Be a good neighbor

Lawmakers demand FBI explain slow pace of investigation of pipe bombs at RNC, DNC in 2021

Kerry Picket

House Republicans have called on the FBI director to brief them on the progress of the more than two-year-old investigation of pipe bombs placed near the Washington headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee a day before the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

In requesting the update, lawmakers cited The Washington Times’ exclusive report that a former FBI agent who had been involved in the investigation accused the bureau of botching the probe and misrepresenting critical details to the public.

In a letter spearheaded by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio, the lawmakers asked FBI Director Christopher A. Wray for a briefing and criticized the director for previously ignoring requests for an update on the pipe bomb investigation.

“The slow progression of the FBI’s investigation into the January 6 pipe bombs raises significant concerns about the FBI’s prioritization of that case in relation to other January 6 investigations. 

Accordingly, we reiterate our outstanding requests for a briefing on the status of the pipe bomb investigation and request that you provide this briefing as soon as possible,” they wrote.

The letter was also signed by Judiciary Committee members Andy Biggs of Arizona and Bill Posey of Florida.

DOCUMENT: House Judiciary Committee Letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray

The Judiciary Committee lawmakers first requested a briefing in January but Mr. Wray failed to comply. The lawmakers said new questions about the progress of the FBI’s probe have added urgency to the request.

The request in January was prompted by an FBI whistleblower who described the “unusual” nature of the investigation. The whistleblower said that nearly a year after the incident, the FBI Washington Field Office asked for agents nationwide to canvas all confidential human sources and include sources reporting on all [types of] threats because the suspect’s “motive and ideology remain unknown.”

Mr. Jordan and Mr. Biggs called Mr. Wray’s failure to comply “particularly concerning” in light of The Times report early this month that revealed new details about the pipe bomb investigation.

Former FBI agent Kyle Seraphin, who worked on the pipe bomb investigation, told The Times that agents had linked a MetroRail SmarTrip Card used by the bomber to when he placed the bombs and then to travel through the Washington Metro system to a stop in Northern Virginia.

“The FBI used security camera footage from the Northern Virginia Metro stop to identify the license plate of a car that the individual entered. Still, the FBI has not identified the subject,” the lawmakers wrote in the new letter to Mr. Wray. “The slow progression of the FBI’s investigation into the January pipe bombs raises significant concerns about the FBI’s prioritization of that case in relation to other January 6 investigations.”

The suspect was caught on surveillance video. He wore a sweatshirt with the hood pulled up, a pair of Air Max Speed Turf shoes with a yellow Nike logo, a backpack and gloves. He was recorded walking through Capitol Hill neighborhoods carrying what federal investigators said were two live pipe bombs.

However, Mr. Seraphin said technicians determined the pipe bombs were inoperable.

His story runs counter to the FBI’s official version that the devices could have detonated at any time. The bureau repeated that story in January while offering a $500,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.

Mr. Seraphin also explained that another individual bought the MetroRail SmarTrip Card one year before the pipe bomber suspect used it on Jan. 5, 2021.

The FBI had surveillance video that showed the person entering a car with a visible license plate after exiting a Metro stop in Northern Virginia.

“The card had never been used before. It was bought a year prior by a retired chief master sergeant in the Air Force, and he was a security contractor. So he held a security clearance,” Mr. Seraphin said.

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Compromised Biden doesn’t take China seriously: Marsha Blackburn | Wake Up America

Truth2Freedom's Blog

On Thursday’s “Wake Up America,” Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn warns that President Joe Biden is compromised by China due to business dealings which could harm America’s national security. Watch NEWSMAX, an independent news network with a conservative perspective, available in 100M+ U.S. homes. Watch NEWSMAX on the Free NEWSMAX App or find your NEWSMAX cable/streaming provider here: https://news

Source: Compromised Biden doesn’t take China seriously: Marsha Blackburn | Wake Up America

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Chinese spy balloon may have had advanced radar that can see through objects, generated enough energy to power a house — Conservative Review

Truth2Freedom's Blog

The Chinese spy balloon that traversed the United States before being shot down may have had the capability to see through certain objects and could generate thousands of watts of solar power, a new report fromthe Washington Postclaims.

The spy balloon caused nationwide panic as it flew across the United States, stopping over Montana, before eventually being shot down off the eastern seaboard. Military personnel eventually shot missiles at the balloon, along withthree other objectsthat werelater determinednot to be related to Chinese intelligence at all.

The spy balloon, now referred to as Killeen-23, is now known to have had a series of perplexing features afterclassified documents were leakedby a 21-year-old Air National Guardsman.

The documents revealed information that was as recent as 10 days after the Chinese balloon was shot down on Feb. 15, 2023, and contained specs on other previously unknown…

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BIG DeSANTIS ENERGY: Watch Florida Gov Blast Apple for Helping CCP, Censoring Americans – The First TV

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) ripped into Apple for restricting certain iPhone functions for the protestors in China while also threatening to remove Twitter from the App Store in America; “Elon Musk is actually opening it up to free speech!”

Watch the governor’s statement below:

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Texas Guard to send tank-like military vehicles to the border

Davis Winkie, Military Times, and William Melhado, The Texas Tribune

This article is co-published and co-reported with Military Times, an independent news organization reporting on issues important to the U.S. military. Sign up for its daily Early Bird Brief newsletter here.

Three days after Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted a legally dubious invocation of the “invasion clause” of the U.S. and Texas constitutions over the high number of migrant encounters at the Texas-Mexico border, his border mission is set to include armored personnel carriers designed to carry troops into battle alongside tanks, according to a planning document obtained by Army Times and The Texas Tribune.

The order issued Thursday by Texas Military Department officials to the headquarters overseeing Operation Lone Star reveals that the National Guard will soon deploy 10 M113 armored personnel carrier vehicles to the border.

According to the order, around 50 soldiers will be trained to operate the vehicles, and state officials will identify 10 positions to station them along the border.

The Texas Military Department said in a written statement Friday that in addition to the 10 armored vehicles, the Texas National Guard is increasing “aircraft flights and security efforts” on the border.

“These actions are part of a larger strategy to use every available tool to fight back against the record-breaking level of illegal immigration,” the department said. “The Texas National Guard is taking unprecedented measures to safeguard our border and to repel and turn-back immigrants trying to cross the border illegally.”

Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in March 2021, sending thousands of soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers to the border while accusing the Biden administration of failing to secure the border. The effort has included placing shipping containers and rows of DPS and military vehicles along the Rio Grande to deter migrants from crossing, plus using state money and donations to build border barriers.

Armored personnel carriers like the M113 are designed to carry infantry troops across modern battlefields alongside tanks. They can be equipped with a range of weapons: heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, antitank missiles or even large cannons similar to those mounted on tanks. It’s not clear what weapons, if any, will be on the Texas Guard’s M113s at the border.

Such vehicles are by definition bulletproof and can withstand small explosions. In the civilian world, lighter, wheeled armored personnel carriers are sometimes used to carry police SWAT teams.

Lovingly known as the “battle taxi” by Army troops, the Vietnam-era M113 features tracks instead of wheels, leading observers to sometimes confuse them for tanks. Tracks allow heavy armored vehicles to traverse difficult terrain — such as ditches or muddy areas — with a lower risk of becoming stuck.

The U.S. has sent 200 of the aging vehicles to Ukraine to support that country’s fight against invading Russians.

It’s not clear why the Texas Military Department plans to deploy the vehicles to the border. Since Operation Lone Star began, the agency has not publicly acknowledged any incidents in which the protection provided by the more nimble Humvee vehicles deployed there was inadequate.

The move didn’t surprise Fernando García, the executive director and founder of the Border Network for Human Rights, who said Abbott is “trying to justify the narrative of the invasion” by casting asylum seekers and migrants seeking opportunities as violent criminals.

“For [Abbott] it’s easy to say there’s an invasion, and send troops to the border with a potential consequence of a major situation of human rights violations,” García said.

Since Operation Lone Star began, the number of migrants apprehended along the Texas-Mexico border has increased despite the expenditure of $4 billion and the involuntary deployment of up to 6,500 Texas Military Department troops.

Concerns with Operation Lone Star’s misdemeanor trespassing arrests of migrants also have sparked a Department of Justice civil rights probe.

Additionally, Texas Guard troops have complained about pay problems, poor living conditions and inconsistent guidance from leaders since the operation expanded massively last fall.

The news organizations revealed these issues in a series of stories scrutinizing the mission’s hasty mobilization process, how agency leaders ignored the results of a feedback survey and its budget overruns.

In recent months, the military department has taken steps to address soldiers’ concerns and slowly reduced the number of troops on the border. Three of the department’s top leaders also abruptly departed the agency in March and April.

Ten soldiers linked to the mission have died since September 2021, all via accident or suicide.

Wray: China is ‘greatest long-term threat,’ stole more Americans’ data than rest of world combined

Ronn Blitzer

FBI Director Christopher Wray stated in no uncertain terms that when it comes to threats to the United States in areas such as national security and the economy, China is by far the most serious.

In testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Thursday, Wray outlined how the Chinese Communist Party is targeting the U.S.

“The greatest long-term threat to our nation’s ideas, innovation and economic security, our national security, is that from China,” Wray said. “The Chinese government aspires to equal or surpass the U.S. as a global superpower and influence the world with a value system shaped by undemocratic, authoritarian ideals.”

Wray vowed that the FBI is “confronting that threat head on,” citing the recent unsealing of charges against more than a dozen individuals, including Chinese intelligence officers in multiple criminal cases. He described the alleged offenses as “criminal efforts to exert influence right here in the U.S. on behalf of Beijing.”


FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas before the House Homeland Security Committee on Capitol Hill, Nov. 15, 2022.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas before the House Homeland Security Committee on Capitol Hill, Nov. 15, 2022. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The FBI director noted that there are “scores of investigations” into threats from China in each of the FBI’s 56 field offices.

Wray specifically pointed to cybercrime, stating that China has been particularly aggressive in that area.

“On the cyber front, China’s vast hacking program is the world’s largest by a mile, and they have stolen more of American’s personal and business data than every other nation combined,” he said.

China is not the only country Wray warned about. He pointed to Russia, Iran and North Korea as “growing more aggressive, more brazen, more capable,” and “coming at us from all angles” in order to undermine American democracy, law and national security.


This is on top of threats from terror groups like ISIS and al Qaeda, which Wray said “still aim to inspire, plan and launch attacks” against the U.S. and its allies “both abroad and here at home.”

Wray pointed to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as a point from which such terror organizations have been trying to regain strength. He also observed that the U.S. has had a lesser ability to gather intelligence in Afghanistan since the withdrawal.

National Counterterrorism Center Director Christine Abizaid noted at the hearing that al Qaeda’s ability to strike the U.S. homeland from Afghanistan is presently “quite limited,” thanks to efforts such as the strike that killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri this past summer.

In response, Wray said as time passes, the U.S. will have a decreased ability to know “what al Qaeda is or isn’t doing in Afghanistan” due to “fewer and fewer good sources of information.”

Ronn Blitzer is a reporter for Fox News Digital covering politics and breaking news.

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