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Archive for May, 2016

Hawaii May Be First State to Enter All Gun Owners into FBI Database

gunsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hawaii is poised to become the first state in the nation to enter gun owners into an FBI database.

The Associated Press reports that the database would immediately notify police when a Hawaiian resident is arrested in another state.

In other states, people who are entered into the “Rap Back” database are in “positions of trust,” such as school officials, said Stephen Fischer of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

“I don’t like the idea of us being entered into a database. It basically tells us that they know where the guns are, they can go grab them” said Jerry Ilo, a firearm and hunting instructor for the state. “We get the feeling that Big Brother is watching us.”

Supporters of the law say Hawaii would be safer with the database.

FBI Uses Dogs to Sniff Out Cybercrime by Finding Electronic Components

computer spies2By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Faced with the growing threat of cybercrime, the FBI has turned to dogs to help crack down on computer crimes.

The canines are trained to sniff out electronic components that store data, News12 reports. Some of the components are tiny and hard to find.

“Cybercrime has evolved and is such a threat right now,” says the Newark FBI’s Michael Brodack.

Electronics are growingly important and can help investigators find evidence against suspects.

“It’s the gang member with a cellphone; it’s the terrorist who builds a bomb using electronic components, all of those are devices that Iris (a dog) is trained to detect,” says Phil Frigm, a supervisory special agent in the FBI’s cybercrime division.

Woman Arrested After Hitting Border Patrol Horse in the Face

Karla Banegas-Banegas

Karla Banegas-Banegas

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A woman accused of transporting marijuana also faces a charge of animal cruelty after allegedly punching a horse in the face.

Karla Banegas-Banegas, 29, was with a group of nine people spotted with backpacks along the Barry Goldwater Bombing range in Why, Ariz., about 30 miles north of the Mexican border, AZCentral reports. 

As the group fled, agents caught up with six of the nine suspects.

Banegas-Banegas “punched a USBP horse in the face with a closed fist,” records said. The extent of the horse’s injuries was unknown.

Agents reported finding seven backpacks fun of “green, leafy plant material” that ended up being marijuana.

“The remoteness of the area makes it an ideal place for drug smugglers to attempt to smuggle narcotics into the United States,” court documents said.

Justice Department Seeks Death Penalty for Church Shooter Dylan Roof

Dylann Roof

Dylann Roof

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is seeking the death penalty for Dylan Roof, the man accused of a carefully planned shooting that killed nine parishioners in a Charleston, South Carolina, church last year.

“Following the department’s rigorous review process to thoroughly consider all relevant factual and legal issues, I have determined that the Justice Department will seek the death penalty,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement Tuesday. “The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision.”

The Washington Post reports that federal prosecutors explained why they were pursuing the death sentence, describing the shooting as racially motivated.

Roof “demonstrated a lack of remorse” and targeted a Bible study group to “magnify the societal impact” of the massacre.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Investigates $120,000 in Questionable Donations to Virginia Gov. McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating $120,000 in donations to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s campaign and inauguration.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the donation were made by Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang.

The governor’s attorney said McAuliffe and his staff were unaware of the investigation.

The lawyer, Marc Elias, said “contributions to the campaign from Mr. Wang were completely lawful. The governor will certainly cooperate with the government if he is contacted about it.’’

Wang’s companies also have donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.

FBI Close to Wrapping Up Investigation of Clinton’s Use of Private E-Mail Server

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is completing its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state.

ABC News reports that Clinton likely will be interviewed.

The FBI has already interviewed close aides to Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner for president.

“With a person like Secretary Clinton, the FBI probably assumes they are going to get one chance to interview her, not only because she is a prominent person but because she is very busy right now with the presidential campaign,” said David Deitch, a former Justice Department prosecutor. “It makes sense they would defer interviewing her until late in their investigation.”

Clinton said she look forward to the investigation being completed and said she was “more than ready to talk to anybody, anytime.”

“I hope that this is close to being wrapped up,” Clinton said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on May 8.

TSA Head of Security Forced Out over Frustrations with Long Airport Lines

Kelly Hogan.

Kelly Hogan.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Amid allegations of mismanagement, Kelly Hoggan, TSA’s assistant administrator for the Office of Security Operations, has been removed from his position.

CNN reports the House Oversight Committee was not happy with allegations of retaliation against whistleblowers and the $90,000 in bonuses that Hoggan received.

The bonuses came at a time when security lines were lengthening.

TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger said he did not “tolerate” potential retaliation and planned to “look into it.”

A memo from Neffenger to employees also announced several changes to TSA management.

“These adjustments will enable more focused leadership and screening operations at critical airports in the national transportation system,” Neffenger wrote in the memo, which CNN obtained from an official within the agency.

Star-Ledger: Homeland Security, TSA Mismanaged Security at Airports

airport scanner 2By Paul Mulshine
The Star-Ledger

The head of the Transportation Safety Administration announced recently that the agency has a plan to deal with the long lines at many of the most important airports in America.

The plan is to warn us that the lines will get even worse this summer.

This is just the latest outrage that makes a lot of travelers hate the TSA. That feeling was buttressed for me when I was talking with a guy I went to high school with at Donovan Catholic in Toms River during the late 1960s.

After 9/11, this guy got a job with the TSA as a “behavioral officer.” There are 3,000 of these.  They walk around airports looking for people acting who are acting suspiciously.

The airport he  walks around is O’Hare in Chicago, the busiest airport in America and the one with the longest lines. When I asked him how many potential terrorists the behavioral officers at O’Hare had caught, he said none.

But they and the customs agents there sure did miss a couple big ones. That would be Syed Farook and his Pakistani-born, Saudi-reared fiancee Tashfeen Malik. They sailed through customs there on July 27, 2014, after traveling from Saudi Arabia and then switched planes for California.

To read more click here.