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Tag: terrorism

Hezbollah Looking to US-Mexico Border, Former DEA Official Tells Congress

 

Michael Braun

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Former DEA chief of operations Michael Braun told members of a House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday that the reach of influence of Hezbollah, the Iranian-supported Shi’ite terrorist group based in Lebanon, has reached the US-Mexico border, reports CNS News.

Hezbollah developed relationships with Mexican drug cartels to “move their agendas forward,” Braun is quoted as saying. A plot recently uncovered by the DEA alleges that an Iranian operative in Mexico had plotted to  the assassinate the Saudi ambassador in DC, according to CNS.

“Hezbollah are absolute masters at forming close relationships with existing organized crime groups around the world that helps them facilitate what they need to do to move their agendas forward,” Braun told CNS. “And if anyone thinks for a moment that they don’t have their eye on the southwest border and all of our country, then they couldn’t be more wrong.”

To read more click here.

Head of Dallas FBI Robert E. Casey Calling it Quits

Robert Casey Jr./fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s the end of the road for Robert E. Casey.

The veteran FBI agent is stepping down April 30 after five years as head of the bureau’s Dallas office, according to the Associated Press. He’s planning to retire and join the private sector, AP reported.

Casey, 54, was named special agent in charge of the office in May 2006. He joined the bureau in 1986.

His tenure as head of the office included the high-profile sting involving Hosam Smadi, who thought he was detonating a bomb to blow up a Dallas skyscraper.

He was also the target of threats from an agent in the office who was going through marital problems with his wife, who also worked for the FBI. The agent was sentenced to prison.

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Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty in FBI Sting that Targeted Military Recruiting Center

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 22-year-old Baltimore man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Baltimore to plotting to blow up an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville, Md., the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore said.

Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain, a U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against federal property. He had been arrested on Dec. 8, 2010, after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be explosives at the armed forces recruiting station.

“We are catching dangerous suspects before they strike, and we are investigating them in a way that maximizes the liberty and security of law-abiding citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein in a statement. “That is what the American people expect of the Justice Department, and that is what we aim to deliver.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said, according to his plea agreement, on Oct. 22, 2010, Martinez broached the subject of  attacking military targets with an FBI confidential source (CS). During the recorded conversations that followed between Martinez, the confidential sources and later, an FBI undercover agent, “Martinez identified his target—an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville—and spoke about his anger toward America, his belief that Muslims were being unjustly targeted and killed by the American military and his desire to commit jihad to send a message that American soldiers would be killed unless the country stopped its ‘war’ against Islam.”

The feds  said Martinez attempted to recruit a number of people to join in the plot, and one of them tried to dissuade him from committing jihad.

At one point, the FBI confidential source introduced his “Afghani brother”, who ended up being an undercover FBI agent who posed as someone interested in the plot.

Concern Over San Fran Police Cooperating With FBI

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The relationship between the FBI and the San Francisco Police Department is coming under some scrutiny by civil rights advocates and local legislators, reports the San Francisco Examiner.

Supervisor Jane Kim introduced an ordinance Tuesday to prohibit police that work with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force from collecting information about locals without a “reasonable suspicion of criminal activity,” according to the Examiner. The law, Kim said, is necessary in preventing racial profiling and protect citizens’ rights.

Greg Suhr, the city’s police chief, said the law was unnecessary, adding that the concerns had been addressed already by department orders implemented last year.

To read more click here.

Colo. Man Charged With Supporting Overseas Terrorist Group

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a Colorado man over the weekend at Chicago O’Hare Airport on charges of providing and attempting to provide support to a Pakistani-based terrorism group.

Jamshid Muhtorov, aka Abumumin Turkistony, aka Abu Mumin, 35, of Aurora, Colorado, who is a refugee of Uzbekistant.

Authorities charged that Muhtorov indicated that he planned to travel overseas and fight on behalf of the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), a designated foreign terrorist organization, based in Pakistan.

Authorities said the IJU, “adheres to an anti-western ideology, opposes secular rule in Uzbekistan and seeks to replace the current regime with a government based on Islamic law. In addition to conducting suicide attacks in Uzbekistan, the IJU has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan.”

Authorities alleged that Muhtorov had sworn allegiance to the IJU, and that he was ready for any task, even with the risk of dying.

Federal authorities pointed out that the activities of Muhtorov “highlight the continued interest of extremists residing in the United States to join and support overseas terrorists.”

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Islamic Extremist or an FBI-Created Extremist?

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities have arrested an Islamic extremist, but Adam Martin at the Atlantic Wire is skeptical.

Kosovo-born Sami Osmakac is being charged with plotting to bomb Tampa, Fla.-area nightclubs and a sheriff’s office to “avenge wrongs done to Muslims,” according to the AP. But Martin is quite ready to pat the Feds on the back.

“It’s a dramatic-sounding bust for the F.B.I.,” writes Martin, “but becomes a little less so after you learn the guy only had access to the weapons he wanted because an undercover agent provided it.” Martin then quoted a tweet from a British newspaper editor: “Interesting how most terror plots ‘thwarted’ by the FBI are actually fake plots created by the FBI,” tweeted Benji Green.

Osmakac gave an FBI agent $500 as a down payment for an AK-47, an explosive belt and homemade grenades, and asked for additional weapons, obtaining some of the arms after being rendered inoperable by agents.

To read more click here.

US Soldier Ditches the Army, Tried to Join Terror Group in Somalia

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A former Army soldier was charged Monday in federal court in Greenbelt, Md., with  attempting to provide material support to al Shabaab, the terrorist organization, the FBI said in a statement.

Craig Benedict Baxam, 24, of Laurel, Maryland, was arrested on Friday, January 6, when he returned to his home state from a visit to Africa, the FBI statement says.

A criminal complaint alleges Baxam “intended to travel to Somalia and join the terrorist organization al Shabaab,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said. “Mr. Baxam was caught in Kenya before he reached Somalia, and there is no allegation that anyone assisted him.”

According to the FBI, Baxam joined the US Army in 2001, where he completed training in cryptology and intelligence before being deployed to Baghdad. Afterwards, he reenlisted. He deployed for a one-year assignment in Korea in August of 2010. But a month before finishing his stint in Korea, Baxam left the Army and returned home to Maryland in July 2011.

The affidavit that came with the criminal complaint claims Baxam had converted to Islam just before leaving the Army, intending to move to Somalia and live under Sharia law and join al Shabaab–a group designated by the US Department of State as a foreign terrorist organization in February of 2008.

Baxam cashed in his approximately $3,600 in savings and hopped a flight to Kenya,  and planned to travel with $600 or $700 to by road to Somalia. He planned to give the remaining money to the terrorist group as an offering. He was stopped by Kenyan police near Mombasa, Kenya on December 23, 2011, where he was detained and interviewed by the FBI.

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Mass. Man Convicted on Terrorism Charges in Boston

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Massachusetts man is facing life in prison after being convicted on Tuesday in Boston federal court on terrorism charges.

After  10 hours of deliberation, the federal jury convicted Tarek Mehanna of conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaeda, to commit murder in a foreign country and to charges of providing false statements to the government, according to a statement by the FBI.

Jurors heard testimony that the 29-year-old and others discussed committing  violent jihad against American interests and to die on the battlefield. Mehanna and two others went to the Middle East in February of 2004 for military-type training. He continued to support terrorist groups upon returning by translating for and posting to jihadi websites, according to the FBI.

He was interviewed by federal authorities in December 2006 about a trip to Yemen he made in 2004, in which he provided false information.

The conspiracy to kill in a foreign country conviction could bring a life sentence, and other carious charges could amount to 26 years additionally. All carry up to three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

From his travel to Yemen to receive training to kill American soldiers to his material support for terrorism at home, Mr. Mehanna’s efforts to use and support violence followed no pre-defined path and knew no bounds,” said Richard DesLauriers, the Special Agent In Charge of the Boston FBI in a statement.

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