Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

May 2021
S M T W T F S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



FBI Investigating College Student in Wisconsin for Allegedly Trying to Make Ricin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 21-year-old college student in Wisconsin is accused of trying to make ricin, prompting the FBI and police to block off a four-block area Friday after finding a white substance, the Associated Press reports.

Authorities became concerned after professors at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh expressed concerns that the student was making the deadly toxin.

A professor told authorities that the student asked about extracting the toxin from castor beans. When told to ask a biology professor, the student allegedly said, “They are all interested in life and I am interested in, like, ending it,” according to the search warrant.

The substance was sent to the FBI’s lab for analysis.

Muslim Group Complains That FBI Is Pressuring Islamic Community to Spy on Each Other

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Muslim leaders nationwide are expressing frustration with what they describe as overzealous attempts to get some in the Islamic community to spy on fellow Muslims, the Los Angeles Times reports.

They describe increasing pressure and reported unannounced visits by FBI agents to mosques in California, Ohio, Texas, Minnesota and other states.

The Council on American-Islamic Relation (CAIR) issued a nationwide alert urging Muslims and community leaders to consult with an attorney if they are approached by the FBI.

“It’s happening all over the country,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a Washington-based spokesman for CAIR. “The agents are approaching these community leaders at mosques with basic questions that quickly turn into something different: pressure to become informants.”

The FBI declined to comment on the alert but said “we value our partnership with the Arab, Muslim and Sikh communities as they are partners in our effort to stem crime, violence and civil rights violations.”

Man Gets Probation for Taking Hostage by Knifepoint at FBI Office in Salt Lake City

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man who took a hostage at gunpoint at the FBI’s office in Salt Lake City in an attempt to get help from the bureau has been sentenced to three years of probation, the Salt Lake City Tribune reports.

Robert Joseph Hibbard, 43, avoided jail in a plea agreement with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty but mentally ill

Hibbard pleaded guilty but mentally ill to second-degree kidnapping, which is a reduced charge following the August 2012 incident.

Hibbard was found competent to stand trial.

The incident happened on Sept. 18, 2012, when Hibbard took a 61-year-old man hostage with a knife and demanded to talk to the FBI about his former wife’s death.

Homeland Security Boosts Security for European Travelers to U.S. Over Terror Concerns

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Travelers flying to the U.S. on Western passports will face increased screenings as Homeland Security officials express concern about European Islamic militants trying to launch attacks, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The idea is to “to learn more about travelers from countries from whom we do not require a visa,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement.

Concerns were raised over fighters coming from Germany, England, France and Belgium, where citizens from those countries aren’t required to apply overseas for a visa to enter the United States.

Since 2011, officials estimate that more than 3,000 Europeans have traveled to fight alongside extremists in Syria and Iraq.

 

 

 

Former FBI Agent Hired by School District to Scour Social Media Comments by Students

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One school district in Alabama has taken the unusual step of hiring a former FBI agent to monitor students on social media, the Daily Intelligencer reports.

The idea was to catch students who make statements linking them to drugs, guns, sex and gangs.

The effort led to 14 expulsions last year.

Ex-FBI Agent Chris McRae was hired to look for expulsion-worthy transgressions.

The expulsions drew criticism because 12 of the 14 expelled students were black in a district where only 40% of the students are black.

“That is effectively targeting or profiling black children in terms of behavior and behavioral issues,” said Madison county commissioner Bob Harrison.

Other Stories of Interest


New York Times: FBI Deception Goes Too Far in Investigating Gambling Ring

New York Times 
Editorial Board

If your Internet service goes down and you call a technician, can you be certain that the person who arrives at your door is actually there to restore service? What if he is a law enforcement agent in disguise who has disabled the service so he can enter your home to look around for evidence of a crime?

Americans should not have to worry about scenarios like this, but F.B.I. agents used this ruse during a gambling investigation in Las Vegas in July. Most disturbing of all, the Justice Department is now defending the agents’ actions in court.

During the 2014 World Cup, the agents suspected that an illegal gambling ring was operating out of several hotel rooms at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, but they apparently did not have enough evidence to get a court-issued warrant. So they enlisted the hotel’s assistance in shutting off the Internet to those rooms, prompting the rooms’ occupants to call for help. Undercover agents disguised as repairmen appeared at the door, and the occupants let them in. While pretending to fix the service, the agents saw men watching soccer matches and looking at betting odds on their computers.

There is nothing illegal about visiting sports-betting websites, but the agents relied primarily on that evidence to get their search warrant. What they failed to tell the judge was that they had turned off the Internet service themselves.

Of course, law enforcement authorities regularly rely on sting operations and other deceptive tactics, and courts usually allow them if the authorities reasonably believe they will find evidence of a crime. Without that suspicion, the Constitution prohibits warrantless searches of peoples’ residences, including hotel rooms. The authorities can jump that hurdle if a home’s occupant consents to let them enter, as when an undercover officer is invited into a home to buy drugs.

The Las Vegas case fails on both counts, according to a lawyer for the defendants. Although one of the defendants in the case, Wei Seng Phua, a Malaysian citizen, had been arrested in Macau earlier this year for running an illegal sports-gambling business, the agents did not have probable cause to believe anything illegal was happening in two of the rooms they searched. And a federal prosecutor had initially warned the agents not to use trickery because of the “consent issue.” In fact, a previous ruse by the agents had failed when a person in one of the rooms refused to let them in.

To read more click here.

Armed Security Guard Who Took Elevator Trip with President Obama Was Fired

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The highlight of Kenneth Tate’s career as a private security guard was riding an elevator with President Obama in Atlanta.

That ride has cost Tate his $42,000-a-year job, the New York Times reports.

President Obama was visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when Tate took the elevator ride.

It was later discovered that Tate was carrying a CDC-issued firearm, a security lapse and embarrassment for the Secret Service.

Tate said it’s unfair that he was fired because he was only doing what he was told to do.

“It was something to tell my mom — if I meet him everything will be complete,” he said of meeting the president. “I didn’t know it was going to be my job.”

 Other Stories of Interest


FBI Agent’s Alleged Misconduct Forces Mass Release of Convicts, Suspects

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Alleged misconduct by an FBI agent has forced authorities to release at least a dozen convicts from prison, the Washington Post reports.

Others awaiting trial on drug charges also have been freed as investigators examine the agent’s role in the case.

It’s not yet clear what the agent is suspected of doing, but it was serious enough to force the freeing of felons.

The cases involve drug-dealing in Washington D.C. and its suburbs.

The U.S. attorney’s office said it is “conducting a case-by-case review of matters in which the FBI agent at issue played some role.”

“We have already begun taking steps to address this issue and are committed to doing everything that is necessary to preserve the integrity of the criminal justice process,” the statement said.