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Archive for December, 2013

Border Patrol Employs New Approach to Keeping Northern Border Safer

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents at the northern border are taking a new approach to tightening security, the Associated Press reports.

Instead of spending most of their time at border stations, agents are spreading out into communities and assisting local police.

The idea is to work more closely with other law enforcement agencies to share backup and resources, the AP wrote.

“That extra person watching your back is very important,” Pennington County Sheriff Ray Kuznia told the AP.

Former Head of Boston’s FBI Office Fined for Violating Ethics Charge

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The former head of the FBI’s Boston office choked up Tuesday as he was fined $10,000 for violating an ethics charge, the Boston Globe reports.

Kenneth Kaiser, a retired assistant director of the FBI, had pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement that spared him jail time.

“I lost something I valued the most — my reputation,” Kenneth W. Kaiser, 57, of Hopkinton, said.

Kaiser was accused of meeting with former FBI colleagues about his company that was under investigation.

Homeland Security Watchdog Is Transferred Amid Allegations of Abusing Office

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

As Homeland Security’s watchdog, Charles K. Edwards was tasked with exposing wrongdoing.

That was until Tuesday, when officials said Edwards, the department’s inspector general, was transferred because of allegations that he abused his position, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Among the accusations: He hired his wife, misused travel funds and tried to conceal a Secret Service prostitution scandal.

Edwards was reassigned to the department’s science and technology directorate, the L.A. Times wrote.

FBI: Harvard University Student Sent Bomb Threat to Delay Taking Final Exam

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Harvard University student who wasn’t prepared for his final exam decided to buy himself some time.

On Monday, Eldo Kim, 20, emailed threats that claimed there were “bombs placed around campus” about a half hour before his test, NBC News reports, citing the FBI. Sure enough, the alarms rang at 9 a.m. to evacuate students.

“He knew that his plan had worked,” the affidavit read.

But the next day, the FBI tracked down Kim, who told authorities he was trying to avoid an exam, NBC News wrote.

The Cambridge man is scheduled for a hearing today in U.S. District Court. He faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine if convicted of communicating the bomb threat, NBC wrote.

 

U.S. Senator Offers to Fly to Iran to Help Find ex-FBI Agent Who Has Been Missing Since 2007

 

Robert Levinson

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A U.S. Senator offered Tuesday to travel to Iran if it would help locate former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished in the country in 2007, NBC 3 News reports.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., may have a hard time finding information, though. 

 

Sen. Nelson

The last images showing Levinson alive are from early 2011, and Iranian officials insist they have no idea where Levinson is.

Nelson’s decision comes a week after it was reported that Levinson was working secretly as a CIA operative.

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NSA’s Policy of Collecting Phone Records in U.S. Likely Unconstitutional, Judge Rules

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The National Security Agency is likely violating the Constitution by gathering the dialing records of all phone calls in the U.S., the Los Angeles Times reports.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon delivered a significant blow to the NSA and lays the groundwork for a Supreme Court battle.

Leon’s ruling doesn’t go into effect immediately because he stayed the action pending an appeal by the federal government, the Times wrote.

“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval,” wrote the judge, who was appointed to the federal district court by President George W. Bush.

President Obama Praises Newly Confirmed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama lauded new Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson as “a strong leader” who will “play a leading role in our efforts to protect the homeland against terrorist attacks.”

The statement follows Monday’s Senate confirmation of Johnson, a former general counsel at the Pentagon.

The president’s full statement:

“I am pleased the Senate has confirmed Jeh Johnson as our next Secretary of Homeland Security with broad bipartisan support.

“In Jeh, our dedicated homeland security professionals will have a strong leader with a deep understanding of the threats we face and a proven ability to work across agencies and complex organizations to keep America secure. Jeh has been a critical member of my national security team, and he helped to shape some of our most successful national security policies and strategies.

“As Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh will play a leading role in our efforts to protect the homeland against terrorist attacks, adapt to changing threats, stay prepared for natural disasters, strengthen our border security, and make our immigration system fairer — while upholding the values, civil liberties, and laws that make America great.

“I look forward to Jeh’s counsel and sound judgment for years to come.”

ATF Joins Investigation of Mammoth Fire at Apartment Building Site in Colorado

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal agents are joining an investigation into a suspicious Colorado fire over the weekend that was so hot that flattened the apartment building and melted cars parked across the street, the Denver Post reports.

The 11 p.m. Saturday fire broke out in an apartment building that is under construction in Glendale, which is surrounded by Denver.

“We don’t know if it is arson,” Denver Fire Department Division Chief Joseph Gonzales said, “but we start every investigation to eliminate arson as a cause.”

No one was injured in the three-alarm fire, which caused an estimated $12 million in damage.

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