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The FBI and DHS Issue PSA on Exploitation of Remote Desktop Protocol for New Jersey


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to Garden State Cyber Threat Highlight the FBI and DHS have Issued a PSA on Exploitation of Remote Desktop Protocol.

Over the last several years, the NJCCIC has received incident reports from New Jersey businesses and organizations that were victims of cyber-attacks perpetrated via network access granted through Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), issued a Public Service Announcement (PSA) on Thursday, September 27, detailing threat actors’ increased exploitation of RDP to conduct malicious cyber activities. RDP is a proprietary protocol developed by Microsoft to enable access to a computer or server over a network connection. However, if not properly secured, threat actors can exploit RDP to steal account credentials, compromise identities, and hold sensitive information for ransom. To protect against RDP-based attacks, the FBI and DHS recommend implementing strong passwords and account lockout policies, enabling multi-factor authentication where possible, keeping systems and software updated, and limiting network exposure for all control system devices. For additional information on how to reduce the risks associated with RDP, the NJCCIC recommends reviewing the FBI and DHS Public Service Announcement and the NJCCIC threat analysis Remote Access: Open Ports Create Targets of Opportunity, Undue Risk.

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DHS, DOJ Report: Three Out of Four Individuals Convicted Of International Terrorism and Terrorism-Related Offenses in USA Foreign-Born

Islamic Jihad philly shooter

January 19,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, On January 16, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) released a report revealing that three out of every four, or 402, individuals convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016 were foreign-born. Over the same period, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed approximately 1,716 aliens with national security concerns. Further, in 2017 alone DHS had 2,554 encounters with individuals on the terrorist watch list (also known as the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database) traveling to the United States.

This report was prescribed by Executive Order 13780, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, which declared that “it is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks, including those committed by foreign nationals,” and directed a series of actions to enhance the security of the American people.

The actions directed by Executive Order 13780 have—among other things—raised the baseline for the vetting and screening of foreign nationals, improved our ability to prevent the entry of malicious actors, and enhanced the security of the American people.

“My top priority as Secretary of Homeland Security is to ensure the safety and security of the American people,” said Secretary Nielsen. “This report is a clear reminder of why we cannot continue to rely on immigration policy based on pre-9/11 thinking that leaves us woefully vulnerable to foreign-born terrorists, and why we must examine our visa laws and continue to intensify screening and vetting of individuals traveling to the United States to prevent terrorists, criminals, and other dangerous individuals from reaching our country. Without legislative change DHS will continue to see thousands of terrorists a year attempt to enter the United States, and while we must be right every time, the terrorists only need to be lucky once. Therefore, DHS has personnel deployed around the world and along our borders working with our global and domestic law enforcement partners to stop terrorists before they enter the homeland.”

“This report reveals an indisputable sobering reality—our immigration system has undermined our national security and public safety,” said Attorney General Sessions. “And the information in this report is only the tip of the iceberg: we currently have terrorism-related investigations against thousands of people in the United States, including hundreds of people who came here as refugees. Our law enforcement professionals do amazing work, but it is simply not reasonable to keep asking them to risk their lives to enforce the law while we admit thousands every year without sufficient knowledge about their backgrounds. The pillars of President Trump’s immigration policy—securing our porous borders, moving to a merit-based immigration system that ends the use of diversity visas and chain migration, and enforcing our nation’s laws—will make their jobs easier and make the United States a safer place.”

The report reveals that at least 549 individuals were convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016. An analysis conducted by DHS determined that approximately 73 percent (402 of these 549 individuals) were foreign-born. Breaking down the 549 individuals by citizenship status at the time of their respective convictions reveals that:

254 were not U.S. citizens;
148 were foreign-born, naturalized and received U.S. citizenship; and,
147 were U.S. citizens by birth.

According to information available to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), since September 11, 2001, there were approximately 1,716 removals of aliens with national security concerns.

As mentioned above, in FY 2017, DHS encountered 2,554 individuals on the terrorist watchlist (also known as the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database) traveling to the United States. Of those individuals, 335 were attempting to enter by land, 2,170 were attempting to enter by air, and 49 were attempting to enter by sea. Where consistent with the law, such individuals are denied entry into the United States, while in some cases law enforcement authorities are notified and can take appropriate action.

From October 1, 2011, to September 30, 2017, a total of 355,345 non-U.S. citizen offenders, were administratively arrested after previously being convicted of an aggravated felony, as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43), or two or more crimes each punishable by more than one year (felony offenses). During that same period, a total of 372,098 non-U.S. citizen offenders were removed from the United States after conviction of an aggravated felony or two or more felonies.

Data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate shows that between 2007 and 2017, USCIS referred 45,858 foreign nationals who applied for immigration benefits to ICE for criminal or civil enforcement action, based on information indicating that such foreign nationals had committed egregious public safety-related offenses within the United States.

Between FY 2010 and FY 2016, CBP identified and prevented the boarding of 73,261 foreign travelers on flights destined for the United States, who may have presented an immigration or security risk.

In October, the Trump Administration sent to Congress a list of legislative priorities that would enhance our national security—such as eliminating the diversity visa lottery and extended family chain migration, funding the wall, closing loopholes in our asylum system, combatting visa overstays, and closing other loopholes in existing law that potentially benefit aliens who pose threats to our national security.

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DHS and FBI Release PSA Advising Vigilance During the Holiday Season

"If you see something, say something

If You See Something, Say Something

December 26,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

WASHINGTON DC, the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation released a public service announcement urging the public to remain vigilant during the holidays:

“As you travel, shop, and gather together to celebrate the holiday season, we ask you to stay alert. While we are not aware of any specific, credible threats at this time, the recent attempted attack in New York is a reminder that we must remain vigilant.

“You play a critical role in keeping our nation and our neighborhoods safe. So if you see something suspicious, or notice behavior that doesn’t seem quite right, say something. Contact local law enforcement. Tell them who and what you saw, where and when you saw it, and why it seemed suspicious.

“Hopefully, it’s nothing. But maybe, it could save your life. Help us make the holidays safer. If you see something, say something.”

Watch the PSA featuring Christopher Krebs, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate; Nikki Floris, Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division; and David Glawe, the DHS Counterterrorism Coordinator.

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Homeland Security Reveal Sanctuary Cities Released Illegal Aliens Charged with Assaults, Drug and Weapons Violations


October 23,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released two new productions of documents (45 pages and 680 pages) from the Department of Homeland Security revealing that hundreds of counties across the U.S. denied Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) detainer requests for criminal illegal aliens in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017. The retainer requests, containing specific information about scores of criminal charges against released aliens, were not included in the Declined Detainer Outcome Reports (DDOR) the Trump administration suspended in early April after only three weeks of publication.

Judicial Watch forced the release of the Homeland Security documents as a result of a court order in a May 26, 2017, FOIA lawsuit filed after Homeland Security failed to respond to an April 13, 2017 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:17-cv-01008)). Judicial Watch seeks:

All complaints received by ICE concerning the [Declined Detainer Outcome Report]
All records concerning the suspension of the weekly publication of the [Declined Detainer Outcome Report]
All records identifying the reporting methodologies used to create the [Declined Detainer Outcome Report]

Judicial Watch released several spreadsheets compiling statistics on the nature of criminal activities illegal aliens had committed during the first four months of 2017; a nationwide list of jails that failed to cooperate with the ICE detainer program; and the top 50 jurisdictions that failed to cooperative with the ICE detainer program.

Leading the pack of counties denying detainers between July 2015 were Ventura County, CA (188); Miami-Dade, FL (93); Denver, CO (74); Clark, NV (68); and Los Angeles, CA (57).

Nationwide, A total of 284 detainers involving serious offenses were declined during the first two months of fiscal year 2017, including, in part, various forms of assault (16); drug-and-alcohol-related charges (39); weapons charges and crimes against persons and property (18).

The Declined Detainer Outcome Reports highlighted state and local governments that did not comply with ICE’s detainer program (also known as sanctuary cities). According to one new ICE email, the DDOR was meant to easily understood:

So an American citizen sitting at home can open the report, see the total number of detainers issued in a week, detainers issued to jurisdictions that don’t cooperate, the confirmed declined detainer list, and the list of all jurisdictions that don’t honor detainers.  A snapshot, in essence.

In an April 6, 2017, email from Acting Director of Homeland Security, Thomas Homan, to Homeland Security staff in response to complaints about errors in the DDOR from U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) office, Homan said:

Certainly but NYC is extremely uncooperative. We will provide the information and work with OPLA and OGC staff to engage. They removed our officers from Rikers Island and will not honor detainers. I met with them personally last year in an effort to gain more cooperation. We will review asap.

In at least one instance, local law enforcement actions went beyond a simple lack of cooperation with ICE to turn over detained illegal aliens to outright obstruction of ICE’s efforts to pick up illegal immigrants in local custody. For example, according to a March 21, 2017, ICE email: “Hennepin County Adult Detention Center released an alien out the front door of the jail as an ICE officer was waiting in their sally port to take him into custody.”

“These new documents confirm that sanctuary policies are dangerous and help the worst of worst criminal element,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The complaints of sanctuary politicians aside, the Trump administration must catalogue the continued threat to the public safety caused by lawless sanctuary policies.”

In April, Judicial Watch obtained 204 illegal alien Detainer Requests denied to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by the Travis County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office. The illegal aliens protected by the Sheriff’s Office were charged or convicted of 31 acts of violence, 14 thefts or burglaries, and three acts or threats of terrorism. Forty-four of the denied requests were for inmates originally detained by Homeland Security and temporarily transferred to Travis County (home to the state capital in Austin) for disposition of state or local charges.

According to CNN, the Trump Administration suspended publication of the Declined Detainer Outcome Reports on April 11, 2017, after only three weeks and three total reports due to “complaints.”  The Hill further reported that according to ICE spokeswoman Sarah Rodriguez, the Declined Detainer Outcome Reports were halted in order to “analyze and refine [the organization’s] reporting methodologies.”

The Declined Detainer Outcome Reports highlighted state and local governments, often referred to as sanctuary cities, that did not comply with ICE’s detainer program:

ICE places detainers on aliens who have been arrested on local criminal charges and for whom ICE possesses probable cause to believe that they are removable from the United States, so that ICE can take custody of the alien when he or she is released from local custody. When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission.

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You Still Can Use a New Jersey Drivers Licenses to Board a Plane


October 21,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, when is an ID not and ID? According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 22 U.S. states including New Jersey missed the federal government’s REAL ID deadline, meaning their drivers licenses still don’t comply with government security standards.

Without certification from DHS, people who live in those states won’t be able to board commercial airline flights using their drivers licenses or state IDs. For most people, that would mean carrying a passport every time they go to the airport even for 100 percent domestic flights.

For some back ground ,the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on December 20, 2013 a phased enforcement plan for the REAL ID Act (the Act), as passed by Congress, that will implement the Act in a measured, fair, and responsible way.

Secure driver’s licenses and identification documents are a vital component of our national security framework. The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, no sooner than 2016, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.

DHS is committed to enforcing the REAL ID Act in accordance with the phased enforcement schedule and regulatory timeframes and is not inclined to grant additional extensions to any states that are not both committed to achieving full compliance and making substantial and documented progress in satisfying any unmet requirements. It has been 12 years since the REAL ID Act was passed and half of all the states have already met the REAL ID minimum standards. It is time that the remaining jurisdictions turn their commitments to secure identification into action.

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Home Land Security : What Shelter-in-Place Means for Ridgewood

Ridgewood Schools schools were cleared of the shelter in place Order

file photo by Boyd Loving

October 20,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to the Ridgewood Board of Education the Ridgewood Police asked that our buildings shelter-in-place for a brief period this afternoon. Everything is fine and back to learning as usual!

October 19, 2017
Dear Ridgewood Public Schools Community,

Following is a message from Chief Luthcke of the Ridewood Police Department.

Yesterday afternoon, Ridgewood Schools were advised to shelter in students in place after a resident reported a man wearing what appeared to be a bullet proof vest gruffly asked for directions to Willard school. The person described by the resident was located by patrol a short time later and it was discovered he was wearing a black weighted vest, which has the appearance of a bullet proof vest. The man was transported to the Ridgewood Police Department for questioning as there was a language barrier with the man. All schools were cleared of the shelter in place at 2:15pm. This shelter in place was issued out of an abundance of caution to the school community. After an investigation, it was determined the man was headed to Willard School to pick up his grandchild and had gotten lost along the way and was attempting to ask for directions. The situation was explained and he understood the confusion. The man was released without any charges.

The Ridgewood Police Department would like to thank all of the surrounding agencies, including Midland Park, Wyckoff and Glen Rock, for their assistance during this incident. We know this incident may have caused stress in the community, but we need to take all incidents, such as this, very seriously as our community’s safety is of paramount importance. Fortunately, this was an innocent misunderstanding and simply was a lost resident.
Daniel Fishbein, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools’s%20News/2017-2018/Shelter%20in%20place%2010.18.17.pdf

The Ridgewood Police added  this afternoon (Wednesday) Ridgewood Schools were advised to shelter the students in place after a resident reported a man wearing what appeared to be a bullet proof vest asked for directions to Willard School. The person described by the resident was located by patrol a short time later wearing a black weighted vest which has the appearance of a bullet proof vest. All schools were cleared of the shelter in place at 2:15pm. This shelter in place was issued out of an abundance of caution to the school community.

What Shelter-in-Place Means:

One of the instructions you may be given in an emergency where hazardous materials may have been released into the atmosphere is to shelter-in-place. This is a precaution aimed to keep you safe while remaining indoors. (This is not the same thing as going to a shelter in case of a storm.) Shelter-in-place means selecting a small, interior room, with no or few windows, and taking refuge there. It does not mean sealing off your entire home or office building. If you are told to shelter-in-place

At School:
Close the school. Activate the school’s emergency plan. Follow reverse evacuation procedures to bring students, faculty, and staff indoors.
If there are visitors in the building, provide for their safety by asking them to stay – not leave. When authorities provide directions to shelter-in-place, they want everyone to take those steps now, where they are, and not drive or walk outdoors.
Provide for answering telephone inquiries from concerned parents by having at least one telephone with the school’s listed telephone number available in the room selected to provide shelter for the school secretary, or person designated to answer these calls. This room should also be sealed. There should be a way to communicate among all rooms where people are sheltering-in-place in the school.
Ideally, provide for a way to make announcements over the school-wide public address system from the room where the top school official takes shelter.
If children have cell phones, allow them to use them to call a parent or guardian to let them know that they have been asked to remain in school until further notice, and that they are safe.
If the school has voice mail or an automated attendant, change the recording to indicate that the school is closed, students and staff are remaining in the building until authorities advise that it is safe to leave.
Provide directions to close and lock all windows, exterior doors, and any other openings to the outside.
If you are told there is danger of explosion, direct that window shades, blinds, or curtains be closed.
Have employees familiar with your building’s mechanical systems turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems. Some systems automatically provide for exchange of inside air with outside air – these systems, in particular, need to be turned off, sealed, or disabled.
Gather essential disaster supplies, such as nonperishable food, bottled water, battery-powered radios, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, duct tape, plastic sheeting, and plastic garbage bags.
Select interior room(s) above the ground floor, with the fewest windows or vents. The room(s) should have adequate space for everyone to be able to sit in. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms if necessary. Classrooms may be used if there are no windows or the windows are sealed and can not be opened. Large storage closets, utility rooms, meeting rooms, and even a gymnasium without exterior windows will also work well.
It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room(s) you select. Call emergency contacts and have the phone available if you need to report a life-threatening condition. Cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency.
Bring everyone into the room. Shut and lock the door.
Use duct tape and plastic sheeting (heavier than food wrap) to seal all cracks around the door(s) and any vents into the room.
Write down the names of everyone in the room, and call your schools’ designated emergency contact to report who is in the room with you.
Listen for an official announcement from school officials via the public address system, and stay where you are until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community.

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DHS Issues Warning for Water and Wastewater Systems Targets

May 4,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The Water and Wastewater Systems Sector provides millions of people in New Jersey with drinking water and wastewater removal services vital to public health. As if Ridgewood does not already have issues with water, these facilities may be targeted by terrorists looking to disrupt a sector on which the public heavily relies

The Water and Wastewater Systems Sector consists of drinking water and wastewater systems that treat, transmit, store, collect, and distribute water across the nation.

The water sector in New Jersey includes about 600 community drinking water systems. The 20 largest systems collectively serve roughly 3.8 million people and support water service to another 140 systems in the state.

Wastewater systems include treatment plants, pumping stations, collection systems, and sludge management processes. There are approximately 350 wastewater facilities, which vary in size and function. The largest 50 facilities process and treat 88 percent of the sludge residuals and 90 percent of wastewater generated in New Jersey.


Cyber: Moderate
The threat to the Water and Wastewater Systems Sector is moderate because of the known targeting of critical infrastructure by both state and non-state actors capable of conducting disruptive, manipulative, or destructive attacks. While there are no specific threats to this sector in New Jersey, numerous incidents over the past decade have demonstrated the vulnerability of industrial control systems (ICS) that regulate various components of water and wastewater operations. In 2015, the Water and Wastewater Systems Sector reported 25 cyber incidents to the US Department of Homeland Security ICS Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT), a roughly 80 percent increase from 2014.

Terrorism: Low
Terrorists have not targeted the Water and Wastewater Systems Sector in the last decade in the United States. Internationally, drinking water sources remain vulnerable to terrorist attacks because of limited security. In January 2016, Turkish intelligence officials reported individuals affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria plotting to poison the water supply using tularemia, a bacterial disease found in animals that is transmissible to humans.

Natural Hazards
During Superstorm Sandy, 427 community water systems in New Jersey lost power. The heavy reliance on electric power makes any water or wastewater system vulnerable to extreme weather. Ninety-one wastewater treatment facilities were affected by flooding or power loss, resulting in reduced treatment capacity and discharging as much as five billion gallons of raw sewage into state waterways. Additionally, coastal flood waters damaged water utility infrastructure, leaving the communities they serve without clean water.

There are currently no credible threats to the Water and Wastewater Systems Sector in New Jersey.
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Despite the Hype “Russian Hacking” Claims Fail to Prove Altered Election Results

January 6,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Misleading the American people to advance a political narrative has been a hallmark of President Obama’s foreign and domestic policy. The most recent example is the administration’s attempt to conflate the hacking of the Democratic Party with potential cyberattacks on the US Election.

Last week, federal officials went as far as to tell the Washington Post that malware linked to Russian hackers was found on a laptop at Burlington Electric, a Vermont power company. By Monday the Post had recanted, writing that investigators “are finding evidence that the incident is not linked to any Russian government effort.”

The Obama administration and many Democrats as well as Republicans led by Sen. John McCain and Lindsey Graham have ordered hearings and are pushing the Russian hacking story instead of focusing on the hacking of Hillary Clintons unsecured servers and Clinton operative John Podesta being caught in a basic phishing hack giving access to all his emails.

In October the Clinton campaign declined to confirm the authenticity of the WikiLeak documents but called them “stolen, and ” the latest move by Russian operatives they claimed were trying to help Donald Trump.

The problem for Democrats is the WikiLeak released emails, proved unequivocally that the DNC had rigged the primary race against Bernie Sanders, worked in collusion with the mainstream media, the Hillary received debate questions ahead of time, that DNC staffers used inflammatory and derogatory language toward minorities, women and gays, but the most damming was the implication that the entire media appeared to be on the Clinton’s payroll.

Recount efforts failed as Trump picked up more votes and voting irregularities in Detroit pointed to DNC tampering.

Today DNI Chief Clapper took swipe at Trump, Assange as he defended the Russia Hack Intel. This is of course is the same James Clapper who in 2014 the Washington Post featured a story in which a group of congressmen led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) were pushing for President Obama to fire, the director of national intelligence, claiming he misled Congress about the extent of the NSA’s domestic surveillance activity on American citizens.

NBC reported, Clapper without offering any evidence said Russia had “clearly assumed an even more aggressive cyber posture by increasing cyber espionage operations, leaking data stolen from these operations, and targeting political infrastructures systems.”

In mid-December  Jeh Johnson head of the Department of Homeland Security explained DHS’s cyber team was ready on election night and they didn’t see “anything that affected the ballot count,” he said.

When pressed, asking whether he could assure Americans that Russian hacking did not affect the outcome of the election.

Johnson said, “We see no evidence that hacking by any actor altered the ballot count for any cyber actions that deprived people of voting,”.

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Orlando nightclub terrorist worked for major DHS contractor that secures “90 percent of U.S. nuclear facilities.”

Omar Mateen, Terrorist Who Attacked Orlando Gay Club

BY Paul Sperry · | June 13, 2016

The Orlando nightclub terrorist who pledged allegiance to ISIS worked almost a decade for a major Department of Homeland Security contractor, raising alarms that ISIS sympathizers and agents have infiltrated the federal agency set up after 9/11 to combat terrorists.

Officials say Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, an Afghan-American who held two firearms licenses and a security officer license, was employed by the security firm G4S Secure Solutions USA Inc. since Sept. 10, 2007. The Jupiter, Fla.-based company merged with the Wackenhut Corp. after 9/11 and assumed federal contracts.

“G4S supports the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CPB), with its operations at the U.S. ­ Mexico border and with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to transport illegal immigrants in selected urban areas,” the company says in a brochure, titled “Providing Manpower Solutions for Government Services.”

The DHS contract with G4S is worth more than $234 million. The contract states that one of the “performance requirements” is helping identify “suspected terrorists” trying to enter the U.S.

The security contractor also provides security guards and other security services for “90 percent of U.S. nuclear facilities.”

G4S uses fortified buses to transport “hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants” from city to city and from cities to the U.S.-Mexican border. But earlier this month, Judicial Watch revealed G4S has been quietly moving and releasing van loads of illegal aliens away from the border to interior American cities.

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Blockbuster Allegation: DHS, State Halted Investigation Into Islamist Group Linked To San Bernardino Terrorists

San Bernardino Terror Couple Entering US

DECEMBER 10, 2015 By The Federalist Staff

Customs and Border Patrol analyst Phil Haney tracked members of the Islamist Deobandi movement with which Sayed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were affiliated. But the Department of Homeland Security deleted the records, then disciplined and retaliated against him when he blew the whistle, he says.

Haney said he worked in Passenger Analysis Units at the Department of Homeland Security in Atlanta and at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s National Targeting Center, where he performed research into people and groups that might be linked to terrorism. He identified members of al-Huda and Tablighi Jamaat, subgroups of the Deobandi Movement, a century-old fundamentalist Islamic group originating in Pakistan, as they traveled into and out of the United States. An association with Tablighi Jamaat has been documented by the French in an estimated80% of terrorism cases. Dar Al Uloom Mosque, frequented by Sayed Farook, is linked with the Deobandi Movement. Tashfeen Malik studied with Al-Huda in Pakistan.

Haney was given an agency award for his work identifying potential terrorists and he was asked to become part of the National Targeting Center, which works to connect the dots between radical figures and groups, he said. After more than six months tracking the Deobandi movement, Homeland Security halted the investigation at the urging of the State Department’s Office of Civil Rights, Haney said.