Be afraid, be very afraid. Terrorists everywhere!
Surrender what is left from your civil rights and you will be fine, … maybe.
Problem – reaction – solution.
– Texas and U.S. facing growing threat of domestic IEDs (Houston Chronicle, July 30, 2012):
Improvised explosive devices have claimed the lives and limbs of thousands of American soldiers across Iraq and Afghanistan.
And now officials say the devilish devices are posing a growing threat across Texas and the United States.
The accused shooter in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater massacre, James Holmes, allegedly deployed IEDs in his apartment, prompting federal law enforcement agencies to look into possible links to domestic or foreign-based terrorism.
The incident follows disrupted IED attacks in 2010 — a car bomb disarmed in New York City’s Times Square and explosives detected in ink cartridges aboard two U.S.-bound commercial cargo planes.
And with Mexican drug cartels using car bombs in cities bordering Texas, officials along the southwest border are increasingly concerned about ready-to-go devices being smuggled into the United States.
“The domestic IED threat from both homegrown terrorists and global threat networks is real and presents a significant security challenge for the United States and our international partners,” Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, director of the Pentagon’s so-called Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, warned Congress in classified testimony in mid-July.
Terrorists remain committed to deploying IEDs “in traditional as well as new and creative ways” because the devices remain “a cheap and easily accessible means to achieve high visibility effect,” Barbero says.
The growing concern is prompting urgent cooperation between U.S. military experts who are familiar with the devices and civilian law enforcement officers who are not.
But legal restrictions on the activities of U.S. armed forces are slowing crucial collaboration, insiders complain. Federal laws dating back to the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 limit the use of U.S. armed forces in domestic law enforcement and training — impediments some members of Congress are pressing to change.
The Pentagon’s specialized $1.9 billion-a-year IED organization has “saved many servicemen’s lives by teaching lessons learned in blood on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan,” report Reps. Peter King, R-N.Y., Daniel Lungren, R-Calif., and Michael McCaul, R-Austin, leaders of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
“Their hard-won knowledge should now be shared with American lawmen facing these same deadly threats at home,” the lawmakers add.
“To me it’s crazy that the guy who is the expert on IEDs overseas can’t coordinate with the Texas Rangers,” emphasizes McCaul, a former counterterrorism official with the Justice Department. “The military is unable to coordinate with state and local law enforcement, leaving a gaping hole in our security.”
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw told the Houston Chronicle he’s “concerned” about the widening threat.
“It is essential that all state troopers be skilled in the detection and interdiction of (devices), precursor chemicals and component parts,” McCraw told the Houston Chronicle by email.
Texas Rangers and DPS criminal investigation agents have training “to detect IEDs and their components in the course of their investigations, whether the targets are Mexican cartels or serial murderers,” McCraw added.
DPS also has been working with the FBI to establish an explosive ordnance disposal team “to increase the state’s ability to address IEDs throughout the state,” as well as obtaining Department of Homeland Security training in IED recognition and post-blast investigation.
DPS tactical response teams also have attended programs at Fort Hood where the U.S. Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit teaches disposal techniques, once explosives are discovered.
Yet the Pentagon’s premiere organization combating IEDs overseas still cannot directly train civilian law enforcement officers even though its experts have become the worldwide experts on IEDs in the face of 127,683 IED attacks in Iraq and 60,832 IED attacks in Afghanistan over the last nine years.
The weapons claimed the lives of 3,058 of the 6,535 killed in action by mid-July — or 47 percent of GI fatalities.
“Deeper cooperation is absolutely essential,” insists McCaul, a former deputy state attorney general and a lawmaker working to eliminate bureaucratic obstacles. “I think military and government lawyers are being a too cautious. We want to fix that.”