Homeland Security Network Blog

The information source for first responders.

NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority Is Breached By Hackers As Cyberattacks Surge


  The New York Times The M.T.A. Is Breached By Hackers As Cyberattacks Surge Hackers with suspected ties to China penetrated the New York transit agency’s computer systems in April, an M.T.A. document shows. Transit officials say the intrusion did not pose a risk to riders. By Christina Goldbaum and William K. RashbaumA hacking group believed to have links to the Chinese government penetrated the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s computer systems in April, exposing vulnerabilities in a vast transportation network that carries millions of people every day, according to an M.T.A. document that outlined the breach.The hackers did not gain access to systems that control train cars and rider safety was not at risk, transit officials said, adding that the intrusion appeared to have done little, if any, damage.But a week after the agency learned of the attack, officials raised concerns that hackers could have entered those operational systems or that they...

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Iran-Backed Militias Turn To Drone Attacks, Alarming U.S. Forces In Iraq


The Washington Post Iran-Backed Militias Turn To Drone Attacks, Alarming U.S. Forces In Iraq By Louisa Loveluck and John Hudson BAGHDAD — U.S. military officials in Iraq have grown increasingly alarmed over attacks by Iran-backed militias using drones to evade detection systems around military bases and diplomatic facilities.In place of rockets, militiamen have turned at times to small, fixed-wing drones that fly too low to be picked up by defensive systems, military officials and diplomats say. An official with the U.S.-led coalition described the evolving drone threat as the military mission’s biggest concern in Iraq.In April, a drone strike targeted a CIA hangar inside the airport complex in the northern city of Irbil, according to officials familiar with the matter. The drone’s flight was tracked to within 10 miles of the site, but its path was then lost as it moved into a civilian flight path, the coalition official said. The drone’s...

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Honoring fallen service members with 'Taps Across America' on Memorial Day


KHOU 11 Honoring fallen service members with 'Taps Across America' on Memorial Day Last year, CBS News' Steve Hartman asked Americans to play Taps at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, it became one of the largest musical performances of all time. by Elise PrestonLast year, when traditional Memorial Day remembrances were canceled because of the COVID pandemic, a new one began.It was a year ago that CBS News ‘On The Road’ correspondent Steve Hartman put the appeal out for trumpet players, buglers and any other musician to play Taps at 3 p.m. It was a way to honor our fallen heroes, while keeping everyone safe during COVID. Today, it's time to do it again. It became one of the largest musical performances of all time. Hartman said the idea actually came to him several years ago. “I did a story about a guy named Don Britton, in Tacoma, Washington, who at...

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9 people killed, suspect dead in San Jose shooting


CBS News 9 people killed, suspect dead in San Jose shootingBy Erin Donaghue, Tori B. Powell, Justin Carissimo An employee opened fire at a light-rail facility in San Jose, California, killing nine people and wounding several others, authorities said Wednesday. The suspect was identified as 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy, two law enforcement sources told CBS News.Authorities initially said eight victims had died but later said a ninth had succumbed to his injuries.The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office received multiple 911 calls about shots fired at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority around 6:34 a.m. local time. Employees of the facility were evacuated from the building, which operates as a transit control center.The victims were shot in two separate buildings and officials were working to quickly identify them and notify their families, Sheriff Laurie Smith said in a news conference Wednesday. Smith and officials praised first responders who rushed to the shooting scene.Deputies...

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Secretary of State Blinken: Iran Funds ‘Extremist Groups,’ But Biden Wants To Return To Nuclear Deal Anyway


CNS News Blinken: Iran Funds ‘Extremist Groups,’ But Biden Wants To Return To Nuclear Deal Anyway By Patrick Goodenough (CNSNews.com) – Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday acknowledged that Iran funds terrorist proxies across the Middle East, but confirmed that the Biden administration is looking to lift sanctions against the regime in Tehran anyway.In doing so, he echoed the arguments put forward by the Obama administration to the effect that Iran would be even more dangerous without a nuclear deal – thereby justifying an agreement that freed up billions of dollars for the terror-sponsoring regime. On ABC’s “This Week,” host George Stephanopoulos noted that 42 Republican senators have urged President Biden to halt diplomatic talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), to “make it clear that sanctions will remain in place because of Iranian funding of Hamas.”“Do you believe that Iran is funding...

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How Big Is The Threat of China's Navy?


How Big Is The Threat of China's Navy by James Holmes, The National Interest China doesn’t need to command sea or sky, either partially or wholly, to prevail in a trial of arms—let alone to deter in peacetime. It only needs to convince Washington, DC the price of, say, defending the Senkaku Islands is too steep considering the meager value Americans attach to the archipelago. Here's What You Need to Remember: Military folk must beware of hubris, the worst of all strategic habits. As ancient Greeks warned, hubris begets nemesis, meaning divine retribution. It’s insidious—especially for a force like the U.S. Navy.Admirals say the darnedest things. Over at the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings magazine a few years back, retired U.S. Pacific Command Intelligence Chief Capt. Jim Fanell takes PACOM kahunas, past and present, to task for disparaging China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Respect for prospective foes, proclaims Captain Fanell, constitutes...

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Report: Hezbollah Has Dug Network Of Tunnels From Beirut To Southern Lebanon


  The Times Of Israel Report: Hezbollah Has Dug Network Of Tunnels From Beirut To Southern Lebanon The Hezbollah terror group has dug a network of tunnels hundreds of kilometers long from Beirut to southern Lebanon, the Kan public broadcaster reports.The network was dug in parallel to Hezbollah’s six attack tunnels into Israel, which the IDF exposed and destroyed in 2018, Kan says.The purpose of the additional network was to enable the swift and covert movement of forces during a war against Israel, according to the report.Command and control headquarters were built inside the tunnel network, it says. The tunnels reach a distance of about three kilometers from the Israeli border. Full story https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/report-hezbollah-has-dug-network-of-tunnels-from-beirut-to-southern-lebanon/

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IDF launches targeted killing operations against Gaza-based militants


Long War Journal IDF launches targeted killing operations against Gaza-based militants By Joe Truzman The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) began a military campaign against militant groups in the Gaza Strip last Monday in response to a barrage of rockets fired by the military wing of Hamas, al-Qassam Brigades, against the city of Jerusalem earlier that day.The group claimed responsibility for the attack on their Telegram channel immediately after the rockets were launched.“Al-Qassam Brigades now directs a missile strike to the enemy in occupied Jerusalem in response to his crimes and aggression against the Holy City and his harassment of our people in Sheikh Jarrah and Al-Aqsa Mosque,” al-Qassam Brigades stated shortly after the attack.The IDF’s campaign called “Guardian of the Walls” has focused on degrading the military capabilities and assets of al-Qassam Brigades and the military wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Saraya al-Quds. In conjunction with the Shin Bet, the IDF...

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British Troops Seize Hidden Weapons Cache From ISIS-Linked Militants In Mali


The National British Troops Seize Hidden Weapons Cache From ISIS-Linked Militants In Mali About 100 UK soldiers involved in operation to halt terror group's spread British troops operating in Mali have seized AK47 rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition hidden by ISIS-linked terrorists.The "cordon and search" operation was launched in early May at the border near Niger after extremists in the area had intimidated local people. About 100 soldiers from the Light Dragoons and Royal Anglian Regiment overcame challenging conditions including temperatures of up to 50°C and a sandstorm during the operation, which was supported by a specialist Royal Engineer search team.Their find included AK47 rifles, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, camouflage, mobile phones and hundreds of litres of fuel.Fighters from ISIS-affiliated group Islamic State in the Greater Sahel fled across the Niger river before the peacekeepers arrived to the scene.The haul was destroyed by the UN Mine Action Service,...

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IDF calls up reservists as rockets continue to pound Israel


Jerusalem Post IDF calls up reservists as rockets continue to pound Israel Rocket barrage comes as IDF prepares for possible ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. Plans are to be presented on Thursday to Netanyahu. By ANNA AHRONHEIM, TZVI JOFFRE The Israeli military is prepared to continue with its strikes on Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip for several days and has called up 7,000 reservists as rocket barrages continue to pound central and southern Israel. Hamas launched suicide drones laden with explosives into Israel on Thursday. At least two exploded in the air somewhere in central Israel. The drone attacks were preceded by the firing of 20-30 long-range rockets at central Israel, including Tel Aviv, and as far south as Eilat. Four people were injured. A total of 1,600 rockets have been fired towards Israel since Monday, ⅓ of them have fallen inside the Gaza Strip. The...

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IDF: Israel Kills Hamas Commander Iyad Fathi Faik Sharir


The Daily Wire BREAKING: Israel Kills Hamas Commander Iyad Fathi Faik Sharir, IDF Says By  Tim Pearce Israel has killed a top Hamas commander in a strike against the terror group.“We just killed the commander of the Hamas anti-tank missile unit, Iyad Fathi Faik Sharir. He was in charge of carrying out anti-tank missile attacks on Israel. Our aircraft are currently striking additional terror targets in Gaza,” the Israel Defense Force tweeted Tuesday while carrying out attacks in the Gaza Strip. Israel continued to launch attacks against the Hamas terror group in retaliation for hundreds of rockets Hamas fired upon Israel and its capital, Jerusalem. Israel began its strikes late Monday and has continued to hit Palestinian terrorist targets throughout the day Tuesday. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) hit more than 130 Hamas military installations, including weapons manufacturing and intelligence sites. The IDF said in a statement Tuesday:     "Overnight, in...

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Ransomware Attack Leads To Shutdown Of Major U.S. Pipeline System


The Washington Post Ransomware Attack Leads To Shutdown Of Major U.S. Pipeline System The attack on top U.S. operator Colonial Pipeline appears to have been carried out by an Eastern European-based criminal gang By Ellen Nakashima, Yeganeh Torbati and Will Englund A ransomware attack led one of the nation’s biggest fuel pipeline operators to shut down its entire network on Friday, according to the company and two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.While it is not expected to have an immediate impact on fuel supply or prices, the attack on Colonial Pipeline, which carries almost half of the gasoline, diesel and other fuels used on the East Coast, underscores the potential vulnerability of industrial sectors to the expanding threat of ransomware strikes.It appears to have been carried out by an Eastern European-based criminal gang — DarkSide, according to a U.S. official and another person familiar with the matter.Federal officials and the private...

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U.S. & Russia Are on a Collision Course in the Black Sea


Bloomberg U.S. & Russia Are on a Collision Course in the Black Sea Putin is pulling troops back from the land border, but getting more adventurous on the waters. by James Stavridis Ukrainians breathed a collective sigh of relief last month when Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would withdraw the majority of more than 100,000 troops that had been shifted to the Russian-Ukrainian border. So did the U.S., NATO and the rest of Europe.But nobody should be breathing easy: Putin isn’t one to stay on the retreat. So, where should we expect his next provocation? Very likely, the waters of the Black Sea.Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 and carved off the strategically vital peninsula of Crimea, the largest land grab from a sovereign state in this century. Since then, he has supplied money, training, arms and military advisers to separatist forces in the Donbas region of southeast Ukraine.The recent buildup...

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Mass Shooting Spree Comes at Terrifying Time for Schools


Newsweek Mass Shooting Spree Comes at Terrifying Time for Schools By Shane Croucher A s children return to the classroom after a year of home learning due to the pandemic, schools will settle back into their old routines; timetables, extracurricular clubs, homework assignments, sports, and—of course—the morbid necessity of active shooter drills.They do so after a run of high-profile mass shootings—generally defined as four or more victims—including during a home welfare check in Boone, North Carolina; in traffic congestion at Shreveport, Louisiana; at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana; at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado; and at spas in Atlanta, Georgia, among many others.The past year has also seen record gun sales in the U.S., increasing the access to firearms in the homes of many children. And research shows COVID lockdowns have wreaked an appalling toll on youth mental health. "To say I'm worried about the safety of our schools...

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'Dambusters' Squadron To Join Fight Against Islamic State In Iraq And Syria


  Sky News 'Dambusters' Squadron To Join Fight Against Islamic State In Iraq And Syria The RAF's 617 Squadron will be part of a mission designed to prevent IS from "regaining a foothold in Iraq". The renowned "Dambusters" squadron is set to fly stealth fighter jets to support operations against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.The RAF's 617 Squadron - famously known for its role in attacking German dams during the Second World War - will be part of a mission designed to prevent IS from "regaining a foothold in Iraq".The Ministry of Defence said the F35B Lightning fast jets will join Operation Shader from the Carrier Strike Group to fight the "remnants" of IS, also known as Daesh.Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston said he was in no doubt "violent extremism and the toxic ideology underpinning it is still rooted" in the region.He added: "We're going to conduct...

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Al-Qaeda Vows ‘War On All Fronts’ Against US


Arab News Al-Qaeda Vows ‘War On All Fronts’ Against US LONDON -  Al-Qaeda has vowed to “wage war on all fronts” against the US unless it retreats from the entire Muslim world.Speaking just days ahead of the 10-year anniversary of the assassination of the group’s former leader Osama bin Laden, two of its operatives told CNN that it is planning a comeback in Afghanistan as the US withdraws. “The Americans are now defeated,” said Al-Qaeda.The terrorist group, now led by Ayman Zawahiri, has largely been eclipsed by Daesh in recent years in terms of attacks carried out and media exposure.The presence of US forces in the Middle East has long been seized upon by terrorist groups — including Al-Qaeda, Daesh and Hezbollah — as a rallying cry for their causes.Earlier in April, US President Joe Biden announced that he would withdraw troops from Afghanistan, effectively ending America’s longest-ever war.“Bin Laden is...

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Al-Qaeda 'Shadow Of Former Self' Decade After Bin Laden Death


France 24 Al-Qaeda 'Shadow Of Former Self' Decade After Bin Laden Death Paris (AFP)Ten years after the killing of its founder Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda bears little resemblance to the terror network that struck the US on September 11, 2001, but remains a threat even under a starkly different leadership structure.After his killing in Pakistan by US special forces, Bin Laden was succeeded as Al-Qaeda's chief by the Egyptian jihadist Ayman al-Zawahiri, an ideologue who has cut a far less charismatic presence.Zawahiri has had to lie very low, most likely around the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, amid speculation over whether he is still even alive, while the group has now mutated into something very different."AQ central is a shadow of its former self," Barak Mendelsohn, a terrorism expert at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, told AFP. "Zawahiri's biggest success was to keep Al-Qaeda alive."Mendelsohn said that rather than being a coherent decision-making centre, Al-Qaeda's...

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Cause To Fear A Taliban Victory In Afghanistan


Asia Times Cause To Fear A Taliban Victory In Afghanistan Taliban claims it has won and US has lost the war but the formation of a new Islamic state in Kabul could destabilize the wider region by Salman Rafi Sheikh With a US troop withdrawal set for September and a national peace deal nowhere in sight, Afghanistan’s Taliban is claiming victory in its long war to retake power in Kabul.Taliban leader Haji Hekmat told the BBC soon after US President Joe Biden announced this month that he would bring home all American troops in Afghanistan by September 11 that “we have won the war and America has lost.”  The hardline leader made it clear what a Taliban victory would look like for those who favor the country’s current secular, democratic system. “We want an Islamic government ruled by the sharia. We will continue our jihad until they accept our demands,” Hekmat...

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French Police Worker Stabbed In Terrorist Attack Near Paris


 The Wall Street Journal French Police Worker Stabbed In Terrorist Attack Near Paris Killing by unidentified assailant, who was then killed by police, follows string of attacks late last year. By Sam SchechnerPARIS—An administrative police worker was stabbed to death in an assault on a police station that investigators were treating as a terrorist attack.An unidentified man Friday surprised a police worker in the entranceway of the police station some 25 miles southwest of Paris as she returned from her car, French officials said. The attacker stabbed the worker in the throat and yelled “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” before police stationed inside shot and killed him, police union officials said on French television.The police worker died of her wounds soon after. She was a mother of two who worked at the reception of the police station, and didn’t carry a gun, one of the union officials said.The attack...

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ISIS Affiliate Claims Responsibility For Egypt Beheadings


New York Post ISIS Affiliate Claims Responsibility For Egypt Beheadings By Emily Jacobs Video of a terror group in Egypt with ties to the Islamic State executing one Coptic Christian and two tribesmen is making the rounds online — as the country’s Interior Ministry revealed Monday that it had killed three suspects in the slayings.The 13-minute video, released late Saturday, showed 62-year-old Nabil Habashi Salama being shot in the back of the head with an AK-47 in the middle of what appeared to be the Egyptian desert.Three armed militants with their faces blurred stood behind Habashi Salama, who had helped build the sole Coptic church in the area, as he was murdered.Shortly after, the same three militants took out two tribesmen, whom they accused of fighting with the Egyptian armed forces.The Coptic Orthodox Church represents between 10 and 15 percent of Egypt’s 100 million people.The Christians, along with Egyptian security forces,...

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