Jeffrey Sural

Foreign Repair Stations: The Security Trojan Horse

Recently, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on the issue of aircraft foreign repair station security. And while the Committee’s oversight on this issue is commendable, the hearing lacked one important item: an updated risk assessment. This omission, along with the testimony of three union representatives, suggests that security at foreign repair stations continues to be a Trojan horse for some.

DHS Grants: Ending the Addiction

They say the first step in battling addiction is admitting you have a problem. Congress has yet to take that step in facing its problem with homeland security grant funding. On Tuesday, FEMA’s Deputy Administrator, Timothy Manning, testified in the House Homeland Security Committee on FEMA’s attempts to measure the effectiveness of the DHS grants program. The Committee’s main criticism concerned the lack of methodologies and metrics for measuring the program’s effectiveness.

Erroll Southers: Optimism, Bathed In Caution

Erroll Southers, President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration, kicked his new career off in a very encouraging way today at his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

A Death Sentence for Registered Traveler

Defying one fatal blow after another the Registered Traveler (RT) program has managed to survive in a way that would make Lazarus envious. After a federal court prohibited Verified Identity Pass/Clear, now out of the RT business, from selling the personal data of its participants, there seemed to be no resurrecting RT.

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Change It

Yesterday Secretary Napolitano reached out to the public with a message to encourage citizen participation in the fight against terrorism. (Yes, I said it: terrorism. And so did she.) The message isn’t a new one but it is good to hear repeated.

Compartmentalizing Security: Checklists & Stovepipes

The 9/11 highjackers used deceit, anticipaticipation pilot reaction, and knowledge of a predictable checkpoint screening process to accomplish their mission. Box cutters – their only conventional ‘weapon’ – were an almost inconsequential part of their plot. This is the reason for Secure Flight and watch list checking.

TSA Reauthorization: Back to the Past

Yesterday the House passed HR 2200, the Transportation Security Administration Reauthorization Act. Several floor amendments were offered with one particularly troubling amendment noticeable above all the others. The amendment targets Whole Body Imagers (WBI) and sets restrictions on their use.

DHS Threat Assessments: More Psychology, less Idealism Needed

There has been a lot of news about the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence & Analysis’ (I&A) April 7, 2009 assessment on “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” Some of these news – rather commentary – reports have expressed concern with the assessment’s characterization of “rightwing.” Having read I&A’s report, I have to admit, some of the media outlets have a point.

Southbound Screening: Guilt and Shame Are Not Elements of a Risk-Based Security Program

It wasn’t surprising to hear that in a recent discussion with Mexico our government accepted some responsibility for aiding Mexican drug cartels by way of demand for drugs and gun smuggling. Are we employing the correct risk management tools to efficiently and effectively use the resources we have? Are we using a risk management analysis that includes guilt and shame instead of objective factors?