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Archive for November 23rd, 2009

Philly FBI Busts 5 Men of Lebanese Origin in Sting That Involved Stinger Missiles

beeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Philly FBI busted five men of Lebanese origin in an international sting in which one man allegedly wanted to buy 100 Stinger missiles designed to shoot down aircraft, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The paper reported that the central figure in the sting, which was  run by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, planned to use anti-aircraft weapons and 250 machine guns in the Middle East, “and asked to have them exported to Iran or Syria for use by “the Resistance,” according to an FBI affidavit unsealed today, the Inquirer reported.  The “Resistance” group was not identified.

To read more, click here.

8 in Minn. Charged in FBI Probe into Recruiting for Somali Terror Group

The FBI has continually sited concerns over the past several months about the recruitment of Somali men in America who have gone overseas to fight with the terrorist group Al-Shabaab. The probe has also caused serious tension between the FBI and the Somali-American community.

SOMALI-map2

By JAMES WALSH, RICHARD MERYHEW and ALLIE SHAH
Minneapolis Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — Terrorism charges were filed today in Minneapolis against eight men from Minnesota in connection with an ongoing FBI investigation into the recruitment and training of up to 20 local Somali men believed to have returned to their homeland to fight for the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab.

The eight were also charged with providing financial support and fighting for Al-Shabaab, designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist group with ties to Al-Qaida.

The development, announced at a 3 o’clock briefing at the office of the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, brings to 14 the total number of local men charged or indicted in the case, considered to be one of the most far-reaching counterterrorism probes since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Four of the 14 already have pleaded guilty, but have not been sentenced.

For Full Story

FBI Report Says Hates Crimes Up Against Blacks, Jews, Gays

hate_crimes2
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Hate apparently never goes out of style.

Hate crimes against blacks and religious groups increased in 2008 over the previous year, and hate crimes overall rose by 2 percent to 7,783 incidents, according to hate crime statistics released by the FBI on Monday. The number of victims totalled 9,691.

Still, the numbers should be carefully weighed.  The FBI noted that its Uniform Crime Reporting Program doesn’t report trends in this area because the number of law enforcement agencies that report hate crimes varies each year. In 2008, 2,145 police agencies reported hate crimes, compared with 2,025 last year.

Reported hate crimes against blacks jumped by 8 percent; against gays 3 percent and biased incidents based on religion were up 9 percent this year. It said 2/3 of the religion based hate crimes involved anti-Semitism

Read FBI press release

Read Statistics

Feds Bust Man at LA Airport with 15 Live Lizards Strapped to Chest

Gecko/new zealand govt photo
Gecko/new zealand govt photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Talk about odd traveling companions.

U.S. Customs agents busted Michael Plank of Lomita, Calif., at the Los Angeles International Airport on Friday with 15 live Australian lizards strapped to his chest, the Associated Press reported.

Plank, who was returning from Australia, violated the law by failing to have the proper permits for the animals, the AP reported.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday Plank had two geckos, two monitor lizards and 11 skinks, AP reported. He is scheduled to be a arraigned Dec. 21.

Ex-Klansman Supposedly Bragged That Authorities Never Searched His Property in Connection with 3 Slayings

KKK/fbi file photo

KKK/fbi file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Imprisoned ex-Klansman Edgar Ray Killen supposedly bragged that authorities never searched his property, which may contain evidence including a gun that could implicate others in the 1964 KKK slayings of three civil rights workers, the Jackson Clarion Ledger reported.

The paper reported that ex-inmate Larry Ellis, who shared a cell next to  Killen, recently disclosed to the FBI the information about Killen bragging . The three civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were killed on June 21, 1964 in Philadelphia, Miss.

Killen,84, is serving 60 years for a 2005 manslaughter conviction in connection with the murders. He is appealing the conviction, the paper said.

The paper reported that the FBI had no comment and Killen’s lawyer Rob Ratliff of Mobile said his client denies telling Ellis any of this and called Ellis a con man. Ellis is writing a book on the matter.

To Read More

Turkey Rejects FBI Mueller’s Request for Info About Travelers

Robert Mueller III/file photo

Robert Mueller III/file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III may not be getting the warm and fuzzy treatment from Turkey.

The BBC reports that a Turkish newspaper website,  Radikal, said Turkey had rejected Mueller’s request that the nation share biometric data on everyone who uses its ports and airports.

The website said Mueller, who visited Turkey last Wednesday, had asked for the info to track terrorists traveling through Turkey. It said Turkey immediately rejected the request.

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara  issued a press release saying Mueller met in Turkey with Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin and Chief of Police Oguz Kagan Koksal to discuss counterterrorism and law enforcement matters.

Here is the press release.

Read more »

Preview of Monday Night’s National Geographic TV Special: The Lost JFK Tapes: The Assassination

Prison Needs More Time to Evaluate Man Charged with Killing Holocaust Museum Guard

James von Brunn/facebook photo

James von Brunn/facebook photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — James von Brunn, the man charged with fatally shooting the Holocaust Museum guard in Washington in June will remain in a North Carolina prison until early January so the facility can complete psychiatric tests.

The warden at the Federal Medical Center at Butner, N.C. asked for more time because of  von Brunn’s  “several chronic medical ailments, which have inhibited the Federal Bureau of Prisons from conducting several tests and procedures necessary to render a comprehensive neuropsychiatric diagnostic assessment,” said a court order accomodating the prison’s request, which was signed earlier this month by U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton.

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