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The intent of the Houston HIDTA Threat Assessment, produced by the Houston Intelligence Support Center (HISC), is to identify the potential impact of drug trafficking trends within the Houston HIDTA and to deliver accurate and timely strategic intelligence to assist law enforcement agencies in the development of drug enforcement strategies.
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.
The growing popularity of methamphetamine over the past 15 years has increased the risk of exposure to the surrounding community and law enforcements personnel. Methamphetamine is a controlled substance that is “cooked” using many common household ingredients which can be volatile and generates by‐products that can be very harmful to humans. When these products are combined, they emit toxic fumes and may cause chemical burns upon contact. Toxic residue from the cooking process saturates every surface and can remain there for months or years if not properly sterilized. Since the chemicals can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin, everyone coming in contact with those surfaces is vulnerable. Acute exposure occurs over a relatively short time and produces symptoms that include: shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, dizziness, lack of coordination, chemical irritation, and burns to the skin, eyes, nose, or mouth. If toxicity levels are fairly high or a person is particularly vulnerable (i.e. pre‐existing breathing problems), acute exposure can cause death. Less significant exposure can result in headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, or lethargy, and can lead to other long‐term health problems.
The following Gang Threat Assessment, prepared by the Mississippi Analysis and Information Center (“MSAIC”), was produced to provide a general outlook of gang presence and criminal activity in the State of Mississippi. Data in this report was obtained from the Mississippi Department of Corrections (“MDOC”) and provides statistics, research and key findings from corrections data, law enforcement reports as well as academic and open source research. This assessment is a follow-up from the Interim Gang Threat Assessment issued by MSAIC in September of 2010. The assessment contains crimespecific and corrections statistics attributed to the four most prevalent gangs (“core” gangs) in the state: Gangster Disciples, Simon City Royals, Vice Lords and Latin Kings. From the four core groups they are attributed to the higher affiliations which are Folk Nation (Gangster Disciples and Simon City Royals) and People Nation (Vice Lords and Latin Kings). The assessment also includes brief descriptions of other gangs including MS-13, Aryan Brotherhood and Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.
(U//LES) Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Overview of Pharmaceutical Abuse and Diversion
The threat of pharmaceutical drug abuse and diversion in the Houston HIDTA has been dangerously high and increasing for the past several years. Drug investigators report that it is becoming more widespread, addicting abusers from middle school to middle age. Perhaps the most concerning threat related to pharmaceutical abuse is the alarmingly high potential for overdose or accidental death from controlled prescription drugs. In Harris County alone, from 2006 through 2008 pharmaceuticals were present in over 66% of the 1533 cases of toxicity-related deaths.1 In 2009, over 78% involved pharmaceuticals. Not only is diversion a deadly problem, it is incredibly profitable. Pain management clinic owners gross an average of $4,000-$5,000 per day at each location. A successful owner running multiple clinics can easily make $75,000 a week from only three operations, getting paid entirely in cash.
The intent of this bulletin is to provide Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) with a general knowledge of ambush tactics used by the Tijuana Cartel against Mexican LEOs in Tijuana, Mexico. The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Officer Safety Bulletin dated October 3, 2010, outlining Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations’ (DTOs) and San Diego street gangs’ use of Tijuana Cartel tactics in San Diego County, identified a need for a more comprehensive review of cartel tactics used south of the U.S. border.
According to recent open source reporting, law enforcement officers (LEO’s) have been encountering bombs made of innocuous trash bags that have caused injuries to responding officers or significant damage to property. LEO’s are encouraged not to touch the light (airy), low-flying, closed trash bags; consider evacuating the immediate area; and, to call the appropriate response personnel.
In April 2011, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reported up to 82 percent of all cocaine seized in the United States contained levamisole, a veterinary drug used to de-worm livestock. Law enforcement and public health officials in the United States are warning of serious public health consequences for drug users related to contaminated cocaine use.
As Al-Qa‘ida and other terrorist groups continue to seek innovative ways to conduct attacks and circumvent security procedures, there is concern that the holiday season provides attractive opportunities for terrorists to target the Homeland. This bulletin focuses on lodging facilities that serve large numbers of business and leisure travelers and provide venues for a variety of holiday events.
Historically, indoor Marijuana-Mushroom grows have been “no big deal” to law enforcement as a HazMat or public health concern. However, due to recent Arizona events the Department of Public Safety would like to bring situational awareness to law enforcement (LE) and first responders regarding the hazards associated with responding to indoor marijuana grow locations. This information is provided for officer safety purposes.
On April 8, 2011, an undercover officer working as part of a drug task force was shot while conducting surveillance. The officer survived the shooting but suffered injuries not only related to being shot but also from having his vehicle rammed several times during the incident. This bulletin is being produced to help outline some of the officer safety issues discussed during the initial review of the shooting incident, which may impact your future surveillance operations. The investigation into this shooting is on-going so specific details are not included, as to avoid compromising that investigation.
Infiltration of any law enforcement agency by a gang member can have severe ramifications for the agency involved, its employees, the public it serves, and its allied agencies. Gangs employ various tactics to include infiltrating an agency directly or indirectly, to achieve their objective; to counter this threat, law enforcement must remain cognizant of and employ mitigation strategies. Gangs’ motivations for infiltrating agencies vary; thus law enforcement must remain cognizant of suspicious employee behavior, identify possible motivations for infiltration, and employ mitigation strategies to counter infiltration threats.
The San Diego Law Enforcement Center (SD-LECC) convened an analytical task force in Spring 2010 to address the question: “What does cross-border kidnapping in San Diego look like?” Intelligence Analysts from Chula Vista Police Department, San Diego Sheriff’s Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis analyzed statistical, investigative and open source intelligence from local law enforcement agencies, FBI, DHS, ICE, CBP, DEA and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs to prepare this assessment. There is strong evidence—based on intelligence gathered from traditional and alternative sources, such as banks, hospitals, citizen interviews, wiretaps and private consulting firms—that kidnappings in the San Diego area are widely underreported. Consequently, this assessment offers a strategic baseline only; there is insufficient data to support a definitive study of cross-border kidnapping tactics and techniques. This assessment is intended to support law enforcement executives and practitioners in their efforts to collect additional information and combat this problem.
The information contained in this bulletin identifies a tactic recently employed against an Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZ DPS) officer. The incident occurred at a scheduled demonstration by a known citizen action group to protest the traffic cameras on Arizona’s highways. This information is provided for situational awareness to assist law enforcement engaged in public event site security; and for those monitoring potential threats at public gatherings.
There are many different ideologies that an anarchist may follow. Although there may be a number of differences, they all contain the same central belief. Anarchism is the idea that government (the state) is unnecessary and harmful. Anarchy is society without government. Anarchists are people who desire to live in a society without ru-lers as their ancestors once did. The main belief is that the community in which they live be dependant only upon itself. People who believe in government (such as liberals, conservatives, socialists and fascists) are known as “statists”. Anarchism opposes all forms of hierarchical control.
The Sovereign Citizens and Militia Movements have been in existence for a number of years and remain active throughout the US today. The Sovereign Citizen Movement began in the 1970’s when groups/individuals adopted right-wing anarchist ideologies originating from the theories of the group called the Posse Comitatus. The Militia Movement began to form not long after the 1993 Waco, Texas incident.
Restaurants in multiple states, including Michigan, are reporting phone calls from individuals claiming to be from the Health Department. Throughout Michigan, the scammers are requesting to schedule an inspection at the food establishment, as well as sensitive information about the business. According to the Better Business Bureau, this was a widespread occurrence in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2010.
The Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC) has no current information indicating an imminent threat to Colorado chemical sector critical infrastructure. However, both within the United States and abroad, recent attempts to perpetrate attacks utilizing the Postal and Shipping and Transportation Sectors has created a need for heightened awareness. The CIAC has produced this assessment to provide situational awareness on the current critical infrastructure threat environment, sector incidents and trends, as well as pertinent updates. Information contained in this report originates from CIAC cases, unclassified local, state, and federal databases, and open source reporting.
The Intelligence Community (IC) assesses the death of al-Qa’ida (AQ) leader Usama Bin Laden could result in retaliatory attacks in the Homeland and against U.S. and Western interests overseas. Attacks might originate with AQ Core elements in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan, with one of their affiliates overseas, and/or with individuals in the Homeland sympathetic to the cause but lacking a formal group association. We have no indications of advanced AQ Core plotting efforts in the Homeland, but the case of now-detained AQ operative Najibullah Zazi—who, along with two associates, planned to attack New York City subway in 2009 using homemade explosives— demonstrates that unidentified operatives could advance plotting in the Homeland.
“Designer drugs,” substances that have been developed especially to avoid existing drug control measures, are becoming a major concern across the nation and in New Jersey. One widely publicized “designer drug,” mephedrone, has been reported in an increasing number of countries and regions, and many countries have placed it under national control.