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FBI

Keith L. Bennett named FBI Assist. Director of the Inspection Division

Keith L. Bennett/fbi photo

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Keith L. Bennett, deputy assistant director for the FBI’s Training Division, is getting a bump up to assistant director of the agency’s Inspection Division, the FBI announced Wednesday.

Bennett began his career as an FBI special agent in 1987 and was initially assigned to the Salt Lake City Division, where he investigated white-collar crime and drug violations, the FBI said.

In 1993, he headed further west to the San Diego Division.

In 1998, it was off to headquarters as a supervisory special agent who provided support to the organized crime and drug programs.

Two years later, he returned to the San Diego Division to supervise drug intelligence, counterterrorism, and alien smuggling squads. He also directed the San Diego Joint Terrorism Task Force.

While in San Diego, he served temporarily at FBI Headquarters as a team leader in the Inspection Division.

In 2005, Bennett was appointed assistant special agent in charge of the Phoenix Division.

He later went on to serve as a special assistant to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III. His duties included providing counsel on policy and administrative matters.

In 2009, he was named named special agent in charge of the Cincinnati field office.

 

Former Leaders of FBI, DEA Urge Stricter Privacy Laws in GPS Tracking

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The tension between effective law enforcement and personal privacy is always present to some degree, but has certainly intensified in the decade following 9/11.

Now, a bipartisan group including former FBI and DEA leaders are calling for new safeguards to protect individuals’ personal privacy.

The Constitution Project, a D.C.-based think tank, is calling for limit’s on law enforcement uses of GPS and other tracking technologies, reports the Associated Press.

A report released by the think tank urges that a search warrant be required for any GPS surveillance lasting more than 24 hours, and that the specific use of GPS devices being applied secretly to a suspect’s car require a warrant from the get-go. In the past few years reports have surfaced of FBI agents secretly placing GPS tracking units under the bumper’s of individual’s cars, such as an animal rights activist and an Arab-American student.

The GPS tracking debate is “one instance of the much broader problem of regulating new technology,” said Patricia Wald, of the Constitution Project and the former chief judge on the federal appeals court in Washington.

The White House maintains that warrants would hamper law enforcement investigations and, because the surveillance monitors movements made in public, they are not needed, according to the AP. The latter would presumably not apply to the secretive installing of tracking units on citizen’s cars.

Among the members of the committee that produced the report is Asa Hutchinson, who ran the DEA under President George W. Bush. “As the former head of the DEA, I understand the need for tracking bad guys, being able to secretly monitor a suspect’s movements. But this is a good balance between the needs of law enforcement and privacy issues,” Hutchinson said, according to AP.

The report comes as the Supreme Court is set to consider the issue in November.

To read more click here

 

What the Heck is Up With IHOP? FBI Agents Raid 7 of its Restaurants

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

What the heck is up with IHOP?

Earlier this month, a deranged gunman walked into a Carson City, Nev. IHOP and opened fire.

Now the Associated Press reports this week that FBI agents executed search warrants at six IHOP restaurants in northwest Ohio and one in Indiana.

AP reported that the IHOPs were Evansville, Ind., and the others are in the Toledo area.

The Toledo Blade reported that agents carried away boxes of documents.

Authorties said the raids involved the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and Homeland Security investigations through U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

AP reported that a spokesman for IHOP’s parent company, DineEquity, told the Evansville Courier and Press the company is cooperating and was told the investigation does not involve terrorism.

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Head of Chicago FBI Says al-Qaida Still Obsessed With Planes; Office is Probing Mail Bombs


Robert Grant/fbi photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A decade later and it appears that al-Qaeda members are still trying to turn airplanes into deadly weapons.

“Al-Qaida has been obsessed with airplanes, they continue to be obsessed with airplanes,” said Robert Grant, head of the Chicago FBI., according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “They want to use airplanes to kill people. … It continues to be a desire on their part to bring a plane down.”

Grant also disclosed publicly for the first time that Chicago investigators have been looking into international terrorism plots involving mail bombs sent on Chicago-bound flights from over seas. In October of last year the devices were found hidden in printer cartridges pulled from flights in England and the United Arab Emirates following a tip, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Sent from Yemen, the packages “were addressed to former Chicago area synagogues bearing the names of historical figures as a way to stick it in their eyes,'” reports the Sun-Times.

“The person who built that bomb still remains at liberty, somewhere in Yemen,” Grant said in an appearance before the Niagra Foundation in Chicago, according to the Sun-Times. “He has been hunted for a long time, but he is a very, very skilled bomb-maker.” Officials believe al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch are responsible for the plot, according to the Sun-Times.

Investigators said last year that they found links between the Chicago-bound explosives and the one intended for use by the “underwear bomber” in Detroit.

To read more click here.

FBI’s JTTF in D.C. Will Be Among Those Honored at ADL Awards Ceremony


fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Members and partners of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in the Washington Field Office, who were involved in a sting that targeted a plot to blow up the Washington area subway system in 2010, will be among those honored Oct. 4 in Washington at the Anti Defamation League’s  second annual SHEILD Awards.

The ADL,  a Jewish organization which bills itself as “one of the nation’s oldest and most respected civil rights and human relations organizations”, created the SHIELD Awards in 2010 to honor law enforcement for protecting the American people from hate crimes and domestic and international terrorism.  ADL works closely with agencies like the FBI and ATF to expose hate groups and their activities.

The ADL anticipates  about 300 law enforcement professionals and community leaders will attend the event.

“Through these Awards, we hope to increase public awareness of the dedication and values of the men and women of law enforcement”  Elise Jarvis, ADL’s Associate Director for Law Enforcement Outreach said in a statement. “They transform the principles of our democracy into a reality. They can never be thanked enough for their service.”

Besides members the FBI’s JTTF, others honored will include:

Members of the Baltimore Police Department and the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City for the investigation and prosecution of three individuals who assaulted 76-year-old African American man in a hate crime in 2009.

Special Agent Michael Tarantino of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit, who in 2009 identified, located, and arrested a high ranking Argentinean Police official who was wanted for committing war crimes during the Argentinean Dirty War.

Members of the Virginia Beach Police and Fire Departments for preventing a domestic terrorist attack at a local high school, which was scheduled to occur on April 20th, 2009, the 10th anniversary of the Columbine Massacre.

ADL said the awards were determined by a Selection Committee of 18 law enforcement executives, including chiefs of police and other law enforcement officials from D.C., Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.

 

First Release of Trailer of Upcoming Film “J. Edgar”

Louie Freeh and Tom Ridge: Angels Protecting Us or Just Hired Guns for the Gambling Industry?

Louis Freeh

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh and Tom Ridge, former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Angels protecting us from evil, or just hired guns for the gambling industry?

If you read the press release by FairPlayUSA, you’d think they were here to save us from the evil.

FairPlayUSA announced that Freeh and Ridge have joined its board to help legalize online poker and toughen the ambiguous U.S. laws on the issue.

The website pressofAtlanticCity posted a story saying the two joined the board as part of a campaign launched this summer to build support to legalize online poker. The site reported that start up money came from Caesars Entertainment Inc. and MGM Resorts International.

The Sept. 15 release from FairPlayUSA said:

“Former FBI Director Louis Freeh and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, today, announced they have joined the Advisory Board of FairPlayUSA, a new coalition of law enforcement officials, consumer protection experts and others concerned about the failures in current law to put illegal Internet gambling operators out of business, the need to better protect consumers and the need to impose a strict regulatory framework for online poker.”

Tom Ridge

The release added that “millions of Americans regularly engage in Internet gambling on offshore websites that operate in direct violation of federal and state laws, and they play online poker on sites that fail to provide necessary consumer protections. Current laws that attempt to prohibit Internet gambling have failed to stop the illegal Internet gambling market…”

Freeh said in the release: “Current federal laws fail to provide U.S. law enforcement vital tools to address illegal internet gambling, enabling a ‘wild-west’ atmosphere. I am joining FairPlayUSA to improve this environment by clarifying these laws, better empowering law enforcement agencies to crack down on violators and using licensing and regulation to ensure safe and legal online poker.”

Ridge said in the release: “States and tribes have rights that must be protected by authorizing them to decide for themselves whether to accept or prohibit online poker and make use of sophisticated technologies already in use in other industries to enforce those decisions.”

 

FBI Says Violent Crime Dropped in 2010

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Violent crime in the United States dipped about 6 percent in 2010, marking a drop in the stats for the fourth straight year, the FBI reported Monday.

In 2009, the rate dropped by 5.4 percent.

The last increase came in 2006.

In 2010, the murder rate dropped 4.2 percent; aggravated assaults dipped 4.1 percent; rape was down 5 percent and robbery dropped 10 percent, the FBI reported.

Property crime dropped about 3 percent.

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. issued a statement on the stats, saying:

“Safe communities are the foundation of our nation’s prosperity and I have made it a priority of this Department of Justice to protect the American public by aggressively fighting violent crime. The results of the 2010 Uniform Crime Report show that for the second straight year, our federal law enforcement agents continue to make progress on one of our core objectives — fighting violent crime across this country.”

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