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Archive for February 3rd, 2010

FBI Says No Known Terrorist Threats Target Super Bowl

superbowlBy Allan Lengel
For Aol News

With just days to go before the big game, the FBI says there’s no intelligence here or abroad suggesting terrorists are plotting to disrupt Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, one of America’s premier sporting events seen around the world.

“The security is in place, and we’re well-prepared for any incident,” John V. Gillies, special agent in charge of the Miami FBI, told AOL News. “I want to stress there’s no indication of any threats to the Super Bowl at this time.”

Still, law enforcement isn’t taking any chances.

John V. Gillies/fbi photo

John V. Gillies/fbi photo

Legions of federal, state and local law enforcement personnel connected to everything from the Miami-Dade police to the Coast Guard have been preparing to protect the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area on water, land and in the air for the pre-Super Bowl parties and the Sunday night game. The latter is expected to draw a frenzied crowd of 75,000-plus to Sun Trust Stadium.

There will be a no-fly zone around the stadium, and during certain pre-game parties the Coast Guard will beef up patrols around hotels and other venues in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, said Lt. Cmdr. Matt Moorlag, a spokesman for the Coast Guard in Miami.

For Full Story

Pakistani Scientist Accused of Trying to Shoot American Soldiers and FBI Agents Found Guilty in NY

new-york-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Pakistani neuroscientist, who disrupted her New York trial with multiple outbursts, was convicted Wednesday of attempted murder for trying to kill American soldiers and F.B.I. agents in Afghanistan, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

Authorities charged that Aafia Siddiqui, 37, of grabbing grabbed an M4 rifle in an Afghanistan police station in 2008 and fired on American officers and federal agents. No one was hit.

The jury deliberated for over 2 days following a 14 day trial, authorities said.

The New York Times reported that as jurors began leaving the courtroom, Siddiqui turned to them in her chair and said:

“This is a verdict coming from Israel and not from America. That’s where the anger belongs. I can testify to this, and I have proof.”

FBI Disputes Wall Street Journal Column Saying Anthrax Case is Unsolved

Suspect Bruce Ivins

Suspect Bruce Ivins

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI has fired off a letter to the Wall Street Journal disputing a guest column which questioned the FBI’s conclusion that scientist Bruce Ivins was responsible for the deadly anthrax attacks in 2001.

The column concluded that  Ivins was in all likelihood not the real culprit.

“Monday’s opinion piece, “The Anthrax Attacks Remain Unsolved,” was filled with inaccuracies and omitted several relevant facts that are necessary for a balanced discussion of the science applied in the anthrax investigation,” said the FBI letter signed by D. Christian Hassell, Ph.D, Director of the FBI Laboratory.

It went on to say the FBI was confident with its findings.

Author of the controversial column, Edward Jay Epstein, who is working on a book on the 9/11 Commission, wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal that “silicon”, an element in the deadly anthrax, which is used to weaponize the material,  was not available to Ivins, a scientist at the the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Md.

Therefore, it wasn’t likely that he was the guy.

Ivins killed himself in the summer of 2008  shortly before the FBI said it was about to be charge him in the case.  The FBI concluded that Ivins was the guy and case essentially closed.

“If Ivins had neither the equipment or skills to weaponize anthrax with silicon, then some other party with access to the anthrax must have done it. Even before these startling results, Sen. Leahy had told Director Mueller, ‘I do not believe in any way, shape, or manner that [Ivins] is the only person involved in this attack on Congress,'” Epstein wrote in his column.

The FBI letter,  which was  circulated by the agency on Wednesday, stated:

“From the outset, the FBI’s scientific work in the anthrax case has had a foundation in validation and verification of its approach and conclusions. This process began within weeks of the initial events of 2001 and has included:

Read more »

Atty. Gen. Holder Sends Letter Defending Handling of Underwear Bomber: Says It’s in Line With Previous Administration

Dept. of Justice art

Dept. of Justice art

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The debate over whether to charge the underwear bomber in a civilian, rather than a military court, continues.

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. fired off a letter dated Feb. 3 to Sen. Mitch McConnell and other centers  assuring him that “I made the decision to charge Mr. Abdulmutallab with federal crimes, and to seek his detention….”  The letter was posted on Justice Department website.

“On the evening of December 25 and again on the morning of December 26, the FBI informed its partners in the Intelligence Community that Abdulmutallab would be charged criminally, and no agency objected to this course of action,”  Holder wrote.

“Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the practice of the U.S. government followed by prior and current Administrations without a single exception has been to arrest and detain under federal criminal law all terrorist suspects who are apprehended inside the United States.”

“The prior administration adopted policies expressly endorsing this approach.”

To Read the Full Letter

New Orleans Pot Dealer Pleads Guilty to Threatening Life of President and Drug and Gun Charges

obama-and-bidenBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

John Turnpaugh of New Orleans isn’t likely to go down in history as one of the brighter drug dealers.

In fact, if you described him as being a few fries short of a Happy Meal, you wouldn’t be overreaching.

On Dec. 30, he phoned 911 around 2 a.m. and said: “Yeah, hey, I’m going to kill President Barack Obama and his wife this month…F—You.”

U.S. Secret Service and New Orleans Police then tracked him down to his home through his cellphone provider, according to a Secret Service affidavit.

But when he spotted authorities, he fled on bike, the affidavit said. The next day, Secret Service agents interviewed him and played a recording of the 911 call. He admitted making the call, the court affidavit said.

Meanwhile, authorities also followed up and charged him with selling marijuana and illegal possession of several firearms. He pleaded guilty to threatening the president and the gun and drug charges on Tuesday.

Sentencing is set for May 11.

Texan Gets 2 Years For Impersonating a U.S. Marshal

u..s. marhsal badgeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Darrien Hatchcock essentially wanted a couple hotel rooms for free.  Now he’s getting free room and board, compliments of the U.S. taxpayers.

The 46-year-old from Terrell, Tex., was sentenced in Dallas on Monday to two years in prison for impersonating a U.S. Marshal and demanding that a hotel give him two rooms without paying in advance, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas said.

The rooms were valued at $578.37.

Column: FBI And Top Spies Give Mixed Message: Shades of Bush?

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein

By Jeff Stein
Spy Talk

WASHINGTON — Which is it now — imminent terrorist threat, or no threat? Certain or uncertain?

Only last month U.S. intelligence officials were saying the Nigerian underwear bomber slipped through their nets because they didn’t think al Qaeda could or would mount another attack here.

Yesterday, they warned that a terror attack here was “certain.”

Meantime, we hear that the Miranda warning that FBI interrogators gave Umar Farouk Abdulmutullab caused the Nigerian to clam up.

But yesterday, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said he was singing like the proverbial bird.

Moreover, in “case after case,” terrorists have provided actionable intelligence even after they were given their rights and charged with crimes, Mueller said.

If that weren’t enough, officials continue to contradict each other on who’s in charge of interrogating Abdulmutallab and other top-of-the-ticket terrorist suspects.

To read more click here