Tag Archive for Department of Homeland Security

(U//LES) DHS Nuclear Spent Fuel Storage Vulnerabilities and Terrorist Indicators Reports

Spent fuel, after it is removed from the reactor core, is safely stored in specially designed pools at individual reactor sites around the country. The spent fuel is first placed into a spent fuel pool (Figure 1), which is like a deep swimming pool with racks to hold the fuel assemblies. It allows the fuel to begin cooling. The spent fuel is moved into the water pools from the reactor along the bottom of water canals, so that the spent fuel is always shielded to protect workers. Fuel assemblies are covered by a minimum of 25 feet of water within the pool, which provides adequate shielding from the radiation for anyone near the pool. Spent fuel pools are very robust structures that are constructed to withstand earthquakes and other natural phenomena and accidents. They are typically rectangular structures 20 to 40 feet wide, 30 to 60 feet long, and at least 40 feet deep. The outside walls are typically constructed of more than 3 feet of reinforced concrete. Spent fuel pools at pressurized water reactors (PWRs) are commonly located within an auxiliary building near the containment. Many of the PWR pools are located in the building’s interior. At boiling water reactors (BWRs), spent fuel pools are typically located at an elevated position within the reactor building, outside the primary containment area.

(U//LES) DHS Nuclear Power Plants Characteristics and Common Vulnerabilities Reports

A nuclear power plant is an arrangement of components used to generate electric power. Nuclear power plants used in the United States (U.S.) are either boiling water reactors (BWRs) or pressurized water reactors (PWRs). Boiling water reactors (Figure 1) use a direct cycle in which water boils in the reactor core to produce steam, which drives a steam turbine. This turbine spins a generator to produce electric power. Pressurized water reactors (Figure 2) use an indirect cycle in which water is heated under high pressure in the reactor core and passes through a secondary heat exchanger to convert water in another loop to steam, which in turn drives the turbine. In the PWR design, radioactive water/steam never contacts the turbine. Except for the reactor itself, there is very little difference between a nuclear power plant and a coal- or oil-fired power plant.

(U//FOUO) DHS “Red Cell” Report: How Terrorists Might Use a Dirty Bomb

An independent, unclassified analytic Red Cell session, sponsored jointly by the U.S. Departments of Energy and Homeland Security, found a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD) attack on the U.S. homeland to be highly appealing from a terrorist standpoint. The Red Cell group, which simulated two different terrorist cells, believed an RDD attack would be relatively easy to prepare and mount and could have wide-ranging physical, psychological, political, and economic impacts. The group believed radioactive materials would be easy to procure, especially from abroad, and found a variety of potential targets across the country. Participants expected that public distrust of official guidance would heighten fear and panic.

(U//FOUO) DHS “Red Cell” Report: How Terrorists Might Exploit a Hurricane

A key component of the IAIP/Competitive Analysis and Evaluation Office’s mission is convening a diverse range of governmental and nongovernmental experts who adopt a terrorist mindset to challenge traditional or existing assumptions about how terrorists might attack some aspect of our critical infrastructure. The ideas generated by these “red cells” contribute insights on potential terrorist threats to the homeland for state and local governments, law enforcement, and industry.

DHS Participation in Film and Television Productions Management Directive

It is Department of Homeland Security policy to use the broad authority granted in the Homeland Security Act of 2002, to further the Department’s missions, particularly with respect to disseminating the Department’s homeland security message. This directive sets Departmental policy for interaction between the Department and non-government, entertainment-oriented motion picture, television, advertising, video and multimedia productions/enterprises.

New DHS Reality Television Show to Feature Janet Napolitano

The first of the shows, “Inside DHS,” comes from Pilgrim Films & Television’s Craig Piligian (“The Ultimate Fighter,” “My Fair Wedding”). Stillerman describes the series, airing in the fall, as “the real story of the day-to-day battle to keep us safe, prepared and resilient.” It will follow DHS investigators from multiple points of view, tracking counterterrorism, border security and immigration enforcement. U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will be featured in at least some of the episodes. The White House had to greenlight DHS’ involvement in the show, which Piligian said will give “a first-time comprehensive look into the tactical workings” of this unit.

(U//FOUO) DHS Strategy for Improving Improvised Nuclear Device Attack Response

The mission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) includes acting as a focal point regarding natural and manmade crises and emergency planning. In support of the Department’s mission, the primary mission of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the Nation from all hazards, including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters, by leading and supporting the Nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation. Consistent with these missions, the Nuclear/Radiological Incident Annex to the National Response Framework (June 2008) sets forth DHS as the coordinating agency for all deliberate attacks involving nuclear/radiological materials, including radiological dispersal devices (RDDs) and improvised nuclear devices (INDs).

(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI 2010 Holiday Terrorism Warning


Department of Homeland Security to Run Suspicious Activity Reporting Ads at Walmart Checkouts

Walmart will join the Department of Homeland Security in a program called “If You See Something, Say Something” which encourages the American public to take an active role in ensuring the safety and security of the nation, DHS said Monday. “Homeland security starts with hometown security, and each of us plays a critical role in keeping our country and communities safe,” Secretary Janet Napolitano said as she thanked Walmart and the more than 320 stores who joined the national campaign Monday. Participating stores, eventually including 588 from 27 states, will play a short video message at select checkout locations to remind shoppers to contact local law enforcement to report suspicious activity, said a DHS statement.

(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI “Inspire” Al-Qaeda Magazine Second Edition Warning

(U//FOUO) This product is intended to provide perspective and understanding of the nature and scope of potentially emergent threats in response to the posting of the second edition of Inspire magazine. It is also intended to assist federal, state, local, and tribal government agencies and authorities, the private sector, and other entities to develop priorities for protective and support measures relating to an existing or emerging threat to the homeland security.

(U//FOUO) DHS Mubtakar Improvised Cyanide Gas Device Warning

(U//FOUO) Terrorists have shown considerable interest in an improvised chemical device called the mubtakar, which is designed to release lethal quantities of hydrogen cyanide, cyanogen chloride, and chlorine gases. One or more devices could be used in attacks in enclosed spaces, such as restaurants, theaters, or train cars. The mubtakar is small and could be transported in a bag or box, or assembled at the attack site. DHS and FBI encourage recipients of this document to report information about suspicious devices and the acquisition or possession of mubtakar precursor chemicals or components (see figures for details) to the nearest state and local fusion center and to the local FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.

(U//FOUO) DHS Small-Scale Toxin and Poison Attack Warning

(U//FOUO) Terrorists continue to express broad interest in toxins and poisons that could be used to contaminate food or water supplies, or spread through skin contact. Widely circulated terrorist manuals contain instructions for mixing toxins and poisons with skin penetrating enhancers such as oils, lotions, and other ointments. Other possible methods of delivery include adding toxins or poisons to beverages, fruits, vegetables, or other foods. Most toxins and poisons mentioned in terrorist manuals are more suitable for assassinations and small-scale attacks than for mass casualty attacks, but terrorists might calculate that a coordinated series of simultaneous small attacks could produce comparable casualties and widespread public fear, as well as erode consumer confidence.

U.S. Government Shuts Down More Than Seventy “Piracy” Web Sites, Seizes Domain Names

In what appears to be the latest phase of a far-reaching federal crackdown on online piracy of music and movies, a number of sites that facilitate illegal file-sharing were shut down this week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of the Department of Homeland Security. By Friday morning a handful of sites that either hosted unauthorized copies of films and music or allowed users to search for them elsewhere on the Internet, were shut down, their content replaced by a notice that said, in part: “This domain name has been seized by ICE — Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court.” In seizing the domain names of the sites, or Web addresses, the government effectively redirected any visitors to its own takedown notice.

(U//FOUO) DHS Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-8 Draft Implementation Concept

Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8/HSPD-8 establishes policies to strengthen the preparedness of the United States to prevent and respond to threatened or actual domestic terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies by requiring a national domestic preparedness goal; establishing mechanisms for improved delivery of Federal preparedness assistance to State and local governments; and outlining actions to strengthen preparedness capabilities of Federal, State, and local entities. This paper describes a concept for rapid and systematic implementation of the provisions of HSPD-8 to improve preparedness doctrine and practice and reorient preparedness programs and activities that converged within homeland security under a unified national all-hazards preparedness strategy.

(U//FOUO) DHS Snapshot: Yemen Explosive Packages on Cargo Aircraft

(U) As of 29 October, packages on cargo aircraft containing explosive materials were intercepted in the United Kingdom (UK) and Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The packages were shipped from Yemen, with the United States listed as the final destination. On the evening of 28 October,security officials at East Midlands Airport in Lockington, UK identified a suspicious package containing a modified printer-toner cartridge that was later confirmed to contain explosives.

NSA to Assist DHS with Domestic Cyberwarfare Operations

The Obama administration has adopted new procedures for using the Defense Department’s vast array of cyberwarfare capabilities in case of an attack on vital computer networks inside the United States, delicately navigating historic rules that restrict military action on American soil. The system would mirror that used when the military is called on in natural disasters like hurricanes or wildfires. A presidential order dispatches the military forces, working under the control of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

(U//FOUO) DHS Report: Small Unit Tactics in Terrorist Attacks

The DHS/Office for Bombing Prevention TRIPwire team is providing this Information Product to private sector owners and operators and law enforcement to alert them to small unit tactics used by terrorists throughout the world. This report is derived from a variety of open sources and government reports. At this time, there is no credible or specific information that terrorists are planning operations against public buildings in the United States, but it is important for Federal, State, and Local authorities, and private sector owners and operators to be aware of potential terrorist tactics.

(U//FOUO) DoE-DHS Energy Sector Critical Infrastructure Protection Plan

In its role as Energy SSA, DOE has worked closely with dozens of government and industry security partners to prepare this 2007 Energy SSP. Much of that work was conducted through the Sector Coordinating Councils (SCC) for electricity and for oil and natural gas, as well as through the Energy Government Coordinating Council (GCC). The electricity SCC represents more than 95 percent of the electric industry and the oil and natural gas SCC represents more than 98 percent of its industry. The GCC, co—chaired by DHS and DOE, represents all levels of government—Federal, State, local, and tribal-that are concerned with the Energy Sector.

Project 12 and the Public-Private Cybersecurity Complex

In early 2008, President Bush signed National Security Presidential Directive 54/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23 (NSPD-54/HSPD-23) formalizing the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI). This initiative created a series of classified programs with a total budget of approximately $30 billion. Many of these programs remain secret and the their activities are largely unknown to the public. Forbes reported in April 2008 that “Bush’s cyber initiative will spend as much as $30 billion to create a new monitoring system for all federal networks, a combined project of the DHS, the NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The data-sharing plan would offer information gathered by that massive monitoring system to the private sector in exchange for their own knowledge of cyber intrusions and spyware.”

(U//FOUO) DHS Project 12 Report: Critical Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships

The United States relies on critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR) for government operations and the health and safety of its economy and its citizens. The President issued National Security Presidential Directive 54 (NSPD-54)/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23 (HSPD-23), which formalized the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI). NSPD-54/HSPD-23 directs the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the heads of other Sector-Specific Agencies, to submit a report detailing the policy and resource requirements for improving the protection of privately owned U.S. critical infrastructure networks. The report is required to detail how the u.S. Government can partner with the private sector to leverage investment in intrusion protection capabilities and technology, increase awareness about the extent and severity of cyber threats facing critical infrastructure, enhance real-time cyber situational awareness, and encourage intrusion protection for critical information technology infrastructure.”

(U//FOUO) DHS, NCTC, FBI Homegrown Extremist Threat Reporting Brochure

The attempted bombing in Times Square on 1 May 2010 highlights the need to identify Homegrown Violent Extremists before they carry out a terrorist act. The ability of the bomber to operate under the radar demonstrates the difficulties associated with identifying terrorist activity and reinforces the need for law enforcement, at all levels, to be vigilant and identify individuals who are planning violence or other illegal activities in support of terrorism.

DHS to Begin Testing Iris Scanners on Illegal Immigrants

The Homeland Security Department plans to test futuristic iris scan technology that stores digital images of people’s eyes in a database and is considered a quicker alternative to fingerprints. The department will run a two-week test in October of commercially sold iris scanners at a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas, where they will be used on illegal immigrants, said Arun Vemury, program manager at the department’s Science and Technology branch. “The test will help us determine how viable this is for potential (department) use in the future,” Vemury said.

Janet Napolitano Speech to the Council on Foreign Relations on “Refocusing” Homeland Security

So if 9/11 happened in a Web 1.0 world, terrorists are certainly in a Web 2.0 world now. And many of the technological tools that expedite communication today were in their infancy or didn’t even exist in 2001. So therefore, more than just hardware, we need new thinking. When we add a prominent former computer hacker to our Homeland Security Advisory Council, as I just did, it helps us understand our own weaknesses that could be exploited by our adversaries. And the threats we face are by their very nature asymmetrical. Terrorism more often has become privatized violence—does not rely on links, links to an army or to a sovereign state. We often hear that this is what our globalized era looks like, but what is most salient about today’s environment is that it is also networked. And in a networked world, information true and false moves everywhere all the time. And in that networked world, everyone who is part of the network, meaning all of us, can enjoy the tremendous benefits, but also must be ready and willing to learn about and help address the vulnerabilities that come with these benefits. So the team we put on the field needs to be bigger, better networked and better trained. What are the implications for this network world for the Department of Homeland Security? It means that we must continue to take an all-hazards approach to preparedness, meaning we prepare for natural disasters as well as terrorist attacks. We need to comprehend and anticipate an expanding range of threats.