Friday, September 18, 2009

Breaking News! Colorado Terror Suspect Admits Ties to Al Qaeda, Plans to Plead Guilty

According to Fox News, sources at the Justice Department have confirmed that Najibullah Zazi, the man under investigation for alleged ties to a New York City subway terror plot, has admitted ties to Al Qaeda and is currently negotiating to plead guilty to terrorism charges. It is unclear what information Zazi will provide to the government as part of the agreement or whether he has information regarding other terrorist operations currently underway within the United States.

According to Fox News:

The source said 24-year-old Najibullah Zazi, who until now had protested that he had no connection to Al Qaeda, changed his story Friday. Zazi reportedly told officials that he had received explosives training and may plead guilty as part of a deal to cooperate with the government.

Zazi had submitted to two eight-hour interrogations, Wednesday and Thursday, at the FBI offices in Denver, and he was called back for further questioning Friday.

The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force went through Zazi's home, as well as the nearby residence of his aunt, Rabia Zazi. The searches are part of a terrorism investigation that fed fears of a possible subway bomb plot and led to several police raids Monday in New York City. . .

Zazi, who authorities suspect of training at a Pakistani terror camp, reportedly had bomb-making diagrams on a computer that he carried with him on a visit to New York. Zazi's attorney had denied these allegations. . .

Najibullah Zazi is a driver for an airport shuttle service in Denver. Authorities say he rented a car and drove from Denver to New York, crossing into Manhattan the day before the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.

He was stopped in what was described as a routine stop at the George Washington Bridge before he was allowed to go free.

A relative said Zazi drove because he wanted to see the American countryside. Zazi said he went to New York to resolve some issues with a coffee cart he owns in Manhattan, but officials suspected that something more sinister might have been in the works.

FBI agents and police officers with search warrants seeking bomb materials searched three apartments and questioned residents in the neighborhood in Queens where he was staying.

A joint FBI-New York Police Department task force feared Zazi may be involved in a potential plot involving hydrogen peroxide-based explosives like those cited in an intelligence warning issued Monday, said two other law enforcement officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the investigation.

Folsom [Zazi’s attorney] said Zazi was born in Afghanistan in 1985, moved to Pakistan at age 7 and emigrated to the United States in 1999. Zazi's aunt had said earlier that he was born in Pakistan and grew up in Queens, New York City.

Folsom said Zazi has returned to Pakistan four times in recent years: in 2004 because his grandfather was sick and dying, in 2006 to get married, and in 2007 and 2008 to visit his wife.

Former Rwandan Official Pleads Guilty to Complicity in Genocide

According to the Georgetown Security Law Brief, a former Rwandan government official pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of complicity in genocide before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Machael Bagaragaza admitted to funding, training, and providing weapons to the Interahamwe, an extremist Hutu militia that killed thousands of ethnic Tutsi during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The Jurist has the following report on the guilty plea.

Prosecutors submitted an amended complaint with the plea agreement that withdrew genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide charges against the former director general of OCIR-Tea, the agency which oversees Rwanda's tea industry. A sentencing hearing is planned for November 2.

Bagaragaza was transferred in May 2008 to the ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania, after a Dutch court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to try his case. In August 2007, the ICTR revoked a previous order transferring Bagaragaza's case to a local court in the Netherlands after the country expressed doubt that its court system could handle the trial. In 2006, the ICTR denied prosecutors' request to transfer Bagaragaza's trial to Norway because Norway did not have a specific law against genocide. Bagaragaza surrendered to the ICTR in August 2005.

Physical Therapist Pleads Guilty in $18.3 Million Fraud

Jay Jha, a physical therapist in Michigan, pleaded guilty on August 26, 2009 to conspiracy to defraud the Medicare program of $18.3 million. According to the plea agreement, Jha and a co-conspirator created fictitious therapy files listing services that had not actually been performed. The fictitious services were then billed to Medicare through sham providers controlled by the conspirators.

Hacker Agrees to Plead Guilty in Two Massive Data Thefts

Albert Gonzalez, who is currently charged in New Jersey with stealing credit and debit card data from a record number of victims, has agreed to plead guilty to charges relating to two previous hacking cases in Massachusetts and New York. The Massachusetts case gained national attention several years ago when Gonzalez stole more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers from several major retailers, including the TJX Companies Inc.

The deals in Massachusetts and New York do not affect a third case pending in New Jersey, where Gonzalez is alleged to have stolen data related to more than 130 million credit and debit cards. The New Jersey case is the largest credit and debit card breach in US history.

Ex-Stanford Group CFO Pleas Guilty in $7B Ponzi Scheme

James Davis, a former Stanford Group chief financial officer, pleaded guilty to fraud charges in a Houston federal court on August 27, 2009. The plea is the first arising from the alleged $7 billion investment scheme at the financial group. According to the Department of Justice, Davis has agreed to cooperate with their ongoing investigation in return for an eventual sentencing reduction.

Davis was charged in June 2009 with mail fraud, conspiracy to obstruct an SEC investigation, and conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and securities fraud.

According to sources, Davis admitted in his plea agreement that he and others defrauded investors who bought $7 billion in certificates of deposit administered by the Stanford International Bank Ltd. He also admitted to misappropriating many of those assets, including diverting $1.6 billion for personal loans.