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Tag: Robert Mueller

FBI Director Robert Mueller Defends Snatching Massive Phone Records

FBI Director Mueller testifies on Thursday.

By GINGER GIBSON
Politico

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert Mueller defended the amassing of widespread phone records, before a House Committee, saying had it been in place before the Sept. 11 attacks, the attacks could have been “derailed” and that it was used to track a friend of the Boston Marathon bombers.

Monitoring calls between a Yemen safe house and an organizer in San Diego, “could have derailed the plan, in any case, the opportunity was not there,” Mueller told the House Judicary Committee. “If we had this program that opportunity would have been there.”

He said the phone program was also used to track Ibragim Todashev, who was shot by agents while being interrogated, saying he was found through means “including one of the programs that is under scrutiny today.”

“We came upon him in a variety of ways,” Mueller said.

To read the whole story click here.

FBI Director Mueller Faces Tough Questions in Final House Committee Meeting


Robert Mueller

Steve Neavling
ticklthewire.com 

FBI Director Robert Mueller is expected to undergo tough questions today as he nears the end of his 12 years at the helm, the Associated Press reports.

In what likely will be his final appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Mueller likely will be grilled about the Boston Marathon bombings investigation, the Benghazi attacks and the recent disclosure of massive government surveillance on millions of Americans.

“Over the past few years, we have witnessed troubling national security leaks and have learned that the Obama administration seems to be bending the rules in place that protect the freedom of the press in its investigations,” the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said.

 

FBI Director Robert Mueller’s Message During Police Week

httpv://youtu.be/tDeIs77wp6E

FBI Director Robert Mueller Concedes Slip-up on Boston Bomber’s Travel

Robert Mueller

By JOSH GERSTEIN
Politico

WASHINGTON — The terrorist tracking task force in Boston failed to act on notices that one of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers had traveled to and from Russia last year, FBI Director Robert Mueller told lawmakers Thursday.

Mueller said the authorities would “do better” next time in following up on such information.

Mueller said that before Tamerlan Tsarnaev went to Russia in early 2012 a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force got a notification from a database known as TECS (formerly the Treasury Enforcement Communications System). Tamerlan’s travel was being flagged because of information the Russian intelligence service gave the FBI in 2011 that he’d become more religious and was interested in joining Islamic radical groups in Russia.

To read more click here.

 

Read his statement Thursday before  the Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

Good morning Chairwoman Mikulski, Ranking Member Shelby, and members of the subcommittee. I look forward to discussing the FBI’s efforts as a threat-driven, intelligence-led organization that is guided by clear operational strategies and priorities.

The FBI has established strong practices for sharing intelligence, leveraged key technologies to help us be more efficient and productive, and hired some of the best to serve as special agents, intelligence analysts, and professional staff. We have built a workforce and leadership cadre that view change and transformation as a positive tool for keeping the FBI focused on the key threats facing our nation.

Just as our national security and criminal adversaries and threats constantly adapt and evolve, so must the FBI be able to quickly respond with new or revised strategies and operations to counter these threats. Looking forward, a key challenge facing the FBI will be maintaining its current capabilities and capacities to respond to these threats at a time when the budgetary environment remains constrained.

We live now, and will for the foreseeable future, in a time of acute and persistent threats to our national security, economy, and community safety from terrorists, foreign adversaries, criminals and violent gangs, and cyber attackers. The attacks in Boston are vivid examples of the threat. This subcommittee understands these threats—and the consequences of failing to address them. I look forward to working with the subcommittee to ensure that the FBI maintains the intelligence, investigative, and infrastructure capabilities and capacities needed to deal with these threats and crime problems within the current fiscal climate. One lesson we have learned is that those who would do harm to the nation and its citizens will exploit any weakness they perceive in the ability and capacity of the U.S. government to counter their activities. We must identify and fix those gaps while not allowing new weaknesses or opportunities for terrorists, cyber criminals, foreign agents, and criminals to exploit.

The FBI’s fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget request totals $8.4 billion in direct budget authority, including 34,787 permanent positions (13,082 special agents, 3,026 intelligence analysts, and 18,679 professional staff). This funding level provides critical funding to address threats posed by terrorists, cyber attackers, and criminals.

The threats facing the homeland, briefly outlined below, underscore the complexity and breadth of the FBI’s mission to protect the nation in a post-9/11 world. Let me briefly summarize the key national security threats and crime problems that this funding supports.

 National Security Threats

 Terrorism

We have pursued those who committed, or sought to commit, acts of terrorism against the United States. Along with our partners in the military and intelligence communities, we have taken the fight against terrorism to our adversaries’ own sanctuaries in the far corners of the world—including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Southwest Asia, and the Horn of Africa. We have worked to uncover terrorist cells and supporters within the United States and disrupted terrorist financial, communications, and operational lifelines at home and abroad. We have built strong partnerships with law enforcement in countries around the world.

The threat from terrorism remains complex and ever-changing. We are seeing more groups and individuals engaged in terrorism, a wider array of terrorist targets, greater cooperation among terrorist groups, and continued evolution and adaptation in tactics and communication.

Threats from homegrown terrorists are also of great concern. These individuals are difficult to detect, able to connect with other extremists, and—in some instances—highly capable operationally. There is no typical profile of a homegrown terrorist; their experiences and motivating factors are distinct. Many questions remain as to the precise motivation, planning, and possible support to the attacks in Boston. However, it is increasingly likely that the Boston attacks may prove to be the latest example of homegrown extremism.

Radicalization to violence remains an issue of great concern. Many factors appear to contribute to radicalization here at home, and those factors may explain why radicalization is more prevalent now than in the past. First, American extremists appear to be attracted to wars in foreign countries. We have already seen a number of Americans travel overseas to train and fight with extremist groups. The increase and availability of extremist propaganda in English perpetuate the problem.

Read more »

FBI Agents Association Pushes for Rep. Mike Rogers to Replace FBI Director Robert Mueller

Rep. Mike Rogers

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI Agents Association, which represents more than 12,000 active duty and retired Agents, is urging President Obama to pick Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers to replace FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

Rogers, a Republican,  is a former FBI agent, who heads the House Intelligence Committee.

In a press release issued Monday,the association’s president Konrad Motyka stated:

“Chairman Rogers exemplifies the principles that should be possessed by the next FBI Director. His unique and diverse experience as a veteran, FBI Agent and member of Congress will allow him to effectively lead the men and women of the Bureau as they continue their work to protect our country from criminal and terrorist threats.”

“Chairman Rogers heads the House Intelligence Committee and is respected by leaders on both sides of the aisle. His background as a Special Agent sets him apart as someone capable of confronting the wide array of challenges facing our country and the Bureau.”

Jana Monroe

Mueller had his 10-year term extended for two years. That is supposed to expire in September.

Patrick Fitzgerald/doj photo

Other names that have surfaced in the rumor mill include: ex-U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald ,  Jim Comey, the former U.S. attorney in Manhattan and Jana Monroe, former head of the Phoenix FBI.

Two years ago, the association pushed for Mike Mason , the former Executive Assistant Director for the Criminal Investigative Division of the FBI, to get Mueller’s job. But in the end, President Obama punted on a replacement and decided to extend Mueller’s reign by two years.

 

FBI Investigates Who Posted Personal, Financial Information on Government Officials, Celebrities

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is trying to determine who posted private financial and personal information on a website about top government leaders and celebrities such as Mel Gibson and Jay-Z, the Associated Press reports.

Even the Social Security number, address and credit report of FBI Director Robert Mueller were posted on the site, which included Beyonce, Ashton Kutcher, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton. Some information also was posted about Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the AP wrote.

The site, which was not identified, did not reveal why the people were targeted.

“The best word I can use to describe it is creepy,” Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith told the AP. “It’s a creepy thing to do.”

Investigation: AG, FBI Abusing Use of Corporate-Style Jets Intended to Fight Terrorism

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Two corporate-style jets that the FBI insisted it needed for the global fight against terrorism are primarily being used for personal and business trips by Attorney General Eric Holder, the former AG and FBI Director Robert Mueller, the Washington Guardian reports.

Taxpayers financed “non-mission flights” on the luxury Gulfstream V jet to the tune of $11.4 million between 2007 and 2011, the Guardian reported, citing an investigation by the Government Accountability Office.

Holder and his predecessor under the Bush administration took 88 personal trips, the Guardian wrote.

“If somebody asks for the expenditure of federal money for the Gulfstream, it’s to be used for the purpose it was meant to be be used for,” said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight of the Justice Department and FBI.

American Football Coaches Asscociation Gives FBI’s Robert Mueller Top Award

Grant Teaff (left), executive director of the American Football Coaches Associaton, presented the Tuss McLaughry Award to Director Mueller.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III on Tuesday night received the Tuss McLaughry Award from the American Football Coaches Association in Nashville.

The award, established in 1964, is the organization’s highest honor and is presented to distinguished Americans in recognition of outstanding service to others.

“Coaches are parental figures,” Mueller said during the ceremony according to information posted on the FBI website.

“They reinforce the importance of hard work and dedication; of selflessness and fair play; and of character, humility, and leadership.”

“Everyone remembers their favorite coach and the lessons they learned,” Mueller said. “You as coaches contribute to a legacy of sportsmanship and solidarity…of discipline and dedication…of toughness in the face of adversity. That lasting impact is every coach’s legacy.”