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Tag: Homeland Security

Trump Warned Months Ago of White Supremacist Violence ‘Over the Next Year’

FBI file photo of KKK items.

FBI file photo of KKK items.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security warned President Trump’s administration as recently as May about the potential for violence by white supremacists and other ultra-conservative groups.

The intelligence bulletin, entitled “White Supremacist Extremism Poses Persistent Threat of Lethal Violence, warned of “lethal violence over the next year,” according to Foreign Policy, which obtained a copy. 

“We assess lone actors and small cells within the white supremacist extremist movement likely will continue to pose a threat of lethal violence over the next year,” the bulletin reads.

The bulletin also indicates that white supremacists are responsible for the marjory of domestic terrorism.

They  “were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016…more than any other domestic extremist movement,” the document states.

Star-Tribune: Combating Extremism Must Stay Priority After Homeland Security Resignation

homeland-security-sportsBy Editorial Board
Star-Tribune

The resignation of a top U.S. Department of Homeland Security official has left the agency without a strong, outspoken advocate for locally led efforts to combat homegrown terrorism, a threat that the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Va., put a disturbing spotlight on.

With federal support for these programs now uncertain, private nonprofits and the business community must step up to fill this leadership void.

George Selim, who resigned in late July, led Homeland Security’s Office of Community Partnerships and directed the agency’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) task force. His energetic leadership made him a familiar figure to Minnesota law enforcement authorities and others working here to thwart terror recruiters. Some of these have targeted young people in the state’s large Somali-American community.

Selim, who began his federal career during the George W. Bush administration, merits praise for embracing a more comprehensive approach to fighting extremism. In addition to intercepting recruits and prosecuting them, he argued that preventive measures are needed.

This pragmatic approach is built on the premise that those who put down roots and prosper are less likely to fall prey to recruiters’ deceptive promises. Social services programs that build strong families, as well efforts to “de-radicalize” those who get involved with extremists, are now a critical component of CVE strategy.

Under Selim’s leadership, the Office of Community Partnerships advocated for federal grants to local organizations and finally convinced Congress to appropriate the dollars. The agency awarded the first round of grants in 2016. Two Minnesota organizations received $770,000 in funding: the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Heartland Democracy, a mentoring program for young people.

Unfortunately, it’s unclear if there will be a second round of grants. Selim’s departure raises troubling questions about CVE’s future. The CVE approach has been controversial in some circles because it’s sometimes deemed too soft an approach to terrorism. Other critics dislike that these dollars help immigrants, while others have wrongly contended that CVE shouldn’t encompass white supremacist groups inside U.S. borders.

To read more click here. 

Trump Administration Mulls Rick Perry for Top Homeland Security Job

Rick Perry

Rick Perry

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration is considering replacing John Kelly at Homeland Security with Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

Three people family with the deliberations told Bloomberg that Perry is among an unknown number of potential candidates for the position, which was abandoned by Kelly when he became the White House chief of staff Monday. 

What unclear is whether Perry wants the job.

“Secretary Perry is focused on the important mission of the Department of Energy. He’s honored to be mentioned, but he loves what he’s doing,” said Robert Haus, director of public affairs at the department.

Some of Trump’s administration favor Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican, for the job.

Perry, 67, has a lot of experience with border issues during his nearly 15 years as governor of Texas, but questions have been raised about whether he and the president agree on immigration policies.

Other Stories of Interest

Homeland Security to Waive Environmental Laws to Erect Border Wall

An existing wall at border of Mexico. Photo via Congress.

An existing wall at border of Mexico. Photo via Congress.


By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A stretch of border wall will be replaced without an assessment to the environment, the Trump administration announced Tuesday.
The Washington Post reports that Homeland Security plans to waive requirements under the National Environmental Protection Act, which mandates extensive reviews of environmental impacts.
Calling it an overreach, the Center for Biological Diversity in San Diego plans to challenge the decision.
The Post wrote:

It will mark the sixth time that the department has exercised that authority since 2005 and the first time since 2008.

A law passed in 2005 gave Homeland Security broad authority to waive “all legal requirements” to build border barriers following years of ultimately unsuccessful court challenges to border wall construction in San Diego on grounds that it violated environmental laws.

Congress passed the law to blunt similar efforts elsewhere and it led to hundreds of miles (kilometers) of new U.S.-Mexico border fencing in the final years of President George W. Bush’s administration to its current total of about 650 miles (1,040 kilometers).

Last week, the House of Representatives approved the administration’s request for $1.6 billion to start building Trump’s border wall, which would include replacing 14 miles (22 kilometers) in San Diego covered by the latest waiver and building 60 miles (96 kilometers) of new barriers in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. It was unclear if or when Homeland Security would issue waivers for Texas, which is currently the busiest corridor for illegal crossings.

Who Will Replace John Kelly as Homeland Security Secretary? Here Are 4 Possible Candidates

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After President Trump tapped Gen. John Kelly as the new White House chief of staff, speculation has been mounting about who will replace him as head of Homeland Security.

For now, Deputy Secretary of DHS Elaine Duke, is filling the role as acting secretary.

So who could become the next Homeland Security secretary?

According to an examination of several news stories, here are the possible contenders for the high-profile position:

  • Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Tex.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  • Thomas Homan, acting director of ICE
  • White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert

Incoming DHS Secretary Has 3 Decades of Experience with 3 Administrations

Deputy Homeland Security Director Elaine Duke.

Deputy Homeland Security Director Elaine Duke.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Washington veteran Elaine Duke, who is set to become the acting Homeland Security secretary today after a dramatic shakeup, has served in high-ranking positions in three administrations.

Duke, who served as deputy secretary, is expected to become acting secretary today to temporarily replace Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-start Marine Corps general who will become President Trump’s chief of staff.

Reince Priebus resigned from the position after the Trump administration made it clear they didn’t want him on staff anymore.

Duke has plenty of federal government experience.

The Hill wrote:

Duke has nearly three decades of experience working for the federal government, including time at DHS and the Department of Defense, serving under both Democratic and Republican presidents.

She previously served as under secretary for management and chief procurement for DHS, where she was responsible for managing the agency’s $47 billion budget. 

Duke was also the deputy assistant administrator for acquisition at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), where she delivered a program to meet a new mandate after 9/11 to federalize passenger and baggage screening at U.S. airports

Homeland Security Enlists American College Students in Fight Against Terrorism

university of marylandBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security’s battle to stop the radicalization and recruitment of young people has tapped American college students for help.

The program, called Peer to Peer: Challenging Extremism, gives students at 50 to 75 universities up to $2,000 each to counter online recruiting efforts by developing social media campaigns, the New York Times reports

Homeland Security and other national security officials judge a competition by students to develop online tools to counter recruiting efforts of terrorist groups like ISIS.

The University of Maryland placed first in the competition with a project, which was built around a video game and social media campaign, that teaches friends and neighbors to identify signs of radicalization.

“Who better to push back against the prejudice, bigotry and hate online than students?” said Tony Sgro, the president of EdVenture Partners, the company that created the program.

Other Stories of Interest

Homeland Security: Program Protecting Young Immigrants May Be Illegal

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal program that protects young immigrants from deportation is likely illegal, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told Hispanic lawmakers on Wednesday.

Kelly met behind closed doors with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to address former President Obama’s Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrival Program, or DACA, which protected hundreds of thousands of young people who entered the U.S. as children, the Associated Press reports. 

A group of attorneys is urging the president to phase out the program.

When Trump was running for president, he pledged to “immediately end” the DACA program. But his position has softened since he became president, saying his administration won’t target people protected by DACA.

Other Stories of Interest