• SyriaRussia will soon begin to pay a steep price for Syrian campaign: Ash Carter

    Moscow will soon begin to pay a steep price – in the form of reprisal attacks and casualties — for its escalating military intervention on behalf of the Assad regime in Syria, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has warned. Earlier this week, fifty-five leading Muslim clerics, including prominent Islamists, urged “true Muslims” to “give all moral, material, political and military” support to the fight against Assad’s army as well as Iranian and Russian forces. “Russia has created a Frankenstein in the region which it will not be able to control,” warned a senior Qatari diplomat. “With the call to jihad things will change. Everyone will go to fight. Even Muslims who sit in bars. There are 1.5 billion Muslims. Imagine what will happen if 1 percent of them join.”

  • Syria“Greater than 90%”of Russian airstrikes in Syria not aimed at ISIS: U.S.

    The majority of Russia’s military strikes in Syria have not been aimed at the Islamic State or jihadists tied to al-Qaida, and have instead targeted the moderate Syrian opposition, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday. “Greater than 90 percent of the strikes that we’ve seen them take to date have not been against ISIL or al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists,” said spokesman John Kirby. “They’ve been largely against opposition groups that want a better future for Syria and don’t want to see the Assad regime stay in power.” The Russian strategy appears to be a continuation of the Assad government’s military strategy, which always focused on attacking the anti-regime rebels rather than ISIS.

  • Water securityWater security test bed to focus on bolstering municipal water security

    Water is the foundation for life. People use water every single day to meet their domestic, industrial, agricultural, medical, and recreational needs. After the September 2001 terrorist attacks, water system security became a higher priority in the United States. The Water Security Test Bed (WSTB) at Idaho national Laboratory can be used for research related to detecting and decontaminating chemical, biological, or radiological agents following an intentional or natural disaster. The WSTB will focus on improving America’s ability to safeguard the nation’s water systems, and respond to contamination incidents and to natural disasters.

  • Nuclear materialsFBI helps foil several plots to sell nuclear material in Moldova’s black market

    Over the past five years, four attempts by Russian gangs in Moldova to sell nuclear material have been thwarted by the FBI and Moldovan authorities. The most recent case was in February when a smuggler, who specifically sought a buyer from Islamic State, offered undercover agents a large amount of radioactive caesium. The would-be smuggler wanted €2.5 million for enough radioactive material to contaminate several city streets.

  • Islam & extremismTony Blair: Many Muslims support Islamic extremists' ideology

    Tony Blair has warned that the ideology which drives Islamic extremists has significant support from Muslims around the world. Blair said that unless religious prejudice in Muslim communities is rooted out, the threat from the extremists will not be defeated. Blair, speaking at the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City, said that while the number of people engaging in violence by joining groups like Islamic State is relatively small, many of their views are widely shared.

  • Islam & extremismISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra share near identical ideologies: Report

    A just-published report analyzes a cross-section of 114 propaganda sources over two years from the three main Salafi-jihadi groups: ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The three groups share near identical ideologies, challenging the concept that “ISIS is more extreme than al-Qaeda.” Built upon distorted Islamic religious principles, the propaganda produces single-minded focus on violent jihad. The report finds explicit references to these principles throughout the propaganda:

  • view counter
  • DronesFAA proposes $1.9 million civil penalty for unmanned drone operations

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the other day announced the largest civil penalty the FAA has proposed against a drone operator for endangering the safety of U.S. airspace. The FAA proposes a $1.9 million civil penalty against SkyPan International, Inc. of Chicago. The FAA says that SkyPan conducted sixty-five unauthorized operations in some of the U.S. most congested airspace and heavily populated cities, violating airspace regulations and various operating rules.

  • SurveillanceEuropean Court of Justice: U.S. data systems expose users to state surveillance

    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg has ruled that U.S. digital data storage systems fail to provide sufficient privacy from state surveillance. The ECJ declared the American so-called safe harbor scheme “invalid.” The ruling, which is binding on all EU members states, stated that: “The United States … scheme thus enables interference, by United States public authorities, with the fundamental rights of persons…” The ruling will have far-reaching ramifications for the online industry and would likely lead many companies to relocate their operations.

  • BangladeshBangladesh sees rise in Islamist violence

    A Bangladeshi pastor has escaped an attempt on his life by three men who came to his home saying they wanted to learn about Christianity, the Bangladeshi police said. The attack on the pastor follows last week’s fatal attacks on two foreigners. Bangladesh, a predominantly Muslim country, has seen a sharp rise in violence by hardline Islamist groups. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the government rejected those claims, saying it has information tying the country’s main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist party and its key ally, Jamaat-e-Islami, to the attacks.

  • TerrorismStrategy to defeat ISIS must degrade the group's finances, leadership

    A wealth of publicly available information suggests that the reemergence of the Islamic State in 2014 should not have come as a surprise, although the strength and scope of the reemergence were rightfully shocking, according to a new report. The researchers say that even before 2012, much was known about how the Islamic State financed and organized itself, established territorial control and responded to airpower. That knowledge can guide efforts to counter the Islamic State.

  • SyriaTurkish jets intercept Russian warplane over Turkey

    Turkish military jets intercepted a Russian fighter plane which had violated the country’s airspace while flying a bombing sortie over Syria. Turkey adamantly opposes the Russian intervention in Syria. As has been the case with the actions by the Syrian military, the majority of the Russian bombing raids have targeted opposition groups, some supported by the United States, rather than the forces of Islamic State. Last week, Turkey and other members of the U.S.-led coalition campaign against ISIS issued a joint statement which asked Moscow to cease attacks on the Syrian opposition and focus instead on fighting ISIS.

  • SyriaWhy Putin gambled on airstrikes in Syria – and what might come next

    By Scott Lucas

    The real story of Moscow’s gamble in Syria emerges from an analysis of the targets the Russian planes have hit so far: all but one of these targets were in areas held by the opposition to Syria’s Assad regime, rather than by the Islamic State’s militants. The Russian military intervention in Syria is thus part of a high-stakes bet that with brazen propaganda, political maneuvers and airstrikes, Russia can save Syria’s embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, from a likely downfall. This gamble is not likely to succeed. Moscow’s warplanes can help the Syrian military keep a hold on its vital defense line, which runs from the Mediterranean to Homs and then to Damascus. But just as the Syrian Air Force has not been able to help Assad’s ground forces reclaim lost territory, Russia’s jet fighters cannot wage a front-line battle against the rebels. With no prospect of a revitalized Syrian Army, Putin is left with two unpalatable options: to either deploy Russian troops on the battlefield or accept the de facto partition of Syria — allowing the rebels to hold their positions in north-west and southern Syria. Putin can hope that Saudi Arabia finally gives way and joins the Americans and the Europeans to support Assad on a temporary basis. If that happens, Putin will have won his bet. But if the Saudis remain intransigent and the Americans’ mood turns sour, his losses could be dire indeed.

  • TerrorismDissident republican terror attack “highly likely”: Northern Ireland police

    Will Kerr, Police Service of Northern Ireland assistant chief constable, said on Thursday that the threat from the New IRA, Continuity IRA, and Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH) was at present severe, and that a dissident republican terror attack is “highly likely.” Kerr said the main armed republican groups which oppose the ceasefire would aim to ramp up their violence ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising against British rule in 2016. He noted that the republican dissidents had honed their skills and improved their rocket and bomb-making technology by studying improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used by the Taliban in Afghanistan and Islamist insurgents in Iraq.

  • TerrorismU.S. has no strategy to stop Americans from traveling overseas to join jihadists: House panel

    The U.S. government lacks a national strategy for combating terrorist travel and has not produced one in nearly a decade. Despite concerted efforts to stem the flow, the U.S. has largely failed to stop Americans from traveling overseas to join jihadists. Gaping security weaknesses overseas — especially in Europe — are putting the U.S. homeland in danger by making it easier for aspiring foreign fighters to migrate to terrorist hotspots and for jihadists to return to the West. These are the conclusions of a new report by the House Homeland Security Committee’s bipartisan Foreign Fighter Task Force.

  • CybersecurityRussia-based hackers tried to break into Hillary Clinton's private server

    Russian hackers, on five separate occasions, tried to break into Hillary Clinton’s server. The malicious e-mails, disguised as New York City parking tickets, were contained in the latest batch of records released by the State Department. There is no indication that these attempts were successful or that the suspicious zip files were opened by Clinton, but her personal e-mail address was a tightly-held secret and the hacking attempts raise the question of whether she was specifically targeted.