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Tag: defense department

FBI Agents Part of U.S. Team to Help Nigerian Government Search for Abducted Schoolgirls

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. are sending nearly 30 experts to from the FBI and State and Defense departments to help the Nigerian government track down nearly 300 abducted schoolgirls, the Washington Post reports.

Among those helping are four FBI officials specialize in recovering kidnap victims, negotiations and preventing future cases.

About 276 girls are still missing after a terrorist group, Boko Haram, kidnapped them from their school in remote northeastern Nigeria.

A video from the group’s leader said the girls won’t be returned until some of his detainees are freed by the government.

“We have no reason to question its authenticity,” State Department spokesman Jay Carney said. “Our intelligence experts are combing over every detail of it for clues that might help in the ongoing efforts to secure the release of the girls.”

AG Holder, FBI Director Among Officials Who Spent $7.8 Million on Personal Trips and Federal Jets

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder and former FBI Director Robert Mueller are among senior Justice Department officials who billed taxpayers a combined $7.8 million to use federal aircraft for hundreds of personal trips, the Washington Post reports.

The report by Congress’ nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, which was released Thursday, comes less than three months after Holder came under fire for his use of the FBI jet.

Attorneys general have access to Defense Department aircraft for business and personal travel, the Post wrote.

 

Surprise, President Obama’s choice for Homeland Security Head Faces Few Obstacles

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Jeh Johnson’s opposition to President Obama’s decision to unilaterally use warplanes to drop bombs on Libya in June 2011 may have paid off., the Los Angeles Times reports. Johnson was general council at the Defense Department at the time, and advised Obama to get Congressional approval.

His advice has won him Republican fans.

On Wednesday, Johnson, President Obama’s pick to run the Department of Homeland Security,appears on the verge being confirmed, the LA Times reports.

Opinion: Nobody’s Home at Homeland Security

Michael McCaul
The Wall Street Journal

President Obama recently announced the long-overdue nomination of Jeh Johnson, the former general counsel of the Defense Department, as the fourth secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. If confirmed, Mr. Johnson will immediately face a major obstacle: Over 40% of the department’s senior leadership positions are either vacant or have an “acting” placeholder. This means that nearly half of the top positions at the third-largest agency in the U.S. government aren’t filled—a problem that has impaired its operations and speaks volumes about this administration’s commitment to homeland security.

The positions didn’t become vacant all at once. The problem has snowballed as the Obama administration has failed to fill open spots in various parts of the department for many months, and in some cases for years.

To read more click here.

FBI Trailed U.S.-born al-Awlaki Nine Years Before He Was Killed by Drone

al-Awlaki

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In the six hours before radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki entered the Pentagon for a luncheon in February 2002, he was being tracked by the FBI’s elite surveillance unit, Fox News reports.

Records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show the bureau’s Special Surveillance Group trailed al-Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

Fox News wrote that al-Awlaki was delivering a controversial religious lecture to Defense Department officials after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The surveillance didn’t reveal much, Fox News reported, but it raised questions about whether the FBI saw al-Awlaki as an asset before the U.S. killed him nine years later.

 

 

Private U.S. Spies Aid FBI in Afghan Probe

By Mark Mazzetti
New York Times

WASHINGTON — Not long after the Pentagon severed its relationship with a private spy network operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the F.B.I. quietly began tapping the same group to help investigate the killing of 10 medical aid workers in northern Afghanistan, according to American officials and private contractors.

The spy network, managed by Duane R. Clarridge, 78, a former top official at the Central Intelligence Agency, has provided agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Kabul with intelligence reports about militants who may have been involved in the attack, which killed six Americans last August.

How the F.B.I uses the information, and whether it has been valuable, is unclear. But that the F.B.I would use Mr. Clarridge’s group — at the same time the Pentagon is investigating whether it and other private spies were hired in Afghanistan and Pakistan in violation of Defense Department policy — shows the limits of the American government’s own information sources in the chaos of a war zone.

To read more click here.