- Fusion Center Supports the Oak Creek Sikh Temple Active Shooter Incident
- Fusion Center Supports Colorado Wildfire Response Efforts
- Fusion Center Enables a Teenage Runaway to Return Home Safely
- Fusion Centers Collaborate to Assist in Opening a Homicide Investigation
- Fusion Center Assists in Homicide Investigation
- Fusion Centers Collaborate to Support Controlled Drug Seizure
- Fusion Centers in Georgia and Virginia Collaborate to Solve Murder of Young Child
- Fusion Center Provides Critical Information to International and Federal Partners Contributing to Arrest of Armed Suspects
- Fusion Center Contributes to Decrease in Auto Theft
- Fusion Center Supports Apprehension of Armed and Dangerous Fugitives
- Fusion Center Supports Federal Partners through the Use of Facial Recognition Queries
- Fusion Center is Instrumental in the Arrest of an Attempted Bombing Suspect
- Intercepting a Suspicious Trailer Headed to Times Square
- Fusion Center Provides Critical Information in Arrest of Suspect on Kidnapping and Rape Charges
- Fusion Centers Provide Critical Information to Faisal Shahzad Case
- Fusion Center Supports Tribal Drug Investigation
- Fusion Center in Colorado Supports Investigation of Woman Arrested on Terrorism Charges
- Fusion Center Supports Zazi Investigation
- Fusion Centers Support the G-20 Summit
- Fusion Centers Coordinate Security for 2008 Republican and Democratic National Conventions
- Fusion Center Supports Bomb Threat Case
- Fusion Center Support Prevents an International Kidnapping
- Fusion Center Aids in Preventing "Virginia Tech Style" Attack
- Fusion Center Supports Goose Creek Case
Fusion Center Supports the Oak Creek Sikh Temple Active Shooter Incident
Southeastern Wisconsin Threat Analysis Center, August 2012
On August 5, 2012, the Southeastern Wisconsin Threat Analysis Center (STAC) and its host agency, the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), took immediate action to support a response to violent activity at the local Oak Creek Sikh Temple. Proactively addressing active shooter reports transmitted via local law enforcement, the STAC watch desk officer reported the information to fusion center leadership, who in turn authorized support to the Oak Creek Police Department, which was handling the incident.
Although already supporting a variety of other public events – to include the Wisconsin State Fair, the Milwaukee Air and Water Show, Navy Week, and the War of 1812 Bicentennial Celebration – the STAC acted swiftly in response to the attack, shifting its personnel and attention to focus on the active shooter attack, while maintaining adequate awareness levels of the other events. The MPD deployed a high quantity of personnel – 140 in total – to the site, and also provided subject matter expertise in numerous critical capacities, to include strategic, operational, and tactical support.
Already operating within a multi-agency Joint Intelligence Operations Center (JIOC) structure to support the previously mentioned public events, members of the STAC and the JIOC determined that the suspect was a known affiliate of a white supremacist group. Proceeding with this information, the shooting was handled as a Domestic Terrorism matter by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Milwaukee Division, which assumed the investigative lead. Both the FBI and MPD relied on STAC’s intelligence and investigative support throughout the incident. The STAC was responsible for drafting, coordinating, and de-conflicting joint seal FBI/fusion center products to further share information regarding the event. The STAC also leveraged the expertise resident across the National Network of Fusion Centers to identify any additional leads or information pertaining to the suspect and incident.
Following the incident, STAC infrastructure and training personnel provided recommendations for instituting a security framework for other infrastructure in the AOR. In addition to providing recommendations on physical security enhancements and increasing physical security posture in the AOR, the STAC also led efforts to raise awareness of indicators of threats and the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper law enforcement authorities. Furthermore, the STAC continues to build its relationship with the faith-based community to ensure continued prompt, efficient action is taken in response to any potential future threats.
Fusion Center Supports Colorado Wildfire Response Efforts
Colorado Information Analysis Center, March – July, 2012
The 2012 wildfire season was one of the worst in history. Fires fueled by searing heat, dry weather, and strong winds burned hundreds of thousands of acres. Between March and July 2012, Colorado experienced 25 major wildfires covering over 400,000 acres of land, resulting in the mandatory evacuation of over 44,000 people. Fighting the Colorado fires required every available state and federal resource and quickly became the focus of the entire country as other states and federal agencies provided resources to support the firefighting effort. Colorado’s fusion center, the Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC), coordinated closely with the Colorado Division of Emergency Management (DEM) during the response to the wildfires, providing resources such as Mobile Analytical Response Teams, “Flash Reports,” and investigative support to promote effective information sharing, support executive level decision-making, and reduce duplication of effort. The CIAC developed the Mobile Analytical Response Team concept to deploy assets and provide on-scene intelligence support for all hazards incidents. The teams are comprised of Colorado State Troopers and CIAC intelligence analysts who embed with emergency management to share information and produce intelligence to support the incident command. Additionally, the CIAC utilized their fire analyst who resides within the fusion center to provide subject matter expertise for the Mobile Analytical Response Teams as they processed information and developed products. The coordination and partnerships between the Colorado State Patrol, the CIAC, and DEM served to promote information sharing and collaboration that protected lives and property in Colorado.
Fusion Center Enables a Teenage Runaway to Return Home Safely
Virginia Fusion Center, May 2012
In May 2012, a teenager ran away from their home in Pennsylvania. Through further investigation, local officers were able to determine that the juvenile had been in communication with an individual in Virginia for an extended period of time. Upon discovering this information, the local officers were put in contact with the Virginia Fusion Center (VFC). Taking action, a VFC analyst promptly provided this information to the Virginia State Police, who were able to locate the juvenile. This example of timely information sharing enabled the juvenile to safely return home.
Fusion Centers Collaborate to Assist in Opening a Homicide Investigation
Multiple Fusion Centers, March 2012
In March 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) Intelligence Officer (IO) embedded in the Southern Nevada Counterterrorism Center (SNCTC) responded to a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Terrorism Liaison Officer request for assistance in verifying identification information obtained from a local inmate, who claimed to be a soldier of the Gulf Cartel.
After vetting information presented by the inmate - to include details surrounding Gulf Cartel smuggling routes, tactics, techniques, and procedures, as well as specific information regarding an unsolved murder that took place in Texas several years prior - the Las Vegas IO passed the information to the I&A IO embedded in the Texas Fusion Center (TFC). Subsequently, the TFC quickly routed the information to state law enforcement officials, who verified much of the information.
Based on the information provided by the TFC, SNCTC conducted a follow-up interview with the inmate, during which time additional pertinent information was obtained and relayed to Texas. The follow-up interviews and continued research by the SNCTC led to the development of actionable intelligence that enabled the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department to open a new investigation on the unsolved murder in Texas. DHS also shared this information with the Intelligence Community to aid future federal counternarcotics efforts.
Fusion Center Assists in Homicide Investigation
Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center, February 2012
In February 2012, Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) conducted an investigation of a homicide. A suspect was interviewed in connection with the crime and denied having had any contact with the victim around the timeframe of the offense. Cellular telephone records for both the victim and suspect were obtained and forwarded to Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center (PaCIC) for analysis. PaCIC subsequently determined that the victim’s and suspect’s phones were at the same location at the same time, contradicting the suspect’s statement. Following this discovery, the analyst prepared a map depicting the GPS coordinates of both phones and disseminated the map to investigators, thereby leading to the suspect’s arrest for the homicide.
Fusion Centers Collaborate to Support Controlled Drug Seizure
Multiple Fusion Centers, January 2012
On January 26, 2012, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the Port of Cincinnati intercepted an opium-laced package from Great Britain bound for South Lake Tahoe, California. Seized after a CBP K-9 alerted law enforcement authorities to the suspicious nature of the package, the shipment was x-rayed, tested, and confirmed as containing opiate residue. As a partner agency at the Kentucky Intelligence Fusion Center, the CBP officer asked the deployed DHS Intelligence Officer (IO) from Kentucky for information to support a controlled interstate delivery. Subsequently, they worked with another deployed DHS IO in Sacramento and an Intelligence Analyst from the Central California Intelligence Center (CCIC) to provide support for the delivery. The team utilized the Fusion Center’s trained Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) network and the Central Valley California High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) to identify local points of contact as conduits to arrange a successful delivery to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) Narcotics Task Force. Acting on a search warrant on the same day, they seized 28 lbs of dried opium poppy pods and $26,000 in cash. This successful operation exemplifies the collaborative power that field-based information sharing entities leverage across their distinct networks to benefit the Homeland Security Enterprise.
Fusion Centers in Georgia and Virginia Collaborate to Solve Murder of Young Child
Multiple Fusion Centers, December 2011
In December of 2011, a young child was reported missing from an apartment complex in northern Georgia. After the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) identified a suspect in the case, the GBI analysts assigned to the Georgia Information Sharing & Analysis Center (GISAC), the Georgia Fusion Center, began developing information on the suspect. Upon determining that the subject had previously lived in Virginia, the GISAC contacted the Virginia Fusion Center and requested an urgent records check on the subject. The Virginia Fusion Center responded immediately, with an update that the suspect had previously been the subject of a local police report. Based on this information, the GISAC was able to request the full report from local Virginia authorities and GBI Special Agents were sent to Virginia to re-interview the complainant documented in the report. The information obtained from the Virginia Fusion Center and local Virginia authorities was essential to the investigation. Shortly thereafter, the subject was arrested and charged for the murder of the child. This example demonstrates the importance of connectivity across the National Network of Fusion Centers, which provided investigators with critical information in real-time that they otherwise would not have been able to access.
Fusion Center Provides Critical Information to International and Federal Partners Contributing to Arrest of Armed Suspects
Alaska Information and Analysis Center (AKIAC), October 2011
On October 26, 2011 the Alaska Information and Analysis Center (AKIAC) issued an Officer Safety Bulletin informing state law enforcement of two potentially violent individuals believed to be illegally armed and possibly departing the state for Canada. This bulletin was informed by information provided by the Alaska Joint Terrorism Task Force. Leveraging carefully developed liaisons with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a partnership with the U.S. Border Patrol Blaine Sector Intelligence Unit, and local Anchorage U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) contacts, the AKIAC ensured that the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) received this information and was on alert. As a result, CBSA conducted a high-risk inspection of the suspect’s vehicle at the Beaver Creek Port of Entry, discovering a weapon. The suspect was denied entry, turned around, stopped at the CBP checkpoint, and arrested by the Alaska State Troopers.
Fusion Center Contributes to Decrease in Auto Theft
Colorado Information Analysis Center, October 2011
Auto theft prevention has become a top priority in Colorado, given that it’s often a “transitional crime” in which criminals who steal cars are using them to kidnap, rob banks, deliver drugs and commit other violent felonies. Of the nearly 31,000 auto-theft cases in Colorado in the past five years, 75 percent involved another crime including murder, robbery, assault and sexual assault. The Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC) worked with the Colorado State Patrol to create and staff Colorado’s Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center (ATICC). ATICC analysts have worked to analyze existing auto theft data to produce products for law enforcement officers in Colorado and surrounding states. The CIAC has gathered, analyzed, and distributed data to local law enforcement to help identify stolen cars and potentially prevent thefts. These efforts as well as partnerships with 10 statewide task forces have helped put the number of auto thefts in Colorado below the national average. ATICC is funded by a grant from the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority, which is funded by a flat fee assessed on automobile insurance policies in Colorado. The goal of the partnership is to gather and analyze data in order to support local police departments with intelligence products and proposed countermeasures to prevent auto theft and related crimes.
Fusion Center Supports Apprehension of Armed and Dangerous Fugitives
Colorado Information Analysis Center, August 2011
Fusion Center Supports Federal Partners through the Use of Facial Recognition Queries
Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center, January 2011 and June 2011
- The United States Marshals Service (USMS) was searching for an individual wanted for several felony offenses. In February 2010, the USMS contacted the Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center (PaCIC) to obtain assistance in locating the fugitive. After having exhausted all available leads, PaCIC was unable to locate the fugitive. In January 2011, the USMS contacted PaCIC to request any updated information regarding the fugitive. PaCIC analysts used the fugitive’s operator license photograph to initiate a query through their facial recognition tools. As a result, PaCIC found a matching image in the database, but under a different name. Using the new alias, PaCIC queried various databases and identified a previously unknown address for the individual. This information was provided to the USMS, who subsequently apprehended the fugitive.
- The United States Secret Service (USSS) and local law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey investigated a series of thefts by deception/identify theft during which over $300,000 was taken from numerous victims and financial institutions. In spite of the concerted investigative efforts of numerous agencies over a six-month period, the suspect was not identified. In June 2011, a municipal police detective forwarded several surveillance images of the suspect to the Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center (PaCIC) to see if they could assist. Within two hours of receiving the images, PACIC utilized facial recognition software to find a match within the image database. Following the match, PaCIC forwarded the information to the USSS who subsequently filed charges in connection with the investigation.
Fusion Center is Instrumental in the Arrest of an Attempted Bombing Suspect
Colorado Information Analysis Center, June 2011
In June 2011, the Lakewood, Colo. Police Department received information that an individual had placed two improvised explosive devices at a Borders book store at the Colorado Mills Mall. Due to the nature of the crime, the Lakewood Police Department notified the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) of the incident, who in turn activated the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The JTTF and Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Agents responded to the scene and began collecting information which they passed to the Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC). A few hours later, the Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC) sent information to fusion centers nationwide and Terrorism Liaison Officers (TLO) statewide, requesting information that may relate to the incident. Less than 15 minutes after this information was sent to Colorado TLOs, the CIAC received vital information from a State Trooper. About 24 hours earlier the suspect had crashed his vehicle and was taken into custody for Felony Menacing and Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. After receiving the information from the CIAC, the arresting officer believed the suspect he arrested was also the suspect in the book store bombing attempt. Concurrently, and while the investigation was still active, the CIAC received another lead from a different TLO which linked the suspect to yet another device that partially detonated near a hotel a short distance from the book store. The CIAC in turn passed this information to the FBI JTTF to further support the investigation. The suspect is being held on charges stemming from the incident.
Intercepting a Suspicious Trailer Headed to Times Square
Multiple Fusion Centers, October 2010
On October 8, 2010, an advisory was sent out by the New York Police Department concerning a suspicious tractor trailer whose driver reportedly diverted its route to Times Square in New York City in exchange for $10,000. The deployed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Intelligence Officer (IO) in New York informed several fusion centers in the affected area. Subsequently, the Rhode Island Fusion Center discovered that the original owner of the truck was a California native and asked the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center to run a background check based on the owner’s information. Within two hours of the advisory’s release, information from these two fusion centers was used to coordinate with the Connecticut Intelligence Center, which enabled Connecticut State Police to locate the tractor trailer before it reached its reported target in New York City. The Connecticut State Police searched the vehicle and questioned the driver and passenger.
Ultimately, officials concluded that the vehicle was not a threat, but the fact that these fusion centers, supported by Department of Homeland Security IOs, were able to turn this incident from a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) to resolution in a matter of three hours shows the value of the National Network of Fusion Centers.
Fusion Center Provides Critical Information in Arrest of Suspect on Kidnapping and Rape Charges
Multiple Fusion Centers, August 2010
The Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center (PaCIC) provided information regarding the abduction and rape of a woman in Mead Township, Pennsylvania, in its August 3, 2010, daily intelligence summary, which included a description of the suspect as well as his Maine license plate number. Because the suspect had an out-of-state license plate, a fusion center analyst at the PaCIC provided the product to the Maine Intelligence Analysis Center (MIAC) along with details on the case. Based on this coordination, the Maine State Police determined the suspect had fled the United States for Canada. Working with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in New Brunswick, Canada, the suspect was found and arrested on charges of kidnapping and rape.
Fusion Centers Provide Critical Information to Faisal Shahzad Case
Multiple Fusion Centers, May 2010
After the attempted bombing of Times Square by Faisal Shahzad, fusion centers across the country shared tips and leads directly pertaining to Shahzad with the Federal Government. Florida Fusion Center analysts discovered Shahzad was associated with two subjects that had previously resided in Florida. Pertinent information was passed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) to further pursue leads. The JTTF provided the information to the National Counterterrorism Center, which used the information in a subsequent intelligence product.
In New York, an alert AAA employee filed a SAR with the New York State Intelligence Center regarding a call on May 2, 2010 – when Shahzad called for assistance because he had locked his keys inside the vehicle. This was the same vehicle later recovered at the airport with a firearm inside on the day Shahzad was arrested. This information was forwarded to the FBI to support investigation and corroboration.
Fusion Center Supports Tribal Drug Investigation
Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center, May 2010
The Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center supported a five-month investigation led by a tribal partner, the Tohono O'odham Nation (TON) Police Department and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Division of Drug Enforcement. This investigation led to the arrest of 10 suspects and the apprehension of weapons, cash, vehicles, cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy – the largest drug enforcement operation in TON history. The investigation marked a key opportunity to collaborate with tribal partners and opened information sharing initiatives between several other agencies, including the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and other police departments in the area.
Fusion Center in Colorado Supports Investigation of Woman Arrested on Terrorism Charges
Colorado Information Analysis Center, March 2010
In September 2009, the Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC) supported an investigation of a local missing woman whose mother indicated that her daughter had converted to Islam through the Internet and had been communicating with a man from Pakistan. The CIAC was alerted that the missing woman, Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, was possibly traveling to New York to meet the man. Upon analysis of this report, the CIAC provided this information to the local JTTF. The information supplemented an open FBI investigation on the woman.
Paulin-Ramirez was later linked to Colleen R. LaRose (Jihad Jane), who was charged in March 2010 with terrorism-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder and providing material support to terrorists. Subsequent news reports indicated that suspected terrorist Najibullah Zazi, who pleaded guilty in February 2010 of planning to bomb the New York subway system, may have also been in contact with Paulin-Ramirez via the Internet.
In March 2010, Paulin-Ramirez was detained in Ireland with five others in connection with a terrorist conspiracy to kill a Swedish cartoonist who had portrayed the prophet Muhammad as a dog in a cartoon. The CIAC cooperated with the FBI to provide further information from their prior analysis of information pertaining to Paulin-Ramirez.
Fusion Center Supports Zazi Investigation
Colorado Information Analysis Center, September 2009
In the Najibullah Zazi case, the CIAC provided analytic support to the Denver FBI and the Department of Homeland Security regarding the suspicious activity reported to the CIAC through the public website and 1-800 number. In support of this effort, the CIAC provided personnel to assist the Denver FBI in the investigation and support the field operations. CIAC analysts also assisted in the review and analysis of the evidence obtained during the execution of the search and arrest warrants. CIAC leadership addressed media inquiries regarding the investigation, the threat to Colorado residents, and the threat to national security.
Fusion Centers Support the G-20 Summit
Multiple Fusion Centers, September 2009
The Department of Homeland Security worked with federal, state, local, and private sector partners, including the five surrounding fusion centers, in support of the G-20 Summit held in Pittsburgh September 24-25, 2009. The Department leveraged open source materials and information received from fusion centers to support federal, state, and local partners in making informed decisions and understanding the threat environment. The Department also deployed six analysts from headquarters to provide intelligence support to the three G-20 Pittsburgh Summit Command Centers. Participation by partners at all levels of government enabled leadership to maintain situational awareness of the event and receive timely, relevant information.
Fusion Centers Coordinate Security for 2008 Republican and Democratic National Conventions
Multiple Fusion Centers, July 2008
Two fusion centers, the Minnesota Joint Analysis Center (MNJAC) and the CIAC, supported information sharing with state and local entities for the 2008 political conventions. For the Republican National Convention, the MNJAC provided 24/7 support to facilitate information and intelligence sharing to the Principal Federal Official's support cell. For the Democratic National Convention (DNC), the CIAC coordinated state and local input to the Special Events Working Group and developed a Joint DNC Threat Assessment. As part of this effort, the CIAC and the FBI jointly managed the Intelligence Operations Center (IOC), which was responsible for collecting, fusing, analyzing, de-conflicting and disseminating all information in support of DNC security operations. The CIAC also served as the primary conduit for sharing DNC information with state and local entities.
Fusion Center Supports Bomb Threat Case
Central California Intelligence Center, May 2008
The Central California Intelligence Center (CCIC) coordinated with its co-located JTTF in a case that resulted in the May 2008 federal grand jury indictment of two men charged with making bomb threats to Delta Airlines and the U.S. Embassy in Italy. Intelligence analysts at the CCIC provided relevant background to enable JTTF agents to interview the subjects. Both men were charged with one count of making a hoax threat under Section 1038(a) of Title 18. One defendant was also charged with threatening to destroy an aircraft, and the other was charged with making a threat to destroy a building with explosives. The former pled guilty in May 2009 and was sentenced to 36 months probation; the prosecution of the latter defendant was deferred in March 2009 for 18 months while he participates in a program of psychiatric treatment.
Fusion Center Support Prevents an International Kidnapping
Central California Intelligence Center, May 2008
In May 2008, the CCIC played a key role in disrupting the attempted kidnapping of a three year-old child. The Department of Homeland Security deployed IO in Sacramento coordinated with the CCIC Director and a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office Task Force Commander on an Amber Alert for the child, noting the suspect was wanted for rape and murder and had intentions to leave the country. Coordinating with the Department of Homeland Security National Operations Center (NOC), local law enforcement, and Interpol, the CICC and the Department IO were able to track the suspect and the kidnapped child to a flight bound for the Netherlands. With only hours to spare, the Department deployed IO coordinated with authorities to ensure law enforcement in Amsterdam detained the subject. As a result of this effort, the child was found unharmed.
Fusion Center Aids in Preventing "Virginia Tech Style" Attack
Multiple Fusion Centers, January 2008
In January 2008, the Illinois Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center (STIC) received information that a Virginia man had claimed to be traveling to the University of Illinois to kill a female subject and her boyfriend and carry out a "Virginia Tech style" shooting on the university campus. The STIC, in cooperation with the Virginia Fusion Center, produced and disseminated an Intelligence Alert to hundreds of state and local law enforcement officers nationwide within two hours of the initial notification. The Virginia State Police, working with local law enforcement, located and detained the suspect the next day. The FBI subsequently adopted the case, and the subject pled guilty to five counts of transmitting in interstate commerce and communications threatening to injure the person of another. The subject was sentenced to 48 months in prison and will serve three years supervised parole.
Fusion Center Supports Goose Creek Case
Florida Fusion Center, August 2007
On August 4, 2007, the Department of Homeland Security deployed IO assigned to the Florida Fusion Center (FFC) received a call from the Florida Homeland Security Adviser (HSA) regarding an on-going traffic stop of two University of South Florida students in Goose Creek, South Carolina. The HSA didn't have specifics other than it involved a bomb squad and a Florida registered vehicle. The Department of Homeland Security NOC had no visibility of the traffic stop, but began to query North Carolina and South Carolina. The Department deployed IO received further information regarding the incident from an FFC representative with specific information he received from a colleague at Operation SeaHawk in South Carolina. The FFC was able to provide the tag number of the vehicle and conducted full database checks on the vehicle’s history and owner information.
All of the results were provided to the NOC, South Carolina, and Tampa-JTTF within minutes for their situational awareness. The FFC was able to provide full database checks on the subjects to South Carolina and Tampa-JTTFs.
An indictment was unsealed August 31, 2007, against the two students, Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed and Youssef Samir Megahed, both Egyptian nationals, charging them with transporting explosives in interstate commerce without permits. Mohamed was also charged with distributing information about building and using an explosive device. Mohamed pled guilty to providing material support to terrorists on June 18, 2008, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison December 18, 2008. Megahed was acquitted of explosives charges in April 2009. Immigration and Customs Enforcement later took custody of him and launched removal proceedings against him. An immigration judge declined to find Megahed removable and granted his Motion to Terminate on October 9, 2009. The Department decided not to appeal the judge’s order.
If it were not for the fusion centers and an Operation SeaHawk representative, Florida and the Department would not have gained situational awareness regarding the incident. Florida was able to provide relevant information regarding the subjects and associates to South Carolina law enforcement officials and the JTTF within minutes to aid in their investigation.