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Long, Frustrating Airport Security Lines Costs TSA Security Head His Job

Kelly Hoggan, head of security for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Kelly Hoggan, head of security for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

By Editorial Board
San Francisco Chronicle

Those long airport lines are getting a short answer. The head of security for the Transportation Security Administration is out after a furor over checkpoint delays and management missteps. Fixing the time-wasting mess remains a top priority.

Some of the nation’s busiest airports have become vast waiting rooms with lines snaking down corridors and reports of travelers by the thousands missing flights. The reason is too few security gates plus foot-dragging delays in adding extra staff at the stations.

The ouster of security head Kelly Hoggan is the result. While safety is a priority, so is a dose of efficiency and practicality. Air travel is entering the summer holiday season with families joining business travelers. The TSA hasn’t responded quickly enough.

By one measure, TSA crews have screened 449 million passengers this year, a jump of 57 million over the same period last year. But there are 5,800 fewer security staff than in 2011. This reduction was made on a belief that travelers would pay extra for PreCheck clearance, which allows them to sidestep lines. Sign-ups have fallen short of predictions.

To read more click here. 

Scathing Audit of Clinton’s Use of Private E-Mail Gives Ammo to FBI’s Probe

hillary-clintonBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The scorching audit of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private lends credibility to the FBI’s investigation of the former secretary of state, experts said.

GOP consultant Brad Marston claims the 82-page internal State Department report should make it easier for FBI Director James Comey to recommend charges to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the Boston Herald reports. 

“It gives Comey additional cover,” Marston said, “and makes it easier for the FBI to recommend to the Justice Department to pursue an indictment.”

Republican strategist Ford O’Connell said the report provides evidence of wrongdoing.

“If you’re a neutral arbiter like James Comey, you have to say, ‘Hats off. There’s actual proof,’ ” O’Connell said. “It gives him cover if he wants to pursue charges through the Department of Justice.”

The FBI is still investigating the case but has not yet interviewed Clinton.

Other Stories of Interest

2 FBI Agents Shot, Suspect Killed in Shootout at Suburban Chicago Home

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A gun battle left two FBI agents injured and the suspect dead in suburban Chicago on Tuesday.

The Chicago Tribune reports that an FBI SWAT team swarmed the Park Forest home of Melvin Toran, a reputed high-ranking member of the Black P Stone Nation gang.

The FBI didn’t release details about the shooting, but the agents suffered non-life threatening injuries.

An autopsy on Toran is expected today.

Authorities arrested at least 10 suspects as part of a crack down on narcotics trafficking by gang members.

Hawaii May Be First State to Enter All Gun Owners into FBI Database

gunsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hawaii is poised to become the first state in the nation to enter gun owners into an FBI database.

The Associated Press reports that the database would immediately notify police when a Hawaiian resident is arrested in another state.

In other states, people who are entered into the “Rap Back” database are in “positions of trust,” such as school officials, said Stephen Fischer of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

“I don’t like the idea of us being entered into a database. It basically tells us that they know where the guns are, they can go grab them” said Jerry Ilo, a firearm and hunting instructor for the state. “We get the feeling that Big Brother is watching us.”

Supporters of the law say Hawaii would be safer with the database.

FBI Uses Dogs to Sniff Out Cybercrime by Finding Electronic Components

computer spies2By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Faced with the growing threat of cybercrime, the FBI has turned to dogs to help crack down on computer crimes.

The canines are trained to sniff out electronic components that store data, News12 reports. Some of the components are tiny and hard to find.

“Cybercrime has evolved and is such a threat right now,” says the Newark FBI’s Michael Brodack.

Electronics are growingly important and can help investigators find evidence against suspects.

“It’s the gang member with a cellphone; it’s the terrorist who builds a bomb using electronic components, all of those are devices that Iris (a dog) is trained to detect,” says Phil Frigm, a supervisory special agent in the FBI’s cybercrime division.

Woman Arrested After Hitting Border Patrol Horse in the Face

Karla Banegas-Banegas

Karla Banegas-Banegas

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A woman accused of transporting marijuana also faces a charge of animal cruelty after allegedly punching a horse in the face.

Karla Banegas-Banegas, 29, was with a group of nine people spotted with backpacks along the Barry Goldwater Bombing range in Why, Ariz., about 30 miles north of the Mexican border, AZCentral reports. 

As the group fled, agents caught up with six of the nine suspects.

Banegas-Banegas “punched a USBP horse in the face with a closed fist,” records said. The extent of the horse’s injuries was unknown.

Agents reported finding seven backpacks fun of “green, leafy plant material” that ended up being marijuana.

“The remoteness of the area makes it an ideal place for drug smugglers to attempt to smuggle narcotics into the United States,” court documents said.

Justice Department Seeks Death Penalty for Church Shooter Dylan Roof

Dylann Roof

Dylann Roof

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is seeking the death penalty for Dylan Roof, the man accused of a carefully planned shooting that killed nine parishioners in a Charleston, South Carolina, church last year.

“Following the department’s rigorous review process to thoroughly consider all relevant factual and legal issues, I have determined that the Justice Department will seek the death penalty,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement Tuesday. “The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision.”

The Washington Post reports that federal prosecutors explained why they were pursuing the death sentence, describing the shooting as racially motivated.

Roof “demonstrated a lack of remorse” and targeted a Bible study group to “magnify the societal impact” of the massacre.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Investigates $120,000 in Questionable Donations to Virginia Gov. McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating $120,000 in donations to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s campaign and inauguration.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the donation were made by Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang.

The governor’s attorney said McAuliffe and his staff were unaware of the investigation.

The lawyer, Marc Elias, said “contributions to the campaign from Mr. Wang were completely lawful. The governor will certainly cooperate with the government if he is contacted about it.’’

Wang’s companies also have donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.