Sting operations thwarted terror bomb plots across America, says FBI
Tim Reid in Washington
A series of undercover sting operations in the US has resulted in arrests in four unrelated terror bomb plots across America, raising concerns of another attack on US soil.
While the FBI continues to question Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan-born Denver resident accused of plotting the biggest terror attack since the September 11 atrocity, arrests were also made in Illinois and Dallas, and an investigation was widened in North Carolina.
A 19-year-old Jordanian, Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, was arrested after allegedly placing what he thought was a bomb at a Dallas skyscraper. The decoy device was provided by an undercover FBI agent.
In Springfield, Illinois, Michael Finton, 29, was arrested after allegedly trying to detonate what he thought was a bomb outside a federal courthouse. The FBI had infiltrated the plot months ago.
Mr Zazi is accused of planning to make bombs similar to those used in the July 7 attacks in London, and has been charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. Close-circuit video footage emerged yesterday allegedly showing him buying hydrogen peroxide — a key ingredient in such bombs — from beauty supply shops in the Denver area.
Two North Carolina men under arrest since July on international terrorism charges have also been accused of plotting to kill US military personnel in America.