From: Homeland Security News Wire
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: Terrorism threat to West grows | Facial recognition databases | Logging without passwords
Date: Thu Jun 05 11:00:56 MDT 2014
Body:
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DAILY REPORT
Wednesday 4 June 2014 vol. 8 no. 129

In Today's Issue

Terrorism
Growing Jihadist threat demands new U.S. strategy to combat terrorism: RAND study

There is a growing terrorist threat to the United States from a rising number of Salafi-jihadist groups overseas, according to a new RAND study. Since 2010, there has been a 58 percent increase in the number of jihadist groups, a doubling of jihadist fighters, and a tripling of attacks by al Qaeda affiliates. The most significant threat to the United States, the report concludes, comes from terrorist groups operating in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. There is a medium-level threat from terrorist groups operating in Somalia, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Nigeria, and Algeria. There is also a low-level threat from Salafi-jihadist groups operating in such countries as Tunisia, Mali, and Morocco.

Syria
Floridian is first known American suicide bomber in Syria

Floridian resident Moner Mohammad Abusalha is the first known American suicide bomber in Syria's civil war. His death last May came as a surprise to U.S. counterterrorism agencies, which had lost track of him once he entered Syria. Some 12,000 foreign fighters have so far taken part in the Syria civil war -- 3,000 of them from Western countries -- and the inability to track these foreign fighters reflects a troubling blind spot for Western intelligence agencies. U.S. intelligence services are further hampered by legal restrictions which limit the monitoring of U.S. citizens and their communications.

With massive presence of foreign fighters, Syrian conflict resembles 1980s Afghanistan war

A new report by the Soufan Groupestimates that in just three years, 12,000 foreign fighters have traveled to Syria to support various rebel groups fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad. U.S. and Israeli intelligence previously estimated that there were 7,000 foreign fighters in Syria at the start of 2014. Security experts are comparing the situation to the influx of foreign fighters into 1980s Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, which saw 10,000 foreign fighters battle the Soviets in the decade-long conflict that spawned al-Qaeda.

Surveillance
NSA, other agencies, collect millions of images for large facial recognition databases

The NSA, through its global surveillance operations, has been accumulating millions of images from communication interceptions for use in high-level facial recognition programs, according to classified 2011 documents leaked by Edward Snowden. The documents do not reveal how many people have been targeted with facial recognition programs, but given the NSA's foreign intelligence mission, a bulk of the imagery collected would involve foreign nationals.

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Passwords
Logging in securely without passwords

Passwords are a common security measure to protect personal information, but they do not always prevent hackers from finding a way into devices. Researchers are working to perfect an easy-to-use, secure login protection that eliminates the need to use a password -- known as zero-interaction authentication.

Cybersecurity
Adm. Michael Rogers: Businesses must “own” cybersecurity threats

Cybersecurity threats are a vital issue for the nation, and like the Defense Department, businesses must own the problem to successfully carry out their missions, DOD’s top cybersecurity expert told a forum of businesspeople.

Homeland Security, Criminal Justice, Law & Public Policy - Master of Science Legal Studies 100% online - CALU Global Online
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Drones
Drones offer farmers eyes in the sky to check on crop progress

Commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles in U.S. airspace was banned by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2007, although growing numbers of hobbyists have been toying with the use of drones, particularly for aerial photography. Facing mounting pressure from agribusiness, retail, and other industries, however, the FAA is expected to release new policies by 2015 that will enable businesses to integrate drones into their operations. The agriculture industry is expected to be one of the largest market segments for drone usage. This growing season, crop researchers at the University of Illinois are experimenting with the use of drones on the university’s South Farms. A crop sciences educator is using two drones to take aerial pictures of crops growing in research plots on the farms.

Infrastructure protection
Better building design, maintenance would cut building sector’s emissions by around 80%

The construction industry, which uses half of the 1.5 billion tons of steel produced each year, could slash its carbon emissions by as much as 50 percent by optimizing the design of new buildings, which currently use double the amount of steel and concrete required by safety codes. If buildings are also maintained for their full design life and not replaced early, the sector's emissions could in total be cut by around 80 percent.

Also noted

Could this "Big U" save NYC from another Superstorm Sandy? | Hampton Roads, Virginia targeted for national sea level project | Cameron prepares immigration changes to fight UKIP threat | Irish jail terms for terrorists average at 12 years | Senate panel extends terrorism insurance program for seven years | China’s rare earth toxic time bomb to spur mining boom | New Mexico senators seek more funds for atomic burial ground | U.S. reconstitutes group to fight homegrown extremists | Nuclear safety inspectors first to flee stricken Fukushima plant | Iran's reactor fuel demand emerges as sticking point in nuclear talks

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Homeland Security, Criminal Justice, Law & Public Policy - Master of Science Legal Studies 100% online - CALU Global Online
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Progress and Modernity in Arab Societies
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