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News Story

GAO to Examine Science Behind Anthrax Investigation; Some Still Skeptical

Anthrax Suspect Bruce Ivins

Anthrax Suspect Bruce Ivins

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

By the FBI’s account, the anthrax case that triggered a wave of panic in this nation in 2001 with the death of five people, has been solved.

But not all are as convinced as the FBI that the real culprit is government scientist Bruce Ivins, who committed suicide in July 2008 before authorities could charge him.

So, as a result of a request by one skeptic, Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), the Government Accountability Office will exam the science behind the FBI’s conclusion that Ivins was the guy, reporter Evan Perez writes in the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal noted that a separate review of the FBI’s work by the National Academy of Scientists will likely be wrapped up this fall.

2 Undercover ATF Agents Infiltrate and Help Bust Motorcycle Gang

doj photo

doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Two undercover ATF agents agents infiltrated the violent Pagans Outlaw Motorcycle Gang and derailed a plot to kill rival Hells Angels members with homemade grenades, the New York Daily News reported.

That interesting tidbit came out as federal agents rounded up 19 members and associates of the Pagans Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, including a 70-year-old man, in Long Island,New Jersey and Delaware, the Daily News reported. An explosive device packed with nails and 34 guns was seized, according to an ATF press release.

During the 21-month probe, one of the undercover ATF agents was inducted into the gang and was given access to its bookkeeping, which inclued names, addresses and motorcycle descriptions, the Daily News reported.

The agent became the Long Island chapter’s second-highest ranking member, the paper said, citing court papers.

To read more click here.

Sen. Judiciary Gives Nod to 2 U.S. Attys and 4 Marshals

Joseph Hogsett/law firm photo

Joseph Hogsett/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary on Thursday gave the  nod to two U.S. Attorneys and four U.S. Marshals.

The U.S. Attorney’s who passed that hurdle in the long process were Michael J. Moore (not to be confused with the filmmaker) for the Middle District of Georgia and Joseph H. Hogsett for the Southern District of Indiana.

The U.S. Marshals who got the go ahead included:

Michael R. Bladel for the Southern District of Iowa; Kenneth J. Runde for the Northern District of Iowa; James E. Clark for the Western District of Kentucky; Beverly J. Harvard for the Northern District of Georgia.

Ex-FBI Agent Jody Weis Has His Problems as Chicago Police Chief

Chief Johy Weis/police photo

Chief Johy Weis/police photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Since the beginning, Chicago Police chief Jody Weis, an ex-FBI agent, has been battling the perception of being an outsider in an agency that doesn’t take so kindly to such things.

The latest attack on Weis came Wednesday when more than 300 off-duty Chicago cops stood outside police headquarters  to protest his reign, the Associated Press reported.

The protesters carried signs: “More police, No Weis”, and “Resign,” while chanting, “Jody’s got to go!”, the AP reported.

Weis was appointed by Mayor Richard Daily in 2008 to clean up the department. But Daily has chosen not to run for re-election, which could spell the end of Weis’ tenure as chief.

To read more click here.

Long Island Man Charged With Shifting Pakistan Funds to Times Square Bomber

times square artBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 44-year-old Long Island man was arrested on Wednesday on charges of unwittingly helping fund the Times Square bomber Faisel Shahzad, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

The indictment charged that Mohammad Younis transferred thousands of dollars from Pakistan to the U.S. to Shahzad through an unlicensed money transfer business known as a hawala.

Authorities said Younis was unaware of the plot. He was arrested at his Long Island home by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.

“By engaging in the alleged conduct, Mohammad Younis unwittingly funded a terror plot that, if successful, would have caused mass casualties in New York City,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

Charges Dropped Against Wall Street Journal Reporter in Blago Case

Douglas Belkin/facebook

Douglas Belkin/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

For a while, during the public corruption trial of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich in downtown Chicago, the only sure conviction appeared to involve defendant Douglas Belkin, a Wall Street Journal reporter.

In July, the 42-year-old reporter was arrested while covering the trial of Blagojevich and his brother Robert, the Associated Press reported. The U.S. Marshals Office accused Belkin of leaving a designated reporters area in the courthouse to pursue an interview and failing to stop when ordered to, AP reported.

But Belkin is now off the hook.

AP reported that the U.S. Attorney’s office decided to drop the charges — petty citations for disturbance and  disobeying signs and directions.

AP reported that the The Wall Street Journal complained the reporter was wrongfully detained while doing his job, but it was glad the ordeal was over.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

3 FBI Agents and Analyst Lied About Taking Steroids, Feds Charge

steroid-needle
By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — Three FBI agents and an agency analyst in the Washington area were charged with providing false statements after they allegedly failed to disclose on government forms the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormones commonly taken in the sports and bodybuilding world, authorities announced today. One agent is a former bodybuilder.

Authorities said the FBI employees received different diagnoses from a doctor, including “pituitary dwarfism” — a stunted-growth condition normally diagnosed in children — and then got numerous prescriptions for the steroids and growth drugs for “which there was no known medical necessity.”

Those charged are James Drew Barnett, 42, and Katia Litton, 42, both FBI agents in the Washington field office; Litton’s husband, FBI agent Matthew Litton, who works for the bureau’s Critical Incident Response Team in northern Virginia; and Ali Sawan, 45, an intelligence analyst with the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters. The FBI did not immediately disclose the status of the four employees, who were arrested today at FBI facilities.

If convicted, each would face up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

To read more click here.

FBI’s Shawn Henry Gets Bureau’s Number 4 Spot

Shawn Henry /fbi photo

Shawn Henry /fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Shawn Henry, who took over in February as head of the FBI’s Washington field office, is returning to headquarters to  fill the number four spot in the bureau, ticklethewire.com has learned.

Henry will take the post of Executive Assistant Director of the Criminal Cyber Response and Services Branch. Prior to going to the Washington field office, he served at headquarters as assistant Director of the Cyber Division.  He’s been with the bureau 21 years.

He replaces Thomas J. Harrington who was recently named to the number three spot at the FBI, replacing Timothy P. Murphy, who moved up to the number two spot.

It was a short reign for Henry at the Washington field office, who is considered a rising star in the bureau.  His replacement at the field office has NOT  been named.

To read his bio click here.