Homeland Security Network Blog

The information source for first responders.

Air Force Enhances Special Warfare Training


National Defense Magazine Air Force Enhances Special Warfare TrainingBy Yasmin Tadjdeh Special operators are known for tackling some of the military’s toughest and most grueling missions. With that often comes both physical and mental stresses that can wear commandos down over time.To better prepare elite personnel for challenging environments, the Air Force is improving how it trains them through the use of innovative technology and techniques.“Human performance experts and technologies are being used after the Air Force identified that Special Warfare candidates and operators were facing injuries and challenges that could be mitigated with upfront training,” Chief Master Sgt. Joshua Smith, Special Warfare human performance program manager, said in a statement. “Our goal is to provide our students with an agile training pipeline that provides tools and knowledge that helps prevent injuries during training and throughout their careers.”The Air Force established the Special Warfare human performance support group in 2018 under...

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DHS and Partners Coordinated to Secure Super Bowl LV


DHS and Partners Coordinate to Secure Super Bowl LV Homeland Security TodayDavid Pekoske, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, this week met with local law enforcement officials and the National Football League (NFL) to review Department of Homeland Security (DHS) operations to help ensure the safety and security of employees, players, and fans during Super Bowl LV.  Dozens of federal agencies and components, including DHS, are contributing to security measures seen and unseen in connection with the Super Bowl.“While the football teams are on the field, we will be all around it,” Pekoske said. “In addition to the outstanding efforts of the Tampa Police Department, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, and the NFL Security Team, more than 500 DHS personnel will be working to secure the Super Bowl on Sunday. This is truly a collaborative effort.”As with past Super Bowls, this event was...

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British Troops Begin Missions In Mali Amid Islamist Insurgency


The Independent British Troops Begin Missions In Mali Amid Islamist Insurgency 300 British troops sent to west African nation as part of UN peacekeeping force by Kim Sengupta British troops sent to Mali as part of an international force facing an Islamist insurgency have started carrying out missions in an area which has seen extensive jihadist violence and had come under attack recent attacks.  Around 200 troops and 60 armoured cars took part in their first reconnaissance and intelligence gathering patrol in a conflict which has drawn in al-Qaeda and Isis against a background of political turbulence in the country following a military coup.    The 300 British troops, part of a UN peacekeeping force, are operating under a Chinese senior officer in the local chain of command at Gao, in the east of the country.  Beijing started sending troops to Mali two years ago to join the UN Minusma mission :...

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U.S. Airstrike Kills Top ISIS Leader In Iraq


The New York Times U.S. Airstrike Kills Top ISIS Leader In Iraq By Jane Arraf and Falih HassanBAGHDAD — American airstrikes in a joint mission with Iraqi forces have killed the top Islamic State leader in Iraq, an attack aimed at stemming the group’s resurgence and exacting retribution for a deadly double-suicide bombing in Baghdad last week.The ISIS commander, Jabbar Salman Ali Farhan al-Issawi, 43, known as Abu Yasser, was killed Wednesday near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, American-led military coalition and Iraqi officials said Friday.The Islamic State no longer holds territory in Iraq but has continued to carry out deadly attacks. The question of what kind of force is required to keep the group in check has been at the heart of American and Iraqi negotiations over reducing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, and the American role in the raid this week illustrates Iraq’s continued reliance on...

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Texas Wannabe ISIS Terrorist Pleads Guilty To Providing Materials To Brutal Group


Fox News Texas Wannabe ISIS Terrorist Pleads Guilty To Providing Materials To Brutal Group The wannabe terrorist admitted that since May 2019, he conspired with 34-year-old South Carolina resident Kristopher Sean Matthews, aka Ali Jibreel, and others to provide services to ISIS. By Bradford Betz A 22-year-old Texas man pleaded guilty Monday to providing material support to ISIS, federal prosecutors said.Jaylyn Christopher Molina, aka Abdur Rahim, of Cost, Texas, appeared in court in San Antonio before U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Farrer. Molina pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS and one count of receiving child pornography.The wannabe terrorist admitted that since May 2019, he conspired with 34-year-old South Carolina resident Kristopher Sean Matthews, aka Ali Jibreel, and others to provide services to ISIS. These services included, among other things, administering an encrypted chat group for ISIS supporters, collecting, generating and disseminating pro-ISIS propaganda, attempting to...

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Turkey Faces Mysterious Jihadi Enemies In Idlib


Al Monitor by Fehim Tastekin Turkey Faces Mysterious Jihadi Enemies In Idlib Turkish forces continue to expand their presence around the key M4 highway in Idlib as attacks by new groups fuel uncertainties in the rebel-held region. Obscure jihadist groups have stepped up attacks on Turkish forces in Syria’s rebel-held province of Idlib, adding to Turkey’s dilemmas amid the fragile status quo in the region. Al-Qaeda-inspired groups such as Hurras al-Din stood out as potential troublemakers when Turkish forces began to reinforce their presence around the key M4 highway last year, coordinating with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the dominant rebel group in Idlib. Caucasian fighters, concentrated in Jisr al-Shughur and the Latakia countryside, were not seen as an immediate threat, though they share the jihadi ideology.The attacks on the Turkish forces, however, have come from unexpected assailants.A group calling itself the Khattab al-Shishani Brigade claimed the first three attacks, which targeted...

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Defining 'Metrics' to Measure Radical Islam is Vital to Defeating It


by Tawfik Hamid  •  Gatestone Institute   Al-Azhar, the most respected Islamic university and organization in the Sunni world, is not – by their own definition – a terrorist organization. Yet the question remains. Is al-Azhar truly moderate, or could it be radical? If we fail to establish clear definitions, we can create chaotic situations that result in our asking radical institutions to help us counter radicalism. It is notable in this context to mention that French President Emmanuel Macron met with the Grand Imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar University, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and called for all French imams to be trained at the Al-Azhar religious institution. The President of France probably has asked for this form of training without determining if Al-Azhar itself was a radical organization or a moderate one. Other metrics of Islamic radicalism such as accepting child marriage, considering the lives of Muslims to be more precious than the...

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Security for Places of Worship: Becoming a ’Hunter’ rather than a ‘Fisherman’


  SECURITY FOR PLACES OF WORSHIP   Since 2004, Security Solutions International SSI has provided more than 3000 agencies and corporations the finest security training both here and abroad. One of our premiere training partners has now converted their offerings to 100% virtual. Take advantage of Israeli expertise without the costs of bringing in experts – and all content is live – NO PRE-RECORDED TRAINING. With one 3 hour session over 4 weeks (total 12 hours) you will:   Learning Objectives Familiarize the participants with the counter terrorism world and threat environment and the implications it has on the security work. The trainees will gain a familiarity with the threats and a “Tool-Box” and knowledge base for preforming their security task in a counter-terrorism context both in routine and emergency.   Who should attend Security OperatorsSecurity ManagersSecurity VolunteersShift Managers   What you will learn Red Team ExercisesUnderstanding the threatThe Cycle of...

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Islamic State Fighters Temporarily Capture Nigerian Military Base, Force Residents To Flee


Islamic State Fighters Temporarily Capture Nigerian Military Base, Force Residents To FleeThe Christian Post Militants believed to be aligned with the Islamic State temporarily overran a town and military base near Lake Chad in Nigeria’s troubled Borno state, forcing many residents to flee for their lives as the rise of extremism continues to plague the northeast part of the West African country. Brig. Gen. Sagir Musa, the director of the Nigerian Army’s public relations unit, said in a statement shared by the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday that military troops were able to regain control of the Marte area of Borno following an attack by extremists believed to be affiliated with the Islamic State West Africa Province.  The attack, which security sources said was claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group through its Amaq News Agency, occurred Friday and drove military personnel from the area. The Islamic State claimed to...

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Dozens killed, some decapitated, in suspected rebel attack in the Democratic Republic of Congo


Dozens killed, some decapitated, in suspected rebel attack in the Democratic Republic of CongoBy Gabrielle Nina Mitch and Eoin McSweeney, CNN  (CNN)Forty-six people from the ethnic Pygmy group were killed -- some of them decapitated -- on Wednesday in a suspected militant attack in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo, according to an NGO official based in the central African country. An armed group shot civilians and decapitated others with machetes in Ambedi, a village in Irumu territory in Ituri province, said Christophe Munyanderu, regional coordinator for the NGO Convention pour le respect de droit de l'homme, or Convention for the Respect of Human Rights. A spokesman for the Armed Forces of the DRC in Ituri attributed the attack to the Allied Democratic Forces, a rebel group that operates in the region. Two of the assailants were arrested and are currently under interrogation, the spokesman said. Most of the victims were women...

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MS-13’s Highest Ranking Leaders Charged With Terrorism Offenses In US


Fox News MS-13’s Highest Ranking Leaders Charged With Terrorism Offenses In US Most of the men named in the indictment are imprisoned in El Salvador, 3 remain at-large By Louis Casiano Federal authorities have charged multiple leaders of the MS-13 criminal gang with terrorism offenses, the Justice Department announced Thursday. In the indictment, filed in Central Islip, N.Y., where MS-13 members have committed a series of brutal slayings, 14 members of the transnational gang were charged. The leaders -- known as la Ranfla Nacional -- are charged with providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism, conspiracy to finance terrorism to conspiracy narco-terrorism."The indictment announced today is the highest-reaching and most sweeping indictment targeting MS-13 and its command and control structure in U.S. history," acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement. Authorities said Borromeo Enrique Henriquez, who is regarded as the most powerful member of Ranfla...

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US puts Cuba back on 'state sponsor of terrorism' list


DW US puts Cuba back on 'state sponsor of terrorism' listThe outgoing Trump administration hit Cuba with new terrorism sanctions shortly before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. The US State Department put Cuba back on a blacklist designating it a "state sponsor of terrorism" on Monday.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the move in a statement, noting Cuba's harboring of US fugitives as well as its support for Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro. It's the latest in a series of major policy moves made by President Donald Trump's administration before President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20.Cuba was removed from the list in 2015 by then-president Barack Obama as he moved to normalize relations with the country.What did Pompeo say?Pompeo said Cuba was being blacklisted again for "repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism" as well as harboring US fugitives and Colombian rebel leaders."With this action, we will once again...

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US Defenses Against Chinese Cyber Offenses


US Defenses Against Chinese Cyber Offensesby Shoshana Bryen Gatestone Institute [M]uch of the world is organizing to roadblock China's march to dominance in 5G telecommunications. That is, to get China's spying out of our system – although we are far from done, there is a lot of 2020 to build on in 2021. Early in 2020, Huawei announced it had 91 commercial 5G contracts outside of China, including 47 in Europe and 20 in Asia. China's goal was threefold: to broaden its capabilities in domestic spying, to broaden its worldwide ability to steal Western technology -- and, in particular, to infiltrate Western defense capabilities Beijing inserted itself, often illegally, into American research institutions. And inserted spyware – hardware and software – into computers made in China and exported to the West. In the case of Super Micro Computers, providing services to Amazon, investigators discovered that extra microchips were implanted on boards...

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Yemen's rebels defiant as aid agencies fear US terror label


Washington Times Yemen's rebels defiant as aid agencies fear US terror label  By MAGGIE MICHAEL - Associated Press CAIRO (AP) - Yemen’s Iran-backed rebels on Monday dismissed the U.S. move to designate them a terrorist organization in the final days of the Trump administration while a leading aid agency warned such a designation would deal another “devastating blow” to the impoverished and war-torn nation.The planned designation, announced by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo late Sunday, would take effect a day before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20. It was not clear whether Biden would overturn the decision.Yemen is mired in a disastrous humanitarian crisis, with millions of people in wide swaths of the country on the brink of famine as a result of six years of civil war. Pompeo said he was proceeding with the designation of the rebels, known as Houthis, along with separate terrorist designations for the...

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Terrorism in real time


The Times of Israel by Ruth Lieberman I was just sitting at our dining room table, attending an academic lecture via zoom, when – SHOTS. Fired. I’m sure of it. One set of about five-six shots. And another round, five-ish seconds later. My first instinct – click my class’ zoom camera off (!) and then call upstairs to help lock up the house. Within 20 seconds of the shooting/s we were locked down and checking for information. Nothing on the news channels – well, of course, we just heard the shots, no sirens yet either. And then all hell broke loose – neighbors texting, sirens blaring, vehicles from an army base zoom past and police cars too (I’ve become somewhat of a maven on different emergency vehicles, over 2 decades of life here).Then the news trickles in. Terror attack on the sidewalk just beyond our back walkway. On the sidewalk leading...

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INTERPOL: Terrorist groups using COVID-19 to reinforce power and influence


INTERPOL The impact of COVID-19 on global terrorism, trends and potential risks related to attacks on vulnerable targets and bioterrorism is the focus of a new report issued by INTERPOL. LYON, France – The impact of COVID-19 on global terrorism, trends and potential risks related to attacks on vulnerable targets and bioterrorism is the focus of a new report issued by INTERPOL. The assessment, which is for law enforcement use only, takes into consideration the following five main threat factors: COVID-19 outbreak characteristics and medical advancesGlobal or national responseSocial climateResilience of the security apparatusStrategies and capabilities of terrorists and other non-state actors (NSAs) As COVID-19 cases subside in some regions and surge in others, the report underlines the critical need to monitor the reaction and response by terrorist networks, violent extremist groups, and other potentially dangerous NSAs. Economic impact Early in the pandemic, certain terrorist groups and other NSAs used the...

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New UNO counterterrorism center will aid in Homeland Security's bioterrorism exercise in February


Omaha News Herald New UNO counterterrorism center will aid in Homeland Security's bioterrorism exercise in Februaryby Steve Liewer When the Ebola virus struck West Africa in 2014 and the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Wuhan, China, last year, federal officials quickly tapped experts at the University of Nebraska for assistance.Now it’s becoming clearer: If terrorists ever unleashed a virus as a biological weapon, Washington would look to Nebraska for help again.Earlier this month, a top member of the Department of Homeland Security’s counterterrorism team visited Omaha and Lincoln to learn about the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s biocontainment program and tour the hospital’s quarantine facilities.Dave Richardson, an assistant secretary who heads DHS’s Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office, hopes to involve NU in a DHS exercise in February that will test how well the far-flung government agencies that would handle a bioterrorism attack would respond.“It helps to get Nebraska on DHS’...

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Why the US Needs to Help Morocco


  Why the US Needs to Help Morocco   by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  Gatestone Institute   Morocco's General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST) announced last month that the Moroccan authorities have dismantled 207 terrorist cells since 2002. As for Morocco... it is the Islamists, and not Israel, who have "corrupted the minds of Moroccans, sowed the seeds of discord among them, brought Moroccan education to the brink of bankruptcy and legitimized ignorance." — Ahmed Assid, professor of philosophy and activist, kifache.com, December 15, 2020. "The rhetoric of hostility and the threat of throwing the Jews into the sea won Israel widespread international sympathy. The Palestinians have missed many opportunities, and they have been chasing the illusions given to them by the [Arab] regimes..." — Sa'id Al-Kahal, a secular Moroccan author, hespress.com, January 23, 2020. If the new US administration wants peace in the region to hold, it needs to maintain...

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Nashville explosion: Motives still unclear in Nashville 'suicide bomb'


Nashville explosion: Motives still unclear in Nashville 'suicide bomb' BBC US investigators are trying to find out why a 63-year-old computer consultant detonated a bomb that killed himself and injured three others in Nashville.The suspect in the Christmas Day attack has been named as Anthony Quinn Warner.But a motive is yet to be established. Warner's criminal record only consisted of an 1978 marijuana-related charge.Investigators have searched Warner's home and visited a company where he worked but one investigator said he was "not on our radar"."We are all taking pieces of the puzzle, working to determine what the motivation was for this individual."Police responded to reports of gunshots just before 06:00 local time (12:00 GMT) on 25 December in an area of the city known for its restaurants and nightlife.Shortly afterwards, they found a camper van broadcasting a warning message to leave the area. Police said the van had also broadcast the...

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FBI confirms Anthony Warner as Nashville bomber


Washington Examiner FBI confirms Anthony Warner was Nashville bomber by Tyler Van Dyke The FBI has confirmed that Anthony Warner, 63, was the culprit behind a Christmas Day bombing in downtown Nashville."Based on the evidence that we got at this point, we’ve come to the conclusion that an individual named Anthony Warner is the bomber," U.S. Attorney Don Cochran said, adding that Warner perished in the explosion.The explosion left at least three people hospitalized and 41 businesses damaged — perhaps most significantly an AT&T facility adjacent to where the RV that exploded was positioned. The blast caused outages in parts of Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky and affected services ranging from residential phones to 911 services.Tennessee Bureau of Investigations Director David Rausch acknowledged the "collaborative effort" that took place to conduct the investigation and the "agents, analysts, and scientists that have been assisting in this investigation from the start." Rausch said Warner's...

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