• Updated solution allows quick, secure information sharing

    Visual Alert 2 enables law enforcement agencies to get real-time access to police records through Pennsylvania’s Law Enforcement Justice Information System (LEJIS) and other authorized information sharing networks while the department maintains secure control of the information it shares

  • The challenge of fighting Lashkar-e-Toiba

    In her debut guest column, Bidisha Biswas, an associate professor of political science at Western Washington University, explores the threat that Lashkar-e-Toiba poses to the United States as well as India and Pakistan and what can be done to stop the extremist group

  • Inspectors uncover Qaddafi’s hidden WMD stockpile

    Last week international weapons inspector found clear evidence that the late Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi had large caches of hidden chemical weapons, despite making a promise to destroy all weapons of mass destruction weapons in 2004

  • Police chiefs at White House to discuss domestic radicalization

    Law enforcement officials from state and local agencies across the United States gathered on Wednesday at the White House to discuss the delicate balance between safeguarding against domestic extremism and maintaining the trust of the residents they serve

  • Water pumps and terrorism-related information sharing systems

    With thousands of local law enforcement agencies, critical infrastructure operators, and concerned citizens reporting suspicious incidents, Homeland Security officials are inundated with data; effectively sorting through that information is a problem, as was illustrated last November by a report that a water pump at an Illinois water utility was broken by Russian hackers; the preliminary report caused panic about U.S. infrastructure vulnerability, but ultimately proved incorrect; it took more than a week for federal investigators to reach its conclusion, showing DHS ongoing problems with streamlining information sharing processes with its Fusion Centers

  • China teams up with Ukraine to fight terrorism

    Last week, top Chinese and Ukrainian security officials agreed to strengthen law enforcement cooperation between the two countries to combat terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal immigration, and trans-national crime; Ukrainian officials said it would work with China to combat cybercrime and other forms of trans-national organized crimes as well as the “three forces of evil” — terrorism, extremism, and separatism; Ukraine also pledged to provide more convenience for Chinese citizens entering and exiting its border; during China’s minister of public security Meng Jianzhu’s visit, the two countries signed cooperation documents

  • Al Qaeda "very much alive"; U.S. needs to be "aggressive and preemptive"

    Representative Peter King (R-New York), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, reflects back on the 9/11 attacks, discusses critical lessons learned, and the greatest threats facing the United States over the next decade; “—we have largely learned that we need to be aggressive and preemptive when it comes to our national security. Increasingly, we do not wait for an attack before we respond, but we go after and disrupt the threat before an attack can be launched; Law enforcement at all levels must follow suit, thinking more imaginatively and “outside the box.”

  • Napolitano enlists MIT engineers and scientists

    At a recent speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urged for greater private sector involvement to help develop technological solutions to secure critical infrastructure and the border; Napolitano said that technology will be the key to DHS’ future in screening passengers and cargo more effectively and efficiently; she also called for more people with cybersecurity, engineering, and science skills to assist the government; in particular, she pointed to the “data problem,” with the massive amounts of data that government agencies must sift through to detect terrorist threats, the sheer volume alone presents a logistical challenge to counter-terrorism efforts

  • New database critical to success of "See Something, Say Something"

    DHS is developing effective information sharing systems with local law enforcement agencies and federal counter-terrorism offices to ensure that its new “See Something, Say Something” campaign can function effectively; the new National Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSARI) will create a national database and processes to sort through the increasing number of suspicious activity reports (SARs) by combining three online databases and allowing local agencies to search across all systems for information without having to change existing business practices; officials hope to complete the system by September of this year; a recent planned terrorist attack in Texas was thwarted when two tips came in using the system

  • U.K. government spent millions on botched spy ring

    The U.K. government spends £5 million a year to operate the NPOIU, which monitors domestic environmental and animal rights activists; the NPOIU has been hit with a series of scandals after it was revealed that one of its spies began actively to aid the group he was sent to monitor; the operation led to the failed trial of six activists after the agent offered evidence in their favor; the unit has been stripped of its funding and placed under the command of the Metropolitan Police; the unit was previously run by a private entity

  • U.S.: Mexico's drug war posing growing threat to U.S. national security

    The Obama administration sees the drug-related violence sweeping Mexico as a growing threat to U.S. national security and has launched a broad review of steps the military and intelligence community could take to help combat what U.S. officials describe as a “narcoinsurgency”; one problem with increased intelligence collaboration: U.S. agencies have been wary of sharing some intelligence because of concerns that some of their Mexican counterparts may be on the payroll of the cartels

  • Resurgence of violence in Ireland leads to questions about MI5 intelligence gathering

    The Police Federation of Northern Ireland has attributed 49 bomb incidents and 32 shooting incidents to dissident republicans since the beginning of the year; so far this year, on both sides of the border, there have been 155 arrests and 46 charges related to militant republican activities compared with 108 arrests and 17 charges in the whole of 2009; law enforcement authorities in Northern Ireland complain about an alleged lack of information from MI5 about increasingly active republican groups

  • FBI grants more top secret clearances for terrorism cases

    Security clearances granted to members of the FBI’s network of regional terrorism task forces jumped to 878 in 2009, up from 125 in 2007, signaling intensified attention to domestic terror threats; part of the increase is because of the rapid expansion of the terrorism task forces created after the 2001 assaults to disrupt future terror plots; since 2001 the number of terror units, which draw on federal, state, and local investigators, have grown from 35 to 104 nationwide

  • Ireland to block EU-Israel data-sharing agreement

    The EU and Israel planned on launching a data sharing agreement aimed to enable law enforcement better to identify and track terrorists and criminals; Ireland, still smarting from what it says was Israel intelligence’s misuse of Irish passports in the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai earlier this year, blocks the agreement

  • U.S. government releases more mobile apps

    The U.S. government is increasing the pace of releasing mobile apps to the public; more than 100 apps are either available now or currently under development (though not all will be issued to the public); the latest apps to be released: FBI Most Wanted, My TSA, and product recalls