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Archive for December, 2010

Atty. Gen. Holder Asks Senate Leaders to Reject Ban on Gitmo Moves

doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. fired off a letter Thursday to Senate leaders urging them not to pass legislation blocking the administration from moving Guantanamo terrorist suspects to U.S. soil.

“This provision goes well beyond existing law and would unwisely restrict the ability of the Executive branch to prosecute alleged terrorists in Federal courts or military commissions in the United States as well as its ability to incarcerate those convicted in such tribunals,” Holder wrote to Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell.

The letter came at the heels of House vote approving legislation to bar transfers.

Passage would put the kabosh on the administration’s hopes of trying some terrorist suspects in U.S. federal court.

“It would therefore be unwise, and would set a dangerous precedent with serious implications for the impartial administration of justice, for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Executive branch to prosecute terrorists in these venues,” Holder wrote. “The exercise of prosecutorial discretion has always been and must remain an Executive branch function. ”

To read the full letter click here.

The History of the First Joint Terrorism Task Force that Began in NY

Joe Valiquette is a retired FBI supervisory special agent and J. Peter Donald is a public affairs specialist for the FBI in New York. This is the first of a three part series written for the FBI.

By Joe Valiquette and J. Peter Donald

Thirty years ago, in the heart of New York City, on the 28th floor of 26 Federal Plaza, the very first Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in the nation was established.

It was April of 1980; Supervisory Special Agent Barry Mawn would head up the newly designed task force with 10 agents from the FBI’s New York Field Office and 10 New York Police Department (NYPD) detectives.

They would pursue threats from the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, the Weather Underground, the Black Liberation Army, the Croatian Independence Movement, and many other domestic and international terrorist groups.

Along with pursuing these threats, some of the first investigations would be of major bank robberies perpetrated by domestic terrorist groups as well as bombings and other heinous crimes. The JTTF would be focused on continually gathering intelligence to proactively prevent attacks.

As FBI Director Robert Mueller recently said, “The New York JTTF was the first of its kind, and today, it remains among the very best of its kind. It has long been the ‘gold standard’ by which other JTTFs are modeled.”

Read more »

Suspected Baltimore Terrorist Caught in FBI Sting Was Aware of Sting in Portland

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The 21-year-old  Baltimore man busted  in an FBI sting on charges of trying to blow up a military recruitment center in Catonsville, Md., , was aware of the  FBI sting in Portland in November involving a suspected terrorist, but decided to move forward with his plan anyways, the Associated Press reported.

Antonio Martinez, who converted to Islam and goes by the name Muhammad Hussain, was arrested Wednesday. AP reported that Martinez told an FBI informant that he was aware of the Portland incident in which a Somali born teen was arrested after trying to detonate a car bomb in Portland at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony which turned out to be a phony one provided by the FBI.

AP reported that Martinez, after hearing about the Portland case in late November, called the informant and demanded to know who he was.

“I’m not falling for no b.s.,” he told the informant, according to AP. The informant told him to think about the thing overnight and call him, which he did. Martinez said he wanted to move forward.

Senate Votes to Oust Fed Judge Thomas Porteous of New Orleans

Judge Thomas Porteous

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

As expected, Thomas Porteous of New Orleans is no longer a federal judge.

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted to convict him on all four articles of impeachment that included allegations that he corruptly accepted meals, trips and other gifts from a bail bondsman while serving as a state judge, lied about a bankruptcy filing and failed to disclose his corrupt behavior during the confirmation process for federal judge.

The vote strips him of his lifetime presidential appointment and his $174,000 annual pension, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He was appointed by President Clinton in 1994.

“Today brought closure to the long controversy over my actions as a federal district judge,” he said after the vote, according to the Times-Picayune. “I am deeply saddened to be removed from office but I felt it was important not just to me but to the judiciary to take this fight to the Senate.

“I am deeply grateful to those senators who voted against the articles. While I still believe these allegations did not rise to the level of impeachable offenses as a constitutional matter, I understand how people of good-faith could disagree.

“I will now be returning to Louisiana and my family. My family has been a constant and vital source of support throughout this ordeal. I have previously apologized for the mistakes that I committed in this case. I never disputed many of the underlying facts and I previously accepted punishment in the Fifth Circuit. While I disagree with the decision of the Senate, I must now accept that judgment.”

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Project Accountant

  • Group: Delaware County Community College Alumni Association
  • Subject: DCCC Alumni-Company seeking Accountant position ASAP
We are working to fill a Project Accountant position. Our client, a large University in Newark, DE, has embarked on an ambitious capital plan in support of its recently completed strategic plan, “Path to Prominence”. Currently there is nearly $400M of large capital projects underway and we are in immediate need of an experienced project accountant on an interim basis – though it is anticipated the position could evolve into a full time staff position in future.

We are looking for a degreed Accountant with a minimum of 3 years Industry experience in real estate development, construction or real estate / construction within Higher Education / Healthcare. Skills and talents: exceptional excel & database skills; knowledge of the development process – budgeting; construction and design contracts; construction payment applications; review of invoices, cash flows. High energy, tolerance for ambiguity and working in an unstructured environment going through significant change; high attention to detail w/accuracy; ability to make and implement process improvements; common sense & sense of humor – someone who can hit the ground running. The ideal candidate will be able to start a.s.a.p.

Please contact Doug Ferguson (dferguson4@dccc.edu)

FBI Busts Baltimore Man in Sting Who Tried to Blow Up Armed Forces Recruiting Station

By Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

In what has become an increasingly familiar scenario played out around the country, a Baltimore man was arrested Wednesday right after trying to detonate a phony bomb at an Armed Forces recruiting station in Catonsville, Md., in what turned out to be an FBI sting.

FBI agents on Wednesday morning arrested Antoino Martinez,  also known as Muhammad Hussain, 21, in Catonsville on charges of attempting to murder federal officers and employees, and attempted use of weapon of mass destruction against property owned, leased or used by the United States, according to a criminal complaint.

In recent times,  similar FBI stings have been carried out in Portland,  Northern Virginia, Dallas and Illinois.

Read more »

Son of Imprisoned CIA Agent Dodges Prison

Harold James Nicholson/cia photo

By Allan Lengel and Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

Like father, like son? Not any more.

Nathan Nicholson, the son of a high-ranking imprisoned CIA officer, avoided prison Tuesday as a result of his guilty plea in which he had agreed to cooperate against his father, the Oregonian newspaper reported. He was sentenced in federal court in Portland, Ore. to 5 years probation and 100 hour of community service.

His father, Harold James Nicholson, who was already in prison for espionage after pleading guilty in 1997, pleaded guilty once again in November to espionage in a case involving his son Nathan Nicholson and the Russians. The father was already serving a 23-year sentence.

Authorities alleged that the son had helped his imprisoned father collect some back payments from the Russians while passing on information.

The 26-year-old told The Associated Press and The Oregonian newspaper that he had idolized his father, but “after this, I want to be my own man now. I don’t want to live in someone’s shadow.”

Read more »

Madoff Investor Agrees to Surrender $625 Million

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

While world-class Ponzi swindler Bernie Madoff sits in prison, the feds are still trying to figure out ways to get back some of the funds for investors.

The latest came this week when federal  authorities announced they had struck a deal with Carl Shapiro, 97, a Boston area businessman and philanthropist, to surrender $625 million he made from his investments with Madoff. He was one of the earlier investors, beginning in the 1960s.

“For almost 40 years, Carl Shapiro invested hundreds of millions of dollars with Bernie Madoff but withdrew far more,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “By requiring him to forfeit this money—more than he is currently worth—the government and the SIPA Trustee have sent an important message: those who profited as a result of Bernard Madoff’s fraud should disgorge those profits, which are rightfully other people’s money.”

“As we approach the two-year anniversary of the Bernard Madoff arrest, this settlement represents a significant step in the restitution of retirements, pensions, and university endowments that were robbed with blatant disregard for the law,” added FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Janice Fedarcyk in New York. “It takes a special depravity to victimize so many people so severely.”

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that a court trustee, seeking more Madoff funds,  is negotiating to recover money from the owner of the New York Mets.

 

Pugh affidavit