Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

September 2011
S M T W T F S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for September, 2011

Gun Store Owner Had Misgivings About ATF Sting

atf file photo

By Richard A. Serrano
Los Angeles Times

GLENDALE and RIO RICO, Az. — In the fall of 2009, ATF agents installed a secret phone line and hidden cameras in a ceiling panel and wall at Andre Howard’s Lone Wolf gun store. They gave him one basic instruction: Sell guns to every illegal purchaser who walks through the door.

For 15 months, Howard did as he was told. To customers with phony IDs or wads of cash he normally would have turned away, he sold pistols, rifles and semiautomatics. He was assured by the ATF that they would follow the guns, and that the surveillance would lead the agents to the violent Mexican drug cartels on the Southwest border.

When Howard heard nothing about any arrests, he questioned the agents. Keep selling, they told him. So hundreds of thousands of dollars more in weapons, including .50-caliber sniper rifles, walked out of the front door of his store in a Glendale, Ariz., strip mall.

To read the full story click here.

 

FBI Probing Hacking of NBC Twitter Account: False Report Posted

  
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Yes, you can’t believe everything you read in the media, particularly when it’s posted by a hacker.

NBC reports that early Friday evening someone hacked into the NBC Twitter account and posted some false information about an attack.

The network reported that the FBI computer crimes unit is investigating the matter along with NBC and Twitter. A hacker group called The Script Kiddies claimed responsibility.

The false tweet said:

“Breaking News! Ground Zero has just been attacked. Flight 5736 has crashed in the site, suspected hijacking. More as the story develops.”

The website Search Engine Journal  reported that its social media director Ryan Osborn noticed the false tweet within seconds and contacted Twitter, which shutdown the account in eight minutes. Within hours, the account was back up and running, the station reported.

The station issued a statement saying: “The NBC News Twitter account was hacked late this afternoon and as a result, false reports of a plane attack on ground zero were sent to @NBCNews followers. We are working with Twitter to correct the situation and sincerely apologize for the scare that could have been caused by such a reckless and irresponsible act.”

 

Chicago Feds Deny DEA Granted Immunity to Major Mexican Cartel Member

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fed prosecutors in Chicago are denying claims that a major Mexican cartel member had struck a deal with the DEA granting him immunity and others prosecution from immunity in exchange for information, Reuters news service reported.

Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, the son of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, the right-hand man of Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, faces trial in Chicago on drug related charges.

His lawyers claim the DEA struck a deal with cartel attorney Humberto Loya-Castro in 1998 for immunity for some cartel members, Reuters reported.

But in court filings on Friday, Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald wrote: “Contrary to defendant’s claim, no immunity was conferred upon him, nor was any immunity conferred upon Loya-Castro.”

 

Secret Service Investigates Threatening Messages on White House Facebook Page

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There’s a downside to the White House being hip to social media.

The Associated Press reports that the Secret Service is investigating three threatening messages that were posted on the White House’s Facebook page.

The messages, first reported by WNBC in New York, included a photo of Osama bin Laden and said, according to the AP:

The messages included a picture of Osama bin Laden and said, “We’ll come back 11/9/2011 to kill u all.”

AP reported that Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said the matter has has been referred to the agency’s Internet threat desk.

 

FBI Efforts to Foster Better Relations With Islamic Community Still Hits Bumps

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
Ten years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the FBI efforts to strengthen the bonds with the Islamic American community haven’t always gone smoothly.

The latest of example of that came Saturday in Seattle when the the FBI, Seattle Police and U.S. Attorney’s Office participated in an outreach workshop Saturday with Seattle’s Muslim, Arab, East African and Sikh communities at North Seattle Community College, the Seattle Times reported.

The paper reported that “the event grew confrontational during the FBI’s presentation, which community members complained was too focused on Islamic terrorist groups. Then, the agents showed a PowerPoint slide about state-sponsored terrorism that included a photograph of a man many in the audience believed was a Shia Islamic leader based on his clothes. Several people in the audience asked whether it was Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a political and religious leader who led the 1979 Iranian Revolution and died in 1989.”

The Times reported that two FBI agents giving the presentation didn’t know who it was.

“That offended members of the audience even more, and one of them compared it to calling the pope a terrorist or serving pork to Muslims,” the paper reported.

The Seattle Times siad that the FBI agents Brenda Wilson and Daniel Guerrero declined to comment to the media afterwards, but told community leaders they welcomed their feedback.

To read more click here.

 

Ex-FBI Agent Cites High Level Dysfunction Over 9/11 in His Book

By Scott Shane
New York Times

WASHINGTON — In a new memoir, a former F.B.I. agent who tracked Al Qaeda before and after the Sept. 11 attacks paints a devastating picture of rivalry and dysfunction inside the government’s counterterrorism agencies. The book describes missed opportunities to defuse the 2001 plot, and argues that other attacks overseas might have been prevented, and Osama bin Laden found earlier, if interrogations had not been mismanaged.

The account offered by the agent, Ali H. Soufan, is the most detailed to date by an insider concerning the American investigations of Al Qaeda and the major attacks that the group carried out, including bombings of American Embassies in East Africa and the American destroyer Cole, as well as the Sept. 11 attacks. The book is scheduled to be published Monday, with redactions to several chapters by the Central Intelligence Agency, the target of much of Mr. Soufan’s criticism.

In the 571-page book, “The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al Qaeda,” Mr. Soufan accuses C.I.A. officials of deliberately withholding crucial documents and photographs of Qaeda operatives from the F.B.I. before Sept. 11, 2001, despite three written requests, and then later lying about it to the 9/11 Commission.

To read more click here.

 

 

The Issue of Torture

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

ticklethewire.com Salutes Federal Law Enforcement in Its Battle Against Terrorism and Honors Those Who Died on Sept. 11, 2001

istock image

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

I still remember walking down Connecticut Avenue in Washington, headed to the subway, when I ran into a friend who told me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

About 20 minutes later, when I got off the subway downtown at the Farragut North stop, I bumped into an editor at the Washington Post who told me the city was under attack. There was eerie feeling in the city. Some people were already heading home even though they had just gotten downtown. There was a sense of chaos. A sense of fear. A sense of uncertainty.

When I got into the Post newsroom, everyone was standing around television sets, watching the events of Sept. 11 unfold. Shortly after, we all got our assignments for the day.

In the days that followed, I felt like life would never be the same, we would never feel safe again. We all felt so vulnerable. A few days later, I was at the BWI airport near Baltimore, waiting for a flight to Detroit to report on a story for the Post. Everyone in line was looking at everyone else, paranoid, looking to see if there were any potential terrorists.

Thankfully, in time, a sense of normalcy returned to our lives. But we knew things would never be the same, from the the airport experience to concerns about abandon packages to the threat of al Qaeda.

We learned about Code Orange. We saw law enforcement change, most notably the FBI, that shifted significant resources to address counterterrorism. We got involved in two wars.

Since 9/11, federal law enforcement has unearthed a number of terrorist plots. It deserves a great deal of credit.

Granted, things haven’t been perfect. Some folks at the FBI aren’t happy with the way resources were divided up. Groups like the ACLU have raised questions about privacy, about stings, about civil rights, about torture. Republicans and Democrats have had heated debates about the proper venue to prosecute suspected terrorists and about reading Miranda Warnings. Politics have sometimes hijacked the true concerns about terrorism.

Federal law enforcement can’t stop everything. It can’t make us feel 100 percent safe. And yes, it can still improve upon what its done and how it does it. But it deserves a great deal of credit for the job its done since 9/11.

It ain’t easy and it won’t be in the future.

ticklethewire.com Salutes Federal Law Enforcement in Its Battle Against Terrorism and Honors Those Who Died on Sept. 11, 2001

istock image

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

I still remember walking down Connecticut Avenue in Washington, headed to the subway, when I ran into a friend who told me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

About 20 minutes later, when I got off the subway downtown at the Farragut North stop, I bumped into an editor at the Washington Post who told me the city was under attack. There was eerie feeling in the city. Some people were already heading home even though they had just gotten downtown. There was a sense of chaos. A sense of fear. A sense of uncertainty.

When I got into the Post newsroom, everyone was standing around television sets, watching the events of Sept. 11 unfold. Shortly after, we all got our assignments for the day.

In the days that followed, I felt like life would never be the same, we would never feel safe again. We all felt so vulnerable. A few days later, I was at the BWI airport near Baltimore, waiting for a flight to Detroit to report on a story for the Post. Everyone in line was looking at everyone else, paranoid, looking to see if there were any potential terrorists.

Thankfully, in time, a sense of normalcy returned to our lives. But we knew things would never be the same, from the the airport experience to concerns about abandon packages to the threat of al Qaeda.

We learned about Code Orange. We saw law enforcement change, most notably the FBI, that shifted significant resources to address counterterrorism. We got involved in two wars.

Since 9/11, federal law enforcement has unearthed a number of terrorist plots. It deserves a great deal of credit.

Granted, things haven’t been perfect. Some folks at the FBI aren’t happy with the way resources were divided up. Groups like the ACLU have raised questions about privacy, about stings, about civil rights, about torture. Republicans and Democrats have had heated debates about the proper venue to prosecute suspected terrorists and about reading Miranda Warnings. Politics have sometimes hijacked the true concerns about terrorism.

Federal law enforcement can’t stop everything. It can’t make us feel 100 percent safe. And yes, it can still improve upon what its done and how it does it. But its deserves a great deal of credit for the job its done since 9/11.

It ain’t easy and it won’t be in the future.