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FBI

Feds Charge Hawaiian Man With Lying About Trying to Join Taliban

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The feds have arrested a Hawaiian man who traveled to Pakistan, hoping to join the Taliban or a similar group, the Associated Press reported.

Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, 21, a U.S. citizen, who was arrested Friday in Honolulu, was charged with making false statements relating to international terrorism, AP reported. The criminal complaint was unsealed Monday in New York.

Authorities say Shehadeh was living on Staten Island in New York in early 2008 when he made a plan to join the Taliban or a similar group in Pakistan.

Shehadeh actually flew from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Islamabad, Pakistan, on June 13, 2008, but was denied entry an returned to the U.S., AP reported. He originally told  FBI agents and New York police detectives that he traveled to Pakistan to visit an Islamic university and attend a friend’s wedding, but later confessed to his true purpose.

He also allegedly tried to recruit others, authorities allege, according to AP.

Column: Ex-FBI Official Says Naming Next FBI Director a Rare Opportunity for a Nonpartisan Appointment

Kathleen McChesney

By Kathleen McChesney, Ph.D.
FBI Executive Assistant Director (ret.)

As Robert S. Mueller III completes the final year of his ten-year term as the Director of the FBI, President Barack Obama and the United States Senate will have the critically important responsibility of nominating and confirming his successor.

This selection process should be devoid of the political posturing and gamesmanship that has surrounded the recent appointments of key government leaders and judges – but can only be so if the participants fully understand why the role of FBI Director is significantly different from other leadership positions.

While the FBI Director is not a political persona, the man or woman in this job exercises tremendous influence on international law enforcement issues and leaders.

The Director frequently makes crucial decisions on matters of national security and federal criminal investigations. He or she must be free to make decisions without fear of political consequences – especially in those cases involving public officials.

Read more »

FBI Started Tracking late Sen. Paul Wellstone After His Anti-Vietnam Arrest

Late Sen. Paul Wellstone

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI first took interest in the late Sen. Paul Wellstone when he was arrested during an anti-Vietnam war protest in 1970, and years later investigated death threats against him as a liberal Democratic senator, according to Minnesota Public Radio, which obtained FBI files under a Freedom of Information request.

MPR reported that Wellstone, who died in a plane crash in 2002, started getting death threats after he unseated incumbent Republican Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, but no one was ever charged. Wellstone opposed the first gulf war.

The FBI also investigated the plane crash in 2002, but found no evidence of criminal activity, MPR reported.

To read more and read the files click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

A Nostalgic Robert Mueller Address Police Chiefs for Last Time as FBI Director

Robert Mueller III last year in Denver at IACP / file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ORLANDO — A nostalgic Robert S. Mueller III addressed the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference (IACP) here on Monday for the last time as FBI director as he finishes up his 10 year term, which ends next  fall.

“My first IACP conference took place seven weeks after September 11th,” Mueller told the crowd. “There was much discussion that year about whether to even hold a conference. Many of you did not want to leave your departments in a time of crisis.

“In the end, you chose not to allow the events of that day to stop you from doing what needed to be done,” he said.

“In the past nine years, we have gone about our business in new ways, with new partners. And we are all better and stronger for it.”

Mueller went on to discuss the threats of terrorism — threats from al Qaeda and its affiliates “from the attempted Christmas Day bombing by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to the failed Times Square bombing by TTP, a militant group in Pakistan.”

And he emphasized the increasing importance of cooperation among law enforcement in the states and internationally.

Mueller closed by saying : “This is my final IACP Conference as Director of the FBI, and with that comes a degree of nostalgia.”

“Today, we all understand that the foundation of our partnership rests not only on training, task forces, and technology, but on friendship and trust…on our willingness to pick up the phone, walk across the hall, or meet after work for a beer or a glass of wine.”

And we know that this foundation of friendship will outlast any Director, any police chief, any agent, and any officer.”

Investigators Looking at Serial Killer in 2001 Murder of Seattle Fed Prosecutor

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Investigators are looking at an imprisoned serial killer and former FBI informant as a possible suspect in the 2001 murder of Seattle federal prosecutor Tom Wales, the Boulder Daily Camera reports.

Wales, 49,  and a father of two, was sitting in front of his computer in the basement of his home on Oct. 11, 2001 when he was shot and killed by someone in his backyard, the Camera reported.  For quite some time, authorities have been focusing on a Seattle businessman whom Wales unsuccessfully prosecuted.

Authorities are now looking at serial killer Scott Kimball, 44, who spent time in Seattle and told the FBI months and years after the killing that he had information about the case, the Camera reported. Kimball was  sentenced last year to 70 years in prison for killing his uncle and three Colorado women in 2003 and 2004, the paper reported. He is also a suspect in other murders.

To read more click here.

Los Angeles Times Editorial: Detainee Should Have Day in Court Against Ex-Atty. Gen. Ashcroft

John Ashcroft/doj photo

By the Los Angeles Times
Editorial Page

Granting a request by the Obama administration, the Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether former Atty. Gen. John Aschroft can be sued by a U.S. citizen who says he was wrongly arrested as a material witness.

Rather than reflexively protecting a former government official, the justices should pay close attention to an appeals court opinion explaining why Ashcroft isn’t entitled to immunity.

The case concerns Abdullah Kidd, a convert to Islam who was known as Lavoni Kidd when he played football for the University of Idaho. According to Kidd, in 2003 he was arrested at Dulles International Airport and then shuttled between detention facilities, under the pretense of securing his appearance as a witness at someone else’s trial on visa fraud charges.

Kidd’s arrest was predicated on a false FBI report that Kidd had purchased a one-way ticket to Saudi Arabia.

After two weeks of confinement, Kidd was released to his wife’s custody but deprived of his passport and subjected to limitations on his travel. In 2004, a court lifted the restrictions and dismissed Kidd as a material witness. He was never called to testify at the trial at which he was supposed to be a witness.

Kidd argues that Ashcroft adopted and implemented a policy of using material-witness warrants to detain suspected terrorists when probable cause of their wrongdoing was lacking — a policy that led to his arrest on the basis of a false statement.

To read more click here.

Ouch! DEA Agent Shot in Hip After Gun Accidentally Discharges During Training Drill

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A DEA agent got a little more than she bargained for when she went to the firing range in Los Angeles County.

The agent was shot and wounded in the hip after her gun accidentally discharged during a firearms training exercise on Sept. 28 at the DEA-authorized weapons range at the Pitchess Detention Center in Saugus, Calif., according to a DEA statement on Thursday, which came in response to an inquiry by ticklethewire.com.

The name of the agent, who is the daughter of a former DEA official, was not released.

The DEA said the agent’s pistol accidentally discharged while in the holster during a rescue training drill. She was treated at a local hospital for a non-life threatening injury.

The DEA said the incident is currently under internal review.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Fed Judge Rules Bank of China Can Be Sued in Terrorism Case

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — In an eye-brow raising ruling likely to get challenged, a federal judge in Washington ruled Wednesday that the Bank of China can be sued for allegedly supporting terrorism in a 2006 suicide bombing case in Israel, the Washington Post reported.

Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth, in an 118-page ruling, struck down a request by the state-controlled bank to be dropped from the case.

The South Florida parents of 16-year-old Daniel Wultz filed the suit after their son was killed in a Tel Aviv restaurant in a bombing the Palenstinian group Islamic Jihad took credit for, the Post reported. The group is supported by Syria and Iran.

Judge Lamberth/court photo

In the suit, Wultz’s parents, Yekutiel and Sheryl Wultz, are asking for $300 million in damages from Iran and Syria and the Bank of China (BOC).

“The 2008 lawsuit alleges that officials at the Bank of China ignored warnings by senior Israeli officials that Islamic Jihad was financing deadly bombings through a Bank of China account in the United States maintained by a purported senior officer of the militant group, Said al-Shurafa,” the Post reported.

“The Court must assume the truth of this allegation, which is plausible because it is reasonable to assume that, although BOC is not directly owned by China . . . China does exert a measure of control over the BOC through China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China,” the judge wrote.

Wang Baodong, a Chinese Embassy spokesman in Washington, told the Post that China opposes terrorism and “strongly question the allegations in question.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST