International

  • AviationFAA investigating use of Michigan state-owned planes

    The Federal Aviation Administration(FAA)is looking into the State of Michigan’s practice of leasing its passenger planes to athletic officials at Michigan State University(MSU).

  • DisastersNatural disasters have pushed Australia’s disaster insurance sky high

    As natural disasters and superstorms become more frequent in Australia, the insurance rates for people who live and work in vulnerable areas have skyrocketed to the point where people may have no choice but to go uninsured.

  • Foreign affairsTuaregs set Sahara aflame, proclaim new country

    Tuareg secessionist rebels have declared independence in an area larger than France in the northern two-thirds of Mali; the move, which has been condemned by the UN and the African Union, among others, has raised concerns about similar secessionist moves in neighboring Niger, where the Tueareg-populated areas contain large deposits of uranium and active uranium-mining operations; there are also fears about the relationship between an independent Tuareg government and al Qaeda-affiliated organizations in North Africa

  • First U.S. drone attack in Pakistan in a month kills four terrorists

    Yesterday, Sunday, missiles launched from a CIA drone missiles hit military targets in Pakistan for the first time in a month. The attack killed four al Qaeda members, but further heightening tensions between the United States and Pakistan. Back in November 2011, U.S. airstrikes, called in by Pakistani commanders n the ground, killed twenty-four Pakistani soldiers. In response, Pakistan said that unless the United States apologized for the incident, no more U.S. drone attack would be allowed against terror targets inside Pakistan. The United States expressed regrets over the death of the soldiers, but refused to apologize, saying the accident was the result of mistakes and miscommunication on both sides. Since November, the United States has reduced considerably the number of drone attacks inside Pakistan, but has refused to end such attacks altogether. The U.S. refusal has led to Pakistani parliament, on three different occasions, to pass resolutions calling upon the United States to cease and desist.

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  • Bill in Israel would cut social security payments to terrorists in half

    Lawmakers from the nationalist Yisrael Beytenu party (the leader of the party is Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister) have sponsored a bill, which was approved for its second and third reading in a contentious meeting of the Knesset Labor, Welfare, and Health Committee on earlier today (Monday), which would cut in half  National Insurance (more or less the Israeli equivalent of the U.S. Social Security) payments to criminals convicted of terror-related crimes upon their release from prison. The legislation cuts National Insurance benefits by 50 percent for Israeli citizens involved in terrorism who were sentenced to at least ten years in prison.

  • British state-backed reinsurer has £4.5 billion to cover Olympic Games terror-related losses

    Pool Re, the British state-backed reinsurer which covers commercial property losses from  terror attack-related activities, has £4.5 billion ($7.327 billion) of assets to cover the Summer Olympic Games. Pool Re said it had no plans to jack up premiums for the event. If the damage from bombings or other terror-related incidents were to cost more than that amount, the British taxpayer, under the Pool Re structure, would step in to cover the difference. Pool Re was set up in the 1990s when the U.K. government was worried that the terror campaign pursued by Irish militant groups could make London property uninsurable and damage the national economy.

  • Surface-to-air missiles to protect London Olympic Games

    British security sources revealed that the security envelope developed to protect the Summer Olympic Games in London will include six Rapier surface-to-air missile (SAM) batteries. The British security forces will conduct, between 2 and 10 May, a massive exercise, called Exercise Olympic Guardian, on land, sea, and in the air in the London and Weymouth areas. For those familiar with London: For the exercise, six sites were selected for deployment of the SAM dummies: the Lexington Building in Tower Hamlets; the Fred Wigg Tower in Waltham Forest, east London; Blackheath Common; Oxleas Wood, Eltham; William Girling Reservoir, Enfield; and Barn Hill in Epping Forest.

  • NATO prepares for a new, futuristic war

    NATO’s Operation Locked Shields, an international military exercise the military alliance conducted last month, was different from trasditional war games. There were no bullets, tanks, aircraft, ships, or camouflage face-paint. The troops involved in the exercise spent most of their time in air-conditioned rooms within a high security military base in Estonia. The exercise, a window into what a future war would look like, had one team of IT specialists detailed to attack nine other teams, located in different parts of Europe. The IT experts, working from their terminals in the Nato Co-operative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence, created viruses, worms, Trojan Horses, and other Internet attacks, aiming to hijack and extract data from the computers of their “enemies.”

  • Terrorism poses serious threat to Nigeria

    The Nigerian chief of army staff, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, said that recent terrorist attacks in Nigeria pose a challenge to the country’s security forces, making it necessary for the military and police to be more proactive. General Ihejirika spoke at the graduation ceremony of 256 students of the Special Forces’ Basic Counter Terrorism Course. The students are trained in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations at the Nigerian Army Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism Center, located in Kachia, Kaduna State.

  • Post-cold warPost-communist depression

    A new study reveals how a radical economic policy devised by Western economists put former Soviet states on a road to bankruptcy and corruption

  • Public healthRethinking the toilet model in developing countries

    More than 2.6 billion people around the world lack access to basic sanitation, and more than 40 percent of the world’s population lack access to even the simplest latrine; the lack of sanitation creates serious problems, including environmental pollution, unsafe surroundings, and increasing the outbreak of lethal epidemic diseases such as cholera; Swedish company offers a solution

  • Law enforcementU.K. police learning to battle cartels in El Paso

    This week law enforcement officers from the United Kingdom are in El Paso, Texas to train with DHS; the special agents from the U.K.’s Serious Organized Crime Agency are in town specifically to learn how to combat the growing threat of trafficking

  • IEDsGrowing use of IEDs by anti-government insurgents in Syria

    The monthly number of IEDs reported in Syria jumped 134 percent from December to January; analysts say this is an indication of foreign involvement with the rebels

  • Guest columnThe challenge of fighting Lashkar-e-Toiba

    By Bidisha Biswas

    In her debut guest column, Bidisha Biswas, an associate professor of political science at Western Washington University, explores the threat that Lashkar-e-Toiba poses to the United States as well as India and Pakistan and what can be done to stop the extremist group

  • HSNW conversation with Koby TanzerDemand for Israeli security solutions remains strong -- and is growing

    Homeland Security NewsWire’s executive editor Eugene K. Chow recently spoke with Koby Tanzer, a partner at Indigo Strategic Partners, an investment firm that specializes in the Israeli security and defense sector; in the interview, Tanzer discusses Indigo’s investment philosophy, how the global recession has affected defense and homeland security spending, trends in the global homeland security market, mobile device-based security solutions, and more