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Archive for March 17th, 2010

Proposed FBI $8.3 Billion Budget For 2011 Includes Request for 276 New Agent Slots

bin Laden said getting weapons of mass destruction was a "religious duty"
bin Laden said getting weapons of mass destruction was a “religious duty”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said Wednesday that he hoped to get Congressional funding to add 276 new agent slots to fight crime, terrorism and battle al Qaeda.

“Usama bin Laden said that obtaining WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) is a ‘religious duty’ and is reported to have sought to perpetrate a ‘Hiroshima’ on United States soil,” Mueller said in a prepared text on the FBI’s $8.3 billion proposed 2011 budget before a House Appropriations Committee.

Along with the new agents, the director is asking for an additional 187 intelligence analysts and 349 professional staff positions.

“These additional resources will allow the FBI to improve its capacities to address threats in priority areas of terrorism, computer intrusion, weapons of mass destruction, foreign counterintelligence, white collar crime, violent crime and gangs, child exploitation and organized crime,” he said.

Mueller said he also hopes to build a new dormitory at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., and upgrade existing facilities there.

Read Full Statement

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Defends Handling of Christmas Day Bombing Incident in Detroit

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller/fbi stock photo

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller/fbi stock photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III on Wednesday found himself defending the handling of the Christmas day bombing attempt in Detroit — this time before a Congressional committee.

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., told Mueller he would have preferred that a team of interrogation experts had been brought to Detroit to question Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab instead of the local FBI, according to the Associated Press.

“They were not the best people that we had in the nation at that time to interrogate the Christmas Day bomber,” Wolf said, according to AP.

But Mueller, who appeared before a House Appropriations subcommittee,  defended the the way things were handled, saying the FBI could have lost valuable information while waiting for the out of town interrogators to arrive, AP reported. He added that Abdulmutallab is continuing to cooperate with authorities.

“One has to make decisions relatively quickly in order to maximize the opportunity to get that intelligence,” Mueller said.

Read Mueller’s Statement before the House Appropriations Subcommittee

UPDATE: Party-Crashing Salahis Still on the Feds Radar

The Salahis pose with the v.p./facebook

The Salahis pose with the v.p./facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The party-crashing Salahis — who are apparently “so yesterday” — are still in the crosshairs of federal authorities.

Ben Friedman, a spokesman U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, said Wednesday that the couple is still under investigation and no decision has been made whether to charge them criminally for crashing a White House party on November 24.

“There’s nothing further to report,” Friedman said.

Federal authorities could charge Tareq and Michaele Salahi with criminally trespassing or lying to a federal agent. But there are some observers who believe it could be a tough case to prove, and the government could end up being embarrassed if it loses the case.

Either way, even with a conviction, it’s not likely the couple would serve any jail time.

Chicago Defendant Linked to Mumbai Attacks Expected to Plead Guilty

india map2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

David Coleman Headley, charged in Chicago with playing a role in the 2008 Mumbai, India bombings that killed about 170 people, is expected to plead guilty Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Tribune reported that he has been cooperating since his arrest in October. His attorney would not comment to the paper on whether the government has agreed not to pursue the death penalty.

Authorities have alleged that Headley traveled to India to scout targets for the attack. Another person charged in the Chicago case, Tahawwur Rana, has pleaded not guilty.

The two are also charged with plotting to attack a Danish newspaper for publishing cartoons that were viewed as being very offensive in the Muslim community.

Napolitano Freezes Funding for Trouble-Plagued Virtual Fence Along Southwest Border

Janet Napolitano/bill maher show

Janet Napolitano/bill maher show

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The fate of the once-touted virtual fence designed to protect the Southwest border along Mexico is in doubt.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Tuesday that she was freezing additional funding and work on the uncompleted virtual fence that was supposed to stretch across 2,000 miles of border. She has ordered an assessment of the problem-plagued project that to date has cost the government $1.1 billion.

“Not only do we have an obligation to secure our borders, we have a responsibility to do so in the most cost effective way possible,” Napolitano said in a statement posted on the agency’s website.

“The system of sensors and cameras along the Southwest border known as SBInet has been plagued with cost overruns and missed deadlines.

“Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security will redeploy $50 million of Recovery Act funding originally allocated for the SBInet Block 1 to other tested, commercially available security technology along the Southwest border, including mobile surveillance, thermal imaging devices, ultra-light detection, backscatter units, mobile radios, cameras and laptops for pursuit vehicles, and remote video surveillance system enhancements.”

To read more on the virtual fence go to AOL  News.

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