NEWS

Morning Security Brief: 'Homegrown' Terrorists, Corruption and Border Protection, Prescription Drug Abuse, and More

By Carlton Purvis

 

► A 22-year old North Carolina man could face 15 years in prison after he pled guilty to terrorism charges in federal court on Tuesday, according to a press release from the FBI. “Homegrown” terrorist Zakariya Boyd pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Boyd and seven other defendants are accused of planning to provide logistical support, personnel, and weapons in support of jihadist recruits abroad in addition to planning attacks on a Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia. He is the second of the seven to plead guilty. The first was his father, Daniel Patrick Boyd.

► Also on the terrorism front, journalism site ProPublica has an article on lessons learned from the terrorism trial of Tahawwur Rana, accused of aiding the terrorist group involved in the Mumbai attacks of 2008. The trial, which ended with a guilty verdict yesterday (June 9, 2011), included five days of testimony of confessed American terrorist and Pakistani spy David Coleman Headley, which was "like a seminar in how terrorists communicate in code, do surveillance on targets and assemble plots," writes Sebastian Rotella. "The case also showed how a growing number of serving and former Pakistani military officers have put their lethal talents at the service of Lashkar, al-Qaida and other groups."

► Congress may change the way suspected corruption of border patrol agents is investigated, All Headline News reports. Since 2004, 127 current or former employees have been arrested or indicted for corruption for offenses including drug trafficking and assisting illegal immigration. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Alan Bersin testified on the issue at a hearing on Thursday (June 9, 2011) before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental affairs, which is considering a proposal that would bar CBP from conducting its own internal investigations.
 
► "It's an American catastrophe that has been dubbed pharmageddon, though it rarely pierces the public consciousness," writes the U.K.'s the Guardian in a piece that examines the illicit trafficking in oxyContin and other drugs. "The White House last month said the abuse of prescription drugs had become the US's fastest-growing drug problem," notes Ed Pilkington, who writes about how doctors and others collude in the drug trade.
 
► National Counterterrorism Center director Michael Leiter turned in his resignation, leaving a hole in another top spot in the intelligence community as CIA Director Leon Panetta is scheduled to leave the CIA to replace Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at the end of the month, The National Journal reports.  Meanwhile, Judicial Watch sues the CIA to try to get it to release pictures of Osama bin Laden's body from the raid in which he was killed. Also on intelligence, DHS official Caryn Wagner last week gave a House Homeland Security subcommittee an overview of DHS intelligence operations.

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