Ethiopian arrested in No. Virginia this morning in possible terror plot

Update June 24th:  Read New English Review for an update on the Marine charged in a jihadist plot, here.

This is a breaking story in the Washington, DC area today.

Update:  Alleged terror plotter a former Marine, here.  (At 22, he sure got in and out of the Marines fast?)

From MYFoxDC:

ARLINGTON, Va. – A man was in custody Friday after a major security alert outside the Pentagon.

The incident began when a man — believed to be a naturalized US citizen who came to the US from Ethiopia — was found in the nearby Arlington National Cemetery overnight Thursday. The man was arrested at the scene.
US Park Police then searched for the man’s vehicle. A short time later, a car was located near the Pentagon.

Several roads near the Pentagon were blocked off as law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the US Park Police, and the Pentagon Police rushed to the scene. A Pentagon Police spokesman said that an explosives team was also called in to investigate the vehicle.

Authorities reportedly found al Qaeda-related statements, a backpack initially believed to contain ammonium nitrate, and spent 9mm shells at the scene, ABC’s “Good Morning America” reported.

A notebook containing words including “al Qaeda” and Taliban” was found at the scene, FOX News Channel reported.

ABC News is reporting that the man’s name is Yonathan Melaku, 22 of Alexandria, VA.

If you thought all Ethiopians were Christians and therefore not likely to be terrorists, then you are wrong.  Ethiopia is approximately 34% Muslim, here.  And, I was interested to see that the Oromo who are now arriving in meatpacking towns like Garden City, Kansas are Muslim.

If you are a new reader, the Ethiopian Community Development Council located in Arlington, VA is one of the top federal refugee contractors and responsible for many Ethiopian immigrants in Northern Virginia.    As a matter of fact, I once heard they were operating in Maryland and ran into some sort of problem and no longer resettle refugees in Maryland.

Melaku is likely a former refugee or asylee.   Just a reminder that Open Borders activists are moaning about increased security screening slowing the flow of refugees to American.  Earlier this month we had two Iraqi refugees arrested on terror charges in Kentucky, here.

In addition, we recently told you about another Ethiopian former refugee on trial for murder in Northern Virginia here.

Somali ‘how-to’ guide on cheating one’s way into the UK; unrelated (?) London hotel bomb plot?

Reporter Kassim Mohammed writing at the Nairobi Star gives us a peek into how a Somali who wishes to get to the UK and ask for asylum (because it’s supposedly easier there to be granted asylum than, in say, the Netherlands) can buy a fake passport and be in London in a flash.

Readers should know that when seeking asylum, the asylum seeker is supposed to request asylum in the first country in which he or she arrives.

So, for instance those Somalis who travel across the world with many stops (including Cuba, South American and Central American countries and Mexico) and arrive on our US border and ask for asylum are really not eligible for asylum.  But, some cheating American asylum lawyer is waiting to help them get into the US anyway!  See one of many posts I’ve written on Somalis and the US borders, here.

This article from the Nairobi Star explains that for Somalis or other Muslim illegal aliens who pass through the Netherlands they do not want to request asylum there and thus cheat the system and buy a phony passport to move on to England.

From the Nairobi Star (published at

The UN says you must keep your Somalis! No sending them back to Africa!

Somalia is mired in a seemingly unending armed conflict between the Transitional Federal Government and Al Shabaab fighters. Mortar and rocket fire that the two warring factions exchange lead to casualties and the common man bears the brunt.

Taking note of this grim reality, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has issued guidelines requesting host countries not to return any Somali seeking asylum to Southern and Central Somalia.


Under the European Union’s Dublin II regulations, the country where a person first entered the EU is generally held responsible for examining that person’s asylum claim.

This it appears is great on paper. Some of the Somali refugees who hear of the fate of their countrymen living on the streets opt out of the asylum process.

So instead of asking for asylum in the Netherlands, here is how they move on to London!

Ali Mohamed, 25, came to Rotterdam, The Netherlands, from Italy in April and decided not identify himself to authorities but use unorthodox means to get his way to the United Kingdom. “I heard that the Netherlands is not a good place to seek asylum. I don’t want to live on the streets. I will try my luck in London,” Ali said.

Ali was informed of Dutch passports for sale in Den Haag (The Hague). In the presence of the Star reporter, Ali was told by an Ethiopian man in the Dutch administrative capital to bring a passport size photograph to identify a passport that resembles him. Within five days, Ali managed to pocket a Dutch passport for 1,000 Euros (Sh126,000).

“I called several of my relatives in Canada and Norway who each sent me some money and I managed to raise the amount. I know it’s a bad thing but I am not planning to harm anyone, I just want a better life since my home country is uninhabitable,” Ali remarks while keenly looking at the photo attached to the passport.

Ali will now have to send back the passport after his arrival in his final destination- London. He went through Callais, France, and crossed the border into the United Kingdom. Immigration officials on both sides of the border didn’t notice any abnormally.

Keeping his promise to inform the Star on his progress of seeking asylum, Ali called after 17 days. “I am so happy. I have been accepted as a refugee here in the UK and all is well. I have also managed to send back the passport to the person who sold it to me. I hope it reaches him safely.”

Read it all.

Changing the subject—sort of!

Today we learned that there is a Somali terror plot to create a Mumbai-style attack on a London hotel.

Just today we learned that the now dead mastermind of the embassy bombing in Kenya, killed in Somalia a few days ago, had on him a plan to create a Mumbai-style attack on a London hotel.

From Fox News:

Federal authorities are warning hotels in major U.S. cities to be vigilant after intelligence recently obtained in Somalia shows Al Qaeda was planning to launch a “Mumbai-style” attack on an upscale hotel in London, England, Fox News has learned exclusively.

The intelligence came from computer accessories and other materials gathered at the checkpoint in Mogadishu where Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the Al Qaeda operative who masterminded the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa, was killed Saturday, according to sources.

Al Qaeda was working on what one senior U.S. intelligence official described as an “aspirational” – but possibly operational – plot to target the Ritz Carlton hotel in London. As part of the plot, operatives would stay in strategically chosen rooms on the first floor of the hotel, and then they would set their rooms ablaze in hopes of trapping guests on the floors above.

But you can’t send them back—the UN says so!