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Archive for April, 2010

Wrongfully Accused Anthrax Suspect Steven Hatfill Breaks Silence: “Now I really Don’t Trust Anything”

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News
WASHINGTON — Steven J. Hatfill, the scientist wrongfully accused of being the anthrax killer, has broken his silence in interviews with NBC’s “Today” show and The Atlantic magazine.

“I learned a couple things,” Hatfill told “Today” host Matt Lauer this morning. “The government can do to you whatever they want. They can break the laws, federal laws, as they see fit. … You can’t turn laws on and off as you deem fit.

“I used to be somebody that trusted the government. Now I really don’t trust anything,” said Hatfill, who had worked at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Md.
To read more click here.

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Is Today’s Anti-Government Movement Similar to the Pre-Oklahoma Bombing Era?

Federal Building in Oklahoma at time of explosion/fbi photo

Federal Building in Oklahoma at time of explosion/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –– Is  the Tea Party and other anti-government movements mirroring  the sentiments of the nation before the Oklahoma bombing 15 years ago?

USA Today reports that some see parallels.

“It feels a lot like the run-up to Oklahoma City,” Mark Potok, Intelligence Project director at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks U.S. hate groups, told USA Today. “Will we see another Oklahoma City? Nobody can really say.”

USA Today wrote that “in the months before the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing…militias and “patriot” groups burst into the vanguard of a seething anti-government campaign, fueled by anger over the Clinton administration’s push for landmark gun-control legislation and federal officers’ aggressive tactics in high-profile standoffs with groups such as the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.”

Then April 19, 1995, Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols blew up the Edward P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported that the militia organizations has dramatically grown in the last year.

“This is a broader-based and deeper kind of movement. Today, their ideas have penetrated into the mainstream,” Potok told USA Today.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

A Look at One of the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitives: A Russian Mobster

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Imam Who Lied to FBI in NY Subway Bombing Plot Dodges Prison But Gets the Deportation Boot

subway-photo-istockBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Queens imam who admitted lying to FBI agents in the case of the aborted bombing plot of the New York City subway got a break: he won’t be heading off to prison.

A Brooklyn federal judge gave Afghan-born Imam Ahmad Afzali time served, which was four days, the Associated Press reported. But Afzali was ordered to leave the country within 90 days. He admitted tipping off  Najibullah Zazi, a key person in the plot, that the FBI was looking for him.

The FBI broke up the plot before it could be executed.

”I take full responsibility for my actions,” the 38-year-old Afzali said in a tearful statement, the AP reported. “‘It was never my intention to help those idiots for what they did in the name of Islam.”

He said he’s not sure what country he’ll go to, the AP reported. ”I’m going to start shopping around,” he said.

Najibullah Zazi, a Colorado airport van driver, who was plotting to blow up the New York subway,  pleaded guilty and is cooperating with authorities. Two other suspects have pleaded not guilty.

Ex-National Security Agency Official Indicted on Charges of Leaking Info to Baltimore Sun Reporter

nsa_seal
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — An ex-high ranking National Security Agency official has been charged with allegedly leaking classified information to a national newspaper in 2006 and 2007, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Authorities indicted  Thomas A. Drake, 52, who headed an office in the NSA’s signals intelligence and engineering directorates at Fort Meade between 2001 and 2005,  on charges that he served as a source for a number of articles — some which contained classified information .

The indictment does not name the reporter, but The Washington Post reported that it was Siobhan Gorman, a prize-winning intelligence correspondent for the Baltimore Sun at the time She now works for the Wall Street Journal. The articles were critical of the NSA.

According to the Justice Department press release,  Drake took a number of steps to accommodate the reporter including:

Read more »

Scientist Steven Hatfill Wrongfully Accused in Anthrax Murders Breaking Silence

Steven Hatfill/fox news

Steven Hatfill/fox news

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Steven Hatfill, the scientist wrongfully accused of being the anthrax killer, is apparently working to repair his damaged image and has decided to break his silence.

The Atlantic magazine has put a teaser on its website indicating that it plans to publish a story on Friday in which Hatfill, 56, speaks out.

“In the fall of 2001, a nation reeling from the horror of 9/11 was rocked by a series of deadly anthrax attacks,” the website teaser says. “As the pressure to find a culprit mounted, the FBI, abetted by the media, found one. The wrong one. This is the story of how federal authorities blew the biggest anti-terror investigation of the past decade—and nearly destroyed an innocent man. Here, for the first time, the falsely accused, Dr. Steven J. Hatfill, speaks out about his ordeal.”

An interview with  Hatfill is also expected to air on NBC’s Today show.

Read more »

FBI Dir. Mueller Assures Senators Overhaul of Computer System No Boondoggle

Robert Mueller and Eric Holder in 2009/fbi photo

Robert Mueller and Eric Holder in 2009/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The massive overhaul of the FBI’s computerized case management system may not be as big a mess as it seems — at least that’s what Director Robert S. Mueller III told the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday.

The website Main Justice reported that Mueller said the delays on the $305 million project known as the Sentinel were routine and assured Senators that it would not become a boondoggle.

Main Justice reported that Mueller’s decision to suspend work on parts of the program resulted from the discovery of some “coding defects.”

“Is this just a normal delay … or are we on the way to boondoggle?” asked Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice and science Appropriations Subcommittee, Main Justice reported.

Mueller said it was a minor setback.

To read more click here.

Read Full Statement before the committee

Texas FBI Agent Convicted of Illegal Gun Sales and Lying to ATF

el paso map istockBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal jury in El Paso deliberated for less than three hours Wednesday before convicting FBI agent John Thomas Shipley of dealing weapons without a permit and lying to ATF agents about the sales, the El Paso Times reported.

ATF agents arrested Shipley, 40, last year after tracing back to him a .50 caliber rifle that was used in a drug cartel shootout in Chihuahua, Mexico, the El Paso Times reported.

Sentencing is set for July 8.

Authorities charged that he sold 51 weapons between 2005 and 2008 for more than $118,000.

The El Paso Times reported that Shipley allegedly kept two sets of records, one accurate one and another that was given to ATF that lacked pertinent information. He has been suspended from the FBI without pay.

To read more click here.