Homeland Security Network Blog

The information source for first responders.

Strait of Emergency?


Foreign Affairs Strait of Emergency? Debating Beijing’s Threat to Taiwan By Rachel Esplin Odell and Eric Heginbotham; Bonny Lin and David Sacks; Kharis Templeman; Oriana Skylar Mastro Don’t Fall for the Invasion PanicOriana Skylar Mastro’s article “The Taiwan Temptation” (July/August 2021) is one of many recent articles that warns of the growing risk of Chinese aggression in the Taiwan Strait. Such articles have become so common that they have created something of an invasion panic in Washington—one that is damaging to both the United States’ and Taiwan’s interests. Anxiety about impending Chinese aggression was part of what drove Washington in recent years to weaken its long-standing “one China” policy by lifting some restrictions on official interactions between it and Taiwan. It also undergirds recent calls for Washington to abandon its policy of “strategic ambiguity” about whether it would defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack.Although Mastro does not explicitly endorse these policy...

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What The Boko Haram Leader's Death Means For The War Against Terror


  The National What The Boko Haram Leader's Death Means For The War Against Terror by Jean-Loup SamaanOn June 16, Boko Haram confirmed the death of its leader Abubakar Shekau. Shekau died during clashes with the competing Islamic State for the West African Province (Iswap) in the Sambisa Forest in north-eastern Nigeria, one of the last regions controlled by Boko Haram. At first sight, the death of Shekau, the mastermind behind many atrocities committed against African civilians, may come as a relief. But it also reveals a darker reality: the steady replacement of Boko Haram by ISIS in the Lake Chad Basin region – which includes Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon – and its new security implications.Shekau had led Boko Haram since 2009, the year the group’s founder Mohammed Yusuf died. The organisation caught international attention in 2014 with the kidnapping of the Chibok schoolgirls that shocked the world and triggered...

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7 Years After Islamic State Genocide, Yazidi Survivors Still Seeking Justice


Voice Of America 7 Years After Islamic State Genocide, Yazidi Survivors Still Seeking Justice  By Dakhil Elias, Sirwan Kajjo WASHINGTON - When Lamiya Haji Bashar, 23, was trying to escape Islamic State (IS) captivity, she lost her sight in a landmine explosion that also scarred her face.Bashar was 16 when IS militants rampaged through the Iraqi town of Sinjar in 2014, killing thousands of Yazidi men and forcing young women into sex slavery. The United Nations has called the onslaught a campaign of genocide against the Kurdish religious minority.Currently living in Germany where she is undergoing rehabilitation, Bashar has become a vocal advocate for Yazidi women and girls.Yazidi women from Iraq, Nadia Murad Basee, left, and Lamiya Aji Bashar, 2nd left, pose with their award after receiving the…FILE - Yazidi women from Iraq, Nadia Murad Basee, left, and Lamiya Haji Bashar, pose with their award after receiving the European Union's Sakharov...

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Iranian Terrorism Cannot Go Unpunished


Iranian terrorism cannot go unpunishedMerely condemning attacks that killed a British citizen is not a suitably strong response Telegraph ViewIran seems determined to test the resolve of the new Israeli government to respond to attacks against its assets. Drones carrying explosives have been used in the Arabian Sea to strike an oil tanker operated by an Israeli-owned company. The assault last Thursday killed two crew members, one of them a British national.Tehran has denied the atrocity but Israeli and American military intelligence are sure of the identity of the culprit. It was apparently conducted in retaliation for an Israeli air strike in Syria. This is not just state-sponsored murder on the high seas but also a patent threat to the safe passage of merchant shipping and therefore a direct challenge to the international community. Tehran cannot be allowed to undermine world trade by carrying out terrorist activity in supposedly open shipping...

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FBI Says At Deportation Hearing That Iraqi Refugee Omar Ameen Has Ties To Terror Groups


The Sacramento Bee FBI Says At Deportation Hearing That Iraqi Refugee Omar Ameen Has Ties To Terror Groups By Sam Stanton The federal government’s effort to deport Sacramento resident and Iraqi refugee Omar Ameen kicked into gear Wednesday, with a former FBI agent testifying that Ameen and his family members had been involved in terrorist activities with the group that evolved into the Islamic State.William Denton, who had served as the lead FBI agent on the Ameen investigation, said during an immigration hearing in Van Nuys that information from the U.S. Department of Defense and from Iraqi government officials tied Ameen and his family members to al Qaeda in Iraq, which ultimately became the Islamic State.“We were concerned, in particular, because the information from the Department of Defense indicated to us that his family members were actively engaged in terrorism, which was corroborated through our information that we obtained when we...

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France, UK Sign New Security Deal To Protect Against Channel Terror Threat


  France 24 France, UK Sign New Security Deal To Protect Against Channel Terror Threat Britain and France on Tuesday signed a new security deal aimed at protecting the public in the event of a terror attack in the Channel against a large vessel such as a passenger ferry, the British government said.The UK-France Maritime Security Treaty was signed in Paris as the defence and foreign ministers from both sides met for talks on shared security interests.The British government said in a statement that the treaty is the foundation for "seamless joint and coordinated action to be taken by UK and French forces in response to an incident, such as a terrorist attack on board a ferry or other large vessel in the Channel."The treaty includes provisions which will enable Britain and France to share information concerning potential threats, mount swifter responses to serious incidents, and coordinate more efficient joint responses."As...

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US Investigates Qatar Over Claims That It Finances Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps


Washington Examiner US Investigates Qatar Over Claims That It Finances Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps by Benjamin Weinthal and Jonathan Spyer JERUSALEM — The State Department has opened an inquiry into an Israeli government report that Qatar’s monarchy funded Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.“We are looking into the allegations,” a State Department spokesman told the Washington Examiner earlier this month, adding that “Qatar and the United States have a robust strategic, security, and counterterrorism partnership. Qatar is one of the United States's closest military allies in the region. U.S.-Qatar military and security cooperation contributes to the safety and stability of the region.”The alleged terror finance activities of the Islamic regime in Doha surfaced during last month’s Oval Office meeting between President Joe Biden and outgoing Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Rivlin furnished the White House with intelligence regarding “recent funding that Qatar provided to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,”...

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IG: Convicted Terrorists Lead Religious Services In Federal Prisons


Fox News Convicted Terrorists Lead Religious Services In Federal Prisons: IG by Fred Lucas Convicted terrorists – some associated with al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and Al-Shabaab – were allowed to lead religious services in federal prisons because of a shortage of chaplains, according to a recent inspector general report evaluating the Bureau of Prisons. Moreover, the bureau’s internal watchdog found prison officials had little oversight of what was being said or taught during some of the inmate-led religious services. The July inspector general report said that convicted terrorists led religious services in four of 12 federal prison facilities that were part of the evaluation. At one prison, terrorist inmates led religious services even though the BOP hired a contract faith provider, because the inmates had disagreements with the contractors, the report says. "At another one of these facilities we found that an al-Qaeda affiliated inmate, who was convicted on terrorism charges,...

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Bill Bennett: 'We need to designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorists like Al Qaeda'


  Bill Bennett: 'We need to designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorists like Al Qaeda' Bennett highlights drugs coming across the southern borderBy Joshua Q. Nelson | Fox News After a new government report revealed U.S. drug overdose deaths hit a new record in 2020, former National Drug Control Policy Director Bill Bennett said Thursday that the United States needs to designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorists."There is a poison that is coming across. We talked about the getaways. Do the people get away? How about the drugs that get away? " Bennett said on "America Reports." "You guys are very good at showing these huge caches of drugs that are caught and authorities seize. But there’s a lot that we don’t see, and it’s making its way in the country." Fox News reported that an angel mom argued that the current border policies under the Biden administration allowed China’s criminal...

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US Court Rules 3 Iranian Banks Liable For Hamas Terror Attack


The Jerusalem Post US Court Rules 3 Iranian Banks Liable For Hamas Terror Attack This ruling is the first case in which US courts have found Banks Markazi, Melli or Saderat liable for a terror attack by a foreign terrorist organization against a US national. By TZVI JOFFRE In a landmark ruling, a US federal court ruled on Monday that Syria, Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and three Iranian banks were liable for the Hamas terror attack which killed Eitam and Naama Henkin in 2015. The District of Columbia court ruled on two suits: one filed by the parents and siblings of Eitam and one filed by the Henkins' children and the Henkins' estates. The suits made claims governed by the US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, alongside other claims. The Justice for United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Act, which amended the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, established a fund...

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Four Arrested With 100 Rounds Of Ammunition In Suspected Terror Plot On MLB Game


The Independent Four Arrested With 100 Rounds Of Ammunition In Suspected Terror Plot On MLB Game More than a dozen firearms were seized by Helen Elfer Police say a mass-shooting at the Major League baseball All-Star game in Denver may have been averted, after four men were arrested and a stash of weaponry was seized.Authorities were tipped off by a maid who was working in a hotel near the Coors Field baseball park, leading police to execute a search warrant. They discovered narcotics, body armour, 16 guns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition in an eighth-floor room with a balcony overlooking the downtown area, according to the Denver Post.Denver police are not ruling out the possibility that a “Las Vegas-style” shooting had been planned. The hotel room’s vantage point, potentially overlooking large crowds, along with the quantity of weapons and ammunition drew comparisons with the Las Vegas shooting massacre in...

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U.S. Bolsters Security At Kabul Embassy As Troops Leave Afghanistan And Taliban Close In


CBS News U.S. Bolsters Security At Kabul Embassy As Troops Leave Afghanistan And Taliban Close In Kabul — U.S. troops will be out of Afghanistan by the end of next month after 20 years of war. President Biden laid out the strategy on Thursday to withdrawal the remaining American forces, defending the timeline even as the Taliban gain strength, and take more ground in the country.CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata reports that right across Afghanistan, districts are falling to the Taliban like dominoes. As U.S. forces head for the exit and the militants inch closer to the capital, the U.S. Embassy has been taking a hard look at its own security situation.Charge D'Affaires Ross Wilson, the top U.S. diplomat in Afghanistan, told D'Agata that the embassy had "added some additional quick reaction capabilities, in the event that something happens." Asked if the embassy had emergency evacuation plans in place in the...

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Bases Housing US Troops In Iraq, Syria Attacked; 2 Injured


ABC News Bases Housing US Troops In Iraq, Syria Attacked; 2 Injured U.S.-backed Syrian fighters say they and American forces have foiled an attack with drones on a base housing members of the U.S.-led coalition in eastern Syria By By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA Associated Press BAGHDAD -- U.S.-backed Syrian fighters and American troops foiled an attack with drones Wednesday on a base housing members of the U.S.-led coalition in eastern Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces said. In neighboring Iraq, rockets hit a base housing U.S. troops, inflicting two minor injuries.The attacks come as tension has been on the rise between U.S. troops and Iran-backed fighters after American airstrikes in eastern Syria killed four Iraqi fighters late last month in areas along the Syria-Iraq border. The Pentagon said targets attacked on June 27, were facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups to support drone strikes inside Iraq. The spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition Col....

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Belarus Says It Has Dismantled 'Terrorist Sleeper Cells' With Ties To West


  Euronews Belarus Says It Has Dismantled 'Terrorist Sleeper Cells' With Ties To West By Euronews with AFP  Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said "terrorist sleeper cells" linked to the West and allegedly preparing a coup were dismantled on Friday."Terrorist sleeper cells were dismantled today," Lukashenko said, cited by his press office.The authoritarian leader claimed the cells had ties to Germany, Ukraine, the United States, Poland and Lithuania, and plotted to "overthrow the regime by violence."According to Lukashenko, "a huge number of weapons were pouring into Belarus from Ukraine," which prompted him to order Belarusian border guards to "permanently close the border with Ukraine".He added that the cells' activities were coordinated via a Telegram channel dubbed "Self-defence regiments of Belarus" which had 2,500 subscribers and belonged to a German citizen.The cells recently tried to detonate a Russian naval communication centre located in the Belarusian town of Vileika, about 100 kilometres northwest of...

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The North Korean Nuclear Arsenal


RealClear Defense The North Korean Nuclear ArsenalBy Mark B. Schneider The year 2021 has seen a number of important official statements concerning North Korean nuclear weapons development. In May 2021, General Paul LaCamera, when nominated to be the next commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, stated, “In January of this year, [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un announced plans and programs to expand its nuclear deterrent, specifically, the development of miniaturized nuclear warheads, tactical nuclear weapons, and even multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles.” The fact that he cited this statement gives it credibility. In April 2021, Major General Michael J. Lutton, Commander, Twentieth Air Force, Air Force Global Strike Command, stated that:Specifically, Russia, China, and North Korea share five themes in foreign nuclear development and proliferation:     Increasing numbers or capabilities of weapons in existing programs;    Enduring security threats to weapons and material;    Developing delivery systems with increased capabilities;    Developing nuclear weapons...

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Global Coalition Fears Islamic State Expansion In Africa


Voice of America Global Coalition Fears Islamic State Expansion In Africa By Jeff Seldin WASHINGTON - Western powers are promising recent successes by the Islamic State across Africa will not go unanswered, backing plans for a task force to focus on the terror group’s spread from Iraq and Syria to the African continent.The announcement Monday following a meeting in Rome by the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS comes a day before the seventh anniversary of the terror group’s proclamation of its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria, and two years since the caliphate’s territorial defeat in Syria.But despite constant pressure from the U.S. military and other coalition members, Western counterterrorism officials warn that IS, or Daesh as the group is also known, has found ways not just to survive but to spread, increasingly focusing the group’s propaganda on the exploits of its African affiliates.“We are fearing the expansion and spread of...

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Iran-Backed Militias Fire Rockets In New Attack Aimed At U.S. Forces


  The Wall Street Journal Iran-Backed Militias Fire Rockets In New Attack Aimed At U.S. Forces Militant assaults and American responses are elevating concerns about a deepening U.S. involvement by Michael R. Gordon and Jared MalsinU.S. troops in northeast Syria came under rocket fire Monday night after Iran-backed militias vowed revenge for U.S. airstrikes earlier that day in Iraq and Syria, a sign that fighting may be evolving into sustained confrontation.A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, Col. Wayne Marotto, said that multiple rockets had been fired at U.S. troops and that American forces responded by firing artillery at the rocket launching positions. There were no U.S. injuries, he added.The rocket attack, which a pro-militia news agency said had occurred near Syria’s al-Omar oil field, came as the Biden administration warned Monday that it stood ready to defend U.S. troops.Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that President Biden is “fully prepared to...

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Three Killed in Knife Attack in Germany


Wall Street Journal Three Killed in Knife Attack in Germany Somali suspect heard shouting ‘Allahu Akbar,’ witness says; several are injured Police secured the area around the scene of the attack Friday in the German town of Würzburg.By Bojan PancevskiThree people were killed and several seriously hurt Friday in a southern German town after they were attacked by a Somali man with a history of mental illness who one witness said shouted “Allahu Akbar,” authorities said.The attack took place around 5 p.m. in Würzburg after the 24-year-old suspect snatched a kitchen knife at a supermarket and started stabbing people around him.The man, who has been living in Wurzburg in the federal state of Bavaria since 2015, was confronted by a small crowd of passersby and then shot in the leg by police, who arrested him minutes after the attack. The suspect likely acted alone, according to police.The man had a record...

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How China Will Try To Unmask U.S. Submarines In The Western Pacific


Forbes How China Will Try To Unmask U.S. Submarines In The Western Pacific by Loren ThompsonAerospace & DefenseIn mid-July, the latest in a series of classified seminars will be held at the Charles Stark Draper Lab adjacent to MIT’s campus to educate naval personnel and contractors about how to hide U.S. warships from the prying eyes of enemies.You can’t attend unless you have a secret clearance and a need to know, because methods for masking the telltale “signatures” of American warships are a very touchy subject.That’s especially true in the case of submarines, which would be of little use in wartime if they could be reliably tracked and targeted.Submarines are the stealthiest warfighting systems ever devised, and the U.S. Navy aims to keep it that way. But one subject that likely will bulk large in the July seminar is how to cope with rapidly growing efforts by the Chinese Navy to...

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The Secret Weapon That Helps Hamas Raise Millions Of Dollars


Haaretz The Secret Weapon That Helps Hamas Raise Millions Of Dollars As the likes of Hamas, Hezbollah and Boko Haram increasingly look for donations in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it is becoming increasingly difficult for crypto-activity experts to track their fundraising. by David RosenbergShortly after the latest Gaza flare-up ended last month, Hamas officials boasted to The Wall Street Journal that they had pulled in record donations in cryptocurrencies.Global media coverage of the fighting drew attention to how the militant organization had brought hundreds of thousands of viewers to its website, where they were provided instructions on how to contribute under the eyes of the authorities, and offered a QR code to facilitate the transactions. The QR code is just one example of how Hamas has become something of a technology leader among terrorist groups, which experts say are making more and more use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to raise...

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