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February 2010


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Archive for February, 2010

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5 D.C. Area Men Held in Pakistan Claim FBI and Pakistani Police Tortured Them

pakistan-mapBy Allan Lengel

The allegation came on a tissue.

The Associated Press is reporting that the five  Washington, D.C. area men suspected of terrorism, who are being held in Pakistan, scribbled allegations on a tissue that they were subjected to electric shocks and other torture by the FBI and Pakistani police.

The AP reported that the men tossed the tissue to reporters while they were headed to a court hearing in Pakistan, where the judge delayed formally charging them.

“Since our arrest, the U.S. FBI and Pakistani police have tortured us,” read the message, according to AP. “They are trying to set us up. We are innocent. They are trying to keep us away from public, media and families and lawyers. Help us.”

The U.S. Embassy denied the allegations, and the Pakistani authorities have previously denied those accusations, the AP reported.

To read more click here

FBI and Homeland Security to Get Extra $$$ in Obama’s Budget Proposal

money-photoBy Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON –– The FBI would get an additional $219 million for national security and $19 million to hire dozens of new agents to fight crime on American Indian reservations under the President’s $3.8 trillion budget proposal, according to the Washington Post.

Under the proposed budget, the Post reports that the Department of Homeland Security would get a 4 percent hike in its total budget, which would include: $200 million to pay state and local costs to hold terrorism-related trials; $950 million for federal air marshals and $734 million for whole-body imaging scanners at airports.

To read more about the budget proposals click here.


Case Moving Forward Against Miss. FBI Agent Philip Halbert Neilson

fbi logo largeBy Allan Lengel

Criminal proceedings are moving forward in the case against Mississippi agent Philip Halbert Neilson, who is accused of failing to disclose his financial interest in a leased FBI building in Oxford, Miss.

Neilson pleaded not guilty Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Allan Alexander in Oxford, the Associated Press reported.

A March 8 trial has been set. Neilson obtained a financial interest in the FBI Oxford building at the time he headed up the office, authorities said.

Chicago Alderman Carothers Latest to Go Down After Getting Bit by the Bribery Bug

Isaac Carothers/city photo

Isaac Carothers/city photo

By Allan Lengel

Chicago has long been known for its deep dish pizza, blues, Dah Bears, Dah Bulls and public corruption.

In living up to the latter, Alderman Isaac Carothers, a key ally of Mayor Daley, resigned Monday after striking up a deal with the feds that will put him behind bars for more than two years for taking bribes, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The paper reported that at 2:49 p.m., Carothers submitted his resignation to the mayor.

“It is with deep regret that I inform you that I, Isaac S. Carothers, will resign my elected position as alderman of the 29th Ward effective on Feb. 1, 2010,” Carothers wrote, according to the Sun-Times.

To read full story click here.

New Orleans U.S. Atty. Jim Letten Recuses Himself From Phone Tampering Scandal

new-orleans-map-istockBy Allan Lengel

New Orleans U.S. Attorney Jim Letten removed himself last week from the phone tampering scandal involving Sen. Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

The paper said a press release sent Monday night to reporters stated Letten recused himself from the case because of “various relevant factors.” The release did no specify what those were, but indicated his first assistant Jan Mann would act as the U.S. Attorney for the matter.

The news release said the decision came a day after four men were arrested for tampering with the phones.  Since then, it has become apparent the incident was part of a political conservative prank.

To Read full story click here.

Cong. Conyers Asks Justice to Probe Fatal FBI Shooting of Imam in Michigan

Rep. John Conyers

Rep. John Conyers

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — The FBI fatal shooting in October of a Muslim imam in suburban Detroit is continuing to generate plenty controversy.

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mi), chairman of the House Judiciary, is calling for an independent investigation into the shooting of imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, the Detroit News reported.

An autopsy report released Monday showed the imam had died from 21 gun shot wounds after agents opened fire during a raid at a warehouse in Dearborn, Mi. The FBI has said agents opened fire after the imam shot an FBI dog.

In a Jan. 13 letter to Atty Gen. Eric Holder, Conyers asked that the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division investigate the case, the News reported.

“The need to provide a thorough, rigorous and transparent accounting of the shooting here is plain,” Conyers wrote, according to the News.

For Full Story

FBI Dir. Mueller Makes His Acting Chief of Staff John Carlin Permanent

Robert Mueller III/file photo

Robert Mueller III/file photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — John Carlin, the FBI director’s acting chief of staff for the past five months, has gotten the job on a permanent basis, the BLT: Blog of Legal Times reported.

Carlin has served as deputy chief of staff and counselor to the director “advising on a wide range of legal and policy matters in the national security, cyber, and criminal arenas,” according to the FBI.

A Harvard Law School graduate, he previously worked as an assistant U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington and as National Coordinator of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) program, according to the FBI.

Aaron Zebley takes over as deputy chief of staff, the legal blog reported.