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Archive for November 29th, 2017

FBI Taps Brian Brooks for HQ Post as Assistant Director of the Operational Technology Division

Brian Brooks (FBI photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Brian Brooks is moving up to the post of  assistant director of the Operational Technology Division for the FBI at headquarters.

Brooks most recently served as the deputy assistant director for the Technical Operations and Development Branch in the Operational Technology Division, the bureau said in a press release.

Brooks started his career with the FBI in 1996, and was first assigned to the New York Field office where he investigated counterintelligence matters.

After the Sept. 11 attacks,  Brooks was assigned to an investigative response squad, which focused on pending international terrorist threats to the New York City area. He also served on the New York SWAT Team.

Throughout his FBI career,  Brooks has held a number of leadership positions in the Counterintelligence Division at headquarters and the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

FBI Monitored Black Lives Matter Protests Over Fears of Violence

Black Lives Matter poster on a window in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. government has been monitoring Black Lives Matter protests because of fears of potential violence, according to newly released documents from the FBI and Homeland Security.

The surveillance began after a gunman shot and killed five police officers in Dallas, Texas, in July 2016 during a rally against police brutality, Al Jazeera reports

Although the FBI acknowledged the gunman acted alone and was not part of the Black Lives Matter movement, the bureau began warning of “attacks against law enforcement,” using racially charged language, according to a series of emails.

“Due to sensitivities surrounding recent police shootings, the threat of copycat attacks against law enforcement exists,” one email read, adding that “there is a threat of black supremacist extremists attempting to violently co-opt the upcoming DNC/RNC”, referring to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

The emails refer to “black supremacist extremists attempting to violently co-opt the upcoming” Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Michael German, a former FBI agent and fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, told Al Jazeera that the report was misleading because it involved the “blending of activities” of protesters.

“If I’m a police officer on the street trying to address the concerns raised in this report, obviously, I’m going to be focusing on black people,” German said.

In August, an FBI report warned of “Black Identity Extremists” targeting police.

“The FBI assesses it is very likely Black Identity Extremists perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will likely serve as justification for such violence,” the report, dated August 3, read.

Air Force Failed to Report Dozens of Service Members to FBI Gun Database

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Air Force acknowledged Tuesday that its failure to report the criminal history of a former airman who went on to kill 26 people at a Texas church in early November was “not an isolated incident.”

The Air Force indicated the failure was part of a pattern of “reporting deficiencies” that resulted in dozens of its service members never being reported to the federal gun background database, despite being charged or convicted of serious crimes.  

Dozens of Air Force service members charged with or convicted of serious crimes were never reported to the federal gun background-check database as required,

The revelation follows the disclosure that the Air Force failed to report the domestic violence conviction of the Texas church gunman, Devin Kelley, who should have been prevented from buying a gun that was used in the attack, the New York Times reports.

In a statement on the progress of its internal investigation, the Air Force pledged to change how it reviews and registers offenses with the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

“The error in the Kelley case was not an isolated incident and similar reporting lapses occurred at other locations,” the Air Force said in a statement. “Although policies and procedures requiring reporting were in place, training and compliance measures were lacking.”

The case of Kelley prompted Attorney General Jeff Sessions to order a federal review of the background-check database used by the FBI and ATF to ensure all military cases are properly reported.

FBI Investigates Murders of Syrian-American Journalist And Her Mom

Halla Barakat was murdered in Syria in September. Photo via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating the September murders of a Syrian-American journalist and her mother in Turkey, but local Turkish authorities are refusing to cooperate.

Halla Barakat, 23, and her mother, Orouba Barakat, 60, were found dead on Sept. 21 and were active in the Syrian opposition against the government of President Bashar Assad. They were stranded and stabbed to death in a shared Istanbul apartment.

Investigators believe the murders were carried out by professionals because their bodies were doused with a chemical solution that delays the decomposition of remains, ABC reports.

Because Halla Barakat was born in the U.S., the FBI has legal jurisdiction to investigate the homicides overseas.

“The TNP is awaiting forensic evidence to be analyzed and currently has a suspect in custody who is strongly believed to be the perpetrator of the homicide of Halla and Orouba Barakat,” Piro wrote to the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in the letter. “Due to jurisdictional legalities, the TNP will continue to work this matter and provide updates to our Legal Attache office in Ankara.”

The bureau told CAIR that Turkish National Police “respectfully declined the FBI’s assistance.”

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