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Killing the Lone Wolf Myth

Posted by on in Terrorism
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As the horrible tragedy unfolded in London, England – an attack right at its heart -  the English authorities were at least able to come up with a fairly quick diagnosis of an attack by Radical Islam against the West. These attacks have been frequent and widespread. There is no reason to doubt that there will be many more as ISIS loses ground in Iraq and Syria. In 2016 it is reliably estimated that there were 1457 people killed and another 3500+ injured in close to 40 attacks across the world, not to mention Iraq, Syria and in their territories. That amount could grow by in 2017 by 650% or more like it did between 2015 and 2016. Yet, like good Lobsters boiling slowly in their pots as the temperature of the water surrounding them rises, US news still considers itself in the Obama era, where every attack had to...
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The Guardian by Alan Travis Ministers have been poised for several weeks to announce a long-awaited “refresh” of Britain’s counter-terror strategy, but as Theresa May made clear on Thursday there is no political appetite for any immediate ”knee-jerk-style” security crackdown in the aftermath of the attack. That refresh, when it does come, is expected to include a major expansion of the Prevent anti-radicalisation programme and a renewed effort to tackle its “toxic” reputation within Britain’s Muslim communities. But May’s measured reaction and refusal to rush into any fresh changes is about as far as it is possible to get from Tony Blair’s response in the immediate aftermath of the July 7 London bombings in 2005. Then he hurried out a 12-point plan to show that “the rules of the game are changing”. Some of the measures, such as 90-day pre-charge detention and banning non-violent Islamist groups, quickly turned from being...
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Fox News By Matthew Dean FBI Director James Comey repeated his concerns Thursday over a "terrorist diaspora" that he believes will occur once ISIS territory in Iraq and Syria is "crushed" by coalition forces. Comey said during a speech at a national security summit at the University of Texas at Austin that he expects these individuals to flow outward largely to Western Europe, Southeast Asia, and North Africa. Labeling the impending phenomenon the "ghost of Christmas future," Comey used his remarks to urge government leaders and intelligence officials in Western Europe to "break down the barriers" in the EU and share intelligence and critical information in an effort to crack down on the terrorism threat. He did not make any references to Wednesday's attack in London. Comey compared Europe's need to unite on security issues to changes in the U.S. following the 9/11 attacks. He described Western Europe as FBI's...
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The assailant mowed down pedestrians and stabbed a police officer before attempting to storm the Parliament building. Huffington Post   By Alana Horowitz Satlin , Eline Gordts , Willa Frej • An armed man attempted to storm the Parliament building in London on Wednesday after ramming into pedestrians on a nearby bridge.• Four people were killed: the attacker, a police officer, a 43-year-old mother, and a man in his 50s.• Police arrested eight people following overnight raids and are investigating the incident as an act of terrorism. LONDON ― British police arrested eight people in overnight raids as they searched for more information on Thursday about the previous day’s attack on one of the city’s busiest areas. An armed assailant drove into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge on Wednesday afternoon, then stabbed a police officer while trying to storm the city’s Parliament building, killing three people and injuring around 40 more. Twenty-nine...

U.S. tells allies to do more to pressure ISIS

Posted by on in Terrorism
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by Matthew Lee - The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The United States on Wednesday urged coalition partners to step up efforts to defeat Islamic State militants as top officials from 68 nations gathered in Washington to assess the fight to retake Iraq's second largest city and advance on the group's self-declared Syrian capital. "I recognize there are many pressing challenges in the Middle East, but defeating ISIS is the United States' No. 1 goal in the region," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the coalition's first ministerial gathering since President Trump took office. "As we've said before, when everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. We must continue to keep our focus on the most urgent matter at hand," Tillerson said. Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis were hosting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Ababi and foreign ministers from the coalition partners at the State Department in Washington to explore...
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by Scott Powers The dramatic rise in threats and incidents aimed at Jewish community centers and day schools has led to a proposed $1.5 million request to the state for security measures that include installation of bullet-proof glass at Jewish schools around Florida, and a Florida House subcommittee overwhelmingly approved Monday. “There has been a dramatic rise in the threats against Jewish Day schools and Jewish institutions since the first of the year,” said state Rep. Randy Fine, a Republican from Brevard County who successfully presented House Bill 3653 to the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee Monday. That dramatic rise, by his count, included 17 incidents in Florida this year, and 154 nationally, including an incident in Indiana when someone shot a bullet through the window of a Jewish school in late February. “People are scared. Students are missing school. Parents are withdrawing their children from school and considering putting them in...
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By MarketWatch Four people have died in a terror attack near the U.K.’s Houses of Parliament in London, in which an assailant stabbed a police officer and a car mowed down pedestrians. The incident on Wednesday afternoon local time also left several injured, some severely, according to media reports. “The senior national coordinator has declared this a terrorism incident, and although we remain open -minded to the motive, a full counter-terrorism investigation is already underway,” Metropolitan Police Commander B.J. Harrington said at a press conference Wednesday. Four people have died in the incident, including one police officer, and 20 injured, the Met said in a press update later in the afternoon. A car slammed into pedestrians near the U.K. Parliament, leaving at least one person dead and a dozen injured. Police were treating the incident as terrorism. Early Wednesday afternoon local time, a car drove directly toward pedestrians on nearby...
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$1bn of oil is stolen in Mexico each year, while EU loses massive revenues, says the Atlantic Council thinktank by Adam Vaughan - The Guardian   Oil theft is fueling terrorist groups and drug cartels around the world, according to a new analysis.   Mexican drug gangs can earn $90,000 (£72,000) in seven minutes from tapping a pipeline of refined oil, while insurgents in Nigeria financially benefit from a share of the third of the country’s refined oil exports that is lost to theft, said the Atlantic Council.   The Washington DC-based thinktank, which mapped the scale of crime in the oil refining and processing end of the sector, said the issue had largely been ignored by authorities and law enforcement agencies so far. “This has been an invisible issue for many years, people do not recognise downstream oil theft as a problem. It’s a multibillion-dollar thing that affects many...
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By Dave Byknish EDINBURG, Texas (KXAN) — New numbers from the Department of Homeland Security show a drastic increase in violence against Border Patrol agents. According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, from Oct. 1, 2016 until Feb. 28, 2017, attacks involving weapons, projectiles and close quarters fighting have gone up 179 percent from the same period last year. “We are becoming more effective in dealing with the increase in assaults and flow of traffic, we’re making sure our agents are prepared to address any tactics and/or force that is used against us,” said McAllen Station Patrol Agent in Charge Melissa Lucio. “Our priority is to ensure that everybody is safe and that we have an appropriate response to assaults on our agents.” CBP said agents have been using less lethal forms of handling the assaults which allows them to move to a safer location. There have been no serious...
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By: Marvin Marin Both government and commercial organizations have traditionally taken a reactive approach to cybersecurity through continuous monitoring of intrusion detection and prevention systems and monitoring of cyber alert systems such as Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems. Although powerful, these tools can leave cyber professionals and the organizations they are defending with a false sense of security and, consequently, they can also potentially leave their networks in a vulnerable state. Cyber adversaries are relentless, and they’re continually evolving to overcome the latest in defensive tools and tactics. To maintain the balance in this non-kinetic arms race and maintain a positive and proactive security program, those targeted by these adversaries must also be agile and learn to evolve. So, what’s the next step that should be taken to stay ahead of these cyber adversaries? We recommend "Cyber Threat Hunting" – a proactive approach to finding vulnerabilities and threat...
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by Conor Finnegan - ABC News More than two years into the fight against ISIS, the U.S. is set to convene the largest gathering of the coalition it amassed to take on the terror group. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will play host Wednesday as foreign ministers from all 68 countries in the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS descend on Washington -- the first time representatives from every country have met since December 2014. The meeting will focus on reviewing the progress that has been made against the terror group and “accelerating” efforts to defeat and destroy the group in Iraq and Syria, including disrupting their financing and the flow of foreign fighters. The coalition will also discuss ways to put pressure on the terror groups that claim affiliation with ISIS, in countries like Libya and Egypt, and to deal with those foreign fighters who may return to their home...
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Air Force Times By: Stephen Losey Aircraft from the Air Force, other branches of the U.S. military and coalition nations released more than 7,000 weapons against the Islamic State in January and February — the most of any two-month stretch since Operation Inherent Resolve began more than two and a half years ago. According to statistics posted online last week by U.S. Air Forces Central Command, the coalition released 3,600 weapons against ISIS in January and another 3,440 in February. Before this year began, the busiest month for the Air Force against ISIS was November 2015, when 3,242 weapons were released. AFCENT spokeswoman Capt. Kathleen Atanasoff said in an email that part of that increase is due to the Air Force's effort to support Iraqi and other allied forces as they continue their effort to retake the strategically key cities of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria. Iraqi soldiers,...

The ISIS Stronghold You Don’t Hear About

Posted by on in Terrorism
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By Elliot Friedland Islamic State terrorists are most notorious for their brutal conquest of a third of Iraq in 2014 and for their slick and savage propaganda videos which feature masked jihadis beheading captives. ISIS is not only confined to Iraq and Syria however. They have an active province in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. A map of the Sinai Peninsula. (Photo: © Wikimedia Commons)   Here’s what’s been going on: Timeline June 25 2012: Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis (Supporters of the Holy House, ie the Temple of Solomon/Al-Aqsa Mosque), the terrorist group which would later become ISIS in Sinai, announces its formation with a propaganda video claiming responsibility for an attack against a gas pipeline in Egypt. October 2014: President Sisi declares a state of emergency in Sinaiafter 33 military personnel are killed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. November 2014: Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis pledges allegiance to the Islamic State and becomes...
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by Asharq Al-Awsat Beirut- A Lebanese military court on Friday charged 18 people, most of them Syrians, with transferring more than $19 million from Lebanon to ISIS in Syria and Iraq through currency exchange offices and money transfer companies. Judicial sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr charged 18 people. But the state-run National News Agency said 17 people, including 15 Syrians, one Palestinian and two others were accused of belonging to ISIS, creating a money smuggling network and transferring money out of Lebanon for the terrorist group’s benefit. According to Agence France Presse, the network had “transferred $19,300,000 to ISIS in Syria and Iraq from 2014 until now”. A judicial source told AFP that the accused “rented currency exchange offices from Lebanese nationals at very attractive prices and began transferring money to ISIS in Turkey, Iraq, and Syria.” “Each transfer was valued...
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Anti-terrorism prosecutor opens probe into Paris incidents Jerusalem Post PARIS  - France's anti-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation after a man was shot dead while trying to grab an assault weapon from soldiers at Paris airport, an official at the prosecutor's office said.The investigation will also cover an earlier incident in which a man, believed to be the same person, fired on security services after a routine road check.A police source said the man was known to authorities and had been on a police watch list. Read more: http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Anti-terrorism-prosecutor-opens-probe-into-Paris-incidents-484510...

A New Strategy Against ISIS and al Qaeda

Posted by on in Terrorism
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  The U.S. has been relying too heavily on Shiites and Kurds. It needs to cultivate Sunni Arab partners. Wall Street Journal By Frederick Kagan and Kimberly Kagan The Trump administration is set to supersize President Obama’s strategy to defeat Islamic State, sending more American forces to the region and lifting restraints on direct participation in combat and when to use armed force. Yet any victory under the current approach will be ephemeral. Even if American proxies, backed by U.S. military forces, wrest Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq, away from ISIS, success will be fleeting. The most important error is the near-exclusive focus on Islamic State at the expense of serious efforts against al Qaeda. Destroying ISIS is necessary but not sufficient. As the Obama administration turned its attention toward ISIS, al Qaeda learned from its failures. It has temporarily deprioritized spectacular attacks on the global stage and focused on...
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Jihad Watch by Christine Williams Switzerland is still a target for militants despite so far avoiding attacks like those in Germany and France. The government is examining whether to require employees of private companies who manage asylum cases to report clients’ possible extremist behaviour to authorities. The government clearly should implement a reporting system in the interests of national security. The people of Switzerland have already given ample indication of their willingness to unite in the fight against jihad: Last year, Swiss voters agreed to extend the intelligence service’s authority to monitor internet traffic, deploy drones and hack foreign computer systems, in large part to counter extremist threats. A “clear majority of Swiss voters” agreed to “an overhaul of the confederation’s spying powers.” One remaining strategy that needs to be implemented in Switzerland, and, in fact, throughout the West: the monitoring of mosques where imams are discovered to be preaching hate...

U.S. Charges Hamas Female Terrorist 16 Years Later

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Clarion Project By Meira Svirsky The U.S. Department of Justice has decided to charge Hamas terrorist Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi for her part in the bombing of the Sbarro pizza restaurant in the heart of downtown Jerusalem, close to 16 years after the event. Tamimi has also been placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list. The bombing killed 15 people, including two U.S. citizens (one of whom was pregnant) and wounded 130. Tamimi, a Jordanian citizen, was captured and sentenced to 16 life terms in prison in 2003 but released in a prisoner exchange in 2011. She now lives in Jordan, whose constitution prohibits extradition of its citizens. In a video made after her release (see below), Tamimi expressed happiness about the bombing and declares she would “do it again today.” Read more: https://clarionproject.org/u-s-charges-hamas-female-terrorist-16-years-later/...
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by Tom Vanden Brook , USA TODAY WASHINGTON — President Trump is asking Congress to provide an immediate $30 billion funding boost for the Pentagon, with $5 billion of it earmarked to quicken the pace of the fight against the Islamic State, according to documents released Thursday. The rest of the cash for the remainder of this fiscal year is characterized as a down payment on rebuilding the military by funding “critical budget shortfalls” for troops, training, weapons and building projects. The spending would be partially offset by $18 billion in cuts to other non-defense programs. The White House did not specify where those cuts should be made, asking Congress to make the reductions. “It represents a critical first step in investing in a larger, more ready, and more capable military force,” Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a letter to House Speaker Paul...
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by In Homeland Security It appears that President Trump is poised to select Rob Joyce, currently chief of the National Security Agency’s secretive Tailored Access Operations (TAO), as his cybersecurity czar. If Joyce assumes that role, he will have some daunting challenges ahead. There are multiple issues to consider with Joyce in that role. Since Edward Snowden pulled back the curtain and revealed some of the insidious inner-workings and questionable ethics of the NSA, there has been lingering concerns over privacy and trust between that organization and private industry and citizens. Coming from a group that is considered mysterious even within the NSA itself makes Joyce more or less the poster child for that distrust. “Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump made it clear he was no friend to industry or individual privacy rights. Trump’s appointment of Joyce can go one of two ways,” suggests Ajay Arora, CEO of Vera. “He...