[Live event concluded.]
Photos of the suspects are here: fbi.gov
The Petraeus scandal is getting very weird tonight.
The rapidly unfolding saga of David Petraeus, Paula Broadwell, Jill Kelley and an unnamed FBI agent is getting trashier by the minute. The Wall Street Journal dropped a scoop on Monday evening with fresh details about the case, including a report of a man who sent shirtless photos of himself to Kelley, the accidental whistleblower. Believe it or not, the man sending sexy pics is not David Petraeus — you know, the guy that just got caught having an illicit affair with his too-fit biographer. It’s the FBI agent.
But wait there’s more. Evidently, the FBI agent who opened an investigation into some harassing emails that Kelley, a friend of his from Florida, got a little too involved in the case. According to The Journal, the agent’s “supervisors soon became concerned that the initial agent might have grown obsessed with the matter, and prohibited him from any role in the investigation.”
Meanwhile, the investigators who worked their way through a maze of anonymous email exchanges between Petraeus, Broadwell and Kelley ascertained that the former CIA director and his friend from Florida may have gotten romantically involved as well. One email described a night at dinner when the anonymous writer claimed to witness Kelley touching Petraeus “provocatively” under the table. “Provocatively” is WSJ’s word. We’re guessing the email was a little bit more specific with what was going on with the under-the-table touching.
Eric K. Jackson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Kansas City Division, announced today a combined reward of $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for the recent fire at the Islamic Center of Joplin. The combined $15,000 reward is comprised of $10,000 from the FBI and $5,000 from the ATF.
On the morning of July 4, 2012, at approximately 3:30 a.m., reports were received regarding a fire on the roof of the Islamic Center of Joplin. The fire, which was extinguished by the Jasper County Fire Department, was a surface fire, contained on the roof of the building, that did not penetrate the building or cause any interior damage.
A review of the surveillance video showed an unidentified white male walking up to the building and throwing an ignited object onto the roof. Below is a full-face image, taken from the surveillance video, of the individual who threw the object onto the roof of the building.
Unidentified White Male
Federal law criminalizes arson and vandalism against houses of worship committed either because of the race or ethnicity of the group using the property or, in certain circumstances, because of the religious nature of the property.
This case is being investigated by the FBI, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, the ATF, and the Missouri Division of Fire Safety.
Law enforcement is requesting the assistance of the public in this matter. Anyone with information regarding this fire or the individual depicted in the surveillance video and the photo above is requested to contact any of the investigating agencies listed.
FBI Joplin Field Office: (417) 206-5700
Jasper County Sheriff’s Office: Detective Tim Williams (417) 358-8177, ext. 1223, ext. 1223
ATF: (417) 837-2100
Missouri Division of Fire Safety Arson Hotline: 1-800-392-7766
Additional photos and surveillance video of the suspect attempting to start the fire at Islamic Center will be distributed to members of the media at a scheduled press conference in an effort to seek the public’s assistance in identifying this individual.
The FBI has served more than 40 search warrants in the investigation of the cyberattacks against several major financial institutions.
‘Anonymous’ is finding out how un-anonymous they really are.
The F.B.I. investigation is part of a larger international inquiry into a loose confederation of hackers calling itself “Anonymous” that coordinated the cyberattacks against the Web sites of companies like PayPal, Visa and MasterCard late last year after they severed ties with WikiLeaks.
Law enforcement agencies in France, Germany and the Netherlands have also sought to find members of the group. On Thursday, the authorities in Britain also executed several search warrants and arrested five people, whose ages were said to range from 15 to 26, accusing them of playing a role in the attacks. …
The F.B.I. said that facilitating or conducting such an attack is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The Smoking Gun has details on an FBI affidavit detailing part of their criminal investigation of ‘Operation Payback’, leading to a raid on a Texas business called Tailor Made Services.
DECEMBER 29—As part of an international criminal probe into computer attacks launched this month against perceived corporate enemies of WikiLeaks, the FBI has raided a Texas business and seized a computer server that investigators believe was used to launch a massive electronic attack on PayPal, The Smoking Gun has learned.
The FBI investigation began earlier this month after PayPal officials contacted agents and “reported that an Internet activist group using the names ‘4chan’ and “Anonymous” appeared to be organizing a distributed denial of service (“DDoS”) attack against the company,” according to an FBI affidavit excerpted here.
The PayPal assault was part of “Operation Payback,” an organized effort to attack firms that suspended or froze WikiLeaks’s accounts in the wake of the group’s publication of thousands of sensitive Department of State cables. As noted by the FBI, other targets of this “Anonymous” effort included Visa, Mastercard, Sarah Palin’s web site, and the Swedish prosecutor pursuing sex assault charges against Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder.
On December 9, PayPal investigators provided FBI agents with eight IP addresses that were hosting an “Anonymous” Internet Relay Chat (IRC) site that was being used to organize denial of service attacks. The unidentified administrators of this IRC “then acted as the command and control” of a botnet army of computers that was used to attack target web sites.
Federal investigators noted that “multiple, severe DDos attacks” had been launched against PayPal, and that the company’s blog had been knocked offline for several hours. These coordinated attacks, investigators allege, amount to felony violations of a federal law covering the “unauthorized and knowing transmission of code or commands resulting in intentional damage to a protected computer system.”
(h/t Killgore Trout.)
Here’s a disturbing article by Frank Schaeffer on the extreme apocalyptic ideology that drives groups like the “Hutaree” militia; keep in mind as you read that Schaeffer was once part of the inner circle of the religious right, and knew many of these people personally: The Evangelical ‘Mainstream’ Insanity Behind the Michigan ‘End Times’ Militia.
A time-out for disclosure is in order.
I knew Jerry Jenkins quite well many years ago, and we worked on a baseball book project together, with me trying — and failing — to get his book made into a movie. I also have known Tim LaHaye for years, and some thirty years ago we shared the platform at several fundamentalist far right events. I’m betting that they mean well. It seems to me that they also have no idea what they have helped unleash. You can be very decent and very blind.
That said, the evangelical/fundamentalists — and hence, from the early 1980s until the election of President Obama in 2008, the Religious Right as it informed U.S. policy through the then dominant Republican Party — are in the grip of an apocalyptic Rapture cult centered on revenge and vindication. This End Times death wish is built on a literalist interpretation of the Book of Revelation.
Given that Revelation is now being hyped as the literal — even desired — roadmap to Armageddon, it’s worth pausing to note that it’s nothing more than a bizarre pastoral letter that was addressed to seven specific churches in Asia at the end of the first century by someone (maybe John or maybe not) who appears to have been far from well when he wrote it. In any case, the letter was not intended for use outside of its liturgical context, not to mention that it reads like Jesus on acid.
The Left Behind series is really just recycled evangelical/fundamentalist profit taking from scraps of “prophecy” left over from an earlier commercial effort to mine the vein of fearsome End Times gold. A book called The Late Great Planet Earth was the 1970s incarnation of this nonsense. It was written by Hal Lindsey, a “writer” who dropped by my parents’ ministry several times.
Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth interpreted Revelation for a generation of paranoid evangelicals who were terrified of the Soviet Union and communism and were convinced that the existence of the modern State of Israel was the sign that Jesus was on the way in our lifetimes, as Lindsey claimed.
After everything predicted in the book came to nothing, Lindsey rewrote and “updated” his “interpretations” in many sequels.
According to Jenkins and LaHaye, who have taken over the Hal Lindsey franchise of apocalypse-for-fun-and-profit and expanded it into a vast industry, the “chosen” will soon be airlifted to safety. The focus on the “signs” leading up to this hoped-for aeronautical excursion is understandably no longer the defunct U.S.S.R. but the ripped-from-the-headlines gift that keeps on giving: the Middle East. Check out the accused cop killer’s website and you’ll find a preoccupation with the Middle East. …
Jenkins and LaHaye provide the ultimate revenge fantasy for the culturally left behind against the “elite.” They do theologically what Sarah Palin does politically: divide the world and America into “Them” and Us.”
The Left Behind franchise holds out hope for the self-disenfranchised that at last everyone will know “we” were right and “they” were wrong. They’ll know because Spaceship Jesus will come back and whisk us away, leaving everyone else to ponder just how very lost they are because they refused to say the words, “I accept Jesus as my personal savior” and join our side while there was still time! Even better: Jesus will kill all those smart-ass, Democrat-voting, overeducated people who have been mocking us!
All the folks in Michigan did was decide to start the killing a little early.
The FBI has issued an intelligence note about a letter received by more than 30 US governors, telling them to resign within three days.
Washington (CNN) — A domestic extremist group has sent letters to more than 30 U.S. governors demanding they resign, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI said in an intelligence note.
The note, dated Monday, said the letters told the governors to vacate their posts within three days.
The FBI and DHS said there do not appear to be credible or immediate threats of violence attached to the letters.
The group behind the letters has a “Restore America Plan” that calls for the removal of any governor who fails to comply, the intelligence note said.
While DHS has no information that the removal refers to a specific plan for violence, “law enforcement should be aware that this could be interpreted as a justification for violence or other criminal actions,” the note said.
Other steps in the group’s plan include “establishing bogus courts, calling of ‘de jure’ grand juries, and issuing so-called ‘legal orders’ to gain control of the state,” the note said.
Oddly enough, this group does not appear to be a branch of CODE PINK. Here’s the Google cached version of their website: Guardians of the Free Republics.
Several people have emailed to point out that the recently arrested leader of the “Hutaree” militia was described as a “fanatic Ron Paul supporter.”
Imagine my shock. My surprise, if you will.
Adam Holland has a good post on David Brian Stone’s attraction to Dr. Paul, the current support Stone is getting from other Paulians, and the connections to an even freakier antisemitic Paulian group: Hutaree Militia and Ron/Rand Paul campaigns: some mutual support.
Details are emerging today about the weekend’s FBI/DHS raids on a Christian militia group in Michigan’s Lenawee County. The group, “Hutaree,” was allegedly planning to murder a member of local law enforcement, then attack the resulting funeral procession with improvised explosive devices — earning them federal indictments for seditious conspiracy and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction.
The group’s ideology is a mix of standard anti-government paranoia and End Times theocratic craziness; in one of the videos posted at their YouTube channel, men in paramilitary uniforms burn a United Nations flag, then replace it with the “Colonial Christian Republic” flag.
Detroit station WXYZ has a video report, including an interview with the ex-wife of the alleged militia cult leader, David Brian Stone: UPDATE: Members of Milita Group Indicted.