Robel leaving court yesterday
YES. I know that it’s not going to be a popular opinion but I agree with you and that’s exactly what I was driving at when I pointed out that none of Jahar’s other Muslim friends appear to be targeted by the FBI.
Now, I’m not saying that I actually believe Heda intends to commit an act of terrorism. I can’t say with absolute certainty that she does not, but statistically it’s improbable that she has serious intent. But she has conducted herself in a way that is certainly negatively impacting her family back in the States, and yes—it could potentially be very bad for Jahar, if the prosecution can somehow point to her as a direct example of someone having been influenced by him, even though he didn’t personally direct her to do anything.
This could be held up as a reason for the govt to continue to seek and impose the strictest interpretation of the SAMs for Jahar. The govt is allowed to impose SAMs in terrorism cases under even the flimsiest of pretenses so don’t think for a minute that they wouldn’t use this against him if they can. UGH. And yes, the prosecution has the upper hand and is free to spin this however they want, because nobody is putting a gag order on them. They can strategically leak and they do so.
Heda has not done herself, her family, or Jahar any favors, sadly. If she hadn’t posted what she did, I doubt the govt would have a problem with her staying to get married.
… I agree that she isn’t doing anyone any favors, but only because of the way these things work at this time. Because unless the government has something on Heda aside from what’s been revealed (which I’m not saying they don’t, it’s totally possible), I personally do not think the government is at all justified in taking any kind of action against her. Without naming names, I can think of like ten people I know personally right off the top of my head who’d be in BIG trouble with the law if shit they posted on social media were any concrete indication that they were going to commit an act of violence.
Also, if Dzhokhar didn’t directly influence her, it shouldn’t be on him. You’re right that it probably will be, but it shouldn’t be.
Also. I’m sorry, but I vehemently disagree with anon on the “idiotic remarks” thing. Making ANY kind of remarks, as long as they’re just remarks (not threats, etc.) should not be grounds for a fucking investigation. That is thought policing.
The difference is the people that they are associated with. Heda is associated to the Boston Bombers. Her family has been questioned, so therefore she should know better than to post such things. They’re all being monitored, and what she is doing is provoking the feds. Many people post pictures of rebels and political figures, or express their discontent with the government, but they have not been linked to the main suspect of crime nor questioned by the FBI, which can in the end, make the plaintiff’s (government’s) case just a little bit stronger.
Jahar may not have told her face to face to post such pictures, but if my friend was wrongly accused (as she believes) of a terrorism attack, and had I been questioned by the feds about my relation to the accused, I would no then go to my social network accounts and post pictures, as old as they may be, of anything related to violence or terrorism.
“if my friend was wrongly accused (as she believes) of a terrorism attack, and had I been questioned by the feds about my relation to the accused, I would no then go to my social network accounts and post pictures, as old as they may be, of anything related to violence or terrorism.”
This, 1000 times this. This is why I agree with my anon that Heda’s actions were indeed idiotic. Imagine this: at the same time you’re claiming your close family friend is innocent of terrorism and you are publicly stating your support for this friend, you post things that the government detaining your friend would consider pro-terrorist. In what universe does it make sense to identify with the very thing you proclaim in outrage your friend did NOT do?
This would be like if my best friend was arrested on charges of high-volume cocaine trafficking, then while I proclaim that my friend is innocent and has been framed, I post a lot of pro-cocaine things, then relocate to a remote part of the Andes where I continue to post pro-trafficking things. I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to imagine that the DEA would want to talk to me under those circumstances.
WHO IS HEDA UMAROVA?Heda Umarova, 23, a friend of the Tsarnaev family is the subject of a frantic FBI search amid fears she has become radicalized while in Chechnya, reports ABC News. Here’s what you need to know about her:1. She’s Been Posting Radical Materials Online The fears stem from some alarming images that Umarova has posted on the Russian version of Facebook, VK, over the last few months. They feature Islamic extremists holding AK-47s and other weaponry, according to the ABC News report.2. Her Parents She Stayed in Chechyna to Marry Umarov, a resident of Chelsea, Massachusetts, went with her family to their ethnic home of Chechnya in July 2013. When her family came back to the U.S., Umarova remained in the embattled state with her family saying she had met a man and planned to marry there. This aroused suspicion among FBI agents, who were already investigating Umarov. She is a U.S. passport holder.3. She’s Publicly Protested Her Friend Dzhokhar’s Innocence (Getty) In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing that killed three people and injured hundreds more on April 15, 2013, Umarova went on Alex Jones’ radio show. On air, she claimed that Tsarnaev was innocent and the victim of a false-flag conspiracy by the U.S. government. Bloomberg quotes Umarova as saying about Alex JOnes, “A lot of it is ‘Oh my god, he is crazy,’ but a lot of stuff he says makes sense. He brings up a lot of valid points.” The same Bloomberg peace, calls her a leader of the #freejahar network. She tells the station, “When I first started I thought nobody would support this. I though I would take all the heat. I expected nobody to support what I was doing.”4. The Feds Are Also Looking Into Her Brothers (Facebook) Her brothers, Adam, 20, and Junes, 18, are also under investigation from the FBI due to their close friendship with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. According to reports, they posted pictures of themselves letting off fireworks with Tsarnaev just months before the Boston attacks. In May 2013, Junes Umarov told The New York Times that he had known the Tsarnaev family since 2004.5. She’s Been Linked to a Jihadi Leader in Chechnya Through social media, she is linked to the Kavkaz Center, a group that is headed by Doku Umarov, a jihadi leader in Chechnya. The Umarov family are not related to the radicalized leader.
Picture # 1 and 2: Photos Heda is believed to have uploaded to her Vk site.
Picture # 3: Junes Umarov
Picture # 4 : Adam Umarov
Picture # 5 : Hawa Umarova
Picture # 6 : Hamzat Umarov (The father)
The family from this article
A group of Watertown residents met to vent frustration over what some described as heavy-handed local police and FBI tactics during the search for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and community lockdown last April.
The meeting at Watertown’s First Parish Church was a stark departure from previous gatherings in this community relative to the marathon bombing manhunt and shootout. Previous mass meetings here have been largely supportive of the police actions on the night of April 19 of last year. But among the 50 or so present at this latest gathering, most were critical of the police and government response. These were some of the voices heard over the course of two hours.
"Had they been competent when they began the lockdown, they would have gone down Franklin Street all the way — Franklin Street is an L-shaped street — apparently one of the SWAT teams only went down one half of the L," said one resident.
"Three black tanks and guys in black and three big guns out in front of my house, and I was more scared of them than I was of anything that was going on in the neighborhood," said another, while yet another responded, "Hear, hear." "I just don’t understand what happened and why all of us had to go through so much. There are a lot of children."
"One thing that’s really amplified to me here tonight, is that the FBI can come into any community in the United States — a four-square-mile community like Watertown — and take complete command and control over the local police," said another.
The community meeting was sponsored by the National Lawyers Guild, a progressive legal organization, which has held three previous meetings focused on questions about alleged constitutional violations during the Marathon bombing siege, and within the larger context of the Patriot Act in the post-9/11 era.
"Really, the purpose of this meeting is to make sure the people who felt that they didn’t have positive experiences with the police had a safe place to voice their concerns," said attorney Benjamin Falkner, a member of the National Lawyers Guild. "I think it’s fair that a lot of the people were perfectly happy with what happened, but there are some that weren’t, and I think there was a good, strong sense that right in the aftermath of what happened with the Boston Marathon bombing, if you had a problem with that, you really weren’t to be voicing that concern in public."
Some of these concerns have been voiced aloud to local police officials. Watertown police chief Ed Deveau said last fall that his force was studying the actions of law enforcement during that period and trying to learn from them.
"I know that the state is in the process of putting together the beginnings of an after-action report, so we can look at that and have it professionally looked at," he said. "And I promised the residents of Watertown that we’ll do a real, serious look at ourselves and everything that happened here, to make sure what went right, what went wrong, and what we can learn from that."
That was six months ago, and a comprehensive report about what went right and what went wrong has yet to be released.
Meanwhile, four Watertown residents in attendance at the Lawyers Guild community meeting alleged that they have been under pressure from local police and other residents to keep their criticisms to themselves. WGBH News will follow up this story in the coming days and we are requesting a response from the Watertown police to these and other complaints made by residents at that meeting.
***audio at link
**Glad some people are finally talking about this honestly instead of glossing over it as if Martial Law (basically) was no big deal. I think the last paragraph sums in up perfectly**
Nearly a year after the massive manhunt for suspected Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev some Watertown residents and local attorneys are wondering, was the lockdown constitutionally justified?
The National Lawyers Guild Massachusetts’ Chapter hosted a panel of three attorneys, including the moderator, on the lockdown at First Parish Church in Watertown Wednesday, Mar. 5. The panel discussed the effects of the lockdown and its impact on civil liberties and listened to residents in the audience who shared their experiences from Apr. 19.
The guild has previously hosted panels on the lockdown at Northeastern Law School, and Harvard Law School. The panel also spoke at Roxbury Community College, though it was not part of the series Panelist Benjamin Falkner, civil rights attorney at Krasnoo/Klehm said.
Falkner said the series gave residents a chance to ask important questions about the lockdown, and discuss whether it was the right thing to do.
"In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombings there was I think a solid fear among the people of Watertown and Boston in general of questioning what went on and whether it was the right thing to do," Falkner said. "These are an opportunity to give people a safe place to ask those questions and to have those questions answered."
On Thursday, Watertown Police Chief Ed Deveau said he was proud of the way the Watertown Police Dept. acted on April 19, adding that the department faced an extraordinary situation.
"I am extremely proud of the men and women of the Watertown Police Department. On April 19th in the early morning hours while most residents were sleeping our officers were confronted with a situation no law enforcement officer in the US has ever encountered," he said. "They performed heroically, defending our community and preventing more people from being killed or injured. They defended our countries freedom including the right for people to gather and criticize our police department. When I reflect on April 19th I think of the people of Watertown who stood tall and supported us on a very difficult day. I will spend the rest of my career thanking them. One of my best memories of the day was seeing people lining the streets from Watertown Square to Kenmore Square thanking law enforcement for there response."
During the panel Falkner said that what took place in Watertown during the lockdown was a series of searches and seizures in which the authorities searched people’s home for Tsarnaev. He noted that under normal circumstances a warrant would be needed to conduct a search, but that if the authorities have probable cause to suggest there is evidence of a crime or that a criminal is inside the property they can conduct a search.
Falkner said that authorities did not have reason to believe Tsarnaev was in any of the hoses they searched, which is what motivated him and his fellow panelists to discuss the events of Apr. 19 further.
Panelist Susan Church, attorney and partner at Demissie and Church, expressed concern about the extreme force local police forces are capable of using.
"The other thing has come up again and again and again in these seminars is the militarization of our police force," Church said. "With all this hardware coming in from all the wars that have been fought and stopped and lost and won that our local police forces are becoming so militarized that they think nothing of engaging in a fire fight in the middle of the streets and shooting up houses after houses in neighborhoods and turning out public streets into a war zone to catch a criminal.
"I just wonder, and I think it’s an interesting thought process of where does that stop," Church said. "Are we going to blow up people’s houses, evacuate people’s houses, blow them up just to catch this one person, who turns out just to be a kid?"
Hillary Farber Moderator and law professor at the University of Massachusetts noted that the Watertown Police hadn’t been invited to the panel because the seminar was not an incitement of the police department, but a forum for people to react and learn about some of the legal issues involved.
Falkner stressed that the forum was about broad issues, and not the actions of any particular officer.
"Are these kinds of lockdowns the kinds of things that we start seeing all the time?" Falkner said. "Without the sort of policing of the fourth amendment that the courts usually do, the concern is that’s exactly what’s going to happen." While the Police weren’t present, Watertown residents were, and many of them had serious concerns about what happened on April 19.
Watertown resident Chantel Zakari said she and her husband Mike Mandel live in the 20 block perimeter police set up during the manhunt and wanted to know how many houses and individual people were searched during the lockdown.
"I know some things, but its all heresy," Zakari said. "I’d like to see some numbers published."
Mandel also said he’d like to see an government investigation into the event.
"This 20 block radius is an abstraction," Mandel said. "There are people that we know who live blocks away from the 20 block radius that were searched."
Marta Manzelli who lives on Center Street, which is right next to Franklin Street where Tsarnaev was captured, said she was told she couldn’t leave her house shortly after the lockdown originally ended.
She said she was going downstairs to check on her neighbor, who lived below her, when she was told by men armed with assault rifles that she couldn’t leave.
"It was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever gone through," Manzelli said. "I’ve still got PTSD, I can’t deal with helicopters. I’ve never had guns pointed at me, and to have them with these guys in these desert swat outfits and all these vehicles, I felt so powerless in my own home I can’t express it."
Roger Sheppard of Waltham expressed concern over government intervention in recent years in the Occupy Movement in New York City as well as the warrantless stop and frisk procedures some law enforcement in New York have been utilizing. Sheppard said he was amazed at the reaction people had after the lockdown, which he said, caused the streets of Waltham to be “deserted.”
"What was surprising to me was not only the action of the police that day against our constitutional rights, but also the compliance of everybody and the cheerleading of the police capturing one suspect," Sheppard said.
"No comment from Robel Phillipos as he left Fed Court with his attorney"