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Homeland Security News – October 5, 2011

Law enforcement on high alert for terrorist retaliations. Long-time fugitive hijacker arrested in Portugal. Cyber-terrorists may be targeting Wall Street. These and other stories of interest in this week’s Homeland Security News.

DHS Warns of Possible Terrorist Retaliations

al-AwlakiThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has put Americans traveling abroad on alert against possible terrorist attacks prompted by the CIA-led killing of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen in late September. The DHS and local law enforcement are also on their highest states of alert since the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden last spring. was a “digital jihadist” who inspired countless plots in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia, according to the DHS, and his death is likely to trigger demands for retaliation among his thousands of followers. “They’re going to be coming after us probably more than ever, but for me that’s a price worth paying because in the long run, they’re (al-Qaeda in Yemen) have really been hurt by this,” said Rep. Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, referring to the drone attack that killed al-Awlaki and several other members of his convoy.

Fugitive Hijacker Captured After 40-Year Hunt

George WrightA 1970s-era militant accused of hijacking a U.S. airliner back in 1972 has finally been arrested in Portugal. George Wright, 68, had been convicted of armed robbery and murder in 1962, but escaped from prison in 1970 and eventually joined the Black Liberation Army chapter in Detroit, Mich. Dressed as a priest, Wright and several followers hijacked a Delta Airlines flight two years later, got the FBI to pay them $1 million in cash, and eventually found temporary asylum in Algeria. They then moved to France where they were tried and given a light sentence for their actions before eventually settling in Portugal. After years of dormancy, the FBI’s hunt for Wright became “hot” again when police matched his fingerprint to a Portuguese resident ID card.

Protests Focus Hackers Ire at Wall Street

Occupy Wall StreetThe DHS is reportedly concerned that the Occupy Wall Street protests currently underway in New York and other major U.S. cities may cause computer hackers to focus their malicious activities on Wall Street companies and their leaders. People wearing iconic Guy Fawkes masks, a symbol of the hacker group Anonymous, have been spotted at numerous Occupy Wall Street rallies, and law enforcement officials recently revealed that Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein was recently the target of a hacker attack. So far, no major cyber attacks have been reported by Wall Street firms, but the DHS is closely watching Anonymous and its affiliated groups for signs of “mischief,” according to agency spokespeople. UPDATE: On Tuesday, a video bearing the Anonymous logo warned that the New York Stock Exchange would be the target of a cyber attack on October 10. The video was subsequently branded a hoax.

Infrastructure Vulnerable to Cyber-Attacks, Official Warns

Power LinesAmerica’s infrastructure, including power plants, electrical transmission systems, water supplies and other vital utilities are currently vulnerable to intrusions by hackers looking to steal information or plant malicious software, warned Greg Schaffer, acting deputy secretary at the DHS. A major attack, if successful, could have “cascading effects across multiple sectors,” Schaffer stated. The DHS wants Congress to enact legislation that will help utilities, chemical companies and other likely targets address their web-based vulnerabilities and offer the DHS new tools to fight cyber-terrorism.

Consider a Career in Homeland Security

Interested in a career in Homeland Security? Everest University Online, a division of Everest University, offers a bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security that may allow you to qualify for a variety of careers in the field. Designed for working adults or students without convenient access to ground campuses, the Everest University Online bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security program can be taken at your own pace and on your own schedule. The degree can be earned in as little as four years. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

For more information on the bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security program or other career education and degree programs available from Everest University Online, contact Everest University Online today.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important information, please visit our website at

Tagged with: Criminal Justice, News

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