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Tag: Afghanistan

DEA Commando-Style Squads Operating Far Beyond the War Zone

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The DEA’s commando style squads that were established during the Bush years to battle Taliban-linked drug traffickers in Afghanistan are operating in regions far beyond that war zone, field, according to the New York Times.

The Times reports that the DEA now has five commando-style squads that have been “quietly deploying for the past several years to Western Hemisphere nations — including Haiti, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Belize — that are battling drug cartels.”

“You have got to have special skills and equipment to be able to operate effectively and safely in environments like this,” said Michael A. Braun, a former head of operations for the drug agency who helped design the program, the Times reported. “The D.E.A. is working shoulder-to-shoulder in harm’s way with host-nation counterparts.”

To read the full story click here.

 

DEA Agent Killed in Afghanistan Helicopter Crash Honored at His Old High School

Chad L. Michael/dea photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Last week, after the students had left a rural Pennsylvania school about 70 miles west of Scranton, DEA administrators and colleagues gathered there to remember a fallen agent, an alma mater of Hughesville High School, according to the Sun Gazette.

Chad Michael, 30, assigned to the DEA Miami Division,  was one of three DEA agents killed in a helicopter crash in October 2009 in Afghanistan along with seven service men. The other DEA two agents were Michael Weston and Forrest N. Leamon. The men were targeting opium production in western Afghanistan.

Michael served in the DEA’s Foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Team, or FAST. In addition to Michael’s parents-mother Debra Hartz and stepfather Dr. Leo Hartz-also attending were the DEA’s Richard Crock and Richard Michael, the local school board president of whose district Michael graduated from high school.

The celebration came during the DEA’s “Red Ribbon Week” which calls upon organizations, parents, and educators to reinforce the dangers of drug abuse with children.

The school district created the Chad Michael Memorial Scholarship after his passing in service, which has gone to a graduate now attending the University of Pittsburgh and studying criminal justice. The scholarship, ranging from $500 to $1,000, is reserved for students intending to study criminal justice, as Michael had. Prior to Micheal’s DEA service he was a deputy Sheriff in Tampa Bay, Fla.

To read more click here.

 

The FBI Legal Attache’s Role in Afghanistan

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Meets in Pakistan With Interior Minister

Robert Mueller III/fbi file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III visited Pakistan Wednesday, the country where Osama bin Laden took refuge and was killed by the American military in May, the Associated Press reported.

The visit comes as tension mounts over the U.S. demands that Pakistan crack down on Afghan militants hiding out in Pakistan, AP reported.

AP reported that the Pakistani government confirmed that Mueller met with Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik for talks Wednesday in the capital.

AP reported that U.S. officials declined to discuss the visit.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

 

FBI Returns Stolen Ancient Artifacts to Iraqis

Some of the artifacts returned/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Terracotta plaques and other ancient artifacts stolen in Iraq by defense contractors in 2004 were returned Thursday by the FBI to the Iraqi government in a ceremony at the Iraqi Cultural Center in Washington.

The FBI said it seized the invaluable items during a 2006 investigation.

The items included two pottery dishes, four vases, an oil lamp, three small statues, and the seven terracotta relief plaques, the FBI said. They ranged in age from 2,500 to 4,000 years old—from the Old Babylonian period to the Neo-Assyrian or Neo-Babylon periods.

“These artifacts are truly invaluable,” said Ron Hosko, special agent in charge of the Criminal Division in the Washington Field Office. “The FBI is pleased to be able to return them to their rightful owner.”

The FBI said the artifacts—some small enough to be held in the palm of a hand — were seized during a public corruption investigation conducted by the FBI’s International Contract Corruption Task Force, a multi-agency task force tasked with stop fraud and corruption related to U.S. reconstruction efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere overseas.

The FBI said the artifacts were stolen by Department of Defense contractors who were traveling through the Babylon region of Iraq.

Investigators discovered that contractors collected the items and used them as gifts and bribes or sold them to other contractors who then smuggled them into the United States, the FBI said. Two of the contractors were sentenced to prison for their roles in the fraud scheme.

“Working abroad does not entitle anyone to remove historic artifacts and treat them as mementos for illegal sale,” Hosko said.

WikiLeaks Show Whereabouts of al Qaeda Officials on 9/11

Osama bin Laden

By Peter Finn
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — On Sept. 11, 2001, the core of al-Qaeda was concentrated in a single city: Karachi, Pakistan.

At a hospital, the accused mastermind of the bombing of the USS Cole was recovering from a tonsillectomy. Nearby, the alleged organizer of the 2002 bombing in Bali, Indonesia, was buying lab equipment for a biological weapons program.

And in a safe house, the man who would later describe himself as the intellectual author of the Sept. 11 attacks was with other key al-Qaeda members watching the scenes from New York and Washington unfold on television.

Within a day, much of the al-Qaeda leadership was on the way back to Afghanistan, planning for a long war. A cache of classified military documents obtained by the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks presents new details of their whereabouts on Sept. 11, 2001, and their movements afterward.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICE ACT STORIES

Study Says Businesses Aren’t Ready for U.K. Bribery Law (Law.com)
Internal Controls Under the UK Bribery Act (JDSupra)
Justice Dept. Continues to Show Strong Interest in FCPA Violations (JDSUPRA)
Corruption Expert Criticizes Canada’s Anti-Graft Laws (TrustLaw)
When a Bribe  is Not Always a Bribe (National Law Journal)
Ernst & Young Corruption Expert Explains Graft in India (Trust Law)
U.S.  “Kleptocracy” Initiative Key to Mideast Future (Politico)

The FBI Shows What it Does in Afghanistan

Two Ex-Blackwater Workers Convicted in Fed Court in Fatal Shooting in Afghanistan


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Two former Blackwater employees have been convicted in federal court in of involuntary manslaughter while working Afghanistan in 2009.

Justin Cannon, 27, of Corpus Christi, Tex. and Christopher Drotleff, 29, of Virginia Beach, Va., were convicted Friday in Norfolk U.S. District Court. Both were working for Blackwater as contractors for the U.S. Department of Defense in Afghanistan. They were acquitted of other charges including second-degree murder.

The Justice Department said evidence at trial showed Cannon and Drotleff left their military base without authorization and joined a convoy transporting local interpreters.

Following a traffic accident involving one of the vehicles in the convoy, Cannon and Drotleff fired multiple shots into the back of a civilian car that tried to pass the accident scene, the Justice Department said.

The passenger of the car was fatally shot, the driver was seriously injured and a man walking his dog was also killed.