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Saudi King Warns of Global Terror Threat

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz warned that terrorists will target the West if the world does not unite to confront them. King Abdullah made the statement during a presentation of credentials ceremony held in Jeddah yesterday for new ambassadors to Saudi Arabia, including U.S. Ambassador Joseph W. Westphal.

“If neglected I’m sure they [terrorists] will reach Europe in a month and America in another month,” said King Abdullah.

King Abdullah called on the ambassadors to convey to their governments the importance of a united pledge to confront terrorism. “The evils of terrorism must be fought with force, reason and speed,” he added.

King Abdullah also underlined the sanctity of human lives which terrorists ignore. “They even kill themselves,” said King Abdullah.

King Abdullah called for the establishment of an international center to combat terrorism more than 10 years ago out of his firm belief that terrorism can be most effectively fought when nations work closely together in all areas. In 2005, Saudi Arabia hosted the Counter-Terrorism International Conference in Riyadh during which the proposal for the establishment of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center (UNCCT) was unanimously adopted. King Abdullah pledged $10 million to the U.N. to establish the center and, in 2011, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with the U.N. to launch the UNCCT. Earlier this month, King Abdullah provided the center with a donation of $100 million to enhance its capabilities and effectiveness in helping countries combat terrorism.

SOURCE Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Information Office

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Agents Foil Human Smuggling Event near Catalina Island

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — U.S. Border Patrol agents took custody of 17 Mexican nationals last Friday west of Santa Catalina Island.  The group was in a small panga boat and was attempting to enter the U.S. illegally.

At approximately 5:30 p.m., U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air and Marine (OAM) observed a heavily laden panga boat during a routine ocean patrol.  The boat was observed off the coast of Long Beach and CBP’s Office of Air and Marine responded by air and could not detect any identifying marks on the vessel.approximately seven miles west of Santa Catalina Island.  OAM agents noticed the vessel had no visible hull identification numbers so they contacted the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) in Los Angeles for assistance.

At approximately 6:15 p.m., a USCG vessel intercepted the panga, which was 27-feet in length, and confirmed the presence of 17 migrants on board.  Border Patrol agents arrived shortly after on an Orange County Sheriff’s boat and determined that all 17 individuals were Mexican nationals illegally present in the U.S.  Agents assigned to the Border Patrol’s Smuggling Interdiction Group and Coastal Border Enforcement Team took custody of the subjects and transported them to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing.

This event is part of an ongoing investigation by a Los Angeles-based task force, the Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST-LA), headed by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations.  Two of the subjects have been charged with alien smuggling and will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Border Patrol agents intercepted the vessel and agents took custody of all 17 Mexican national passengers, who were illegally present in the U.S.During the course of this event, the USCG received a conflicting anonymous report of a second suspected panga.  Further investigation determined that this was a diversionary ploy by the smuggling organization, intended to hamper law enforcement efforts.  Actions such as these potentially endanger the boating public by diverting USCG assets to investigate false reports.

The U.S. Border Patrol collaborates with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies through the Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM) to address the transnational maritime threat along the Southern California coast.  The ReCoM mission is to increase homeland security by eliminating transnational crime along the coast.

If you have information about maritime smuggling or suspicious activity along the coast of California, please contact the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 1-800-854-9834.

Nearly 180 Sex Offenders Arrested by RGV Sector Agents so far in FY14

EDINBURG, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector have arrested nearly 180 illegal immigrants with prior convictions for sex offenses so far for fiscal year 2014, which began Oct. 1, 2013, and goes through Sept. 31, 2014.

The majority of the sex offenders have convictions for sexual assault crimes involving children. Some of the more heinous offenses include: sexual assault of a child; sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14; aggravated sexual assault of a child; and aggravated indecent assault and corruption of a minor. The sex offenders have convictions for crimes that occurred in states from coast to coast as well as in the Rio Grande Valley.

In addition to the arrests of convicted sex offenders, agents apprehended three illegal immigrants over the weekend who have arrest warrants for sex-related crimes. They include a Mexican national wanted in Fort Worth on a continuous child sex abuse charge; a Salvadoran wanted by the Loudan County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia on a charge of adultery/fornication: incest with a child between 13-17 years of age; and another Mexican national wanted by the Travis County Sheriff’s Office on a charge of indecency with a child/sexual contact. The three men were turned over to the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office pending extradition.

Additionally, agents have arrested more than 50 members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang, or MS-13, a notorious transnational criminal gang that started in Los Angeles, and about 14 members of the 18th Street gang.

The Rio Grande Valley Sector is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations. To report suspicious activity, call the sector’s toll-free telephone number at 800-863-9382.

Capitol Hill Hearing to Address Weaknesses in Electrical Grid

Executive Director of the National and Homeland Security Task Force, a Congressional Committee, to Testify on Threat to Critical Infrastructure
 
Washington, DC The House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies will hold a hearing on Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and its threat to the Critical Infrastructure on Thursday May 8, 2014 at 2:00 pm. 
 
“EMP [Electromagnetic Pulse] is a clear and present danger and a far greater threat than severe weather,” says Dr. Peter Pry, Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security.  “A solar flare narrowly missed the Earth in July 2012, and nuclear EMP attack from terrorists or rogue states, as practiced by North Korea during the nuclear crisis of 2013, are both existential threats that could kill 9 of 10 Americans through starvation, disease, and societal collapse.
“Passage of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act to protect the national electric grid is urgently necessary.”
            What: 
Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP): Threat to Critical Infrastructure
 
            When:            
Thursday May 8, 2014
                           2:00 – 4:00 pm EST
 
            Where:          
311 Cannon House Office Building
                           New Jersey and Independence Ave, SE
                           Washington, DC
 
            Who:             
Dr. Peter V. Pry, Executive Director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security
The Secure the Grid Coalition is an ad hoc group of policy, energy, and national security experts, legislators, and industry insiders who are dedicated to strengthening America’s electrical grid. The Coalition aims to raise awareness to the national and international threat of EMP as well as pass legislation to strengthen the grid.
 
For more information about the work of the Coalition and to sign a petition calling for our most indispensable critical infrastructure to be hardened, visit:  www.SecureTheGrid.com.
 
About the Center for Security Policy
 
The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security and then ensures that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by recognized policy experts, appropriate officials, opinion leaders, and the general public. For more information visit www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org

ICE seeks the public’s help to identify ‘John Doe’ child predator

DALLAS – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is seeking the public’s help to identify a suspected child pornography producer, and rescue at least one child victim.

HSI special agents investigating this case believe “John Doe,” a young adult male between 18 and 20 years old, produced child pornography in which he photographed himself engaging in sexual contact with an African American baby girl 12 to 18 months old. Today the girl may be about 2 to 2 1/2 years old.

Based on investigative clues in the photos, HSI special agents believe that this person may now live in, or had visited, north Texas at the time these photos were taken sometime in April 2013. The ball cap’s logo, “Shut Up N Play,” was new at the time, and they had not yet been released for sale. However, there had been very limited distribution within north Texas when these photos were taken.

HSI Dallas investigators were unable to identify the suspect using traditional investigative means and request the public’s assistance.

In addition to public appeals, HSI Dallas has distributed the “John Doe” information and photos to fellow law enforcement agencies, and to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, in a unified effort to find this predator and rescue the child.

If you think you recognize this person, please contact HSI toll free at 1-866-347-2423. You can also email your tip by completing HSI’s online tip form.

All tips will remain confidential. Members of the public should not attempt to apprehend the suspect personally.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

3/20/14 UPDATE I’VE JUST HEARD FROM IMMIGRATION  AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT THAT THIS INDIVIDUAL HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AND ARRESTED. THAT’S ONE LESS PREDATOR ROAMING THE STREETS !

McAfee Reveals Lily Collins as the Most Dangerous Cyber Celebrity of 2013

English: Lily Collins at WonderCon 2011

English: Lily Collins at WonderCon 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seventh Annual Study Finds Women are More Dangerous than Men and Musicians are Risky

Mad Men’s Jon Hamm is the Only Male to Rank in the Top 10

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Sept. 17, 2013Lily Collins, star of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Mirror, Mirror, has replaced Emma Watson as McAfee’s most dangerous celebrity to search for online. For the seventh year in a row, McAfee researched popular culture’s most famous people to reveal the riskiest Hollywood actors, musicians, comedians, and personalities on the Web. The McAfee Most Dangerous CelebritiesTM study revealed that women are more dangerous than men, with nine of the top ten being female. Following Lily Collins, Avril Lavigne takes the number two spot and Sandra Bullock comes in third. Jon Hamm is the only male to make the top 10 list this year. Musicians also comprise nine of the top twenty most dangerous celebrities.

Cybercriminals consistently take advantage of consumer interest around award shows, new movies and TV shows as well as the latest cultural trends driven by celebrities. These criminals capitalize on the public’s fascination with celebrity to lure them to sites laden with malware that enables them to steal passwords and personal information. This year, searching for a celebrity name coupled with the search terms “free app download” and “nude pictures” resulted in the highest instances of malware-laden sites.

“Today’s consumers often are completely unaware of security risks when searching for celebrity and entertainment news, images and videos online, sacrificing safety for immediacy,” said Paula Greve, director of web security research at McAfee. “Cybercriminals prey on consumers’ addiction to breaking news and leverage this behavior to lead them to unsafe sites that can severely infect their computers and devices and steal personal data.”

Lily Collins Searches Yield a Nearly One-in-Seven Chance of Landing on a Malicious Site

Fans searching for “Lily Collins and free downloads,” “Lily Collins and nude pictures,” “Lily Collins and fakes,” and “Lily Collins and free app downloads” are at risk of running into online threats designed to steal personal information, such as email addresses and passwords. Clicking on these risky sites and downloading files such as pictures and videos expose surfers to a larger risk of downloading viruses and malware.

McAfee research found that searching for the latest Lily Collins pictures and downloads yields more than a 14.5% chance of landing on a website that has tested positive for online threats, such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware.

The study uses McAfee® SiteAdvisor® site ratings, which indicate which sites are risky to search when attached to celebrity names on the Web and calculate an overall risk percentage. The top 10 celebrities from this year’s study with the highest percentages of risk are:

Position Celebrity Percentage
1 Lily Collins 14.5%
2 Avril Lavigne 12.7%
3 Sandra Bullock 10.8%
4 Kathy Griffin 10.6%
5 Zoe Saldana 10.5%
6 Katy Perry 10.4%
7 Britney Spears 10.1%
8 Jon Hamm 10.0%
9 Adriana Lima 9.9%
10 Emma Roberts 9.8%

Women are More Dangerous than Men
Jon Hamm (No. 8) is the only man to rank in the top 10, followed by Justin Timberlake (No. 12) and Patrick Dempsey (No. 13) in the top 20.

Musicians Sing Their Way to the Top
Searching for musicians, especially young female pop stars, yields malware and risky websites. Seventeen musicians make the top 50 list, with three of them ranking in the top 10: Avril Lavigne (No. 2), Katy Perry (No. 6), and Britney Spears (No. 7). Other musicians at play include: Shakira (No. 11), Justin Timberlake (No. 12), Selena Gomez (No. 14), Demi Lovato (No. 16), Miley Cyrus (No. 20), Rihanna (No. 28), Lady Gaga (No. 30), Beyoncé (No. 34), and Pitbull (No. 50).

Dangerously Funny Men & Women
Sandra Bullock (No. 3), Kathy Griffin (No. 4), Amy Poehler (No. 17), Ellen DeGeneres (No. 23), Jimmy Fallon (No. 24), and Jimmy Kimmel (No. 39) all rank in the top 50.

Battle of the TV Personalities
Let the battle rounds begin between The Voice co-judges Blake Shelton and Adam Levine! Searching for Blake Shelton (No. 21) is more dangerous than doing so for Adam Levine (No. 32). Searching for downloads of Kanye West (No. 22) is more risky than searching for his new Kardashian family: Kourtney Kardashian (No. 27), Kim Kardashian (No. 35), Khloe Kardashian (No. 36), and Kris Jenner (No. 38). Media mogul and TV host Ryan Seacrest (No. 40) rounds out the top 40.

Latinas Heat Up the List
This year, four Latina women are in the top 20: Shakira (No. 11), Selena Gomez (No. 14), Demi Lovato (No. 16), and Eva Mendes (No. 19). Additional Latina women spicing up the top 50 are Sofia Vergara (No. 26), Jessica Alba (No. 31), and Salma Hayek (No. 43).

From One Year to Another
Emma Watson, Jessica Biel, and Megan Fox have all dropped out of this year’s list (in 2012 they ranked No. 1, No. 2, and No. 6, respectively).

Tips to Stay Protected:

  • Beware of content that prompts you to download anything before providing you the content. You may want to opt to watch streaming videos or download content from official websites of content providers.
  • “Free downloads” are significantly the highest virus-prone search term. Anyone searching for videos or files to download should be careful as not to unleash malware on their computer.
  • Always use password protection on your phone and other mobile devices. If your phone is lost or stolen, anyone who picks up the device could publish your information online.
  • Established news sites may not entice you with exclusives for one solid reason: there usually aren’t any. Try to stick to official news sites that you trust for breaking news. However, trusted sites can also fall prey to hackers. Make sure to use a safe search tool that will notify you of risky sites or links before you visit them.
  • Don’t download videos from suspect sites. This should be common sense, but it bears repeating: don’t download anything from a website you don’t trust — especially video. Most news clips you’d want to see can easily be found on official video sites, and don’t require you to download anything. If a website offers an exclusive video for you to download, don’t.
  • Don’t “log in” or provide other information: If you receive a message, text or email or visit a third-party website that asks for your information—credit card, email, home address, Facebook login, or other information—for access to an exclusive story, don’t give it out. Such requests are a common tactic for phishing that could lead to identity theft.
  • If you do decide to search for information on a major event or celebrity in the news, make sure your entire household’s devices have protection, such as McAfee LiveSafe™, which protects all devices from your PCs, Macs, and tablets to your smartphone. It also includes malware detection software, McAfee® Mobile Security, to protect your smartphone or tablet from all types of malware.
  • A complimentary version of SiteAdvisor software can be downloaded at www.siteadvisor.com.

Find More Information: 

About McAfee SiteAdvisor technology
McAfee SiteAdvisor technology protects users from malicious websites and browser exploits. SiteAdvisor technology tests and rates nearly every trafficked site on the Internet and uses red, yellow and green icons to indicate the website’s risk level.

SiteAdvisor site ratings are created by using patented advanced technology to conduct automated website tests SiteAdvisor software works with Internet Explorer and Firefox.

About McAfee
McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), empowers businesses, the public sector, and home users to safely experience the benefits of the Internet. The company delivers proactive and proven security solutions and services for systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world. With its Security Connected strategy, innovative approach to hardware-enhanced security, and unique Global Threat Intelligence network, McAfee is relentlessly focused on keeping its customers safe. http://www.mcafee.com

Note: McAfee, the McAfee logo, SiteAdvisor, McAfee LiveSafe, and Most Dangerous Celebrities are registered trademarks or trademarks of McAfee, Inc., or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. ©2011 McAfee, Inc. All rights reserved.

Two Guantanamo Detainees Released To Algeria

Washington, D.C. (August 29, 2013)   The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Nabil Said Hadjarab and Mutia Sadiq Ahmad Sayyab from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Algeria.

           As directed by the President’s Jan. 22, 2009, executive order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of this case. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these men were approved for transfer by consensus of the six departments and agencies comprising the task force. In accordance with Congressionally-mandated reporting requirements, the administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer these individuals.

           The United States is grateful to the Government of Algeria for its willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the Government of Algeria to ensure these transfers took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.

           Today, 164 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay.