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Tag: Informant

Ex-FBI Director James Comey: ‘Facts Matter’ Regarding Informant

Ex-FBI Director James Comey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey, who headed the agency at the time of the 2016 presidential campaign, defended the bureau against attacks by President Donald Trump and his allies.

Comey says the  attacks on the U.S. law enforcement agency “will do lasting damage to our country,” Politico reports.

“Facts matter. The FBI’s use of Confidential Human Sources (the actual term) is tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country,” the former bureau chief wrote on Twitter. “Attacks on the FBI and lying about its work will do lasting damage to our country.”

“Dangerous time when our country is led by those who will lie about anything, backed by those who will believe anything, based on information from media sources that will say anything. Americans must break out of that bubble and seek truth,” he added.

FBI Informant to Plead Guilty to Long-Running Scheme to Commit Fraud

Mohammed Agbareia, via Mobile County, Alabama, Sheriff's Office.

Mohammed Agbareia, via Mobile County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI informant investigating a terrorism sting in Palm Beach County is accused of a long-running scheme to commit fraud.

Mohammed Agbareia, whom the FBI classified as a “national security asset,” is expected to plead guilty Friday after his arrest in June on six federal charges alleging he committed fraud for 10 years beginning in 2007, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports

Prosecutors said Agbareia posed as a “stranded traveler” and defrauded victims out of more than $300,000.

Agbareia became an undercover informant a year after he was released from prison for a prior fraud conviction.

FBI Informant Committed Fraud While Working Undercover on Terrorism Sting

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI placed an awful lot of trust in a Florida man who had just been released from prison for committing fraud.

Soon after Mohammed Agbareia got out of prison and moved to Palm Beach County, the FBI hired him to work as an undercover informant on a high-profile terrorism sting, the Sun Sentinel reports. 

Despite his past legal troubles, the FBI considered him a “national security asset” and extolled his “usefulness as a provider of intelligence of the FBI.”

Yet, Agbareia continued to commit fraud almost immediately after leaving prison, even as he was providing undercover information to the FBI, according to prosecutors.

The new charges allege Agbareia resumed operating a similar fraud scheme that landed him in prison in 2007 and didn’t stop until his arrest on June 21.

The FBI declined to comment.

FBI Agent: Informant Says He Was Discouraged from Investigating Republicans in PA Probe

Harrisburg Capitol Building in Pennsylvania.

Harrisburg Capitol Building in Pennsylvania.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent said an informant in a statehouse sting in Pennsylvania notified him that he was pressured to only target Democrats.

The case has snagged five Democrats and no Republicans.

FBI Special Agent Richard Haag made the comments in a defense filing for Democratic state Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

State investigators denied any partisan motive.

“Never, ever was he told to steer towards one party or another,” former state prosecutor Frank Fina told the newspaper, speaking of informant Tyron Ali.

The informant’s cooperation began in 2010 to gain leniency in a state fraud case. In a 2013 email, Haag wrote that Ali asserted that he had been “reprimanded” for questioning Republicans and was told “not to make any initiative in contacting Republicans in the future.”

Kansas Militia Member Tipped Off FBI of Anti-Muslim Group’s Talks of Violence

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

Three men accused of plotting to blow up an apartment building where Muslims lived.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The anti-Muslim militia group in Kansas that is accused of conspiring to bomb an apartment where 120 Somali immigrants lived was exposed when one of its members contacted the FBI.

The member of the group, “The Crusaders,” was alarmed by talks of violence and agreed to become a confidential source for the FBI, CBS News reports. 

Three militia members were charged with conspiring to detonate truck bomb at the apartment complex in Garden City.

Patrick Stein, 47; Gavin Wright, 51; and Curtis Allen, 49, have been charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Thanks to the informant, the FBI was able to monitor the group for months as the plot became more specific. The informant introduced an undercover FBI agent to the group.

FBI Warned Chicago Police of Plans by Gang Members to Ambush Officers

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A reliable informant warned the FBI of plans to ambush officers in retaliation for the death of Laquan McDonald, who was shot by police.

The Chicago Tribune reports the FBI alerted the Chicago Police Department that officers may be shot with the release of the video of the shooting.

“Violent rhetoric is high,” the FBI wrote in a Nov. 24 email to the Chicago police. “Due to the recent media spotlight on officer-involved deaths of minorities, there is a lot of anger in the neighborhood served by the Chicago Police Department.”

No attacks occurred.

The informant said gang members planned to ambush police outside of the 14h District headquarters on Chicago’s Wet Side.

“In addition to being unarmed and unprotected, these employees will likely be in either small groups or by themselves, which would make them targets of opportunity,” the FBI said. “(Confidential human source) states that shooters may lie-in-wait, and then conduct an ambush.”

Attorney: FBI Used Best Buy Employee to Perform Warrantless Searches

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Best Buy employee who worked at the company’s repair center served as a paid FBI informant who essentially performed warrantless searches on electronics at the maintenance facility in Kentucky, according to the attorney of a doctor facing child pornography charges.

Since 2009, “the FBI was dealing with a paid agent inside the Geek Squad who was used for the specific purpose of searching clients’ computers for child pornography and other contraband or evidence of crimes,” defense attorney James Riddet claimed in a court filing last month, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

Riddet is defending Dr. Mark Albert Rettenmaier, who was indicted in November 2014 on two felony counts of child pornography.

Riddet has asked the judge to dismiss most of the evidence in the case because it was taken during illegal searches by a supervisor at the Geek Squad.

Jailed Extremist Is Paid FBI Informant After Being Released from Prison Early

fbi-logBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jesse Morton was considered a terrorist who supported violence in the name of Islam and even advocated attacks against the writers of “South Park” after they made fun of the prophet Muhammed.

Morton was sentenced to 11.5 years in prison in 2012, but now the 37-year-old is out of prison and being paid by the FBI, the Washington Post reports, citing government records.

Morton, who prosecutors said, “endangered the lives of innocent people,” is a paid FBI informant to help agents investigates a case against another person trying to join ISIS.

“We may never know all of those who were inspired to engage in terrorism because of Revolution Muslim, but the string of recent terrorism cases with ties to Morton’s organization demonstrates the threat it posed to our national security,” then-U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement at the time Morton was sentenced.

An official who spoke to the Washington Post said the FBI believed Morton had been reformed and could help build a case against an ISIS supporter.

The Post reported:

Muslim leaders have long criticized the FBI’s use of informants and its sometimes aggressive approach to keeping tabs on Islamic communities. Four U.S. Muslims alleged in a recent lawsuit that their names were put on the no-fly list as part of a heavy-handed effort to coerce them to work on the FBI’s behalf. (That suit was dismissed late last year, but the men were taken off the no-fly list). The New York City Police Department agreed this year to settle lawsuits that alleged that Muslims were investigated and targeted for surveillance without good reason – agreeing to pay $2 million in attorney fees while admitting no wrongdoing.

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