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Category Archives: Homeland Security

FBI 9/11 Commission Releases Report

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 2:38 PM

The FBI 9/11 Commission has released its congressionally mandated report on the “implementation of the recommendations related to the FBI that were proposed by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.” The report, principally authored by Edwin Meese, Tim Roemer, and Bruce Hoffman, issued three key findings: The FBI has made measurable . . .
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Live: Herb Lin Testifies Before House Energy and Commerce Committee

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 1:45 PM

Today at 2:00 pm, Lawfare’s Herb Lin, along with Richard Bejtlich and Gregory Shannon, will provide testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on “Understanding the Cyber Threat and Implications for the 21st Century Economy.” Herb’s remarks as prepared are available here.

Happening Now: DNI James Clapper Speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations

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Monday, March 2, 2015 at 12:55 PM

At the top of the hour, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr. will discuss the state of the intelligence community, and outline the major challenges and successes experienced throughout the last year. You can watch the speech live below:

The Moral Vacuity of The Intercept

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Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 1:22 PM

In our new book, Whistleblowers, Leaks and the Media, my co-editors and I talk at some length about what we characterize as the “fundamental tension” that lies at the heart of news reporting today involving national security matters.  The tension — between transparency and secrecy — is fundamental for two distinct reasons:  First, because at . . .
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The White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism

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Monday, February 23, 2015 at 11:45 AM

Last week, the White House convened a summit on countering violent extremism. The summit took place over three days and featured remarks by Obama administration officials, global leaders, law enforcement representatives, local activists, and President Barack Obama, among others. Below the fold, we’ve compiled video from the event.

Presidential Power and Enjoining the Obama Immigration Plan

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Monday’s district court decision enjoining President Obama’s immigration plan, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), was a strong rebuke of presidential overreaching, although it was framed as a decision on the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). (Full disclosure: I was co-counsel on an amicus brief by the Cato Institute; see here for Cato’s take on . . .
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Shutting Down DHS – A Realistic Appraisal

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 12:43 PM

The press and the political junkies are all wrapped up in a discussion of the coming show down over the shut down of the Department of Homeland Security. The isn’t really about homeland security, of course – it’s about the President’s executive order extending enforcement discretion to many aliens who are present in the United . . .
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Live: Susan Rice Outlines 2015 National Security Strategy at Brookings

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Friday, February 6, 2015 at 12:50 PM

At the top of the hour, the Brookings Institution will host US National Security Adviser Susan Rice for the launch of President Obama’s National Security Strategy, which was released earlier today. During the event, NSA Rice will outline the president’s foreign policy vision and priorities. This is the first National Security Strategy to be released from . . .
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Data Analytics and Policing

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 9:25 AM

This interesting article on the NYPD’s use of data analytics came across my desk the other day.  Here is the abstract: The New York City Police Department’s Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center integrates data from a variety of sources, including sensors (cameras, license plate readers, and environmental detectors) and records (arrests, complaints, summonses, 911 calls, . . .
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Is the Visa Waiver Program a Threat to our National Security?

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Monday, February 2, 2015 at 9:50 AM

That question has taken on new significance after the Paris terrorist attacks, which have stoked fears that militants in Europe might exploit the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)—under which citizens of 38 countries may travel to the United States without a visa—to carry out similar attacks here. Some influential members of Congress (see here and here) . . .
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Throwback Thursday: Rewards and Bounties

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Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 9:17 PM

On January 5, Dominic Ongwen, senior commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, was captured by Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic (CAR). Subsequently, the rebels transferred Ongwen to the US military, who has maintained a small force in the region since 2011 to assist in the hunt for the LRA’s commanders. The question was what . . .
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Safe Havens Still Matter

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 9:13 PM

Micah Zenko and Amelia M. Wolf, both with the Council on Foreign Relations, have a new piece in Foreign Policy which argues against the “myth” that safe havens allow terrorists a space in which to flourish. They claim that this myth has only led us fruitlessly abroad in search of monsters to destroy. It’s a stunning . . .
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Breaking Bad Drones

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 12:32 PM

Just in time for Gabriella Blum and my forthcoming book, The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones: —Confronting A New Age of Threat, comes this story from the Associated Press: Police in a Mexican border city said Wednesday that a drone overloaded with illicit methamphetamine crashed into a supermarket parking lot. Tijuana police spokesman . . .
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The French Response to Terror: Counterterrorism Detention and Prosecutions Across the Atlantic

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 12:15 PM

In the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery, Western European security forces unleashed a dizzying storm of arrests and prosecutions and announced “exceptional” new measures to combat terrorism. In the space of just a few days, dozens of suspects were detained in Belgium, France and Germany, many of whom were questioned for days without . . .
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An EU PNR System?

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 10:11 AM

Passenger Name Records (or PNR) are the data collected by an airline at the time of a passenger’s reservation.  The data in a PNR is often very detailed and robust.  It may, for example, include a cell phone number for text updates or an email address.  It will typically also include an address, a credit . . .
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How Many People Are We Really Deporting?

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 7:13 AM

Under the shadow of Mexico’s twin volcanoes in the tiny mountainous village of San Mateo Ozolco, Erasmo Aparicio stands outside his house, arms crossed, black hood pulled down over his hair. “Fucking Mexico, no fucking money,” he spits out in defiant English. Now a campesino by his own description making 100 pesos—or just under $7—a . . .
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Did the FBI Just Prevent an Attack in DC from a Homegrown ISIS Supporter?

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 6:12 PM

A very, very big arrest in Cincinnati today, involving allegations that a man named Christopher Cornell (online alias Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah) had planned to travel to DC in order to carry out an attack (via assault rifle) at the Capitol. It appears Cornell was arrested today after he purchased two ArmaLite M-15s. How did the . . .
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Help An Elementary School Find Its Lost Drone

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 2:39 PM

It seems Chesterbrook Elementary, of Fairfax County, Virginia, has lost its drone—and now wishes to enlist the help of the community in locating it. Such is the gist of the below email, sent by a school official earlier today. (I have embedded the video and pictures, which are linked in the original.)  Chesterbrook isn’t that far . . .
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Recreating Old Loopholes: Thoughts on the Revised Guidance for Federal Law Enforcement

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Earlier this month, the Justice Department issued revised Guidance for Federal Law Enforcement Agencies on the Use of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, National Origin, Religion, Sexual Orientation, or Gender Identity. The prior version—issued in June 2003—didn’t cover profiling on the basis of religion or national origin, and exempted national security and border investigations altogether.  While the . . .
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Extradition, Chesimard, and U.S.-Cuba Relations

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Monday, December 22, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Following President Obama’s announcement that the US would begin normalizing relations with Cuba, questions immediately arose on the possible extradition of Joanne Deborah Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur.  She is a member of the Black Liberation Army (“BLA”) and murdered Werner Foerster, a New Jersey police officer, in 1973.  A New Jersey court sentenced . . .
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