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Archive for June 21st, 2016

Senate Republicans Want to Broaden FBI’s Surveillance After Orlando Shooting

US CapitolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In response to the mass shooting in the Orlando nightclub, Senate Republicans are proposing to expand the FBI’s authority to use surveillance without a warrant.

The measure would allow agents to access email metadata and some browsing history information without a warrant, Reuters reports. 

“In the wake of the tragic massacre in Orlando, it is important our law enforcement have the tools they need to conduct counterterrorism investigations,” Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican and sponsor of the amendment, said in a statement.

Despite the concerns of Republicans, they failed to pass gun-control measures on Monday.

Privacy advocates charge the surveillance measure exploits the mass shooting to expand spying powers.

The idea is to give the FBI more options to use so-called National Security Letters.

Other Stories of Interest

Man Who Tried to Disarm Officer Intended ‘to Kill Trump,’ Court Records Show

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 19-year-old man who tried to disarm a police officer at a Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas Saturday told investigators he wanted “to kill Trump” with the gun,” a new criminal complaint alleges.

Michael Sandford was arrested after he tried to remove an officer’s gun from its holster at a Trump rally, CNN reports. 

Sanford was quickly detained by other officers.

According to court records, Sandford said he drove from California to Las Vegas “to kill Trump.”

“(Sandford) further stated that if he were on the street tomorrow, he would try this again,” reads the complaint, obtained by CNN. “Sandford claimed he had been planning to kill Trump for about a year but decided to act on this occasion because he finally felt confident about trying it.”

Orlando Shooter Told Police He Wanted Bombings in Iraq, Syria to End

Omar Mateen

Omar Mateen

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After shooting his way through an Orlando nightclub, Omar Mateen told authorities in a series of phone calls that he wanted the bombing in Syria and Iraq to stop, according to a partial transcript of the gunman’s phone calls during a standoff.

The partial transcript and timeline of the shooting show Mateen shot his way through Pulse for six minutes. When backup officers arrived, he retreated to the bathroom and barricaded himself with a group of hostages, the Orlando Sentinel reports. 

The shooting started at 2:02 a.m. as Mateen exchanged gunfire with an officer, who retreated and called for backup. Six minutes later, backup arrived and began firing at Mateen from within the club.

At some point, the gunfire stopped until about 5:15 a.m., when Mateen was hot by police.

It’s not yet clear whether police inadvertently shot innocent people.

Asked whether police wounded any hostages, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said on Monday, “That’s all part of the investigation, but here’s what I will tell you: Those killings are on the suspect and the suspect alone, in my mind. All our officers acted heroically, as they were trained, and under the circumstances, did an unbelievable job.”

FBI Director Warn Bureau to Be Prepared for ‘Second-Guessing’ after Orlando Shooting

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey defended the bureau’s handling of Omar Mateen before the Orlando nightclub massacre, but warned of a “fair amount of second-guessing about our work.”

“We have taken a pretty close look at our prior contact with the Orlando killer,” Comey said in the message, which was relayed to ABC News. “At this time, it sure looks to me like our folks did what they are supposed to do. But, as we always do, we will take a deep look back to see what we can learn.”

Comey also noted “the irony” of recent reports, with some suggesting the FBI is too aggressive on terrorism and others suggesting the bureau isn’t aggressive enough.

“How did this terrible thing happen? That’s part of who we are as a people, and it can be a good thing if focused on continually finding ways to improve processes, tools, or authorities,” Comey wrote in his message on Wednesday. “Of course, the desire to fix sometimes morphs into an unproductive search for people or institutions to blame, and can reflect a certain national naivete about whether bad things can really be avoided in all situations. And the risk of it becoming unproductive is particularly high in polarized political environments. But I choose to see our second-guessing culture as a healthy part of our remarkable national identity. So please, don’t let second-guessing throw you.”

Border Patrol Goes Outside Ranks to Choose FBI Veteran As New Leader

imgres

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Border Patrol will be lead by an FBI veteran, a departure from choosing from within the ranks.

The Associated Press reports that Mark Morgan will head the agency.

Choosing Morgan to lead the Border Patrol is not a reflection of the agency’s lack of confidence in the current leadership or performance of the agency, said Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gill Kerilowske.

“In the case of the Border Patrol, the current leadership across the top, from headquarters to the field, consists of the finest group of men and women that I have worked with in my more than 40 years in law enforcement,” Kerlikowske wrote in a memo to staff.

Morgan, 50, has experience with the Border Patrol. He served as acting assistant commissioner for internal affairs in 2014.