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FBI

The Hill: Real Reason FBI Director Wasn’t Invited to Summit on Combating Extremism

James Comey

By Kate Pavlich
The Hill

The much-anticipated White House summit on combating generic extremism is over, and outside of a handful of feel-good statements and speeches, little was accomplished.

A number of activists from various organizations were present for discussion, but one person was noticeably absent from the summit: FBI Director James Comey.

The FBI is one of first lines of defense in combating extremism — Islamic terror in particular — and keeping Americans at home and abroad safe. FBI input about root causes of terrorism at the White House summit would have been beneficial not only to its mission, but to ultimately defeating the enemy we face.

“It’s our top priority — protecting the U.S. from terrorist attacks,” the FBI website states. “Working closely with a range of partners, we use our growing suite of investigative and intelligence capabilities to neutralize terrorist cells and operatives here in the U.S., to help dismantle extremist networks worldwide, and to cut off financing and other forms of support provided by terrorist sympathizers.”

Comey wasn’t at the White House last week because he wasn’t invited. The reason why can be found by taking a look at the summit guest list, which included a variety of groups whose members have urged Muslims in America to shut the FBI out of their communities and to be non-cooperative with terrorism investigations.

The Council on American–Islamic Relations is once of those groups, and has a long history of telling its supporters in Muslim communities in the U.S. to avoid working with the FBI on counterterrorism and intelligence-gathering operations. In 2011, CAIR published a poster on its website showing slammed doors in the face of an FBI agent walking through a predominantly Muslim neighborhood.

“Build a wall of resistance,” the poster read. “Don’t talk to the FBI.”

To read more click here. 

Comey to Become First FBI Director to Speak Publicly About Race at Length

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

No FBI director has spoken publicly and at length about the issue of race.

Until today.

FBI Director James B. Comey plans to discuss the strained relationship between police officers and African Americans at a speech at Georgetown University, the New York Times reports.

Comey is expected to discuss how well-intended law enforcement can unconsciously discriminate against black people by more closely scrutinizing them.

The decision to address race shows that Comey is beginning “to show how he’s a much different F.B.I. director than the previous ones,” said Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum.

“Not to take anything away from the previous directors, but it was almost as though they thought, ‘This is something we shouldn’t weigh into.’ The F.B.I. director is looked upon by police chiefs who have been talking about this issue for years as a very important person, but they haven’t used their position as a bully pulpit to underscore how important civil rights and race is in policing.”

FBI Agents in Hazmat Suits Raid Chicago-Area Businesses in Body Parts Probe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI agents raided a crematorium and office building in suburban Chicago as part of what appears to be an investigation into the illegal sale and trafficking of human body parts, FOX 32 reports.

Agents cordoned off the areas with yellow tape while some of them donned hazmat suits.

The FBI declined to comment other than to say there is an investigation.

Detroit’s FBI office is leading the case after raiding the business of a former University of Michigan professor accused of being involved in the illegal trade of body parts. That case is linked to other across the country.

 

FBI Turns Up Heat on Man Wanted in Murders of 2 Daughters in ’08

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A Texas man accused of murdering his two daughters in 2008 was added to the FBI’s 10 most wanted list, and a reward leading to his arrest has increased as part of an effort to regenerate interest in the largely dormant case, Fox News reports. 

Prosecutors said Yaser Said, an Egyptian national, shot his daughters, ages 17 and 18, after becoming incensed with their increasingly Western lifestyles. They were raised in a Muslim family.

“Every time this case is pushed into the national spotlight we receive information,” FBI spokeswoman Katherine Chaumont said.

Family members expressed relief.

“I having been hoping for something like this for the past seven years,” Gail Gertrell, an aunt of the girls, told FoxNews.com. “For the sake of Sarah and Amina.”

 

President George W. Bush Paved Way for Weakened Secret Service

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Secret Service’s ability to carry out its duties to protect the president was compromised by the expansion of duties in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Washington Post reports.

That explains the recent string of embarrassing security lapses, the Post reported, citing interviews and government documents.

Under expansions approved by Congress and President George W. Bush, the agency began stretching responsibilities to include more monitoring of large sporting events and other big gatherings. The agency also took charge of tracking cyberthreats against U.S., and around-the-clock protection was extended to more people.

Those responsibilities came even as the agency’s ranks were diminished by early retirements.

“We are not the Super Bowl team we once were,” Dan Emmett, a former Secret Service supervisor, said in a recent interview with The Washington Post.

Prosecutors Won’t Release Records of Interview with Michael Brown’s Friend

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Few people were in a better position to see what happened to Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a Ferguson police officer, than his friend Dorian Johnson.

But NBC News points out that the FBI never released Johnson’s witness testimony, despite a pledge to disclose all of the evidence.

Johnson was with Brown the day he was killed.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch didn’t say why he omitted the records, which include pre-grand jury statements. His executive assistant, Bob McCulloch, said the federal government urged his office not to disclose records tied to the Justice Department’s civl rights investigation.

Ex-DEA Administrator Criticizes NYC Mayor’s Decision to Stop Arrests for Petty Pot Possession

Ex-DEA Administrator Peter Bensinger
For New York Daily News

The announcement by Mayor de Blasio that the NYPD would not be making arrests for small amounts of marijuana is in defiance of federal law and the laws of almost every country around the world.

Possession of small amounts of marijuana is still a violation of New York State law.

There is a misperception that our prisons and jails are full of offenders arrested for the possession or use of marijuana, when in fact, out of the 1,341,804 inmates in state prisons, less than one-third of 1% are there for the simple possession or use of marijuana.

Less than a handful of individuals in any big-city jail are there for the use or possession of marijuana.

New York City and the United States have to ask whether we enforce the laws we have or ask Congress or the state Legislature to make changes and penalties.

To read more click here.

Other Stories of Interest


Opinion: FBI Erodes Media’s Credibility with Fake News Site, Story Used in Probe

By Alexander Dominquez
Daily Titan

Government agencies sometimes do whatever they feel is necessary to accomplish their goal of catching people engaged in criminal activities.

However, there are times when even these agencies must ask themselves whether they are crossing the line.

In their pursuit of criminals, agencies like the FBI could be in the wrong themselves.

The FBI is taking heat from media organizations for its shady tactics to catch a suspect involved in a bomb threat case, according to an AFP article. What they did could almost be described as either childish.

In 2007, The FBI created a fake Associated Press news article hoping that the suspect would click the article, thereby revealing his location to the FBI.

The article would install malware that would essentially track him and provide the FBI with his location.

The fake article, which appeared to be in the Seattle Times, was then sent to the suspect’s Myspace account.

This disturbing information was only recently discovered when a security research for The American Civil Liberties Union tweeted out a link to the case file.

Of course, the bureau is defending its actions in multiple ways.

According to the FBI, The Seattle Times was never named. However, the fake site resembled that of the newspaper.

FBI agent Frank Montoya added in a statement to the Union that the tactic used in this particular case is only used in what he described as “rare circumstances.”

That all may be fine and dandy to the FBI. Still, the bureau’s decision to participate in such a questionable scheme should raise concerns on multiple levels, by media and citizen alike.

When the FBI associated the AP and The Seattle Times with their fake story, they compromised every news outlet’s most precious trait: credibility.

To read more click here.