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Tag: Washington D.C

‘More Than 10,000 spies’ Roam Washington D.C. for Secrets, And They’re Hard to Identify

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Among the civil servants, business people, diplomats, tourists and law enforcement officials in Washington D.C. are “more than 10,000 spies,” according to the International Spy Museum.

Although the actual numbers are in debate, the FBI agrees the city is flush with spies.

“It’s unprecedented — the threat from our foreign adversaries, specifically China on the economic espionage and the espionage front,” Brian Dugan, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, told WTOP for a three-part series on espionage.

The spies come from all over, and they’re increasingly using technology in an attempt to steal secrets. After all, Washington D.C. is home to more than 175 foreign embassies, chanceries, residences and diplomatic missions. Then there are tens of thousands of international students, and an “untold number of business people with links to foreign intelligence services,” WTOP reported.

“A spy is nondescript. A spy is going to be someone that’s going to be a student in school, a visiting professor, your neighbor. It could be a colleague or someone that shares the soccer field with you,” Dugan said.

Highly skilled spies are trained to become virtually invisible to unsuspecting people, and they’re elusive to even the most trained spy hunters.

Among the most troublesome spies are Russians.

“The Russians are hyper focused on the United States,” John Sipher, a retired CIA official. “They see us as their main adversary, the main enemy. All the elements of state power — whether it be their diplomatic service or intelligence services or police services — are focused on the United States.”
Robert Baer, who was a covert operative for the CIA for decades, said it’s not easy identifying a spy.

“Everybody in the espionage business is working undercover,” Baer said. “So if they’re in Washington, they’re either in an embassy or they’re a businessman and you can’t tell them apart because they never acknowledge what they’re doing. And they’re good, so they leave no trace of their communications.”

One reason spies are becoming so common is they have a lot of people from which to recruit, Dugan said.

“There’s a large population in retirement or getting close to retirement,” Dugan said. “The baby boomers are all leaving and that population is looking for post-government jobs”

He added, “Of course there’s always going to be moments that we’re going to have people decide to cooperate with the enemy.”

ATF Headquarters Evacuated After Employee Felt Sick from Package with ‘a Suspicious Liquid Substance’

Photo via ATF.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF’s headquarters in Washington D.C. was evacuated Thursday afternoon after an employee said she felt sick after opening a package containing “a suspicious liquid substance.”

Hazmat crews tested the substance and did not detect anything harmful. The substance was sent to a lab for further analysis, ATF said on Twitter at 4:32 p.m.

“Hazmat is out, substance tested clear, will send to lab for further analysis,” tweeted.

D.C. Police, Fire and EMS also responded to the scene.

There were no updates on the employee early Friday morning.

“More information will be released at the appropriate time,” ATF tweeted.

An Off-Duty FBI Agent Distracted by His Cell Phone Triggered a Deadly Chain of Events

FBI Agent Carlos Wolff.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

An off-duty FBI agent distracted by his cell phone crashed his car on a highway north of Washington D.C., triggering a series of tragic events that claimed his life and that of another off-duty law enforcement officer who stopped to help.

Agent Carlos Wolff, a 36-year-old husband and father of two young children, lost control of his Acura SUV in December when he began reaching for his cell phone, according to newly disclosed police reports obtained by the Washington Post.

The documents had been withheld pending the outcome of an accident investigation. 

According to police, Wolff’s SUV veered across at least three lanes and struck a median wall, coming to rest while still partially blocking the fast lane.

Arson investigator Sander Cohen, 33, who happened to be driving on the same stretch of highway, stopped to help.

Both men got out of their vehicles and were on the shoulder of the road when another car struck them, hurling their bodies over the median and into the opposing lane.

Lane was pronounced dead at the scene. Wolf died soon after being rushed to the hospital.

None of the drivers involved in the accident had been drinking, police said.

House Lawmakers Reject Funding for Trump’s Revised Plan to Build New FBI Headquarters

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C., named after J. Edgar Hoover.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The long-delayed plan to build a new FBI headquarters has hit yet another snag.

House lawmakers said they aren’t comfortable funding a new headquarters until the Trump administration can justify why it scrapped a decade-long plan for a new building in the suburbs.

Trump’s plan calls for demolishing the J. Edgar Hoover headquarters in Washington D.C, and constructing a new building in its place.

“The Act does not include funding for the revised Headquarters consolidation plan released on February 12, 2018, because many questions regarding the new plan remain unanswered, including the revision of longstanding security requirements and changes to headquarters capacity in the national capital region,” lawmakers wrote of the omnibus spending bill, which funds agencies for the rest of the year, according to Federal News Radio. “Until these concerns are addressed and the appropriate authorizing Committees approve a prospectus, the Committees are reluctant to appropriate additional funds for this activities.”

The new proposal prompted the General Services Administration Inspector Carol Ochoa to open an investigation into the sudden change in plans.

The omnibus bill, however, includes $370 million for other FBI construction projects.

But on Friday morning, Trump threatened to veto the bill.

“I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded,” Trump tweeted.

GSA to Investigate Trump’s Abrupt Change of Plans for New FBI HQ

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C., named after J. Edgar Hoover.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The General Services Administration’s inspector general is investigating President Trump’s abrupt change in plans for a new FBI headquarters.

“My office will review GSA’s decision-making process for the revised FBI Headquarters Consolidation project,” GSA Inspector General Carol Ochoa wrote in a letter to Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Virginia, on Tuesday. “The scope of our review will include whether the revised plan properly accounts for the full costs and security requirements of the project.”

Connolly, a leading Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, requested the investigation to determine why the president abandoned a decade-long plan to move the headquarters to a consolidated campus in Washington D.C.’s suburbs.

Trump’s new plan calls for demolishing the current headquarters, which is cramped and outdated, and replace it with a new building.

Connolly and other lawmakers said the GSA has failed to give an adequate explanation for the sudden change in plans.

Washington Post Writer: Time to Remove J. Edgar Hoover’s Name from FBI Headquarters

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C., named after J. Edgar Hoover.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s time to remove J. Edgar Hoover’s name from the FBI’s headquarters in Washington D.C.

So argues Washington Post opinion writer Richard Cohen, who called the bureau’s first director a “racist, anti-communist zealot, who, in the name of God and the American flag, set out to destroy Martin Luther King Jr.” 

Cohen points out that other monuments bearing the names of offensive historic figures, like Robert E. Lee, are being removed.

Much of Hoover’s legacy is odious, and it is repellent to honor it anywhere,” Cohen wrote, noting that Washington D.C. is 48% black.

“Yet Hoover reigns unnoticed and unprotested, as if his attempts to destroy King did not matter.”

Fans of Insane Clown Posse Rally Against FBI’s Classification of Them as ‘Gang’

A Juggalo/facebook

A Juggalo, via facebook

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than 1,000 fans of the rap duo Insane Clown Posse rallied in Washington D.C. on Saturday to protest the FBI’s classification of them as a gang.

The band’s fans, known as Juggalos, protested in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

The band filed suit against the Justice Department in an attempt to reverse the FBI’s designation of the fans as a gang. The lawsuit says the Juggalos as a peaceful community.

The FBI classified the group’s fans as a “loosely organized hybrid gang” in 2011.

FBI Makes Gruesome Discovery at Alleged Dogfighting Ring in D.C. Area

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI seized more than a dozen dogs during a raid in the Washington D.C. area over an alleged dogfighting ring.

Authorities are asking the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District in Virginia to allow feds to keep the dogs. Found during the raid at homes in Temple Hills, Md., and Washington D.C. were items related to dog breeding, fighting and training, WTOP reports

The FBI arrested 12 people on Aug. 24, charging them with identity theft and credit card and bank fraud.

Agents found a dog treadmill, a blood-splattered fighting ring and vests weighted with sand bags.