• TerrorismTerrorist attack deaths increase in Iraq, the West, despite decrease worldwide

    The number of terrorist attacks and resulting deaths worldwide decreased in 2016, but an increase in activity in Iraq and the ongoing violence of tISIS curbed the reduction, according to a new report from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism’s Global Terrorism Database (GTD). In 2016, more than 13,400 terrorist attacks took place around the world, resulting in more than 34,000 total deaths, including more than 11,600 perpetrator deaths. This represents a 9 percent decrease in the total number of terrorist attacks, and a 10 percent decrease in the total number of deaths, in comparison to 2015.

  • Domestic terrorismFar-right extremists far greater threat than left-wing militants: Experts

    Leaving aside the moral issues raised by President Donald Trump’s unsettling insistence on equating neo-Nazis and anti-Nazis, experts say that the president’s assertion, in his Tuesday’s press conference, that left-inspired violence in the United States is as bad as violence generated by the extreme right, is patently false. The FBI, DHS, and state and local law enforcement consider right-wing extremists to be an order of magnitude more dangerous to public safety in the United States than left-leaning extremists. Domestic security experts estimate that there are 400,000-500,000 Americans who are affiliated, in one way or another, with various right-wing extremist groups, compared with a few thousand Antifa, Black Box, and other militant left-wing activists.

  • view counter
  • Alt-rightThe seeds of the alt-right, America’s emergent right-wing populist movement

    By George Michael

    Over the past year, far-right activists – which some have labeled the “alt-right” – have gone from being an obscure, largely online subculture to a player at the very center of American politics. Long relegated to the cultural and political fringe, alt-right activists were among the most enthusiastic supporters of Donald Trump. Former Breitbart.com executive Steve Bannon – who declared the website “the platform for the alt-right” – is the president’s chief political strategist. To its critics, the alt-right is just a code term for white nationalism, a much-maligned ideology associated with neo-Nazis and Klansmen. The movement, however, is more nuanced, encompassing a much broader spectrum of right-wing activists and intellectuals. Unlike old-school white nationalist movements, the alt-right has endeavored to create a self-sustaining counterculture, which includes a distinct vernacular, memes, symbols and a number of blogs and alternative media outlets. Now that it has been mobilized, the alt-right is gaining a firmer foothold in American politics.

  • Alt-rightNew edition of Ten Ways to Fight Hate guide released

    In response to recent events, including the deadly white nationalist violence in Charlottesville this weekend, the SPLC released a new edition of Ten Ways to Fight Hate, its guide for “effectively – and peacefully – taking a stand against bigotry,” as the organization describes it. The guide, which has been updated for 2017, sets out ten principles for taking action, including how to respond to a hate rally that has targeted your town.

  • Presidential war powersThe gift Bush and Obama gave Trump: Expanded war-making powers

    Thanks to the military interventions by the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, the former presidents have effectively expanded executive authority for Donald Trump to go to war, a new study says. The study of U.S. military interventions between 2001 and 2016 found considerable similarities in the way Bush and Obama navigated around consultation and authorization protocols with Congress and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

  • CybersecurityUSB connections less secure than has been thought

    USB connections, the most common interface used globally to connect external devices to computers, are vulnerable to information “leakage,” making them even less secure than has been thought. Researchers tested more than 50 different computers and external USB hubs and found that over 90 percent of them leaked information to an external USB device.

  • CybercrimeCybercriminals are not as “anonymous” as we think

    Understanding a cybercriminal’s backstory - where they live, what they do and who they know, is key to cracking cybercrime. Online crime is of course online, but there is also a surprisingly strong offline and local dimension. Cybercriminals are often seen as faceless, international, computer masterminds, who are almost impossible to identify or understand as a result. But contextualizing their threat and motivations is key to stopping them.

  • ImmigrationImmigrant detention centers are referred to as “family centers” but resemble prisons

    Despite federal officials labeling centers where immigrant women and their families are held as family detention centers or release programs as “Alternative to Detention.” Researchers found the detention complexes function like jails and prisons and that ATD programs are essentially expanded surveillance schemes.

  • Our picksRussia targets voting machines; “megafires” are coming; terrorism in Africa, and more

    Russian cyberattack targeted elections vendor tied to voting day disruptions; Boulder author warns of more “megafires” on nation’s horizon; Oroville Dam: Six months after disaster, a race to repair before next winter; Oroville Dam: Six months after disaster, a race to repair before next winter; Fewer immigrants are being deported under Trump than under Obama; With terrorism worsening, Africa’s Sahel countries need more than another military coalition; UK businesses “unprepared for a cyber shock”; “Every country should have a cyber war”: What Estonia learned from Russian hacking; Obama warned about ‘Russian cyber attacks and election interference as early as 2014’.

  • Home-grown terrorismWhite House needs clear action plan in wake of Charlottesville: ADL

    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on President Donald Trump to follow up his words on Monday with a strong plan of action that will ensure the kind of white supremacist violence and anti-Semitic and racist incitement witnessed in Charlottesville will not happen again. Trump’s statement came two days after the events, and after a disappointing initial reaction from the president that seemed to equate the haters with counter protesters. “This is a moment when we desperately need leadership,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “But I think we should expect our leader in the highest office in the land to step above the lowest possible bar. Statements are not sufficient at this stage in the game. We need to move from words to action. The threat is not over.”

  • Home-grown terrorismCharlottesville attack shows homegrown terror on the right is on the rise

    By Arie Perliger

    Dealing effectively with far-right violence requires that we treat its manifestations as domestic terrorism. I consider domestic terrorism a more significant threat than the foreign-masterminded variety in part because it is more common in terms of the number of attacks on U.S. soil. The number of violent attacks on U.S. soil inspired by far-right ideology has spiked since the beginning of this century, rising from a yearly average of 70 attacks in the 1990s to a yearly average of more than 300 since 2001. This trend reflects a deeper social change in American society. The iceberg model of political extremism can illuminate these dynamics. Murders and other violent attacks perpetrated by U.S. far-right extremists compose the visible tip of an iceberg. The rest of this iceberg is under water and out of sight. It includes hundreds of attacks every year that damage property and intimidate communities. The significant growth in far-right violence in recent years is happening at the base of the iceberg. Changes in societal norms are usually reflected in behavioral changes. It is thus more than reasonable to suspect that extremist individuals engage in such activities because they sense that their views are enjoying growing social legitimacy and acceptance, which is emboldening them to act on their bigotry.

  • AssassinationsVenezuelan assassination plot targets Sen. Marco Rubio

    Security around Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) has been increased for the last three weeks after U.S. intelligence has uncovered a possible plot by a powerful Venezuelan politician to assassinate the senator. Rubio has been outspoken in his criticism of the authoritarian rule of Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro. A memo DHS has circulated to local police agencies says the threat comes from Diosdado Cabello, a top Venezuelan lawmaker who is a former top military official.

  • Border securityIDF reveals details about Gaza anti-terror tunnel barrier

    The Israel Defense Force (IDF) has revealed the extent of the new concrete barrier currently being built around the Gaza Strip. The $836 million concrete barrier aims to eliminate the existing tunnel threat posed by Hamas, as well as any future tunnels that reach into Israel. It will include sensors that can reach dozens of meters into the ground and stand six meters above ground level.

  • Bioresearch securityDNA sequencing tools vulnerable to cybersecurity risks

    Rapid improvement in DNA sequencing has sparked a proliferation of medical and genetic tests that promise to reveal everything from one’s ancestry to fitness levels to microorganisms that live in your gut. A new study finds evidence of poor computer security practices used throughout the field. Researchers have also demonstrated for the first time that it is possible — though still challenging — to compromise a computer system with a malicious computer code stored in synthetic DNA. When that DNA is analyzed, the code can become executable malware that attacks the computer system running the software.

  • Bioresearch securityBiomedical research community should build resilience to disasters

    The academic biomedical research community should improve its ability to mitigate and recover from the impacts of disasters, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences. The consequences of recent disasters, from hurricanes to cyberattacks, have shown that the investments of the U.S. federal government and other research sponsors — which total about $27 billion annually — are not uniformly secure. “Continuing scientific advancement and the promise of future discoveries will require a commitment to resilience — and an unparalleled partnership across the emergency management and academic research sectors,” says one of the report’s authors.

  • First respondersStrengthening security of first responder sensor systems

    Metronome Software is developing a technology solution that will significantly enhance the security of mobile device-based sensor systems used by first responders with funding provided by DHS S&T. The Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) Apex program is integrating multi-threat personal protective equipment, plug-and-play sensors and advanced communications devices to provide multi-layer threat protection and immediate situational awareness to first responders.

  • Nuclear powerU.S. advanced nuclear program unlikely to deliver on its mission

    Despite repeated promises over the past eighteen years, the U.S. Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) is unlikely to deliver on its mission to develop and demonstrate an advanced nuclear reactor by the mid-twenty-first century. That is the conclusion of a new study which used data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act to reconstruct the program’s budget history.

  • Nuclear powerWhy the withering nuclear power industry threatens U.S. national security

    By Michael E. Webber

    These are tough times for nuclear power in the United States. Power plants under construction are facing serious delays, halts and cost overruns. Utilities in South Carolina abandoned a project to complete construction of two power plants in August, while the cost of the only nuclear plant now under construction has ballooned to $25 billion. While the environmental and reliability impacts of the closures are well-understood, what many don’t realize is that these closures also pose long-term risks to our national security. As the nuclear power industry declines, it discourages the development of our most important anti-proliferation asset: a bunch of smart nuclear scientists and engineers. There are already strong economic, reliability and environmental reasons to keep nuclear a part of the national fuel mix. Enhancing our national security makes the argument even more compelling.

  • Our picksCostly bluffs; terrorism in Charlottesville; artificial glaciers, and more

    Understanding the Charlottesville chaos; “Of course it was terrorism”: National Security Advisor McMaster on Charlottesville fury; Steve Bannon said he learned to fear Muslims when he visited Pakistan. Except he was probably in Hong Kong.; Weary, wary New Orleanians eye the weather, hope for the best amid flooding dangers; Fifty men commit most gun crimes in Sacramento. Could money, mentoring get them to stop? Climate change: Artificial glaciers could be the way forward; Alaska leaders say military is ready to protect the state from North Korean threats.

  • ImmigrationHundreds of U.S. citizens continue to be detained: Immigration data

    An analysis of U.S. government data shows that the U.S. government detained more than 260 U.S. citizens for weeks and even years, most in private prisons under contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They were released after asserting their U.S. citizenship claims in immigration court. The average time of detention for U.S. citizens was 180 days. ICE acknowledges that it is unlawful for ICE to detain U.S. citizens under deportation laws.

  • CybersecurityHacking cybersecurity in order to anticipate attacks

    Imagine two groups at war. One defends every attack as it comes. The other anticipates threats before they happen. Which is more likely to win? In cybersecurity, understanding the potential for attacks is critical. This is especially true for mobile and wireless devices, since they are constantly connected and continuously streaming and collecting data.

  • BiometricsBlood vessels prove you are who you say you are

    Biometric screening — using biological characteristics such as fingerprints, iris recognition or facial features — is a high priority for researchers who are working to develop future security solutions. Researchers have found a way to identify people through finger vein recognition. This authentication system shows promise as a more secure passport control method.