Morning Security Brief: Indian Bombing's U.S. Connection, Illegal Immigrant Detentions Trends, Al Qaeda Financing, and More
Sources wonder whether American David Coleman Headley, charged with aiding terrorists in the Mumbai attack, may also have had a hand in the planning of the weekend attack on a bakery in the India city of Pune. A study of illegal immigrant detection rates finds that they have more than doubled in five years but the percentage of persons detained who had criminal records has declined. An update on how the battle to cut off Al Qaeda funding is going. New pictures from 9-11; and a debate on whether critics of homeland security policies are aiding the enemy. And former CIA Director Michael Hayden co-authors a piece in the Baltimore Sun about the need for public-private partnerships to improve cybersecurity.
►The weekend attack on a bakery in the Indian city of Pune "will again raise questions over the role of David Coleman Headley, an American who went from being a American government informer to an alleged reconnaissance agent for the group that carried out the Mumbai attacks in 2008," says TimesOnline. Healey visited the Pune area twice in checking potential terrorist targets, the story reports. After a 1997 heroine bust, Healey reportedly became an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, but Indian authorities believe he may have become a double agent, really working for the terrorist group that planned the Mumbai attacks, according to the piece. Healey is currently in U.S. custody, arrested after the Mumbai attacks.
►A study of illegal immigrant detection rates finds that they have more than doubled in five years but the percentage of persons detained who had criminal records has declined. The study on detention of illegal immigrants, conducted by TRAC Reports, Inc. , notes that the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was supposed to give priority to detaining illegals who had committed crimes. But while the total detainee population grew 64 percent from 2005 through 2009, the number of illegals detained who had criminal records barely increased over that same time frame, and thus became a smaller and smaller percentage of the total.
►The battle to cut off al Qaeda funding is going well, writes Bruce Watson of Daily Finance. "As international efforts to track down and close off the organization's flow of money have borne fruit, al Qaeda's central leadership has increasingly found itself cut off from a source of power," and that has forced it to turn to criminal alternatives, which are eroding its claims to moral superiority, according to the piece, titled "Is Al Qaeda Bankrupt?"
►ABC News shows newly available photos from 9-11 World Trade Center attack. The 9-11 photos were obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request and while much is familiar, some of the perspectives are new. Among the images are "tugboats and commuter ferries that raced to the shoreline near the burning twin towers," notes the ABC report.
►Fred Hiatt of The Washington Post examines the issue of border security and whether raising questions about vulnerabilities is good for the country or simply aids the enemy.
►In countering growing and fast-evolving cyber threats , regulation may work for setting broad long-term standards regarding the level of protection required, but public-private partnerships are the only way for industry and government to be able to rapidly respond to this dynamic threat, writes former CIA Director Michael Hayden in a piece he co-authors in the Baltimore Sun. The piece examines existing partnership models, such as the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, that may offer lessons.