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Tag: Afghanistan

DEA Helps Seize 20 Tons of Drugs in ‘Largest Known Seizure of Heroin in Afghanistan’

DEA makes major drug bust in Afghanistan.

DEA makes major drug bust in Afghanistan.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA, with the help of American Special Forces and an Afghan counternarcotics, seized a whopping 20 tons of drugs in what officials have described as “the largest known seizure of heroin in Afghanistan, if not the world.”

“This drug seizure alone prevented not only a massive amount of heroin hitting the streets throughout the world but also denied the Taliban money that would have been used to fund insurgent activities in and around the region,” DEA spokesman Steven Bell told ABC News Thursday. 

The estimated street value was $60 million for 12.5 tons of morphine base, 6.4 tons of heroin base, 134 kilograms of opium, 129 kilograms of crystal heroin and 12 kilograms of hashish, all of which was seized during an Oct. 17 raid that was just made public.

“If that was Pablo Escobar‘s stash, that would be considered a lot of frickin’ heroin,” said one combat veteran of the DEA’s 11-year counternarcotics mission to blunt the country’s heroin trade, referring to the Medellin, Colombia, narcotics kingpin killed two decades ago. “That’s going to make a dent in the European market.”

Other Stories of Interest

Records: CIA Imprisoned, Interrogated Man Knowing He Was Innocent

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CIA headquarters

CIA headquarters

New records reveal that the CIA imprisoned and interrogated a man that investigators knew was not a terrorist.

McClathy reports that the CIA realized it imprisoned the wrong man, a German citizen named Khaleed al-Masri, in Afghanistan.

Al-Mari was held in a secret prison with a “small cell with some clothing, bedding and a bucket for his waste,” according to a recently released internal CIA report.

McClathy wrote:

Adding to the sense of injustice: Even though the agency realized early on that al-Masri was the wrong man, it couldn’t figure out how to release him without having to acknowledge its mistake. The agency eventually dumped him unceremoniously in Albania and essentially pretended his arrest and detention had never happened.

Weekend Series on Crime: Afghanistan and the Opium Trade

Joseph Piersante Becomes First DEA Agent to Receive Secretary of Defense Medal

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DEA Agent Joseph Piersante, who was shot and wounded by enemy gun fire while on a counter-terrorism and narcotics mission in Afghanistan in 2011, became the first DEA agent to receive the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom.

The The Defense of Freedom Medal is the civilian equivalent of the military’s Purple Heart, according to a DEA press release issued Thursday, on the day of the award.

The press release said:

 Piersante’s recovery from this life-threatening event has been nothing short of miraculous. Through hard work and determination, as well as incredible doctors, EMTs, team members, therapists, trainers, family, and friends along the way, he has returned to his Special Agent duties at DEA FAST headquarters in Virginia. In addition, Piersante has inspired many in and out of law enforcement, participating in speaking engagements, motivational opportunities, and training in areas such as overcoming adversity, never giving up, and putting your life on the line for the good of our great nation. His inspirational story will continue forever to be told not just by him, but by many in and out of DEA.

FBI’s Bomb Lab Helps Track Down Terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan

Steve Neavling
ticklethrewire.com

Step inside the FBI’s bomb warehouse outside of Washington, where experts analyze bombs used to injure and kill thousands of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Businessweek reports that 700 people work at the FBI’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center.

It’s not easy work. Most of the bombs are assembled with objects like radios, cell phones, sandals, circuit boards, burlap sacks, egg timers, wristwatches, and kitchen utensils, according to Businessweek.

They are industrious—they make bombs out of everything,” bomb analyst Ruel Espinosa told CNN.

The analysts have helped identify more than 1,700 people with terrorist ties, lifting a total of at least 6,000 fingerprints.

“Exploiting the intelligence from explosive devices has proven critical to saving American lives in war zones,” says Robert Mueller III, director of the FBI when the lab was created in 2003.

FBI’s Little-Known Alliance with U.S. Military in Afghanistan, Iraq Put Agents at Risk

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the FBI was transformed into a counterterrorism organization, sending its agents to Iraq and Afghanistan for hundreds of raids.

The Washington Post reports on a controversial, effective and little-known alliance between the FBI and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

Some in the bureau questioned why domestic law enforcement agents were sent to battlefields a world away from the U.S.

“The concern was somebody was going to get killed,” said James Davis, the FBI’s legal attache in Baghdad in 2007 and 2008.

Davis said FBI agents often were involved in shootings and were forced to fight attacks alongside the military, though no deaths were ever reported.

U.S. officials said the relationship was helpful because of the bureau’s expertise in investigations.

Wounded Army Ranger Claims FBI Denied Him Job Because of Prosthesis

Justin Slaby

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Army Ranger who served twice in Iraq and once in Afghanistan was on his way to his fourth overseas tour when his left hand was blown off in a training accident, NPR reports.

Justin Slaby, who was fitted with a state-of-the-art prosthesis, opted to join the FBI but said he couldn’t believe what happened next.

But six weeks into his 21-week program, the FBI said Slaby wasn’t cut out for the job and couldn’t safely handle a weapon, NPR reported.

Slaby objected.

“Let me go to the firing range, and I’ll show you what I can do,” he said, according to NPR.

When that didn’t work, Slaby hired an attorney.

Undercover FBI Agent Kept Tabs on Three California Men Accused of Plotting Terrorist Attacks

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Three California men charged with plotting terrorist attacks on Americans and military bases overseas were planning to join the Taliban in Afghanistan and eventually fight for al-Qaida, the FBI said, the Associated Press reports.

Little did they know, an undercover agent was recording their conversations.

“The main lesson learned is: Don’t underestimate these groups,” FBI Special Agent David Bowdich told the AP. “This is a very serious case. I think ultimately the outcome was a success.”

The three were to fly to Istanbul, travel to Afghanistan and train to be terrorists to kill Americans living abroad, the AP reported.