For all the calls to consider ramping up rail security after police foiled what’s being called the first al-Qaeda directed plot in the country, experts suggest investing in counter-terrorism intelligence remains the best way to keep the public safe.
In 1999 a technology manager called Kevin Ashton coined the phrase “The Internet of Things”. Today, these “things” now include elements of our critical national infrastructure via what are called SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) systems or ICS (Industrial Control Systems). Unfortunately, these systems can be just as vulnerable to attack as our laptops.
Senior US intelligence officials, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and National Security Agency (NSA) Director, Army Gen. Keith Alexander, last month continued the cyberwar drumbeat with warnings to Congress that the US is woefully unprepared for a major cyberattack against critical infrastructures.
Canadian police and intelligence agencies will announce later today they have thwarted a plot to carry out a major terrorist attack, arresting two suspects in Montreal and Toronto. The investigation was part of a cross-border operation involving Canadian law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Border security, by some yardsticks, has come a long way in the past decade. The United States has spent at least $100 billion in its name, to the point where it now eclipses all other federal law enforcement spending. The Border Patrol has doubled in size to more than 21,000 agents. Apprehension of illegal immigrants recently fell to a 40-year low.
Once the drama in Boston is over, attention will inevitably turn to how to prevent another terrorist attack on an event with limited security. These so-called soft targets–places like malls and movie theaters, as well as sporting events–have always been vulnerable to terrorist attack, especially given how much harder it is to attack aircraft since 9/11.
As Hurricane Sandy approached landfall Monday, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials here were struggling with the question of how to deploy resources in the face of a powerful, far-reaching storm that was bearing down on a string of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.
As Hurricane Sandy started to batter the East Coast of the United States, the National Guard and U.S. military had more than 61,000 personnel mobilized and ready for duty. As of 4:00 a.m. on the morning of Oct. 30, more than 7,400 National Guard members were responding to calls for assistance in 11 states.