NEWS ABOUT: homeland security

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Lawmaker: Why No Hearings on Radical Christians, Too?

Texas Democrat Al Green questions Peter King's hearings on Muslims

(Newser) - Peter King's latest hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims are under way, and a Democratic lawmaker used his allotted time to wonder why there are no hearings on radical Christians as well. Texas' Al Green, the grandson of a Christian minister, said in his five-minute speech that he... More »

Brit Tourists Refused US Entry Over Twitter Jokes

Pair did not really want to 'destroy America'

(Newser) - Note to would-be US tourists: Be careful with your Twitter jokes before setting foot on our soil. Two Brits were detained and then sent back home after landing in Los Angeles last Monday, all because the Department of Homeland Security was unhappy with two tweets one of them had posted... More »

TSA Screeners Begin Chatting Up Logan Travelers

It's part of the agency's behavior-detection strategy

(Newser) - If you're traveling through Logan anytime soon, be prepared for chatty TSA screeners. It's in the name of security, not politeness. As part of the agency's expanding strategy to try to weed out terrorists, all passengers in one of the Boston airport's terminals will have to... More »

Al-Qaeda Trying to Make Ricin Bombs for US Attacks

Yemen affiliate said to be loading up on castor beans to make the toxin

(Newser) - Osama bin Laden is gone and the main branch of al-Qaeda might be reeling, but its affiliates remain bent on attacking the US, reports the New York Times . Citing classified intelligence reports, it says the Yemen branch known as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is hoarding castor beans to turn... More »

Awlaki, Not bin Laden, Now Top Terror Threat to US

Threat 'may be at its most heightened state' since 9/11: Napolitano

(Newser) - Osama bin Laden’s reign as the top terror threat to the US is over: According to the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, he’s been overtaken by Anwar al-Awlaki . “I actually consider al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula with al-Awlaki as a leader within that organization probably the... More »

White House Cans the 'Danged' Fence

Napolitano says no 'one-size-fits-all' solution for border

(Newser) - After four years, about a billion bucks, and lots of yelling on both sides ("Complete the danged fence," anyone?), the White House is officially canning the US-Mexico border fence, reports the AP. Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano made the long-expected announcement yesterday, saying that there's no "one-size-fits-all" fix... More »

Napolitano: Homeland Security Is Working '24/7/364'

We'd better find out which day the department's taking off

(Newser) - The head of Homeland Security wants Americans to know her team is working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 364 days a year to protect us. So Janet Napolitano told Diane Sawyer in an interview last night, raising an important question: Which day is our anti-terror forces taking... More »

Airport Screenings Discreet— and Crucial

Napolitano defends new imaging techniques, urges cooperation

(Newser) - Facing pressure over airport security measures, Janet Napolitano defends scanners and pat-downs in USA Today , asking Americans “for cooperation, patience and a commitment to vigilance in the face of a determined enemy.” New imaging machines are “safe, efficient, and protect passenger privacy” and have helped find... More »

Angry Spy Crew Hits Back at WaPo Probe

Boast they've thwarted attacks

(Newser) - The intel community has struck back fast at a scathing Washington Post investigation that portrayed post-9/11 intelligence gathering as wastefully massive and out of control. "The fact is, the men and women of the intelligence community have improved our operations, thwarted attacks, and are achieving untold successes every day,... More »

US Intel Gathering Insanely Out of Control

Post 9/11 buildup has left us with more info than we can handle

(Newser) - In the wake of 9/11, the US has built an unspeakably massive top-secret counter-terrorism apparatus that appears to be riddled with waste, according to a major investigative piece that some 20 journalists spent nearly two years working on for the Washington Post . The paper found that 1,271 government organizations,... More »

Intelligence Chief Dennis Blair Resigning

Move comes after criticism of Christmas Day bomb plot

(Newser) - President Obama's national intelligence director, Dennis Blair, says he is resigning after 16 months in the job. In a message to his work force, Blair says his last day will be May 28. Blair's tenure was marked by intelligence failures—he took criticism over the Christmas Day bomb plot, in... More »

Wary of Leaks, FBI Quashed No-Fly Info About Shahzad

Agency feared tipping off would-be bomber

(Newser) - The FBI identified Faisal Shahzad as the prime suspect in the botched Times Square car bombing within 2 days but specifically notified only certain airlines that he had been added to the no-fly list. His status changed on May 3, but the bureau pressed Homeland Security to limit the number... More »

GOP Candidate: Racial Profiling Is OK

Ad argues that white guys don't look like terrorists

(Newser) - Did you know that white people are never terrorists? It's totally true . So why do they have to get screened at the airport? That's the argument Dan Fanelli, who's trying to unseat Rep. Alan Grayson in Florida, makes in this new ad. “Does this look like a terrorist,”... More »

NYC Bomb: Growing Threat in Everyday Ingredients

New trend in terrorism: homegrown, unsophisticated

(Newser) - The ingredients that turned an SUV into a smoldering car bomb in Times Square were all cheap and ordinary: propane tanks, gas cans, powder from fireworks. In its reliance on components that are easy to come by and almost impossible to detect, Saturday's failed bombing looks a lot like other... More »

US Grade for Bio-Terror Readiness: F

Feds 'failing to address several urgent threats,' commission says

(Newser) - The US is woefully unprepared for a biological attack—getting an “F” from a bipartisan commission on weapons of mass destruction. “While the government has made progress on preventing such attacks, it is simply not paying consistent and urgent attention to the means of responding quickly and effectively... More »

Pilot Mistook Prayer Box for Bomb, Redirected Flight

17-year-old accidentally sets off panic

(Newser) - The “security concern” that caused a plane to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia turns out to have been a 17-year-old Jewish boy who was strapping prayer boxes to his head and arm. A stewardess mistook the Tefillin—ceremonial boxes containing scriptures that Orthodox Jews wear during morning prayers—... More »

Security Issue Reroutes NY-to-Louisville Flight

US Airways plane sent to Philly instead

(Newser) - A US Airways flight that was originally supposed to travel from New York to Louisville has been diverted to Philadelphia for security reasons, according to an airline spokesman. The flight, US Airways Express Flight 3709, landed at Philadelphia International Airport at 9am without incident. The passengers have deplaned, and are... More »

Obama: 'Buck Stops With Me'

President faults intelligence 'shortcomings' and promises reform

(Newser) - President Obama says when it comes to terror threats against the US, he is ultimately responsible. And he is ordering changes in the way information on potential threats is handled. "The buck stops with me," said Obama in a brief address to the nation. He is ordering the... More »

Petraeus Talks Security With Yemen President

General visits nation, delivers letter from Obama

(Newser) - Gen. Petraeus visited Yemen today and met with the nation's president to discuss how to keep al-Qaeda in check. The meeting came on the same day President Obama spelled out in more detail how the would-be bomber on Christmas Day got his training from al-Qaeda militants based in the cash-strapped... More »

Obama Gets First Report on Detroit Terror Attempt

Prez gets answers to how Abdulmutallab boarded plane

(Newser) - As a first step in his effort to overhaul intelligence practices, President Obama will today receive a preliminary report on how exactly the Detroit bombing suspect managed to board a US-bound plane, along with recommendations on how to prevent a sequel. The reams of intelligence data that were combed through... More »

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