• Most U.K. terrorism arrests do not lead to convictions

    Fewer than two in ten people detained by police since September 2001 were convicted directly of terrorism or a terrorism-related offence. The Home Office figures show that 3,349 people in England and Wales were arrested under terrorism laws since the devastating 9/11 attacks in the United States. Of those arrested for terrorism and related offenses, 17.8 percent were convicted for involvement in violent jihad – including plotting attacks or funding or facilitating terrorism.

  • The secrets of Saberin, Iran’s elite commando unit operating in Syria and Iraq

    In 2001, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) established a special unit consisting of handpicked members of the IRGC’s land, sea, and air forces. Dubbed the Saberin Unit, its members were described as volunteers “seeking martyrdom,” tasked to carry out special missions and/or widespread cross-border attacks for the IRGC.

  • Banning extremist groups is more political symbolism than effective counter-terrorism

    For the first time in the UK, the government has moved to ban a right-wing, neo-Nazi group called National Action. Our own research has argued that the power to ban groups has questionable value for reducing the threat of terrorism. This skepticism dovetails with the work of other researchers who doubt that contemporary terrorist groups are appropriate targets for “listing” because they tend not to exist as coherent organizations with a fixed identity and an identifiable membership. The effectiveness of banning National Action, however, might be far less important than the communication of a message that groups such as this are unwelcome in contemporary British society.

  • Gulf States supporting fundamentalist Islamic activity in Germany

    Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar have been supporting fundamentalist preachers and groups in Germany, German foreign and domestic intelligence agencies said Monday. Religious organizations from those three countries, some connected to these countries’ governments, have been sending preachers to Germany as well as financing the construction of mosques and schools. The German security services believe that there is a connection between the increase in Gulf States-funded fundamentalist activity in German, and the arrival in Germany of hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees from Syria. The fear is that these refugees offer the Salafists easy targets for recruitment.

  • Syrian opposition: Israeli airstrike hit chemical weapons intended for Hezbollah

    An Israeli air raid on a depot controlled by the Syrian regime two weeks ago hit a supply of chemical weapons being transferred to the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah, a spokesperson for a Syrian opposition group said Sunday. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman obliquely suggested last week that Israel was responsible for the strike and that the target had been Hezbollah-bound chemical weapons; other Israeli leaders have made it clear in public statements and conversations with foreign leaders that they will act to prevent Hezbollah from acquiring “game-changing” weapons or strengthening its positions on Israel’s borders.

  • Game platform to help in preparing for strategic surprise

    National security challenges today are increasingly complex and multi-dimensional, demanding technological solutions that reflect the combined expertise of a broad diversity of professionals. But even when such experts are available and engaged, progress towards an integrated solution can be slowed by the lack of a versatile, domain-agnostic, collaborative platform, where innovation can happen not just despite but because of the disparate mix of participants’ perspectives and experiences. DARPA aims to link global experts from varied disciplines via gaming platform to speed the application of emerging science and technology.

  • U.K. bans neo-Nazi group as PM warns of rising tide of anti-Semitism in U.K.

    National Action, a British neo-Nazi organization, was on Monday banned by the U.K. government under anti-terrorism legislation. It is the first group far-right group to be banned under the anti-terrorism legislation. Interior Minister Amber Rudd said: “National Action is a racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic organization which stirs up hatred, glorifies violence, and promotes a vile ideology, and I will not stand for it.” Prime Minister Theresa May, shortly after the ban was announced, warned about the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Britain.

  • Emergent BioSolutions to supply up to $1 billion of anthrax vaccine to the Strategic National Stockpile

    Emergent BioSolutions signed follow-on contract with CDC valued at up to $911 million to supply to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) approximately 29.4 million doses of BioThrax through September 2021. BARDA issued notice of intent to separately procure approximately $100 million of BioThrax for the SNS over twenty-four months from contract award, which is expected in 1H 2017. These actions, together with the recently awarded BARDA contract for NuThrax, reflect the U.S. government’s intention to transition the stockpile of anthrax vaccines from BioThrax to NuThrax.

  • Israeli defense minister suggests Hezbollah was smuggling chemical weapons

    Israel is working hard to keep chemical weapons out of the hands of the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told a Knesset committee Thursday. His comments to the Knesset seemed to suggest that at least one of the strikes Israel carried out the same day at the Mazzeh military airport near Damascus was in order to stop Hezbollah from acquiring chemical weapons.

  • $19 million to develop drugs to treat victims of chemical weapons attacks

    First used by the German military against Allied troops in the First World War and in subsequent wars including the Iran-Iraq conflict during the 1980s, chemical weapons were more recently used by the Assad regime in Syria and by ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Rutgers University a five-year grant for more than $19 million for research that would lead to the development of drugs to treat toxicity from chemical agents used in a terrorist attack.

  • Marine Gen. (Ret.) John Kelly to lead Homeland Security

    President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Gen. John F. Kelly, 66, a retired four-star Marine general whose son was killed in combat in Afghanistan, as his nominee for secretary of homeland security. Kelly led U.S. Southern Command, and served for forty years in the Marine Corps. He led troops through tough battles in western Iraq. In 2003 he was promoted to brigadier general while in active combat – the first Marine colonel since 1951 to be recognized this way.

  • Game theory may help protect against terrorist attacks

    Defenders must perpetually defend numerous targets using a limited number of resources, whereas attackers are able to surveil and learn defenders’ strategies and attack after careful planning. Game-theoretical algorithms can be used by defenders optimally to randomize their patrols so that attackers cannot predict which target defenders are going to protect at any given time.

  • Chile to seek extradition of secret agents for deadly 1976 U.S. attack

    Chile’s supreme court has ruled that the Chilean government could ask the United States to extradite two former secret police agents in the regime of General Augusto Pinochet, who, in 1976, placed explosives in a car in Washington, D.C., killing a former Chilean ambassador and a U.S. citizen. In a unanimous decision on Monday, said the Chilean foreign ministry should begin the procedures needed to seek the extradition of Michael Townley, a U.S. citizen, and Armando Fernandez Larios, a Chilean. Both now reside in the United States.

  • Expert: Don’t ignore Iran’s chemical, biological weapons threat while enforcing nuclear deal

    While President-elect Donald Trump will likely be stricter in enforcing the terms of the nuclear deal with Iran, the incoming administration should not ignore the threat that Iran’s chemical and biological weapons programs pose, says an expert.

  • ISIS deploys more women as frontline suicide bombers

    Security services in many countries are facing a new challenge: More and more women are sent or inspired by ISIS to engage in terrorists acts in Europe and the Islamic world. Female followers of ISIS have until now been largely limited to support roles I the organization. Since the summer, however, as the retreat of ISIS in the face of a U.S.-led coalition campaign accelerated, the organization has reversed its policy on women in operational roles.