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Archive for February 13th, 2017

FBI Takes Salacious Trump Dossier More Seriously As New Details Emerge

white house big photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI investigation into the 35-page dossier about Donald Trump may be gaining legitimacy with the FBI after new details came to light.

The dossier, which Trump has described as fiction, contains serious allegations about misconduct by Trump and his campaign.

Investigators have corroborated some details in the salacious dossier and are now taking the issue more seriously, the Christian Science Monitor reports. 

The Monitor wrote:

On Saturday, anonymous sources told CBS News that law enforcement officials had begun to take the dossier more seriously as the investigation continues, even among some of the more skeptical law enforcement officials involved with the investigation. The day before, CNN released a report that said “multiple current and former US law enforcement and intelligence officials” had corroborated some of the communications associated with the dossier.

According to CNN, the corroboration relates to certain conversations between Russian officials and other Russian individuals described in the dossier. Investigators found that at least some of these conversations actually took place “on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier.” The content of these conversations, however, may not have actually contained any reference to Trump.

Sanctuary City Crackdown May Impact Where New FBI Headquarters Is Built

prince-georges-countyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration’s battle with sanctuary cities may impact where the next FBI headquarters is located.

The two finalists are Prince George’s County in Maryland, where local officials don’t help deport illegal immigrants, and Fairfax County in Virginia, where police cooperate with federal authorities, the Washington Times reports. 

In his first week in office, Trump signed an executive order in which he pledged to eliminate federal funding to local governments that resist federal immigration laws.

It’s unclear whether that will hurt the chances of Prince George’s County getting the next FBI headquarters.

“The first criteria should be that it doesn’t go into a sanctuary city,” said Sue Payne, a conservative activist in Maryland. “You can’t put the top law enforcement agency into a lawbreaking jurisdiction. How does Trump justify that?”

FBI Uses Terrorism Task Force to Investigate Standing Rock Activists

Dakota Access Pipeline protest in support of Standing Rock.

Dakota Access Pipeline protest in support of Standing Rock.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating activists who are standing up against the Dakota Access pipeline, even diverting terrorism experts to focus on protesters and environmentalists.

The Guardian reports that members of the FBI’s joint terrorism task force have tried to contact at least three people involved in protecting Standing Rock in North Dakota by knocking on their doors. 

The FBI declined to comment, and the focus and scope of the task force remain unknown.

“The idea that the government would attempt to construe this indigenous-led non-violent movement into some kind of domestic terrorism investigation is unfathomable to me,” said Lauren Regan, a civil rights attorney who has provided legal support to demonstrators who were contacted by representatives of the FBI. “It’s outrageous, it’s unwarranted … and it’s unconstitutional.”

The three individuals have declined to cooperate with the FBI and asserted their fifth amendment rights.

Federal Authorities Detain, Search Phone of NASA Scientist at Airport

nasaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sidd Bikkannavar, who works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and is a natural-born U.S. citizen, was detained while trying to reenter the United States just as the President Trump’s controversial immigration ban took effect.

But it didn’t stop there. He said Border Patrol agents confiscated his NASA-issued phone, which could include sensitive information, Gizmodo reports. 

Bikkannavar posted about the incident on Facebook:

Sorry for the absence. On my way home to the US last weekend, I was detained by Homeland Security and held with others who were stranded under the Muslim ban. CBP officers seized my phone and wouldn’t release me until I gave my access PIN for them to copy the data. I initially refused, since it’s a JPL-issued phone (Jet Propulsion Lab property) and I must protect access. Just to be clear – I’m a US-born citizen and NASA engineer, traveling with a valid US passport. Once they took both my phone and the access PIN, they returned me to the holding area with the cots and other sleeping detainees until they finished copying my data.

I’m back home, and JPL has been running forensics on the phone to determine what CBP/Homeland Security might have taken, or whether they installed anything on the device. I’ve also been working with JPL legal counsel. I removed my Facebook page until I was sure this account wasn’t also compromised by the intrusion into my phone and connected apps. I hope no one was worried. JPL issued me a new phone and new phone number, which I’ll give out soon.

Bikkannavar had landed at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, on Jan. 30, when he was detained and told that the Border Patrol was going to search his phone.

Bikkannavar told authorities that he was no allowed to hand over his phone because he’s required to protect it.

FBI Launches New Cell Phone App to Help Identify Fugitives, Missing People

FBI cell phone app, via FBI.

FBI cell phone app, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has launched a new cell phone app, called FBI Wanted, that allows the public to view and search for fugitives, missing people and crime suspects, Homeland Preparedness News reports.

“Since the earliest days of the Bureau, when wanted flyers were tacked to post office walls, the public has played a vital role in helping the FBI and its partners locate criminals on the run and solving cases of all kinds,” Christopher Allen, FBI’s head of Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit, said. “This app is designed to put another digital tool in the hands of concerned citizens so they can help protect their families and communities.”

The public also may use the app to report suspicious activity.

“Thousands of cases have been solved over the years thanks to the watchful eyes of concerned citizens, and that has made the country a safer place for all of us,” Allen said. “The FBI Wanted app will help carry on this tradition of partnership. We encourage everyone to download it and report any pertinent tips to the FBI.”

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