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Weekend Series on Crime History: Nixon and Hoover Talk About Killings of Police Officers

FBI Actually Paid Less Than $1.3M to Unlock San Bernardino iPhone

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Despite a suggestion from FBI Director James Comey that it cost the FBI about $1.3 million to unlock an iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, the price tag was a lot more inexpensive.

Business Insider report that the FBI paid under $1 million for the technology to unlock the phone.

Investigators won’t need to pay extra money to use the technology to open other iPhone 5C models running on iOS9.

The FBI paid a contractor to bypass the phone’s encryption features.

FBI Arrests 3 Relatives of San Bernardino Shooter Unrelated to Terror Attack

The San Bernardino couple who opened fire at a holiday party.

The San Bernardino couple who opened fire at a holiday party.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested three people with connections to one of the San Bernardino shooters.

They were charged with marriage fraud, lying under oath and conspiracy, the Washington Post reports.

The charges are not related to the terrorist attack last year by Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife.

Farook’s brother, Syed Raheel Farook, was charged with marriage fraud conspiracy. Raheel’s wife, Tatiana Farook, and her sister, Mariya Chernykh, also were arrested.

The trio is accused of lying under oath to help get immigration benefit for Chernykh, 26.

FBI Arrests Oregon Man, Found Pipe Bombs, After Alleged Threats to President Obama

president obama state of unionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 61-year-old Oregon man on charges of threatening the president after authorities said they found what appeared to be pipe bombs in his apartment, ABC News reports. 

John Martin Roos of Medford, Oregon, was charged Thursday.

In a statement, the FBI said, “At approximately noon on Thursday, April 28, 2016, FBI Agents and Medford Police Officers served a federal search warrant at an apartment on Poplar Drive in Medford. Inside, they found what appeared to be several pipe bombs. The Oregon State Police Explosives Unit responded, and members of that unit have rendered the devices safe.”

The statement continues, “There are two men who live at that apartment, and one was home at the time of the search. Agents and officers detained him for a short while until the scene could be secured, but he has been released and is not charged. FBI Agents located a second resident of the apartment at another Medford location shortly after entering the residence. This second man, 61-year-old John Martin Roos, was the subject of the search warrant. Agents made a probable cause arrest of Roos, charging him with Threatening the President of the United States and and Use of an Interstate Facility to transmit Threats. The United States Secret Service is assisting in this investigation.”

Ross is lodged in the Jackson County Jail and is expected to make an initial court appearance soon.

FBI Records: ‘Argument Can Be Made’ That Agents Violated Policy with Bogus News Article

AP LogoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When the FBI created a bogus Associated Press news story to capture a man who was making bomb threats to a school in suburban Washington, agents said they were doing nothing wrong.

But documents obtained through a public records lawsuit show the FBI had some misgivings about posting a bogus news story, the Associated Press reports. 

An internal FBI report said “an argument can be made” that agents violated protocol by failing to inform senior brass in Washington about the 2007 operation.

The records suggest that the FBI’s headquarters should have reviewed and given approval for such an undercover operation.

Nevertheless, the FBI’s Cyber Division said the bureau acted reasonably “under the circumstances.”

“Although an argument can be made the reported impersonation of a fictitious member of the media constituted a ‘sensitive circumstance’ that would have made the undercover activity subject to FBI HQ review and approval required for a Group 1 undercover operation, the facts of the case do not clearly indicate that such a sensitive circumstance existed,” the report says.

U.S. Supreme Court Gives FBI Authority to Hack More Computers

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave the FBI more authority to hack into computers beginning in December.

Until then, Congress can adopt legislation to undermine the court’s decision, the Intercept reports. 

Before the ruling, magistrate judges were prohibited from approving a warrant request to search a computer unless the computer was inside the judge’s jurisdiction.

Under the ruling, the FBI would be able to gain a warrant to search a computer anywhere in the country, regardless of jurisdiction.

Privacy advocates weren’t happy.

“Whatever euphemism the FBI uses to describe it—whether they call it a ‘remote access search’ or a ‘network investigative technique’—what we’re talking about is government hacking, and this obscure rule change would authorize a whole lot more of it,” Kevin Bankston, director of Open Technology Institute, said in a press release.

Other Stories of Interest

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

fbi logo large

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.

Ex-FBI Agent Accused of Committing Perjury Plans to Plead Guilty

fbi badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Supervisory Agent Robert Fitzpatrick plans to plead guilty to unspecified charges after testifying on behalf of James “Whitey” Bulger, the Boston Globe reports. 

Fitzpatrick, 76, plans to plead guilty on May 5. He’s currently facing six counts of perjury and six counts of obstruction of justice.

Fitzpatrick, who wrote “Betrayal, Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought to Bring Him Down, is accused of falsely holding himself “out as a whistleblower who tried to end the FBI’s relationship with Bulger.

Prosecutors also allege Fitzpatrick lied about finding the rifle used to murder Martin Luther King Jr.