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FBI

Father of NY Subway Bomb Plotter Faces More Charges

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Mohammed Zazi, the father of the New York subway bomb plotter Najibullah Zazi, is facing additional charges including allegations of lying and witness tampering, Newsday reported.

In a superseding indictment, authorities charged that he tried to destroy evidence after learning in 2009 that his son was under FBI investigation.

His son Najibullah Zazi, a Colorado airport shuttle bus driver, pleaded guilty this year to plotting an attack on New York City’s subways and has been cooperating with authorities, Newsday reported.

The father Mohammed Zazi lives in Denver and has been free on bail since being charged in the case in January, Newsday reported.

Newsday reported that authorities charged that the father destroyed some of his son’s bomb-making equipment and tried talking a witness out of speaking to the FBI.

NY Agent Richard Kolko Talks About FBI’s InfraGard Program

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pxobh3MkKak

Lawyer Claims Oregon Teen Was Entrapped by FBI

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The federal defender for the Oregon teen accused of trying to detonate a fake bomb in an FBI sting, is claiming his client was entrapped by the government, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a Somali-American, pleaded not guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to charges he tried detonating a van filled with fake explosives at a crowded holiday celebration last Friday in Portland, Ore.

The Los Angeles Times reported that federal defender Stephen R. Sady told the judge the FBI had been “basically grooming” Mohamud for months to commit a terrorist act.

He also expressed concern that the FBI’s failed to record agents’ first meeting with Mohamud. Subsequent meetings were recorded.

“In cases involving potential entrapment, it’s the first meeting that matters,” Sady said, according to the paper. “The first meeting was not recorded.”

The paper reported that after the hearing, Sady and Steven Wax, the federal public defender, released a statement saying the FBI’s sting “raises significant concerns about the government manufacturing crime — or entrapment.”

“The affidavit reveals that government agents suggested key actions to this teenager, spent thousands of dollars on him, specified components, drove Mr. Mohamud around, and were instrumental in setting up” the purported bombing attempt, they said, according to the paper.

Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. told reporters on Monday that he was “confident that there is no entrapment here, and no entrapment claim will be found to be successful,” the paper reported.

Holder said undercover FBI agents gave the teen numerous chances “to retreat, to take a different path. He chose at every step to continue.”

To read more click here.

Read FBI Affidavit

Inspector Gen. Glenn Fine Hanging it Up

Glenn Fine/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Over the years, his Inspector General reports have stung such agencies as the FBI and ATF and DEA, pointing out flaws, offering suggestions that have not always been welcomed with open arms.

Now, Glenn Fine, the Justice Department’s Inspector General, is hanging it up, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. announced. He will leave in January.

“For more than fifteen years, Glenn Fine’s commitment to integrity and professionalism has helped the Department of Justice fulfill its most important responsibilities,” Holder said in a statement.

“It has been a privilege to work with Glenn during my service as both Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General. Throughout his decade-long tenure as Inspector General, he has embodied the Justice Department’s highest ideals and greatest traditions of service.

“In the Justice Department’s most critical operations and practices, especially our efforts to combat corruption, fraud, waste and abuse, the work done by the Office of the Inspector General is essential. Thanks to Glenn’s outstanding leadership, this Office has never been stronger.

“I am grateful for his service, and I am certain that the Justice Department and the American people will continue to benefit from Glenn’s enduring contributions.

Authorities Arrest Mexican Drug Dealer Who Ok’d Most Killings in Violent Border Town

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In a very very violent city in Mexico comes some good news.

Authorities on Saturday arrested Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, a notorious drug gang leader, who has confessed to ordering most killings in the the border city of Ciudad Juárez since August 2009, the New York Times reports. The killings include the drive-by shootings of a U.S. consular employee and her husband, the Times reported, attributing the information to Mexico’s federal police.

Authorities said that Castrellon,32, is the alleged leader of criminal organization ‘Los Aztecas’ in Mexico, the Times reported.

Castrellón, 32, was arrested along with two other gang leaders in a Juárez neighborhood, the New York Times reported.

“He is in charge of the whole organization of Los Aztecas in Ciudad Juárez,” Mr. Cárdenas told reporters at a news conference in Mexico City, the Times reported “All the instructions for the murders committed in Ciudad Juárez pass through him.”

To read more  click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Teen Bomber in Portland Was Angry At Parents for Keeping him from Jihad


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the Somali-born teen busted in an FBI sting after trying to detonate a van with dummy explosives during an annual tree-lighting ceremony in downtown Portland, Ore., on Friday night, was angry at his parents for keeping him from jihad, the Oregonian newspaper reported.

The paper, citing government court documents, stated that Mohamud, 19, sent an e-mail June 25, 2010, to an undercover FBI operative saying he’d been “betrayed by my family” because he was unable to fly from the United Kingdom to Pakistan.

Mohamud said in a video that living in the U.S. “is a sin”, the paper reported.

“To my parents, who held me back from Jihad in the cause of Allah. I say to them, if you make allies with the enemy, then Allah’s power will ask you about that on the day of judgment …,” Mohamud said in the video, according to court documents.

The arrest was the result of an FBI sting in which the agency worked with Mohamud in assembling a bomb he tried twice to detonate on Friday night.

“The threat was very real. Our investigation shows that Mohamud was absolutely committed to carrying out an attack on a very grand scale,” said Arthur Balizan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “At the same time, I want to reassure the people of this community that, at every turn, we denied him the ability to actually carry out the attack.”

To read more click here.

Read Washington Post story

Portland Bomb Suspect Appeared to be Normal Teen (LA Times)

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

$100K Down the Toilet; Scandal Rocks D.C. Suburb as FBI Investigates

Jack Johnson/wusa

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

The former school superintendent is behind bars. County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife are whisked away in handcuffs by FBI agents, after authorities say she flushed evidence in the form of a $100,000 check down the toilet. And a few days later, three county cops are indicted in an FBI probe linked to the county executive — a probe that has all the markings of a much bigger scandal to come.

This is no obscure county in the middle of Nowheresville, U.S.A. It’s Prince George’s County, 498 square miles with more than 800,000 residents, long considered one of the most affluent African-American majority counties in the nation. It’s home to the Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field and the University of Maryland. And it borders Washington, D.C.

Still, for all the good in the county, including some first-rate neighborhoods and a major new hotel, shopping and entertainment complex on the Potomac River, it has long fought hard in the public relations game and often come up short, battling nagging negatives.

Over the years, the police department was plagued by allegations of excessive force. The crime rate spiked a few years ago, with homicides hitting a record 173 in 2005, just 21 short of Washington’s tally. In 2008, Schools Superintendent Andre Hornsby was convicted of steering contracts to a girlfriend and a business associate in exchange for money. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

And now this.

“I think this situation has been extremely embarrassing for Prince George’s County, ” said Mel Franklin, a newly elected County Council member who will take office Dec. 6, the same day new County Executive Rushern L. Baker III replaces Johnson, who was prevented from running again because of term limits. “It worsens the perception that we have a pay-to-play leadership, particularly when it comes to development. And it comes at a particularly bad time when we have a change in leadership. This is really an unfair distraction.”

Still, those like Jim Keary, a former reporter and current press spokesman for Johnson, think the PR battle for the county has always been played on an uneven field.

“The only time the media shows up in Prince George’s County is for something negative,” says Keary, who will leave the job when Johnson departs. “There was never any balance. We have the lowest crime rate in 35 years right now. Have you seen any banner headlines on that?”

Keary is not alone.

Phil Lee, a self-described community activist and advocate, said, “I’ll tell you, strange enough, honestly I find people appear to be more upset or aggravated with the press to some degree, because I think what people say is everyone is innocent until proven guilty. The reality is, the county executive has always had a very good relationship with the community.

“You find people who believe he [Johnson] is going to be vindicated. And people who think there will be a long, ugly, drawn-out trial and that does not serve us well. Nobody really likes this.”

The latest development took many by surprise. Johnson, 61, a former state’s attorney for the county, was elected county executive in 2002 and was re-elected in 2006.

He pledged to make the county more livable and cleaner. He also worked hard to change the image of the police department, which some residents saw as overly aggressive. Additionally, under his tenure, the county got an impressive AAA credit rating and attracted the massive National Harbor development on the Potomac.

But Johnson had his share of detractors, and for years there had been rumors of federal and state investigations into the hiring of friends and questionable relationships between Johnson and developers.

Then, late last week, FBI agents took away Johnson and his wife, Leslie, in handcuffs. The arrest capped a drama the FBI captured on a wiretapped phone conversation between Johnson and his wife on the day of the arrest, just as FBI agents stood outside their door waiting for someone to answer. Johnson’s wife was home.

According to the FBI affidavit, Johnson had on different occasions allegedly taken a $100,000 check, $5,000 in cash and $15,000 in cash from a developer. So as FBI agents waited outside, according to police, Johnson told his wife to flush a check from a developer down the toilet and hide the cash in her underwear. She told him it was in her bra. Agents finally came in and found it in her underwear — more than $79,000, according to the affidavit.

As if the county needed another blemish, three days later, nine people — including three county policemen — were indicted in an FBI sting in which the cops allegedly helped protect and sell untaxed cigarettes and liquor. One cop was indicted on drug trafficking charges. Federal authorities said publicly the investigation was linked to the Johnson probe, but didn’t elaborate.

A federal law enforcement source told AOL News that Johnson’s name came up during the FBI investigation into police corruption and the sale of untaxed cigarettes and liquor. A liquor store owner, who was one of the nine people indicted, told an undercover FBI agent in the case that he had given Johnson $40,000 to take care of a problem he had getting a permit for a property he owned, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the case’s sensitivity.

And one of the officers indicted, who worked off-duty as a security guard for the liquor store, told the undercover agent during the sting that Johnson was on the payroll of the store and was all about the money, the law enforcement source said.

As for Johnson, Keary, his press spokesman, says his boss insists he’s innocent and wants to finish up his term. In fact, on Monday, a few days after getting arrested, Johnson showed up for work.

“He and his family are doing well,” Keary said. “He received visits and messages from hundreds of people who told him to remain strong and faithful and finish what he started.”

Keary said he wished the media would report on such things as the county’s AAA bond rating. “The image of this county would be much better,” he said.

County Council member Franklin says of the Johnson affair, “I’m very disturbed by the circumstances that arose last Friday. They’re very difficult for anyone to just explain away.

“That’s why it’s very important that our [new] leadership be adamant that corruption in Prince George’s County cannot be tolerated,” he said.

Critics Question Appointment of FBI Agent to Run Terrorist Explosive Center

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI has appointed veteran agent Rafael J. Garcia to run its Terrorist Explosives Device  Analytical Center (TEDAC) , but some critics say there are people more qualified for the job, reports Jeff Stein’s Spy Talk column in the Washington Post.

Spy Talk writes that Garcia, who has been with the FBI for about 15 years, “may be a very fine man, but veteran bomb experts are complaining that he comes to the new job without any first-hand experience with explosives.”

Spy Talk writes that critics say the selection isn’t a bad reflection on Garcia, but rather the FBI’s selection of managers. Some critics say the job should have gone to Greg Carl, head of the FBI’s explosives unit for the past eight years.

FBI spokesman Michael Kortan told Spy Talk Garcia “was selected as TEDAC Director because of his proven record of effective leadership within the FBI and among other government partners in the military and intelligence communities.”

Garcia had “experience in Iraq with IEDs,” Kortan told Spy Talk and a “distinguished record in the intelligence field.”

To read more click here.

Reader Comments

Comment from Bill McCrory | [e]

Time November 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm

So send him to the HDS Basic course. He needs enough HDS training to enable him to understand the technologies and interact with those who are specialized (“experts”), but his main function will be to administer the unit. He’s not going to be doing RSPs. Being a tech does not guarantee administrative, leadership, and management competence.