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FBI

FBI Tracked Journalist David Halberstam For Decades

The FBI under J. Edgar Hoover kept a watchful eye on journalist David Halberstam. Was there a good reason for it? The FBI isn’t saying.

Released FBI Document

Released FBI Document

By Associated Press
NEW YORK —  The FBI tracked the late Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author David Halberstam for more than two decades, newly released documents show.
Students at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism obtained the FBI documents by filing a Freedom of Information Act request. The university posted the documents on its Web site Thursday.
The FBI monitored Halberstam’s reporting, and at times his personal life, from at least the mid-1960s until at least the late ’80s, the documents show. The agency released only 62 pages of a 98-page dossier on the writer, citing security, privacy and other reasons.
Halberstam won a Pulitzer in 1964 for his coverage of the Vietnam War while working as a reporter for The New York Times. In 1972, he wrote “The Best and the Brightest,” a best-selling book critical of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia.
For Full Story

Read More on the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism website


IG Says FBI Terrorism Tracking System Better, But Still Needs To Improve

Tracking terrorism is an imprecise science. The Justice Department Inspector General says the FBI has improved, but could still do better. After all, it doesn’t take much to miss a credible clue.

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The FBI’s main electronic system that tracks terrorist threats and suspicious incidents amounts to a “significant improvement” over earlier computer packages, but the bureau could do more to improve its accuracy, the Justice Department inspector general said yesterday.
The system stored 108,000 threats and suspicious incidents between July 2004 and November 2007, the “overwhelming majority” of them bum leads, according to the report by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine. Agents ultimately opened 600 criminal investigations based on the tips.
Fine said that the bureau generally handled high-priority tips quickly. Still, his report faulted the bureau for allowing low-priority incidents to remain in the computer tracking system for longer than a month. He also said that FBI supervisors should have reviewed more of the false leads before line agents decided to close the cases.
For Full Story

Read Full Report

Read FBI Response

Hackers Hacked Into Obama And McCain Computers

Hackers apparently knew no bounds in the 2008 campaign.

By Newsweek
The computer systems of both the Obama and McCain campaigns were victims of a sophisticated cyberattack by an unknown “foreign entity,” prompting a federal investigation, NEWSWEEK reports today.
At the Obama headquarters in midsummer, technology experts detected what they initially thought was a computer virus-a case of “phishing,” a form of hacking often employed to steal passwords or credit-card numbers. But by the next day, both the FBI and the Secret Service came to the campaign with an ominous warning: “You have a problem way bigger than what you understand,” an agent told Obama’s team.

For Full Story

Other Stories of Interest

Ex-FBI Agent Convicted of Murder in Mob Case

Ex-FBI agent John Connolly was convicted in a long drawn out trial that was an embarrassment to the Boston FBI.

Ex-Agent Connolly/cbs news

Ex-Agent Connolly/cbs news

By David Ovalle
Miami Herald
MIAMI — Jurors have found ex-FBI agent John Connolly guilty of second-degree murder for his role in helping Boston mobsters assassinate an accountant in South Florida in 1982. He was found not guilty of a second charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
In the 1970s and ’80s, Connolly was a star agent in the FBI’s Boston office, developing criminal informants and helping dismantle the New England Mafia.
But in a closely followed saga in Boston and one the FBI’s most embarrassing scandals, Connolly’s two star informants corrupted him, prosecutors said.
The allegation: James ”Whitey” Bulger and Stephen ”The Rifleman” Flemmi ordered the murder of John Callahan based on a tip from Connolly.
For Full Story

Crazed Passenger Flips Out in Friendly Skies– Faces Federal Charges

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
America, meet the passenger from Hell!
During  a United flight from San Juan Puerto Rico to Chicago on Saturday, Maria Esther Castillo struck a female crew member “on the buttocks with the back of her hand”, swore and generally acted out of control, according to an affidavit by FBI agent Peter D. Carricato.
“This behavior continued intermittently with short periods of calm followed by loud outbursts,” the court document said.
At one point,  Castillo called a passenger a “bitch” and struck her on the arm. She also landed on the head of a blind passenger and later started pulling that person’s hair, the affidavit said.
Finally, the flight crew was forced to use duct tape to confine her to her seat and the pilot  diverted the plane to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the affidavit said.
Castillo is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court on Thursday in Charlotte, N.C.
Read FBI Affidavit

Defense Attacks Key Witness in Ft. Dix Terrorism Trial

Following a time-tested strategy, the defense is going on the attack, trying to undermine a key government witness in the Ft. Dix terrorism trial. Will it work?

wcbstv

wcbstv

Geoff Mulvihill
The Associated Press
CAMDEN, N.J. – Attorneys for five men accused of plotting to kill soldiers in New Jersey began cross-examining a key government informant Wednesday as they tried to pin blame for the alleged conspiracy on him.
The four previous days Mahmoud Omar spent on the witness stand mostly involved prosecutors asking him to clarify secret recordings he made that are key to the government’s case. Defense lawyers contend it was Omar who tried to create a conspiracy and draw the other men into it.
Rocco Cipparone, the lawyer for defendant Mohamad Shnewer, quizzed Omar about his past crimes, what he was getting for cooperating with the FBI, his investigative methods and his truthfulness.
Omar, 39, became an informant in 2005 after being caught in a bank fraud scam.
For Full Story

See Daily Transcript Of The Trial and Videos

D.C. Clerk On Trial in Fed Court For Alleged Elevator License Scam

A D.C. clerk  allegedly involved in an elevator license renewal scam could be headed somewhere where they have no elevators — just bars.

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Ikela M. Dean, a District government clerk, sometimes demanded late fees when businesses and nonprofit groups came in to renew their elevator licenses — and she wanted cash, prosecutors said.
She took the money, then issued receipts for the cash with a large red “PAID” stamp. But it was Dean who was getting paid, prosecutors said, in a scam that netted more than $4,000.
Dean, 32, who no longer works for the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, went on trial yesterday in U.S. District Court on bribery and extortion charges. She was arrested after an undercover FBI investigation that included the use of hidden cameras to record at least two payments, prosecutors said.
For Full Story

Read FBI Affidavit

Prosecutor Says ex-FBI Agent Knew He Was Setting Up Hit

The trial that has reminded the public about the previous digressions of the Boston FBI is coming to an end — and none too soon. It’s an era the FBI would rather forget.

Ex-FBI Agent Connolly/wbztv

Ex-FBI Agent Connolly/wbztv

By Curt Anderson
AP Legal Affairs Writer
MIAMI-Former FBI agent John Connolly knew he was setting up a hit when he tipped Boston mobsters that a gambling executive with gangland ties was likely to implicate them in other killings, a prosecutor said Monday in closing arguments of Connolly’s murder trial.
The 1982 slaying of former World Jai-Alai president John Callahan was a direct result of Connolly’s corrupt dealings with Winter Hill Gang leaders James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, prosecutor Fred Wyshak said. Both were secretly FBI informants handled by Connolly.

For Full Story