NEWS of the Day - December 5, 2012
on some LACP issues of interest

NEWS of the Day - December 5, 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 ...


New Hampshire

Police, Town to Hold Public Meeting to Address Safety and Security

Bedford officials announce community informational meeting.

by Ryan O'Connor

The town of Bedford and Bedford Police Department are inviting residents to a community meeting to address concerns regarding "public safety and sense of security" following last week's reported home invasion on Proclamation Court

The informational session is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Bedford High School Theatre.

On Monday night, Bedford Police held a meeting with residents in the immediate vicinity of Proclamation Court to address concerns specific to that neighborhood as well as provide general information related to safety and security.

The Thursday meeting is intended to provide an opportunity to reach a greater number of residents seeking information regarding the investigation as well as enable police to convey their message concerning safety and security.

The town of Bedford and Bedford Police Department issued an announcement tonight stating, in part:

... this crime and the subsequent dissemination of information caused Bedford residents to question their safety. Both the physical safety and security of our residents as well as the sense of safety and security are of paramount concern. The Bedford Police Department, in conjunction with supporting agencies, continues to work tirelessly in pursuit of the person(s) responsible for this act. The December 6 community meeting is an effort to assist residents in understanding what has been done, what is being done and what residents themselves can do to help the Police Department improve the overall safety of the community.

Police Chief John Bryfonski is advising citizens that a number of steps can be taken to improve home security, such as engaging and using silent or audible security systems, keeping exterior lights on, locking doors, windows and garage doors; and stopping mail and other deliveries while away. He reminded residents of the Bedford Police Department's vacant property check system, which he recommended using when away for an extended period of time, and he encouraged neighbors to keep an eye on one another's property and consider forming a neighborhood watch as part of Bedford Police Department's Community Policing Program. Finally, he encourages residents to call 911 anytime they see something that appears suspicious, from an unfamiliar car parked on the street in their neighborhood to someone walking at an unusual hour and or in an unusual place.

The community informational meeting will be broadcast live on BCTV, Channel 22, and will be available shortly thereafter through video on-demand at www.bedfordtv.org.



From the FBI

Stopping a Would-Be Terrorist Who was One Chemical Away from Building a Bomb

The 20-year-old Saudi Arabian man living in Lubbock, Texas was intent on waging jihad against Americans—possibly even a former U.S. president—and he was one ingredient away from being able to build a powerful bomb.

But Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari's deadly plans began to unravel when a shipping company's suspicions were raised—illustrating once again how the FBI relies on private industry and the general public in the fight against terror.

In early February 2011, a Lubbock shipping firm received a package from a North Carolina chemical company containing 10 bottles of phenol intended for Aldawsari. Combined with just two other chemicals, phenol can be used to make a potent explosive. Delivering such poisonous chemicals to an individual's home is not common, so the shipping company contacted the North Carolina firm. Both decided that the phenol should not be delivered and that local law enforcement should be alerted. A Lubbock Police Department officer was called to the scene.

“That officer and his supervisor—because of their relationship with the FBI (see sidebar)—decided that this was something we needed to know about,” said Special Agent Frazier Thompson, who works in our Dallas Division. “Our initial focus was to identify Aldawsari to see if he had a legitimate reason for purchasing phenol.”

In a matter of days, members of our North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force learned that although Aldawsari had once been a chemical engineering student at Texas Tech, he was no longer enrolled there and had no affiliation with the university.

“He was trying to pass himself off as a Texas Tech student doing research on cleaning products,” said Special Agent Mike Orndorff, who worked the investigation. “Those credentials, if legitimate, would have allowed him to buy the phenol.”

Most alarming was that Aldawsari had already purchased the two other chemicals needed to make his bomb, along with test tubes, beakers, and protective gear. Through covert operations, investigators learned he had disassembled clocks and cell phones and stripped the wires off Christmas lights in apparent attempts to fashion timers and initiating devices.

“His apartment bedroom was basically a storage room where he kept his chemicals and equipment,” Thompson said. “He was sleeping in the living room on the couch or the floor.”

The investigation revealed troubling things about Aldawsari, who had come to the U.S. legally in 2008 on a student visa. “Based on evidence from the Internet and his journal entries,” Thompson said, “Aldawsari was radicalized before he ever came to the U.S. It appears he started planning this attack when he was a teenager and sought a scholarship to study specifically in America.”

By this point, surveillance teams were monitoring Aldawsari around the clock. “He was searching online for large targets such as dams and electrical plants,” Thompson said. He also searched for ways to conceal explosives in baby dolls and carriages and even sought the Texas address of former President George W. Bush.

On February 23, 2011, after agents were certain that Aldawsari was working alone, he was arrested and charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. In November, after being convicted by a jury, he was sentenced to life in prison.

“Aldawsari wanted to take out a lot of people,” Thompson said. “It scares me to think what might have happened if we hadn't stopped him.”



Two Most Wanted Terrorists Named Third Man Sought for Questioning

Two individuals—one a United States citizen who allegedly provided support to a foreign terrorist organization, the other wanted for his alleged role in the overseas kidnapping of an American—have been added to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list.

A third man wanted for questioning in connection with providing material support to terrorists has been added to our Seeking Information—Terrorism list.

Most Wanted Terrorists

Omar Shafik Hammami, formerly from Alabama, has reportedly been a senior leader in al Shabaab, an insurgency group in Somalia. Al Shabaab was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department in 2008; it has since repeatedly threatened terrorist actions against America and American interests. Hammami allegedly traveled to Somalia in 2006 and joined al Shabaab's military wing, eventually becoming a leader in the organization. Hammami—who has been indicted in the U.S. on various terrorism charges—is believed to be in Somalia.

Raddulan Sahiron, a native of the Philippines, is wanted for his alleged involvement in the 1993 kidnapping of an American in the Philippines by the Abu Sayyaf Group, designated a foreign terrorist organization in 1997. Sahiron, believed to be the leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group, was indicted on federal hostage-taking charges and may currently be in the area of Patikul Jolo, Sulu, Philippines.

Poster: Shaykh Aminullah

Seeking Information—Terrorism

Shaykh Aminullah is wanted for questioning in connection with providing material support to terrorists…with the aid of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (designated a foreign terrorist organization in 2001). Among other activities, Aminullah allegedly provided assistance, including funding and recruits, to the Al Qaeda network; provided funding and other resources, including explosive vests, to the Taliban; and facilitated the activities of anti-coalition militants operating in Afghanistan by raising money in support of terrorist activities. He is believed to be in the Ganj District of Peshawar, Pakistan.

The FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists List was created in October 2001. We subsequently created the Seeking Information—Terrorism list to publicize our efforts to locate terrorism suspects not yet indicted in the U.S.

In addition to the beneficial aspect of worldwide publicity, individuals named to the Most Wanted Terrorists list must:

  • Have threatened the security of U.S. nationals or U.S. national security;

  • Be considered a dangerous menace to society;

  • Have indicated a willingness to commit or indicate to commit an act to cause death or serious bodily injury; prepare or plan terrorist activity; gather information on potential targets for terrorist activity; or solicit funds or other things of value for terrorist activity;

  • Have provided material support such as currency or financial services or assistance to a terrorist organization but do not necessarily have to belong to that organization;

  • Be subject to lawful detention, either by the U.S. government based on an active federal warrant for a serious felony offense or by any other lawful authority; and

  • Be the subject of a pending FBI investigation.

Individuals on the Seeking Information—Terrorism list are being sought for questioning in connection with terrorist threats against the U.S. Unlike those on the Most Wanted Terrorists list, these individuals have not been indicted by the U.S. government.

If you have information about any of these men, please submit a tip or contact the nearest FBI office abroad or in the U.S.



From the Department of Homeland Security

One Month In: New Jersey's Road to Recovery from Sandy

by Mike Hall, Federal Coordinating Officer for New Jersey

It's hard to believe I have been working alongside our disaster relief team in New Jersey for more than a month. Thirty-five days have passed since Hurricane Sandy first made landfall on the New Jersey coast on October 29 th . This marked one of the most damaging disasters in state history – battering the coastline with greater than 14-foot waves and wind gusts up to 88 mph. Even more unsettling were the 122,000 structures affected across 21 New Jersey counties – many of them damaged or destroyed. I've traveled to these hardest hit neighborhoods, met with the heartbroken of those who lost their homes, talked to children who were out of school, and committed to working with state and local officials to aid in the recovery efforts. As we move past this one month milestone, my primary focus remains on these people – the survivors of the storm.

When families and businesses begin to recover, whole communities begin to recover, and that is how New Jersey will revive and become stronger than ever. More than $730 million in federal disaster recovery money has been disbursed to start rebuilding the Garden State. Today we have more than 2,600 federal specialists working to support recovery in New Jersey, and our work is far from done.

State and federal disaster response teams were standing by with supplies even before Hurricane Sandy hit. As Sandy made its way up the east coast, FEMA and the Department of Defense established Incident Support Bases at Westover, Mass. and Lakehurst, New Jersey to position supplies and other resources close to areas in the hurricane's path. Following the storm, more than 1.7 million meals and 2.6 million snacks have been served to survivors and first responders.

The New Jersey National Guard responded with a force of over 2,200 guardsmen. In addition, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) facilitated the deployment of 440 personnel and equipment from 12 states to support New Jersey. This included law enforcement teams who provided security and emergency medical services, partnering with us and other agencies to carry out critical life-saving and sustaining operations in the immediate aftermath. The National Weather Service was vital in predicting and tracking the storm, the U.S. Coast Guard for search and rescue, the U.S. Public Health Service to support shelter operations, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for emergency generators, among others. Our operations to the response of the storm began aggressive and dynamic, and we will continue this same posture throughout the recovery process.

It was clear one of the first steps was to support power restoration efforts to over 2.6 million homes, businesses and government customers. For this we needed the whole community to come together. The Department of Energy worked closely with the state Board of Public Utilities to bring together more than 23,000 utility professionals from New Jersey who, aided by companies across the country, worked to restore service across the state. The Department of Defense actually airlifted crews and vehicles to New Jersey from the west coast. The weather didn't wait on our behalf to bring cold temperatures or wintry conditions to the region. A week after Sandy, the nor'easter deposited enough wet snow to break more trees, and down more power lines to delay cleanup efforts for another day. This meant that tens of thousands of residents were still waiting for their lights to come back on. By Nov. 14, electricity was restored to every home and business that was in condition to receive electrical power.

Access to fuel presented another challenge, and early on President Obama authorized the release of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel from federal reserves to power government-owned and other vehicles being used in responding to the disaster. We set up six fueling stations for first responders accordingly.

One of the most heartwarming parts of disaster work is the opportunity to work with our voluntary agencies. These groups played a vital role in giving people needed shelter, a major lifeline for families displaced from their homes.

  • At the peak 107 shelters were open with 4,370 people. Within three weeks, all shelters were able to close as displaced residents were assisted with finding lodging.

  • By the time feeding sites were no longer needed, more than 1.7 million meals had been served, plus 2.6 million snacks.

  • More than 31,000 cleanup kits had been issued and more than 23,000 comfort kits. Voluntary organizations served thousands of households doing clean-up and muck-outs and provided goods and services to hundreds of thousands of people – and pets - in need.

  • These Organizations have clocked in over 600,000 recorded hours valued at $12.8 million dollars.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to them for their vital contributions to the Hurricane Sandy survivors.

Alongside our partners we plan to tackle the housing issues to provide options for individuals and families. As survivors cope with the remains of their homes and belongings, we need to continue to help people find a safe place to stay. FEMA employed its Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program to allow nearly 3,000 individuals and families to lodge in 340 hotels during the first four-week period. We met this critical need in the short-term, but in the long-term I want folks back into their homes. Last week Gov. Christie approved New Jersey's five-point long-range housing solution. It calls for the maximized use of existing rental properties; implementing our Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power program to render habitable dwellings that lack only minor fixes; using state and federally-owned real property; using FEMA Direct Housing Assistance in the form of HUD-certified manufactured housing; and rehabilitation of existing structures. Yet I know that these programs are only useful if people know about them.

FEMA's Community Relations specialists and FEMA Corps members, totaling more than 650, met 86,000 people by going door-to-door to share vital information about applying for FEMA Disaster Assistance as well as other assistance programs. More than 46,000 New Jersey families have benefitted from that assistance so far.

In addition, our 33 currently open Disaster Recovery Centers are located at convenient public locations in each county. At these Centers you can get help registering for assistance and get answers to questions – nearly 25,000 have already visited. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Customer Service Representatives are there as well, receiving applications for low-interest disaster loans. SBA Business Recovery Centers are also open at 10 locations throughout New Jersey to assist eligible business owners in applying for disaster business loans for their physical damage loss and disaster-related working capital needs. Under SBA's disaster assistance program, low-interest loans are available to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes. To date, the SBA has approved 321 disaster home and business loans totaling more than $21 million.

At the same time, our Public Assistance division is meeting with local government officials all over the state to receive their requests for money to cover their disaster costs. That can include things from overtime costs all the way to the replacement of public buildings destroyed by the hurricane. We're partnering with the state of New Jersey to anticipate and help meet needs. Moving forward, we have to work together closely as the situation changes and new challenges arise. Not only has FEMA worked with our federal, state, local, and voluntary partners, we've also teamed up with the private sector and academia to get Jersey back on its feet after Sandy. Look for our FEMA Mitigation staff at your local home repair stores for advice about rebuilding stronger, safer and smarter.

To our “Jersey Strong” communities: You have weathered possibly the most devastating storm in your state's history. Yet the feeling of hope and restoration prevails in New Jersey. You inspire me every day with your spirit of unity and pride, your hours donated to voluntary organizations, your donations to local survivors, and above all, your neighborliness. Thank you for all that you do. I am confident that you will recover, you will restore – and that together we will rebuild your communities stronger than ever.

This story isn't over. FEMA remains present to address the challenges that remain and to meet the challenges to come, but it will take the whole community to restore New Jersey.

Together we are cleaning up neighborhoods and getting kids back to school. New Jersey's state and local leaders stand committed to the promise of a recovery for coastal New Jersey.

And I'm standing with you.

Let us look back to remember what has been lost, but not forget what we've done together to restore New Jersey. Stay Jersey Strong.