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Archive for February 26th, 2014

ATF Agents Lost Track of Dozens of Their Own Guns, Reports Show

By John Diedrich and Raquel Rutledge
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
ATF agents have lost track of dozens of government-issued guns, after stashing them under the front seats in their cars, in glove compartments or simply leaving them on top of their vehicles and driving away, according to internal reports from the past five years obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Agents left their guns behind in bathroom stalls, at a hospital, outside a movie theater and on a plane, according to the records, obtained Tuesday by the news organization under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

In December 2009, two 6-year-old boys spotted an agent’s loaded ATF Smith & Wesson .357 on a storm sewer grate in Bettendorf, Iowa. The agent lived nearby and later said he couldn’t find his gun for days but didn’t bother reporting it — until it hit the local newspaper.

To read more click here. 

FBI Was In Direct Contact With Osama Bin Laden in 1993, Knew He Was Financing Terrorism

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI had direct contact with Osama bin Laden in 1993 and learned that he was trying to finance terrorist attacks inside the U.S., according to the Washington Times.

The information about the al Qaeda leader quietly emerged from an employment dispute case involving an FBI agent in 2010 and escaped the attention of the media.

“It was the only source I know in the bureau where we had a source right in al Qaeda, directly involved,” Edward J. Curran, a former top official in the FBI’s Los Angeles office, told the court in a case by former agent Bassem Youssef.

Members of the Sept. 11 commission and experts in terrorism expressed surprise when told of the discovery.

“I think it raises a lot of questions about why that information didn’t become public and why the 9/11 Commission or the congressional intelligence committees weren’t told about it,” said former Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Michigan, who chaired the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 2004 through 2007 when lawmakers handled the fallout from the 9/11 Commission’s official report.

FBI Director Comey Says FBI is Hiring Again, Will Resume Training for New Agents

James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Automatic spending cuts last year resulted in the elimination of more than 2,000 FBI jobs and a freeze on training for new agents.

Now the FBI is ready to hire and restart training, the Washington Post reports.

FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday that he’s authorized the opening of 700 positions throughout the country’s field offices.

And there’s even better news: He plans on hiring even more.

“We’re going to be doing more of that in the form of agents, intelligence analysts and support personnel,” he said during a brief news conference at the FBI’s Omaha field office in Nebraska. “We’re trying to figure out now where those should go, based on where the need is and the highest unaddressed risk is. That was actually part of my conversations here today with the (local) leadership — what are their needs and what are their gaps where they might use more resources.”

Robert J. Shields Becomes Head of FBI’s Milwaukee Office

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Robert J. Shields, who began his FBI career as a special agent in Chicago, is the newest head of the FBI’s Milwaukee office.

The Associated Press reports that Shields, who most recently served as chief inspector at FBI headquarters, officially began his job Monday.

He replaces Teresa Carlson, who was moved to Washington last year.

Shields began his career tackling white-collar crime and later handled computer forensics.

Drug Traffickers Increasingly Taking to High Seas to Avoid Driving Across U.S. Border

coast guard photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Drug smugglers are a stubborn bunch.

When security is tight, smugglers find another way into the country.

The Associated Press reports that drug traffickers are increasingly using boats to reach the U.S.

They take the Pacific Ocean from Mexico and South America to California.

Smugglers likely are finding the task easier too because the Coast Guard – the only U.S. military service capable of making arrests so far offshore – lost a quarter of its operating costs last year.

 

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