The FBI arrested a San Jose man as he went through the motions of detonating what he believed to be a car bomb in front of a Northern California bank, federal authorities said Friday.
FBI agents arrested Matthew Aaron Llaneza, 28, Thursday night near a Bank of America branch in Oakland as part of a sting operation.
Llaneza had minutes earlier parked an SUV in front of the bank believing the vehicle contained an explosive rigged to detonate from a cellphone command, authorities said. Llaneza was arrested as he stood nearby and tried to detonate the device with a cellphone.
The FBI says Llaneza expressed support for the Taliban and had hoped the bombing would be blamed on anti-government activists and would somehow spark a civil war after a severe government crackdown. The FBI said Llaneza expressed a desire to travel to Afghanistan to train Taliban fighters.
Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr’s brother Jonathan says the congressman will send House Speaker John Boehner a letter of resignation.
Jackson, 47, a South Side Democrat, has been treated for bipolar depression and has been on a medical leave from Congress since June. He has been under investigation by federal authorities for alleged misuse of campaign dollars and also has faced a congressional ethics probe.
There are countless unknowns still swirling around the Affordable Care Act. Its ultimate price tag is anyone’s guess. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision to make the ACA’s Medicaid expansion optional, there’s no way to predict how many uninsured people will gain new coverage. But one of the biggest mysteries shrouding the law is whether state or federal authorities are better suited to manage the insurance exchanges that will regulate and organize individual and small group health insurance policies once the law is fully in effect in 2014.
In a move that boxed in Republican governors who rail against federal intrusion, the authors of the ACA left the crucial job of exchange management to the states. At the same time, the ACA says the federal government will run exchanges for states which don’t set up their own. This clever gambit left red-state governors with a Sophie’s choice of sorts. They could set up insurance exchanges and participate in the implementation of one of the most divisive laws in modern American politics. Or they could refuse, and invite the federal government into their insurance regulatory apparatus, which has historically been governed at the state level.
The Democrats in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services would be happy either way. Controlling more exchanges would be beneficial to advancing their regulatory priorities; ceding control to states would probably save money on IT costs over the long run. (The exchanges will be run through web sites, on which individuals and small groups will be able to compare plans and buy insurance policies.) Either way, the ACA insurance regulations written by the feds would have to be followed.
The self-proclaimed spokesman for the Internet hacking group Anonymous faces charges that he threatened to shoot officers and bring down an FBI agent.
Barrett Lancaster Brown, 31, of Dallas, was indicted on one count of making an Internet threat, one count of conspiring to make restricted personal information of an employee of the United States publicly available, and one count of retaliation against a federal law enforcement officer.
Brown has been in federal custody since September. Thursday’s indictment was the first explanation by federal authorities as to why he was arrested and held.
Prosecutors say that Brown posted several videos and messages on YouTube and Twitter between March and September “threatening to shoot and injure agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and specifically focusing on Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent [RS].”
Brown was apparently upset about federal agents confiscating his computer equipment and questioning his mother, according to the indictment.
In a self-shot video titled “Why I’m Going to Destroy FBI Agent [RS] Part Three: Revenge of the Lithe,” Brown allegedly calls the agent a “fucking chicken shit little faggot cocksucker” and a “criminal, who is involved in a criminal conspiracy.”
“Brown stated ‘[t]hat’s why [RS]’s life is over, but when I say his life is over, I don’t say I’m going to kill him, but I am going to ruin his life and look into his fucking kids,’” the indictment states. “Brown stated ‘[a]ny armed officials of the US government, particularly the FBI, will be regarded as potential Zeta assassin squads, and as the FBI and [Dallas Police Department] know … I’m armed, that I come from a military family, that I was taught to shoot by a Vietnam vet and by my father a master hunter … I will shoot all of them and kill all of them if they come.”
Between March and September, Brown allegedly conspired to threaten and intimidate RS by making restricted personal information about the agent and his immediate family publicly available.
Federal authorities arrested Trenton Mayor Tony Mack and more than half a dozen other people early Monday in connection with an ongoing corruption probe, NBC 4 New York has learned.
Mack faces federal charges including conspiracy to obstruct commerce by extortion. Joseph “JoJo” Giorgianni, a top campaign contributor, and six others were also taken into custody. Information on their attorneys wasn’t immediately available. Specific charges against the suspects are expected to be outlined by Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, later Monday.
Mack faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted on extortion charges, prosecutors said.
In recorded conversations, Giorgianni said, “I can be bought,” “We want this,” “I like to do it the Boss Tweed way, you know, Boss Tweed ran Tammany Hall,” and “Tony knows when I’m in for a penny I’m in for a pound,” according to a criminal complaint.
A serial bomber has targeted a home in a quiet Glendale neighborhood, federal authorities believe.
An explosion on Wednesday morning was the third to rock the house in 15 months.
What investigators don’t know is why.
By all accounts, the homeowners are unlikely targets for such a serious act of violence.
One of the homeowners works for the Deer Valley Unified School District, according to authorities. Neighbors said the man is a member of the homeowners’ association and his car has veteran license plates. He declined to be interviewed.
“Quite frankly, we’re puzzled,” said Tom Mangan, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “We’re looking for answers, but we just have more questions.”
The ATF is investigating the explosion along with the Glendale Police Department.
Under tough questioning, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and his top assistant Friday told a blue-ribbon panel investigating deputy abuse that they failed to uncover problems roiling the nation’s largest jail system.
Baca, however, urged the commission to focus on solutions rather than dwelling on past shortcomings.
“We know we screwed up in the past,” Baca told members of the county Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence. “I’m a guy that says let’s go forward…. I just need this commission to understand the limits of digging up dirt that doesn’t have any water going into it.”
Baca’s testimony marked the most extensive public questioning he has faced about his management style and knowledge of problems inside the lockups since it was revealed last year that federal authorities were investigating allegations of deputy abuse of inmates.
Sounding apologetic and testy at times, Baca complained that his underlings had kept him unaware of their concerns that deputies abused inmates and covered up misconduct.
When one commissioner sought answers about a spike in use-of-force incidents at the jail, Baca interrupted: “What good does it do to talk about it now?…. We can look at a lot of charts and say, ‘Gee, if you saw this, why didn’t you just go right into action?’
“I’m one person and I’ve got a department that’s full of opportunities for mistakes,” he said.
At another point, Commission Counsel Richard Drooyan asked Baca: “If you’re to blame, how do we hold you accountable?”
“Don’t elect me!” Baca retorted to cheers from a largely supportive audience of sheriff’s officials.
Based in Bermuda, Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd. was not listed on any of Romney’s state or federal financial reports. The company is among several Romney holdings that have not been fully disclosed, including one that recently posted a $1.9 million earning - suggesting he could be wealthier than the nearly $250 million estimated by his campaign.
The omissions were permitted by state and federal authorities overseeing Romney’s ethics filings, and he has never been cited for failing to disclose information about his money. But Romney’s limited disclosures deprive the public of an accurate depiction of his wealth and a clear understanding of how his assets are handled and taxed, according to experts in private equity, tax and campaign finance law.
Sankaty was transferred to a trust owned by Romney’s wife, Ann, one day before he was sworn in as Massachusetts governor in 2003, according to Bermuda records obtained by The Associated Press. The Romneys’ ownership of the offshore firm did not appear on any state or federal financial reports during Romney’s two presidential campaigns. Only the Romneys’ 2010 tax records, released under political pressure earlier this year, confirmed their continuing control of the company.
A Canadian subsidiary of the Connecticut-based military contractor the United Technologies Corporation pleaded guilty on Thursday to federal charges that it had illegally helped the Chinese government develop an attack helicopter now in service there.
As part of a settlement with the Justice and State Departments, the military contractor, the Canadian subsidiary and another American subsidiary agreed to pay more than $75 million to the departments for making false statements to federal authorities.
The helicopter, known as the Z-10, seats two people and is designed mainly to attack tanks, armored vehicles and other ground forces. It is being mass produced in China.
The Canadian subsidiary, the Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation, violated the Arms Export Control Act by providing the Chinese with 10 engines to power Z-10 helicopters in 2001 and 2002, according to an announcement by the United States attorney’s office for the District of Connecticut. Technology for the engines, the authorities said, had originally been created for United States military helicopters.
According to the settlement, Pratt & Whitney Canada pleaded guilty to illegally exporting to China the American military software used to operate the engines.
Pratt & Whitney Canada “anticipated that its work on the Z-10 military attack helicopter in China would open the door to a far more lucrative civilian helicopter market in China” that may have been worth $2 billion to the company, according to the Justice Department. Ultimately, the Chinese government chose not to award the company contracts for civilian helicopters.
Federal authorities who seized a popular hip-hop music site based on assertions from the Recording Industry Association of America that it was linking to four “pre-release” music tracks gave it back more than a year later without filing civil or criminal charges because of apparent recording industry delays in confirming infringement, according to court records obtained by Wired.
The Los Angeles federal court records, which were unsealed Wednesday at the joint request of Wired, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the First Amendment Coalition, highlight a secret government process in which a judge granted the government repeated time extensions to build a civil or criminal case against Dajaz1.com, one of about 750 domains the government has seized in the last two years in a program known as Operation in Our Sites.
Apparently, however, the RIAA and music labels’ evidence against Dajaz1, a music blog, never came. Or, if it did, it was not enough to build a case and the authorities returned the site nearly 13 months later without explanation or apology.
Cindy Cohn, the EFF’s legal director, said the site’s 13-month seizure by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau highlights the RIAA’s influence over the government. President Barack Obama has tapped at least five former RIAA attorneys for senior positions in the Justice Department.