• Snowden revelations led to “chilling effect” on pursuit of knowledge: Study

    National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden’s 2013 mass surveillance revelations caused a drop in website browsing, particularly in internet searches for terms associated with extremism, an example of the most direct evidence yet that the spying operations exposed in the leak had a “chilling effect” on the lawful pursuit of information, an impending report has found.

  • Canada, U.K. to press other nations to stop ransom payments to terrorists

    Canada and Britain will work together to persuade other nations to stop the flow of ransom payments to terrorists, Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday. “Canada does not and will not pay ransom to terrorists, directly or indirectly,” Trudeau told reporters in Alberta. His statement came one day after Canadian hostage John Ridsdel, a former mining executive, was killed by Islamist Abu Sayyaf militants in the Philippines. He was killed within hours after the Canadian government did not respond to the group’s ransom demand.

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  • Number of civilian casualties from explosives around the world continues to grow

    For the fourth year in a row, 2015 saw a rise in the number of civilian casualties from explosive violence around the world: 33,307 civilians having been killed or injured by explosive weapons – up 2 percent from 2014, and 54 percent more than when Action on Armed Violence’s (AOAV) monitoring began in 2011.

  • Pentagon “dropping cyberbombs” on ISIS

    Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work has said that the U.S. military is “dropping cyberbombs” on ISIS. Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that the U.S. Cyber Command had been given its “first wartime assignment” – attacking and disrupting ISIS cyber infrastructure. in the last few months, the Pentagon has allowed more information to be published about the U.S. military’s cyberwar against ISIS. Work, describing the Cyber Command’s operations at a news conference, said: “We are dropping cyberbombs. We have never done that before.”

  • Obama administration to release secret 28 pages of 9/11 Commission report

    The Obama administration will release at least part of a 28-page classified chapter from the 9/11 Commission report which implicates high-level Saudis, both inside and outside government, in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Former Senator Bob Graham (D-Florida), a co-chair of the commission, said he believed the Obama administration would make a decision on the issue by June.

  • Lasting defeat of ISIS requires a stronger U.S.-coalition strategy

    The current effort by the United States and its coalition partners is insufficient to achieve the lasting defeat of ISIS, according to a new study. Successful conclusion of the campaign will require significantly increased effort by the United States across two fronts: First, more-comprehensive training, advising, and assisting; second, political agreements must be forged to resolve key drivers of conflict among Iraqis and Syrians.

  • Nigerian military accused of covering up mass killing of civilians

    Mass killing of hundreds of men, women, and children by soldiers in Zaria and the attempted cover-up of this killing demonstrates a contempt for human life and accountability, said Amnesty International as it publishes evidence gathered on the ground showing how the Nigerian military burned people alive, razed buildings, and dumped victims’ bodies in mass graves.

  • Families of terror attacks victims can claim $2bn from Iran’s frozen assets: U.S. Supreme Court

    The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the families of victims from several Iran-directed or Iran-related terrorist attacks in the 1980s and 1990s can collect close to $2 billion from Iran’s frozen assets. The Supreme Court, in a 6-2 decision, upheld a lower court’s ruling that Congress was within its remit to pass the law requiring Iran to do so.

  • Latvia bans wearing Islamic full-face veils in public

    There are around 1,000 practicing Muslims living in Latvia, a small Baltic country with a population of two million, and only three women living in Latvia wear the Islamic full-face veil in public. The Latvian government has decided to ban the practice anyway. The government says the new legislation is necessary to protect Latvian culture and prevent terrorists from smuggling weapons under garments.

  • U.S. deploys more troops, Apache helicopters to Iraq to help in attack on Mosul

    Defense secretary Ash Carter said the United States will send 200 additional troops and a number of Apache helicopters to Iraq to assist in the fight against ISIS. He added that the new forces will be used mostly to advise Iraqi forces on the front lines. The decision to deploy the troops has been made in the context of the Iraqi drive to recapture the city of Mosul.

  • EU offers security assistance to Libya

    The EU has responded favorably to a request from the new UN-backed Libyan unity government for security assistance – especially in managing migration, border monitoring, and police capacity building. EU officials stopped short, however, of committing the EU to operate on the Libyan coast and in Libyan territorial waters to block people smugglers. The EU said it would be more effective to build up the capacity of the Libyan security forces to deal with the issue.

  • Location data on two apps enough to identify someone: Study

    Stripping a big data set of names and personal details is no guarantee of privacy. Previous research has shown that individual shoppers, Netflix subscribers, and even taxicab riders are identifiable in heaps of supposedly anonymous data. Now, a team of computer science researchers has identified new privacy concerns by demonstrating that geotagged posts on just two social media apps are enough to link accounts held by the same person.

  • U.S.-led coalition set to attack and capture Raqqa, ISIS’s unofficial capital

    The U.S.-led coalition is getting set to launch a full-scale attack to capture Raqqa, the unofficial capital of ISIS. A U.S. military officials said the assault on Raqqa would be the culmination of a campaign which saw a substantial weakening of ISIS and its position. Earlier last week, the Pentagon said that coalition’s airstrikes had killed 25,000 ISIS militants, and that the territory ISIS controlled in Iraq had shrunk by 40 percent since last year, and by 10 percent in Syria.

  • ISIS monthly revenue drops from $80 million to $56 million

    ISIS’s monthly revenue has dropped by almost 30 percent in the last year, according to new analysis. Oil production is down to 21,000 barrels per day from 33,000. The loss of territory and population under ISIS control has shrunk the organization’s tax base. To compensate for declining income, ISIS has imposed new taxes on broken satellite dishes and fines for driving on wrong side of the road.

  • ISIS ranks shrink as its fighters “realize cause is lost”: Obama

    President Barack Obama has said that ISIS ranks have shrunk to the lowest level for two years, the group has lost large areas it used to control, and the militant group’s fighters “realize their cause is lost.”

    Obama aid that the jihadist group had lost 40 percent of the territory it used to control in Iraq and 10 percent of its territory in Syria. He also noted that ISIS has suffered major financial setbacks as the U.S.-led coalition was going after the group’s sources of income. Pentagon officials have said U.S. air strikes killed 25,000 militants.