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Tag: terrorism

Anti-Defamation League to Hold 5th Annual ADL Shield Awards to Honor Law Enforcement

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish organization which works closely with law enforcement in the battle against terrorism and protecting civil rights, will present its fifth annual ADL Shield Awards on Sept. 17 in D.C.

The awards are in the area of terrorism and civil rights.

The awards were created in 2010 to recognize law enforcement for major achievements in the fight against hate crimes, domestic and international terrorism, and for protecting civil rights.

“The SHIELD Awards give us an opportunity to publicly recognize and express our appreciation to law enforcement for protecting our nation and its values,” Elise Jarvis, ADL’s Associate Director for Law Enforcement Outreach and Communal Security, said in a press release. “They are a way for us to honor the individuals who guard our lives and freedoms.”

According to a press release, the 2014 ADL SHIELD Award recipients will include investigators and prosecutors from:

  •  The FBI Washington Field Office, New York City Police Department Intelligence Bureau, US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, and US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and Counterterrorism Section for their investigation and prosecution of the founders and leaders of Revolution Muslim, an organization which encouraged terrorist attacks and violence against non-Muslims. Zachary Chesser pled guilty to soliciting murder and attempting to support a designated terrorist group and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Jesse Morton pled guilty to soliciting murder and was sentenced to nearly 12 years in jail. Yousef Al-Khattab pled guilty to using the Internet to place others in fear of serious bodily injury or death and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
  •  The FBI Baltimore Division and the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Criminal Section for their investigation and prosecution of a Color of Law case in which corrections officers in Maryland beat an inmate over a series of shifts and then subsequently obstructed justice with other officers in an effort to cover up the assault. Fourteen corrections officers were held accountable and convicted under federal law.
  •  The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Richmond Division and Statesboro Resident Agency and the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia for their investigation and prosecution of Michael Lee Fullmore, a member of the Georgia Knight Rider’s, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, who was arrested after confiding to an FBI informant that he wanted to firebomb a local church in retaliation for the church’s support of the Latino community. He was charged with firearms and drug distribution violations and sentenced to 52 months in prison. Following his conviction, the entire Knight Riders Klan organization was disbanded.
  •  The Drug Enforcement Administration, US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, US Customs and Border Protection, and US Department of the Treasury for a multi-agency operation which focused on the financial activities of three Lebanese financial institutions, each of which has been implicated for its involvement with the Hezbollah terror group. As of March 2014, more than $150 million dollars had been seized under this Operation.
  •  The Montgomery County Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Charles County Sheriff’s Office and Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office for their investigation and prosecution of local members of the Moorish Nation, part of the sovereign citizen movement, for felonies which included First Degree Burglary, Conspiracy, and Theft over $100,000 in connection to their occupation of a home in Montgomery County, MD. Honorees received threats to themselves and their families because of their involvement in the case.

 

FBI Promotes Eric Velez-Villar to Executive Assistant Director of Bureau’s Intelligence Branch

Eric Velez-Villar, FBI photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethwire.com 

 Eric Velez-Villar, a 29-year FBI veteran who has fought organized crime, terrorism and drugs, has been promoted to executive assistant director of the bureau’s intelligence branch, the bureau announced.

Velez-Villar most recently served as assistant for the intelligence directorate.

Velez-Villar joined the FBI in 1985 and began working on organized crime and drugs. In 2000, he relocated to FBI headquarters as a supervisory special agent and worked at the DEA’s special operations unit.

In addition, Velez-Villar worked as assistant special agent for the counterterrorism program in Los Angeles.

TSA Administrator John Pistole Opens Up About Lessons Learned, Future of Agency

tsa.gov

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

TSA Administrator John Pistole knows his agency has made some mistakes after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

In a candid interview with the Los Angeles Times, Pistole said the TSA’s policies are constantly evolving to protect U.S. travelers.

Last year, the TSA announced that it would allow passengers to carry small knives onto planes, but you rescinded that decision. Will you allow small knives on planes in the future?

Given the lobbying efforts against it and members of Congress weighing in against it, I decided to take it off the table as something that was not furthering our efforts to transform from a one-size-fits-all to a risk-based [system].

European airports are testing devices to analyze liquids carried by passengers for explosives. When will travelers in the U.S. be able to fly without having to toss away bottles of water, soda or other liquids?

We have over 900 what we call bottle liquid scanners that we use for such things as mother’s milk and certain medicines that are larger than 100 milliliters. We could allow any liquids to fly, but it’s a time-consuming process so we don’t have an efficient way of doing that. One of the options that we looked at is to have a dedicated lane for people who wanted to bring liquids aboard, but that might be a long line.

The TSA announced a contest recently to find new ideas to speed the passenger-screening system. Why is that such a big challenge?

Each of the 450 airports where we provide screening is unique. Most airports were built and designed pre-9/11 and security is kind of an afterthought. So we’ve tried to cobble our way into some pretty tight spaces.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Blistering Human Rights Report: FBI Pushed Muslims to Plot Terrorist Attacks

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department used questionable tactics to identify and prosecute terrorism suspects, a new human rights report offers, the Washington Post reports.

Human Rights Watch offered a scathing assessment of the FBI and Justice Department, which are accused of injecting fear into some Muslim communities because of the use of surveillance and informants.

The report, which follows a lengthy examination of U.S. terrorism prosecutions, says feds have targeted people with mental and physical disabilities, using tactics that critics decry as entrapment.

“The report clearly shows, in many respects, the American public is being sold a false bill of goods,” said Andrea Prasow, deputy Washington director at Human Rights Watch. “To be sure, the threat of terrorism is real,” she said. “But in many of the cases we documented, there was no threat until the FBI showed up and helped turn people into terrorists.”

The Justice Department defended its record.

“The Department of Justice has been a steadfast ally of our nation’s civil rights groups for decades,” Marc Raimondi, a Justice Department spokesman, said. “The report itself acknowledges that the legal process used in the cases it highlighted is not only lawful but is also specifically approved by federal judges. . . . We do not and cannot target individuals solely for engaging in activities protected by the First Amendment, which includes free speech and religion.”

FBI’s Bomb Lab Helps Track Down Terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan

Steve Neavling
ticklethrewire.com

Step inside the FBI’s bomb warehouse outside of Washington, where experts analyze bombs used to injure and kill thousands of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Businessweek reports that 700 people work at the FBI’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center.

It’s not easy work. Most of the bombs are assembled with objects like radios, cell phones, sandals, circuit boards, burlap sacks, egg timers, wristwatches, and kitchen utensils, according to Businessweek.

They are industrious—they make bombs out of everything,” bomb analyst Ruel Espinosa told CNN.

The analysts have helped identify more than 1,700 people with terrorist ties, lifting a total of at least 6,000 fingerprints.

“Exploiting the intelligence from explosive devices has proven critical to saving American lives in war zones,” says Robert Mueller III, director of the FBI when the lab was created in 2003.

U.S. Authorities Worried That Next Terror Plot Could Originate from ISIS Terrorists

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Authorities are worried that the next 9/11-like terror plot could come from the increasingly violent Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that is claiming to have killed about 1,700 Iraqi soldiers, CBS News reports.

The situation is getting increasingly more dangerous as Islamic militants continue to sweep through Iraq.

“You’ve got motivation mixed with opportunity, ideology and foreign fighters and all of that looks like a very extreme version of Afghanistan in the ’90s, plus what was happening in Iraq after the Iraq war,” said CBS News National Security Analyst Juan Zarate. “This is a cauldron of future terrorist threats to the west.”

Zarate said the group poses dangers to the U.S.

“I think the grave threat here is that you have the seeds of a new terrorist movement emerging very aggressively.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham agrees.

“The seeds of 9/11s are being planted all over Iraq and Syria,” Graham said. “They want an Islamic caliphate that runs through Syria and Iraq…and they plan to drive us out of the Mideast by attacking us here at home.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Herald-Review Editorial: Perpetual Fears of Terrorism Feed Budget Increases

Editorial
By Herald Review

James Comey became FBI director last year, at a time when Osama bin Laden was dead, terrorism at home was on the decline and the United States was shrinking its inflammatory presence in the Muslim world. So naturally, he says the danger is way worse than you think.Referring to al-Qaida groups in Africa and the Middle East, he recently told The New York Times, “I didn’t have anywhere near the appreciation I got after I came into this job just how virulent those affiliates had become. There are both many more than I appreciated, and they are stronger than I appreciated.”

It may look like we’ve greatly diminished if not eliminated the danger of Islamic extremism against American targets. In fact, Comey assures us, “that threat has metastasized.” Of course cancer is far more deadly once it spreads.

In this respect he resembles just about every bureaucrat in the history of government. He thinks that his agency is vitally important and growing more so every day. If there had been a Federal Bureau of Stagecoaches when passenger trains and cars came along, it would still be in business and finding ways to justify its preservation and expansion.

Terrorism has fed the FBI’s growth. Between 2001 and 2013, its budget nearly doubled after adjusting for inflation. But Comey was not pleased on arriving to learn that he would be inconvenienced by last year’s federal budget sequester.

“I was very surprised to learn how severe the potential cut is,” he complained. He warned he might have to cut 3,000 jobs. His estimate was inflated — the agency now says it eliminated just 2,200 positions through attrition. The agency’s website, however, says it has 35,344 employees — up by 30 percent since 2001.

Comey is upholding the tradition that once the government identifies an evil, the evil never goes away — it only gets bigger and tougher, requiring ever-increasing efforts to combat it. The Department of Energy was created during the “energy crisis” of the 1970s. The crisis didn’t last, but the department did.

To read more click here.

Former British Imam Convicted in Terror Trial in New York

By Benamin Wiser
New York Times.

NEW YORK — The fiery British cleric who prosecutors said had “devoted his life to violent jihad” and had dispatched young men around the world to train and fight was convicted of 11 terrorism-related charges on Monday in Manhattan.

Prosecutors had charged that the cleric, Mostafa Kamel Mostafa, a former imam at the Finsbury Park mosque in North London, helped to orchestratethe violent 1998 kidnappings of 16 American, British and Australian tourists in Yemen; had tried to create a terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore.; and had supported terrorism by sending one of his followers to train with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

In the tourist abductions, four hostages were killed after their captors, a militant group allied with Mr. Mostafa, used them as shields during a Yemeni rescue operation. “He jumped at opportunities across the globe to support this violent jihad,” a prosecutor, Ian McGinley, told the jury in a closing argument on Wednesday.

To read the full story click here.