Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

May 2, 2014

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on May 2, 2014

On this day in 2008 more than sixty tornadoes were confirmed in a two-day outbreak over the Central United States.

On April 26, 1986 an explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station resulted in a large release of radioactive material.  Six days later on May 2 the city of Chernobyl was evacuated.

On this day in 2011 — local time — Osama bin-Laden was killed during a US military operation targeting his safehouse in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

What’s on your mind related to homeland security?

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Comment by David Gomez

May 2, 2014 @ 9:11 am

Last night, in an amazing show of restraint, probably due to the fact that the police were being monitored by the U.S. Department of Justice for excessive force arrests, the Seattle Police Department allowed over 500 self proclaimed anarchists to roam the streets of Seattle in an non-permitted march against capitalism for over 5 hours. A dominant theme of the march was presented in signs which called for the killing of Seattle police. Thankfully there was little violence or vandalism, and only 10 arrests by police.

While the amount of anarchism on display was unique to the Pacific Northwest, it represents a significant rise in anti-social activism among a distinct set of those under 30. These are the children and grandchildren of ant-war protesters of the 1960s, who view social protest as their birthright. This was not an attempt at free speech; rather a clear attempt to test the limits of police patience for criminal behavior. To their credit, the police did a magnificent job of policing the anarchists, but at what cost?

In my opinion, the real cost is the empowerment of a nascent underground domestic terror movement that is seeking to assume the mantle of violent ant-capitalist and communist underground movements from the 1970’s like the United Freedom Front, the Weather Underground, and the other revolutionary social movements. How long before Black Bloc anarchists turn from breaking windows and spray painting buildings to bombing banks and shooting police officers?

Only time will tell.

Comment by E. Earhart

May 2, 2014 @ 6:45 pm

This is your DHS-I

DHS announced Thursday, that 638 suspected gang members nationwide have been arrested in a month-long operation named Project Southbound “targeting the fast-growing Sureños group.”

Of the 638, “525 were charged with criminal offenses, and 113 were swept up on immigration-related violations.”

ICE Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas Winkowski stated that the Sureños have over 30,000 members in the US, and that “its numbers are growing.”

Comment by E. Earhart

May 2, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

This is your DHS-II

Great Lakes Icebreaking Operations: Mark Gill, director of vessel traffic services at the Coast Guard’s Sault Ste. Marie station in Michigan, describes this winter’s ice coverage as “probably the worst or most ice that the lakes have seen in probably about 35-plus years,” adding that the steel industry has been affected as they are “desperate for iron ore” transported through the lakes.

Comment by E. Earhart

May 2, 2014 @ 6:49 pm

This is your DHS-III

Coast Guard Rescues Navy Pilots. The Coast Guard has rescued two Navy pilots whose aircraft crashed off the Texas Gulf Coast Thursday morning. A Coast Guard helicopter crew picked up the pilots. Coast Guard rescue swimmer Petty Officer 3rd Class Jesse Weaver stated, “Fortunately, we were able to get on-scene quickly and get the pilots out of the water…It’s easy to become hypothermic with the water temperatures still as cold as they are.”

Comment by E. Earhart

May 2, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

This is your DHS-IV

Homeland Security Dept. Moves Beyond Terrorism to Check for Pickpockets and Movie Pirating

DHS Mission Creep Discussed. Former DHS secretary Tom Ridge is quoted saying, “They’ve kind of lost their way…I was proud to be associated with those men and women, but it just seems to me…the focus – the primary focus – has been substantially diminished.” This piece suggests the department’s growth may be because it allows “its work to become too influenced by how much money it can get out of Congress.” HSI special agent in charge of New Mexico Kevin Abar is quoted saying, “I really do want to expand the footprint as far as my side of Homeland Security. Too many people think we do immigration, and we don’t really do any of that at all;” the article says that this is “especially curious” since ICE is “the government’s primary enforcer of immigration laws.”


Comment by E. Earhart

May 2, 2014 @ 7:02 pm

This is your DHS-V

Arab Nations Experiencing Increase Trade In “Blood” Antiquities.

HSI’s great work is singled out, including its upcoming return of “eight recovered artifacts to Cairo next month,”

Tess Davis, an attorney and affiliate researcher in the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow, and Blythe A. Bowman, assistant professor of Criminal Justice in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, write in the Huffington Post (5/1, Davis) that “Egypt’s rich archaeological heritage is falling victim to” looting and smuggling, and that illicit trade in antiquities “spans the globe.” Davis and Bowman say that the US “is a primary destination for the so called ‘blood’ antiquities now flooding from” several Arab nations, and that sales may fund insurgents or terrorists. Davis and Bowman also say that the “source” countries “lack the means to stop the trade” and “demand” countries “lack the will;”

Comment by E. Earhart

May 3, 2014 @ 6:41 am

CDC and Public Health as hls

5 things cause two-thirds of U.S. deaths
By Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Five things kill more people in the United States than anything else: heart disease, cancer, lung disease such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, stroke and unintentional injuries such as those on roads or caused by medication overdoses.

Together, these five conditions cause almost two-thirds of all deaths in the country — nearly 900,000 each year.

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is releasing its first report on potentially preventable deaths from those causes in each one of the 50 states. The data suggest we could prevent at least a third of those deaths.

We already know how to do it . . . [W]e have within our communities the strengths to help people live long and healthy lives. Even identifying and focusing on just one issue that can be addressed in each community will make a difference.


Comment by Christopher Tingus

May 4, 2014 @ 7:02 am

Breaking News:

Russia is waging ‘real war’ against
Kiev, Ukraine’s prime minister says
ARSENIY YATSENYUK reportedly accuses Russia and anti-government protesters of provoking unrest to threaten Ukraine’s sovereignty, days after clashes that left at least 42 people dead in the city of Odessa, the majority of whom died in a fire at the city’s trade union building, left.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

May 4, 2014 @ 7:28 am

As the real world of corruption and deceit continue and we see even here in this once great country a nation and leaders w/pledge to Constitution and our Judeo-Christian values and understanding their responsibility in representing the constituent who has cast their precious vote and “entrusted” the elected to represent, still, no arrests for the “Benghazi Massacre” and the House has failed to place Ms. Hillary and Barry Obama under “house arrest” for suspicion in “breach of faith, treason” for knowingly and willingly taking no action understanding full well that US personnel of varying capacity were under siege and the 3am call went unanswered as a result of politicizing!

We never leave anyone behind….We never leave anyone behind….

As Putin expands his horizon and has perceived Barry Obama quite correctly as nothing more than a Chicago city street slicker and nothing more and sees his divisive ways towards the American populace and plays the race card whenever possible, when I think of Homeland Security, I must admit that just as much of the world concurs with Vladimir’s assessment of Barry Obama and this “Hollywood-Washington-Chicago charade” and Barry Obama’s pledge to his Father and his Kenyan friends to weaken the US to a third world status, when we see a budget deficit moving expediently towards $20 trillion and a void in US global leadership, you can bet China has its eyes on Taiwan and good ‘ol Vladimir with his short off or on….sees clearly not only America’s weakness in leadership from top to bottom and Put and his “KGB Putinites” will never forget Yugoslavia and 1999 and how the Americans at the behest of the Germans decimated and gave the Balkans to the Germans, We ladies and gentlemen are in big trouble….much trouble which will lend to much anguish and it will only be when the every powerful and corrupt Vatican steps in with the new Baron, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, will Putin understand the strength and commitment Germany will unleash and we folks will see World War III shortly….

Be prepared for unless this nation repents and thwarts this ongoing race card to divide this nation where the white vote by the way voted a half-white incompetent individual in office (twice), well, the future looks bleak and you must get prepared now….

Comment by Christopher Tingus

May 5, 2014 @ 8:17 am

….and here enter the Germans with the soon to be pass off of the baton from Merkel to the Hapsburg Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, a name and a gentleman everyone in the intel and Homeland Security should know for Baron Guttenberg will eventually face off w/Valdimir and despite Putin having Kraft’s Patriot championship ring, Russia will be not a match against the Germans! War Looms ahead!

Ukraine forces reportedly begin offensive against Slovyansk as Germany calls for new Geneva talks

Comment by Christopher Tingus

May 7, 2014 @ 5:24 pm

By Benjamin Weinthal Published May 2014

Christians are under siege in the Middle East, and the Obama administration is not doing enough to stop religious persecution by its allies, according to a new report from a bipartisan federal commission.

The report, from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, faulted usual suspects Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, as well as North Korea. The number of Christians in the Middle East has plunged to just 10 percent of the overall population from more than 25 percent in 2011.

“While the Obama administration should continue to shine a spotlight on abuses through public statements, it also should impose targeted sanctions to demonstrate that there are consequences, too,” Dwight Bashir, the commission’s deputy director of policy and research, told FoxNews.com. “By not utilizing an existing legislative tool, the United States risks sending the message that it prefers a nuclear deal to standing up for the rights of the Iranian people. The United States should not be confronting such a scenario in the first place.”

“By not utilizing an existing legislative tool, the United States risks sending the message that it prefers a nuclear deal to standing up for the rights of the Iranian people.”
– Dwight Bashir, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
The report identified the 16 worst violators of religious freedom, designating them “countries of particular concern.” It said Iran, a fixture on the commission’s reports since it began issuing them in 1999, has only gotten worse since “purportedly moderate President Hassan Rouhani” came to power last year.

“As of February 2014, at least 40 Christians were either in prison, detained or awaiting trial because of their religious beliefs and activities,” noted the report.

Morad Mokhtari, an Iranian human rights researcher at the New Haven, Conn., Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, told FoxNews.com any hopes that Rouhani would usher in a more tolerant age in the Islamic Republic have been dashed. Mokhtari, an Iranian Christian, said Rouhani “has not been effective in changing the judicial system” and it is unclear if he wants to reform Iran’s Shariah-dominated legal apparatus.

Hamid Babaei, spokesman for Iran’s mission to the UN, told FoxNews.com that he would review the commission’s report, but declined further comment.

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