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Tag: Robert Mueller

FBI Director Says Bomb Plot is Reason to Renew Electronic Surveillance Powers

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By Jordy Yager
The Hill

WASHINGTON — The head of the FBI on Wednesday used a recently thwarted bomb plot to press Congress to extend the agency’s ability to spy on foreigners abroad without a warrant.

FBI Director Robert Mueller told a panel of House lawmakers that some of the surveillance provisions, which are set to expire at the end of the year, are “absolutely essential” to stopping terrorists from attacking the United States.

One of the particular provisions in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) allows U.S. officials to conduct electronic surveillance without a warrant on foreigners living abroad whom they suspect of being engaged in terrorist activities.

Earlier this week, the CIA thwarted a bomb plot hatched by al Qaeda in Yemen that was aimed at exploding a commercial airliner headed to the United States.

To read the full story click here.

FBI Dir. Mueller Went to Libya to Discuss Lockerbie Bombing

Robert Mueller

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Lockerbie plane bombing is a mystery that won’t go away.

SkyNews/News Score reports that FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and Scotland’s top prosecutor visited Libya in Tripoli to “pave the way for further investigations into the 1988 Lockerbie plane bombing.”

The meeting took place April 25, but was kept secret for security reasons.

According to the news aggency, a spokesman for Scotland’s Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said, “The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, and Robert S Mueller, director of the FBI, met with the Libyan Prime Minister Abdurahim el Keib to discuss the ongoing investigation into the Lockerbie bombing.”

 

FBI Dir. Mueller Visits Yemen and Vows to Battle Islamist Extremists

Robert Mueller III/ photo ticklethewire.com

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III vowed Tuesday in Yemen to help that nation battle an Islamist insurgency, Reuters news service reported.

Reuters also reported that a U.S. drone had killed a high level al Qaeda figure in Yemen linked to an attack on a French oil tanker.

Mueller met with President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who took office earlier this year, and  promised the U.S. would support Yemen with full force, Reuters reported.

“Mueller visits Yemen on an annual basis so this is not a special or secret occasion,” said Mohammed Al-Basha, Yemen’s embassy spokesman in Washington, according to Reuters. “President Hadi emphasized that he is strongly committed to combating extremism and working with the U.S. to counter the mutual threat of terrorism.”

FBI Director Mueller Grilled on Release of Terrorist Cleric in 2002

By Catherine Herridge
Fox News

Several congressional committees want the FBI director to explain why one of his agents ordered the release of Anwar al-Awlaki from federal custody on Oct. 10, 2002, when there was an outstanding warrant for the American Muslim cleric’s arrest.

“There are a number of committees interested in the facts of what happened early on with al-Awlaki, and we’d be happy to give you a briefing of what we know. We’ve done it before, we’ll do it again,” FBI Director Robert Mueller told Republican Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia.

Wolf first wrote to Mueller in spring 2010, based on the Fox News’ ongoing investigation of al-Awlaki, who was killed last year in a CIA-led drone strike in Yemen, on Sept. 30. Fox News was told that the congressman, whose district once included the cleric’s Virginia mosque, was not satisfied by the FBI’s earlier briefings.

To read more click here.

FBI Director Mueller Says Special Interrogation Group Used More Than a Dozen Times in Past 2 Years

Director Mueller testifying on the Hill/fbi photo

By CNN

WASHINGTON — A special group set up to interrogate captured terror suspects has been mobilized more than a dozen times in the past two years, FBI Director Robert Mueller said Wednesday.

“It’s been effective,” Mueller told a House appropriations subcommittee when asked about the use of the so-called High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, known as HIG. “Over the last two years I think we’ve had 14 instances where we’ve deployed elements of the HIG to conduct interrogations.”

Mueller did not list the cases in which the HIG was used. A law enforcement official said the HIG can be deployed both overseas and in the United States and can be used in interrogations with U.S. citizens as well as non-citizens.

To read more click here.

Read his statement to Congress

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Continues to Bang the Drum About the Dangers of Terrorists and the Cyber World

Robert Mueller III / file fbi photo By Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
There’s was nothing particularly shocking — or for that matter new — in FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III’s speech Thursday, but it was another reminder of the havoc and mischief we can expect via cyber attacks against business and government in the future.

Terrorism remains the FBI’s top priority,” Mueller told a crowd in San Francisco at the RSA Cyber Security Conference, according to the text of his speech. “But in the not too distant future, we anticipate that the cyber threat will pose the number one threat to our country.”

Mueller talked about how increasingly “cyber savvy” terrorist have become, citing as example, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has produced a full-color, English-language online magazine.

“They are not only sharing ideas, they are soliciting information and inviting recruits to join al Qaeda. ”

“Al Shabaab—the al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia—has its own Twitter account. Al Shabaab uses it to taunt its enemies—in English—and to encourage terrorist activity, ” he said. “Extremists are not merely making use of the Internet for propaganda and recruitment. They are also using cyber space to conduct operations.”

“The individuals who planned the attempted Times Square bombing in May 2010 used public web cameras for reconnaissance. They used file-sharing sites to share sensitive operational details. They deployed remote conferencing software to communicate. They used a proxy server to avoid being tracked by an IP address. And they claimed responsibility for the attempted attack—on YouTube.”

To read the complete speech click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

FBI Dir. Mueller Gets Prestigious Award at His Old Stomping Grounds — Princeton

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III let his Ivy League colors fly over the weekend.

Mueller, a 1966 graduate of Princeton, was awarded the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Award on Saturday at Princeton, which recognizes an alum’s commitment to public service, the Daily Princetonian reported.

The paper reported that Mueller spoke at the Richardson Auditorium about the importance of values he developed at Princeton.

“Since its earliest days, Princeton has had a unique way of instilling ideals, such as leadership, humility and service, into the educational experience, and the institution is all the stronger for it,” he said, according to the college paper.

 

FBI Dir. Mueller Has Concerns Over Detainee Provision

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By EVAN PEREZ
The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON—FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday said a Pentagon-funding bill that increases military authority over terrorism detainees injects new uncertainty into sensitive national-security investigations.

Mr. Mueller’s comments are the first indicating that the joint House-Senate conference bill failed to resolve concerns that had prompted the Obama administration to threaten to veto the legislation.

The legislation requires military custody of terrorism suspects who are members of al Qaeda and affiliated groups. In response to White House concerns, lawmakers included a provision to give the president broad discretion over whether the military or the civilian justice system takes the lead in terrorism investigations.

To read more click here.