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Archive for October 18th, 2011

Column: The Wrong Way to Fight Terrorism

Salam Al-Marayati is president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
 
By Salam Al-Marayati
Los Angeles Times Op-Ed Page

We in the Muslim American community have been battling the corrupt and bankrupt ideas of cults such as Al Qaeda. Now it seems we also have to battle pseudo-experts in the FBI and the Department of Justice.

A disturbing string of training material used by the FBI and a U.S. attorney’s office came to light beginning in late July that reveals a deep anti-Muslim sentiment within the U.S. government.

If this matter is not immediately addressed, it will undermine the relationship between law enforcement and the Muslim American community — another example of the ineptitude and/or apathy undermining bridges built with care over decades. It is not enough to just call it a “very valid concern,” as FBI Director Robert Mueller told a congressional committee this month.

To read more click here.

Chinese National Pleads to Theft of Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com
 
In Indiana, in the heart of the Midwest, a Chinese national working for two major U.S. companies pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing trade secrets about food products and pesticides and giving them to people in China and Germany, the Justice Department announced.

 It marked the first time ever that the feds in Indiana had prosecuted a trade secret case.
 
Authorities pegged the losses from the criminal deeds of Kexue Huang, who lived in Carmel, Ind., at more than $7 million, but less than $20 million. He pleaded guilty to theft of trade secrets and economic espionage.
 
Huang worked as a research scientist for Dow Chemical, based in Midland, Mi.  from January 2003 until February 2008, a company that  provides agrochemical and biotechnology products. After Huang left Dow, he was hired in March 2008 by Cargill, an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services.

Huang admitted that he sent  trade secrets to  Germany and the Peoples Republic of China, the Justice Department said.  He and his collaborators then used the information to conduct unauthorized research in an effort to benefit foreign universities serving the Peoples Republic of China.

Authorities said he also  sought to use the trade secrets to establish sites in China from which he could compete directly with Dow in the organic pesticide market.

Court documents show that after his employment with Dow, Huang worked for Cargill beginning in 2008, again disclosing trade secrets, this time to a student at Hunan Normal University in China.

From that company, the Justice Department said, he stole a company trade secret — a key component in the manufacture of a new food product, which he later gave to a student at Hunan Normal University in China.

“Among the various economic espionage and theft of trade secret cases that the FBI has investigated in Indiana, the vast majority involve an inside employee with legitimate access who is stealing in order to benefit another organization or country,” Robert J. Holley, head of the Indianapolis FBI said in a statement.

“This type of threat, which the FBI refers to as the Insider Threat, often causes the most damage. In order to maintain our competitive advantage in these sectors, industry must identify their most important equities, realize that they are a target, implement internal protection mechanisms to protect their intellectual property, and communicate issues of concern immediately to the FBI.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Sen. Grassley Writes FBI Director; Concerned About Boston FBI’s Mobster Informant Mark Rossetti

Robert Mueller

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Shades of Boston mobster Whitey Bulger?

A letter from Sen. Charles Grassley to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III seems to suggest so.

If you recall, the Boston FBI caught hell for letting Bulger run wild and commit crimes while he acted as informant and snitched on his rivals back in the day. Bulger, who was captured in June,   is a suspect in 19 murders.

Now comes mobster Mark Rossetti, a “capo” and “acting consigliore” who worked as a confidential informant for the FBI all while committing his fair share of serious crimes. There are concerns by some inside and outside law enforcement that the FBI should have cut off Rossetti as an informant when it became clear how dangerous a criminal he was.

In a letter to Mueller, Grassley wrote:

“As a Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, I write to inquire about recent reports from the Boston area regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) ties with alleged mafia “capo” and “acting consigliore” Mark Rossetti as a confidential informant and reports that the FBI misrepresented Mr. Rossetti’s status as an informant to the Massachusetts State Police.”

“Mr. Rossetti is currently under state indictment for a multitude of crimes including home invasions, heroin and marijuana trafficking, gambling, and loan sharking. Additionally Mr. Rossetti was convicted of armed robbery, beating a Massachusetts State Trooper nearly to death and was a suspect in multiple murders and the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum art heist, the largest in Boston history.”

“Despite all these alleged crimes and the claim that Mr. Rossetti was running a ‘sprawling criminal enterprise,’ it appears that the FBI may have engaged in a long-term relationship with Mr. Rossetti.

“In fact, as early as 1992, an FBI agent’s pager number was found on Mr. Rossetti and former Massachusetts State Detective Bill McGreal stated that an FBI agent declined to pursue a case against Mr. Rossetti saying, ‘we decided to pass on Rossetti” despite strong evidence from a cooperating witness.'”

Read more »

Dozens of Justice Dept. Antitrust Lawyers May Quit Rather Than Move

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Speaking anonymously to the Washington Post,  several attorneys said dozens of career antitrust lawyers at the Justice Department say they are likely to quit if the department goes ahead with plans to close four regional offices.

Plans were announced earlier this month to close offices in the antitrust division in Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas and Philadelphia, the Post reported.  Consequently, there are plans to move 94 attorneys and support staff to offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and headquarters in Washington. The plan is part of an effort to “consolidate operations and focus on larger criminal investigations,” according to the Post.

The Department has offered to pay for and support staffer’s moving process, but that may not be enough for some. “There aren’t a lot of people who’ve been with the division a long time who can pick up and move,” said one attorney from the Philadelphia office, according to the Post. “Many people have families and spouses with jobs where they’re already located. And there’s no assurances that in two years there won’t be further cuts, and then we’ll lose a job we picked up and moved for.”

To read more click here.

 

Mi. Cops Have Questions for FBI in Robbery Where a Cop Was Killed

FBI Investigating Dead Infant on St. Maarten Cruise

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

FBI Special Agent Dave Couvertier is heading to the island of St. Maarten, a popular vacation spot, but it’s not for fun.

Couvertier will be working with Dutch authorities on an investigation of the death of a newborn baby on a Carnival cruise ship, reports USA Today.

The baby was found in a passenger cabin by a crew member last week the day the ship docked in St. Maarten. The cruise line reported the issue to Dutch authorities on the island, who have taken custody of the body.

The baby’s 20-year-old mother remained in St. Maartens for some time, returning home to the United States only recently. Because the investigation is still under way, little information is being release, including the name of the mother. The local news site sxmislandtime.com reported that she allegedly told investigators she didn’t know she was pregnant, the birth being a surprise.

“We are continuing to gather additional facts about what occurred during the cruise trip,” Couvertier says.

To read more click here.

Son of Ex-LA Fire Chief and TSA Officer Arrested at LAX in Drug Smuggling Operation

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The son of a former Los Angeles fire chief and a Transportation Security Administration officer find themselves in big trouble.

Authorities on Monday charged Millage Peaks IV with bribing TSA officer Dianne Perez to smuggle marijuana past security at Los International Airport on nine separate trips, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Times reported that Peaks confessed to FBI agents that he and associated paid the TSA officer $5,000 to $6,000 in bribes to smuggle the dope.

The Times reported that Peaks and TSA Officer Dianne Perez were arrested Sunday after a baggage handler smelled 14 pounds of marijuana in the luggage.

The Times reported that Peaks is the son of Millage Peaks III, who was the LA fire chief until earlier this year. His sister works for the airport police department. Both said they were unaware of what was going on.