• ISIS fighters coming home after Mosul defeat pose threat to EU countries

    ISIS supporters who left Europe to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq have been fleeing from Mosul in the face of the U.S.-led coalition offensive – and European security officials say that as they come back home, they would pose a “serious threat” to European security. Experts warn that as the group loses power, the fighters will return home and continue the ideological battle on their home turf, even if the group is no longer in control of territory in the Middle East.

  • Widespread anti-Semitic harassment of journalists perceived as critical of Donald Trump: Report

    A new report released earlier today by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) details a troubling, year-long rise in anti-Semitic hate targeting journalists on Twitter, with data showing that the harassment has been driven by rhetoric in the 2016 presidential campaign. The anti-Semitic tweets have been directed at 800 journalists, both conservative and liberal, who wrote critically about Trump. The tweet writers are disproportionately likely to self-identify as Donald Trump supporters, conservatives, or part of the “alt-right,” a loosely connected group of extremists, some of whom are white supremacists. There were 19,253 anti-Semitic tweets in the first six months of 2016, and the words that appear most frequently in the bios of the 1,600 most prolific anti-Semitic Twitter attackers are “Trump,” “nationalist,” “conservative,” and “white.” “To be clear,” ADL stresses, “this does not imply that the Trump campaign supported or endorsed the anti-Semitic tweets, only that certain self-styled supporters sent these ugly messages.”

  • Should NSA and cyber command have separate leadership?

    The National Security Agency is the nation’s digital spying organization. U.S. Cyber Command is a military unit focused on cyberwarfare. Does it make sense for one person to lead them both at the same time? I believe that the NSA and Cyber Command should be under separate leadership, so each can pursue its mission with undivided focus and complete intensity. The NSA can gather intelligence. Cyber Command can defend our military networks and be ready to attack the systems of our enemies.

  • Resolving border issues offers rival nations best hope of moving toward peace

    Resolving border disputes gives rival nations the best hope for moving toward peace. A new study concludes that settling territorial conflicts had a greater impact on rival nations’ relations than democratization or ending civil wars. Border disputes create a threat that prompts citizens to give their leaders greater autonomy in exchange for protection. This leads to a more aggressive foreign policy and militarization.

  • Assessing 100 years of Los Angeles groundwater replenishment

    A new study offers the most sophisticated analyses to date on how Los Angeles-area groundwater supplies are replenished. The analyses provide water managers with a clearer understanding of the sources and amount of available groundwater in the region — information that is important for planning and management of the vital resource.

  • Iraq maintained a secret “torture chamber” in diplomatic mission in New York City

    The Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein kept what it called a “detention room” – a euphemism for a torture chamber — in the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Iraq, a five-floor apartment building on 79th Street. One of the rooms in the mission was converted to a torture chamber after Saddam seized power in Iraq in 1979. Saddam’s security police used the space to imprison Iraqis living in the United States – at times for up to fifteen days — and use the prisoners as leverage against their family members back in Iraq. Quite a few uncooperative prisoners were killed, and their bodies shipped back to Iraq in diplomatic boxes.

  • Developing tests for radiation absorbed in nuclear emergency

    In a large-scale nuclear or radiological emergency, such as a nuclear detonation, hundreds of thousands of people may need medical care for injuries or illness caused by high doses of radiation. To help save as many people as possible and better prepare the nation for the health impacts of such catastrophic emergencies, HHS will sponsor late-stage development of two tests, known as biodosimetry tests, which can determine how much radiation a person’s body has absorbed.

  • HHS bolsters U.S. health preparedness for radiological threats

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) says that as a part of its mission to help protect Americans’ health following even the most unthinkable of disasters, it is purchasing two medical products to treat injuries to bone marrow in victims of radiological or nuclear incidents. Bone marrow is essential to producing blood.

  • Syrian opposition easily captures Dabiq – town central to ISIS apocalyptic theology

    Syrian opposition fighters backed by the Turkish military took over the town of Dabiq, facing only “minimal” resistance from ISIS fighters, who had control of the town since 2014. Analysts say that ISIS token resistance was surprising, considering the fact that ISIS propaganda had depicted the battle for Dabiq as an apocalyptic final battle between Muslims and Christians, heralding the end of days. Still, ISIS theologians – perhaps sensing that the combined forces of the Syrian opposition and Turkey would easily defeat the ISIS forces in Dabiq — two weeks ago offered an interpretation in ISIS al-Naba online publication, saying that the battle at Dabiq would not, after all, herald the apocalypse.

  • 3 Kansas men arrested for plotting massive attack on a complex housing Somali refugees

    The Garden City, Kansas police on Friday arrested three members of a far-right militia group for plotting to bomb an apartment complex in Garden City, in which about 120 Somali refugees live. The complex also houses a mosque. Supporters of far-right nationalist ideology – sometime referred to as “alt-right” – have been using an apocalyptic language, which has been adopted by Donald Trump, describing the refugee program as an “invasion” of the country which amounts to “national suicide” for the United States.

  • Defining – and monitoring -- domestic terrorism in the U.S.

    Domestic terrorism in the United States “is not just a function of a couple of militia related guys taking over something out West. It’s not just a bunch of white supremacist in white hoods,” says Thomas Brzozowski was appointed to lead the Justice Department’s new domestic terrorism office a year ago. In the past, a host of groups such as anarchists and the Ku Klux Klan have been under surveillance by the federal government. When the FBI was formed in the early twentieth century, communists and later anti-war activists, women’s rights organizations, and civil rights groups came to be viewed as domestic threats. Brzozowski says that today’s Justice Department is more sensitive to the free exercise of civil liberties.

  • Hezbollah cell charged with laundering Colombian drug money in Miami

    Three men linked to the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah were accused of laundering drug money on behalf of the Colombian cartel after authorities said they illegally moved $500,000 into Miami banks. The arrest underscores increased law-enforcement scrutiny on the role of Middle Eastern terror groups who use financial networks in Latin America to earn untold millions off drug profits.

  • New candidate vaccines against the plague show promise

    The plague of Black Death infamy has had the power to strike fear in people since the Middle Ages — and for good reason. Once someone begins to show symptoms, the disease progresses very quickly and is almost 100 percent fatal without prompt treatment. Antibiotic-resistant Y. pestis strains have been isolated from plague patients and can be engineered for use as a bioweapon. Researchers have developed new potential vaccines that protect animals against the bacteria that causes the deadly plague.

  • Ambitious Baltimore water pollution clean-up project

    Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and the urban rivers that flow into it are important sources of water to Chesapeake Bay, popular recreation sites for residents and tourists, and the targets of an ambitious clean-up plan to make the harbor swimmable and fishable by the year 2020. In a first for Baltimore and the nation, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Environmental Protection Agency will soon be installing a suite of sensors that will provide the public and scientists with the first comprehensive, real time look at water quality in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

  • Close Putin ally: If Americans fail to vote for Trump, they risk nuclear attack

    Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a nationalist Russian politicians who is one of Vladimir Putin’s staunchest allies, said Americans should vote for Donald Trump or risk a nuclear war. Zhirinovsky said that electing Trump would be a “gift to humanity,” while electing Hillary Clinton would likely start a third world war. Zhirinovsky is a flamboyant and colorful individual typically offering brazen, even outrageous, comments, which appeal to the nationalist segment of the Russian electorate. As a close ally of Putin, Zhirinovsky has regularly been used to float policy ideas.