Weekend Series on Law Enforcement: Richard Nixon Talks to LBJ About the Death of the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover
The FBI warned Thursday that it has “credible information” that extremists from an Islamic State-affiliated group plan to kidnap journalists in the region, the Washington Post reports.
The kidnappings are meant to be retaliation against the U.S. for attacks on Iraq and Syria.
Journalists have been called “desirable targets.”
The Islamic State has already beheaded three people, including two American journalists.
President Obama is faced with a significant challenge and opportunity.
The top three jobs at the Justice Department will soon be vacant, and just four of Obama’s 11 choices for assistant attorney generals have been confirmed, CBS News reports.
The vacancies leave a power vacuum at an agency that has been very active in law enforcement issues.
“It’s always a challenge because the senior-level positions require Senate confirmation, and it can be difficult to move these nominees through a confirmation vote,” Thomas Dupree, who served as deputy assistant attorney general during the George W. Bush administration, told CBS News. At the same time, he said, “It’s an opportunity for [the president] to identify new people who will bring new energy and new ideas into the administration.”
The vacancies also offer a good opportunity for the administration “to look at the whole matrix” of skills and experience that fit the needs of the country, said Robert Raben, an assistant attorney general in the Clinton administration.
So how do you capture a cop-killing survivalist who has managed to elude police in Pennsylvania for 42 days?
Not many people would know more than Gregg O. McCrary, a retired criminal profiler for the FBI who spoke to the Scranton Times-Tribune in a report published Friday.
“He may be in one of those situations as ‘this is what we’re down to,’” McCrary said. “What places are he comfortable and familiar with? Eventually, they can flush him out into areas he’s not familiar with and that could be the end of the hunt.”
Eric Matthew Frein has been on the run after being accused of killing Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II, 38, of Dunmore, and wounding of Trooper Alex T. Douglass, 31, of Olyphant.
Authorities believe he has disappeared in the thicket of the Pocono Mountains.
Raiding a lingerie shop may seem like an odd task for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, but it’s a part of their responsibilities.
News of the underwear seizures raised some questions about the involvement of ICE.
So what prompted the raid?
IJReview reports that the panties included a trademarked logo: The Kansas City Royals’ initials and a copyrighted phase, “Take the Crown.”
The federal agency handles those issues, among many others not directly involving immigration.
The Justice Department outlined new changes that will make it easier for agents and employees of the FBI to blow the whistle on misconduct within the bureau, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The idea is to ensure complaints are handled swiftly and fairly.
President Obama directed the rule change in 2012 following complaints that whistleblower aren’t properly protected.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, a long-time critic of how the FBI handles internal complaints, said he pleased with the changes.
“Nobody’s got on rose-colored glasses that the culture for whistleblowers at the FBI will change anytime soon, but many of the items outlined in the FBI’s analysis are promising,’’ he said in a statement. “In an agency with so much focus on the chain of command, it makes no sense for the FBI to be the only agency in the federal government not to protect disclosures of waste, fraud, and abuse to immediate supervisors.”
The FBI didn’t comment immediately on the changes.
The discovery that three teenage girls were trying to join the Islamic State in Syria has raised plenty of questions.
Among them: How did they get to Europe without anyone noticing and what prompted the girls, ages 16, 16 and 17, to make the trip?
The Associated Press reports that a school official said the girls were the victims of an “online predator” who convinced them to join ISIS.
“Social media has played a very significant role in the recruitment of young people,” said FBI spokesman Kyle Loven in Minneapolis, which has the largest Somali community in the U.S.
A school official said there were no signs that the teens had been radicalized.
U.S. officials also are investigating how the girls managed to get to Frankfurt.
The FBI’s enormous criminal database includes records of about one out of every three American adults, Gizmodo reports.
The FBI has criminal records on more than 77.7 million Americans, and the bureau is adding between 10,000 and 12,000 new people a day.
The arrest records can be problematic because they don’t typically describe whether the person was convicted or just accused.
The records are often used for employment, loans and housing.