Suspected Ringleader of Terror Cell in Yemen
By Mark Scott & Eileen Buckley
Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo News is reporting that a former Lackawanna man is the suspected ringleader of the alleged terror cell that's was broken up over the weekend.
The newspaper -- quoting unnamed sources in Tuesday's editions -- identifies the man as Kamal Derwish, 29. The News reports that police sources say Derwish is the prime suspect as the organizer and leader of the so-called "sleeper cell."
Six other suspects from Lackawanna are in custody after being charged with aiding terrorist organizations.
Two others remain at large. Derwish is one of the men still being sought.
Tuesday morning on NBC's "Today" show, the agent in charge of the FBI's Buffalo office said the two men are in Yemen.
All eight suspects are accused of taking part in terrorist training at an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan last year.
The six suspects in custody in Western New York are due back in federal court Wednesday.
Ahearn disclosed Monday that agents had discovered three guns in their search of suspects' homes last Friday.
Ahearn said one of the weapons was a stun gun while the other two were "ordinary" guns. He said there was no evidence of any bomb-making capability at any of the locations agents searched.
Ahearn also sent a warning out to people who may be tempted to retaliate against Arab-Americans.
"We have a zero tolerance (policy) when it comes to any kind of threats or any kind of action against people in this community," Ahearn said. "We've had no incidents since 9/11. I don't expect any. But I can guarantee the Muslim community that we will be on that very quickly."
Also Monday, Governor George Pataki met with leaders of the Muslim community in Lackawanna. Click the "listen" icon above to hear Eileen Buckley's report.