May 17th, 2010
03:55 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama nominates FBI official to head Transportation Security

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Monday he will nominate FBI Deputy Director John Pistole to become the new head of the Transportation Security Administration.

The position has been vacant since Obama became president in January 2009, with an acting head in place. Two previous Obama nominees have withdrawn from consideration due to Republican opposition and controversial issues.

Pistole has been FBI deputy director since October 2004, and previously helped lead the investigation of the Egypt Air Flight 990 crash off Rhode Island in 1999.

"The talent and knowledge John has acquired in more than two decades of service with the FBI will make him a valuable asset to our administration's efforts to strengthen the security and screening measures at our airports," Obama said in a written statement. "I am grateful that he has agreed to take on this important role, and I look forward to working with him in the weeks and months ahead."
FULL POST


Filed under: Homeland Security • Obama administration • TSA
May 9th, 2010
09:01 AM ET
5 years ago

White House links Times Square bomb suspect, Pakistani Taliban

ALT TEXT

"It looks like he was working on behalf of the Pakistani Taliban," Obama counterterterrorism advsier John Brennan said Sunday on CNN. (Photo Credit: CNN)

Washington (CNN) - The suspect in the failed Times Square bombing was likely working with the Taliban movement in Pakistan, President Barack Obama's top terrorism adviser said Sunday.

John Brennan, the assistant to the president for counterterrorism and homeland security, told CNN's "State of the Union" that the ongoing investigation pointed to Faisal Shahzad having links to Tehrik-e-Taliban, known
as TTP.

"It looks like he was working on behalf of the Pakistani Taliban," Brennan said.

Watch: Brennan weighs in on Shahzad

The group, also known as the TTP, is "closely allied with al Qaeda" and has pledged to carry out attacks on other parts of the world, including the United States, Brennan said.

Full story

Updated: 4:55 p.m.

May 6th, 2010
02:47 PM ET
5 years ago

Lawmakers press Holder on use of 'watch list'

 Senators questioned Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday on the effective use of the terrorist watch list.
Senators questioned Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday on the effective use of the terrorist watch list.

Washington (CNN) - If the new requirement that no-fly lists be checked by airlines every two hours had been in place, Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad would have been stopped before boarding a plane, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday.

Pressed by lawmakers at a Senate hearing, Holder said the requirement for airlines to check no-fly lists every two hours instead of 24 hours likely could have prompted authorities at the airport to apprehend Shahzad sooner.

Shahzad was arrested late Monday at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport after boarding a flight bound for Dubai, United Arab Emirates. His final destination was Pakistan.

The Emirates plane had pulled away from the gate but was ordered back by customs officials. Shahzad was taken into custody.

Holder reiterated his statement to reporters Tuesday that he personally was "never worried" Shahzad would manage to escape, but acknowledged not everything went right.
FULL POST


Filed under: Eric Holder • Homeland Security • Terrorism
May 4th, 2010
11:28 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama says 'justice will be done' in Times Square bombing

ALT TEXT

Life quickly returned to normal in New York City's Times Square after Saturday's incident. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday that "justice will be done" in the case of the attempted bombing at Times Square, and U.S. officials "will do everything in our power to protect the American people."

The failed bombing is "another sobering reminder of the times in which we live," the president told an audience of business leaders. But the United States "will be vigilant" and "will not cower in fear."
FULL POST


Filed under: Homeland Security • President Obama • Terrorism
May 3rd, 2010
02:49 PM ET
5 years ago

White House calls Times Square incident an act of terror

Washington (CNN) - Leaving a vehicle full of explosive material in New York City's Times Square is a terrorist act, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday.

Asked if the Saturday incident was a terrorist incident, Gibbs said the act of putting a vehicle with such dangerous materials in Times Square "was intended to terrorize."

"Whoever did that would be categorized as a terrorist, yes," Gibbs said.

Gibbs added that the identity of the person or people responsible remained unknown.

May 2nd, 2010
04:39 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama to see 'justice is done' in Times Square attempt

Venice, Louisiana (CNN) - President Barack Obama promised "to see that justice is done" Sunday after a failed attempt to set off a car bomb in New York's Times Square.

Related: Police find clues in potential car bomb vehicle


Filed under: Homeland Security • New York • President Obama
May 2nd, 2010
01:40 PM ET
May 2nd, 2010
09:13 AM ET
5 years ago

Napolitano: Car bomb being handled as possible terrorism attack


Washington (CNN) – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Sunday that the car bomb found in New York City's Times Square was being handled as a "potential terrorist attack."

In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Napolitano said it was too early to know who was responsible for leaving a vehicle laden with explosives in the symbolic heart of the nation's most populous city.

"We're taking this very seriously," Napolitano said, noting that the New York police, FBI and federal Joint Terrorism Task Force were involved in the investigation. "We're treating it as if it could be a potential terrorist
attack."

April 19th, 2010
04:54 PM ET
5 years ago

Senate committee subpoenas gov't over Fort Hood shooting

ALT TEXT

"The purpose of the Committee's investigation . . . is to answer questions that are critical to our government's ability to counter homegrown terrorism," Sens. Lieberman and Collins wrote in a letter accompanying the subpoenas. . (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

Washington (CNN) – Two top senators on the Homeland Security Committee served the government with subpoenas Monday for witnesses and documents involving the 2009 shooting attack at Fort Hood, Texas, that killed 13 people.

Committee chairman Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut, and ranking Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said the Defense Department and Justice Department had so far failed to provide information about the shootings sought by the panel.

Maj. Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, has been charged with 13 counts of murder in the November shootings.

"The purpose of the Committee's investigation of the Fort Hood attack is to answer questions that are critical to our government's ability to counter homegrown terrorism," Lieberman and Collins wrote in a letter accompanying the subpoenas.

FULL POST


Filed under: Fort Hood • Homeland Security
April 19th, 2010
04:31 PM ET
5 years ago

Expressions of political anger are protected, Napolitano says

'There's obviously a great deal of political anger out there and angry rhetoric out there,' Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in an interview that airs Monday on CNN.
'There's obviously a great deal of political anger out there and angry rhetoric out there,' Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in an interview that airs Monday on CNN.

Washington (CNN) – President Obama's top homeland security official said Monday that the government has an obligation to tolerate expressions of political anger, while being ever vigilant for behavior that crosses the line into violence.

In an interview set to air Monday on CNN's The Situation Room, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was asked whether Obama's status as the first African-American president is playing any role in motivating anti-government groups.

"It is mentioned by some, but lots of things are now being mentioned," she said. "So it's really hard to extrapolate from what a few are saying to what all are saying or what all believe.

"There's obviously a great deal of political anger out there and angry rhetoric out there. But, as I said earlier, that's something that we've had constantly in our country's history. We may not like it – don't appreciate it – but it is protected under our Constitution, under our sense of values. Where it's not protected is where you start moving into preparation for and carrying out violent acts."

Napolitano added that all levels of law enforcement have to be "leaning forward" and sharing threat information in order to minimize the chance of another event such as the Oklahoma City bombing or the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Napolitano was in Oklahoma Monday to attend a ceremony remembering victims of the bombing.

The Homeland Security secretary told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux that the Secret Service is "constantly monitoring" the safety of the president, the vice president, and their families. "That is something that there's no quarter left unspent to make that happen," she said.
FULL POST

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