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Tag: ATF

Bomb Found at Home of Hillary And Bill Clinton After Soros Also Was Targeted

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Secret Service are investigating the discovery of a bomb sent to Hillary and Bill Clinton’s suburban New York home early Wednesday morning.

A U.S. official told the Associated Press that the suspicious package was a “functional explosive device.” 

Police in New Castle, N.Y., said they are helping federal authorities in “the investigation of a suspicious package.”

The discovery comes two days after an explosive device was found in a mailbox at the home of George Soros, the billionaire investor and philanthropist who often is the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories.

FBI, ATF Investigating Explosive Device Targeting Philanthropist George Soros

George Soros via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI and ATF are investigating an explosive device found Monday in a mailbox at the home of George Soros, the billionaire investor and philanthropist who often is the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories.

Police said “an employee of the residence” found the suspicious package, moved it to a wooded area and notified authorities.

“We are conducting an investigation at and around a residence in Bedford, NY,” the FBI tweeted Monday night. “There is no threat to public safety, and we have no further comment at this time.”

The Times of Israel reported that Soros wasn’t home when the device was found. 

It wasn’t immediately clear if the device was capable of exploding, but bomb squad technicians detonated it.

Soros, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor who became a successful hedge fund manager, has become the subject of wild conspiracy theories whipped up by far-right groups. Soros often donates to left-wing causes.

Emails Disclose Angst, Handwringing at ATF After Vegas Shooting and Bump Stock Controversy

Acting head of ATF Thomas Brandon.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Emails show the controversial rapid-fire bump stock device used in the Las Vegas massacre last year caused a lot of angst and handwringing inside ATF, a report in USA Today shows. It also shows why the devices are still legal in many states.

Nick Penzenstadler of USA Today reports:

Within hours of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history a year ago in Las Vegas, the federal agency in charge of regulating guns found itself under pressure to ban a rapid-fire device and penned in by legal boundaries that officials said prevented them from acting quickly, according to newly disclosed emails from inside the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Blame rained down on the ATF after gunfire showered concertgoers from a 32nd-floor room at the Mandalay Bay hotel Oct. 1, leaving 58 dead and more than 800 injured. Critics popped up everywhere – cable news anchors and politicians on both sides of the aisle, the National Rifle Association and Gabrielle Giffords’ anti-gun-violence group, and even from the ATF’s own ranks of current and former agents.

The focus was Slide Fire, a plastic add-on known as a “bump stock” that allowed Stephen Paddock to run through more than 1,100 rounds of ammunition in 10 minutes. Bump stocks were affixed to half of Paddock’s guns. Since 2010, up to 520,000 of the devices have been purchased in the USA, the Department of Justice reported.

Thomas Brandon, the acting head of ATF, writes in on email after the shooting to technology chief Earl Griffith:

“Are these ‘ATF approved’ as advertised?”

Griffith responds by saying they are.

Later, Brandon testified to Congress that in the interest of public safety, a law should ban them.

22 State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies Getting ATF Ballistic Imaging Equipment

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department and ATF  announced Thursday that it will provide ballistic imaging equipment used by ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) to 22 state and local law enforcement agencies.

“Under President Donald Trump, the Department of Justice is prosecuting more firearm offenders than ever before,” Attorney General Sessions said in a statement. “Ballistics technology has given law enforcement an unprecedented ability to make connections between cases and track down dangerous criminals. Today this Department of Justice is once again investing in the 85 percent of law enforcement officers who serve at the state and local levels and we are equipping them with cutting edge technology that will lead to smarter, targeted prosecutions of the most dangerous people in their communities. I have no doubt that this equipment will help to reduce crime in America.”

NIBIN compares images of cartridge casings recovered at crime scenes and firearms recovered by law enforcement to connect shooting incidents and identify shooters.

Acting head of ATF Thomas Brandon.

“Crime Gun Intelligence, including the timely use of the NIBIN network, is the cornerstone of ATF’s violent crime reduction strategy,” said ATF Deputy Director Thomas Brandon in a statement. “By deploying equipment to these 22 law enforcement agencies, investigators will now receive investigative leads within 48 hours. They will have new opportunities to disrupt the shooting cycle and make our communities safer.”

There are 16 agencies receiving NIBIN equipment for the first time:

  • Anchorage, AK PD
    Aurora, IL PD
    Berks County, PA
    Charleston, WV PD
    Cheney, WA State Patrol
    Des Moines, IA PD
    Frederick County, MD Sheriff’s Office
    Ft. Myers, FL PD
    Glendale, AZ PD
    Nassau County, NY Public Safety Center
    Lexington, KY PD
    Miami Gardens, FL PD
    Orange County, NY Intelligence Center
    Pensacola, FL Escambia Co Sheriff
    Richmond, VA PD
    San Bernardino, CA PD
  • Six agencies are receiving additional equipment to enhance their successful crime gun intelligence programs:
  • Baton Rouge, LA State Crime Lab
    Cincinnati, OH PD
    Denver, CO PD
    Detroit, MI PD
    Jacksonville, FL PD
    Philadelphia, PA PD

FBI, ATF Agents Search Baltimore Home After Sunday’s Mass Shooting in Florida

The shooter, David Katz, (right) was 24 years old. Photo via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Heavily armed FBI and ATF agents wearing bulletproof vests searched the Baltimore home Sunday night of the father of the man who opened fire at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., leaving three dead and 11 others injured.

Authorities identified the shooter as 24-year-old Baltimore resident David Katz, who killed himself. According to investigators, Katz was in Jacksonville, participating in a football video game when he opened fire shortly after 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

ATF and FBI agents arrived at the townhouse of Katz’s father around 6 p.m. and searched the home for about four hours, the ATF said at a press conference.

Authorities were tight-lipped about what, if anything, they found at the home on the 1200 block of Harbor Island Walk.

Inmates Train Puppies Before They Become Bomb-Sniffing Crime Stoppers

Photo courtesy of Puppies Behind Bars.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Taylor spent most of her early life behind the walls of a New Jersey women’s correctional facility.

Now the black Labrador is answering a higher calling, sniffing out bombs and shell casings for the ATF.

The two-year-old dog, who is more hyper than her explosives-detecting predecessor, shares a home with his veteran agent handler, Nic Garlie of the St. Louis ATF office, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports in an uplifting story about second chances and America’s best friend. 

Taylor was raised by prison inmates under a program called, Puppies Behind Bars, which gives criminals an opportunity to raise puppies that are being groomed to work for agencies such as the ATF. It gives inmates a sense of responsibility and provides positive interactions.  

“They really feel like part of them leaves prison when the dog succeeds and goes on to work,” Gloria Gilbert Stoga, the program’s founder, said.

One of Taylor’s handlers, Neville, spent much of her 12 years behind bars alone, bored and without much to accomplish.

The four-legged friend changed Neville’s outlook, according to her journal entries.

“It is a wonderful nervous energy to think while I am locked in this world, I can still be a service to someone,” Neville wrote.

Now Taylor is prepared to help keep America safe.

Violent Felon Who Shot Student And 3 Cops Used Gun Purchased After Passing FBI Background Check

Marlin Mack

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Marlin Mack, a 25-year-old convicted felon with an extensive rap sheet, legally purchased a gun after passing an FBI background check and then used the weapon to shoot and kill a university graduate student and wound three Kansas City police officers in July.

Mack, who was killed in a gun fight with police, managed to legally purchase the gun despite being a convicted felon with a violent past that includes using a high-powered pistol to rob a woman at gunpoint and then trying to kill the man who called police.

How Mack was able to purchase a gun remains a mystery.

Neither the FBI nor the ATF has returned media inquiries.

Editorial From Valley News: ATF’s Firearms Tracing Hurt by Absurd Law

By Valley News Editorial Board

When law enforcement agents seek information on guns found at crime scenes, they call the firearms tracing center of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Agents at the tracing center, in West Virginia, then try to establish a chain of custody based on the gun’s serial number, manufacturer, distributor and retailer.

The agents pursue this task in the most inefficient, wasteful and time-consuming manner imaginable, manually searching records — about 800 million of them — because federal law purportedly prevents the center from organizing them into a searchable digital database.

This absurd prohibition needs to be lifted.

The law, the 1986 Firearms Owners’ Protection Act, resulted from a marriage of ideological rigidity and political cowardice. It expressly prohibits “any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions.”

Of course, if a gun sale is legal, and it’s made by a federally licensed dealer, then all that information exists. The National Rifle Association doesn’t want officers of the law to be able to access it efficiently.

To read the full editorial click here.