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Archive for April, 2016

Terrorism Threat in Europe and U.S. Is ‘Increasingly Lethal,’ House Committee Reports

Rep. Michael McCaul

Rep. Michael McCaul

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. House Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday released an alarming report about terror plots targeting Europe and the disturbing links to ISIS.

The “European Terror Threat Snapshot” also revealed that about 5,000 European citizens have traveled to Iraq or Syria, and more than 1,000 have returned to their countries, the Washington Times reports. 

“ISIS terror operatives have exploited the largest flow of refugees and migrants since World War II to infiltrate Europe undetected. EU member states reported nearly 2 million instances of illegal border crossings involving around 1 million people last year,” the new report noted. “European jihadists are also attempting to radicalize and recruit refugees settling in the European continent.”

In the committee’s monthly terrorism assessment of the U.S., officials warned of increasing danger to the U.S.

“The United States and our allies face an increasingly lethal Islamist terror threat. A global jihadist network operating from safe havens is exploiting Western security gaps to orchestrate a widespread terror campaign, particularly in Europe,” warned Rep. Michael McCaul, Texas Republican and committee chairman.

“Battle-hardened European fighters groomed by ISIS are returning home from Syria to commit acts of terror with the support of local extremist networks, as we have tragically seen in Paris and Brussels. These operatives are also potentially a plane-flight away from our shores. Given the magnitude of the threat across the continent, we are likely seeing only the tip of the jihadist iceberg in Europe.”

DEA Employees Seek to Prevent Release of Videos of Lap Dances at Trial

dea-logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

DEA employees charged with lying during national security background checks are trying to avoid the embarrassing release of lap dances during their trial.

Civilian employees and a former officials of the DEA are accused of lying about their ownership of a trip club in South Hackensack, N.J.

Now defense attorneys are trying to prevent the government from introducing the lap dance video into evidence, the New York Times reports. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/13/nyregion/dea-employees-facing-trial-seek-to-bar-lap-dance-video.html

“The prejudicial effect of the videos would be colossal if they are introduced as evidence at trial,” defense lawyers argued in court papers filed on Monday.

Prosecutors want to provide evidence that the defendants used largely illegal immigrants as dancers.

The government wants to show the jury sexually graphic footage of four lap dances recorded at the club.

Businessman at Center of NYPD Investigation Served As Chaplain of County Police Department

nypd badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Brooklyn businessman who is a target in the widening federal investigation of the NYPD also served as a chaplain for the Westchester County police, the New York Daily News reports. 

But the discovery that he was at the center of the investigation prompted the police department to suspend Jeremy Reichberg from his nonpaying chaplain job.

Reichberg, 42, is suspected of giving gifts to city cops in exchange for a host of favors.

Just three months after county Executive Rob Astorino received a $25,000 donation from Reichberg’s friend, Jona Rechnitz, he received the chaplain job.

“There’s no connection at all,” Astorino spokesman William O’Reilly told The Journal News.

Arizona Republic: Border Walls Are for Suckers, Donald Trump

By Lndia Valdez
Arizona Republica

The news brings us two recent examples of why border walls don’t work. Can someone alert Donald Trump?

Exhibit A comes from the Border Patrol, which issued a press release April 6 asking people to be on the lookout for drones.

“The Yuma Sector Border Patrol has recently encountered small remote controlled aircraft, commonly referred to as drones, being used to smuggle drugs into the United States. The drones vary in size, but are commonly between 2 to 4 feet wide,” it says.

“Drones have been observed primarily in the San Luis area,” the press release continues. “They are known to carry illegal contraband into the U.S. where it is dropped and picked up by smugglers north of the border.”

They included a picture of a drone so everyone would know what to look for. No word on whether the drone in the picture was one captured at the border.

Here’s the rub: The Yuma Sector is the go-to place when border-hawk politicians want to point to a place where fencing has led to “operational control.”

Guess what? The smugglers figured out a way over.

Exhibit B in this tutorial on why walls don’t work comes from a widely viewed video showing would-be smugglers easily scaling a border fence – in full view of Border Patrol agents – then skedaddling back into Mexico when they realize they were being filmed, according to the Associated Press.

Border Patrol spokesman Mark Landess told AP it’s not uncommon for smugglers to scale the steel fence, especially around Nogales, which is a busy drug-smuggling corridor.

To read more click here. 

Congressman Urges Passage of ATF Enforcement Act to End Gun Hypocrisy

gunsBy Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr.
for Washington Post

Those who oppose gun safety legislation often contend that the president and Congress should enforce existing gun laws before considering any new ones. National Rifle Association President Wayne LaPierre has said that under current federal law, President Obama “could take every felon with a gun, drug dealer with a gun, and criminal gang banger with a gun off the streets tomorrow and lock ’em up for five years or more”; House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who holds great power over whether gun legislation sees the light of day, has said that “the federal government is not doing the job they should be doing in enforcing our current gun laws.”

We should call their bluff. The truth is that Congress routinely blocks the power of the federal agency responsible for overseeing and investigating firearms sales: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The ATF is unable to carry out its mission because of the multiple obstacles placed in its path. For example, a 2004 budget amendment blocked the agency from providing data on the tracing of guns used in crimes for any state license revocation action or civil lawsuit. Gun-trace data are critically important for sourcing illegally trafficked firearms and identifying corrupt gun dealers. Another amendment that year banned any requirement that gun dealers keep a physical inventory of their wares. In 2012, Congress said that the ATF couldn’t deny applications to import any shotgun simply because it lacked a sporting purpose. The list goes on.

So what if we didn’t pass new gun safety laws, but instead simply returned to the ATF the authority and autonomy to fully perform its duties? What if this key agency were enabled “to protect communities from violent criminals . . . the illegal use and trafficking of firearms . . . [and] acts of terrorism,” as its mission statement reads, without interference?

Tuesday I will introduce the ATF Enforcement Act, which would restore the agency’s ability to enforce existing gun laws by removing legislative limitations on its operations, enforcement and day-to-day functions. My bill would also allow the person picked to be ATF director to bypass the Senate confirmation process by moving the appointment power to the attorney general. For years, congressional allies of the gun lobby have blocked nominees by both Democratic and Republican presidents. Only one nominee has been confirmed since the position was made subject to Senate approval in 2006.

DEA Investigating 8 Fatal Overdoses of Fentanyl in Sacramento County

pillsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is investigating eight fatal overdoses related to the painkiller fentanyl in Sacramento County over the past month.

“People are getting the message (about the dangers of fentanyl),” Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye told the Sacramento Bee. “The trend we are seeing is very hopeful, but people need to be careful and should not be taking pills that are not from a credible place like a pharmacy.”

Using dozens of investigators, the DEA is trying to track down the sale of the fentanyl pills, which “were masquerading” as other more mild painkillers.

“We are making progress,” said Casey Rettig, a DEA special agent based in San Francisco, who declined to offer more specifics.

The overdoses were first reported on March 23.

Other Stories of Interest

President Obama Pledges His Administration Won’t Protect Clinton During Investigation

obama1By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama pledged Sunday that his administration would not protect Hillary Clinton “in any way” during the investigation of her use of a private e-mail while she she was secretary of state.

“I can guarantee that,” Obama said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.

“And not because I give Attorney General (Loretta) Lynch a directive; that is institutionally how we have always operated. I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line, and always have maintained it,” Obama added. “I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI, not just in this case, but in any case.”

He added: “Nobody gets treated differently when it comes to the Justice Department. Because nobody is above the law.”

Obama also said he doesn’t believe Clinton risked national security by using a private server.

“I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America’s national security. Now what I’ve also said is that — and she has acknowledged — that there’s a carelessness, in terms of managing e-mails, that she has owned, and she recognizes,” Obama said. “But I also think it is important to keep this in perspective. This is somebody who has served her country for four years as secretary of state, and did an outstanding job. And no one has suggested that in some ways, as a consequence of how she’s handled e-mails … that detracted from her excellent ability to carry out her duties.”

Jilted Lover on FBI’s Most Wanted List Captured in Mexico

Brenda Delgado, 33.

Brenda Delgado, 33.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 33-year-old Dallas woman who was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list last week after she was indicted on capital murder charges has been captured in Mexico.

Now the U.S. has 60 days to formally request the extradition of Brenda Delgado, who is accused of arranging the murder of a dentist who was dating her ex-boyfriend, Fox News reports. 

Mexican officials captured Delgado in the city of Torreon.

A Mexican official said it would take two to 12 months to rule on extraditing the woman.

Delgado is accused of giving Kristopher Ledell Love drugs and money in exchange for killing Kendra Hatcher on Sept. 2. A drug cartel allegedly helped provide the money and drugs.

Authorities said Delgado was motivated by jealousy of Hatcher, who was dating Delgado’s ex-boyfriend.

Love was arrested and faces a state capital murder charge and a federal weapons charge.