DHS and FBI Call for Increased Vigilance in Jewish Communities Following Israel’s Recent Military Actions

Last Friday, officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hosted a teleconference with the directors of fusion centers around the country as well as the Major City Intelligence Commanders across to discuss the “heightened tensions in the Middle East due to the on-going military actions between Israel and Hamas.” A bulletin from the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC) described the conference call, stating that the DHS and FBI representatives emphasized that there is “currently no credible or specific information suggesting any violent actions in the United States as a result of these tensions” but requested increased vigilance from “law enforcement in regions where Jewish consulates or large Jewish populations exist was encouraged, and law enforcement officials on the teleconference from those areas discussed measures being taken to ensure the safety and security of their local communities, which included increased law enforcement presence, community outreach and encouraging reporting of suspicious activities.”

UNODC Afghanistan Opium Survey November 2012

Despite the eradication of opium poppy by Governor-led Eradication (GLE) having increased by 154% in comparison to its 2011 level (9,672 hectares eradicated in 2012), the total area under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan was estimated at 154,000 hectares (125,000 – 189,000) in 2012. While that represents a 18% increase in cultivation, potential opium production was estimated at 3,700 tons (2,800 – 4,200 tons) in 2012, a 36% decrease from the previous year. This was due to a decrease in opium yield caused by a combination of a disease of the opium poppy and adverse weather conditions, particularly in the Eastern, Western and Southern regions of the country.

(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Bulletin: No Specific Threats to American Jewish Community, Despite Recent World Events

This Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) provides law enforcement and private sector safety officials with an evaluation of potential terrorist threats to Jewish organizations, facilities, and personnel in the United states. The information is provided to support the activities of DHS and FBI and to assist federal. state, local, tribal, and territorial government counterterrorism and first responder officials to deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to terrorist attacks in the United States.

DHS Social Media Monitoring and Situational Awareness Initiative Privacy Compliance Review

The Office of Operations Coordination and Planning (OPS), National Operations Center (NOC), has statutory responsibility to (1) provide situational awareness and establish a common operating picture for the federal government, and for state, local, and tribal governments as appropriate, in the event of a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster, and (2) ensure that critical terrorism and disaster-related information reaches government decisionmakers. Traditional media sources and, more recently, social media sources such as Twitter, Facebook, and a vast number of blogs provide public reports on breaking events with a potential nexus to homeland security. By examining open source traditional and social media information, comparing it with many other sources of information, and including it where appropriate into reports, the NOC can provide a more comprehensive picture of breaking or evolving events.

Minnesota Police Investigation of Officers Providing Drugs to Occupy Protesters

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has investigated allegations of law enforcement officers providing controlled substances to individuals as part of a drug recognition certification program. The investigation appeared to be professional and comprehensive. We have reviewed the allegations and for the reasons identified below have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to issue felony charges in this matter.

(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Bulletin: Cyanide Awareness

Terrorist groups, including al-Qa‘ida, and violent extremists have considered using or have possessed cyanide compounds. Cyanides probably appeal to terrorists because of their toxicity, availability, and ease of dissemination. Some of the cyanide tactics that have been considered by terrorists include mixing it with oils and lotions for use as a contact poison, contaminating food or water supplies, or by using it in an improvised chemical dispersal device.

U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Analysis of Chinese Investments in the U.S. Economy

Once hardly noticeable, Chinese investments in U.S. companies are now rising sharply. Cumulative Chinese investments in U.S. companies remain modest compared to those of other major countries. However, a combination of “push and pull” factors are moving China’s annual investment levels closer to levels consistent with China’s current economic stature.

GAO Report: Strengthening Training Efforts to Counter Violent Extremism

The majority of state and local participant feedback on training that DHS or DOJ provided or funded and that GAO identified as CVE-related was positive or neutral, but a minority of participants raised concerns about biased, inaccurate, or offensive material. DHS and DOJ collected feedback from 8,424 state and local participants in CVE-related training during fiscal years 2010 and 2011, and 77—less than 1 percent—provided comments that expressed such concerns. According to DHS and DOJ officials, agencies used the feedback to make changes where appropriate. DOJ’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other components generally solicit feedback for more formal, curriculum-based training, but the FBI does not require this for activities such as presentations by guest speakers because the FBI does not consider this to be training. Similarly, DOJ’s United States Attorneys’ Offices (USAO) do not require feedback on presentations and similar efforts. Nevertheless, FBI field offices and USAOs covered about 39 percent (approximately 9,900) of all participants in DOJ CVE-related training during fiscal years 2010 and 2011 through these less formal methods, yet only 4 of 21 FBI field offices and 15 of 39 USAOs chose to solicit feedback on such methods. GAO has previously reported that agencies need to develop systematic evaluation processes in order to obtain accurate information about the benefits of their training. Soliciting feedback for less formal efforts on a more consistent basis could help these agencies ensure their quality.

(U//FOUO) DHS U.S.-Canada Marine Transportation System Terrorist Threat Assessment

While passenger vessels and terminals will likely remain potentially attractive targets for terrorist attacks, trends in overseas terrorist attacks and the lack of any reporting on maritime terrorist plots against the U.S.-Canada MTS suggests the threat to the majority of the system is low; violent extremists could attack U.S. and Canadian ferries and similar soft maritime targets with little or no warning.

(U//FOUO) FBI Awareness Message: Threats to Water Retention and Control Structures

Tens of thousands of dams, levees, navigation locks, industrial waste impoundments, and other water retention and control structures are located throughout the United States. Due to their iconic nature and potential impact on public safety, these structures present attractive targets for terrorist activity. Explosive attacks pose a significant threat, as evidenced by past plots against foreign infrastructure targets. Cyber intrusions present another concern and could be used to sabotage or control site operations. The FBI is interested in any information that could help mitigate threats to the security of dams or other water retention and control infrastructure.

(U//FOUO) FBI Awareness Message: Threats to Maritime Transportation

Maritime transportation infrastructure—to include watercraft, seaports, harbors, and waterways—is vital to the United States’ economy and national security. Maritime shipping accounts for ninety-nine percent of all US overseas trade. Additionally, passenger ships transport more than 140 million people to and from US ports each year. Countless vacationers enjoy maritime recreation on US lakes and beaches. All of these activities depend upon safe and open waterways, which the FBI defends from a variety of criminal and national security threats. A top concern is that past attacks on foreign passenger ferries and cargo liners could inspire similar action against US commercial vessels. Additional threats to maritime security include: contraband smuggling, human trafficking, piracy and crimes at sea, and cyber attacks against maritime information systems.

(U//FOUO) Central Florida Intelligence Exchange Unoccupied Ambulance Thefts Analysis

The Central Florida Intelligence eXchange (CFIX) recently received a brief from the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC – TLO Program) that included a report of a stolen ambulance in Phoenix, AZ. At the request of an Intelligence Liaison Officer (ILO) in the Central Florida region (R-5 Hospital/Medical Sector), CFIX was asked to collect, research, analyze and develop a ‘Situation Brief’ based on this report to determine if this was a significant trend that could cause concern for Region 5 partners.

U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List

This publication of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) is designed as a reference tool providing actual notice of actions by OFAC with respect to Specially Designated Nationals and other persons (which term includes both individuals and entities) whose property is blocked, to assist the public in complying with the various sanctions programs administered by OFAC. The latest changes to the SDN List may appear here prior to their publication in the Federal Register, and it is intended that users rely on changes indicated in this document. Such changes reflect official actions of OFAC, and will be reflected as soon as practicable in the Federal Register under the index heading “Foreign Assets Control.” New Federal Register notices with regard to Specially Designated Nationals or blocked persons may be published at any time. Users are advised to check the Federal Register and this electronic publication routinely for additional names or other changes to the SDN List.

NATO Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive

NATO recognises that that the military alone cannot resolve a crisis or conflict. There is a need for more deliberate and inclusive planning and action through established crisis management procedures that allow for both military and non-military resources and efforts to be marshalled with a greater unity of purpose. Adopting such a comprehensive approach to operations begins with inculcating a culture of active collaboration and transparency among those involved in crisis management.

U.S. Army Law and Order Operations Publication

L&O operations have historically been understood to consist of LE missions supporting U.S. military commanders and their efforts to police our military personnel, civilians, and family members working and residing on U.S. military posts, camps, and stations. (Posts, camps, and stations refer to any U.S. military installation, base, or other location within the United States and enduring installations, bases, or other locations outside the United States employed to support long-term military commitments and/or serve as power projection platforms.) U.S. Army doctrine has not historically focused on L&O operations outside of LE support to posts, camps, and stations. L&O support to the operational commander and the capabilities inherent within LE organizations have been largely disregarded within Army (and joint) doctrine. Recent conflicts and the nature of the threat within the OE have increased the relevance of L&O operations and LE capabilities in support of Army operations. The applications of L&O operations and the requirements for Army LE personnel to conduct these operations have grown tremendously as nation building and protracted stability operations have demonstrated the need for civil security and civil control as critical lines of effort within the larger effort to transfer authority to a secure and stable HN government.

Seattle Police Department Unmanned Aerial System Operations Draft Manual

It shall be the mission of those personnel of the Seattle Police Department who are trained in the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), to use this resource to protect the lives and property of citizens and first responders in a constitutionally and legally sound manner. Use of an aerial system can be utilized in circumstances which would save life and property, as well as being able to detect possible dangers that could not otherwise be seen.

(U//FOUO) U.S. Army Chaplains in Current Operations Leader’s Guide

The United States and our allies are fighting terrorists who have defined this conflict as religiously based. Commanders on both sides have identified the center of gravity as the popular support of the people and understand the value of leveraging the religious aspects of the indigenous culture. Coalition commanders must apply that knowledge to support the overall objectives. Using chaplains, whose expertise includes religion and religious culture, shows great potential for success for enabling operational goals.