Terrorism

President Trump has expanded a travel ban on mostly Muslim-majority countries for national security reasons. But N.C. State University psychologists say there isn't enough research on the risk factors associated with terrorist activity to set evidence-based policy.

UNC-Chapel Hill professors Mark Robinson and Cori Dauber stand in an empty studio in Swain Hall. They had hoped to use a federal grant to fill the space with students developing multimedia to fight extremist groups.
Jay Price / WUNC

UNC-Chapel Hill is waiting for the federal government to release money awarded by the Obama Administration. Nobody is sure if it will ever come.

A picture of PNC Arena.
Alexisrael / Wikipedia

Concert-goers at the PNC Arena in Raleigh may notice new security measures starting this week: the arena will begin using canine units to detect potential bomb threats.

The new REAL IDs are now available in North Carolina.
N.C. Department of Transportation / Division of Motor Vehicles

The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles began offering "REAL ID" identification cards Monday.

The identification cards are alternatives to standard state-issued cards and comply with federal requirements enacted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The new IDs are marked with a gold star in the upper right corner.

In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID Act, which increased security standards for state-issued driver licenses and IDs to help prevent fraudulent identification.

Retired New York City firefighter Joseph McCormick visits the South Pool prior to a ceremony at the World Trade Center site in New York on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015.
ASSOCIATED PRESS/ Bryan R. Smith / ASSOCIATED PRESS

This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The event caused major shifts in the political, social and economic climates around the world, and has given birth to a wide array of new academic scholarship.

 

 

Ryan Gibson of Raleigh is among the hundreds of people who filled a parking lot outside of the gay night club Legends in downtown Raleigh to support the victims of the Orlando shooting.
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

Just one day after the deadliest mass shooting in American history, many questions remain.

Thus far, investigators have confirmed that on Sunday morning, alleged shooter Omar Mateen attacked a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and injuring 53 others. According to reports, Mateen pledged his allegiance to ISIS in a 911 call during the attack but no direct link has been confirmed between him and the terrorist group.

In Our Son's Name

When Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez lost their son Greg on September 11, 2001, they felt extreme sadness, grief, and fear for the future of their family.

But they also felt a lot of dread about how the U.S. government might react and what kind of international upheaval would occur in light of the attacks.

 

What Is A Terrorist?

Jul 2, 2015
Image of terrorism definition
Jagz Mario / Flickr Creative Commons
Predictify Me
www.predictify.me

The United Nations says suicide bombings in Pakistan are shockingly common, especially near schools.  A Raleigh start-up company is working to change that.

The security software company is called “Predictify Me.”

Rob Burns is the CEO of "Predictify Me."  He and co-founder Zeeshan Usmani of Pakistan have developed an algorithm they say can warn schools when an attack is imminent. 

Madhu Beriwal (on right cutting the ribbon) when headquarters were moved from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
iem.com / innovative emergency management

  

In 1985, Madhu Beriwal was conducting hurricane research for the state of Louisiana. She charted possible directions and outcomes that different storm conditions would bring to New Orleans. Looking at the atlas in 2005, Beriwal said it almost perfectly predicted the severity of Hurricane Katrina. 

The Brunswick Nuclear Plant was ranked one of the most vulnerable nuclear reactors to a terrorist attack.
Doc Searls via Wikimedia

A new study commissioned by the Defense Department says every nuclear reactor in America is ill-prepared for a terrorist attack. North Carolina's Brunswick Nuclear Plant was ranked among the most vulnerable to attack, because of it's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.

Kim Crawford is a spokesperson for Duke Energy, which manages four nuclear sites in North Carolina, including Brunswick. She says their plants are safe.

Eric Rudolph
FBI

At one time, Eric Rudolph was one of the most wanted men in the country. He was responsible for a series of bombings in Georgia and Alabama, including at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.


A drone
U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson / http://commons.wikimedia.org

Last week, President Obama laid out his strategy for a new phase in the war on terror.  He repeated his belief that Guantanamo Bay should be closed and cited the political reasons for his failure to do so until now. 

Obama also outlined a new policy that scales back the use of drones to kill suspected national security threats.  What are the laws and policies that President Obama faces? 

home page for TracTerrorism.org
TracTerrorism.org / TracTerrorism.org

Veryan Khan has devoted the last decade to researching terrorist groups across the globe. Trackingterrorism.org is a database created by Khan, to curate information about different terrorist groups.

cambridge.org

When we talk about terrorism we usually think of drones, suicide bombers or some other kind of technological weaponry, but its roots go back much further.

Researchers at Duke University say the number of Muslim Americans convicted of terrorist acts in the U.S. is on a steady decline. They released the findings in conjunction with the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security.  In 2009, 49 people were arrested, and the number has dropped each subsequent year to 14 arrests last year. David Schanzer, director of the Triangle Center, says recent terrorism plotters haven’t been as sophisticated.

State lawmakers' work in the last session means several new laws will take effect starting today. Legislators say anyone who engages in an act of terrorism will be subject to state as well as federal penalties. Threatening to use explosives, dirty bombs and using violence to intimidate people and governments will be treated as a felony.

Two people, one a former Raleigh school teacher, have pleaded guilty to plotting a murder-for-hire scheme in the Triangle. 

Two defendants in this case have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder for hire.  This was not your average shoot to kill murder. Nevine Elshiekh and Shukumbin Sherifi allegedly paid someone five-thousand-dollars to be-head witnesses from a terrorism trial in Raleigh.  Turns out they were paying an FBI informant. 

It was feared there would be a dramatic rise in home-grown terrorism in the United States post 9-11.   But a North Carolina-based report shows that didn’t happen.