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Archive for April, 2011

Suspected Calif. Synagogue Bomber Nabbed in Ohio

Ron Hirsch/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The nationwide hunt for a transient suspected of bombing a Santa Monica, Calif. synagogue last week ended Monday night with his arrest in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, the FBI said.

The FBI said a citizen tip resulted in the arrest of Ron Hirsch, who had taken a Greyhound bus on the day of last Thursday’s bombing, and was destined for New York, where he has relatives.

“There are at least 10 destinations in between Los Angeles and New York. Additional investigation and video surveillance indicates that Hirsch disembarked the bus in Denver and may have further deviated from his original route,” the FBI said.

The New York Daily News reported that the blast at the Chabad House synagogue “sent a 300-pound concrete-encased pipe ricocheting off the synagogue into a neighboring house where a child was sleeping.” There were no injuries.

Authorities initially thought it was an industrial accident.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Column: Is Flattering Customs and Border Control Story Scare Tactic to Head Off Budget Cuts?

Jeff Stein

By Jeff Stein
Spy Talk

WASHINGTON — David Frum rightly skewered Republicans for saying the Obama administration isn’t doing enough to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, drugs and guns into the country while proposing a $600 million haircut for Customs and Border Control in the 2012 budget.

But you have to wonder whether today’s A.P. exclusive touting CBP for helping stop “more than 350 people suspected of ties to al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups from boarding U.S.-bound commercial flights since the end of 2009” is an agency scare story to head off the budget cuts.

“The tighter security rules — imposed after the attempted bombing of an airliner on Christmas 2009 — reveal a security threat that persisted for more than seven years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks,” the A.P. reported.

No doubt CBP, and other U.S. intelligence agencies have snared a number of suspected terrorists trying to get into this country: al-Qaeda and like-minded operatives wouldn’t be doing their job if they weren’t trying to get in, while our guys wouldn’t be doing theirs if they didn’t catch them.

To read more click here.

Read Associated Press story

FBI Entertained Possibility that Hitler Was Alive After the War


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — For roughly 30 years, the FBI kept files on tips and rumors suggesting Adolph Hitler had faked his suicide in a Berlin bunker in 1945 and was hiding somewhere around the world, according to FBI documents available on the agency’s website.

In one of  the many FBI memos, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover wrote on Nov. 13, 1945 to the American Ambassador  in Buenos Aires: “The bureau is in receipt of a report from the Strategic Services Unit of the War Department dated October 23, 1945, concerning the possibility of a “Hitler Hideout” in Argentina.

“One Mrs. Eichorn, reported to be a reputable member of the Argentine society and the properitor of the largest spa hotel in La Falda, Argentina, recently made the following observations:

“That if Hitler should at any time get into difficulty wherein it was necessary for him to find a safe retreat, he would find such safe retreat at her hotel (La Falda) where they had already made the necessary preparations.”

Other FBI memo indicated he might be hiding out in such places as  Denmark or New York.

All that being said, Russian intelligence had information tha on April 29, 1945, Hitler and his female companion Eva Braun killed themselves in the Berlin bunker.

Read documents

Mexican Drug Cartels Intentionally Killing Children

By Anne-Marie O’Connor and William Booth
The Washington Post

SAN LUIS POTOSI, Mexico — On a sunny afternoon last week, when the streets of this mountain mining city were filled with schoolchildren and parents hurrying home from work, gunmen entered a tiny apartment and started firing methodically.

The assassins killed everyone: the family matriarch and her adult son; her daughter and son-in-law, and finally, her 22-month-old granddaughter.

The child was not killed by mistake. Preliminary forensics indicate that the gunmen, unchallenged, pointed a pistol at Scarlett Ramirez and fired.

In Mexico’s brutal drug war, children are increasingly victims, innocents caught in the crossfire, shot dead alongside their parents — and intentionally targeted.

To read more click here.

FBI Investigated UFO in Utah in 1949

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Back in the late 1940s, FBI J. Edgar Hoover had more than communists on his mind.

An FBI memo shows on April 4, 1949, FBI agents in Utah sent an “urgent” cable to the Hoover saying an Army guard at the Ogden Supply Depot, a Logan policeman and a Utah Highway Patrol officer in Mantua, Utah, spotted a UFO over Utah that exploded, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The cable, according to the paper, said the various people, who were miles apart from one another, “saw a silver colored object high up approaching the mountains at Sardine Canyon” that “appeared to explode in a rash of fire. Several residents at Trenton … [reported] seeing what appeared to be two aerial explosions followed by falling object.”

The paper reported that other FBI documents showed the agency considered that UFOs might be legit. The documents were posted on the FBI website.

Indiana U.S. Atty. Joseph Hogsett Busted for Speeding: Guilt Prompts Him to Publicly Apologize

Joseph Hogsett/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It ain’t exactly the crime of the century. In fact, everyone from grandmas to teens do it.

In this case it was the Indianapolis U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett who was busted for speeding. And he apparently felt he needed to publicly apologize for his law breaking ways.

The IndyChannel.com reported that Hogsett was ticketed for driving 65 in a 55 mph zone last  Tuesday while driving from Terre Haute to Bloomington.

“The fact that I was running late to a previously scheduled meeting in Bloomington in no way justifies exceeding a posted speed limit,” he said in a statement, according to the station.

“I apologize for my poor judgment in exceeding the posted speed limit and I readily accept the consequences of my haste.”

His office said he was in the process of paying the $130 fine.

“I take my obligation to report to the people of Indiana what occurs in the United States Attorney’s Office very seriously,” Hogsett said, according to the station. “It is just as important to inform the people when I have fallen short of the mark as it is when this office has achieved some measure of success.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICE ACT NEWS

Weekend Series on Crime History: FBI Agent Joe Pistone of “Donnie Brasco” Fame

Sen. Grassley Wants to Know If ATF Agents Have Been Advised to Stonewall Congressional Inquiries

Sen. Grassley/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley on Friday expressed concerns that ATF agents are possibly being encouraged not to fully cooperate with Congressional inquiries into a controversial  ATF gun-walking program.

In a press release issued Friday, Grassley said his concerns surfaced after documents released by AFT through the Freedom of Information Act included an email to ATF Deputy Director Billy Hoover “regarding suggestions on how ATF agents should be directed to respond to congressional requests, like those from Grassley. ”

He did not indicate who wrote the email and the name of person was redacted in a copy he released. It did show the person was part of the “SMO”, which in the Justice Department stands for Senior Management Offices.

In an April 8  letter to Kenneth Melson, head of ATF, Grassley writes of the email:

“It appears to contain proposed guidance to ATF employees about how to respond to contacts from my office. The guidance instructs ATF employees that they “are in no way obligated to respond” to questions from Congress. It also attempts to prevent direct communications with my office by instructing that ATF employees “should refer congressional staff who seek information from you to the ATF’s office of congressional affairs.”

“The guidance further attempts to prevent direct communications with my office by claiming that ATF employees “are not authorized to disclose non-public information.”

“It is unclear from the email released through FOIA whether this guidance was actually communicated to ATF employees. However, it is of grave concern because, as you know, such attempts to prevent direct communications with Congress are not a lawfully authorized activity of any officer or employee of the United States whose salary is paid with appropriated funds.”

Grassley said in the press release:  “Since our investigation began, I’ve continued to be contacted by agents and others within the ATF about wrongdoing regarding Fast and Furious at the ATF and the Justice Department. If people have concerns they should be able to express themselves without feeling pressure from their bosses.”

Operation and Fast and Furious encouraged straw purchasers to buy weapons, all with the hopes of tracing them to the higher levels of the Mexican cartels.

But critics complained ATF lost track of some guns, and some were used in serious crimes.

ATF did not immediately respond for comment.

Read letter to Ken Melson