Entrapment/Manufactured Charges/Agent Provocateurs Prosecutions

  • Manufacturing Terror: An FBI informant seduced Eric McDavid Iinto a bomb plot. Then the government lied about it.

    Source: The Intercept. Anna, a paid FBI informant, led Eric McDavid and two other activists in a loose plot to bomb targets in Northern California. At trial, McDavid’s lawyer, Mark Reichel, argued that the FBI had used Anna to lure McDavid into a terrorism conspiracy through the promise of a sexual relationship once the mission was complete. In 2007, McDavid was convicted of conspiring to use fire or explosives to damage corporate and government property, and he was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison. Seven years after his conviction, the government’s deceit was finally revealed. Last November, federal prosecutors admitted they had potentially violated rules of evidence by withholding approximately 2,500 pages of documents from McDavid.

  • How the FBI invents terror plots to catch wannabe jihadis

    Source: BuzzFeed News. The Newburgh Four case is just one of several high-profile prosecutions that critics claim involve entrapment of Muslims who posed little independent threat. In his 2011 book The Terror Factory, journalist Trevor Aaronson accused the FBI of waging a “manufactured” war on terror using some 15,000 paid informants. Among 158 defendants charged after FBI sting operations, Aaronson found that 49 were snared in plots instigated by an agent provocateur controlled by the FBI. Now a new study has quantified signs of entrapment in a database of post-9/11 terror prosecutions. Out of 580 cases, 317 involved an informant or undercover agent, and most of those showed signs of entrapment, the study found. The leader of the study, Jesse Norris, a legal scholar at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia, told BuzzFeed News that he was disturbed at how often questionable tactics were employed. What’s more, Norris and Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk, a sociologist at the University at Buffalo, found that these methods have been deployed more often to target jihadi and left-wing extremists than to ensnare those on the extreme right.

  • NYPD under fire over cop who ‘converted’ to Islam to spy on college students

    Source: RT. Civil rights activists are speaking out about revelations that an undercover detective with the New York Police Department “converted” to Islam in order to spy on Muslim students at Brooklyn College over a four-year period. That work led to the recent arrest of two Queens women allegedly involved in a terrorist bomb plot. The revelations about the NYPD’s undercover operation came from a Justice Department release announcing the arrest of two Queens women, Noelle Velentzas and Asia Siddiqui, on conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction in April 2015. It revealed that a detective from the NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau was heavily involved in bringing the girls to justice and foiling the bomb plot.

  • Clayton activist charged with illegal speech, making terroristic threats

    Source: Atlanta Progressive News. In a case that raises serious concerns about citizens’ free speech rights under the federal and state Constitutions, Latausha Nedd, a Black woman from Clayton County, is charged with criminal solicitation and terroristic threats for talking about killing White people in videos she posted online.The charges seem disproportionate, considering that White supremacist Dylann Roof was not charged with terrorism for actually killing nine Black people in a June 17, 2015 shooting at a Charleston, South Carolina church.The charges Nedd is facing could potentially result in a sentence of five to ten years in prison, or a 50,000 dollar fine, or both, in Georgia.

  • Killing of Detroit Imam in 2009 described as “nothing less than a cover-up”

    Source: The Intercept. On October 28, 2009, dozens of heavily armed FBI agents swarmed a warehouse in Dearborn, Michigan, to execute an arrest warrant against Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, and several other men, who had been accused of fencing stolen merchandise. What exactly happened next remains in dispute, but the raid resulted in Abdullah being shot more than 20 times and dying on the scene. An FBI press release issued later that day said that Abdullah, an imam at a mosque on Detroit’s West Side, “did not surrender and fired [a] weapon. An exchange of gun fire followed and Abdullah was killed.” This version of events has been fiercely contested by Abdullah’s lawyers and family, as well as an eyewitness to the shooting. Now, representatives of Abdullah’s estate are attempting to take his case to the Supreme Court, arguing that he was unlawfully killed during the 2009 encounter, and that the FBI and local law enforcement staged a cover-up.

  • Attorneys: FBI paid $41K to ISIS terror case informant ‘Rover’

    Source: MPR News. Attorneys for the six men accused of trying to flee the Twin Cities to join the terrorist group ISIS are demanding federal prosecutors identify an informant who played a key role in cracking the case. The FBI paid an informant who went by the name “Rover” and was identified in court documents as CHS. CHS was paid more than $41,000 from January 2014 to May 2015, according to documents filed Thursday in U.S. District Court by Minneapolis-based attorney Andrew Birrell. Attorneys for Hamza Ahmed, Adnan Farah, Abdurahman Daud, Zacharia Abdurahman, Hanad Musse and Guled Omar, question the informant’s credibility. They say investigators knew CHS lied about his criminal history and recently admitted to the FBI that before becoming an informant, CHS was part of a conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

  • Federal Judge takes nuanced approach in US terrorism cases

    Source: Associated Press. Federal judges in Chicago, New York and other U.S. cities typically take a hardline approach to terrorism suspects, locking them up after hearing from prosecutors that these men and women have embraced violent ideologies and are a threat to national security. But U.S. District Judge Michael Davis — who’s handled all of the recent terrorism cases in Minnesota, where a large Somali community has been a target for recruits for the Islamic State group and al-Shabab — takes a nuanced approach. He’s considering pretrial release for some, asking attorneys and the community to create plans that will keep the public safe and steer the young men in a positive direction. As dozens of similar cases proceed nationwide, Davis’ actions could become a model for other courts, or could prove disastrous if he takes a risk on the wrong person.

  • FBI’s Key West counterterrorism sting target “a little slow”

    Source: The Intercept. The U.S. government alleges that 23-year-old Cuban-American Harlem Suarez conspired with an FBI informant and undercover agents to bomb a stretch of beach in Key West. The FBI affidavit supporting the criminal complaint portrays Suarez as a bumbler who lived with his parents — not an uncommon description for targets of FBI counterterrorism stings. ISuarez is the latest man to be arrested as part of an increased push to nab Islamic State sympathizers in FBI counterterrorism stings. These stings, like the ones over the previous decade that targeted so-called lone wolf Qaeda sympathizers, are catching people of questionable capacity who may not even be in contact with the Islamic State. Some of these recent targets have been described as mentally ill.

  • Double agent: An FBI informant makes a new career as a defense expert

    Source: The Intercept. Not long after the U.S. Department of Justice announced terrorism charges in February against a group of Brooklyn men who allegedly plotted to join the Islamic State in Syria, a defense lawyer for one of the men received an unusual phone call. It was from Craig Monteilh, a former FBI informant who is positioning himself as a for-hire expert witness and defense consultant. Monteilh offered a cocksure proposition — he could help derail the government’s case, which relied on an FBI informant to help facilitate the alleged plot. In fact, Monteilh volunteered, he’d already helped to undermine one counterterrorism prosecution. He could do it again, he promised.

  • Terror suspect says US used jail informants improperly

    Source: Associated Press. A Kenyan man accused of supporting terrorists around the world claims in new court documents that jailhouse informants were improperly used as U.S. government agents to gather evidence against him. The FBI used as many as five informants to gather what may be incriminating evidence against Mohamed Said and obtain the defense’s trial strategy, attorney Silvia Pinera-Vazquez said in court documents. She also said attempts were made by some informants to persuade Said to seek a different lawyer who might cut a deal for him to plead guilty rather than go to trial. The motion asks a judge to suppress any evidence from the informants, contending such actions would violate Said’s constitutional rights to effective legal counsel.