Police have arrested a 60 year old unemployed doctor, Roberto Rivera, after finding a large quantity of chemicals used in bomb making after they conducted a raid on his home in Ridgewood, New Jersey. The search of Rivera’s home on Friday night also revealed a number of assault rifles and other weapons
Rivera was charged with second degree recklessly creating a risk of widespread injury or damage; fourth degree failure to mitigate against recklessly creating a risk of widespread injury or damage; third degree unlawful possession of a destructive device; fourth degree unlawful possession of a stun gun; fourth degree unlawful possession of a large capacity ammunition magazine; and second degree unlawful possession of an assault firearm. His bail has been set at $1 million dollars.
Ridgewood police had initially responded to the home after receiving a report that potentially hazardous materials might be at the residence. The Bergen County Prosecutor, John Molinelli, called at least one of the chemicals “highly volatile,” but authorities did not disclose the names of the chemicals found in the house.
Bergen County Hazmat and the FBI were involved in the search of the house. Saturday afternoon FBI Special Agent Barbara Woodruff said it was an ongoing investigation but “the scene is definitely secured so there’s no reason for concern”. Agencies investigating include the Ridgewood Police Department; Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office; Bergen County Police Department Bomb Squad; FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force; and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Prosecutors say Rivera is unemployed but has a license to practice medicine in New York.
Rivera was an active member of Occupy Wall Street. He was quoted in Bloomberg News in October of last year, commenting on the movement:
The ongoing investigation into the Benghazi attack- “capabilities in place” to retaliate, “hold up is in Washington”
Asharq Al-Awsat, an international Arabic daily based in London, has provided a little more of a window into the investigation than MSM has been providing in the United States. The daily describes some of the suspects and their connection to Al Qaeda.
Asharq Al-Awsat noted:
-sources close to the FBI investigation into the attack also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that primary evidence in the case has been lost or compromised after the Libyan authorities failed to secure the scene of the crime over a period of two weeks.
-Libyan authorities arrested 8 suspects in connection with the attack
-The FBI team is reportedly made up of between 20 and 25 agents, in addition to around 10 “Delta Force” soldiers providing security.
-Sources close to the FBI investigation into the Benghazi attack informed Asharq Al-Awsat that this is focusing on three suspects with alleged ties to the Al Qaeda terrorist network.
The first of the three suspects is known as “Juma”, a resident of the Libyan port city of Derna. He is reportedly a leading member of the Libyan Islamist “Ansar al-Sharia” militia that advocates the implementation of Islamic Sharia law across the country. This suspect is also reportedly a former detainee of Guantanamo Bay and is believed to have tried to contact Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. He disappeared from Derna just days after the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
The second suspect is known as “Bu Kitf”, a former inmate of Gaddafi’s prisons and a leading member of the “17 February” battalion, which was responsible for providing security to the US consulate.
The third suspect is known as “Abu Ahmed”, also a former prison inmate released following the Egyptian revolution and the ouster of the Mubarak regime. The Americans believe that the Egyptian national sent a message to Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri last July asking permission to form an Al Qaeda branch in Egypt.
-The source also revealed that the Egyptian authorities had failed to provide any information or cooperation with the Americans regarding this suspect. The Egyptian authorities failed to respond to an Asharq Al-Awsat request for comment on this issue.
-Barak Barfi, research fellow at the New America Foundation, stressed that “there was a significant failure in American security.” He added “I think that the Americans believe that Abu Ahmed is responsible for the explosion at the Benghazi consulate…with the participation of Libyans from the Ansar al-Sharia group.”
The three suspects mentioned in detail by Asharq Al-Awsat do not appear to have been part of the eight arrested in Libya. The US State Department has identified Yemen based Ansar al-Sharia as an alternative name for Al Qaeda operating in the Arabian Peninsula.
Two suspects were also arrested trying to enter Turkey last week. The suspects, identified as Tunisians, were detained late Wednesday as they attempted to enter the country with fake passports, Kanal D said.
Meanwhile, testimony continued this week before Congress on the circumstances leading up to the attack.
According to CBS News, a State Department officer told House Committee panel members there were 13 separate specific threats made against the consulate during the six months before the attack. Those threats included a threat against both the Consulate and Ambassador Stevens made on Facebook. One post included mention of the route which Stevens took to jog each morning.
Lt. Col. Andrew Wood told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that U.S. security was so weak that in April, only one U.S. diplomatic security agent was stationed in Benghazi. Security Officer Eric Nordstrom also told committee members that repeated requests had been made for increased security, requests that were denied. He said his requests for more security were blocked by a department policy to “normalize operations and reduce security resources.” He stated that Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary for international programs, wanted to keep the number of U.S. security personnel in Benghazi “artificially low”.
It has been over a month since the attack, yet there has been no response as yet from the United States.
Three U.S. officials told The Daily Beast that the U.S. military has the special-operations forces and other assets in place to begin going after individuals in Libya.
“At this point, the capabilities are in place,” one U.S. intelligence officer said. “The holdup is in Washington.”
Since April 26, there have been several “white powder scares” in Portland as well as in other cities around the country.
The Portland case appears to have been cracked. The letters containing the white powder were sent from the Multnomah County Jail. This seems to explain the statement earlier from police, “the letters have been stopped”.
At least two of the envelopes containing white powder also had the word “anthrax” written on them. Understandably, one might wonder how such letters could be sent out of a jail. However, while mail going into the jail is checked, mail going out is not unless investigators are specifically keeping an eye on someone’s actions.
Federal investigators are reportedly looking at a federal inmate who was being held at the jail. That inmate has now been transferred to a federal facility in Sheridan, Oregon.
The letters had been sent to the federal courthouse, the Lloyd Center mall, a business office at the airport, a business office at the downtown Hilton, the Marquam Building that houses OHSU offices and the Market Center Building that houses some offices for Portland State University.
There was no anthrax in any of the letters and no one was physically hurt in any of the incidents. Grant Coffey, Portland Fire & Rescue’s HAZMAT coordinator estimates however that the costs in resonse so far may reach as much as $14,000. Several buildings were required to be evacuated, hazmat teams scrambled people quarantined briefly in response.
In other “white powder scares” elsewhere, the FBI has linked the mailings of hundreds of envelopes containing white powder over the last four years to the work of someone in Texas.
The FBI released a statement that several of these letters contained a Texas postmark and contained references to subjects such as Nazis and Al Qaida. A $150,000 reward is being offered in this case.
The letters sent last week in Connecticut that Citizen Journalist reported on previously allegedly had an Al Qaida reference.
Over the past two weeks, there have been six locations in the Portland, Oregon area as well as locations in Connecticut and NYC that have received envelopes containing suspicious white powder.
In Portland , two different locations received letters on Thursday. The first letter was sent to Portland State University at the Market Center building near Southwest 4th Avenue and Market Street. The second scare took place at the Oregon Health & Science University in the Marquam Plaza Building at 2525 Southwest 3rd. On Wednesday, two white powder incidents were reported. One occurred at the Hilton Hotel in Downtown Portland, the second occurred at a Port of Portland building near the Portland International Airport. On Tuesday there was a scare at the Lloyd Center mall on Tuesday and there was an intial incident at the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse on April 26.
In all of the Portland cases, the envelopes were addressed to human resources offices and “anthrax” written either directly on the envelope or in a two-page letter in the envelope. Evacuations and hazmat teams were called out to address the scares, and several people who had contact with the letters were quarantined. No anthrax was found in any of the cases.
Referencing the Portland cases, FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele issued a press release today stating “the FBI and its local partners believe they have stopped the sender or senders’ ability to continue this stream of threats.” They have not as yet clarified what that means, or whether there may have been an arrest.
“White powder” scares have also been currently occurring at locations in Connecticut.
The Rowland State Government Center in Waterbury and the Ruth Chaffee School in Newington were evacuated on Thursday. Keeny Street Elementary in Manchester was also locked down. All are closed today, pending an investigation. The powder in the Manchester school was accompanied by a letter mentioning Al Qaida.
A spate of “white powder” letters were sent to several banks in NYC on April 30, saying “Happy May Day”, seemingly referencing May Day protests.
No one was injured in any of the incidents and no anthrax was found. There is no indication at present whether these incidents are related.
One of the self described anarchists arrested last week for attempting to blow up a local bridge signed the lease for a West Side warehouse where about a dozen members of the Occupy Cleveland group live. Anthony Hayne, 35, of Cleveland, has a criminal record dating back to 2000. He was one of five men arrested by the FBI and charged with setting fake explosive charges under the Ohio 82 bridge between Sagamore Hills Township and Brecksville Monday night. The FBI said Hayne helped paln the attempt, bringing two black boxes suspects thought contained bombs.
According to Cleveland.com:
In a one-hour recording of a Friday evening general assembly meeting of the group posted on its website, occupy leaders expressed concern about Hayne’s name being on the lease, which strengthens his link to the group.
“We have a person facing terrorism charges on the lease of our warehouse,” said one of the leaders. “If this gets into the media, it would be a disaster.”
During the general assembly meeting, one leader asked the group, “Is it just me? Aren’t you uncomfortable living in a warehouse where a guy has been arrested for terrorism? I don’t want to live in a place and have the FBI show up.”
Another member said the group was having problems with neighbors near the warehouse, strengthening the argument to move.
At the meeting, the leaders ousted a man from the movement who is known only as “Crazy Larry” because he assaulted another member the night before.
“He thought the member had some information about the bombing,” Zitt said. “He threatened and hit him. We threw him out, and as he left the building he smashed a window and sliced bike tires. He’s not the kind of person we want involved with our group.”
Zitt said Saturday that Crazy Larry was upset about the bombing.
Zitt stressed the Occupy Cleveland movement is dedicated to non-violence. He said if they had known Hayne and the other four men were considering terrorism, they would have thrown them out.
“These people participated in aspects of the movement, but once we discovered what was going on we decided they could not be part of it,” Zitt said. “I wish we had learned earlier.”
At the time of his arrest, Hayne was wanted by Cuyahoga County for violating his probation. In January, Hayne pleaded guilty to theft and breaking and entering a Lakewood restaurant and stealing $2,000. He was placed on probation for 18 months. A judge issued a warrant for his arrest in April.
He served a year in prison starting in 2007 for beating his wife.
Here is the GA meeting video, courtesy Lefty Report, where they discuss Hayne:
Via ONN – The Cleveland office of the FBI held a Tuesday morning news conference to detail arrests and charges filed relating to a national security issue.
Steven Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland FBI office,provided details about the local connection to this national security case.
A Justice Department official said that the five men are self-described anarchists and are not tied to international terrorism.
The department said that the five men were taken into custody as part of an undercover operation by law enforcement authorities.
Federal agents said that the alleged suspects were conspiring to use explosives to destroy a bridge near Cleveland.
The FBI’s Cleveland office is displaying a photo of the apparent bridge in question.
It’s the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad bridge in Brecksville.
All five were reportedly associated with Occupy at some point.
Via the Washington Examiner:
According to several activists at an Occupy protest at the Justice Department Tuesday, Danny Glover really blew it. The actor didn’t show for the event, despite receiving top billing in advertising materials.
“I feel sorry for Danny Glover,” one demonstrator told Yeas & Nays. “He missed his chance to make a statement.” Glover was supposed to march around the FBI building and block traffic on Pennsylvania Ave., provoking arrest in support of jailed activist Mumia Abu-Jamal. “He made a commitment,” another protester said.
The actor apparently called in to the protest to say he couldn’t make it, but some demonstrators didn’t believe it was really Danny Glover on the call.
About 30 other people were estimated to have been arrested demonstrating near the White House. They protested next to the White House fence, with several signs and chants regarding Mumia Abu Jamal. They also had a “No Government” sign with an anarchy symbol on it.
Mumia Abu Jamal was convicted of killing police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981. According to evidence submitted at trial, Jamal shot the officer in the back and then walked up to him and shot him in the head.