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African American Woman Accuses TSA of Racial Profiling After Hair Search

tsa photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Transportation Security Administration, tasked with protecting the nation’s airports, can’t win.

The latest: An African-American woman is accusing TSA of racial profiling after her poofy hair was searched, The Hill newspaper reported.

The paper reported that Laura Adiele told MSNBC on Friday that agents at Seattle’s Sea-Tec Airport told her they needed to inspect her hair after she did a full-body scan. She claims agents made the request because she is black.

“It’s already uncomfortable to be going through a naked body imaging,” she said on MSNBC’s “Jansing and Co.” show. “For me, my hair is my breaking point.”

“I played the race card in this just because I looked around and didn’t see anyone else being searched in that way,” Adiele said. “And at the end of it, I had an African-American flight attendant come up to me and say that she’s had this experience and that she’s seeing it more frequently and that she thought I should complain about it.”

She said TSA agents told her it was policy to check anything that “poofs” from the body. TSA, according to the Hill, said that checking hair is sometimes done as part of its thorough screening of passengers.

3 Somalian Pirates Could Face Death Penalty

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Three Somalian men charged with murdering four Americans aboard the Quest ship in February near Somalia, could face the death penalty if convicted in Virginia

Authorities on Friday announced a superseding indictment in Norfolk,  Va. Of the 26 counts, 22 are death penalty eligible.

“Today’s superseding indictment charges three men from Somalia with brutally murdering four American citizens held hostage for ransom,” U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride said in a statement on Friday.

“This past March, the grand jury returned an indictment against these defendants, and others, with piracy in the armed hijacking of an U.S.-flagged yacht. The superseding indictment accuses these three men of summarily executing the hostages – without provocation – while the military was attempting to negotiate their release. With the additional charges, the defendants now potentially face a death sentence if convicted of these horrendous crimes, and the superseding indictment constitutes another important step in bringing to justice those accused of being directly responsible for the killing of innocent Americans.”

To date, 11 of the 14 defendants charged in the attack have pleaded guilty to mandatory life in prison.

Those charged in Friday’s superseding indictment include: Ahmed Muse Salad, aka Afmagalo, 25; Abukar Osman Beyle, 20; and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar, 29,

Ex-Secret Service Agent Says Betty Ford Was Like a Mother to Agents

Gerald and Betty Ford at their wedding in 1948/gerald ford museum

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-First Lady Betty Ford, who died Friday at age 93,  had fans in the Secret Service.

Ex-Secret Service agent Mike Shannon, who protected the Fords, and showed up Saturday at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids to pay respect, told WOOD-TV that Betty Ford was like “a mother” to him and other agents.

He told the station that Ford was always concerned about the agents and once gave him a bag of oranges to take home for his wife.

Gerald and Betty got married on Oct. 15, 1948 at the Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids.

Mexico’s Drug Violence Leaves 40 Dead

Weekend Series on Crime History: Hell’s Kitchen’s Irish Mob

Undercover FBI Agent Gets Praise For his Work With the Mob

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Jerry Capeci, the mob expert who runs the website Gang Land News, offers nothing but high praise in an article this week about FBI agent David Sebastiani, who went undercover to bring down some Philly mobsters.

Capeci wrote that Sebastiani, who works out the New York division and is a certified public accountant, spoke last week to “the American Apparel & Footwear Association about brand labels and intellectual property rights. The talk took place at the New York offices of Calvin Klein. To hear Sebastiani talk, you wouldn’t think he knew the difference between a mobster and a Ferragamo shoe salesman – even if one kicked him in the shins.

“If that’s what you thought, you would be wrong.”

Gang Land New reported that Sebastiani went undercover as a cash strapped financial wizard known as “Dino” who became a loanshark victim.

As a result, some Philly mobsters –Anthony  Staino and associate Robert Ranieri — are facing criminal charges.

Gang Land reported “that the gangsters are not the first to be stung by the smooth-talking undercover agent over the last two decades.”

In the Philly case, Gang Land reported that the FBI sting involving the Philly mob caught reputed mobsters Staino and Ranieri in tape-recorded threats disclosed by the feds last month.

Sebastiani, who works in the cybercrime division in the New York office, is done as an undercover with the mob, Capeci writes.

But the appreciation for his undercover acting hasn’t vanished.

Ex-FBI undercover agent Joaquin (Big Jack) Garcia, who worked with Sebastiani in the past, and went undercover with the mob himself (and came a hair’s length away from being a “made guy”), said of Sebastiani:

“Dave was one of those guys who you could always count on in an undercover operation,” Garcia told Gang Land. “He would always do the job. He wouldn’t say anything stupid; he wouldn’t DO anything stupid. The FBI could always count on him, whether it was for a cameo appearance or a regular long-term role.”

To read Gang Land News click here. (It is a pay-to-read website)

Could Latest Scandal Kill ATF?

By Josh Gerstein
Politico

WASHINGTON — The unfolding scandal over a gunrunning investigation allegedly botched by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives could do what years of criticism of the long-beleaguered agency never quite accomplished — result in its demise.

That, at least, is the view of some former ATF employees and advocates on both sides of the gun control debate who have watched the agency struggle to contain the damage from an operation intended to trace the traffic of illegal guns to Mexico that has reignited the harsh criticism often directed at the ATF in the past.

The agency, which moved from the Treasury Department to the Justice Department in 2003, has been without a permanent director for nearly five years. Nominees offered by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have languished without approval from the Senate after drawing strong opposition from the National Rifle Association, which for years has been the agency’s loudest critic.

Now, with ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson hobbled by the scandal over Operation Fast and Furious and by indications he’s at odds with senior Justice Department officials, many are saying a breakup of the storied agency could just be a matter of time.

“I think something like that is likely to happen,” said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “Unless they take some action to give it a director, it’s inevitable it’s going to have to get to that stage. It cannot continue the way it’s going now. … Right now, ATF is so weak it’s amazing.”

To read full story click here.

Las Vegas Man Livid; Says FBI Ignored 2008 Tip About Mobster Whitey Bulger

whdh/channel 7

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The James “Whitey” Bulger story ain’t going away any time soon.

The latest: A Las Vegas man is livid. The Boston Herald reports that the man claims the FBI ignored his tip in 2008 that he spotted Bulger on the Santa Monica Pier and alerted “America’s Most Wanted.”

“The FBI should at least come out and say that they did get a call three years ago. If they had called me back, they would have struck gold. But you know how they play their games, the feds. I guess this whole hunt for Whitey Bulger was a game,’’ Keith Messina told the Herald. “Now they are saying someone in Iceland found Whitey? Who is that person? I found Whitey three years ago.”

“I didn’t make the call for the reward,” Messina insisted. “I just wanted the guy caught. But now the FBI is lying and saying the reward is going to Iceland. I saw the guy. I did the right thing and called. I left my name and number. I should be at least entitled to something.’’

The Herald reported that Messina, 45, was vacationing with his wife, Tonya, and their three children in June 2008.

Messina had seen America’s Most Wanted, which had featured Bulger.

The Herald reported that Messina was on a “bench near the Third Street Promenade when he spotted an elderly man wearing a hat and sunglasses, no shirt, dark shorts, and reading a book. Messina, a “huge” “America’s Most Wanted” fan, thought of Whitey.”

“His suspicion became stronger when the man, who had a crucifix on a gold chain, began chatting with a passer-by wearing a Boston Celtics [team stats] shirt,” the Herald reported.

“I looked at the guy and thought, ‘That looks like Bulger,’ but then I said to my wife, ‘No way.’ I kept watching him, and I really started thinking it was him but I was positive when I saw him talking to the guy from Boston and asked about Newbury Street — I knew it.”