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Archive for June, 2019

Michael Driscoll, Counterterrorism Expert, Named Special Agent in Charge of New York’s Criminal Division

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Michael J. Driscoll, a 23-year veteran of the FBI and a counterterrorism expert, has ben named special agent in charge of the Criminal Division for the bureau’s New York Field Office.

Most recently, Driscoll served as a section chief in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters.

Driscoll began his FBI career in 1996 at the New York Field Office, where he worked on counterterrorism. During his time in New York, he help investigate al Qaeda conspirators involved in the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

For his work investigating al Qaeda, Driscoll earned an Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Services in 2002.

In 2004, Driscoll was transferred to FBI headquarters to serve as the bureau’s representative to the al Qaeda Department of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center.

Driscoll returned to the New York Office when he was promoted to supervisor in 2005, taking charge of the squad responsible for extraterritorial investigations in Africa. His counterterrorism work continued in the New York Hudson Valley region before being promoted to the coordinating supervisory special agent for New York’s Counterterrorism Program.

In 2013, Driscoll became assistant legal attaché for London, where he oversaw the Cyber Program and worked closely with U.K. law enforcement and intelligence services.

in 2016, Driscoll became assistant special agent in charge of the Philadelphia Field Office’s Cyber and Counterintelligence Programs.

Two years later, Driscoll returned to FBI headquarters as chief of the Violent Crime Section.

A graduate of State University of New York in Albany, Driscoll earned his law degree from Hofstra University School of Law in Hampstead, N.Y. He briefly worked as an attorney in commercial litigation.

Trump Won’t Say If He Has Confidence in FBI Director Wray

FBI Director Christopher Wray in Atlanta. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump would not say whether he has confidence in his FBI Director Christopher Wray during an interview with The Hill.

The president also emphasized that he disagrees with Wray’s opinion that FBI agents didn’t spy on his 2016 campaign.

Wray told Congress in May he would not describe FBI investigations as “spying” when asked about Attorney General Bill Bar’s assertion that federal law enforcement officials “spied” on the Trump campaign.

“I mean, I disagree with him on that and I think a lot of people are disagreeing,” Trump told The Hill. “You may even disagree with him on that.”

When asked about his level of confidence in his FBI director, Trump said, “Well, we’ll see how it turns out.”

Trump’s response raised eyebrows because he fired then-FBI Director James Comey in April 2017, a decision that led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.

Later, Trump’s first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, fired then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Comic Publisher to Transform Mueller Report into a Graphic Novel

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s not easy getting Americans to read Robert Mueller’s dense, 450-page report.

A San Diego-based comic publisher may have found a way to make it more digestible – turning the dense report into a graphic novel half its size.

IDW Publishing is planning to publish an illustrated version of the report, which is the result of a two-year investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Spoiler alert: Mueller does not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice.

Shannon Wheeler, an award-winning New Yorker cartoonist, is drawing the illustrations. The graphic novel is being written by veteran journalist Steve Duin.

IDW Publishing brands the graphic novel as “a comprehensive, understandable, and readable graphic novel version of the book every patriot needs.”

“Shannon and Steve have done an incredible job taking the rotten ingredients catalogued by Robert Mueller and turning them into a delicious satirical feast,” the book’s editor, Justin Eisinger, said. “It’s funny. It’s maddening. But it’s a great resource for anyone that wants to be informed about the findings of the most important law enforcement document created in our lifetime.”

Here’s how the publisher describes the book:

See Trump berate his Attorney General. Watch a petulant Commander-in-Chief lob insults at the White House counsel. Witness the “witch hunt” as it happened, cataloged as only the top lawman in the country could!

This staggering laundry list of questionable contacts, misleading statements, unreported engagements, and possible coordination — enough to stun any student of the U.S. Constitution — is laid bare with a cold, satirical edge.

You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You may Tweet in anger. But most importantly, you will be reading the report for yourself!

FBI Investigating Deaths of Woman, 3 Children Found Near U.S.-Mexico Border

Border marker at San Ysidro Port of Entry, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating after a woman and three children were found dead near the Rio Grande River in South Texas on Sunday.

Border Patrol agents found the bodies of two infants, a toddler and a 20-year-old woman near the U.S. border with Mexico.

Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra tweeted late Sunday that “deputies are awaiting FBI agents who will be leading.”

The sheriff said the bodies were discovered in Las Paloma Wildlife Management Area south of McAllen, Texas.

The deaths come as border officials are struggling to handle an influx of undocumented immigrants who are crossing the border.

Weekend Series on Crime: The Russian Mafia

Border Patrol Chief Defends Detention Centers After ‘Concentration Camps’ Comparison

Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said Thursday that comparing migrant detention facilities to concentration camps is “offensive.”

“I personally find them offensive,” Provost told the House Homeland Security subcommittee.

The remarks were in response to Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s comments on Instagram on Monday, when she said “the U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are.”

Some historians agreed with the congresswoman’s comparisons, but some Jewish groups took offense.

Provost said agents are “bringing toys in for children and buying them with their personal money. Agents are bringing in clothes. They’re feeding babies. They’re going above and beyond day in and day out to try to care for these individuals to the best of their ability. And this is not what they were trained or what they signed up for to do.”

Provost said Border Patrol agents are doing the best they can in the midst of a surge in migrants crossing the border.

“I have been forced to divert 40 to 60 percent of border patrol’s manpower away from the border as we process and care for nearly 435,000 families and children that have flooded across our southern border so far this year,” Provost said.

Border officials have been blasted by Homeland Security’s inspector general, who called the conditions at the detention centers “egregious violations.” The internal watchdog found nooses in detainee cells, inadequate medical care, unreported security incidents, moldy and dilapidated bathrooms, rotting food and overly restrictive segregation.

FBI Warned in 2016 about Gunman at Federal Courthouse in Dallas

Brian Clyde via Facebook

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI was warned in July 2016 about the man who opened fire outside of a federal courthouse in Dallas before being shot to death by law enforcement.

Brian Clyde’s half-brother told the FBI that his sibling should not be permitted to buy a gun because of his obsession with firearms and suicidal thoughts, their mother said, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Clyde’s family also said he was placed in a mental institution but was still able to buy a rifle.

Clyde was fatally shot after opening fire with an AR-15-style rifle at the Earle Cabell Federal Building.

The FBI confirmed the half-brother’s call but insisted there was little they could do.

“The information provided did not contain any specific threat, and no investigation was conducted,” the FBI wrote in a statement.

At the time, the FBI said, the bureau had no legal cause to investigate.

Clyde had no history of violence. His family believed his goal was to get killed.

DOJ: FBI Foils Syrian Refugee’s Plot to Bomb a Church in Pittsburgh

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI foiled a Syrian refugee’s plot to attack a Christian church in Pittsburgh next month, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 21, a Pittsburgh resident, was charged with one count of attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS and two counts of distributing information relating to an explosive, destructive device or weapon of mass destruction.

Alowemer is accused of planning to bomb a church in Pittsburgh in the name of ISIS using a “weapon of mass destruction”

The Justice Department said Alowemer was motivated to attack the church to “take revenge for our (ISIS) brothers in Nigeria.

“Our top priority is protecting the citizens of western Pennsylvania,” U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady said. “Every day investigators and prosecutors work tirelessly behind the scenes to disrupt terrorist activity and keep our community safe. While the public does not always see the results of the hard work of these dedicated men and women, this case is a visible demonstration of our commitment to rooting out terrorists and bringing them to justice.”

Born in Syria, Alowemer was permitted into the U.S. as a refugee in August 2016.