Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

September 2021
S M T W T F S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: ATF

Louisville ATF Agent Injured in Car Crash; Other Driver May Have Been Drinking

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

While on duty and driving in an official bureau car, an ATF agent in Louisville was sent to the hospital Thursday afternoon after a Cadillac hit a telephone pole, spun and struck the agent’s car. The injuries are not expected to be life-threatening, a spokesman for the Louisville Metro Police told the Courier-Journal.

Alcohol may have been involved with the driver of the Cadillac, which was moving at a high speed, but citations were not issued as authorities wait for the results of a toxicology report on the driver, who was also hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

Though on duty, the accident did not occur during a law enforcement operation, Spokesman for the ATF Louisville division George Huffman told the paper.

To read more click here.

West Virginia Man Pleads to Selling ATF Badge to an Informant

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s good to have an entrepreneurial spirit, but not if it involves thievery.

Timothy Nathan Todd, 41, of Huntington, W. Va. pleaded guilty this week in federal court to selling an ATF badge to an informant working for the local ATF task force last October, according to the Huntington News.

He also admitted that he knew the badge had been stolen from the car of an ATF agent in Huntington, the paper reported.

 

Column: Retired ATF Official Warns that Law Enforcement Must Look Forward in the War on Terrorism

James Cavanaugh was an ATF agent and supervisor for 33 years before retiring in 2010.

James Cavanaugh/atf photo

 
By James Cavanaugh
For ticklethewire.com

Law-enforcement, security and intelligence professionals must have a forward-looking approach in the current climate of world events. Now is the time for police and intelligence personnel to think critically about the year ahead. While the threat from a wounded Al Qaeda won’t disappear, the looming threat from a cornered Iran – and it’s terrorist proxies like Hezbollah — may become the more deadly problem.

Here’s why. Western nations have ramped up the sanctions against Iran. Additionally, in the last few years, five Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated. The most recent attack with a magnetic bomb was attached by a motorcyclist to the scientist’s vehicle. Just viewing the vehicle destruction on media footage shows the targeted nature of the bomb. It was no terroristic bomb trying to gain mass casualties.

Iran has ramped up its saber rattling and threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz. The Iranian Navy has sent small fast boats to harass U.S. Navy warships in the Persian Gulf. Iran is holding a 27-year-old former United States Marine Corps veteran of Iranian descent and accusing him of being a CIA spy. The New York Times reports Iran is vowing revenge against Israel and the United States over the scientists assassination. And this week, the European Union announced tougher sanctions still.

How this all plays out in the world stage is unclear. Ditto for how it could all play out here at home. But we know Iran’s and Hezbollah’s tentacles have reached our shores. Law enforcement has to be vigilante.

That’s where being proactive and smart counts. We have to look at the history of Iran and its terrorist proxies to try and predict the future. In the past years, Iran has wielded a formidable weapon, the dangerous and deadly proxies’ of Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a fighting force with capabilities above and beyond even Al Qaeda. Hezbollah is supported by a nation-state, trained directly by military personnel, closely allied with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) and the Quds Force, and tempered in war, most recently the 2006 war between Hezbollah in Lebanon against Israel. They are likely heavily operating as thugs in Syria for the Assad government, a close ally of Iran in the most recent months.

Hezbollah is the modern father of suicide bombing. It was responsible for three major terrorist bombings in 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon; The US Embassy, The French Military Barracks and the US Marine Corps Barracks, for a total of 316 deaths. The group was busy in Beirut in 1984 when it set a bomb outside the US Embassy annex that killed 24 people.

In 1985, the group hijacked TWA Flight 847 and killed a US Navy Diver, and later that same year, members captured, tortured and killed the CIA Station Chief in Lebanon. I was serving in The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and recall when we sent a team of ATF bomb investigators to the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1992, to help the Argentine Government investigate and deal with the 29 killed there. Once again Hezbollah and Iran were believed responsible. Hezbollah struck again with the Argentina bombing of a Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 96 people. The group also struck the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996 killing 19 US Military personnel.

Closer to home, in 2002, Sheriff’s Deputies, State Agents and ATF, FBI and federal prosecutors broke up and arrested members of a flourishing Hezbollah cell in North Carolina which was smuggling cigarettes and funneling huge amounts of cash and sophisticated military equipment to Hezbollah.

More recently, in October 2011, the DEA, FBI and federal prosecutors arrested a member of the Quds Force, an arm of the Revolutionary Guard, and an Iranian American for a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States.

The group also plotted to bomb the Israeli embassy in Washington and bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Argentina. Luckily the effort was poorly executed and failed. US Law Enforcement exploited that weakness and broke up the plot. Hezbollah has direct connections to the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Quds force. Also, we know from public information how closely they operate with direction from Iran.

The good news is that all of the training and preparation that law-enforcement and intelligence have done to defeat attacks by Al Qaeda are invaluable and directly applicable to the fight even against Hezbollah, Iran and all of its dispatched demons.

Notwithstanding that training, you often don’t see if you are not looking. Law enforcement has to look toward the next threat, not always the last threat, Al Qaeda is constantly looking behind themselves for drones, police can’t be constantly looking behind for Al Qaeda only, the next attack may come from another direction.

In the end, I refer to the United States Coast Guard’s motto, “Semper Paratus”, always ready.

 

 

FBI and ATF Investigating 3 Explosions in Oklahoma

Bad Move: Chicago Drug Dealers Try Robbing ATF Agent

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Under the category of “bad luck for criminals” comes this story from Chicago.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a bandit put a gun to the head of an undercover ATF agent last Thursday and tried to rob him while the agent was trying to make a heroin purchase.

The paper reports that Robert Jefferson and Michael Parrish were charged in the incident.

According to the paper, the agent showed up at 11:38 a.m. in the Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago for a pre-arranged purchase of 25 grams of heroin from Jefferson.

Authorities said Jefferson told the agent he was only able to get 5 grams of heroin and was waiting for the rest to show up, the Sun-Times reported, citing a federal court affidavit.

Authorities said, according to the Sun-Times, as the two waited in the car, Jefferson sent a text message to Parrish saying, “im in here wit him.”

At 12:43 p.m., Parrish showed up and pointed a .38-caliber revolver at the agent’s head.

Parrish then said, according to the paper: “You move, I’m going to pop the s— out of you. Come on with the money.”

The agent then tossed $2,500 out of the car window and then fired a shot at Parish, but missed, the paper reported.

The paper reported that Parrish grabbed the money and ran but surveillance agents chased him down and made the collar.

 

Fed Prosecutor to Go Mum in Fast and Furious and Take the 5th

 By JOSH GERSTEIN
Politico

WASHINGTON — A senior federal prosecutor in Arizona intends to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights rather than testify before a House committee next week looking into the Justice Department’s handling of the Fast and Furious gunrunning investigation, the prosecutor’s attorney told Congress in a letter on Thursday.

On Wednesday, House Government Reform and Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa issued a subpoena to Patrick Cunningham, the chief of the criminal section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona. The deposition subpoena came after a plan to have Cunningham appear for a less formal interview fell apart.

Sources say Cunningham is concerned that he’s caught in a pincer of sorts between senior Justice Department officials in Washington eager to shift blame to lower-ranking staffers and Congressional investigators eager to see heads roll over the investigation, which allegedly allowed more than 1000 weapons to cross the border into Mexico despite suspicions they were destined for drug cartels.

To read more click here.

Rep. Issa Subpoenas Az Prosecutor in Fast and Furious Probe

Rep. Issa/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It may be a new year, but the controversy surrounding ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious isn’t going away any time soon.

The latest: Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), head of House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, announced Thursday that a subpoena has been issued for Patrick J. Cunningham, Chief of the Criminal Division in Phoenix.

A press release said that “Mr. Cunningham’s repeated refusals to testify voluntarily have forced the Committee to use compulsory process.”

“During the course of our investigation, the Committee has learned of the outsized role played by the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office – and you specifically – in approving the unacceptable tactics used in Fast and Furious,” Chairman Issa wrote to Cunningham in a letter informing him of the subpoena.

“Senior Justice Department officials have recently told the Committee that you relayed inaccurate and misleading information to the Department in preparation for its initial response to Congress, ” the letter said.

“These officials told us that even after Congress began investigating Fast and Furious, you continued to insist that no unacceptable tactics were used. In fact, documents obtained confidentially just last week appear to confirm that you remained steadfast in your belief that no unacceptable tactics were used, even after the Department’s initial response to the congressional inquiry. Given that the Attorney General has labeled these tactics as unacceptable and Fast and Furious as ‘fundamentally flawed,’ this position is startling.”

In the letter dated Jan. 18, Issa wrote that Cunningham had cancelled his voluntary interview with the committee that was set for Jan. 19.

The subpoena requires Cunningham to appear on Tuesday, January 24 for a deposition.

 

 

Suburban Chicago Fire May Have Hid Murder of Four

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A fire at a suburban Chicago home may have been used to hide the murder of four people in the house, ATF agents have told the Associated Press.

A woman and three young relatives were found dead by gunshot in the home, presumably shot before the blaze began, according to the AP, possibly by a distraught boyfriend of the woman. Names are not yet being released of the perpetrator or the victims

Investigators believe the man shot the four early Tuesday, set the house on fire and then drove to another suburb, then turned his gun on himself, committing suicide.

A neighbor, Ann Bendera, described the family as friendly, often seeing them playing with the family dog in the front yard, and was shocked by the incident.

To read more click here.