Morning Security Brief: Border Violence, Trusted Traveler, E-Verify Suggestions, And more
DHS documents contradict claims of cartel violence in Arizona. Travelers are willing to pay to expedite screening at airports. Skeptics of E-Verify say that it will hurt the U.S. economy. The Chinese have a new drone. And more.
►Among the confidential Arizona police documents leaked by LulzSec was a Department of Homeland Security report labeled sensitive (not classified) that contradicts claims by Arizona politicians of cartel violence spilling over into Arizona, the Huffington Post reports. "The report also notes that Arizona's murder rate plunged by 20 percent statewide between 2008 and 2009. It cites one murder — the 2010 shooting of an Arizona rancher — as 'one of the few homicides that clearly have a cross-border connection,'" writes the Huffington Post. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Sen. John McCain have often made claims about the increased threat from south of the border.
► A survey conducted by the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) found that most travelers would be willing to pay up to $150 to enroll in a Trusted Traveler program that offered expedited, risk-based screening at major U.S. airports. "Travelers deserve a trusted traveler program that provides predictable wait times at airports and a screening process that recognizes their low-risk nature,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the USTA in a release issued June 27. Sixty-one percent of leisure travelers and 75 percent of business travelers said they would be likely to enroll.
►There’s been a flurry of online activity from al Qaeda militants following Osama bin Laden’s death, Reuters reports. Most attacks since bin Laden’s death have occurred in Pakistan, but “wish lists” of targets include Western companies, business leaders, and politicians. “The compiling of wish lists of targets is nothing new on the forums. But the large volume of stated targets, and an emphasis on private companies and their leaders, has drawn attention among security officials,” Reuters reports.
►A move to make the Department of Homeland Security's E-Verify program mandatory would hurt business, say critics, and it would have no affect on stifling illegal immigration , writes the Modesto Bee. “E-Verify is a legitimate tool that could help solve the U.S. immigration crisis, but only if it is implemented alongside a path to legalization for undocumented workers who are willing to pay fines and learn English,” the Modesto Bee's Andres Oppenheimer writes. A report on E-Verify from the Center for American Progress says the cost to implement E-Veriy would be a burden on both taxpayers and employers; it gives recomendations for implementation of the program over time.
►Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the military needs more MRAPS (mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles); the Pentagon's Joint Program Office for MRAPs estimated that as many as 40,000 lives have been saved in Iraq and Afghanistan in the heavily armored trucks. ♦ A photo taken by Japanese Navy Patrol shows a new Chinese UAV . ♦ And In Bradenton, Florida, a curfew enforcement operation involving house calls has decreased burglaries and vehicle thefts.