• Strengthening Cybersecurity in Sports Stadiums

    Someone pulled a fire alarm during the February 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 students and teachers. The alarm caused more students to move into the hallways and into harm’s way. “Hackers no longer use cyberattacks to cause cyber damage,” says an expert. Instead, “they are using these attacks to cause physical damage or put people in locations to maximize physical damage.” Sports venues, with tens of thousands of spectators, are especially vulnerable. To combat the cyber threat in sports, scientists built an assessment tool for team and stadium owners to fix vulnerabilities.

  • Protecting U.S. Energy Grid and Nuclear Weapons Systems

    To deter attempts to disable U.S. electrical utilities and to defend U.S. nuclear weapon systems from evolving technological threats, Sandia researchers have begun two multiyear initiatives to strengthen U.S. responses.

  • Making Bioweapons Obsolete

    As the threats posed by bioterrorism and naturally occurring infectious disease grow and evolve in the modern era, there is a rising potential for broad negative impacts on human health, economic stability and global security. To protect the United States from these dangers, researchers are taking on the ambitious goal of making bioweapons obsolete.

  • Bioterrorists, Using Genetic Editing, Could Kill More than 30 Million People: Bill Gates

    A bioterrorist attack could kill thirty million people — and such an attack is becoming more likely because it has become much easier to create – or “design” — deadly pathogens and spread them. Two years ago Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, spoke in London, saying that an outbreak of a lethal respiratory virus like smallpox would be more dangerous than even a nuclear attack. Anyone can now purchase chemistry kits which allow genetic editing, and do so online for under $150.

  • Right-Wing Extremists’ New Weapon

    The 9 October 2019 attack on a synagogue in Halle, in eastern Germany, highlights terrorists’ growing affinity for homemade firearms as a means for leaderless resistance, a decentralized strategy of guerrilla warfare popularized by Ku Klux Klan member Louis Beam. Eric Woods write that “This presents particular legal challenges to the United States, more so than other countries. The United States has an idiosyncratic approach to homemade production of firearms, rooted in its history as a frontier country where informal networks of artisan producers existed for decades before federal armories.”

  • Islamic State, Al-Qaeda “On the March" in Africa

    Western-backed efforts to counter terror groups across Africa are falling short, increasing the chances one or more affiliates of Islamic State or al-Qaida could try to carve out their own caliphate on the continent, according to the latest assessment by a top U.S. commander. The stark warning, shared with lawmakers Tuesday, builds on previous intelligence showing Africa-based groups have been growing more ambitious and more capable, with some increasingly bent on targeting the West.

  • Islamic State, Al-Qaida “On the March: in Africa

    Western-backed efforts to counter terror groups across Africa are falling short, increasing the chances one or more affiliates of Islamic State or al-Qaida could try to carve out their own caliphate on the continent, according to the latest assessment by a top U.S. commander. The stark warning, shared with lawmakers Tuesday, builds on previous intelligence showing Africa-based groups have been growing more ambitious and more capable, with some increasingly bent on targeting the West.

  • State Pushes to List White Supremacist Group as Terrorist Org

    The State Department is pushing to designate at least one violent white supremacist group as a foreign terrorist organization, an unprecedented move which national security experts say would be a big step toward fighting a growing threat on U.S. soil.

  • West Africa’s Democratic Progress is Slipping Away, Even as Region’s Significance Grows

    Rising authoritarianism is curtailing individual freedoms around the globe. Jon Temin and Isabel Linzer write that in an alarming development, however, the region that showed the fastest decline in political rights and civil liberties last year was West Africa, which had long been a driver of democratic gains. The warning signs have failed to spur corrective action.

  • Germany: 14 Soldiers, Defense Ministry Employees, Designated as Extremists

    The German Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) has classified 14 members of the armed forces as extremists in 2019. Eight soldiers were members of far-right extremist groups; four soldiers had ties with Islamist organizations; and two soldiers belonged to a violent anarchist movement which does not recognize the German state and its laws. The cases of more than 500 other soldiers and civilian employees of the Defense Ministry suspected of extremism are still being investigated. In the last three years, MAD has increasingly focused on combatting the spread of far-right extremism in the ranks of the Bundeswehr – especially in the ranks of elite units — in the wake of soldiers being found to have been involved in acts of terrorism against migrants.

  • Tool Identifies, Exposes Violent Extremists Online

    In an increasingly connected world, there are plenty of opportunities for extremists to communicate, recruit, spread propaganda, and incite violence. From videos being shared on Facebook and Twitter, to more niche instant-messaging services such as Telegram, to coded postings on Gab, 4 Chan, and 8chan — the number and reach of communications channels available to extremists has never been greater. The Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI), a non-partisan organization, has develop a platform – Contextus – which uses machine-learning to track and expose extremist discourse online.

  • 2019: Far-Right Extremists Killed 38 People in the U.S., More than All Other Murderous Extremists

    Right-wing extremists were responsible for the vast majority of extremist-related murders in the United States in 2019, with the El Paso shooting capping off a bloody decade during which the far right was responsible for 76 percent of all extremist-related murders. A new report found that of the 42 extremist-related murders in the U.S. last year, 38 were committed by individuals subscribing to various far-right ideologies, including white supremacy.

  • New Jersey: Homegrown Violent Extremists Greater Threat Than Foreign Terrorists

    New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) now regards white supremacist extremists as posing a threat which is equal or greater than that posed by terrorists inspired by Islamist fundamentalism (in both cases, homegrown violent extremists [HVEs] pose a far greater threat than foreign terrorists). “Homeland security and law enforcement professionals at all levels have taken notice of the rise in activity from white supremacist extremists,” NJOHSP says in an introduction to the annual Terrorism Threat Assessment issued by the office. “New Jersey is committed to protecting the diversity of culture and faith that shapes our great State. For that reason, NJOHSP increased the threat posed by white supremacist extremists from moderate to high in 2020, joining homegrown violent extremists as the most persistent hostile actors in New Jersey.”

  • White Supremacists Embrace "Accelerationism"

    Accelerationism is a term white supremacists have assigned to their desire to hasten the collapse of society as we know it. The term is widely used by those on the fringes of the movement, who employ it openly and enthusiastically on mainstream platforms, as well as in the shadows of private, encrypted chat rooms. 

  • New Center to Lead Counterterrorism, Terrorism Prevention Research

    DHS S&T has awarded the University of Nebraska at Omaha a 10-year, $36 million grant to establish a DHS Center of Excellence (COE) for Terrorism Prevention and Counterterrorism Research (TPCR). TPCR will lead a consortium of academic, industry, government, and laboratory partners aiming to gain better understanding of terrorism and its sources, and help fashion effective counterterrorism policies.