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Tag: terrorism

Terrorism Suspect in Tampa Bay Was Under Watch by Sophisticated FBI Equipment

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Hundreds of federal agents used sophisticated surveillance to investigate a 25-year-old terrorism suspect in Tampa Bay, ABC Action News reports.

Sami Osmakac, who is accused of plotting to blow up several locations in Tampa Bay, was arrested in January 2012 and is awaiting trial.

For more than a year before the arrest, the FBI had kept tabs on Osmakac using airplanes, cameras on poles and recorded audio interception, ABC Action News said.

“The most sophisticated intelligence gathering techniques available in the world are used in these investigations whether it be wiretapping, electronic bugs. photographic surveillance from above,” local defense attorney John Fitzgibbons told ABC Action News.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Criticized for Handling of Mentally Ill Man Accused in Attempted Bombing in Oakland

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Depending on whom you believe, Matthew Aaron Llaneza was either bent on committing terrorism in the name of Allah or was psychotic and easily manipulated by the FBI, the Mercury News reports.

The 28-year-old San Jose is accused of trying to detonate what turned out to be a phony bomb Friday in Oakland, Calif., and flee to Afghanistan to help train the Taliban.

But civil rights advocates and Llaneza’s former attorney in another case maintain the man was incapable of pulling off a terrorist attack without the government’s help, Mercury News reported.

“My question is whether or not the FBI stopped a crime in this case or had created one,” said Cameron Bowman, who represented Llaneza for a 2011 weapons charge. “Is this a guy who planned the crime and the FBI stopped him, or is he susceptible to being sucked into whatever is suggested to him, getting set up and not fully understanding the consequences?”

In an earlier case, Llaneza is portrayed as a troubled man struggling with psychosis and bipolar disorder, Mercury News wrote.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI: Suspect in Wrigley Field Bombing Case May Have Been Entrapped by Informant

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A month before Sami Samir Hassoun placed what he thought was a bomb near Wrigley Field in Chicago in 2010, the FBI worried the undercover informant had entrapped the suspect and warned the informant to back off, the Associated Press reports.

The AP wrote that Hassoun’s defense attorney disclosed the information in hopes of convincing a judge to order prosecutors to hand over more details on the informant, including how much he was paid.  

The informant was a key witness in the prosecution of Hassoun, who is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12.

FBI notes from March 2012 indicate that agents were worried the informant “is or is close to committing entrapment with Sami.” The informant was taken aside “and it was emphasized not to encourage Sami to get involved in illegal activity,” the AP reported.

The case is under review.

Jury: Somali-Born Bombing Suspect Guilty of Terrorism After Portland Bombing Attempt

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Somali-American who claimed the FBI manipulated him to detonate what he thought was a bomb at a Christmas tree ceremony in Portland in 2010 was found guilty Thursday of terrorism-related charges, the Associated Press reports.

The Mohamed Mohamud, 21, who did not testify, will be sentenced May 14.

Prosecutors were able to convince jurors that Mohamud intended to kill a lot of people in the name of radical Islam and that he was not entrapped by FBI agents who offered to help him create a bomb, the AP reported.

“Mr. Mohamud made a series of choices over a period of several years – choices that were leading him down a path that would have ended in violence,” said Greg Fowler, who leads the FBI office in Portland. “His actions showed little regard for the rights and responsibilities that come with being an American or respect for the lives that he was prepared to take.”

Mohamud’s attorney, Steve Sady, said he plans to appeal after sentencing on May 14.

“We are disappointed with the verdict,” Mohamud’s attorney, Steve Sady, said. “We obviously though he was entrapped.”

Jury to Decide Fate of Somali-Born Man Accused of Terrorism in Portland

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jurors today are deliberating the fate of a Somali-born man accused of trying to detonate a bomb at a 2010 Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, the Daily Beast reports.

The big question is whether Mohamed Mohamud, who was in braces and 19 years old when he first met undercover agents, was entrapped by overzealous law enforcers.

Both sides delivered closing arguments Wednesday, the Daily Beast wrote.

Mohamud’s attorney said his client was a vulnerable, impressionable teenager who had no intention of hurting anyone until feds approached him with the idea of detonating a bomb.

Prosecutors countered that Mohamud is a serious threat because he intended to kill up to thousands of people.

Father Testifies Son Was Brainwashed by Overzealous FBI Agents During Terrorism Probe

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The father of a young man charged with terrorism testified during his son’s trial Monday that his son was brainwashed and manipulated by the FBI, the Associated Press reports.

Osma Barre, the father of Oregon terrorism suspect Mohamed Mohamud, was the first witness for a defense that plans to portray Mohamud as an impressionable, troubled teenager caught up in an overzealous FBI operation, the AP wrote.

Prosecutors allege Mohamud was an extremist bent on killing people.

He’s accused of attempting to detonate a bomb what turned out to be a phony bomb during a Christmas-tree lighting ceremony in 2010.

FBI: Teen Accused of Trying to Detonate Bomb in Portland Also Wanted to Live Regular College Life

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A teenager on trial for trying to blow up what he thought was a bomb at an event in Portland, Oregon was “conflicted and manipulable,” the FBI acknowledged in an early assessment of the suspect, the Associated Press reports.

Mohamed Mohamud’s attorney has been trying to paint the suspect as a naive, harmless teenager who was manipulated by overzealous FBI agents.

But prosecutors Wednesday sought to depict him as an extremist bent on killing.

One email assessment by FBI Special Agent Isaac DeLong said Mohamud “wants to have it both ways” – as an extremist and binge-drinking college student, the AP wrote.

Defense: FBI Terrorism Sting Went Too Far and Targeted ‘a Kid’

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The defense attorney for a man accused of plotting to bomb a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Oregon said his client was coerced by over-enthusiastic undercover FBI agents who were bent on getting a terrorism arrest, the AP reports.

The trial continued Thursday in the case of Mohamed Mohamud, who thought he was detonating what turned out to be a phony bomb devised by the FBI. 

The prosecution’s narrative of the case was hammered by the defense who had pointed to recorded conversations between the FBI and Mohamud.

“We are fortunate in this case that the government forgot to turn off its microphones,” federal public defender Steve Wax said, the AP reported.

The case continues today.