President Obama delivered a major counterterrorism speech this afternoon laying out America’s modified approach to this ever-dangerous issue. In it, Obama has once again made a run at closing most of Gitmo. He also is beginning to move the use of drones away from CIA and back to the Defense Department.
May 23rd, 2013 - by Ronald Marks
The fallout from the Boston bombings three weeks ago continues to impact national security. The country has a renewed enthusiasm for homeland security, and while the Boston bombings slipped up the security radar, if history is any teacher, it would seem the United States should be on high alert in April. Indeed, there appears to be a security phenomenon at work that defies efforts to protect the homeland, particularly during the third week.
April 22nd, 2013 -
One week ago, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev walked through a crowd at the Boston Marathon and dropped homemade bombs near the finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 180 others. While investigators wait to question Dzhokhar, homeland and national security experts are looking to U.S. processes and policies for identifying violent extremists. Security expert Dave McWhorter spoke to Canada news broadcast CTV about the hunt for the Boston bombers.
March 7th, 2013 - by David Olive
This past Monday, Politico hosted a Playbook breakfast conversation with the three individuals who have served as DHS Secretary since its inception – Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano. Former Governor Ridge who addressed why America needs a cabinet-level agency to address homeland security issues. While I am a firm believer that America needs a Department of Homeland Security, I am also a believer in continuous improvement, and in that respect, congressional oversight should rightfully be focused on asking questions about DHS as it starts its second decade.
February 20th, 2013 - by Sam Rosenfeld
While Sunday’s Forward On Climate rally in Washington, DC may not have attracted the hundreds of thousands of people that organizers had hoped for, it was still the largest environmental protest in U.S. history. Environmental causes in general, and the Tar Sands issue in particular, are gathering support across the country with an increasing number of groups becoming involved in direct action and civil disobedience protests.
By Alex Sorin
The news of the violent gang rape of a young Indian woman on a public bus and her subsequent death has shocked the world and led to protests and unrest. While increased security is by no means the sole solution, certain security measures can help alert law enforcement of similar incidents and assist in catching the perpetrators. While surveillance technology can help, just as critical is an Incident Management System.
Last week, news emerged that a gunman entered a Connecticut elementary school and killed 20 children, 6 adults and then himself. What we know right now is a fog of horrors, but whatever investigators find in the coming days and weeks, it will never be able to answer why someone would think killing children is the answer to the troubles in their life.
August 25th, 2012 - by Sam Rosenfeld
There has been a great deal of media coverage relating to an FBI/DHS document detailing likely anarchist activity during the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. The vast majority of that coverage has related to the threat of anarchists using Molotov cocktails, acid filled eggs, or even IEDs and IIDs. It appears an FBI/DHS report over-states and sensationalizes some of the likely threats from anarchists, as most recently expressed in their Joint Intelligence Bulletin released August 21, 2012.
Yesterday’s publication of the home addresses of senior members of the police and the details of many businesses that support the Republican National Convention by one of the anti-RNC groups reinforces the threat of actions away from the Convention location and permitted protest routes by anarchist and extreme left wing protest groups.
August 14th, 2012 - by Sam Rosenfeld
It’s not easy being the police department responsible for hosting a National Special Security Event (NSSE). The fundamental requirement for a police department hosting an NSSE is to understand the threat so the response is proportionate and effective. Anarchists and Extreme Left Wing groups are not synonymous with protesters, but in the effort to combat the former, law-abiding protesters are often dragged into the fray. Signals from Tampa in advance of the Republican National Convention suggest the planned police response does not understand the threat.
Over the past several years, we have continued to be confronted as a nation by individuals (both sane and insane) acting out for a variety of reasons via mass shootings. From the law enforcement perspective, identifying and preventing these kinds of attacks is extremely difficult. Prevention of attacks conducted by “Lone Wolves” or international terrorists has been at the top of our government’s agenda for many years. So why can’t we prevent the kinds of events we have experienced in recent months and years? There are a number of reasons for this
The Aspen Institute’s Security Forum, held at the end of July, proved why it has become, in only three years, a “must-attend” event for those of us working in the homeland and national security space. The four-day program was packed with insight from leading thinkers and past and present policy makers and influencers on the subject of national and homeland security. There was not a single bad panel, but three sessions stood out in my mind as being a slight cut above the rest.
July 24th, 2012 - by Rich Cooper
After the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado that claimed the lives of 12 people and injured dozens more, the public debate is shifting to the tactics that could prevent such a terrible event from happening again. The use of metal detectors is becoming a central issue, but is this the best approach for stopping potential threats in public places?
July 20th, 2012 - by Justin Hienz
Early this morning, at a showing of the new Batman movie, a gunman burst through an emergency exit door and into a theater in Aurora, Colorado. James Eagan Holmes, 24, shot at the ceiling, threw two gas canisters (likely tear gas) and then began firing on the audience. He killed 12 people and wounded 59 others, many of whom were rushed to area hospitals. The public debate will soon turn to how this could have been thwarted, but the reality is that events like these cannot always be prevented.
July 12th, 2012 - by Steven Bucci
On Monday, Federal authorities released the names of four fugitives tied to the death of Agent Brian Terry and the failed operation “Fast and Furious.” Charged with the murder of Agent Terry and the assault of several other officers at the scene, these men have evaded U.S. and Mexican authorities for 18 months. The timing of this decision strikes me as odd; politics are masquerading as policy.
Protesting – an activity long-dismissed as something belonging to (to quote some of the less complementary phrases) “the tree-hugging, sandal wearing hippy types” – is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, and with that resurgence is a dramatic increase in effectiveness. Protesting is cool again. Direct actions are not only cool, they’re seen by many young people as something that is not only legitimate, it’s required. Taken together, the conclusion can only be that there is likely to be an increase in direct action this summer.
May 29th, 2012 - by David Olive
The crowd gathered on the lawn adjacent to the old Federal Courthouse in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where Judge Isaac C. Parker once presided. It was a beautiful, but warm, Saturday morning, likely akin to ones in the late 1800s when Judge Parker’s sentences to convicted outlaws of the “wild west” were carried out on the nearby gallows. This last Saturday in May 2012 was set aside to commemorate the life, legacy and remarkable public service of one of the finest US Marshals ever to wear a badge – Deputy US Marshal Bass Reeves.
May 9th, 2012 - by Edward Alden
After two decades of pouring resources and technology into patrolling the U.S. border with Mexico, there are encouraging signs that Congress is about to start asking the right question: what exactly have we bought for all that money? But the administration is continuing to drag its heels. A May 8 hearing of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on border and maritime security was intended to provide some answers to the critical question of how to assess progress along the border.
Last week, five individuals were arrested in a plot to blow up a bridge near Cleveland. Like other similar stings by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement, sharing threat information and using key tools provided by the Patriot Act kept the public from harm. Though a great deal of attention is rightly paid to Islamist-inspired terrorism, they comprise a minority of attacks in the past decade, and a new Heritage Foundation report finds that an all-threats approach to security offers the best defense against terrorist threats.
May 1st, 2012 - by Sam Rosenfeld
Last week’s protests at the shareholder meetings of General Electric and Wells Fargo highlight the newest trend in protest against corporations and gives visibility to the power struggle going on within and over the Occupy movement itself. 99% Spring and 99% Power are nationwide protest efforts founded by the Services Employees International Union (SEIU) and MoveOn.org. Both groups have planned to protest at a series of shareholder meetings for their target corporations throughout the Spring and are promoting these protests on their website.