Entries in Janet Napolitano (6)


DHS: 62 Tons of Bomb-Making Chemicals Seized Since October 2010

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- More than 62 metric tons of materials used to make improvised explosive devices have been seized and 31 people have been arrested by the United States and other nations under a Department of Homeland Security program to track unusual shipments of the so-called “precursor chemicals,” DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Monday.

“We are working with more than 80 countries to prevent the illegal theft or diversion of precursor chemicals that can be used to make improvised explosive devices or IEDs. Through these efforts we have already seized more than 62 metric tons of these deadly materials,” Napolitano said in a speech on the State of America’s Homeland Security at the National Press Club.

Officials say there have been 31 arrests in conjunction with the program, mostly overseas, and according to the World Customs Organization, seizures have taken place in Afghanistan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uganda. Immigration Customs Enforcement proposed the idea to the World Customs Organization; INTERPOL is also a key partner in the initiative.

The program is an initiative to prevent the theft or illegal diversion of precursor chemicals that can be used to make IEDS by tracking unusual shipments of items such as acetone, ammonium nitrate, nitric acid and urea.

Officials say some of the triggers that flag these shipments and led to the precursor materials being interdicted include large cash payments, inappropriately packaged items, abnormal shipping routes and flags that the customer has no business need for the item being shipped.

“It’s basically a very robust and specific information sharing agreement that allows us to monitor and track the shipments of the kind of chemicals used in manufacture of IEDs and to make sure that as that commerce moves -- and some of these are chemicals that are used in agriculture, for example; they have legitimate uses as well as illegitimate uses,” Napolitano said. “Being able to separate those out and making sure that recipient is the right recipient, getting the right amount, as properly described, is what this information sharing agreement [is about]."

Napolitano said that under the Program Global Shield DHS and over 80 partner nations have recovered over 62 metric tons of precursor chemicals that could be used in IEDS since the program was set up in October 2010.

“Our ability to connect data is so much more robust than it was 10 years ago or indeed even three years ago,” she said. “Our ability to unite different types of databases so we can make the kinds of queries necessary to say, hey, look, we want to know whether this particular chemical is moving and where.” Napolitano said about how officials look for the chemicals.

Napolitano also discussed the wide swath of topics that DHS has to cover -- from natural disasters, immigration policy, airline security and protecting cyberspace.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Immigration Agent Killed, Other Wounded in Mexico Shooting

Photo Courtesy - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement(MEXICO CITY) -- A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent was killed and another wounded after they were shot while driving in Mexico Tuesday.

According to U.S. officials, Special Agent Jaime Zapata and another agent, who has not been identified, were driving between Mexico City and Monterrey when unknown assailants opened fire on them.  Zapata was critically injured in the shooting and died from his gunshot wounds, while the other agent was shot in the arm and leg and remains in stable condition.

Both agents were assigned to the ICE Attaché Office in Mexico City.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a statement on the attacks, saying, "Let me be clear: any act of violence against our ICE personnel -- or any DHS personnel -- is an attack against all those who serve our nation and put their lives at risk for our safety.  The full resources of our Department are at the disposal of our Mexican partners in this investigation.  We remain committed in our broader support for Mexico’s efforts to combat violence within its borders.

Napolitano added that "U.S. law enforcement agencies are working closely with Mexican authorities who are investigating the shooting to ensure the perpetrators of this unconscionable crime are captured as quickly as possible."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Retired Customs Officer Killed, Three Others Injured in Afghan Blast

Photo Courtesy - U.S. Department of Homeland Security(KANDAHAR, Afghanistan) -- A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer was killed and three other retired members of the agency were injured in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan Monday.

Retired customs officer David Hillman was killed in the blast at the Inland Customs Warehouse in Kandahar, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said in a statement Tuesday.  Hillman worked for the U.S. government for more than 30 years before retiring in 2009.

Michael Lachowsky, Terry Sherrill, and Vernon Rinus -- all retired customs employees, as well -- were injured in the attack.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Napolitano: International Cargo ‘Vulnerable’ to Terrorist Attack

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BRUSSELS, Belgium) – During a speech Thursday in Brussels, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned that the international cargo system remained vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Napolitano called for system-wide improvements to address flaws that could leave the global supply chain in disarray. 

“Regardless of where a potential event might occur, the ripple effect of a significant disruption to this critical global system could potentially impact not just the United States, but the international community at large,” Napolitano said.

Among other policy changes, Napolitano called for better tracking of precursor chemicals used to make explosives. She also focused on reinforcing the most critical components of the supply chain in the event that an attack occurred.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


DHS Secretary Napolitano to Make Speech on Cargo Security in Brussels

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BRUSSELS, Belgium) – Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will deliver what her aides call a key policy speech on cargo security and the global supply chain in Brussels on Thursday.

Napolitano will discuss efforts to establish more enhanced screening and scanning of cargo and efforts to restrict certain precursor chemicals that can be used to make explosives.

Recently, Napolitano has met with executives from the cargo industry as well as European Union officials and has said that strengthening cargo security will be a top priority in the new year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Napolitano to Israel to Survey Airport Security

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will travel to Israel Monday to meet with airport security experts.

Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport is considered one of the most secure in the world, but officials there don't rely on the latest digital X-ray machines and they do not make pat downs mandatory. They base their success on something which many consider controversial: human intelligence -- teams of trained security personnel who profile passengers.

From suspicious behavior to a person's nationality, profiling is a method endorsed by Israeli airport officials. Every passenger is questioned in-depth at check-in; some are pulled aside for further questioning and strip searches.

Human rights groups have called Israel's methods discriminatory because they affect non-Jewish and Arab travelers most.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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