Here are Homeland Security’s Top 5 Priorities for Suspicious Activity Reporting This Season

A document issued last month by the Department of Homeland Security identifies priorities for the collection of suspicious activity reports from local communities around the U.S. The document describes”topics of interest” identified by DHS Intelligence and Analysis (DHS/I&A) analysts as priorities for the Winter 2013 period that should be utilized by “law enforcement, first responders, and other homeland security professionals” to improve their reporting of suspicious activity.

(U//FOUO) DHS Intelligence and Analysis Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Topics of Interest Winter 2013

DHS/I&A is interested in the following SAR topics, which have been updated based on current issues of national interest. Previous topics remain relevant, and law enforcement, first responders, and other homeland security professionals should continue to submit reports on these issues. Per the SAR Functional Standard, only information validated as reasonably indicative of preoperational planning related to terrorism should be reported as a SAR. I&A is reviewing SAR reports on these topics but would welcome any additional context, ideas or local analysis on these topics and opportunities for joint production.

White House Strategy on Mitigating the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets

The Administration is focused on protecting the innovation that drives the American economy and supports jobs in the United States. As a Nation, we create products and services that improve the world’s ability to communicate, to learn, to understand diverse cultures and beliefs, to be mobile, to live better and longer lives, to produce and consume energy efficiently and to secure food, nourishment and safety. Most of the value of this work is intangible—it lies in America’s entrepreneurial spirit, our creativity, ingenuity and insistence on progress and in creating a better life for our communities and for communities around the world. These intangible assets are often captured as intellectual property—copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets, and reflect America’s advantage in the global economy.

UNODC Bribery and Corruption in Afghanistan Report

The large-scale population survey on the extent of bribery and four sector-specific integrity surveys of public officials undertaken by UNODC and the Government of Afghanistan in 2011/2012 reveal that the delivery of public services remains severely affected by bribery in Afghanistan and that bribery has a major impact on the country’s economy. In 2012, half of Afghan citizens paid a bribe while requesting a public service and the total cost of bribes paid to public officials amounted to US$ 3.9 billion. This corresponds to an increase of 40 per cent in real terms between 2009 and 2012, while the ratio of bribery cost to GDP remained relatively constant (23 per cent in 2009; 20 per cent in 2012).

Afghanistan Independent Anti-Corruption Monitoring Report on the Kabul Bank Crisis

Kabul Bank’s controlling shareholders, key supervisors and managers led a sophisticated operation of fraudulent lending and embezzlement predominantly through a loan-book scheme. This resulted in Kabul Bank being deprived of approximately $935 million funded mostly from customer’s deposits. The loan-book scheme provided funds through proxy borrowers without repayment; fabricated company documents and financial statements; and used information technology systems that allowed Kabul Bank to maintain one set of financial records to satisfy regulators, and another to keep track of the real distribution of bank funds. Shareholders, related individuals and companies, and politically exposed people were the ultimate beneficiaries of this arrangement. Over 92 percent of Kabul Bank’s loan-book – or approximately $861 million – was for the benefit of 19 related parties (companies and individuals).

NATO Legal Deskbook

Two re-occurring themes surface in after-action reports from exercises and operations. The first is that NATO Commanders and staffs naturally and increasingly turn to the Legal Advisers to help plan, execute, coordinate, evaluate, and support the assigned mission. The second is that no single doctrinal resource exists in NATO to assist legal practitioners in the fulfilling of this task. Although several Alliance members have produced such guides, before the NATO Legal Deskbook none existed for Legal Advisers and legal personnel assigned to NATO commands. Whether doctrinally ready or not, the Alliance calls upon NATO Legal Advisers and staffs to advise and, often, help direct the execution of the legal component of a mission or mandate. NATO owes these attorneys, paralegals, and legal personnel, who work under often austere and demanding conditions, practical guidance in the form of a comprehensive resource that provides an overview and insight on the legal regime that forms NATO practice. Fulfilling this need is the genesis, purpose and rational for this practitioner‘s guide.

(U//FOUO) New Jersey Fusion Center Phone Kidnapping Scams Report

During recent weeks, various sources in law enforcement and media outlets have been reporting phone kidnapping scams occurring in Central and Northern New Jersey and New York. In most incidents, scammers have alleged that a member of the phone scam victim’s family had been involved in a car accident and claimed to have taken the victim’s family member hostage. The scammers then claim they will drop their hostage at a hospital after a certain amount of money (usually $1500‐2000) is wired via Western Union to the scammers, as restitution for damage to the scammer’s vehicle. In addition, the scammers state that they have the hostage’s cell phone and any attempts to call the cell phone or disengage from the conversation will result in the murder or beating of the hostage.

(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Suspicious Activity Reporting Bulletin: Recruiting

Terrorists are attempting to recruit new members in the United States and overseas to support their operations, obtain funding, and conduct terrorist attacks. For example, in May 2012, Maryland-based Mohammad Hassan Khalid pled guilty to attempting to use the Internet to recruit individuals who had the ability to travel to and around Europe to conduct terrorist acts, in addition to providing logistical and financial support to terrorists. In prior cases of recruitment, individuals who were willing to participate in terrorist acts became involved with known and suspected terrorists, participated in paramilitary training abroad, or tried to acquire small arms and build explosives.

Restricted U.S. Army Explosives and Demolitions Manual

The doctrine of explosives and demolitions focuses on the procedures that support the combat operations provided by engineer capabilities to the combined arms team. This doctrine reduces the effectiveness of barriers, obstacles, infrastructure, and minefields to maintain mobility and momentum in the operating area. Field Manual (FM) 3-34.214 is the reference manual for explosives and demolitions procedures that support combat operations, as well as, peacetime training missions requiring demolition (the destruction of structures, facilities, or material by use of fire, water, explosives, mechanical, or other means) (FM 1-02) applications.

Restricted U.S. Army Air and Missile Defense Operations Manual

FM 3-01 is the Army Air Defense Artillery’s (ADA) capstone doctrinal publication. The seven chapters that make up this edition of Air and Missile Defense Operations constitute the Army ADA’s view of how it conducts prompt and sustained operations and sets the foundation for developing the other fundamentals and tactics, techniques, and procedures detailed in subordinate field manuals. FM 3-01 also provides operational guidance for commanders and trainers at all echelons.

U.S. Northern Command CONPLAN 3501-08 Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA)

Natural or man-made disasters and special events can be so demanding that local, tribal) state and non-military federal responders are temporarily overwhelmed by the situation. The Department of Defense (DOD) has a long history of supporting civil authorities in the wake of catastrophic events. When directed by the President or the Secretary of Defense (SecDef), United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) will respond quickly and effectively to the requests of civil authorities to save livesj prevent human suffering, and mitigate great property damage. The Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan 2008 (JSCP) directs CDRUSNORTHCOM to prepare a plan to support the employment of Title 10 DOD forces providing Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) in accordance with (IAW) the National Response Framework (NRF), applicable federal law, DOD Directives (DODD), and other policy guidance including those hazards defined by the National Planning Scenarios that are not addressed by other JSCP tasked plans. DSCA is a subset of DOD civil support that is performed within the parameters of the NRF.

(U//FOUO) New York Fusion Center Threat Assessment: Major Terror Attacks Against Hotels 2002-2011

This product analyzes major terror attacks on hotels and provides a strategic-level assessment of the groups, tactics, and frequency of global terror attacks against hotels from 2002 – 2011. Additionally, the product identifies the deadliest types of attacks, comparing casualty counts and attack methods. The product was derived from media reporting and unclassified, for official use only sources.

Moynihan Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy Report 1997

The classification and personnel security systems are no longer trusted by many inside and outside the Government. It is now almost routine for American officials of unquestioned loyalty to reveal classified information as part of ongoing policy disputes—with one camp “leaking” information in support of a particular view, or to the detriment of another—or in support of settled administration policy. In the process, this degrades public service by giving a huge advantage to the least scrupulous players.

(U//FOUO) New Jersey Fusion Center School Shootings Commonalities Analysis

This report attempts to analyze the indicators and commonalities of recent school shootings in an effort to inform public safety officials and assist in the detection and prevention of potential school shooter plots or attacks. All incidents included in this assessment occurred in the United States while classes were in session. Domestic violence shootings and gang violence were not included in an effort to differentiate between “active shooter” incidents and other acts of violence. DHS defines an “active shooter” as an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.

(U//FOUO) NSA Field Generation and Over-the-Air Distribution of COMSEC Key Manual

This document is intended as the standard U.S. user’s manual for planning and conducting field key generation and OTAD in support of tactical activities. It is targeted primarily at Joint and Intra-Service Operations and Exercises, particularly those involving forces that do not routinely train or operate together. It also has limited application to Combined operations and exercises involving Allied forces that hold OTAR- and OTAT-capable COMSEC equipment

(U//FOUO) U.S. Army Counterinsurgency Patrolling Handbook

Patrols are one of the most common operations a unit will perform in the counterinsurgency (COIN) environment. A patrol is the basis for many other types of operations. Cordon and search, reconnaissance, demonstration of force, security, and traffic control checkpoints are all activities a unit may perform while on patrol. Patrols are invaluable in the COIN environment because they enable units to interface with the indigenous population and gain human intelligence.

(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Suspicious Activity Reporting Bulletin: Testing of Cybersecurity

Terrorists or cyber criminals might try to discover vulnerabilities in computer systems by engaging in unauthorized testing of cybersecurity in order to exploit those vulnerabilities during an attack. These attempts might include port scanning, phishing, and password cracking. “Social engineering,” another technique, leverages unwitting insider access by eliciting information about operational and security procedures from employees, personnel, and their associates.

Tactical Chat: How the U.S. Military Uses IRC to Wage War

Despite the U.S. military’s massive spending each year on advanced communications technology, the use of simple text chat or tactical chat has outpaced other systems to become one of the most popular paths for communicating practical information on the battlefield. Though the use of text chat by the U.S. military first began in the early 1990s, in recent years tactical chat has evolved into a “primary ‘comms’ path, having supplanted voice communications as the primary means of common operational picture (COP) updating in support of situational awareness.” An article from January 2012 in the Air Land Sea Bulletin describes the value of tactical chat as an effective and immediate communications method that is highly effective in distributed, intermittent, low bandwidth environments which is particularly important with “large numbers of distributed warfighters” who must “frequently jump onto and off of a network” and coordinate with other coalition partners. Text chat also provides “persistency in situational understanding between those leaving and those assuming command watch duties” enabling a persistent record of tactical decision making.