• No immediate impact on Pennsylvania from DHS update to REAL ID deadlines

    The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said there would be no immediate impact to Pennsylvania citizens is expected based on the recent announcement by DHS regarding its schedule for implementing the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. The act deals with identification requirements for boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.

  • Ash Carter unveils a broader, more robust campaign to defeat ISIS

    Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said that 2016 will be the year the American-led coalition attacks ISIS in its strongholds of Raqqa and Mosul, in what may be the Obama administration’s last chance to inflict a lasting defeat on the Islamist group. In a speech on Wednesday, Carter said that he had “big arrows” pointing at the Syrian and Iraqi cities that constitute Isis’s “center of gravity.” The campaign against ISIS will expand beyond these countries, Carter said, indicating that the drone campaigns conducted against militants in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan will target the militant group in other countries, most likely in north and west Africa.

  • 7 killed in ISIS suicide bombings, shootings in Indonesian capital

    ISIS has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack in Jakarta earlier this morning (Thursday). Indonesian authorities say that the five ISIS attackers were helped by the local Jemaah Islamiyah group. Jemaah Islamiyah was behind a 2009 explosions at two Jakarta hotels that killed seven people, and the 2002 bombings at a Bali nightclub which killed 202 people, mainly foreign tourists. Jemaah Islamiyah is similar to ISIS in that it aims to establish an Islamic “caliphate” in south-east Asian countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

  • Family of ISIS victim sues Twitter for enabling terrorism

    The family of Lloyd “Carl” Fields Jr., who was killed last year in an attack in Amman, the capital of Jordan in an ISIS shooting, is suing Twitter, claiming the network has not done enough about the spread of the group’s deadly reach. The complaint claims that the shooting might never have happened had Twitter not existed.

  • Iran decommissions Arak nuclear reactor

    Iran has decommissioned its Arak nuclear reactor by removing the sensitive core, and UN inspectors are inspecting the reactor today (Thursday) in order to verify the removal of the core, as required by the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 powers. The removal of the core of the reactor will make it impossible for Iran to pursue the plutonium path to the bomb. The dismantling of about 13,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges, as called for by the agreement, will make it impossible for Iran to use enriched uranium to build a bomb for the duration of the agreement.

  • U.K. bail procedure to be changed to prevent jihadists from leaving country while on bail

    Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to oversee a shakeup of police bail procedures after a counterterrorism chief said the procedures were “weak and “toothless” and allowed jihadists to act with impunity. The weaknesses in the current bail system were highlighted by the revelations that Siddhartha Dhar, the Londoner suspected of being Isil’s new ‘Jihadi John’, was able to leave the United Kingdom without any problem while on bail despite being told to surrender his passport. Under current law, the police are powerless to escort a released suspect home to seize their passport because of bail regulations and human rights laws.

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  • Suicide bomber kills 15 outside polio clinic in Quetta, Pakistan

    The Taliban’s violent campaign against bringing Western medicine to children in Pakistan, a campaign which focused primarily on disrupting the efforts of the Pakistani government and international NGOs to fight polio, continues. Earlier today (Wednesday), a suicide bomber has killed at least fifteen people, most of them police, outside a polio eradication center in the city of Quetta in western Pakistan.

  • Istanbul terrorist was a Syrian asylum seeker

    Turkish media report that the terrorist who killed ten tourists in Istanbul entered the country as an asylum seeker from Syria. Most of the dead and wounded in the attack were German nationals. The Turkis police was able to identify the attacker quickly because his fingerprints were already stored in Turkey’s the refugee biometric database.

  • Seismologists "hear" the nuclear explosions in North Korea

    International experts are far from convinced that North Korea actually conducted its first H-bomb test, which was reported by the country last week.Seismology alone cannot tell whether it was a hydrogen bomb or not, but seismologists say that what emerges from the existing data is that last week’s seismic events in North Korea were slightly smaller than a similar event in 2013.

  • Travel association to DHS: Tell Congress about visa overstays before tourism is restricted

    The U.S. Travel Association is urging DHS to address people who stay overstay the length of their approved visas before placing new restrictions on visa waiver programs that are designed to boost U.S. tourism. “We should not even begin to discuss further improvements to visa security without much-needed data from the Department of Homeland Security on visa overstays,” the association says.

  • Israel’ security agencies take gloves off in dealing with Jewish terrorists

    The killing last summer of a Palestinian family by Jewish fanatics forced the Israeli security agencies to rethink their approach to the growing threat of violence posed by Jewish religious radicals. These religious extremists, raised in Israeli settlements built in the occupied Palestinian territories, are small in number, but they enjoy the tacit support of many settlers, and, as importantly, the blessings of a few extremist but influential rabbis. The Israeli security services have decided to take the gloves off, and subject Jewish extremists to enhanced interrogation techniques which, until now, have been used only on Palestinian terrorism suspects. The more robust interrogations have yielded important results.

  • World leaders urged to oppose encryption back doors

    In an open letter made public on Monday, nearly 200 Internet and digital rights leaders and experts, companies, and organizations are calling on the Obama administration and other world leaders to reject efforts to create “back doors” to encryption. “Encryption tools, technologies, and services are essential to protect against harm and to shield our digital infrastructure and personal communications from unauthorized access,” the letter states.

  • ISIS instructs Western followers on how to avoid detection by police

    ISIS is a sophisticated terrorist organization, as its savvy use of social media shows. Its sophistication shows in other ways as well: It has issued instructions to its followers in the West, who are plotting terrorist attacks against Western targets, advising them how to avoid detection by intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

  • ISIS follower shoots Philadelphia police officer

    A man who shot a Philadelphia policeman while he was sitting in his squad car and wounded him, was inspired by ISIS. Edward Archer used a stolen gun to fire eleven shots at Jesse Hartnett in – but Hartman, despite being wounded, was able to get out of the car and return fire, hitting the gunman three times.

  • Religious beliefs may promote interfaith cooperation, rather than violence

    From the Christian Crusades to the Paris attacks, countless conflicts and acts of violence have been claimed to be the result of differing religious beliefs. These faith-based opinions are thought to motivate aggressive behavior because of how they encourage group loyalty or spin ideologies that devalue the lives of non-believers. However, just published research reveals the opposite: religious beliefs might instead promote interfaith cooperation.