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Tag: Minneapolis

Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilt to Leaking Secrets to Media

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent has pleaded guilty to leaking confidential documents to a news organization, becoming the first federal employee convicted as part of the Justice Department’s crackdown on government leaks.

Terry James Albury, 39, who previously was a special agent in the Minneapolis division, faces up to 20 years in prison on two counts of retaining and disclosing defense information.

“As this prosecution demonstrates, we will not waiver in our commitment to pursue and hold accountable government officials who violate their obligations to protect our nation’s secrets,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in a statement.

Albury has said he was exposing “systemic biases” within the bureau when he allegedly gave a national reporter documents relating to assessing confidential informants and “threats posed by certain individuals from a particular Middle Eastern country,” according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

An outline of the charges doesn’t mention the reporter or the news organization, but the timing of the alleged leaks coincide with an Intercept story published on Jan. 31, 2017, that accuses the FBI of aggressively investigating people deemed to have valuable sources. 

Federal prosecutors said they will continue to aggressively pursue government leakers.

“Terry Albury betrayed the trust bestowed upon him by the United States,” U.S. Attorney Doherty-McCormick said in a statement.  “Today’s guilty plea should serve as a reminder to those who are entrusted with classified information that the Justice Department will hold them accountable.”

Retired Head of FBI’s Minneapolis Division Takes Job with Federal Reserve Bank

Richard Thornton, former FBI agent in charge of the Minneapolis division.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Richard Thornton, the former agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis division, has been appointed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis as its vice president of law enforcement and operations.

Thornton, who retired from the FBI on Feb. 28, will take the helm at the Minneapolis Fed’s law enforcement department and operations at the Minneapolis and Helena, Mont., offices, according to the bank.

“We are very excited to have someone of Rick’s experience, stature and strong reputation join the bank,” Chief Operating Officer Ron Feldman said in a statement. “We know he will make great contributions to the bank, the Federal Reserve System and the community at large.”

In statement to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Thornton said, “The strong leadership and the important mission of the Minneapolis Fed made this an extremely attractive opportunity for me.”

Thornton was replaced in the bureau’s Minneapolis division by Jill Sanborn, a veteran counterterrorism agent who led the FBI’s investigation of the San Bernardino mass shooting in 2015. 

Former Head FBI’s Minneapolis Division Running for Governor in Kansas

Michael Tabman, retired special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis division.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Michael Tabman, the former special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis division, is running for governor in Kansas.

The agent-turned-security consultant is among more than 20 candidates vying for the governor’s seat.

Since retiring from the bureau in 2007 after 24 years of service, Tabman has lived in Johnson County in Kansas with his wife and children and wants to give back.

“As Governor, I want to restore all that makes Kansas such a wonderful place to live,” the New York native said on his campaign website.

Tabman said his priorities are improving and protecting schools, reducing health care costs and protecting civil liberties.

No stranger to violence, Tabman advocates more stringent regulations on “weapons of mass murder” but still supports the right to own a firearm.

In 2005, Tabman was the special agent in charge of the mass shooting at a Native American reservation in Minneapolis known as the “Red Lake Massacre.”

After Tabman retired, he sued the FBI, claiming the bureau smeared his character and denied him promotions because of false allegations that he mishandled a complaint against Special Agent Harry Samit. 

A judge dismissed the suit.

Jill Sanborn, a Veteran Counterterrorism Expert, to Head FBI’s Minneapolis Division

FBI Special Agent Jill Sanborn.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Jill Sanborn, a veteran counterterrorism agent who led the FBI’s investigation of the San Bernardino mass shooting in 2015, has been named special agent in charge of the bureau’s Minneapolis division.

Sanborn will replace Richard Thornton, who is retiring today after leading the Minneapolis office since 2014, when she reports to the office in April.

The Minneapolis office covers Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

“Minnesota and the Dakotas have such rich and diverse cultural and economic reputations and I look forward to getting to work with law enforcement, business, and community leaders to partner in keeping those sectors safe and secure,” Sanborn told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. 

Sanborn began her career as a special agent with the FBI in 1998, when she was assigned to the Phoenix office to investigate fraud and computer intrusions. For most of her nearly 20-year career, Sanborn has been involved in counterterrorism operations, holding leadership positions in the Washington Field Office and the Los Angels Field Office.

FBI: Minnesota Man Used Settlement from Bridge Collapse to Support ISIS

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Mohamed Roble was 10 years old, the school bus he was riding crashed after a Minneapolis bridge began to crumble into the Mississippi river.

Thirteen people died when the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed.

Roble began receiving $19,000 from his settlement from the crash when he was 18. The Washington Post reports that Roble is accused of using the money to join ISIS in Syria not long after.

Roble is the 11th man from the Twin Cities area to be charged with supporting ISIS, the Justice Department said.

Inspector General Investigates Claims That TSA Instructed Racial Profiling

Airport crowdBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security’s inspector general is investigating complaints that the TSA is illegally profiling passengers.

The Federal Times reports that a TSA employee in Minneapolis complained that a supervisor told him to treat Somali residents “differently from others who visit the Minneapolis TSA office.”

The TSA has been under fire in recent years over claims by federal officers that they were instructed racially profile people.

The TSA responded that it does not condone profiling.

“The Transportation Security Administration does not  profile, nor does it tolerate profiling by employees,” a TSA spokesperson said. “TSA welcomes the Office of Inspector General’s investigation and will cooperate fully, but cannot comment until the investigation is complete.”

TSA Whistleblower Says He Was Ordered to Racially Profile Somali-Americans

Airport crowdBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A TSA employee testified before Congress Wednesday that his superiors instructed him to racially profile Somali-Americans.

Andrew Rhodes, the current TSA assistant federal security director art Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, laid out the allegations in testimony at the House Oversight Committee, CNN reports. 

One of the largest Somali populations likes in Minneapolis.

“Not only does the TSA mistreat its employees, it alienates entire communities,” Rhoades testified. “On April 8, 2016, my supervisors asked me profile Somali imams and other Somali community members. I refused.”

Rhodes said he received very specific instructions: “With our current world affairs that we need to be mindful of those we interact with and advised that employee should check with the field intelligence officer on potential visitors to determine if we want them in our office space or meet elsewhere.”

The TSA said in a statement that it “does not tolerate racial profiling.”

“TSA takes allegations of racial profiling seriously,” the statement read. “We are reviewing this complaint and will take appropriate action if there is evidence that any TSA officer acted inappropriately.”

Other Stories of Interest

TSA Whistleblower Speaks Out About Security Flaws That Endanger Flyers

airport scanner 2By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A TSA senior manager-turned-whistleblower spoke out publicly for the first time about retaliation within the agency and growing safety concerns.

Drew Rhodes, one of four assistant federal security directors at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, expressed his concerns about the TSA in an interview Fox9. 

Rhodes said he blew the whistle on the agency because of frustration over security flaws that weren’t being addressed,. They included the handling of ammunition at checkpoints and the failure to use orange tags on check bags that had already been screened.

Here’s a partial transcript of the interview with Fox9:

Rhoades: “There were these embarrassing stories about the TSA. My supervisor said, ‘I want to know who the leak is. Is it you, he said at one meeting.”
Reporter: They thought you were my leak for those stories?’
Rhoades “That is correct.”
Reporter: “And just to set the record straight, we had never talked, or met each other when I did those stories?’
Rhoades: “That is correct.”
Rhodes’ boss is Federal Security Director Cliff Van Leuven.

Ven Leuven ordered Rhoades transferred from Minnesota, to Tampa, Florida.  But for Rhoades, who had recently divorced, the warmer locale came at price.

Rhoades: “If I left the state of Minnesota, I would’ve lost custody of my children.”
Reporter: “So they knew they had you, that moving was a deal killer?”
Rhoades:  “Absolutely.”
Reporter: “And you think around the country directed reassignments are used to punish people in TSA?”
Rhoades: “No doubt. It’s happened in many cities.”

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