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FBI

8 in Minn. Charged in FBI Probe into Recruiting for Somali Terror Group

The FBI has continually sited concerns over the past several months about the recruitment of Somali men in America who have gone overseas to fight with the terrorist group Al-Shabaab. The probe has also caused serious tension between the FBI and the Somali-American community.

SOMALI-map2

By JAMES WALSH, RICHARD MERYHEW and ALLIE SHAH
Minneapolis Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — Terrorism charges were filed today in Minneapolis against eight men from Minnesota in connection with an ongoing FBI investigation into the recruitment and training of up to 20 local Somali men believed to have returned to their homeland to fight for the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab.

The eight were also charged with providing financial support and fighting for Al-Shabaab, designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist group with ties to Al-Qaida.

The development, announced at a 3 o’clock briefing at the office of the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, brings to 14 the total number of local men charged or indicted in the case, considered to be one of the most far-reaching counterterrorism probes since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Four of the 14 already have pleaded guilty, but have not been sentenced.

For Full Story

FBI Report Says Hates Crimes Up Against Blacks, Jews, Gays

hate_crimes2
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Hate apparently never goes out of style.

Hate crimes against blacks and religious groups increased in 2008 over the previous year, and hate crimes overall rose by 2 percent to 7,783 incidents, according to hate crime statistics released by the FBI on Monday. The number of victims totalled 9,691.

Still, the numbers should be carefully weighed.  The FBI noted that its Uniform Crime Reporting Program doesn’t report trends in this area because the number of law enforcement agencies that report hate crimes varies each year. In 2008, 2,145 police agencies reported hate crimes, compared with 2,025 last year.

Reported hate crimes against blacks jumped by 8 percent; against gays 3 percent and biased incidents based on religion were up 9 percent this year. It said 2/3 of the religion based hate crimes involved anti-Semitism

Read FBI press release

Read Statistics

Ex-Klansman Supposedly Bragged That Authorities Never Searched His Property in Connection with 3 Slayings

KKK/fbi file photo

KKK/fbi file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Imprisoned ex-Klansman Edgar Ray Killen supposedly bragged that authorities never searched his property, which may contain evidence including a gun that could implicate others in the 1964 KKK slayings of three civil rights workers, the Jackson Clarion Ledger reported.

The paper reported that ex-inmate Larry Ellis, who shared a cell next to  Killen, recently disclosed to the FBI the information about Killen bragging . The three civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were killed on June 21, 1964 in Philadelphia, Miss.

Killen,84, is serving 60 years for a 2005 manslaughter conviction in connection with the murders. He is appealing the conviction, the paper said.

The paper reported that the FBI had no comment and Killen’s lawyer Rob Ratliff of Mobile said his client denies telling Ellis any of this and called Ellis a con man. Ellis is writing a book on the matter.

To Read More

Turkey Rejects FBI Mueller’s Request for Info About Travelers

Robert Mueller III/file photo

Robert Mueller III/file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III may not be getting the warm and fuzzy treatment from Turkey.

The BBC reports that a Turkish newspaper website,  Radikal, said Turkey had rejected Mueller’s request that the nation share biometric data on everyone who uses its ports and airports.

The website said Mueller, who visited Turkey last Wednesday, had asked for the info to track terrorists traveling through Turkey. It said Turkey immediately rejected the request.

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara  issued a press release saying Mueller met in Turkey with Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin and Chief of Police Oguz Kagan Koksal to discuss counterterrorism and law enforcement matters.

Here is the press release.

Read more »

Will Gotti Prosecutors Face Legal Dilemma: Try Try Try Try Try Again???

John Gotti Jr./youtube

John Gotti Jr./youtube

By Allan Lengel
For Sphere.com (A New AOL News Site)

Legally, there’s no limit. But all the same, prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York working the case of mobster John Gotti Jr. must be wondering: When a defendant gets off thanks to repeated mistrials, how many times can you retry him before it’s time to concede defeat?

Gotti’s ongoing trial, which began Sept. 21, is his fourth in five years; the previous three ended with their juries deadlocked. And on Thursday, prosecutors got some unsettling news. The jury, which has been deliberating for seven days, wrote U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel to inform him that “we are unable to reach a unanimous verdict,” according to the New York Daily News.

As is typical, the judge directed the jury to keep deliberating on the three counts facing Gotti, which include allegations of racketeering and murder. The jury was off Friday and plans to resume deliberations Monday.

For Full Story

SATURDAY UPDATE

FBI to Probe Ark. Cop’s Use of Taser on 10-Year-Old Girl

taser gunBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

What do you get when you have a cop, a stun gun and an unruly 10-year-old girl who doesn’t want to take a shower?

Answer: An FBI investigation.

The Associated Press is reporting that the Ozark, Ark., Mayor Vernon McDaniel and the city Police Chief Jim Noggle announced on Friday that the FBI was investigating a Nov. 11 incident  in which officer Officer Dustin Bradshaw allegedly used a stun gun on a 10-year-old girl.

He was been suspended with pay for a week for not having a video camera attached to his Taster.

The AP reported that the mother had summoned police because her daughter refused to take a shower. The mother supposedly suggested the officer use the stun gun after the girl became violent and verbally combative. He apparently complied with the request.

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Tells Detroit Crowd Arab-American and Muslim Rights Must be Protected

The Justice Department and FBI need to continually work on the relationship with the Arab-American and Muslim communities no matter how strained things get. It’s good for both sides. And no better place to make a speech like this than in the Detroit area, home to one of the largest, if not thee largest, Arab-American populations in the country.

detroit1

BY NIRAJ WARIKOO
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

DETROIT — Reaching out to Arab Americans and Muslims, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a Detroit speech Thursday night that their full rights must be protected as the country battles security threats.

“This is not blind adherence to political correctness,” Holder told hundreds at the Detroit Marriott in the Renaissance Center. “It is devotion to our founding documents.”

He said that it’s vital that all ethnic and religious groups in America be treated equally. He also said racial profiling was bad policy that breeds mistrust and division.

“For the last nine months, I’ve heard from Muslim and Arab Americans who feel uneasy about their relationship with their government, who feel isolated and discriminated against by law enforcement,” Holder said. “It is inconsistent with what America is all about.”

For Full Story

FBI and Postal Investigators Arrest 26 in Scheme to Defraud FCC’s Program for Hard of Hearing and Deaf

fcc
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Twenty six people around the nation were indicted in a scheme to rip off millions of dollars from the Federal Communications Commission’s program that allows the deaf and hard of hearing to communicate with the hearing through special video equipment.

FBI agents and Postal Inspectors from states including New York, Florida, Oregon, Texas and Maryland arrested the defendants in the case on Thursday, federal authorities said.

The defendants were people involved in companies that got reimbursed for providing the FCC’s  Video Relay Service, authorities said, adding that they allegedly filed tens of millions of dollars in bogus bills.

Read more »