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Archive for March 26th, 2020

45 FBI-Issued Guns Were Lost Or Stolen Over three-Year Period, Inspector General Reports

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

At least 45 guns issued to FBI agents were lost or stolen over a three-year period, according to the Justice Department’s Inspector General.

Most of the firearms weren’t recovered, and one of the guns was even used in a robbery, according to the IG’s review of 15 FBI sites from September 2016 to July 2019, The Washington Times reports.

In many of the cases, the report blames FBI agents for carelessly leaving their guns in public places like bathrooms and hotel rooms.

The bureau suspended 38 of the agents for an average of three days.

Only one agent was fired after leaving a pistol in a hotel room.

The firearms ranged from Block pistols to submachine guns.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said the FBI has an insufficient system for tracking lost or stolen firearms. Despite a policy that requires the FBI to maintain records, including make, model and serial numbers, the bureau kept that information for only eight of the 45 missing guns.

“The fact that the FBI was unable to provide this information indicates the policy is not being properly followed,” Horowitz wrote.

FBI Says Man Killed in Shootout Planned to Blow Up Hospital During Coronavirus Pandemic

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Missouri man was killed during a shootout with the FBI on Tuesday after authorities say he planned blow up a hospital during the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of an FBI joint terrorism task force attempted to arrest Timothy Wilson, 36, when the shootout occurred.

“Wilson was the subject of a months-long domestic terrorism investigation, which revealed him to be a potentially violent extremist, motivated by racial, religious, and anti-government animus,” the FBI said in statement.

The bureau said Wilson was considering a variety of targets before he “settled on an area hospital … that is providing critical medical care in today’s environment.”

“With the current health crisis, Wilson decided to accelerate his plan to use a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in an attempt to cause severe harm and mass casualties,” the FBI said.

The bureau added that Wilson had taken “the necessary steps to acquire materials needed to build an explosive device.”

Wilson was trying to pick up what he believed was an explosive device when agents attempted to arrest him.

Family of Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson Gives Up Hope He’s Still Alive

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After years of urging the Iranian government to release Robert Levinson, the family of the retired FBI agent who vanished in Iran in 2007, has given up hope that he’s still alive.

“Today, with aching hearts, we are sharing devastating news about Robert Levinson, the head of our family,” the family said in a statement on a website dedicated to freeing Levinson. “We recently received information from U.S. officials that has led both them and us to conclude that our wonderful husband and father died while in Iranian custody.  We don’t know when or how he died, only that it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is impossible to describe our pain. Our family will spend the rest of our lives without the most amazing man we have ever known, a new reality that is inconceivable to us.  His grandchildren will never meet him. They will only know him through the stories we tell them.”

Previously, media outlets had reported that Levinson, who had retired from the FBI, had gone to Iran on an unauthorized mission for the CIA.

For a long time, the FBI had not given up hope of freeing Levinson, and the family up until now, held out hope as well.

“If not for the cruel, heartless actions of the Iranian regime, Robert Levinson would be alive and home with us today,” the family wrote. “It has been 13 years waiting for answers.  Thirteen years since we last saw him or had any contact with him. How those responsible in Iran could do this to a human being, while repeatedly lying to the world all this time, is incomprehensible to us. They kidnapped a foreign citizen and denied him any basic human rights, and his blood is on their hands.”

 Brian O’Hare, president of the FBI Agents Association issued a statement Wednesday:

“The FBI Agents Association, representing more than 14,000 active and former FBI Special Agents, sends its deepest sympathies to the family of former FBI Agent Robert Levinson.  The courage that the Levinson family showed over the past 13 years in their continued efforts to raise awareness about Bob’s disappearance and to bring him home has been an inspiration to all, including his former colleagues at the FBI.

We will not forget Bob and will support all efforts to bring to justice those responsible for this horrific crime.  We continue to stand with the Levinson family during this difficult time.”

National Security Investigative Producer  James Meek of ABC News, who reported on the latest development,  posted on Facebook:

“I’m sorry to say I have covered this case for 13 years. Today, it came to an end as retired FBI agent Bob Levinson’s family announced they now believe he died sometime ago as a hostage in Iran. They were told in a recent government briefing, and after years and years of fighting to bring him home, testifying in Congress, confronting Tehran’s diplomats at the United Nations, and never giving up on him, they have grudgingly accepted his fate. A very sad day.”