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FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Says Organized Crime Is an International Menace

Robert Mueller III/fbi file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said Friday that tentacles of organized crime go far beyond the shores of the U.S. and is an international menace.

“Some believe that organized crime is a thing of the past,” Mueller said during a speech before the Citizens Crime Commission of New York.  “Unfortunately, this is not the case. Traditional criminal syndicates still con, extort, and intimidate American citizens.

“But the playing field has changed. We have seen a shift from regional families with a clear structure, to flat, fluid networks with global reach.”

“Organized criminals have become “service providers”, Mueller said. ” Could a Mexican group move a terrorist across the border? Could an Eastern European enterprise sell a Weapon of Mass Destruction to a terrorist cell? Likely, yes.

Read more »

Fed Judge Reduces Convicted Terrorist’s Sentence by More than 100 Years

Mohamad Hammoud/mecklenburg co. sheriff’s photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

They say federal judges have plenty powers, and in fact, they can make a century or more disappear with the snap of a finger.

That’s just what happened Thursday when U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen in Charlotte, N.C. reduced the 155 year sentence of Hezbollah supporter Mohamad Hammoud to 30 years in prison, the Associated Press reported.

“The crime represented here was not as serious as other terrorism cases,” Mullen said, according to AP.

Hammoud, 37, a North Carolina businessman, was convicted in 2002 of financing suspected Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon with profits from a multimillion-dollar cigarette-smuggling operation he ran with his brother. Prosecutors at the time accused him of being the leader of a terrorist cell.

AP reported that Hammoud, from Lebanon, will likely spend 20 more years in prison and then be deported.

His attorneys wanted the sentence reduced to the 10 years served, saying the money Hammoud raised was for a wing of Hezbollah that helps provide clean water and good housing to communities.

Secret Service Agents Say Pres. Reagan Was Sharp During Presidency Contrary to What Son Says

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ronald Kessler of Newmax.com writes that Secret Service agents on President Reagan’s detail say the 40th president “was sharp until several years after he left the presidency”, contrary to what son Ron wrote in his latest book.

“We had a hundred twenty agents on his detail, and he seemed to remember everyone’s name,” former agent Glenn Smith said of Reagan when he was in the White House, according to Kessler. Kessler authored the book “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect.”

The President’s son Ron Reagan claims in his just-released book “My Father at 100” that his father showed signs of Alzheimer’s Disease in his second term.

To read more click here.

Rat Poison and Shrapnel Found in Bomb at MLK Day Parade in Spokane


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More details are surfacing about the mysterious bomb that was found along the parade route of the MLK Day parade in Spokane, Wash. on Jan. 17.

CNN reports that the bomb contained rat poisoning and metal shrapnel, all designed to maximize damage.

The Spokesman-Review reported that the rat poison is used to prevent blood from coagulating. The bomb, contained in a Swiss Army-brand backpack, was found before the parade began.

Authorities have said that they suspect the incident may have been racially motivated. No arrests have been made.

A $20,000 reward is being offered in the case.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK4Hyjju0yk

John Travolta to Play John Gotti Jr.’s Father in Movie?

Internal Reports Show FBI Employees Stepping Over the Line

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — In an agency with thousands of employees, some in the FBI are bound to step over the line.

CNN obtained summaries of internal disciplinary reports by the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility dating back to January 2008. The reports detail wrongdoing by employees including lying, drunken driving, improperly going into FBI databases, sexual assault and threatening to release a sexual videotape. Discipline ranged from a letter of censure to dismissal.

The documents, which are regularly circulated internally to FBI employees to remind them to avoid ethical lapses, were posted on CNN’s website.

Paul Bresson, an FBI spokesman, responding to questions from AOL News, noted that the total number of employees disciplined for misconduct in the past 3 years represented less than 1.5% of the total workforce worldwide.

“The FBI is an enormously talented organization that demands the very best of its workforce and takes strong and decisive disciplinary action when it is needed,” he said.

Here are some of the cases, according to the documents.

* An FBI employee provided “sensitive information” to his girlfriend, who was a reporter. After their breakup, he threatened to release a sex tape the two had made, according to the documents. She referred the threats to the U.S. attorney’s office. The employee also lied under oath during an administrative inquiry. He resigned after the agency proposed firing him.

* An FBI employee conducted more than 1,500 unauthorized database searches and shared information derived from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act with someone outside the FBI. The employee refused to provide a sworn statement during the investigation into the matter and was fired.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Customs and Border Patrol Agent Indicted for Lying to FBI and Making Up Story

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities claim U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent Andrew Rodriguez of Minnesota tried to get a transfer to the southern border by telling a big lie to federal investigators.

On Thursday,  an indictment was unsealed charging Rodriguez, 29, of East Grand Folks, Minn., with making a false statement to the FBI, claiming two men threatened his family. He is no longer with the agency.

The indictment alleges that last Nov. 7, Rodriguez told FBI agents he was pulled over by two men on Minnesota Highway 71, who threatened to hurt his family if he didn’t do as they said.

Authorities say that Rodriguez also told the FBI agents that he had seen the men’s vehicle near his home on a few recent occasions.

He later confessed that he fabricated the story to get a transfer to the southern border.

ICE System Failed to Catch Illegal Immigrant in Va. Before Rape of 8-Year-Old Girl

Loudoun County Jail

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer

Salvador Portillo-Saravia, a member of the MS-13 street gang, was charged with raping an 8-year-old girl at her Fairfax County (Va.) home last month. But he never should have been in Fairfax in the first place.

Federal officials deported Portillo-Saravia, of Sterling, to El Salvador in 2003, and he sneaked back in illegally. Now, officials are wondering why a much-touted federal program didn’t catch him before the rape.

Four weeks before the crime, Portillo-Saravia was in the Loudoun County jail for public intoxication. That’s when the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program, called Secure Communities, should have identified him as an illegal immigrant and he should have been taken into custody.

Loudoun authorities ran Portillo-Saravia’s fingerprints through a federal database, but despite the 2003 deportation, nothing was found. He was released after 12 hours behind bars.

To read more click here.