US terror plots: Zazi charged, man accused of plan to attack Marine base

Daniel Boyd was accused Thursday of planning to attack a Marine base in Quantico, Va. Two others were arrested on charges of plotting separate bomb attacks.

Police arrested two men in separate incidents Thursday on charges of plotting bomb attacks in Springfield, Ill., and Dallas, and charged a third with planning to attack a US Marine base – all on the same day Afghan immigrant Najibullah Zazi was charged with planning one of the most serious bomb attacks on American soil since 9/11.

The rapid succession of arrests and charges underscores the continuing threat of domestic terrorism.

Authorities in Texas arrested a Jordanian man, Maher Husein Smadi, and charged him with planning to blow up an office building in Dallas. Police had put Mr. Smadi under surveillance, and an undercover FBI agent had given him a fake car bomb, according to the prosecutor.

Police in Illinois charged Michael Finton with plotting to blow up a courthouse in Springfield, the state capital. According to government officials, he could face a life sentence if convicted.

Neither of the arrests are related to the ongoing investigation surrounding Mr. Zazi in New York and Colorado, according to Bloomberg.

The Los Angeles Times adds that Mr. Finton was a convert to an extremist form of Islam and a self-professed supporter of Al Qaeda.

The FBI had a drug informant become friendly with Finton, according to the complaint. The informant told agents that Finton had talked about wanting to get terror training and to fight in Gaza against the Israelis. Agents then worked to set up an "opportunity for action that we controlled," began recording encounters with him and put him in touch with an undercover agent who told Finton he was an Al Qaeda operative.

Meanwhile, the FBI also issued a new indictment against Daniel Boyd, an American convert to extremist Islam who had already been charged with planning to “wage holy war overseas.” The new charge accused him of planning to attack a US Marine base in Quantico, Va., according to CNN. It also charges him with “possession of weapons in furtherance of a crime of violence [and] of providing a rifle and ammunition to a convicted felon.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says the incidents are a wakeup call, reports ABC News:

Special Agent in Charge Casey said, "This case serves as a reminder of the continuing threats of terrorism we face as a nation and the FBI's resolve to meet those threats.”

News of these arrests came as Mr. Zazi, an Afghanistan-born immigrant living in Colorado, was charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, the Associated Press reports.

One analyst has called Zazi’s case “one of the most serious terrorist bomb plots developed in the United States,” according to The New York Times.

Zazi is alleged to have been trained in Pakistan, the Christian Science Monitor reported recently.

When Zazi returned to Denver he voluntarily submitted to questioning and, according to law enforcement sources, admitted to receiving training at an Al Qaeda camp in Pakistan, where his wife and children live.
Zazi maintains his innocence and has denied any involvement in a terrorist plot.
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