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Archive for June 4th, 2014

Charlie LeDuff: Six Degrees of Congressman Michael Grimm, an Ex-FBI Agent

San Francisco Political Consultant Had Enough Materials in Apartment for Improvised Bomb

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A political consultant who was the subject of a nationwide search had the necessary material for an improvised bomb in his San Francisco apartment.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the FBI found explosive powder, wires for a detonator, ball bearings and a motor in Ryan Chamberlain’s apartment.

What’s unclear is what the social media guru planned on doing with the bomb, investigators said.

Chamberlain, 42, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of possessing an illegal explosive device.

Authorities haven’t said what prompted the nationwide search, which led to Chamberlain’s arrest Monday night.

He was considered “armed and dangerous.”

FBI Creates Cell Phone App to Help Parents Find Missing Children

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is offering a cell phone app for parents in the event that their child ends up missing.

WCCO reports that the bureau is encouraging parents to download the Child ID App  to expedite the release of information to the public.

The app allows parents to send photos and information about their child so it can be transmitted publicly.

“If your child were to go missing, with one push of a button, this information is transmitted quicker than you can dial 911,” said FBI Special Agent Timothy Gallagher.

Columnist: How Can Former Cop Collect City Disability While Working for FBI?

By Debra Saunders
San Francisco Chronicle

How is it possible that the FBI agent who shot and killed an associate of a suspected Boston Marathon bomber has been pocketing more than $50,000 annually in disability benefits since he retired as an Oakland, California, police officer in 2004 at age 31?

On May 22, 2013, Ibragim Todashev of Orlando, Florida, allegedly had just confessed to helping the late Tamerlan Tsarnaev kill three men two years earlier, when he threw a coffee table at an FBI agent and charged a Massachusetts state trooper with a pole.

The agent fired seven shots. Todashev died. Two investigations found that the agent, named Aaron McFarlane, according to The Boston Globe, had acted in self-defense.

During a police corruption trial of the infamous Oakland Riders, who were acquitted, McFarlane pleaded the Fifth Amendment when questioned about filing a false police report. He repeatedly injured a leg and an ankle while on the force and retired on medical disability.

Why is he on disability? I don’t know. CalPERS, the state-administered retirement fund, can reveal only that he is collecting an annual pension of $52,000 essentially for life. If McFarlane has a physical disability, it was not so debilitating as to prevent him from passing a background check and training at the FBI’s academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Privacy laws prohibit government agencies from revealing the nature of McFarlane’s disability. So readers will have to imagine for themselves how a former cop can be so disabled as to receive some $500,000 over the past decade yet still qualify for working as an FBI agent.

To read more click here.

FBI Steps Up Crackdown on Laser Pointer Attacks After Success of Pilot Program

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is increasing its crackdown on people who point lasers at airplanes.

CBS News reports that the bureau is offering $10,000 rewards following an increase in laser cases.

The FBI launched a pilot program at 12 offices in February, which saw a 19% decrease in the number of reported laser strikes.

The number of cases has increased 1,100% since the FBI began tracking lasers.

“The FBI hopes to build off the success of the initial launch in February and not only reduce the threat but continue to generate public awareness about the dire consequences of lasing and the understanding that it is a violation of federal law,” said Michael Kaste, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Kansas City Division.

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