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Tag: FBI

Holdouts at Wildlife Refuge: Only Contact with Outside World is FBI-Provided Phone

Burns, Oregon

Burns, Oregon

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The four remaining armed militants occupying a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon said their only contact to the outside world is an FBI-provided cell phone, The Oregonian reports. 

The holdouts have declined to surrender, even after five militants were arrested and another killed in a clash with law enforcement.

“One of the FBI guys put a cellphone, one of the FBI cellphones, in a car up here that I picked up,” David Fry, 27, said. “They’re going to cut off all our personal cellphones soon.”

Law enforcement officials declined to discuss whether FBI-provided phones were the only way for occupiers to reach the outside world.

“The FBI’s investigation is ongoing so it would not be appropriate to provide details at this time,” a written statement from the Joint Information Center said. “We cannot comment regarding any operations about the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

NFL, FBI Leaders Identify ‘No Credible Threats’ to Super Bowl 50 on Sunday

super bowl 50By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and NFL security leaders said they’ve identified “no credible threat” to Super Bowl 50 – so far, the Associated Press reports. 

Security will continued to examine the perimeter of Levi’s Stadium to assess any terrorism risks.

Jeffrey Miller, NFL senior vice president of security, expressed satisfaction with the joint effort between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to address any issues that arise.

“It gives the NFL a great deal of confidence in the safety of our premiere event, our teams and our fans,” Miller said at a news conference Wednesday. “I can speak for Commissioner (Roger) Goodell in saying that we are deeply appreciative of the leadership, resources and attention to detail put forth by our public safety partners.”

Officials said the lessons from recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have been helpful.

“Every year is different. The world situation, the threat picture is different every February,” said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. “We are, with the NFL, with our federal partners, and state and local law enforcement, focused on layered security, seen and unseen. We learned from events of the past but we have to protect against events of the future. So, we try to anticipate things that can happen from multiple different directions. But we’re always informed by recent events and what we see in the world situation.”

FBI-Produced ‘Chasing the Dragon’ Tackles Heroin Abuse Among Young People

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

To tackle the alarming increase in heroin and opiate abuse that is reaching every demographic, the FBI has produced a “searing film” with testimony from overdose survivors, the Washington Post reports. 

The documentary, “Chasing the Dragon,” was produced at the request of FBI Director James Comey, who has taken personal interest in the film.

Comey also plans to meet with school officials in the Washington region today to discuss the rise in prescription opiates among young people.

The rise in heroin use is linked to the increasing number of people who have access to prescription painkillers.

About 46,000 people die annually from drug abuse, about a quarter of which are related to heroin.

“The numbers are appalling and shocking — tens of thousands of Americans will die this year from drug-related deaths and more than half of these deaths are from heroin and prescription opioid overdoses,” said Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “You will see in ‘Chasing the Dragon’ opioid abusers that have traveled a remarkably dangerous and self-destructive path. I hope this will be a wakeup call for folks. Please pay close attention to this horrific epidemic. Help reverse it. Save a life. Save a friend. Save a loved one.”

Family of Armed Militant Fatally Shot by Officers Outside Wildlife Refuge Claim Coverup

Burns, Oregon

Burns, Oregon

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The family of the man fatally shot by law enforcement officers after participating in the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon is claiming that the shooting was “unjustified” and the circumstances of his death are being covered up.

Reuters reports that relatives of Robert “LeVoy” Finicium issued a statement that claims the FBI and Oregon state police were “seeking to manipulate and mislead the media and the American public about what really happened.”

The FBI declined to comment on the claims but pointed to the aerial video of Tuesday’s shooting, which they have contended shows Finicium reaching for a gun in his coat pocket .

The family is demanding the release of any video footage recorded by police body cameras or dashboard cameras, as well as any audio recordings.

First Retrial Granted for Case Involving Questionable FBI Hair Samples

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Recent admissions by the FBI that its experts have overstated the scientific veracity of forensic hair have led to the first conviction to be overturned.

The Washington Post reports that a Massachusetts man was granted a new trial after spending 30 years in prison for rape.

In April, the FBI and Justice Department confirmed that linking DNA hair testing to crimes “exceeded the limits of science” after the evidence was used to incriminate hundreds of suspects.

A White House-appointed commission, along with the FBI and Justice Department, are working on strengthening forensic science standards.

Errors were uncovered in more than 1,300 cases involving hair samples.

ATF’s Scott Sweetow Named Deputy Director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center in Quantico

Scott Sweetow

Scott Sweetow

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ATF agent Scott Sweetow has been named deputy director for the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC).

The intergovernmental agency, which is based at the FBI Laboratory in  Quantico, Va.,  coordinates efforts to gather and share intelligence about improvised explosive devices (IEDs), helps disarm and disrupt IEDs, link them to their makers and works to try and prevent attacks.

Sweetow will be responsible for strategic planning and execution, administration, financial management, program management and oversight of the day-to-day operations

The agency, created in 2003, is headed by a director from the FBI Greg Carl. Sweetow represents the ATF in the agency.

In May 2014, Sweetow was named Deputy Assistant Director for ATF’s Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information (OSII).

He began his career with ATF in 1990 in Los Angeles, spent several years assigned in the Arson and Explosives group, and served as a Certified Explosives Specialist. His duties included being part of ATF’s elite National Response Team, which investigated such high-profile crimes as the Oklahoma City bombing and the Centennial Olympic Park bombings.

He also spent several years working criminal intelligence matters, including a weapons case targeting the “The Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman’s one time driver and bodyguard, Hikmat Alharahsheh.

Additionally, he served as special agent in charge of the ATF offices in Atlanta and St. Paul.

 

FBI Launches Facebook Page in Farsi to Solicit Tips for Missing Ex-Agent Levinson

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In hopes of finding a former FBI agent who went missing in Iran nine years ago, the bureau launched a Facebook page in Farsi for information about his whereabouts.

ABC News reports that the Facebook page is intended to get the attention of the Iranian public.

Levinson, 67, who went missing from Iran’s Kish Island in March 2007, was not among the prisoner swap between Iran and the U.S.

The FBI is offering a $5 million reward for information that would identify his whereabouts.

“The new Facebook page, as well as a missing-person poster and press release in Farsi issued last year, represents the most concerted effort so far to reach Iranians in their native language,” ABC News wrote.

FBI Investigating Flint Water Crisis That Led to Thousands of Residents Being Poisoned

featured_water_13312By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has joined the investigation into the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of residents with lead-contaminated drinking water while the city was under state control.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed that federal prosecutors are “working with a multi-agency investigation team on the Flint water contamination matter, including the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, EPA’s Office of Inspector General, and EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division.”

The contamination began when state officials began using the Flint River for drinking water while the city was working on a new pipeline.

On Wednesday, the U.S. House Oversight Committee is scheduled to begin its first hearing on the issue.

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