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June 2010


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for June, 2010

Probe Into NJ Jihadists Started With Tip on FBI Website

new-jerseyBy Allan Lengel

The FBI had been tracking two suspected New Jersey jihadists since 2006 after getting a tip on its website, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.

“Every time they access the internet, all they look for is all those terrorist videos about the Islam holly war and where they kill U.S. soldiers and other terrible things …,” the tip said. “They keep saying that Americans are their enemies, that everybody other than Islamic followers are their enemies, and they all must be killed.”

Earlier this month, the two men Mohamed Hamoud Alessa, 20, and Eduardo Almonte, 26, were arrested at JFK Airport on charges of being jihadists who were going to Somalia to join up with a radical group and kill American soldiers.

The paper reported that in 2006 and 2007  “there was a serious debate inside the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness about the seriousness of the threat posed by the two young men, according to those interviewed for this story.”

Then authorities learned the men had taken a trip to Jordan in 2007, the paper reported.

“We were trying to figure out was it serious or was it just rhetoric. Some of us were saying they thought these guys were just talk. But they had already taken a trip,” a law enforcement source told the Star-Ledger. “We heard about that after the fact. That was what really got the Bureau’s attention.”

To read more click here.

Column: Will Republicans Embarrass Themselves With John Pistole Nomination for TSA?

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

Chris Battle is a former official at Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and DEA. He is currently managing partner of the Adfero Group Homeland Security Practice, a Washington public relations firm.

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief

WASHINGTON — Will John Pistole, the FBI deputy director nominated to lead the TSA, go the way of the previous two nominees?

Let’s hope not, but it all depends upon whether certain Republicans intend to embarrass themselves – again – by demanding answers from Pistole that he simply will not be in a position to answer. I am speaking here of the unionization issue.

Don’t get me wrong. I am no friend of unions. I was delighted to watch the internal combustion that occurred when the unions sunk millions into the Arkansas Senate election in an effort to hand pick a pro-union candidate.

To read full column click here.


Ex-ATF Official James Cavanaugh Offers Words of Wisdom to President on the Very Frustrating Gulf Oil Spill

James Cavanaugh recently retired as a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives official after 33 years. After years in management and handling crises, he offers his advice on the Gulf oil spill.

James Cavanaugh/atf photo

James Cavanaugh/atf photo

By James Cavanaugh

Handling a crisis as a leader is different than everyday leadership. The pace and the tempo of the event require the leader to step outside of the day-to-day operations and assume a different posture.

What works in the everyday world of leadership is not what works in the world of crisis leadership. I had my share of crises in a leadership role in ATF. But nothing compares to this. Still, I have some thoughts I wanted to share.

The United States, it’s leaders and the whole government apparatus have now been thrown into a new kind of crisis. It is not the crisis we’re normally used to dealing with, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, terrorists, foreign wars, fiscal problems.

No, this is all new, a catastrophe made by man, born in greed, fueled by our own insatiable desire for oil.

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Detroit Fed Judge Fines Ex-Prosecutor $2,000 For Allegedly Trying to Intimidate Mother of Victim in Child Porn Case

Judge Friedman imposed sanction

Judge Friedman imposed sanction

By Allan Lengel

A Detroit federal judge has fined a former assistant U.S. Attorney  $2,000 for making an “unwarranted and baseless request” in a child pornography case, the Detroit News reported.  The judge alleged that the ex-prosecutor, turned defense attorney, tried to intimidate the mother of the victim.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman last week imposed the sanction against ex-prosecutor John Freeman, ruling that he had no business asking that the prosecution file a formal motion seeking  permission for the victim’s mother to speak at the sentencing  for Craig Aleo.

Aleo, a former school official in  Walled Lake, a Detroit suburb, was sentenced to 60 years in April for producing child porn in which he victimized a 4-year-old girl, the News reported.

Friedman said in an opinion that attorney Freeman already knew the mother was likely to testify at sentencing and filed  the motion with the express purpose of trying to intimidate her. The judge said it was not necessary for prosecutors to formally file such a request.

The motion that caused the stir was filed by defense attorney Freeman on April 13.

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5 Ex and Current New Orleans Cops Indicted in Post Katrina Fatal Shooting

new-orleans-map-istockBy Allan Lengel

Nearly five years after Katrina, New Orleans,  the city of jazz, Cajun cooking and legendary partying, still bears the scars. So does the tarnished police department.

The latest reminder of the troubles the police department still faces came Friday  when a federal grand jury indicted three current cops and two former ones in connection with the police shooting of a resident, who was fatally shot days after Hurricane Katrina, the Justice Department announced.

“Behavior such as described in the indictment has no place in a free society, let alone law enforcement,” David Welker, head of the FBI in New Orleans, said in a statement.

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Weekend Series on Crime History: The KKK


Texas Inmate Pleads to Offering Undercover ATF Agent $10,000 to Kill His Judge

By Allan Lengel

A 49-year-old Texas inmate pleaded guilty Friday to hiring a hitman —  who ended up being an undercover ATF agent —  to kill a state judge.

Jeffrey Dwayne Harrison pleaded guilty in Lubbock, Tex., to attempted murder-for-hire of Judge Stephen Ellis, 35th Judicial District Court Judge of Brown County, Tex., the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Harrison was incarcerated on drug charges in the Brown County Jail in Texas at the time of the latest crime, authorities said.

According to plea bargaining papers, law enforcement in March learned that  Harrison was looking to hire someone to kill the judge, who was handing his drug case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

A confidential informant  introduced Harrison to an undercover ATF agent to carry out the murder. Authorities said Harrison first contacted the undercover agent by phone and said:

“I don’t want to say too much, I was just letting you know the court, it’s 35th Judicial [District], Steve Ellis is my judge, he said you’d get some paperwork rolling for me, so I’m going to shoot you some money so that we can get that rolling right.”

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Cory Nelson to Head Up FBI’s San Antonio Division

Cory Neslon/fbi photo

Cory Neslon/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Cory B. Nelson,  chief of the FBI’s Terrorist Financing Operations Section, has been tapped to head up the agency’s San Antonio Division.

Nelson joined the FBI in July 1991 and was first assigned to the New York Division’s applicant squad. He later went on the organized crime squad, where he worked on cases involving the Genovese crime family, the FBI said.

In August 1997, he headed off to the San Antonio Division’s Brownsville Resident Agency, where he worked narcotics, served as a firearms and defensive tactics instructor, and was the SWAT assistant team leader, the FBI said.

In October 1999, Nelson was promoted to supervisory special agent in the Criminal Investigative Division, Colombian/Caribbean Unit, at FBI Headquarters.

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