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Archive for December 16th, 2010

Feds Seize Paintings Stolen By Nazis in Poland

"Self-Portrait From Palette" by Julian Falat was painted circa 1896.

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

Federal authorities have seized two Julian Falat paintings stolen by the Nazis during World War II from New York auction houses, with the hope of returning the national treasures to the Polish government.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today that it had filed a civil forfeiture complaint on Wednesday to seize the two paintings — “Off to the Hunt” and “The Hunt” — which were stolen by the Nazis from the National Museum in Warsaw. U.S. authorities said the U.S. District Court in Manhattan had authorized the seizure of the paintings pending the outcome of the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that in 2006 the Polish government learned that the two paintings were being offered for sale by two New York auction houses. The Polish government contacted the U.S. government for help in recovering them.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

al Qaeda Planning Holiday Attacks in U.S. and Europe, Authorities Say

bin Laden said getting weapons of mass destruction was a "religious duty"

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Last year, al Qaeda supposedly sent the “Underwear Bomber” on a plane Christmas Day. This year?

The Associated Press reports that captured insurgents told Iraqi authorities that al Qaeda is planning suicide attacks in the U.S. and Europe during the holiday season.

AP reported that a senior US intelligence official confirmed the threat as credible.

To read more click here

FBI Helping Long Island Police in Possible Serial Killer Case

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is assisting police in Long Island into what may end up being a serial killer case. Four female bodies have been found in recent days on a Long Island Beach.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said in a statement Wednesday that the bureau “has offered assistance in the case. This is a Suffolk County Police Department investigation and we refer you to them for any additional information.”

The New York Times reported that the women “were found in brush about 500 feet apart from one another off a highway in Gilgo Beach.”

The Times reported that the identity of the woman and the cause of death is unknown.

LA Times Editorial: Stings Can Be Legitimate Tool in Terrorism

By The Los Angeles Times
Editorial Page

From Abscam to the arrest of former Washington Mayor Marion Barry on drug charges, sting operations have brought accusations that the government was entrapping its targets.

This perennial complaint has acquired a new sensitivity with charges that the FBI, as part of its anti-terrorism activities, is inducing Muslims to take part in fictitious plots and then arresting them. So far the accusations seem exaggerated, but the FBI needs to be careful that it doesn’t propose violations of the law to individuals who have shown no propensity to commit crimes.

The latest suggestion of entrapment comes from the lawyer for Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the 19-year-old Somali American accused of plotting to explode a bomb at a Christmas tree lighting in Portland, Ore., last month. The lawyer said undercover agents had been “basically grooming” Mohamud for months to commit a terrorist act, and complained that they failed to record their first meeting with Mohamud — the meeting at which evidence of entrapment would be most evident.

The notion that Mohamud was entrapped brought a defiant response from Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. Addressing a group of American Muslims, Holder said he would make no apologies for the FBI’s conduct in the case, which included providing Mohamud with a large and elaborate “explosive.” More generally, Holder said undercover operations “have proven to be an essential law enforcement tool in uncovering and preventing potential terror attacks.”

If the government’s recitation of facts in the Mohamud case is to be believed, Holder is on solid ground.

To read more click here.

Dallas FBI Agent Gets Probation for Hiring Illegal Aliens for Her Deli

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Dallas FBI agent was sentenced Wednesday to two years probation and ordered to pay a $18,000 fine for unlawfully employing illegal immigrants at a deli she owned in suburban Dallas, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Ann Cox,  who was fired in the summer after the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed charges,  pleaded guilty in September to a misdemeanor offense for unlawfully employing aliens.

Authorities said that Cox, 49, of Rockwall, Tex., knowingly hired six illegal aliens while owning a Schlotzsky’s Deli from August 1997 to December 2008. Her husband is an FBI agent, but was not involved in the case.

“While it is disappointing that an FBI Special Agent chose to break the law, it is important for citizens to understand that the FBI has an unwavering commitment to take appropriate action when transgressions are committed by its employees, the overwhelming majority of whom are above reproach in their professional and personal conduct,” said Robert E. Casey Jr., head of the Dallas FBI.