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Tag: terror

Was FBI’s Disinterest in NY Terror Case an Indicator That It May Have Been Overblown?

Mayor Bloomberg

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Did police, district attorneys and Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg inflate the importance of a recent terror suspect arrest?  A New York magazine report suggests that was possibility.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., and Mayor Bloomberg announced the arrest of Jose Pimentel at a city hall news conference Sunday night. But it turns out that the FBI had turned down requests to take part in the Pimentel investigation, citing some “issues” the agency had with the case.

“But more information on the seriousness of Pimentel’s threat, as suggested by the absence of the FBI in the investigation, could indicate that the arrest was more insignificant than it appeared last night,” New York magazine wrote.

Pimentel had been under investigation for more than two years. Bloomberg told the press the suspect had no connections to outside terror groups and was acting as “a total lone wolf.” Pimentel kept up the website www.trueislam1.com, which posted bomb-making directions from the Al Qaeda magazine Inspire, and had allegedly spoken of his desire to train in Yemen to carry out jihad in New York.

A law enforcement official, according to New York magazine, saw it this way:  “We weren’t going to wait around to figure out what he wanted to do with his bombs. He was in Harlem about an hour from actually having assembled the bombs” at the time of his arrest, but had all the “unassembled components ready to go.”

To read more click here.

FBI Casts Wide Net Under Relaxed Rules for Terror Probes

By Charlie Savage
New York Times

WASHINGTON — Within months after the Bush administration relaxed limits on domestic-intelligence gathering in late 2008, the F.B.I. assessed thousands of people and groups in search of evidence that they might be criminals or terrorists, a newly disclosed Justice Department document shows.

In a vast majority of those cases, F.B.I. agents did not find suspicious information that could justify more intensive investigations. The New York Times obtained the data, which the F.B.I. had tried to keep secret, after filing a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act.

The document, which covers the four months from December 2008 to March 2009, says the F.B.I. initiated 11,667 “assessments” of people and groups. Of those, 8,605 were completed. And based on the information developed in those low-level inquiries, agents opened 427 more intensive investigations, it says.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

NYPD Commissioner Kelly Says Security for 9/11 Trial Going to Cost Far More Than Expected

new york city3 cabs
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — No matter the cost, one thing is certain: It ain’t going to be cheap.

The Associated Press is reporting that New York police commissioner Raymond Kelly says the cost of providing security for the upcoming federal trial of five Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack suspects will far exceed the original estimate of $75 million mentioned in mid-November. No updated figure was given.

Ray Kelly/nypd photo
Ray Kelly/nypd photo

But Kelly told USA Today that he’d need federal help paying for the security for the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, and four others. No trial date has been set.

The decision to put the defendants on trial has caused a great deal of  controversy. Critics say it will only put the citizens of New York in danger and cost a great deal of  money to provide security.  The Obama administration insists that it will be good for the defendants to go through the judicial system.

Terror Trial Involving USS Cole Destroyer Triggers Debate Over Fairness of Military Tribunal

This case has triggered an intense debate over whether terror suspects should stand trial before a military tribunal or civilian court. Critics of the tribunal say it allows for prosecutors to bring weaker cases to trial.

uss-cole-crest-234x300

By Charlie Savage
New York Times

WASHINGTON — In April 2001, seven months after the Navy destroyer Cole was bombed in Yemen, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was staying at a Qaeda guesthouse in Afghanistan when he is alleged to have laid out how he had planned the whole thing.

One of those houseguests was later captured, and he told F.B.I. agents the story of those boasts and implied that he could be a star witness if Mr. Nashiri were tried for the murder of the 17 American sailors killed in the attack.

That trial is going to happen, but that witness is no longer available. Still, prosecutors may not need him. Mr. Nashiri will be tried by a military commission, and under the rules there, F.B.I. agents can simply repeat the accounts of witnesses — indirect testimony that would generally be inadmissible in a civilian court.

Mr. Nashiri’s case will be the marquee test of a new tribunal system designed to handle terrorism suspects.

For Full Story

8 in Minn. Charged in FBI Probe into Recruiting for Somali Terror Group

The FBI has continually sited concerns over the past several months about the recruitment of Somali men in America who have gone overseas to fight with the terrorist group Al-Shabaab. The probe has also caused serious tension between the FBI and the Somali-American community.

SOMALI-map2

By JAMES WALSH, RICHARD MERYHEW and ALLIE SHAH
Minneapolis Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — Terrorism charges were filed today in Minneapolis against eight men from Minnesota in connection with an ongoing FBI investigation into the recruitment and training of up to 20 local Somali men believed to have returned to their homeland to fight for the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab.

The eight were also charged with providing financial support and fighting for Al-Shabaab, designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist group with ties to Al-Qaida.

The development, announced at a 3 o’clock briefing at the office of the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, brings to 14 the total number of local men charged or indicted in the case, considered to be one of the most far-reaching counterterrorism probes since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Four of the 14 already have pleaded guilty, but have not been sentenced.

For Full Story

Intelligence Report Finds No Credible Threats At Fla. Super Bowl

There are few sure things in life. Nonetheless, it sounds like super news about the Super Bowl. Let’s hope it holds true. Want a sure thing: Don’t bet on the 0-16 Detroit Lions doing much better next year.

By EILEEN SULLIVAN and MITCH STACY
Associated Press Writers
TAMPA, Fla. — A U.S. intelligence report says there is no credible threat of terrorist attacks at the Feb. 1 Super Bowl, but police said Wednesday that visitors should still expect the type of heavy security typical of every Super Bowl since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
While no specific threat was identified, a joint FBI and Homeland Security intelligence assessment obtained by The Associated Press cautions that Raymond James Stadium, the Super Bowl site, does not have the typical security features of permanently secure buildings, such as jails or military bases.
However, the report noted, “the visible presence of hundreds of well-equipped security officers, standoff barriers and other security measures likely will serve as deterrents to attack.”

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Prosecution Fails for Second Time to Put Madoff in Jail (Wall Street Journal)