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Border Patrol Agents Track Down Horses Used to Smuggle Drugs into U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Drug smugglers are known to use boats, tunnels and other means to bring drugs across the U.S. border.

On Sunday night, Border Patrol agents captured two horses that were helping smuggle packs of marijuana across the border near Sasabe.

Agents spotted two people on horseback illegally crossing the border, triggering a field and air operation.

When the smugglers saw a helicopter approaching, they abandoned their hoses and ran back across the Mexican border.

The horses were lugging about 100 pounds of marijuana.

Security Experts Harshly Criticized Donald Trump’s Response to Terrorism in Brussels

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After the terrorist attacks in Brussels on Tuesday morning, Donald Trump made a series of statements that have confirmed the suspicions of many terrorism experts: The Republican frontrunner’s rhetoric doesn’t translate well into good foreign policy.

That’s what many security experts said following a day full of comments from Trump, The Washington Post reports. 

Just hours after the bombings, Trump was asked what he would do if he were the president.

“I would close up our borders to people until we figure out what’s going on,” Trump said Tuesday morning on Fox News. “We have to be smart in the United States. We’re taking in people without real documentation, we don’t know where they’re coming from, we don’t know what they’re — where they’re from, who they are.”

On NBC’s Today, Trump said he would use waterboarding and other torture techniques to gather information.

“Frankly, the waterboarding, if it was up to me, and if we changed the laws or had the laws, waterboarding would be fine,” Trump told Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer when asked about what techniques he favored. “If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding. You have to get the information from these people.”

Security experts responded with harsh criticism.

Michael Chertoff, who served as secretary of homeland security under George W. Bush, said Trump’s ideas were “preposterous.”

“First of all, we have a much, much tougher refugee program than the Europeans have,” Chertoff said. “The problem the Europeans have is people showed up on their doorstep — hundreds of thousands, coming directly from the region. That does not happen in the U.S. We check people very carefully before we admit them as refugees.”

Terrorism expert Malcom Nance said Trump’s heated rhetoric was endangering U.S. intelligence and armed forces.

“Donald Trump right now is validating the cartoonish view that they [Islamist militant groups] tell their operatives and that they tell their terrorists,” Nance said. “That the United States is a racist nation, xenophobic, anti-Muslim, and that that’s why you must carry out terrorist attacks against them.”

U.S. Warns Travelers of ‘Near-Term’ Attacks in Europe After Terrorism in Brussels

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. authorities have issued a warning to Americans traveling to Europe that “near-term” attacks are possible throughout the continent.

“Terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation,” said the State Department alert, which expires on June 20, reports ABC News. 

“U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation.”

The warning urged Americans to take caution “during religious holidays and at a large festivals or events.”

The TSA also is beefing up security at major city airports and at rail and transit stations nationwide following the attacks in Brussels on Tuesday.

Homeland Security officials said there are “no specific, credible intelligence of any plot to conduct similar attacks here in the United States.”

“That said, we remain very focused on the threat posed by lone terrorist actors who may lack direct connection to a foreign terrorist organization,” said DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson in a statement.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI’s Battle with Apple is Polarizing Public Opinion After Neither Side Budges

Apple logoBy Nelson Granados
Forbes

Alongside the battle in the courts over the demand by the FBI that Apple unlock the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone, there is also a public relations battle. Public opinion is pretty split on the matter. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center shows 51% of those surveyed support unlocking the phone, while 38% are against it. Why is it such a polarizing topic?

It doesn’t help that Apple and the FBI are sticking to their respective arguments without acknowledging that the outcome can impact both privacy and the safety of the public. Apple has put forth a strong claim in favor of privacy, while the government claims it is just trying to do justice by unlocking the iPhone of a terrorist.

For this legal battle, in which the court of public opinion plays a role, these polarizing positions are to be expected. You may hear more polarizing statements on Monday as Apple announces its latest product updates, and as the evidentiary hearing on this case unfolds on Tuesday. For example, on Monday’s announcement of the 4-inch iPhone, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook stated: “We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and over our privacy.” Here’s hoping you won’t buy into these unilateral positions, for your own sake.

To read more click here. 

Feds: Former FBI Agent Lied Numerous Times at ‘Whitey’ Bulger Trial

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent tried to enhance his image with a series of lies during testimony at the James “Whitey” Bulger trial, federal prosecutors said in court filings Monday.

Robert Fitzpatrick, who was charged with a dozen counts of perjury and obstruction of justice last year, claimed he found the rife used to kill Martin Luther King Jr.

“During his two days of sworn testimony at the Bulger trial, Fitzpatrick lied repeatedly,” the filing states.

“Much of his false testimony related to Fitzpatrick’s role in the Bulger saga; however, he also made several false statements about his career in the FBI in order to enhance his own credibility on the key issue of Bulger’s defense — FBI corruption and government misconduct,” the filing says. “One of the ways in which Fitzpatrick attempted to enhance his credibility was by falsely claiming he found the Ray rifle and he pursued James Earl Ray at the crime scene.”

The FBI said there’s no evidence that Fitzpatrick discovered the rifle used to kill King when he was assassinated in Memphis in 1968.

Supreme Court Declines to Consider Case Involving Random Detention of Motorists Near U.S. Borders

US_Supreme_CourtBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Supreme Court on Monday announced it would not consider a case involving limits on random detention of motorists within 100 miles of a border.

The case involves an Air Force officer, Richard Rynearson, who was detained for 34 minutes at a Border Patrol checkpoint in Uvalde County, Texas, despite authorities having no suspicion that he was an undocumented immigrant or criminal, Reason.com reports. 

In a 1976 decision in the United States v. Martinez Fuerte, the Supreme Court concluded random stops at immigration checkpoints did not violate the Fourth Amendment.

The justices reasoned that each stop “involves only a brief detention of travelers” during which “all that is required of the vehicle’s occupants is a response to a brief question or two and possibly the production of a document evidencing a right to be in the United States.”

The court had said “the average length of an investigation in the secondary inspection area is three to five minutes.”

FBI, Secret Service Investigate Threatening Letter Sent to Donald Trump’s Sister

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Secret Service are investigating a threatening letter received by the Donald Trump’s sister, who is a federal appeal court judge in Philadelphia.

Maryanne Trump Barry, 78, received the letter on Friday, Metro reports. 

Authorities also are investigating a letter sent to Trump’s son, Eric Trump, who found a granular substance in the delivery.

The letter to Trump’s sister did not contain water powder but demanded that Trump drop out of the presidential race.

DEA: Flight Attendant Fled After Trying to Smuggle Nearly 70 Pounds of Cocaine

Cocaine-jpgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is on the hunt for an airline employee accused of trying to smuggle nearly 70 pounds of what appears to be cocaine onto a plane.

The flight attendant was pulled aside for a random screening last week at Los Angeles International Airport, KRCA reports. 

The female fight attendant fled, leaving behind luggage filled with cocaine, according to the union for LAX police officers.

The union said the case underscores why everyone should be screened before entering an airport.

“LAX is the top West Coast terrorist target and has been the site of airport employees smuggling drugs aboard aircrafts and other criminal activities,” the statement said. “100 percent screening has the potential to stop an ‘insider’ or ‘lone wolf’ terrorist attack and to help decrease the opportunities for airport employees to commit crimes.”

Other Stories of Interest