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Tag: San Francisco

How FBI Played Role in Troubled Man’s Alleged Plot to Attack Pier 39 in San Francisco

Everitt Aaron Jameson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Everitt Aaron Jameson was a quiet, struggling 26-year-old former Marine whose young family had just fallen apart when the FBI first came across him in late September.

A tow truck driver living in Modesto, Calif., Jameson had recently converted to Islam and was “liking” pro-ISIS and pro-terrorism Facebook posts. An undercover FBI employee posing an ISIS leader reached out to Jameson, who reportedly was flattered by the attention.

Jameson and the undercover agent communicated over the next two months. Saying he was inspired by the New York City terror attack on Oct. 31 and the mass shooting in San Bernardino in 2015, Jameson told the agent he had been trained in sharpshooting, the M-16 and AK-47, according to the court filing. Jameson said the ideal location for a terror attack was San Francisco’s Pier 39, a popular tourist destination that could result in massive casualties, the FBI alleged.

“He had been there before and knew that it was a heavily crowded area,” an FBI affidavit filed Friday said. “Jameson explained that he also desired to use explosives, and described a plan in which explosives could ‘tunnel’ or ‘funnel’ people into a location where Jameson could inflict casualties.”

The final plan was to attack people at Pier 39 0n Christmas with a pipe bomb and then shoot people as they fled, according to court records. The FBI said Jameson provided the undercover agent with a map and photos of the site and that he “did not need an escape plan because he was ready to die.”

Jameson, who was discharged from the Marines for lying about his asthma, didn’t have the material needed to carry out the attack, so he asked the undercover agent for an assault rifle, ammunition, powder, nails, timers, tubing and remote detonators.

But by late Monday night, Jameson had cold feet and told the undercover agent, “I … don’t think I can do this after all. I’ve reconsidered.”

Still, the FBI secured a warrant Wednesday and searched Jameson’s home, finding a firearms, ammunitions and a note declaring his intent to attack the non-Muslim world.

Following his arrest, media headlines wrongly declared that the FBI “thwarted” or “foiled” the attack, even though Jameson withdrew from the plot.

Jameson has been charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

When Jameson’s parents were notified of their son’s alleged plans, they were in disbelief and said he was incapable of carrying out such an attack without the help and encouragement of the FBI. They said Jameson, normally a kind and gentle man, was depressed after losing custody of his two young children – ages 2 and 3 – while his wife was serving time in jail.

“He lost his kids for good and he was devastated,” his father, Gordon Jameson, told the Modesto Bee

“He would never hurt people. Not ever. It’s just unbelievable. That’s not who he is,” his father added, saying his son recently turned to Islam for comfort.

“We’d talk about Jesus – not argue, just talk – and he’d say ‘yeah, Dad, we all believe in the same god,'” his father said. “He never once spoke about hate or wanting to hurt anything. He never said anything about wanting to blow people up.”

ATF Sting Nets Dozens of Arrests, 90 Guns, 48 Stolen Cars, 6+ Pounds of Drugs

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A two-year ATF sting intended to crack down on illegal guns and drugs in the San Francisco area lead to the arrests of more than 75 people.

ATF authorities said it was the largest bust of its kind in the agency’s history, Mercury News reports

Earlier this week, more than 1,000 law enforcement officers swarmed areas of San Francisco and San Mateo counties as part of Operation Cold Day. Authorities retrieved 90 guns, 48 stolen vehicles and more than six pounds of dugs, including cocaine and heroin.

“One firearm in the hands of a gang member or a prohibited person is one firearm too many. It only takes one round from one gun to end a life,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder said during a news conference at the San Francisco Police Department. “We targeted those who created a pipeline to stream firearms into the community and then placed them into the hands of violent criminals.”

The investigation is still ongoing.

San Francisco Police Pull Out of FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force

ca_-_san_francisco_policeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

San Francisco police are pulling out of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force as the city continues to distance itself from the Trump administration.

Civil liberty leaders have long criticized the collaboration with the FBI because the task force authorized police to gather intelligence on people engaging in protests and religious services, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. 

Police suggested they stopped participating in the task force because the memorandum of understanding was set to expire.

“We are committed to community policing,” Deputy Chief Michael Redmond said at Wednesday’s Police Commission meeting. “We want to work collaboratively with the stakeholders when the work begins on the general orders.”

Justice Department Finds Implicit Bias Against People of Color in New Report

ca_-_san_francisco_policeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A six-month Justice Department investigation of the San Francisco Police Department revealed numerous problems, including an institutional bias against people of color.

The report said, “The deficiencies identified range from outdated use of force policies to inadequate data collection and lack of accountability measures. The assessment team identified disparities in traffic stops, post-stop searches, and use of deadly force against African-Americans. In addition, there are numerous indicators of implicit and institutionalized bias against minority groups,” according to CNN. 

The Justice Department recommended more than 27 change in the police department following an investigation sparked by several officer-involved fatal shootings.

Most of the cases of deadly use of force involved people of color.

“The truth hurts,” said Ronald Davis, director of the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. ”To be selectively ignorant and pretend nothing is going on around you is ultimately going to be fatal to your organization.”

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee pledged to pledged to respond to the findings.

“The SFPD will accept and implement every single recommendation. We must restore trust, ” Lee said. “We have worked hard to put reforms in place. We did not wait for the DOJ report to become final.”

Other Stories of Interest

New Special Agent in Charge of San Fransisco Division Played Key Role in iPhone Hack

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just two months before Jack Bennett became special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Francisco division in May, the 52-year-old played a key role in accessing the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.

Bennet was working at the FBI’s computer investigation lab in Quantico, Va., when the bureau received help from an outside company to hack into the iPhone, the Associated Press reports. 

“There wasn’t high fives, and there weren’t people singing down the hallways,” he recalled. “It was very much business. ‘OK, let’s move forward to the next steps. Let’s get on the phone. What do we need to do to purchase the tool?'”

Bennett, who has nearly 30 years of experience in law enforcement, has battled drug smuggling operations for the DEA before tackling child sex crimes and animal rights extremists for the FBI.

“The U.S. government sometimes loses sight of what is important to corporations … and privacy is incredibly important,” Bennett said during a recent interview at his office.

Michael Gavin to Head Up FBI’s Memphis Division

fbi logo large

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Michael Gavin, who recently served as section chief of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division’s National Covert Operations Section,  has been named special agent in charge  of  the Memphis Division, the FBI announced Tuesday. He will assume the new post in mid-August.

Gavin began his FBI career in 1995 and was first assigned to the Las Vegas Division, where he investigated white-collar crime, violent crime and organized crime.

During his 21-year career with the FBI he has worked investigations in the  Criminal Investigative Division, International Operations Division and Inspection Division and held leadership positions in Montgomery, Ala., San Francisco and D.C., according to a press release.

 

Man Accused of Stealing FBI Agent’s Gun, Badge from Car is Charged

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The man accused of stealing an FBI agent’s gun, badge, cellphone and credentials from a parked car in San Francisco has been arrested and charged.

Michael Delton Gregory Jr., of San Francisco, was charged with two felonies punishable by up to 30 years in prison after he was arrested May 31, two days after the theft, the Mercury News reports. 

Federal agents also reported finding baggies of cocaine weighing 5.4 grams and about $1,400 in case while serving a warrant at Gregory’s home.

The theft was captured on video footage, as was the suspect and his car.

FBI Agent’s Gun, Badge, Credentials Stolen from Car in San Francisco

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent reported that someone stole his gun, badge and credentials from his car in San Francisco on Sunday, marking the latest theft of a weapon from law enforcement.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the agent said his car was broken into around 12:30 p.m.

Stolen were a .40-caliber Glock 27, a badge and credentials.

In January, there handguns were stolen from an FBI vehicle parked in the Bay Area. A month later, a handgun was stolen after an ICE agent left the weapon on his car.

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