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Archive for January, 2015

Who Tweeted a Bomb Threat That Triggered F-16 Jets to Escort Commercial Aircraft?

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is investigating a bomb threat made in a tweet that prompted the U.S. military to send F-16 fighter aircraft to escort two jets bound for Atlanta on Saturday, the Associated Press reports.

The threats involved a Southwest Airlines flight from Milwaukee and a Delta Air Lines flight from Portland, Oregon.

Authorities scoured the planes and found no evidence of bombs.

“We certainly take these types of threats seriously and we’re pursuing them aggressively,”Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Stephen Emmett told The Associated Press on Sunday.

“We are continuing to pursue leads in the efforts to locate this individual,” he added.

The military dispatched the fighter jets after being alerted about the tweet.

WikiLeaks Journalists Face Serious Charges After Google Hands Over Information

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Three WikiLeaks journalists are facing charges of espionage and conspiracy after Google turned over their confidential data to the U.S. government, WikiLeaks announced on its site Monday morning.

The whistleblower organization now wants an explanation from both Google and the Justice Department.

“The US government is claiming universal jurisdiction to apply the Espionage Act, general Conspiracy statute and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to journalists and publishers – a horrifying precedent for press freedoms around the world,” WikiLeaks posted on its website.

WikiLeaks alleges the warrants violated the Privacy Protection ACt of 1980, “which protects journalists and publishers from being forced to turn over to law enforcement their journalistic work product and documentary materials,” the letter from WikiLeaks attorneys read.

Border Patrol Kills Second Suspect in 1 Week After Car Runs Checkpoint

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

For the second time in Texas in one week, a Border Patrol agent shot and killed man.

The Associated Press reports that agents fatally shot the man after he drove through the inspection checkpoint at 5 p.m. Thursday.

According to authorities, the motorist was in the inspection lane on Interstate 10 in Sierra Blanca, about 80 miles southeast of El Paso.

Border Patrol agents pursued the car for about 30 minutes before the man brandished a gun.

“A pistol-shaped pellet gun was recovered from the individual’s vehicle,” according to the statement.

Border Patrol agents said they came under fire on Wednesday and shot back, killing one suspect on the U.S. side of the border.

Other Stories of Interest


Weekend Series on Crime: Neo-Nazis in America

httpv://youtu.be/1rNFq1xOhLs

Powerful New York Assembly Speaker Arrested on Charges of Bribery, Conspiracy

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, via State of New York

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

One of New York government’s most influential and well-known politicians faces serious charges that he used his extraordinary power in return for millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks, The Associated Press reports.

The FBI arrested Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who posted $200,000 bail after being charged with federal counts of bribery and conspiracy.

The powerful 70-year-old now faces up to 100 years in prison.

After his release, Silver was dogged, saying he was “confident that after a full hearing and due process, I’ll be vindicated on the charges.”

He is accused of abusing his power to obtain about $4 million in payments characterized as attorney referral fees solely through the corrupt use of his official position.”

Democrats said they plan to stand behind Silver, a prominent voice.

“Along with the Senate majority leader and the governor, he plays a major role in creating state budgets, laws and policies in a system long-criticized in Albany as ‘three men in a room,'” The Associated Press wrote.

Anonymous-Linked Activist Sent to Prison for Threatening FBI Agent, Sharing Stolen Data

 

Barrett Brown via YouTube

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An activist tied to the hacking group Anonymous was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of threatening an FBI agent and spreading stolen data.

The Business Insider reports that Barrett Brown, who had faced more than 100 years behind bars, read from a lengthy statement before sentencing, saying he broke the law to uncover unlawful government activity.

“If I criticize the government for breaking the law, but then break the law myself in an effort to reveal their wrongdoing, I should expect to be punished just I’ve called for the criminals at government-linked firms… to be punished,” he said. “When we start fighting crime by any means necessary, we become guilty of the same hypocrisy as law enforcement agencies throughout history that break the rules to get the villains, and so become villains themselves.”

Brown was arrested in 2012 after threatening an FBI agent in a YouTube video.

He pledged to “ruin his life and look into his (expletive) kids.”

Brown also was charged with sharing information hacked from defense contractor Stratfor, Business Insider wrote.

IG: Justice Department Repeatedly Failed to Train Employees on Proper Off-Duty Conduct

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The problems with Justice Department employees getting drunk and acting out 20 years ago have not been sufficiently addressed and are failing to curtail boisterous off-duty conduct, the Inspector General found.

The Washington Times reports that the department never followed through on recommendations from as far back as 1996 to adequately train employees on the responsibilities and consequence of off-duty conduct.

“We found no indication that DOJ had revisited its off-duty conduct policies or training in any comprehensive manner since then, and no indication that DOJ, despite its significant international presence, had established a department-wide policy or training directed at off-duty conduct abroad,” investigators said.

The IG said part of the problem is that many employees don’t know what is unacceptable behavior when off the clock.

Are Drones the Drug Mules of the Future? DEA Says It’s Not Cost-Effective

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The recent discovery of a drone carrying methamphetamine near the U.S. border in Mexico has raised some eyebrows.

But the DEA said drones will not become tomorrow’s drug mules because they are not cost-effective, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“This method will only allow a small amount of drugs to be flown at a time, and that coupled with the ease of detection, does not make this method very profitable to these drug trafficking organizations whose motivation is money,” DEA spokeswoman Amy Roderick said.

It wasn’t immediately clear where the recent drone was heading, though one media report suggested the unmanned aircraft system was carrying drugs from one Tijuana neighborhood to another.

“While we would not call using drones a new trend in smuggling, we do know that drug trafficking organizations will use any and all means to get their drugs in the United States,” said Roderick.