Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

January 2020
S M T W T F S
« Dec    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: explosives

ATF’s Scott Sweetow Retires as Acting Director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center

Scott Sweetow

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Scott Sweetow, the acting director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC), retired Saturday after more than 29 years as a special agent with ATF.

Sweetow says he plans to run a private consulting firm based in Alabama specializing in explosives related counterterrorism and helping multinational companies identify terrorism indicators and pre-attack indicators.

“I will also be making myself available as an on air or print for media to comment on events in my wheelhouse, ” he tells ticklethewire.com.

Additionally, he’ll be doing international training for the State Department’s Global Anti-Terrorism Assistance  program overseas.

Sweetow, a long-serving senior executive with ATF and a former deputy assistant director for intelligence and special agent in charge, became the deputy director of TEDAC in January 2016, and became its acting director in May 2019.

It was the first time that the FBI, who leads the TEDAC, ever had an ATF senior executive assume such a long-term key leadership role.

Sweetow started with ATF in 1990 in Los Angeles and spent several years working in the Arson and Explosives group. He served as a Certified Explosives Specialist. And he was part of ATF’s National Response Team, which investigated high-profile crimes including the Oklahoma City bombing and the Centennial Olympic Park bombings.

TEDAC’s mission is to exploit IED information and material to produce actionable intelligence to protect the United States and its international partners from terrorist attacks, according to the FBI. TEDAC is part of the FBI Laboratory system, and operates primarily from its headquarters in Huntsville, Ala., as part of the FBI’s continuing expansion in the area.

The replacement director of TEDAC, an FBI senior executive, will be report in the coming days.  Sweetow’s ATF replacement is expected to report in early 2020.

 

FBI Task Force Nabs Suspect Accused of Plotting Times Square Attack

Times Square, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI and local police nabbed a man they believe was plotting to detonate explosives in Times Square.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force took the suspect into custody Thursday after setting up a sting to catch him buying weapons CBS 2 reports.

Authorities believe the suspect was acting alone and not planning another attack.

The suspect, who has not yet been identified, is set to appear in federal court in Brooklyn on Friday.

Authorities have not yet indicated a motive.

How CIA Left Behind Explosives in School Bus for Special-Needs Students

CIA Headquarters

CIA Headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The CIA left explosive material in the engine compartment of a school bus for special-needs students after a bomb-sniffing exercise.

The exercise last week took place at Briar Woods High School, which is about a half hour from the CIA’s headquarters in northern Virginia. Students were on spring break at the time.

The explosive material was found by a mechanic during a routine maintenance check on Wednesday, Richmond.com reports. 

The live explosives were left behind because the CIA lost track of them.

Dean Boyd, a CIA spokesman, confirmed the training team left behind “explosive material used as a training device for K-9s. This material is commonly used by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to train K-9s in explosives detection.”

The agency “has taken immediate steps to strengthen inventory and control procedures in its K-9 program to prevent such incidents from happening again,” Boyd said, noting that the CIA has done a full inventory of explosive material used in the training program. “CIA is a part of the Northern Virginia community and we will do whatever it takes to prevent this from happening again.”

Other Stories of Interest

Meet Randi, an ATF Bomb-Sniffing Dog Who Will Help with Super Bowl Security

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

She has four legs and a powerful sense of smell.

Randi, an ATF canine, will be working security during the Super Bowl in California this weekend, Guns.com reports. 

Randi is a trained explosive-sniffing dog with three-a-half years on the job

The canine also was used to detect explosives outside of the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood.

Fearing Government Takeover, Trio Accused of Stockpiling Explosives, Tactical Gear

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 8.36.39 AMBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Three North Carolina men were stockpiling weapons and tactical gear because they feared a government takeover and martial law, the Associated Press reports.

The trio from Gaston County, near Charlotte, was arrested Saturday following an investigation that lasted more than a month and included allegations that the men were trying to make pipe bombs and live grenades. Some of the explosives were being made out of tennis balls filled in nails and coffee cans stuffed with ball bearings.

Their fears of a takeover appear to have been triggered by ongoing special forces training that “has drawn suspicion from residents who fear it is part of a planned military takeover,” the AP wrote.

The FBI acted on a tip that the men were trying to make homemade explosives.

ATF Finds Crude Explosives in Aftermath of Riots, Arsons, Looting

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF found at least two crude explosive devises in Baltimore while investigating the destructive fires during Monday’s rioting, ABC reports. 

The devices were assembled with a small propane tank and charcoal in a bottle, material that was looted Monday, ATF said.

The devices were made to explode after being lit .

Authorities are reviewing countless hours of footage that was taken during the riots in hopes of catching the suspects.

There were seven fires during the riot.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Agent: Friends of Boston Marathon Bomber Knew About Material to Build Explosives

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Friends of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev knew he had materials to build a bomb, an FBI agent testified Thursday, WBUR reports.

The testimony of FBI agent Farbod Azad came during the obstruction trial of Azamat Tazhayakov, who is accused of interfering with the investigation along with two other friends.

The three friends went to Tsarnaev’s dorm room after the bombing and are accused of removing a backpack with fireworks and a laptop.

According to Azad, Tazhayakov told him that one of his friend’s found a bottle of Vaseline and mouthed the words, “He used this to make the bombs.”

Tazhayakov insists he’s innocent.

FBI’s Bomb Lab Helps Track Down Terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan

Steve Neavling
ticklethrewire.com

Step inside the FBI’s bomb warehouse outside of Washington, where experts analyze bombs used to injure and kill thousands of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Businessweek reports that 700 people work at the FBI’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center.

It’s not easy work. Most of the bombs are assembled with objects like radios, cell phones, sandals, circuit boards, burlap sacks, egg timers, wristwatches, and kitchen utensils, according to Businessweek.

They are industrious—they make bombs out of everything,” bomb analyst Ruel Espinosa told CNN.

The analysts have helped identify more than 1,700 people with terrorist ties, lifting a total of at least 6,000 fingerprints.

“Exploiting the intelligence from explosive devices has proven critical to saving American lives in war zones,” says Robert Mueller III, director of the FBI when the lab was created in 2003.