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Tag: war on terror

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.

Despite Controversial FBI Investigative Tactics, Terror Convictions Remain High

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Amid questions of FBI tactics in pursuing terror suspects, one thing that doesn’t seem to be questioned is the rate of convictions, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Many critics have voiced concern in the media lately over whether the FBI is catching and preventing terrorists, or nurturing and cultivating people to prosecute, as ticklethewire.com has recently reported on.

Still, about 90 percent of federal terrorism cases end with convictions through trial or plea deals, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law in New York told the Tampa Bay Times. “You don’t see acquittals,” she said.

Her group has tracked hundreds of cases since Sept. 11, 2001, and has only found nine acquittals, 13 dismissals and five vacated guilty verdicts, according to the Times.

The center has tracked hundreds of terrorism-related arrests since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks but logged only nine acquittals, 13 complete dismissals and five vacated guilty verdicts.

To read more click here.

 

 

 

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.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

Oklahoma Auto Dealership Suspected of Funding Terrorism Abroad

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Low financing and a bag of heroin? Get  out of town!

Agents with the DEA raided a car dealership in Tulsa, Ok. on suspicions that the business is one of about 30 others in the US selling cars and drugs to help fund the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, FOX reports.

Agents say Ace Auto Leasing is part of a huge network which sells cars and drugs to support training and and weapons for terrorism against the U.S.

“They’re making big time money and it’s going right into weapons acquisition, terrorist training, recruiting, corruption. Things needed to carry out terrorist attacks across the world,” said Rusty Payne of the DEA, according to Fox. “Some of that money is flowing back to the United States, back to these used car companies, to purchase more used cars to ship them to West Africa to sell those at a profit and then mix those used car proceeds in with the drug dollars.”

To read more click here.

FBI’s Preemptive Tactics Questioned in New York Terrorism Sting

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Were the Newburgh Four really intent on perpetrating terrorist attacks on US military planes and the homes of wealthy New York Jews?

A report by the Guardian on Monday questions the “ethos” of  FBI investigation that led to the conviction of the four suburban New Yorkers that were jailed for 25 years earlier this year from a 2009 plot to shoot down U.S. military planes and blow up Jewish targets.

An FBI operative, Shahed Hussain, coordinated, planned and even pushed the four men repeatedly to participate in a plot they were reluctant to join, according to the Guardian.

The four men were impoverished and desperate for money, and Hussain had offered a staggering $250,000 for their participation. One of the men was so mentally affected his apartment was littered with bottles of his own urine. Further, Hussain had a long criminal history which he sought to avoid punishment for by working with the FBI.

“The case will question the new ethos of the FBI, which, since the terror attacks of 9/11, has focused on pre-emptive prosecution,” writes the Guardian.

The lawyers have appealed the conviction.

To read more click here.

 

Column: Ex-FBI Agent Coleen Rowley: Americans’ Rights at Risk

 

FBI Agent Coleen Rowley/ photo ia.ucsb.edu

By Coleen Rowley, former FBI Agent
ConsortiumNews.com

The political, military industrial, corporate class in Washington DC continues to re-make our Constitutional Republic into a powerful, unaccountable Military Empire.

The U.S. Senate has just voted 93 to 7 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012, which allows the military to operate domestically within the borders of the United States and to possibly (or most probably) detain U.S. citizens without trial.

Forget that the ACLU called it “an historic threat to American citizens,” this bill is so dangerous not only to our rights but to our country’s security that it was criticized by the Directors of the FBI and the CIA, the Director of National Intelligence and the U.S. Defense Secretary!

For the first time in our history, if this Act is not vetoed, American citizens may not be guaranteed their Article III right to trial. The government would be able to decide who gets an old-fashioned trial (along with right to attorney and right against self-incrimination) and who gets detained without due process and put into a modern legal limbo.

To read more 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.