Coronavirus: Experts warn of bioterrorism after pandemic

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The Council of Europe has warned of a potential increase in the use of biological weapons, like viruses or bacterias, in a post-coronavirus world. Terrorists would not forget “lessons learned” during the pandemic.

Security experts from the Council of Europe have warned that the global coronavirus outbreak may increase the use of biological weapons by terrorists in the future.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how vulnerable modern society is to viral infections and their potential for disuption,” the council’s Committee on Counter-Terrorism said in a statement.

The deliberate use of disease-causing agents — like viruses or bacterias — as an act of terrorism “could prove to be extremely effective.”

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Remote weapons come of age

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During a military-related event on Aug 4, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro came close to being assassinated by a pair of drones. While Maduro escaped unscathed, the attack managed to injure seven soldiers. Various media outlets noted that this was the first known drone assassination attempt on a president. This development was however long in the offing.

The type of drone used in the Venezuelan attack was reportedly a DJI M600 model that can be ordered online for $5,000. Each drone allegedly carried 1 kg of C-4 plastic explosives which itself can be confected from online DIY tutorials – if one knew where and how to look for them.Imagine what would happen if a few C-4 laden drones crashed into an oil tanker truck at a congested traffic stop or an oil refinery itself?Or even a crowded children’s playground? A month since the assassination attempt on Maduro, terrorists in Syria’s Idlib province have begun using drones against Russian military bases in the region.

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Lawsuit targets searches of electronic devices at US border

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday claims the U.S. government’s growing practice of searching laptops and cellphones at the border is unconstitutional because electronic devices now carry troves of private personal and business information. The government has vociferously defended its searches as critical to protecting the homeland.

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The U.S. appears to be using anti-drone rifles against the Islamic State

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A tweet posted last week by Peter Singer, a co-author of the book Ghost Fleet and a strategist at the New America Foundation, shows his book couched up against what appears to be a Battelle DroneDefender anti-drone rifle in a tent at Fire Base Bell outside Makhmour, Iraq.

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Intelligence agencies struggle identifying threats from lone, mentally ill attackers

Flowers are laid in front of the Olympia shopping mall, where yesterday's shooting rampage started, in Munich

Recent attacks on civilians in the U.S. and Europe have exposed a gap in the intelligence community’s efforts to track suspected extremists and prevent mass killings, a half dozen American, British and French counterterrorism officials told Reuters.

The attacks have a common theme of being carried out by actors with an apparent history of mental illness – but few if any direct links to extremist groups.

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