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FBI

S.C. County Councilman Busted For Computer Crime

Down in South Carolina, a popular County Councilman finds himself facing criminal charges for accessing a government computer and planting a monitoring device.

Tony Trout/county photo

Tony Trout/county photo

By David Dykes and Tim Smith
Greenville News Staff Writers
GREENVILLE, S.C. — The FBI on Wednesday arrested Greenville County Councilman Tony Trout on charges that he accessed without authorization a computer belonging to County Administrator Joe Kernell, according to U.S. Attorney Walt Wilkins and court records.
Trout said he was arrested by a swarm of FBI agents during a meeting with his attorney at a local fast-food restaurant. He called the FBI “imbeciles.”
He was released on $25,000 bond after a hearing before U.S. Magistrate William M. Catoe at the federal courthouse in Greenville.

For Full Story

Read FBI Affidavit

FBI Blocks Agents From Airing Criticisms About CIA

Two FBI agents won’t be appearing on a tv documentary to vent criticisms about the CIA. The FBI won’t let them.

By Jeff Stein
Spy Talk

The FBI has blocked two of its veteran counterterrorism agents from going public with accusations that the CIA deliberately withheld crucial intelligence before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
FBI Special Agents Mark Rossini and Douglas Miller have asked for permission to appear in an upcoming public television documentary, scheduled to air in January, on pre-9/11 rivalries between the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.
The program is a spin-off from The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, by acclaimed investigative reporter James Bamford, due out in a matter of days.
For Full Story

Four Oregon Students Confess To Obama Incident

Sen. Obama/official photo

Sen. Obama/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
A Christian university in Oregon said yesterday that four students confessed to being responsible for a Sept. 23  incident on campus in which Sen. Barack Obama was hanged in effigy.
The Office of Student Life at George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., identified the students late last week and completed disciplinary hearings, which resulted in long-term suspensions and community service, the university said in a press release posted on its website.
“Regardless of the students’ intent, the image of a black man hung from a tree is one of the most hurtful symbols of racism in American history,” Brad Lau, vice president of student life , said in the release. “Displays such as this have no place on a campus that is dedicated to living out the teachings of Jesus.”
The FBI opened up a preliminary investigation last week to determine if any federal civil rights laws were violated.
Read University Press Release
Read University President’s Remarks The Day After The Incident

FBI And U.S. Atty to Probe New Orleans Police Shootings

The FBI will investigate the controversial police shootings on Danziger Bridge three years ago that left two people dead and four wounded.

U.S. Atty. Jim Letten/doj photo

U.S. Atty. Jim Letten/doj photo

By The New Orleans Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS — U.S. Attorney Jim Letten announced today that federal authorities will examine if there is a basis for federal criminal charges in connection with the Sept. 4, 2005 shooting of citizens by police at the Danziger Bridge.
At the request of families of shooting victims and the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Justice Department agreed to examine facts of the Hurricane Katrina episode, which left two men dead and four people wounded.
“As a result of this productive dialog and referral to us, the Civil Rights Division, FBI and our U.S. Attorney’s Office will utilize as much time and resources as necessary to determine whether there are any prosecutable violation of federal criminal laws in this matter,” Letten said in a news release.
For Full Story

FBI Nabs Another In Scandal Plagued D.C. Tax Office

The city hall tax scandal in Washington just keeps getting stranger. The FBI has nabbed a new suspect — an auditor — who allegedly got involved in a scam even as agents were swarming about.

By Del Quentin Wilber and Nikita Stewart
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON – An auditor for the D.C. tax office has been charged with accepting a $6,000 bribe to lower a business’s taxes, allegedly taking the cash even as the FBI was swooping in on another scam at the agency.
El-Hadj Drame, 36, is accused of soliciting and taking the money between Nov. 4 and Nov. 14, a time when federal authorities were focused on a major fraud in the tax office. Harriette Walters, a mid-level manager, was arrested Nov. 7 and charged with carrying out the biggest embezzlement in the District government’s history.
For Full Story

Read Court Filing

Findings In Dumpster Help Crack Eco-Terrorism Case

In Michigan, an old eco-terrorist case went unsolved, that is until someone found some unusual items in a dumpster that helped the FBI crack the case.

By Ed White
Associated Press Writer
When arsonists torched two homes under construction in an upscale Washtenaw County subdivision in March 2003, investigators knew they were likely dealing with eco-terrorists.
ELF, the acronym for the Earth Liberation Front, and the phrase “no sprawl” were spray-painted on the garage of a nearby home in the Mystic Forest subdivision in Superior Township where houses, at that time, were selling for $600,000-$700,000. Fire investigators said it was apparent that an accelerant had been used by how quickly the homes were consumed by the flames.
Despite the spray-painted messages, there was no trail of evidence leading directly to members of the international eco-terrorism group, which readily admitted the fires were “consistent with actions that the ELF has taken in the past regarding urban sprawl.”
For Full Story

FBI And French Agents Put Art Thief In Prison

A stolen Monet painting/fbi photo

One of the stolen paintings/fbi photo

MIAMI – The FBI and French National Police worked undercover to bust an art thief linked to the 2007 armed robbery at the Musee des Beaux-Arts museum in Nice, France. Now the thief is headed off to prison.
A federal judge in Miami last week sentenced art thief Bernad Jean Ternus, a French National, to 5 years and 2 months in prison, the Justice Department said. Ternus met with undercover FBI agents and French National Police to fence the paintings, which included  the famous “The Lane of Poplars at Moret” by Alfred Sisley (shown in photo).
Read art theft indictment

Trial Begins In Plot to Attack Ft. Dix

wcbstv.com

wcbstv.com

Trial begins today for five Muslims accused of planning an attack at Ft. Dix in New Jersey. Were they hell-bent on carrying out the mission or just trying to sound tougher than they were? Jurors will need to sort that out. The U.S. has had mixed results in terrorism trials since 2001.

By George Anastasia
Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA — It was paintball and jihad, Dunkin’ Donuts and Osama bin Laden – terrorism come to suburbia.
And if the plot had been carried out, prosecutors say, the bodies of U.S. Army personnel would have been strewn across the fields of the Fort Dix military base.
Jury selection begins (Monday)for the trial of five foreign-born Muslims from the Philadelphia area charged with planning a jihad-inspired attack on the South Jersey military complex.
The government’s case is built primarily around secretly recorded conversations made by two cooperating witnesses who befriended the defendants. Those conversations, prosecutors say, detail “plans to attack Fort Dix and kill American soldiers” and include “discussions of the supposed justifications for such attacks rooted in radical jihadist ideology.”
But defense attorneys contend their clients talked a bigger game than they intended to play, portraying them as easily manipulated individuals led into a plot by paid FBI informants who created a conspiracy out of hollow words and empty threats.

For Full Story

Read Ft. Dix indictment