Homeland Security

Sixteen Years of Predictive Profiling

Back in 2002, I was driving with a colleague to see a client in Palmdale, California, a couple hours’ drive outside of Los Angeles.  This was only a few months after 9/11 when the country and the world were looking for an understanding of and solutions to the specter of terrorism.  We were talking about…

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Age of Fear?

[S]ince love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved. —Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, 1513 Last week’s post concerned the ‘definition’ of terrorism.  While usually politically motivated, terrorism as a phenomenon has itself become politicized.  Terrorists and their supporters are of course…

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Safety Act

After an active shooter event or act of terrorism in the U.S., victims and their representatives often file suit against just about anyone they can. In the case of the Las Vegas shooting by Stephen Paddock, the concert promoters, the Mandalay Bay Hotel and bump stock manufacturers were all sued.  Victims and their families of…

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Global Cooperation

Any security professional knows that when securing a place of business or a home, extending the rings of security outward from the target is the most effective approach.  It provides critical distance and time in addition to a potential opportunity for intelligence gathering.  The sooner we can identify a threat before it arrives at a…

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This is Only a Test

This past weekend, people in the state of Hawaii experienced some excitement when an emergency alert was disseminated state-wide.  Although sent in error, it was a scary 38 minutes between the receipt of this text message:  BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL, and the subsequent message explaining…

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Threat is not Random

More often than not, security systems miss the mark when they skip a vital step in developing their security standards and procedures. They do not first clearly define the threat. But only once you understand the threat, can you understand what is suspicious and then have a road map for procedures. Take random checks as an…

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Misplacing Guns

An Inspector General Government Accountability Office report “DHS’ Controls Over Firearms and Other Sensitive Assets” published October 25th shows that the U.S. Homeland Security Department lost 220 guns, 1,889 badges and 25 secure immigration stamps over a three year period from 2014 to 2016. In one instance, two agents had stashed their weapons and badges…

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Equifarce

Of course the IRS needs to confirm that a given taxpayer is who they say they are.  It’s step number one for all transactions.  To that end, on the IRS website an individual answers questions about their personal and credit history like “On which of the following streets have you lived?” or “What is your…

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Identity Crisis Down Under

The issue of identity and allegiance is key to the kind of bad behavior we often write about.  Security personnel need to know how to verify the identity of the suspicious person they are dealing with; are they indeed who they say they are?  A lone wolf terrorist who goes off the deep end may…

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DHS Reauthorization

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Reauthorization of the Department of Homeland Security Act, bill HR 2825.  The vote was 386 for and 41 against, with 32 democrats and 9 republicans in opposition. It’s next up to the U.S. Senate to deliberate and vote. “The threats we face have evolved in the past…

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