Homeland Security Compendium
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Homeland Security Compendium
Current news, articles and developments in homeland security and emergency management.
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CIA Presence in NYPD Leads to Charges of Domestic Spying

CIA Presence in NYPD Leads to Charges of Domestic Spying | Homeland Security Compendium | Scoop.it
Four CIA officers were sent to join the ranks of the New York City Police Department in the decade after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but the unstructured arrangement gave agency officials unauthorized access to local police operations.
Benjamin Watson's insight:

"CIA Inspector General David Buckley concluded in the report that the collaboration was fraught with "irregular personnel practices," that it lacked "formal documentation in some important instances," and that "there was inadequate direction and control" by agency supervisors."

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Homeland Security under investigation for massive ammo buys — RT USA

Homeland Security under investigation for massive ammo buys — RT USA | Homeland Security Compendium | Scoop.it
The Department of Homeland Security is under investigation for purchasing large stockpiles of ammunition, days before legislation was introduced that would restrict the amount a government agency can legally buy.
Benjamin Watson's insight:

A bill was introduced in the House on Friday (April 28), that would prevent government agencies from buying any more ammunition if its stockpiles are already larger than what they were in previous presidential administrations.


See the full text of the bill here: http://1.usa.gov/1032pGL

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2014 Budget Request: Federal Emergency Management Agency

2014 Budget Request: Federal Emergency Management Agency | Homeland Security Compendium | Scoop.it
The Federal Emergency Management Agency likely will be smaller in the coming fiscal year, with the Obama administration's fiscal 2014 proposal transmitted to Congress April 10 proposing $9.59 billion in appropriations--an amount that's 12.5 percent...
Benjamin Watson's insight:

The budget includes a 14.3% reduction in the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), accounting for the bulk of the reduction.  This doesn't appear unreasonable based on the historical fund obligations. 

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What We've Learned About Communicating with Employees in an Emergency

What We've Learned About Communicating with Employees in an Emergency | Homeland Security Compendium | Scoop.it
The Boston-area lockdown showed how important it is to be prepared; and how few companies actually are.
Benjamin Watson's insight:

An interesting article that covers one of the most basic issues in crisis management - internal communications. It is both a technological challenge and a management challenge.

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CIA sought to have Boston bombing suspect put on terrorist watch list

CIA sought to have Boston bombing suspect put on terrorist watch list | Homeland Security Compendium | Scoop.it

"The CIA asked the main U.S. counterterrorism agency to add the name of one of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers to a watch list more than a year before the attack, according to U.S. officials.

 

That database, the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE, is a data storehouse that feeds a series of government watch lists, including the FBI’s main Terrorist Screening Database and the Transportation Security Administration’s “no-fly” list.

 

The CIA’s request came months after the FBI had closed a preliminary inquiry into Tsarnaev after getting a similar inquiry about him from Russian state security, according to officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

 

Law enforcement officials said that the request to the FBI in 2011 originated from fears by the Russian government that Tamerlan was a threat to Russia and would commit a terrorist act in Russia -- not the United States.

 

The request came from Russian federal police to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. “There was a concern he might have some kind of ties to terrorism,” said FBI spokesman Paul Bresson. “We did everything legally that we could do with the little bit of information we had."

 

Benjamin Watson's insight:

Conflicting reports within DHS and the CIA requests seem to indicate that information/intelligence sharing disconnets between agencies still exists in a post-9/11 world.

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Oklahoma Senators Face Difficult Options On Disaster Relief

Oklahoma Senators Face Difficult Options On Disaster Relief | Homeland Security Compendium | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON -- As frantic rescue missions continued Monday in Oklahoma following the catastrophic tornadoes that ripped through the state, it appeared increasingly likely that residents who lost homes and businesses would turn to the federal...
Benjamin Watson's insight:

It's disappointing to see politics raise its ugly head so soon following a catastrophic event, but it seems to be the world we live in today.  The vitriol expressed in comments associated with this story borders on disgraceful.

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How I Used Social Media to Become an “Accidental Arms Expert” — Who I am

How I Used Social Media to Become an “Accidental Arms Expert” — Who I am | Homeland Security Compendium | Scoop.it

When I started a blog — the Brown Moses Blog — to record what I found online [about the Syrian conflict], I had no idea that that it would end up being quoted bynewspapers around the world.

Benjamin Watson's insight:

A fascinating story of story of how a 34-year-old office worker, with no military background, became an 'arms expert' through social media. His work has been cited by the Christian Science Monitor, CNN, the New York Times, Daily Telegraph, BBC, the AP and many more. It speaks to the power of social media . . . and the empowering force it can become with a little curiosity and personal initiative.


See the blog at : http://brown-moses.blogspot.com/

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No 2-week training for FEMA reservists yet

No 2-week training for FEMA reservists yet | Homeland Security Compendium | Scoop.it
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has yet to implement training for its reservist workforce that doesn't occur at the time of deployment, the Government Accountability Office says. Lack of advance training has been a long-standing complaint ...
Benjamin Watson's insight:

FEMA's reservist program has been in disarray for years at both the Headquarters and region levels. Program and cadre management, credentialing, pay and training issues are but a few of the problems the program has experienced over the past several years.

 

Despite DHS promises to deliver a "corrective action plan within 60 calendar days" to address training issues, FEMA needs to address the fundamental program management before training can be address in an effective way. 

 

A complete copy of the report is available here -http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/653264.pdf

 

The GAO address broader reservist program issues in a May 2012 report, "Disaster Assistance Workforce - FEMA Could Enhance Human Capital Management and Training" - available here - http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/591159.pdf.

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Boston Bombing Changes Lawmakers' Views on Drone Killings of Americans on U.S. Soil

Boston Bombing Changes Lawmakers' Views on Drone Killings of Americans on U.S. Soil | Homeland Security Compendium | Scoop.it

After Boston, lawmakers see case for use of drones to kill Americans.

 

Last month, (Rand) Paul spent 13 hours filibustering the confirmation of CIA director John Brennan because he said he was concerned that the United States could eventually target citizens on U.S. soil.

 

Tuesday, Paul changed his tune, telling Fox Business Network that he would have approved of a drone targeting Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

 

"I've never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an active crime going on," Paul said. "If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and fifty dollars in cash … I don't care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him."

 

Benjamin Watson's insight:

The Boston bombing will likely add fuel the debate about drone use in the United States.  But it remains a very complex legal and constitutional issue.

 

Generally drones used outside the US allow access to geographic areas and targets that are inaccessible by more conventional means or in cases where risk to US personnel may be excessively high.  Accessibility inside the US would not be an issue.  Risk may still be a factor, but in a 'imminent threat' situation there would likely be a very high risk of collateral damage making drone use an unsuitable option.

 

 

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Forensic Video Evidence Analysis Key to Finding Boston Marathon Bombers

Forensic Video Evidence Analysis Key to Finding Boston Marathon Bombers | Homeland Security Compendium | Scoop.it
Will the successful use of video analysis to identify the suspect accused of planting explosives near the finish line of the Boston Marathon spark a new push for more surveillance cameras in American cities?
Benjamin Watson's insight:

The Executive Summary:

 

Even as first responders arrived on the scene, police were already securing video footage from the vast network of surveillance cameras keeping watch over downtown Boston.

 

Combing through video evidence is the new standard in dealing with crime in public, says Grant Fredericks, a forensic video analyst who teaches forensic video technique at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.

 

“Video holds more evidence than any other source: more than DNA, crime-scene analysis or eyewitness testimony,” Fredericks said. “There are people sitting at home with key evidence sitting on their hip.

 

Going forward, Fredericks expects that every police department, no matter how small, will have to get comfortable analyzing video evidence, just like they evaluate other kinds of forensic evidence.

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