Wanted: Hispanics to join the Secret Service.
Saying he wants to diversify the agency’s staff, which protects the president, vice president and others, Secret Service Senior Special Agent Clarence Jorif said only 7% of the 4,400 sworn agents are Hispanic, the Dallas Morning News reports.
“We are looking at affording the opportunity to the Hispanic community to become part of the Secret Service,” said Jorif, who works out of the agency’s Dallas field office.
In Dallas County, where his office is, 38.9% of the population is Hispanic.
It’s not yet clear how the agency will attract more diversity.
U.S. authorities are using mental health records of Canadians to deny them entry into the U.S., the Digital Journal reports.
Canadian police departments have been uploading the information to a database used by the FBI and Border Patrol.
Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s privacy commissioner, said police are uploading information such as attempted suicides.
In one case, a Canadian woman was denied access to the U.S. because of her mental health records.
It’s unclear how depression is a national security risk.
This wasn’t your ordinary enchilada.
In addition to the ordinary ingredients of this Mexican staple, a homemade enchilada contained an 8.5-inch kitchen knife.
The New York Daily News reports that TSA agents discovered the alarming blade covered in a deep red sauce in a passenger’s carry-on luggage.
“The woman said she had made the enchilada over the weekend and she really didn’t know how the knife got into the bag,” TSA spokeswoman Nico Melendez said.
The passenger was questioned and then allowed to continue traveling.
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The FBI’s plan to soon launch its facial recognition system has worried civil liberties advocates because the bureau won’t say whether it has any limits on its use.
The Huffington Post reports that the FBI plans to soon use 52 million photos in its biometric database, but where those photos came from and the accuracy of the facial recognition searches are unknown.
“There should be congressional oversight of this, and there should be rules,” said Jennifer Lynch, an Electronic Frontier Foundation staff attorney.
For example, Lynch asked, “How do you get your picture out of the database once it’s in there? And how do you even find out that it’s in there?”
The database, called the Next Generation Identification, is going to be shared with state and local agencies to help in investigations, the FBI said earlier.
The FBI said the database is a critical tool to preventing terrorism.
The Border Patrol might not be in the business of demolishing homes, but it is in the business of protecting Americans from smugglers and illegal immigrants.
So the federal agency is teaming up the South Texas City of Laredo and the Texas National Guard to help raze abandoned buildings and homes that are used as havens for criminals, the Star-Telegram reports.
Before Border Patrol’s help, the project, dubbed Operation Crackdown, has already demolished 1,350 structures, many of them described as drug houses or hiding places for migrant smugglers.
“We can join forces so we can do something about these substandard properties that we come across during our regular patrols,” said Greg Salinas, a Border Patrol agent and agency spokesman. He added that the buildings were used as stash houses for illegal immigrants or narcotics. “They will just use it as a temporary holding place where they can come across, hide and leave, or jump into a vehicle.”
Property owners who don’t consent could have their properties condemned because of the dilapidated condition.
The FBI is under fire for its alleged handling of defense lawyers for the accused 9/11 terrorists, and the agents may be forced to testify about it in military war court at Guantanamo Bay, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
The news comes after court proceedings abruptly ended on Monday after defense lawyers said that at least two FBI special agents had tried to make a member of the defense an informant last week.
If true, it’s an egregious violation of the justice system and attorney-client privilege.
The defense team for the suspected organizers of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks said the FBI may have jeopardized the case.
It was the first court proceeding at Guantanamo since December.
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.
Frazier Glenn Cross rarely missed an opportunity to espouse his white-supremacist beliefs.
But local and federal authorities are having a hard time finding evidence that the 73-year-old Army veteran and retired truck driver with ties to the KKK ever resorted to violence, the Associated Press reports.
That was until Sunday, when he opened fire outside of two Jewish sites near Kansas City and killed three people, none of whom turned out to be Jewish.
As prosecutors plan to charge Cross as early as today, many questions remain about the man who shouted a Nazi slogan at the media just minutes after his arrest.
“We don’t really see how this could have been prevented. There’s at least no obvious answer,” said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups and had a considerable dossier on Cross. “He is one of the more frightening characters out there, no question about that.”
Did the FBI try to turn a defense team security officer into a secret informant?
The question, which was raised by defense lawyers at the first 9/11 hearing of the year Monday, was enough to prompt a judge to abruptly recess the case, the Miami Herald reports.
Defense lawyers argued that the actions, if true, may compromise attorney-client privilege in the case against five men accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Defense lawyers said two FBI agents tried to turn a civilian on the defense team into a confidential informant.
The FBI declined to comment.
If all goes as planned, the FBI’s facial recognition database will include 52 million photos by 2015, the Verge reports.
That’s an increase of more than three-fold from the 16 million that were in the database in the middle of 2013.
Of those, 4.3 million images were for “non-criminal purposes,” according to documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
What remains unclear is where the non-criminal photos derived and why the FBI is using them.
“Facial recognition technology has the potential to improve services for consumers, support innovation by businesses, and affect identification and authentication online and offline,” the National Telecommunications and Information Administration said in a statement this past February. “However, the technology poses distinct consumer privacy challenges.”
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.
A former secret service agent who was shot protecting presidential candidate George Wallace in May 1972 has died.
Nicholas J. Zarvos was 79. He died Wednesday after a fight with leukemia, the Kansas City Star reports.
“That came as such a shock to all of us, because he had always been such a strong and able-bodied person,” said his wife, Rose Zarvos of Katy, Texas, near Houston.
Zarvos was assigned to Wallace when a gunman opened fire at a shopping in Laurel, Maryland, leaving the presidential candidate paralyzed from the waste down.
Zarvos was struck in the jaw and underwent more than seven hours of surgery before returning to work later that year.
Zarvos grew up in Kansas City, served two years in the Army and attended the University of Denver.
The shooting in the Kansas City area on Sunday at Jewish facilities that killed three was a horrifying reminder of the dangers some hate groups pose.
Attorney Gen. Eric Holder on Monday morning issued a statement on the matter.
“I was horrified to learn of this weekend’s tragic shootings outside Kansas City. These senseless acts of violence are all the more heartbreaking as they were perpetrated on the eve of the solemn occasion of Passover.
“Justice Department prosecutors will work with their state and local counterparts to provide all available support and to determine whether the federal hate crimes statute is implicated in this case.
“No matter what, we will do everything in our power to ensure justice is served in this case on behalf of the victims and their families. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by these heinous acts.”
FBI agents fatally opened fire on a man in his SUV in a busy shopping area in Maryland, the Associated Press reports.
The Friday shooting occurred near Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club in Owings Mills during rush hour while agent were conducting a drug investigation.
The SUV was riddled with bullet holes.
The FBI and Baltimore County Police Department are investigating the shooting.
A former KKK leader is suspected of killing three people at two Jewish centers Sunday afternoon in Kansas.
Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr., 73, is accused of shooting to death a 14-year-old Eagle Scout and his grandfather in the parking lot at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City campus in Overland Park, NBC News reports.
Authorities said he then went several blocks to Village Shalom, a retirement community, and shot a woman.
The suspect, who is from Missouri, was taken into custody and placed in a police car, where he reportedly yelled “Heil Hitler.”
Cross was no stranger to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which said Cross was a former Grand Dragon of the Carolina Knights of the KKK.
The Border Patrol’s Marysville station in Michigan has a new agent in charge.
Matt Calmes, who spent most of his 16-year career with the Border Patrol in Southwest, told a Marysville City Council that the community is the priority.
“As we continue to move toward a risk-based approach – as opposed to a resource-based approach – the community is the most important piece of our enforcement puzzle, especially here in this area,” Calmes said. “Anything that we can do to help the community, and any information the community has for us, is invaluable.”
Mayor Dan Damman inquired about the difference between the two approaches.
“Around 2004, we got all the stuff we wanted and that continued through about 2010, 2011,” Calmes said. “Our strategy was personnel, technology and infrastructure. So give us more stuff, give us more people and we’ll secure the border. That was great when the economy was on the uprise. As we’ve plateaued, it’s been determined that we can’t secure our border with stuff and people alone. Now it’s more of a risk-based approach. We assess areas of the border based on threat and vulnerability. We deploy our assets based on that risk. We now operate under the construct of information, integration and rapid response… We’re trying to do … the right things with the resources we got during the fruitful years.”
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Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the FBI was transformed into a counterterrorism organization, sending its agents to Iraq and Afghanistan for hundreds of raids.
The Washington Post reports on a controversial, effective and little-known alliance between the FBI and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).
Some in the bureau questioned why domestic law enforcement agents were sent to battlefields a world away from the U.S.
“The concern was somebody was going to get killed,” said James Davis, the FBI’s legal attache in Baghdad in 2007 and 2008.
Davis said FBI agents often were involved in shootings and were forced to fight attacks alongside the military, though no deaths were ever reported.
U.S. officials said the relationship was helpful because of the bureau’s expertise in investigations.
A diplomat accused of bludgeoning his family to death in their suburban Maryland Home in 1976 was added to the FBI’s list of “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.”
The Associated Press reports that William Bradford “Brad” Bishop Jr., who worked for the State Department at the time, is suspected of killing his mother, wife and three sons. According to authorities, he then drove their bodies to a wooded area in North Carolina, buried them in a shallow grave and lit them on fire.
Bishop, who would be 77 years old now, is a Yale graduate fluent in five languages.
“Brad, you’ve been living with this on your conscience now for 38 years,” Montgomery County, Md., Sheriff Darren Popkin said. “I am the voice of your family who can no longer speak. The time is now to contact law enforcement.”
Arthur Lewis, the first African American acting deputy administrator of the DEA, rose to prominence after starting his career on the hardscrabble streets of Harlam as an undercover agent.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Lewis is credited with breaking down racial barriers and winning a legal battle in the 1970s to improve treatment of black and female agents.
It was a tough journey that spanned nearly three decades and involved some of the most dangerous assignments, Lewis, 84, told the Inquirer during an interview at his home in Cherry Hill.
“It was hard work and it was difficult,” Lewis recalled. “But to me, it was very worthwhile.”
Added Lewis Rice, a former special agent, “He’s a living legend, a legend for all ages.”
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