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FBI

Ex-FBI Veteran James Wagner to be Named Inspector Gen. of Ill. Tollway

tollwayBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Life after the FBI comes in many forms.

James Wagner,67, former head of the Chicago Crime Commission and a 31-year veteran of the FBI, is expected to be named to the newly created post of inspector general of the Illinois Tollway on Monday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

In January, Wagner was named chief of investigations for the Illinois Tollway. From 2000 to 2005, he headed up investigations for the Illinois Gaming Board.

Wagner’s job will be to probe allegations of fraud, waste and corruption involving employees, officials and contractors.

President Obama’s Comments Unfortunately May Reflect Attitude Toward DEA

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — President Obama is a busy guy with a lot of worries. So he might be excused when he commits a little Washington faux pas as he did last week during a town hall meeting with young people.

While discussing  “federal drug enforcement”, he mentioned the Justice Department and FBI, but not the  DEA,the lead agency in the war on drugs.

“We have to figure out who is it we’re going after because we’ve got limited resources,” he said. “So decisions that are made by the Justice Department or FBI about prosecuting drug kingpins versus somebody with some small amount, those decisions are made based on how can we best enforce the laws that are on the books.”

In many ways, it was not a big deal. But the comment rubbed some folks at DEA the wrong way. Plus, agents felt it was reflective of the administration’s overall attitude toward the DEA.

“I don’t think he’s given any thought to the DEA,” one agent told me. “We’ve become an afterthought, the stepchild when it comes to the FBI and Justice Department.”

So frankly, you can’t be totally dismissive of those sentiments.

For one, Michele Leonhart, the acting head of the agency, was nominated by the president in February, but has yet to be confirmed. To boot, she’s been acting head of the agency since 2007.  The absence of a confirmation is unsettling for some in the agency.

With Mexico raging out of control, and  the cartels tentacles reaching far into the U.S., the DEA may not be   the agency the administration wants to short change — and that also means when it comes to giving a shoutout publicly about federal drug law enforcement.

Column: Pres. Obama’s Comments May Unfortunately Reflect Attitude Toward DEA

Allan Lengel

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — President Obama is a busy guy with a lot of worries. So he might be excused when he commits a little Washington faux pas as he did during a town hall meeting last week with young people.

While discussing  “federal drug enforcement”, he mentioned the Justice Department and FBI, but not the  DEA,the lead agency in the war on drugs.

“We have to figure out who is it we’re going after because we’ve got limited resources,” he said. “So decisions that are made by the Justice Department or FBI about prosecuting drug kingpins versus somebody with some small amount, those decisions are made based on how can we best enforce the laws that are on the books.”

In many ways, it was not big deal. But the comment rubbed some folks at DEA the wrong way. Plus, agents felt it was reflective of the administration’s overall attitude toward the DEA.

“I don’t think he’s given any thought to the DEA,” one agent told me. “We’ve become an afterthought, the stepchild when it comes to the FBI and Justice Department.”

So frankly, you can’t be totally dismissive of those sentiments.

For one, Michele Leonhart, the acting head of the agency, was nominated by the president in February, but has yet to be confirmed. To boot, she’s been acting head of the agency since 2007.  The absence of a confirmation is unsettling for some in the agency.

With Mexico raging out of control, and  the cartels tentacles reaching far into the U.S., the DEA may not be   the agency the administration wants to short change — and that also means when it comes to giving a shoutout publicly about federal drug law enforcement.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Was Warned Years Before About Mumbai Attacker’s Link to Terrorism

india map2
By Sebastian Rotella
ProPublica

Three years before Pakistani terrorists struck Mumbai in 2008, federal agents in New York City investigated a tip that an American businessman was training in Pakistan with the group that later executed the attack.

The previously undisclosed allegations against David Coleman Headley, who became a key figure in the plot that killed 166 people, came from his wife after a domestic dispute that resulted in his arrest in 2005.

In three interviews with federal agents, Headley’s wife said that he was an active militant in the terrorist group Lashkar-i-Taiba, had trained extensively in its Pakistani camps, and had shopped for night vision goggles and other equipment, according to officials and sources close to the case.

The wife, whom ProPublica is not identifying to protect her safety, also told agents that Headley had bragged of working as a paid U.S. informant while he trained with the terrorists in Pakistan, according to a person close to the case.

Federal officials say the FBI “looked into” the tip, but they declined to say what, if any, action was taken. Headley was jailed briefly in New York on charges of domestic assault, but was not prosecuted. He wasn’t captured until 11 months after the Mumbai attack, when British intelligence alerted U.S. authorities that he was in contact with al Qaeda operatives in Europe.

Read more »

Religious Leaders and Son Denounce Justice Dept. Report on FBI Shooting of Detroit Imam

detroit mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A group of religious and civil rights leaders isn’t buying the Justice Department’s report this week that the FBI acted properly when it shot and killed Detroit Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah last October during a raid on a suburban warehouse, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The paper reported that Christian, Muslim and African American leaders gathered at a press conference Thursday at the Muslim Center in Detroit and said the Justice Department report was incomplete and failed to examine the use of undercover informants in Islamic communities.

“I had high hopes” for the report, said Omar Regan, son of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, according to the Free Press. “We’re disappointed.”

The paper said the FBI in Detroit and the Justice Department declined comment.

Luqman was shot and killed by FBI agents after he opened fire and shot and killed an FBI dog, authorities said.

To read more click here.

Oops! President Obama Offends DEA Agents in Drug War Comments

obamaBy Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama insulted — albeit inadvertently — the folks at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration today by mentioning the FBI instead of their agency in remarks about the war on drugs.

At a town hall meeting in Washington aired on MTV, the president told a group of young people that his administration is serious about “federal drug enforcement.”

But, he added, “we have to figure out who is it we’re going after because we’ve got limited resources. So decisions that are made by the Justice Department or FBI about prosecuting drug kingpins versus somebody with some small amount, those decisions are made based on how can we best enforce the laws that are on the books.”

Some DEA agents were insulted, saying the DEA is the lead agency on the war on drugs, not the FBI.

“That just goes to show his lack of knowledge,” said one DEA agent, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Again, it shows me his inadequate knowledge of drug law enforcement. He has no clue.”

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Arab-American Student Who Found FBI GPS on Car Wants Congressman to Find Out Why

Rep. Honda/official photo

Rep. Honda/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Arab- American student from California who recently found an FBI GPS on his car is asking his Congressman to help find out why he was being followed, Jeff Stein of Spy Talk reports.

Stein reports that student Yasir Afifi has turned to Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) for help.

Afifi’s attorney told SpyTalk she was drafting a letter to the Congressman to “put some pressure on the FBI to explain its practices.”

The attorney Zahar Billoo told Spy Talk the FBI was “wasting tax dollars” by tracking Afifi and “not pursuing serious suspects.”

The son of an Islamic-American community leader, Afifi found a GPS device on his car during an oil change and the FBI came knocking to get it back.

The whole thing started one recent Sunday when Yasir Afifi, a 20-year-old American born business marketing student at Mission College in Santa Clara, Calif., discovered the device while getting an oil change at Ali’s Auto Care, WIRED reported.

The mechanic saw a mysterious wire near the right rear wheel and exhaust and removed it, WIRED reported. A friend of Ali’s then posted a photo the the GPS device online, according to an interview with Ali.

Two days later, WIRED reported, the FBI came for the device and Afifi turned it over.

James Myers to Head FBI Intelligence Division in Los Angeles

fbi logo largeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – James P. Myers is returning to Los Angeles — this time as a  FBI special agent in charge of the Intelligence Division and Field Intelligence Group for the L.A. office.

Myers, whose last post was as section chief of HUMINT operations (Human Intelligence)  and oversight section, started as an agent in 1987. He first worked in the Norfolk Field Office on a variety of crimes and as a SWAT team member, the FBI said.

In July 1993, he headed west to the Los Angeles office where he worked the Safe Streets Task Force (SSTF) squad, and he was named case agent for the Mexican Mafia prison gang.

In 1997, he was promoted to a supervisory special agent and worked gangs including the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), the FBI said.

In 1998, he was assigned as coordinator of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Task Force on violent crimes.

In 2003, he was promoted to intelligence program manager for the Los Angeles Field Office. In 2006, he was assigned to FBI Headquarters as the assistant director/operations chief of the MS-13 National Gang Task Force.

In July 2007, Myers returned to the Norfolk Field Office as assistant special agent in charge overseeing criminal, administrative, and intelligence programs.

In 2009, he was assigned as an inspector in charge at FBI Headquarters in March 2009.