Morning Security Brief: Consulate Attack Investigation, Workplace Shooting, Chinese Cyberattacks, Drones, and More

By Matthew Harwood


♦ Security fears are undermining the FBI’s ability to investigate the attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. “Investigators are so worried about the tenuous security, people involved in the investigation say, that they have been unwilling to risk taking some potential Libyan witnesses into the American Embassy in Tripoli,” reports The New York Times. “Instead, the investigators have resorted to the awkward solution of questioning some witnesses in cars outside the embassy, which is operating under emergency staffing and was evacuated of even more diplomats on Thursday because of a heightened security alert.” In related news, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unequivocally said yesterday that the attack on the consulate was planned and executed by terrorists.

♦ Police in Minneapolis are investigating a deadly workplace shooting incident that killed four and wounded four others. The shooter took his own life after the incident, reports USA Today

♦ Rear Admiral Samuel Cox, director of intelligence for U.S. Cyber Command, told Reuters that Chinese attempts to hack into the Pentagon and “exfiltrate” critical national security information are “accelerating.”

♦ Ferry passengers in Martha’s Vineyard got a surprise yesterday morning. “The Division of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration, plus the Steamship Authority, local police, and emergency management personnel conducted security checks and searches at the Oak Bluffs ferry terminal Thursday morning, September 27,” reports The Martha’s Vineyard Times. TSA officers checked bags and IDs and tested for explosives.

♦ The Department of Homeland Security has issued a call for drone companies to participate in a program that will evaluate the flying robots' safety and security in first responder operations. “According to the DHS,” reports Network World,  “the RAPS [Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety] program will feature flight tests to evaluate unmanned systems 'using key performance parameters under a wide variety of simulated but realistic and relevant real-world operational scenarios, such as law enforcement operations, search and rescue, and fire and hazardous material spill response.'"

♦ A new Bloomberg National Poll finds that voters believe Mitt Romney will be tougher on terrorism than President Obama, reports Foreign Policy. The piece wonders whether unrest in the Middle East, particularly the attack on the Benghazi consulate, explains Romney’s edge on this question.


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