elizabeth is a peace. But I don't suppose any of you will have the decency and honor to ban the story.


Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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