• Preventing nuclear terrorism

    Nuclear terrorism remains a real and urgent threat. Despite an array of mechanisms established to combat this threat, several serious problems persist, requiring relentless attention and actions by the United States, Russia, and other responsible nations. These problems include continuing nuclear security vulnerabilities in a number of countries and the continued incidents of illicit trafficking in nuclear materials, radioactive sources, and the various components.

  • Predicting violence among psychopaths no more accurate than tossing a coin

    Risk assessment tools used to predict prisoner re-offending are no more accurate than tossing a coin when it comes to psychopaths, according to new research. The researchers say the findings — which also show the tools perform at best moderately in those with depression, drug and alcohol dependence, and schizophrenia — have major implications for risk assessment in criminal populations.

  • Shots exchanged near Capitol Hill, suspect – a woman -- hit

    Shots were exchanged around 2:15 p.m. this afternoon outside the Hart Senate Building on Capitol Hill between police officers and a lone gunmen. Congressional buildings on both the Senate and the House side were placed under lock-down for about an hour. The lock-down was lifted at 3:00p.m. Police said the fire was exchanged between police officers and a woman in a black car, who had earlier was driving suspiciously near the White House. She sped away from the White House when police approached her, and sped toward Capitol Hill.

  • Restricting license plate readers undermines law enforcement: study

    White paper argues that Massachusetts legislation restricting the use of license plate readers (LPRs) is rooted in exaggerated fears and misconceptions, and will reduce effectiveness of LPR technology and weaken law-enforcement’s efforts to pursue criminals.

  • Reducing security threats from explosives

    Researchers, as part of the Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats center (ALERT), a DHS Center of Excellence, are working on ways to detect explosives and neutralize their impact. The researchers are developing portable detectors as well as larger systems to scan for explosives. Some technologies will analyze the spectrum of light shining through vaporized samples; others will analyze solid residues.

  • Violent hate crimes, lone-wolf terrorism share characteristics

    Researchers examined the timing, locations, methods, targets, and geographic distributions of lone-actor terrorist attacks, group-based terrorist attacks, and violent hate crimes that occurred in the United States between 1992 and 2010. They found that locations where the 101 lone-actor terrorism incidents occurred shared more demographic similarities with the locations of the 46,000 violent hate crimes than with the locations of 424 group-based terrorist attacks over the time period.

  • New technology spots killer waves

    Sailors throughout the ages have wished they could predict the strength and size of the next wave. The Environmental and Ship Motion Forecasting (ESMF) system, a Future Naval Capability effort supported by the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Sea Warfare and Weapons Department, seeks to provide sea-based forces with new capabilities for difficult operations like ship-to-ship transfer of personnel, vehicles, or materiel — giving operators sea condition information at levels of accuracy never possible before.

  • Building disaster-relief phone apps on the fly

    Researchers combine powerful new Web standards with the intuitive, graphical MIT App Inventor to aid relief workers with little programming expertise.

  • NIST seeks comments on structure of forensic science guidance groups

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking input on the structure of guidance groups which would promote scientific validity and reliability in forensic science.

  • Innovations help lighten the load for marines

    The Office of Naval Research (ONR) was at the Modern Day Marine exposition last week, showcasing some of the newest technologies it has helped develop to give sailors and marines the edge. The Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism Department at ONR highlighted its focused initiatives to lighten the load for marines, including integrated day/night vision sights, scalable body armor, and other research which will help marines out-think, out-maneuver, and out-perform the enemy.

  • Syria’s chemical weapons can be destroyed within nine months: experts

    Weapons experts from the United States and Russia say most of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile are kept as unweaponized liquid precursors, and thus could be neutralized in a short period of time without the risk that toxins could be stashed away by the regime for future use, or stolen by terrorists. A confidential assessment by the United States and Russia concludes that Syria’s entire arsenal could be destroyed in about nine months, assuming that Syrian officials fully cooperate with the weapons inspectors.

  • DARPA Young Faculty meet next generation of Army tech users

    Recipients of the DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA) visited the United States Military Academy at West Point during its first Branch Week, 10-15 September 2013. The event brought “several hundred tons of military equipment, vehicles and weapons for the academy’s spin on a college career fair,” one observer said.

  • Number of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen significantly reduced

    In the past several months, the United States has reduced the number of drone strikes on terrorist targets in Pakistan and Yemen. The United States launched 117 drone strikes in Pakistan in 2010, compared to twenty-one so far this year. Representative Mike Rogers (R-Michigan), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is concerned. “[The threat of terrorism is] not diminishing,” he said. “There have been counterterrorism changes made by the administration that have concerned us all, things that we’ve been working on for a period of months that we’re trying to work through that are very, very concerning. This is no time to retreat.”

  • How Sandy has changed storm warning procedures

    Superstorm Sandy slammed against the U.S. Eastern Seaboard in October 2012, inundating iconic communities. Those communities have been rebuilding since then and things are almost back to normal for most. Something else, however, has had to be rebuilt as well: the structured procedures for issuing warnings. The goal is to help communities better comprehend what natural disasters will bring their doorsteps.

  • Al Qaeda increases efforts to defeat U.S. drones

    Drone attacks have been an important part of America’s war against terrorism. These airstrikes have considerably limited the movements and operational freedom of al Qaeda operatives and other militants in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Al Qaeda has been exploring strategies and experts to allow it to counter America’s drone campaign.