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FBI

FBI Called In to Help with Local Paramilitaries

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Local authorities in southern Mississippi have contacted the FBI for help investigating a paramilitary group known as the Savior Unit, reports the Hattiesburg American. The group is comprised mostly of teenagers and young adults.

Michael Shaun Schaffran, the 32-year-old believed to be the group’s leader, and Cody Jacob Rogers, 18, were arrested after breaking into a mobile home on December 6. In the arrest local police seized an operation manual of the groups which promoted “Christ, helping law enforcement, doing community service, reconnaissance, infiltration, apprehension and ‘retrieval,’ according to the Hattiesburg American.

Schaffran’s wife said police have the wrong idea. They’re just a bunch of kids trying to do good and stay out of trouble, she said. The break-in was in response to a perceived domestic violence at the home, which Schaffran and Rogers went to correct.

To read more click here.

Move to Replace FBI Headquarters Inches Closer to Reality

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The legendary but outdated FBI headquarters building in in the nation’s capital moved a step closer to its demise.

The Washington Post reports that the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works passed a resolution late last week authorizing the General Service Administration to find a consolidated headquarters. The Post reported that the resolution is subject to approval by Congress and subject to appropriations.

The headquarters building on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, in the shadow of the Capitol, is burst at the seams.

Before Sept. 11, 9,700 headquarters staffers worked at seven locations; now there are about 17,300 employees and contractors at 40 sites across the nation, 22 in the Washington area, according to the Post.

The Post reported that the resolution said that the government would have to own the land and the location would have to be within two miles of a Metrorail station and 2.5 miles from the Beltway.

To read more click here.

 

FBI Agent Calls Staffing Against NY Mob “Dangerously Low”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Is the N.Y. FBI allocating far too little to fight the five Organized Crime Families?

The answer is a definite Yes, according to a story by mob expert Jerry Capeci, editor of Gang Land News.

The site reports that the number of agents investigating New York wiseguys is at an all time low. One agent, the site reports, calls it “dangerously low.”

Still, Gangland reports that “G-men and women from other federal agencies have jumped into the fray to fill the void against the thousands of wiseguys and associates of the infamous Five Families.”

An example, according to the site, were the arrests last week by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Diplomatic Security Services (DSS) agents with the State Department arrested three wiseguys and four associates of the Gambino and Bonanno crime families on racketeering charges.

Gang Land reported that the FBI has reduced the number of squads that investigate the Five Families to three and the number of agents trying to keep tabs and arrest 700 made men and 7000 associates to about 45.

“It’s pretty obvious that there are other people locking up people that we used to lock up,” one veteran agent who has worked on mob squads for more than a dozen years told Gang Land. The agent called the number of FBI agents going after the mob “dangerously low.”

“In terms that the numbers-crunching bureaucrats can understand,” said the agent, “it’s impossible for 45 agents to do the work that 65 or 70 – or even more – were doing without losing effectiveness.”

“Across the U.S. the mob’s influence and power is not what it used to be, even in cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

But New York is different,” the agent said, according to Gang Land News. “They are still a viable force here. But for some reason the organized crime emphasis here is on non-traditional OC, not the LCN,” which is FBI-speak for La Cosa Nostra.

FBI spokesman Jim Margolin told Gang Land News: “The FBI’s allocation of resources isn’t etched in stone. We continually monitor and assess how best to deploy agents and other resources. We’re continuing to address the threat posed by organized crime in New York, including the five La Cosa Nostra families. But we have to do that with finite resources, spread across all of our investigative programs.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

FBI Investigating Cleveland Anthrax Hoax

anthrax spores

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is continuing an investigation into an anthrax scare in Cleveland, reports WDEF.com.

On Wednesday afternoon a letter containing white powder was found addressed to the Bradley County Circuit Court’s Office, but a mobile testing unit determined the substance was just talcum powder, according to WDEF.

No one is sick and thing are “back to normal,” the county mayor said.

“The employees that were right around there when it was opened, and the ones that actually opened it, were put through a tough time, waiting, and not knowing. Thank goodness it turned out that it wasn’t real.  It was a hoax, which is a bad thing, but it’s better than if it had been real,” said Mayor Gary Davis.

Davis said investigators now know where the letter came from but are not releasing that information to the public yet.

To read more click here.

DEA Money Laundering Began Under Reagan, Justice Says

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The DEA sting operation involving the laundering of money to drug cartels that has angered some Republican congressmen actually dates back to the Reagan administration, according to the Justice Department.

Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Ronald Weich sent a letter to Rep. Darrel Issa–the Republic congressman leading the charges against the Justice Department–which said Congress gave the DEA the authority to conduct such operations in 1984, reports a blog from the Houston Chronicle. During Reagan’s time in office DEA investigations laundered as much as $100 million, gaining access to top levels of drug cartel leadership, according to Weich.

Congress gave the Drug Enforcement Administration the authority to conduct such sting runs as far back as 1984, Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Ronald Weich told Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in a letter, obtained by Texas on the Potomac. In investigations during the Ronald Reagan administration, some in which agents laundered over $100 million, they gained access to the top levels of drug-cartel leadership, Weich wrote.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

FBI Offers $5,000 Reward for Calif. Police Station Bombing

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Who would throw a Molotov cocktail at a police station?

That’s what the FBI wants to know.

The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for help finding the person who threw two Molotov cocktails at a police outpost near University of California Santa Barbara last month and left taunting graffiti messages, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A surveillance of the the the Nov. 15 bombing was released by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department,the LA Times reported. No one was injured.

See video

 

Family Releases Video of Live Missing Ex-FBI Agent

 

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The missing caper involving retired FBI agent Robert Levinson who vanished in Iran in 2007 , took another dramatic turn Friday.

The Associated Press reported that the family website posted a video of the family issuing a plea to his unknown kidnappers along with a hostage video of Levinson, 63, himself from his unknown captors.

“Please tell us your demands so we can work together to bring my father home safely,” says Levinson’s son David, seated beside his mother, Christine.

AP reported that the hostage video of Levinson, which the family received in November 2010, In the hostage video, which the family received in November 2010, Levinson pleaded with the U.S. government to meet the demands of the people holding him, whom he did not identify.

The 54-second hostage video of Levinson shows him looking haggard, AP reported. He has a history of diabetes and high blood pressure.

“I have been treated well,” Levinson says in the video. “But I need the help of the United States government to answer the requests of the group that has held me for three and a half years,” Levinson says. “And please help me get home.”

“I am not in very good health,” he says. “I am running very quickly out of diabetes medicine.”

Levinson, married and the father of seven, vanished in March 2007 after checking out of a hotel on Kish Island, a Persian Gulf resort off the southern coast of Iran.

To read more click here.

Prez of FBI Agents Association Fires Off Letter Opposing Law Requiring Mandatroy Military Custody in Terrorists

Konrad Motyka, president of the FBI Agents Association, wrote this Dec. 7 letter to members of  the Senate Armed Services Committee. He wrote the letter stating the association’s opposition to  a proposed law that would require mandatory military custody for someone captured who is suspected of being a member of al Qaeda or its affiliate and is involved in plotting or carrying out terrorist acts against the U.S.  FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III has also fired off a letter to lawmakers stating his opposition to the law.

Konrad Motyka/ticklethewire.com photo

Dec. 7, 2011

Dear Chairmen and Ranking Members

On behalf of the more than 12,000 active duty and retired FBI Agents who are members of the FBI Agents Association (“FBIAA”), I write today to express our concerns about Section 1032 of S. 1867, the National Defense Act for Fiscal Year 2012.

Section 1032 requires that persons detained in connection with incidents of terrorism be held in military Custody and leaves Critical operational details unresolved, Like many in the federal law enforcement and intelligence communities, the FBIAA is concerned that this language undermines the ability of our counterte1’1’01’ism experts to conduct effective investigations.

Accordingly, we urge the conferees working to reconcile H.R. 1540 and S. 1867 through the conference process to reject Section 1032.

Section 1032 establishes a presumption for military custody for individuals detained in connection with acts of terrorism against the United States. While Section 1032 includes some exceptions and waivers to the military custody requirement, they are limited in scope and could create additional layers of bureaucracy at critical points in our investigations. lnjecting this level of uncertainty and delay into terrorism investigations could undermine law enforcement effectiveness.

To truly fight terrorism, all of the nation’s law enforcement assets should be deployed and enabled to act nimbly. This can only be accomplished if our laws preserve flexibility and prevent unnecessary bureaucracy from hampering law enforcement activities.

As part of the nation’s Counterterrorism strategy, FBI Agents work in the United States and abroad as an integral part of the intelligence-gathering and interrogation process.

Read more »