1. "White" Al Qaeda: Although not yet successful, the "White Al Qaeda" myth was first introduced back in 2008. This was the first major attempt by the U.S. government and the mainstream media to link white people with alleged Islamic terrorists.
2. Joe Stack Kamikaze Attack: The alleged airplane attack by white American Joe Stack on the IRS building in Austin, Texas, again raised the issue of the "white" terrorist. The fact that the attack was an airplane being flown into a building, just like 9/11, made the connection between the alleged Islamic hijackers and the new white American terrorists.
3. Jihad Jane: "Jihad Jane" was the second major attempt to link white people with alleged Islamic terrorists. With the alleged Joe Stack attack only a month earlier, the "Jihad Jane" narrative seemed to stick around a bit longer and was again recycled in 2011 when a Pakistani American woman was accused of conspiring to attack an American school.
4. Al Qaeda Name Change: Osama bin Laden is alleged to have stated in his final writings that Al-Qaeda was suffering from a marketing problem and that a name change might change Al Qaeda's appeal to the Arab world. Right on cue, the U.S. government and mainstream media began stating that Al Qaeda is going to a new and upgraded version now dubbed "Al Qaeda 2.0".
5. Al Qaeda 2.0: With names such as "White Al Qaeda" and "Jihad Jane" not quite doing the job, Al Qaeda has apparently decided to go with the tried and true "2.0" name upgrade. After all, Americans are very electronically savvy and understand exactly what a "2.0" upgrade means: Al Qaeda will now be faster, stronger, better, and more deadly than Osama bin Laden's AL Qaeda 1.0.
6. DHS Changes Counter-Terror Strategy: Since the nuclear terror false-flag fail at the Super Bowl on February 6, 2011, when the mainstream media claimed that Al Qaeda now had a nuclear weapon, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has radically changed their counter-terrorism strategy and focus onto the American public, namely the U.S. military.
7. U.S. Military Heists: A number of recent military computers, weapons and ammunition heists from U.S. military bases are unprecedented and may indicate that large scale false-flag attacks from the "thieves2 may be imminent. These thefts coincide with the large number of U.S. military personnel accused of hanus crimes which could lead to U.S. military men and women being scapegoated in future terror attacks.
8. Demonization of the U.S. Military: Recent news articles feature Marines, Army, Navy, and National Guard personnel who are wanted for horrific crimes. These types of news articles, whether true or not, will likely continue to increase over the next few years until U.S. military veterans are ultimately scapegoated in the assassination of Brack Obama or for future terror attacks.
OBAMACSI.COM: Although not yet successful, the "White Al Qaeda" myth was first introduced back in 2008. This was the first major attempt by the U.S. government and the mainstream media to link white people with alleged Islamic terrorists.
Title: Al-Qaeda's White Army Of Terror
Date: January 13, 2008
Abstract: Hundreds of British non-Muslims have been recruited by al-Qaeda to wage war against the West, senior security sources warned last night. As many as 1,500 white Britons are believed to have converted to Islam for the purpose of funding, planning and carrying out surprise terror attacks inside the UK, according to one MI5 source.
Security experts say the growing secret army of white terrorists poses a particularly serious threat as they are far less likely to be detected than members of the Asian community.
Since the 7/7 and 21/7 London bombings, police and intelligence services have had considerable success in identifying, disrupting and stopping extremist plots.
As a result, groups such as al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen have been forced to change tack. Converting white non-Muslims has been one response.
The trend is well established in the United States. American-born Adam Gadahn is one of the FBI's top 10 most-wanted terrorists after converting to Islam and rising through al-Qaeda's ranks to become a prominent spokesman.
One British security source last night told Scotland on Sunday: "There could be anything up to 1,500 converts to the fundamentalist cause across Britain. They pose a real potential danger to our domestic security because, obviously, these people blend in and do not raise any flags.
"The exact figure of those who have converted to Islam and turned to terror is not precisely known. Not everyone who converts becomes radicalised and it may be that just two-fifths go down that path, but it remains a significant and dangerous problem."
Carlile said he was not aware of specific numbers, but confirmed to Scotland on Sunday that Whitehall was aware of the new threat and was actively tackling it. He said: "These people are an issue and are potentially very dangerous. There have been cases of non-Muslims converting before, and of these, Richard Reid, the so-called Shoebomber, is the most obvious example.
"They are more difficult to detect and the security services are right to place some focus on this issue."
Carlile said the majority of converts were targeted when they were in prison: "These (converts] are outside the standard type of profile which most police forces would have of a terrorist, which is male, young, and of Middle Eastern or Asian appearance. That is why they are so potentially dangerous."
Carlile added: "The Home Office has a lot of money, millions of pounds, which is being put forward for communities and fighting radicalisation. There is no question how tackling this issue is best achieved: it is achieved at a community level."
Security experts say radical Muslims in prison have become adept at identifying potential new recruits to their cause. Those in custody for the first time, the young and the lonely are particularly susceptible.
Initially, the approach is made to comfort, console and support, with very little reference, if any, to religion.
However, after several 'chats', the conversation will be turned towards the subject and, gradually, over a period of weeks or months, it is possible to complete the conversion.
Robert Leiken, director of the Immigration and National Security Programme and a specialist on European Muslims based at the Nixon Centre in Washington DC, said: "To me, the figure of 1,500 seems reasonable as many, perhaps less than a third, will actually go on to become radicals.
"New religious recruits always tend to be more zealous than those who have grown up with that specific religion."
Edwin Bakker, a Dutch-based security specialist, has studied at length the issue of radical conversions. He said: "The question is relevant and timely. Newcomers to Islam are extra-sensitive to perceived discrimination of Muslims and Islam-bashing.
"They feel they have to defend Islam – one of the essential concepts of Jihad – and they feel they have to prove themselves as newcomers."
But one of Scotland's leading Muslims disputed the claims of radicalisation, saying Islam's strict moral code made it unattractive to many westerners.
Bashir Maan added: "I do not know of any Islamist terror group in Scotland and, considering as a Muslim a person must pray five times daily, abstain from drinking (and] sex outside marriage, adhere to strict dietary and many other rules, it is impossible to convert to Islam a young person brought up in this very liberal society.
"I agree that the security services must be vigilant and keep their eye on everybody, but I think in this case they seem to be over-reacting" (Scottsman, 2008).
Title: Fox Hypes Terror Of 'White Al Qaeda Army'
Date: January 14, 2008
Source: Raw Story
"Have you heard about this new thing going on in Great Britain," asked host Gretchen Carlson, "[where] Al Qaeda [is] rooting up all these Britons, essentially, 1400 strong, apparently, in a new, what's being called a new 'White al Qaeda Army.' Tougher to detect, potentially ..." "Yeah, because they're not Muslims," co-host Steve Doocy commented. "They look just like regular British people." "This is what we've always talked about,"
Carlson went on, "That if you have people in one country transplanting to another religion and they maybe aren't exactly what you think they are, that can be more difficult to fight. "Yeah. They're converting them in prison, to, uh..." "To kill us!" "Yeah, great," said co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy in turn.
Brian Kilmeade then brought on Mike Baker, a former CIA agent and professional counter-terrorism expert. "Mike Baker's here -- this word that al Qaeda's building up a white terror army of up to 1500 operatives in the UK:" said Kilmeade. "How soon could they strike us here, and would they be trying to do something similar using convicted criminals?" Baker told Kilmeade that al Qaeda looks for operatives who can fit in, just as the CIA does, saying, "If they can recruit a Scandinavian, that's the holy grail for them."
He added, "They need people who can move around freely and do their bidding," apparently implying that blue-eyed blondes are the people who blend most seamlessly into Western society. However, Baker dismissed Kilmeade's suggestion that al Qaeda would be particularly interested in recruiting in US prisons. "To go into a prison and try to recruit individuals -- that person's already tainted. What they really need, they need people who haven't run afoul of law enforcement in the past. ... Their problems are extreme in trying to recruit someone who can go out there and carry out their business” (Raw Story, 2008).
Title: Fox News Reporting: The American Terrorist
Date: May 28, 2010
Source: Fox News
Abstract: This Fox News investigative special goes deep inside the mysterious and deadly world of American born terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki. Fox News correspondents Catherine Herridge and Greg Palkot follow Awlaki's twisted and destructive trail from suburban communities in the U.S. to his hideout in Yemen.
New evidence emerging in the details about the Times Square bomber, the failed attempt to blow up a plane on Christmas Day and the massacre at Fort Hood has put for the first time a U.S. citizen on the CIA's "capture or kill" list.
Evidence includes documents that relate to the investigation of Anwar Al-Awlaki, the Muslim cleric who has been associated with 9/11 hijackers, Major Nidal Hasan, the alleged-Fort Hood shooter, and Umar Abdulmutallab, the so-called Christmas Day bomber. They include declassified memoranda for the record from the 9/11 Commission, the warrant for Awlaki's arrest from June 2002 as well as the motion to dismiss the warrant from October 2002.
Also included is the Justice Department's statement to Fox News regarding our inquiry into the decision to rescind Awlaki's arrest warrant. Exclusive interviews with former and current government agents raise several questions: Was Awlaki part of a terrorist cell within this country that attacked America on 9/11?
And following the attacks, was there an attempt by our government to turn Awlaki into an informant or track him for intelligence? Following last week's original airing of "Fox News Reporting: The American Terrorist," Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., wrote a letter to FBI direct Robert Mueller where he raised "troubling" issues about the handling of the investigation into terror suspect Anwar Awlaki and called to bring back the 9/11 Commission to review purported flaws in national security.
You will see for yourself how this American terrorist is using our system against us (Fox News, 2010).
2. JOE STACK KAMIKAZE ATTACK
OBAMACSI.COM: The alleged airplane attack by white American Joe Stack on the IRS building in Austin, Texas, again raised the issue of the "white" terrorist. The fact that the attack was an airplane being flown into a building, just like 9/11, made the connection between the alleged Islamic hijackers and the new white American terrorists.
Title: Joseph Stack and Right-Wing Terror: Isolated Incidents or Worrying Trend?
Date: February 18, 2010
Abstract: Thursday's antitax domestic terror attack on an IRS building in Austin, Texas, may reopen a debate that's been quiet since last summer: are violent incidents against the federal government on the rise?
The notion of far-right terror was much discussed following the June incident at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., in which white supremacist James von Brunn killed a security guard and injured two other people. That followed on the brutal February murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas, by a militant abortion foe.
Meanwhile, there had been a spike in threats against Barack Obama since his inauguration. Suddenly much of the media was in an uproar about a new domestic terror threat, with Fox News' Shep Smith offering a stunningly frank and heartfelt statement of concern live on the air. And then things quieted down.Joseph Stack's suicide note, a lengthy screed posted online—it's since been removed but can be viewed here—shows signs of both right- and left-wing extremism. The tax protest movement has historically been linked to right-wing groups like the Sovereign Citizen movement, white supremacist groups, and militias. Stack mentions meetings with groups that meet that rubric, and his antigovernment rhetoric fits that mold too.
But he also takes traditionally left-wing swipes at corporations for keeping the little guy down, and signs off, "The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed."
Groups that track extreme right-wing violence say they see a definitive spike in activity. "This attack comes in the context of an absolute explosion in militias and the larger antigovernment 'patriot' movements in the last 12 to 18 months," says Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
"This has been driven initially by nonwhite immigration for the last 10 years, which is reflected in the person of Barack Obama, which represents a very real and irreversible demographic change. Second, the economy has played a role. Unemployment has stayed high. There's a huge amount of anger about bonuses for bankers, at the same time that most middle-class and working-class Americans don't see things getting better, and in fact getting worse."
In a report tracing far-right terror between the Oklahoma City bombings and fall 2009, SPLC found six cases of attacks targeting the Internal Revenue Service. More important,12 of the 75 overall incidents documented have happened since Obama's election, or else happened prior but involved Obama (as a motive or a target) anyway. Potok says the level of violence is reaching levels last seen during the 1990s, when a wave of militias arose—especially in states like Montana and Michigan—of people who believed they needed to protect themselves from the government.
But that activity was fed by fears of large government, and especially confrontations involving the government at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, and in Ruby Ridge, Idaho. Although left-wing administrations are a common denominator, these groups didn't like the Bush administration's record on civil liberties, either. It's just that after the movement ran out of gas in the 1990s, the economic crisis provided a new burst of energy.
Mark Pitcavage, the director of investigative research at the Anti-Defamation League, also says that Obama's election has "energized" the extreme right. In strict numbers of members, he says the biggest increases are in antigovernment groups, while white-supremacist groups, though more active, have seen less growth. Pitcavage, who has recently begun tracking the number of domestic terror incidents, says there was a marked increase in such attacks in 2009—33 attacks (a figure that includes Islamist attacks at Fort Hood and in Little Rock, Ark., as well as a suspected left-wing attack in Seattle) as compared with 13 in 2008, 21 in 2007, and 14 in 2006.
But he warns against assuming that the difference between the Obama and Bush administrations is too vast. "In terms of violent incidents, they did not stop [when Bush was in office]," he says, adding that the number of hate-related incidents tend to be undercounted—the motives often aren't clear, they don't become clear until later. "A lot don't get covered beyond local and regional news" (Newsweek, 2010).
3. JIHAD JANE
OBAMACSI.COM: "Jihad Jane" was the second major attempt to link white people with alleged Islamic terrorists. With the alleged Joe Stack attack only a month earlier, the "Jihad Jane" narrative seemed to stick around a bit longer and was again recycled in 2011 when a Pakistani American woman was accused of conspiring to attack an American school.
Date: March 11, 2010
Source: BBC News
Abstract: The blonde middle-aged woman apparently raised no concerns with her boyfriend or her neighbours on Main Street, Pennsburg, near Philadelphia.
But online she had allegedly agreed to kill in the name of holy war, believing her European looks would allow her to blend in among Swedes as she homed in on her target.
Colleen LaRose, according to a US court indictment, posted messages online under the name Jihad Jane, expressing her desire to participate in jihad, or holy war.
Arrested in October 2009, Ms LaRose had exchanged emails over 15 months to recruit fighters for "violent jihad".
Her activities apparently came as a surprise to her boyfriend Kurt Gorman, whom she met in 2005.
Mr Gorman told Associated Press: "She was a good-hearted person. She pretty much stayed around the house."
She looked after his father until his death in August 2009, but left their residence a day after the father's funeral, taking Mr Gorman's passport with her, allegedly to give to a contact in South Asia she had agreed to marry.
"I came home and she was gone. It doesn't make any sense," he said.
Having left the US in August, by the end of September, she had allegedly written online that it would be "an honour & great pleasure to die or kill for" her intended spouse, the indictment said.
"Only death will stop me here that I am so close to the target!" she is accused of writing.
A Department of Justice statement said Ms LaRose and five others "recruited men on the internet to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe, and recruited women on the internet who had passports and the ability to travel to and around Europe in support of violent jihad".
Ms LaRose, a US citizen born in 1963, is charged with "conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, making false statements to a government official and attempted identity theft."
She was apparently approached by others after she posted a video on YouTube in June 2008, saying she was "desperate to do something somehow to help" ease the suffering of Muslims, the indictment said.
Web images show her wearing a Muslim headscarf, but Mr Gorman said he never saw anything like that at their home, nor did she attend any religious services.
Unknown to him, she had allegedly agreed to travel to Sweden and kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who had angered Muslims by drawing the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog.
She denies soliciting funds for terrorist groups and of being the Jihad Jane of online postings, the indictment said.
Very few women have been charged with terrorism in the US, the Justice Department said (BBC, 2010).
Date: August 26, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: A U.S. teen from Pakistan is in secret custody, accused of helping recruit terrorists for the woman known as "Jihad Jane," a person close to the boy's family said Friday.
Charges filed last month accuse the 17-year-old of helping Colleen LaRose in her alleged efforts to incite an Islamic holy war. Prosecutors have said LaRose was a convert to Islam who wrote of being driven by an urge to help suffering Muslims.
The high school graduate had accepted a full scholarship to Johns Hopkins University, according to the person. He is instead in custody at a youth facility. He could be moved to an adult prison -- and have his case moved to adult court -- when he turns 18 next month.
A law-enforcement source confirmed the details to The Associated Press. Both people spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren't authorized to speak publicly about the sealed case. The AP is not publicizing the teen's name because he is charged as a juvenile.
The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported on his arrest in Friday editions.
The teen came to the U.S. four years ago and has lived with his strict, education-minded family in suburban Baltimore. He is the rare juvenile to be charged or detained in federal custody.
According to both sources, he met LaRose in a chat room when he was about 15 and later agreed to help her raise money and recruits for the jihadist cause.
LaRose, 48, had dubbed herself "Jihad Jane" in a YouTube video that caught the FBI's attention in 2009.
She faces a possible life term after pleading guilty to four federal charges, including conspiracy to murder a foreign target and lying to the FBI.
LaRose, an elder caretaker in small-town Pennsylvania, cultivated a shadow life online and agreed to move to Ireland and try to kill a Swedish cartoonist who had offended Muslims.
No sentencing date has been set in her case while the investigation continues. The teen is referenced as a co-conspirator in her case.
According to the family source, the FBI searched his family's home and interviewed the teen several times at FBI headquarters without a lawyer or family member present. However, the source said the parents had authorized the interviews (Fox News, 2011).
4. AL QAEDA NAME CHANGE
Title: Bin Laden Eyed Name Change For Al-Qaeda To Repair Image
Date: June 24, 2011
Source: USA Today
Abstract: As Osama bin Laden watched his terrorist organization get picked apart, he lamented in his final writings that al-Qaeda was suffering from a marketing problem. His group was killing too many Muslims and that was bad for business. The West was winning the public relations fight. All his old comrades were dead and he barely knew their replacements.
Faced with these challenges, bin Laden, who hated the United States and decried capitalism, considered a most American of business strategies. Like Blackwater, ValuJet and Philip Morris, perhaps what al-Qaeda really needed was a fresh start under a new name.
The problem with the name al-Qaeda, bin Laden wrote in a letter recovered from his compound in Pakistan, was that it lacked a religious element, something to convince Muslims worldwide that they are in a holy war with America.
Maybe something like Taifat al-Tawhed Wal-Jihad, meaning Monotheism and Jihad Group, would do the trick, he wrote. Or Jama'at I'Adat al-Khilafat al-Rashida, meaning Restoration of the Caliphate Group.
As bin Laden saw it, the problem was that the group's full name, al-Qaeda al-Jihad, for The Base of Holy War, had become short-handed as simply al-Qaeda. Lopping off the word "jihad," bin Laden wrote, allowed the West to "claim deceptively that they are not at war with Islam." Maybe it was time for al-Qaeda to bring back its original name.
The letter, which was undated, was discovered among bin Laden's recent writings. Navy SEALs stormed his compound and killed him before any name change could be made. The letter was described by senior administration, national security and other U.S. officials only on condition of anonymity because the materials are sensitive. The documents portray bin Laden as a terrorist chief executive, struggling to sell holy war for a company in crisis.
At the White House, the documents were taken as positive reinforcement for President Obama's effort to eliminate religiously charged words from the government's language of terrorism. Words like "jihad," which also has a peaceful religious meaning, are out. "Islamic radical" has been nixed in favor of "terrorist" and "mass murderer." Though former members of president George W. Bush's administration have backed that effort, it also has drawn ridicule from critics who said the president was being too politically correct.
"The information that we recovered from bin Laden's compound shows al-Qaeda under enormous strain," Obama said Wednesday in his speech to the nation on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. "Bin Laden expressed concern that al-Qaeda had been unable to effectively replace senior terrorists that had been killed and that al-Qaeda has failed in its effort to portray America as a nation at war with Islam, thereby draining more widespread support."
Bin Laden wrote his musings about renaming al-Qaeda as a letter but, as with many of his writings, the recipient was not identified. Intelligence officials have determined that bin Laden only communicated with his most senior commanders, including his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, and his No. 3, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, according to one U.S. official. Because of the courier system bin Laden used, it's unclear to U.S. intelligence whether the letter ever was sent.
Al-Yazid was killed in a U.S. airstrike last year. Zawahri has replaced bin Laden as head of al-Qaeda.
In one letter sent to Zawahri within the past year or so, bin Laden said al-Qaeda's image was suffering because of attacks that have killed Muslims, particularly in Iraq, officials said. In other journal entries and letters, they said, bin Laden wrote that he was frustrated that many of his trusted longtime comrades, whom he'd fought alongside in Afghanistan, had been killed or captured.
Using his courier system, bin Laden could still exercise some operational control over al-Qaeda. But increasingly the men he was directing were younger and inexperienced. Frequently, the generals who had vouched for these young fighters were dead or in prison. And bin Laden, unable to leave his walled compound and with no phone or Internet access, was annoyed that he did not know so many people in his own organization.
The U.S. has essentially completed the review of documents taken from bin Laden's compound, officials said, though intelligence analysts will continue to mine the data for a long time (USA Today, 2011).
5. AL QAEDA 2.0
Title: Special Ops Chief Warns Of Al Qaeda 2.0
Date: July 28, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: The top commander of U.S. special operations forces said Wednesday that Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda is bloodied and "nearing its end," but he warned the next generation of militants could keep special operations fighting for a decade to come.
Navy SEAL Adm. Eric T. Olson described the killing of bin Laden by a special operations raid on May 2 as a near-killing blow for what he called "Al Qaeda 1.0," as created by bin Laden and led from his hideout in Pakistan.
"I think the death of bin Laden was an upper cut to the jaw," Olson told a packed crowd, opening the Aspen Security Forum. "It just knocked them on their heels."
Olson echoed other administration officials who are predicting Al Qaeda's demise if a few more key leaders can be eliminated.
But the four-star admiral warned of the fight to come against what he called Al Qaeda 2.0, with new leaders like American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, who Olson said understands America better than Americans understand him.
"It will morph, it will disperse," he said. "It will become in some ways more westernized, (with) dual passport holders" and "fewer cave dwellers," he said.
Olson said others like al-Awlaki will probably refine their message to appeal to a wider audience, and seek ungoverned spaces to operate from, where they can smuggle in weapons and train their followers. He described how current offshoots like al-Awlaki's Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen are cooperating with militants in Somalia, describing what he called an "invisible bridge" between the two.
Nor did the admiral write off bin Laden's successor, Ayman al-Zawahri. He said al-Zawahri had not yet put his stamp on the organization, so U.S. counterterrorist forces do not yet know what kind of threat he will present.
He said the fight against all versions of Al Qaeda could keep U.S. special operations forces deploying at the same pace for another decade, even as U.S. conventional forces draw down from places like Iraq and Afghanistan.
The admiral said that will keep the pressure on his own already frayed force, which is now seeing the departure of many mid-level troops who joined just after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The force has nearly doubled in size since the attacks, from 32,000 to some 60,000, including SEALs, Army Special Forces Green Berets and Rangers, and Marine Special Operators. But he said nearly half that force is deployed at any one time, and that tempo is taking its toll on troops and their families, resulting in divorces or separations.
Olson agreed with the White House's newly announced policy to strike terrorists through focused action rather than full-scale invasion, preferably by training and working with the host country's forces. He cautioned against thinking raids would solve all U.S. foreign policy problems.
"This idea of being able to wait over the horizon and spring over and chop off heads doesn't really work," he said, describing the "yin and yang" of special operations as including capture-and-kill raids as well as long-term engagement with host countries' militaries. The latter involves U.S. troops "developing long-term relationships, learning languages, meeting people, studying histories, learning black markets."
"If you don't know that, you won't be an effective counterterrorism force," Olson said.
Currently the longest serving Navy SEAL, Olson is less than two weeks from retiring after 38 years of service. He'll be replaced by another Navy SEAL: Adm. Bill McRaven, the commander of the raid that got bin Laden (Fox News, 2011).
Date: July 28, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Top commander of U.S. special operations forces warns of new terror threat. VIDEO
Title: Al Qaeda 2.0 On The Rise?
Date: July 29, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Is Al Qaeda evolving? VIDEO
Title: Al Qaeda 2.0 Behind Fresh 9/11 Terror Threat?
Date: September 9, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: With visible security on subways in Washington D.C. and throughout New York City, officials are taking seriously a joint FBI Homeland Security Intelligence Bulletin, first obtained by Fox News, that states the timing and method of a potential terror plot around the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11.
"Al Qaeda possibly planned to carry out attacks...including a possible car bomb attack..."
In New York, for events marking the murder of nearly three thousand Americans a decade ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the intelligence -- even though it came from a single source -- could not be ignored.
Date: May 26, 2010
Abstract: Homegrown terrorism will be part of the United States' National Security Strategy for the first time, according to President Barack Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser, who called it a new phase of the terrorist threat. When the Obama administration unveils its National Security Strategy on Thursday, it will be the first time any president "explicitly recognizes the threat to the United States posed by individuals radicalized here at home," National Security Adviser John Brennan said Wednesday.
The strategy acts as a blueprint for how a White House administration intends to protect Americans. In the past, it has focused mostly on international threats. But a spate of terror-related plots in the United States recently prompted the Obama administration to include homegrown terrorism in the document, Brennan said.
Earlier this month, Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad was charged with trying to detonate a car bomb in New York's bustling district of Times Square.
U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan is suspected of fatally shooting 13 people at Fort Hood in November. Colorado resident Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan national, pleaded guilty in February for conspiring to detonate explosives in the New York subway system.
And David Headley, an American citizen from Chicago, Illinois, is accused of providing surveillance in the Mumbai, India, terrorist attacks that killed 160 people.
"We've seen an increasing number of individuals here in the United States become captivated by extremist ideology or causes," Brennan said. "We have seen individuals, including U.S. citizens armed with their U.S. passports, travel easily to extremist safe havens, return to America, their deadly plans disrupted by coordinated intelligence and law enforcement." Brennan, who made his comments at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said that as the United States has strengthened its defenses against massive attacks like 9/11, al Qaeda has shown itself to be a "resilient, resourceful and determined enemy."
Brennan said al Qaeda is recruiting individuals with little training, attempting relatively unsophisticated attacks and seeking people living in the United States to launch such attacks. "They are seeking foot soldiers who might slip through our defense," Brennan said. "As our enemy adapts and evolves their tactics, so must we constantly adapt and evolve ours."
Brennan did not provide any specific details about the president's strategy for combating al Qaeda and its affiliates, but said it "will require a broad, sustained and integrated campaign that harnesses every tool of American power, military and civilian, kinetic and diplomatic" (CNN, 2010).
Title: Former CIA Director Calls Homegrown Terror Threat 'A Witch's Brew'
Date: December 26, 2010
Source: The Hill
Abstract: A former director of the CIA described the greater likelihood that terror attacks on U.S. soil would come from an American resident as "a witch's brew." Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," Michael Hayden, who served under President George W. Bush and stepped down in February 2009, said the "new flavor of threat" was different from "the traditional high-threshold mass casualty attack" that would originate in the al Qaeda stronghold in the tribal regions of Pakistan. "It's much more difficult for us to defend against those kinds of attacks,"
Hayden said of terror plots originating from franchises in the U.S. "They will be less lethal if they do succeed," he said. "But they will unfortunately almost certainly be more numerous." Mike McConnell, the former Director of National Intelligence under Bush, commended the Obama administration for how it has been handling the evolving threats.
"My observation is the new administration has been as aggressive, if not more aggressive, in pursuing these issues, because they're real," McConnell said. "Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you come from or what your political views might be, these threats are very real and very serious and we have to deal with them in a very serious way," he said.
Hayden stressed that even though the homegrown terrorists would be more amateur in conducting "low-threshold" attacks, the threat was "almost like penalty kicks in soccer."
"No matter how good your goalie is, sooner or later this ball is going to get into the back of the net," he said. McConnell said he would most worry about a chemical or biological attack from al Qaeda. "The most likely event is going to be an explosion.
They want death and destruction and blood and mayhem," he said. "That's what they strive for. But there are other things that they could consider. "And of course, one of the things I'm identified with is worrying about someday they'll figure out how to cause us harm through a cyber attack, against what I call the soft underbelly of the country," which could disrupt financial or transportation sectors, McConnell added.
"We have to take the fight to them, make them spend most of their day worrying about their survival rather than figuring out ways to threaten our survival," Hayden said. Of the White House efforts including drone strikes that continue to rankle Pakistan, Hayden said, "I've seen over two administrations, and I thank God every day for the continuity" (The Hill, 2010).
Date: July 21, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: The killing of Usama Bin Laden in May by Navy SEALS may have damaged the al Qaeda organization in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but the terror group’s franchise in Yemen, its American-born leader Anwar al-Awlaki and homegrown threats are the next wave of terrorism, according to a new government report.
Nearly a decade after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Bin Laden was only part of the story.
“Terrorism didn't begin with him and hasn’t ended with him and we have all these other groups in addition to core al Qaeda,” Napolitano said of Bin Laden in an interview with Fox News.
Napolitano’s comments come on the heels of a new Department of Homeland Security progress report that examines whether the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations are being implemented. The 9/11 Commission was a bipartisan, independent study group created in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks to account for what happened and to find ways to prevent the next attack.
The new DHS progress report shows that homegrown terrorism is central to the emerging threat picture.
Recent Justice Department documents show a case of homegrown terrorism with links to an international group have popped up every two to three weeks since January 2009.
Just last week, a 22-year-old Pennsylvania man was accused of using the Internet to encourage domestic attacks by jihadists.
“We cannot presume that a threat would come at us from abroad, so the whole notion of violent extremism happening within our shores is very different,” Napolitano said.
She also confirmed that plots have been disrupted without the public's knowledge, but wouldn’t say how many. “There have been many plots that have been interfered with over time, yes,” Napolitano said.
The new report claims information sharing has been expanded since 9/11 and a multilayered approach to airline security has been adopted. Intelligence is used more broadly to identify high-risk passengers and cargo before they enter the U.S. The agency contends those measures could lead to less-invasive screening in the future.
“What is called divestment,” Napolitano said. “[A]ll the things you have to take off as you go through the (airport) gate - we'll be able to relieve some of those restrictions over time.”
But Napolitano says cyber-security remains a weakness.
“We are still somewhat new at it,” she said. “It's so rapidly developing and changing so rapidly that almost by the time to talk about a particular virus, or piece of malware it's already anachronistic, it's already out of date.
The former chairman and vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission said in a statement the Department of Homeland Security had made progress in the time since the terror attacks, but gaps still exist, and the nation is not as safe as it could be. They pointed specifically to the communications of first responders.
Fox News National Correspondent Catherine Herridge contributed to this report (Fox News, 2011).
Title: Report Shows Spike In Homegrown Terror Cases, But Intelligence Gaps Remain
Date: September 7, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: A spike in domestic terrorism and attacks by American citizens directed from overseas are top concerns for police departments across the country, according to a new survey by the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University.
“Homegrown and foreign-directed jihadi terrorism and radicalization are perceived as a real threat by local law enforcement in the United States,” the report, “Counterterrorism Intelligence: Law Enforcement Perspectives,” says. The survey covered the police intelligence chiefs for the 56 largest cities in the U.S. in advance of the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The survey identifies 21 homegrown terrorism cases from Sept. 11, 2001 through May of 2009, but 31 cases in the last two years alone -- more than one new case of homegrown terrorism every month.
Speaking at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance in Washington, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said the plots are real and credible.
“Yes it's a threat. Yes, we worry about somebody grabbing a gun and then going down some place and doing something awful,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich. told the forum. “But they will never just do that. In all the cases you have seen, there are indicators leading up to that particular event. They were radicalized in order to get there.”
After 9/11, the U.S. intelligence community believed there needed to be person-to-person contact for an individual to cross the threshold to violence. Now, it may be possible to do it virtually. Social networking is creating a new generation of digital jihadists.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, also speaking at the event, acknowledged that the web is the driver of radical Islam and the new generation of Al Qaeda 2.0.
“The increasingly savvy use of the Internet, mainstream and social media and information technology by these groups adds an additional layer of complexity to an already complex threat picture,” she said.
The new report also found that the intelligence chiefs believe gaps remain a decade after the attacks. In addition to believing that the U.S. lacks “an adequate understanding of the counterterrorism intelligence enterprise,” the chiefs cited a lack of access to some intelligence products and said in some cases the information lacked detail: it wasn’t shared adequately, or the data was stale or there was just too much of it.
Philip Mudd, a fellow at the liberal New America foundation who worked in the counterterrorism world for more than two decades and served in both the Bush and Obama administrations, told Fox News that marrying the federal, state and local law enforcement systems was not an easy task.
“We need to have standard rules and regulations about if we get something in San Francisco can we give it to Topekam” he said.
Mudd added that Al Qaeda has evolved and homegrown plots are the latest manifestation. He said it is unlikely the number of cases has peaked.
“This is a new art form and it's not even the art form we would have had five or six years ago,” Mudd said referring to intelligence analysis. “This homegrown phenomenon is really only about three or four years old. So it's not just how do we respond after 10 years of the terrorism problem, it's how do we respond to the problem of the Al Qaeda revolution when we're not even dealing with Al Qaeda members anymore” (Fox News, 2011).
7. U.S. MILITARY HEISTS
OBAMACSI.COM: A number of recent military computers, weapons and ammunition heists from U.S. military bases are unprecedented and may indicate that large scale false-flag attacks from the "thieves2 may be imminent. These thefts coincide with the large number of U.S. military personnel accused of hanus crimes which could lead to U.S. military men and women being scapegoated in future terror attacks.
Title: Thousands Of Laptops Stolen During 9-hour Heist
Date: July 13, 2010
Source: CBS News
Abstract: Thousands of laptops have been stolen from the Florida office of a private contractor for the U.S. military's Special Operations Command. Surveillance cameras caught up to seven people loading the computers into two trucks for nine hours. U.S. Special Operations Command coordinates the activities of elite units from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
A spokeswoman said Tuesday that none of the stolen laptops contained military information or software. The Virginia-based company iGov was awarded a $450 million contract earlier this year to supply mobile technology services linking special operations troops worldwide. A company executive says iGov is cooperating with authorities and the March 6 break-in at its Tampa facility remains under investigation (CBS News, 2010).
Date: July 30, 2011
Abstract: Federal authorities are investigating whether any of the 26 AK-74 assault rifles and a Dragunov rifle stolen from the Fort Irwin Army Post has ended up in Fresno, California, a spokesman said Saturday.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals behind the July 15 theft of firearms from an army supply warehouse in Fort Irwin, California, an ATF official said.
Authorities said some arrests were made after employees at the storage warehouse were interviewed, but no further details were available Saturday and other suspects were still being sought.
Federal authorities have received reports that some of the firearms have reached Fresno, and authorities have notified officials there of that possibility, a spokesman told CNN."Although our agents and officers are vigorously investigating this theft, we request the public's assistance to help us arrest and prosecute those individuals responsible for this crime," special agent John A. Torres of the ATF's Los Angeles office said in a statement. "Community participation is necessary to improve the likelihood that ATF and our law enforcement partners will track down the firearms as well as the criminals who have sought to destabilize our community through illegal activity" (CNN, 2011).
Title: Officials Investigate Missing Ammo At Fort Bragg
Date: September 10, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Officials at Fort Bragg say an investigation is under way into the disappearance of nearly 14,000 rounds of ammunition at the Army base.
Staff Sgt. Joshua Ford, a spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division, says the ammunition went missing from the 1st Brigade Combat Team at Fort Bragg.
The Fayetteville Observer reports that Ford believed the ammunition was taken overnight on Tuesday. The 1st Brigade team was placed on lockdown for a few hours Wednesday night while officials conducted a search.
The missing ammunition can be used in an M-4 or M-16 assault rifle.Ford says the 82nd Airborne Division and military police are taking the matter seriously and that "any amount of ammunition that goes missing" has "got to be accounted for" (Fox News, 2011).
8. DEMONIZATION OF THE U.S. MILITARY
Title: Military Granting More Criminal Waivers
Date: February 11, 2007
Source: CBS News
Abstract: More recruits with criminal records, including felony convictions, are being allowed to join the Army and Marine Corps as the armed services cope with a dwindling pool of volunteers during wartime.
The military routinely grants waivers to take in recruits who have criminal records, medical problems or low aptitude scores that would otherwise disqualify them from service. Most are moral waivers, which include some felonies, misdemeanors, and traffic and drug offenses.
Defense Department statistics show that the number of Army and Marine recruits needing waivers for felonies and serious misdemeanors, including minor drug offenses, has grown since 2003. Some recruits may get more than one waiver.
The Army granted more than double the number of waivers for felonies and misdemeanors in 2006 than it did in 2003.
The number of felony waivers granted by the Army grew from 411 in 2003 to 901 in 2006, according to the Pentagon, or about one in 10 of the moral waivers approved that year. Other misdemeanors, which could be petty theft, writing a bad check or some assaults, jumped from about 2,700 to more than 6,000 in 2006. The minor crimes represented more than three-quarters of the moral waivers granted by the Army in 2006, up from more than half in 2003.
Army and Defense Department officials defended the waiver program as a way to admit young people who may have made a mistake early in life but have overcome past behavior. And they said about two-thirds of the waivers granted by the Marines are for drug use, because they — unlike the other services — require a waiver if someone has been convicted once for marijuana use.
Lawmakers and other observers say they are concerned that the struggle to fill the military ranks in this time of war has forced the services to lower their moral standards.
"The data is crystal clear. Our armed forces are under incredible strain and the only way that they can fill their recruiting quotas is by lowering their standards," said Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass., who has been working to get additional data from the Pentagon. "By lowering standards, we are endangering the rest of our armed forces and sending the wrong message to potential recruits across the country."
Army spokesman Paul Boyce said Tuesday he is concerned because the Pentagon data differs from Army numbers. But overall, he said, "anything that is considered a risk or a serious infraction of the law is given the highest level of review."
"Our goal is to make certain that we recruit quality young men and women who can keep America defended against its enemies," Boyce said.
The data was obtained through a federal information request and released by the California-based Michael D. Palm Center, a think tank that studies military issues.
"The fact that the military has allowed more than 100,000 people with such troubled pasts to join its ranks over the past three years illustrates the problem we're having meeting our military needs in this time of war," said Aaron Belkin, director of the center.
Belkin said a new study commissioned by the center also concludes that the military does not have any programs that help convicted felons adjust to military life.
In recent years, as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have dragged on, the military has also relaxed some standards in order to meet recruitment demands. The Army, for example, increased its age limit for recruits from 35 to 42, and is accepting more people whose scores on a standardized aptitude test are at the lower end of the acceptable range.
In its report, the Pentagon said, "The waiver process recognizes that some young people have made mistakes, have overcome their past behavior, and have clearly demonstrated the potential for being productive, law-abiding citizens and members of the military."
According to the Pentagon, nearly a quarter of new military recruits needed some type of waiver in 2006, up from 20 percent in 2003. Roughly 30,000 moral waivers were approved each year between 2003 and 2006.
The military in its report divides moral waivers into six categories: felonies, serious and minor non-traffic offenses, serious and minor traffic offenses and drug offenses. Because many states have different crimes categorized as a felony or misdemeanor, the groupings are more general.
About one in five Army recruits needed a waiver to enlist in 2006, up from 12.7 percent in 2003. In addition, the report showed that the Army granted substantially fewer waivers for drug use and serious traffic violations last year than in 2003.
More than half of the Marine recruits needed a waiver in 2006, a bit higher than in 2003, and largely due to their more strict drug requirements. Felony waivers made up about 2 percent of the Marine waivers, while other lesser crimes made up about 25 percent, both up slightly from 2003.
About 18 percent of Navy recruits required a waiver, up only slightly from 2003. Two-thirds of the waivers granted by the Navy were for misdemeanor-type crimes and about 5 percent were for felonies.
Just 8 percent of Air Force recruits had waivers, down a bit from 2003. Nearly all of the waivers were for the misdemeanor-type crimes (CBS News, 2007).
Title: Officials: Fort Hood Shootings Suspect Alive; 12 Dead
Date: November 5, 2009
Abstract: A soldier suspected of fatally shooting 12 and wounding 31 at Fort Hood in Texas on Thursday is not dead as previously reported by the military, the base's commander said Thursday evening.
A civilian officer who was wounded in the incident shot the suspect, who is "in custody and in stable condition," Army Lt. Gen. Robert Cone told reporters.
"Preliminary reports indicate there was a single shooter that was shot multiple times at the scene," Cone said at a news conference. "However, he was not killed as previously reported."
The suspect, identified as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, opened fire at a military processing center at Fort Hood around 1:30 p.m., Cone said.
Three others initially taken into custody for interviews have been released, Cone said.
Hasan, 39, is a graduate of Virginia Tech and a psychiatrist licensed in Virginia who was practicing at Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, according to military and professional records. Previously, he worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
A federal official said Hasan is a U.S. citizen of Jordanian descent. Military documents show that Hasan was born in Virginia and was never deployed outside the United States.
In a statement released Thursday, Hasan's cousin, Nader Hasan, said his family is "filled with grief for the families of today's victims."
"Our family loves America. We are proud of our country, and saddened by today's tragedy," the statement said. "Because this situation is still unfolding, we have nothing else that we are able to share with you at this time."
Hasan was scheduled to be deployed to Iraq "and appeared to be upset about that," Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said.
"I think that there is a lot of investigation going on now into his background and what he was doing that was not known before," Hutchison said.
Hutchison said she was told that the soldiers at the readiness facility "were filling out paper processing to go to Iraq or Afghanistan," according to CNN affiliate KXAN in Austin, Texas.
The readiness center is one of the last stops before soldiers deploy. It is also one of the first places a soldier goes upon returning to the United States.
The base reopened Thursday night after being under lockdown for more than five hours.
At a news conference earlier in the day, Cone said at least 10 of the dead were soldiers.
The shooter had two weapons, both handguns, Cone said (CNN, 2009).Title: Man Seized At Army Post Had Land Mine, Laser Scope
Date: June 16, 2010
Source: Army Times
Abstract: A former national guardsman pretending to be an active-duty soldier convinced an officer to give him a sophisticated laser sight for military rifles before he was caught hours later on the base with a land mine, several grenades and night vision devices, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Federal prosecutors said in a criminal complaint that Anthony Todd Saxon, 34, falsely pretended to be an Army master sergeant on Tuesday and sought to steal the infrared laser targeting sight. He was expected to appear in federal court later Wednesday.
Saxon was wearing a full combat uniform, including rank and insignia, when he was stopped at Fort Gordon by military police and questioned about his activities, according to the complaint. After Saxon gave them consent to search his vehicle, authorities said they found several grenades and the land mine, among other equipment.
According to the complaint, Saxon told investigators he was able to obtain the laser sight by telling a captain in the base’s military police office that he was a master sergeant in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and that he needed it to train a soldier.
He told investigators he was able to obtain the device after signing a receipt, according to the court documents. He also said he was a member of the Army National Guard between 1993 and 1995, but was medically discharged for heart problems.
Florida National Guard spokeswoman Crystal McNairy said that Saxon joined the Guard in 1993 and left with an honorable discharge in 1994. She said his rank was private 1st class, but she would not provide any other details about his service.
Fort Gordon spokesman Buz Yarnell said Saxon was stopped on the Army post because his car matched the description of a vehicle suspected in an earlier theft of military equipment from the post in April. Yarnell would not say what had been stolen.
Yarnell said the grenades, called “flash bangs,” use blinding light and loud noise to stun people but don’t explode into lethal shrapnel.
“He couldn’t have done any serious damage,” said Yarnell, who would not say whether the explosives were detonated.
He said there’s no suspected connection between Saxon and an AWOL serviceman arrested Monday in Florida after he tried to enter MacDill Air Force Base with weapons and ammunition in his vehicle. But Yarnell said military authorities still don’t know what Saxon was doing on Fort Gordon.
Yarnell also didn’t know if Saxon used a military ID, either fake or real, to get onto the base. Fort Gordon, near Augusta, is home to the Army Signal Corps, which is in charge of the service’s global communication and information systems. He said the post, which is also home to the Eisenhower Army Medical Center, typically allows civilians to enter if they show some form of identification.
“Anybody can get on Fort Gordon with a driver’s license,” Yarnell said. “It’s open to the public, basically” (Army Times, 2010).
Date: September 9, 2010
Source: The Guardian
Abstract: Twelve American soldiers face charges over a secret "kill team" that allegedly blew up and shot Afghan civilians at random and collected their fingers as trophies.
Five of the soldiers are charged with murdering three Afghan men who were allegedly killed for sport in separate attacks this year. Seven others are accused of covering up the killings and assaulting a recruit who exposed the murders when he reported other abuses, including members of the unit smoking hashish stolen from civilians.
In one of the most serious accusations of war crimes to emerge from the Afghan conflict, the killings are alleged to have been carried out by members of a Stryker infantry brigade based in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan.
According to investigators and legal documents, discussion of killing Afghan civilians began after the arrival of Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs at forward operating base Ramrod last November. Other soldiers told the army's criminal investigation command that Gibbs boasted of the things he got away with while serving in Iraq and said how easy it would be to "toss a grenade at someone and kill them".
One soldier said he believed Gibbs was "feeling out the platoon".
Investigators said Gibbs, 25, hatched a plan with another soldier, Jeremy Morlock, 22, and other members of the unit to form a "kill team". While on patrol over the following months they allegedly killed at least three Afghan civilians. According to the charge sheet, the first target was Gul Mudin, who was killed "by means of throwing a fragmentary grenade at him and shooting him with a rifle", when the patrol entered the village of La Mohammed Kalay in January.
Morlock and another soldier, Andrew Holmes, were on guard at the edge of a poppy field when Mudin emerged and stopped on the other side of a wall from the soldiers. Gibbs allegedly handed Morlock a grenade who armed it and dropped it over the wall next to the Afghan and dived for cover. Holmes, 19, then allegedly fired over the wall.
Later in the day, Morlock is alleged to have told Holmes that the killing was for fun and threatened him if he told anyone.
The second victim, Marach Agha, was shot and killed the following month. Gibbs is alleged to have shot him and placed a Kalashnikov next to the body to justify the killing. In May Mullah Adadhdad was killed after being shot and attacked with a grenade.
The Army Times reported that a least one of the soldiers collected the fingers of the victims as souvenirs and that some of them posed for photographs with the bodies.
Five soldiers – Gibbs, Morlock, Holmes, Michael Wagnon and Adam Winfield – are accused of murder and aggravated assault among other charges. All of the soldiers have denied the charges. They face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted.
The killings came to light in May after the army began investigating a brutal assault on a soldier who told superiors that members of his unit were smoking hashish. The Army Times reported that members of the unit regularly smoked the drug on duty and sometimes stole it from civilians.
The soldier, who was straight out of basic training and has not been named, said he witnessed the smoking of hashish and drinking of smuggled alcohol but initially did not report it out of loyalty to his comrades. But when he returned from an assignment at an army headquarters and discovered soldiers using the shipping container in which he was billeted to smoke hashish he reported it.
Two days later members of his platoon, including Gibbs and Morlock, accused him of "snitching", gave him a beating and told him to keep his mouth shut. The soldier reported the beating and threats to his officers and then told investigators what he knew of the "kill team".
Following the arrest of the original five accused in June, seven other soldiers were charged last month with attempting to cover up the killings and violent assault on the soldier who reported the smoking of hashish. The charges will be considered by a military grand jury later this month which will decide if there is enough evidence for a court martial. Army investigators say Morlock has admitted his involvement in the killings and given details about the role of others including Gibbs. But his lawyer, Michael Waddington, is seeking to have that confession suppressed because he says his client was interviewed while under the influence of prescription drugs taken for battlefield injuries and that he was also suffering from traumatic brain injury."Our position is that his statements were incoherent, and taken while he was under a cocktail of drugs that shouldn't have been mixed," Waddington told the Seattle Times (The Guardian, 2010).
Title: NCIS: Sailor At Bragg Sold Secret Documents
Date: December 5, 2010
Abstract: A Navy intelligence specialist stationed at Fort Bragg is in custody after an investigation revealed he allegedly sold top secret documents to an undercover FBI agent posing as a foreign intelligence officer.
Navy Reserve Intelligence Specialist 3rd Class Bryan Minkyu Martin, of Mexico, N.Y., is being held in custody in Norfolk, Va., said Ed Buice, a public affairs specialist for the Naval Criminial Investigative Service.
Martin, 22, was asssigned to the Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg.
Buice said Martin was taken into custody Wednesday by NCIS and the FBI and is being held while investigative materials are being reviewed. No charges had been filed as of Friday night, Buice said.
Martin could face charges and a court-martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Buice said.
According to a search warrant unsealed in federal court Friday, Martin sold secret and top secret documents in several staged buys of intelligence at two Spring Lake hotels.
According to the search warrant, filed Wednesday by Special Agent Richard J. Puryear with NCIS, Martin was assigned to the Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg on Sept. 16.
Two months later, on Nov. 15, Martin met an undercover FBI agent in the lobby of the Hampton Inn on Bragg Boulevard in Spring Lake, according to the warrant. The special agent, posing as a foreign intelligence officer, brought Martin to his room, where Martin discussed his access to military computer networks and classified networks, according to the warrant.
Martin also told the agent that he was seeking "longterm financial reimbursement," and that he could be very valuable over a 15- or 20-year career, which he expected would take him to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the warrant says.
Martin offered to bring the agent two documents at their next meeting and accepted $500 in cash from the agent, the warrant says.
At a meeting the next day at the same hotel, Martin produced two documents Ââ€” one labelled "secret" and the other "top secret" and accepted $1,500 in cash, the warrant says. He agreed to meet the agent again Nov. 19, when he produced 51 pages of secret and top secret documents, according to the warrant. He was paid another $1,500, according to the warrant.
Martin also failed to report the contacts to any member of his chain of command, the warrant says.
The warrant authorized NCIS agents to search the room Martin was using at the Landmark Inn on Fort Bragg and his 2009 gold Nissan Altima. It does not address how Martin came under suspicion or how he came into contact with the undercover FBI agent.
Buice would not clarify the matter Friday night, but said, "We have a high level confidence that classified information was not delivered to any unauthorized person."
Martin enlisted in the Navy on Nov. 30, 2006, and completed basic training on July 20, 2007.
He received a top secret clearance on Sept. 20, 2007, and was subsequently assigned to temporary duty with the Defense Intelligence Agency between May 9 and Aug. 22, according to the warrant.
A spokesman for the Army's Special Operations Command referred all questions to NCIS.
Messages left for Martin's family in New York were not returned Friday night (Military.com, 2010).
Date: July 28, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: An Army private has been arrested in connection with an alleged plot to attack Fort Hood soldiers that authorities suggest was close to being carried out. The arrest, first reported by Fox News, comes nearly two years after a deadly shooting rampage at the base.
Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, an AWOL soldier from Fort Campbell in Kentucky, was arrested by the Killeen, Texas, Police Department near Fort Hood and remains in custody at the Killeen jail.
Abdo, 21, was found with weapons, explosives and jihadist materials at the time of his arrest, a senior Army source confirms to Fox News. He was arrested at around 2 p.m. Wednesday after someone called authorities to report a suspicious individual.
Eric Vasys, a spokesman with the FBI's San Antonio Office, said authorities found firearms and bomb making components inside Abdo's motel room. Sources also say Abdo was attempting to make a purchase at Guns Galore in Killeen, the same ammunition store where Maj. Nidal Hasan purchased weapons that were allegedly used to gun down 13 people and wound 30 others at the base on Nov. 5, 2009.
Sources said Abdo had enough materials to make two bombs, including 18 pounds of sugar and six pounds of smokeless gunpowder -- a possible trigger for an explosive. A pressure cooker was also found. Another counterterrorism source said the bomb making materials and methodology came "straight out of Inspire (a terrorist magazine) and an Al Qaeda explosives course manual."
Killeen Police Chief Dennis Baldwin alluded to the severity of the threat at a news conference Thursday afternoon announcing the arrest.
"We we would probably be here today giving you a different briefing had he not been stopped," Baldwin said, and military personnel appeared to be the target.
ABC News reported, citing law enforcement documents, that the target wasn't the base itself but a nearby restaurant that is popular with personnel from Fort Hood.
Police in Killeen said their break in the case came from Guns Galore LLC -- the same gun store where Maj. Nidal Hasan bought a pistol used in the 2009 attack. Store clerk Greg Ebert said the man arrived by taxi Tuesday and bought 6 pounds of smokeless gunpowder, three boxes of shotgun ammunition and a magazine for a semi-automatic pistol.
Ebert said he called authorities because he and his co-workers "felt uncomfortable with his overall demeanor and the fact he didn't know what the hell he was buying."
According to an Army alert sent via email and obtained by The Associated Press, Killeen police learned from the taxi company that Abdo had been picked up from a local motel and had also visited an Army surplus store where he paid cash for a uniform bearing Fort Hood unit patches.
Bob Jenkins, a Fort Campbell spokesman, told Fox News that Abdo was also being investigated for child pornography found on his government computer.
Abdo went AWOL on July 4. On the eve of his first deployment to Afghanistan -- after only one year in the Army -- Abdo applied for conscientious objector status as a Muslim. It was denied by his superiors at Fort Campbell but later overturned by the Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Army review board.
Another source told Fox News that two other U.S. soldiers have been questioned as part of the investigation.
Abdo's Facebook page, which has since been taken down, showed that he traveled to New York City in September to attend an antiwar vigil and show support for Pfc. Bradley Manning, the alleged source for the classified war documents released by controversial group WikiLeaks.
Vasys said Abdo likely will be charged with being in possession of bomb-making materials. Killeen Chief Baldwin said the case would be referred for federal charges, though a Justice Department official would not confirm that.
In the 2009 shooting case, Maj. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was arraigned on July 20 and is currently standing trial. His civilian lawyer withdrew from the case as it began (Fox News, 2011).Title: FBI Manhunt For 'Timothy McVeigh-Like' Ex-Marine On The Lam
Date: August 24, 2011
Source: ABC News
Abstract: A former Marine who is part of a right wing group that calls for an uprising is the target of an FBI manhunt ranging from Oklahoma to Florida.
Charles Alan Dyer, 31, of Duncan, Okla., failed to appear in court on Monday, Aug. 15, on charges he raped a 7-year-old girl. His failure to appear launched a federal dragnet covering 12 states in the South.
Authorities are warning that Dyer is believed to be armed and dangerous. Sheriff Wayne McKinney of Stephens County, Okla., described him as a "Timothy McVeigh" like individual, referring to the right wing militia member executed for blowing up a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995.
Dyer is part of a controversial group called Oath Keepers that includes current and former law enforcement and military members who take an oath to obey the Constitution rather than the president. Dyer has posted videos on YouTube talking about a "New World Order" and calling for people to "rise up" against "tyrannical government."
An ABC News review of court records reveals that Dyer was indicted on federal charges for possessing an unregistered Colt M-203 grenade launcher.
Authorities believe Dyer was in the Houston area last week following reports from residents in nearby Wallis that a man matching Dyer's description knocked on doors there asking for a ride to Houston, according to ABC News affiliate KTRK.
"My older brother had him there. He was knocking on his window," witness Greg Hatton said. "When I pulled up, for example, first I called him to see if that's him, hold him. That's the guy we're looking for, hold him. And we're always armed. We're concealed gun licensed carriers and he had him right at the point there, but he took off running. And when he took off running he ran across this track here, went to my neighbor's house and asked him for a ride."
The FBI said that Dyer does not seem to have a car and is instead using a network of people he knows from Oath Keeper websites to get around, according to special agent Clay Simmonds, a spokesman for the agency.
FBI Chasing Ex-Marine Charles Dyer
Three days before his court date, Dyer's residence was found burned to the ground, according to the FBI. Two men believed to have started the fire are in custody and are believed to be affiliated with Dyer's organization, according to McKinney.
The day of the fire, Dyer's attorney filed a motion requesting that the trial date be pushed back due to the fire at Dyer's home.
"Oath Keeper" Charles Dyer Target of Federal Manhunt
This is the second trial Dyer was scheduled for the charges. In April, the first trial was declared a mistrial, McKinney said. The sheriff also said that Dyer had been seen hanging around the courthouse in the days leading up to the trial, wearing a thigh holster and backpack and carrying a Bible. McKinney said the behavior was meant to intimidate people at the court.
The FBI is asking for the public's assistance in locating Dyer, putting up digital billboards depicting Dyer's image at locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and South Carolina.
A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for any information leading to Dyer's arrest. Dyer is described as a white male, 5-foot-10 and 175 to 200 pounds, brown hair and blue eyes. Information obtained has indicated Dyer may have grown a beard, lost some weight and his head is no longer shaved (ABC News, 2011).
Date: August 28, 2011
Abstract: Manhunt punctuated by gunfire amid wind and rain of tropical storm terrorizes community
An Army officer suspected of killing four people in Pennsylvania and Virginia was found dead in a wooded area Sunday after a manhunt during Tropical Storm Irene's winds and drenching rains paralyzed residents in the Philadelphia suburb.
Hours after he fired at several officers, wounding two of them, the body of Capt. Leonard John Egland, 37, of Fort Lee, Va., was found around 3:30 p.m. in the Bucks County community of Warwick Township, Police Chief Mark Goldberg said.
Egland's body was found several hundred yards behind a Lukoil gas station where authorities say he had fired a semiautomatic rifle at SWAT team members who discovered his truck and found him before dawn in a trash bin. The officers, who were not injured, chased him into the woods but lost him as the storm raked the area, Goldberg said.
"It was bad," he said. "Weather conditions were horrible and it was a very dangerous situation."
He said the SWAT teams had "performed courageously."
With Egland on the run, armed with two weapons, residents were warned to stay indoors and keep their doors locked, the police chief said.
The manhunt, Goldberg said, "tied up departments all over Bucks County ... It didn't prevent us from responding during the storm but it certainly taxed our resources."
Three Bucks County SWAT teams, state police and numerous police departments searched for Egland after his former mother-in-law was found shot to death in her home in Buckingham.
Authorities in Virginia said Egland had earlier killed his ex-wife, her boyfriend and the boyfriend's young son before taking his own young daughter on a frantic drive through Pennsylvania.
The girl, believed by Goldberg to be about 6 years old, was abandoned Saturday night by Egland, physically unharmed, at St. Luke's Hospital in Quakertown, apparently after the child's grandmother was killed. A note was left with the child, authorities said.
Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said a nurse or orderly confronted Egland but the suspect flashed a pistol and got away. The hospital worker called police with a description of the suspect and his black pickup truck.
Just before midnight, the truck was stopped by state and local police in Doylestown Township. Officers said the suspect fired shots from a semiautomatic rifle, hitting an officer in the arm and shattering a windshield that sent glass into the face of a Dublin officer.
Goldberg said both officers had been released from a hospital.
The body, found in woods behind the gas station and a business under renovation, matched Egland's description, Goldberg said. The police chief said Egland had a gunshot wound but he would leave it to the coroner to determine whether it was self-inflicted.
Goldberg said that because of the lockdown, numerous residents were prevented from checking for storm damage at their homes.
"I know just from the way the phones were ringing in the police station that it was causing a great deal of anxiety among our people, and for us as well," he said. "It's a tragic event, but at least our residents can rest easy."
Police in Chesterfield County, Va., said Pennsylvania police had asked officers at 1 a.m. Sunday to check on the welfare of people at a home, where officers found the bodies of Egland's ex-wife, her boyfriend and his child. Names of the victims were not being released pending notification of relatives. A spokesman said the suspect had no known criminal history in the area.
Egland's former mother-in-law, 66-year-old Barbara Reuhl of Buckingham, was believed to have been killed Saturday night, Heckler said.Goldberg said other family members were under police protection during the search for Egland, including one person who was at the police department. The police chief said he believed Egland's daughter girl was being cared for Sunday afternoon by relatives (MSNBC, 2011).
Title: New York Police Search for Armed Soldier Who Escaped Military Custody
Date: September 16, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Police in central New York are searching for an armed, suicidal Fort Drum soldier dressed in camouflage who escaped military custody and led police on a multi-county car chase Thursday night, authorities said.
Russell C. Marcum, 20, had been in custody facing burglary charges when the camouflage-clad soldier escaped and stole a white 2003 Chevy Avalanche. A vehicle chase through Madison, Oneida and Otsego counties ended when police damaged the tires of the car. He fled on foot into a wooded area near Richfield Springs, south of Utica.
The Observer-Dispatch of Utica reports that Marcum was armed with a handgun and may be wearing a bullet-proof vest. Marcum, who is considered dangerous, reportedly said that he would force police to shoot him to end his life.
The Watertown Daily Times reports that Marcum was arrested Monday on a charge of third-degree burglary after being accused of stealing a $700 plasma TV from a storage unit.
Marcum is a private first class from Morgantown, W.Va., who joined the Army in August 2010 and was deployed to Afghanistan this year from January to March, according to officials at Fort Drum.
Fort Drum spokeswoman Julie Cupernall said Marcum had been under "unit custody" in barracks Thursday after making bail on the civilian charge. Marcum was not under military police custody, but was being watched by a member of his unit, she said.
Police reportedly set up a scanning area Friday morning to check cars passing through for any sign of Marcum. A state police helicopter could also be seen searching the area, the Observer-Dispatch reports.
Marcum was last reported to be in a swampy area, according to the newspaper (Fox News, 2011).
Date: September 20, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: A former Army recruiter who for the third time this year was hours away from his scheduled execution for the rape-slaying of a woman in Fort Worth nearly 10 years ago was granted yet another reprieve by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Cleve Foster, 47, was set to die Tuesday evening.
The high court twice earlier this year stopped Foster's scheduled lethal injection. The latest court ruling came about 2 1/2 hours before Foster could have been taken to the Texas death chamber.
Foster was meeting with one of his lawyers in a small holding cell a few steps from the death chamber when a Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman delivered the news.
"He thanked God and pointed to his attorney, saying this woman helped save his life," prison spokesman Jason Clark said.
He also said Foster repeated his insistence that he was innocent.
"I did not do this crime," Foster told him. "I know there are those out there who have hard feelings against me, but I did not do this."
Unlike his previous trips to the death house, the reprieve came before he was served his requested final meal, which included two fried chickens and a five-gallon bucket of peaches.
Instead, he immediately was returned to death row, at a prison about 45 miles to the east.
Foster was one of two men convicted and sent to death row for fatally shooting a 30-year-old woman whose body was found in a ditch by pipeline workers in Fort Worth in February 2002. His partner died last year of cancer.
The court's brief order, similar to one issued last week in the case of Duane Buck, another Texas inmate facing execution, said the reprieve would remain in effect pending the outcome of Foster's request for a review, known as a petition for a writ of certiorari. If the writ is denied, the reprieve is lifted, clearing the way for a new execution date to be set.
In January, just before the start of a six-hour window when Foster could be strapped to the death chamber gurney for injection, he won a reprieve so the justices could further review an appeal in his case. Then in April, the high court again halted his execution when lawyers sought a rehearing on arguments he was innocent and had poor legal help at his trial and in early stages of his appeal.
His lawyers returned to the court with similar arguments he was innocent and had previous deficient legal help, specifically asking the court to decide whether prisoners like Foster had a constitutional guarantee for a competent lawyer when he first raised claims in a state appeals court. State lawyers said the issues had been resolved by the courts, that the Supreme Court has ruled there's no constitutional right to a competent state-provided lawyer for appeals, and the last-day appeal was just another attempt to delay Foster's punishment.
Foster would have been the 11th Texas prisoner executed this year. On Wednesday, Lawrence Russell Brewer, 44, was set to die for participating in the notorious dragging death case in Jasper in East Texas. Brewer was one of two white men condemned for the death of a black man, James Byrd Jr., more than 13 years ago, in a hate crime that shocked the nation for its brutality.
Foster was one of two men convicted and sent to death row for fatally shooting Nyaneur Pal. Her body was found on Valentine's Day 2002.
"I didn't do this," he said recently from outside his cell on death row. "I'll fight it to the end."
Foster and a companion, Sheldon Ward, were convicted of fatally shooting Pal, who came to the U.S. from Sudan and was known as Mary. Pal, who worked at a country club, was seen talking with Foster and Ward at a Fort Worth bar. Evidence showed she had been shot once in the head and raped.
A gun identified as the murder weapon was found in a motel room where Foster and Ward were living. Authorities determined the same gun was used two months earlier to kill another woman, 22-year-old Rachel Urnosky, at her Fort Worth apartment. She also had been raped.
Foster and Ward were implicated but never tried in her slaying.
An aunt and uncle of Pal and the parents of Urnosky were to witness the execution. They had not yet arrived at the Huntsville Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, where executions are carried out, when the court ordered the punishment stopped.
Foster blamed Pal's death on Ward, who was one of his Army recruits. Prosecutors said evidence showed Foster actively participated in the woman's killing, offered no credible explanations, lied and gave contradictory stories about his sexual activities with Pal.
Her blood and tissue were found on the weapon and DNA evidence showed both men had sex with her. Ward said the sex was consensual. Foster said he was passed out from sleeping pills at the time Pal would have been murdered.
Ward died of cancer last year while on death row.
Foster also denied any involvement in Urnosky's slaying in December 2001. He told detectives he and Ward were at her apartment but they left when she refused to have sex with them. The Texas Tech honors graduate was found dead in her bed after she failed to show up for work.
In appeals, attorneys referred to Ward's several statements claiming sole responsibility for Pal's murder.
"The most striking feature of Ward's `confessions' is that they are incompatible with each other," state lawyers said in their responses to the appeals courts.
Foster grew up in Henderson, Kentucky, and spent nearly two decades in the Army, reaching the rank of sergeant first class. He was deployed to the Middle East during Desert Storm and was assigned to Fort Worth as a recruiter. Records showed court martial proceedings were started against him after allegations he gave alcohol to underage students as a recruiter and had sex with an underage potential recruit. He was denied re-enlistment in the Army and had been out of the service only a short time when the slayings occurred (Fox News, 2011).
Title: US Soldier Jailed For Seven Years Over Murders Of Afghan Civilians
Date: September 24, 2011
Source: The Guardian
Abstract: A US soldier has been sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in the murders of Afghan civilians last year.
Pvt 1st Class Andrew Holmes, 21, was among five soldiers charged over the "thrill killings" of the three civilians during patrols in Kandahar. The murders have been described as among the most serious war crimes charges to emerge from the Afghanistan war.
Holmes, from Boise, Idaho, confessed in court to firing a heavy machine gun at a boy from 15 feet away, after his co-defendant threw a grenade at him.
He was accused of directly participating in the first killing and initially charged with premeditated murder among other charges.
But in a deal with prosecutors, Holmes pleaded guilty to murder by an inherently dangerous act, as well as possessing a finger bone from his victim and smoking hashish.
Judge Lt Col Kwasi Hawks sentenced him on Friday to seven years in jail, saying there was no excuse for the murder.
"You aimed a fully loaded squad automatic weapon at [a] child that stood 15 feet away," he said.
However, Hawks also told the defendant, "I hope and I believe you will have a long and productive life, and I believe a happy life."
Holmes told the judge he wanted the "opportunity to be a son, a brother, a nephew".
His family cried as his sentence was given.
The soldiers, from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle, were arrested in Afghanistan last year after prosecutors said they killed the three men for sport in January, February and May of 2010.
Prosecutors say that in addition to the murders by the group, formerly known as the 5th Stryker Brigade but renamed the 2nd Stryker Brigade, some of the defendants kept body parts severed from the corpses and photos as war trophies.
Holmes' sentence came one day after he changed his plea to guilty in a deal with army prosecutors.
Holmes will receive credit for the 499 days he has already been behind bars and could leave prison early on good behaviour, it was reported.
He will receive a dishonorable discharge after serving his sentence, said army spokesman Joe Kubistek. Holmes will also forfeit his army pay.
During the closing argument in his case, prosecutor Major Rob Stelle showed a large photo of Holmes standing over his victim.
"It was callous, reckless indifference, a depraved heart," he said of the killing.
"The accused had a choice. He pulled the trigger and ended that man's life."
Holmes' lawyer, Dan Conway, argued his client was a 19-year-old soldier placed in a difficult situation.
Drug use was said to be rampant in the army unit.One soldier who blew the whistle on hash smoking by his comrades was beaten up and threatened in retaliation (The Guardian, 2011).
Title: Four U.S. Soldiers Charged In Home Invasion Leaving Four Wounded
Date: September 28, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Four soldiers from Fort Sill in Oklahoma were charged in a home invasion in which four people were shot and wounded.
Three of the Fort Sill soldiers in Oklahoma broke into the home in Lawton on Sept. 20, and the fourth served as the getaway driver, prosecutors contend in charging documents filed Tuesday. Prosecutors did not immediately respond to phone messages Wednesday seeking comment and further details about the attack.
The three who allegedly entered the home -- Pvt. Richard Daley, 24; Pfc. Claude Byrd II, 27; and Pfc. Kevon McLaren, 22 -- were each charged Tuesday with one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, three counts of first-degree robbery, and five counts of kidnapping.
McLaren, who witnesses said fired the shots, according to a probable cause affidavit, was also charged with shooting with intent to kill and first-degree burglary.
The alleged getaway driver, 20-year-old Pfc. Jared Berman, was charged with being an accessory to a crime.
The four were in jail Wednesday and online court records did not list attorneys for any of them.
According to affidavits filed in the case, McLaren shot the four adult victims and he, Daley and Byrd stole several items from the apartment in Lawson, southwest of Oklahoma City and where the post is located.
Fort Sill commander Maj. Gen. David Halverson said in a statement Tuesday that post officials are cooperating with the investigation.
"This was an isolated incident, well outside the norm in terms of the way our soldiers behave off-duty, and especially in Lawton, where our various unit relationships and community support initiatives have showcased our soldiers as good neighbors," Halverson said.The four soldiers are assigned to the 75th Fires Brigade, which Fort Sill spokesman Keith Pannell described as a field and air defense artillery unit (Fox News, 2011).
Title: 2 U.S. Soldiers Accused Of Raping Teenagers In Korea
Date: October 8, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Two U.S. soldiers have been accused of raping teenage girls in South Korea in separate incidents, prompting U.S. military officials to apologize Saturday as they tried to ease growing public anger.
Army Brig. Gen. David Conboy, who supervises the U.S. garrison in Seoul, issued a statement apologizing for "pain" caused by allegations that a U.S. soldier raped a girl in her rented room in Seoul on Sept. 17. That solider -- a private in his early 20s -- is being questioned by police but has not been arrested.
Another U.S. private has been arrested on suspicion of raping a teenage girl on Sept. 24 in a city north of Seoul.
The top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, Kurt Campbell, apologized Friday for what he called a "tragic and inexcusable rape that took place about a week ago." It was not clear which of the two incidents he was referring to.
Date: October 15, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: A Marine squad leader who was convicted of leading troops to kill an Iraqi civilian will get a temporary release from prison to witness the birth of his second child.
Sgt. Larry Hutchins is currently serving an 11-year sentence at the prison facility at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.
In 2006, Hutchins led an eight-man squad that kidnapped an Iraqi man from his home, marched him into a ditch and killed him.
Hutchins' wife became pregnant after he was freed by an appellate decision, but returned to prison several months later when it was overturned.
Hutchins has lost numerous appeals (Fox News, 2011).
Title: The FBI Announces Gangs Have Infiltrated Every Branch Of The Military
Date: October 22, 2011
Source: Business Insider
Abstract: The FBI has released a new gang assessment announcing that there are 1.4 million gang members in the US, a 40 percent increase since 2009, and that many of these members are getting inside the military (via Stars and Stripes).
The report says the military has seen members from 53 gangs and 100 regions in the U.S. enlist in every branch of the armed forces. Members of every major street gang, some prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) have been reported on both U.S. and international military installations.
From the report:
Through transfers and deployments, military-affiliated gang members expand their culture and operations to new regions nationwide and worldwide, undermining security and law enforcement efforts to combat crime. Gang members with military training pose a unique threat to law enforcement personnel because of their distinctive weapons and combat training skills and their ability to transfer these skills to fellow gang members.
The report notes that while gang members have been reported in every branch of service, they are concentrated in the U.S. Army, Army Reserves, and the Army National Guard.
Many street gang members join the military to escape the gang lifestyle or as an alternative to incarceration, but often revert back to their gang associations once they encounter other gang members in the military. Other gangs target the U.S. military and defense systems to expand their territory, facilitate criminal activity such as weapons and drug trafficking, or to receive weapons and combat training that they may transfer back to their gang. Incidents of weapons theft and trafficking may have a negative impact on public safety or pose a threat to law enforcement officials.
The FBI points out that many gangs, especially the bikers, actively recruit members with military training and advise young members with no criminal record to join the service for weapon access and combat experience.
The full assessment is definitely worth checking out, if only for the pictures (Business Insider, 2011).Title: 87-Year-Old Vet Arrested In Michigan After Cops Reportedly Find Cocaine In Car
Date: October 25, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Detroit police arrested an 87-year-old veteran last week after reportedly finding more than 228 pounds of cocaine in the car he was driving.
Leo Sharp refused to allow a state trooper to search his car after being pulled over for improper lane use, according to records. Police called a drug-sniffing dog to the scene and found 104 brick-shaped packages of cocaine worth nearly $3 million in his car, MyFoxDetroit.com reports.
In a court appearance Monday, Sharp claimed he was forced at gunpoint to haul the drugs. Attorney Ray Richards said this was his client's first time in the federal court system and Sharp was likely confused by the questioning.
"It's not what it seems," Richards told MyFoxDetroit."There's a lot more to this story to be played out later."
Sharp is charged with possession with intent to distribute. He could be sentenced to at least 10 years in prison, if convicted.
Sharp is married with children and works full-time growing exotic plants for a horticulture company in Indiana, MyFoxDetroit.com reports.
Judge Mark Randon released Sharp Monday on $10,000 bond and scheduled the next hearing in the case for Nov. 10 (Fox News, 2011).
Title: Three Marines Will Go To Trial For Alleged Hazing Of Marine Who Committed Suicide
Date: October 26, 2011
Source: Fox News
A trial date for Sgt. Benjamin E. Johns,
Lance Cpl. Jacob D. Jacoby and Lance Cpl. Carlos Orozco III has not been
set. The three are charged with wrongfully humiliating and demeaning
21-year-old Lance Cpl. Harry Lew, who killed himself April 3.
The two lance corporals have also been charged with assault, and one was charged with cruelty and maltreatment. A general court-martial is a forum for the most serious charges in the military justice system. Less serious charges may be addressed in summary courts-martial or a special courts-martial.
Lew, of Santa Clara, Calif., was a nephew of U.S. Rep. Judy Chu of California.
I didn't really understand what a terrorist was going to look like. I know that sounds funny and really naive. I was kind of shocked that a lot of them were very little and malnourished.
His superiors told him he would be stationed a detention facility, Neely said. "They had decided from the start that it was different from an enemy prison of war camp ... We were told in the first couple of minutes at Gitmo that this was a detention facility and the Geneva Conventions would not be in effect ... There was no army manual on this, no standard operation procedure."
Neely did not receive any special or additional training for working at Guantanamo, he said. He, and the rest of the company (about 110 people), arrived just a few days before the first detainees did. Contractors "were still welding the cells at the time," he said.
As a military policeman, Neely was not involved in interrogations. The company's assignments included escorting duties -- taking detainees to the showers or a medical examination and filling the water buckets in the cells.
"At Camp X-Ray you would have to take a water hose and put water in their buckets ... They had two buckets, one for water and one to use as the restroom," Neely said. Personnel could also be assigned to check identifications or to the Internal Reaction Force team. The jobs rotated on a daily basis for the most part.
On January 11, the prisoners began to arrive. "We were told those [detainees] were the top guys. This is the group that they had to get out of Afghanistan because they were literally the worst of the worst," Neely said. He was not sure what to expect.
"I didn't really understand what a terrorist was going to look like. I know that sounds funny and really naive. I was kind of shocked that a lot of them were very little and malnourished." Neely remembered commenting at the time: "If these are the world's most dangerous men, we don't have very much to worry about."
The detainees were wearing blacked out goggles, leg shackles, three-piece suits and ear muffs. Some had gloves on, Neely said.
There was an incident on the first day that he was involved in. He said after the detainees were processed, their pictures and fingerprints were taken and they were given a quick check over. Then they were to be escorted to their cells.
Neely said he and his escorting partner were taking one detainee assigned to Alpha Block. They started to walk but the detainee was shaking and would not walk. "So we started yelling and screaming at him to walk faster ... We were actually walking so fast and he wouldn't walk so we had to pick him up off the ground and we were carrying him."
The detainee was put in his cell with Neely taking control of his upper body. His leg shackles and right handcuff were taken off. Neely said when he went to take off the left handcuff the detainee jerked toward him.
I have no problem fighting and dying for this country, but I am not going to kill or be killed for something I don't believe in
"We started yelling at him and screaming at him not to move," Neely said. Neely said the detainee continued to jerk when he and his partner tried again to remove the cuff.
"Next thing I know I slammed him on the ground and I was on top of him. He was trying to get up. I kept pushing his head down to the... concrete floor." Neely said he could hear people on the radio calling "code red Alpha Block." His escorting partner had backed out of the cell and closed the cell door.
"It was just me and the detainee in there." The IRF team "opened the cell door, grabbed me by the back of my uniform and pulled me outside and they just went in there hogtied him and left him there for I don't know how long."
A few weeks later, Neely said he was told by one of the English-speaking detainees why the man kept moving. "The reason he had moved was not to fight... He still had the blacked out goggles on so he could not see. He thought he was going to be executed," Neely said. "A lot of those guys thought they were going to be executed when we put them on their knees and started talking their cuffs off."
Neely said he felt ashamed. He said he witnessed abuse by the guards and others during his six months at the camp.
He said in one incident that occurred in the first few weeks at the camp, a detainee refused to drink a can of the protein drink Ensure, which many detainees were given because they were malnourished. The IRF was called to restrain the detainee so a medic could give him the drink. Upon entering the detainee's cell, one of the IRF team hit the detainee with a shield, Neely said.
The entire team was soon on top of the detainee so it was difficult to see what has happening, according to Neely. The IRF team then stood the detainee up and handcuffed him to the cage fencing and the medic entered the cage, grabbed the detainee by the neck and emptied the can of Ensure into his mouth, but he detainee did not swallow it, Neely said.
The medic then punched the detainee and walked out of the cage like nothing had happened, he added. The detainee was un-cuffed from the cage, hogtied and left that way for several hours, according to Neely, who said he later learned that the detainee thought he was being poisoned.
In another incident, when the camp had been operational for about two months, a detainee allegedly made a comment about one of the female guards and the IRF team was called to Bravo Block.
"They went up to the cell door and they told [the detainee] to turn around and put his hands on his head. He didn't listen," Neely said. The IRF team unlocked the cell door, at which point the detainee turned around put his hands on his head and went on his knees.
The IRF team opened the cell door and the one team member carrying a riot shield threw it off to the side. "And whatever little speed he could gather from that short distance he jumped up in the air and came down with his knee right in the middle of the back of [the detainee] and landed right on top of him."
The other four men started punching the detainee. "Then someone on the inside called the female MP... in there to hit him. And she did," Neely said.
When it was all over the detainee was in a pool of blood unconscious, according to Neely. The detainee was taken by ambulance to the main hospital in Guantanamo. The detainee was later released from Guantanamo Bay without charge, Neely said.
Asked about the allegations, a U.S. military spokeswoman told CNN via email that the Department of Defense does not tolerate the abuse of detainees and takes such allegations seriously. She however denied there was a pattern of systematic mistreatment.
"All credible allegations of abuse are thoroughly investigated, and appropriate disciplinary action is taken when those allegations are substantiated," Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde said.
But she added: "Although there have been substantiated cases of abuse in the past, for which U.S. service members have been held accountable, our enemies also have employed a deliberate campaign of exaggerations and fabrications. The suggestion that DoD personnel, the overwhelming majority of whom serve honorably, are or ever were engaged in systematic mistreatment of detainees is false and does not withstand scrutiny."
As for Neely, he still recalls his conversations with the detainees who spoke English.
"I was always kind of worried about them because of all the stuff I had heard," Neely said. "We were told they were all guilty." The two prisoners he spoke to the most were former British detainees Ruhal Ahmed and Shafiq Rasul. At Guantanamo, they would talk about music and normal subjects. "Eminem and Dr. Dre... at the time [they] were real big," Neely said.
Ahmed "would tell us he was from London. It was kind of weird, because here this guy was in Guantanamo behind this cell door and here I was on the outside ... He was actually doing a lot of the same stuff that I was doing in the United States ... We had a little bit in common."
Ahmed and Rasul were released from Guantanamo and transferred to Britain in 2004. They sued for damages against Donald Rumsfeld, the former U.S. secretary of state, and other senior military officers over alleged inhumane treatment at Guantanamo. The case was dismissed because the alleged abuse occurred before the U.S Supreme Court said that the constitution covered detainees in Guantanamo.
Neely returned to Fort Hood after his six-month deployment at Guantanamo was up. When he left, he signed a non-disclosure statement -- which he said was routine -- stating that he would not talk to the press, write a book or make a movie. He was told he could be prosecuted if he did, but has gone public about his concerns because he disagrees with U.S. policies in places like Guantanamo and Iraq. He has also testified to the Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas at the University of California, Davis.
"I have no problem fighting and dying for this country, but I am not going to kill or be killed for something I don't believe in," he said.
Neely deployed to Iraq in 2003, returned to the U.S. the following year and left the military in 2005, when his contract was up. In 2007, Neely did not respond to a recall for active duty and he was honorably discharged. He now works as a police officer in Texas, where he is raising three children.
He thinks the detention center should be closed. "I think someone would be naive to say that everybody that ever stepped foot in Guantanamo was innocent," Neely said. We know they are not, but "the fact is there is a better way to do it ... you can't just throw the principles and the values of the country and the law of the land out the window because it benefits you." Detaining innocent people and depriving them of their due process is "a significant black eye on the Unites States," Neely added.
There will be a time and a place when Neely will tell his children -- the oldest is now 10 -- about Guantanamo. I will "give them all the information and let them make their own opinion ... I'll just tell them the truth ... I will tell them that I have been part of it."
Neely initially contacted Rasul via Facebook and then met with Ahmed and Rasul, the two former British detainees, in London almost two years ago.
Neely wanted to get in touch with them to say that he was sorry for the part he played in their detention at Guantanamo. "I was very nervous to meet them," Neely said. He did not know what might happen. "I wasn't sure if they would hate me, yell at me," he added. "I can honestly say though when I left London I left with two more friends then I arrived with" (CNN, 2011).
Title: Navy Commander Pleads Guilty To Rape, Sex Assault
Date: October 29, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: A Navy ship commander has pleaded guilty to sexual assault and rape of two female sailors in his command and a military judge has ordered his dismissal and sentenced him to more than three years confinement.
In a release Friday, Navy spokeswoman Sheila Murray says Cmdr. Jay Wylie was sentenced to 10 years but will serve 42 months as part of a plea agreement.
During the San Diego hearing, the judge also ordered that Wylie forfeit future benefits.
He as immediately sent to the brig at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.
Lawyer Jeremiah Sullivan says his client Wylie was extremely remorseful.
Sullivan says the dismissal case will be appealed, but only because all dismissal cases automatically go through an appeals process (Fox News, 2011).
Source: Fox News
Abstract: A South Korean court sentenced a U.S. soldier to 10 years in prison Tuesday for raping a teenage girl -- the second harshest punishment handed down to a convicted American soldier here in nearly 20 years.
Uijeongbu District Court convicted 21-year-old Pfc. Kevin Flippin of sexually assaulting the 16-year-old girl numerous times after breaking into her small boarding room near Seoul in September, court spokesman Lee Sang-yup said.
Flippin committed many "sadistic and sexually perverted acts" while threatening the girl with a pair of scissors, a knife and a lighter, Lee said. The soldier robbed the girl of 5,000 won ($4.50) as well, he said.
The court verdict said the girl felt "terrified and sexually humiliated," according to Lee.
The case, along with a separate rape allegation by a teenage girl against another U.S. soldier, prompted top U.S. military and government officials to offer public apologies.
"Our sincere apologies go out again to the victim, her family and the Korean community," the 2nd Infantry Division said in a statement later Tuesday.
About a dozen South Korean activists rallied near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, chanting slogans and holding placards, including one that said: "We need Obama's apology!"
The court ordered Flippin to undergo 80 hours of counseling and his personal information to be made public on a South Korean government website for 10 years, Lee said.
Prosecutors had demanded a 15-year prison term. The court, however, decided on a 10-year sentence because Flippin had repented, was still young and the rape was his first crime, Lee said.
Both prosecutors and the soldier have one week to appeal, he said.
About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea, and crimes involving them have fired anti-American sentiments among many South Koreans.
In 2002, the acquittals of two American soldiers whose armored vehicle ran over and killed two South Korean schoolgirls during training prompted massive nationwide protests against the U.S. military presence in the country.
Following the latest rape case, the U.S. military reinstated a curfew for U.S. soldiers and increased joint patrols by U.S. soldiers and South Korean police around U.S. installations in South Korea.
Tuesday's sentencing is the longest prison term for an
American soldier stationed in South Korea since 1993, when a U.S. soldier was
sentenced to life in prison for murdering a South Korean bar employee,
according to the Foreign Ministry. His life sentence was later reduced to 15
years, and the soldier was eventually released in 2006 (Fox
Date: November 2, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: U.S. Army officials are withholding details behind the arrest of a 22-year-old soldier suspected of espionage, but they stressed Wednesday there is no connection with the case involving an Army analyst suspected of disclosing secret intelligence to WikiLeaks.
Authorities also said Spc. William Colton Millay didn't transmit any information.
Millay was arrested Friday at a barracks room at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. He is expected to be charged through the military justice system later this week.
Millay, a military police officer, is being held without bail at the Anchorage Correctional Facility.
Army Lt. Col. Bill Coppernoll said Millay's arrest is related to an ongoing investigation conducted by the Army and FBI.
Unlike the WikiLeaks case targeting Army analyst Bradley Manning, allegations about Millay do "not involve the transfer of data on computer networks," Coppernoll said.
"Also important to note is that because of the close coordination between Army Counterintelligence and the FBI, any information that might have been transferred was stopped," he said in an email. "Millay was being observed well before any damage could have occurred."
FBI spokesman Eric Gonzalez also declined to provide details.
Attempts to reach Millay's attorney were not successful.
Millay is assigned to the 164th Military Police Company.
Most members of that company are on a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan that
began in March, but Millay was in the company's rear detachment that stayed
Title: Alleged Plot To Attack U.S. Officials Was Inspired By Online Anti-Government Novel, Authorities Say
Date: November 2, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: An alleged plot to attack federal and state officials by suspected members of a fringe north Georgia militia group was inspired by an online anti-government novel, authorities said.
Court documents state that 73-year-old Frederick Thomas, a suspected member of the group, told others that he intended to model their actions on the online novel "Absolved," which involves small groups of citizens attacking U.S. officials.
The four suspected members, who federal authorities arrested Tuesday, were expected to appear in court Wednesday.
They were part of a group that also tried to obtain an unregistered explosive device and sought out the complex formula to produce Ricin, a biological toxin that can be lethal in small doses, according to a federal complaint.
Authorities said the group intended to use the plot of the novel "Absolved," written by Mike Vanderboegh, a blogger who has closely followed the botched federal investigation known as "Fast and Furious." He also runs a whistleblower website called Sipsey Street Irregulars.
During a phone interview with FoxNews.com on Wednesday, Vanderboegh claimed he was not responsible for the alleged plot.
"What kind of moron uses the phrase 'save the Constitution and then goes out to try and distribute Ricin?" Vanderboegh said. "This has got to be the Alzheimer's gang. What political point is made there? I don't understand what was going on in the minds of these Georgia idiots."
The four listed in the indictment are Thomas; Dan Roberts, 67; Ray Adams, 65; and Samuel Crump, 68. The men live in the north Georgia towns of Cleveland and Toccoa.
They had been talking about "covert" operations since at least March, according to court records, discussing murder, theft and using toxic agents and assassinations to undermine the state and federal government.
In one of the indictments obtained by FoxNews.com, authorities said Thomas is recorded saying, "Let's shoot the bastards that we discover are anti-American. And to me the best way to do that is to walk up behind them with a suppressed .22."
"I am of the, uh, old school, Mafia; one behind the ear with a .22 is all you need," Thomas allegedly said. "Of course a .40 Smith and Wesson or .45 ACP is just as good, even better, cause it makes the whole head explode."
Investigators also say Thomas openly discussed creating a "bucket list" of government employees, politicians, corporate leaders and members of the media he felt needed to be "taken out."
"I've been to war, and I've taken life before, and I can do it again," he told an undercover investigator, according to the records.
Thomas' wife, Charlotte, called the charges "baloney."
"He spent 30 years in the U.S. Navy. He would not do anything against his country," she said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.
Thomas and Roberts are accused of buying what they believed was a silencer and an unregistered explosive from an undercover informant in May and June. Prosecutors say he discussed using the weapons in attacks against federal buildings.
Prosecutors say Crump also discussed making 10 pounds of Ricin and dispersing it in Atlanta and various cities across the nation, suggesting it can be blown out of a car speeding down an interstate highway.
Adams, meanwhile, is accused of showing an informant the formula to make Ricin and identifying the ways to obtain the ingredients.
Thomas is accused of driving to Atlanta with a confidential informant on May 24 and scoping out an IRS building there and an ATF building "to plan and assess for possible attacks," the indictment states.
"We'd have to blow the whole building, like Timothy McVeigh," Thomas said during the trip to Atlanta, the indictment states.
Charlotte Thomas said her husband was arrested in a restaurant in Cornelia, Ga., and federal agents were at her home when she returned from the grocery store Tuesday afternoon. She said the agents wouldn't let her in her home.
"They tore up my house," Charlotte Thomas said.
She said her husband doesn't have an attorney yet.
Margaret Roberts of Toccoa said FBI agents showed up with a search warrant and went through her home, handcuffing her and taking a computer and other items. She said her husband is retired from the sign business and lives on pensions.
"He's never been in trouble with the law. He's not anti-government. He would never hurt anybody," she said.
Listed numbers for the other two suspects could not be found.
Attorneys for the men were not identified, and the federal defender's office had no immediate comment.
U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said the case is a
reminder that "we must also remain vigilant in protecting our country from
citizens within our own borders who threaten our safety and security" (Fox
Title: Charges Pending In Deadly Barracks Attack
Date: November 9, 2011
Source: Sign On San Diego
Abstract: A Marine suspected of beating another Marine to death in a Camp Pendleton barracks this weekend and then jumping off a third floor balcony is being treated for “significant” injuries but is expected to survive, a spokesman for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service said Wednesday.
Lance Cpl. Mario Arias Jr., a 19-year-old aircrew trainee from Canoga Park, was found dead in his bed about 1 a.m. Sunday, the apparent victim of a homicide. The Marine had enlisted in August 2010 and served with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
The suspect’s injuries may delay prosecution, but NCIS authorities interviewed others at the barracks at the time of the attack and continue to investigate, said Ed Buice, an NCIS representative in its Quantico, Va., headquarters.
Buice said he expects the Marine suspect, whose identity has not been released, to be prosecuted in the military justice system because the incident occurred on a military installation, but it could be days or weeks before charges are filed.
“Part of it depends on his medical condition, and we are still collecting a lot of evidence,” he said.
He declined to comment on whether alcohol had been involved in the incident, as indicated by some reports, or on a possible motive for the attack.
A spokeswoman for the air wing said the suspect’s unit and other identifying information is being withheld pending his recovery and the filing of charges.
Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, killing a
person can lead to charges of murder, manslaughter or negligent homicide. The
maximum punishment for a murder conviction is death; for negligent homicide it
is dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and three
years of confinement (Sign
On San Diego, 2011).
Date: November 10, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: A U.S. soldier accused of exhorting his bored underlings to slaughter three civilians for sport was convicted of murder, conspiracy and other charges Thursday in one of the most gruesome cases to emerge from the Afghan war.
The military jury sentenced Army Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, of Billings, Mont., to life in prison, but he will be eligible for parole in less than nine years.
Gibbs was the highest ranking of five soldiers charged in the deaths of the unarmed men during patrols in Kandahar province early last year. At his seven-day court martial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle, the 26-year-old acknowledged cutting fingers off corpses and yanking out a victim's tooth to keep as war trophies, "like keeping the antlers off a deer you'd shoot."
But he insisted he wasn't involved in the first or third killings, and in the second he merely returned fire.
Prosecutors said Gibbs and his co-defendants knew the victims posed no danger but dropped weapons by their dead bodies to make them appear to have been combatants.
Three of the co-defendants pleaded guilty, and two of them testified against him, portraying him as an imposing, bloodthirsty leader who in one instance played with a victim's corpse and moved the mouth like a puppet. Gibbs' lawyer insisted they conspired to blame him for what they had done and told the five jurors the case represented "the ultimate betrayal of an infantryman."
The jury deliberated for about four hours before convicting him on all charges. The sentencing hearing began immediately after the verdict was announced, with a prosecutor, Maj. Andre LeBlanc, asking for the maximum, life without parole. He told jurors that Gibbs was supposed to protect the Afghan people but instead caused many to lose trust in Americans, hurting the mission. LeBlanc noted that Gibbs repeatedly called the Afghans "savages."
"Ladies and gentlemen, there is the savage -- Staff Sgt. Gibbs is the savage," he said.
Gibbs' lawyer, Phil Stackhouse, asked for leniency -- life with parole, instead of without it -- and noted that Gibbs could be eligible for parole after 10 years if they allowed it.
"He'd like you to know he has had failures in his life and he's had a lot of time to think about them," Stackhouse said. "He wants you to know he's not the same person he was in Afghanistan.
He doesn't want his wife to have to raise their son on her own."
The investigation into the 5th Stryker Brigade unit exposed widespread misconduct -- a platoon that was "out of control," in the words of a prosecutor, Maj. Robert Stelle. The wrongdoing included hash-smoking, the collection of illicit weapons, the mutilation and photography of Afghan remains, and the gang-beating of a soldier who reported the drug use.
In all, 12 soldiers were charged; all but two have now been convicted.
The probe also raised questions about the brigade's permissive leadership culture and the Army's mechanisms for reporting misconduct.
After the first killing, one soldier, then-Spc. Adam Winfield, alerted his parents and told them more killings were planned, but his father's call to a sergeant at Lewis-McChord relaying the warning went unheeded. Winfield later pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the last killing, saying he took part because he believed Gibbs would kill him if he didn't.
The case against Gibbs relied heavily on testimony from former Spc. Jeremy Morlock, of Wasilla, Alaska, who is serving 24 years after admitting his involvement in all three killings.
According to Morlock, Gibbs gave him an "off-the-books" grenade that Morlock and Pfc. Andrew Holmes, of Boise, Idaho, used in the first killing -- a teenager in a field -- in January 2010.
The next month, Morlock said, Gibbs killed the second victim with Spc. Michael Wagnon, of Las Vegas, and tossed an AK-47 at the man's feet to make him appear to have been an enemy fighter. Morlock and Winfield said that during the third killing, in May, Gibbs threw a grenade at the victim as he ordered them to shoot.
Morlock and others told investigators that soon after Gibbs joined the unit in 2010, he began talking about how easy it would be to kill civilians, and discussed scenarios where they might carry out such murders.
Asked why soldiers might have agreed to go along with it, Morlock testified that the brigade had trained for deployment to Iraq before having their orders shifted at the last minute to Afghanistan.
The infantrymen wanted action and firefights, he testified, but instead they found themselves carrying out a more humanitarian counter-insurgency strategy that involved meetings and handshaking.
Another soldier, Staff Sgt. Robert Stevens, who at the
time was a close friend of Gibbs, told investigators that in March 2010, he and
others followed orders from Gibbs to fire on two unarmed farmers in a field; no
one was injured. Gibbs claimed one was carrying a rocket-propelled grenade
launcher, but that was obviously false, Stevens said.
Stevens also testified that Gibbs bragged to him about the second killing, admitting he planted an AK-47 on the victim's body because he suspected the man of involvement with the Taliban, according to a report on the testimony in The News Tribune newspaper of Tacoma.
But during the trial, Gibbs insisted he came under fire.
"I was engaged by an enemy combatant," he said. "Luckily his weapon appeared to malfunction and I didn't die."
Gibbs testified that he wasn't proud about having removed fingers from the bodies of the victims, but said he tried to disassociate the corpses from the humans they had been as a means of coming to terms with the things soldiers are asked to do in battle.
The muscular 6-foot-4 staff sergeant also testified that he did it because other soldiers wanted the trophies, and he agreed in part because he didn't want his subordinates to think he was a wimp.
Gibbs initially faced 16 charges, but one was dropped
during the trial (Fox
Title: General: Ashes From Service Members' Remains Went To Landfill
Date: November 10, 2011
Abstract: The ashes of cremated body parts from some of the nation's war dead were dumped in landfills until 2008, unbeknownst to their survivors, an Air Force general acknowledged Wednesday.
The practice was stopped, and remains from cremated body parts now are disposed of at sea, Air Force Chief of Public Affairs Brig. Gen. Les Kodlick said.
The landfill disposal of the ashes was first reported in The Washington Post.
Kodlick issued a statement describing instances prior to 2008 when families had authorized portions of remains to be disposed of. Another Air Force official, speaking on background, emphasized that these situations did not involve bodies but "parts of bone and other DNA material."
Military escorts accompanied the remains to a crematorium near Dover Air Force Base Mortuary, which processes remains of service members killed overseas, the statement said.
After cremation, the ashes were escorted back to Dover, Kodlick said, and then turned over to a contractor "for further incineration and disposition in accordance with medical disposition."
"The common practice was that any residual matter remaining after incineration was disposed of by the contractor in a landfill," Kodlick said.
"We could have done it better," he said.
The Air Force official speaking on background emphasized that families had authorized disposal of those remains, but did not know the ashes would be put in a landfill (CNN, 2011).Title: Soldier Faces Court Martial For Alleged Role In Afghan Sport Killings
Date: November 16, 2011
Abstract: The court martial of another U.S. soldier accused of taking part in killing unarmed Afghan civilians for sport is set to begin Wednesday.
Staff Sgt. David Bram is one of 12 members of the Army's 5th Stryker Brigade facing charges in connection with the killings that took place over a period of five months at or near Forward Operating Base Ramrod in southern Afghanistan's volatile Kandahar province last year.
Three have pleaded guilty to the murders and agreed to testify against fellow soldiers. Another six have been convicted of lesser crimes.
And last week, a military court-martial found another, Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, guilty of murdering three Afghan civilians, illegally cutting off pieces of their corpses to keep as "souvenirs" and planting weapons to make the men appear as if they were Taliban fighters killed in legitimate firefights.
The platoon was tasked with patrolling small villages in the area to build relationships with an Afghan population wary of the U.S. presence in their country.
Instead, prosecutors say the group of rogue soldiers allegedly plotted to murder civilians and then planted weapons on them.
Bram is not accused of murder or conspiracy to commit murder.
Prosecutors charged him with conspiracy to commit assault and battery, unlawfully striking another soldier, violating a lawful order, dereliction of duty, cruelty and maltreament and endeavoring to impede an investigation.
He faces 9 1/2 years in prison if he is convicted of all charges, the military said (CNN, 2011).