- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 29, 2009


The U.S. ambassador to India on Wednesday praised the FBI for foiling a terrorist plot that targeted India and also targeted a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that offended many Muslims.

“We congratulate our law enforcement agencies on this important breakthrough in the fight against terrorism that challenges both the United States and India,” Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer told reporters in New Delhi.

“Radical extremists plotting attacks are a common threat demanding a shared solution, close cooperation and bold resolve.”

The FBI on Tuesday announced the arrests of David Coleman Headley, a 49-year-old U.S. citizen, and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a 48-year-old Canadian, in Chicago earlier this month. Authorities kept the initial arrests secret because of an ongoing investigation.

News reports Tuesday said they planned to attack the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, which published a cartoons of the prophet, including one with a bomb as a turban, in 2005. Mr. Roemer indicated that the plot also involved targets in India.

The Indo-Asian News Service reported that the plot included plans to coordinate attacks on India with Pakistanis associated with the terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Taiba. U.S. officials added that the plot also involved Harakut-ul Jihad Islami, a terrorist group linked to al Qaeda.

Mr. Roemer also applauded coordinated anti-terrorist efforts by U.S. and Indian authorities.

“We salute the strong and ongoing efforts between our two governments and the peoples of our nations in this global fight,” Mr. Roemer said.

“Together, our great democracies stand committed to bringing terrorists to justice and will press forward aggressively until this goal is accomplished.”

Meanwhile, in Lebanon on Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador Michele Sison denounced the latest Palestinian rocket attack on Israel and insisted that Lebanese officials extend its control of the country into the southern stronghold of Hezbollah terrorists.

The attack “highlights the urgent need to extend the state’s control over all of Lebanon’s territory,” the ambassador said. Tuesday’s attack caused no damage or injuries.


Ambassadors from several Arab countries - including Sameh Hassan Shoukry of Egypt, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al Hussein of Jordan and Aziz Mekouar of Morocco - attended the first “gala dinner” Tuesday night of J Street, a new political organization of American Jews that bills itself as both pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian.

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren was not among the crowd of more than 1,500 people at the Grand Hyatt hotel. Mr. Oren last week said he would not attend J Street’s first conference because of objections to some of its positions, which include opposition to immediate new sanctions on Iran.

White House National Security Adviser James L. Jones addressed the group earlier Tuesday.

That evening, J Street’s executive director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, told the crowd that the 18-month-old group appreciated the controversy and “couldn’t have asked for a better or more exciting introduction to the Washington stage.”

He said American Jews “can be pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian, pro-peace and pro-democracy.” Without mentioning by name the American Israel Public Affairs Committee - a veteran pro-Israel lobby known for more hawkish views - Mr. Ben-Ami said that “for too long” other opinions in the Jewish community had not been expressed.

“The majority will be silent no more,” he said.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@ washingtontimes.com.

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