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Tag: terrorism

6 Minnesota Men Charged with Terrorism in Alleged Plot to Join ISIS

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Six Minnesota men have been charged with terrorism after the FBI alleges the suspects tried to travel to Syria to join Islamic State extremists.

The friends were U.S. citizens of Somali descent. They are are Mohamed Abdihamid Farah, 21; Adnan Abdihamid Farah, 19; Abdurahman Yasin Daud, 21; Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, 19; Hanad Mustafe Musse, 19; and Guled Ali Omar, 20, according to the New York Daily News. 

Prosecutors allege the suspects provided material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

The suspects were arrested in San Diego and Minneapolis on Sunday and are due in federal court today.

“These were focused men who were intent on joining a terrorist organization,” Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said at a news conference Monday.

FBI Arrests 6 in Minneapolis, San Diego in Connection with Terrorism Probe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI terrorism investigation netted six arrests in Minneapolis and San Diego on Sunday.

Information was murky early Monday, but a press conference later in the day is expected to shed light on the charges and allegations.

“There is no threat to public safety,” Ben Petok, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Andy Luger, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Among those arrested were members of Minneapolis’ sizable Somali population.

“The community is in a state of confusion,” Jamal said Sunday night. “They don’t know what is going on. … This is a very serious issue. We as a community are concerned about losing our kids to [ISIL].”

FBI Director James Comey: ‘We’re Making Progress’ Against Lone-Wolf Terrorists

Director James B. Comey speaking in Orlando.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI Director James Comey said the FBI is making progress combating so-called lone-wolf terrorists who are becoming radicalized on the Internet and are willing to act alone.

Comey made the statements during a “Q&A” with the Sun Sentinel while visiting Broward County in Florida to dedicate the bureau’s new Miramar headquarters.

There are reports of investigations into lone-wolf types happening in every state. How worried should America be, and what is the FBI doing about it?

“I think Americans should be comforted knowing that we’re working on this all day long, every day. I have a lot of people focused on this in all 50 states and we are covering it, I think, in a good way. It’s a challenge for us given how hard it is to spot these people because they’re on the Internet, in their homes. But as you can see, we’re locking a bunch of them up. So we’re making some good progress against this.”

Is the FBI getting involved in any investigation of officers on behalf of Fort Lauderdale police?

“We’ve been in touch with the department, as has the Department of Justice, but I don’t want to comment on what we’re doing in particular.”

What kind of lessons has the bureau learned from the Tsarnaev case?

“Well we’ve learned a lot of lessons. The first is we did a pretty good job with that investigation, but that we could work better with our partners and our joint terrorism task forces, and then a bunch of things related to our systems. We use every single case as an opportunity to learn and grow and there was learning there. But I think on balance we did a pretty good job there.”

What could have been done better?

“One of the issues was local police chiefs felt like they didn’t have a clear view of what cases we were closing, in case they wanted to do something additional. So we changed our process so that we now meet in every joint terrorism task force with the local chiefs and review the inventory: ‘Here’s what came in, here’s what we’re closing, are there any questions?’ That was a very important change.”

So more people are watching these lone-wolf suspects?

“Yes. But our relationship with our state and local partners is critical to these investigations. So one of the things that grew out of Boston is we even improved that relationship.”

To read more click here. 

Is Your Website at Risk of ISIS attack? FBI Warns About Vulnerabilities

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is warning that hackers claiming to be ISIS sympathizers are attacking websites with security vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins.

PC World reports that some of the plugins were providing an easy back door for some hackers to gain access and inject scripts or install malware.

The hackers targeted news organizations, religious institutions, government websites and businesses, PC World wrote. 

“Although the defacements demonstrate low-level hacking sophistication, they are disruptive and often costly in terms of lost business revenue and expenditures on technical services to repair infected computer systems,” the advisory said.

The hacking is particularly concerning because the perpetrators are voicing support for ISIS “to gain more notoriety than the underlying attack would have otherwise garnered,” the FBI said.

 

Buffalo News: FBI, Congress Must Improve Anti-Terrorism Performance

The Buffalo News
Editorial Board

The good news – and it is good news – is that the FBI has made great strides in transforming itself since the 2001 terror attacks. In a new report by the FBI 9/11 Review Commission, the agency is credited with significantly improving the number of analysts qualified for their jobs and better foreign language ability.

Yet some of the finding are also puzzling, so many years after the attacks. While the bureau was credited with having improved its foreign language ability, it also notes the continuing need for more linguists.

That imperative was made public within weeks of the Sept. 11 attacks. How hard can it be, especially when the need is so obviously critical? Schools have churned out 14 years of graduates over that time; surely enough to have produced sufficient numbers of trained linguists – assuming the pay is commensurate with demand. Specifically, the report notes that while the bureau has enough linguists in its large offices, they are in “short supply” in other parts of the country.

And therein lies a problem. Congress has also played a destructive role in – bluntly – keeping the country less safe than it should be. Budget cuts, such as those included in the mindless sequestration policy that took hold two years ago, have “severely hindered the FBI’s intelligence and national security programs,” the report concluded. Among the report’s three principal authors is Edwin Meese III, who was attorney general in the Reagan administration and can hardly be dismissed as a reckless government spender.

The report also notes that the FBI needs to improve its abilities at analysis and to develop a deep roster of informants.

These are areas where the FBI needs to improve, and Congress must play a role, along with the bureau’s leaders. Still, on balance, the report was positive and as one observer noted, periodic evaluations such as this will help keep it on track.

To read more click here. 

DEA, Justice Department Secretly Tracked Phone Calls of Americans

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA and Justice Department have been secretly amassing logs of nearly all international phone calls that originated from the U.S., the USA Today reports.

The collection of billions of calls came nearly a decade before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The government has tracked calls to as many as 116 countries, including Canada, Mexico and most of South America.

The records helped investigators track the distribution networks of drug cartels.

According to the USA Today,

The now-discontinued operation, carried out by the DEA’s intelligence arm, was the government’s first known effort to gather data on Americans in bulk, sweeping up records of telephone calls made by millions of U.S. citizens regardless of whether they were suspected of a crime. It was a model for the massive phone surveillance system the NSA launched to identify terrorists after the Sept. 11 attacks.

That dragnet drew sharp criticism that the government had intruded too deeply into Americans’ privacy after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked it to the news media two years ago.

Other Stories of Interest

 

 

FBI Investigates Shooting of Men Dressed As Women at NSA Building

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI does not believe an attack at the guarded gates of the NSA on Monday was terrorism.

The bureau is investigating after two men who were allegedly dressed as women disobeyed commands at the gates of the NSA in Fort Meade, Md., crashing a stolen car into a police vehicle, Gosangelo.com reports. 

One of the men died, and the other was injured from gunshots.

The police offer, who also was shot, was taken to the hospital.

It’s still unclear whet motivated the attack.

The NSA said the suspects ordered “routine instructions for safely exiting the secure campus.”

The FBI is investigating.

Army National Guard Specialist Accused of Plotting Attack for ISIS Terrorists

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Army National guard specialist is accused of trying to join ISIS overseas while his cousin planned to attack a U.S. military insulation.

Huffington Post reports that 22-year-old was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday while authorities say he was en route to join the extremists overseas.

His cousin Jonas Edmonds, 29, was arrested at his home in Chicago and planned to target the U.S. military facility where his cousin trained.

It wasn’t immediately clear where the facility was.

The cousins are U.S. citizens and are charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.