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Tag: Homeland Security

Senate Homeland Security Chairman Calls for War Against Islamic State

Sen. Ron Johnson

Sen. Ron Johnson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The head of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said Monday that the he supports going to war against Islamic State, the USA Today reports. 

Sen. Ron Johnson also called President Obama’s approach naive because of the global threat posed by the terrorist organization.

“It’s high time that we make a commitment in the world that Islamic terrorists have got to be wiped off the face of the planet,” the Wisconsin Republican said in a telephone interview. “Because if we don’t, every day that ISIS survives, every day that they are not overtly losing, they are perceived as winners and perceived as winning and they’ll continue to inspire adherents to this barbarity.”

Johnson supports a global coalition, like the one used by former President George H.W. Bush to push Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.

“It’s not a perfect solution, but you have to start at the head: We’ve got to destroy the caliphate, which means we’ve got to take back the territory, because a caliphate does not exist without the territory,” he said.

Other Stories of Interest

Head of House Homeland Security Committee Warns of ‘Gaping Holes’ for Terrorism

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. is vulnerable to attack on the scale of the one in Paris because of “gaping holes” in security, the head of the House Homeland Security Committee warned Sunday, The Hill reports. 

“There are a lot of holes — gaping holes,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“We have hundreds of Americans that have traveled” to Iraq and Syria, he added. “Many of them have come back as well. I think that’s a direct threat.”

McCaul said he is concerned with how easily Europeans and Americans can travel to Iraq and Syria.

He also expressed concerns about terrorists slipping into the U.S. by posing as Syrian refugees.  t

“This causes a great concern on the part of policymakers, because we don’t want to be complicit with a program that could bring potential terrorists into the United States,” McCaul said.

Other Stories of Interest

Investigation: Homeland Security Missed Clear Warning Signs Before ICE Agent Shot Supervisor

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

Homeland Security missed clear warning signs of an ICE agent’s tendency to be violent before he opened fire on a supervisor and then was fatally shot in February 2012, the Associated Press reports, citing an internal investigation.

Ezequiel Garcia, 45, briefly had his gun and badge revoked by Homeland Security, which returned the weapon after a cursory review.

Before the shooting inside the Long Beach offices of Homeland Security Investigations, a supervisor objected to the agency from returning gun because of concerns over Garcia’s violent tendencies.

Garcia shot the regional second-in-command, Kevin Kozak, who suffered serious injuries.

Another supervisor shot and killed Garcia.

“The review revealed missed opportunities for intervention that, had they been pursued, may have prevented the tragic result,” the report said. Still, the report said “no reasonable person could have predicted” the shooting.

Woo and Rocha declined to speak to the AP through a government spokesman.

Other Stories of Interest

High-Level Sources Told Secret Service Director about Leak of Rep. Chaffetz’s Personnel File

Joseph Clancy

Joseph Clancy

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy knew about the improper leaking of Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s personnel file at least a week before the information became public, the Inspector General of the Homeland Security found.

CNN reports that Clancy was not being truthful when he said he heard a “rumor”that is “not credible” about the leak just before it became public in late May.

But the Inspector General said that at least three top-level sources told Clancy about the leak before it became public. Those officials were the Secret Service deputy director, a deputy assistant director and former directors.

Initially, Clancy denied knowing anything about the leak of Chaffetz’s file, which included information when he unsuccessfully applied for a job at the agency.

“We are unable to determine, because he has no memory of it, the degree to which Director Clancy understood how widely the information was being disseminated within the Secret Service, or whether he understood that the discussion about Chairman Chaffetz was being fueled and confirmed by dozens of agents improperly accessing a protected file,” the inspector general’s office said.

It added, “We do know that Director Clancy was told of the information from three different sources. We also know that no agency-wide affirmative steps were taken to stop access to the record until after the information was reported in the media.”

Homeland Security Deputy Director to Visit Birthplace of Cuba to Help Ease Tensions

Alejandrom Mayorkas

Alejandrom Mayorkas

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The second-ranking Homeland Security official will visit his hometown in Cuba to help ease tensions with the U.S., the Los Angeles Times reports. 

Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security deputy secretary, was 6 months old when his family fled Havana and moved to Miami.

For the first time, he is returning for a three-day visit intended on restoring diplomatic relations.

It’s part of a larger effort by President Obama to ease restrictions on U.S. travel and investment in Cuba as Congress considers dropping the decade-long trade embargo.

Myorkas said his father longed to visit Cuba.

“He always dreamed of returning with his children and sharing Cuba with them,” Mayorkas said in an interview, his eyes beginning to tear up. “It was always my hope and intention to return with him, so this visit will be quite emotional.”

Homeland Security Allows Nearly 100 Employees to Collect Pay without Working

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

Nearly 100 Homeland Security employees are collecting pay while not working, the Washington Post reports. 

Auditors made the discovery and expressed concerns about the go-to strategy of placing employees accused of misconduct on administrative leave.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, is unhappy and wants to know why so many employees are paid without being required to work.

“DHS also failed to explain why such extended amounts of time were needed to conduct investigations into security issues, misconduct, or fitness for duty,” Grassley wrote in a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Computer System That Checks Passengers Against Terrorism Watch Lists Goes Down

airport-people-walkingBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Homeland Security computer system designed to raise red flags about airline passengers on the terrorism watch lists stopped working at five airports on Wednesday night, The Christian Science Monitor reports. 

The system went down for about 90 minutes but did not appear to be malicious, according to CBP.

CBP officers used alternative methods to check for suspicious passengers.

It wasn’t immediately clear which airports were impacted, by NBC News reported security screening problems at John F. Kennedy Airport and airports in Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Baltimore.

Other Stories of Interest

Homeland Security Director Urges Republican Presidential Candidates to Tone Down Rhetoric

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Frustrated with the fear-mongering rhetoric of Republican candidates for president, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said it’s time for more “responsible dialogue,” the Washington Post reports. 

“All of us in public office, those who aspire to public office and who command a microphone owe the public calm, responsible dialogue and decision-making,” Johnson said at a conference hosted by Latino lawmakers. “Not overheated, over simplistic rhetoric and proposals of superficial appeal. In a democracy, the former leads to smart and sustainable policy. The latter can lead to fear, hate, suspicion, prejudice and government overreach. These words are especially true in matters of homeland security and they are especially true in matters of immigration policy.”

Johnson said illegal border entries continue to fall, despite public opinion that it’s on the rise.

The rhetoric, Johnson said, is causing unnecessary fear and calls for extraordinary measures.

“Building a wall across the entire Southwest border is not the answer,” Johnson said.