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February 3, 2010
12:01 pm

From the Washington Post, a video interview with Craig Fugate:

From the Associated Press, on a big haul for CBP:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have seized nearly a ton of marijuana hidden in a banana shipment at a cargo facility near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Officials say a drug-sniffing dog alerted officers to the stash Monday when the Mexican truck driver applied to cross into the U.S. at the Otay Mesa cargo facility.
Officers say they opened the boxes in the truck and found 235 packages of pot worth an estimated $1.1 million.

Leadership Events
10:30 AM EST
Secretary Napolitano will deliver remarks during an open session meeting of the Homeland Security Advisory Council
Grand Hyatt Hotel, Empire Ballroom
109 East 42nd Street
New York, N.Y.

Public Events
11:30 AM CDT
ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton will participate in a media availability to announce the results of an alien smuggling operation in the Houston area
ICE Building
Mineral’s Management Conference Room
4141 Sam Houston Parkway East
Houston, Texas

Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Response and Recovery Associate Administrator William Carwile will testify about FEMA’s urban search and rescue program in Haiti before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management
2167 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

S&T Deputy Under Secretary Bradley Buswell will testify about the Department’s efforts to develop the next generation of screening technologies before the House Committee on Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation
2318 Rayburn House Office Buildings
Washington, D.C.

4:30 PM CDT
ICE Deputy Assistant Secretary Alonzo Pena is hosting a media availability with the South Texas media to discuss results from a cross border summit.
University of Texas-Brownsville
UT Business Building, 2nd Floor
Salon Casi
Brownsville, Texas

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
February 1, 2010
12:15 pm
Cross-posted from the Coast Guard Compass.

Click on the image to watch the video on YouTube. (U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Chandler)

In this Coast Guard video recently released out of Haiti, you can hear first person accounts from several responders as they talk about their roles and experiences while responding to Haiti after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the capitol of Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010.

This comprehensive video summary highlights response personnel and assets from participating agencies with action b-roll and field video interviews.

In the video, you will hear from:
  • Petty Officer 1st Class Marcel Leroy, Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team Miami
  • LCDR Mark Shepard, Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team in Mobile, Ala., and currently assigned to the MTSRU
  • Lieutenant Commander Maarten Veenstra, Commanding Officer of the Dutch Navy Ship Pelikaan
  • Lieutenant Lyle Serber, Operations Officer of Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Team (TACLET) South in Miami, Fla.
  • Marshal Few, the Security Manager/FSO with the Department of the Army
    Petty Officer 3rd Class Alvin Abraham, Coast Guard Sector Miami currently onboard the CGC Oak
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Edwards, Maritime Safety and Security Team New Orleans
Watch the video on CGVI or on YouTube.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
February 1, 2010
9:21 am
From Parade Magazine, on the Coast Guard's efforts to thwart trafficking in the Eastern Pacific:

Every day, a high-stakes battle affecting the security and well-being of millions of Americans is played out far off our shores. The conflict occurs across more than 6 million square miles of ocean--an area larger than the size of the contiguous United States--where smugglers transport cocaine and other illegal drugs from South America. Their cargo is ultimately intended for sale in our cities and towns---but not if the U.S. Coast Guard stops it first.

"Cocaine trafficking is the leading drug threat to the U.S.," said Michael Walther, director of the National Drug Intelligence Center. Half the police departments surveyed in the country identify cocaine as the drug most contributing to violent crimes, according to Walther. After marijuana, cocaine is the second-most-used illegal drug in our country--more than 36 million people have tried it at least once. Its sales help support the activities of criminal gangs throughout the Americas; Mexican drug cartels; and terrorist organizations like FARC, a revolutionary group in Colombia.

From the Bellingham Herald, on border security around the Olympics:

While construction workers won't put the finishing touches on the new Peace Arch port of entry on Interstate 5 until December, federal officials say they have taken steps to make sure that nothing disrupts the flow of traffic during the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

"We hope the Olympics is a story about peaceful international competition, not about the border," said Tom Schreiber, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman.

To minimize the chance of problems, the border agency is poised to keep 10 lanes open and staffed during the Olympics' February run. That means adding four temporary booths to the six normally available now.

While construction workers are still busy inside a new 30,000-square-foot building for border services, the most disruptive parts of the $107 million megaproject are complete, Schreiber said. The northbound overpass is up and running, and the eventual demolition of the old 1976 building won't get under way until the Olympics are over.

"They are freezing their activities that would be in the way," Schreiber said.

The construction project is under the authority of the U.S. General Services Administration. GSA spokesman Ross Buffington confirmed that the construction job will be taking a back seat to traffic flow while the Olympics are in progress.

From USA Today, on Super Bowl security:

The vast security operation protecting the Super Bowl and surrounding events ranges from Air Force F-16s patrolling the skies above Miami on game day to a buffer zone extending at least 100 yards out from the stadium.

No one without a credential or ticket can get past that barrier — and everyone is subjected to meticulous screening by law enforcement personnel. Also among the security tools: 100 magnetometers, bomb-sniffing dogs, and devices used to detect chemical or biological threats.

"We have no viable threat to the Super Bowl at this point," John Gill (FSY)ies, special agent in charge of the FBI's Miami field office, said in an interview.

In the run-up to next Sunday's game between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints, the FBI is running the Joint Operations Center, which houses in one place more than 200 representatives from about 68 federal, state and local agencies that are responsible for security and responding to any threats.

Public Events
Secretary Napolitano will participate in the Super Bowl XLIV Security press conference featuring members of national and local law enforcement and NFL security
Broward County Convention Center
1950 Eisenhower Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
January 29, 2010
8:54 am
A real eye-opener from CNN:

From KGO-AM San Francisco, an interview with Secretary Napolitano following the President's State of the Union address:

According to a New York Times breakdown, President Obama used the word "jobs"29 times during Wednesday's State of the Union address and spent only nine minutes on national security. "Jobs are part of security too, economic security is part of security," says Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano who talks with KGO's Ed and Jen on the Liveline about the speech.
From the Wall Street Journal, on a USCIS officer's work in Haiti:

Dozens of times a day, Pius Bannis helps decide the fate of a Haitian orphan.

An immigration officer at the American Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Mr. Bannis is charged with determining whether orphans had been matched to U.S. families before Haiti's devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. If so, he clears them to leave for the United States.

Hundreds of Haitian children have been brought to him since the quake, some only a few months old, others in their teens. With many of the country's orphanages damaged or destroyed, Mr. Bannis often pieces together cases assembled from records extracted from the rubble.

Even before the earthquake, Haiti was home to 380,000 orphans. Americans adopted 330 of them in the fiscal year that ended last September, making Haiti the 8th-most popular country for adoption by U.S. families. After the quake, the U.S. announced a humanitarian parole policy to expedite the processing of orphans already assigned to U.S. families.

Some 500 Haitian orphans have been cleared since then. Several hundred are already in the U.S., after passing through Mr. Bannis.

It is too early to say how the immigration officer's decisions will play out in the lives of hundreds of children who will stay or leave Haiti based upon his determinations.

But the impact could be great. Inundated by cases from newly overcrowded orphanages, Mr. Bannis must stay on guard against fraud.

From Homeland Security Today, on the effects of the President's proposed spending freeze:

With the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and homeland security functions exempted from a three-year freeze on most federal spending beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2011, funding for homeland security purposes should remain strong and active.

President Barack Obama unveiled the freeze proposal in his State of the Union address last night. However, details of the freeze were revealed to the media by Rob Nabors, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Jan. 26. In that press conference, Nabors stated that the freeze would not affect the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs or State.

The official details of the freeze won't be known until Monday when the full federalbudget for FY 2011 is unveiled.

Public Events
10:30 AM EST
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen will participate in a media availability about counterdrug operations in the United States and the ongoing, multiagency efforts to interdict and prosecute criminals involved in these operations
Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater
14850 Roosevelt BoulevardClearwater, Fla.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
January 28, 2010
3:56 pm
Cross-posted from The TSA Blog.

What’s wrong with this picture? Put quite simply, it’s a fake. The picture (minus the black boxes) has been gaining popularity ever since it was used on several popular web pages and blogs.

The TSA Office of Information Technology (OIT) was able to determine that the original images used to make these pictures were taken from a stock photo website and doctored to mimic Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) images. The doctored images are nothing more than full frontal photos (hence the black boxes) with the colors inverted. The image of the gun and belt were superimposed. This can be done with any basic image editing software.

It’s obvious that the woman shown on the left is not the woman in the doctored photos on the right. Notice that the bracelet on the right wrist in the clothed image does not appear in the doctored images. Her arms and legs are also in different positions in the clothed photo. It can be argued that maybe the photo was taken before she entered an AIT machine. Even so, just like X-ray images, hair does not show up in authentic AIT images and faces are blurred with a privacy algorithm.

Please take a look at this blog post to see larger versions of the images below and video of what AIT images actually look like.

Thanks, Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
January 27, 2010
5:00 pm
Secretary Napolitano hosted a press conference at DHS headquarters yesterday focused on aviation security. She outlined the department's plans to move forward on this critical issue in the coming months and then spent about 20 minutes answering questions from reporters.

The link to the video of her opening statement is below, and the page includes a full transcript of the question and answer session.

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
January 27, 2010
12:00 pm

President Obama will deliver his first State of the Union address tonight. The event has been designated as a National Special Security Event (NSSE), the 10th address on Capitol Hill to receive the designation. Overall, this event is the 37th to be named a NSSE since the designation was established in 1998.

A number of factors are taken into consideration when designating an event as a National Special Security Event – including a few outlined below:
  • Anticipated attendance by dignitaries - Events which are attended by officials of the United States Government and/or foreign dignitaries also may create a federal interest in ensuring that the event transpires without incident and that sufficient resources are brought to bear in the event of an incident.
  • Size of the event - A large number of attendees and participants generally increases the security requirements.
  • Significance of the event - Some events have historical, political and/or symbolic significance and generate significant attention.
When an event is designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security as a NSSE, the U.S. Secret Service assumes its mandated role as the lead agency for the design and implementation of the operational security plan.

With the State of the Union address, as with all major events in the Washington, D.C. area, the Secret Service calls upon established relationships with experienced counterparts to develop and implement a seamless security plan that will create a safe and secure environment for all involved. The Secret Service has always relied heavily on the assistance received from local and federal law enforcement/public safety partners and the military for NSSEs.

A number of DHS components are also assisting in planning and security for the State of the Union, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the United States Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration. Other partner agencies include:

U.S. Capitol Police
Metropolitan Police Department
U.S. Park Police

D.C. Office of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty
D.C. Department of Transportation
D.C. Department of Public Works
D.C. Fire and EMS
Fairfax County Government

Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia
Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region
National Park Service
Federal Aviation Administration
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
January 27, 2010
9:47 am
An updated story from the Coast Guard Compass, discussing their ongoing relief efforts in Haiti.

From CNN, on the Secretary's comments on global airline security standards:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday there is a "renewed sense of urgency in the international community" about terrorism after the Christmas Day bombing attempt aboard a U.S.-bound plane, and the U.S. should now push for global security standards for international airports and aircraft.

"The attempted attack on the 25th of December was a powerful illustration that a terrorist would stop at nothing to kill Americans," Napolitano said. "I believe we have an important opportunity right now, right in front of us, to strengthen the system."

Napolitano last week traveled to Spain and Switzerland to meet with her counterparts, as well as foreign ministers and airline executives. Talks focused on four broad areas -- sharing information between countries, passenger vetting, security technology and creating international aviation security standards, she said.

"I was very gratified to see there exists a broad consensus for working on these four areas among my European counterparts and a clear sense of urgency to take immediate action to strengthen security measures," she said.

The trip culminated in a declaration confirming European and U.S. commitment to advancing security initiatives and to hold further talks about security.

Leadership Events
Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute will testify about the Department’s ongoing efforts to enhance and improve security following the attempted terrorist attack on Northwest Flight 253 before the House Committee on Homeland Security
311 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

Public Events
10:30 AM EST
ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton will hold a news conference to announce the results of Project Big Freeze, a gang enforcement operation which targeted gangs in more than 50 cities with ties to known drug trafficking organizations
ICE Headquarters
Potomac Center North
500 12th St. SW, First Floor
Washington, D.C.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
January 26, 2010
4:11 pm
Secretary Napolitano just posted an entry in the Leadership Journal about her recent trip to Toledo, Spain, and Geneva, Switzerland, where she met with our international partners to discuss strengthening aviation security standards following the attempted terrorist attack against Northwest Flight 253 on December 25th.

We encourage you to give it a read.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
January 26, 2010
1:57 pm
 Alexander WallnöferLast week, I was in Toledo, Spain, and Geneva, Switzerland, to meet with our European counterparts and aviation industry leaders on one of the Department of Homeland Security's major priorities: working with our international partners to strengthen aviation security standards following the attempted terrorist attack against Northwest Flight 253 on December 25th.

The attempted attack underscores that boarding a plane in one airport can give you access to almost any airport in the world. This means that we need a truly global approach to aviation security. While the failed bombing attempt took place on a U.S. bound flight, it involved at least four airports on three continents, and threatened the lives of citizens from 17 countries.

In Toledo, I found broad consensus on this point and a clear sense of urgency to take immediate action to strengthen security measures. Specifically, my European counterparts and I signed a joint declaration affirming our collective commitment to strengthening information sharing and passenger vetting, deploying additional proven security technologies, and bolstering international aviation security standards.

I found a similarly strong consensus in Geneva where I met with the leaders of the airlines that are part of the International Air Transport Association — which represents approximately 230 airlines and more than 90 percent of the world's air traffic. We agreed that government and the private sector must work collaboratively both to develop enhanced international security standards and–most importantly — to effectively implement them.

These meetings were the first in a series to bring about international agreement on stronger aviation security standards and procedures. Over the next few months, the International Civil Aviation Organization is facilitating several regional aviation security meetings where we will build on the progress we made in Toledo and Geneva.

Together, we can and will strengthen an international aviation system that, for half a century, has served as an extraordinary engine for progress and prosperity for the United States and around the world.

Janet Napolitano
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.


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