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February 21, 2013 3

Iranian Terror Plots Continue To Spread Around the Globe

Even as Iran seeks to mend ties with Argentina over the 1994 ter­ror­ist attack on the AMIA Jew­ish Com­mu­nity Cen­ter in Buenos Aires, Iran con­tin­ues to be impli­cated in ter­ror plots on West­ern, Israeli and Jew­ish tar­gets around the world.

Yes­ter­day, Niger­ian secu­rity ser­vices announced the arrest of three men accused of sur­veilling tar­gets for a pos­si­ble Iranian-backed attack in the city of Lagos. The three men, all Nige­ri­ans, were tasked with gath­er­ing “intel­li­gence on pub­lic places and promi­nent hotels fre­quented by Amer­i­can and Israelis” accord­ing to a State Secu­rity Ser­vice spokes­woman.  She also claimed that the leader of the cell sent pic­tures of the local Israeli cul­ture cen­ter to his Iran­ian han­dlers.  The leader has con­fessed to spy­ing on behalf of Iran.

Also yes­ter­day, a man on trial in Cyprus for scout­ing tar­gets where Israelis were likely to be present admit­ted to being a mem­ber of the Iranian-backed ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion Hezbol­lah.  He was arrested less than two weeks before a bomb­ing in Bur­gas, Bul­garia, killed five Israelis in July of last year.  Bul­garia offi­cially impli­cated two mem­bers of Hezbol­lah in the attack ear­lier this month.

Since the begin­ning of 2012, Iran and its prox­ies have been impli­cated in a series of plots and attacks on Jew­ish and Israeli tar­gets, including:

  • Jan­u­ary 2012: A failed bomb plot tar­get­ing Israelis in Thai­land was linked to Iran-backed Hezbollah.
  • Jan­u­ary 2012: Azer­bai­jani author­i­ties arrested two men linked to Iran­ian intel­li­gence over a plot to attack the Israeli Ambas­sador and a local rabbi.
  • Feb­ru­ary 2012: Iran­ian intel­li­gence was linked to the bomb­ing of an Israeli embassy vehi­cle in India which injured the wife of the Israeli Defense Attaché and three others.
  • Feb­ru­ary 2012: Israel blamed Iran after a bomb was dis­cov­ered tar­get­ing an embassy car in Geor­gia; it was defused before it exploded.
  • Feb­ru­ary 2012: Azer­bai­jan arrested mem­bers of a cell work­ing linked to Iran and Hezbol­lah in a plot to tar­get the Israeli Embassy and a Jew­ish cul­tural center.
  • Feb­ru­ary 2012: An explo­sion in Bangkok led to the arrest of three Iranians.
  • March 2012: Azer­bai­jan arrested mem­bers of a cell tar­get­ing the Israeli and Amer­i­can embassies on behalf of Iran.
  • April 2012: Intel­li­gence ser­vices report­edly searched for Iran­ian agent in Turkey sus­pected of plot­ting attacks on West­ern, Israeli and Jew­ish targets.
  • April 2012: India expelled an Iran­ian national listed by the Iran­ian con­sulate as a gov­ern­ment employee after he was found cas­ing Israeli and Jew­ish sites in the city of Pune.
  • June 2012: Two Ira­ni­ans were arrested in Kenya in pos­ses­sion of chem­i­cals that author­i­ties claimed would be used for bombs. They report­edly were plot­ting to attack Israeli, Amer­i­can, British or Saudi targets.
  • July 2012: Cypriot author­i­ties arrested a dual Swedish-Lebanese cit­i­zen accused of sur­veilling Israeli tar­gets for a pos­si­ble attack for Iran-backed Hezbollah. 
  • July 2012: At least two mem­bers of Iran-backed Hezbol­lah killed 5 Israelis and their Bul­gar­ian bus dri­ver in the bomb­ing of a tour bus in Bur­gas, Bulgaria.

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April 20, 2012 0

Georgia Passes Tougher Bogus Lien Law

A new mea­sure came into force in Geor­gia this week, when Gov­er­nor Nathan Deal signed into law HB 997, mak­ing it a felony to file bogus liens against pub­lic offi­cials and law enforce­ment offi­cers. The act amends the Geor­gia code to cre­ate a new crime, that of mak­ing false lien state­ments against pub­lic offi­cers or pub­lic employ­ees, and pro­vides a pun­ish­ment of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
The bill had orig­i­nally been spon­sored by a group of Repub­li­can state rep­re­sen­ta­tives and received strong bipar­ti­san sup­port in both the Geor­gia House and Sen­ate. The aim of the bill was to help counter the grow­ing prob­lems caused by the sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment, an extreme right-wing anti-government move­ment whose adher­ents believe that cur­rent gov­ern­ments are ille­git­i­mate and have no author­ity over them. Though the move­ment has existed since the 1970s, in the past few years it has expe­ri­enced a sur­pris­ing resur­gence, includ­ing a growth of vio­lent and crim­i­nal activity.



Por­tion of doc­u­ment filed by Robert Eugene Stephens
attempt­ing to copy­right his own name,
a com­mon sov­er­eign cit­i­zen tactic


Though the sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment has a strong asso­ci­a­tion with vio­lence, it has an even stronger asso­ci­a­tion with what has come to be called “paper terrorism”—the use of bogus legal fil­ings or doc­u­ments or the mis­use of actual ones in order to harass, intim­i­date, or retal­i­ate against per­ceived enemies.

For 30 years, bogus liens have been one of the most pop­u­lar paper ter­ror­ism tac­tics, often used to harass police offi­cers, pros­e­cu­tors, offi­cials, and judges with whom sov­er­eign cit­i­zens come into con­tact. To give one recent Geor­gia exam­ple, in Octo­ber 2011 Geor­gia Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion agents arrested sov­er­eign cit­i­zen Robert Eugene Stephens of Min­eral Bluff on 12 crim­i­nal counts related to a series of bogus liens Stephens allegedly filed against a vari­ety of local and state offi­cials, includ­ing a county clerk, a local judge and her sec­re­tary, the county tax com­mis­sioner, and even the Speaker of the Geor­gia House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives (which prob­a­bly didn’t hurt the chance the sub­se­quent law had of passing).

A num­ber of states still don’t have bogus lien laws on their books, while the laws of other states make the crime only a mis­de­meanor and some states with bogus lien laws have been lax in enforc­ing them. The result has been a flood of bogus liens across the entire coun­try in the past sev­eral years.

The Geor­gia law could still be strength­ened fur­ther, as it does not pro­tect pri­vate cit­i­zens and busi­nesses, who also can be the vic­tim of bogus liens filed by sov­er­eign cit­i­zens.

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