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Miami Herald By JOSHUA GOODMAN and CESAR GARCIA Associated PressBOGOTA, Colombia - Police hauled a handcuffed Cuban man into court in Colombia's capital Thursday for allegedly plotting to kill U.S. diplomats in the name of the Islamic State extremist group.A judge ordered the suspect, Raul Gutierrez, held without bail on terrorism and conspiracy charges. He was arrested earlier in the week in the western city of Pereira in a coordinated investigation involving police in Spain and the FBI, officials said.Authorities said they intercepted communications from late February in which Gutierrez allegedly discussed plans to make and detonate a homemade bomb in a restaurant in Bogota where he had sought work as a dishwasher and which is frequented by U.S. diplomats. In another message sent over the Telegram instant messaging service, he also allegedly expressed a willingness to blow himself up for Allah and the IS group, officials said.Gutierrez, who pleaded...

7 US servicemembers killed in Iraq helicopter crash

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Stars and Stripes By CHAD GARLAND | STARS AND STRIPES All seven servicemembers onboard a U.S. military helicopter died when the aircraft crashed near the Iraq-Syria border on Thursday evening, military officials said.“This tragedy reminds us of the risks our men and women face every day in service of our nations,” said Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga, director of operations for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, in a statement. “We are thinking of the loved ones of these service members today."The HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crash did not appear to be the result of enemy activity, said the statement from the U.S.-led operation battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.Used by the Air Force for combat search and rescue, the Pave Hawk was on a routine transit flight when it went down near the town of Qaim in Anbar province, officials said.   Read more: https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/7-us-servicemembers-killed-in-iraq-helicopter-crash-1.517161...
SpaceNews.com Missile Defense by Sandra Erwin Everyone says the U.S. needs missile-tracking sensors in space, but will the DoD make it happen?“On National Security” appears in every issue of SpaceNews magazine. This column ran in the March 12, 2018 issue.The hand-wringing continues at the Pentagon over how to respond to Chinese and Russian missile advances. The latest line of thinking is that the U.S. needs more sophisticated and more discriminating sensors that can fill in blind spots in current air and missile defense systems. And that the best approach would be to place those sensors on satellites in space.With U.S. adversaries on a path toward faster and stealthier missiles, “sensor coverage is a very big deal,” said Air Force Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, director of the Missile Defense Agency.It’s simple, he said. “If you can’t see it, you can’t shoot.” The reality is that current anti-missile defenses have gaps. Greaves...
MIT Technology ReviewPosted by Jamie Condliffe The US Treasury also placed sanctions on Russian hackers over election meddling and last year’s NotPetya ransomware attack. Infrastructure hacks: A joint alert from the FBI and Homeland Security Department explains that “since at least March 2016, Russian government cyber actors have also targeted U.S. government entities and multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors.” Direct action: The US Treasury has placed sanctions on five groups and 19 individuals from Russia for their involvement with “nefarious [cyber] attacks.” It specifically mentions interference in the 2016 US election and the NotPetya ransomware attack. The sanctions mean individuals and organizations in the US are banned from doing business with the Russian entities. The message: “The Administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in U.S. elections, destructive cyber-attacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure,” explained...

US military reveals new firefight in Niger

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By Ryan Browne, CNN  (CNN)The US military revealed for the first time Wednesday that US troops were involved in a firefight in Niger in December, just months after a Green Beret-led team was ambushed by ISIS militants in October, an attack that left four US soldiers dead. In a statement provided to CNN by Pentagon spokeswoman Maj. Sheryll Klinkel, the US military said that "during a mission in the Lake Chad Basin region the morning of Dec. 6, a combined force of Nigerien and US military members came under fire from a formation of violent extremists." The military stressed that US troops were not seeking combat and that the joint US-Nigerien mission was aimed at setting "the conditions for future partner-led operations against violent extremist organizations in the region," adding that "no aspect of this mission focused on pursuing enemy militants.""With that said, our forces do operate in unstable areas...
by SAM DORMAN - IJR A federal judge sentenced 32-year-old Muhanad Mahmoud al Farekh to 45 years in prison for engaging in terrorist conduct and conspiring to carry out terrorist acts.Farekh, an American citizen who ascended to Al-Qaeda leadership, faced a trial conviction in September of last year. The Justice Department claimed Tuesday that the trial proved Farekh and his co-conspirators traveled to fight United States forces in the Middle East.ADVERTISINGFarekh, DOJ said, helped build an explosive device used in an attack on a U.S. military installation in Afghanistan.“Farekh, a citizen of this country,” U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said, "turned his back on America by joining Al-Qaeda and trying to kill American soldiers in a bomb attack on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan.“This case demonstrates that we will do everything in our power to ensure that those who seek to harm our country and our armed forces will...
UNCOVA - The German government has given Nigerian Navy 5 gunboats to fight terrorists- Consul-General of Germany in Nigeria, Ingo Herbert, said the development deepen its partnership with Nigeria- The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete Ibas, said that Germany had earlier supported the Nigerian Navy in provision of MTUThe German government has donated five gunboats to Nigerian Navy to fight insurgency in the Lake Chad area of the northeast.Vanguard reports that Consul-General of Germany in Nigeria, Ingo Herbert, on Tuesday, March 13, at the handover of the boats in Onne, Rivers state, said the development was a positive vibe for Germany in deepening its partnership with Nigeria and helping build peace and development in the country.NAIJ.com gathered that Herbert said: “The five boats are part of the Greater Initiatives Germany to enhance peace and security in partner-countries and fight against terrorism. The maritime space sensitively accommodates a...
Palm Beach Post PALM BEACH GARDENS - A Jupiter teenager said his Muslim faith led him to fatally stab a boy on his 13th birthday and injure two others at a sleepover Sunday night in BallenIsles Country Club, Palm Beach Gardens police said during a 2 p.m. news conference.Corey Johnson, 17, was arrested Monday after he reportedly confessed to stabbing the three people while he spent the night at a friend’s home in the gated community off PGA Boulevard. He faces one murder and two attempted-murder charges in the stabbings. The FBI also is investigating the attacks.Also Tuesday, Judge Daliah H. Weiss ordered Johnson be held in a juvenile detention center while a grand jury decides whether to charge him as an adult in the killing. Friends and family of the victims packed the juvenile courtroom Tuesday afternoon for the brief hearing. Johnson, who police said recently withdrew from William...

Six Counterterrorism Lessons From the Syrian Civil War

Posted by on in Terrorism
LAWFARE By Daniel Byman It has been almost seven years since unrest in Syria began and spiraled into a civil war that has killed perhaps 500,000 people and displaced millions more. The war and associated diplomacy offer much to chew on, but the counterterrorism implications are particularly striking—for Syria is both a counterterrorism success and a counterterrorism failure. The Islamic State, one of the most vicious and powerful terrorist groups the world has ever seen, emerged out of the conflict. But the United States and its allies have also weakened the group and managed the terrorism threat. This mixed record offers many lessons for counterterrorism.    1.  Civil wars and terrorism go together.Syria illustrates how jihadists thrive on civil wars in the Muslim world. Although much is made about why individuals join terrorist groups (Are they alienated from society? Lacking jobs? And so on.), wars act as a “pull” factor. Europe,...

Seattle Man Pleads Guilty to Jihad Killing

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The Clarion Project Ali Muhammad Brown, a radicalized Muslim, pleaded guilty to killing a college student in New Jersey in 2014. Brown previously confessed to killing three people in Washington state in a terrorist spree in 2014, but has not made a plea in that case.At the time, Brown said the murders were retaliation for U.S. foreign policy. Two of his victims were targeted because of their homosexual orientation.Brown began the murder spree by killing Leroy Henderson in Seattle in a drive-by shooting April 27, 2014. He then lured Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young using a gay dating app and murdered them on June 1, 2014. The attack was the second anti-gay attack by a radical Muslim in the Seattle that year, after another extremist Islamist tried to burn down a nightclub frequented by gays on New Year’s Eve.Brown then escaped to N.J. and murdered 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin on June...
"The best place to hide a tree is in a forest."   by Soeren Kern "I'd like to know whose bright idea this was. It is ridiculous and not the business of a Government department. I can't see the Foreign Office promoting Christianity or the handing out of crosses." — Tory MP Andrew Bridgen in response to a decision by Foreign Office officials to give away taxpayer-funded Islamic headscarves, claiming they symbolized "liberation, respect and security." A review chaired by Professor Mona Siddiqui, a professor of Islam, proposed legislative changes that would require Muslim couples to undergo a civil marriage before or at the same time as their Islamic ceremony, to provide women with legal protection under British law. Nearly all those using Sharia councils were females seeking an Islamic divorce. "We, the United Kingdom, produced Jihadi John. Something in our cities and towns... have produced the most infamous terrorists....

Drone Swarms Are A Big Threat To Infantry

Posted by on in Terrorism
iHLS The emergence of inexpensive small unmanned aircraft systems (sUASs) that operate without a human pilot has led to adversarial groups threatening deployed U.S. forces, especially infantry units. Although the U.S. Army and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) are developing tactics and systems to counter single sUASs, a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine emphasizes the need for developing countermeasures against multiple sUASs – organized in coordinated groups, swarms, and collaborative groups – which could be used much sooner than the Army anticipates.The committee that conducted the study developed a classified report that details its findings and recommendations, along with an unclassified public version that discusses key background issues presented in this news release, according to spacewar.com.“Hobby drones are easy to buy, their performance is improving dramatically, and their cost has dropped significantly; now with millions of them around the world, they pose a...
by FOX59 Web INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A man in the U.S. illegally faces federal and state charges related to a pair of gun scares.Ahmed Alaklouk, 22, has been living in Indiana on a terminated student visa. He’s a Tunisian native and Saudi Arabian citizen, according to court documents. Under federal law, someone in the country illegally is prohibited from possessing guns or ammunition.The first case happened on Jan. 20. Security at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis called Indianapolis Metropolitan police after seeing several firearms in Alaklouk’s truck, including six handguns in the front seat and a rifle.Police said the rifle had been modified to resemble an AR-15 and included a scope, bipod and bump stock; Alaklouk told police it was “fully tricked out” and claimed the rifle belonged to his father. Police told Alaklouk to secure the weapons because someone could break into his truck and steal them, according...
KSL.com By Gregory Katz and Frank Griffiths, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — British health authorities on Sunday urged people to wash their clothing and possessions as a precaution if they visited a restaurant and pub in the English city of Salisbury, where a Russian ex-spy and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent.The official statement was the first time British officials have urged the public to take specific actions as a result of the attack. Officials still say the risk is low as investigators in hazard gear combed key sites for clues.Public Health England issued advice for anyone who went to either the Zizzi restaurant or The Mill pub at certain hours of March 4 and 5. Ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia reportedly ate at Zizzi before falling critically ill on March 4. "While there is no immediate health risk to anyone who may have been in...

Will ISIS live on in Iraq?

Posted by on in Terrorism
The Hill by Anne Speckhard and Ardian Shajkovci, opinion contributors After announcing the defeat of ISIS in Iraq, Iraq's armed forces held celebratory parades in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, last December. Yet, in the last two months alone, ISIS operatives have claimed responsibility for two major sleeper cell orchestrated terrorist attacks in Baghdad and near Kirkuk,the latter in which ISIS attackers had the audacity to appear in an ambush dressed in Iraqi military uniforms. Even before the liberation of Iraq from ISIS, the task of completely rooting ISIS sympathizers and sleeper cell members proved difficult in the eastern part of Mosul and Kirkuk.Attacks such as these point out to several worrisome trends. ISIS leadership may continue to operate under the radar, given that generally they are responsible for passing down directives from the top and coordinating sleeper cell activities. This may also indicate that ISIS cells have formed and are determined...
by Ni Komang Erviani      The Jakarta Post The Jakarta Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) and the Bali Police, supported by the British government, held a counterterrorism drill at Benoa seaport in Denpasar, Bali, on Thursday.Bali Police chief, Insp. Gen. Petrus R. Golose said the drill was in preparation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Meeting in Bali in October this year. "We guarantee that the meeting will be safe on the island," Petrus said after the drill. Dozens of Bali Police personnel took part, including the counterterrorism squad and water police. The drill also involved other stakeholders like the Disaster Mitigation Agency and the fire brigade. However, Petrus emphasized that there was no threat of a terrorist attack on the island."We are just preparing to enhance the capability of the Bali Police and other related stakeholders," he added. Read more: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/03/08/counterterrorism-drill-in-bali-ahead-of-imf-world-bank-meeting.html...
AL.com By Ashley RemkusAziz Sayyed, a college student accused of obtaining bomb making materials to blow up a police building in Huntsville, told an undercover FBI agent about his "desire to assist ISIS," according to authorities.Sayyed will plead guilty Thursday at the federal court house in Birmingham. He's charged with attempting to provide material support or resources to ISIS, a designated foreign terrorist organization. Sayyed is accused of obtaining materials to make a triacetone triperoxide (TATP) bomb for use in a terror attack.Although the FBI has led the investigation into Sayyed, the 22-year-old college student initially was charged in state court. U.S. Attorney Jay Town now also has charged Sayyed."This was a very professional, thorough investigation the FBI did in this case," said Sayyed's attorney Bruce Gardner. "I'm glad we came around to this agreement."Gardner said Sayyed agreed to plead guilty after federal authorities shared their evidence with the defense."Once...

Police officer killed after being sent to wrong house

Posted by on in Terrorism
Two other officers injured in incident By  DAKIN ANDONE (CNN) - A Missouri police officer killed this week in the line of duty met with gunfire only after he was dispatched to the wrong house, a Missouri Highway Patrol official said.Officer Christopher Ryan Morton, 30, was shot dead late Tuesday at a home in Clinton, about 80 miles southeast of Kansas City, after dispatchers received a 911 call in which they only could hear two women screaming. Two other officers, Nathan Bettencourt and Nicholas Kasper, also were injured in the shootout with James Waters, 37, according to the state patrol. A SWAT team later found Waters dead inside the home.The three Clinton Police Department officers, however, shouldn't have been sent to the Clinton address because the 911 call originated from an address in nearby Windsor, Missouri, Sgt. Bill Lowe of the highway patrol said Wednesday during a news conference.The 911...

Police: At least 3 injured in Vienna knife attack

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By Nicole Darrah - Fox News Several people have been injured in a knife attack in Vienna on Wednesday evening, Vienna police confirmed online. "According to eyewitnesses a man has attacked three persons — a man, his wife and their adult daughter," police spokesman Patrick Maierhofer told The Associated Press. "The three persons suffered heavy to life-threatening injuries and are currently in a hospital." Police stand on a street in downtown Vienna after several people have been injured in a knife attack on the streets of Vienna, Austria, Wednesday, March 7, 2018.  (AP Photo/Ronald Zak) A fourth person was attacked with a knife shortly after, police said. Authorities are investigating whether the two incidents are connected. Police are still searching for the man believed to be responsible for the attack, which Austria Press Agency reported happened near Prater park. Further details regarding the attack and a possible motive were not immediately...
WHNT News 19 HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A Huntsville man accused of planning a terrorist attack in Madison County last June, will plead guilty to a federal terrorism charge, court records show.Aziz Sayyed, 22, will enter a guilty plea to a charge of attempting to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization – ISIS — records show.Last summer the Madison County District Attorney’s office accused Sayyed of planning to bomb a police station and claimed that swift action by law enforcement prevented the act from being carried out. In new documents filed by federal prosecutors, Sayyed is accused of watching ISIS propaganda videos, praising ISIS, learning bomb-making  and offering his services to the group.A change of plea hearing is set for Thursday in Birmingham, where Sayyed is expected to enter a guilty plea.His attorney Bruce Gardner said the plea deal with federal prosecutors includes a recommendation to...