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Tag: terrorism

One-Year Anniversary of Boston Marathon Bombings Brings Unanswered Questions

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One year after twin pressure cooker bombs detonated at the Boston Marathon bombings, many questions remain.

Why did federal authorities miss an opportunity to act on a warning from Russia that bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was becoming radicalized? How much of a role did his younger brother, Dzhokhar, play in attack? Would the brothers have launched an attack in New York?

“The obvious one is the motivation and how could two young men who were in a country that, from all appearances, was very good to them end up this radical,” former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, who helped lead the investigation, told the Associated Press.

The April 15 bombings killed three people and injured 260 more. At least 16 people lost limbs, the AP wrote.

FBI Video Warns American Students of Efforts to Recruit Them as Spies in 28-Minute Video

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has released a 28-minute video intended to warn American students preparing to study abroad about the dangers of being recruited by foreign intelligence agencies.

The video is a dramatization of Glenn Duffie Shriver, an American who accepted money from Chinese intelligence officers while living in China.

Shriver was convicted in 2010 of  “conspiring to provide national defense information to intelligence officers of the People’s Republic of China” and was sentenced to four years in prison.

FBI: Moroccan National Planned to Attack School, Federal Building with Radio-Controlled Plane

istock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Moroccan national accused of plotting an attack with a radio-controlled model airplane was arrested Monday by FBI agents, the CTPost.com reports.

El Mehdi Semlali Fahti, 27, is accused of plotting to crash the plane into a school and a Connecticut federal building.

FBI agents said they found wires and tools inside the High Ridge Drive apartment where Fahti had been living. It’s unclear whether explosives were also found.

The plot was revealed to an undercover agent in five recorded conversations. According to the FBI, Fahti said he studied bomb attacks and even made a chemical bomb while in high school in Morocco.

He claimed that funding for the plot would come from cash from money-laundering and drug-dealing, according to CTPost.com.

Report: FBI Is Too Slow When Placing Suspects on Federal Terrorism Watch List

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI takes 44 days on average to place suspects on the federal terrorism watch list when they are referred by another agency, The Washington Times reports.

It takes even longer – 78 days – to remove cleared suspects from the list, according to an audit of the bureau.

The audit also found that the FBI takes 17 business days to add its own suspects to the list – if they are ever added.

To blame are “redundant and inefficient processes” at FBI headquarters, Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said in the audit.

“The report shows that the FBI has given its field offices too much latitude in terms of timeliness to add people to the watch list,” said Marshall Erwin, a research fellow and counterterrorism specialist at the Hoover Institution who has helped lead investigations for the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Times wrote.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Arrest Two Men Accused of Conspiring to Commit Acts of Terrorism in U.S. or Abroad

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is accusing two men of conspiring and training to fight alongside terrorists in Syria or Yemen, the News & Observer reports.

The charges were the result of a one-year undercover investigation into the actions of Marsalis Brown, 21, and Akba Jihad Jordan, whose age was not disclosed in court records.

The suspects told undercover agents that they supported terrorism.

According to the FBI, Jordan wanted to commit violent acts in the U.S. or abroad. Brown had more specific plans and was arrested at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Wednesday en route to Turkey, where he’d then travel to Syria, investigators said.

FBI Director Comey Delivers Good News – More Staff, Training, Resources in Beefed-up 2014 Budget

James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey sought to assure agents and local law enforcement that the bureau plans to increase staff, training and resources in what will be a much less frugal 2014.

The Times-Picayune reports that Comey, during his visit to the bureau’s New Orleans Field Office on Thursday, said the beefed-up budget will mean a stronger focus on violent crimes, terrorism, human trafficking, cyber crimes and public corruption.

“As of six weeks ago, the FBI became adequately funded again,” Comey said. “We’re going to invest in the personnel, training and technology we need to face the challenges before us.”

The good news came in January when Congress passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill.

“We had been forced to eliminate over 2,000 positions because of the budget Armageddon of the last 18 months,” he said. “I plan to fill those positions again and then some, ranging from field agents to (support personnel). We also need to resume investing in new technology and training after those things came to a halt.

“We got an enormous budget increase, which I think is something the FBI deserved. We need to explain to the taxpayers how we’re going to spend that money, and I’m going to do that.”

U.S. Law Enforcement Officials in Israel Learning About Counterterrorism

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
Assistant Director Mike Prout of the U.S. Marshals Service was among a group of U.S. law enforcement officials who are currently in Israel attending seminars on terrorism.

A delegation of executives are participating in an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) National Counter-Terrorism Seminar (NCTS) from March 8-16, and meeting with security experts, intelligence analysts and commanders in the Israel National Police. There are also some law enforcement officials from other countries attending.

As part of the program, the ADL says the group will attend high-level briefings on the operational response to terrorism, border and airport security, maintaining safety and access to holy sites, the role of advanced technology in policing, and use of media during a crisis. 

“The purpose and goals of the seminar are to share best practices and lessons learned in fighting terrorism and to increase cooperation between American law enforcement and their Israeli counterparts in order to better protect the citizens of these two democratic nations, ” David Friedman, Director of National Law Enforcement Initiatives for ADL, said in a statement to ticklethewire.com.

Those participating include: the President of the  International Association of Chiefs of Police, First Vice President, International Association of Chiefs of Police, First Deputy Superintendent, Chicago Police Department; Inspector, New York City Police; ,Deputy Assistant Director, Naval Criminal Investigative Service; Director, National Operations Center, U.S. Department of Homeland Security;  Executive Associate Director, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations;  Colonel, Austrian National Police; Lieutenant Colonel, Italian National Policel Chief of Police for the Baton Rouge Police Department; Kansas City Police Chief;  Arlington, Tex., Police Chief; and Deputy Denver Police Chief.

Washington Post Editorial: FBI Has Responsibility to Come Clean about Ibragim Todashev’s Death

By Washington Post 
Editorial Board

There is no greater threat to the legitimacy of the U.S. political system, at home and abroad, than the perception that an obsession with terrorism and other threats has given rise to an unaccountable American national security apparatus. Much of this perception reflects hyperbole from those who do not understand the U.S. system and the threats it faces, or who do understand but wish the United States ill. Yet many of those who have lost trust in the U.S. government have good-faith concerns about genuine issues — such as waterboarding under the Bush administration or the failure of Congress and President Obama to establish better oversight of the National Security Agency.

It is with this latter group of good-faith critics in mind that the Obama administration must approach the troubling matter of Ibragim Todashev’s violent death at the hands, apparently, of an FBI special agent on May 22. An associate of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the late suspected mastermind of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings, Mr. Todashev was shot several times, under murky circumstances, while being interrogated by the FBI in his Orlando apartment. He was reportedly suspected of involvement in a separate triple homicide that may also have been perpetrated by Mr. Tsarnaev. Not only is his death regrettable, doubly so if it was avoidable, but it also silenced, forever, a witness who may have had much to tell about Mr. Tsarnaev’s alleged criminal and terrorist careers.

According to the sketchy reports that have emerged since, Mr. Todashev, 27, who had a history of arrests for violent offenses, suddenly attacked his FBI questioner, who fired in self-defense. But the conflicting and downright strange leaked accounts — some indicated that Mr. Todashev had a knife or a sword, others that he merely knocked over a table — have been more than enough to fuel reasonable suspicions, let alone the multiple conspiracy theories reverberating globally via the Internet.

Click here to read.