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Archive for April 4th, 2016

FBI Seeks Access to Terrorism Suspect’s Skype Account in Search for Another Suspect

Alexander Ciccolo

Alexander Ciccolo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI believes a third person may have been involved early on with a terrorism plot to attack an unidentified university outside of Massachusetts.

A cooperating witness told authorities that Alexander Ciccolo had discussed the terrorism plans with another person, the Boston Globe reports.

“There was a brother who wanted to be involved a while ago and he has not been responding to my messages,” Ciccolo, of Western Massachusetts, told the witness, who gave copies of the July 1 online conversation to authorities.

FBI Special Agent Jeffrey J. Lawrence said in affidavit, “It appears as though Ciccolo was telling [the cooperating witness] that at least one other individual had previously indicated that he wanted to be involved in his terrorism plot.”

Authorities are trying to get access to Ciccolo’ online Skype account in hopes of identifying the third person.

The cooperating witness initially alerted authorities to the alleged plot in June 2015 and agree to provide weapons to Ciccolo as part of a sting operation.

Ciccolo also is accused of building several Molotov cocktails and a pressure cooker to build a bomb.

Hillary Clinton Says FBI Has Not Asked to Interview Her over E-Mail Probe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton said Sunday that the FBI has not yet asked her to scheduled an interview over her private e-mail server.

When asked whether she was contacted by the FBI, Clinton responded on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” “No. No, they haven’t. But you know, back in August, we made clear that I’m happy to answer any questions that anybody might have. And I stand by that.”

Clinton said she was not “concerned” about the investigation hurting her chances of getting the nomination.

“I don’t think anything inappropriate was done,” she said. “And so I have to let them decide how to resolve their security inquiry. But I’m not at all worried about it.”

The FBI said last week that it will soon interview Clinton’s aides as part of the inquiry.

Buffalo News: Congress Must Act to Resolve Issues Between Apple, FBI

congress copyBy Edtorial Board
Buffalo News

One could say that the Justice Department’s finding a way to unlock an iPhone without help from Apple is unfortunate.

To some, it could further delay serious discussion about privacy rights in this age of fast-evolving technology.

Congress needs to face up to its obligation to have this debate and to come to some reasonable conclusion. It needs to balance privacy rights with the increasingly challenging task of keeping the country safe from those who would commit mass murder.

This is a long-standing and continually developing issue, and one that Congress has largely ignored, as technology changes and becomes a tool of terrorists. Fundamentally, the law has not kept pace with science. But the need for a response is plain, even if the answers are difficult.

More and more Americans keep personal information, sometimes sensitive information, on their smartphones. Constitutionally, they have a right to privacy.

Yet the ability to monitor terrorists, who value body counts above all else, is also tied to technology, as is the investigation of crimes such as the San Bernardino, Calif., massacre that prompted this confrontation.

Both sides have compelling cases, which is a prescription for court action. It would be better for Congress to debate and resolve these questions.

Privacy advocates say they will keep the issue at the forefront, but the Justice Department has withdrawn its legal effort to compel Apple to unlock an iPhone and, in so doing, assist in an investigation of a mass shooting.

The phone belonging to one of the San Bernardino killers, Syed Rizwan Farook, may contain information about where he and his wife, an accomplice in that horrific attack in which 14 people died, may have traveled, who they contacted or any further plots.

Group to Justice Department: Donald Trump Bribed Ben Carson for Endorsement

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Did Donald Trump illegally promise Ben Carson a position in his administration in exchange for endorsing the GOP frontrunner?

A group tied to Hillary Clinton supporters filed a complaint with the Justice Department that alleges Trump bribed Carson for the endorsement, the Hill reports. 

“It has recently come to light that Mr. Donald Trump may have willfully offered Dr. Ben Carson an appointment to his administration should he become president in return for supporting his candidacy,” wrote Brad Woodhouse, head of the American Democracy Legal Fund.

“ADLF respectfully requests that you investigate this matter and take all appropriate action as soon as possible,” Woodhouse wrote.

Carson told Newsmax earlier this month that he would serve in an “advisory capacity” for the Trump administration, if Trump is elected.

“Again, I’m not going to reveal any details about it right now because all of this is still very liquid,” Carson said.

Woodhouse wrote that “Dr. Carson’s comments strongly suggest that Mr. Trump promised him an administration position in return for his endorsement.”

Secret Service: No Guns Will Be Allowed inside Republican National Convention

GOP elephantBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service plans to stop any plans to allow guns at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, 12News reports. 

The Secret Service made its position clear after a petition with 45,000 signatures demanded that Quicken Loans Arena, end its ban on possessing firearms.

“This is a direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk,” the petition states.

The Secret Service responded that only law enforcement will be permitted to posses guns inside the event.

“Individuals determined to be carrying firearms will not be allowed past a predetermined outer perimeter checkpoint, regardless of whether they possess a ticket to the event,” Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback told the Hill. 

GOP frontrunner said he plan to read the petition before making a position on the ban.

“I want to see what it says. I want to read the fine print,” said Trump, who reiterated that he is “a very, very strong person for Second Amendment.”

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