Jerry Jackson

Posts Tagged ‘Federal Bureau of Investigation’

Top Mexican Drug Lord: I Trafficked Cocaine For The U.S. Government

In Big Business, Economics, Human Rights, Mexico, Society, World News on April 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm


Mexico U.S. Drug Trade

Drug Trade

The “logistical coordinator” for a top Mexican drug-trafficking gang that was responsible for purchasing the CIA torture jet that crashed with four tons on cocaine on board back in 2007 has told the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago that he has been working as a U.S. government asset for years.

Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla is the son of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia, one of the top kingpins of the Sinaloa drug-trafficking organization. Niebla was arrested in Mexico in March 2009 and extradited to the United States to stand trial last February.

“The indictment pending against Zambada Niebla claims he served as the “logistical coordinator” for the “cartel,” helping to oversee an operation that imported into the U.S. “multi-ton quantities of cocaine … using various means, including but not limited to, Boeing 747 cargo aircraft, private aircraft … buses, rail cars, tractor trailers, and automobiles,”writes Narcosphere’s Bill Conroy.

In a two page court pleading filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, Niebla claims that he was working on behalf and with the authority of, “The U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”); and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”); and the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”),” since January 1, 2004.

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Niebla is also connected to the Gulfstream II jet that wrecked with four tons of cocaine on board on September 24, 2007. European investigators linked the plane’s tail number, N987SA, to past CIA “rendition” operations. The bill of sale for the Gulfstream jet, sold weeks before it crashed, listed the name of Greg Smith, a pilot who had previously worked for the FBI, DEA and CIA.The plane was purchased by Niebla’s Sinaloa drug-trafficking organization through a syndicate of Colombian drug-traffickers that included a CIA asset named Nelson Urrego, according to another undercover CIA operative, Baruch Vega, who was involved in the deal.

“The Gulfstream II jet, according to Mexican authorities, was among a number of aircraft acquired by the Sinaloa drug organization via an elaborate money laundering scheme involving a chain of Mexican casa de cambios (currency exchange houses) overseen by alleged Sinaloa organization operative Pedro Alfonso Alatorre Damy, according to Mexican government and U.S. media reports,” writes Conroy.

Sinaloa bought the jet by wiring money through the U.S. banking giant Wachovia, now a subsidiary of Wells Fargo. “In total, nearly $13 million dollars went through correspondent bank accounts at Wachovia for the purchase of aircraft to be used in the illegal narcotics trade. From these aircraft, more than 20,000 kilograms of cocaine were seized,” states Wachovia’s deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. Wachovia was forced to pay a penalty of around $160 million dollars for allowing the money to be laundered through its correspondent bank accounts.

“So, the criminal cases pending against alleged Colombian narco-trafficker Urrego, accused money-launderer Damy and Sinaloa organization logistics chief Zambada Niebla all appear to connect through the Gulfstream II cocaine jet at some level,” summarizes Conroy.

Another private aircraft that was full of cocaine crashed in New Mexico on Sunday morning, but the plane has yet to be identified.

In addition to smuggling narcotics into the United States, Niebla is also accused of obtaining weapons from the U.S. with the intent to use them to cause violence in Mexico City, leading to the murders of several innocent people. Despite the fact that the Obama administration has cited the flow of guns from the U.S. into Mexico as an excuse with which to attack the second amendment rights of Americans, it was recently revealed that the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives deliberately allowed guns to be smuggled from the U.S. into the hands of Mexican drug lords under “Operation Fast and Furious”. President Obamalater denied that he had any knowledge of the program.Niebla’s assertion that he smuggled drugs from Mexico into the United States while working for the U.S. government adds further weight to the already voluminous body of evidence that confirms the CIA and U.S. banking giants are the top players in a global drug trade worth hundreds of billions of dollars a year, information made public by the likes of Gary Webb, who it was claimed committed suicide in 2004 despite the fact that he was found with two gunshot wounds to the head and after Webb himself had complained of death threats and “government people” stalking his home.


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For more background information on the story, be sure to read Bill Conroy’s excellent article over at Narco News entitled Mexican Narco-Trafficker’s Revelation Exposes Drug War’s Duplicity.

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Global police moves against ‘hacktivists’

In Activism, Hacktivist, Human Rights, Society, World News on February 22, 2011 at 4:55 am

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An online “hacktivist” group that brought down the websites of perceived opponents of WikiLeaks has itself become the target of an international police crackdown.

The London Metropolitan Police arrested five men in connection with a recent spate of attacks by Anonymous, behind last month’s revenge assault on the websites of a number of organisations that had severed links with WikiLeaks.

In the US, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it executed “more than 40” search warrants on Thursday to gather evidence likely to lead to arrests.

The FBI said it was working on the case along with the UK, “authorities in the Netherlands, Germany and France”. Spokeswoman Jenny Shearer said no US arrests had been made by late afternoon on Thursday. “Evidence is being gathered and the investigation is ongoing”, she said. “These things do take time”.

The Met’s e-Crime unit said five men aged between 15 and 26 were being held following a swoop on residential addresses in the West Midlands, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey and London on Thursday morning in the UK in relation to offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

The maximum penalty under the UK act is 10 years imprisonment and a £5,000 fine. The FBI said those convicted in the US also could face 10-year sentences.

Anonymous, a disparate group of online activists that has previously carried out campaigns against the Church of Scientology and the record industry, claimed last month’s attacks on companies including MasterCard and PayPal were a response to attempts to hinder WikiLeaks’ freedom of speech campaign.

The internet activists used a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, overloading the targeted websites by bombarding them with requests. “Facilitating or conducting a DDoS attack is illegal”, the FBI said. “The victims included major US companies across several industries”.

An FBI spokeswoman told the FT that the US warrants were under seal. Since the attack software distributed by Anonymous members does not disguise the internet addresses of those participating in the electronic assaults, former law enforcement officers have predicted that traffic logs from the companies affected would lead to internet service providers – the likely recipients of at least some of Thursday’s search warrants – and then in short order to the attackers themselves.

In response to the UK arrests, Anonymous issued an open letter to the government via Twitter, the messaging site, explaining that it saw DDoS attacks as the modern digital equivalent of a sit-in demonstration, rather than a criminal action.

“Just as is the case with traditional forms of protest, we block access to our opponents infrastructure to get our message across,” the letter said. “It is clear then, that arresting somebody for taking part in a DDoS attack is exactly like arresting somebody for attending a peaceful demonstration in their hometown.”

The letter accused the arrests of being “politically motivated, and were being carried out under pressure from the US government”, adding that the potential punishments were disproportionate.

Activity in Anonymous chat rooms has been subdued recently. Activists have been fretting about a rumoured international “swoop” by the authorities since mid-December. Dutch police arrested two teenagers last month in connection with the DDoS attacks.

“Most of us have been laying low for a good while now. People were getting arrested and our VPN [virtual private network] got taken down by the feds [police],” one Anon told the FT on Wednesday.

He said that recent arrests had exposed a weakness in the group’s shroud of anonymity. “They logged our IRC [internet relay chat] servers … stupid people. So the feds know about every one of us.”

One of the Dutch people arrested has been released but the other remains in “deep trouble”, the Anon said.

French police launched an investigation in the immediate aftermath of the cyberattack by Anonymous. In December they detained a 15-year-old on suspicion of participating in the hacking, holding her for several hours of questioning, according to a report on the website of Le Parisien newspaper. The girl was later released, but an inquiry is underway to determine her exact involvement, the paper says.

The WikiLeaks website and its controversial founder, Julian Assange, are immersed in a political storm following the leak highly sensitive US government cables.

Earlier this month, it emerged that Twitter had been asked to hand over documents to the US government including internet addresses and phone numbers of Mr Assange and WikiLeaks supporters in multiple countries.

Many lawyers say the US government faces stiff obstacles in its bid to build a case for the extradition of Mr Assange. The Pentagon describes as “premature” reports that the US government had failed to establish a link between Mr Assange and Bradley Manning, a former US intelligence official, facing charges of leaking classified information.

But establishing conspiracy charges against the two, or prosecuting Mr Assange on other grounds, could prove especially demanding.

Meanwhile, Mr Assange will appear in court next month to decide whether he should be extradited to Sweden in connection with alleged sex crimes.

Undeterred by the furore surrounding WikiLeaks, the group’s former spokesman this week launched his own whistleblowing website. Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s OpenLeaks website bills itself as “a non-profit community and service provider for whistleblowers and organisations, media, and individuals who engage in promoting transparency. It makes leaking at a local, grassroot level possible and allows for certain scalability.”

Read @FT.com

FBI Raids Dozens In Pro-Wikileaks Hacktivist Investigation

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2011 at 7:39 am

HACKTISVIST

FBI - HACKTIVIST

anonymous protester

protester

The FBI executed more than 40 search warrants today in connection with its investigation into Operation Payback, last month’s wave of cyber attacks targeting companies that cut off Wikileaks. Things are not looking good for Anonymous.

Last month, The loose-knit hacking collective Anonymous retaliated against Visa, Mastercard and Paypal for cutting ties with Wikileaks, hitting their websites with distributed denial of service attacks—floods of traffic that overwhelmed their servers. Authorities have since launched a globe-spanning investigation, including a raid on a Texas server farm suspected of hosting Anonymous chat rooms, and the arrests today in the UK of five suspected Anonymous members, aged 15-25. (There were no arrests in the U.S.)

A guy claiming to be at the receiving end of one of the American raids, Georgia Tech freshman Zhiwei Chen, posted a copy of the warrant, and the business card of the FBI agent who served it, to Reddit. He writes: “They came in the dorm room bustin in @ 7:00, and pushed everyone out of bed. They searched the place and questioned all people involved.”

Chen says he’s a former administrator of the Operation Payback chat room, where most of the planning occurred.

Anonymous released a statement today in relation to the UK raids, calling them a “serious declaration of war.” “Arresting somebody for taking part in a DDoS attack is exactly like arresting somebody for attending a peaceful demonstration in their hometown,” the press release reads.

But Anonymous is clearly hurting, even as members continue to organize in support of the protests in Tunisia and Egypt. “Subdued” is how the Financial Times describes the mood in Anonymous chat rooms. “We lost a lot of our brothers today,” wrote one user in the “Operation Payback” channel today.

The collective’s greatest strength lies in the fact that any moderately-savvy Joe Internet User can hop into a public Anonymous chat room, download a push-button program, and join a DDoS attack. Thousands of small clicks add up to outsized results (and media coverage.) But even though they inflict no lasting damage, DDoS is a crime—punishable by 10 years imprisonment, according to the feds!—and Anonymous’ inclusiveness makes it easy for the authorities to spy on every move: Imagine a gang of diamond thieves plastering the Internet with slick advertisements for a new heist, inviting anyone to participate, no questions asked.

If there’s ever another Operation Payback, Anonymous might need to figure out how to be a bit more anonymous.

 

The Fourth Amendment is Going Dark

In Internet Censorship on February 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm


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In 1994 the FBI decided it needed a surveillance system built into the telephone network to enable it to listen to any conversation with the flip of a switch. Congress obliged by passing the Communication Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), forcing the telecoms to rebuild their networks to be “wiretap ready.” Seventeen years later, law enforcement is asking to expand CALEA to include the Internet, claiming that its investigative abilities are “going dark” because people are increasingly communicating online.

The parameters of this proposal are very unclear, but some scary ideas have been bandied around.

Expanding CALEA would force companies to re-engineer all of their communications software to have a surveillance back door that could be easily accessed by law enforcement. This back door would apply to every form of peer-to-peer communication; from email, to social networking, to video games. The government would have to get a search warrant to utilize the back door, but imagine a world where the government required every home to be built with cameras and microphones pre-installed. Even knowing they could only be “tapped” after probable cause was established, how comfortable would you be?
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Then there is the message this would send to the rest of the world. If this comes to pass, other governments — including repressive regimes like China and Iran — could follow suit, justifiably claiming they were just following our lead. We have seen the role the Internet can play in human rights movements, such as the Green Revolution and the recent demonstrations in Egypt. These would not have been possible if the Internet did not allow for private and anonymous communication.

Nor is it clear this is necessary. Current law provides more than sufficient means for law enforcement to demand assistance of anyone — from a landlord to an internet service provider — in executing a wiretap order. Any company that refused to comply could be held in contempt of court.

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Applying CALEA to online communications would be a sweeping expansion of law enforcement surveillance powers that is unnecessary and chills our First and Fourth Amendment rights. Many of the civil liberties benefits of the Internet — ability to read provocative materials, associate with non-mainstream groups, and voice dissenting opinions — are based on the assumption of practical anonymity. If a surveillance structure is built into the Internet, individuals will lose the freedom and openness that has allowed the Internet to thrive.

Tell Congress to oppose any effort to make the Internet wiretap ready.

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FBI Calls for Backdoor to Snoop Web

In Internet Censorship on February 19, 2011 at 1:41 am


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Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
February 18, 2011

The FBI is once again calling for the internet to be converted into a Stasi-like spy grid. “Web-based e-mail, social-networking and peer-to-peer services are frustrating law enforcement wiretapping efforts, a lawyer for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation told lawmakers Thursday,” reports PCWorld.

censorship

internet censorship

The Obama administration will attempt to bribe, coerce, or intimidate web-based services not covered by traditional wiretap laws into helping the government turn the medium into a sprawling high-tech surveillance platform.

Valerie Caproni, general counsel at the FBI, reminded the U.S. House Judiciary Committee that the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, does not cover the internet. CALEA requires traditional telecom carriers to allow law enforcement agencies real-time access to communications.

Instead of forcing ISPs to adopt CALEA, the government will attempt to convince communication providers to build in so-called back doors allowing law enforcement access to their software. Caproni said she’s optimistic the U.S. government can find “incentives” for companies to “have intercept solutions engineered into their systems.”

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“We are not looking for any new authority,” she said. “We are concerned we are losing ground in actually being able to gather the information we are authorized to have.”

Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, said in a statement that the FBI plan “will actually change the structure of the Internet, providing the government with a master key to our online communications.”

Caproni said the FBI is concerned about the internet being used for criminal activity. “That criminal may be a massive drug dealer, they may be an arms trafficker, they may be a child pornographer or a child molester,” she said. “We need the actual ability to conduct the wiretaps so we can keep the streets safe.”

The FBI has a long history of using its authority to monitor and harass political activists. A report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation reveals that since 9/11, the FBI has been responsible for at least 40,000 violations of the law. It has functioned primarily since its inception in the early 1900s as a political police force tasked with going after political activists of all stripes.

“In many cases, many of those now under surveillance by the FBI are ordinary American citizens doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment right to free speech by criticizing the government,” writes constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead.

Ms. Caproni has sheepishly admitted that the internet continues to stump the FBI and the government. It has allowed activists to coordinate and announce their protest activities. It also represents the greatest single threat to the ruling elite and the government because it allows unfettered dissemination of alternative news that is not reported by the corporate Mockingbird media.

Caproni told the House committee the FBI would have recommendations for Congress soon. Representative Hank Johnson, a Georgia Democrat, said Congress is ready to oblige. “What are you seeking here today?” he asked. “What is it exactly that you would want Congress to do?”

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The FBI wants Congress to turn the internet into the largest and most efficient Stasi snoop grid in history. It wants a legal fig leaf to cover its effort to neutralize the opposition through surveillance and ultimately harassment, intimidation, and in the case of the Black Panthers and American Indian Movement activists in the 1960s and 70s, assassination.

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