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2 FBI Agents Shot Near Unrest in Ferguson While Executing Search Warrant

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two FBI agents were shot while helping police execute a search warrant near Ferguson early Wednesday, Reuters reports.

The FBI said the shooting was unrelated to the unrest in Ferguson, where protesters have been gathering for months after a white police officer shot an unarmed black teen.

“The incident is not directly related to the Ferguson protests,” FBI spokeswoman Rebecca Wu said.

One agent was shot in the leg and the other was shot in the shoulder.

The injuries are not life-threatening, the bureau said.


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Two Young Minnesota Residents Charged in Alleged Attempt to Join, Help Islamic State

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two young Minnesota residents are accused of conspiring to join the radical group Islamic State and provide it with “material support,” Minnesota Public Radio reports.

Abdullah Yusuf, 18, and Abdi Nur, 20, are facing federal conspiracy charges. Both were charged with “conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.”

The men planned to join Islamic State to “to engage in a campaign of terror in support of a violent ideology,” U.S. Attorney Luger said in a statement.

Yusuf, a college student, was arrested as he prepared to board a flight to Turkey.

“His parents did not know that Yusuf had obtained a passport and planned to travel to Turkey, nor did they know that he had acquired $1,500 and purchased an airline ticket,” prosecutors allege.

Investigators said Nur left for Turkey on May 29 and didn’t return as scheduled.


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USA Today Editorial: TSA Takes Sensible Steps to Improving Security, Airport Experience

tsa.gov

USA Today
By Editorial Board

Holiday air travel seems to get more unpleasant with each passing year, especially if you’re flying coach. Planes are packed. Seats are cramped. Overhead bins are overloaded. Free meals are non-existent.

But one part of the airport experience has been improving, and — believe it or not — it’s the part controlled by the government. Four years after the pre-Thanksgiving “don’t touch my junk” uproar over intrusive pat-downs, the Transportation Security Administration has made significant strides toward a more common-sense approach to screening.

TSA has accomplished this even as airlines have made the screeners’ job harder by imposing hefty bag-check fees that encourage fliers to schlep their densely packed luggage through security and onto planes.

The most welcome change at the checkpoint: No longer is everyone — from toddlers to wheelchair-bound octogenarians — treated like a terrorist.

Expedited, “risk-based” security is now available to children under 12, seniors 75 and older, members of the armed services and other low-risk fliers. Most significantly, the PreCheck program has enrolled more than 700,000 travelers who can go through special lanes where they don’t have to remove shoes, belts, light jackets or laptops.

As a result of these and other steps, complaints are down more than 25% and wait times have been reduced, says TSA Administrator John Pistole, who is stepping down next month after four-and-a-half years on the job.

To read more click here.

Other Stories of Interest


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St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Justice Department Needs to Help Restore Order in Ferguson

Michael Brown

By St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Editorial Board

The story of Ferguson has been told in pictures.

First was the body of 18-year-old Michael Brown, face down on Canfield Drive in a pool of blood, killed by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson. That picture went viral, shared wildly on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by a legion of people growing angrier by the minute as his body lay in the street forfour and a half hours.

That anger bubbled up into the streets, mostly along West Florissant Avenue, where chanting and protests and the tears of a mourning mother were the pictures of the moment.

Then came the militarized police response, SWAT teams in riot gear, sniper rifles and tear gas, cops with dogs keeping young black protesters at bay. A patriotically dressed young black man tossing a tear gas canister back at police in an iconic display of anger and freedom.

St. Louisans reacted in horror to the violent images sent around in those mid-August days and nights. Eventually, an uneasy peace came and the narrative changed. There were regular, organized protests. New coalitions between clergy and young people, between university students and civil rights activists. There was a push for positive change in a community that needs it.

Everything changed, we hope temporarily, on Monday night.

After Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch announced that the grand jury in St. Louis County would not indict Officer Wilson in Mr. Brown’s death, weeks of tension and rage built upon decades of institutional oppression boiled over.

The world saw Ferguson burn, and the reality was as bad as it looked on late-night cable television. A dead man was found in a car near Canfield Drive. More than two dozen businesses were burned. Bullets and rocks were flying. Some hit their targets.

It was the Failure in Ferguson, and by the next morning, everybody was looking for somebody to blame. There were plenty of candidates.

To read more click here.


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Hacker Group ‘Anonymous’ Says It Shut Down Cleveland’s Website Over Police Shooting

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Notorious hacker group Anonymous took credit for shutting down the city of Cleveland’s website Monday, prompting an FBI investigation, Cleveland.com reports.

Anonymous said the website was hacked in response to the police shooting of Tamir Rice, who was killed Saturday while carrying an airsoft gun.

The website was still down Tuesday morning.

“The city of Cleveland and our website vendor are reviewing the incident and determining proper preventative measures to be added in order to ensure future attacks are thwarted,” city spokesman Daniel Ball said.

Anonymous posted a video on YouTube, saying Tamir was shot “in cold blood.”

“Police of the United States you will learn in due time once anonymous has shut down your sites that we will not stand for your ignorant untrained rookie cops,” the message said.

 


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Grand Jury Decision in Ferguson Won’t Stop Justice Department Investigation

By Steve Neavling
www.ticklethewire.com

Chaos erupted in pockets of Ferguson Monday night after a grand jury decided not to charge a white police officer who shot an unarmed black teenager.

So what’s next? The Justice Department is investigating whether Officer Darren Wilson violated the civil rights of Michael Brown. But don’t expect him to be charged, the Washington Post reports.

The Justice Department also will be examining the policing practices in what likely will lead to wholesale reforms, the Los Angeles Times reported. Investigators will be reviewing excessive force cases and arrest reports in search of a pattern of violating residents’ rights.

Reforms are more common than charges, the LA Times wrote.

Although civil rights investigations tend to drag on, Attorney General Eric Holder said he hopes to wrap up the probe by the time he leaves office, possibly as early as February.


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Boston Globe Editorial: Border Patrol Needs More Reforms, Not More Money

By The Boston Globe
Editorial Board

The ebola crisis has sparked no small number of irrational statements, but one of the least sensible is the call to invest heavily in US border enforcement. President Obama’s highly anticipated plans for executive action on immigration, announced Thursday, included boosting border security. A more secure border, the thinking goes, should be the policy priority, not creating pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

But there’s a problem with that reasoning: The United States already has piled additional billions into border security, creating Customs and Border Protection, which is now the largest law enforcement agency in the country, with 60,000 agents and staff.

The number of border agents has nearly doubled in 10 years. In a compelling 10,000-word exposé in Politico magazine, writer Garrett M. Graff presents a portrait of an overstaffed, dysfunctional Border Patrol, a force within Customs and Border Protection that is home to rogue agents and cloaked in secrecy. Many of the agency’s problems are attributable to its rapid growth, much of it originally funded in George W. Bush’s second term and maintained afterward.

A surge in funding would exacerbate the issues plaguing the border patrol, which placed too many inexperienced agents in the field without proper training, and continues to struggle with internal misconduct and corruption cases.

Politico’s Graff layers in many chilling points about the patrol and its officers, whose green uniforms prompted Washington officials to dub the agency the Green Monster. It is likely one of the US government’s deadliest agencies, with 46 fatal shootings in the past 10 years.

To read more click here.


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