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Washington Post By Liz Sly and Carol Morello BEIRUT — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday committed the United States to an indefinite military presence in Syria, citing a range of policy goals that extend far beyond the defeat of the Islamic State as conditions for American troops to go home.But a crisis unfolding on the Syria-Turkey border that threatens to embroil the U.S. military in a wider regional conflict underscored how hard it will be for the relatively small U.S. presence in Syria to influence the outcome of the conflict there.Speaking in a major Syria-policy address hosted at Stanford University by the Hoover Institution, Tillerson listed vanquishing al-Qaeda, ousting Iran and securing a peace settlement that excludes President Bashar al-Assad as among the goals of a continued presence in Syria of about 2,000 American troops currently deployed in a Kurdish-controlled corner of northeastern Syria.His comments represented the most...
Reuters by Brendan Pierson NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday accused a German man currently imprisoned in France of supporting al Qaeda in the years leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on New York City, and conspiring to kill Americans.In an indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court, New York federal prosecutors said Christian Ganczarski, 51, had personal relationships with Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda members.They said Ganczarski helped al Qaeda plan attacks on Americans by sharing his expertise in computers, radio communications and weapons systems, and that he travelled from Germany to Pakistan and Afghanistan at least five times between 1999 and 2001 and met with al Qaeda leaders. Ganczarski was in Germany at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks, but said afterwards that he “had been aware that something big was about to happen,” according to the indictment.It was not clear whether...
Fox News By MICHAEL TARM | Associated Press CHICAGO –  A former Sacramento, California, college student accused of attempting to provide material support to terrorists in Syria has invoked a rarely used argument in asking a federal judge to toss the case on grounds he qualifies for the kind of immunity commonly bestowed on national armies in wartime.Lawyers for the 24-year-old Iraqi refugee, Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, argue in a motion filed late Tuesday in Chicago federal court that their client hooked up, not with terrorists, but with the sorts of Syrian rebels the U.S. government itself has backed in hopes of toppling the Bashar al-Assad regime.The attorneys cite the internationally recognized "doctrine of combatant immunity" that prohibits the prosecution of soldiers involved in wars between nations. They say that that immunity — while geared toward armies — can be extended to rebels in conflicts, like Syria's, where multiple nations...
Gizmodo Social Media Giants Assure Senators They Totally Have This Terrorism and Propaganda Thing Under Control by Rhett Jones Representatives for Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube trekked up to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to let senators know how their personal war on terrorism is going. It turns out that things are going well, thanks for asking.“We think we’re better prepared for this election than we’ve ever been,” Carlos Monje, Twitter’s director of public policy and philanthropy, told the members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation this afternoon.The committee asked Monje and representatives from other social media firms to come to Washington to answer questions about terrorism, but content moderation, in general, was on everyone’s minds—minds that appear to be oddly copacetic compared to the veritable freak-out over online content from just a few months ago.Sen. Brian Schatz, for example, wanted to know if Twitter is taking care of...
Newsweek by By Carlos Ballesteros Federal agencies released a report Tuesday that highlights the number of immigrants arrested and convicted in the United States for terrorism-related activities over the past decade and a half.The report, issued by the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS), reveals that U.S. federal courts convicted 549 people with international terrorism-related charges between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016. Nearly three-quarters of those charged were foreign-born; 148 of them were naturalized U.S. citizens.The report was produced as part of President Donald Trump's Executive Order 13780, issued in October 2017.Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen both said the report illustrated the need for stringent immigration reform and a substantial increase in border security funding.“This report reveals an indisputable sobering reality—our immigration system has undermined our national security and public safety,” Sessions said in a press release.Nielsen added that the...
In Homeland Security By Sylvia LongmireContributor, In Homeland SecurityOn January 10, the U.S. State Department issued a new travel warning for Mexico. These warnings have been routine in the last several years, due to the ongoing drug-related violence in several parts of the country.Most of the warnings advise U.S. citizens to take extra safety precautions or avoid driving in certain areas at certain times. In other cases, U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to specific places, while regular citizens are advised to avoid them. In this case, the State Department has advised all U.S. residents to avoid traveling to five Mexican states at all.Violent Crimes Have Risen in Mexican States Mentioned in Travel WarningThe travel advisory stated, “Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread.” As a result, the frequency of the attacks by criminal organizations in the states of Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacán, Guerrero and Tamaulipas...
Newsweek By Jack Moore A secretive elite paramilitary unit is to bolster its ranks and open a second base in the heart of Europe in reaction to the increased threat from radical Islamist extremism, its chief said on Monday.Germany's GSG-9 unit has one base near the western city of Bonn but will now add a second, most likely in Berlin, “because if you look at comparable terror situations across Europe, often the capitals were affected,” Jerome Fuchs told German radio station rbb Inforadio on Monday.The group's commander was referring to the series of assaults carried out by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda across European cities such as Paris, Berlin and London.The GSG-9 does already have a unit based in the German capital for dealing with incidents of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) nature.The unit was created in the aftermath of the massacre of 11 Israeli...
CNBC * Terrorists are still actively recruiting on Facebook and Google.*  Extremist pages on their sites were online for days or weeks before we alerted the companies to them.*  Executives from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are scheduled to testify in front of the Senate next week.by John Shinal Even as executives from Google and Facebook prepare to testify in front of the Senate on how they're combating extremist content, the internet giants are struggling to keep it off their sites.Dozens of accounts on sites owned by those two companies have been used this week to promote violent attacks and recruit people to the cause of Islamic terrorism, a CNBC investigation has found.All of the content that was brought to the attention of Google and Facebook by CNBC was removed within 24 hours of notification. Yet many of the posts and videos, which contained graphic images and threats of violence, had...

4 Law Enforcement Officers Shot Overnight

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4 officers and suspect require surgery after York Co. shooting Three officers that were shot are York County Sheriff's Deputies. The other was a York County Police Officer that was part of their SWAT team. The incident occurred overnight into early Tuesday morning. by WCNCYORK COUNTY, S.C. – Four law enforcement officers require surgery after a suspect allegedly shot them during a massive overnight manhunt.York County deputies responded to a domestic violence call around 10:08 p.m. Monday evening at 3042 Farrier Lane outside the city of York.Officials said the suspect, later identified as 47-year-old Christian Thomas McCall, was allegedly “actively assaulting a female at the home,” when they received the 911 call. The first law enforcement officer arrived at 10:20 p.m. By that time McCall had fled the home on foot, sparking a massive manhunt.York County K-9 units were called in to help find McCall.Shortly after the K-9 units began...

Counter-terrorism: Who will act on evidence in 2018?

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LobeLog.com by Jordan Street and Murray AckmanThe evidence that mainstream counter-terror strategies need a rethink is crystal clear. Will 2018 be the year that decision-makers begin taking it seriously? The failure of current counter-terror strategies—in countries like Afghanistan, Egypt, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria—is painfully obvious. Reducing the global threat of terrorism will not happen with a doubling down on past approaches, but instead requires a strategic focus on resolving conflict by addressing its causes.Terrorism has spread into more countries since the “war on terror” began. Although there has been a decrease in the overall deaths from terrorism, evidence shows that for the first time ever, two out of every three countries—106 out of 163 in the Institute of Economics and Peace’s Global Terrorism Index—experienced a terror attack in 2016.Although terror attacks in Britain, Europe, and the US have dominated news cycles and political debates worldwide, three-quarters of terror attacks occur...
IPWatchdog.com A New Breed of Anti-Terrorism Security: Meet the Patented Pups Supporting the NYPD’s Anti-Terrorism By Franco Galbo If you watched the 91st Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, there’s a good chance you didn’t notice one of the parade’s interesting features because it wasn’t as conspicuous as the six-story Snoopy lumbering through the air thanks to 300,000 to 700,000 cubic feet of helium.On the ground, the New York Police Department (NYPD) deployed a team of 14 Labrador retrievers trained to detect explosives worn on the bodies of people in the crowd. This team of powerful pups added an extra layer of security to the event, which attracts more than 3.5 million spectators every year. Such a throng raises many crowd-control and terrorism concerns for its host. The dogs were not the only vigilant protectors—officers with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors walked among the crowd, and sharpshooters on rooftops scanned building...
The Times of Israel Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai warns Gazans that 'Israeli genius' has come up with a way to prevent underground threat to Israel By Tamar Pileggi    An IDF general on Sunday said the Israeli military, helped by the “Jewish brain,” had devised a solution that would see all of Hamas’s cross-border tunnels into Israel destroyed.Speaking in Arabic to US-based satellite TV station Alhurra, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said that “the Israeli genius along with the Jewish brain have come up with a solution to all of the terrorists’ tunnels.”“Just like there’s ‘Iron Dome’ for the air, there’s a technological umbrella of steel underground,” he said. “I want to send a message to everyone who is digging or gets too close to the tunnels: As you’ve seen in the past two months, these tunnels bring only death,” he added (Hebrew/Arabic link) according to translations of the interview.Earlier, the Israel Defense...
Business Insider by Daniel Brown  "This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while," former President George W. Bush said on the White House South Lawn on Sept. 16, 2001. "And the American people must be patient. I'm going to be patient."Bush was right that a war on an abstract noun like "terror" would take awhile.It began in October 2001 with the US' invasion of Afghanistan. And although former President Barack Obama officially ended "The Global War on Terror" in 2013, the fight against terrorism continues nearly 17 years later.In fact, it has spread.Between October 2015 and October 2017, the US fought teror in 76 countries, or 39% of the total number of countries in the world, according to data recently published by Brown University's Costs of War Project.  The graphic shows where the US military had troops and bases, where it trained other forces in counterrorism...
The Bristol Herald Courier PARIS (AP) — French prosecutors say they have opened a counterterrorism investigation into attempted murder after an attack at a high-security prison in northern France.The Paris prosecutor's office can't confirm details of the Thursday afternoon attack at the Vendin le Vieil prison that French media say was launched by a knife-wielding inmate against several people. French media say no one has been killed and no one is in a life-threatening condition.The prosecutor's office said its investigation was launched by its anti-terrorism branch Thursday and centered on the attempted murder of civil servants. Read more: http://www.heraldcourier.com/news/french-counterterrorism-inquiry-launched-into-prison-attack/article_e1f64fd9-7be7-5134-bd47-638da59d7bab.html...
Forbes by Rebecca Sadwick , Contributor This article is the second in a series exploring the connection between money laundering and orchestrated global crime—including terrorism, trafficking, and large-scale corruption.Artificially intelligent (AI) systems can programmatically process large volumes of transactional and financial data, making accurate determinations of suspicious financial activity.This technology-fueled effectiveness has catalyzed the increased proactivity and ethical responsibility banks have assumed since 9/11, driven as much by an internal paradigm shift as by external regulation.Financial Inclusion and the Dark WebAs I learned more about the ways big data is used by financial institutions to monitor criminal activity, two concerning questions came to mind.First, I wondered whether there was a risk of driving criminal activity underground—specifically, further into the deep web utilizing cryptocurrencies that are harder to track. Second, I wondered whether the rise of automated transaction monitoring would negatively impact financial inclusion of people with fewer assets and financing...

UK probe into funds for Palestinian terrorism

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The Jerusalem Post British-Israeli victim triggers UK probe into funds for Palestinian terrorism    >    House panel unanimously approves Taylor Force Act, targets Hamas    >    Germany uses EU funds to finance extremist Iranian regime-controlled groupBy Benjamin Weinthal"I used to take pride in the fact that I would describe myself as a ‘British-born’ Israeli. I feel no pride about that now.” BERLIN – Kay Wilson, who barely survived a Palestinian terrorist attack, prompted MP Stephen Twigg, chairman of International Development Committee in the UK Parliament, to conduct talks with fellow lawmakers about the misuse of British funds to support Palestinian terrorism. The Jerusalem Post obtained a copy of Wilson’s letter on Thursday and conducted an interview with the British Israeli on the parliamentary action and the chances of the UK replicating the American Taylor Force Act, which would bars US funds for the Palestinian Authority that are used for terrorism. “I...

CounterTerrorism Digest January 2018

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COUNTERTERRORISM DIGEST - January 2018   CALIFORNIA: On 4 January, a USPER was charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS and distributing information related to destructive devices. [pg. 7] WORLDWIDE: On 4 January, the Department of State designated Muhammad al-Ghazali, Abukar Ali Adan, and Wanas al-Faqih as global terorrists. [pg. 7] WORLDWIDE: On 3 January, Israeli authorities uncovered a suspected Iranian recruited Palestinian violent extremist cell operating in South Africa. [pg. 8] UNITED KINGDOM: On 9 January, a couple was found guilty of plotting ISIS-inspired chemical and bomb attacks in the UK. The couple met online and the woman was a pharmacist. [pg. 7] UNITED KINGDOM: On 3 January, the Government of the UK published an opportunity for a potential provider to develop a mobile alert system to provide customers in a defined area awareness of an ongoing incident. [pg. 14] AUSTRIA: On 7 January, Austrian national Lorenz...
Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs Attorney General Jeff Sessions today announced the creation of the Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team (HFNT), a group of experienced international narcotics trafficking, terrorism, organized crime, and money laundering prosecutors. HFNT prosecutors and investigators are tasked with investigating individuals and networks providing support to Hezbollah, and pursuing prosecutions in any appropriate cases. The HFNT will begin by assessing the evidence in existing investigations, including cases stemming from Project Cassandra, a law enforcement initiative targeting Hezbollah’s drug trafficking and related operations.  Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division will supervise the HFNT, and will convene a coordination meeting focused on identifying and combatting such support to Hezbollah.  The HFNT will coordinate with, among others, investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), including the DEA’s Special Operations Division; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Homeland Security Investigations; Assistant United States Attorneys;...

Cybersecurity Predictions for 2018

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Cybersecurity Predictions for 2018 - Part One by Dan Raywood Contributing Editor, Infosecurity Magazine Over the course of December and into the New Year, my inbox fills up with predictions for what 2018 will bring cybersecurity.At the end of 2016 we assessed a whole host of industry predictions and determined 12 topics that would dictate 2017: skills gap, ransomware, poor routine IT practices, political disruption, CIO activities, social media attacks, AI, advanced cyber-criminals, GDPR, a cloud vendor compromise and better security collaboration.Most of that came true, although the predictions on ransomware came nowhere close to the impact that WannaCry and NotPetya would come to have. So with an inbox bursting with predictions for 2018, I triaged all of the comments into 11 themes. In no particular order, here are the first six:RansomwareIt is no surprise that this features so highly after 2017's headlines. In terms of evolution, it was predicted...

Don't hobble America's anti-terrorism capabilities

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Washington Examiner Don't hobble America's anti-terrorism capabilities by Rep. Jim Banks Since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, there have been more than 100 terror plots on American soil. Just last month, a would-be suicide bomber detonated a pipe bomb in a New York City subway station, an attempted attack inspired by ISIS. As threats to our nation continue to rise, our government has an obligation to use every available tool to protect the American people.Later this week, the House of Representatives will vote on whether to reauthorize an important counterterrorism program set to expire later this month. Without congressional action, our intelligence community will not be able to use this irreplaceable tool that protects our nation and prevents future terrorist attacks. Due to changes in communications technology in the 30 years after FISA was enacted in 1978, Congress recognized that the intelligence community was having to obtain probable cause orders...

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