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Tag: drone

FBI: U.S. Soldier Who Pledged Allegiance to ISIS Planned to Kill ‘a Bunch of People’

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Hawaii-based active duty soldier told undercover FBI agents that he wanted to “kill a bunch of people” after he had pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

Ikaika Kang, a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army, was arrested Saturday and appeared in court Monday on terrorism charges, the Associated Press reports. 

Kang allegedly helped buy a drone with the intent of using it against American forces. He also is accused of saying he would to shoot “a bunch of people” with a rifle.

Kang thought he was meeting with Islamic State loyalists, but he was actually communicating with undercover agents.

Paul Delacourt, the FBI special agent in charge of the Hawaii bureau, said Kang was a lone wolf.

Border Patrol Seeks Drones with Facial-Recognition Technology

An example of a consumer-grade drone.

An example of a consumer-grade drone.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol is soliciting proposals for drones that have the ability to recognize and analyze faces.

The small unmanned aerial systems would be easy enough for an agent to launch the drone in less than five minutes, the Verge reports.

Th drones would be outfitted with sophisticated censors with facility-recognition capabilities. 

The consumer-grade drones would weigh under 55 pounds and could be carried in a truck.

Verge wrote:

One technical document included with the solicitation imagined a drone that could “distinguish between natural and artificial features, and between animals, humans, and vehicles at long range.” The drone would also include “facial recognition capabilities that allow it cross-reference any persons identified with relevant law enforcement databases.” The scenario meant as a hypothetical, illustrating the type of capability CBP is looking for rather than indicating a specific requirement. Still, those facial-recognition capabilities would work well with Homeland Security’s IDENT database, which currently contains more than 170 million fingerprints and facial images collected from non-citizens as they enter the United States. The FBI’s facial-recognition checks reach even further, scanning across 411 million photos in state and federal databases.

CBP officials said that kind of in-the-field identification could be immensely valuable to agents in the future, particularly crossed referenced with criminal records. “When a Border Patrol agent is out in the field, they may be very far from backup, they may not have great comms coverage,” said Ari Schuler, co-lead of CBP’s Silicon Valley office, which is managing the project. “If they encounter an armed group of human traffickers, for instance, they need to know whether those traffickers have a criminal record or are known to have assaulted an officer.”

Other Stories of Interest

Secret Service Stops Man from Flying Drone Alongside President Obama’s Motorcade in Hawaii

DroneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A recreational drone alarmed Secret Service agents after it was seen flying alongside President Obama’s motorcade in Hawaii, the International Business Times reports. 

Agents approached the operator and ordered him to land the drone.

The operator complied and was not arrested.

“The Secret Service is aware of this incident. The subject was completely unaware that the Presidential motorcade would be transiting the area of operation and immediately complied with law enforcement requests to cease and desist. No charges were filed. The motorcade proceeded without further incident,” the agency said in a statement late Monday, according toWABC, an ABC News affiliate for New York.

Obama is on vacation in Hawaii.

Infamous Masked Executioner ‘Jihadi John’ Targeted in U.S. Drone Strike

American war reporter James Wright Foley was beheaded by 'Jihadi John.'

American war reporter James Wright Foley was beheaded by ‘Jihadi John.’

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The infamous masked ISIS executioner known as “Jihadi John” was targeted by a U.S. drone strike in Syrian on Thursday, but his fate was unknown this morning, USA Today reports. 

The militant, a British resident whose real name is Mohamed Emwazi, is believed to have beheaded several Western hostages in Syria.

The Pentagon was trying to determine whether Emwazi was in fact killed.

“U.S. forces conducted an airstrike . . . targeting Mohamed Emwazi, also known as “Jihadi John,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said on Thursday.

“We are assessing the results of tonight’s operation and will provide additional information as and where appropriate,” Cook said.

The 26-year-old who gradated from the University of Westminster in London began appearing in beheading videos in August 2014.

Flyer of Drone That Crashed at White House May Be Charged Because of Washington Law

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When it comes to drones, it’s safe to say that law enforcement has looked the other way on many occasions.

Not this time.

A man accused of operating a drone that crash landed at the White House last week may be charged for violating national defense airspace, CNN reports.

The flyer, Shawn Usman, said he was trying to fly the drone just outside of his friend’s apartment when it inexplicably took off took the White House.

“Many of the public reports of his actions with respect to this incident are inaccurate,” his attorney Jim Garland said in a statement. “He has cooperated fully with the Secret Service’s investigation and looks forward to putting this unfortunate episode behind him.”

Federal law prohibits the flying of drones in Washington.

Federal investigators are trying to determine whether charges are warranted.

Drone Found on White House Grounds

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

With the security breaches of recent, this is not very heartening.

ABC News reports that a small drone was found on the White House grounds overnight.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the situation “does not pose any sort of ongoing threat,” according to ABC News.

The Secret Service is investigating the device, Earnest said.

FBI: Moroccan National Planned to Attack School, Federal Building with Radio-Controlled Plane

istock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Moroccan national accused of plotting an attack with a radio-controlled model airplane was arrested Monday by FBI agents, the CTPost.com reports.

El Mehdi Semlali Fahti, 27, is accused of plotting to crash the plane into a school and a Connecticut federal building.

FBI agents said they found wires and tools inside the High Ridge Drive apartment where Fahti had been living. It’s unclear whether explosives were also found.

The plot was revealed to an undercover agent in five recorded conversations. According to the FBI, Fahti said he studied bomb attacks and even made a chemical bomb while in high school in Morocco.

He claimed that funding for the plot would come from cash from money-laundering and drug-dealing, according to CTPost.com.

Homeland Security Tests Robotic Fish Designed to Sniff Out Contraband

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s a like a drone for the ocean.

Homeland Security is testing a six-foot-long robotic fish that is designed to find contraband in a ship’s hull, The Rancher reports.

Equipped with sophisticated sensors, the BIOSwimmer is shaped like a tuna and highly maneuverable.

Serving as the launching ground for the robotic fish is a century-old battleship that saw two World Wars, The Rancher wrote.

“Texas Parks and Wildlife is pleased to make the Battleship TEXAS available to serve the nation in the interests of strengthening port security,” says Andy Smith, TPWD’s ship manager. “The tests underway this week will be instructive in the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to refine this innovative technology so it may be deployed to make our maritime environment safer. The Battleship TEXAS is showing us that you’re never too old to be of service to your country.”