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Archive for September, 2009

Secret Service Investigating Obama Assassination Poll on Facebook

facebook1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Facebook may be the home of some pretty trivial and silly chatter, but not all that surfaces on the social network is seen as a joking matter.

The Secret Service said Sunday that it was probing an online survey on Facebook that asked whether President Obama should be assassinated, the Associated Press reports.

The site, which was posted Saturday, was quickly taken down after Facebook officials were notified, AP reported. The Secret Service said it was taking the matter seriously.

Miss. U.S. Atty. Office Targeted Islamic Store Owners For Terrorism

koranBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In the post-9/11 era, some Islamic groups complained about being indiscriminately targeted simply because of their heritage.

Now The Jackson Clarion Ledger is reporting that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oxford, Miss., targeted “convenience store operators in north Mississippi, many of Middle Eastern descent, despite a lack of any connection to terrorism, according to documents obtained by” the paper. Some civil rights advocates have raised questions.

The paper said the “convenience store initiative” arose from the meetings with local law enforcement in the years after Sept. 11, 2001.

U.S. Attorney Jim Greenlee told the paper authorities were “looking to see any links to terrorism, but what we found was criminal conduct.” Many were arrested for such violations as selling excessive amounts of pseudoephedrine,which can be used to make meth.

To Read Full story click here.

ATF Says Fire that Destroyed Little Nashville Opry in Indiana Was Arson

Johnny Cash was one of the artists who played the venue
Johnny Cash was one of the artists who played the venue

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced Monday that the fire that destroyed The Little Nashville Opry in Nashville, Ind.  on Sept. 19 was intentionally set.

The Opry, which was not affiliated with the Grand Ole Opry in Tennessee, opened in 1975 and hosted big name country music stars like Johnny Cash, George Strait, the Oak Ridge Boys and Trisha Yearwood.

ATF said in a press release “specific information regarding the fire and investigation will not be released as the investigation into the criminal act is continuing.”

Christopher P. Sadowski, special agent in charge of the ATF Columbus office, said in a statement: “The ATF National Laboratory will analyze the fire debris and evidence to assist in determining the cause of the fire.”

Read Press Release

Wisconsin Sens. Nominate 2 Names for U.S. Atty Post in Madison

wisconsin-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Wisconsin’s U.S. Senators have have nominated two finalists for the U.S. Attorney post in Madison.

Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold have forwarded to the White House the names of Assistant U.S. Attorney John W. Vaudreuil and former Assistant Attorney General Eric J. Wilson, according to the Associated Press.

The post was filled by Erik Peterson, who left in June. He had served in that position since 2006.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Utah’s Top FBI Agent Tim Fuhrman to Head Mobile, Ala. Office

Video Courtesy of KSL.com

Govt. Watchdog Finds Shortcomings with FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Tracking Unit

The report says the FBI made some improvements during the course of the audit, but there were still important improvements that needed to be made. The upside is in the past week the FBI has looked pretty good busting up suspected terrorist plots in Texas, Illinois and N.Y.

I.G. Glenn Fine

I.G. Glenn Fine

By Fox News
The FBI unit tasked with tracking threats from weapons of mass destruction suffers from several operational problems, the Justice Department’s top watchdog said in a report Monday, one week after federal authorities charged three people with WMD-related offenses.

Inspector General Glenn Fine, in an audit, reported that many inside the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordinator Program were not able to identify “the top specific WMD threats and vulnerabilities that faced their particular field division.”

The audit said the FBI also had not established adequate training programs to educate its analysts on the subject or established “specific qualifications” that the WMD coordinators should have.

For Full Story

Read Complete Report

FBI Letting Terror Plots Develop More to Get Offenders on More Serious Charges

The FBI seems to be taking a new approach to terrorism plots. Instead of quickly picking up people, often on lesser charges, authorities are letting the plots unfold a little more so they can charge suspected terrorists with more serious offenses. The tactic seems to have worked in recent cases around the country.

Aftermath of the World Trade Center/fbi photo

Aftermath of the World Trade Center/fbi photo

By ED TIMMS
The Dallas Morning News
DALLAS — After terrorists slammed airliners into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, the law-enforcement community had one overriding priority – preventing another attack.

Making criminal arrests or detaining noncitizens on immigration violations was seen as an expedient way to disrupt any nascent terrorist plots after the Sept. 11 attacks. But the majority of those taken into custody were never prosecuted, or they were charged with relatively minor offenses.

“With 3,000 people incinerated, we weren’t going to take the chance that we were sacrificing security for prosecution of the more serious offenses,” said Jeffrey Addicott, director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio.

For Full Story

Some Think Small-Time Denver Atty In Over His Head in Latest Terrorism Case

FBI Agent Outside Zazi's Colo. Apt/fbi photo

FBI Agent Outside Zazi's Colo. Apt/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Is it petty jealousy or just honesty? Some lawyers think that small-time Denver attorney Art Folsom is in over his head representing Najibullah Zazi in the biggest terrorism case in recent times.

Stephanie Simon of the Wall Street reports that Folsom has made a career out representing clients for drug possession, drunk driving and divorce. Now he’s big time, up against the weight of the U.S. government. To read the full story click here.