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Tag: FBI

FBI Missed Critical 48-Hour Window to Open Church Shooter’s iPhone

IPhone 6By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI failed to ask Apple to help unlock the iPhone of the Texas church shooter in the two days following the massacre that left 26 people dead.

Apple, which has refused to offer help unlocking encrypted phones in the past, said it offered to assist the FBI but agents never reached out, Business Insider reports

“Our team immediately reached out to the FBI after learning from their press conference Tuesday that investigators were trying to access a mobile phone,” Apple said in a statement. “We offered assistance and said we would expedite our response to any legal process they send us.”

The phone, instead, was sent to a lab for analysis.

As a result, the FBI lost 48 hours without locking the device by using the finger prints of the shooter, Devin Kelley, if the phone was fingerprint-access enabled.

That’s significant because iPhones locked with a fingerprint for 48 hours or more require the user’s passcode.

The FBI declined to comment.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuits Requiring More Thorough Search of Clinton’s Emails

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge for the second time has dismissed a pair of lawsuits that would have required the State Department and FBI to do more to track down former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.

U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg ruled the FBI has done all it reasonably can to recover Clinton’s emails, the Washington Times reports

The lawsuit, which was filed in 2015 by two watchdogs, Judicial Watch and Cause of Action, demanded a more thorough effort to recover all of Clinton’s emails, claiming she violated open-records laws by failing to retain her messages.

“Those efforts went well beyond the mine-run search for missing federal records … and were largely successful, save for some emails sent during a two-month stretch. Even then, the FBI pursued every imaginable avenue to recover the missing emails,” wrote Judge Boasberg, an Obama appointee to the court.

It was the second time the case was dismissed, but a higher court reversed the original findings, saying the government had a responsibility to “shake loose a few more emails.”

Alert Off-Duty FBI Agent Busts 4 Suspects Breaking into Cars in Michigan

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An alert off-duty FBI agent busted three teenagers and an adult who were breaking into cars in the Detroit suburb of Lyon Township.

The agent called Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies after he spotted suspicious-looking occupants of a Ford Taurus peering into parked cars and checking to see if the doors were unlocked, The Oakland Press reports

Arrested were two 17-year-old girls, a 17-year-old boy and a 23-year-old man.

Deputies searched the car with permission from the owner and found several wallets, work boots, a backpack, medical equipment and a concealed-weapon permit.

Authorities believe two of the suspects were involved in a string of other vehicle break-ins.

Air Force Admits Missing Chances to Prevent Church Shooter from Buying Guns

airforceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Air Force took responsibility for not alerting the FBI to the Texas church shooter’s domestic violence-related convictions, a failure that allowed former Airman Devin Kelley to purchase guns.

Had the Air Force reported the incidents to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, or NCIC, he would have been barred from buying a firearm.

“The offenses for which the shooter in Texas was court-martialed should have been reported, and that’s why we launched a full-scale review of this case, and all others like it,” Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson told reporters on Thursday, ABC News reports.

The failure has prompted several investigations. In addition to the Air Force’s internal probe, the Department of Defense Inspector General is investigating all military branches to see if there is a pattern of failing to report violent crimes to NCIC.

“We are looking at all of our databases, and if we have problems that we find, we’ll fix them,” Wilson said. “Our approach here is to act in accordance with our values, which include integrity and excellence, and that’s the way we’re proceeding.”

In 2012, Kelley was court-martialed while serving in the Air Force for assaulting his wife and child. He served a year in confinement and received a bad conduct discharge.

That information was never passed on.

FBI Supervisor’s Gun Stolen After Night of Heavy Drinking at Hotel

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An internal investigation is underway after an FBI counterterrorism supervisor was allegedly so drunk after a night of heavy drinking that a woman stole his gun at a Westin hotel in Charlotte, N.C.

Robert Manson, a unit chief in the FBI’s international terrorism section, and other agents were in Charlotte for training and ended up drinking with women who described themselves as exotic dancers, the New York Times reports.

A woman who went back to Manson’s hotel room stole his Glock .40-caliber handgun, a $6,000 Rolex watch and $60 in cash.

“Investigators determined that the victim, Robert Manson, met a woman in the hotel bar the prior night and took her back to his hotel room,” Robert Tufano, a spokesman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, said in a statement.

Another agent filed a police report at 6:30 a.m. the next morning because Manson was allegedly incapacitated because of alcohol. The items were reportedly stolen between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Not Again? FBI Unable to Unlock Cell Phone of Texas Church Shooter

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Here we go again?

The FBI has been unable to unlock the encrypted cellphone of the Texas church shooter, mirroring similar difficulties trying to access the locked phone of a San Bernardino mass shooter more than a year ago.

The phone of Devin Kelley could provide critical information about his motive and whether anyone else was involved or knew in advance that he planned to unload his firearms inside a church in Texas. The phone has been sent to an FBI lab for analysis.

Phone encryption has been a source of frustration for the FBI, which tried to force Apple to help it access the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone last year. Professional hackers eventually helped the FBI unlock the phone

Congress has been reluctant to enact legislation that would force technology companies to help open the phones of criminal suspects.

“It highlights an issue you’ve all heard about before. With the advance of the technology and the phones and the encryption, law enforcement is increasingly not able to get into these phones,” Christopher Combs, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Antonio division, said, according to the Associated Press. 

Combs added: “We’re working very hard to get into that phone, and that will continue until we find an answer.”

Military Often Fails to Report Domestic Violence to FBI to Bar Gun Purchases

airforceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The military’s failure to notify the FBI about Devin Kelley’s history of violence and mental illness, which enabled him to buy guns used to kill 26 people at a Texas church, is a familiar pattern.

Military service branches and the Pentagon reported just a handful of “adjudicated mental health” reports and one felony to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, according to an FBI report from December 2016, MySanAntonio.com reports

In 2016, the Department of Defense did not flag a single soldier, sailor, airmen or Marine because of domestic violence restraining orders.

The FBI and ATF said Kelley would have been prevented from buying a gun had the Air Force reported that he assaulted his wife and son, threatened to kill his superiors and escaped from a mental hospital.

Several investigations are underway to determine why Kelley’s name was not added to the NICS.

Air Force Error Allowed Texas Mass Shooter with Violent History to Buy Firearms

Church shooter Devin Kelley

Church shooter Devin Kelley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Texas church gunman who killed 26 people and wounded 20 more worshipers at a Texas church on Sunday should never have been able to buy the guns he used in the massacre.

But the Air Force failed to notify the FBI that Devin Kelley was sentenced to a year of confinement after a court martial found him guilty on two charges of domestic assault. According to numerous reports, Kelley brutally assaulted his wife, threatened her multiple times with loaded and unloaded guns and cracked his stepson’s skull. 

The Air Force failed to enter the domestic violence conviction into the National Criminal Investigation Center database, which would have prohibited him from buying a gun legally.

That omission allowed Kelley to pass background checks to buy four guns, some of which were used in the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

Several investigation are underway to determine why the Air Force never flagged Kelley.

Authorities also revealed Monday that Kelley was involved in a dispute with his mother-in-law, who attended the church in the past but was not there Sunday.

“He expressed anger towards his mother-in-law,”  Freeman Martin, a spokesman for the Texas department of public safety, said at a press conference on Monday. “This was not racially motivated, it wasn’t over religious beliefs.”