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Vigilance, Not Complacency

Posted by on in Terrorism
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City Journal Two counterterror officials warn that the terror threat remains profound. by Judith Miller The warnings from two senior counterterrorism officials this week could not have been starker, though they differed dramatically in tone and style. Americans have grown unduly complacent about the threat of Islamic terrorism, the officials said. We ignore it at our peril. Director of Homeland Security John Kelly, a retired Marine general, was extraordinarily blunt Tuesday in a speech at George Washington University. “Make no mistake,” he said. “We are, in fact, a nation under attack.” Despite all that Washington has spent and done to protect Americans, the U.S. now faced “the highest terror threat level in years.” There have been 37 Islamic State-linked plots to attack the U.S. since 2013, according to Kelly. An estimated 10,000 Europeans have joined the Islamic caliphate in Syria and Iraq, plus “thousands more” from Asia, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere....
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New York Post Associated Press MOSCOW — Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee says the leader of an Islamic State “sleeper cell” and one of the cell’s members have been killed in a shootout with police. The committee said in a statement Saturday that the shootout took place late the previous night in the Stavropol region, about 750 miles south of Moscow. Stavropol is adjacent to several majority-Muslim republics, including Chechnya where Islamic separatists fought an all-out war with Russian forces. The committee said the shooting broke out when police tried to stop an automobile and its occupants opened fire. It says the officers found bomb-making components in the car and later discovered IS literature at one of the suspects’ residences. Read more: http://nypost.com/2017/04/22/leader-member-of-isis-sleeper-cell-killed-in-police-shootout/...
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International Business Times Crack down on terror suspects was intensified after the first reported Isis attack on Indian soil in early March. By Ananya Roy Indian security forces have arrested three terror suspects believed to be members of an Isis module scattered across five states in the country. Six other suspects were also taken into custody for questioning.The arrests were made on Thursday (20 April) morning as part of a massive anti-terror operation conducted simultaneously in the five states – Maharashtra, Punjab, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh over the past five days.The crack down on terror suspects was intensified in the past month after the first reported Isis attack on Indian soil – a low-intensity bomb blast in a train in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh in early March. Counter-terror operations that soon followed the attack led to the killing of Saifullah - the leader of the Isis module that allegedly...
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The Telegraph by Lloyd Figgins the recent attacks in Westminster and Stockholm have highlighted the need for greater public vigilance. Not only in order to prevent attacks in the first place, but also to understand how to react once an attack is underway.A key part of this is what the security industry refers to as “situational awareness” and it’s an effective tool for those trained how to use it properly.However, situational awareness requires an understanding of what is normal in order that a baseline can be established and anomalies can be identified. In both Westminster and Stockholm vehicles were used as weapons. People expect to see vehicles on our streets, so how do we tell the difference between those going about their normal business and those with malicious intent? After all, those who would do us harm rely on the fact that they are able to blend in in order to...
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By James Lint Senior Editor for In Cyber Defense and Contributor, In Homeland SecurityAfter writing a series of articles on ransomware, I started thinking about how ransomware could be used in a strategic attack nationwide, rather than the attacks we’ve seen so far on business and personal computers. While a hospital’s $17,000 payout to ransomware thieves is considered big news, the consequences of a national ransomware attack on U.S. computers would be even more devastating.Taking the tactical attack to the next logical level means a strategic attack that is bigger in impact and payout. Remember, the 9/11 Commission Final Report stated that the “most important failure” leading to the attacks was “one of imagination.” It concluded, “We do not believe leaders understood the gravity of the threat.”Former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, the chairman of the 9/11 Commission, said: “[The attackers] penetrated the defenses of the most powerful nation in the...

How France Bred Terrorists

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Handelsblatt Global France is in the crosshairs of Islamist terrorists, many of them homegrown in the gritty suburbs of its big cities. The south in particular is seen as a breeding ground for jihadists. It’s a big issue in the presidential election. By Pierre Heumann and Sandra Louven The Jewish school of Ohr Torah in the southern French city of Toulouse resembles a military camp. It’s surrounded by a fence four meters high and topped with barbed wire. French soldiers guard the building around the clock. In 2012, Mohammed Merah, who was French and whose parents had Algerian roots, killed a rabbi and three children here in the first terrorist attack in France after 15 years of peace. “Five years on the French state still grants us this protection, which shows that something isn’t right,” said Marc Fridman, regional spokesman of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions. The south...
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The Telegraph by Martin Evans, Crime Correspondent Counter terror police have undergone specialist training to prepare them to take out lorry drivers who are using their vehicles as weapons, it has been revealed.Armed officers have also been issued with high powered ammunition capable of penetrating armoured glass in a bid to ensure they can respond to the changing tactics of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) inspired terrorists. "I am confident... that an officer has the ability to fire at the cab of a lorry in order to bring it to a stop" Simon Chesterman, National Police Chief's Council lead on armed policingThe new training and equipment has been rolled out in a response to the terrorist outrages in Nice and Berlin, where Islamists used articulated lorries to drive into crowds causing mass loss of life and casualties.In order to combat the increasing terrorist threat, the number of...

Opinion: The ISIS antidote: The women of Afghanistan

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Fox News By Morgan Ortagus Afghanistan was back in the news last week, as President Trump authorized the use of the “MOAB” in Afghanistan to target ISIS-Khorasan enclaves. The MOAB was detonated in the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan where ISIS has taken root and festered, attempting to continue the destabilization of Afghanistan.  So, now that America has taken action, what is in store next for Afghanistan?  That may still be difficult to answer, but I recently had a small glimpse into the spirit of the people, especially the women, of Afghanistan.A few days before the President’s new actions in Syria and Afghanistan, I visited Kabul, my first time back since December 2012. Riding through the bustling streets of the capital city, I noted how ordinary things can seem on the surface, in spite of the unstable environment.  I was on my way to the American University of Afghanistan...
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Terrorists inside America plotting attacks 'each and every single day'      BY: Adam Kredo      Federal authorities have open investigations into radical Islamic terrorists in all 50 states, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which is warning that the threat of terrorism in the United States has reached an all time high with radicalized individuals in the country plotting to strike "each and every single day."The FBI has "open terrorist investigations in all 50 states," according to DHS Secretary John Kelly, who disclosed on Tuesday that there have been at least 37 "ISIS-linked plots to attack our country" since 2013, a number that shows no signs of diminishing.Kelly, in his first wide-ranging public address on the threat of terrorism in America since taking office, warned that America's borders remain wide-open and that there is evidence terror-linked individuals are exploiting these national security weaknesses and entering the United States."We don’t know...
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TheJournal.ie by Tom Clonan ‘SMASH HIS HEAD with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place or choke him, or poison him’. This is the advice given by ISIS spokesman Abu Mohamed al Adnani in 2014 to would-be sympathisers of Islamic State throughout the world – especially within the US and European Union. This call to action, a call to mobilise low-tech and indiscriminate violence against ‘unbelievers’ in their home countries, has resulted in a spate of so-called ‘lone-wolf’ attacks throughout the EU and US. As Iraqi and Syrian forces – backed by the US and coalition airstrikes of ‘Operation Inherent Resolve’ – close in on the final remnants of Islamic State’s ‘Caliphate’ in Mosul and Raqqa, IS has urged its followers and sympathisers to intensify and ramp up random, low-tech terror attacks throughout Europe...
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The ChronicleBY ERIKA NORTONGOSHEN — Towns in the Hudson Valley will get new equipment and training in counterterrorism and public safety, thanks to grants from the Federal Department of Homeland Security.Advanced SWAT team training and additional K9 units are part of the package.Out of the $5 million distributed statewide, Orange County received two grants: a Tactical Team Targeted grant and an Explosive Detection Canine grant.According to Capt. Scott Hamill, the $100,000 grant — the maximum amount available — will be used for equipment and SWAT team training for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. The pricey equipment includes rappelling gear, rescue harnesses, ropes, tubular webbing, an ATF explosive magazine used contain explosive materials and $18,000 worth of ear bone headsets.The largest chunk of the money will be used for advanced SWAT training, which, combined with the new equipment, will expand the sheriff department’s ability to act in different types of incidents, from...
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Fox News DEVELOPING: Three people were killed after a man went on a shooting spree in downtown Fresno, California on Tuesday while shouting "God is great" in Arabic before he was tackled and taken into custody, police said.Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said officers took Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, into custody in connection to the shootings. Dyer said Muhammad went by the nickname "Black Jesus" and shouted "Allahu Akbar" as police tackled him to the ground.Dyer said at a news conference Muhammad told police that he hates white people, and has made posts against white people and the government on his Facebook page. All of the victims of the shooting rampage on Tuesday were white men, according to police.The shooting spree began around 10:45 a.m. local time, when one person was shot in a PG&E utility truck, a second person was shot on Fulton Street and a third person was shot...
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by Niagara-Gazette.com Could the terrorist attack on British Parliament be a cultural canary-in-the-coal-mine for us? Will the London attacker who repeatedly plunged a knife into a policeman guarding Westminster be celebrated by some Brits as a modern-day Guy Fawkes?Who was Guy Fawkes? A British-born citizen nabbed while guarding gunpowder beneath the House of Lords, the intent being to assassinate King James I and restore a Catholic monarchy to the throne. Had his Gunpowder Plot of 1605 — still commemorated in Britain every Nov. 5 as Guy Fawkes Day — been successful, we would have been deprived of the 1607 colonization of Jamestown and the 1611 King James Version of the Bible.While the four-centuries-old Guy Fawkes plot is observed in a light-hearted manner, virtually every terrorist attack today is celebrated somewhere, often in proportion to the number killed. Make no mistake, 9-11 was celebrated in pockets of anti-Americanism around the world...

Norway: Threat of Jihad

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Gatestone Institute by Judith Bergman Norway seems to be making the same poorly thought-out choices as Britain.It has apparently not occurred to these authorities that encouraging Muslims in prison to study the Quran and hadiths, with their exhortations to jihad against the "infidels", may in itself serve to radicalize the inmates.The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) just published in February its yearly threat assessment. It concluded -- as did its threat assessment for 2016 -- that Norway might experience an Islamic terrorist attack from Islamic State (ISIS) sympathizers acting upon ISIS's call to carry out independent attacks. The PST explains:"These calls to action are one reason why we have seen an increase over the last few years in the number of lone terrorist attacks in the West. The likeliest scenario for a terrorist attack in a Western country is an ISIL-/AQ-inspired attack carried out with a simple weapon against a...
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Jerusalem Post By Lahav HarkovAs Jerusalem continues to reel from Friday's terror attack at the capital's light rail, Israeli politicians lament the increase in Islamic terrorism in Israel and across the globe. The stabbing attack on Jerusalem’s light rail Friday is another terrifying example of Islamic terrorism’s impact on cities around the world, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said following the attack.“The terrorism of radical Islam strikes the world’s capitals. Unfortunately, it struck the capital of Israel – Jerusalem – today,” he stated. “A Palestinian terrorist murdered a 23-year-old student, a citizen of Great Britain, in cold blood,” the premier said, sending condolences in the name of all of Israel.The Palestinian terrorist, a 57-year-old man from east Jerusalem, also wounded two Israelis. Netanyahu added that security forces are constantly fighting terrorism and prevented several attacks in recent days.“Our forces will continue protecting Israelis around the clock,” he said.Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon...
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  By: Homeland Security Today Staff Federal, state and local entities are committed to sharing counterterrorism information by undertaking programs and initiatives that have improved information sharing, however, the Inspectors General (IG) of the Intelligence Community (IC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) identified in a joint report on the domestic sharing of counterterrorism information that there are numerous gaps and shortfalls in “several areas in which improvements could enhance the sharing of counterterrorism information.” The IGs’ joint report stated that, “To share information effectively, the federal, state and local entities actively involved in counterterrorism efforts must understand each other’s roles, responsibilities and contributions, especially when multiple agencies are involved in complex investigations. The review found that this is an area where information sharing could be strengthened. For example, both DHS and the FBI have counterterrorism-related missions and a role in gathering and disseminating counterterrorism information, yet...
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Express In the wake of the Westminster and Stockholm terrorist attacks, the British Government is ramping up efforts to protect our cities. Exclusive by Belinda Robinson The Government has been using architects to redesign British cities and buildings to create bollards and barriers that can block terrorists who want to use trucks or bombs to kill. Anti-terror barriers have been secretly built into public spaces in London, Bristol, Manchester and other UK cities to withstand heavy impacts – like a seven-tonne truck driven at 50mph. The work has been carried out with little public knowledge over the past several years. And, the Home Office has been working alongside the Royal Institute of British Architects, the police and engineers - often without the public noticing. MI5 and its partners are busy implementing even more counter terrorism efforts once again, weeks after the Westminster terror attacker Khalid Massood, 52, killed five innocent...
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Heat Street By Robert Verkaik The use of vehicles to carry out terror atrocities across Europe has forced the security services to rethink their counter-terrorism strategy. Stockholm, where a radicalised, determined killer used a truck to bring carnage to the city streets, has grimly highlighted how difficult it is to defend against low-tech terror. What will have particularly worried Western security officials was that Rakhmat Akilov, 39, an asylum seeker from Uzbekistan, had also managed to turn his vehicle into a moving bomb. Had the home-made explosive device detonated, the death toll would have been much higher. Security chiefs have long feared a shift from sophisticated terror plots, popular with al Qaeda, to attacks carried out by lone wolves making use of weapons from whatever is at hand. It means the often slow build up to an attack, which has proved vital in providing intelligence warnings of such plots, is...
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InHomelandSecurity.com ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian security officials have thwarted plans by Islamic State group-linked Boko Haram members to attack the embassies of the United States and Britain, authorities said Wednesday. A Department of State Services statement said it broke up a ring that had “perfected plans to attack the UK and American embassies and other Western interests” in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. The statement said five suspects who had been based in Benue state and the Federal Capital Territory were arrested on March 25 and 26. Another 20-year-old Boko Haram member was arrested March 22 in Yobe state and “confessed his involvement in executing the sinister activities of the group.” The statement gave no further details, and officials with the department could not immediately be reached. “For purposes of operational security, we do not comment on our security posture,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in Washington. He added: “The...
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The Weekly Standard By J.P. Carroll The Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing of the House Financial Services Committee released a report Tuesday highlighting the methods terrorist groups use to secure money and prescribing ways for the United States to combat them. The report, which was the product of a bipartisan group created by Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling in March last year, suggests that much work remains to combat terror financing despite many advances in preventing terrorists from acquiring the funding necessary to commit attacks in the post-9/11 era. To illustrate the seriousness of the national security challenge stemming from taking on terror finance, the task force specifically details the manner in which major terrorist groups have secured funding for their activities. There is a particular emphasis in the report on the fundraising activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria, ISIS in Syria, Hezbollah in Latin America, Al-Shabaab in...