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FBI

Va. Man Who Plotted to Blow Up D.C. Area Subways Gets 23 Years; Was Caught in FBI Sting

Farooque Ahmed

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It’s serious prison time for Farooque Ahmed, 35, of Ashburn, Va., who pleaded guilty to plotting to bomb the Washington area subway system.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce in  Alexandria, Va. sentenced Ahmed, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, to 23 years in prison. Ahmed thought he was plotting with al Qaeda members to blow up the Metro system, when in fact he was dealing with undercover FBI operatives and agents in a sting.

“Mr. Ahmed today admitted he was determined to kill as many people as possible through multiple bombings at the heart of our nation’s capital,” said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride. “It’s chilling that a man from Ashburn could admit to planning these acts of terrorism, and a 23-year sentence is a just punishment. We are grateful for the outstanding work of the FBI in detecting and disrupting this plot.”

“From his home in Ashburn, Virginia, believing that he was working for Al-Qaeda, Farooque Ahmed plotted to carry out the simultaneous bombing of multiple Metro trains in the D.C. area,” said Todd Hinnen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

Ahmed was arrested by the FBI on Oct. 27, 2010.

According to court records, Ahmed met with people he thought were with al Qaeda and conducted surveillance and recorded video of Metrorail stations in Arlington, Va., on four occasions.

Suspected Calif. Synagogue Bomber Nabbed in Ohio

Ron Hirsch/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The nationwide hunt for a transient suspected of bombing a Santa Monica, Calif. synagogue last week ended Monday night with his arrest in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, the FBI said.

The FBI said a citizen tip resulted in the arrest of Ron Hirsch, who had taken a Greyhound bus on the day of last Thursday’s bombing, and was destined for New York, where he has relatives.

“There are at least 10 destinations in between Los Angeles and New York. Additional investigation and video surveillance indicates that Hirsch disembarked the bus in Denver and may have further deviated from his original route,” the FBI said.

The New York Daily News reported that the blast at the Chabad House synagogue “sent a 300-pound concrete-encased pipe ricocheting off the synagogue into a neighboring house where a child was sleeping.” There were no injuries.

Authorities initially thought it was an industrial accident.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Entertained Possibility that Hitler Was Alive After the War


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — For roughly 30 years, the FBI kept files on tips and rumors suggesting Adolph Hitler had faked his suicide in a Berlin bunker in 1945 and was hiding somewhere around the world, according to FBI documents available on the agency’s website.

In one of  the many FBI memos, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover wrote on Nov. 13, 1945 to the American Ambassador  in Buenos Aires: “The bureau is in receipt of a report from the Strategic Services Unit of the War Department dated October 23, 1945, concerning the possibility of a “Hitler Hideout” in Argentina.

“One Mrs. Eichorn, reported to be a reputable member of the Argentine society and the properitor of the largest spa hotel in La Falda, Argentina, recently made the following observations:

“That if Hitler should at any time get into difficulty wherein it was necessary for him to find a safe retreat, he would find such safe retreat at her hotel (La Falda) where they had already made the necessary preparations.”

Other FBI memo indicated he might be hiding out in such places as  Denmark or New York.

All that being said, Russian intelligence had information tha on April 29, 1945, Hitler and his female companion Eva Braun killed themselves in the Berlin bunker.

Read documents

FBI Investigated UFO in Utah in 1949

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Back in the late 1940s, FBI J. Edgar Hoover had more than communists on his mind.

An FBI memo shows on April 4, 1949, FBI agents in Utah sent an “urgent” cable to the Hoover saying an Army guard at the Ogden Supply Depot, a Logan policeman and a Utah Highway Patrol officer in Mantua, Utah, spotted a UFO over Utah that exploded, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The cable, according to the paper, said the various people, who were miles apart from one another, “saw a silver colored object high up approaching the mountains at Sardine Canyon” that “appeared to explode in a rash of fire. Several residents at Trenton … [reported] seeing what appeared to be two aerial explosions followed by falling object.”

The paper reported that other FBI documents showed the agency considered that UFOs might be legit. The documents were posted on the FBI website.

Indiana U.S. Atty. Joseph Hogsett Busted for Speeding: Guilt Prompts Him to Publicly Apologize

Joseph Hogsett/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It ain’t exactly the crime of the century. In fact, everyone from grandmas to teens do it.

In this case it was the Indianapolis U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett who was busted for speeding. And he apparently felt he needed to publicly apologize for his law breaking ways.

The IndyChannel.com reported that Hogsett was ticketed for driving 65 in a 55 mph zone last  Tuesday while driving from Terre Haute to Bloomington.

“The fact that I was running late to a previously scheduled meeting in Bloomington in no way justifies exceeding a posted speed limit,” he said in a statement, according to the station.

“I apologize for my poor judgment in exceeding the posted speed limit and I readily accept the consequences of my haste.”

His office said he was in the process of paying the $130 fine.

“I take my obligation to report to the people of Indiana what occurs in the United States Attorney’s Office very seriously,” Hogsett said, according to the station. “It is just as important to inform the people when I have fallen short of the mark as it is when this office has achieved some measure of success.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICE ACT NEWS

Weekend Series on Crime History: FBI Agent Joe Pistone of “Donnie Brasco” Fame

FBI’s Tape Recorder Went Dead During Portland Terrorism Probe

Mohamed Mohamud

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Despite all the advances, human error can still trump  modern technology.

The Portland Oregonian reports that the FBI’s efforts last July to record Mohamed Mohamud  first talking about taking part in a terrorist bombing plot in Portland failed because the tape recorder went dead.

“Put simply,” the government wrote in court paper filed Thursday, “it was human error: the device was accidentally turned on hours before the meeting time and therefore ran out of battery power as the meeting began.”

Mohamud’s lawyers have claimed their client was entrapped into participating in a plot to kill and maim thousands at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland on Nov. 26.

The paper reports that the first utterances in the case could be very significant.

The paper reported that legal scholars say “the FBI’s botched recording will make for interesting arguments in court because first utterances of criminal intentions are pivotal in entrapment cases.”

Atty. Gen. Holder Sends Memo to Justice Dept. Employees on Possible Shutdown; FBI’s Mueller Complains About Potential Budget Shortfall


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The prospect of a government shutdown over the budget is causing some unease at the Justice Department, which includes the FBI, DEA and ATF.

“Should it become necessary to implement our contingency plans, you will receive notice from your manager no later than Friday April 8th regarding the designation of your position and status,” Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. wrote in a memo to Justice employees, who number more than 100,000. The memo was obtained by CNN.

That being said,  CNN reports that the Justice Department has unofficially said all employees involved in public safety will be considered essential employees who will continue to work.

That means all FBI personnel will work, and all 116 federal prisons will continue to operate, CNN reported.

But CNN reports that the Justice Department “will be forced to stop or curtail activities including most civil litigation, community outreach to victims of crime and the processing of grants.”

CNN said Holder told employees Wednesday that “as soon as funding lapses federal departments and agencies will not be permitted to incur further financial obligations performing activities funded by annual appropriations except those related to the orderly suspension of operations or performance of excepted activities.”

FBI Dir. Mueller testifies on Hill/ file photo

Meanwhile, FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress Wednesday that the proposed short-term funding measure for the remainder of the year would create problems for the FBI in the area of intelligence, CNN reported.

“I can only say that under the proposed CR (continuing resolution) the FBI would be the only major partner in the intelligence community that is NOT fully funded. And while our intelligence community partners would be able to proceed with planned initiatives and programs, the Bureau (FBI) could not,” Mueller said, according to CNN.

CNN reported that Mueller also said: “We simply cannot afford to return to the pre-9/11 days where hiring and staffing at the FBI was a roller-coaster that left most field offices understaffed.” Mueller blamed pre-9/11 funding uncertainties for “degradation of the FBI’s physical and information technology infrastructure that contributed to shortcomings in our capabilities.”