• After historic Texas flooding, officials will likely open more floodgates on Central Texas dam

    Across Central Texas and the Hill Country, heavy rain has led to catastrophic flooding in the past week. With more rainfall in the forecast, state and local officials are working to manage floodwaters before they move downstream. After the wettest September in Texas history, multiple Central Texas reservoirs are completely full. That has forced officials to consider releasing a historic amount of water down the Colorado River.

  • German intelligence foiled 2016 Islamic State terror attack

    Germany’s intelligence services thwarted a 2016 Islamic State attack. A German couple traveled to Syria to try to send teams of militants back to Germany. The woman, a German convert to Islam, tried to recruit women in northern Germany to marry IS members so that they could be granted permission to enter Germany. One of the women she contacted was an informer for the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, and she alerted authorities.

  • Court in Finland finds pro-Kremlin trolls guilty of harassing investigative journalist

    In a major ruling that exceeded prosecutors’ requests, a court in Finland sentenced a pro-Russian troll to prison for harassing journalist Jessikka Aro. an award-winning Finnish investigative journalist who was among the first reporters to expose the work of the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the Kremlin’s troll factory. Russia and its Finland-based internet trolls made her a prime target for harassment since her reports appeared in 2014.

  • Rosenstein defends Russia probe

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the Wall Street Journal the American public will be able to trust the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation because the inquiry has been conducted appropriately and independently. “[A]t the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence, and that it was an appropriate use of resources,” he said.

  • The anti-Semitism lurking behind George Soros conspiracy theories

    Hungarian Jewish billionaire, philanthropist and Holocaust survivor George Soros is widely recognized for funding progressive political and social causes, usually through grants made by his Open Society Foundations. As a result, Soros has become a lightning rod for conservative and right-wing groups who object to his funding of liberal causes.

  • The problem with using ‘super recognizers’ to spot criminals in a crowd

    People often say that they never forget a face, but for some people, this claim might actually be true. So-called super recognizers are said to possess exceptional face recognition abilities, often remembering the faces of those they have only briefly encountered or haven’t seen for many years. Their unique skills have even caught the attention of policing and security organizations, who have begun using super recognizers to match photographs of suspects or missing persons to blurry CCTV footage. But recent research shows that the methods used to identify super recognizers are limited, and that the people recruited for this work might not always be as super as initially thought.

  • Elections systems under attack

    The Department of Homeland Security is seeing an increase in the number of attacks on election databases in the run up to the midterm elections but has yet to identify who is behind the attempted hacks. DHS continues to insist Russia shows no signs of attacking voting systems the way it did in 21 states in 2016.

  • Twitter’s massive data release shows the Kremlin’s broad pro-Trump strategy

    Twitter today (Wednesday) released ten million tweets it says represent all of the foreign influence operations on the social media platform, including Russia’s consistent efforts to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid and support Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. The Internet Research Agency, the St. Petersburg-based Kremlin’s troll farm, created 3,400 accounts to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign and support Trump. Before helping Trump defeat Clinton, the Kremlin helped Trump secure the GOP nomination by targeting former governor Jeb Bush and Senator Ted Cruz.

  • Fuller picture of the human cost from terrorist attacks

    An average of 8,338 people died and 10,785 people were injured every year in domestic and international terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2016. Terrorist attacks injure far more people than they kill, leaving victims with lost limbs, hearing loss, respiratory disease, depression and other issues — but little research has measured the impact of that damage beyond the number of people who are hurt.

  • Bipartisan bill targeting Hamas, Hezbollah for using human shields passes senate unanimously

    The United States Senate has unanimously passed a bipartisan bill that would enact sanctions on those who use civilians as human shields as a tactic of war, including terror groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, and ISIS. The bill, called the Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act, was co-sponsored by 50 other senators.

  • The Far Right and reciprocal radicalization

    Could fragmentation within the Far-Right contribute to increasingly extreme responses to Islamist terrorism? There is increasing evidence of instrumental responses from some of the most extreme groups, which seek to encourage the strategic use of violence.

  • Terror attacks in U.K. fueling surge in hate crimes

    Terror attacks have helped drive up the number of hate crimes in England and Wales with spikes in the aftermath of incidents, Home Office official figures published today show. The number of offenses recorded by police jumped following the terror attack by Khalid Masood at Westminster last year. Hate crime incidents continued to rise in May and June after terrorists attacked the Manchester Arena and London Bridge. The increases reflect a trend which has been evident for some years.

  • More than 1,000 stakeholders join N.Y.-N.J. Metropolitan Resilience Network

    An innovative program, the Metropolitan Resilience Network (MRN), now has over 1,000 credentialed stakeholders from hundreds of public and private organizations in the New York metro area. MRN members are connected and collaborating on shared threats to the region through a unique technology platform as well as a wider spectrum of activities.

  • Does more education reduce political violence?

    Recent evidence of above-average levels of education among genocide perpetrators and terrorists, such as those who carried out the 9/11 attacks, has challenged the consensus among scholars that education has a generally pacifying effect. Is it true that more schooling can promote peaceful behavior and reduce civil conflict and other forms of politically-motivated group violence?

  • Mitigating cyberthreats in vehicles

    In acts of terrorism, vehicles have been deployed as killing machines. These incidents involved human operators, but another sinister possibility looms: a vehicle cyber hack intended to cause human harm. While this kind of terrorist attack has not yet occurred, in the realm of security research, it’s been demonstrated how hackers could gain control over car systems like the brakes, steering and engine.