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FBI Arrests 6 in Minneapolis, San Diego in Connection with Terrorism Probe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI terrorism investigation netted six arrests in Minneapolis and San Diego on Sunday.

Information was murky early Monday, but a press conference later in the day is expected to shed light on the charges and allegations.

“There is no threat to public safety,” Ben Petok, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Andy Luger, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Among those arrested were members of Minneapolis’ sizable Somali population.

“The community is in a state of confusion,” Jamal said Sunday night. “They don’t know what is going on. … This is a very serious issue. We as a community are concerned about losing our kids to [ISIL].”

2 Border Patrol Agents Injured in Boat Collision Near U.S-Mexico Border

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two Border Patrol agents were injured Sunday evening when their agency boat and another boat collided on the Rio Grande outside of Anzaldaus Park in Mission, Texas, KRGV reports. 

Both agents were taken to the hospital, one by air, one by ambulance.

“First is the agents’ safety. We want to make sure they’re okay. We want to make sure they have medical attention,” said Chris Cabrera, Border Patrol Union Vice President. Obviously we have some already in the hospital. We want to make sure any injuries that haven’t come up yet get attended to. The other thing is their mental well being….make sure they have somebody to talk to if  need be. Service is really good at making sure the agents have somebody to talk to. However sometimes the agents don’t want to let their guard down until they get around their peers so sometimes we talk to them and make sure they’re ok in that aspect.”

A Border Patrol spokesman said more information will become available Monday.

IG Looking at DEA’s Handling of Informant Payments

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is under examination for its handling of informant payments.

The Department of Justice’s Inspector General probe comes as the DEA spends more money on informants.

The DEA spent $33 million last year on informants but has done a poor job in the past tracking the money, wrote The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

 

Anne Applebaum: What FBI Director James Comey Got Wrong about His Speech on the Holocaust

By Anne Applebaum
Washington Post

The Polish ambassador to Washington has protested, the Polish president has protested, the speaker of the Polish parliament (to whom I am married) has protested — and the U.S. ambassador to Warsaw has apologized profusely. Why? Because James Comey, the director of the FBI, in a speech that was reprinted in The Post arguing for more Holocaust education, demonstrated just how badly he needs it himself.

In two poorly worded sentences, he sounded to Polish readers as if he were repeating the World War II myth that most drives them crazy: Namely, that somehow, those who lived in occupied Eastern Europe shared full responsibility for a German policy. Comey put it like this:

“In their minds, the murderers and accomplices of Germany, and Poland, and Hungary, and so many, many other places didn’t do something evil. They convinced themselves it was the right thing to do, the thing they had to do.”

There are a number of problems with that pair of weak sentences, starting with the vast difference between Germany and the rest. During the war, Germany had a state policy of exterminating the Jews. This policy involved not “accomplices” but hundreds of bureaucrats, tens of thousands of soldiers, train schedules and plans. Germany also encouraged the creation of collaborationist governments in other countries – Vichy France, for example – some of which used their own police officers to send their Jewish citizens into the German death camps.

Germany also occupied Poland, but there was no Polish “Vichy.” During the war, there was no Polish state at all. Indeed, it was the absence of the Polish state that enabled the Germans to create a lawless, violent world, one in which anyone could be arbitrarily murdered, any Jew could be deported — and any Pole who helped a Jew could be shot instantly, along with his entire family. Many were. Millions of others died too – Polish intellectuals, priests and politicians were all Nazi targets.

In the course of the war, most of Poland’s infrastructure, industry and architecture were destroyed. In that atmosphere, many people were frightened by or indifferent to the fate of the Jews, and some murdered in order to avoid being murdered. But that doesn’t mean that “in their minds” they “didn’t do something evil.”

To read more click here.

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Weekend Series on Crime: Murder Inc. Mobsters

FBI Pulls Cybersecurity Expert from Plane After Blowing Whistle on Vulnerabilities

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A cybersecurity expert who recently exposed vulnerabilities in airplane technology systems is now a target of the FBI, Fox News reports.

Chris Roberts, of the Colorado-based security firm One World Labs, said two FBI agents and two uniformed cops removed him from a commercial flight after landing in Syracuse on Wednesday night.

The investigation came just hours after Fox News aired an interview with Roberts in which he said the cyberhacking of planes is possible.

“We can still take planes out of the sky thanks to the flaws in the in-flight entertainment systems. Quite simply put, we can theorize on how to turn the engines off at 35,000 feet and not have any of those damn flashing lights go off in the cockpit.”

Roberts said he thought he was doing the government a favor.

“You have one element in the FBI reaching out to people like me for help, but another element doing a hell of a job burning those bridges,” Roberts said. “Those of us who do threat research are doing it for the right reasons, and we work to build relationships with the intelligence community because we want to help them identify weaknesses before they become a problem.”

The FBI confiscated computer files and electronic devices, Fox News reported.

The FBI declined to comment.

Man Flies Gyrocopter to Lawn of U.S. Capitol Without Being Detected

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Authorities are trying to determine how a small gyrocopter managed to fly unnoticed to the lawn of the Capitol in Washington.

A Florida postal carrier was charged Thursday with crimes related to flying the plane through protected airspace, The Chicago Tribune reports.

Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson said the gyrocopter “literally flew under the radar.”

The suspect is 61-year-old Doug Hughes, who now faces up to four years in prison. He said he pulled the stunt to bring attention to the need for campaign finance reform.

Lawmakers, however, are more interested in learning how his gyrocopter went unnoticed.

No one was injured.

Other Stories of Interest


James Comey: Why I Require FBI Agents to Visit Holocaust Museum

FBI Director James Comey

By James Comey
FBI Director  

I believe that the Holocaust is the most significant event in human history. And I mean “significant” in two different ways.

It is, of course, significant because it was the most horrific display in world history of inhumanity, one that simply defies words and challenges meaning. I was born into an Irish Catholic family in this great, wonderful and safe country, but the Holocaust has always haunted me, and it has long stood as a stumbling block to faith.

How could such a thing be? How is that consistent with the concept of a loving God? How is that in any way reconcilable with the notion of a God with a role in human history? How could there possibly be meaning in life, when so many lives were snuffed out in such a fashion?

I have asked those questions since I was a young teenager. I have asked them my entire life. I asked the same questions standing in the pit at Ground Zero in early 2002. I have asked those questions many times as I have confronted unimaginable suffering and loss.

And I know I am in good company asking such questions. Last month, on a flight home from Eastern Europe, I reread Viktor Frankl’s wrenching “Man’s Search for Meaning,” in which he seeks to find meaning in suffering and loving, among other things.

And going much farther back, back before I was a religious studies major in college, I recalled the voice from the whirlwind in the Book of Job, rebuking us for even asking the question “Why?” “How dare you!” the voice seems to say. “It is not for you to ask, it is not for you to know.”

And yet I ask, as so many of us do. And I still don’t know.

But I do know this: I know it is our duty, our obligation, to make sure some good comes from unimaginable bad. Not so we can comfort ourselves by saying, “Oh, that was worth it then.” That’s nonsense. That would be perverse. It will never be “worth it.”

Instead, I believe it is simply our duty to do that, and I believe this is truth no matter where you come from on a philosophical or religious spectrum. Our obligation is to refuse to let bad win, to refuse to let evil hold the field. As Abraham Lincoln said on a field of unimaginable pain and loss, it is essential “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.” Our resolution does not justify the loss, but we simply cannot be alive and give up.

To read more click here.