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Showing posts from January, 2011

Department of Homeland Security sued for storing full body scanner images

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We’ve all been told that the whole body scanners are being implemented for our own good. We’ve been assured that our misapprehensions were unfounded. Body scanners penetrate clothing to provide a highly detailed image so accurate that it has been likened it to a virtual strip search. Technologies vary, with millimeter wave systems capturing fuzzier images, and backscatter X-ray machines able to show precise anatomical detail. During Department of Homeland Security hearings, Janet Napolitano assured the Congress (and this writer who was present at the hearing) that all images collected by the full body scanners are not stored, cannot be stored and are discarded as soon as they're viewed. Just last summer the Transportation Security Administration claimed that "scanned images cannot be stored or recorded." Privacy advocates (including yours truly) cried foul. Turns out, they were right. Yet again we’ve been lied to by the government. Of course, as usual, the official take …

Jordanian tourist who overstayed his visa involved in a terror plot

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The Justice Department announced that aspiring terrorist Hosam Maher Husein Smadi was sentenced to 24 years in prison for trying to blow up a Dallas skyscraper in 2009. He pleaded guilty on May 26, 2010, to one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Smadi, who was 19 years old at the time, came to the attention of the FBI through his writings on a radical Islamic website. Special Agent Tom Petrowski, who oversaw the investigation out of the FBI’s Dallas office, said that Smadi “was on a very extreme website, where people were saying a lot of unspeakable things, endorsing and celebrating acts of violence against U.S. citizens and our allies.” Petrowski added, “What made Smadi’s postings stand out from the other rhetoric was that he was saying, ‘I want to act.’ That’s what really got our attention. Smadi wanted to imitate 9/11 and bring down a skyscraper and kill thousands of people. And he was already in the country. He said he just needed the tools—essentially he was…

Bin Laden aide sentenced to life in prison for blinding and handicapping a Corrections Officer

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On August 31, 2010 in Manhattan federal court, 52 year old Mahmoud Mamduh Salim was sentenced to life in prison for his brutal assault on Corrections Officer Louis Pepe. Salim was previously indicted in the Embassy Bombings case for attacks that killed 224 people, including 12 Americans. Salim is charged to have participated in a global conspiracy to kill Americans in connection with the operations of Al Qaeda. Salim was specifically identified as a trusted aide of Osama Bin Laden.

Salim was incarcerated in the Metropolitan Correctional Center ("MCC"), awaiting trial in the case of United States v. Bin Laden, (the "Embassy Bombings Case"). Ten years ago, on November 1, 2000, Salim led a horrific attack on Corrections Officer Pepe. It took over 10 years for Salim to be finally sentenced in this matter.

According to the documents filed by the prosecutors, Salim carefully prepared and launched an assault on Officer Pepe, with the assistance of his cellmate Khalfan Kh…

Badge for sale - the tales of MICE and men

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Mexican drug cartels and smuggling organizations use the old Soviet principles, summarized by the cold war acronym MICE (Money, Ideology, Compromise and Ego) in their approach to recruiting border agents. Oftentimes, the smugglers don’t have to swim, run or climb a fence. All they need is a corrupt border official on the take – and the numbers of crooked law enforcement officials are simply staggering.

On August 12, 2010 Congress passed the Border Security Appropriations Bill, providing $196 million for the Department of Justice to surge federal law enforcement efforts in high crime areas in the Southwest Border region.

New Congressional Funding to Enhance Department of Justice Southwest Border Strategy

Devoting more funds to enforcement efforts is not enough to curtail internal corruption that permeates ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), Border Patrol and CBP (Customs and Border Protection). The changes must come from within.

The first priority should be the change in the hiri…

Indictments unsealed for numerous male and female terror suspects with links to al Shabaab/Al Qaeda

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The Justice Department announced that four separate indictments were unsealed in the Southern District of California, the District of Minnesota and the Southern District of Alabama, charging 14 individuals with terrorism for providing money, personnel, and services to the foreign terrorist organization al Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab (aka the Harakat Al-Shabaab al-Mujahidin, al-Shabab, Al-Shabaab, the Youth, Mujahidin al-Shabaab Movement, Mujahideen Youth Movement, Mujahidin Youth Movement), is an Islamic organization that controls much of southern Somalia, excluding the capital, Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab leaders have claimed affiliation with al-Qaeda since 2007.

In what marked the group's first major attack outside of Somalia, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for twin bombings that killed more than seventy people in Kampala, Uganda during the World Cup final on July 11, 2010.

Jehad Mostafa – Southern District of California

Prosecutors in the Southern District of California unsealed an Octobe…

American and Guyanese citizens convicted of conspiracy in a JFK Airport terror plot

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Following a 6-week jury trial in the Eastern District of New York, a 67-year old naturalized American citizen Russell Defreitas (aka “Mohammed”) and a 58-year old Guyanese citizen Abdul Kadir (aka “Aubrey Michael Seaforth”) were convicted of conspiring to attack the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in Queens, New York. Defreitas and Kadir have conspired to explode fuel tanks and the fuel pipeline under the airport with the intent to cause extensive damage to the airport and to the New York economy, as well as the loss of numerous lives. Both co-conspirators are facing possible life imprisonment. Sentencing is currently scheduled for December 15, 2010.

This terror plot was thwarted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in New York. Evidence presented at the trial has shown that Defreitas, a naturalized United States citizen from Guyana, previously worked as a cargo handler at the airport. He came up with the idea to cause an explosio…

Scott Bloch wants your money

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Disgraced former head of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) Scott Bloch is seeking donations from the American public to help with his legal bills. His shameless audacity is simply mind-boggling.

On April 27, 2010 Scott J. Bloch, pleaded guilty to criminal contempt of Congress. Under his leadership, the historically inept OSC reached new lows. Bloch was accused of the following:
Knowingly and willfully ignoring whistleblower disclosures;Dismissing and closing hundreds of whistleblowing complaints without investigation;Deleting hundreds of files pertaining to whistleblowing disclosures and complaints of retaliation and reprisal;Rolling back protections for federal employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation;Staffing key OSC positions with cronies who shared his discriminatory views;Engaging in retaliatory activities against OSC staffers who opposed his wrongdoing;Assigning interns to issue closure letters in hundreds of whistleblower complaints without investigation;In…

Office of Special Counsel (OSC) - the dark legacy

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Whistleblowers and federal government workers rejoiced on April 27, 2010, when former head of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), Scott J. Bloch, pleaded guilty to criminal contempt of Congress. The justice continues to be delayed, as Scott Bloch’s sentencing has been rescheduled for the second time and is now set for September 8, 2010. U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson said that she wants prosecutors and Bloch’s attorney to clarify the applicable guidelines for Bloch’s sentence and fine. Robinson is also apparently planning to “adjust” the sentence based on Bloch’s guilty plea. She stated that the lawyers failed to clearly define the sentencing guidelines in this matter.

Prosecutors said they would not oppose probation without any imprisonment for Bloch. This should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with our courts. While the Department of Justice relentlessly pursues, prosecutes and imprisons inconvenient whistleblowers, high-ranking bureaucrats who violate their rights a…