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March 2010


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for March, 2010

Chicago Defendant Linked to Mumbai Attacks Expected to Plead Guilty

india map2By Allan Lengel

David Coleman Headley, charged in Chicago with playing a role in the 2008 Mumbai, India bombings that killed about 170 people, is expected to plead guilty Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Tribune reported that he has been cooperating since his arrest in October. His attorney would not comment to the paper on whether the government has agreed not to pursue the death penalty.

Authorities have alleged that Headley traveled to India to scout targets for the attack. Another person charged in the Chicago case, Tahawwur Rana, has pleaded not guilty.

The two are also charged with plotting to attack a Danish newspaper for publishing cartoons that were viewed as being very offensive in the Muslim community.

Napolitano Freezes Funding for Trouble-Plagued Virtual Fence Along Southwest Border

Janet Napolitano/bill maher show

Janet Napolitano/bill maher show

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — The fate of the once-touted virtual fence designed to protect the Southwest border along Mexico is in doubt.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Tuesday that she was freezing additional funding and work on the uncompleted virtual fence that was supposed to stretch across 2,000 miles of border. She has ordered an assessment of the problem-plagued project that to date has cost the government $1.1 billion.

“Not only do we have an obligation to secure our borders, we have a responsibility to do so in the most cost effective way possible,” Napolitano said in a statement posted on the agency’s website.

“The system of sensors and cameras along the Southwest border known as SBInet has been plagued with cost overruns and missed deadlines.

“Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security will redeploy $50 million of Recovery Act funding originally allocated for the SBInet Block 1 to other tested, commercially available security technology along the Southwest border, including mobile surveillance, thermal imaging devices, ultra-light detection, backscatter units, mobile radios, cameras and laptops for pursuit vehicles, and remote video surveillance system enhancements.”

To read more on the virtual fence go to AOL  News.


FBI Has Not Ruled Out Mistake in Identity of Murder Victims Tied to U.S. Consulate in Mexico

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON – The FBI said Tuesday night that it had not ruled out the possibility that three people with ties to the U.S. consulate were murdered Saturday in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez as a result of a mistake in identity.

But special agent Andrea Simmons, an FBI spokeswoman for the El Paso Office, emphasized that there was no evidence to suggest that —  only that it wasn’t being ruled out.

“We don’t know,” she said. “It’s pretty early in the investigation. Nothing has been ruled out.”

She said Monday that the three victims appeared to be targets of the gunmen. But she said there’s no indication at this point they were targeted because of their ties to the consulate.

The Mexican government said Monday it suspects the Aztecas street gang and the drug organization La Linea may have had a hand in the shootings, according to the El Paso Times. Both are linked to the Juarez Drug Cartel.

Some media outlets have reported that officials have not ruled out the possibility that the drug traffickers were trying to send a message to the U.S.

Simmons mentioned that in January more than a dozen teens at a party in Juarez were murdered in what turned out to be a mistake in identity.

Atty. Gen. Holder Predicts bin Laden Will Never Be Captured Alive

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder made a little prediction during his testimony on Capitol Hill Tuesday: We don’t have to bother preparing for a trial for Osama bin Laden; he’ll never be captured alive, according to the Associated Press.

In what the AP described as “testy exchanges with House Republicans” Holder said it was likely if authorities were reading Miranda rights to bin Laden, it would be to his corpse. He testified before the House Appropriations subcommittee.

And he rebuffed criticism from GOP members who say it’s too dangerous to put terrorists on trial in civilian courts, AP reported.

Holder testified, according to AP, that suspected terrorists “have the same rights that Charles Manson would have, any other kind of mass murderer. It doesn’t mean that they’re going to be coddled, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be treated with kid gloves.”

To read more click here.

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Column: U.S. Consulate Deaths in Mexico Reminder We Have No Permanent Leadership at DEA, ATF, Border Protection

Chris Battle, a former Congressional aide, also worked as Director of Public Affairs for the Department of Homeland Secuirty,  chief of staff  for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and  Director of Congressional and Public Affairs for the DEA.  He is currently vice president of the Adfero Group.

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief

WASHINGTON — I’ve written previously on the surge of drug violence in Mexico, especially along its border with the United States in cities like Juarez City. This week the latest atrocity occurred, this time on employees of the U.S. Government. Three people were gunned down in Juarez City, one of which was a pregnant woman and federal employee of the United States.

The Administration issued the standard boilerplate statement about being “saddened and outraged” over these murders. The president also vowed to “work tirelessly to bring their killers to justice.”

I wish these weren’t hollow clichés. Work tirelessly. Saddened and outraged. Bring to justice. We’ve heard it all before; it’s the standard response.

However, if this Administration were truly outraged and truly planned on working to bring justice to the border violence, it is doing so in an odd way: Practically the entire border security infrastructure of this Administration is leaderless.

More than a year into this Administration’s tenure, the President has failed to install permanent leadership at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

To read more click here.

Wired Housekeeper to Testify Against Ex-Boss — Former Boston Homeland Security Official

boston-map-istockBy Allan Lengel

A Brazilian housekeeper who was an illegal immigrant, and wore a wire, is expected to testify in a federal trial against her former boss, an ex-top official in Boston for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Boston Globe reported.

Lorraine Henderson, who has been suspended without pay from her job as regional director of Homeland Security is on trial for encouraging the housekeeper Fabiana Bittencourt to stay in the country even though she was an illegal immigrant.

Authorities eventually talked to Bittencourt and got her to wear a wire, the Globe reported.

The Globe reported that in one taped conversation Henderson told Bittencourt, “You have to be careful, ’cause they will deport you. Be careful . . . Once you leave, you will never be back.”

The trial began Monday.

To read more click here.

Rival Prison Gangs Working Together on Outside with Drug Cartels, Feds Say

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Sometimes law enforcement wishes not everyone got along.

USA Today reports that rival prison gangs like the Aryan Brotherhood and the Mexican Mafia “are brokering unusual criminal alliances outside prison to assist Mexican drug cartel operations in the U.S. and Mexico.”

Inside the prisons, the paper reported, the groups remain bitter enemies, the paper says.

Kevin O’Keefe, chief of ATF’s criminal intelligence division, tells the paper that says investigators have tied the rival gangs to some stolen vehicles flush with cash and weapons headed toward locations like Mexico and Texas.

“They realize that the financial gain is so lucrative that they have been willing to work together,” O’Keefe told USA Today. “It’s all about business.”

To Read more click here.

Fed Agents Going Undercover on Social Networks Like Facebook and MySpace, Justice Dept. Report Says

facebook-logoBy Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Well, social networking isn’t just for socializing anymore.

An internal Justice Department document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows federal agents are going undercover on such social networks as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter to investigate cases, according to the Associated Press.

The AP reports that agents are logging on to identify ” suspects, identify a target’s friends or relatives and browse private information such as postings, personal photographs and video clips.”

The social networks also allows investigators to check on suspects’ alibis “by comparing stories told to police with tweets sent at the same time about their whereabouts. Online photos from a suspicious spending spree — people posing with jewelry, guns or fancy cars — can link suspects or their friends to robberies or burglaries,” AP reported.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based civil liberties group, obtained the Justice Department document in connection to a lawsuit, AP reported.

To read more click here.