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Tag: violence

Border Patrol Chief: Recent Attacks Targeting Agents Won’t Stop Them from Enforcing the Law

Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz.

Border Patrol Chief Paul Ortiz said his agency won’t be deterred by a spate of attacks targeting agents at the border.

So far this month, agents have been shot at, and one was struck and dragged by a car at a border checkpoint in Texas. 

“U.S. Border Patrol agents continue their unwavering commitment to provide border and national security to the American public despite recent attacks against them along our Southwest border,” Ortiz said in a statement Tuesday. “We take these threats and acts of violence seriously and will do everything we can to identify and bring those to justice who have sought to harm the men and women of the Border Patrol.”

Earlier this month, agents came under fire along the Juárez-El Paso border. An agent was patrolling the border when about five shots rang out from Juárez. He took cover and was not injured. 

Four days earlier, about 20 gunshots were fired at a Border Patrol agent who was patrolling in El Paso’s Lower Valley. The quick-acting agent also took cover and wasn’t injured. 

The FBI is investigating the shootings. The agency didn’t say whether there were other recent shootings.

About a week ago, a 37-year-old man smuggling a migrant in Texas used his car to strike and drag an agent at the Ysleta Station checking in El Paso County. He was arrested and charged. 

Ortiz said Border Patrol agents are well-trained and equipped to respond to attacks. But, he said, the violence is a reminder of the dangers facing agents. 

Ortiz said federal law enforcement will vigorously investigate the attacks and bring the suspects to justice. 

FBI Fails to Finish 316,000 Firearms Background Checks Last Year Amid Surge in Gun Sales

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has been unable to keep pace with the surge in firearms sales, failing to finish more than 316,000 background checks in the first nine months of 2020, according to data obtained by FiveThirtyEight.

The FBI, which runs America’s gun background check system, processes an average of 8.6 million firearms checks in an average year. In 2020, the FBI processed more than 12.76 million background checks. 

The missed background checks come at a time when cities are reeling from a rise in gun violence.  

By law, gun dealers can legally sell a firearm without a completed background check if the FBI is delayed by more than three business days. 

The number of incomplete background checks have been increasing ever year. In 2014, the bureau did not complete 2.1% of the background checks. In 2019, 2.5% of the backgrounds weren’t finished. And in the first nine months of last year, that number rose to 3.4%. 

In a statement, the FBI said its ability to keep pace with background checks “depends on the availability of relevant information and records provided by federal, state, local, and tribal agencies.”

The bureau added that it has “reallocated resources to help ensure that it can continue processing background checks efficiently.”

Secret Service Study Finds School Shootings Are Preventable

By Steve Neavling

A Secret Service study concluded that school shootings are preventable if officials pay attention to warning signs. 

The agency’s National Threats Assessment Center analyzed 67 thwarted school attacks in the past 12 years and found that in a vast majority of the cases the plotters gave off warning signs. 

The report concludes that early intervention is the key to saving the lives of students. 

In 75% of the cases, school attacks were “detected” because the would-be shooters spoke publicly about their plans. Others had “histories of school discipline and contact with law enforcement” or exhibited suicidal thoughts, harassing behavior or an interest in past violent attacks. 

In many of the cases, the plots were planned for months. 

“The key findings of the study are clear and consistent: Individuals contemplating violence often exhibit observable behaviors, and when community members report these behaviors, the next tragedy can be averted,” Secret Service Director James M. Murray wrote. “The Secret Service encourages its educational, medical and public safety partners to review the information within, and use it to guide best practices for maintaining a safe and healthy learning environment for all children.” 

FBI Seeks Information Related to Storming of U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is investigating President Trump supporters who incited violence and stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, causing federal lawmakers and employees to flee.  

The bureau is asking for images, videos and other multimedia files that show possible violations of federal law. Anyone with evidence is asked to send it using an electronic form at fbi.gov/USCapitol

“The FBI is seeking information that will assist in identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence in Washington, D.C.,” the FBI said in a news release. “The FBI is accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting and violence in the U.S. Capitol Building and surrounding area in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021.”

One woman was fatally shot by police, and about 30 people were arrested for violating a curfew. 

FBI Foils Plot to Kidnap Michigan Gov. Whitmer

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

By Steve Neavling

The FBI said Thursday that it had thwarted a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ahead of the presidential election, leading to charges against 13 men who are accused of planing to attack law enforcement, overthrow the government and instigate a civil war. 

The extraordinary plot involved months of planning that included combat drills, building explosives, and rehearsing to kidnap the Democratic governor from her vacation. 

The men, angry of Whitmer’s COVID-19 restricts, are charged with terrorism, conspiracy, and weapons charges. Six were charged in federal court, and seven were charged on the state level. The groups trained together, authorities said. 

Four of the suspects planned to meet Wednesday to “make payments on explosives and exchange tactical gear.”

The FBI credited undercover agents and informants for thwarting the violence. 

“Federal and state law enforcement are committed to working together to make sure violent extremists never succeed with their plans, particularly when they target our duly elected leaders,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge said in a statement.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider called the allegations “deeply disturbing.”

“All of us can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never, ever result in violence,” Scheinder said. “We owe our thanks to the men and women of law enforcement who uncovered this plot and have worked so hard to protect Governor Whitmer.”

The FBI has warned of the increasing dangers posed by right-wing extremists. 

Protest Outside Privately Run ICE Processing Plant in California Turns Violent

Adelanto ICE Processing Center in California, via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A protest at a privately run ICE processing center in California turned violent as demonstrators damaged numerous vehicles, tagged the building with graffiti and broke some of the facility’s front windows, causing a minor injury.

The Desert Sun reports that protesters threw rocks at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center on Sunday afternoon, injuring an employee of GEO Group, the private company that runs the facility.

An Anaheim woman was arrested.

Protesters tagged the facility and a GEO Group sign with messages that read, “BROWN LIVES MATTER,” ABOLISH ICE“ and “FREE OUR PEOPLE!”

ICE spokesperson Alexx Pons said 44 vehicles, including three sheriff’s squad cars, were damaged.

The “Adelanto facility experienced what can only be described as a destructive criminal attack” that was “apparently motivated by ongoing disinformation campaigns against ICE orchestrated by those who oppose enforcement of the immigration laws established by Congress,” said Dave Marin, the agency’s enforcement and removal operations director at the Los Angeles field office.

“Allegations that our dedicated officers systematically mistreat, abuse, or neglect detainees remain horrific lies,” Marin said. “The safety and security of those in our custody continues to be a top agency priority.”

FBI Pleads with Public to Help Identify Provocateurs Inciting Violence at Protests

Detroit police deploy tear gas to disperse protesters who were defying a curfew Sunday.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is asking for the public’s help identifying people who are inciting riots at anti-police brutality protests across the country.

The call for assistance comes as peaceful protests have turned violent in some cities at the hands of provocateurs.

“We are committed to apprehending and charging violent instigators who are exploiting legitimate, peaceful protests and engaging in violations of federal law,” the FBI wrote in a statement. “The continued violence, potential threat to life, and destruction of property across the United States interferes with the rights and safety of First Amendment-protected peaceful demonstrators, as well as all other citizens.”

Anyone with tips or “digital media depicting violent encounters” is asked to submit information, photos or videos that could help identify people inciting violence.

DOJ Watchdog Criticizes FBI’s Handling of U.S.-Based Violent Extremists

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s inspector general criticized the FBI’s handling of U.S.-based extremists who successfully carried out attacks against Americans after the bureau investigated them.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report identified homegrown violent extremists (HVE) who continued to act violently after the FBI prematurely closed their cases.

“Since September 11, 2001, HVEs have carried out over 20 attacks in the United States, some of which occurred after the FBI closed a counterterrorism investigation or assessment on the individual,” the report said.

The report identified “at least six attacks committed in the United States by individuals who the FBI had previously assessed or investigated” between 2009 and 2017. They include the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the 2016 Orland Pulse Nightclub attack.

The report encourages the FBI to improve its handling of tips about potentially violent people and develop a more comprehensive plan to determine the risks of individuals with mental health problems.