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Tag: terrorism

U.S.-Canada Border Gets Little Attention But Remains Vulnerable to Illegal Crossings

Sign welcomes drivers coming from Canada to U.S. near British Columbia. Photo via Wikipedia.

Sign welcomes drivers coming from Canada to U.S. near British Columbia. Photo via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. border with Mexico has become a central issue in the presidential campaign.

But while the 2,000-mile border attracts more attention, the Northern border with Canada is 5,500 miles and is easier to cross illegally.

Without enough agents at the Northern border, officials said it’s difficult to say how much criminal activity actually occurs.

“The problem is that we don’t know what the threats and risk are because so much attention is given to the Southwest border,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., according to a report by the New York Times.

NYT wrote:

This area is a haven for smugglers and cross-border criminal organizations. Each year, Border Patrol agents catch hundreds of drug smugglers and human traffickers who use the sparsely populated and heavily wooded areas along the Vermont-Canada border to bypass the agents, cameras, sensors and other electronic devices that the Department of Homeland Security has installed to make up for the lack of personnel.

The expanse and remoteness of much of the Northern border, which includes Alaska, make the task of law enforcement daunting, said Norman M. Lague, who leads the Border Patrol station in Champlain, New York, one of the eight stations in the Swanton region that oversee border security operations in Vermont, upstate New York and New Hampshire. “We do the best that we can with the resources we have,” he said.

Officials worry that the lack of attention to the Northern border makes it vulnerable to terrorists and criminal enterprises.

Investigators Say Small Plane Crash in Connecticut Appears to Be ‘Intentional Act’

East Hartford, Conn.

East Hartford, Conn.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Investigators are coming to a chilling conclusion about the small plane crash in East Hartford, Conn.: It appears to be “the result of an intentional act,” the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday.

The NTSB plans to hand over the case to the FBI, ABC News reports. 

Earlier Wednesday, the agency said, “If there is reason for us to believe that a criminal event has occurred, then we will take formal steps to transfer the investigation to the FBI.”

The crash killed a student pilot and seriously injured the instructor when the plane hit a utility pole and caught fire.

Investigators are looking into information that the student pilot was a Jordanian national.

“We are in touch with the relevant U.S. authorities on this matter as they undergo their investigation,” the Embassy of Jordan in Washington D.C. wrote in a statement.

The FBI has been interviewing the surviving flight instructor, Arian Prevalla, 43, who was upgraded to fair condition from critical condition Wednesday.

The family of Prevalla said they don’t have much information.

“We are all, of course, glad he survived. As of now, we have not been able to speak to him because the FBI was still questioning him.”

Father of NY Bombing Suspect Accused FBI of ‘Punishing’ His Family

Ahmad Khan Rahami (ABC photo)

Ahmad Khan Rahami (ABC photo)

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The father of New York bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami has accused the FBI of “punishing” his family for the accusations against his son.

Mohammed Rahami told the Associated Press that his family is barred from traveling to the U.S. and that the FBI has made “mistake after mistake.”

The father said the FBI failed to act when he told investigators in 2014 that he had suspicions of his son after he returned from trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The FBI, however, disputes those claims, saying the father never raised the issue of his son’s potential interest in terrorism.

Rahami said his wife and one of his sons were prevented from traveling to Afghanistan to the U.S.

His son was arrested for allegedly planting bombs in New York and New Jersey, injuring 31 people last month.

“My son’s bad act damaged our repute, it defamed my motherland and it caused bad impression about Islam, which stands for peace,” the father said.

FBI: Minnesota Mall Attacker Was New Convert to Islam

Dahir Ahmed Adan

Dahir Ahmed Adan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Dahir Ahmed Adan, who stabbed 20 people at a Minnesota mall, was different than most terrorists.

Just months before the Sept. 17 attacks, the 20-year-old academic standout became interested in Islam and began to distance himself from friends, the FBI said Thursday.

“We were told (he) had not previously shown an interest in religion,” Minneapolis FBI Special Agent in Charge Rick Thornton said at a news conference, the Associated Press reports. 

“The totality of Dahir Adan’s behavior and the actions suggest he may have been radicalized either with the influence of others or on his own,” Thornton said.

The shift was so sudden that Adan’s family believed he was doing as good as he used to do,” the attorney for Adan’s family, Abdulwahid Osman, said. “That is not the son they knew.”

Adan used two steak knives in the attack before he was shot and killed.

“We have numerous credible witness accounts of him asking victims during the attack if they were Muslim and at least one instance yelling ‘Allahu akbar’ while stabbing one of his victims and others heard him yelling ‘Islam Islam’ during the attack,” Thornton said.

Orange County Register: Why FBI Should Disclose How iPhone Was Hacked

Apple-iphoneBy Editorial Board
Orange County Register

After the San Bernardino attack in December that killed 14 people and wounded 22 others, the FBI hired a private hacker to unlock the iPhone of one of the two dead terrorists. Perhaps the FBI learned some of Syed Rizwan Farook’s evil secrets. But it also created unsettling secrets of its own.

The mysteries left over from the episode start with these: Who is the unnamed private party the FBI paid to break the smartphone’s security device? How much taxpayer money did the agency pay?

News organizations that have been stiff-armed by the FBI in their Freedom of Information Act request now are suing the bureau for answers.

We hope they succeed. The public should be able to know more about how the FBI cracked the privacy safeguards on the terrorist’s Apple phone. This is about more than one investigation and one wrongdoer’s phone – it’s about the threat that the government’s ability to break into electronic devices could pose to anybody’s online privacy and safety, especially if the tools fell into the wrong hands.

As stated in the lawsuit – filed last week by the Associated Press, the Gannett media company and the Vice Media digital and broadcasting company – “Understanding the amount that the FBI deemed appropriate to spend on the tool, as well as the identity and reputation of the vendor it did businesses with, is essential for the public to provide effective oversight of government functions and help guard against potential improprieties.”

To read more click here. 

As ISIS Is Pummeled in Iraq and Syria, FBI Director Warns of ‘Terrorist Diaspora’

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday that he’s confident ISIS will be destroyed soon in Iraq and Syria, but that won’t stop the spread of extremism.

Testifying before Congress, Comey said he’s worried that terrorists will leave Syria and Iraq and flock to other countries, CBS News reports. 

“There will be a terrorist diaspora sometime in the next two to five years like we’ve never seen before,” Comey said.

Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said concerns remain high about al-Qaida and its affiliates.

There’s also the increase of “self-radicalized” attacks in the U.S.

Johnson said terrorists are difficult to detect because attacks can occur with little or no notice.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Declaring War on Terrorism Wrongly Suggests An End to Fight

NYC Terror ColoradoBy Editorial Board
Philadelphia Inquirer

The fallacy in declaring a “war on terror,” as President George W. Bush did after the 9/11 attacks, is that it suggests an eventual end to the fight. After all, even the so-called Hundred Years War had a conclusion. But 15 years later, we know the terror war, like the war on poverty and the war on drugs, is a never-ending battle.

Every new act of terrorism is a reminder of that, including the Sept. 17 bombing that injured 29 people in Manhattan and a rampage that same day at a St. Cloud, Minn., mall in which 10 people were stabbed. ISIS claimed the Minnesota assailant was a “soldier of the Islamic state,” but it has been silent about the man arrested for leaving bombs in New York and Elizabeth and Seaside Heights, N.J.

At some point, Americans will have to accept that our terror war has no foreseeable end; that no battlefield victory in the Middle East or arrest of homegrown jihadists on U.S. soil will completely erase the possibility of another attack, most likely carried out by some radicalized lone wolf rather than masterminds like those who planned 9/11.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, who was shot and captured after leaving pressure-cooker and pipe bombs in New York and New Jersey, may have made the devices by following instructions in Inspire, the online newsletter published by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Dahir A. Adnan, 22, the knife-wielding Minnesota attacker shot and killed by police, needed no instructions to use his weapon.

Such incidents are likely to occur so long as there are people who succumb to the siren song of jihadists who use the internet to recruit and indoctrinate. There should be no reduction in efforts to blunt their ability to inspire violence. But as intelligence work and related military operations abroad continue, we must reassess the terror “war” and consider how that approach empowers those who seek to weaken us.

To read more click here. 

U.S. Must Combat Terrorism Inspired by Internet, Homeland Security Chairman Says

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As domestic terrorism cases continue to rise, the U.S. must take on extremism on the Internet, Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said Tuesday.

McCaul said terrorism is spreading because of the Internet, creating a “global jihadist movement,” The Dallas Morning News reports. 

“Now we have a new generation of terrorists that are very savvy on the internet. They know how to exploit it, both how to recruit and train, and to radicalize from within,” he said, later adding: “Through the power of the internet, you don’t have to travel to Syria. You can get radicalized here.”
McCaul is calling for a nonpartisan proposal that will be pitched to the presidential candidates.

McCaul was speaking at the American Enterprise Institute.