• UN criticism of U.S. UAV war not likely to stop CIA drone strikes

    A UN report on the U.S. UAVs against terrorists and insurgents calls on countries to lay out rules and safeguards for carrying out the strikes, publish figures on civilian casualties, and prove they have attempted to capture or incapacitate suspects without killing them

  • U.S. stealthy war on terror expands, deepens; Special Operations forces take lead

    The Obama administration has expanded and deepened the U.S. war on terror, and increase the role of Special Forces in that war; U.S. Special Forces are now deployed in 75 countries, compared with about 60 at the beginning of last year; plans exist for preemptive or retaliatory strikes in numerous places around the world, meant to be put into action when a plot has been identified, or after an attack linked to a specific group; the administration has also authorized the assassination of the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a rare — some say unprecedented — move against an American citizen

  • Marine camera, integrated software offer improved underwater surveillance, security

    Underwater surveillance is one of the more difficult tasks for security personnel; darkness, humidity, murkiness, low temperature all make it difficult for camera equipment to capture clear images of elements in water; a new marine camera with integrated software offers a solution

  • Ship of fools // By Ben Frankel

    On Monday Israel forcibly stopped a ship heading toward Gaza; since Gaza is controlled by Hamas, a terrorist organization officially committed to the destruction of Israel, Israel insists on inspecting cargo heading to Gaza; al Qaeda operatives are already in Gaza, and Iran is the largest supplier of weapons and munitions to Hamas; the Israeli military operation was clumsy, but it revealed that the supposedly peaceful activists on the ship were anything but: they were equipped with stun grenades, guns, knives, machete, and other weapons, an attacked the Israeli soldiers with intent to kill; since Hamas is likely to try this flotilla approach to public relations again, Israel may want to think of more creative ways to intercept future ships heading toward Gaza

  • Dutch authorities fear World Cup terrorism threat

    A member of al Qaeda in Iraq said members of the organization ere planning to attack the Dutch and Danish soccer teams — and Dutch and Danish fans — in South Africa during the World Cup; experts are divided over the seriousness of the threats, but Dutch authorities are worried

  • Louisiana legislator OK bill to strengthen penalties for virtual map crimes

    Louisiana legislators approve a bill to toughen penalties for crimes committed with the aid of Internet-generated “virtual maps,” including acts of terrorism; bill defines a “virtual street-level map” as one that is available on the Internet and can generate the location or picture of a home or building by entering the address of the structure or an individual’s name on a Web site

  • FBI details sharp increase in death threats against lawmakers

    Threats against U.S. lawmakers increase dramatically in 2009; each threat case is different, but the FBI says there are some common characteristics; the suspects are mostly men who own guns, and several had been treated for mental illness; most of the suspects had just undergone some kind of major life stress, such as illness or the loss of a job

  • Terrorism could be threat to World Cup

    Soccer fans who go to South Africa next month for the World Cup already must be doubly cautious and watchful as they go to a country which is the world’s undisputed leader in most categories of violent crime; those who think of partying after games will be given brochures at their hotels telling them that 1 in 10 South Africans is infected with the HIV virus; security experts are now alarmed over revelations that an al Qaeda cell in Iraq was planning terror attacks on Danish and Dutch supporters and the Danish and Dutch teams

  • The threat of nuclear terrorism against Israel

    Former Israeli deputy national security adviser writes that the threat of nuclear terrorism Israel faces may be more likely to materialize than an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel — should Iran acquire nuclear weapons; he recommends a staunch and uncompromising deterrence policy, based on “retaliate first, no questions asked” — and a study of potential targets of high value to al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations which would be destroyed in a retaliatory attack

  • Dolphins, sea lions find explosives, cuff and restrain hostile divers

    The annual Golden Guardian homeland security and disaster preparedness exercise was an occasion for U.S. Navy-trained dolphins and sea lions to demonstrate their superior skills in locating underwater mines and hostile divers; the animals not only detect mines and divers in murky waters — they also demonstrated their dexterity in cuffing and restraining hostile divers while signaling for help from their human counterparts

  • U.S. remains vulnerable, 9/11 commission leaders say

    Leaders of the 9/11 Commission lament the fact that more progress has not been made on several of the commission’s key recommendations — roadblocks to sharing intelligence, the inability of first responders to communicate on common radio frequencies, and the plethora of congressional committees that oversee DHS; Lee Hamilton calls for U.S. national ID

  • South Africa lax attitude to airport security worries FIFA

    South Africa promised FIFA that it would tighten security at airports ahead of the World Cup games which open in three weeks; investigative reporters proved that promise hollow when they managed easily to pass security checks on ten flights — out of the twenty they tried to board — in the country with steak knives, screwdrivers, razors, pairs of scissors, and even syringes in their luggage

  • Parking garage attendants double as anti-terror agents

    A program funded by FEMA and run by TSA teaches parking lot operators to watch for odd activities that could precede an attack by days or months: strange odors such as diesel from gasoline vehicles, cars parked where they should not be, people who seem to be conducting surveillance by taking photos or drawing sketches

  • Workshop to evaluate threat of insect-based terrorism

    One way terrorists may use unleash a bioterror attack on U.S. population centers is by introducing pathogen-infected mosquitoes into an area, then let the insects pursue their deadly mission; many of the world’s most dangerous pathogens — Rift Valley, chikungunya fever, or Japanese encephalitis — already are transmitted by arthropods, the animal phylum that includes mosquitoes

  • Insurers refuse to cover journalists working in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

    Insurance companies use actuarial tables to determine the cost of one’s life insurance premium; at times the price is so high, individuals may be deterred from buying a policy; at times the risk is so high, insurance companies would refuse to offer a policy; insurance companies now refuse to offer life insurance to journalists covering the drug war in Mexico