Boston Bomber friend who disposed of evidence convicted of obstruction

via Tsarnaev friend convicted of obstructing bombings probe – CNN.com.

A federal jury on Monday found a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty of obstructing the investigation into the 2013 attack.

The jury found Azamat Tazhayakov guilty of obstructing justice and conspiring to obstruct justice, in connection with the removal of a backpack with potential evidence from Tsarnaev’s dorm room after the bombings.

Jurors indicated in a verdict questionnaire that they didn’t believe a separate allegation — involving the removal of a laptop computer from the same dorm room — amounted to obstruction or conspiracy.

Sentencing for Tazhayakov, who could get up to 25 years in prison, is scheduled for October. The verdict came in the first trial related to the April 15, 2013, bombings that killed three people and injured more than 200 others.

Tazhayakov’s mother wept loudly in court when the verdict was read. Tazhayakov spoke briefly to his parents before he was escorted out of the courtroom.

Prosecutors accused Tazhayakov and his roommate, fellow Kazakh national Dias Kadyrbayev, of trying to protect Tsarnaev three days after the bombings by removing a backpack and a laptop from Tsarnaev’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, which Tazhayakov also attended.

Prosecutors alleged that Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov took the laptop to their apartment, and that Kadyrbayev, with Tazhayakov’s knowledge, tossed the backpack in a trash bin. Authorities eventually found the backpack — containing Vaseline, a thumb drive and fireworks — in a landfill.

Kadyrbayev is awaiting trial on the same charges and has pleaded not guilty. Another friend, Robel Phillipos, pleaded not guilty to making false statements. None of Tsarnaev’s friends is accused in the bomb plot itself.

Prosecutors told jurors Tazhayakov knew the identity of the suspected bombers — Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev — before the public found out, allegedly texting Kadyrbayev, “i think they got his brother,” hours before the public knew their names or their relationship to one another. [PS: The FBI knew the Boston bombing suspect too]

The friends recognized the Tsarnaev brothers after authorities released video and still photos asking for the public’s helping finding the two men, prosecutors said.

Kadyrbayev told his friends that he believed Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “used the Vaseline ‘to make bombs,’ or words to that effect,” an indictment against him reads.

The government said Tsarnaev texted Kadyrbayev after the bombings and told him he could go to his dorm room and take what he wanted. Kadyrbayev showed that text to Tazhayakov, the government alleged.

Authorities alleged that the friends picked up the backpack and the laptop from Tsarnaev’s dorm room on April 18, 2013, shortly before Tsarnaev was taken into custody.

The FBI interviewed the friends as part of the bombing investigation, and lawyers for Tazhayakov said he did everything he could to help the probe when he spoke with investigators. Based on that information, authorities found Tsarnaev’s backpack in the landfill, his attorneys said.

Daniel Antonino, one of the jurors in Tazhayakov’s case, said the panel found him guilty of obstruction because “the backpack was simply taken and discarded like they were getting rid of evidence.”

Florida: New 9/11 records suggest FBI cover up on Sarasota Saudis

via New 9/11 records offer tantalizing puzzle pieces – Florida – MiamiHerald.com.

By Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers | BrowardBulldog.org

It was Halloween night, 2001. The horrors of 9/11 were still fresh on the the minds of Americans.

At a time when everyone was on edge, the sight of a man disposing documents in a dumpster behind a Bradenton storage facility aroused suspicion. Summoned to the scene, Manatee County sheriff’s deputies confronted the man, who had a Tunisian passport.

According to FBI records, authorities searched the dumpster and found “a self-printed manual on terrorism and Jihad, a map of the inside of an unnamed airport, a rudimentary last will and testament, a weight-to-fuel ratio calculation for a Cessna 172 aircraft, flight training information from the Flight Training Center in Venice [Fla.] and printed maps of Publix shopping centers in Tampa Bay.”

The Flight Training Center is where 9/11 hijack pilot Ziad Jarrah, who was at the controls of United Airlines Flight 93 when it crashed in Shanksville, Pa., took flying lessons.

This intriguing tale and at least one other are contained in a batch of partially redacted documents released this past week as part of ongoing Freedom of Information Act litigation by the online news site BrowardBulldog.org. The suit, filed in 2012, seeks the FBI’s files from a once-secret investigation into a family of Sarasota Saudis who left the country abruptly about two weeks before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, leaving behind clothing, jewelry and cars.

The main figures in the family were Abdulaziz al-Hijji, his wife, Anoud, and her father, Esam Ghazzawi, an advisor to a Saudi prince.

The report of the Bradenton incident is in some way linked to the al-Hijjis’ saga, although precisely how is unclear. The link might be spelled out in one of the many redacted passages. Nor is it clear in the unredacted portions who the man was or whether he was detained. An FBI letter accompanying the documents says the redactions have to do with national security and other exclusions.

The documents — the fourth batch released in response to the BrowardBulldog lawsuit — were located via court-ordered text searches using the names of the al-Hijjis and Ghazzawi. U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch in Fort Lauderdale is currently reviewing more than 80,000 pages of 9/11 records.

This release suggests that the FBI has covered up information that is vitally important to public safety,” said Miami attorney Thomas Julin, who represents BrowardBulldog.org. “It’s startling that after initially denying they had any documents they continue to find new documents as the weeks and months roll by. Each new batch suggests there are many, many more documents.”

“There needs to be a full-scale explanation of what’s going on here,” Julin said.

A second FBI document released last week, dated Feb. 2, 2012, is similarly tantalizing — and similarly murky.

On that day, according to the document, FBI offices in Tampa and Charlotte, N.C., received information from Washington stamped “secret” stating that a “person of interest” in the FBI’s massive 9/11 investigation had returned to the United States.

The person, whose name is redacted, was reported to be “traveling to Texas and LA for business/tourism.” The person apparently told authorities upon entering the country that he could be reached in Charlotte. He provided a telephone number “associated with furniture manufacturers in North Carolina,” the report states.

Details about that were blanked out. But the report also states, “Tampa is notified that a person of interest to Tampa regarding the PENTTBOMB investigation has a valid visa for re-entry into the U.S.” PENTTBOMB is the FBI’s code name for its 9/11 investigation.

Whether this person was ever detained, interviewed or allowed to go about his/her business is unclear in the unredacted passages.

In all, the FBI released 11 pages. They contain statements reiterating that the al-Hijjis had departed the United States in haste shortly before 9/11 and that “further investigation” had “revealed many connections” between them and persons associated with “attacks on 9/11/2001.”

Those statements flatly contradict the FBI’s public statements that agents found no connection between the al-Hijjis and the 9/11 plot.

Yet they dovetail with the account of a counterintelligence source who has said investigators in 2001 found evidence — phone records and photographs of license plates snapped at the entrance to the al-Hijjis’ Sarasota-area neighborhood — that showed Mohamed Atta, other hijackers and former Broward resident and current al-Qaeda fugitive Adnan Shukrijumah had visited the al-Hijji home.

None of that information, or even the fact that an investigation in Sarasota took place, was disclosed by the FBI to Congress’ Joint Inquiry into the attacks or to the 9/11 Commission, according to former Florida Sen. Bob Graham. Graham co-chaired the joint inquiry.

The documents are stamped secret. The portions that were not released are supposed to be kept under wraps until 2039.

The government has asserted the classification is necessary because the censored information pertains to foreign relations or foreign activities, including confidential sources.

“This could be about information considered embarrassing to Saudi Arabia,” said Julin. Fifteen of the 19 suicide hijackers were Saudi nationals.

The report on the man and the dumpster — although the encounter happened on Halloween 2011, the document is dated April 2002 — contains additional information, though the deletions make its full meaning difficult to discern.

It says the Tampa FBI office “has determined that [blank] is an antagonist of the United States of America. [Blank] resides in Jerusalem. [Blank] allegedly has held regular and recurring meetings at his residence to denounce and criticize the United States of America and its policies. [Blank] is allegedly an international businessman with great wealth.

“In November 2001, [blank] visited the United States for the first time. He traveled to Sarasota, Florida, opened a bank account and made initial queries into the purchase of property in south central Florida. [Blank] intends to establish a Muslim compound in Central Florida. [Blank] revealed that [blank] is fearful of [blank] and fears that [blank] intends to begin offensive operations against the United States if he is able to purchase property and establish a Muslim compound in Central Florida.”

Three follow-up lines are blanked out.

 

Maryland: Muslim pleads guilty in multi-million dollar cigarette smuggling racket

A predominantly Muslim cigarette smuggling racket…that funded? via Ramadan brother pleads guilty in 2013 cigarette smuggling case | Coastal Point. h/t UNDER THE BURKA

One of the West Ocean City, Md., brothers indicted last year in a multi-million-dollar cigarette smuggling ring that stored some of its contraband in a Dagsboro location pleaded guilty June 27 to enterprise corruption.

Samer Ramadan, 40, pleaded guilty to the charge, the most serious one against him, was scheduled to be sentenced to two to six years in a New York state prison on Monday, July 7.

As treasurer, Ramadan was second-in-charge in the smuggling operation that he told Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Foley was run by his brother, Basel, 43, who continues to be held without bond, according to the New York Attorney General’s Office. Basel Ramadan’s trial is expected to take place in October, but his next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 12.

When Homeland Security officers and New York authorities raided Basel Ramadan’s Oyster Harbor residence in May 2013, they found approximately $1.4 million in cash, some of which was in black trash bags. Many items, including three handguns, were removed from the house and vehicles and taken away. The vehicles were also taken away from the property.

The 303-page indictment gave details of the smuggling operation that involved purchasing cartons of cigarettes in Virginia, ostensibly to sell at Virginia businesses. That ruse permitted them to buy the cigarettes at a tax rate of 30 cents per pack. The cartons of cigarettes would be taken to storage facilities in Delaware. One of the storage facilities was in Dagsboro.

Several other people were allegedly involved in the lucrative cigarette smuggling enterprise. Adel Abuzahrieh, 43, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was the alleged transporter who drove several times weekly from Brooklyn to Dagsboro, where he exchanged tens of thousands of dollars in cash for cartons of cigarettes. Then he would take the cigarettes — approximately 20,000 cartons per week — north to New Jersey, where he would hand them over to distributors, who would take them to storage facilities in New York City.

Four additional men, called “resellers” by the New York Attorney General’s Office, would deliver the cartons to Arab markets and grocery stores in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and Queens, where they would sell them for huge profits. Some of the cartons were sold in Schenectady and Albany.

In addition to the Ramadan brothers, 14 other alleged participants in the cigarette smuggling enterprise were indicted. Ahmad Abdelaziz, also of Brooklyn, pleaded guilty June 25 to enterprise corruption and will be sentenced to one to three years in prison Aug. 12.

Yousef Odeh, one of the alleged distributors, 53, allegedly had ties with Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind Muslim cleric now serving a life sentence for a conspiracy to blow up New York City landmarks.

One of the alleged resellers, Muaffaq Askar, was suspected of providing weapons to Rashid Baz, who was convicted of shooting at a van carrying Yeshiva students as it crossed the Brooklyn Bridge in 1994. One student was killed in that attack.

New York Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said last year that the association of some of the suspects in the cigarette smuggling ring with terrorists was cause for concern. Similar schemes had been used in the past to help fund terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

According to a 2013 press release from the Attorney General’s Office, the Ramadans allegedly deposited “more than $55 million from their untaxed cigarette sales into small financial institutions in and around Ocean City.” Then they would allegedly use that money to purchase more cigarettes to sell in their illegal enterprise. The press release stated that they generated more than $10 million in profits in the smuggling operation.

During the year-long investigation by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force and the New York City Police Department, with assistance of Homeland Security Investigations, law enforcement seized 65,000 forged New York tax stamps that had not yet been affixed to packs of cigarettes, as well as nearly 20,000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes and more than $200,000, from suspects in New York City.

All of the suspects were charged with enterprise corruption, money laundering and related tax crimes.

Basel Ramadan and Youssef Odeh of Staten Island were also indicted in October 2013 in connection with an alleged murder-for-hire plot. They were allegedly conspiring from behind bars to murder witnesses against them in the cigarette smuggling case.

“These defendants sought to kill individuals they believed to be witnesses to their crimes,” New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman stated in a press release. “This behavior is intolerable, and we are going to prosecute them to the full extent of the law. These two individuals cheated New York taxpayers out of millions of dollars in tax revenue and then tried to cover up their dangerous and lucrative smuggling operations, which hurt New York businesses, by committing the ultimate crime.”

Odeh pleaded guilty June 25 to enterprise corruption and conspiracy in the second degree (conspiracy to commit murder) and he faced sentences of two to six years in prison when he was sentenced Monday, July 7, according to the New York Attorney General’s Office.

Previously, Muaffaq Askar pleaded guilty to New York tax law 1814(a)(i), attempt to evade cigarette tax, and was sentenced to a conditional discharge, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

 

Ohio: Muslim working for Homeland Security re-sues Experts Who Exposed His Terror Ties

He already dropped the charges once. via Courthouse News Service. h/t Bare Naked Islam

 COLUMBUS, Ohio (CN) – A Muslim “multicultural relations officer” for Ohio’s Office of Homeland Security claims in court that Internet bloggers defamed him and cost him his job by posting that he was an “Islamist mole” who sympathized with terrorists.

Omar Alomari sued the City of Columbus, Todd Alan Sheets, Stephen Coughlin, John Guandolo, Patrick Poole and a John Doe known on the Internet as “Rusty Shackleford,” in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

Alomari was hired as a full-time multicultural relations officer in 2006 by the Office of Homeland Security (OHS), and was in charge of building relationships between the state agency and the Muslim community.

After he published two articles on Islamic culture and radicalization in 2007, Alomari says, “defendant Poole began writing a series of articles condemning individuals and organizations within Central Ohio’s Muslim communities as terrorists or terrorist sympathizers.”

Alomari claims Poole also began making public records requests for emails and other communications from the multicultural relations officer to Muslims in his area.

After the records requests, Alomari says, defendant Shackleford – who operates a blog called the Jawa Report – “began posting articles claiming that plaintiff had ties to terrorists, terrorist organizations, and/or organizations with links to terrorism.”

The complaint states: “the Jawa Report (a) labeled plaintiff an ‘Islamist mole,’ a ‘radicalized fox,’ ‘a former agent of a foreign government,’ and ‘a lying scumbag,’ (b) alleged that plaintiff was an ‘information pipeline’ to terrorists, (c) asserted that plaintiff’s work ‘help[ed] encourage radicalization,’ and (d) alleged that plaintiff ‘escorted’ terrorists into OHS.

“The Jawa Report alleged that plaintiff ‘liked to have sex with pretty blond-haired, blue-eyed infidel coeds,’ and labeled plaintiff ‘a serial sexual harasser.’”

Alomari claims that defendant Sheets – a member of the Columbus Police Department’s Terrorism Early Warning Group (TEWG) – organized a police training session on weapons of mass destruction and “included a photo of plaintiff and labeled plaintiff as a potential terrorist and/or stated that plaintiff had affiliations with terrorists and/or terrorist organizations.”

Alomari claims that during a 2010 training session titled “Understanding the Threat to America,” defendants “Coughlin, Guandolo and Poole accused plaintiff of being a ‘suspect,’ alleged that plaintiff used his position within OHS to ‘connect with terrorists,’ and promised to ‘keep digging’ into plaintiff’s background to ‘expose’ him as a terrorist or terrorist sympathizer.”

Alomari says he informed his supervisor of the remarks made at the training sessions, and after the assistant chief of police was contacted, the TEWG destroyed all of the documents bearing Alomari’s name or picture.

Alomari seeks compensatory and punitive damages for invasion of privacy, tortious interference with business contract, negligent supervision and spoliation of evidence. He claims he lost his job with the OHS because of the false statements linking him with terrorists.

He is represented by Lauren Knoll, in Dublin, Ohio.

 Much more from previous posts on al-Omari. The Columbus Dispatch reported this in July, 2010, Ohio Homeland Security official fired for not disclosing previous firing:

An Ohio Homeland Security official has been fired for failing to fully disclose his background when he began working for the state in late 2006.

Omar Alomari, 59, was fired Tuesday for dishonesty stemming from his failure to list his prior employment at Columbus State Community College, where he was fired after an improper consensual sexual affair with a student.

Alomari also gave “false information” when he was interviewed by investigators, according to his discharge letter from Thomas Stickrath, director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Jawa Report reported, Ohio Homeland Security had to destroy thousands of Alomari’s “anti-radicalization” brochures for promoting terror-linked groups:

Again from Jawa, Ohio Homeland Security multicultural affairs director Omar Alomari sued his sexual harassment victim. Read it all and see all Jawa Reports posts on Alomari here.

Ohio: Muslim who turned IHOPs into money laundering, illegal alien harboring, identity theft dens pleads guilty

via Ex-owner of Toledo-area IHOPs, wife pleads guilty – Toledo Blade. h/t Dee

Tarek Elkafrawi, 57, of Middleton Township near Perrysburg pleaded guilty to 53 counts, including conspiracy to commit money laundering, alien harboring, identity theft, and arson. His wife, Kelly Elkafrawi, 51, pleaded guilty to one count each of money laundering and alien harboring.

Elkafrawi’s seven IHOP restaurants – six in northwest Ohio and one in Evansville, Ind. – were raided in 2011 by federal agents. The Elkafrawis and 16 of their employees were then indicted in May, 2012 on charges that they hired more than 200 illegal aliens to work at the restaurants, using stolen, false, and multiple identities to under-report their income and qualify for government assistance programs.

In court today, Tarek Elkafrawi admitted his role in the conspiracy and admitted he conspired to manipulate sales figures, payrolls, and losses to avoid paying taxes and royalties to IHOP’s corporate owner.

A sentencing date was not scheduled.

From our previous post on the initial arrests: Muslims turn Ohio IHOP’s into crime dens, hired 200+ illegal immigrants

The “schemes” resulted in a “significant financial loss to corporate IHOP,” of about $3 million, said George Crouch, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI, during a news conference this afternoon in downtown Toledo.

“These defendants turned pancake houses into crime dens,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steven Dettelbach in a news release. “This indictment lays out a menu of crimes ranging from harboring undocumented workers to identity theft to money laundering to insurance fraud.”

The agency also accuses Mr. Elkafrawi of employing about 200 illegal immigrants at his restaurants, most of whom used fraudulent or stolen identities.

Mr. Elkafrawi is accused of arranging for people to be brought into the country illegally and having store managers accept false paperwork for employment. If there was no paperwork, he allegedly had Mr. Gamboa, Mr. Leon-Gonzalez, and others obtain documentation.

Federal authorities say that Mr. Elkafrawi generated $1.2 million in unreported income by manipulating wages and under reporting income of the undocumented workers, according to the indictment.

In 2008, federal authorities said, Mr. Elkafrawi’s Findlay IHOP location burned as a result of arson. Investigators said Mr. Leon-Gonzalez set the fire after being directed to do so by Mr. Elkafrawi and Mazen Khdeer, who was either a manager or owner at some of the locations.

After the fire, Mr. Elkafrawi filed a $1.3 million insurance claim.

FBI Report: Boston Bomber Posed With Black Flag of Jihad at Local Mosque

“Behind every Islamic terrorist there is an Imam…” ~ the late Oriana Fallaci

And you can find them in the local mosque. via Before Boston Attack, Alleged Bomber Posed With Black Flag of Jihad at Local Mosque – ABC News.

Months before the 2013 terror attack on the Boston Marathon, accused bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev posed in front of a black flag often associated with jihad with a fellow worshiper at a Boston-area mosque, according to an FBI report obtained by ABC News.

The FBI report, which did not include the photo, describes Tsarnaev and his friend Khairullozhon Matanov as “seated in front of a black flag with a sword and a shadada phrase,” referring to the Muslim statement of faith, and adds that the photo was taken “at the mosque.” Similar flags have become symbols of jihad, used by al Qaeda and al Qaeda-linked extremist groups.Flag_of_Jihad

The FBI had been warned by Russian intelligence in 2011 that Tsarnaev may have become radicalized, but the bureau dropped its inquiry months before the photo was taken because it said it “did not find any terrorism activity.”

The FBI report says the alarming photograph was taken on Eid-Al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, the highest of Muslim holidays, but does not say exactly when. A source familiar with the investigation told ABC News it was taken during the August 2012 celebration. The FBI report does not identify the mosque where the photograph was taken.

Tsarnaev and Matanov prayed at a mosque in Cambridge, Mass., the FBI report says, but Yusufi Vali, the Executive Director of the Islamic Society of Boston that opened the mosque told ABC News there were no reports of the black flag of jihad being at the 2012 Eid holiday, or at any other time.

Related:

Massachusetts: Governor and the Muslim Brotherhood-linked mega mosque (video)

Boston Bombings And Mayor “Menino’s Mosque”

 

Colorado: Muslim woman arrested en route to join Islamic terror group ISIS

“She intended to use that [U.S. military] training to go overseas to wage Jihad.”

via 19-year-old Colorado woman, Shannon Maureen Conley, charged with aiding terrorist group, FBI says – TheDenverChannel.com.

DENVER – The FBI says a 19-year-old Colorado woman has been arrested while trying to board a flight at Denver International Airport with the goal of meeting with a terrorist group called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS.

A federal criminal complaint states that between Sept. 7, 2013 and April 8, 2014, Shannon Maureen Conley, together with others, tried to provide material support and resources, including personnel and expert advice, to a foreign terrorist organization.denverhomelyjohadi

ISIS insurgents have been fighting to topple the governments of Iraq and Syria.

Authorities began investigating Conley on Nov. 5, 2013, when the pastor at Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada called local police and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to report a teen had been spotted suspiciously taking notes at the church’s main campus at 6120 Ward Road on several Sundays at October, according to a federal affidavit supporting the criminal complaint.

Church officials have a heightened awareness about security because Faith Bible Chapel was the scene of a shooting in December 2007 when a man named Matthew Murray opened fire at the church’s Youth with a Mission Training Center, killing two missionaries. A few hours later, Murray went on a shooting spree at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, killing two more people. He was shot by a church security guard and eventually took his own life.

So Faith Bible Chapel staff reacted quickly when they believed Conley was taking notes on various locations and the layout of the campus, the affidavit said.

Church staff approached Conley and asked to see her notes, but she refused.

Conley then became confrontational with FBC staff, citing her own Islamic religious views, church officials told federal investigators.

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on right

“Conley made spontaneous statements to church staff to the effect of: ‘Why is the church worried about a terrorist attack?’ and, that terrorists are: ‘… not allowed to kill aging adults and little children,’” the complaint said.

Church officials told Conley not to return to the church campus.

On Nov. 7, 2013, an Arvada police detective and an FBI agent interviewed Conley, asking her why she has been visiting Faith Bible Chapel.

Conley said, “I hate those people.” She added that she initially started attending Sunday services and taking classes at FBC because she wanted to meet people of other faiths and learn about them.

But Conley said she did not share her Islamic religious views or wear her hijab, a head covering worn in public by Muslim woman.

Conley told the investigators she does not like Israel or FBC’s active and vocal support for Israel.

Conley said she noticed she was being followed by church staff on the campus and felt they treated her like a terrorist. Conley told the investigators that she reasoned that, “If they think I’m a terrorist, I’ll give them something to think I am,” according to the affidavit.

She started keeping a notebook and acted like she was diagramming the church to alarm them. Conley soon got into an argument with the pastor and was asked to leave.

Conley said that Jihad to her is war against “kafir” (which the affidavit describes as a derogatory Arabic term for non-Muslims) to protect Muslim lands.

The investigators asked her opinion about harming innocent people while waging Jihad and Conley stated that it depended on the circumstances.

“To Conley, it is okay to harm innocents if they are part of a target. She felt that if wives, children, and chaplains visiting a military base are killed during an attack, it is acceptable because they should not have been at a legitimate target. She repeatedly referred to US military bases as ‘targets,’” an FBI agent wrote in the affidavit.

On Dec. 6, 2013, Conley was again interviewed by FBI Special Agent Karim Khomssi and another agent.

Conley told the FBI she joined the U.S Army Explorers to be trained in U.S. military tactics and in firearms. She said she intended to use that training to go overseas to wage Jihad, according to the affidavit.

Conley said she previously wanted to serve in the U.S. military but no longer wanted to because she felt the military would not accept her because of her religious beliefs and her wearing of a hijab and niqab.

Conley said she previously wanted to serve in the U.S. military but no longer wanted to because she felt the military would not accept her due to her religious beliefs and her wearing of a hijab and niqab.

“Conley stated she wanted to wage Jihad and would like to go overseas to fight,” the affidavit said. She added that if she’s not allowed to fight because she’s a woman, she would use her medical training, as a licensed nurse’s aide, to help Jihadi fighters.

“According to Conley, it is acceptable to attack westerners when engaged in ‘defensive Jihad.’ Conley stated that legitimate targets of attack include military facilities and personnel, government facilities and personnel, and public officials,” the affidavit stated.

When agents asked if her notion of legitimate targets includes law enforcement, Conley replied that it does, the affidavit said. Conley said, “Law enforcement is included because police enforce man-made laws that are not grounded in God’s law. Conley stated targets to be avoided include women, children, and the elderly,” the affidavit said.

Over the next five months, the FBI repeatedly interviewed Conley as she underwent U.S. Army Explorers training in Texas in early February.

During a March 27 interview, two FBI agents made an “overt attempt to dissuade Conley from violent criminal activity and give her the opportunity to turn away from her intention to participate in supporting terrorist activities.”

Special Agent Khomssi “admonished Conley twice in the conversation that travel with intent to wage Jihad may be illegal and result in her arrest. Conley told SA Khomssi said she would rather be in prison than do nothing” to help the Jihadi cause, the affidavit said.

Conley earlier showed the agents a book called “Al-Qaida’s Doctrine for Insurgency: Abd Al-Aziz Al-Muqrin’s A Practical Course for Guerilla War.”

“The book had several passages underlined by Conley, including motorcade attacks and waging guerilla warfare. Conley stated that attacking a motorcade in the US was not viable because security in the US is too good. Conley thought she could plan such an attack, but not carry it out,” the affidavit said. “Conley liked the idea of guerilla warfare because she could do it alone.”

“When asked if she still wanted to carry out the plans, knowing they are illegal, Conley said that she does,” the affidavit said. Continue reading

California: Muslim gets 13 years for plan to train Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan

Obama is training AQ in Syria so what’s the problem? via O.C. man gets 13 years for plan to train Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan - Los Angeles Times.

An Orange County man was sentenced Monday to 13 years in federal prison for attempting to train Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan for an ambush attack on coalition forces.

Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen, 25, pleaded guilty in December to one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. In handing down the sentence Monday, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter called the crime “a very serious offense that requires a correspondingly long sentence,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Nguyen was arrested in October 2013 after boarding a Mexico-bound bus in Santa Ana. Authorities said the bus trip was part of his plan to travel from his home in Garden Grove to Pakistan and to reemerge as Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum. Nguyen planned to train about 30 Al Qaeda fighters for a December attack, authorities said.

Beginning in August 2013, Nguyen met with a man he thought was an Al Qaeda recruiter but who was actually working with the FBI, according to a plea agreement filed last year. After asking the man if he was a “fellow jihadist,” the court documents said, Nguyen spoke of a recent trip he took to Syria and his desire to “return to jihad, stating that this was what he was born to do.”

During his four months in Syria, the documents said, Nguyen wrote on Facebook that he was fighting alongside the opposition to the Bashar Assad regime and had a “confirmed kill.”

Nguyen later told the man he had also trained fighters in Syria and had “devised a battle plan for his group of fighters,” according to the plea agreement. When he returned to the United States, he said he had offered to train Al Qaeda fighters in Syria but was turned down.

Nguyen then made plans to travel to Pakistan with a fake passport so he could spend five or six weeks training fighters for a “guerrilla warfare ambush attack on Coalition forces,” the document said.

When Nguyen was arrested at the bus station, authorities said he had the passport, Syrian currency and a computer hard drive with more than 180 training videos related to shooting firearms.

Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch once again rightly calls another media quisling defending the honor of Islam. This time it’s Kate Mather of the  Los Angeles Times, via Muslim gets 13 years prison dawah for plot to train jihadists in Pakistan

Sinh-Vinh-Ngo-Nguyen

Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen’s Muslim name is Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum. Would the Los Angeles Times ever refer to Muhammad Ali as “Cassius Clay”? Would it ever call Kareem Abdul-Jabbar “Lew Alcindor”? So why this lack of respect, this lack of cultural sensitivity when it comes to Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum? Oh yeah, it’s because what he did makes Islam look bad, and so the Los Angeles Times, like the rest of the mainstream media, does its best to obscure his Islamic identity.

Brooklyn: International drug ring stored khat in NY mosque, 17 arrested

via 17 busted in international narcotics ring selling khat | PIX 11. h/t LOOK UNDER THE BURKA OF ISLAM

khat-mosque-brooklyn

FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (PIX11) – State and NYPD investigators say it’s an addictive drug used in many countries, but many people in the New York area have never heard of it.

Those are not the people in the Tri-State who were using khat, a leaf whose juices have a stimulant effect similar to amphetamine. Enough local residents use khat, however, to have funded what cops call an international drug ring that they broke up on Friday.

The leaves, which users typically eat whole, emit a fragrant smell. Two plastic bags of them filled a display table at the New York State Attorney General’s Office on Friday afternoon, filling the press conference room with a nutty, grainy aroma. But the attorney general himself said that the bags of leaves were part of a large, illegal business that smells foul to law enforcement.

“We’re still tracking the funds,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, regarding the khat ring. “But we know it was millions of dollars.”

He said that officers from his agency and the NYPD arrested 17 people in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

According to the attorney general, the leader of the operation, Yadeta “Murad” Bekri, would ship khat in boxes to two UPS Stores in Manhattan. His two leaders in the U.S., Bayan Yusuf and Ahmed Adem, would pick up the boxes of leaves and send them to distributors, who would, in turn, store the boxes until they could make a sale, the attorney general said.

For example, according to investigators, two Flatbush, Brooklyn residents, Mustafa Sadeq Ali and Sadeq Hassan Ali, were seen on surveillance video storing boxes of khat in the Islamic Center of Flatbush, a mosque located right next door to their building.

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Attorney General Schneiderman confirmed that the surveillance was the result of an ongoing terrorism investigation at the mosque.   He said that the investigation did not yield any indication of terrorism.

It did uncover, however, a three layered international narcotics distribution ring, officials said, in violation of U.S. laws against khat sales and distribution, in place for two decades.

“It’s key to understand these networks and how the money flows,” said John Miller, the NYPD deputy commissioner for intelligence.  He said that, in his travels to Yemen for his job, he had personally observed the devastating effect that khat can have on people who use it.  He declined to elaborate.

He and the attorney general did point out that the alleged khat ring they busted would ship the leaves from Yemen, Ethiopia and Kenya to the U.K., Belgium, the Netherlands and China.  From there, the leaves were shipped to New York, sometimes in boxes disguised to be carrying a more benign cargo.

“Some of the boxes had labels that said ‘tea,’” Attorney General Schneiderman said at a Thursday afternoon news conference.  “It should not be used as tea,” he said, sternly, but half seriously.

 In the video at the link above, the cops were quick to jump to conclusions and state there was no evidence anyone at the mosque was involved. Clearly, the mosque just happened to let two strangers load and unload boxes of strange smelling weeds in the mosque. If you’re stopped and frisked and someone in the car your riding in has weed, the car gets impounded and you all get harassed if not arrested. Not so much in a mosque.

Feds drop prosecution of convicted terrorist al Arian, clearing way for deportation

Will Obama allow this jihadist to be deported? via Feds drop Sami Al-Arian prosecution – Josh Gerstein – POLITICO.com.

The Justice Department has dropped a long-stalled second criminal prosecution of a former college professor who pleaded guilty to aiding a terrorist group following a high-profile trial in Florida that ended with a muddled verdict almost a decade ago.

Federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Va., filed a motion Friday seeking to dismiss a criminal contempt indictment brought in 2008 against former University of South Florida mechanical engineering professor Sami Al-Arian, who was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents.

In the new filing, prosecutors said they decided to give up on the contempt case after delays precipitated by U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema sitting for years on a critical motion in the case without ruling one way or another.

“In light of the passage of time without resolution, the United States has decided that the best available course of action is to move to dismiss the indictment so that action can be taken to remove the defendant from the United States,” prosecutor Gordon Kromberg wrote.

In a statement released through Al-Arian’s attorney, the 56-year-old former professor’s family hailed the dismissal of the charges.

“We are glad that the government has finally decided to drop the charges against Sami Al-Arian. It has been a long and difficult 11 years for our family in what has ultimately been shown to be a political case. We are relieved that this ordeal finally appears to be at an end,” the family members said. “We hope that today’s events bring to a conclusion the government’s pursuit of Dr. Al-Arian and that he can finally be able to resume his life with his family in freedom.”

In 2003, Al-Arian was indicted in Tampa on a wide array of charges, including racketeering, material support for terrorism and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors accused him of being the American head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and said they had been able to bring the case only because legal changes in the Patriot Act allowed them to share intelligence information with criminal investigators.

His trial (and that of three co-defendants) was repeatedly delayed. It took place over a six-month period in 2005 and ended in acquittals on eight counts and a hung jury on nine other counts.

After prosecutors threatened a re-trial, the former professor pleaded guilty to one felony count of aiding a designated terrorist group and was sentenced to 57 months in prison. He had already served most of that time in custody awaiting trial and thereafter. The plea deal also called for him to be deported from the U.S. Continue reading

Texas: Man pleads guilty, planned to join Islamic terror group ISIS

via Texas man pleads guilty to attempt to join ISIS - Los Angeles Times.

Michael Wolfe, 23, of Austin, Texas, pleaded guilty to a plot to join ISIS in armed combat in Syria on Friday, federal authorities said. (Austin Police Dept)

Michael “Faruq” Wolfe, 23, of Austin, Texas, pleaded guilty to a plot to join ISIS in armed combat in Syria on Friday, federal authorities said. (Austin Police Dept)

A 23-year-old Texas man admitted Friday that he had been practicing military maneuvers and planned to travel to Syria to join ISIS, the terror group that has claimed thousands of lives in a violent march through Iraq in recent weeks.

Michael Wolfe, a.k.a. Faruq, of Austin, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, according to a statement issued by the U.S. attorney’s office in San Antonio.

He was arrested 10 days ago when he tried to board a flight out of Houston. Another man, 23-year-old Rahatul Ashikim Khan, was arrested the same day at his house in Round Rock, Texas, and was charged with trying to recruit men to join terrorist organizations, federal authorities said.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office would not say if Khan attempted to recruit Wolfe specifically.

During his court appearance Friday, Wolfe admitted he launched the plot to join ISIS in August 2013. In the last year, Wolfe said he did physical fitness training, practiced military maneuvers and tried to cover up communications about his plans to engage in a “violent jihad,” the release said.

Wolfe traveled to Houston on June 17 and planned to take several flights, eventually hoping to land in Syria, where he would join ISIS’ armed conflict. But the man he purchased the plane tickets from was an undercover FBI agent.

Wolfe will stay in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has not been scheduled.

Daryl Fields, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, told the Los Angeles Times Khan has entered a plea of not guilty, and a detention hearing has been scheduled for June 30.

He remains in federal custody, and jury selection for hsi criminal trial is expected to begin on August 25, Fields said.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, an Al Qaeda splinter group better known as ISIS, has captured several cities in Iraq this month during a bloody march toward Baghdad. The uprising, in part, has been driven by accusations that the sitting Iraqi government has been overly partial to the country’s Shiite population.

 

Muslim DHS Adviser’s Tweets Celebrated by ISIL Terrorists

via ISIL Celebrates DHS Adviser’s Anti-American Tweets on Return of Caliphate | Washington Free Beacon.

BY: Adam Kredo

Affiliates of the Iraqi terror group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS, are praising and potentially recruiting extremists based on controversial tweets by a senior Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adviser who recently claimed that ISIL is proof that a Muslim “caliphate” is making an “inevitable” return.

The recent tweets by Mohamed Elibiary, a controversial figure who serves as a senior member of DHS’ Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), were recently picked up in the Arabic press and widely disseminated on Twitter by multiple Islamic extremists.

Elibiary’s tweets—which disparaged Americans as showing “belligerence” after the 9/11 terror attacks and told of the “inevitable” return of the Muslim caliphate—drew widespread criticism online and prompted calls for his removal from DHS’ advisory committee.

Now the comments are being circulated and praised by Islamic jihadists affiliated with ISIL and Syrian extremists.

“Starting yesterday, Arabic reports of Elibiary’s comments went viral on social media and were especially disseminated by Islamic extremist Twitter accounts and those affiliated with [ISIL] and/or jihadi fighters in Syria, Iraq, and even Yemen” Oren Adaki, an Arabic language specialist at Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), told the Washington Free Beacon.

“Many of these tweets were accompanied by #Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_Syria and #Remains hashtags, implying that the Elibiary’s comments validated that the U.S. recognizes and has come to terms with ISIL’s advance in Syria and Iraq,” Adaki said.

Elibiary’s made the comments late last week during a discussion about ISIL’s rise in Iraq.

“As I’ve said b4 inevitable that ‘Caliphate’ returns,” Elibiary tweeted in response to a question about ISIL, which is currently seeking to overthrow the Iraqi government and instate strict Sharia law in the country.

These controversial comments quickly ricocheted through the Muslim world after the Arabic website Rassd republished the comments in Arabic and touted the words of what it called a key “Obama adviser.”

That article was then disseminated and celebrated on Twitter by several accounts affiliated with ISIL.

“Obama Adviser: The caliphate will return, that is inevitable,” the Arabic tweet reads, according to a translation provided by FDD’s Adaki.

Terrorism analyst Patrick Poole said that Elibiary’s tweets are being used to recruit jihadists and that he should face repercussions for employing such rhetoric given his sensitive position at DHS.

“For years those of us complaining about Elibiary’s extremist statements have done so to no avail,” Poole said. “The Obama administration has repeatedly doubled-down on their support for Elibiary and recently promoted him to homeland security senior fellow.”

“I have personally briefed a roomful of members of Congress about the situation, and only a very few have been willing to publicly raise the issue while most have privately admitted the problem but sat back and done nothing,” Poole said. “The question for both the administration and Congress now is what are they going to do about the patently surreal position that Elibiary’s cheerleading for the ‘inevitable caliphate’ is being used fairly and in context by [ISIL] to recruit for jihad?”


And the blowback continues: ISIS Photo Op: Jihad Army Runs Ad Campaign Featuring Photo with Jhn McCain

Major Obama donor charged with bribing medical professionals, insurance fraud, involuntary manslaughter

via Kareem Ahmed charged with bribing medical professionals | Mail Online h/t Lisa

One of the major financial backers of President Barrack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign has been indicted in an alleged multi-million dollar insurance swindle.

Kareem Ahmed, the president and CEO of Ontario firm Landmark Medical Management, is accused of masterminding the scheme and is facing charged of conspiracy, insurance fraud and involuntary manslaughter, according to TPM.

Ahmed and 15 of his associates – most of them doctors and one pharmacist – were indicted by a California grand jury, TPM reported.

He is accused of developing topical cream formulas ‘based on the profitability of the ingredients’ and bribing doctors who treated workers’ compensation patients to prescribe them.

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Kareem Ahmed gave $1 million to the Obama re-election campaign in 2012

Ahmed paid physicians a total of more than $25 million to dispense the compound creams, according to KPCC.

The alleged operation is said to have gone on from June 15, 2010, to December 31, 2012.

It also involved filing false insurance claims with different insurance companies.

The amounts individual doctors received between 2010 and 2013 ranged from $600,000 to more than $2.5 million

Among those Ahmed paid were Daniel Capen, M.D. (more than $2.5 million); Andrew Jarminski, M.D. (more than $1.9 million); pharmacist Michael Rudolph (more than $1 million); and Rahil Kahn, M.D. (more than $1 million), according to the indictment.

However mystery surrounds the circumstances of the involuntary manslaughter charge.

The incident alleged that on or about Feb. 3, 2012, Ahmed, Rudolph and Jarminski ‘did unlawfully and without malice kill Andrew G. (a minor) … in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner and without due caution and circumspection’.

Ahmed gave $1 million to the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action in 2012.

Additionally, data maintained by The Center for Responsive Politics showed that Ahmed gave tens of thousands of additional dollars to Democrats in 2013.

The practices of his medical firm have been under suspicion for years in California.

 

Minnesota: At least 15 Muslims leave U.S. to wage jihad in Syria

Traitorous Keith Ellison has done nothing to stop the jihadi breeding going on in Minnesota. via American Muslims flocking to jihadist group | New York Post. h/t TROP

Radicalized young American Muslims — including as many as 15 Somali-born Minnesotans — have flocked to a jihadist group in recent months, lured by rap videos and hip social-media propaganda.

Security experts are calling it the “Jihad Cool” rebranding of terrorism, and say it’s highly effective in pushing Americans like Abdirahmaan Muhumed, a Twin Cities father of nine, to high-tail it to Syria to help the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant topple President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

“I give up this worldly life for Allah,” Muhumed said of joining the Islamic State in a Facebook message earlier this year. If people call him a terrorist, he’s “happy with it,” he added.

While not fighting, Muhumed has been busy posting images of himself online, showing himself smiling into the camera while holding an AK-47 and throwing the jihadi equivalent of a gang sign — pointing his index finger skyward. Another image appears to show the head of a deceased male.

The trend was first reported by Minnesota Public Radio.

The FBI would not name the 15 radicalized Minnesotans, except to confirm that Muhumed is among them, and that the agency is investigating how they were recruited.

 They were recruited by other Muslims in Minnesota, likely in mosques.

Texas: Two men charged with providing support to Islamic terrorists

 Meanwhile, the same Feds at Obama’s orders are allowing terrorists and gangbangers to freely enter the U.S. and receive immediate welfare.  via Feds charge two Texas men with providing support to terrorists | TheHill.

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Two men in Texas have been arrested and charged with providing material support to terrorists, including those in Syria, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Rahatul Ashikim Khan, 23, and Michael Todd Wolfe, 23, were arrested near Austin, Texas on Tuesday by authorities with the Central Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force.

While Khan was arrested at his home, Wolfe was about to board a flight to Europe at the George H.W. Bush Houston Intercontinental Airport.

In a federal criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday, Khan was charged with providing material support to terrorists. From early 2011 through Jan. 2012, “he conspired with others to recruit persons to travel overseas to support terrorist activities including committing violent jihad,” the Justice Department said.

Wolfe has been charged with the same crime after planning to travel to the Middle East “to provide his services to radical groups engaged in armed conflict in Syria.”

The Justice Department did not specify which terrorist group Wolfe was working with. There are a number of radical groups operating in Syria, but Jabhat al-Nusra, a branch of al Qaeda, is the most prominent.

Khan and Wolfe could face up to 15 years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 if convicted.

Both remain in federal custody, and have been scheduled to attend a detention hearing on Friday in Austin.

“Protecting the citizens of this community from the threat of harm both from within the United States and abroad is our highest priority, and we will continue to work with our partners to detect, investigate and prosecute those who seek to advance their ideology through acts of terrorism,” Robert Pitman, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, said in a statement.

The two young men were caught after an investigation conducted by a slew of local, state and federal agencies including the FBI, IRS, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Army Intelligence and multiple police departments.

The news of the arrest comes just a day after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) warned about the rise in people with Western passports going to fight in Iraq and Syria.

 Yes they are both Muslims.  2 Texas Men Arrested on Terror Charges

One of the men, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen named Rahatul Ashikim Khan, allegedly wanted to join al-Shabab, a Somalia-based terror group linked to al Qaeda. For the other, Michael Todd Wolfe from Houston, learning to fight in Syria was allegedly the goal.

According to charging documents, Wolfe’s wife met an undercover FBI agent in August 2013 and told the agent she and her husband wanted to “perform a violent form of jihad” outside of the United States. She said Wolfe “just wants to hop into Syria. He’s just ready to die for his deen [religion]. He’s ready to die for someone, for something,” court documents say.

In June 2011, Khan told the informant that his brain “starts bleeding” when he sees weak “bengalis” who have “no love for jihad” and “no love to shed blood,” authorities allege.

Khan became a U.S. citizen in 2002 and is a full-time student at University of Texas-Austin, which is now on summer recess.

 

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