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Tag: Europe

Trump Insists in Poland That ‘Nobody Really Knows’ if Russia Meddled in Election

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump once against split with U.S. intelligence agencies on whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

“I think it was Russia … and I think it could have been other countries,” Trump said when asked about the alleged meddling at a press conference in Warsaw ahead of the G-20 summit in Germany.

The president later said the hackers could just be “other people.”

“A lot of people interfere” in elections, Trump said, adding “nobody really knows for sure.”

The CIA and FBI have said conclusively that overwhelming evidence indicates Russia tried to influence the election in favor of Trump.

The president’s reluctance to acknowledge Russia’s involvement comes amid a special counsel investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow to upset the election.

Trump also is meeting with Putin on Friday.

Former DOJ Official Warns Europe of Russia Meddling in Elections

ballot box flintBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Justice Department official warned European countries about the risks of Russia launching cyber attacks to meddle in their elections.

Former Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, who served in the Obama administration, said the U.S. wasn’t aggressive enough to deter hacking and leaking of Democratic Party emails prior to the presidential election, Reuters reports. 

“What we did was too late,” Carlin said during a panel discussion on election hacking at the RSA cybersecurity conference. “We weren’t bringing deterrence at all to the table.”

U.S. intelligence officials believe Russia hacked the Democratic Paty nan effort to disrupt the election and swing it in favor of Trump.

“Pre-election, it’s vital that not just the United States but partners like Germany, like France make it clear what the red line is, that there’s going to be strong deterrence and that in terms of deterrence, our policy has got to be we are going to take action until the action stops,” Carlin said.

“So there is no ceiling on the level we will ratchet up the deterrence when you are undermining a core value.”

Terrorism Threat in Europe and U.S. Is ‘Increasingly Lethal,’ House Committee Reports

Rep. Michael McCaul

Rep. Michael McCaul

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. House Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday released an alarming report about terror plots targeting Europe and the disturbing links to ISIS.

The “European Terror Threat Snapshot” also revealed that about 5,000 European citizens have traveled to Iraq or Syria, and more than 1,000 have returned to their countries, the Washington Times reports. 

“ISIS terror operatives have exploited the largest flow of refugees and migrants since World War II to infiltrate Europe undetected. EU member states reported nearly 2 million instances of illegal border crossings involving around 1 million people last year,” the new report noted. “European jihadists are also attempting to radicalize and recruit refugees settling in the European continent.”

In the committee’s monthly terrorism assessment of the U.S., officials warned of increasing danger to the U.S.

“The United States and our allies face an increasingly lethal Islamist terror threat. A global jihadist network operating from safe havens is exploiting Western security gaps to orchestrate a widespread terror campaign, particularly in Europe,” warned Rep. Michael McCaul, Texas Republican and committee chairman.

“Battle-hardened European fighters groomed by ISIS are returning home from Syria to commit acts of terror with the support of local extremist networks, as we have tragically seen in Paris and Brussels. These operatives are also potentially a plane-flight away from our shores. Given the magnitude of the threat across the continent, we are likely seeing only the tip of the jihadist iceberg in Europe.”

Silk Road, the Notorious Online Drug Bazaar, Busted for Second Time

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Silk Road, a notorious online drug supplier, has been busted again, The Verge reports.

The FBI, Homeland Security and European law enforcement seized the replacement site.

Authorities arrested suspected operator Blake Benthall, 26, in California on Wednesday.

It appears Benthall slipped up when he used his own email address for a Silk Road 2.0 server and didn’t anonymize the software.

He is expected to be charged with conspiring to commit narcotics trafficking, conspiring to commit computer hacking, conspiring to traffic in fraudulent identification documents and money laundering conspiracy.

Is Etan Patz Alive? FBI Asks American in Europe If He went Missing in 1979

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Etan Patz, whose 1979 disappearance shocked New Yorkers, was declared dead in 2001, and the 6-year-old’s confessed killer was charged.

But the New York Daily News reports that the FBI asked an American living in Europe if he was Patz.

“Obviously, I was surprised,” the man, who asked not to be identified, said. “I chuckled. I thought it was funny because it was so unlikely that it would be possible that I could be this person. I had no idea who Etan Patz was.”

In fact, the man is 30. Patz would be 41.

It remains unclear why the FBI sought out the man living in Europe.

Part 2: What We Can Do to Confront the Threat of New Designer Drugs from China

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office. This is the second in a two-part series.  To read the first part, click here.
 
By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Part one of this report discussed the menace of a new generation of synthetic designer drugs from China causing a public health crisis in Europe. In America, in the last two years, enterprising rogue Chinese chemists have introduced hundreds of these new chemical combinations into the market.

This plague in America  is steadily growing worse.  Law enforcement and medical experts believe that the tens of thousands of reported cases in hospitals in the last year are just the tip of the iceberg. These numbers have essentially doubled just in the last year. The rate of reporting by the agencies like DAWN, which records emergency room admissions, and NFLIS, which keeps track of law enforcement laboratory tests on drugs, is a bleak harbinger of things to come.

Unless aggressive action is taken, we can expect the same panic the British are experiencing from this onslaught. On a more optimistic note, there are positive steps that can be taken and virtually all individuals and groups can have a role in this defense. This part will outline a strategy which can meet this oncoming crisis.

Parents —– Since the victims are largely teenagers living at home, the first line of defense has to be the parents. At a minimum all parents of teens and pre-teens should have a frank and two-sided conversation to educate their children on the life-threatening effects of these drugs, which are deceptively packaged and marketed as a “legal high.”

Teens think they are immortal and the prospect of some exciting new forbidden experience can be irresistible. Information and misinformation about the synthetics are spread by friends and acquaintances, and the availability is cheap and accessible. Many of these new consumers are naïve about drugs in general, as well as their dangers.

A teenage boy in North Dakota is currently facing murder charges because he gave a single tablet of a synthetic drug to a friend. The friend died shortly after ingesting it at a party. The consequences of such single acts are beyond the comprehension of most teens.

Read more »

Part 2: What We Can Do to Confront the Threat of New Designer Drugs from China

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office. This is the second in a two-part series.  To read the first part, click here.
 
By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Part one of this report discussed the menace of a new generation of synthetic designer drugs from China causing a public health crisis in Europe. In America, in the last two years, enterprising rogue Chinese chemists have introduced hundreds of these new chemical combinations into the market.

This plague in America  is steadily growing worse.  Law enforcement and medical experts believe that the tens of thousands of reported cases in hospitals in the last year are just the tip of the iceberg. These numbers have essentially doubled just in the last year. The rate of reporting by the agencies like DAWN, which records emergency room admissions, and NFLIS, which keeps track of law enforcement laboratory tests on drugs, is a bleak harbinger of things to come.

Unless aggressive action is taken, we can expect the same panic the British are experiencing from this onslaught. On a more optimistic note, there are positive steps that can be taken and virtually all individuals and groups can have a role in this defense. This part will outline a strategy which can meet this oncoming crisis.

Parents —– Since the victims are largely teenagers living at home, the first line of defense has to be the parents. At a minimum all parents of teens and pre-teens should have a frank and two-sided conversation to educate their children on the life-threatening effects of these drugs, which are deceptively packaged and marketed as a “legal high.”

Teens think they are immortal and the prospect of some exciting new forbidden experience can be irresistible. Information and misinformation about the synthetics are spread by friends and acquaintances, and the availability is cheap and accessible. Many of these new consumers are naïve about drugs in general, as well as their dangers.

A teenage boy in North Dakota is currently facing murder charges because he gave a single tablet of a synthetic drug to a friend. The friend died shortly after ingesting it at a party. The consequences of such single acts are beyond the comprehension of most teens.

Read more »

European Art Thieves: FBI Made Us Do It

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The perpetrators of a European art heist are accusing the FBI of encouraging them to carry out the plan to steal a Monet, a Sisley and two Breughels., according to the British Daily Mail.

Pierre-Noel Dumarais, the 64-year-old leader of the gang, insists the FBI persuaded them to steal the art, valued at 20 million pounds or more than $31 million in U.S. dollars.

Dumaris had a Colt 45 pistol and hand-grenades when going through with the plan.

FBI agent Robert K. Wittman of Miami, the defense is arguing, worked undercover as a corrupt art dealer and “ordered”  the theft in an attempt to infiltrate French art crime gangs responsible for the theft of American-owned paintings.

“My client’s modus operandi did not start from the premise: let’s steal some paintings then find a buyer. They were a bunch of amateurish stooges some of whom only met on the day of the heist,”  defense attorney Ludovic Depatureaux said, according to the paper. “These canvasses disappeared in order to recover two key paintings belonging to U.S. heritage. I’m not sure that the U.S. would appreciate it if French agents acted likewise.”

Wittman denies the charges. “I don’t think anything I did ‘encouraged’ anyone to obtain Chechen hand grenades and semi automatic pistols in order to commit armed robbery. It is a fanciful defence at best, at worst, it is a defense of desperation used only when criminals are caught,” he said, according to the paper.

To read more click here.