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The New York Times By Eric Schmitt, Julian E. Barnes and David D. Kirkpatrick To Find Clues In Saudi Oil Attacks, U.S. Examines Missile And Drone Parts WASHINGTON — American investigators are examining missile circuit boards recovered after strikes against Saudi oil facilities to determine the trajectory of the attack — and whether it originated from Iran — as the Trump administration debates how, and whether, to retaliate.Analysts are poring over satellite imagery of the damage sites, and assessing radar tracks of at least some of the low-flying cruise missiles that were used. Communication intercepts from before and after the attacks are being reviewed to see if they implicate Iranian officials.Perhaps most important, forensic analysis is underway of missile and drone parts from the attack sites. The Saudis have recovered pristine circuit boards from one of the cruise missiles that fell short of its target, providing forensics specialists the possibility...

Iran Has Embarked On A Dangerous Provocation

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Financial Times Iran Has Embarked On A Dangerous Provocation The confrontation between the US and Iran risks spinning out of control. If the weekend attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities were launched by Iranian proxies, they will mark a reckless escalation both of Tehran’s resistance to US pressure and of its struggle for supremacy with its biggest regional rival. The incident has laid bare, too, the vulnerability of the Saudi oil industry despite its vast military spending — and the influence the kingdom still exerts on global crude prices despite the US shale boom. The pressure on President Donald Trump to retaliate may be irresistible. A wiser, though difficult, course would be to seek ways to de-escalate the situation.Much is still unclear about Saturday’s attacks. There are claims that they could have originated in Iranian territory, which would amount to an act of war. If Iranian proxies were responsible,...
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AL.com 16-Year-Old Charged With Making Terrorist Threats Against Alabama Schools By Leada Gore A 16-year-old faces charges connected to threats against Douglas High and Douglas Middle schools in Marshall County.Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims said the male student was arrested at DHS today. He is charged with making terrorist threats involving the schools, a class C felony, and is being held by juvenile authorities.The sheriff’s office and Douglas Police Department began investigating the threats after becoming aware of posts on social media on Sept. 14. "We were able to quickly assess the information and make an arrest today based on the hard work of our deputies and investigators. We will hold students accountable for their actions that disrupt school and related school activities," Sims said. Read more: https://www.al.com/news/2019/09/16-year-old-charged-with-making-terrorist-threats-against-alabama-schools.html...
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Quartz Facebook is partnering up with London police to develop technology to identify terror attacks By Hanna Kozlowska In a world where terrorists plan, explain, and broadcast their attacks on social media, tech platforms are under increasing pressure to do something about it.The London Metropolitan Police will provide Facebook with body-camera footage from its training programs so that the company can develop technology to better detect video of live shootings and immediately take it down, the two announced Sept. 17.“This partnership with the [Metropolitan] Police will help train our AI systems with the volume of data needed to identify these incidents,” Stephanie McCourt, Facebook’s law enforcement liaison, said in a release from the police force.Facebook was criticized by users and governments around the world after a shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand, broadcast is his deadly attack on Facebook, where it was shared thousands of times. Read more: https://qz.com/1710671/facebook-is-partnering-up-with-london-police-to-develop-technology-to-identify-terror-attacks/...

Al-Shabab Attacks Kill 17 In Somalia

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Somalia: Al-Shabab Attacks Kill 17 Voice Of America  By Harun Maruf The al-Shabab militant group launched a series of attacks since Saturday that led to the death of at least 17 people in Somalia.Lower Shabelle region officials told VOA Somali that the militants attacked the town of Qoryoley late Saturday using rocket propelled grenades and heavy machine guns, killing nine people.The town’s Mayor Sayid Ali Ibrajim told VOA that an RPG fired by the militants caused most of the casualties.Somali government forces with support from African Union forces, who are based outside the town, repelled the attack, according to officials.Some of the residents in Qoryoley alleged that heavy weapons fired by AU troops caused some of the civilians casualties. Read more: https://www.voanews.com/africa/somalia-al-shabab-attacks-kill-17...
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Tennessee Star Minneapolis’ ‘Little Mogadishu’ Sees 56 Percent Increase in Violent Crimes Caused by Somali Gangs Anthony Gockowski - January 2, 2019 Violent crimes increased by more than 50 percent in 2018 in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, nicknamed “little Mogadishu,” which authorities attribute to Somali gang activity in the area.Buried in a recent Star Tribune article was the fact that violent crimes jumped from 54 in 2010 to 84 in 2018, an increase in roughly 56 percent. Authorities attribute the violence to rivalries between Somali gangs, such as the Somali Mafia, the Somali Outlaws, the Hot Boyz, and Madhibaan with Attitude, Alpha News reports.According to a 2014 Southside Pride article, the Outlaws and Madhibaan with Attitude have a rivalry that stretches back years, and likely resulted in the murder of two Somali men in April 2014. That article notes that the summer of 2013 was a particularly bloody season for gang...

Coalition: Weapons used in Saudi attacks 'came from Iran'

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Weapons used in Saudi attacks 'came from Iran', says coalitionAnuj Chopra - AFP Riyadh (AFP) - The weapons used to strike Saudi oil facilities were Iranian-made, the Riyadh-led coalition said Monday, heightening fears of regional conflict after the US hinted at a military response to the assault.The weekend strikes on Abqaiq –- the world's largest oil processing facility –- and the Khurais oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia sent oil prices spiking Monday.Yemen's Iran-aligned Huthi rebels claimed responsibility for the operation but Washington has squarely blamed Iran, with President Donald Trump saying the US is "locked and loaded" to respond.US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the US was preparing a response."The United States military, with our interagency team, is working with our partners to address this unprecedented attack and defend the international rules-based order that is being undermined by Iran," he said in a tweet. Read more: https://news.yahoo.com/weapons-used-saudi-attacks-came-iran-coalition-154033532.html...
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Fox News Bin Laden's son Hamza was killed in counterterrorism operation, President Trump confirms White House: Hamza bin Laden, son of Osama bin Laden, killed in a counterterrorism operationPresident Trump has confirmed that Hamza bin Laden, the son of former Al Qaeda leader and 9/11 mastermind Usama bin Laden, has been killed.In a statement released by the White House on Saturday morning, three days after the 18th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, President Trump said Hamza, a high-ranking Al Qaeda member, "was killed in a United States counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region."“The loss of Hamza bin Laden not only deprives Al Qaeda of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father but undermines important operational activities of the group,” the statement continued. “Hamza bin Laden was responsible for planning and dealing with various terrorist groups.”It was unclear when the operation took place. The White House...
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  Department of JusticeOffice of Public Affairs Former Alabama Resident Pleads Guilty to Concealing Terrorism Financing A criminal information was filed on Sept. 11, 2019, against Alaa Mohd Abusaad, charging her with concealment of terrorism financing, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2339C and 2.  Abusaad pleaded guilty to the charge today.  Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, United States Attorney Jay E. Town of the Northern District of Alabama, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. of the Birmingham Division made the announcement today.As set forth in the previously filed complaint, Abusaad instructed an FBI undercover employee (UCE) about how to send money to the mujahedeen—fighters engaged in jihad.  Abusaad told the UCE that money “is always needed.  You can’t have a war without weapons.  You can’t prepare a soldier without equipment.”  Abusaad also advised the UCE on how to send...

Adapting And Upgrading Our Counterterrorism Tools

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Hill Adapting And Upgrading Our Counterterrorism Tools By Nathan A. Sales and Marshall Billingslea, opinion contributor In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush signed a powerful executive order to deprive terrorists of the money they need to attack our country and our interests. Since that moment, the U.S. government has aggressively wielded this vital tool, using it to target more than 1,500 terrorists, terrorist groups and their financial supporters and facilitators. These sanctions have denied terrorists resources, and forced them to devote additional time and energy to seek out new financial channels. It also deterred would-be donors and facilitators. In an effort to avoid our financial tradecraft, the terror groups have continuously adapted so we need to evolve our capabilities as well. That’s why earlier this week, President Trump issued a revised and expanded executive order that is the most significant update of our...

New U.S. Sanctions Target Hamas, Islamic State, Other Groups

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Reuters New U.S. Sanctions Target Hamas, Islamic State, Other Groups WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday announced sanctions on a “wide range of terrorists and their supporters,” including the Palestinian group Hamas and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, on the eve of the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.The targets include 15 leaders, individuals and entities affiliated with groups such as Hamas, al Qaeda, Islamic State and Iran’s IRGC, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.The sanctions were applied using new tools from an executive order recently updated by President Donald Trump.“Since the horrific attacks of 9/11, the U.S. government has refocused its counterterrorism efforts to constantly adapt to emerging threats,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement. Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-terrorism-sanctions/new-us-sanctions-target-hamas-islamic-state-other-groups-idUSKCN1VV2CH...
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ABC News US-Led Coalition Hits ISIS 'Infested' Island In Iraq With 80,000 Pounds Of Munitions By Elizabeth Mclaughlin The U.S.-led coalition conducted airstrikes against an Islamic State "infested" island in Iraq on Tuesday in order to deny what had become a safe haven for the terror group, according to Operation Inherent Resolve.U.S. F-15 and F-35 aircraft dropped 80,000 pounds of munitions on Qanus Island, located in the Salah ad Din Province, north of Baghdad, to disrupt ISIS fighters' "ability to hide in the thick vegetation," the coalition said in a statement.(MORE: Exclusive: Military leaders tell David Muir there is an 'ISIS insurgency' in Iraq, warn of breeding ground across Syria border)"Follow-on ground clearance operations are currently taking place by the 2nd Iraqi Special Operations Forces Battalion to destroy a major transit hub for [ISIS] members moving from Syria and the Jazeera desert into Mosul, Makhmour, and the Kirkuk region" of...
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  Fox News Al Qaeda leader marks 9/11 anniversary with new calls for jihadists to attack AmericaSep. 12, 2019 - Reaction from Whitefox Defense strategic adviser Brett Velicovich.     Click on the photo or watch here: https://video.foxnews.com/v/6085577082001/...
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Business Insider A rocket struck near the US Embassy in Afghanistan just after the clock struck midnight on the anniversary of 9/11 by Bill Bostock A rocket narrowly missed the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday in the first few minutes of the 18th anniversary of 9/11. Loudspeakers throughout the building broadcast the message "an explosion caused by a rocket has occurred on compound," The Associated Press reported. The rocket hit Afghanistan's defense ministry, but no one was injured, an official told Gulf News. Over the weekend, President Donald Trump scrapped negotiations between the US and the Taliban aiming to secure an end to the war in Afghanistan. A US service member was killed by a Taliban car bomb on Thursday, which Trump cited as the catalyst for the abrupt end to the talks. A rocket narrowly missed the US Embassy compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday during the...
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Chicago Sun-Times 9/11 is history for young people, but we who witnessed it will never forgetThey will never know what it felt like that morning to watch on TV as the Twin Towers came down. They will never understand the stunned silence that gripped the nation as we wondered, “What comes next?” By Phil Kadner Tears would come to my father’s eyes when he spoke of December 7. It was a special date to people of a certain age. One they would never forget. But as a young boy it didn’t mean much to me.Yes, I had seen film of Pearl Harbor following the Japanese surprise attack on Dec. 7, 1941 and knew what it meant. Heck, I had seen dozens of World War II movies by the time I was 7 years old.But 18 years had passed since those 2,403 Americans were killed, launching our country’s entry into the...
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9/11 memorial teaches 'Never Forget' to students too young to remember By Christopher Vondracek - The Washington TimesBuses carrying schoolchildren still travel to a Pennsylvania field where a Boeing 757 crashed 18 years ago.But unlike the first groups of children who made the journey — many having watched the 9/11 attacks unfold on TV — today’s students had not yet been born when the U.S. pivoted into a war, color-coded terrorism warnings, and nationwide mourning and remembrance.“Certainly young children and those who were not yet born when the events of Sept. 11, 2001, took place will view this place differently,” said Beth Parnicza, acting public information officer for the Flight 93 National Memorial outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. “[But] schools are still visiting the memorial, and the park is committed to engaging students and visitors of all ages.”Nearly two decades since terrorist attacks rocked a nation and the words “never forget”...
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True horror of September 11 terror attacks revealed in 15 photos we should never forget NZ Herald On this day 18 years ago, unimaginable horror struck America when four commercial flights were hijacked by terrorists and crashed into sites including New York City's Twin Towers.The morning of Tuesday, September 11 was fine and sunny, with New Yorkers navigating the manic rush-hour commute to work or school under a cloudless blue sky.But at 8.46am the unthinkable happened: American Airlines Flight 11, bound for Los Angeles, was hijacked by members of Al-Qaeda at Boston airport and flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre.  People stared up in confusion and disbelief at the smoking building, wondering if perhaps it was an accident, until 17 minutes later a second plane, United Airlines Flight 175, hit the South Tower at 9.03am.By 10.30am the Twin Towers had collapsed, sending people running for their...
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Australia Deploys World’s First Law To Tackle Online Extremism The Financial Times Australian authorities have ordered five websites to remove extremist content or face prosecution, in the first application of a controversial new law introduced in the wake of March’s terror attack in Christchurch. The abhorrent material targeted by Canberra includes videos showing the beheading of a Scandinavian tourist in Morocco and an attack by a white supremacist on two mosques in Christchurch that killed 51 people and sparked a global debate over restricting access to extremist content online. The offending websites are all based outside Australia, according to the country’s eSafety commission, which in April was granted powers to investigate and order the removal of extremist content. “These are fringe websites that revel in gore and hatred. All of them are based overseas,” Julie Inman Grant, Australia’s eSafety commissioner, told the Financial Times. Read more: https://www.ft.com/content/3238d574-d2ab-11e9-8367-807ebd53ab77...

Fighting ISIS, Finding Iran

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Tablet Fighting ISIS, Finding Iran By Seth Frantzman “They are the exporter of instability across the region,” US Secretary of Defense Mattis, his voice gruff and no-nonsense as usual, said in late July 2018. He was talking about Iran. On Syria, he quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Keep your eye on the ball.” There were some nations, such as Russia and Iran, keeping Assad in power. “Our job is to try to find a way in the midst of this chaos to help the innocent people.” To do that the US wanted to “get stability in northeast Syria. This starts with destroying ISIS. They are not destroyed yet. It’s not over yet. It’s going to be a lot longer, tougher fight.” In the midst of the last days of the war on ISIS, global and regional powers were jockeying to see who would win the peace. Trump, Putin, Rouhani,...
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The Wire Pulwama Terror Attack Preceded by 'Massive Intelligence Failure' The CRPF inquiry showed though intelligence agencies had alerted the force about a general IED threat, it did not have any “input” regarding a “threat from a car-borne suicide bomber”. New Delhi: In what could deeply embarrass the Union government, a CRPF internal report, according to India Today, stated that the February 14 terrorist attack on its convoy that killed 40 jawans in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir was preceded by a “massive intelligence failure”. The findings of the report belie the claims of the Union home ministry, which, in June denied an intelligence failure. “All agencies are working in a coordinated manner and the intelligence inputs are shared among various agencies on real time basis. The investigation by NIA into the Pulwama terror attack so far has resulted in identifying the perpetrators,” minister of state for home G. Kishan Reddy...