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FBI

FBI Agents Association Backs Bill Authorizing Feds to Help Probe Mass Shootings

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The FBI Agents Association is supporting a bill that would authorize federal agents to respond and help local authorities during mass shootings and other violence at a public place, the Washington Times reports.

The association, which announced its support Wednesday,  said the bill would make it easier for feds to help local officials during any violent crime in a public area, the Washington Times wrote.

Association President Konrad Motyka said the Investigative Assistance for Violent Crime Act of 2012 would avoid unnecessary confusion and lift bureaucratic hurdles.

“FBI agents have a long history of working closely with state and local law enforcement officials to investigate crimes,” Motyka said. “However, the FBI must often find indirect grants of authority in order to assist with state and local investigations. This is because of the current ambiguous statutory language granting authority to the FBI and other federal law enforcement officers to provide investigative assistance for certain nonfederal crimes, such as mass killings.

Record Number of Background Checks Performed on Prospective Gun Owners in 2012

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI performed a record number of background checks on people who wanted to buy guns in December and all of 2012, CNN reports.

The spike this month – 2.8 million background checks – occurred during two high-profile mass shootings.

The number of background checks for the years totaled more than 19.5 million, an increase of more than 3 million, according to CNN.

Federal law requires background checks of anyone who wants to buy a gun.

The search is to ensure prospective owners don’t have a criminal record or a serious mental illness.

FBI Lists Most Significant Cases of 2012

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

From espionage to cyber hacking, the FBI has taken on a lot of significant cases in 2012.

The following list was posted by the FBI.

Insider trading: Charges against seven investment professionals were announced in New York in January alleging an insider trading scheme that netted nearly $62 million in illegal profits. Details

California gang takedown: A total of 119 defendants were charged in San Diego in January with federal racketeering conspiracy, drug trafficking violations, and federal firearm offenses in one of the largest single gang takedowns in FBI San Diego history. The target was the Mexican Mafia gang and its affiliates.Details

Economic espionage: In February, a federal grand jury in San Francisco charged five individuals and five companies with economic espionage and theft of trade secrets in connection with their roles in a long-running effort to obtain U.S. trade secrets for the benefit of companies controlled by the People’s Republic of China. Details

Cyber hackers charged: Several hackers in the U.S. and abroad were charged in New York in March with cyber crimes affecting over a million victims. Four principal members of the hacking groups Anonymous and LulzSec were among those indicted; another key member previously pled guilty to similar charges. Details

Anchorage man indicted for murder: In April, Israel Keyes was charged with the kidnapping and murder of an Anchorage barista. Keyes is believed to have committed multiple kidnappings and murders across the country between 2001 and March 2012. In December, after Keyes committed suicide in jail, the FBI requested the public’s help regarding his other victims. Details

Financial fraudster receives 110-year sentence: In June, Allen Stanford—the former chairman of Stanford International Bank—was sentenced in Houston to 110 years in prison for orchestrating a 20-year investment fraud scheme in which he misappropriated $7 billion to finance his personal businesses.Details

Nationwide sweep recovers child victims of prostitution: The FBI and its partners announced the results of Operation Cross Country, a three-day law enforcement action in June in which 79 child victims of prostitution were recovered and more than 100 pimps were arrested. Details

International cyber takedown: Also in June, a two-year FBI undercover cyber operation culminated in the arrest of 24 individuals in eight countries. The investigation focused on “carding” crimes—offenses in which the Internet is used to steal victims’ credit card and bank account information—and was credited with protecting over 400,000 potential cyber crime victims and preventing over $205 million in losses.Details

Health care fraud: In July, global health care company GlaxoSmithKline pled guilty to fraud allegations and failure to report safety data and agreed to pay $3 billion in what officials called the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history. Details

Russian military procurement network: In October, 11 members of a Russian military procurement network operating in the United States and Russia, as well as a Texas-based export company and a Russia-based procurement firm, were indicted in New York and charged with illegally exporting high-tech microelectronics from the U.S. to Russian military and intelligence agencies. Details

Behind-the-Scenes Look at FBI Providing Counterterrorism Security at Times Square

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

While more than one billion people tuned in to watch the ball drop at Times Square on New Year’s eve, a massive counterterrorism operation was underway.

CBS News went behind the scenes to see how the FBI keeps the city safe during one of the busiest nights of the year.

“It’s a nice target – a lot of media, a lot of cameras – to expose the world to whatever some insane person has got planned. It’s a target,” said Randall Derouin of the FBI.

A SWAT team was position in an underground garage. More than 100 FBI agents helped with security. And a bomb squad was on hand.

FBI Launches Another Investigation Involving Trenton City Hall

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Trenton, N.J. housing projects started under former Mayor Douglas Palmer are the subject of an FBI corruption investigation, the Trenton Times reports.

Developer Robert Kahan, who was involved in all five projects, is named in the subpoena obtained by the Trenton Times.

Palmer, who often used Kahan as a developer, told the Times he has not been contacted by the FBI and believes the probe is directed at Kahan and not the city or him.

The investigation appears to be unrelated to another investigation that led to the indictment of Trenton Mayor Tony Mack, who pleaded not guilty to six corruption charges in December.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

FBI Lists Top Terrorism Cases of 2012

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The threat of terrorism always looms, particularly since Sept. 11, 2001.

The FBI, which can take some credit for averting some potential terrorist attacks, has put together a list of of some of the top terrorist cases of 2012.

The following was posted on the FBI website.

Alabama men arrested on terrorism charges: Two U.S. citizens living in Alabama were arrested in December and charged with planning to travel overseas to wage violent jihad. The pair met online and later confided their plans to an individual who—unbeknownst to them—was a confidential source working for the FBI. Details

 Plot to destroy Ohio bridge: Four men were sentenced to prison in November for their role in a conspiracy to destroy a bridge near Cleveland. The men—all self-proclaimed anarchists—pled guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. The group allegedly planned a series of crimes in the Cleveland area. Details

 Conspiracy to provide support to terrorists: Four men were charged in Los Angeles in November with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists after they allegedly made arrangements to join al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill Americans, among others. Details

 Plot to attack Pentagon and U.S. Capitol: Also in November, a 27-year-old man was sentenced in Boston to 17 years in prison for plotting an attack on American soil and attempting to provide detonation devices to terrorists. The man built detonators for improvised explosive devices and provided them to FBI undercover operatives he believed were members of al Qaeda. Details

 Attempted bombing of New York Federal Reserve Bank: A 21-year-old Bangladeshi national was arrested in October for attempting to detonate a 1,000-pound bomb in Lower Manhattan to strike the U.S. financial system on behalf of al Qaeda. The man allegedly traveled to the U.S. in January 2012 specifically to conduct a terrorist attack. Details

Plot to attack U.S. Capitol: A 29-year-old Virginia resident was sentenced to 30 years in prison in September for attempting to carry out a suicide bomb attack at the U.S. Capitol in February 2012. Details

Plan to send weapons to Iraqi Insurgents: A former resident of Iraq residing in Kentucky pled guilty to terrorism charges in August for attempting to send Stinger missiles and other weapons to Iraq to be used against U.S. soldiers. Details

‘Revolution’ leader sentenced: A New York City resident was sentenced in June to more than 11 years in prison for using his position as a leader of the Revolution Muslim organization to promote violent extremism online against those he believed to be enemies of Islam. Details

 Violent extremists in Alaska: Also in June, the leader of an Alaska militia was found guilty of conspiring to murder federal officials and possessing illegal firearms including silencers and grenade launchers. Details

 Supporting terrorism: A 45-year-old Philadelphia resident was arrested in March and charged with conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic Jihad Union, an extremist organization responsible for bombings and attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan. Details

 

Head of Newark FBI, Michael Ward, to Retire

Michael Ward/fbi photo

By Jason Grant
The Star Ledger

NEWARK — The head of the Newark Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation will retire from government service on Dec. 31, the agency announced today.

Michael Ward had not indicated in recent weeks or months that he would be leaving the post and retiring from government service. A statement released by David Velazquez, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Newark Division, noted: “Mr. Ward will be rejoining his extended family in the southern United States after many years away from home.”

Velazquez said today — through a spokeswoman — that Ward would not be speaking to the media about his retirement.

To read more click here.

 

FBI’s John Perren Named ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year for 2012

John Perren

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

John G. Perren, assistant director of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) Directorate, who has been at the forefront of the FBI war on terrorism, has been named ticklethewire.com’s Fed Of The Year for 2012.

Perren, whose tenure has been extended beyond the FBI’s mandatory retirement age, has been with the bureau since 1987.

Perren earns the award for a variety of reason. First off, someone would be hard pressed to find a more dedicated FBI agent. Additionally, he’s well respected by his colleagues, and has been known as a fair and good boss over the years, important criteria in determining this award.

Perren has worked in a variety of positions. He was the acting assistant director in charge of the Washington Field Office and was special agent in charge of counterterrorism at WFO, a position that included overseeing the Rapid Deployment Team of agents to the Middle East in probes involving attacks on U.S. citizens and American interests.

Perren was one of three On-Scene Commanders at the Pentagon following 9/11. From January to June of 2005, he was the On-Scene Commander for FBI Field Operations in Baghdad, with responsibility for over 125 FBI personnel in Iraq.

In his current position, he heads up a program the FBI describes as detecting, deterring, and defeating ” acts of domestic terrorism, as well as the actual or threatened use of weapons of mass destruction.”

Perren is the fifth recipient of the ticklethewire.com award and the second FBI agent to receive it.

Last year, Thomas Brandon, the acting number two person at ATF was the recipient.

Previous recipients have included Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (2008), Warren Bamford, who headed the Boston FBI (2009) and Joseph Evans, regional director for the DEA’s North and Central Americas Region in Mexico City (2010).