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The Independent Trump administration adviser Tom Bossert blames Pyongyang for massive ransonware hack that infected hundreds of thousands of computers around the world in Mayby Staff and agencies President Donald Trump's administration is publicly blaming North Korea for a ransomware attack that infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide in May and crippled parts of Britain's NHS. Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published on Monday night that North Korea was “directly responsible” for the WannaCry ransomware attack and that Pyongyang will be held accountable for it. Bossert said the administration's finding of responsibility is based on evidence and confirmed by other governments and private companies, including the United Kingdom and Microsoft. “North Korea has acted especially badly, largely unchecked, for more than a decade, and its malicious behaviour is growing more egregious. WannaCry was indiscriminately reckless,” he wrote. Bossert said the Trump administration...
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Fox News By Michael McCaul Today’s terror attack in New York City is another reminder that the threats we face from Islamist terrorists are real and can bring serious harm to our homeland.Thanks to American leadership and a new strategy on the battlefield, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was able to declare that ISIS has been defeated in Iraq. While this is welcome news, crushing the so-called ‘caliphate’ in the Middle East, allows foreign fighters and sympathizers of ISIS and Al Qaeda to scatter. They are returning to their home countries, looking for different ways to keep their hateful ideology alive and creating new dangers in other parts of the world. This has brought a new wave of terror attacks to the West.European cities once known for their culture and history, are becoming well known for deadly attacks. They include London, Brussels, Paris, Nice, Barcelona and Berlin. And the bombing...
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ABC News By Geneva Sands and Matt Seyler Attorney General Jeff Sessions invoked this week’s terror attack in New York City to criticize United States immigration policy at a Baltimore press conference Tuesday.Interested in New York?“As yesterday's New York events showed, in the starkest terms, the failures of our immigration system are also a national security issue,” Sessions said.Sessions said that chain migration, the process of immigrants helping their family members immigrate, and the diversity visa lottery were responsible for terrorists entering the U.S.“How did it happen?” Sessions said regarding Monday’s attack. “An individual won the lottery in Bangladesh. He came here. He then, through the chain migration process, brought his sister, and she brought her son, 20 years old, and he’s the one who attempted to blow up the subway in New York.”  Sessions was speaking at a press conference focused on efforts to combat MS-13 gang violence and...

TSA chief tested as terror threats move to the streets

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Hill by Melanie Zanona David Pekoske is leading the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at a time when the 16-year-old agency is grappling with a difficult challenge: how to protect mass transit systems from attacks as terrorists shift their targets from the skies to the streets.Just this week there was an attempted terrorist attack on a busy New York City transit hub, underscoring how terrorists are switching tactics in the face of strengthened aviation security.“The primary goal is to ever increase the effectiveness of the security we provide, not just in the aviation sector, but also in the surface transportation sector,” Pekoske said in an interview with The Hill this week. “And actually that’s even more front of mind today than it was over the weekend, with the bomber up in New York City.”Prior to heading up the TSA, Pekoske was a vice commandant for the U.S. Coast Guard, where...
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Washington Free Beacon Will tighten Visa Waiver Program, which 20 million travelers use a yearby Charles Fain Lehman    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Friday new rules for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) aimed at preventing terrorism and stopping visa overstays.The VWP, administered by DHS, allows citizens of 38 countries with close ties to the United States to travel to the United States for business or tourism for up to 90 days without acquiring a visa. In exchange, U.S. citizens receive reciprocal travel rights to each of those countries.Some 20 million travelers come to the United States using the VWP every year, according to a senior administration official. VWP expected departures made up about 43 percent of total expected immigration departures in 2016.The tightened security requirements are in part meant to address the threat from potential terrorists with citizenship making them eligible for the VWP. Such concerns were first...
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Miami Herald By Jay WeaverOnce convicted of setting up phony companies to deposit stolen checks at local banks, Roda Taher fled South Florida for the Middle East to avoid prison time.Eight years later, Taher is a fugitive on new and more serious charges. He’s wanted for directing more than a dozen “money mules” in a $94 million internet scheme in South Florida that law enforcement sources say he used to finance Hezbollah, the radical Muslim group based in Lebanon. It is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization and has been linked to bombings and killings of Israelis and other Western targets in the Middle East.The 38-year-old Taher paid the mules a fee to set up numerous shell companies with bank accounts in South Florida to receive proceeds from lottery, inheritance and other email-hacking scams and then to transfer the millions all over the map — including to companies in Germany, China and...
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The Independent Police and experts call for action to ensure guides issued by al-Qaeda and Isis cannot easily be foundby Lizzie Dearden Home Affairs Correspondent Terrorist manuals showing jihadis how to build the same type of bomb used in last week's New York subway attack remain online amid warnings of further attacks.Google's algorithms could lead extremists to the material, which was still available through search results more than 48 hours after The Independent alerted the tech giant.Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Isis supporter, detonated his crude device in a subway passage during last Monday morning’s rush hour.In a document submitted to court, investigators said he used instructions found online to construct a pipe bomb, which he then wore attached to his body as a suicide vest. The device, built in Ullah’s Brooklyn flat within a week before the explosion, used readily available household items such as batteries and screws – intended...

2 police officers shot, suspect killed in Bremerton

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Seattle Times By Christine Clarridge Seattle Times staff reporterBREMERTON — Two Bremerton police officers are in the hospital with gunshot wounds after a 53-year-old man fired numerous shots at them early Sunday morning.The officers returned fire and killed the man, according to Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan.The man, who was known to police from previous incidents involving domestic violence,  opened fire on the officers as they approached him while he was seated behind the wheel of an SUV because he was believed to have violated a domestic violence protective order.Police have had previous run-ins with the man, and had blackened an officer’s eye in a recent contact, the chief said. The man was armed with two handguns and came out shooting, a gun in each hand,  he said. The chief called it a “firefight.”“It was in relatively close quarters,” the chief told reporters, and the officers retreated to cover behind...
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By Katherine Lam | Fox News Two suicide bombers attacked a church in Pakistan where hundreds of worshippers were attending service ahead of Christmas, killing at least nine people and injuring dozens of others, officials said.One of the suicide bombers was shot dead outside Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta, but the other assailant made it to the church's entrance hall as Sunday services opened, said Sarfaraz Bugti, home minister for the southwestern Baluchistan province. The gunman — who didn’t gain access to the main building — opened fire at the churchgoers before detonating his explosive vest.“There were nearly 400 people inside the church, but the attackers couldn’t get inside the services,” provincial police chief Moazzam Jah told Reuters. “We killed one of them, and the other one exploded himself after police wounded him,” he said. The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the attack on their Aamaq news...
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette By Gregory Viscusi / Bloomberg News Arab countries pledged more money and five West African countries said they would accelerate efforts to get a joint anti-guerrilla military force up and running as they met Wednesday near Paris at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron.Saudi Arabia will contribute 100 million euros ($118 million) and the United Arab Emirates 30 million euros to the so-called “G5 Sahel” force, Macron said. The U.S. confirmed its commitment to spend $60 million on the force being put together by Niger, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania to combat Islamist extremists across the southern rim of the Sahara.“We must win this battle against terrorism in the Sahel,” Macron said at a press conference after the meeting, held in the Paris suburb of Celles-Saint-Cloud. “There are attacks every day and states are under threat. We must intensify efforts.” The talks, which were also attended...

Iraq Iraq hangs 38 on terrorism charges

Posted by on in Terrorism
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BBC News Iraq says it has hanged, in a mass execution, 38 jihadist militants convicted of terrorism offences.The justice ministry said they were all members of so-called Islamic State (IS).The death sentences were carried out in a prison in the southern city of Nasiriyah.However, international advocacy groups have repeatedly criticised Iraq's use of the death penalty and how terrorism charges are brought.It was the largest mass execution since 25 September when 42 militants were hanged.Amnesty International said the latest mass executions had "tainted" the celebrations following Iraq's declaration of victory over IS."The victims of IS deserve justice, not mass executions carried out after deeply flawed and hasty trials," said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty's Middle East director.Human Rights Watch recently accused the justice system of "failing to distinguish" between doctors who protected lives under IS rule and "those responsible for crimes against humanity". Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42356155...

New DHS Secretary presses for more border security

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Valley Morning Star By MITCHELL FERMAN Staff WriterHIDALGO — Less than a week after taking office, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stood in the shadow of the levee wall here and applied a semblance of finesse to the Trump administration’s tough immigration rhetoric.Years of immigration policy failures are now rooted in the United States, which “make it almost impossible to carry out the law,” Nielsen said as her words echoed off the bollard levee wall behind her.The immigration court backlog continues to pile up, which Nielsen wants to diminish. And working with landowners to make way for the border wall can be complicated, Nielsen said.Meanwhile, Customs and Border Protection numbers show apprehensions were down this year, which Nielsen acknowledged after her tour of the border in the Rio Grande Valley yesterday. It was her second visit here this year, the first coming two weeks after President Donald Trump was sworn...
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Federal News Radio By David Thornton The U.S. Coast Guard has a split-identity – it’s a military service, but it falls under the purview of the Homeland Security Department, not the Defense Department. That means its Cyber Command has to balance the competing demands of protecting operational capability in an armed conflict with protecting infrastructure during peacetime.“The first thing the commandant said was,’ Cyberspace is an operational domain. That means we’re going to operate in cyberspace just like we have in the maritime domain for over 227 years,’” Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, commander of CG Cyber, said on DHS 15th Anniversary.So the command has broken down its responsibilities into three strategic priorities:    Operate and defend Coast Guard networks and information systems    Operate in the cyber domain to enable missions in maritime and air domains    Protect maritime transportation from cyber threats.Operate and defend“Every cutter, boat or aircraft these days has not...

CAIR Criticizes Police Over New York Terror Attack

Posted by on in Terrorism
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By Clarion Project The family of the terrorist who carried out yesterday’s attempted bombing in New York slammed the police investigation into the attack. The criticisms were made in a statement issued by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).“We are heartbroken by this attack on our city today and by the allegations being made against a member of our family,” Albert Fox Cahn, legal director for CAIR New York read in a statement from the attacker’s family. “Our family like all families is committed to the safety and well-being of all New Yorkers,” the family said in a statement provided by the Council on American-Islamic Relations-New York.“But we are also outraged by the behavior of law enforcement officials during this investigation. Today, we have seen our children, as young as four years old, held out in the cold, detained as their parents were questioned,” the statement continued. “One teenage...
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Washington Post By Devlin Barrett and Mark BermanFederal prosecutors filed terrorism charges Tuesday against the suspected New York City subway bomber, Akayed Ullah, saying he posted a taunt online aimed at President Trump before the attack in a tunnel beneath Times Square and then proclaimed “I did it for the Islamic State.’’A criminal complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan charges Ullah with providing material support to a terrorist group, using a weapon of mass destruction, bombing a public place, destruction of property by means of fire or explosive, and use of a destructive device during a crime of violence.The 27-year-old is an immigrant from Bangladesh who came to the United States in 2011, fueling the Trump administration’s argument that Monday’s attack is proof the country is too lax in how it allows immigrants to enter. According to the criminal complaint, Ullah’s radicalization began in at least 2014, as he...

Study: 70 percent of US oil, gas companies hacked last year

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Businesswire.com Study Reveals Cybersecurity Readiness Gaps in America’s Oil and Gas Industry    * 68 percent of respondents said their operations have had at least one security compromise in the past year    * Only about one-third of U.S. oil and gas cyber managers rate their organization’s cyber readiness as high    * 59 percent believe there is a greater risk to operational technology than to ITFebruary 16, 2017 08:00 AM Eastern Standard TimeHOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A survey of U.S. oil and gas cybersecurity risk managers indicates that the deployment of cybersecurity measures in the industry isn’t keeping pace with the growth of digitalization in oil and gas operations. In a study from the Ponemon Institute – The State of Cybersecurity in the Oil & Gas Industry: United States – just 35 percent of respondents rated their organization’s operational technology (OT) cyber readiness as high. The Ponemon Institute – which conducts independent research on privacy,...
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Fox News By Patrick Dunleavy America and our allies have made major progress against ISIS and other radical Islamic terrorists this year, but as we head toward 2018 the battle against these murderers is shifting into a new phase. Unfortunately, the terrorists are far from being eliminated.ISIS – which stands for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – lost most of the territory it controlled in those countries this year, making a mockery of its claim to be a “state.” The liberation of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, with the help of U.S. military advisers and air bombardments, sent ISIS fighters fleeing like rats from a sinking ship.Explore our new Cowboy Bone-in Rib Eye and other bone-in cuts like succulent lamb chops, beef and pork ribs, and more.The physical caliphate founded by terrorist leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is no more. And the loss of territory by...
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The Hill By Mallory Shelbourne President Trump has approved of a national security strategy and has the support of key Cabinet secretaries, Axios reported on Sunday. According to the report, the new strategy will be centered on new technological threats, homeland security and economic competition in regards to national security.It will lay out the path for how the administration will handle various choices about foreign policy and national security, Axios said. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo back the strategy, which will come under evaluation by the Cabinet this week in its meeting.The report on the strategy comes as Trump continues to grapple with North Korea’s nuclear aggression and amid the ongoing investigations into Russia’s efforts to meddle in the United States election. Two aides to national security adviser H.R. McMaster worked with him on putting together the strategy, the report...
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Suspect in custody after detonating a pipe bomb attached to his body in Port Authority terminal; travel hub partially evacuated The Times of Israel By Agencies and TOI staff NEW YORK — A pipe bomb apparently attached to a suspect exploded in the Port Authority travel terminal in New York Monday morning, injuring the suspect.A law enforcement official said an explosive device was set off on a subway platform at the busy New York City transportation hub in midtown Manhattan, which includes bus terminals and subway stations. The only person injured was a man detained in connection with the blast, New York police said on Twitter.They said subway trains were ordered to bypass that bustling part of New York.“One male suspect is in custody. No injuries other than suspect at this time. Avoid the area,” police said in a tweet.An official said a man had a pipe bomb strapped to...
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By Elliot Friedland Clarion Project British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s just delivered a speech on the problem of Islamist terror that hit many right notes. The address, on December 7, named the ideology driving the extremism, called out Arab dictatorships who are deliberately enabling terror for their own ends and debunked the myth this is all the fault of Western foreign policy.Here are Clarion’s top five takeaways: 1.He defined the problemIn a line reminiscent of President Trump, Johnson defined the war on terror in stark terms of “winning” against an ideological enemy.“It is a struggle not against a religion but an idea, a perverse ideology.”He defined the ideology as a religiously-based idea that offers a powerful emotional solution to feeling alienated, powerless, humiliated and afraid – a violent path of holy redemption.“It is a very ancient idea, and common to virtually all religions – including Christianity – that any kind of...