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Terror suspect defence law passes December 15, 2011

FBI Director Robert Mueller said it was not clear how the provision would impact law enforcement agencies

The US House of Representatives has passed a defence bill likely to change the way the US detains terror suspects.

The bill passed after the White House lifted a veto threat, noting “several important changes” had been made. It is likely to go to the Senate on Thursday.

The bill also includes additional sanctions against Iran’s central bank and freezes some aid to Pakistan.

The clauses are part of a wider, $662bn (£428bn) defence bill approving weapons systems and military salaries.

In the most scrutinised parts of the legislation, the bill would deny terror suspects – including US citizens – of the right to trial and would permit indefinite detention.

‘Additional discretion’

The issue is part of a wider debate over whether to treat terror suspects as criminals or prisoners of war, correspondents say.

Top members of the president’s national security team, including Defence Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, negotiated for changes to the parts of the bill that deal with the handling of terror suspects.

The law will require that the military take custody of terrorism suspects but safeguards the president’s ability to prosecute detainees in the civilian justice system.

US citizens would be exempt from this provision, and affirms that the changes would not affect US law enforcement agencies.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the bill “does not challenge the president’s ability to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the American people.”

But some officials had more practical objections to the clause. FBI Director Robert Mueller criticised the provision for its lack of clarity on how the changes would be implemented at the time of arrest.

The White House said that some of those concerns remain.

“While we remain concerned about the uncertainty that this law will create for our counter-terrorism professionals, the most recent changes give the president additional discretion in determining how the law will be implemented,” Mr Carney added.

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Terror threat from biological weapons growing, warns Hillary Clinton December 8, 2011


December 8, 2011

by legitgov

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Heads up! USociopaths are preparing their next false flag to provide cover for another go-round of bankster bailouts and wars for oil: Terror threat from biological weapons growing, warns Hillary Clinton 07 Dec 2011 The United States called on Wednesday for closer international cooperation to prevent terrorist groups from developing or using biological weapons, a threat it said was growing. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said countries must strengthen their ability to detect and respond to suspicious outbreaks of infectious disease that could be caused by pathogens falling into the wrong hands… She said Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] in the Arabian Peninsula had urged “brothers with degrees in microbiology or chemistry… to develop a weapon of mass destruction.”

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2011 events to shape world

(CNN) — From the Arab Spring to a global economic crisis to the killing of Osama bin Laden, 2011 has been defined by historic and dynamic events that will shape the world in the years ahead.

A revolt across the Middle East and North Africa began with the self-immolation of a struggling merchant in Tunisia and spread across the region. Egyptian protesters toppled the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak, and rebels in Libya battled against supporters of long-time strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

Gadhafi was eventually killed in October after months on the run from rebel forces and NATO bombardments.

The significance of the Arab Spring is indisputable, but was it the biggest story of the year?

Vote for the top stories of 2011

Explain it to me: The Occupy movement

Explain it to me: Eurozone debt crisis

Vote for the top stories of 2011

The earth shook off the coast of Japan in March, triggering one of the worst tsunamis in years, destroying nearly everything in its path and sending millions fleeing for high ground.

Beyond the utter calamity from the 9.0-magnitude earthquake, Japan found itself dealing with the worst nuclear crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility was knocked offline, resulting in a meltdown of three reactors, with radiation leaking into the air and contaminated water spilling into the sea.

The long-term effects from the stricken plant remain unknown.

Natural disasters hit the United States hard, too. The largest tornado outbreak ever recorded swept across across the South, Midwest and Northeast — with a record 207 touching down on April 27 and killing 346 people. Alabama bore the brunt of the destruction, with a massive twister turning the college town of Tuscaloosa into a disaster zone.

Three weeks later, a mile-wide tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, killing more than 150 people and wreaking havoc across the blue-collar town at the edge of the Ozark Mountains. It marked the deadliest single tornado in 60 years.

From Washington to New York residents in August braced for Hurricane Irene, a powerful storm that forecasters feared would cause catastrophic damage. The storm weakened before landfall, but it still was blamed for at least 20 deaths in eight states.

On the battlefield, Navy SEAL Team Six became part of American military lore when the elite unit raided a compound in Pakistan, killing Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda and the most-wanted terrorist in the world who had orchestrated the terror attacks of 9/11.

The end of the Gadhafi era

Just 90 seconds to kill Osama bin Laden?

For President Barack Obama, the bin Laden raid marked a high point of his presidency. Sometimes considered soft on terror, Obama achieved something his predecessor failed to do: bring the terror mastermind to justice.

The killing came ahead of the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which was marked by the opening of several memorials, including an outdoor tribute at Ground Zero in New York.

The United States also marked a decade of war in Afghanistan, a conflict that began in the months after 9/11 aimed at rooting out al Qaeda terrorists. While the Afghanistan war rages on, the United States is preparing to pull out the last of its troops from Iraq.

The year also was defined by economic turmoil. Prime ministers in Greece and Italy quit amid a slow-motion fiscal disaster unfolding in Europe, while Standard Poor’s downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time after it said Congress failed to do enough to stabilize the country’s debt situation. The downgrade, which came after an eleventh-hour agreement to raise the debt ceiling, damaged an already-stagnant economy.

As the U.S. saw unemployment hit 9 percent, the Occupy Wall Street movement — a grassroots protest against policies favoring the richest 1% — spread to dozens of cities across the country and Europe.

Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidates looked to seize their campaign to retake the White House in 2012. In October, former VP candidate Sarah Palin and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie disappointed supporters by saying they wouldn’t run, and by early December the GOP field seemed to be down to two serious contenders: Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

In July, the world was reminded of man-made tragedy with near-simultaneous terror attacks in Norway.

A car bomb exploded in Oslo targeting government buildings, while miles away, an armed man opened fire on a youth leadership camp, killing 77.

Expectations vs. reality on the ground

Inside Rep. Giffords’ recovery

‘Occupy’ protesters – who are they?

A look back at the life of Steve Jobs

Months earlier, Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot in the head as she met with constituents at a supermarket near Tucson, Arizona. Six people were killed in the attack, including a young girl and a federal judge.

Giffords has awed the nation in her recovery. Married to astronaut Mark Kelly, the congresswoman traveled to Kennedy Space Center in May to watch as her husband commanded the final launch of space shuttle Endeavour.

A few months later, NASA launched the final space shuttle mission, retiring the fleet of historic spacecraft after 30 years. The mission, STS-135, ended on July 21 when Atlantis arrived back at Kennedy.

Other stories dominated the headlines, too.

Casey Anthony was found not guilty in Florida in her daughter’s death, while Conrad Murray was convicted in the death of superstar Michael Jackson.

Charlie Sheen’s raging narcissism captivated the nation for a couple weeks as his bizarre behavior prompted his TV bosses to fire him from “Two and a Half Men”. Other bad boys popped into the news: Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York tweeted a picture of himself in his underwear and soon was forced to resign, and Maria Shriver filed for divorce from Arnold Schwarzenegger after a family housekeeper came forward about her love child with the former California governor.

Scandal struck far and wide in 2011. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, once seen as a future leader of France, quit as head of the International Monetary Fund after he was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper in New York — a charge that was later dropped. British tabloids run by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch were hit by a phone hacking scandal that resulted in the flagship News of the World folding.

In the United States, child sex abuse scandals tainted athletics programs at Penn State and Syracuse universities basketball team. Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, was charged with multiple counts of sex abuse against children, and legendary head coach Joe Paterno was fired in the scandal’s aftermath. In Syracuse, assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine was fired after three people, including two former ball boys, said he molested them for years. No charges have been filed against Fine, but multiple investigations have been launched.

Yet not all news was bad in 2011. The world got a brief respite from doom-and-gloom headlines in April when Prince William and Catherine Middleton wed at Westminster Abbey.

Their wedding was one of the most-watched events of the year — from TV to the Internet. On the streets of London, many captured royal images on their mobile devices and instantly shared them with friends.

Some of those images might never have been shared if it hadn’t have been for the creator of the iPhone: Apple founder Steve Jobs, the genius who led the home computer revolution and inspired some the world’s most popular mobile devices.

Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in October. His final words, according to his sister, were “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow!”

Fitting words for 2011.


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Al-Qaida says it is holding US aid worker abducted in Pakistan December 3, 2011

Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaida leader, said Warren Weinstein, who was kidnapped by armed men in Lahore three months ago, would be freed only if the US ceases its air strikes on Afghanistan and Pakistan, and frees prisoners. The terror group gave a full list of demands in return for his release

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Napolitano says lone wolf terror threat growing

 

 

 

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Senate Declines to Clarify Rights of American Terror Suspects Arrested in U.S. December 2, 2011


December 2, 2011

by legitgov

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Senate Declines to Clarify Rights of American Terror Suspects Arrested in U.S. 02 Dec 2011 The Senate on Thursday decided to leave unanswered a momentous question about constitutional rights in the war against Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh]: whether government officials have the power to arrest people inside the United States and hold them in military custody indefinitely and without a trial. Lawmakers voted 99 to 1 to say the bill does not affect “existing law” about people arrested inside the United States. The disputed provision would bolster the authorization enacted by Congress a decade ago to use military force against the perpetrators of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. It says the government may imprison suspected members of Al Qaeda or its allies in indefinite military custody. Before voting to leave current law unchanged, the Senate rejected, 55 to 45, a proposal by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, to instead say that Americans are exempt from detention under the 2001 authorization to use military force.

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Lieberman to Google: Ban Terrorist Content November 30, 2011


November 30, 2011

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Lieberman to Google: Ban Terrorist Content 29 Nov 2011  In the wake of news that terror suspect Jose Pimentel was operating a jihadist Blogger site, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Insane-Israel) is urging Google to implement a system that bans terrorist material. Last week, Lieberman sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page on behalf of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs that called on Google to ramp up its efforts against terrorist material on the Blogger platform.

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Pakistan has had enough | Simon Tisdall November 28, 2011

Readers of Dawn newspaper, commenting online, were in no doubt how the Pakistani government should respond to Saturday’s killing by US forces of 24 soldiers on Pakistan’s side of the Afghan border. “Pakistan should acquire anti-aircraft defence systems … so that in the future Pakistan can give Nato forces a proper reply,” said Ali. “This is outrageous,” wrote another reader, Zia Khan. “We should cut off all ties with the US. As long as we are getting US [anti-terror] aid … Pakistan will be attacked in such a manner. They can never be trusted.” Another, Obaid, turned his wrath on the Pakistani authorities: “Our self-centred establishment with their fickle loyalties can’t even demand that the killers be tried in a neutral court … What is the ability of our armed forces? If they can’t repel or intercept an attack of this intensity, then what’s their purpose? This is not a time to get mad. It’s time to get even.”

The fury of these respondents comes as no surprise, but Washington should treat it with deadly seriousness all the same, for this latest outrage is another fateful signpost on the road to a potential security and geostrategic disaster that may ultimately make Afghanistan look like a sideshow.

The 10-year-old Afghan war, neither wholly won nor lost, is slowly drawing to a close – or so Washington postulates. But what has not stopped is the linked, escalating destabilisation of the infinitely more important, more populous, and nuclear-armed Pakistan. If Washington does not quickly learn to tread more carefully, it may find the first US-Pakistan war is beginning just as the fourth Afghan war supposedly ends.

Anti-American feeling in Pakistan is becoming institutionalised at the higher levels of government, while opposition figures such as Imran Khan see their popularity rise on the back of diatribes aimed at Washington. Pakistan’s western-educated, secular political elite is under brutal attack from Islamist militants who revile them as Washington’s stooges. The knock-kneed government is mocked and despised for failing to stand up to its infidel paymasters even as Pakistan’s own “war on terror” death toll rises into the tens of thousands.

Since 2001, when the Bush administration bluntly told Islamabad it must take sides, be either “for us or agin us” in the newly declared “war on terror”, Pakistan has struggled under a plethora of imperious American demands, démarches and impositions that are at once politically indefensible and contrary to the perceived national interest.

The last year has been another humiliating one at the hands of the country’s principal ally. Pakistanis have looked on impotently as US special forces flouted its sovereignty and killed Osama bin Laden under the army’s nose; as the US stepped up drone terror attacks in Pakistani territory despite repeated protests; and as people-pleasing US senators and Republican presidential candidates have taken to picking on Pakistan and its aid bill in uninformed foreign policy rants.

Hillary Clinton and the Pentagon top brass have responded to Saturday’s killing with the usual expressions of regret and of determination to “investigate”, without formally admitting responsibility. Their pronouncements are worthless, transparently so.

The belief that weak, impoverished, divided Pakistan has no alternative but to slavishly obey its master’s voice could turn out to be one of the seminal strategic miscalculations of the 21st century. Alternative alliances with China or Russia aside, Muslim Pakistan, if bullied and scorned for long enough by its western mentors, could yet morph through external trauma and internal collapse into quite a different animal. The future paradigm here is not another well-trained Indonesia or Malaysia. It is the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Two British terror suspects killed in U.S. drone attacks in remote region of Pakistan


November 27, 2011

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Two British terror suspects killed in U.S. drone attacks in remote region of Pakistan 19 Nov 2011 Two British terror suspects are believed to have been killed in a U.S. drone attack in Pakistan, according to their family and friends. Ibrahim Adam and Mohammed Azmir are thought to have died in a CIA missile strike in Waziristan, a remote and lawless region bordering Afghanistan. Adam’s father confirmed that his son was killed by an American unmanned aircraft.

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’16 armed terrorists killed in Syria’ November 26, 2011


November 26, 2011

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’16 armed terrorists killed in Syria’ 26 Nov 2011 Syrian security forces have dismantled a terrorist gang, killing at least 16 armed elements and arresting several others in an operation in Syria’s central province of Homs. The Syrian forces also seized large quantities of arms during the operation which was carried out in the town of Rastan in Homs, AFP reported. Among the seized weapons were rockets, mortars, machine guns and tear gas canisters that were made in Israel. “The armed men sowed terror in the town,” said a Syrian official, whose name was not announced.

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Yemen Instability Stokes Terror Concerns

Thousands of people took to the streets in cities across Yemen Friday, calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to be put on trial. Saleh signed an accord on Wednesday to surrender power after 33 years of rule.  Western countries and Yemen’s neighbors fear the political instability could be exploited by terror groups.

Thousands of people took to the streets of the Yemeni capital after Friday prayers – protesting against the immunity from prosecution granted to President Ali Abdullah Saleh in return for his resignation.

“Our objection to the deal is the immunity from prosecution, which the Gulf Cooperation Council gave to him [Ali Saleh],” said one demonstrator. “This is the thing that we reject completely and that is why we wills stay here [protesting] until it is achieved.”

There were simultaneous protests in Sana’a in support of the president. Local media say fighting broke out between security forces and army defectors.

Saleh signed the accord Wednesday, pledging to step down within 30 days and hand over power to his deputy before negotiations with the opposition. The deal was hailed as a breakthrough by its brokers, members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

But Gala Riani of IHS Global Insight says many questions hang over the agreement.

“One of the problems is of course that Saleh remains, in name, as the president. Yesterday, five people were killed in Sana’a in clashes,” said Riani. “Immediately afterwards you had a statement from ‘the President, Saleh’, condemning what had happened and saying he would issue a probe into it. So that really poses an important question as to, ‘What kind of power does he still have?’”

Thousands of protestors watched the signing on television – which prompted celebrations in the capital. But Riani says many powerful institutions remain loyal to Saleh.

“Will he still be using these groups, including his son who is head of the Republican Guard, to interfere essentially in political affairs,” asked Riani.

The West is paying close attention to what happens in Yemen. The man accused of trying to blow-up this Northwest Airlines Flight to Detroit on Christmas Day two years ago, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is thought to have trained in the country.

The United States regularly conducts unmanned drone strikes against al-Qaeda targets in Yemen. in September a strike killed Anwar Al-Awlaki, accused by the U.S. of being the terror group’s chief propagandist. Again, analyst Gala Riani:

“Even the U.S. I think is not keen to engage more with Yemen,” she said. “What they want in Yemen is a political leadership that they can collaborate with. They certainly had that under Saleh. And they will be looking to perpetuate that and find another leadership that’s willing to collaborate with them and willing to allow them to continue with their counter-terrorist operations.”

Riani warns terror groups like al-Qaeda in the Arabian Penisula are seeking to exploit the political divisions in Yemen to gain more support on the ground.

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Informer’s Active Role in Terror Case Is Said to Have Deterred F.B.I. November 22, 2011


November 22, 2011

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Oops! The false flag begins to unravel at breakneck speed, as usual: Informer’s Active Role in Terror Case Is Said to Have Deterred F.B.I. 22 Nov 2011 A confidential informer provided companionship and a staging area so Jose Pimentel could build three pipe bombs while the Intelligence Division of the New York Police Department built its case. But it was the informer’s role, and that of his police handlers, that have now been cited as among the reasons the F.B.I., which had its own parallel investigation of Mr. Pimentel, did not pursue the case, which was announced on Sunday night in a news conference at City Hall. Terrorism cases are generally handled by federal authorities. There was concern that the informer might have played too active a role in helping Mr. Pimentel, said several people who were briefed on the case, who all spoke on the condition of anonymity, either because of the tense relations between the Intelligence Division and the F.B.I. or because the case was continuing.

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Lone wolf terror suspect arrested in New York November 21, 2011


November 21, 2011

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Breaking False Flag: Lone wolf terror suspect arrested in New York –News conference by mayor, police commissioner, and Manhattan district attorney underway 20 Nov 2011 A person close to a New York City police investigation says a Manhattan resident suspected of plotting to bomb various targets, including police cars, has been arrested. The person told The Associated Press that the 27-year-old man was acting as a lone wolf and was taken into custody Saturday. He allegedly was inspired by al-Qaida [al-CIAduh], although his citizenship was not immediately known.

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Fake terror plots, paid informants: the tactics of FBI ‘entrapment’ questioned November 20, 2011


November 20, 2011

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Fake terror plots, paid informants: the tactics of FBI ‘entrapment’ questioned –Critics say bureau is running a sting operation across America, targeting vulnerable people by luring them into fake terror plots 16 Nov 2011 Even more shocking was that the organisation, money, weapons and motivation for this plot did not come from real Islamic terrorists. It came from the FBI, and an informant paid to pose as a terrorist mastermind paying big bucks for help in carrying out an attack… Critics say the FBI is running a sting operation across America, targeting – to a large extent – the Muslim community by luring people into fake terror plots.

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Reports: U.S. Troops Headed to Nigeria to Help Fight Terrorists November 14, 2011


November 14, 2011

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Reports: U.S. Troops Headed to Nigeria to Help Fight Terrorists 11 Nov 2011 The Pentagon’s shadow war in Africa could have a new front, if reports coming out of Nigeria are accurate. U.S. troops are headed to Nigeria to help local forces do battle with Boko Haram, an Islamic terror group that has killed up to 400 people this year in an escalating campaign of bombings and shootings. At least that’s what Nigerian military sources tell Scott Morgan, a journalist based in Washington, D.C. who writes under the pseudonym “Confused Eagle.”

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Bills could require civilian authorities to turn cases involving terror suspects over to U.S. military October 20, 2011


October 19, 2011

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Bills could require civilian authorities to turn cases involving terror suspects over to U.S. military –House bill also attempts to restrict civilian oversight of detention cases –Pentagon warns against bills changing rules on detainees 19 Oct 2011 The Pentagon objected Tuesday to a move in Congress to limit the Obama administration’s ability to decide how terrorism suspects are tried. Provisions of similar House and Senate bills would significantly restrict the transfer of detainees prisoners out of the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and could require civilian authorities to turn cases involving al Qaeda suspects over to the military. The proposed changes are designed to clarify the administration’s ability to hold terrorism suspects and to push it to try more prisoners using military tribunals rather than civilian courts.

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‘Underwear bomber’, accused over Christmas Day terror plot, goes on trial October 11, 2011

One of the biggest US terror cases of the post-9/11 era gets under way on Tuesday as the so-called “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab goes on trial in Detroit.

Abdulmutallab is charged with trying to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight 253, which had taken off for Detroit from Amsterdam on Christmas Day 2009 and was over Michigan when he allegedly sought to trigger a bomb.

The Nigerian citizen, 24, is accused of wanting to carry out a suicide mission that could have killed everyone aboard the targeted plane had he successfully managed to detonate explosives smuggled aboard inside his underwear.

However the device failed to go off properly, resulting in serious burns injuries to Abdulmutallab’s groin and legs but no explosion. He was then subdued by his fellow passengers and members of the crew. He now faces a host of criminal charges including attempted murder, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, and conspiracy to commit terrorism. If found guilty he will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The trial in Detroit has been eagerly awaited, mostly because Abdulmutallab last year dismissed his legal team and began conducting his own defence. It was set to begin with opening statements from both defence and prosecution that raised the prospect of Abdulmutallab personally explaining his actions and motivations around the alleged bombing attempt to the jury. But late last week he indicated that his court-appointed legal advisor, Anthony Chambers, would be reading the opening statement instead.

In previous appearances Abudlmutallab has shown varying attitudes at court hearings. At times he has been respectful of the court staff and asked frequent questions on his own behalf about legal matters. However, at others time he has claimed that slain terrorist leaders Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki are alive and put a foot up on the desk in front of him. He also called the United States a “cancer” and requested to be allowed to wear a traditional Yemeni belt, including a ceremonial dagger, in court.

There are several areas where a defence of Abdulmutallab, the son of a wealthy Nigerian businessman, is likely to focus in the case.

Abdulmutallab was not read his Miranda rights before he was interviewed by FBI agents at the University of Michigan Hospital where he was under the grip of powerful painkillers as he was treated for his injuries. However, Judge Nancy Edmunds has ruled that statements Abdulmutallab made during those interviews are admissible in the trial. During the interrogation, Abdulmutallab told questioners he was trained by al-Qaida, had studied terrorism in Yemen and got his underwear device from a Saudi Arabian bomb-maker.

Another possible area of contention is the issue of videos showing an expert blowing up the type of PETN explosives used by Abdulmutallab in his underwear device. Chambers has previously argued that Abdulmutallab did not intend to bring down the plane and that the videos would be prejudicial to his defence.

A key area for the prosecution will be to show that there was a wider al-Qaida conspiracy at work. To prove that they will not only use Abdulmutallab’s own statements but also a video of al-Qaida operatives discussing how he carried out the attack.

Last week the jury was selected in the case. A lengthy process worked through a large field of potential jurors and finally settled on three white men and nine women, two of whom are black and one of whom is from India. During the process one Nigerian woman was dismissed as a potential juror by the judge.

The process took longer than usual as it was complicated by the fact that more potential jurors than usual in criminal cases already felt that the accused was guilty.

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At CIA, spying takes a back seat to manhunts October 1, 2011


October 1, 2011

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At CIA, spying takes a back seat to manhunts 01 Oct 2011 In its relentless pursuit of terror suspects, the CIA now oversees a growing military operation that threatens to sideline its traditional work in espionage and intelligence, former officials and experts say. The US raid in May that killed Osama bin Laden symbolised the “militarisation” of the leading spy agency since the 9/11 attacks, with Navy SEAL commandos operating under CIA authority. And yesterday US-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi was killed in an air raid in Yemen hailed by President Barack Obama as a “major blow” to terrorists.

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FBI faces entrapment questions over Rezwan Ferdaus bomb plot arrest September 30, 2011

The dramatic arrest of a man in Massachusetts accused of plotting to crash explosive-filled miniature airplanes into the US Capitol and the Pentagon has sparked fresh concerns that the FBI might be using entrapment techniques aimed at Muslims in America.

Rezwan Ferdaus, a 26-year-old US citizen and physics graduate who lived at home with his parents in Ashland, near Boston, was the target of an FBI sting in which he bought a miniature aircraft that he planned to outfit as a flying bomb.

Ferdaus, who is being held without bail, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston on Thursday. The six-count indictment – which also covered his alleged efforts to provide support and resources for al-Qaida groups attacking US troops abroad – said he “planned to commit acts of violence against the United States” with the goal of “decapitating” the nation’s military center “and killing as many ‘kafirs’ [non-believers] as possible.” A detention hearing has been set for October 3.

However, some legal organisations and Muslim groups have questioned whether Ferdaus, whose activities were carried out with two undercover FBI agents posing as terrorists, would have been able to carry out such a sophisticated plot if left to his own devices. In numerous previous cases in the US, the FBI has been accused of over-zealousness in its investigations and of entrapping people into terror plots who might otherwise not have carried out an attack.

“It deeply concerns us. It is another in a pattern of high-profile cases. Would this person have conceived or executed this plot without the influence of the FBI?” said Heidi Boghosian, president of the National Lawyers Guild.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations also expressed its concern and wondered if more details would later emerge at trial that showed the full scale of the FBI involvement in setting up the sting. “There is a big, big difference between a plot initiated by the FBI and a plot initiated by a suspect, and it seems this might have been initiated by the FBI,” said Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s director of communications.

The lengthy affidavit filed by prosecutors against Ferdaus details an elaborate plot in which he repeatedly expressed his desire to kill Americans and his support for Islamic jihad. The affidavit showed he came up with a detailed plan of attack and even scouted his targets in Washington in person. He also built mobile phone “detonators” that he supplied to undercover FBI agents posing as al-Qaida terrorists and expressed his pleasure when told him they had been used to kill American soldiers in Iraq.

However, the affidavit also raises several questions. Few details are given as to how Ferdaus came to the attention of the FBI. Mention is only made of a co-operating witness, known as CW, who met Ferdaus in December 2010 and soon began recording his conversations.

No details are given as to CW’s identity, but it is mentioned that he or she has a criminal record and has served time in prison. That raises the possibility that the CW may have had some ulterior motive to bring an alleged terror suspect to the attention of the FBI or could be an unreliable witness.

Another potential area of concern is a meeting on 19 April 2011, when the undercover agents met with Ferdaus and questioned the “feasibility” of his plan. That raises the prospect that the FBI agents were somehow goading Ferdaus into more action. “Ferdaus responded in a defensive manner that he had made progress,” the affidavit stated.

At the same meeting the undercover agents also gave financial assistance for Ferdaus to travel to Washington on a scouting trip: a fact that raises the question of whether he would have made the trip without that financial help. The undercover agents also supplied thousands of dollars in cash for Ferdaus to buy the F-86 Sabre miniature plane to be used in an attack.

Another portion of the affidavit also details Ferdaus’s enthusiasm for making mobile phone detonation devices that he believed were being sent to Iraq and used by terrorists. Ferdaus suggested sending a box of 50 mobile phones to war zones where terrorists were in need of them. He even wanted to set up a sort of workshop to produce up to 30 of the devices a week.

“Ferdaus indicated that he could write instructions or make a video on how to construct the cell phone detonation devices,” the affidavit said. Such an apparently outlandish idea that hinges on the idea that Islamic terrorists are desperately short of cheap mobile phones might suggest Ferdaus was, to some extent, a fantasist rather than a genuine threat.

However, some legal experts said that the case against Ferdaus appeared compelling, especially as he frequently and repeatedly indicated his desire and willingness to carry out terrorist attacks against Americans. In trying to mount a successful defence of entrapment it is vital to prove that a suspect has no pre-disposition to the crime they are accused of doing. In the Ferdaus case that would seem to be difficult, lawyers said.

“He took the weaponry and agreed to do it. That demonstrates a propensity and willingness to do it,” said Anthony Barkow, a former terrorism prosecutor and executive director of the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law at New York University.

Barkow defended the FBI investigation and said that the US authorities took careful steps to avoid the issue of entrapment. “The Justice Department is very aware of this issue,” he said.

Certainly the affidavit against Ferdaus paints a compelling picture of a man hellbent on waging jihad in America and eager to take the guns and explosives eventually supplied to him by the undercover FBI agents. He repeatedly states in recorded conversations that he is happy for Americans to die and that the idea for the attack was his own. “That’s excellent,” Ferdaus said when told one of his phone detonators had been used overseas and had killed Americans.

The prosecution case also reveals how Ferdaus ordered the plane and rented a storage facility in which to keep it and then took delivery from the FBI agents of 25 pounds of C-4 explosives, three grenades and six AK-47 rifles. It also shows Ferdaus explaining how he had become convinced that he needed to attack America after viewing jihadist websites online. “I just can’t stop; there is no other choice for me,” he said of his decision to launch the attacks.

Prosecutors have staunchly defended the FBI operation. “Our top priority is to protect our nation from terrorism and national security threats,” said US attorney Carmen Ortiz.

FBI officials have also said the investigation was carried out responsibly and to head off a real threat. “We have an obligation to take action to protect the public whenever an individual expresses a desire to commit violence. A committed individual, even one with no direct connections to, or formal training from, an international terrorist organization, can pose a serious danger to the community,” said Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Division

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Massachusetts man charged in plot to blow up Pentagon September 29, 2011


September 28, 2011

by legitgov

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Massachusetts man charged in plot to blow up Pentagon –On Wednesday undercover FBI agents delivered fake C4 explosives, grenades and AK-47s to storage unit terror suspect possessed 28 Sep 2011 Undercover FBI agents arrested a U.S. citizen Wednesday in connection with a plot to attack the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol using large, remote-controlled aircraft filled with C-4 plastic explosives. Rezwan Ferdaus, 26, was also charged with attempting to provide material support to Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh], in order to carry out attacks on U.S. soldiers overseas, the Justice Department announced in a news release. Ferdaus was arrested in Framingham, Mass.

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