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Tag: terrorism

Orlando Shooter’s Father Was FBI Informant, But Judge Won’t Dismiss Case Against Widow

Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The discovery that the father of the man who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub in 2016 was an FBI informant was an insufficient reason to reject the case against the widow of the mass shooter, a judge said Monday.

Lawyers for Noor Salman urged a judge to throw out the case because prosecutors withheld information that Omar Mateen’s father, Seddique Mateen, worked as a confidential FBI informant at various times between January 2005 and June 2016.

But U.S. District Judge Paul Byron rejected a motion to dismiss or declare a mistrial, saying Seddique Mateen’s role as a former informant “does not change the dynamic of whether Noor Salman aided and abetted,” NBC News reports

Salman is on trial on charges of aiding and abetting her husband’s June 2016 attack on Pulse, a popular gay club in Orlando, and obstructing law enforcement’s investigation by falsely denying her role in the attack, which was one of the deadliest mass shootings on U.S. soil.

Omar Mateen told police before he was killed that he shooting was done in the name of ISIS. 

FBI Agent Dies at 48 After Exposure to 9/11 Toxins at Pentagon Crash Site

Former FBI Agent Mellisa Morrow, via GoFundMe.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent who was exposed to contaminants while working at the Pentagon crash site in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks died last week of brain cancer.

Special Agent Melissa Morrow, 48, who served in the Washington Field Office’s Evidence Response Team on 9/11, was one of the first responders after a passenger jet crashed into the building, KMBZ reports

The FBI said she came in contact with numerous toxins while spending 10 weeks combing over evidence at the site.

Because she was certified by the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, her death was classified as a Line of Duty Death.

Visitation is scheduled for Tuesday from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Country Club Christian Church at 6101 Ward Parkway in Kansa City. The funeral will follow after visitation.   

FBI: Terrorism Suspect Who Stopped Train Has Ties to White Supremacists

Terror suspect Taylor Michael Wilson.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An armed Missouri man who stopped a cross-country Amtrak train in southwest Nebraska has ties to white supremacists and advocated “killing black people,” new court documents show.

Taylor Michael Wilson, 26, of St. Charles, has been charged with terrorism and other violent-related crimes in U.S. district Court in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Lincoln Journal Star reports

FBI Special Agent Monte Czaplewski said there’s sufficient evidence to show that Wilson’s electronic devices and firearms “have been used for or obtained in anticipation of engaging in or planning to engage in criminal offenses against the United States.”

Newly unsealed court records indicate agents found videos and PDF files on Wilson’s phone that suggest ties to white supremacy. Also found on the phone was a book about how to kill people.

An acquaintance of suspect told the FBI that Wilson had joined a neo-Nazi group. Another informant told the FBI that Wilson supported “killing black people.”

Arrested Dec. 23, Wilson is now in federal custody. 

How FBI Played Role in Troubled Man’s Alleged Plot to Attack Pier 39 in San Francisco

Everitt Aaron Jameson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Everitt Aaron Jameson was a quiet, struggling 26-year-old former Marine whose young family had just fallen apart when the FBI first came across him in late September.

A tow truck driver living in Modesto, Calif., Jameson had recently converted to Islam and was “liking” pro-ISIS and pro-terrorism Facebook posts. An undercover FBI employee posing an ISIS leader reached out to Jameson, who reportedly was flattered by the attention.

Jameson and the undercover agent communicated over the next two months. Saying he was inspired by the New York City terror attack on Oct. 31 and the mass shooting in San Bernardino in 2015, Jameson told the agent he had been trained in sharpshooting, the M-16 and AK-47, according to the court filing. Jameson said the ideal location for a terror attack was San Francisco’s Pier 39, a popular tourist destination that could result in massive casualties, the FBI alleged.

“He had been there before and knew that it was a heavily crowded area,” an FBI affidavit filed Friday said. “Jameson explained that he also desired to use explosives, and described a plan in which explosives could ‘tunnel’ or ‘funnel’ people into a location where Jameson could inflict casualties.”

The final plan was to attack people at Pier 39 0n Christmas with a pipe bomb and then shoot people as they fled, according to court records. The FBI said Jameson provided the undercover agent with a map and photos of the site and that he “did not need an escape plan because he was ready to die.”

Jameson, who was discharged from the Marines for lying about his asthma, didn’t have the material needed to carry out the attack, so he asked the undercover agent for an assault rifle, ammunition, powder, nails, timers, tubing and remote detonators.

But by late Monday night, Jameson had cold feet and told the undercover agent, “I … don’t think I can do this after all. I’ve reconsidered.”

Still, the FBI secured a warrant Wednesday and searched Jameson’s home, finding a firearms, ammunitions and a note declaring his intent to attack the non-Muslim world.

Following his arrest, media headlines wrongly declared that the FBI “thwarted” or “foiled” the attack, even though Jameson withdrew from the plot.

Jameson has been charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

When Jameson’s parents were notified of their son’s alleged plans, they were in disbelief and said he was incapable of carrying out such an attack without the help and encouragement of the FBI. They said Jameson, normally a kind and gentle man, was depressed after losing custody of his two young children – ages 2 and 3 – while his wife was serving time in jail.

“He lost his kids for good and he was devastated,” his father, Gordon Jameson, told the Modesto Bee

“He would never hurt people. Not ever. It’s just unbelievable. That’s not who he is,” his father added, saying his son recently turned to Islam for comfort.

“We’d talk about Jesus – not argue, just talk – and he’d say ‘yeah, Dad, we all believe in the same god,'” his father said. “He never once spoke about hate or wanting to hurt anything. He never said anything about wanting to blow people up.”

FBI Expected to Reveal New Details of Houston Man Accused of Plotting Terrorist Attack

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is expected to reveal more details Thursday about an 18-year-old Houston man accused of plotting a violent attack in U.S. soil.

U.S.-born Kaan Sercan Damlarkaya is set to appear in federal court for a detention hearing, the Houston Chronicle reports

Damlarkaya was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday on one count of providing material support to terrorists, two counts of attempting to provide material support to ISIS and two counts of unlawfully distributing explosive information, according tot he Justice Department.

Most of the charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Damlarkaya’s public defender declined to discuss the case.

NYC Bombing Suspect Mocked Trump Before Botched Attack

Akayed Ullah after the bombing, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The 27-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant accused of a botched suicide bombing in the New York subway Monday morning mocked President Trump just hours before the attack, authorities said Tuesday.

“Trump you failed to protect your nation,” Akayed Ullah, wrote on Facebook before strapping a crude pipe bomb around his body.

Ullah, who was seriously injured in the explosion, told officers, “I did it for the Islamic State,” the Associated Press reports

While searching his Brooklyn apartment, federal and local investigators found his passport scrawled with the words, “O AMERICA, DIE IN YOUR RAGE.”

Trump responded to the bombing by pledging to tighten immigration rules.

“We’re going to end both of them — the lottery system and chain migration. We’re going to end them fast,” Trump said at the White House.

Homeland Security Warned of Possible Terror Attack Days Before NYC Bombing

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just five days before a bungled New York City subway bombing, Homeland Security warned of the potential for an ISIS terrorist attack, possibly by a lone wolf.

“We assess there is currently an elevated threat of [homegrown] lone offender attacks by ISIS sympathizers, which is especially concerning because mobilized lone offenders present law enforcement with limited opportunities to detect and disrupt their plots,” according to Robin Taylor, acting deputy under secretary for intelligence operations at Homeland Security, the Washington Examiner reports

The warning, issued during a Senate hearing last week, followed evidence that ISIS and al Qaeda continue to have a strong presence on social media, where so-called lone wolfs are recruited in the U.S.

“We continue to monitor the evolving threat posed by ISIS. ISIS fighters’ battlefield experience in Syria and Iraq have armed it with advanced capabilities that most terrorist groups do not have,” Taylor told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chaired by Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson. “Even as the so-called ‘caliphate’ collapses, ISIS fighters retain their toxic ideology and a will to fight. We remain concerned that foreign fighters from the U.S. or elsewhere who have traveled to Syria and Iraq and radicalized to violence will ultimately return to the U.S. or their home country to conduct attacks.”

What We Know about NYC Bombing Suspect Akayed Ullah

Bombing suspect Akayed Ullah.

The 27-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant accused of trying to detonate a crude pipe bomb in a New York City subway station Monday morning was inspired by ISIS to avenge the deaths of Muslims worldwide.

Authorities say Akayed Ullah, a former cab driver who lived in Brooklyn, used Velcro and zip ties to strap the bomb to his body during rush hour, NBC reports

The bomb, which was made from a pipe, 9-volt battery and Christmas tree lights, detonated at 7:20 a.m. in a pedestrian walkway, injuring the suspect and four commuters. On late Monday afternoon, Ullah was in serious condition. The commuters were not seriously injured.

FBI agents and NYPD cops raided three Brooklyn apartments connected to the suspect. The Joint Terrorism Task Force is searching for evidence, including phones, computers and bomb-making equipment, the New York Post reports.

According to numerous reports, Ullah arrived in the U.S. seven years ago from his native Bangladesh on an F4 Visa, which is for siblings of American citizens.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said the bomb was “low-tech.”

Authorities believe Ullah acted alone, and so far there’s no evidence that he was in direct contact with ISIS.

“Apparently he went to the internet and downloaded information as to how to make a homemade bomb,” Cuomo said on CNN, adding that the suspect was “not really part of a sophisticated network.”

“They’re not people who come from overseas. They live here, they’re disgruntled, they go to the internet,” Cuomo said. “They find out how to download a device that can hurt and maim. And they implement it themselves on a low-tech basis. It’s very troubling.”

As expected, President Trump seized on the attack to ramp up his calls for an end to “chain migration” that enables immigrants to enter the country more easily if they have family living in the U.S.

“The President is certainly concerned that Congress, particularly Democrats, have failed to take action in some places where we feel we could have prevented this,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “Specifically, the President’s policy has called for an end to chain migration and if that had been in place, that would have prevented this individual from coming to the United States.”