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Archive for April 30th, 2010

2 Men Charged in NY With Helping Modernize al Qaeda

new-york-map
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Geek Squad these men were not, at least according to federal authorities in New York.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged two former Brooklyn men with conspiring to provide material support to Al Qaeda that included providing computer advice, according to an indictment unsealed Friday.

The men, Wesam El-Hanafi, 33, is an American citizen who lived in Brookly and Sabirhan Hasanoff, 34, has dual citizen in the U.S. and Australia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said.

“As alleged in the indictment, Wesam El-Hanafi and Sabirhan Hasanoff conspired to modernize al Qaeda by providing computer systems expertise and other goods and services,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

Authorities charged that El-Hanafi traveled to Yemen in February 2008 and met with two members of al Qaeda.

“While in Yemen, El-Hanafi swore an oath of allegiance to al Qaeda, received instructions from al Qaeda on operatational security measrues, and received assignments to perform for al Qaeda,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release.

Read Press Release

FBI Official Says Kidnappings in Texas Border Town “Off the Charts”

mexico-border-signBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An FBI official in Texas told state lawmakers Thursday that kidnappings in the border town of McAllen, Tex., have nearly quadrupled over the last fiscal year, and most were drug related, the Associated Press reported.

John Johnson, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI McAllen office, said 42 people were kidnapped between October 2008 to September 2009 compared to 11 the year before, the AP reported. On top of that, he said, many kidnappings have gone unreported.

“Fiscal ’09 was off the charts,” Johnson said in McAllen to lawmakers who were holding a hearing to determined the security needs at the border, the AP reported.

To read more click here.

Pa. Judge Pleads Guilty in “Kids for Cash” Scandal

judge and gavel
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In a case that was clearly a big big disgrace to the judiciary, ex-Luzrine County, Pa., Judge Michael T. Conahan pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in  the “kids-for-cash” scandal that wrongfully sent some juveniles to jail in exchange for a kickback in cash, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. He now faces up to 20 years in jail.

His guilty plea, which was entered in Scranton, Pa., also requires the 58-year-old to stop practicing law.

Conahan and Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. were charged last year with getting $2.8 million in kickbacks from the owner of two private juvenile detention facilities. In exchange, they allegedly sent some juveniles to jail who shouldn’t have gone or imposed harsher sentences than normal. Ciavarella  plans to go to trial.

Both judges had previously pleaded guilty to fraud charges in a deal that called for 87 month prison terms. But a federal judge rejected that, saying the duo had not fully admitted wrongdoing, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

To read full story click here.

Fed Prosecutors Open Preliminary Probe into Goldman Sachs

goldman-sachs-logoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has opened a preliminary investigation into Goldman Sachs, the poster child for greed in America.

The New York Times, citing “people familiar with the matter’, said the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has filed a civil fraud suit against the financial giant, Goldman, referred the case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan.

The company has denied claims by the SEC that it defrauded investors.

To read more click here.

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