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Tag: Andy Arena

Ex-Fed Agents Taking to the Airwaves as Talking Heads in Aftermath of Boston Explosions

Ex-FBI Agent Brad Garrett comments on Boston explosion.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — It was a busy 24 hours for former federal agents providing their expertise on TV around the country.

In Detroit, Andy Arena, former head of the Detroit FBI, took to the airwaves, as did former agent Ned Timmons, who runs a security firm.

Former ATF official Michael Sullivan spoke to ABC News, as did former D.C. FBI agent Brad Garrett. There were many other agents who spoke in the past 24 hours on TV.

Exciting Ride for Detroit’s Top FBI Agent Andy Arena

Andy Arena

By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — On Christmas day in 2009, Andrew Arena, head of the Detroit FBI, made a beeline to the airport to deal with a young Nigerian man — aka The Underwear Bomber — who tried to blow up an airliner.

“He slipped up and gave us some stuff,” Arena explained of the valuable global terrorism information the bomber gave up during the interrogation. ” I can’t get into because it’s still classified. We exploited a lot… We got some key stuff.”

Arena was directly involved in the decisions about the interrogating the bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab — including when to read him the Miranda warning, an issue that would later become a “political football” in Washington.

Some conservative Republicans like Michele Bachman were highly critical, insisting the FBI shouldn’t have read the Miranda warning to a terrorist because it may have stifled the flow of valuable information. Many Democrats defended the FBI and Justice Department, which delayed reading the rights, but ultimately did after six hours. The Obama administration claimed it got plenty of valuable information about the plot and terrorism around the world.

“People used the national security issue for political purposes,” he said of the partisan bickering in Washington. “Yeah, that did bother me.”

In his FBI office on Michigan Avenue in downtown Detroit, Arena, a personable man who speaks fondly of his native Detroit, sat down earlier this month with Deadline Detroit reporter Allan Lengel to discuss his 24-year-career in the FBI, including the last five as head of the Detroit office.

He’s set to retire at the end of the week, on May 31, and take over as director of the newly formed Detroit Crime Commission. The commission, he says, will try unearthing corruption and other crime and try to fill some gaps law enforcement hasn’t been able to address.

To read the full interview click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Speculation Begins as to Who Will Take Over N.Y. FBI

FBI's Andy Arena/ticklethewire.com photo

FBI's Andy Arena/ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The speculation has begun as to who will get the top spot in the New York FBI office vacated by Joseph Demarest, who was officially named assistant director of the International  Operations Division at headquarters in Washington on Wednesday.

Some names that have surfaced so far include Andrew Arena, head of the FBI Detroit office, Janice Fedarcyk, head of the Philadelphia FBI and George Venizelos, a special agent in charge of the New York office, who has been named the interim head.

Arena, who formerly served as a special agent in charge in the New York office, has been with the bureau since 1988.

Janice Fedarcyk/fbi photo

Janice Fedarcyk/fbi photo

Fedarcyk took over the Philadelphia office in 2008 and has been with the bureau since 1987. And Venizelos became a special agent in charge in the New York office in 2006. He has been with the bureau since 1991.

Speculation as to whether Demarest would return to New York from Washington ended Wednesday when headquarters officially announced he was staying in Washington.

He was sent to Washington on a temporary assignment while an internal investigation looked into whether he had been truthful about an affair he had with one of his supervisors.

Joseph Demarest/ fbi photo

Joseph Demarest/ fbi photo

Demarest was considered a strong personality that could deal with New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, known as a person of strong will.

The FBI is likely to look for someone who can deal with Kelly as well.

FBI Duped Militia Members to Get Them Away from Their Weapons

Christian Militia Hutaree patch/from website

Christian Militia Hutaree patch/from website

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI duped the members of the Christian militia in Michigan into going to what they thought was a memorial service at a warehouse in Ann Arbor  over the weekend, the head of the Detroit FBI told the Associated Press.

Andy Arena, special agent in charge of the Detroit FBI, said the ruse allowed agents to safely draw the Hutaree militia “away from their weapons” so they could be safely arrested, the AP reported.

Nine members have been charged with with seditious conspiracy and plotting to kill law enforcement officers.

After two days of hearings, U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Scheer in Detroit is expected to rule on whether eight of the members should be detained pending trial. A judge in Indiana already ruled that the ninth defendant won’t be released.

Head of Detroit FBI Said Mainstream Militias Were “Appalled” With Christian Militia Members

FBI's Andy Arena/ticklethewire.com photo

FBI's Andy Arena/ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Andrew Arena, the head of the Detroit FBI, said Tuesday that other mainstream militias have distanced themselves from the nine members of the Christian militia in the Midwest who were indicted for plotting to kill law enforcement members.

“I honestly think they don’t believe the same things this group does,” Arena told  ticklethewire.com. “I think they were appalled.”

In fact, there were media reports that  a mainstream militia member went to the FBI after the Christian group came to him for help.

“It’s true, he did,” Arena said.

Arena said he didn’t believe the Michigan-based Christian militia Hutaree is a very big organization. He said different   people have  trained and met with them, and some have come and gone.

Read more »

Govt Scraps Plans to Build New Detroit FBI Headquarters Downtown

McNamara Building/wikipedia photo
McNamara Building

It’s too bad the new plans were scrapped. It would have been good for development in a city that is hurting. Plus, the FBI could use an upgrade on its aging offices. On the other hand, the existing building, the McNamara Building is centrally located downtown. Under these difficult times, the FBI in Detroit will have to make due.

Paul Egan
The Detroit News
DETROIT — The federal government has scrapped plans to build an FBI headquarters in downtown Detroit, a spokesman for the General Services Administration said Friday.

Instead, the government plans to find more space for the FBI at its present home inside the McNamara Building on Michigan Avenue, David Wilkinson said in a telephone interview from Chicago.

“That will be the long-term answer,” Wilkinson said.
It’s bad news for agents and support staff who were pleased in May 2007 when the GSA announced it had awarded a $100 million contract to build the FBI an eight-story office building, a four-story parking garage and a single-story automotive facility on a 10.9-acre site across from the Greyhound bus station.

In January 2008 the government announced it had canceled the contract, citing the collapse of the credit market and unforeseen site development problems. But the GSA said it was continuing to plan for a new building and look for alternative sites.

For Full Story