Terrorists Are Using Consumer Drones | Rising Foreign Terror Threats in U.S. | Wargames and AI: A Dangerous Mix, and more

Chicago Gang Leader Admits to Repeatedly Attempting to Provide Money to ISIS, Trafficking Fentanyl  (Fox News)
The leader of a Chicago-area street gang admitted in federal court that he attempted on three separate occasions to provide financial support to ISIS. Jason Brown, who also went by Abdul Ja’Me, attempted to provide $500 in support of ISIS — aka the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham — three separate times in 2019, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) release. According to court documents, the 41-year-old believed that he had given the money to a confidential source, believing it would be sent to an ISIS soldier in combat in Syria. However, the individual to whom he provided the money was confidentially working with law enforcement, and the ISIS fighter was actually an undercover law enforcement officer. Along with attempting to support the terror group, Brown admitted that in 2019 he trafficked fentanyl and other illegal drugs from California to the Chicago suburbs. The drug trafficker also admitted to illegally possessing several loaded handguns to further his illegal activities.  According to the criminal complaint, Brown was the leader of the AHK street gang, which is based in the Chicago suburb of Bellwood, and comprised of former members of other gangs, including the Black P Stones, Gangster Disciples, and Four Corner Hustlers.

Arizona Man Charged for Allegedly Inciting “Religiously Motivated Terrorist Attack” That Killed 2 Officers, Bystander in Australia  (CBS News)
A U.S. citizen has been charged in Arizona over online comments that allegedly incited what police describe as a “religiously motivated terrorist attack” in Australia a year ago in which six people died, officials said Wednesday. Queensland state police officers Rachel McCrow and Matthew Arnold and innocent bystander Alan Dare were fatally shot by Gareth Train, his brother Nathaniel Train and Nathanial’s wife Stacey Train in an ambush at the Trains’ remote property in the rural community of Wieambilla last Dec. 12, investigators say. Four officers had arrived at the property to investigate reports of a missing person. They walked into a hail of gunfire, police said at the time. Two officers managed to escape and raise the alarm. Police killed the three Trains, who have been described as conspiracy theorists, during a six-hour siege. The siege involved “many weapons” and continued for hours, before the suspects were shot by specially trained officers, authorities said, the BBC reported. Investigators say the attack was premeditated, and that it involved “advanced planning and preparation against law enforcement.”

Six French Teens Await a Verdict Over Their Alleged Roles in Islamic Extremist Killing of a Teacher  (Angela Charlton, AP News)
A French juvenile court is handing down a verdict Friday for six teenagers accused of involvement in the killing of teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded by an Islamic extremist after he showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to his class for a debate on freedom of expression. Paty, a history and geography teacher, was killed on Oct. 16, 2020, near his school in a Paris suburb by an 18-year-old of Chechen origin who had become radicalized. The attacker, Abdoullakh Anzorov, was then shot dead by police. Paty’s name was disclosed on social media after a class debate on free expression during which he showed prophet caricatures published by the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The publication had triggered a deadly extremist massacre in the Charlie Hebdo newsroom in 2015. All those on trial were students at Paty’s school. If convicted, they face up to two-and-a-half years in prison. Five of the defendants, who were 14 or 15 at the time of the attack, are accused of staking Paty out until he left school that day and identifying him for the attacker in exchange for promises of 300-350 euros ($350-400). Investigators found that the attacker wanted to target Paty but didn’t have the means to identify him. The five are facing charges of criminal conspiracy with the aim of preparing aggravated violence.

Intelligence Report Warns of Rising Foreign Terror Threats in U.S. Amid Israel-Hamas War  (Catherine Herridge, CBS News)
A new joint bulletin from the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to local, state and federal law enforcement warns that groups like al Qaeda and ISIS will likely use the Israel-Hamas war “to increase calls for violence in the U.S. during the holiday season compared to prior years.” It says the most likely “primary targets” could include churches, synagogues and members of the Jewish community. With the Israeli military bearing down on southern Gaza and Hanukkah only days away, the new intelligence report reviewed by CBS News warns of increased threats from foreign terrorist groups. It mirrors FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony Tuesday on Capitol Hill, during which he told the Senate Judiciary Committee, “I see blinking lights everywhere I turn,” in response to a question from Sen. Lindsey Graham about possible warning signs. Wray said the number of threats is at a “whole other level” since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, adding, “I’ve never seen a time where all the threats, or so many of the threats, are all elevated all at exactly the same time.” Wray warned terrorists may try to exploit the U.S. southern border, and said the FBI is working to “identify and disrupt potential attacks.” While the holiday season always sees heightened intelligence chatter, the report predicts an uptick this year because of the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Personal Data in the Cloud is Under Siege. End-to-end Encryption Is Our Most Powerful Defense.  (Ivan Krstić, Lawfare)
It’s a dark statistical fact that you, the reader, have likely received a notice stating your data has been breached and is likely in criminal hands. You’re the victim, but the data probably wasn’t stolen from your computer. The attack vector through which your data was breached might have been your employer or school, your health provider or government, a merchant you last used years ago, or a cloud service you use every day. 
If it seems these attacks are already frequent and becoming more common still, your intuition is correct. And you don’t need to rely on anecdotes for evidence. A new review of data breach research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor of Information Technology Dr. Stuart Madnick, and commissioned by Apple, found that the immense threat to personal data in the cloud is continuing to grow at an extraordinary rate—and criminals are finding new ways to profit. They ransom data, requiring payment to allow the user or provider to recover it. They threaten public disclosure of confidential data or communications, demanding payment to avoid that pain. And they use their ill-gotten gains—both the data and the payments—to enhance their next attack, perpetuating the cycle.

The Universities That Don’t Understand Academic Freedom  (Yascha Mounk, The Atlantic)
The presidents of Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT testified in front of Congress this week. Their performance was a disaster.
The three leaders of these prestigious institutions seemed coached, presumably by a team of lawyers and PR consultants, to give hedging answers, and they doggedly stuck to their talking points. As a result, their responses were robotic, betrayed a lack of empathy, and never made a serious attempt to defend the larger mission that their universities supposedly serve. Throughout the hearing, the three presidents perfectly encapsulated the broader malaise of America’s most elite universities, which excel at avoiding lawsuits and increasing their endowments but seem to have little sense of why they were founded or what justifies the lavish taxpayer subsidies they receive.
The most damaging moments came when the three presidents were asked by Representative Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York, whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” would violate their universities’ policies on free speech. Such a call could be a violation, “if targeted at individuals, not making public statements,” Sally Kornbluth, the president of MIT, said. “If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment,” Elizabeth Magill, the president of the University of Pennsylvania, said. “It can be, depending on the context,” Claudine Gay, the president of Harvard, said.
Many people who were rightly horrified by the congressional hearings faulted Kornbluth, Magill, and Gay for refusing to say they would punish students for expressing this kind of abhorrent sentiment. But that is overly simple. In a narrow, technical sense, the three presidents were correct to state that their current policies would probably not penalize offensive political speech. In a more substantive sense, universities should defend a very broad definition of academic freedom, one that shields students and faculty members from punishment for expressing a political opinion, no matter how abhorrent.
The real problem was that none of these university leaders made a clear, coherent case for their institutions’ values. So when they did invoke academic freedom, they came across as insincere or hypocritical—an impression only reinforced by their record of failing to stand up for those on their campus who have come under fire for controversial speech in the past.