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Tag: FBI

FBI Warns That Some White Supremacists Want to Weaponize Coronavirus Against Cops, Jews

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Some white supremacist groups are encouraging members to weaponize the coronavirus by spreading it to cops and Jews, the FBI has alerted local police.

These extremists are directing their followers who get infected with coronavirus to spread it by employing methods that include using spray bottles with their bodily fluids, according to the alert obtained by ABC News.

“Members of extremist groups are encouraging one another to spread the virus, if contracted, through bodily fluids and personal interactions,” according to the alert from the FBI’s New York office.

The FBI said white supremacists groups are asking members to spread the virus to Jews by going “any place they may be congregated, to include markets, political offices, businesses and places of worship.”

“Anti-government folks in America love to target law enforcement as a symbol of America’s authority,” Don Mihalek, the executive vice president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Foundation, tells ABC Newss. “It’s just sad that that’s their focus at a time of crisis in the nation.”

Some white supremacists groups have been blaming Jews for the coronavirus outbreak and the stay-at-home orders that are forcing nonessential businesses to shut down.

“From pushing the idea that Jews created the coronavirus virus to sell vaccines to encouraging infected followers to try to spread the illness to the Jewish community and law enforcement, as the coronavirus has spread, we have observed how white-supremacists, neo-Nazis and others have used this to drive their own conspiracy theories, spread disinformation and incite violence on their online platforms,” said Michael Masters, the head of Secure Communities Network, a group that coordinates security for Jewish organizations and synagogues nationwide.

“While the world faces a deadly pandemic, it’s a stark reminder that certain groups – notably the Jewish community and law enforcement – must also continue the battle against those who wish to hurt or kill them,” Masters continued. “As the economic situation remains fragile and civil society disrupted, the potential for the followers of hate to act becomes more likely … and more deadly.”

Michael J. Driscoll named special agent in charge of the Philadelphia Field Office

Special FBI Agent Michael J. Driscoll.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Michael J. Driscoll has been named special agent in charge of the Philadelphia Field Office.

Driscoll, who was serving as special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence and Cyber Division for the New York Field Office, began his career as an FBI special agent in 1996. He was first assigned to the New York Field Office to work on counterterrorism. In his role, he helped investigate al Qaeda conspirators involved in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the attacks on 9/11.

He earned an Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in 2002 for his work investigating al Qaeda and the 1998 embassy bombings.

In 2003, Driscoll was transferred to FBI headquarters to serve as the FBI’s representative to the al Qaeda Department of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center.

In 2005, Driscoll became supervisor and returned to the New York Field Office, where he headed the squad tasked with extraterritorial investigations in Africa. He also led the FBI’s counterterrorism efforts in the New York Hudson Valley region and was later promoted to the coordinating supervisory special agent for New York’s Counterterrorism Program.

In 2013, Driscoll was named assistant legal attaché for London, where he oversaw the Cyber Program and working closely with U.K. law enforcement and intelligence services. In 2016, he became assistant special agent in charge of Philadelphia’s counterintelligence and cyber programs.

In 2018, he returned to FBI headquarters, serving as the chief of the Violent Crime Section, which leads the FBI’s Crimes Against Children Program, as well as efforts to combat violent crime and gang-related violence.

In 2019, Driscoll was promoted to special agent in charge of New York’s Criminal Division and later began to lead New York’s Counterintelligence and Cyber Division.

Before joining the FBI, Driscoll worked in commercial litigation as an attorney. He graduated from the State University of New York in Albany and received his law degree from Hofstra University School of Law in Hempstead, N.Y.

Trump Says He’s ‘Strongly Considering’ Full Pardon for Michael Flynn, Citing ‘Lost’ Records

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump announced Sunday he’s “strongly considering” a “Full Pardon” for his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, saying the FBI and Justice Department lost some of his records.

“So now it is reported that, after destroying his life & the life of his wonderful family (and many others also), the FBI, working in conjunction with the Justice Department, has ‘lost’ the records of General Michael Flynn. How convenient,”Trump tweeted. “I am strongly considering a Full Pardon!”

Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about interactions with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. but has since tried to withdraw his plea. In January, federal prosecutors reversed course, calling for up to six months in prison for Flynn, saying he shows no signs of remorse after embracing a combative defense strategy.

The Justice Department initially suggested it was open to probation for Flynn, the only member of the Trump administration to plead guilty in the Robert Mueller investigation. At the time Flynn was cooperating with investigators. But after that, Flynn took a different course and tried in vein to get the case dismissed.

In September, Flynn’s lawyers claimed prosecutors were unable to produce an internal Justice Department memo that cleared Flynn of being a Russian agent. Prosecutors countered that the allegations were irrelevant because Flynn was not accused of being a Russian agent.

Trump offered no explanation of his claims that the FBI and Justice Department lost records.

FBI Calls on Iran to Release Robert Levinson on 13th Anniversary of Disappearance

Robert Levinson, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is calling on Iran to release former FBI Agent Robert A. Levinson on the 13th anniversary of his disappearance in 2007.

Calling him the “longest-held hostage in U.S. history,” the FBI issued a statement Tuesday renewing its repeated call on Iran to live up to its commitment to share information about Levinson’s whereabouts.

“Bob’s wife and family have been waiting for his return for 13 years, waiting for the government of Iran to make good on its commitment to help make that happen,” FBI Director Christopher Wray says in a new release. “Over those years Bob’s FBI family of agents, analysts, and professional staff have been working on his behalf with our interagency partners and will never cease the efforts to bring Bob home. We call on Iran to provide the necessary assistance and end this long wait so Bob’s family and friends get him back.”

Levinson, whose 72nd birthday is today, disappeared while on a CIA operation on Kish Island in Iran.

The Iranian government initially responded that it had detained Levinson but soon backed off that story and has since maintained it has no idea about Levinson’s whereabouts.

Some intelligence officials believe Levinson may be dead, but that hasn’t stopped the search.

The Department of State Rewards for Justice Program announced up to a $30 million reward last year for any information leading to Levinson’s whereabouts. The FBI is also offering a $5 million reward.

FBI Employee Tests Positive for Coronavirus; Bureau Prepares for Possible Pandemic

SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the coronavirus, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The coronavirus has infected an FBI employee from the San Francisco Division.

In a statement, the FBI said the employee works at a small satellite office, and his coworkers have returned home.

The FBI statement:

An employee of the FBI San Francisco Division has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (coronavirus). This employee works in a small satellite office. The other employees at the site have returned to their homes until further notice, and everyone known to have been in contact with the infected employee has been notified of possible exposure.
The FBI has contacted local health officials as well as the Centers for Disease Control and the Bureau will take all necessary remedial and precautionary measures to protect our employees, their families and our community.
At this time, we assess our operations have not been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and we will continue steadfast in our mission to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution.

The FBI also has ordered $40,000 worth of face masks and hand sanitizers in the event of a pandemic, CNBC reports.

The masks and disinfectants “are to be stored throughout the country for distribution in the event of a declared pandemic,” according to the bureau’s purchase order.

DOJ Watchdog Criticizes FBI’s Handling of U.S.-Based Violent Extremists

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s inspector general criticized the FBI’s handling of U.S.-based extremists who successfully carried out attacks against Americans after the bureau investigated them.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report identified homegrown violent extremists (HVE) who continued to act violently after the FBI prematurely closed their cases.

“Since September 11, 2001, HVEs have carried out over 20 attacks in the United States, some of which occurred after the FBI closed a counterterrorism investigation or assessment on the individual,” the report said.

The report identified “at least six attacks committed in the United States by individuals who the FBI had previously assessed or investigated” between 2009 and 2017. They include the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the 2016 Orland Pulse Nightclub attack.

The report encourages the FBI to improve its handling of tips about potentially violent people and develop a more comprehensive plan to determine the risks of individuals with mental health problems.

Lifelong Republican Comey Endorses Biden, Then Mocked by Campaign

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by President Trump, said he voted in his first Democratic primary election on Tuesday and endorsed Joe Biden.

“Voted in first Dem primary to support party dedicated to restoring values in WH,” the lifelong Republican tweeted. “I agree with @amyklobuchar: We need candidate who cares about all Americans and will restore decency, dignity to the office. There is a reason Trump fears @joebiden and roots for Bernie. #Biden2020.”

Biden’s campaign had an odd response to the endorsement. Andrew Bates, the rapid response director for Biden’s presidential campaign, appeared to mock Comey’s support on Twitter.

“Yes, customer service? I just received a package that I very much did not order. How can I return it, free of charge?” Bates tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

Two hours later, Bates insisted he was joking.

“I forgot the #1 rule of politics, which is that if you talk about anyone or anything related to 2016, common sense goes out the window. It was meant to be a lighthearted joke – not a rejection,” Bates tweeted. “We appreciate the vote of anyone repelled by Donald Trump.”

FBI Launches Pilot to Rapidly Match DNA Samples from Felony Suspects

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is testing a new way to rapidly match DNA samples – in just two hours – from felony suspects.

The new program, “Rapid DNA,” was launched as a pilot program in Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, and Louisiana, UPI reports.

If the pilot program is successful, it could transform the role of DNA in solving crimes.

“There is no question that DNA testing has made Florida safer, and the use of Rapid DNA will ensure suspects aren’t released from jail before DNA search results come back,” Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a news conference last week.

The technology is 10 years in the making and would rely on the FBI’s national database of DNA collected in unsolved crimes.

“We believe this scientific DNA matching tool will greatly enhance all law enforcement agencies … to more effectively and efficiently solve crimes and bring the perpetrators of crime to justice,” said Sheriff Walt McNeil of Leon County, where the program pilot began.