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Archive for February 2nd, 2016

ATF’s Scott Sweetow Named Deputy Director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center in Quantico

Scott Sweetow

Scott Sweetow

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ATF agent Scott Sweetow has been named deputy director for the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC).

The intergovernmental agency, which is based at the FBI Laboratory in  Quantico, Va.,  coordinates efforts to gather and share intelligence about improvised explosive devices (IEDs), helps disarm and disrupt IEDs, link them to their makers and works to try and prevent attacks.

Sweetow will be responsible for strategic planning and execution, administration, financial management, program management and oversight of the day-to-day operations

The agency, created in 2003, is headed by a director from the FBI Greg Carl. Sweetow represents the ATF in the agency.

In May 2014, Sweetow was named Deputy Assistant Director for ATF’s Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information (OSII).

He 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.

Additionally, he served as special agent in charge of the ATF offices in Atlanta and St. Paul.

 

FBI Launches Facebook Page in Farsi to Solicit Tips for Missing Ex-Agent Levinson

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In hopes of finding a former FBI agent who went missing in Iran nine years ago, the bureau launched a Facebook page in Farsi for information about his whereabouts.

ABC News reports that the Facebook page is intended to get the attention of the Iranian public.

Levinson, 67, who went missing from Iran’s Kish Island in March 2007, was not among the prisoner swap between Iran and the U.S.

The FBI is offering a $5 million reward for information that would identify his whereabouts.

“The new Facebook page, as well as a missing-person poster and press release in Farsi issued last year, represents the most concerted effort so far to reach Iranians in their native language,” ABC News wrote.

ATF Arrests Anti-Government Man After Finding Pipe Bombs, Firearms at His Home

ATF LogoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Tampa man who has expressed anti-government sentiments was arrested after the ATF found eight pipe bombs, firearms, ammunition and bomb-making materials in his Florida home, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Michael Ramos, 24, was taken into custody after a search warrant was executed at his home Monday.

The ATF has not yet reported charges against Ramos, who was in possession of an AK-47, a .45 caliber pistol and large amounts of ammunition.

Ramos previously expressed anti-government sentiments and said he was in possession of explosives.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Investigating Flint Water Crisis That Led to Thousands of Residents Being Poisoned

featured_water_13312By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has joined the investigation into the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of residents with lead-contaminated drinking water while the city was under state control.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed that federal prosecutors are “working with a multi-agency investigation team on the Flint water contamination matter, including the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, EPA’s Office of Inspector General, and EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division.”

The contamination began when state officials began using the Flint River for drinking water while the city was working on a new pipeline.

On Wednesday, the U.S. House Oversight Committee is scheduled to begin its first hearing on the issue.

Republican Congressman Tells Colleagues to ‘Shut Up’ About Hillary Clinton Probe

Rep. Trey Gowdy

Rep. Trey Gowdy

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Republican chairman of the House Select Committee, which is investigating the 2012 attack on the American consulate in Libya, is mincing no words about his colleagues in Congress who are speculating about the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton.

The Boston Herald reports that Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, told his colleagues to “shut up” about the case and let the FBI investigate.

“Everything I have heard about (FBI Director) Jim Comey tells me he is a straight arrow,” Gowdy said on Boston Herald Radio. “I am going to give him the room to do his investigation. He is not supposed to tell anyone what he is doing, he is not supposed to tell anyone what’s found and I wish my colleagues would shut up talking about the FBI investigation because this an executive branch entity.

“It should be a decidedly apolitical investigation and I’m convinced that’s what (Comey) wants to do,” the Republican congressman added.

The news comes after the White House confirmed Friday that 22 “top secret” emails were found on Clinton’s home server.

Clinton has denied she sent or received classified information on her personal e-mail account.

“The documents are being upgraded at the request of the intelligence community because they contain a category of top secret information,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told the Associated Press, adding the move was “not unusual.”

Was Ex-Secret Service Agent Planning to Flee Country After Stealing Bitcoins?

3-D model of a virtual bitcoin. Photo: Trader Tim/Flickr

3-D model of a virtual bitcoin. Photo: Trader Tim/Flickr

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The former Secret Service agent who was prosecuted for stealing $800,000 in bitcoins while investigating the dark website Silk Road was arrested at his Maryland home a day before he was scheduled to turn himself in to begin a prison sentence, the Guardian reports. 

Arresting officers made a discovery that questions whether Shaun Bridges was planning on leaving the country. The found a bag with his passport and “corporate records for three offshore entities in Nevis, Belize and Mauritius.”

Officers also found several Secret Service-issued bullet proof vests that appear to have been stolen from the federal government, the Guardian reported, citing an arrest warrant.

Bridges is now in custody because he is considered a flight risk.