The Patriot Files Forums  

Go Back   The Patriot Files Forums > General > Homeland Security

Post New Thread  Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-26-2016, 01:01 PM
Boats's Avatar
Boats Boats is online now
Senior Member

Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 14,151
Post The Ever-Evolving Terrorism Threat to the US


The Ever-Evolving Terrorism Threat to the US
By Jeff Gardner

Faculty Member, Homeland Security at American Military University
The al-Qaida (AQ) terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland on September 11, 2001 was a pivotal and tragic event for this nation. As a direct result of those attacks, the U.S. government created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a Director of National Intelligence, a National Counter Terrorism Center, and the U.S Northern Command — just to name a few.


For more than a decade, the U.S. focused on fighting the away game by aggressively going after AQ overseas while strengthening our home game to prevent any more terrorists from entering the country. The Transportation Security Administration was created within DHS to increase airport security while Customs and Border Protection focused on keeping terrorists out and the FBI became very adept at managing watch lists and no-fly lists with their interagency partners.

Terrorism Threat: Shoe and Underwear Bombs

These efforts were not wasted as AQ and their dangerous affiliates like al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula continued to try to attack our homeland. Some attempts by AQ to penetrate our post 9/11 defenses include Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber, who tried to blow up flight 253 descending toward Chicago on Christmas Day in 2009.

However, adversaries adapt, and one of the greatest threats this nation currently faces is from within. The warped al-Qaida message of violence against innocents — or as Peter Bergen has stated “Binladenism” — has proliferated, as well as the highly influential videos by Anwar al Awlaki and Adam Gadahn, who’s fluent English and fiery speeches have spurred many to violence. Now anyone can become radicalized at home without ever visiting an extremist mosque or traveling to a terrorists training camp.

Although Bin Laden, Awlaki, and Gadahn are now all dead, that does not diminish the influence they continue to have in radicalizing many who are disenfranchised, angry or clinically gullible. This has led to a significant number of U.S. citizens being inspired to fight for this terrorist cause, such as the many Somali Americans from the Minneapolis area going to fight with the al-Shabab terrorist group in East Africa.

When we discuss homegrown extremism and homegrown terrorism, we are talking about individuals who Sam Mullins has defined as those who were born in or spent most of their lives here and who generally lack any direct foreign support or control, but were radicalized and trained and carried out (or attempted) attacks here at home. Just some of the recent examples of homegrown terrorism by American citizens include the Fort Hood shooting by Major Nidal Hassan in 2009, the New York City subway bombing plot in 2009 by Najibullah Zazi, the Times Square attempted bombing in 2010 by Connecticut financial analyst Faisal Shahzad, and the Tsarnaev brothers with the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

These homegrown attacks (and attempts) constitute the second phase of terrorism after 9/11. In fact, there have been no external attacks with terrorists from AQ or similar groups attempting to enter the U.S. since 2009.

Terrorism Threat since 9/11

This brings us to the third phase of terrorist threats since 9/11, which is the threat that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham or ISIS poses to the homeland. ISIS has overshadowed al-Qaida as the premier terrorist group in the world. ISIS is drawing attention and recruits to their cause by a combination of success on the battlefield and a social media propaganda machine that is phenomenal.
Their apocalyptic messaging coupled with Hollywood quality horrific violence resonates with many. ISIS has inspired multiple terrorist attacks in France and Belgium. ISIS has also inspired attacks here in the U.S. including the San Bernardino shootings in 2015.
Homegrown extremism is now the principal terrorism threat this nation faces, as Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson stated in March 2015, “We are concerned about the independent actor, the so-called lone wolf who could strike at a moment’s notice.”

This does not mean that we should let our guard down or end our focus on overseas terrorist groups. Those traditional homeland security and homeland defense efforts need to be continued as a part of a comprehensive and multilayered security effort. However, the imperative now is to adapt our homeland security enterprise to address this third phase of terrorist threat.

About the Author
Jeffrey V. Gardner is an Assistant Professor of Homeland Security Studies at American Military University, and is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel. Jeff is a Homeland Security Ph.D. Candidate who possesses a Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence with a concentration in terrorism from National Intelligence University, as well as two other masters’ degrees.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

sendpm.gif Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 04-26-2016, 01:04 PM
Boats's Avatar
Boats Boats is online now
Senior Member

Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 14,151
Post Department Of Homeland Security: How To Build Resilient Networks

by Meghan Ottolini on April 25, 2016, 11:06 am EDT

Today’s global cybersecurity threats do not allow for any perfect solutions, security expert Juliette Kayyem tells business owners.

“You’re never going to get the risk to zero,” Kayyem said. ““The goal is to minimize the risk.”

Kayyem served as President Obama’s assistant secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security and now holds a faculty spot at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Kayyem’s guide to building resilient networks and systems depends on several levels of protection and the belief that no single step toward security is successful on its own.

Firstly, Kayyem said, it’s important to have redundancies.

“You don’t want to have a single point of failure,” she said.

Flexibility in systems and staff is equally important and can be implemented through training and other mechanisms.

Kayyem said that the most resilient systems also have fail-safe mechanisms. All systems and networks have some sort of vulnerability, she said, and what's important is how your system responds to attempted hacks and breaches.

“Assuming that the vulnerability is manipulated, you ensure that your entire system does not go down because of that,” she explained.

Finally, a completely synced and connected network is not always secure.

“While you might want your system interconnected, you don’t want it interconnected perfectly,” Kayyem said, explaining that all systems should have different walls and levels of access and security.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

sendpm.gif Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 01:10 PM
Boats's Avatar
Boats Boats is online now
Senior Member

Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 14,151

Cyber warfare

Pentagon “dropping cyberbombs” on ISIS
Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work has said that the U.S. military is “dropping cyberbombs” on ISIS. Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that the U.S. Cyber Command had been given its “first wartime assignment” – attacking and disrupting ISIS cyber infrastructure. in the last few months, the Pentagon has allowed more information to be published about the U.S. military’s cyberwar against ISIS. Work, describing the Cyber Command’s operations at a news conference, said: “We are dropping cyberbombs. We have never done that before.”

Refugee crisis

Norway to offer asylum seekers money to leave the country
Norway is offering people who seek asylum in Norway a £840 “bonus” in exchange for leaving the country voluntarily. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) said the measure is a cheaper alternative when compared to paying for refugees upkeep in the country’s immigration centers.

Nuclear accidents

Forget Fukushima: Chernobyl still holds record as worst nuclear accident for public health
By Timothy J. Jorgensen
The 1986 Chernobyl and 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant accidents both share the notorious distinction of attaining the highest accident rating on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) scale of nuclear accidents. No other reactor incident has ever received this Level 7 “major accident” designation in the history of nuclear power. But the IAEA scale isn’t designed to measure public health impact. Chernobyl is by far the worst nuclear power plant accident of all time. It was a totally human-made event which was made worse by incompetent workers who did all the wrong things when attempting to avert a meltdown. Fukushima in contrast, was an unfortunate natural disaster – caused by a tsunami that flooded reactor basements — and the workers acted responsibly to mitigate the damage despite loss of electrical power. In terms of health ramifications, these two nuclear accidents were not even in the same league. While Fukushima involved radioactivity exposures to hundreds of thousands of people, Chernobyl exposed hundreds of millions. And millions of those received substantially more exposure than the people of Fukushima.

Coastal resilience

New Web portal for coastal resilience

William & Mary Law School and William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) are collaborating on a new Web site which will provide key information to support local, regional, and state efforts to adapt to sea-level rise. Tidal and storm surge flooding risks, FEMA flood zone maps, storm history, and critical infrastructure risk assessments are all topics that are likely to be included on the Web site. Information about conditions of shorelines, wetlands, beaches, and coastal forests will also be in the portal.

Public health

Changing climate in Michigan poses an emerging public health threat

Changing climate conditions

Including warmer temperatures and an increased frequency of heavy rainstorms — represent “an emerging threat to public health in Michigan,” according to a new report from University of Michigan researchers and state health officials.

Emerging threats

1.5°C vs 2°C global warming: Half a degree makes a big difference

European researchers have found substantially different climate change impacts for a global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C by 2100, the two temperature limits included in the Paris climate agreement. The additional 0.5°C would mean a 10-cm-higher global sea-level rise by 2100, longer heat waves, and would result in virtually all tropical coral reefs being at risk.


Obama administration to release secret 28 pages of 9/11 Commission report
The Obama administration will release at least part of a 28-page classified chapter from the 9/11 Commission report which implicates high-level Saudis, both inside and outside government, in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Former Senator Bob Graham (D-Florida), a co-chair of the commission, said he believed the Obama administration would make a decision on the issue by June.


Lasting defeat of ISIS requires a stronger U.S.-coalition strategy
The current effort by the United States and its coalition partners is insufficient to achieve the lasting defeat of ISIS, according to a new study. Successful conclusion of the campaign will require significantly increased effort by the United States across two fronts: First, more-comprehensive training, advising, and assisting; second, political agreements must be forged to resolve key drivers of conflict among Iraqis and Syrians.

Border security

Tighter U.S.-Mexico border enforcement has backfired: Study
From 1986 to 2010, the United States spent $35 billion on border enforcement, but the net rate of undocumented population growth doubled. The rapid escalation of border enforcement over the past three decades has backfired as a strategy to control undocumented immigration between Mexico and the United States, according to new research that suggests further militarization of the border is a waste of money.

African security

Nigerian military accused of covering up mass killing of civilians
Mass killing of hundreds of men, women, and children by soldiers in Zaria and the attempted cover-up of this killing demonstrates a contempt for human life and accountability, said Amnesty International as it publishes evidence gathered on the ground showing how the Nigerian military burned people alive, razed buildings, and dumped victims’ bodies in mass graves.

Infectious outbreaks

Infectious outbreaks must be combatted strategically: Experts
New funding is not enough to guarantee success against emerging infectious diseases around the world. Rather, good governance, a long-term technology investment strategy, and strong product management skills are essential. As momentum builds for an international effort to develop drugs and vaccines for emerging infectious diseases, experts examine U.S. biodefense programs to understand approaches that might work and developed a global strategy for countermeasure development.

In the trenches

General Dynamics completes USAF Space Fence radar array ground structure
General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies earlier this month completed the construction and walk-through of the 7,000 square-foot radar receive array structure which is part of the U.S. Air Force Space Fence radar system. With the array structure complete, the General Dynamics Space Fence team will dismantle the 700,000-pound steel structure and ship it to Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, for reassembly and integration into the Space Fence system.


Hair analysis is flawed as a forensic technique
Since 1989, seventy-four people who were convicted of serious crimes, in large part due to microscopic hair comparisons, were later exonerated by post-conviction DNA analysis. A new article highlights the statistical failings of microscopic hair analysis in criminal investigations, noting that more than twenty characteristics can be used to describe or identify a single hair, but many are subjective.


Citizen seismologists enhance the impacts of earthquake studies
From matchbook-sized sensors plugged into a desktop computer to location-tagged tweets, the earthquake data provided by “citizen seismologists” have grown in size and quality since 2000, according to the field’s researchers.

Terror victims

Families of terror attacks victims can claim $2bn from Iran’s frozen assets: U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the families of victims from several Iran-directed or Iran-related terrorist attacks in the 1980s and 1990s can collect close to $2 billion from Iran’s frozen assets. The Supreme Court, in a 6-2 decision, upheld a lower court’s ruling that Congress was within its remit to pass the law requiring Iran to do so.

Radiation risks

Belgium turns down Germany’s request to shutter two aging Belgian nuclear plants
Belgium on Wednesday turned down a request by Germany to shut down two ageing nuclear power near the German-Belgium border. Belgium said the two plants, while old, still meet the strictest safety standards. Both the Doel and Tihange power stations, in operation since 1974, were scheduled to be shut down and decommissioned in 2015.

Muslims in Europe

Latvia bans wearing Islamic full-face veils in public
There are around 1,000 practicing Muslims living in Latvia, a small Baltic country with a population of two million, and only three women living in Latvia wear the Islamic full-face veil in public. The Latvian government has decided to ban the practice anyway. The government says the new legislation is necessary to protect Latvian culture and prevent terrorists from smuggling weapons under garments.


System predicts 85 percent of cyber-attacks using input from human experts
By Adam Conner-Simons

Today’s security systems usually fall into one of two categories: human or machine. So-called “analyst-driven solutions” rely on rules created by living experts and therefore miss any attacks that do not match the rules. Meanwhile, today’s machine-learning approaches rely on “anomaly detection,” which tends to trigger false positives that both create distrust of the system and end up having to be investigated by humans, anyway. But what if there were a solution that could merge those two worlds? What would it look like? Virtual artificial intelligence analyst developed by the MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and machine-learning startup PatternEx reduces false positives by factor of 5.


DHS, NASA collaborate in search of innovation in homeland security

Crowdsourcing and incentive prizes across industry have led to the successful creation of advanced technologies, such as autonomous vehicles and improved data analytics. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is expanding its efforts to solicit innovations like these through its partnership with NASA.

Public health

Stagnant U.S. funding for tools against infectious diseases leaves U.S., world at serious risk. As Congress grapples with the White House on how to fund an emergency response to fight Zika virus, a new report warns that overall underfunding for development of lifesaving tools against neglected global diseases is putting the United States and the world at risk, and that emergency funding cannot be allowed to substitute for sustained U.S. investment in research and development (R&D) of global health technologies. A recent study that examined the risk of infectious disease outbreaks projected that large-scale global disease pandemics could cost the global economy more than $60 billion a year, while investing in the interventions needed to protect against these outbreaks, including R&D, would cost only a fraction of that — $4.5 billion — each year.

Super bugs

Resistance-proof antiviral can treat many diseases. Scientists and health officials are marshalling forces to fight Zika, the latest in a string of recent outbreaks. Many of these efforts target that virus specifically, but some researchers are looking for a broader approach. The new strategy aims to fight a wide range of viruses that appears to be safe in vivo and could evade a virus’s ability to develop resistance.


U.S. deploys more troops, Apache helicopters to Iraq to help in attack on Mosul

Defense secretary Ash Carter said the United States will send 200 additional troops and a number of Apache helicopters to Iraq to assist in the fight against ISIS. He added that the new forces will be used mostly to advise Iraqi forces on the front lines. The decision to deploy the troops has been made in the context of the Iraqi drive to recapture the city of Mosul.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

sendpm.gif Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:17 PM.

Powered by vBulletin, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.