• French Muslims propose tax on halal food to fund mosques, fight radicalization

    Anouar Kbibech, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), an influential group representing French Muslims, has proposed a tax on halal food to fund mosques and fight radicalization in France. The proposal was part of a broader counter-radicalization plan by French Muslims, a plan which also calls for the establishment of a new foundation which would help reduce the dependence of French mosques on foreign benefactors.

  • 28-page section of the 9/11 Commission Report reveals “indirect link” to Saudi ambassador to U.S.

    The 28-page section of the 9/11 Commission’s report, the only portion of the report not to have been made public, was finally released in July by the Obama administration (the section was, in fact, 29-page long). The heavily redacted version released to the public found an “indirect link” between a Colorado-based company associated with Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a key member of the Saudi royal family, who, for many years, wielded influence as the Saudi ambassador to the United States, and phone numbers held by an al-Qaeda member held over the 9/11 terror attacks. Money from a charity run by Bandar’s wife found its way to a Saudi man who helped two of the 9/11 hijackers settle in San Diego.

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  • Indonesian police thwarts rocket attack on neighboring Singapore

    Indonesia’s counter-terror police say they have thwarted a rocket attack on Singapore by arresting six suspected militants on Friday morning on Indonesia’s Batam island, about fifteen miles south-east of Singapore, a police spokesman said. Islamist terrorism in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, captured the headlines in 2002, when members of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) militant network killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists, in Bali bombings. Since then, Islamist terrorist carried out smaller and less deadly attacks which targeted government agencies, mainly police and anti-terrorism forces.

  • Joy Karega, Oberlin professor who claimed Israel was behind 9/11, put on leave

    Oberlin College professor Joy Karega, who was heavily criticized after she had posted Facebook status claiming that Israel was behind the rise of ISIS and the 9/11 and Charlie Hebdo terror attacks, has been put on leave and will be barred from teaching on campus while her case is reviewed, the school’s president said in a statement on Wednesday.

  • In dirty bomb prevention, Texas fails a crucial test

    The clandestine group’s goal was clear: Obtain the building blocks of a radioactive “dirty bomb” — capable of poisoning a major city for a year or more — by openly purchasing the raw ingredients from authorized sellers inside the United States. It should have been hard. The purchase of lethal radioactive materials — even modestly dangerous ones — requires a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a measure meant to keep them away from terrorists. But a team of undercover bureaucrats with the investigative arm of Congress discovered that getting a license and then ordering enough materials to make a dirty bomb was strikingly simple.

  • German responses to terror range from cautious to conspiratorial

    Until this month, Germany had been spared from terrorist attacks with momentous losses of life. Since 18 July, four attacks have occurred. While the attacks have been frequent, none has been as deadly as the attacks in Nice, Paris or Orlando. That is a perverse comfort in times when attacks occur daily. But Germans no longer feel like terrorism is a distant tragedy. Germany has yet to see large-scale terrorist attacks like those in France or Belgium. The sheer number of refugees and the limited number of attacks ultimately makes the link between refugees and terror weak. The polarization of political opinions about security, however, could threaten Chancellor Merkel’s chances for reelection in 2017.

  • Armed French police deployed on Channel ferries

    Passenger ferries going between Britain and France are now being accompanied by armed sea patrols to protect them from jihadist attacks. In addition, marine gendarmes are now placed on ferries in the Channel and North Sea, as the two countries are in talks about allowing French security personnel togo on board ferries before the ferries leave English ports.

  • DHS grant supports research into espionage prevention

    Researchers have received a $649,172 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to strengthen insider threat detection. The research will involve building an insider threat detection system to prepare for real-world situations wherein a disgruntled employee or even a corporate spy could abscond with valuable information. The researchers are not interested in finding the culprit after an attack has already occurred.

  • Live-streaming crime incidents a challenge U.S. privacy law

    In July, the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile went viral on social media. The aftermath of the Castile shooting was first shared via Facebook Live, which is a type of mobile streaming video technology (MSVT) that allows users to stream live video to followers, similar to Periscope and Meerkat. The two incidents focus attention on the legal rights of people to record and live stream and any potential right to be free from being recorded and streamed in public places.

  • ISIS now operates in 18 countries: WH briefing document

    A leaked briefing document written for the White House says that ISIS has “fully operational branches” in eighteen countries. A 2014 State Department documents said that ISIS was operating in only seven countries. In twelve countries, ISIS has “official branches,” and in six more countries it has “aspiring branches.”

  • 600 armed police officers to protect London

    The London police has launched Operation Hercules in which additional firearms officers will be deployed in visible roles in the capital. The Met will add 600 additional firearms officers to protect London against any attack. The first are now fully trained and operationally ready.

  • July 2016 terrorism: The numbers

    The House Homeland Security Committee has just released its August Terror Threat Snapshot. The snapshot, produced by the Majority Staff of the committee, is a monthly committee assessment of the threat America, the West, and the world face from ISIS and other Islamist terrorists.

  • Apprehension: Aspen gathering of worried terrorism, security officials

    An air of foreboding hanged over last week’s Aspen Security Forum, an annual gathering of the U.S. top past and present defense, intelligence, counter-terrorism, and diplomatic figures who are focused on protecting the American homeland. “All these recent terror attacks on soft targets, the growing cyberattacks, suggest this is the new normal, and it’s going to be with us for a while,” former Homeland Security inspector general Clark Kent Ervin said. “We’ve got all these evolving threats coming at us, and it’s disturbing that we did not see around the corner and anticipate this two years ago.”

  • Risk of Paris-, Nice-like terror attacks in U.K. remains a case of “when, not if”: Met commissioner

    Britain is well prepared to prevent terrorist attacks similar to those which took place in France and Germany in recent weeks, but such an attack in Britain remains a question of “when, not if,” Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the commissioner of the Metropolitan police has said. Hogan-Howe said he was hoping to reassure the British public in the wake of recent terrorist attacks on the continent, but he admitted that the reality of the situation made it impossible to guarantee that there would be no terrorist attacks in Britain.

  • Remotely disabling non-cooperative vehicles

    As they strive to keep the public safe, one of the key challenges facing European security services is the ability to control and stop, at distance, non-cooperative vehicles posing a threat. However, this ability presents more than a technical challenge. To comply with EU legislation, as well as adhere to ethical concerns, the technology would also have to be safe for the user, the driver (and passengers), as well as members of the public and the material infrastructure of the surrounding environment. In lab bench testing, researchers evaluated signal frequency, waveform, and duration — principally of electromagnetic pulses (EMP) and high power microwaves (HPM) — to determine which could best disrupt the functioning of a vehicle’s electronic components.