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Tag: FBI

FBI’s $1B Investment in State-of-the-Art Campus in Alabama to Create Thousands of Jobs, New Technology

FBI rendering of one of the bureau’s new buildings at Redstone Arsenal.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s $1 billion investment on a new state-of-the-art campus in Huntsville is expected to add thousand of new jobs and six new buildings for the bureau.

“We really look at it like a HQ2, a backup for the footprint that we have here in Washington, D.C.,” Paul Abbate, associate deputy director at the FBI, told CNBC in a rare interview. “It’s really the future of the FBI, and it’s all about technology, innovation, talent and resiliency.”

The FBI is making its expansion at Redstone Arsenal, an enormous Army base that leased nearly 1,600 acres to the bureau.

The campus will focus on terrorism, ballistics, explosive devices and even digital threats.

“Our cyberdivision views Huntsville as a current and really future training ground for the tactics, skills expertise that we need in the cyber-realm to work across all the threats we face and put ourselves and our people in the best position to stop that from coming at us,” Abbate said.

About 400 FBI employees currently work at Redstone. The first phase of construction is expected to be finished in 2021 and draw nearly 1,400 bureau employees from the Washington D.C.-area. Over the next decade, an additional 4,000 jobs or more could be added.

The FBI created a webpage to help recruit more employees to the Huntsville area.

FBI Study on ‘Lone Offender Terrorism’ Reveals Common Traits Among Attackers

Terrorism exercise in Portland. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A new FBI study examining “lone offender terrorism” found common traits that could help identify future attackers.

Of the 52 examined cases between 1972 and 2015, 83% were carried out by people who had previously exhibited hostility or aggression, according to the 81-page report. In all of the cases, people around the attackers expressed concern over their behavior.

In 96% of the cases, the offender produced a video, blog or letter that was intended to be viewed by others.

“Absent this report and others like it, someone could see something and they’re solely relying on their gut feeling or spider sense to say, ‘That doesn’t look right,’ or ‘That’s concerning,’” Special Agent John Wyman, chief of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU)’s Behavioral Threat Assessment Center, which conducted the research, said. “I think by putting this information out there, it helps people get over that barrier. It gives you something to fall back on to validate whatever your gut feeling was.”

The study found that half of the cases were motivated by anti-government extremism. Other significant motivators were racial extremism and Islamist violence.

All of the attackers were men, mostly white and a vast majority born in the U.S. Most were single and had free time to focus on the attacks and their grievances.

Iran Says Disappearance of Robert Levinson Is an Ongoing ‘Missing Person’ Case

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The family of Robert Levinson, the former FBI agent who vanished in Iran in 2007, expressed some relief after the Iranian government changed its tone on his disappearance.

The government of Iran acknowledged for the first time that the disappearance is an ongoing “missing person” case.

Levinson “has no judicial or criminal case in any Islamic Republic of Iran court whatsoever,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told reporters, The Associated Press reports.

President Trump said Iran’s acknowledgment was “a very positive step.”

“If Iran is able to turn over to the U.S. kidnapped former FBI Agent Robert A. Levinson, who has been missing in Iran for 12 years, it would be a very positive step,” President Trump tweeted Sunday night.

The State Department last week offered up to a $20 million reward for information leading to the safe return of Levinson, who is believed to have been abducted on March 9, 2007.

FBI Joins Investigation of Deadly Attack on Family Near U.S.-Mexico Border

Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is joining the investigation into the attack that killed nine Mexican Americans last week near the U.S. border.

The deadly ambush in broad daylight left three women and six children dead after suspected drug cartels riddled the Mormon family’s SUV convoy with bullets on Nov. 4.

“The FBI will be providing assistance at the invitation of the Mexican government with the investigation into the recent attack against American citizens,” the FBI said in a statement, according to CNN. “The FBI remains committed to working alongside our international partners to help bring justice to the perpetrators of this heinous act of violence.”

Mexico’s foreign ministry invited the FBI to help.

Mexican authorities believe rival drug cartels attacked the family as part of a case of mistaken identity.

Last week, Trump offered to send U.S. troops to Mexica to “wipe” the cartels “off the face of the earth.”

White Restaurant Owner Who Enslaved a Disabled Black Man Gets 10 Years in Prison

Bobby Paul Edwards

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A white restaurant manager who forced a disabled black man to work more than 100 hours a week without pay has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Bobby Paul Edwards, 54, beat, burned and hurled racist slurs at John Christopher Smith to make him work harder at a small diner in Conway, South Carolina, the Justice Department said.

“This abusive enslavement of a vulnerable person is shocking,” Jody Norris, FBI special agent in charge of the Columbia Division, said in a statement. “The FBI is always vigilantly searching for these offenses and stands ready to bring perpetrators to justice and help victims reclaim their lives. We understand human trafficking takes many forms and we encourage anyone with information related to these crimes to contact the FBI.”

Edwards used his belt, fists, pots and pans to beat Smith, federal prosecutors said. In one instance, Edwards burned Smith’s neck with metal tongs dipped in hot grease.

The abuse occurred between 2009 and 2014, when Edwards was the manager. State authorities rescued Smith after receiving a tip about the abuse.

The FBI led the investigation.

Edwards pleaded guilty to forced labor on June 4.

“It is almost inconceivable that instances of forced labor endure in this country to this day – a century and a half after the Emancipation Proclamation,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division said. “The Department of Justice will continue to investigate, prosecute, and convict human traffickers involved in forced labor, seeking justice on behalf of their victims.”

FBI: Undercover Sting Ensnares White Supremacist Who Planned to Bomb Colorado Synagogue

Richard Holzer

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 27-year-old white supremacist accused of planning to bomb a Colorado synagogue as part of a “racial holy war.”

Richard Holzer was arrested Friday night after he believed he was picking up pipe bombs and dynamite from co-conspirators who turned out to be undercover federal agents.

Holzer planned to bomb the Temple Emanuel synagogue in Pueblo, Colo., the FBI alleges.

While picking up the phony bombs, Holzer was carrying a copy of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and wearing a Nazi armband, The Washington Post reports, citing FBI Special Agent John W. Smith’s court filing.

Holzer faces up to 20 years in prison after he was arraigned Monday on a charge of attempting to obstruct people from exercising their religious freedom through force and attempted use of explosives and fire.

“We thwarted an imminent threat to our community,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Dean Phillips said at a news conference.

Holzer caught the attention of the FBI earlier this year when investigators spotted anti-Semitic posts on social media. Posing as a white supremacist, an undercover agent established a relationship with Holzer, who sent pictures of himself with guns and swastikas.

Holzer is accused of telling the undercover agent he was “getting ready” for a “racial holy war.”

The FBI said Holzer confessed to the plot after his arrest.

Car with Strange Warning about Russia Was Abandoned in Front of Pittsburgh’s FBI Office

FBI office in Pittsburgh, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI agents in Pittsburgh were in for a surprise last week when someone abandoned a car tagged with a strange message at an entrance gate to the bureau’s office on the city’s south side.

Along the side of the car was a stencil-painted message: “RUSSIA PLANTS MICRORADIO DEVICES IN PPLS EARS & CONTROLS THEM USING A SOUND SIMILAR TO A DOG WHISTLE. SUBLIMINAL HYPNOSIS.”

A bomb squad checked the car for explosives Thursday morning, and agents worked with Pittsburgh’s local police to investigate, KIRO-7 reported.

By Friday, the person who parked the car outside the East Carson Street office was found.

“He voluntarily turned himself in to the FBI this morning and appears to be suffering from an unknown mental illness,” an FBI spokesperson said in a statement.

South Carolina Officers Thought They Were Protecting Drug Traffickers. It Was an FBI Sting

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Three South Carolina law enforcement officers who accepted money in exchange for protecting what they thought were drug traffickers have pleaded guilty.

Turns out, the Mexican drug-trafficking cartel was actually a group of undercover FBI agents.

A former Springfield officer and two Orangeburg County deputies pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges connected to the sting, The State reports.

The law enforcement officials believed they were guarding cartel trucks full of cash and drugs that were traveling south on Interstate 26 through Orangeburg County.

They were indicted in March.

Four other officers have pending cases.

The FBI used wiretaps and covert videos showing the officers agreed to “guard” the trucks.