Homeland Security Network Blog

The information source for first responders.

Testimony turns to MIT officer’s death in bombing trial


By Milton J. Valencia Nathan Harman , recounting his story publicly for the first time on Wednesday, told a federal jury that he was riding his bike through the MIT campus in Cambridge one night two years ago when he came upon a strange figure. The man was leaning into a police cruiser. The driver’s-side door was open, and the window down. “He sort of popped up, stood up, and turned around. He looked startled,” said Harman, a 24-year-old graduate student. The person was thin, and tall, but not as tall as Harman, who is six feet. He had a sweater with an emblem on the front, was wearing a hat, and something about his nose was remarkable. In federal court in Boston Wednesday, a visibly nervous Harman saw that man again: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bomber. Harman pointed and declared, “That’s him, he has a blue shirt on.”...

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Hear the Chilling Audio From an Islamic State Terror Suspect Captured in the U.S.

By: Zach Noble The Islamic State’s supporters have a message for America: They’re in your country, in your state, ready to wage jihad on American soil. One Islamic State supporter, Christopher Cornell, called three times from jail to make sure that message was heard in an unexpected interview with WXIX-TV. The 20-year-old Cornell, who refers to himself as Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, was arrested as part of an undercover FBI investigation in January after he bought two rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition for a planned attack on the U.S. Capitol, authorities said. The Ohio man is being held at the Boone County Jail in Kentucky, and on Thursday he got in touch with WXIX reporter Tricia Macke after calling the television station three times from his cell. What Cornell said in the interview was so blunt and disturbing, his attorney tried to get a judge to prevent WXIX from airing the...

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MEMRI TV, Egyptian Muslim Cleric, "Boston Bombs A Message" (Supporters Of Terrorism)

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ISIS goes global

By Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst (CNN)In the past eight months, ISIS has seeded itself in some dozen countries around the globe. Indicative of this was the announcement on Saturday that the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram had pledged its "allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims," ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. The global spread of ISIS raises key questions about whether these new affiliates signal an intensification of the threat of terror. It also has important implications for the debate in Congress over Obama's request for a new authorization to fight ISIS. Lt. Col. Michael Waltz, a U.S. Special Forces reserve officer who has just returned to the States after advising the Nigerian Ministry of Defence in its fight against Boko Haram, told me, "So far the pledge (to ISIS) seems to be legit." Waltz says there is some debate about the timing of the pledge, because Boko...

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Ohio Muslim says he would have shot Obama, attacked Israeli embassy


BY ROBERT SPENCER An earlier Associated Press story says that he “wanted to be addressed by his Muslim name, Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, and to have access to a prayer mat and a clock in jail so he could continue his religious practices.” But the headline of this one calls him Christopher Lee Cornell, in keeping with the constant mainstream media practice of minimizing and downplaying the Islamic character of Islamic jihad terrorism. Note also that in this story he also says that “support of the Islamic State group is widespread. ‘We’re here in Ohio, we’re in every state,’ he said. ‘We’re more organized than you think.'” This is because mainstream analysts are too busy denying that the Islamic State is Islamic to study why it has so much appeal among young Muslims in the West. “Christopher Lee Cornell, Ohio Terrorism Suspect, Says He Would Have Shot Obama,” by Lisa Cornwall and...

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ISIS Chemical Weapons Libya: Military Warns Islamic State Might Have Mustard Gas, Sarin


By Cristina Silva   Islamic State fighters in Libya allegedly have seized large amounts of chemical weapons, including mustard gas and the nerve agent Sarin, the Libyan military charged. “Unfortunately [chemical weapons] exist in locations known to the militias, who have seized large amounts of them to use in their war against the [Libyan] army,” a Libyan military official told the London daily Asharq al-Awsat. ISIS fighters near Tripoli have begun testing the weapons that reportedly once belonged to the former regime of Moammar Gadhafi. “Before his death, Gadhafi left approximately 1,000 cubic tons worth of material used for manufacturing chemical weapons and about 20,000 cubic tons of mustard gas,” the military official said. The weapons are likely 10 years old and in a degraded state, but remain dangerous, former British Army officer Hamish de Bretton-Gordon told The Daily Mail Sunday. "While we don’t know how much IS has acquired, and...

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Mall Terror: Lone Wolf Threat Is Real, Say Officials

BY TOM WINTER AND ROBERT WINDREM ficials say publicly there is no "credible threat" of an attack on America's shopping malls, despite an on-line "call to action" by terror group al Shabab -- but behind the scenes authorities are taking the threat seriously, because previous calls to action have been heeded by violent "lone wolves." Last October a soldier was shot and killed in Ottawa just steps from Parliament in what Canadian officials called a terrorist act. The FBI says a bloody hatchet attack on NYPD officers the same month was also terrorism. Both attacks came after ISIS urged lone offenders in the West to attack "soldiers, patrons and troops" and members of law enforcement. "Calls to action are a way a terrorist group like al Shabab can project itself without expending resources," said a U.S. counterterrorism official. "It's a way to awaken and embolden those who may not be in...

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Tarek Osman Explains ISIS, Its Impact on the Middle East, and Its Future | 2014 Forum 2000


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Obama administration attacks Egypt and UAE for ISIS raids

By Lauri B. Regan Where does one begin to parse the inane and irrational thinking that went into the Obama administration’s public rebuke of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates for attacking the Islamists who beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya? Pentagon Spokesperson Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby condemned Egypt’s airstrikes on ISIS stating We discourage other nations from taking a part in Libya’s issues through violence.  We want the issues solved in Libya to be done peacefully and through good governance and politics and not violence. So it’s okay for the U.S. to join forces with Iran (an enemy) to help fight ISIS in Iraq, a county that fell into chaos when the geniuses in the White House decided to lose a war that had been won - just for political expediency.  But it’s not okay for Egypt (an ally) to defend itself and its citizens against the maniacal terrorists...

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What ISIS Really Wants

1.      Graeme Wood is a contributing editor at The Atlantic. His personal site is gcaw.net. Published in the Atlantic monthly (see link at end of article)   The left leaning Atlantic Monthly came out resoundingly on the very best and most important statement on ISIS’s completely ISLAMIC and ISLAMIST nature, despite the continued false dichotomy that the President stated: “ We are not at War with Islam”. We may not be, but that does not change the Islamic aspirations of ISIS. Read about how Islamic, the Islamic State really is and stay informed. Long but worthwhile  What is the Islamic State? Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in...

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Alternative Perspectives on the Radicalization of Home- grown and “Leaderless” Terrorists

Two theories used to explain criminal behaviour are adapted here to provide an alternative means of understanding the radicalization of home-grown and “leaderless” terrorists.   Radicalization is a complex issue influenced by regional and country characteristics and dynamics as well as individual circumstances. However, another way of understanding the radicalization process of home-grown and “leaderless” terrorists could involve the use of theories that explain criminal behaviour. Two such theories are discussed here – Strain Theory and Differential Association Theory – with the aim of exploring how they can improve our understanding of radicalization in order to take better preventive action as well as design more suitable de-radicalization or disengagement programs. Home-grown terrorists usually refer to individuals that are citizens or residents of the country they carry out acts of violence against. They may draw resources, expertise and leadership from external terrorist groups and networks, but this is not an essential characteristic...

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ISIS and al-Qaeda use social media, Web platforms differently to achieve different ends

For years, Minnesota’s Somali community has been battling the recruitment of young men and women into militant groups like al-Shabaab and the Islamic State (ISIS). Several community and religious leaders have helped form youth groups and held public discussions about the radicalization of Somalis in America. Law enforcement agencies are also playing their part. Andy Luger, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, is working with members of the local Somali community to better understand its concerns and how to help the community fight extremism. According to CBS News, when Luger learned that a local Muslim man was prohibited from boarding a flight at the Minneapolis airport because his name resembled one on the Transportation Security Administration’s “No-Fly List,” Luger had the issued resolved within a few weeks. His swift action has earned Luger praise within the Somali community. “We’ve been waiting for somebody like him,” said Mohamed Farah, executive director...

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Go Inside Mussolini's Secret Bunker That Hasn't Been Seen In 70 Years

To mark the 70th anniversary of its liberation from fascism, Rome has reopened one of the bunkers built for Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.   A series of bunkers were built under the Italian capital during World War II to provide shelter for bureaucrats and party leaders.   Bunker di Roma, a local website, has cataloged up to 12 different bunkers beneath the city and campaigned for their refurbishment so that tourists can visit them.   Many of the bunkers, including Mussolini's personal air raid shelter, have not been entered since the end of the war, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.   Mussolini was leader of the Italian fascist movement from 1923 to 1943. Written by: STEFANO POZZEBON

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Another 9/11 is Not What America Should Be Afraid Of...

If you were to ask a sampling of American security and intelligence officials for their pick as the gravest threat to face the United States from global jihadists, you might be surprised by the answer you would hear. If you listen to official Washington, or the establishment media, for your answer, you might hear: a spectacular, 9/11-style attack, involving perhaps Ebola-infected suicide bombers flying Dreamliner aircraft into the Golden Gate Bridge, while dropping illegal immigrants along the way, to spread Enterovirus among America’s helpless school children. Does that about cover all of our boogeymen? When I worked in the national security establishment, in the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center—admittedly, half a decade ago—tracking groups like al-Qa’ida central, al-Qa’ida in Iraq, Ansar al-Sunna, al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, and others, the threat that kept me up at night was not the spectacular, 9/11-style, once-in-a-decade plot. No, I was pretty confident in our ability, post-9/11,...

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