Entrapment/Manufactured Charges/Agent Provocateurs Prosecutions

  • The Unlikely Jihadi

    Source: The Intercept. The FBI Pressured a Lonely Young Man Into a Bomb Plot. He Tried to Back Out. Now He’s Serving Life in Prison.

  • Conviction upheld in Tampa terror plot

    Source: Fox News (8/18): Conviction upheld in Tampa terror plot
    A federal appeals court Friday upheld the conviction and 40-year prison sentence of a man convicted in a plot to carry out terror attacks in the Tampa Bay area. Along with supplying the car bomb, the undercover agent also provided non-functional grenades, an AK-47 automatic rifle and a suicide vest. The appeal focused, in part, on whether Osmakac had been improperly denied access to materials related to the FBI surveillance. Prosecutors did not provide some FISA materials to Osmakac’s attorney because the documents contained classified information, Friday’s ruling said.

  • Suspect in terrorism sting was ‘set up’ by FBI informant accused of fraud in Palm Beach County, defense says

    Source: Sun Sentinal. Charges against a Palm Beach County man arrested in a terrorism sting last year should be thrown out because of “outrageous conduct” by the FBI and federal prosecutors, the defense team says. Gregory Hubbard, 53, a former U.S. Marine and sculptor from West Palm Beach, has been locked up for a little more than a year on allegations that carry a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison. He has pleaded not guilty to charges he tried to help Islamic State terrorists and tried to go fight with them in Syria. The defense team alleges Hubbard was “set up” by at least one informant who worked undercover for the FBI and that the prosecution team was “not only aware but complicit” in the informant’s “vendetta.” The informant came up with the entire plot which he “masterminded with the FBI,” the attorneys wrote.

  • Lawyer for U.S. Army sergeant accused of terrorism suggests entrapment

    Source: Reuters. The lawyer for a U.S. Army sergeant charged in Hawaii with trying to provide material support to Islamic State extremists said on Thursday his client suffers from mental illness that FBI agents exploited in a “sting” operation leading to his arrest. Questions about Ikaika Erik Kang’s state of mind and the possibility of entrapment were raised by defense lawyer Birney Bervar in remarks to reporters after his client was ordered to remain in jail without bond.

  • Coming soon: A rare look at how terrorism cases are made

    Source: Village Voice. In the spring of 2015, two Queens women were arrested for an alleged ISIS-terror plot to build a homemade bomb. According to the government, the attack was thwarted by an undercover detective who went by the name “Mel.” In preliminary hearings, the defense has argued that Mel actually induced the women to engage in behavior they never would have otherwise. According to a recent court ruling, if the case goes to trial, not only will the jury and the public get to hear Mel’s side of the story – they may also hear from Muslim women she has spied on in the past. It’s also a case that may allow the public the unusual opportunity to scrutinize how undercover operatives conduct terrorism investigations, and if their tactics adhere to the letter and the spirit of the law. Attorneys for the defendants – Asia Siddiqui, 31, and Noelle Velentzas, 28, both American citizens – hope they may be able to gather proof that their clients were entrapped.

  • Federal judges reject bid for appeal in Ohio terror plot

    Source: Associated Press. A federal appellate panel has dismissed an Ohio man’s bid to appeal his 30-year prison sentence for plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol. The three Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges ruled recently that 22-year-old Christopher Cornell had waived his broad appeal rights when he pleaded guilty last year to three charges including attempted murder of U.S. officials and employees in support of the Islamic State group.

  • Islamic State defendant to remain in jail after watching documentary

    Source: Associated Press. A young man convicted of trying to join the Islamic State group will remain in custody until a judge decides whether he violated probation by watching a documentary on terrorism. Abdullahi Yusuf is one of nine men from Minnesota who were convicted and sentenced last year for trying to join the militant group in Syria.

  • Man arrested, accused of trying to fight for lslamic State

    Source: USA Today. Laith Waleed Alebbini, 26, of Dayton, Ohio, was arrested Wednesday at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Dayton, states he was traveling to Syria via a flight to Turkey or Jordan to join Islamic State fighters against Syrian leadership. Alebbini has been charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization. The FBI said it paid “confidential human source” $3,500 in this case. Agents said they previously had paid this person $15,000 during other cases. “The (source) hopes to receive immigration-related benefits for his/her cooperation,” the unidentified FBI agents stated in an affidavit.

  • Minneapolis woman gets probation in terrorism case — at prosecution’s urging

    Source: Associated Press. A Minneapolis woman who sent money to the militant group al-Shabab in Somalia was sentenced to five years’ probation on Wednesday after she cooperated with prosecutors, who said the light sentence would send a message to community members who shunned the woman yet supported other defendants who remained defiant. Amina Mohamud Esse, 43, pleaded guilty in 2014 to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. She faced up to 15 years in prison, but prosecutors sought probation because she provided substantial assistance to the government.

  • 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.