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FBI

President’s Picks to Run TSA Keep Imploding After Running into Controversies

tsa_logoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The attempted bombing on Christmas Day in Detroit was a reminder of the importance of airport security and the need for someone to lead the Transportation Security Administration under the Obama administration.

Problem is, the last two Presidential nominees have imploded on the administration.

Washington Post reporter Robert O’Harrow Jr. reported that the latest pick, Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert A. Harding, withcrew his name on Friday.

The paper reported that Harding had become “a federal contractor in 2001 after serving at the highest levels of military intelligence” and withdrew his name after being repeatedly question about his contract activities and “The Washington Post raised questions with the White House on Friday about his disabilities status.”

The Post reported that the “firm owned by the decorated general who withdrew his nomination to lead the Transportation Security Administration had received a consulting contract worth almost $100 million from the Army after certifying he was a “service disabled veteran,” according to documents and interviews with government officials.”

The White House had hoped Harding would solve its dilemma when the last nominee, ex-FBI agent Erroll Southers withdrew after controversy surfaced about him giving conflicting accounts to Congress about him accessing a federal data base as an FBI agent to get info about his ex-wife’s lover more two decades ago.

To read more click here.

Ex-FBI Dir. Monitoring Automaker Daimler’s Bribery Case

Louis J. Freeh/adl photo

Louis J. Freeh/adl photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh has been tasked with monitoring the cleanup of  automaker Daimler AG which has been accused of paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes to at least 22  foreign governments from 1998 to 2008, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that the Justice Department has agreed to let Freeh be “an independent corporate compliance monitor who will assess Daimler’s performance for the next three years.”

Daimler AG will reportedly pay a $185 million settlement and avoid indictment. Two of its subsidiaries are slated to plead guilty in the case on April 1,  AP reported.

To read more click here.

Calif. FBI Agent Thomas Padden Who Arrested Patty Hearst Dies at Age 84

Patty_Hearst_FBI_poster

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Thomas J. Padden, the FBI agent who arrested fugitive Patricia Hearst in 1975, has died at age 84 in San Rafael, Calif. after a prolonged illness, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Padden specialized in bank robbery and fraud and was known as the agent, along with San Francisco cop Tim Casey, who arrested the fugitive heiress Hearst and Wendy Yoshimura  of the Symbionese Liberation Army in a hideout in San Francisco’s mission district, the Chronicle reported.

“Tom was a larger-than-life lawman who was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word,” San Francisco Police Inspector David Ambrose told the Chronicle.

“He was a legend. … He met every perception of what an FBI agent should be,” Rick Smith, who worked with Mr. Padden at the FBI for many years told the Chronicle.

A World War II veteran, he joined the FBI in 1950 and reluctantly retired in 1980 after reaching mandatory retirement age, which is 57, the Chronicle reported.

Not ready to just sit around, he became an investigator for a bank and then went to work for the district attorney’s office for 20 years before retiring at age 80, the paper reported.

Mexican Gang May Target U.S. Border Agents

Border fence along Juarez-El Paso border/istock photo
Border fence along Ciudad Juarez-El Paso border/istock photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The battle with the Mexican cartels only seems to be heating up.

USA Today reports that a Mexican gang with ties in the U.S. —  which is suspected of having a hand in murders of three people tied to the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez —  may retaliate and go after U.S. officers.

The gang, Barrio Azteca,  is known as an enforcement arm of the powerful Juarez Cartel, and was the subject of a number of raids last week by U.S. federal, state and local officers and agents in Texas and New Mexico who were looking for clues in the consulate murders.

The newspaper reported that a bulletin from the El Paso Intelligence Center urged law enforcement officials along border to wear bullet proof vests and alert family members of the threat.

The paper attributed the information to Kevin O’Keefe, intelligence division chief for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The intelligence center is made up of federal, state and local agencies.

The paper said El Paso FBI spokeswoman Andrea Simmons did not know the exact source of the threat.

“It’s certainly good to remind agents that this could be something to watch for,” Simmons said, according to USA Today.

To read more click here.

NY-NJ FBI Launch New Website for Bank Robbers

(Left to right) FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Michael Harpster, Newark Division; ASAC Belle Chen, New York Division; ETS Chief Operating Officer Steve Childress; and ETS North Central Regional Managing Director Rick Battelle Photo Credit: Matthew Coleman, FBI
Press conference announcing site: (Left to right) FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Michael Harpster, Newark Division; ASAC Belle Chen, New York Division; ETS Chief Operating Officer Steve Childress; and ETS North Central Regional Managing Director Rick Battelle Photo Credit: Matthew Coleman, FBI

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Law enforcement continues to take advantage of the Internet to try and solve crimes.

The latest is a new FBI website, BanditTracker NorthEast, that features photos and descriptions of bank robbers in 13 counties in New York and 18 counties in New Jersey.

“This website has proven to be a very effective tool for other FBI offices in identifying and catching bank robbers, and we expect it to be a great asset for New York,” head of the N.Y. FBI Joseph Demarest Jr. said in a statement issued Wednesday. “The site will provide 24-hour access for the public, bank employees and the news media. And it will provide confidential information to law enforcement around the clock.”

The FBI has launched similar sites in Arkansas, Chicago, Georgia, Indiana, Texas and St. Louis.

FBI Agents Find Secret Recordings in Chicago Mobster’s Suburban Home

Frank Calabrese Sr.

Frank Calabrese Sr.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI apparently wasn’t the only one recording mob conversations.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that FBI agents this week raided the suburban home of imprisoned legendary Chicago mob hitman Frank Calabrese Sr. and found 10 to 15 secret recordings he had made between himself and other gangsters.

The paper reported that agents unearthed the tapes from a secret compartment behind a family portrait in the Calabrese family basement in Oak Brook, an upscale Chicago suburb. Calabrese, who is serving a life sentence for mob activities, has been in prison since the late 1990s on various offenses.

The paper reported that agents also found more than $1 million in cash and jewelry “including stacks of $1,000 bills not printed since the 1940s, and seven loaded handguns that were free of prints and wrapped in towels or clothes, according to court documents released Wednesday.”

The paper reported that one tape appears to be of Ronald Jarrett, a burglar and mob killer and Calabrese Sr.’s closest friend. Jarrett was shot to death in 1999 in what remains an unsolved murder.

The Sun-Times reported that  Calabrese Sr.’s attorney, Joseph “The Shark” Lopez, downplayed the significance of the tapes.

“For all we know, it’s Frank Sinatra singing,” Lopez said, according to the paper.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

U.S. Probe Into Destroyed CIA Tapes Winding Down (Washington Post)
Rep. Markey Asks for Police Patrols for Colo. Home (AP)
Expert Says Scouts Put Boys at Risk of Sexual Abuse (AP)
CIA Brought Birthday Cake for Suicide Bomber Who Killed 7 in Afghanistan (AP)
FBI Making Virtual Reality Prison Out of Bagram Prison (Politico)

FBI & Capitol Police Probe Threats Against at Least 10 Dem Lawmakers Tied to Health Care Vote

Rep. Bart Supak/govt photo

Rep. Bart Supak/govt photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI and U.S. Capitol Police have had their hands full since the passage of the controversial health care bill.

The Detroit News Washington bureau reports that the agencies are looking into threats against at least 10 Democratic lawmakers. Included among the targets is Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mi), the anti-abortion lawmaker.

The paper reports that “bricks have been hurled through Democrats’ windows, a propane line was cut at the home of a congressman’s brother, and threatening voice mails and faxes have been sent to some Democratic lawmakers.”

Stupak has gotten threatening phone calls and a drawing of a noose, via fax, with a noose on a platform and the words “Bart (SS) Stupak”, the paper reported.

One man left a message calling him a “baby killer” and said he hoped he died of cancer, the paper reported.

To read more click here.

James Trainor to Head the FBI’s Intelligence Division in N.Y.

James Trainor/fbi photo

James Trainor/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — James C. Trainor, Jr., an assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office, is hopping over to the  New York office to become the special agent in charge of the Intelligence Division.

Trainor joined the FBI in 1996 and was first assigned to the Chicago office where he worked initially on criminal matters before joining the Foreign Counterintelligence Squad.

In February 2001, he headed off to headquarters as a supervisory agent supervising espionage and economic espionage cases.

Two years later, he was off to the New Haven Division as a supervisor for the Foreign Counterintelligence Squad.

He was named assistant special agent in charge of the Boston Division in July 2007. Prior to joining the FBI, Trainor, who was born in D.C. and raised in Massachusetts, was a military intelligence officer for the U.S. Army.