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Archive for December 16th, 2015

FBI Names New Special Agent in Charge of San Juan Division

fbi-logBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Douglas A. Leff, who began his career with the FBI in 1996 and later cross-designated as a special assistant U.S. attorney, has been named as the special agent in charge of the San Juan Division, the bureau announced Tuesday. 

Most recently, Leff was an inspector assigned to FBI’s headquarters in Washington D.C., where he reviewed cases and operations across all FBI programs.

Leff will begin his new role in late January.

According to the FBI:

Mr. Leff was promoted to supervisory special agent of a squad in the New York Field Office Organized Crime Branch in 2007. Between 2003 and 2009, Mr. Leff was also cross-designated as a special assistant United States attorney in the Eastern District of New York. During this time, he litigated organized crime, narcotics trafficking, Internet fraud, and terrorist financing prosecutions.

In 2005, Mr. Leff received an Attorney General’s Award for his work on a series of complex money laundering and terrorist financing prosecutions.

In 2009, Mr. Leff was promoted to unit chief of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit in the Financial Crimes Section at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In 2012, Mr. Leff was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the New York Field Office, where he was responsible for the Complex Financial Crimes Branch, which includes several squads responsible for investigating securities fraud, financial institution fraud, corporate fraud, money laundering, identity theft, Internet fraud, and asset forfeiture.

Mr. Leff continues to provide regular instruction on criminal and terrorist financing investigations for the Department of Justice and other state and local law enforcement agencies.

Prior to joining the FBI, Mr. Leff served as an assistant district attorney in New York, where he handled the investigation and prosecution of white collar and violent crime cases.

Familiar Face Will Return As Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Omaha Office

Randall Thysse

Randall Thysse

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Randall Thysse, who began his FBI career fighting white-collar crime in Omaha in 1989, will return to the office as special agent in charge, Omaha.com reports. 

Thysse will be responsible for overseeing FBI employees in Nebraska and Iowa.

In February, Thysse will replace Thomas Metz, who retired from the FBI in late November to join the private sector.

Thysse most recently oversaw crime reduction and terrorism prevention for the FBI’s Operational Program Branch of the Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

Congressional Bills Calls for $390M to Jumpstart FBI’s New Headquarters

Current FBI Headquarters

Current FBI Headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Congressional leaders proposed a $1.1 trillion spending bill that includes $390 million to build a new FBI headquarters, the Baltimore Sun reports.

“I’m fully behind the FBI and fully behind Prince George’s County as home to the new headquarters,” said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, the top Democrat on theSenate Appropriations Committee. “With more than 40 percent of FBI employees already living in Maryland, Prince George’s is the right place and has the right stuff.”

The bill, which is aimed at preventing a government shutdown, also includes modest pay raises for federal employees.

The FBI plans to leave its aging headquarters in downtown Washington D.C. and move to a new headquarters in Maryland or Virginia.

“The Hoover building is dated and dysfunctional,” Mikulski said. “It’s sinking, leaking and flooding and doesn’t even meet the FBI’s own security requirements. It’s too small for the FBI’s needs, so workers are scattered across 14 leased offices impeding efficiency and effectiveness.”

The $390 million would pay for design and pre-construction expenses. The total cost is expected to exceed $2 billion.

Hillary Clinton Rolls Out 5-Point Plan to Combat Radicalization in the U.S.

hillary-clintonBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton unveiled a five-part plan to thwart the growing threat of domestic terrorism in the U.S. on Tuesday.

Clinton spoke at the University of Minnesota’s campus in Minneapolis, saying the San Bernardino massacre has shaken Americans, CBS News reports.

“San Bernardino felt different,” Clinton said. “Maybe it was the timing, coming so soon after the Paris attacks. Maybe it was how random it seemed.”

She added: “It made us all feel it could have been anywhere at any time.”

Clinton’s strategy largely focuses on shuttering the online recruiting and training systems used by ISIS by increasing intelligence sharing and carefully vetting social media sites.

“Our security professionals need to track and analyze ISIS social media posts and map jihadist networks,” Clinton said, referring to a flaw in the vetting process of one of the San Bernardino shooters. “Companies should double their efforts to maintain and enforce their own service agreements and other necessary policies to police their networks, identify extremist content and remove it.”

Clinton proposed sending agents to “high risk countries” to “better investigate” visa applicants.

“Anyone who has traveled in the past five years to a country facing serious problems with terrorism foreign fighters should have to go through a full visa investigation,” Clinton said, “no matter where they’re from.”

Sentinel & Enterprise Editorial: Secret Service Needs ‘Drastic Culture Change’

secret-service-3By Editorial Board
Sentinel & Enterprise

Given the apparently bottomless divide separating Republicans and Democrats in Washington these days, anything the two parties agree on must be painfully obvious. One such truth, apparently, is that the U.S. Secret Service is a mess and needs an immediate and drastic culture change.

This is the overarching conclusion of a scathing report issued Thursday by the bipartisan congressional probe of the inner workings of the Secret Service. The arm of government charged with protecting the president, the people who want to be president and other top officials was described by House investigators as an “agency in crisis.” That’s an understatement. Secret Service was once considered an elite protective force, but it has suffered a number of black eyes in the last few years, including humiliating security lapses, and the exposure of scandalous and wildly inappropriate behavior of agents on duty.

If all of this “crisis” talk rings a bell, it’s understandable. In 2014, Joseph P. Clancy was sent in to direct the agency and to facilitate the needed culture shift. Clancy made promises, but the report indicates that House investigators could not see much progress toward reform.

In fact, the report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform detailed security breaches since 2013 that hadn’t been previously disclosed.

For example, at an awards dinner last fall, a man pretending to be a member of Congress walked into a secure backstage area without being properly screened and spoke with President Barack Obama. Five days later, a woman walked backstage unchecked at a gala dinner where Obama was a featured guest. And the list goes on.

To read more click here. 

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