I’m surprised not to have seen reporting in the mainstream or at least security-oriented media about a significant leadership change at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The long-time No. 2 man at ICE, John Clark, recently retired and was succeeded by John Torres, a very respected agent who has held a number of leadership positions at ICE. The change is more important than individuals only; it represents a significant evolution for ICE as a cohesive and maturing law enforcement agency.
Most interesting in the Secretary’s speech were his uncommonly candid criticisms of groups that he says have made it difficult for the federal government to implement an effective homeland security strategy. He doesn’t hold back, taking aim at: Congress, state governments and private industry.
The Department of Homeland Security is testing a program with the New York City Fire Department to share intelligence so firefighters are better prepared when they respond to emergency calls. DHS trains FDNY personnel in how to identify material and/or behavior that may indicate terrorist activity. When entering a location, the firefighters are instructed to be alert for hostile, uncooperative and resistant behavior; chemicals or materials that seem out of place; surveillance equipment; little or no furniture; and other signs that could indicate a terrorist hideout. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says using firefighters to gather intelligence is another step towards lost privacy rights.