- The Washington Times - Friday, April 24, 2009

The head of the Homeland Security agency responsible for a controversial report that suggested veterans were being recruited to commit terrorist acts in the U.S. is being replaced by a former FBI and CIA official.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced in a statement late Thursday afternoon that the White House intends to nominate Phillip Mudd as undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis. Mr. Mudd is a 24-year career FBI official, who currently serves as the associate executive assistant director of the Bureau’s national security branch.

He replaces Roger Mackin, who was appointed to the post in September by then-Secretary Michael Chertoff.

Ms. Napolitano also says she will appoint Bart R. Johnson as the principal deputy undersecretary. Mr. Johnson currently serves as director of homeland security and law enforcement in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

“Both of these individuals bring extensive intelligence and national security experience to the Department,” Ms. Napolitano said. “In their new roles, they will lead the Department’s efforts to re-define how DHS works with the Intelligence Community and our federal, state, local and tribal partners to gather, analyze and share the information and intelligence needed to keep the homeland safe and secure.”

Homeland Security spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said the personnel moves were categorically not related to the intelligence analysis reported by The Washington Times last week.

She also said Mr. Mackin will move outside DHS, to the cybersecurity section at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The new detail for Mr. Mackin has been planned for several weeks and predates the April 7 report, Ms. Kudwa said.

The announcement came on the eve of a scheduled meeting between Ms. Napolitano and the head of the American Legion, who expressed outrage last week at the report, titled “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”

Under the heading “Disgruntled Military Veterans,” the assessment said that “right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.”

The report also suggested that state’s rights activists, pro-lifers, gun enthusiasts and border-control activists could be lured into attacking the U.S.

Before joining the FBI, Mr. Mudd also worked at the CIA in 1985 and in various positions since, including a tour as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asian issues at the National Intelligence Council.

Mr. Johnson spent 25 years in the New York State Police, where he rose from trooper to colonel, serving in narcotics-enforcement and counterterrorism leadership positions.