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Tag: Nigeria

DOJ: FBI Foils Syrian Refugee’s Plot to Bomb a Church in Pittsburgh

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI foiled a Syrian refugee’s plot to attack a Christian church in Pittsburgh next month, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 21, a Pittsburgh resident, was charged with one count of attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS and two counts of distributing information relating to an explosive, destructive device or weapon of mass destruction.

Alowemer is accused of planning to bomb a church in Pittsburgh in the name of ISIS using a “weapon of mass destruction”

The Justice Department said Alowemer was motivated to attack the church to “take revenge for our (ISIS) brothers in Nigeria.

“Our top priority is protecting the citizens of western Pennsylvania,” U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady said. “Every day investigators and prosecutors work tirelessly behind the scenes to disrupt terrorist activity and keep our community safe. While the public does not always see the results of the hard work of these dedicated men and women, this case is a visible demonstration of our commitment to rooting out terrorists and bringing them to justice.”

Born in Syria, Alowemer was permitted into the U.S. as a refugee in August 2016.

FBI, CDC Investigating After TSA Agent Attacked with Syringe in Nigerian Airport

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The FBI and CDC launched an investigation after someone attacked a federal air marshal with a syringe inside the Lagos, Nigeria airport on Sunday, Fox News reports.

The air marshal, who was on the public side of the airport, was injected with an unknown substance.

He and his team were whisked back to the U.S. with the syringe.

“The [air marshal] reported that the subject stuck him with a syringe and it is believed he was injected with an unknown substance,” according to an alert from the TSA. “After consultation with the consulate and physicians, the [federal air marshal] was given precautionary medication.”

An FBI spokesman added: “Out of an abundance of caution, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted an on-scene screening of the victim when United Flight 143 landed in Houston early Monday morning. The victim did not exhibit any signs of illness during the flight and was transported to a hospital upon landing for further testing. None of the testing conducted has indicated a danger to other passengers.”

FBI Agents Part of U.S. Team to Help Nigerian Government Search for Abducted Schoolgirls

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. are sending nearly 30 experts to from the FBI and State and Defense departments to help the Nigerian government track down nearly 300 abducted schoolgirls, the Washington Post reports.

Among those helping are four FBI officials specialize in recovering kidnap victims, negotiations and preventing future cases.

About 276 girls are still missing after a terrorist group, Boko Haram, kidnapped them from their school in remote northeastern Nigeria.

A video from the group’s leader said the girls won’t be returned until some of his detainees are freed by the government.

“We have no reason to question its authenticity,” State Department spokesman Jay Carney said. “Our intelligence experts are combing over every detail of it for clues that might help in the ongoing efforts to secure the release of the girls.”

FBI Agents Ready to Be Deployed to Nigeria to Help Find 276 Teenage Girls Abducted from Nigerian School

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If help is requested, FBI agents may be deployed to Nigeria to help search for 276 teenage girls abducted from a school, ABC News reports. The news comes after the leader of Boko Haram, an African Islamist group, pledged to sell the girls as slaves.

“God has commanded me to sell them,” the leader, Abubakar Shekau, said.

Critics of the group derided Shekau as an attention-seeker with a “rowdy, unemployed, African youth who are looking for a target for their grievances and they’re lashing out at anyone available.”

The girls, ages 16 to 18, who were studying for final exams, were kidnapped at the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria on April 15.

“Last week, the attorney general told U.S. intelligence agencies to prepare a report for him on the kidnapping of the 300 girls in Nigeria and also requested an assessment of Boko Haram, the militant group behind the kidnapping,” a government official told ABC News.

The U.S. is waiting to hear back on the need for U.S. help.

FBI Joins Interpol in Int’l Gold Scam Investigation

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has joined international law enforcement agencies in investigating a 100 million pound gold scam in West Africa, reports the Belfast Telegraph.

The scam, which the FBI is looking into with Interpol, is thought to have originated in Lagos, Nigeria, according to the Telegraph. It allegedly was  masterminded by a Nigerian gang and involves an Irish passport used to steal millions of dollars from US investors over nearly 12 months.

Scammers offered US investors the ability to purchase unprocessed gold directly from a west African mine, telling them the purchases were tax and fee free.

US Investors put $3 million in creating a secure export system.

The scam was discovered when an Irish security team arrived in west Africa to escort the gold out. The team was unable to make direct contact with the main organizer of the gold shipment–John Recketts–and reported their suspicions to the US investors.

The US investors immediately withdrew from the plans and abandoned the Irish team.

To read more click here.

Some Doing Better Than Others After Congressman Jefferson Scandal

William J. Jefferson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A little more than a year after being sentenced to 13 years in prison for bribery, ex-Rep. William Jefferson of money-in-the-freezer fame, remains free pending an appeal.

And while the former New Orleans Democratic Congressman remains free, nothing will reverse the mess that resulted from what “federal prosecutors called a web of shakedown schemes orchestrated by Jefferson”, Bruce Alpert of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Some are doing better than others, the paper reports.

Vernon Jackson, the CEO of iGate Inc., who pleaded guilty to bribing Jefferson to help promote his high tech company in Africa, had his 87-month sentence reduced to three years after testifying in the trial against Jefferson, the paper reported.

The paper reported that Jackson called his time in prison the “greatest years of my life” because it brought him closer to God. The paper reports that he is now devoting his life to being a pastor.

The paper reports that Atiku Abubakar, the former vice president of Nigeria who authorities never charged, but alleged had taken bribes from Jefferson, is running for president of Nigeria.

Others have not done so well.

To read more click here.

Sec. Napolitano Visits Africa to Discuss International Airline Security

nigeria mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano met Sunday in Nigeria with top officials from Africa and the International Civil Aviation Organization to discuss ways to improve aviation security worldwide, the Department of Homeland Security announced Monday.

“The attempted terrorist attack on Dec. 25 demonstrated that international terrorist threats must be countered with a coordinated, global response through enhanced security standards, increased information sharing and stronger screening measures,” Napolitano said in a statement. “My meetings with our African partners underscore our commitment to working together to strengthen global aviation security measures and better protect the traveling public.”

In Abuja, Nigeria, Napolitano addressed more than 30 African ministers and representatives and stressed the importance of working together to prevent terrorists from boarding commercial flights, the agency said.

The agency also said Napolitano “applauded the measures taken since Dec. 25 to strengthen aviation security in Africa—including Nigeria’s installation of advanced imaging technology units at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, the nation’s busiest airport.”

Jurors in Ex-Cong. William Jefferson Said Mundane Documents — Not $90,000 in FBI Money or FBI Tapes — Convinced Them to Convict

Jefferson stands next to attorney Robert Trout during sentencing /Sketch by Art Lien/NBC News
Jefferson stands next to attorney Robert Trout during sentencing last November /Sketch by Art Lien/NBC News

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Rep.William Jefferson was hardly a household name — that is until FBI agents found $90,000 in his freezer at his Capitol Hill home on Aug. 3, 2005.

In the public’s eye, that seemed to be the center piece of the government’s case against Jefferson.

But  jurors who convicted the ex-Congressman of 11 of 16 public corruption charges last August have broken their silence and told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that it was the mundane documents that convinced them of his guilt, not the cash or photos or FBI secret recordings.

The Times-Picayune, in a story published Sunday by reporter Bruce Alpert, wrote that “particularly compelling, the jurors said, were letters and contracts outlining the payments that businesses were to pay to companies controlled by Jefferson’s family in return for the congressman’s assistance in brokering deals in West Africa.”

Read more »