05/01/13: Politico reports the FBI says its agents are on solid legal ground if they continue to question a terrorism suspect who has asked for an attorney, as they reportedly did with Boston Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The February 2011 article by Carl Benoit, a lawyer and FBI Academy instructor, points to two federal appeals court rulings that concluded such questioning was constitutional and that evidence obtained as a result could be used in court. The article appeared in the Law Enforcement Bulletin, an FBI publication aimed at “the larger policing community.” The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Tsarnaev “asked several times for a lawyer, but that request was ignored.” DOJ’s current policy on questioning terror suspects without Miranda warnings does not give explicit guidance, at least publicly, about how to proceed if a suspect invokes his right to counsel.
04/28/13: The Miami Herald reports the British government has expressed concern to United Arab Emirates authorities over allegations that three Britons held in Dubai on drug charges were abused. Grant Cameron, Suneet Jeerh, and Karl Williams were arrested while on vacation in July and accused of possessing synthetic cannabis. Reports said Williams was given electric shocks to his testicles, while all three men were threatened with guns and made to sign documents in Arabic, a language they do not understand. The men deny the drug charges; a judge is due to deliver verdicts in their trial on Monday. London’s Foreign Office said Sunday that British officials “have raised, and continue to raise, these allegations at the most senior levels.” It called for a “full, impartial and independent” inquiry into the claims.
04/28/13: BBC News reports Spanish police have arrested a Dutch man suspected of being behind one of the biggest cyberattacks in history. The 35-year-old man was detained in Barcelona following a request from the Dutch public prosecutor. The attack bombarded the websites of anti-junk mail outfit Spamhaus with huge amounts of data in an attempt to knock them offline. It also slowed data flows over closely linked networks and led to a massive police investigation. The suspect is believed to be Sven Kamphuis, the owner and manager of Dutch hosting firm Cyberbunker that has been implicated in the attack. Spamhaus servers were hit with a huge amount of data in a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. It overwhelms a web server by sending it many more requests for data than it can handle.
04/28/13: Al Jazeera reports Cairo’s criminal court has rejected ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s second appeal calling for his release pending the investigation of illicit gain charges, granting the prosecution’s request to keep him detained. The Cairo Criminal Court on Sunday ordered Mubarak to remain in jail for fifteen days while charges are probed; Mubarak can appeal the decision. Mubarak is being detained pending the investigations of other corruption charges including taking funds allocated for maintenance of the presidential palaces for himself and his family. The long-time autocrat was ousted during a 2011 public uprising and has spent more than two years in detention without a final verdict in the case, which alleges that he is responsible for the deaths of nearly 900 protesters during the uprising.
04/16/13: The New York Times reports the day after two powerful bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, a mile-square area around Copley Square here remained cordoned off as a crime scene, and officials still had no one in custody. Investigators searched a house in a nearby suburb late Monday night, but later said the search had proved fruitless. Three people were killed. The bombings also sent 176 people to area hospitals, including 17 who were critically injured. Late Monday night, law enforcement officials descended on an apartment building in the suburb of Revere, about five miles north of Copley Square, linked to a man the police took into custody near the scene of the bombings. But on Tuesday morning, one law enforcement official said investigators had determined that the man, who was injured in the blast and was questioned at the hospital, was not involved in the attack. Hundreds if not thousands of office workers avoided the city on Tuesday because of the closures. On Tuesday morning officials said that the only explosive devices found were the ones that exploded at the marathon — clarifying conflicting statements that were given Monday in the chaotic aftermath of the blast, when some law-enforcement officials had said that other devices were found.
04/15/13: The Miami Herald reports a UN report released Monday said opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has been increasing for a third year in a row and is heading for a record high. The boom in poppy cultivation is at its most pronounced in the Taliban’s heartland in the south, the report showed, especially in regions where troops of the US-led coalition have been withdrawn or are in the process of departing. Increased production has been driven by unusually high opium prices, but also indicates that Afghans are turning to illicit markets and crops as the real economy shrinks ahead of the expected withdrawal of foreign combat troops at the end of 2014. Afghanistan is by far the world’s largest producer of opium, last year producing 75 percent of the global crop.