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Archive for October, 2010

Feds Say Father-Son Thwarted Iran Embargo Through Deception

By Justin Blum
Bloomberg

WASHINGTON — In its search for American-built F-5 fighter jet parts, Iran turned to a father-son company operating out of a yellow stucco cottage on a country road on Ireland’s northwest coast.

Tom and Sean McGuinn are accused in a U.S. indictment of conspiracy, trade violations and making false statements to illegally export items with military uses beginning in 2005. Over the past decade, the McGuinns shipped more than $120 million in U.S.-made equipment to the Islamic Republic, Clark Settles, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official, said in an interview.

They succeeded through simple deceptions and persistence, according to court and government documents and interviews with U.S. officials and people who did business with their company, Mac Aviation Ltd. They are still free in Ireland.

Their tale illustrates how Iran is leaning on a network of people often operating out of houses or storefronts to evade a U.S. embargo and obtain parts with military uses, American officials said.

To read more click here.

Postal Supervisor Ran Multi-Million Dollar Gambling Ring

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

James “Harlem” Washington was helping deliver more than the U.S. mail.

Washington, a supervisor for the U.S. Postal Service, was convicted Thursday in federal court in New York of running a “Lotto” type numbers gambling operation at the Postal Service and other government facilities that collected about $10 million in wagers, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Authorities charged that from 2005 to 2009 Washington and others at the Postal service and other local and state government agencies ran a “Lotto”-type gambling business, which relied on numbers selected from the New York State Lotto drawing.

The gambling operation paid out $100,000 or more per month in prizes, authorities said. Thousands of players each month paid a $20 entry fee and picked six numbers, just like the Lotto.

A number of others have already pleaded guilty in the case.

Pentagon Hosted al Qaeda Operative for Lunch

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — At the Pentagon, just across the Potomac, this lunch guest was one of the more unusual ones.

The Pentagon confirmed that radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born al Qaeda operative now on a U.S. kill-or-capture list, had lunch at the Pentagon after the Sept. 11, attacks as part of an outreach program to talk to moderate Muslims, the Associated Press reported.

The cleric exchanged emails with the Army psychiatrist charged in the Ft. Hood shooting rampage.

Ouch! DEA Agent Shot in Hip After Gun Accidentally Discharges During Training Drill

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A DEA agent got a little more than she bargained for when she went to the firing range in Los Angeles County.

The agent was shot and wounded in the hip after her gun accidentally discharged during a firearms training exercise on Sept. 28 at the DEA-authorized weapons range at the Pitchess Detention Center in Saugus, Calif., according to a DEA statement on Thursday, which came in response to an inquiry by ticklethewire.com.

The name of the agent, who is the daughter of a former DEA official, was not released.

The DEA said the agent’s pistol accidentally discharged while in the holster during a rescue training drill. She was treated at a local hospital for a non-life threatening injury.

The DEA said the incident is currently under internal review.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Fed’s Cases Against Blackwater “Beginning to Fall Apart”, NY Times Reports

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Blackwater Worldwide, the security firm that became a toxic symbol of America in Afghanistan and Iraq, may be getting a bigger break than it ever imagined.

James Risen of the New York Times reports that after nearly four years the federal government’s investigations and prosecutions against the Blackwater Worldwide workers overseas “are beginning to fall apart, burdened by a legal obstacle of the government’s own making.”

The latest example came Monday when the Justice Department announced it would not seek murder charges against Andrew J. Moonen, who is of killing a guard assigned to an Iraqi vice president in 2006, the Times reported.

To read more click here.

20-Year Old Woman Becomes Police Chief in Drug-Riddled Mexican Border Town; No One Else Wants the Job

Fed Judge Rules Bank of China Can Be Sued in Terrorism Case

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — In an eye-brow raising ruling likely to get challenged, a federal judge in Washington ruled Wednesday that the Bank of China can be sued for allegedly supporting terrorism in a 2006 suicide bombing case in Israel, the Washington Post reported.

Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth, in an 118-page ruling, struck down a request by the state-controlled bank to be dropped from the case.

The South Florida parents of 16-year-old Daniel Wultz filed the suit after their son was killed in a Tel Aviv restaurant in a bombing the Palenstinian group Islamic Jihad took credit for, the Post reported. The group is supported by Syria and Iran.

Judge Lamberth/court photo

In the suit, Wultz’s parents, Yekutiel and Sheryl Wultz, are asking for $300 million in damages from Iran and Syria and the Bank of China (BOC).

“The 2008 lawsuit alleges that officials at the Bank of China ignored warnings by senior Israeli officials that Islamic Jihad was financing deadly bombings through a Bank of China account in the United States maintained by a purported senior officer of the militant group, Said al-Shurafa,” the Post reported.

“The Court must assume the truth of this allegation, which is plausible because it is reasonable to assume that, although BOC is not directly owned by China . . . China does exert a measure of control over the BOC through China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China,” the judge wrote.

Wang Baodong, a Chinese Embassy spokesman in Washington, told the Post that China opposes terrorism and “strongly question the allegations in question.”

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