Homeland Security Network Blog

The information source for first responders.

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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As ISIS Presence Dwindles, U.S. Troops In Iraq Face Other Threats


  PBS News Hour As ISIS Presence Dwindles, U.S. Troops In Iraq Face Other Threats In the latest targeting of American troops in Iraq, an unexploded rocket landed close to a military base on Sunday. There were no serious damages. Today around 2,500 U.S. troops remain in the country as part of a multinational fight against ISIS. While it is the lowest U.S. military presence there in two decades, and ISIS has lost significant territory, fears of resurgence in case of a troop pullout remain. Special Correspondent Leila Molana-Allen and videographer Adrian Hartrick report. TranscriptHari Sreenivasan:    An unexploded rocket landed close to a military base hosting U.S. troops in northern Iraq today. There was no significant damage but the attack was the latest targeting the American military presence in the country. About 2,500 U.S. troops remain in Iraq as part of the multinational coalition force in the fight against ISIS. It's...

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IDF Hits Gaza Terror Targets After Arson Attacks, In First Raids Since Ceasefire


The Times Of Israel IDF Hits Gaza Terror Targets After Arson Attacks, In First Raids Since Ceasefire After two dozen fires in southern Israel, army says it struck Hamas ‘terror sites’ in Khan Younis and Gaza City; initial Palestinian reports say none injured By TOI staff and Judah Ari Gross    The Israel Defense Forces carried out a series of airstrikes throughout the Gaza Strip early Wednesday morning in response to over two dozen fires in southern Israel caused by incendiary devices launched from the coastal enclave.This was the first exchange between terror groups in Gaza and the IDF since last month’s 11-day conflict in the Strip.The IDF said it was prepared for the possibility that fighting may again break out between Israel and the enclave.Footage posted by Palestinian media outlets in Gaza showed explosions lighting up the sky in both the northern and southern Strip overnight Tuesday-Wednesday, with reporters saying sites...

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Iran-Backed Militias Display Long-Range Drone Power In Regional Escalation


  The National Iran-Backed Militias Display Long-Range Drone Power In Regional Escalation by Robert Tollast Tehran has long been suspected of equipping Iraqi militias with drones to hit non-military targets, including oil infrastructure Iran-backed militias in Iraq have revealed a collection of long-range drones that could hit other countries in the region, including Israel.On Sunday, video footage emerged of Iraqi groups in the Popular Mobilisation Forces, an umbrella organisation of militias, parading an array of apparently new unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. Most PMF groups are trained, advised and equipped by Iran, although they have formal status in Iraq's armed forces.“What I found interesting is that they showed Sammad/UAV-X type drones. Depending on the version, these should have the ability to strike Israel from Iraq,” said Fabian Hinz, an independent expert on drone and missile technology proliferation.PMF groups have used drones since at least 2014, usually smaller ones, in the war...

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‘Hack The Army’ Uncovers 238 Cyber Vulnerabilities


  ‘Hack The Army’ Uncovers 238 Cyber Vulnerabilities Breaking Defense "We cannot afford a ‘next time we will do better’ mentality," said one Defense Digital Service participant. "I strongly believe a proactive approach is critical, which means finding potential problems and addressing them before they are realized." By Brad D. Williams WASHINGTON: The third annual Hack the Army event uncovered 238 security vulnerabilities — 102 rated “high” or “critical” — in Army tech.The bug bounty event, which began in January and ran for six weeks, invited military and civilian security researchers to find vulnerabilities within a limited time frame. This allows the Army to proactively fix the prospective cyber targets, ideally before a bad guy can exploit them.For perspective, Hack the Pentagon found 138 unique, validated vulnerabilities in 2017, Hack The Army found 118 late fall, and Hack the Air Force found 207, according to a story Sydney did on the...

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Synthetic Bioweapons Are Coming


U.S. Naval Institute Synthetic Bioweapons Are Coming Emerging and Disruptive Technology Essay Contest–First Prize Gene-editing advances pose a serious threat. By Michael KnutzenJune 2021 The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed critical weaknesses in the human domain of warfare at just the moment technology has emerged that gives bad actors new power to exploit those weaknesses. Developments in synthetic biology will create next-generation bioweapons, “human-domain fires” that will fundamentally change the strategic environment and create a threat naval planners must consider now, before it is encountered at sea.A Human-Domain PlagueIn a March 2020 press release praising the effectiveness of its preventative medicine, the Navy proudly declared: “No cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed aboard any U.S. 7th Fleet Navy vessel.”1 One week later, cases were spreading so rapidly, the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) effectively became a “mission-kill.”COVID-19 has demonstrated that biological threats are almost entirely unaffected by sophisticated kinetic, cyber, and electromagnetic defenses....

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U.S. Seizes Share Of Ransom From Hackers In Colonial Pipeline Attack


  The New York Times U.S. Seizes Share Of Ransom From Hackers In Colonial Pipeline Attack The cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline last month shut down its computer systems, leading to soaring gas prices and panic buying.By Katie Benner and Nicole PerlrothWASHINGTON — The Justice Department said on Monday that it had seized much of the ransom that a major U.S. pipeline operator had paid last month to a Russian hacking collective, turning the tables on the hackers by reaching into a digital wallet to snatch back millions of dollars in cryptocurrency.Investigators in recent weeks traced 75 Bitcoins worth more than $4 million that Colonial Pipeline had paid to the hackers as the attack shut down its computer systems, prompting fuel shortages, a spike in gasoline prices and chaos at airlines.Federal investigators tracked the ransom as it moved through a maze of at least 23 different electronic accounts belonging to DarkSide, the...

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ISWAP Militant Group Says Nigeria’s Boko Haram Leader Is Dead


  ISWAP Militant Group Says Nigeria’s Boko Haram Leader Is Dead Reuters The Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) militant group said in an audio recording heard by Reuters on Sunday that Abubakar Shekau, leader of rival Nigerian militant Islamist group Boko Haram, was dead.Shekau died around May 18 after detonating an explosive device when he was pursued by ISWAP fighters following a battle, a person purporting to be ISWAP leader Abu Musab al-Barnawi said on the audio recording."Abubakar Shekau, God has judged him by sending him to heaven," he can be heard saying.Two people familiar with al-Barnawi told Reuters the voice on the recording was that of the ISWAP leader. A Nigerian intelligence report shared by a government official and Boko Haram researchers have also said Shekau is dead.Last month, Nigeria’s military said it was investigating Shekau’s alleged death, also reported in Nigerian and foreign news outlets. The audio statement,...

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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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