• Free U.S. access to European financial data may end

    In the wake of 9/11, the EU gave the U.S. government free access to European bank and financial data under the SWIFT agreement; the Civil Liberties Committee of European MPs has just recommended that the EU reject renewal of the treaty; for the United States such access is essential to the fight against terrorists and their finances

  • Homeland security challenges for the Washington D.C. police, II

    Cathy Lanier, the chief of the Washington, D.C. police, says the one thought that keeps her awake at night is the threat that has not occurred to anyone — the failure of imagination as to what may come next; “What is it that we haven’t thought of that could happen?…That still scares me because I know it is there”

  • U.S. conducts scientific research to find more effective interrogation techniques

    Denis Blair, director of national intelligence, told legislators that the U.S. intelligence community is conducting “scientific research” to find better, more effective research techniques to use on terrorists

  • Terrorists hack gambling Web sites to finance operations

    Terrorists hack gambling Web sites to finance terrorist operations; one group of al Qaeda sympathizers made more than $3.5 million in fraudulent charges using credit card accounts stolen via online phishing scams and the distribution of Trojans; the group conducted 350 transactions at 43 different online gambling sites, using more than 130 compromised credit cards

  • U.S., Canada link up on Olympic security

    The United States and Canada have established a pilot project to enhance security in the waters of Puget Sound and off the Pacific Coast, in which the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the U.S. Coast Guard will cross-train, share resources and utilize each others’ vessels

  • Obama offers strategic redefinition, expansion of DHS mission

    In July 2002, nearly a year before DHS was created under former president George W. Bush, a handful of advisers hastily drafted in private a 90-page national homeland security strategy; that document was later criticized for being partially responsible — by overemphasizing terrorism at the expense of natural disasters — for the Bush administration’s botched response to Hurricane Katrina; in October 2007 the Bush administration updated its homeland security strategy; the Obama administration has now revised and expanded Bush’s 2007 changes; the new strategy states that preventing terrorism remains the cornerstone of homeland security, but it expands the definition of homeland security to include other hazards, among them mass cyberattacks, pandemics, natural disasters, illegal trafficking, and transnational crime

  • Super Bowl, Winter Olympics, soccer World Cup take extra security measures

    The organizers of three big sporting events – the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics, and the soccer World Cup – are taking extra security measures to ensure the safety of participants and spectators; The Winter Olympics’ security budget initially projected at $175 million now tops $900 million, and the force for the games will include more than 15,000 people, a surveillance blimp hovering over Vancouver, and more than 900 surveillance cameras monitoring competition venues and crowd-attracting public areas; at the Super Bowl, nearly everyone entering the stadium will be subjected to a pat-down search; exceptions would be a police officer in uniform, a player in uniform, and the president of the United States

  • Islamic suicide bombing in historical perspective

    The suicide bombing campaign by al Qaeda and its Sunni Arab allies in Iraq is second only to the Japanese Kamikaze campaign during the closing stages of the Second World in the number of suicide bombers it employed; the Islamic suicide bombers, though, managed to kill more people; the Kamikaze sank 34 U.A. and Allied ships and damage 368 others; about 4,900 Allied sailors died; the Islamic suicide bombers in Iraq killed 216 U.S. military personnel, 2,500 Iraqi troops and police, and more than 10,000 Iraqi civilian

  • Declassified report details intelligence failures leading up to failed terrorist attack

    The report criticizes the U.S. counterterrorism (CT)community for not connecting the dots related to the Christmas Day plot; “Unfortunately, despite several opportunities that might have allowed the CT community to put these pieces together in this case, and despite the tireless effort and best intentions of individuals at every level of the CT community, that was not done”

  • Boston mayor wants to block Yemeni tankers from Boston Harbor

    Yemen is disintegrating, and jihadists are moving in; the mayor of Boston says it is unsafe to allow tankers delivering liquefied natural gas from Yemen into Boston Harbor; “They cannot be coming into a harbor like Boston, where there is less than 50 feet between the tankers and residential areas,’ the mayor says of Yemeni tankers’

  • Holiday cheer from – and for – those on the frontline

    Tech. Sgt. Nathan Gallahan posts holiday greetings from Afghanistan; what do U.S. soldiers carry with them in the war zone? “The only possessions these soldiers had were what they could carry on their back and holiday cards from school children from across our beautiful nation”

  • India, Israel discuss counter-terrorism, intelligence sharing, arms delivery

    India and Israel both face Islamic militants and nuclear-armed, or would-be nuclear armed, adversaries; the defense and intelligence cooperation between the two countries has been steadily growing, and is now in the open

  • Obama administration makes stopping nuclear terror key goal

    The administration, in its February 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, will declare that stopping nuclear terrorism is its central aim on the nuclear front; countering nuclear terrorists — whether armed with rudimentary bombs, stolen warheads, or devices surreptitiously supplied by a hostile state – will become a task equal to the traditional mission of deterring a strike by major powers or emerging nuclear adversaries; shift in nuclear emphasis would mean devoting less money to modernizing bombers, missiles, and submarines, and more to surveillance satellites, reconnaissance planes, and undercover agents

  • DHS investigates counterfeit operation

    DHS suspects that there is a connection between the sale of counterfeit clothing and funding of terrorist actitivites; the Fresno police raids a clothing store in Fresno, California, and confiscated half a million dollars worth of phony designer jeans, T-shirts, handbags,
    and shoes.

  • Using rope to fight pirates

    New antipiracy device uses compressed air to fire a plastic cylinder containing either a coiled rope or net up to a range of 400 meters; the coiled line of net or rope, which has a parachute attached to the end, will unravel and lay out across the surface of the water; as a pirate boat travels through the water its propeller shaft will pick up the line and become entangled