Department of Homeland Security

Chicago Shootings Reach 1,000 For Year, Faster Than ‘Violent’ 2012

Shootings in Chicago have been making national headlines for some time now.

2012 was particularly bloody in Chicago, when homicides totaled just north of 500 at year-end (87 percent of them firearm-related).

By the beginning of February 2013, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr., and the Chicago-based Rainbow PUSH Coalition were calling for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to patrol the streets of the city.

Now there’s this from the Chicago Tribune website on June 9. Quinn Ford reported:

The number of people shot in the city this year passed 1,000.

Chicago has hit the somber milestone even sooner than the violent year of 2012, when the city saw 500 homicides for the first time since 2008. Shootings that year were up 11 percent. The city reached the 1,000 mark on June 9 in 2012. In 2013 it was on June 26 and last year it was on June 15.

This year, Chicago passed the mark sometime late Thursday into early Friday morning, according to data collected and analyzed by the Chicago Tribune…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

According to on February 15, 2013, Chicago suffered 2,460 shootings in 2012- or one every 3.57 hours that year.

Seeing that the city just surpassed 1,000 shootings faster than even three years ago, 2015 has a good chance of ending up being bloodier than 2012.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (


Ford, Quinn. “Chicago shootings pass 1,000 mark: ‘I just need to see it’s my child,’ grieving mom cries.” Chicago Tribune. 9 June 2015. ( 11 June 2015.

Gwyn-Williams Jr., Gregory. “Chicago Suffered One Shooting Every 3.6 Hours In 2012.” 15 Feb. 2013. ( 11 June 2015.

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Sunday, June 14th, 2015 Crime, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

Britain’s MI5 Chief, Former CIA Deputy Director Issue Terrorism Warnings

There’s no doubt in my mind that terrorism will soon be coming to our doorstep again.

Conducted both “lone wolf” style and via organizational activity.

And two high-profile members of the U.S. and U.K. intelligence communities are suggesting the same. From the Agence France-Presse (AFP) website yesterday:

The head of Britain’s domestic spy agency MI5 warned on Thursday that militant Islamists in Syria were planning “mass casualty attacks” in the West and that intelligence services may be powerless to stop them.

“We know… that a group of core al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria is planning mass casualty attacks against the West,” Andrew Parker told journalists in London a day after an Islamist attack in Paris claimed 12 lives.

“Although we and our partners try our utmost, we know that we cannot hope to stop everything,” he added…

“We still face more complex and ambitious plots that follow the now sadly well-established approach of al-Qaeda and its imitators — attempts to cause large-scale loss of life, often by attacking transport systems or iconic targets,” he said.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

There’s also this from former CIA Deputy Director and CBS News Senior Security Contributor Michael Morell back on December 15, 2014. From an exchange between CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell and Morell (speaking about the Australian lone-wolf terrorist event going on that day):

O’DONNELL: Michael, when other countries will look at this incident, perhaps as ISIS succeeding in some way in encouraging lone wolves to carry out these types of attacks. What concerns you the most?

MORELL: What concerns me the most is that we’re going to see this kind of terrorism around the world, and we are going to see it here, Norah. We are going to see this kind of attack here. And we need to be prepared for that. It shouldn’t surprise people when this happens here sometime over the next year or so- guaranteed.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“When this happens here sometime over the next year or so- guaranteed”

Yikes. That’s the first time I’ve ever heard a timeframe being attached to a threat like that.

And a guarantee to boot.

Does Morell know something you and I don’t?

Considering his background- probably.

CBS Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (

(UPDATE: The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security issued a terrorism-related intelligence bulletin Friday to 18,000 U.S. law enforcement agencies in the wake of the Paris terrorist events. However, it did not specify any specific threat to the U.S. homeland connected to the incidents in France.)


“Militants planning mass casualty attacks against West.” Agence France-Presse. 8 Jan. 2015. ( 9 Jan. 2014.

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Disaster Preparedness And Response Funding Has Plummeted Since 2008

Any police, fire, or public health officials reading this who have been on the job since the early 2000s? Remember after 9/11, when the federal government made tons of money available to state and local governments to bolster disaster preparedness and response capabilities? I remember it clearly, as I used to help obtain these funds for the fire department I used to work at.

Since leaving the public safety field, I’ve heard a lot of this funding has dried up. According to a UPI piece I just finished reading, it looks like I heard right. From their website on January 9:

U.S. disaster funding distribution is deeply inefficient, with huge cash infusions disbursed after a disaster, only to fall abruptly later, researchers say.

Dr. Jesse Pines, director of the Office of Clinical Practice Innovation at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences… said the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in New York City and Washington prompted large increases in government disaster preparedness funding to help communities respond and recover after man-made and natural disasters. However, this funding has dropped considerably since 2008

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

How considerable? I pulled up a paper from The Institute of Medicine Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events (January 7 final submission date) which Dr. Pines helped author. From the piece entitled “Value-Based Models for Sustaining Emergency Preparedness Capacity and Capability in the United States”:

The Department of Homeland Security administered 5 key grant programs to state and local governments during the period 2002-2007. These programs were to include the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP), the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP), the Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS), and the Citizen Corps Program (CCP). The total appropriation for these five programs increased from $315.7 million in federal year (FY) 2002 to $1.66 billion in FY 2007…

In addition to the five key DHS-funded programs, HHS administered the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program and the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP). From FY 2006 to FY 2007, these programs received more than $2.1 billion in grants to all 50 states in addition to U.S. territories and 4 metropolitan cities (New York, New York; Washington, DC; Los Angeles, California; and Chicago, Illinois)…

From FY 2008 to FY 2013, appropriations have been falling for emergency preparedness. For example, in FY 2010, Congress appropriated $3.05 billion to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for preparedness grants to “strengthen out nations’ ability to prevent, protect, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters and emergencies.” In FY 2012, this appropriation was reduced to $1.35 billion- a 56 percent cut. During the same period, FEMA pre-disaster mitigations grants declined from $100 million to $35.5 million- a 65 percent cut. SHSP funding was reduced from $2.06 billion in FY 2003 to $354.64 million in FY 2013- an 82 percent cut. UASI was less affected but nevertheless was reduced from $596.35 million in FY 2003 to $558.74 million in FY 2013. Funding for seven key initiatives in DHS totaled $3.08 billion in FY 2003. By FY 2013, DHS funding was focused on only three categories of funding totaling $968.38 million- a total percentage cut of almost 70 percent…

The decline in [PHEP] funding from 2008 to 2013 has been slightly more than 17 percent, with a total of 31 percent since FY 2004…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Disasters don’t wait until there’s money in the till again, so it’s incredibly disappointing to hear of these cutbacks. As was pointed out earlier in the paper:

Since the September 2011, 2001, attacks, there have been periodic but unremitting public health emergencies across the United States. Weather events such a Hurricane Sandy, H1N1, the Boston marathon attack, and outbreaks of foodborne illness from Salmonella and E. coli serve as examples of major local and national public health emergencies demonstrating that no community is immune…

And what if a major terrorist attack occurs? Fine time for funding to be cut with that prospect looming. Consider what a distinguished Harvard professor whose work I first became familiar with back in graduate school said at a forum in April 2007. From Graham T. Allison, director of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and author of Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe:

This debate asks how likely is it that terrorists will explode a nuclear bomb and devastate a great American metropolis. In the judgment of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, the likelihood of a single nuclear bomb exploding in a single city is greater today than at the height of the Cold War. Nuclear Terrorism states my own judgment that, on the current trend line, the chances of a nuclear terrorist attack in the next decade are greater than 50 percent. Former Secretary of Defense William Perry has expressed his own view that Nuclear Terrorism underestimates the risk.

From the technical side, Richard Garwin, a designer of the hydrogen bomb who Enrico Fermi once called, “the only true genius I had ever met,” told Congress in March that he estimated a “20 percent per year probability with American cities and European cities included” of “a nuclear explosion—not just a contamination, dirty bomb—a nuclear explosion.” My Harvard colleague Matthew Bunn has created a probability model in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science that estimates the probability of a nuclear terrorist attack over a ten-year period to be 29 percent—identical to the average estimate from a poll of security experts commissioned by Senator Richard Lugar in 2005.

“The chances of a nuclear terrorist attack in the next decade are greater than 50 percent.”

By the way, Nuclear Terrorism was published back in July 2005.

I wonder what Dr. Allison would say America’s odds are now eight-and-a-half years on?

It’s only a matter of time before the next major man-made or natural disaster happens on U.S. soil. While public safety and public health personnel will strive to do all they can to lessen the impact of such events, ongoing cutbacks could have possibly impacted planning and preparedness for the incident and the overall response.

Keeping all this in mind, there’s probably no better time than the present for Americans to step up and take charge of their own emergency preparations.

You can read that paper (.pdf format) over on the Institute of Medicine website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (


“Experts: U.S. disaster funding deeply inefficient.” 9 Jan. 2014. ( 16 Jan. 2014.

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FBI Director: ‘Risk Of That Spectacular Attack In The Homeland Is Significantly Lower’ Than Before 9/11

I heard that FBI Director James B. Comey was on Capitol Hill yesterday speaking before Congress. I was curious to find out what he had to say about potential terrorist threats out there. Timothy M. Phelps reported on the Los Angeles Times website yesterday:

The terrorist threat to Americans is greater overseas than at home and is significantly lower than before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, continuing a years-long trend, U.S. officials told a Senate committee Thursday…

“Because we took the fight to the enemy and got our act together in the last 12 years in very, very important ways, the risk of that spectacular attack in the homeland is significantly lower than it was before 9/11,” Comey told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Randy Beers shared Director Comey’s assessment and was quoted by the Times as saying:

The dispersion of the Al Qaeda brand in North Africa, in Yemen, in Somalia and in other places- and as it is appearing to manifest in Syria now- means that the kinds of activities that will be undertaken are likely to be undertaken overseas, rather than directed against the homeland.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

While what Comey and Beers said makes sense concerning terrorist activities are more likely to be directed at American interests overseas, I can’t help but think this is only for the time being. From what I’ve taken away from Middle East terror experts, it’s just a whole lot easier for the bad guys to stay local and fight Americans in Afghanistan, for example, than attempting to infiltrate the U.S. homeland and pull something big off there. And according to the Associated Press on November 3:

Washington is expected to keep about 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014, provided the security agreement is signed and includes immunity from prosecution by Afghan courts.

So this scenario might continue on for a while.

Still, it must remembered that Al-Qaeda’s stated objective still remains the following (as noted by the Director of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Graham T. Allison, in a Council on Foreign Relations debate back on April 20, 2007):

Al-Qaeda spokesman Suleiman Abu Gheith has stated al-Qaeda’s objective: “to kill 4 million Americans—2 million of them children—and to exile twice as many and wound and cripple hundreds of thousands.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Which, if you think about, really leaves Al-Qaeda no choice but to attack the U.S. ‘homeland” sooner or later in order to achieve such numbers, provided they have the capability of doing so of course.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (


Phelps, Timothy M. “Officials say terrorist threat on U.S. soil is declining.” Los Angeles Times. 14 Nov. 2013. (,0,2603061.story#axzz2kj9HI8Ps). 15 Nov. 2013.

“American, NATO officials offer mixed reports on readiness of Afghan troops ahead of withdrawal.” Associated Press. 3 Nov. 2013. ( 15 Nov. 2013.

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9/11 Anniversary Terrorism Threat

This Wednesday marks the 12th anniversary of 9/11. And according to the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, they do not have any specific information concerning a terrorist attack being planned for the occasion. From the Associated Press right before the weekend:

The government is aware of no credible or specific information that points to any terror plot tied to the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, according to a new confidential threat assessment from the FBI and Homeland Security Department obtained by The Associated Press.

The new assessment, dated Thursday, said that intelligence agencies remain concerned that Al Qaeda and its affiliates are committed to carrying out attacks on Western targets. But it said there was no information pointing to any known plot. The bulletin made no mention of Syria, even as President Barack Obama sought congressional approval to use military force against the Syrian government.

Then again, the September 11, 2001, plot was pretty much under the radar too, figuratively and literally.

Remember, as I blogged back in June 2011, Osama bin Laden’s successor in Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, still has a point to prove concerning doubts over the operational capabilities of the terrorist organization and his leadership abilities.

At the same time, I can’t help but suspect Al-Qaeda might wait to see if the United States attacks Syria, at which point they- along with other terror groups- will attempt to retaliate “in defense of the Muslim faith.”

Stay frosty in the coming days…

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (


“FBI, Homeland Security: No credible or specific intel of threat tied to 9/11 anniversary.” FOX News. 6 Sep. 2013. ( 9 Sep. 2013.

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Repeat Of The 1992 Los Angeles Riots Coming This Summer?

Following up on last night’s post abut urban warfare training exercises in U.S. cities, I noted how one Midwest-based writer recently claimed that an unnamed “high-ranking, military source” in the Department of Homeland Security says the military exercises, conducted jointly with local law enforcement, are being conducted to desensitize urban dwellers in preparation for mass civil unrest in American cities. This is supposedly being done out of fear a currency devaluation, astronomical gas prices, and resistance to more gun “control” which will combine to produce civil strife in America’s urban areas this summer.

Like I wrote yesterday, “take it or leave it” concerning the credibility of this claim. But let’s just suppose for an instant the above is true and these really are the reasons for the exercises.

If that’s the case, then the powers-that-be may have overlooked one more potential flashpoint:

The trial of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin that’s set to begin on June 10.

Yamiche Alcindor reported on the USA TODAY website on February 5:

Trayvon Martin would have turned 18 Tuesday.

Instead, lawyers for George Zimmerman, the man accused of murdering the teen, and prosecutors were back in court, where a judge denied a motion to delay the June 10 trial date and heard arguments about evidence…

In court Tuesday, Judge Debra Nelson denied a motion by Zimmerman lawyer Mark O’Mara to delay the trial date. O’Mara argued that the prosecution has been slow to turn over evidence and that he does not have enough time to prepare his case…

“We’re four months away from trial,” Nelson said. “The court has no reason to continue the case.”

If George Zimmerman is found innocent of the teen’s death, will one or more American urban centers experience rioting not unlike what took place in Los Angeles in 1992 in the wake of the Rodney King trial verdicts?

By itself, I think it’s possible. In conjunction with other miseries, even more so.

And just to remind everyone of just how bad the 1992 Los Angeles riots really were:

• 53 deaths
• 2,000 injured
• 3,600 fires
• 1,100 buildings destroyed
• Up to $1 billion in material losses

And don’t forget the looting…

“1992 LA Riots – Defenseless Store Owner Confront Rioters with Hammer”
YouTube Video

Let justice take its course, but it might be a good idea to keep an eye on that trial and when it’s going to be wrapping up. Especially for the city-dwellers out there.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (


Alcindor, Yamiche. “Judge denies request for delay in Zimmerman trial.” USA TODAY. 5 Feb. 2013. ( 23 Feb. 2013.

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Urban Warfare Training Exercises To Desensitize, Prepare For Mass Civil Unrest In Cities?

The City of Chicago is providing support for a routine military training exercise in and around the Chicagoland area on April 16 -19. This routine training is conducted by military personnel in cities across the country, designed to ensure the military’s ability to operate in urban environments as service members meet mandatory training certification requirements and prepare for upcoming overseas deployments.

The training sites have been carefully selected to minimize the impact on the daily routine of residents.

The training is not open to the public.

-City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), April 16, 2012

Back when I blogged about Chicago hosting an urban warfare training exercise for U.S. military personnel in April 2012, I mentioned other major American cities had experienced something similar: Boston (July 2011) and Los Angeles (January 2012).

Since that time, countless other municipalities have hosted this training.

However, in that April 16 post I pointed out the U.S. military was already busy developing its urban warfare training resources, including the construction of mock cities. I wrote:

Now, I’ve heard the U.S. military has been busy developing its urban warfare training program for some time already. Spencer Ackerman wrote in the blog Danger Room back on January 18, 2011:

American soldiers spent seven years patrolling the urban neighborhoods of Iraq; its troops battled insurgents there block-by-block and house-by-house. Now that the Army is getting out of Iraq, it wants to make sure its urban combat skills don’t wither away. So it today it gave Lockheed Martin a contract worth up to $287 million to build Urban Operations Training Systems — essentially, giant simulation facilities and modules to help soldiers get ready for life in the big, bad city.

Versions of those training systems can be as simple as shipping containers tricked out to resemble multi-story houses and arranged in village formations, so soldiers can practice how to seize a building without causing needless damage. The Army’s got an entire 1000-acre facility in Indiana it uses to train soldiers in urban combat.

As for the Marines? From the CBS Channel 2 (Los Angeles) website on January 25, 2011:

A 1,560-building mock city has risen in the Southern California desert.

The $170 million Marine Corps urban training center at the Twentynine Palms military base, some 130 miles northeast of Los Angeles, is roughly the size of San Diego.

The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center facility uses mock cities and role players to prepare Marines and sailors for urban terrain missions.

If our armed forces already have such resources, what’s with the urban warfare training in American cities then?

I added this about the Chicago training at the time:

I wonder if the exercise isn’t related to counter-terrorism.

Responding to an “American Mumbai” or dirty-bomb attack, perhaps?

However, these days, a Midwest-based writer and decorated Navy veteran is claiming that an unnamed “high-ranking, military source” in the Department of Homeland Security says the military exercises, conducted jointly with local law enforcement, are being conducted to desensitize urban dwellers in preparation for mass civil unrest in American cities. David Bard wrote on “progressive liberal” sociopolitical commentary blog The Allegiant on February 6:

I spoke with a high-ranking, military source in DHS. Preferring to remain unnamed for obvious reasons, he told me, “DHS and DOD are conducting desensitizing exercises all across the U.S.,” he paused, then added, “we’re being prepared for mass civil unrest in major U.S. cities. DOD will be expected to help – when we’re requested.”

I asked if there was a timeline for expecting civil unrest in our cities and why should we expect it to begin with. I was told that there were many reasons, but that the continued devaluation of our currency, the predicted history-setting prices for gasoline this summer and the continued gun control debate are forming a perfect storm of civil discontent. When this storm hits, it will most assuredly produce mass casualties. When does DHS expect this to happen? This summer.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I can’t speak for Mr. Bard’s credibility, so “take it or leave it” as it concerns this explanation for the urban warfare training.

Still, I’ve heard similar talk about the purpose being to prepare for civil strife since I first blogged about those exercises in spring of last year.

You can read Bard’s entire piece here on The Allegiant. Disturbing stuff.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (


Ackerman, Spencer. “Lockheed Gets Big Bucks to Prep Soldiers for Urban War.” Danger Room. 18 Jan. 2011. ( 22 Feb. 2013.

“$170M Mock City Built For Marine Training In Twentynine Palms” CBS Channel 2 (Los Angeles). 25 Jan. 2011. ( 22 Feb. 2013.

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Jesse Jackson Calls For Department Of Homeland Security To Patrol Streets Of Chicago

“State lawmakers, Rep. John Fritchey, 11th, and Rep. LaShawn Ford, 8th, are calling for Governor Quinn to deploy the Illinois National Guard to Chicago’s violent areas… 113 people have died in Chicago so far this year.”

-NBC Chicago website, April 26, 2010

113 murdered in Chicago from January to late April 2010, and some state legislators were calling for the Illinois National Guard to be deployed.

506 “official” homicides in 2012, and it’s the Department of Homeland Security that’s now being requested to patrol the streets of Chicago in an attempt to put a halt to escalating “gun violence.”

On February 1, the Chicago-based Rainbow PUSH Coalition (RPC) announced in a press release:

Chicago, IL (Friday, February 1, 2013) — Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and Rainbow PUSH Coalition call for immediate Federal Intervention and Homeland Security in Chicago as January homicide totals exceeded 45. This morning, in Chicago, a woman’s van was riddled with bullets as she was executed on a major highway. Two days ago, a 15-year-old Dr. Martin Luther King College Prep honor student, who had recently performed as a majorette at the President’s inaugural ceremony, was killed after trying to seek shelter from the rain less than a mile away from the President’s home. Another student was shot but survived. The gunman is still at large. Days before these tragedies, seven people were killed, 6 from gunshots, all in one day; most of their murders have been unsolved. Reverend Jesse Jackson reaffirms that gun control reform is critical and the ban on assault weapons paramount.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Reverend Jackson repeated his call for federal intervention before a march on the South Side this Saturday. Renita Young reported on the Reuters website that same day:

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and relatives of victims of fatal shootings in Chicago urged President Barack Obama on Saturday to come back to his hometown and address the gun violence plaguing the city.

Before a march on the city’s South Side, Jackson, a former Democratic presidential candidate, said America’s third most populous city needed more help than Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police superintendent Garry McCarthy could offer.

“When the president shows up, it shows ultimate national seriousness,” said Jackson, a Chicago resident. He also called for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help patrol the streets of Chicago.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“America’s third most populous city needed more help than Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police superintendent Garry McCarthy could offer.”

Sounds like even the Reverend Jackson recognizes the Chicago Police Department could use some more manpower these days.

“He also called for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help patrol the streets of Chicago.”

When I hear calls for the National Guard, Homeland Security, or some other entity to descend upon the “City By The Lake,” I think of Bruce Willis’ line as General William Devereaux from the 1998 film The Siege:

The Army is a broad sword, not a scalpel. Trust me, senator- you do not want the Army in an American city.

Military, CPD on Chicago streets after July 1966 rioting (no volume)
YouTube Video

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (


“Reverend Jackson And Rainbow/PUSH Call for Federal Intervention in Chicago.” Operation Rainbow PUSH. 1 Feb. 2013. ( 4 Feb. 2013.

Young, Renita D. “Chicago marchers urge Obama to come home to address gun violence.” Reuters. 2 Feb. 2013. ( 4 Feb. 2012.

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U.S. Border Patrol Agents Shoot Mexican Citizen

Sounds like Mexico isn’t too happy with “Los Gringos” these days. From the Associated Press Monday:

A Mexican citizen has been fatally shot by U.S. Border Patrol agents on the border with Texas in an incident that the Mexican government is calling a disproportionate use of force.

The Border Patrol said Saturday that agents had opened fire along the Rio Grande on the Texas-Mexico border after being pelted by rocks and having a gunman point a weapon in their direction from the Mexican side of the river…

“The Mexican government has said once again that the disproportionate use of force for purposes of immigration enforcement is unacceptable under any circumstances,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“After being pelted by rocks and having a gunman point a weapon in their direction from the Mexican side of the river.”

Firearm instructors routinely tell their students never point their guns at anything they don’t intend to destroy/kill.

And last I heard, Border Patrol agents are permitted to use lethal force if they feel their lives are threatened. From the Borderland Beat blog back on September 4, 2010:

She [U.S. Border Patrol spokeswoman Rosalinda Huey] said agents are authorized to fire their weapons any time they feel lives are at risk, even into Mexico.

“As long as our agents feel their life is in danger, they are allowed lethal (force),” she said.

After this incident, I have to wonder if agents aren’t given new “marching orders” along the lines of the following. From Perry Chiaramonte on the FOX News website on June 29:

Border Patrol agents in Arizona are blasting their bosses for telling them, along with all other Department of Homeland Security employees, to run and hide if they encounter an “active shooter.”

It’s one thing to tell civilian employees to cower under a desk if a gunman starts spraying fire in a confined area, say members of Tucson Local 2544/National Border Patrol Council, but to give armed law enforcement professionals the same advice is downright insulting. The instructions from DHS come in the form of pamphlets and a mandatory computer tutorial.

“We are now taught in an ‘Active Shooter’ course that if we encounter a shooter in a public place we are to ‘run away’ and ‘hide’” union leader Brandon Judd wrote on the website of 3,300-member union local. “If we are cornered by such a shooter we are to (only as a last resort) become ‘aggressive’ and ‘throw things’ at him or her. We are then advised to ‘call law enforcement’ and wait for their arrival (presumably, while more innocent victims are slaughtered).”

This reminds me of a scene from the 1986 sci-fi film Aliens:

GORMAN: Apone! Look… we can’t have any firing in there. I, uh… I want you to collect magazines from everybody.
HUDSON: Is he fuckin’ crazy?
FROST: What the hell are we supposed to use man? Harsh language?

Hasta luego.


“Mexico says citizen shot by US Border Patrol agent near Texas.” Associated Press. 9 July 2012. ( 9 July 2012.

Gerardo. “Border Patrol agents exchange gunfire across U.S-Mexico border.” Borderland Beat. 14 Sep. 2010. ( 9 July 2012.

Chiaramonte, Perry. “Border Patrol union blasts Homeland Security instructions to ‘run away’ and ‘hide’ from gunmen.” FOX News. 29 June 2012. ( 9 July 2012.

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Explosives Found At Swedish Nuclear Power Plant

At first I thought the following from the land of ABBA may be an attempted act of nuclear terrorism, but upon reading further, I’m not so sure. Still, the event should probably serve as a wake-up call for the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies tasked with protecting our energy infrastructure. From the Associated Press this morning:

Security was ramped up at Sweden’s three nuclear power plants Thursday after explosives were found on a truck at the southwestern Ringhals atomic power station. Police said they were investigating possible sabotage.

Bomb sniffer dogs detected the explosives during a routine check Wednesday afternoon by security staff while the truck was in the power plant’s industrial area near its high security enclosure. Police declined to describe the amount or type of explosive material found.

Bomb technicians said the material lacked a detonating device, meaning there was no danger of an imminent explosion.

Four nuclear reactors are at Ringhals, 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of Sweden’s second-largest city, Goteborg.

According to, Ringhals’ four reactors produce nearly 20 percent of the Scandinavian country’s electricity.


“Sweden on alert, explosives found near nuke plant.” Associated Press. 21 June 2012. ( 21 June 2012.

“Suspected explosives seized at nuclear plant in Sweden.” MSNBC. 21 June 2012. ( 21 June 2012.

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Thursday, June 21st, 2012 Energy, Europe, Government, Terrorism No Comments
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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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  • Additions To List Of Offshore Private Vaults
    Seems like I’ve been doing quite a few of these “additions” posts lately. Here are new entries to that list of offshore private vaults on my website of the same name: • Belfast Vaults (Belflast, Northern Ireland) • Berkshire Vaults (Berkshire, England) • DNK (Amsterdam, Hilversum, and Rotterdam in The Netherlands) • Griffin-Goodwest Oy (Tampere, […]
  • Related Reading: Austria’s Anonymous Private Vaults
    This morning I was reading an article on The Nestmann Group’s website entitled “Austria: Anonymous Storage and The World’s Safest Bank.” Offshore expert Mark Nestmann informed readers: Not that long ago, Austria had the world’s most stringent financial secrecy laws. Anonymous savings (Sparbuch) and securities (Wertpapier) accounts were widely used. The War on Terror, Money […]
  • Ireland: No Bank Safe Deposit Boxes For New Customers
    Further evidence that in some parts of the world, private, non-bank vaults are increasingly becoming the only game in town. Louise McBride reported on the Irish Independent website last Sunday: The banks have taken a lot of things from us in recent years. Here are ten things you can no longer do at your bank… […]
  • World’s Best Offshore Private Vault Videos For 2015, Honorable Mentions
    Last Wednesday, Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes started naming the “World’s Best Offshore Private Vault Videos” for 2015. Third place in the “short program” category went to Siam Secure (Thailand), runner-up was Sovereign Safe Deposit Centres (England), and the winner for the TV commercial-style marketing videos this year was Custodian Vaults (Australia). Third place in the […]
  • World’s Best Offshore Private Vault Videos For 2015, Part 2
    On Wednesday, Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes started naming the “World’s Best Offshore Private Vault Videos” for 2015. Third place in the “short program” category went to Siam Secure (Thailand), the runner-up was Sovereign Safe Deposit Centres (England), and the winner for TV commercial-style marketing videos this year was Custodian Vaults (Australia). Today, we’re going to […]