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FBI

Federal Judge Fires Off The Last Shot In Controversy


CHICAGO — The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a federal judge threw out a lawsuit that had shut down the FBI’s shooting range in North Chicago.
The paper said an environmental group had filed the suit and complained that the gun range sent bullets into a nearby park and into a lake. The FBI voluntarily closed the facility earlier this year to study any issues, but it will one day reopen after some improvements, the paper said.
   The paper quoted Chicago’s top FBI agent Robert Grant as saying: “We are careful stewards of our property and take great care in ensuring it is safely operated for guests, employees, neighbors and the environment.”


FBI RAIDS Prince George’s Co. Offices

FBI agents raided two county office building in suburban Washington on Saturday, fueling more speculation and  talk about public corruption involving developers and lobbyists.

By Rosalind S. Helderman, Aaron C. Davis and Henri E. Cauvin
Washington Post Staff Writers
GREENBELT, MD –Teams of FBI agents raided two Prince George’s County government buildings yesterday, law enforcement and other sources said, a sweep that made public a federal investigation of a massive development planned near the Greenbelt Metro station.

A source with knowledge of the probe said agents distributed grand jury subpoenas seeking information about the planned 240-acre development, including efforts by developers to rezone the property and secure highway access from the Capital Beltway.
For Full Story

Justice Dept. Unveils Added Powers for FBI

Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey/doj photo

Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey/doj photo

FBI agents will have more latitude in conducting surveillances and other matters. But some groups like the ACLU aren’t so happy.

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — FBI officials yesterday briefed civil liberties advocates and religious groups on a plan to offer agents an array of tactics to track national security threats, as lawmakers prepared to demand more information at a pair of oversight hearings next week.
The ground rules, known as attorney general guidelines, have been in the works for nearly 18 months. Authorities say they are designed to harmonize the techniques that FBI agents can use to investigate ordinary crimes, collect foreign intelligence or pursue possible terrorist threats.
For Full Story
 

Justice Dept. To Give FBI Agents More Power

Line agents woud get more power under a new plan to be unveiled today. Will the extra power help? Will it stir controversy? 

Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department will unveil changes to FBI ground rules today that would put much more power into the hands of line agents pursuing leads on national security, foreign intelligence and even ordinary criminal cases.
The overhaul, the most substantial revision to FBI operating instructions in years, also would ease some reporting requirements between agents, their supervisors and federal prosecutors in what authorities call a critical effort to improve information gathering and detect terrorist threats.

For Full Story
Related Story: Judge Limits Searches Using Cellphone Data (Washington Post)

Council Member Testifies in Federal Grand Jury

Just days after Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick stepped down, a cloud continues to hover over city hall in Motown. A veteran city council member was among the guests at a federal grand jury probing city hall corruption. 

Paul Egan and Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Sheila Cockrel/official photo

Sheila Cockrel/official photo

DETROIT — The only official sent to prison as a result of an FBI investigation of Wayne County government under Edward H. McNamara, the late political boss, made a surprise appearance at the federal courthouse Wednesday as a grand jury convened to probe alleged corruption at Detroit City Hall.
The grand jury heard evidence Wednesday from former county official Wilbourne Kelley III, Detroit City Councilwoman Sheila Cockrel and former Cobo Center director Lou Pavledes.
For Full Story

Stevens Forgot To Report Sled Dog, Feds Say

  The feds say Sen. Stevens forgot to report a sled dog and massage chair, just to name a few items. Trial is set for later this month.

By Richard Mauer
Sen. Stevens

Sen. Stevens

Anchorage Daily News
Federal prosecutors revealed more evidence Monday in their case against U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, detailing a new round of gifts that he allegedly failed to disclose between 2001 and 2003.
In a filing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., the government listed the items as a $1,000 sled dog, a $3,200 stained-glass window and a $2,695 massage chair. They are in addition to the $250,000-plus in labor and materials allegedly provided by the oil-field service company Veco Corp. when it renovated and furnished Stevens’ Girdwood home starting in 2000.
For Full Story

Ex-FBI Agent’s Trial No Big Deal in Florida

The Miami murder trial of an ex-FBI agent from Boston is the talk of the town in Beantown. But in Florida? Ehh. It takes a lot to knock the early bird specials off peoples’ radar in the sunshine state. 

By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe
MIAMI – The saga of the FBI’s relationship with fugitive gangster James “Whitey” Bulger may be legendary in Boston, but it’s not exactly table talk in Florida.
As jury selection began yesterday in Miami in the murder trial of Bulger’s former handler, retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr., hardly any of the 100 prospective jurors questioned had ever heard of Bulger, one of the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted, much less his relationship with the former agent on trial.
For Full Story

Islamic Group Working To Radicalize Youth

 Authorities in Britain and U.S. fear that an Islamic group is working to radicalize young men to promote terrorism. The FBI says the group has a presence in the U.S. 

Duncan Gardham
The Daily Telegraph
 LONDON — The leaders of the July 7, July 21 and liquid bomb plots all attended mosques and meetings run by the group Tablighi Jamaat, which is planning to build a large mosque near the site of the 2012 Olympics.
 The organisation works on a missionary basis, travelling from mosque to mosque in small groups or “jamaat” to encourage followers to return to the basic teachings of Islam. Tablighis follow a strain of Islam which has been associated with the Taliban in Afghanistan and with a terrorist group in Pakistani Kashmir. It has its largest presence in Mewat, India and Raiwind, Pakistan.
For Full Story
Related Story: Chertoff  Says Good Liquid Bomb Detector Still In The Works