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Islamism in Eastern Africa: Not immune to terror

Posted by on in Terrorism
Qantara.de Islamism in eastern Africa Not immune to terror Somalia, Kenya and their neighbouring countries are increasingly being haunted by extremist violence. This essay assesses why this region has become a hotbed of Islamism and why one-dimensional military interventions by external forces have not delivered the desired results. By Emmanuel Kisiangani In eastern Africa, the Islamic faith has been used for political purposes for a long time. Muslim groups were active in various movements, including the mostly secular liberation struggles against the colonial powers in places such as Tanzania (then Tanganyika), Sudan and Somalia.In national politics, adherence to a particular faith often defines allegiances and roles in politics. In a short essay of this kind, however, it is impossible to convey the entire complexity of the matter. This essay is, therefore, concerned with a more recent phenomenon of political Islam in eastern Africa: violent extremism, which will be called "Islamism"...

Boko Haram: Controversy over desertion in police

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Sun News Online Molly Kilete, AbujaAt least 200 operatives of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), otherwise known as MOPOL, undergoing training at the Special Forces School (SFS), Buni-Yadi, Yobe State, have disappeared into thin air for fear of being killed by Boko Haram terrorists. They left Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, on Sunday, December 23, at exactly 2pm on the grounds that they did not want to die like soldiers. Daily Sun gathered that the policemen made up their minds to abandon the operations after the military authorities running the school announced to them that they were changing their uniforms from the MOPOL colours to woodland camouflage, the official uniform for personnel engaged in the counterterrorism war.It was gathered that the policemen became terribly afraid upon the news and made up their minds to abscond. The MOPOL personnel were said to be among the 2,000 officers deployed on December 2,...
By Christina Maxouris, CNN (CNN)The man suspected to have shot and killed a police officer during a traffic stop in Newman, California, was in the country illegally, the Stanislaus County sheriff said Thursday. The 33-year-old police officer, Ronil Singh, pulled over the suspect just before 1 a.m. Wednesday and a few moments later called out "shot fired" over the radio. "Multiple agencies responded to assist, and Singh was found at the scene with gunshot wounds," the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, which is leading the investigation, said in a news release. Singh was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.The sheriff's department has identified a suspect but is not releasing his name. Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/27/us/suspect-california-police-officer-killed/index.html...
Faithwire Muslim Leader in Canada Says Wishing Christians ‘Merry Christmas’ Is Worse Than Murder By Tré Goins-PhillipsAn imam in British Columbia said this week that wishing Christians a “merry Christmas” is worse than murder.The Muslim leader, Sheikh Younus Kathrada, made the comment during a sermon at the Muslim Youth of Victoria. He told congregants he feels “great sadness” when he observes his fellow Muslims’ casual treatment of Christmas, which he described a “false holiday.”“There are those who will say to them ‘Merry Christmas,’” the cleric said. “What are you congratulating them on? Congratulations on the birth of your Lord? Is that acceptable to a Muslim? Are you now approving of their beliefs? By saying that you are approving of it.” Read more: https://www.faithwire.com/2018/12/26/muslim-leader-in-canada-says-wishing-christians-merry-christmas-is-worse-than-murder/...
The Washington Times  By Stephen DinanBorder officials begged for medical help from the Coast Guard and the Pentagon to screen illegal immigrants and asked both American and Mexican disease specialists to investigate a surge in sick migrants being caught at the border after another illegal immigrant child died in U.S. custody.Every juvenile currently held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection is being rechecked for health issues, and a new review of CBP procedures is underway, authorities said after the latest death on Christmas Eve.This one involved an 8-year-old boy who’d jumped the border with his father on Dec. 18. They had been shuttled to four different CBP facilities and one hospital during the next six days until his death.CBP said more than two dozen “welfare checks” were performed during those six days, and it wasn’t until the final day that the boy showed any problems — and was actually treated...
    The Sacramento Bee   By Deke Farrow A manhunt continued Wednesday morning for the suspect wanted in the shooting death of a Newman Police Department corporal during a traffic stop early Wednesday morning, authorities said. Cpl. Ronil Singh, 33, called in a traffic stop at Merced Street and Eucalyptus Avenue just before 1 a.m. Three minutes later, there was a report of “shots fired.” The corporal’s partner, who was patrolling nearby, was first on scene and found Singh suffering from gunshot wounds, said a spokesman for the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, which is leading the investigation. Singh was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The Sheriff’s Department reported later in the morning that Singh is survived by his wife, Anamika, their 5-month-old son, his parents and a brother. Read more: https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/article223560025.html Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/article223560025.html?fbclid=IwAR33NBoTN_mqcipNRt540jMZng1MNcjVhkM6hMJ3C4a0U8isWenjFyo6b6I#storylink=cpy...
CBS News By Olivia Gazis Even though the territories held by extremist groups like al Qaeda and ISIS have been eroded, the groups' global propaganda reach is still proving to be an effective recruitment tool, inspiring uncomplicated but deadly terror attacks on U.S. soil, according to the head of the New York Police Department's Intelligence and Counterterrorism bureaus."[T]he unintended consequence of our effectively smashing ISIS and al-Qaeda – the pieces scattered," said Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller in a recent interview with Intelligence Matters host and CBS News senior national security contributor Michael Morell.While the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011 and the organization's top propagandist, Anwar al-Awlaki, in 2012 were effective setbacks, the group and, more significantly, its regional successor, ISIS, have maintained a propaganda arm that reaches around the world and often across ideologies, Miller said.He listed as examples some small but...

FBI's Counterterrorism Investigations Now Run on Amazon

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Nextgov By Frank Konkel, Executive Editor The FBI is using Amazon Web Services’ cloud services to process, host and analyze both classified and unclassified counterterrorism data, an FBI official revealed Tuesday.The previously undisclosed partnership dates back nearly two years and began after the FBI reached a “data crisis,” according to FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Christine Halvorsen, who made the announcement at AWS’ re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.“The FBI is in a data crisis, and solution is the adoption of cloud technology,” Halvorsen said.The FBI is the latest intelligence agency to make use of AWS, which operates three cloud regions—massive data centers that lease out computing power—that explicitly serve the federal government.Halvorsen said the FBI’s counterterrorism division previously operated its own data center, including the massive amount of information that comes in following national security and counterterrorism events. That data is growing exponentially, Halvorsen said, comparing the 50 terabytes...
Forbes by Chris Richardson, CommunityVoice Forbes Technology Council “Police scour CCTV footage for clues,” is a phrase delivered by many journalists in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. The chances are that somewhere, someone, somehow captured a critical piece of evidence on camera. Last year, New York police uncovered CCTV footage of the moments before a terrorist set off a pipe bomb in a crowded transport hub. They then used the images to identify the suspect. In London, counterterrorism squads used CCTV and other video footage to identify and recreate the movements of the terrorist that detonated a bomb at a concert in Manchester Arena. Video footage also played a key role in finding the culprits responsible for the November 2015 Paris attacks, with a CCTV video at Brussels airport used to pin down one suspect. It’s easy to see just how valuable video can be to security, defense and...
  DailyMail.com The REAL It's A Wonderful Life: How an 'angel' with a Gucci purse saved an alcoholic NYPD officer from suicide on Christmas Eve after she handed him a note saying 'life is a gift to be shared' Dean Simpson was on a train to upstate New York on Christmas Eve 2001 with the intent to end his life  A cheerful woman in her 60s began chatting him up and left with him a note that read: 'Life is a gift meant to be shared. Don't ever give up hope! Merry Christmas' Dean, a disabled NYPD officer an alcoholic, decided not to end his life that day He moved to Florida where he now, 51, helps traumatized war veterans  He wrote a book titled: The Blue Pawn: A Memoir of an NYPD Foot Soldier  Read more: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6525367/The-REAL-Wonderful-Life-angel-saved-NYPD-officer-suicide-Christmas-Eve.html...

Iowa Police hand out gift cards instead of tickets

Posted by on in Terrorism
KPLC 7 By Chandler Watkins IOWA, LA (KPLC) - The Iowa Police Department conducted several traffic stops, but instead of handing out tickets, they were spreading holiday cheer.Officers handed out $10 gift cards to In-Laws, on Dec. 20. Police Chief Keith Vincent said this is the first year Iowa Police have done something like this.“We love to bless people here, and I think the people who received the gift instead of a citation were very happy," Vincent said. "We just want to remind them that it’s that time of the year and to be attentive, pay attention, and this is our way to do it in a friendly manner.”Vincent said they hope to do this again next year. Read more: http://www.kplctv.com/2018/12/21/iowa-police-hand-out-gift-cards-instead-tickets/...
KENS 5 Happy holidays right back to our men and women in blue! Author: StaffSAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Police were feeling merry and musical less than a week before Christmas, and the evidence is on their social media.The police department tweeted out a video Friday night featuring officers harmonizing to the classic tune “Jingle Bells.” They actually start out with some impressive lip-syncing before moving on to using their own voices to spread Christmas cheer. Watch HERE Read more: https://www.kens5.com/article/news/local/sapd-get-in-the-holiday-spirit-wish-city-a-merry-christmas-through-song/273-624539684...
For The Record - The IPT Blog    Kurdish-led Group Reportedly Considers Releasing ISIS Prisonersby John Rossomando  An immediate fallout from President Trump's decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria could be the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) releasing 3,200 ISIS prisoners in its custody.Turkey views SDF units as terrorists due to their connection with the Marxist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a four-decade war for autonomy from Ankara in eastern Turkey. The People's Protection Units (YPG) that dominate the SDF forces have historical and ideological ties with the PKK. The SDF is not an exclusively Kurdish group and includes Arab and Christian units.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced plans last week to invade areas of Syria east of the Euphrates River controlled by the SDF.SDF leaders deny having any interest in Turkish territory and say they only are interested in building a multi-ethnic, non-sectarian government in...

Law enforcement: Use of drones saves time, money

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The Ledger By Kathy Leigh BerkowitzLAKELAND — It has been almost a year since the Polk County Sheriff’s Office introduced the use of drones for emergency situations where they would normally use a helicopter.The system, rolled out in January, is called the Aerial Response Team.Ten drones are used in daytime hours by five patrol districts.The night shift has three drones.The daytime drones cost $1,250 each and the drones at night cost about $23,000 each.“At some point, we will be using 10 nighttime drones,” said PCSO spokeswoman Carrie Horstman. The reason, Horstman said, for the cost difference between day and night is the cameras have to be so much more “sophisticated” to be able to provide images in the dark. Read more: https://www.theledger.com/news/20181223/law-enforcement-use-of-drones-saves-time-money...
by Clarion Project The man who confessed to plotting the next 9-11 was sentenced to 40 years in prison for planning multiple attacks in New York City.    Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 20, had “planned to detonate bombs in Times Square and the New York City subway system, and to shoot civilians at concert venues,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. “El Bahnasawy aspired, in his words, to ‘create the next 9/11′.”El Bahnasawy, a Canadian citizen, was arrested in May 2016 while traveling from Canada to New York. He was plotting with two others: Talha Haroon, a 20-year-old U.S. citizen arrested in Pakistan, and Russell Salic, a 38-year-old orthopedic surgeon and citizen of the Philippines, who was arrested in the Philippines.The plans included a massive attack on Times Square, where the men planned to trap people inside the area called Crossroads of the World “and kill as many people as possible.”A shooting...
American Military News by Cheryl Hinneburg - October 31, 2018 An Iraqi terrorist, who had a reputation for being a bomb expert, died on Monday when a bomb that he was constructing blew up.Abu Moaaz, a bomb maker for ISIS, was manufacturing explosives in central Iraq, about 15 miles north of Baqubah when the explosion took place, The Daily Mail reported.He had recently supplied ISIS numerous explosive devices that were used to kill many people, including law enforcement. In 2014, ISIS held a stronghold that swept from Iraq to Syria, but that presence has shrunk considerably. Read more: https://americanmilitarynews.com/2018/10/isis-bomb-expert-blows-himself-up-while-making-explosives/...
By Ken Suarez, FOX 13 NewsLAKELAND, Fla. (FOX 13) - It must be Christmas. Polk Sheriff Grady Judd just sent out his annual holiday card to 300 of his closest friends.On the front, it says “Just in Time for the Holidays.” When you open it, it says, “The Judd Band Christmas Holiday Classic. It looks like a CD.On one side Judd, under a Polk County Jail sign, wearing a Santa hat, is playing the guitar. His backup band members are all dressed in jailhouse orange. On the other side you see a list of songs on the CD, “Won’t be Home for Christmas,”  “Jingle Bail Rock,” “Silver Cuffs,” “Frosty the Conman,” and more. Read more: http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/polk-co-sheriff-holiday-card-becomes-cherished-tradition...

East of the Euphrates is a nest of terrorism

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Daily Sabah by Ozan Ceyhun On Tuesday, a critical step for Syria was taken in Geneva with the efforts of Turkey, Russia, and Iran.Thanks to this step, soon the commission that will pen the democratic constitution of Syria will be formed. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu came together with his Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov and Iranian colleague Cevad Zarif and announced a joint memo regarding this particularly important matter for Syria.As it is known, according to U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254, a rewriting of Syrian constitution was proposed to benefit the political transformation process. During the National Dialogue Congress that was held in Sochi, Russia in January 2018, representatives from the U.N., Turkey, Iran, and the host country Russia, together with the Syrian parties, decided to form a Constitutional Committee. Some problems were encountered during the appointment process of Constitutional Committee, which will be composed of 150 people, due to interference...

DHS: Cybersecurity Overview

Posted by on in Terrorism
Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity OverviewCyberspace and its underlying infrastructure are vulnerable to a wide range of risk stemming from both physical and cyber threats and hazards. Sophisticated cyber actors and nation-states exploit vulnerabilities to steal information and money and are developing capabilities to disrupt, destroy, or threaten the delivery of essential services. A range of traditional crimes are now being perpetrated through cyberspace. This includes the production and distribution of child pornography and child exploitation conspiracies, banking and financial fraud, intellectual property violations, and other crimes, all of which have substantial human and economic consequences.Cyberspace is particularly difficult to secure due to a number of factors: the ability of malicious actors to operate from anywhere in the world, the linkages between cyberspace and physical systems, and the difficulty of reducing vulnerabilities and consequences in complex cyber networks. Of growing concern is the cyber threat to critical infrastructure, which is...

Morocco: Terrorist ties to Scandinavian hiker slaying

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Washington Post By Amira El-Masaiti | APRABAT, Morocco — The lone suspect arrested in the killing of two Scandinavian tourists in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains is connected to a terrorist group, and three other suspects are on the run, Moroccan authorities said Wednesday.State television 2M reported on its website that authorities consider the two women’s slayings a terrorist act. Local media reported that the suspects had links to the Islamic State group.The women, who were from Denmark and Norway, were discovered stabbed in the neck Monday by other tourists, who alerted police, according to national media. Hiking in the area was temporarily suspended.The killings have shocked Morocco, a popular tourist destination where such attacks on foreigners are extremely rare.The Rabat public prosecutor’s office said in a statement Wednesday that the only captured suspect has affiliations to a terrorist group, without naming the group. Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/denmark-norway-advise-against-hiking-alone-in-morocco/2018/12/19/5d030de2-039e-11e9-958c-0a601226ff6b_story.html...