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Tag: Robert Mueller

FBI Dir. Mueller Quietly Takes Off on Overseas “National Security Focused Trip” to Nations Including Yemen and Georgia

Robert Mueller III/file photo

Robert Mueller III/file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — At a high-profile Justice Department press conference Tuesday, FBI Director Robert Mueller was no where to be seen when officials discussed the arrest of the Times Square car bomb suspect.

In his place, was his deputy director John Pistole, who stood along side a host of high-ranking federal officials including Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. and Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Natpolitano.

Mueller quietly took off early in the week for what FBI spokesman Michael Kortan describes as a “multi-country national security focused trip.”

For security reasons, Kortan declined to be more specific. But he said the director would be returning home on Friday. Overseas  press reports showed his trip included stops in  the nation of Georgia and Yemen. The state run Yemini news agency Saba reported that Mueller met with Yemen President President Ali Abdallah Salih.

“During his meeting with President Ali Abdallah Salih, Mueller accentuated the USA’s readiness to broaden the horizons of cooperation with Yemen as well as its support to maintain Yemen’s security, stability and unity,” the news agency reported.

The news agency said Mueller congratulated Yemen on its preemptive operations against al Qaeda and “the President reiterated Yemen’s request to receive its individual detainees in Guantanamo camp to rehabilitate or try them based on their cases’ files.”

In the meantime, Kortan said Mueller has been interacting daily with Pistole and national security managers on the New York situation and “other matters.”

FBI Dir. Mueller Assures Senators Overhaul of Computer System No Boondoggle

Robert Mueller and Eric Holder in 2009/fbi photo

Robert Mueller and Eric Holder in 2009/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The massive overhaul of the FBI’s computerized case management system may not be as big a mess as it seems — at least that’s what Director Robert S. Mueller III told the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday.

The website Main Justice reported that Mueller said the delays on the $305 million project known as the Sentinel were routine and assured Senators that it would not become a boondoggle.

Main Justice reported that Mueller’s decision to suspend work on parts of the program resulted from the discovery of some “coding defects.”

“Is this just a normal delay … or are we on the way to boondoggle?” asked Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice and science Appropriations Subcommittee, Main Justice reported.

Mueller said it was a minor setback.

To read more click here.

Read Full Statement before the committee

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Visits the Heartland

Robert Mueller III / file fbi photo

Robert Mueller III / file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It never hurts for the officialdom of Washington to go beyond the Beltway and see the the rest of the country.

FBI Director Robert Mueller on Monday did just that, and headed to the heartland to visit the FBI’s Springfield, Ill. office to thank employees and reiterate his agenda, the Associated Press reported.

The AP reported that he talked specifically about priorities protecting the nation from terrorist attacks, foreign intelligence threats and cyber attacks.

Mueller’s visit was part of a tour of the FBI’s regional offices, the AP reported. He also met with U.S. Attorneys in central and southern Illinois, the news service reported.

Mueller’s 10 year term ends next year.

Janet Kamerman Named Assistant Dir. of FBI’s Training Division

fbi-globeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Janet L. Kamerman, the FBI’s associate executive assistant director of the Human Resources Branch, has some added duties.

On top of her current job, she will also become assistant director of the FBI’s Training Division.

The FBI said in “her new role, she will assume additional responsibilities for all FBI training programs, including the new agent and intelligence analyst training programs, as well as the National Academy, which provides training to federal, state, local, and international police executives.”

Read more »

Proposed FBI $8.3 Billion Budget For 2011 Includes Request for 276 New Agent Slots

bin Laden said getting weapons of mass destruction was a "religious duty"
bin Laden said getting weapons of mass destruction was a “religious duty”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said Wednesday that he hoped to get Congressional funding to add 276 new agent slots to fight crime, terrorism and battle al Qaeda.

“Usama bin Laden said that obtaining WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) is a ‘religious duty’ and is reported to have sought to perpetrate a ‘Hiroshima’ on United States soil,” Mueller said in a prepared text on the FBI’s $8.3 billion proposed 2011 budget before a House Appropriations Committee.

Along with the new agents, the director is asking for an additional 187 intelligence analysts and 349 professional staff positions.

“These additional resources will allow the FBI to improve its capacities to address threats in priority areas of terrorism, computer intrusion, weapons of mass destruction, foreign counterintelligence, white collar crime, violent crime and gangs, child exploitation and organized crime,” he said.

Mueller said he also hopes to build a new dormitory at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., and upgrade existing facilities there.

Read Full Statement

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Defends Handling of Christmas Day Bombing Incident in Detroit

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller/fbi stock photo

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller/fbi stock photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III on Wednesday found himself defending the handling of the Christmas day bombing attempt in Detroit — this time before a Congressional committee.

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., told Mueller he would have preferred that a team of interrogation experts had been brought to Detroit to question Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab instead of the local FBI, according to the Associated Press.

“They were not the best people that we had in the nation at that time to interrogate the Christmas Day bomber,” Wolf said, according to AP.

But Mueller, who appeared before a House Appropriations subcommittee,  defended the the way things were handled, saying the FBI could have lost valuable information while waiting for the out of town interrogators to arrive, AP reported. He added that Abdulmutallab is continuing to cooperate with authorities.

“One has to make decisions relatively quickly in order to maximize the opportunity to get that intelligence,” Mueller said.

Read Mueller’s Statement before the House Appropriations Subcommittee

FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List Turns 60

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — Mir Aimal Kasi had earned a spot on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list and Brad Garrett, a mild-mannered but dogged FBI agent out of Washington, wanted him badly. Kasi, a Pakistani, had stood outside CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., in 1993 and methodically opened fire, shooting into car windows, killing two CIA employees and wounding three others.

Like most fugitives on the list, Kasi was no easy find. Garrett and others spent four-and-a-half years continent-hopping, tracking endless leads before finding him in a seedy hotel in Pakistan at 4 a.m. Kasi was about to head off to prayer. He was brought back to the U.S., where he was eventually executed by lethal injection by the state of Virginia.

James Earl Ray/fbi photo

James Earl Ray/fbi photo

“It’s probably every agent’s dream to capture a top 10 most wanted fugitive,” Garrett, who retired from the FBI in 2006, told AOL News. “It wasn’t my driving force, of course, but the idea of being able to arrest a top 10 fugitive is really something. If you’re on the top 10 list, you must be a really bad person, a big deal.”

On March 14, the bigger-than-life list, which has included some of the most notorious criminals of our time, from assassin James Earl Ray to serial killer Ted Bundy to terrorist Osama bin Laden, turned 60.

The list has become part of Americana. First seen in post offices and banks, now the Ten Most Wanted photos are more likely to show up on TV shows, billboards and the Internet through Web sites and trendy social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

“We recognize the unique ability of the media to cast a wider net within communities here and abroad,” FBI Director Robert Mueller said in a statement marking the 60th anniversary. “The FBI can send agents to visit a thousand homes to find a witness, but the media can visit a million homes in an instant.”

Authorities say the list came about after a reporter for the International News in 1949 told the FBI he was interested in writing a story about the “toughest guys” the FBI was after. The FBI provided the names and descriptions of 10 fugitives — four escaped prisoners, three con men, two murder suspects and a bank robber — and the reporter wrote a story that captured national attention and triggered hundreds of tips.

Osama bin Laden

The FBI figured it was on to something. On March 14, 1950, Director J. Edgar Hoover launched the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program. The first fugitive was Thomas J. Holden, a bank robber who murdered his wife and her two brothers. A little over a year later, he was spotted in Beaverton, Ore., by someone who recognized his photo in the newspaper.

The FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program turns 60 years old  this month

The first fugitive listed by the FBI was killer and bank robber Thomas J. Holden in 1950. He was caught a year later.

Holden was one of 494 fugitives who have made the list in the past six decades. Of those, the FBI says, 463 have been captured or located, and 152 of those were “the direct result of citizen cooperation.” More specifically, two fugitives were captured as a result of the Internet, 27 from television broadcasts, two from radio coverage, three from newspapers, three from magazines and 49 from FBI posters.

Cases that involved tips from a top 10 poster included fugitive Joseph Martin Luther Gardner, a Navy man who was wanted in the 1992 gang rape and murder of a 25-year-old woman in South Carolina. Authorities caught the other suspects, but not Gardner — at least not for a while.

Mir Aimal Kansi/fbi photo

Mir Aimal Kansi/fbi photo

Jeffrey L. Covington, an FBI agent from Philadelphia who retired in 2007 and worked on the Gardner case, recalled that a woman had gone into a convenience store in 1994 in Philadelphia. Later, she returned home to New York and was in a post office when she saw an FBI wanted poster of Gardner.

“She said, ‘Oh my God, that’s the guy in the store,'” Covington recalled. She called authorities, and Covington said he and members of the Philadelphia Fugitive Task Force moved in and made the arrest.

“He was absolutely startled,” Covington said of Gardner. “And then he lied about his name. The usual stuff.”

Over the years, as times changed, so did the composition of the list. At first in the 1950s it consisted of bank robbers, murderers and car thieves. In the 1960s, some fugitives included kidnappers and militants who had destroyed government property. By the 1970s, there were organized crime and terrorist figures and radicals like H. Rap Brown and Angela Davis. And in by the 1990s, sexual predators, drug traffickers and gang members had joined the list.

For the most part, the list has been dominated by males. Only eight fugitives have been woman, with ’60s militant Davis among them.

angela davis

A lot of thought goes into who makes the list, and who doesn’t, according to Rex Tomb, who headed the FBI’s chief fugitive publicity unit in Washington and helped decide who made the list. He retired in 2006.

“Many times a particularly aggressive agent would want us to put their fugitive on the list,” Tomb told AOL News. “In looking at the submission, however, we realized that the case, though very serious, might be either too complicated or uninteresting to potential readers or viewers. Photographs might also be of such quality that we knew the public would be unable to notice key, distinguishing physical traits. The top 10 list is media driven. If certain elements are not present, reporters won’t use it. We had to learn which cases would fly and which wouldn’t.

“There are only 10 slots on the list,” he said. ” If the media won’t cover it, the list is of no help. If it can’t help a case, why put it on the list?”

On nine occasions, the top 10 list has actually had 11 or more fugitives.

“This has occurred when there was not a vacancy on the list and the FBI determined that there was an overriding need that an individual be added to the list,” said FBI spokeswoman Debbie Weierman.

She said some of the 11th fugitives have included Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, who was implicated in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassin, James Earl Ray. Ray was one of six people who twice appeared on the list: once when he shot King in 1968 and again in 1977 when he escaped from prison.

Fugitive Donald Eugene Webb holds the record for the longest time on the list — 25 years, 10 months and 27 days — for the murder of Police Chief Gregory Adams in Saxonburg, Pa., in 1980. In 2007, without any real explanation, he was removed from the list even though he remained at large. The FBI now says he no longer fits the criteria, but he remains a fugitive.

Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger

The shortest time on the list — two hours — was claimed by bank robber Billie Austin Bryant, who had killed two FBI agents in the late 1960s in Washington. The oldest person to be placed on the list — and who still remains on it — is Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger. He was 69 in August 1999 when he was put on the list.

Today he is 80.

Alive and well? Who knows.

H. Rap Brown

H. Rap Brown

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Warns About “Rapidly Expanding” Threat of Cyber Terrorism

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller/fbi stock photo

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller/fbi stock photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Robert Mueller warned Thursday that cyber terrorism threats are an ever growing problem “that could have the same impact as well-placed bombs.”

“In the past 10 years, al Qaeda’s online presence has become as potent as its physical presence,” Mueller said during a speech at the RSA Cyber Security Conference in San Francisco. “Extremists are not limitiing their use of the internet to recruitment or radicationlaizaiton, they are using it to incite terrorism.”

“We in the FBI, with our partners in the intelligence community, believe the cyber terrorism threat is real, and it is rapidly expanding,” he said. “Terrorists have shown a clear interest in pursuing hacking skills. And they will either train their own recruits or hire outsiders, with an eye toward combining physical attacks with cyber attacks.”

The following is a full text of his speech.

Read more »