Tuesday, July 28, 2009

International Terrorists Busted In North Carolina

The feds break up an alleged terror cell in the Raleigh area:
A North Carolina father who led an unobtrusive rural life as a drywall contractor had militant roots dating back to 1980s Afghanistan and Pakistan and secretly led a U.S. group plotting international terrorism, federal prosecutors said.
Daniel Patrick Boyd, 39, was arrested Monday with his two sons and four other North Carolina men. Prosecutors accused them of military-style training at home and plotting "violent jihad" through a series of terror attacks abroad.
Authorities believe Boyd's roots in terrorism run deep. They said when he was in Pakistan and Afghanistan from 1989 through 1992, he had military-style training in terrorist camps and fought the Soviets, who were ending their occupation of Afghanistan.
Separately, according to Politico, in a perverse set of incentives, theds deny new law enforement funding to NYPD because they are doing too good a job:
As Vice President Biden prepares to announce new funds for local police departments at an event in Philadelphia Tuesday, at least one city's leadership is outraged that their application for new federal aid has been rejected.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose police force has reportedly been denied due to insufficient crime and budgetary problems, released a blunt statement:
"The decision to deny New York City funding from the COPS grant program is disappointing, to put it mildly. To punish our police department because they have driven down crime with fewer resources shows the backwards incentive system that is sometimes at work in Washington. Denying that funding because New Yorkers have already dug into their pockets to maintain our City’s sound fiscal stewardship and pay for our exceptional policing doesn’t make sense. Lastly, the attacks on New York City were attacks on the nation and we should be receiving strong federal support for the NYPD to fight terrorism in the nation’s largest city."
Update: The Department of Homeland Security apparently caved; the NYPD will get $35 million in federal money to hire new offcers.

And according to Immigration Daily, the U.S. Senate is considering repealing the Real ID Act of 2005, which pursuant to 9/11 Commission recommendations was "aimed at ensuring that all states meet minimum driver’s license security standards in order to enhance national security and driver safety, combat drug running, and better safeguard against identity theft and fraud."

The law, for which compliance is voluntary, has been criticized--perhaps correctly in some instances--by both ends of the ideological spectrum on the basis of states' rights, cost factors, and privacy among other issues. However, in addition to its other reasonable applications in the name of homeland security, a secure driver's license helps offset ballot fraud in those states which logically require a photo ID at the voting place (just saying).