Morning Security Brief: Utah Airport Security Breach, Apologies from HSBC and G4S, Fraudulently Acquired IDs, & More

By Matthew Harwood


♦ The suicide of a commercial airplane pilot inside the cockpit of a plane he tried to steal at Utah's St. George Municipal Airport  has led to concerns over airport perimeter security. The pilot, Brian Hedglin, accessed the airfield by using a rug to scale the airport's perimeter fence. "Maybe we need to implement some more levels of perimeter security because any type of security incident like this is a lesson to both the good guys and the bad guys. They read the papers just as much as we do," said Jeff Price, an aviation security expert and aviation professor at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Hedglin was suspected of murdering his former girlfriend and was put on administrative leave by SkyWest Airlines.

♦ HSBC executives apologized to U.S. lawmakers yesterday for subsidiaries that laundered money for Mexican cartels as well as other shady business practices. Paul Thurston, the bank's chief executive of retail banking and wealth management, however, noted that employees in Mexico faced trying circumstances. "I should add that the external environment in Mexico was as challenging as any I had ever experienced. Bank employees faced very real risks of being targeted for bribery, extortion, and kidnapping – in fact, multiple kidnappings occurred throughout my tenure," he said.

♦ G4S Chief Executive Nick Buckles faced British lawmakers yesterday, apologizing for the security company's inability to provide enough security guards to protect the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Nevertheless, Buckles told the Home Affairs Committee that G4S would still claim "the £57 million ($89.1 million) management fee, which is part of the overall £284 million contract," for interviewing and screening 100,000 applicants, according to the The Wall Street Journal. In other G4S news, the company won't be charged in the death of an Angola man who died after being restrained by three of the company's guards at London Heathrow Airport in 2010. 

♦ The Department of Homeland Security says fraudulently obtained Minnesota driver's licenses are a threat to national security. DHS is currently reviewing 10,000 cases where driver's licenses could have been obtained fraudulently "The latest case is Oluremi George, also known as Victoria Ayoola, a clerical employee working Minnesota Secretary of State's Office. According to the recently unsealed federal indictment, George used a fraudulent Social Security number to get a real Minnesota drivers license, and she then used that license and the Social security number again to get a valid U.S. passport under that alias, reports Fox9 Minneapolis-St. Paul. 

♦ Israel's intelligence chief says global jihadists, such as al Qaeda, are using the chaos of Syria's civil war to position themselves on the Israeli-Syrian border, reports The Washington Post. “The Golan area is liable to become an arena of operations against Israel in much the same way the Sinai is today, and that’s a result of the increasing entrenchment of global jihad in Syria,” Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said.


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