Around town …

  • The folks at McNabb Ferrari speculate on the potential impact on Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) cases stemming from a recent a reorganization of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office that will merge two units in that office to create the “Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit”.    The unit will include 21 prosecutors and will prosecute terrorism and international narcotics cases.  McNabb thinks it could lead to a “dramatic” increase in OFAC-related prosecutions. There is a lesson in here, somewhere, for the folks in DC who are considering export control”reform” options, one of which include empowering the FBI with full enforcement authority over export & import controls as well as sanctions cases.
  • Last week Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry issued a statement on in response to the second round of negotiations that resumed last week on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement.
  • Talking of export control reform, reformers should take a look at the Department of Justice’s partial list of recent major export controls and economic sanctions prosecutions.  Congressional staff are doing so.  This division could use some additional resources.
  • In today’s Roll Call newspaper, Rojansky & Semmel pen that Congress needs a bigger role in arms controls.  Export control reform could also use some of that medicine.
  • SecDef Gates sees ‘real potential‘ in targeted economic sanctions on Iran.
  • The Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has released an anticipated new set of encryption export control regulations.
  • Last week, Omid Khalili, an Iranian national, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama to attempting to illegally export fighter jet or military aircraft parts from the United States to Iran.
  • A new chapter in Hugo Chavez’s economic war against free markets, beer expropriation.  He is now saying that the Venezuelan government needs to buy up beer and soft drink companies.
  • The Center for Security Policy in DC reports that Shariah-finance market set to hit $1 trillion.  It accuses Ernst and Young of promoting jihadists. Ouch.
  • The House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman issued a statement in support of recent OFAC SDN designations.
  • As posted on this site many times before, if you think acts of terror or organized violence are just about the Middle East, think again.  The Associated Press reports that 10 individuals in a public transportation bus were killed when gang members set the bus afire, while last week four severed heads were found in Guatemala City, and another twelve in Cancun.
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