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Archive for June 26th, 2014

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FBI Shuts Down Website That Advertised Children for Prostitution in San Francisco

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested two people accused of operating a website advertising children for prostitution, CNN reports.

Agents shut down the website – myredbook.com – in a raid in San Francisco.

The raid was part of a larger crackdown on sex trafficking of minors that led to the rescue of 168 children and the arrest of 281 accused pimps this month.

Some of those children were found through myredbook.com, CNN reports.

The FBI continues to investigate.

Border Patrol Union Leaders: Understaffed Agency Is Increasing Immigrant Crisis in Texas

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Union leaders for the Border Patrol told lawmakers Wednesday that the agency is understaffed and unable to handle the influx of immigrants as a crisis unfolds at the border with unaccompanied children, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The agency is “drastically understaffed with morale plummeting to record lows,” Chris Crane, president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council 118 of the American Federation of Government Employees, told the House Judiciary Committee.

“I hope that Congress will also consider the future consequences of allowing (enforcement and removal activity) to continue in its current state.”

Making matters worse is a heightening crisis involving the detainment of thousand of unaccompanied children from Central America. Up to 40% of Border Patrol’s manpower has been diverted to caring for the immigrants, said Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd. “This manpower decrease did not go unnoticed and for those trying to enter the country illegally – it was a good time to try,” Judd said.

FBI’s Bomb Lab Helps Track Down Terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan

Steve Neavling
ticklethrewire.com

Step inside the FBI’s bomb warehouse outside of Washington, where experts analyze bombs used to injure and kill thousands of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Businessweek reports that 700 people work at the FBI’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center.

It’s not easy work. Most of the bombs are assembled with objects like radios, cell phones, sandals, circuit boards, burlap sacks, egg timers, wristwatches, and kitchen utensils, according to Businessweek.

They are industrious—they make bombs out of everything,” bomb analyst Ruel Espinosa told CNN.

The analysts have helped identify more than 1,700 people with terrorist ties, lifting a total of at least 6,000 fingerprints.

“Exploiting the intelligence from explosive devices has proven critical to saving American lives in war zones,” says Robert Mueller III, director of the FBI when the lab was created in 2003.

ACLU Lawyer: Border Patrol’s Repeated Abuse of Children Must Stop

By James Lyall, ACLU attorney
Huffington Post

Detainees wrested from sleep every 30 minutes, the lights in their frigid cells never turned off. One detainee told by officials, don’t lie or you’ll be raped. Another detainee sexually abused by guards. Detainees forced to stand in stress positions. Others denied adequate food, water, and medical treatment and held in dehumanizing conditions. “Welcome to hell,” one guard told a detainee, a good metaphor for what occurs across these sites of torment.

These incidents don’t come from military prisons in Iraq or Afghanistan or CIA black sites. This has been happening for years along the Southwest border in U.S. government facilities run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and its Border Patrol. The victims: children, some as young as infants, as documented in a recent complaint filed by a group of immigrant rights advocates who interviewed 116 unaccompanied children previously held in CBP custody.

Just as appalling, government agencies have known about these abuses for a long time, but failed to take action. Now, more children are vulnerable to harm in Border Patrol custody than ever before. Since October, 47,000 children have left their homes in Central America, mainly in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, for the United States. They flee destabilizing violence and crime fomented by criminal syndicates and gangs, more often than not without a loved one leading the way. With their fate far from certain, they make an arduous, perilous trek, sometimes spanning thousands of miles, in search of refuge in America. They risk it all, not so much in search of a better life, but simply to live.

Once here, many of these brave and resourceful children — who have already suffered abuse many times before throughout their lives — encounter not compassion and empathy from U.S. immigration officials but abuse. The most vulnerable are once again taught a cruel lesson: There’s nowhere safe for them to lay their heads down and just be children.

To read more click here.

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