US law enforcement accused of using entrapment to ensnare ‘terrorists’ (Al-Jazeera)

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“The recent arrests on terrorism-related charges of six young Somali-Americans from Minneapolis and others throughout the United States have prompted renewed questions over the issue of entrapment, and over the degree of real security achieved by disrupting plots that law-enforcement had helped shape.

The six, ages 19 to 21, were charged with conspiracy to aid and support a terrorist organization, and are accused of trying to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also called ISIS).

“These were focused men who were intent on joining a terrorist organization,” Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said at a news conference.

But the case relies partly on a confidential human source (CHS), who had been a part of the group seeking to join ISIL before he began cooperating with the FBI.”

Read the full article here.

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ISIL DEFACEMENTS EXPLOITING WORDPRESS VULNERABILITIES (FBI)

Centcom Hack

“Continuous Web site defacements are being perpetrated by individuals sympathetic to the Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL) a.k.a. Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS). The defacements have affected Web site operations and the communication platforms of news organizations, commercial entities, religious institutions, federal/state/local governments, foreign governments, and a variety of other domestic and international Web sites. Although the defacements demonstrate low-level hacking sophistication, they are disruptive and often costly in terms of lost business revenue and expenditures on technical services to repair infected computer systems.”

Read the full text of alert I-040715a-PSA here.

The FBI Releases Final Report of the 9/11 Review Commission

FBI HRT MOUT Drills, courtesy of WaPo

FBI HRT MOUT Drills, courtesy of WaPo

“Today, the FBI released The FBI: Protecting the Homeland in the 21st Century, the final report of the 9/11 Review Commission. This congressionally mandated review focused on the FBI’s implementation of the recommendations proposed by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission).”

See the full press release here.

U.S. Air Force Veteran Charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL (FBI)

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“WASHINGTON—U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch of the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Assistant Director in Charge Diego G. Rodriguez of the FBI’s New York Field Office and Commissioner William J. Bratton of the New York City Police Department announced that yesterday, a federal grand jury in New York City returned a two-count indictment charging Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, an American citizen and veteran of the U.S. Air Force, with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a foreign terrorist organization, and obstruction and attempted obstruction of justice. The defendant will be arraigned on the indictment tomorrow, March 18, at 11 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York.”

See the full press release here.

THE STING HOW THE FBI CREATED A TERRORIST (The Intercept)

Sami OsmakacOsmakac was the target of an elaborately orchestrated FBI sting that involved a paid informant, as well as FBI agents and support staff working on the setup for more than three months. The FBI provided all of the weapons seen in Osmakac’s martyrdom video. The bureau also gave Osmakac the car bomb he allegedly planned to detonate, and even money for a taxi so he could get to where the FBI needed him to go. Osmakac was a deeply disturbed young man, according to several of the psychiatrists and psychologists who examined him before trial. He became a “terrorist” only after the FBI provided the means, opportunity and final prodding necessary to make him one.”

See details on the sting operation here.

Al Qaeda Operative Convicted for Role in International Terrorism Plot Targeting the United States and Europe (FBI)

“Earlier today, following a two-week trial, Abid Naseer, a Pakistani national who joined al-Qaeda and plotted to commit a terrorist attack in the United Kingdom, was found guilty by a jury in Brooklyn federal court of providing material support to al-Qaeda, conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaeda, and conspiring to use a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence. The evidence at trial established that the defendant and his accomplices came within days of executing a plot to conduct an attack on a busy shopping mall located in the city center of Manchester, United Kingdom in April 2009. The planned attack, which also targeted the New York City subway system and a newspaper office in Copenhagen, Denmark, had been directed by and coordinated with senior al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan. Naseer is the eighth defendant to face charges, and the fourth to be convicted, in Brooklyn federal court related to the al-Qaeda plot, which also involved Adis Medunjanin, Najibullah Zazi, and Zarein Ahmedzay, the three members of the cell that targeted New York City.”

See the full press release here.

The Cyber Action Team: Rapidly Responding to Major Computer Intrusions

Centcom Hack

“It can be a company’s worst nightmare—the discovery that hackers have infiltrated their computer networks and made off with trade secrets, customers’ personal information, and other critical data.

When such intrusions happen—and unfortunately, they occur frequently—the FBI can respond with a range of investigative assets, including the little-known Cyber Action Team (CAT). This rapid deployment group of cyber experts can be on the scene just about anywhere in the world within 48 hours, providing investigative support and helping to answer critical questions that can quickly move a case forward.”

See the full press release here.