| NEWS of the Day - February 17, 2012
|on some issues of interest to the community policing and neighborhood activist across the country
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles from local newspapers and other sources constitutes but a small percentage of the information available to the community policing and neighborhood activist public. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view ...
We present this simply as a convenience to our readership ...
From Los Angeles Times
From the Department of Justice
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab Sentenced to Life in Prison for Attempted Bombing of Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009
WASHINGTON – Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called “underwear bomber,” was sentenced today to life in prison as a result of his guilty plea to all eight counts of a federal indictment charging him for his role in the attempted Christmas Day 2009 bombing of Northwest Airlines flight 253.
The sentence, handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Nancy G. Edmunds in Detroit, was announced by Attorney General Eric Holder; Barbara L. McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan; Andrew G. Arena, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Detroit Field Office; and Brian M. Moskowitz, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Detroit.
Abdulmutallab, 25, of Kaduna, Nigeria, pleaded guilty on Oct. 12, 2011, to conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries; attempted murder within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States; willfully placing a destructive device on an aircraft, which was likely to have endangered the safety of the aircraft; attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction; willfully attempting to destroy and wreck a civil aircraft; and three counts of possession of a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence.
“As this investigation and prosecution have shown, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is a remorseless terrorist who believes it is his duty to kill Americans. For attempting to take the lives of 289 innocent people, he has been appropriately sentenced to serve every day of the rest of his life in prison,” said Attorney General Holder. “Today's sentence once again underscores the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in both incapacitating terrorists and gathering valuable intelligence from them.”
“On behalf of the victims, we are gratified that this al-Qaeda terrorist has been defeated and will spend the rest of his life in prison, where he can never hurt innocent civilians again,” U.S. Attorney McQuade said. “I am very proud of the work of our prosecutors and agents in Detroit. Their work shows that the civilian court system is a valuable mechanism for obtaining intelligence and convicting terrorists with the legal certainty and transparency that instills public confidence in American justice.”
“The case against Abdulmutallab was a combination of the hard work and dedication of FBI personnel as well as multiple federal, state and local agencies. Those individuals who experienced Christmas Day 2009 first hand should be rest assured that justice has been done.” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Arena.
“When it counted most, under pressure and in the heat of the moment, the metro Detroit law enforcement community responded as one and acted decisively,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Moskowitz. “Their collective actions epitomized the concept of ‘one team, one fight' and showed the power of collaboration in the protection of our homeland.”
According to the indictment filed in this case, in August 2009, Abdulmutallab traveled to Yemen for the purpose of becoming involved in violent “jihad” on behalf of al-Qaeda. There, he conspired with other al-Qaeda members to bomb a U.S. aircraft over U.S. soil and received an explosive device for that purpose. Abdulmutallab traveled with the bomb concealed in his underwear from Yemen to Africa and then to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where he boarded Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009. The bomb contained PETN and TATP, two high explosives, and was designed to be detonated with a syringe containing other chemicals.
Abdulmutallab's purpose in taking the bomb on board Flight 253 was to detonate it during flight, causing the plane to crash and killing the 290 passengers and crew members on board. As Flight 253 was on descent into Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the defendant detonated the bomb, which resulted in a fire, but otherwise did not fully explode. Passengers and flight attendants tackled the defendant and extinguished the fire.
This investigation was conducted by the Detroit Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is led by the FBI and includes U.S. Customs and Border Protection, HSI, the Federal Air Marshal Service and other law enforcement agencies. Additional assistance has been provided by the Transportation Security Administration, the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the Wayne County Airport police, as well as international law enforcement partners.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan Tukel, Cathleen M. Corken and Michael C. Martin of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, with assistance from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department's National Security Division.
To view or download the government video exhibit introduced in court during today's sentencing hearing, visit: http://www.justice.gov/usvabdulmutallab-200.html
From the FBI
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Charges Against Former Soldier for Stealing Grenades and Other Weapons from the U.S. Military
U.S. Attorney's Office -- February 16, 2012
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Janice K. Fedarcyk, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”); and Raymond W. Kelly, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced today the unsealing of charges against ANTHONY CIBELLI, a former soldier who served two tours of duty in Iraq, in connection with his theft of two grenades and other weapons that were the property of the United States military. CIBELLI was taken into federal custody this morning, and was presented in Manhattan federal court before United States Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein this afternoon.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “When Anthony Cibelli allegedly stole lethal weaponry from the U.S. military and carried it to his apartment in the Bronx, he both committed a very serious crime and created a significant danger to the community. This should go without saying, but military grade weapons like grenades and rifle ammunition belong on the battlefield, not in an urban center.”
FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk stated: “Cibelli had a small arsenal in his residence. Our armed forces are issued weapons like these to carry out their mission, not to become personal property after their service. Keeping grenades and ammunition is more than reckless behavior, it is a threat to the safety of the city and the country. The FBI's Joint Terrorist Task Force is committed to protecting public safety.”
NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly stated: “This past December NYPD officers executed a search warrant in a Bronx apartment and discovered grenades, firearms, and live ammunition. How the explosives found in the apartment made their way from Iraq to a densely populated Bronx neighborhood is of great concern to us, and to the neighborhood residents. I commend the NYPD officers and FBI agents assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, as well as the Bronx District Attorney's office and the U.S. Attorney's office for their work during this investigation.”
The following allegations are based on the complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
CIBELLI served in the Army until 2010, when he was discharged from active duty. He served two tours of duty in Iraq, in 2006 and 2008. On March 31, 2010, CIBELLI arranged for various items to be transported from Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, to his residence in the Bronx (the “Residence”). On December 23, 2011, law enforcement officers executed a judicially authorized search warrant at the Residence that resulted in the recovery of two grenades on the roof outside of the window of CIBELLI's bedroom and six M-16 30-round magazines. Law enforcement officers also recovered two improvised explosive devices, four firearms, and several rounds of ammunition from the Residence, and observed a number of other items that apparently belonged to the U.S. military.
CIBELLI later admitted to law enforcement officers that he brought the grenades back with him from Iraq, that he panicked when the police arrived at his residence to execute the search warrant, and that he then threw the grenades onto the roof outside the window of his bedroom. CIBELLI told the officers that he transported the grenades and other military items by concealing them in a bag that he placed in a shipping container that was sent to Fort Bragg in North Carolina. CIBELLI retrieved these items at Fort Bragg, and transported them to the Bronx
CIBELLI, 24, a resident of the Bronx, New York, is charged with one count of theft of government property, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and one count of unlicensed transportation of explosives, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (“JTTF”), especially those JTTF members from the FBI New York Field Office and the NYPD, and the Bronx County District Attorney's Office.
This case is being handled by the Office's Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorney John P. Cronan is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.