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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

FBI Arrests ISIS Supporter Who Wanted to Attack JCC

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

FBI agent Benjamin Trentlage said that Mahin Khan, 18, who has been charged with plotting a terrorist attack on a motor vehicle office in metro Phoenix and instructed undercover FBI informants on building homemade grenades, told an undercover FBI agent that he wanted to attack a Jewish community center in his hometown, AP reported Wednesday.

Trentlage testified that Khan expressed a desire to attack the Jewish community center in October 2015, in conversation with an undercover FBI informant. According to Trentlage, Khan wanted to use pressure cookers to make homemade bombs, inspired by the Boston Marathon bombings.

On the day of his arrest, Khan left a voicemail for an undercover FBI informant expressing his admiration for the attack that killed 49 in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Trentlage testified. The FBI has charged that Khan wanted to inspire an Islamist insurgency in the US to carry out attacks similar to the ones in Paris and Brussels, and communicated online with a member of ISIS and with a Pakistani Taliban, requesting weapons and instructions on homemade explosive. But it isn’t clear whether those really were members of the two groups.

According to Trentlage, Khan described the Motor Vehicle Department in Mesa, Arizona as a soft target, saying “it would have a lot of people and relatively low security.” Khan preferred that office over a DMV office in Tucson because the sheriff’s office was located nearby.

Agent Trentlage testified on Tuesday at a bond hearing for Khan, who pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism and conspiracy to commit misconduct involving weapons. Khan was denied bail following his July 1 arrest. His bond hearing continues on Wednesday, when his attorneys will probably question the FBI agent.

JNi.Media

The FBI Director’s Press Conference

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

FBI Director James Comey’s explanation of why his agency didn’t recommend the prosecution of Hillary Clinton in the scandal over her use of a private e-mail system for official business during her tenure as secretary of state raised more questions than it resolved.

Thus, after going through the nature of the FBI’s investigation, he concluded that “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

Yet this sorting of evidence, we are told by criminal lawyers, is usually the purview of a grand jury, which decides whether there is probable cause to believe a crime was committed. One of the unanswered questions in this entire episode is why U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara – who is known for his high profile prosecutions and who has jurisdiction over the Clinton e-mail issue since the possible offenses occurred at the Clinton home in Chappaqua, New York, which is within his federal area of responsibility – didn’t convene a grand jury.

And there would surely have been grist for his grand jury mill, since, as Mr. Comey noted, “There were thousands of e-mails we found that were not among those produced to State…” That in itself sounds like she was withholding evidence.

Mr. Comey also said that “Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information. But even if information is not marked ‘classified’ in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.”

“Know or should know” is classic legal language suggesting criminal responsibility.

Recklessness with government secrets? Consider what Mr. Comey said:

With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial e-mail accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal email account extensively while outside the United States…. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal account.

Mr. Comey also said his investigators had found 110 e-mails that were classified information at the time they were sent or received. They also found, he said, an unspecified number of instances of top secret or secret information contained in 52 so-called e-mail chains

There was also destruction of e-mails by Clinton attorneys “in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.” But we have “reasonable confidence there was no intentional misconduct.”

But again, sorting out these kinds of issues is typically the job of a grand jury.

Complicating this even further is the private meeting just days before Mr. Comey spoke between Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Mr. Comey’s boss, and Bill Clinton, supposedly to talk about their grandchildren.

This is not to say that Mrs. Clinton is clearly guilty of violating the law. It is to say, though, that it’s hard to think of anyone else who would have received the pass she just did.

Editorial Board

FBI Backs Down, Hillary Clinton Not Charged on Personal Server Use at State Dept.

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

FBI Director James B. Comey told reporters on Tuesday (July 5) he would not advise the Justice Department to file criminal charges against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her use of personal servers for all emails during her tenure at the U.S. State Dept.

“No reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” he said, explaining that in order to file criminal charges, the agency needed to prove deliberate intent to send and receive classified and/or secret information on a personal server.

However, he said, “There was evidence that [she and others with whom she communicated] were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive and classified information,” Comey told reporters at a news conference in Washington DC.

Clinton clearly put national security at risk, he acknowledged. Any regular government official could have faced administration penalties for the same actions, he said.

Over the past year, the agency scrutinized 30,000 emails, checked numerous servers and spoke with dozens of aides and other staff members. Of the emails that were examined over the past year, 110 emails in 52 chains contained classified information; 36 chains were determined to contain “Secret” information. Nine chains contained “Top Secret” information and eight chains contained “Classified information. Thousands of emails were not turned over to the authorities.

But that’s not all: At least 34,000 emails were destroyed by Clinton and her attorneys, who reportedly made the decision on which ones who permanently destroy by sorting them using keywords and scanning with subject lines, Fox News reported.

The former Secretary of State was questioned three days ago by the FBI, just after her husband and former President Bill Clinton hopped aboard a plane on the tarmac before Justice Department Attorney General Loretta Lynch could disembark. The two chatted for about 30 minutes “allegedly “only” about their grandchildren, and former colleagues,” Lynch said later when asked by reporters.

But the whiff of other issues was unmistakable, and Hillary Clinton’s session with the FBI followed soon after, after a year of resistance and very involved, dragged out scrutiny into how and where her long-lost emails had gone missing. Lynch subsequently said she would most likely stand by the FBI’s recommendations regarding any indictment following the investigation into Clinton’s use of her personal server.

Some of those emails were destroyed by Clinton’s own attorneys, who reportedly made the decision on which ones to ditch by sorting with keywords and scanning the subject lines, according to a report broadcast on Fox News.

When considering the standard regulations, at the very least the State Department should revoke Hillary Clinton’s Top Secret security clearance at this point, given the concrete evidence uncovered thus far. But “should” does not seem to apply in this campaign, let alone in the legal sphere when it comes to Hillary Clinton, according to former U.S. District Attorney and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The investigation was focused on whether or not Clinton violated 18 U.S.C. Section 793 of the Espionage Act — which Comey contends that she did not, due to lack of “intent.”

But Giuliani disagreed in an interview on Fox News Tuesday afternoon, pointing out that provision (f) in the code is very specific, defining “extreme carelessness” as “gross negligence.” That, he said, is a felony under the law — which means that Hillary Clinton broke the law. Repeatedly:

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document. . .relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer, Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Hana Levi Julian

FBI Sting Gets Man Who Planned to Bomb Florida Synagogue

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

The FBI arrested a man who was planning to throw an explosive device into an Aventura, south Florida synagogue, WSVN reported. The arrest followed an FBI sting intended to foil a terror attack at the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, last Friday evening. According to WSVN, FBI agents posing as terrorists stopped the suspect, who may have converted to Islam.

According to sources, the suspect wanted to throw “some type of explosive device” over the wall of the center on Friday night, which was the last day of Passover and the center was crowded.

“I think about, before we had a baby, that we used to go there for services, and God forbid, it could have been us,” local resident Stephanie Levine told WSVN. “Thank God they stopped him, but had they not, it would have been such a horrible thing to happen to this neighborhood.”

But the same sources said the center was not in danger at any time, because the suspect was taken into custody before he was able to cause any damage.

“Of course it surprised me,” local resident Richard Levinson told WSVN. “Everybody says, ‘I live in a small town. It doesn’t happen here,’ but the sad part is, it happens everywhere.”

And local resident Kim Tepper said she was not surprised, because “it’s a very scary world, and you know what? I don’t think that anybody is safe anywhere. We’d always thought, living in this area, that we could be targeted, so now you’re kind of confirming that for me. Not happy.”

The suspect will appear in federal court this week.

David Israel

Israeli Company Helps FBI Break Apple Security

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Technology experts reveal that an Israeli company could dramatically circumvent the legal conflict between the FBI and Apple by hacking the iPhone of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook.

Cellebrite, a multinational cellular forensic company headquartered in Petah Tikva, has a sole-source contract with the FBI and provides the intelligence service with the Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED), which can break into locked iPhones and Android devices.

The US government has for weeks been attempting to legally compel Apple to hack into the phone belonging to Farook who murdered fourteen people in San Bernardino, California with his wife in December. Apple has publicly refused and has insisted that breaking into the phone would compromise the security of all its devices.

After having long claimed that only Apple could access the phone’s information, the Justice Department abruptly reversed itself on Monday, March 24 and announced that it may no longer need Apple’s cooperation since “an outside party had demonstrated a way for the FBI to possibly unlock the phone,” the New York Times reported.

While it now appears that Cellebrite is the party behind the game-changing hacking technology, the company did not respond to phone calls and emails requesting comment.

The about-face drew criticism from NSA-leaker Edward Snowden who said that it demonstrated that the FBI’s earlier testimony was “perjury.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Did FBI Miss Red Flags on Terror in 2012?

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

The FBI might have missed some giant-sized red flags on terror in 2012. That was the first time that San Bernardino slaughterer Syed Rizwan Farook teamed up with someone to plan a terrorist attack on a specific target. But nobody ever knew, because the two partners abandoned the plot.

Late Tuesday, Attorney-General Loretta Lynch announced information-sharing pacts with nearly 50 countries around the globe late Tuesday in another effort to poke a finger in the dike and at least slow the flood of terror attacks. In some quarters, however, analysts are wondering if that response by the Obama administration is not a case of “too little, too late.”

About the same time, new information emerged that Farook had teamed up with a male partner in 2012. Although the identity of the second individual was not released, news analysts across America were asking: How did these two slip under the radar?

The pair “got spooked” after a rash of terror-related arrests in their area and so did not carry out the planned attack. Two officials told CNN, however, that they had already settled on a specific target, according to the report.

He and his wife, Fasheen Malik, were photographed upon their arrival at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in July 2014, both appearing as fundamentalist Muslims.

Apparently it is unclear about where Malik lived prior to her immigration to the United States, but there seems to be no disagreement about the fact that she arrived on the strength of a fiancee visa.

A prior report by CNN clearly stated that Malik lived with her family in Saudi Arabia prior her trip to the United States, but now all mention of any connection with that nation has now been completely eliminated from the account. Instead, CNN reports that Malik lived in “the home owned by her father” in Multan, about 220 miles southwest of Lahore, Pakistan, until spring 2014, “around the time she got married and moved to the United States on a fiance visa.”

Except that doesn’t quite work out. Malik and her husband did not arrive in the United States until July 27, 2014. We don’t really find out when in “spring 2014” she left Pakistan nor where she went until arriving in the U.S. in late July.

How odd that all mention of Saudi Arabia somehow has mysteriously disappeared from the text. So have a few other salient facts.

Malik reportedly failed to appear for the personal interview at the U.S. Consulate required in order to obtain that visa, and the necessary documents that should have been filed were allegedly missing as well. Those facts, too, are no longer mentioned in current reporting on this very important issue.

Instead, the network has begun to focus its coverage on government efforts to “tighten the visa waiver program” and “tighten visa entry requirements.”

Neither measure, however, remedy a no-show for a personal interview, missing documents and what might have been a greased palm or an “understanding” staff member — or both — at a U.S. Consulate, albeit unknown to his or her superiors.

And there is more.

Just days before the massacre in San Bernardino, $28,500 was deposited into Farook’s bank account, a loan he received in November, according to numerous law enforcement officials. About half of that money went to Farook’s mother, with whom the couple’s baby was left on their final day alive, when they attacked and killed his co-workers at a holiday office party. The other half was spent on household items.

None appears to have been provided by any outside entity, according to one of the law enforcement officials who spoke to CNN. But one expert said the loan indicated preparation for an attack.

Hana Levi Julian

Donald Trump: Shut Down Entry of Muslims to US For Now

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

U.S. GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump told a crowd of supporters Monday night that America should “shut down” the entry of Muslims to the country until authorities can get control of the security situation.

“We need a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States while we figure out what the hell is going on,” he said, triggering applause and shouts of approval in response.

The other GOP candidates quickly distanced themselves from Trump’s remarks, as did Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her competitor, Bernie Sanders.

Trump’s remarks followed last week’s massacre in San Bernardino by a husband-and-wife terrorist team inspired by Da’esh (ISIS).

The wife, Tashfeen Malik, had pledged loyalty to Da’esh prior to the attack which she carried out with her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook.

As the investigation into “hundreds of pieces of evidence” and witness interviews by the FBI following the bloodbath continues, it has become known that the observant Muslim couple became radicalized long before Malik entered the United States as Farook’s fiance.

CNN reported early Tuesday morning that Malik apparently never appeared for the personal interview which is required in order to receive the fiance visa under which she entered the United States from Saudi Arabia. The status of documents which should have been filled out and signed at that interview is not clear; CNN reported that some of those documents were apparently missing, and yet Malik had a visa to enter the country.

The couple had been practicing target shooting just days before the attack as well.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/donald-trump-shut-down-entry-of-muslims-to-us-for-now/2015/12/08/

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