Operation “VIPER” conducted in Georgia as a counter terrorism effort. (Randomness in action!)

Hi Gang:
I received a phone call earlier this week on Tuesday, September 28 from Brad Stone a producer for Atlanta based television station, WSB-TV, a station that has produced a number of hard-hitting, no nonsense reports on the risk posed to our nation and our citizens by aliens who evade the inspections process on the southern border and are categorized as "OTM's" (Other Than Mexican) including and those who come from "Special Interest" countries- countries with ties to terrorism.

This past May Brad arrange for me to be interviewed in conjunction with a story his station ran about the unacceptable situation to be found on the border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico.

You may be interested to know that he has since interviewed me for additional broadcasts on the immigration crisis that is scheduled to air in the near future.  (I will keep you posted as to when this will air.)  

The reason for Brad's call and e-mail a couple of days ago was to alert me to the breaking news reports about possible terrorist attacks that were believed to have targeted several European countries as well as the United States.  He also wanted me to know that a major road, I-20, had been shut down and all sorts of law enforcement officials from the federal, state and local police agencies were stopping trucks and scanning them with a variety fo devices as well as having dog teams scrutinize these vehicles.

The initial report was that a counter terrorism exercise was being conducted.  It would seem reasonable that this was done in conjunction with the threats identified in Europe that indicated that terrorists were planning to put together a "Mumbai" style attack using commando teams targeting hotels or other such venues where lots of people congregate.

Here is a link to a video report that aired on ABC News about the terrorist threat:


(I recently addressed this issue and raised the issue of the lunacy that even as intelligence sources make it clear that Europeans are being recruited as terrorists because Europeans do not need visas to enter the United States, the Visa Waiver Program is not only continuing, but continually expanding!)

On Wednesday Brad sent me an e-mail with a link to the report his station had done on the operation.  Here is the link to that video:

I have done a bit of research into Operation VIPER (Visual Intermodal Protection and Response)  that was mentioned in the report and came up with an article that was posted in March 2008.

I have attached that article below and I think it is important to read the article to see how the former administration came to understand and embrace the concept of "Randomness" as a critically important tool in law enforcement- especially where the war on terror is concerned.

Here is a copy of the two paragraphs in which then Secretary of DHS, Michael Chertoff explained "randomness:"

Chertoff had explained that “randomness is [a] critical tool … one the things we’ve observed as we’ve studied the terrorists’ method of operation is they are very dedicated and committed to planning. And therefore when we disrupt their planning capability by having an element of randomness in our detection, we set them back in terms of their ability to execute. That’s why we’ve got approximately 700 explosive detection canine teams, which we deploy on a random basis and a surge basis from time to time … they’re called VIPER teams.”

Chertoff explained that under Operation VIPER “we surge into mass transit, we surge into an airport, they’re visible, they’re opening bags, they have dogs and detection equipment that is seeking to detect explosive residue, and it is that kind of change-up that gives us that additional level of protection of randomness.”

If you wonder why I am raising the issue of "randomness" the answer is simple.  It reenforces a point I have made on many occasions- that when the immigration laws are routinely enforced and illegal aliens are arrested for no other reason than their illegal presence in the United States, you introduce randomness into the equation.

By making it crystal clear, as the administration has on so many occasions that aliens who "only" violate our borders and/or our immigration laws have nothing to fear, terrorist and criminal organizations are given an insider's view into the "playbook" by which DHS operates.  If a terrorist "sleeper" can avoid being arrested for committing a serious crime, he (she) is virtually assured to not be arrested and/or removed (deported) from the United States.

We know that of 94 terrorists who were identified by the 9/11 Commission of entering the United States that 59 of them used visa fraud and/or immigration benefit fraud in order to enter the United States and embed themselves in our country, enabling them to hide in plain sight.

The hopelessly naive statements of President George W. Bush in which he said that the government needed to permit aliens who simply want to run our borders in order to do the infamous jobs "Americans won't do" law enforcement could then focus their attention on the terrorists!

The question no one asked George W. or the current President or his entourage of open-borders cabinet members is, "What does a bad guy look like?" 
In the movies the bad guy is easily identified.  If his name or photo is not openly mentioned by the good guys, you can often tell who the bad guy is by the way the music changes, by the way the lighting changes or by some other easy to notice factor to help the audience sort out what is happening.

In real life the only music you might hear is the music on the car radio or the Apple I Pod you may be listening to and, I can assure you, the soundtrack is not altered when a bad guy shows up!
I often like to ask the rhetorical question, "What does a terrorist likely do a couple of days before he participates in a terrorist attack?"
The answer is straightforward- he goes to his job where he has been hiding in plain sight for the perhaps as long as several years!

Open borders advocates of course, counter my position by saying that only 19 terrorists attacked out nation on September 11 and most of the aliens who are illegally present are not terrorists.
Here is my question:  "To date, how many 18 wheelers have been used as part of a terrorist attack?  Answer: None!  (I do know that rental trucks were used in two terrorist attacks but they were readily identified as being trucks and not tractor trailers, although tractor trailers have been used to move shipments of drugs and illegal aliens)

I would remind you that the trucks that were screened, scanned or otherwise scrutinized had not just entered our country but were simply driving down an interstate highway in Georgia.  Meanwhile, illegal aliens who make their way to the interior of the United States will most likely never face scrutiny once they get away from the immediate border areas of our country.  In fact, under Comprehensive Immigration Reform, aliens who make their way to the interior of the United States would become eligible for becoming United States citizenship!

Additionally, just as only 19 terrorists hijacked airliners on 9/11 and a couple of other terrorists attempted to explode bombs on airliners- how many millions of other passengers have simply boarded airliners to just fly to another city for vacation, business or some other lawful activity- yet consider how invasive the inspection we undergo prior to boarding an airliner has become.

The randomness factor, if used to combat illegal immigration would represent a huge and reasonable step to reduce the incentives for millions of illegal aliens to run our nation's borders and also keep terrorists and criminals off balance.  Furthermore, while the random searches of trucks on a busy interstate highway impedes commerce and ties up traffic, causing extra pollution to spew from stalled traffic impacting so many citizens of our nation who are just going about their daily routines, arresting illegal aliens would impact those who have violated our nation's borders and our nation's laws!

Arresting illegal aliens may, as I often found as an INS special agent, uncover evidence of further criminal misconduct including individuals involved in terrorist activities!

Arresting illegal aliens also provides opportunities to cultivate informants- a resource of incomparable importance to law enforcement.

Considering all of the above, could you imagine a strategy being employed to combat terrorism that would not further erode the expectations of privacy and freedom that used to be considered our birthright in this country?  The enforcement of the immigration laws would represent just that sort of strategy!

Please do not misunderstand what I am saying- I believe that given the nature of the threat our nation faces from terrorists and members of violent and pernicious drug cartels and transnational gangs our government has to take some significant steps to protect us, but how did the rights of illegal aliens come to trump the rights of law abiding citizens of our nation especially when this creates major national security vulnerabilities?

A nation's security begins at its borders.  Our nation's borders do not only exist along the northern and southern extremes of our nation.  Our borders exist along the estiamted 95,000 miles of coastline and our border exist at every international airport.  That is why I recently wrote a commentary in which I stated that "Every state is a border state!"

Securing the borders of a nation is not an act of bigotry but an act of commonsense- especially in this perilous era!
As I have often noted, a country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!

November 2nd cannot come fast enough!
We the People, throughout this nation must seek opportunities to make it clear to our political "representatives" that we understand their game plan and won't tolerate it!.

I believe our nation's is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world.  However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels and members of al-Qaeda!

If reading this makes it difficult for you to sleep now- perhaps you could do something worthwhile- perhaps you might spend a couple of your sleepless hours writing letters to your elected representatives this evening and remind them that Election Day is just months away!

We the People can add to the consternation of these politicians who are failing to live up to their oaths of office by contacting them and making it abundantly clear that election day is coming and they should think of election day as their personal "Day of Reckoning!"

Our government must live up to its obligation of protecting its own citizens and, indeed, all who are present in our country from the criminals and terrorists who would threaten our lives and the survival of our nation and our way of life.  In the end, the government is actually those who are elected to act as our "leaders."   Those who fail to truly lead and look out for those they are supposed to represent, need to be sent packing this coming Election Day!

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the "American Dream" the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm's way in defense of this nation and our citizens.  

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job.  Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election! 

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a "Bucket Brigade of Truth!"

In less than 5 weeks, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection and more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People!

However, the practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.I implore you to get involved!

If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional "Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

-michael cutler- 

Please check out my website:

Click on the links below to RePatriot Radio and listen to the internet radio show I host on Friday evenings from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time:

"Bordering on Insanity!"


Audience email questions/comments   repatriotradio@comcast.net


HS Today

DHS Tests Airport Checkpoints, SPOT Print

by Anthony L. Kimery   
Friday, 21 March 2008

Operation VIPER tested at East, West coast airports during impromptu stops of motorists

“Some of the people who were arriving here at the airport … were quite unnerved,” said Tampa Bay, Florida WTVT FOX News affiliate reporter Peter Linton-Smith as he reported Friday on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) unannounced stopping of vehicles entering Tampa International Airport’s (TIA) short term parking to conduct searches for Improvised Explosives Devices, or IEDs.

DHS was not responding to any intelligence indicating that there was a potential threat at the airport, but was instead conducting an exercise under the department’s “Operation VIPER [Visual Intermodal Protection and Response]” program that DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff had briefly described during an October 19, 2007 speech before the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. 

Chertoff had explained that “randomness is [a] critical tool … one the things we’ve observed as we’ve studied the terrorists’ method of operation is they are very dedicated and committed to planning. And therefore when we disrupt their planning capability by having an element of randomness in our detection, we set them back in terms of their ability to execute. That’s why we’ve got approximately 700 explosive detection canine teams, which we deploy on a random basis and a surge basis from time to time … they’re called VIPER teams.”

Chertoff explained that under Operation VIPER “we surge into mass transit, we surge into an airport, they’re visible, they’re opening bags, they have dogs and detection equipment that is seeking to detect explosive residue, and it is that kind of change-up that gives us that additional level of protection of randomness.”

At TIA, an 18 member team from DHS and TIA Airport Police searched vehicles as they entered the airport’s short term parking lot. The goal was to be able to search one car in 30 seconds.

"In the event that we did have specific intelligence or a specific threat … we'll be ready to go and able to turn it on at a moment's notice," said DHS spokesman Gary Milano.

The unannounced checkpoint clearly caught motorists, and local reporters, by surprise, and caused some to fear or suspect that there was a legitimate bomb threat.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the continent at Palm Springs International Airport, another DHS VIPER operation team practiced random inspections of vehicles entering airport grounds.

But more important than setting up checkpoints to stop entering vehicles to practice searching for IEDs is that in both VIPER operations DHS behavior detection officers (BDOs) practiced potting suspicious behavior based on TSA's Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT).

As Milano explained to the Tampa Bay FOX News affiliate reporter, “the behavior detection officer, as the name implies, looks for certain behaviors that possibly trigger, or indicate that the person has something to hide, and then we take it from there.”

At Miami International Airport in March, TSA travel document checkers and behavior detection officers flagged a male passenger for additional screening based on both suspicious documents and behavior. He bolted from the security area.

TSA officers followed, providing police his location. Miami-Dade police officers apprehended Faid Beydoun, 42, after he jumped from a second-story roadway, breaking an arm and ribs as he landed on the sidewalk. Beydoun was arrested on charges of resisting arrest without violence and disorderly conduct, and found to be carrying multiple IDs in several names.

According to TSA, illegal immigrants have been identified through SPOT, as was a passenger carrying surveillance photos of high-risk buildings and bridges and a man wearing several layers of clothing with wires extending from his sleeves to a black box he was carrying. And, in 2005 at Boston's Logan International Airport, several passengers sitting separately were seen making clandestine signs to one another, while pretending not to know each other. They later admitted to being paid $5,000 to travel between airports and observe security.

More than 500 BDOs are expected to be trained by the end of 2008. TSA expects to be able to roll out SPOT nationwide soon thereafter.

The combination of stopping vehicles as they enter an airport’s grounds and looking for suspicious behavior is exactly what the Israeli’s have long practiced at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv. The upcoming May issue of HSToday will feature an exclusive inside look at this and other security operations at Ben Gurion airport.

“We’ve borrowed this from what the … Israelis do,” Chertoff said during his 2007 address to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, explaining that “it involves looking at behavior, and training officers to be out in the actual flow at the airport and in the actual flow in some of our mass transit to watch the behavior of people; how they react as they approach the checkpoint, how they react as they’re unloading things. And that cues us that there may be some people we want to take a closer look at. This, by the way, is a concept that we’ve used at the border for many years, which is training people to look for human behavior which is the giveaway as to whether somebody is planning something big.”

Continuing, Chertoff said “some argue that’s somehow an invasion of liberty or profiling, but actually I’m going to make the reverse argument. Focusing on behavior as opposed to someone’s appearance or ethnic group is exactly what we should be doing, and the better we are at focusing on people based on their behavior, the less we have to interfere with the innocent passenger.”

And that’s precisely the point that’s made in the upcoming May HSToday feature on Ben Gurion’s focus on people, rather than the things people carry with them through airport security.

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