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Archive for October, 2014

TSA Cleans Up Checkpoints After Nurse with Ebola Travels Through Cleveland Airport

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A passenger with the Ebola virus traveled through the security checkpoints at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, prompting TSA to disinfect the areas, the Plain Dealer reports.

The patient, Amber Joy Vinson, walked through the central security checkpoint while en route to Dallas/Fort Worth.

Individual lanes to the checkpoints will be closed for cleanup, the TSA announced.

“It’s nothing official,” TSA spokesman Mark Howell said, noting that the precaution wasn’t undertaken at the direction of the Centers for Disease Control. “It’s just something that our folks wanted to do, in an overabundance of caution.”

The TSA discovered which checkpoints Vinson went through using closed circuit television system.

Officials also are cleaning the jet in which the patient was a passenger.

Vinson is the second Texas nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola.

Other Stories of Interest

 


Border Patrol Wants Futuristic Dog Collars to Help Track Down Terrorists, Drugs

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol is considering using futuristic dog collars to improve security at the border, Nextgov.com reports.

“The U.S. government is exploring the possibility of outfitting its border-protecting canines with futuristic collars that can, for example, translate a dog’s stress level through its bark and relay that data in real-time to a handler through a mobile device,” the author wrote.

CBP’s canine teams are one of the agency’s best tools in tracking potential terrorists or drugs.

If dogs are wearing collars with “stress-detection sensors,’ officials said agents would be able to translate the dog’s bark. That would enable agents to know whether there dog was stressed, threatened or finding valuable information.

The collars also could add an audio and video stream.

FBI Joins Investigation into Who Threatened ‘Deadliest School Shooting’ if Feminist Spoke

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI joined an investigation into who sent an email threatening “the deadliest school shooting in American history” if Utah State University hosted a speech by feminist writer Anita Sarkeesian, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Sarkeesian, a critic of how women are portrayed in video games, said she canceled the speech because of the threat and a state law that allows people to carry concealed permits at events in public venues.

The email purportedly came from an anonymous USU student, who claimed to “have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs” that he would use to ensure Sarkeesian would “die screaming like the craven little whore that she is.”

Campus police said they were prepared to protect Sarkeesian.

“She was worried about Utah law preventing police from keeping people with legal, conceal-carry permits from entering the event,” USU spokesman Tim Vitale said. “But our police were prepared and had in place extra security measures. It was her decision to cancel.”

 

President Obama Chooses New Head of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division

Vanita Gupta

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A top lawyer for the ACLU is President Obama’s choice to head the civil rights division of the Justice Department, a position that has been without a permanent leaders for more than a year, the Washington Post reports.

Vanita Gupta, 39,will become the acting head of the division Wednesday.

A longtime civil rights lawyer, Gupta brings a lot of experience with her. She is the deputy legal director for the ACLU.

The Post reports that Obama plans to nominate Gupta to be the permanent assistant attorney general for civil rights.

It’s an important position that oversees voting and civil rights investigations.

Born in the Philadelphia area to immigrant parents, Gupta has been lauded for her civil rights work, especially on prison reform, the Post wrote.

Veteran FBI Agent with Doctorate in Physical Chemistry to Take Over San Diego Field Office

Eric S. Birnbaum

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agent Eric S. Birnbaum, a 26-year-veteran of the bureau, will take over San Diego’s field office.

The Times of San Diego reports that Birnbaum has been named to succeed Daphne Hearn, who retired in August.

Birnbaum has a bachelor’s degree in math from Miami University in Ohio and a doctorate in physical chemistry from Stanford University in Palo Alto.

Since beginning his FBI career in 1988, Birnbaum has worked in the FBI Laboratory, the Inspection Division and the field offices in Washington, San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Birnbaum supervised a white-collar squad in San Diego.

Massachusetts Man Who Is On FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List May Be Helping ISIS in Syria

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Massachusetts man who is on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List is believed to be in Syria and may be employing computer science skills he learned in his American education to assistant ISIS, WCVB.com reports.

“Here is a guy that went to terrorist training camps, that expressed his desire to go and fight in Iraq against US troops. That’s somebody that needs to face justice,” said Vincent Lisi, the special-agent-in-charge of the Boston office of the FBI.

Three years before he was indicted, Ahmad Abousamra fled the country.

Authorities have few hints on his exact whereabouts and the extent to which he is assisting extremists.

Justice Department Puts End to Waivers That Prevented Defendants from Appealing

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has ended the controversial practice of asking defendants who plead guilty to waive their appellate rights over bad legal advice, CNN reports.

In a memo issued Tuesday, the Justice Department said it will ban the waivers that are still used in 35 U.S. attorney offices.

The waivers are controversial because make it difficult for defendants to have due process.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced the new policy.

The Justice Department said the waivers were used to discourage frivolous lawsuits.

Homeland Security Chief: Fewer Immigrants Crossing Border But Threat of Terrorism Exists

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said fewer immigrants are crossing the border because of increased security efforts, but he emphasized that other threats require a strong law enforcement presence, the Arizona Capitol Times reports.

The good news is that illegal immigration is falling.

“Put simply, it’s now much harder to cross our border and evade capture than it used to be, and people know that,” he said.

But Johnson warned about getting complacent because of the dangers involving homegrown extremists.

“People who leave their own country … link up with some extreme elements and then return to this country,” Johnson said of Westerners who join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a militant Islamist army currently waging war in those countries.

“In many respects, that’s the terrorist threat that I worry most about because it’s the hardest to detect,” he said.