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MSA Intel Alert: Kansas City Shootings Target Jewish Facilities

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Yesterday, multiple shootings occurred at Jewish facilities in Kansas City’s suburbs. The first took place at a Jewish Community Center in Overland Park where 70-year-old Frazier Glenn Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, opened fire with a shotgun and killed two individuals. A 14-year-old boy and his grandfather were shot and killed as they entered the parking lot of the center to audition for a singing competition. Shortly after, Miller attacked the nearby Village Shalom assisted living center in Leawood where he killed a woman in her 70s. Police apprehended Miller at a local elementary school close to both shooting incidents. He reportedly yelled “Heil Hitler” in front of local reporters before being taken into custody.

MSA Intel Alert: 22 Injured at Stabbing at Pennsylvania High School


Yesterday morning, as students were arriving to Franklin Regional High School, 16-year-old Alex Hribal went on a stabbing spree, wounding 21 students and one adult. According to witnesses, Hribal ran  through the hallway on the first floor of the school, stabbing students with two kitchen knives, estimated to be between eight and ten inches long. He was eventually tackled by the assistant principal and handcuffed by a school security officer, who also serves in the Murrysville Police Department. The injured adult is another security guard, who was stabbed in the abdomen. During the incident, a student pulled the fire alarm to alert his peers.

Last Day of a Legacy


As has been touted for months now, Microsoft will no longer be providing security patching for its Windows XP operating system.  Since the announcement that Microsoft would end this critical support companies and individuals across the globe have been weighing the pros and cons with continuing the use of the system moving into the immediate future.  Unfortunately, for many upgrading infrastructure and software took a hit as the world economy declined into a deep recession after the 2008 financial crisis and throughout the slowest recovery of the United States economy since the 1940s.  Putting off the regular changes and upgrades every few years in an effort to keep costs down has many now faced with a very difficult business decision; do we upgrade or accept the risk a little longer?  Here are some of my thoughts on the subject.

MSA Intel Alert: Active Shooter Incident at Fort Hood

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Army specialist Ivan Lopez shot and killed three soldiers at Fort Hood yesterday afternoon before taking his own life. Sixteen others, all military personnel, were injured in the attack.  The incident began at around 4:00pm when Lopez entered a building and opened fire with a .45-caliber handgun. He then got into his car, fired from the car, entered another building and again opened fire. When Lopez was confronted by a military police officer in a parking lot, he shot himself in the head. Lopez, a 34-year-old working as a truck driver on the base, was dressed in combat fatigues. The shootings reportedly took place in the 1st Medical Brigade area and the 49th Transportation Battalion area. The incident lasted 15 to 20 minutes. Everyone on the base was ordered to shelter in place, and the lockdown was not lifted until around 9:00pm.

AQAP Releases 12th Edition of Inspire Magazine

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The Yemen-based al Qaeda affiliate, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), released its 12th edition of the English-language magazine Inspire. This issue is titled, “Shattered, A Story About Change,” with the cover story focusing on how America’s role as a superpower has essentially been “shattered” in the post-9/11 world. Most of the past editions have included an “Open Source Jihad” section that provides detailed tactical information and instructions for jihadists to use for training purposes. This particular issue focuses on “car bombs in America,” with six pages of instructions for building a car bomb and another two pages suggesting targets. There are also several common themes in the 12th edition seen throughout publications of Inspire, including the ever-present goal of inspiring Western individuals to conduct attacks wherever they live.

MSA Intel Alert: NYC building Explosion & Collapse


Two buildings collapsed around 9:30am after an explosion at the northwest corner of 116th Street and Park Avenue in Harlem (1646 Park Avenue and 1644 Park Avenue). According to city officials, the buildings have beencompletely destroyed. At least one person has been killed and 11 people injured in the incident. The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

MSA Intel Alert: Yik Yak Mobile App Prompts Security Concerns


A relatively new mobile social media application, Yik Yak, is promptingsecurity concerns as teen users have been utilizing the anonymous platform to post various threats. Yik Yak is an app similar to Twitter, except its posts are anonymous and location based, meaning they can only be seen by other users within a 10 mile radius. Additionally, the posts only stay up for a limited amount of time before they disappear completely. The app was apparently made for “college-age students and above,” and it requires users to be at least 17 years old to download the service to their smartphones. However, middle school and high school students have been using the app to post bomb threats or cyber bullying messages. The app has prompted schools across the country to evacuate its students or issue lockdowns due to bomb threats and has now been disabled in the Chicago area:

An Ounce of Prevention

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When are flood insurance sales the highest? Immediately after a flood.
When are earthquake insurance sale the highest? Immediately after an earthquake. The moments following a flood or an earthquake are actually the times when the probability of these events occurring is at its lowest, but also the time when people tend to take the most action to prevent their potentially devastating consequences. This can also be seen outside the context of natural disasters.

Have you heard of a tragic event at a school only to have the authorities search cyberspace afterwards to find indicators of maltreatment or cries for help? Unfortunately, these cases are getting more and more public attention. Take the seventh grader from Arkansas or the Florida teen who committed suicide after being teased at school and cyber bullied. These are examples of statistically low probability events with extremely grave impacts. It is the grave impact of these events that points toward a need for risk mitigation.

MSA Intel Alert: British Jihadists Release Inspirational Propaganda

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According to media reports, British jihadists in Syria have threatened to wage attacks in the United Kingdom (UK) and U.S. Rayat Al-Tawheed, a British jihadist faction in Syria, recently posted images on a series of social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, in which armed jihadists are depicted at various Western locations. Through the postings, extremists have allegedly warned of atrocities on London’s public transportation and financial centers, in addition to the White House in the U.S. The pictures feature texts in the English language that seem more directed at inspiring others to join their radical cause rather than indicating fighters will return home from Syria to carry out attacks.

In Memoriam: Pittsburgh Police Canine, Rocco

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Pittsburgh Police Department's eight-year-old German Shepherd, Rocco was wounded Tuesday night while assisting officers during the arrest of an armed suspect. After undergoing two surgeries and several blood transfusions, Rocco made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. 

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