Homeland Security Network Blog

The information source for first responders.

North Korea test fires its biggest ICBM yet — and it could apparently reach the entire U.S.

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CBS News North Korea test fires its biggest ICBM yet — and it could apparently reach the entire U.S. Seoul, South Korea — North Korea said Friday it test-fired its biggest-yet intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) under the orders of leader Kim Jong Un, who vowed to expand the North's "nuclear war deterrent" while preparing for a "long-standing confrontation" with the United States.The report by North Korean state media came a day after the militaries of South Korea and Japan said they detected the North launching an ICBM in its first long-range test since 2017.The launch extended a barrage of weapons demonstrations this year that analysts say are aimed at forcing the United States to accept the idea of North Korea as a nuclear power and remove crippling sanctions against its broken economy that has been further damaged by pandemic-related difficulties. Seoul, South Korea — North Korea said Friday it test-fired its...

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Iran Nuclear Deal’s Final Hurdle Is Lifting Terrorism Sanctions on Revolutionary Guards

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  The Wall Street Journal Iran Nuclear Deal’s Final Hurdle Is Lifting Terrorism Sanctions on Revolutionary Guards U.S. allies including Israel want the Iranian security force to remain on the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations by Laurence NormanWhile Iran says it isn’t trying to build nuclear weapons, a look at its key facilities suggests it could develop the technology to make them. WSJ breaks down Tehran’s capabilities as it hits new milestones in uranium enrichment and limits access to inspectors. Photo illustration: George DownsThe effort to revive the 2015 nuclear deal agreement now hinges on perhaps the most politically sensitive issue in the negotiations: whether to remove the U.S. terrorism designation for Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, the country’s powerful security force, diplomats said.The issue is galvanizing opposition to the nuclear deal in Washington and among Middle East allies such as Israel, where the government issued stinging public criticism of any attempt...

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Islamic State Takes Advantage Of Ukraine War To Increase Attacks

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Al Monitor Islamic State Takes Advantage Of Ukraine War To Increase Attacks by Sultan al-Kanj The Islamic State has recently intensified its activity against the Syrian government forces and its allies, setting up a number of ambushes in the Syrian desert and killing dozens.The Islamic State (IS) regularly targets military bases and vehicles in the Syrian desert, which extends between the governorates of Homs and Deir ez-Zor on the border with Iraq, the area to which IS fighters have retreated since they lost their last stronghold in Syria in 2019.On March 6, Syria’s official SANA news agency quoted a government military source as saying that “13 soldiers were killed and 18 others were wounded when a military bus was attacked by terrorists in the Palmyra desert in the Homs countryside.”More recently, on March 16, IS militants staged an ambush against military targets belonging to Iranian forces in the Syrian desert, killing...

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Russia claims first use of hypersonic Kinzhal missile in Ukraine

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Russia claims first use of hypersonic Kinzhal missile in UkraineBy Paul KirbyBBC NewsRussia's military has fired a hypersonic ballistic missile and destroyed a big underground arms depot in western Ukraine, the defence ministry in Moscow has said.If confirmed it would be Russia's first use in this war of the Kinzhal, or Dagger, ballistic missile launched from the air, most likely by a MiG-31 warplane.What are hypersonic missiles?President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly highlighted Russia's investment in hypersonic missiles, which can travel at more than five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5.The statistics are impressive: according to Russian officials the Kinzhal can hit a target up to 2,000km (1,240 miles) away and can fly faster than 6,000 km/h. But does that make them any more dangerous than other missiles or even artillery which can cause just as much death and destruction?"I don't view it as that significant," says James Acton, nuclear...

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Head Of Africa Command Says ‘Deadly Terrorism Has Metastasized’ On Continent

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  Washington Examiner Head Of Africa Command Says ‘Deadly Terrorism Has Metastasized’ On Continent by Mike Brest, Defense Reporter The head of Africa Command warned members of Congress about the multitude of threats to the United States emanating from the continent in testimony on Tuesday.Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of AFRICOM, testified in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he laid out the terrorism landscape and provided insight into Russia's and China’s investments in Africa. “Due to a lack of effective governance and counter-terrorism pressure,” the terror group al-Shabaab “has only grown stronger and bolder over the past year,” while “Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslmin, or JNIM, has metastasized into a powerful, sprawling terrorist network now threatening Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and littoral West Africa,” he said in his written testimony. Townsend also expressed concern about the Islamic State, which he said exploits “ungoverned spaces, including recognition and creation of...

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After nuclear talks break down, Iran claims ballistic missile attack in Iraq

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Washington Post After nuclear talks break down, Iran claims ballistic missile attack in IraqBAGHDAD — Iran claimed responsibility Sunday for a barrage of ballistic missiles that hit northern Iraq just after midnight, striking several kilometers from a U.S. compound and drawing sharp condemnation from the Iraqi and U.S. capitals.The semiofficial Fars news agency said that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps had launched “powerful missiles” in response to what it described as “recent crimes of the fake Zionist regime,” an apparent reference to the killing of two of its members last week in Syria, which it has blamed on Israel.The attack marked a significant escalation in the proxy and political conflicts playing out on Iraqi soil as talks between Iran and the United States to resurrect a nuclear deal shattered by President Donald Trump now stall as a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.Story continues below advertisementLanding at 1:30 a.m. local time, the...

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ISIS confirms its leader was killed in Syria, names new chief

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IS confirms its leader was killed in Syria, names new chiefBEIRUT (AP) — The Islamic State group confirmed for the first time on Thursday that its leader was killed in a U.S. strike in northwestern Syria last month and named his successor. It was the first official comment from the militant group about its leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi since U.S. officials said he blew himself up along with members of his family as American forces raided his hideout in the northwestern Syrian town of Atmeh, near the border with Turkey, on Feb. 3. In an audio message released Thursday, IS spokesman Abu Omar al-Muhajer confirmed the death of the leader, as well as that of the group’s former spokesman, Abu Hamza al-Qurayshi, in the raid. Al-Muhajer also said that IS has named a successor to the former leader, identifying him as Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi and saying the late IS...

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U.S. Sends Saudi Detainee Accused Of Link To 9/11 Home From Guantanamo

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NBC News U.S. Sends Saudi Detainee Accused Of Link To 9/11 Home From Guantanamo Mohammad Mani Ahmad al-Qahtani, 46, who has been held at the U.S. base in Cuba since 2002, will receive treatment at a psychiatric facility. By Courtney Kube, Mosheh Gains and The Associated PressA Saudi detainee at Guantanamo Bay who allegedly tried to take part in the 9/11 hijacking plot has been sent back to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said on Monday.Mohammad Mani Ahmad al-Qahtani, 46, who has been held at the U.S. base in Cuba since 2002, will receive treatment at a psychiatric facility. His lawyers maintain that he has displayed symptoms of schizophrenia since a young age, and in 2002 an FBI official saw al-Qahtani speaking to non-existent people, hearing voices and crouching in a corner of his cell while covering himself with a sheet for hours.A U.S. review board determined in 2021 that his detention...

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Russia: Countries Allowing Ukraine to Use Their Airfields ‘May Be Regarded’ as Entering Conflict

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The EPOCH Times by Jack Philips Russia’s Defense Ministry on Sunday warned that any country that offers the use of its airfields to Ukraine’s military for attacks on Russian assets could be considered as having entered the conflict.“The use of the airfield networks of these countries to base Ukrainian military aircraft and their subsequent use against the Russian armed forces may be regarded as the involvement of these states in an armed conflict,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told the Interfax news agency on Sunday evening local time.Konashenkov said Russian officials are aware of “Ukrainian combat planes which earlier flew to Romania and other neighboring countries,” without elaborating.Since the conflict started on Feb. 24, the United States, its NATO allies, and other European nations have flooded Ukraine with missiles, anti-tank missiles, ammunition, weapons, and other supplies. There have also been reports claiming that European and NATO countries are working to...

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Justice Department Accuses Ericsson Of Failing To Fully Disclose Alleged Fraud And Possible Payments To ISIS

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The Washington Post Justice Department Accuses Ericsson Of Failing To Fully Disclose Alleged Fraud And Possible Payments To ISIS The telecom giant said it was told it had breached a billion-dollar legal settlement after media reports of wrongdoing in IraqBy Greg Miller and Louisa Loveluck The Justice Department has accused telecommunications giant Ericsson of violating a billion-dollar legal settlement by failing to fully disclose evidence of alleged corruption and possible payments to terrorists in Iraq, the company said Wednesday.The revelation raises substantial legal risks for the Swedish company, including the possibility of steep fines or a new criminal investigation three years after Ericsson paid more than $1 billion to avoid prosecution in other cases.The disclosure came three days after The Washington Post and other news organizations published details of an internal Ericsson probe that had uncovered evidence of extensive fraud by company officials, decisions to send workers into territory controlled by...

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Israel seizes cryptocurrency destined for Hamas terrorism funding

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  The Jerusalem Post Israel Seizes Cryptocurrency Destined For Hamas Terrorism Funding The Al'matchadun currency exchange company was accused of assisting Hamas with the transfer of tens of millions of dollars per year by the Defense Ministry. By JERUSALEM POST STAFF A seizure order for Hamas-destined cryptocurrency worth tens of thousands of shekels was signed by Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Monday morningThis marks the third time within a year that Israel has seized cryptocurrency accounts funding terrorism.The 12 digital accounts and 30 digital wallets belonged to businesses associated with the Al'matchadun currency exchange company, the Defense Ministry said. The company, owned by the Shamlach family, is alleged to be affiliated with terrorism networks.The Shamlach family has been accused by the Defense Ministry of assisting Hamas with the transfer of tens of millions of dollars per year.Some of the cryptocurrencies announced today as confiscated by the ministry were owned by the...

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Ukraine-Russia negotiations begin in Belarus as war rages across Ukraine

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The Jerusalem Post Ukraine-Russia negotiations begin in Belarus as war rages across Ukraine By GADI ZAIG , TZVI JOFFRE , REUTERS Talks between Russia and Ukraine began in Belarus on Monday morning, as fighting continued on the fifth day of Russia's invasion of its southwestern neighbor.Negotiations ended early in the evening, and the delegants returned to their respective countries for deliberations before another round of negotiations.In a phone conversation with France's President Emmanuel Macron, Putin set three conditions for the end of the war: Ukrainian recognition of Russian sovereignty over Crimea, solving problems of "demilitarization and denazification of the Ukrainian state" and ensuring Ukraine's "neutral status", according to Pravda. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry shared a photo of the room where negotiations were taking place, tweeting that they were just waiting for delegations to arrive. The Ukrainian delegation arrived on Monday morning. The head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, stated that...

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Missiles rain down around Ukraine

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Reuters Missiles rain down around Ukraine By Natalia Zinets and Aleksandar Vasovic KYIV/MARIUPOL, Ukraine, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Ukrainian forces battled Russian invaders on three sides on Thursday after Moscow mounted an assault by land, sea and air in the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two.After Russian President Vladimir Putin declared war in a pre-dawn televised address, explosions and gunfire were heard throughout the morning in Kyiv, a city of 3 million people.By nightfall, a picture was emerging of fierce fighting across multiple fronts.An adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office said Russian forces had captured the Chernobyl former nuclear power plant, just 90 km (60 miles) north of the capital, and Hostomel airport in the Kyiv region, where paratroopers had earlier been landed.Heavy exchanges of fire were also taking place in the regions of Sumy and Kharkiv in the northeast and Kherson and Odessa, home to a...

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U.S. Begins Counter-Terrorism Training In Africa Amid Upheaval

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Reuters U.S. Begins Counter-Terrorism Training In Africa Amid Upheaval JACQUEVILLE, Ivory Coast, Feb 20 (Reuters) - The United States' yearly counter-terrorism training program for African forces began on Sunday in Ivory Coast at a time of upheaval in which Islamist fighters control large areas, coups are on the rise and French forces are winding down.The training program, known as Flintlock, will bring together more than 400 soldiers from across West Africa to bolster the skills of forces, some of which are under regular attack by armed groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State.Those not present included forces from Guinea and two countries worst-hit by Islamist violence, Mali and Burkina Faso. Military juntas have snatched power in those three countries since 2020, raising concerns about a return to West Africa's post-colonial reputation as a "coup belt".Central to this year's training is coordination between different forces fighting the same enemy."A main focus...

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White House says Russia invasion will be ‘extremely violent’

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White House says Russia invasion will be ‘extremely violent’ The Washington Times  By Jeff Mordock White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be “extremely violent” and “harm” the country’s citizens.“We believe that any military operation the size, scope and magnitude of what we believe the Russians are planning will be extremely violent,” Mr. Sullivan said in an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show.“But we also have intelligence to suggest that there will be an even greater form of brutality because this will not simply be some conventional war between two armies,” he said. “It will be a war waged by Russia on the Ukrainian people to repress them, to crush them, to harm them.” Mr. Sullivan said the U.S. is still pursuing all diplomatic options to end the Ukraine crisis.“We’re prepared to respond decisively if Russia moves on Ukraine and we’re prepared for...

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Israel Seized NIS 103 Million Hamas Terror Funds - Counterterror Financial Official

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The Jerusalem Post Israel Seized NIS 103 Million Hamas Terror Funds - Counterterror Financial Official Cyberattacks on Israel jumped by seven times annually, National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing of Israel official Sagi Volkovitz said. By YONAH JEREMY BOB A range of moves by the government have led to the seizure of NIS 103 million of Hamas terrorism funds, National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing of Israel official Sagi Volkovitz said at a government conference on Tuesday.His agency is part of the Defense Ministry. Volkovitz gave complex examples of groups that would sell or deliver goods to Hamas in Gaza to get around banking regulations, while a seemingly disconnected Hamas office in a foreign country would pay for something in return that regulators would be hard-pressed to make a connection with.The conference primarily highlighted the 20th anniversary and work of the Israel Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority (IMPA) headed...

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Durham Filing Detailing Spying on Trump White House Raises National Security Implications

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The Epoch Times Durham Filing Detailing Spying on Trump White House Raises National Security ImplicationsBy Jeff Carlson and Hans MahnckeA new filing from special counsel John Durham has raised major national security concerns over access to White House internet traffic.The filing, which was submitted late on Feb. 11 in connection with the indictment of Michael Sussmann, a former attorney to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, reveals that Rodney Joffe, a tech executive who was working with Sussmann, had exploited access to domain name system (DNS) internet traffic pertaining to the Executive Office of the President of the United States (EOP) as well as Trump Tower and Donald Trump’s Central Park West apartment building.The filing also discloses that Joffe, a private individual who has been implicated in mail order scams in the past, had access to the White House’s DNS internet traffic since at least 2014.Joffe gained this access when his firm, Neustar,...

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Missile Attacks Fuel Support For Reversing U.S. Stance And Placing Yemen Rebels Back On Terrorist Blacklist

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  The Washington Post Missile Attacks Fuel Support For Reversing U.S. Stance And Placing Yemen Rebels Back On Terrorist Blacklist By Missy Ryan and John Hudson Expanded missile attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels have fueled support among some U.S. and Middle Eastern officials for placing them back on a U.S. terrorist blacklist, a year after the Biden administration ended that designation on humanitarian grounds.The possible naming of the Iranian-backed rebels as a proscribed “foreign terrorist” organization, which would criminalize dealings with the group, is being raised following attacks on Yemen’s Gulf neighbors, including on a base housing U.S. troops in the United Arab Emirates.But such a step, if approved, would constitute a highly unusual reversal of an earlier decision to end a Trump-era terrorist designation that Biden administration officials said would worsen already-dire conditions for Yemeni civilians. Humanitarian groups are warning that a renewed designation could have the same punishing effect as...

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UN Experts: ‘Terrorist Groups’ Enjoy Freedom In Afghanistan

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Associated Press UN Experts: ‘Terrorist Groups’ Enjoy Freedom In Afghanistan By EDITH M. LEDERER UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Al-Qaida’s past ties to the recently empowered Taliban have the potential of making Afghanistan a safe haven for extremists, and “terrorist groups enjoy greater freedom there than at any time in recent history,” U.N. experts said in a report circulated Monday.In the wide-ranging report, the experts also said extremists linked to both al-Qaida and the Islamic State group are successfully advancing in Africa, especially in the turbulent Sahel. And they said the Islamic State continues to operate “as an entrenched rural insurgency” in Iraq and Syria, where its so-called caliphate ruled a significant swathe of the two countries from 2014-2017 when it was defeated by Iraqi forces and a U.S.-led coalition.In what it called “a bright spot” in Southeast Asia, the panel of experts said both Indonesia and the Philippines reported “significant gains”...

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US Centcom Nominee Urges 'Pragmatic' Co-Operation With Taliban In Anti-ISIS Fight

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The National US Centcom Nominee Urges 'Pragmatic' Co-Operation With Taliban In Anti-ISIS Fight by Bryant Harris President Joe Biden’s nominee to oversee US forces in the Middle East and Central Asia is floating the possibility of co-operating with the Taliban in certain instances to take out ISIS targets in Afghanistan.Lt Gen Erik Kurilla — who is the Biden administration's pick to head US Central Command, or Centcom — raised the idea during his nomination hearing before the Senate on Tuesday.“In my personal opinion, there are pragmatic instances where we could come together going after [ISIS-Khorasan] based on the threat to the homeland,” Lt Gen Kurilla said in response to a question from Angus King, an independent senator who votes with the Democrats. ISIS-K has stepped up attacks against Taliban targets in the months following the US withdrawal.Lt Gen Kurilla assessed that “over-the-horizon” counter-terrorism operations — strikes launched from another country or...

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