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  • WebMemo posted June 28, 2011 by Jena Baker McNeill, Jessica Zuckerman Planned Military Recruiting Center Attack: 40th Terror Plot Against the United States Foiled

    On June 22, the FBI arrested Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh in a Seattle warehouse, where the two suspects had arranged to purchase weapons from an anonymous informant in contact with the Seattle Police Department. They were looking to purchase automatic machine guns and grenades in preparation for an attack on a military recruiting station in Seattle. Since…

  • WebMemo posted June 1, 2011 by Jena Baker McNeill Looming Budget Cuts at the DHS Office of Policy

    As Congress moves through the fiscal year (FY) 2012 appropriations process, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Policy may receive a dramatic decrease in funding. While it is important that Congress seek out cost savings within DHS, the Office of Policy is a critical player in policy development and interagency activities. It is also home to key…

  • America at Risk Memo posted May 23, 2011 by Jena Baker McNeill, Matt A. Mayer Ten Years After 9/11: Thinking Smarter About Homeland Security

    The 9/11 attacks acted as a catalyst for major changes in U.S. security efforts. The attacks altered not only how the nation would identify and prepare for threats but also how it would work to prevent them. The approaching 10th anniversary of the attacks gives policymakers an opportunity to undertake a realistic and retrospective assessment of homeland security policies…

  • Special Report posted May 20, 2011 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D., Jena Baker McNeill Terror Trends: 40 Years' Data on International and Domestic Terrorism

    Abstract: A decade after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking back is as important as looking forward in order to learn from the past and to examine the current and future threats facing the U.S. This survey aggregates international data on global and domestic terrorism from the past 40 years. Combined with new intelligence, this data can better inform U.S.…

  • Backgrounder posted May 20, 2011 by Jena Baker McNeill, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Jessica Zuckerman 39 Terror Plots Foiled Since 9/11: Examining Counterterrorism’s Success Stories

    Abstract: The Heritage Foundation began tracking foiled terror plots against the U.S. in 2007—counting at least 19 foiled plots since 9/11. Today, that count stands at 39 plots against the U.S. foiled—thanks overwhelmingly to the Bush-era policies of enhanced information sharing and intelligence gathering. Three Heritage national security experts summarize the data,…

  • WebMemo posted May 19, 2011 by Jena Baker McNeill, Matt A. Mayer Homeland Security Grant Guidelines Make Security and Fiscal Sense

    On May 19, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its allocations for the fiscal year (FY) 2011 Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant program. The purpose of the UASI is to distribute homeland security funds to the highest-risk urban areas in America. This year’s allocations would drastically slash the number of areas eligible to receive UASI funds from…

  • WebMemo posted May 17, 2011 by Jena Baker McNeill, Jessica Zuckerman After bin Laden: Support the PATRIOT Act

    Osama bin Laden’s death was undoubtedly a major victory for the United States and civilized society. The War on Terrorism, however, is not over—al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups will continue to stage plots against the United States, as they have done at least 39 times since 9/11. Successful counterterrorism policies, capable of stopping these threats before they…

  • WebMemo posted May 10, 2011 by Matt A. Mayer, Jena Baker McNeill After bin Laden: Don’t Alter Homeland Security Priorities

    Even with Osama bin Laden’s death and the approach of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, America’s homeland security priorities remain unchanged. Its national progress should have been greater. Unfortunately, Washington squandered far too much time and money because of failed and cumbersome federal oversight, the federalization of homeland security, the distribution of funds…

  • WebMemo posted May 4, 2011 by Jena Baker McNeill, Paul Rosenzweig Combating Passport Fraud: The Right Steps for the State Department

    The Department of State is currently seeking public comment on its proposal to create a new biographical questionnaire for U.S. passport applicants. Reforms in the passport-issuance process are indeed necessary to prevent the misuse of passports by criminals and terrorists. However, the proposed questionnaire goes too far in requesting that all passport applicants fill…

  • Commentary posted May 2, 2011 by Jena Baker McNeill Stopping the Next Terror Plot

    As Americans celebrate Osama bin Laden’s demise, security agencies across the nation are amping up their vigilance in anticipation of an act of revenge by bin Laden’s associates. In New York, law enforcement is watching more closely high-value targets like airports, train stations, the Stock Exchange and the Empire State Building. Los Angeles, similarly, has…

  • WebMemo posted April 14, 2011 by Jena Baker McNeill, Matt A. Mayer Two Steps Backward: Homeland Security’s Presidential Policy Directive-8

    On April 8, the Obama Administration released Presidential Policy Directive-8 (PPD-8), which claims to update national preparedness policy. While the directive’s emphasis on capabilities-based planning is appropriate and should be applauded, its dismissal of key national preparedness guidance and plans is puzzling. Instead of recognizing what has and has not been…

  • WebMemo posted March 29, 2011 by Jena Baker McNeill E-Verify Self Check: A Solid Step Forward

    On March 21, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano introduced a new component of the E-Verify system called Self Check. This free, voluntary service would allow individuals to log in to a system to verify their immigration status and address any problems with their work status, including outdated information or typographical errors. Self Check is a positive step…

  • Backgrounder posted March 29, 2011 by Jena Baker McNeill Checkbook Homeland Security: Highlights from the FY 2012 Budget Request

    Abstract: The President’s budget request would maintain homeland security funding at current levels, but the budget request would increase funding for several programs that add little additional security while cutting others that could significantly enhance U.S. homeland security. Congress should use the budget process to refocus the Department of Homeland Security on its…

  • WebMemo posted March 7, 2011 by Jena Baker McNeill Jumpstarting the Visa Waiver Program to Increase Security and Economic Prosperity

    Representatives Mike Quigley (D–IL) and Dan Lipinski (D–IL) and Senator Mark Kirk (R–IL) announced plans today to introduce the Secure Travel and Counterterrorism Partnership Act in both the House and the Senate. This act would introduce several reforms to modernize the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), including a switch from visa refusal rates to overstay rates as a standard…

  • Backgrounder posted February 17, 2011 by Jena Baker McNeill, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Matt A. Mayer, Richard Weitz, Ph.D. Accepting Disaster Relief from Other Nations: Lessons from Katrina and the Gulf Oil Spill

    Abstract: The United States is known around the world for sending help—from in-person medical assistance to financial donations—when disasters strike in other countries. When disasters have recently struck the U.S.—9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the Gulf oil spill—other countries have been equally quick to offer help. Yet, as astute as the U.S. is when it comes to…