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Archive for January 18th, 2010

NY Times Reports that More Clues in Christmas Day Bombing Were Missed than Administration Publicly Disclosed

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marshals photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It seemed refreshing when the Obama administration released a report on the the intelligence community’s failure to connect the dots that could have prevented the Christmas Day bombing attempt aboard a Detroit bound plane.

But the New York Times reports that there “were far more warning signs than the administration has acknowledged.”

The paper says that the President met on Dec. 22 with officials from the FBI, CIA and Homeland Security and there was concern about a terrorist attack over the Christmas Holiday.

And in early November, the paper reported, that “American intelligence authorities say they learned from a communications intercept of Qaeda followers in Yemen that a man named “Umar Farouk” — the first two names of the jetliner suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab — had volunteered for a coming operation.”

Frankly, it’s almost like going on the Wheel of Fortune and not being able to guess the phrase with a single vowel missing.

To read full story click here.

FBI’s Flawed Science on Bullets Causes Problems in Convictions

bulletBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI’s theory about bullets sounded downright impressive at the time. That’s no longer the case. Just recently, three murder convictions were overturned because of the agency’s flawed science, the Associated Press reported.

The flap  centers around the FBI’s now “discredited theory that bullets found at a crime scene could be linked to bullets found in possession of suspects,” the AP reports.

The AP reports that nearly five years after the FBI conceded that the science was flawed, the agency has yet to complete a review of almost 2,500 cases where the “comparative bullet lead analysis was used.”

To date, the FBI has found that the FBI science was used in 187 trials and it has notified prosecutors where the agency’s testimony “exceeds the limits of the science and cannot be supported by the FBI.”

The AP described the science by saying: “Comparative bullet lead analysis was based on the theory that lead bullets pick up trace elements such as copper, antimony, arsenic, bismuth and silver during manufacturing. When the soft metal is shaped into bullets and packaged, bullets in the same box would contain similar amounts of the trace elements, the theory went.”

To read more click here.

NY U.S. Attorney Merging Drug and Terrorism Units

U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara/doj photo

U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Terrorist groups in recent times have increasingly turned to drug trafficking to finance operations,  and the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan is responding.

The New York Times is reporting that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is merging the office’s international drug trafficking and terrorism units because he “wants to focus more on extremist Islamic groups whose members he believes are increasingly turning to the drug trade to finance their activities.”

In the past year, there have been reports of such groups as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Revolutionary Armed Forces in Colomobia trafficking in drugs to support operations.

For full story click here.

Sen. Kerry Wants to Force FBI to Release More Files on MLK

mlkBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kerry plans to introduce legislation requiring the FBI to release more records relating to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the Boston Globe is reporting.

The bill would require that all the files be “located, reviewed, and released by a review board at the National Archives similar to those established for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and for Nazi war criminals,” the paper reported.

The move is part of a broader effort to find out what the government did or didn’t do about violence against blacks during the civil rights movement, the Globe reported.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions,” Representative John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and former King aide who was brutally beaten during a civil rights march in 1965 told the Globe. “The American people have a right to know what happened.”

The paper reported that a social studies teacher researching a book about plots to kill King discovered that the FBI files included information about a Ku Klux Klan leader “who claimed to have a played a role” in the 1968 assassination, the Globe reported.

To read the full story click here.

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