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Archive for April 15th, 2016

Weekend Series on Crime History: NY Mobster Albert Anastasia

FBI Director Announces Several New Management Assignments At Headquarters and In The Field

fbi logo large

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey recently announced a wave of new management assignments.

According to an FBI press release, the new assignments include:

Carl Ghattas, Assistant Director for the Counterterrorism Division

Carl Ghattas has been named the assistant director for the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters (FBIHQ). Most recently, Mr. Ghattas served as the special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division at the Washington Field Office. In his new role, Mr. Ghattas will oversee all the FBI’s counterterrorism investigations.

Hayden Temin, Assistant Director for the Resource Planning Office

Hayden Temin has been named assistant director for the Resource Planning Office. Ms. Temin most recently served as the section chief of the Performance and Strategy Section in the Resources Planning Office.

Stephen Richardson, Assistant Director for the Criminal Investigative Division

Stephen Richardson has been named assistant director for the Criminal Investigative Division, where he will replace Joseph Campbell, who is retiring in April after 25 years of service to the FBI. Most recently, Mr. Richardson served as the assistant director for the Operational Technology Division at FBIHQ.

John Bennett, Special Agent in Charge, San Francisco Division

Mr. Bennett has been named special agent in charge of the San Francisco Division. Most recently, Mr. Bennett served as the section chief of the Digital Forensics and Analysis Section in the Operational Technology Division, where he led the establishment of scientific standards for digital media exploitation.

Marlin Ritzman, Special Agent in Charge, Anchorage Division

Marlin Ritzman has been named as the special agent in charge of the Anchorage Division. Most recently, Mr. Ritzman was the section chief of the Transnational Organized Crime–Western Hemisphere Section in the Criminal Investigative Division.

 

Diane Upchurch Has Been Named Head of FBI’s Little Rock Office

fbi logo large

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Diane Upchurch, who was most recently section chief of International Terrorism Operations Section 1 in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters, has been named special agent in charge of the Little Rock Division.

Upchurch joined the FBI in 1995 and was first assigned to  the Dallas Division, where she focused primarily on gang, organized crime and drugs,  according to an FBI press release.

She was then assigned to the North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force, where she worked on international and domestic terrorism investigations. 

Later, she was off to the Los Angeles Field Office and was assigned to a drug squad as part of the Southwest Border Initiative.

In the course of her career, she has held leadership positions in the Investigative Technologies Division, Counterintelligence Division, Los Angeles Field Office and the Counterterrorism Division.

FBI Still Unable Find Anything Useful on Hacked San Bernardino iPhone

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Investigators have been unable to find anything useful after unlocking the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists, a law enforcement official told CBS News.

The FBI spent months trying to bypass a security feature. But after gaining access to the phone, investigators still haven’t found anything valuable.

The FBI enrolled the help of professional hackers to open the phone but has declined to say what method was used.

Investigators continue to analyze the phone in hopes of finding useful information.

FBI Director Chooses Familiar Face to Serve as Chief Information Officer

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has a new chief information officer.

Director Jame Comey tapped Gordon Bitko, a RAND Corporation scholar and bureau employee since 2007, to replace Jerry Pender, who left the post in August, Federal News Radio reports. 

Comey said in an e-mail that he picked Bitko “because he thinks well about technology, knows up close the great and less than great ways we use technology today and has proven that he can get hard things done.”

The move was important because the FBI has holes in its technology leadership.

Bit has been the leader of the FBI’s Support Services Transformation Office since 2015.

Microsoft Sues Justice Department Over Data Gag Orders

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Microsoft launched a lawsuit against the Justice Department, saying the government should not be able to prevent companies from notifying customers that law enforcement officials have requested their e-mails and data.

The lawsuit argues it’s unconstitutional to prevent companies from informing their customers of the requests, ABC News reports. 

“Microsoft brings this case because its customers have a right to know when the government obtains a warrant to read their emails, and because Microsoft has a right to tell them,” the tech giant says in its lawsuit.

Microsoft said the government often issues orders requiring secrecy.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying, “We are reviewing the filing.”

FBI: ISIS Threatens to Kill Moderate Muslim Leaders in America

ISIS flag

ISIS flag

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ISIS has threatened to kill a Michigan Muslim leader for his outspoken views against extremism.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, 71, of Fenton, was among five Muslim-American religious leaders and scholars whom ISIS listed in its online magazine as people who should be killed for being “apostates” and “crusaders.”

ISIS also called for the death of five Muslim American politician or government officials, including U.S. Rep Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Huma Abedin, a close aide to Hillary Clinton.

The FBI confirmed the death threats.

“We are aware of the information, but beyond that, we are not commenting at this time,” said Jill Washburn, spokeswoman for the Detroit office of the FBI.

Border Patrol Spends $300,000 a Day Deporting Undocumented Immigrants by Plane

A Gulfstream IV jet like this was used numerous times to send immigrants home.

A Gulfstream IV jet like this was used numerous times to send immigrants home.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border officials are deporting illegal immigrants on commercial flights and private jets at a cost to taxpayers of more than $300,000 a day.

The Daily Mail reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement spent $116 million in 2015 to deport 235,413 back to their home countries.

About 40% of the deported immigrants were convicted criminals. Another 1,000 were identified as gang members.

The average cost to deport an immigrant by plane was $12,213 in 2015.

Included in that cost are identifying the immigrants, apprehending them, lodging them in a detention center, putting them through immigration court and then removing them.

Other Stories of Interest