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Tag: bombing

FBI Director Robert Mueller Concedes Slip-up on Boston Bomber’s Travel

Robert Mueller

By JOSH GERSTEIN
Politico

WASHINGTON — The terrorist tracking task force in Boston failed to act on notices that one of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers had traveled to and from Russia last year, FBI Director Robert Mueller told lawmakers Thursday.

Mueller said the authorities would “do better” next time in following up on such information.

Mueller said that before Tamerlan Tsarnaev went to Russia in early 2012 a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force got a notification from a database known as TECS (formerly the Treasury Enforcement Communications System). Tamerlan’s travel was being flagged because of information the Russian intelligence service gave the FBI in 2011 that he’d become more religious and was interested in joining Islamic radical groups in Russia.

To read more click here.

 

Read his statement Thursday before  the Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

Good morning Chairwoman Mikulski, Ranking Member Shelby, and members of the subcommittee. I look forward to discussing the FBI’s efforts as a threat-driven, intelligence-led organization that is guided by clear operational strategies and priorities.

The FBI has established strong practices for sharing intelligence, leveraged key technologies to help us be more efficient and productive, and hired some of the best to serve as special agents, intelligence analysts, and professional staff. We have built a workforce and leadership cadre that view change and transformation as a positive tool for keeping the FBI focused on the key threats facing our nation.

Just as our national security and criminal adversaries and threats constantly adapt and evolve, so must the FBI be able to quickly respond with new or revised strategies and operations to counter these threats. Looking forward, a key challenge facing the FBI will be maintaining its current capabilities and capacities to respond to these threats at a time when the budgetary environment remains constrained.

We live now, and will for the foreseeable future, in a time of acute and persistent threats to our national security, economy, and community safety from terrorists, foreign adversaries, criminals and violent gangs, and cyber attackers. The attacks in Boston are vivid examples of the threat. This subcommittee understands these threats—and the consequences of failing to address them. I look forward to working with the subcommittee to ensure that the FBI maintains the intelligence, investigative, and infrastructure capabilities and capacities needed to deal with these threats and crime problems within the current fiscal climate. One lesson we have learned is that those who would do harm to the nation and its citizens will exploit any weakness they perceive in the ability and capacity of the U.S. government to counter their activities. We must identify and fix those gaps while not allowing new weaknesses or opportunities for terrorists, cyber criminals, foreign agents, and criminals to exploit.

The FBI’s fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget request totals $8.4 billion in direct budget authority, including 34,787 permanent positions (13,082 special agents, 3,026 intelligence analysts, and 18,679 professional staff). This funding level provides critical funding to address threats posed by terrorists, cyber attackers, and criminals.

The threats facing the homeland, briefly outlined below, underscore the complexity and breadth of the FBI’s mission to protect the nation in a post-9/11 world. Let me briefly summarize the key national security threats and crime problems that this funding supports.

 National Security Threats

 Terrorism

We have pursued those who committed, or sought to commit, acts of terrorism against the United States. Along with our partners in the military and intelligence communities, we have taken the fight against terrorism to our adversaries’ own sanctuaries in the far corners of the world—including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Southwest Asia, and the Horn of Africa. We have worked to uncover terrorist cells and supporters within the United States and disrupted terrorist financial, communications, and operational lifelines at home and abroad. We have built strong partnerships with law enforcement in countries around the world.

The threat from terrorism remains complex and ever-changing. We are seeing more groups and individuals engaged in terrorism, a wider array of terrorist targets, greater cooperation among terrorist groups, and continued evolution and adaptation in tactics and communication.

Threats from homegrown terrorists are also of great concern. These individuals are difficult to detect, able to connect with other extremists, and—in some instances—highly capable operationally. There is no typical profile of a homegrown terrorist; their experiences and motivating factors are distinct. Many questions remain as to the precise motivation, planning, and possible support to the attacks in Boston. However, it is increasingly likely that the Boston attacks may prove to be the latest example of homegrown extremism.

Radicalization to violence remains an issue of great concern. Many factors appear to contribute to radicalization here at home, and those factors may explain why radicalization is more prevalent now than in the past. First, American extremists appear to be attracted to wars in foreign countries. We have already seen a number of Americans travel overseas to train and fight with extremist groups. The increase and availability of extremist propaganda in English perpetuate the problem.

Read more »

Feds Arrest 3 More in Boston Marathon Bombing

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Islam Convert Denies Radicalizing Older Brother in Boston Marathon Bombings

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A man accused of radicalizing the older brother in the Boston Marathon bombings denied any wrongdoing and said he would never condone a terrorist attack, the Washington Times reports.

Mikhail Allakhverdov, 39, a convert to Islam, denied allegations leveled by relatives of Tamerian Tsarnaev.

“I wasn’t his teacher. If I had been his teacher, I would have made sure he never did anything like this,” Allakhverdov said.

Allakhverdov said he has been “cooperating entirely” with the investigation.

“I gave them my computer and my phone and everything,” he said, according to the review, “I wanted to show I haven’t done anything. And they said they are about to return them to me.”

Column: April 19 and Boston Bombing Remind Us We Can’t Drop Our Guard

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — It was noon on a Friday. I was reporter at The Detroit News. It was two days after the April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

 Before long, another reporter and I were speeding north on I-75 to Decker, in the Michigan Thumb, to check out an FBI raid at a farmhouse where suspects Terry Nichols and Tim McVeigh had spent time.

When we arrived, it was a full-blown circus. Media satellite trucks were camped along the dirt road bordering the farm, and reporters were walking about, interviewing locals. Federal agents crawled all over the farm, looking for clues.

I even spotted undercover ATF agents walking along the perimeter of the farm, trying to befriend locals to find out information that might shed light on the attack that killed 168 people. One of them, who I knew, waived me away as I approached.

It was in the coming days that we would hear about the local militias and the harsh anti-government sentiments, some of them the result of government foreclosures on farms.

It was an eye-opener not only for the public, but for law enforcement, which realized it had to step up its game and monitor and crack down on the enemy within — the domestic terrorist.

I’m reminded of the tragic bombing in Oklahoma 18 years ago to this day as we process the tragedy in Boston.

To read full column click here.

 

Home Searched in Boston Bombing

 

By CNN

Authorities including bomb experts searched an apartment in Revere, Massachusetts, and removed items, after two deadly bombs struck the Boston Marathon. But investigators remained mum about just how the search may be linked to the bombing investigation.

A law enforcement official said the search was not a suggestion that police may have a suspect. At this point there is no suspect and no leading theory on motive, the official said.

The search on the home is connected to a young Saudi citizen who is visiting on a student visa and has been questioned, the official said. So far, the official told CNN, he has not heard of anything being found connecting the person to the bombings.

Authorities also plan to search through videos from surveillance cameras near the attack in Boston’s Copley Square. So far, no footage has been spotted showing someone placing the bombs.

To read more click here.

FBI Takes Lead in Probe of Boston Marathon Explosions That Killed Three, Injured 144

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is taking charge of the investigation into the Boston Marathon explosions that killed three people and injured 144, CNN reports.

The FBI and other law enforcement are tracking down a person of interest, whose apartment in Revere, Massachusetts, was searched late Monday with consent, according to CNN.

“This will be a combined federal, state and local effort,” Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Division, said at a news briefing by law enforcement officials on Monday evening.

No more details were available this morning on the person of interest.

FBI Criticized for Handling of Mentally Ill Man Accused in Attempted Bombing in Oakland

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Depending on whom you believe, Matthew Aaron Llaneza was either bent on committing terrorism in the name of Allah or was psychotic and easily manipulated by the FBI, the Mercury News reports.

The 28-year-old San Jose is accused of trying to detonate what turned out to be a phony bomb Friday in Oakland, Calif., and flee to Afghanistan to help train the Taliban.

But civil rights advocates and Llaneza’s former attorney in another case maintain the man was incapable of pulling off a terrorist attack without the government’s help, Mercury News reported.

“My question is whether or not the FBI stopped a crime in this case or had created one,” said Cameron Bowman, who represented Llaneza for a 2011 weapons charge. “Is this a guy who planned the crime and the FBI stopped him, or is he susceptible to being sucked into whatever is suggested to him, getting set up and not fully understanding the consequences?”

In an earlier case, Llaneza is portrayed as a troubled man struggling with psychosis and bipolar disorder, Mercury News wrote.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI: Teen Accused of Trying to Detonate Bomb in Portland Also Wanted to Live Regular College Life

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A teenager on trial for trying to blow up what he thought was a bomb at an event in Portland, Oregon was “conflicted and manipulable,” the FBI acknowledged in an early assessment of the suspect, the Associated Press reports.

Mohamed Mohamud’s attorney has been trying to paint the suspect as a naive, harmless teenager who was manipulated by overzealous FBI agents.

But prosecutors Wednesday sought to depict him as an extremist bent on killing.

One email assessment by FBI Special Agent Isaac DeLong said Mohamud “wants to have it both ways” – as an extremist and binge-drinking college student, the AP wrote.