• 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)

  • DHS may have short-changed New York, Chicago in allocating USAI funds

    New methodology applied to DHS budget allocation shows that New York and Chicago received too little in Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) from 2005 to 2009, relative to the terrorism risk they faced, while the Los Angeles-Long Beach area received too much; if DHS were to follow the research methodology, New York City would have received anywhere between $15 to $92 million more in UASI funding in 2009

  • After Times Square, questions raised about naturalization process

    The suspect in the Times Square car bombing attempt is the latest in a series of U.S. citizens and green card holders to be implicated in a terror plot inside the United States, raising questions about the naturalization process that turns foreigners into Americans

  • Obama permits CIA to broaden UAV war target list in Pakistan

    President Obama gave the CIA secret permission to attack a wider range of targets, including suspected militants whose names are not known, as part of a dramatic expansion of its campaign of UAV strikes in Pakistan’s border region; of more than 500 people who U.S. officials say have been killed since the pace of strikes intensified, the vast majority have been individuals whose names were unknown, or about whom the agency had only fragmentary information. In some cases, the CIA discovered only after an attack that the casualties included a suspected terrorist whom it had been seeking

  • New York City's leaders urge Congress to close "Terror Gun Gap"

    In the United States, the fact that you are on the terrorist watch list does not disqualify you from purchasing an AK-56 assault rifle (if your immigration status is unclear, you are disqualified); FBI data showed that between 2004 and February 2010, a total of 1,228 background checks were conducted for purchases of firearms and explosives attempted by people on the U.S. terrorist watch list; of those purchases, 91 percent were allowed to proceed, while a total of 109 were denied

  • Mumbai gunman sentenced to death in India

    The sole surviving gunmen of the November 2008 Mumbai attack, in which 166 people were killed, was sentenced to death by an Indian court; the attack was noted not only because of its scope, but also because of the degree of complicity of the Pakistani army and intelligence services in its planning and execution, and the admission by the Pakistani government that the perpetrators were Pakistanis and that the plot was hatched on Pakistani soil

  • U.S. officials: Smaller terrorist attacks would be devastating

    Terrorism experts say Saturday’s botched car bombing in New York’s Times Square, and other recent plots, could be a sign that militant groups, hard-hit by U.S. drone strikes targeting their leaders, were starting to opt for smaller, rather than more spectacular, terror attacks; there are about 450 commercial airports and more than 50,000 malls and shopping centers in the United States; National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair and CIA chief Leon Panetta have both warned these could be targets for attack

  • Map offers details of DHS grant money disbursement since 9/11

    The federal government — and, since 2003, DHS — have disbursed more than $30 billion in grants to states and localities since the 9/11 attacks; now you can see where each dollar went, and what states and localities did with the money they received; most of the money was used for homeland security-related projects; an uncomfortably large amount, though, was used in a way not as directly related to securing the home front

  • Taliban uses poisonous gas in attack on Kabul girls school

    The Taliban continues its violent campaign against girls’ education in Afghanistan; the Taliban’s latest tactics; poisonous gas attacks on girls’ schools, aiming to scare students and teachers; in mid-April the Taliban attacked three girls’ schools in northern Afghanistan; yesterday, the Taliban attacked a school in the middle of Kabul; twenty-two students and three teachers were hospitalized

  • U.S. has 5,113 strategic nuclear warheads -- down from 31,225 in 1967

    IN 1967 The United States had 31,255 strategic nuclear warheads in its arsenal; in 1989, the number fell to 22,217; today, the number of warhead is 5,113; the number of non-strategic, or tactical, nuclear weapons fell by 90 percent between 1991 and 2009

  • U.S. steps up Awlaki targeting

    In an unprecedented move, president Obama in April authorized the assassination of U.S.-born radical Yemeni cleric Anwar al Awlaki; Awlaki was involved in the attempt to bring down a U.S. passenger plane on Christmas Day and in the shooting by U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan in Fort Hood, Texas; the U.S. military is deploying an increasing number of UAVs to the skies of Yemen in search of Awlaki