Discussion Board #7
Due: by 10am Sunday 6/18/2023
500-word count and Bible content and APA format
Discuss the various organizations slated with the protection of the United States and its interests. Also, provide some detail regarding the role that those organizations specifically play in preventing terror attacks both in the United States and abroad.
· Mark Tanner
· Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force, FBI
· Federal Bureau of Investigation
· Before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims
· Washington DC
· October 16, 2003
Chairman Hostettler, Ranking Member Jackson-Lee, and Members of the Subcommittee, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is pleased to have the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the important issue of nonimmigrant aliens who overstay their lawful admission and their relationship to terrorism. The Department of Justice and the FBI have been charged by the President, with the support of Congress, to protect the American people from the continuing threats of terrorism and the crimes associated therewith. It is in the context of our post-9/11 world that we present our views and concerns to the Subcommittee today.
As represented in the GAO report, which is the focus of this hearing, the number of foreign visitors to the U.S. who fail to leave as required by their respective visa is significant. The quality and completeness of government information concerning an individual's correct identity, location and status has a direct impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of our efforts to locate them. The enormous number of visitors to the U.S. and avenues of entry and exit makes it inordinately difficult, if not impossible, to accurately account for each entrant. Nonetheless, the Department of Justice and the FBI, in partnership with other law enforcement agencies, the intelligence community, the defense community and foreign nations are devising and have implemented processes and specialized operational units to mitigate the risks imposed by such overstays.
One such specialized organization is the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force or FTTTF. The participants in the FTTTF include the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security's Bureaus of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Customs and Border Protection, the State Department, the Social Security Administration, the Office of Personnel Management, the Department of Energy, and the Central Intelligence Agency. To date, we also have established liaison with Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The mission of the FTTTF is to provide information that helps keep foreign terrorists and their supporters out of the U.S. or leads to their removal, detention, prosecution or other legal action. To accomplish this mission, the FTTTF has facilitated and coordinated information sharing agreements among these participating agencies and other public and proprietary companies to assist in locating terrorists and their supporters who are, or have been, in the U.S. The quality and completeness of the data directly impacts our efficiency and effectiveness.
Among our sources of data are the I-94s, which were a focus of the GAO study. The I-94 is collected by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, after being completed by a foreign traveler. It is recognized that the quality of data on the I-94, which is self-reported, is rarely complete. This factor is compensated, by our use, when appropriate, of other sources of confirming data. These additional data sources, increase the quality and therefore usefulness of our efforts. For example, as terrorist subjects are identified by law enforcement or the intelligence community, the FTTTF typically searches other sources of data to assist in developing investigative leads. If there is an I-94 record for that same subject, it may be compared to other government, public, and proprietary sources of data in order to verify or refute its accuracy, with our ultimate goal to locate the individual.
In addition to supporting the specific investigations of terrorists, FTTTF has supported the Department of Homeland Security's National Security Entry/Exit Registration System (NSEERS) by vetting over a quarter of a million NSEERS registrants in order to assist in the location of absconders.
The newly created Terrorist Screening Center, as required by Homeland Security Presidential Directive – 6, will further enhance our capabilities to keep terrorists and their supporters out of the U.S. or locate them. HSPD-6 requires that the Terrorist Screening Center provide information to support screening processes at all opportunities. Such information will be made accessible when appropriate to State, local, territorial, and tribal authorities to support their screening processes and otherwise enable them to identify, or assist in identifying such individuals. Additionally, mechanisms will be hosted, to the extent permitted by law, to support appropriate private sector organizations and foreign governments' cooperation with the U.S. in the war on terrorism.
Efforts such as these, and the cooperation between the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and other law enforcement agencies significantly mitigate the risk imposed by the visa overstay problem. It bears noting, however, that the critical point of risk mitigation is to keep terrorists and their supporters out of the U.S. The earliest opportunity that the government has to encounter and identify terrorists and criminals is during the visa application process or at their initial border inspection. The recent GAO study suggests there is room for improvement in the current processes.
In the event that someone penetrates the border or comes to law enforcement attention for serious criminal activities after their legal entry, the FTTTF and Terrorist Screening Center will work to locate them. Whether or not there is an accurate record of their lawful and timely departure, we must assume they may still be in the U.S. or have returned undetected, and thus we remain vigilant in our efforts to locate them. The fact that they are able to overstay their visa authority, affects the timing of their plans, but not their intent. As you can well appreciate, our mission requires that we remain as vigilant about serious criminal activities by foreign visitors during their lawful stay, as during any subsequent overstay.
Northcom Chief Discusses Threats to Homeland
March 12, 2015 | By Cheryl Pellerin , DOD News |
The most dangerous threats to the U.S. homeland include transnational criminal networks, homegrown violent extremists and cyberattacks, Navy Adm. William E. Gortney told a Senate panel today.
The commander of U.S. Northern Command and of North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Northcom’s fiscal year 2016 budget request.
Addressing the panel, Gortney began with his assessment of threats in defense of the homeland, from the most likely to the most dangerous.
The likeliest threat, the admiral said, is a transnational criminal network that operates by using what he calls seams between Northcom, U.S. Southern Command and U.S Pacific Command; seams between U.S. interagency partners and the combatant commands; seams between the United States and its partner nations; and seams within those countries themselves.
Closing the Seams
“In those seams,” Gortney told the panel, “people are moving drugs [and] money. As the [committee] chairman said, they're moving product for profit through those seams.”
He added, “We need to close those seams, because … if someone wants to move something that will do great damage to our nation, that is where they will come.”
About homegrown violent extremists, the admiral described an effective and sophisticated social media campaign on the part of extremists, aiming to stir up distrust and incite harm to American citizens.
On the cyber threat, Gortney said his command is responsible for defending known networks and helping lead federal agencies in the aftermath of a cyberattack.
Significant Cyber Threat
“But it's far more significant in that a cyberattack [could] directly affect critical infrastructure that I rely on to defend the nation, and that we rely on for our nation to operate. I see that as a significant threat,” he said.
For example, Gortney said, “a cyberattack in Ottawa would take out the northeast quadrant of our air defense sector. It would effectively be a mission kill. So not only would it affect my ability to do my mission, more importantly we as a nation rely on this same infrastructure to operate — whether it's banking, rail, aviation, power or movement of water.”
He added, “All these things have critical infrastructure that we must have, and they need to be hardened against an adversary.”
International threats to the homeland include North Korea, China, Russia and Iran, the admiral told the panel.
Ballistic Missile Threat
In written testimony, Gortney said the past year has marked a notable increase in Russian military assertiveness.
“Russian heavy bombers flew more out-of-area patrols in 2014 than in any year since the Cold War. We have also witnessed improved interoperability between Russian long-range aviation and other elements of the Russian military, including air and maritime intelligence collection platforms positioned to monitor NORAD responses,” the admiral said.
Such patrols serve a training function for Russian air crews, but some are clearly intended to underscore Moscow's global reach and communicate displeasure with Western policies, especially those involving Ukraine, he added.
Russia also is progressing toward its goal of deploying long-range, conventionally armed cruise missiles with increasing stand-off launch distances on its heavy bombers, submarines and surface combatants, Gortney said.
Defending North America
“Should these trends continue,” the admiral said, “over time NORAD will face increased risk in our ability to defend North America against Russian air, maritime and cruise-missile threats.”
Other states that may seek to put North America at risk with ballistic missiles include North Korea and Iran, he said.
“North Korea has successfully test-detonated three nuclear devices,” the admiral said, “and through its space program has demonstrated many of the technologies required for an intercontinental ballistic missile that could target the continental United States.”
North Korean military parades have showcased the new KN08 road-mobile ICBM, he said, adding that when deployed, the system will complicate the U.S. ability to provide warning and defend against an attack.
The Sequestration Effect
“Iran has likewise committed considerable resources to enhancing its ballistic missile capabilities,” Gortney said, “and has already placed another satellite into orbit this year, using a new booster that could serve as a demonstrator for ICBM technologies.”
But Gortney told the panel that the likeliest and most dangerous threat to his ability to protect the homeland is sequestration.
“That’s because of how sequestration affects the … services as they implement the sequestration effect … which leads to a hollow force,” Gortney said, adding that sequestration slows development of the U.S. technological advantage that makes it possible to outpace future threats.
Slowing Missile Defense
Sequestration also would affect missile defense, the admiral said.
The services can generate some flexibility in spending by tapping into readiness funds or delaying delivery of a capability, but the Missile Defense Agency does not have a readiness account they can go to, he explained.
The agency would have to go to new starts, Gortney said, putting on hold the long-range discrimination radar, improvements to the advance kill vehicle and a multi-object kill vehicle — all part of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System.
Holding up such work would hinder the United States’ ability to outpace the growing proliferation of ballistic missiles, he added.
The Arctic: Growing in Importance
Responding to questions about the Arctic, Gortney, who is assigned as the DoD advocate for Arctic capabilities, said he and his team are working to determine what requirements will help inform DoD operational plans on the future of the Arctic.
Gortney also will make recommendations for all of DoD, not just the services, about necessary investments there, he said.
“The Arctic requires advocacy and partnerships from within and outside the Northcom area of responsibility,” he said in written testimony, “as the region grows in importance to our national security over the next few decades.”
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