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Tag: CIA

FBI Agent Shoots Armed Man Outside CIA’s Headquarters

CIA Headquarters

By Steve Neavling

An FBI agent shot and wounded an armed man as he emerged from his car with a weapon outside the CIA’s headquarters in McLean, Va., on Monday evening. 

The unidentified man was taken to a hospital about 6 p.m. 

The FBI said it is reviewing the incident. 

“The FBI takes all shooting incidents involving our agents or task force members seriously,” the FBI wrote on Twitter. “The review process is thorough and objective, and is conducted as expeditiously as possible under the circumstances.”

The FBI did not provide further details.

The CIA said the incident unfolded by the main gate just outside the secure perimeter of the agency’s headquarters. 

“Our compound remains secured, and our Security Protective Officers working the incident are the only Agency personnel directly involved,” the CIA said.

Biden Administration Calls on Iran for Answers on 14th Anniversary of Robert Levinson’s Disappearance

Former FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared while in Iran.

By Steve Neavling

On the 14th anniversary of Robert Levinson’s disappearance on Tuesday, President Biden’s administration called on Iran to return the former FBI agent to his family and provide answers about what happened to him. 

Levinson, whose 73rd birthday is today, disappeared while on Kish Island, a tourist spot off the coast of Iran. He worked part-time for the CIA, and U.S. officials believed he died while in Iranian custody. 

“For 14 years the Iranian government has denied the U.S. government, the FBI, and most importantly, the Levinson family any answers about the circumstances surrounding Bob’s abduction,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said. “The FBI continues to mourn the loss of our beloved friend and colleague, and the Levinson family continues to grieve the loss of their husband, father, and grandfather. It’s appalling that the Iranian government has yet to cooperate, and we, along with our interagency partners, remain resolute in our efforts to investigate and seek the truth of what happened to Bob.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Levinson’s family.

“I was honored to speak with the Levinson family yesterday,” said Blinken, according to a State Department release. “Since his abduction in 2007, Bob, a father and husband, has missed graduations, marriages and the birth of all but one of his grandchildren. Bob’s family continues to advocate for the answers about what happened after he went to Kish Island in Iran 14 years ago.”

Blinken added, “We call on the Iranian government to provide credible answers to what happened to Bob Levinson, and to immediately and safely release all U.S. citizens who are unjustly held captive in Iran.”

Biden spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. “will remain resolute in our support to the Levinson family and our commitment to pursuing justice for Mr. Levinson and his family.”

“After 14 years and repeated, persistent efforts to secure Iran’s cooperation in locating Mr. Levinson, we are still without answers,” Psaki said. “Nevertheless, we will continue to demand answers and to hold Iran accountable for his abduction, detention, and probable death. We will not relent until all of our citizens who continue to be wrongfully detained in Iran and around the world, are returned to their families.”

Ex-DEA Spokesman Sentenced to 7 years in prison for Posing As CIA Operative in Elaborate $4 Million Fraud Scheme

Garrison Kenneth Courtney. Photo via Alexandria Sheriff’s Office.

By Steve Neavling

A former DEA spokesman to seven years in prison Wednesday to posing as an undercover CIA operative to defraud government contractors out of more than $4 million.

Garrison Kenneth Courtney, who served as a DEA spokesman between 2005 and 2009, pleaded guilty in June to one count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va.

Prosecutors said the 44-year-old Florida resident posed as a covert CIA officer serving on a highly classified task force, whose mission was to enhance the intelligence-gathering capabilities of the U.S. government.

No such task force existed, and Courtney had never worked for the CIA.

“Courtney’s brazen and salacious fraud was centered on the lie that he was involved in a highly-classified intelligence program and that he was a covered CIA officer engaged in significant national security work,” G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. attorney in the Eastern of Virginia, said in a statement.

“In fact, Courtney never worked for the CIA, the supposed classified program did not exist, and Courtney invented the elaborate lie to cheat his victims out of over $4.4 million,” Terwilliger said.

As part of the scheme, Courtney convinced several public officials that he was a CIA operative and told them they had been chosen to participate in the program, using “those officials as unwitting props falsely to burnish his legitimacy,” prosecutors said. The government officials unwittingly repeated those claims to the companies, giving his scheme an air of legitimacy.

The investigation was carried out by multiple law enforcement agencies.

Terwilliger had faced up to 20 years in prison. 

Iran Ordered to Pay Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson’s Family $1.45B in Damages for His Kidnapping

Robert Levinson disappeared while in Iran.

By Steve Neavling

A U.S. judge has ordered Iran’s government to pay $1.45 billion to the family of former FBI agent Robert A. Levinson, whose 2007 disappearance while on an unauthorized CIA mission remains a mystery.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly last week awarded Iran to pay Levinson’s family $1.35 billion in punitive damages and $107 million in compensatory damages for his kidnapping, Reuters reported Monday.

Some intelligence officials believe Levinson may be dead, but the search for him has never ended. 

“This judgment is the first step in the pursuit of justice for Robert Levinson, an American patriot, who was kidnapped and subjected to unimaginable suffering for more than 13 years,” Levinson’s family said in a statement. 

“Until now, Iran has faced no consequences for its actions. Judge Kelly’s decision won’t bring Bob home, but we hope that it will serve as a warning against further hostage-taking by Iran,” the family said. “We intend to find any and every avenue, and pursue all options, to seek justice for Robert Levinson.” 

Reuters was unable to reach a spokesman for Iran’s mission to the U.N. for comment.  

Levinson, who would be 72 today, disappeared while on a CIA operation on Kish Island in Iran in March 2027.  The Iranian government initially responded that it had detained Levinson but soon backed off that story and has since maintained it has no idea about Levinson’s whereabouts.

EX-FBI Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Doctoring Email Used for Surveillance of Trump Adviser Carter Page

Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former FBI lawyer pleaded guilty Wednesday to altering an email used to seek the continued surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Kevin Clinesmith, 38, admitted he doctored the email, which was submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA).

The guilty plea stems from the investigation into how the Obama administration investigated Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The email suggested that Page was not a source for the CIA, even though he had a relationship with the agency.

Clinesmith admitted he was guilty but said he believed at the time that his statement about Page was true.

“At the time, I believed that the information I was providing in the email was accurate,” Clinesmith told Judge James E. Boasberg of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, The New York Times reports. “But I am agreeing that the information I inserted into the email was not originally there, and I inserted that information.”

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 10. He faces up to six months in jail based on sentencing guidelines.

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Faces New DOJ Indictment That Broadens the Case Against Him

Julian Assange on Fox News

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department announced a new indictment that alleges WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange recruited and conspired with computer hackers to provide information for hacking groups LulzSec and Anonymous.

The superseding indictment broadens the scope of the allegations against Assange but does not include additional charges beyond the 18 counts unsealed last year by the Justice Department.

The indictment accuses Assange of recruiting hackers at conferences and conspiring with other hacking groups to obtain classified information.

“In another communication, Assange told the LulzSec leader that the most impactful release of hacked materials would be from the CIA, NSA, or the New York Times.  WikiLeaks obtained and published emails from a data breach committed against an American intelligence consulting company by an “Anonymous” and LulzSec-affiliated hacker,” the Justice Department says in a news release. “According to that hacker, Assange indirectly asked him to spam that victim company again.”

Assange faces up to 10 years in prison on each count, except for conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Assange is detained in the U.K on an extradition request from the U.S.

Former FBI Agent Charged with Storing Sensitive Documents at His Home

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent is accused of storing sensitive government documents at his home in Chicago.

Yen Cham Yung, who retired from the bureau in 2016, was arrested in Colorado and charged with stealing sensitive government documents, The Associated Press reports.

Some of the documents included information about gang surveillance and undercover informants, as well as emails between FBI supervisors who were leading investigations into organized crime.

The 57-year-old is accused of keeping memos of understanding between the CIA and FBI, in violation of national security protocols. He is not accused of trying to sell or disseminate the information.

The alleged transgressions came to light after his wife said in an a protection order against him that she had discovered the documents in August at their Colorado Springs home.

An FBI search of the home uncovered dozens of digital storage devises.

Yang’s career with the FBI began in 1996 and includes stints in field officers in Chicago, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and Indonesia.

Ex-DEA Spokesman Pleads Guilty to Posing As CIA Operative in Elaborate $4 Million Fraud Scheme

Garrison Courtney

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former DEA spokesman is facing up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to posing as an undercover CIA operative to defraud government contractors out of more than $4 million.

Garrison Kenneth Courtney, who served as a DEA spokesman between 2005 and 2009, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia said.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 23.

Prosecutors said the 40-year-old Florida resident posed as a covert CIA officer serving on a highly classified task force, whose mission was to enhance the intelligence-gathering capabilities of the U.S. government.

No such task force existed, and Courtney had never worked for the CIA, prosecutors said.

“Courtney went to extraordinary lengths to perpetuate the illusion that he was a deep-cover operative. Among other things, he falsely claimed that his identity and large portions of his conduct were classified; directed victims and witnesses to sign fake nondisclosure agreements that purported to be from the United States government and that forbade anyone involved from speaking openly about the supposedly classified program; told victims and witnesses that they were under surveillance by hostile foreign intelligence services; made a show of searching people for electronic devices as part of his supposed counterintelligence methods; demanded that his victims meet in sensitive compartmented information facilities (SCIFs) to create the illusion that they were participating in a classified intelligence operation; and repeatedly threatened anyone who questioned his legitimacy with revocation of their security clearance and criminal prosecution if they ‘leaked’ or continued to look into the supposedly classified information,” federal prosecutors said in a news release. “Courtney further created fake letters, purporting to have been issued by the Attorney General of the United States, which claimed to grant blanket immunity to those who participated in the supposedly classified program.”

As part of the scheme, Courtney convinced several public officials that he was a CIA operative and told them they had been chosen to participate in the program, using “those officials as unwitting props falsely to burnish his legitimacy,” prosecutors said. The government officials unwittingly repeated those claims to the companies, giving his scheme an air of legitimacy.

The investigation was carried out by multiple law enforcement agencies.