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Archive for December 21st, 2008

Online Jihadists Have Plan to Invade Facebook

Facebook may be the playground for everyone from entertainers to acne-faced kids. But the Jihadists in the world want to add to the mix.  Could Bin Laden one day ask to be your Facebook friend?

By Noah Shachtman
Wired Blog Network

Online jihadists have already used YouTube, blogs and other social media to spread their propaganda. Now, a group of internet Islamic extremists is putting together a plan for “invading Facebook.”
“We can use Facebook to fight the media,” notes a recent posting on the extremist al-Faloja forum, translated by Jihadica.com. “We can post media on Facebook that shows the Crusader losses.”
“We have already had great success in raiding YouTube,” the poster adds. “American politicians have used Facebook to get votes, like the house slave Obama.”
Groups like al-Qaida were pioneering users of the internet – to train, share ideas and organize. But some observers, like George Washington University professor Marc Lynch, see a reluctance to embrace Web 2.0 tools like Facebook.
“One of the biggest problems for a virtual network like AQ today is that it needs to build connections between its members while protecting itself from its enemies. That’s a filtering problem: How do you get your people in, and keep intelligence agents out?” he asks.
But as Jihadica.com author and West Point Combating Terrorism Center fellow William McCants notes, the proposed Facebook invasion “is not an attempt to replicate [existing] social networks.” Instead, “the members of the campaign want to exploit existing networks of people who are hostile to them and presumably they will adopt new identities once they have posted their material.”
The al-Faloja poster suggests seven “brigades” work together within Facebook. One will distribute videos and writing of so-called “martyrs.” Another will spread military training material. Most of them will work in Arabic, presumably. But one of the units will focus just on spread English-language propaganda through Facebook.
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New Sequel To Weekend At Bernie’s: Fed Judge Orders Bernie Madoff Confined to his $7 Million Penthouse

There are worse things than being confined to a $7 million penthouse in New York. Then again, these days there are better people to be than Bernie Madoff.

BY THOMAS ZAMBITO and CORKY SIEMASZKO
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — The most hated con man in New York will be trapped in a gilded cage until he goes to trial.
Fallen financier Bernard Madoff Friday was ordered confined to his $7 million upper East Side penthouse 24 hours a day by a Manhattan federal judge.
Madoff was already wearing an electronic ankle bracelet and required to be home from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Magistrate Judge Theodore Katz agreed to tighten Madoff’s bail conditions after federal prosecutors – worried about death threats and determined that he stand trial for engineering a $50 billion Ponzi scheme – cited the need to prevent “harm or flight.”
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A 2007 Chat With Bernie Madoff

Fed Employee Accuses the Prosecution in Sen. Stevens Case of Misconduct

Sen. Stevens/official photo

Sen. Stevens/official photo

With this latest allegations, coupled with the judge chastising the prosecution on more than one occasion during trial, don’t be surprised to see the U.S. Court of Appeals call for a new trial. Then again, don’t be surprised to see President Bush pardon Stevens in the final days of his administration.

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — A federal employee with extensive knowledge of the investigation and corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has filed a whistle-blower complaint alleging that the government intentionally withheld evidence and committed other misconduct.
Among the accusations were that the government intentionally “schemed to relocate a witness” and that an employee working on the investigation accepted artwork and employment for a relative from a cooperating source, according to a legal ruling issued late last night by the federal judge who presided over Stevens’s trial.
The allegations echo long-running complaints raised by Stevens’s defense team. U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan chastised prosecutors several times for their handling of evidence and witnesses.
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