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Tag: terrorism

Georgia Senior Citizens Arrested in Plots to Kill Feds, Local Cops and Others

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Four senior citizens, suspected of being members of a fringe militia group in Northern Georgia, may have been better off venting their frustrations with the federal government by occupying a metropolitan park.

The four gents–Frederick Thomas, 73; Dan Roberts, 67; Ray Adams, 65; and Samuel Crump, 68–were arrested Tuesday by federal authorities on charges of plotting to buy explosives and trying to make a deadly bio-toxin to use on neighbors and government officials including those from the IRS and local law enforcement, according to a Justice Department press release.

The men sought explosives and the methods and materials to manufacture ricin, a toxin lethal in small doses, according to the FBI. They had spoken of covert operations since at least March of this year, and spoke to undercover agents about theft, murder and the use of the ricin against state and federal government workers, specifically employees of the IRS, according to the Justice Department. Thomas even discussed a “bucket list” of federal employees, politicians and individuals in the media he felt needed to be “taken out,” according to investigators.

“These defendants, who are alleged to be part of a fringe militia group, are charged with planning attacks against their own fellow citizens and government,” said Atlanta U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates in a statement.

“To carry out their agenda, two of the defendants allegedly purchased purported explosives and a silencer, while the other two defendants took steps to attempt to produce a deadly biological toxin. While many are focused on the threat posed by international violent extremists, this case demonstrates that we must also remain vigilant in protecting our country from citizens within our own borders who threaten our safety and security.”

 

FBI Testing Somali Bomber’s DNA, May Match Minnesotan Youth

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The remains of a suicide bomber in Somalia are being tested by the FBI. Some believe the bomber may be one of at least 21 young Somali-American men that in recent years have left Minneapolis to join al-Shabab, the Somali terrorist group, reports the Associated Press.

If tests confirm the deceased to be Abdisalan Hussein Ali, he will be the third Minnesotan to have been involved in a Somali suicide attack. The state is home to the nation’s largest Somali population.

“I don’t understand,” a Minnesota Somali community leader, Nimco Ahmed, told the AP.  “It’s really really painful to actually see one of the kids who has a bright future ahead of them do this. … It’s a loss for our whole society.”

The suicide attack was carried out Saturday against an African Union base in the capital city of Mogadishu, killing 10, including 2 suicide bombers, according to the AP report.

Al-Shabab claimed over the weekend that the attack was carried out by a Somali-American named Abdisalan Taqabalahullaah. Al-Shabab posted a recording online they said was Taqabalahullaa, and Omar Jamal, first secretary of the Somali mission to the United Nations, said friends of Ali identified the recording as Ali’s voice.

FBI Director Mueller’s Nostalgic Moment

ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

CHICAGO — This same time last year, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III was feeling a little nostalgic when he spoke in Orlando before the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference. It was like a final victory lap, the last speech as director  before the group.

But in a move that caught almost everyone by surprise, the White House earlier this year asked him to stay on two more years beyond his 10-year term. After some consultation, Mueller, now 67, obliged and Congress confirmed his stay.

On Monday, here in downtown Chicago, that twist in the road was not lost as he spoke before a crowd  at the IACP in a cavernous auditorium at the McCormick Place convention center.

“I will admit to feeling a bit nostalgic last year, believing it was my final meeting with you. I fully intended to finish my term last month,” he said before the crowd and some Washington-based notables, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. and Acting ATF Director B. Todd Jones.

“I will say when the President asked whether I would be willing to continue as FBI Director for another two years, I sought advice from many people, because I believe a leader is often the last to know when it is time to go.

‘Three considerations persuaded me to extend my term. First, it would be hard, at any time, to leave the FBI family, and indeed, the larger law enforcement family. I am lucky to work with such talented and dedicated people.

“Second, as each of you knows, there is nothing more rewarding than public service.”

“Lastly, we in the FBI do have unfinished business. We must continue to improve our technology, expand our intelligence capabilities, and adapt to meet new challenges. I did not want to miss the opportunity to be part of that.”

Mueller went on to talk about the changes at the FBI since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, organized crime and the ever-looming threat of terrorism.

“Osama bin Laden, Anwar Awlaki, and other key leaders are no longer in the picture.  Nonetheless, al Qaeda remains the top terrorist threat.”

 

Minn. Women Convicted of Material Support for Terrorists

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

It wasn’t the Avon lady. It wasn’t even two generous ladies seeking donations for the poor and needy of Somalia they claimed to be.

Amina Farah Ali, 35, and Hawo Mohamed Hassan, 64, two naturalized U.S. citizens from Somalia living in Rochester, Minn.,  were convicted  Thursday in federal court in Minneapolis of providing material support to Somali terrorist groups, according to a U.S.  Attorney press release out of Minnesota.

Ali, Hassan and others raised money for the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab by soliciting donations door-to-door in Somali neighborhoods of Minnesota and other North American cities for the poor and needy of their homeland.

In the trial, authorities said the evidence showed that Ali had been in telephone communications with al-Shabaab members, who had requested financial assistance from her from Sept. 17, 2008 to July 19, 2010. They then used various money remittance companies to transfer the money to al-Shabaab with false names identifying recipients.

“On July 14, 2009, the day after the FBI executed a search warrant at her home, Ali telephoned her primary al-Shabaab contact, saying, ‘I was questioned by the enemy here . . . . they took all my stuff and are investigating it . . . do not accept calls from anyone.,'” according to the press release.

The two face a maximum 15 year sentence for conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization. Hassan faces eight years for making false statements to agents when questioned about her support.

FBI Probing Airplane Outburst that Grounded Flight

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating a Florida man’s airplane outburst that caused a Southwest Airlines flight to make an emergency landing in Texas on Tuesday.

It was a complete shock to Ali Reza Shahsavari’s family when news came that the 29-year-old was arrested on charges of interfering with a flight crew, according to FloridaToday.com.

Authorities initially claimed that Shahsavari tried to break into the cockpit, but later recanted that part, saying he was “unruly and had confronted the cabin crew,” according to the Florida website.

“I have no idea what happened; he has no issues,” said his father, Mohammad Shahsavari. “They were supposed to come home. One of our friends is getting married.”

“The FBI continues to investigate, but initial indications are that there was no terrorist intent,” FBI Special Agent Mark White in Dallas said, according to the paper.

To read more click here.

FBI-DEA Foil Iranian-Linked Plot to Kill Saudi Ambassador to U.S.

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department on Tuesday afternoon announced that FBI and DEA agents had foiled a plot linked to the Iranian government to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.

Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old Iranian-American, and Gholam Shakuri, an Iran-based member of Iran’s Qods Force– a unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) –said to be a sponsor of terrorn -were charged in New York, according to the Justice Department. Arbabsiar was arrested on Sept. 29 at JFK Airport, while Shakuri remains at large.

“As alleged, these defendants were part of a well-funded and pernicious plot that had, as its first priority, the assassination of the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, without care or concern for the mass casualties that would result from their planned attack,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement. “Today’s charges should make crystal clear that we will not let other countries use our soil as their battleground.”

“The criminal complaint unsealed today exposes a deadly plot directed by factions of the Iranian government to assassinate a foreign Ambassador on U.S. soil with explosives,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a Justice Department statement.

ABC News reported that the plot also included plans to bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in D.C.

Authorities alleged that Arbabsiar agreed to pay $1.5 million a DEA informant, posing as an associate of a violent Mexican drug cartel, to assassinate the ambassador.  The informant told him he would need four men to carry out the murder.

Arbabsiar allegedly told the informant that his cousin in Iran, who was a “big general” in the Iranian military, has asked him to find someone to carry out the assassination.

Authorities said when the informant noted that innocent bystanders could get hurt, “Arbabsiar made it clear that the assassination needed to go forward, despite mass casualties.”

“They want that guy [the Ambassador] done [killed], if the hundred go with him f**k ‘em.,”” Arbabsiar allegedly said.

Arbabsiar also allegedly discussed bombing a restaurant in the U.S. that the ambassador frequented. Arbabsiar allegedly said that killing others during the attack would be “no big deal.”

Authorities, citing the criminal complaint, said “Arbabsiar also admitted to agents that, in connection with this plot, he was recruited, funded, and directed by men he understood to be senior officials in Iran’s Qods Force.”

Embassy Bomber Wins Right to Sue Federal Govt. Over Prison Restrictions

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Khalafan Khamis Mohammed, convicted  of a 1998 terrorist strike on the US Embassy in Tanzania, won the right to sue the federal government over tight restrictions they placed on his letter-writing and visitor privileges, according to the Associated Press.

Mohammed is serving a life sentence at the federal Supermax prison in southern Colorado. In a hand-written filing penned in 2008, Mohammed wrote to the Denver U.S. District Court that the restrictions were “in violation of the First Amendment rights, equal protection rights, cruel and unusual punishment.”

The Tanzanian also claimed he was barred from watching religious programming while other prisoners were free to watch Christian programs. Other complaints–inadequate food, medical care, safety–were denied by the judge. Mohammed was representing himself.

To read more click here.

FBI Agents’ Email Show Concern Over Anti-Muslim Bias in Training

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

NPR has some new coverage of the anti-Muslim bias in FBI training.

The radio station has obtained real-time emails from agents in the controversial Quantico training session which indicate that some agents, distressed by what they were being taught, complained to superiors and sought council from experts.

“Generally, Mohammed was portrayed as a warring military leader,” reads one email, according to NPR. “And the instructor said that for one to be a true Muslim, they have to engage in jihad that either supports or directly engages in killing non-Muslims.”

NPR also reported that the instructor taught that Mohammed was epileptic, the Quran coming to him not by divine inspiration but as an epileptic fit.

Officials confirmed to NPR that they had been made aware of the course and were taking moves to ameliorate the situation as early as last spring, and the instructor was removed.

To read more click here.

To listen to the NPR report click here.