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Archive for November, 2010

Teen Bomber in Portland Was Angry At Parents for Keeping him from Jihad


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the Somali-born teen busted in an FBI sting after trying to detonate a van with dummy explosives during an annual tree-lighting ceremony in downtown Portland, Ore., on Friday night, was angry at his parents for keeping him from jihad, the Oregonian newspaper reported.

The paper, citing government court documents, stated that Mohamud, 19, sent an e-mail June 25, 2010, to an undercover FBI operative saying he’d been “betrayed by my family” because he was unable to fly from the United Kingdom to Pakistan.

Mohamud said in a video that living in the U.S. “is a sin”, the paper reported.

“To my parents, who held me back from Jihad in the cause of Allah. I say to them, if you make allies with the enemy, then Allah’s power will ask you about that on the day of judgment …,” Mohamud said in the video, according to court documents.

The arrest was the result of an FBI sting in which the agency worked with Mohamud in assembling a bomb he tried twice to detonate on Friday night.

“The threat was very real. Our investigation shows that Mohamud was absolutely committed to carrying out an attack on a very grand scale,” said Arthur Balizan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “At the same time, I want to reassure the people of this community that, at every turn, we denied him the ability to actually carry out the attack.”

To read more click here.

Read Washington Post story

Portland Bomb Suspect Appeared to be Normal Teen (LA Times)

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sen. Graham Doubts 9/11 Suspects Will be Tried in Civilian Court

Khalid Sheik Mohammad

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The chances of the suspected 9/11 conspirators facing a trial in a civilian court seems to be getting slimmer.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday he probably has the votes in the Senate to block a civilian trial for alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others, the Associated Press reported.

Graham said on Fox News that the alleged conspirators should be tried in a military court at Gitmo, AP reported.

The Justice Department was gung-ho about prosecuting the case in federal court in New York. But the backlash has been so strong, it seems to be rethinking its stance.

To date, it appears it’s unlikely the case will end up in civilian court.

To read more click here.

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens Speaks out on Death Penalty; Calls it Racist, Filled With Politics

Justice John Paul Stevens

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has finally explained his opposition to the death penalty, “saying personnel changes on the court, coupled with ‘regrettable judicial activism,’had created a system of capital punishment that is shot through with racism, skewed toward conviction, infected with politics and tinged with hysteria,” the New York Times reported.

The Times reported that Stevens wrote a very candid essay for the New York Review of Books to be published this week.

The Times said that Stevens, 90, appears intent on speaking on issues that were off limits while he served on the court.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Godfather John Gotti

ATF Launches Pilot Program to Generate Tips Via Text Message

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ATF is turning to text messages to generate more tips.

The agency announced this week a six-month pilot program that will allow crime tips to be submitted anonymously by text message to ATF’s Joint Support and Operations Center for review and processing.

“The general public will benefit from the easy to use, anonymous system that will allow them to readily relay information from any cell phone,”  the agency said in a statement. “ATF will benefit from an increased flow of real—time intelligence, which will enhance its investigative capabilities and help keep communities safer.”

To submit a crime tip, citizens can begin by texting a message with “ATF” in the body of the message to the number “274637” (CRIMES), ATF said.

Head of TSA, John Pistole, Visits Airport to Bolster Morale

John Pistole/dhs photo

By ASHLEY PARKER
New York Times

WASHINGTON — As John Pistole strode through Concourse B of Ronald Reagan National Airport on one of the busiest travel days of the year, flanked by airport employees, a news media handler and a reporter, a bewildered traveler looked up and wondered aloud: Is a celebrity flying through?

Well, sort of.

Mr. Pistole, the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, has become the unwitting face of everything Americans hate about airport security in a post-9/11 world, the most recent outcry being the agency’s new pat-down procedure, which many passengers say feels invasive and inappropriate.

He has been maligned on Twitter — ”I won’t fly in the U.S. again until John Pistole and TSA are eliminated,” reads one message — and Democrats and Republicans alike have criticized his agency’s new security measures.

But Mr. Pistole, 54, said that while he had been surprised by the ”fullness of the public reaction,” he was happy to take the heat if it meant keeping travelers safe.

”My hope is that, whatever people want to call me, they recognize that we’re simply doing everything we can to work with people to provide the best possible security,” Mr. Pistole said.

To read more click here.

Happy Thanksgiving From ticklethewire.com

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful
that thorns have roses.” Alphonse Karr

*******
“You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fed Jury Convicts 5 Pirates in Attack on USS Nicholas

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — They may not have fit the stereotype of Hollywood, but a federal jury in Norfolk, Va., nonetheless convicted five men from Somalia of engaging in piracy for their attack in April on the USS Nicholas, authorities said. It was believed to be the first piracy trial conviction in the United States since 1820.

“Today marks the first jury conviction of piracy in more than 190 years,” said U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride of Alexandria. “These five Somali pirates were convicted of an armed assault on the high seas against what they thought was a merchant vessel, but turned out to be a U.S. Navy frigate engaged in counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa.

“Modern-day pirates not only threaten human lives but also disrupt international commerce by extorting hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom payments,” he said.

The conviction came after nine days of trial. Those convicted included: Mohammed Modin Hasan, Gabul Abdullahi Ali, Abdi Wali Dire, Abdi Mohammed Gurewardher and Abdi Mohammed Umar, all from Somalia.

Authorities said they face a mandatory penalty of life in prison when they are sentenced on March 14, 2011.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Tom DeLay Guilty of Money Laundering (Politics Daily)