• Domestic terrorism

    The FBI raids the homes of members of a Michigan-based militia and arrests nine; the group members are charged in plot to wage war with U.S.; the men planned to kill a law enforcement officer and then attack and bomb that officer’s funeral, where there was certain to be legions of law enforcement attending

  • Domestic terrorism

    Experts say that discontent with the state of the U.S. economy, resentments of illegal immigrants, suspicions that health care-like bills are ushering in an age of “socialism” in America, and unease with the fact that the U.S. president is an African American — all mixed with a volatile brew of conspiracy theories — have swelled the ranks of extremist militia organizations, increased the vehemence of their hate rhetoric, and pushed some of their members to plan violent acts against the U.S. government

  • Russia’s cities are bracing themselves for a renewed terrorist bombing campaign after two “black widow” suicide bombers launched a rush-hour attack on the Moscow metro killing 38 people and injuring 64; the Monday explosions were the deadliest suicide attacks in Moscow since 2004, when the bombing of a metro train killed 41

  • The terrorism behind the Moscow subway explosions could become an economic drag on the Russian economy if it changes perceptions of security risks in Russia; research shows that a sustained low-level terror campaign can raise long-term security concerns and hurt economic growth more than even a very dramatic single event: the 9/11 terror attacks punctured America’s sense of domestic security in a single day, but nevertheless, a year after the attacks, the U.S. economy was growing again; on the other hand, two decades of Basque terrorist activity in Spain — activity which caused far fewer fatalities than 9/11 — created a 10 percent drop in per capita gross domestic product in that area of Spain

  • The U.K. police are testing a new tool in the fight against terrorism: surveillance of Internet cafés; owners and patrons are asked to watch for — and report to the authorities — suspicious behavior; owners are asked to scan the hard drives in their shop on a regular basis to look for suspicious browsing and communication patterns; monitoring of Internet cafés’ computer use has been tried in several
    countries, including India and the United States; civil libertarians worry that without a clear definition of suspicious behavior or suspicious Web
    browsing, individuals with outside-the-mainstream political or religious views may be targeted

  • Private security

    More and more ships sailing through the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden hire private security guards for protection; on Tuesday, private security guards on a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship shot and killed a Somali pirate; the killed pirate was part of a group of pirates using high-speed skiffs controlled by a mother ship

  • Trucking industry says that contrary to a scenario in a recent report on the subject, in which a gasoline tanker is hijacked and disappears, a rigorous daily delivery schedule means an out-of-route tanker would be reported very quickly, with or without tracking gear; industry calls for a single, uniform background checking approach

  • More than 800,000 trucks carry shipments of hazardous materials every day across the United States; background checks of those hauling hazardous materials are designed to prevent fugitives, the mentally ill, and those convicted of terrorism, espionage, or murder from obtaining a HAZMAT hauling license; one security expert: “It’s very difficult now to purchase explosives … but it’s not that hard to steal a truck full of gasoline, and you can do quite a bit of damage”

  • Trend

    The domestic landscape of terrorism in the United States is changing: there is no escaping the fact the most alarming thing about a string of recently arrested terror suspects is that they are all Americans; more than a dozen Americans have been captured or identified by the U.S. government and its allies over the past two years for actively supporting jihad; some, according to prosecutors, were inspired by the U.S. involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; others, like the accused Pennsylvania woman, wanted to avenge what they considered an insult to the Prophet Mohammed; many traveled overseas to get terrorist training; some used home computers to foment plots; says a terrorism expert: “There really is no profile of a terror suspect; the profile is broken, [and] it’s women as well as men, it’s lifelong Muslims as well as converts, it’s college students as well as jailbirds”

  • A U.S. government contractor alleged to have diverted funds to set up a unit of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants; “While no legitimate intelligence operations got screwed up, it’s generally a bad idea to have freelancers running around a war zone pretending to be James Bond,” one U.S. government official said

  • After the 9/11 attacks, Bin Laden boasted that he sued an operation which cost al Qaeda $500,000 to finance to inflict a $500 billion damage on the U.S. economy; it was not a mere boast: it was an indication the econo-jihad was an integral part of al Qaeda’s strategy to weaken and defeat the West; “the economic turn actually influences the terrorists’ targets, which have included oil-drilling infrastructures, tourism, international economic institutions and more. Indeed, Islamic terrorism’s future devices will focus on targets that will yield the most economic damage,” one expert says

  • Domestic terrorism

    DHS secretary Janet Napolitano said Joseph Stack’s suicide attack on the IRS building in Austin was not an act of terrorism because he acted as a lone wolf; an intelligence think tank’s experts disagree: the definition of a violent act as an act of terrorism has nothing to do with the number of casualties, foreign ties, or absence of a conspiracy; what matters is whether or not the perpetrator’s motivation was to coerce a population or a government to change policy because of political, religious, or ideological beliefs

  • Theater of the absurd

    Discount supermarket chain commercial draws inspiration from surveillance footage of Dubai assassination; shows actors carrying tennis rackets, wearing wigs, hats; an actress wearing a wide-brimmed floppy hat mimics Israel’s policy of maintaining deniability, saying she “couldn’t admit to anything”

  • Domestic terrorism

    Law enforcement and intelligence in the United States and the United Kingdom are concerned with increased intensity on the extremist fringe: the number extremist groups is rising, their ranks are swelling, their rhetoric is becoming more vituperative, and there has been an increase in violent activities

  • Domestic terrorism

    The recent shooting at the Pentagon, which followed a February plane crash at Internal Revenue Service offices in Austin and a January shooting at the federal courthouse in Las Vegas, has prompted renewed attention from lawmakers regarding the security of U.S. government buildings

  • There are about 200,000 small and medium-size aircraft in the United States, using 19,000 airports, most of them small; last Thursday’s suicide attack on an office building in Austin, Texas revives debate over the security threat small planes pose, and how strict the security measures applied to general aviation should be

  • Some experts compare the economic impact of a major cyberincident to the 2003 Northeast blackout, which cut service to fifty million people in the United States and Canada for up to four days; economists place the cost of that event between $4.5 [billion] and $10 billion — which they regard as a blip in the $14.2 trillion U.S. economy

  • South Dakota’s U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson says all aspects of agriculture can be targets of terrorists, but Johnson said meat production is the most vulnerable; “Livestock are the number one target for terrorists attacking the agriculture system…. If you want to get a bunch of cattle sick at once, it’s not rocket science on how to do it”

  • A defense expert says that the emergence of a nuclear-armed Iran will lead to growth in exports of American weapons systems, training, and advice to U.S. Middle Eastern allies; this would give the American defense industry a needed shot in the arm; Boeing has been making noise about shifting out of the defense industry, which would mean lost American jobs and would also put the United States in a difficult position should it be threatened by a rising military power like China; “a nuclear Iran could forestall such a catastrophe”

  • In the wake of 9/11, the EU gave the U.S. government free access to European bank and financial data under the SWIFT agreement; the Civil Liberties Committee of European MPs has just recommended that the EU reject renewal of the treaty; for the United States such access is essential to the fight against terrorists and their finances