Homeland Security Network Blog

The information source for first responders.

DHS: Twitter Censorship ‘Threat to Security’


Clarion Project DHS: Twitter Censorship ‘Threat to Security’ Shutting down law enforcement’s ability to communicate leaves the public more vulnerable to ‘threat actors’ by Meira Svirsky On the eve of U.S. elections, where candidates have significant differences on U.S. immigration policy, Twitter censorship shut down the account of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan.Morgan had attempted to tweet out the following information, which was flagged by the tech giant for violating its rules on hateful and violent content:    Having banned the @nypost for daring to report on Joe Biden, Twitter is now banning the *U.S. government* from pointing out facts about border security and illegal immigration.    Walls work,     — Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) October 29, 2020Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf called the censorship a “threat to security” in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, saying it served to “cut off an essential...

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Austria: Police Arrest 30 During 60+ Anti-Terrorism Raids, Says No Link To Vienna Attack


Austria arrests 30 in anti-terrorism raids, says no link to Vienna attack VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian police made 30 arrests in more than 60 raids on Monday as part of an anti-terrorism operation, but there was no link to a deadly attack in Vienna a week ago in which a convicted jihadist killed four people, prosecutors said.Austria has formally remanded in custody 10 suspects in connection with the attack by a 20-year-old gunman who had previously been convicted of trying to join Islamic State in Syria. Police shot him dead minutes after he opened fire on bars and bystanders in central Vienna.Monday's raids on apartments, houses, businesses and association premises in four Austrian provinces targeted people suspected of belonging to or supporting the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the prosecutors' office in the southern city of Graz said."The suspicion is of belonging to a terrorist organisation, financing terrorism,...

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Austria Terror Attack: Gunmen opened fire at 6 shooting locations, two dead and 15 wounded


FOX 13 VIENNA (AP) - Gunmen opened fire on people enjoying a last evening out in Vienna before a coronavirus lockdown Monday in a terror attack that left at least two dead — including one of the attackers — and 15 wounded, authorities said.“I am glad that our police were able to neutralize one of the attackers,” Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said. “We will not never allow ourselves to be intimidated by terrorism and will fight these attacks with all means.”Police said that several shots were fired shortly after 8 p.m. on a lively street in the city center and that there were six shooting locations.Austria’s top security official said that authorities believe there were several gunmen involved and that a police operation was still going on hours later.“It appears to have been a terror attack,” Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told public broadcaster ORF, adding that the assailants were armed with...

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How France is struggling with a spiral of online jihadist hate


  Agence France-Presse THE LOCAL How France is struggling with a spiral of online jihadist hate As France reels from a string of jihadist attacks, the country is caught up in a perilous fight - protecting citizens against extremist propaganda whose potency seems to increase with each horrific killing.Social media has galvanized outrage among many Muslims over the renewed publications of cartoons of Mohammed by the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo -- with tragic consequences that even the heightened scrutiny of intelligence services was unable to prevent.The weekly put the cartoons on its front page in September to mark the trial opening for 14 suspected accomplices of the gunmen who massacred 12 people at its Paris office in January 2015, the beginning of a wave of terror that has left more than 250 people dead on French soil.Later in September, a Pakistani man seeking revenge wounded two people with a meat cleaver...

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Another Beheading in France, More Attacks Amid Escalating Islamist Terror


Clarion Project Another Beheading in France, More Attacks Amid Escalating Islamist Terror Why France? Why now? by Meira Svirsky In the past two weeks, France has seen three apparent Islamist terror attacks in the wake of the trial of the accomplices in the 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacres. On October 16, in broad daylight, French schoolteacher Samuel Paty, 47, was beheaded on a suburban street for teaching his students a required lesson about free speech. The community had been agitating against Paty for showing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons in the context of his lesson and the ongoing trial. False information had been circulating about him and what he was teaching. Paty was murdered close to the school where he taught, by an 18-year-old Chechen immigrant (identified only as Abdoulakh A.) who had come to France as a child refugee.On October 29, three people were stabbed to death inside a church in Nice by...

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Report: Mossad brought Chinese coronavirus vaccine to Israel


Jerusalem Post Mossad brought Chinese coronavirus vaccine to Israel The report comes as countries and companies around the world race to develop a vaccine. By YONAH JEREMY BOB, MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN The Mossad brought China’s coronavirus vaccine to Israel in recent weeks in order to study and learn from it, Channel 12 reported on Monday. Multiple government sources indirectly confirmed the report.The report comes as countries and companies around the world race to develop a vaccine, with cyberattacks and espionage reported against a number of developers.Israel is trying to reach agreements to purchase coronavirus vaccines from several other potential developers, according to a senior Health Ministry official who is in the know.“There are several diplomatic efforts going on behind the scenes,” he told The Jerusalem Post in a private briefing. “We are trying everything we can to ensure Israeli citizens have access to a vaccine as soon as possible.” However, it was...

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Syrian ISIS terrorist 'who stabbed tourist to death in Germany' was under observation on the day of the attack


Daily Mail Syrian ISIS terrorist 'who stabbed tourist to death in Germany' wanted to slaughter Christians and cut out their tongues - and was under observation on the day of the attack Abdullah AHH, 20, is charged with murder and attempted murder for the attackThomas L, 55, was stabbed to death and another man, 53, was seriously injuredAHH had been released from juvenile prison five days before the Dresden attackWhile living in asylum in Germany he threatened members of other faiths   By Joe Davies For Mailonline A Syrian ISIS terrorist who is accused of stabbing a tourist to death in Germany while under observation wanted to cut out Christians' tongues, it has been revealed.Abdullah AHH, 20, was arrested on Wednesday for the attack which saw Thomas L, 55, stabbed to death and another man, 53, seriously injured in Dresden on October 4. Full story https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8871315/Syrian-ISIS-terrorist-stabbed-tourist-death-Germany-wanted-cut-Christians-tongues.html  

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Al Qaeda's second-in-command on FBI's most wanted list 'killed by Afghan security forces'


SKYNEWS Al Qaeda's second-in-command on FBI's most wanted list 'killed by Afghan security forces'Abu Muhsin al-Masri was charged with conspiracy to kill US nationals and providing resources to a foreign terrorist organisation. The man believed to be al Qaeda's second-in-command has been killed, Afghan security forces have said.Abu Muhsin al-Masri was on the FBI's most wanted list and was charged with conspiracy to kill US nationals. He was killed in a special operation in Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan, the country's national directorate of security said in a tweet. It added that al-Masri was al Qaeda's supreme leader in the Indian subcontinent.He had also been charged in America with providing material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organisation.The FBI said he sometimes went by the name Husam Abd-al-Ra'uf and was an Egyptian national.It is 19 years this month since the US invaded Afghanistan in the wake of the 11 September...

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France to ban radical groups after beheading of history teacher


Financial Times Islamist killing prompts French crackdown on militants Macron government to ban radical groups after beheading of history teacher by Victor MalletPresident Emmanuel Macron’s government has launched a crackdown on Islamists in France after the decapitation of a history teacher by a Chechen Muslim refugee, questioning dozens of militants suspected of promoting violence and announcing plans to ban radical organisations. “Islamists should not be able to sleep easy in our country,” Mr Macron said after an emergency inner cabinet meeting at the Elysée Palace on Sunday with Jean Castex, the prime minister, and Jean-François Ricard, the anti-terrorism prosecutor. “Fear is going to change sides.” Gérald Darmanin, interior minister, said on Monday he had ordered the closure of the Pantin mosque in Seine-Saint-Denis north of Paris after it re-broadcast a video condemning the teacher Samuel Paty.He also said he would propose a ban on several organisations deemed “separatist” for seeking to...

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A Trial in Europe Examines Iran’s Terror Ties


U.S. News & World Report A Trial in Europe Examines Iran’s Terror Ties The trial of an Iranian diplomat may expose Tehran’s diplomatic networks as agents of terror. By Tom Ridge, Contributor Nov. 3 will be an important date for the American people, since they will elect their next president. Another day in November that will be important in the context of the next presidency's battle against terrorism will be Nov. 27.A trial is currently scheduled to begin in Belgium on that day for a senior sitting Iranian diplomat who was arrested as the mastermind behind what would have been one of the largest-ever terrorist attacks on European soil. Assadollah Assadi was stationed at the Iranian Embassy in Vienna in June 2018 when two Iranian-Belgian operatives allegedly attempted to carry 500 grams of TAPT high-explosives to a large international gathering of Iranian dissidents near Paris. It was later reported that Assadi...

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Grisly beheading of teacher in terror attack rattles France


  ABC News Grisly beheading of teacher in terror attack rattles France For the second time in three weeks, terror struck France, this time with the gruesome beheading of a teacher in a street in a Paris suburb By ELAINE GANLEY Associated Press PARIS -- For the second time in three weeks, terror struck France, this time with the gruesome beheading of a history teacher in a street in a Paris suburb. The suspected attacker was shot and killed by police.French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he called an “Islamist terrorist attack” and urged the nation to stand united against extremism. The teacher had discussed caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad with his class, authorities said.The French anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation for murder with a suspected terrorist motive. Four people, one a minor, were detained hours later, the office of anti-terror prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said without elaborating. Police typically fan out...

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The Cole attack — more than 9/11 — predicted America’s challenges in the 21st century


Air Force Times by Justin Conrad  Al-Qaida’s attack against the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Cole ­­­occurred 20 years ago, but the powerful lessons of the tragedy reverberate today. The attack was unprecedented: a major U.S. warship targeted in peacetime by an extremist organization. Seventeen sailors dead and 39 injured.For those of us who have served in the U.S. Navy since that time, the attack is frequently invoked to warn young sailors about the dangers of complacency. The incident and its aftermath led to many important changes in how the Navy conducts business, and how it protects its forces. It also predicted America’s larger struggles with terrorism, extremism and indeed, its own place in the world. In many ways, the USS Cole foreshadowed the future more accurately than the attacks of Sept. 11 the following year.  In the short period of time between the two attacks, the country learned a painful...

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Mapping Jihadi Ecosystems Across Social Media Platforms


Clarion Project Mapping Jihadi Ecosystems Across Social Media Platforms Caution against taking our eye off these extremists while focusing on domestic terrorists and COVID by Shireen Qudosi Even though the Department of Homeland Security just identified white supremacism as the most persistent and lethal threat facing the United States today, former al-Qaeda propagandist Jesse Morton cautions that we still need to be weary of jihadi ecosystems. Discussing why it’s important to keep a focus on jihadism as the counter terror focus shifts to domestic violent extremism, Morton sat down with Dr. Michael Krona to discuss jihadi propaganda across social media networks.Krona is an assistant professor at Malmo University and focuses on Islamic State propaganda. He is also the co-editor and author of The Media World of ISIS.Morton was an active extremist with al-Qaeda from 2003 through 2011 who now runs Light Upon Light and Parallel Networks, where he builds alternate systems...

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Aviation Cybersecurity: Could the Strongest Link Become the Weakest?


Homeland Security Today Aviation Cybersecurity – Could the Strongest Link Become the Weakest? by Kylie BielbyThe Federal Aviation Administration is putting airlines, travelers and the United States at risk from cyber attacks, according to a rather damning report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).GAO highlighted a number of weaknesses in the FAA’s cyber defense of avionics systems, including a failure to test vulnerable systems, a lack of cybersecurity training, and not prioritizing cyber risks.The FAA received $3 million in funding in fiscal year 2017 to develop and implement an integrated cyber testbed at the FAA Technical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to address cybersecurity requirements for air traffic control and to identify and address cybersecurity risks in avionics systems. However, FAA officials told the recent GAO review that the cyber testbed does not test avionics systems for cyber vulnerabilities.Terrorism’s big prizeModern commercial airplanes use avionics systems and networks to share...

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'Mass-Casualty Event': Here's How Bad Far-Left Extremism Is Getting -- And Why Experts Are Worried


  The Daily Caller News Foundation 'Mass-Casualty Event': Here's How Bad Far-Left Extremism Is Getting -- And Why Experts Are Worried by Peter Hasson A new academic paper studying the rise of violent, far-left extremist networks warns of the possibility of “attacks on vital infrastructure” and even a potential “mass-casualty event.”The Network Contagion Research Institute’s report warns that militant anarcho-socialist networks are instigating violence in ways that parallel Islamist terrorists and white supremacist groups.The NCRI’s alerts have proved prescient in the past: the institute released a report warning of spikes in anti-Semitic extremism shortly before the October 2018 Tree of Life Synagogue mass shooting that left 11 people dead.The new report, which was released on Sept. 14 has received little media attention but sounds alarms about an “online structure supporting anarcho-socialist extremism” that “appears to be rapidly growing” and supporting real-world violence. Full story https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/01/far-left-extremism-anarcho-socialist-violence-network-contagion-research-institute/

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France: More Terrorism, More Silence


France: More Terrorism, More Silence by Giulio Meotti  •  Gatestone Institute This brand of extremism has also managed to transform many European citizens into prisoners, people hiding in their own countries, sentenced to death and forced to live in houses unknown even to their friends and families. And we got used to it! "[T]his lack of courage to follow in Charlie's footsteps comes at a price, we are losing freedom of speech and an insidious form of self-censorship is gaining ground." — Flemming Rose, Le Point, September 2, 2020. "To put it simply, freedom of speech is in bad shape around the world. Including in Denmark, France and throughout the West. These are troubled times; people prefer order and security to freedom." — Flemming Rose, Le Point, August 15, 2020. On September 25, in Paris, two people were stabbed and seriously wounded outside the former offices of Charlie Hebdo, where 12...

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Burned California town shares lessons learned from wildfires


Mail Tribute Burned California town shares lessons learned from fireby Vickie Aldous Fire resilienceBoth the Almeda fire and Woolsey fire were fast-moving infernos driven by hot, dry winds. At the time each started, Malibu and Jackson County were under red flag warnings due to wind and the extreme risk of fire.The city of Malibu thought it was reasonably prepared for a fire. It had tested its reverse 9-1-1 system that sends out emergency alerts and had satellite phones and other gear to deal with disruptions.“We’re disaster central. We frequently burn,” Feldman said.But the Woolsey fire was only one of three major fires that broke out that day in California, including the Camp fire that leveled Paradise, California, and killed more than 80 people. The Woolsey fire killed three and forced the evacuation of more than 295,000 people.As the fire advanced toward Malibu, firefighters tried to use a major highway as a...

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Australia: Fake Suncorp Stadium, petrol station built at new counterterrorism centre


Brisbane Times Fake Suncorp Stadium, petrol station built at new counter-terrorism centreBy Lydia Lynch Fake Suncorp Stadium seating, a petrol station and shops have been built to help train police against a "probable" terror attack in Queensland.The new counter-terrorism training centre at Wacol includes a "scenario village" fitted out with train carriages, a bus, an office block and a shopping plaza. "We chose buildings where we have complex issues so they truly replicate where we have had issues in the past," Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said.At capacity, the centre will host more than 7500 police and 600 recruits each year. Australia's terrorism threat level remains at "probable" and was elevated in 2014 in the months before the G20 summit was held in Brisbane.Since September 2014, there have been 16 major disruption operations in relation to imminent attack planning and seven terrorist attacks targeting people in Australia. Full story https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/fake-suncorp-stadium-petrol-station-built-at-new-counter-terrorism-centre-20200928-p55zwm.html

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Feds Say ISIS Supporters Targeted NYC Locations to ‘Send a Message'


NBC 4 New York ISIS Supporters Targeted NYC Locations to ‘Send a Message,' Feds Say Federal investigators filed a complaint last week alleging two men intended to attack locations around the country, including the New York Stock Exchange and Trump Tower in Manhattan, on behalf of ISIS.The FBI identified Jaylyn Molina and Kristopher Matthews, from Texas and South Carolina respectively, face charges of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, they each face up to 20 years in prison and fines up to a quarter of a million dollars.Detailed in a 14-page criminal complaint filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio, the investigators allege Molina and Matthews engaged in encrypted communication for several months discussing anti-American sentiment and detailing specific plans to coordinate attacks in the U.S. Molina and Matthews used encrypted chat groups to "promote radical...

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Iraqi Security Forces Thwart ISIS Infiltration Attempt On Border


Asharq Al-Awsat Iraqi Security Forces Thwart ISIS Infiltration Attempt On Border Baghdad- Asharq Al-AwsatThe Iraqi National Security Forces thwarted an infiltration attempt of ISIS terrorists on the western border with Syria, in Nineveh. The Security Media Cell issued a statement Monday, announcing that units of the National Security Agency received intelligence information about possible infiltrations in various spots. The intelligence teams set several ambushes and were able to arrest three terrorists, including a Syrian national.During interrogation, they admitted to being members of the ISIS terrorist organization and that they participated in most of the battles against the Iraqi forces. Based on their confessions, the terrorists were planning to form new military detachments to carry out terrorist operations.In addition, the intelligence agency announced that it arrested 10 terrorists in Saladin governorate, north of Baghdad.The agency said in a statement that through continuous monitoring, its units arrested 10 wanted terrorists, in accordance with...

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