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FBI

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IG Report Highly Critical of FBI’s Sentinel Computer Project; FBI Calls Report Unfair

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A Justice Department’s Inspector General report released Wednesday sharply criticized the FBI for its handling of a yet to be completed case management system  that will convert the agency’s criminal records from paper to computers, saying it is still fraught with problems including cost overruns.  The report also expressed concern that delays may result in some components of the system being obsolete.

But the FBI quickly shot back with a statement Wednesday, characterizing the  report on the “Sentinel Project” as unfair.

“We believe that the interim report does not accurately reflect the FBI’s management of the Sentinel project, and fails to credit the FBI with taking corrective action to keep it on budget,” the FBI said in a statement.

“Moreover, the interim report comes at a time when the FBI has changed its plan for completing the project, and the Department of Justice has authorized us to go forward with our new approach. The report, however, continues to rely on outdated cost estimates that do not apply to the current FBI plan.”

The Inspector General’s 29-page report entitled  “Status of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Implementation of the Sentinel Proejct”  concluded:

“As of August 2010, the FBI’s Sentinel system is at least 2 years behind schedule and at least $100 million over budget. According to its original system plan, Sentinel was to be fully completed by now. However, only two of Sentinel’s intended four phases have been substantially completed, and some of the most difficult tasks are still to come.”

“The FBI has spent about $405 million for the development of the functionality that it has provided to date, along with aspects of the project that may or may not be implemented depending on a reassessment the FBI is now performing in an effort to complete Sentinel within its defined budget of $451 million.”

“We are also concerned that the longer the full implementation of Sentinel takes, the more likely it is that already implemented hardware and software features will become obsolete.”

Read full report

Read full FBI statement

FBI Digging For Mobster’s Body in Long Island

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sometimes in order to find the answer, you have to dig deep — literally.

That’s what the FBI was doing Tuesday in Long Island: Digging for the remains of a reputed Colombo mobster killed 15 years ago, the New York Daily News reports.

The paper reported that is looking for the remains of mobster Richard Greaves in an industrial park in East Farmingdale. Richard Kolko, an FBI spokesman, told the News that nothing was found and digging would likely resume Wednesday.

The Daily News reported that bones of another gangland murder victim, Colombo capo William (Wild Bill) Cutolo, were discovered at the site in 2008.

The paper reported that “Mob rat Joseph (Joey Caves) Competiello admitted participating in Greaves’ murder in August 1995. He told the feds that Greaves, suspected of being an informant, was lured to mobster Dino (Little Dino) Saracino’s home on 76th St. in Brooklyn and shot to death in the basement.”

Va Man Expected to Plead Guilty to Supporting Somali Terrorists

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A Northern Virginia man who found little humor in the animated show “South Park”, and wished death to its creators on the Internet, is scheduled to plead guilty to supporting Somali terrorists, the Washington Post reports.

The paper reports that Zachary Adam Chesser, 20, of Bristow, Va., will plead guilty at 2 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Alexandria.

The Post reported that Chesser, a George Mason University “dropout who became an Internet propagandist for al-Qaeda under the name Abu Talhah al-Amrikee, Chesser was arrested July 21 after being placed on the no-fly list and stopped from traveling with his infant son from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Somalia.”

He allegedly told FBI agents that he planned to join the Islamist terrorist group al-Shabab, which is tied to al Qaeda.

To read more click here.

Mi Man Who Impersonated FBI Agent Gets 3 Years

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 57-year-old Michigan man has been hit with a three year prison term for impersonating an FBI agent, the Daily Tribune reported.

The paper reported that U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds in Detroit sentenced Kevin Balfour of Warren, Mi, a Detroit suburb, earlier this month.

The paper reported the man impersonated an FBI agent and said he was collecting money for Haiti, where he might be deployed. He said the money was for the children.

He reportedly also used his FBI credentials to get free food and drinks from a local bar, and last Christmas Day questioned passengers who were on the plane where the “Underwear Bomber” tried to ignite explosive, the paper reported.

The paper reported that FBI agents searched his home and seized 16 guns, 1,000 rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, FBI badge and two Chicago police badges.

Jordanian National Gets 24 Years in Plot to Blow Up Dallas Skyscraper

dallas-map1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Jordanian national caught in an FBI sting in which he plotted to blow up a Dallas skyscraper in September 2009, was sentenced Tuesday to 24 years in prison.

Authorities charged that Hosam Maher Husein Smadi drove a truck containing a fake bomb provided by the FBI to the Fountain Place, a 60-story office building in Dallas.

He then parked the truck in a public parking garage under the building, activated the timer linked to the device, locked the truck and walked away, authorities said.

Afterwards, Smadi crossed the street and got into a car with an undercover law enforcement agent.

They then drove a safe distance away, hoping to watch the explosion. Smadi used a cell phone to remotely activate the device, authorities said.

“The court’s sentence of Mr. Smadi sends a clear message that there is a serious price to be paid by those who may be willing to carry out acts of violence in this country to further the terrorist cause. I applaud the many agents, analysts and prosecutors responsible for this successful investigation and prosecution,” said Assistant Attorney General Kris.

Read Dallas Morning News story

4 Men Convicted in Plot to Bomb NY Synagogue and Shoot Down Military Planes

bronx-imagesBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Four men were convicted Monday by a federal jury in an FBI sting in which they plotted to bomb a synagogue and Jewish community center in the Bronx and fire missiles at military planes, authorities announced.

Defendants Onta Williams, Laguerre Payen, James Cromitie and David Williams IV — face up to life in prison.

The defense claimed they were entrapped by an FBI informer who worked undercover, an argument the jury of six women and five men apparently rejected after eight days of deliberation.

“Homegrown terrorism is a serious threat, and today’s convictions affirm our commitment to do everything we can to protect against it,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “The defendants in this case agreed to plant bombs and use missiles they thought were very real weapons of terrorism. We are safer today as a result of these convictions.”

Read Press Release

Read NY Daily News story

FBI Reports 48 Law Enforcement Officers Slain in 2009; Up 7 From Year Before

Slain Border Parol Agent Robert Rosas Jr

Slain Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas Jr

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Forty eight law enforcement officers in 2009 were either shot and killed or hit by cars that were used as weapons, up by seven from the previous year, the FBI said Monday.  Additionally, 47 died in accidents while on the job.

One of those slain in 2009 was  U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas Jr., 30. He was shot and killed at 9 p.m. on July 23 while following a group of suspicious people near Campo, Calif. A 17-year-old was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the shooting.

The FBI also reported that 57,268 officers were assaulted in the line of duty in 2009.

Of the law enforcement officers killed in violent acts, the average age was 38 and the average time on the job was 12 years, the FBI said. All but one of the victims was male; 42 were white, 3 black, 2 American Indian/Alaskan Native and one Asian/Pacific Islander.

Of the 48 killed, 15 were ambushed; 8 were killed during arrest situations; 8 were killed while performing traffic stops; 6 while answering disturbance calls; 5 during tactical situations (e.g., high-risk entry); 4 while investigating suspicious persons/circumstances; and two while handling, transporting or maintaining custody of prisoners.

Additionally, 45 of the 48 were killed by firearms and three by vehicles that were used as weapons, the FBI said.

Geographically, 23 occurred in the South, 13 in the West, 7 in the Northeast and 5 in the Midwest. Two of the deaths took place in Puerto Rico.

Thirty-three of the assailants had prior criminal records, and 13 of the assailants were under judicial supervision at the time.