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Entries in Quantico (4)

Sunday
Mar242013

Victims, Gunman in Quantico Marine Base Identified

Comstock/Thinkstock(QUANTICO, Va.) -- The Naval Criminal Investigative Service identified the victims and the shooter in the Thursday night shooting at Quantico Marine Base.

Sgt. Eusbio Lopez, 25 of Pacifica, Calif., allegedly gunned down Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata, 19, of Oakley, Calif, and Cpl. Jacob Wooley, 23, of Guntown, Miss., before killing himself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Lopez was a decorated machine gunner who served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The shooting occurred Thursday night at Taylor Hall, a barracks at the Officer Candidates School, where all three Marines worked as training personnel, said Col. David W. Maxwell, base commander at Quantico.

All three Marines were pronounced dead at the scene. The motive is under investigation.

"We send our prayers and condolences to the families, fellow Marines and friends of the Marines who were lost in this tragic incident," said Col. David W. Maxwell, base commander at Quantico. "Our priority is to take care of and support all of those who are affected by this loss."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar072012

FBI: Budget Cuts Could Hamper Bomb Tracking

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- FBI Director Robert S. Mueller warned lawmakers Wednesday that a possible budget cut could delay his agency’s efforts to find terrorists and bombmakers.

The FBI’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) at Quantico was established in late 2003 to help counter the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) faced by U.S. soldiers in war zones.

FBI officials say they have analyzed over 80,000 IEDs at TEDAC, but Mueller, testifying before the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday, said that the proposed budget cut could lead to a greater backlog in the analysis of devices, preventing timely fingerprint analysis of suspected and known terrorists.

“We have the process of evaluating IEDs that have been discovered in Iraq and now Afghanistan,” Mueller said, “and we take those IEDs and  process them through our laboratory for fingerprints for DNA, for the designs.  We have a backlog and that -- our ability to get through that backlog -- will be impacted by that rescission.”

The FBI’s budget request for 2013 includes a $162 million cut from the FBI’s Salaries & Expense account. FBI officials declined to say how large the backlog of IEDS waiting to be analyzed is.

“I’ve got monies allocated to address that backlog,” Mueller added. “If we’re cut, I can’t do that backlog and that enhances the risk that we will not have a fingerprint of an individual on an IED, and that individual may get into Europe or may get into the United States.”

“That is less important than making certain we follow every lead on every potential terrorist in the United States,” Mueller continued. "So I have to prioritize.  But with the prioritization comes an enhanced risk.”

There have been an estimated 127,105 IED attacks in Iraq and 52,963 IED attacks in Afghanistan since 2004, according to military records.

The budget rebalancing could also cut $37 million from the FBI’s internal computer security system in an effort to centralize all FBI records.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan252012

Feds: US Terrorist Took Out Murder Contract on Witnesses

A convicted member of a North Carolina cell of Islamic radicals, Hysen Sherifi,who planned to attack Quantico Marine Corps base in Virginia, has been accused of plotting to kill the witnesses who helped convict him. (ABC)(WASHINGTON) -- A man already convicted of taking part in a terror plot to attack the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va., has now been accused of plotting the beheading of key witnesses against him and his co-conspirators.

According to a criminal complaint unsealed this week, Hysen Sherifi tried to arrange for the witnesses to be murdered for $5,000 apiece by a hitman named "Treetop," but the go-betweens in the murder-for-hire scheme were actually federal informants.

Hysen Sherifi was convicted of providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy to murder U.S. military personnel and firearms charges in October 11 for his role in the foiled Quantico plot. Three other men in his North Carolina-based terror cell pled guilty to terrorism charges in 2011, and three more defendants were found guilty at trial. Another defendant still awaits trial, while an eighth suspect remains at large.

Sherifi, 27, was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison on Jan.13. In an FBI affidavit unsealed this week, however, authorities claim that prior to Sherifi's sentencing he tried to take out a murder contract on key witnesses against him.

According to the affidavit, Sherifi confided in an informant that he wanted to kill three witnesses who testified against him and a prisoner he believed had stolen from him.

"[The Informant] contacted the FBI to advise that Hysen Sherifi had confided in him and requested his/her assistance for the purpose of hiring someone to kill several individuals. Three of the intended victims are witnesses who testified against him at his federal trial."

The affidavit alleges that Sherifi showed his brother's girlfriend, Nevine Aly Elshiekh, notes that he wanted passed on to another individual who was also an informant in the case.

Elshiekh allegedly passed the information on to the second informant, who claimed to be in contact with a hitman known only as "Treetop." During a Jan. 2, 2012, meeting the second informant allegedly showed Elshiekh a picture of one of the targets and the two discussed a $5,000 payment for the killings. "I got the picture from Treetop," the informant allegedly told Elshiekh, "and Treetop wants to make sure it's the right person to be killed."

On Jan. 8, 2012, Sherifi's brother Shkumbin Sherifi visited his brother at the New Hanover County jail. Two hours later, Shkumbin allegedly arranged a call with the second informant to meet him and get money to him. The court papers note that Shkumbin Sherifi allegedly brought the informant $4,250.

During the meeting the informant allegedly asked Shkumbin Sherifi, "You need to ask [Hysen] Sherifi which one he want [sic] killed. The black guy or Arab."

Shkumbin allegedly told the informant, "Okay, um does he, um, are you guys in touch?"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb042011

Kucinich Wants to Meet with Alleged 'WikiLeaker' Bradley Manning

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- How is alleged Wiki-leaker Bradley Manning being treated in the Marines brig at Quantico? That’s what Representative Dennis Kucinich wants to know. The Ohio democrat has fired off a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates asking to visit the Private who is suspected of leaking thousands of classified government documents to WikiLeaks.

There have been media reports that Manning is being held in solitary confinement. Kucinich, who has already asked if the military may have missed mental health issues with Private Manning, now wants a personal visit to see the solider is being treated properly. In his letter, dated for Friday, Feb. 4, Kucinich tells Gates that reports describe Manning’s treatment while in custody as “alarming abuses of his constitutional rights and his physical health.”

 Kucinich is a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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