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TSA Could Use Controversial Scanner For Car Bombs

A scanner used to check passengers at airports could be used by TSA to check for car bombs, but some say it may be too intrusive.

By Thomas Frank
USA TODAY
A controversial new X-ray technology is being tested that could stop potential terrorists from blowing up a car bomb at one of the nation’s airports, homeland security officials say.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is running a test at a North Carolina ferry terminal of a 21-foot-high arch-like machine that shoots low-intensity X-rays at cars as they pass through. The photos show whether explosives or drugs might be in the car.
The technology, called backscatter X-ray, is in use at several airports to screen passengers. Privacy advocates have denounced scanning people as invasive because the X-rays can see through clothes.
For Full Story

FBI Director Faces Hill Skeptics On Anthrax

FBI director Robert Mueller faced a skeptical Congress Tuesday
when he assured members that the anthrax case would still get a thorough review. Some people still wonder whether the FBI got the right guy.

 

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON –FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told skeptical lawmakers yesterday that the bureau will enlist an expert panel to assess the quality of scientific evidence in its widespread anthrax investigation.
Deflecting calls for a special congressional inquiry, bureau leaders are reaching out to the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate the advanced genetic tests that investigators used to trace lethal anthrax spores back to a single flask in an Army lab at Fort Detrick, Md.
For Full Story
For Full Text of Mueller’s Statement On The Hill

ATF Adds A New Nose To Its Team

ATF in Chicago is getting an added nose for sniffing out crime: A dog.

Mike Robinson
The Chicago Sun-Times
CHICAGO –Meet Chris. He has a nose for trouble.
The frisky yellow Labrador retriever is the newest sleuth to join the crime-fighting team in the Chicago office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
With his sensitive and highly-trained nose, Chris doesn’t just sniff out a hidden bomb. He finds where explosives used to be stored — even after they have been removed.

For Full Story

Mueller Goes Up To The Hill To Talk Anthrax

Mueller/fbi photo

Mueller/fbi photo

FBI director Robert Mueller III is up on the Hill today to explain the anthrax case against scientist Bruce E. Ivins, who committed suicide before any charges were filed. The case relies heavily on circumstantial evidence, which has created a stew of critics.

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer 
WASHINGTON — The strength of the government’s evidence against Bruce E. Ivins, who died before prosecutors publicly labeled him the lone culprit in the 2001 anthrax-by-mail attacks, will be tested anew today when FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III appears before the House Judiciary Committee.
Authorities have released scores of pages from search warrants that they executed in an attempt to link Ivins, a bioweapons researcher at the Army lab at Fort Detrick, Md., to poison-laced letters that killed five people and sickened 17.

For Full Story

Feds Say Ex-FBI Agent Acted Like Gangster

John Connolly/wbztv

John Connolly/wbztv

On the opening day of trial in Miami, prosecutors portrayed ex-Boston FBI agent John Connolly as another member of the Whitey Bulger gang who was responsible for murder. Meanwhile, Bulger remains a fugtive.

Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe Staff
MIAMI – A jury of Floridians was introduced yesterday to Boston’s most notorious gangsters, a dizzying array of slayings, Byzantine betrayals, and a glimpse of a scandal involving the FBI’s handling of informants, as testimony began in the trial of former FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. on murder charges.
A federal prosecutor from Boston portrayed Connolly as a corrupt agent who recruited gangster James “Whitey” Bulger as an informant and then became “just another member of the gang” and leaked sensitive information that provoked the 1982 slaying of Boston business consultant John B. Callahan.

For Full Story

FBI Says U.S. Crime Slightly Down

The FBI reported that crime in 2007 declined a bit including murder and other violent acts. 

By Solomon Moore
New York Times
Violent crime declined slightly in 2007, reversing a two-year rise, and property crimes declined for a fifth straight year, an annual national survey released on Monday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation found.
The survey, the Uniform Crime Report, compiled crime data from more than 17,700 law enforcement agencies, which reported 1,408,337 violent crimes, a decrease of 0.7 percent from 2007. Violent crimes include murder, manslaughter, rape and assault; all four of those types of crime decreased.

For Full Story

FBI Casts Wide Net in Maryland Raids

Thomas Hendershot/official photo

Thomas Hendershot/official photo

The FBI apparently raided more than originally reported, hitting the homes of a former council member and high ranking firefighter as part of a public corruption probe into development in Prince George’s County.

By Rosalend Helderman and Nelson Hernandez
Washington Post Staff Writers
GREENBELT, Md. — An FBI sweep across Prince George’s County on Saturday included raids on the homes of a former county council member and a high-ranking official with the county fire department, part of a federal investigation into a massive development project near the Greenbelt Metro station, a law enforcement source and neighbors said yesterday.
The searches of houses belonging to former council member Thomas R. Hendershot and Fire Department Lt. Col. Karl L. Granzow Jr. came on the same morning that teams of agents visited two county government buildings armed with search warrants and grand jury subpoenas seeking information on a lengthy list of lobbyists and developers, according to a source with knowledge of the documents.

For Full Story

Federal Judge Fires Off The Last Shot In Controversy


CHICAGO — The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a federal judge threw out a lawsuit that had shut down the FBI’s shooting range in North Chicago.
The paper said an environmental group had filed the suit and complained that the gun range sent bullets into a nearby park and into a lake. The FBI voluntarily closed the facility earlier this year to study any issues, but it will one day reopen after some improvements, the paper said.
   The paper quoted Chicago’s top FBI agent Robert Grant as saying: “We are careful stewards of our property and take great care in ensuring it is safely operated for guests, employees, neighbors and the environment.”