• Destruction of Timbuktu sites by Islamists shocked humanity: ICC prosecutor

    Fatou Bensouda, the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor, speaking at the opening of the war crimes trial against a Malian jihadist leader charged with demolishing ancient mausoleums in Timbuktu, said the world must “stand up to the destruction and defacing of our common heritage.” Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, 40, is the first jihadist to is the first person to face a war crimes charge for an attack on a historic and cultural monument.

  • Cloud-based biosurveillance ecosystem

    The Departments of Defense and Homeland Security are developing a system which lets epidemiologists scan the planet for anomalies in human and animal disease prevalence, warn of coming pandemics, and protect soldiers and others worldwide.

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  • FBI cannot force Apple to unlock iPhone in drug case: Judge

    Magistrate Judge James Orenstein in Brooklyn on Monday ruled that the U.S. government cannot force Apple to unlock an iPhone in a New York drug case. The ruling strengthens the company’s arguments in its landmark legal confrontation with the Justice Department over encryption and privacy. The government sought access to the drug dealer’s phone months before a California judge ordered Apple to give access to the San Bernardino terrorist’s handset.

  • ISIS executes eight Dutch jihadists for trying to desert

    ISIS has executed eight Dutch followers after accusing them of trying to desert. The Dutch secret services say that about 200 people from the Netherlands, including fifty women, have joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

  • British, U.S. Special Forces training Libyan militias to fight ISIS

    British Special Forces have been quietly deployed to Libya for the purpose of helping build an army to fight ISIS militants who have been increasing their presence in the country. The British commandos are working alongside U.S. Special Forces in and around the city of Misrata on north-west Libya to check the progress of jihadist militias.

  • WikiLeaks list not connected to terrorist attacks

    The WikiLeaks organization was criticized for providing a target list for terrorists when it published a secret memo in 2010 with 200 international sites that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security considered critical to national security. Was there any truth to that claim?

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  • In FBI versus Apple, government strengthened tech’s hand on privacy

    The ongoing fight between Apple and the FBI over breaking into the iPhone maker’s encryption system to access a person’s data is becoming an increasingly challenging legal issue. This case is very specific, and in this narrow case, Apple and law enforcement agencies will likely find a compromise. However, this question is not going away anywhere. With the “Internet of things” touted as the next big revolution, more and more devices will capture our very personal data – including our conversations. This case could be a precedent-setting event that can reshape how our data are stored and managed in the future.

  • Suicide bomb detector moves close to commercialization with Sandia engineer’s help

    On the chilling list of terrorist tactics, suicide bombing is at the top. Between 1981 and 2015, an estimated 5,000 such attacks occurred in more than 40 countries, killing about 50,000 people. The global rate grew from three a year in the 1980s to one a month in the 1990s to one a week from 2001 to 2003 to one a day from 2003 to 2015. R3 Technologies and a group of other small businesses are developing a way to prevent suicide attacks by detecting concealed bombs before they go off. R3 found a partner in Sandia sensor expert JR Russell who has helped bring the company’s Concealed Bomb Detector, or CBD-1000, close to commercialization over the past two years.

  • Refined interview technique can reveal terror plots

    An interview technique for eliciting intelligence without asking questions has in a series of experiments proven to work very well. The idea dates back to the renowned Second World War interrogator Hanns Scharff, but has now, for the first time, been empirically validated. The technique can help intelligence agencies reveal plans of future terrorist acts.

  • Studying collaboration between research, intelligence communities

    In 2013, NC State University and the National Security Agency (NSA) created the Laboratory for Analytic Sciences (LAS) — a collaborative partnership focused on addressing the research challenges associated with “big data.” They soon discovered that a funny thing happens when academic researchers collaborate with the intelligence community: they feel like they are being spied on.

  • Calif. gas well blowout caused U.S. largest methane release, study finds

    The Aliso Canyon natural gas well blowout released more than 100,000 tons of the powerful greenhouse gas methane before the well was finally plugged 11 February, according to the first study of the event. The results confirm that it was the largest methane leak in U.S. history.

  • French Special Forces join fight against ISIS in Libya

    French Special Forces are among commando units operating on the ground in Libya against ISIS. A small French force has been operating out of Benghazi’s Benina airport, assisting forces of the internationally backed Libyan authorities in Tobruk. The Pentagon has said that in the absence of a unity government, U.S. Special Forces have been “partnering” with different militias for attacks on ISIS militants.

  • Wearing hijab is “passive terrorism”: USAF study

    A study issued by the U.S. military has suggested that wearing the hijab by some Muslim women represents a form of “passive terrorism.” The study, originally issued by the USAF in 2011 and re-issued in summer 2015, includes a chapter which contains discussion of radicalization. In addition to the comment about hijabs, the chapter also claims that support for militant groups is driven by “sexual deprivation.”

  • Pro-ISIS hackers issue threats to Facebook, Twitter founders

    Pro-ISIS hackers have released a video threatening the founders of Facebook and Twitter in retaliation for the two social media giants’ campaign to take down ISIS-related accounts. The threat was issued in a 25-minute video, uploaded on Tuesday to social networks by a group calling itself “Sons Caliphate Army” – which experts say is the latest “rebrand” of ISIS’s supporters online.

  • Partition of Syria could be “Plan B” if cease-fire, peace negotiations fail: Kerry

    Secretary of State John Kerry said he would support a partition of Syria – what he called “Plan B” – if the U.S.-Russian sponsored ceasefire, scheduled to start in the next few days, fails to materialize. Partition would also be an option, Kerry said, if a genuine shift to a transitional government does not take place in the next few months. Kerry’s words were the first time a senior American official publicly discussed the option of partitioning Syria, although experts have noted that the partition of the country by creating an Assad-controlled Alawite enclave in north-west Syria is Russia’s true goal in the conflict.