Israeli Police, Security Forces Prepare for New Intifada & More
*** By: Jim Kouri***
Israel's National Police (INP) and Defense Force (IDF) this past weekend prepared for a new wave of Palestinian violence following several clashes with Palestinian activists in Jerusalem and throughout the Palestinian National Authority territory on Saturday and Sunday, according to an Israeli police counterterrorism source.
Israeli's Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz held a brainstorming session with top brass on Saturday night in order to make necessary preparations for confrontations that might ignite a third intifada, according to Levi Berens, an expert in police counterinsurgency operations.
Intifada is Arabic meaning "uprising," but a literal translation is "shaking off."
The brainstorming session at Israeli IDF headquarters followed an incident in which about 20 Israeli settlers were attacked by more than 150 Palestinians near the village of Qusra, according to Yediot Ahronot. The clash was the result of a farming disagreement between Jewish settlers and Palestinian Islamists.
Police and security forces that responded to the clash used stun guns and stun grenades as well as tear gas to stop the violence between the two groups of fighters, according to Berens.
"Two Palestinians were reportedly injured by gunfire, one of them severely hurt after a bullet hit him in the stomach. Both the army and settlers claimed that live ammunition was not used during the incident, with one of the latter accusing troops of firing their weapons after running out of non-lethal crowd dispersal means," stated the Yediot Ahronat.
Israel's concerns over another intifada increased after a violence erupted following prayers at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Dozens of Palestinian Muslims began throwing rocks and firecrackers at Israeli security forces who responded by storming the compound dispersing rioters with stun grenades.
No one was injured on either side and, Berens said, the police restored order within minutes.
Unfortunately, more violence erupted at other locations throughout the West Bank. For example, in Hebron, about 50 Palestinians rallied near the city's Jewish neighborhood to mark 19 years since Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein killed 19 Muslim worshippers at the Cave of the Patriarchs in 1994.
Protesters threw rocks at security forces on the scene who responded with tear gas.
In Ramallah, large police units were deployed in order to counter Palestinians who began rioting at the checkpoint near the Ofer Prison, firing tear gas and stun grenades at multitude of masked youths, said Berens.
The IDF reported an increased in the amount of violence within the West Bank in recent months. Police officials have also alerted decision-makers to the possibility that Palestinian despair over the stagnant peacemaking process, financial difficulties, and continued settlement expansion by Jews could boil over into another intifada.
NYPD cannibal cop's trial commences in Manhattan
February 26, 2013
By: Jim Kouri
The trial of a former New York City Police officer accused of plotting to kidnap, murder and then devour his female victims began on Monday in a Manhattan federal courtroom, according to a federal law enforcement officials.
Law enforcement agents had arrested NYPD Officer Gilberto Valle on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 for plotting to abduct women, cook them and then eat their body parts, according to the indictment.
The 28-year-old police officer planned to commit the kidnappings and murders with a person he met on the Internet. His online contact then warned the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the plot. Valle is also accused of illegally accessing a law enforcement database as part of his plot.
Valle, who lived in Queens County, was suspended from the NYPD by his precinct's commanding officer just before he was arrested by FBI agents, according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
Valle is accused of planning to abduct up to 100 women. The criminal complaint alleges that Valle began plotting his violent crime wave around January 2012, but that no women were harmed by the rogue cop.
Valle is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Valle is also charged with one count of intentionally and knowingly accessing a computer without authorization and exceeding his authorized access and thereby obtaining information from a department and agency of the United States, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
During a press conference at 26 Federal Plaza, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: "Gilberto Valle's alleged plans to kidnap women so that they could be raped, tortured, killed, cooked, and cannibalized shocks the conscience. This case is all the more disturbing when you consider Valle's position as a New York City Police officer and his sworn duty to serve and protect."
Valle's defense attorney, Julia Gatto, is arguing that her client never actually intended to kidnap anyone. She stated, “You can’t convict people for their thoughts, even if they’re sick.”
Gatto previously defended the Times Square terrorist suspect Faisal Shahzad in 2010, and is considered one of the Big Apple's top criminal lawyers.
The criminal complaint claims that on July 22, Valle communicated with a co-conspirator using an Instant Messaging (IM) program to discuss kidnapping, cooking and eating body parts of one woman.
They also allegedly discussed where to find a recipe for chloroform. During this time period, Valle also created a document entitled "Abducting and Cooking [Victim]: a Blueprint." The document contains pedigree information about the woman -- including her name, date of birth, height, weight, and bra size. The document also contains a section called "Materials Needed."
The FBI searched Valle's computer and say he had created files pertaining to at least 100 women and had at least one photo of each of the woman. The majority of the women were listed by their first and last names.
The complaint claims that Valle used the databases to locate potential victims, spy on them at their homes and workplaces, drafted an "operation plan" to abduct and "cook" a woman, and researched methods of disabling and drugging women.
The FBI says it interviewed ten of the women on in the files and confirmed that they all knew Valle.
Wife's Shocking Testimony
One of the prosecution's key witnesses is Valle's own spouse and she was the first one called to give testimony.
Police officer Valle's wife, Kathleen, was described as struggling to maintain her composure Monday as she told the jury about the online Instant Messages (IMs) and other evidence on Valle's desktop computer that revealed he had discussed killing his wife and then kidnapping, torturing and eating other women.
“I was going to be tied up by my feet and my throat slit, and they would have fun watching the blood gush out of me because I was young,” Kathleen Mangan-Valle told the jury.
The 27-year-old Kathleen also read of a plot to put a friend in a suitcase, wheel her out of her building and murder her. Two other women were “going to be raped in front of each other to heighten their fears,” while another was going to be roasted alive over an open fire, she told the court.
Valle's trial is expected to last two weeks.