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News Story

Buffalo FBI Agent Shot and Wounded Apparently By Another Agent During Drug Dealer Roundup

A bullet is a bullet, friendly fire or not. It’s one of law enforcement’s biggest nightmares: shooting one of their own.

By Dan Herbeck, Lou Michel and Gene Warner
News Staff Reporters
BUFFALO — An FBI agent was shot early this morning, apparently by another agent, while executing an arrest warrant during a roundup of major drug trafficking suspects on the city’s East Side.

Police would not reveal the agent’s name, the extent of his injuries or his condition after he was shot about 6 a.m. while trying to make an arrest at a house on Coit Street.

But two law enforcement officials who know the agent told The Buffalo News that he was in stable condition after suffering a gunshot wound to his shoulder that was not life-threatening.

The wounded agent was seen sitting up, wearing an oxygen mask, as he was taken by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center, where he was reportedly visited by his wife.
For Full Story

Obama Proposes 3.5% Increase in Justice Dept. Budget

Eric Holder
Eric Holder
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – The Obama adminstration is proposing a 3.5 percent budget increase in fiscal 2010 for the Justice Department to boost enforcement in such areas as civil rights, national security and intelligence, financial fraud  and border controls. The total budget comes to $26.5 billion.
“The President has promised that, from the day he took office, America will have a Justice Department that is truly dedicated to justice,” Atty. General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a prepared statement.

“This budget supports this vital task by investing in our critical law enforcement mission, including protecting Americans from terrorism, fighting financial and mortgage fraud, getting more cops on the beat, reinvigorating civil rights enforcement, and providing essential resources for our prisons.”

A Justice Department press release provides the following details of the funding:

Counters the Threat of Terrorism and Strengthens National Security – Provides $8 billion for the FBI, including $425 million in enhancements, and $88 million for the National Security Division to address the Attorney General’s highest priority – protecting Americans from terrorist acts. Funding supports the detection and disruption of terrorists, counterintelligence, cyber security, and other threats against our national security.

Read more »

A Dead Fish, A Homeland Security Official and a Leave of Absence

The lesson here is: Don’t bring a dead fish to work if it arrives in the mail from an anonymous sender, particularly when it comes with white powder. Then again, maybe it’s just good policy not to bring a dead fish to work. Period!

By Jeff Stein
Spytalk
WASHINGTON –It looks like Maureen McCarthy is dead in the water, at least for the moment.

McCarthy, the DHS bioweapons official who caused a minor sensation earlier this month when she brought a mystery fish and white powder to her downtown office, is “on leave for awhile,” according to a woman answering the phone in her office today.

Asked when she might return, the woman in her office, who did not identify herself, said, “We really don’t know.”

Two other sources familiar with the situation confirmed that McCarthy is on an indefinite leave, with pay.

The fish and unidentified powder had been sent anonymously to the home of McCarthy, who holds a PhD in chemical physics, in early February. She told DHS officials she put the fish and powder into the freezer overnight and brought it to work in the trunk of her car the next morning on the advice of the private security company at her building, according to news reports.
For Full Story

Administration Gives Mixed Signals on Immigration Policy

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief

WASHINGTON — By federal government standards, there has been a veritable frenzy of activity related to immigration at the Department of Homeland Security.

With three high-profile appointments in the last couple of weeks, the Administration has sent mixed signals about the direction it intends to take on immigration policy from a public perspective, as well as how it intends to manage the effort from an internal perspective. Oddly, the mainstream media (other than AP’s Eileen Sullivan) seems to have missed or ignored these developments.

This series of appointments began with the frankly bizarrely titled “Special Adviser for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Detention and Removal” – which is a little like announcing a “Special Adviser for Customs and Border Protection and Border Patrol.” Or a “Special Adviser for Transportation Security Administration and Federal Air Marshals.” Or a “Special Adviser for the Secret Service.” Or a “Special Adviser for the Coast Guard.”

Aren’t these the roles of the heads of agencies in question? Shouldn’t the special adviser on immigration and customs enforcement be, say, the Assistant Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement?

Read more »

U.S. Big Source of Guns For Mexican Drug Cartels

For a long time the U.S. has been highly critical that Mexico hadn’t done enough to curb drug trafficking. But Mexico has a reason to gripe: A lot of guns used by drug cartels come from the U.S.

By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
New York Times
PHOENIX – The Mexican agents who moved in on a safe house full of drug dealers last May were not prepared for the fire power that greeted them.

When the shooting was over, eight agents were dead. Among the guns the police recovered was an assault rifle traced back across the border to a dingy gun store here called X-Caliber Guns.

Now, the owner, George Iknadosian, will go on trial on charges he sold hundreds of weapons, mostly AK-47 rifles, to smugglers, knowing they would send them to a drug cartel in the western state of Sinaloa. The guns helped fuel the gang warfare in which more than 6,000 Mexicans died last year.

Mexican authorities have long complained that American gun dealers are arming the cartels. This case is the most prominent prosecution of an American gun dealer since the United States promised Mexico two years ago it would clamp down on the smuggling of weapons across the border. It also offers a rare glimpse of how weapons delivered to American gun dealers are being moved into Mexico and wielded in horrific crimes.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Informant Infiltrated California Mosques

News of this informant can only make the Islamic community more weary about the FBI. The FBI has made extra efforts to nurture a relationship with the Islamic community, but some efforts have fallen short.

Teresa Watanabe and Scott Glover
Los Angeles Times

As federal authorities press their case against a Tustin man accused of lying about ties to Al-Qaeda, they disclosed this week that some evidence came from an informant who infiltrated Orange County mosques and allegedly recorded the defendant discussing jihad, weapons and plans to blow up abandoned buildings.

On Wednesday, a man who claims to be that informant stepped forward, filing court documents saying that he had served as a confidential informant for the FBI from July 2006 to October 2007 to identify and thwart terrorist operations in the Orange County Islamic community.

The claim by Craig Monteilh, a 46-year-old Irvine resident, that he had been sent by the FBI to infiltrate several Orange County mosques could affect the government’s case against Ahmadullah Sais Niazi.

His allegations highlight recurring issues about the use of informants by law enforcement agencies and have fanned long-held fears by some Muslim leaders about religious profiling.

For Full Story

Homeland Sec. Napolitano Says Helping Mexico Fight Drug Cartels Demands “Utmost Attention”

Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano recognizes the threat of violence from the Mexican drug war poses for the U.S., particularly for border states like Texas and Arizona.

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Aiding the Mexican government’s fight against drug cartels is a top priority that demands the “utmost attention” of U.S. security officials, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said yesterday, announcing new steps aimed at preventing the spillover of violence into the United States.

Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s sweeping crackdown on narco-traffickers has triggered a desperate backlash of violence “of a different degree and level than we’ve ever seen before,” Napolitano said in her first appearance before the House Homeland Security Committee. “It is something that deserves our utmost attention right now,” she said.

Napolitano said she has reached out to national security adviser James L. Jones, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and local and state law enforcement officials to review ways to assist Mexican law enforcement; stop the flow of guns, assault rifles and cash from the United States into Mexico; and identify areas in which more resources might be needed.

For Full Story

Ex-Banker Indicted For Bribery in a Case With Links to Ex-Congresman William Jefferson

Ex-Rep. Jefferson

Ex-Rep. Jefferson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — An ex-official of the Export-Import Bank of the United States in Washington was indicted on charges of taking a $100,000 bribe from Nigerian businessmen in connection with a Kentucky high-tech firm linked to Rep. William Jefferson and his public corruption case.

According to an indictment unsealed Wednesday, Maureen Njideka Edu, 42, of Potomac, Md., worked as a business development specialist covering Africa and was a contact person for Congressman Jefferson.

The indictment, which refers to Jefferson as Representative A, said Jefferson introduced Edu to the Nigerian businessmen who were seeking financing to buy products and services from iGate Inc.,  a  Kentucky firm that offered broadband and cable tv technology . The owner of iGate, Vernon Jackson, pleaded guilty in 2006 to giving  bribes to Congressman Jefferson to land business in Africa.

According to the indictment, the Nigerian businessmen offered to pay Edu $173,500, with an initial installment of $100,000 to secure money from the bank.

On Feb. 27, 2004, a wire transfer was sent to Edu’s personal bank account in Washington, the indictment said. The business deal eventually fell through as a result of disputes between the Nigerian businessmen and the Kentucky firm.

The indictment does not accuse Jefferson of any crimes. Jefferson lost a bid for re-election last year and is awaiting a May trial on public corruption charges in Alexandria, Va.. Judy Smith, spokeswoman for Jefferson, declined to comment last night on the Edu indictment.

Read Indictment