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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Mar 1, 2012

An Afghan believed to be a soldier and another in civilian clothing shot dead two American soldiers Thursday, Western and Afghan officials said, an attack likely to deepen doubts over the effectiveness of Afghanistan's struggling security forces.  The killings in south Afghanistan came after two senior U.S. officers were gunned down in the Afghan Interior Ministry Saturday by what Afghan security officials say was a police intelligence official.  At least five NATO soldiers have been killed by Afghan security forces since the burning of copies of the Koran at a NATO base last month triggered widespread anger and protests.

...According to the U.S. Pentagon, about 70 members of the NATO force were killed in 42 insider attacks from May 2007 through to January 2012.  Such incidents became more frequent after the United States sent tens of thousands of more soldiers to Afghanistan as part of a surge to fight in Taliban strongholds.  "There are Taliban sympathizers in uniform inside Afghan security forces who are not in fact sent or recruited by the Taliban," said an Afghan government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Read more at: Reuters

The director of the FBI says the agency needs the help of private-sector cyber-security professionals to combat what he believes is becoming the nation’s No. 1 threat.  FBI Director Robert Mueller said Thursday at a security conference in San Francisco that cyber-threats would surpass terrorism as the country’s top concern.

The dangers posed by organized cyber-crime, rogue hacktivists and computer breaches backed by foreign governments have become a focus for the FBI.  Mueller testified to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in January that counterterrorism is still the agency’s top priority but in the future would likely take a backseat to cyber-threats.  Mueller told the audience at the RSA Conference, an annual gathering of high-tech security experts, that companies often are the first to see such threats emerge.

Source: Associated Press

Terrorist groups in Somalia, North Africa and Nigeria are eyeing ways to coordinate their training, funding and terror activities, triggering increased U.S. national security worries, the top American commander for Africa told Congress on Wednesday.  Army Gen. Carter Ham said terror leaders from al-Shabab, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and Boko Haram in Nigeria want to more closely synchronize their efforts.  If they are able to better share their training and funding, "that presents a real challenge for us," he told the House Armed Services Committee.

...He added that the formalized merger of al-Shabab and al-Qaida, announced Feb. 9 by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri, may allow the groups to focus on threats against American interests.  In other comments, Ham said there are small pockets of foreign fighters who were involved in the resistance in Libya that ended up fighting against U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq. And he said al-Qaida may be trying to re-establish those insurgent networks.

Read more: Associated Press

An Afghan believed to be a soldier and another in civilian clothing shot dead two American soldiers Thursday, Western and Afghan officials said, an attack likely to deepen doubts over the effectiveness of Afghanistan's struggling security forces.  The killings in south Afghanistan came after two senior U.S. officers were gunned down in the Afghan Interior Ministry Saturday by what Afghan security officials say was a police intelligence official.  At least five NATO soldiers have been killed by Afghan security forces since the burning of copies of the Koran at a NATO base last month triggered widespread anger and protests.

...According to the U.S. Pentagon, about 70 members of the NATO force were killed in 42 insider attacks from May 2007 through to January 2012.  Such incidents became more frequent after the United States sent tens of thousands of more soldiers to Afghanistan as part of a surge to fight in Taliban strongholds.  "There are Taliban sympathizers in uniform inside Afghan security forces who are not in fact sent or recruited by the Taliban," said an Afghan government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Read more: Reuters

A worldwide manhunt kicks off at the end of March — a search across America and Europe for five fugitives, identifiable only by their mugshots.  The successful team of trackers not only gets a $5,000 bounty from the U.S. State Department.  They demonstrate to the planet’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies that they can hunt down fleeting suspects using nothing but their wits and social media connections.

The “Tag Challenge” isn’t the first contest designed to show how a networked crowd can unearth seemingly obscure information in a hurry.  But this simulation may be the one with the widest scope — and the most relevance to government agencies.

Five jewel thieves are at large in New York, London, Washington, Stockholm, and Bratislava: That’s the (rather thin) conceit behind the Tag Challenge.  At 8 a.m. local time in each city on March 31, contest organizers will release a picture of the local burglar.  Contestants will then have 12 hours to scour their cities, find each of the volunteer crooks, and upload photos of them to the Challenge’s website.

Read more: Wired Magazine