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Archive for March 4th, 2014

FBI’s William Sweeney Named SAC of Counterterrorism in NY; Adam Lee to Head Richmond Office

Adam Lee

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James B. Comey named William F. Sweeney, Jr. as special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division of the New York Field Office and Adam S. Lee as head of the FBI’s Richmond, Va., Division.

Sweeney most recently served as the special assistant to the FBI’s deputy director at FBI headquarters. He became an agent in 1998.

Lee most recently served as section chief of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights

William Sweeney

Section at FBI Headquarters. In this role, he led the FBI’s two highest priority criminal investigative programs, which include investigations of elected and appointed government officials and civil rights violations. Lee also led the FBI’s global Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Antitrust Programs.

Lee began his career as an agent in 1996.

 

 

FBI Agent George Piro Who Befriended and Interrogated Saddam Hussein is Named Head of Miami FBI

FBI Agent George Piro interviewed on 60 Minutes in 2008

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

George L. Piro, the FBI agent who befriended and interrogated Saddam Hussein after his capture, has been named head of the Miami FBI Division.

Piro last worked as the deputy assistant director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate at FBI headquarters.

He joined the FBI in 1999 and was assigned to the FBI’s Phoenix Field Office to work international terrorism cases. In March 2003, he was promoted to the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters and was subsequently selected as the team leader and interrogator for the FBI team responsible for the interrogation of Saddam Hussein and other key figures within the former Iraqi regime, the FBI said in a press release.

In March 2006, he was promoted as the supervisor of the Washington Field Office’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. He also served as the assistant special agent in charge of the International Terrorism Branch for the Washington Field Office.

From 2011 to 2013, Piro served as director of the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG), an interagency unit overseen by the Counterterrorism Security Group within the White House that involves the intelligence community, the FBI press release said.

Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon,  he is fluent in  Arabic and Assyrian speaker. He served as a police officer in California for nearly 10 years before joining the FBI. 

 

 

Federal Probe Focuses on New Jersey Gov. Christie’s Former Campaign Manager, Appointee

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

People connected to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s former campaign manager have been questioned by the FBI, CNN reports.

Bill Stepien said federal agents came to his house and also interviewed people who know him.

“In recent weeks, federal criminal investigators have made their interest in him plain, traveling to his home and importuning his landlord and presumably others to provide information about his conduct and character,” Stepien’s lawyer, Kevin Marino, said.

Christie appointee Bridget Anne Kelly also received a visit from the FBI, CNN reported.

The interactions are the first clear sign that the FBI wants to question people with close ties to the governor, CNN reported.

Justice Department Lifts 3-Year-Long Ban on Hiring New Attorneys

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is looking to go on a hiring spree.

After three long years, the Justice Department is finally lifting a ban on hiring that will bring in new attorneys, The Baltimore Sun reports.

The news comes after Congress restored funding to the Justice Department.

“After years of doing more with less, we will begin to fill critical vacancies and we will resume the normal hiring process for federal agents, prosecutors, for analysts and for the other staff that we need to fulfill our mission,” Holder said in a video announcement.

Jury Trial to Begin in Case of FBI Agent Who Shot His Ex-Wife in Virginia

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent is about to find out what it’s like to be a defendant in a criminal trial.

Arthur “Art” Bernard Gonzales, 43, is charged with second-degree murder in the April shooting death of his estranged wife in Virginia.

Jury selection in his trial begins today, Fredericksburg.com reports.

Gonzales told a 911 operator that he shot his wife in self-defense after she tried to stab him with a knife.

The couple, who had two children, ages 10 and 12, got divorced in June 2012.

NBPC Defends Border Patrol Agents’ Use of Lethal Force Against Rock-Throwers

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Facing mounting criticism over its use of force, Border Patrol agents are defending opening fire on suspects who throw rocks at law enforcement, Government Executive reports.

Coming to the support of agents is the National Border Patrol Council, which represents about 17,000 agents and support staff.

Border Patrol has come under fire for using lethal force on rock-throwers.

“Rocks can maim and kill just as easily as a knife or a firearm,” NBPC said in a statement. “Every day on the border between the U.S. and Mexico, Border Patrol agents are assaulted with rocks, bricks, and other projectiles. These weapons are readily available and have the potential to do great harm.”

Travelers Rate Airports for Efficiency of Checkpoints, Arrive at Different Conclusions

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

What are the most efficient and headache-inducing airport checkpoints in the nation?

The USA Today sought to find out by asking frequent flyers to voluntarily rate checkpoints for efficiency.

The results were subjective and varied by traveler.

Some targeted Orlando, Los Angeles and Raleigh, NC, as the least efficient airport checkpoint. One traveller offered good experiences at Las Vegas.

The TSA responded: “TSA’s top priority is to protect the traveling public, and every policy and security procedure in place is designed to mitigate threats to passengers and the aviation sector — which we know our adversaries continue to target,” the agency said in a written statement. “TSA is always taking steps to enhance our procedures, to most importantly stay ahead of evolving threats and, wherever possible, to also improve the experience of the traveling public. ”

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