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Archive for August 2nd, 2011

Russians Wanted Ex-FBI Agent Robert Hanssen in a Spy Swap, Book Said

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Just how much did the Russians value American turncoats Aldrich Ames and ex-FBI agent Robert Hanssen?

Well, according to a new book by Ronald Kessler, “The Secrets of the FBI”, the Russians tried swapping Hansen and Ames with the U.S. in a spy swap shortly after the FBI arrested 10 Russian spies in June 2010.

The book said CIA Director Leon Panetta called his counterpart, Mikhail Fradkov, the head of the Russian intel service (SVR), to propose a spy swap.

The two worked out a deal in the course of a week. However, the U.S. firmly rejected the idea of swapping Hanssen and Aldrich, the book reported.

FBI agent Hanssen, now 67, spied for Soviet and Russian intelligence services from 1979 to 2001. He is currently serving a life sentence at the Federal Bureau of Prisons Administrative Maximum facility in Florence, Colo.

Ames, 70, a former Central Intelligence Agency counter-intelligence officer and analyst, was convicted of spying for the Soviet Union and Russia in 1994. He is currently serving a life sentence in a federal prison in Allenwood, Pa.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Column: Cutting Pension No Way to Reward FBI Agents for Their Dedication and Service

Konrad Motyka is president of the FBI Agents Association

Konrad Motyka/ticklethewire.com photo

By Konrad Motyka
Huffington Post

As the debate over how to cut federal spending rages in Washington, one idea that will no doubt be raised again as Congress looks for further cuts is a change to the formula by which federal employees contribute to their defined pension plans. It’s important for Congress to understand that this proposal would have national security implications as changes to federal employee pensions will impact FBI Agents and other federal law enforcement officers.

For some, attacking “faceless bureaucrats” in the debate over spending cuts offers an easy sound-bite and generates little opposition. However, when federal employee pensions are targeted, this impacts FBI Agents and other federal law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line each and every day.

Under some proposals, Agents would face more than a fourfold increase in required pension contributions. This translates into a potential 5% cut in pay.

For the majority of FBI Agents, the proposed increase in pension contributions would compound the two-year pay freeze already imposed by President Obama in 2010. All federal law enforcement officers already contribute more of their salaries to their pensions than do other federal employees.

To read more click here.

DEA Raids Wrong Suburban Detroit Home; Was Home of Retired Military Translator

FBI Assigns New SACs for Utah and Portland

Gregory Fowler/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has named two new special agents in charge: David J. Johnson for Utah and Gregory A. Fowler for Portland, Ore.

Since 2009, Johnson, who has a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh, has been the chief of the Violent Crimes Section in the Criminal Investigative Division at headquarters. He has been responsible for managing programs that involve federal violations such as bank robberies, kidnappings, extortions, crimes against children, Indian country matters, fugitives, major thefts, transportation crimes, and special jurisdiction matters.

Johnson entered the FBI in 1991 and was first assigned to a violent crime squad in the San Jose Resident Agency. In 1994, he was assigned to the high-technology squad.

In 1997, Mr. Johnson was assigned to a Mexican drug trafficking organization squad. Two years later, he became a supervisory special agent of the Asian organized crime squad in the San Jose office.

As the chief of the Crimes Against Children Unit, he developed the Innocence Lost National Initiative, which identifies and rescues minors involved in prostitution and investigates the pimps who profit from their exploitation, the FBI said.

He was promoted to the assistant special agent in charge of the San Francisco Division, and in 2008, was promoted to inspector in charge and led the task force created by the Attorney General to conduct a criminal investigation into the destruction of interrogation videotapes by the CIA.

Fowler, the new  special agent in charge of Portland,  most recently served as the SAC for counterterrorism in the FBI’s New York Division.

He entered the FBI in  April 1988. He was first assigned to the New York office, where he focused on organized crime and narcotics.

In February 1998, he was promoted to supervisory special agent and assigned to FBI Headquarters, where he managed the Organized Crime/Drug Enforcement Task Force and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area programs. He also went  abroad to train foreign law enforcement officers on organized crime and drug investigations through the International Law Enforcement Academy.

In February 2000,  Fowler transferred to the Seattle Division, where he supervised the organized crime/drug squad, the Special Operations Group, the cyber squad, and two resident agencies. He also supervised the division’s Evidence Response Team and Hazardous Materials Response Team.

In August 2004, he was temporarily assigned to Baghdad, Iraq, where he served as the deputy on-scene commander in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. One year later, he became  assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago Division.

Newly Released FBI Documents Show More Threats to Ted Kennedy; One Allegedly Came From Al Capone’s Son

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Just released FBI records show the bureau investigated more threats against Sen. Edward M. Kennedy than previously revealed, including one involving the son of the late mobster Al Capone and a plot by Cuban communists, the Boston Globe reported.

The paper reported that none of the half-dozen or so newly revealed threats were substantiated. Nonetheless, the paper reported that Kennedy seemed to live under constant threat after the murder of his two brothers and “protecting Kennedy became a full time job for the FBI and Secret Service agents.”

The Globe reported that the new documents released on Monday — the second since the FBI declassified the Kennedy file — spanned the mid-1960s to  2001.

The Globe reported that one of the more unusual threats surfaced in the summer of 1968, just weeks after Robert Kennedy’s death. The paper reported that a  man phoned the FBI’s Miami office to report that he, his roommate, a cashier, and a waitress at the New England Oyster House in Coral Gables, Fla., overheard a man  identify himself as Sonny Capone, the son of Al Capone, while making a threatening phone call.

“If Edward Kennedy keeps fooling around, he’s going to get it too,’’ the caller, who was apparently drunk, reportedly said.  The Globe reported that the FBI confirmed Sonny Capone was living in the area. However, there was no FBI document indicating a follow up to the call.

To read more click here.