Pre-crime Reports

  • 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.

     
  • FBI alleges Berkeley High graduate, ISIS sympathizer, planned to set fires, plant bombs Berkeleyside

    Pre-crime Reports July 27, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Berkeleyside. A 22-year old graduate of Berkeley High School who sympathized with ISIS planned to kill tens of thousands of people by detonating a car bomb near a San Francisco gay nightclub, placing backpack bombs around UC Berkeley dorms, setting a fire in the Berkeley Hills, and lacing cocaine with strychnine, according to federal officials. Amer Al-Haggagi, who graduated from Berkeley High in 2013, allegedly talked about those plans online with an undercover informant who worked with the FBI, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney S. Waqar Hasib, who detailed the government’s findings at a Dec. 14 closed hearing.

     
  • Feds hoping to cloak terror trial witness

    Source: Boston Herald. Federal prosecutors want to protect the identity of an FBI informant who is prepared to testify in an upcoming Boston terrorism trial, arguing that the defendant in the case — accused of supporting ISIS — has made threats against the source. The informant is expected to testify against David Daoud Wright, formerly of Everett, who is accused of conspiring to provide material support to ISIS, conspiring to commit acts of terrorism and obstruction of justice. U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young said that he was not prepared to make any decisions on the issue because he was “blindsided” by prosecutors.

     
  • Don’t release Uzbek terror suspect pending Denver trial, court says The

    Source: The Denver Post. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a federal judge’s decision to release an Uzbek terror suspect on bond and instead ordered he be detained pending his trial. Jamshid Muhtorov, who has already been held for more than 5 1/2 years, will be detained until his trial in 2018, the appeals court has ruled. The 10th Circuit previously issued a temporary stay of Muhtorov’s release pending a formal review.Senior U.S. District Court Judge John Kane had previously ordered Muhtorov be released on bond with a list of conditions including that he be required to wear an ankle monitor. Muhtorov stands accused of providing material support to the Islamic Jihad Union and is being held without bond at the GEO Aurora Detention Center, 3130 N. Oakland St. in Aurora. Muhtorov had sought his release claiming extraordinary trial delays violate his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial.

     
  • He talked about committing a terrorist attack. He’ll go to prison for 10 years.

    Source: The Washington Post. It is a punishment far harsher than Yusuf Wehelie’s actual crime — possession of firearms by a felon — would garner and the maximum allowed by law. Federal guidelines called for a sentence of about three years, and prosecutors initially asked for a punishment within those parameters. There was audible shock in the courtroom when Lee read his sentence and tears from Wehelie’s large family. Defense attorney Nina Ginsberg argued that there was overwhelming evidence that her client posed no real threat.

     
  • 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.

     
  • U.S. prosecutors seek to halt pretrial release of Uzbek terror suspect

    Source: Reuters. Federal prosecutors appealed against a U.S. judge’s order on Tuesday allowing the release of Jamshid Muhtorov, who has been held for more than five years while awaiting trial on charges of providing support to a suspected Islamist group in his native Uzbekistan. The motion came four days after U.S. District Judge John Kane granted a motion by Muhtorov for his release pending his trial, which is set for early next year. In agreeing to set bond conditions, Judge Kane said that, while Muhtorov’s purported jihadist views are “abhorrent,” he will have already spent six years in prison by the time he goes on trial, about the same amount of time he would likely serve if convicted. He faces a maximum 15 years in prison if convicted.

     
  • 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.