• Second judge approves settlement on NYPD Muslim surveillance

    The second of two federal judges has approved a settlement with the New York City Police Department that protects New York Muslims and others from discriminatory and unjustified surveillance. The new rules govern when and how investigations are conducted, and provide for an independent civilian representative inside the NYPD who will act as a check against surveillance abuses.

  • London terrorist British-born, known to security services

    The Westminster attacker was identified as Khalid Masood, a Britain-born Muslim with a history of petty crimes who had previously been investigated by MI5 for ties to extremist organizations, Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons. May said the probe took place several years ago, and that the suspect was not “part of the current intelligence picture.” “The police have no reason to believe there are imminent further attacks on the public,” she told MPs.

  • Israeli police arrest teen over wave of bomb threats against Jewish targets in U.S.

    The Israeli police, acting on a request by the FBI, has arrested a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man on suspicion of making dozens of threats against Jewish organizations in the United States, and against airlines in the United States and other countries. The unnamed teen, who has a dual Israeli and U.S. citizenship, lives in the southern sea-side city of Ashkelon. The arrest was made after several waves of threats in the past two months against Jewish community centers (JCCs) and other Jewish organizations. The teen used advanced technology in an effort to mask the source of his calls and communications to synagogues, community centers, and public venues.

  • Israel plans mass evacuations in case of war With Hamas, Hezbollah

    In case of a future war with the Islamist terrorist groups Hamas or Hezbollah, Israel would completely evacuate its border communities — up to 250,000 people in either case — to lower the threat level, news reports say. These evacuations, coordinated with local municipalities to keep civilians safe, would be the biggest in Israeli history.

  • Martin McGuinness: the IRA commander who walked down a political path

    Martin McGuinness, 66, died on 21 March 2017. He suffered from amyloidosis, a rare disease which attacks the body’s vital organs. In 1998, Martin McGuinness, a former commander in the Irish Republican Army (IRA), joined Reverend Ian Paisley, the firebrand Protestant leader, to support and implement the Good Friday Agreement, which brought power sharing to the governing of Northern Ireland. Many nationalists accused Paisley of instigating the Troubles by orchestrating opposition to the civil rights movement. Many unionists refused to forgive McGuinness’s role in IRA violence. For victims of violence on either side of the conflict, the focus on the past is understandable, and it is also true that there were voices on both sides of the divide who, from the outset, consistently argued for a more peaceful way toward change in Northern Ireland. Ultimately, however, figures such as McGuinness and Paisley both helped lead more intransigent minds down that political path. As long as future generations are prepared to continue with the same endeavor, the most enduring legacy of the former firebrand preacher and the former IRA commander will be a peaceful, just, and democratic settlement in Ireland.

  • Terrorist shot, killed at the entrance to U.K. Parliament, after mowing people down with car

    A terrorist drove his car into a group of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, and after his car crashed into a security railing, ran into the House of Parliaments wielding a big knife. He stabbed one security guard just inside the main gate to Westminster Palace before being shot and killed by the police. More than a dozen pedestrians were injured on the bridge, some seriously, and at least one woman was killed. The House of Parliament and House of Lords are under lock-down, and members of both houses were instructed to stay indoors.

  • Most home-grown terrorists in U.K. come from London, Birmingham

    A new study takes a detailed, in-depth look at Islamism-inspired terrorism convictions and suicide attacks in the United Kingdom between 1998 and 2015, focusing on the offenders’ backgrounds and their activities as well as offense-specified data. The study finds that the threat to the United Kingdom remains from “home-grown” terrorism, and is heavily youth- and male-oriented, with British nationals prevalent among offenders. Although small, women’s involvement nearly trebled in recent years and is typically supportive of men involved in terrorist activity with whom they have a family or personal relationship. Analysis of offenders’ residence shows the primacy of London- and Birmingham-based individuals as well as higher than average relative deprivation and Muslim population at neighborhood level.

  • U.S.-bound flights from airports in 8 Muslim-majority countries to ban devices larger than cellphone on board

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has instructed airlines to block passengers traveling to the United States from ten airports in eight Muslim-majority countries from bringing laptops, iPads, Kindles, and cameras on board. Passengers boarding U.S.-bound planes at these airports – located in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — will no longer be allowed to carry with them into the cabin any electronic or electrical device larger than a cellphone. All electronic and electric devices, with the exception of cellphones, will have to be checked.

  • Technology experts question device ban

    The decision by DHS to ban passengers, boarding U.S.-bound planes at ten airports in eight Muslim-majority countries, from carrying in electric or electronic devices larger than a cellphone into the cabin, is criticized by technology experts who say the new rules appear to be at odds with basic computer science. Another line of criticism suggests that the ban may have less to do with security and more to do with the Trump’s administration’s plan to play hard ball with countries subsidizing major industries in order to gain a competitive advantage over U.S. companies.

  • Former Israeli counterterror chief: War with Hezbollah is “only a question of time”

    The Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah is attempting to acquire game-changing weapons in anticipation of launching another war against Israel, a former Israeli security chief told reporters on Monday. Referring to the two earlier rounds of war between Israel and Hezbollah – in 1996 and 2006 — Brig. Gen. (res.) Nitzan Nuriel said: “The third war between Israel and Hezbollah is only a question of time,” he observed, “but it’s not connected to what’s going in Syria today.”

  • Basque separatist group ETA to disarm

    On Friday, the militant separatist group ETA has announced that, by early next month, it will completely disarm, and that from that point forward it will pursue its goal of an independent or autonomous Basque region by political means. Friday’s announcement comes six years after ETA renounced the use of violence. ETA was formed in 1959, and, in 1968, launched a campaign of violence against the Spanish state. ETA’s terror campaign, which ended in 2011, killed 829 Spanish politicians, policeman, military personnel, judges – but also a number of innocent bystanders – in bombings and shootings.

  • In first, Israel’s Arrow-3 system intercepts Syrian missile fired at Israeli jet

    Israel’s Arrow-3 system successfully intercepted a Syrian anti-aircraft missile that was shot at Israeli jets conducting a mission in Syria on Thursday night, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. It is the first time that the Arrow-3 system is known to have been used operationally.

  • Two government reports do not strengthen case for travel ban

    Two internal government reports appear to weaken the case the Trump administration has been making for the temporary travel ban. The implementation of the second version of the ban has been halted by judges in Hawaii and Maryland. The first report, prepared by DHS, found that most of the suspected or confirmed foreign-born terrorists probably became radicalized after they arrived in the United States, not before. The second report, based on data collected by the FBI, shows that most of the suspected or confirmed foreign-born terrorists had come from countries not among the six countries to which the travel ban would apply. The data in the two reports “points to the central question about the travel ban, which is, are you addressing the issues you need to address when it comes to the threat?” says one expert.

  • Immigration bans tend to create unintended consequences

    Research of various measures to restrict immigration — a policy response common for countries that have experienced terrorist attacks in the past — has pointed to unintended long-term consequences of similar controls on immigration. “Some recent research shows that umbrella restrictions on migration control can backfire,” says one researcher. “Instead of mitigating radicalization, these restrictions tend to have blowback effects. Insofar as the ban against a set of states is an umbrella ban, it’s likely to have the same unintended negative effects.”

  • Targeting of Syrian healthcare as “weapon of war” sets dangerous precedent: Experts

    The strategy of using people’s need for healthcare against them by violently denying access sets a dangerous precedent that the global health community must urgently address, researchers say. As new estimates of death toll for health workers are published, experts say the deliberate and systematic attacks on the healthcare infrastructure in Syria – primarily by government forces – expose shortcomings in international responses to health needs in conflict.