Pakistan Bombing, Border Security Studies, White Supremacist Attack Planned, and More

Pakistan Bombing, Border Security Studies, White Supremacist Attack Planned, and More
  • Pakistan is still reeling from a suicide bombing by ISIS at a Sufi shrine yesterday that killed 80, and the death toll is still rising. The deadliest attack in years has raised questions about whether Pakistani officials have a grip on the militants. The Pakistani military has been targeting militant hideouts recently, and some officials believe the bombing yesterday was in response to that. The attack has also increased tensions between Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, where Pakistan recently launched an artillery assault targeting an ISIS hideout. 

  • The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a series of reports on security along the U.S.-Mexico border. The maintenance of tactical infrastructure along the southwest border is not easily kept up, the report found, and border patrol agents lack adequate guidance for identifying infrastructure needs. Between 2007 and 2015, $2.4 billion was spent on fencing, gates, roads, bridges, lighting, and drainage infrastructure. Another ​GAO report studied the used of unmanned aerial systems (UAS)—or drones—along the border and recommended that updated UAV guidance and training is needed, among other data collection and operational concerns. 

  • A 29-year-old man has been arrested in South Carolina for planning an attack inspired by white supremacist Dylann Roof  who killed nine black churchgoers in 2015. Benjamin McDowell bought a firearm from an undercover agent after telling him he wanted to commit an attack similar to Roof’s. McDowell has white supremacist ties, which he openly discussed on Facebook, including a post about how most white supremacists won’t take more actions like Roof did. Officials were first alerted to McDowell after several of his Facebook posts were flagged. 

  • In other news, a Florida man was arrested after planning to place homemade bombs in Target retail stores in order to make the company’s stock value plunge so he could acquire shares. The Washington, D.C. Public Health Laboratory wrongly told hundreds of people they did not have the Zika virus due to miscalculations. After retests, it was revealed that two pregnant women were in fact positive for the virus. ​