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Tag: terrorism

NSA Director Defends Surveillance Programs As Critical Tools in Fight Against Terrorism

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The director of the National Security Agency forcefully defended the surveillance programs Wednesday that kept tabs on Internet activity and collected millions of telephone records, the Associated Press reports.

The once-secret programs, which was disclosed this month to an incensed public, were invaluable tools in the fight against terrorism, said NSA Director and Army Gen. Keith Alexander.

But Alexander declined to disclose any details of the thwarted terrorist attacks during the congressional hearing, the AP wrote.

“I do think it’s important that we get this right and I want the American people to know that we’re trying to be transparent here, protect civil liberties and privacy but also the security of this country,” Alexander told a Senate panel.

 

Washington State Man Accused of Sending Ricin-Tainted Letters to President Obama, Federal Judge

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 37-year-old Washington state man accused of sending a ricin-laden letter and death threat to a federal judge also is suspected of recently sending the poison to President Obama, the Associated Press reports.

Matthew Ryan Buquet, who is being held without bond in a Spokane jail, has pleaded not guilty to sending a death threat and ricin to U.S. District Judge Freed Van Sickle.

On the same day he is accused of sending those out from Spokane, three poison-tainted letters addressed to President Obama were postmarked from the same location, according to the AP.

The president’s letter was intercepted May 22.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Islam Convert Denies Radicalizing Older Brother in Boston Marathon Bombings

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A man accused of radicalizing the older brother in the Boston Marathon bombings denied any wrongdoing and said he would never condone a terrorist attack, the Washington Times reports.

Mikhail Allakhverdov, 39, a convert to Islam, denied allegations leveled by relatives of Tamerian Tsarnaev.

“I wasn’t his teacher. If I had been his teacher, I would have made sure he never did anything like this,” Allakhverdov said.

Allakhverdov said he has been “cooperating entirely” with the investigation.

“I gave them my computer and my phone and everything,” he said, according to the review, “I wanted to show I haven’t done anything. And they said they are about to return them to me.”

Boston Bombing Suspect Was on Two U.S. Terror-Watch Lists

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
Suspected Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was on two U.S. terror-watch database because of alleged ties to Islamic extremism, ABC News reports.

The suspect, who was killed in a shootout, was added to two terrorism watch lists last year after Russia requested the FBI investigate Tsarnaev.

Turns out, Russia provided the wrong name and date of birth to the CIA, ABC News reported.

Washington Post Editorial: Has FBI Lost Focus on Real Bad Guys?

Editorial Board
Washington Post

Law Enforcement agencies can’t be expected to stop every terrorist attack, any more than they can prevent every mass shooting. If, as most investigators now appear to believe, brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev acted on their own with a bomb design downloaded from the Internet, their plot posed a steep challenge to those agencies, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for detecting threats.

Nevertheless, there are reasons for concern about the two agencies’ performance, based on what is known so far about their tracking of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The older and more radical brother was first identified as a possible extremist by Russia, which asked the FBI to investigate him in early 2011. Later that year, also after prompting from Russia, the CIA asked that his name be added to a watch list maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, The Post’s Greg Miller and Sari Horowitz reported. His subsequent departure for Russia in early 2012 resulted in “a ping” to customs officials, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress on Tuesday. However, it appears the FBI never learned that Tamerlan had left the country and was not informed when he returned in July.

To read more click here.

Charges Dismissed Against Mississippi Man Accused of Sending Ricin-Tainted Letters to President, Others

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Charges have been dropped against the Mississippi man accused of sending ricin-tainted letters to President Obama and other public officials, NBC News reports.

“I respect President Obama and love my country. I would never do anything to pose a threat to him or any other U.S. official,” Paul Kevin Curtis said at a news conference Tuesday following the dismissal of charges. “This past week has been a nightmare for myself and my family. My mother has suffered, as well as my children. I would like to get back to normal, which for me means being the best father I can to my children.”

A search of Curtis’ home turned up no evidence of ricin , investigators said.

Just hours after Curtis was released, authorities searched another Mississippi home, NBC News reported.

FBI releases photos of suspects wanted in Boston Marathon explosions

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI released photos today of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, urging the public to help track down the men.

Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office, said one of the suspects appeared to drop a black backpack near twin explosions that killed three and injured more than 100 more.

DesLauriers said the men are considered armed and dangerous.

httpv://youtu.be/M80DXI932OE

 

Jury Convicts New York Man of Trying to Seek Terrorism Training Abroad

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A jury Monday convicted a New York man of lying to the FBI about plans to train with terrorists like the Taliban or al-Qaida, the Associated Press reports.

Abdel Hameed Shehadeh now faces up to 21 years in prison when sentenced.

Shehadeh’s friends testified that he spoke of wanting to die while waging holy war against the U.S. abroad .

He first caught the suspicion of the FBI in 2009 when he purchased a one-way ticket to Islambad, the AP reported.