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Archive for April 23rd, 2010

Sarah Palin Testifies in Federal Hacker Case in Tenn.

Man Who Admits Role in NY Subway Bombing Plot Blames America and Jews- Prosecutor Says al Qaeda Ordered Bombing

subway-photo-istock
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A co-conspirator in the aborted plot to blow up of the New York subway during rush hour pleaded guilty Friday in Brooklyn federal court. He warned America to stop fighting Islam and blamed the Jews, the New York Daily News reported.

At the same time, a prosecutor said in court that the conspirators in the plot had met with two senior Qaeda leaders in Waziristan, Pakistan, who ordered the attack, according to the New York Times.

Terror suspect Zarein Ahmedzay, who pleaded guilty Friday,  told the federal judge, according to the Daily News : “Your honor, I strongly urge the American people to stop supporting the war against Islam. It would be in their interest.”

“I’m thankful for myself that I did not do anything to harm anyone. But I fear someone else might do the same.”

He then went on to say that the “real enemy of this country are the ones destroying the country from within…I believe it’s a special group – Zionist Jews, I believe, who want a permanent shadow government.”

Ahmedzay, Najibullah Zazi and Adis Medunjanin were charged with plotting to carry out the subway bombings. A fourth person was recently arrested in the case in Pakistan, the Daily News reported.

Gordon Snow To Head FBI’s Cyber Security Division

Gordon Snow/ fbi photo
Gordon Snow/ fbi photo
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Gordon M. Snow, a Detroit native, gets a bump up, going from deputy assistant director of the agency’s Cyber Division to assistant director of the division, which protects U.S. from cyber attacks and high tech crimes.

“The FBI considers the cyber threat against our nation to be one of the greatest concerns of the 21st century,” FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said in a statement. “Protecting the United States against cyber crimes is one of the FBI’s highest priorities and, in fact, is the FBI’s highest criminal priority. Gordon’s broad range of investigative and leadership experience will serve the Cyber Division well as they carry out this mission.”

Snow started as an agent in 1992 Huntsville, Ala., where he investigated violent crime, drug, civil rights, public corruption, and white-collar crime.

In April 1996, he jointed the Critical Incident Response Group as a member of the Hostage Rescue Team. His assignments included “assessment, protection, and investigative support missions after the bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen, and the embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya.,” the FBI said.

Read more »

Can a Heart Attack Help a Defendant in Court? The Feds in Detroit Think So

heart attack
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Does it help a federal defendant’s case  if he has a heart attack while on trial? Can it make the jury far too sympathetic?

Assistant U.S. Attorneys in downtown Detroit prosecuting six members of the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club fear the answer is YES!

Last weekend, three weeks into the trial, defendant Michael Cicchetti, 55,  had a heart attack.  Interestingly, in opening statements, his attorney Sanford Plotkin claimed Cicchetti was a harmless person plagued with multiple ailments and the government was off the mark by charging him with racketeering, drug dealing conspiracy, assault, transporting stolen vehicles and a weapons offense.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds, after learning of the heart attack,   declared a mistrial for Cicchetti and decided he would be tried later while trial would continue for the other five defendants.  On Tuesday, Plotkin told the judge he had spoken to his client, who wanted the trial to go on in absentia.

On Tuesday, the judge spoke by teleconference call to Cicchetti in the hospital, who said he was happy with the trial and wanted it to go on in his absence.  The judge on  Wednesday  obliged. She reversed her mistrial ruling and declared that Cicchetti should be tried in absentia.

The prosecution didn’t like that idea one bit. In fact, it had argued in a motion filed on Tuesday that the judge should declare a mistrial. Period.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline wrote in a motion that after the  judge told the jury about the heart attack “many jurors in their body language and facial expressions, rightly expressed concern for Mr. Cicchetti.”  The prosecutor said the government did not object to the judge telling the jury about the heart attack because it assumed that Cicchetti would be prosecuted later  before a different jury.

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Man Charged in Oregon With Hiring Undercover FBI Agent as Hitman to Kill Girlfriend

Scientist Tells Panel Dr. Ivins is Not the Anthrax Killer

Anthrax Suspect Bruce Ivins

Anthrax Suspect Bruce Ivins

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – The killer anthrax case is not dead — at least in some circles.

The New York Times reports that a former Army microbiologist Henry S. Heine told a National Academy of Sciences panel on Thursday that his colleague Bruce E. Ivins could not have produced the deadly anthrax spores, contrary to what the FBI has concluded. The panel is reviewing the FBI’s scientific work on the case.

Ivins committed suicide in July of 2008 shortly before federal authorities were about to charge him in the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people, sickened 17 others. The attacks changed the way the postal service processes mail and has lead to endless hoaxes involving white powder letters.

The Times reported that Heine told reporters after his testimony that Ivins couldn’t have carried out the attacks, and among the senior scientists at the Army bio-defense lab in Maryland where Ivins worked “no one believes it.”

The Times reported that Heine testified that producing the quantity of deadly spores would involved a year of intensive work that would not have gone unnoticed by colleagues, and because the way the lab was set up,  the spores would have floated out of the lab.

“You’d have had dead animals or dead people,” he testified according to the Times.

“Whoever did this is still running around out there,”  Heine said, according to the Times. “I truly believe that.”

The FBI declined to comment, according to the Times.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Blago’s Attorneys Want Judge to Subpoena President Obama

white house photo
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Blago show continued on Thursday when attorneys for the ex-Illinois governor asked the Chicago federal judge to subpoena President Barack Obama to testify at trial.

“President Obama has direct knowledge to allegations made in the indictment,” Blagojevich’s attorneys wrote in a court filing.”In addition, President Obama’s public statements contradict other witness statements.”

Blagojevich was arrested in December 2008 while still governor on charges of using his office to enrich himself, his wife and close associates. One allegation was that he was trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

Read Defense Filing

Read Chicago Tribune story

Read Chicago Sun-Times story