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Archive for August 19th, 2009

Ex-Gov Blago’s Attorneys Say They Need More Time to Review Secret Recordings

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich in happier times

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich in happier times

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

One guy we just haven’t heard enough of as of late has been ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

His attorneys told U.S. District Judge James Zagel during a 10 minute hearing Wednesday in Chicago that they need more time to listen to secret recordings that are expected to be key in the upcoming trial, the Associated Press reported. The famous ex-governor did not attend.

Blago, as he’s sometimes referred to in the press, is charged with trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat and shaking down campaign donors.

A status hearing is set for next month. Trial is expected to begin next year.

N.Y. Times Reporter Spends 2 Days With FBI Counterterrorism Squad

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the FBI’s number one focus has been terrorism. But the shift in resources has not come with sacrifice. It’s meant less time focusing on some white collar and violent crimes. And domestically, it means chasing a lot of false leads.

fbi-globe

By ERIC SCHMITT
New York Times
NORWALK, Calif. – The report last month was chilling: a 55-gallon drum of radioactive material had gone missing during shipment from North Carolina to California. Even worse, the person who signed for the cargo was not an employee of the company that ordered the load.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation here ramped up, consulting health officials, questioning radiation specialists and tracking down the trucker who dropped off the material, which could be used in a radioactive-bomb attack.

Three hours later, the shipper found the drum – still sitting on a loading dock 20 miles from its destination in the Los Angeles area – having confused it with a similar shipment sent to a different company on the same day.

For Full Story

Head of Boston FBI Says Local Police Need to Upgrade Firearms in Case of Terrorist Attacks

The FBI in Boston has sounded a warning that makes sense. Let’s see if the police respond.

FBI Agent Warren Bamford

FBI Agent Warren Bamford

By Jonathan Saltzman and Maria Cramer
The Boston Globe
BOSTON — Boston is making itself vulnerable to a terrorist attack like the rampage in Mumbai last year by not adequately arming its police with the semiautomatic assault rifles widely available to officers in many of the nation’s other major cities, the top FBI agent in Boston said yesterday.

Not only could the police force not easily defend against an attack by well-armed terrorists, but the absence of weapons could actually make the city a target, said Warren T. Bamford, the special agent in charge of the local FBI field office.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Head of LA FBI Salvador Hernandez to Retire

Salvador Hernandez/fbi photo
Salvador Hernandez/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Salvador Hernandez, who has headed the FBI in Los Angeles since October 2007, is retiring, according to two people familiar with his situation.

Hernandez, the assistant director in charge of the L.A. office,  is expected to take a job in the private sector. He first joined the FBI in 1984.

Born in Mexico City, he moved at an early age to St. Louis where he earned a bachelors degree in history and a law degree from St. Louis University.

UPDATE:  Wed. 1:20 p.m. — Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokeswoman for the Los Angeles office, said Hernandez will be departing “toward the end of September”  to take a position as Director of Security at Enterprise Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Enterprise Rent-a-Car, National and Alamo, in St. Louis.