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News Story

al Qaeda Takes Credit for Explosive Cargo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In an announcement that came as little surprise, the Yemen-based branch of al Qaeda claimed responsibility Friday for explosive devices aboard airplanes bound for the U.S. last week, CNN reported.

CNN reported that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which authorities had suspected all along, posted its claim on various radical Islamist websites, saying, “We will continue to strike blows against American interests and the interest of America’s allies.”

CNN said the statement also claimed responsibility for the crash of a UPS cargo plane in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on September 3.

To read more click here.

Bush Memoir Says He Personally Gave CIA Go Ahead to Waterboard

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Bush writes in his about to be released memoir that he personally gave the go ahead to waterboard 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who currently awaits trial in federal court.

The Washington Post reports that Bush, in his book “Decision Points”, writes when the CIA asked if it could waterboard Mohammed, he replied “Damn right.”

The Post reports that Bush told an interviewer a week before leaving the White House: “I firmly reject the word ‘torture,” and he repeats that sentiment in the book.

The book is due out Tuesday.

To read more click here.

Navy SEAL and 2 Others Busted in ATF Sting

softair gun from online catalogue

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Navy SEAL and two other men have been busted in an ATF sting in which they allegedly smuggled illegal firearms, including AK-47 assault rifles, from Iraq and Afghanistan, and sold them to an undercover agent, federal authorities in Las Vegas said Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Nicholas Bickle, 33, assigned to a SEAL team based in Coronado, Calif,  Richard Paul, 34, of Durango, Colo., and Andrew Kaufman, 36, of Las Vegas,  were indicted in the case, the Times reported.

The three allegedly sold 18 AK-47s and 14 other firearms to an undercover ATF agent in  Las Vegas, Durango, and Bayfield, Colo., according to Daniel G. Bogden, U.S. attorney for Nevada.

Authorities said the AK-47s sold for $1,300 each and six handguns for $300 apiece, the LA Times reported.

7 Israelis Extradited in Lottery Scam That Ripped Off Elderly U.S. Citizens

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Oye!

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York announced on Thursday the extradition of seven Israelis, who ran a lottery telemarketing scam that netted about $2 million from elderly victims in the U.S. between 2007 and September 2008.

“The perpetrators of this fraudulent lottery scheme gambled and lost,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “They allegedly preyed on the elderly, gained their trust, and exploited their vulnerability, but now they will face American justice. ”

Authorities alleged that the defendants identified elderly victims by purchasing the names and contact information of U.S. residents who subscribed to sweepstakes lotteries from list brokers.

They then contacted the victims and solicited information about their finances, saying they had won a substantial cash prize and would get it once they paid the ncessary fees and taxes, authorities said.

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Royal Dutch Shell and Other Firms Pay $236.5 Million in Fines for Foreign Bribes

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Royal Dutch Shell PLC, a  Swiss freight company, four oil service companies and a U.S. shipping firm will pay a total of $236.5 million in criminal and civil fines for bribing foreign officials in 10 countries for favorable treatment, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

The companies bribed officials for favorable treatment in customs duties, imports and taxes, authorities said.

Authorities said the break down of the fines were as follows: $156.5 million in criminal fines and about $80 million in civil fines and restitution.

For more details click “read more” below.

Read more »

Feds Find 600-Yard Drug Tunnel at Mexico-Calif. Border

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities on Wednesday discovered a 600-yard long tunnel with lighting and ventilation that went from Tijuana to California that was used to smuggle marijuana, the New York Times reported.

DEA and ICE officials said they found about 30 tons of marijuana in the Otay Mesa section of San Diego,the Times reported. Most of the marijuana was in the tunnel.

Authorities said the tunnel wasn’t large enough to stand up in, and that smugglers likely crawled through it, the Times reported, adding that warehouses on both sides were used to store drugs.

The Times reported that authorities have found more than 75 tunnels along the border in the last four years.

St. Louis Cab Driver and 2 Others Indicted on Charges of Supporting al Qaeda Group in Somalia

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

From our nation’s heartland comes the latest allegation of people supporting al Qaeda  with cash.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in St. Louis unsealed an indictment Wednesday charging three men including a cab driver from St. Louis with conspiring to fund al Shabaab, a terrorist group in Somalia linked to al Qaeda, authorities announced.

The indictment charged cab driver Mohamud Abdi Yusuf, a Somali national who immigrated to the United States as a refugee, with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and three counts of providing material support to al Shabab.

Authorities allege that Yusuf and Abdi Mahdi Hussein of Minnesota  sent money through a Minneapolis wire transfer business where Hussein worked, to Al Shabab supporters in Somalia between 2008 and at least July 2009.  Authorities allege that Duane Mohamed Diriye received the money. He is believed to be in Somalia or Kenya.

U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan issued a statement saying: “This type of activity is uncharacteristic of the local Somalian population in the St. Louis area, which is approximately 2,000.”

Baltimore Cop Gets 5 Years In Beating of Handcuffed Juvenile

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Baltimore cop Gregory Mussmacher was convicted in state court of assault after he used his police baton to strike a handcuffed and shackled juvenile in the head and face.

But the conviction was reversed. So in stepped the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, which convicted Mussmacher in May for the 2004 beating and obstructing justice by trying to cover the matter up, authorities said.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in Baltimore sentenced the former  Baltimore cop to five years in prison, the Justice Department announced.

During its probe into the matter, the Justice Department also brought charges against  two officers, Guy Gerstel and Wayne Thompson,  who pleaded  guilty and testified against Mussmacher. Gerstel, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during the investigation, is set to be sentenced later this month. Thompson, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor obstruction charge, was sentenced in September to 6 months of home detention.

“The power that accompanies a police officer’s badge does not give the officer the right to violate the civil rights of those in his or her custody,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil rights Division. “The Justice Department will aggressively prosecute any officer who abuses their power and violates the public trust in this way.”

“Any police officer who abuses a suspect, writes false reports and obstructs justice must be held accountable,” added Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland. “This case is an embarrassment to the many officers who earn our confidence by performing their duties with honor and integrity.”

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