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by CSO Contributor

New Hurdles for Security Clearance; High Security for Paris Bastille Day Parade; 9/11 Probe: Terrorists Probably Still at Large

Jul 14, 20032 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

New Hurdles for Security Clearance

The number of security clearance reviews has tripled in recent years: 11,000 in 2000 to more than 34,000 in 2002, according to a story in todays Hartford Courant. Not surprisingly, the new scrutinywhich began with a mandate issued in 2000is heightened by homeland security tensions. More defense contractors in specialized fields, such as aerospace, engineering and computer technology, are requiring most, if not all, employees to have clearances. The number of security clearance rejections increased from 307 in 2000 to 579 in 2002. Before 2000, the vast majority of rejected applicants were deemed suspicious for personal or criminal misconduct. Now, security law specialists say and research shows, foreign ties have become the main concern. Already this year, foreign ties have become the most frequently cited reason for rejection in appealed cases. Since 2000, anyone carrying a second passport is denied clearance. (As the Courant notes,many foreign-born citizens retain their second passport for convenience or to expedite travel to countries where a U.S. passport is unwelcome.) Family ties or marriage to a non-U.S. citizen, land ownership, or extensive professional dealings in other countries can also raise suspicions.High Security for Paris Bastille Day ParadeBBC News reports today that France’s Bastille Day parade has passed off peacefully amid tight security a year after an attempt to assassinate President Jacques Chirac. Nearly 5,000 police were guarding against any new assassination attempts, terrorist attacks or demonstrations. In a new tactic, police erected barriers to divide the crowd of onlookers into separate groups of 1,500 people. Anyone entering one of the 50 enclosures was checked for weapons.


9/11 Probe: Terrorists Probably Still at LargeDetroit Free Press, a congressional investigation into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has concluded that between 70,000 and 120,000 terrorists were trained by Al Qaeda and some are still in the United States, Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., said yesterday on NBCs Meet the Press. The full classified report wrapped up by the House and Senate last Dec. 20 is still under review at the FBI and CIA, which are trying to determine whether any disclosure of information might pose a risk to national security and should remain secret. Graham has criticized the administration repeatedly for delaying release of the report, and says the Bush administration “lost focus” on the war on terrorism when it turned its attention to war with Iraq.

According to an AP story in todays