Rare video: Special Ops snatch al-Qaida suspect off street

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The Washington Post has obtained closed circuit video of the capture of one of the most wanted al-Qaida operatives in October. It takes U.S. Special Forces less than 60 seconds to swoop Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, who goes by the nom de guerre Anas al-Libi, off the streets of Tripoli. Continue reading

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Surveillance video: Is nation’s power grid at risk?

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In an effort to catch the shooter, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office posted on YouTube surveillance video taken at a PG&E substation in Northern California about 1:00 a.m. on April 16, 2013. Bullets hit the fence, causing sparks, which can be seen at minutes: 1:542:072:102:57 and 3:01.

It wasn’t a cyber attack. And it doesn’t appear to be the work of vandals. A congressman fears that it was a “military-style” raid. To the nation’s electric grid regulator, it was nothing less than “domestic terrorism.”

What we know is this: In April last year, several transformers at a power substation in Silicon Valley were targeted. Fiber cables were cut. More than 100 rounds were fired from a high-powered rifle. Who was behind the attack and why the shooter(s) did it remain a mystery.

Seventeen transformers were taken offline, The Wall Street Journal reports, delving into the attack that has stumped experts.  Continue reading

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Army ponders replacing thousands of boots on ground with robots

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The Squad Mission Support System (SMSS) can carry 544kg of cargo including equipment, food, arms and ammunition.

The Squad Mission Support System (SMSS) can carry 1,200 pounds of cargo including equipment, food, arms and ammunition.

Gen. Bob Cone, the Army’s commander of Training and Doctrine, dropped a metaphorical “bomb” last week, Defense News reports.

The Army is shrinking in numbers, on its way from more than 520,000 down to as few as 420,000 by 2019, according to budget plans.

How to make up for the lost manpower?

“I’ve got clear guidance to think about what if you could robotically perform some of the tasks in terms of maneuverability, in terms of the future of the force,” Cone told the Army Aviation Symposium in Arlington, Va.

That’s right. Robots. Continue reading

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Take a peek at the hypersonic spy plane

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Lockheed Martin has finally revealed “the son” of the “legendary” and “unsurpassed” Blackbird spy plane, Aviation Week reports. When experts caught sight of the SR-72, they went into an adjectival overdrive. The new hypersonic jet would be the “most exotic airplane ever constructed,” Foreign Policy says. The Washington Post’s Switch blog called the offspring a “gorgeous” boy. Continue reading

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In wargame, China wins

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A writer on defense issues found a “harrowing lesson to be cautious about how we equip the U.S. military” when he played a new game that simulated a battle in the South China Sea and we lost.

Command: Modern Naval/Air Operations included an admiral and Naval War College staffers in beta testing in an attempt to simulate modern sea and air warfare. Continue reading

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