Archive for December 31st, 2009
WASHINGTON — Five times in 2004, airport security tried blocking Sen. Ted Kennedy from boarding a plane because his name was on a terror watch list.
Fast forward to Christmas Day 2009: Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab waltzed onto an international Northwest flight in Amsterdam, underwear packed with explosives, hell-bent on blowing up the Detroit-bound plane, even after his father had warned authorities weeks before that his son might be up to no good.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Eight years after 9/11, the nation is still struggling to iron out the kinks in its airport security, a system reliant on intelligence reports and a web of terror watch lists — a system President Barack Obama declared had ultimately failed on Christmas day.
Asa Hutchinson, the former undersecretary of Border and Transportation Security for the Department of Homeland Security, fielded Kennedy’s complaints on the issue during a congressional hearing in 2004. This week, Hutchinson said that a lot of progress has been made to put together and refine various post 9/11 terror watch lists. Then he added:
“That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Most likely it’s flawed and needs to be revisited.”
The Christmas Day Flight Isn’t the Only Thing to Raise Red Flags: Things Happen Daily at U.S. Airports
By Allan Lengel ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The attempted bombing aboard a Detroit bound plane on Christmas Day wasn’t the only incident that has raised red flags of late at U.S. airports.
In fact, everyday the Transportation Security Administration deals with people trying to get guns past checkpoints or board planes with fraudulent travel documents.
In the week of week of Dec. 14 to 21 alone, TSA said it discovered 37 firearms and 3 “artfully concealed weapons” at checkpoints; and 21 passengers were arrested following ” investigations of suspicious behavior or fraudulent travel documents”.
Last year, there were 902 guns found at checkpoints at U.S. Airports, according to the TSA.
Law Enforcement Source Says Authorities Not Aware of Any “Terrorist Chatter” Pointing to New Year’s Eve Disruption in the Big Apple
A law enforcement source said Thursday morning that “we’re not aware of any terrorist chatter” around the world hinting of any disruption on New Year’s Eve in the Big Apple where hundreds of thousands of revelers will gather in Times Square to watch the traditional dropping of the Waterford crystal ball at midnight.
“However, due to recent events we’re remaining extremely vigilant,” the law enforcement source said.
The New York police department will lead the security, but the FBI said Thursday that it will deploy more than 100 agents, analysts, professional support and task force members to help out.
” We will be in place to enact our Crisis Response Plan in the event of terrorist incident,” FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said in a statement. “Sharing information and intelligence will take place at the FBI’s JTTF (Joint Terrorism Task Force) Command Post, staffed by FBI along NYPD, PAPD and numerous other agencies. Our response teams, including Crisis Response, SWAT, Evidence Response, Hazardous Materials, Crisis Negotiators, Bomb Techs and investigators will be deployed to staging areas.”
WASHINGTON –In this tech savvy world of ours it’s not unusual to find a video of a public event worth noting.
The Detroit News reported that federal authorities have “obtained at least two videos taken by passengers” aboard the now infamous Christmas day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
The bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 8.
The evidence keeps mounting that the war on the Mexican drug cartels is every bit the United State’s war as well. The cartels have sunk their tentacles into major cities around the U.S. like Chicago. In fact, the Post reports that the Justice Dept. has found that Mexican cartels are operating in 230 U.S. cities.
The Flores brothers had never looked like much in the eyes of local narcotics agents. But by the time it all came crashing down this year, the drug-distribution network allegedly run by the 28-year-old twins from the Mexican American barrios of Chicago was one of the largest and most sophisticated ever seen in the U.S. heartland, according to interviews and federal indictments.
Pedro and Margarito Flores allegedly operated as an American annex to a major Mexican drug mafia, and their arrest and the dismantling of their purported network opened a window on how powerful Mexican cartels operate in the United States, distributing cocaine and heroin with the corporate efficiency of UPS, while back home competitors are tortured and beheaded.