October 7, 2011 in Department of Homeland Security
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October 7, 2011 in Department of Homeland Security
October 6, 2011 in Department of Homeland Security
October 6, 2011 in Department of Homeland Security
According to multiple media reports, on 7 September an explosion occurred inside the reception area of the Delhi High Court in New Delhi, India at approximately 10:00am local time. The blast killed at least 11 people and injured some 76 others. Indian authorities reported to the press that the explosives were inside a briefcase left in a reception area in between the security gates of the High Court. India’s National Security Guard Director indicated that the device contained ammonium nitrate, which was also used in the most recent bomb against the court complex on 25 May. Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HUJI) claimed responsibility for the blast in an e-mail message and demanded that India repeal the death sentence of Afzal Guru, who was convicted of attacking the Indian Parliament building in 2001 and is awaiting execution.
September 26, 2011 in News
Five miles southeast of the gleaming Capitol dome, on a scenic bluff overlooking the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, the future office of the secretary of Homeland Security sits boarded up and abandoned. Four years ago, U.S. officials announced plans to renovate the dilapidated, castle-like structure —opened in 1855 as the Government Hospital for the Insane — to anchor Washington’s largest construction project since the Pentagon was built 70 years ago. The goal was to unite on a single campus the 22 agencies that were stitched together to form the Department of Homeland Security after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But the $3.4-billion headquarters project stalled as Congress tried to cut the federal deficit. Lawmakers debated this month whether the nation could afford such a massive home-improvement project, and the House has voted to eliminate the funding in next year’s budget.
September 21, 2011 in Department of Homeland Security
September 21, 2011 in News
The city of Houston has partnered with federal authorities to launch a new national public awareness program that will give citizens an outlet for reporting suspicious terroristic-like activity to local and state law enforcement agencies, officials announced today. Beginning Tuesday, residents from Houston and surrounding areas will be able to access iwatchHouston.org to access information, videos that will aid people in identifying indicators of terrorism and other violent crime as well as a channel for them to report that activity to authorities. The regional campaign is part of the national “If You See Something, Say Something,” initiative created to help encourage “hometown security,” according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano who announced the partnership during a press conference at the Lone Star College Victory this morning.
September 20, 2011 in News
The recent ten-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks brought a deluge of news regarding the transformation of the United States in the wake of the most devastating terrorist attacks in the country’s history. Many reports focused on debating the efficacy, or lack thereof, of policies implemented over the decade since the attacks occurred. One set of particularly revealing reports from the Center for Investigative Journalism discussed suspicious activity reporting at the Mall of America and the transformation of Homeland Security following September 11. Some publications discussed the waste inherent in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its various grant programs. In addition to these critical evaluations of security policy, a number of public relations pieces from the national network of fusion centers appeared in local publications around the country. A local television station in Michigan covered the state’s local fusion center, having “unprecedented access” to walk around inside without cameras. Another piece from Tennessee discussed the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s fusion center, ending with appeals for viewers to report suspicious activity and “say something” if they “see something”. Articles from other states including Arkansas and Alabama, sometimes written by Homeland Security officials, emphasized the important work of their local fusion centers and the continued need for funding and support.
September 19, 2011 in Department of Homeland Security
September 14, 2011 in News
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced new partnerships between the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign and several sports organizations and collegiate universities. Partnerships include National Football League (NFL) teams, Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, the U.S. Open Tennis Championships (USTA), Ohio State University, and the University of Oklahoma. “Every citizen plays a critical role in identifying and reporting suspicious activities and threats,” said Secretary Napolitano. “By expanding the ‘If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign we are working together to ensure the safety and security of fans, players, employees, and students.”
(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Potential Al-Qaeda Threat to New York City and Washington, DC During 9/11 Anniversary Period
We assess that al-Qa‘ida has likely maintained an interest since at least February 2010 in conducting large attacks in the Homeland timed to coincide with symbolic dates, to include the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. We also remain concerned that the May 2011 death of Usama bin Ladin (UBL), coupled with the subsequent removal of several key al-Qa’ida figures, could further contribute to al-Qa’ida’s desire to stage an attack on a symbolic date—such as the 10-year anniversary of 9/11—as a way to avenge UBL’s death and reassert the group’s relevance, although operational readiness likely remains the primary driving factor behind the timing of al-Qa’ida attacks.
Al-Qa‘ida and its affiliates have maintained an interest in obtaining aviation training, particularly on small aircraft, and in recruiting Western individuals for training in Europe or the United States, although we do not have current, credible information or intelligence of an imminent attack being planned against aviation by al-Qa‘ida or its affiliates.
September 9, 2011 in Department of Homeland Security
September 7, 2011 in Government Accountability Office
Since it began operations in 2003, DHS has implemented key homeland security operations and achieved important goals and milestones in many areas to create and strengthen a foundation to reach its potential. As it continues to mature, however, more work remains for DHS to address gaps and weaknesses in its current operational and implementation efforts, and to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of those efforts to achieve its full potential. DHS’s accomplishments include developing strategic and operational plans; deploying workforces; and establishing new, or expanding existing, offices and programs.
As of February 2010, al-Qa‘ida was allegedly contemplating conducting an operation against trains at an unspecified location in the United States on the tenth anniversary of 11 September 2001. As one option, al-Qa‘ida was looking at the possibility of tipping a train by tampering with the rails so that the train would fall off the track at either a valley or a bridge. Al-Qa‘ida noted that an attack from tilting the train would only succeed one time because the tilting would be spotted. Al-Qa‘ida also noted that newer train cars each have their own braking system, and that movement in a specific direction would derail it, but would not cause it to fall off the track.
August 30, 2011 in Department of Homeland Security
Malicious users seeking to exploit interest related to physical events such as earthquakes and hurricanes will likely use subject lines and attachment titles related to the incidents in phishing e-mails. Network administrators and general users should be aware of these attempts and avoid opening messages with attachments and/or subject lines related to physical events.
August 29, 2011 in Department of Homeland Security
This Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) highlights potential terrorist threats related to the 10-year anniversary of the 11 September 2001 (9/11) attacks. This JIB provides perspective on the threat to the Homeland and US interests overseas from al-Qa‘ida, al-Qa‘ida affiliates and allies, and al-Qa‘ida-inspired homegrown violent extremists (HVEs). FBI and DHS are providing this information to support their respective activities and to assist federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government counterterrorism and law enforcement officials, as well as first responders and private sector security officials, in effectively deterring, preventing, or disrupting terrorist attacks against the United States. Unless otherwise noted, this JIB uses the FBI’s definitions of terms, which may differ from the definitions used by DHS.
August 18, 2011 in News
Recent partnerships with the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign include the Indianapolis 500, the U.S. Open, the Washington State Ferries, The City of Los Angeles, AEG Worldwide, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), Walmart, Mall of America, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Amtrak, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. In addition more than 9,000 federal buildings, the general aviation industry, and state and local fusion centers across the country also participate in the campaign.
This Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) updates a DHS-FBI joint analytic product of the same title dated 3 September 2010 and is intended to provide warning and perspective regarding the scope of the potential terrorist threats to the United States, specifically towards US persons. This product is provided to support the activities of DHS and FBI and to help federal, state, and local government counterterrorism and law enforcement officials deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to terrorist attacks directed against the United States.
“Body packing” is a well-documented concealment method criminals have used to smuggle drugs or other contraband. Body packing in humans and animals may involve several forms of concealment — including insertion into body orifices, ingestion, or possibly surgical implantation—of illicit items or material inside or hidden on the body to escape detection by security systems and personnel. Terrorists often assign high priority to concealment in planning attacks, and such methods—to include surgical implantation—offer potential means for suicide operatives to deliver improvised explosive devices to targets.
August 10, 2011 in Department of Homeland Security
Reported copper thefts from critical infrastructure and key resource (CIKR) sectors in the United States rose at least 50 percent in 2010 compared to the previous year, largely driven by record-high prices for copper. Individuals and criminal organizations have engaged in copper thefts primarily for financial gain. We have seen no indication that terrorists are using copper thefts in the homeland as a tactic to damage or destroy CIKR facilities or to fund terrorist activity.
August 10, 2011 in Immigration and Customs Enforcement
The SM-CCTV System is a computer network consisting of closed-circuit video cameras, digital video recorders (DVRs), and monitoring capabilities that capture video-only feeds in and around ICE facilities. The purpose of the SM-CCTV System is to help ICE secure and regulate physical access to ICE facilities. The system also serves to enhance officer safety, prevent crimes, and assist in the investigation of criminal acts committed inside and on the perimeter of protected ICE facilities. Video surveillance also supports terrorism prevention and facility protection with its visible presence, and detects and deters unauthorized intrusion at ICE facilities. The SM-CCTV System is planned to be deployed in numerous ICE facilities nationwide.