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April 2013


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Archive for April 18th, 2013

FBI releases photos of suspects wanted in Boston Marathon explosions

Steve Neavling

The FBI released photos today of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, urging the public to help track down the men.

Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office, said one of the suspects appeared to drop a black backpack near twin explosions that killed three and injured more than 100 more.

DesLauriers said the men are considered armed and dangerous.



FBI Bashes Media for Inaccurate Reporting on Boston Marathon Explosions

Steve Neavling

The FBI excoriated members of the media after false reports began circulating that an arrest was made in the Boston Marathon bombings, the New York Times reports.

Agents said the city faulty reporting could lead to “unintended consequences” for the massive investigation.

Several news organizations, including the Associated Press, Fox News, CNN and local Boston media, reported that a suspect was in custody.

The FBI responded with a statement Wednesday: “Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate. Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting.”

Retired Counterintelligence Expert for FBI Dies After Battle with Cancer

Steve Neavling 

Joseph P. McMahon, who joined the FBI in 1967 and worked his way up as a section chief specializing in foreign counterintelligence, died at his Alexandria home earlier this month.

The Washington Post reports that McMahon died after a battle with cancer.

He was 72.

McMahon started a supervisor of the political corruption desk in New Orleans. Before focusing on national security, McMahon was assistant special agent in charge of the Memphis field office, the Post reported.

McMahon leaves behind a wife and two children.

Republicans Bash Justice Department for Perceived Racism in Civil Rights Division

courtSteve Neavling

Republican lawmakers lashed out at the Justice Department with accusations of racism and preferential treatment in the civil rights division, the Houston Chronicle reports.

At a Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, former employees and a March Inspector General’s report were used to suggest the division was guided by race, not justice.

“The IG report is a sad commentary on a dysfunctional division torn by polarization and unprofessional behavior where career employees who do not toe liberal views are subjected to racist comments, harassment, bullying, and threat of physical violence,” Hans Von Spakovsky, a conservative legal scholar and former official in the civil rights division during George W. Bush’s administration, told the committee.

The IG, however, did not agree with Spakovsky’s interpretation of the report, saying there was “insufficient evidence” of discrimination, the Chronicle reported.

Homeland Security Warned About Potential for Pressure Cooker Attacks

Steve Neavling 

The Department of Homeland Security in 2010 warned about terrorists using pressure cookers in bombings in Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, Fast Company reports.

Surgeons who worked on the victims found large pellets, small BBs and headless nails that were stuffed in six-liter pressure cookers.

The department sent letters to law enforcement officials nationwide warning about the pressure cookers.

“IEDs represent the most ubiquitous threat to our nation for those intent on conducting physical attacks. Law enforcement and the private sector need tools to provide the capability to prevent such incidents,” Robert Liscouski of Implant Sciences told Fast Company.


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FBI Arrests Mississippi Man For Allegedly Mailing Ricin Letters

By Allan Lengel

The FBI announced Wednesday that it arrested a man in connection with the mailing of three letters suspected of containing ricin. The letters were sent to a U.S. senator, the White House and a Mississippi justice official.

Agent around 5:15 p.m. arrested Paul Kevin Curtis at his home in Corinth, Miss.

The Washington Post reported that he is a frequent letter-writer to lawmakers, and was known to law enforcement.


Column: On Gun Control, Courage in Short Supply

atf file photo

By Dana Milbank
Washington Post Columnist

WASHINGTON — The gun bill was going down, but Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who reached a compromise to try to save it, went to the Senate floor Wednesday morning to give it one more try.

In an unorthodox tactic, he appealed directly to the woman taking her turn in the presiding officer’s chair, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), one of the few remaining undeclared lawmakers.

“I think there is a time in our life, a defining time in public service,” he said, “when you know the facts are on your side and walk into the lion’s den.” Manchin, usually plain-spoken, was emotional and personal, making several references to Heitkamp and her state. “Even if politics are risky,” he said, “remember the words of Andrew Jackson: ‘The brave man inattentive to his duty is worth little more to his country than the coward who deserts in the hour of danger.’ ”

To read full column click here.