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Tag: terrorism

LA Times Editorial: Stings Can Be Legitimate Tool in Terrorism

By The Los Angeles Times
Editorial Page

From Abscam to the arrest of former Washington Mayor Marion Barry on drug charges, sting operations have brought accusations that the government was entrapping its targets.

This perennial complaint has acquired a new sensitivity with charges that the FBI, as part of its anti-terrorism activities, is inducing Muslims to take part in fictitious plots and then arresting them. So far the accusations seem exaggerated, but the FBI needs to be careful that it doesn’t propose violations of the law to individuals who have shown no propensity to commit crimes.

The latest suggestion of entrapment comes from the lawyer for Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the 19-year-old Somali American accused of plotting to explode a bomb at a Christmas tree lighting in Portland, Ore., last month. The lawyer said undercover agents had been “basically grooming” Mohamud for months to commit a terrorist act, and complained that they failed to record their first meeting with Mohamud — the meeting at which evidence of entrapment would be most evident.

The notion that Mohamud was entrapped brought a defiant response from Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. Addressing a group of American Muslims, Holder said he would make no apologies for the FBI’s conduct in the case, which included providing Mohamud with a large and elaborate “explosive.” More generally, Holder said undercover operations “have proven to be an essential law enforcement tool in uncovering and preventing potential terror attacks.”

If the government’s recitation of facts in the Mohamud case is to be believed, Holder is on solid ground.

To read more click here.

Dennis Baker to Head FBI’s St. Louis Office

Dennis Baker/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Native Oklahoman Dennis L. Baker, special assistant to the FBI deputy director, has been picked to head the St. Louis office.

Baker started his FBI career as a special agent in June 1988 and was first stationed in Charlotte where he worked violent crime and drugs.

In 2002, he was promoted as a supervisory special agent in the Counterterrorism Division, International Terrorism Operations Section at FBI headquarters.

Two years later, he transferred to the Phoenix Division as a field supervisor where he supervised an international terrorism squad that included members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

In 2007, he returned to headquarters as a team leader in the Inspection Division. And the next year, he was promoted as assistant special agent in charge (ASAC) of the Sacramento Division.

Va Man Expected to Plead Guilty to Supporting Somali Terrorists

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A Northern Virginia man who found little humor in the animated show “South Park”, and wished death to its creators on the Internet, is scheduled to plead guilty to supporting Somali terrorists, the Washington Post reports.

The paper reports that Zachary Adam Chesser, 20, of Bristow, Va., will plead guilty at 2 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Alexandria.

The Post reported that Chesser, a George Mason University “dropout who became an Internet propagandist for al-Qaeda under the name Abu Talhah al-Amrikee, Chesser was arrested July 21 after being placed on the no-fly list and stopped from traveling with his infant son from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Somalia.”

He allegedly told FBI agents that he planned to join the Islamist terrorist group al-Shabab, which is tied to al Qaeda.

To read more click here.

FBI-Homeland Bulletin Says No Specific Terrorist Threat Against U.S. as There is in Europe

terrorismBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The feds are saying there’s no indication of any specific terrorist threat to the U.S. or its citizens as there is in Europe, the Associated Press reported.

The FBI and Homeland Security Department in an intelligence bulletin said there is nothing out there to indicate there’s a planned attack against the U.S., AP reported.

“We are aware of, and closely monitoring, recent reporting indicating a terrorist threat to Europe,” the bulletin said, according to AP. “At this time, there is no indication that the reported threat is directed specifically toward the United States, its citizens, or infrastructure; however, we assess that al-Qaida and its affiliates continue to plot against the Homeland and US allies.”

U.S. travelers to Europe have been warned to be careful and vigilant.

Column: Ex-FBI Agent Says Scathing IG Report Doesn’t Faze Bureau in Raids on Anti-War Activitists

Rowley in center

Rowley in center

By Coleen  Rowley
Ex-FBI Agent
For Huffington Post

The war on dissent, rather than terrorism, continued full steam with FBI SWAT teams breaking down doors at 7 am Friday (Sept 24) morning and raiding the homes of several anti-war leaders and activists in Minneapolis, Chicago and possibly a couple other Midwest cities.

Members of the FBI’s “Joint Terrorism Task Force” spent a few hours at each Minneapolis residence, seizing personal photographs and papers, computers and cell phones as well as serving Federal Grand Jury subpoenas on the various activists.

Obviously the scathing review of post 9-11 FBI “terrorism investigations” targeting various peace and social justice groups completed by the Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) and just issued four days ago gave no pause to the FBI to reflect before continuing to do more of the same.

To read more click here.

Hoopla Over Detained Yemini Men Appears to be Nothing

plane window2UPDATE: Tuesday, 2:10 p.m — The Associated Press reports that Dutch prosecutors said the two Yemeni men were released without charge Wednesday after investigators found no evidence of a terror plot.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — All the hoopla over two Yemeni men detained in Amsterdam appears to be nothing, federal law enforcement sources said.

The two U.S. residents, Ahmad Mohamed Nasser al-Soofi, 48, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Hezem al-Murisi, 37, of Memphis, missed their flight on Sunday at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and got on another flight. Screeners found some items that appeared to be suspicious and speculation circulated that the men were possibly trying a test run for a terrorism attack.

But sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity said relatives and friends were being interviewed and leads were being followed up and there  was no indication the men had any terrorist affiliations.

They caught a different flight, but some of their baggage had already been loaded on the flight they missed, including items that had been taped together and attracted attention from airport screeners. Though no explosives were found, investigators considered the possibility that the men might be conducting a test run for a terrorist attack, officials said.

Read NY Times story

Disturbing Trend Continues: Another Suspected Homegrown Terrorist Arrested

terrorismBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Homegrown terrorists just keep popping up.

The FBI on Tuesday night arrested a 26-year-old Chicago man, Shaker Masri, an American citizen, who allegedly had plans to travel to Somalia to fight with a terrorist group linked to al Qaeda and become a suicide bomber, authorities said.

Masri, who lived in the Streeterville area of Chicago, was arrested in Countryside, Ill., by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force following an 18-month probe, authorities said.

He was charged with attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization and attempting to provide material support through the use of a weapon of mass destruction, authorities said.

Authorities said Masri expressed violent views to a friend about being part of a “jihad” and joining the terrorist group al Shabaab, which has been linked to al Qaeda. He was held without bond pending his next court appearance on Monday.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

ACLU Wants FBI to Disclose Info It’s Gathering on Ethnic Groups in the Name of Terrorism

acluBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ACLU offices around the country plan to file Freedom of Information Requests with the FBI to find out what type of information the agency is gathering on ethnic groups to battle terrorism, the Boston Globe reported.

The request comes in the wake of the FBI’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide issued in 2008 that allows agents to collect info on peoples’ behavior, lifestyles, religious practices, cultural traditions and even eating habits, the Globe reported.

The Globe reported that the guidelines say agents can “identify locations of concentrated ethnic communities” if the information will “reasonably aid the analysis of potential threats and vulnerabilities.”

The guidelines say the information might also be helpful because some communities “may be potential victims of civil rights crimes,” the Globe reported.

“FBI surveillance and mapping based on people’s religion, cultural practices, race, or ethnic backgrounds raise profound civil liberties concerns,” Carol Rose, executive director of the Massachusetts ACLU said, according to the Globe.

The paper said the FBI was not immediately available for comment.

For full story click here.