Homeland Security Network Blog

The information source for first responders.

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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Teens form human chain to rescue 2 kids from icy pond in New Jersey


ABC 11 MIDDLETOWN, N.J. - A New Jersey family is grateful for five teenage boys who formed a human chain to rescue two kids from an ice-cold pond.Eight-year-old Olivia Heid and her four-year-old brother, RJ were sledding on Thursday at a country club in Middletown, when their sled flew over a ridge and into an icy pond.That is when a group of boys nearby jumped into action. "I picked up RJ first ... the boys jumped in. I just tried to get them out of the water as quickly as possible," said Kieran Foley, one of the rescuers.The teenagers said their Boy Scout training prepared them well."The boys jumped in ... and they all formed a chain, and they handed them out as quickly as possible," said Heid's mother, Stephanie Irlbeck. Full story https://abc11.com/teens-save-kids-from-icy-pond-rescue-ice-water/8923348/

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OKC First Responders Provide Meals For Soldiers Traveling Home For Christmas


KOCO ABC 5 OKC first responders provide meals for soldiers traveling home for Christmas OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City first responders spent the overnight hours at Will Rogers World Airport, serving meals for soldiers traveling home just in time for Christmas.According to the Oklahoma City Fire Department, firefighters, Oklahoma City police officers and the YMCA teamed up to provide meals to soldiers traveling home from Fort Sill for the holidays.According to officials, 350 troops were fed Thursday night with another 480 expected Friday night.“We want to extend a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to all of the brave and selfless men and women of the United States armed forces who sacrifice so much on our behalf,” officials said in a post on the fire department’s Facebook page. Oklahoma City Fire Department:"What an honor! Last night during the overnight hours, members from OKCFD, Oklahoma City Police Department, and the YMCA teamed up to provide...

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Marion County Sheriff's Red, White, and Blue Christmas Light Show


Marion County deputies put on red white and blue Christmas light show  

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First responders team up to provide Christmas to 27 area families in need


The Monroe News First responders team up to provide Christmas to 27 area families in need By Caitlin Taylor BoronThe pandemic has complicated an already stressful time of year.But putting presents under the Christmas tree is one less worry for a Newport family who was selected, along with nearly 30 other local families, as recipients of Christmas gifts delivered by Santa’s helpers disguised as police and fire personnel.Angela Wignle on Thursday accepted a trunk load of wrapped presents for her four children, Janessa Lunay, 14; Ethan Lunay, 13; Isabella Lunay, 11; and Kaitlin Wingle, 9, during the annual “Shop with a Hero” event sponsored by Michigan State Police of the Monroe post and other area first responders.Although the event was modified in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the magic of Christmas was not lost among the dozen first responder agencies and other donors who shopped for about 60 children whose families...

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Netanyahu: Unchecked Iran will target US, Europe with nuclear tipped ICBM


Jerusalem Post Netanyahu: Unchecked Iran will target US, Europe with nuclear tipped ICBM President elect Joe Biden is expected to attempt to rejoin the nuclear deal with Iran By Tovah Lazaroff Iran could soon have the capability to launch missiles with nuclear warheads against Europe and the United States unless the international community unites to halt Tehran’s ambitions for a nuclear-weapons program, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned at a press event with US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien in Jerusalem on Sunday. “As long as Iran persists in its dangerous quest for nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver them, we shouldn’t go back to business as usual with Iran,” he said. “We should all unite to prevent this major threat to world peace.” Netanyahu made his statement while looking at O’Brien, but his words were aimed at US President-elect Joe Biden, who is expected to enter the White House on...

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CISA Issues Emergency Directive to Mitigate the Compromise of Solarwinds Orion Network Management Products


CISA Issues Emergency Directive to Mitigate the Compromise of Solarwinds Orion Network Management ProductsWASHINGTON – The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) tonight issued Emergency Directive 21-01, in response to a known compromise involving SolarWinds Orion products that are currently being exploited by malicious actors. This Emergency Directive calls on all federal civilian agencies to review their networks for indicators of compromise and disconnect or power down SolarWinds Orion products immediately.  “The compromise of SolarWinds’ Orion Network Management Products poses unacceptable risks to the security of federal networks,” said CISA Acting Director Brandon Wales. “Tonight’s directive is intended to mitigate potential compromises within federal civilian networks, and we urge all our partners—in the public and private sectors—to assess their exposure to this compromise and to secure their networks against any exploitation.”  This is the fifth Emergency Directive issued by CISA under the authorities granted by Congress in the Cybersecurity Act of...

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