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Terrorist suspects plot to set wildfire in California
Latest Updated by 2006-07-11 09:02:43
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Terrorist suspects, who plotted to bomb train tunnels in New York, also planned to set a wildfire in California, a newspaper report said on Monday.

The mastermind, Assem Hammoud, who is now in custody, discussed the idea with a number of co-conspirators, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The report said U.S. and Lebanese officials discovered the plot by monitoring the conspirators' e-mail traffic on a website used by Islamic militants, and by scouring Hammoud's computer and his Beirut home and office after his arrest April 27.

"There have been suggestions that this was a lot further along than it was," the paper quoted one U.S. intelligence official as saying, referring to earlier reports that the suspects only plotted to bomb New York tunnels.

No evidence, however, indicated that the alleged co-conspirators were about to enter an operational phase - as some U.S. and Lebanese authorities have said in recent days - or that they had even decided to go forward with the plot, U.S. intelligence officials were quoted as saying.

Hammoud and as many as seven other accomplices were only on the stage of still searching for ways to strike the United States when the plot was disrupted, the report said.

Hammoud, 31, has been charged in Lebanon with being mastermind of the plot. He has reportedly confessed to the plot and to pledging an oath of allegiance to Al Qaida.

Two other men are being held in undisclosed locations overseas, and authorities have linked five others to the alleged plot.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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