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FBI Pulls Cybersecurity Expert from Plane After Blowing Whistle on Vulnerabilities

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A cybersecurity expert who recently exposed vulnerabilities in airplane technology systems is now a target of the FBI, Fox News reports.

Chris Roberts, of the Colorado-based security firm One World Labs, said two FBI agents and two uniformed cops removed him from a commercial flight after landing in Syracuse on Wednesday night.

The investigation came just hours after Fox News aired an interview with Roberts in which he said the cyberhacking of planes is possible.

“We can still take planes out of the sky thanks to the flaws in the in-flight entertainment systems. Quite simply put, we can theorize on how to turn the engines off at 35,000 feet and not have any of those damn flashing lights go off in the cockpit.”

Roberts said he thought he was doing the government a favor.

“You have one element in the FBI reaching out to people like me for help, but another element doing a hell of a job burning those bridges,” Roberts said. “Those of us who do threat research are doing it for the right reasons, and we work to build relationships with the intelligence community because we want to help them identify weaknesses before they become a problem.”

The FBI confiscated computer files and electronic devices, Fox News reported.

The FBI declined to comment.


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Man Flies Gyrocopter to Lawn of U.S. Capitol Without Being Detected

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Authorities are trying to determine how a small gyrocopter managed to fly unnoticed to the lawn of the Capitol in Washington.

A Florida postal carrier was charged Thursday with crimes related to flying the plane through protected airspace, The Chicago Tribune reports.

Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson said the gyrocopter “literally flew under the radar.”

The suspect is 61-year-old Doug Hughes, who now faces up to four years in prison. He said he pulled the stunt to bring attention to the need for campaign finance reform.

Lawmakers, however, are more interested in learning how his gyrocopter went unnoticed.

No one was injured.

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James Comey: Why I Require FBI Agents to Visit Holocaust Museum

FBI Director James Comey

By James Comey
FBI Director  

I believe that the Holocaust is the most significant event in human history. And I mean “significant” in two different ways.

It is, of course, significant because it was the most horrific display in world history of inhumanity, one that simply defies words and challenges meaning. I was born into an Irish Catholic family in this great, wonderful and safe country, but the Holocaust has always haunted me, and it has long stood as a stumbling block to faith.

How could such a thing be? How is that consistent with the concept of a loving God? How is that in any way reconcilable with the notion of a God with a role in human history? How could there possibly be meaning in life, when so many lives were snuffed out in such a fashion?

I have asked those questions since I was a young teenager. I have asked them my entire life. I asked the same questions standing in the pit at Ground Zero in early 2002. I have asked those questions many times as I have confronted unimaginable suffering and loss.

And I know I am in good company asking such questions. Last month, on a flight home from Eastern Europe, I reread Viktor Frankl’s wrenching “Man’s Search for Meaning,” in which he seeks to find meaning in suffering and loving, among other things.

And going much farther back, back before I was a religious studies major in college, I recalled the voice from the whirlwind in the Book of Job, rebuking us for even asking the question “Why?” “How dare you!” the voice seems to say. “It is not for you to ask, it is not for you to know.”

And yet I ask, as so many of us do. And I still don’t know.

But I do know this: I know it is our duty, our obligation, to make sure some good comes from unimaginable bad. Not so we can comfort ourselves by saying, “Oh, that was worth it then.” That’s nonsense. That would be perverse. It will never be “worth it.”

Instead, I believe it is simply our duty to do that, and I believe this is truth no matter where you come from on a philosophical or religious spectrum. Our obligation is to refuse to let bad win, to refuse to let evil hold the field. As Abraham Lincoln said on a field of unimaginable pain and loss, it is essential “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.” Our resolution does not justify the loss, but we simply cannot be alive and give up.

To read more click here. 


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FBI Reveals Potential Break in Unsolved Times Square Bombing in ’08

Times Square

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A bomb that exploded in the heart of Times Square just after 3:30 a.m. in 2008 has gone unsolved for seven years.

The FBI hopes to end that streak after announcing Wednesday that progress has been made in the attack, which resembled two earlier bombings in Manhattan.

Investigators said three people who had been identified as “persons of interest” were now believed to be connected, The New York Times reports. 

“Someone knows those responsible for placing this device in the heart of New York City,” Diego Rodriguez, the head of the New York office of the F.B.I., said in a statement. “We need those people to come forward to help us solve this crime before they can strike again.”

The FBI has not yet identified the suspects.


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Border Patrol Arrests 6 Immigrants, Driver After High Speed Chase

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A high-speed chase with Border Patrol agents near El Paso ended badly for the driver and six undocumented immigrants.

The chase began when agents saw the undocumented immigrants emergee from desert brush and get into a Chevrolet Silverado along Interstate 10, The El Paso Times reports.

The chase, which hit speeds in excess of 70 mph, came to a halt after the Silverado struck a curb and got a flat tire.

Three immigrants hailed from Guatemala; the other came from Mexico, officials said.


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Ex-FBI Investigator Claims Bureau Hid Evidence in 2001 Anthrax Case

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former director of the FBI’s anthrax investigation claims the bureau hid evidence that would punch holes in the case that Army scientist Bruce Ivins mailed anthrax-laced letters that killed five people and sickened 27 others in 2001, Fox News reports. 

Richard Lambert claims in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Tennessee that investigators used flawed scientific methods to arrive at a conclusion to charge Ivins in the anthrax attacks. Ivina later committed suicide before any charges were filed.

Lambert alleges there’s a “wealth” of evidence casting doubt on the case, which “the FBI continues to conceal from Congress and the American people. ”

While he headed up the investigation, he focused heavily on scientist Steven Hatfill.

The FBI declined to comment because of the litigation.


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House Members Declare ‘No Confidence’ in DEA Administrator Leonhart

Michele Leonhart

Michele Leonhart

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A bipartisan group of congressional lawmakers leveled harsh claims against DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart on Wednesday, saying they had no confidence in her ability to lead the agency.

The sharp words come a day after lawmakers learned that DEA agents received lax punishment for attending “sex parties” in Columbia, the Huffington Post reports. 

“After over a decade of serving in top leadership positions at DEA, Administrator Leonhart has been woefully unable to change or positively influence the pervasive ‘good old boy’ culture that exists throughout the agency,” read the statement from 22 members of the Oversight Committee, including Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

“From her testimony, it is clear that she lacks the authority and will to make the tough decisions required to hold those accountable who compromise national security and bring disgrace to their position,” the statement continues. “Ms. Leonhart has lost the confidence of this Committee to initiate the necessary reforms to restore the reputation of a vital agency.”

DEA critics were happy to chime in.

“There’s simply no excuse for the outrageous behavior of the DEA’s so-called leadership,” said Neill Franklin, executive director of the reform group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and a Maryland police veteran, in a statement. “Leonhart just helps us add to the list of reasons of why we need to rethink our entire approach to drug policy.”

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