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March 2012


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Archive for March 29th, 2012

FBI’s Top Cyber Cop Talks About Cyber Threats

In Wake of Failed Case: Detroit U.S. Atty. McQuade Vows to Try and Prevent Terror Attacks

U.S. Attorney McQuade

By Allan Lengel

DETROIT — The federal prosecution of a Michigan Militia known as the Hutaree imploded this week in downtown Detroit when a fed judge tossed all the charges that the group of seven conspired to revolt against the government and shoot cops. Two ended up pleading guilty to minor gun charges.

It was an embarrassment to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI.

But on Thursday, U.S. Attorney Barabara McQuade vowed to try and prevent terror attacks, the Detroit News reports. And she responded to criticism from the Hutaree leader David Stone Sr who said the government trampled on his First Amendment rights.

“He can say ugly and hateful things all day long, but the evidence was not just speech,” McQuade said, according to the News. “It was stockpiling weapons, machine guns, 150,000 rounds of ammunition and targeting specific police officers.

“I am a great defender of the First Amendment — this went way beyond the First Amendment. I want to assure the public that our commitment to preventing terrorist attacks will not be deterred.”

But the News reported that one juror said the feds overstepped in this case.

“They overstepped a little bit. It wasn’t there,” said juror Rickey Randall, 58, of St. Clair Shores, according to the News. “It was just a lot of talk, talk, talk and no action.”

“We were all on the same page,” said Randall, a retired construction worker. “They saw what I saw. I felt it was an overreach. I was shocked by what the government presented.”

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Too Much Partying for 2 TSA Officers in South Beach; Trashed Hotel Room and Fired Bullets

By Allan Lengel

Two Transportation Security Administration officers apparently felt they had to let off a little steam.

The Miami Herald reports that TSA officers Jeffrey Piccolella, 27, and Nicholas Anthony Puccio, trashed their South Beach hotel room Tuesday night and shot six rounds out the window with a semi-automatic handgun.

The paper reported that one bullet pierced a $1,500 hurricane impact resistant window at a nearby Barneys New York clothing store. No one was injured.

The dynamic duo was charged with criminal mischief and use of a firearm while under the influence, the Herald reported.


Secret Service Could Shut Down Chicago Rails Under Convention During Nato Summit

By Allan Lengel

The Secret Service could make some Chicago commuters pretty miserable.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Secret Service is considering shutting down rail lines that run under the McCormick Place, Chicago’s massive convention center, during the May 20-21 Nato summit.

The paper reports the action would be taken to help protect world leaders attending the event.

“It kind of sucks because I have to come all the way from Homewood all the way up to Evanston,” Ryan Rounds, 29, an administrative coordinator for Rotary International told the Sun-Times “If I had to drive, it would be 180 miles [roundtrip]. I understand, but couldn’t they just tighten up security?”


Loss of Fed Tax Prosecutors Slows Crackdown on Offshore Bank Accounts

By Allan Lengel

Something doesn’t seem right here.

Bloomberg news reporst that the Justice Department has lost almost 30 percent of its tax prosecutors in the past month.

Bloomberg reported that the loss is slowing down the U.S. crackdown on offshore banks and tax evasion.

“To move one-third of these people from that effort will significantly compromise such enforcement at the very time it is needed to deal with the huge amounts of offshore cases coming to the tax division,” Nathan Hochman, a former assistant attorney general who oversaw the tax division under President George W. Bush, told Bloomberg.

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FBI Training Said Arabs Were Prone to “Jekyll & Hyde Temper Tantrums”

By Spencer Ackerman

The FBI taught its agents that they could sometimes “bend or suspend the law” in their hunt for terrorists and criminals. Other FBI instructional material, discovered during a months-long review of FBI counterterrorism training, warned agents against shaking hands with “Asians” and said Arabs were prone to “Jekyll & Hyde temper tantrums.”

These are just some of the disturbing results of the FBI’s six-month review into how the Bureau trained its counterterrorism agents. That review, now complete, did not result in a single disciplinary action for any instructor. Nor did it mandate the retraining of any FBI agent exposed to what the Bureau concedes was inappropriate material. Nor did it look at any intelligence reports that might have been influenced by the training. All that has a powerful senator saying that the review represents a “failure to adequately address” the problem.

“This is not an effective way to protect the United States,” Sen. Richard Durbin, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee overseeing the FBI, tells Danger Room about the inappropriate FBI counterterrorism training. “It’s stunning that these things could be said to members of our FBI in training. It will not make them more effective in their work and won’t make America safer.”

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