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FBI

FBI Arrests Mass. Man For Allegedly Lying About a Terrorist Suspect

Just as he was about to start a new life abroad, the FBI swooped in and arrested Tarek Mehanna. Now he may be starting a new life, but not one he anticipated or certainly wanted.

By Shelley Murphy and Milton J. Valencia
Globe Staff
BOSTON — Statements that Tarek Mehanna allegedly made to the FBI two years ago in the midst of a terrorism investigation came back to haunt him last weekend, when the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy graduate was arrested as he was about to board a Boston flight to start a new job overseas.
Mehanna, 26, who was living in a sprawling house in Sudbury with his parents, is charged with lying to the FBI in December 2006 when questioned about the whereabouts and activities of Daniel J. Maldonado, a former Methuen resident who was suspected of training at an Al Qaeda terrorist camp to overthrow the Somali government.
An FBI affidavit unsealed in federal court in Boston Monday alleges that Mehanna told agents on Dec. 16, 2006, that he had known Maldonado for three or four years and that when he last spoke to him two weeks earlier, Maldonado was living in a suburb of Alexandria, Egypt, and working for a website.
For Full Story

Read Criminal Complaint

Blogger Comments on Arrest


Fire at FBI Headquarters Forces Evacuation

Behind closed doors, in meetings at the Pennsylvania Avenue headquarters, things on occasion have been known to get a little heated. But Tuesday afternoon things got way too hot.

By Clarence Williams
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — A boiler room fire at FBI headquarters in downtown Washington led to an evacuation this afternoon, D.C. fire officials said.
The fire department was called at 4:15 p.m. to the garage of the headquarters, off Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Firefighters found a utility room on the garage level was fully engulfed in flames. The blaze was extinguished within 15 minutes, officials said.
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Thirty Retired FBI Agents Call For Pardon of 4 Navy Men Convicted of 1977 Rape

It’s not everyday you get 30 retired FBI agents to come to your defense or write a letter to the governor on your behalf asking for a pardon.

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
RICHMOND, Nov. 10 — A group of 30 retired FBI agents added their voices Monday to the campaign calling for full pardons for four Navy men convicted in the rape and murder of a woman in Norfolk in 1997.
The men have come to be known as “the Norfolk Four,” and they have been the focus of a television documentary and a new book, “The Wrong Guys,” published this month. All four confessed involvement in the rape and stabbing death of 19-year-old Michelle Moore-Bosko inside her apartment, later recanted those confessions but were convicted anyway. Three are serving life sentences for murder, and the fourth was convicted of rape and has completed serving his 8 1/2 -year term.
The retired agents, members of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, sent Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) a letter in July seeking pardons for Joseph Dick, Derek Tice, Danial Williams and Eric Wilson. After they received no response, they decided to hold a news conference here Monday, led by Jay Cochran Jr., who headed the Virginia State Police criminal investigations bureau and was commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police after a 29-year FBI career.
For Full Story

Defense Attacks in Ft. Dix Terrorism Trial Could Hurt Govt. Case

The defense in the Ft. Dix terrorism trial is punching some holes in the government case. The big question is: Will the government’s case hold up?

wcbstv.com

wcbstv.com

By George Anastasia
PHILADELPHIA Inquirer
CAMDEN, N.J.–The chief FBI informant in the Fort Dix terrorism investigation said yesterday that at least one of the defendants in the case considered him “the brains” and the leader of the plot to attack the military complex.
And, in a comment that seemed to support the defense theory of the case, he said that two other defendants, brothers Dritan and Shain Duka, “wanted nothing to do with the matter” when he first alluded to it during a fishing trip in August 2006.
By that point, according to earlier testimony and evidence, informant Mahmoud Omar, 39, had held several in-depth discussions with defendant Mohamad Shnewer, 23, about the plan and had been assured by Shnewer that the Dukas, including a third brother, Eljvir, were committed.
“I was surprised of [the Dukas’] lack of knowledge of anything we had discussed,” Omar said in recounting the reaction of Dritan and Shain Duka to comments he made during the fishing trip.
For Full Story

See Daily Transcript Of The Trial and Videos

FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover Kept Tabs on the Late Norman Mailer

For the second time in less than a week we learn that the FBI kept tabs on a famous writer. Last week, the FBI released files on the late journalist David Halberstam. Now the Washington Post has obtained files on the late Norman Mailer. And last month, the FBI released its files on the late investigative columnist Jack Anderson who was despised by J. Edgar Hoover.

Norman Mailer

Norman Mailer

By Joe Stephens
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — In the summer of 1962, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was scanning his morning Washington Post when an item on Page A15 caught his eye. Norman Mailer’s most recent article in Esquire magazine had mocked Jacqueline Kennedy for, among other things, being excessively soft-spoken for a first lady.
Hoover scribbled a note: “Let me have memo on Norman Mailer.”
Over the next 15 years, FBI agents closely tracked the grand and mundane aspects of the acclaimed novelist’s life, according to previously confidential government files. Agents questioned his friends, scoured his passport file, thumbed through his best-selling books and circulated his photo among informants. They kept records on his appearances at writers’ conferences, talk shows and peace rallies.
For Full Story

Gov. Tim Kaine To Get Atty. General Post? Not Likely but FBI’s Mueller Plans To Stay

Gov. Tim Kaine/official photo

Gov. Tim Kaine/official photo

FBI's Mueller

FBI's Mueller

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — First off, the persistent rumor that Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) might get the Attorney General job in the Obama administration simply isn’t worth much.
That’s what his press secretary Gordon Hickey told ticklethewire.com on Monday.
“He will not leave his job for any cabinet appointment in the Obama Administration,” Hickey said. “He’s serving until January of 2010.”
Other names being mentioned in the media and by law enforcement  sources include: Eric Holder, a former U.S. Attorney and deputy Attorney General under Clinton; Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano; Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a former assistant U.S. Attorney; and Rep. Arthur Davis (D-Ala.). There is also talk that Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who is on  President-elect Obama’s economic transition team,   could be a dark horse candidate.
Meanwhile, it looks like FBI director Robert Mueller III plans to serve out his 10-year term, which expires in 2011, according to reliable sources.
“He’s told people he has no intention of leaving” until his term is up, said one well placed source.
Sources said Mueller had talked about stepping down a little while back because his wife was ill.
But they say she’s doing much better now, and the stoic director wants to stick around.

Fed Judge Orders Detroit Reporter To Give Deposition About Secret Sources

David Ashenfelter/photo-michigan journalism hall of fameThe contracted battle to get a Detroit Free Press reporter to give up his sources rages on in the Motor City. The matter is headed for a showdown.

BY M.L. Elrick
Free Press Staff Writer
DETROIT — U.S. District Court Judge Robert Cleland ruled Friday that Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter must appear for a deposition in a lawsuit, rejecting the newspaper’s bid to have a Washington, D.C., judge decide the matter.
Ashenfelter (pictured above)  wrote in 2004 that the Justice Department was investigating possible professional misconduct by Richard Convertino, a federal prosecutor in Detroit who oversaw a failed 2003 terrorism case. Convertino filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department in Washington and is seeking to question Ashenfelter about his sources.
Convertino was later indicted on charges of lying to a jury to win convictions in the terrorism case. He was acquitted.
Ashenfelter did not attend a deposition last month while the newspaper’s lawyer contested the deposition.Free Press Editor Paul Anger pledged to continue fighting the deposition.
“Freedom of the press and the public’s right to know are at stake here,” he said. “Sources can be valuable, and the case of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is just one recent example. Sources will not come forward to give the public information about the actions and possible misconduct of government officials if they fear retaliation. Those sources deserve protection, and so do reporters.”
For Full Story
Read Court Order
Read Column by Retired FBI Agent Greg Stejskal on Convertino
Other Stories of Interest

Feds Join Probe of N.Y. Black Muslim Teen Beaten By Anti-Obama Thugs

Not everyone was celebrating Obama’s victory on election day. In fact, in some places like New York the backlash was downright violent.

By John Marzulli
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — The feds have joined the investigation into the alleged attack of a black Muslim teenager by white thugs shouting “Obama!” on Election Day in Staten Island, authorities said Friday.
A spokesman for Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell said federal prosecutors and the FBI are reviewing with local authorities the attack on Ali Kamara, a student at Curtis High School.
The 17-year-old told police he was kicked and beaten with a baseball bat by four white men who were apparently furious that Barack Obama had been elected President.
For Full Story