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Homeland Security: The Sworn Duty of Public Officials

Homeland Security: The Sworn Duty of Public Officials     The United States has a unique position amongst the countries of the world;...

Monday, February 29, 2016


The NIAC provides recommendations and advises the president on protecting the nation's critical infrastructure, which is vital to the nation's economy, governance, safety, and public health. The NIAC provides its recommendations and advice through the secretary of homeland security. The NIAC is composed of a maximum of 35 members, all appointed by the president. The council members are appointed from the private sector, state and local governments, and academia.

PDDs are executive orders issued by the president of the United States to broadcast the policies and decisions on national security matters. PDDs are executive orders; therefore, they are treated as laws. However, PDDs are effective after consultations with the National Security Council (NSC). PDDs include national security presidential directives (NSPDs) and homeland security presidential directives (HSPDs).

It is the responsibility of federal departments and agencies to identify and prioritize the protection of critical infrastructure. However, the federal departments need to work in coordination with state and local governments and the private sector to achieve this goal. In addition, the federal departments need to appropriately protect all information related to protecting critical infrastructure and vital information that can facilitate terrorist targeting of critical infrastructure. When implementing the policies of presidential directives for homeland security, the federal departments and agencies must abide by the laws protecting the rights of U.S. citizens.

The NRF, formed on March 22, 2008, replaced the National Response Plan. The NRF provides principles guiding all stakeholders to form a unified national response to disasters and emergencies. The NRF also establishes a complete national approach to domestic incident response.
The NRF states the principles, roles, and structures that organize how we respond as a nation

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Hammoud Facilitator Cell: Can the National Strategy Stop Similar Cells in Texas?

The Hammoud Facilitator Cell: Can the National Strategy Stop Similar Cells in Texas?

Homeland security is a different animal than national security. The National Strategy for the Physical Protection of Critical Infrastructures and Key Asset defines homeland security as a shared responsibility which requires coordination between Federal, state, and local agencies, the private sector and individual citizens. In contrast, The National Strategy for the Physical Protection of Critical Infrastructures and Key Asset defines national security in the context of those areas in which the Federal government has sole responsibility (2003, p vii).
The National Strategy for Homeland Security specifies two goals in the course of the strategy in dealing with terrorism
  • Identify and locate terrorists and uncover terrorist activity (2007, p.19)
  • Disrupt terrorists and their activities and networks (2007, p. 20)

The National Strategy for Homeland Security recognizes that terrorist organizations and their facilitators use “financial systems to raise, store, and transfer funds that serve as the lifeblood of their operations” (2007, p.21). The cigarette smuggling crime ring of the Hammoud brothers serves as an example of the type of terrorist cell that operates within the United States, providing financial support for Hezbollah. Levitt discusses the Hammoud case in the context of financing Hezbollah (2005, p.8).
One method of achieving these goals in accordance with the shared responsibility for homeland security is through the creation of fusion centers. In the 2014–2017 National Strategy for the National Network of Fusion Centers, the vision is defined as connecting the diversity of public safety organizations “in a way that creates a national information sharing asset” (2014, p. iv). However, Gottschalk warns that “More than half of the strategies devised by organizations are never actually implemented” (2009. p.274).
The State of Texas avoids Gottschalk's pitfall and contributes to this national strategy. In 2003, The State of Texas established the Homeland Security Council. One of the duties delegated to the Governor is specifically to “detect and deter threats to homeland security” (Texas Homeland Security Council Overview, n.d, pp. 1-2). Texas recognizes that Hezbollah and Hamas are terror organizations with a network of supporters within the state (Texas Homeland Security Strategic Plan 2010-2015, n.d, p.21). In Texas's strategic plan, there is also the awareness of the financial support that facilitators can provide to terrorists, and the crimes committed in the course of those activities; “Terrorists use criminal activities to accrue money needed to pay for recruiting and training, and to buy
false documents, weapons, explosives, and munitions” (n.d., p. 23). As an example of the information sharing necessary to fulfill the obligation of homeland security, in 2006 the Texas Fusion Center became part of “a memorandum of understanding” between the states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California to share intelligence regarding border security (Lee, Logan, Mitchell, and Trella, 2007, p. 55).
Clunan suggests that the fight against terrorist financing requires collective action between government agencies (2006, pp. 570-571). The United States and Texas have committed to this as a foundation of their homeland security strategies. Information sharing has proven to work in countering terrorist financing. The Hammoud case, which was opened before these strategies were formalized, serves as an example of how the process can succeed, and especially as an example of how local law enforcement is key in homeland security (Fromme & Schwein, 2007, p. 25).
Levitt's testimony before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs regarding this should be read by everyone interested in or responsible for homeland security. The major concepts involve the the internal terror threat, the methods of terror finance, and how local agencies cooperated to counter these threats.


Clunan, A. L. (2006). The fight against terrorist financing. Political Science Quarterly (Academy of Political Science), 121(4), 569–596. Retrieved October 9, 2014 from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=23680300&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Department of Homeland Security. (2007). National strategy for homeland security: Homeland Security Council. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=0iVf7NP4wz8C&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=%22make+sure+that+America+is+safer,+stronger,+and+better%22+%22end,+we+have+strengthened+our+homeland+security+through+foreign+partnerships,+and%22+%22our+Nation+is+safer,+but+we+are+not+yet+safe.+Since+September+11,+2001,+we+have+made%22+&ots=GnRBHMNVyi&sig=MDMhNrXEp4VHY_KC_HzgRqkiIfQ

Department of Homeland Security. (2003). The national strategy for the physical protection of critical infrastructures and key assets. Retrieved May 7, 2015 from http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA413033

Fromme, R., & Schwein, R. (2007). Operation Smokescreen: A successful interagency collaboration. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 76(12), 20–25. Retrieved April 30, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/215270968?pq-origsite=summon

Gottschalk, P. (2009). Law enforcement strategy implementation: The case of police intelligence strategy. Criminal Justice Studies, 22(3), 273–280. http://doi.org/10.1080/14786010903166981

Lee, E., Logan, C., Mitchell, J. T., and Trella, J. (2007). A governor’s guide to homeland security. Washington, D.C.: National Governors’ Association, Center for Best Practices. Retrieved 9/22/14 from http://www.nga.org/Files/pdf/0703GOVGUIDEHS.PDF

Levitt, M. (2005). Hezbollah: Financing terror through criminal enterprise. Testimony given to Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Washington, DC, 25. Retrieved April 13, 2015 from http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/testimony/313.pdf

National Network of Fusion Centers. (2014). 2014–2017 National strategy for the national network of fusion centers. Retrieved April 24, 2015 from https://nfcausa.org/html/National%20Strategy%20for%20the%20National%20Network%20of%20Fusion%20Centers.pdf

Office of the Governor. (n.d.). Texas homeland security strategic plan 2010-2015. Retrieved May 7, 2015 from http://gov.texas.gov/files/homeland/HmLndSecurity_StratPlan2015.pdf

Texas Homeland Security Council. (n.d.). Texas homeland security council overview. Retrieved May 7, 2015 from http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/documents/HomelandSecurityCouncilOverview.pdf

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and narco-cartel violence.

Sylvia Longmire, in the article “How Mexican Cartels Are Changing the Face of Immigration” (2014), brings attention to a phenomenon that touches upon three areas of concern to the security of our border. These issues are illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and narco-cartel violence. This is a short discussion, basically an introduction to the concept that the actions of the cartels are affecting immigration patterns.
Of course, the focus of the article is on immigration. Longmire presents the figures demonstrating an increase in asylum requests from 2005 to 2011 (2014, p. 112). Even beyond the macro issues of the economic damage caused by illegal immigration, Whitfield discusses the threat presented by routes of this activity (2011, p.54).
According to Longmire, cartel usurpation of immigrant smuggling routes has morphed into a blend of drug smuggling, with approximately one out of every three illegal aliens having been coerced into acting as a drug mule (2014, p. 111). Willoughby identifies drug trafficking as a national security issue (2003, pp. 113-118). The use of forced labor to smuggle drugs highlights the third problem, which is cartel violence.
Longmire cites the fears of such illegal aliens of being deported back to face the cartels. One quote is as follows, “ I don’t care how long I’m going to get [in jail time], I can’t go home — they’ll kill
me” (2014, p.111). Pan et al report that drug violence spills over into neighboring states (2012, p. 29). Although their discussion was limited to Mexico, it does not take much to extrapolate the threat of cartel violence within the United States.
The major weakness of the article is in it's brevity at seven pages. All of the areas discussed have major import to the security of our borders. For the most part I agree with Longmire's assessment of the situation. However, Longmire suggests that border controls such as agents or fences will not deter the surge of immigrants (2014, p. 113), while I feel that an honest effort to improve border security would be able to contest all three threats presented by this new development.

Pan, M., Widner, B., & Enomoto, C. E. (2012). Spillover Effects of Crimes in Neighboring States of Mexico. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(14), n/a. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/1022642042/abstract?accountid=87314

Longmire, S. (2014). How Mexican Cartels Are Changing the Face of Immigration. The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, 38(2), 109–114. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/1565808412?pq-origsite=summon

Whitfield, N. S. (2011, December). Traveling the terror highway: infiltration of terror operatives across the U.S.-Mexico border. (Thesis). Naval Postgraduate School. Retrieved October 17, 2014 from https://calhoun.nps.edu/handle/10945/10708

Willoughby, R. (2003). Crouching Fox, Hidden Eagle: Drug trafficking and transnational security - A perspective from the Tijuana-San Diego border. Crime, Law and Social Change, 40(1), 113+. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/216163836/abstract/D97A1748D81B4343PQ/1?accountid=87314

The best way to combat illegal immigration is a combination of  methods:
1)  Cut off all welfare benefits for non-citizens (including legal aliens)
2)  Start punishing businesses that employ illegal workers
3) Take the handcuffs of the Border Patrol and let them do their job
4)  Build a fence along the Israeli model (this is expensive, but could be built over time)
5)  Deport as caught;  when an illegal alien is arrested for any crime, he should be deported immediately unless he has committed a crime against a person, in which case he should be jailed.

It should be harder to get into this country, it should be riskier to stay in this country, and it should not be rewarded to sneak into this country.

We have citizens on welfare; they should be the ones getting the jobs that illegals do.


Ran across this for the w4a4 paper:
Whitfield, N. S. (2011, December). Traveling the terror highway: infiltration of terror operatives across the U.S.-Mexico border. Naval Postgraduate School. Retrieved from https://calhoun.nps.edu/handle/10945/10708

Do you think that foreigners should have the same protections as citizens, especially at the border?

It has been a long held principle of American law since the 1870's (the 14th Amendment)  that anyone within the United States should be given the same due process protections as citizens. The 14th was created to give former slaves legal protections that some born outside the country would not have been given as freed slaves.

The Supreme Court ruled on several cases re: Chinese railroad workers which in effect gave the legal protections of citizens to all within our borders ( and this has been used lately that it should extend to our operations outside our borders as well).

I think the Supreme Court erred in this interpretation;  while the vehicle for turning the former slaves into citizens was necessary, and that the immigrant Chinese deserved some sort of protection, that a blanket equalization of aliens with citizens (whether those citizens be native or naturalized) is basically a loophole for enemies of ours to operate under our protection.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)

The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), like many other federal programs, was a response to the 9/11 attacks and the threat of future terrorist attacks. C-TPAT is based on a partnership between the the government, in the agency of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and private corporations engaged in the global supply chain. In essence, private entities that sign a C-TPAT agreement identify security issues within the entity, and provide CBP with a security plan. C-TPAT is a voluntary program, although Ritchie and Melnyk assert there are additional regulatory burdens on corporations that do not participate (2012, p. 862). Laden contends that the rationale that CBP used to justify a voluntary program was that legitimate corporations would want to cooperate (2007, p. 77).
C-TPAT has several benefits to it's private sphere partners. The first is to avoid additional regulatory scrutiny, as Ritchie and Melnyk stated. O'Donnell makes the argument that C-TPAT partners have a competitive advantage over non-partners (2009, p.139). Richard Reed, deputy assistant to the president for Homeland Security, proposed that C-TPAT enhances not only the security of critical infrastructure for government, but for industry as well ( Annual C-TPAT conference closes, 2013, para. 3).
C-TPAT may not work at 100% efficiency, however, the program should not be terminated. Natter, citing the Government Accountability Office (GAO), reports that oversight over the program is “inadequate” in that “Customs and Border Patrol failed to adequately verify its members' security practices” (2008a, para. Para. 2). Natter also reports that some politicians have called for “100 percent ocean container scanning” (2008b, p.11). Considering that some companies may not be as legitimate as O'Donnell (see first paragraph) contends is necessary for the program's success, this is something to keep in mind. The practice changed in 2014, when 100% of U.S.-bound containers are to be scanned in accordance with 2007 law (Nolan, 2013, para. 3). Melnyk et al quote a C-TPAT partner, as follows: “It may not help but I am not going to be the first firm to have a security screw-up and not be C-TPAT certified, so I am going to do it irrespective of the costs; it is going to happen” (2013, p.298). Voss and Williams provide the fundamental reason as to why the program should not be terminated; terrorism, theft, damage ,or insertion of unauthorized cargo are “significant” risks to the global supply chain (2013, p. 321). Even if the program is not 100% effective, every step to make a terrorist act less successful is a step in the right direction.

Annual C-TPAT conference closes. (2013, January 19). US Fed News Service, Including US State News. Washington, D.C., India. Retrieved May 5, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/1270842790?pq-origsite=summon

Laden, M. (2007). The genesis of the US C-TPAT program: Lessons learned and earned by the
government and trade. World Customs Journal. 1 (2). Retrieved May 5, 2015 from http://www.worldcustomsjournal.org/media/wcj/-2007/2/the_genesis_of_the_us_c-tpat_program_lessons_learned_and_earned_by_the_government_and_trade.pdf

Melnyk, S. A., Ritchie, W. J., & Calantone, R. J. (2013). The Case of the C- TPAT border security initiative: Assessing the adoption/persistence decisions when dealing with a novel, institutionally driven administrative innovation. Journal of Business Logistics, 34(4), 289–300. http://doi.org/10.1111/jbl.12027

Natter, A. (2008a, May 27). C-TPAT oversight inadequate: GAO. Traffic World. Retrieved May 5, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/195731589?pq-origsite=summon

Natter, A. (2008b, June 9). Report: C-TPAT inadequate. Traffic World, 272(23), 11–11. Retrieved May 5, 2015 from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=32748121&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Nolan, C. (2013). The Rubik’s Cube of cargo security. The Brief, 42(3), 58–64. Retrieved May 5, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/1366357221?pq-origsite=summon

O’Connell, J. J. (2009). C-TPAT: major challenges. Journal of Transportation Security, 2(4), 137–147. http://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.1007/s12198-009-0032-5

Ritchie, W. J., & Melnyk, S. A. (2012). The impact of emerging institutional norms on adoption timing decisions: evidence from C-TPAT-A government antiterrorism initiative. Strategic Management Journal, 33(7), 860–870. http://doi.org/10.1002/smj.1948

Voss, M. D., & Williams, Z. (2013). Public-private partnerships and supply chain security: C- TPAT as an indicator of relational security. Journal of Business Logistics, 34(4), 320–334. http://doi.org/10.1111/jbl.12030


This is a comparison that is hard to make.

On one hand, it is next to impossible to physically check 100% of cargo, especially when considering the timeframe.  By allowing the shippers to take part in security procedures, the need to check every container goes down.

On the other hand, legitimate companies that play by the rules and have a low-risk security profile can be suborned by a number of methods (blackmail, corruption, extortion) into shipping threat materials into the United States.

I think that the benefits of C-TPAT outweigh the risks, but I understand there is a significant risk to the process.


I seem to remember some discussion of the problems of drug smuggling via container prior to 9/11.  After 9/11 C-TPAT was the best option for security for the vast amount of cargo to check;  it is still etter than nothing, but a "suitcase nuke" could still be walked across the border even if C-TPAT was at 100%.

Our best solution is to attack the terror ideology at it's sources, and be preemptive in that regard.  But we should still maintain customs and border security measures as best as we can do.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Operation Smokescreen

Operation Smokescreen

In 1995, West Virginia State Trooper Paul Koener stopped Chawki Hammoud with a van load of cigarettes with the tax stamps missing; in 1996 Trooper Koener stopped Chawki's brother Mohammed carrying $40,000 in cash on the same road (Lemon, 2014, p.1). During the same period of time, Detective Robert Fromme, working in a cigarette outlet store as a second job, observed the bulk purchase of cigarette on an almost daily basis (McCormack, 2009, p.4). Fromme documented this activity and brought it to the attention of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) in 1996, which in turn bought the matter to the FBI (McCormack, 2009, p.4). From 1996 to 1999, Fromme worked with the STF on smuggling charges. The FBI set up a case in 1999 which became known as Operation Smokescreen; investigating the ties between this cigarette smuggling ring and support for the terrorist group Hezbollah. Detective Fromme put aside pending indictments against the group of cigarette smugglers to cooperate with Operation Smokescreen (Fromme & Schwein, 2007, p.20). However, Fromme's work was not lost as the Iredell County Sheriff's Department that Fromme served was one of the law enforcement agencies that took part in the conclusion to Operation Smokescreen in 2000, arresting over 18 suspects in the terror supporting cell of criminals (CNN, 2000, para. 4).
McCormack contends that the most common encounter with terrorist suspects is via traffic stop (2009, p. 5). This can be seen in the case of Trooper Koener. A second method of tracking the terrorists was via Fromme's observation and documentation of the group's activities over a period of months.
Although the lead agency in Operation Smokescreen was the FBI, the case could not have been solved without the involvement of many agencies. The case originated with the Iredell County Sheriff's Department, who brought in the FBI. Intelligence developed by the FBI became the basis for involvement by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). The Canadian CSIS was also involved as some connections led to Hezbollah activity in Canada.(An assessment of the tools needed to fight the financing of terrorism, 2002, p.8) Fromme & Schwein discuss the roles of these agencies; ICSD and ATF worked the smuggling angle, INS and DSS worked the immigration fraud aspect of the case, while the FBI proceeded on the terror related and RICO elements of the case (2007, p. 22). Even the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department had a role to play, participating in the arrests (CNN, 2000, para. 4).
McCormack suggests that local police are the are “the eyes and ears of the community and nation” (2009, p.2). It is the work of law enforcement officers such as Koener and Fromme that brings the actions of terrorists to the point where they can be tracked and captured. This information benefits from collaboration of law enforcement agencies to share and collate this information; information that does not get to where it is needed is of no use. Carter suggests that “intelligence and information sharing can be effective in preventing terrorism and organized crime”(2004, p.4). Operation Smokescreen is a prime example of the responsibilitiy of law enforcement agencies to commit to information sharing.


An assessment of the tools needed to fight the financing of terrorism, § Committee on the Judiciary (2002). United States Senate. Retrieved April 30, 2015 from http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-107shrg88867/pdf/CHRG-107shrg88867.pdf

Carter, D. L. (2004). Law enforcement intelligence: A guide for state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. US Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services Washington, DC. Retrieved April 24, 2015,from http://www.riskintel.com/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/07/Carter_Intelligence_Guide.pdf

CNN.com . Breaking news: Federal and state authorities in North Carolina announce “Operation Smokescreen”. (2000, July 20.). CNN. Retrieved April 30, 2015 from http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0007/21/bn.01.html

Fromme, R., & Schwein, R. (2007). Operation Smokescreen: A successful interagency collaboration. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 76(12), 20–25. Retrieved April 30, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/215270968?pq-origsite=summon

Lemon, J. (2014). How a hybrid anti-terrorist approach  could have prevented millions of dollars from  flowing to overseas terrorist organizations: A case study of the Hammoud terror cell (SAS White Paper). Retrieved April 27, 2015 from http://www.sas.com/resources/whitepaper/wp_40679.pdf

McCormack, W. (2009). State and local law enforcement: Contributions to terrorism prevention. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 78(3), 1–7. Retrieved April 30, 2015 from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=i3h&AN=37599847&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Document Analysis II: Lebanon and Iran

Document Analysis II: Lebanon and Iran

Lebanon plays a part in the history of Hezbollah as the place of it's birth; Hezbollah can trace it's roots back to the Amal militia, created by Musa al-Sadr (Arena, 2006, p.456). Musa is the cousin of Muqtada al-Sadr, the one-time leader of the Mahdi Army in Iraq. The Amal militia was created by the Lebanese Shi'a during the Civil War of 1975. After the Israeli invasion of 1982, Iran sent 1500 “Revolutionary Guard to...infiltrate organizations such as Amal and train Lebanese Shia” (Arena, 2006, p. 457). Hezbollah was formed in these efforts. However, Iran has has been a major contributor to the growth of Hezbollah. Szekely asserts that “From its inception, its most important foreign relationship was with Iran, based on both a shared ethno-communal identity and a shared ideology” (2012, p. 115). In addition, Lebanon may be the birthplace of Hezbollah's drug smuggling activities. Arena suggests that Hezbollah may have first started smuggling opium and hashish out of the Bi’qa Valley (2006, p. 462).

Rudner lists the three major sources of income for Hezbollah; assistance from Iran and Syria, levies upon business in the area under Hezbollah's control, and income derived from the expatriate Lebanese community (2010, pp. 700-101). Levitt breaks down the sources comprising expatriate funding; foreign remittances, charities/front organizations, and criminal enterprises (2005, p.5). Arena states that Iran is the “chief finnancial sponsor” of Hezbollah (2006, p. 455). Updating Levitt's 2005 estimates, Levitt and Jacobson content that Iran provides $200 million a year to Hezbollah (2008, p. 75). Levitt and Jacobson further contend that, as a sovereign state, Iran has direct access to the international banking system (2008, p. 68). The Lebanese government also supports Hezbollah by financing projects initiated by Hezbollah in areas under Hezbollah control (Rudner, 2010, p. 704). This is addition to the tax levies that Hezbollah places upon it's controlled territory.

It is in the criminal enterprises arena that we return our discussion to the Hammoud brothers; were they just running a crime ring, or were they acting as facilitators to fund Hezbollah's terrorist activity?In United States vs. Hammoud, testimony indicates that money generated from the criminal operations was given by direct intermediary to Hezbollah (2004, para. 7) In addition, Lemon cites “Ominous photos of Hammoud and his band training with assault rifles and grenade launchers on rooftops in Beirut” (2014, p.1). It is clear that this criminal operation was indeed one of the sources of foreign income used to support Hezbollah.

Arena, M. P. (2006). Hizballah's Global Criminal Operations. Global Crime, 7(3/4), 454-470. doi:10.1080/17440570601073186

Lemon, J. (2014). How a Hybrid Anti-Terrorist Approach  Could Have Prevented Millions of Dollars From  Flowing to Overseas Terrorist Organizations A Case Study of the Hammoud Terror Cell (SAS White Paper). Retrieved April 27, 2015 from http://www.sas.com/resources/whitepaper/wp_40679.pdf

Levitt, M., & Jacobson, M. (2008). The U.S. campaign to squeeze terrorists' financing. Journal of International Affairs, 62(1), 67-XI. Retrieved April 27, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com/docview/220695733?accountid=87314
Levitt, M. (2005). Hezbollah: Financing terror through criminal enterprise. Testimony given to Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Washington, DC, 25. Retrieved April 13, 2015 from http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/testimony/313.pdf

Rudner, M. (2010). Hizbullah terrorism finance: Fund-raising and money-laundering. Studies In Conflict & Terrorism, 33(8), 700-715. doi:10.1080/1057610X.2010.494169

Szekely, O. (2012). Hezbollah’s survival: Resources and relationships. Middle East Policy, 19(4), 110–126. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4967.2012.00564.x

United States v. Hammoud. (2004.). Retrieved April 28, 2015 from http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-4th-circuit/1235846.html


.  Stronger border and immigration control, including an in-depth verification of all marriages between foreigners and Americans, with priority on marriages with those from primarily Muslim populated countries.
2. The seizure of all funds related to the Iranian government; if we can forego due process in drug possession cases, then we need to do it in security cases
3. The seizure of all funds in charities directed to the Islamic world.
4.  The capture and enhanced interrogation of all known terrorists facilitators; this includes those suspected of being such.  Persons due the rights of citizens will be treated on a legal basis.
4.  War against Iran; targeted strikes against all Revolutionary Guard and Qods installations.
5. War against Hezbollah' targeted strikes against all centers of organized activity.
6.  Cutting off aid and trade to all countries that do not mirror our actions.

Of course, "taking" these actions is easy when I can do them on my keyboard.  But I will say this, half-measures and compromises do not solve problems against those that intend us harm.


You make an excellent point about hitting close to home.  It's not just that terrorists are funding their operations locally, it's that they are training with weapons too.  Islamic terror attacks tend to be targeted at creating mass casualties against civilians...Mumbai, the Westgate mall attack in Nairobi, the attacks on schools in Nigeria


Speaking of striking close to home:
Two gunmen (most probably Islamist) were killed attacking a cartoon contest in Garland tonight.  The contest had a theme critical of Islam.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hezbollah's monetary terror

In 2005, Dr. Matthew Levitt with The Washington Institute for Near East Policy gave testimony to the United States Senate to the effect that Hezbollah is not only a terrorist threat to the United States, but that criminal enterprises run by Hezbollah within the United States play a part in financing Hezbollah’s activities (2005). Levitt argues that Hezbollah also recieves between $100 million and $200 million a year in funding from Iran (2005, pp. 3-4). Finally, Levitt asserts that Hezbollah recieves unspecified totals in funding from foreign expatriates and “charitable” front groups (2005, pp. 5-6)

Perhaps one reason that totals from expatriate remittances are hard to specify is the use of alternate remittance systems. Danziger explains the hawala system as an informal system thast is based on trust, the use of brokers, and the minimal use of recorded documentation. (2012, p. 213). Danziger concludes that the use of such remittance systems is hard to track due to this lack of documentation (2012, p. 214). Raghavan and Balasubramaniyan discuss the use of front groups; front groups use legal methods of transferring funds and are often otherwise legitmate organizations, making the detection of transferrence of funds used for supporting terrorism harder to detect (2012, pp. 297, 299). Clunan specifies that such legitimate operations can be both “humanitarian and business organizations” (2006, p. 570). Levitt asserts that such fronts include some Western Union offices (pp. 5, 11).

Hezbollah uses it's funding to pay for information on Israeli infrastructure, even by bribing Israeli security personnel (Levitt, 2005, p.10). Hezbollah’s ability to pay for intelligence regarding our own infrastructure becomes a dangerous consideration when factoring in George Tenet's testimony that "Hezbollah, as an organization with capability and worldwide presence, is [al-Qaeda's] equal, if not a far more capable organization” (Levitt, 2005, pp. 2-3).

The Hamoud brothers, Mohammed and Chawki, could be considered as “facilitators” for Hezbollah. Raghavan and Balasubramaniyan explain that a “facilitator”'s main role is the “raising, storing and distributing” of terrorist support finances (2012, p. 295). Levitt discusses the Hamoud case, in which the brothers were convicted for providing funding for Hezbollah; funds that were raised through criminal cigarette smuggling in the United States (2005, p.8). Realuyo discusses another facilitator, Ayman Joumaa, a “drug kingpin” whose smuggling activities were considered “critical” support for Hezbollah (2014, p.123).

The Hamouds and Joumaa represent a fraction of the types of crime conducted by Hezbollah’s facilitators. Among the crimes beyond smuggling listed by Levitt are; the theft and resale of goods, welfare fraud, financial instrument fraud, counterfeiting, import-export fraud, the sale of unlicensed goods, and extortion of Arabs under the pretense of barakat (2005, pp. 8-9). Myres reiterates this list and adds to it the diamond trade (also discussed by Levitt) and autombile theft (2012, p.696).

Myres discussion of the diamond trade highlights that Hezbollah’s criminal enterprises are a worldwide phenomenon. Joumaa did his drug business throught South and Central America...indeed, his major trading partner in Mexico was los Zetas, a narcoterrorist cartel (Realuyo, 2014, p.123). However, the full range of criminal actions in the United States is followede throughotu the world.

Clunan, A. L. (2006). The fight against terrorist financing. Political Science Quarterly (Academy of Political Science), 121(4), 569–596. Retrieved October 9, 2014 from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=23680300&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Danziger, Y. (2012). Changes in methods of freezing funds of terrorist organisations since 9/11. Journal of Money Laundering Control, 15(2), 210–236. http://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.1108/13685201211218234

Levitt, M. (2005). Hezbollah: Financing terror through criminal enterprise. Testimony given to Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Washington, DC, United States Senate, Retrieved April 13, 2015 from http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/testimony/313.pdf

Myres, G. (2012). Investing in the market of violence: Toward a micro-theory of terrorist financing. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 35(10), 693–711. http://doi.org/10.1080/1057610X.2012.712031

Raghavan, S. V., & Balasubramaniyan, V. (2012). Financial facilitators: an important component of terror networks. Journal of Money Laundering Control, 15(3), 294–303. http://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.1108/13685201211238043

Realuyo, C. B. (2014). The terror-crime nexus: Hezbollah’s global facilitators. Prism: A Journal of the Center for Complex Operations, 5(1), 116–131. Retrieved January 24, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/1566203785?pq-origsite=summon


By targeting the facilitators for enhanced interrogation or for assassination..  Wilner asserts that “The literature on targeted killings suggests that their use diminishes the coercive and operational capability of violent, non-state groups in a number of ways”(2010, p. 312).  Primarily,  these discussions are directed towards the leaders of terrorist groups., but the effectiveness of "decapitation" strategy would certainly apply to any person conducting critical support to a terror group.

Obviously, you can't use this strategy against U.S. citizens or legal residents because due process applies; we need to consider better ways to deal with security threats under due process, but this is an old argument (all the way back to the Alien and Sedition Acts).
Wilner, A. S. (2010). Targeted killings in Afghanistan: Measuring coercion and deterrence in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 33(4), 307–329. doi:10.1080/10576100903582543


It would be hard to determine if funding terrorists through the re-routing of "charity" is a new phenomenon; once the money leaves our country, it is almost impossible to account for.

I know there have been cases in which some of these front "charities" have been caught .  Although not tied to Hezbollah, five leaders of the Holy Land Foundation were convicted of providing material support to Hamas in 2008.  The FBI had been investigating them since 1994 (
No Cash for Terror:Convictions Returned in Holy Land Case, 2008, para. 1,4,8)

I guess I have to reverse my comment in the first paragraph...it looks like the use of "charity" fronts is a long used tactic of terrorist facilitators.
No Cash for Terror:Convictions Returned in Holy Land Case. (2008, November 25).  Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Retrieved April 27, 2015 from http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2008/november/hlf112508


I agree that we should not hate fellow Americans, but we do need to recognize that there are many Americans, particularly in areas of influence such as politics, the media,  academia, and even a few in our national security community, that deny there is a problem with Islamic based terrorism.  Cottee refers to this as a "culture of denial" (2005, p.119).  Cottee also discusses the history of an anti-American ideology in the community that practices this modern "culture of denial" (2005, pp. 129-131).  From my own studies in COINTELPRO operations against subversives and terrorists, I will tell you that quite a few of those that are influential today were in those anti-American subversive and terrorist groups in the 1960's/'70's. 
I also think that there is a normal human tendency to stick one's head in the sand and to ignore problems; this is evidenced by a strong strain of isolationism in American politics.  People don't want to roll up their sleeves and get work done to avoid problems, but they will react once those problems get big enough to bite them on the posterior.
Cottee, S. (2005). The Culture of Denial: Islamic Terrorism and the Delinquent Left. Journal of Human Rights, 4(1), 119–135. http://doi.org/10.1080/14754830590947653

Roberts states that Hezbollah is the terrorist group responsible for the deaths of more Americans up until 9/11 (2013, p.109).  Although Hezbollah denies responsibility for the terror attack against the U.S. Marine barracks in Beriut in 1983, a 2003 court case found them guilty; "
U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth said the suicide truck bombing was carried out by the group Hezbollah with the approval and funding of Iran's senior government officials" (CNN, 2203, para. 2).  This goes back to my and x's contention that Hezbollah is a front group for Iran.

CNN.com - Iran responsible for 1983 Marine barracks bombing, judge rules - May. 30, 2003. (2008, December 6). Retrieved April 29, 2015, from https://web.archive.org/web/20081206151021/http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/05/30/iran.barracks.bombing/

Roberts, M. (2013). Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God. By Matthew Levitt, Ph.D. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2013. ISBN 978-1-62616-013-2. Bibliography. Sources cited. Index. Pp. xv, 407. $32.95. Journal of Strategic Security, 6(4), 109–111. http://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.5038/1944-0472.6.4.8

Monday, February 22, 2016

Local Law Enforcement, Federal Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Sharing: The Effects of 9/11

Local Law Enforcement, Federal Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Sharing: The Effects of 9/11

The United States, with a political history of divided governmental powers, protections for civil liberties, and respect for due process, has had a diverse relation with law enforcement intelligence processes, and in particular, with information sharing. Information sharing in the basic sense is the process of providing partners with the intelligence they need to fulfill their mission. Prior to the 9/11 attacks, information sharing was limited in scope in local operations. Information sharing was subject to a “wall” of restrictions at the Federal level, so that “broad powers for gathering intelligence would not be seized upon by prosecutors trying to make a criminal case” (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, n.d, p. 4). Despite this “wall”, efforts were made to share information such as MAXCAP, an FBI strategy that included “effective interagency liaison”(National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, n.d, p. 6). After 9/11, the term “information sharing” began to be associated with counter terror mission goals. One recommendation made by the 9/11 Commission was that “Information procedures should provide incentives for sharing, to
restore a better balance between security and shared knowledge” (United States General Accountability Office, 2004, p. 33). In evaluating efforts for post 9/11 information sharing, a review board found that the “FBI has made steady progress in collaboration and information sharing”(Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2015, p.73).
The same review board found that the Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) are the “most important entity for addressing the terrorist threat in the Homeland” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2015, p.77). Even so, the JTTFs are focused on the counter terror mission, and often partner with fusion centers that “work collaboratively with these field-based programs, serving as adjuvants to
increase crime and terrorism prevention efforts and information sharing efforts” (National Network of Fusion Centers, 2014, p.9). These information sharing partners include local law enforcement agencies.
The 9/11 Commission recommendations were sound in assessing that information sharing processes needed improvement; however, the greatest issue with the Commission's findings is that no responsibility was assigned to government employees that worked to build the “wall” to a higher level. Best contends that “The Justice Department’s opposition in 2000 to legislative proposals to remove barriers has been noted” (Best Jr, 2007, p. CRS-9). Heads should have rolled.
The national strategy includes both the processes of information sharing and collaboration. In a 2012 White House report, information is regarded as a national asset while collaboration is considered the major tool in achieving the primary goal (pp. 6-8).
Local agency participation is critical in serving the national strategy. “New expectations and responsibilities are being placed on law enforcement agencies of all sizes to develop an intelligence capacity as part of a cohesive national strategy to protect the United States” (Carter, 2004, p. v). The flow of information must be a mutual process in a collaborative process; this paper demonstrates this ideal on both the Federal and local level.


Best, R. A. (2007). Sharing law enforcement and intelligence information: The Congressional role (p. 197). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved April 24, 2015 from http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RL33873.pdf

Carter, D. L. (2004). Law enforcement intelligence: A guide for state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. US Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Washington, DC. Retrieved April 24, 2015 from http://www.riskintel.com/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/07/Carter_Intelligence_Guide.pdf

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2015). The FBI: protecting the homeland in the 21st Century. Retrieved April 23, 2015 from http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/protecting-the-homeland-in-the-21st-century

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. (n.d.). Law enforcement, counterterrorism, and intelligence collection in the United States prior to 9/11. Retrieved April 24, 2015 from http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/staff_statements/staff_statement_9.pdf

National Network of Fusion Centers. (2014). 2014–2017 National strategy for the National Network of Fusion Centers. Retrieved April 24, 2015 from https://nfcausa.org/html/National%20Strategy%20for%20the%20National%20Network%20of%20Fusion%20Centers.pdf

The White House. (2012). National strategy for information sharing and safeguarding. Retrieved April 25, 2015 from https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012sharingstrategy_1.pdf

United States General Accountability Office. (2004). Summary of recommendations -- the 9/11 Commission Report (No. B-303692). Retrieved April 23, 2015 from http://www.gao.gov/decisions/other/303692.pdf

Sunday, February 21, 2016

9/11 Commission Recommendation Evaluation:A Sample Selection of Three Recommendations

9/11 Commission Recommendation Evaluation:A Sample Selection of Three Recommendations
The 9/11 Commission was created by Public Law 107-306 in 2002 with a mandate to investigate the background of the terror attack on the United States of September 11, 2001 (The 9/11 Commission, 2004. p. xv). An overview of their responsibilities includes not only looking into the background causes and facts relating to the attack, but for finding methods of preventing further attacks. The Commission was comprised of 10 members, five each from both political parties. The Commission formally thanked the surviving members of the victims of the attack for their “persistence and dedication” in helping to create the Commission (The 9/11 Commission, 2004. p. xvii). This should be kept in mind as this paper examines implementation of the Commission's findings and recommendations.
The 9/11 Families for a Secure America Foundation in conjunction with Family Security Matters issued a report card on the implementation of the 9/11 Commission's findings at the end of the ten year period after the attack. This report card covered twenty-six of the Commission's forty-one recommendations; a full list of these recommendations can be found in the GAO's Summary of Recommendations -- the 9/11 Commission Report. The majority of these grades were in the “C” to “F” range. The implementation of the following three recommendations was graded below a “C” (The Commission did not number their recommendations, Family Security Matters labeled the recommendations by the order that the Commission made the recommendations in the report):
Recommendation 4 (Grade: F): Family Security Matters concluded that the U.S – Saudi relation was one in which not only did the Saudis fail any significant or honest attempt at reform, but funded efforts to undermine Western institutions (Gadiel & Dunleavy, 2011, para. 25-28). This recommendation is a foreign relations matter; implementation of this recommendation has no formal method in Texas, although an examination of institutions to which the Saudis have financial connections may be in order.
The problems in the U.S.-Saudi relationship must be confronted, openly. The United States and Saudi Arabia must determine if they can build a relationship that political leaders on both sides are prepared to defend publicly – a relationship about more than oil. It should include a shared commitment to political and economic reform, as Saudis make common cause with the outside world. It should include a shared interest in greater tolerance and cultural respect, translating into a commitment to fight the violent extremists who foment hatred (Gadiel & Dunleavy, 2011, para. 24)
Recommendation 11 (Grade: D): Family Security Matters stated that the implementation of this recommendation would have been an “F” if not for the fact that no detainees had escaped from detention at Guantanamo Bay (Gadiel & Dunleavy, 2011, para. 65). The report card was issued in 2011, before the Administration's trade of five terrorists for a deserter. This recommendation is again a foreign relations matter and has little bearing on implementation in Texas.
The United States should engage its friends to develop a common coalition approach toward the detention and humane treatment of captured terrorists. New principles might draw upon Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions on the law of armed conflict. That article was specifically designed for those cases in which the usual laws of war did not apply. Its minimum standards are generally accepted throughout the world as customary international law (Gadiel & Dunleavy , 2011, para. 59)
Recommendation 14 (Grade: F): Family Security Matters arrived at this grade based upon two propositions. The first was a lack of border control, and the second was on a failure to punish government employees for recognized failure (Gadiel & Dunleavy, 2011, para. 67-68, 73). Cutler reinforces the idea that failed border controls sabotage this recommendation, “the Department of Homeland Security ... is gearing up to provide millions of illegal aliens with temporary lawful status and official identity documents without in-person interviews — violating commonsense, making a mockery of our legal immigration system and violating the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission” (2015, para. 2).
Targeting travel is at least as powerful a weapon against terrorists as targeting their money. The United States should combine terrorist travel intelligence, operations, and law enforcement in a strategy to intercept terrorists, find terrorist travel facilitators, and constrain terrorist mobility (Gadiel & Dunleavy, 2011, para. 66)
Legal implementation of the recommendations did not begin until 2007 with the enactment of Public Law 110–53, Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. Public disclosure on implementation of these recommendations has been provided primarily by the United States General Accountability Office (GAO), which was known as the General Accounting Office until 2004. The GAO has provided reports such as the 9/11 Commission Report: Reorganization, Transformation, and Information Sharing report . Other agencies that have provided the public with information regarding the implementation of the recommendations have been the the Congressional Research Service (CRS), 9/11 Commission Recommendations: Implementation Status ; the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), implementing 9/11 Commission Recommendations Progress Report; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, The FBI: Protecting the Homeland  in the 21st  Century.. However, such disclosures have been without Congressional oversight in 2010.
The first two recommendations discussed are primarily based on foreign relations, the third recommendation relates both to foreign intelligence as to border control issues. This potentially affects local criminal justice agencies, but no specific aid to these agencies was proposed.
Cyberspace issues, from criminal enterprise to terrorist capabilities for attacking American infrastructure, are not discussed in the 9/11 Commission report. However, the 2011 DHS report does address this as an infrastructure issue beginning on page 35. Although the Intelligence Led Policing model is not discussed in the report, there is an associated discussion of integrating law enforcement intelligence with Federal intelligence. This is an issue recognized throughout the security community;”The new face of terror requires a robust, decentralized intelligence-gathering apparatus that reaches far beyond the usual scope of the federal government” (Mayer & Erickson, 2011, p.1).

Congressional Research Service. (2006). 9/11 Commission Recommendations: Implementation Status. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from http://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL33742.pdf

Cutler, M. (2015, March 11). Ignoring the 9/11 Commission’s Warnings. Front Page Magazine. Retrieved April 23, 2015, from http://www.frontpagemag.com/2015/michael-cutler/ignoring-the-911-commissions-warnings/

Department of Homeland Security. (2011). Implementing 9/11 Commission Recommendations Progress Report. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/implementing-9-11-commission-report-progress-2011.pdf

Gadiel, P. and Dunleavy, P. (2011, September 7). Report card on the 9/11 Commission's recommendations. Family Security Matters. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.10324/pub_detail.asp

Implementing recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 Public Law 110–53 § 121 STAT. 266 (2007)
Mayer, M. A., & Erickson, S. G. (2011). Changing Today’s Law Enforcement Culture to Face 21st-century Threats. Heritage Foundation. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/2011/pdf/bg2566.pdf

The 9/11 Commission. (2004). The 9/11 Commission Report. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2015). The FBI: Protecting the Homeland  in the 21st  Century. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/protecting-the-homeland-in-the-21st-century

United States General Accountability Office. (2004). 9/11 Commission Report: Reorganization, Transformation, and Information Sharing (No. GAO-04-1033T). Retrieved April 23, 2014 from http://www.gao.gov/assets/120/111208.pdf

United States General Accountability Office. (2004). Summary of Recommendations -- the 9/11 Commission Report (No. B-303692). Retrieved April 23, 2014 from http://www.gao.gov/decisions/other/303692.pdf

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Security Threats to the United States in the Twenty Years Before September 11

Security Threats to the United States in the Twenty Years Before September 11

Any society will face both internal and external threats in a normal political environment. The United States faced external threats in the form of Soviet empire building, Islamic extremism, the Iran/Iraq War, and illegal immigration. Americans also faced internal threats from terror, organized crime, gangs, and crime in general.
External threats were less of an issue due to the capability of the United States to project force and punish those that would harm Americans. Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick”. Fourteen aircraft carrier groups contained enough power for a very big stick indeed. We waged what is known as the “Cold War” across the world with the Soviets, spanning many fronts from Nicaragua to Afghanistan. The nuclear armed retaliatory capability of the United States prevented the Soviets from acting to directly harm Americans. Americans faced much less of a threat from Islamo-terror than did the Europeans, but Americans were still targeted in such incidents as the Achille Lauro and TWA. However, punitive strikes such as the bombing of Libya in 1985 kept such attacks directed primarily at Europeans who were more compliant in accepting such attacks. In contrast to today's policy, President Reagan did not trade five known terrorists for one known deserter as an “anti-terror” strategy, The war between Iran and Iraq presented an economic threat to America in the energy sector. The United States then projected it's naval power into the Gulf to protect oil supplies.
Internal threats were more of a danger to Americans. Terror groups from the Left to the Right carried out attacks, organized crime, gangs, and crime in general. Leftist terror groups were basically carry overs from the leftist terror of the 1960's. Such groups include the May 19 Communist Organization, The United Freedom Front, The Red Guerrilla Resistance, the Symbionese Liberation Army carried out bombings and other attacks. Rightist terror groups included yet another incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan, Christian identity groups such as the Army of God, and anti-government militias, such as those the FBI took action against in 1996; the Freemen Organization, The Mountaineer Militia, and the Washington State Militia (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1996, pp.7-8). The first idenity based terror group were the Puerto Rican FALN and the The Organization of Volunteers for the Puerto Rican Revolution and the Macheteros. These groups did espouse a leftist view. Between 1980 and 1984, these groups committed the most acts of domestic terrorism within the United States (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1984, p.14). The second identity based terror groups were Jewish groups such as the JDL and the JDA. Islamic terror within the United States became a matter for public worry after the failed attempt in 1993 to bomb the World Trade Center. Bridging the gap between organized crime and terror are the narco cartels, which began as criminal enterprises that gradually started using terror tactics in Soth America against governments that sought to prevent their illegal trade ( See Pablo Escobar). Organized crime has posed a threat to America since the Black Hand in the first part of the 20th century. Gangs have been a criminal phenomenon since the classical Roman era, however, the gangs become a threat to our security as a whole when gangs began turf wars, not to protect their neighborhoods, but to control local drug markets.
The passage of time will create new situations. External threats have changed. The Soviet Union collapsed, and we went through a period of conciliation. The military has been gutted by combat troop reductions and purges of officers. The historically ignorant policies of this administration and it's “reset button” have allowed the Russians to perceive us as weak; the result was invasions of Crimea and then Ukraine. Islamist attacks on America have increased both in America and abroad as the result of an administration that refuses to publicly acknowledge acts of Islamic terrorism as such, and won't even use the term “Islamic terror”. With a lesser capability for using retributive force, and without the will to use it, external threats to the United States have increased. Appeasement is a historically proven method of failure.
Internal threats have evolved as well. Domestic leftist terror groups slowed down the rate of committing acts of terror as their members either went into jail or into positions of academic responsibility (Angela Davis, William Ayers, for example). The traditional leftist terror groups have been “replaced” by leftist groups operating under the aegis of environmental or animal protection “concerns”. Such groups include the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), the Earth liberation Front (ELF), and Revenge of the Tress (ROTT); these groups committed all terror attacks within the United States in the year 2000 (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2001, p.2) Defining right wing terror attacks is difficult because of the divergent goals that right wing groups have. Anti-abortion terrorists have committed assassination and arson attacks against abortion providers. Militia groups have grown since Mount Carmel and Ruby Ridge. Although Patriot movements have been characterized as terrorists (like some of the the anti-government militias have been), groups such as Oath Keepers and various III% have neither committed terror attacks nor have threatened to overturn the Constitution. Identity based groups such as the Puerto Rican or Jewish groups have become inactive. The New Black Panther Party, both racist and leftist, took over from the Black Panthers despite vocal opposition from the most prominent members of the latter (Mulloy, 2010, p. 218) . Narcotic trafficking cartels began to intensify terrorist actions, and an open war started in Mexico between the various cartels and the Mexican government, as well as between cartels. A cartel specialty group, los Zetas, was created from Mexican security specialists that defected to the cartels, eventually to acts as a cartel on it's own. There was not much change in the agenda of organized crime. Gangs have become more and have allied with cartels.
The Patriot Act has made some things easier for law enforcement agencies within the United States to perform their duty by increasing intelligence sharing; although there are some such as Seaman and Gardner that argue the “Patriot Act restricts, rather than expands, the government's power to fight terrorism” (Seamon & Gardner, 2005, p. 322). Another area of improvement is that terror within the United States was not highly publicized until the 9/11 attacks. Fears contends that “
smaller incidents were not generally made known or publicized outside a small circle of
policy, intelligence and law-enforcement officials so the general American public was able to
ignore the problem “(1995, p.11). A public that is aware of the threat against them is more likley to support the measures that are effective agansit those threats..


Fears, K. P. (1995, December). The FBI and domestic counterterrorism: a comparative analysis (Thesis). Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School. Retrieved October 17, 2014 from https://calhoun.nps.edu/handle/10945/31309

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (1984). FBI analysis of terrorist incidents and terrorist related activities in the United States 1984. Retrieved October 10, 2014 from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/120257NCJRS.pdf

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (1996). Terrorism in the United States 1996. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terror_96.pdf

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2001). Terrorism 2000 / 2001. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terror/terror00_01.pdf

Mulloy, D. J. (2010). New Panthers, old Panthers and the politics of black nationalism in the United States. Patterns of Prejudice, 44(3), 217–238. http://doi.org/10.1080/0031322X.2010.489732

Seamon, R. H., & Gardner, W. D. (2005). The Patriot Act and the wall between foreign intelligence and law enforcement. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 28(2), 319–463


The creation of DHS was a huge development as well; however, I don't think we have been as successful as we should have been.  There are too many agencies and too many areas where intel can be stovepiped.  There are still political considerations that hinder effective security operations.  I remember, but can't source at the moment, TSA announcing that women in hijabs or of Muslim appearance would not be searched as that was "profiling", while at the same time TSA had a public backlash in regards to the "groping" method they used to search everyone else.

The intersection of growth complex and interorganizational conflict comes into play here, and even translates into the local level.  I was at a seminar at the Orlando ACJS meeting,
Broadening Focus on Terrorism: The Role of Finance, Economics, and Organized Crime, and I asked the presenter Gen. Wilson (who had also been Chief of Police for Detroit) about the efficiency of local fusion centers.  He responded that the effectiveness of these centers was less than desired;  I won't state that the term "pissing contest" came into use ;)


Yes, tribalism in humans is a pretty basic impulse.  I think the problem will get worse as we move away from a central culture in this country.

Difference markers like race are obvious, but groups balkanize on all types of social differences from politics to music.  (i.e. "greasers vs soc's" in the book we had to read in HS...outlander?  outsider?  not outrigger)

A certain percentage of people will be extremist in their tribal identification;  the DOJ and FBI has slapped the Klan around 4 times (1870's, 1920's, 1960's, 1980's) bu they keep on popping up.

It's like terror or crime, not a problem you solve, but that a problem you manage by playing whack-a-mole once they have moved to a subversive or violent mode.


you make a great point when you link oil use/energy consumption with national security.  The economic security of the nation is often overlooked as a matter of national security.

Nando argues that "National security depends also on soft power, the ability of a country to generate and use its economic power and to project its national values" (2011, summary).  Allowing other countries to influence the energy sector of our economy weakens our ability to protect ourselves.

Nando, D. (2011). Economics and national security: Issues and implications for U.S. policy. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved April 23, 2015 from http://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R41589.pdf


Another threat was in 1975 at the LaGuardia Airport that killed 11 and injured 75, this threat is still unsolved to this day. A TWA airliner was hijacked by Croatian demanding that a manifesto to be printed out and given to them

rajneeshee movement placed salmonella in an estimated 5-10 different restaurants that served salad bars. This was a form of bio terrorism; this was one of the first that transpired on US soil.
(in italics not mine - need further research)