Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

July 11, 2014

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on July 11, 2014

Today Typhoon Neoguri is expected to continue on a northeasterly path following the Japanese coast.  It is no longer a so-called “super typhoon”, but heavy rains are forecast.

On this day in 1978 a truck carrying liquid gas crashes and explodes in Tarragona, Spain killing more than 200.

On this day in 2006 more than 200 are killed in the Mumbai training bombings.

What’s on your mind related to homeland security?

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15 Comments »

Comment by Samantha Wilson

July 11, 2014 @ 10:40 am

An interesting enhancement has been made to x-ray backscatter technology; American Science and Engineering Inc. has released a mobile, handheld backscatter scanner for “real-time detection of narcotics, weapons and explosives.” Its small size allows law enforcement and homeland security partners to easily utilize the device at border crossings, airports, large events, and other potentially dangerous locations. Similar to the backscatter body scanners used by the Transportation Security Administration at airports, these scanners produce x-ray images of the objects they scan, allowing the user to screen for dangerous items in public spaces, luggage, vehicles, and furniture, for instance. While the full body scanners at airports have received criticism for its privacy invasion, these handheld scanners are designed more for scanning objects, therefore potentially lessening privacy concerns. In an April 2014 Science and Technology Advisory Committee meeting, DHS included mobile backscatter scanners in its discussion of border and maritime security in fiscal year 2014. This demonstrates that DHS is aware of the capabilities of handheld scanners and the advantages they have in securing vehicles and materials that pass through U.S. borders. I am curious to see how helpful of a tool they become, if at all, for various homeland security partners.

For more information:
http://www.hstoday.us/single-article/as-es-z-backscatter-technology-is-now-portable/b10e3875280ee7918614cdf8a24d9325.html

http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/HSSTAC-Day-1-Brief%20%E2%80%93%20April-07-2014-508.pdf

Comment by Frank Gorman

July 11, 2014 @ 1:11 pm

On Wednesday, July 9, 2014 Fox News reported that law enforcement agencies in France foiled a plot in 2013 by a radical Algerian national living in Southern France to destroy key resources of French culture. The alleged targets included the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Art Museum. The suspect, identified as “Ali M”, reportedly stated he would also target “Places of Christian Worship.” (Fox News , 2014).
This threat, coupled with ISIS recent destruction of mosques, churches, and monuments, gave me pause to renew my concern for key resources in the United States which are quite vulnerable to attack by extremist groups. While some national monuments are well protected and staff is cognizant of the monuments’ attractiveness as targets, I dare say others are not. For example, in Manhattan on East 18th Street sits Teddy Roosevelt’s House, and on the upper west side in Riverside Park there are two monuments, Grant’s Tomb, and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. These three locations have scant security at best, and are very vulnerable targets of opportunity for a home grown extremist with copycat intentions.
Given the many recent examples of radical Islamic attacks on houses of worship, I am reminded of a template for disaster outlined in the novel “Cathedral” (DeMille, 1981). The author, Nelson DeMille, approached the Archdiocese of New York, and told them he was writing a book about the edifice, and asked to see the plans, which he was given. The book includes some of plans for the main support columns and trusses, and explains where best to plant explosive charges to destroy the landmark. A home grown extremist need only buy a used copy of “Cathedral” to have a blueprint for terror.
Other resources and assets, such as the many art and cultural museums do not generally come to mind as targets, but they are certainly vulnerable soft targets. With summer in full swing, and tensions rising in the Mideast during the middle of Ramadan, these crowded venues undoubtedly make enticing targets for our Islamic extremist adversaries.
Law enforcement agencies should be on a heightened alert for attacks on soft, non-conventional targets during this summer. Increased random patrols, traffic detours, and other anti-terror tactics are essential. A successful attack on any of the aforementioned targets may not only cause physical harm or death; it would certainly adversely affect the recovering economy, as well as the American psyche.
Works Cited
DeMille, N. (1981). Cathedral. New York: Delacorte Press.
Fox News . (2014, July 9). Foxnews.com/europe. Retrieved from Foxnews.com: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/07/09/terror-plot-targeting-eiffel-tower-louvre-foiled-french-police-say-1653409952/

Comment by Brian Lozada

July 11, 2014 @ 4:20 pm

According to a recent report by the FBI and National Counter-terrorism Center, published by NBC News on July 4, 2014, many Americans witness early signs of homegrown radicalism long before individuals resort to acts of terrorism, yet they are reluctant to share any information with authorities. The report, titled “Countering Violent Extremists in the Homeland,” studied 57 incidents perpetrated by al Qaeda-inspired extremists on domestic soil between 2009 and 2012; results show that friends, family members, and bystanders were easily able to notice behaviors associated with radicalism, and those closest to the individuals were even able to learn information about actual terrorism plots and activities. While some may not recognize the importance of their observations of these radical extremists, others are in fear of slandering individuals should they prove to be innocent by causing an overreaction by authorities (Esposito, 2014).

There needs to be a stronger awareness program for citizens in regard to identifying signs of homegrown terrorism. Further, there should be more available communication channels for anonymously reporting signs of extreme radicalism in an effort to prevent potential terrorist attacks from occurring. In addition, there should be more websites and online communication outlets for reporting any suspicious activity of homegrown terrorism. Increased awareness in combination with more readily accessible, anonymous information sharing procedures may encourage individuals to “say something” should they feel uncomfortable about another individual’s potentially radical behavior. I believe that the next major terrorist attack in America will be a direct result of homegrown terrorism; therefore, it is imperative that the public share all and any information that could potentially thwart such attacks from occurring on US soil.

For more information, please see the following article: http://www.nbcnews.com/#/news/investigations/see-something-say-nothing-how-homegrown-terror-breeds-us-n147661

Comment by Christopher Tingus

July 11, 2014 @ 10:03 pm

ISIS and its proposed caliphate whose days are by sure numbered when hearing that “ISIS Threatens To Destroy Holy Kaaba; ‘Kill Those Who Worship Stones’
on July 1, 2014

A key member of the takfiri terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has threatened to Destroy The Holy Kaaba in Mecca, the center of Muslim world in Saudi Arabia where all Muslims perform Hajj annually.

ISIS which recently dubbed itself simply, The Islamic State, has declared that they will destroy the Holy Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which is Islam’s most holy site.

APA quoted ISIS member Abu Turab Al Mugaddasi based on reports from Turkish media, who said: If Allah wills, we will kill those who worship stones in Mecca and destroy the Kaaba. People go to Mecca to touch the stones, not for Allah.
ISIS reportedly is planning to take over the city of Arar in Saudi Arabia, which is very close to the Iraq border. It is a fifteen-hour drive away from Mecca, the site of the Hajj pilgrimage which all observant Muslims are expected to do at least once.

The statement is a shocking one even for ISIS, considering that they have been attempting to increase recruitment from Muslims worldwide by declaring the restoration of an Islamic Caliphate.

Kindly see:

Mecca[3] (/?m?k?/; Arabic: ????, Makkah, pronounced [?mækkæ]), also transliterated as Makkah, is a city in the Hejaz[4] and the capital of Makkah Province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located 70 km (43 mi) inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of 277 m (909 ft) above sea level. Its resident population in 2012 was roughly 2 million, although visitors more than triple this number every year during Hajj period held in the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Dhu al-Hijjah.

As the birthplace of Muhammad and a site of Muhammad’s first revelation of the Quran (the site in specificity being a cave 3.2 km (2 mi) from Mecca),[5][6] Mecca is regarded as the holiest city in the religion of Islam[7] and a pilgrimage to it known as the Hajj is obligatory for all able Muslims. Mecca is home to the Kaaba, by majority description Islam’s holiest site, as well as being the direction of Muslim prayer.

Like many fellow Greek Orthodox, we have abhorred any ill will afforded towards our Patriarch in Istanbul over the many decades, however given my many friends throughout the Middle East today aghast at ISIS and its threat towards Mecca, as one fellow stated, “ISIS should be on the run after making such a threat, however there is no place they (ISIS) can hide” –

ISIS making a threat towards Mecca – really? This world has seemingly little tolerance or respect for the other and while we need not necessarily embrace one another, we could be more tolerant of another as all are children of the Lord and Creator so maybe we all need a little Wordsworth to cheer us up and remind us of the beauty in a rainbow and the hope that can prevail among men:

William Wordsworth. 1770–1850

The Rainbow

MY heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

July 12, 2014 @ 5:38 pm

As evil continues to grasp fellow humans on this the 100th anniversary year of World War I and today missiles fall from the skies above Israel with God witness to all and as even AQ turning its cheek towards ISIS who dares to threaten Mecca and evil being played out in so many places and from continent to continent with no one turning the oven off in the Middle East so that the evil we see cannot continue to bake and harm innocents, whether Jewish, Palestinian, Iraqi, or any other….if you care not to read the Bible or the Qur’an, then at least read The Book Thief.

Now an elder, my sunset years arriving, it is so disheartening to see such hatred towards another and how lessons of history and the stonewalls from generation to generation in bias and prejudice somehow cannot be overcome and We together, while not necessarily embracing one another, at least understanding We have far more similarities than differences and We should cherish our heritage and pride and those who came before us to try and make this a better world for all in some small way, yet why is it that humanity finds it so necessary in its lust for power and greed that raising the sword rather than becoming educated and knowledgeable and attempting to understand humanity is our priority, not the killing of innocents as apparently War again looms ahead and with God witness to all, our Creator must certainly be utterly disappointed that We can not learn from one another and strive to Respect one another….how disappointing….how very disappointing! Why does darkness have to prevail?

How dare you?

Based on the beloved bestselling novel, The Book Thief tells the inspiring story of a spirited and courageous young girl named Liesel, who transforms the lives of everyone around her when she is sent to live with a foster family in World War II Germany.

Download the Discussion Guide (PDF)

For Liesel, the power of words and of imagination becomes a means of escape—and even joy—from the tumultuous events enveloping her and everyone she knows and loves. She is The Book Thief’s heart and soul.

Indeed, it is heart and soul—as well as triumph and perseverance—that drive the film, which is rich in themes and characters that will resonate for every generation. A moving and poignant portrait of the resiliency of the human spirit, this life-affirming tale contrasts innocence (as embodied by Liesel) with the pervasive tyranny that marked the times and her homeland.

Christopher Tingus
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA 02645 USA
chris.tingus@gmail.com

Comment by Christopher Tingus

July 12, 2014 @ 9:45 pm

Friday Free Forum:

Hamas Threatened To Attack: Interceptions Over the Skies of Tel-Aviv
Hamas military wing announced that it will attack Tel-Aviv at 21:00 and launch J80 rockets. A short while later warning sirens sounded in the entire Gush Dan region. Iron Dome intercepted at least four rockets. The IDF is conducting a widespread assault in Gaza

Jul 12, 2014, 10:15PM | Ran Archy

Comment by Christopher Tingus

July 12, 2014 @ 10:01 pm

No other nation would subject itself to rocket attacks w/o full retaliation – now some 500+ rockets fired into civilian populated areas, many are calling for the Israelis to escalate its position as civilians are strong in their support of a full scale assault on everyone of the launching sites –

In the US, the continued disregard for the law, for the safety and well being of present US population by an administration hell bent on intentionally allowing illegal – lawbreakers to enter this country must be met by the Governor of Texas using the laws of the State of Texas to call up the national Guard and exercise all the powers section 1 and other to provide defense against an evasion of who knows who permitted to come across the borders of Mexico while an American brave Marine now sits in jail for more than 100 days – as an American citizen, I call for a closure of our borders, all illegals turned back and not accepted and processed in any way and the House arrest of Barry Obama for suspicion in breach of faith, treason which should also include the top cop, his illustrious AG for enough of this charade, enough and I demand that the US Congress no matter your political affiliation step in and vote down this sham in request of funds from the Executive WH and place the National Guard on immediate service to our southern borders….

Whether Republican or Democrat in Congress, You are allowing this warped barry Obama to pull a shroud of darkness of this country and with it disease and far much more and the real possibility of outright breach in faith, treason against our population….

Homeland Security folks ask? What a joke. Those coming across the border are neither certified healthy, are not legal applicants for immigration and must be turned back and a message from Congress with only one to resound, call the National Guard and in the State of Texas, your elected officials despite this “Chicago-Washintgon-Hollywood” charade, it is your state government which MUST now close the borders to Texas by calling the National Guard in protection of an attack, a blitz of law breakers coming across the border….

Stop this now!

Christopher Tingus
“Main Street USA”
chris.tingus@gmail.com

Comment by Christopher Tingus

July 12, 2014 @ 10:30 pm

Yes, an outright breach of faith, treason and WE here on “Main Street USA” as a result of Barry Obama and your administration and as a result of a failed Congress on both sides of the aisle with all of you vowing under oath and in solemn pledge to uphold and defend our laws, our Constitution, our beloved Republic…your failure to do so, your willingness to allow criminals out of jail, known terrorists to go back to those who seek our demise and now undocumented and disease ridden as well as anyone coming from anywhere including terrorists and Barry Obama plays pool or as on the night of the “Benghazi Massacre” no one still knows his or (her) whereabouts and You at Homeland Security talk about security, you betcha when I demand that teh State of Texas call its National Guard to turn back any and all law breakers and to hunt for anyone who has broken the law for everyone else has had to file application and get medically documented so when I demand that the US military come in and take over the federal government for a period of one year as neither Congress of the various branches of government under this administration are adhering to the law….and we are being attacked by the Enemy from within….

We are in crisis at home and our borders have now been opened to thugs, while our brave American Marine sits in a Mexican prison and we send billions of dollars to Mexico – unfortunately given the fact that our precious vote in those we have entrusted to act upon their oath and have failed, well, it is time for the US military to take control of our government on a temporary basis in support and per the US Constitution for laws are being broken and allowed to be broken….

We are in great peril as reported by the growing numbers now becoming enlightened of the seemingly intentional dismissal of the checks and balances of our political system….

Comment by Christopher Tingus

July 13, 2014 @ 3:24 am

Hamas has fired nearly 700 rockets and mortars at Israel this week and said it wouldn’t be the first to cease fire.

Israel has said it’s acting in self-defense against rockets that have disrupted life across much of the country. It also accuses Hamas of using Gaza’s civilians as human shields by firing rockets from there.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

July 13, 2014 @ 3:33 am

Fatah–Hamas conflict From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Fatah–Hamas conflict (Arabic: ?????? ??? ??? ?????? an-Niz?? bayna Fata? wa-?am?s), also referred to as the Palestinian Civil War (Arabic: ????? ??????? ??????????? al-?arb al-?Ahliyyah al-Filis??n?yyah), is the conflict between the two main Palestinian political factions, Fatah and Hamas, resulting in the split of the Palestinian Authority.

Tensions between Fatah and Hamas began to rise in 2005. After the Hamas’ legislative victory in 2006, relations were marked by sporadic factional fighting. This became more intense after the two parties repeatedly failed to reach a deal to share government power, escalating in June 2007 and resulting in Hamas’ control of the Gaza strip. As of August 2007 the Palestinian Authority is split into two polities, each seeing itself as the true representative of the Palestinian people – the Fatah-ruled Palestinian National Authority and the Hamas Government in Gaza.[10]

The Cairo reconciliation agreement between the parties was signed in May 2011, bringing hopes of reuniting the Fatah-ruled Palestinian National Authority and the Hamas Government in Gaza. The implementation of the agreement however was not executed up until the withdrawal of the Hamas external office from Damascus, due to the Syrian civil war. As a result, the Doha deal was signed by Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mashal in 2012. On 1 April 2012, the Doha implementation however was described as “stalling”.[1] with no progress on the joint elections scheme. In addition, the Fatah blamed Hamas that its security forces have set up roadblocks and arrested dozens of Fatah members and individuals in Gaza, whom they accused of “spreading rumors”.[1] In the aftermath of the Palestinian UN upgrade to observer state status, all negotiations have ceased.

An April 2014 agreement between the two political groups to hold elections and form a compromise unity government finds the Palestinian Territories’ future in flux, with elections to be held in late 2014.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

July 13, 2014 @ 5:24 pm

Sun, Jul 13, 2014 News from Israel
North Gaza residents asked by IDF to evacuate ahead of significant attack

Israel says cease-fire possible only if it ensures long-term quiet

The barrage of rockets on Israel continues; Teen seriously injured by rocket explosion in Ashkelon

Comment by Christopher Tingus

July 14, 2014 @ 8:20 am

I said it many time over, the US has no business talking w/Tehran!

I have suspected all along that Barry Obama and his associations such as the illustrious cohort, the Rev Wright who in fact talked in one of his ’08 sermons from his pulpit stating quite clearly that as long as “the Zionists had WMD in hand, why Not Tehran” – subsequent, the now well documented Barry Obama and his grand apology to the Middle East and from what has b=now transpired two terms, lends credible support to Tehran and his pals, the Muslim Brotherhood and in fact, you betcha, it will not be long now that the “Brutes of Tehran” who have their hands all bloodied with our youth’s slayings will indeed have WMD in hand and will use such weaponry, don’t kid yourself….and NEVER since just before World War II have we been so weakened….. a Democracy MUST have a strong arsenal for far too many seek its demise….

God Bless our beloved Republic for we are besieged from an Enemy from within and We here on “Main Street USA” have no respect whatsoever by this blatant and intentional disregard to our sovereignty, our borders and laws….

Enough is enough!

Today, now over 1,000 rockets have been tossed into Israel – how dare you?

Comment by Christopher Tingus

July 14, 2014 @ 8:23 am

Breaking News:

Top Story

Border Patrol agents face relentless flood of illegal immigrants to Rio Grande valley

EXCLUSIVE: FoxNews.com accompanied Texas Rep. Gohmert for a pre-dawn look at the most heavily-trafficked people-smuggling route in the world — the small town of Granjeno, Texas, where a relentless flood of illegal immigrants eagerly surrenders to beleaguered Border Patrol agents, knowing that American law prevents their immediate return across the border.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

July 14, 2014 @ 8:33 am

Even LNG transportation is far safer today on our roads and highways….

Peter H. Diamandis
Shared publicly – Jul 9, 2014
#Safety

Travel Safely: Evidence of Abundance

My Abundance topic for this week is transportation, and specifically the vast improvements we’ve made in safety for cars and planes.

The following chart shows automobile and airline fatalities over time.

We begin in 1923, when the automotive industry was only about 20 years old.

Look at the reduction in fatalities over time, spurred on by better design, automation and improved materials.

You’ll also see that we have a massive reduction in airline fatalities as our sensing technology has improved.

Now, flying on an airplane is basically the safest mode of transportation ever created (per person per kilometer).

If you have a fear of flying, don’t. The data is very clear: if you have to travel someplace, the safest way is by airplane.

The increase in sensors, materials science and design capabilities are giving us a world where we are safer.

In this world of abundance, we’ll have an abundance of health, happiness and safety.?

Comment by Christopher Tingus

July 14, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

Breaking News: Lawbreakers Will Get to Stay! Awe, what a surprise! Homeland Security – we are in much peril from within, never mind those who we have no real idea where they are coming from – and we don’t really care – line up the border with women and children, men and National Guard – we have laws and we as citizens are entrusted to stand forthright!

White House: Immigrant children facing danger will ‘likely’ stay in US

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/212173-white-house-immigrant-children-facing-danger-will-stay-in-us#ixzz37TY86npU
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

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