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Archive for September, 2016

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Stabbing Attack That Injured 9 at Minnesota Mall

ISIS flag

ISIS flag

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a stabbing attack inside a Minnesota mall that injured nine people.

The stabbings, none of which was fatal, was carried out by a “soldier of the Islamic State,” an ISIS-linked news agency claimed.

The suspect was killed by a part-time police officer in Avon, Minnesota, Newsday reports.

“He clearly prevented additional injuries and potential loss of life,” Kleis said Sunday afternoon. “His heroic actions are exemplary.”

Police said the suspect referenced Allah at least once during the attack.

The ISIS-linked Amaq News Agency said the suspect “carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition.”

What’s unclear is whether the suspect had direct communications with ISIS.

The victims ranged in ages from 15 to 53, and none appeared to sustain life-threatening injuries.

Authorities have not identified the attacker.

Authorities See Possible Link Between Bombs in New Jersey, New York

Screenshot of surveillance video showing the bomb blast in Chelsea.

Screenshot of surveillance video showing the bomb blast in Chelsea.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Authorities are on the hunt for 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is believed to be responsible for the Chelsea bombing over the weekend.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also said Monday that he “wouldn’t be surprised if we found a foreign connection to the act” after finding similarities between the bombs in New York and New Jersey over the weekend, CNN reports. 

Law enforcement official said the bombs may have been part of a possible terror cell in both states.

Two bombs were found in New York City and multiple ones in New Jersey.

Both pressure cook bombs in New York appeared to be filled with BBs and ball bearings. Flip top phones were used in both New York and New Jersey, but the bombs in those two places were made from different explosives.

On Sunday night, authorities found multiple bombs in a backpack near an Elizabeth, New Jersey, train station.

FBI Won’t Ban Agents from Masquerading as Journalists, But Imposed Restriction

AP LogoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When an FBI agent was exposed for masquerading as an Associated Press journalist in 2014, the media condemned the tactic, saying sources would be afraid to speak freely to reporters.

Now the FBI has imposed new restrictions on agents posing as agents, but the bureau stopped short of ending the practice.

The AP reports that agents must now gain top-level approval to impersonate journalists, which means the tactic may still be used in some cases.

The AP and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a lawsuit against the FBI last year after an agent impersonated an AP reporter by sending a fake news story “that was booby-trapped with surveillance software” in 2007. The trick led to the conviction of a teenager who had called in fake bomb threats in Washington.

The AP called the tactic “improper and inconsistent with a free press for government personnel to masquerade as The Associated Press or any other news organization.”

Nevertheless, FBI Director James Comey defended the practice in 2014 as “proper and appropriate.”

It’s unclear who often FBI agents pose as reporters.

FBI Intensifies Investigation into Russian Hackers Who Are Disrupting Election

hacker-artBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is boosting its investigation of Russian hackers who are believed to be targeting the Democratic Party and politicians.

Reuters reports that the FBI hopes to get enough evidence to gain indictments against Russians who are behind the cyberattacks.

The State Department said the hacking attempts by Russians are increasing and could disrupt and discredit the November elections.

“Doing nothing is not an option, because that would telegraph weakness and just encourage the Russians to do more meddling, but retaliating in kind carries substantial risks,” said one U.S. official involved in the administration’s deliberations.

Russian continues to deny its behind the hacks.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday that it’s not an easy task to track down and indict the hackers.

“We’re in unexplored territory here, and the president is quite interested in trying to establish international norms,” said Earnest. “I’ll let the FBI speak to what evidence they have amassed, but I think they’re also cognizant of the fact that as soon as they make a declaration like that, most people are going to understandably be interested in seeing that evidence. And some of that evidence may not be something we want to show.”

Suspected Bank Robber Sues FBI, City of Denver for Two False Arrests

bank robberyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man arrested twice on suspicions of robbing banks has sued the FBI, the city of Denver and its police department, claiming he was falsely arrested and subjected to excessive force and malicious prosecution.

FOX31 reports that officials dismissed bank robbery charges against Steve Tally, who is now homeless and is seeking $10 million.

His lawyers are from the same New York firm that represents the Central Park Five, winning a $40 million judgment.

Talley was arrested for a pair of bank robberies in September 2014.

Prosecutors dismissed the charged after Tally proved his alibi that he was working during the first robbery.

Months later, Tally was arreted again based on FBI facial recognition technology. But an FBI analysis later showed Talley was not the man in the surveillance video.

“He was guilty before he was proven that he was innocent,” bank teller Bonita Shipp said. “He was an innocent man. He didn’t do it.”

Expensive Equipment Stolen from ATF Vehicle in Detroit

atf badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An undercover ATF vehicle was broken into and valuable equipment stolen in Detroit on Thursday.

FOX2 reports that the break-in occurred around noon in the parking lot of a Thai restaurant.

“I guess a couple cars got broken into and then the police actually came in and got the owner of the car, which one of my waitresses and told her that her car got broken into,” said Sy Pradithavanij, owner of Sala Thai.

The ATF declined to say what was stolen, but said no weapons were taken.

The ATF vehicle was one of three cars that were broken into by pushing a tool through the keyhole.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Director James Comey Blames Twitter for ‘Monster of Bias’

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey said Americans’ trust in government institutions is eroding because of “echo chambers” like Twitter.

“My children, again, discipline me not to go on Twitter because apparently people say bad things about me on Twitter. But things like Twitter offer us the opportunity only to encounter views consistent with our own, 24 hours a day,” Comey explained at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event Wednesday, Politico reports. “There’s an opportunity to feed that monster of a bias, that confirmation bias, all the time. So it accelerates that fractionalizing of our society, and it makes it much harder for people like me, like you, like the people in here, to speak reason to folks about our institutions.”

Comey didn’t directly mention the Hillary Clinton investigation, but eluded to it.

Twitter has become an outlet for GOP attacks against the FBI’s decision against charging Clinton for her use of a private email server as secretary of state.

“I’m not going to talk about the email investigation but I see some of the things people say about this thing, I’m like, ‘really?’ But it becomes truth to so many people. And I don’t know how to unring that bell,” he said. “So I do think it’s become enormously challenging for people in institutions that depend upon the trust of the citizens to recapture trust where it’s been lost, explain ourselves in a way that allows them to resist demagoguery or the Twitterverse.”

Truth about FBI’s Handling of Clinton Probe Is More Complicated Than Rhetoric

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Ronald Kessler
Washington Post

The notion that FBI Director James Comey took a fall to protect Hillary Clinton for political reasons is now gaining as much traction as the claim that President Obama was not born in the United States.

But as with the Obama conspiracy theory, a few simple facts undercut the claim that Mr. Comey acted improperly by not moving to indict Mrs. Clinton.

In the case of the Obama conspiracy theory, the Honolulu Advertiser ran an announcement of his birth in Hawaii at the time. Unless you believe that Obama’s parents knew in advance that he would be president of the United States and conspired to place the announcement in the Hawaii paper to legitimize his election, the announcement should have ended any claim that Mr. Obama was not born in the U.S.

Likewise in the case of the FBI’s decision not to indict Mrs. Clinton, if you believe that Mr. Comey succumbed to pressure from President Obama to let her off, you would have to ignore the fact that Mr. Comey damaged her election chances far more than if he had moved to indict her by taking the unprecedented step of releasing the details uncovered by the FBI investigation.

Calling her actions in handling classified material “extremely careless” and refuting her yearlong litany of excuses and dissembling are hardly the actions of someone who is trying to cover up for her. To the contrary, had Hillary been indicted, a trial would not have taken place for at least a year. The electorate meanwhile would have been in the dark about the damaging details of how shockingly she violated the public trust.

To read more click here.