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FBI Was Warned Years Before About Mumbai Attacker’s Link to Terrorism

india map2
By Sebastian Rotella
ProPublica

Three years before Pakistani terrorists struck Mumbai in 2008, federal agents in New York City investigated a tip that an American businessman was training in Pakistan with the group that later executed the attack.

The previously undisclosed allegations against David Coleman Headley, who became a key figure in the plot that killed 166 people, came from his wife after a domestic dispute that resulted in his arrest in 2005.

In three interviews with federal agents, Headley’s wife said that he was an active militant in the terrorist group Lashkar-i-Taiba, had trained extensively in its Pakistani camps, and had shopped for night vision goggles and other equipment, according to officials and sources close to the case.

The wife, whom ProPublica is not identifying to protect her safety, also told agents that Headley had bragged of working as a paid U.S. informant while he trained with the terrorists in Pakistan, according to a person close to the case.

Federal officials say the FBI “looked into” the tip, but they declined to say what, if any, action was taken. Headley was jailed briefly in New York on charges of domestic assault, but was not prosecuted. He wasn’t captured until 11 months after the Mumbai attack, when British intelligence alerted U.S. authorities that he was in contact with al Qaeda operatives in Europe.

Read more »

Weekend Series on Crime: ATF Infiltrates Mongols Biker Gang

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLnX8RkLjZg

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzqnuBB6-3g

Religious Leaders and Son Denounce Justice Dept. Report on FBI Shooting of Detroit Imam

detroit mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A group of religious and civil rights leaders isn’t buying the Justice Department’s report this week that the FBI acted properly when it shot and killed Detroit Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah last October during a raid on a suburban warehouse, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The paper reported that Christian, Muslim and African American leaders gathered at a press conference Thursday at the Muslim Center in Detroit and said the Justice Department report was incomplete and failed to examine the use of undercover informants in Islamic communities.

“I had high hopes” for the report, said Omar Regan, son of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, according to the Free Press. “We’re disappointed.”

The paper said the FBI in Detroit and the Justice Department declined comment.

Luqman was shot and killed by FBI agents after he opened fire and shot and killed an FBI dog, authorities said.

To read more click here.

Investigators in Chandra Levy Case Wrote Letters Under Fake Female Name to Suspect

Chandra Levy

Chandra Levy

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Investigators wrote letters to the accused murderer of intern Chandra Levy, posing as  a woman, hoping to get a confession, the Washington Post reported. They never got a confession.

Still, the defense team raised the issue Thursday in a pretrial hearing in D.C. Superior Court, and unsuccessfully tried to get the judge to dismiss the charges, saying D.C. police orchestrated the “ruse” and made contact with the client, Ingmar Guandique, without going through his attorneys — a violation of his rights, the Post reported.

“We don’t know if this action was hatched with the assistance of prosecutors or done by police alone,” defense attorney Santha Sonenberg said, according to the Post. “Knowing [Guandique] had asserted his attorney rights and did not want to talk about it, is offensive.”

Judge Gerald Fisher did not dismiss the charges, but said he would review the matter to determine if he should take action, the Post said. Trial is set for Monday.

The Post reported that the officers wrote the letters to Guandique in prison under the name “Maria Lopez” between 2004 and 2005, but Guandique never confessed to anything, the Post reported.

Guandique, 29, is already serving a 10-year sentence for attacking two women in Rock Creek Park in 2001.

To read more click here.

U.S. Atty in NY May Indict Afghan President’s Brother

afghanistan mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The feds in New York are considering indicting Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s brother — a U.S. citizen who used to reside in Maryland — on tax evasion, the Washington Post reports.

The Post, which contact brother Mahmoud Karzai by phone for comment, quoted him as saying he had not been contacted by U.S. authorities and “I know myself. I’m very clean.”

The Post, quoting a source familiar with the investigation, said Mahmoud Karzai is expected to be indicted, but “The $64,000 question is when.”

Karzai, a former Baltimore restaurant owner, may face tax charges as a result of the sale of his luxury villa in the Gulf emirate in 2008, the Post reported.

To read more click here.

Oops! President Obama Offends DEA Agents in Drug War Comments

obamaBy Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama insulted — albeit inadvertently — the folks at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration today by mentioning the FBI instead of their agency in remarks about the war on drugs.

At a town hall meeting in Washington aired on MTV, the president told a group of young people that his administration is serious about “federal drug enforcement.”

But, he added, “we have to figure out who is it we’re going after because we’ve got limited resources. So decisions that are made by the Justice Department or FBI about prosecuting drug kingpins versus somebody with some small amount, those decisions are made based on how can we best enforce the laws that are on the books.”

Some DEA agents were insulted, saying the DEA is the lead agency on the war on drugs, not the FBI.

“That just goes to show his lack of knowledge,” said one DEA agent, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Again, it shows me his inadequate knowledge of drug law enforcement. He has no clue.”

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Nation’s Biggest Drug Store Chain CVS Fined $77.6 Million For Selling Meth Ingredients to Criminals

cvs_logo2By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

CVS Pharmacy, the largest retail drug store chain in the nation, agreed to pay $77.6 million in fines for unlawfully selling pseudoephedrine to criminals who made methamphetamine, the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles announced today.

It’s the biggest civil penalty in the history of the Controlled Substances Act.

CVS’ troubles began in mid-2007, when Mexico banned the sale of pseudoephedrine.

Los Angeles County soon saw a spike in sales of cold and cough remedies that contained the ingredient used to make the often addictive methamphetamine street drug.

Criminals were turning to CVS to buy the products because the chain, unlike others, allowed customers to make repeated purchases that exceeded the federal daily and monthly limits. The criminals inundated stores in the Los Angeles area and Nevada, buying cough and cold remedies that contained the key ingredient, sometimes wiping out store shelves, authorities said.

They also noted that there were sales violations at CVS stores in more than 20 states.

To read more click here.

Arab-American Student Who Found FBI GPS on Car Wants Congressman to Find Out Why

Rep. Honda/official photo

Rep. Honda/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Arab- American student from California who recently found an FBI GPS on his car is asking his Congressman to help find out why he was being followed, Jeff Stein of Spy Talk reports.

Stein reports that student Yasir Afifi has turned to Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) for help.

Afifi’s attorney told SpyTalk she was drafting a letter to the Congressman to “put some pressure on the FBI to explain its practices.”

The attorney Zahar Billoo told Spy Talk the FBI was “wasting tax dollars” by tracking Afifi and “not pursuing serious suspects.”

The son of an Islamic-American community leader, Afifi found a GPS device on his car during an oil change and the FBI came knocking to get it back.

The whole thing started one recent Sunday when Yasir Afifi, a 20-year-old American born business marketing student at Mission College in Santa Clara, Calif., discovered the device while getting an oil change at Ali’s Auto Care, WIRED reported.

The mechanic saw a mysterious wire near the right rear wheel and exhaust and removed it, WIRED reported. A friend of Ali’s then posted a photo the the GPS device online, according to an interview with Ali.

Two days later, WIRED reported, the FBI came for the device and Afifi turned it over.