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December 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter


FBI Director Mueller’s Nostalgic Moment photo

By Allan Lengel

CHICAGO — This same time last year, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III was feeling a little nostalgic when he spoke in Orlando before the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference. It was like a final victory lap, the last speech as director  before the group.

But in a move that caught almost everyone by surprise, the White House earlier this year asked him to stay on two more years beyond his 10-year term. After some consultation, Mueller, now 67, obliged and Congress confirmed his stay.

On Monday, here in downtown Chicago, that twist in the road was not lost as he spoke before a crowd  at the IACP in a cavernous auditorium at the McCormick Place convention center.

“I will admit to feeling a bit nostalgic last year, believing it was my final meeting with you. I fully intended to finish my term last month,” he said before the crowd and some Washington-based notables, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. and Acting ATF Director B. Todd Jones.

“I will say when the President asked whether I would be willing to continue as FBI Director for another two years, I sought advice from many people, because I believe a leader is often the last to know when it is time to go.

‘Three considerations persuaded me to extend my term. First, it would be hard, at any time, to leave the FBI family, and indeed, the larger law enforcement family. I am lucky to work with such talented and dedicated people.

“Second, as each of you knows, there is nothing more rewarding than public service.”

“Lastly, we in the FBI do have unfinished business. We must continue to improve our technology, expand our intelligence capabilities, and adapt to meet new challenges. I did not want to miss the opportunity to be part of that.”

Mueller went on to talk about the changes at the FBI since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, organized crime and the ever-looming threat of terrorism.

“Osama bin Laden, Anwar Awlaki, and other key leaders are no longer in the picture.  Nonetheless, al Qaeda remains the top terrorist threat.”


FBI Investigates Japanese Bankers’ Big Pay-Off

By Danny Fenster
Who knew an advisory roll could pay out so well? 

Hajime Sagawa and Akio Nakagawa, two Japanese bankers, spent their career moving from firm to firm on Wall Street, reports the New York Times. Then, when advising the Japanese company Olympus–largely successful in medical equipment but better known as a camera maker–on their takeover of a British company, the two bankers were paid $687 million.

“But the fee amount was more than 30 times the norm on Wall Street,” reports the Times. And now the FBI is investigating.

“This is about following the money,” Jonathan R. Macey, a professor of corporate law and governance at Yale, told the Times. “It’s very unusual and raises a classic red flag, pointing to either a waste of company assets or corruption.”

The payment went in part to “a tiny, unknown firm,” says the Times, run by the two bankers, and the rest to a Caymen Islands company with ties to one of the two men. Both firms closed up shop shortly after the payments were made.

The focus of the investigation is not yet clear, and spokespeople for the FBI declined the Times requests for comment.

To read more click here.

Gangs Expanding and Some Activity Now Includes Mortgage Fraud and Human Trafficking

fbi art

By Allan Lengel

Gangs across the U.S. are continuing to expand, with some even moving into white collar crimes like mortgage fraud and counterfeiting, alien smuggling and human trafficking, according to the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment released by the National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC), the FBI said.

“Gangs continue to expand, evolve, and become more violent. The FBI, along with its federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners, strives to disrupt and prevent their criminal activities and seek justice for innocent victims of their crimes,” Assistant Director Kevin Perkins of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division said in a statement.

The gang report revealed that approximately 1.4 million gang members belonging to more than 33,000 gangs were criminally active in the U.S. as of April, 2011.

The report said gangs have been encouraging members, associates, and relatives to obtain law enforcement, judiciary, or legal employment  to gather information on rival gangs and law enforcement operations.

The report said gang infiltration of the military continues to pose a significant criminal threat.

Gang members who learn advanced weaponry and combat techniques in the military are at risk of employing these skills on the street when they return to their communities, the report said.

The report said that gang membership increased most significantly in the Northeast and Southeast regions, although the West and Great Lakes regions boast the highest number of gang members. Neighborhood-based gangs, hybrid gang members, and national-level gangs such as the Sureños are rapidly expanding in many jurisdictions. Many communities are also experiencing an increase in ethnic-based gangs such as African, Asian, Caribbean, and Eurasian gangs.


FBI Reports that 56 Law Enforcement Officers Were “Feloniously Killed” in 2010; Up From Previous Year

By Allan Lengel

Fifty-six law enforcement officers in 22 states and Puerto Rico were “feloniously killed” in 2010, up from 48 the year before, the FBI reported.

The annual Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report released Monday also showed more than 53,000 officers were assaulted in 2010.

An FBI press release summed up some of the shootings this way.

Two West Memphis Police Department officers were killed during a traffic stop when a 16-year-old passenger exited the vehicle and opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle.

A Chicago Police Department officer at the end of his shift was removing his gear near his car in the department’s parking lot when a man ambushed the 43-year-old officer and shot him with his own weapon.

A 62-year-old deputy sheriff in Mississippi was shot and killed by an uncooperative suspect while responding to a domestic disturbance call.

“Only when detectives, use-of-force investigators, supervisors and administrators examine the various components of the deadly mix will a greater understanding of these encounters emerge,” FBI researchers wrote in a study called Violent Encounters, an in-depth look at years of fatal altercations like those in today’s report.

The 2010 report also shows 72 officers were accidently killed in the line of duty, almost all of them involving vehicles.

All but one of the officers killed in a crime were shot. On was killed when a suspected used a car, the FBI said.

A further breakdown shows 15 were ambushed, 14 were in arrest situations, seven were performing traffic stops, and six were answering disturbance calls.

One in three officer assaults occurred while responding to disturbance calls, the FBI reported, and 14.7 percent occurred while officers were attempting arrests.

The average age of officers killed feloniously was 38.


FBI Accused of “Industrial Scale Racial Profiling”

By Danny Fenster
New documents have been obtained by the ACLU which said over the weekend point to the FBI’s use of “industrial scale racial profiling.” The documents are related to an FBI program that used demographic information to map ethnic and racial communities and the criminal activities related to each group, according to Salon and the ACLU.

Large parts of the documents the ACLU obtained through public records requests are redacted, leaving much unknown about the mapping project and how it is used by the FBI. The agency maintains the information is used to “better understand the communities that are potential victims of the threats,” according to the FBI. spoke with Michael German, policy counsel at the ACLU’s Washington office and a former FBI agent, about the program. Documents from 2010, German told Salon, “showed the FBI was engaged in a program called “domain management,” which included mapping and gathering intelligence on racial and ethnic communities.”

The ACLU then filed a series of Freedom of Information Act requests.

“Clearly they have been engaging in crass racial stereotyping of minority groups are linked to certain types of crime, and then using Census information to map entire communities based on their race or ethnicity,” said German.

The ACLU is calling the program unconstitutional, violating the First, Fourth and 14th amendments, said German.

In response the FBI issued a statement saying:

“The FBI joins the ACLU in opposing racial or ethnic discrimination. The AG Guidelines and the FBI’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG) clearly prohibit the predication of investigative activity solely on the exercise of First Amendment rights, including freedom of religion, or on race or ethnicity. The FBI does not investigate individuals, groups, or communities based on ethnicity or race.”

“Certain terrorist and criminal groups target particular ethnic and geographic communities for victimization and/or recruitment purposes. This reality must be taken into account when determining if there are threats to the United States.”

Read more »

FBI Steps in After Chicago Police Clear One of Their Own in Shooting of Unarmed Man

By Allan Lengel

CHICAGO — The FBI has decided to step in after the Chicago police department cleared a cop who fatally shot an unarmed suspect seven times, NBC Chicago reported.

Officer Gildardo Sierra fired at Flint Farmer in June and then fired some more after Farmer was already shot and lying on his stomach, the station reported. Those extra shots hit him in the back, the station reported.

The station reported that the cop fired 16 times in all, hitting Farmer seven times.

The department ruled the shooting justified homicide, the station reported. Sierra has said he feared for his life and thought Farmer had a gun.




Gay Rights Advocates Weigh in on J. Edgar Hoover Film that Portrays Him as Gay

By Danny Fenster

There has been an avalanche of opinions voiced by ex-FBI agents and current ones over the  film “J Edgar” and his portrayal as being gay. Now, some Gay rights advocates are weighing in.

“I don’t know specifically why current officers object to the claim that Hoover was gay,” Jacob Appel, a New York-based lawyer that has written and advocated for gay and lesbian rights, told “If their concern is solely for historical accuracy, and they don’t feel there is evidence to support that claim, then that’s certainly a reasonable position.”

“On the other hand, if these individuals actually believe that being gay would somehow tarnish Hoover’s image–and I sincerely hope that no one in the FBI holds such deeply misguided views today–then their positions would reflect the sort of bigotry and ignorance that have no place in civilized society,” said Appel.

Clint Eastwood has produced the  film and Leonard DiCaprio plays the legendary Hoover. The film portrays Hoover as having a romantic relationship with Clyde Tolson, his number two man in the bureau.

Some agents, and particularly some retired agents who still idolize Hoover, credit him with building a world-class law enforcement agency, and have expressed concern about his portrayal as being gay.

Many say there’s no evidence that Hoover was gay. Instead, they argue that he was married to the job and that he was essentially asexual.

“I find it interesting that Hollywood has no proof of Hoover being a homosexual, a story that was sparked by a discredited author,” former FBI official Anthony Riggio recently wrote in a column for “Yet it tickled the media’s fancy and now the media can’t get over it, and every chance they get, they herald this unfounded suspicion.”

Then again, there are some FBI agents today who simply could care less.

Eastwood has caught some flack for the portrayal, but defends the film.

“It’s not a movie about two gay guys,” Eastwood told GQ. “It’s a movie about how this guy manipulated everybody around him and managed to stay on through nine presidents. I mean, I don’t give a crap if he was gay or not.”

DiCaprio says he’s not sure of Hoover’s sexual orientation.

“If I were a betting man, I actually don’t know what I would bet,” he told GQ.

Some gay rights advocates concerns are not just over the negative reactions from some FBI and former FBI agents, but of Hoover himself.

Rod Hearne, the Executive Director of the Seattle-based Equal Rights Washington,  comments:

“In 2011 it’s hard to imagine that two such powerful, unmarried, near-constant companions as J Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson would be seen as anything but gay.

“If the FBI and J Edgar Hoover’s friends and associates resist the notion that the blackmailing, extorting, empire-building, racist, homophobic man was gay, fine, whatever they wish to think. The straights can have him.”

Author Ronald Kessler, who penned the book “The Secrets of the FBI”, wrote in an article on the website Newsmax:  “Hoover and Tolson, both bachelors, were inseparable. They ate lunch together every day and dinner together almost every night. They vacationed together, staying in adjoining rooms, and they took adoring photos of each other.”

The relationship with Tolson, he wrote,  “points to Hoover’s being gay.  Most telling, when Hoover’s will was probated, Tolson received his estate  estimated at $560,000 … the equivalent of $2.9 million today. The bequest to Tolson was the final word on the closeness of their relationship and another indicator that Hoover was gay.” Kessler called the movie’s portrayal of their relationship a “legitimate dramatization.”

Appel, the New York lawyer, says if there is evidence that Hoover was gay, or for that matter, a cross dresser as some have suggested,  it would be a matter of “public historical interest…especially in light of his fierce and nearly monomaniacal persecution of gays and lesbians throughout his career.”

Bit what is far more important, he said, is “to remember the shameful legacy that Mr. Hoover left this country with in regard to his persistent hounding of ethnic, sexual and ideological minorities … Mr. Hoover squandered tax-payer dollars in a bizarre and longstanding effort to expose the supposed (and extraordinarily unlikely) homosexuality of Adlai Stevenson, one of our nation’s great statesmen and patriots.”

Appel called Hoover a “divisive and destructive figure, whether or not he slept with Clyde Tolson.”

But not all the gay rights advocates have such pointed views.

Christian Berle, the Executive Director at Log Cabin Republicans, which works within the Republican party and advocates for gay and lesbian rights, was far more cautious in his statement to

“Speculation as to J. Edgar Hoover’s sexuality has a long history, and it is natural that Clint Eastwood might want to explore that angle in this film. At the same time, it is understandable that members of the FBI and those who value his memory would be concerned that Hoover’s story be treated with respect and dignity. Whatever Hoover’s orientation may have been, the world today is a much different place than when he was at the helm of the FBI, and Americans can be proud that today’s FBI has a solid record of nondiscrimination.”

Most certainly the controversy over the movie’s portrayal of Hoover’s sexuality will help bolster tickets sales.

Nontheless, Warner Bros.. which is producing the film,  is remaining equally tight-lipped about the portrayal.

“We respectfully decline to comment on the portrayal (of Hoover’s sexual orientation), “their online press spokeswoman Anne Chun told

FBI Official Says We Need Secure Alternative Internet to Fend Off Cyber Threats

Shawn Henry /fbi photo

By Allan Lengel

We could be headed for bigger trouble if we don’t develop a highly secure alternative Internet to fend off the ever increasing cyber threats against critical utilities and financial systems, an FBI official told the Associated Press Thursday.

Shawn Henry, the FBI’s executive assistant director, told AP that critical systems are under increasingly under threat from terror groups like jihadist militants looking to harm the U.S.

“The challenge with the Internet is you don’t know who’s launching the attack,” he said.

He said it would be helpful to develop networks where anonymity is not an option and only known and trusted employees have access, AP reported.

To read more click here.