FBI

Richard Vogel / AP

On today's program: Bomb and shooting threats are up in schools nationwide, even in Pittsburgh; the Clean Air Council is taking the Clairton Coke Works to court; and a new program helps prepare African American leaders for future corporate success.

AP file

Newly released documents pertaining to FBI surveillance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., include deeply disturbing and potentially explosive allegations about the slain civil-rights leader’s extramarital sexual activities, and that he was present in a hotel room during an alleged rape. But some historians caution that there are reasons to doubt the claims.

Colleen Long / AP

Community leaders and representatives from law enforcement agencies throughout the region gathered Thursday to discuss and learn more about civil rights. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

It happens after many major tragic events: scammers. As donations pour in for victims of Saturday’s synagogue shooting, the FBI warns that fake organizations have solicited people for donations.

Police Boost Patrols At Synagogues After Pittsburgh Shooting

Oct 27, 2018
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Law-enforcement agencies around the U.S. deployed extra officers at synagogues and Jewish centers on Saturday in response to a shooting that claimed 11 lives inside a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Richard Drew / AP

 

National attention surrounding the President Trump's involvement in the Russia investigation often overshadows important work the FBI does every day, says Robert Jones, the newest head of Pittsburgh’s FBI office.

Treasure Hunters Challenge FBI Over Dig For Legendary Gold

Oct 9, 2018
Michael Rubinkam / AP

Surrounded by dozens of stone-faced FBI agents on a frigid winter's day, Dennis and Kem Parada stared down at the empty hole and knew something wasn't right.

The father-son duo spent years combing this bit of Pennsylvania wilderness with high-end metal detectors, drills and other tools to prospect for a fabled cache of Civil War gold. They felt certain they'd discovered the hiding place of the long-lost booty, leading the FBI to the mountainous, heavily wooded area last March.

FBI

The FBI has been embroiled in several controversies since the 2016 election, but the new head of the agency’s Pittsburgh office, Robert Jones, said the public shouldn’t focus on that.

Jones, who became the office’s special agent in charge (SAC) in June, addressed the issue in a meeting with reporters on Thursday.

“[FBI] director [Christopher Wray] asks all the SACs, when they come out and interact with the media,” Jones said, “to remind everybody that 99.9 percent of our cases have nothing to do with Clinton emails, or [the] Russia investigation, or meddling in elections.”

FBI: Al-Qaida Supporter Planned Bombings In Cleveland And Philadelphia

Jul 2, 2018
North Olmsted Police Department

An American-born citizen who federal authorities say recently scouted locations in Cleveland to attack people watching Fourth of July fireworks and talked of carrying out additional bombings in Philadelphia has been charged with trying to support terrorism.

Federal authorities said Monday that Demetrius Pitts had expressed his support for al-Qaida for more than a year and talked about setting off bombs at a July 4 parade and later in his hometown, Philadelphia.

Catherine Policicchio / FBI

A nine month-long FBI wiretap investigation resulted in the indictments of 28 Western Pennsylvania residents Wednesday morning. According to officials, they were members or associates of the West End gang "GBK" -- the Greenway Block Killers.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Legislation introduced by State Senators Randy Vulakovich (R- Allegheny County) and Judy Schwank (D- Berks County) would criminalize "sextortion" in Pennsylvania. 

*Warning: This story contains graphic information that some readers may find offensive. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

An officer-involved fatal shooting in Homewood in February was justified, according to Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala. The timeline outlined on Tuesday was established piecing together security footage, gunshot time-stamps, evidence from the scene and officer testimony, according to Zappala. 

In the early morning hours of Sunday, Feb. 11, two Pittsburgh Police officers began trailing 39-year-old Mark Daniels on foot after he left a convenience store, because they said he appeared agitated and angry.

Keith Srakocic / AP

It's been nearly two years since Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana, and this week, a handful of dispensaries began selling it.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday the federal government will use Pittsburgh-area expertise to step up its fight against opioid-related crimes online.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Elevated levels of violent crime in the region prompted Pittsburgh’s FBI field office to launch a Violent Crimes Task Force this week. Federal data show that Pittsburgh and surrounding counties are experiencing higher levels of violent crime, on average, than the rest of the state and country.

An-Li Herring / WESA

A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh indicted three Chinese individuals Monday for stealing internal communications, passwords, trade secrets and other data from Moody’s Analytics, Siemens AG and GPS technology manufacturer Trimble, Inc.

Matt Rourke / AP

The FBI has reason to believe U.S. Rep. Bob Brady unlawfully concealed a $90,000 payment made by his campaign to get an opponent to quit a 2012 primary race, according to court documents that confirm the Philadelphia Democrat is under investigation in a widening campaign finance probe.

Emma Lee / WHYY

This story is part of a WHYY series examining how the United States, four decades later, is still processing the Vietnam War.

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It was Bonnie Raines' job to case the joint.

Her target: the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania. If all went according to plan, Raines and fellow anti-war activists would pull off a burglary that would go down in history as exposing J. Edgar Hoover's secret surveillance of groups demonstrating the war in Vietnam.

Google Maps

Racist business cards bearing an image of a noose and a swastika have been found in a Pittsburgh neighborhood that is a hub of the city's Jewish community.

The cards have the swastika on one side with the message, "It's not illegal to be white ... yet" on the back next to an image of a noose.

The FBI says neo-Nazi and white supremacist literature and stickers have been showing up for more than two weeks in Squirrel Hill.

Susan Walsh / AP

James Comey wasn’t the nation’s embattled former FBI Director in 2002, but the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan. He was giving a speech to a group of fellow attorneys -- men and women with impeccable courtroom records. 

Comey was not impressed.

FBI: Buried Body Is Fugitive Accused In Saxonburg Police Chief Slaying

Jul 14, 2017
FBI via AP, file

*UPDATED: July 14, 2017 at 4:47 p.m.

A decades-long search for a fugitive charged in the 1980 killing of a Pennsylvania police chief came to a dramatic end Friday as authorities positively identified remains found buried in a Massachusetts yard as the man they have long suspected in the fatal shooting.

Screengrab by WESA

Christopher Wray, President Trump’s nominee for FBI Director, faces the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday for his confirmation hearing. Wray would replace James Comey, whom Trump fired in May. Wray served in the Justice Department under President George W. Bush and currently works on white-collar crime at an international law firm. Given Comey's dismissal and ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the U.S. election and potential ties to the Trump campaign, senators are expected to press Wray on his independence and integrity.

Eric Risberg / AP

The FBI has used the same protocols to process DNA for the last 20 years. It requires a human analyst to make comparisons based on subjective choices and simplified genetic samples.

Mark Perlin's product, True Allele, uses a different method. It's a program that lets computers process every high and low point in a piece of DNA – no comparisons or required.

On this episode of the Criminal Injustice podcast, host David Harris talks to Perlin about the program and how DNA analysis can be more powerful, faster and accurate.

Susan Walsh / AP

Former FBI Director James Comey is testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence this week, speaking publicly for the first time since he was fired by President Trump nearly a month ago. 

FBI Corruption Probe In Pennsylvania Had More In Its Sights

Apr 3, 2017
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Fresh revelations show how federal authorities tried to use disgraced former state Treasurer Rob McCord to implicate others in a broad pay-to-play investigation of Pennsylvania government, but it leaves the question of whether the FBI probe is effectively finished.

The investigation dates to 2009, when the FBI set up a fake company with phony executives who began hiring lobbyists in Harrisburg and making campaign contributions. It has thus far produced charges against four people, including McCord and John Estey, a onetime chief of staff to former Gov. Ed Rendell.

Pennsylvania Senate Democrats Hit By Cyberattack, Ransom Demanded

Mar 6, 2017
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's top state Senate Democrat said Monday that no ransom has been paid to resolve a "ransomware" cyberattack that shut down the caucus' network and prompted an FBI investigation.

Senate Democrats' computer network, including their email system, remained inaccessible Monday, three days after the attack was discovered early Friday by information technology staff who received an alert that the network had been breached.

DA's Office Among 500K Hit By International Cybercrime Group

Dec 5, 2016
Matt Rourke / AP

 

A state prosecutor's office in Pennsylvania was among hundreds of thousands of victims of a now-shuttered international cybercrime operation, paying nearly $1,400 in a bitcoin ransom to free up its infected computer network, authorities disclosed Monday.

Updated 10:28 a.m. ET

On Tuesday night, as the presidential election's outcome headed toward an unexpected Trump victory, stock futures plunged. Investors had bet heavily Monday on Democrat Hillary Clinton. As Republican Donald Trump picked up many more votes than polls had predicted, markets reacted violently to the change in expectations.

Life changed as Sadiik Yusuf knew it about two years ago, when the FBI appeared at his front door in Minneapolis to tell him his son Abdullahi had been stopped at the airport, suspected of trying to board a flight that would take him to Syria to fight with ISIS.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is expected to receive his first briefing from the intelligence community on Wednesday in New York, a source familiar with the plan tells NPR.

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