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January 2014


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for January, 2014

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Breaking into Elderly Woman’s Home Before Being Tasered

Steve Neavling

 An inebriated U.S. Border Patrol agent is accused of breaking into the home of an elderly woman in New Mexico before being Tasered by police, the Silver City Sun-News reports

Authorities said Agent Nicholas Barton, 34, threw a pricey turquoise rock through the glass sliding door early Saturday morning in an attempt to gain access.

The victim,   Stella Norman, 79,  said she would have shot Barton if she had a gun.

Opinion: Why NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Doesn’t Deserve Celemency

Fred Kaplan

I regard Daniel Ellsberg as an American patriot. I was one of the first columnists to write that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be fired for lying to Congress. On June 7, two days after the first news stories based on Edward Snowden’s leaks, I wrote a column airing (and endorsing) the concerns of Brian Jenkins, a leading counterterrorism expert, that the government’s massive surveillance program had created “the foundation of a very oppressive state.”

And yet I firmly disagree with the New York Times’ Jan. 1 editorial (“Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower”), calling on President Obama to grant Snowden “some form of clemency” for the “great service” he has done for his country.

It is true that Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance of American citizens—far vaster than any outsider had suspected, in some cases vaster than the agency’s overseers on the secret FISA court had permitted—have triggered a valuable debate,leading possibly to much-needed reforms.

If that were all that Snowden had done, if his stolen trove of beyond-top-secret documents had dealt only with the NSA’s domestic surveillance, then some form of leniency might be worth discussing.

But Snowden did much more than that.

To read more click here.



The Woman Known As ‘Jihad Jane’ Gets 10 Years


By Allan Lengel

The woman known as Jihad Jane,” who was charged with providing material support to terrorists, and who plotted to kill a Swedish artist whose work offended Islam, was sentenced Monday in Philadelphia federal court to 10 years in prison.

Colleen Rose, 50, a former resident of Montgomery County, Pa., pleaded guilty to a host of terrorism relarted charges on Feb. 1, 2011.

“Today, Colleen LaRose is being held accountable for her efforts to provide support to terrorists and encourage violence against individuals overseas,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Carlin in a statement. “I want to thank the many agents, analysts and prosecutors who helped bring about today’s result.”

“This case clearly underscores the evolving nature of the terrorist threat we now face in this country,” said U.S Attorney Zane David Memeger in a statement. “The Internet has made it easier for those who want to attack the American way of life to identify like-minded individuals to carry out their terroristic plans.”

Authorities charged that LaRose and her co‑conspirators recruited men on the Internet to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe, and recruited women on the Internet who had passports and the ability to travel to and around Europe in support of violent jihad, according to a Justice Department press release.

The release went on to say:

LaRose and her co‑conspirators used the Internet to establish relationships with one another and to communicate regarding their plans, which included martyring themselves, soliciting funds for terrorists, soliciting passports and avoiding travel restrictions (through the collection of passports and through marriage) in order to wage violent jihad. LaRose also stole another individual’s U.S. passport and transferred it in an effort to facilitate an act of international terrorism. 

She also received a direct order to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who did some drawings depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad as a dog. Muslim extremists offered a $100,000 reward for his death.

She has already been in prison for four years, and has been cooperating with the feds.

Column: Retired FBI Official Says Ray Kelly’s Criticism of FBI Unfair

Michael Mason is a retired Executive Assistant Director of the FBI. His column is in response to former New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s criticism of the FBI in a New York Times article. Kelly suggested the FBI should have shared information regarding its suspicions about one of the Boston Marathon bombers before the bombing ever took place.

Mike Mason/fbi photo

By Michael Mason

I am a big fan of Ray Kelly. I believe he is an innovative, thoughtful police executive. But I think his criticism of the FBI is seriously misplaced.

Precisely what would the FBI have shared with Boston, that in a steady-state environment would have led to them in engaging in any different actions toward the suspects? There are suspicions about hundreds of suspects that exists every day of the week.

Does anyone really think the FBI could have told Boston authorities, “Hey, we think these two guys are targeting the Boston Marathon for a bombing incident?” That is patently absurd.

It’s really time to stop the “blame game” in the aftermath of terrible events such as the Boston Marathon bombings. It is way too easy to say “We should have known anything you had about those suspects” after they have engaged in a heinous act against innocent civilians.

So, are we suggesting that the FBI should share all the information it has on every subject of interest who might potentially engage in a criminal act in the territory of any police agency?  I can assure you that is not the sharing environment we want.

The media needs to press officials when they complain of not receiving information from the FBI in a timely manner by asking two simple questions: 1) What is the precise information you are suggesting the FBI did not share with you in a timely fashion? and 2) In a steady-state environment, i.e. before the bad act has occurred, precisely what would you have done with the information you claim was not share with you in a more timely fashion.

Ray Kelly

Over the course of my career the offices I ran had an interest in hundreds of suspects. However, to share that information would have been utterly meaningless unless there was something to be accomplished by doing so.

I had outstanding relationships with the entire law enforcement community because I assured them I would share any actionable information as soon as I received it. However, the interest we had in the vast majority such “suspects” eventually waned without any additional actions being taken by my office.

I hope the time for using the FBI as an information hoarding piñata every time something bad happens in this country soon goes the way of the dinosaurs.

Rather Than Go to Jail, Surrounded Suspect Fatally Shoots Herself in Oregon

Steve Neavling 

Sarah Jo Johnson clutched a handgun, holed up for hours in a car and surrounded by a SWAT team and local officers.

The Associated Press reports that Johnson fatally shot herself instead of surrendering after she and another man were wanted by the FBI for allegedly robbing a Montana coin shop and tying up the shop owner.

The man was struck and injured by a patrol car the chase.

Police were able to track down the pair after a FBI alert on the suspects’ car.

Law Enforcement Is No Longer FBI’s ‘Primary’ Mission, National Security Is

Steve Neavling

The FBI may be the nation’s premier law enforcement agency, but its chief purpose is something new.

That’s according to one of the FBI’s organizational fact sheets, which makes national security the primary function of the FBI, Foreign Policy reports.

The shift came after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. 

The change was spotted by a Washington-based national security lawyer.

Locals Won’t Charge FBI Agent in Connection With Fatal New Orleans Shooting

Steve Neavling

An FBI agent who fatally shot a suspect during a sting operation won’t face state charges from the locals, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said this weekend that local prosecutors don’t have jurisdiction over the agent.

“When a federal agent is acting in the course and scope of his employment as a federal law enforcement officer, the state lacks jurisdiction to charge that law enforcement officer with a crime unless there’s evidence that the law enforcement officer was acting with malice,” Chris Bowman, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said. “We saw no evidence of that, so we lacked jurisdiction to proceed.”

Bowman turned over the case to the U.S. attorney.

The June 2013 shooting remains under investigation.

Appeals Court: FBI Does Not Have to Release Memo Granting Permission to Gather Phone Records

Steve Neavling

A confidential Justice Department legal opinion on the extent of the FBI’s surveillance authority does not have to be released to the public, a federal appeals court ruled, the Washington Post reports.

The January 2010 memo gave the FBI permission to gather phone call records from telecommunications companies.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the memo was not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

“The District Court correctly concluded that the unclassified portions of the OLC Opinion could not be released without harming the deliberative processes of the government by chilling the candid and frank communications necessary for effective governmental decision-making,” the court said in its opinion written by D.C. Circuit Judge Harry T. Edwards.