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Tag: Iran

CBP Officers were Directed to Detain Iranian Americans at Border, Officer Alleges

Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

CBP officers were ordered to detain and question Iranian Americans at the Canadian Border after Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was killed in U.S. airstrikes, a CBP officer claims in an email to an immigration attorney, CNN reports.

The allegations contradict CBP’s official denial that officers were ordered to stop and question Iranian Americans at a border crossing in Blaine, Wash.

Dozens of Iranian Americans said they were detained and questioned at the border crossing following the killing of Soleimani.

In a Jan. 5 statement, CBP spokesman Matt Leas said “social media posts that CBP is detaining Iranian-Americans and refusing their entry into the U.S. because of their country of origin are false. Reports that DHS/CBP has issued a related directive are also false.”

The unnamed CBP officer who alleged there was a directive to stop and question Iranian Americans said the actions ended, but only after the issue “hit the national news.”

Secret Service Not Laughing at Comedian George Lopez’s Comment about Trump

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service isn’t laughing at comedian George Lopez’s joke about assassinating President Trump.

Lopez commented on a media account that indicated there was an $80 million bounty on Trump’s head after the assassination of Iranian Maj. Qasem Soleimani.

“We’ll do it for half,” Lopez wrote on the Chicago Worldstar post.

“The Secret Service is aware of the tweet made by Mr. Lopez,” agency said in a statement Tuesday. “The Secret Service takes all threats against the president and or any of our protectees seriously, and as a matter of practice, we do not comment on matters involving protective intelligence.”

It’s unclear whether the Secret Service plans to interview Lopez.

CBP Denies Detaining Iranian Americans at Border Crossings in Washington State

Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) denied reports that its agents were detaining Iranian Americans at a border crossing in Blaine, Wash.

“Social media posts that CBP is detaining Iranian-Americans and refusing their entry into the U.S. because of their country of origin are false,” CBP spokesman Mike Friel said in a statement.

He added, “Reports that DHS/CBP has issued a related directive are also false.”

The allegations were first leveled Sunday by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which said it was assisting more than 60 Iranians and Iranian-Americans who had been detained for 11-plus hours and questioned Saturday night at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington.

At least two Congresswomen retweeted the press release from CAIR.

Iran Says Disappearance of Robert Levinson Is an Ongoing ‘Missing Person’ Case

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The family of Robert Levinson, the former FBI agent who vanished in Iran in 2007, expressed some relief after the Iranian government changed its tone on his disappearance.

The government of Iran acknowledged for the first time that the disappearance is an ongoing “missing person” case.

Levinson “has no judicial or criminal case in any Islamic Republic of Iran court whatsoever,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told reporters, The Associated Press reports.

President Trump said Iran’s acknowledgment was “a very positive step.”

“If Iran is able to turn over to the U.S. kidnapped former FBI Agent Robert A. Levinson, who has been missing in Iran for 12 years, it would be a very positive step,” President Trump tweeted Sunday night.

The State Department last week offered up to a $20 million reward for information leading to the safe return of Levinson, who is believed to have been abducted on March 9, 2007.

Hunt Continues for Missing FBI Agent Levinson 11 Years After Disappearance in Iran

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

It has been 11 years since former FBI agent Robert Levinson was last seen alive.

Levinson, who would have turned 70 years old on Saturday, disappeared while on a CIA operation on Kish Island in Iran.

The Iranian government initially responded that it had detained Levinson but soon backed off that story and has since maintained it has no idea about Levinson’s whereabouts.

“This is something the FBI has never forgotten. His fellow agents have never forgotten Bob,” Tom O’Connor, the head of the FBI Agents Association, told WTOP. “The FBI Agents Association stands with his family and with the FBI in the efforts that everyone is making to reunite Bob with his family.”

The FBI has not given up. O’Connor said.

“There are people that are dedicated to working nothing but the Bob Levinson kidnapping case,” he said.

Some intelligence officials believe Levinson may be dead, but that hasn’t stopped the search.

“By remembering these solemn anniversaries — 11 years is a long time — we hope that somebody will come forward with information. There’s a reward out there, $5 million, for the return of Bob Levinson to his family,” O’Connor said.

“Representatives of the Government of Iran and the United States agreed to cooperate in sharing information which would lead to Mr. Levinson’s return,” the FBI said in a statement on Friday. “The FBI calls on the government of Iran to uphold this commitment so that Mr. Levinson and his family can be reunited.”

In his experience, O’Connor said he’s not giving up hope.

“I’ve worked on hostage cases in the past where someone was held in Iraq for 311 days, and it just was one piece of information that broke and he was reunited with his family,” he said. “People didn’t think that was going to happen and it did, so never give up hope.”

Wife of Slain Journalist Sues FBI for Confidential Records about His Murder

Slain journalist Steven Vincent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The wife of a journalist who was beaten and shot dead in Iraq in 2015 won’t rest until she gets justice.

But first, Lisa Ramaci needs classified documents from the FBI to go after Iranian officials she believes are behind the death of Steven Vincent, a 49-year-old freelance reporter.

Ramaci has sued the FBI for those documents, saying the bureau has refused to release more than 100 pages of documents, the New York Post reports

Ramadi has filed a civil lawsuit against Iran, its central bank and its national oil company.

Vincent was captured, beaten and shot dead by local police in Iraq a few days after he published an article about Iranian-sponsored radicals.

Wife of Bob Levinson Says FBI Believes Missing Ex-CIA Contractor Is Still Alive

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Is Bob Levinson, a former FBI agent and CIA contractor, still alive after going missing on a small Iranian island in 2007?

The FBI believes he is still alive, according to Gevinson’s wife, Christine Levinson.

The family last saw evidence that Levinson was alive when they saw a video of Levinson in late 2010. 

Levinson’s wife said the FBI told her that investigators have “no information to indicate” he’s not alive.

“[The Iranians] are responsible for him. He went missing on Kish Island, which is part of Iran. He was only there 24 hours and they know exactly what happened to him,” she said.

“Iran has said they will investigate and get back to us. Unfortunately, they never get back to us. They’ve said this for 10 years now,” said Levinson, adding she hopes the Trump administration will renew talks with Tehran about her husband.

“I know that President Trump is a deal-maker. He can get the job done,” she concluded.

Family of Missing Former FBI Agent Sues Iran for Kidnapping, Torture

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The family of Robert Levinson, the former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran a decade ago, is suing the Middle Eastern country.

Levinson’s wife and children filed suit against Iran in U.S. District Court in Washington, CNN reports. 

The family filed suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, claiming “injuries suffered by each of them as a result of Iran’s unlawful acts of hostage taking, torture and other torts.”

If Levinson is still alive in Iran, he would be the longest held civilian by a foreign government. Iran continues to deny involvement in Levinson’s disappearance.

“Three weeks after his disappearance an Iranian government news outlet, Press TV, announced that he had been taken into custody by Iranian security authorities but was expected to be released shortly,” the complaint alleges.

“Despite this report, Robert Levinson was not released and the Iranian government began falsely denying any knowledge of his capture or whereabouts.”