And Now… Texas and U.S. Facing Growing Threat of Domestic IEDs; Suspend Posse Comitatus?

August 4th, 2012

Via: Houston Chronicle:

Improvised explosive devices have claimed the lives and limbs of thousands of American soldiers across Iraq and Afghanistan.

And now officials say the devilish devices are posing a growing threat across Texas and the United States.

The accused shooter in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater massacre, James Holmes, allegedly deployed IEDs in his apartment, prompting federal law enforcement agencies to look into possible links to domestic or foreign-based terrorism.

The incident follows disrupted IED attacks in 2010 — a car bomb disarmed in New York City’s Times Square and explosives detected in ink cartridges aboard two U.S.-bound commercial cargo planes.

And with Mexican drug cartels using car bombs in cities bordering Texas, officials along the southwest border are increasingly concerned about ready-to-go devices being smuggled into the United States.

“The domestic IED threat from both homegrown terrorists and global threat networks is real and presents a significant security challenge for the United States and our international partners,” Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, director of the Pentagon’s so-called Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, warned Congress in classified testimony in mid-July.

Terrorists remain committed to deploying IEDs “in traditional as well as new and creative ways” because the devices remain “a cheap and easily accessible means to achieve high visibility effect,” Barbero says.

The growing concern is prompting urgent cooperation between U.S. military experts who are familiar with the devices and civilian law enforcement officers who are not.

But legal restrictions on the activities of U.S. armed forces are slowing crucial collaboration, insiders complain. Federal laws dating back to the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 limit the use of U.S. armed forces in domestic law enforcement and training — impediments some members of Congress are pressing to change.

The Pentagon’s specialized $1.9 billion-a-year IED organization has “saved many servicemen’s lives by teaching lessons learned in blood on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan,” report Reps. Peter King, R-N.Y., Daniel Lungren, R-Calif., and Michael McCaul, R-Austin, leaders of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

“Their hard-won knowledge should now be shared with American lawmen facing these same deadly threats at home,” the lawmakers add.

“To me it’s crazy that the guy who is the expert on IEDs overseas can’t coordinate with the Texas Rangers,” emphasizes McCaul, a former counterterrorism official with the Justice Department. “The military is unable to coordinate with state and local law enforcement, leaving a gaping hole in our security.”

Research Credit: HPLovecraft666

4 Responses to “And Now… Texas and U.S. Facing Growing Threat of Domestic IEDs; Suspend Posse Comitatus?”

  1. Calm Says:

    IEDs Seen As Rising Threat in The U.S.
    As Preparedness Is Criticized, Bush Works on a Plan
    By Spencer S. Hsu and Mary Beth Sheridan
    October 20, 2007

  2. pessimistic optimist Says:

    well the filth are finally going to put a stop to these bomb factories. well that’s good

  3. alvinroast Says:

    Bingo! Suspension of Posse Comitatus is the only reason for this “news” story.

    When was the last time you heard of IEDs being used in the US? Sure, people could theoretically commit acts of terror using IEDs, guns, knives, baseball bats, computers and anything else. But they don’t. With a few possible isolated exceptions, only governments or people resisting an occupying force actually commit those acts though.

    “To me it’s crazy that the guy who is the expert on IEDs overseas can’t coordinate with the Texas Rangers”.

    To me it’s crazy for them to imagine that Americans could even be capable of such acts. But then again, why would Texans vote in a congressman who is a former counterterrorism official with the Justice Department?!

  4. tal Says:

    Congress has already given the ‘go ahead’ for this in the recently passed Defense Authorization Act of 2012:

    Law authorizes mobilizing reservists to respond to natural disasters
    New authority in this year’s Defense Department authorization act allows reservists in Air Force Reserve Command and other reserve components to be called to duty in response to natural disasters or emergencies in the homeland. The law also permits mobilizations for extended periods to support theater security missions around the world.

    The Posse Comitatus Act

    Section 1385 of Title 18, United States Code (USC), states:

    “Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”

    The PCA does not apply to the U.S. Coast Guard in peacetime or to the National Guard in Title 32 or State Active Duty status. The substantive prohibitions of the Posse Comitatus Act (PCA) were extended to all the services with the enactment of Title 10 USC, Section 375. As required by Title 10 USC, Section 375 the secretary of defense issued Department of Defense Directive 5525.5, which precludes members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps from direct participation in a search, seizure, arrest, or other similar activity unless participation in such activity by such member is otherwise authorized by law.

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