• American ISIS fighters likely to be U.S. born, engaged in society: Study

    A new, comprehensive study of individuals in the United States considered ISIS supporters, challenges widely held assumptions that ISIS supporters are uneducated, isolated, and unemployed, while finding almost no refugees among the group studied. One of the report’s authors said that for policymakers, the report shows shutting the U.S. borders to refugees and visitors from Islamic countries won’t prevent support for ISIS and could blind authorities to real threats. Officials need to understand ISIS’s propaganda strategy in the United States and target its methods for driving recruitment and radicalization, he added.

  • World leaders urged to take action to avert existential global risks

    World leaders must do more to limit risk of global catastrophes, according to a report by Oxford academics. He academic define global catastrophe as a risk “where an adverse outcome would either annihilate Earth-originating intelligent life or permanently and drastically curtail its potential.” Three of the most pressing possible existential risks for humanity are pandemics, extreme climate change, and nuclear war.

  • Trump's travel ban “recruiting tool for extremists”: James Clapper

    James Clapper, who served as director of national intelligence under President Barack Obama, said he worried that the Travel Ban announced by the Trump administration is damaging to U.S. interests. Moreover, he said, it was unnecessary because he was not aware of any intelligence which would justify necessitating the ban. Clapper said the current vetting was not “perfect,” but that the safeguards were strong enough to keep the country safe without this new measure.

  • Trump loses appeal, but travel ban fight isn’t over yet

    Thursday’s appellate court opinion, which denied President Donald Trump’s appeal concerning his immigrant ban executive order, was unsurprising. It cautiously declined to upset the status quo, temporarily continuing to prevent the executive order’s enforcement nationwide. But it also allowed for further briefing and argument. Ultimately, this is a clear defeat for the Trump Administration. But, given the necessarily preliminary nature of these emergency proceedings, it may not be a permanent one. Trump can continue to argue before this three-judge panel, appeal their decision to the full 29-judge-strong Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and, ultimately and predictably, move on to the Supreme Court. Given its fast-track nature, the case will likely reach the Supreme Court before the current vacancy is filled.

  • Paris to builds protective system around Eiffel Tower

    France will spend €20 million ($22 million) to build a permanent protective barrier around the Eiffel Tower, which will replace temporary defensive system put around the iconic tower in the fake of a spate of terrorist attacks in France. “Sadly, the risk of terrorism hasn’t gone away,” deputy mayor Jean-François Martins said at a Paris press conference. “It’s not a wall, it’s an aesthetic perimeter.”

  • The problem with U.S. secrets

    Secrets are often harmless, but they can prompt major problems when they happen at the highest levels of government. So what are the consequences when a U.S. president is dangerously preoccupied with secrecy? One expert says that question is particularly relevant with a new administration taking charge. She said that every other administration withheld some crucial information, whether about Woodrow Wilson’s stroke, Richard Nixon’s burglaries, or Bill Clinton’s affairs. “Secrecy turns out to be the president’s greatest power,” she said. “And if not controlled, it’s also the greatest threat to democracy.”

  • Making it harder to track Bitcoin transactions

    Bitcoin was initially conceived as a way for people to exchange money anonymously. But then it was discovered that anyone could track all Bitcoin transactions and often identify the parties involved. Researchers have developed a Bitcoin-compatible system that could make it significantly more difficult for observers to identify or track the parties involved in any given Bitcoin transaction.

  • Consumers ignorant of tracking methods used by online advertisers

    The general public has a poor understanding of the workings of online behavioral advertising, and the privacy implications behind the information that advertisers gather. Researchers found that two-thirds of the consumers they interviewed in the study did not realize that most online advertising involved third-party entities and advertising networks that track a user’s browsing activities across websites to provide targeted ads.

  • Where did the idea of an ‘Islamic bomb’ come from?

    The heavily freighted idea of an “Islamic bomb” has been around for some decades now. The notion behind it is that a nuclear weapon developed by an “Islamic” nation would automatically become the Islamic world’s shared property – and more than that, a “nuclear sword” with which to wage jihad. But as with many terms applied to the “Islamic world”, it says more about Western attitudes than about why and how nuclear technology has spread. It’s true that prominent Muslim figures spoke rhetorically about a “bomb for the ummah”. But this was never more than rhetoric. Leaving aside all nuclear matters, internecine and sectarian differences and conflict mean that global Islamic political unity is unlikely in the extreme. The Islamic bomb has always been a convenient device with which to elide complex problems of religion, politics, and nuclear weapons. And sadly, it still is. Those who still casually bandy the term about would do well to think about where it really comes from.

  • Child from Pittsburgh admits to hack attempt of Brussels Airport after ISIS attacks

    A Pittsburgh child has admitted to launching a cyberattack against Brussels Airport in the aftermath of the 22 Mach 2016 suicide bombing by Belgian ISIS followers, which killed more than thirty people. The Belgian federal public prosecutor’s office said the suspect aimed to take down the website of the airport operator – the Brussels Airport Company — and “infiltrate the computer system,” but was unsuccessful.

  • Israel prepares for possible Hezbollah naval commando attack

    The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is preparing for a possible Hezbollah incursion using marines and other naval commandos in the country’s north. A group of commandos could try to infiltrate north of Nahariya while protected by mortar and anti-tank fire from Lebanon, the IDF believes. It also believes that Hezbollah will attempt to capture Israeli territory and hold it, even temporarily, in order to declare a victory against Israel.

  • Syrian refugees “detrimental” to Americans? The numbers tell a different story

    On 27 January President Donald Trump issued an executive order which stated that “the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States.” The facts do not support this assertion. By the end of 2016, the total number of Syrian refugees settled in the U.S. was 14,761, about .0046 percent of the country’s population. In other words, the chances that a Syrian refugee would move next door to you are statistically zero. That’s true with or without Trump’s ban. Also, not one Syrian refugee in the U.S. has been arrested or deported on terror related charges. A 2016 report from the Cato institute, a think tank “dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace” stated: “The hazards posed by foreign-born terrorists are not large enough to warrant extreme actions like a moratorium on all immigration or tourism.”

  • ISIS followers hack U.K. National Health Service

    ISIS-linked hackers have attacked and defaced several NHS (U.K. National Health Service) websites in a series of cyberattacks. The hackers, going by the name of Tunisian Fallaga Team, targeted six websites three weeks ago, replacing legitimate web pages with graphic photos of the war in Syria. The attacks said they were retaliating for the West’s interference in the Middle East.

  • TSA continues to use unscientific, unreliable program blamed for profiling

    Thousands of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers use so-called “behavior detection” techniques to scrutinize travelers for yawning, whistling, being distracted, arriving late for a flight, and scores of other behaviors that the TSA calls signs of deception or “mal-intent.” The officers then flag certain people for additional screening and questioning. Documents the ACLU has obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show that the TSA itself has plenty of material showing that such techniques are not grounded in valid science — and they create an unacceptable risk of racial and religious profiling. Indeed, TSA officers themselves have said that the program has been used to do just that.

  • Texas agriculture experts: Mexico may retaliate if U.S. imposes tariffs

    Texas agricultural experts say President Trump’s threatened tariff on Mexican goods could lead to retaliation that would hurt Texas farmers and ranchers — as well as consumers. The idea of a tariff on Mexican imports or a radical change to the North American Free Trade Agreement worries many Texas agriculture industry leaders, who say it is in the state’s best interest to continue fostering a positive trade relationship with Mexico rather than imposing tariffs on their imports.