U.S. Attorney's Office Denies Accusations Against Prosecutor
Las Vegas, Nev. - Any implication that a federal prosecutor in Las Vegas expressed or implied that the Mayor of Las Vegas, the Sheriff, or any other public official was concerned that the release of information pertaining to a video tape used in the Detroit terrorism trial would negatively affect the economy or tourism industry is not true, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada. Also untrue is any implication or allegation that an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Detroit pleaded with an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Las Vegas to take the video footage seriously.
No public official in the District of Nevada, including the Mayor of Las Vegas, has ever expressed concern to our Office that information pertaining to public safety should not be released because of any potential impact to the local economy, to include the gaming and hotel industry. Since the horrific events of September 11, 2001, this Office has worked diligently with federal, state, and local law enforcement, community leaders and private industry to ensure that information related to terrorism, or terrorist activity, is properly vetted with and disseminated to all persons or entities impacted by the information. To this end, the level of cooperation and communication experienced by this Office has been unprecedented. There are many factors that impact upon decisions pertaining to the type and quality of information that should be disseminated and when it should be disseminated, but the monetary impact of the information upon the local economy is not one of them.
In August 2002, this Office, through Assistant United States Attorney Sharon Lever, communicated with the United States Attorney's Office in Detroit to obtain information about a videotape that news accounts had characterized as a "surveillance tape" that, among other things, depicted sites in Las Vegas. Ms. Lever, who was acting in her capacity as the District's Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council Coordinator, sought the information because this Office had not learned of any such tape previous to the news accounts announcing the Second Superseding Indictment in the case of United States v. Karim Koubriti, et al. Ms. Lever further sought information from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit as to why the videotape was characterized as a surveillance tape because this Office had no information to suggest that such a surveillance tape existed. Whatever the characterizations placed upon Ms. Lever's communications with the Assistant United States Attorney in the Detroit Office, Ms. Lever never expressed or implied concern that such information could not be released because of its potential effect upon the local economy, nor did she ever fail to act promptly and diligently with regard to the information concerning the Detroit videotape, or suggest that any law enforcement or public official failed to do so.
The public is reminded that notwithstanding that the Federal Court in Detroit has temporarily lifted the gag order in the case of United States v. Karim Koubriti, et al., there still are post-trial matters pending that prevent the United States Attorney's Office from making further comments related to that case, this subject matter, or any other matters that may impact upon those proceedings.