FBI

FBI searching for woman in five OKC area bank robberies

Staff reportsThe FBI is asking the public’s help in nabbing a bank robber they’ve dubbed the “Sweatpants Bandit.”
The woman, who has gone on a bank robbing spree across the Oklahoma City metro area in the last five months, is known to wear athletic attire, including sweatpants, and goes through the same motions in each robbery.
“During each of the robberies, the suspect entered the bank, approached the teller, and presented a demand note.Read more on NewsOK.com

‘Sicario’ Film Review: Idealistic FBI Agent Becomes Pawn in Jaded CIA–Mexican Drug War

ISIS beheadings, Mexican cartel beheadings—it’s pretty much the same deal. Parallels between the two evil institutions abound.
Well, as the cartels down there maintain, the drug trade is just supply for the demand up here; we’ve got unprecedented levels of rural and small-town heroin addiction. New England is riddled with it. There’s an enormous market for pills and powders and herbs that make our great American spiritual depression cease and desist for a short while. Hence the cartel feeding frenzy.
Drug War
“Sicario” is a well-told tale of one attempt to stem the tide of drugs and violence pouring in here from down there. Ultimately, complete drug-flow stoppage won’t happen via CIA, FBI, and paramilitary teams, but through 12-step addiction programs and personal and spiritual cultivation. But that’s a different movie.
Still, it’s interesting to pick up the drug war rock and see what’s crawling around under it. That’s exactly what “Sicario” does. “Sicario” is Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic” on steroids. It’s got some disturbing imagery you won’t be able to unsee; it’s full of very bad hombres. And the “good guys,” well, the cynicism level of the CIA is like hydrochloric acid. But it’s a dude film; dudes will appreciate it. And the cast is killer.
And That British Chick Is Pretty Great
Emily Blunt, that is. As door-kicker No. 1 on an FBI bust, agent Kate Macer (Blunt) roll-ducks a shotgun blast and puts the shooter down, whereupon her partner (Daniel Kaluuya) discovers a plastic bag peeking through the shotgunned hole in the drywall behind her.
Daniel Kaluuya stars as Reggie Wayne in “Sicario.” (Richard Foreman Jr/Lionsgate)
Guess what’s hiding in there? It’s a stunningly high body-count drywall morgue in a suburban Arizona house. The octopus-like arms of the cartels have grown long.
Macer’s a no-nonsense, by-the-book, morally upright FBI field agent whose ringing idealism puts her squarely in the function of stand-in for the audience.
Emily Blunt got this role because of her immensely believable, perfect-American-accented macho warrior work with Tom Cruise in “Edge of Tomorrow,” where her soulful blue eyes, power jawline and cleft chin, and the fact that she was heretofore a Shakespearean kind of girly-girl, gave her a magnetic je ne sais quoi.
Emily Blunt stars as idealistic FBI agent Kate Macer in “Sicario.” (Richard Foreman Jr/Lionsgate)
Kate Auditions
Interviews ensue in the wake of the Arizona mayhem. They like Kate’s style. Who does? We’re not sure, but it looks like a fantasy football interagency task force of alpha-dog operators is being cherry-picked to follow up on the drywall morgue situation. Macer’s the best kidnapping specialist. But is that really why they want her on the team?
The main auditioner is one Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), a rules-and-formalities eschewing, beach-sandals-wearing, gum-snapping bro with perfect hair and a killer smile. He’s a “Defense Department contractor” (sure he is). Talk about your snake and lady-charmer. Brolin was born to play this kind of slick, boyishly charming manly-man.
Josh Brolin stars as Matt Graver in “Sicario.” (Richard Foreman Jr/Lionsgate)
Macer is expertly schmoozed, bamboozled, and flattered into believing she’s needed on this op because she’s so awesome. She’s still naively seeing bad guys versus law enforcement as black-and-white, but Graver is clearly very, very gray. We highly suspect her idealism is in for a rude awakening.
Right about now, someone who might be the titular “sicario” shows up. That would be Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro). “Sicario” is Spanish slang for hitman. But Alejandro claims to be a “former Mexican prosecutor” (sure he is). Whoever he is, he carries deadly gravitas.
Mexico
Eventually, the crack agent team (no pun intended) travels down to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, to snare one minor cartel boss (linked to the Arizona incident), in order to smoke out an even bigger one. Juárez—you don’t want to go there. Nightmarish images hang off bridges in those parts.
Which brings us to a topnotch set piece: Once they collar the small-fry boss and start heading back across the border (accompanied by a substantial motorcade of Federales), a massive traffic jam sets like cement; the Americans are suddenly sitting ducks.
Cars are spotted, inching forward, packed to the gills with face-tattooed bad hombres packing military-grade hardware. Unfortunately for los hombres, the American convoy contains U.S. Army Delta Force operators, tier-one CIA field-spooks, and one tough FBI chick. Which is like putting a feral dog pack up against dogfight-trained pit bulls. The tension winds tight as a steel winch—dudes will enjoy the ensuing spec ops versus cartel henchmen smackdown.
Escalation
There are tunnels, illegals, and shady deals, with Macer running around trying to figure it all out, and grinning Graver acting like a camp counselor: “Stick around, learn something.”
Emily Blunt stars as idealistic FBI agent Kate Macer in “Sicario.” (Richard Foreman Jr/Lionsgate)
And as the film throttles up, mystery man Alejandro’s story takes center stage. He’s an independent operative looking for revenge. The CIA benefits from turning him loose, since (to continue the canine metaphors) he’s a bloodhound crossed with a pit bull, looking to settle a score. With whom, we’re not sure, but you can bet it’s someone the CIA wants dead.
Benicio Del Toro stars as Alejandro in “Sicario.” (Richard Foreman Jr/Lionsgate)
Always unpredictable and unnerving, Del Toro’s Alejandro is riveting and complex. He shows us the humanity in the predator, the nightmares haunting his sleep, and the tenderness for the vulnerable female agent who reminds him of someone very close, taken away too soon.
Wolves, Not Dogs
The ominous statement by Alejandro is that the world has become a place where only wolves can survive. The cartels are the wolves; the government operators who used to be sheepdogs are now also often wolves. And the wolves take advantage of the chickens.
The quicker the chickens stop pecking at the cartel chicken feed, the quicker the drug war wolves become a non-issue. Just say no. That’ll help (sure it will). But seriously, when it comes to war—Vietnam War, drug war, whatever (war is war)—the last monologue of “Platoon” says it best: “I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. And the enemy was in us.”
MORE:‘White House Down’ Dies Hard
‘Sicario’Director: Denis VillenueuveStarring: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Victor GarberRunning time: 2 hours, 1 minuteRelease date: Oct. 2 (Limited: Sept. 18)Rated R3.5 stars out of 5

Barack Obama says Sony decision to pull ‘The Interview’ was a mistake, vows revenge against North Korea

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — — President Barack Obama said Friday that Sony Pictures Entertainment “made a mistake” in deciding to shelve a film about a plot to assassinate North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un even though the studio suffered significant damage in a hack attack the FBI blames on the secretive Communist regime.

“I wish they had spoken to me first,” Obama said of Sony executives at a year-end news conference in which he said, “we cannot have a society in which some dictatorship someplace can start imposing censorship …”

Envisioning other potential flashpoints, he summoned situations in which dictators “start seeing a documentary that they don’t like or news reports that they don’t like.”

“We will respond” to the attack,’ he added, although he offered no details.

The president spoke a few hours after the FBI formally accused the North Korean government of being responsible for the devastating hacking attack against Sony, providing the most detailed accounting to date of a hugely expensive break-in that could lead to a U.S. response.

The FBI said in a statement it that it now has enough evidence to conclude that North Korea was behind the punishing breach, which resulted in the disclosure of tens of thousands of leaked emails and other materials.

“North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves. Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behaviour,” the statement said.

The FBI’s statement cited, among other factors, technical similarities between the Sony break-in and past “malicious cyber activity” linked directly to North Korea, including a prior cyberattack against South Korean banks and media.

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty ImagesWorkers remove a poster-banner for The Interview from a billboard in Hollywood.

A group identifying itself as Guardians of Peace has taken responsibility for the Sony breach, which was reported in late November and involved the use of destructive malware that caused the studio to take its entire computer network offline left thousands of computers inoperable and “significantly disrupted the company’s business operations,” the FBI said.

The break-in has had wide-ranging ramifications for the studio, spilling into public view candid and confidential discussions among executives and leading to lawsuits from those who say their personal and financial data was exposed online. This week, the cyber-attack escalated with terrorist threats against movie theatres that planned to show the movie “The Interview,” a comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen that for months has been condemned by the North Korean government.

In response to the threats, Sony cancelled the Christmas Day release of the film — a comedy about a plot to assassinate Kim Jong Un and said it had no further plans to distribute it.

After Sony shelved the film’s release, hackers sent a new email praising the studio’s decision as “very wise” and saying its data would be safe “as long as you make no more trouble.” The message warned the studio to “never” release the film “in any form,” including on DVD. The email was confirmed Friday by a person close to the studio who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter and requested anonymity. An FBI spokesman said authorities were aware of the email and were investigating.

The Motion Picture Association of America called the Sony attack a “despicable, criminal act” that threatened the lives of thousands of people in the film and television industries.

North Korea has denied responsibility but earlier this month referred to the cyberattack as a “righteous deed.” A North Korean diplomat to the United Nations, Kim Un Chol, declined to comment Friday about the FBI’s accusations.

Obama administration officials had until Friday declined to openly blame North Korea but had said they were weighing various options for a response. The statement Friday did not reveal what options were being considered but did say the government would look to “impose costs and consequences.”

At first glance, the options for a U.S. response seem limited. Bringing the shadowy hackers to justice appears a distant prospect. A U.S. cyberretaliation against North Korea would risk a dangerous escalation. And North Korea is already targeted by a raft of sanctions over its nuclear weapons program.

The FBI did not indicate whether it has identified any individual hackers who might be culpable. In May, the Justice Department announced indictments against five Chinese military officers accused of vast cyberespionage against American corporate interests, but none of those defendants has yet to set foot in an American courtroom.