Why America Refuses to Pay Ransoms

From The Economist: Earlier this summer two dozen American commandos swooped into northern Syria in an effort to save James Foley, an American journalist (pictured), and others being held by the Islamic State (IS), an al-Qaeda-inspired jihadist group. The soldiers raided an oil refinery controlled by the militants, but found no hostages—they had been moved. […]

Obama, Iraq, and the Coming War Powers Fight With Congress

From The National Journal: As the United States military’s intervention in Iraq intensifies, so does the debate between legislative and executive branch officials about President Barack Obama’s muscular use of war powers. In the past ten weeks, Obama has authorized the first U.S. combat operations in Iraq since the war ended in 2011, and sent […]

Official Says Hackers Hit Up to 25,000 Fed Workers

From Reuters: The internal records of as many as 25,000 Homeland Security Department employees were exposed during a recent computer break-in at a federal contractor that handles security clearances, an agency official said Friday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of an incident that is under active federal criminal investigation, […]

McCaskill to Lead Hearing on Militarization of Police

From The Hill: Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) on Thursday announced a Senate hearing to probe the “militarization of local police departments” after widespread criticism of tactics used in Ferguson, Mo., to quell protests. McCaskill said the hearing next month would focus on the Pentagon’s 1033 program, which offers surplus military equipment to local law […]

Body Scanner’s Problem: Fails to Detect Guns

From CNN Money: That was the finding from a joint study conducted by three universities, who were able to slip guns through a Rapiscan body scanner without being detected. “Frankly, we were shocked by what we found,” said J. Alex Halderman, a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan, in a statement. “A […]

Homeland Security Warns about Today’s ‘National Day of Rage’ Over Ferguson Shooting

From Tickle the Wire: The activist group Anonymous has hatched plans for nationwide protests in Ferguson following the shooting death of Michael Brown, and Homeland Security is worried enough to issue a warning about the potential ramifications, the Caller reports. The group is calling for a “National Day of Rage” today. The bulletin was issued […]

Ontario Doctor Khurram Sher Found Not Guilty of Terrorism Charge

From The Toronto Star: Khurram Syed Sher smiled outside the courthouse Tuesday after being reminded he had been acquitted a few moments earlier on terrorism charges by a Superior Court Justice who described him as “naive.” Lawyer Michael Edelson said Justice Charles Hackland, was “dead right” about the description.

ISIS Beheads American Journalist

From The Hill: Freelance journalist James Foley, who went missing two years ago, has reportedly been beheaded by militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to an unconfirmed video that surfaced online Tuesday. In the video, a man believed to be Foley is forced to make a statement calling on the […]

Community Resilience Is The Goal Of Homeland Security

From HSToday: We all must agree that the elimination of terrorist events — domestic or international — is highly unlikely. There will always be a terrorist who succeeds despite our best efforts. We also have no control over when and where the next natural disaster will occur. So, logic dictates that if we can’t stop […]

U.S. Has a Chance to Stop the Islamic State

From The Washington Post: (Joe Lieberman Op-ed) It would be wrong to view President Obama’s decision to order airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and to give weapons to Kurdish fighters as a continuation of the war in Iraq. It is more accurate to see it as a mission to prevent a repetition of […]