In the Name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful
On Tuesday April 12, 2005 three British nationals were indicted on U.S. terrorism charges. A federal grand jury in New York returned a four-count indictment against Dhiren Barot, Nadeem Tarmohamed, and Qaisar Shaffi, charing them with carrying out surveillance of the New York Stock Exchange, Citigroup Centere, the Prudential Corporate Plaza in Newark, and the IMF and World Bank in Washington between August 2000 and April 2001. The indictment alleges that they planed to use bombs and improvised explosive devices. These charges are in addition to the ones made against them in Britain, and it was in Britain, in fact, where the three men were arrested back in August 2004.
U.S. officials said that they wanted to send a message to terrorists that: “[if] you come here, you do this type of surveillance, we’re not going to forget.” Those were the words of New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at a news conference on April 12. It was this surveillance that lead to the raising of the terrorist threat in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Newark, N.J. from “high” to “elevated” last August 1, 2004. Even though the surveillance was conducted three years before the threat level was elevated, Deputy Attorney General James Comey insisted that “the conspiracy was alive and kicking up to August 2004.”
The three men are scheduled to go on trial in Britain in January, and it is not clear if they will eventually be extradited to the United States to face trial here. We’ll have to wait and see. Frankly, if what is alleged in the indictment is true, then I thank God Almighty they were caught. Had they been able to carry out their diabolical plan, more innocent people would have been maimed and murdered, and the financial well being of millions, perhaps, would have faced serious jeopardy. Thank God they were caught.
This case highlights the nature of our enemy. They are very patient, willing to spend years in quiet surveillance of their potential targets. Thank God these three men were caught, and I pray that, if others are planning attacks against us now, they are caught and charged as well. But for now, thank God they were caught…thank God they were caught.
Video broadcast by Al Jazeera television has shown footage of Northern Indiana businessman Jeffrey Ake, kidnapped in Iraq by unknown assailants. Mr. Ake is a 47 year-old CEO of a company called Equipment Express, and he hails from LaPorte, IN. His family has not commented about the kidnapping, and LaPorte Police Chief David Gariepy asked the people of LaPorte to “hope and pray and wait.” Well, let me join in that hoping, and praying, and waiting.
Lord God, I pray that Mr. Ake is released swiftly and that You protect him from any harm. These ugly people who kidnapped him may be claiming to act in Your Most Holy Name, but I know that they defile Your Most Holy Presence by their wickedness. As we all wait and see what the outcome of this terrible situation will bring, I pray that You send down Your Strength and Grace upon his terribly worried family. They need You now more than ever. In Your Most Holy Name I ask these things, O Lord. Amen.