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FBI

Oregon Man Says He Was Tortured by Interrogators Working for FBI


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An Oregon man claims he was tortured in the United Arab Emirates by interrogators cooperating with the FBI, which was investigating a Portland mosque, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Yonas Fikre said he was arrested in June and taken to an Abu Dhabi prison,according to the Times. It was there he claims he was beaten, threatened and isolated during three months of detention by interrogators working for the FBI.

The story is of particular interest since the FBI has long prided itself on not using torture — unlike the CIA — to glean information from people.

Fikre essentially alleged that the bureau used someone else to do the torture.

The Associated Press reported that the Portland FBI declined comment, but said agents are thoroughly trained as to what is permissible under U.S. Law.

 

FBI: Oregon Shoplifter Enjoyed Suburban Lifestyle; Will Serve a Year in Prison

photo courtesy FBI

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Sticky-fingered John Patrick Weismiller will be breaking his habit with a year in prison.

The Oregonian was sentenced last month for making a career out of petty shoplifting, after his prolific thievery caught the eye of the FBI.

According to an FBI press release yesterday, 41-year- old Weismiller was caught on tape stuffing his pockets over 100 times at Safeway alone in 2011. Targeting big chain box stores, he earned $43k reselling the merchandise online, and cost stores $73k in losses.

The FBI reports that industry experts estimate retail criminals, including ‘boosters’ like Weismiller, cost the U.S. about $30 billion a year. The result is higher prices for American consumers and less sales tax revenue for state and local governments.

“This guy was incredibly brazen,” FBI Special Agent Joe Boyer in Portland said in a statement Tuesday. “This was his full-time job. He lived in a nice house in the suburbs with his wife and kids. If you lived next door, you would have no idea he was a thief.”

To read more click here.

 

Ex-FBI Agent Thomas F. Minton III Appointed Director of Pennsylvania Homeland Security

 
Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI agent Thomas F. Minton III  will head up the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, the governor’s office announced.

Minton, 52, served most of his 22 years with the FBI investigating national security matters with a focus on terrorism, according to a press release. Minton was involved in key investigations such as  the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, the bombing of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the 9/11 attacks on America.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Tom Minton’s caliber, character and expertise to direct our Office of Homeland Security,” Governor Tom Corbett said. “The addition of Tom to our team of leaders in public safety will ensure the security of Pennsylvanians for years to come.”

Obit: FBI Agent Harvey C. Flemister Dead at 85

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI agent Harvey C. Flemister 85, a 27-year veteran of the  bureau, died of congestive heart failure March 18 at his home in Silver Springs, Md.

The Washington Post reports Flemister retired in 1977 as chief of the FBI intelligence division’s liaison section. Having started his career as a special agent in field offices in Pittsburgh and Detroit, he worked at FBI headquarters in Washington from 1957 until retirement.

He then continued to serve as treasurer and chairman of the D.C. chapter of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, as well as remaining active in St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Silver Spring.

He leaves behind a wife, four children, four step children and ten grandchildren.

To read more click here.

 

L.A. Toy Company Indicted for Laundering Drug Money

ice video photo

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

 It’s all fun and games til your toy purchases may be supporting international drug cartels.

An 18-month investigation of L.A.company, Woody’s Toys Inc., by Homeland Security’s ICE and the DEA’s Southern California Drug Task Force yielded video of employees receiving bricks of cash in fast food chain parking lots, among other incriminating evidence.

Homeland Security’s press release states the co-owners and three employees of Woody’s Toys have been indicted  on charges of  orchestrating an elaborate financial scheme to launder millions of dollars for drug trafficking organizations in Mexico and Colombia.

Two Mexico-based toy dealers are charged as well.

“Let’s not kid ourselves, legitimate teddy bear buyers don’t close the sale with stacks of cash in restaurant parking lots,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles in a statement. “The reality is, unscrupulous companies that conspire to help the cartels cover their financial tracks are contributing in no small way to the devastation wrought by the international drug trade.”

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI’s Top Cyber Cop Shawn Henry Joining Calif. Computer Security Firm

FBI's Shawn Henry/ file photo fbi

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Shawn Henry, the FBI’s top cyber cop up until his recent retirement, is putting his FBI skill to use in the private sector.

The Wall Street Journal’s Devlin Barrett reports that ex-FBI official Shawn Henry is joining an Irvine, Calif. upstart computer security firm called CrowdStrike Inc.

The Journal reports that Henry will lead a unit “that will provide vulnerability assessments and instant response for hacking incidents.”

 

FBI Needs Long Term Strategy to Fill Counterterrorism Vacancies

By Amanda Palleschi
Government Executive

The FBI needs to develop a long-term strategy for filling counterterrorism division vacancies, a government watchdog found.

Although the FBI has made some progress addressing a 40 percent vacancy rate — first reported in 2005 — in certain parts of its counterterrorism division, the bureau has yet to establish sufficient plans for recruitment moving forward, according to a Government Accountability Office report published Monday.

To read more click here.

FBI Crime Lab Chemist Testified That He Was Told to Ignore Real Findings

By Spencer S. Hsu, Jennifer Jenkins and Ted Mellnik
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — The bombshell came at the most inopportune time.

An FBI special agent was testifying in the government’s high-profile terrorism trial against Omar Abdel Rahman, the “blind sheik” suspected of plotting the first attack on the World Trade Center.

Frederic Whitehurst, a chemist and lawyer who worked in the FBI’s crime lab, testified that he was told by his superiors to ignore findings that did not support the prosecution’s theory of the bombing.

“There was a great deal of pressure put upon me to bias my interpretation,” Whitehurst said in U.S. District Court in New York in 1995.

To read the full story click here.