• ICx Technologies: comprehensive, layered approach to security

    At the recent ASIS exhibition and seminar, Homeland Security Newswire took the time to walk through the ICx Technologies booth and speak to some of their subject matter experts; CommandSpace® & ThreatSense™, solutions which provide a comprehensive, layered approach to perimeter security and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear security for critical facilities, respectively, were on display

  • Harvard law students sue TSA over pat-downs, full-body scanning

    Two Harvard law students sue TSA, seeking to rein in use of full-body scans and pat-downs at airports; this is at least the sixth suit filed against the TSA since the agency put the enhanced screening procedures into widespread use following the so-called underwear bomber’s unsuccessful attempt to blow up a plane last Christmas with explosives hidden beneath his clothes; the pat-downs, which include “prodding and lifting of genitals and buttocks,” is so intrusive that, “if done non-consensually, would amount to sexual assault in most jurisdictions,” the Harvard students’ complaint says

  • TSA: Religion offers no exemption from airport screening

    An airline passenger was thrown out of the San Diego airport for rejecting a full-body scan and pat-down groin check and instead insisting on passing through a metal detector; the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says the agency will not allow airline passengers to get out of body imaging screening or pat-downs based on their religious beliefs; TSA chief John Pistole said that passengers who refuse to go through a full-body scanner machine and reject a pat-down will not be allowed to board, even if they turned down the in-depth screening for religious reasons; “That person is not going to get on an airplane,” Pistole said yesterday in a congressional committee testimony

  • Drive-by X-ray vans raise privacy, health worries

    DHS, the U.S. military, and even local law enforcement agencies are buying and deploying mobile X-ray vans that can see into the interior of vehicles around them; the Z Backscatter Van (ZBV), manufactured by American Science and Engineering (AS&E), can be used to detect contraband such as car bombs, drugs, and people in hiding; the van looks like a standard delivery van, and it takes less than fifteen seconds to scan passing vehicles; it can be operated remotely from more than 1,500 feet and can be equipped with optional technology to identify radioactivity as well; the vans, which can also see through clothing and into some buildings, are raising privacy concerns as well as questions about health risks — and what might happen if the technology gets into the wrong hands

  • Insect-size air vehicles to explore, monitor hazardous environments

    High-performance micro air vehicles (MAVs) are on track to evolve into robotic, insect-scale devices for monitoring and exploration of hazardous environments, such as collapsed structures, caves and chemical spills

  • Pentagon shifts $1 billion from WMD-defense efforts to vaccine development

    The Obama administration has shifted more than $1 billion out of its nuclear, biological, and chemical defense programs to underwrite a new White House priority on vaccine development and production to combat disease pandemics; Defense Department projects under the budget-cutting ax include the development and acquisition of biological and chemical detection systems; gear to decontaminate skin and equipment after exposure; systems to coordinate military operations in a chem-bio environment; and protective clothing for military personnel entering toxic areas, the document indicates

  • Flir to acquire sensor maker ICx for $274 million

    Flir, maker of thermal imaging technology, is acquiring ICx for $274 million; the merger will give Flir the capability to expand into the market for advanced sensors for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear explosives (CBRN) detection for homeland security and defense

  • Evidence shows Turkish use of chemical weapons against Kurdish fighters

    German medical experts have confirmed the authenticity of photographs showing eight dead Kurdish PKK fighters — and that the photos prove that they were killed by “chemical substances”; Turkey has been suspected for a while now of using chemical weapons against Kurdish militants, and German politicians across the political spectrum, as well as human rights organizations, have called on Turkey to explain the findings; Turkey denies the charges, calling them “PKK propaganda”

  • India equipped to protect the October Commonwealth Games against WMD attacks

    India will have a big security challenge when the Commonwealth Games begin in October; Indian security agencies say they are equipped to face chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorist threats during the games; intelligence agencies have been working on the possibility of attacks from Kashmiri groups like the Hizbul Mujahidden, the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Taliban from Pakistan or Afghanistan, and even Al Qaeda; militant outfits of various other ideological hues are also on the police radar

  • NY Naval Militia in WMD detection homeland security exercise on Hudson River

    Several New York States government agencies take part in an exercise on the Hudson River aimed to examine radiation detection capabilities; the exercise was part of Trojan Horse 2010 an annual maritime security training exercise sponsored by State University of New York Maritime College

  • Airports, carriers face additional costs as a result of 100 percent cargo inspections

    On 1 August, 100 percent of air cargo carried on passenger planes in the United States must be screened for explosives and other illicit materials before the cargo is placed on the plane; this is up from the current level of 75 percent; DHS has already said it would not meet this deadline, but carriers are worried about the added cost nonetheless: electronic screening equipment is expensive, with some units costing as much as several hundred thousand dollars

  • Breakthrough: day of terahertz remote sensing nears

    Terahertz (THz) wave technology, has great potential for homeland security and military uses because it can “see through” clothing and packaging materials and can identify immediately the unique THz “fingerprints” of any hidden materials; a major breakthrough opens the way for detecting hidden explosives, chemical, biological agents, and illegal drugs from a distance of twenty meters

  • Study explores the use of terahertz sensors

    New work into the ability of nanometallic or plasmonic structures to concentrate light into deep-subwavelength volumes holds a promise of new applications for terahertz sensors for improving optical sources, detectors and modulators for optical interconnections, and for creating biomolecules

  • NJIT physicist: Terahertz imaging is the ultimate defense against terrorism

    THz imaging systems have an inherent advantage over millimeter wave imaging systems owing to the intrinsically improved spatial resolution that one can achieve with the shorter wavelength THz systems (typically 300 micrometer wavelength) compared to longer wavelength millimeter wave systems; instruments using terahertz imaging are widely used in laboratories and have shown some limited use in commercial applications — but a THz imaging system for security screening of people has not yet reached the market; the NJIT THz device has great promise

  • NYC takes extra measures to protect subway from terror

    The New York City’s subway system is a porous, 24-hour-a-day system with 468 stations and an average of 5 million riders a day; NYC security officials insist the city remains the nation’s No. 1 terror target, and they devote extra resources to protecting Wall Street, the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge. and other high-profile potential targets; their biggest worry — spurred by the recent bombing in Moscow and a foiled plot in New York — is the subway