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Tag: terrorism

Terrorists Get It: The Government Should too When it Comes to Using the “New Media”

The terrorists get it. The U.S. government should too. The author insists the government needs to take advantage of the New Media for “emergency response, open-source intelligence gathering and the ideological struggle for hearts and minds”.

By Chris Battle
Foreign Policy Journal
WASHINGTON — Talk to some in the national and homeland security environment, and they will tell you — perhaps a bit defensively but usually with a false sense of authority — that they cannot leverage the powerful tools of New Media because to do so might threaten their internal security.
Others simply give you a puzzled look, as if you are asking them whether they go online and share pictures of their families with anonymous college kids. Meanwhile, the world of communications and intelligence — not to mention history’s most deadly generation of terrorists — is passing them by.
Al Qaeda’s propaganda and recruiting capability has obtained an almost mythical status. The group communicates worldwide via the Internet with a miniscule budget and deprived of the complex IT infrastructure available to the United States.

For Full Story

FBI Launches System to Share Terrorism Tips with Local Police

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller III

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller III

Historically, local law enforcement has complained about the FBI not sharing enough information. There may still be complaints after this, but it may help deflect some complaints.

By DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON — The FBI has launched a system to share tips about possible terror threats with local police agencies just in time for the presidential inauguration.
The program aims to get law enforcement at all levels sharing data quickly about suspicious activity and people, particularly in and around the nation’s capital in the week leading up to the historic ceremony.
Officials say they are getting as many as 1,000 tips a day from the public.
Called e-Guardian, the program had been delayed and underwent a smaller pilot project before launching New Year’s Eve as a system available to law enforcement agencies around the country.
Federal authorities hope the new system overcomes a drawback of another version, which lets police report their suspicions to the FBI but doesn’t allow officers to search the system for similar patterns in other jurisdictions.

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Blackberries, Satellite Phones, Gmail: Terrorist Tools in the 21st Century

Satellite phones and caves. Blackberries and 8th Century ideology. Welcome to terrorism in the 21st century.

By Kathy Shaidle
FrontPageMagazine.com

Following the Islamic terror attack in Mumbai, India in November, it was revealed that the tech-savvy terrorists used BlackBerries and Google Earth satellite-imaging to plan and carry out their atrocities.
It was the latest example of the West’s enemies employing 21st century technology to spread its 8th century ideology. It is also the most visible manifestation of a phenomenon that first came to the fore on September 11, 2001, and is spreading under the radar of ordinary people. Experts, however, are increasingly concerned about the spread of jihadist jujitsu – that is, of Muslim terrorists’ use of Western technology to destroy the West itself.
For example, the monitoring service SITE Intelligence Group revealed last month that Islamic extremists are being instructed on how to use the popular video-sharing site YouTube as a way to disseminate propaganda videos.
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Report Says Inauguaration Attractive Target For Terrorists but Authorities Know of No Specific Threats

The internal intelligence assessment offers no surprises. We all know the inauguration or any gathering of that magnitude — or for that matter any big sporting event like the Super Bowl or the Olympics — is an attractive target for terrorists.   As NBC’s Chris Matthews would say: Tell me something I don’t know.

By EILEEN SULLIVAN
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – The upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama is an attractive target for international and domestic terrorists, but U.S. intelligence officials have no information about specific threats to the Jan. 20 event.
An internal intelligence assessment, obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday, says the high visibility of the event, the presence of dignitaries and the significance of swearing in the country’s first black president make the inauguration vulnerable to attacks.
What concerns analysts most, the report says, is the potential use of improvised explosive devices, a hostage situation or suicide bombers.
While security will be tight around the U.S. Capitol, the joint FBI and Homeland Security assessment says nearby hotels, public gatherings, restaurants and roads could be vulnerable to some kind of attack.
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Homeland Security Forecast For Five Years: More Scary Threats

DHS Sec. Chertoff/official photo

DHS Sec. Chertoff/official photo

The assessment of the terrorist threats offers no shocking revelations. The forecast comes down to this: Possible scary threats coupled by more scary threats.

By EILEEN SULLIVAN
Associated Press
WASHINGTON – The terrorism threat to the United States over the next five years will be driven by instability in the Middle East and Africa, persistent challenges to border security and increasing Internet savvy, says a new intelligence assessment obtained by The Associated Press.
Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks are considered the most dangerous threats that could be carried out against the U.S. But those threats are also the most unlikely because it is so difficult for al-Qaida and similar groups to acquire the materials needed to carry out such plots, according to the internal Homeland Security Threat Assessment for the years 2008-2013.
The al-Qaida terrorist network continues to focus on U.S. attack targets vulnerable to massive economic losses, casualties and political “turmoil,” the assessment said.
Earlier this month, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction remains “the highest priority at the federal level.” Speaking to reporters on Dec. 3, Chertoff explained that more people, such as terrorists, will learn how to make dirty bombs, biological and chemical weapons. “The other side is going to continue to learn more about doing things,” he said.
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OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

CIA Using Viagra in War on Terrorism (Washington Post)

Homeland Security May Search the Internet for Terrorist Threats

The Internet has become the wild wild west and Homeland Security wants to be the sheriff. Can the agency pull that off? Is the universe small enough to police?

By Thomas Frank
USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – The Homeland Security Department may soon start scouring the Internet to find blogs and message boards that terrorists use to plan attacks in the USA.
The effort comes as researchers are seeing terrorists increasingly use the Internet to plan bombings, recruit members and spread propaganda. “Blogging and message boards have played a substantial role in allowing communication among those who would do the United States harm,” the department said in a recent notice.
Homeland Security officials are looking for companies to search the Internet for postings “in near to real-time which precede” an attack, particularly a bombing. Bombings are “of great concern” because terrorists can easily get materials and make an improvised-explosive device (IED), the department said.
“There is a lot of IED information generated by terrorists everywhere – websites, forums, people telling you where to buy fertilizer and how to plant IEDs,” said Hsinchun Chen, director of the University of Arizona’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. Chen’s “Dark Web” research project has found 500,000,000 terrorist pages and postings, including tens of thousands that discuss IEDs.
For Full Story