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Archive for May, 2017

Walt Disney World Employee Accused of Impersonating FBI Agent

Walt Disney World, via Wikipedia.

Walt Disney World, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Walt Disney World employee is accused of impersonating an FBI agent by using a badge he bought for Halloween.

Orlando television station WKMG reports that an Orange County sheriff’s deputy spotted 26-year-old Brett Michael Smith pull over a car after a woman hit an orange traffic cone near SeaWorld’s Aquatica waterpark Saturday.

Police said Smith approached the car at a red light and flashed his badge, insisting he “worked for the FBI.”

A nearby deputy watched the events unfold and initially thought the badge was authentic.

Trump Broadens Search for FBI Director Nearly a Month After Firing Comey

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump has widened his search for a new FBI director and met with two potential contenders on Tuesday.

The two candidates are former Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole and Chris Wray, a former top Justice Department official who has served as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s personal lawyer.

Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey earlier this month after the president complained about the bureau’s investigation of possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Trump has already met with several potential candidates to replace Comey, including acting FBI director Andrew McCabe, former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating and former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, who has since withdrawn his name for consideration.

During a White House press conference Tuesday, Spicer wouldn’t say whether the list of contenders has been narrowed, adding that Trump “feels as though he’s met with the right candidate he’ll let us know.”

When will Trump select a new FBI director?

Not “until he finds the right leader,” Spicer responded to a reporter.

Secret Service Investigating Kathy Griffin’s Gory Photo of Trump’s Head

Kathy Griffin, by Mingle Media, via Wikipedia.

Kathy Griffin, by Mingle Media, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Maybe comedian Kathy Griffin thought it was funny to pose for a photo with what appeared to be a bloody, decapidated head of President Trump, but the Secret Service isn’t laughing.

According to TMZ, the Secret Service has launched an investigation into “the circumstances surrounding the photo shoot,” which made its rounds on social media Tuesday after the comedian released the image to TMZ.

Trump tweeted early today that Griffin “should be ashamed of herself,” especially because his 11-year-old boy, Barron, was “having a hard time with this.”

According to TMZ, the Secret Service likely will interview Griffin and the photographer, Tyler Shields, to determine the intent.

Other Stories of Interest

Arrests of Immigrants without Criminal Records More Than Triple in New England

ice-agentsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Since Donald Trump was elected, ICE has arrested more non-criminal, undocumented immigrants than those with a rap sheet.

In fact, the number of immigrants without criminal records nationwide has doubled compared to the same time last year, WBUR News reports

In New England so far this year, the number of non-criminal immigrants without documentation have more than tripled, fro 104 to 335.

“This administration is carrying out the mass deportation agenda that it promised on the campaign trail,” says Sarah Sherman-Stokes, a clinical instructor at Boston University’s Immigrants’ Rights and Human Trafficking Program.

Under President Obama’s administration, the priority of immigration enforcement was immigrants with felonies.

“You know, I’m surprised that the numbers have gone up so dramatically,” Sherman-Stokes says, “although, they are not surprising insofar as they are a continuation of the trajectory that we were already on under the Obama administration.”

Family of 15-Year-Old Fatally Shot by Off-Duty Agent Rejects Official Narrative

Darius Smith, 15, was fatally shot by an off-duty ICE agent. Photo via Twitter.

Darius Smith, 15, was fatally shot by an off-duty ICE agent. Photo via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The family of a 15-year-old who was fatally shot by an off-duty ICE agent Friday night in Arcadia, Calif., claims the official narrative is false.

The agent said Darius Smith and two 14-year-old pointed a gun at him and demanded his money after they exited a train Friday night, TheRoot.com reports. In an act of self-defense, he said he shot the teens.

Smith died at a hospital, and the two 14-year-olds were not in life-threatening condition as of today. 

The teens face robbery charges.

Smith’s mother, Reshawna Myricks, is disputing the agent’s story, saying the teens would never try to rob someone.

“Them boys didn’t do that,” Myricks told KCAL9. “They aren’t those type of boys to do that.”

“[They’re] going to walk home; they’re going to see their kids tonight,” Myricks said of the border agent and law-enforcement officers claiming that her son committed a crime. “I got to go back and tell my other three that one of them ain’t coming back no more.

“First they said there was no crime committed,” Myricks continued. “Now there is a crime committed. Now it’s a gun; then they said there was a fight. I don’t know what to believe. All I know is my baby [is] gone and I’ll never know his story.”

President Trump Breaks Silence of Kushner Reports, Dismisses As ‘Fake News’

Jared Kushner. Photo by Lori Berkowitz Photography, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In typical fashion, President Trump finally broke his silence over reports that his son-in-law Jared Kushner tried to establish a secret channel of communications with Russia, attacking the media for relying on White House leaks that he called “fake news.”

The dismissive remarks were posted on Twitter on Sunday.

screen-shot-2017-05-30-at-9-25-25-am

Also on Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on television new shows that back channels with Russia are a “good thing.”

In a statement Sunday night, published by the New York Times, Trump praised the work Kushner has done at the White House.

“Jared is doing a great job for the country,”€ he said. “€œI have total confidence in him. He is respected by virtually everyone and is working on programs that will save our country billions of dollars. In addition to that, and perhaps more importantly, he is a very good person.”

The news that Kushner tried to set up back channels with Russia is just the latest allegation about possible ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and Moscow.

Ex-FBI Agent: Charging Portland Suspect with Hate Crimes Is ‘Sticky’

Jeremy Christian

Jeremy Christian

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is trying to determine whether federal charges are warranted in the case of the 35-year-old man who stabbed three people on a Portland train after yelling expletives at two women he believed to be Muslims.

Jeremy Christian has already been charged with aggravated murder, intimidation and being a felon in possession of a handgun.

But feds are investigating whether Christian also committed hate crimes and domestic terrorism.

“It will take some time for a review of information and evidence along with consultation with prosecutors to determine whether federal charges will be filed,” Beth Anne Steele, a spokeswoman for the FBI told KATU News.

But a retired FBI agent told KATU those charges may be difficult to prove.

“Hating someone is not a crime,” Greg Vecchi, a retired FBI agent with 29 years of federal investigative experience said.

“You can hate someone, a Christian, a Muslim. You can hate someone who’s black, someone who’s white,” Vecchi said. “That by itself does not trigger the hate crime. What triggers it is taking it a step further and being able to prove that because of that bias that was a motivation or part of a motivation to carry out the crime. … This is where it becomes sticky.”

Other Stories of Interest

Former FBI Agent Publishes Book on Terrorism and Osama Bin Laden

"Anatomy of Terror" by former FBI Agent Ali Soufan.

“Anatomy of Terror” by former FBI Agent Ali Soufan.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Agent Ali Soufan wrote a new book, “Anatomy of Terror,” that compares Al Qaeda and ISIS to a cancer that multiplies.

“The cancer of bin Ladenism has metastasized across the Middle East and North Africa and beyond, carried by even more virulent vectors,” he wrote in a book that the New York Times calls “revealing and timely.” 

Soufan, who also wrote the 2011 best-selling book, “The Black Banners,” has a plethora of experience with terrorism. He was the supervisor of the investigation of events surrounding Sept. 11 and was key to identifying the hijackers.

In a book review, the New York Times wrote:

Soufan underscores the disastrous role that the United States invasion of Iraq and its bungled occupation played in fueling terrorism, creating chaos and a power vacuum in Iraq — the perfect incubator for insurgent violence and bloodshed. Two calamitous decisions made by the Americans (dissolving the Iraqi Army and banning members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party from positions of authority) would prove fateful. Soufan writes that embittered and unemployed “former Baathists soon became the backbone of the new Islamic State of Iraq.” He adds, “With their governmental, intelligence, and military experience, these men made themselves essential both to ISI’s battlefield achievements and to the terror tactics it has deployed against ordinary citizens.”

He lucidly describes the nefarious modus operandi (borrowed, in part, from Hussein’s regime) by which ISI — which would be renamed ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) or ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), and later simply IS, the Islamic State — began aggressively conquering territory in Iraq and Syria in 2013. It would start, in each town, by opening what appeared to be a religious community center, then selecting fervent young men “to inform on their neighbors and spy on any rival rebel groups in the area.”

Soufan also writes in detail about Al Qaeda’s bureaucratic operation and Osama bin Laden’s obsession with micromanagement.