Entrapment/Manufactured Charges/Agent Provocateurs Prosecutions

  • Keys bomb plotter Suarez gets life in prison

    Source: Miami Herald. Harlem Suarez, the 25-year-old convicted of buying a bomb and plotting to blow up a Florida Keys beach in allegiance to the Islamic State, deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. Defense attorney Richard Della Fera, who was not court appointed, argued Suarez wouldn’t have had the aptitude nor the nerve to detonate a bomb in public among innocent beach-goers. Instead, Della Fera said, Suarez was swayed by the undercover agents and goaded into following through with his talk of buying a bomb. The only testimony Tuesday came from psychologist Dr. Alejandro Arias, who said in evaluating Suarez he found a naïve, gullible man desperate for approval.

     
  • Who is Mel? US terror case could unmask New York police mole

    Source: SF Gate. For years, a woman named “Mel” mingled with young Muslims in New York, telling them she was a Turkish convert to the faith looking for friends. In reality, she was a cop working for the New York Police Department. Her true identity and the full nature of her work remain a guarded secret, but, thanks partly to social media, she may be unmasked as part of an upcoming trial of two women accused of plotting a homemade bomb attack.

     
  • Trump’s first terror arrest: a broke stoner the FBI threatened at knifepoint

    Source: The Intercept. The Department of Justice proudly announced the first FBI terror arrest of the Trump administration on Tuesday: an elaborate sting operation that snared a 25-year-old Missouri man who had no terrorism contacts besides the two undercover FBI agents who paid him to buy hardware supplies they said was for a bomb — and who at one point pulled a knife on him and threatened his family. Robert Lorenzo Hester of Columbia, Missouri, is now in federal custody on charges of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization. If convicted on the charges, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

     
  • How an American ended up accused of aiding ISIS with gift cards

    Source: The New York Times. The prosecution of Nick Young, the only law enforcement officer among more than 100 Americans who have been accused of helping the Islamic State, offers a revealing look at the F.B.I.’s shadowy cat-and-mouse efforts to identify possible Islamic extremists. He is charged with providing “material support” to the Islamic State, in the form of $245 worth of Google Play gift cards. The authorities say he gave the gift cards to a Muslim friend named Mo — in reality, an undercover informant — to support recruitment for the terrorist group. Mr. Young’s lawyer claims that the F.B.I. entrapped him, with undercover operatives popping in and out of his life for at least six years.

     
  • 13 years for ex-high school student in plot to join al Qaeda

    Source: SFGate. Justin Kaliebe, who as a teenager was seen on surveillance video proclaiming his commitment to jihad was sentenced on Tuesday to 13 years in prison despite his tearful pleas to a judge that he was a disillusioned and immature high school student at the time he plotted to join al Qaeda. Kaliebe was a 16-year-old high school student who had recently converted to Islam from Roman Catholicism when he landed on the radar of undercover agents on the hunt for would-be radicals on suburban Long Island. FBI agents and New York City police officers watched him for 18 months before arresting him four years ago. Kaliebe’s attorney argued he has Asperger’s syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum, and had developmental and psychological issues and a troubled home life.

     
  • Man accused of recruiting for Islamic State faces trial

    Source: Associated Press. U.S. prosecutors are counting on the social media postings of an Arizona man to help persuade a jury that he was a recruiter for Islamic State militants. Ahmed Mohammed el-Gammal, who lived in Avondale, a Phoenix suburb, faces trial on charges that he helped a 24-year-old New Yorker link up with Islamic State fighters in 2015. El-Gammal was arrested in Arizona in August of 2015, and is charged with providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

     
  • Suffolk man charged with trying to support Islamic State wanted shootout with FBI, feds say

    Source: The Virginian-Pilot. Lionel Nelson Williams, 26, was arrested last month and indicted Wednesday on one charge of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years. Assistant Federal Public Defender Keith Kimball argued that the FBI entrapped his client. He said the First Amendment allows Williams to express support for the Islamic State, and he questioned whether his client started talking about martyrdom only because the FBI led him that way.

     
  • Man who admitted to plotting US attacks to be sentenced

    Source: Associated Press. An Ohio man, Munir Abdulkader, faces sentencing after pleading guilty to charges that he plotted attacks against a member of the U.S. military and a police station in support of the Islamic State group. Court documents said 22-year-old Abdulkader pleaded guilty to attempting to kill officers and employees of the United States, providing material support of a foreign terrorist organization and to a firearms count. A former CIA operations officer who has written extensively about terrorist organizations has claimed that Abdulkader was unfairly set up. In a court filing, Marc Sageman argued that the FBI’s use of a confidential source gave Abdulkader means to commit an attack that he wasn’t able to carry out without the government’s involvement.

     
  • Arizona man accused of terrorism changes his plea to guilty

    Source: Associated Press. Mahin Khan, 18, pleaded guilty to terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism and conspiracy to commit misconduct involving weapons, Maricopa County Superior Court officials said. Under a plea deal with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Khan reportedly will serve a prison term of no less than five years and no more than 10 years and three months on the conspiracy to commit terrorism charge. Khan wanted to attack a motor vehicle office in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa and allegedly instructed an undercover FBI employee to start building homemade grenades, authorities said. Khan’s parents later sent a letter to a Tucson TV station stating that their son is autistic and doesn’t have the mental capacity to carry out any of the acts he was accused of planning.

     
  • Held on charges of supporting ISIS, he says the FBI trapped him in its own terror plot

    Source: The Washington Post. The man at the Maryland shooting range introduced himself as a native of Iraq. He tried to be friendly with Nelash Das, telling the young man that he, too, was Muslim, by Das’s account. As weeks went by, they spent more and more time together, going to the shooting range, sharing meals and celebrating the holy holiday of Eid. Eventually, federal officials say, they also plotted to kill a member of the U.S. military. But when law enforcement intervened in suburban Washington on Sept. 30, the day of the planned attack, Das was arrested and held on charges of supporting terrorism, while the man who had befriended him went free. The purported Iraqi from the gun range, according to Das and federal court papers, was a paid confidential source working for the FBI. Nelash Das told The Washington Post he thinks he was unfairly set up and badgered into a scheme by the U.S. government. In a phone call Wednesday, Das said the informant manipulated his emotions, showed him videos sympathetic to the Islamic State and hounded him into taking part in a supposed terrorist plot targeting the military