Entrapment/Manufactured Charges/Agent Provocateurs Prosecutions

  • Terror trap: it’s easy for the FBI to bust extremist plans they help create

    Source: Houston Press. Jordan Furr and her family were in Bush Intercontinental Airport, just about to board the plane to Toronto when federal agents barreled down the jetway and changed their lives forever. As one agent threw her husband, Michael Wolfe, against the narrow tunnel’s steel wall and slapped on the cuffs, two other agents pulled the couple’s infant son out of Furr’s arms and grabbed the stroller holding the couple’s daughter. As far as Furr knew, she and Wolfe were going to Turkey to help Syrian refugees fleeing President Bashar al-Asaad’s brutal regime. But now, with a quick, sinking feeling, Furr knew what had happened. Her family was never meant to make the flight to Toronto and on to Turkey, where they were planning to stay, indefinitely and rent-free, with their wealthy friend Melissa.

  • Text messages with FBI informant reveal possible entrapment

    Source: Fox 2, Khalil Abu Rayyan was accused of being an ISIS sympathizer, and in a legal complaint the FBI says he told an informant he planned a mass shooting at a Detroit church. But his lawyer says the FBI baited the 21-year-old into making terrorist statements — and that he was simply trying to impress a woman he was falling for. Abu Rayyan promised to make the woman happy in this life and the next – that was just one of many text messages he sent. Turned out, however, that he was talking with someone who worked with the FBI. FOX 2 obtained some of the text messages. The young woman said she was depressed and was dead set on committing jihad, and was trying to convince Abu Rayyan to join her.

  • FBI honeypot ensnares Michigan man

    Source: The Intercept. Khalil Abu Rayyan was a lonely young man in Detroit, eager to find a wife. Jannah Bride claimed she was a 19-year-old Sunni Muslim whose husband was killed in an airstrike in Syria. The two struck up a romantic connection through online communications. Now, Rayyan, a 21-year-old Michigan man, is accused by federal prosecutors of supporting the Islamic State. Documents released Tuesday show, however, that Rayyan was motivated not by religious radicalism but by the desire to impress Bride, who said she wanted to be a martyr. Jannah Bride, not a real name, was in fact an FBI informant hired to communicate with Rayyan.

  • Trial for Florida man in alleged bomb plot off until July

    Source: Associated Press. Trial has been delayed several months for 24-year-old Harlem Suarez, who is accused of conspiring to detonate a bomb in a Florida Keys beach in a plot the FBI says was inspired by the Islamic State terror group. The FBI says Suarez told an informant he wanted to detonate a backpack bomb on a Key West beach. He was arrested in July after accepting an inert device from an FBI employee posing as an Islamic State member. Suarez has pleaded not guilty and is jailed without bail.

  • FBI agent testifies about undercover role in terror probe

    Source: Associated Press. A Los Angeles undercover FBI agent posing as an Islamic State sympathizer testified Wednesday at a terrorism trial that a U.S. Air Force veteran revealed that he expected to be arrested when he returned to the United States from a trip to the Middle East. The agent, identified only by the alias Talib Nassib, testified at the Brooklyn federal court trial of Tairod Pugh. On cross examination, defense lawyer Eric Creizman established that his client never told the agent he had any contact with the Islamic State or any plans to go to Syria. Creizman also had the agent acknowledge that Pugh never said he wanted to wage jihad or become a martyr.

  • U.S. veteran accused of trying to join ISIS uses free-speech defense

    Source: The Wall Street Journal. The government’s case against a U.S. Air Force veteran accused of trying to join Islamic State could hinge on whether jurors believe his interest in the terrorist group amounts to criminal activity or is instead protected by his free-speech rights. Tairod Pugh, a 48-year-old U.S. citizen, may have watched Islamic State propaganda, expressed offensive views and shown interest in the terrorist group, but “none of this is illegal,” his lawyer said to 12 jurors Monday during opening statements. “In this country, we don’t punish a person for his thoughts.”

  • Rasmea Odeh may get new trial, US appeals court rules

    Source: Voice of Detroit. A US court of appeals vacated the conviction of Palestinian American activist Rasmea Odeh on Thursday, returning her case to the district judge for a possible retrial. Her lawyers appealed her conviction on the basis that US District Judge Gershwin Drain had denied Odeh the opportunity to present a complete defense by prohibiting her from speaking about the torture and abuse she endured that led to her signing a false confession in 1969.

  • Judge blasts repeated delays in jailed man’s terrorism trial

    Source: Associated Press. A federal judge says she’s unhappy that a suburban Chicago terrorism suspect is still in jail awaiting trial nearly four years after his arrest in an FBI sting. Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said at a hearing Tuesday that the delays in Adel Daoud’s case are “not justice”. Defense attorney Thomas Durkin says the government sting targeted someone “who wasn’t stable” and that “now he’s destabilized” further.

  • Alleged ISIS supporter indicted on non-terror charges

    Source: The Detroit News. A grand jury in Detroit has indicted a Dearborn Heights man on firearms charges, but did not issue terrorism-related charges. Khalil Abu-Rayyan, who is under FBI investigation for allegedly making threats of terror and martyrdom, was named in a two-count indictment Wednesday that charges him with making a false statement to acquire a firearm and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. The charges are 10-year felonies. Todd Shanker of the Federal Defenders Office said during the hearing his client was trying to impress the female undercover FBI agent who told Abu-Rayyan that she was a 19-year-old Iraqi Sunni Muslim who supported ISIL and was willing to be a martyr.

  • Jihad rehab program to get second participant

    Source: NPR. A 20-year-old Eagan, Minn., man could become the second person to enter the country’s only jihadi rehab program. Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State, and while he awaits sentencing, three sources familiar with the case tell NPR that he is likely to join a defendant named Abdullahi Yusuf in the emerging de-radicalization program in the Twin Cities.