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FBI

FBI and Other Agencies Hitting Roadblocks in Pakistan

This latest development doesn’t bode well for the cooperation between the U.S. and the nation of  Paskistan, which is central to the war on terrorism.

By Josh Meyer
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — — U.S. efforts to identify and thwart the growing threat posed by Pakistani extremists who enjoy easy access to the United States — and already have a significant presence here — are being undermined by the government of Pakistan, according to current and former U.S. and Western counter-terrorism officials.

After the terrorist attack in Mumbai, India, in November, which killed more than 170 people, the FBI and other U.S. agencies went on high alert, searching without success for evidence of plotters in the United States.

But they were essentially shut down in efforts to work the Pakistan side of the investigation, not only to find additional plotters but to learn more about the Al Qaeda-affiliated Pakistani militant group suspected of orchestrating the attacks, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and its global network of cells, the officials said.

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III flew to Islamabad last week, in part to press for better cooperation. But the FBI and other U.S. officials have been denied access to about 20 members of Lashkar, including about six senior officials also suspected of heading the group’s global operations and fundraising.

For Full Story

Four Members of Anti-Government Group Arrested After FBI Undercover Operation

What better place to stage an overthrow of the government than Las Vegas, a place that probably has more money than our U.S. Treasury.

By The Associated Press
LAS VEGAS — Four members of an anti-government group have been arrested on charges that include money laundering, tax evasion and weapons possession, federal prosecutors said Friday.

Authorities said the four men are members of the Sovereign Movement, a group that attempts to overthrow the government and defy authority with “paper terrorism.” The arrests in Las Vegas on Thursday capped a three-year investigation into the group’s activities led by the Nevada Joint Terrorism Task Force, U.S. Attorney for Nevada Greg Brower said.

A grand jury indictment in federal court in Las Vegas names Samuel Davis, 54, of Council, Idaho; Shawn Rice, 46, of Seligman, Ariz.; Harold Call, 67, of Las Vegas; and Jan Lindsey, of Henderson.

For Full Story

FBI Surveilled Off-Duty U.S. Capitol Police Before Inauguration

The lead up to the Jan. 20  inauguration was more intense than any event before. Here’s a pretty good example of just how intense it was.

By Spencer Hsu, Mary Beth Sheridan and Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — In the days leading up to President Obama’s inauguration, U.S. law enforcement agencies huddled regularly in an effort to minimize any possible security risk to an event that promised record crowds for the country’s first black president.

But one agenda item led authorities to a target close to home: the ranks of the U.S. Capitol Police.

An FBI investigation that included taped surveillance had placed two off-duty veteran Capitol Police officers in the company of individuals whose racial views and capacity for violence were under scrutiny.

Although the recorded discussion did not center on Obama, federal law enforcement officials wanted to ensure that the officers were not on duty covering the Capitol, where the president took the oath of office, according to two sources involved in the matter.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Raid of Atlanta Charity is Triggering Questions

Any time the FBI raids your charity or business, questions start to pop up. In Atlanta, an FBI raid has sparked questions and made some lose faith in the charitable Angel Food Ministries.

By DIONNE WALKER
Associated Press Writer
ATLANTA — For more than a decade, Angel Food Ministries seemed like a godsend for families who purchased its low-cost food boxes and the churches that shared millions in revenue for distributing the goods.

It became an economic juggernaut in the faith community, employing hundreds, feeding thousands a month and pouring $19 million into its network of more than 5,000 host churches in 35 states.

Now, a lawsuit coupled with an FBI raid at the group’s headquarters has raised accusations of financial mismanagement at the nonprofit. The raid and ensuing FBI investigation have left congregations and church leaders weighing whether to cut their ties to the high-profile charity after the reported disclosure that six-figure salaries were paid to its founders.

For Full Story

Congressman Rush Holt Wants an Anthrax Commission to Investigate the Investigation

Rep. Rush Holt
Rep. Rush Holt

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – The anthrax caper just won’t go away.
Rep Rush Holt (D-N.J.) on Tuesday introduced legislation to create a Congressional commission to investigate the government’s response to the 2001 anthrax attacks that left five dead and sickened 17.

The legislation, the Anthrax Attacks Investigation Act of 2009, would set up a bipartisan commission that would make recommendations to the President and Congress on “how the country can best prevent and respond to any future bio-terrorism attacks”, according to Holt’s office.

“All of us – but especially the families of the victims of the anthrax attacks – deserve credible answers about how the attacks happened and whether the case really is closed,” Holt said in a prepared statement.

“The Commission, like the 9/11 Commission, would do that, and it would help American families know that the government is better prepared to protect them and their children from future bio-terrorism attacks.”

“Myriad questions remain about the anthrax attacks and the government’s bungled response to the attacks,” Holt said.

Debbie Weierman, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Washington field office, declined to comment on Wednesday on the bill.

The FBI spent years and millions of dollars following countless leads around the world centering on what turned out to be the wrong suspect- scientist Steven Hatfill. Internally, many in law enforcement circles privately blamed the lead FBI investigator for fixating on Hatfill and not looking beyond him.

That FBI investigator was eventually replaced and last summer FBI and Postal Inspectors began closing in on someone they believed was the real culprit — scientist Dr. Bruce Ivins. Ivins committed suicide before any charges were filed.

The deadly laced anthrax letters were apparently sent from a postal box in Rep. Holt’s district in Central New Jersey.

Nathan T. Gray Named Head of FBI’s Phoenix Office

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Nathan T. Gray, a native Kansan and 18-year veteran of the FBI has been named special agent in charge of the bureau’s Phoenix Division.
Gray has served in various field offices including Houston and Cincinnati.
In 1997, he was promoted to a supervisory position in the Organized Crime Section at headquarters and was detailed to the CIA’s Crime and Narcotics Center, the FBI said.
In 2000, he became a supervisor of the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Squad in Columbus, Ohio.
After Sept. 11, 2001, he was temporarily posted in the Islamabad and Riyadh Legal Attache Offices, the FBI said.
In 2006, he was named special agent in charge of the Charlotte office.

Exclusive: Authorities to Announce Murder Charge Today Against Long-time Suspect in Chandra Levy Case

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Authorities are expected to  announce today that a long-time suspect has been charged in the death of intern Chandra Levy, according to sources.
Charges are being filed against Ingmar Guandique, who is already serving a 10 year sentence for attacking two joggers in Rock Creek Park where Chandra Levy’s body was discovered in 2002.

One law enforcement source said authorities had built a cirumstantial case that included information from at least one person who knew Guandique. The charges were expected to be filed in D.C. Superior Court.

Levy, 24, disappeared in the Spring of 2001, triggering a summer full of stories and speculation about then-Congressman Gary Condit (D-Calif.), who had been carrying on an affair with the intern.

Authorities focused on Condit for quite a while, but eventually concluded that he had nothing to do with her disappearance. The publicity and the way Condit handled the matter — not very well — ended up derailing his promising political career which included aspirations to one day be California governor.

Susan Levy, Chandra’s mother, was contacted at her home shortly after noon Tuesday, but said she was too busy to talk at the moment.

Linda Katz, Chandra’s aunt, who lives in Maryland, said upon hearing the news: “I hope justice is served, and if he is proven guilty,  he gets the maximum penalty under the law.”

Read Allan Lengel’s Comments on Gary Condit

Ex-Rep. William Jefferson Trying to Discredit Key Witness By Getting Psychiatric Records

Ex-Rep. William Jefferson’s defense in his upcoming public corruption case is becoming clearer. For one, he insists any of his actions to drum up business for himself was not done under the official capacity of a Congressman. And two, he plans to discredit the sanity of a key witness, Lori Mody, a wealthy business woman who wore a wire after telling the feds that she was being shaken down for cash.

Regardless whether he can prove that the witness is mentally unstable, he’s got an uphill fight in that area. The government has videotape of him taking money from Mody and audio tapes of him talking to her, sounding more like a mobster than a Congressman, acting paranoid about the FBI and trying to avoid the mere mention of the word “cash”.

By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
WASHINGTON — If a key government witness against former Rep. William Jefferson has “qualms” about producing mental health records and answering questions “it is the charges that must yield, ” not Jefferson’s “right to defend against them, ” his attorneys say.

Documents filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., where Jefferson is scheduled to go on trial May 26 on 16 corruption charges, also reveal previously unreleased transcripts of FBI recorded conversations with the witness, Virginia businesswoman Lori Mody. The tapes describe her as worried about a possible stalker and having “a lot of personal issues” at the time she and Jefferson worked together on a Nigerian telecommunications project.

In the papers, Jefferson’s attorneys said that at some of the meetings between Mody and the congressman “considerable amounts of wine was consumed.” They also said the Justice Department had revealed in a previously sealed document that Mody was undergoing something (the phrase is redacted by court order) that affected her ability “to concentrate.”

The attorneys said they are entitled to raise these issues to challenge the credibility of Mody, who they describe as the key witness against the nine-term New Orleans Democrat.

For Full Story

Read One of Jefferson’s Motions for Pyschiatric Records of Witness