Ex-Passaic mayor awaits sentencing for corruption

15 08 2008

TRENTON, N.J. – Former Passaic Mayor Samuel Rivera is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in Trenton Friday.

Rivera resigned last year after he pleaded guilty to attempted extortion. He faces up to two years behind bars.

Rivera admitted he accepted $5,000 in cash to influence government contracts.

The former mayor was snared in an investigation that began in 2006 amid evidence of corruption in the Pleasantville school district near Atlantic City. The FBI established an undercover insurance company that employed two cooperating witnesses and undercover agents. News Source  Newsday/pcjn

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FBI (New York) #1 most wanted female in the world in custody

13 08 2008

NEW YORK– Michael J. Garcia, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Mark J. Mershon, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Raymond W. Kelly, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York, announced today the arrest of Aafia Siddiqui on charges related to her attempted murder and assault of United States officers and employees in Afghanistan. Siddiqui arrived in New York this evening and will be presented tomorrow before a United States Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. According to the Complaint filed in Manhattan federal court:

On July 17, 2008, officers of the Ghazni Province Afghanistan National Police (“ANP”) observed Siddiqui outside the Ghazni governor’s compound. ANP officers questioned Siddiqui, regarded her as suspicious, and searched her handbag. In it, they found numerous documents describing the creation of explosives, as well as excerpts from the Anarchist’s Arsenal. Siddiqui’s papers included descriptions of various landmarks in the United States, including in New York City. Siddiqui was also in possession of substances that were sealed in bottles and glass jars.

On July 18, 2008, a party of United States personnel, including two FBI special agents, a United States Army Warrant Officer, a United States Army Captain, and United States military interpreters, arrived at the Afghan facility where Siddiqui was being held. The personnel entered a second floor meeting room — unaware that Siddiqui was being held there, unsecured, behind a curtain.

The Warrant Officer took a seat and placed his United States Army M-4 rifle on the floor next to the curtain. Shortly after the meeting began, the Captain heard a woman yell from the curtain and, when he turned, saw Siddiqui holding the Warrant Officer’s rifle and pointing it directly at the Captain. Siddiqui said, “May the blood of [unintelligible] be directly on your [unintelligible, possibly head or hands].” The interpreter seated closest to Siddiqui lunged at her and pushed the rifle away as Siddiqui pulled the trigger. Siddiqui fired at least two shots but no one was hit. The Warrant Officer returned fire with a 9 mm service pistol and fired approximately two rounds at Siddiqui’s torso, hitting her at least once.

Despite being shot, Siddiqui struggled with the officers when they tried to subdue her; she struck and kicked them while shouting in English that she wanted to kill Americans. After being subdued, Siddiqui temporarily lost consciousness. The agents and officers then rendered medical aid to Siddiqui.

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U.S. scientist in anthrax case reportedly kills himself

1 08 2008

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior U.S. government scientist who helped investigate a series of deadly anthrax attacks in 2001 has died from an apparent suicide, just as the Justice Department was about to charge him with carrying out the attacks, the Los Angeles Times reported on Friday. The newspaper identified the man as Bruce Ivins, 62, and said he had worked for the last 18 years at government biodefence research laboratories in Maryland. It quoted people familiar with Ivins, his suspicious death and the FBI investigation.

 It said Ivins had been informed of his impending prosecution shortly before his death on Tuesday after swallowing a massive dose of pain killers.

The anthrax was sent through the mail to media organizations and politicians shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The attacks killed five people, crippled national mail service, shut down a Senate office building and spread fear of further terrorism.Viewed as a skilled microbiologist, Ivins helped the FBI analyze materials recovered from one of the anthrax-tainted envelopes sent to a U.S. senator’s office in Washington, the newspaper said.





Feds: Ex-Army engineer slipped secrets to Israel

22 04 2008

A former U.S. Army mechanical engineer at Picatinny Arsenal was charged today with slipping classified documents about nuclear weapons to the Israeli government in a plot that stretched back two cecades.

Federal prosecutors in New York said Ben-ami Kadish, 85, a U.S. citizen who worked at the Army base, took home classified documents for six years and let a member of the Israeli Consulate photograph them in his basement.

The documents included information about nuclear weapons, a modified version of an F-15 fighter jet, and the U.S. Patriot missile air defense system, they said.

Kadish is charged in U.S. District Court in Manhattan with four counts of conspiracy, including allegations that he disclosed U.S. national defense documents to the same Israeli Consulate member who received information from convicted Pentagon spy Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard, a former civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, pleaded guilty when he was standing trial for transferring military secrets to Israel while working at the Pentagon. He is serving a life sentence in a U.S. federal prison.

Bruce Goldstein, a lawyer for Kadish, had no immediate comment.

Calls requesting comment from the Israeli consulate in the U.S. were referred to Jerusalem, where Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Arye Mekel said: “We know nothing about it. We have nothing to say.”

A criminal complaint said Kadish confessed to FBI agents on Sunday that he had given the Israeli between 50 and 100 classified documents and accepted no cash in return, only small gifts and occasional dinners for him and his family.

Kadish worked at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at the Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, N.J. On numerous occasions between 1979 and 1985, the agent provided Kadish with lists of U.S. national defense classified documents he was interested in, according to the complaint. Kadish worked at the base from 1963 through 1990.

The complaint described a close relationship between the two men that continued beyond 1985, and included telephone and e-mail conversations exchanged as recently as Sunday.

The unidentified agent was described in the complaint as a one-time employee of Israeli Aircraft Industries, which since at least the late 1970s has been a defense manufacturing contractor for the Israeli government. The company is now known as Israeli Aerospace Industries.

From July 1980 through November 1985, the agent worked for the Israeli government as the consul for science affairs at the Israeli consulate in Manhattan and lived in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.

The two men were introduced by Kadish’s brother, who at one time worked with the agent at the manufacturing plant in Israel.

The research center where Kadish worked on the Army base housed a library of documents, including many with classified information related to U.S. national defense. From 1979 through 1985, Kadish signed out at least 35 classified documents, according to the complaint.

Kadish told the FBI that he knew that one restricted document he provided to the agent included atomic-related information and that he did not have the required clearance to borrow it, according to the complaint.

Prosecutors say the Israeli called Kadish on March 20 and told him to lie to federal law enforcement agents who were investigating possible espionage.

“Don’t say anything. Let them say whatever they want. You didn’t … do anything. … What happened 25 years ago? You didn’t remember anything,” the man allegedly told Kadish in Hebrew.

In addition to the spying counts, Kadish is charged with conspiring to hinder a communication with a law enforcement officer and conspiring to make a materially false statement to a law officer. Those charges stem from the March conversation.

The complaint noted that Pollard was charged in November 1985 with espionage-related offense after he provided classified information to the same Israeli worker, among other people.

The Israeli worker left the United States in November 1985 and has not returned, the complaint said. NorthJersey.com





FBI agents search Coniglio’s house, office

20 11 2007

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Federal agents this morning raided the Paramus home and legislative office of state Senator Joseph Coniglio as part of an ongoing corruption investigation targeting the Bergen County Democrat, according to his staff and a source close to the probe.

FBI agents arrived at Coniglio’s office at about 9 a.m. with a search warrant, said Terry Romano, his office administrator. They were still searching the office at about 11:30, but had not seized anything, she said.

Authorities were simultaneously searching Coniglio’s nearby home, according to a source close to the investigation who requested anonymity.

Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, declined to confirm or comment on any activity by federal agents. by Jeff Whelan/The Star-Ledger