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Homeland Security Today DHS Releases Fiscal Year 2020 Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Program Notice of Funding Opportunity The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Monday released a Notice of Funding Opportunity for the FY20 Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Grant Program. Congress provided $10 million in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2020 (P.L. 116-93) for this grant program in December. DHS has designed the program to implement the objectives of Goal 3 of its Strategic Framework to Counter Terrorism and Targeted Violence: Strengthen societal resistance against the drivers of violent extremism and ensure broad awareness of the threat of terrorism and targeted violence. Counter terrorists and violent extremists’ influence online. Develop prevention frameworks with SLTT partners to enhance their ability to identify and respond to individuals at risk of mobilizing to violence. Develop and implement recidivism reduction programming to address individuals convicted of crimes related...
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Foreign Policy How An Iranian Airline Tied To Terrorism Likely Spread The Virus (And Lied About It) Why is Iran the flaming epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the Middle East? One of the primary suspects is Mahan Air. By Kevjn Lim There are many reasons why Iran has become the Middle East’s flaming epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. They include the government trying to hide the outbreak; insufficient testing capacity; refusal to cordon off cities and Shiite shrines; superstition, politicization, and propaganda blaming Iran’s usual enemies; and the lack of seriousness in dealing with the crisis.All these factors undoubtedly play a role, but there is another, far less public suspect for bringing the disease to Iran and worsening its spread among the population: a private Iranian airline tied to the regime’s ideological army and sanctioned by the United States, which continued uninterrupted flights to and from China, including Wuhan,...
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American Military News by Ryan Morgan Police in Chula Vista, Calif. plan to use Chinese-made aerial drones to surveil and enforce the state’s coronavirus “stay at home” orders, and to disperse crowds violating the orders.The police department has doubled its drone fleet, adding two additional DJI drones to help with its lockdown enforcement efforts, the Washington Examiner reported. U.S. officials have warned against using Chinese drones domestically. Chula Vista’s drones would reportedly be outfitted with night-vision and loudspeakers.“We have not traditionally mounted speakers to our drones, but … if we need to cover a large area to get an announcement out, or if there were a crowd somewhere that we needed to disperse, we could do it without getting police officers involved,” Capt. Vern Sallee said in comments to the Financial Times. Read more: https://americanmilitarynews.com/2020/03/ca-city-to-use-chinese-night-vision-drones-banned-by-us-army-to-enforce-coronavirus-lockdown/...
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Department of JusticeU.S. Attorney’s OfficeWestern District of New York FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASENiagara Falls Man Who Forced The Closure Of The New York State Thruway Charged With Possessing Multiple BombsBUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Jose M. Gandia, 47, of Niagara Falls, NY, was charged by complaint with unlawful possession of a destructive device and unlawful possession of a shortened shotgun. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth T. Molisani, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on March 25, 2020, the New York State Police received a report of an individual pointing a shotgun with a red laser out of a red pickup truck on the New York State Thruway. A trooper located the vehicle stopped behind the traffic cones of an active work zone near the Town of Hanover. The trooper approached...
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One Phoenix police officer killed, two injured in shooting By KTAR.com PHOENIX — One police officer was killed and two were injured in a Phoenix shooting on Sunday night, the police department announced.Commander Greg Carnicle was shot and killed in a domestic violence call in a neighborhood near 40th Avenue and Pinnacle Peak Road.Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said she knew Carnicle for 30 years.“Tonight, we lost a true hero,” Williams said. “I knew him for 30 years. He and I worked together in Maryvale precinct and used to enjoy way too much Church’s Chicken on duty. To be able to stand here today and say that one of my good friends is lost is troubling.” Read more: https://ktar.com/story/3051701/three-phoenix-police-officers-injured-in-shooting-taken-to-hospital/...

Lessons from History: The Reagan Legacy

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Lessons from History: The Reagan Legacyby Peter Huessy  •  Gatestone Institute Even if Reagan believed the Soviets would never fire a long-range missile at the US -- which he certainly did not believe -- what about the long-range missile threats against the United States from China? Certainly, given such threats, the United States had the right to build strategic missile defenses, making any deal to forgo missile defenses with the Soviets an absurd proposition. Even worse, what was described as "arms control" in the SALT 1 and 2 treaties was just an agreement between the Soviets and the United States largely to build-up US nuclear arsenals as it was already planning to do even without the arms treaties. Reagan left an open window of consensus to 1) modernize the US nuclear deterrent, 2) seek future arms control that includes limiting all nuclear weapons, including China's, and 3) deploy more robust...
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The Washington Free Beacon Trump Admin Sanctions Vast Iranian Terror Network In Iraq by Adam Kredo The Trump administration on Thursday designated a vast network of front companies and entities tied to Iran's terrorism operations in Iraq, where U.S. personnel have been under near-constant attack by militia groups armed and funded by Tehran.The new designations target "Iraq-based front companies, senior officials, and business associates that provide support to, or act for or on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), in addition to transferring lethal aid to Iranian-backed terrorist militias in Iraq, such as Kata'ib Hizballah (KH) and Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH)," according to the Treasury Department.The companies and terror groups have organized a series of rocket attacks and bombing on U.S. positions in Iraq, including one earlier this month that killed two American troops and one British soldier. At least two rockets struck inside Baghdad's Green Zone...
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The Cipher Brief The National Security Implications of the Coronavirus Pandemic This creates glaring blind spots for ongoing counterterrorism and law enforcement cases. Transnational criminal and terrorist groups are not ... ABC News Bottom Line Up Front   Threats to national security have not receded as a result of the coronavirus and many have only grown more acute with resources now shifted to respond to the pandemic. ‘Social Distancing,’ while a necessary medical mitigation tactic intended to slow the rate of infection, is anathema to security missions such as cultivating HUMINT sources, maintaining troop readiness, or handling emergency response calls.   As more businesses move their operations online, there could be an uptick in cybercrime or ransomware attacks with terrorists and criminals seeking to exploit the coronavirus crisis. The intelligence community was aware of the pandemic months ago and repeated warnings went unheeded; it will be critical for the United...
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NBC News Federal Prisons Aren't Properly Monitoring Terrorist Inmates, Report Says According to the Justice Department inspector general, the volume of inmate email was found to be especially challenging.By Pete WilliamsWASHINGTON — The U.S. Bureau of Prisons is not adequately keeping tabs on inmates with terrorism connections, and wasn't even aware of more than two dozen of them in its own facilities, according to an audit report released Wednesday.The Justice Department inspector general, Michael Horowitz, said his team identified 28 inmates who met the federal definition of an international or domestic terrorist who were not on prison lists as requiring special monitoring. The report said in most of those cases, courts or law enforcement agencies didn't provide sufficient information about them. Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/federal-prisons-aren-t-properly-monitoring-terrorist-inmates-report-says-n1168616...
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ABC News Domestic terror suspect allegedly plotted to use car bomb on hospital during coronavirus outbreak The suspect was killed in the planning phase of the attack. By Pierre Thomas, Jack Date, Mike Levine and Luke Barr  The FBI announced on Wednesday night that a domestic terrorism suspect who was allegedly planning to use a car bomb at a local medical facility was killed during an attempt to apprehend him just outside of Kansas City, Missouri.Timothy Wilson, 36, was "actively planning to commit an act of domestic terrorism -- a bombing -- and over the course of several months had considered several targets," according to the FBI. He had recently decided to target a hospital as news surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic picked up, sources familiar worth the investigation told ABC News. Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/amp/Politics/domestic-terrorist-allegedly-plotted-car-bomb-hospital-coronavirus/story?id=69803480...
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Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Thursday, March 26, 2020 Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Narco-Terrorism Charges Against Nicolas Maduro, Current And Former Venezuelan Officials, And Farc LeadershipVenezuela’s Vice President for the Economy and Others Separately Charged with Evading OFAC Sanctions In Connection With Maduro’s 2018 Presidential CampaignWilliam Barr, the Attorney General of the United States, Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Brian Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, Uttam Dhillon, Acting Administrator of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and Alysa D. Erichs, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Acting Executive Associate Director for Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), announced the unsealing of two separate indictments charging current and former Venezuelan officials and FARC leadership.  One Superseding Indictment includes narco-terrorism, drug trafficking, and weapons charges against NICOLÁS...
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Law enforcement: "We will not be kicking in doors," making random stops for 'Safer at home' order By Naomi Kowles CENTRAL WISCONSIN, Wis. (WSAW) -- While the enforcement of Governor Tony Evers' 'Safer at home' order effective Wednesday morning is in the hands of local law enforcement, it's not likely officers and deputies in Central Wisconsin will begin pulling vehicles over or making random stops for the exclusive purpose of checking compliance, multiple law enforcement officials say.Wausau police chief Ben Bliven talked with NewsChannel 7 on Tuesday afternoon about enforcement of the order, saying he had already been in discussion with the Marathon County district attorney regarding its enforcement."I want to put people's minds at ease. We aren't out there looking to arrest people and put people in jail for this type of violation. That is the furthest thing from the truth. We want people to comply, yes. We have...
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Homeland Security warns terrorists may attack amid coronavirus pandemicBy Natalie MusumeciThe Department of Homeland Security has sent a memo to law enforcement officials across the nation warning that terrorists may attempt to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic by attacking the US in the near future, according to a report.The memo by the federal agency’s Counterterrorism Mission Center and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office cautioned: “Violent extremists probably are seeking to exploit public fears associated with the spread of COVID-19 to incite violence, intimidate targets and promote their ideologies, and we assess these efforts will intensify in the coming months,” ABC News reported.The agency said it has “no information indicating any active plotting is underway,” but did note that it has evidence of both foreign and domestic extremist groups seeking to spread fake news about the potentially deadly virus. Read more: https://nypost.com/2020/03/25/homeland-security-warns-terrorists-may-attack-amid-coronavirus-pandemic/...

Pentagon raises base security globally over coronavirus

Posted by on in Terrorism
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TheHill.com Pentagon raises base security globally over coronavirus By Ellen Mitchell Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday raised the military’s health protection level to its second-highest setting for all Defense Department installations globally as the number of service members with coronavirus continues to increase. The Pentagon elevated the Health Protection Condition (HPCON) to Charlie, a designation which will increase the number of employees teleworking, cancel large-scale meetings and require temperatures to be taken at entrances to some buildings on military installations, Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah told reporters.She added that the measures will vary across facilities. As of Wednesday morning, 227 service members had tested positive for the coronavirus — up 53 from the day prior — with 12 in the hospital. Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/defense/489520-pentagon-raises-base-security-globally-over-coronavirus...
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ABC 6 Action News - Philadelphia Homeland Security warns terrorists may exploit COVID-19 pandemic By ALEXANDER MALLINA Department of Homeland Security memo sent to law enforcement officials around the country warns that violent extremists could seek to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by carrying out attacks against the U.S."Violent extremists probably are seeking to exploit public fears associated with the spread of COVID-19 to incite violence, intimidate targets and promote their ideologies, and we assess these efforts will intensify in the coming months," according to the intelligence bulletin, compiled by the agency's Counterterrorism Mission Center and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office.At this time, DHS said it has "no information indicating any active plotting is underway," but that it has observed certain extremist groups, both foreign and domestic, looking to spread misinformation about the coronavirus.The memo, which was circulated on Monday, comes after assurances from FBI Director Chris Wray...
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Kurdistan 24 ISIS Attacks, Wounds Iraqi Federal Police In Disputed Kirkuk A group of Islamic State militants launched two attacks against the Iraqi Federal Police forces in Kirkuk governorate, a source in the area told Kurdistan 24 early on Monday. The source claimed Islamic State militants attacked a security checkpoint belonging to the Iraqi Federal Police southwest of the city of Kirkuk, leading to heavy clashes between both sides. The source also confirmed that Islamic State militants bombed the headquarters of a federal police brigade near the oil fields in Khobaza, severely wounding an officer. Before the attack on Sunday, the Iraqi Federal Police announced the seizure of equipment between the villages of Atashana and Mansuriya in Kirkuk that “contained explosives, rocket-propelled grenades, and explosive devices belonging to ISIS.” The authorities said the explosives were detonated and destroyed under the supervision of the division’s engineering battalion. The province, which is...

Coronavirus has transformed policing in the US

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Coronavirus has transformed policing in the US, as officers scramble to get tested, stay safe by Kristine Phillips - USA TODAY After a reserve police officer in San Jose, California, tested positive for coronavirus last week, 20 of his colleagues were quarantined. Another 10 full-time employees from the police department’s family violence unit were also asked to stay home.“You can imagine. Just this one incident could create an issue with regards to investigations of those real high-profile domestic violence, child abuse cases,” said Sgt. Paul Kelly, president of the San Jose Police Officers Association.Then there's the worst-case scenario, Kelly said, where the coronavirus pandemic depletes the police force of one of the largest cities in California. Police officials in San Jose and elsewhere warn that detectives, administrative and special operations staff may have to put on uniforms and respond to 911 calls, taking time away from major investigations. Across the...
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Financial Times Islamist Extremists Eye India As Fertile Recruiting Ground As Delhi reeled last month from deadly communal riots, a new digital magazine began circulating, its main article headlined: “So where are you going? A call to Muslims of India.” Called the Voice of Hind — Arabic for India — it made no direct mention of the sectarian violence that claimed at least 53 lives as Hindu nationalist mobs rampaged through working-class neighborhoods in the Indian capital. But it mocked the country’s Muslims for their faith in democracy, warning readers they were “on the verge of being stripped from your last shred of dignity”. The magazine — and its timing — highlights a renewed focus among transnational Islamist extremist groups on trying to recruit in India, at a time when Muslims feel increasingly marginalized by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist agenda. Even before the riots, Isis newsletter Al-Naba had...
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Asharq Al-Awsat 5,000 Terrorists Detained In One Of The Toughest Prisons Worldwide Al-Hasakah: Kamal ShaykhoIn al-Hasakah, the United States and the international alliance against ISIS have established the largest prison in the world for extremists, holding around 5 thousand inmates. These are men who fought alongside ISIS until its final days in Baghuz last spring before turning themselves in and ending up in this place.Before entering, the guards verify the visitor’s identity and put them through complicated security checks, out of fear that pro-ISIS sleeper cells may slip in. At the main gate, tens of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) personnel stand in full uniform and fully armed. Visitors are asked not to discuss field news, including the death of ISIS’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the Turkish attack on East Euphrates.These are the ISIS members who struck fear with their extremist rules, barbaric sentences and their crimes committed between 2014...
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Pakistani Doctor, Arrested in Minneapolis, Is Accused of Plan to Join ISISMuhammad Masood, 28, a doctor, said he wanted to “fight on the front line as well as help the wounded brothers,” according to the F.B.I.By Neil VigdorA Pakistani doctor who the F.B.I. said was intent on joining the Islamic State, either on the battlefield in Syria or as a “lone wolf” in the United States, was arrested on Thursday before boarding a flight at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.The doctor, Muhammad Masood, 28, had been en route to Los Angeles to try to travel to the Middle East by cargo ship, the authorities said. He had initially bought a plane ticket from Chicago to Jordan, but officials said the flight was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.Mr. Masood, who most recently worked as a research coordinator at a medical clinic in Rochester, Minn., was charged with one count of attempting to...