Cuban Migrants Recused off Coast of Florida

A group of Cuban migrants in a makeshift boat made of Styrofoam and a car engine were rescued off the coast of Florida when the vessel capsized. The U. S. Coast Guard captured video from a helicopter of the occurrence just north of West Palm Beach at an area called Waveland Beach. There were eight people aboard, including two pregnant women, reports say.

The eight passengers onboard the boat were rescued and taken to local hospitals. Reports say they are in stable condition. Officials in Florida say the eight are custody of federal authorities and their immigration status is yet to be determined.

The U. S. Coast Guard reports seeing a surge of attempted Cuban crossings by migrants in recent months.

41 Migrants Found Hiding Amid Debris in Spanish Territory

Migrants, probable asylum-seekers, trying to sneak into Spain were found amid trash and debris in the cargo of the Spanish territory of Melilla last week. Melilla is a Spanish autonomous city off the coast of North Africa.

A guard inspecting bags of toxic ash recognized a leg after tearing open a bag. The port of Mellila is said to be a target of African migrants due to its location on the continent. Some of the people were found under broken glass in recycling containers.

Guards in the area use search dogs to find migrants trying to sneak into Spain as well as sensitive microphones to detect heartbeats. It is reported that already this year, guards have found 1781 people trespassing in the port security area.

Camero-Tech Launches Xaver Long Range system

Camero-Tech is launching the Xaver LR80 (XLR80) system, which enables detection of live objects behind walls, at distances of more than 100 meters. This new capability provides a breakthrough operational advantage in a hostile environment.

Special forces and law enforcement teams conducting urban and rural operations require reliable information regarding hidden live objects to determine the most suitable approach to ensure successful missions and life-saving. Penetrating through walls from a remote location, the XLR80 creates an unprecedented, real-time situational awareness picture of whether there are people present beyond the wall, and if so, how many, their exact distance and their direction of movement. The system is also highly sensitive for detecting unseen micro movements of static live objects. Being able to achieve these capabilities and the high sensitivity, is a game changer in various operational scenarios, the company says.

Controlled by a tablet with a simple user interface for intuitive interpretation, the XLR80 features integrated data recording and playback for post-mission analysis, training and debriefing. A dedicated sight is used for accurately directing the narrow beam of the system to the target. The system can be operated by a single user and it is ready for use by a push of a button, says the company.

“For the first time, the operator in the field has the ability to see through walls at such long distance,” says Amir Beeri, CEO of Camero. “We have developed unique technology on which the XLR80 system is based on. An innovative Ultra-Wideband (UWB) sensor supported by patented algorithms and signal processing, provides the user with real time situational awareness while staying safe at more than 100 meters away from the target.”

The new XLR80 system is the latest addition to Camero’s Xaver family of products, which includes the Xaver 100, 400 and 800 and has beenn successfully deployed by elite customers around the world in military, law enforcement, intelligence and search and rescue applications.

The XLR80 is completely radiation safe by meeting international standards for human exposure.

DHS Stops Counterfeit N95 Masks from Reaching Hospital Workers

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) federal agents report they have seized approximately 11 million counterfeit 3M N95 respirator masks in recent weeks, the result of ongoing collaboration between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and manufacturer 3M to prevent counterfeit masks from reaching hospital workers and first responders.

“These seizures illustrate the ongoing efforts of HSI, CBP, and private industry in keeping our communities and medical staff safe and free from counterfeit products,” said DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “Often, this battle is fought behind the scenes and is unknown to the general public, but you can be assured that the DHS workforce remains firmly committed to protecting the health and safety of our medical workers, the American public, and the integrity of the American economy.” “The public-private partnerships that are the hallmark of the IPR Center allow for swift and decisive action to protect consumers from fraudulent and potentially harmful or even deadly products. This work which is important on a blue-sky day to protect consumers, U.S. businesses, and the U.S. economy, is even more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson. “The IPR Center with its many government agency and industry partners are unified in their commitment to fight COVID-related fraud.”

The most recent enforcement actions occurred today, with special agents seizing hundreds of thousands of counterfeit masks from an east coast warehouse as part of an ongoing investigation into a criminal enterprise distributing counterfeit masks throughout the U.S. In the past two weeks, HSI has conducted multiple criminal search warrants and seized counterfeit masks in operations conducted in five states, from coast to coast, with more enforcement actions expected in the coming weeks. Since many of the counterfeit masks are produced abroad, HSI also works closely with its international law enforcement partners around the world to pursue leads into sources of supply and prevent shipments of counterfeit products from reaching U.S. shores.

The initial leads came to the HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center last week through 3M, which shared reports of suspected counterfeits being purchased for healthcare workers. HSI mobilized quickly, initiating multi-state investigations into the individuals and organizations looking to profit from the sale and distribution of counterfeit N95 respirators.

At the same time, HSI notified about six thousand suspected victims of the fraud, in at least 12 states, including hospitals, medical facilities and others who may have purchased medical masks from the illicit dealers, urging them to immediately stop using the masks and to contact HSI immediately.

“3M is proud to partner with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help combat counterfeiting of 3M N95 respirators,” said Kevin Rhodes, 3M Deputy General Counsel. “This collaboration has helped prevent millions of counterfeit respirators from reaching frontline workers. We are committed to fighting the pandemic from all angles – manufacturing needed PPE, working to prevent counterfeiting, and helping ensure N95s get to where they are needed the most.”

The cases that resulted in the recent seizures of counterfeit masks are being conducted under HSI’s Operation Stolen Promise, an initiative launched in April 2020 to protect the Homeland from the increasing and evolving threat posed by COVID-19-related fraud and criminal activity.

As of Feb. 10, HSI has seized more than $33 million in illicit proceeds; made 227 arrests; served 222 criminal search warrants; opened 862 investigations; and analyzed nearly 80,000 COVID-19 domain names pursuant to Operation Stolen Promise. Working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, more than 1,800 shipments of mislabeled, fraudulent, unauthorized or prohibited COVID-19 test kits, personal protective equipment, and other related items have been seized. These actions have kept counterfeit and substandard goods out of the supply chain and out of the hands of the general public and medical professionals; have protected individuals, businesses, and the financial system from fraud; have ensured the integrity of online marketplaces and COVID-19 related websites; and have resulted in violators being held accountable for their criminal efforts to exploit the pandemic for profit.

IAI Introduces a New Electro-Optical Surveillance System- MegaPOP

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is expanding its family of electro-optical/IR payloads with the introduction of MegaPOP. The electro-optical payload, which was developed by TAMAM, IAI’s electro-optical and navigation system house. 

The new payload is designed for land applications such as marine or land border control, surveillance of sensitive facilities, or any other operational mission that requires especially lengthy surveillance performance,  as well as high-definition vision capabilities with a system that uses several sensors, simultaneously. 

MegaPOP simultaneously tapes a video on a thermal/ HD channel with night vision, a color daylight HD channel and an innovative HD SWIR technology channel. The continuous zoom capability provides the end-user with high quality output even under highly challenging visual conditions. The system features an exceptionally long range of surveillance augmented by multispectral capabilities. It offers an extraordinary range of sensors that can be used together and a range of laser capabilities. Additional system features include digital tracking, specialized image processing, and additional methods of data processing and automating surveillance capabilities. A built-in gyro stabilizing system ensures stable imaging under all environmental conditions. MegaPOP has magnetic-independent, highly-accurate northing capability to assist in managing target datum points. Advanced digital interfaces allow simplified control even from remote control posts and operational work that involves additional sensors, including: ELINT, COMINT, and more.

Vehicle Scanning at Border Made Mandatory by New U. S. Law





On January 5, 2021 a new act, The Securing America’s Ports Act, was signed into existence requiring “a plan to expeditiously scan all commercial and passenger vehicles entering the United States at a land port of entry using large-scale non-intrusive inspection systems, such as X-ray and gamma-ray imaging systems, or similar technology,” the summary says.

The rule gives 180 days from enactment, which would be this summer, for the Department of Homeland Security to give a report to the Committee on Homeland security and others outlining what it will take to increase to “100 percent the rate of high-throughput scanning of commercial passenger vehicles and freight rail traffic entering the United States at land ports of entry and rail-border crossings along the border using large-scale non-intrusive inspection systems or similar technology to enhance border security.”

The concern is that the requirement will cause traffic congestion at the borders and ports and disrupt the supply chain.

Siemens Government Technologies Chosen for Electronic Security System Maintenance & Services on Florida’s Space Coast

Siemens Government Technologies( SGT), the federally-focused U.S. arm of technology company Siemens, has been awarded an initial task order for a contract valued up to $21 million by the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, for electronic security maintenance and support of vital operations conducted by the Space Force 45th Space Wing on Florida’s Space Coast.

Utilizing the Army Corps of Engineers’ Utility Monitoring and Control Systems fifth generation (UMCS V) contracting vehicle, SGT will leverage smart infrastructure expertise to provide maintenance and support for electronic security systems in support of orbital vehicle launches and range operations at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Patrick Air Force Base (PAFB) and Kennedy Space Center. The 45thSpace Wing has a long history dating back to the 1940s. As one of two space launch wings for the U.S. Space Force, the 45th Space Wing provides support for NASA, the Air Force’s Technical Applications Center and 920thRescue Wing and the Naval Ordnance Test Unit.Taken as a whole, these organizations are ultimately responsible for U.S. national interests in space exploration, strategic defense and deterrence missions.

“Our team at the Cape has more than 49 years of collective experience in supporting the unique needs of our Space Force customer for fire and electronic security, with thorough knowledge of the systems installed for safe, secure and reliable operations,” said Tina Dolph, president and CEO of Siemens Government Technologies. “We look forward to meeting our customers’ highest expectations for new efficiencies without compromise for safety or security, and, we have just the team in place to support the pioneering men and women who are defining our future in Space security, science and exploration.”

SGT has a track record of applying Siemens’ deep portfolio of building automation, utility monitoring and control systems and enhanced security systems at military installations around the world. In November 2019, SGT was selected as one of 14 companies qualified to participate on the UMCS V contract vehicle –a seven-year, multiple award contract with a $1.2 billion ceiling. Under UMCS V, SGT delivers a range of services inclusive of heating, ventilation, chiller/boiler controls, utility metering, automated controls, as well as fire alarm, protection and electronic security.

During National Human Trafficking Awareness Month ICE Emphasized Confronting the Global Issue

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) observed National Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January to bring attention to the international crime and the work of law enforcement to deter human trafficking, bring traffickers to justice and to assist victims. Human trafficking centers on exploitation and is considered a form of modern slavery.

“ICE is committed to leveraging every resource it has at its disposal to confront the threat of human trafficking, to support the victims and survivors, and to hold traffickers accountable for their monstrous crimes,” said Angie Salazar, DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT) acting director in last month. “Though this fight continues year-round, the month of January gives us the opportunity to showcase these efforts and highlight our contribution to this global movement to disrupt and dismantle sex trafficking, forced labor organizations and profiteers.”

Human trafficking generally takes two forms. Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age. Or, the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.

In October 2020, DHS stood up the CCHT, an ICE-led center that integrates DHS investigative and enforcement operations, victim assistance, intelligence, outreach and training to effectively respond to human trafficking on a global scale.

The DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking, is the U.S. government’s first-ever integrated law enforcement operations center directly supporting federal criminal investigations, victim assistance efforts, intelligence analysis, and outreach and training activities related to human trafficking and forced labor.

In fiscal year 2020, ICE arrested 1,746 individuals in connection with human trafficking and identified and assisted more than 400 victims. The top five locations for human trafficking criminal arrests by HSI were Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles, California; Phoenix, Arizona; and Tampa, Florida.

Nationwide, ICE participates in a variety of human trafficking awareness events in January and throughout the year to educate medical professionals, key industries and the general public to identify indicators of trafficking activities. The recognition of human trafficking by others can save a victim’s life and help the investigation and prosecution of traffickers.

Complaint Seeks Forfeiture of Iranian Oil Aboard Tanker Based on Connection to Terror Group

The United States filed a forfeiture complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that all oil aboard a Liberian-flagged vessel, the M/T Achilleas (Achilleas), is subject to forfeiture based on U.S. terrorism forfeiture laws. This investigation was led by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York and the FBI’s Minneapolis office.

The complaint alleges a scheme involving multiple entities affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the IRGC-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to covertly ship Iranian oil to a customer abroad. Participants in the scheme attempted to disguise the origin of the oil using ship-to-ship transfers, falsified documents and other means, and provided a fraudulent bill of lading to deceive the owners of the Achilleas into loading the oil in question.

The complaint alleges in part that the oil constitutes the property of, or a “source of influence” over, the IRGC and the IRGC-QF, both of which have been designated by the United States as foreign terrorist organizations. The documents allege that profits from oil sales support the IRGC’s full range of nefarious activities, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, support for terrorism, and a variety of human rights abuses, at home and abroad.

“This latest civil forfeiture action exemplifies the remarkable work of this multi-agency task force that works tirelessly toward furthering our shared goal of protecting the homeland from regimes that threaten our national security,” said Special Agent in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh for HSI New York. “This investigation sends a message that the attempted circumvention of U.S. sanctions by the IRGC-QF will not be tolerated. HSI will continue to work with our partners and utilize the full scope of our authorities to disrupt the attempts of hostile countries and regimes to generate profits from oil sales used to support terrorism and the proliferation and delivery of weapons of mass destruction.”

“Iran uses profits from its petroleum sector to fund the malign activities of the IRGC-QF, a designated terrorist group,” said Special Agent in Charge Michael F. Paul of the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office. “The FBI will continue to prioritize the enforcement of sanctions, and we applaud the efforts of our agents and partners on this investigation.”

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia will continue working with our law enforcement partners to stem the flow of illicit oil from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Qods Force,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin. “We will use all available tools, including our jurisdiction to seize and forfeit assets located abroad, to combat funding for terrorists and those who would do harm to the United States.”

“The forfeiture complaint filed today serves as a reminder that the IRGC and IRGC-QF continue to exert significant control over the sale of Iranian oil,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the National Security Division. “As we have demonstrated in the past, the department will deploy all tools at its disposal to ensure that the IRGC and IRGC-QF cannot use profits from the sale of Iranian oil to fund terrorism and other activities that threaten the safety and security of all Americans.”

A civil forfeiture complaint is merely an allegation. The United States bears the burden of proving that the oil in question is subject to forfeiture in a civil forfeiture proceeding. Funds successfully forfeited with a connection to a state sponsor of terrorism may in whole or in part be directed to the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund after the conclusion of the case.

HSI New York and the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office are leading the investigation of Iranian petroleum shipments. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael P. Grady and Brian P. Hudak of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and Trial Attorney David Lim of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the National Security Division are prosecuting the case, with support from Paralegal Specialist Brian Rickers and Legal Assistant Jessica McCormick of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. The Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section’s Program Operations Staff of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division has provided extensive assistance throughout the investigation.

Ultra Nabs Subcontract to Provide Variable Depth Sonar

Ultra has been awarded a contract to start work on a key Variable Depth Sonar (VDS) system for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program – named the Towed Low Frequency Active Sonar (TLFAS). This subcontract moves the development of CSC’s anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability from the program definition phase into the full manufacture and delivery of the vessels suite of sonars, the company says.

The TLFAS towed sonar solution is optimized for the detection and tracking of submarines in challenging ocean environments. When delivered Ultra says it will represent a “step-change in Canada’s anti-submarine warfare assets and will provide a level of sonar capability never before enjoyed by the Royal Canadian Navy.”

In the two years since having been originally awarded program definition studies for CSC, working in close partnership with Lockheed Martin Canada and Irving Shipbuilding Inc., Ultra says their Canadian team has grown by more than 150 employees, with another 80 high-tech roles expected to be made available in 2021 alone.

“Ultra recognizes our responsibility to provide, through CSC, the highest possible level of ASW capability to the Royal Canadian Navy. We are therefore immensely proud of this contract award, especially because it is grounded in Canadian innovation and ingenuity, and because it will be an enduring driver of both operational capability and national industrial benefit,” Bernard Mills, president of Ultra Maritime Sonar Systems commented.