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Tag: amtrak

DEA Accused of Wasting $850,000 on One Informant Who Worked for Amtrak

AmtrakBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Amtrak employee was paid more than $850,000 to act as an informant for the DEA over the past 20 years, but none of the information that was received was new to the federal agency, USA Today reports. 

The employee was assisting a task force aimed at identifying drug trafficking on the passenger train system.

The inspector general said the arrangements violate federal regulations and wasted “substantial government funds.”

The DEA has been long accused of failing to provide oversight of about 240 confidential informants.

FBI Rules Out Gunfire in Deadly Amtrak Crash in Philadelphia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI found no evidence to suggest that gunfire played a role in the deadly Amtrak crash after examining a windshield with a suspicious indentation, ABC News reports. 

“The FBI has completed its examination of the windshield of the Amtrak #188 locomotive and has found no evidence of damage that could have been caused by a firearm. The NTSB has not ruled out the possibility that another object may have struck the windshield. Additional updates on the investigation will be issued later this week,” the NTSB said in a statement.

The NTSB said the investigation may take up to a year to complete.

Investigators discovered there was no communication between the derailed Amtrak train engineer and the dispatch center at the time of the crash.

FBI Tapped to Investigate Whether Amtrak Train Struck by Projectile – Even Bullet

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has been tapped to investigate a suspicious mark on the windshield of the Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia and killed eight people and injured more than 200 people, CNN reports. 

The NTSB is hoping agents can help determine whether an indentation on the windshield of the derailed train was made by a hurled projectile, or even a bullet.

“The FBI will be on the scene (Monday) to assist us to identify what that may have been,” NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

Sumwalt said it’s too early to know whether the train was struck.

“We did listen to the dispatch tapes between dispatch and the trains, and indeed the SEPTA engineer did report to dispatch that he had been struck by something. But there was nothing, nothing at all from the Amtrak engineer to dispatch to say that his train had been struck,” he told CNN’s Brianna Keilar.

“Furthermore, we have interviewed the SEPTA engineer. And he did not recall having any conversation between him and the Amtrak engineer. But, nevertheless, we do have this mark on the windshield of the Amtrak train, so we certainly want to trace that lead down.”

 

Investigators Comb Through Train Wreckage for Clues to Deadly Crash

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Investigators were combing through the debris from an Amtrak train crash Tuesday night that killed at least seven people and injured more than 200, The New York Times reports. 

The National Transportation Safety Board, which is leading the probe, will “look at everything that could have led to this occurrence,” lead investigator Robert Sumwalt said.

The train was traveling 106 mph when it hurtled off the tracks.

“We’re trying to understand why was that truing going that fast,” Sumwalt said.

It wasn’t yet clear whether speed was the only factor in the crash.

FBI to Offer $300K Reward for Information on 1995 Train Derailment

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI plans to offer a $300,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect who caused the derailment of an Amtrak passenger train in 1995, The Arizona Republic reports.

The derailment about 70 miles southwest of Phoenix caused the death of one Amtrak employee and the injury of more than 100 others on Oct. 9, 1995.

The tracks were ripped out and sabotaged.

Authorities believe the suspect may be familiar with the track because of the ability to know how to avoid signaling a break in the lines.

The train came off the tracks and plunged off a railroad bridge.

The FBI plans to announce the reward at 9 a.m. Friday at the bureau’s Phoenix field office.

DEA Paid Amtrak Insider $854,000 for Passenger Data It Could Have Gotten for Free

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA forked over $854,460 to an Amtrak secretary for confidential information the agency should have gotten for free, according to an internal investigation.

The DEA paid the employee to be an informant despite the agency’s right to obtain the information at no cost as part of a joint drug enforcement task force, the Associated Press reports.

The payments were made over a two-decade span, the investigation found.

The Amtrak secretary provided passenger information without the proper approval, but the information was available through the proper channels, the inspector general found.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Bin Laden Plotted to Derail U.S. Train to Commemorate 9/11, AP Reports

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The sentimental guy that he was, Osama bin Laden wanted to commemorate the upcoming 10th anniversary of 9/11 with a plot to derail a U.S. train, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that materials seized during the raid at the Pakistan compound showed bin Laden was scheming since last year.

“One idea outlined in handwritten notes was to tamper with an unspecified U.S. rail track so that a train would fall off the track at a valley or a bridge,” AP reported.

“Counterterrorism officials said they believe the plot was only in the initial planning stages, and there is no recent intelligence about any active plan for such an attack,” AP wrote.