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Tag: FBI

Parker: Heavy Marijuana Users Have Thinner Bones and More Fracture

medical marijuana

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.

By Ross Parker

Adding to the developing body of medical knowledge about the dangers of marijuana use, the University of Edinburgh announced this past week that frequent use results in reduced bone mineral density and a higher incidence of fractures. The study also concluded that these heavy users have a reduced body mass index (BMI) which further contributed to a thinning of the bones and could result in a greater risk of osteoporosis.

This part of the study raises questions about the popular theory that smoking increases appetite, colloquially known as having the “munchies.” For frequent smokers the use actually had the opposite effect of suppressing appetite, thus resulting in a lower BMI and weaker bones. Frequent smokers were defined as those who had smoked marijuana at least 5,000 times in their lifetimes.

The study also found that moderate use, about 1,000 total occasions of smoking, showed no difference in bone mineral density from that of non-users.

The study was sponsored by Arthritis Research UK and is published in the American Journal of Medicine. 

Attorneys Sue FBI, Homeland Security for Surveillance Records of Black Lives Matter

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI and Homeland Security have been sued for documents on the agencies’ surveillance of Black Lives Matter protesters.

The suit was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Milton A.Cramer Center at Case Wester Reserve University School of Law, Salon reports. 

The human rights lawyers said the agencies have failed to release the documents of surveillance.

Federal surveillance of the movement began after Ferguson police killed Michael Brown. In July 2015, an Intercept report revealed that Homeland Security was collecting information on peaceful protests.

The new lawsuit allege police also used a “cell site simulator,” or a “Stingray,” to monitor the protests and individual activists.

Kansas Militia Member Tipped Off FBI of Anti-Muslim Group’s Talks of Violence

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

By Steve Neavling

The anti-Muslim militia group in Kansas that is accused of conspiring to bomb an apartment where 120 Somali immigrants lived was exposed when one of its members contacted the FBI.

The member of the group, “The Crusaders,” was alarmed by talks of violence and agreed to become a confidential source for the FBI, CBS News reports. 

Three militia members were charged with conspiring to detonate truck bomb at the apartment complex in Garden City.

Patrick Stein, 47; Gavin Wright, 51; and Curtis Allen, 49, have been charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Thanks to the informant, the FBI was able to monitor the group for months as the plot became more specific. The informant introduced an undercover FBI agent to the group.

First Outsider to Head Border Patrol Is Facing Complex Challenges

New Border Patrol chief, Mark Morgan

New Border Patrol chief, Mark Morgan

By Steve Neavling

As the first outsider to head the Border Patrol in its 92 years, Mark Morgan is facing a broad array of issues, from corruption in the ranks to the increase in children and families pouring across the border.

Morgan, who is a former U.S. Marine, LAPD officer and FBI agent, also has been criticized for shedding his dark business suit to wear the Border Patrol uniform, the Los Angels Times reports. 

The appointment of Morgan, 51, has been opposed by Border Patrol’s most powerful union because he didn’t climb up through the ranks and never experienced the arduous task of being an agent.

“The really tricky part is to make sure he has buy-in from the rank and file and the boots on the ground who will be following his leadership,” said Michelle Brané, an immigrant rights advocate at the New York-based Women’s Refugee Commission, who met with Morgan last month.

Ex-FBI Assistant Director Blasts Bureau Leadership Over Clinton Probe

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom blasted the bureau’s Director James Comey for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email scandal, saying the alleged “quid pro quo” deal with the State Department appears on the surface to be illegal.

James Kallstrom responded to an FBI agent’s acknowledgment that he offered to declassify an email in exchange for opening two spots for the bureau at the Baghdad embassy.

“I don’t know enough about the actual deal, but it certainly looks like on paper, you know, something that’s actually a federal crime,” Kallstrom told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney.

Kallstrom then criticized Comey, saying he made the FBI look bad.

“He’s [James Comey] let down the citizens of this country in my view, he’s let down the FBI, he’s thrown all the agents under the bus,” Kallstrom said.

FBI: Number of Law Enforcement Officers Killed Declined in 2015

police tapeBy Steve Neavling

Fewer law enforcement officers were killed as a result of criminal acts in 2015 compared to the year before, the FBI said.

The FBI reports that 51 officers were killed in 2015, and 41 were killed in 2014.

Those officers were killed during traffic stops, tactical operations, ambushes, domestic disturbance calls and while handling inmates.

Of those killed, 38 died from gunshots. More than half were on vehicle patrol.

That does not include the 45 law enforcement officers killed accidentally in the line of duty, often from automobile accidents.

Additionally, more than 50,000 officers were assaulted in 2015.

Former FBI Official Says He — Not the State Department — Suggested Quid Pro Quo in Clinton Investigation

fbi-hq-signBy Steve Neavling

A former FBI official said he – not the State Department – suggested a “quid pro quo” over Hillary Clinton’s private emails.

The former official, Brian McCauley, said Tuesday that he offered to not classify a disputed email if the State Department restored two spots that the FBI had lost in the Baghdad embassy, The New York Times reports. 

But McCauley said the deal was off when he realized it involved Clinton and the 2012 Benghazi attack.

“When I found that out, all bets were off; it wasn’t even negotiable,” the former F.B.I. official, Brian McCauley, said in a telephone interview with the Times.

Here’s how it went down, according to McCauley. Patrick F. Kennedy, a senior State Department official, wanted the FBI to agree not to classify the email in dispute. McCauley said he agreed to help but only if the State Department opened two spots in the Baghdad embassy.

“I’m the one that threw that out there,” Mr. McCauley said of the offer, adding that the offer was not an unusual way for federal agencies to “help each other and work with each other.”

McCauley acknowledged, “it was a quid pro quo; I don’t deny it.”

Teachers, Others Oppose FBI’s Online Anti-Extremism Video

Screenshot of the video, "Don't Be a Puppet."

Screenshot of the video, “Don’t Be a Puppet.”

By Steve Neavling

The FBI hoped to discourage teenagers from becoming extremists by introducing a video called, “Don’t Be a Puppet.” 

The idea was to counter homegrown extremism by teaching users how to identify young people who are gravitating toward radical ideology.

But now the American Federation of Teachers union and other groups are vocally opposing the video, saying it could lead to more distrust of peaceful Muslims, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The Wall Street Journal wrote:

In August, the groups, which include the American Association of School Administrators and American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, wrote a letter to FBI director James Comey saying they were “deeply troubled” by the Don’t Be A Puppet campaign and claimed it would increase distrust of Muslim and Middle Eastern students. Critics of the website fear that the recent bomb attacks in New York and New Jersey, and stabbings at a Minnesota mall, will be used to further justify its use with young people.

The website—which walks users through various topics related to extremism and allows them to “free the puppet’ after each section—references religious and environmental extremism, white supremacy, and anarchists. It offers short explanations of the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City.

Specifically, the advocacy groups have raised concerns that the computer program can too easily be interpreted as singling out Muslims. Critics have taken issue with several of the potential signs of extremist behavior that the website warns users to report—such as “talking about traveling to places that sound suspicious” and “using code words or unusual language.”