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Tag: Florida

Florida Airport Shooter Told FBI He Had ‘Terroristic Thoughts’ 2 Months Ago

Esteban Santiago

Esteban Santiago

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Armed with a loaded handgun, Esteban Santiago walked into an FBI office in Anchorage, Alaska, two months ago and said he had “terroristic thoughts” and was being forced by the CIA to watch ISIS videos.

The FBI handed him to local police, and he was taken to a mental health facility and his handgun was seized, NBC News reports. 

Four days later, police returned his gun, and Santiago was a free man.

Last week, Santiago opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale airport, killing five people and wounding eight.

If the FBI took the threat more seriously, Santiago may have never carried out the shooting.

But FBI officials counter that Santiago’s interactions in Alaska were a routine reality for the bureau, occurring nearly every day.

“Guidelines governing the evaluation of potential terrorist threats need to be adjusted so that the FBI has greater flexibility when assessing the risk posed by someone who has been brought to their attention,” said John Cohen, a Rutgers University professor and former counter terrorism coordinator at the Department of Homeland. “Behavioral assessment protocols and threat management strategies have proven highly effective in preventing assassinations school shootings and other acts of violence, and those same tools should be available on a consistent basis to counter terrorism investigators.”

FBI Agent Who Interrogated Saddam Hussein Leads Florida Airport Shooting Probe

FBI Agent George Piro interviewed on 60 Minutes in 2008

FBI Agent George Piro interviewed on 60 Minutes in 2008

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI agent who is in charge of the investigation into the Florida airport shooting was known for interrogating Saddam Hussein alone for months.

George Piro, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Miami field office, is leading the investigation into the shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport that killed five people, the Associated Press reports.

Esteban Santiago, a 26-year-old Iraq war veteran, is facing the death penalty if convicted.

Piro pledged to fight for the families and victims.

“I want to ensure these families that law enforcement is working tirelessly in order to ensure justice is served,” he said.

Pro became an FBI agent in 1999 and is a native of Beirut, Lebanon. He is fluent in Arabic and Assyrian.

FBI Suspects Russia Hacked Emails of Clinton Campaign Chairman

hacker-istock-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI suspects what Democrats have been saying for weeks: Russian intelligence agencies hacked the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and a contractor handling Florida voter data, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

And now top Russian officials are no longer denying the country was involved in a separate attack of the Democratic National Convention. President Vladimir Putin, for example, said it’s irrelevant who hacked the computer records.

“Everyone is saying, ‘Who did it?’” Mr. Putin said at an investor forum in Moscow. “But does it matter that much? It’s what’s inside the information that matters.”

Just weeks before the election, the FBI has uncovered numerous political targets for hackers.

Clinton’ campaign chairman, John Pedesta, also suggested Russian intelligence agencies are behind the hacks of his emails.

“This level of meddling by a foreign power can only be aimed at boosting Donald Trump and should send chills down the spine of all Americans, regardless of political party,’’ accusing Trump of “continuing to side with the Russians.”

Arson Suspected at Florida Mosque Where Orlando Nightclub Shooter Worshiped

fire via pixabayBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Local law enforcement is asking the FBI and ATF to join the investigation into a suspicious fire early Monday morning at the Fort Pierce, Fla., mosque where the Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen had worshiped.

“Evidence has revealed that this fire was set intentionally,” St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Maj. David Thompson told reporters, the Orlando Sentinel reports. 

The fire broke out at about 12:30 a.m. at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce. No injuries were reported.

Surveillance video shows someone approaching the mosque.

“Immediately after the individual approached, a flash occurred and the individual fled the area,” Thompson said.

FBI Arrests Man Wanted Since 1977 for Fatally shooting Immigration Official

William Claybourne Taylor, via FBI

William Claybourne Taylor, via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

William Claybourne Taylor had been on the run since 1977, when he was accused of fatally shooting a former immigration official in Florida.

Taylor, 67, who was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, was arrested Thursday in Reidsville, North Carolina, the Associated Press reports.

Taylor also is accused of trying to shoot the former mayor of a small Florida town. That’s when he also fatally shot a former official with the Immigration and Nationalization Service.

In May 1980, Taylor was indicted on charges of murder and aggravated battery. He disappeared soon after.

Hundreds of 911 Calls During Pulse Shooting Stay Private During FBI Probe

Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen.

Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hundreds of 911 calls poured in during the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, but only the FBI can make those records public.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the FBI has control of the 911 calls from the June 12 shooting.

Responding to dozens of requests for the phone calls, the Justice Department said the investigation is active and therefore should not yet be released.

Lawyers for news agencies claim there is a “strong public interest in fully evaluating how first responders and police reacted during the most critical phases of this incredible tragedy.”

The city o f Orlando has denied requests at the direction of the FBI.

FBI Abandoned System to Alert Agents When Multiple Gun Purchases Are Made

tsa gunsweek_in_review_0511_0517_2012By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI debated establishing an alert system seven years ago to determine who is making multiple gun purchases.

But the Wall Street Journal reports that the FBI abandoned the idea over legal concerns.

Such an alert system would have tipped off the FBI when the Orlando nightclub shooter made several gun purchases.

Mass shooters often make multiple gun purchases before carrying out a massacre.

The FBI and Justice Department are also considering an alert system to warn investigators when people who were once investigated for terrorism buy firearms.

Congressman Calls for Hearing on FBI’s Response to Florida Nightclub Shooter

Rep. John Mica

Rep. John Mica

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Rep. John Mica, R-Florida, is demanding to learn more about the FBI’s response to Omar Mateen, the man who opened fire at a nightclub, killing 49 people.

Mica said he wants to know whether the FBI missed clues before the shooting and what the bureau knew about Mateen when he was previously investigated, WFTV reports. 

Mica is calling for a congressional hearing to get those answers.

Mica suggested that the FBI should have done more earlier but didn’t because of political correctness.

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