Bombing suspect was in security files, but not on watch lists
April 24th, 2013
02:47 PM ET

Bombing suspect was in security files, but not on watch lists

By Pam Benson

The name of one Boston Marathon bombing suspect was included in U.S. law enforcement and counterterrorism databases, but he was not on any watch list that would have prevented him from flying or required additional screening when he left or entered the country, according to intelligence and law enforcement officials.

After the FBI was asked by the Russians in early 2011 to investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev's possible connection to jihadist causes, his name was put on a Customs and Border Prevention list known as TECS, used to detect unusual or suspicious travel, so that the FBI and other agencies would know if he traveled outside the United States.

The FBI investigation turned up no terrorism threat or any other derogatory information and the case was closed in June of 2011.

Several months later in the fall of 2011, the CIA received from the Russians information almost identical to what had been given to the FBI, according to a U.S. intelligence official.
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FBI: No credible threats to inauguration activities
Crowds filled the National Mall for the 2009 United States Presidential Inaguration.
January 16th, 2013
05:42 AM ET

FBI: No credible threats to inauguration activities

By Carol Cratty

As law enforcement agencies finalize security preparations for Barack Obama's second inauguration, an FBI official said Tuesday authorities have "no credible corroborated threats to any of the activities."

Debra Evans Smith, the FBI's acting assistant director in charge of its Washington field office, said the FBI will have specialized personnel ready to go to meet any security challenge.

"We will have our SWAT team, pretty much all of our specialty teams will be available and on standby to include (weapons specialists), our dive team, our intelligence team - working around the clock - our hostage negotiators, (and) our special agent bomb technicians will also be available," Smith told reporters.

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Filed under: FBI • Obama • Secret Service
FBI gun background checks hit record highs
Domenic Lether teaches his girlfriend Ngozi Ogbeni how to shoot a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum revolver at a target range at the Los Angeles Gun Club.
January 3rd, 2013
03:02 AM ET

FBI gun background checks hit record highs

By Carol Cratty

The FBI performed nearly 2.8 million background checks on people wanting to buy guns in December, a record month that capped a record year.

The numbers from the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System on Wednesday did not show how many firearms buyers actually took home from federally licensed gun stores. Some purchasers may have bought more than one weapon.

Data is made publicly available, but the FBI but does not generally try to explain increases in the number of checks.

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Filed under: FBI
FBI considered Occupy movement potential threat, documents say
An officer warns people they will be arrested for blocking a sidewalk during the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York.
December 27th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

FBI considered Occupy movement potential threat, documents say

By Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley

The FBI extensively monitored the Occupy Wall Street movement around the United States, using counterterrorism agents and other resources, according to recently released FBI internal documents.

The heavily redacted documents indicate that FBI counterterrorism agents were in close communication with law enforcement agencies, businesses, universities and other organizations across the country about the Occupy Wall Street movement, even before Occupy Wall Street set up a camp in New York's Zuccotti Park in September 2011.

In August 2011 the FBI informed New York Stock Exchange officials of a "planned Anarchist protest titled Occupy Wall Street" scheduled for September 17, 2011. The FBI also notified several New York businesses of the impending protests, according to the document.

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Filed under: FBI • Terrorism
U.S. seeks to interview detained Egyptian jihadist in Benghazi probe
A vehicle sits in flames after the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11.
December 8th, 2012
05:11 PM ET

U.S. seeks to interview detained Egyptian jihadist in Benghazi probe

By Susan Candiotti, Ross Levitt and Mohamed Fadel Fahmy

American authorities are examining whether the leader of a post-revolution terror network in Egypt played a role in the September 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, according to a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the investigation.

Muhamed Jamal Abu Ahmed has been detained by Egyptian authorities; however, the FBI has not yet had access to him, the official said.

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November 30th, 2012
06:00 PM ET

Terror charges for two conspiring bomb plot

By Carol Cratty

Two Florida brothers originally from Pakistan were indicted Friday, accused of plotting to use an explosive device and conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

Raees Alam Qazi, 20, and Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 30, were arrested by FBI agents in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday. The indictment does not provide specific details about what the men may have been targeting, saying only they conspired to use a "weapon of mass destruction" against people and property in the United States.

The indictment alleges that the Qazis engaged in their conspiracy from at least July 2011 until the time of their arrest. There is no mention of whether any explosives or other weapons were seized when the men were arrested.
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Filed under: FBI • Terrorism
FBI seeking tips on Benghazi attacks
November 29th, 2012
03:24 PM ET

FBI seeking tips on Benghazi attacks

By Carol Cratty

The FBI has launched an international publicity effort asking for tips from anyone with knowledge about the September 11th attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi which killed four Americans.

The FBI is using the Internet and the social networking site Facebook to solicit help on the case. Last week the FBI posted "Seeking Information" notices in English, Arabic and French with pictures of the damaged consulate.

The "Seeking Information" posters say the FBI is "asking Libyans and people around the world for additional information related to the attacks." Respondents can text or e-mail the FBI or fill out a form on the FBI's website. The FBI notice says the information can be submitted confidentially. FULL POST

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Filed under: FBI • Libya • Terrorism
November 20th, 2012
05:32 AM ET

California men charged with supporting the Taliban

By Ben Brumfield

Four men from the greater Los Angeles area were allegedly on their way to train with the Taliban in Afghanistan and were plotting to kill American soldiers and bomb government installations, according to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles.

They were charged Monday in a federal court in California, where three of them appeared for the first time. The fourth man was already in Afghanistan, where he was also apprehended, said U.S. attorney André Birotte Jr. and assistant director Bill Lewis from the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office in a joint statement.

Sohiel Omar Kabir, Ralph Deleon, Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales and Arifeen David Gojali face charges of supporting terrorists who conspired to kill, kidnap or harm U.S. officers and other U.S. citizens, as well as bomb public places and government facilities.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force in Riverside, California, arrested Deleon, 23, Santana, 21, and Gojali, 21 on Friday. Kabir, 34, spent over six months in Germany before arriving in Afghanistan in July, and is in custody there, according to the statement.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • FBI • Taliban • Terrorism
Alabama man added to FBI's 'most wanted terrorists' list
In this handout picture taken on May 23, 2012 and made available by IntelCenter, American extremist in Somalia's Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels Omar Hammami poses with the cover of his autobiography on a laptop was released to prove the authenticity of his autobiography in an undisclosed location.
November 14th, 2012
01:08 PM ET

Alabama man added to FBI's 'most wanted terrorists' list

An American from Alabama wanted for aiding Somalia-based terrorists was added to the FBI's "most wanted terrorists" list Wednesday.

Omar Shafik Hammami, 28, was indicted in Alabama five years ago for traveling to Somalia to assist al-Shabaab, which the U.S. has designated a foreign terrorist organization.

Hammani, a U.S. citizen, is believed to be in Somalia now and should be considered armed and dangerous, the FBI said.

The FBI also added Raddulan Sahiron, a Filipino wanted for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping of an American in the Philippines in 1993, to the "most wanted terrorists" list.

Sahiron allegedly worked with Al Harakat al Islamiyyah, also known as the Abu Sayyaf group, to kidnap an American from his home in the Philippines on November 14, 1993, the FBI said.

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Filed under: Al-Shabaab • FBI • Somalia • Terrorism
Man arrested in plot to blow up New York Fed
The Federal Reserve Bank in New York was the apparent target of a terror plot, officials said Wednesday.
October 17th, 2012
04:15 PM ET

Man arrested in plot to blow up New York Fed

Federal authorities running a sting operation arrested a 21-year-old man who they say was planning to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in lower Manhattan, officials said Wednesday.

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis was arrested after an attempt to detonate what he believed was a 1,000-pound bomb, authorities said Wednesday.

He is expected to make an initial court appearance Wednesday at a federal courthouse in Brooklyn.

Authorities say the public was not in danger because the suspect never acquired the necessary material for a bomb.

The "explosives that he allegedly sought and attempted to use had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement and posed no threat to the public," according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch

He faces charges of "attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al Qaeda."

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Filed under: FBI • Terrorism
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