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Tag: terrorism

Facebook, Twitter Support Apple’s phone encryption battle with FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Social media giants Facebook and Twitter are siding with Apple’s fight against the FBI’s attempt to weaken encryption.

“We condemn terrorism and have total solidarity with victims of terror. Those who seek to praise, promote, or plan terrorist acts have no place on our services,” Facebook said in a statement Thursday.

“However, we will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems. These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies’ efforts to secure their products.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted: We stand with @timcook and Apple (and thank him for his leadership)!”

The comments come after a federal magistrate ordered Apple to make it easier to crack the iPhone’s password. The FBI has been unable to access an iPhone 5c that belonged to one of the San Bernardino killer.

Technology companies are worried about setting a legal precedent to allow the government to using hacking tools to access private information.

The FBI argues that the uncrackable encryption is thwarting its fight against terrorism.

Buffalo Woman Accused of Supporting ISIS, Threatening FBI Agents on Twitter

Safya Roe Yassin

Safya Roe Yassin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Buffalo woman is accused of using Twitter to make pro-ISIS statements and threaten two FBI agents.

A criminal complaint says Safya Roe Yassin, 38, tweeted the names, phone numbers and cities of two FBI agents under the words, “Wanted to Kill,” the Springfield News-Leader reports. 

Yassin also is accused of using dozens of Twitter accounts to post statements supporting ISIS.

“The West thinks that caging Muslims will stop ‘terrorism’ …but they will be finding out soon, it only increases the attacks against them,” one of the tweets read.

Yassin has been charged with communicating threats of violence over the Internet.

Attorney: Terror Suspect Manipulated by FBI Employee Posing as Young Muslim Woman

ISIS flag

ISIS flag

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — The man accused of planning an ISIS attack on a large Detroit church was manipulated by an FBI employee posing as a 19-year-old Iraqi American Muslim woman, his defense attorney told a federal judge.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the attorney claimed the FBI employee enticed his 21-year-old client, Khalil Abu-Rayyan, in an attempt to get him to make boastful remarks about violence in the name of ISIS.

Ultimately, the attorney said, Abu-Rayyan fell in love with the woman who he believed was a Sunni teen.

Because of that, Abu-Rayyan “was lying and boasting” to impress a young Muslim woman whom he wanted to marry.

Prosecutors, however, described Abu-Rayyan as a man bent on carrying out a violent attack.

Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen agreed.

“There was real readiness” to carry out attacks, Judge Whalen said. “There was an expression of intent.”

CIA Director: ISIS Has Capability to Make And Use Chemical Weapons

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ISIS has used chemical weapons and has the ability to continue making chlorine and mustard gas, according to CIA Director John Brennan.

“We have a number of instances where ISIL has used chemical munitions on the battlefield,” he said in an interview that is scheduled for CBS News’ 60 Minutes program on Sunday.

Although ISIS has been hammered by military forces across the world, the terrorist group still has the capability to develop deadly munitions, Brennan said, Newsweek reports. 

“There are reports that ISIS has access to chemical precursors and munitions that they can use,” he said.

Other Stories of Interest

Military Prosecutor Agrees with Senate Report about CIA Prisoners Being Tortured

guantanamobayBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An eye-opening Senate report on the CIA’s former interrogation practices is accurate, said the chief military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay.

The Washington Post reports that the prosecutor’s statements contradict those made by former CIA officials and congressional Republicans, who have insisted the report was strewn with errors.

Brig. Mark Martins made the statements in a motion filed Friday in the case against five people accused of helping carry out the Sept. 11, 2001, attack.

“While the opinions and conclusions of the [Senate report] are irrelevant to these proceedings, the factual recitations of what occurred to the accused are gleaned from the very same Executive Branch documents the Prosecution has reviewed, or is in the process of reviewing, in its own holdings,” Martins wrote.

“As such, the Prosecution will stipulate that the facts contained within the Executive Summary occurred,” Martins stated.

The Senate report described brutal treatment of prisoners held by the CIA around the world. According to the report, the CIA beat and water-boarded prisoners.

  

Other Stories of Interest

Mysteries Remain in San Bernardino Terrorist Attack Because of Encrypted Phone

The San Bernardino couple who opened fire at a holiday party.

The San Bernardino couple who opened fire at a holiday party.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI still has many questions about the terrorist couple that opened fire and killed 14 people during a holiday party in San Bernardino on Dec. 2.

Did they get help from other terrorists? Were they planning to detonate a bomb at the Inland Regional Center where they opened fire? Were they planning other attacks?

Those questions, FBI investigators hoped, would be on a cell phone that belonged to the couple Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik.

But the FBI still can’t unlock encrypted data on the cellphone, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

“We still have one of those killers’ phones that we haven’t been able to open,” FBI Director James B. Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee. “It has been two months now and we are still working on it.”

Encrypted cell phones have been a challenge for federal law enforcement who are trying to track suspected terrorists in real time, the FBI has said.

NY Magazine Writer: ‘FBI Is Bad at Talking with Teens’ As Evidenced by ISIS Video

FBI video directed at teens.

FBI video directed at teens.

By Brian Feldman
New York Magazine

If there’s one thing you can say about ISIS, besides the fact that it’s a medieval death cult responsible for inconceivable blood crimes, it’s that its recruiters are very charming on social media. But don’t worry: The Federal Bureau of Investigation is ready to fight back. It used your tax dollars to create Don’t Be A Puppet, a website for educating teens on violent extremism and the ways that online recruiters make contact. I took the site for a spin yesterday to earn an online certificate (really) in “countering violent extremism,” and quickly discovered: The FBI is bad at talking to teens.

The site’s main tactic for teaching its users about violent extremism is a set of quizzes, which cover not just international groups like ISIS but also white supremacists and that scourge of 21st-century America, environmental extremists.

You’ll realize that we’re working with something special when you arrive at this, the FBI’s mockup of a teen’s computer screen. You know, Just Teen Things: hundreds of lines of HTML and CSS.

To read more, click here.

Wife of Dead ISIS Commander Charged in Death of 26-Year-Old U.S. Aid Worker

Kayla Mueller, a U.S. aid worker who was killed.

Kayla Mueller, a U.S. aid worker who was killed.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The wife of a dead ISIS commander was charged Monday after the Justice Department alleged she was part of a plot that resulted in the death of a 26-year-old U.S. aid worker who was kidnapped by ISIS in Syria, the Daily Beast reports. 

The ISIS widow, known as Umm Sayyaf, is expected to be charged by Iraqi officials, so she may never end up in a U.S. court. But the official said the charges were “an insurance policy” in case she isn’t charged in Iraq or in case she escapes prison.

What remains unclear is how 26-year-old aid worker, Kayla Mueller, died after being kidnapped by ISIS.

The charges allege that Sayyaf was a sex slave held against her will.

Sayyaf’s husband was killed, and she was taken custody and interrogated in Iraq.