Pre-crime Reports

  • Judge in infamous “sleeper cell” case agrees to hear new evidence that could help convicted terrorist

    Pre-crime Reports June 12, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. Lawyers for Hamid Hayat, a 34-year-old Pakistani-American convicted after one of the first post-9/11 terrorism investigations by the FBI, will be able to present evidence to support his claim that he is entitled to a new trial because his lawyer failed her client. The case was the subject of a November 2016 series in The Intercept that uncovered new evidence in the case, including doubts about the credibility of the government’s undercover informant and expert testimony about the terrorist training camp Hayat is alleged to have attended.

     
  • What happens when you join the Islamic State — then change your mind

    Pre-crime Reports May 31, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: The Washington Post. As soon as his cab arrived in an Islamic State safe house in December 2015, his lawyers say, Mohamad Khweis realized he had made a huge mistake. The 27-year-old Fairfax County native fled the group three months later and was captured by Kurdish forces in Iraq. Now, as his trial begins this week in federal court in Alexandria, a jury will weigh whether a mistake of that gravity can be forgiven under terrorism laws.

     
  • 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.

     
  • 2nd guilty plea for man who voiced support for Islamic State

    Source: Associated Press. A Detroit man accused of amassing weapons and expressing support for the Islamic State group has pleaded guilty to a gun crime in a separate case. Sebastian Gregerson pleaded guilty Tuesday to using a straw buyer to purchase a gun at a Chantilly, Virginia, gun show in 2014.

     
  • 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.

     
  • 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.