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U.S. Attorney’s Office Drops Murder Charge Against Man Previously Convicted in Death of Chandra Levy

Ingmar Guandique

Ingmar Guandique

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In what comes as a big surprise, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington on Thursday announced it was dropping murder charges against Ingmar Guandique, the man who was convicted in the 2001 killing of Washington intern Chandra Levy, the Washington Post reports.

Guandique had been convicted in the murder in 2010, but a judge granted a retrial.

The Washington Post reports that the latest twist in the case centered on a key witness, Armando Morales, who testified against Guandique in the first trial.

Morales, a convicted murderer, confessed to a neighbor after he was released from prison, that he lied in 2010 when he testified in trial that his cellmate, Guandique, had confessed to killing Levy.

The Levy case got national attention when it was learned that she was dating then-Congressman Gary Condit, who was initially a person of interest in the case.

Before his conviction in the Levy case, Guandique had already been serving time for attacking two joggers in Rock Creek Park in northwest Washington where Levy’s body was discovered in 2002.

 


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FBI Warns of More Terrorist Attacks As ISIS Is Defeated in Syria

ISIS flag

ISIS flag

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Defeating ISIS could increase terror attacks in the West, FBI Director James Comey Wednesday.

“At some point there is going to be a terrorist diaspora out of Syria like we’ve never seen before,” Comey said at a cybersecurity conference at Fordham University, the New York Times reports. “Not all of the Islamic State killers are going to die on the battlefield.”

Comey said ISIS will be destroyed, but that “through the fingers of that crush are going to come hundreds of really dangerous people and they are going to flow primarily to Western Europe.”

Some, he said, may end up in the U.S.

Comey said the terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris are good examples.

“We in the American counterterrorism business are constantly focused on that — that’s not here yet, but that challenge is going to come,” he said.


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Man Who Slammed Through Gates of FBI Pittsburgh Office Was Struggling Emotionally

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man who rammed a dump truck into the gates of the FBI building in Pittsburgh was looking for emotional help, family and neighbors told WTAE.

“He’s been crying out for help, a lot of help, and he asked me if I could find someone for him to talk to,” a neighbor said of Thomas Richard Ross. 

The neighbor added that Ross was taking painkillers after he had fallen off a roof more than 20 years ago.

“I don’t know what kind of pills they gave him but he got addicted and he’s still in pain,” the neighbor said, adding Ross had been paranoid the government was after him. 

His son, Tommy Jr., also said his father had problems with drugs.


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Chicago Woman Says FBI Raided Her House by Mistake, Left Without Explanation

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Chicago woman was at home with her fiancé when she said the FBI stormed into her home, failed to show a warrant and left without an explanation.

“They were banging at first and they said ‘put your hands up,'” Rachel Rodriguez told NBC Chicago. “I was frightened cause I didn’t know if they were going to shoot me or not.” 

Rodriguez, who has some of the raid captured on video, said the SWAT team raided the wrong home.

Chicago police said they have no records of the raid.

“They got inside, they had us sit down on the floor, they pointed guns at us,” she said. “They were looking for a guy, I don’t even know his name, I don’t even know this guy.”

Rodriguez said no one has answered her questions.

“They just left, they said they didn’t find the guy, the guy’s not here,” she said. “I almost had a panic attack, I was crying … I want to know why my house, and I’m hoping not just cause I’m Latino.”


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Columnist: Justice Department’s Data-Sharing Plan Protects Privacy

department-of-justice-logoBy Melanie Teplinski
Christian Science Monitor

Earlier this month, the Justice Department unveiled a legislative proposal to facilitate cross-border data sharing for law enforcement purposes. While critics called it a “threat to privacy,” that characterization reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the plan. To the contrary, it’s an approach that would promote privacy, security, and innovation. It should be applauded, not decried.

The draft legislation responds to significant law enforcement problems that result from the rise of the global reach of the Internet, and the peculiarities of US law.

Until recently, law enforcement officials could find most of the evidence needed to investigate local crimes within their own countries. There were, of course, times when evidence was moved across borders or agents were tracking multinational criminals and gangs. In those situations, law enforcement officers either opened joint investigations with foreign counterparts or employed the mutual legal assistance process and made diplomatic requests for sought-after evidence.

Today, however, evidence is routinely located in other jurisdictions, often in the US. Much of the world’s communications are digitized and held by American companies such as Google or Microsoft. A 30-year-old US law called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act prohibits these firms from turning over the contents of US-held communications to foreign governments, even if the requesting government is investigating its own citizens with respect to a local crime.

Now, imagine if British police investigating a murder in London seek the suspect’s emails. If the perpetrator used a British internet provider, investigators would have the emails in days. But if the email provider is an American company, police must initiate the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) process, which requires a US judge to approve the request. And that takes an average of 10 months to complete. Meanwhile, the murder goes unsolved.

To read more click here.


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Homeland Security Director Warns Against Divisive, Political Rhetoric about Muslims

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson warned against political rhetoric that “vilifies Muslims,” saying the federal government depends on relationship of trust form Muslim Americans.

Johnson was speaking at the annual Aspen Security Forum and did not mention Donald Trump by name, but said the anti-Muslim rhetoric “is a setback to our homeland security efforts,” the Gazette reports. 

“Overheated rhetoric that fans the flames of fear and prejudice has consequences,” he said.

Democrats have accused Trump of inflammatory rhetoric that is making it more difficult for Muslims to trust federal law enforcement.

“In our world good news is no news and nobody seems to be interested in the good news and the good work of Homeland Security employees every day,” Johnson said.

Other Stories of Interest


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Dump Truck Driver Claims He Has Bomb, Smashes into FBI Office in Pittsburgh

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A dump truck driver slammed into a security gate at the FBI offices in Pittsburgh, saying he had a bomb.

Authorities arrested the driver, Thomas Richard Ross, and found no bomb or connection to terrorism, the Associated Press reports.

The New Waterford, Ohio, man was pulled over by Pittsburgh police late Thursday after running red lights and driving erratically. While pulled over, the man said he had a bomb.

The man floored the gas pedal and smashed into the gate, but the security barriers prevented him from going far.

Ross suffered minor injuries and faces numerous charges, including recklessly endanger another person, aggravated assault and fleeing and eluding.


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FBI Investigating Russian Connections to Embarassing DNC Hack

democratic national comitteeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Authorities said there’s growing evidence that hackers in Russia targeted the Democratic National Committee, but the FBI isn’t ready to point fingers.

CNN reports that the hacker, who used the name “Guccifer 2.0,” appears to have used the Russian computer service Elite VPN.

But that doesn’t mean the hack came from Russia or that there’s a connection to the Russian government.

The Democratic Party hired a cybersecurity firm, CrowdStrike, to investigate the hack. The firm said there “may” be a connection to Russia’s massive intelligence agency, the GRU.

But so far, the evidence is circumstantial.


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