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Tag: report

Terrorism Threat in Europe and U.S. Is ‘Increasingly Lethal,’ House Committee Reports

Rep. Michael McCaul

Rep. Michael McCaul

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. House Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday released an alarming report about terror plots targeting Europe and the disturbing links to ISIS.

The “European Terror Threat Snapshot” also revealed that about 5,000 European citizens have traveled to Iraq or Syria, and more than 1,000 have returned to their countries, the Washington Times reports. 

“ISIS terror operatives have exploited the largest flow of refugees and migrants since World War II to infiltrate Europe undetected. EU member states reported nearly 2 million instances of illegal border crossings involving around 1 million people last year,” the new report noted. “European jihadists are also attempting to radicalize and recruit refugees settling in the European continent.”

In the committee’s monthly terrorism assessment of the U.S., officials warned of increasing danger to the U.S.

“The United States and our allies face an increasingly lethal Islamist terror threat. A global jihadist network operating from safe havens is exploiting Western security gaps to orchestrate a widespread terror campaign, particularly in Europe,” warned Rep. Michael McCaul, Texas Republican and committee chairman.

“Battle-hardened European fighters groomed by ISIS are returning home from Syria to commit acts of terror with the support of local extremist networks, as we have tragically seen in Paris and Brussels. These operatives are also potentially a plane-flight away from our shores. Given the magnitude of the threat across the continent, we are likely seeing only the tip of the jihadist iceberg in Europe.”

Report Concludes Border Patrol’s Internal “Discipline System Is Broken”

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol’s system for cracking down on abuse by agents and officers is seriously flawed and rarely deters criminal misconduct, according to an independent task force.

The Homeland Security Advisory Council, which commissioned the study, is expected to receive the 49-page final report today.

The task force contended that corrupt Border Patrol agents “pose a national security threat” because they are failing to protect the country from international terrorism, The Los Angeles Times reports. 

Cartels and other groups “attempt to target, recruit and corrupt law enforcement personnel who then can facilitate the smuggling of drugs and people and other criminal activity,” the report states. “Such corrupt officials can assist the cartels by providing intelligence and facilitating the movement of large amounts of contraband across our borders and into our country.”

An average investigation into serious misconduct takes more than a year and a half, which the report states is “far too long to be an effective deterrent.”

The report concluded, the “discipline system is broken.”

Military Prosecutor Agrees with Senate Report about CIA Prisoners Being Tortured

guantanamobayBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An eye-opening Senate report on the CIA’s former interrogation practices is accurate, said the chief military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay.

The Washington Post reports that the prosecutor’s statements contradict those made by former CIA officials and congressional Republicans, who have insisted the report was strewn with errors.

Brig. Mark Martins made the statements in a motion filed Friday in the case against five people accused of helping carry out the Sept. 11, 2001, attack.

“While the opinions and conclusions of the [Senate report] are irrelevant to these proceedings, the factual recitations of what occurred to the accused are gleaned from the very same Executive Branch documents the Prosecution has reviewed, or is in the process of reviewing, in its own holdings,” Martins wrote.

“As such, the Prosecution will stipulate that the facts contained within the Executive Summary occurred,” Martins stated.

The Senate report described brutal treatment of prisoners held by the CIA around the world. According to the report, the CIA beat and water-boarded prisoners.

  

Other Stories of Interest

House Report Concludes Secret Service Is ‘in Crisis,’ Beset by Leadership Problems

Joseph Clancy

Joseph Clancy

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A yearlong investigation into the Secret Service has found an agency “in crisis,” beset by low morale, scandals and the failure to provide adequate protection, the Associated Press reports.

The report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee found that facilities that are secured by the agency were breached or had attempted breaches 143 times.

The report faults poor leadership and congressional budget cuts that have left the agency with a “staffing crisis.”

Following the report’s release, President Obama expressed “absolute” confidence in Joe Clancy, who is the agency’s director.

“This report reveals that the Secret Service is in crisis,” said the committee chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

“Morale is down, attrition is up, misconduct continues and security breaches persist. Strong leadership from the top is required to fix the systemic mismanagement within the agency and to restore it to its former prestige.”

Other Stories of Interest

New York Post: Report Whitewashes Hillary Clinton’s Most Serious Violations

hillary-clintonBy Editorial Post
New York Post

Well, whaddya know? Maybe those Hillary Clinton e-mails didn’t include top-secret information, after all.

At least, that’s the conclusion reportedly drawn by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s office — overruling the finding of Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough that two Clinton e-mails (from a sample of just 40) contained highly classified info.

Hmm. Clapper answers to the president — who issued clear marching orders months ago, announcing that Clinton’s server scam was “not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.”

Oddly, news of Clapper’s finding got leaked to Politico soon after the Washington Free Beacon reported Clinton did indeed, right after taking over at State, acknowledge her responsibility to properly guard classified info — and that “negligent handling” of it could bring criminal penalties.

Until the Beacon broke that news, even the State Department was unclear on whether Clinton ever signed the Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement. By so doing, she promised not to put classified info at risk — by, say, storing it on a home-brewed e-mail server.

Which she immediately turned around and did, because she didn’t want a record of her communications available to . . . the government of the United States of America.

That said, Clapper’s ruling whitewashes Clinton’s most serious known violations, and could serve as a pretext for shutting down the FBI’s probe into Clinton’s server use. But it shouldn’t.

To read more click here. 

Violent Crime Declined Modestly Nationwide, FBI Report Says

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Violent crime dropped nationwide in 2014, according to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report.

While the .2% decline is modest, the report shows fewer murders than any year since 2009. Robbery, burglary, theft and arson also have declined, CNN reports. 

Some cities, however, saw spikes in murders: Baltimore, Milwaukee and Washington.

“We have witnessed a remarkable drop in crime since the 1980’s — both violent crime and crime overall. Entire cities have been transformed, unlocking tremendous potential and releasing a wave of prosperity,” Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates said, adding that “even though crime is trending downward in most places, we are seeing pockets of rising violence in various locations across the country.”

Border Patrol Slammed in Report for Corruption, Coverups, Excessive Force

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol is so entrenched in corruption and coverups that it would take nearly 350 criminal investigators to adequately investigate the wrongdoings, according to a sharply critical report by the Homeland Security Department.   

The Los Angeles Times reports Border Patrol agents are vulnerable to “systematic corruption” by drug cartels and other criminals and that investigations of internal wrongdoing are “chronically slow.”http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-border-patrol-20150630-story.html#page=1

Read the full report here. http://documents.latimes.com/homeland-security-advisory-council-interim-report/

Agents also are accused of using excessive force.

In fact, Border Patrol agents and customs officers are arrested at a rate that “far exceeds” other law enforcement agencies, according to the 29-page report.

“Until this is reversed, [Customs and Border Protection] remains vulnerable to corruption that threatens its effectiveness and national security,” warns the report, which was requested by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

The report also advises Border Patrol to change its policy on using deadly force.

Buffalo News: FBI, Congress Must Improve Anti-Terrorism Performance

The Buffalo News
Editorial Board

The good news – and it is good news – is that the FBI has made great strides in transforming itself since the 2001 terror attacks. In a new report by the FBI 9/11 Review Commission, the agency is credited with significantly improving the number of analysts qualified for their jobs and better foreign language ability.

Yet some of the finding are also puzzling, so many years after the attacks. While the bureau was credited with having improved its foreign language ability, it also notes the continuing need for more linguists.

That imperative was made public within weeks of the Sept. 11 attacks. How hard can it be, especially when the need is so obviously critical? Schools have churned out 14 years of graduates over that time; surely enough to have produced sufficient numbers of trained linguists – assuming the pay is commensurate with demand. Specifically, the report notes that while the bureau has enough linguists in its large offices, they are in “short supply” in other parts of the country.

And therein lies a problem. Congress has also played a destructive role in – bluntly – keeping the country less safe than it should be. Budget cuts, such as those included in the mindless sequestration policy that took hold two years ago, have “severely hindered the FBI’s intelligence and national security programs,” the report concluded. Among the report’s three principal authors is Edwin Meese III, who was attorney general in the Reagan administration and can hardly be dismissed as a reckless government spender.

The report also notes that the FBI needs to improve its abilities at analysis and to develop a deep roster of informants.

These are areas where the FBI needs to improve, and Congress must play a role, along with the bureau’s leaders. Still, on balance, the report was positive and as one observer noted, periodic evaluations such as this will help keep it on track.

To read more click here.