Tuesday, January 13, 2015

News Channel 8 in Washington airs symposium "New Terror Threat" this evening


On Tuesday January 13, 2015 News Channel 8 in Washington DC (associated with WJLA-TV) aired a 30-minute discussion “New Terror Threat” based primarily on the major incidents in France last week involving the cartoons by Charlie Hebdo and associates.  The broadcast was in the spirit of earlier "Your Voice Your Future" symposia, but did not use the name this time.  
    
The broadcast showed the new amateur video of the Paris attack that surfaced today.  CNN seems to have the most authoritative link, here. The broadcast discusses the arrest of a possible accomplice in Bulgaria and the hunt for the female in Turkey, and may well be in Syria.  A rather obvious strategy would be for western countries not to allow people who leave to fight for terror groups to return ever (editorial). 
  
They also reported a meeting by President Obama with technology companies, held in Ballston in Arlington VA today.  I happened to pass by the Secret Service detail (and had to detour) today at the time the president arrived.  The president talked about the social media (Twitter and YouTube) attack on Centcom, and said that cybersecurity was necessary to protect family “bank accounts”.  Was the Army using two-step verification for its passwords? 
  
Horace Jones debriefed Mac Thornberry, of the House Armed Services Committee, and columnists JJ Green and Richard Fowler. 
   
With regard to cybersecurity, both columnists noted that in both France and the US, members of the military and law enforcement have been urged to scrub their social media accounts (or delete them).  I recall, in 2002, after my “layoff”, starting the process to apply for a job as a TSA Screener (which I then stopped), and wondering if online presence would create a conflict even then.  It might have.
   
The panelist also discussed the concern over magazines in the Inspire magazine (online) over how to make plastic explosives that could get through security at smaller airports that don’t have newer body scanners.  This seems to show up in search engines;  Reuters has a responsible discussion here
  
WJLA reports verbal cell phone calls or other threats (by a party claiming to be ISIS but possibly a copycat) made to a Jewish-owned business in Washington DC.  The business has not been identified.  The link for the story by Stephen Tschida is here.  The calls included homophobic and racist comments as well as anti-Semitic. If a call like this came from a combat region overseas (like in Syria) it could logically give away positions of enemy fighters for allied intelligence and airstrikes.  So it sounds rather improbable. 
   
News Channel 8 is likely to have a video of the show by some time Wednesday Jan. 14 online. News Channel 8 will air a similar broadcast on Free Speech and terrorism at 7 PM on Thursday Jan 15.  I’m trying to find out if the public can participate.  Personally, I’d love to host something like this someday.  

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