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Archive for January, 2011

Before Az. Shooting Loughner Looked at Websites on Assassinations and Lethal Injections

Jared Loughner/pima county sheriff photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More is spilling out about Arizona shooter Jared Loughner in the weeks before he went on a shooting spree that would stun the country.

The Washington Post’s Sari Horwitz reports that weeks and days before the shooting, Loughner surfed the Internet on his computer “in what investigators believe was an effort to prepare for his alleged assassination attempt, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation said.”

The Post reports that Loughner looked at websites about lethal injections,and solitary confinement and political assassinations. Investigators gleaned the information from an analysis of Loughner’s computer.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Arrests Last Fugitive — “Joe Dogs” — in Historic Mob Bust

FBI agents during morning arrests last week/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The last of the remaining fugitives in the historical mob take down last week surrendered on  Wednesday to the FBI in New York, authorities said.

Joseph “Joe Dogs” Lombardi,  a “made” Gambino crime family soldier, who faces extortion charges, was the last fugitive of the 127 indicted last week in what the FBI called the biggest mob roundup in its history. The indictments were aimed at the five New York families, one in New Jersey and the New England mob.

The multiple indictments unsealed last week — there were 16 in four jurisdictions — included allegations of murder, extortion, racketeering, loan sharking, gambling and shaking down businesses for protection.

Az. Feds Bust Gun Runners to Mexico

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In Arizona, which is locked in an endless battle to keep guns from going into Mexico, comes the latest.

Authorities on Tuesday announced indictments in five cases resulting in charges against 34 people accused of assisting Mexican drug trafficking organizations with illegally running firearms from the United States to Mexico.

Authorities charged in one of the key indictments that from approximately September 2009 to December of 2010 the defendants conspired to purchase hundreds of firearms, including AK-47s, to be illegally exported to Mexico.

Authorities alleged that the defendants acted as “straw purchasers” by falsely declaring they were buying the weapons for themselves. AK-47’s are considered the “weapon of choice” for Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations.

“Our office is committed to stopping the illegal flow of guns into Mexico,” U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke said. “The massive size of this operation sadly exemplifies the magnitude of the problem — Mexican Drug Lords go shopping for war weapons in Arizona.”

Bill Newell, head of ATF in Phoenix said: “This investigation is further proof of the relentless efforts by Mexican drug cartels, especially the Sinaloa Cartel, to illegally acquire large quantities of firearms in Arizona and elsewhere in the U.S. for use in the ongoing Mexican drug war.”

DEA Discloses Plot By Drug Lord to Kill Top Anti-Drug Enforcer in Colombia

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

These days the lion’s share of news involving drug cartel violence seems to focus on  Mexico. But the problem hasn’t exactly vanished in Colombia.

The publication Colombia Reports wrote that the DEA has uncovered a plot to assassinate Ana Margarita Duran, head of Colombia’s drug control agency UNAIM. The report cited a story on La F.M. radio Tuesday. Colombia authorities said they were taken action to protect Duran.

Colombia Reports reported that sources told the DEA that the plot was orchestrated by Colombia drug lord Daniel “Loco” Barrera. The publication reported that a source, who was supposed to partake in the plot, disclosed the information to the DEA.

The publication described the plot as a “$500,000 assassination plan” and that criminals had allegedly been tailing the head of the anti-narcotics unit, compiling information on her daily routine. The money was to cover travel, hotel, weapons and vehicles.

Colombia Reports reported that in recent weeks, the anti-drug unit had captured some of the drug organization’s relatives and high-level players and seized about $3 million in goods.

Colombian authorities have offered an award of up to $2.7 million for information leading to the capture of Barrera, the publication wrote.

FBI Busts Md. Man for Fake Teaching Credentials; Law Enforcement Among Those He Taught

William Hillar

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Who the heck is William G. Hillar?

Well, if you read his online bio you’d see that he had some darn impressive credentials in the military, had a Ph.d and he’s been raking in cash teaching, conducting workshops and giving speech.

Problem is, federal authorities say, he’s a fraud.

On Tuesday, the FBI arrested the 66-year-old at his Millersville, Md. home for fraud for his alleged tangled web of lies to gain employment for teaching and training people, including members of the law enforcement community, the Baltimore U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“The complaint alleges that William G. Hillar was living a lie and basing his entire career on experience he did not have and credentials that he did not earn,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “He was never a colonel, never served in the U.S. Army, never was deployed to exotic locales and never received training in counter-terrorism and psychological warfare while in the armed forces.”

Richard A. McFeely, head of the Baltimore FBI said the fraud was brought to the FBI’s attention by “concerned citizens, including former members of the Special Forces community. This investigation is an example of the difficulty the public faces trying to verify the accuracy of information on the Internet.”

Read more »

Marshals Service Grateful Deputy Survived Shooting in St. Pete; 2 Cops Were Killed

Underwear Bomber Set to Go to Trial Oct. 4 in Detroit

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marshals photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The man dubbed the “Underwear Bomber” will go on trial on Oct. 4, Reuters news service reported.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds set the trial in October despite requests the suspected bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab that the proceedings begin later in the year or early next year.

Addulmutallab fired his court-appointed attorneys and is representing himself. He has a stand-by attorney Anthony Chambers who can advice him on matter.

Abdulmutallab faces eight charges, including conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism when he tried to blow up a plane from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas day.

Authorities have privately said that Abdulmutallab would not likely get any break in sentencing if he pleaded guilty.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

U.S. Embassy Bomber Gets Life

Ghailani pictured upper right hand corner

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Convicted terrorist Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan for his role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which claimed the lives of 224 people and wounded thousands.

Ghailani, 36, is the first ex-Gitmo detainee to be prosecuted in civilian court. But his case raised anxieties on Capitol Hill and elsewhere over  the issue of trying Gitmo detainee cases in civilian courts after the government ran into some difficulties and only won convictions on 1 of 285 counts against Ghailani.

He was convicted Nov. 17 of conspiracy to destroy government buildings and property. Authorities charged that he helped in the preparation of the attack, which included buying TNT.

But despite the conviction on one count,  U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan handed him a life sentence,  and said, according to the New York Times: “The very purpose of the crime was to create terror by causing death and destruction.”

He is the fifth person to be convicted in connection with the embassy bombings.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara issued a statement following the sentencing, saying:

“Today, in Manhattan Federal Court, justice was served. Ahmed Ghailani is a remorseless terrorist, mass murderer, and Al Qaeda operative, and now he will spend the rest of his life in prison. As we said in court on the day this trial began, Ghailani was a vital member of the East African terror cell that murdered 224 innocent people and wounded thousands of others in the 1998 bombings of the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Finally, twelve-and-a-half years after those devastating and despicable attacks, Ahmed Ghailani will pay for his crimes.

“This was a difficult case for a number of reasons. Our goal all along was to hold Ghailani accountable for his heinous conduct, and, no matter the obstacles, to see to it that he would receive the punishment he deserved. Today, our goal was achieved, as Ahmed Ghailani will never again breathe free air.”

“The reason we are at this point today is the extraordinary hard work done in difficult circumstances by a lot of people.  I salute the unflagging commitment, dedication, and talent of the FBI agents who so thoroughly investigated this case and the prosecutors who so ably tried it.”

“They spent years of their lives putting this case together — traveling around the world, interviewing hundreds of witnesses, and piecing together fragments of evidence from the bombed-out shells of two American embassies. I would like to personally thank the lawyers from my office who oversaw the prosecution — Michael Farbiarz, Nick Lewin, Harry Chernoff, and Sean Buckley. I would also like to thank the hard-working detectives of the NYPD and all our other partners in the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Tanzanian National Police, and the Kenyan Police for their exceptional work and assistance in this case.”