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Tag: Homeland Security

Homeland Security: China Downplayed Severity of Coronavirus While Hoarding Medical Supplies

SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the coronavirus, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Chinese government likely “concealed the severity” of the coronavirus outbreak in early January so it could hoard medical supplies needed to fight the contagion, according to an intelligence report from Homeland Security.

Meanwhile, China dramatically increased imports and decreased exports of medical supplies before the World Health Organization knew how serious the disease was, according to the four-page report obtained by the Associated Press

“We further assess the Chinese Government attempted to hide its actions by denying there were export restrictions and obfuscating and delaying provision of its trade data,” the report states.

China first alerted WHO about an unknown, pneumonia-like disease on Dec. 31, 2019, and continued to provide some updates about the mysterious outbreak throughout January 2020.

The Trump administration recently ramped up rhetoric about China not being forthcoming about the severity of the virus.

Homeland Security Warns of Violent Extremists Using Coronavirus to Incite Violence

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The coronavirus outbreak has fueled threats from domestic terrorists and violent extremists who are angry about social-distancing measures.

In an intelligence note to law enforcement officials across the country, the Department of Homeland Security said the threat will persist “until the virus is contained and the normal routine of U.S. societal life resumes.”

The April 23 memo, obtained by POLITICO, references recent arrests involving people who are angry about the restrictions and exploiting the pandemic to incite violence. Some have threatened elected officials and government facilities.

“Recent incidents and arrests nationwide illustrate how the COVID-19 pandemic is driving violent actors—both non-ideologically and ideologically motivated—to threaten violence,” the memo reads. “These incidents indicate that COVID-19 is serving as the impetus for some domestic terrorist plots.”

The memo continues, “As the COVID-19 threat expands throughout the United States, the violent extremist threat will also continue to evolve, potentially increasing in frequency and severity.”

The FBI has warned law enforcement officials of similar threats.

Hate Groups, Fueled by Conspiracy Theories May Exploit Coronavirus to Target Attacks, Feds Warn

Timothy Wilson is accused of plotting to detonate a bomb near a hospital, via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Hate groups, fueled by conspiracy theories about the coronavirus, may incite violence in the midst of the outbreak, national security officials warn in an intelligence bulletin fringe the FBI, Homeland Security, and National Counterterrorism Center.

The report, first obtained by CNN, also warns that extremists may target hospitals, grocery stores, and even police officers enforcing social-distancing measures.

Recent plots were uncovered in the past two weeks, including a Missouri man accused of plotting to detonate a car bomb at a hospital and a train engineer who said he intentionally crashed his train near a naval hospital ship that he believed was preparing for a government takeover.

Asian-Americans and Jewish people also have been targeted with threats because of conspiracy theories blaming them for the spread of the virus.

CNN wrote:

While the FBI has become increasingly focused on combating domestic terrorism in recent years as the number of reported hate crimes has increased, the recent warnings have reflected an elevated concern that the pandemic and the changes to American society that it has caused were creating more perceived reasons and opportunities for extremists to act.

While the FBI has become increasingly focused on combating domestic terrorism in recent years as the number of reported hate crimes has increased, the recent warnings have reflected an elevated concern that the pandemic and the changes to American society that it has caused were creating more perceived reasons and opportunities for extremists to act.

Some hate groups are claiming that government responses to the outbreak could crash the global economy and lead to a race war, the bulletin states, potentially working to incite people who are facing economic hardship and social isolation in the meantime to commit acts of violence.
Others have commented that they should exploit holes in policing left by law enforcement who’ve contracted the virus themselves or are diverted to enforcing stay-at-home orders.

Illegal Immigration Drops 60% Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Illegal immigration along the southern border has declined during the coronavirus outbreak.

About 4,200 migrants were identified trying to illegally entered the U.S. last week, a nearly 60% decrease over the previous week, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The U.S. Border Patrol recently instituted a practice of quickly deporting undocumented immigrants to protect agents from the coronavirus.

CBP on Monday disclosed that 160 of its employees have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Construction on the border wall has continued despite coronavirus fears, raising concern from residents in border cities.

Nearly 9,000 Homeland Security Employees Quarantined Or Infected with Coronavirus

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Nearly 300 Homeland Security employees have confirmed coronavirus infections and more than 8,500 have been quarantined at a time when the agency is needed to combat the highly contagious disease.

An internal Homeland Security report obtained by the Los Angeles Times identifies 292 employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 8,524 who are under quarantine.

Homeland Security plays a critical role in combating the virus, with departments such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Transportation Security Administration, the Border Patrol, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“These numbers underscore the risks that the men and women at DHS are taking every day to protect public safety,” John Sandweg, former acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in the Obama administration, said. “Measures can and should be taken to protect the workforce, including limiting operations to only those that are only mission critical to protect national security and public safety.”

The union that represents Border Patrol employees said the Trump administration is “exposing them to dangers that are unnecessary.”

“I don’t think the agency is doing enough to protect agents or individuals we come in contact with, period,” said Brandon Judd, president of the union.

Judd said six Border Patrol agents have confirmed infections and an addition 42 have been quarantined.

Homeland Security Warns of Extremists Attacking U.S. During Coronavirus Pandemic

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security is warning law enforcement officials nationwide that violent extremists may carry out attacks against the U.S. in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency sent law enforcement officials the intelligence bulletin, compiled by the Counterterrorism Mission Center and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office. The memo was obtained by ABC.

“Violent extremists probably are seeking to exploit public fears associated with the spread of COVID-19 to incite violence, intimidate targets and promote their ideologies, and we assess these efforts will intensify in the coming months,” the intelligence bulletin states.

So far, the department said it has “no information indicating any active plotting is underway.”

But the agency said foreign and domestic extremist groups are trying to spread misinformation about the pandemic.

FBI Director Chris Wray, in a video message, said the bureau is increasing its monitoring of potential threats against the U.S.

“With all the worry and uncertainty out there, we want the public to know that there are still things they can count on: We’re here, and we’re going to stay here, to protect them, no matter what,” Wray said. “Because our criminal and national security adversaries sure aren’t going to take a day off – whether that’s for the coronavirus or, for that matter, anything else.”

Earlier this month, the FBI alerted local police that some white supremacist groups are encouraging members to weaponize the coronavirus by spreading it to cops and Jews. These extremists are directing their followers who get infected with coronavirus to spread it by employing methods that include using spray bottles with their bodily fluids, according to the alert.

Records: At least 13 Homeland Security Officials Tested Positive for Coronavirus, Nearly 500 More Are Quarantined

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The coronavirus has hit federal Homeland Security employees hard.

At least 13 employees for the agency have been confirmed or presumed positive for COVID-19, but only eight of those cases – all TSA screeners – have been publicly disclosed, according to documentation obtained by POLITICO.

The records also show that nearly 500 Homeland Security employees have been quarantined.

Homeland Security officials declined to comment for the story.

The risk to federal workers is high because many of the more than 240,000 Homeland Security employees are still working and in close proximity to the public.

“The department’s leadership is going to have to pay very close attention as this public health crisis evolves,” John Cohen, former acting undersecretary of intelligence and analysis., told POLTICO. “It has to be concerned that its ability to carry out its core mission could be compromised if there’s a widespread outbreak of the virus among DHS personnel. And quite frankly, that’s something that federal, state, and local officials need to be concerned about across the board — that this virus will spread among first responders, law enforcement, and Homeland Security personnel, compromising the ability of those organizations to protect the public.”

Biden Campaign Officially Asks for Secret Service Protection As He Surges in Primary

Former Vice President Joe Biden

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden has officially requested Secret Service protection.

A congressional aide told CNN on Thursday that Biden’s campaign has “submitted a formal request for USSS protection.”

For a candidate to receive protection from the Secret Service, Homeland Security must conduct a threat assessment that will be reviewed by top leaders in Congress: Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy.

Biden’s campaign declined to comment.