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Tag: IED

TSA Bag Handlers Shocked When They Find Kit for IEDs at Honolulu Airport

tsa.gov

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s not everyday that the TSA finds a training kit for military-improvised explosive devices packed into luggage.

But that’s exactly what TSA bag handlers discovered in a checked bag at the Honolulu airport. The items included detonators, blasting caps, detonating cord and C-4, the Henry Daily Herald reports.

The TSA evacuated the handling room, causing a delay in the screening process.

The identity of the traveler has not been revealed, nor has the motive for possessing the equipment.

“Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a real bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited,” agency officials wrote on their blog.

 

San Francisco Political Consultant Had Enough Materials in Apartment for Improvised Bomb

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A political consultant who was the subject of a nationwide search had the necessary material for an improvised bomb in his San Francisco apartment.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the FBI found explosive powder, wires for a detonator, ball bearings and a motor in Ryan Chamberlain’s apartment.

What’s unclear is what the social media guru planned on doing with the bomb, investigators said.

Chamberlain, 42, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of possessing an illegal explosive device.

Authorities haven’t said what prompted the nationwide search, which led to Chamberlain’s arrest Monday night.

He was considered “armed and dangerous.”

FBI: Fake Bomb Was Left On Bus for People with Disabilities in St. Louis

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Everything about it looked real.

It even spooked authorities, who believed at first they may have found an improvised explosive device on a bus that serves people with disabilities in St. Louis, KCTV 5 News reports.

Turns out, the device was fake but was made to look real to scare people.

“The package in question was intended to look like a hoax device,” FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton said. “It is an ongoing investigation. We did respond with a significant resources with an abundance of caution because this is a threat taken very seriously by law enforcement.”

FBI Crime Lab in Quantico, Va., Helps Track Down Terrorists Who Used IEDs

Robert Mueller

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A little-known FBI crime lab near Washington played a critical role in convicting two men who helped target American soldiers in Iraq with improvised exploding devices, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammad pleaded guilty to smuggling Stinger surface-to-air missiles and money to terrorists in Iraq from the one place you wouldn’t expect to find jihadists – Bowling Green, Ky.

Lab technicians at the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center in Quantico, Va. found evidence linking Alwan to the use of an IED in Iraq, the LA Times reported.

The lab has processed more than 80,000 IED submissions.

But FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III fears the lab may be hit by budget cuts.

At FBI, Hope for Injured Soldiers Returning Home

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

It was an IED that did it for Povas Miknaitis.

After an initial deployment to Iraq in 2008, he was later sent to Afghanistan as a Marine rifleman. In Afghanistan, an IED blast sent shrapnel flying; some hit his arm and abdomen; larger pieces struck his face, shattering his jaw and blowing his right ear clean off of his head.

“Part of my mouth was missing,”  Miknaitis tells ticklethewire.com. “It just broke my jaw completely.”

It was in a hospital, recovering from the blast in 2009, that Miknaitis heard about an FBI training program for injured soldiers called Wounded Warriors. He began filling out paperwork and initiating the process of joining the bureau’s Wounded Warriors internship program. In 2011, when the program was launched, he landed a spot in a program that seems to be taking off.

So far, so good.

Of the 21 soldiers who have completed various internships, two have been hired full time; one as a clerk and another in IT. Another 43 are currently serving as interns, 78 are being processed and more are in line pending a funding evaluation, says FBI spokeswoman Amy Thoreson. Interns work in a variety of capacities, from logistics, intelligence, investigations to computer- and technology-focused jobs.

“Our goal is to give them working experience and the clearances they need,” to get back to work, says Thoreson. “We think this is a really wonderful program. It’s really helping people get their lives back.”

The San Diego field office, where Miknaitis interned, is among the few offices that are participating in the program. Others include the Washington Field Office, Sacramento, Charlotte and the FBI’s International Operations Division, Operational Technology Division, and Laboratory.

As expected, landing a spot with the FBI — even a temporary one — requires an intensive background check.

“This was not the same background check I went through for the military,” says Miknaitis. Agents called friends and family of his. “I had relatives calling me from Chicago asking if I was okay, saying the FBI had called asking questions about me,” he recollects.

Once Miknaitis was cleared, he began he began an internship researching cases for ongoing FBI investigations. “I was always interested in law enforcement,” he says, “and the internship program really let me learn a lot more about it. It got me employed while I was still recovering.”

Miknaitis still spends much of his time at a San Diego hospital. “It takes a while to go through the treatment, for the doctors to make sure they have done absolutely everything they can,” he says.

The program had its genesis in November of 2009, when president Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13518. That order focused on employing veterans in the federal government. The following July, president Obama signed Executive Order 13548, which focused on increasing the number of federal employee hires with disabilities.

As for Miknaitis, he’s grateful for the experience, but learned that the FBI might not be for him.

“I want to be able to go home and talk about my work,” he says, “not to have to say, ‘well, I really can’t talk about that honey, that’s classified information.”

After much physical therapy and plastic surgery, Miknaitis is doing well and poised to begin school in the fall, possibly for sports medicine, he says.

“I actually got pretty lucky,” he says. “If you saw my face and my body after the injury, you would not think I would have come out looking this good afterword.” He remains deaf in his right ear, but he and his doctors have spoken about cochlear implants in the future.

More than 47,000 soldiers have been injured in action in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

 

ATF in Thailand Training Police to Probe Explosions

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Two hours outside of Bangkok, Byron San Marco, an ATF special agent, explodes a hidden bomb slung over the back seat of a motor bike, according to a report by Time magazine.

San Marco and his ATF team will blow up two more improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at the US-funded Tactical Training Center in Cha-am, Thailand. There, they are training Thai police in post-blast training to officers who most sift through wreckage to find evidence of the explosions causes, reports Time.

“The IED has evolved into the weapon of choice for insurgent, terrorist and even criminal networks throughout the world,” the Australian Bomb Data Centre (ABDC), a part of the Australian Federal Police, said in a recent statement.

There are approximately 30,000 government troops and thousands of armed police and paramilitary soldiers deployed across southern Thailand where, like many fragile regions of the earth, IEDs are increasingly threatening.

“We train them to collect anything and everything the bomber brought,” says San Marco, according to Time. “If he delivered the device in a box and that blew up, you want 100% of the box. It may contain DNA, a bar code, a fingerprint.” A cell phone was used to denote the The motor bike bomb, which San Marco hopes his trainees will figure out through the phone’s SIM card or lasting fragments.

To read more about ATF training to Thai police click here.