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Archive for November 15th, 2011

Hispanics and Muslims Targeted More in 2010 Hate Crimes

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

FBI crime stats released Monday show  the proportion of hate crimes committed against Hispanics have reached a decade high, with 66 percent of ethnically motivated hate crimes being committed on the basis of anti-Hispanic bias, reports the Huffington Post.

The Huffington Post also reported in a separate article that the  level of anti-Muslim hate crimes “soared by an astounding 50 percent” above 2009 levels. The statistics show that there were 107 attacks on Muslims in 2009, and 160 in 2010.

The jump in the overall percentage of hate crimes attributed to anti-Hispanic bias has jumped dramatically, the Huffington Post reported. There were 595 Hispanic victims in 2003–almost 45 percent of the total that year–but, at 66 percent of the total for 2010, there 747 victims last year.

 

FBI Terrorism Sting in Houston Ends in Conviction

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Barry Walter Bojul’s trip to Yemen has been detoured, possibly by as much as 20 years in a federal prison.

The 30-year-old Texan’s  conviction in a Houston federal court on Monday was the culmination of an investigation that began in 2009 by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. He was convicted of providing support to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Bojul acted as his own attorney.

In 2009, law enforcement thwarted three attempts of Bujol’s to leave the US for the Middle East, fearful he was planning to commit a violent jihad. Concerned, FBI agents arranged for Bujol to meet a confidential informant, who posed as  a recruiter for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  Bujol later told  the informant he wanted to fight with the mujahideen.

It was established at the trial that Bujol had been in contact with the late Yemeni-American al-Qaeda associate Anwar Al-Aulaqi. In response to Bujol’s questions of how to support jihad, Aulaqi sent a letter entitled “42 Ways of Supporting Jihad,” which advocated violence and killing.

The confidential informant contacted Bujol on May 30, 2010, with a previously agreed upon codeword signaling the beginning of Bujol’s travels to the Middle East to join AQAP. They drove to the Port of Houston together where Bujol thought he was boarding a ship as a stow-away bound for training in Algeria then fighting in Yemen.

“Minutes after stowing away in a room on board the ship, agents took him into custody without incident,” according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office press release.

Bujol faces up to 15 years for attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization and another five years for identity theft charges related to a fake ID Bujol had made to gain access to the port. He also faces fines of up to $250,000.

He has been in federal custody since the May 30, 2010 arrest, where he will remain until sentencing.

Forget Sexuality Issue, Hoover’s Overreach the Real Story

J. Edgar Hoover

Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

So, about that whole gay thing…

Salon contributor Mark Feldstein does not care so much about the issue. In a brief but scathing response to the J. Edgar movie, Feldstein called the film a “brief defense of the FBI’s legendary director” which ignore’s Hoover’s “ruthless abuse of power.”

Feldstein credits Hoover, as does the film, with creating the modern forensics lab to nab bad guys, and even provides a credible rationale for Hoover’s obsession with communism. But Felstein’s first complaint is the film’s portrayal of Hoover as an ally of Senator Joe McCarthy. “In fact, the FBI director was a crucial ally of the Red-baiting demagogue,” he writes.

“During his lifetime he was Washington’s consummate master of sexual slander and political blackmail,” he writes of Hoover. “Given the known facts of Hoover’s life, Eastwood has painted his subject in the best light possible—better than he deserves and infinitely kinder than Hoover ever treated his many enemies, who included some of the most heroic figures of that tumultuous era.”

Feldstein has plenty more criticisms of Hoover, or of what the film missed. To read more click here.

Detroit FBI Adding Agents to Fast Moving Corruption Probe

Retired FBI Official Backs Proposed Law to Legalize Small Amounts of Pot

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Retired FBI agent Charles Mandigo has quite the resume. Over the 27-year span at the agency, he did a lot of things including head up the Seattle office,  investigate the “Millenium Bomber” and drug cases, and serve a stint as congressional liaison to former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

So when he endorsed an initiative in Washington state to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and regulate state-run pot stores, it got some attention.

The Seattle Times  reports the bill he’s backing is a “complex, 64-page initiative” that would legalize possession of small amounts of pot, but  keep intact police authority in cases of drug smuggling and street sales, as well as continuing the ban on marijuana possession for those under 2

“I am not aware of any case I worked on that this law would have changed,” Mandigo said, according to the Times, noting that he does not condone the use of any illegal drugs.

“There is no question the time has come when government must curtail discretionary programs,” Mandigo said in a written statement, according to the Times.”If the resources were available, continued enforcement of criminal laws for possession and use of small amounts of marijuana might be a discretionary function of government. But we have gone beyond the point where the resources are available or there is a justifiable cost-benefit to society. There must be an end to sacred cows.”

The bill is being pushed by the New Approach campaign, which the Times report calls a growing group of retired law enforcement officials including former Clinton-appointed US Attorney for Seattle Kate Pflaumer and her successor John McKay, a George W. Bush appointee, the Times reported.

To read more click here.