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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...
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by Defense One President Trump has allowed CIA to resume its drone strikes on suspected terrorists, “changing the Obama administration’s policy of limiting the spy agency’s paramilitary role and reopening a turf war between the agency and the Pentagon,” The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.   How the system was working when Obama left office: “The CIA used drones and other intelligence resources to locate suspected terrorists and then the military conducted the actual strike.” The idea there, the Journal writes, was “to promote transparency and accountability. The CIA, which operates under covert authorities, wasn’t required to disclose the number of suspected terrorists or civilian bystanders it killed in drone strikes. The Pentagon, however, must publicly report most airstrikes.” The CIA wasted little time, using “its new authority in late February in a strike on a senior al Qaeda leader in Syria, Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, U.S. officials said. The strike in northern Syria...

ISIS Leader Killed In Botched Suicide Attack

Posted by on in Terrorism
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International Business Times by John Walsh An Indonesian national, who was the commander of Islamic State group militants in Southeast Asia, died fighting in Syria amid a botched suicide attack on troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad. Bahrumsyah died when his car, which was packed with explosives, prematurely exploded before reaching a unit of the Syrian Army near the central city of Palmyra. ISIS confirmed Bahrumsyah’s death Tuesday, but posted on its Twitter account that the suicide attack by “Abu Muhammad al-Indonesi,” successfully inflicted significant damage on Syrian troops. Abu Muhammad al-Indonesi was the nom de guerre given to Bahrumsyah by ISIS, the Straits Times reported Tuesday. Bahrumsyah reportedly was handpicked by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to lead a unit of fighters from the Malay Archipelago in the Syrian civil war. An expert on international terror groups, Ridlwan Habi, told Republika that obituaries and prayers for Bahrumsyah have been pouring in on Twitter from ISIS members...
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By Leith Fadel BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:30 A.M.) – A massive graveyard filled with dead Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists was found by Iraqi soldiers in the Fallujah countryside on Tuesday. According to Iraqi activists, the graveyard was found inside the village of Al-Saqlawiyah, while the Iraqi Armed Forces were combing through the area. ISIS graveyard pictured by the Iraqi forces on Tuesday. Inside this large graveyard was at least 500 marked graves that held the remains of Islamic State terrorists killed during the battle of Fallujah last year. ince losing Fallujah in 2016, the Islamic State forces have retreated west towards the Syrian border, where they will likely make their last stand against the Iraqi Army near Al-Qa’im. Read more: https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/massive-graveyard-filled-dead-isis-terrorists-found-near-fallujah/...
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  By REUTERS     The lawyer tasked with overseeing British laws on terrorism, said the militants were targeting cities and posed "an enormous ongoing risk which none of us can ignore." LONDON - Islamic State militants are planning "indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians" in Britain on a scale similar to those staged by the Irish Republican Army 40 years ago, the head of the country's new terrorism watchdog said.In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph published on Sunday, Max Hill, the lawyer tasked with overseeing British laws on terrorism, said the militants were targeting cities and posed "an enormous ongoing risk which none of us can ignore."     "In terms of the threat that's represented, I think the intensity and the potential frequency of serious plot planning – with a view to indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians of whatever race or color in metropolitan areas – represents an...
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By Yonah Jeremy Bob   Could ISIS be planning to target Israelis with chemical weapons, especially as thousands of them will travel to Europe during Passover vacation in April, serving as convenient potential targets? With ISIS desperate and on the run, is there a heightened danger that the group will use chemical weapons against Israel or against European targets, including Jews and Israeli tourists there? The Prime Minister’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau (LOTAR) warned over the weekend that ISIS might be plotting to carry out chemical attacks in Europe in the coming months.LOTAR intends to issue a travel advisory to the tens of thousands of Israelis planning to vacation in Europe over Passover.   The bureau is particularly concerned with the possibility that, due to losses ISIS is sustaining in Iraq and Syria, foreign fighters there will return to their homes in Europe and carry out attacks along the lines of the...

Countering the Internet of Terrorism

Posted by on in Terrorism
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by Co-Authored by Col. Patrick M. Duggan Commander, Joint Base Myer-Hender son Hall Should you be scared of your new thermostat? Maybe, if it is WIFI-enabled and you haven’t secured it. Why? The next generation of terrorism is here, and it will use your connected devices – thermostats, fridges, lights, elevators, industrial controls, cars – even toys. These smart devices represent the latest pathways for tech-savvy terrorists to wreak chaos. But before unplugging everything you own to live off the grid, take heart in the fact, at least at the national level, we still have time to prepare. While traditional DoD counter-terrorism (CT) efforts have mainly emphasized direct action, future U.S. security measures must also adapt to harness the Internet of Things (IoT). Simply put, the IoT’s inexorable growth portends new methods for destruction but also provides new mechanisms for defense. These same IoT devices are as capable for U.S....

Counteracting Vehicles Used as Weapons [VIDEO]

Posted by on in Terrorism
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American Security Today By Tammy Waitt Guest Editorial by Greg Hamm, Delta Scientific, VP of Marketing & Sales On December 19, 2016, the news exploded with information about a vehicle attack on a Christmas market in Berlin that killed at least 12 and injured more than 50. Less than a month before, the U.S. State Department had warned about such attacks in public places throughout Europe, saying that extremist groups including the Islamic State and Al Qaeda were planning to focus on such locales during the Holiday Season. Indeed, both terrorist groups have called on followers to use trucks in particular to attack crowds. On July 14 (2016), a truck plowed into Bastille Day vacationers in Nice, France, killing 86 people. Four months later, on  November 28, 2016, a car ramming attack and mass stabbing occurred in the United States at 9:52 a.m. EST at Ohio State University’s Watts Hall. The attacker, Somali refugee Abdul Razak Ali...
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By Julian Sanchez - Defense One It’s a cliche of political scandals that “the coverup is worse than the crime”: Attempts to conceal misconduct, because they’re easier to prove and provide otherwise elusive evidence of a guilty mind, often end up being more politically damaging than the underlying misconduct would have been. In the case of the latest Wikileaks document dump, the first in a planned series from a cache the site has dubbed “Vault 7,” we have an apparent reversal of the formula: The un-coverup—the fact of the leak itself—is probably more significant than the substance of what has thus far been revealed. There are, of course, some points of real interest in the archive of documents, mostly concerning an array of hacking tools and software exploits developed or used by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Engineering Development Group—and it’s likely more will emerge as reporters and analysts churn through more than...
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by Terror-Alert.com MOSUL: ISIS are facing defeat from the US-led coalition in the last stronghold in Iraq Jihadi thugs have been on the ropes in the city – the final stronghold of the death cult in Iraq. Iraqi Army forces and their US allies are sweeping through devastated streets and on the verge of retaking Mosul from ISIS. Fanatical fighters remain hunkered down in the city’s last jihadi controlled neighbourhoods – and the US have told them they are all going to die. The moves comes as US President Donald Trump announced 1,000 American soldiers are heading to the Middle East to beat the cult. Read more: http://terror-alert.com/news/isis-terrorists-issued-brutal-ultimatum-by-us-all-of-you-are-going-to-die?uid=53439...