Terrorists continually threaten to export tactics refined overseas--such as the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs)--to the United States, making it necessary for the US government to stop al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, urged Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in remarks outside of Washington, DC, Tuesday.
The recent arrest and indictment of Najibullah Zazi on a conspiracy charge to use explosives against US targets serves as an example of how the terrorist threat can travel from Pakistan to the United States, said Napolitano, speaking at the Counter-IED Symposium sponsored by the Interagency Council for Applied Homeland Security Technology [ICAHST] in National Harbor, Md. Zazi is alleged to have traveled to Pakistan for bomb-making training before his arrest in September.
"And because this threat ties directly to events in the Afghanistan/Pakistan theater, we must continue to put additional pressure on al Qaeda and ultimately diminish the threat that they pose to the United States and to the international community," Napolitano stated.
Such threats originating from Afghanistan and Pakistan provide justification to White House plans to surge an additional 30,000 US troops into Afghanistan in coming months, increasing the number of US soldiers and Marines in the country to nearly 100,000, the secretary indicated.
From the Washington Post, on Trusted Traveler:
I can thank my sister's baby for persuading me to enroll in a government-run "trusted traveler" program.
Although I travel to Montreal for family visits at least once a month, the frequency increased when my sister Barbara and her partner, Ines, had a son in 2007.
Determined to get to know Alex, I flew to Montreal about every other weekend that summer.
After one miserable, hours-late August flight, I bolted off the jetway with my carry-on bags, sprinted down Trudeau Airport's endless, glassed-in arrivals corridor and took the escalator down to passport control -- only to be greeted by a writhing, Ellis Island-like human mass snaking around dozens of posts. After two sweaty hours, as I cursed my way to the rental-car counter, I made myself a promise to investigate a program whose signs I'd always ignored in my rush for the exits.
Two years later, NEXUS membership has changed my life.
Here's my new arrivals procedure at Trudeau Airport: disembark. Walk the hallways to Canada Customs. Descend the escalator and turn right to the L-shaped bank of red NEXUS kiosks. Peer into a viewfinder to get my irises scanned. Answer three yes-or-no questions. Take my ticket. Walk up a dedicated lane, past the row of
Customs officers and down the ramp to freedom. Total time elapsed: seven minutes.
From the St. Petersburg Times, on a remarkable rescue and homecoming:
Luke Finch ate ice cream and sausage and all of their pizza crackers.
He spent the ride to shore standing beside the men in blue, and even got to steer the ship, just for a little bit. The blond boy then fell asleep in the arms of a detective.
Then, as the Coast Guard cutter Crocodile approached the dock, the 3-year-old boy clapped his hands.
"I'm coming, Mommy," he said. "I'm coming, Mommy."
As the sun set on the horizon, Christa Finch ran up the gangway and wrapped her arms around her son, their 2? day ordeal finally over at 5:43 p.m. Tuesday.
"I love you," she told him. "I miss you."
The reunion was made possible by a daring Coast Guard rescue early Tuesday morning that authorities said thwarted a kidnapping plot by Luke's father.
Paul Martikainen, 35, is accused of stealing the boy from a supervised visit in Cocoa on Saturday, then trying to sail off with his son for parts as yet unknown. They were last seen leaving a St. Petersburg marina, just days after the state accused him of physically abusing the boy.
10 AM EST
Secretary Napolitano will testify about transportation security challenges post-9/11 before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
253 Russell Senate Office Building
2:30 PM EST
NPPD National Cyber Security Division Acting Director Dr. Peter Fonash will participate in a panel discussion about cybersecurity at the Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Solution Series: Cyberspace at the Cross Roads: The Intersection of Cyber, National and Economic Security
National Conference Center18980 Upper Belmont PlaceLeesburg, Va.
2:30 PM EST
Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Assistance Directorate Assistant Administrator Elizabeth Zimmerman will testify about developing a comprehensive national disaster case management program before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Ad hoc Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery
342 Dirksen Senate Office Building
3 PM EST
NPPD Cybersecurity Evaluation Program Director Patrick Beggs will participate in a panel discussion about regulations and best practices in support of improved public/private partnerships regarding information assurance at the AFCEA Solution Series: Cyberspace at the Cross Roads: The Intersection of Cyber, National and Economic Security
National Conference Center
18980 Upper Belmont Place
7:30 PM EST
Secretary Napolitano will deliver remarks at the America-Israel Friendship League’s “Partners for Democracy Award Dinner”
Central Park South & 5th Avenue
New York, N.Y.