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Terrorist Nearing Ability to Launch Major Cyberattacks in U.S.

More often than not, when we think of terrorist attacks we think of bombings and biological threats. But cyber attacks are no laughing matter. They could shut down commerce and create major chaos.

computer1
By Jill R. Aitoro
nextgov

The biggest threat to U.S. computer networks is terrorist organizations that will purchase software code from cybercriminals to penetrate sensitive systems, a possibility that could be just a few years away, information security and former intelligence officials said on Friday.

Although enemy states often are blamed for cyberattacks against the United States, it is not common because political and financial repercussions dissuade most countries from launching a widespread effort, James Woolsey, a former CIA director, said during a panel discussion at the International Spy Museum. The talk was part of the launch of a new gallery on cyber threats.

For Full Story

Police Chiefs Convention Adopts Community Watch Program for Terrorism

It’s good to use people in the community to help look for suspicious activities. But this, as agencies like the FBI have learned in the Post 9/11 era, can create an endless stream of worthless tips. Too much encouragement may create endless busy work. FBI Director Robert Mueller III is scheduled to speak at the conference later today.  It will be interesting to see if he addresses this particular issue.police-chief-logo

By EILEEN SULLIVAN and P. SOLOMON BANDA
Associated Press
DENVER — A store clerk’s curiosity about why Najibullah Zazi was buying large quantities of beauty supply products indicated that something about the transaction wasn’t quite right – and it’s an example of the kind of citizen vigilance that can combat terror, a police commander said Saturday.

Los Angeles police Cmdr. Joan McNamara cited this summer’s incident as police chiefs meeting in Denver adopted a model for a nationwide community watch program that teaches people what behavior is truly suspicious and encourages them to report it to police.

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Terrorism Probes Test FBI-Muslim Relations

This endless tightrope act will continue so long as these types of investigations pop up. And so far there’s no sign of these probes vanishing any time soon. The FBI is going to have to work hard on it’s relations with the Muslim community, something it has tried to work on in the post-9/11 era, and not always with success.

mosque

By Carrie Johnson and Robin Shulman
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — Investigators seeking to uncover terrorist plots for years have walked a fine line between keeping tabs on the Muslim community and alienating the same people who could serve as an early warning signal.

That tenuous balance has been tested again in what law enforcement authorities say is one of the most worrisome terrorism investigations in decades, the unfolding case against Denver shuttle bus driver Najibullah Zazi, who has been charged with conspiracy to unleash weapons of mass destruction in the form of hydrogen peroxide bombs.

For Full Story

FBI Busts Man Who Secretly Filmed Nude Videos of ESPN Reporter Erin Andrews in Hotel

It’s these little things in life — like this — that make you lose just a little more faith in mankind. Defendant Michael David Barrett may have saw this as a game, but ESPN and the FBI didn’t.  The FBI arrested him Friday at O’Hare Airport.

Erin Andrews/ espn photo
Erin Andrews/ espn photo

By CAROLINE KYUNGAE SMITH, DAVE NEWBART AND DAN ROZEK
CHICAGO SUN-Times
CHICAGO — Before secretly taking nude videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews in at least two cities, Michael David Barrett allegedly called several hotels to find out where Andrews was staying and in one case, reserved the room next door to hers.

The 47-year-old Westmont man then altered the peepholes to Andrews’ room, so he could record videos of her as she undressed, the Federal Bureau of Investigation says.

Today, Barrett appeared in federal court and was ordered transferred to California, where interstate stalking charges were filed against him.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys scheduled a hearing Monday to determine whether Barrett would be freed on bond, as his attorney requested, or taken to California in custody.

For Full Story

Weekend Series on History:Ex-Secret Service Agents Talk About JFK’s Kindness, Prostitutes and His Medication

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30Hl4EEO9Qo

More Bush U.S. Attys. Clinging to Office Longer than Predecessors in Clinton Admin.

Bush Holdover U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan

Bush Holdover U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan

At this point, there may be far more Bush holdovers serving as U.S. Attorneys than there were during the Clinton regime. Still,  the current selection process for U.S. Attorneys remains, in most instances, very political and partisan. Too bad. It would be nice, and better for the sake of justice, if that weren’t the case.

By Andrew Ramonas
Main Justice
WASHINGTON — U.S. Attorneys appointed by President Bush are clinging to office longer than their predecessors in the Clinton administration did, according to Justice Department and Senate data.

More than eight months after Democrat Barack Obama took office, 23 Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorneys from the Bush administration remain in office. Another eight U.S. Attorneys who were appointed during the Bush administration, but not confirmed by the Senate, are also still in office.

That makes a total of 31 Bush-era appointees who are still running the top federal prosecuting offices around the country, out of 93 U.S. Attorney positions nationwide.

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FBI Busts 39 in Scheme to Bribe D.C. Taxi Official for Licenses

Sean Joyce Named Assist. Dir. of FBI’s International Operations Division

Sean Joyce/fbi photo

Sean Joyce/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Sean Joyce, a Boston native, is the new assistant director of the FBI’s International Operations Division. He replaces Tom Fuentes, who retired.

“The International Operations Division’s scope of responsibilities is greater than ever, given the importance that relationships with international law enforcement partners and other parts of the government hold to our overall national security mission,” said FBI Director Robert Mueller III in a statement. “Sean’s knowledge and his experience in criminal and national security matters make him an excellent fit for the job.”

Joyce joined the FBI in 1987 and initially went to the Dallas Division, where he investigated violent crimes. He then went on to focus on Colombian drug trafficking in the Miami Division, the FBI said.

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