• SF fiery crash highlights cities' vulnerability to tankers used as weapons

    More than 800,000 trucks carry shipments of hazardous materials every day across the United States; background checks of those hauling hazardous materials are designed to prevent fugitives, the mentally ill, and those convicted of terrorism, espionage, or murder from obtaining a HAZMAT hauling license; one security expert: “It’s very difficult now to purchase explosives … but it’s not that hard to steal a truck full of gasoline, and you can do quite a bit of damage”

  • Noticeable increase in the number of Americans arrested for al Qaeda-related terrorism

    The domestic landscape of terrorism in the United States is changing: there is no escaping the fact the most alarming thing about a string of recently arrested terror suspects is that they are all Americans; more than a dozen Americans have been captured or identified by the U.S. government and its allies over the past two years for actively supporting jihad; some, according to prosecutors, were inspired by the U.S. involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; others, like the accused Pennsylvania woman, wanted to avenge what they considered an insult to the Prophet Mohammed; many traveled overseas to get terrorist training; some used home computers to foment plots; says a terrorism expert: “There really is no profile of a terror suspect; the profile is broken, [and] it’s women as well as men, it’s lifelong Muslims as well as converts, it’s college students as well as jailbirds”

  • Pentagon contractor said to have set up a private unit to kill militants in Pakistan, Afghanistan

    A U.S. government contractor alleged to have diverted funds to set up a unit of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants; “While no legitimate intelligence operations got screwed up, it’s generally a bad idea to have freelancers running around a war zone pretending to be James Bond,” one U.S. government official said

  • Econo-Jihad: Terrorists increasingly focus doing economic damage to West

    After the 9/11 attacks, Bin Laden boasted that he sued an operation which cost al Qaeda $500,000 to finance to inflict a $500 billion damage on the U.S. economy; it was not a mere boast: it was an indication the econo-jihad was an integral part of al Qaeda’s strategy to weaken and defeat the West; “the economic turn actually influences the terrorists’ targets, which have included oil-drilling infrastructures, tourism, international economic institutions and more. Indeed, Islamic terrorism’s future devices will focus on targets that will yield the most economic damage,” one expert says

  • U.K. spy agencies replace failed secret messaging system, try to recover money from IBM

    IBM was contracted by the British secret service to develop a secret, secure communication system for its operatives; after delays and technical failures, the contract was pulled and the intelligence services have launched a new project to extend a new secret messaging system to thousands of terminals across the intelligence agencies, as well as the Home Office, SOCA, Ministry of Defense, and other departments; at the same time, the government is still trying to recover the £24.4 million paid to IBM

  • Intelligence experts: Recent attacks on U.S. government buildings are indeed terrorism

    DHS secretary Janet Napolitano said Joseph Stack’s suicide attack on the IRS building in Austin was not an act of terrorism because he acted as a lone wolf; an intelligence think tank’s experts disagree: the definition of a violent act as an act of terrorism has nothing to do with the number of casualties, foreign ties, or absence of a conspiracy; what matters is whether or not the perpetrator’s motivation was to coerce a population or a government to change policy because of political, religious, or ideological beliefs

  • Ad for Israeli supermarket chain inspired Mossad's Dubai slaying

    Discount supermarket chain commercial draws inspiration from surveillance footage of Dubai assassination; shows actors carrying tennis rackets, wearing wigs, hats; an actress wearing a wide-brimmed floppy hat mimics Israel’s policy of maintaining deniability, saying she “couldn’t admit to anything”

  • Religious leaders discuss body scanners with DHS

    Muslim, Jewish, and Christian leaders met with DHS officials to discuss the privacy aspects of whole-body scanning; Muslim religious organizations, the Pope, and Orthodox Jewish authorities declared body scanners to be in violation of their respective religions’ modesty strictures, especially for women, and urged their followers to opt for pat-downs instead

  • TSA: Alleged child molester did not train or use new full-body scanners at Logan

    A Boston man charged with multiple child sex crimes was a certified luggage and passengers screener at Logan Airport; TSA says the man was already missing from work for several days when full-body scanners were deployed at Logan on 1 March, and thus had no access to the machines; the man’s arrest adds fuel to the opposition to body scanners

  • Growing concerns in U.S., U.K. about domestic terrorism

    Law enforcement and intelligence in the United States and the United Kingdom are concerned with increased intensity on the extremist fringe: the number extremist groups is rising, their ranks are swelling, their rhetoric is becoming more vituperative, and there has been an increase in violent activities

  • A series of attacks on government buildings focuses attention on federal building security

    The recent shooting at the Pentagon, which followed a February plane crash at Internal Revenue Service offices in Austin and a January shooting at the federal courthouse in Las Vegas, has prompted renewed attention from lawmakers regarding the security of U.S. government buildings

  • Top concern at RSA 2010: security of cloud computing

    Cloud computing offers efficiency and cost reduction, but it also offer new opportunities to hackers and cybercriminals; Melissa Hathaway, former senior director for cyberspace for the National Security Council, said the migration toward the cloud is gaining momentum without having satisfactorily addressed several pressing concerns; former National Security Agency technical director Brian Snow said he does not trust the cloud

  • FBI: Cyber-terrorism a real and growing threat to U.S.

    FBI director Robert Mueller: “The risks are right at our doorsteps and in some cases they are in the house”; Richard Clarke, former White House terrorism czar: “Every major company in the U.S. and Europe has been penetrated — it’s industrial warfare”

  • Obama administration to unveil nuclear weapons policy

    The administration’s Nuclear Posture Review was initially scheduled for release late last year, and then again for 1 March, but it is coming; it will lay out the administration’s justifications and strategy for maintaining a nuclear arsenal, and will be important in guiding work throughout the energy department, including at the primary weapons laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California

  • German court says EU phone, e-mail data retention policy must be changed

    In 2006 the EU approved a law requiring phone and e-mail providers to hold customer data for six months in case the data is needed by law enforcement; a German Federal Constitution Court called the law “inadmissable” and ruled that changes would be needed to limit its scope