• U.S. intelligence: Europe terror plot did not target Americans

    U.S. intelligence says the latest threat did not appear to involve the United States; possible targets of the plot included several tourist attractions across Paris and Berlin. ABC News reported Monday that at least five European airports could be targeted as well; the list of possible targets includes the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the luxury Hotel Adlon near Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, as well as Berlin’s Central Station and its landmark Alexanderplatz TV tower; one official said security has also been tightened around the British royal family

  • Evolving terrorist threat: home-grown radicalized Western Muslims to the fore

    The relentless attacks by U.S. drones — and, away from the headlines, U.S. special forces — on militants’ hideouts in Pakistan — and also, to an extent, the half-hearted, pick-and-choose-among-militants campaign by the Pakistani military — have forced al Qaeda to rely more and more on home-grown, radicalized Islamists in Western countries for terrorist actions instead of militants from Muslim countries

  • Number of extremist, hard-to-police Web sites skyrockets

    The number of extremist Web sites has skyrocketed, expanding from 12 in 1998 to 4,500 in 2006; Western authorities say that taking action to remove them remains difficult; different countries have adopted different approaches to the problem

  • Iran: Stuxnet infected industrial computers cleaned

    Iran claims that Stuxnet, the sophisticated virus which has infected more than 30,000 computers used in industrial control systems in Iran, has been removed; Iranian officials also denied that the Bushehr nuclear reactor was among the addresses penetrated by the worm

  • Pakistan: Several dozens of Europeans in terror training in Pakistan

    Pakistan, Western intelligence agencies say several dozens Muslim militants with European citizenship are believed to be hiding out in the lawless tribal area of northwestern Pakistan, training for missions that could include terror attacks in European capitals; among the militants are at least twenty British and twenty German citizens; the groups voice-printing software enables British intelligence to identify and track specific individuals believed connected to terror plots; mobile phone communications have been tracked from the border area to points in Britain, particularly England’s Midlands, where there is a heavy Pakistani immigrant population

  • Norway bans testing of Israel-bound submarines

    Israel is buying additional submarines for two purposes: first, move some of its nuclear second-strike capabilities to sea in order to enhance its deterrence posture; second, have more cruise missile-carrying submarines available to position off the Iranian coast for possible attack on Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities; Norway, which is critical of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, has informed the German builder of the Israel-bound submarines that Norway will no longer allow deep-water testing of these submarines in the Norwegian submarine base the German company had leased

  • Budget cuts harm cybersecurity in the states, survey says

    New survey finds that many states lack sufficient cybersecurity resources; the problem is not just funding: many state CISOs lack the visibility and authority to effectively drive security down to the individual agency level

  • Mumbai-like terror attack on European cities foiled

    Al Qaeda- and Taliban-affiliated terrorists based in Pakistan planned a Mumbai-like attack on London and other European cities; experts say the plot is believed to have moved from the aspirational stage to actual planning; rather than set up explosives to blow up buildings, the terrorists would have used machine-guns and hand grenades to kill as many people as possible; improved Western intelligence capabilities made Western authorities aware of the plot, and as the organizers of the attack and the militants who were to carry it out gathered in Pakistan for training and last-minute instructions, a barrage of precise missile attacks from CIA drones — some 20 sorties in all — killed many of the plotters and disrupted their preparations

  • World unprepared for "convergent crisis"

    Specialists in disaster response say that nations are almost completely unprepared for the likely emergence of so-called convergent crises with the potential to plunge markets and regions into prolonged turmoil; in these multi-faceted disasters, strains like a shrinking Arctic ice cap, theft of nuclear materials, oil or water shortages, or cyber crime would worsen tensions among nations over traditional issues such as trade, territory, and resources

  • U.S. to make Internet wiretaps easier

    The Obama administration plans to submit a bill next year that would require all online services that enable communications to be technically equipped to comply with a wiretap order; this would include providers of encrypted e-mail, such as BlackBerry, networking sites like Facebook, and direct communication services like Skype; federal law enforcement and national security officials say new the regulations are needed because terrorists and criminals are increasingly giving up their phones to communicate online

  • Civil wars in Africa have no link to climate change

    Some researchers have argued that environmental variability and shocks, such as drought and prolonged heat waves, drive civil wars in Africa; a new paper investigates the empirical foundation for the claimed relationship in detail, and concludes that climate variability is a poor predictor of armed conflict; instead, African civil wars can be explained by generic structural and contextual conditions: prevalent ethno-political exclusion, poor national economy, and the collapse of the cold war system

  • U.S. officials: terror threat against U.S. diversifying

    The terrorism threat against the United States has evolved, with homegrown terrorists and a greater diversity in the scope and methods of attack making it more difficult to prevent them, top security officials told a Senate committee Wednesday; the number of terrorist attacks against the United States increased in the past fifteen months; Napolitano said the nature of terrorist attacks continues to evolve, with recent attacks coming faster and with “less extensive pre-operational planning than previous attempts and with fewer linkages to international terrorist organizations”

  • Russia cancels S-300 delivery to Iran

    The Russia-made S-300 is the most sophisticated air defense system in the world, and Iran signed a contract to buy them in order to protect its nuclear weapons facilities; Russia has now decided to abrogate the contract — meaning that Iran’s nuclear facilities remain exceedingly vulnerable to destruction from the air, and that the option of attacking these facilities is less daunting than would have been the case otherwise

  • DHS gives New York $18 million for radiation detection system

    DHS will hand New York $18.5 million today to keep the city’s prototype dirty-bomb detection system running; the nuclear detection operation is run out of an operations center in the city, featuring more than 4,500 pieces of radiation detection equipment, many equipped with GPS locators

  • Privacy-focused alternative to Facebook launched

    Four NYU students launch Diaspora — a privacy-sensitive alternative to Facebook; Diaspora is a decentralized social network that lets users control their personal data — photos, friend lists, statuses, etc. — by hosting it on their own computers, or on servers they have access to, which are called “seeds”