Posts tagged ‘Marine Corps’
TERRORISM ROUNDUP: Chattanooga Toll Rises; Turkey Gets Tough After Bombing; Italian Plot; Cameroon and Nigeria Suicide Attacks
Chattanooga Attack Update.
A fifth service member wounded in the July 16 shooting attack at the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) in Chattanooga, Tennessee has died, according to Navy officials.
Navy Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Randall Smith, 26,succumbed to his wounds in the early morning hours Saturday (July 18). Four U.S. Marines were killed in the incident. They were identified as Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan, 40; Staff Sergeant David Wyatt, 35; Sergeant Carson Holmquist, 25; and Lance Corporal Squire Wells, 21.
The F.B.I. confirmed that at least one service member shot at the attacker, but did not say whether he had managed to wound the lone gunman, Mohammod Abdulazeez, 24. The gunman, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Kuwait, was killed minutes later in a shootout with the Chattanooga police. One officer was wounded in the gun battle. Edward Reinhold, the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s Knoxville office said two guns belonging to service members were recovered from the scene. And “at least one of those weapons had been discharged,” he said, the New York Times reported.
In the wake of the shootings, according to the Washington Post, armed civilians are stepping in to stand watch outside military recruiting centers from Arizona to Virginia to protect the service members inside. Several members of Congress have called for legislation allowing servicemen to go armed in various situations and postings stateside. Army General Mark Milley, President Obama’s nominee to become the next Army chief of staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday (July 21) that he is open to recruiters being armed in some cases. But he added that it’s a legally complicated issue. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has called for recommendations to improve protection.
But today (July 23) a Pentagon spokesman said the Defense Department opposes giving weapons to every service member on a domestic military installation. “We do not support arming all military personnel for a variety of reasons,” Vavy Captain Jeff Davis told reporters at the Pentagon. “(There are) safety concerns, the prohibitive cost for use-of-force and weapons training, qualification costs as well as compliance with multiple weapons-training laws,” McClatchy newspapers reported (via Defense News and Military Times’ Early Bird Brief)
The FBI said Abdulazeez was a “homegrown violent extremist” who acted alone during his rampage, USA Today reported. U.S. officials told ABC News that in 2013 Abdulazeez did online research for militant Islamist “guidance” on committing violence. The Internet searches were discovered on electronic devices such as his smartphone analyzed over the weekend by the FBI Lab in Quantico, Virginia, several counter-terrorism officials confirmed to ABC News. His family said Abdulazeez suffered depression. They released a statement Saturday (July 18) saying that there are “no words to describe our shock, horror, and grief.”
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Turkey Ups Security After Bombing.
The Turkish government is erecting a wall along part of its border with Syria, reinforcing wire fencing and digging extra ditches after a suspected Islamic State group suicide bombing killed 32 mostly young students in a border town this week. Reuters reports Turkish officials say they believe that the bomber in the attack at Suruc in southeastern Turkey was a 20-year old Turkish man who had traveled to Syria last year with the help of a group linked to the so-called Islamic State, which has taken control of larges areas in Syria and Iraq.
Thousands of foreign fighters are thought to have traveled through Turkey to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq in the past few years, some of them with assistance from Turkish smuggling networks sympathetic to the militants. The Suruc bombing, whose victims included Kurds, enraged Turkey’s Kurdish minority, many of whom suspect the government of tacitly backing Islamic State in Syria against Kurdish forces, something Ankara strongly denies, according to Reuters.
Officials said flood-lighting would be installed along a 118 kilometer stretch of the Syrian border, while border patrol roads would be repaired. The armed forces were also digging a 365 kilometer-long ditch along the border and have deployed some 90 percent of their drones and reconnaissance aircraft to the Syrian border.
Meanwhile, Turkey is granting permission for American warplanes to use two Turkish air bases for bombarding the Islamic State. Turkey is also rushing troops to the border to fight militants for the first time, the New York Times reported. U.S. officials said using the Turkish airbases will allow U.S. and coalition aircraft to make more numerous bombings of Islamic State targets.
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Attack on Italian Base Foiled.
Italian prosecutors say two suspects arrested Wednesday (July 22), who claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group, planned to target an Italian military base near the northern city of Brescia that has a U.S. military presence, the Associated Press reported.
But Prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli told a press conference in Milan that the two suspects did not have the capabilities to carry out an attack against the Ghedi air base or any other of the targets they had identified with a Twitter account, including Milan’s Duomo cathedral or Rome’s Colosseum.
Officials said the two men, a Tunisian and a Pakistani, were making plans to travel to Islamic State territory for military training while at the same time gathering information from the Internet.
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Bombings in Cameroon, Nigeria.
Security has been increased in northern Cameroon following Wednesday’s (July 22) double suicide bombing attack, carried out by two females, that left dozens dead.
The attack in the city of Maroua is the fourth in two weeks, the Voice of America website reported. The governor of the country’s Far North region said he has asked the military to be more vigilant and vigorous while checking travelers and their goods, adding that all suspected markets, shops, bars and popular spots have been sealed.
Al Jazeera reported the two suicide bombers killed at least 22 people at a marketplace near the border with Nigeria. The toll is likely to rise among the 50 injured, officials said.
Meanwhile, bomb blasts suspected to have been carried out by radical Islamists have killed at least 29 people in Nigeria. The attacks came after Nigeria’s new president warned that the U.S. refusal to sell his country strategic weapons is “aiding and abetting” Boko Haram, which wants to create an Islamic state in Nigeria and has allied itself with the Islamic State. The Nigerian bombings were at two busy bus stations in Gombe.
Attack in the Homeland.
Four U.S. Marines were killed and another service member was wounded in two separate shootings in Chattanooga, Tennessee, today (July 16).
The shootings took place at the Navy Operational Support Support Center, and at an armed forces recruiting center, officials said.
The gunman, believed to be acting alone, was also killed and a local police officer was wounded in the shooting spree. The FBI is leading the investigation. A motive for the attacks has not been determined but officials are treating it as a domestic terrorist attack.
The alleged gunman was identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Kuwait.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stepped up protective measures at “certain federal facilities, out of an abundance of caution,” said DHS Secretary Jeh [Pronounced Jay] Johnson. For more than a year, Johnson has been saying that his biggest concerns are homegrown or self-radicalized lone wolf terrorists and citizens of Western countries returning home imbued with violent extremist Islamist ideology after fighting in war torn Syria and the territories controlled by the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group.
The Navy Operational Support Center is used by Navy and Marine Corps personnel, and is often referred to as a “reserve center,” Navy officials said. It provides training and readiness support for reserve-component personnel to enable them to support the needs of the Navy and Marine Corps.
A Marine Corps bugler plays “Taps” beside the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.
You’ve probably seen the famous photo of the Iwo Jima flag-raising. You may even have seen a photo of this statue, which stands across the river from Washington, D.C. But you may not have seen one that demonstrates just how monumental this sculpture is. After the bloody World War II battle, Admiral Chester Nimitz made the now-famous observation: “Among the Americans serving on Iwo island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.”
The Independence Day festivities haven’t begun yet (although July 3 is the day this year we’ll celebrate the nation’s birthday because the 4th of July falls on a Saturday), but we wanted to present a FRIFO with a little history, a little color and, perhaps a little magic. We think this photo fits the bill. Please click on it with mouse or finger to enlarge the image for the full effect.
And have a safe and happy holiday while pausing to remember the 56 brave men who pledged “our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor” and signed a document 239 years ago on a hot summer day in Philadelphia that changed the world. And please remember all the brave men and women who came after them to defend the ideas behind that document on battlefields and factory floors, in courtrooms and classrooms, at town halls and lunch counters.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA, AND MANY MORE.
A member of Special Operations Command throws the shot put during field competition for the 2015 Defense Department Warrior Games, at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, June 23, 2015.
The Warrior Games, founded in 2010, is a Paralympic-style competition that features eight adaptive sports for wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans from the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy/Coast Guard, Air Force, Special Operations Command, and the British Armed Forces.
To see more photos of these amazing people, click here.
Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Eddie Myers parachutes from a UH-1Y Venom helicopter during insertion training on Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
Myers is a parachute safety officer assigned to Detachment 4th Force Reconnaissance Company.
Click on photo to enlarge image.
Keep it Simple … etc.
Sometimes, even in this digital world we live in, it’s easier to use some old fashioned tools like this rope line.
This week’s FRIFO shows Marine Corps Lance Corporal Maximilian Roth crossing a gorge on a rope during his final Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity assessment at the Marines’ Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California. Roth is a rifleman assigned to Alpha Company, Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force.
[Digital] Help Wanted.
(REPEATING POSTING ON THIS WEB SITE AND OTHERS AFTER IT WAS APPARENTLY DELETED BY ACCIDENT FROM WORDPRESS.)
With every passing week, the necessity – and vulnerability — of cyberspace becomes more apparent.
Hardware and software failures on the Bloomberg LP network forced its iconic trading terminals to go dark for several hours on April 17 and financial markets across much of the globe ground to a halt.
The private correspondence of top executives and personal data of thousands of employees at Sony Pictures were revealed to the world last year by North Korean hackers after the movie company released a comedy about a plot to assassinate the dictatorship’s leader. The data was published again by WikiLeaks in mid-April.
And in the most recent incident, hackers, traced to Russia, penetrated an unclassified Pentagon network earlier this year before they were detected, identified and expelled. “They discovered an old vulnerability in one of our legacy networks that hadn’t been patched,” Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told an audience at Stanford University April 23.
The revelation came as Carter unveiled an updated version of the Defense Department security strategy for cyberspace. While the technology advances developed in Silicon Valley and elsewhere have made many things in modern life “easier, cheaper and safer,” Carter noted that “it’s become clear that these same advances and technologies also present a degree of risk to the businesses, governments, militaries, and individual people who rely on them every day … making it easier, cheaper, and safer to threaten them. The same Internet that enables Wikipedia also allows terrorists to learn how to build a bomb.”