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Tag: terrorism

CIA Director: ISIS Has Capability to Make And Use Chemical Weapons

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ISIS has used chemical weapons and has the ability to continue making chlorine and mustard gas, according to CIA Director John Brennan.

“We have a number of instances where ISIL has used chemical munitions on the battlefield,” he said in an interview that is scheduled for CBS News’ 60 Minutes program on Sunday.

Although ISIS has been hammered by military forces across the world, the terrorist group still has the capability to develop deadly munitions, Brennan said, Newsweek reports. 

“There are reports that ISIS has access to chemical precursors and munitions that they can use,” he said.

Other Stories of Interest

Military Prosecutor Agrees with Senate Report about CIA Prisoners Being Tortured

guantanamobayBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An eye-opening Senate report on the CIA’s former interrogation practices is accurate, said the chief military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay.

The Washington Post reports that the prosecutor’s statements contradict those made by former CIA officials and congressional Republicans, who have insisted the report was strewn with errors.

Brig. Mark Martins made the statements in a motion filed Friday in the case against five people accused of helping carry out the Sept. 11, 2001, attack.

“While the opinions and conclusions of the [Senate report] are irrelevant to these proceedings, the factual recitations of what occurred to the accused are gleaned from the very same Executive Branch documents the Prosecution has reviewed, or is in the process of reviewing, in its own holdings,” Martins wrote.

“As such, the Prosecution will stipulate that the facts contained within the Executive Summary occurred,” Martins stated.

The Senate report described brutal treatment of prisoners held by the CIA around the world. According to the report, the CIA beat and water-boarded prisoners.

  

Other Stories of Interest

Mysteries Remain in San Bernardino Terrorist Attack Because of Encrypted Phone

The San Bernardino couple who opened fire at a holiday party.

The San Bernardino couple who opened fire at a holiday party.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI still has many questions about the terrorist couple that opened fire and killed 14 people during a holiday party in San Bernardino on Dec. 2.

Did they get help from other terrorists? Were they planning to detonate a bomb at the Inland Regional Center where they opened fire? Were they planning other attacks?

Those questions, FBI investigators hoped, would be on a cell phone that belonged to the couple Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik.

But the FBI still can’t unlock encrypted data on the cellphone, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

“We still have one of those killers’ phones that we haven’t been able to open,” FBI Director James B. Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee. “It has been two months now and we are still working on it.”

Encrypted cell phones have been a challenge for federal law enforcement who are trying to track suspected terrorists in real time, the FBI has said.

NY Magazine Writer: ‘FBI Is Bad at Talking with Teens’ As Evidenced by ISIS Video

FBI video directed at teens.

FBI video directed at teens.

By Brian Feldman
New York Magazine

If there’s one thing you can say about ISIS, besides the fact that it’s a medieval death cult responsible for inconceivable blood crimes, it’s that its recruiters are very charming on social media. But don’t worry: The Federal Bureau of Investigation is ready to fight back. It used your tax dollars to create Don’t Be A Puppet, a website for educating teens on violent extremism and the ways that online recruiters make contact. I took the site for a spin yesterday to earn an online certificate (really) in “countering violent extremism,” and quickly discovered: The FBI is bad at talking to teens.

The site’s main tactic for teaching its users about violent extremism is a set of quizzes, which cover not just international groups like ISIS but also white supremacists and that scourge of 21st-century America, environmental extremists.

You’ll realize that we’re working with something special when you arrive at this, the FBI’s mockup of a teen’s computer screen. You know, Just Teen Things: hundreds of lines of HTML and CSS.

To read more, click here.

Wife of Dead ISIS Commander Charged in Death of 26-Year-Old U.S. Aid Worker

Kayla Mueller, a U.S. aid worker who was killed.

Kayla Mueller, a U.S. aid worker who was killed.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The wife of a dead ISIS commander was charged Monday after the Justice Department alleged she was part of a plot that resulted in the death of a 26-year-old U.S. aid worker who was kidnapped by ISIS in Syria, the Daily Beast reports. 

The ISIS widow, known as Umm Sayyaf, is expected to be charged by Iraqi officials, so she may never end up in a U.S. court. But the official said the charges were “an insurance policy” in case she isn’t charged in Iraq or in case she escapes prison.

What remains unclear is how 26-year-old aid worker, Kayla Mueller, died after being kidnapped by ISIS.

The charges allege that Sayyaf was a sex slave held against her will.

Sayyaf’s husband was killed, and she was taken custody and interrogated in Iraq.

New Boston FBI Chief Pledges Cooperative Approach to Tackling Terrorism, Drugs, Guns

Harold Shaw

Harold Shaw

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Harold Shaw, the new head of the FBI in Boston, pledged to partner with local authorities and other federal agencies to tackle gun crimes, drug dealing and terrorism.

“There’s virtually nothing we can do in the FBI that’s not done in a task-force concept,” Harold H. Shaw said in an interview with the Boston Globe. “The critical element is partnerships.”

Shaw took over the Boston office in October and said his experience in counter-terrorism will help crack down on extremists.

“The tricks of the trade I learned were from the task-force partners who were doing it a lot longer than I was,” he said.

Shaw replaced Vincent Lisi, who retired to join the private sector in August.

Other Stories of Interest

Jailed Extremist Is Paid FBI Informant After Being Released from Prison Early

fbi-logBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jesse Morton was considered a terrorist who supported violence in the name of Islam and even advocated attacks against the writers of “South Park” after they made fun of the prophet Muhammed.

Morton was sentenced to 11.5 years in prison in 2012, but now the 37-year-old is out of prison and being paid by the FBI, the Washington Post reports, citing government records.

Morton, who prosecutors said, “endangered the lives of innocent people,” is a paid FBI informant to help agents investigates a case against another person trying to join ISIS.

“We may never know all of those who were inspired to engage in terrorism because of Revolution Muslim, but the string of recent terrorism cases with ties to Morton’s organization demonstrates the threat it posed to our national security,” then-U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement at the time Morton was sentenced.

An official who spoke to the Washington Post said the FBI believed Morton had been reformed and could help build a case against an ISIS supporter.

The Post reported:

Muslim leaders have long criticized the FBI’s use of informants and its sometimes aggressive approach to keeping tabs on Islamic communities. Four U.S. Muslims alleged in a recent lawsuit that their names were put on the no-fly list as part of a heavy-handed effort to coerce them to work on the FBI’s behalf. (That suit was dismissed late last year, but the men were taken off the no-fly list). The New York City Police Department agreed this year to settle lawsuits that alleged that Muslims were investigated and targeted for surveillance without good reason – agreeing to pay $2 million in attorney fees while admitting no wrongdoing.

NFL, FBI Leaders Identify ‘No Credible Threats’ to Super Bowl 50 on Sunday

super bowl 50By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and NFL security leaders said they’ve identified “no credible threat” to Super Bowl 50 – so far, the Associated Press reports. 

Security will continued to examine the perimeter of Levi’s Stadium to assess any terrorism risks.

Jeffrey Miller, NFL senior vice president of security, expressed satisfaction with the joint effort between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to address any issues that arise.

“It gives the NFL a great deal of confidence in the safety of our premiere event, our teams and our fans,” Miller said at a news conference Wednesday. “I can speak for Commissioner (Roger) Goodell in saying that we are deeply appreciative of the leadership, resources and attention to detail put forth by our public safety partners.”

Officials said the lessons from recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have been helpful.

“Every year is different. The world situation, the threat picture is different every February,” said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. “We are, with the NFL, with our federal partners, and state and local law enforcement, focused on layered security, seen and unseen. We learned from events of the past but we have to protect against events of the future. So, we try to anticipate things that can happen from multiple different directions. But we’re always informed by recent events and what we see in the world situation.”

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