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Archive for August 12th, 2014

FBI Director Comey Says Homegrown Terrorists Pose Urgent Danger But Hard to Track

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey said it’s impossible to gauge how many Americans are joining Islamic insurgents in Syria but emphasized that the threat is urgent, the Associated Press reports.

Comey said he’s concerned about what he called “lone wolves,” or people who are connecting online with others interested in jihad.

Those people are hard to track, said Comey, who originally estimated about 100 people have made the trip to Syria or at least tried to.

“When I give you the number of more than 100, I can’t tell you with high confidence that’s a 100 of 200, that’s a 100 of 500, that’s a 100 of a 1,000 or more, because it’s so hard to track,” Comey said.

The FBI has made several arrests in connection with terrorism in Syria.

 

14 Pulitzer Prize Winners Ask Justice Department Not to Jail Reporter

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than a dozen Pulitzer Prize winners urged the Justice Department on Monday to stop trying to force New York Times reporter and author James Risen to identify a confidential source, the US News reports.

Risen has said he’d go to jail before testifying at the trial of former CIA employee Jeffrey Sterling, who is accused of providing a tip for Risen’s book, “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.”

Prosecutors allege Risen divulged a CIA scheme to provide flawed nuclear weapons designs to Iran.

Fourteen Pulitzer Prize winners issued a statement in support of Risen.

“Enough is enough,” said three-time Pulitzer Prize winner David Barstow of The New York Times. “The relentless and by all appearances vindictive effort by two administrations to force Jim Risen into betraying his sources has already done substantial and lasting damage to journalism in the United States. I’ve felt the chill firsthand. Trusted sources in Washington are scared to talk by telephone, or by email, or even to meet for coffee, regardless of whether the subject touches on national security or not.”

DEA Paid Amtrak Insider $854,000 for Passenger Data It Could Have Gotten for Free

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA forked over $854,460 to an Amtrak secretary for confidential information the agency should have gotten for free, according to an internal investigation.

The DEA paid the employee to be an informant despite the agency’s right to obtain the information at no cost as part of a joint drug enforcement task force, the Associated Press reports.

The payments were made over a two-decade span, the investigation found.

The Amtrak secretary provided passenger information without the proper approval, but the information was available through the proper channels, the inspector general found.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Opens Civil Rights Investigation of Fatal Shooting By Cops of Unarmed Teen

The FBI has launched a civil rights investigation to determine what prompted a police officer to shoot an unarmed blacked teenager in a St. Louis suburb on Saturday afternoon.

The New York Times reports the inquiry into Michael Brown’s death came on the third day of protests. Ferguson, a city of 21,000 residents, has a history of racial issues. Although black people make up a majority of the residents, the local government and police are predominately white.

When the all-white school board suspended a black superintendent, protests broke out.

“The community is still highly segregated,” said Karen Knodt, interim pastor of the Immanuel United Church of Christ, whose congregation has 800 members, only four of whom are black. “The institutions of power don’t yet reflect the changing demographics of the county.”

The city also has been under a Justice Department investigation following claims of racial disparities for juveniles in Family Court.