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Archive for September 14th, 2009

FBI Raids NY Homes in Search of Terrorists; No Arrests, No Explosives Found

It sounds like something the FBI needed to check out. But is it anything earth shattering? Who knows? Sen. Schumer described it as preventative movenew-york-map.

By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ and KAREN ZRAICK
New York Times
WASHINGTON – At least two apartments in Queens were raided on Monday after they had been visited in the last week by a suspected associate of Al Qaeda, according to officials.

No arrests were made and no explosives or other weapons were found in the raids, which were conducted by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York, the officials said. Law enforcement officials also did not identify any specific terror plot or any target of a planned attack.

For Full Story

U.S. Marshals Service Commemorates 220th Anniversary with a Poster

In honor of the 220th anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service, the agency’s photojournalist Shane McCoy came up with a poster combining the Marshals Service of today and yesteryear.

In honor of the 220th anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service, the agency’s photojournalist Shane McCoy came up with a poster combining the Marshals Service of today with yesteryear.

U.S. Commandos Kill al Qaeda Operative on FBI Top Terrorist List

Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan/fbi photo

Saleh Ali Nabhan/fbi photo

Sometimes it’s just a good day for finding terrorists. This one is an impressive hit.

By LUIS MARTINEZ, KIRIT RADIA, DANA HUGHES, and JASON RYAN
ABC NEWS

A U.S. commando attack in Somalia has killed an al Qaeda operative who is on the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorists, sources tell ABC News.

The dead terrorist, Saleh Ali Nabhan, is believed to have taken part in the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He is also believed to have orchestrated the 2002 bombing of a resort hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, and a failed missile attack on an Israeli airliner leaving Mombasa airport.

Several sources tell ABC News at least one U.S. helicopter fired on a convoy carrying suspected al Qaeda targets in southern Somalia.

For Full Story

The Raven Haired Actress and the Fall of a Dapper FBI Agent

Mark Rossini/vtv

Mark Rossini/vtv

By Allan Lengel and Rachel Leven
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – As Mark T. Rossini sat at the defendant’s table in the D.C. federal courthouse in May awaiting his fate, you couldn’t help but wonder, if only for a moment, if he saw himself as a tragic figure in a fabled  Hollywood film:

Dapper, veteran FBI agent romances pretty actress and foolishly risks career and prestige — not to mention a $140,000-a-year job — to sneak the actress a secret FBI document.

And you couldn’t help but wonder if he remembered the words he uttered to a group of Muslims at the Al Badr Mosque in Brooklyn that was captured on a YouTube video dated Oct. 20, 2008:

“We are all equal. None of us is above the law, none of us is under the law.”

In the end, Rossini got a slap on the wrist: one year of probation and a $5,000 fine for digging into confidential FBI records and then lying about it to his supervisor and federal investigators.

It didn’t much matter that he did it for his love interest –actress Linda
Linda Fiorentino

Linda Fiorentino

Fiorentino of “Men In Black” fame, who had passed the FBI document to help the defense lawyers for rogue detective Anthony Pellicano, who went on trial in 2008 for illegally wiretapping the rich and famous in Hollywood.

The slap on the wrist may have been relatively painless. But his fall from grace was not. Loss of job. Loss of colleagues. Excommunication from the
FBI, an institution obsessed with public image. Rossini, who turned 48 last month, was suddenly very bad for the FBI’s public image. He was unceremoniously kicked to the curb.

“He’s still reeling from the mistakes he made,” a friend said. “He’s devastated. Mark was a hard-working agent who put the needs of the FBI and country at the forefront for years and has made many sacrifices. He’s made some mistakes.”

Read more »

Ex-U.S. Atty. Defends Ex-DEA Official in Obstruction Indictment

gavel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey says in a court filing that the government has made a mistake by indicting his client Thomas Raffanello, the former head of the Miami Drug Enforcement Administration, in a banking scandal involving Allen Stanford, according to the Daily Business Review.

Raffanello, the chief security officer for the Stanford Financial Group, is charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly ordering the destruction of records protected by court order. The company is accused in an $8 billion fraud.

“Every action that was done has a credible and legitimate explanation,” said Coffey’s motion filed last week said, according to the Daily Business Review. “There is no conceivable motive or motivation for defendants to obstruct an investigation of the crimes of others in which they indisputably did not participate and from which they did not gain.”

Coffey also asks for a speedy trial to commence this month.

To Read More

Fed Prosecutor Tells Judge Essentially It’s None of Your Business Why Pot Charges Dropped

This is a darn interesting case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts has dismissed marijuana charges against author and writer Andrew Sullivan, saying it could have impacted his immigration status. The Magistrate Judge raised some objections to the dismissal. The prosecutor essentially told the judge it was none of his business whether the prosecution chose to dismiss the case.

Andrew Sullivan
Andrew Sullivan

By The Docket blog
Political commentator, author and writer for The Atlantic magazine Andrew M. Sullivan won’t have to face charges stemming from a recent pot bust at the Cape Cod National Seashore – but a federal judge isn’t happy about it.

U. S. Magistrate Judge Robert B. Collings says in his decision that the case is an example of how sometimes “small cases raise issues of fundamental importance in our system of justice.”

While marijuana possession may have been decriminalized, Sullivan, who owns a home in Provincetown, made the mistake of being caught by a park ranger with a controlled substance on National Park Service lands, a federal misdemeanor.

The ranger issued Sullivan a citation, which required him either to appear in U.S. District Court or, in essence, pay a $125 fine.

But the U.S. Attorney’s Office sought to dismiss the case. Both the federal prosecutor and Sullivan’s attorney said it would have resulted in an “adverse effect” on an unspecified “immigration status” that Sullivan, a British citizen, is applying for.

For Full Story

Read Judge’s Opinion