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Ex-D.C. U.S. Atty Joe diGenova Back in the Limelight

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The once-high profile D.C. U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova who went on to private practice, is stepping back into the limelight.

To avoid the appearance of any conflicts, Maricopa County Prosecutor Andrew Thomas has appointed diGenova and his wife Victoria Toensing to prosecute county supervisor Don Stapley, the Arizona Republic reports.

The couple will have access to a grand jury to prosecute the county supervisor on charges of fraud, perjury and theft, the paper reports.

As U.S. Attorney from 1983 to 1988, phoenix-map his office dealt with such high profile cases as Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard and John Hinckley, who shot President Reagan.

His wife is a former Justice Department attorney and former counsel to Sen. Barry Goldwater.

The Man Who Helped Develop Bio-Sniffing System After Anthrax Attacks

The anthrax attacks came as the second punch after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The postal service has taken steps to address the threat and so have some major cities. The question now is: What else needs to be done?

Anthrax letter sent to Sen. Daschle/fbi photo

Anthrax letter sent to Sen. Daschle/fbi photo

Steve Sternberg
USA Today

A ringing telephone startled Tom Slezak from a sound sleep. It was 1 a.m. on Oct. 6, 2001. The caller gave Slezak three hours to pack for a chilling, top-secret mission: to protect Washington, D.C., and other U.S. cities from a major bioterror attack.

For all Slezak knew, an attack had begun. Hours earlier, a Florida photo editor named Bob Stevens had died after inhaling anthrax powder sent by mail, jolting a nation that was still reeling from the 9/11 hijackings. At the time, the scope of the anthrax attacks that eventually killed five people and sickened 17 others wasn’t clear.

Slezak got the call because he helped pioneer the genetic analysis of biological agents at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. Today, eight years after the anthrax attacks, the system Slezak’s research team started, known as BioWatch, is quietly operating in more than 30 cities.

For Full Story

Fed Judge Orders Man Who Videotaped ESPN Reporter Naked to Ankle Bracelet and No Internet

If there were the Creep of the Year Award given out , this guy would be vying for it with the guy who tried to blackmail David Letterman. Tough choice.

Erin Andrews/ espn photo

Erin Andrews/ espn photo

By Jeff Coen
Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO — A federal judge on Monday ordered an electronic ankle bracelet and no Internet for the suburban man accused of stalking and secretly videotaping ESPN reporter Erin Andrews.

Michael David Barrett, 47, of Westmont sat quietly in federal court in Chicago in his orange prison jumpsuit, his short hair graying around his temples. The traveling insurance salesman had whispered conversations with his lawyer but never turned toward the roomful of reporters at the bond hearing.

He was later released from the downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center on his own recognizance after being outfitted with the electronic monitoring device.

For Full Story

FBI Probing Whether Tex Gov’s Campaign Website Was Hacked

Tex. Gov. Rick Perry/official photo

Tex. Gov. Rick Perry/official photo

To be honest, as dirty as politics is, I’m surprised there hasn’t been more of this type of activity.

By JAY ROOT
Associated Press

The FBI confirmed Monday it is investigating whether hackers disrupted a live webcast on Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign Web site last week during a re-election announcement.

“The FBI confirms that it is conducting a preliminary inquiry into the possibility that an intentional intrusion was conducted on the governor’s computer from out of state,” said Erik Vasys, a spokesman for the FBI in San Antonio. “The FBI considers this a hacking event with unknown origin at this time.”

The webcast was to have been streamed from a closed event at the San Antonio headquarters of Holt Caterpillar last Tuesday.

For Full Story

Like Plot out of “24”, FBI Agent Says Suspected Teen Terrorist Made Video and Researched Detonating Bomb With Cell Phone

dallas-map1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Down in Dallas, the story behind the Jordanian teenager who wanted to blow up a skyscraper is beginning to sound more and more like a plot out of the popular Fox Tv show “24”.

The Dallas Morning News reports that an FBI agent testified that the teen had researched how to detonate a bomb with a cell phone and made a 7-minute video, which he thought would end up in the hands of Osama bin Laden.

To read more about this wild plot, click here.

Big 3 in Law Enforcement Send Message to Police Chief Convention in Denver: “We’ve Got Your Back”

police-chief-logo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
DENVER— The Big Three of Federal Law Enforcement — Attorney Gen. Eric Holder, FBI Dir. Robert Mueller III and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano– rolled into this western town and delivered speeches Monday morning to a roomful of receptive police chiefs who gave them standing ovations.

There wasn’t anything particularly breathtaking or moving about the speeches. But there was a message the Washington honchos  wanted to send, and perhaps Atty.  Gen. Holder summed it up it best when he told the group at the 116th Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference: “We’ve got your back.”

FBI Dir. Mueller echoed similar sentiments while serving up some self-deprecating humor about the himself as well as the FBI and its image as being hogs of the limelight.

He said he hoped he’d had some success over the years addressing that issue on the limelight. (Though truth be told, there are still plenty complaints from other agencies like ATF and DEA that the FBI doesn’t always want to share the ball, so to speak, during the game.)

And he said of cooperation:

“Regardless of the threat, whether criminal or terrorist, we face the same challenges you do. We need to know where any given threat is moving, and we need to get there first.”

Read more »

Terrorist Nearing Ability to Launch Major Cyberattacks in U.S.

More often than not, when we think of terrorist attacks we think of bombings and biological threats. But cyber attacks are no laughing matter. They could shut down commerce and create major chaos.

computer1
By Jill R. Aitoro
nextgov

The biggest threat to U.S. computer networks is terrorist organizations that will purchase software code from cybercriminals to penetrate sensitive systems, a possibility that could be just a few years away, information security and former intelligence officials said on Friday.

Although enemy states often are blamed for cyberattacks against the United States, it is not common because political and financial repercussions dissuade most countries from launching a widespread effort, James Woolsey, a former CIA director, said during a panel discussion at the International Spy Museum. The talk was part of the launch of a new gallery on cyber threats.

For Full Story

Police Chiefs Convention Adopts Community Watch Program for Terrorism

It’s good to use people in the community to help look for suspicious activities. But this, as agencies like the FBI have learned in the Post 9/11 era, can create an endless stream of worthless tips. Too much encouragement may create endless busy work. FBI Director Robert Mueller III is scheduled to speak at the conference later today.  It will be interesting to see if he addresses this particular issue.police-chief-logo

By EILEEN SULLIVAN and P. SOLOMON BANDA
Associated Press
DENVER — A store clerk’s curiosity about why Najibullah Zazi was buying large quantities of beauty supply products indicated that something about the transaction wasn’t quite right – and it’s an example of the kind of citizen vigilance that can combat terror, a police commander said Saturday.

Los Angeles police Cmdr. Joan McNamara cited this summer’s incident as police chiefs meeting in Denver adopted a model for a nationwide community watch program that teaches people what behavior is truly suspicious and encourages them to report it to police.

For Full Story