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Archive for December, 2010

Happy New Year!!! from ticklethewire.com

Weekend Series on Crime History: FBI Agent Goes Undercover With the Mob

Editors Note: I’ve run this before, but this is a fascinating story and it’s certainly worth watching if you haven’t seen it.   Allan Lengel, editor, ticklethewire.com

Since When is an Apple Pie a Federal Crime?

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Since when is an apple pie — a symbol of Americana–  a federal crime?

Well, a federal jury in Grand Rapids, Mi., has indicted two people for hitting Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mi.) with an apple pie during a visit to a cafe in the Michigan town of Big Rapids, Wood 8 TV reported.

Ahlam Mohsen and Max Kantar, both 23, are charged with working together to assault Levin on Aug. 16 as he met with constituents at the cafe, Wood 8 reported. One read a statement and the other delivered the pie.

The two were charged with forcible assault and for aiding and abetting each other in the assault. The charges carry a maximum sentence of eight years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Donald Davis of Grand Rapids said in a statement: “My office will vigorously enforce the laws that ensure the leaders we freely choose in open elections can meet with their constituents to exchange views without fear of assault and physical reprisal.”

FBI: No Known Terrorist Plots Aimed at Times Square on New Year’s Eve

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

With just hours to go before the ball drops, the FBI in New York says  it knows of no credible terrorist threats involving the traditional New Year’s Eve celebration in Manhattan’s famed Times Square.

“While there’s no credible threat, the FBI and NYPD, as they do every year, will have a large security effort in and around Times Square,” FBI agent Richard Kolko, a spokesman for the New York office, told AOL News.

Kolko said the FBI and New York police will have fully operational control centers and teams of bomb techs to respond to suspicious packages. Hazmat and SWAT teams, evidence techs and hostage negotiators will also be on hand.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Law Enforcement Deaths Spike in 2010

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Law enforcement fatalities — which included the recent murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona — jumped 40 percent in 2010 compared to last year, according to preliminary data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The spike, from 160 deaths in 2010 compared to 117 the year before,  came after a two-year decline.

Traffic fatalities, as in the past, continued to be the leading cause of officer deaths, with 73 officers killed in the line of duty. That figure represented a 43 percent increase over last year, according to National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).

Fifty-nine officers were fatally shot this year, up 20 percent from the 49 in 2009. Of the 59, 12 were shot in ambush attacks.

Earlier this month, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot and killed along the Arizona-Mexico border by suspected bandits. A group of people have been arrested in the case.

“A more brazen, cold-blooded criminal element is on the prowl in America, and they don’t think twice about killing a cop,” said NLEOMF Chairman Craig W. Floyd.

New Guidelines Make it Easier to Get on Terror Watch List

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Depending on who’s talking, the good news or the bad is that it now takes only one credible tip to put someone on the U.S. terrorist watch list.

The Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima writes that following  the failed terrorist attempt last Christmas by “Underwear Bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab aboard a Christmas day flight to Detroit, the government has made it easier to put someone on the list, relying on just one credible tip.

Abdulmtuallab, embarrassingly, was not on the list even after his father warned U.S. authorities that his son had been radicalized in Yemen and might pose a threat.

The Post reports that civil liberties groups say the new standard can lead to even more people being placed on the list who don’t belong there and pose no danger to the public.

“They are secret lists with no way for people to petition to get off or even to know if they’re on,” Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Post.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Probing Campaign Expenditures of Ex-Delaware Sen. Candidate Christine O’Donnell

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the econom

FBI’s John Perren Named Deputy Assist. Director of Criminal Division at Headquarters

John Perren/ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — John Perren, special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Branch at the FBI Washington Field Office, is returning to headquarters to become Deputy Assistant Director of the Criminal Division.

Perren’s areas of responsibility will include violent crime, drugs, organized crime and the Southwest Border Initiative.

Perren, an FBI agent since 1987 and a former D.C. cop, has held a number of posts at the FBI over the years.

He was supervisor of the Washington Field Office’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and then assistant special agent in charge.

In 2005, he spent a half year in Iraq as the FBI’s on-scene commander before returning home to headquarters to become section chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction/Domestic Terrorism Operations Section.

In 2007, he was named special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Branch at the Washington Field Office. He has twice filled in as acting head of the field office.