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Tag: Homeland Security

Trump Expected to Give the Boot to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

Kirstjen Nielsen, via Twitter

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

By now appointees of President Donald Trump have learned to keep an updated resume within arm’s reach. So, many get fired.

The latest, who appears to be headed for a firing is Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, the Washington Post reports. The firing could happen in coming weeks or sooner, the paper reports.

Trump is apparently unhappy with her performance on immigration enforcement.

 

Wray: FBI Arrested Hundreds of Terrorism Suspects in Past Year

FBI Director Christopher Wray (file photo)

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating thousands of terrorism cases and arrested hundreds of terrorism suspects in the past year, FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Senate committee on Wednesday.

“Right now as I sit here, we’re currently investigating about 5,000 terrorism cases across America and around the world and about 1,000 of those cases are homegrown violent extremists, and they’re in all 50 states,” Wray said at a hearing about security threats before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“In the last year or so we’ve made hundreds of arrests of terrorism subjects,” Wray added.

Wray is expected to be questioned about the FBI’s controversial investigation of sexual assault claims against Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Homeland Security Warns of Weaponized Drones in Hands of Terrorists

Drone via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The potential for weaponized drones has never been greater.

Fearing that terrorists could use drones to attack Americans, Homeland Security is urging Congress for more authority to stop  malicious drones.

Intelligence officials are warning that terrorist organizations like ISIS have mastered the use of weaponized drones.

In Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro was almost struck by explosives dropped from drones earlier this year. 

“Any time drones are used for an attack, what appears to have been an assassination attempt, it’s gravely concerning,” DHS’ top intelligence official, David Glawe, told CBS News.

Glawe fears that a weaponized drone could threaten the Super Bowl or White House, for example.

But no law enforcement agency has the authority to jam or shoot down drones, Glawe said.

“I think we want the opportunity to have all tools in the toolbox for our law enforcement officers. To identify good from bad is a key component,” Glawe said.

DHS has asked Congress to give the agency power to “redirect, disable, disrupt control of, seize, or confiscate, without prior consent” a drone that “poses a threat.” But after a Senate committee approved the legislation last summer, the bill stalled over concerns from civil liberties groups.

“It’s a problem because it means that DHS can shoot a drone out of the air or seize it and they can do so without ever having a judge look at their actions and determine if they were right,” said Neema Singh Giuliani, legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union. 

Glawe said there is no time to debate the issue.

“This threat is upon us today. I wake up in the morning and night just hoping we don’t have an attack,” Glawe said. 

Report: Homeland Security Office ‘Rife with Offensive and Racially Hostile Behavior’

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security’s office in Virginia is “rife with offensive and racially hostile behavior,” the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission declared.

Investigators discovered that a supervisor had called black and Latino employees “monkeys,” and one agent’s photo showed a black child in a fried-chicken bucket, according to a report obtained by The Virginian-Pilot

Somer black employees were subjected to race-based discrimination, the repot also found.

Homeland Security plans to appeal the report’s findings.

Homeland Security Shifted $10M from FEMA to Combat Immigration

Hurricane Florence

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration shifted nearly $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency earlier this year to fund the detention and deportation immigrants, according to documents obtained by USA Today

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., released the documents Tuesday, saying the Department of Homeland Security requested the money as the hurricane season was gearing up.

Merkley said the money is desperately needed in case the U.S. is hit as hard as it was last year by hurricanes.

“It’s almost guaranteed to happen again, so this is just incredibly irresponsible,” Merkley said. 

Sure enough, the documents were released just days before Hurricane Florence is expected to pound the Carolinas, leading to the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people. 

The documents also reveal that millions of dollars also were taken the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Coast Guard to finance ICE.

Russian Hackers Accused of Attacking U.S. Power Plants, Other Critical Infrastructure

Cyber crime expert, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Top U.S. intelligence officials have accused Russian hackers of waging a widespread attack against America’s nuclear power system, air transportation facilities, water processing plants and other critical infrastructure components.

The FBI and Homeland Security said the Russian government is behind a multi-stage intrusion campaign” involving cyber attacks designed to compromise the country’s electric grid, as well as “commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors,” according to a report released Thursday.

The new report is alarming because it shows Russia is capable of infiltrating and compromising infrastructure that is critical to millions of Americans. “In some cases, information posted to company websites, especially information that may appear to be innocuous, may contain operationally sensitive information,” the report reads. “As an example, the threat actors downloaded a small photo from a publicly accessible human resources page. The image, when expanded, was a high-resolution photo that displayed control systems equipment models and status information in the background.”

Also on Thursday, the U.S. government announced new sanctions against Russia following the indictment of 13 Russians and three Russian companies accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential campaign to help get Donald Trump elected.

Russian Hackers Penetrated U.S. Election Systems in Coordinated Attacks Targeting 21 States

Cyber crime expert, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

A brazen Russian campaign to influence the U.S. presidential election included coordinated cyber attacks targeting the election system in 21 states  and successfully penetrated, some of which were successfully penetrated

Jeanette Manfra, the head of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, told NBC News that Russian hackers gained access to voter registration rolls in several U.S. states ahead of the election. 

Manfra declined to identify the targeted states and said she’s forbidden from providing more details because a lot of the information is classified.

”We saw a targeting of 21 states and an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated.”

Jeh Johnson, who served as DHS secretary during the Trump campaign, said “2016 was a wake-up call and now it’s incumbent upon states and the Feds to do something about it before our democracy is attacked again.”

But Johnson said, many of the states have failed to take up no serious measures “to actually harden their cybersecurity.

Tough on Border Rhetoric, Trump Leaves Top Homeland Security Posts Vacant

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke (left) with President Trump, via Homeland Security.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump talks big abound securing the nation’s borders and thwarting terrorist attacks, yet he’s left dozens of top Homeland Security jobs unfilled since taking office in January, “hallowing out the massive agency,” Quartz reports

In Trump’s first 11 months as president, he’s left numerous vacant positions, from the department’s chief of staff to every leadership position in its “Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction” office.

After former DHS head John Kelly vacated his position to become the White House chief of staff in July, acting secretary Elaine Duke has recommended people for top positions, but they have been rejected or ignored by the White House.

Neither DHS nor the White House would comment.