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The Fight Against Terrorism Online: Here's The Verdict

Posted by on in Terrorism
Forbes by Nikita Malik I was studying counter terrorism prosecutions in the United Kingdom recently.Individuals who commit terrorism-related offenses often have political, religious, racial, or ideological motivations. These are different from typical criminal motivations, which may be for personal gain or revenge, for example.Over the years, a number of offenses and powers have been designed to counter the activities of terrorists. Examples of terrorism offenses include, but are not limited to: preparation of terrorist acts, collecting information, dissemination of terrorist publications, and other common offenses including membership or support of a proscribed organization, encouragement of terrorism, or attendance at a place for terrorist training.I found that in 2018 to date, there have been 25 counter terrorism prosecutions. 20 of these have had some element of the internet or technology involved – whether to promote and disseminate terrorist material, communicate, or spread hatred and religious controversy.20% of the cases to do...

Report: Iran allows Al Qaeda operation within its borders

Posted by on in Terrorism
Fox News By Hollie McKay Iran continues to wreak havoc in the Middle East by allowing Al Qaeda to maintain a "facilitation base" within the Islamic Republic's borders, according to the U.S State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism.The report, released this week, reinforces assessments published in years past that not only does Iran enable Al Qaeda to conduct global operations from within its borders, but also remains "unwilling to bring to justice senior Al Qaeda members residing in Iran and has refused to publicly identify the members in its custody.”On the surface, it would seem that Shia-dominant Iran would hardly have an incentive to partner with the Sunni-led Al Qaeda. But analysts are hardly surprised by the findings of the report. “This has been known within the U.S. intelligence community for years. Although Iran and Al Qaeda are at odds in Syria and Yemen, the Iranian regime has allowed...

Necessary Counterterrorism Conversations

Posted by on in Terrorism
Center for Strategic & International Studies Sarah BastVisiting Fellow, International Security Program With the shift in national security priorities to near-peer competitors like China and Russia, and with the Islamic State’s (IS) loss of most of its territory in Iraq and Syria, policymakers do not discuss terrorism as frequently as they once did. While there has been a change of emphasis, there are a few conversations on terrorism that policymakers still should have with the public. This commentary suggests four topics for those necessary conversations. 1) Terrorists almost certainly will strike the United States again. Terrorists remain intent on and capable of attacking the homeland, as exemplified by the over 3,000 FBI terrorism cases open nationwide. The July 2, 2018 arrest of an individual planning to attack a fireworks show in Cleveland, Ohio demonstrates this threat. The FBI has open terrorism cases in all 50 states. FBI Director Christopher Wray...

Michigan: Airport terror suspect to undergo mental tests

Posted by on in Terrorism
Robert Snell, The Detroit News Flint — Amor Ftouhi, a Tunisian national accused of stabbing a police officer during a terrorist attack at Bishop International Airport in Flint last year, will undergo psychiatric tests, a move that raises doubt about whether he will stand trial in November.The tests will determine if Ftouhi, 51, is competent to stand trial or suffers from diminished capacity. The upcoming tests were revealed by Ftouhi's lawyer, Joan Morgan, during a pretrial conference in federal court Tuesday.“I will be able to let the court and government know whether I would be interested in pursuing a mental-health defense,” Morgan told the judge.Ftouhi, whose outbursts and chants of “Allahu Akbar” have marked previous court appearances, was expected to attend the hearing in front of U.S. District Judge Linda Parker. There was a heavy security presence at the courthouse in downtown Flint, including a bomb-sniffing dog circling the courthouse,...

Battered in MidEast, ISIS Spreads Its Tentacles Worldwide

Posted by on in Terrorism
Clarion Project By Joan Swart Following spectacular ambitions and lofty successes of controlling between 20,000 and 35,000 fighters, a taxable population of seven to eight million, a land area the size of Britain in Iraq and Syria, and access to $ 1.7 billion in cash by mid-2014, the scale of ISIS’ decline was even more impressive. By October 2017, its last stronghold, Raqqa, the Syrian town that was once the de facto political capital of the self-declared caliphate, fell in an operation led by the Syrian Democratic Forces. These relentless military campaigns forced the Islamic State into increasingly diminished, fragmented rural areas, its ability to control resources and coordinate operations crippled. Read more to find out how ISIS spreads its tentacles…As with other groups that have overplayed their hands before them, the Islamic State had to change its tactics to stay relevant. New Islamic State StrongholdsNeeding continued presence and conquest...
  Russia blames Israel after its jet is downed off Syria after breakthrough deal to avert bloodshed in the country Los Angeles Times By Noga Tarnopolsky  and Nabih Bulos Russian officials Tuesday blamed Israel for the downing of a Russian military aircraft near Syria’s Mediterranean coast that killed 15 people, even though the plane was shot down by Syrian air defenses.The aircraft, an Ilyushin Il-20 reconnaissance turboprop, disappeared from radar screens late Monday night as it was approaching Hemeimeem, home to a Russian military base located 13 miles southeast of Latakia. The disappearance occurred around the same time four Israeli F-16 fighters were conducting a missile attack near the Syrian coastal city, said Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, according to a report by Russian state-news operator TASS. The Il-20’s wreckage was later found in the sea 22 miles southwest of Hemeimeem, said Russia’s defense military spokesman Igor Konashenkov on...
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement US, UK law enforcement sign proclamation against female genital mutilation and cutting Both nations host “week of action” focused on outreach on the topic WASHINGTON — Law enforcement officials from the United States and the United Kingdom wrapped up Friday a “week of action” during which they conducted outreach at major international airports with the goal of education about and prevention of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). This outreach, called “Operation Limelight”, was conducted at four international airports in the U.S. – John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport – and at Heathrow Airport and train stations throughout the UK.On August 30, law enforcement from the two nations also gathered at the U.S. embassy in London to sign a proclamation affirming their commitment to end the practice of FGM/C in both countries and around the...

Death toll in Afghan suicide attack soars to 68

Posted by on in Terrorism
Gulf Times AFP/Jalalabad, AfghanistanThe death toll from a suicide attack on Afghan protesters has soared to 68, officials said Wednesday, as violence flares across the country ahead of elections.The bombing on Tuesday in the eastern province of Nangarhar was the latest in a wave of deadly insurgent attacks which has claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians and security forces across Afghanistan.The blast wounded another 165 people, provincial governor spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said.There has been no claim of responsibility for the massacre, but the Islamic State group, which has carried out most of the recent suicide bombings in Afghanistan, is active in the province.The Nangarhar health department confirmed the toll.Scores of demonstrators had blocked the highway between the provincial capital of Jalalabad and a major Pakistan border crossing in protest over the appointment of a local police chief when the suicide bomber blew himself up.The dead and wounded were rushed...

Biological terrorism: how vulnerable is the UK? [VIDEO]

Posted by on in Terrorism

The Telegraph by Anne Gulland, Global health security correspondent The naming of the Russian agents believed to be responsible for the Novichok poisonings in Salisbury has brought the spectre of chemical weapons to the forefront of the public consciousness once again.But while such weapons can undoubtedly wreak enormous havoc, a Telegraph film investigating the threat of biological terrorism has shown that a far simpler way to spread fear and disrupt daily life would be to harness diseases in plants, animals and even humans. Read more: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/biological-terrorism-vulnerable-uk/...
PBS News Hours by Simona Foltyn In October 2017, Iraqi forces captured the town of Hawija from the Islamic State, taking back one of the militant group’s last remaining strongholds. But now, ISIS has regrouped in the area and continues to terrorize residents. NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Simona Foltyn recently traveled near Hawija to find out how much control the militants continue to assert over the civilian population for this report in cooperation with the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute. Read the Full TranscriptSIMONA FOLTYN:ISIS is making a comeback in Iraq and so far the government has failed to stop it. In my last report, I accompanied Iraqi Security Forces as they tried to clear remote, mountainous areas where ISIS militants have regrouped. These clean up operations were largely ineffective. The government troops known as the emergency response division were used to fighting a conventional war against ISIS. They...

ISIS and Drones: Supply, Scale, and Future Threats

Posted by on in Terrorism
The Islamic State and Drones: Supply, Scale, and Future Threats Combating Terrorism Center at West Point by Don Rassler The Islamic State is a group known for doing things a bit differently, for its capacity for innovation, and for its many ‘firsts.’ Two of those ‘firsts’ happened within months of each other. The first occurred in October 2016 when the group used a bomb-laden drone to kill, after the explosive hidden within the drone killed two Kurdish peshmerga soldiers who were investigating the device. Another ‘first’ happened in January 2017 when the Islamic State released a propaganda video that showed nearly a dozen examples of the group releasing munitions on its enemies from the air with a fair degree of accuracy via quadcopter drones it had modified. And it wasn’t long before the group’s bomb-drop capable drones would go on to kill, too. After reaching a high point in the...

FBI director: ‘Terrorism threat is everywhere’

Posted by on in Terrorism
Orlando Sentinel by Hal Boedeker - Contact Reporter For the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, “CBS This Morning” will offer a sobering and detailed interview with FBI Director Christopher Wray.“People think of the 9/11 threat, they think New York, they think D.C. Today's terrorism threat is everywhere, coast to coast, north, south, east, west,” Wray tells Norah O’Donnell. “It's a different kind of threat.” The chat will air in two parts, on Tuesday and Thursday, on the show, which starts at 7 a.m.O’Donnell talked to Wray at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in Manhattan, and she will talk with him Wednesday in Washington. Wray says the United States is “safer” and "dramatically better prepared" to tackle terror threats.Yet he cautions that cyber threats are “at an all-time high” and that “terrorism today moves at the speed of social media.”In the in-depth interview, Wray provides details about...
  KOB 4by Joshua PanasALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A federal grand jury has indicted the five suspects who were arrested after a raid on a compound in northern New Mexico.Jany Leveille, 35, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Hujrah Wahhaj, 37, Subhanah Wahhaj, 35, and Lucas Morton, 40, face federal firearms and conspiracy charges.The conspiracy charge alleges that, between December 2017 and August 2018, the defendants established a training camp and firing range in Taos County, where they stored firearms and ammunition and engaged in firearms and tactical training as part of their plan to prepare for violent attacks on government, military, educational, and financial institutions.The defendants are scheduled to appear in federal court in Albuquerque at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday to be arraigned on the indictment and for detention hearings.The defendants could face between 5-10 years in prison if convicted. Read more: https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/federal-grand-jury-indicts-nm-compound-suspects-on-firearms-conspiracy-charges/5066804/...
Express TONY Blair has called for a shift in the approach to international counter-terrorism, from “security only” towards more emphasis on soft power and prevention initiatives, in a new report from the Tony Blair Institute. By Abbie Llewelyn The former Prime Minister will give a speech in Washington DC today to advocate for a re-balancing of counter-extremism efforts.The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change is launching the “global extremism monitor” which they describe as a “yearly tracker of global Islamist activity”.The study found that only one percent of the UK’s anti-terrorism budget is spent on “countering the ideology driving Islamist violence”.In a forward to the report, Mr Blair said: “Islamist extremism is global and growing.“It didn’t begin with Al-Qaeda, nor will it end with the defeat of ISIS.“It is a global movement, driven by a guiding transnational religious-political ideology.“There are now more than 120 groups operating in the world, all...

Rethinking Cybersecurity

Posted by on in Terrorism
CSIS Strategy, Mass Effect, and States by James Andrew Lewis, Senior Vice President Despite all the attention, cyberspace is far from secure. Why this is so reflects conceptual weaknesses as much as imperfect technologies. Two questions highlight shortcomings in the discussion of cybersecurity. The first is why, after more than two decades, we have not seen anything like a cyber Pearl Harbor, cyber 9/11, or cyber catastrophe, despite constant warnings. The second is why, despite the increasing quantity of recommendations, there has been so little improvement, even when these recommendations are implemented.These questions share an answer: the concepts underlying cybersecurity are an aggregation of ideas conceived in a different time, based on millennial expectations about governance and international security. Similarly, the internet of the 1990s has become “cyber,” a portmanteau term that encompassed the broad range of global economic, political, and military activities transformed by the revolution created by digital...
Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas Illegal Alien Sent to Federal Prison for Trying to Drown Federal AgentA 31-year-old Illegal alien residing in Ciudad Hidalgo, Michoacan, Mexico, has been ordered to prison following his conviction of assaulting a Border Patrol (BP) agent during his attempt to illegally enter the country, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Edgar Garrido-Miranda pleaded guilty Dec. 5, 2017.Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo ordered him to prison for 60 months and ordered restitution in the amount of $4,788.79. At the hearing, the court heard that this was not an accidental act on Garrido-Miranda's part. She sternly him warned him that things could have gone very wrong, including being shot. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face deportation proceedings fooling his sentence.On Aug. 16, 2017, BP agents encountered a group of undocumented aliens near the Zacate Creek area in...
The Jerusalem Post REUTERS - A federal judge in Washington, D.C. on Monday ordered Iran to pay $104.7 million to victims of a June 1996 truck bombing in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia that killed 19 US military personnel, though it is unclear when and how the plaintiffs might collect.Chief Judge Beryl Howell entered a default judgment against Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which did not defend against claims over their alleged roles in the attack, which sheared off the front of the Khobar Towers complex.Iran's permanent mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Howell said 15 service members who were at the complex when it was bombed could recover for assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.The judge also said 24 relatives could recover for emotional distress from seeing how the bombing affected their loved ones.Howell rejected punitive damages, saying US law...
Washington says it will hold Tehran accountable for attacks by Iran-backed militias after unknown assailants launch rockets at Baghdad green zone, Basra airport amid unrest The Times of Israel By AFP    WASHINGTON — The White House on Tuesday warned it would hold Iran accountable for any violence attributed to Tehran-allied militias in Iraq that results in damage to US facilities or injures American personnel.“Over the past few days, we have seen life-threatening attacks in Iraq, including on the United States consulate in Basra and against the American embassy compound in Baghdad,” the White House said in a statement. “Iran did not act to stop these attacks by its proxies in Iraq, which it has supported with funding, training, and weapons.”Three mortar shells hit late Friday the ultra-secure green zone in Baghdad, which houses Iraqi authorities and the US Embassy.The rare attack — whose perpetrators remain unidentified — did not cause...
'Terrorism Today Moves at the Speed of Social Media,' FBI Director Says on 9/11 Anniversary Fortune By Renae Reints “Today’s terrorism threat is everywhere, coast to coast, north, south, east, west,” FBI Director Christopher Wray told CBS This Morning in an interview aired Tuesday, the seventeenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.While noting that “we’re safer” than we were in 2001, Wray said that terrorism has “evolved.”“I think the threat, today’s terrorism threat, still includes sleeper cells, Al Qaeda, all the kind of major terrorist organizations that you would think of,” Wray told CBS, “but we’re also very focused now on homegrown violent extremists, which are people who are largely here already, in the United States.”According to Wray, of the FBI’s nearly 5,000 terrorism investigations within the past year, 1,000 have been homegrown violent extremists.The Bureau has thwarted a number of terrorist attacks recently, including one aimed at the San...

The 9/11 hijackers who lived among us in Palm Beach County

Posted by on in Terrorism
Palm Beach Post By Eliot Kleinberg Editor’s note: This story was originally published Sept. 9, 2016. DELRAY BEACH — On a July night 15 years ago, in Delray Beach, a police officer stopped a motorist for speeding. He let the man go with a warning.“Take a minute and consider how your careless driving affects the people you share these streets with and try to help make our streets a safer place to be,” the written warning read.Nine weeks later, Mohamed Atta flew an airplane into a building.In the summer leading up to the deadly terrorist attacks, 12 of the 19 hijackers who commandeered and crashed four jetliners on Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people, lived in or had connections to Palm Beach County. Nearly the entire crew of the two jets that brought down the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center were here.They shopped at Target...