Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gang Member Is Convicted Under Terror Law...

Well, I knew that this would happen eventually, so here it is.

Read below...


Gang Member Is Convicted Under Terror Law

Published: November 1, 2007

In the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, 36 states enacted laws that would guarantee harsher sentences in terrorism cases. Gov. George E. Pataki signed New York’s law within six days of the attack. Like the others, it was aimed at international terrorism organizations like Al Qaeda.

But yesterday, in State Supreme Court in the Bronx, jurors for the first time found a defendant guilty under New York’s statute, and he did not fit the stereotype of a terrorist. The defendant, Edgar Morales, is a 25-year-old recreational soccer player and gang member who fatally shot a 10-year-old girl and wounded a second man outside a christening party in 2002.

Mr. Morales, a baby-faced construction worker, was a member of the St. James Boys, a gang described in the trial as being formed by Mexican immigrants to protect themselves from being assaulted and robbed by other gangs in the west Bronx.

Robert T. Johnson, the Bronx district attorney, was criticized by some lawmakers when he used the statute against Mr. Morales two years ago; some said it was not the law’s intended use.

But just as racketeering laws aimed at mobsters have since been used in other crimes, Mr. Johnson said, the terrorism charge fit because Mr. Morales and his gang had terrorized Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the west Bronx for years through violence and intimidation. It also provided for a far more substantial sentence.

The jury deliberated for four days after testimony ended last Thursday, but despite their disagreements on other elements of the case, jurors said yesterday they had concluded very early that Mr. Morales was guilty of terrorism.

“When you fire a gun into a crowd, whether you hit your intended victim or not, you scare people, you make them fearful for their lives, and that’s why, in my opinion, the terrorism charges applied,” said a juror who identified herself only by her first name, Linnea. Like the other jurors, she did not want to be identified because the case involved gang members and a killing.

Another juror said she had been hesitant about using the terrorism statute against Mr. Morales when prosecutors presented evidence, but once Justice Michael A. Gross told them on the trial’s final day that terrorism was defined as an act meant to “intimidate or coerce a civilian population,” her reluctance dissolved.

Still another member of the jury said, “When we think of terrorism, we think of Sept. 11th, so I was skeptical at first, but when we heard the definition of terrorism — to inflict fear and to dominate — from the get-go we agreed.”

Other states have used their terrorism statutes, which were seen as largely ceremonial when they were introduced because major terrorism cases were likely to be prosecuted by the federal government. Still, the Virginia antiterror law was used in to convict John A. Muhammad, who was convicted of masterminding 16 sniper shootings in the Washington area in 2002 that killed 10 people. He has been sentenced to death.

In a statement after the verdict in the Bronx case was announced, Mr. Johnson reiterated that the terrorism charge had been applied properly.

“These were callous acts that resulted in the life of an innocent child being snuffed out,” he said. “The jury’s finding of terrorism is significant in determining an appropriate punishment.”

The verdict quickly drew criticism from both ends of the political spectrum, as some wondered whether it would lead to a deluge of new prosecutions using the same approach.

Timothy Lynch, director of the Project on Criminal Justice at the Cato Institute, a libertarian research organization, said the New York law and others like it had no place being used to prosecute gang members.

“Lawmakers were told after Sept. 11th that we needed new laws, and it’s become kind of a bait-and-switch, because lo and behold, they are not being used against Al Qaeda, they’re being used against ordinary street crime,” Mr. Lynch said.

Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, whose views are often the opposite of the Cato Institute’s, also criticized the terror application in the trial.

“Without commenting on the manslaughter and attempted murder convictions, the pile-on of a terrorism charge is indeed a matter of concern,” she said. “The law was pitched as New York’s way to protect itself against Al Qaeda and the like. No matter what horrific crimes were committed against the Mexican-American community, that’s not terrorism.”

The Bronx jury convicted Mr. Morales of first-degree manslaughter, attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon and conspiracy, each with the additional element of terrorism, which is likely to increase his prison term significantly when he is sentenced Nov. 14.

The terrorism component increases each crime one level — a B felony becomes an A felony, for instance, raising a potential 15-year sentence to 25 years to life.

Dino Lombardi, Mr. Morales’s lawyer, said he would probably appeal the verdict because he did not think the terrorism charge was appropriate.

Before the trial began, Mr. Lombardi had argued against the application of terrorism charges in a gang murder case, but he softened his stance yesterday.

“We may be looking at a future where this is a justifiable application for these types of gangs that don’t have a money-making motive, as opposed to traditional organized crime operations, but this gang was directed to inflict themselves mainly on rival gangs,” said Mr. Lombardi, drawing a distinction between gang members and other civilians.

The terror legislation was sponsored by Michael A. L. Balboni, then a state senator from Nassau County, who has called its use by Mr. Johnson an “unanticipated application.” Mr. Balboni, who now oversees the state’s Office of Homeland Security, did not return a call seeking comment yesterday.

The shooting occurred on Aug. 18, 2002, when Malenny Mendez, 10, went with friends to a christening party at a church.

Also at the party were Mr. Morales and a group of other members of the St. James Boys, who had come uninvited and with at least one handgun.

After getting into a fight with other partygoers, the St. James Boys decided to seek retribution.

Mr. Morales, who did not testify at the trial, had previously acknowledged handling a gun that evening and being a member of the gang.

The only witness who testified that he saw Mr. Morales shoot the gun was Enrique Sanchez, another member of the St. James Boys, who was among those present that night. In a deal with prosecutors, Mr. Sanchez agreed to testify against Mr. Morales in exchange for the chance to plead guilty to second-degree murder.

Mr. Sanchez said he watched Mr. Morales fire the .38-caliber revolver, killing Malenny with a bullet to the head, and striking Javier Tocchimani, 32, three times, leaving him paralyzed.

Though jurors said they did not believe portions of Mr. Sanchez’s testimony, they blamed Mr. Morales for not leaving once he felt that a shooting would take place.

“He knew about the gang, he knew what it was all about, he saw there was a problem that night, why didn’t he leave?” one juror said. “Why didn’t he drop the gun when it was handed to him?”


It's "on and poppin' " now.

If you're a Crip, Blood, MS-13, or any other gang, you're a terrorist now.

I guess they figured that Osama bin Laden is being recruited by street gangs.
After all, that's why we have these new terrorism laws, right?

To get Osama and Al-Qaeda.


A quick message to all the gang-bangers and wannabes out there:


ZEITGEIST, The Movie...

Zeitgeist: noun German. the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time.

A friend of mine told me about this movie.

Though I don't believe everything this movie has to say, you can take from it what you like.

Check it out. I've found it... interesting.

Interesting... isn't it?

Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007...

I'll be damned...

This crazy thing just passed The House of Representatives by a vote of 404 - 6!



Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (Introduced in House)
HR 1955 IH

1st Session

H. R. 1955

To prevent homegrown terrorism , and for other purposes.


April 19, 2007

Ms. HARMAN (for herself and Mr. REICHERT) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To prevent homegrown terrorism , and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the `HomegrownTerrorism Prevention Act of 2007'.


    (a) In General- Title VIII of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 361 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new subtitle:

`Subtitle J--Prevention of Homegrown Terrorism


    `For purposes of this subtitle:
      `(1) HOMEGROWNTERRORISM - The term `homegrownterrorism' means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
      `(2) RADICALIZATION- The term `radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically-based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.
      `(3) IDEOLOGICALLY-BASED VIOLENCE- The term `ideologically-based violence' means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual's political, religious, or social beliefs.


    `The Congress finds the following:
      `(1) The development and implementation of methods and processes that can be utilized to prevent homegrownterrorism in the United States is critical to combating domestic terrorism .
      `(2) The promotion of ideologically-based violence and homegrownterrorism exists in the United States and poses a threat to homeland security.
      `(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating ideologically-based violence and the homegrownterrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.
      `(4) While the United States must continue its vigilant efforts to combat international terrorism , it must also strengthen efforts to combat the threat posed by homegrown terrorists based and operating within the United States.
      `(5) Understanding the motivational factors that lead to homegrownterrorism is a vital step toward eradicating these threats in the United States.
      `(6) The potential rise of self radicalized, unaffiliated terrorists domestically cannot be easily prevented through traditional Federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts, and requires the incorporation of State and local solutions.
      `(7) Individuals prone to ideologically-based violence span all races, ethnicities, and religious beliefs, and individuals should not be targeted based solely on race, ethnicity, or religion.
      `(8) Any measure taken to prevent ideologically-based violence and homegrownterrorism in the United States should not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights and civil liberties of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents.
      `(9) Certain governments, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have significant experience with homegrownterrorism and the United States can benefit from lessons learned by those nations.


    `(a) Establishment- Subject to the requirements of this section, the Secretary shall establish a grant program to prevent radicalization and homegrownterrorism in the United States.
    `(b) Grants Authorized- The Secretary may award grants to States to enhance homeland security by preventing radicalization and homegrownterrorism in at-risk populations, as determined by the Secretary.
    `(c) Purpose- The purpose of the grant program is to prevent, disrupt, and mitigate the effects of radicalization and prevent ideologically-based violence and homegrownterrorism in the United States.
    `(d) Grant Eligibility- Any State shall be eligible to apply for a grant under the program referred to in paragraph (a).
    `(e) Use of Funds- Grants awarded under this section shall be used by the States to award to agencies and organizations, including but not limited to, social services agencies, community-based groups, educational institutions and non-governmental organizations as sub-grantees to address radicalization and homegrownterrorism by--
      `(1) developing best practices, standards and protocols to conduct outreach to various populations that are at-risk for radicalization and homegrownterrorism ;
      `(2) assisting with educational outreach, social services, and integration into society;
      `(3) program planning and management and strategy formulation and strategic planning;
      `(4) promote civic engagement and community outreach programs;
      `(5) any other uses determined by the Secretary to be necessary to prevent radicalization and homegrownterrorism .
    `(f) Prohibited Uses- Funds provided as a grant may not be used--
      `(1) for law enforcement activities, except for programs that include outreach activities;
      `(2) to supplant State or local funds;
      `(3) to construct buildings or other physical facilities;
      `(4) to acquire land; or
      `(5) for any State or local government cost-sharing contribution.
    `(g) Application for Grant-
      `(1) IN GENERAL- A State may apply for a grant under this subsection by submitting to the Secretary an application detailing how requested funds would be used to achieve the purpose stated herein and containing such other information the Secretary may reasonably require.
      `(2) DEADLINES FOR APPLICATIONS AND AWARDS- All applications for grants must be submitted at such time as the Secretary may reasonably require for the fiscal year for which they are submitted. The Secretary shall award grants pursuant to all approved applications for such fiscal year as soon as practicable, but not later than March 1 of such year.
      `(3) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS- All funds awarded by the Secretary in a fiscal year shall be available for obligation through the end of the subsequent fiscal year.
      `(4) MINIMUM CONTENTS OF APPLICATION- The Secretary shall require that each State include in its application, at a minimum-
        `(A) the purpose for which the applicant seeks grant funds and the reason why the applicant needs the grant to meet the capabilities for preventing radicalization and homegrownterrorism within the State;
        `(B) a description of how the allocation of grant funding proposed in the application would assist in fulfilling the capabilities for preventing radicalization and homegrownterrorism ;
        `(C) a description of how the State plans to allocate the grant funds to local governments and Indian tribes;
        `(D) identification of the subgrantees that will expend grant funds; and
        `(E) a capital budget showing how the applicant intends to allocate and expend the covered grant funds.
    `(h) Prioritization of Grant Applications-
      `(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall evaluate and annually prioritize all pending applications for grants based upon the risk and degree to which they would, by achieving, maintaining, or enhancing the capabilities of the applicants on a nationwide basis, mitigate the threat of radicalization and homegrownterrorism .
      `(2) BASIS- Such evaluation and prioritization shall be based upon-
        `(A) the most current relevant information available, including, but not limited to threat assessments generated by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence Analysis, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Strategic Plans Radicalization and Engagement Working Group, and products generated by the Center for Excellence for the Study of Radicalization and HomegrownTerrorism established under section 899C;
        `(B) criteria, which shall be made publicly available and reported to Congress, that identifies the characteristics, qualities, and standards that groups or organizations should meet in order to serve as partners with the United States Government in fulfilling the purpose of the grant program; and
        `(C) information contained within State applications for grants, including sub-grantees identified in such applications.
      `(3) REQUIREMENT FOR SUB-GRANTEES TO MEET CRITERIA- The Secretary may deny a grant under this section to any State that submits a grant application that identifies a sub-grantee that does not meet the criteria referred to in paragraph (2)(B).
      `(4) PENALTIES FOR USING NON-APPROVED OR NON-DISCLOSED SUB-GRANTEES- Any State that allows grant funds to be used by a subgrantee that has not been disclosed to and previously approved by the Secretary, shall be ineligible for any further grant funds under this section for two fiscal years.
    `(i) Certifications Regarding Distribution of Grant Funds to Local Governments- Any State that receives a grant shall certify to the Secretary, that the State has made grant funds available for expenditure by local governments and other local groups.
    `(j) Report on Spending- Each recipient of a grant under this section shall annually submit a report to the Secretary not later than 60 days after the end of each Federal fiscal year that contains--
      `(1) an accounting of the amount of State and local government funds spent on activities aimed at preventing radicalization and homegrownterrorism ;
      `(2) an accounting of the administrative costs incurred by sub-grantees;
      `(3) information regarding the use of grant funds by the sub-grantees as required by the Secretary; and
      `(4) progress of the recipient and sub-grantees in achieving the purpose of the grant program.
    `(k) Government Accountability Office Access to Information- Each recipient of grant funds under this section and the Department shall provide the Government Accountability Office with full access to information regarding the activities carried out under this section.
    `(l) Reports to Congress- The Secretary shall submit an annual report to Congress that provides--
      `(1) an evaluation of how states and local governments are making progress in achieving the purpose of the grant program;
      `(2) the total amount of funds provided to the States as grants under this section during the preceding year; and
      `(3) an accounting of how such amounts were expended.


    `(a) Establishment- The Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish or designate a university-based Center of Excellence for the Study of Radicalization and HomegrownTerrorism in the United States (hereinafter referred to as `Center') following the merit-review processes and procedures and other limitations that have been previously established for selecting and supporting University Programs Centers of Excellence. The Center shall assist Federal, State, local and tribal homeland security officials through training, education, and research in preventing radicalization and homegrownterrorism in the United States. In carrying out this section, the Secretary may choose to either create a new Center designed exclusively for the purpose stated herein or identify and expand an existing Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence so that a working group is exclusively designated within the existing Center of Excellence to achieve the purpose set forth in subsection (b).
    `(b) Purpose- It shall be the purpose of the Center to study the social, criminal, political, psychological, and economic roots of radicalization and homegrownterrorism in the United States and methods that can be utilized by Federal, State, local, and tribal homeland security officials to mitigate radicalization and homegrownterrorism .
    `(c) Activities- In carrying out this section, the Center shall--
      `(1) contribute to the establishment of training, written materials, information, analytical assistance and professional resources to aid in combating radicalization and homegrownterrorism ;
      `(2) utilize theories, methods and data from the social and behavioral sciences to better understand the origins, dynamics, and social and psychological aspects of radicalization and homegrownterrorism ;
      `(3) conduct research on the motivational factors that lead to radicalization and homegrownterrorism ; and
      `(4) coordinate with other academic institutions studying the effects of radicalization and homegrownterrorism where appropriate.


    `(a) International Effort- The Secretary shall, in cooperation with the Department of State and other Federal Government entities, as appropriate, conduct a survey of methodologies implemented by foreign nations to prevent radicalization and homegrownterrorism in their respective nations.
    `(b) Implementation- To the extent that methodologies are not impermissible under the Constitution, the Secretary shall use the results of the survey as an aid in developing a national policy in the United States on addressing radicalization and homegrownterrorism .
    `(c) Reports to Congress- The Secretary shall submit a report to Congress that provides--
      `(1) a brief description of the foreign partners participating in the survey; and
      `(2) a description of lessons learned from the results of the survey and recommendations implemented through this international outreach.


    `(a) In General- The Department of Homeland Security's efforts to prevent ideologically-based violence and homegrownterrorism as described herein shall not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, and civil liberties of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents.
    `(b) Commitment to Racial Neutrality- The Secretary shall ensure that the activities and operations of the entities created by this subtitle are in compliance with the Department of Homeland Security's commitment to racial neutrality issued in an Department-wide Memorandum on June 1, 2004.
    `(c) Auditing Mechanism- The Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Officer of the Department of Homeland Security will develop and implement an auditing mechanism to ensure that compliance with this subtitle does not result in a disproportionate impact, without a rational basis, on any particular race, ethnicity, or religion and include within its annual report to Congress required under section 705.'.
    (b) Clerical Amendment- The table of contents in section 1(b) of such Act is amended by inserting at the end of the items relating to title VIII the following:

`Subtitle J--Prevention of Homegrown Terrorism

      `Sec. 899A. Definitions.
      `Sec. 899B. Findings.
      `Sec. 899C. Grant program to prevent ideologically-based violence and homegrownterrorism in the United States.
      `Sec. 899D. Center of Excellence for the Study of Radicalization and HomegrownTerrorism in the United States.
      `Sec. 899E. Preventing radicalization and homegrownterrorism through international cooperative efforts.
      `Sec. 899F. Protecting civil rights and civil liberties while preventing ideologically-based violence and homegrownterrorism .'.



Better watch what you say now.


Now, how is this supposed to help find Osama bin Laden again?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's been awhile...

Yeah I know, It's been awhile.

I've been REAL busy lately with some new developments I'm working on.

Stay tuned for some great stuff in the coming new year...