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Tag: bomb plot

Terrorists Convictions Upheld in Plot to Bomb 110-Story Building and FBI Offices

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The appeals of Narseal Batiste and followers were rejected in Atlanta on Tuesday, reports the Associated Press. Batiste and four others were convicted of plotting, in conjunction with al-Qaida, to destroy the 110-story Willis Tower in Chicago and to bomb FBI offices in several cities in May of 2009.

Batiste, cited as the group’s ringleader, questioned the sufficiency of the evidence, the FBI’s use of an informant posing as a member of al-Qaida and one juror’s dismissal amid deliberations in the trial. A three-judge panel in Atlanta’s 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the claims.

The men were convicted of providing material support to al-Qaida in addition to the plan to take down the hulking, 110-story Chicago skyscraper formerly known as the Sears Tower. Their stated goal was to “overthrow the US government,” according to the AP.

After two mistrials, they were convicted the third time around.

To read more click here.

FBI-DEA Foil Iranian-Linked Plot to Kill Saudi Ambassador to U.S.

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department on Tuesday afternoon announced that FBI and DEA agents had foiled a plot linked to the Iranian government to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.

Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old Iranian-American, and Gholam Shakuri, an Iran-based member of Iran’s Qods Force– a unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) –said to be a sponsor of terrorn -were charged in New York, according to the Justice Department. Arbabsiar was arrested on Sept. 29 at JFK Airport, while Shakuri remains at large.

“As alleged, these defendants were part of a well-funded and pernicious plot that had, as its first priority, the assassination of the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, without care or concern for the mass casualties that would result from their planned attack,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement. “Today’s charges should make crystal clear that we will not let other countries use our soil as their battleground.”

“The criminal complaint unsealed today exposes a deadly plot directed by factions of the Iranian government to assassinate a foreign Ambassador on U.S. soil with explosives,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a Justice Department statement.

ABC News reported that the plot also included plans to bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in D.C.

Authorities alleged that Arbabsiar agreed to pay $1.5 million a DEA informant, posing as an associate of a violent Mexican drug cartel, to assassinate the ambassador.  The informant told him he would need four men to carry out the murder.

Arbabsiar allegedly told the informant that his cousin in Iran, who was a “big general” in the Iranian military, has asked him to find someone to carry out the assassination.

Authorities said when the informant noted that innocent bystanders could get hurt, “Arbabsiar made it clear that the assassination needed to go forward, despite mass casualties.”

“They want that guy [the Ambassador] done [killed], if the hundred go with him f**k ‘em.,”” Arbabsiar allegedly said.

Arbabsiar also allegedly discussed bombing a restaurant in the U.S. that the ambassador frequented. Arbabsiar allegedly said that killing others during the attack would be “no big deal.”

Authorities, citing the criminal complaint, said “Arbabsiar also admitted to agents that, in connection with this plot, he was recruited, funded, and directed by men he understood to be senior officials in Iran’s Qods Force.”

Atty. Gen. Holder Forcefully Defends FBI Stings in Terrorism Cases

Eric Holder Jr./ticklethewire.com file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. delivered a forceful speech Friday night before the Muslim Advocates’ Annual Dinner in suburban San Francisco, strongly defending the FBI stings involving terrorism.

“Our nation’s law enforcement professionals have consistently demonstrated not just their effectiveness, but also their commitment to the highest standards of professional conduct, integrity, and fairness,” he said at a ballroom before hundreds of people.

Holder particularly honed in on an FBI sting in which a Somali born teen  Mohamed Osman Mohamud  tried to detonate a car bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Ore., only to learn the plot was part of a sting.

“Those who characterize the FBI’s activities in this case as ‘entrapment’ simply do not have their facts straight – or do not have a full understanding of the law.”

“I make no apologies for the how the FBI agents handled their work in executing the operation that led to Mr. Mohamud’s arrest,” Holder said, according to a text of the speech distributed by the Justice Department.

“Their efforts helped to identify a person who repeatedly expressed his desire and intention to kill innocent Americans. As you may have read – and as the affidavit alleges – Mr. Mohamud chose the target location months in advance; provided FBI operatives with bomb components and detailed operational instructions; and repeatedly refused to change course when he was reminded that a large crowd – including children – would be in harm’s way.”

“Because of law enforcement’s outstanding work, Mr. Mohamud is no longer plotting attacks. He is now behind bars. And he will be brought to justice.

But he offered a conciliatory message as well, adding: ” But you also have my word that the Justice Department will – just as vigorously – continue to pursue anyone who would target Muslims, or their houses of worship.”

Holder then went on to defend law enforcement.

“Our nation’s law enforcement officials deserve our gratitude – and respect. Without their work – and their willingness to place public safety above personal security – government simply could not meet its most critical responsibility of protecting American lives.”

“Meeting this responsibility has never been more difficult. Our nation faces a determined and sophisticated enemy. As I’ve said repeatedly, I am committed to using every available tool to protect the American people. But I will not sacrifice or compromise our civil liberties.”

Read full text of speech