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Sep 17, 2014

Top U.S. security threats: lone wolves, Syria fighters : officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans radicalized by online propaganda from Islamic State and other militant groups pose the main terrorist threat to the United States, which is especially vulnerable to foreign fighters returning from Syria, senior U.S. security officials said on Wednesday.

While there is no evidence that the radical Islamist group plans an attack on U.S. soil, its vigorous propaganda machine and sophisticated online recruitment efforts created a clear potential threat, they said.

Sep 17, 2014

U.S. airstrikes boost Islamic State, more hostages possible -FBI

WASHINGTON, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Support for Islamic State
increased after U.S. airstrikes began in Iraq and the militant
group may take more hostages to try to force concessions from
Washington, the FBI director told Congress on Wednesday.

Islamic State is “committed to instilling fear and
attracting recruits” and to drawing public attention, as shown
through its use of social media and in videos it released of the
beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven
Sotloff, said FBI Director James Comey.

Sep 16, 2014

U.S. NSA chief says monitoring tech-savvy Islamic State

WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) – As U.S. military leaders
outlined their strategy before Congress to fight Islamic State
militants on the battlefield, the National Security Agency chief
said on Tuesday he was watching the media-savvy group’s cyber
capabilities.

Asked whether the Sunni Muslim group was planning cyber
attacks on U.S. interests, Admiral Mike Rogers said he could not
discuss specifics of the organization’s technical capabilities.

Sep 16, 2014

NSA chief on tech-savvy Islamic State: ‘I’m watching’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – While U.S. military leaders appeared before Congress to outline their strategy to fight Islamic State militants on the battlefield, the National Security Agency chief said on Tuesday he was watching the media-savvy group’s cyber capabilities.

Asked whether the Sunni Muslim group was planning cyber attacks on U.S. interests, Admiral Mike Rogers said he could not discuss specifics of the organization’s technical capabilities.

Sep 10, 2014

U.S. to alert retailers to bomb materials to counter home-grown threat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The government plans to give U.S. retailers a list of materials that can be used in explosives and ask them to look out for suspicious behavior as a way to combat domestic terrorism, the homeland security secretary said on Wednesday.

On the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Jeh Johnson said the so-called home-grown or “lone wolf” attack like last year’s Boston Marathon bombing was the hardest to detect and the one he worried about most.

Sep 8, 2014

Number of children crossing into U.S. alone plummets since June

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of children crossing illegally on their own into the United States dropped 70 percent from June to August, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Monday as he appealed to Congress for $1.2 billion in supplemental funding.

A yearlong surge that brought nearly 63,000 unaccompanied children to the southwestern U.S. border had the Obama administration grappling for ways to handle the influx and stem the flow of children and families trying to get into the country.

Sep 6, 2014

Obama delays acting on immigration until after November elections

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama reversed course on Saturday and delayed taking executive action on immigration reform until after November congressional elections, bowing to concerns it could cost his fellow Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.

The decision was an about-face for the president, who promised in a high-profile Rose Garden appearance in June to announce unilateral measures by the end of summer if Congress did not enact immigration reform legislation.

Aug 29, 2014

U.S. says no precise threat to homeland from Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is not aware of any specific threat to the U.S. homeland from Islamic State militants, the Department of Homeland Security said on Friday after Britain raised its international terrorism threat level.

Islamic State militants and their supporters, however, “have demonstrated the intent and capability to target American citizens overseas,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement. He noted that DHS took steps over the summer to strengthen security at overseas airports with direct flights to the United States.

Aug 7, 2014

U.S. weighing airstrikes to stem Iraqi Islamist offensive

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama is considering airstrikes in northern Iraq in response to advances by Islamic State militants and the ensuing humanitarian crisis, a U.S. military official said on Thursday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, was commenting on a report in The New York Times that Obama was weighing either air strikes or humanitarian airdrops to help 40,000 religious minorities trapped on an Iraqi mountaintop under threat from the militants.

Aug 6, 2014

U.S. allows use of Ebola test overseas as crisis deepens

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. health regulators on Wednesday authorized the use of an Ebola diagnostic test developed by the Pentagon to help contain the world’s worst outbreak of the deadly virus.

The move was one of a number of steps taken by the U.S. government this week to address the highly contagious disease that has killed more than 930 people in Africa and sickened hundreds more, including two Americans being treated in Atlanta.