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Tag: arson

Violent Crime Increased Nationwide in First Half of 2015, FBI Reports

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Violent crimes in the U.S. increased in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period last year, according to preliminary FBI data.

Local law enforcement reported to the bureau a 1.7% increase in violent crimes in the first six months of 2015. Murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery rose nationwide, while arson and burglary declined.

“While the overall violent crime rates remain historically low, and it is too early to draw any long-term conclusions, the Justice Department is acutely focused on the increases being experienced in some communities of the country,” Justice Department spokesman Patrick Rodenbush told CBS News. “While the overall violent crime rates remain historically low, and it is too early to draw any long-term conclusions, the Justice Department is acutely focused on the increases being experienced in some communities of the country,” said Justice Department spokesman Patrick Rodenbush.

Despite the increase, the violent crime rate is still far below what it was 20 years ago.

ATF Arrests Man Accused of Setting Fire to Houston Mosque on Christmas Day

Gary Nathaniel Moore

Gary Nathaniel Moore

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities arrested a man accused of setting a Houston mosque on fire on Christmas Day, Houston Public Media reports. 

ATF isn’t sure what motivated Gary Nathaniel Moore, 37, to commit arson at the mosque.

Moore told authorities that he worshipped at the mosque.

At this time, there is no evidence of a hate crime, authorities said.

Moore was charged with one felony count of arson at a place of worship.

Other Stories of Interest

Blaze That Tore Through Mosque in Houston Was Intentionally Set, Officials Said

Detroit fire lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Christmas Day fire at a mosque in Texas was intentionally set, investigators told The Source.

The two-alarm blaze tore the Savory Mosque in Houston at 2:45 p.m., causing significant damage.

No injuries were reported because about 200 people left the mosque about an hour before the arson fire.

The investigation is being handled by the ATF, FBI and Houston police.

Other Stories of Interest

ATF Investigates Rash of Arsons at Black Churches Near Ferguson

ATF LogoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF investigators are searching for a suspect they believe is responsible for setting six black churches on fire near Ferguson, the New York Daily News reports. 

The arsons began on Oct. 8, with the most recent occurring this weekend.

ATF stopped short of saying the motive was racial or religious.

“We believe this fire-setting activity is meant to send a message,” ATF spokesperson John Ham wrote in a statement announcing a $2,000 reward Tuesday. “We believe this activity may be the result of stress experienced in the subject’s life.”

No one was inside the churches when they were set afire.

“This is a spiritually sick person,” Rev. David Triggs, a pastor with the New Life Missionary, said.

Other Stories of Interest

Violent Crime Declined Modestly Nationwide, FBI Report Says

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Violent crime dropped nationwide in 2014, according to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report.

While the .2% decline is modest, the report shows fewer murders than any year since 2009. Robbery, burglary, theft and arson also have declined, CNN reports. 

Some cities, however, saw spikes in murders: Baltimore, Milwaukee and Washington.

“We have witnessed a remarkable drop in crime since the 1980’s — both violent crime and crime overall. Entire cities have been transformed, unlocking tremendous potential and releasing a wave of prosperity,” Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates said, adding that “even though crime is trending downward in most places, we are seeing pockets of rising violence in various locations across the country.”

FBI Warns of Threats, Attacks Targeting Planned Parenthood After Release of Videos

Planned ParenthoodBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has issued warnings about possible attacks against Planned Parenthood employees after undercover videos were released by the Center for Medial Progress, 9 News reports. 

The videos, which show doctors discussing the costs of fetal tissue, has incensed anti-abortion activists.

The memo warned of nine incidents, ranging from arson to cyber attacks.

After threats to a Denver physician, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains said the organization has “increased security measures over the last couple of months to ensure both our patients and staff continue to be completely safe.”

“it is likely criminal and suspicious incidents against Planned Parenthood will continue to occur in response to the release of future videos,” the FBI warned in the memo.

Top Justice Department Officials Accused of Misconduct in ATF Case

Jay Dobyns/his website

Jay Dobyns/his website

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Top Justice Department officials are accused of withholding information from a judge about irregularities in a lawsuit against the ATF, The Arizona Republic reports, citing recently unsealed documents.

The case involves retired ATF agent Jay Dobyns, who alleges the ATF failed to properly investigate an intentional fire at his Tucson house in 2008 and failed to protect him and his family against death threats.

Unsealed documents suggest that top Justice Department officials failed to provide e-mails that show that a DOJ attorney tried to prevent the re-opening of a botched arson investigation.

Other records also indicate that one of the DOJ officials met with subordinates to determine whether they should tell the judge about a possible threat made to an internal-affairs agent in the case.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI: Fire Not Intentionally Set in Church Previously Burned by KKK

greeleyville_scBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Authorities were immediately suspicious when fire broke out inside a black church that the KKK had burned down in South Carolina 20 years ago.

After all, the fire came amid a string of suspicious fires at black churches following the shooting at Charleston’s historic African Methodist Episcopal Church less than a week earlier.

But the Associated Press reports that the FBI does not believe the fire was the work of an arsonist, according to an agent who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The fire broke out Tuesday evening as storms passed over the area, gutting the church.

Two KKK members pleaded guilty to burning the same church in 1995.