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Tag: FBI

FBI Investigating Discovery of Drones Flying High Above New York Airports, Bridges

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

High-flying drones have been spotted near airports and bridges in New York, prompting the FBI and Federal Aviation Administration to investigate, CBS Local reports.

The drones were spotted by three pilots near commercial aircraft approaching John F. Kennedy International Airport. A helicopter pilot spotted two more drones near LaGuardia Airport

The drones are troublesome because they were flying at altitudes of 2,000 to 3,000 feet, far in excess of the 400-feet limit. They are seen as a distraction, and officials don’t know why they are in the air, causing some unease.

“They’re the fun toy to have now, but they have real, serious and dire consequences if misused,” said aviation attorney and pilot Daniel O. Rose.

 

 

 

 

FBI Changing How it Assigns Agents to Handle Cyberattacks As Crackdown Intensifies

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the FBI steps up its crackdown on cyberattacks, the FBI is changing how it assigns agents to handle the crimes.

The Hill reports that the bureau will stop assigning agents to cyber crimes based on the location of the victim.

Instead, the most talented FBI divisions will handle the most serious cyberattacks, FBI Director James Comey said.

“Notions of traditional ‘my division, your division’ don’t really make sense in that environment,” Comey said at the Overseas Security Advisory Council annual briefing on Wednesday.

“For the first time at the FBI, we’re going to approach cyber by not being bound to traditional notions of area of responsibility,” he explained.

Each threat, Comey said, will be examined for its dangers and then will be assigned to up to four regional field offices to help the local hacking victims.

Comey said it’s a work-in-progress, and he’s open to suggestions.

“We’re going to try that,” he said. “We want to get feedback.”

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Tracking Nearly 150 Americans Who Recently Traveled to Syria, Possibly to Fight

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is monitoring nearly 150 Americans who traveled to Syria recently and may have joined armed groups, Reuters reports.

FBI Director James Comey said he’s worried that Americans may return to the U.S. with training and connections to launch a terrorist attack on the homeland.

“We have tracked coming up on close to 150 people who traveled from the United States to Syria, for all manner of motivations. A significant number of them to fight,” he told reporters at a briefing in Boston.

“We are determined not to allow future lines to be drawn from a terrorist diaspora out of Syria to a future 9/11,” he said.

The FBI’s biggest concern is Americans who are joining Islamic State because of effective recruitment campaigns on the internet.

“There we see somewhere in excess of a dozen (Americans who have joined Islamic State) that we have a pretty good handle on,” Comey said. “I don’t have high confidence that I see the entire universe,” he added.

Debt Collectors Accused of Impersonating Federal Authorities to Get People to Pay Up

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Employees of a debt collection company in Georgia are accused of impersonating FBI, Justice Department and local police officials to get thousands of people to pay up, the Guardian reports.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the employees of Williams, Scott and Associates illegally collected debts from 6,000 people and are now facing criminal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The employees face up to 20 years in prison.

After buying the debt for a few cents on the dollar, the company began collecting the money from 6,000 people after saying they were investigators. The employees collected $4.1 million this year, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

“After years of threatening false arrest, these defendants are the ones who now find themselves in handcuffs,”  said US attorney for the southern district of New York Preet Bharara in a statement.

Suspected Gang Member Implicated in Theft of FBI Agent’s Laptop in California

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An alleged Oakland gang member accused of stealing an FBI agent’s laptop from his locked car  is expected to plead guilty soon to theft of U.S. government property, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Joey Haines, 30, is an alleged member of the Ghost Town gang in West Oakland, Calif.

Haines and a friend are accused of smashing the rear passenger side window of an FBI car parked near the bureau’s office in Oakland and stealing a backpack belonging to Special Agent Russell Nimmo.

Agents were lucky enough to reach their car just after the theft and were able to chase the burglars long enough to track down information about the driver using surveillance.

Agents delivered a message to Haines through his brother’s girlfriend that the laptop better be returned within 24 hours.

Sure enough, the laptop was found in a plastic bag placed on the hood of a police car, with a note that read: “This laptop belongs to FBI agent officer Russ. Please return to him.”

Later that day, Haines was arrested.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Warns Of Violence in Wake of Decision About Ferguson Police Officer

Michael Brown

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is worried about “likely” threats and attacks targeting law enforcement after a grand jury determines whether a Ferguson police officer will be charged with killing an unarmed Michael Brown, ABC News reports.

The FBI also warned law enforcement of possible attacks on electrical facilities and water treatment plants.

“The announcement of the grand jury’s decision … will likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement and critical infrastructure,” the FBI said in an intelligence bulletin. “This also poses a threat to those civilians engaged in lawful or otherwise constitutionally protected activities.”

The FBI’s concerns were not over peaceful protesters.

“The FBI assesses those infiltrating and exploiting otherwise legitimate public demonstrations with the intent to incite and engage in violence could be armed with bladed weapons or firearms, equipped with tactical gear/gas masks, or bulletproof vests to mitigate law enforcement measures.”

 

 

FBI Director Comey: Hatchet Attack on NYPD Officer Was ‘Act of Terror’

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A man who attacked an NYPD officer last month with a hatchet was inspired by terrorists and black separatism, NBC4 New York reports.

“There is no doubt it was terrorism,” Comey said during a news conference at the Newark FBI offices.

Comey said the suspect, Zale Thompson, was politically motivated and he appears to have drawn inspiration from foreign terrorist sources like ISIL (ISIS), but there is also evidence he was focused on black separatist ideology.”

Comey said Thompson reviewed jihadist propaganda and ISIL beheading videos online.

“There is no doubt that played a role,” Comey said.

Thompson is accused of attacking NYPD rookie Officer Kenneth Healy while he was posing for a picture. Healy spent time in the hospital and rehabilitation before being sent home to recover.

FBI: American Tourists Sent Human Parts Home from Thailand

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is trying to determine whether two American tourists broke any laws by shipping preserved human parts from Thailand to Las Vegas, the Associated Press reports.

Bangkok police said one of the tourists, 31-year-old Ryan McPherson, sent home an infant’s head, a baby’s foot and an adult heart because he thought it was bizarre and wanted his friends to see them. Also accused is 33-year-old Daniel Tanner.

Bankok police confiscated the body parts after finding three boxes labeled “toys.”

The AP couldn’t reach the tourists for comment.