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FBI

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Defends Use of Informants in Mosques

Robert Mueller III

Robert Mueller III

This issue over FBI informants in mosques has created serious tension as of late between the FBI and the Islamic community in the U.S. This comes after great inroads have been made to improve relations in the Post-9/11 era.

By MICHAEL R. BLOOD
Associated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES — FBI Director Robert Mueller on Monday defended the agency’s use of informants within U.S. mosques, despite complaints from Muslim organizations that worshippers and clerics are being targeted instead of possible terrorists.

Mueller’s comments came just days after a Michigan Muslim organization asked the Justice Department to investigate complaints that the FBI is asking the faithful to spy on Islamic leaders and worshippers. Similar alarm followed the disclosure earlier this year that the FBI planted a spy in Southern California mosques.

“We don’t investigate places, we investigate individuals,” Mueller said during a brief meeting with reporters in Los Angeles.

“To the extent that there may be evidence or other information of criminal wrongdoings, then we will … undertake those investigations,” Mueller added. “We will continue to do it.”

For Full Story

Retirees Returning to Fed Agencies Would Not Lose Income Under Legislation

cash2First off, the mandatory retirement age of 57 for agencies like the FBI is silly. A 57 year old today is surely capable of carrying on duties and contributing to an agency. Joe Davidson of the Washington Post reports that the Senate may vote on legislation that would allow agencies to rehire retirees without having them lose retirement income, a bill that would benefit the agencies like the FBI and DEA.

By Joe Davidson
Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Before James J. Cameron Jr. retired after 34 years with the federal government, he served as a law enforcement officer with Customs, the Border Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Now he’d like to serve his country again. But he doesn’t want to lose money doing it.

Like other retired federal employees, Cameron, 67, faces a quandary when thinking about hitching up for another ride with Uncle Sam. If they go back to government work, their salaries would be cut by the amount of their pension.

“I would not consider taking part-time work if I had to have a reduced annuity,” said Cameron, who now lives in New Portland, Maine, after postings in eight cities around the country.

If he found work outside the federal sector, with a local police department for example, his federal annuity would not shrink.

The Senate may vote this week on legislation that includes a provision allowing Uncle Sam to rehire retirees like Cameron without making them lose some of their retirement income.

For Full Story

Texas Airport Cop Going to Prison for Selling Cocaine to FBI Informant While in Uniform

laredo-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
Obviously Gerardo Sepulveda didn’t get the memo that you’re not allowed to sell cocaine in your  Laredo International Airport police officer’s uniform — particularly at the airport.

Sepulveda, 41, of Loredo, did just that and was sentenced last week to 20 months in federal prison. He was arrested by the FBI on Sept. 11, 2008  at the airport after he sold 24 grams of cocaine to an FBI cooperating source for $700, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He pleaded guilty last November and admitted selling cocaine to the FBI informant on four previous occasions as well, authorities said, for a grand total of  32 grams of cocaine.

Authorities said he had been free on bond and will remain free until the court orders him to prison.

After Many Many Delays, Trial to Begin for Ex-Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson

Early on in this whole thing, Congressman William Jefferson had an opportunity to plead guilty and get about six years. Before things got too far along, he decided to pass and fight this. Well, here’s his opportunity.The ex-Congressman’s public persona has always been that of a  gentleman. But when the jury hears some of the FBI tapes, they may have different thoughts — or at least the prosecution hopes so.

By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune

Ex-Rep. William Jefferson while still in office

Ex-Rep. William Jefferson while still in office

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Nearly four years after FBI agents found $90,000 in marked bills stuffed inside the freezer in his Washington D.C. home, former Democratic Rep. William Jefferson will go on trial Tuesday, facing 16 federal bribery and public corruption charges.

While the “cold cash” came to symbolize the case on the Internet and late-night television, the investigation into complex international business deals also made legal history with the first-ever raid on a sitting congressional member’s office and a constitutional battle over the separation of powers and how bribery statutes are applied to members of Congress.

The indictment, which accuses Jefferson of seeking and sometimes receiving payments in return for helping businesses get contracts in western Africa, has already changed politics in both Louisiana and Nigeria.

Jefferson, a long-established New Orleans power broker, lost his bid for a 10th term in December to a relatively unknown Republican, Anh “Joseph” Cao. And Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar lost a run for his nation’s presidency, partly as a result of being listed as the intended recipient of bribes allegedly to be funneled from Jefferson.

Jefferson, 62, has maintained his innocence. If convicted, he would likely face up to 20 years in prison.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

The Weekend Dose of Humor: A New Twist on the FBI’s Most Wanted

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUM1BZocWpc

FBI Dir. Mueller Says Agency in “Dire Need” to “Consolidate and Digitize Records”

fbi file photo

fbi file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said Thursday that the agency is in “dire need of a Central Record Complex” to consolidate and digitize records “now dispersed among 265 FBI locations worldwide.”

The central records complex, he said, “will enable us to efficiently locate and access all of our records quickly, thus allowing us to more effectively process name checks, as well as provide critical case and administrative data that can be used for intelligence and investigative purposes.” He said $9 million has been earmarked for the 2010 budget to help accomplish this.

Mueller’s remarks came in a statement delivered to the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies.

To Read the full text of his statement click here.

Outspoken Ex-FBI Agent Colleen Rowley Says FBI Could Have Done More to Try and Stop Abortion Dr. Killing

Opinions vary on whether the FBI could have stopped this from happening. But outspoken ex-FBI agent Colleen Rowley of post-9/11 fame, seems to think the agency could have at least tried harder. Is she right?

FBI Agent Colleen Rowley/ photo ia.ucsb.edu

Ex-FBI Agent Colleen Rowley/ photo ia.ucsb.edu

By Zachary Roth
TPMmuckraker

We told you earlier about questions over whether the FBI responded aggressively enough to detailed information it got about Scott Roeder, who’s charged with killing Kansas doctor George Tiller.

And one prominent former bureau veteran says the answer is no.

Colleen Rowley — who made the cover of Time magazine in 2002 after blowing the whistle on the FBI’s failure before 9/11 to follow up on information about the so-called “20th hijacker” — told TPMmuckraker that the Roeder case “should have been jumped on much more aggressively,” given Roeder’s prior record, and the information the FBI appears to have received about him in the days before Tiller’s murder.

A worker at an abortion clinic, Jeffrey Pederson (a pseudonym to protect his identity), has said that Roeder was seen twice in the week before the Tiller shooting trying to glue shut the clinic’s doors. Pederson reported both incidents to the FBI. And Roeder served jail time after being convicted in 1997 of having bomb-making parts in his car.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Justice Department Asks That 2 convicted Alaska Lawmakers Be Freed Because Trials Were Tainted by Prosecutors

Ex-lawmaker Pete Kott

Ex-lawmaker Pete Kott

Some say this is not a systemic problem in the Justice Department. But from Boston to Washington to Miami to Detroit to Alaska, the issue keeps popping up. In fact, a judge in Boston recently expressed concern about it being a problem in the Boston U.S. Attorney’s Office. And in Washington, a judge recently dismissed the Sen. Ted Steven case because of this.  It sounds like a systemic problem no matter how you dice it.

By RICHARD MAUER, LISA DEMER and SEAN COCKERHAM
Anchorage Daily News

The U.S. Justice Department this afternoon (Thursday) asked that two former Alaska state legislators imprisoned after convictions in public corruption cases be released, saying their trials were tainted by the failure of prosecutors to disclose favorable information.

In filings with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Justice Department asked that the Pete Kott and Vic Kohring be set free while their cases are sent back to U.S. District Court, where they were convicted in 2007.

The Justice Department didn’t immediately disclose what new information has come to light. But the issue is the same general problem that led to dismissal of charges against U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens in April after he was convicted on seven counts of failure to disclose gifts and services.

For Full Story