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Archive for December 21st, 2015

Man Accused of Helping San Bernardino Attackers Was Quiet Nerd And Recent Convert of Islam

Enrique Marquez, via Facebook.

Enrique Marquez, via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

To many people who knew him, Enrique Marquez was a quiet nerd who worked at Walmart and was a part-time security guard at a bar.

About a month before the San Bernardino massacre, Marquez left a bizarre Facebook post: “No one really knows me. I lead multiple lives and I’m wondering when it’s all going to collapse on me.”

Marquez, it turns out, was a childhood friend and neighbor Syed Rizwan Farook, who opened fire with his wife at a holiday party in San Bernardino, CNN reports.

The 24-year-old is accused of illegally purchasing a pair of rifles that Farook and his wife used in the attack.

A 36-page affidavit by the FBI depicted Marquez as a recent convert to Islam who transformed into a potential terrorist plotting several attacks, including a massacre at a community college and a pipe bomb and rifle attack during rush hour on a Southern California freeway.

The affidavit explained that Marquez began buying guns and ammunition in late 2011 as he prepared an attack. He and Farook trained together at local firing ranges.

FBI Investigates Whether Pennsylvania Man Accused of Supporting ISIS Communicated with Terrorists

Jalil Ibn Ameer Aziz

Jalil Ibn Ameer Aziz

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Days after they FBI arrested a 19-year-old Pennsylvania man accused of using 57 social media accounts to promote ISIS, their attention has turned to whether he was acting alone or had acquaintances, Penn Live reports.

“The goal is to find out who he’s been dealing with in order to see if there are others in the U.S. or outside the U.S.,” said John Weaver, an intelligence analysis coordinator and assistant professor of intelligence analysis at York College. “The FBI is probably exploiting his phone records and computers to find out who he talked to, what sites he went to, what messages were sent and received.”

To determine whether Jalil Ibn Ameer Aziz had help or was receiving information from terrorists, the FBI is combing through his social media counts and text messages, which have been how many would-be terrorists are communicating.

“By identifying one individual, they can possibly identify a network,” said Charles Palmer, an associate professor of interactive media at Harrisburg University.

But the concern is that the messages may have been encrypted.

“There are a lot of ways computer forensic experts can pull information off of a computer. If it’s encrypted, all they’re pulling is a bunch of jibberish,” said Chuck Davis, corporate faculty professor of computer forensics and ethical hacking at Harrisburg University.

Was Uber’s Competitor Responsible for Data Breach? Justice Department Investigates

uberBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is investigating a 2014 data breach at Uber to determine whether its competitor, Lyft, or any of its employees were involved, Reuters reported. 

The probe is focused on a breach that led to 50,000 Uber drivers’ names and their license plates numbers being illegally downloaded.

Uber’s investigation revealed that Lyft’s technology chief, Chris Lambert, may have been involved because an internet addresses in the case can be traced to him.

Lambert’s attorney, Miles Ehrlich, said his client “had nothing to do” with the breach.

“Given that Uber apparently lost driver data, a law enforcement investigation is to be expected,” Ehrlich said. “And the benefit is that the culprit here is going to be identified – and that’s going to remove Chris’ name from any conversation about Uber’s data breach, as it should.”

Lyft said in a statement Friday that “we have not been contacted by the DOJ, U.S. Attorney’s office or any other state or federal government agency regarding any investigation.”

Residents, Local Law Enforcement Concerned about Homeland Security Helicopter Flying Over Michigan City

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.44.02 AMBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Residents and local law enforcement have raised serious questions about why a Homeland Security helicopter was spotted flying over the area of Bad Axe, Michigan, WWJ reports.

Hoping to find out more about the helicopter and the reason it was flying over the area, Huron County Sheriff Kelly J. Hanson called the Aviation Unit in Detroit.

“I wasn’t satisfied with their answer to say the least, but I was told [the helicopter] was taking photos,” he explained. “I made them well aware that people are concerned, especially with what’s going on in the media.”

An email obtained by the Huron Daily Tribune suggested the helicopter was on a routine mission along the U.S.-Canada border.

“The Great Lakes Air and Marine Branch is responsible for more than 1,000 miles of international border with Canada, which is patrolled by both aircraft and vessels,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection Public Affairs Officer Kris Grogan said in the email.

Pennsylvania Police Officer Accused of Stealing Money from Drug Trafficker During FBI Sting

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It appeared to be a routine stop, but it was anything but.

When a Fairview Township, Pa., police officer pulled over a car, the occupant was supposed to be a drug dealer traveling with a lot of money, YDR.com reports. 

Turns out, the driver was actually an undercover FBI agent whose car was outfitted with video surveillance. And the officer who pulled him over was working as a confidential informant for the FBI.

The investigation centered around another Fairview Township officer, 17-year veteran Tyson Baker.

The sting worked exactly as planned.

After Baker arrived as back up, he towed the car to a secluded garage and is accused of stealing $3,000 from a backpack.

On Friday, he was arrested and charged with violating the Hobbs Act, which bars authorities from interfering with interstate commerce.

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