Pre-crime Reports

  • 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.

     
  • Guilty verdict for aiding in attack on anti-Islam cartoon event in Texas

    Source: The New York Times. An Arizona man was found guilty on Thursday of conspiring to support Islamic terrorists by helping to plan an attack at an exhibit of anti-Islam cartoons in Texas. A jury of four men and eight women returned the verdict against the man, Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, on their third day of deliberations in Federal District Court here, in what the authorities described as the country’s first jury trial involving a violent act committed in the name of the Islamic State. Mr. Kareem, 44, did not accompany the gunmen, but he armed, trained and encouraged them. His lawyer, Daniel D. Maynard, had maintained that the federal government was out to get Mr. Kareem, establishing his role in the attack through his connection to Mr. Simpson and Mr. Soofi, as well as his poor choices. Essentially, Mr. Maynard argued, the case was about misplaced revenge.

     
  • 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.

     
  • American accused of assisting men in Isis attack at anti-Islam event in Texas

    Source: The Guardian. Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem is charged with providing support to Isis for what prosecutors describe as a crucial behind-the-scenes role in a plot by two friends to shoot up a prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in the Dallas area. They were killed in a police shootout outside the event. Kareem’s lawyer, Daniel Maynard, said authorities wrongfully targeted his client because his two friends were killed as they tried to carry out a mass shooting. In his closing arguments, Maynard said federal authorities arrested his client to save face for having been warned beforehand about one of the two gunmen who was later killed outside the 3 May contest. Kareem surprised many in the courtroom by taking the stand in his own defense, testifying that he knew nothing about the plans for the attack. His lawyers believe it is a flimsy case that is nothing but guilt by association with Simpson and Soofi.

     
  • Tairod Pugh, ex-U.S. serviceman, is found guilty of trying to aid ISIS

    Source: The New York Times. A federal jury on Wednesday found a former United States serviceman, Tairod Pugh, guilty of trying to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State, the first such case involving the terrorist group to reach a verdict in a United States courtroom. His lawyers argued that though Mr. Pugh was an ardent ideological supporter of the Islamic State, any thoughts he harbored of joining the group were fantasies. The jury rejected that defense, convicting Mr. Pugh of crimes that carry a potential 35-year sentence. In addition to the terrorism-related charge, he was also found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding, for destroying several flash drives that the government claimed contained evidence against him.

     
  • 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.