Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said that her department is constantly looking for ways to trim its multi-billion budget. “Every element of the federal government has an obligation to find ways to do what we do more efficiently and in a more cost effective manner,” Napolitano said in a speech this past week. “We’ve been looking for these ways for three years. It’s everything … it’s cutting down expenses related to procurement, it’s doing certain things with IT which are cutting the costs of that, it’s eliminating you know, subscriptions to unnecessary periodicals. We are finding that we can get leaner and meaner. And we will continue to do that.”
The Marine Corps has a long and storied history of partnering, mentoring, and advising foreign militaries. Marines served as the officer corps of the Gendarmerie d’Haiti and integrated at platoon-level with South Vietnamese Popular Forces. These are only two of many possible examples, but they suffice to illustrate the diversity of relevant Marine Corps experience. This enduring legacy influences Marine counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan as well as theater security cooperation exercises throughout the world.
The level of partnership with ANSF units largely depends on the individual coalition commander’s discretion whether it is a partnered unit or an advisor team. Although this discretion is important to empower leaders on the ground, the current parameters in partnering guidance are very broad which leads to varying levels of effectiveness and consistency. Standardized guidelines would provide specific tasks (e.g. develop and conduct all planning and operations from a Joint TOC) to units designated as ANSF partners. Additionally, true embedded partnership improves ANSF development, mission accomplishment and force protection. The recommendations in this paper offer uniformed standards throughout diverse allied forces, assistance during RIP/TOA, improvement in the development of the Afghan forces, and a path to effective transition.
Internet service providers should clamp down on websites used by violent extremists, both Islamists and increasingly the far right, British lawmakers said in a report Monday. The Internet is a more significant vehicle for promoting radicalism than prisons, universities or places of worship, and is involved in almost all cases of extremism, parliament’s home affairs committee said. Law enforcement agencies can already order illegal material to be removed from the Internet, but “service providers themselves should be more active in monitoring the material they host,” the report said. The MPs recommended that the government work with Internet service providers (ISPs) to develop a code of practice on removing extremist material, but acknowledged international co-operation would also be needed.
Every year as technology grows and advances thus do the threats that surround it. Predicting what new cyber threats to look for may not always be an easy task. By keeping up with the past trends and ever changing current environment, may help to give us a good handle on how to prepare for what may be to come.
It was a cool August Tuesday in 2007 when Swiss banker Urs Frei walked into a Manhattan restaurant for meetings with two U.S. clients. One of the clients carried an unmarked envelope containing $16,000 in cash. For an extremely expensive lunch? Hardly. For what a new federal indictment alleges was a secret rendezvous in a plot that enabled more than 100 wealthy Americans to evade federal taxes on at least $1.2 billion in assets hidden in foreign bank accounts. Federal prosecutors in New York on Thursday announced criminal conspiracy charges against Wegelin & Co., Switzerland’s oldest bank; Frei, a client adviser in the bank’s Zurich branch, and two fellow bankers there.
The indictment of the Swiss bank Wegelin & Co. and several affiliated persons for conspiring to aid wealthy U.S. clients evade taxes, February 2012.
This Joint Intelligence Bulletin is intended to provide information on the 7 January 2012 arrest by the FBI Tampa Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), as part of a planned law enforcement action, of Florida-based Sami OsmakacUSPER. Osmakac is charged with attempted use of weapons of mass destruction. This information is provided to support the activities of FBI and DHS and to assist federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial, counterterrorism and law enforcement officials to prevent or respond to terrorist attacks against the United States.
A flyer from a series created by the FBI and Department of Justice to promote suspicious activity reporting states that espousing conspiracy theories or anti-US rhetoric should be considered a potential indicator of terrorist activity. The document, part of a collection published yesterday by Public Intelligence, indicates that individuals who discuss “conspiracy theories about Westerners” or display “fury at the West for reasons ranging from personal problems to global policies of the U.S.” are to be considered as potentially engaging in terrorist activity. For an example of the kinds of conspiracy theories that are to be considered suspicious, the flyer specifically lists the belief that the “CIA arranged for 9/11 to legitimize the invasion of foreign lands.”
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today traveled to Indianapolis to highlight the Department’s “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign’s continued partnership with the National Football League (NFL) to help ensure the safety and security of employees, players and fans during the regular season, and Super Bowl XLVI. “At a major national event like the Super Bowl, security is a shared responsibility and everybody has a role to play in identifying and reporting suspicious activities and threats,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Our partnership with the NFL on the “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign during the Super Bowl is a critical part of our efforts to ensure the safety of every employee, player and fan.”
A flyer designed by the FBI and the Department of Justice to promote suspicious activity reporting in internet cafes lists basic tools used for online privacy as potential signs of terrorist activity. The document, part of a program called “Communities Against Terrorism”, lists the use of “anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address” as a sign that a person could be engaged in or supporting terrorist activity. The use of encryption is also listed as a suspicious activity along with steganography, the practice of using “software to hide encrypted data in digital photos” or other media. In fact, the flyer recommends that anyone “overly concerned about privacy” or attempting to “shield the screen from view of others” should be considered suspicious and potentially engaged in terrorist activities.
A collection of 25 flyers produced by the FBI and the Department of Justice are distributed to local businesses in a variety of industries to promote suspicious activity reporting. The fliers are not released publicly, though several have been published in the past by news media and various law enforcement agencies around the country. We have compiled this collection from a number of online sources.
A copy of the appeal presented by Julian Assange’s lawyers to the U.K. Supreme Court in the matter of Julian Paul Assange vs. the Swedish Prosecution Authority.
Steganography—the practice of concealing data within a carrier—may be used to obscure malicious or criminal information and activity from law enforcement. While steganography dates to the fifth century BC, it has long been regarded as, and remains, one of the most advanced forms of clandestine communication. In modern usage, the Internet allows accessibility to, and broad dissemination of, steganography tools, and its application continues to evolve with technology. Understanding steganography in its current state is essential to its identification and detection.
If you watch the Super Bowl next Sunday, between the commercials and the elaborate half-time show, take a moment to to think about the one aspect of the event that you will not see: the massive deployment of federal and local law enforcement resources to achieve what is already being called “the most technologically secure Super Bowl in the history of the Super Bowl.” The game, which will take place February 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, will be secured by an unprecedented number of measures including dozens of newly-installed night-vision cameras, mobile gamma-ray scanners and a $18 million fusion center staffed with officials from various federal agencies and the military.
The most recent version of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement released by the European Commission in May 2011.
Cary Bass – http://www.flickr.com/photos/bastique/
Glenn Halog – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ghalog/
Steve Rhodes – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ari/
Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Intelligence Fusion Centers, U.S. Secret Service
We have no specific or credible information indicating a threat to the US Capitol or the National Capital Region (NCR) to coincide with the 2012 State of the Union address. We assess, however, that al-Qa‘ida and its affiliates and allies remain committed to attacking the Homeland and, as of February 2010, al-Qa‘ida identified the NCR and the State of the Union address itself as important targets, presumably for attacks. Moreover, homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) as well as lone offenders could view the event as an attractive target, offering the means to inflict casualties and garner extensive media coverage. Detecting homeland plots involving HVEs and lone offenders continues to challenge law enforcement and intelligence agencies due to the operational independence of the perpetrators, which can reduce or eliminate preoperational indicators.
U.S. Army TRADOC Intelligence Support Activity (TRISA) Female Suicide Bombers report from January 2011.
Military helicopters will be flying high and dipping low above the skies of Los Angeles Thursday as part of a special operations training program. Sky2 captured dramatic maneuvers Wednesday night as a Blackhawk helicopter and four other OH-6 helicopters – or “little birds” – flew over the city. The Blackhawk hovered over the U.S. Bank building before it made a practice drop-off at a nearby park.
Local governance in rural Afghanistan is not simple. Older customary local assemblies operate alongside GIRoA officials, Community Development Councils (CDC’s), and insurgent groups. Although we speak of insurgent governments as “shadow governments,” they rarely exist in the shadows for those over whom they wield power. In villages where insurgents continue to exercise control, the insurgents and not GIRoA perform traditional governmental functions; they levy taxes, resolve disputes (they are, in many villages the only law in town), and maintain local defense forces. Western Powers have invested their hope and their treasure in inventing a new form of local control: Community District Councils that come out of the National Solidarity Program (NSP). Managed by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) with funds from NGO’s and from the World Bank, these organizations set priorities for the expenditure of donor money and oversee contracts. Although they offer an alternative to the indiscriminate funding of the past that encouraged favoritism and corruption, these organizations have little authority except when it comes to the stewardship of outside money. As those development funds begin to dry up, will CDC’s vanish? Can they be further empowered?
This publication provides joint doctrine for planning and executing counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) operations. It outlines responsibilities, provides command and control considerations, discusses organizational options, details the C-IED process and attack the network methodology, and introduces models for coordinating with C-IED supporting organizations.
Tax forms for the various holdings of Willard “Mitt” Romney and his wife Ann for the years 2010-2011 as released by the Romney campaign.
The U.S. Army’s doctrine on information operations is getting an overhaul and a new name to reflect the changing nature of military operations. Information operations, which has traditionally included fields such as psychological operations and military deception, will now be incorporated into “Inform and Influence Operations” and changes to the doctrine will be reflected in an updated field manual to be released in 2012. The changes are in response to fundamental shifts in U.S. Army information operations that emphasize the increasingly integrated role of U.S. forces in stability operations and counterinsurgency.