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Archive for July, 2015

Congress Mulls Plan to Create Separate Unit to Investigate Terrorism

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fearing that Homeland Security is not equipped to combat violent extremism, key lawmakers in Washington passed legislation Wednesday that would create a single office dedicated to focusing solely on terrorism.

The Washington Times reports that members of the House Committee on Homeland Security butted heads over how best to handle the shortcomings.

The overhaul could be a hard sell because it hasn’t been endorsed or even introduced as an alternative by Homeland Security.

“There is no DHS strategic plan to provide clarity about how the $40 million in dedicated funding and expanded authorities would be utilized,” hRep, Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the top Democrat on the panel,e said. “There is no testimony from DHS, in an open setting, in response to concerns about transparency and the concerns that many Americans have about how current CVE (countering violent extremism) programs are being carried out.”

Stunning Video Shows How ‘El Chapo’ Escaped from Prison Using Sophisticated Tunnel

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A newly released video shows the stunning prison escape by Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and the incredibly sophisticated mile-long tunnel that served as his escape route.

His escape triggered a $3.8 million reward for his.

The video depicts a complicated tunnel complete with PVC pipes, ventilation, a bike for transportation and an escape route with emergency supplies.

Authorities fear Guzman may be hard to find. In 2001, he escaped prison and remained loose for nearly 14 years before his capture in Mexico in early 2014.

FBI: Grisly, Debated Photos of Syrian Bodies Are Authentic

syria bodies photo

One of thousands of photos depicting bodies of political prisoners of the Syrian regime.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The photos were so grisly and outrageous that many people doubted they were real.

But after analyzing hundreds of the photos for more than a year at the FBI lab in Quantico, Va., investigators at the bureau concluded that images of emaciated, bruised bodies of political prisoners were authentic and had not been manipulated, Yahoo News reports.

The findings provide more evidence that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad committed human rights violations.

A former government photographer, who was a defector, smuggled the photos out of the country on a thumb drive two years ago, prompting Assad’s government to adamantly claim they were fake.

Trial Begins for Prominent New York Lawmaker Accused of Lying to FBI

State Sen. Thomas W. Libous

State Sen. Thomas W. Libous

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The trial for a prominent New York lawmaker accused of lying repeatedly to the FBI began this week.

Jurors heard opening statements Tuesday in the case of Sen. Thomas Libous of Binghamton, the deputy majority leader, the Associated Press reports. 

Libous is accused of lying to the FBI about arranging a $150,000-a-year job for his son.

The defense said the prosecution’s key witness is “morally bankrupt.”

The trial continues in federal court in White Plains today.

Mexico Offers $3.8M for Capture of ‘El Chapo;’ Fires Prison Employees

guzmanBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Mexico is offering $3.8 million for the capture of the country’s most notorious drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who escaped from a Mexican prison less than a week ago, USA Today reports. 

Mexican officials also fired the director of Altiplano, the maximum security prison where Guzman escaped, and two jail employees.

Mexico’s Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said that the employees “had something or a lot to do with what happened” and likely were motivated by bribes or threats.

“Guzman, through his Sinaloa cartel, is the major supplier of narcotics in Chicago,” said Bileck, a retired director of training for the city police department. “And he is a savage man, as bad as they come.”

Other Stories of Interest

House Republicans Lash Out at Homeland Security After Pier Killing

US CapitolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

House Republicans expressed outrage over the Obama administration’s release of an immigrant who is accused of later murdering a woman in San Francisco, The Associated Press reports. 

The Mexican National Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez had a long criminal record and was released from federal custody in San Francisco, where he is accused of committing murder.

Republicans were angry that the man was turned over to San Francisco, a so-called “sanctuary city” that minimizes cooperation with federal authorities over immigration issues.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson responded that he will explore whether a new approach is needed.

“I want to evaluate whether some discretion can be built into the process so when we’re faced with a choice like that, we can make the best decision for the purposes of public safety,” Johnson told the House Judiciary Committee.

Kathryn Steinle was murdered on July 1 on a popular pier in broad daylight.

ISIS-Supporting Son of Boston Police Captain Accused of Plotting to Attack Campus

Firearms collected from Ciccolo's house.

Firearms collected from Ciccolo’s house.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ISIS-supporting son of a Boston Police captain is accused of threatening to use pressure-cooker bombs and guns to attack an unidentified university, Boston.com reports. 

Alexander Ciccolo, 23, was arrested on weapons charges on July 4. He is the son of the Boston Police Capt. Robert Ciccolo, police said.

Adams is accused of getting four firearms from an FBI witness.

“What I am gonna do is prepare fire bombs. I’ll do that today. T[hey] are cheap and effective,” Ciccolo said in a July 2 instant message to the witness, according to the FBI. “You get the rifles. I’ll get the powder.”

The complaint also says that Ciccolo bought a pressure cooker on July 3.

Other weapons were found when authorities searched his home.

Following the arrest, Ciccolo is accused of “forcefully” stabbing a nurse in the head, “causing a bloody gash and breaking the pen in half,” Boston.com wrote.

Donald Trump Asks FBI to Investigate Alleged Threat from Escaped Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’

Donald Trump, via Twitter

Donald Trump, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Presidential candidate and shrewd businessman Donald Trump is asking the FBI to investigate a Twitter threat he received from an account purportedly run by escaped Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, ABC News reports.

Trump said the threat came after he made comments about the escaped drug lord.

“I’m fighting for much more than myself,” Trump said about the threat Monday in a statement. “I’m fighting for the future of our country which is being overrun by criminals. You can’t be intimidated. This is too important.”

One of the tweets read: “Mexico’s biggest drug lord escapes from jail. Unbelievable corruption, and USA is paying the price. I told you so!” tweeted Trump.

On an account attributed to El Chap, Trump received the response: “Keep f—ing around, and I will make you swallow your whore words.”

Investigators are trying to determine the account’s origins.