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FBI

Column: Department of Homeland Security Still Misunderstood

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief
WASHINGTON — I am still a bit surprised when I hear this question: How many terrorists has the Department of Homeland Security caught? Probably for most employees at DHS, it’s an odd question. Which is why it’s a critical public relations matter. Most Americans still don’t understand the mission of DHS.

Why is it an odd question? It’s not DHS’s job to catch terrorists, per se.

Yes, DHS has as its mission the goal of preventing another terrorist attack on American soil. So catching terrorists would seem like an obvious part of that.

Except it’s not. Prevention is the key word. The job of the folks at DHS is not so much to catch terrorists but to prevent them from successfully implementing a terrorist operation. Catching and preventing may at times overlap, but more often than not, for the majority of cases, they do not.

The FBI is the primary agency responsible for investigating and bringing individual terrorists to justice.

To Read the Rest

Inmate Sends Anthrax Threat to Assist. U.S. Atty Who Prosecuted Him

US MailBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

You can accuse John Philip Barker of a crime, but don’t ever accuse him of being overly smart.

Barker, 47, has been charged with mailing a white powder letter to Assistant U.S. Attorney David Smith of Kansas City, Ks., who had just prosecuted him for mailing an anthrax threat to the IRS, authorities said.

Interestingly, a criminal complaint says that Barker spelled anthrax wrong — he spelled it “antrax” — in the first letter to the IRS and the second one to the prosecutor.

The letter to the prosecutor read:

“YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED
TO ANTRAX
DIE”

An FBI affidavit said the letter Barker sent to the prosecutor also contained his name and address of his prison on the return address. The powder was harmless.

Barker was sentenced on Aug. 10 in the IRS mailing to one year and a day in federal prison.

Read Criminal Complaint and FBI Affidavit

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Speaks About the Changing Face of the FBI

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_kxmfD86So

In FBI Press Release: Cases That Can’t be Discussed Are More Impressive Than the Ones that Can

istock_000000378393xsmall23By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.cojm

WASHINGTON — FBI officials often stop short of talking about potential terrorist plots they’ve managed to head off, citing  security concerns.

Unfortunately, what they can say isn’t always as impressive as what they can’t.

Take this week’s press release entitled: “FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate Recent Accomplishments” . Sounds  intriguing. Exciting.

“We are unrelenting in our efforts to protect the American people from weapons of mass destruction,” says Dr. Vahid Majidi, assistant director, Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate in the press release. “Whether it is a threatening letter filled with “powder” to investigating a major radiological incident….”

But the release falls short of our imagination. It mentions several cases in which people mailed harmless powder or made threats to judges. No al Qaeda. No jihads. A little disappointing.

Paul Bresson, an FBI spokesman, said the release was meant to show “if anything, law enforcement is paying attention to all threats including those in the end that turnout not to (involve) threatening substances.” He said those threats can seem very real to the people who receive the fake powder.

Read more »

FBI Increases Focus on Florida in Hunt for Boston Gangster Whitey Bulger

Could it be tough-guy James “Whitey” Bulger is hanging out in Florida with the geriatric set, going to “early bird” specials at restaurants,downing multi-colored Jello? As he approaches his 80th birthday, the FBI is getting more tips that he’s hanging out in Florida.

Whitey Bulger/fbi age adjusted photo
Whitey Bulger/fbi age adjusted photo

By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe Staff
BOSTON — The hunt for fugitive South Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger has increasingly focused on Florida over the past year because the FBI has received numerous tips that the elderly gangster was spotted throughout that state, according to the FBI.

“We’re getting an increase in leads coming from Florida,” FBI Agent Richard Teahan, who coordinates the multi-agency Bulger Task Force, told reporters during a press briefing today at the FBI’s Boston office.

For Full Story

Ex-FBI Clerk Margaret “Marjorie” Cannon Who Married FBI Agent Dead at Age 94

fbi-logoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Margaret “Marjorie” Cannon, 94, a homemaker and a former FBI clerk who was married to an FBI agent, died in Burtonsville, Md., on Aug. 23, the Washington Post reported.

The long-time District resident died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, the paper reported.

In 1942, she joined the FBI as a clerk in the Washington Field Office and was eventually promoted to assistant chief clerk, the paper said. In 1951, she married FBI agent Joseph R. Canon, who later on became a Justice Department attorney.

A few years later, she became a homemaker, the paper reported. When he husband died in 1973, she took an she took an administrative job for two years with Riggs National Bank in Tenleytown neighborhood in Upper Northwest Washington before retiring, the Washington Post reported.

Gun Allegedly Used in Jimmy Hoffa Death Turned Over to FBI

hoffaThere have been so many promising leads and theories that have gone nowhere in one of the great mysteries of the 20th Century. This one looks pretty shaky.

By Paul Egan
The Detroit News
HARTLAND TOWNSHIP — A family member of a late Teamsters official has turned over to the FBI a handgun that an ex-convict claims was used to kill former union boss James R. Hoffa, an author of a book about Hoffa said Monday.

The ex-con, Ted Lee Stall, 60, also claims he witnessed the burial of Hoffa at a farm in Hartland Township in the weeks after the former Teamsters boss disappeared from outside the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in Bloomfield Township in July 1975.

But the Genesee County prosecutor describes Stall as “a serial flim-flam artist.”

And Dan Moldea of Washington, D.C., author of “The Hoffa Wars,” said: “The longer I dealt with this guy, it became clear that his credibility was completely suspect.”

For Full Story

Angry FBI Director Mueller Calls Release of Lockerbie Bomber a “Mockery”

Robert Mueller III/file photo

Robert Mueller III/file photo

It really is a disgrace that the man was released so early. Sick or or not sick, the man doesn’t deserve much compassion. Then again, clearly he was not the only one responsible for the death of 270 people.

By CNN
WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert Mueller harshly criticized the decision to release the Lockerbie bomber in a letter released Saturday, calling it “a mockery of the rule of law.”

Mueller, in a note to Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, said MacAskill’s decision to release Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi is “as inexplicable as it is detrimental to the cause of justice.”

Al Megrahi had been serving a life sentence for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in which 270 people, including 189 Americans, were killed.

For Full Story

Read Mueller’s Note