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Tag: hostage

Ex-FBI Agent’s Family Feels ‘Betrayed’ by White House Over Handling of Prisoner Exchange

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The family of Robert Levinson, the former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran nine years ago, lashed out at the Obama administration Monday for failing to notify them that their loved one was not part of a prisoner exchange.

In separate interviews, Robert Levinson’s wife, Christine, criticized the administration after they learned from the media – not the government – that her 59-year-old husband was not among the detained Americans released from Iran.

“We had to learn it from the TV ourselves, and that’s very disappointing and heartbreaking,” Robert Levinson’s wife, Christine, told the Associated Press.

Christine Levinson told ABC News that she felt “devastated” and “betrayed” by the White House.

“I thought after nine years that they would have enough respect for our family to at least tell us in advance that this is happening,” Levinson’s wife, Christine, told ABC News. “It could have been five minutes, but to find out on the TV for the whole family… was wrong. It was absolutely devastating.”

“I’m very disappointed. I feel extremely betrayed by them,” she said.

Levinson disappeared in Iran while on assignment for the U.S. government in 2007.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that he feels “horrible” for the family.

“I know it’s very, very difficult for his family to see these other people come back and to not have answers,” Kerry said.

FBI Helped Facilitate Ransom Exchange Between Americans, al Qaeda

 
By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI helped facilitate ransom payments to al Qaeda from the family of Warren Weinstein, an American who was kidnapped at gunpoint and held hostage for four years before being killed in a U.S. drone strike, CNN reports.

“Over the three and a half year period of Warren’s captivity, the family made every effort to engage with those holding him or those with the power to find and rescue him,” a spokesman for the family said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to source in a Wall Street Journal report, the agency “vetted a Pakistani middleman used by the family to transport the money and provided other intelligence to enable an exchange.”

Problem was, the money likely went into the wrong hands, the family said.

Former Lead FBI Hostage Negotiator Joins George Washington University Task Force

Chris Voss

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Chris Voss, a former lead hostage negotiator for the FBI, was named a senior fellow at the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security.

Voss will join the center’s Counterterrorism and Intelligence Task Force, according to PR Newswire.

“I am honored to become a Senior Fellow with the CCHS as they remain on the cutting-edge of counter terrorism thinking and leadership,” Voss said.

Voss worked for the bureau for 24 years.

Chris brings extensive knowledge from the real world of hostage negotiation and applies them, successfully, to the business and academic worlds. Voss is a Harvard graduate, USC Marshall School of Business Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business Professor, Speaker, and Author.

As a recognized international negotiations expert, Chris is frequently interviewed by major media on headline news such as the recent Germanwings crash, Ferguson riots, Boston Bombings, Somali Pirates and hostage negotiations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Panama, Colombia, Gaza, and Haiti.

Other Stories of Interest

 

Man Gets Probation for Taking Hostage by Knifepoint at FBI Office in Salt Lake City

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man who took a hostage at gunpoint at the FBI’s office in Salt Lake City in an attempt to get help from the bureau has been sentenced to three years of probation, the Salt Lake City Tribune reports.

Robert Joseph Hibbard, 43, avoided jail in a plea agreement with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty but mentally ill

Hibbard pleaded guilty but mentally ill to second-degree kidnapping, which is a reduced charge following the August 2012 incident.

Hibbard was found competent to stand trial.

The incident happened on Sept. 18, 2012, when Hibbard took a 61-year-old man hostage with a knife and demanded to talk to the FBI about his former wife’s death.

Man Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping to Get FBI’s Attention in Salt Lake City

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Robert Joseph Hibbard wanted so much to talk with the FBI about his ex-wife’s death that he took a hostage at the bureau’s Salt Lake City office and demanded to talk to investigators in September 2012.

The 43-year-old pleaded guilty but mentally ill Monday to a kidnapping charge, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Hibbard insisted to investigators that his ex-wife was murdered by her new husband.

His wife, Rashell Langford, died after shooting herself in a suicide pact from which her husband withdrew. The husband was sentenced to 180 days in jail.

Hibbard believed the sentence wasn’t long enough because the new husband wasn’t charged with murder.

Ex-FBI Agent Becomes Longest-Held American Hostage Ever After Disappearing in Iran in 2007

Robert Levinson

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Robert Levinson vanished 2,456 days ago.

That makes the retired FBI agent the longest-held American hostage, according to the New York Daily News.

Journalist Terry Anderson was held hostage for 2,454 days. He was freed in 1991 by the Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon, according to the Daily News.

Levinson worked at the FBI’s New York Field Office for 28 years.

He disappeared in March 2007 when was working as a private investigator in Iran, looking into cigarette smuggling.

FBI: Alabama Hostage-Taker Was Ready to Detonate Explosive Devices

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An Alabama man who took a boy hostage in an underground bunker for days had two explosive devices ready to detonate, the FBI said Tuesday, the Miami Herald reports.

The FBI also revealed that a firefight ensued as FBI agents rushed the bunker to save the boy who turns 6 today.

The Herald wrote that one of the bombs was in the bunker, while the other was in a plastic tube through which negotiators were speaking to the suspect, Jimmy Lee Dykes.

FBI special agent Jason Pack said Dykes “reinforced the bunker against any attempted entry by law enforcement.”

The devices were never detonated.

The boy is reportedly doing well, the Miami Herald reported.

FBI Agents Rescue Child Who Was Held Captive for Seven Days in a Bunker

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

After seven grueling days, negotiations between the FBI and a kidnapper had broken down in southern Alabama.

Fears elevated when agents saw the kidnapper, Jimmy Lee Dykes, with a gun, NBC News reports.

A decision had to be made.

“Within the past 24 hours negotiations deteriorated and Mr. Dykes was observed holding a gun,” Special Agent in Charge Stephen Richardson, of the Mobile, Ala., office, said at a press briefing Monday. “At this point, FBI agents, fearing the child was in imminent danger, entered the bunker and rescued the child.”

Dykes was killed in the standoff, and the child was unharmed, NBC New reported.

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