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  The Chicago Times Fear and confusion as al-Shabab fighters overran a U.S. airfield in Kenya by Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Eric Schmitt, Charlie Savage and Helene Cooper Armed with rifles and explosives, about a dozen al-Shabab fighters destroyed an American surveillance plane as it was taking off and ignited an hourslong gunfight this month on a sprawling military base in Kenya that houses U.S. troops. By the time al-Shabab was done, portions of the airfield were burning and three Americans were dead.Surprised by the attack, U.S. commandos took around an hour to respond. Many of the local Kenyan forces, assigned to defend the base, hid in the grass, while other U.S. troops and support staff were corralled into tents, with little protection, to wait out the battle. It would require hours to evacuate one of the wounded to a military hospital in Djibouti, roughly 1,500 miles away. The brazen assault at...
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Military Times Joint Syria Raid Killed ISIS Oil Official Who Financed Sleeper Cells By Chad GarlandIRBIL, Iraq -- An Islamic State group official who oversaw oil and gas operations and helped finance sleeper cells was killed last week in a joint coalition special operations raid with Syrian partner forces, the military said.The ISIS official known by the pseudonym Abu al-Ward al-Iraqi was killed along with another militant who officials have not yet identified during the raid in Deir al-Zour province on Jan. 14, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said in a statement on Sunday.Al-Iraqi's death "disrupts and degrades" ISIS's ability to finance terrorist activities in the Middle Euphrates River Valley along the Iraq-Syria border, said U.S. Army Col. Myles B. Caggins III, a military spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, via email.It's among the latest takedowns of top ISIS leaders since the killing in late October of the group's leader, Abu...

Apple And The FBI At Odds Over Terrorist's Cellphones

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Yahoo News Apple And The FBI At Odds Over Terrorist's Cellphones Mike Bebernes Editor,Yahoo News 360 The U.S. government is pressuring Apple to unlock two phones belonging to a Saudi air force officer who went on a deadly shooting rampage at a Pensacola, Fla., naval base in December. Mohammed Alshamrani killed three people and injured eight others before dying in a shootout with sheriff’s deputies. Last week Attorney General William Barr — who called the shooting an act of terrorism — admonished Apple for refusing to unlock Alshamrani’s phones, which are protected by passwords. President Trump blasted the company on Twitter and called for Apple “to step up to the plate and help our great Country, NOW!"Apple has declined to open the phones but said it had helped the investigation by handing over “many gigabytes of information” from Alshamrani’s account stored on its servers. Read more: https://news.yahoo.com/apple-and-fbi-at-odds-over-terrorists-cellphone-221956762.html...
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The Washington Times Iran Expands Support For Taliban, Targets U.S. Troops In Afghanistan By Guy TaylorEscalating U.S.-Iran tensions mean Afghanistan, which shares a border with Iran, could be the next proxy battleground between Washington and Tehran, a clash that threatens to undermine the Trump administration’s pursuit of a peace deal with the Taliban and eventual drawdown of American troops.Administration officials have recently warned of the potential for expanding Iranian activity in Afghanistan, and sources say Tehran’s support for the Taliban is well known in intelligence circles, where analysts are examining the extent to which the insurgent group already outsources some of its attack planning operations to Iran.Communications intercepted between Taliban operatives based in Mashhad, Iran, and their counterparts working in Quetta, Pakistan, have exposed at least some level of such operational connectivity, one source told The Washington Times. Read more: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jan/20/iran-expands-taliban-support-targets-us-troops-afg/...
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  BBC News Terrorism Laws To Get Tougher Within Weeks, Government Vows Terror offenders will face more time in jail and be monitored more closely as part of new laws being introduced within weeks, the government has said.Automatic early release from prison will be scrapped for terror offenders while a minimum jail term of 14 years for serious crimes will be introduced.The Home Office said a bill would be brought before Parliament by mid-March.Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government had faced "hard truths" since an attack in London in November.Convicted terror offender Usman Khan had been on license from prison when he fatally stabbed Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt at Fishmongers' Hall near London Bridge on 29 November last year.Khan had been released from jail on license in 2018, half-way through a 16-year sentence for terrorism offenses.Following the November attack, the government launched an urgent review into the license...

Yemen: Death Toll in Houthi Attack Rises to 111

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Asharq Al-Awsat Yemen: Death Toll in Houthi Attack Rises to 111, Legitimacy Steps up Jeddah - Asma al-Ghabri More than 100 people were killed in the war crime committed by the Houthi militias after launching a double attack with missiles and drones on a Yemeni National Army camp in the city of Marib, officials confirmed.“The death toll rose to 111 people along with 66 injured,” Undersecretary of the Yemeni Health Ministry Abdul Raqib Haidari said Sunday.Dr. Mohammed Issa, assistant in the army’s medical and military services department, told Asharq Al-Awsat that there have been contacts with Saudi Arabia to secure the transfer of critical cases for treatment at specialized hospitals in the Kingdom.“Doctors operating at all Marib’s hospitals were able to care for dozens of injured people despite their limited medical resources,” Issa said. Read more: https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/2090916/yemen-death-toll-houthi-attack-rises-111-legitimacy-steps-combat-readiness...
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Fox News ISIS Panel In Syria Acts As 'Judge, Jury And Executioner,' Report Finds By Nick Givas A U.S.-based Syrian rights group said Thursday that it's assembled a 24-page report titled "Judge, Jury and Executioner," detailing the atrocities committed by the Islamic State and the total control with which they ruled over elements of daily life in the country.The 24-page report is based on dozens of documents collected by local Syrian activists from abandoned offices in the Raqqa province, which were then provided to The Syria Justice and Accountability Center (SJAC), according to The Associated Press.The Washington-based group claimed the evidence they've received can help identify militants who've committed horrific crimes and assist in their international prosecution.The Bureau of Justice and Grievances, which claimed to be a watchdog that held Islamic militants to account, was actually doing the bidding of the Islamic State and invading the lives of citizens at...
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In Homeland Security Facial-Recognition Scanners Are Coming To Philadelphia's Airport Starting Tuesday In Homeland Security Staff - January 16, 2020Starting Tuesday, travelers boarding certain international flights at Philadelphia International Airport will have their face scanned along with their boarding pass.Three gates at the airport will begin a 45-day pilot program for facial-recognition scanners that cross-check a live image of a person with their government photos. The scanners are meant to help U.S. Customs and Border Protection process passengers and speed up boarding, the airport said.Gates A15, A16, and A17 will each use a different biometric technology scanner for select outbound international flights on Qatar, British Airways, Lufthansa, and American Airlines. After the pilot program is complete, the airport will assess which brand performed best for permanent use.CBP will install the system for travelers entering the country through Philadelphia, too. There is no timeline yet for that installation, but it will...
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Fox News DOJ Charges Mali Man With Murdering American, Supporting 2 Terror Groups By Bradford Betz A Malian man was charged in U.S. federal court this week with playing a role in two 2016 terror attacks in West Africa that killed an American missionary and 29 other people.Mimi Ould Baba, 32, scouted attack locations for Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and arranged the transport of assault rifles and hand grenades used in the attack on a hotel and cafe in Burkina Faso's capital of Ouagadougou, authorities alleged in a criminal complaint.The shooting killed 45-year-old Michael J. Riddering, an American missionary who had been eating dinner with a local pastor at Café Cappuccino when the attackers opened fire with AK-47s. The attack lasted for nearly 12 hours and killed people from 18 different countries, including the wife and young daughter of the Italian cafe owner, two French citizens, two Swiss...
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  CNBC Terrorism Is Costing The Global Economy $34 Billion A Year, Research Says by Dan Murphy The total number of deaths from terrorism declined for the fourth consecutive year in 2018, falling by 15.2% on the year to 15,952 — a 53% reduction since its peak in 2014. The primary driver of the reduction in deaths has been a fall in the intensity of conflict in the Middle East, and military successes against terrorist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram. Afghanistan recorded the highest number of terror-related deaths and incidents, with more than 7,000 fatalities and 1,400 terrorist incidents in 2018. Global terrorism claimed less lives in 2018, but its economic and social impact remains widespread, according to the latest Global Terrorism Index (GTI) from the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).“Although the intensity of terrorism has diminished, its breadth has not,” the Australian-based think tank warned. Read more:...
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Clarion Project Alert Issued for 'Iranian Nationals Armed With Explosives' at Mexican Border By Meira Svirsky A red alert was issued at the Mexican border town of Mexicali after the police chief received information that Iranian nationals armed with explosives may try to cross the border into the U.S.The alert, issued by Customs and Border Protection in Arizona on January 10, was confirmed by Mexicali Police Chief Maria Elena Andrade. “We received reports that four nationals of Iran possibly carrying explosives were going to attempt to cross the border in the area of San Luis to Mexicali. We were told it was three men and a woman to be on the lookout for,” Andrade said.“We have no incident that has happened as of now, we are responding accordingly and we will not underestimate these threats,” Andrade added.   Read more: https://clarionproject.org/iranian-nationals-armed-explosives-mexican-border/...
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  National Review Saudi’s Terrorist Massacre At Florida Naval Base Highlights The Weakness Of U.S. Vetting By Andrew C. McCarthy he Justice Department has concluded that the deadly mass-shooting attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola in early December, carried out by a Saudi Air Force trainee, was an act of terrorism. Though Lieutenant Mohamed Saeed al-Shamrani, who was killed during the attack, was determined to have acted alone, the United States is expelling 21 other Saudi military trainees after the FBI’s investigation uncovered jihadist rhetoric and child pornography on their social-media accounts.Attorney General Bill Barr announced the terrorism finding and the expulsions at a Justice Department press conference on Monday afternoon. The attorney general’s remarks demonstrate that longstanding national-security challenges continue to vex U.S. law-enforcement officials. Most significant is the problem of vetting foreigners, including the thousands of foreigners enrolled in training programs run by our armed forces, for anti-American...

Suspected ISIS Commander Goes On Trial In Germany

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Asharq Al-Awsat Suspected ISIS Commander Goes On Trial In Germany A 33-year-old Syrian man suspected of commanding a unit of 20 ISIS militants is on trial in the German city of Frankfurt on charges of membership of a terrorist organization.Prosecutors allege that the man served as an "emir" in the Syrian civil war, carrying an assault rifle in the service of ISIS.The accused declined on Wednesday to answer the charges or questions regarding his identity but will participate in the trial during its course, German News Agency (dpa) quoted his defense lawyer as saying. Read more: https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/2085456/suspected-isis-commander-goes-trial-germany...
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The Washington Times Cryptocurrency A Growing Challenge In Combating Terror, Security Experts Tell Congress  By Jeff Mordock - The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 15, 2020A neo-Nazi organization received a donation of nearly 14.88 bitcoins or roughly $60,000 in the days following the 2017 white supremacist riots in Charlottesville, Virginia.Hamas — an Islamist Palestinian group that calls for the death of Jewish people everywhere — set up a website for visitors to make bitcoin donations.Terrorists, both domestic and foreign, are increasingly using bitcoin for illicit transactions because it is nearly impossible to track, law enforcement officials and scholars told a congressional committee Wednesday. Read more: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jan/15/congress-urged-take-aim-terrorist-funding/...
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France 24 US Sends Home 21 Saudis As Probe Finds Shooting Was 'Terrorism' Washington (AFP)The United States will send home 21 Saudi military trainees after an investigation into the "jihadist" killing of three American sailors last month, the Justice Department announced Monday.Attorney General Bill Barr said the December 6 shootings by Royal Saudi Air Force 2nd Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani at the US Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida was an "act of terrorism.""The evidence shows that the shooter was motivated by jihadist ideology," he told reporters.There was no evidence that Alshamrani had colluded with others, although Barr said FBI investigators had been unable to unlock his two phones to determine whom he had contacted."We have asked Apple for their help in unlocking the shooter's iPhones. So far Apple has not given us any substantive assistance," Barr said. Read more: https://www.france24.com/en/20200113-us-sends-home-21-saudis-as-probe-finds-shooting-was-terrorism...
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Bloomberg Apple Says It’s Helping FBI Investigate Florida Terrorist Attack By Mark Gurman Apple Inc. said on Monday that it is helping the FBI investigate a Dec. 6 terrorist attack at a Florida Navy base, pushing back on criticism by U.S. Attorney General William Barr.However, Apple didn’t comment on Barr’s main assertion that the company has provided no “substantive assistance” to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to unlock two iPhones belonging to the terrorist.Apple in New Clash With U.S. Over Access to Terrorist’s IPhonesApple said the FBI notified the company on Jan. 6 that it needed additional help. “Only then did we learn about the existence of a second iPhone associated with the investigation and the FBI’s inability to access either iPhone,“ Apple said in a statement. Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-14/apple-says-it-s-helping-fbi-investigate-florida-terrorist-attack...
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CBS News Two U.S. Soldiers Killed By Roadside Bomb In Afghanistan Identified Kabul, Afghanistan — The identities of two U.S. service members killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Saturday have been released. Two others were injured in the attack.Military officials identified the two soldiers killed as 29-year-old Staff Sargeant Ian McLaughlin of Newport News, Virginia, and 21-year-old Private First Class Miguel Villalon of Joliet, Illinois. They both served as combat engineers in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.The Taliban took responsibility for Saturday's attack. A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yusouf Ahmadi, said it occurred in the southern Kandahar province. More than 2,400 U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Last year was the deadliest for U.S. service members there since 2014, with 23 American troops killed, even as Washington engaged in peace talks with the Taliban.The latest attack seemed certain to stall fresh efforts to restart the on-again, off-again peace...
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  New York Post Fliers Recruiting Suicide Terrorists To Attack US Distributed In Iran By Jon Levine Students at Iran’s Islamic Azad University are being offered a novel new career choice — suicide terrorist.Leaflets are being distributed at the influential school urging students to sign up for Jihad missions against the United States and Israel to avenge the death of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.“Registration for volunteers to commit a suicide attack against the United States and Israel,” it blares. “Hard revenge is underway for those criminals who killed Qassem Soleimani.”The flyer, claiming to quote the words of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, carries additional messages of encouragement, including “kill all infidels.” Read more: https://nypost.com/2020/01/11/fliers-recruiting-suicide-terrorists-for-jihad-against-us-distributed-in-iran/...

Modeling terrorist organizations as business startups

Posted by on in Terrorism
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  Boston Globe Modeling Terrorist Organizations As Business Startups By Viviane Callier Business startups are sparked by a creative solution to a problem, but only a rare few will become spectacularly successful, while many others flame out. It turns out terrorist organizations follow a similar pattern. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Brian Uzzi and his team at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University present a method to predict which incipient terror organizations are likely to turn dangerously lethal by conceptualizing them as business startups. Business analysts have developed tools to evaluate startups and try to predict their future returns. Usually, analysts look at a company’s balance sheet, evaluating the startup’s capabilities and resources. Businesses with a lot of resources plan the deployment of those resources carefully. The converse is also true: Businesses that deploy their products in a haphazard...
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The Telegraph Somali Terrorist Group, Al-Shabaab, Threatens To Attack Us Targets Around The World by Adrian Blomfield, Nairobi The Somali terrorist outfit al-Shabaab has threatened to strike at American targets around the world days after it mounted a deadly and unprecedented attack on US forces stationed in Kenya.Emboldened by the unexpected success of last Sunday’s assault on a military base in northern Kenya’s Manda Bay region, the jihadist group, a franchise of al-Qaeda, promised “further bloodshed” against American soldiers and civilians alike.The attack, which exposed a troubling lack of security, leaves the Trump administration struggling to deal with a significant and growing military challenge at a time when it is already preoccupied by its face-off with Iran. Read more: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/01/11/somali-terrorist-group-al-shabaab-threatens-attack-us-targets/...