Defense One reports:
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel just announced plans to trim his staff by about 200 positions over the next five years. But inside the secretary’s top policy shop, a closer look at the planned cuts show where Hagel’s priorities lie after more than a decade of war.
In the office of Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Jim Miller, Hagel is making sure to protect several key areas, namely homeland defense, cyber threats and the pivot to the Asia-Pacific region. Miller, who spoke to a small group of reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday, said despite the budget crunch, key policy areas were protected, including outer space threats and countering weapons of mass destruction. The Homeland Defense and Americas\' Security Affairs units will actually be beefed up in the restructuring. “The reality is that the world has changed since 2009 when the current structure was put in place,” Miller said.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Ma...
One hundred fifty years ago, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving. Though it was a time of hardship, Thanksgiving
was a day for Americans to express gratitude for the many blessings they enjoyed, including the sacrifices of those serving in uniform and their families. Every year since,
Americans have come together during this season to reflect and to give thanks.
As this special American holiday draws near, I want to extend my personal gratitude to the entire Department of Defense community for your work to keep our country strong and
secure. Whether you are in uniform or a civilian, whether deployed abroad or stationed here at home, it is your service and commitment that allows Americans to enjoy the
blessings of Thanksgiving. Your strength, selflessness, and patriotism are deeply respected by the American people, and we are very thankful for your ...
A former vendor on the now-defunct online black market bazaar known as Silk Road sent a letter laced with the poison Ricin to U.S. President Barack Obama, according to a letter submitted by an official at the Department of Homeland Security.
Brian de Vallance, the acting assistant secretary for legislative affairs for DHS, briefly mentioned the poisoning attempt in a letter he sent the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Officials from various federal agencies submitted letters to the committee, which had requested information in August for a hearing on digital currencies that took place Monday.
Prior to Monday\'s hearing, a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee aide emailed Mashable de Vallance\'s letter, in addition to others...
To read the full article see: http://mashable.com/2013/11/18/silk-road-ricin-obama/
Homeland Security News Wire reports:
The heads of the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI), Department of Homeland Security(DHS), and National Counterterrorism Center(NCTC) have declared cyber attacks as the most likely form of terrorism against the United States in the coming years. “That’s where the bad guys will go,” FBI director James Comey said about cyberterrorism. “There are no safe neighborhoods. All of us are neighbors [online].”
The heads of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) have declared cyber attacks as the most likely form of terrorism against the United States in the coming years.
Testifying in front of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, FBI director James Comey asserted that cyber attacks would be a more common form of terrorism. “That’s where the bad guys will go,” Comey said. “There are no...
Foreign Affairs featured article:
On January 12, 2010, Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, was struck by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that caused widespread destruction and killed approximately 222,000 people. The next month, Chile was hit by an 8.8-magnitude earthquake -- approximately 500 times stronger than that in Haiti -- but only 500 people died…
…Governments cannot prevent earthquakes and other natural disasters, but they can prepare for them and ameliorate their effects. Measures to do so are well known. That so many countries in earthquake-prone regions of the world fail to adequately regulate construction, for example, seems to defy logic. Yet when faced with a choice to insist on the use of reliable cement in construction projects or to award contracts to cronies who are less inclined to use safe materials, politicians too often choose the latter, with disastrous consequences. In 2003, an earthquake in Bam, Iran, killed at least 30,000. China is ...
The Department of Homeland Security reports:
November is Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, which recognizes the important role critical infrastructure plays in our nation’s way of life and why it is important to expand and reinforce critical infrastructure security and resilience.
What Critical Infrastructure Means To You
The nation\'s critical infrastructure provides essential services that underpin American society and sustain the American way of life. Critical infrastructure supports the power we use in our homes, the water we drink, the transportation systems that get us from place to place, the bridges that connect us and the communication systems we rely on to stay in touch with friends and family.
Securing critical infrastructure and ensuring its resilience is a shared responsibility of federal, state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector partners, as well as individual citizens. Jus...
So, what are we to make of claims that the NSA scandal will lead other countries to set up their own non-USA cloud? I really can’t speak to the political imperative, but this is pretty notable: Google is building a new data center in Finland worth roughly $1 billion. Meanwhile, Microsoft is reportedly spending $130 million on a data center in Ireland and $250 million on one in Finland. By contrast, the EU Commission investment to start the development of cloud systems in Europe is a mere10 million Euros. The contrast is striking. http://www.lawfareblog.com/2013/11/money-talks/
Data Center Knowledge Reports:
Google Data Center Investment in Finland Tops $1 Billion USD
Google’s data center spending and investment continues to soar. The Internet giant announced a EUR450 million (which is about 608 million U.S. dollars) expansion at its Hamina data center in Finland. This ...
The Washington Post reports:
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. appeared to criticize the pace of military commission trials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying Monday that he was correct four years ago when he attempted to put Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other suspects on trial in New York for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
“I think that had we gone along the path that I announced at that time, we would not have had to close down half of Manhattan. It wouldn’t have cost $200 million a year,” Holder said at a news conference. “And the defendants would be on death row as we speak.”
Holder announced the plan to try Mohammed and the other defendants in federal court in Manhattan in late 2009. He had to reverse course after being criticized by political leaders in New York and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress, who said a trial on U.S. soil carried too many security risks and costs.
Although the Obama administratio...
CBS NEWS Reports:
In May 1968, Douglas Fournet\'s U.S. Army platoon was under sniper fire as it advanced uphill in Vietnam\'s A Shau Valley.
When the right flank man discovered a mine in front of them, Fournet ordered his men to take cover. Drawing his knife, he ran forward and, using his body as a shield, tried to slash its control wires.
But the mine denoted and the first lieutenant from Lakes Charles, La., was killed instantly.
Fournet was 24.
Two years later, President Richard Nixon awarded him the Medal of Honor posthumously in a ceremony at the White House.
\"Five men nearest the mine were slightly wounded, but 1st Lt. Fournet\'s heroic and unselfish act spared his men of serious injury or death,\" the citation reads.
His hometown has never forgotten his bravery, Lake Charles\' Mayor Randy Roach said. This Saturday, 45 years after his death, it will unveil a statue of him in its...
COMING SOON TO CHS AND ABIA
Introducing SITAP: The Society of Intelligence & Threat Assessment Professionals
Like us on Facebook and follow our progress.
Tulsa World reports
By BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
OKLAHOMA CITY- The leader of an Oklahoma Islamic group said Monday that a law enforcement training council is being used to promote anti-Muslim speakers.
Adam Soltani, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, asked that anti-Muslim speakers who are scheduled to speak Friday at the Legislative Counterterrorism Caucus-sponsored seminar in the House chamber be dropped.
Attendees at the seminar can obtain seven hours of Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) credit, according to a news release from Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, chairman of the caucus.
The seminar is titled \"Iran, Hezbollah and the Drug Cartels: Counterterrorism Considerations.\"
The scheduled speakers include retired Lt. Gen. William G. \"Jerry\" Boykin; Frank Gaffney, president and founder of the Ce...
NBC Los Angeles reports:
“A former TSA employee who worked at Los Angeles International Airport was arrested Tuesday night after he allegedly made threats to terminals and left a suspicious package at the airport the same day he quit his job, the FBI announced early Wednesday as a bomb squad conducted a search in connection with the investigation.
Nna Alpha Onuoha, 29, a U.S. Army veteran from Inglewood, resigned from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on Tuesday -- a position he has held since 2006 -- and left a package later that afternoon at the TSA\\\'s LAX Headquarters addressed to another TSA employee, according to an FBI statement.
The package was treated as suspicious and inspected by a Los Angeles Police Department bomb squad, but it only contained an eight-page letter detailing his disdain for the United States and other opinions about what led to his suspension and ultimate resignation.
All Alabama.com reports:
Passengers are returning to the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport after a bomb threat led to a two-hour evacuation and flight delays today.
Birmingham Police responded to a bomb threat at the airport at about 4 p.m., Sgt. Johnny Williams Jr., spokesman for the department, said. He said authorities made the decision to clear the airport and that bomb dogs were brought in to sweep the airport.
Reports have indicated the threat was in the form of a written note.
The Transportation Security Administration said via email just after 6 p.m. that all was clear at the airport. Williams said that nothing was found after the sweep of the airport and that the facility is fully reopened.
The TSA has said they\\\'ve brought in extra staff to expedite security screening of passengers returning to the airport.
Because of the evacuation, a number of flights were delayed or...
An Analysis from the Lawfare blog:
Professor Orin Kerr, a law professor at the George Washington University Law School, provides an overview of privacy laws in regards to intelligence collection.
Professor Kerr questions the argument that foreigners should be protected by U.S. privacy laws for intelligence collection. Professor Kerr’s argument concludes by questioning the notion that spying on allies harms national security. These type of arguments are made on a “utilitarian” level, but often not accompanied with data to support the claim, according to Professor Kerr.
For Professor Kerr’s full analysis:
For the critiqued article arguing that foreigners should be protected by U.S. privacy laws:
Female senators unite behind security-clearance proposal
The Washington Post and CNN Reports:
A bipartisan team of Senators prepare to introduce legislation to increase scrutiny on background checks for federal employees and contractors, according to a Congressional aide quoted in the Washington Post.
According to the newspaper, the planned legislation was penned by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Heidi Heitcamp (D-N.D.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.). Specifically, the plan “would require at least two random audits over a five-year period for every security clearance, according to Collins spokesman Kevin Kelley. Current policy requires follow-up background checks every five, 10 or 15 years, depending on the level of designation.”
The proposal comes after a former civilian defense contractor, with a valid security clearance, went on a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., ...
There\'s an ABCHS (American Board for Certification in Homeland Security) certification that confirms a candidate’s preparation for all types of disasters. The year 2011, which has become the year of disasters, illustrates the need for the kind of awareness you demonstrate when you become Certified in Disaster Preparedness, CDP-I®:
• Floods along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers have displaced people and destroyed infrastructure, including 130,000 acres of Illinois farmland that the U.S. Army Corps of engineers flooded to save the town of Cairo, Illinois.
• Massive tornados destroyed wide swaths of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Joplin, Missouri, killing hundreds of people. Smaller communities have been wiped off the map.
• In addition to natural disasters, the year began with a shocking manmade disas...
The Washington Post reports:
A Senate panel plans to review the Department of Homeland Security during a hearing on Wednesday, a date marking the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that led to the agency’s creation.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee will examine issues relating to cybersecurity, counterterrorism, border security and disaster preparedness, according to congressional aides.
The panel is scheduled to hear testimony from former lawmakers and past DHS officials, including Tom Ridge, who was the first homeland security secretary, and retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who served as national incident commander during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Congress and former President George W. Bush created the DHS in 2003, pulling together 22 federal agencies into a new cabinet-level department charged with coordinating and enhancing the nation’s homeland security efforts.
The committee will discuss less...
Mike O’Brien contributed the following article to the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement on 14 August 2013
Freight carriers fear rising costs following the recent terror threats that forced the closure of U.S. embassies in scores of countries across the globe.
All in-bound cargo on flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa is now being screened twice as a result of the al Qaeda threats.
The Department of Homeland Security earlier this month ordered airlines to beef up the inspection of cargo at the last point of departure for the U.S.
The airlines affected include El Al Israel Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and U.S. Airways.
They fear the new measures might usher in an increase in the prices for flying shipments or the introduction of a security fee on exporters. Some analysts believe heightened security could cost airlines up to nearly $3 million more a year.
Brandon Fried, the executive director of th...
Mike O’Brien contributed the following article to the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement on 5 August 2013.
A new experiment exploiting flaws in the world’s Global Positioning System (GPS) has revealed a massive potential national security problem.
GPS expert Todd Humphreys and a research team from the University of Texas managed to steer a ship off course using a laptop, a small antenna and an electronic GPS “spoofer” that was built for $3,000.
The results illustrated how terrorists and hackers could hijack ships and planes, causing untold damage.
The UT team conducted the test aboard a 210ft super-yacht in the Mediterranean Sea.
By feeding counterfeit radio signals to the yacht, the researchers managed to steer the ship way off course. They could turn it to the left and right and even send it on a collision course with another vessel.
The ship’s GPS system, meanwhile, indicated that...
Homeland Security Newswire Reports:
Tropical cyclones arise over warm ocean surfaces with strong evaporation and warming of the air. Since 1923, there has been a Katrina magnitude storm surge every twenty years. Researchers found that 0.4 degrees Celcius warming of the climate corresponds to a doubling of the frequency of extreme storm surges like the one following Hurricane Katrina. If the temperature rises an additional degree, the frequency will increase by 3-4 times, and if the global climate becomes two degrees warmer, there will be about ten times as many extreme storm surges.
By examining the frequency of extreme storm surges in the past, previous research has shown that there was an increasing tendency for storm hurricane surges when the climate was warmer. How much worse will it get, however, as temperatures rise in the future? How many extreme storm surges like that from Hurricane Katrina, which hit the U.S. coast in 2005, will there be as a result...
The journal Emergency Management reports
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Friday, July 12, that she will be resigning from the job to become president of the University of California education system, reported numerous media outlets.
The opportunity to work with the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, who serve on the frontlines of our nation’s efforts to protect our communities and families from harm, has been the highlight of my professional career, Napolitano said in a statement.
The former Arizona governor was the third person to head the DHS. According to CNN, Napolitano will leave the DHS in September. Regents at the University of California said Napolitano has demonstrated an interest in improving higher education, reported the Los Angeles Times. Napolitano said in her statement that she wants to play a role in educating our nation’s next generation of leaders.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports:
Recent active shooting incidents have underscored the need for a coordinated and consistent law enforcement response to these incidents. And two recent actions—the passage of the Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act and an administration initiative targeting violent crime—have enhanced FBI efforts to better assist its law enforcement partners who are almost always the first on the scene. Our new Active Shooter and Mass Casualty Incidents webpage highlights some of these efforts—training we provide to first responders; conferences we hold for law enforcement executives; operational assistance we offer in the event of an active shooter event; and assistance we offer to victims. The webpage also contains links to FBI publications on the topic, active shooter incident statistics, and a link to a public service video created by the city of Houston.
You can find the FBI Active Shooter Webpage here: http...
Eric Holderman, nationally known expert and leader in the field of emergency management recently had this to say:
As I look at the disaster events of today I see us dealing \"long-term\" with too little water in some places and too much in others. At the same time the lack of water is going to drive up the fire danger to extreme levels in many parts of the nation.
Disasters can sometimes run in cycles, but I don\'t see an end to the current path we are on. If you look at the wildland fire events of just this year we are seeing fires in May and June like those we might only see in August and beyond. Multi-year drought has caused much of this fire danger and it has been fed by the kill off of trees due to beetle and other insect infestations. These tinder dry conditions are the driving factor why Colorado has seen their worst fire in their history, coming on the record damaging fires of 2012.
The lack of wat...
Source: Al Arabiya, Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 19:06 KSA - 16:06 GMT (Translated to English)
Representatives of the Taliban and officials of Qatar have opened today, \"the Political Bureau of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan\" in Doha, while Washington expressed the hope to begin talks with them in the Qatari capital. The Office aims to open a dialogue with the international community and Afghan groups for a \"peaceful solution\" in Afghanistan, told reporters in Doha Office spokesman Mohammed Naim.
The United States has welcomed the decision. \"I think the U.S. will have the first meeting with the Taliban after several years within a couple of days in Doha,\" he told reporters a senior U.S. official. Confirming that Washington will use to communicate with the Office also that the guerrillas are still fighting Afghan troops and those of NATO, the U.S. official said it was \"the beginning of a very hard road.\" An Afghan official in Kabul said the opening of t...
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released its preliminary crime report for 2012, which reads as follows:
Preliminary figures indicate that, as a whole, law enforcement agencies throughout the nation reported an increase of 1.2 percent in the number of violent crimes brought to their attention for 2012 when compared with figures reported for 2011. The violent crime category includes murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Collectively, the number of property crimes in the United States in 2012 decreased 0.8 percent when compared with data from 2011. Property crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. Arson is also a property crime, but data for arson are not included in property crime totals. Figures for 2012 indicate that arson decreased 1.2 percent when compared with 2011 figures.
All data in this Report are preliminary.
To view Percent Change for Consecutive Years: http://www.fbi.gov/about-u...