• 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

  • U.S. home-grown jihadism increased three-fold in 2009, but remains marginal

    There are more than 3 million Muslims in the United States, and few more than 100 have joined jihad — about one out of every 30,000 — suggesting an American Muslim population that remains hostile to jihadist ideology and its exhortations to violence

  • Elements in Pakistan's intelligence service "involved in Times Square plot"

    Many of the terrorists groups based in Pakistan are supported — and some were created — by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s secret service, to be used in the on-going conflict with India over Kashmir; for many in ISI, heeding the U.S. demand to dismantle the Pakistani terrorist networks is tantamount to Pakistani unilateral disarmament in its struggle with India; it now emerges that elements — perhaps rogue elements — within the ISI were involved in the Times Square plot

  • U.S. terror concentrated in New York City; bombs weapon of choice

    New York City is, by far, the most frequent site of terrorism in the United States; 284 terror attacks occurred in New York’s five boroughs between 1970 and 2007; it has thus suffered more attacks than the next four most frequently target cities combined (Miami, 70; San Francisco, 66; Washington, D.C., 59; Los Angeles, 54)

  • After Times Square, questions raised about naturalization process

    The suspect in the Times Square car bombing attempt is the latest in a series of U.S. citizens and green card holders to be implicated in a terror plot inside the United States, raising questions about the naturalization process that turns foreigners into Americans

  • Obama permits CIA to broaden UAV war target list in Pakistan

    President Obama gave the CIA secret permission to attack a wider range of targets, including suspected militants whose names are not known, as part of a dramatic expansion of its campaign of UAV strikes in Pakistan’s border region; of more than 500 people who U.S. officials say have been killed since the pace of strikes intensified, the vast majority have been individuals whose names were unknown, or about whom the agency had only fragmentary information. In some cases, the CIA discovered only after an attack that the casualties included a suspected terrorist whom it had been seeking

  • New York City's leaders urge Congress to close "Terror Gun Gap"

    In the United States, the fact that you are on the terrorist watch list does not disqualify you from purchasing an AK-56 assault rifle (if your immigration status is unclear, you are disqualified); FBI data showed that between 2004 and February 2010, a total of 1,228 background checks were conducted for purchases of firearms and explosives attempted by people on the U.S. terrorist watch list; of those purchases, 91 percent were allowed to proceed, while a total of 109 were denied

  • Mumbai gunman sentenced to death in India

    The sole surviving gunmen of the November 2008 Mumbai attack, in which 166 people were killed, was sentenced to death by an Indian court; the attack was noted not only because of its scope, but also because of the degree of complicity of the Pakistani army and intelligence services in its planning and execution, and the admission by the Pakistani government that the perpetrators were Pakistanis and that the plot was hatched on Pakistani soil

  • U.S. officials: Smaller terrorist attacks would be devastating

    Terrorism experts say Saturday’s botched car bombing in New York’s Times Square, and other recent plots, could be a sign that militant groups, hard-hit by U.S. drone strikes targeting their leaders, were starting to opt for smaller, rather than more spectacular, terror attacks; there are about 450 commercial airports and more than 50,000 malls and shopping centers in the United States; National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair and CIA chief Leon Panetta have both warned these could be targets for attack

  • Taliban uses poisonous gas in attack on Kabul girls school

    The Taliban continues its violent campaign against girls’ education in Afghanistan; the Taliban’s latest tactics; poisonous gas attacks on girls’ schools, aiming to scare students and teachers; in mid-April the Taliban attacked three girls’ schools in northern Afghanistan; yesterday, the Taliban attacked a school in the middle of Kabul; twenty-two students and three teachers were hospitalized

  • U.S. steps up Awlaki targeting

    In an unprecedented move, president Obama in April authorized the assassination of U.S.-born radical Yemeni cleric Anwar al Awlaki; Awlaki was involved in the attempt to bring down a U.S. passenger plane on Christmas Day and in the shooting by U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan in Fort Hood, Texas; the U.S. military is deploying an increasing number of UAVs to the skies of Yemen in search of Awlaki