CABLE Gram Collecting and Broadcasting for Law Enforcement Subscription information available at www.cablegram.org Publisher, Zhi Hamby-Nye The CABLE Gram is a weekly publication started in July 2004, currently distributed at no charge to members of the law enforcement, operations security and intelligence communities. The CABLE Gram is produced by and is the intellectual property of Real Trends, Inc. Please feel free to redistribute this issue of the CABLE Gram (in it’s entirety only) to interested parties. If you would like to be on the CABLE Gram distribution list, please send an email containing your name, place of employment, phone number, and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org Back issues are available online at http://www.cablegram.org. CABLE Gram Volume 2 Issue 18 21 March 2005 CABLE Gram™ Good Morning All, In the Current Update: FEDERAL 1. Look Out Below—The Terror Threat From the Sea (Newsweek, 28 March 2005 Issue) 2. Russian Trace In U.S. Arms Smuggling Scandal? (RIA Novosti, 19 Mar 2005) 3. U.S. report catalogs nightmare scenarios - Reports lists possible terror attacks to help security agencies plan (AP, 16 Mar 2005) 4. Deportation of alleged Cuban spy upheld (UPI, 17 Mar 2005) 5. TSA fears targeting of crowds at airports (by Thomas Frank, USA TODAY, 16 Mar 2005) 6. States and Communities Battling Another Round of Base Closings (New York Times, 20 Mar 2005) 7. Agroterrorism: Pilot animal ID program uses GPS technology (AP, 15 Mar 2005) 8. CTIA: Experts call for homeland security, wireless industry cooperation (ComputerWorld, 17 Mar 2005) 9. Officials criticize system for tracking foreign students (by Chloe Albanesius, National Journal's Technology Daily, 18 Mar 2005) 10. Wal-Mart to pay fine for employing illegal immigrants (New Kerlala, 19 Mar 2005) 11. Homeland security funds often spent to meet political needs (Baltimore Sun, by Greg Barrett, 20 Mar 2005) 12. Neglected security – An Opinion Piece by the Pittsburgh Trivune-Review (20 Mar 2005) 13. 'Security freeeze' can thwart identity theft (By Jennifer Saranow And Ron Lieber, The Wall Street Journal, 20 Mar 2005) 14. U.S. needs to watch extremists, Fox says (Republic Mexico City Bureau, 17 Mar 2005) STATE AND LOCAL NEWS 15. CA: Managing a bug-borne doomsday--Jerry Street prepares Solano County for biological terrorist attacks (Daily Republic, 19 Mar 2005) 16. CO: El Paso County led state change on permits for concealed guns (The Gazette, 20 Mar 2005) 17. CT: Instead Of Mock Disaster, Region Needs Real Security (The Day, by Scott Bates, 20 Mar 2005) 18. CT: Scare in Milford - Powder found in mail forces office to close; tests pending (Connecticut Post, 16 Mar 2005) 19. DC: Expanded Security Checkpoint Featuring US Airways Priority Queue and Shuttle Ticket Counter Now Open at Reagan National (PRNewswire, 17 Mar 2005) 20. ATA: D.C. hazmat ordinance amounts to illegal routing (The Trucker, 16 Mar 2005) 21. FL: General Physics Corporation to Provide Emergency Response and Crisis Management Services to Pinellas County Florida School District (Business Wire, 17 Mar 2005) 22. IL: Will County wants disaster center (Daily South Town, 15 Mar 2005) 23. IL: State accuses charity of identity theft (Chicago Sun Times, 17 Mar 2005) 24. NV: Identity theft in Las Vegas raises terror concerns (by Steve Friess, Globe Correspondent, 19 Mar 2005) 25. NM: Deadly crash in N.M. linked to smuggling (AP, 20 Mar 2005) 26. NY: Saratoga shows off haz-mat trucks (The Saratogian, 16 Mar 2005) 27. NC: AG Cooper supports bill to thwart identity theft (AP, 19 Mar 2005) 28. OR: District plan another mock emergency drill (By Terry Dillman Of the News- Times, 18 Mar 2005) 29. TX: Deadly Smuggling Case to Head to Jury (AP, 18 Mar 2005) GANG ACTIVITY 30. Homeland Security bureau goes after gangs (GovExec.com, by Chris Strohm, 14 Mar 2005) 31. CA: Hmong Community Pleads For Help On Asian Gang Problem (The KCRA Channel, 18 Mar 2005) 32. VA: The Most Dangerous Gang in America (Newsweek, 28 March 2005 Issue) NARCO TRAFFICKING 33. Inhalants rather than Marijuana: Hair spray, deodorants contain harmful substances, expert says (AP, 17 Mar 2005) 34. TX: Honduran Gang Leader Indicted (KGBT4, 20 Mar 2005) 35. Mexican Drug Cartel Members Arrested by U.S. Agents - Drug ring distributed 100 kilograms of cocaine per week (by Eric Green, Washington File Staff Writer, 17 Mar 2005) 36. Treasury Dept. Designation Targets Colombian Drug Cartel Leader - Action helps undermine drug cartel's financial network, official says (Dept. of State, 17 Mar 2005) CYBERTHREAT & THEFT 37. FDIC Wants Banks to Notify Customers of Identity Theft (ConsumerAffairs.com, 20 Mar 2005) 38. ChexSystems and the War of Banking Rights (ConsumerAffairs.Com, 17 Mar 2005) 39. MA: College computer hacked; 120,000 at risk (AP, 17 Mar 2005) 40. Identity Theft protection company receives second grant from Maine Technology Institute (Maine Today, 17 Mar 2005) 41. Internet phones a hacking risk? - Low-cost services may attract identity thieves looking to turn stolen credit cards into cash (Reuters, 18 Mar 2005) 42. Cybersecurity spending estimated to grow to $7.1 billion by 2009 (GovExec.com, Daniel Pulliam, 18 Mar 2005) COUNTERFEIT 43. 36% of Global Counterfeiting is IP Theft: Survey (i-Newswire.com, 15 Mar 2005) 44. Global anti-counterfeit group points finger at Canada (Xinhuanet, 17 Mar 2005) 45. Scam artists using internet to find victims - Post offices on alert for counterfeit money orders (Outer Banks Sentinel, 20 Mar 2005) 46. AL: Feds Arrest 22 In Counterfeit Crackdown (NBC13.com, 15 Mar 2005) 47. IN: Counterfeit bills being passed in area (The Madison Courier, 20 Mar 2005) 48. PA: Local Kmart Reports Counterfeit Money Being Wired To Colombia (The WGAL Channel, 18 Mar 2005) 49. SC: Number Of Counterfeit Bills Reported Here Called Unusual (The Greeneville Sun, 19 Mar 2005) TECHNOLOGY 50. GAO pushes for bomb detector study (FCW, Aliva Sternstein, 16 Mar 2005) 51. DHS to use MetaCarta (FCW, Dibya Sarkar, 14 Mar 2005) 52. TSA awards explosive contracts (FCW, Aliya Sternstein, 14 Mar 2005) 53. Web satisfaction dips (FCW, David Perera, 14 Mar 2005) 54. Fla. county secures wireless (FCW, Dibya Sarkar, 16 Mar 2005) 55. TX: Defense shield built in Texas (My San Antonio, 20 Mar 2005) 56. TX: D/FW bags to zip by with new system - $139 million system to check for explosives to save time, money (The Dallas Morning News, 18 Mar 2005) RESOURCES 57. New Information System Aids Emergency Responders - Personal digital assistant software can help identify hazardous materials (Dept. of State, 17 Mar 2005) 58. Decontamination Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction (Firehouse Magazine, 20 Mar 2005) OPPORTUNITIES 59. Terrorism and security college classes spreading (AP, 17 Mar 2005) FULL REPORTS 60. U.S., Mexican Officials Open Remodeled Tecate Port of Entry - Updated facility will provide better border security (Dept. of State, 14 Mar 2005) 61. Anti-Corruption Group Targets Construction, Procurement - $300 billion lost annually to bribery in contracting, report says (by Berta Gomez, Washington File Staff Writer, 16 Mar 2005) 62. DoD Official Outlines Homeland Defense Progress (By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA American Forces Press Service, 16 Mar 2005) Take care, Zhi The CABLE Gram is a weekly publication, distributed in PDF format and is currently included as a benefit of membership in the OPSEC Professionals Society and the National Military Intelligence Association. Issues covered in the CABLE Gram include: Homeland Defense, Homeland Security, Terrorism, Federal Law Enforcement, First Responders, Money Laundering, Identity Theft, NBC Weapons, Cybercrimes, Smuggling, Narco Trafficking, Hazardous Materials and other related topics. We search the topics and Websites that you request, so it is important for you to provide feedback. We are in our infancy and the CABLE Gram will be as useful as you help make it. Please let us know the topics and keywords that will assist you in your professional endeavors. Send all comments and suggestions to email@example.com – please type CABLE Gram in the subject line. Please forward the CABLE Gram to all people you feel will find it useful! FEDERAL 1. Look Out Below—The Terror Threat From the Sea (Newsweek, 28 March 2005 Issue) Al Qaeda frogmen sound like one of the more exotic terrorist threats—but Homeland Security chiefs are preparing, just in case. Last month the Coast Guard launched a special program to train members of its seagoing SWAT teams how to protect U.S. ports against scuba-diving attackers. Members of Coast Guard commando teams based at 12 ports on the U.S. coastline will be taught underwater fighting techniques and how to use secret weapons. NEWSWEEK has learned that team members will try to master the proper use of "entanglement nets." The nets are meant to be thrown over an underwater intruder, who then becomes ensnared in the mesh. The commandos are also supposed to be taught how to operate special sonar the Coast Guard is developing that should be able to tell a diver from a dolphin or seal. Sonar rigs will be deployed at strategic locations so they can be rapidly set up around ports or ships in the event of specific threats. Commandos will also get access to a special underwater sound system to send out verbal warnings to underwater intruders. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7244239/site/newsweek/ 2. Russian Trace In U.S. Arms Smuggling Scandal? (RIA Novosti, 19 Mar 2005) NEW YORK - An arms dealer arrested this week in the USA claimed that he could buy grenade launchers in Russia and then ship them over to the United States by sea, a source in the New York Attorney's Office told RIA Novosti on Friday. Last Tuesday, U.S. authorities arrested members of an international arms smuggling ring including nationals of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Eastern European countries and South Africa. Most of the detainees resided in the USA, some of them illegally. Law enforcers named Armenian Artur Solomonyan, 26, as the ringleader. The authorities charged 18 individuals with conspiring to smuggle shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile systems, grenade launchers, mortars and other weapons into the USA. "In the course of the talks Solomonyan told a potential buyer that the weapons would be shipped by sea and delivered to the ports of Los Angeles, New York and Miami. After the two sides have agreed on the price, quantity and models of weapons the latter were to be delivered within two months," the source from the New York Attorney's Office told RIA Novosti. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?E24F136BA 3. U.S. report catalogs nightmare scenarios - Reports lists possible terror attacks to help security agencies plan (AP, 16 Mar 2005) WASHINGTON - The agency charged with protecting homeland security developed an elaborate, confidential report to alert states to a host of terror-strike scenarios, but the document was inadvertently posted on several states' public Web sites before being removed. The department has been working for a year on a National Planning Scenarios plan that outlines a number of plausible attacks -- including by nerve gas, anthrax, pneumonic plague and truck bomb. The report, still confidential, was requested by a presidential directive in December 2003 and will be made public in upcoming months, Homeland Security spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said Tuesday. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/03/16/terror.attacks.ap/index.html 4. Deportation of alleged Cuban spy upheld (UPI, 17 Mar 2005) Atlanta, GA - The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has upheld a Miami deportation order for a man accused of being a spy for Cuba. The order to deport Juan Emilio Aboy was issued in 2002 and he lost a final bid to remain in Miami three weeks ago, The Miami Herald reported Thursday. He was arrested in 2002 by agents who said he was a covert agent for the Fidel Castro regime and has been in a federal detention center west of Miami since then. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20050317-101800-8480r.htm 5. TSA fears targeting of crowds at airports (by Thomas Frank, USA TODAY, 16 Mar 2005) Air travelers could be a terrorist target when they group together in airport lobbies waiting for their luggage to be screened, a government report said Tuesday. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) told investigators that the luggage- screening system it set up at airports across the USA "increases security risks," according to the report by the Government Accountability Office. The office is the investigative arm of Congress. TSA officials interviewed for the report said that "crowded airport lobbies have been the scenes of terrorist attacks in the past" and could be targeted by terrorists in the United States. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2005-03-15-tsa-screeners_x.htm 6. States and Communities Battling Another Round of Base Closings (New York Times, 20 Mar 2005) WASHINGTON, March 19 - For the first time in a decade, communities across the country are bracing for a major round of military base closings, and they are mounting aggressive lobbying campaigns to stave off cuts and other changes that some independent experts say could dwarf the previous four rounds combined. Pentagon officials say all 425 domestic bases are under scrutiny, as the military looks to squeeze efficiencies and billions of dollars in savings from a cold-war network that has nearly 25 percent more capacity than what the armed services say they need. After more than two years of exhaustive study, Pentagon analysts are putting the finishing touches on a list of recommendations that Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld will present to a nine- member independent commission for review. Scores of Pentagon analysts and auditors have been poring over data and dozens of options as part of an effort that is intended to mesh with Mr. Rumsfeld's broader goals to make the military more agile and responsive to security threats. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?B3FF416BA 7. Agroterrorism: Pilot animal ID program uses GPS technology (AP, 15 Mar 2005) WICHITA, Kan. - On any given day on the remote roads of Kansas, hundreds of tractor- trailers are hauling cattle across the state’s vast rangelands, headed for feedlots and slaughterhouses. And in an era of mad cow disease and the threat of agroterrorism, federal agriculture regulators want to be able to locate within 48 hours — or sooner — the whereabouts of each of the nation’s 100 million-plus head of cattle. Enter a Kansas proposal that would combine GPS, cellular and radio frequency technologies to track cattle as they are in transit. It is one of the ideas the U.S. Department of Agriculture is testing and one that could shape the nation’s emerging animal identification system. “People were excited about the Kansas proposal,” said Amy Spillman, spokeswoman for the department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. “They wanted to integrate the ability to track cattle as (they) came on and off the trucks.” The department is spending $11.6 million in 29 states to test various ideas, such as proposals from Wyoming and Idaho to expand on their existing branding methods of identifying cattle. Kansas was given $805,000 for its one-year test project on a transportation-based system, which could have broad applications in an industry that ships 90 million animals by truck annually. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.landandlivestockpost.com/technology/031505gps.htm 8. CTIA: Experts call for homeland security, wireless industry cooperation (ComputerWorld, 17 Mar 2005) NEW ORLEANS - To bolster the value of wireless voice and data communications for U.S. homeland security purposes, industry and government officials need to work closer together, security experts at CTIA Wireless 2005 said this week. The consensus among five experts who took part in a panel discussion was that wireless technologies have improved since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But they said much remains to be done to set up effective warning systems in the event of a terrorist or natural disaster and to improve interoperability of wireless devices for emergency responders. The toughest issue for police, firefighters and other emergency responders may be the widespread lack of interoperability between public safety networks and devices, experts said. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?J300257BA 9. Officials criticize system for tracking foreign students (by Chloe Albanesius, National Journal's Technology Daily, 18 Mar 2005) A system intended to track foreign students has been improved since its 2003 inception, but personnel issues are causing delays and potentially deterring students from pursuing degrees in the United States, witnesses at a joint hearing of two House subcommittees warned Thursday. The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), operated by the Homeland Security Department, was created as part of a 2001 anti- terrorism law known as the USA PATRIOT Act. It was initially plagued by technical mishaps but since has been improved, according to the department and the Government Accountability Office. "Indications are that SEVIS performance has improved and continues to improve," Randolph Hite, director of GAO's information technology architecture and systems issues, said at the hearing of the House Education and the Workforce Select Education and 21st-Century Competitiveness subcommittees. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0305/031705tdpm1.htm 10. Wal-Mart to pay fine for employing illegal immigrants (New Kerlala, 19 Mar 2005) Washington - Wal-Mart, the largest department store in the US, will pay USD 11 million to settle accusations that it used hundreds of illegal immigrants to clean its showrooms. Wal-Mart argued unsuccessfully that it did not employ any illegal immigrants but the contractors employed to clean up the stores may have done so. The USD 11 million dollar payment was four times higher than any other single payment to the government in an illegal immigrant employment case. Wal-Mart had USD 288.2 billion dollars in sales last year. The settlement grew out of enforcement actions in which 100 illegal immigrants were arrested in 2001 at Wal-Mart stores in Missouri, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and an additional 245 were arrested in October 2003 at 60 stores in 21 states. Federal investigators said they decided not to bring criminal charges against Wal-Mart because it is cooperating and has taken action to prevent future employment of illegal immigrants at its 3,600 stores in the US. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.newkerala.com/news-daily/news/features.php?action=fullnews&id=88183 11. Homeland security funds often spent to meet political needs (Baltimore Sun, by Greg Barrett, 20 Mar 2005) Three days after Washington announced plans to award $2.5 billion this year in homeland security grants, the city council of a suburban Alabama city voted to create its own Department of Homeland Security and Immigration. It didn't matter that some residents and a council member, Mike Natter, argued that Hoover (population 65,000) was under no threat from terrorism. Newly elected Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos, a former Republican state lawmaker, expects his new office to be like like flypaper for homeland security grants. After the terrorism attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, politics couldn't help itself. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?E310157BA 12. Neglected security – An Opinion Piece by the Pittsburgh Trivune-Review (20 Mar 2005) By asking for only 200 new border patrol agents next year instead of the 2,000 minimum that Congress authorized, President George Bush perverts the meaning of national security. To its everlasting credit, Congress says this nation must increase the number of border agents by not fewer than 2,000 annually through fiscal 2010. To his everlasting shame, Mr. Bush has said no for next year and probably for those following. In light of the very real fears voiced by America's national security agencies regarding terrorist infiltration through the virtually defenseless southern border -- and the millions of illegal aliens who already have breached our security by simply walking into the country -- the president's 10 percent piecemeal proposal is beyond incomprehensible. A newly-minted agent costs about $100,000 annually, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Two hundred agents would cost $20 million; 2,000 agents would cost $200 million. That's not even a drop in the bucket for the president's proposed $2.57 trillion budget. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/opinion/archive/s_314888.html 13. 'Security freeeze' can thwart identity theft (By Jennifer Saranow And Ron Lieber, The Wall Street Journal, 20 Mar 2005) In an effort to combat the rapidly escalating outbreak of identity-theft crimes, a handful of states including California and Texas have passed legislation that allows consumers to put a "security freeze" on their credit history. Some 20 other states this year have considered or are considering adopting similar laws, which make it nearly impossible for criminals to use stolen information to open bogus new accounts. The measures are so effective because once frozen, a merchant is unable to review an applicant's credit history. Lacking such information, most companies refuse to open a new account, greatly devaluing stolen personal data. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily/03-05/03-20-05/d01bu943.htm 14. U.S. needs to watch extremists, Fox says (Republic Mexico City Bureau, 17 Mar 2005) MEXICO CITY - Anti-immigrant sentiment appears to be growing in the United States, Mexican President Vicente Fox said Wednesday, and he urged U.S. officials to act quickly to control movements such as the 950-member-strong Minuteman Project on the Mexico-Arizona border. Fox said he plans to push for U.S. immigration reform during a meeting with President Bush in Texas next week. He also said the two leaders, along with Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, likely will announce a plan to expand the scope of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexico's National Human Rights Commission recently issued a warning about several new grass-roots movements inspired by Arizona's Proposition 200. Other Mexican officials have cited the Minuteman Project, a plan by activists to patrol the border during April, as a sign of rising extremism. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0317fox17.html STATE AND LOCAL NEWS 15. CA: Managing a bug-borne doomsday--Jerry Street prepares Solano County for biological terrorist attacks (Daily Republic, 19 Mar 2005) FAIRFIELD - In a nondescript county government building on the west side of Fairfield, a man quietly sits in his office and contemplates Solano County's own version of 9-11. What he envisions isn't pretty. Except in this case, Jerry Street, the county's bioterrorism response manager, isn't really worried about hijacked airliners plowing into the few tall structures to be found in Solano County. No, Street focuses his time on the idea of terrorism in the form of biological attack - highly contagious and horrific diseases and viruses intentionally transported here via human or mechanical agents with one goal: To kill as many people as possible. And while bioterrorism might not have the sheer tragic spectacle that comes from a jet full of fuel and passengers slamming into a building, it brings its own unique variety of unimaginable horrors. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.dailyrepublic.com/articles/2005/03/19/local_news/news01.txt 16. CO: El Paso County led state change on permits for concealed guns (The Gazette, 20 Mar 2005) John Anderson thought he was simply keeping a campaign promise. What the then- sheriff of El Paso County didn’t know is that in making it easier for county residents to carry concealed handguns in 1995, he was helping set in motion a change in permit laws that would sweep the state — and eventually became law. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.gazette.com/display.php?secid=2 17. CT: Instead Of Mock Disaster, Region Needs Real Security (The Day, by Scott Bates, 20 Mar 2005) Southeastern Connecticut is about to become the center of America's homeland security efforts with the arrival of the TOPOFF 3 training exercises. While the region has America's leading homeland security officials as its guests, it's timely to ask some important questions about how serious they truly are about protecting us from terrorist attack. More than three years after the attacks of Sept. 11, America remains vulnerable to attack from sea, land and air. Further, officials in Washington are not taking the basic steps needed to prepare for potential attacks or provide security inside America. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?J120357BA 18. CT: Scare in Milford - Powder found in mail forces office to close; tests pending (Connecticut Post, 16 Mar 2005) MILFORD Concerns about bioterrorism prompted the city to temporarily close and quarantine a downtown business Tuesday after a worker found a powdery substance while opening office mail. Health inspectors, police and firefighters flooded Stirling & Stirling Inc. at 20 Armory Lane to inspect the building for any noxious substance that could pose a threat to the firm's nearly 40 workers. Two agents from the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and the New Haven Fire Department's hazardous-material response unit assisted the investigation. Although there is no evidence linking the powder to bioterrorism, the city wants to take all precautions to ensure the building is safe, officials said. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.connpost.com/news/ci_2609314 19. DC: Expanded Security Checkpoint Featuring US Airways Priority Queue and Shuttle Ticket Counter Now Open at Reagan National (PRNewswire, 17 Mar 2005) ARLINGTON, Va. - An expanded Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Security Checkpoint and a US Airways priority queue line is now open at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Additionally, the full-service US Airways Shuttle ticket counter has been relocated back to the Departure Level at Reagan National's North Pier, beginning this week.The TSA Security Checkpoint has expanded from four to six lanes, which will assist in reducing wait times for customers during peak travel periods. As with other airports with US Airways priority queue lines, the queue is available during peak travel times for First Class and Envoy Class customers, as well as Dividend Miles Preferred and Star Gold members. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/050317/dcth047_3.html 20. ATA: D.C. hazmat ordinance amounts to illegal routing (The Trucker, 16 Mar 2005) ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The American Trucking Associations stated that an ordinance which would make it illegal to transport certain hazardous materials through a restricted area called the "Capitol Exclusion Zone" amounts to an illegal routing requirement. On March 14, ATA petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requesting that the Department of Transportation preempt the District of Columbia's ordinance. ATA argued that the ordinance is an illegal routing requirement that was enacted in violation of the federal hazardous materials routing regulations. ATA officials are concerned that other jurisdictions will seek to enact similar restrictions which, it stated, would create an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce and frustrate the safe and efficient transportation of hazardous materials throughout the United States. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.thetrucker.com/stories/03_05/0316_ata_hazmat.html 21. FL: General Physics Corporation to Provide Emergency Response and Crisis Management Services to Pinellas County Florida School District (Business Wire, 17 Mar 2005) ELKRIDGE, Md - Global workplace solutions provider General Physics Corporation (GP), a subsidiary of GP Strategies Corporation (NYSE:GPX), was selected by the School Board of Pinellas County, Florida to provide training and exercise programs to enhance the Emergency Response and Crisis Management Program of Local Educational Agencies. The scope of services includes the assessment of existing materials, the development and delivery of training materials, and the development and delivery of exercise drills that test the emergency and crisis management plans. School administrators, teachers and other school personnel, as well as selected students and parents will participate in the training and exercise programs. These services are similar to those delivered by GP to Brevard County, Florida under the same grant program. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?V130217BA 22. IL: Will County wants disaster center (Daily South Town, 15 Mar 2005) Will County will partner with a private security firm to build an operations center to respond to terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Slated to open this summer, the New Lenox facility will include a helipad and a triage area for treating widespread injuries and fatalities. The building also will act as a sort of communications clearinghouse for emergency planning among several towns and government agencies. The county is joining forces with Patron Systems Inc., a Chicago company currently under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning payments made to consultants. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southtown/dsindex/15-ds2.htm 23. IL: State accuses charity of identity theft (Chicago Sun Times, 17 Mar 2005) In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the Illinois attorney general's office alleged that a Downstate charity stole the identity of a failed Harvey charity in order to claim the assets and property of the defunct organization as its own. Three months after the United Way of Harvey was dissolved by the Illinois secretary of state's office last June, Alex M. Brooks named himself an officer of the charity and filed to reinstate the United Way of Harvey as a charitable organization, the suit alleges. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-idtheft17.html 24. NV: Identity theft in Las Vegas raises terror concerns (by Steve Friess, Globe Correspondent, 19 Mar 2005) LAS VEGAS - The burglars may be common thieves or specialists in identity theft. Or, in the most harrowing but plausible of scenarios, they could be terrorists. None of these prospects can be ruled out as investigators probe a bizarre break-in last week at a Department of Motor Vehicles office in the suburb of North Las Vegas that is being treated as a possible homeland security threat. Burglars rammed a vehicle through a back wall at the DMV early on March 7 and drove off with 1,700 blank Nevada licenses, the equipment needed to make licenses, and a computer hard drive that contained the Social Security numbers and other personal information of more than 8,000 people who had obtained licenses there since November. ''Think of the ripple effect this could have," said Tim Mohr, director of investigations for BDO Seidman LLC, an accounting firm based in New York. ''Say it's a terrorist cell that ends up with this information. They can use it to rent cars or trucks. They don't run a driver's license when you rent a vehicle, they just ask to see it. The ripple effect is that it doesn't just affect Nevadans." CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?I240537BA 25. NM: Deadly crash in N.M. linked to smuggling (AP, 20 Mar 2005) GRANTS, N.M. – A traffic accident that killed three people on Interstate 40 near Grants is a deadly case of human smuggling, investigators say. A sport utility vehicle carrying up to 15 illegal immigrants collided with a tractor-trailer Thursday night 18 miles east of Grants, in western New Mexico. Based on statements from witnesses to the crash, state police believe at least five passengers climbed out of the wreckage and fled on foot. Immigration officers combed nearby hills but came up empty-handed. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?A250157BA 26. NY: Saratoga shows off haz-mat trucks (The Saratogian, 16 Mar 2005) SARATOGA SPRINGS - In the past few weeks, Saratoga County's hazardous materials response team has dealt with everything from a buildup of potentially deadly Freon gas at the Price Chopper in Mechanicville to an incident where an Edinburg man mixed chemicals in his toilet and passed out from the fumes. 'He made hydrochloric acid,' said Mike Aufiero, a volunteer firefighter in Ballston Spa and a chief of the county's haz-mat response team. 'We haven't had a full-on response yet, thank goodness.' Aufiero and salaried firefighters from the Saratoga Springs Fire Department demonstrated the county haz-mat truck Tuesday for New York Secretary of State Randy Daniels at the city's West Avenue fire station. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?Z660227BA 27. NC: AG Cooper supports bill to thwart identity theft (AP, 19 Mar 2005) RALEIGH, N.C. - To help fight the burgeoning crime of identity theft, state Attorney General Roy Cooper plans this month to unveil a proposal to reduce the amount of personal information that governments and businesses release, starting with Social Security numbers. Cooper said the initiative aims to balance the public's right to government information against individual's privacy. "We want to make sure that we don't thwart access to public information," he said. "But identity theft is the fastest- growing crime we've got. Government needs to do its part to fight it, just like we're asking businesses to do." Cooper's staff lawyers have discussed details of the proposed bill with press lawyers, who still have some concerns about it. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?A270217BA 28. OR: District plan another mock emergency drill (By Terry Dillman Of the News-Times, 18 Mar 2005) Lincoln County School District will conduct another mock emergency drill involving local police and other emergency management agencies at a Newport school sometime during Spring Break. This drill - the second in a planned series of preparedness exercises for county emergency responders - will feature an armed intruder scenario, according to Sue Graves, LCSD safety coordinator. Graves is withholding the exact time, date, and location for the staged event to "preserve an element of surprise" for participants, and to "add to the realism" of the scenario. "We wanted to alert the public about the event in hopes of minimizing alarm or confusion," said Newport Police Chief Mark Miranda. "If they see a large concentration of police cars, fire vehicles, and ambulances heading for a school, they can assume the training exercise is underway." Community members can hear more specific information broadcast by local radio stations at the start of the event. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.newportnewstimes.com/articles/2005/03/18/news/news16.txt 29. TX: Deadly Smuggling Case to Head to Jury (AP, 18 Mar 2005) HOUSTON - The driver of a tractor-trailer in the nation's deadliest smuggling attempt was blinded by greed to the suffering of more than 70 illegal immigrants packed inside the sweltering, airless truck, prosecutors said Friday in closing arguments. Tyrone Williams' lawyer depicted him as an inexperienced pawn of a smuggling ring who didn't know 17 immigrants were slowly dying in the trailer because he didn't speak Spanish and couldn't hear them banging on the walls to get out. Two more immigrants died later. The case went to the jury Friday but deliberations were to begin Monday. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-4876602,00.html GANG ACTIVITY 30. Homeland Security bureau goes after gangs (GovExec.com, by Chris Strohm, 14 Mar 2005) The Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau announced Monday the launch of an operation focused on helping state and local law enforcement go after the nation's most violent gangs. ICE officials said the bureau is uniquely suited for the effort because it can combine immigrations and customs enforcement powers to target, disrupt and, if necessary, deport members of violent gangs in the United States. "We have incredible immigration authorities and customs authorities under one roof right now, and we're able to bring that to the table," said Assistant Secretary Michael Garcia, who is in charge of ICE. "We not only can take them off the streets and detain them, but we can deport them from the United States, and that is an incredibly powerful tool in going after a criminal organization." CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0305/031405c1.htm 31. CA: Hmong Community Pleads For Help On Asian Gang Problem (The KCRA Channel, 18 Mar 2005) SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A spike of Asian gang violence has hundreds of Hmong parents -- some of whom can't speak English -- preparing to speak out at a public forum Friday night. Over 200 Hmong families are expected to sit face to face with police and school officials, demanding and pleading for help because of the gang problem. Chai Vang fled the Vietnam War and refugee camps in Laos 25 years ago to bring his family to the United States in search of a better life. But now, he says his daughter is involved in a rapidly growing Asian gang problem at a time when Hmong-on-Hmong violence is exploding. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.thekcrachannel.com/news/4299814/detail.html 32. VA: The Most Dangerous Gang in America (Newsweek, 28 March 2005 Issue) The signs of a new threat in northern Virginia emerged ominously in blood-spattered urban streets and rural scrub. Two summers ago the body of a young woman who had informed against her former gang associates was found on the banks of the Shenandoah River, repeatedly stabbed and her head nearly severed. Last May in Alexandria, gang members armed with machetes hacked away at a member of the South Side Locos, slicing off some of his fingers and leaving others dangling by a shred of skin. Only a week later in Herndon, a member of the 18th Street gang was pumped full of .38-caliber bullets, while his female companion, who tried to flee, was shot in the back. The assailant, according to a witness, had a large tattoo emblazoned on his forehead. It read MS, for Mara Salvatrucha, the gang allegedly responsible for all these attacks. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7244879/site/newsweek/ NARCO TRAFFICKING 33. Inhalants rather than Marijuana: Hair spray, deodorants contain harmful substances, expert says (AP, 17 Mar 2005) Experts say a higher percentage of youngsters ages 12 to 13 used inhalants rather than marijuana in the past year. And they say that points to a need for more attention to the problem. Westley Clark, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, says the dangers of inhalants must be underscored, especially since they’re readily available and legal. Hair spray, deodorant, nail polish remover and paint thinner all can be dangerous. They are common products that are legal, but contain substances that affect how a brain works. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7218894/ 34. TX: Honduran Gang Leader Indicted (KGBT4, 20 Mar 2005) A Honduran gang leader arrested in South Texas last month has been indicted and charged with entering this country illegally after he'd been deported. United States Attorney Michael Shelby announced that Lester Rivera-Paz, 29, also known as Franklin Jairo Rivera-Hernandez, of Honduras, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Houston on March 2. He is reportedly the national president of the Mara Salvatrucha gang. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.team4news.com/Global/story.asp?S=3088202&nav=0w0vXaKn 35. Mexican Drug Cartel Members Arrested by U.S. Agents - Drug ring distributed 100 kilograms of cocaine per week (by Eric Green, Washington File Staff Writer, 17 Mar 2005) Washington - Ten members of a Mexican drug cartel have been arrested by U.S. agents on charges of drug smuggling, money laundering, and other offenses, announced the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. In a March 16 statement, ICE, which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said a squad of U.S. agents in Dallas, Texas, made the arrests after indictments against the individuals were unsealed that day. The arrests marked the culmination of an 18-month international drug-smuggling and money-laundering investigation, which involved members of the drug cartel based in Nuevo Leon and Piedras Negras in Mexico. Contraband seized in the criminal investigation, code-named "Operation Black Eagle," included more than $1.6 million, 194 kilograms of cocaine and seven kilograms of methamphetamine. The cartel is believed responsible for importing and distributing more than 100 kilograms of cocaine per week and for large-scale smuggling of bulk U.S. currency into Mexico, said ICE. ICE indicated that the investigation of the drug cartel is ongoing, and additional arrests and seizures are anticipated. The agency also announced that it had deported 118 foreign nationals -- most of them Mexicans -- on a March 11 U.S. government flight that removed criminal aliens from the United States. The flight also included four Filipinos, three Guatemalans, one Honduran, and one Salvadoran, all of whom were transferred to other flights at the Mexican border. ICE said the deportations, which occur weekly, reflect its commitment to restoring integrity to the U.S. immigration system. ICE formally removed from the United States more than 160,000 aliens in fiscal year 2004. The aliens are deported aboard both U.S. commercial and government aircraft. The government's aircraft is run by the U.S. Marshals Service, under its program called the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS). JPATS is one of the largest transporters of prisoners in the world and handles hundreds of requests every day to move prisoners and criminal aliens between judicial districts and correctional institutions in the United States, and on international flights for removing deportable aliens. ICE said deported aliens face an automatic 10-year ban from legally re-entering the United States. (The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov) 36. Treasury Dept. Designation Targets Colombian Drug Cartel Leader - Action helps undermine drug cartel's financial network, official says (Dept. of State, 17 Mar 2005) The U.S. Department of the Treasury has added the name of North Valle drug cartel leader Carlos Alberto Renteria Mantilla, a Colombian national, to its list of Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers, along with 11 front companies and individuals operating on his behalf. In a March 17 press release, the Treasury Department's Robert Werner explained that the designation "is a fundamental step in our battle to undermine the financial network of this notorious Colombian drug cartel." According to the Treasury Department, "today's action freezes any assets found in the United States and prohibits all financial and commercial transactions between the designees and any U.S. person." Following is the text of the Treasury Department press release, with further details: (begin text) U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Washington, D.C. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 17, 2005 TREASURY DESIGNATION TARGETS NORTH VALLE DRUG CARTEL LEADER In another step aimed at depriving Colombian narcotics traffickers of capital, the U.S. Department of the Treasury today added the name of North Valle drug cartel leader Carlos Alberto Renteria Mantilla ("Beto Renteria") to its list of Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs), along with 11 front companies and individuals operating on his behalf. "Designating Beto Renteria as a leader of North Valle cartel is a fundamental step in our battle to undermine the financial network of this notorious Colombian drug cartel," said Robert Werner, Director of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). "The North Valle drug cartel depends on its financial network to stay in businesses, and actions like today's can deal a serious blow to those resources." Beto Renteria is a leading member of the North Valle drug cartel, and his involvement in narcotics trafficking has been documented back to the late 1970s. Beto Renteria is the subject of two federal criminal indictments in the United States. In 2004, the District Court for the District of Columbia charged Beto Renteria with violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Ten years prior, an indictment was filed in the Southern District of Florida charging Beto Renteria with conspiracy to import, possess and distribute cocaine in the United States. The United States is offering up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest. This action also targets a financial network of 11 front companies and individuals that act for or on behalf of Beto Renteria. The four Colombian businesses identified today are Dimabe Ltda., Inversiones Agroindustriales del Occidente Ltda., Compania Agropecuaria del Sur Ltda. and Colombo Andino Comercial Coalsa Ltda. All four businesses are located in Bogota, Colombia. The seven Colombian individuals designated today include Beto Renteria's wife, Maria Nury Caicedo Gallego, and their key financial front man, Mauricio Pardo Ojeda. Today's announcement is a result of OFAC's close working relationship with U.S. law enforcement authorities, and particularly in this case, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). SDNTs are subject to the economic sanctions imposed against Colombian drug cartels in Executive Order 12978. Today's action freezes any assets found in the United States and prohibits all financial and commercial transactions between the designees and any U.S. person. The U.S. government continues to work with and support the Colombian government in attacking the finances of Colombia's drug cartels. In February 2005, the Colombian government seized the airline Intercontinental de Aviacion, which had been designated by OFAC in October 2004 because it was owned and controlled by North Valle cartel leaders Gabriel Puerta Parra and Luis Hernandez Zea. The assets of a total of 1,159 business and individuals in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Spain, Vanuatu, Venezuela, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands are now blocked under E.O. 12978. The 428 SDNT businesses include agricultural, aviation, consulting, construction, distribution, financial, investment, manufacturing, mining, offshore, pharmaceutical, real estate and service firms. The SDNT list includes 17 kingpins from the Cali, North Valle, and North Coast drug cartels in Colombia, including North Valle cartel leader Carlos Alberto Renteria Mantilla. A complete list of the entities identified today can be found at: http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/actions/. (end text) (Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov) CYBERTHREAT & THEFT 37. FDIC Wants Banks to Notify Customers of Identity Theft (ConsumerAffairs.com, 20 Mar 2005) The FDIC's five directors have voted to order banks to warn customers of suspected identity theft. The provision applies only to banks, not to data aggregators like ChoicePoint. Under the FDIC's proposed new policy, banks would be required to notify customers when they detect unauthorized access to customer information and determine that there is a "reasonable possibility" that the information was or could be misused. The changes have already been approved by the the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision. They must still be approved by the Federal Reserve Board. The ruling follows several highly publicized consumer privacy breaches that were disclosed over the last few weeks, including the loss of backup tapes containing the credit card information of 1.2 million federal workers by Bank of America; the loss of 145,000 customers' personal information to identity thieves at ChoicePoint, an aggregator and reseller of personal information; the loss and possible theft of customer credit card information from over 100 DSW Stores, a nationwide shoe retailer; and the disclosure from Lexis-Nexis, a compiler of legal and consumer information, that the Social Security numbers, names and addresses of 30,000 people may have been stolen by identity thieves. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2005/fdic_id_theft.html 38. ChexSystems and the War of Banking Rights (ConsumerAffairs.Com, 17 Mar 2005) Information-seller ChoicePoint's embarrassing hijack by identity thieves and Bank of America's loss of thousands of data tapes containing customers' private information, have shocked Americans into taking a closer look at the dangers of data mining and wholesale sales of personal data. It's a watershed moment for any frustrated citizen who's tired of faceless, anonymous companies controlling one's personal life. But one of the most infamous and entrenched organizations in the business is still operating generally free of public oversight. Even though its practices have spawned a Web-based subculture of horror stories, tell-all websites, and vocal opponents, the average American still doesn't know anything about it, or how severely it can affect your life. This is the mysterious "banking clearinghouse" known as ChexSystems. To be placed in ChexSystems' records can deprive you of any opportunity to open a checking account, write checks, use an ATM card -- all the basics of personal finance we take for granted. Anyone on ChexSystems' list becomes an "unperson" -- locked out of the opportunities for financial well-being we all strive for. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/chex01.html 39. MA: College computer hacked; 120,000 at risk (AP, 17 Mar 2005) Boston College officials have warned 120,000 alumni that their personal information may have been stolen when an intruder hacked into a school computer containing the addresses and Social Security numbers of BC graduates. BC spokesman Jack Dunn told The Boston Globe on Thursday that officials don't believe the hacker accessed the personal information, but instead planted a program that could be used to launch attacks on other machines. Still, amid rising concerns about identity theft, the school sent letters to its alumni. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7221456/ 40. Identity Theft protection company receives second grant from Maine Technology Institute (Maine Today, 17 Mar 2005) Portland, Maine – Identity Cops Inc. received a second grant from the Maine Technology Institute this week, demonstrating its viability and the importance of its new technology. Identity Cops first applied for and received grant funding just three months ago in March, and now is awarded an additional round of funding in February. Identity Cops is a cutting-edge company tackling a very serious and growing problem, identity theft. The unique patent pending PrivacyProBot™ technology searches hundreds of electronic databases you cannot get to alone. It finds information that may invade your privacy and lead to identity theft - information you did not know was out there! CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://business.mainetoday.com/newsdirect/release.html?id=1604 41. Internet phones a hacking risk? - Low-cost services may attract identity thieves looking to turn stolen credit cards into cash (Reuters, 18 Mar 2005) WASHINGTON - Internet phone services have drawn millions of users looking for rock- bottom rates. Now they're also attracting identity thieves looking to turn stolen credit cards into cash. Some Internet phone services allow scam artists to make it appear that they are calling from another phone number -- a useful trick that enables them to drain credit accounts and pose as banks or other trusted authorities, online fraud experts say. "It's like you've handed people an entire phone network," said Lance James, who as chief technology officer of Secure Science Corp. sees such scams on a daily basis. The emerging scams underline the lower level of security protecting Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP, the Internet-calling standard that has upended the telecommunications industry over the past several years. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?F280127BA 42. Cybersecurity spending estimated to grow to $7.1 billion by 2009 (GovExec.com, Daniel Pulliam, 18 Mar 2005) An information technology consulting firm predicted this week that the federal government will spend $7.1 billion on cybersecurity in fiscal 2009, an increase of 27 percent over the $1.9 billion for fiscal 2005. The report estimates that increased attention to homeland security will cause the government cybersecurity market to grow 5 percent annually. The forecast from the Reston, Va.-based IT consulting firm INPUT is another in a series of reports that show cybersecurity is a rising concern among agency leaders. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0305/031705p1.htm COUNTERFEIT 43. 36% of Global Counterfeiting is IP Theft: Survey (i-Newswire.com, 15 Mar 2005) Intellectual property theft (brands, trademarks and copyrights) surged to 36% of global counterfeiting during the month of February. More than 95% of all counterfeit items seized by customs, law enforcement and brand enforcement agents related to IP theft, accounting for $55 Million USD. As reported by Gieschen Consultancy, the total value of fake items sold and seized was $76.2 Million from 268 incidents. Calgary, Canada -- Based on the past month of worldwide counterfeit enforcement activity (investigations, raids, seizures, arrests, charges, convictions, sentences, civil litigation, public announcements), as reported through the DOPIP Security Counterfeit Intelligence Report, more than 268 incidents were analyzed from 48 countries. The most profitable counterfeits (based on seizures and losses): 1. Clothing & Accessories, $38 Million, 21 incidents, average age of the counterfeiter 33. 2. Entertainment & Software, $18.1 Million, 50 incidents, average age 32. (CDs, DVDs, software, games) 3. Drugs, $12.9 Million, 8 incidents, average age 29. (medicine) 4. Financial Instruments, $4.3 Million, 96 incidents, average age 29. (currency, checks, money orders, treasury bonds, credit/debit cards) 5. Other Goods, $1.1 Million, 4 incident, average age 38. (golf equipment, pottery, gambling equipment) 6. Cigarettes, $0.9 Million, 3 incidents, average age 33. 7. Industrial Goods & Supplies (average age 25), Electrical Equipment & Supplies, Food & Alcohol, Other Documents (average age 38), Identification (average age 36), Computer Equipment & Supplies, $1 Million, 86 incidents. For more information: http://www.goldsec.com/Security_Research.htm CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://i-newswire.com/pr10478.html 44. Global anti-counterfeit group points finger at Canada (Xinhuanet, 17 Mar 2005) OTTAWA, March 16 - A global anti-counterfeit group has claimed that Canadian market is a home to fake designer clothes, counterfeit software and countless other fraudulent goods,it is reported here Wednesday. In a report to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) estimates that "20 percent of the Canadian market is now pirate product," and accuses Canada of doing little to stop the illegal industry. The USTR already put Canada on its Special 301 Watch List in 2003, a list identifying countries deemed by the United States as failing to provide adequate protection or enforcement of intellectual property rights. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-03/17/content_2707692.htm 45. Scam artists using internet to find victims - Post offices on alert for counterfeit money orders (Outer Banks Sentinel, 20 Mar 2005) The United States Postal Service is warning U.S. residents about foreign-based scam artists attempting to cash counterfeit postal money orders. "We've been informed about people who have purchased items on online auctions who sent the seller of an item too many money orders," said Manteo Postmaster Gene Garrison. "The scam artist would then ask the seller to wire them the difference and would immediately get the cash before the seller attempted to cash the money order. These situations usually occurred with high- priced items such as a vehicle." The fraud scheme has been making the rounds through Internet chat rooms and auction sites, in e-mail messages and over the telephone and has been costing victims time, money and issues with bank and law officials. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://obsentinel.womacknewspapers.com/articles/2005/03/19/top_stories/tops2873.txt 46. AL: Feds Arrest 22 In Counterfeit Crackdown (NBC13.com, 15 Mar 2005) BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Twenty-two people -- all but one in their 30s or younger -- have been indicted on federal counterfeiting charges in a string of cases authorities said showed a trend toward more youthful money makers than in the past. U.S. Attorney Alice Martin said Tuesday that individuals are producing real-looking bills that involved the use of printing presses. Officials said the 22 defendants manufactured more than $20,000 worth of money throughout north Alabama on computers, scanners and ink-jet printers. A 49-year-old Birmingham woman accused of possessing counterfeit bills while trying to sell methamphetamine is the oldest person charged. The other 21 people were all 39 or younger, and two were 19. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.nbc13.com/news/4287967/detail.html 47. IN: Counterfeit bills being passed in area (The Madison Courier, 20 Mar 2005) Counterfeit $10 and $20 bills are being circulated in southern Indiana, according to the Indiana State Police. In the past few weeks, bills have been passed at convenient marts, grocery stores and restaurants. Police advise cashiers to be on the alert for the phony bills. Patrons who receive change also should double-check the bills they receive from cashiers. Because of the high volume of customers at these types of businesses, counterfeiters know they can take advantage of the cashiers being busy, police said. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?L290127BA 48. PA: Local Kmart Reports Counterfeit Money Being Wired To Colombia (The WGAL Channel, 18 Mar 2005) Some counterfeit money that police say is hard to distinguish from genuine bills recently turned up in the Susquehanna Valley. The Kmart on Jonestown Road called Lower Paxton Township police on March 9 to report that someone had wired nine $100 bills to Colombia. It turns out all the money used for the wire transfer was fake. The counterfeit money used was hard to detect because it passes all the visible security measures, including a popular pen test. Investigators said they believe the paper is made in Colombia. They believe people are turning paper into genuine dollars by using the counterfeit money to wire dollars back to Colombia. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.thewgalchannel.com/money/4298402/detail.html 49. SC: Number Of Counterfeit Bills Reported Here Called Unusual (The Greeneville Sun, 19 Mar 2005) Since the first of the year, a number of counterfeit bills have been reported in this community. Detective Capt. Terry Webb, of the Greeneville Police Department, said on Thursday that since Jan. 1, his agency has received 36 reports of counterfeit currency being passed at local businesses. At the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, Detective Captain John Huffine said it has received “less than half” of the reports coming to Greeneville police on counterfeit bills since Jan. 1. The GPD’s Webb said passing of bogus bills here apparently reached its high point in February, although reports of counterfeit currency are continuing to “trickle in” this month. Webb said most of the bogus bills passed in Greeneville have been in $100 and $20 denominations, although some counterfeit $10 notes and one bogus $1 bill have been found here. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?D3A0237BA TECHNOLOGY 50. GAO pushes for bomb detector study (FCW, Aliva Sternstein, 16 Mar 2005) Transportation officials can do a better job of showing how much money can be saved with newer bomb detection systems, Congressional auditors said this week. The Government Accountability Office recommends that the Homeland Security Department direct the Transportation Security Administration to do a cost-benefit analysis for installing in-line conveyor-belt explosive detection systems (EDS). GAO also called for analyzing the feasibility of replacing explosive trace detection (EDT) machines with stand-alone EDS machines at other airports. In a report released March 15, GAO auditors wrote that TSA has made “substantial progress” in installing EDS and ETD systems in the nation’s 450 commercial airports, as mandated by Congress, but many ETD and minivan-sized EDS machines reside in lobbies, separate from airport baggage conveyor systems. This ad-hoc solution results in more screeners, a slower throughput rate per hour and more job injuries than conveyor systems, as workers must physically lug each bag to and from the stand-alone detectors, auditors found. GAO's study did not evaluate airport security. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.fcw.com/article88319 51. DHS to use MetaCarta (FCW, Dibya Sarkar, 14 Mar 2005) Homeland Security Department officials will use an application that mines data for geographic references that can be depicted on a map. Officials at the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate recently signed a one-year license to use a geographic information system application developed by MetaCarta, which is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. Randy Ridley, the company’s vice president and general manager for federal systems, said several software applications provide similar functions but none can bridge the gap between so-called unstructured content and digital mapping. About 90 percent of data within an organization is unstructured, such as e-mail messages, reports, interviews and other documents. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.fcw.com/article88302 52. TSA awards explosive contracts (FCW, Aliya Sternstein, 14 Mar 2005) The Transportation Security Administration chose General Electric InVision and L-3 Communications to maintain bomb detectors in airports. TSA on March 14 announced two separate contracts for General Electric InVision and L-3 Communications to maintain explosive detection systems in the largest U.S. airports. GE’s indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity in contract is worth up to $36 million, while L-3’s IDIQ contract has a maximum value of $28 million. Both are four and a half years long. Earlier this month, Siemens won a four and a half year, $46.9 million deal to maintain explosive trace detection machines, X-ray machines and metal detectors at all commercial airports. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.fcw.com/article88303 53. Web satisfaction dips (FCW, David Perera, 14 Mar 2005) The latest quarterly poll of public satisfaction with government Web sites shows a slight but statistically significant drop compared to December. The release of the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index finds that overall public satisfaction with federal Web sites was 71.9 out of a possible score of 100. That’s less than the satisfaction rating of 72.1 the index found users to have in late 2004. In addition to the decrease in overall satisfaction number, the proportion of Web sites with declining satisfaction scores, 35 percent of the total, was greater than the number with increased scores, 31 percent of the measured total. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.fcw.com/article88294 54. Fla. county secures wireless (FCW, Dibya Sarkar, 16 Mar 2005) Cautious about the security of its wireless network, a Florida county government has installed devices in its buildings to detect and prevent wireless intrusion. By using such devices to secure about 3 million square feet of airspace across 15 of Sarasota County’s 200 buildings, it is easier for information technology personnel to spot any unauthorized vulnerabilities or attacks on the wireless infrastructure. “This type of government is very risk-averse,” Bob Hanson, Sarasota County’s chief information officer, said. “We minimize the risk that occurs through these devices.” CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://www.fcw.com/article88313 55. TX: Defense shield built in Texas (My San Antonio, 20 Mar 2005) In secluded shipyards near Corpus Christi and Brownsville, government contractors quietly are finishing work on a mammoth piece of space-age weaponry. The floating radar platform, the only one of its kind in the country, will stand 25 stories and weigh 4 million pounds. It will track incoming warheads so that remote rockets might destroy them. If that sounds familiar, it should. The project is reminiscent in some ways of the Star Wars missile-defense system President Reagan proposed in 1983. Reagan's proposal, which would have placed satellites in space capable of shooting down nuclear missiles with laser beams, largely was criticized both at home and abroad for its potential to derail arms-control negotiations with the Soviet Union. Critics contended it would lead to a buildup of weapons in space. While President Bush's missile shield won't rely on space lasers and particle beams, it will use the latest in radar and rocket technology. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?P29F216BA 56. TX: D/FW bags to zip by with new system - $139 million system to check for explosives to save time, money (The Dallas Morning News, 18 Mar 2005) The underground system to screen checked bags for explosives at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is expected to save the government about $250 million over the next seven years, according to a federal report released this week. D/FW is putting the final touches on the $139 million explosive-detection system that will replace the minivan- sized machines that have crowded terminal lobbies since 2002. Parts of the system will begin operating in mid-April. The new conveyor system will save money because it will require fewer security employees, the report says. The new machines can screen bags more than twice as fast as the current ones, which require employees to feed in bags by hand. In addition, the system would cut in half the number of bags that must be opened for additional screening because new machines will give screeners a clearer look inside bags to prevent false alarms, the report by the Government Accountability Office said. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?S5B0317BA RESOURCES 57. New Information System Aids Emergency Responders - Personal digital assistant software can help identify hazardous materials (Dept. of State, 17 Mar 2005) The National Library of Medicine (NLM), part of the National Institutes of Health, has released software for personal digital assistants (PDAs) that is designed to help first responders when they arrive at a hazardous-materials incident, such as a chemical spill. The Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) gives emergency responders information on hazardous materials (hazmat), including physical characteristics, human health data, and containment and suppression information, according to a March 11 NLM press release. "First responders in general, and Hazmat units in particular, must make decisions quickly in handling hazardous-materials incidents," said Jack Snyder, NLM Associate Director for Specialized Information Services. "They need accurate information about hazardous substances, emergency resources available and surrounding environmental conditions to save lives and minimize environmental impacts. WISER provides this lifesaving service." Operational versions of WISER for Palm OS and Pocket PC are available without charge at http://wiser.nlm.nih.gov/. A desktop version will be available this spring and a Web- based version is being developed. WISER is customized for easy navigation and quick access to key information required by first responders. A useful feature of WISER is support for identifying an unknown substance. NLM is collaborating with regional and local emergency response organizations and using their feedback as input for future enhancements to the software. 58. Decontamination Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction (Firehouse Magazine, 20 Mar 2005) Incidents involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD) require special consideration involving decontamination. Many responders believe that the standard wet decontamination as taught during our hazardous materials response classes is sufficient, but this is not necessarily the case. Moreover, many believe that a gross decontamination will suffice in an incident involving mass casualties and WMD, but in some cases this does not hold true itself. Strategic guidelines must be in place for all departments that specifically state which forms of decontamination should be used for certain incidents. The determining factor is the type of agent involved. This article will provide information to formulate a guide in dealing with some of the potential agents. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://cms.firehouse.com/content/magazine/article.jsp?id=1829 OPPORTUNITIES 59. Terrorism and security college classes spreading (AP, 17 Mar 2005) DAYTON - The students' hands are up in the air as the classroom discussion at the University of Dayton heats up over whether it's moral or wise to assassinate terrorist leaders. Geoff Pipoly, a senior from Sylvania, Ohio, said assassination should not be ruled out given the terrorist threat to the United States after the 9/11 attacks. "I think we need a full bag of tools," he said. Pipoly is among 15 students in the class called Human Rights in the War on Terrorism, which the university started this winter as its second class on terrorism. Colleges across the country are adding terrorism and homeland security courses because of student curiosity about the topics and interest in careers in homeland security. CABLE Gram Suggested URL: http://makeashorterlink.com/?P2C0127BA FULL REPORTS 60. U.S., Mexican Officials Open Remodeled Tecate Port of Entry - Updated facility will provide better border security (Dept. of State, 14 Mar 2005) An updated Tecate port of entry in eastern San Diego County was officially opened March 11 by U.S. and Mexican officials, according to the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (BCP) agency. The remodeled port of entry, located along the U.S.-Mexico border, features high- technology tools such as License Plate Readers, Radiation Portal Monitors and Gamma Ray inspections systems that will enhance border security by facilitating legitimate commerce and travel "while denying entry to dangerous people and contraband," BCP said in a March 11 press release. BCP is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The border-station improvements are part of a three-year, $18.8-million construction projection to modernize the Tecate facility and to provide "safer, more efficient processing of cross-border passenger, pedestrian and cargo traffic," BCP explained. Following is the text of the BCP press release, with further details: (begin text) U.S. CUSTOMS & BORDER PROTECTION U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, March 11, 2005 U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Mexican Officials Officially Open Remodeled Tecate Port Of Entry SAN DIEGO -- Officials representing U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. General Services Administration and local government on both sides of the border on Friday, March 11, officially opened a new, larger and more modern Tecate port of entry in eastern San Diego County. In addition to new facilities with five times as much space as before, the remodeled border station benefits from new high technology tools such as License Plate Readers, Radiation Portal Monitors and Gamma Ray inspections systems that will provide better border security. The official opening ceremony was a community event as children from a Mexican school sang the Mexican national anthem and a Border Patrol agent sang the U.S. anthem. A group of Kumeyaay Indians chanted a birdsong to bless the dedication ceremony and local officials from San Diego and Tecate, Mexico, discussed the importance of the new facilities. The improvements are the result of a continuing three-year, $18.8-million construction project to modernize an aging facility built in 1933 to provide safer, more efficient processing of cross-border passenger, pedestrian and cargo traffic. "The traveling public, trade community and indeed the nation will benefit from a more modern, spacious, secure and technologically sophisticated Tecate port of entry," said Jayson Ahern, CBP assistant commissioner of field operations in Washington, who officiated at the ceremony on Friday. "Our officers now possess the enforcement tools they need to facilitate legal traffic while denying entry to dangerous people and contraband." The newly rebuilt port began processing laden cargo trucks entering the U.S. immediately following the ceremony on Friday morning. Passenger vehicles, pedestrians and empty commercial truck traffic began using the new facility last month. The two-phase project to modernize a small three-lane facility built in 1933 will provide for safer, more thorough and more efficient processing of the over 1 million vehicles and 2.7 million people who annually cross the border at Tecate, officials said. "This spacious new facility will provide better service to the public as the region continues to grow," said Adele Fasano, director of field operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in San Diego. "We've finished the first crucial phase of a comprehensive rebuilding project that, when complete, will offer a modern, safe environment that incorporates various new technologies to facilitate legitimate traffic and improve border security." The former port building, which will be renovated next, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Seventy years ago, it replaced Customs facilities in the adjacent general store dating to the 1880s, the old adobe ruins of which are still visible to the east of the facility. The first phase has created a new port facility that will be used to process truck, passenger-vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The subsequent phase calls for renovation and upgrading of the old structure by the summer of 2005 to house additional offices, training and conference areas, and detention space, officials said. The new facilities, when complete, will total 20,000 square feet, an increase of over 16,000 square feet over the old facility. "The project improves the safety of our officers and the public by separating the various modes of transportation such as passenger cars, trucks and pedestrians, which up until now have had to share the existing small facility," said CBP Port Director Paul Henning. "Historically, we have had room to examine only three cars at the same time in our secondary inspection area. The new facility has three secondary inspection spaces added, giving us a total of six." Additionally, a variety of high-technology tools are being installed to improve border security. They include Radiation Portal Monitors to passively detect any radiological sources entering the port; License Plate Readers to record the entry of vehicles; and a Gamma Ray scanner to non-intrusively inspect the inner areas of cars and trucks for narcotics or other contraband. Architecturally, the new administration building matches the historic structure and includes adequate office space for employees, a pedestrian inspection area and a processing center for violators. Additionally, the new structure allows for safer secondary inspection of passenger cars, and a new cargo building will facilitate intensive examinations of cargo trucks, Henning said. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the protection of the nation's borders. CBP unified Customs, Immigration and Agricultural inspectors and the Border Patrol into one border agency for the United States. (end text) (Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov) 61. Anti-Corruption Group Targets Construction, Procurement - $300 billion lost annually to bribery in contracting, report says (by Berta Gomez, Washington File Staff Writer, 16 Mar 2005) Washington - Rampant corruption in the construction sector costs at least $300 billion a year and undermines sustainable development worldwide, says Transparency International (TI), the leading international anti-corruption organization. TI's "Global Corruption Report 2005," released March 16, focuses on construction and post-conflict reconstruction, and includes sections on Iraq, Afghanistan and the countries devastated by the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. TI chose to concentrate on the construction sector because of the size, complexity and potentially huge cost of large construction projects -- and because problems in the sector affect both developed and developing countries, the report said. The organization found that the construction sector is especially vulnerable to corruption, the report said. Not only is there fierce competition for major contracts, but the need for multiple approvals and permits leaves the process open to abuse. The unique nature of some large projects makes price comparisons difficult, and contractors are often able to conceal poor-quality work under concrete or cladding, TI said. Between $3 trillion and $4 trillion are spent on construction procurement annually and TI estimates that about 10 percent of the total is wasted through bribery and corruption, TI head of research Robin Hodess said at a March 16 panel discussion in Washington on the launch of the report. "The stakes are just very high," she said. And although TI surveys of business executives worldwide show that construction- related corruption is a problem in both rich and poor countries, the poorest are affected most dramatically because crucial infrastructure projects are never completed, or are built with shoddy equipment and under poor management, Hodess said. In most cases, she said, "earthquakes do not kill people; collapsing buildings kill people." TI advisory panel member Peter Vogel said that the organization's estimate that 10 percent of construction spending is lost to corruption is "very misleading." That figure is a global average and reflects both extreme corruption in some countries and minimal waste in countries such as Finland, he said. In some countries, the percentage of construction funds lost to corruption "may be huge" and procurement practices a form of "daylight robbery," Vogel said. Widespread corruption in public procurement is one of the reasons there is so little electricity in much of Africa despite the billions of dollars that have been spent on electrification projects over the years, he said. In the chapter on Iraq, the TI report calls for the adoption of more aggressive anti- corruption measures as the country rebuilds. "Corruption thrives in a context of confusion and change," the report says. Iraq is especially vulnerable due to its recent history of conflict, tyranny and mismanagement as well as the sizable reconstruction funds that have been pledged by the international community. TI urges the new Iraqi government, coalition forces and international donors to place more emphasis on decentralizing governance and aid projects and to support Iraq's local media as an independent watchdog. The report also identifies management of Iraq's oil revenue as a priority. "Funds poured into rebuilding countries such as Iraq must be safeguarded against corruption. Transparency must also be the watchword as donors pledge massive sums for reconstruction in the countries affected by the Asian tsunami," TI Chairman Peter Eigen said in a news release accompanying the report. To coincide with the publication of the "Global Corruption Report, 2005," Transparency International also launched an international initiative designed to prevent corruption in construction projects. The full text of the TI report is available on the Internet. (The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov) 62. DoD Official Outlines Homeland Defense Progress (By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA American Forces Press Service, 16 Mar 2005) WASHINGTON – Citing the final report of the 9/11 Commission, DoD’s top homeland defense official cautioned a House subcommittee March 15 that “America can be attacked in many ways and has many vulnerabilities. No defenses are perfect.” But Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul McHale also told the lawmakers that the Defense Department has made the defense of the country the main requirement of the global war on terrorism, and outlined how it plans to protect the American people. “There is no ‘home game.’ There is no ‘away game.’ We are engaged in a global conflict. And in that global conflict, the defense of the U.S. homeland is the pre-eminent duty,” McHale told the House Terrorism, Unconventional Threat and Capabilities Subcommittee. “Therefore, homeland defense must be seen as an integral part of a global, active, layered defense – a defense in depth – that has as its single goal to secure the United States and its citizens from attack,” he said. McHale noted the main elements of DoD’s strategy in the terror war include protecting the homeland, disrupting and attacking terrorist networks and countering ideological support for terrorism, “the ideological fight we see as the key to victory.” In detailing his department’s layered defense for the country, the assistant secretary outlined specific strategic defenses DoD now has in place. He said the department is working with other agencies, in particular the Department of Homeland Security, to help make the country safer. The department’s plan includes strategies for air, land and sea, he said. McHale pointed out that the North American Aerospace Defense Command has been patrolling and monitoring the skies over the United States and Canada daily. He also noted that since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 39,500 fighter, aerial refueling, and airborne early-warning sorties have been flown in defense of the United States. Also, more than 1,900 fighter air patrols have responded to unknown aircraft and other suspicious flight operations. Maritime defenses have included Navy and Coast Guard ship patrols of U.S. sea approaches and international waters and territorial seas, McHale said. “Additionally, in multiple theaters in the global war on terror, the Navy is conducting maritime interception operations to deter, delay and disrupt the movement of terrorists and terrorist-related materials at sea before they can reach our shores,” he said. “Over the course of the last year, the Navy monitored, queried and boarded more than 2,200 merchant vessels.” On land, he said, the Defense Department is working with civil agencies such as the Department of Justice, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies at federal, state and local levels “to identify, track, and capture terrorists who may have penetrated our nation’s borders.” However, he noted, “in these activities, DoD’s role is to provide support to civil authorities, when appropriate and as permitted by law.” DoD’s plan to assist civilian law enforcement agencies goes even further, McHale said, as the department stands ready to provide “direct defense” to assist civil authorities in the event of an emergency. Those defenses include quick- and rapid-reaction forces made up of Army and Marine units ready to respond to a wide range of potential threats to the country. Also, he said, several joint task forces have been created to provide consequence management and civil support to state and local authorities in the case of a crisis or threat, such as weapons of mass destruction attack. Joint Task Force Civil Support, with headquarters at Fort Monroe, Va.; Joint Task Force Consequence Management East, with headquarters at Fort Gillem, Ga.; and Joint Task Force Consequence Management West, with headquarters at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, were among many such task forces he mentioned. McHale emphasized the close working relationship DoD has with the Homeland Security Department. In 2003, he said, DoD and DHS signed a memorandum of agreement that authorized detailing some 64 DoD personnel to DHS to fill critical specialties, principally in the areas of communications and intelligence. DoD continues to maintain a “24/7 presence” in DHS’ Homeland Security Operations Center, McHale said, providing planning teams when needed for the DHS Interagency Incident Management Group – a group of senior federal department and agency officials focused on incident response. There is also a DoD advisory and liaison office -- the Homeland Defense Coordination Office -- within DHS headquarters, he noted. McHale said DoD also has an important role in DHS plans to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure. In this capacity, he said, “DoD must work closely with private-sector owners of critical defense infrastructure to deter, mitigate or neutralize terrorist attacks in order to sustain military operations.” Protecting that infrastructure, “is essential to ensuring the mission readiness of our military forces to protect the United States and to project power globally,” he emphasized. Another way DoD is improving homeland defense is by working with the intelligence community in helping to “maintain maximum awareness of threats to the United States,” McHale said. He also expressed confidence that the global war on terrorism would be won. “The citizens of this nation, its institutions and our brave men and women in uniform have repeatedly demonstrated the patriotism, toughness, innovation, determination and resiliency to defeat our enemies while retaining our freedoms,” he said. “There is no doubt in my mind that those capabilities will be tested against this newest enemy threat – nor is there any doubt of our inevitable triumph.” ABOUT CABLE GRAM SOURCES The CABLE Gram is intended to be non-biased in its news coverage and we strive to use sources that we consider reliable. For any story that might be considered controversial or “unbelievable”, we always ensure that more than one reputable news service has included that story in its’ public offering. It is important for you, the reader, to remember that press services around the world may interpret news differently than do press services in the United States. It is equally important to remember that the readers of foreign press services believe those news stories as readily as we believe stories from US sources. As defense and security professionals, you know the value of understanding the beliefs of people we are trying to either protect or protect our citizens from – it’s vital. We do not endorse any particular publications or coverage, but we certainly feel you need to know what’s being written.
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