Morning Security Brief: Pakistan Nukes Secure, TSA Pat-Down Policy Revised, Cartel Leader Captured
State Department says Pakistan nukes are safe. TSA pat-downs for children scaled back. Cartel leader captured. And more.
►Politicians have long expressed concerns about nuclear material in Pakistan falling into the hands of extremists, but Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is “not at risk,” U.S. Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake to media, Indian Express reports. Blake said that Pakistan’s nuclear materials are under much tighter security than what was seen in Karachi last month when Taliban militants attacked Pakistan’s Naval Air Force headquarters .
►Children 10 and under will not be subject to TSA pat downs Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole said Wednesday in response to grilling at a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee hearing, CNNTravel reports. The change was prompted by reactions to a YouTube video of a 6-year-old girl being pat down by TSA agent. But after the hearing, there was some backtracking from the agency. USA Today reports (as have other media) that "The agency says it will instruct airport screeners at checkpoints how to make repeated attempts to screen young children without invasive pat-downs. The instructions should reduce the number of pat-downs on children , the TSA says." That's less than the total end to the pat-down-the-children policy that Pistole seemed to announce at the hearing.
►Mexican authorities announced the capture of the head of La Familia Michoacana cartel , CNN reports. Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas was apprehended on Tuesday in an operation that captured 21 suspects on Mexico’s “most dangerous criminals” list. No deaths or violence has been reported from the operation. “Mendez was responsible for passing on the organization's values to new generations of drug runners in the cartel. Along with other leaders, Mendez Vargas helped expand La Familia's reach to other Mexican states” CNN reports. La Familia cartel is known for their strict religious ideologies. Last week, multiple media outlets reported that the leader of Los Zetas cartel was killed in Matamoros during a firefight with the Gulf Cartel. (See 'A Look at Mexican Drug Cartel Membership Trends ' from Security Management)
► In other news, Kaspersky Labs reports that Microsoft scientists have developed a new method of detecting spammers' email accounts . The Justice Department's Operation Trident Tribunal , an international cybercrime-fighting initiative, announced a second bust of a cybercrime operation. And the Conference of Mayors declared the war on drugs a failure , and endorsed "creating a national, bi-partisan, blue-ribbon commission charged with undertaking a comprehensive, 18-month, top-to-bottom review of the criminal justice system...." A bill, S. 306 that would authorize the commission has been introduced in the Senate.