• CBP MSC vehicle contracts to Telephonic appear problematic

    According to federal government documents, problematic contract inconsistencies predominate in yet another CBP surveillance technology program. The CBP contract in question calls for the production of Multiple Surveillance Capability (MSC) vehicles. Unfortunately, the unintended consequences of these documented problematic delays in the CBP and Office of Technology Innovation and Assessment (OTIA) acquisition process with Telephonics MSC vehicle contracts have serious ramifications. Equally troubling is that CBP MSC contract delays from 2010 to 2015 mirror SBInet delays from 2006 to 2011. These contract delays with Telephonics MSC vehicles, a surveillance technology already in place in other countries, continues to create a U.S.-Mexican border far less secure or safe than it should or has to be.

  • France sets up deradicalization centers, unveils comprehensive counterterrorism plan

    France plans to set up a deradicalization centers in several cities and towns to help the authorities identify would-be Islamist extremists and reach out to them in order to prevent them from joining jihadist groups. The establishment of the “reinsertion and citizenship centers” in each of the country’s regions is a central element of a comprehensive, 80-point plan to counter home-grown terrorism. The plan was unveiled on Monday.

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  • Osama bin Laden's son calls on Syrian Islamist groups to unite “to free Palestine”

    Hamza bin Laden, Osama bi Laden’s son, has called on jihadists in Syria to unite, saying that fight for spreading the jihadists’ message in Syria is but a prologue to “liberating Palestine.” “The Islamic umma (nation) should focus on jihad in al-Sham (Syria) … and unite the ranks of mujahideen there,” Hamza bin Laden said in an audio message posted online.

  • ISIS manufacturing chemical weapons: UN watchdog

    A team of investigators at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said that there is “worrying” evidence ISIS is making its own chemical weapons. An OPCW team of investigators said they had found evidence of the use of homemade sulphur mustard in attacks in Syria and Iraq.

  • Protecting Texas electrical grid key to preserving national security

    Protecting America’s most vulnerable asset – our electric power grid – starts with Texas, according to a new study. “As Texas goes, so goes our national security,” says the study’s author. “Outside of California and the Beltway, Texas is arguably the most important state for defense readiness.” Hardening the state’s electric power grid should be top priority.

  • Hijab-wearing Muslim women kicked out of California café suing for discrimination

    Seven Muslim women who were kicked out of a southern California restaurant for wearing a hijab have sued the business for discrimination. The women, six of whom were wearing hijabs, were ordered to leave Urth Caffe in Laguna Beach on 22 April. The manager who told them to leave explained that they violated the café’s policy of limiting seating to forty-five minutes—but videos show that the restaurant was half-empty when the women were told to leave, and the restaurant states on its Webpage that “If tables are available, you are certainly welcome to enjoy Urth for as long as you desire.”

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  • State sued for licensing detention center

    Grassroots Leadership, which opposes for-profit prisons, has sued the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for issuing a temporary child-care license to an immigration detention facility in Karnes City. Thenon-profit organization says the department has no authority to regulate detention centers or prisons, and is asking a Travis County District Court for a temporary injunction and restraining order to stop the licensing.

  • Fixing NYC’s aging infrastructure one engineering problem at a time

    How do you make sure aging bridges which are vital links in New York City’s transportation network are safe or keep the city’s sewer system from breaking down? These are among the questions that occupy Columbia University researchers, who have installed sensors to analyze vibration on some of the city’s bridges and in landmark buildings and museums, and have focused on the functioning of the city’s water system.

  • Secret 28-page section of 9/11 report should remain under seal: CIA director

    John Brennan, the director of the CIA, has said that the 28-page secret section of the 9/11 Commission Report which details Saudi Arabian funding for the attacks, contains “uncorroborated, un-vetted” information and should not be released. Brennan expressed his strong preference for keeping the secret section from the public domain for fear of fueling unfounded rumors and speculations.

  • Calif. Muslim woman sues Long Beach police for forcibly removing her headscarf

    Kirsty Powell, an African American Muslim woman, has on Monday sued the police in California, charging that her headscarf, which she was wearing for religious reasons, was forcibly removed by officers after she was arrested on outstanding warrants. The suit states that Powell “suffered and continues to suffer extreme shame, humiliation, mental anguish and emotional distress” as a result of her experience at the police station.

  • German domestic intelligence needs more powers to combat terrorism: Intelligence chief

    Hans-Georg Maassen, Germany’s director of domestic intelligence, said his intelligence agency should be given more resources to fight threats from militant Islamists and right-wing extremists. He was speaking in a symposium on the growing threat of terror attacks in Germany. He said the political climate in Germany was “a lot rougher” than it used to be, as former non-voters and disaffected supporters of the established parties become radicalized against the backdrop of the refugee crisis.

  • CIA’s “live tweets” marks 5th anniversary of killing of Bin Laden

    Osama bin Laden was killed five years ago, on 2 May 2011, in a raid by U.S. Special Forces on his compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan. To commemorate the event, the CIA decided to live-tweet the military operation which ended in OBL’s “as if it were happening today.” That decision, however, has been greeted with criticism as a tasteless “victory lap.” A CIA spokesman on Sunday defended the tweets, noting that it was not the first time the CIA had marked historical events on social media.

  • EU should establish U.S.-style intelligence agency: EU president

    The terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, just as the earlier ones in Madrid (2004) and London (2005), were a reminder that central pillars of the EU, such as the “area of freedom, security, and justice,” are being challenged. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission — the executive branch of the European Union (EU) – said that the EU member states’ mindsets and willingness to cooperate – crucial ingredients in the fight against terror – have not lived up to the challenge. The enduring lack of coordination between security services, police, and judicial authorities, at the national and the European levels, needs to be urgently tackled to reduce Europe’s vulnerability to such risks. To address and resolve these problems, and bolster European security in the face of terrorism, Juncker has proposed a European “Security Union.”

  • IDF deputy chief of staff: Next war with Hezbollah will be “devastating”

    The deputy chief of staff of the Israeli military warned that Hezbollah poses an “unprecedented” threat to Israel, and that any future war with the Iran-backed terrorist group will be “devastating.” “In any future crisis, they are not going to see a small war in Lebanon,” Maj. Gen. Yair Golan said of Hezbollah, which according to Israeli estimates has stockpiled over 100,000 missiles. “It’s going to be decisive. It’s going to be full-scale war.” He observed that Hezbollah’s tactic of embedding its military assets in civilian areas means that a future conflict “could create devastating damage to Lebanon.”

  • “Burner” phones, social media and online magazines: understanding the technology of terrorism

    Amid the global threat of terrorism, the actual attacks that occur can vary widely. Terrorists aim at different targets in different locations, and tend to be either shooting or bombing or both. There is, however, a central point of connection linking all these events: the use of technology to coordinate and organize the incident. Taken as a whole, we must recognize that technology use by extremist groups extends well beyond any one type of device, across the continuum of both hardware and software communication platforms. As technologies continue to evolve, extremists will continue to stay on the cutting edge of communications, whether they are encrypted or completely open. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies must be able to adapt investigative resources to these various platforms and do so quickly in order to better respond to these threats. Otherwise, gaps in collection and analysis may lead to intelligence failures and successful attacks.