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FBI

Oklahoma FBI Agent Who Was Accidentally Shot During Training Exercise Released From Hospital

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ouch!

An FBI agent who was wounded in the leg in an accidental shooting at the Edmond Police Department’s training facility in Oklahoma was released from the hospital, the Edmond Sun paper reported.

Rick Rains, a spokesman for the FBI’s Oklahoma City office, declined to disclose the name of the agent who was involved in a live tactical training exercise, the paper reported.

The incident happened last Thursday.

 

Iran Denies Knowing Whereabouts of Long-Missing Retired FBI Agent Robert Levinson

Missing Retired FBI Agent Robert Levinson

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Iran said Tuesday it has no information on the whereabouts of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished in the country nearly six years ago, Naharnet reports.

“We have announced that we do not have any information regarding the issue,” foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanaparast told reporters in his weekly briefing.

The statement comes after Levinson’s wife, Christine Levinson, released photos of her husband wearing an orange jumpsuit, at one point holding a placard that read, “Why You Can Not Help Me.”

Officials believe Levinson was on Iran’s Gulf island of Kish investigating cigarette smuggling when he disappeared in March 2007.

Levinson’s disappearance has strained relations between the U.S. and Iran, Naharnet wrote.

Somali-Born Man Accused of Plot to Bomb a Christmas Event in Portland

Mohamed Mohamud

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Somali-born man charged with pulling the trigger on what he thought was a bomb at a Christmas tree event in  Portland, Ore., first attracted attention from authorities by discussing martyrdom in email exchanges with Islamist extremists, according to opening testimony Monday in the trial, Reuters reports.

Supervisor of the FBI sting, Miltiadis Trousas, testified that agents intercepted communication between Mohamed Osman Mohamud and Islamist militants.

But under cross-examination from a defense that wants to show that Mohamud was entrapped, Trousas acknowledge there’s no evidence that the defendant sought bomb material until after he met undercover FBI agents, Reuters reported.

Mohamud faces up to life in prison on a charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction to blow up a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland in November 2010 when he was 19.

Mohamud is a naturalized U.S. citizens and former Oregon State University student, Reuters wrote.

The second day of testimony begins today.

Questions Raised About FBI Informant Who Played Key Role in Political Campaigns

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

While William Fulton was acting as a key undercover FBI informant in a case involving a militia leader, the Alaskan store owner was heavily involved in political campaigns, the LA Times reports.

Fulton helped bring down Schaffer Cox, the leader of the Alaska Peacemaker Militia.

Now many are questioning why an FBI informant was involved in political campaigns, the LA Times wrote.

In 2010, Fulton played a role in the campaigns of conservative former radio host Eddie Burke and U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller.

“They had absolutely nothing ever to do with anything like that,” Fulton told the Los Angeles Times on Monday. “The only thing that they ever asked me to do was to look into Schaeffer Cox and a few other people. The only thing they said [about the political activities] was, ‘Hmm, Bill, maybe you shouldn’t be doing this.”

Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano to Stay for President Obama’s Second Term

Janet Napolitano

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano plans to hold her position for President Obama’s second term, Fox News reports.

Napolitano, a former governor of Arizona, is expected to play a key role in helping Obama craft a plan for sweeping reforms on illegal immigration laws, Fox News wrote.

Napolitano was expected to maintain the post.

“The Department of Homeland Security faces many challenges in maintaining its ability to protect the American people,” said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas. “From the threat of cyber attacks to securing our border and transportation systems, DHS plays a critical role in developing and executing domestic policy.”

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

NCAA Shouldn’t Ignore Steroid Problem

The author (right) Greg Stejksal and late Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

In the summer of 2004, a Senate sub-committee, chaired by Senators Charles Grassley and Joseph Biden held a hearing regarding the prevalence of steroids in sports. I had helped arrange for two of the witnesses who testified at this hearing.

One was Curtis Wenzlaff, a convicted steroid dealer, who had supplied steroids to Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. Wenzlaff had been prosecuted as part of an FBI undercover operation (UCO) targeting illegal distribution of steroids, codenamed Equine.

It was the late Michigan football coaching legend, Bo Schembechler, that urged our FBI office in Michigan to initiate our steroid UCO in 1989. Schembechler was concerned not only about the prevalence of steroids in college football, but indications that performance-enhancing drugs were being used by high school players as well.

During the ’04 hearing, Wenzlaff testified that the short-term incentives for using steroids were perceived by young competitive athletes to be far greater than the potential health risks later in life – the classic Faustian bargain. Wenzlaff testified that among other incentives, athletes would readily use PEDs if the end result were securing a multi-million dollar playing contract.

The other witness I arranged to appear was the “Mystery Man,” which the Daily News dubbed in their coverage of the hearing. The mystery witness was never identified, wore a hood as he entered the hearing room, and had his voice modified electronically. He was a 4-year football player from a prominent Division-I program, whose last season was 2003. The mystery witness testified that “it became evident that many players on my team were using steroids at some time during their career.” One player was supplying seven to eight other players, according to the witness. He also testified that he knew of players on other Div-I teams using steroids.

The NCAA had already begun to recognize there was a problem; in 1996 the NCAA instituted random, year-round testing with relatively stringent penalties for positive tests – a one-season suspension for a first positive test and permanent ineligibility for a second. The tests are, in theory, unannounced, but athletes can often know up to two days’ in advance. (Steroids are generally clear of a individual’s system within 24-72 hrs. Anabolic steroids are a specific type of steroid that promotes muscle growth, and not all steroids are anabolic. Steroids referred to in this column are anabolic.) The NCAA’s current position is that steroid use is no longer a problem with college athletes. In support of their conclusion they point to less than 1% failure rate on their tests.

In a recent Associated Press article about the continued use of anabolic steroids in college football, the report relied on research that catalogued weight gain of different football players. Extraordinary weight gain by athletes can be an indication of steroid use. Citing training experts, the report said, “Adding more than 20 or 25 lbs. of lean muscle in a year is nearly impossible through diet and exercise alone.” The report also relied on interviews of players who admitted to steroid use or knew of other players using steroids.

Steroid use by college football players affects the integrity of the game. It gives those players and their teams a competitive advantage, and it also puts pressure on other players and their teams to use steroids. This “arms war” mentality filters down to high school players thinking they have to use steroids to play at the next level.

Some football programs, while not explicitly, encourage steroid use. Some schools do testing in addition to the NCAA testing. But it is not required to report positive drug test results and penalties vary and are not nearly as stringent as those imposed by the NCAA. This leads to a patchwork of testing with some schools trying to eliminate steroid use and others just making a show of addressing its use.

I think the resolution should be that NCAA institute a much more rigorous testing regimen. That would mean more random testing, and testing for just cause (based on extraordinary weight gain and/or symptoms of steroid use).The NCAA can afford the increased costs associated with these measures. With the NCAA conducting all the testing, it will insure the testing and penalties are uniformly applied.

I saw firsthand what happened when MLB ignored warnings about prevalence of steroid use in baseball in the mid-‘90s. I hope the NCAA doesn’t repeat their mistake.

Column: NCAA Shouldn’t Ignore Steroid Problem

Greg Stejskal served as an FBI agent for 31 years and retired as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor office. This column first appeared in the New York Daily News.

The author (right) Greg Stejksal and late Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

 
By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

In the summer of 2004, a Senate sub-committee, chaired by Senators Charles Grassley and Joseph Biden held a hearing regarding the prevalence of steroids in sports. I had helped arrange for two of the witnesses who testified at this hearing.

One was Curtis Wenzlaff, a convicted steroid dealer, who had supplied steroids to Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. Wenzlaff had been prosecuted as part of an FBI undercover operation (UCO) targeting illegal distribution of steroids, codenamed Equine.

It was the late Michigan football coaching legend, Bo Schembechler, that urged our FBI office in Michigan to initiate our steroid UCO in 1989. Schembechler was concerned not only about the prevalence of steroids in college football, but indications that performance-enhancing drugs were being used by high school players as well.

During the ’04 hearing, Wenzlaff testified that the short-term incentives for using steroids were perceived by young competitive athletes to be far greater than the potential health risks later in life – the classic Faustian bargain. Wenzlaff testified that among other incentives, athletes would readily use PEDs if the end result were securing a multi-million dollar playing contract.

The other witness I arranged to appear was the “Mystery Man,” which the Daily News dubbed in their coverage of the hearing. The mystery witness was never identified, wore a hood as he entered the hearing room, and had his voice modified electronically. He was a 4-year football player from a prominent Division-I program, whose last season was 2003. The mystery witness testified that “it became evident that many players on my team were using steroids at some time during their career.” One player was supplying seven to eight other players, according to the witness. He also testified that he knew of players on other Div-I teams using steroids.

Read more »

Opinion: FBI Needs Hackers to Combat Computer Crimes

Wired
Opinion

Just imagine if all the applications and services you saw or heard about at CES last week had to be designed to be “wiretap ready” before they could be offered on the market. Before regular people like you or me could use them.

Yet that’s a real possibility. For the last few years, the FBI’s been warning that its surveillance capabilities are “going dark,” because internet communications technologies — including devices that connect to the internet — are getting too difficult to intercept with current law enforcement tools. So the FBI wants a more wiretap-friendly internet, and legislation to mandate it will likely be proposed this year.

But a better way to protect privacy and security on the internet may be for the FBI to get better at breaking into computers.

Whoa, what? Let us explain.

To reach more click here.