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Counter-terrorism: Who will act on evidence in 2018?

Posted by on in Terrorism
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LobeLog.com by Jordan Street and Murray AckmanThe evidence that mainstream counter-terror strategies need a rethink is crystal clear. Will 2018 be the year that decision-makers begin taking it seriously? The failure of current counter-terror strategies—in countries like Afghanistan, Egypt, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria—is painfully obvious. Reducing the global threat of terrorism will not happen with a doubling down on past approaches, but instead requires a strategic focus on resolving conflict by addressing its causes.Terrorism has spread into more countries since the “war on terror” began. Although there has been a decrease in the overall deaths from terrorism, evidence shows that for the first time ever, two out of every three countries—106 out of 163 in the Institute of Economics and Peace’s Global Terrorism Index—experienced a terror attack in 2016.Although terror attacks in Britain, Europe, and the US have dominated news cycles and political debates worldwide, three-quarters of terror attacks occur...
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IPWatchdog.com A New Breed of Anti-Terrorism Security: Meet the Patented Pups Supporting the NYPD’s Anti-Terrorism By Franco Galbo If you watched the 91st Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, there’s a good chance you didn’t notice one of the parade’s interesting features because it wasn’t as conspicuous as the six-story Snoopy lumbering through the air thanks to 300,000 to 700,000 cubic feet of helium.On the ground, the New York Police Department (NYPD) deployed a team of 14 Labrador retrievers trained to detect explosives worn on the bodies of people in the crowd. This team of powerful pups added an extra layer of security to the event, which attracts more than 3.5 million spectators every year. Such a throng raises many crowd-control and terrorism concerns for its host. The dogs were not the only vigilant protectors—officers with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors walked among the crowd, and sharpshooters on rooftops scanned building...
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The Times of Israel Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai warns Gazans that 'Israeli genius' has come up with a way to prevent underground threat to Israel By Tamar Pileggi    An IDF general on Sunday said the Israeli military, helped by the “Jewish brain,” had devised a solution that would see all of Hamas’s cross-border tunnels into Israel destroyed.Speaking in Arabic to US-based satellite TV station Alhurra, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said that “the Israeli genius along with the Jewish brain have come up with a solution to all of the terrorists’ tunnels.”“Just like there’s ‘Iron Dome’ for the air, there’s a technological umbrella of steel underground,” he said. “I want to send a message to everyone who is digging or gets too close to the tunnels: As you’ve seen in the past two months, these tunnels bring only death,” he added (Hebrew/Arabic link) according to translations of the interview.Earlier, the Israel Defense...
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Business Insider by Daniel Brown  "This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while," former President George W. Bush said on the White House South Lawn on Sept. 16, 2001. "And the American people must be patient. I'm going to be patient."Bush was right that a war on an abstract noun like "terror" would take awhile.It began in October 2001 with the US' invasion of Afghanistan. And although former President Barack Obama officially ended "The Global War on Terror" in 2013, the fight against terrorism continues nearly 17 years later.In fact, it has spread.Between October 2015 and October 2017, the US fought teror in 76 countries, or 39% of the total number of countries in the world, according to data recently published by Brown University's Costs of War Project.  The graphic shows where the US military had troops and bases, where it trained other forces in counterrorism...
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The Bristol Herald Courier PARIS (AP) — French prosecutors say they have opened a counterterrorism investigation into attempted murder after an attack at a high-security prison in northern France.The Paris prosecutor's office can't confirm details of the Thursday afternoon attack at the Vendin le Vieil prison that French media say was launched by a knife-wielding inmate against several people. French media say no one has been killed and no one is in a life-threatening condition.The prosecutor's office said its investigation was launched by its anti-terrorism branch Thursday and centered on the attempted murder of civil servants. Read more: http://www.heraldcourier.com/news/french-counterterrorism-inquiry-launched-into-prison-attack/article_e1f64fd9-7be7-5134-bd47-638da59d7bab.html...
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Forbes by Rebecca Sadwick , Contributor This article is the second in a series exploring the connection between money laundering and orchestrated global crime—including terrorism, trafficking, and large-scale corruption.Artificially intelligent (AI) systems can programmatically process large volumes of transactional and financial data, making accurate determinations of suspicious financial activity.This technology-fueled effectiveness has catalyzed the increased proactivity and ethical responsibility banks have assumed since 9/11, driven as much by an internal paradigm shift as by external regulation.Financial Inclusion and the Dark WebAs I learned more about the ways big data is used by financial institutions to monitor criminal activity, two concerning questions came to mind.First, I wondered whether there was a risk of driving criminal activity underground—specifically, further into the deep web utilizing cryptocurrencies that are harder to track. Second, I wondered whether the rise of automated transaction monitoring would negatively impact financial inclusion of people with fewer assets and financing...

UK probe into funds for Palestinian terrorism

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Jerusalem Post British-Israeli victim triggers UK probe into funds for Palestinian terrorism    >    House panel unanimously approves Taylor Force Act, targets Hamas    >    Germany uses EU funds to finance extremist Iranian regime-controlled groupBy Benjamin Weinthal"I used to take pride in the fact that I would describe myself as a ‘British-born’ Israeli. I feel no pride about that now.” BERLIN – Kay Wilson, who barely survived a Palestinian terrorist attack, prompted MP Stephen Twigg, chairman of International Development Committee in the UK Parliament, to conduct talks with fellow lawmakers about the misuse of British funds to support Palestinian terrorism. The Jerusalem Post obtained a copy of Wilson’s letter on Thursday and conducted an interview with the British Israeli on the parliamentary action and the chances of the UK replicating the American Taylor Force Act, which would bars US funds for the Palestinian Authority that are used for terrorism. “I...

CounterTerrorism Digest January 2018

Posted by on in Terrorism
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COUNTERTERRORISM DIGEST - January 2018   CALIFORNIA: On 4 January, a USPER was charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS and distributing information related to destructive devices. [pg. 7] WORLDWIDE: On 4 January, the Department of State designated Muhammad al-Ghazali, Abukar Ali Adan, and Wanas al-Faqih as global terorrists. [pg. 7] WORLDWIDE: On 3 January, Israeli authorities uncovered a suspected Iranian recruited Palestinian violent extremist cell operating in South Africa. [pg. 8] UNITED KINGDOM: On 9 January, a couple was found guilty of plotting ISIS-inspired chemical and bomb attacks in the UK. The couple met online and the woman was a pharmacist. [pg. 7] UNITED KINGDOM: On 3 January, the Government of the UK published an opportunity for a potential provider to develop a mobile alert system to provide customers in a defined area awareness of an ongoing incident. [pg. 14] AUSTRIA: On 7 January, Austrian national Lorenz...
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Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs Attorney General Jeff Sessions today announced the creation of the Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team (HFNT), a group of experienced international narcotics trafficking, terrorism, organized crime, and money laundering prosecutors. HFNT prosecutors and investigators are tasked with investigating individuals and networks providing support to Hezbollah, and pursuing prosecutions in any appropriate cases. The HFNT will begin by assessing the evidence in existing investigations, including cases stemming from Project Cassandra, a law enforcement initiative targeting Hezbollah’s drug trafficking and related operations.  Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division will supervise the HFNT, and will convene a coordination meeting focused on identifying and combatting such support to Hezbollah.  The HFNT will coordinate with, among others, investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), including the DEA’s Special Operations Division; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Homeland Security Investigations; Assistant United States Attorneys;...

Cybersecurity Predictions for 2018

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Cybersecurity Predictions for 2018 - Part One by Dan Raywood Contributing Editor, Infosecurity Magazine Over the course of December and into the New Year, my inbox fills up with predictions for what 2018 will bring cybersecurity.At the end of 2016 we assessed a whole host of industry predictions and determined 12 topics that would dictate 2017: skills gap, ransomware, poor routine IT practices, political disruption, CIO activities, social media attacks, AI, advanced cyber-criminals, GDPR, a cloud vendor compromise and better security collaboration.Most of that came true, although the predictions on ransomware came nowhere close to the impact that WannaCry and NotPetya would come to have. So with an inbox bursting with predictions for 2018, I triaged all of the comments into 11 themes. In no particular order, here are the first six:RansomwareIt is no surprise that this features so highly after 2017's headlines. In terms of evolution, it was predicted...

Don't hobble America's anti-terrorism capabilities

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Washington Examiner Don't hobble America's anti-terrorism capabilities by Rep. Jim Banks Since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, there have been more than 100 terror plots on American soil. Just last month, a would-be suicide bomber detonated a pipe bomb in a New York City subway station, an attempted attack inspired by ISIS. As threats to our nation continue to rise, our government has an obligation to use every available tool to protect the American people.Later this week, the House of Representatives will vote on whether to reauthorize an important counterterrorism program set to expire later this month. Without congressional action, our intelligence community will not be able to use this irreplaceable tool that protects our nation and prevents future terrorist attacks. Due to changes in communications technology in the 30 years after FISA was enacted in 1978, Congress recognized that the intelligence community was having to obtain probable cause orders...
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Top enlisted leader to remaining ISIS fighters: Surrender or we'll beat you to death with shovels Washington Examiner by Travis J. Tritten The military’s top enlisted leader says Islamic State fighters must surrender or face a range of violent deaths at the hands of U.S. troops, to include being shot in the face or beaten to death with entrenching tools.Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell made the threats in a tweet and Facebook post on Tuesday evening. He is the military’s senior enlisted adviser to Gen. Joe Dunford, the Joint Chiefs chairman, and its most senior noncommissioned officer. "ISIS needs to understand that the Joint Force is on orders to annihilate them. So, they have two options should they decide to come up against the United States, our allies and partners: surrender or die!" Troxell wrote on Facebook. "If they surrender, we will safeguard them to their detainee facility...
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Los Angeles Times by Ann M. Simmons When the Trump administration announced this week it was suspending military aid to Pakistan until the country takes more aggressive action against terrorist organizations that have targeted Americans, one of the groups it named was the Haqqani network. Compared to other extremist groups, it is unfamiliar to many people in the U.S.So who is Haqqani? What is the network? And what are its links to Pakistan?Jalaluddin Haqqani was an Afghan warlord and a leader of the insurgency against Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s, when he formed his Sunni Islamist militant organization, which the U.S. government did not designate as a foreign terrorist organization until 2012.Today the group is based primarily in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan, from which it conducts cross-border operations into eastern Afghanistan and Kabul, according to a counter-terrorism guide published by the U.S. government’s National Counterterrorism Center.“It...
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Miami New Times by Jerry Iannelli Few American airports shuttle more travelers out of the country than Miami International. But many travelers who've flown internationally from MIA since October have been stopped by agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and guided to a small kiosk with a camera inside that resembles an iPhone the size of a shoebox.The tiny boxes take facial scans of thousands of travelers departing from nine airports — in Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York City, Houston, D.C., and Miami. Homeland Security rolled out the so-called biometric exit technology at MIA in October, but a group of Georgetown University legal advocates released a report just before Christmas detailing the many terrifying and unanswered questions about the new data-collection program. They demanded the federal government stop needlessly collecting sensitive data on thousands, if not millions, of people exiting the country. The Georgetown legal experts...
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KTLA The Department of Homeland Security on Friday released new policies on searching electronic devices at the US border.The new policies, replacing guidance from 2009, clarify government search powers when it comes to such devices, which have exploded in both use and capability in recent years. The policies place some new restrictions on how extensively electronics can be searched, but still give latitude to US officials.The government has wide legal authority to search the belongings without a warrant of travelers at the border — a term that applies to all entry points to the US from abroad. The new policy offers guidance to US officials on to what extent, however, they can search the personal electronic devices of all travelers entering and exiting the country.The move comes amid heightened anxiety under the aggressive border policies of the Trump administration as well as recent court decisions limiting the government’s reach into...
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Worcester's police chief is one of many U.S. police officials who attended a weeklong seminar in Israel. By GEORGE BARNES Associated Press WORCESTER, Mass. — Israel and Worcester are worlds apart, but Police Chief Steven M. Sargent said there is a lot the city can learn from how terrorist threats are being addressed in the Middle East.Chief Sargent recently returned from Israel after attending a weeklong counterterrorism seminar sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League of New England. The seminar brought together members of law enforcement of every level from throughout New England to learn from senior Israeli intelligence, police and military officials about the latest methods of preventing terrorism.The Anti-Defamation League pays for training of law enforcement officials as part of its overall mission of reducing anti-Semitism and securing justice and fair treatment for all. It has been sending law enforcement officials to counterterrorism seminars in Israel since 2004.The trip coincided...

2017: A record year for US counterterrorism strikes

Posted by on in Terrorism
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FDD’s Long War Journal By Bill Roggio & Alexandra Gutowski The United States launched a record number of airstrikes in Yemen and Somalia in 2017, and more importantly has reinitiated the targeting of terrorists in Pakistan and Libya. The pattern of operations in 2017 in what the Obama administration used to call areas “outside of active hostilities” (or active war zones such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria) indicated that the US will continue the reinvigorated air campaign in these theaters in the coming years.The increased targeting of jihadists in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya provides proof that the Obama administration strategy to defeat terrorist groups in these countries with airpower and limited support to local governments has failed. The US has targeted Shabaab in Yemen since 2007 and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula since 2009, yet both of these al Qaeda branches maintain a robust insurgency and continue to...
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KOMO Newsby Christopher Shaw FREDERICKSON, Wash. -- A Pierce County sheriff's deputy has died after being shot during a response to a burglary in Frederickson late Sunday night, and an active manhunt is under way for his suspected shooter. According to the sheriff's office, the deputy responded at about 11:30 p.m. to a 911 call during which dispatchers could hear screaming and some type of altercation. The deputy arrived at the home on 200th St. E. and chased a suspect but was struck by gunfire during the pursuit. Police have determined that two suspects were involved in the incident. A white man was found dead at the scene but police are actively looking for another black man who is believed to be armed and dangerous, deputies said, adding they do not have a more detailed description of their suspect yet. Officials said it does appear that the suspect partially disrobed...
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By John UbaldiContributor, In Homeland SecurityISIS has commanded the attention of the United States since it burst on the international political scene in 2014. But before the U.S. can take a victory lap about its defeat of ISIS, it needs to figure out what to do next for Iraq.Throughout the 2016 presidential election, then-candidate Donald Trump vowed to lift the highly restrictive rules of engagement imposed by President Obama against the Islamic State. Trump sought to fully unleash the U.S. military and destroy ISIS.This goal has been accomplished. A tactical victory has been achieved, but as far as achieving a strategic victory, the U.S. has yet to figure out how to rebuild Iraq.President Bush’s Mistakes with IraqThe past two administrations have made strategic miscalculations with regard to Iraq. For example, President George W. Bush invaded Iraq in the belief that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had developed and possessed weapons of...

Gatestone Institute: Sharia for New Year's

Posted by on in Terrorism
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by Bruce Bawer  •  Gatestone Institute The same reporters and commentators who insist that it is absurd to worry about sharia coming to the West are, in fact, ideologically arm-in-arm with those in authority who are aggressively introducing sharia-style laws in the West, prosecuting speech that violates those laws, and issuing dark warnings -- in tones unbefitting public officials in a free country -- that you had better learn to be sharia-compliant or you will be sorry. The real lesson of all this is that we had better learn to be aggressive in our resistance to this proliferation of sharia-influenced prohibitions or we will, indeed, end up being very, very sorry. Last September, a man named Mark Feigin posted five comments on the Facebook page of an Islamic center. They were not Islam-friendly. "THE MORE MUSLIMS WE ALLOW INTO AMERICA," he wrote, "THE MORE TERROR WE WILL SEE." He called...

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