• CounterterrorismCongress restores funds to NYC counterterrorism program

    Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) said on Thursday that Congress is set to approve a Homeland Security budget which would restore $600 million in anti-terror funding. The White House had proposed a budget with cuts to the anti-terror program. The proposed cuts involve reduction of the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), which would be funded at $330 million for fiscal year 2017, after being funded at $600 million in 2016.

  • European securityEurope-wide ballistic information sharing would reduce gun death from terrorism, crime

    All countries across Europe are being urged to establish national “Firearms Focal Points” to collect, study, and share information about firearms and ballistics to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by gun crime and terrorism. This is one of the key findings following a 15-month multi-agency research project which looked to analyze the prevalence of gun crime across Europe and, based on the findings, identify initiatives and interventions that could be further pursued and developed to tackle the problem.

     

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  • ISISDeclassified documents offer insights into ISIS origins, how to defeat the group

    Drawing from more than 140 recently declassified documents from the predecessors of the Islamic State, a new study shows that the group has been operating for years with remarkable continuity in its philosophy, methods, and goals, including the long-standing aspiration for creating a caliphate. The documents show that the leadership consciously designed the organization not just to fight, but also to build a state governed by the laws dictated by its strict Islamist ideology.

  • African securityClaims of mistreatment of Mau Mau rebels “cannot be fairly tried”: U.K. government

    The British government told a court in London that claims from 40,000 Kenyans that they were beaten, raped, and mistreated during the British campaign against the Mau Mau rebellion cannot be fairly tried sixty years later. Responding to a lawsuit which opened at the high court in London this week, and which is expected to go on continue for more than a year, Guy Mansfield QC, representing the Foreign Office, said those accused of having inflicted the violence are now dead or untraceable.

  • TerrorismTerrorists “stockpiling explosives in Europe”: EU security official

    Manuel Navarrete Paniagua, the Head of the European Counter Terrorism Center at Europol, said that terrorist cells in the EU are probably stockpiling explosives for future attacks. Europol said it had foiled 211 terror plots in the last year, but that the threat of similar attacks on the scale of November 2015 Paris attacks and the March 2016 attacks in Brussels in March remained a concern.

  • TerrorismViolent extremists are not on the run -- they are on the march: Rep. Michael McCaul

    U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), after returning from a trip to the Middle East, last week shared his frank observation with an audience at George Washington University: “A worldwide terrorist exodus is underway, and we are woefully unprepared to deal with it,” he said. “We are not winning this war,” McCaul said. “Violent extremists are not on the run, as the president says. They are on the march.”

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  • Cultural terrorismMali Islamist will plead guilty in ICC to cultural-destruction war crime

    Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, a jihadist from Mali, has pleaded guilty to destroying ancient world-heritage Islamic sites in Mali. The destruction took place during the short 2012-2-13 reign of the Islamist Ansar Dine movement in break-away northern Mali, which the group called Azawad. Mahdi is he first person to face cultural destruction-related war crimes charges before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

  • Terror & businessStudy probes impact of terror on business travelers, managers

    A joint study of terror’s impact on business travelers and business travel managers revealed surprising results, especially with regard to traveler fears and anxiety. Among other findings, the study found that 31 percent of business travelers worry that a reluctance to travel could hurt their career, and that 6 percent would not feel comfortable expressing their concerns to upper management.

  • TerrorismTaliban leader Mullah Mansour posed “imminent threat” to U.S.: Pentagon

    The Pentagon has said it killed Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour because he posed a danger to the United States. The Islamist militant chief was killed in a U.S. strike in Pakistan last week. President Obama called the death of Mansour “an important milestone,” and that the United States had “removed the leader of an organization that has continued to plot against and unleash attacks on American and coalition forces.”

  • SyriaISIS bomb attacks in Syria’s Alawite heartland kill 148

    ISIS militants set off bombs that killed more than 140 people in the Syrian towns of Jableh and Tartous, in the Assad regime’s Alawite-controlled coastal heartland. The Alawite region on north-west Syria, from which the Assad family and most of Syria’s higher echelon hail, has so far escaped the worst of the fighting in Syria’s civil war.

  • TunnelsGazans fear being used as human shields as Hamas builds tunnels under homes

    Palestinians in the Gaza Strip increasingly fear that the ongoing construction of Hamas tunnels in residential areas means that their lives will be in danger if a future war breaks out between the terrorist group and Israel. While Israel destroyed 32 terror tunnels during the 2014 war, Israeli officials have been warning for some time that Hamas has rebuilt much of its underground infrastructure.

  • BiodefenseBiodefense Panel welcomes key provision in defense authorization bill

    In October 2015, the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense found that insufficient federal coordination on strategy, budgeting, and policy; inadequate collaboration with other levels of government and the private sector; and lagging innovation in areas like biosurveillance and medical countermeasure development make the United States vulnerable to biological attacks and infectious disease outbreaks. The Panel welcomed the passing by the House of the National Defense Authorization Act, H.R. 4909, which includes a provision addressing one of the Panel’s most important recommendations.

  • Man-made earthquakesUpdate on earthquakes: Newest results from Oklahoma Commission look “encouraging”

    By Robert Lee Maril

    The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), the regulatory agency overseeing the state’s oil and gas industry, now has data that may suggest their directives to owners of production and induction wells have successfully contributed to a decline in seismic activity in the most volatile areas prone to earthquakes.Scientists at the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) continue to remind the public that there are a wide variety of unanswered questions about immediate and long-term remedies even with the new directives in place. 

  • ISIS & chemical weaponsISIS conducting chemical experiments on its prisoners

    In the ace of sustained attacks by coalition forces, ISIS has moved its chemical weapons labs to densely populated residential areas in Mosul — and is testing homemade chlorine and mustard gas on its prisoners held in different facilities in and around the city. ISIS has been working in chemical weapons for a while, relying on the expertise of scientists who served in the chemical weapons complex of Saddam Hussein, but also on Europeans with chemical degrees from leading European universities.

  • TerrorismISIS leader calls on U.S., European followers to attack in U.S. and Europe during Ramadan

    Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, a close aide and a possible successor to leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has called on the international followers of ISIS to carry out attacks on civilians during the holy month of Ramadan. He said that lone wolf attacks in the United States and Europe were “dearer to us than the biggest action by us” in Iraq and Syria. The message also contained references to recent military setbacks the group has suffered.