FBI foils murder plot on journalist Abebe Gellaw
Updated January 9, 2013
The Ethiopian Satellite TV (ESAT) said on Tuesday the suspects were under FBI investigation.
Goosh Abera (ጉዕሽ አበራ), who is staying in the US after seeking a political asylum and yet is an alleged spy for the TPLF ruling party in Ethiopia, was cited in the ESAT report as ring leader of a group of four in the assassination attempt on the life of one of Ethiopia's most prominent journalists based in the US.
The assassination was to be carried out when Abebe Gellaw would have travelled to Boston, MA, last December for an ESAT fund-raising event.
Boston FBI spokesman Greg Comcowich said he wouldn't go into details but noted that the FBI takes such type of crimes seriously, and called on Ethiopians in the US to report to local FBI Bureaus whenever they spot spies who work for foreign governments.
Dr Gregory Stanton, president of Genocide Watch and a staunch human rights defender well acquainted with the conditions in Ethiopia, said TPLF's attempt to commit a crime in the United States was a matter of serious concern that should lead to recognizing the organization as terrorist.
The FBI has secured messages that the alleged assassins were exchanging to carry out the murder.
The Historic Act: May 18, 2012
Abebe Gellaw, an award-winning journalist on May 18 struck Prime Minister Meles Zenawi like a lightning by raining down deafening chants that condemned the long time dictator.
Once struck, Meles drooped his head over his slumped body at a high-level Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security opened by none other than US President Barack Obama.
Obama had left but senior US officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were there when Abebe committed the act at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C.
The heroic act triggered an immediate celebration within the Ethiopian Diaspora on the one hand, and anger and resentment in the Meles Camp whose security agents made death threats against Abebe Gellaw.
Meles was ironically lecturing about food security when Abebe, the independent satellite TV (ESAT) program host and producer, brought the sky crushing down on Meles, telling the startled audience "Freedom before food!"
Abebe chanted many times with a defeaning voice: "Meles Zenawi is a dictator! Free Eskinder Nega! Free Political Prisoners! Food is nothing without freedom! Meles has committed crimes against humanity! We Need freedom! Freedom! Freedom!" His voice was so powerful everyone followed the brief scene with utter surprise and silence.
Meles has never been humiliated from such proximity as he lives surrounded by an army of gun-totting security guards that keep civilians at bay.
"By humiliating Meles with such patriotic act," one analyst said, " I think Abebe has broken the ice, and more acts of patriotism would haunt the dictator till his final days in power."
Abebe was escorted away by police officers he described as very respectful and understanding.
But a nearby Meles security guard threatened Abebe, "We will kill you!" Abebe told police that one of the security guards of Meles had threatened him with death.
An act reserved only for the hero, Abebe's action speaks volumes about the political repression and frustration that has engulfed Ethiopia for over two decades.
Abebe first challenged Meles Zenawi at a World Economic Forum in May 2010 in Tanzania, when he grabbed the mike and asked a lecturing Meles why was then Ethiopia starving under his rule?
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