Homeland Security Network Blog

The information source for first responders.

Nearly 700 Islamic State Operatives Killed in 2022, US Says

Bloomberg Nearly 700 Islamic State Operatives Killed in 2022, US Says General praises partner forces in the region for their helpIslamic State’s leader killed in February during Syria raid By John Harney US military forces and their allies in Iraq and Syria killed almost 700 Islamic State operatives, including several of the organization’s leaders, in 2022, according to the US Central Command. “The emerging, reliable and steady ability of our Iraqi and Syrian partner forces to conduct unilateral operations to capture and kill ISIS leaders allows us to maintain steady pressure on the ISIS network,” Major General Matt McFarlane, commander of a combined task force in Syria and Iraq, said in a Centcom statement released Thursday. According to the statement, 466 Islamic State operatives were killed in Syria, and another 220 in Iraq. A total of 374 militants were captured in both countries. “No US forces were injured or killed in...

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NYC Machete Terror Attack: Suspect Reportedly Wanted To Join Taliban

  NYC Machete Attack: Suspect Reportedly Wanted To Join Taliban—Here’s What We Know Nicholas Reimann A man arrested for allegedly attacking three New York City police officers near Times Square on New Year's Eve carried a diary describing his wish to die a martyr and his hope of joining the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to CNN, as details slowly emerge about the suspect. Key Facts The suspect, 19-year-old Trevor Bickford, has reportedly been hospitalized since police shot him Saturday night after he attacked officers at a security checkpoint near Times Square. Police are seeking search warrants to see whether Bickford viewed terrorist propaganda leading up to the attack, CNN reported, citing sources with knowledge of the investigation. The attack came after the New York Police Department sent a warning to law enforcement agencies Friday about the potential for "Lone Offender Attacks" on New Year's Eve inspired by a video release from...

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Hackers Stole Data From Multiple Electric Utilities In Recent Ransomware Attack

  CNN Hackers Stole Data From Multiple Electric Utilities In Recent Ransomware Attack By Sean Lyngaas, CNN Hackers stole data belonging to multiple electric utilities in an October ransomware attack on a US government contractor that handles critical infrastructure projects across the country, according to a memo describing the hack obtained by CNN. Federal officials have closely monitored the incident for any potential broader impact on the US power sector while private investigators have combed the dark web for the stolen data, according to the memo sent this month to power company executives by the North American grid regulator’s cyberthreat sharing center. The previously unreported incident is a window into how ransomware attacks on critical US companies are handled behind the scenes as lawyers and federal investigators quietly spring into action to determine the extent of the damage. The ransomware attack hit Chicago-based Sargent & Lundy, an engineering firm that has...

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Iraqi PM Orders 'Unconventional Methods' To Stop Islamic State Attacks

Al Monitor Iraqi PM Orders 'Unconventional Methods' To Stop Islamic State Attacks by Shelly Kettleson December 22, 2022 BAGHDAD — A large ‘martyr’s photo’ has been placed outside the headquarters of the Ali al-Akbar Brigade in this southern Shia-dominant city in commemoration of one of the group’s unit commanders, who was killed farther north in the Diyala governorate in late November in an Islamic State attack. The Ali al-Akbar Brigade is part of the country’s official, government-salaried Popular Mobilization Units. As the traditional Islamic 40 days of mourning for the man continue, so do attacks in both Diyala and neighboring Kirkuk. Multiple members of the country’s security forces have been killed.  Three Iraqi army soldiers were killed in an attack in the Kirkuk governorate late in the evening of Dec. 21, a security source in Kirkuk contacted by Al-Monitor on Dec. 22 said. It was the third deadly IS attack in...

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First responders from neighboring communities work together in ice rescue

KWCH By KWCH Staff MULVANE, Kan. (KWCH) - First responders from neighboring communities in the Wichita area worked together Monday morning in a potentially life-saving effort. Mulvane Fire Rescue on its Facebook page shared photos of an ice rescue, along with a narrative of how that happened with assistance from Derby’s fire and rescue department. “Local hunters were out on a pond retrieving decoys when their boat became stuck on the Ice. The paddle they were using broke. Mulvane and Derby Water Rescue technicians were able to pull the hunters off the ice and back to the shore,” Mulvane Fire Rescue reported. The department said it has an auto-aid agreement with Derby Fire on all water rescue calls. Monday morning, temperatures were about 21 degrees (well below freezing) when the rescue happened. Mulvane Fire Rescue reported no injuries to the hunters or firefighters. Full story https://www.kwch.com/2022/12/26/1st-responders-neighboring-communities-work-together-ice-rescue/

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World order on verge of cliff - first Israeli national intel assessment

    The Jerusalem Post World order on verge of cliff - first Israeli national intel assessment The Intelligence Ministry on Monday unveiled the country’s first-ever national intelligence estimate report on Monday. By YONAH JEREMY BOB The world is at a transition point analogous to being on the verge of a cliff, after which a series of crises striking simultaneously will reorder the planet’s geopolitics, the place of technology, the economic order and a variety of other disciplines from health to energy, according to Israel’s first government national intelligence estimate. The report was published by the Intelligence Ministry in the vein of the type of reports issued in the United States and other Western countries. A copy was obtained by The Jerusalem Post. According to the report, the world is on the verge of a cliff and is likely to be struck by a variety of crises affecting all aspects of...

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Militants seize counter-terrorism center in Pakistan, take hostages

Reuters Militants seize counter-terrorism centre in Pakistan, take hostages By Saud Mehsud and Jibran Ahmad DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Islamist militants seized a counter-terrorism centre in the northwestern Pakistani area of Bannu on Sunday and took hostages to negotiate with government authorities, officials said. "It's not clear if the terrorists attacked from outside, or if they snatched the ammunition from staff inside" while being interrogated following their arrest, Bannu police spokesman Muhammad Naseeb told Reuters. He said the compound had been surrounded by security forces. Two other officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the militants were looking to negotiate for safe passage to neighbouring Afghanistan, ruled by the hardline Islamist Taliban. One said about 15 militants took control of the centre after overpowering interrogators inside, grabbing their weapons and taking five or six of them hostage. The affiliation of the militants was not immediately known.  ...

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IDF Releases Photos Showing Terror Groups Put Rocket Launchers Next To Gaza Schools

  The Times Of Israel IDF Releases Photos Showing Terror Groups Put Rocket Launchers Next To Gaza Schools Military says the 3 schools are attended by over 1,000 students, accuses Hamas of intentionally putting ‘civilians and pupils in danger by using them as human shields’ By TOI staff The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday released photos showing what it said were rocket launch sites that Palestinian terror groups have positioned next to several schools in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The IDF released statements in English and Arabic that included satellite photos of three schools in Gaza City, outside which it said rocket launchers have been set up. “Over 1,000 innocent students attend these schools that Hamas uses for terrorist activities. Hamas purposefully puts civilians and pupils in danger by using them as human shields,” the IDF said. The military identified two of the launch sites as belonging to Hamas — including...

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U.S. Builds New Firewall To Stop Spread Of Militant Islamists

The Wall Street Journal U.S. Builds New Firewall To Stop Spread Of Militant Islamists By Michael M. Phillips “The front lines in the war between the West and militant Islamists have shifted to Africa, from Somalia on the continent’s eastern tip to the West African Sahel, a semidesert strip south of the Sahara. In the Sahel, the U.S. and its allies are betting that Niger, the worst-off country in the world by a U.N. measure, offers the best hope of stopping the seemingly inexorable spread of al Qaeda and Islamic State. In the heart of the region, the nations of Mali and Burkina Faso are losing ground, roiled by militant attacks and military coups. In contrast, the elected civilian government in neighboring Niger is making slow headway against insurgents with the help of Western forces, U.S. and Nigerien officials said. Mali’s ruling junta has hired Kremlin-linked mercenaries to provide security, while...

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The Progress Of Our Arms

  Paul Wells The Progress Of Our Arms The Halifax International Security Forum in wartime The world’s a mess. Vladimir Putin still has no better idea than to keep grinding Russia’s army into Ukraine. North Korea has launched more than 30 missiles in November alone. Xi Jinping has consolidated his flinty hold on power in China. Europe is heading for a cold winter, disease stalks the world, food and energy are ever harder to find and deploy. So the big surprise at this weekend’s Halifax International Security Forum was the sound — tenuous, never dominant — of hope. I don’t want to overstate this. I know any hint of optimism might sound jarring in a gathering of soldiers, strategists, think tankers and academics while brutal war continues in the heart of Europe. But a thread connecting many discussions at this most urgent edition of a conference that has been taking place...

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North Carolina Substation Attack Raises Security Concerns For U.S. Electric Grid

  NBC News North Carolina Substation Attack Raises Security Concerns For U.S. Electric Grid By Phil McCausland The recent attack on two North Carolina substations that cut power to thousands of people has raised concerns about security standards for the country’s electric grid and its numerous power stations, which have faced greater threats in recent years. Outside of weather, suspected and confirmed physical attacks on electric grid infrastructure have been the largest cause of electrical disturbance events since 2014 when, in response to an attack in California the year before, private companies that run power stations were required to increase security standards, according to an NBC News analysis of public Department of Energy reports. Nearly 600 electric emergency incidents and disturbances were caused by suspected and confirmed physical attacks and vandalism on the electric grid in those nine years, the reports show. There have been 106 attack or vandalism incidents from...

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Ukrainian Drones Hit 2 Bases Deep in Russia

  Russia-Ukraine War Ukrainian Drones Hit 2 Bases Deep in Russia New York Times KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine executed its most brazen attack into Russian territory in the nine-month-old war on Monday, targeting two military bases hundreds of miles inside the country, using drones, according to the Russian Defense Ministry and a senior Ukrainian official. The drones were launched from Ukrainian territory, and at least one of the strikes was made with the help of special forces close to the base who helped guide the drones to the target, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity to convey sensitive information. The strikes signaled a new willingness by Kyiv to take the fight to bases in the heart of Russia, raising the stakes in the war, and demonstrated for the first time Ukraine’s ability to attack at such long distances. Shortly after the attacks on the bases, Russia sent a barrage...

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Kansas City area man among three indicted in alleged terrorist conspiracy in Cameroon

The Kansas City Star Kansas City area man among three indicted in alleged terrorist conspiracy in Cameroon By Bill Lukitsch Three U.S. citizens, including one from Lee’s Summit, face criminal charges for allegedly engaging in a conspiracy to support terrorism in the central African nation of Cameroon, federal prosecutors said Monday. Claude Ngenevu Chi, 40; Francis Chenyi Sr., 49, of St. Paul, Minnesota; and Lah Nestor Langmi, 46, of Buffalo, New York, are charged with conspiracy to provide material support for terrorism, receiving money from a ransom demand and money laundering. A grand jury indictment filed in the Western District of Missouri’s Kansas City office was unsealed Monday following the arrests and initial court appearances of all three men. Prosecutors allege the men, all of Cameroonian origin, worked in concert to provide support for a militant separatist group known as the Ambazonia Restoration Forces and other separatists based in the nation’s...

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Inside The Syrian Refugee Camp Where Supplies Are Low And ISIS Fears Run High

NBC News Inside The Syrian Refugee Camp Where Supplies Are Low And ISIS Fears Run High “ISIS can plant a seed in one of those areas based on the conditions and try and grow and foment its radical ideology,” Maj. Gen. Matt McFarlane told NBC News at the camp. By Courtney Kube AL-HOL, Syria — Inside the sprawling refugee camp in this arid corner of northeast Syria, the kids are everywhere. They’re playing soccer next to a sea of tattered white tents. They’re running along a fence littered with trash and empty bottles. And they’re holding up their middle fingers and throwing rocks as an armored U.S. military vehicle approaches. Of the roughly 54,000 residents in the al-Hol refugee camp, nearly half are children under the age of 12. Most fled here with their mothers and extended family members in late 2018 and early 2019 as the Islamic State terrorist group...

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Witness: Walmart shooter seemed to target certain people

AP Witness: Walmart shooter seemed to target certain people By BEN FINLEY CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — The Walmart supervisor who shot and killed six co-workers in Virginia seemed to target people and fired at some victims after they were already hit and appeared to be dead, said a witness who was present when the shooting started. Jessica Wilczewski said that workers were gathered in a store break room to begin their overnight shift late Tuesday when team leader Andre Bing entered and opened fire with a handgun. While another witness has described Bing as shooting wildly, Wilczewski said that she observed him target certain people. “The way he was acting — he was going hunting,” Wilczewski told The Associated Press on Thursday. “The way he was looking at people’s faces and the way he did what he did, he was picking people out.” She said that she observed him shoot at...

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IDF Intel Chief: Iran Considered Carrying Out Terror Attack At World Cup

Newsweek Iran Considered Carrying Out Terror Attack At World Cup: IDF Intel Chief By Zoe Strozewski Iran allegedly considered carrying out a terror attack at the men's soccer World Cup in Qatar in an attempt to disrupt the event, the military intelligence chief of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Monday. Speaking at an Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, Major General Aharon Haliva said that the "only thing" stopping Iran from an act of terror was concern over how host country Qatar might respond, according to The Jerusalem Post. The 2022 World Cup kicked off Sunday and is set to last through December 18. Iran's national team is one of 32 that secured a place in the World Cup, but turmoil at home has shifted additional attention to its participation in the event. Iran began experiencing massive protests and civil unrest after the death in...

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What we know about the Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub shooting

What we know about the Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub shooting By Emma Tucker, Eric Levenson, Michelle Watson, Andy Rose and Amir Vera, CNN A 22-year-old gunman killed five people and injured 25 others in an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, just before midnight Saturday, police said Sunday. The suspect in the shooting at Club Q was identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich, according to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez. After entering the club, he immediately opened fire before at least two people inside the club confronted and fought him, preventing further violence, Vasquez said. The suspect is being treated at a hospital, police said. Officers did not shoot at him, police said. Colorado has seen some of the worst mass shootings in US history, including the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School. Last year in Colorado Springs, a mass shooting at a birthday party left six dead. Here's what we...

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America’s Tactical Nuclear Stand-Down

America’s Tactical Nuclear Stand-Down The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal The Biden Administration has released an unclassified review of American nuclear forces, and buried in the bureaucratic prose is a contradiction. China and Russia are amassing large, diverse nuclear arsenals, but the U.S. is nixing a tactical nuclear missile that could help deter Vladimir Putin and other rogues. The 2022 Nuclear Posture Review says the Biden Team will cancel the nuclear sea-launched cruise missile, known as SLCM-N, which is a planned smaller “tactical” nuke that could be launched from U.S. Navy ships or submarines. The cancellation isn’t a surprise. The Administration zeroed out the missile in its budget proposal this year.   Full story https://www.wsj.com/articles/americas-tactical-nuclear-stand-down-china-russia-missile-nuclear-posture-review-11667573622

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Police Officer Killed In Suspected Brussels Terror Attack

  Associated Press Police Officer Killed In Suspected Brussels Terror Attack By SAMUEL PETREQUIN and RAF CASERT BRUSSELS (AP) — A lone assailant killed one police officer and wounded another Thursday in a stabbing attack that two Belgian judicial officials said was suspected to be terrorism-linked. The suspect was shot and taken to a hospital. Eric Van der Sypt, from the federal prosecutor’s office, told The Associated Press the suspect was wounded by another police officers after the stabbing. Van der Sypt added that investigators suspected the attack took place in a “terrorist context.” The prosecutor’s office told AP it took over the case because there is “a suspicion of a terror attack.” “One of our patrols was attacked by a man armed with a knife,” police said, quoted by the newspaper Le Soir. “The two police officers then called for reinforcements. An officer from another patrol used his firearm to...

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The U.S. military plan to keep ISIS down: Infrastructure

  Politico The U.S. military plan to keep ISIS down: Infrastructure By LARA SELIGMAN, ALEXANDER WARD, MATT BERG and LAWRENCE UKENYE The focus may be on the midterms and the Russia-Ukraine war, but the Pentagon is quietly starting to build infrastructure in Syria for a long-haul fight with the Islamic State. Roughly 900 special forces are still working overtime to help local forces hunt ISIS remnants to keep the terrorist group at bay. The Department of Defense’s latest weapon of choice, though, is improved facilities and services so ISIS can’t break out the 10,000 or so former fighters languishing in crumbling detention centers across Syria. ISIS fighters have targeted these areas multiple times in recent months, most brazenly attacking the Hasakah prison in northeastern Syria in January. Scores of prisoners escaped during the 10-day battle that ensued. “We know that ISIS sees the detention centers, the detainee population, as the path...

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