• British man arrested at Amsterdam airport on terrorism suspicion

    A British man of Somali ancestry was arrested in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport for possible links to a terrorist group; the suspect is allegedly linked to Somalia’s most dangerous militant group, al Shabab; militant veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts help train al Shabab fighters, one of the reasons the sophistication of its attacks has risen in recent months; the al Qaeda-linked group in the past has recruited Somali-Americans to carry out suicide bombings in Mogadishu

  • Six freed over suspected Pope plot

    U.K. police released the six men arrested Friday on suspicion that they plotted to kill the Pope during his U.K. visit; the police, after a thorough search of the homes of the suspects — all men of North African origin — and interviews with neighbors, the police said the men posed no credible threat; one newspaper reports that the men were arrested after been overheard sharing a joke in their canteen; the six all work for Veolia Environmental Services, a contractor which employs 650 on-street staff to keep the streets of Westminster clean

  • MI5: Cyber espionage on the rise, but can be easily beaten

    MI5 says the Internet has made the threat of espionage by foreign countries higher than ever before, but insisted it is “relatively straightforward” to block attempts to steal data; MI5 has previously written to the bosses of big British companies to warn them of the threat online, particularly from hackers with links to the Chinese intelligence services

  • Panel: DHS models for assessing terrorist threats poor

    Standard risk models, such as those the DHS uses, assume that threat, vulnerability, and the consequences of risks are constants; an expert panel notes, though, that humans, unlike natural disasters, change their targets and tactics in response to protective measures that the authorities take against them, so the risk factors are no longer constant; the panel urges DHS to develop risk models that react dynamically to changing terrorist tactics; the report also says it may not be possible to quantify all risks: the risks posed by the fear and social disruption caused by terrorists are much harder to quantify than the risk of a bridge being blown up, for example

  • MI5: U.K. facing a new wave of terrorist attacks from jihadists, IRA

    The head of MI5 says that Britain is facing a wave of terrorist attacks on two fronts from a new generation of al Qaeda extremists and Irish Republican militants who could strike on the mainland; a “significant number” of British residents are training in camps run by the al Qaeda-linked group al Shabaab. As many as 100 Britons of Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and West African backgrounds had traveled to Somalia; in Northern Ireland, there were now thought to be about 600 hard-line Republicans involved in terrorist activity, around half the number during the peak of IRA activity in the 1980s

  • Mysterious Venezuelan round-trip "terror flight" to Iran canceled

    Flight IR744 — a round-trip flight from Caracas to Tehran with a stop in Damascus — was listed as a regular flight, there was no way that anyone could buy a ticket and travel without being vetted by the Venezuelan or Iranian government; Western intelligence service suspected the flight was used to carry illicit weapons materials to Iran, while bringing Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iranian operatives to the Western Hemisphere to prepare for a retaliatory strike against the United States if there was an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities;

  • Quo Vadis Turkey?

    The Sunday, 12 September referendum in which 58 percent of the voters approved reforms in the Turkish constitution — reforms which would limit to ability of the courts and the military to protect Turkey’s secularist tradition — may lead to changes in Turkey’s domestic and foreign policies, but it is not yet clear how far Erdogan’s Islamist government will go in pushing these changes, and what countervailing forces, domestic and foreign, the government will encounter

  • Boeing hints at interest in buying Northrop

    In the face of likely deep cuts in some areas of the U.S. defense budget, speculations circulate that Boeing is looking to purchase companies active in those areas of the defense budget which are growing — UAVs, cyber security, and intelligence and surveillance systems; a likely candidate for acquisition: Northrop Grumman, a key player in these fields

  • U.K to increase spending on cybersecurity

    U.K. defense minister that cuts in information security spending are not on the agenda for the Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR), which is due to report back in the autumn; on the contrary, Britain is looking to boost its capabilities in the area

  • U.S. much safer today than it was in 2001

    Leading analyst says the United States is much safer today than it was in 2001; the successful policies of the Bush and Obama administrations have whittled al Qaeda “central” down to about 400 fighters; the real threat of al Qaeda was that it would inspire some percentage of the world’s 1.57 billion Muslims, sending out unstoppable waves of jihadis; in fact, across the Muslim world, militant Islam’s appeal has plunged; the real danger is America’s overreaction, both abroad and domestically

  • American Muslims frustrated by the suspicions with which they are regarded

    American Muslims say that nine years of denouncing terrorism, of praying side-by-side with Jews and Christians, of insisting “I’m American, too,” and many other gestures have not eased the attitude of suspicion with which Muslims in the United States are regarded; Muslim leaders say that fatigue is setting in add that they wonder how many more times will they have to condemn violent extremism before non-Muslim Americans believe them?

  • U.S.: Mexico's drug war posing growing threat to U.S. national security

    The Obama administration sees the drug-related violence sweeping Mexico as a growing threat to U.S. national security and has launched a broad review of steps the military and intelligence community could take to help combat what U.S. officials describe as a “narcoinsurgency”; one problem with increased intelligence collaboration: U.S. agencies have been wary of sharing some intelligence because of concerns that some of their Mexican counterparts may be on the payroll of the cartels

  • New upgrades will make full-body scanners less privacy-offensive

    New software upgrade to full-body scanners would replace the images of a passenger’s naked body with an avatar and alert authorities to a potential hidden threat, eliminating the need to keep an employee in a remote room

  • Obama proposes ambitious $50 billion infrastructure program

    President Barack Obama unveiled an ambitious 6-year infrastructure investment program; its goals include building or repairing 150,000 miles of roads, 4,000 miles of rail lines, and 150 miles of airplane runways; the plan also includes a new air-traffic-control system designed to reduce flight delays, and an “infrastructure bank” that will help determine the worthiest projects

  • Transportation industry eager for more details of infrastructure plan

    The White House released an information sheet that tells in broad strokes how the administration plans to use the money but did not say how much it will spend on different transportation segments or how soon it will ask Congress for the money; industry groups want to know