Homeland Security Network Blog

The information source for first responders.

Canadian manhunt for suspect in deadly stabbings stretches into 4th day

Reuters Canadian manhunt for suspect in deadly stabbings stretches into 4th day By Ismail Shakil and Steve Scherer OTTAWA, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Canadian police searched into a fourth day on Wednesday for the remaining suspect in a stabbing spree in which 10 people were killed in and around an indigenous community, rattling a country unaccustomed to acts of mass violence. Myles Sanderson, 30, whose brother and accused accomplice was himself found killed a day after Sunday's attacks in Saskatchewan province, was briefly believed to have resurfaced on Tuesday in the vicinity of the rampage, about 320 km (200 miles) north of the provincial capital of Regina. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) issued an alert on Tuesday of a possible sighting of the surviving brother in the indigenous reserve of James Smith Cree Nation, urging residents to remain indoors and be vigilant. CBC News reported a heavy police presence on...

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The War on Terror Continues Apace in Africa

  Reason The War on Terror Continues Apace in Africa U.S. counterterrorism action in Somalia hasn’t been approved by Congress, but it rages on anyway. by Eric Bazail-Eimil After a wave of U.S. airstrikes against jihadist groups in the Horn of Africa this summer, U.S. officials have made their way to Mogadishu to show their support for Somalia's embattled central government. Lt. Gen. Michael Langley, the newly appointed commander of U.S. Africa Command, the division of the U.S. military focused on operations in Africa, made a visit to Mogadishu earlier this week to meet with Somali defense and security officials. The visit comes as al-Shabab, a terrorist group affiliated with Al Qaeda, has resurged in strength and reach in the country by waging new and brazen attacks against civilians in Somalia, and as the Biden administration reverses a Trump-era withdrawal from the East African country. Back in May, the Biden administration...

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Pompeo warns U.S. less safe one year after Afghanistan withdrawal

Washington Times Pompeo warns U.S. less safe one year after Afghanistan withdrawal By Joseph Clark - The Washington Times Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is warning that the U.S. is more vulnerable to a 9/11-style terrorist attack following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. His grim assessment coincided with the first anniversary of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from the country after two decades of war. “We are more likely to be attacked like New York City was 20-some years ago, we’re more likely to be attacked from [Afghanistan] today than we were just one year ago,” Mr. Pompeo said during a Sunday appearance on the “Cats Roundtable” radio program. He piled on to the criticism of President Biden who many blame for Afghanistan‘s fall to the Taliban amid the calamitous U.S. pullout that left behind hundreds of American citizens and thousands of vulnerable Afghan refugees when U.S. troops scrambled to meet...

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Baghdad, Iraq violence leaves at least 30 dead, cleric tells protesters to withdraw

Baghdad, Iraq violence leaves at least 30 dead, cleric tells protesters to withdraw Influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr calls on supporters to stop violent protests: 'This is not a revolution'By Caitlin McFall | Fox News At least 30 were confirmed dead in Iraq Tuesday as fighting continues in Baghdad following the resignation of a top Shiite leader Monday. Gun fire has continued to ring out in the nation’s capital as leaders grapple with Iraq’s greatest political crisis since the U.S. invasion in 2003. Protests once again erupted in Iraq’s Green Zone – the center of Iraqi government offices and foreign embassies – after Muqtada al-Sadr said he had had enough of politics and stepped down from his cleric role. His resignation has sparked violent protests from his supporters who stormed the presidential palace Monday, just one month after they rushed the parliamentary building and held protests outside the Supreme Judicial Council demanding...

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Forty Years On, Hezbollah Is Isolated But More Powerful Than Ever

CNN Forty Years On, Hezbollah Is Isolated But More Powerful Than Ever By Adam Pourahmadi, CNN London (CNN) - Hezbollah capped off the 40th anniversary of its founding on Monday with large-scale celebrations on a stage in southern Beirut that featured holograms of fighters killed in battle, and videos showing off the group's historic confrontation with Israel. An interpretive dance, depicting how the group freed prisoners from ISIS in Syria, was a notable addition. Over the years, the Lebanese Shiite group has tried to rebrand itself from a paramilitary organization backed by Iran to a serious political and regional player. Forty years on, Hezbollah is militarily more powerful than ever, but also more globally isolated than it has ever been. Many countries including the United States, United Kingdom and Germany as well as Gulf Arab states and the Arab League, have labeled the entire group a terrorist organization, while the European...

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Ukraine Wants to Go on the Offensive Against Russia

1945 Ukraine Wants to Go on the Offensive Against Russia. It Could Be Risky What if Ukraine launches its own offensive against Putin and it fails? By Robert Farley Will Ukraine Go on the Offensive Or Not? Expert Analysis by Dr. Robert Farley: Observers of the Russia-Ukraine War have been aflutter for weeks about the prospect of a Ukrainian offensive to retake some of the territory seized by Russia in the first months of the war. To some extent, this reflects frustration with what has become a static struggle of attrition, with front lines moving only a few kilometers and (in recent weeks) slowing to a crawl. For a variety of reasons, however, onlookers have been disappointed. Despite some feints and some apparent early moves, Ukraine has not engaged in a serious effort to dislodge Russia from any of its conquests. There are good reasons why Ukraine would resist the call...

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Somalia And Al-Shabab: The Struggle To Defeat The Militants

  BBC News Somalia And Al-Shabab: The Struggle To Defeat The Militants By Mary Harper Africa editor, BBC World Service News When Somalia's new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office in May he declared a top priority was bringing an end to the country's 15-year Islamist insurgency. Three months later al-Shabab staged one of its most spectacular ever attacks, storming a hotel a short drive away from the presidential palace in the capital, Mogadishu. They held it for 30 hours. Officials said more than 20 people died in the siege of the Hayat and 117 were injured. Less than a month earlier, the group mounted an unprecedented invasion of neighbouring Ethiopia. It was as if they were cocking a snook at the new president. International diplomats have described the complex, coordinated attack as a "game-changer" that took at least 18 months to plan and involved an estimated 1,200 fighters. The then-commander...

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Would Putin Dare Use Nuclear Weapons?

  Real Clear Defense Would Putin Dare Use Nuclear Weapons? Managing His Ukraine Fears Are the Key By Robyn Hutchins & Adam Lowther Two top national security experts explain that the key to success in Ukraine is effectively managing Vladimir Putin’s perception of gains and losses. As we approach the six-month mark of Russia’s second invasion of Ukraine, there is an opportunity to reflect on a conflict that offers the world unprecedented access into the mind of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. While the daily images of death and destruction are heart-wrenching, it is important to take some time to understand the psychology that led Putin to invade Ukraine and threaten the use of nuclear weapons. The free world needs that understanding as it attempts to counter Putin’s actions and ensure he does not follow through on his nuclear threat. Indeed, deterring Putin’s nuclear threats is one of NATO’s top priorities. To...

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Do armed drones reduce terrorism? Here’s the data.

  Washington Post Do armed drones reduce terrorism? Here’s the data. This research analyzes patterns of terrorism in the 18 countries that utilize drones Analysis by Joshua A. Schwartz and Matthew Fuhrmann At 6:18 a.m. on July 31, a CIA drone fired the two Hellfire missiles that killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, a former deputy to Osama bin Laden. Since 9/11, the United States has conducted over 14,000 drone strikes like this against suspected terrorist targets. Countries such as Iran, Turkey, Nigeria and Egypt­ have also acquired armed drones and conduct their own strikes. But do armed drone operations reduce terrorism, or do they actually make countries more vulnerable to it? To find out, we analyzed patterns of terrorism in 18 countries — every country that has fielded armed drones to date. The evidence reveals that obtaining armed drones reduces the amount of terrorism a country experiences. Armed drones may raise...

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Iran Blames Salman Rushdie And His Supporters For Stabbing Attack

NBC News Iran Blames Salman Rushdie And His Supporters For Stabbing Attack By Amin Hossein Khodadadi and Rhoda Kwan TEHRAN, Iran — Iran said Monday that Salman Rushdie and his supporters are to blame for the stabbing attack that left the famed author hospitalized with serious injuries. In its first public comments since the assault, Tehran denied any involvement but sought to justify the attack, which has been celebrated on front pages and in coverage across the country's media. “We do not consider anyone other than him and his supporters worthy of blame or even condemnation,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said. “No one has the right to accuse Iran,” he added. “The insult that was done and the support that was given was an insult to all religions.” Rushdie, 75, is now “on the road to recovery,” his agent said Sunday. He was removed from a ventilator a day...

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Rethinking How the United States Trains Foreign Militaries

LAWFARE Rethinking How the United States Trains Foreign Militaries By Renanah Miles Joyce In May, President Biden quietly signed an order authorizing a persistent U.S. military presence in Somalia. U.S. troops are not engaging in direct combat operations there; instead, they are primarily training and advising Somali and African Union partner forces to fight the terrorist group al-Shabaab. These training efforts are part of a global web of U.S. military training and advising that aims both to build partner militaries’ warfighting capabilities and to influence when and how they fight. The United States has different tools at its disposal to influence security partners: It can provide material goods such as arms and equipment to incentivize good behavior, or it can make support conditional on partners doing what it wants. Both approaches have problems. Generous flows of assistance rarely motivate partners to change, particularly when they get what they want without having...

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Armed Man Attempted To Breach FBI’s Cincinnati Office, Fatally Shot After Standoff

  KRDO 13 An armed man tried to enter the FBI’s Cincinnati office and was fatally shot after a standoff with police. Here’s what we know By Elizabeth Wolfe, Josh Campbell, Brynn Gingras and Paul P. Murphy, CNN An armed man suspected of trying to breach the FBI’s Cincinnati field office Thursday was killed after an hours-long standoff with law enforcement, authorities say. The suspect was believed to be armed with an AR-15 rifle and a nail gun, a federal law enforcement source told CNN, and was wearing body armor, according to officials in an Ohio county. He was Ricky W. Shiffer, 42, of Columbus, the state highway patrol said Friday. After attempting to enter the FBI facility, he fled and his vehicle was followed by state police, authorities said. When the vehicle pursuit ended in southwestern Ohio, a lengthy standoff followed, ending with law enforcement shooting and killing the suspect,...

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FBI Accuses Iran Of Attempted Terrorist Attacks, Kidnappings, Cyberattacks

Iran International FBI Accuses Iran Of Attempted Terrorist Attacks, Kidnappings, Cyberattacks The Federal Bureau of Investigation says the Iranian regime and “its terrorist partners” aren’t just a threat to the Middle East, but also a critical risk for the United States. In a number of tweets on Monday, the FBI said Iran and its proxy groups “don't just endanger the Middle East -- they also put Americans, US national security, and our country's critical infrastructure at risk.” Sharing a link to a page on its website about how it is fighting back against the Iranian threat, the bureau added that the risk by the Islamic Republic is not theoretical. “Through intel and law enforcement partnerships, the FBI has countered an array of threats from Iran's government -- such as attempted terrorist attacks and kidnappings, espionage and foreign influence ops, and cyberattacks.” Reiterating its commitment to identifying and disrupting all Iranian intelligence...

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ISIS Network Of Tunnels Found In Syria's Al-Hol Camp

  Asharq Al-Awsat ISIS Network Of Tunnels Found In Syria's Al-Hol Camp Hasakah - Kamal Sheikho The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (Rojava) has found a network of trenches and tunnels under al-Hol camp, east of al-Hasakah. The security sources said these trenches and tunnels were used by sleeper cells loyal to the ISIS terrorist organization to smuggle persons and carry out murders and assassination attempts. The ongoing investigations revealed that the tunnel connects one of the camp sectors to the outer wall and from there to the surrounding areas. A day earlier, the Rojava security forces thwarted a mass escape through a truck designated for transporting construction materials. The truck was transporting 39 children and 17 women from 56 ISIS families. The camp witnessed 728 escape attempts since March 2020. A video recording inside the camp showed how tunnels were dug with primitive tools, covered with metal and...

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Iran vows to build nukes, turn New York into ‘hellish ruins’

New York Post Iran vows to build nukes, turn New York into ‘hellish ruins’ By Joshua Rhett Miller Iran has reportedly threatened to build nuclear warheads and warned that it has the capability to turn New York into “hellish ruins” — amid stalled efforts to reinstate a nuclear deal between the county and world powers. Two Telegram channels with ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps posted a 2-minute video Saturday that vowed to quickly start building nuclear bombs if the “US or Zionist regime make any stupid mistakes,” according to Iran International, a London-based news outlet. The video claims secret underground facilities in Fordow, near Qom, are close to working to turn the Islamic Republic into a nuclear power — and warned that its “peaceful nuclear program” could morph into a weaponized one with ease. “The nuclear facilities of Fordow have been built deep under mountains of Iran and are...

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U.S. kills al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in drone strike in Kabul

Washington Post U.S. kills al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in drone strike in Kabul By Shane Harris, Dan Lamothe, Karen DeYoung, Souad Mekhennet and Pamela Constable The United States has killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda and one of the world’s most-wanted terrorists, who, alongside the group’s founder, Osama bin Laden, oversaw the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President Biden announced Monday evening. Zawahiri was killed in a CIA drone strike in Kabul over the weekend, according to U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence. When U.S. forces withdrew from Afghanistan last August, Biden administration officials said they would retain capability for “over-the-horizon” attacks from elsewhere on terrorist forces inside Afghanistan. The attack against Zawahiri is the first known counterterrorism strike there since the withdrawal. Speaking in a live television address from a balcony at the White House, Biden announced that days ago he had...

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Iran's Deepening Military Expansion Into Europe

  Iran's Deepening Military Expansion Into Europe   by Con Coughlin  •  Gatestone Institute The Iranian regime's decision to give its backing to Russia's military offensive against Ukraine... represents an alarming expansion in Iran's military ambitions beyond the Middle East. Arguably Khamenei's most revealing comment during the visit was his call for Iran and Russia to increase what he termed "reciprocal cooperation" between the two countries to counter the threat of Western sanctions. The concern now, say Western security officials, is that the commercial ties between the two countries will lead to closer military cooperation. Iran's very public displays of support for Russia certainly undermine the long-standing assumption of American and European policymakers that the Iranian threat, allowing Iran unlimited nuclear weapons, relates only to the Middle East -- and specifically against Israel. US President Joe Biden's confused position on the Iran issue has been further exposed by the head of...

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Kim threatens to use nukes amid tensions with US, S. Korea

  Kim threatens to use nukes amid tensions with US, S. Korea SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned he’s ready to use his nuclear weapons in potential military conflicts with the United States and South Korea, state media said Thursday, as he unleashed fiery rhetoric against rivals he says are pushing the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war. Kim’s speech to war veterans on the 69th anniversary of the end of the 1950-53 Korean War was apparently meant to boost internal unity in the impoverished country amid pandemic-related economic difficulties. While Kim has increasingly threatened his rivals with nuclear weapons, it’s unlikely that he would use them first against the superior militaries of the U.S. and its allies, observers say. “Our armed forces are completely prepared to respond to any crisis, and our country’s nuclear war deterrent is also ready to mobilize its absolute...

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The Taliban’s Neighbors Fear Afghanistan’s ‘Boiling Pot’ Of Terrorism

Foreign Policy The Taliban’s Neighbors Fear Afghanistan’s ‘Boiling Pot’ Of Terrorism A three-day conference in Uzbekistan has united the region, worried about the guerrillas in their midst.By Lynne O’Donnell The Taliban’s failure to make the leap from insurgency to governance is coming under scrutiny this week as they meet with representatives of countries that are growing increasingly concerned that after almost year in power, the extremists have again transformed Afghanistan into a global terrorist haven. The July 25-27 conference in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, follows the latest report on Afghanistan by the United Nations Security Council, which contains alarming details on the activities of terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, now enjoying the Taliban’s protection in Afghanistan. The report indicated that Afghanistan has essentially reverted to the state it was in before Sept. 11, 2001, when it hosted Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, while the group planned the...

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Given all the threats to the U.S., how significant a threat is ISIS right now?

  Given all the threats to the U.S., how significant a threat is ISIS right now? NPR NPR's Leila Fadel talks to Seth Jones at the Center for Strategic and International Studies about the threat from ISIS, and U.S. military operations that killed or captured some of its leaders. LEILA FADEL, HOST: The U.S. military confirmed the death of an ISIS leader in Syria last week. A drone strike killed Maher al-Agal. U.S. Central Command called him one of the top five ISIS leaders worldwide. This mission was the third U.S. counterterrorism operation in Syria in about a month. So how significant a threat is ISIS right now? I asked Seth Jones. He's a senior vice president and director of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. His team keeps a database of groups that pose active threats to the U.S. Right now, they've got white...

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