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Terror and the Mexico border: How big a threat?

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Christian Science Monitor by Warren Richey Nogales, Ariz.—Islamic militants purchase a nuclear device from a sympathetic official in Pakistan and ship the weapon on the flip side of a drug trafficking route through West Africa to South America. Next, the package is smuggled north to the United States-Mexico border. Although this sounds like the plot line of a spy thriller, it is a scenario laid out in an online magazine produced by the Islamic State, the apocalyptic Syria-based terror group also known as ISIS. “From there it’s just a quick hop through a smuggling tunnel and … presto, they’re mingling with another 12 million ‘illegal’ aliens in America with a nuclear bomb in the trunk of their car,” the 2015 ISIS article says. The debate over security along the US-Mexico border isn’t just about the millions of unauthorized migrants who have crossed the international boundary seeking work and better...
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Fox News By Malia Zimmerman President Obama's famous pledge to close the Pentagon's Guantanamo Bay detention facility was ultimately done in by the very evil of the men it houses. While hundreds of enemy combatants and terror suspects have been through the facility since the war on terror began - with many returning to the fight - the most hardcore Al Qaeda operatives ever captured remain there. They are too dangerous to set free, and no one else wants them. During its peak, Gitmo held some 778 suspected Al Qaeda operatives. Obama accelerated the policy of his predecessor, President Bush, to free those deemed to no longer be a risk. Within the last week, another 14 were released from the facility, and turned over to other countries willing to hold them. But the federal government admits that once they leave Gitmo, there's no guarantee their new countries will keep them...

ISIS drone dropping precision bombs alarms U.S. military

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Washington Times By Rowan Scarborough In a new threat to the West, the Islamic State on Tuesday debuted on social media a commercially available drone dropping small bombs with pinpoint accuracy onto Iraqi targets in and around Mosul. The new capability raises the specter that the Islamic State one day could attack urban areas from the air, not just on the ground. The U.S. military is alarmed by the terrorist army’s quick technological advances and is evaluating more than 20 systems to detect and destroy its drone air force. Other systems already have been rushed to the war. The attacks were depicted in a lengthy Islamic State propaganda video showing its terrorists in intense street battles to hold the city of Mosul. Included is aerial footage of a Chinese Skywalker X8 drone, which is available on Amazon, striking clusters of Iraqi soldiers, tanks and buildings. The video shows that...

Trump expected to order a refugee ban for 7 countries

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Julia Edwards Ainsley - Australian Associated Press US President Donald Trump is expected to sign executive orders that include a temporary ban on most refugees and a suspension of visas for citizens of Syria and six other Middle Eastern and African countries. Trump, who tweeted that a "big day" is planned on national security on Wednesday, is expected to ban for several months the entry of refugees into the United States, except for religious minorities escaping persecution, until more aggressive vetting is in place. Another order will block visas being issued to anyone from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, said the aides and experts, who asked not to be identified. In his tweet late on Tuesday, Trump said: "Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!" Trump's executive order threatens the refugee resettlement deal with Australia signed late last...

ISIS In 2017: Rotting From The Outside In

Posted by on in Terrorism
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InHomelandSecurity.com By Scott Stewart The Islamic State has entered into a slow decline that will continue throughout 2017. After its inception, the group energized the jihadist movement and drew thousands of enthusiastic foreign fighters by announcing the creation of a caliphate and assuring its followers that the end of the world was near. This enabled the Islamic State to rapidly amass manpower and capabilities — at least at first. But both time and geography have worked against the organization since its initial proclamation of a caliphate and an impending apocalypse. Despite the Islamic State’s frequent and pointed criticism of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, the group has roughly followed the plan al-Zawahiri laid out in a 2005 letter to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was then the head of the Islamic State’s predecessor, al Qaeda in Iraq. Nevertheless, there are significant differences between the timeline al Qaeda and the Islamic State have set...

EXCLUSIVE: Eschatology as a Tool for ISIS Recruitment

Posted by on in Terrorism
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By: Dr. Godfrey Garner and M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D. Eschatology: the part of theology concerned with death, judgment and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind. Few people today have ever heard of the term, but it will soon be familiar. On the first day of Ramadan, 2014, ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi stepped to the head of the Al Masjid Al Nuri in Mosul and proclaimed himself the Caliph. In essence, he proclaimed the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth and the proximity of, “judgement day.” Baghdadi’s pronouncement additionally served as a call for young would-be jihadists and Islamists the world over to “come to Dabiq, to die.” Baghdadi’s proclamation that the end of the world is nigh wasn’t new, and it wasn’t a call exclusive to militant Islam. As a matter of fact, numerous cults and religious movements the world over have used such eschatological...
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by Nick Bolger U.S. and coalition forces bombed the Islamic State 31 times on Saturday, retired Gen. James Mattis’ first full day as secretary of defense, the Pentagon said in an news release. The attacks occurred in both Syria and Iraq. “Attack, bomber, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 25 strikes consisting of 39 engagements,” the Defense Department said of the strikes in Syria. They occurred near Bab, Dayr Az Zawr, and Raqqa, ISIS’s de facto capital, which was hit by 22 strikes. ISIS tactical units, headquarters, tunnels, fighting positions, vehicles, and oil well heads were all targeted. In Iraq, six strikes consisting of 16 engagements occurred, according to Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led operation fighting ISIS. The strikes targeted the terrorist group near Rutbah, Beiji, Kisik, Mosul, and Tal Afar. Attacks in Iraq hit tactical units, vehicles, weapons, a building, and other weapons related objects. Read more: http://freebeacon.com/national-security/coalition-forces-strike-isis-31-times-mattis-first-day-sec-def/...

Hamas and Islamic State Working Closely in Gaza, Sinai

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Hamas has allowed ISIS to establish a propaganda center in Gaza and treat wounded fighters in Gazan hospitals. By Elliot Friedland The Islamic State’s branch in Sinai is working closely with the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliate Hamas which governs the Gaza Strip. Both groups have a shared enemy -- Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, former army general and current president of Egypt. ISIS is fighting an insurgency against Sisi’s government from the Sinai peninsula. Sisi became president in a democratic election after overthrowing the previous president, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi, in a popularly-backed military coup. Hamas received extensive support from Morsi’s government. ISIS is now running a media center in the Gaza Strip itself, according to an investigation by The Times of Israel. The media center has published claims of responsibility for terrorist attacks within Egypt as well as propaganda for ISIS. The two groups are coordinating to smuggle goods into Gaza via...
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The Daily Mail Muslim schoolgirl, 16, who slit a policewoman's throat because she was 'frustrated' she could not join ISIS in Syria is convicted of supporting terrorism in Germany   Safia S stabbed a policewoman in the throat in Hannover in February last year  After arrest she was said to be 'ice cold' and only worry was about her headscarf   She was brainwashed into jihadism in November 2015 and tried to get to Syria  Brought back to Germany from Turkey by her mother, she was 'frustrated'   Her friend, Mohamad Hasan K, 19, was convicted of failing to warn authorities  By Allan Hall In Berlin For The Daily Mail Prosecutors have demanded six years in jail for an ISIS-obsessed Muslim schoolgirl who slit the throat of a German policewoman when she was stopped in a routine check. The officer nearly died after being attacked by the 16-year-old, who has Moroccan parents. The...
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Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — A state public safety review cites potential danger from radical Islamic terror groups and Mexican drug cartels to justify the threat level in Texas as "elevated." The 2017 Department of Public Safety Threat Overview report says information from law enforcement and security agencies shows terrorism and security along the Texas-Mexico border is linked to countries like Syria and Iraq. It cites "inaccessible or nonexistent" security information about Syrian war refugees or asylum seekers who have resettled to Texas, meaning some of those people could be posing as what the state police agency calls "authentic refugees." The Houston Chronicle reports the review also shows all eight major Mexican drug cartels operate in Texas and have partnered with gangs to support drug and human smuggling on both sides of the border. Read more: http://www.cbs7.com/content/news/411461265.html ...
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  Turkey is in the process of including the concept of jihad in compulsory school curricula beginning in the 7th grade.   By Uzay Bulut   Turkey is in the process of including the concept of jihad in compulsory school curricula. According to a recent statement by the Turkish Ministry of National Education, Turkish textbooks will be teaching “jihad” as a “value” in classes at Imam Hatip middle schools (schools that offer an Islamic curriculum to pupils). The ministry has also removed a chapter on the theory of evolution from a textbook for 12th graders. At a press conference on January 13, Ismet Yilmaz, the minister of national education, explained the details of the new curricula to members of the press. According to the newspaper Cumhuriyet, jihad will be taught in 7th grade while pupils study the fundamentals of “tawhid and wahdat civilization.” (Tawhid is the Islamic belief in the oneness...

Austria arrest 'foils terror attack' in Vienna

Posted by on in Terrorism
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BBC NEWS Austria's interior minister says the arrest of a man in the capital Vienna has averted a possible terror attack in the city. Wolfgang Sobotka said the 18-year-old was an Austrian citizen of a migrant background and there were "indications" of jihadist motives. Police are warning the public to be alert and to report suspicious objects. The arrest took place at about 17:00 GMT on Friday when special forces raided an apartment. Mr Sobotka said the man had been under observation for several days. "Our police forces managed in quick time to arrest a suspect and so prevent a potential terror attack in the federal capital Vienna," he told reporters. "The decisive leads came from foreign intelligence services." Mr Sobotka said possible links to Islamic extremist were being investigated. "There are individual indications [of extremism] that we have to investigate. There is one contact that is pretty clear and...
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By Lucas Tomlinson The US Air Force conducted a second “major strike” in consecutive days killing over 100 Al Qaeda fighters at a training camp in northern Syria, a defense official with knowledge of the strike told a handful of reporters at the Pentagon on Friday. A single U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber and an undisclosed number of drones dropped 14 precision-guided bombs at noon eastern time Thursday on an Al Qaeda “basic training” camp in Syria west of the city of Aleppo near the border with Turkey, according to the official. –– ADVERTISEMENT –– “This was core Al Qaeda” said the official describing the fighters. The latest strike, likely President Barack Obama’s last as commander-in-chief, comes a day after the Pentagon said two Air Force B-2 nuclear-capable bombers dropped 108 precision-guided bombs on two ISIS training camps in Libya killing 85 fighters, according to officials. The round-the-world strike took...
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Heavy.com By Heavy Terror Watch Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2017. Has there been a threat made by the Islamic State or other terrorist organizations? Last month it was briefly reported that Islamic State sympathizers in the United States were setting their sights on Trump’s Inauguration Day as an opportunity for a terrorist offensive in Washington, D.C. According to The Daily Express, ISIS was calling it “Bloody Friday.” But the name was a misquote by terrorism analyst Michael S. Smith.   However, despite this alleged “fake news,” ISIS and Al-Qaeda have been promoting lone wolf terrorist attacks to be perpetrated by their sympathizers. ISIS and Al-Qaeda are competing terrorist organizations and are currently fighting each other for influence in the Middle East. To counterattack the attacks encouraged by both groups in Washington, The Express...
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Independent Journal Review By Jenni Fink In December, a man drove a truck through a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, Germany. At least nine people were killed, and over 50 were injured. CNN was quick to condemn the incident as an act of  terror: The Berlin Christmas market truck crash is now being investigated as an act of terrorism http://cnn.it/2hNsvlm    On Sunday, Israel suffered a similar attack when a man drove a truck into a group of Israeli soldiers at a popular tourist spot in Jerusalem. Four soldiers, all in their early 20s, were killed and at least 15 were injured — some even had to be extricated from under the truck. Surveillance footage captured the attack and shows that after the driver plows into the group of soldiers, he reverses back into them. This second attack seems to eliminate the theory that this was an accidental act. Unlike its coverage of the “terrorist...

Iran approved to import additional 130 tons of uranium

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Spokesman-Review By Amir Vahdat   Associated Press TEHRAN, Iran – The U.S. and five other world powers have approved Iran importing as much as 130 tons of uranium, Iran’s English language Press TV reported Friday. The TV quoted Behrouz Kamalvandi, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran spokesman as saying “the Joint Commission monitoring the implementation of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 approved the purchase on the part of Iran during a meeting in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Wednesday.” Kamalvandi said that the country had previously bought 220 tons of the material, and was currently in possession of a total of 350 tons, “Given that this amounts to a valuable resource, it places us in a very favorable position”. The incoming U.S. administration and many U.S. lawmakers already skeptical of how effective the nuclear deal is in keeping Iran’s nuclear program peaceful over the...

Military Ready to Give Trump Plans to Fight Islamic State

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says priority is to make sure that extremist fighters cannot move between Iraq and Syria The Wall Street Journal By Julian E. Barnes BRUSSELS—America’s top uniformed officer said the military is ready to present options to the new administration in the fight against Islamic State. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Wednesday said he would “present options to accelerate the campaign” against Islamic State to James Mattis, the incoming Trump administration’s nominee for defense secretary. “My job is to share options the next leadership team can choose and identify the risks and opportunities associated with those options,” Gen. Dunford told reporters in Brussels. President-elect Donald Trump has said intensifying the fight against Islamic State is a priority of his administration and said he wants a plan for a stepped-up military campaign within 30 days. Read more:...
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By Boris Sanchez and Kevin Conlon Fort Lauderdale, Florida (CNN) Esteban Santiago, the man charged with killing five people at the Fort Lauderdale airport, told FBI agents he carried out the attack on behalf of ISIS, FBI special agent Michael Ferlazzo testified at Santiago's bond hearing Tuesday. The agent did not elaborate on whether Santiago was purporting to be linked to ISIS or simply inspired by the terrorist organization.   Federal authorities in Alaska said Santiago told them prior to the attack that he was hearing voices and that his mind was being controlled by the CIA. Santiago initially made similar claims during an interrogation following the shooting, but once he was transferred to the FBI office in Miramar, Florida, Santiago introduced the ISIS claim and never again mentioned mind control, Ferlazzo testified.   What we know about the Fort Lauderdale shooting suspect   ISIS has not claimed responsibility for...
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Turkish Official Suspected Nightclub Gunman Inspired by ISIS Fox News The terror suspect accused in the shooting rampage at a nightclub in Istanbul early on New Year's Day trained in Afghanistan before traveling to Turkey and launching his attack, a Turkish official announced Tuesday, hours after police finally pulled the bloodied man from the home where he'd been hiding. Banknotes of different currencies on a bed inside the home where the suspect was hiding. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)   Abdulkadir Masharipov, the Uzbek national wanted in the murders of 39 people at the Reina nightclub, was arrested after a police raid on his friend's house in Istanbul's Esenyurt district. Turkish media previously had given his first name as Abdulgadir.   Masharipov confessed to the massacre and his fingerprints matched those of the attacker, Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin told reporters, saying the suspect trained in Afghanistan before entering Turkey in January 2016. Sahin said Masharipov was born in 1983,...

How to Explain the Meteoric Rise of Threat Intelligence

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Cyber Threat Intelligence - by RFSID Key Takeaways In the past, cyber security has been a largely reactive discipline. Now, threat intelligence enables companies to get ahead of their attackers, and avoid costly breaches. According to the latest research, over two thirds of organization have either implemented or plan to implement a threat intelligence solution. There are three primary ways in which using threat intelligence can enhance your security profile: Increasing speed and reliability of threat detection and prevention, tightening security controls, and facilitating decision making. The future of threat intelligence is likely to involve two primary elements: intelligence sharing and machine learning (or other AI breakthroughs). For the past couple of years it seems like threat intelligence is everywhere. Every vendor offers a threat intelligence solution, every organization seems to be using it to some degree. At security conferences it feels like you just can’t escape the topic. But...