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Tag: Department of Homeland Security

CNN: U.S. Increasing Security at More Than 9,500 Federal Buildings

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In the wake of the attack in Canada, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he’s ordering more security for more than 9,500 federal government buildings, CNN reported.

CNN reports that Johnson said the new security measures are a precautionary guard against “continued public calls by terrorist organizations for attacks on the homeland and elsewhere” after two attacks last week on Canada’s government.

To read more click here.

Senate Panel Explores Effectiveness of Homeland Security Department on Sept. 11 Anniversary

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

How prepared is Homeland Security to handle terrorism threats?

On the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a Senate panel will ask that question as it examines the department and interviews former lawmakers and past DHS officials, including the first Homeland Security secretary, Tom Ridge, the Washington Post reports.

The panel plans to review issues ranging from cybersecurity to disaster preparedness.

DHS was created by President Bush and Congress in 2003 in response to the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks.

Obama’s Choice for Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Denies Abusing His Influence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

President Obama’s nomination for second in command at the Department of Homeland Security fended off allegations Thursday that he helped Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s brother get a special visa for foreign investors, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas is important because he could become the temporary replacement for Janet Napolitano, who plans to leave in September for another job.

The department’s inspector general is trying to determine whether Mayorkas abused his position by helping Gulf Coast Funds Management, run by Anthony Rodham, get a visa visa for a Chinese investor who was twice denied a visa.

“I have never in my career used undue influence to influence the outcome of a case,” Alejandro Mayorkas, the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told a Senate panel considering his nomination, The LA Times wrote.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Janet Napolitano’s Job at Department of Homeland Security Is Not Only High-Ranking Post Available

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Janet Napolitano’s job as head of the Department of Homeland Security is not the only high-ranking position available there, NPR reports.

According to the NPR, 15 top jobs at DHS are vacant or about to be, and lawmakers won’t fill the jobs.

The openings raise questions about whether DHS is too large and unwieldy.

“Customs and border protection — the role of commissioner for that has been vacant [and] filled by acting people for … nearly a year and a half,” says Christian Beckner, deputy director of George Washington University’s Homeland Security Institute.

And surprise, surprise. There’s bipartisan agreement.

“It is a bad situation,” says Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, who chairs the Senate homeland security committee. “I call it executive branch Swiss cheese. And it’s not that the people in these acting positions are inept or bad people, but there’s a special stature that comes by Senate confirmation.”

NYPD Commissioner Kelly Seems Open to Head Department of Homeland Security

NYPD Commissioner Kelly/nypd photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly appears to be open to considering the top job at the Department of Homeland Security, the New York Daily News reports.

Rep. Pete King said the city’s top cop is “not saying no” to the possibility of taking the job.

The comment follows President Obama’s comments about Kelly in a TV interview, saying he is “one of the best there is” in fighting terrorism.

“Mr. Kelly might be very happy where he is. But if he’s not, I’d want to know about it,” Obama said. “Obviously, he’d be very well-qualified for the job.”

Kelly is among names that have been floated as a potential replacement for Janet Napolitano.

Homeland Security Warned About Potential for Pressure Cooker Attacks

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Department of Homeland Security in 2010 warned about terrorists using pressure cookers in bombings in Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, Fast Company reports.

Surgeons who worked on the victims found large pellets, small BBs and headless nails that were stuffed in six-liter pressure cookers.

The department sent letters to law enforcement officials nationwide warning about the pressure cookers.

“IEDs represent the most ubiquitous threat to our nation for those intent on conducting physical attacks. Law enforcement and the private sector need tools to provide the capability to prevent such incidents,” Robert Liscouski of Implant Sciences told Fast Company.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Judge Allows Discrimination Lawsuit to Continue for Black Secret Service Agents

 

secret service photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Black Secret Service agents cleared a major hurdle this week in a discrimination lawsuit that claims the Department of Homeland Security has passed over African Americans for promotions, Reuters reports.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Roberts ruled the eight current and former agents meet requirements for class recertification, a key technicality to move the case forward.

The plaintiffs claim the department violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by using an job evaluation system that is biased against African Americans, Reuters reported.

The department countered that black agents, on average, receive promotions earlier in their career than others.

“This evidence conclusively refutes plaintiffs’ overarching claim that the Secret Service has refused to eliminate racism from the fabric of its promotion process,” it said in the court document.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Homeland Security Considers Replacing Military Aircraft with Commercial Planes

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Department of Homeland Security may soon replace cheaper commercial planes with military aircraft to absorb 8.2% in budget cuts in March, Popular Science reports.

The department was exploring buying used aircraft from the military but discovered that it’s more inexpensive to use commercial planes, Popular Science wrote.

Commercial aircraft is more inexpensive because of the sheer number of available airplanes. Replacement parts are cheaper, and maintenance is more inexpensive, Popular Science reported.

One option is the Super King Air 350, which is fuel efficient, able to take off on short runways and has a 1,500-mile range, according to Popular Science.