The federal witness protection program has taken in individuals considered known or suspected terrorists, but program officials didn't share the new identities of those individuals with national security stakeholders, a new report from the Justice Department office of inspector general says.
A federal attempt to ensure that Internet communications and services can be wiretapped could undermine national security by making the U.S. government's own communications less secure and by causing hardened communication tools to proliferate among a receptive audience that includes bad guys, says a May 17 paper from privacy advocates and cybersecurity researchers.
Even if an organization did not exist on Sept. 11, 2001, "if they become an associated force with al Qaeda, then they have joined with the organization that was responsible for those 9/11 attacks, and we believe they are fully covered by the AUMF," DoD Acting General Counsel Robert Taylor told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Training builds relationships between law enforcement agencies, and that's part of what made the response to the Boston Marathon bombings so effective--but it's also among the first things those agencies cut when budgets tighten, FBI Director Robert Mueller said May 16.
Significant fire potential will be above normal in much of the West this summer according to National Interagency Fire Center predictions. NIFC's outlook (.pdf) for May through August, issued May 1, says significant fire potential will be above normal for south central Oregon and parts of California in May, with more areas joining them as the summer progresses.
A House Appropriations subcommittee bill released May 15 would provide the Homeland Security Department with $38.9 billion in discretionary funding for fiscal 2014, a $617.6 million decrease from the fiscal 2013 enacted level. But, based on preliminary scoring from the Congressional Budget Office, that would be a $981 million increase above post-sequestration levels, the committee says in an overview of the bill (.pdf).
The House Appropriations homeland security subcommittee fiscal 2014 spending bill, to be marked up by the subcommittee May 16, proposes $1.22 billion for the Coast Guard acquisition budget, an increase from the $951 million in the White House proposal--but also still far less than the approximately $1.46 billion annually the service has been appropriated in recent years.
Release in short succession by the Coast Guard of a much anticipated notice of proposed rulemaking for the placement of Transportation Worker Identification Credential readers in maritime facilities and a report (.pdf) by the Government Accountability Office that heavily questions a TWIC reader pilot conducted by the Transportation Security Administration has brought new life to questions about the efficacy of the TWIC program and its implementation.
The Senate Judiciary Committee continued its consideration of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act May 14, adopting 15 amendments as it worked through the border security section of the bill and into the section on nonimmigrant visas.
The Transportation Security Administration is not effectively managing more than $185.7 million worth of equipment at the TSA Logistics Center, says (.pdf) a Homeland Security Department inspector general report dated April 26.
The number of individuals apprehended by the Border Patrol for illegally crossing the border went up slightly in fiscal 2012 but still remains historically low. Customs and Border Protection statistics show (.pdf) that the Border Patrol apprehended 364,678 individuals--a number that apart from the previous fiscal year's total of 340,252, is the lowest since 1972, when the Border Patrol apprehended 396,495 illegal crossers.
Provisions for nonimmigrant visas will be the focus of immigration reform efforts when the Senate Judiciary Committee resumes its consideration of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act on May 14. On May 9, the committee voted on amendments to the border-security section of the bill.
Pilot testing of Transportation Worker Identification Credential readers generated enough reliable data to support a conclusion that they contribute to port security, said the Transportation Security Administration official responsible for the TWIC program before a May 9 House panel.
Training and equipment that Boston police received from the federal government saved lives after the April 15 Marathon bombings, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis told a House panel May 9. He singled out the Urban Areas Security Initiative, a grant program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board now has its long-awaited chairman. David Medine won confirmation by a 53-45 Senate vote on May 7. The Senate had confirmed the four other board members last August, but did not act on Medine's nomination, which President Obama announced in 2011.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement mismanaged contracts that allowed contractors to perform work without sufficient funds to pay them, a report from the Homeland Security Department office of inspector general says. ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations division relies on contracts to provide medical and legal services, food, and recreation.
The Defense Production Act is a critical, if seldom-used, tool for emergency response and should be reauthorized before it expires at the end of fiscal 2014, David Kaufman of the Federal Emergency Management Agency told a House panel May 8. FEMA's most recent use of the DPA was in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The New Madrid zone, located in southeastern Missouri, northeastern Arkansas, western Tennessee, western Kentucky and southern Illinois, is the most active seismic area in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. In 1811 and 1812, hundreds of earthquakes occurred there, with three large events reaching estimated magnitudes of 7.9, 7.6 and 8.0.