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The Edge of Terrorism

IDF's Gaza Wall May Change Hamas Terror Strategies

September 16th 2017

Tunnel  Access Point

Time may be running out for one of Hamas's main weapons against Israel: Its cross-border terror tunnels.

By 2019, according to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) assessments, Israel will complete an underground wall that stretches along the 60-kilometer (37 mile) border with Gaza. The wall is the product of several years of research and development, and is designed to eliminate the tunnel threat to Israeli communities located near Gaza.

During the past three years, since the end of its last conflict with Israel, Hamas has invested big resources into its tunnel maze. One of its top goals is to rehabilitate an ability to inject murder squads into Israeli territory through the tunnels.

Once inside Israel, they could target IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians for murder or kidnapping, whenever the next conflict breaks out. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

ISIS Plot to Poison Food in US, UK Supermarkets

September 9th 2017

onions peppers parsley radish

Following a wave of ramming attacks across Europe, as well as more conventional terror attacks including stabbings, shootings, and bombings, the ISIS terror organization is preparing a silent terror wave against American and British consumers.

While recent attacks in continental Europe have drawn front-page coverage around the globe, including a pair of attacks in Spain last month which left 16 civilians dead, ISIS terrorists have been quietly laying the groundwork for a far less bombastic – but potentially deadly – plot against the US and UK.

Security experts have uncovered evidence Islamic State terrorists are plotting to poison food in supermarkets across the US and Britain, according to a report by SITE Intelligence Group, an American terrorism monitor. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Two Arrested after 'Bomb Factory' Discovered near Paris

September 7th 2017

French antiterror police squad

Two men have been arrested after police found components that can be used to make explosives  in an apartment in a Paris suburb which media reports describe as a "bomb factory."
 
Security forces rushed to the scene after a plumber working in the building in the southern suburb of Villejuif saw what he thought resembled detonators and called the police.
 
The building was evacuated and work ordered to be stopped on a building site next to the apartment block while bomb disposal experts examined the material.
 
The flat was empty at the time of the discovery of the suspect devices and the two men were arrested in a car in the nearby suburb of Le Kremlin-Bicetre, media reports said.
Read more ..

North Korea's Nukes

South Korea’s Defense Minister Raises Possible Return of Tactical U.S. Nukes

September 4th 2017

South Korean marines

South Korea’s defense minister on Monday said it was worth reviewing the redeployment of American tactical nuclear weapons to the Korean Peninsula to guard against the North, a step that analysts warn would sharply increase the risk of an accidental conflict.

But in New York, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was “begging for war.”

And even as concern over Korea deepened following North Korea’s huge nuclear test Sunday,, South Korea’s defense ministry said Monday that Pyongyang might be preparing to launch another missile into the Pacific Ocean, perhaps an intercontinental ballistic missile theoretically capable of reaching the mainland United States. Read more ..


Iran's Nukes

Iran Warns Within Five Days, We Can Begin Enriching Uranium To 20%

September 4th 2017

Iran Nuclear Equipment centrifuges

In an August 22, 2017 interview on IRINN TV, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization Of Iran (AEOI) and a member of Iran's nuclear negotiating team, reiterated the threats made by President Rohani on August 3, 2017 regarding Iran's ability to quickly revive its nuclear program at the point it was left prior to the JCPOA. He said that Iran will be able to start enriching uranium to 20% in the Fordo facility within only five days, and that it can also reactivate the old reactor in Arak, because cement was poured not into its core but only into a few external pipelines that are easily replaced. He also voiced vague threats about making structural changes to the AEOI that would enable it to function in ways that would "surprise" the West.

The following is a translation of his statements in the interview:

"In a recent open-door Majlis session, President [Rohani] warned America about violating the JCPOA and about [Iran's] restarting its nuclear program. This was no hollow or baseless warning, but was based on data available to the president. The president and other regime elements receive information on the activity of the AEOI, [for] we are required to report to and update the officials on the necessary [levels of] readiness, so that if they want to take a decision [on this] they will know what the situation is. Rohani's statement was based on the readiness that has been reached. Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

Iran Recruits Captured ISIS Fighters to Target the US

September 3rd 2017

ISIS Group with Flags

The US is intentionally ignoring the invisible puppet master behind ISIS terrorist attacks in Barcelona, London, Paris, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  From the 1983 Beirut Barracks bombing, to the 1984 US Embassy bombings in Kuwait and Beirut, to the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, to supplying advisors and weapons to Sunni and Shiite militia groups in Iraq, and providing similar support for the Taliban in Afghanistan, Iran has demonstrated a long history of using proxy militias and terrorists to attack US Forces. These proxy attacks are often devastatingly effective, and at least twenty-five percent of US casualties in Iraq can be linked to Iranian supported groups.

From the 1983 Beirut Barracks bombing, to the 1984 US Embassy bombings in Kuwait and Beirut, to the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, to supplying advisors and weapons to Sunni and Shiite militia groups in Iraq, and providing similar support for the Taliban in Afghanistan, Iran has demonstrated a long history of using proxy militias and terrorists to attack US Forces. Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

Iran Building Missile Factory in Syria

August 18th 2017

Iranian missile

Iran is reportedly building a facility in northwestern Syria to manufacture long-range Scud missiles, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Tuesday.

According to the report, security experts who analyzed photos of the site say the construction indicates that explosives would be stored there. The analysts also compared the facility in Syria to a rocket factory near Tehran, concluding there was a strong resemblance between the sites, indicating Iran’s involvement.

“The facility has one entrance, an administrative section, a production area and a storage wing, while some of the buildings appear to be for manufacturing ammunition. Large dirt mounds to protect the facility are also visible in the images,” the report said.

Last Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was closely monitoring the situation in Syria and would act against any threats. Read more ..


The Battle for Syria

Stormclouds over Syria

August 16th 2017

F-35

In the past five weeks, U.S. forces in Syria have struck directly at the Assad regime and its allies in Syria no less than four times. On May 18, U.S. warplanes struck regime and allied militia forces that breached a 34-mile exclusion zone around a U.S. outpost in southeastern Syria. Then on June 8 and June 20, the United States shot down Iranian-made drones as they approached the outpost.

But the most dramatic event so far was the June 18 downing of a Syrian air force Su-22 by a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet. This took place after regime forces attacked a town held by the U.S.-aligned Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near Tabqa, in northern Syria. The Su-22 dropped bombs near the SDF fighters, ignored U.S. warnings, and was then shot down.

The downing of the Su-22 threatened to bring Washington and Moscow into conflict in the war-torn country. In the aftermath of the incident, Russia announced the end of deconfliction arrangements with U.S. forces and that it had decided to treat future U.S. flights west of the Euphrates River as hostile. Read more ..


India and Israel

Israel-made Fence Systems to Transform India's Border

August 15th 2017

Indian army privates on parade

is deploying along its volatile border with Pakistan a smart Israel-developed fencing system having a 'quick response team' mechanism which strikes when the CCTV-powered control room detects an infiltration attempt.

The is implementing an ambitious project called the comprehensive integrated border management system (CIBMS) as part of the government's plan to completely seal the Indo-Pak and India-borders in the next few years.
 
The is tasked with guarding the over 6,300-km-long two borders and its chief, in an interview to PTI, said the new frontier guarding systems will bring a "sea change", for the first time, in this domain.
Read more ..

The Edge of Cyber

Iot Devices Becoming 'Cyberweapon Of Choice' For Attackers

August 14th 2017

Shadowy Computer User

A new report from cloud and security solution provider F5 Labs (Seattle, WA) examines how attackers have developed botnets - or "thingbots" - to target IoT devices.

IoT devices, says F5, have become "the cyberweapon delivery system of choice" for attackers building botnets - collections of Internet-connected devices that are infected and controlled by a common type of malware. Botnets can overwhelm systems with traffic with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, steal data, send spam, and allow an attacker access to the device and its connection.

According to the latest report, IoT attack activity grew 280% from the prior six-month period. This included "massive growth" due to the Mirai malware - which turns networked devices running Linux into remotely controlled bots that can then be used as part of a botnet - and subsequent attacks.

Read more ..

North Korea's Nukes

Pentagon Readies Pre-emptive Strike Against North Korea

August 13th 2017

B-1 Bomber

The Pentagon has a detailed plan for a military strike on North Korea, dispatching heavy bombers from Guam – the fortified U.S. territory that Pyongyang is threatening with missiles. The plan would be to launch heavy B1-B bombers from Guam's Andersen Air Force Base, limiting the flight time. U.S. forces have conducted practice maneuvers as recently as Monday, NBC News reported – and have done 11 sets of exercises. The bombers would get an escort from fighter jets providing protection. Satellites and drones would aide in the effort.

The planes would not carry nuclear payload, but would likely be armed with precision weapons designed to take out North Korea's array of missiles and missile launch sites.

'Of all the military options … [Trump] could consider, this would be one of the two or three that would at least have the possibility of not escalating the situation," retired Adm. James Stavridis told the network. He added: 'A single long-range strike against against the nuclear program, a cyber offensive would be the second. Those are the only two military options that ought to be in serious consideration.' The military has six of the powerful bombers already in position on Guam. Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

Iran Trying to Crash US Ships and Aircraft

August 10th 2017

Nimitz

"Despite repeated radio calls to stay clear," the Iranian drone went out of its way to complicate the jet's landing, Eric Pahon, Pentagon spokesperson said in a statement sent to Business Insider. The F/A-18 had to maneuver to avoid the approaching drone, missing it by around 100 feet. 

The drone was unarmed, and remotely piloted. A US aircraft carrier isn't something any pilot worth his salt would not be aware of. As this was the 13th unsafe and unprofessional interaction between the US Navy and Iran's maritime forces this year, it can be assumed Iran meant to do it.

Landing a speeding aircraft on a ship at sea presents plenty of difficulty without having a marauding drone bother the pilot on approach, and this just represents one of the ways Iran tries to harass, and ultimately crash US ships and aircraft. Read more ..


The Weapon's Edge

Chinese Drones - A Risk to U.S. Army

August 9th 2017

Flying Robot

The U.S. Army has shut down drones made in China and used by the Pentagon.  What took them so long?

As we now have it, the U.S. Army has issued a Memorandum for the Record on August 2nd essentially ordering the discontinuation of the use of DJI (Dajiang Innovation Products) drones. DJI is a Chinese company; its products are commercial UAVs.  The Army, Navy, other services, and other government agencies use these products extensively.

The Army's Memorandum directed the Army to cease all use of DJI items, uninstall all DJI applications and software from Army computers, remove all batteries and storage media from DJI equipment and secure the equipment awaiting further directions from the Army. Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

Iran's Space Program Emerges from Dormancy

August 6th 2017

Iran holy missiles

According to a news report citing a U.S. Strategic Command initial assessment, Iran's attempt to place its first operational satellite into orbit on July 27 using a Simorgh space launch vehicle (SLV) experienced catastrophic failure shortly after liftoff. The case marks the first Iranian acknowledgment of launching the heavy SLV, operating from its new permanent launch site, known as the Imam Khomeini National Space Center (IKNSC), located 220 kilometers southeast of Tehran in Semnan province.

Yet this was not, in fact, Iran's first actual attempt to launch a Simorgh -- a rocket unveiled in 2010 and named for a mythical bird. That first effort took place in April 2016, also out of IKNSC, but was kept a secret and described by U.S. intelligence sources as "partly successful" although not intended for satellite orbital insertion. Russian sources indicated differently, claiming it to be a successful suborbital test of the new rocket. Read more ..


After the Vote

Countermeasures to Russian Disinformation

August 5th 2017

Putin

The mind of society is the battlefield in the current global struggle for geopolitical domination. The uses of soft power dominate in this battle and information warfare is the name of the game-not "cyber war" in all the ways it has been described but the influence and ultimately control of individual minds that, like cells in a body, make up the Mind of Society. Then control is used as leverage to achieve objectives that are often hidden.
The recent illumination of Russian operations in this area has received a great deal of publicity. Russian operations of this kind are by no means new or unique, but the scale is unprecedented. This is thanks to distributed means of communication, which in turn created distributed digital islands of simulated life as a habitat on which more and more people (some of the time) and some of the people, all of the time, live their lives. The fragmented efforts of the United States and her allies to defend our mind-space and respond with equally effective operations have been less than adequate.
Effective countermeasures require unified, coordinated strategies recognized to have a high priority so that they will, in fact, be executed. They require clout, funding, and leadership to succeed. Once executed, they need to be evaluated to determine their efficacy. Offensive strategies must attack enemies as they attack us, by gaining access to the insides of their hives and securing the queen, not easy to do when the control of the information space in authoritarian and dictatorial regimes closes many of the gaps that in our more open society leave us unprotected.
Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Sophisticated Australian Airplane Bombing Plot a Warning To the West

August 4th 2017

airplanes shadows

Australia's arrest Saturday of four men suspected of plotting a terrorist attack on a commercial airliner signals more than a resurgent terror threat to airplanes. Because the alleged weapon involved smuggling explosives and poison gasses in a standard kitchen utensil – a meat grinder or mincer – it demonstrates, too, the rapidly increasing sophistication of these plots and the development of new means of attack.

It also exposes what international intelligence agencies, but few others, have known for some time: in a recent ranking of countries where radical Islam is a significant security threat, Australia stands in third place.

This may surprise most people, who think of Australia as a land of laid-back surfers and cuddly koalas, but a different side of Australia has emerged in recent years – one where radical Islam is rising. And it's not just among immigrant populations; there, as elsewhere, converts also play a large role. Read more ..


The Digital Age

Guaranteeing Positioning, Navigation, and Timing for the United States

August 2nd 2017

RBSPs deploy solar panels

A special amendment to the defense budget for 2018, calls for allocating $10 million to the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Transportation. The funds would be used to develop a plan based on results of an ongoing study, “to devise a demonstration plan for a GPS backup and then actually do the demo.” The lawmakers stressed that “an independent backup is very, very important to U.S. security.” And according to Rep. John Garamendi (D-Ca), and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), the sponsors of the amendment, the new backup is likely to be the eloran.  

Mr. Garamendi mentioned the eloran could be used for a self-driving car in a tunnel.  But the error in eloran is larger than the diameter of a tunnel.  Even current GPS accuracy is not adequate for self-driving cars. Read more ..


The Battle for Syria

After Liberation, Will Mosul Fall to Iran?

July 20th 2017

PKK (Kurdish Worker's Party) Fighter

After a brutal nine-month war, the Iraqi Army has liberated Mosul from ISIS. The city, Iraq's second largest, is all but destroyed.

The butcher's bill tallies 30,000 people dead and counting. Another 600,000, roughly a third of the population, have been displaced. Roughly three-fourths of Mosul's buildings are in ruins, two-thirds of its electrical grid is shredded, and much of what's left of the water system is booby-trapped. The price tag for reconstruction will be tens of billions of dollars that Iraq doesn't have.

Now comes the hard part.

Anyone with sufficient weapons and training can kill terrorists, and it's much harder to rebuild a city than level it. Harder still in a fractious sectarian place like Iraq is establishing enough political trust and goodwill that hardly anyone will be interested in picking up a rifle and shooting at the neighbors again. Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

Israel May Need to 'Take out' Iranian Bases in Syria

July 18th 2017

Drone Chopper

Israel may need to take military action to prevent Iran or Hezbollah from setting up permanent bases in Syria, former National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror said on Monday.

Amidror’s comments come a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told journalists in Paris that Israel was opposed to the Syrian cease-fire brokered recently by the US and Syria because it perpetuates Iran’s military presence in the the country.

If Israel's interests are not taken into account by those determining what the future arrangements will be in Syria – the Americans, Russians or others – “that might lead the IDF to intervene and destroy every attempt to build [permanent Iranian] infrastructure in Syria,” he said.

Amidror, a fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies who has remained in contact with Netanyahu, made his comments during a press conference with journalists organized by The Israel Project. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Taxpayer Support for Palestinian Terrorist Salaries Becoming Impossible to Defend

July 14th 2017

Edwin Black

The issue of government subsidies for Palestinian terrorist salaries is again in the international spotlight. What began in November 2013, as a barely believable revelation — that taxpayers in Great Britain, the US, and other Western nations were bankrolling terrorist salaries — has now become a universally-acknowledged, impossible-to-deny, and impossible-to-defend embarrassment for governments.

For years, officials dissembled and dodged when the question came up. After a period of silent disbelief, the mainstream media now openly confirms the salaries and routinely refers to the program with ipso factuality. Political challengers on both sides of the Atlantic stridently demand that incumbents terminate foreign aid that amounts to taxpayer-incentivized terrorism. A recent in-depth study in Israel calculates that all terror incentives and rewards paid by the Palestinian Authority over the past four years total a mind-numbing one billion dollars. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Apologists Gear Up for Rasmieh Odeh's Last Hurrah

July 13th 2017

FBI sting

Palestinian terrorist Rasmieh Odeh likely will be deported shortly after a federal judge formally sentences her next month for naturalization fraud. Her supporters are planning one final bash in her honor featuring radical political activist Angela Davis.

A promotion for the Aug. 12 event in Chicago notes it costs $5 – $6.17 with service fees – and promises "a night of music, poetry, and struggle."

Odeh pleaded guilty in April, admitting that she failed to disclose her arrest, conviction and 10 years spent in an Israeli prison after being convicted in connection to two 1969 Jerusalem bombings. One bombing targeted a grocery store, killing college students Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner.

Her plea agreement with federal prosecutors calls for no additional jail time, but it includes a stipulation stripping Odeh of her American citizenship and says "she will not be allowed to remain in the United States" and can never return. Read more ..


Israel on Edge

Israel to Establish ‘South Syria Army’ to Stop Iranian Expansion

July 12th 2017

Proud Israeli tanker and tank

Israel is planning to establish a Syrian army in the southern region of Syria on the border with the Golan Heights and Jordan to stop Iranian expansion, according to informed Israeli sources.

The idea for the “South Syria Army”, which will be affiliated with Israel, is based on a close model of the South Lebanon Army that Israel founded and supported during the 1970’s. The South Lebanon Army was led by Saad Haddad and later on by Antoine Lahad.

The sources said that the idea is beginning to form in accordance with the US-Russian agreement to a ceasefire in southern Syria and prevent Iranian troops, “Hezbollah” and other regime affiliated militias from controlling the region.

Israel considers Daraa, Suwayda and other areas on the border with the Golan Heights as political and security interests. Tel Aviv has allies there, including the Druze “Fursan al-Joulan militia” and some sides that claim to be part of the Free Syrian Army. Read more ..


North Korea's Nukes

North Korea Tests Missile it Claims Can Reach 'Anywhere in the World'

July 4th 2017

North Korean Rocket

North Korea claims to have conducted its first successful test of a long-range missile that it says can "reach anywhere in the world."

Tuesday morning's missile test, which was conducted on the orders of the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, reached a height of 2,802 kilometers (1,741 miles), according to state broadcaster Korea Central Television (KCTV).

That's the highest altitude ever reached by a North Korean missile, and puts the US on notice that Pyongyang could potentially hit the US mainland.

The regime appears to have timed the launch for maximum political effect, giving the order to fire on the eve of the July 4 holiday, just days after US President Donald Trump spoke with Japanese and Chinese leaders about the North Korea threat and before this week's G20 meeting.

The fear is that North Korea may one day develop the technology to mount a miniature nuclear warhead on a long-range missile, something analysts say it may have already achieved.

 

How true is claim?

Euan Graham, director of the International Security Program at Sydney's Lowy Institute, said that one apparently successful test doesn't necessarily mean that North Korea has the global capability it claimed.
 
"If the North Koreans are claiming they can launch an ICBM (to) anywhere in the world, that needs to be looked at through a technical lens," he said, using the acronym for intercontinental ballistic missile.
Read more ..

The Edge of Surveillance

Drones Can Map Building Interiors Through the Walls

July 3rd 2017

Flying Robot

In a recent paper presented at last ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing (IPSN), researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara demonstrated how using two drones flying in tandem, one carrying a WiFi transmitter and the other a WiFi receiver, fly paths could be optimized so as to efficiently reconstruct a 3D image of a walled-up or occluded area, based on WiFi's Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) measurements alone.

Such 3D through-wall imaging would be very useful in disaster scenarios for search and rescue missions, or for surveillance operations.

In their paper titled "3D Through-Wall Imaging with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Using WiFi", the researchers note that although through-wall imaging based on WiFi's RSSI measurements had already been successfully demonstrated in 2D using unmanned ground vehicles (but only yielding a 2D footprint), moving up to the third dimension was much more challenging, especially with the constraint to estimate rapidly a high number of voxels (the volume) from only a relatively small number of measurements.


(left) An L-shaped brick construction measuring 2.96x2.96x0.5m, (middle) its 3D binary ground-truth image, and (right) the reconstructed 3D binary image based on RSSI measurements.

In search and rescue situations, time is of essence, hence limiting the number of measurement paths and making 3D-reconstruction more difficult based on how the WiFi signal is being affected by the obstacles within the unknown area.

The researchers solved this problem using Markov random field (MRF) modelling, loopy belief propagation and sparse signal processing, together with optimized path planning to fly the drones (two octo-copters) along zigzagging parallel 3D routes, on each side of the walled-up area.

With their experiments, the researchers demonstrated how they were able to obtain high-quality through-wall images of different test setups made up of thick brick walls, with less than 4% of measurements.

 

University of California Santa Barbara - www.ucsb.edu

In a recent paper presented at last ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing (IPSN), researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara demonstrated how using two drones flying in tandem, one carrying a WiFi transmitter and the other a WiFi receiver, fly paths could be optimized so as to efficiently reconstruct a 3D image of a walled-up or occluded area, based on WiFi's Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) measurements alone.

Such 3D through-wall imaging would be very useful in disaster scenarios for search and rescue missions, or for surveillance operations.

In their paper titled "3D Through-Wall Imaging with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Using WiFi", the researchers note that although through-wall imaging based on WiFi's RSSI measurements had already been successfully demonstrated in 2D using unmanned ground vehicles (but only yielding a 2D footprint), moving up to the third dimension was much more challenging, especially with the constraint to estimate rapidly a high number of voxels (the volume) from only a relatively small number of measurements.


(left) An L-shaped brick construction measuring 2.96x2.96x0.5m, (middle) its 3D binary ground-truth image, and (right) the reconstructed 3D binary image based on RSSI measurements.

In search and rescue situations, time is of essence, hence limiting the number of measurement paths and making 3D-reconstruction more difficult based on how the WiFi signal is being affected by the obstacles within the unknown area.

The researchers solved this problem using Markov random field (MRF) modelling, loopy belief propagation and sparse signal processing, together with optimized path planning to fly the drones (two octo-copters) along zigzagging parallel 3D routes, on each side of the walled-up area.

With their experiments, the researchers demonstrated how they were able to obtain high-quality through-wall images of different test setups made up of thick brick walls, with less than 4% of measurements.

 

University of California Santa Barbara - www.ucsb.edu

In a recent paper presented at last ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing (IPSN), researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara demonstrated how using two drones flying in tandem, one carrying a WiFi transmitter and the other a WiFi receiver, fly paths could be optimized so as to efficiently reconstruct a 3D image of a walled-up or occluded area, based on WiFi's Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) measurements alone. Such 3D through-wall imaging would be very useful in disaster scenarios for search and rescue missions, or for surveillance operations.

see the video

In their paper titled "3D Through-Wall Imaging with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Using WiFi", the researchers note that although through-wall imaging based on WiFi's RSSI measurements had already been successfully demonstrated in 2D using unmanned ground vehicles (but only yielding a 2D footprint), moving up to the third dimension was much more challenging, especially with the constraint to estimate rapidly a high number of voxels (the volume) from only a relatively small number of measurements. Read more ..


The Edge of Survillance

Hi-Speed Real-Time Face Recognition in a Moving Crowd

June 30th 2017

Eye biometrics

NEC's NeoFace Accelerator is a PCI Express low profile 68.9x167.65mm board that performs super-fast face authentication based on 4K video acquisition and face matching with an existing photo database.

Drawing up to 25W, the board can track multiple persons from a crowd of hundreds of people as they move by in large venues, transit stations or shopping malls.

Intel proudly notes that its technology is what powers the card's face recognition engine. NEC, it says, relies on Intel Arria 10 field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) operating on Intel Xeon processor–based servers to increase the performance of its NeoFace facial recognition engine to a level where an individual can be identified smoothly from a high-resolution image with dozens of faces.

“Facial recognition in a moving crowd requires highly advanced techniques when compared to still images because these cameras are affected by many factors: camera location, image quality and lighting, along with the subject’s size, walking speed and face direction,” explains Tadashige Kadoi, general manager of IoT Platform Development Division, NEC Corporation.

“Intel FPGAs and their parallel processing capability help NEC to enable fast and accurate collection and processing of images from even 4K high-resolution remote cameras.”

Last March, NEC NeoFace was ranked No. 1 in almost all tests by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) specifically for face-in-video evaluation. The NIST tests evaluated the accuracy of the technology in two real-life test scenarios including a test for entry-exit management at an airport passenger gate. It determined whether and how well the engine could recognize people as they walked through an area one at a time without stopping or looking at the camera.

NEC's face recognition technology won first place with a matching accuracy of 99.2 percent. The error rate of 0.8 percent was less than one-fourth of the second place error rate, claims Intel.

In the second test, the technology was asked to detect suspicious individuals at an indoor stadium. This test was conducted with an individual situated far from the camera, with their face direction changing frequently. NEC's face recognition technology won first place with an

NEC's NeoFace Accelerator is a PCI Express low profile 68.9x167.65mm board that performs super-fast face authentication based on 4K video acquisition and face matching with an existing photo database.

Drawing up to 25W, the board can track multiple persons from a crowd of hundreds of people as they move by in large venues, transit stations or shopping malls.

Intel proudly notes that its technology is what powers the card's face recognition engine. NEC, it says, relies on Intel Arria 10 field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) operating on Intel Xeon processor–based servers to increase the performance of its NeoFace facial recognition engine to a level where an individual can be identified smoothly from a high-resolution image with dozens of faces.

“Facial recognition in a moving crowd requires highly advanced techniques when compared to still images because these cameras are affected by many factors: camera location, image quality and lighting, along with the subject’s size, walking speed and face direction,” explains Tadashige Kadoi, general manager of IoT Platform Development Division, NEC Corporation.

“Intel FPGAs and their parallel processing capability help NEC to enable fast and accurate collection and processing of images from even 4K high-resolution remote cameras.”

Last March, NEC NeoFace was ranked No. 1 in almost all tests by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) specifically for face-in-video evaluation. The NIST tests evaluated the accuracy of the technology in two real-life test scenarios including a test for entry-exit management at an airport passenger gate. It determined whether and how well the engine could recognize people as they walked through an area one at a time without stopping or looking at the camera.

NEC's face recognition technology won first place with a matching accuracy of 99.2 percent. The error rate of 0.8 percent was less than one-fourth of the second place error rate, claims Intel.

In the second test, the technology was asked to detect suspicious individuals at an indoor stadium. This test was conducted with an individual situated far from the camera, with their face direction changing frequently. NEC's face recognition technology won first place with an

NEC's NeoFace Accelerator is a PCI Express low profile 68.9x167.65mm board that performs super-fast face authentication based on 4K video acquisition and face matching with an existing photo database.

Drawing up to 25W, the board can track multiple persons from a crowd of hundreds of people as they move by in large venues, transit stations or shopping malls.

Intel proudly notes that its technology is what powers the card's face recognition engine. NEC, it says, relies on Intel Arria 10 field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) operating on Intel Xeon processor–based servers to increase the performance of its NeoFace facial recognition engine to a level where an individual can be identified smoothly from a high-resolution image with dozens of faces. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Hizballah-linked Paraguayan is Charged in Miami in a Drug Conspiracy

June 28th 2017

Mexico marijuana seizure

A Paraguayan man with ties to Hizballah pleaded not guilty in Miami federal court on Monday, after being charged with conspiring to distribute massive amounts of cocaine to the United States, the Miami Herald reports.

Paraguay's authorities arrested Ali Issa Chamas in August at an international airport for attempting to smuggle 39 kilos of cocaine. Chamas was extradited to Miami in June and now awaits trial.

But Chamas' indictment failed to reference his intimate relationship to Hizballah associates and operatives.

Chamas is of Lebanese origin and lived in Paraguay over the last decade. In addition to Brazil and Argentina, Paraguay is part of the Tri-Border Area (TBA), a region that enables Hizballah to cultivate a major base of operations. With a large Muslim population featuring significant numbers of Hizballah sympathizers, the terrorist organization uses this area for recruitment, arms smuggling and drug trafficking, and logistics planning for terrorist operations. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

CCTV, Drones Part of New Security at Damascus Gate

June 27th 2017

Dome-of-the-Rock

Read more ..

Military Money

Pentagon Wasted $28M on 'Forest' Camouflage Uniforms for Afghan Army

June 24th 2017

Afgan Troops

The Pentagon has reportedly spent $28 million dollars on "forest" camouflaged Afghanistan military uniforms rather than give them other patterns that cost nothing.

The "forest" pattern that was selected by the Afghan Defense Minister is privately owned, whereas other camouflage schemes owned by the U.S. government are free.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, released a 17-page report on Wednesday, noting that "forests cover only 2.1% of Afghanistan's total land area" -- making the forest pattern highly ineffective in the desert nation.

SIGAR's report said the Defense Department has spent $93 million on uniforms for the soldiers since 2007. Read more ..


Palestinians on Edge

Red Crescent: Hamas Engaged in War Crimes, Fired Rockets From Hospital to Provoke Israel

June 20th 2017

Gaza Militants

The secretary-general of the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates accused the Gaza-based terrorist organization Hamas on Monday of provoking Israeli forces by firing rockets from a field hospital during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, a war crime under international law, Ynet reported.

According to Secretary-General Mohamed Ateeq Al-Falahi, the Red Crescent’s staff was stationed at a UAE field hospital in Gaza when Hamas fighters began firing rockets from their facilities to provoke an Israeli response.

“This shows (Hamas’s) wicked intentions and how they scarified us,” said Al-Falahi. “They always claim the enemy targets humanitarian envoys, but the betrayal came from them,” he added. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Growing Terrorism Threat in Sweden

June 17th 2017

Muslim Brotherhood

SAPO -- Sweden's security service -- reports that the numbers of persons holding extremist views has grown to the thousands. Most appear to sympathize with radical strains of Islam. SAPO chief Anders Thornberg told Swedish news agency TT on Friday, "We have never seen anything like it," and admitted that Islamic State (ISIS) propaganda is central to the growth of radicalization.

Thornberg said that the numbers of extremists have grown from just a few hundred in recent years. The current situation, he said, is "a historic challenge with extremist environments growing."

According to the agency head, SAPO receives approximately 6,000 pieces of intelligence on extremists every month, which is a significant increase from 2,000 of five years ago. Currently, the threat assessment for the Scandinavian country is holding steady at three on a scale of five.

Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Libyan Security Committee Calls U.S. Muslim Leader a Terrorist

June 13th 2017

Libyan opposition fighters

A prominent Muslim American political activist is included on a list of 75 terrorists issued by a Libyan parliamentary committee.

Esam Omeish is a former president of the Muslim American Society and remains a prominent figure at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Va. He is among 75 people the Libyan House of Representatives' Defense and National Security Committee labeled Friday as enemies.

Libya's government remains fragmented, with the House of Representatives based in a city called Tobruk. It is considered closely aligned with Egypt.

Omeish is the 29th name listed on the terror list and is described as an "international member of the Muslim Brotherhood." Another American, Aly Abuzaakouk, appears just after Omeish's, also identified as an international Muslim Brotherhood member. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

The Islamic State Strikes Tehran: Reactions and Repercussions

Iranian Revolutionary Guard

The two coordinated Islamic State (IS) attacks on the Iranian Parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini are not only the first IS attacks in Iran, but also the first terror attacks of this kind in the country. These attacks are the realization of threats articulated by IS in late March to strike Iran. This was also the first “official” threat to Iran in the Persian language.

The level of execution, preparedness, and magnitude of the attack suggest professional intelligence gathering. These factors combined leave little room for doubt that the Islamic State is behind the attacks. IS generally prioritizes the targeting of symbolic sites, as was the case in Iran. The locations of the attacks–the parliament and the tomb of the founder of the Islamic Republic–were not chosen at random. There is certainly some irony in the fact that Khomeini’s tomb was attacked by suicide bombers. Read more ..


Turkey on Edge

Turkey’s Indigenous Weapons Industry: A Rover with Rolls-Royce Ambitions

June 2nd 2017

Turkish military parade with flags

A former US ambassador to Ankara once described Turkey’s regional (i.e., neo-Ottoman) foreign policy aspirations by saying that the country had “Rolls-Royce ambitions but Rover resources.” The same could be true for Turkey’s ambitious indigenous weapons programs.

Turkey suffers from a “sizing” malady. When, in the late 1950s, Kemal Nejat Kavur was serving as the Turkish ambassador to Moscow, Andrei Gromyko, the then Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs, asked him: “Your Excellency, your country has the highest number of men under arms in Europe. If you turned them against your traditional enemies, the Greeks, you would be too much for them. But if you turned them against us, it would be too small. What’s the reason for this?” Read more ..


Financing the Flames

Norway Demands Palestinian Youth Center Return Money, Remove Logos

May 28th 2017

Hamas girls demonstration flags and minaret

Within hours after PMW reported that a Palestinian youth center built with Norwegian and UN money was named after terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi, Norway condemned it and demanded their money be returned. 

On Friday, Palestinian Media Watch reported that a Palestinian youth center built with Norwegian and UN money and with the involvement of the PA's Ministry of Local Government had been named the "Martyr Dalal Mughrabi Center" after the terrorist who led the murder of 37 in a bus hijacking. The very same day, Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende condemned the center and demanded that the Norwegian money be returned:
 
"The glorification of terrorist attacks is completely unacceptable, and I deplore this decision in the strongest possible terms. Norway will not allow itself to be associated with institutions that take the names of terrorists in this way... We have asked for the logo of the Norwegian representation office to be removed from the building immediately, and for the funding that has been allocated to the centre to be repaid."
Norwegian Foreign Ministry website, May 26, 2017 Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

Pentagon Eyes Iran-North Korea Military Connection

May 8th 2017

Iran Nuclear Equipment centrifuges

When Iran attempted to launch a cruise missile from a “midget” submarine earlier this week, Pentagon officials saw more evidence of North Korean influence in the Islamic Republic – with intelligence reports saying the submarine was based on a Pyongyang design, the same type that sank a South Korean warship in 2010.

According to U.S. defense officials, Iran was attempting to launch a Jask-2 cruise missile underwater for the first time, but the launch failed. Nonproliferation experts have long suspected North Korea and Iran are sharing expertise when it comes to their rogue missile programs.

“The very first missiles we saw in Iran were simply copies of North Korean missiles,” said Jeffrey Lewis, a missile proliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. “Over the years, we've seen photographs of North Korean and Iranian officials in each other's countries, and we've seen all kinds of common hardware.” Read more ..


Broken Borders

Maryland and New York Prosecutors Give Immigrants Lesser Charges to Avoid Deportation

May 5th 2017

Stop the Raids immigration protest

Prosecutors in New York City and Baltimore have ordered their staff to refrain from charging illegal immigrants with minor, non-violent crimes because these could result in deportation. New York District Attorney Eric Gonzalez of Brooklyn was the first such official to create this dual track for prosecution. According to a statement from his office, the goal is “minimizing collateral immigration consequences of criminal convictions.” 
 
Brooklyn has contracted with two immigration attorneys to train staff members on immigration issues and advise prosecutors when making plea offers and sentencing recommendations. The training is for the purpose of avoiding “disproportionate collateral consequences, such as deportation while maintaining public safety.” Brooklyn District Attorney Gonzalez said nevertheless that he remains committed to equality before the law. 
Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Hamas Wants Quiet As It Prepares For Next Assault on Israel

April 27th 2017

Hamas head

Strategically, Hamas remains as committed as ever to its objective of destroying Israel and toppling the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority in the process. Tactically, however, Hamas exhibits pragmatism and won't rush into wars with Israel when conditions are ill suited.

Hamas looks at the long run, and remains convinced that it can eradicate Israel, even if it takes decades or centuries. Yet it would prefer to bide its time, and build up its force until the next clash while working to decrease its acute regional isolation. For this to happen, Hamas needs to avoid plunging Gaza into a new war any time soon. Yet it remains far from clear that it will be able to do this.

Should a war erupt in the near future, it likely will be triggered by unplanned dynamics of escalation. Read more ..


The Battle Against the Caliphate

What We Know About the GBU-43/B, 'Mother of All Bombs'

April 15th 2017

Land Mine

The “Mother of All Bombs,” the GBU-43/B Massive Air Blast, is the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in America’s arsenal, and it was used for the first time in combat on April 13 in Afghanistan against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

If you’ve never heard of this bomb, you’re likely not alone. To help you get educated about it, here are some facts to know:

According to globalsecurity.org, it’s the largest-ever satellite-guided, air-delivered weapon in history, made to replace the unguided 15,000-pound BLU-82 Daisy Cutter that was used in Vietnam and early on in Afghanistan.

The MOAB was developed in only nine weeks in 2003 to be available for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said it was created to put pressure on Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to stop fighting against the coalition. The smart bomb was never used during that war.

The MOAB was loaded into a C-130 Hercules, where it sat in a cradle on an airdrop platform until the whole platform was pulled off the plane at a high altitude by a drogue parachute, which is used to slow it down. Once in the air, the weapon was quickly released from the platform to keep up its forward momentum. The grid fins then opened to stabilize it and guide it to its target.

According to globalsecurity.org, on Sept. 11, 2007, the Russian military announced it had tested the “Father of all Bombs,” the world’s most powerful non-nuclear air-delivered munition. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

WhatsApp Message Links German Bus Bombing to ISIS

April 13th 2017

ISIS Army

Notes left at the scene of Tuesday's bombing of a bus carrying the German Borussa Dortmund soccer team and circulated among ISIS supporters via WhatsApp suggest a connection to the terror group.

Three pipe bombs hit the bus as the team left its hotel before a Champions League match. One player and a police officer were injured and the bus's glass shattered.

A copy of the note circulated on WhatsApp claimed the attack came in reaction to Germany's participation in the fight against ISIS. It refers to the deaths of 12 "unbelievers" who were killed by "our blessed brothers in Germany." Britain's Daily Star newspaper reports this refers to the December attack on a Berlin Christmas market. Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

Iran Sponsored Shi'a Militia Launches Terror Group to Fight Israel

April 10th 2017

Golan Heights

An Iranian supported Shi'a militia, Al-Nujaba, says it formed the "Golan Liberation Army" to fight Israel, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports.

"This army has been trained and has detailed plans. If the Syria regime asks us to, we are ready to act to liberate the Golan [from Israel] along with our allies," Al-Nujaba spokesman Hashem Al-Mousawi said in a March 8 interview with Iran's Tasnim news agency.

Al-Mousawi also admitted that the new militant group is "part of the PMU [Popular Mobilization Units]," an Iraqi-backed umbrella organization comprised of numerous Shi'a militias, including some with close ties to Iran. The Golan Liberation Army emerged from the Iranian led "resistance" axis and consists of "special forces who have received training and equipment," he said. Read more ..



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