The arrest of a slew of terrorist suspects in Britain and associated members of their group in Pakistan, along with the ongoing crisis in Southern Lebanon, has overshadowed a worldwide rash of terrorism-related arrests in the last few days.
One of the most significant is the arrest of 40 terrorism suspects in Italy associated with the terrorist group Lashkar e Toiba, which operates mostly in the Kashmir region of India. The arrests are related to the highly publicized arrest of 24 Pakistanis in Britain and several more in India earlier in the week. These arrests may lead to hundreds more as the full extent of the complex funding and communications network associated with this terror group is investigated.
On Friday police arrested three men of Pakistani origins in Michigan and on Tuesday another two were arrested in Ohio, all on charges associated with suspected terrorism and a possible plot to blow up the Mackinac Bridge. Both cases involve the purchase of enormous numbers of TracFones, many of them at WalMart stores. The purchases aroused suspicion and led to an investigation. Charges for money-laundering and acquiring materials for use in acts of terror are expected to be filed. The Michigan group had over 600 TracFones and the Ohio group had over 1000.
In addition nine out of the eleven missing Egyptian exchange students who failed to show up for class earlier this month at Montana State University have also been arrested and will be deported on visa violations. They do not face any terrorism charges, but they will be deported and returned to Egypt.
The anniversary of the World Trade Center attack is rapidly approaching, and Al Qaeda-associated groups around the world have now had time to marshall their resources for another round of attacks, so we can expect that this is just the beginning of a long, hot fall. The good news is that so far we're hearing mostly about arrests rather than successful attacks.