On the 25th anniversary of the arrest of Ted Kazcynski, who eluded justice during a nearly two-decade string of bombings that terrified the nation, the three FBI agents who led the investigation have written a book with new details of the case. In a conversation with TCR, Donald Noel, one of the agents, draws some lessons for the pursuit of today’s high-tech criminals.
The FBI says its new National Use-of-Force Data Collection project’s goal is not to investigate specific cases, but “to offer a comprehensive view of the circumstances, subjects, and officers involved in such incidents nationwide.”
Speaking at a convention of police chiefs in Orlando, Christopher Wray cited the opiate crisis, mass violence, terrorism and cyber threats as law enforcement priorities. And the leader of an agency that has faced oppressive attacks from Donald Trump pointedly said that law enforcers must “tune out the noise” emanating from critics.
A 15-member panel assembled by the National Academy of Sciences said Wednesday that current statistics collection has left gaps in data about many offenses affecting American life today. It also recommended that the government consider centralizing the control of collecting crime statistics.
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received nearly 300,000 cases in 2016, and only 15 percent of victims even report crimes in the first place. “The threat is now coming at us from all sides,” says FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Calls for greater independence of the FBI in the wake of concerns about the Trump investigation are misguided, says a University of Louisville law professor. He argues those who worry about presidential interference should support creating a separate federal crime agency while keeping its counterintelligence functions answerable to the president.
FiveThirtyEight noticed that the FBI’s 2016 Uniform Crime Report, the first released under the Trump administration, was missing 70 percent of the data tables that were included in past editions. The feds fired back, alleging a “false narrative” and claiming that plans to “streamline” the report date to 2010. FiveThirtyEight’s data sleuths are not convinced.