Homeland Security Failures Keep U.S. at Risk
Two disturbing reports published this month by different sources help illustrate how the perpetual failures of the nation’s Homeland Security agencies continue to leave the American public extremely vulnerable to serious attacks.
The first comes from the 9/11 Review Commission, a panel charged with evaluating the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) progress in eradicating the intelligence gaps leading up to the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history. Congress created the commission last year to determine if the FBI had adopted the recommendations made by the special task force—also created by Congress—that thoroughly studied the 2001 terror attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans in New York, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania.
Inconceivably, the 9/11 Review Commission found that a decade and a half after Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S., the FBI still has lots of work to do to adequately protect the nation. The agency needs to expand its domestic intelligence capabilities as well as its global reach to properly deal with transitional criminals and lone wolf terrorists, the commission writes in a lengthy report. The FBI must implement reforms to complete its transformation into a threat-based, intelligence-driven organization, according to the report, which was put together by former Attorney General Ed Meese, former 9/11 Commission member Tim Roemer, and Georgetown professor Bruce Hoffman, who studies terrorism.
The panel was critical of the FBI’s joint terrorism task forces’ ability to detect terror plotters before they strike and found that the agency’s computer hacking investigations were lacking. The FBI also needs to enhance its ability to gain intelligence from the public and properly analyze it, the report says, revealing that the agency is behind when it comes to advances in law enforcement capabilities. “This imbalance needs urgently to be addressed to meet growing and increasingly complex national security threats, from adaptive and increasingly tech-savvy terrorists, more brazen computer hackers, and more technically capable, global cyber syndicates,” the commission writes in its report. The director of the FBI, James Comey, said he “overwhelmingly” agreed with the panel’s findings and recommendations. The agency has only had 14 years to get its act together!
As if this weren’t horrifying enough, violent immigrant street gangs have spread all over the U.S. and present a “significant public safety threat,” according government statistics obtained by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). A large number are associated with the most violent Central American gangs like the infamous Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the 18th Street gang. Federal immigration authorities arrested significant numbers of these gang members in California, Texas, Chicago, New York City and the Washington D.C. metropolitan areas, the CIS report says. Large concentrations were also arrested in Atlanta, Charlotte and south Florida.
These violent thugs are roaming U.S. streets, mostly running illicit operations, because DHS—created after 9/11 to keep the nation safe—has failed miserably to protect the border. In fact, the information published in the CIS report come straight from the DHS agency responsible for enforcing immigration laws, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Since 2005 ICE has arrested over 32,200 gang members, leaders and associates, the figures show. Bottom line is that, in addition to large transitional gangs, smaller immigrant gangs that operate locally or regionally are a problem all over the United States, in urban, suburban and rural areas. The government’s negligence—allowing these illegal immigrant criminals in the country to begin with—has allowed the problem to spread like wildfire.
It gets worse; the Obama administration actually offers illegal alien gang members amnesty. The CIS report offers an example, a gangbanger named Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez who was arrested in North Carolina for the murder of four people. That didn’t stop him from getting legalized under the president’s controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a special amnesty for “young people brought to the United States through no fault of their own as children.” Now many of them run gangs that have evolved from small-time street criminals, the CIS report reveals, to flourishing criminal enterprises with an international network of affiliates that employ sophisticated technology and weaponry.