Morning Security Brief: Mexico's Business Risks, TSA Nominee's Testimony, Facebook's False Friends, and More
Rising violence in Mexico causes U.S. businesses there to rethink investment; TSA nominee discusses intelligence, screening, and other issues with Congress; a homeowner learns a hard lesson about Facebook "friends," and more.
► The American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico finds that 58 percent of its member businesses are increasingly concerned about the security risks of operating in Mexico , according to a report from Reuters in the Washington Post. And "39 percent of executives think improvements in security will take more than five years, up from 22 percent in the poll conducted a year earlier," according to the article. Shootings, grenade attacks, kidnappings, and extortion and the general escalation of violence in connection with drug wars are cited as reasons why 27 percent say they are reconsidering the advisability of investing in the region.
►Transportation Security Administration (TSA) nominee Maj. Gen. Robert Harding told a congressional committee that he "hoped to beef up the TSA's intelligence and enhance airport screening both in the U.S. and overseas," reports the Wall Street Journal. In addition to questions about his views on unionization rights of airport screeners and about intelligence collection issues that might have helped prevent the Christmas-day airplane bombing attempt, "He also faced questions for the second straight day over the security firm he founded after leaving the military, especially over the firm's contract to provide interrogators in Iraq in 2004," according to the WSJ. The issue was raised because "the contracts were cancelled after only four months ... [and there was] a contract dispute and an audit by the Pentagon which found that Harding Security Associates had over-billed the government." The government was repaid, and he sold the company in 2009
► ABC News Good Morning America's Web site has a story about a woman whose home was burgled while she was on vacation. Turns out the burglary victim posted that she would be away on her Facebook page ...and the robber was one of her "friends" on facebook--a man she had known 20 years back. A cautionary tale for the 21st century. The burglary was caught on her home camera.
► In the court case Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Kelly Services, Inc. , the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that it was not discriminatory for the company to refuse to allow a Muslim woman to wear her religious head covering, called a khimar, because it created a hazard--she was working in a print shop where the cloth could have gotten caught in the machines.
► The New York Times has an article on David C. Headley , an American suspected of helping plan the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008. "Mr. Headley divulged details of his life as a spy and militant as part of a plea agreement that will spare him the death penalty, his lawyer, John T. Theis, said this week," the NYT reports. Headley has said he would talk to authorities in Denmark where he was helping to plan an attack on the newspaper that printed cartoons that sparked Muslim outrage, the paper reports. His revelations about the European al-Qaeda cell are disturbing in that they show a strong presence, the paper quotes an expert as saying.