DHS&EM 23 January 2008 Situation Report 08-023Postmark
Home • dailysitrep • DHS&EM 23 January 2008 Situation Report 08-023
From:Wednesday, January 23, 2008 1:08 PM -0900
Subject:DHS&EM 23 January 2008 Situation Report 08-023 

SITUATION REPORT 08-023 (as of 11:00 AM, January 23, 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 coordinating 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.

High Wind Warning
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for the western Aleutians including Shemya and Amchitka until 10 pm AST this evening.  A very strong low pressure system will be passing over the western Aleutians today. Be prepared for east winds to 45 to 60 mph with local gusts to around 80 mph. Winds from Kiska eastward will shift to the southwest in the afternoon. Winds west of Kiska will shift to the northwest by afternoon. Wind speeds will begin to taper off toward midnight as the storm moves off into the Bering Sea.

Blizzard Warnings
The National Weather Service has issued blizzard warnings for the following areas:
- Pribilof Islands including Saint Paul from noon today to 9 pm AST this evening.  East winds will increase to 30 to 45 mph with gusts to 60 mph this afternoon. Snow will combine with these winds to produce blizzard conditions this afternoon through early evening. By late evening temperatures will rise to just above freezing with the snow possibly mixing with rain. Winds will also become south and diminish to 15 to 25 mph by late evening.
- Central Beaufort Sea coast including Nuiqsut, Prudhoe Bay, Alpine, Deadhorse and Kuparuk until 6 pm AST this afternoon.  A strong storm now centered just northeast of Barrow will move rapidly eastward, approaching Banks Island in the Canadian Archipelago by Wednesday evening.  Blizzard conditions will continue through 6 pm today. Southwest winds to 50 mph with gusts to 60 mph will continue through 6 pm today. Visibility will be reduced to zero in snow and blowing snow. Winds will begin to diminish Wednesday evening with visibility improving slowly.
-  Eastern Beaufort Sea coast including Kaktovik and Flaxman Island until midnight AST tonight. A strong storm now centered just northeast of barrow will move east to approach Banks Island in the Canadian Archipelago Wednesday evening.  Blizzard conditions are expected to continue through tonight. West winds will continue at 50 to 60 mph with gusts to 70 mph and continue through this evening. Winds will begin to diminish late Wednesday night. Visibility will be reduced to zero in snow and blowing snow. Winds will begin to diminish late Wednesday night.

Homeland Security
Botulism in various canned beans. Botulism concerns spurred New Era Canning Co. to expand its previous product recall to all canned beans and garbanzo beans distributed nationwide by the company in the past five years. The FDA said the beans might be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum. The Michigan based company announced a recall in December for cans of green beans and is expanding the recall to includes cans of cut green beans, Mexican-style chili beans, dark red kidney beans, and garbanzo beans. About 26 brands and 63 products were distributed nationwide under various labeled brands.

Terror suspects will get 30 to life. Associated Press 01/16/2008 -  Alleged "dirty bomb" plotter Jose Padilla and two codefendants were engaged in terrorism when they conspired to fight in foreign holy wars and should spend 30 years to life in prison, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.  The sentencing guidelines imposed by U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke seemed to indicate that, at least in the case of 37-year-old Padilla, she would heed prosecutors' call for life without parole.  

Ex-Congressman, U.N. Delegate Indicted as Part of Terrorist Fundraising Ring.  A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday on charges of working for an alleged terrorist fundraising ring that sent more than $130,000 to an Al Qaeda supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.  Mark Deli Siljander, a Michigan Republican when he was in the House, was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about being hired to lobby senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the first mandatory standards to protect the US power system from cyber attacks.  Under the new standards, power utility owners and operators are required to protect physical and electronic access to control systems.  According to the regulatory agency, eight reliability standards include critical cyber asset identification; security management controls; personnel and training; electronic security perimeters; physical security of critical cyber assets; systems security management; incident reporting and response planning; and recovery plans for critical cyber assets. The new mandatory standards were developed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation and will take effect 60 days after Congress receives the copies of the standards or after they are published in the Federal Register.
Source: NICC, Daily Sector Pulse, 19 Jan 08

TSA announces new technology for weapons screening. The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced a new weapon screening initiative which measures waves naturally emitted from the human body. The cameras screen crowds of travelers for weapons from up to 20 meters away. The threat detection system creates an image from reflected body energy that then exposes cold objects that could be potential weapons. Officials report the units are particularly useful in congested areas because its ability to detect concealed threats from several feet away without slowing down passengers.
Source: NICC, Daily Sector Pulse, 19 Jan 08

Wind power used by BPA to support other sources in their power grid. Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) reports the amount of wind power delivered to its customers has exceeded 1,000 megawatts, enough electricity to serve approximately 680,000 northwest residences.  BPA has connected 13 wind projects into the northwest region's transmission grid.  BPA is a not-for-profit federal electric utility that markets more than a third of the electricity consumed in the Pacific Northwest. The power is produced at 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant in the northwest and is sold to more than 140 northwest utilities. BPA operates a high-voltage transmission grid comprising more than 15,000 miles of lines and associated substations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
Source: NICC, Daily Sector Pulse, 20 Jan 08

The web war waged from a bedroom.  Police and intelligence agencies across the world believe that the case of Younes Tsouli - who was jailed in London last year for inciting terror over the internet - offers dramatic evidence of how extremists are using the web to radicalize young Muslims.  From his bedroom in Shepherd's Bush in West London, Tsouli, who called himself "Terrorist 007," was linked to alleged terror groups in Bosnia, Scandinavia, Canada and the United States.  
Source: BBC News, 01/16/2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7191597.stm 

Cyber attacks and extortion demands reported. Officials at a New Orleans security conference on Friday announced that cyber attacks are responsible for at least one power outage affecting multiple cities outside the US. Officials stated, "We have information, from multiple regions outside the United States, of cyber intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands. We suspect, but cannot confirm, that some of these attackers had the benefit of inside knowledge. We have information that cyber attacks have been used to disrupt power equipment in several regions outside the United States. In at least one case, the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities. We do not know who executed these attacks or why, but all involved intrusions through the Internet."
Source: NICC, Daily Sector Pulse, 18 Jan 08

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.

The Next Situation Report: will be published as of 11:00 AM, January 24, 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.