From: Homeland Security News Wire
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: Week in Review
Date: Sat Apr 05 14:03:39 MDT 2014
Body:
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WEEK IN REVIEW
Friday 4 April 2014 vol. 8 no. 80

Week in Review

Earthquakes
Friday L.A. tremor harbinger of quake worse than the Big One

Seismologists warn that a bigger earthquake along the Puente Hills fault, which produced the 5.1 magnitude tremor in Los Angeles last Friday, could cause more damage to the region than the anticipated “Big One” from the San Andreas Fault located on the outskirts of metropolitan Southern California. A 7.5-magnitude earthquake along the Puente Hills fault could kill 3,000 to 18,000 people and cause up to $250 billion in damages, leaving up to 750,000 people homeless. In contrast, an 8-magnitude earthquake along the San Andreas Fault would result in about 1,800 deaths.

EMP risk
Coalition sounds alarm about possible global EMP disaster

A coalition that includes former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former CIA director James Woolsey has issued a terse warning regarding apocalyptic effects that could result from a mass EMP (electromagnetic pulse) disaster or attack. Members of the coalition “are convinced that our fragile electrical grid could be wiped out at any moment” from bursts of electrical energy caused by anything from a nuclear explosion to a solar flare from the sun, leading to chaos on a global scale.

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Infrastructure protection
Innovative ideas for protecting NYC, NJ from storm surges

One proposal in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Rebuild By Designcompetition to develop innovative ways to protect against Hurricane Sandy-like disasters calls for a string of artificial islands off the coast of New Jersey and New York to reduce the impact of future storm surges.Other proposals include building sea walls around cities along the coast, reestablishing oyster colonies in tidal flats to limit wave action, and creating water-absorbent nature and recreational preserves.

Disaster insurance
Global insured losses from catastrophes were $45 billion in 2013

Total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were $140 billion in 2013. Global insured losses were around $45 billion in 2013, with large contributions from flooding and hail events. The economic losses of $140 billion were down from $196 billion in 2012, and  below the 10-year average of $190 billion. Around 26,000 lives were lost in natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2013.

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Terrorism
Michigan terrorism case hinges on informant’s testimony

Mohammad Hassan Hamdan of Dearborn Heights, Michigan was arrested on Sunday, 16 March 2014, at Detroit Metro Airport by FBI agents who claim that Hamdan told an undercover informant of his plans to travel to Lebanon to join Hezbollah as a fighter supporting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Hamdan’s family and defense attorney note that the informantis a friend of Hamdan’s ex-girlfriend, and that he is receiving an immigration benefit for his services, two facts that should make the information he provides suspect.

U.K. prisons serve as recruitment centers for jihadi causes

A recent report details the growing population of Muslims in British jails, many of whom are declared Islamic extremists. Top-security prison Whitemoor, home to many extremists serving life sentences for plotting acts of terror in the United Kingdom, is considered a recruitment center for al-Qaeda, according to prison inspectors. Roughly 42 percent of prisoners at Whitemoor are Muslims, a stark contrast to the overall U.K. population in which only 5 percent practice Islam.In all, there are 11,729 Muslims in British jails, about one in seven of all inmates.

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France's new approach to preventing French Muslims from going to fight in Syria

French authorities reported in January 2014 that roughly 700 French residents had traveled to Syria to join in the fight against Syrian forces. The travel of French pro-jihadists to Syria exceeds the number of Europeans who left to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. France will soon adopt preventative measures, currently practiced in Britain, Denmark, and the Netherlands, to stop minority youths from pursuing jihad in Syria. The new approach will encourage local law enforcement, schools, and community leaders to help identify at-risk youths before radicalization begins and advances, then introduce the youths to local prevention centers.

Muslim Brotherhood
U.K. launches investigation of Muslim Brotherhood in London

The U.K. government has launched an investigation into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood to determine whether the organization is using London as a base for planning extremist attacks after the Egyptian military has cracked down on the Islamist movement, and Egyptian courts have outlawed it. While the British government has cracked down on what it regards as terrorist and extremist organizations, the Muslim Brotherhood had not been regarded as such, especially after it had won the parliamentary elections in Egypt in December 2011 and the presidential elections in June 2012, which made Muhammad Morsi the president of Egypt.

Dirty bomb
Possibility of “dirty bombs” a major terrorism threat

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has warned that there were 140 cases of missing or unauthorized nuclear and radioactive material in 2013 -- a pressing reminder that the possibility of possession of nuclear materials by terrorist organizations is both real and current.

Cybersecurity
Capabilities-based – rather than actuarial -- risk analysis would make businesses safer

Many businesses and organizations, when applying cost-benefit analysis and a risk-management analysis to measure cyber risk, are relying on the assumption that the likelihood of a future attack depends heavily on how many attacks have occurred in the past. Since there has yet to be a full-scale attack on critical infrastructure in the United States, it is simple to conclude that the risk of a cyberattack on critical infrastructure is low, therefore justifying low investment in additional security initiatives. An actuarial risk analysis may conclude that there is little likelihood of such as attack occurring, but a capabilities-based risk analysis recognizes that since adversaries are capable of such an attack, it is in an organization’s best interest to secure against it.

Border security
CBP takes another stab at high-tech border security

The George W. Bush administration’s effort to build a high-tech border security system – the Boeing-led SBINet – was a failure, and the Obama administration shut it down in 2011. CBP is now trying again, this time with Elbit Systems as the lead contractor. The hope is that the lessons of the doomed SBINet, and Elbit’s experience in building high-tech defensive systems along Israel’s borders, would yield better result this time around.

Superbugs
Pharmas agree to end promotion of antibiotic use in livestock

Twenty-five of the twenty-six pharmaceutical companies targeted for new FDA guidelines aimed at reducing the use of antibiotics in livestock, have agreed voluntary to abide by the measures. These twenty-five companies, accounting for more than 99 percent of the of livestock antibiotics in the world,will remove from their products’ labels, references to growth-enhancing benefits, thus, in effect, discouraging farmers from continuing the unnecessary use of antibiotics in livestock.

Food terrorism
Food-related disease outbreaks can teach us about the consequence of food terrorism

Since unintentional food-related outbreaks have become so common, policy makers could use data from unintended foodborne disease outbreaks to estimate the effects of intended foodborne disease outbreaks. The impact on trade and economies is the primary motive for food terrorism, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), but beyond the financial loss, such intended foodborne disease outbreaks may even impact political stability.

STEM education
Science-themed music videos enhance STEM education

As the United States puts ever-greater emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to keep competitive in the global economy, schools are trying to figure out how to improve student learning in science. Researchers think music may be the answer for some kids. They studied the ability of music videos to enhance students’ understanding of scientific concepts.

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Legion of the Rearguard - Dissident Irish Republicanism from ISBS
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Progress and Modernity in Arab Societies
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State, Political Community and Foreign Relations in Modern and Contemporary Syria
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