01 May 07. Pressure grows for a 7/7 inquiry. Survivors and relatives of victims of the 7 July attacks are stepping up the pressure for a public inquiry into MI5’s handling of intelligence. On Monday it emerged at the end of a year-long terror trial that MI5 had two of the 7 July bombers under surveillance a year before the attacks. Ministers are opposed to an inquiry but a parliamentary committee will consider why the bombers were not picked up. Those affected by the 2005 attacks have delivered a letter to the Home Office. The document, requesting an “impartial public inquiry”, was handed to an official from the department. It all depends on the situation … everybody wants to go to the front, everybody wants to fight. (Source: BBC)
27 Apr 07. US holds ‘senior al-Qaeda figure’. Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi has been taken to Guantanamo Bay. The US says it has arrested one of al-Qaeda’s highest-ranking operatives, as he was on his way home to Iraq to plan future attacks. The Pentagon said Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi was now in Guantanamo Bay. He had been going to Iraq to take over al-Qaeda operations and possibly plot attacks on Western interests, it said. He was accused of commanding attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan, and of involvement in plots to assassinate Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Pakistani Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao described the arrest as a “welcome development”. ‘He is associated with leaders of extremist groups allied with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and including the Taleban,’ Pentagon spokesman. An Afghan defence ministry spokesman said it was “a major success” that would “help to get to the high-ranking terrorist network figures and… have a deeply negative effect on the network”. According to information about him provided by the Pentagon, Mr Hadi was a key paramilitary commander in Afghanistan during the late 1990s, before taking charge of cross-border attacks against US and coalition troops from 2002 to 2004. A US intelligence source told the BBC he was arrested late last year in an operation which involved the CIA. It was not clear where he was detained, or where he has been held since. (Source: BBC)
30 Apr 07. BAE Systems’ First InterComm” first-responder interoperable communications system has received SAFETY Act designation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a qualified anti-terrorism technology. First InterComm enables first responders to interoperate using their existing radios and frequencies. The low-cost, vehicle-mounted units link all of the radios at an incident scene without costly towers or other infrastructure. The system also allows the creation of “talk groups” to eliminate distractions resulting from too many people talking on the radio at the same time. Using First InterComm, an incident commander can maintain communication with all first responders while designating which agencies to isolate into talk groups. (Source: ASD Network)
02 May 07. Lockheed Martin has placed an order to purchase another five (5) EADS CASA HC-235A for the U.S. Coast Guard’s Deepwater Program. These aircraft will be delivered to Lockheed Martin through year 2008. With these five, the number of aircraft ordered to date is eight (8). The Coast Guard program plan includes up to thirty six (36) aircraft. First delivery to Lockheed Martin took place on December 6, 2006, at EADS CASA facilities in Seville. (Source: ASD Network)
30 Apr 07. A secret National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) dual-satellite ocean surveillance mission to track potential terrorist movements at sea and monitor Chinese and Iranian ship tactics is being readied for liftoff June 14 from Cape Canaveral on an Atlas V, intelligence sources tell Aviation Week.
The National Ocean Surveillance System (NOSS) flight is designated NRO L-30. The importance of NRO’s space ocean surveillance role in connection with the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard has been elevated since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.