• RadicalizationFrance probes 86,000 security permit holders for signs of radicalization

    Since the January 2015 terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo and Jewish supermarket in Paris, nearly sixty individuals suspected of Islamist radicalism have had their authorization to work at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport pulled. There are currently 86,000 French men and women who have passed security screening, and who have security permits which allow them to work in secure sites such as critical infrastructure and airports. France announced that each of these individuals will be re-examined to see whether they are still eligible for the security permits – and that new criteria will be added to eligibility requirements, including “the appreciation of radicalization” as “a factor which poses a problem in terms of security and safety.”

  • RadicalizationEU sets detailed, Europe-wide anti-radicalization agenda

    The European Parliament has recently concrete proposals for a comprehensive strategy to fight extremism in Europe. Among the proposals: prisons in which radicalization takes place will have added educational and vocational training offered to inmates, and inmates will be more tightly supervised; EU country would adopt a uniform, legally binding definition of terrorism, and those joining terrorist organizations would be placed under judicial and administrative control upon return to their home countries; the Parliament also announced the creation, by the end of the year, of the EU Passenger Name Records (PNR).

  • African securitySahel youths susceptible to radicalization: UN envoy

    Hiroute Guebre Sellassie, UN envoy to the Sahel region in Africa, said last week that up to forty-one million young people in the Sahel have nothing hut a bleak future to look to, pushing them to migrate and making them susceptible to radicalization. She said that young people under age 25 in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger “face hopelessness.” She noted that 44 percent of children in the Sahel lack access to primary education and only 36 percent of the population can read or write.

  • SurveillanceNSA’s bulk metadata collection program ends

    The NSA on Sunday ended its controversial surveillance program, initiated by the George W. Bush administration in 2006, which collected the metadata of all communications in the United States. The creation of the bulk collection program was the result of criticism by the 9/11 Commission, and many security experts, who argued that the information about the nineteen 9/11 terrorists was available, but that law enforcement and intelligence agencies lacked structure and procedure which would have allowed them to “connect the dots.”

  • Border controlMore than 500 travelers to U.S. flagged daily for “national security concerns”

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data show that every day, hundreds of travelers going through airports, seaports, and land border crossings are flagged for “suspected national security concerns.” In 2014, the average daily number of those flagged for national security concerns was 548.

  • SyriaIsrael-Russia communication: Straying Russian plane avoid being shot down

    Israel defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon, on Sunday told reporters that a Russian jet recently entered Israeli airspace but was not shot down because Israel and Russia had established an effective open communication system between the two countries. Ya’alon said the plane, by mistake, entered about one mile into Israeli airspace and immediately turned around back to Syria when the Russians were notified.

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  • SyriaTurkey’s, Russia’s official versions of jet shoot down scientifically impossible: Physicists

    Two astrophysicists show that the official versions of both Turkey and Russia about the circumstances surrounding the shooting down of a Russian fighter jet over Turkey should be taken with a grain of salt. Turkey’s insists that the Russian jet flew over Turkish territory for 17 seconds, but this is contradicted by the video of the shooting provided by the Turkish military. Russia’s claims that the jet made a 90-dgree turn in order to avoid Turkish airspace does “not correspond to the laws of mechanics.”

  • Chemical safetyChemical safety board may put new investigations on hold while it reboots

    Under new leadership, the Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is hitting the reset button to put its embattled past behind it. The federal agency charged with investigating and issuing recommendations on chemical accidents wants to set an ambitious timeline for completing reports, but doing so will require a hold on new cases.

  • ISISU.K. details strategy to defeat ISIS, remove Assad, rebuild and stabilize Syria

    The U.K. government on Thursday released a 36-page dossier offering detailed arguments why it would be militarily, legally, and morally right for Britain to join the U.S.-led coalition in attacking ISIS targets in Syria. The document was released ahead of Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech at the House of Commons in which he called on all House members to vote for allowing the campaign. Cameroon said that ISIS posed a “very direct threat to our country and our way of life” and that inaction by the United Kingdom posed even greater risks for the country.

  • ISISFrance: Syrian government troops to help fight ISIS only after Assad’s removal

    Laurent Fabius, France’s foreign minister, said earlier Friday that troops loyal to Bashar al-Assad could be employed in the fight against ISIS, but only as part of a political transition framework in Syria which will not include President Bashar al-Assad. Fabius’s comments highlight the fact that Thursday’s meeting between Francois Hollande and Vladimir Putin has failed to bridge the differences between France and Russia with regard to the war in Syria.

  • European securityEC chief: After Paris attacks, Schengen agreement is “comatose”

    Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, has admitted that in the wake of the Paris attacks, the Schengen agreement is “comatose” and warned that the euro will not survive without it. Françoise Schepmans, the mayor of the Brussels district of Molenbeek, received a list with the names of more than eighty suspected jihadists living in the area just one month before the Paris attacks.

  • Guns & terrorismNYPD commissioner to Congress: Do not allow people on terror watch list to buy guns

    NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton the other day called on Congress today to “start getting serious” about fixing the loophole which allows individuals on the U.S. terror watch list legally to purchase firearms in the United States. Bratton said: “If Congress really wants to do something instead of just talking about something, help us out with that terrorist watch list, those thousands of people that can purchase firearms in this country. I’m more worried about them than I am about Syrian refugees.”

  • Terrorism appN.Y. State Police app helps citizens report suspicious activity

    The New York State Police is urging citizens to download a new digital app which allows citizens to capture and report suspicious activity with their smart phones. The app is part of the “See Something, Send Something” campaign which aims to turn willing citizens into the eyes and ears of law enforcement. For example, if a citizen notices an unattended package at a train station of an airport, they could use the app to alert law enforcement.

  • EncryptionTech companies: weakening encryption would only help the bad guys

    Leading technology companies — Apple, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Twitter, Facebook, and fifty-six other technology companies — have joined forces to campaign against weakening end-to-end encryption, insisting that any weakening of encryption would be “exploited by the bad guys.” Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook recently asserted that “any backdoor is a backdoor for everyone.”

  • SurveillanceAfter Paris, it’s traditional detective work that will keep us safe, not mass surveillance

    By Pete Fussey

    Before the dust has even settled from the attacks on Paris, familiar calls for greater surveillance powers are surfacing. The desire for greater security is understandable, but that doesn’t mean we should suspend our judgement on the measures proposed to bring it about. It’s widely accepted that intelligence work is the most effective form of counter-terrorism, and that the best intelligence comes from community engagement, not coercion. So we must be wary of the evangelism of those pushing technological solutions to security problems, and the political clamor for mass surveillance.