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Justice Department Concerned About Amount of Fraud in Military

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department isn’t exactly having trouble finding fraud in the military, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Take Fabian Barrera, who made $181,000 by claiming he recruited 119 people into the military. Barrera, who was sentenced to at least three years in prison lat month, never referred any of the recruits.

With multiple conflicts worldwide, the military has a lot of money that is being questionably spent, the Justice Department has found. Cases include bribery and steering contracts to select businesses.

“The schemes we see really run the gamut from relatively small bribes paid to somebody in Afghanistan to hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of contracts being steered in the direction of a favored company who’s paying bribes,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in an interview.

Over the past few months, four retired and one active-duty Army National Guard officials have been charged in connection with bribery and kickback schemes.

County Workers Find Rare Documents Signed by Famous FBI Agent Melvis Purvis Jr.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two county workers shuffling through old boxes in a northeast Ohio courthouse made a rare discovery – documents signed by famous FBI Agent Melvis Purvis Jr., who tracked down John Dillinger and other gangsters in the 1930s.

The documents inside the Summit County courthouse attic include depositions signed in 1927 by Purvis, who was a lawyer at the time.

“He’s certainly one of those interesting characters in our past,” FBI historian John Fox said.

A county worker recognized Purvis’ name from the 1973 movie “Dillinger.”

Increasing Crime Prompts FBI to Open Permanent Office in North Dakota Oil Patch

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

North Dakota’s oil boom has brought with it an upswing in crime.

To combat the rising crime, the FBI is opening a permanent office in northwest North Dakota, the Associated Press reports.

The crime is fed by a population increase and has included human and drug homicides and organized crime.

Although the FBI has offices in Bismarck, Grand Forks, Fargo and Minot, they are still a long drive to the northwest part of the state .

The last time the FBI opened a new satellite office was in New London, Conn., in 2006.

The office is expected to include four agents, an analyst and clerical staff.

“We aren’t expecting them to come and save us from anything,” said Williams County Sherriff Scott Busching. “We don’t need saving; we need help.”

 

 

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson Worried about Lone Wolf Attacks

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson worries about the threat posed by lone wolf terrorists.

“We have to be vigilant against an independent actor here in the homeland who might choose to strike at any moment,” Johnson told CNN’s Barbara Starr in an interview at the Reagan National Defense Forum Sunday.

Homeland Security officials are finding less predictable recruitment patterns.

“Core al-Qaeda was a relatively traditional command and control structure where someone would be recruited, they train at an overseas camp and then they’d be sent to commit a terrorist attack,” Johnson said.

“The new phenomenon that I see that I’m very concerned about,” Johnson continued, “is somebody who has never met another member of that terrorist organization, never trained at one of the camps, who is simply inspired by the social media — the literature, the propaganda, the message — to commit an act of violence in this country.”

To effectively crack down on the lone wolfs, Johnson said local and star law enforcement have to be involved.

“I’ve made this a personal part of my agenda” he said, “by traveling to a lot of community-based organizations around the country, many of them Islamic based, and the dialogue is interesting.”

Other Stories of Interest


Weekend Series on Crime History: Organized Crime in the 1930s in Los Angeles

httpv://youtu.be/UOv5PWKPUh8

Detroit’s Top FBI Agent Paul Abbate Talks About ISIS, Gangs, Corporate Espionage and Violence

 

Paul Abbate

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Paul M. Abbate arrived in Detroit last fall to take over the local FBI office, days after Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick got a hefty 28-year prison sentence. Kilpatrick was whisked away in handcuffs.

But the scent of corruption lingered, and Abbate suddenly found himself heading up an FBI office, where public corruption investigations continue to be a high priority.  In the past few years alone, besides the mess at city hall, several people in the Wayne County government have been convicted of corruption charges. That investigation remains open

Before arriving here, Abbate headed up the counterterrorism division in the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which handles terrorism investigations domestically and overseas.

Before that, he spent time at FBI headquarters, Newark,  New York, Los Angeles, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was involved in such FBI investigations as Benghazi and Pan Am 103.

October marked his first anniversary in Detroit.

A native of the New Haven,  Conn. area, the very affable Abbate, an 18-year veteran of the FBI,  recently sat down with Allan Lengel of ticklethewire.com to talk about ISIS, traditional organized crime, the agency’s relationship with the Arab-American community, local gangs and use of social media, corporate espionage, violence and how he ended up in Detroit.

“I actually asked to come here,” he says, adding that he’s been impressed with the people of Michigan.

The following is an interview with Abbate, which has been trimmed for brevity. The questions have been edited for clarity.

DD: Is there any sense that ISIS  or ISIL has any presence or connection here?

Abbate: It’s something that we’re constantly vigilant about, proactive in terms of trying to be in front.  I wouldn’t say that we have any specific or credible information that there’s an ISIL presence here in Michigan at this time. But it’s something, 24/7, we’re always on guard for.

DD: The Internet has become a big tool for recruiting. Do you see any of that activity here?

Abbate: That’s everywhere.

DD: Is that monitored out of headquarters?

Abbate: We work in conjunction with the Counterterroism Division in headquarters. And that type of investigative work is carried out throughout the 56 field offices including here as well. When you talk about focusing on a specific area, the Internet and the reach of the Internet has really broken that down. Any person sitting anywhere in the world can reach out and attempt to recruit, radicalize and incite anyone else in the world whether it’s here in Michigan or anywhere in the United States.

DD: Do you have any sense of al Qaeda having some presence here?

Abbate: Like the earlier questions you ask, I would say that we don’t have any specific or credible information with regard to any particular group like that, but that’s what we do. That’s what we’re on the watch for. It’s our top priority to identify if it’s here and prevent an attack from occurring.

DD: Do you see anything in Michigan, an exchange of people coming and going from Syria, that might concern you?

Abbate: We’re always on the look out for that. We had a case here , we had an individual who was arrested  this past March who was seeking, as alleged in the complaint, to go over to Syria to join up with a terrorist organization. We’ve had a number of cases nationally where we’ve had people travel there.

DD: How would you describe your relationship with the Arab American community here?

Abbate: I think it’s strong. Again the community outreach that we do is broad based, so I don’t like to single out any one particular community. With respect to the Arab American community, we  have a very robust outreach, with various aspects of that community and individuals. It’s strong. We go to various events that are held within the community. We hold regular meetings here to share ideas, to hear from the various communities.

DD: In some parts of the country there have been concerns over the years that the FBI has been too aggressive in monitoring activities in mosques. Is there a concern here that you’ve heard?

Abbate: I think a lot of those earlier concerns that have been around for a long time, now to a great extent, have been overcome.  Certainly that sort of distrust or concern still exists to some level, and we do continue to hear that. But I think we’ve made great strides.

Read more »

Professor Sues College, Saying She was Retaliated Against for Talking to FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A physics professor who claims she was retaliated against for alerting the FBI to illegal activities at the California Institute of Technology’s NASA lab sued the school Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

Sandra Troian alleges in the suit that the school violated the whistleblower policy by trying to drive her out. She claims she was falsely accused of wrongdoing and that the school kept her out of events and lectures.

“Instead of resolving the issues around this incident and trying to get to the bottom of it, they decided to cover up the problem and turn up the heat, trumping up one charge after another,” Troian said at a news conference.

The allegations stem from a postdoctoral researcher whom Troian hired to work on a space propulsion system. She said the researcher sent out restricted data and made it available for others to see.

“Two weeks after my last contact with the FBI, my world came crashing down around me, as Caltech started a merciless campaign ongoing to this day of retaliation for my speaking to the FBI,” she said. “I’ve been humiliated, degraded, isolated, treated like a pariah on campus.”

 

FBI Steps Up Investigation of FIFA As World Soccer Body Says It Did Nothing Wrong

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is stepping up its investigation of FIFA, the world soccer body that just announced it did nothing wrong, CNN reports.

The FBI is investigating corruption issues that include the 2018 and 2022 bidding process.

Even as the bureau presses on, the FIFA ethics committed announced Thursday that it found no corruption.

A former top FIFA official is cooperating with the FBI and has provided documents and recordings of meetings, CNN reported.