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Homeland Security Network Blog

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Clarion Project Alert Issued for 'Iranian Nationals Armed With Explosives' at Mexican Border By Meira Svirsky A red alert was issued at the Mexican border town of Mexicali after the police chief received information that Iranian nationals armed with explosives may try to cross the border into the U.S.The alert, issued by Customs and Border Protection in Arizona on January 10, was confirmed by Mexicali Police Chief Maria Elena Andrade. “We received reports that four nationals of Iran possibly carrying explosives were going to attempt to cross the border in the area of San Luis to Mexicali. We were told it was three men and a woman to be on the lookout for,” Andrade said.“We have no incident that has happened as of now, we are responding accordingly and we will not underestimate these threats,” Andrade added.   Read more: https://clarionproject.org/iranian-nationals-armed-explosives-mexican-border/...
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  National Review Saudi’s Terrorist Massacre At Florida Naval Base Highlights The Weakness Of U.S. Vetting By Andrew C. McCarthy he Justice Department has concluded that the deadly mass-shooting attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola in early December, carried out by a Saudi Air Force trainee, was an act of terrorism. Though Lieutenant Mohamed Saeed al-Shamrani, who was killed during the attack, was determined to have acted alone, the United States is expelling 21 other Saudi military trainees after the FBI’s investigation uncovered jihadist rhetoric and child pornography on their social-media accounts.Attorney General Bill Barr announced the terrorism finding and the expulsions at a Justice Department press conference on Monday afternoon. The attorney general’s remarks demonstrate that longstanding national-security challenges continue to vex U.S. law-enforcement officials. Most significant is the problem of vetting foreigners, including the thousands of foreigners enrolled in training programs run by our armed forces, for anti-American...

Suspected ISIS Commander Goes On Trial In Germany

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Asharq Al-Awsat Suspected ISIS Commander Goes On Trial In Germany A 33-year-old Syrian man suspected of commanding a unit of 20 ISIS militants is on trial in the German city of Frankfurt on charges of membership of a terrorist organization.Prosecutors allege that the man served as an "emir" in the Syrian civil war, carrying an assault rifle in the service of ISIS.The accused declined on Wednesday to answer the charges or questions regarding his identity but will participate in the trial during its course, German News Agency (dpa) quoted his defense lawyer as saying. Read more: https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/2085456/suspected-isis-commander-goes-trial-germany...
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The Washington Times Cryptocurrency A Growing Challenge In Combating Terror, Security Experts Tell Congress  By Jeff Mordock - The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 15, 2020A neo-Nazi organization received a donation of nearly 14.88 bitcoins or roughly $60,000 in the days following the 2017 white supremacist riots in Charlottesville, Virginia.Hamas — an Islamist Palestinian group that calls for the death of Jewish people everywhere — set up a website for visitors to make bitcoin donations.Terrorists, both domestic and foreign, are increasingly using bitcoin for illicit transactions because it is nearly impossible to track, law enforcement officials and scholars told a congressional committee Wednesday. Read more: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jan/15/congress-urged-take-aim-terrorist-funding/...
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France 24 US Sends Home 21 Saudis As Probe Finds Shooting Was 'Terrorism' Washington (AFP)The United States will send home 21 Saudi military trainees after an investigation into the "jihadist" killing of three American sailors last month, the Justice Department announced Monday.Attorney General Bill Barr said the December 6 shootings by Royal Saudi Air Force 2nd Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani at the US Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida was an "act of terrorism.""The evidence shows that the shooter was motivated by jihadist ideology," he told reporters.There was no evidence that Alshamrani had colluded with others, although Barr said FBI investigators had been unable to unlock his two phones to determine whom he had contacted."We have asked Apple for their help in unlocking the shooter's iPhones. So far Apple has not given us any substantive assistance," Barr said. Read more: https://www.france24.com/en/20200113-us-sends-home-21-saudis-as-probe-finds-shooting-was-terrorism...
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Bloomberg Apple Says It’s Helping FBI Investigate Florida Terrorist Attack By Mark Gurman Apple Inc. said on Monday that it is helping the FBI investigate a Dec. 6 terrorist attack at a Florida Navy base, pushing back on criticism by U.S. Attorney General William Barr.However, Apple didn’t comment on Barr’s main assertion that the company has provided no “substantive assistance” to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to unlock two iPhones belonging to the terrorist.Apple in New Clash With U.S. Over Access to Terrorist’s IPhonesApple said the FBI notified the company on Jan. 6 that it needed additional help. “Only then did we learn about the existence of a second iPhone associated with the investigation and the FBI’s inability to access either iPhone,“ Apple said in a statement. Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-14/apple-says-it-s-helping-fbi-investigate-florida-terrorist-attack...
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CBS News Two U.S. Soldiers Killed By Roadside Bomb In Afghanistan Identified Kabul, Afghanistan — The identities of two U.S. service members killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Saturday have been released. Two others were injured in the attack.Military officials identified the two soldiers killed as 29-year-old Staff Sargeant Ian McLaughlin of Newport News, Virginia, and 21-year-old Private First Class Miguel Villalon of Joliet, Illinois. They both served as combat engineers in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.The Taliban took responsibility for Saturday's attack. A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yusouf Ahmadi, said it occurred in the southern Kandahar province. More than 2,400 U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Last year was the deadliest for U.S. service members there since 2014, with 23 American troops killed, even as Washington engaged in peace talks with the Taliban.The latest attack seemed certain to stall fresh efforts to restart the on-again, off-again peace...
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  New York Post Fliers Recruiting Suicide Terrorists To Attack US Distributed In Iran By Jon Levine Students at Iran’s Islamic Azad University are being offered a novel new career choice — suicide terrorist.Leaflets are being distributed at the influential school urging students to sign up for Jihad missions against the United States and Israel to avenge the death of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.“Registration for volunteers to commit a suicide attack against the United States and Israel,” it blares. “Hard revenge is underway for those criminals who killed Qassem Soleimani.”The flyer, claiming to quote the words of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, carries additional messages of encouragement, including “kill all infidels.” Read more: https://nypost.com/2020/01/11/fliers-recruiting-suicide-terrorists-for-jihad-against-us-distributed-in-iran/...

Modeling terrorist organizations as business startups

Posted by on in Terrorism
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  Boston Globe Modeling Terrorist Organizations As Business Startups By Viviane Callier Business startups are sparked by a creative solution to a problem, but only a rare few will become spectacularly successful, while many others flame out. It turns out terrorist organizations follow a similar pattern. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Brian Uzzi and his team at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University present a method to predict which incipient terror organizations are likely to turn dangerously lethal by conceptualizing them as business startups. Business analysts have developed tools to evaluate startups and try to predict their future returns. Usually, analysts look at a company’s balance sheet, evaluating the startup’s capabilities and resources. Businesses with a lot of resources plan the deployment of those resources carefully. The converse is also true: Businesses that deploy their products in a haphazard...
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The Telegraph Somali Terrorist Group, Al-Shabaab, Threatens To Attack Us Targets Around The World by Adrian Blomfield, Nairobi The Somali terrorist outfit al-Shabaab has threatened to strike at American targets around the world days after it mounted a deadly and unprecedented attack on US forces stationed in Kenya.Emboldened by the unexpected success of last Sunday’s assault on a military base in northern Kenya’s Manda Bay region, the jihadist group, a franchise of al-Qaeda, promised “further bloodshed” against American soldiers and civilians alike.The attack, which exposed a troubling lack of security, leaves the Trump administration struggling to deal with a significant and growing military challenge at a time when it is already preoccupied by its face-off with Iran. Read more: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/01/11/somali-terrorist-group-al-shabaab-threatens-attack-us-targets/...

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Fox News U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr and FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich will hold a press conference at the Justice Department announcing the findings of the criminal investigation into the December 6 shootings at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida that killed three U.S. Service members and wounded eight.   ...
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Iranian national detained by Palm Beach police had knives, ax, machete, $22K The Palm beach Post By Adriana DelgadoPosted Jan 10, 2020 at 9:42 AM Updated Jan 11, 2020 at 9:13 AMThe man, who also had a car parked at Palm Beach International Airport, was arrested just over the Flagler Memorial Bridge at Bradley Park.A man arrested by Palm Beach Police this morning had $22,000, a machete and a pick ax, in addition to knives in his possession, according to an officer with the department.The man, identified by his passport as Masoud Yareioeill Zoleh, an Iranian national, also had a car parked at Palm Beach International Airport, Public Information Officer Michael Ogrodnick said.The department is working with other federal partners in the investigation, Ogrodnick said.Friday’s arrest marked the third time this week that a person has caught the attention of authorities guarding President Donald Trump or the island where he...
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Photos taken by US Special Operations forces show aftermath of strike that killed SoleimaniBy Leland Vittert | Fox News EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Special Operations forces on the ground in Iraq were following a convoy carrying Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani when it was struck by an American drone last week, killing Soleimani and nine others, Fox News has learned.The soldiers following Soleimani's convoy as it left Baghdad International Airport were about a half-mile behind when it was hit by a missile fired from a Reaper drone. They were on the scene within a minute or two and performed a so-called "bomb damage assessment," taking pictures of the scene and confirming that the drone had picked out the right car -- and that Soleimani was no more. Fox News has obtained photos of the aftermath of the Jan. 3 drone strike from a U.S. government source. Some of the images -- which Fox...

France: The "Budding Islamic Republic"

Posted by on in Terrorism
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France, The "Budding Islamic Republic"by Giulio Meotti  •  Gatestone Institute In a country that used to stand for freedom of expression, self-censorship is soaring. "For the past five years, I've been going to the police station every month or so to file a complaint about death threats, not insults, death threats". — Marika Bret, a journalist at Charlie Hebdo today, January 8, 2020. "Nobody dares to publish caricatures of Mohammed anymore. Self-censorship prevails.... Hate is directed against those who resist obscuring information rather than against those who obscure it. Not to mention the psychiatrization of terrorism in order better to exonerate Islam. If we had been told in the early 2000s that in 2020, around 20 French cartoonists and intellectuals would be under police protection, no one would have believed it." — Pascal Bruckner, author. A Jewish woman, Sarah Halimi, was tortured and murdered in her Paris apartment by her...

Jihadi Violence And Terror Surging In West Africa

Posted by on in Terrorism
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  Council On Foreign Relations Jihadi Violence And Terror Surging In West Africa by John Campbell In a follow up to his remarks in December, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the UN special representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) sounded the alarm on growing militant and jihadi violence. In his January 8 briefing to the UN Security Council, he said the “devastating surge” in terrorism has “shaken public confidence.” He focused on Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, where casualties from terrorism have increased fivefold since 2016, with 4,000 deaths in 2019 compared to 770 in 2016. He estimated those displaced in their own countries number half a million with an additional twenty-five thousand who have fled across national borders. He also noted that terrorist activity, broadly speaking, is moving from west to east. As though it were underscoring Dr. Chambas’s presentation, a rocket attack...

Analysis: Did Trump Just Reignite Iran vs ISIS War?

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Jerusalem Post Did Trump Just Reignite Iran V. ISIS War? - Analysis The president said that ISIS has been eliminated, but also that Iran and the US could find common cause by joining forces again to fight the jihadist group. By YONAH JEREMY BOB   At least two comments by US President Donald Trump in his speech on Wednesday left many analysts scratching their heads: his remarks about NATO and those about ISIS versus Iran While there are many possible interpretations, one is that the US is going to accelerate its withdrawal from Iraq and the Middle East, hoping it can leave NATO to hold the bag – and not minding much if ISIS makes a small, third comeback to keep Iran busy. In broad terms, Iran and ISIS (and its forerunners) have been fighting for influence and control over Iraq and Syria since the US invasion of Iraq in...

Report: Ukrainian plane shot down by missile over Iran

Posted by on in Terrorism
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WSVN Miami US officials: ‘Highly likely’ Iranian missile downed Ukrainian jetliner WASHINGTON (AP) — Two U.S. officials said Thursday it was “highly likely” that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed a Ukrainian jetliner late Tuesday, killing all 176 people on board.The crash came just a few hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack against Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops amid a confrontation with Washington over the U.S. drone strike that killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general last week. The officials, citing U.S. intelligence, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information. They had no immediate information on intent.President Donald Trump suggested that he believes Iran was responsible and wouldn’t directly lay the blame on Iran, but dismissed their claims that it was a mechanical issue — and denied any U.S. responsibility.’“Somebody could have made a mistake on the other side.,” Trump said, noting the plane was flying...
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Al Arabiya US forces attacked 14 times in past year near Baghdad: State Dept Emily Judd, Al Arabiya English American personnel and bases were targeted 14 times near Baghdad in 2019, according to a senior adviser at the US State Department.“Before tonight, there were 14 attacks in the vicinity of Baghdad - including the airport - in 2019,” Len Khodorkovsky, a senior adviser with the Iran Action Group at the US Department of State, told Al Arabiya English on Wednesday.The attacks are believed to be initiated by “Iran-linked groups with the intention of threatening American forces,” according to expert Elexer Palko-Schraa at Aldebaran Threat Consultants, adding that definitive evidence regarding who initiated the attacks is not publicly available. Read more: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2020/01/08/US-forces-near-Baghdad-attacked-14-times-in-past-year-State-Dept.html...

A Dozen Missiles Target US Troops at Al Asad, Erbil

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Military.com | By Richard SiskMore than a dozen ballistic missiles have been launched at at least two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops, Pentagon officials confirmed Tuesday night.The attack, officials said, was by Iran, apparently in response to the Jan. 3 U.S. strike that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.In a statement released just after 7 p.m. Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said the attack had begun roughly 90 minutes earlier, targeting multiple bases."Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq," he said. "It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Asad and [Erbil]." Hoffman said officials were still developing initial battle damage assessments."In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defense has taken all appropriate measures...
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By Danielle Wallace | Fox News A Ukrainian airplane carrying 176 passengers and crew crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran's airport Wednesday morning, killing all on board and turning farmland on the outskirts of the capital into fields of flaming debris.The Ukraine International Airlines flight, bound for the country's capital of Kiev, plunged from the sky just minutes after departing Imam Khomeini International Airport, according to Iran's state-run IRNA news agency. The crash came hours after Iran launched a barrage of ballistic missiles on Iraqi bases housing American and coalition soldiers. Both Ukrainian and Iranian officials say they suspect a mechanical issue brought down the Boeing 737-800 aircraft."I heard a massive explosion and all the houses started to shake. There was fire everywhere," Din Mohammad Qassemi, an Iranian who lives near the crash site, told the Associated Press. Qassemi said he had been watching news broadcasts about the Iranian...

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