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Tag: Robert Mueller

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Tells Congress Gitmo Detainees in U.S. Pose Risks

Robert Mueller III/file photo

Robert Mueller III/file photo

The testimony only helps create more questions than answers to this controversial topic.

By DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress on Wednesday that bringing Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States could pose a number of risks, even if they were kept in maximum-security prisons. Responding to FBI concerns, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Obama administration would not put Americans at risk.

Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, Mueller faced repeated questions about the prospect of transferring to the United States some of the 240 inmates currently held at the naval base in Cuba.

President Barack Obama has ordered the Guantanamo Bay detention center closed by January 2010, but that timetable may be in jeopardy. As Mueller testified, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to block funding for bringing detainees to the U.S., whether freed or imprisoned.

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OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

EX-Assistant U.S. Attorney Charged in N.J. With Murdering

Justice and FBI Say They Won’t Compromise Terrorism Resources

The Justice Department needs to continue allocating resources for terrorism. But it better beef up the fight against fraud, including mortgage fraud. That, simply put,  has become financial terrorism and it’s helping bring down our economy, not to mention harming the American psyche.

Robert Mueller III

Robert Mueller III

By DAVID JOHNSTON and NEIL A. LEWIS
New York Times
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is moving to solidify one of the most significant shifts of resources put into place under President George W. Bush: the transformation of the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation into agencies where the top priority is counterterrorism rather than conventional law enforcement.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and other Justice Department officials have emphasized that they will not cut resources allocated to national security in the foreseeable future, and the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, told lawmakers on Wednesday that “we have no intention of retreating from preventing a terrorist attack on American soil as our No. 1 priority.”

The Obama administration’s decision to maintain current levels of national security staffing comes as officials acknowledge, as Mr. Mueller did in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, that the shift of agents to counterterrorism and intelligence duties after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has seriously complicated other efforts.

Those include demands for resources to combat corporate and financial fraud and a deadly drug war across the border with Mexico.

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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.

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FBI Dir. Robert Mueller to Visit Pakistan

Director Robert Mueller III

Director Robert Mueller III

During the J. Edgar Hoover days it would have been shocking to hear that the big guy was taking a little trip to Pakistan. But in this jet-setting era, and at  a time the FBI has expanded its role around the world, it doesn’t seem that far fetched for a director to head off to a far off land like Pakistan.

By Agence France Press
ISLAMABAD — The director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will lead a team visiting Pakistan next month to help investigate the Mumbai attacks, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

New Delhi blamed the attacks, which killed 165 people last November, on the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the siege soured a five-year peace process between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.

“Headed by Robert Mueller, the team will arrive in Pakistan on March 4,” foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit told a press briefing in Islamabad.
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CAIR Invites FBI’s Mueller To Minn. Dinner Even Though He Cut Ties to the Islamic Group

Robert Mueller III

Robert Mueller III

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said it invited FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to a community dinner Wednesday at Minneapolis Mosque – an interesting move considering the FBI recently cut off official ties to the organization because of its support of Hamas.

“The invitation to Director Mueller comes in the wake of remarks he made yesterday claiming a Minnesota Muslim who allegedly carried out a suicide attack in Somalia had been ‘indoctrinated and radicalized while living in Minneapolis’,” according to a press release posted on the CAIR website.

“We invite director Mueller to attend the dinner and to help us build channels of communication between the FBI and the Minnesota Somalia Community,” said CAIR Minnesota spokeswoman Jessica Zikri in a statement.

Zikri said Tuesday night that she also hoped “everyone and anyone will stop by” from Minnesota law enforcement.

Under the circumstances, it seems highly unlikely Mueller will attend.

Paul Bresson, an FBI spokesman in Washington, declined to comment on the invitation, but said: “The FBI will continue its dialogue with the Somalia community in Minneapolis and elsewhere.”

Meanwhile , the Investigative Project on Terrorism website reported that Senators Jon Kyl, Charles E. Schumer and Tom A. Coburn wrote a letter Tuesday praising Mueller for cutting ties to CAIR, and asked for more information surrounding the move.

The FBI Clashes With U.S. Secret Service Just For Fun

Mueller (left) and Sullivan

Mueller (left) and Sullivan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – Competition between the FBI and U.S. Secret Service over the years hasn’t always been playful.
But this past Saturday it definitely was.
The two agencies squared off in a hockey game before a standing-room only crowd at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va., the practice rink of the Washington Capitals.
The game raised $9,000 for the family of Sam Hicks, the Pittsburgh FBI agent who was fatally shot last fall while serving a search warrant.  And oh yes, the FBI won 5-4 in overtime.
FBI Director Robert Mueller III skated on to the ice in an FBI hockey Jersey with Hick’s name on the back. U.S. Secret Service director Mark Sullivan, wearing a Secret Service hockey jersey, joined his team in warm ups, according to the FBI.
The two agencies had just worked elbow-to-elbow on the intense presidential inauguration.

Should FBI Dir. Mueller and Ex-A.G. John Ashcroft Take Responsibility for Some Questionable Anti-Terrorism Policies?

Robert Mueller III/fbi photo

Robert Mueller III/fbi photo

Have the U.S. anti-terrorism policies gone over the line? If so, who is responsible? The Supreme Court may bring some clarity to the issue.

John Ashcroft/doj photo

John Ashcroft/doj photo

By Warren Richey
The Christian Science Monitor
WASHINGTON — The US Supreme Court this week takes up a case examining whether cabinet-level officials in the Bush White House can be held legally accountable for the administration’s controversial tactics in the war on terror.
At issue is an attempt to force former Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI director Robert Mueller to stand trial with federal agents, prison guards, and their supervisors. They are all named in a lawsuit filed by a Pakistani man who was held as a terror suspect for five months in solitary confinement in a US prison although there was no evidence connecting him to terrorism.
The case is set for oral argument on Wednesday.
Javaid Iqbal was among hundreds of Middle Eastern and South Asian Muslims who were swept up in a massive government dragnet in the New York City area in the weeks and months after the Sept. 11 attacks. Most of the men were arrested on valid immigration-related charges. But instead of being housed in an immigration detention center to await deportation, some of the men – including Mr. Iqbal – were taken to a maximum security section of a federal prison in Brooklyn.
Iqbal’s lawsuit alleges that he was subjected to “brutal mistreatment and discrimination” by federal officials who arbitrarily classified him as a Sept. 11 suspect “of high interest” to the FBI solely because he was a Muslim from Pakistan.
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