Pre-crime Reports

  • 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.

  • This Virginia teen will spend 11 years in prison for helping ISIS through social media

    Source: The Washington Post. A U.S. district judge sentenced a Virginia teen to more than a decade in prison Friday after he used Twitter to help ISIS supporters hide their financial transactions and would-be foreign fighters looking to travel to Syria. Ali Shukri Amin won’t just have to serve a 136-month sentence after pleading guilty to giving “material support” to ISIS — he’ll also have to let the government monitor his Internet usage for the rest of his life. But the sentence is actually somewhat lighter than what prosecutors had sought, which was 15 years in prison.

  • 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.

  • Florida man, accused of terrorism based on book collection, set free

    Source: The Intercept, The U.S. government had produced “snippets of information from various sources, out of context, to weave together a narrative of terrorist ideation,” a Florida judge said Friday, ordering the release of Marcus Dwayne Robertson, an Orlando-based Islamic scholar who stood accused of supporting terrorism. Robertson, also known as “Abu Taubah,” had been incarcerated since 2011 on charges of tax fraud and illegal gun possession. After his arrest and subsequent conviction on those charges, prosecutors sought to add a terrorism enhancement to his sentence, a sentencing guideline modification that would have sent the Islamic scholar to prison for up to 20 years. Instead, following the judge’s rejection of the enhancement, he was sentenced to time served and ordered released immediately.