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Tag: Maryland

House Committee Strips Funding for Long-Delayed New FBI Headquarters

The FBI's current headquarters in Washington D.C.

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The long-delated project to build a new FBI headquarters just hit another major snag.

A House Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday approved rescinding $200 million for a new headquarters in Maryland or Virginia, the Baltimore Sun reports. The current headquarters has become cramped and obsolete.

By stripping the money, 11,000 new jobs also are at stake.

“It is reprehensible that House Republicans are playing politics with our national security by rescinding $200 million in funding for the new, fully consolidated FBI headquarters,” Democratic Reps. Steny Hoyer of Southern Maryland and Anthony G. Brown of Prince George’s County said in a joint statement. “House Republicans must stop delaying this project.”

Democrats are hoping to restore the funding.

FBI Investigating If Fatal Stabbing of Black College Student Was Racially Motivated

Richard Collins, right, Sean Urbanski, left.

Richard Collins, right, Sean Urbanski, left.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating the fatal stabbing of a black college student in Maryland after it was discovered the white suspect belonged to a racist Facebook group called “Alt-Reich.”

ABC News reports that 22-year-old Sean Urbanski, a student at University of Maryland, has been charged in the stabbing death of 23-year-old Richard Collins III, who was a U.S. Army officer.  

Calling the attack random and “totally unprovoked,” the university police requested the FBI’s assistance.

“New information obtained today from witnesses and other sources has led law enforcement officials to consider a hate-bias motive in this case,” University of Maryland President Wallace Loh said in a statement Sunday. “To ensure a comprehensive investigation, UMPD today asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to provide technical and forensic expertise, which it agreed to do.“

Collins, who was set to graduate from Bowie State University on Tuesday, was visiting UMD campus when he was stabbed by Urbanski, an apparent stranger.

Long-Delayed Plans for FBI Headquarters Hits Budgetary Snag Yet Again

The FBI's current headquarters in Washington D.C.

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The long-delayed plan to build a new FBI headquarters appears to have hit yet another funding snag.

The budget that Congress is set to consider this week is more than a half billion dollars short of what’s needed to build the new headquarters, and it could take another year to decide on the location, the Washington Post reports. 

Under President Obama, the plan was to build a new headquarters in the Washington D.C. suburbs for $1.4 billion. The proposed budget deal under consideration this week provides just $523 million.

But the budget deal leaves open the possibility of another $315 million to add to the $390 million previously appropriated for the project.

The GSA wants to build a new headquarters in Greenbelt, Md., Landover, Md., or Springfield, Va.

The current headquarters is too cramped and not built to accommodate new technology.

Secret Service Agent Protecting VP Pence Suspended After Meeting with Prostitute

hooker1By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Secret Service agent assigned to protect Vice President Pence was suspended after an alleged meet-up with a prostitute in a Maryland hotel.

The Secret Service told the Washington Post it “is aware of an alleged incident involving an off-duty Secret Service employee.” 

The agency required the agent, who was placed on administrative leave, to surrender all equipment.

“We are exploring the full range of disciplinary actions,” the spokesman said.

After police responded to a call about suspicious activity in a hotel room in Maryland, the agent was arrested and charged with solicitation.

“The Secret Service takes allegations of criminal activity very seriously,” the spokesman said in the statement.

“The Secret Service is committed to ensuring that all employees are held to the highest level of professional and ethical standards of conduct.”

Will a New FBI Headquarters Ever Be Built? Congress Faces Spending Deadline

Current FBI headquarters

Current FBI headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If you’re wondering whether the FBI’s new headquarters will ever be built, you could be forgiven.

For years, federal officials have been planning to build a new headquarters in Maryland or Virginia. But every year passes without funding.

Now Congress is scrambling to secure more than a billion dollars by next month to proceed with the project, the Baltimore Sun reports. 

“A vague, three-sentence statement released this month by the agency overseeing the $2 billion development — as well as silence from President Donald Trump, a former real estate developer — has shifted the discussion from whether the headquarters will be built in Maryland or Virginia to whether its progress will be delayed indefinitely,” the Baltimore Sun wrote.

To keep the project going, Congress must secure $1.4 billion for the building by April 28, when current spending authority expires.

Greenbelt, Maryland Eyed As Location of New FBI Headquarters in 2017

Current FBI headquarters

Current FBI headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new FBI headquarters likely will be built in Maryland in 2017, a source on Capitol Hill told FOX 5

Maryland and Virginia were under consideration for a new headquarters to replace the current one, which is cramped and not equipped to handle modern-day technology.

The new location would be Greenbelt, Maryland. 

Congress approved $834 million for the new building, which is expected to cost $2.1 billion.

ACLU Urges Justice Department to Investigate Use of Facial Recognition Technology

FBI-facial-recognitionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ACLU is urging the Justice Department to investigate the use of facial recognition technology to determine whether it violates the rights of millions of Americans and disproportionately affects people of color.

The ACLU cited a recently released report by Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology that concluded the controversial technology is used to identify and track people who are doing nothing wrong, like cross the street, WBALTV reports. 

In Maryland, for example, police have the ability to use facial recognition technology to search for more than 7 million state driver’s license and ID photos, more than 3 million arrest booking photos and 24.9 mugshots from the FBI’s Next Generation Identification database.

“The database is populated, I think may people with be surprised to hear, by over 7 million driver’s license photos, so every time you go to get a driver’s license you are now submitting to being a participant in a virtual lineup,” ACLU attorney David Rocah said.

The ACLU is concerned that the technology may unfairly target people of color.

“Not only do we not know how frequently it is helpful in finding an offender, how often they get a match and then identify the correct person who committed an offense, we also don’t know the error rate. We don’t know how many false matches, and how many people are falsely accused or wrongly investigated because of incorrect matches,” Rocah said.

FBI to Announce Location of New Headquarters in December

The FBI's current headquarters is called the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington D.C.

The FBI’s current headquarters is called the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington D.C.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has been searching for a new headquarters for years.

Finally, the wait is about to come to an end, according to CPExecutive.com. 

The FBI is expected to announce its decision on the location of the new $2.5 billion headquarters in December. In July 2014, the potential sites were narrowed down to Greenbelt, Md., Landover, Md., and Springfield, Va.

Under the deal, the winning bidder will build the new headquarters and take possession of the current headquarters.

CPExecutive wrote:

Given the issues with the Hoover Building’s deferred maintenance and deteriorating concrete that were documented for some years before the decision was made to have the FBI bail out for a new headquarters, it seems likely that whoever the new owner is, they will demolish much or all of the hulking structure.

Finally, when the new location opens, it will be deja vu all over again for the FBI. When the Hoover Building opened in June 1974, the agency had headquarters employees scattered across nine buildings. And it took till June 1977 for the last of the FBI’s employees to finally relocate into the Hoover Building.