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FBI

Border Patrol Says Mountaintop Drug Spotters Eluding Authorities Because of Rules of Engagement

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The head of the U.S. Border Patrol told senators Tuesday that rules of engagement are too constraining and making it difficult to combat armed drug cartel spotters while atop U.S. mountains, the Washington Times reports.

Cartels traditionally send out spotters on U.S. territory to inspect border protection. 

Border Patrol Chief Michael J. Fisher said his agents can’t shoot the spotters like U.S. troops could in Afghanistan, for instance. The rules of engagement are much stricter on U.S. soil, Fisher said.

“The rules of engagement, what we call our ‘use of force,’ applies to individuals on the street or whether they’re up on a mountaintop,” he told the Senate panel.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Obama Administration Considers Making Internet Wiretapping Easier

istock illustration

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Obama administration is close to stiffening surveillance laws to make it easier to wiretap people who use the Internet, the New York Times reports.

Saying it’s much easier to wiretap people using traditional phone services, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III wants the federal government to extend the practice to monitor suspects who communicate using the Internet.

The proposal is being reviewed by the White House, the Times wrote.

Privacy advocates aren’t so happy about the proposed change.

“I think the F.B.I.’s proposal would render Internet communications less secure and more vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves,” said Gregory T. Nojeim of the Center for Democracy and Technology. “It would also mean that innovators who want to avoid new and expensive mandates will take their innovations abroad and develop them there, where there aren’t the same mandates.”

FBI: Local Terrorist Attack Averted in Planning Stages Following Arrest of Minnesota Man

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI said a terrorist attack was disrupted in its planning stages when authorities found explosives and guns inside the mobile home of a Minnesota man, the Associated Press reports.

Buford Rogers, 24, of Montevideo, appeared in court Monday after being charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

“The FBI believed there was a terror attack in its planning stages, and we believe there would have been a localized terror attack, and that’s why law enforcement moved quickly to execute the search warrant on Friday to arrest Mr. Rogers,” FBI spokesman Kyle Loven said Monday.

The FBI said Rogers planned to unleash an attack on his town of 5,000 people, the AP wrote.

The “lives of several local residents were potentially saved” by the search and arrest, the FBI said in a statement, the AP reported

Most Wanted Women: 8 Females Have Made the FBI’s Most Wanted List

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Joanne Chesimard, 65, a convicted cop killer, recently became the first woman placed on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Terrorist List. 

While Chesimard made news by making the list, eight of the 500 people who appeared on the FBI’s most wanted fugitive list were women, Discovery reports.

Discovery lists details of each woman, including Ruth Eisemann-Schier, who helped her boyfriend kidnap a heiress for ransom and bury her alive in a shallow grave. 

Another includes Bernardine Rae Dohrn, a law school graduate who was a leader in the Weather Underground, a radical group designed to overthrow the U.S. government.

FBI Error May Save Man from Execution in Mississippi Today

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A day before his planned execution. a Mississippi inmate made a last-minute appeal Monday after the FBI acknowledged it erred in analyzing the forensic evidence, the Washington Post reports.

Willie Jerome Manning, 44, was to die today at 6 p.m. by lethal injection after being convicted of the 1992 killings of two college students.

The Post reported that the FBI conceded over the weekend that mistakes were made.

The main concern was of an agent’s exaggerated claim that he can trace hairs to an African American.

The governor and court are to decide on a stay Tuesday.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Kevin Cornelius to Head FBI’s Cincinnati Division

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Kevin R. Cornelius, who most recently served as chief of the Tactical Section within the Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) and commander of the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), was named head of the Cincinnati FBI.

Cornelius joined the FBI in 1991 and was first assigned to the Indianapolis Field Office, where he worked violent crime and major offender investigations. In 1994, he joined HRT and served for five years.

In 2003, he became the supervisor of the southern Ohio Joint Terrorism Task Force in the FBI’s Columbus Resident Agency.

In January 2008, he was named assistant special agent in charge for the National Security Branch of the Cincinnati Field Office and was responsible for managing the Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, Cyber, and Intelligence programs.

He was the FBI’s on-scene commander in Iraq and Afghanistan during 2008 to 2009 and oversaw personnel in both theaters.

In 2011, he was promoted to the Senior Executive Service and his leadership role within CIRG.

He has been an adjunct faculty member with the University of Virginia at the FBI Academy’s Leadership Development Institute, where he taught graduate- and undergraduate-level courses for the FBI’s National Academy.

 

FBI Agents Association Pushes for Rep. Mike Rogers to Replace FBI Director Robert Mueller

Rep. Mike Rogers

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI Agents Association, which represents more than 12,000 active duty and retired Agents, is urging President Obama to pick Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers to replace FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

Rogers, a Republican,  is a former FBI agent, who heads the House Intelligence Committee.

In a press release issued Monday,the association’s president Konrad Motyka stated:

“Chairman Rogers exemplifies the principles that should be possessed by the next FBI Director. His unique and diverse experience as a veteran, FBI Agent and member of Congress will allow him to effectively lead the men and women of the Bureau as they continue their work to protect our country from criminal and terrorist threats.”

“Chairman Rogers heads the House Intelligence Committee and is respected by leaders on both sides of the aisle. His background as a Special Agent sets him apart as someone capable of confronting the wide array of challenges facing our country and the Bureau.”

Jana Monroe

Mueller had his 10-year term extended for two years. That is supposed to expire in September.

Patrick Fitzgerald/doj photo

Other names that have surfaced in the rumor mill include: ex-U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald ,  Jim Comey, the former U.S. attorney in Manhattan and Jana Monroe, former head of the Phoenix FBI.

Two years ago, the association pushed for Mike Mason , the former Executive Assistant Director for the Criminal Investigative Division of the FBI, to get Mueller’s job. But in the end, President Obama punted on a replacement and decided to extend Mueller’s reign by two years.

 

Column: FBI Deserves Praise in Boston Marathon Probe

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

When all is said and done, the FBI deserves praise for its swift resolution in the Boston Marathon bombing.

As one agent told me, the FBI showed what it’s made of by kicking some butt. 

Critics say the agency dropped the ball. They say the FBI had reason to suspect that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been radicalized, and it should have been more aggressive about tracking his activities. Easy to say in retrospect.

One federal official, who is not with the FBI, put it best when he said to me:  The FBI can’t surveil every nut just because they have radical thoughts. He said the brothers hadn’t done anything illegal or suspicious to justify surveilling them around the clock for months, if not years. 

“This was the FBI’s finest hour,” he insisted.

President Obama seems to agree.

“There are going to be times where individuals decide they want to cause harm to people for crazy reasons, for no good reason, for ideological reasons,” he said, according to an Associated Press report.

He pointed out that it’s harder to track self-radicalized people who are not part of a broad network of terrorists. In law enforcement circles they’re known as “lone wolves.”

It’s not to say that we shouldn’t review the case and examine how information was shared, or not shared.

Regardless,  the FBI does deserve credit for solving a case so quickly, a case that brought so much anxiety and fear to this country.