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Tag: terrorism

Minneapolis Man Sentenced to 10 Months in Prison for Impersonating FBI Agent

By Steve Neavling

A Minneapolis man who impersonated an FBI agent was sentenced to 10 months in prison. 

Benard Holmes, 67, called an unidentified victim in July 2017 and “spoofed his telephone number to make it appear that he was calling his victim from the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office.”

During the call, Holmes identified himself as “FBI Special Agent John Tidwell,” used a fake FBI badge number, and claimed he was investigating terrorism connected to the victim’s household. He cited fake evidence from computer and IP address at the victim’s home. 

Holmes questioned the victim with “highly charged words,” such as “ISIS” and “Patriot Act.”

Holmes pleaded guilty to one count of impersonating a federal officer on Oct. 20. 

Holmes’ motives were unclear in a Justice Department news release.

The FBI and Bloomington Police Department investigated the case. 

Homeland Security Warns That Power Grid Is ‘Attractive Target’ for Domestic Extremists

By Steve Neavling

The Department of Homeland Security warned that electrical infrastructure in the U.S. could become targets of domestic violent extremists, according to a recent intelligence briefing.  

The DHS briefing said that extremists have been plotting to disrupt the U.S. powder grid, The Daily Beast first reported.

“DVEs have developed credible, specific plans to attack electricity infrastructure since at least 2020, identifying the electric grid as a particularly attractive target given its interdependency with other infrastructure sectors,” the alert said.

The bulletin was sent to the electric sector Monday. 

Among the extremists are those who are racially motivated, according to the bulletin. 

The FBI has also focused more of its resources on domestic extremists. 

The plots against electrical grids are expected to continue and “may result in physical damage,” the bulletin says. 

White supremacists discussed attacks against the powder grid if President Trump lost in 2020.

Last year, racially motivated extremists, including two former Marines, used assault-style rifles “in an attempt to explode a power station,” federal prosecutors said. They were charged with conspiracy to damage the property of an energy facility in the U.S.

FBI Pledges to Continue Investigating Pam Am Flight 103 on 33rd Anniversary of Bombing

Crashed Pan Am Flight 103/Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

On the 33rd anniversary of the terrorist bombing, the FBI said it’s not done investigating the attack on Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270 people. 

“Thirty-three years after the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, the #FBI and our partners are still seeking justice for the 270 victims,” the bureau tweeted Tuesday. 

The Boeing 747 was en route to New York from London when it exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. The bomb was hidden inside a cassette player stored in a suitcase. 

All 259 passengers and crew members were killed, and an additional 11 people died from the wreckage on the ground. 

Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah were charged in connection with the bombing in 1991. A decade later, the court acquitted Fhimah and convicted al Megrahi. A third person, Abu Agela Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi, was charged in the case in December 2020 on the 32nd anniversary of the bombing.

The Libyan government accepted responsibility and paid nearly $3 billion to the victims’ families. 

Families of the victims have continued to push for an investigation to determine who else was responsible. 

The Justice Department also issued a statement Tuesday, saying it was continuing to investigate the case. 

“One year ago today, the Justice Department filed criminal charges against a third conspirator,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said. “Those charges are one more step toward justice for those we lost and they reflect the resolve of the women and men of the Department of Justice – no matter how long it takes – to see those responsible brought to justice in the United States.”

FBI Releases Declassified Document on Saudi Government’s Role in 9/11 Attack

By Steve Neavling

The FBI released a newly declassified document related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that details support given to two of the Saudi hijackers. 

But the 16-page document, which was released on the 20th anniversary of the attacks, found no conclusive evidence that the Saudi government was involved in the plot, The New York Times reports.

Of the 19 attackers, 15 were Saudis, raising questions about whether the kingdom was complicit in the terrorism plot. Osama bin Laden also was a member of a prominent Saudi family. 

Under pressure from families of the Sept. 11 victims, President Biden has pledged to release documents that have long been secret that address a potential connection between the hijackers and Saudi officials. The U.S. had refused to declassify documents that addressed whether the kingdom was involved. 

The document released over the weekend documents the FBI’s interview with an unidentified Saudi man in November 2015. He worked at the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles and was applying for American citizenship. The document describes contacts he had with people who had provided “significant logistic support” to two of the hijackers. 

Secret Service Shares Chilling, Never-Before-Seen Photos from Sept. 11 Attacks

The World Trade Center collapses. Photo: Secret Service

By Steve Neavling

As the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks approach, the Secret Service is releasing chilling, never-before-released photos from attack.

The Secret Service announced this week that it will be sharing photos “from that day and the days that followed,” including some that “have never been seen” before.

Two of the photos show damaged armored limousines parked at the former Secret Service New York Field Office. Another image shows plumes of black smoke streaming out of the World Trade Center towers.

The World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001. Photo: Secret Service
Armored limousines damaged at the Secret Service’s former New York Field Office. Photo: Secret Service
New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. Photo: Secret Service

White Supremacists Plotted Attack on Power Grid, FBI Says

Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI says it uncovered a white supremacist plot to cause electricity outages by attacking power stations in the southeastern U.S. 

The alleged plot was revealed in a mistakenly unsealed affidavit obtained by the Associated Press.

The plan was to create a white supremacist group that would be “operational” by 2024, but if President Trump lost the 2020 election, the group would act sooner, the FBI says. 

The group planned to shoot rifle rounds into power stations in the summer of 2021, the affidavit states. 

According to an informant, an Ohio teen “definitely wanted to be operational for violence, but also activism.”

A Purdue University student who was a group member is accused of texting the informant to say that “leaving the power off would wake people up to the harsh reality of life by wreaking havoc across the nation.”

Convicted Sex Offender Threatened to Blow Up FBI Building, Kill Democrats, Prosecutors say

By Steve Neavling

A convicted sex offender from New York City was arrested Tuesday after authorities said he threatened to “blow up” an FBI building and called for the “extermination of anyone that claims to be a democrat” on social media. 

Brian Maiorana also is accused of making a veiled threat to Sen. Chuck Schumer, whom he called “the Jew Senator from New York,” The New York Times reports.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested the 54-year-old Tuesday morning. 

He was charged with making threatening interstate communications. 

In a criminal complaint, prosecutors said Maiorana suggested President Trump’s election had been “fraudulently stolen from us” and threatened to kill people who celebrated Joe Biden’s victory. 

On an unidentified social media platform, Maiorana is accused of writing that “pipe bombs need to be thrown into these mobs” of anti-police brutality protesters. 

“The carnage needs to come in the form of extermination of anyone that claims to be a democrat,” he wrote two days after the election, according to the complaint.  

As people celebrated Biden’s victory Sunday, Maiorana wrote, “All right thinking people need to hit the streets while these scumbags are celebrating and start blowing them away,” the complaint said.

Seth DuCharme, the acting United States attorney in Brooklyn, said authorities won’t tolerate such threats. 

“The Department of Justice will not stand idly by when people like the defendant allegedly threaten to kill elected officials, lawful protesters and law enforcement simply because of animus towards the outcome of an election,” DuCharme told The New York Times. “Americans have a constitutional right to voice their opinions, but this office will not tolerate violence or threats of violence used to intimidate others with whom they disagree.”

Authorities found weapons at his home. 

In 2007, Maiorana was convicted of sexual assault in Pennsylvania.

FBI Arrests U.S. Woman Accused of Attempting to Provide Material Support to al-Qaeda

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A U.S. woman has been arrested on allegations of attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda, the Justice Department announced.

The FBI on Wednesday arrested Jill Marie Jones at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, where federal authorities say she planned to board a flight to Turkey to join the terrorist group in Afghanistan.

Two undercover FBI agents, including one who posed as a member of al-Qaeda, were communicating with Jones, who said she planned to send money to help al Qaeda buy scopes for rifles that would be used to kill American soldiers. She sent the undercover FBI agent a $500 gift card in May 2020, the DOJ says.

During the communications, Jones said she planned to travel overseas to assist al Qaeda, according to the DOJ.