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Tag: terrorism

FBI Agents Association Throws Weight Behind Bipartisan Spending Plan

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hoping to avoid further cutbacks, the FBI Agents Association is showing its support for a bipartisan spending plan that would avoid more than $700 million in additional sequestration reductions, NPR reports.

The plan, while not ideal for the cash-strapped agency, was announced Tuesday by GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington.

Agents are hoping to avoid furloughs that reduce law enforcement efforts, such as combating terrorism and corruption.

“The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 would help alleviate some of these budgetary pressures by lifting the threat of over $700 million in additional sequestration cuts and providing appropriators with additional funds that can be used to support the vital work of FBI Special Agents,” FBI Agents Association President Reynaldo Tariche writes in a letter obtained by NPR.

FBI Agents Association: Looming Cuts Will Make It More Difficult to Fight Crime, Terrorism

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Budget cuts are going to have a big impact on the FBI’s ability to fight crime and terrorism, according to a group that represents 12,000 active and former special agents, Govexec.com reports.

The FBI Agents Association warned at a press conference Wednesday of the effects of looming furloughs, an ongoing hiring freeze and cuts in training.

The group, for example, said the sequestration is likely to force agents to take between 10 and 15 days of furloughs.

“Terrorists don’t get furloughed,” Tariche said. “Cyber hackers don’t get furloughed. Gang leaders are not furloughed and it’s not an acceptable thing to furlough active FBI agents because of the risks posed from both terrorist and criminal threats.”

Opinion: Border Buildup Along Canadian Border Is Excessive

Tom Dennis
Grand Forks Herald

Helping local law enforcement is all well and good.

But that’s not why the United States beefed up the Border Patrol along the Canadian border to 10 times its pre-Sept. 11 size, an expansion.

Instead, that expansion from Maine to Washington was done for one and only one reason — the same reason why people now need passports to cross the border; the same reason why trade between the two countries remains impaired.

The reason was to better prevent terrorists from crossing the border.

How goes that struggle?

That’s the question Americans should be asking, because lots of money is being spent and manpower is being deployed based on what Washington thinks is the answer.

To read more click here.

Ex-Prosecutor Convertino Fails Again to Get Detroit Reporter to Disclose Sources

David Ashenfelter

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT –– Ex-federal prosecutor Richard Convertino has once again failed in his bid to get ex-Detroit Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter to disclose his sources.

U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland ruled Monday that Ashenfelter, who recently retired from the Free Press, had the right to invoke his Fifth Amendment privileges, according to a court document filed Monday.

It was third time in the protracted legal battle that a federal judge ruled against Convertino in his bid to get Ashenfelter to sing. Convertino, now a private attorney, is suing the Justice Department, claiming it illegally leaked information about him to Ashenfelter.

To read more click here.

NSA’s Deputy Director Skeptical About Plan to Give FBI, DEA Access to Surveillance Data

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The NSA’s deputy director has expressed skepticism about giving the FBI, DEA and other law enforcement access to the agency’s troves of data, the Guardian reports.

NSA’s top civilian, John C. Inglis, said he was unaware of a Senate bill that would allow some law enforcement to search directly through the NSA’s data.

“The FBI is a customer of mine,” Inglis said in response to a question from the Guardian. “But I don’t provide domestic intelligence for the FBI, I essentially provide foreign intelligence inside, something that might cross the seam, and give them a tip as to how to spend their precious domestic resources to prosecute terrorism, counterintelligence, things of that sort.”

“So I can imagine situations where I, on their behalf, am querying my databases, foreign intelligence databases, to inform those instruments of power. I’m not yet in a place where I understand how I might give them direct access to those databases for their authorities. That I think would be problematic.”

Inglis said he wants to look at the legislation.

Expert on Osama bin Laden Speaks about Terror Investigation

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Few people know al Qaeda and its former leader Osama Bin Laden quite like Jack Cloonan.

Radio host Steve Leser interviewed Cloonan, the senior case agent in the FBI Bin Laden Squad, on Blog Talk Radio.

Five years before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Cloonan was working on intelligence about the terrorist group.

Cloonan conceded that authorities underestimated the extent of al Qaeda’s funding and support.

To listen to the full episode click here.

 

Homeland Security Nominee Faces Tough Questions During Hearing

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jeh Johnson is about to be in the crosshairs of combative Republican senators.

President Obama’s pick for Homeland Security secretary will soon face a confirmation hearing in which he’ll likely be grilled over his role in drone strikes, the National Journal reports.

Johnson also faces tough questions about immigration, terrorism and Guantanamo Bay.

“I have a long list of questions that have been sent to him,” he told National Journal. “So we are real early in the stage,” Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., told the National Journal.

FBI Director Comey Names Bureau’s New National Security Chief

Andrew McCabe/fbi photo

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI officially named Andrew McCabe to its top national security post.

The long-time terrorism investigator was promoted to assistant director of the National Security Branch, which oversees terrorism-related intelligence, the FBI announced.

McCabe, who began his career in 1996 with the bureau’s organized crime squad in New York, was the first director of the High-Value Interrogation Group, which was established by President Obama’s administration to crack down on terrorism.