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Tag: minnesota

DOJ Charges Minnesota FBI Agent with Leaking Records to Media

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former Minnesota FBI agent has been charged with leaking confidential documents to a news organization, becoming the first target of the Justice Department’s crackdown on federal government leaks.

Terry James 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.

The Justice Department filed two counts that allege Albury unlawfully disclosed and retained defense information. 

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. 

In a statement to the Washington Post, Albury’s attorneys said: “Terry Albury served the U.S. with distinction both here at home and abroad in Iraq. He accepts full responsibility for the conduct set forth in the Information. We would like to add that as the only African-American FBI field agent in Minnesota, Mr. Albury’s actions were driven by a conscientious commitment to long-term national security and addressing the well-documented systemic biases within the FBI.”

FBI Agent Who Died After Exposure to 9/11 Toxins Laid to Rest in Moving Ceremony

Former FBI Agent Mellisa Morrow, via GoFundMe.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent who died of brain cancer after she was exposed to contaminants while working at the Pentagon crash site in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was laid to rest in a moving ceremony this week.

Special Agent Melissa Morrow, 48, who served in the Washington Field Office’s Evidence Response Team on 9/11, was one of the first responders after a passenger jet crashed into the building. Doctors confirmed she was exposed to dangerous toxins while spending 10 weeks collecting evidence at the site.

“She fought this terrible illness with every fiber of her being,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said during the memorial service in Kansas City Tuesday. “Melissa said that when she finally came to terms with the horrible reality of it all, she had a decision to make, and that decision was to fight it with every ounce of courage and strength she could muster.”

Morrow worked in the FBI’s Washington Field Office before joining the bureau’s Kansas City field office.

“She was filled with pride to be keeping her hometown crowd safe from harm,” Wray said. “It meant the world to her, and that kind of work ethic –- that kind of investment in the work you’re doing –- exemplified the bureau at its best, and is all too rare in today’s world.”

Because she was certified by the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, her death was classified as a Line of Duty Death.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Raids Home of Hacker Who Launched Digital Protest Following Philando Castile’s Death

Philando Castile was killed by a cop in Minnesota.

Philando Castile was killed by a cop in Minnesota.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A hacker who launched a digital protest following a not-guilty verdict against a police officer who killed a black motorist has been raided by the FBI.

The man known as “Vigilance” told the Daily Beast that FBI agents searched his home in Minnesota for allegedly hacking into government and education websites in the state in June. He’s accused of posting stolen email address and other information online.

The man, whose real identity wasn’t revealed, breached the websites after police officer Jeromino Yanez was found not guilty on charges of manslaughter for shooting black motorist Philando Castile

“They knocked, cleared the house with their guns,” the man said, adding that his electronic devices, including a laptop, were seized.

No charges have yet been filed.

Judge: FBI’s Investigation of Child Pornography Unconstitutional, But Refused to Dismiss Evidence

Cyber crime expert, via FBI.

Cyber crime expert, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s controversial investigation into a “dark web” child pornography network was unconstitutional, Minnesota’s chief federal judge ruled Monday.

But U.S. District Judge John Tunheim declined to toss evidence that was used to prosecute a man from Coleraine, Minn., the Star Tribune reports

The judge rejected a magistrate judge’s recommendation to throw out evidence, including statements made by suspect Terry Lee Carlson.

Carlson was among more than 900 people arrested as part of the investigation into Playpen, a “dark web” network that provided child pornography to 150,000 users.

The Star Tribune wrote:

Tunheim’s decision mirrored numerous other federal court rulings in concluding that agents unconstitutionally exceeded the scope of a Virginia search warrant. The FBI deployed a “network investigative technique (NIT),” described by some as a form of malware, to gather IP addresses and other information on users of the porn website, which formed the backbone of federal criminal cases like Carlson’s and those of at least three other Minnesotans.

But, citing a Supreme Court precedent, Tunheim wrote that because the FBI “acted in good faith and generally followed proper procedures in requesting and executing the warrant,” evidence gathered against Carlson can stand.

The FBI arrested the operator of Playpen in 2015 and seized the website’s server. But it kept a copy of the website running while deploying its NIT to target hundreds of users around the country based on a search warrant signed by a Virginia magistrate judge.

FBI, ATF Investigate Bombing of Minnesota Mosque

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF and FBI have joined an investigation into the bombing of a Minnesota Islamic center before dawn Saturday as a group of Muslim worshippers gathered to pray.

The blast was caused by what the FBI called “an improvised explosive device” that rocked the Dar Al Farooq Center in Bloomington, the Star Tribune reports

No injuries were reported after the building was heavily damaged at 5:05 a.m. 

“The post-blast environment is very detailed,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton said. “You search the wide area in an attempt to find as many components as you can of the device to help us understand how the device was made. That process is substantially complete. … It was an improvised explosive device that was set off early this morning.”

The building housed a mosque, community center and day-care provider. 

FBI: Minnesota Mall Attacker Was New Convert to Islam

Dahir Ahmed Adan

Dahir Ahmed Adan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Dahir Ahmed Adan, who stabbed 20 people at a Minnesota mall, was different than most terrorists.

Just months before the Sept. 17 attacks, the 20-year-old academic standout became interested in Islam and began to distance himself from friends, the FBI said Thursday.

“We were told (he) had not previously shown an interest in religion,” Minneapolis FBI Special Agent in Charge Rick Thornton said at a news conference, the Associated Press reports. 

“The totality of Dahir Adan’s behavior and the actions suggest he may have been radicalized either with the influence of others or on his own,” Thornton said.

The shift was so sudden that Adan’s family believed he was doing as good as he used to do,” the attorney for Adan’s family, Abdulwahid Osman, said. “That is not the son they knew.”

Adan used two steak knives in the attack before he was shot and killed.

“We have numerous credible witness accounts of him asking victims during the attack if they were Muslim and at least one instance yelling ‘Allahu akbar’ while stabbing one of his victims and others heard him yelling ‘Islam Islam’ during the attack,” Thornton said.

FBI Takes Over Investigation of Minnesota Mall Stabbing

Dahir Adan, via Facebook

Dahir Adan, via Facebook

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has taken over the investigation of the Minnesota mall stabbing attacks over the weekend.

St. Cloud police will assist the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force after Dahir Adan stabbed at least 10 people before being shot by former Albany Police Chief Jason Falconer, the St. Cloud Times reports.

So far, investigators have found no connection between Adan and terrorist groups.

The FBI said Sunday the stabbings were a “potential act of terrorism.”

“One of the things we’re looking at with respect to these attacks is what motivated this young man to do what he did,” FBI spokesman Kyle Loven said. “And that obviously takes some time. It takes an extraordinary amount of legwork. And it’s something that our JTTF is well suited to do.”

Witnesses said Adan, 20, made references to Allah during the attack and even asked some victims if they were Muslims before stabbing them.

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Stabbing Attack That Injured 9 at Minnesota Mall

ISIS flag

ISIS flag

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a stabbing attack inside a Minnesota mall that injured nine people.

The stabbings, none of which was fatal, was carried out by a “soldier of the Islamic State,” an ISIS-linked news agency claimed.

The suspect was killed by a part-time police officer in Avon, Minnesota, Newsday reports.

“He clearly prevented additional injuries and potential loss of life,” Kleis said Sunday afternoon. “His heroic actions are exemplary.”

Police said the suspect referenced Allah at least once during the attack.

The ISIS-linked Amaq News Agency said the suspect “carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition.”

What’s unclear is whether the suspect had direct communications with ISIS.

The victims ranged in ages from 15 to 53, and none appeared to sustain life-threatening injuries.

Authorities have not identified the attacker.

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