DHS&EM 7 January 2008 Situation Report 08-007Postmark
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From:Monday, January 7, 2008 2:08 PM -0900
Subject:DHS&EM 7 January 2008 Situation Report 08-007 

SITUATION REPORT 08-007 (as of 11:00 AM, January 7, 2008)

Homeland Security Advisory System – National Level:  Yellow-Elevated
Homeland Security Advisory System – Alaska Level:  Yellow-Elevated
Maritime Security (MARSEC) Level – Level I – Low.
Military installations in Alaska are at FPCON A.
State of Alaska Cyber Security Alert Level: Guarded
World Health Organization Pandemic Phase - Phase 3: No or very limited human-to-human transmission (An Influenza Pandemic situation report, which contains an explanation of the WHO Pandemic Phases, is attached to this situation report and updated every Tuesday)

Threat Level Changes
No change.

State of Alaska Situation
(Updates to this section from previous Situation Report are in Italics)

Rural Alaska Fuel Shortages
The SECC continues to work with communities in rural Alaska that are facing fuel shortages and/or power generation problems.  The SECC is working with local, state and federal agencies and other organizations to ensure that the situation in these communities does not reach the point of becoming a disaster emergency.
Current weather warnings and watches for Alaska can be found at the following National Weather Service web site:  http://www.arh.noaa.gov/

DOT&PF Road Information:  can be found at http://511.Alaska.gov/ or by calling 511.

Homeland Security:
TransCanada only applicant to meet Alaska’s AGIA requirements. Gov. Sarah Palin has announced that only one of the five applications submitted for the exclusive right to build a natural gas pipeline to transport North Slope gas to market will advance to the next round of public scrutiny.  The application from TransCanada Alaska Co., LLC/Foothills Pipelines, Ltd. was the only one that met all the state's requirements. A public comment period on TransCanada's application opens Saturday. Palin made the announcement Friday during a news conference in Anchorage. "We have long stated that it only takes one good application," said Gov. Palin. "We're thrilled to have a project sponsor willing to build a pipeline on terms that benefit all Alaskans. Today's result is tremendously satisfying." Applications were submitted under AGIA, passed by the Alaska Legislature in May 2007. Other applications that were submitted but didn't meet state requirements were from the Alaska Gasline Port Authority, AEnergia LLC, Sinopec ZPEB and Alaska Natural Gasline Development Authority.
Source: KTUU News Staff Report, Associated Press, 4 Jan 08

Alaska oil exploration to begin in the Chukchi Sea. The government says it will offer exploration rights for oil and gas in a northwestern region of Alaska. The federal Minerals Management Service said it would take bids next month for concessions in the Chukchi Sea, which separates Alaska from Siberia. But environmental groups fear the effects on wildlife in the region, including the polar bear population. There have been no lease sales for over 15 years and the groups fear further exploration could damage marine life. Energy exploration in Alaska has always been a tough choice between preserving one of the planet’s last great areas of pristine wilderness and the potential for huge profits to be made from its development. The American sectors of the Chukchi Sea are believed to hold 15 billion barrels of recoverable oil and over seven trillion cubic feet of natural gas. But the authorities had not held a lease sale in the sea since 1991, both due to the difficulties and cost involved in extraction from the Arctic continental shelf and concerns over the environment. The
Minerals Management Service says exploration will not be allowed to take place any closer than 50 miles from the shoreline, therefore striking a balance between development and protection of coastal resources.
Source: January 3, BBC News – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7169144.stm

Passport card technology approved. On Monday the State Department approved technology that will allow passport cards, which can be used by U.S. citizens instead of a passport when traveling to other countries in the western hemisphere, to be read from up to 20 feet away. This process only takes one or two seconds. The card would not have to be physically swiped through a reader, as is the current process with passports. Privacy advocates criticized the department for not doing more to protect information on the card, but the State Department said privacy protections will be built into the card. The chip on the card will
not contain biographical information. A 2004 law to strengthen border security called for a passport card that frequent border crossers could use that would be smaller and more convenient than the traditional passport. Currently, officials must swipe travelers’ passports through an electronic reader at entry points.

State Department issues list of threats U.S. businesses face. U.S. businesses faced varied threats in 2007 — including cyber attacks in Europe, theft of intellectual property in Asia, natural disasters in Latin America, terrorism on many continents — according to a year-end analysis by the U.S. State Department’s Overseas Security Advisory Council. In Europe, two weeks of attacks by computer interlopers that crippled government and corporate Web sites beginning in late April raised a new worry that U.S. companies also could be vulnerable to attack by computer. Among 10 security issues cited in the report, the council also warned of rising homegrown political radicalism and terrorism in Europe. Intellectual property theft, terrorism, natural disasters, and political instability were listed as the most serious security challenges in Asia. The threat from fraud and theft of trade secrets has been rising exponentially, the report said. It cited China and India as countries of greatest concern and warned that much of the damage comes from within companies.
Source: January 2, Associated Press – http://www.buffalonews.com/145/story/241556.html

Police: Gunpowder-filled pipe source of deadly explosion. The blast that killed a West Chester Township, Ohio, teen Wednesday afternoon came from a pipe filled with gunpowder, according to police. He was nearly 110 feet away from the explosion, according to a Police Department official. Two juveniles were transported to the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center for involvement in the explosion.
Source: January 3, Oxford Press -

Explosive device disrupts phone service. Residents in the northeast area of the Las Vegas Valley were without phone service while repair crews work on a transmitter that was damaged by an explosive device. Residents told police they heard an explosion around 3 a.m. Wednesday. Las Vegas police, the FBI, and ATF were on the scene investigating. Phone service was expected to be out until Wednesday evening.
Source: January 2, KLAS 8 Las Vegas - http://www.lasvegasnow.com/Global/story.asp?s=7568343

Bomb placed at a Michigan Goodwill Store. Police, fire crews and the Michigan State Police Bomb Squad were called to the Goodwill Store on Ellis Road Thursday morning when an explosive device was found in a donation bin. The bomb squad and military personnel later determined the device was a M905 tail fuse which is used as a detonation device for a variety of military explosives. The fuse was live and armed with about a half pound of explosives. The bomb squad moved the device to an alternate site and detonated it. The incident remains under investigation.
Source: NICC, Daily Sector Pulse, 3 Jan 08

Pacific Rim
(Nothing to report)

(Nothing to report)

The Next Situation Report: will be published as of 11:00 AM, January 8, 2008. A significant change in the situation or the threat level will prompt an interim report. Please direct questions regarding this report to the SECC at 907-428-7100 or secc@ak-prepared.com.

How to reach the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management: Phone the State Emergency Coordination Center (SECC) by dialing (907) 428-7100 or 1-800-478-2337, 24 hours per day.  Information on emergency topics is available on the Division's web site at http://www.ak-prepared.com.  Homeland Security information may be found at http://www.ak-prepared.com/homelandsecurity/

How to reach the Division of Administration – State Cyber Security Program:  If you have questions you may contact Darrell Davis, State Computer Security Officer darrel.davis@Alaska.gov.

For further information:
Being prepared: Ready.gov
Countries:              U.S. State Department Background Notes.
Maps:           United Nations Cartographic Section
                University of Texas Library Map Section.