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January 2012


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Archive for January 13th, 2012

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Imam Gets Life in Plot to Blow Up JFK Airport

jfk airport

By Allan Lengel

Kareem Ibrahim, an Imam, will have to communicate to the person up above, behind bars, for the rest of his life.

Brooklyn U.S. District Judge Dora L. Irizarry on Friday sentenced Ibrahim to life in prison for conspiring to commit a terrorist attack at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens by being part of a plot to  explode fuel tanks and the fuel pipeline under the airport.

Authorities said Friday that Ibrahim and his coconspirators believed the attack would cause extensive damage to the airport and to the New York economy, as well as the loss of numerous lives.

“This case shows the government at its best in terms of protecting the security of this country,” Judge Irizarry said.

Ibrahim was convicted of multiple terrorism offenses in May 2011 after a four-week trial.

The evidence at trial established that Ibrahim, an Imam and leader of the Shiite Muslim community in Trinidad & Tobago, provided religious instruction and operational support to a group plotting to commit a terrorist attack at JFK Airport.

The plot originated with Russell Defreitas, a naturalized United States citizen from Guyana, who drew on his prior experience working at JFK Airport as a cargo handler to plan the attack on its fuel tanks and fuel pipeline, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release.

During cross-examination at trial, Ibrahim admitted that he advised the plotters to present a plot to revolutionary leaders in Iran and to use operatives ready to engage in suicide attacks at the airport.

Authorities recorded a conversation that had Ibrahim telling Defreitas that the attackers must be ready to “fight it out, kill who you could kill and go back to Allah.”

Russell Defreitas and Abdul Kadir were convicted of terrorism charges and sentenced to life in prison.

John Edwards’ Serious Heart Condition Delays Criminal Trial

John Edwards/senate photo

By Allan Lengel

Ex-presidential hopeful John Edwards has found a way to delay his pending federal trial on alleged campaign violations.

The Associated Press reports that a North Carolina fed judge on Friday delayed his January trial date until at least March 26 after his cardiologist sent two letters to the judge citing Edward’s life-threatening heart condition that will require surgery in February.

“The public has an interest in a speedy trial, and this case has already been continued twice,” U.S. District Catherine Eagles said, according to the AP. “Ordinarily, I would try to manage something like this. But clearly there are some limitations on Mr. Edwards due to real and serious health issues.”

Authorities have accused Edwards of using roughly $1 million in donations to hide his pregnant mistress during his 2008 presidential bid.


White NYPD Officer to Plead Guilty in Case Involving False Arrest of a Black Man

By Danny Fenster

A New York cop plans on pleading guilty to charges  relating to allegations that he  falsely arrested an innocent black man and later made racist remarks about the incident, reports the New York Post.

Michael Daragjati was arrested by the FBI this fall on civil rights violations. He has been in jail awaiting trial since.

After the black man complained about his treatment by Daragjati during a stop-and-frisk in Staten Island on April 15, Daragjati added resisting arrest charges before arresting the man. Daragjati, a white man, was later overheard saying he had “fried another n—–” on an FBI wiretap, the Post reports.

“Race played no part in the decision he made in effectuating the arrest of the individual in question,” Daragjati’s defense lawyer Eric Franz said after a court hearing, according to the Post.  Still, they announced plans for a plea deal.

To read more click here.

FBI Agent Deleted Terror Investigation Emails

Danny Fenster

An FBI agent testified in federal court Thursday  in New York that she deleted several months of potentially sensitive emails during a terror investigation, the Associated Press reported.

Defense attorneys want to examine the emails to see if agents skirted rules while interrogating Eritrean terror suspect Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed, reports the Associated Press. Ahmed is charged with receiving explosives training, buying an assault rifle and fundraising for the terrorist group al-Shabaab.

The FBI agent, Jennifer Dent, “was a member of a so-called “dirty” team that did an initial intelligence-gathering interview of Ahmed without reading him his Miranda rights while he was still in Nigerian custody in December 2009,” AP reported..

“We were very concerned about plots and plans against the United States and national security,” she said, according to AP.

To read more click here.

Fast and Furious Redux?

Rep. Issa/gov photo

By Danny Fenster

It appears that members of Congress have found a new ATF operation to scrutinize.

But unlike Fast and Furious, the operation–code-named White Gun–has been defended by the agency as a “well-managed investigation” which resulted in the arrest and conviction of three individuals, reports LA Times.

Still, critics are skeptical.

“Apparently guns got away again,” an unnamed source close to the investigation told the Times. “How many got into Mexico, who knows?” The Congressional probe into the matter is being led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa).

The Times reports that operations White Gun and Fast and Furious both began in the fall of 2009, and that the same officials from the ATF ran both operations.

To read more click here.

FBI Exec. Asst. Dir. Warns of Dangers Online

FBI's Shawn Henry /fbi file photo

Danny Fenster

Shawn Henry, executive assistant director of the FBI, had some dire warnings for attendants of the International Conference on Cyber Security, in New York, the Huffington Post reported on Thursday.

Criminal hackers pose risk that are “existential, meaning it could eliminate whole companies,” he said. Hackers tampering with things such as the power grid “could actually cause death,” Henry said. He also mentioned FBI investigations into a small company that had gone out of business after hackers stole $5 million, another which lost a decade’s worth of research and development, and another who encrypted computer health systems for hostage, demanding a fee for the password.

“We’ve seen the number and sophistication of the attacks by these cyber actors increase dramatically,” Henry said, according to the Huffington Post. “Hundreds of millions of dollars have been stolen, primarily through the financial services sector, just in the last couple years.”

To read  more click here.


Judge Whacks Ala. Bank Robbers With Tough Sentences

By Danny Fenster

A couple of Alabama bank robbers got hit with some pretty  stiff sentences, the FBI said Wednesday.

Antoine Jamar Harper was sentenced to 39 years and 3 months, and Aaron Thomas was sentenced to 72 years and 7 months in prison for their roles in a violent strong of robberies near Montgomery, Ala., according to the FBI.

Both men plead guilty to armed robbery charges from January and March of 2010, as well as charges of “brandishing a gun during a crime of violence.” Thomas also plead guilty to a couple of additional robberies in December 2009.

The ATF, FBI and local police worked together to investigate the crimes.