Monday, April 29, 2013

Senseless Violence Can Occur Anywhere...

Lawrence Capener, a 24-year-old maniac, allegedly jumped over several pews at St Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church  and stabbed four people. (A photo of the church appears here courtesy of the A.P.) Such an act of utter senseless violence is not something one would expect to see at a Catholic church in Albuquerque during Sunday mass. What makes even less sense is that Lawrence Capener allegedly targeted the choir area.
Among those injured were church choir director Adam Alvarez and flutist Gerald Madrid. (Madrid was actually stabbed five times.) Fortunately, all four victims were treated at a local hospitals and they did not have life threatening injuries. An off-duty police officer and others at the church stopped Capener before he could do too much damage.

Capener will likely be charged with several felonies. However, the motive for Capener's bizarre behavior is still unknown. The Archbishop of Santa Fe Michael Sheehan released a statement that he was "saddened by the attack... I pray for all who have been harmed, their families, the parishioners and that nothing like this will ever happen again."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Abdella Ahmad Tounisi Needs Education

The biggest problem with being stupid is that "it's dumb." Perhaps not an elegant statement but truer words have perhaps never been spoken. Abdella Ahmad Tounisi of Aurora, Illinois is 18-year-old and he is stupid if what authorities say is true. Specifically,  Abdella Ahmad Tounisi is accused of trying to join an al Qaeda-linked group fighting in Syria.  This is a big mistake given our FBI's position on terrorism. Tounisi was arrested Friday as he prepared to board a plane bound for Turkey. (Not exactly a tourist destination.)

Tounisi is allegedly an acquaintance of Adel Daoud, an American accused of trying to bomb a Chicago bar last year. (If nothing else, Tounisi proves his stupidity by association.  What is it that you learn in school about birds of a feather?)  Tounisi faces one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The criminal complaint alleges that Tounisi made online contact in March with a person he thought was a recruiter for Jabhat al-Nusrah, the militant Islamist Syrian group which is thought to be a subdivision of al Qaeda in Iraq.

Tounisi was actually sending emails to an FBI employee instead of the terrorist group.  Tounisi is represented by a public defender.  He faces a maximum of 15 years if convicted.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Patriot Day Spoiled by Senseless Bomb Which Kills and Maims of Innocent People in Boston

The Pakistani Taliban, an insurgent group, says they didn't do it.   (They did admit to a failed bomb attack in New York nearly three years ago and terror attacks that have wreaked havoc on this South Asian nation for years. However, they say this was not their brainy idea.) In fact, their leader Ehsan told the media, "Certainly, America is our target and we will attack the U.S. and its allies whenever the [Pakistani Taliban] finds the opportunity, but we are not involved in this attack."  Taking this low life at his word, then we must ask who is responsible for the cowardly bombings that took three lives and injured over a hundred more?
At this time, no one has claimed responsibility for the bombs, and the fact that no firearms were used in the attack so we can't blame it on the pro-gun crowd. FBI are poring over video and photographs from the Boston Marathon for clues to determine who is responsible. Two bombs exploded near the finish line killing three people and injuring more than 140. A third incident, a fire at the Library, is believed to be coincidental.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Richard DesLauriers was very brief with the press because it "is a criminal investigation that is a potential terrorist investigation." The sequence of the blasts suggests theories involving Islamic militants or U.S. anti-government extremists but at this point, no one really knows.  There was no advance warning of the attack.  And like typical cowards, no one has claimed responsibility.  The Boston Marathon is an international event that belongs to the world.  Only a coward would target such a peaceful multinational group of people.

Inspire, an Internet publication spewing Yemen-based al Qaeda propaganda provides blue prints for such attacks.  But one doesn't have to be a terrorist to follow their insane plans. Jihadists are lunatics no matter where they are from.  It is hard to conceive how any God would endorse or approve of teaching people to build homemade explosive devices designed to kill 3 innocent people and would 140 more.

The explosive devices appears to be made from pressure cookers filled with metal nails and ball bearings. Photographs suggest that the devise near the finish line had been hid in a black backpack, according to law enforcement. Photographs of a damaged pressure-cooker container was being circulated to help track the source.
Let the authorities investigate this before we form a lynch mob. Start by finding the identity of what appears to be a man on the rooftop of a building near the finish line. (See above photo taken by Dan Lampariello.) If nothing else, he may have had a clear view of what transpired. And yes, interview the Middle Eastern Student whose apartment was searched hours after the bombing. But don't neglect investigating the idiotic lunatics native to our country. In the interim, let's not rush to judgment, lets have a fair inquisition.

4-17-13 Update:  Hey Coward:  An eight year old boy, Martin Richard, eight, and Krystle Campbell, 29, have needlessly died.  A twenty-seven year-old Chinese graduate student also lost her life. 176 others were injured. What did these innocent people do to you?  Are you so weak and so powerless that you have to kill a defenseless little boy than cower in fear? Don't you want your backpack and pressure cooker back?  If it is a fight that you want, why not admit your offense and openly challenge the Boston people to do something about it?  But before you do, you may first want to read a little about the Battle of Bunker Hill to size up your opponent.

4-17-13 Afternoon Update: Has the little weasel coward been spotted? A store video camera near the second bomb may have captured a suspicous persons image.  In addition, The Associated Press has a confidential informant that says a suspect has been detained and may be charged in federal court located in Boston. The coward is believed to be involved in placing the explosive device made from a kitchen pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails and other shrapnel. Officially, the FBI has said that no one has claimed responsibility for the murder. "Contrary to widespread reporting, there have been no arrests made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack... Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate. Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting."

Okay, we are going to be real cautious... Hopefully a suspect is in hand and hopefully will soon be introduced to the hand of justice.  (And if he had help, we are coming to get you too!)

Update 4-21-13: Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the oldest shooter, was pronounced dead at Beth Israel Hospital Deaconess Medical Center Friday morning after a shoot out.  The fatal blow to Tamerlan was likely being run over by a vehicle.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was in serious but stable condition at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where 11 victims of the bombing were still being treated. The most serious federal charge available would be the use of a weapon of mass destruction which typically does not carry a death sentence.  State charges, including that of murder, could also be brought. State causes could trigger a death sentence.

Update 4-24-13: Tsarnaev is represented by an experienced public defender, Miriam Conrad.

Conrad heads the Federal Public Defender Office in Boston.  She defended "shoe bomber" Richard Reid in 2001.

Update 5-22-13:  27-year-old,  Ibragim Todashevan, is believed to have been interviewed by the FBI after the Boston Marathon bombing.  It is now suspected that an FBI agent shot and killed Todashevan after he became violent while being questioned. Ibragim Todashev, reportedly knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older, deceased Boston suspect through mixed martial arts. At some point during the interview process, he allegedly attacked an officer, who apparently killed him.  The incident is allegedly under investigation.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Is Christopher Knight the Legendary North Pond Hermit?

Christopher Knight, 47, does not appear to be the brightest crayon in the box. Mr. Knight was arrested last week while stealing food from a camp for people with special needs in Rome, Maine.  Knight lived like a hermit for decades in a makeshift camp in the woods.  While normally such men are ignored by the press and society as a whole, Knight is different because he may be responsible for more than 1,000 burglaries for food and other staples.  Knight seemed to get away with his thievery until he was apparently caught on surveillance.

Knight is known as "the North Pond Hermit" for the past 27 years. He was so well known to some summer cottage owners that they voluntarily left food out for him.   Knight is currently residing in Kennebec County Jail until he can be tried for his alleged offenses. Jail may be an improvement over the unheated tarp covered tent which he has been living in for many years.
At the time of his arrest, Knight was clean-shaven with short hair. He has only been charged with the Pine Tree Camp burglary, in which $238 worth of goods were taken.  His bail is set at $5,000.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Has Intimidation and Murder Threatening to Destroy the Right To Trial in Texas?

Why even criminals should be concerned...

Be careful what you do, for mob mentality may destroy our fundamental principles of justice.  The consequences may be severe and contrary to the vary principles you claim to support.  So ask yourself, do you really want to destroy the legal system to the point that suspects are imprisoned without any right to trial?  Because if the legal system won't work because of murder and intimidation, the end result may be an immediate transition directly from suspect to prisoner without the benefit of our constitutional rights.

Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife were recently murdered.  McLelland belonged to a multi-agency task force investigating the Aryan Brotherhood.  McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found shot to death Saturday just outside of Forney, Texas.  Investigators speculate that the white supremacist group may be responsible.  In addition, Jay Hileman, an assistant U.S. attorney in Houston has allegedly withdrawn from a large racketeering case against the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas presumably out of fear for his life. These unthinkable events have occurred  two months after one of the county's assistant district attorneys, Mark Hasse, was killed near his courthouse office. (Hasse died on Jan. 31 came the same day as the first guilty pleas were entered in a criminal indictment involving a white supremist group. No arrests have been made with regard to the Hasse murder.)

Richard O. Ely II, a Houston defense attorney for one of the defendants, told The Dallas Morning News that Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hileman recently informed him that he was withdrawing from the case. "I understand why someone would want to step back.... "It makes sense to me, especially people that have families,"  Ely told Houston television station KTRK-TV. In the mean time, another Justice Department prosecutor, from Washington, D.C., will replace Hileman. David Karpel, a lawyer with the Justice Department's gang unit is also assigned to the case.
56-year-old Nick Morale has been arrested on a charge of making a terrorist threat; however, there is no evidence that his arrest is connected to any death. Morale allegedly called a tip line the killings of McLelland and his wife Cynthia.  He allegedly threaten a specific county official; however, nothing links Morale to the McLellands' deaths or the killing of Hasse. Morale is not a suspect in either case.

According to the Times, an unknown person wrote on a social networking site that the killings were "acts of revenge against the tyrannical, unjust, Pit Bull style treatment of every poor soul damned to do business in the Kaufman County courthouse."  The writer also inferred that another Kaufman prosecutor "...will soon perish, bringing closure to an era of unacceptable practices and allowing Kaufman County residents to move forward with liberty and justice."

FBI out of Dallas has publicized few leads.  However, it is believed that tire tracks and cigarette butts near the McLelland home may lead to the apprehension of suspects in the shooting. The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas has been in the prison system for a long time. The group is believed to have over 4,000 members and is accused of violence and retribution both inside and outside of the penal system.  The gang has a military like structure with a chain of command.  Four top leaders and 26 other alleged members were indicted in October for various crimes.  Law enforcement subsequently warned that the gang members might retaliate against law enforcement. However, to be clear, law enforcement has not publicly accused the Aryan Brotherhood as being involved with the killings.  However, a Texas Department of Public Safety bulletin has warned of "mass casualties or death" to law enforcement officials involved in the recent case.
To date, there has been little word from the Aryan Brotherhood; however, even law enforcement representatives admit it would be uncharacteristic of the group to kill public officials.  The group is thought to operate on the outside of prison in the shadows of drug trafficking and prostitution. Consequently, murder of law enforcement and open intimidation would not be typical of the group. Yet an 18-count indictment previously filed accused certain gang members of being involved with murders or rival gang members, kidnappings, assaults and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.

Keep in mind, these are unproven allegations at this point in time. As always all suspects and persons of interest are to be presumed innocent. Furthermore, in the past the Aryan Brotherhood has been an advocate of the right to trial by jury and many of their accused have benefited from the legal system.  Consequently, one must question why suddenly the gang's top leadership would take action to destroy the vary system of justice which has protected them in the past?  Perhaps the leadership has lost control of its members as the gang has recently been linked to perhaps as many as 100 killings.

In the meantime, Mike McLelland and his wife have been laid to rest.  Many have criticized the inadequate $200,000 reward that has been offered for information about these murders. While retribution by criminals, victims and family members has always been a risk to law enforcement and prosecutors, this has gone outside the realm of expectations.  These murders threaten the core of our vary legal system.  Interim District Attorney Brandi Fernandez, is under 24-hour protection. She has assured the public that "...we're gonna get this job done." Hopefully she is right.  If not, the legal system of justice which has served this country well for over 220 years could be in jeopardy and that will be a tragedy for all.

4-17-13 Update:  Our sources appear to be right again!  This does not appear to be the work of the Aryan Brotherhood. (This group is usually smart enough not to make threats on the computer.) Kim Williams, 46, has been arrested on suspicion of pulling the trigger in the three homicides. Her husband, Eric Williams, may also be charged in the deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, as well as Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse.  The motive appears to be clear.  Williams lost his elected position of justice of the peace after he was convicted of stealing three computer monitors.  McLelland and Hasse prosecuted the case against Williams.

Keep in mind all suspects are innocent unless proven otherwise in a court of law!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Was Kyle Myers Himself a Target? The Second Amendment (1791) In Jeopardy?

Kyle Myers is best known as the Youtube phenom who shows Internet users how to shoot advanced weapons at targets.  In an ironic twist, it seems Kyle Myers himself may have become a target of the Obama administration.  Without taking shots at either side, consider what appears to be known.  Kyle Myers' residence was raided by 40 agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on Tuesday. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation also participated in the search. Myers is the principal behind a popular weapons and explosives YouTube series called FPSRussia. What is not; however, known is whether Meyers captured any of the event on video.
Myers's FPSRussia series features him demonstrating machine guns, tanks and drones. It may be watched by over a half of a million people. The raid was not a stunt.  So what was the reason for the raid? ATF spokesman Richard Coes told the Banner-Herald: "The claim is that [Myers] was using explosives and getting paid for it via YouTube."  Tannerite is allegedly used in his videos. While tannerite is legal in the U.S., but it's apparently illegal to manufacture it without a federal license. So, did Meyers get paid? YouTube's partner program gives amateur video producers an opportunity to earn money if their videos are watched by enough people. If Myers's YouTube channel was truly watched by more than a half a billion views, he may have indeed been compensated.  However, herein lies the real issue.  With spam and computer programs, how will the prosecutor prove the viewership.  Unless it is clear why he recieved compensation from Youtube, it may be harder to prove than the State thinks. (I wonder if the link to the above Video will increase Myers revenue?)

Furthermore, Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas allegedly told WHLR that Tuesday's raids were in connection with a murder investigation involving the death of Myers's former business partner, Keith Ratliff. Ratliff was found dead from a single gunshot to the head in January. The body was found at FPS Industries.  Nevertheless, Myers has never been named as a suspect or person of interest. Myers was believed to be compliant with current gun laws. Furthermore it is unclear what if anything was seized.

So is this a case of the Government targeting a vocal progun supporter? Was there true probable cause for the raid or was this a warning shot fired over the bow to warn advocates of second amendment rights to back off? *   Perhaps only time will tell.

*The Second Amendment (1791) protects the right to keep and bear arms, a right that dates back to England before the Magna Carta. The English Bill of Rights protected the right of Protestants to own and carry weapons, but denied that right to Catholics. During the colonial era, the Virginia Declaration of Rights asserted that a well-regulated militia is the natural defense of a free state. The Supreme Court has ruled that owning firearms is not an absolute right: it has upheld both federal attempts to regulate certain weapons and states’ power to enact gun control measures. In 2008, the Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protected the individual right to keep suitable firearms at home for self-defense.

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