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Tag: TERRORISM

U.S. Might Use Facebook, Twitter to Broadcast Terrorism Alerts

The U.S. government is considering using Facebook and Twitter to issue terrorism warnings, as part of its revamped terror alert system. According to a draft of a Homeland Security plan obtained by the AP, the government would broadcast the warnings via Facebook and Twitter "when appropriate," and only after federal, state and local officials have already been alerted. But these warnings won't b...

Appeals Court Reinstates Lawsuit Against Federal Wiretapping

The ACLU and other civil liberties groups can continue their legal battle against a federal wiretapping law, now that a New York appeals court has reinstated their lawsuit. At issue is a 2008 federal law known as the FISA Amendments Act, which empowered the U.S. government to conduct widespread electronic surveillance on suspected terrorists. The ACLU's challenge had been previously thrown out ...

Taliban Uses Texts as Latest Intimidation Move

The Taliban has begun sending gruesome "night letters" -- violent videos meant to intimidate and control Afghans -- en masse via SMS. Historically written threats posted on buildings, night letters have long been a successful means of coercion by the Taliban. The video form has cropped up in the last couple of years on Facebook and YouTube, and tends toward the extreme, such as interviews of su...

House Republicans Push Obama Administration to Implement National ID System

House Republicans are pushing the Obama administration to move forward with a controversial law that, if enacted, would require every state to issue nationally standardized identification cards to its citizens. As it stands right now, states have until May 11th to comply with the 2005 Real ID Act, signed by President Bush. Enacted as a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, the ac...

TSA Tests New, Less Invasive Full Body Scanner at Select Airports

Yesterday, the TSA introduced new software for airport security body scanners, in an attempt to enhance traveler privacy without sacrificing air travel safety. Unlike other full body scans, the new software only displays images of generic male and female figures, and not revealing, detailed images of individual passengers. If the system detects something suspicious, screeners will be shown ...

The Internet 'Kill Switch' Bill: What It Is, and Why It Won't Die

On the very day that the Egyptian government shut down an overwhelming majority of the country's Internet servers, Republican Senator Susan Collins began floating a piece of legislation which, if passed, would grant the President the power to do essentially the same thing in the U.S. The so-called 'kill switch' bill was approved by the Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committ...

Spam Text Message Detonates Suicide Bomber, Prevents Moscow Attack

Russia avoided a potentially devastating suicide bomb attack last month, thanks to one particularly well-timed text message. According to Russian security sources, the attack was supposed to be carried out by an unnamed woman, believed to be part of a radical Islamist terror group. The woman reportedly planned to strap a bomb to herself, and blow herself up in the middle of a crowded Moscow squ...

RIM Says It Can't Give India Access to BlackBerry E-Mails

RIM may have resolved its BlackBerry issues in the Middle East and Indonesia, but the company's negotiations with India seem to have hit a wall. Today, the smartphone manufacturer reiterated that it cannot allow the Indian government to monitor corporate e-mails sent from Blackberry devices because, according to RIM, the technology simply doesn't exist. "We can't give a solution for enterprise ...

Al-Qaeda Websites May Have Spurred Suicide Bombing of Egyptian Coptic Church

On New Year's Day, a suicide bombing killed 21 people at a Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was quick to accuse foreign groups of orchestrating the attack, while domestic investigators turned their attention to extremist groups within the country. Now, new evidence has emerged to suggest that Al-Qaeda may have at least lain out the groundwork for the plot via...

FBI Uses Facebook to Trap Terror Suspect, Defuse Maryland Bomb Scheme

On Wednesday, FBI agents arrested a young Muslim-American man who was allegedly plotting to blow up a U.S. military recruitment office in Maryland. Officials nabbed the suspect, 21-year-old Antonio Martinez, after trapping him in an intricate sting operation that was facilitated, at least in part, by Facebook. The FBI lured Martinez into its trap with an informer, who posed as one of his accom...

Denver Police Detonate Toy Robot That Could've Easily Been a Terrorist

Yesterday, Denver police found themselves in the middle of a lengthy standoff with a robot that had threatened to blow up Coors Field. Fortunately for all of humanity, the white, eight-inch 'bot was just a toy. Unfortunately for the 'bot, though, police had no choice but to put it out of its misery. A citizen first noticed the robot yesterday afternoon, and immediately notified local police. Of...

Scientist Says He Found Alternative to TSA Body Scanners Four Years Ago

The TSA seems to think that aggressive pat-downs and full-body scans are the only way to protect America from terrorists, but a guy named Willard "Bill" Wattenburg thinks he found an alternative -- four years ago. Wattenburg says he first heard of the TSA's plans to buy new "backscatter" full-body scanners in 2006, while working as a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Library in Califor...

YouTube Removes Videos From Radical Islamic Cleric al-Awlaki

Yesterday, YouTube suddenly purged its site of hundreds of videos featuring Anwar al-Awlaki, a high-profile Islamic cleric who used the video-sharing platform to issue calls for jihadist violence against the U.S. The American-born al-Awlaki is currently based in Yemen, and has been tied to Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, Christmas Day bomber Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab and Faisal Shazad (the man beh...

Don't Worry, Terrorists Won't Bring Down the U.S. Power Grid, Researchers Say

Over the past few months, many politicians and national security experts have grown increasingly worried about what might happen if the U.S. power grid were ever to fall prey to a terrorist attack. Concerns first arose last March, when a scientific study published in the journal Safety Science suggested that even an attack on a small corner of the electrical network could unleash a domino effect a...

GameStop Bans 'Medal of Honor' From Military Base Stores Over Taliban Depiction

Video game playing soldiers looking forward to the upcoming 'Medal of Honor' will have to go elsewhere for a dose of non-lethal action. The game has been banned from all GameStop stores located on military facilities, due to its inclusion of Taliban forces as playable characters in multiplayer shoot-outs. The ban has been enforced by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which operates reta...