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Tag: Russian

Does Robert Mueller Have A Conflict of Interest With The Russian Probe and an Oligarch?

Special counsel Robert Mueller

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Life is complicated.

In 2009, when Robert S. Mueller III ran the FBI, the bureau asked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to spend millions of his own dollars funding an FBI-supervised operation to rescue a retired FBI agent, Robert Levinson, captured in Iran while working for the CIA in 2007.

John Solomon writes in The Hill that’s  the same Deripaska who has surfaced in Mueller’s current investigation and who was recently sanctioned by the Trump administration.

The Levinson mission is confirmed by more than a dozen participants inside and outside the FBI, including Deripaska, his lawyer, the Levinson family and a retired agent who supervised the case, Solomon writes.

 

With Upcoming Election, FBI Unit Plans to Alert U.S. Companies About Foreign Disinformation and Social Media Manipulation

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

With a new election approaching, the FBI is concerned.

The FBI’s “foreign influence” task force plans to alert U.S. companies and the public about efforts by Russia or other nations to use disinformation and social media manipulation to interfere in upcoming elections, Bloomberg News reports.

At the same time, the feds are being careful not to upset free speech and constitutional rights, a top law enforcement official said.

Bloomberg reports:

The direction that the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s “foreign influence” task force is heading could dramatically reshape the relationship between government and social media companies in order to address vulnerabilities that enabled Russia to meddle in the 2016 election.

“We’ve been reluctant in some instances to share the amount of information of what we know about what’s happening,” said Jeffrey Tricoli, a top FBI official heading the task force. “You can’t stay with the same strategy if you think there needs to be changes. So going forward there’s going to be opportunities for us to share information in better ways.”

 

Russia Will Try Harder to Influence Next Prez Election, FBI Director Predicts

FBI Director Christopher Wray (File photo)

FBI Director Christopher Wray (File photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s no secret that Russia has tried to influence elections around the world for many years.

But 2016 appeared to be banner year for the Russians when it came to the U.S. election.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, addressing a crowd of about 150 people at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, said he expects the U.S. to be better prepared to deal with threats in the 2018 and 2020 elections, Max Kutner of Newsweek reports.

That’s the good news.

The bad news: He says anticipates Russia will also be better prepared to go at it again.

“We know a lot more now than we did about all the different threats, whether it’s to our election systems or anything else,” the director said when asked about Russia. “I would expect that we would do better, but I also expect that our adversaries don’t just coast, right? They up their game, too.”

Weekend Series on Crime: The Russian Mafia

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Weekend Series on Crime: Russian Prison Tattoos

Retired FBI Agent Mark Stephen Jimerson Dies at Age 59

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

 Mark Stephen Jimerson, a retired  FBI supervisory special agent, died last Thursday at his home in Mitchellville, Md., from a brain-related cancer. He was was 59.

In February 1985, Jimerson  was assigned to the FBI’s Tampa office, his first posting in the agency. While in Florida, he studied intensive Russian, according to information provided by the family.

He later went on to the FBI’s San Francisco office and began his career with foreign counter intelligence.

In the spring of 1995, he went to FBI Headquarters in Washington here he helped establish an FBI office in Moscow. He also served as a team leader and senior FBI agent for the first FBI delegation that provided law enforcement training in Russia, according to the family information.

He was also assigned to inter-agency taskforce investigating criminal activities involving Russian and Eastern European immigrants.

From 1997 to 2000, he served as the Assistant Legal Attaché, to the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn, Estonia.

In 2000, he was promoted to Legal Attaché to Ukraine where he served within the U.S. Embassy as Chief of the Office of the Legal Attaché and as primary FBI representative in Ukraine.

In 2002, Jimerson and his family returned to their home in Maryland. He was promoted to Unit Chief of the Office of International Operations from 2005 to 2006, acted as an FBI Liaison Officer in the Office of International Affairs from 2002 to 2004 and again from 2006 to 2008, and lastly as Unit Chief in the Eurasian Unit of the Office of International Affairs, the family wrote in a release.

He retired on June 6, 2008.

Jimmerson was born on Aug.  7, 1953 in Madison, Ill., the son of Louise Jimerson and the late Chance Jimerson. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Wendy Jimerson; his daughter, Stephania Mahdi; son, Mark E. Jimerson; granddaughter, Yasmeen Mahdi; mother, Louise Jimerson; brothers, Alvin (Zella)Valentine and Victor (JoAnn) Valentine of Madison, Illinois, Willard (Sandra) Valentine of Portland, Oregon, and Terrence Jimerson of Madison Illinois; sisters, Autumn Ann Mitchell of Redondo Beach, CA and Shirlee Sue (Larry) Coleman of Flower Mound, TX; and a host of loving nephews, nieces, family and friends.

Jimerson was the youngest of seven children. He was very active in his youth and participated in plays, choir activities, and track and field, the family said.

In high school he showed promise in his Russian language classes and was encouraged by a Bulgarian priest, teaching at his high school, to continue his studies.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army and graduated with Honors from the Defense Language Institute, serving his country as a Russian Linguist.

He was assigned to the 856th Army Security Agency and was stationed in Germany where he was a Russian Voice Interceptor, the family said.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian Studies from Monterey Institute of International Studies.

 

Column: Did Russian Spies Fool FBI?

Jeff Stein
Jeff Stein

By Jeff Stein
Spy Talk

WASHINGTON — Two longtime veterans of the intelligence wars between Russia and the West say it’s inconceivable that the spies deported to Moscow Friday didn’t detect FBI surveillance years ago.

And that, they say, could explain why the FBI never produced evidence in court that the “illegals” had obtained any classified information: They stopped spying as soon as they discovered they were being watched — but stayed just busy enough to distract the FBI, potentially, from more important operations.

“If you’re under surveillance, you don’t do anything — you’re burnt,” said Victor Ostrovsky, a prominent former Mossad operative who said the lsraelis taught trainees about surveillance by studying real Russian spies at work. “You might as well pack yourself up slowly and go home.”

An American counterintelligence veteran said: “It does boggle the mind that they never allegedly picked up on any of the watchers nor learned of any of the technical ops run against them. It really is amazing.”

To read more click here.

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