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At Least 10 Countries Investigating Mysterious Disappearance of Malaysian Airlines

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The United States and at least nine other countries are investigating the disappearance of a Malaysian Airlines jetliner, CBS News reports.

The Boeing 777, which included 239 people, has been missing for four days.

Without any sign of trouble, authorities are having trouble pinning down why the plane disappeared.

It’s unclear whether it was a pilot error, plane malfunction or a hijacking.

The plane departed Malaysia early Saturday en route to Beijing before disappearing from radar.

Agent-In-Charge of ATF’s Rochester Field Office Is Finalist for Massachusetts Police Job

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Scott Heagney, agent-in-charge of the ATF’s Rochester field office, is the finalist for the position of police chief of Firchburg, Mass.

The Sentinel & Enterprise reports that Scott Heagney was selected by Mayor Lisa Wong to replace Police Chief Robert DeMoura.

Heagney began his career serving five years with the Franklin Police Department.

“I was extremely impressed with Scott’s grounding in police work and his out-of-the-box career at the ATF — both will serve Fitchburg well as we grapple with many complex issues facing towns across the country,” Wong said. “Mr. Heagney did incredibly well during the Assessment Center conducted on several of the applicants by the search firm, Badgequest.”

The city council will consider the appointment on March 18.

“I have risen through the ranks of a local Massachusetts police department as well as a federal law enforcement agency,” Heagney wrote in his cover letter. “I believe the police are in the service business and must be responsive to big and/or small problems and concerns alike, with equal energy and vigor.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Man Arrested After Climbing Security Fence to Try to Gain Access to FBI Field Office in California

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man is in custody after climbing a security fence and trying to gain access to the FBI field office in Sorrento Valley, ABC 10 reports.

The suspect, 36-year-old William Durant, called media outlets at the time and said he wanted to talk to a federal agent.

“One of our security officers tried to stop him and in course of doing so, the man told him he had a weapon,” said Foxworth. “That weapon has not been seen.”

About 6 hours later, SWAT officers were seen on the roof, leading the suspect away in handcuffs.

It wasn’t immediately clear why the suspect wanted to talk with an agent.

Family Takes Note of Former FBI Agent Robert Levinson’s Disappearance After Seven Years

Robert Levinson

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It has been seven long years since FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared while on a mission for the CIA in Iran.

“Today we remind the world that, after seven years, Bob is still not home with those who love him – his wife, sons, daughters, grandchildren and friends,” the family said in a emailed statement Friday, ABC News reports. “Bob’s continued imprisonment defies the humanity in all of us. After seven years, we have almost no words left to describe our life without Bob… We miss everything about [him]. No matter where we turn, Bob is absent.”

Levinson was retired from the FBI when he was kidnapped from Kish Island off Iran’s coast on March 9, 2007.

Only recently was it discovered that Levinson was working as a freelance spy for the CIA.

The family’s attorney expressed anger that the real story of his work as a CIA was never divulged.

“[R]ather than acknowledge what they had done and try and save Bob’s life, they denied him,” McGee said.

Border Patrol Chief Says Agents Can Still Shoot Rock Throwers, As Long As They Pose Threat

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Border Patrol has been under fire recently for using lethal force on people who throw rocks at agents near the U.S.-Mexico border, Border Patrol Chief Michael J. Fisher said in a new directive Friday, according to the Washington Post.

“Agents shall not discharge firearms in response to thrown or hurled projectiles unless the agent has a reasonable belief, based on the totality of the circumstances, to include the size and nature of the projectiles, that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious injury,” Chief Fisher said in the directive.

The decision by Fisher roiled critics who say Border Patrol agents often are too quick to shoot.

“Border Patrol Chief Fisher’s new guidance on use of force leaves much to be desired. It is largely a restatement of existing policy, which is a shame because clearly existing policy isn’t working,” said Chris Rickerd, policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Rickerd is calling for an investigation into the past five years of deadly force by the Border Patrol.

Washington Post Editorial: FBI Has Responsibility to Come Clean about Ibragim Todashev’s Death

By Washington Post 
Editorial Board

There is no greater threat to the legitimacy of the U.S. political system, at home and abroad, than the perception that an obsession with terrorism and other threats has given rise to an unaccountable American national security apparatus. Much of this perception reflects hyperbole from those who do not understand the U.S. system and the threats it faces, or who do understand but wish the United States ill. Yet many of those who have lost trust in the U.S. government have good-faith concerns about genuine issues — such as waterboarding under the Bush administration or the failure of Congress and President Obama to establish better oversight of the National Security Agency.

It is with this latter group of good-faith critics in mind that the Obama administration must approach the troubling matter of Ibragim Todashev’s violent death at the hands, apparently, of an FBI special agent on May 22. An associate of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the late suspected mastermind of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings, Mr. Todashev was shot several times, under murky circumstances, while being interrogated by the FBI in his Orlando apartment. He was reportedly suspected of involvement in a separate triple homicide that may also have been perpetrated by Mr. Tsarnaev. Not only is his death regrettable, doubly so if it was avoidable, but it also silenced, forever, a witness who may have had much to tell about Mr. Tsarnaev’s alleged criminal and terrorist careers.

According to the sketchy reports that have emerged since, Mr. Todashev, 27, who had a history of arrests for violent offenses, suddenly attacked his FBI questioner, who fired in self-defense. But the conflicting and downright strange leaked accounts — some indicated that Mr. Todashev had a knife or a sword, others that he merely knocked over a table — have been more than enough to fuel reasonable suspicions, let alone the multiple conspiracy theories reverberating globally via the Internet.

Click here to read.

Naming of New ATF Headquarters Causing Heated Debate

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An ugly debate is brewing over the naming of the glassy new ATF headquarters in Washington D.C.

The Los Angeles Times reports that many people aren’t happy with the Senate’s decision to name the new building after famous federal agent Eliot Ness, who helped bring down Al Capone.

Opponents of the new name want the new headquarters to be dedicated to former ATF Agent Ariel Rios, who was shot and killed during a drug deal in Miami.

In 1985, the ATF headquarters was designated the Ariel Rios Building.

The ATF dedicated a reflecting pool at its current headquarters in Rio’s memory.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Yoo-hoo, FBI: Here’s Evidence You Can Use on My Facebook Page

Alan Stamm
ticklethewire.com

 There’s no such thing as an easy bust of a serial bank robber, FBI agents would say. Still some careless suspects certainly are simpler to snare than others.

Consider the willful self-incrimination by Jules Bahler, 21, that’s described in a complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, according to Detroit News coverage.

He’s accused of bank robberies in Pontiac on Feb. 26 and March 4, and one March 5 in Bay City, 90 miles north. The same day as that last stickup, the complaint says, Bahler posted the above photo and others on his Facebook page – including one of his newly purchased Pontiac house.

That’s where he was arrested Friday by members of the FBI-Oakland County Violent Gang Task Force. A sheriff’s sergeant reported the Facebook shots of Bahler with what appeared to be the weapon and clothes seen in security videos from the banks. That black submachine gun was in a duffel bag at his feet during Friday’s vehicle stop, the criminal complaint says.

Bahler reportedly confessed, the newspaper says.

One of his savvier Facebook buddies, using the screen name King Machete, tried to warn Bahler he was foolhardy, the Deadline Detroit news site notices Saturday.

“U tripping brotha. I wouldn’t show that shit off like that,” the friend comments under his March 5 gun poses. “Cops be watching this shit brotha.”

Two days later, flashing lights and handcuffs confirmed that observation.