Safe Communities Institute to Study Homegrown Terrorism

The United States has a problem with violent extremism. We are seeing an accelerating trend in the occurrence of violence driven by extremist ideology. Our current approaches to this problem are insufficient; new solutions are needed. Enter the University of Southern California Safe Communities Institute (SCI).

TSA Rolls Out A New Website…and It Needs Work

Last week, TSA rolled out its new website. If the GAO were writing a review of the site, it would no doubt conclude that “progress has been made but much work remains to be done.” In fact, there is so much more work that needs to be done that I’m surprised TSA released it when it did.

A Congressional Hearing ‘Do-Over’ Done Very Well

A few weeks back, I recommended that the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies have a “do-over” of a hearing where the subject was private sector interaction with DHS S&T. The reason I recommended this was because the most successful private sector program at S&T – the SAFETY Act implementation – was never mentioned. On July 28, the same Subcommittee held that “do-over.”

Happy Anniversary, Coasties

On August 4, 1790, the U.S. Congress authorized then-Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton to create a maritime service to enforce customs laws. President George Washington signed this bill, creating the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

Open Letter to Joseph Kolb and Fox News – What’s In A Name?

Dear Fox News’ Joseph Kolb: How long will it take before you realize that Border Patrol agents and CBP’s Office of Field Operations officers are NOT the same thing? On Friday night, July 31, you published a story that gets them mixed up. You need to fix this and offer an apology.

On This Date in 1968

A humble gift of rhyme to commemorate the birthday of the late, great Christopher Lee Battle.

Extremists Don’t Carry Membership Cards

After the shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, there is a desire to neatly categorize an attack and define why someone would commit such a heinous act. The challenge, however, is that legal terms like “hate crime” and “terrorism” belie a deeper truth: these kinds of actions are instances of homegrown violent extremism.

After TSA Airport Failures, Security Versus the Economy

The recent DHS Inspector General test of TSA airport screening processes revealed a 95% failure rate. To improve, tradeoffs will have to be made, and they all have costs. How much the failure rate changes will depend on how much people will want to pay.

Human Factors – A Prerequisite for a DHS CVE Office

The proposed Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Act of 2015 (H.R. 2899) could benefit from a bit more study and debate. The bill would create a CVE Office within DHS, filling a hole that should not exist in DHS. It was not always this way.

Rethinking Countering Violent Extremism Programs

The House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on what the federal government is doing to counter terrorism; the Committee also passed the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Act of 2015. Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) is yet another acronym in the fight against terrorism and perhaps another chance to get it right.