Internet Ties Link U.S. Terror Cells

home-grown terror u.s. bob orr

An ex-commando, working undercover for the FBI, took photographs as aspiring terrorists plotted to carry out attacks against U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

They trained with weapons and learned how to make suicide vests.

Only this didn't happen in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan. This training played out in Toledo, Ohio, and involved three Americans drawn to the call of Jihad, CBS News justice and homeland security correspondent Bob Orr reports.

While these radicals have now been convicted, CBS News has learned e-mails and phone calls connect the Toledo cell to terror suspects in at least three other North American cities - and to a notorious al Qaeda operative.

"Its important that we just don't look at cells in isolation, we look at their connectivity to each other," said CBS News homeland security consultant Paul Kurtz.

Here's how this radical web was spun.

The Toledo trio was in frequent contact with two Chicago men who are now charged with plotting attacks of their own.

Those Chicago suspects in turn communicated with two college-age students in Atlanta, sending e-mails asking them to "come and see our preparation..." for violent Jihad.

That preparation, the government charges, was conspiring with a Canadian terror cell to bomb Toronto landmarks.

And it all connected through the Internet, and to a shadowy al Qaeda webmaster known as Irhabi 007.

When police raided 007's London flat in 2005 they found among the evidence a video showing security at the U.S. Capitol, fuel tanks and other targets in Washington. The video was shot by the Atlanta suspects.

None of these plots came close to working - all were infiltrated and busted.

But, the connections suggest there is an active network of support for homegrown radicals looking to do us harm.