• Dolphins, sea lions find explosives, cuff and restrain hostile divers

    The annual Golden Guardian homeland security and disaster preparedness exercise was an occasion for U.S. Navy-trained dolphins and sea lions to demonstrate their superior skills in locating underwater mines and hostile divers; the animals not only detect mines and divers in murky waters — they also demonstrated their dexterity in cuffing and restraining hostile divers while signaling for help from their human counterparts

  • U.S. remains vulnerable, 9/11 commission leaders say

    Leaders of the 9/11 Commission lament the fact that more progress has not been made on several of the commission’s key recommendations — roadblocks to sharing intelligence, the inability of first responders to communicate on common radio frequencies, and the plethora of congressional committees that oversee DHS; Lee Hamilton calls for U.S. national ID

  • South Africa lax attitude to airport security worries FIFA

    South Africa promised FIFA that it would tighten security at airports ahead of the World Cup games which open in three weeks; investigative reporters proved that promise hollow when they managed easily to pass security checks on ten flights — out of the twenty they tried to board — in the country with steak knives, screwdrivers, razors, pairs of scissors, and even syringes in their luggage

  • Parking garage attendants double as anti-terror agents

    A program funded by FEMA and run by TSA teaches parking lot operators to watch for odd activities that could precede an attack by days or months: strange odors such as diesel from gasoline vehicles, cars parked where they should not be, people who seem to be conducting surveillance by taking photos or drawing sketches

  • Iran's nuclear fuel swap is a sham; sanctions may still be imposed

    Following a meeting in Tehran over the weekend of the leaders of Iran, Brazil, and Turkey, Iran said it agreed to send 1,200 kg of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Turkey in exchange for 120 uranium rods enriched to 20 percent; Turkey and Brazil were quick to argue that there is no reason now for sanctions on Iran; the deal, though, is a sham; Iran has more than a ton of LEU left, and most importantly: it continues aggressively to enrich uranium and it has accelerated work on other components of a nuclear weapon

  • Chinese nationals convicted of illegally exporting military technology to China

    The Chinese broad campaign of stealing U.S. military and commercial technology intensifies, but so does the rate of conviction of Chinese and American nationals who are the foot soldiers in this campaign; two Chinese nationals are convicted in Massachusetts for illegally delivering to China electronics components used in military radar and electronic warfare

  • U.S. allocates $790 million for infrastructure and preparedness

    DHS announces $790 million in infrastructure and preparedness grants; the grants include $253.4 million to protect critical transit infrastructure from terrorism — in addition to $150 million in transit security grants provided by the Recovery Act (1, 2), for a total of $403.4 million

  • Workshop to evaluate threat of insect-based terrorism

    One way terrorists may use unleash a bioterror attack on U.S. population centers is by introducing pathogen-infected mosquitoes into an area, then let the insects pursue their deadly mission; many of the world’s most dangerous pathogens — Rift Valley, chikungunya fever, or Japanese encephalitis — already are transmitted by arthropods, the animal phylum that includes mosquitoes

  • Personal cell phone data of millions of Mexicans for sale at Mexico flea market

    The Mexican government decreed that all Mexicans must register their cell phones; Mexicans, familiar with the thorough corruption and ineffectiveness of the Mexican state, were worried that the personal information would be stolen or misused; they were right: weeks after millions of Mexicans registered their phones, their personal data became available for sale for a few thousand dollars at Mexico City’s wild Tepito flea market; the treasure trove of data also included lists of police officers with their photographs; in a country seized by the fear of kidnapping and held hostage by violent crime bosses, having this personal information on open display seemed tantamount to a death sentence, or, at the minimum, a magnet for trouble

  • Insurers refuse to cover journalists working in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

    Insurance companies use actuarial tables to determine the cost of one’s life insurance premium; at times the price is so high, individuals may be deterred from buying a policy; at times the risk is so high, insurance companies would refuse to offer a policy; insurance companies now refuse to offer life insurance to journalists covering the drug war in Mexico

  • Cyber bill would create strong cyber director post, tighten cyber monitoring of agencies

    New bill being debated in the House Of Representatives would create a cyberspace director position that requires confirmation from the Senate and create a national cyberspace office; the legislation would also provide the new cyber coordinator position with budgetary authority, which is presently lacking

  • U.S. home-grown jihadism increased three-fold in 2009, but remains marginal

    There are more than 3 million Muslims in the United States, and few more than 100 have joined jihad — about one out of every 30,000 — suggesting an American Muslim population that remains hostile to jihadist ideology and its exhortations to violence

  • Operation targeting counterfeit network hardware from China yield convictions, seizures

    Departments of Justice and DHS announce 30 convictions, more than $143 million in seizures from initiative targeting traffickers in counterfeit network hardware made in China; this counterfeit network hardware is a technological sleeper cell: the Chinese have manufactured counterfeit Cisco routers and switches and offered them at exceedingly low prices; U.S. vendors upgrading or replacing U.S. government IT systems used these counterfeit devices — and the FBI and other government agencies are now worried that the gear offers the Chinese undetectable back-doors into highly secure government and military computer system

  • Elements in Pakistan's intelligence service "involved in Times Square plot"

    Many of the terrorists groups based in Pakistan are supported — and some were created — by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s secret service, to be used in the on-going conflict with India over Kashmir; for many in ISI, heeding the U.S. demand to dismantle the Pakistani terrorist networks is tantamount to Pakistani unilateral disarmament in its struggle with India; it now emerges that elements — perhaps rogue elements — within the ISI were involved in the Times Square plot

  • U.S. terror concentrated in New York City; bombs weapon of choice

    New York City is, by far, the most frequent site of terrorism in the United States; 284 terror attacks occurred in New York’s five boroughs between 1970 and 2007; it has thus suffered more attacks than the next four most frequently target cities combined (Miami, 70; San Francisco, 66; Washington, D.C., 59; Los Angeles, 54)