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Homeland Security Network Blog

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Dozens killed, some decapitated, in suspected rebel attack in the Democratic Republic of CongoBy Gabrielle Nina Mitch and Eoin McSweeney, CNN  (CNN)Forty-six people from the ethnic Pygmy group were killed -- some of them decapitated -- on Wednesday in a suspected militant attack in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo, according to an NGO official based in the central African country. An armed group shot civilians and decapitated others with machetes in Ambedi, a village in Irumu territory in Ituri province, said Christophe Munyanderu, regional coordinator for the NGO Convention pour le respect de droit de l'homme, or Convention for the Respect of Human Rights. A spokesman for the Armed Forces of the DRC in Ituri attributed the attack to the Allied Democratic Forces, a rebel group that operates in the region. Two of the assailants were arrested and are currently under interrogation, the spokesman said. Most of the victims were...
Fox News MS-13’s Highest Ranking Leaders Charged With Terrorism Offenses In US Most of the men named in the indictment are imprisoned in El Salvador, 3 remain at-large By Louis Casiano Federal authorities have charged multiple leaders of the MS-13 criminal gang with terrorism offenses, the Justice Department announced Thursday. In the indictment, filed in Central Islip, N.Y., where MS-13 members have committed a series of brutal slayings, 14 members of the transnational gang were charged. The leaders -- known as la Ranfla Nacional -- are charged with providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism, conspiracy to finance terrorism to conspiracy narco-terrorism."The indictment announced today is the highest-reaching and most sweeping indictment targeting MS-13 and its command and control structure in U.S. history," acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement. Authorities said Borromeo Enrique Henriquez, who is regarded as the most powerful member of...

US puts Cuba back on 'state sponsor of terrorism' list

Posted by on in Terrorism
DW US puts Cuba back on 'state sponsor of terrorism' listThe outgoing Trump administration hit Cuba with new terrorism sanctions shortly before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. The US State Department put Cuba back on a blacklist designating it a "state sponsor of terrorism" on Monday.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the move in a statement, noting Cuba's harboring of US fugitives as well as its support for Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro. It's the latest in a series of major policy moves made by President Donald Trump's administration before President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20.Cuba was removed from the list in 2015 by then-president Barack Obama as he moved to normalize relations with the country.What did Pompeo say?Pompeo said Cuba was being blacklisted again for "repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism" as well as harboring US fugitives and Colombian rebel leaders."With this action, we will once...

US Defenses Against Chinese Cyber Offenses

Posted by on in Terrorism
US Defenses Against Chinese Cyber Offensesby Shoshana Bryen Gatestone Institute [M]uch of the world is organizing to roadblock China's march to dominance in 5G telecommunications. That is, to get China's spying out of our system – although we are far from done, there is a lot of 2020 to build on in 2021. Early in 2020, Huawei announced it had 91 commercial 5G contracts outside of China, including 47 in Europe and 20 in Asia. China's goal was threefold: to broaden its capabilities in domestic spying, to broaden its worldwide ability to steal Western technology -- and, in particular, to infiltrate Western defense capabilities Beijing inserted itself, often illegally, into American research institutions. And inserted spyware – hardware and software – into computers made in China and exported to the West. In the case of Super Micro Computers, providing services to Amazon, investigators discovered that extra microchips were implanted on...
Washington Times Yemen's rebels defiant as aid agencies fear US terror label  By MAGGIE MICHAEL - Associated Press CAIRO (AP) - Yemen’s Iran-backed rebels on Monday dismissed the U.S. move to designate them a terrorist organization in the final days of the Trump administration while a leading aid agency warned such a designation would deal another “devastating blow” to the impoverished and war-torn nation.The planned designation, announced by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo late Sunday, would take effect a day before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20. It was not clear whether Biden would overturn the decision.Yemen is mired in a disastrous humanitarian crisis, with millions of people in wide swaths of the country on the brink of famine as a result of six years of civil war. Pompeo said he was proceeding with the designation of the rebels, known as Houthis, along with separate terrorist designations for...

Terrorism in real time

Posted by on in Terrorism
The Times of Israel by Ruth Lieberman I was just sitting at our dining room table, attending an academic lecture via zoom, when – SHOTS. Fired. I’m sure of it. One set of about five-six shots. And another round, five-ish seconds later. My first instinct – click my class’ zoom camera off (!) and then call upstairs to help lock up the house. Within 20 seconds of the shooting/s we were locked down and checking for information. Nothing on the news channels – well, of course, we just heard the shots, no sirens yet either. And then all hell broke loose – neighbors texting, sirens blaring, vehicles from an army base zoom past and police cars too (I’ve become somewhat of a maven on different emergency vehicles, over 2 decades of life here).Then the news trickles in. Terror attack on the sidewalk just beyond our back walkway. On the sidewalk...
INTERPOL The impact of COVID-19 on global terrorism, trends and potential risks related to attacks on vulnerable targets and bioterrorism is the focus of a new report issued by INTERPOL. LYON, France – The impact of COVID-19 on global terrorism, trends and potential risks related to attacks on vulnerable targets and bioterrorism is the focus of a new report issued by INTERPOL. The assessment, which is for law enforcement use only, takes into consideration the following five main threat factors: COVID-19 outbreak characteristics and medical advances Global or national response Social climate Resilience of the security apparatus Strategies and capabilities of terrorists and other non-state actors (NSAs) As COVID-19 cases subside in some regions and surge in others, the report underlines the critical need to monitor the reaction and response by terrorist networks, violent extremist groups, and other potentially dangerous NSAs. Economic impact Early in the pandemic, certain terrorist groups...
Omaha News Herald New UNO counterterrorism center will aid in Homeland Security's bioterrorism exercise in Februaryby Steve Liewer When the Ebola virus struck West Africa in 2014 and the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Wuhan, China, last year, federal officials quickly tapped experts at the University of Nebraska for assistance.Now it’s becoming clearer: If terrorists ever unleashed a virus as a biological weapon, Washington would look to Nebraska for help again.Earlier this month, a top member of the Department of Homeland Security’s counterterrorism team visited Omaha and Lincoln to learn about the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s biocontainment program and tour the hospital’s quarantine facilities.Dave Richardson, an assistant secretary who heads DHS’s Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office, hopes to involve NU in a DHS exercise in February that will test how well the far-flung government agencies that would handle a bioterrorism attack would respond.“It helps to get Nebraska on...

Why the US Needs to Help Morocco

Posted by on in Terrorism
  Why the US Needs to Help Morocco   by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  Gatestone Institute   Morocco's General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST) announced last month that the Moroccan authorities have dismantled 207 terrorist cells since 2002. As for Morocco... it is the Islamists, and not Israel, who have "corrupted the minds of Moroccans, sowed the seeds of discord among them, brought Moroccan education to the brink of bankruptcy and legitimized ignorance." — Ahmed Assid, professor of philosophy and activist, kifache.com, December 15, 2020. "The rhetoric of hostility and the threat of throwing the Jews into the sea won Israel widespread international sympathy. The Palestinians have missed many opportunities, and they have been chasing the illusions given to them by the [Arab] regimes..." — Sa'id Al-Kahal, a secular Moroccan author, hespress.com, January 23, 2020. If the new US administration wants peace in the region to hold, it needs to...
Nashville explosion: Motives still unclear in Nashville 'suicide bomb' BBC US investigators are trying to find out why a 63-year-old computer consultant detonated a bomb that killed himself and injured three others in Nashville.The suspect in the Christmas Day attack has been named as Anthony Quinn Warner.But a motive is yet to be established. Warner's criminal record only consisted of an 1978 marijuana-related charge.Investigators have searched Warner's home and visited a company where he worked but one investigator said he was "not on our radar"."We are all taking pieces of the puzzle, working to determine what the motivation was for this individual."Police responded to reports of gunshots just before 06:00 local time (12:00 GMT) on 25 December in an area of the city known for its restaurants and nightlife.Shortly afterwards, they found a camper van broadcasting a warning message to leave the area. Police said the van had also broadcast...

FBI confirms Anthony Warner as Nashville bomber

Posted by on in Terrorism
Washington Examiner FBI confirms Anthony Warner was Nashville bomber by Tyler Van Dyke The FBI has confirmed that Anthony Warner, 63, was the culprit behind a Christmas Day bombing in downtown Nashville."Based on the evidence that we got at this point, we’ve come to the conclusion that an individual named Anthony Warner is the bomber," U.S. Attorney Don Cochran said, adding that Warner perished in the explosion.The explosion left at least three people hospitalized and 41 businesses damaged — perhaps most significantly an AT&T facility adjacent to where the RV that exploded was positioned. The blast caused outages in parts of Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky and affected services ranging from residential phones to 911 services.Tennessee Bureau of Investigations Director David Rausch acknowledged the "collaborative effort" that took place to conduct the investigation and the "agents, analysts, and scientists that have been assisting in this investigation from the start." Rausch said...
ABC 11 MIDDLETOWN, N.J. - A New Jersey family is grateful for five teenage boys who formed a human chain to rescue two kids from an ice-cold pond.Eight-year-old Olivia Heid and her four-year-old brother, RJ were sledding on Thursday at a country club in Middletown, when their sled flew over a ridge and into an icy pond.That is when a group of boys nearby jumped into action. "I picked up RJ first ... the boys jumped in. I just tried to get them out of the water as quickly as possible," said Kieran Foley, one of the rescuers.The teenagers said their Boy Scout training prepared them well."The boys jumped in ... and they all formed a chain, and they handed them out as quickly as possible," said Heid's mother, Stephanie Irlbeck. Full story https://abc11.com/teens-save-kids-from-icy-pond-rescue-ice-water/8923348/...
KOCO ABC 5 OKC first responders provide meals for soldiers traveling home for Christmas OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City first responders spent the overnight hours at Will Rogers World Airport, serving meals for soldiers traveling home just in time for Christmas.According to the Oklahoma City Fire Department, firefighters, Oklahoma City police officers and the YMCA teamed up to provide meals to soldiers traveling home from Fort Sill for the holidays.According to officials, 350 troops were fed Thursday night with another 480 expected Friday night.“We want to extend a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to all of the brave and selfless men and women of the United States armed forces who sacrifice so much on our behalf,” officials said in a post on the fire department’s Facebook page. Oklahoma City Fire Department:"What an honor! Last night during the overnight hours, members from OKCFD, Oklahoma City Police Department, and the YMCA teamed up to...

Marion County deputies put on red white and blue Christmas light show   ...
The Monroe News First responders team up to provide Christmas to 27 area families in need By Caitlin Taylor BoronThe pandemic has complicated an already stressful time of year.But putting presents under the Christmas tree is one less worry for a Newport family who was selected, along with nearly 30 other local families, as recipients of Christmas gifts delivered by Santa’s helpers disguised as police and fire personnel.Angela Wignle on Thursday accepted a trunk load of wrapped presents for her four children, Janessa Lunay, 14; Ethan Lunay, 13; Isabella Lunay, 11; and Kaitlin Wingle, 9, during the annual “Shop with a Hero” event sponsored by Michigan State Police of the Monroe post and other area first responders.Although the event was modified in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the magic of Christmas was not lost among the dozen first responder agencies and other donors who shopped for about 60 children whose...
Jerusalem Post Netanyahu: Unchecked Iran will target US, Europe with nuclear tipped ICBM President elect Joe Biden is expected to attempt to rejoin the nuclear deal with Iran By Tovah Lazaroff Iran could soon have the capability to launch missiles with nuclear warheads against Europe and the United States unless the international community unites to halt Tehran’s ambitions for a nuclear-weapons program, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned at a press event with US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien in Jerusalem on Sunday. “As long as Iran persists in its dangerous quest for nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver them, we shouldn’t go back to business as usual with Iran,” he said. “We should all unite to prevent this major threat to world peace.” Netanyahu made his statement while looking at O’Brien, but his words were aimed at US President-elect Joe Biden, who is expected to enter the White House...
CISA Issues Emergency Directive to Mitigate the Compromise of Solarwinds Orion Network Management ProductsWASHINGTON – The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) tonight issued Emergency Directive 21-01, in response to a known compromise involving SolarWinds Orion products that are currently being exploited by malicious actors. This Emergency Directive calls on all federal civilian agencies to review their networks for indicators of compromise and disconnect or power down SolarWinds Orion products immediately.  “The compromise of SolarWinds’ Orion Network Management Products poses unacceptable risks to the security of federal networks,” said CISA Acting Director Brandon Wales. “Tonight’s directive is intended to mitigate potential compromises within federal civilian networks, and we urge all our partners—in the public and private sectors—to assess their exposure to this compromise and to secure their networks against any exploitation.”  This is the fifth Emergency Directive issued by CISA under the authorities granted by Congress in the Cybersecurity Act...
  'Everybody is in shock': New York City Christmas concert ends with police shooting gunman on cathedral steps Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY NEW YORK — A Christmas choral concert in New York City ended in horror as police fatally shot a man who had opened fire with semiautomatic handguns on the steps of a noted Manhattan cathedral Sunday. The gunshots rang out Sunday afternoon at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, mother church of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, and concert goers were sent fleeing and taking cover in the Morningside Heights neighborhood. A police officer and detective were already at the church when the shots rang out and responded immediately, and another police sergeant at a nearby hospital responded as well, said New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. The officers fired 15 shots at the man, Shea said."It is by the grace of God today" that...
Washington Post Iran’s alleged assassination plot against a U.S. diplomat should have both parties up in arms Opinion by Hugh HewittContributing columnistThe Politico report on Sunday about a possible Iranian plot to kill the U.S. ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks, should have been a blockbuster coming out of the Middle East. But it has been overshadowed by the breakthrough in relations between Israel and the Arab world, superintended by President Trump and his team.The White House signing ceremony for the agreement called the Abraham Accords, with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates normalizing relations with the Jewish state, was a historic moment and merited all the attention it received. Yet the Politico story, and its implications, deserve plenty of discussion too.“The Iranian government is weighing an assassination attempt against the American ambassador to South Africa, U.S. intelligence reports say, according to a U.S. government official familiar with the issue...
HAMAS, CAIR, AND THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD The Secret Plot to Destroy America By Ilana Freedman Center for Security Policy Press Introduction Hamas  in  the  Middle  East  has  been  a  practitioner  of  violent  Islamic  terrorism for  three decades. Its  ferocious jihad against  Israel has been  the  cause of  thousands of deaths on both sides. The presence of Hamas in  the  United States, however, has been less open and its mandate has undergone  a transformation. Its presence here, and the threat it poses to America, have been debated, disputed, and denied for decades.   In the quest for truth, exposing the real and current threat that Hamas  poses to America is difficult at best. Even establishing the very existence of  Hamas in America is problematic, because in the United States, Hamas is a  ghost  organization,  hiding  behind  well-guarded  veils  of  secrecy,  and  protected  by  those  considered  ‘respectable’  representatives  of  the Muslim  American ...