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Archive for May 7th, 2014

ATF’s Scott Sweetow Moving Up to Deputy Assistant Director

Scott Sweetow

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Scott Sweetow, who heads up ATF’s St. Paul, Minn., office is moving up the chain.

He”ll be taking over the job as Deputy Assistant Director for ATF’s Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information (OSII).

His new responsibilities will include ATF’s partner engagement liaison with the intelligence community, overseeing ATF’s foreign operations and training, counterterrorism division, Joint Support and Operations Center, criminal intelligence division and the U.S. Bomb Data Center.

Sweetow has headed up the St. Paul Division, which includes which includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Sweetow, who began his career with ATF in 1990 in Los Angeles, spent several years assigned in the Arson and Explosives group, and served as a Certified Explosives Specialist. His duties included being part of ATF’s elite National Response Team, which investigated such high-profile crimes as the Oklahoma City bombing and the Centennial Olympic Park bombings.

He also spent several years working criminal intelligence matters, including a weapons case targeting the “The Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman’s one time driver and bodyguard, Hikmat Alharahsheh.

Specifically, in 1999, Sweetow became a supervisory special agent in the Phoenix Field Division, serving in operations and as violent crime enforcement group supervisor.

In 2003, he went to ATF headquarters where he served in the Policy Development and Evaluation branch, eventually becoming its chief. In July of that year, he became the first ATF agent to “deploy operationally to Iraq”, assisting the Defense Intelligence Agency as part of the Iraq Survey Group.

In 2004, Sweetow was promoted to a deputy division chief and later chief in the Arson, Explosives and International Training Division in ATF’s Training and Professional Development directorate. He remained there until December 2006.

While division chief, Sweetow was instrumental in establishing ATF’s $50 million National Center for Explosives Training and Research at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

In January 2007, Sweetow became an Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the Atlanta Field Division and later went on to become the SAC in Atlanta.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Russian and Soviet Area Studies and a masters in Strategic Intelligence. He is a graduate of Harvard University’s Senior Executives in National and International Security program and the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar.

In 2009, Scott he published an article in “Homeland Security Today” entitled “After Mumbai: Facing the Flames” which dealt with the use of fire as an asymmetric warfare tool by terrorists.

 

FBI Agent Arrested on Anti-Terrorism Charges in Pakistan After Ammunition Discovery

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent on temporary duty in Pakistan was arrested on anti-terrorism charges after authorities found ammunition in his luggage as he boarded a plane in Karachi, the Washington Post reports.

The agent is being held in jail until at least Saturday as Pakistani officials investigate the discovery Monday of 15 bullets and a magazine for a 9mm pistol in his bag, authorities there said.

The agent, who works in the Miami Field Office, was in court Tuesday on charges of violating local anti-terrorism laws that bar the possession of weapons or ammunition on a commercial flight.

U.S. officials confirmed the arrest but did not disclose his identity.

U.S. officials told the Post that the agent forgot to remove the ammunition and did not have a gun.

 

FBI Agent Admits He May Have Violated Justice Department Rules in Case of Cuban Immigrants

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent acknowledged on the witness stand Tuesday that he may have unknowingly violated Justice Department guidelines in the case of there Cuban immigrants accused of the theft of drugs and expensive merchandise in the Las Vegas Valley.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that FBI Agent Shay Christensen admitted during cross-examination that he did not document communications with an informant as required by the Justice Department.

The agent told defense lawyer Thomas Pitaro that he did not know about the guidelines.

“You know that that’s a mandatory disclosure, don’t you?” Pitaro asked in a raised voice.

“I know now,” Christensen replied.

Suspect in Kansas Jewish Facilities Shootings Had Directions to Synagogues in His Home

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents made disturbing discoveries while searching the home of an avowed white supremacist accused of killing three people outside two Kansas Jewish facilities in April.

The Associated Press reports that agents found directions to synagogues and kosher places to eat, a copy of “Mein Kampf” and a T-shirt with a swastika symbol inside the Missouri home of Frazier Glenn Cross.

Cross is charged with killing 69-year-old William Corporon, his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, and 53-year-old Terri LaManno outside the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park and a nearby senior care facility.

Bi-Partisan Panel: States Should Use Single Drug for Executions to Reduce Errors

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A bipartisan panel of criminal justice experts concluded that states should administer capital punishment with a single drug approved by the U.S. government for executions, the Washington Post reports.

The legal research team called the Constitution Project released the 165-page study, which also calls for lethal-injection protocols in each of the 35 states that carry out executions. Three of those states phased out the death penalty but it is not retroactive.

“Without substantial revisions — not only to lethal injection, but across the board — the administration of capital punishment in America is unjust, disproportionate and very likely unconstitutional,” Republican Mark Earley, a member of the Constitution Project’s death-penalty committee, said in a statement.

The aim is to reduce the number of errors while administering capital punishment.

Documents Show Border Patrol Slow, Reluctant to Take Action on Complaints of Abuse by Agents

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

New CBP documents raise more pressing questions about how the federal government is handling complaints of abuse by Border Patrol agents, the Arizona Republic reports.

The reports show that only 13 of 809 complains of abuse filed against agents from January 2009 to January 2012 resulted in CBP action.

Of those, one led to an agent’s suspension and two led to court action.

The documents also show that CBP is slow to take up the cases. About 40% of the complaints were still pending, the Arizona Republic wrote.

“Border Patrol agents who commit abuse simply get away with it,” said Vicki Gaubeca of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Regional Center for Border Rights in New Mexico.

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