• Columbine: 19 years onRapid rise in mass school shootings in U.S.

    The Columbine High School mass shooting occurred on 20 April 1999. More people have died or been injured in mass school shootings in the United States in the past eighteen years than in the entire twentieth century. During the twentieth century, mass school shootings killed 55 people. Since the start of the twenty-first century there have already been 13 incidents of mass school shooting, in which 66 people have been killed.

  • Extreme vettingU.S. immigrant vetting system is already extreme enough: Study

    In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. has tightened the vetting of immigrants and foreign travelers. The post-9/11 system has worked: From 2002 to 2016, the vetting system failed and permitted the entry of 1 radicalized terrorist for every 29 million visa or status approvals. Only 1 of the 13 post-9/11 vetting failures resulted in a deadly attack in the United States. Thus, the rate for deadly terrorists was 1 for every 379 million visa or status approvals from 2002 through 2016. During this same period, the chance of an American being killed in an attack committed by a terrorist who entered as a result of a vetting failure was 1 in 328 million per year.

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  • ETA apologyBasque militant group ETA apologizes to terrorism victims

    The Basque militant group ETA, which had conducted a four-decade campaign of violence and terrorism for the creation of an independent Basque state (the Basque region straddles the Spanish-French border), apologized to the victims of its violence. Over 800 people were killed by ETA during the conflict which officially ended in 2011. Victims of the group’s violence have rejected the apology.

  • DeterrenceThe challenge of deterrence in today’s world

    The challenge of deterrence — discouraging states from taking unwanted actions, especially military aggression — has again become a principal theme in U.S. defense policy. But the landscape has changed: Many potential adversaries are significantly more capable than they were a decade or more ago, and the risks of actually fighting a major war are more significant than ever. This makes it even more imperative to deter conflict.

  • The Russia connectionTracking illicit Russian financial flows

    By Joshua Kirschenbaum

    Trillions of dollars in capital flows into the United States annually, and trillions of dollars in payments are cleared through New York daily. No one knows exactly whom the funds belong to, where they are held, or how they are deployed. No one knows because the U.S. government does not track the money — but it could if it wanted to. What is known is that Russia, other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and China are the primary drivers of non-transparent capital flows worldwide.

  • TerrorismTesting technology to alert federal agents to potential terrorist threats

    The face of terrorism in the United States has changed dramatically following 9/11. According to a report by the New America Foundation, every jihadist who has conducted a lethal attack inside the United States since 2001 has come from inside the country, already having established citizenship or legal residency. DARPA has launched an ambitious new program called Modeling Adversarial Activity (MAA) which aims to transform the way national security organizations identify emerging threats.

  • Maritime respondersCoastal surveillance benefits from enterprise information sharing

    Initially, DHS S&T wanted to empower maritime responders with better surveillance technology. Adding more radars and cameras alone was expected to make the difference, but further evaluation of the input from operational sponsors told a different story—it extended the benchmark for what S&T was asked to provide. Today, the Integrated Maritime Domain Enterprise - Coastal Surveillance System (IMDE-CSS) has evolved well beyond the initial information-gathering requirement into an information-sharing capability.

  • FloodsHurricane Harvey: Most fatalities occurred outside flood zones

    Researchers found that most Houston-area drowning deaths from Hurricane Harvey occurred outside the zones designated by government as being at higher risk of flooding: the 100- and 500-year floodplains. Drowning caused 80 percent of Harvey deaths, and the research showed that only 22 percent of fatalities in Houston’s 4,600-square-kilometre district, Harris County, occurred within the 100-year floodplain.

  • Our picksJohn Doe, American jihadist; EPA limits agency's use of science; the Pentagon & AI, and more

    · The case against John Doe, American jihadist

    · Appeals court rules against Trump policy punishing sanctuary cities

    · Miguel Díaz-Canel is the new Cuban president: Who’s really running Cuba?

    · Internal emails show EPA working to limit agency’s use of science

    · The Chinese Communist Party is setting up cells at universities across America

    · Disaster relief official calls churches to action

    · The U.S. Navy wants a better way to keep China’s nose out of its contracts

    · The Pentagon is building an AI product factory

  • The Russia watchRussia’s traveling ‘proxies’; back channel to Russia; Russia’s propaganda getting smarter, and more

    · Justice Dept lawyer says Manafort may have served as ‘back channel’ to Russia: report

    · Can Trump pardon his way out of the Mueller probe? This law professor says no.

    · Why do Trump’s defenders assume he’s guilty?

    · Russia accidentally sabotages its internet

    · Russia, Syria trying to ‘sanitize’ chemical attack site: U.S. State Department

    · Meet the Russian-owned firm creating an army of traveling ‘proxies’

    · Russian propaganda evades YouTube’s flagging system with BuzzFeed-style knockoffs

    · Russian propaganda getting smarter, evading flagging, targeting youth

    · Powerful cross-party group formed to defend Britain from Russian cyber attacks

  • PreparednessU.S. health security preparedness improved, but some regions lagging

    A national snapshot used to gauge the health of the nation’s health security and emergency preparedness found that readiness has improved significantly over the past five years, but earlier identified gaps remain, with some parts of the country lagging.

  • The Russia connectionNew strategies for countering Russian social media influence in Eastern Europe

    Russia is waging a social media campaign in the Baltics, Ukraine, and nearby states to sow dissent against neighboring governments, as well as NATO and the European Union. “Nowhere is this threat more tangible than in Ukraine, which has been an active propaganda battleground since the 2014 Ukrainian revolution,” said the lead author of a new RAND report. “Other countries in the region look at Russia’s actions and annexation of Crimea and recognize the need to pay careful attention to Russia’s propaganda campaign.”

  • Hate groupsBundestag rejects AfD recruit on suspicion of terrorism

    The staff of the German Bundestag have denied an entry card to a German soldier recruited by an opposition far-right parliamentarian. The soldier was suspected of being a member of a right-wing, nationalist network within the German military plotting to kill politicians supporting liberal immigration policies – and then blame Muslim immigrants for the killings.

  • Hate on the leftAt anti-Semitism debate, MP Mann says that “Zionist” is an “insult” in Corbyn’s party

    In a powerful speech during a debate about anti-Semitism in the British parliament on Tuesday, Labor MP John Mann said “Any Jewish person has the right to say…’I am a Zionist’ and I have no right to deny them that and those that do are racists.” Mann observed that the word “Zionist” has become “a pejorative insult by the Labor Party” under leader Jeremey Corbyn, effectively denying Jews the right to their own homeland.

  • Waco: 25 years onWaco: how the siege became a symbol of government oppression

    By Andrew Crome

    A 51-day confrontation between the FBI and the Branch Davidians – a small offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventists – came to a tragic end outside Waco, Texas on 19 April 1993. Controversy still rages over whether the Davidians started the fire in order to commit mass suicide, or if it was the FBI’s assault which was responsible for the inferno. Researchers have described the siege as a “critical incident” – an event that highlights and exacerbates existing fault lines in society. “Waco” has therefore become cultural shorthand for expressing tensions within American politics and culture.

  • Waco: 25 years onThe deaths of 76 Branch Davidians in April 1993 could have been avoided – so why didn’t anyone care?

    By Catherine Wessinger

    Throughout the 6-week ordeal near Waco, Texas, media coverage of the ATF raid and FBI siege depicted the Branch Davidians as a cult with David Koresh exercising total control over mesmerized followers. It was a narrative that federal law enforcement agencies were happy to encourage, and it resonated with the public’s understanding of so-called “cults.” The story that has emerged is much more complex – and makes one wonder if the tragedy could have been avoided altogether.

  • Search & rescuePortable device to sniff out trapped humans

    The first step after buildings collapse from an earthquake, bombing or other disaster is to rescue people who could be trapped in the rubble. But finding entrapped humans among the ruins can be challenging. A new, inexpensive sensor is light and portable enough for first responders to hold in their hands or for drones to carry on a search for survivors.

  • ExplosivesUnderstanding explosive sensitivity with molecule design

    Explosives have an inherent problem - they should be perfectly safe for handling and storage but detonate reliably on demand. Using computer modeling and a novel molecule design technique, scientists have replaced one “arm” of an explosive molecule to help unravel the first steps in the detonation process and better understand its sensitivity — how easily it begins a violent reaction.

  • Our picksMission far from accomplished in Syria; securing the smart city; facial recognition in the dark, and more

    · Mission far from accomplished in Syria: Strikes won’t deter future chemical attacks or end slaughter

    · Sandy Hook parents hit Alex Jones with defamation lawsuits

    · U.S. army figures out how to do

    · Calling 911 for “everything” soon to be a no-go in Santa Cruz as police look to prioritize

    · Would changing the rules for police change the outcomes?

    · Want to prevent cyberattacks? Don’t count on employee training to stop them.

     · The Corker-Kaine bill would codify, not end, the Forever War

    ··Securing the smart city

  • The Russia watchRussia: war and punishment; disinformation & the future of warfare; Russia’s new propaganda outlet, and more

    · Russian disinformation around the Syria strikes is a glimpse into the future of warfare

    · “USA Really. Wake Up Americans”: Russia launching another propaganda outlet in U.S.

    · Anatomy of a Russian chemical weapons lab lie

    · Russia: war and punishment

    · The disinformation dilemma

    · The U.S. should brace now for Russia’s next cyberattack

    · Concerned EU politicians push for legal action against fake news

    · How can social media companies stop the spread of fake news?

  • Terror tunnelsFollowing destruction of Hamas terror tunnel, Israel reveals secret of underground defense

    Following the discovery and destruction of the longest and deepest terror tunnel extending into Israeli territory, over the weekend, the IDF revealed a new “laboratory,” where it employs advanced technology to detect tunnels.

  • The Russia connectionIt’s not just Facebook: Countering Russia’s social media offensive

    By Bradley Hanlon

    Russian influence operations exploit the vulnerabilities of social media platforms to disseminate false narratives and amplify divisive content in order to undermine democracies, divide societies, and weaken Western alliances. In conducting these operations, the Kremlin employs a variety of tools across the social media space, including fake accounts/personas, political advertisements, bot networks, and traditional propaganda outlets. Additionally, Russian influence operations utilize a range of social media platforms, each with a different role, to distract public discussion, foment social unrest, and muddle the truth.