Homeland Security Network Blog

The information source for first responders.

IG: Convicted Terrorists Lead Religious Services In Federal Prisons


Fox News Convicted Terrorists Lead Religious Services In Federal Prisons: IG by Fred Lucas Convicted terrorists – some associated with al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and Al-Shabaab – were allowed to lead religious services in federal prisons because of a shortage of chaplains, according to a recent inspector general report evaluating the Bureau of Prisons. Moreover, the bureau’s internal watchdog found prison officials had little oversight of what was being said or taught during some of the inmate-led religious services. The July inspector general report said that convicted terrorists led religious services in four of 12 federal prison facilities that were part of the evaluation. At one prison, terrorist inmates led religious services even though the BOP hired a contract faith provider, because the inmates had disagreements with the contractors, the report says. "At another one of these facilities we found that an al-Qaeda affiliated inmate, who was convicted on terrorism charges,...

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Bill Bennett: 'We need to designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorists like Al Qaeda'


  Bill Bennett: 'We need to designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorists like Al Qaeda' Bennett highlights drugs coming across the southern borderBy Joshua Q. Nelson | Fox News After a new government report revealed U.S. drug overdose deaths hit a new record in 2020, former National Drug Control Policy Director Bill Bennett said Thursday that the United States needs to designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorists."There is a poison that is coming across. We talked about the getaways. Do the people get away? How about the drugs that get away? " Bennett said on "America Reports." "You guys are very good at showing these huge caches of drugs that are caught and authorities seize. But there’s a lot that we don’t see, and it’s making its way in the country." Fox News reported that an angel mom argued that the current border policies under the Biden administration allowed China’s criminal...

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US Court Rules 3 Iranian Banks Liable For Hamas Terror Attack


The Jerusalem Post US Court Rules 3 Iranian Banks Liable For Hamas Terror Attack This ruling is the first case in which US courts have found Banks Markazi, Melli or Saderat liable for a terror attack by a foreign terrorist organization against a US national. By TZVI JOFFRE In a landmark ruling, a US federal court ruled on Monday that Syria, Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and three Iranian banks were liable for the Hamas terror attack which killed Eitam and Naama Henkin in 2015. The District of Columbia court ruled on two suits: one filed by the parents and siblings of Eitam and one filed by the Henkins' children and the Henkins' estates. The suits made claims governed by the US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, alongside other claims. The Justice for United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Act, which amended the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, established a fund...

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Four Arrested With 100 Rounds Of Ammunition In Suspected Terror Plot On MLB Game


The Independent Four Arrested With 100 Rounds Of Ammunition In Suspected Terror Plot On MLB Game More than a dozen firearms were seized by Helen Elfer Police say a mass-shooting at the Major League baseball All-Star game in Denver may have been averted, after four men were arrested and a stash of weaponry was seized.Authorities were tipped off by a maid who was working in a hotel near the Coors Field baseball park, leading police to execute a search warrant. They discovered narcotics, body armour, 16 guns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition in an eighth-floor room with a balcony overlooking the downtown area, according to the Denver Post.Denver police are not ruling out the possibility that a “Las Vegas-style” shooting had been planned. The hotel room’s vantage point, potentially overlooking large crowds, along with the quantity of weapons and ammunition drew comparisons with the Las Vegas shooting massacre in...

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U.S. Bolsters Security At Kabul Embassy As Troops Leave Afghanistan And Taliban Close In


CBS News U.S. Bolsters Security At Kabul Embassy As Troops Leave Afghanistan And Taliban Close In Kabul — U.S. troops will be out of Afghanistan by the end of next month after 20 years of war. President Biden laid out the strategy on Thursday to withdrawal the remaining American forces, defending the timeline even as the Taliban gain strength, and take more ground in the country.CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata reports that right across Afghanistan, districts are falling to the Taliban like dominoes. As U.S. forces head for the exit and the militants inch closer to the capital, the U.S. Embassy has been taking a hard look at its own security situation.Charge D'Affaires Ross Wilson, the top U.S. diplomat in Afghanistan, told D'Agata that the embassy had "added some additional quick reaction capabilities, in the event that something happens." Asked if the embassy had emergency evacuation plans in place in the...

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Bases Housing US Troops In Iraq, Syria Attacked; 2 Injured


ABC News Bases Housing US Troops In Iraq, Syria Attacked; 2 Injured U.S.-backed Syrian fighters say they and American forces have foiled an attack with drones on a base housing members of the U.S.-led coalition in eastern Syria By By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA Associated Press BAGHDAD -- U.S.-backed Syrian fighters and American troops foiled an attack with drones Wednesday on a base housing members of the U.S.-led coalition in eastern Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces said. In neighboring Iraq, rockets hit a base housing U.S. troops, inflicting two minor injuries.The attacks come as tension has been on the rise between U.S. troops and Iran-backed fighters after American airstrikes in eastern Syria killed four Iraqi fighters late last month in areas along the Syria-Iraq border. The Pentagon said targets attacked on June 27, were facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups to support drone strikes inside Iraq. The spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition Col....

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Belarus Says It Has Dismantled 'Terrorist Sleeper Cells' With Ties To West


  Euronews Belarus Says It Has Dismantled 'Terrorist Sleeper Cells' With Ties To West By Euronews with AFP  Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said "terrorist sleeper cells" linked to the West and allegedly preparing a coup were dismantled on Friday."Terrorist sleeper cells were dismantled today," Lukashenko said, cited by his press office.The authoritarian leader claimed the cells had ties to Germany, Ukraine, the United States, Poland and Lithuania, and plotted to "overthrow the regime by violence."According to Lukashenko, "a huge number of weapons were pouring into Belarus from Ukraine," which prompted him to order Belarusian border guards to "permanently close the border with Ukraine".He added that the cells' activities were coordinated via a Telegram channel dubbed "Self-defence regiments of Belarus" which had 2,500 subscribers and belonged to a German citizen.The cells recently tried to detonate a Russian naval communication centre located in the Belarusian town of Vileika, about 100 kilometres northwest of...

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The North Korean Nuclear Arsenal


RealClear Defense The North Korean Nuclear ArsenalBy Mark B. Schneider The year 2021 has seen a number of important official statements concerning North Korean nuclear weapons development. In May 2021, General Paul LaCamera, when nominated to be the next commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, stated, “In January of this year, [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un announced plans and programs to expand its nuclear deterrent, specifically, the development of miniaturized nuclear warheads, tactical nuclear weapons, and even multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles.” The fact that he cited this statement gives it credibility. In April 2021, Major General Michael J. Lutton, Commander, Twentieth Air Force, Air Force Global Strike Command, stated that:Specifically, Russia, China, and North Korea share five themes in foreign nuclear development and proliferation:     Increasing numbers or capabilities of weapons in existing programs;    Enduring security threats to weapons and material;    Developing delivery systems with increased capabilities;    Developing nuclear weapons...

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Global Coalition Fears Islamic State Expansion In Africa


Voice of America Global Coalition Fears Islamic State Expansion In Africa By Jeff Seldin WASHINGTON - Western powers are promising recent successes by the Islamic State across Africa will not go unanswered, backing plans for a task force to focus on the terror group’s spread from Iraq and Syria to the African continent.The announcement Monday following a meeting in Rome by the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS comes a day before the seventh anniversary of the terror group’s proclamation of its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria, and two years since the caliphate’s territorial defeat in Syria.But despite constant pressure from the U.S. military and other coalition members, Western counterterrorism officials warn that IS, or Daesh as the group is also known, has found ways not just to survive but to spread, increasingly focusing the group’s propaganda on the exploits of its African affiliates.“We are fearing the expansion and spread of...

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Iran-Backed Militias Fire Rockets In New Attack Aimed At U.S. Forces


  The Wall Street Journal Iran-Backed Militias Fire Rockets In New Attack Aimed At U.S. Forces Militant assaults and American responses are elevating concerns about a deepening U.S. involvement by Michael R. Gordon and Jared MalsinU.S. troops in northeast Syria came under rocket fire Monday night after Iran-backed militias vowed revenge for U.S. airstrikes earlier that day in Iraq and Syria, a sign that fighting may be evolving into sustained confrontation.A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, Col. Wayne Marotto, said that multiple rockets had been fired at U.S. troops and that American forces responded by firing artillery at the rocket launching positions. There were no U.S. injuries, he added.The rocket attack, which a pro-militia news agency said had occurred near Syria’s al-Omar oil field, came as the Biden administration warned Monday that it stood ready to defend U.S. troops.Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that President Biden is “fully prepared to...

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Three Killed in Knife Attack in Germany


Wall Street Journal Three Killed in Knife Attack in Germany Somali suspect heard shouting ‘Allahu Akbar,’ witness says; several are injured Police secured the area around the scene of the attack Friday in the German town of Würzburg.By Bojan PancevskiThree people were killed and several seriously hurt Friday in a southern German town after they were attacked by a Somali man with a history of mental illness who one witness said shouted “Allahu Akbar,” authorities said.The attack took place around 5 p.m. in Würzburg after the 24-year-old suspect snatched a kitchen knife at a supermarket and started stabbing people around him.The man, who has been living in Wurzburg in the federal state of Bavaria since 2015, was confronted by a small crowd of passersby and then shot in the leg by police, who arrested him minutes after the attack. The suspect likely acted alone, according to police.The man had a record...

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How China Will Try To Unmask U.S. Submarines In The Western Pacific


Forbes How China Will Try To Unmask U.S. Submarines In The Western Pacific by Loren ThompsonAerospace & DefenseIn mid-July, the latest in a series of classified seminars will be held at the Charles Stark Draper Lab adjacent to MIT’s campus to educate naval personnel and contractors about how to hide U.S. warships from the prying eyes of enemies.You can’t attend unless you have a secret clearance and a need to know, because methods for masking the telltale “signatures” of American warships are a very touchy subject.That’s especially true in the case of submarines, which would be of little use in wartime if they could be reliably tracked and targeted.Submarines are the stealthiest warfighting systems ever devised, and the U.S. Navy aims to keep it that way. But one subject that likely will bulk large in the July seminar is how to cope with rapidly growing efforts by the Chinese Navy to...

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The Secret Weapon That Helps Hamas Raise Millions Of Dollars


Haaretz The Secret Weapon That Helps Hamas Raise Millions Of Dollars As the likes of Hamas, Hezbollah and Boko Haram increasingly look for donations in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it is becoming increasingly difficult for crypto-activity experts to track their fundraising. by David RosenbergShortly after the latest Gaza flare-up ended last month, Hamas officials boasted to The Wall Street Journal that they had pulled in record donations in cryptocurrencies.Global media coverage of the fighting drew attention to how the militant organization had brought hundreds of thousands of viewers to its website, where they were provided instructions on how to contribute under the eyes of the authorities, and offered a QR code to facilitate the transactions. The QR code is just one example of how Hamas has become something of a technology leader among terrorist groups, which experts say are making more and more use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to raise...

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As ISIS Presence Dwindles, U.S. Troops In Iraq Face Other Threats


  PBS News Hour As ISIS Presence Dwindles, U.S. Troops In Iraq Face Other Threats In the latest targeting of American troops in Iraq, an unexploded rocket landed close to a military base on Sunday. There were no serious damages. Today around 2,500 U.S. troops remain in the country as part of a multinational fight against ISIS. While it is the lowest U.S. military presence there in two decades, and ISIS has lost significant territory, fears of resurgence in case of a troop pullout remain. Special Correspondent Leila Molana-Allen and videographer Adrian Hartrick report. TranscriptHari Sreenivasan:    An unexploded rocket landed close to a military base hosting U.S. troops in northern Iraq today. There was no significant damage but the attack was the latest targeting the American military presence in the country. About 2,500 U.S. troops remain in Iraq as part of the multinational coalition force in the fight against ISIS. It's...

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IDF Hits Gaza Terror Targets After Arson Attacks, In First Raids Since Ceasefire


The Times Of Israel IDF Hits Gaza Terror Targets After Arson Attacks, In First Raids Since Ceasefire After two dozen fires in southern Israel, army says it struck Hamas ‘terror sites’ in Khan Younis and Gaza City; initial Palestinian reports say none injured By TOI staff and Judah Ari Gross    The Israel Defense Forces carried out a series of airstrikes throughout the Gaza Strip early Wednesday morning in response to over two dozen fires in southern Israel caused by incendiary devices launched from the coastal enclave.This was the first exchange between terror groups in Gaza and the IDF since last month’s 11-day conflict in the Strip.The IDF said it was prepared for the possibility that fighting may again break out between Israel and the enclave.Footage posted by Palestinian media outlets in Gaza showed explosions lighting up the sky in both the northern and southern Strip overnight Tuesday-Wednesday, with reporters saying sites...

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Iran-Backed Militias Display Long-Range Drone Power In Regional Escalation


  The National Iran-Backed Militias Display Long-Range Drone Power In Regional Escalation by Robert Tollast Tehran has long been suspected of equipping Iraqi militias with drones to hit non-military targets, including oil infrastructure Iran-backed militias in Iraq have revealed a collection of long-range drones that could hit other countries in the region, including Israel.On Sunday, video footage emerged of Iraqi groups in the Popular Mobilisation Forces, an umbrella organisation of militias, parading an array of apparently new unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. Most PMF groups are trained, advised and equipped by Iran, although they have formal status in Iraq's armed forces.“What I found interesting is that they showed Sammad/UAV-X type drones. Depending on the version, these should have the ability to strike Israel from Iraq,” said Fabian Hinz, an independent expert on drone and missile technology proliferation.PMF groups have used drones since at least 2014, usually smaller ones, in the war...

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‘Hack The Army’ Uncovers 238 Cyber Vulnerabilities


  ‘Hack The Army’ Uncovers 238 Cyber Vulnerabilities Breaking Defense "We cannot afford a ‘next time we will do better’ mentality," said one Defense Digital Service participant. "I strongly believe a proactive approach is critical, which means finding potential problems and addressing them before they are realized." By Brad D. Williams WASHINGTON: The third annual Hack the Army event uncovered 238 security vulnerabilities — 102 rated “high” or “critical” — in Army tech.The bug bounty event, which began in January and ran for six weeks, invited military and civilian security researchers to find vulnerabilities within a limited time frame. This allows the Army to proactively fix the prospective cyber targets, ideally before a bad guy can exploit them.For perspective, Hack the Pentagon found 138 unique, validated vulnerabilities in 2017, Hack The Army found 118 late fall, and Hack the Air Force found 207, according to a story Sydney did on the...

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Synthetic Bioweapons Are Coming


U.S. Naval Institute Synthetic Bioweapons Are Coming Emerging and Disruptive Technology Essay Contest–First Prize Gene-editing advances pose a serious threat. By Michael KnutzenJune 2021 The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed critical weaknesses in the human domain of warfare at just the moment technology has emerged that gives bad actors new power to exploit those weaknesses. Developments in synthetic biology will create next-generation bioweapons, “human-domain fires” that will fundamentally change the strategic environment and create a threat naval planners must consider now, before it is encountered at sea.A Human-Domain PlagueIn a March 2020 press release praising the effectiveness of its preventative medicine, the Navy proudly declared: “No cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed aboard any U.S. 7th Fleet Navy vessel.”1 One week later, cases were spreading so rapidly, the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) effectively became a “mission-kill.”COVID-19 has demonstrated that biological threats are almost entirely unaffected by sophisticated kinetic, cyber, and electromagnetic defenses....

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U.S. Seizes Share Of Ransom From Hackers In Colonial Pipeline Attack


  The New York Times U.S. Seizes Share Of Ransom From Hackers In Colonial Pipeline Attack The cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline last month shut down its computer systems, leading to soaring gas prices and panic buying.By Katie Benner and Nicole PerlrothWASHINGTON — The Justice Department said on Monday that it had seized much of the ransom that a major U.S. pipeline operator had paid last month to a Russian hacking collective, turning the tables on the hackers by reaching into a digital wallet to snatch back millions of dollars in cryptocurrency.Investigators in recent weeks traced 75 Bitcoins worth more than $4 million that Colonial Pipeline had paid to the hackers as the attack shut down its computer systems, prompting fuel shortages, a spike in gasoline prices and chaos at airlines.Federal investigators tracked the ransom as it moved through a maze of at least 23 different electronic accounts belonging to DarkSide, the...

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ISWAP Militant Group Says Nigeria’s Boko Haram Leader Is Dead


  ISWAP Militant Group Says Nigeria’s Boko Haram Leader Is Dead Reuters The Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) militant group said in an audio recording heard by Reuters on Sunday that Abubakar Shekau, leader of rival Nigerian militant Islamist group Boko Haram, was dead.Shekau died around May 18 after detonating an explosive device when he was pursued by ISWAP fighters following a battle, a person purporting to be ISWAP leader Abu Musab al-Barnawi said on the audio recording."Abubakar Shekau, God has judged him by sending him to heaven," he can be heard saying.Two people familiar with al-Barnawi told Reuters the voice on the recording was that of the ISWAP leader. A Nigerian intelligence report shared by a government official and Boko Haram researchers have also said Shekau is dead.Last month, Nigeria’s military said it was investigating Shekau’s alleged death, also reported in Nigerian and foreign news outlets. The audio statement,...

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