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Archive for February 17th, 2016

Mayor of Texas Town Wants Federal Probe Over Arabic Flag Expressing ‘Love for All’

Photo via Twitter.

Photo via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The mayor of a Texas town is calling for Homeland Security and the FBI to investigate a large flag with Arabic writing found hanging off a downtown building.

Huffington Post reports that the flag read, “Love for all,” in Arabic.

But Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson said he’s still “concerned on several levels” and wants federal authorities to investigate.

“It has been brought to my attention that an Arabic flag has been hung from one of the upper floors of the Omni building,” Robertson said in a letter sent to City Manager James Loomis. “I am requesting that the flag be removed immediately, that we get an accurate translation of the flag, and that Chief Stevens notify the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and our Lubbock County Sheriff’s Department.”

“I fully understand that we must gather more facts before we make a knee jerk reaction but I am concerned on several levels,” he added.

The flag, which includes a heart, was posted around Valentine’s Day.

Other Stories of Interest

Apple CEO Opposes Judge’s Order to Unlock iPhone in Wake of San Bernardino Attacks

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Apple CEO Tim Cook fired back at a federal judge’s order to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the shooters in the Dec. 2 terrorist attack in San Bernadino, saying the demands were “unprecedented,” The Washington Post reports. 

“We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a strongly worded open letter. “Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.”

A magistrate judge in Riverside, Calif., signed an order Tuesday to request that Apple disable a feature that erases phone data after 10 unsuccessful attempts to enter the password. That way, the judge said, investigators would have a better shot at cracking the password by using tens of millions of combinations without the data being deleted.

The FBI has been unable to access data on the phone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers.

“It has been two months now, and we are still working on it,” FBI Director James Comey told Congress last week.

The couple was using an iPhone5C.

Cook said in an open letter that Apple was “challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.”

Attorney: Terror Suspect Manipulated by FBI Employee Posing as Young Muslim Woman

ISIS flag

ISIS flag

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — The man accused of planning an ISIS attack on a large Detroit church was manipulated by an FBI employee posing as a 19-year-old Iraqi American Muslim woman, his defense attorney told a federal judge.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the attorney claimed the FBI employee enticed his 21-year-old client, Khalil Abu-Rayyan, in an attempt to get him to make boastful remarks about violence in the name of ISIS.

Ultimately, the attorney said, Abu-Rayyan fell in love with the woman who he believed was a Sunni teen.

Because of that, Abu-Rayyan “was lying and boasting” to impress a young Muslim woman whom he wanted to marry.

Prosecutors, however, described Abu-Rayyan as a man bent on carrying out a violent attack.

Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen agreed.

“There was real readiness” to carry out attacks, Judge Whalen said. “There was an expression of intent.”

FBI Discovers Trench of Human Feces at Occupation Site of Oregon Wildlife Refuge

fbi logo largeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Oregon wildlife refuge that was taken over by armed occupiers is a stinky mess, the FBI has discovered.

Agents said the occupiers may have damaged a sensitive cultural site with artifacts because they built a trench for human feces and excavated a road at the refuge, Reuters reports.

The discovery came Saturday while investigators began processing what has become a crime scene at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The 41-day siege ended Thursday with the arrest of the final four occupiers.

“Occupiers appear to have excavated two large trenches and an improvised road on or adjacent to grounds containing sensitive artifacts,” U.S. Attorney Billy Williams of Oregon wrote in the filing.

Investigators also found guns and explosives.

Female FBI Agent Sues Federal Government Over Peeping-Tom Border Patrol Supervisor

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A female FBI agent claims in a lawsuit that the federal government did not respond in a responsible way to a former Border Patrol supervisor who was convicted of secretly taping female colleagues using the restroom.

Courthouse News Service reports that the woman, “Agent Anonymous,” asserts that the federal government may have been involved in a cover-up to protect the supervisor, Armando Gonzalez.

Gonzalez was sentenced to 21 months in prison for capturing images of seven women using the restroom between July 2013 and April 2014.

The FBI agent said the federal government failed to respond to on-the-job misconduct by Gonzalez and did not properly vet him prior to his hiring.

“If faced with a report of police misconduct, defendants knew they could evade professional or legal consequences by simply claiming that they were ‘just doing their jobs’ or ‘just trying to protect the public,'” the agent says in the complaint.