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FBI Changing How it Assigns Agents to Handle Cyberattacks As Crackdown Intensifies

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the FBI steps up its crackdown on cyberattacks, the FBI is changing how it assigns agents to handle the crimes.

The Hill reports that the bureau will stop assigning agents to cyber crimes based on the location of the victim.

Instead, the most talented FBI divisions will handle the most serious cyberattacks, FBI Director James Comey said.

“Notions of traditional ‘my division, your division’ don’t really make sense in that environment,” Comey said at the Overseas Security Advisory Council annual briefing on Wednesday.

“For the first time at the FBI, we’re going to approach cyber by not being bound to traditional notions of area of responsibility,” he explained.

Each threat, Comey said, will be examined for its dangers and then will be assigned to up to four regional field offices to help the local hacking victims.

Comey said it’s a work-in-progress, and he’s open to suggestions.

“We’re going to try that,” he said. “We want to get feedback.”

Other Stories of Interest

Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Killed, Another Injured in 2-Car Crash in Texas

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An off-duty Border Patrol agent was killed and another injured in a two-car accident Thursday morning near Laredo, Texas.

The San Antonio Express-News reports that the agents were driving near the Cotulla station at 1:40 a.m. when a car traveling the wrong way crashed into them.

The collision killed a six-year veteran of the agency. Another agent was taken to the hospital by helicopter, and his condition was unknown at the time.

Border Patrol didn’t release the identities of the agents.

Border Patrol Agents Find $1M Worth of Cocaine in Single Bust of Mexican Man

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

This was not your ordinary drug bust.

Border Patrol agents found more than $1 million worth of cocaine in a car driven by a 25-year-old Mexican man, Breitbart reports.

The man was crossing the Pharr International Bridge when agents stopped him for a secondary inspection.

Agents found 15 packages of cocaine weighing more than 37 pounds.

“Excellent teamwork from our frontline officers contributed to this significant seizure of hard narcotics,” CBP Port Director Efrain Solis Jr. said. “The ability to detect inconsistencies and anomalies with travelers and vehicles is how every smuggling interception is initiated and ultimately how drugs are kept from being introduced into our communities.”

President Obama to Unveil New Immigration Plan Tonight During Speech on TV

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama plans to reveal his plan today to overhaul the immigration system in what is likely to set off a contentious debate with Republicans, CNN reports.

Obama’s plan will involve new rules for deportations, a move that will have ramifications for millions of undocumented immigrants.

Obama is expected to announce the deferment of deportation for the parents of U.S. citizens.

“Everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken. Unfortunately, Washington has allowed the problem to fester for far too long,” Obama said in a video posted on his Facebook page Wednesday. “And so what I’m going to be laying out is the things that I can do with my lawful authority as President to make the system work better, even as I continue to work with Congress to encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem.”

Obama is taking action with an executive order, as opposed to waiting for Congress.

Obama will address the nation live during a speech at 8 p.m. tonight.

New ‘One-of-a-Kind’ Homeland Security Policy Center to Open in Oklahoma City

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Oklahoma law school is creating a national center for homeland security law and policy, the Associated Press reports.

The new Judge Alfred P. Murrah Center for Homeland Security Law and Policy is being established at the Oklahoma City University of Law.

“This will be a one-of-a-kind center that will be a national resource for legal analysis and policy for our country’s homeland security issues, especially in regard to domestic terrorism,” Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb said.

The center’s advisory board will be chaired by former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating and John Whitley, a former general counsel for Homeland Security.

The center’s launch will take place on the 20th anniversary of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in April.

“Because of this event in our history and the way in which our city has rebuilt in these two decades since, we are uniquely positioned to help our nation and members of the private sector confront these issues,” said Josh Snavely, dean for advancement and external relations at the law school.

Other Stories of Interest


FBI Tracking Nearly 150 Americans Who Recently Traveled to Syria, Possibly to Fight

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is monitoring nearly 150 Americans who traveled to Syria recently and may have joined armed groups, Reuters reports.

FBI Director James Comey said he’s worried that Americans may return to the U.S. with training and connections to launch a terrorist attack on the homeland.

“We have tracked coming up on close to 150 people who traveled from the United States to Syria, for all manner of motivations. A significant number of them to fight,” he told reporters at a briefing in Boston.

“We are determined not to allow future lines to be drawn from a terrorist diaspora out of Syria to a future 9/11,” he said.

The FBI’s biggest concern is Americans who are joining Islamic State because of effective recruitment campaigns on the internet.

“There we see somewhere in excess of a dozen (Americans who have joined Islamic State) that we have a pretty good handle on,” Comey said. “I don’t have high confidence that I see the entire universe,” he added.

Debt Collectors Accused of Impersonating Federal Authorities to Get People to Pay Up

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Employees of a debt collection company in Georgia are accused of impersonating FBI, Justice Department and local police officials to get thousands of people to pay up, the Guardian reports.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the employees of Williams, Scott and Associates illegally collected debts from 6,000 people and are now facing criminal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The employees face up to 20 years in prison.

After buying the debt for a few cents on the dollar, the company began collecting the money from 6,000 people after saying they were investigators. The employees collected $4.1 million this year, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

“After years of threatening false arrest, these defendants are the ones who now find themselves in handcuffs,”  said US attorney for the southern district of New York Preet Bharara in a statement.

Were Police in Ferguson Heavy-Handed During Response to Protests? Justice Department Investigates

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has launched a review of the police response to 16 days of Ferguson protests in wake of the fatal shooting of an unarmed teen, CNN reports.

The review will examine the handling of crowd control, protesters and the media.

The task will be undertaken by a 12-person team that will include Justice Department officials and current and former police chiefs.

The assessment started last week.

Attorney General Eric Holder has criticized the police response, which has been widely considered heavy-handed.

The review comes as law enforcement braces for the outcome of the grand jury that will decide whether to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.