Morning Security Brief: Secret Service Security Breach, Novelty Grenade at Ground Zero, Recording Interrogations, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►New York representative and Homeland Security Committee chair Peter King called a scandal involving Secret Service agents and prostitutes prior to the Summit of the Americas an irresponsible security breach, saying, “One of those prostitutes could be paid by terror to infiltrate and hear what’s going on.” Eleven Secret Service members and five military service members were placed on administrative leave and sent home from the summit in Colombia after allegations that they brought prostitutes back to their hotel rooms. Some say the agents could have made themselves vulnerable to blackmail or the breach could have resulted in an assassination attempt on the President. Prostitution is legal in some parts of Colombia, the Cypress Times reports. After a dispute with a prostitute over $47, police were contacted and a report was filed, exposing the activity. The incident is being called the biggest scandal in Secret Service history.

►“The havoc began Thursday afternoon when a private security guard noticed what he believed to be a ‘suspicious’ item in a package during an X-ray screening at 2 World Financial Center, a 44-story building with 2.7 million square feet of office space,” NBC reports. The building, located across the street from Ground Zero, was evacuated. Police were called and they determined the package contained a novelty grenade being mailed to an employee. It was mounted on a plaque that read, "Complaint Department. Please Take A Number.” The recipient of the plaque has been placed on administrative leave.

►The Baltimore Police Department is moving toward videotaping interrogations in serious criminal investigations, the Baltimore Sun reports. In 2008, the General Assembly endorsed recorded interrogations but did not require them. Now more agencies are opting to implement them as policy. “The shift has been spurred by increasing affordability, as well as by questions of coercion and false confessions as DNA testing has led to the release of scores of inmates,” the Sun reports. The governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention has provided $152,000 in grants to agencies for video upgrades.

►In other news, Anders Breivik, the man responsible for bombing and shooting attacks in Norway that killed 77 people, pleads guilty in the first day of his trial on Monday. The BBC produces a timeline of the attacks. ♦ The Taliban launches its “Spring offensive.” And researchers are looking for more “science-based” approaches to interrogation.



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