Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Enemy Within (Again)

Breaking news out of Toledo, OH today...three Muslim men have been charged with conspiring to commit acts of terrorism against persons overseas (including U.S. military personnel in Iraq) and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

Here's the DOJ press release announcing the indictments.

More coverage from the Counterterrorism Blog. Andrew Cochran notes that AG Alberto Gonzalez was asked by reporters if NSA surveillance info was used in building a case against the defendants. Don't bet against it. I'm guessing that U.S. and Iraqi security forces have been moving fast and hard against cells in communication with the "Ohio 3," based on NSA foreign and domestic surveillance. However, I'm guessing a FISA warrant was obtained on this group some weeks ago, and responsibility for the surveillance quickly passed from the NSA to the FBI.

Cochran also notes FNC reports that a "respected member of the local Muslim community" provided information to law enforcement authorities about the terror plot. This individual is apparently "the trainer" who is also named in the indictment, but not listed as a conspirator. Federal officials said the trainer was working on behalf of the government and was cooperating from the beginning of the operation.

And yet, some people question the need for a long-term extension of the Patriot Act and the NSA Surveillance program.

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