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Tag: Homeland Security

Who Will Replace John Kelly as Homeland Security Secretary? Here Are 4 Possible Candidates

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After President Trump tapped Gen. John Kelly as the new White House chief of staff, speculation has been mounting about who will replace him as head of Homeland Security.

For now, Deputy Secretary of DHS Elaine Duke, is filling the role as acting secretary.

So who could become the next Homeland Security secretary?

According to an examination of several news stories, here are the possible contenders for the high-profile position:

  • Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Tex.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  • Thomas Homan, acting director of ICE
  • White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert

Incoming DHS Secretary Has 3 Decades of Experience with 3 Administrations

Deputy Homeland Security Director Elaine Duke.

Deputy Homeland Security Director Elaine Duke.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Washington veteran Elaine Duke, who is set to become the acting Homeland Security secretary today after a dramatic shakeup, has served in high-ranking positions in three administrations.

Duke, who served as deputy secretary, is expected to become acting secretary today to temporarily replace Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-start Marine Corps general who will become President Trump’s chief of staff.

Reince Priebus resigned from the position after the Trump administration made it clear they didn’t want him on staff anymore.

Duke has plenty of federal government experience.

The Hill wrote:

Duke has nearly three decades of experience working for the federal government, including time at DHS and the Department of Defense, serving under both Democratic and Republican presidents.

She previously served as under secretary for management and chief procurement for DHS, where she was responsible for managing the agency’s $47 billion budget. 

Duke was also the deputy assistant administrator for acquisition at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), where she delivered a program to meet a new mandate after 9/11 to federalize passenger and baggage screening at U.S. airports

Homeland Security Enlists American College Students in Fight Against Terrorism

university of marylandBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security’s battle to stop the radicalization and recruitment of young people has tapped American college students for help.

The program, called Peer to Peer: Challenging Extremism, gives students at 50 to 75 universities up to $2,000 each to counter online recruiting efforts by developing social media campaigns, the New York Times reports

Homeland Security and other national security officials judge a competition by students to develop online tools to counter recruiting efforts of terrorist groups like ISIS.

The University of Maryland placed first in the competition with a project, which was built around a video game and social media campaign, that teaches friends and neighbors to identify signs of radicalization.

“Who better to push back against the prejudice, bigotry and hate online than students?” said Tony Sgro, the president of EdVenture Partners, the company that created the program.

Other Stories of Interest

Homeland Security: Program Protecting Young Immigrants May Be Illegal

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal program that protects young immigrants from deportation is likely illegal, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told Hispanic lawmakers on Wednesday.

Kelly met behind closed doors with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to address former President Obama’s Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrival Program, or DACA, which protected hundreds of thousands of young people who entered the U.S. as children, the Associated Press reports. 

A group of attorneys is urging the president to phase out the program.

When Trump was running for president, he pledged to “immediately end” the DACA program. But his position has softened since he became president, saying his administration won’t target people protected by DACA.

Other Stories of Interest

Russians Prime Suspects in Cyberattacks Targeting U.S. Nuclear Plants

Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant, via the U.S Tennessee Valley Authority.

Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant, via the U.S Tennessee Valley Authority.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Homeland Security have warned that Russia is the chief suspect behind recent computer network breaches at U.S. nuclear power plants and other energy facilities.

Federal authorities said hackers have been targeting the computer networks of companies that operate the energy plants in what security specialists worry could be a search for vulnerabilities in the electrical grid, Bloomberg reports. 

Among the targets was the Wolf Creek nuclear facility in Kansas, which runs a nuclear power plant on a lake shore near Burlington, Kan.

A joint report from both intelligence agencies did not indicate whether the cyberattacks were intended to cause destruction or access industrial secrets.

But officials were worried enough to issue an urgent amber alert, the second-highest rating for a potential threat.

The possibility that Russia is involved has alarmed U.S. intelligence agencies because Russian hacker managed to disable parts of Ukraine’s electrical grid and are believed to be testing advance technology to disrupt power supplies.

Homeland Security Secretary Meets with Mexican President over Drug Cartels

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto met with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Wednesday to discuss ways the countries can jointly combat drug cartels.

The high-level talks come ahead of a planned meeting between President Trump and Nieto on Friday at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

In the first of three days of meetings, Nieto “emphasized the importance that both countries’ authorities continue working jointly to fight transnational organized crime, based on the shared responsibility that both nations have recognized,” said a statement from the Mexican president’s office, according to ABS-CBN

Nieto expressed concerns about the high demand for drugs and illegal weapons in the U.S., which helps fuel the cartels. 

Homeland Security Officer Charged with Kicking Cuffed Suspect in Head

Surveillance of incident.

Surveillance of incident.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Homeland Security officer has been indicted on charges of kicking a handcuffed man in the head outside of a federal building in Pomona, Calif.

Jason Rouswell, 45, is accused of violating the civil rights of the handcuffed suspect during an October 2016 incident, the Los Angeles Times reports, citing the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles. 

Rouswell, who is an inspector with the Federal Protective Services, is accused of kicking a man who was lying face down in the street after he was detained and shackled outside the Social Security Administration building.

According to a video of the assault, the suspect appeared to be cooperating with authorities.

Rouswell is expected to turn himself in on Wednesday. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Ex-Homeland Security Director Says Politics Prevented Disclosure of Russian Meddling

Former Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson testifies before the House Intelligence Committee.

Former Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson testifies before the House Intelligence Committee.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In what has become typical fashion, President Trump blamed the Obama administration for failing to “stop”  Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during Obama Admin. Why didn’t they stop them?” Trump tweeted at 9:22 a.m. Thursday.

Truth is, the FBI and other intelligence agencies were trying to stop Russia and had found evidence in August that Kremlin-backed hackers targeted electoral systems in 21 states, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, former Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson said the Obama administration didn’t immediately reveal Russia’s interference to avoid an appearance of partisanship.

“We were very concerned that we would not be perceived as taking sides in the election, injecting ourselves into a very heated campaign,” Johnson told the committee.

When asked what took the Obama administration so long to disclose the allegations of Russian interference, Johnson cited the need to protect intelligence sources and methods.

Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, former Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson said the Obama administration didn’t immediately reveal Russia’s interference to avoid an appearance of partisanship. The public disclosure finally came Oct. 7, when Johnson and James R. Clapper the then-director of national intelligence, said in a joint statement that Russia was involved in cyber “threats and disclosures … intended to interfere with the U.S. Election process.” They also said a Russian company attempted to break in to state voter registration databases, The L.A. Times reported. 

Johnson said the Oct. 7 statement “did not get the attention it deserved” because it was morphed in media coverage later that day by the leak of Trump making crude comments about women on a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape.