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Archive for November 6th, 2015

4 Men with Ohio Ties Accused of Collecting Money to Help Now-Dead Al Qaida Leader

Anwar al-Awlaki

Anwar al-Awlaki

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Four men with ties to Ohio were collecting money and other assistance to send to an al Qaida leader who was later killed in a drone strike, the Associated Press reports. 

The Justice Department said two pairs of brothers planned to send money that would be used to attack U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On a trip to Yemen in 2009, one of the suspects even gave $22,000 to an associate of Anwar al-Awlaki, the Al Qaida leader.

In 2o11, a U.S. drone killed Al-Awlaki, who was accused of planning and launching several attacks against American interests

According to the AP, the indictments identify the suspects as:

— Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 37, an Indian citizen who was at Ohio State from 2002-04. He has lived in the United Arab Emirates since 2004. He also was charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

— Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, 36, an Indian citizen who was at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign from 2001-05. He has lived in Toledo since 2006. He also was charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

— Asif Ahmed Salim, 35, a U.S. citizen who was at Ohio State from 2000-05. He lived in Overland Park, Kansas, from 2007-2011 before moving to the United Arab Emirates.

— Sultane Room Salim, 40, a U.S. citizen who lived in the Chicago-area from 2006-12 until moving to the Columbus area.

FBI Abandons Plans to Require ‘Backdoors’ on All Consumer Tecnhology

IPhone 6By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has backed off plans to require all consumer technology to have a so-called backdoor so that law enforcement can spy on suspects, the Business Insider reports. 

On Wednesday, FBI general counsel James Baker said the bureau has abandoned the “magical thinking” that consumer technology will be outfitted with backdoor access.

“It’s tempting to try to engage in magical thinking and hope that the amazing technology sector we have in the United States can come up with some solution,” Baker said. “Maybe that’s just a bridge too far. Maybe that is scientifically and mathematically not possible.”

The FBI persistence on the issue caused strained relationships with tech companies, like Apply, Google and Facebook, all of whom were worried about privacy rights and a backdoor for hackers.

Arizona Rancher Who Assaulted Border Patrol Agent Sentenced to Jail

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Arizona rancher who was convicted of assaulting a Border Patrol agent has been sentenced to eight months in prison, The Associated Press reports. 

Derek Garland, 48, was pulled over in April 2014 after triggering a sensor in an area known for smuggling near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Garland pulled out an unholstered pistol and was acting belligerently, yelling racial slurs and profanity at the agent.

The incident was captured on video.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: U.S. Should Offer Snowden Deal to Come Home

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

By Editorial Board
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 

The European Parliament has urged its member states to embrace American fugitive Edward Snowden as a “whistle-blower and international human rights defender.” The former National Security Agency contractor remains in Russia, and the Justice Department has ignored his public entreaties for a plea deal that would allow him to return to the United States and face charges.

Alternately hailed as a hero and traitor, Mr. Snowden has said he is willing to go to jail in order to return home. The United States should offer him a deal. As other countries move to protect him, the Justice Department looks vindictive in its refusal to negotiate, and Mr. Snowden’s status as a heroic figure grows the longer he remains on foreign soil, tweeting about privacy abuses.

Mr. Snowden fled to Hong Kong in 2013, before the United States charged him with theft and espionage for releasing millions of classified documents about government surveillance. Now living in Russia, he has amassed 1.6 million followers on Twitter, appeared live via video at conferences and posed for the cover of Wired magazine wrapped in an American flag.

In March, Mr. Snowden’s attorney said his client wants to come home if he can be assured of a fair trial. Although former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder hinted in July of a “resolution that everybody could ultimately be satisfied with,” none has been forthcoming, and a spokesman for the National Security Council said after the European Parliament vote that “our position has not changed” on the felony charges Mr. Snowden faces.

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