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Orlando Shooter Told Police He Wanted Bombings in Iraq, Syria to End

Omar Mateen

Omar Mateen

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After shooting his way through an Orlando nightclub, Omar Mateen told authorities in a series of phone calls that he wanted the bombing in Syria and Iraq to stop, according to a partial transcript of the gunman’s phone calls during a standoff.

The partial transcript and timeline of the shooting show Mateen shot his way through Pulse for six minutes. When backup officers arrived, he retreated to the bathroom and barricaded himself with a group of hostages, the Orlando Sentinel reports. 

The shooting started at 2:02 a.m. as Mateen exchanged gunfire with an officer, who retreated and called for backup. Six minutes later, backup arrived and began firing at Mateen from within the club.

At some point, the gunfire stopped until about 5:15 a.m., when Mateen was hot by police.

It’s not yet clear whether police inadvertently shot innocent people.

Asked whether police wounded any hostages, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said on Monday, “That’s all part of the investigation, but here’s what I will tell you: Those killings are on the suspect and the suspect alone, in my mind. All our officers acted heroically, as they were trained, and under the circumstances, did an unbelievable job.”

FBI Director Warn Bureau to Be Prepared for ‘Second-Guessing’ after Orlando Shooting

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey defended the bureau’s handling of Omar Mateen before the Orlando nightclub massacre, but warned of a “fair amount of second-guessing about our work.”

“We have taken a pretty close look at our prior contact with the Orlando killer,” Comey said in the message, which was relayed to ABC News. “At this time, it sure looks to me like our folks did what they are supposed to do. But, as we always do, we will take a deep look back to see what we can learn.”

Comey also noted “the irony” of recent reports, with some suggesting the FBI is too aggressive on terrorism and others suggesting the bureau isn’t aggressive enough.

“How did this terrible thing happen? That’s part of who we are as a people, and it can be a good thing if focused on continually finding ways to improve processes, tools, or authorities,” Comey wrote in his message on Wednesday. “Of course, the desire to fix sometimes morphs into an unproductive search for people or institutions to blame, and can reflect a certain national naivete about whether bad things can really be avoided in all situations. And the risk of it becoming unproductive is particularly high in polarized political environments. But I choose to see our second-guessing culture as a healthy part of our remarkable national identity. So please, don’t let second-guessing throw you.”

Border Patrol Goes Outside Ranks to Choose FBI Veteran As New Leader

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By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Border Patrol will be lead by an FBI veteran, a departure from choosing from within the ranks.

The Associated Press reports that Mark Morgan will head the agency.

Choosing Morgan to lead the Border Patrol is not a reflection of the agency’s lack of confidence in the current leadership or performance of the agency, said Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gill Kerilowske.

“In the case of the Border Patrol, the current leadership across the top, from headquarters to the field, consists of the finest group of men and women that I have worked with in my more than 40 years in law enforcement,” Kerlikowske wrote in a memo to staff.

Morgan, 50, has experience with the Border Patrol. He served as acting assistant commissioner for internal affairs in 2014.

Todd McCall Named Assistant Director of FBI’s Operational Technology Division

Todd McCall

Todd McCall

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Todd McCall, special agent in charge of the Memphis FBI, has been named  assistant director for the bureau’s Operational Technology Division.

McCall joined the FBI in 1990 and began his career in the Dallas Division.

He served on the Dallas Division’s Evidence Response Team and was involved in the management of the investigations of the Oklahoma City bombing and the Sept. 11, 2001 crash of United Air Lines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa., the FBI said in a press release.

He’s  held leadership positions at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Va. and  in Tennessee.

 

Laura Bucheit Named Assistant Director of FBI’s Security Division

Laura Bucheit

Laura Bucheit

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Laura Bucheit, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s  Las Vegas office, has been named assistant director for the Security Division.

Bucheit joined the FBI in 1996 and began her career in the Baltimore Division, where she conducted investigations into terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and criminal violations, the FBI said. She was also the Baltimore Division’s first female SWAT team member and the second certified female sniper in FBI history.

Throughout her career, Bucheit has held leadership positions in the Criminal Investigative Division, the Las Vegas Division, the Inspection Division, the San Francisco Division, the FBI said in a press release. She also served special assistant to former FBI Director Mueller.

She begins the post in mid-July.

Bernie Sanders Is Costing Taxpayers $38,000 a Day for Secret Service Protection

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Bernie Sanders’ refusal to leave the presidential race is costing taxpayers $38,000 a day for Secret Service protection, the Washington Post reports. 

Sanders said he wants to stay in the race to help shape the party’s platform, which happens at the Democratic National Convention next month.

“He’s still a candidate for president, so we continue to protect him,” one agent said. 

Four presidential candidates received Secret Service protection this year: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Sanders.

House Homeland Security Committee to Investigate FBI’s Response to Orlando Shooter

Rep. Michael McCaul

Rep. Michael McCaul

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul said his committee will hold overnight hearings to determine whether the FBI could have done more to investigate the Orlando shooter before the massacre, ABC News reports.

“There are some disturbing flags going up in this case that we’re going to take a close look at,” the Texas Republican said on ABC’s “This Week,” adding, “The FBI tells me they didn’t have predication to detain or arrest” the alleged shooter, Omar Mateen, in its prior investigations of him.

“We do know he was on the radar several times saying he had affiliations with al Qaeda, terrorist organizations. We know he was close or attended the same mosque with the suicide bomber in Syria out of Florida,” McCaul said.

McCaul cautioned of future attacks.

“This will not be the last attack in the United States. I’m certain that there is another individual like Mateen out there who is radicalizing as we speak,” he said.

FBI Plans to Release Transcript of Orlando Shooters’ Conversation with Police

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI plans to release a printed, partial transcript today of the conversations between the police and the gunman who opened fire at the Orlando nightclub.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch made the announcement Sunday on several news shows.

ABC News reports that Lynch wants to build a complete profile of gunman Omar Matteen to help prevent future attacks.

“As you can see from this investigation, we are going back and learning everything we can about this killer, about his contacts, people who may have known him or seen him. And we’re trying to build that profile so that we can move forward,” Lynch said.

Lynch plan to meet with investigators Tuesday in Orlando.