Critics say bureau is running a sting operation across America, targeting
vulnerable people by luring them into fake terror plots
by Paul Harris
16 November 2011
Fake terror plots, paid informants: the tactics of FBI ‘entrapment’ questioned
Critics say bureau is running a sting operation across America, targeting vulnerable people by luring them into fake terror plots
David Williams did not have an easy life. He moved to Newburgh, a gritty, impoverished town on the banks of the Hudson an hour or so north of New York, at just 10 years old. For a young, black American boy with a father in jail, trouble was everywhere.
Williams also made bad choices. He ended up going to jail for dealing drugs. When he came out in 2007 he tried to go straight, but money was tight and his brother, Lord, needed cash for a liver transplant. Life is hard in Newburgh if you are poor, have a drug rap and need cash quickly.
His aunt, Alicia McWilliams, was honest about the tough streets her nephew was dealing with. “Newburgh is a hard place,” she said. So it was perhaps no surprise that in May, 2009, David Williams was arrested again and hit with a 25-year jail sentence. But it was not for drugs offences. Or any other common crime. Instead Williams and three other struggling local men beset by drug, criminal and mental health issues were convicted of an Islamic terrorist plot to blow up Jewish synagogues and shoot down… Continue reading
By Daniel Tencer
June 19th, 2010
The Pentagon’s spy unit has quietly begun to rebuild a database for tracking potential terrorist threats that was shut down after it emerged that it had been collecting information on American anti-war activists.
The Defense Intelligence Agency filed notice this week that it plans to create a new section called Foreign Intelligence and Counterintelligence Operation Records, whose purpose will be to “document intelligence, counterintelligence, counterterrorism and counternarcotic operations relating to the protection of national security.”
But while the unit’s name refers to “foreign intelligence,” civil liberties advocates and the Pentagon’s own description of the program suggest that Americans will likely be included in the new database.
FICOR replaces a program called Talon, which the DIA created in 2002 under then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as part of the counterterrorism efforts following the 9/11 attacks. It was disbanded in 2007 after it emerged that Talon had retained information on anti-war protesters, including Quakers, even after it was determined they posed no threat to national security.
DIA spokesman Donald Black told Newsweek that the new database would not include the more controversial
elements of the old Talon program. But Jeff Stein at the Washington Post reports that the new program will evidently inherit the old Talon database.
“Why the new depository would want such records while its parent agency no longer has a law enforcement function could not be… Continue reading
By Colin Meyn, In These Times
February 19, 2008
In New York City, the Department of Homeland Security is training New York City firefighters to assist in gathering intelligence information during routine inspections and emergencies.
In November, the Associated Press reported that in New York, Homeland Security was testing a program called the Fire Service Intelligence Enterprise (FSIE) to help identify “material or behavior that may indicate terrorist activities.”
The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and Homeland Security hosted a September 2007 conference in New York City to discuss plans for the new intelligence program. There, chief officers from fire departments in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and 12 other U.S. cities met with NYC fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and officials from the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Surveillance. “Real-time intelligence and information leads to a heightened state of situational awareness,” Scoppetta said at the conference. “And situational awareness is key to saving lives.”
“We are not training firefighters to be intelligence gatherers or special agents,” says Jack Tomarchio, Homeland Security’s deputy undersecretary of intelligence and surveillance. “We are helping to provide crucial information to those people who are often the first responders.”
In 2002, the Bush administration proposed having bus drivers, mail carriers and telephone repair personnel spy on the American public as part of Homeland Security’s “Citizen Corps” initiative. The program, called TIPS (Terrorism Information and Prevention System), never made it past Congress. But because the FSIE is managed at the city level, it has bypassed… Continue reading
by Sibel Edmonds & Bill Weaver
National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
Published in CommonDreams.org
September 5, 2006
A wag once famously said that Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot was a play where nothing happened . . . twice. The two former co-chairmen of the 9-11 commission report, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, have released a new book, “Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9-11 Commission.” This book goes Beckett one better — it is the third act of veneer over substance, self-aggrandizement over serious analysis, and cliché over perspicacity. It is another calculated attempt by the former commissioners to place themselves in the media spotlight, and to overcome the humiliation of their widely criticized and mostly debunked report. It is a vapid and substanceless attempt to claim moral high ground and present the co-chairmen as heroes of honesty. It would be a farce, except that it has no story line, save the aggrandizement of the authors. At least they are consistent in doing nothing and proclaiming that to be a sign of their devotion to the country and the government. Beckett once said that “habit is the ballast that chains the dog to its vomit,” and by this measure the chain restraining Kean and Hamilton is a short one indeed.
9/11 Victims, National Security Whistleblowers, Go to Court to Support Sibel Edmonds; Demand Government Stop Silencing Employees Who Expose Security Risks
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 21, 2005) – An unprecedented group of national security whistleblowers and family members of 9/11 victims’ families will gather Wednesday, January 26th to demand that the government halt its detrimental practice of silencing employees who expose national security blunders.
The event comes as several 9/11 family member advocacy groups and public interest organizations file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Sibel Edmonds’ case against the government.
Edmonds, a former Middle Eastern language specialist hired by the FBI shortly after 9/11, was fired in 2002 after repeatedly reporting serious security breaches and misconduct in the agency’s translation program. She challenged her retaliatory dismissal by filing suit in federal court. Last July, the district court dismissed her case when Attorney General John Ashcroft invoked the so-called state secrets privilege. The ACLU is representing Edmonds in the appeal.
The event will be held at 12 p.m. at the National Press Club. Speakers will include Edmonds, ACLU Associate Legal Director Ann Beeson, FBI whistleblower Mike German, 9/11 family member Bill Doyle and others. Many high level national security whistleblowers and 9/11 family members will be at the event and available for interviews.
The event comes on the heels of last week’s release of an unclassified summary of the Justice Department’s Inspector General report investigating Edmonds’ termination. The report concluded that Edmonds was fired for reporting serious security breaches and misconduct… Continue reading