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Homeland Security Network Blog

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USA Today This Veterans Day, know that the U.S. military is losing to the war called suicide Last year, 325 active-duty troops took their own lives, a rate of 24.8 per 100,000. The civilian rate is 18 per 100,000. Crisis cries out for a fresh approach: Our view The Editorial Board As Americans honor veterans this holiday, it’s vital to remember the silent war being waged in homes and barracks and countless other places where soldiers, past and present, are dying by the thousands every year. They’re killing themselves in a war of self-destruction that the United States is losing.The tide of this struggle turned years ago, after the Sept. 11 attacks, when America’s all-volunteer military — a force of fixed and limited size, unable to expand through conscription — was pressed into fighting two extended wars at once, in Afghanistan and Iraq.The resulting strain was unprecedented. Amid a daily...
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In honor of Veterans Day: The wildest stories behind Texas' Medal of Honor recipientsBy Peter Dawson, Chron.com / Houston Chronicle The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest award for valor in combat.The actions and deeds of its recipients have been re-created in books, video games and movies like "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" (1944), "The Longest Day" (1962) and "Black Hawk Down" (2001). Fictional characters such as Forrest Gump and Rambo have been its standard bearers in film.Over the course of the United States' history, a number of native Texans have earned the distinction.The first medal was awarded back during the early days of the Civil War on March 25, 1863 to Private Jacob Parrott. The last award of the Medal of Honor was made October 30, 2019 to Sergeant Mathew O. Williams.Over time, the criteria for receiving the medal grew more rigorous. Read more: https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/In-honor-of-Veterans-Day-These-are-the-wildest-14825500.php...

The Fractured Terrorism Threat to America

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Fractured Terrorism Threat to America LAWFARE By Seamus Hughes, Devorah Margolin The Islamic State and its formerly held territory are no longer the incandescent bug lamp for the jihadist scene. The organization has lost both its caliphate and its caliph in recent months. Although its remnants in Iraq and its affiliates in countries across the globe attempt to keep its radiance bright, when looking to understand the implications of recent events in the American context, it is clear that the jihadist threat has become fractured, with new and old hazards facing the United States concurrently.The next iteration of the jihadist movement in the United States will be, as then-National Counterterrorism Director Matthew Olsen told Congress back in 2011, a “more diffuse and diversified threat.” This is as true today as it was almost a decade ago. The threats to the United States will be similar to those we faced...
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KRQE MediaSANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Top security and law enforcement officials say New Mexico needs tougher domestic terrorism policies.According to the New Mexican, Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham’s administration told lawmakers that the state’s terrorism laws are too weak. The conversation stems from a mass shooting that killed 22 people in El Paso back in August.They also argued state law needs to be changed to make it easier for investigators to track and prosecute extremist groups and potential mass shooters. Read more: https://www.krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/law-enforcement-calls-for-tougher-domestic-terrorism-policies-for-new-mexico/...
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Business Mirror Troops slay 3 suicide bombers at military checkpoint in Sulu By Rene Acosta The military killed on Tuesday afternoon three suspected suicide bombers—two of them an Egyptian and his teenage son—as the government intensified its manhunt against suicide bombers in Sulu, which President Duterte wanted cleared of terrorists by the end of the year.Officials did not say whether the three, who were flagged down at a military checkpoint but reportedly chose to fight it out, are members of the Islamic State, whose leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was recently killed in a daring raid by US Special Forces in northwestern Syria.A news statement issued by Lt. Col. Gerald Monfort, spokesman of the military’s Joint Task Force Sulu, said that the suspects, a local Moro and the father-and-son team with Egyptian nationality, were neutralized at around 4:50 p.m. on Tuesday by soldiers who were manning a checkpoint at Sitio Itawon,...

US Adds Mali Jihadist To Global Terrorist List

Posted by on in Terrorism
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  Voice Of America US Adds Mali Jihadist To Global Terrorist List By Rikar Hussein The United States imposed sanctions Thursday on a senior jihadist leader and preacher from Mali for his membership in Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), an al-Qaida affiliate active in the Sahel region of Africa.  Amadou Kouffa led Mali's Macina Liberation Front militant group before announcing its merger with JNIM and three other Islamist groups in March 2017. The U.S. State Department designated JNIM as a terrorist organization in September 2018.  Since its formation, JNIM has targeted Malian and French troops, as well as U.N. peacekeepers. The group has been blamed for the deaths of more than 500 civilians and the kidnapping of dozens of others in attacks in the Sahel region, including the June 2017 attack at a resort frequented by Westerners outside Bamako, Mali, and the March 2018 attacks in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.  "Earlier...
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Washington Examiner 'Speed of social media': Online terrorist activity leaves little time to react by Jerry Dunleavy The FBI is investigating about 850 cases involving domestic terrorism and more than 4,000 involving international terrorism.In a breakdown provided to the Washington Examiner, roughly 5,000 open terrorism investigations across the United States and around the world were shown, along with the number of domestic terrorism arrests and international terrorism arrests, which have remained fairly constant over the past three years.In the 2019 fiscal year, the bureau arrested 121 international terrorism suspects and 107 domestic terrorism suspects, compared with 100 international and 115 domestic arrests in 2018 and 110 international and 150 domestic arrests in 2017.Read more: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/speed-of-social-media-online-terrorist-activity-leaves-little-time-to-react...

If you're worried about terrorism, worry about the Sahel

Posted by on in Terrorism
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If you're worried about terrorism, worry about the Sahel by Gabrielle Debinski Last week, Mali, an arid desert country in Western Africa with a predominantly Muslim population of 19 million, was struck by one of the deadliest jihadist terror attacks since Islamist groups took over its northern frontier some seven years ago. Islamic State militants later claimed responsibility for the attack on a military post that killed at least fifty-four people. The episode reflects a larger surge of jihadist violence in the vast Sahel region, which stretches across the southern edge of the Sahara desert. Unrest there has already reverberated far beyond Mali.How did jihadist violence come to the region? The Tuareg ethnic group in northern Mali, one of the largest nomadic tribes in the Sahara, has long agitated for independence. In 2011, when neighboring Libya descended into civil war, many Tuareg rebels went to fight on the side of...

France Claims Death Of Top Extremist Leader In Mali

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The National France Claims Death Of Top Extremist Leader In Mali French defence minister says Ali Maychou was second most wanted militant in Sahel France on Tuesday announced the death of a top extremist leader in Mali as it sought to reassure the West African nation of European support in the fight against militants.French troops killed Moroccan Ali Maychou, co-founder of a group named GSIM, in Mali last month.Defence Minister Florence Parly made the announcement aboard a government plane as she returned from an official visit to the region.Maychou was "the second most-wanted terrorist in the Sahel", after GSIM's number one, Iyad Ag Ghaly, Ms Parly told AFP.A collection of extremist groups linked to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the GSIM was launched in 2017 and has claimed responsibility for the biggest attacks in the Sahel.Ag Ghaly is a Tuareg Malian who has been involved in militancy for nearly...
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Tom Homan on murders of Americans: Drug cartels 'control everything' near US border By Joshua Nelson | Fox News The killing of nine Americans in Mexico highlights the brutal power of the country’s drug cartels, former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tom Homan told “Fox & Friends First” Wednesday.“The Mexican criminal cartels control everything on the northern border of Mexico,” Homan said.Homan said no criminal activity or smuggling occurs in Mexico without the cartels approving the plan.A suspect was arrested Wednesday near the Arizona border with Mexico in connection with the deaths of nine U.S. citizens -- six children and three women – Monday who were living in a faith-based community about 70 miles south of Douglas, Ariz., investigators said. Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/media/tom-homan-mexican-criminal-cartels-control-everything-on-the-northern-border-of-mexico...

How Hezbollah Recruits Palestinian Terrorists

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Algemeiner How Hezbollah Recruits Palestinian Terrorists by Steven Emerson A lot of attention has been devoted to the Islamic State’s use of the Internet to inspire or direct international terrorist attacks. But little has been written about how Hezbollah uses similar approaches to recruit and execute attacks. A new study published this month in the CTC Sentinel explores this development by analyzing several cases of Hezbollah’s alleged social media efforts to recruit Israeli Arabs and Palestinians to kill Israelis.From the end of 2015 through 2017, both the Islamic State and Hezbollah recruited terrorists outside their base countries using social media and encrypted communications platforms to help people form cells and conduct terrorist attacks abroad. Several high-profile Islamic State virtual plots were carried out successfully, killing people in Europe and beyond during this period. Hezbollah, on the other hand, has thus far failed to execute an attack using Palestinians recruited...

Global Terrorism: Threats to the Homeland

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Christopher WrayDirectorFederal Bureau of InvestigationStatement Before the House Homeland Security CommitteeWashington, D.C. October 30, 2019Global Terrorism: Threats to the HomelandStatement for the RecordGood morning Chairman Thompson, Ranking Member Rogers, and members of the committee.Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the current threats to the United States homeland. Our nation continues to face a multitude of serious and evolving threats ranging from homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) to cyber criminals to hostile foreign intelligence services and operatives. Keeping pace with these threats is a significant challenge for the FBI. Our adversaries—terrorists, foreign intelligence services, and criminals—take advantage of modern technology to hide their communications; recruit followers; and plan, conduct, and encourage espionage, cyber attacks, or terrorism to disperse information on different methods to attack the U.S. homeland and to facilitate other illegal activities.Just as our adversaries evolve, so, too, must the FBI. We live in a...

TikTok seeks to join counter-terrorism forum

Posted by on in Terrorism
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One America News Network TikTok seeks to join counter-terrorism forum OAN NewsroomAmid concerns over TikTok’s data collecting and censorship practices, the social media platform is looking to join the country’s largest tech fight against online terrorism. TikTok allows users to share and create short videos, and has become increasingly popular among teens with more than 600 million users.The company is now working to become an official member of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism otherwise known as GIFCT. The forum classifies itself as an independent group, which coordinates the removal of extremist content across the world’s top online platforms. By becoming an official member, TikTok would gain access to all of the forum’s tools in content censorship.Tech firms a part of GIFCT include Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Amazon. These companies, however, have been criticized by counter-terrorism experts over claims their platforms are being exploited by terror groups to recruit...

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Video Shows Destroyed Compound, Said To Be Home Of Extremist Leader Al-Baghdadi Aerial video shows a destroyed compound in the Syrian village of Barisha, where U.S. officials say Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group, was killed during a military operation.   ...
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PIX 11 NJ rep’s bill would help car rental firms flag potential terrorists by Associated Press NEW MILFORD, N.J. — A proposed bipartisan bill in Congress would help car rental companies identify customers who have been flagged by authorities for terrorism-related activities.The measure announced Monday by New Jersey Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer is named after a New Jersey resident killed two years ago in a truck attack in New York City.Thirty-two-year-old Darren Drake worked at the World Trade Center and was out for a bike ride when he was struck and killed on a bike path along the West Side Highway on the afternoon of Halloween 2017. Seven others died in the attack.Sayfullo Saipov is alleged to have used a rented truck in the attack. He was shot and wounded by an off-duty police officer, and could face the death penalty when he goes on trial next year. He has...
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Shoot-to-kill power granted for Aussie cops in vehicle terror attacks Xinhua by Shi Yinglun SYDNEY, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Police in the Australian state of Victoria have been granted shoot-to-kill powers in the event of a hostile vehicle attack -- a shocking trend which has become increasingly common in global terror incidents over recent years.The regulations, which were revealed to the public on Monday, represent an Australian first in terms of the specific policy for dealing with hostile vehicle attacks."Protecting the community is our number one priority and by releasing this policy we are trusting our officers to assess the situation and act accordingly," Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said.Hundreds of people have been killed and injured in vehicle attacks since 2016, when a religious extremist drove a rental truck down a crowded promenade in the French city of Nice during a Bastille Day celebration. Read more: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-10/28/c_138509052.htm...
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PIX 11 New York Anti-police protesters ‘want violence against police officers and the end of all law enforcement,’ union head says by Cristian Benavides NEW YORK — The actions of anti-police protestors in New York were condemned by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch.Protestors were out over two recent controversial incidents involving the NYPD and New Yorkers in subway stations. They're also upset over planned stepped up patrols in subway stations. Protestors marched through the streets with a banner reading "don't let these pigs touch us." At least two police vehicles had graffiti painted on them. One person was arrested for spitting on a cop."I’ve protested against aggressive policing for decades. What I saw last night went beyond an acceptable protest. Spitting on cops, defacing vehicles with graffiti, and chanting 'f**k the police' does not make this city we love any safer or more...
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WPBF News - ABC 25 ISIS confirmed the death of former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and named his replacement in an audio message on Thursday.In the recording, published on the terrorist group's media wing al-Furqan, ISIS announced its new leader as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi. Baghdadi died during an American raid on his compound in northern Syria over the weekend.Thursday's message was voiced by ISIS' new spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qarshi. He replaces the former spokesman, who was killed by U.S. forces in northern Syria, a senior State Department official said Monday."America, do not be happy," the new spokesman said in the recording. "Do you not realize that the State today is not only on the doorstep of Europe and in the center of Africa, it is staying and expanding from the east to the west." Read more: https://www.wpbf.com/article/isis-confirms-baghdadis-death-after-us-raid-names-new-leader/29663744...
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Genetic genealogy, law enforcement’s new crime-solving lead, helps solve cold cases By Patricio G. Balona, The Daytona Beach News-Journal ORLANDO — Crime investigators call genetic genealogy a lead with DNA in it, a tool that can crack open decades-old homicide and rape cases. That's because the science tracks family trees loaded with DNA available in public databases that police can use to identify the unknown source of DNA found at a crime scene.And it's proving effective, as 70 cold cases have been solved in the country since law enforcement started using genetic genealogy 18 months ago, said Lori Napolitano, chief of forensics for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Orlando. Also, the arrest of a South Florida man using genetic genealogy evidence has led to a break in the more than decade-old Daytona Beach serial killer case.But 25 other cases still remain unsolved, Napolitano said at a press conference...
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WTSP 10 Hillsborough County deputy buys Halloween costume for kid who wants to protect and serve HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputy made a little boy's dream come true when she bought him a police officer Halloween costume. Deputy Sanderson met the boy while on duty, last month. He told her -- he wants to be a law enforcement officer when he gets older.In a Facebook post, the sheriff’s office shared the story, stating -- “this is why we do what we do.” According to the post, Sanderson met a boy, who she calls “her friend”, while she was on her way to a call. A few blocks from her destination, she saw the boy riding a toy police motorcycle and waving at her “so hard I thought his arm was going to fall off,” Sanderson said.Sanderson pulled over and quickly introduced herself, but she didn't...

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