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Former FBI Agent Strzok Sues DOJ, Bureau over His Firing

Peter Strzok, via EPA.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI special agent Peter Strzok filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department and bureau on Tuesday, claiming he was fired because of “unrelenting pressure from President Trump and his political allies in Congress and the media.”

The suit claims Strzok’s termination was politically motivated and violated two constitutional amendments, The Hill reports.

According to the suit, Strzok was fired for expressing is First Amendment right to use political speech. In addition, Strzok’s attorney said the FBI denied him the right to appeal the firing, which “deprived” him of due process under the Fifth Amendment.

The suit also claims the defendants unlawful leaked information that led to his firing.

“The concerted public campaign to disparage and, ultimately, fire Special Agent Strzok was enabled by the defendants’ deliberate and unlawful disclosure to the media of texts, intended to be private, from an FBI systems of records, in violation of the Privacy Act,” according to the court documents.

Strzok was fired in August 2018.

FBI Launches Domestic Terrorism Investigation into Gilroy Mass Shooting

Gilroy gunman Santino William Legan.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI said Tuesday it’s launching a domestic terrorism investigation into the July 28 mass shooting in Gilroy, Calif., because authorities uncovered evidence that he was influenced by “violent ideologies.”

Investigators uncovered evidence that 19-year-old gunman, Santino William Legan, had a “target list” of political organizations, religious institutions, federal buildings, and courthouse, the FBI said at a news conference Tuesday.

Three people were killed and 13 others were injured in the shooting. Legan turned the gun on himself.

Investigators have yet to determine a motive and are trying to determine whether his “fractured ideologies” played a role in the shooting, said John F. Bennett, special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Francisco office.

The FBI did not reveal the specifics on the list.

About an hour before he opened fire with a AK-47-style rifle, Legan posted about a white supremacist manifesto on Instagram. He encouraged his Instagram followers to read, “Might Is Right or the Survival of the Fittest,” a fringe book that describes black and Jewish people as inferior and advocates for women as property.

The FBI also opened a domestic terrorism investigation into the gunman who killed 22 people at an El Paso Walmart. The 21-year-old suspect is accused of writing an online manifesto about his hatred for immigrants.

In late July, FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Senate committee that white supremacy is behind an increase in domestic terrorism cases this fiscal year.

FBI Agents Reluctant to Investigate White Supremacy Because of Trump, Said Counterterrorism Expert

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents are reluctant to aggressively investigate white nationalist extremists because they are part of President Trump’s base, according to a former FBI counterterrorism agent.

“I believe Christopher A. Wray is an honorable man, but I think in many ways the FBI is hamstrung in trying to investigate the white supremacist movement like the old FBI would,” the former agent, David Gomez, told The Washington Post. “There’s some reluctance among agents to bring forth an investigation that targets what the president perceives as his base. It’s a no-win situation for the FBI agent or supervisor.”

Some of that hesitation, Gomez said, stems from Trump’s repeated criticism of the FBI during the special counsel investigation.

The comments follow a massacre carried out Saturday by a gunman at an El Paso Walmart, where at least 20 people were killed. Investigators said the gunman posted an anti-immigration manifesto shortly before the shooting.

Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric is fueling hatred and making the country more dangerous, Democratic Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro told MSNBC.

“This was the deadliest attack on the Latino community in United States history,” Castro said. “The president blamed the media, the internet, video games. He did not look in the mirror and blame himself.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray recently told the Senate Judiciary Committee that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases are motivated by white supremacist ideologies.

Robert C. Bone Named Special Agent in Charge of Counterintelligence at LA Field Office

Los Angeles Field Office, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Robert C. Bone II has been named special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence and Cyber Division of the Los Angeles Field Office, where he previously earned a Director’s Award for Excellence in Leadership.

Bone most recently served as the deputy assistant director of the Operational Technology Division at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Robert C. Bone.

Bone’s career as an FBI agent began in 2001, when he was assigned to the Chicago Field Office to handle international terrorism. He also was the coordinator of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

In 2006, he was promoted to the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters in 2006. A year later, he moved to the Inspection Division in 2007.

In 2009, Bone served as the acting assistant legal attaché to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he formed the Kidnapping Investigations Unit. In 2010, he was transferred to the Los Angeles Field Office to lead a counterintelligence squad. His work earned him a Director’s Award for Excellence in Leadership.

In 2012, Bone was promoted to assistant section chief in the Counterespionage Section at FBI headquarters. He was transferred to the Washington Field Office in 2014, serving as the assistant special agent in charge of the Investigative Services Branches.

Bone was promoted in 2016 to serve as an inspector and then chief inspector in the Inspection Division. In 2018, he became deputy assistant director of the Operational Technology Division, which develops and deploys technology for FBI operations.

Before joining the FBI, Bone was a police officer in Silverthorne, Colorado. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa.

How FBI Is Handling Mass Shooting Threats After Bloody Weekend

FBI Director Christopher Wray, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

About a week ago, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned the Senate that white supremacy is responsible for most domestic terrorism cases so far in 2019.

Then came Saturday, when a gunman who pledged to attack “as many Mexicans as possible” opened fire at an El Paso Walmart, killing 20 people and wounding 26 others. Early Sunday morning, another gunman killed 9 people and injured 26 others in just 30 seconds in Dayton, Ohio. The motive of that shooting remains unclear.

The bureau is worried the attacks will inspire more acts of violence.

“The FBI remains concerned that U.S.-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by these and previous high-profile attacks to engage in similar acts of violence,” the bureau said in a news release. “The FBI asks the American public to report to law enforcement any suspicious activity that is observed either in person or online.”

So what’s the FBI doing about the threat of domestic terrorism? According to CNN, Wray has ordered a new threat assessment at the bureau’s offices nationwide in an attempt to stave off future attacks.

A command group at the FBI’s Washington headquarters will lead an effort to get field offices to identify threats of mass shootings.

The bureau also is assisting in the investigations of the shootings in Texas and Ohio.

“On behalf of the FBI, I offer sincere condolences to the victims, families, and communities affected by this weekend’s violence, and we stand by them during this difficult time. We will bring the full resources of the FBI to bear in the pursuit of justice for the victims of these crimes.” Wray said in a statement. “I am proud of our state and local law enforcement partners and the immediate response of FBI agents, analysts, and professional staff, working in close coordination to assist them. I have been in contact with the president and the attorney general, and they both have expressed their support for the FBI’s work in the wake of these tragedies.”

Timothy M. Dunham Named Special Agent in Charge of Criminal Division at Washington Field Office

Washington Field Office, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Timothy M. Dunham, a 17-year veteran of the FBI, has been named special agent in charge of the Criminal Division at the Washington Field Office.

Dunham most recently served as special agent in charge of the office’s Counterintelligence Division.

In 2002, Dunham became a special agent and was first assigned to the Chicago Field Office, working counterintelligence cases. He was promoted in 2007 to supervisory special agent in the Counterintelligence Division at FBI Headquarters.

In 2009, Dunham became program manager in the Counterterrorism Division for the FBI’s extraterritorial counterterrorism investigations.

In 2011, he became an FBI detailee to the CIA, coordinating FBI human intelligence operations overseas with U.S. Intelligence Community partners.

In 2012, Dunham joined the FBI’s Albany Field Office in New York as the supervisor of a Joint Terrorism Task Force squad, overseeing international and domestic terrorism investigations. Later that year, he became the acting assistant legal attaché in the FBI’s newly established office in Stockholm, Sweden.

In 2015, Dunham became assistant special agent in charge of the Albany Field Office’s Criminal and Administrative branches before returning to FBI headquarters in 2017 to serve as the section chief of the Leadership Development Program. In 2018, he began leading the Counterintelligence Division of the Washington Field Office.

Before joining the FBI, Dunham practiced law in Richmond, Va. He received a degree in accounting from the University of Richmond before earning Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degrees from the College of William and Mary. He also has a master’s degree in security studies from Georgetown University.

Retired ATF Agent Vincent Cefalu’s Book Chronicles the Everyday Dangers of Working Undercover

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.comas

By any standards, Vincent A. Cefalu was a gutsy guy.

Cefala, who is now retired from ATF, spent 30 years with the agency as an undercover agent working criminal organizations including the Symbionese Liberation Army, outlaw motorcycle gangs and splinter groups of the Ku Klux Klan.

Now, Cefalu has penned a book, “RatSnakes,” which chronicles the dangers he faced daily on the job.

His webpage describes the book this way:

Part field guide, part heart-pounding thrill-ride, Cefalu takes readers on a tour of what it’s like to confront death on a daily basis. En route, he gives us a look at the on-the-job techniques of kicking in doors, orchestrating “street theater” to ensnare criminals, and making high-stakes gun buys. His irreverent, explicit stories from the inside are a mix of danger and unexpected hilarity that will have readers laughing one minute and then biting their nails when things break bad.

Cefalu, who has a master’s degree in the Psychological sciences, is an adjunct faculty instructor  in the Psychology Department and Criminal Justice Department at the University of Phoenix and ITT Technical College.

Joaquin “Jack” Garcia, a former undercover FBI agent and New York Times bestselling author of Making Jack Falcone, wrote this about Cefalu’s book:

The LE Undercover community is limited to those who are born with the ability to take on some of the most dangerous, ‘up close and personal’ assignments. In that select group, Vince Cefalu is one who stands out because of his bravery and his ability to walk undetected among the most hardened criminals. A real badass who I’m proud to call my friend.”

To buy a book, click here.

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