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Matt Gorham Named Special Agent in Charge of Counterterrorism at the Washington Field Office

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By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com 

Matt Gorham, deputy assistant director for the Critical Incident Response Group for the FBI, has been named special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division at the bureau’s Washington Field Office.

Gorham joined the FBI in 1995 and was first assigned to the Pittsburgh Division, where he worked a variety of cases including violent crime, drugs and on counterterrorism matters.

In 2009,  he was assigned to the International Operations Division directing all FBI operations and deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since joining the bureau, he’s held leadership positions in the Criminal Investigative Division, the Pittsburgh Division, the Richmond Division and the Cyber Division, according to a press release.

He begins his job at WFO in May.


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David Johnson Named the Associate Executive Assistant Director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch

David Johnson

David Johnson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

David Johnson, who headed up the FBI’s San Francisco bureau, has been named the associate executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch.

The job includes supporting the FBI’s cyber and criminal investigations, international operations, critical incident response, and victim assistance. He’ll also oversee the FBI’s development of cyber policy and strategy and serve as the Bureau’s operational lead of the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group (FELEG), an international coalition of law enforcement agencies from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, an FBI press release said.

Johnson joined the FBI in 1991 in the San Jose bureau, where he worked violent crime, drug trafficking and investigations involving high-technology companies. He served as the case agent of the first economic espionage case ever to be prosecuted.

Throughout his 25-year career,  Johnson has held leadership positions in the San Francisco Division, the Criminal Investigative Division (CID), and the Salt Lake City Division, where he was the special agent in charge, according to a press release.

 


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FBI Director Announces Several New Management Assignments At Headquarters and In The Field

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By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey recently announced a wave of new management assignments.

According to an FBI press release, the new assignments include:

Carl Ghattas, Assistant Director for the Counterterrorism Division

Carl Ghattas has been named the assistant director for the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters (FBIHQ). Most recently, Mr. Ghattas served as the special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division at the Washington Field Office. In his new role, Mr. Ghattas will oversee all the FBI’s counterterrorism investigations.

Hayden Temin, Assistant Director for the Resource Planning Office

Hayden Temin has been named assistant director for the Resource Planning Office. Ms. Temin most recently served as the section chief of the Performance and Strategy Section in the Resources Planning Office.

Stephen Richardson, Assistant Director for the Criminal Investigative Division

Stephen Richardson has been named assistant director for the Criminal Investigative Division, where he will replace Joseph Campbell, who is retiring in April after 25 years of service to the FBI. Most recently, Mr. Richardson served as the assistant director for the Operational Technology Division at FBIHQ.

John Bennett, Special Agent in Charge, San Francisco Division

Mr. Bennett has been named special agent in charge of the San Francisco Division. Most recently, Mr. Bennett served as the section chief of the Digital Forensics and Analysis Section in the Operational Technology Division, where he led the establishment of scientific standards for digital media exploitation.

Marlin Ritzman, Special Agent in Charge, Anchorage Division

Marlin Ritzman has been named as the special agent in charge of the Anchorage Division. Most recently, Mr. Ritzman was the section chief of the Transnational Organized Crime–Western Hemisphere Section in the Criminal Investigative Division.

 


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Diane Upchurch Has Been Named Head of FBI’s Little Rock Office

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By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Diane Upchurch, who was most recently section chief of International Terrorism Operations Section 1 in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters, has been named special agent in charge of the Little Rock Division.

Upchurch joined the FBI in 1995 and was first assigned to  the Dallas Division, where she focused primarily on gang, organized crime and drugs,  according to an FBI press release.

She was then assigned to the North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force, where she worked on international and domestic terrorism investigations. 

Later, she was off to the Los Angeles Field Office and was assigned to a drug squad as part of the Southwest Border Initiative.

In the course of her career, she has held leadership positions in the Investigative Technologies Division, Counterintelligence Division, Los Angeles Field Office and the Counterterrorism Division.


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FBI Director Chooses Familiar Face to Serve as Chief Information Officer

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has a new chief information officer.

Director Jame Comey tapped Gordon Bitko, a RAND Corporation scholar and bureau employee since 2007, to replace Jerry Pender, who left the post in August, Federal News Radio reports. 

Comey said in an e-mail that he picked Bitko “because he thinks well about technology, knows up close the great and less than great ways we use technology today and has proven that he can get hard things done.”

The move was important because the FBI has holes in its technology leadership.

Bit has been the leader of the FBI’s Support Services Transformation Office since 2015.


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Justice Department’s Highest-Ranking Openly Gay Leader to Step Down

Stuart Delery

Stuart Delery

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s highest-ranking openly gay leader is stepping down to explore jobs in the private sector.

The department’s No. 3 official, Stuard Delery, has served as acting associate attorney general after rising the ranks since starting with the DOJ in 2009, NPR reports. 

Delery was a top counterterrorism expert and also agreed cases challenging the Defense of Marriage Act.

“It’s been a complete privilege to work here at the Department of Justice,” Delery, 47, told NPR in an interview Tuesday morning. “It’s been a real honor to be part of it, and I feel really lucky as a lawyer to have had the chance to do it.”

Delray also investigated financial scams, voting rights and tainted food and medicine.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch called Delery “an indispensible source of wisdom, leadership and inspiration.”

“We can all take pride in the many ways he has helped to make this country more fair, more equal, and more just,” Lynch said.

Bill Baer, who leads the department’s antitrust division, is expected to replace Delery.


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Michael DeLeon to Head Up FBI’s Phoenix Office

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By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Michael DeLeon, who served in the National Clandestine Service, Counterintelligence Center as the chief of the Counterespionage Group at the Central Intelligence Agency,  has been named special agent in charge of the  FBI’s Phoenix Division.

He’ll begin the new job in late April, the FBI said.

DeLeon joined the FBI in 1999 and started in the Tampa Division’s Fort Myers Resident Agency, where he worked criminal, counterterrorism, and counterintelligence matters, according to a press release.

After September 11, 2001, he served as the Joint Terrorism Task Force coordinator for the Fort Myers Resident Agency.

His duties in the bureau have included unit chief in the Espionage Section of the Counterintelligence Division, senior supervisory resident special agent of the Greensboro Resident Agency-Charlotte Division and assistant special agent in charge in the Counterintelligence Branch of Washington Field Office.

Before joining the FBI, he worked for Delaware State Police.

 


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Not Forgotten: 9th Anniversary of the Disappearance of Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson in Iran

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

This past Wednesday marked the ninth anniversary of the disappearance of  ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished after going to Iran. In hopes of keeping the issue at the forefront, the White House, State Department, FBI and family issued statements this week.

“Bob’s wife, children, and grandchildren have waited nine long years for the release of their loved one. Nine years is an incomprehensible amount of time for him to be missing without any word of his whereabouts,” FBI Director James B. Comey said in a statement. “The FBI family feels personally connected to ensuring Bob’s safe return and we are doing everything in our power to investigate all leads.”

In 2013,  the Levinson family acknowledged he was actually working as a freelance “spy” for a rogue CIA operation. The Iranian press initially reported after his disappearance that he was being held by Iranian authorities, but since then, the Iranian government has denied even knowing his whereabouts.  Some are skeptical of that, and some have wondered whether he’s still alive.

Still, the FBI has been operating under the assumption that he is still alive.

Levinson’s wife, Christine, issued a statement:

A few days ago, hundreds of people from around the country came together with our family in Florida to demand “Where is Bob Levinson?”  and ask how it is possible that, 9 years after being taken hostage in Iran, this wonderful man is still not home.  My children and I ask those same questions every day.

These past 9 years – 3, 288 days – have been harder for our family than anyone could ever imagine.  But, as difficult as it has been for us, we know that Bob is living a nightmare that is 100 times worse.  We need the United States government and the country of Iran to work together to resolve what happened to Bob and return him safely to his family.

The White House said:

“Today marks the ninth year since retired FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared during a trip to Kish Island, Iran. We continue to call upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to provide assistance in his case, as agreed to as part of the prisoner exchange finalized earlier this year, so that we can bring Mr. Levinson home.

“Finding Mr. Levinson remains a top priority for the United States, and we continue to spare no effort to bring him home. Today the United States renews its unrelenting commitment to securing Mr. Levinson’s return. Our hearts remain with the Levinson family. They have endured the pain and suffering of his disappearance for far too long.”

And Secretary of State John Kerry said:

On the anniversary today of Robert Levinson’s disappearance from Kish Island, Iran, nine years ago, I want to underscore our commitment to locate Bob and bring him home.

For almost a decade, a beloved husband, brother, father, and grandfather has been kept from celebrating family milestones most take for granted. No one should have to endure what Mr. Levinson and his family have endured for so long.

As the President has said, and as I have told the Levinson family when I have met with them, we will never forget Bob, and we will not rest until the Levinson family is whole again.

The U.S. government in its entirety will continue all efforts to locate Bob and bring him home. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has committed to cooperating with the United States to determine the whereabouts of Mr. Levinson, and we are holding Iran to its promise.

In March 2015, the FBI also announced a $5 million reward for any information that could lead to his safe return. We call on anyone with information about this case to contact the FBI at http://tips.fbi.gov or email the FBI at levinsonfbireward@ic.fbi.gov.

Information will be kept confidential and can be provided anonymously.

 


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