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FBI's Counterterrorism Investigations Now Run on Amazon

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Nextgov By Frank Konkel, Executive Editor The FBI is using Amazon Web Services’ cloud services to process, host and analyze both classified and unclassified counterterrorism data, an FBI official revealed Tuesday.The previously undisclosed partnership dates back nearly two years and began after the FBI reached a “data crisis,” according to FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Christine Halvorsen, who made the announcement at AWS’ re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.“The FBI is in a data crisis, and solution is the adoption of cloud technology,” Halvorsen said.The FBI is the latest intelligence agency to make use of AWS, which operates three cloud regions—massive data centers that lease out computing power—that explicitly serve the federal government.Halvorsen said the FBI’s counterterrorism division previously operated its own data center, including the massive amount of information that comes in following national security and counterterrorism events. That data is growing exponentially, Halvorsen said, comparing the 50 terabytes...
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Forbes by Chris Richardson, CommunityVoice Forbes Technology Council “Police scour CCTV footage for clues,” is a phrase delivered by many journalists in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. The chances are that somewhere, someone, somehow captured a critical piece of evidence on camera. Last year, New York police uncovered CCTV footage of the moments before a terrorist set off a pipe bomb in a crowded transport hub. They then used the images to identify the suspect. In London, counterterrorism squads used CCTV and other video footage to identify and recreate the movements of the terrorist that detonated a bomb at a concert in Manchester Arena. Video footage also played a key role in finding the culprits responsible for the November 2015 Paris attacks, with a CCTV video at Brussels airport used to pin down one suspect. It’s easy to see just how valuable video can be to security, defense and...
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  DailyMail.com The REAL It's A Wonderful Life: How an 'angel' with a Gucci purse saved an alcoholic NYPD officer from suicide on Christmas Eve after she handed him a note saying 'life is a gift to be shared' Dean Simpson was on a train to upstate New York on Christmas Eve 2001 with the intent to end his life  A cheerful woman in her 60s began chatting him up and left with him a note that read: 'Life is a gift meant to be shared. Don't ever give up hope! Merry Christmas' Dean, a disabled NYPD officer an alcoholic, decided not to end his life that day He moved to Florida where he now, 51, helps traumatized war veterans  He wrote a book titled: The Blue Pawn: A Memoir of an NYPD Foot Soldier  Read more: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6525367/The-REAL-Wonderful-Life-angel-saved-NYPD-officer-suicide-Christmas-Eve.html...

Iowa Police hand out gift cards instead of tickets

Posted by on in Terrorism
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KPLC 7 By Chandler Watkins IOWA, LA (KPLC) - The Iowa Police Department conducted several traffic stops, but instead of handing out tickets, they were spreading holiday cheer.Officers handed out $10 gift cards to In-Laws, on Dec. 20. Police Chief Keith Vincent said this is the first year Iowa Police have done something like this.“We love to bless people here, and I think the people who received the gift instead of a citation were very happy," Vincent said. "We just want to remind them that it’s that time of the year and to be attentive, pay attention, and this is our way to do it in a friendly manner.”Vincent said they hope to do this again next year. Read more: http://www.kplctv.com/2018/12/21/iowa-police-hand-out-gift-cards-instead-tickets/...
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KENS 5 Happy holidays right back to our men and women in blue! Author: StaffSAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Police were feeling merry and musical less than a week before Christmas, and the evidence is on their social media.The police department tweeted out a video Friday night featuring officers harmonizing to the classic tune “Jingle Bells.” They actually start out with some impressive lip-syncing before moving on to using their own voices to spread Christmas cheer. Watch HERE Read more: https://www.kens5.com/article/news/local/sapd-get-in-the-holiday-spirit-wish-city-a-merry-christmas-through-song/273-624539684...
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For The Record - The IPT Blog    Kurdish-led Group Reportedly Considers Releasing ISIS Prisonersby John Rossomando  An immediate fallout from President Trump's decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria could be the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) releasing 3,200 ISIS prisoners in its custody.Turkey views SDF units as terrorists due to their connection with the Marxist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a four-decade war for autonomy from Ankara in eastern Turkey. The People's Protection Units (YPG) that dominate the SDF forces have historical and ideological ties with the PKK. The SDF is not an exclusively Kurdish group and includes Arab and Christian units.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced plans last week to invade areas of Syria east of the Euphrates River controlled by the SDF.SDF leaders deny having any interest in Turkish territory and say they only are interested in building a multi-ethnic, non-sectarian government in...

Law enforcement: Use of drones saves time, money

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Ledger By Kathy Leigh BerkowitzLAKELAND — It has been almost a year since the Polk County Sheriff’s Office introduced the use of drones for emergency situations where they would normally use a helicopter.The system, rolled out in January, is called the Aerial Response Team.Ten drones are used in daytime hours by five patrol districts.The night shift has three drones.The daytime drones cost $1,250 each and the drones at night cost about $23,000 each.“At some point, we will be using 10 nighttime drones,” said PCSO spokeswoman Carrie Horstman. The reason, Horstman said, for the cost difference between day and night is the cameras have to be so much more “sophisticated” to be able to provide images in the dark. Read more: https://www.theledger.com/news/20181223/law-enforcement-use-of-drones-saves-time-money...
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by Clarion Project The man who confessed to plotting the next 9-11 was sentenced to 40 years in prison for planning multiple attacks in New York City.    Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 20, had “planned to detonate bombs in Times Square and the New York City subway system, and to shoot civilians at concert venues,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. “El Bahnasawy aspired, in his words, to ‘create the next 9/11′.”El Bahnasawy, a Canadian citizen, was arrested in May 2016 while traveling from Canada to New York. He was plotting with two others: Talha Haroon, a 20-year-old U.S. citizen arrested in Pakistan, and Russell Salic, a 38-year-old orthopedic surgeon and citizen of the Philippines, who was arrested in the Philippines.The plans included a massive attack on Times Square, where the men planned to trap people inside the area called Crossroads of the World “and kill as many people as possible.”A shooting...
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American Military News by Cheryl Hinneburg - October 31, 2018 An Iraqi terrorist, who had a reputation for being a bomb expert, died on Monday when a bomb that he was constructing blew up.Abu Moaaz, a bomb maker for ISIS, was manufacturing explosives in central Iraq, about 15 miles north of Baqubah when the explosion took place, The Daily Mail reported.He had recently supplied ISIS numerous explosive devices that were used to kill many people, including law enforcement. In 2014, ISIS held a stronghold that swept from Iraq to Syria, but that presence has shrunk considerably. Read more: https://americanmilitarynews.com/2018/10/isis-bomb-expert-blows-himself-up-while-making-explosives/...
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By Ken Suarez, FOX 13 NewsLAKELAND, Fla. (FOX 13) - It must be Christmas. Polk Sheriff Grady Judd just sent out his annual holiday card to 300 of his closest friends.On the front, it says “Just in Time for the Holidays.” When you open it, it says, “The Judd Band Christmas Holiday Classic. It looks like a CD.On one side Judd, under a Polk County Jail sign, wearing a Santa hat, is playing the guitar. His backup band members are all dressed in jailhouse orange. On the other side you see a list of songs on the CD, “Won’t be Home for Christmas,”  “Jingle Bail Rock,” “Silver Cuffs,” “Frosty the Conman,” and more. Read more: http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/polk-co-sheriff-holiday-card-becomes-cherished-tradition...

East of the Euphrates is a nest of terrorism

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Daily Sabah by Ozan Ceyhun On Tuesday, a critical step for Syria was taken in Geneva with the efforts of Turkey, Russia, and Iran.Thanks to this step, soon the commission that will pen the democratic constitution of Syria will be formed. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu came together with his Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov and Iranian colleague Cevad Zarif and announced a joint memo regarding this particularly important matter for Syria.As it is known, according to U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254, a rewriting of Syrian constitution was proposed to benefit the political transformation process. During the National Dialogue Congress that was held in Sochi, Russia in January 2018, representatives from the U.N., Turkey, Iran, and the host country Russia, together with the Syrian parties, decided to form a Constitutional Committee. Some problems were encountered during the appointment process of Constitutional Committee, which will be composed of 150 people, due to interference...

DHS: Cybersecurity Overview

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity OverviewCyberspace and its underlying infrastructure are vulnerable to a wide range of risk stemming from both physical and cyber threats and hazards. Sophisticated cyber actors and nation-states exploit vulnerabilities to steal information and money and are developing capabilities to disrupt, destroy, or threaten the delivery of essential services. A range of traditional crimes are now being perpetrated through cyberspace. This includes the production and distribution of child pornography and child exploitation conspiracies, banking and financial fraud, intellectual property violations, and other crimes, all of which have substantial human and economic consequences.Cyberspace is particularly difficult to secure due to a number of factors: the ability of malicious actors to operate from anywhere in the world, the linkages between cyberspace and physical systems, and the difficulty of reducing vulnerabilities and consequences in complex cyber networks. Of growing concern is the cyber threat to critical infrastructure, which is...

Morocco: Terrorist ties to Scandinavian hiker slaying

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Washington Post By Amira El-Masaiti | APRABAT, Morocco — The lone suspect arrested in the killing of two Scandinavian tourists in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains is connected to a terrorist group, and three other suspects are on the run, Moroccan authorities said Wednesday.State television 2M reported on its website that authorities consider the two women’s slayings a terrorist act. Local media reported that the suspects had links to the Islamic State group.The women, who were from Denmark and Norway, were discovered stabbed in the neck Monday by other tourists, who alerted police, according to national media. Hiking in the area was temporarily suspended.The killings have shocked Morocco, a popular tourist destination where such attacks on foreigners are extremely rare.The Rabat public prosecutor’s office said in a statement Wednesday that the only captured suspect has affiliations to a terrorist group, without naming the group. Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/denmark-norway-advise-against-hiking-alone-in-morocco/2018/12/19/5d030de2-039e-11e9-958c-0a601226ff6b_story.html...

Jihad Is Alive and Well in the US: 3 New Stories

Posted by on in Terrorism
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By Clarion Project The following three new stories are just the most recent examples of the fact that jihad is alive and well in the US:1. An Oklahoma resident who is a Saudi citizen pleaded guilty to visa fraud and  concealing the fact that he attended an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan in late 2000. Naif Abdulaziz M. Alfallaj, 35, was arrested by the FBI after an investigation by the agency’s joint terrorism task force.Alfallaj, who lived in Weatherford, used his visa which allowed him to be in the U.S. to apply for private lessons at a flight school in Oklahoma. He faces up to 10 years in prison for the visa fraud and up to eight years for making a false statement to the FBI. In addition, Alfallaj can be fined up to $250,000 on each count.2. A Florida man was arrested on charges that he sent bomb-making...
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by ERIC SCHUCHT - The Columbus Telegram Columbus Police Department officers served as Santa's little helpers during the weekend by bringing some holiday cheer to area families.The CPD hosted its first ever SantaCop event on Saturday at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Community members were invited and got the chance to interact with local law enforcement, grab a free lunch and get some holiday gifts for the kids. SantaCop was put together by Investigator Troy Urkoski and Patrol Officer Alysson Peters, who both unknowingly started work on a holiday event individually before they partnered.“Both of us had individually decided to do it and then didn’t realize that the other person had also,” Peters said. “So we joined forces and got it going.”CPD reached out to the Columbus Public Schools for a list of families that were in need of some assistance this holiday season. The program was able to generate gifts...
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  Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY Two Chicago police officers were killed in the line of duty Monday when they were struck by a passenger train while investigating a report of gunfire near tracks on the city’s South Side, authorities said.They become the third and fourth police officers killed in the line of duty in Chicago in 2018. They were identified as Eduardo Marmolejo, 36, and Conrad Gary, 31."There they were ... doing their job, trying to protect the rest of us," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "We lost two young men, both fathers with young families. This holiday will never be the same for those two families. We lost people who answered the call to make Chicago a better place."The officers were responding to a call of shots fired near the tracks near 103rd Street and Dauphin Avenue around 6:30 p.m. when they were struck by a local suburban passenger train service...
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Naples Daily News Tom Vanden Brook and David Jackson, USA TODAY WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump called Wednesday for a U.S. withdrawal from Syria over the apparent objections of military advisers and a bipartisan group of lawmakers.The withdrawal of the more than 2,000 troops is based on Trump’s decision that the mission against ISIS is complete, a U.S. official told USA TODAY.Military leaders, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in recent weeks and months have spoken of the need for U.S. troops to remain in the eastern part of the country to help stabilize it and allow for peace negotiations to proceed.Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., derided Trump’s decision to withdraw, likening it to those made by former President Barack Obama to announce ahead of time plans to reduce forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.“Withdrawal of this small American force in Syria would be a huge Obama-like mistake,” Graham tweeted. Read more: https://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/world/2018/12/19/syria-troop-withdrawal/2361385002/...

What Terror Group Is As Dangerous and Just as Close as ISIS?

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Clarion Project The State Department warned that Hezbollah, an international terror organization originating in Lebanon and a proxy of Iran, is as dangerous and just as close to countries in the Western Hemisphere as ISIS.The warning came from Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, who was speaking to delegates from 12 nations attending the Western Hemisphere Counterterrorism Ministerial in Washington, D.C.As Clarion recently reported, Hezbollah is ramping up south of the U.S., as witnessed by the numerous arrests of the group’s operative in countries ranging from Bolivia to Peru, where large caches of military equipment and explosives belonging to Hezbollah terror cells have been discovered.Closer to home, here are three developments concerning the encroachment of Hezbollah in the West: Read more: https://clarionproject.org/hezbollah-as-dangerous-and-just-as-close-as-isis/...

Kids Building Long-Lasting Relationship At Shop With A Cop

Posted by on in Terrorism
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KVRR Local News by Jessie Cohen FARGO, N.D. — Having wrapped gifts to put under the tree isn’t possible for all families Cass County, but local law enforcement is trying to change that.KVRR’s Jessie Cohen tells us how they are bringing a Christmas miracle to some deserving children.They are swerving through Walmart.“They just run from one aisle to the next.”Searching for the most perfect gift.For these cops and kids, it really is a winter wonder-land.“It’s just an incredible day.”Just in time for the holidays, shop with a cop gives kids a chance to put some presents under the tree and make a new friend along the way.Read more: https://www.kvrr.com/2018/12/16/kids-building-long-lasting-relationship-at-shop-with-a-cop/...
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Clarion Ledger Hidden in Mississippi: A school that trains foreign military to fight terrorism Lauren Walck, Sun Herald Your average fisherman would likely be surprised to suddenly see a team of boats carrying fully armed, tactically dressed military silently cruising by in the pre-dawn light. But regulars near the mouth of the Pearl River are probably used to it by now.That’s where Stennis Space Center is on the east bank of the river, north of Interstate 10, on 200 square miles of land. Most of that land serves as a buffer zone for NASA, but there’s a lot more going on out there besides rocket testing.About 70 percent of the tenants at Stennis are under the U.S. Navy, including everything from meteorology to oceanography to the research lab where engineers and scientists try to create new military technology.But many of those 200 square miles are devoted to training ranges —...