From: Homeland Security News Wire
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: Week in Review
Date: Sat Aug 09 14:02:44 MDT 2014
Body:
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WEEK IN REVIEW
Saturday 9 August 2014 vol. 8 no. 182

Week in Review

Ebola
Quantities of experimental Ebola drug used in U.S. too small to be shipped to West Africa

Nigerian health authorities said yesterday that West African patients infected with the Ebola virus will not have access to experimental drugs being used to treat American cases of the disease for several months, if at all. Health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu told a press conference he had asked the U.S. health authorities about the unproven medicines used on two American doctors who became infected while treating patients in Liberia, but was told such small quantities of the drug existed that West Africa would have to wait for months for supplies, even if they were proved safe and effective. The two Americans were given the drug ZMapp after being flown to the United States, and appear to be recovering.

Airports scrambling to find effective passenger Ebola screening methods

Some airports in Africa have begun screening passengers for Ebola. The current methods involves thermal screening of patients, and then subjecting passengers with an elevated temperature, a symptom of Ebola, to a blood testcalled a polymerase chain reaction test. The test can take eight hours or longer to obtain lab results, and is expensive.Aviation experts recommend screening passengers for Ebola the same way aviation security screen passengers for other threats like terrorism, but say the screening methods must be made to yield results more quickly and cheaply.

Ebola outbreak could inspire African terrorist groups to weaponize the virus: Experts

Recent discussions about Ebola have mainly focused on the disease as a public health hazard, but counterterrorism officials are concerned that the new outbreak could inspire terror groups, specifically those based in West Africa, to weaponize the virus. The fear of weaponized Ebola dates back decades to when the Soviet Union's VECTOR program, aimed at researching biotechnology and virology, was thought to have researched the creation of Ebola for warfare. In 1992 a Japanese cult group called Aum Shinrikyo tried, but failed, to collect samples of the Ebola virus in Zaire.

Analysis, pt. 1 // Israel-Hamas war: Regional context
Opportunities for regional realignment not likely to be seized

After the first twenty-four hours, the 72-hour Egypt-sponsored Gaza cease-fire appears to be holding – something which could not be said for the previous five cease-fires, which were violated by Hamas within minutes of supposedly going into effect. The Israeli delegation yesterday flew to Cairo to begin negotiations on a longer-term arrangement. The reason why this cease-fire is likely to hold has to do with the realization by Hamas Gaza leaders of their isolation and the growing destruction Israel’s attacks were inflicting on Hamas’s war machine and Gaza’s already-dilapidated infrastructure. A militarily weakened Hamas, a moderate Arab block hostile to militant Islam, and a convergence of interests between Israel and the moderate Arab states provide the foundation for profound strategic transformation in the region. It is doubtful, however, that the Netanyahu government will seize the opportunity for a breakthrough in Israel-Palestinian relations, on which such a transformation depends. During the month-long war, Netanyahu has given no indication that he sees this round of Israel-Hamas war in anything other than tactical terms, and has offered nothing to show that he plans to exploit the military results of the war, together with the changing political context in the region, for a bold and creative initiative which would change Israel’s relations with the PA, transform Israel’s strategic position, and realign regional politics.

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Israel-Hamas war, Day 29
Top Hamas official: Jews use blood of non-Jewish children for Passover matzos

Hamas is an avowedly and openly anti-Semitic movement, and the group’s loathing of Jews is part and parcel of its charter and what it teaches young Palestinians in the schools it controls. Hamas leaders, when they speak to Western audiences, are usually careful not to highlight this facet of the group’s ideology, but the other day one of Hamas’s leaders, in a televised interview, used the centuries-old “matzo blood libel,” asserting that Jews kill non-Jewish children in order to use their blood to make matzos for Passover. He linked the death of Palestinian children in Gaza during the Israel-Hamas war to the Jewish thirst for killing non-Jewish children.

Terrorism financing
Al Qaeda-affiliates derive most of their funding from ransom paid to free Europeans

In its early years, al-Qaeda received most of its financing from affluent donors from the Middle East, but counterterrorism officials now believe the group finances a significant portion of its recruitment, training, and arms purchasing from ransoms paid to free Europeans. "Kidnapping for ransom has become today’s most significant source of terrorist financing,” said David Cohen, the Treasury Department’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. “Each transaction encourages another transaction.”

Real ID
Arizona voted against complying with Real ID, and state residents now face the consequences

In 2008, Arizona lawmakers passed a bill (HB 2677), signed by then-Governor Janet Napolitano, prohibiting the state from complying with the Real ID Act. Limits on people without a Real ID-compliant driver’s license, such as no access to federal facilities, will be phased in in three stages – 21 April 2014, 21 July 2014, and 19 January 2015. Those who do not have a Real ID will need a passport, a second form of identification, or an "enhanced" driver's license.

Domestic threats
U.S. law enforcement agencies perceive Sovereign citizen movement as top terrorist threat

Sovereign citizen, Islamist extremist, and militia/patriot groups are perceived by U.S. law enforcement agencies to pose the greatest threats to their communities, according to a new study. While sovereign citizens were the top concern of law enforcement, assessments about whether most groups were a serious terrorist threat actually declined for most groups (for example, the KKK; Christian Identity; Neo-Nazis; Racist Skinheads; Environmental Extremists; Animal Rights Extremists) when compared to a previous study. The authors conducted in-depth interviews with officers representing 175 state, local, and tribal (SLT) law enforcement agencies, and found that the Sovereign Citizen movement was the most highly ranked threat, with 86 percent of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that it was a serious terrorist threat. Approximately 67 percent agreed or strongly agreed that Islamist extremists were a serious terrorist threat.

Hazmat
U.S. to impose stricter safety rules on crude oil rail shipment

The U.S. Department of Transportation(DOT) recently announced proposed rulesbetter to secure train cars and pipelines from oil spills that may lead to fire or accidents in communities across the country. The spills are byproducts of the increase in U.S. oil production and shipments coming from Canada or the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. The proposed DOT rules would force railroads to upgrade railroad cars used for transporting crude oil, employ better braking systems, and enforce tighter speed controls.

Tornado protection
Kansas, Missouri invest in tornado safe-rooms

Last year's tornado season prompted officials in Kansas and Missouri to invest heavily in safe rooms to shelter residents from future severe weather events. Schools tend to be popular choices for safe rooms, but new funding from FEMA is helping cities build safe rooms in other public spaces. The safe rooms are built to withstand tornado winds of up to 250 mph, and can survive being hit by a 67 mph projectile vertically or 100 mph horizontally.

Coastal infrastructure protection
Key U.S. coastal areas bracing for greater sea level rise challenges

While climate change-related sea level rise is predicted to impact much of the country -- whether directly or indirectly -- over the next several decades, certain parts of the nation’s coasts are expecting to deal with more unique and intensive challenges.

Explosives
Tool helps investigators connect bomb fragments to bomb makers

Authorities with the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), the Canadian military, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), and law enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom have adopted a crowdsourcing system called DFuze to help agencies in twenty-five countries connect bomb fragments to bomb makers or individuals who could be connected to a specific bomb.The technology allows users to share bomb images and data to assist pending investigations.

Robotics
Wi-Fi-equipped robots to see through solid walls

Wi-Fi makes all kinds of things possible. We can send and receive messages, make phone calls, browse the Internet, even play games with people who are miles away, all without the cords and wires to tie us down. Researchers are now using this versatile, everyday signal to do something different and powerful: looking through solid walls and seeing every square inch of what is on the other side. Built into robots, the technology has far-reaching possibilities.

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Legion of the Rearguard - Dissident Irish Republicanism from ISBS
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