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Archive for April 16th, 2013

Bombs at Boston Marathon Were Made with Pressure Cooker, Shrapnel

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The explosions at the Boston Marathon were caused by pressure cooker bombs stuffed with shrapnel and inflammable material, the Associated Press reports.

Those devices are popular in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, and recently were discovered in plots in the U.S., the AP wrote.

Typically, would-be bombers pack the inside with shrapnel and an inflammable material and detonate them with cell phones or timers.

USA Today also reported that instructions on making the bombs were published two years ago in Inspire, an online magazine with ties to al-Qaeda.

Independent Reports Says U.S. Engaged in Torture

By SCOTT SHANE
New York Times

WASHINGTON — A nonpartisan, independent review of interrogation and detention programs in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks concludes that “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture” and that the nation’s highest officials bore ultimate responsibility for it.

The sweeping, 577-page report says that while brutality has occurred in every American war, there never before had been “the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody.” The study, by an 11-member panel convened by the Constitution Project, a legal research and advocacy group, is to be released on Tuesday morning.

Debate over the coercive interrogation methods used by the administration of President George W. Bush has often broken down on largely partisan lines. The Constitution Project’s task force on detainee treatment, led by two former members of Congress with experience in the executive branch — a Republican, Asa Hutchinson, and a Democrat, James R. Jones — seeks to produce a stronger national consensus on the torture question.

To read more click here.

Home Searched in Boston Bombing

 

By CNN

Authorities including bomb experts searched an apartment in Revere, Massachusetts, and removed items, after two deadly bombs struck the Boston Marathon. But investigators remained mum about just how the search may be linked to the bombing investigation.

A law enforcement official said the search was not a suggestion that police may have a suspect. At this point there is no suspect and no leading theory on motive, the official said.

The search on the home is connected to a young Saudi citizen who is visiting on a student visa and has been questioned, the official said. So far, the official told CNN, he has not heard of anything being found connecting the person to the bombings.

Authorities also plan to search through videos from surveillance cameras near the attack in Boston’s Copley Square. So far, no footage has been spotted showing someone placing the bombs.

To read more click here.

Ex-Fed Agents Taking to the Airwaves as Talking Heads in Aftermath of Boston Explosions

Ex-FBI Agent Brad Garrett comments on Boston explosion.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — It was a busy 24 hours for former federal agents providing their expertise on TV around the country.

In Detroit, Andy Arena, former head of the Detroit FBI, took to the airwaves, as did former agent Ned Timmons, who runs a security firm.

Former ATF official Michael Sullivan spoke to ABC News, as did former D.C. FBI agent Brad Garrett. There were many other agents who spoke in the past 24 hours on TV.

FBI Takes Lead in Probe of Boston Marathon Explosions That Killed Three, Injured 144

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is taking charge of the investigation into the Boston Marathon explosions that killed three people and injured 144, CNN reports.

The FBI and other law enforcement are tracking down a person of interest, whose apartment in Revere, Massachusetts, was searched late Monday with consent, according to CNN.

“This will be a combined federal, state and local effort,” Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Division, said at a news briefing by law enforcement officials on Monday evening.

No more details were available this morning on the person of interest.

Is former Basketball Star Dennis Rodman an FBI informant? Agents Interested in North Korea Trip

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Retired basketball player Dennis Rodman said the FBI has approached him about his publicized trip to North Korea, the Miami New Times reports.

“I have been contacted by the FBI and I met with them. They wanted to know what went on and who’s really in charge in North Korea,” Rodman boasted to Herald reporter Lesley Abravanel. 

Rodman said the best weapon against a North Korean is communication.

“I might be able to keep folks’ heads cool,” Rodman told the Herald. “We all going to find a way to get along and keep peace. Peace and love is where it is at.”

Former Police Chief, Librarian Charged with Plotting to Kidnap, Torture, Rape and Kill Women

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two men were arrested Monday on charges of conspiracy to kidnap, torture, rape and kill woman and children in an elaborate, twisted plot, the FBI announced.

Charged were Richard Meltz, chief of police for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the Bedford, Massachusetts Veteran Affairs Medical Center, and Robert Christopher Asch, a former high school librarian.

“The bone-chilling conduct alleged in this complaint is a chronicle of sadism and depravity that includes the defendants’ very real steps to carry out their plans to kidnap, torture, rape, and kill the women and children they targeted,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a press release. “As alleged, Richard Meltz and Robert Christopher Asch assiduously planned their plot in detailed conversations and alternately served as advisers and facilitators of the plan—Meltz provided ‘strategic advice,’ and Asch conducted surveillance and provided supplies including leather ties, a sleeping agent, instruments of torture, and a Taser gun. The only thing that stood between these alleged kidnappers and their horrifying plot was the outstanding investigative teamwork of the FBI and the prosecutors in this office.”

Agents said the men provided an undercover agent with a ski mask, hyper dermic needles, leather ties, chrome forceps and other supplies to help in the plot.

FBI Raids Family Business of Cleveland Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents Monday raided the family business of Jimmy Haslam, owner of the Cleveland Browns. the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.The raid shut down the headquarters of the business, Pilot Flying J, a chain of truck stops and convenience stories. 

“The FBI secured our headquarters today and informed us they are investigating Pilot Flying J,” Browns owner and Haslam, CEO of the company, said in a statement.

“We will cooperate appropriately with any and all external investigations and conduct our own,” Haslam said. “I believe and trust there has been no wrongdoing. The integrity of our company always has been job number one.”

It’s unclear what the FBI was looking for.

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