Tag Archives | FBI

Government Agents ‘Directly Involved’ in Most High-Profile US Terror Plots

Watertown FBI raid - agent entering houseWe’re shocked, just plain shocked, that the FBI and other US law enforcement agencies “targeted American Muslims in abusive counterterrorism ‘sting operations’ based on religious and ethnic identity,” per Human Rights Watch. From The Guardian:

Nearly all of the highest-profile domestic terrorism plots in the United States since 9/11 featured the “direct involvement” of government agents or informants, a new report says.

Some of the controversial “sting” operations “were proposed or led by informants”, bordering on entrapment by law enforcement. Yet the courtroom obstacles to proving entrapment are significant, one of the reasons the stings persist.

The lengthy report, released on Monday by Human Rights Watch, raises questions about the US criminal justice system’s ability to respect civil rights and due process in post-9/11 terrorism cases. It portrays a system that features not just the sting operations but secret evidence, anonymous juries, extensive pretrial detentions and convictions significantly removed from actual plots.

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FBI Caught on Tape Threatening American Muslim Who Won’t Turn Informant

Keep it classy, FBI.

Via Democracy Now:

New details have emerged about the FBI’s efforts to turn Muslim Americans living abroad into government informants. An exposé in Mother Jones magazine chronicles the story of an American named named Naji Mansour who was living in Kenya. After he refused to become an informant, he saw his life, and his family’s life, turned upside down. He was detained, repeatedly interrogated and ultimately forced into exile in Sudan, unable to see his children for years. Mansour began recording his conversations with the FBI. During one call, an agent informs Mansour that he might get “hit by a car.” Mansour’s story is the focus of a new piece in Mother Jones titled “This American Refused to Become an FBI Informant. Then the Government Made His Family’s Life Hell.” We speak with Naji Mansour in Sudan and Nick Baumann, who investigated the story for Mother Jones.

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FBI Monitored Occupy Houston But Failed To Warn Of Sniper Assassination Plot

99percent2Alternative news sites are buzzing today over news that the FBI may have known about an assassination plot against the leaders of Occupy Houston. Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman interviewed Ryan Shapiro:

Transparency activist Ryan Shapiro discusses a growing controversy over the FBI’s monitoring of Occupy Houston in 2011. The case centers on what the FBI knew about an alleged assassination plot against Occupy leaders and why it failed to share this information. The plot was first revealed in a heavily redacted document obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund through a FOIA request. The document mentioned an individual “planned to engage in sniper attacks against protesters in Houston, Texas.” When Shapiro asked for more details, the FBI said it found 17 pages of pertinent records and gave him five of them, with some information redacted. Shapiro sued, alleging the FBI had improperly invoked FOIA exemptions. Last week, Federal District Judge Rosemary Collyer agreed with Shapiro, ruling the FBI had to explain why it withheld the records.

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Shocker! The FBI Cleared Agent Involved In Ibragrim Todashev Shooting

PIC: A US Navy special operator practices his Mop-Jitsu between assignments (PD) - US DOD

PIC: A US Navy special operator practices his Mop-Jitsu between assignments (PD) – US DOD

Hey guys! Looks like everyone can relax: The FBI has cleared the agent who shot and killed Ibragim Todashev, the reputed associate of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. I know that we’ve been waiting on pins and needles for their decision and that it could have gone either way. Thanks to the FBI for the unbiased, level-headed investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing in general, and for their bravery in the line of fire in this totally believable sequence of events that doesn’t in any way sound like they the guy for what sounds like a temper tantrum (and bears no resemblance to several similar situations that I’ve assisted in handling that didn’t end with someone getting their brains blown out). Oh – and you guys, he was a mixed martial arts competitor, and as you and I both know, fighting with mop handles is a huge part of every fighter’s arsenal.… Read the rest

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FBI Working Hard to Deport Friends of Ibragim Todashev, The Man They Killed During the Boston Bombing Investigation

indexDiscrepancies and oddities during the Boston Bombing investigation? Deportation and death? Whodathunkit?

Via TechDirt:

This week’s This American Life is an entire hour devoted to investigating the FBI’s killing of Ibragim Todashev along with a companion piece in Boston Magazine. You probably heard about the basics of the Todashev story. Todashev was a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two brothers implicated in the Boston Marathon bombings (and the one who was killed when law enforcement tried to capture them), who was being interviewed by the FBI and was then shot multiple times and killed — with a whole variety of conflicting stories coming out soon after as to what he did to lead to his death. One of the key stories was that Todashev had just admitted to participating, with Tsarnaev, in a grisly triple homicide outside of Boston a year and half earlier, and then supposedly lunged at the FBI agents (there were a variety of different reports, each claiming he had some kind of weapon, but each time the report differed on what kind of weapon).

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The FBI’s Letter To Martin Luther King Jr. Urging Him To Commit Suicide

The anonymous note ends, “King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.” Via Letters of Note:

In November of 1964, fearful of his connection to the Communist Party through Stanley Levison, the FBI anonymously sent Martin Luther King a threatening letter, along with a cassette that contained the fruits of a 9 month surveillance project — allegedly incriminating audio recordings of King with women in various hotel rooms.

[View the rest at Letters of Note]

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FBI Admits It’s Not Really About Law Enforcement Any More; Ignores Lots Of Crimes To Focus On Creating Fake Terror Plots

Techdirt

Techdirt

Mike Masnick noticed that the declared primary role of the FBI has changed and details his findings at Techdirt:

A couple years ago, it was revealed that the FBI noted in one of its “counterterrorism training manuals” that FBI agents could “bend or suspend the law and impinge upon the freedoms of others,” which seemed kind of odd for a government agency who claimed its “primary function” was “law enforcement.” You’d think that playing by the rules would be kind of important. However, as John Hudson at Foreign Policy has noted, at some point last summer, the FBI quietly changed its fact sheet, so that it no longer says that “law enforcement” is its primary function, replacing it with “national security.”

Of course, I thought we already had a “national security” agency — known as the “National Security Agency.” Of course, while this may seem like a minor change, as the article notes, it is the reality behind the scenes.

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Revealed: The Burglars Who Beat J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI

Hoover-JEdgar-LOCIt must have been incredibly difficult to pull off this raid on the FBI and never have your secret leak, least of all to the FBI and it’s then omnipotent boss J. Edgar Hoover. The New York Times profiles the gang who pulled it off:

The perfect crime is far easier to pull off when nobody is watching.

So on a night nearly 43 years ago, while Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier bludgeoned each other over 15 rounds in a televised title bout viewed by millions around the world, burglars took a lock pick and a crowbar and broke into a Federal Bureau of Investigation office in a suburb of Philadelphia, making off with nearly every document inside.

They were never caught, and the stolen documents that they mailed anonymously to newspaper reporters were the first trickle of what would become a flood of revelations about extensive spying and dirty-tricks operations by the F.B.I.

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Missing Ex-FBI Agent Was CIA Spy On Unauthorized Mission In Iran

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

For those of you staying current with hit TV series Homeland, a CIA spy caught while on an unofficial mission in Iran sounds awfully familiar. AP reports that there is in fact a real life CIA agent – Robert Levinson – who is the fall guy in exactly the type of scandal that is at the heart of Homeland’s current plot:

An American who vanished nearly seven years ago in Iran was working for the CIA on an unapproved intelligence-gathering mission that, when it came to light inside the government, produced one of the most serious scandals in the recent history of the CIA — but all in secret, an Associated Press investigation found.

The CIA paid Robert Levinson’s family $2.5 million to head off a revealing lawsuit. Three veteran analysts were forced out of the agency and seven others were disciplined.

The U.S. publicly has described Levinson as a private citizen.

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FBI Spied On Sartre And Camus In Effort To Unravel Subversive Conspiracy Behind Existentialism

sartre_jpThe New York Times reports that beginning in 1945, the FBI began spying on the French philosophers, fearing that their ideas on being and nothingness were part of a plot against the United States:

[Sartre and Camus]’s lectures at Columbia University were well attended by students and faculty members — and by agents from J. Edgar Hoover’s F.B.I.

Yet Sartre, on his visit, was actually invited to the Pentagon; Camus, in contrast, “was stopped at immigration…Hoover sent out a ‘stop letter’ to all U.S. customs agents saying this man should be detained,” Mr. Martin said. Eventually, Camus was allowed to proceed to New York, where his novel “L’Étranger” (“The Stranger”) had just been published in English.

“Hoover thought there must be some kind of conspiracy between communists, blacks, poets and French philosophers. He was hoping for some kind of evidence of conspiracy,” he said.

The F.B.I. was baffled by Sartre. “These agents were trying to work out what the hell existentialism was all about,” said Mr.

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