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Tag: Homeland Security

Ex-Bush Aide Is Trump’s Top Contender for Homeland Security And Counterterrorism Adviser

Tim Bossert

Tim Bossert

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump’s top contender for homeland security and counterterrorism adviser is Tom Bossert, a former top George W. Bush aide, two senior transition officials told Politico

Trump met with Bossert at his Mar-a-Lago estate on Thursday. He was joined by national security advisor Michael Flynn, incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus, and chief strategist Steve Bannon.

If appointed, he would replace Lisa Monaco, who holds the position under President Obama.

Bossert currently is a fellow at the Atlantic Council. 

Under Bush, Bossert served as deputy homeland security adviser.

Homeland Security Analyst Pleads Guilty to Making Illegal Gun Silencers

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Homeland Security analyst who carried a gun, knife, handcuffs, pepper spray and an infrared camera into the agency’s headquarters in June pleaded guilty Wednesday to making illegal silencers.

Jonathan Wienke faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after authorities also found explosives and gun silencers at his Martinsburg home in West Virginia, the Associated Press reports. 

Wienke likely won’t serve anywhere close to 10 years in prison because of a deal with prosecutors for a reduced sentence.

Authorities said there was “no indication” that Wienke planned violence in the workplace.

Former Homeland Security Investigations Agent Accused of Stealing Drug Money

homeland-security-investigationsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Homeland Security Investigations agent faces numerous federal charges alleging he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug cash and laundered it through real estate transactions and banks.

Tyrone Cedric Duren, 46, and his wife, Jennifer Lynn Duren, face charges of money laundering, bank fraud conspiracy, making false statements to federal agents and structuring financial transactions, the San Diego Union Tribune reports. 

Authorities arrested the couple on Nov. 30.

“The evidence obtained during the investigation and detailed in the complaint, paints Duren as an intelligent but deceitful person, sophisticated in the art of concealing assets and engages in international travel to hide assets,” Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Rapp wrote in a motion arguing for Duren’s detention. “He has used his position as a law enforcement agent for illegal financial gain to support himself and family with a lavish lifestyle.”

The couple was released on bail after pleading not guilty.

In 2008, Durant began his career with Homeland Security and was assigned to the Bulk Cash Smuggling Task Force, which focused on drug trafficking.

Trump Officially Taps Retired General Kelly to Run Homeland Security

Marine Gen. John Kelly

Marine Gen. John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump formally announced Monday the appointment of retired General John Kelly to serve as head of Homeland Security.

“The American people voted in this election to stop terrorism, take back sovereignty at our borders, and put a stop to political correctness that for too long has dictated our approach to national security. I will tackle those issues with a seriousness of purpose and a deep respect for our laws and Constitution,” Kelly said in a statement, the Washington Times reports. 

“I am honored for the opportunity to be back in the service to our country, and our people,” Kelly added.

Trump praised Kelly in a statement.

“Gen. John Kelly’s decades of military service and deep commitment to fighting the threat of terrorism inside our borders makes him the ideal choice to serve as our Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security,” Trump said in a statement.

“He is the right person to spearhead the urgent mission of stopping illegal immigration and securing our borders, streamlining TSA and improving coordination between our intelligence and law enforcement agencies. With Gen. Kelly at the helm of DHS, the American people will have a leader committed to our safety as well as one who will work hand-in-hand with America’s rank-and-file TSA, ICE and Border Patrol officers,” he added.

Other Stories of Interest

Bloomberg: Homeland Security Entails More Than Protecting Border

Marine Gen. John Kelly

Marine Gen. John Kelly

By Editorial Board
Bloomberg

John Kelly, the retired Marine four-star general who is Donald Trump’s reported pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, is admirably suited to defending U.S. borders. More surprisingly, he may also moderate some of Trump’s more extreme positions on illegal immigration — which would help both the U.S. and its neighbors.

During his three-year-plus stint as head of the U.S. Southern Command, Kelly focused on the threat posed by Latin American drug traffickers who supply almost all of the cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine entering the U.S. He also warned repeatedly that the same smuggling networks that facilitate the trade in drugs, illegal workers, sex slaves and endangered wildlife could also enable the infiltration of terrorists.

Yet Kelly’s approach wisely went beyond interdiction and military training and support. As he told Congress, “95 percent of my efforts are not military. It’s economic development.”

Kelly was a champion of the Alliance for Prosperity, the nearly $1 billion program of assistance for Central America passed last December by Congress with bipartisan support. It concentrates not just on law and order, but also on strengthening institutions, building infrastructure and promoting regional integration.

In dealing with the U.S.’s southern neighbors, Kelly has stressed the idea of partnership. He knows how important it is to share intelligence, for instance, and how that in turn requires cooperation rather than coercion. And he’s acknowledged that the flow of people from Central America to the U.S. is driven partly by gang violence associated with the U.S. demand for illegal narcotics.

He knows, as he himself put it, that “a wall by itself will not work.”

Persuading his boss and Cabinet colleagues to adopt a more enlightened — that is, comprehensive — approach to border control and illegal immigration will be one of his biggest challenges.

To read more click here. 

Georgia’s Secretary of State Accuses Homeland Security of Attempted Hack

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Georgia’s secretary of state alleges Homeland Security tried to illegally hack the state’s computer network that contains the voter registration database.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp claims in a letter to Homeland Security that his office discovered that a DHS Internet address tried to breach the computer system, the Hill reports.

The system also contains personal information of more than 6.5 million residents, 800,000 corporate entities and 500,000 licensed or registered professional.

“On November 15, 2016, an IP address associated with the Department of Homeland Security made an unsuccessful attempt to penetrate the Georgia Secretary of State’s firewall,” Kemp wrote. “I am writing you to ask whether DHS was aware of this attempt and, if so, why DHS was attempting to breach our firewall.” 

The hack, if there was one, occurred a week after the election.

Homeland Security said it is investigating.

“DHS takes the trust of our public and private sector partners seriously, and we will respond to Secretary Kemp directly,” said Deputy Press Secretary Scott McConnell.

Other Stories of Interest

Trump Chooses Retired Marine General Kelly to Head Homeland Security

Marine Gen. John Kelly

Marine Gen. John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to run Homeland Security is retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, a border-security hawk who retired in February as chief of the U.S. Southern Command, the Washington Post reports. 

Kelly will be responsible for delivering on Trump’s pledge to crack down on illegal immigration.

The 66-year-old general served for more than four four decades and has widespread respect in the military community.

The choice for the position came down down to Kelly and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who many conservatives believed wasn’t hawkish enough about border security.

Marine Gen. John Kelly Appears to Be Trump’s Choice for Leading Homeland Security

Marine Gen. John Kelly

Marine Gen. John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Retired Marine General John Kelly appears to be President-elect Donald Trump’s top choice for leading Homeland Security.

The 66-year-old with more than four decades of military experience would play a major role in Trump’s plans to secure the border and crack down on illegal immigration, Politico reports. 

When Kelly was the chief of U.S. Southern Command, he oversaw military operations and clashed with the Obama administration on the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Politico wrote:

His addition to the Trump administration would likely have implications on candidates for remaining cabinet posts. If formally offered the position, Kelly would be the third general tapped by the president-elect, in addition to Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who will serve as Trump’s national security adviser, and retired Gen. James Mattis, who Trump said Thursday he intended to nominate as his Defense Secretary. Concerns about the number of military officials in Trump’s cabinet may harm the prospects of another military man, retired Gen. David Petraeus, whom Trump is considering for secretary of state.