Archive

Archive for the ‘terrorism’ Category

New From the GAO

November 20, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Individual Retirement Accounts: IRS Could Bolster Enforcement on Multimillion Dollar Accounts, but More Direction from Congress Is Needed. GAO-15-16, October 20.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-16
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666594.pdf

2. Veteran’s Disability Benefits: Improvements Could Further Enhance Quality Assurance Efforts. GAO-15-50, November 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-50
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667026.pdf

3. Consumer Product Safety Oversight: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Coordination and Increase Efficiencies and Effectiveness. GAO-15-52, November 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-52
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667040.pdf
Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/666875

4. Intellectual Property: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Could Better Manage Its Process to Enforce Exclusion Orders. GAO-15-78, November 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-78
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667073.pdf

5. Freedom of Information Act: DHS Should Take Steps to Improve Cost Reporting and Eliminate Duplicate Processing. GAO-15-82, November 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-82
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667053.pdf

6. Defense Contractors: Additional Actions Needed to Facilitate the Use of DOD’s Inventory of Contracted Services. GAO-15-88, November 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-88
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667060.pdf

About these ads

CRS — U.S. Citizens Kidnapped by the Islamic State, CRS Insights (October 17, 2014)

November 6, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Citizens Kidnapped by the Islamic State, CRS Insights (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

On October 3, 2014, the terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS, or alternatively, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, ISIL, or Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS) threatened to kill a third U.S. citizen whom it had kidnapped, Abdul-Rahman Kassig (previously Peter Kassig). While releasing some Western hostages for ransom, the Islamic State has beheaded others, including two U.S. citizens, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and two British citizens, David Haines and Alan Henning. The group posted videos of the murders online, generating debate about the U.S. government’s role and capabilities for freeing hostages.

In light of these beheadings, some policy makers have called for a reevaluation of U.S. policy on international kidnapping responses. Questions include whether it is effective and properly coordinated and implemented, should be abandoned or modified to allow for exceptions and flexibility, or could benefit from enhancements to improve global adherence.

CRS — Nuclear Energy Policy (October 15, 2014)

November 6, 2014 Comments off

Nuclear Energy Policy (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Nuclear energy issues facing Congress include reactor safety and regulation, radioactive waste management, research and development priorities, federal incentives for new commercial reactors, nuclear weapons proliferation, and security against terrorist attacks.

A New Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State: Comparison of Current Proposals in Brief (October 21, 2014)

November 6, 2014 Comments off

A New Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State: Comparison of Current Proposals in Brief (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The armed offensive of the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIL or ISIS) in northern and western Iraq and northeastern Syria has raised significant concerns for the United States. After first ordering multiple deployments of U.S. troops to Iraq to provide security to diplomatic personnel and facilities, advise Iraqi security forces, and conduct intelligence gathering and reconnaissance, President Obama began ordering U.S. military airstrikes on IS forces in Iraq in August 2014. Later in September, after laying out plans for expanded use of military force against the Islamic State in a televised speech to the American people, the President ordered U.S. military airstrikes in Syria against both IS forces and forces of the “Khorasan Group,” identified by the President as part of Al Qaeda.

See also: Proposed Train and Equip Authorities for Syria: In Brief (October 27, 2014) (PDF)

Terrorism Risk Insurance — Economic and Insurance Implications of TRIPRA’s Non-Renewal

November 5, 2014 Comments off

Economic and Insurance Implications of TRIPRA’s Non-Renewal
Source: Insurance Information Institute

The question of what happens if the federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (TRIPRA) is not renewed by Congress is no longer a theoretical one.

Since insurance policies negotiated during 2014 extend beyond the imminent December 31 expiration date of the program, the negative consequences of non-renewal are already being experienced by businesses across America and their insurers.

The private sector simply does not have the capacity to provide insurance or reinsurance for terrorism risk to the extent currently provided by TRIPRA (Figure 1). As a result, in the absence of the act, terrorism risk insurance would be less available and less affordable.

Coverage for terrorist-caused economic damages also would likely be more costly or limited in scope if the federal government played no role in this market.

CRS — Al Qaeda-Affiliated Groups: Middle East and Africa (October 10, 2014)

November 3, 2014 Comments off

Al Qaeda-Affiliated Groups: Middle East and Africa (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

After more than a decade of combating Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the United States now faces an increasingly diverse threat from Al Qaeda affiliates in the Middle East and Africa and from emerging groups that have adopted aspects of Al Qaeda’s ideology but operate relatively or completely autonomously from the group’s senior leadership.

U.S. counterterrorism debates have focused on “formal” Al Qaeda affiliates, and policymakers increasingly are considering options for addressing the range of threats posed by the wider spectrum of groups inspired by—or similar in goals and aspirations to—Al Qaeda. An additional challenge is the fluid nature of the threat, given the apparent fragmentation of Al Qaeda, and Ayman al Zawahiri’s struggle to assert leadership of the group in light of challengers such as Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Finally, concerns regarding these issues might shape ongoing reevaluations of the federal statutes that underpin current U.S. counterterrorism policy, including the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF, P.L. 107-40).

CRS — The “Islamic State” Crisis and U.S. Policy (October 22, 2014)

November 3, 2014 Comments off

The “Islamic State” Crisis and U.S. Policy (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The Islamic State is a transnational Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group that has expanded its control over areas of parts of Iraq and Syria since 2013. It threatens the governments of both countries and potentially several other countries in the region, and has drawn increased attention from the international community. There is debate over the degree to which the Islamic State organization might represent a direct terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland or to U.S. facilities and personnel in the region.

See also: Turkey-U.S. Cooperation Against the “Islamic State”: A Unique Dynamic?, CRS Insights (October 21, 2014) (PDF)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 964 other followers