Mom Sentenced to 5 Years for Using Friend's Address to Enroll Son in School
- Finance Bloomberg
(Bloomberg) -- For many of the national security teams that monitor threats on the U.S., the apparent drone strike Saturday on the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil production facilities was the realization of their worst fears.Houthi rebels battling Saudi Arabia in Yemen took responsibility for the attack and said they used drones, though U.S. officials have said Iran was behind the attack and that at least some cruise missiles may have been used.The attack underscored fears raised by U.S. security officials and experts in terrorism about the rapid evolution of technologies that could have allowed inexpensive devices to pierce Saudi defenses in a way that a traditional air force could not: flying long distances to drop potent bombs that apparently set vast portions of the Saudi petroleum infrastructure ablaze.“The bottom line is that we are likely to see many more of these sorts of attacks, and in particular, coordinated attacks on multiple targets are likely, possibly in tandem with a cyberattack component,” Milena Rodban, an independent risk consultant based in Washington, said in an email.Read more: Saudi Attacks Reveal Oil Supply Fragility in Asymmetric WarThe risk is hardly new, though, for law enforcement and homeland security officials. FBI Director Christopher Wray in October warned a Senate committee that civilian drones pose a “steadily escalating threat.” The devices are likely to be used by terrorists, criminal groups or drug cartels to carry out attacks in the U.S., he said.Dozens of incidents in recent years have hinted at the risks, from the mysterious drone flying at London’s Gatwick Airport in December that disrupted operations for days, to recent assassination attempts using the devices in Yemen and Venezuela.But even as the threat is well documented and understood, the counter-measures necessary to prevent or repel an attack are far murkier.There is currently no requirement on how to track the millions of civilian drones plying the U.S. skies. The Federal Aviation Administration has spent the past two years crafting regulations requiring small civilian drones to install radio-identification technology after the FBI and Department of Homeland Security objected to widening public use of the devices. A proposed regulation is expected later this year, but may not be completed for a year or more.Identifying DronesMeanwhile, the FAA has cautioned airports about acquiring anti-drone technology. The agency in recent years has tested radars and other systems designed to identify drone intruders, but they all had significant blind spots.The military has more options to combat drones, but some technologies such as jamming radio signals or firing weapons aren’t permitted in civilian environments.And, as the Saudi Arabia attacks appear to demonstrate, even a nation with a sophisticated military and a large budget for defense is still vulnerable, said Jeffrey Price, an aviation management professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver who also works as a security consultant.The implication of Saturday’s attacks are enormous, Price said. They not only highlight the growing technical capability of rebel groups, but could also serve as inspiration for home-grown terrorists in the U.S. who may be motivated by the Islamic State or al-Qaeda, he said.‘New Spin’“Flying a drone, that puts a new spin on things,” he said. “It enables attacks that previously weren’t able to be conducted with that level of stealth and detachment from the attacker.”Few details about the attack have emerged. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo blamed Iran, which is aligned with the Houthi rebels, and said there was no evidence it originated in Yemen.Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi rejected Pompeo’s assertions, calling them “blind and fruitless accusations.”Two administration officials who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations told reporters on Sunday that cruise missiles may have been used in the attacks. The officials didn’t rule out that armed drones were used as well, even as they rejected the Houthi claims that they mounted the attacks using the pilotless aircraft.The range from Yemen was far beyond the distance of anything the Houthis have ever done, the officials said.Quad CoptersPrice and others said they doubted that the small quad copters that have proliferated and can be bought online or in electronics stores were used in the Saudi attacks. Those battery-powered devices have limited range and can’t carry more than a pound or so of explosives.However, many nations, including Israel and Iran, have demonstrated the ability to build sophisticated flying devices that are relatively small and stealthy, while also capable of carrying powerful explosive devices.A 2018 United Nations report found that Iran had helped the Houthis build a drone known as the Qasef-1, which was based on the Iranian-built Ababil-T.In mid-2018, the Houthi forces developed a new, longer-range drone known as the UAV-X, according to another UN report earlier this year. It’s capable of carrying a 40-pound (18-kilogram) warhead and flying more than 745 miles (1,200 kilometers).Modern computer chips and global-positioning satellite tracking are making such drones more capable all the time, they said. And they are far cheaper to build than the multimillion-dollar Reaper drones used by the U.S. military.Price said he raises the subject of drone security at the seminars he regularly conducts at airports around the U.S., and the answer is always the same.“I literally ask them, what are you doing about drones?” he said. “Everyone groans.”(Updates with U.S. officials’ comments on attack’s origin in 16th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Alaa Shahine and Nick Wadhams.To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Levin in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at email@example.com, Elizabeth WassermanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
- News CBC
The two University of Victoria students killed in a rollover bus crash between Port Alberni and Bamfield, B.C., on Friday night have been identified as teenagers from Manitoba and Iowa.The American man has been identified as John Geerdes by his high school soccer coach Jose Fajardo. The Canadian woman has been identified as Emma Machado, whose family spoke to CBC Manitoba about her death.Both students were 18, the B.C. Coroners Service said in an email Monday.They died at the scene after the bus crashed on the gravel logging road and flipped down an embankment late Friday. The UVic students were headed on an annual weekend field trip to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. B.C. Emergency Health Services said 17 people were taken to hospital after the crash: two in critical condition, one in serious condition, and 14 others in stable condition. Around 30 more people were transported from the crash scene.One student remained in hospital as of Sunday evening.'He had a big heart'Fajardo coached Geerdes for three years at Iowa City High School and spoke to him on September 2, two weeks before he had left for Canada.In an interview with CBC, Fajardo said Geerdes wasn't the most talented player, but what he lacked in talent he made up for with his character, in leaps and bounds."He never gave up … it was impossible for me to say no to him because of his commitment, his dedication, his hard work, his passion for doing what's right."Geerdes' coach describes him as a big man with a big heart whose hard work inspired others"When I saw his human side, it connected all the dots. This is not just a person who wants to be special as a soccer player or academically. He's just special because he's special, period."His team held a meeting Monday morning to talk about Geerdes' death and share their memories of him.Fajardo texted with Geerdes' mom the day found he out and offered his support. He believes the family is now in Canada to bring Geerdes' body back to Iowa.Alcohol ruled out as factor in crashOn Monday, RCMP said a second driver who was driving in the area around the time the bus crashed remained at the scene and provided assistance to Mounties.A statement from police said the cause of the crash remains under investigation, including whether the second driver played any role in the collision.RCMP said alcohol has been ruled out as a contributing factor."This incident is an absolute tragedy," RCMP Insp. Brian Hunter, detachment commander for the Port Alberni RCMP, wrote in the statement."On behalf of all our investigators, our deepest condolences go out to the families who have lost a loved one."The 2001 Prevost bus was towed from the scene on Saturday. Most of its windows were shattered and its exterior blackened with dirt and mud.Locals have long called for improvements to the logging road, saying the dangers have been apparent for decades.The stretch of road has been described as rough and challenging, riddled with potholes and bits of gravel that can act like like marbles under rubber wheels. There is no cellphone service along the road, which is the primary route in and out of the small community of Bamfield.It was dark and pouring rain when the bus left the road on Friday."We in Bamfield have known for quite some time that the safety issue on that road is one of our prime concerns," said Chief Councillor Robert Dennis with the local Huu-ay-aht First Nations, who was one of the first to come across the crash site on Friday."I've been knocking on every Liberal government, every NDP government, to get our road fixed."Watch: Huu-ay-aht First Nations's Robert Dennis describes what he saw when he arrived on sceneTransportation Minister Claire Trevena said she's heard the concerns about the road."Ministry officials have been looking into the issue to determine if safety improvements could be made. The situation is complex as this is a private, industrial road, operated and maintained by private companies for active forestry operations," Trevena said in a written statement.Bus equipped with seatbelts, company saysJohn Wilson, owner of Wilson's Transportation, confirmed its bus was the one involved in the crash. Wilson said the driver was experienced and had driver training certification. Wilson said the driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries and had been released from hospital.A company statement said the bus was equipped with seatbelts, though it is not known how many onboard were wearing their belts at the time of the crash. B.C.'s Motor Vehicle Act requires all drivers and passengers to use seatbelts if the vehicle is equipped with them.The RCMP is investigating the cause of the crash. The coroner's service said its investigation is also ongoing.