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FBI

Weekend Series on History: LBJ Said J. Edgar Hoover Hated JFK and Robert Kennedy

FBI Releases 92-Page Report on Anthrax Attacks and Officially Closes the Case

The FBI hopes the latest disclosure will convince people they fingered the right guy. Of course, there are some who still believe that the elements found in the anthrax could not have come from the Maryland lab where suspect Bruce Ivins worked.

Suspect Bruce Ivins

Suspect Bruce Ivins

By Scott Shane
New York Times

WASHINGTON — More than eight years after anthrax-laced letters killed five people and terrorized the country, the F.B.I. finally closed its investigation of the matter on Friday. The bureau released a 92-page report adding eerie new details to its case that the attacks were carried out by Bruce E. Ivins, an Army biodefense expert who killed himself in 2008.

The report describes the evidence against Dr. Ivins in far greater detail than before, revealing his equivocal answers when a friend asked him in a recorded conversation whether he was the anthrax mailer.

“If I found out I was involved in some way.” Dr. Ivins said. “I do not have any recollection of ever doing anything like that,” he said, adding: “I can tell you, I am not a killer at heart.”

The report also describes the F.B.I.’s theory that Dr. Ivins, who was fascinated by codes, embedded a complex coded message in the notes that he mailed with the anthrax. The coded message, based on D.N.A. biochemistry, alluded to two female colleagues with whom he was obsessed, the bureau said.

The report describes how a hidden F.B.I. surveillance agent watched in 2007 as Dr. Ivins threw out a book and an article that might reveal his interest in codes, then came out of his house at 1 a.m. in long underwear to make certain that the garbage truck had in fact taken his trash.

“I can hurt, kill, and terrorize,” Dr. Ivins wrote in a 2008 e-mail message to a friend. “Go down low, low, low as you can go, then dig forever, and you’ll find me, my psyche.”

To read full story click here

To read report

Justice Dept. Opens Civil Rights Inquiry in Oregon Into Controversial Police Shooting of Black Man

portland_BadgeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has opened a civil rights inquiry into a controversial shooting in Portland, Ore, which has the black community up in arms.

The Associated Press reports that the investigators are looking into the shooting of Aaron Campbell, an African American, who was shot in the back by a white police officer “after emerging from an apartment with his hands over his head Jan. 29.”

The officer said he thought Campbell was reaching for a gun, AP reported.

U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton and Oregon’s top FBI agent Special Agent in Charge Arthur Balizan announced the preliminary inquiry on Thursday.

Retired FBI Agent Joseph Perritte Dead at Age 88

fbi-globeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Joseph L. Perritte, a retired FBI agent who ended his 30-plus year career as crypto systems unit chief of the electronics section of the FBI Laboratory, died late last month in Bethesda, Md., of prostrate cancer at age 88, the Washington Post reported.

Perritte, a resident of Silver Spring, Md, started in FBI in 1942 as a student fingerprint classifier and later went on to the FBI Laboratory, where he was assigned to the radio engineering section, the Post’s Pat Sullivan wrote.

He entered the Navy in 1944, “serving as a top-secret communications officer at the headquarters of the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii,” the Post reported. “He later was an electronics officer at the Joint Communications Activity on Guam.

After his discharge, he became a special agent in 1946 and worked primarily in communications intelligence and security, the Post reported. He retired in 1976.

Michael Morehart to Head FBI’s Richmond, Va. Office

Michael Morehart/fbi photo

Michael Morehart/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Michael Morehart, the FBI’s deputy assistant director of the Security Division at headquarters, is moving down the road to take over as special agent in charge of the Richmond division.

Morehart started as an agent in October 1986, and was first assigned to the Columbia, S.C., bureau before going to Houston, the FBI said.

In 1995, he was promoted to supervisor in the Inspection Division’s Audit Unit at FBI Headquarters. Three years, later he became a supervisor of a white collar crime squad in the Memphis Division.

In February 2001, he became the assistant special agent in charge in El Paso and three years later he returned to headquarters as chief of the Terrorist Financing Operations Section in the Counterterrorism Division.

In 2007, he was named special agent in charge of the Administrative Division for the FBI’s Washington Field Office. In 2008, he returned to FBI Headquarters as deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Security Division.

For Calif. FBI Agent: When a Beer is Neither Here Nor There

A Los Angeles Times report stirred up a lot of angry reader comments about an FBI agent shooting his gun at men who were trying to steal beer. The problem was: there was no beer and the real story appeared to be far more serious than reported. Here’s a detailed account.

beer

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The brief story posted on the Los Angeles Times web page last month said two men, who were being sentenced, had broken into a garage in Yorba Linda, Calif., looking to steal beer.  The garage happened to belong to an off-duty FBI agent, who confronted the men around 2 a.m.

One of the men struggled with the agent, who had identified himself as law enforcement. Afterward, both men fled in a car.

The agent,  identified as “James M” ,  “shot at the car as it drove away but neither man was injured,” the paper reported on its online edition on Jan. 5.

Read more »

Undercover FBI Agents Bust Retired Border Patrol Agent for Selling Uniforms on Craigslist

Border PatrolBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some times making a little extra doe on Craigslist isn’t so wise.

Retired Border Patrol agent David Pietrantonio has been charged in San Diego with selling official equipment to undercover FBI agents, the Associated Press reported. He had pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

AP reports that Pietrantonio tried to sell “a Border Patrol “Firearms Instructor” jacket, four uniform shirts and three uniform pants for $468. The jacket and shirts had patches in the shape of a badge.”

The wire service reported that FBI agents spotted the uniforms on the Craigslist Tijuana Web site and arranged to purchase them. He faces up to six months in prison if convicted.

Feds Don’t Want Attys For Right Wing Shock Jock to Mention That he Was an FBI Informant in 2nd Trial

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fed prosecutors will take a second bite out of the apple next month and retry New Jersey right wing shock jock Hal Turner for allegedly threatening three appeals court judges in Chicago through inflammatory comments on his blog.

But this time prosecutors are asking the judge to bar Turner’s attorneys from disclosing  that he was an FBI informant — that is unless, they can present evidence through testimony from Turner himself, according to NorthJersey.com. He did not testify in the first trial.

If not, prosecutors wrote in a motion that “allowing argument or questioning of the government’s witnesses about [Turner’s] status as an informant is nothing but an irrelevant sideshow designed to distract and confuse the jury,” according to the website.

The first trial, which was moved from Chicago to Brooklyn,  ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked in December. Turner’s attorneys had argued that the FBI had taught Turner, as an informant, what he could and could not say.

To read more click here.

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