Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Oprah Winfrey | Sears Towers | Judicial Watch | plot

Answers Sought in Alleged 2009 Plot Targeting Oprah Winfrey

By    |   Monday, 01 December 2014 12:58 PM

Two men who had allegedly planned to target Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Studios in Chicago and the then-Sears Tower in 2009 were recently arrested for unrelated charges, reports Judicial Watch.

The FBI and the Department of Justice has not returned calls about the alleged bombing plot, reports the advocacy group,  which says Winfrey was targeted because of her wealth and popularity, and the tower, which has since been renamed Willis Tower, because of its landmark status.

Judicial Watch said its sources requested to remain anonymous not only because of their fear of terror groups, but because they were concerned about reprisals from federal law enforcement agents who improperly managed the terrorism case.

The two alleged plotters were Emad Karakrah and Hector Pedrosa Huerta, both based in El Paso, Texas, claims Judicial Watch, and are longtime friends who are now behind bars for state crimes.

Karakrah is in the Cook County, Ill., jail after being charged with making a bomb threat after he lead police on a high-speed chase through Chicago on Aug. 28, with an Islamic State (ISIS) flag waving from his car.

On Nov. 17, Karakrah sought a plea bargain conference, but his public defender said she was waiting for discovery documents, while an assistant state's attorney said she needed "an FBI report," and his case has been continued until Dec. 3. He is not facing federal terrorism charges.

Huerta, meanwhile, is an illegal immigrant being held in the El Paso County Jail for an August arrest for driving while under the influence. The federal government has charged him for the third time in five years with the charge of "re-entry of a deported alien" and a federal judge ordered him held without bond on Aug. 19.

But within weeks, Huerta pleaded not guilty to the immigration charge, and changed that plea to guilty on Oct. 9, and will be sentenced on Dec. 16 for the immigration charge.

However, like Karakrah, he has not been charged in the alleged Chicago plot, Judicial Watch reports.

There are several others who were allegedly involved in the Chicago terror attack plan, Judicial Watch reports, including: "Omar," a taxi driver in his late 50s to early 60s, who had interest in a used car dealership and a gas station in El Paso; and two men on the FBI's "most wanted" list, Jaber A. Elbaneh and Adnan Gulshair el Shukrijumah, along with other conspirators.

According to sources, the plot involved the use of a U-Haul trailer and step van that were bought at an El Paso auction and packed with bombs containing the explosive C-4 and Tannerite, an explosive that can be detonated by a firearms cartridge.

The explosives were obtained from Fort Bliss in El Paso, and the Tannerite came in from Mexico, officials say.

Federal law enforcement and Illinois police stopped the bombers before they got to Chicago, Judicial Watch reports, and after, two other failed bomb plots were foiled for Chicago and Tampa.

And while the FBI took credit for stopping those plans, it has never released the information about the Oprah plot in Chicago, reports Judicial Watch, or explained why two of the alleged plotters are in county jails and facing lower charges.

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Two men who had allegedly planned to target Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Studios in Chicago and the then-Sears Tower in 2009 were recently arrested for unrelated charges, reports Judicial Watch.
Oprah Winfrey, Sears Towers, Judicial Watch, plot
Monday, 01 December 2014 12:58 PM
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