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Tag: terrorism

FBI Terrorism Sting in Houston Ends in Conviction

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Barry Walter Bojul’s trip to Yemen has been detoured, possibly by as much as 20 years in a federal prison.

The 30-year-old Texan’s  conviction in a Houston federal court on Monday was the culmination of an investigation that began in 2009 by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. He was convicted of providing support to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Bojul acted as his own attorney.

In 2009, law enforcement thwarted three attempts of Bujol’s to leave the US for the Middle East, fearful he was planning to commit a violent jihad. Concerned, FBI agents arranged for Bujol to meet a confidential informant, who posed as  a recruiter for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  Bujol later told  the informant he wanted to fight with the mujahideen.

It was established at the trial that Bujol had been in contact with the late Yemeni-American al-Qaeda associate Anwar Al-Aulaqi. In response to Bujol’s questions of how to support jihad, Aulaqi sent a letter entitled “42 Ways of Supporting Jihad,” which advocated violence and killing.

The confidential informant contacted Bujol on May 30, 2010, with a previously agreed upon codeword signaling the beginning of Bujol’s travels to the Middle East to join AQAP. They drove to the Port of Houston together where Bujol thought he was boarding a ship as a stow-away bound for training in Algeria then fighting in Yemen.

“Minutes after stowing away in a room on board the ship, agents took him into custody without incident,” according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office press release.

Bujol faces up to 15 years for attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization and another five years for identity theft charges related to a fake ID Bujol had made to gain access to the port. He also faces fines of up to $250,000.

He has been in federal custody since the May 30, 2010 arrest, where he will remain until sentencing.

NY Muslim Groups Resist Cooperating With Police

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

After all the efforts by law enforcement to forge a lasting cooperation — particularly in the post-9/11 era —  some in the Muslim community in America remain skeptical.

The Associated Press reports  Muslim groups in New York are discouraging people from going to the New York police with concerns about terrorism, and are teaching members how to identify informants.

The distrust grows from allegations that the NYPD has spied on Muslim groups in many different ways, the AP reported.

The distrust goes far beyond NY. One national Muslim organization in California put a poster on its website warning Muslims not to talk to the FBI, thought the poster was later gotten rid of.

To read more click here.

US, UK Security Directives Clash Over London Olympics; FBI Plans to Send 500 Agents

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Expressing deep unease about the UK’s restricting the scope of anti-terrorism “stop and search” powers, the U.S, plans to send about 1,000 security agents to the 2012 London Olympics, which will include a contingent of about 500 FBI agent, reports Adelaide Now.

“We are not equal partners in this,” said an unnamed UK security official of the United States, according to Adelaide Now. “They are being very demanding.”

“The Americans are risk-averse, with a capital ‘A’ and underlined. They want to see everything … They want to be on top of everything – building protection, counterterrorism strategy and VIP security – everything,” said another. “(The US) don’t do things by halves.”

To read more click here.

 

Defense for Suspected Terrorist Seeks Bail, Claims Mental Illness

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

When in doubt, play the crazy card.

A lawyer for Rezwan Ferdaus, the 26-year-old Muslim American arrested in September for plotting to fly explosive-packed remote control planes into the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol, suggested in court on Friday that the FBI ignored signs of the defendant’s mental illness during their investigation of him, reports the AP.

The suggestion was made at Ferdaus’ bail hearing. Ferdaus, as ticklethewire.com has reported, faces charges inluding attempting to provide material support to terrorists and attempting to damage and destroy national defense premises.

Ferdaus, who has a physics degree from Boston’s Northeastern University,  was arrested  in Framingham, Mass. when federal employees posing as al-Qaida members brought what he thought was 24 pounds of C-4 explosives. Ferdaus had also showed feds a cellphone he had fashioned into a detonation device.

To read more click here.

Grassley Fires Off Letter to Homeland Sec. Napolitano: Concerned About Reduced Searches for Illegals on Northern Border

By Danny Fenster

Sen. Grassley/official photo

ticklethewire.com

A letter from Senator Charles Grassley representing a group of 14 Senators is asking  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to reconsider a policy to end routine traffic checks of buses, trains and other vehicles for illegal aliens along the United State’s northern border.

“News of the lessened security will only entice potential terrorists, drug smugglers, and illegal immigrants to attempt to enter the country through the northern border,” read the letter issued Friday.  “The American people must be reassured that our borders remain secure and routine searches will continue.”

Grassley learned of the new policy from media reports, another point of contention he had with DHS.

“The nature in which we learned of the orders sent to the north border field offices is quite troubling considering you appeared before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees over the past two weeks and neglected to inform of this change in policy.”

Grassley asked for copies of any memos or directives sent to the field.

The letter also pointed out specific instances of terrorists crossing or being stopped at the Canadian border, attempting to enter the United States to commit harm.

To read the letter click here.

FBI Turns to West Point for Counterterrorism Training

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has turned to the Army for help with its counterterrorism training.

After a troubled past with their understanding and interactions with Islam, reports Wired Magazine’s The Danger Room blog, the Bureau will begin working with the Army’s Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point.

The center at West Point is known among experts for its rigorous, practical scholarship on terrorism and Islamic Extremism, according to Danger Room. “It’s researchers consider themselves to be the opposite of analysts like William Gawthrop,” writes the Danger Room’s Spencer Ackerman, “the FBI intelligence analyst who compared Islam to the Death Star and Mohammed to a ‘cult leader.'”

“At CTC, there’s an ethos of education,” Brian Fishman, a researcher at the New America Foundation and former research director at the center, told the Danger Room. “When you have that, you inherently recognize that you need to illustrate that, for example, the practice of Islam around the world isn’t monolithic.”

According to the Danger Room, all new FBI agents go through a CTC-prepared class on international terrorism, but it is not yet certain how thoroughly the CTC will revamp the Bureau’s curriculum.

To read more click here.

Terrorists Convictions Upheld in Plot to Bomb 110-Story Building and FBI Offices

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The appeals of Narseal Batiste and followers were rejected in Atlanta on Tuesday, reports the Associated Press. Batiste and four others were convicted of plotting, in conjunction with al-Qaida, to destroy the 110-story Willis Tower in Chicago and to bomb FBI offices in several cities in May of 2009.

Batiste, cited as the group’s ringleader, questioned the sufficiency of the evidence, the FBI’s use of an informant posing as a member of al-Qaida and one juror’s dismissal amid deliberations in the trial. A three-judge panel in Atlanta’s 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the claims.

The men were convicted of providing material support to al-Qaida in addition to the plan to take down the hulking, 110-story Chicago skyscraper formerly known as the Sears Tower. Their stated goal was to “overthrow the US government,” according to the AP.

After two mistrials, they were convicted the third time around.

To read more click here.

Dems Demand Explanation on TSA Missed Deadline on Screening Packages on Planes

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The Transportation Security Administration is still not scanning 100 percent of  the parcels on inbound international flights, and Congress wants to know why.

The website NextGov.com reports that it appears TSA will miss a deadline to scan all parcels on overseas planes for the second time, and House Democrats have sent a letter to TSA officials demanding an explanation,NextGov.com

Following 9/11,  TSA was mandated to screen 100 percent of international inbound passenger plane cargo by August of 2010. NextGov reported that when the time came and the task still seemed too great, “partly due to technological challenges,” the deadline was extended until the end of this year.

Still, TSA is reportedly screening only “identified high-risk” parcels. In an Oct. 31 letter legislators demanded to know if the TSA is skirting the law, reports NextGov.

Bomb-making materials were found hidden in packaged printer parts headed from Yemen to the United States about a year ago.

The TSA declined to comment specifically on the new demands, but TSA spokesman Greg Soule did say that the TSA is continuing its efforts to detect and eliminate risk, NextGov reported.

“Air cargo is more secure than it has ever been with 100 percent of cargo on flights departing US airports and 100 percent of identified high-risk international inbound cargo undergoing screening,” he said in a statement.

To read more click here.