Tag: terrorism

City Police Stepping Up Patrols After Deadly ISIS Attack in Manchester

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Monday’s deadly terrorist attack in Manchester, England, is having repercussions here in Baltimore City, with local authorities staying on their toes to try to fend off any similar tragedies on their home turf..

This Week in Research: Terrorist Leadership & The Problems with Robot Surgery

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Terrorist-cells

When the leader of a terrorist network is killed, imprisoned, or otherwise incapacitated, a power vacuum is created. Recent findings may help government and military leaders figure out who is likely to fill that vacuum — and determine what steps to take next.

This Week in Research: Death, Terrorism, and a Really Cool Video

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In this series, we look at the newest findings coming out of our area’s top research universities. We’ve got some great minds in Baltimore — let’s learn what they’re learning!

Okay, this one is less “research” and more “cool experiment”:  what happens to a glass of water in space? Would it freeze? Would it boil? Would it kind of… float there creepily? Well, one cool thing about Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Lab is that they have all sorts of cool equipment with which to simulate space. So if that question is still bothering you (hint:  it’s kind of a trick question), just watch the video above to find out what happens.

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According to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, 69 percent of lung cancer patients and 81 percent of colorectal cancer patients didn’t understand that their chemotherapy wasn’t likely to cure their cancer. That’s because physicians aren’t forthright enough with their patients, says Johns Hopkins oncologist Thomas Smith. “We do a fair job of communicating to patients that their terminal illness is incurable, but only one-third of doctors tell patients their prognosis at any time during their care.” Smith, who’s also the director of palliative medicine at Hopkins, recommends the ask-tell-ask method:  “asking patients what they want to know about their prognosis, telling them what they want to know, and then asking, ‘What do you now understand about your situation?’ ”

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Although the central branch of al-Qaida may have been pummeled into submission by strategic assassinations/drone attacks/other methods — only one of the 5000 terrorist attacks in 2011 is attributed to the group — but that hardly means they’re not a danger. The real issue now, according to recent research out of the University of Maryland, is al-Qaida linked groups, like al-Shabaab in Somalia (which killed 70 and injured 42 last year) and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen (110 killed; 45 injured). More than a quarter of 2011’s terrorist attacks happened in Iraq, while the U.S.’s ten attacks amounted to less than .2 percent of global terror attacks.

Harbor East to Host Fake Terrorist Attack on Saturday

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Like this, but with more “mass casualties.”

If you find yourself at Harbor East this weekend, don’t mind the swarms of police and firefighters; it’s only a drill. This Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Harbor East will be the site of a simulated terrorist attack for local and regional emergency personnel honing their collective response to “large fires or mass casualties in a high-rise building.”

Pilot Makes "Fun Announcement" on Outgoing Baltimore Flight

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A pilot thought he would make a “fun announcement” on a Southwest Airlines flight heading out of Baltimore on Friday. He wanted to make it known that an air traffic controller’s mother was on the flight. But somehow — I don’t know how because PA systems on airplanes are typically crystal clear — when the pilot said “mom on board” some passengers heard “bomb on board” and became nervous.

Even though flight attendants were quick to assure everyone that there was no bomb, a couple passengers were still so fuming when they landed in Long Island that they reported the “incident” to airport security who contacted the police.

Now, on the one hand, of course someone would be alarmed to think that a bomb was on board their plane. But I have to think that the pilot’s (presumably) unworried tone should have provided a “context clue” for the passengers that nothing was really wrong.

In my imagination, this is what the announcement sounded like: “We’re just about 30 minutes from our destination…just wanted to let everybody know…that we’ve got a very special bomb on board with us today…she’s the bomb of air-traffic controller Ted Wilson…and it’s her birthday…so during the remainder of the flight…if you’re sitting near Ted’s bomb be sure to wish her a happy 60th…”

This Week in Research: Obese Doctors, Rural Terrorists

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Has your doctor diagnosed you as obese? It might depend on the number he or she saw when stepping on the scale this morning.  According to a recent study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, physicians who are overweight or obese are less likely to discuss weight loss — or to diagnose patients as obese — than their normal-weight counterparts. The study also found that normal-weight doctors were more confident in giving advice about diet and exercise, while obese doctors preferred to discuss weight loss medications. Even though national guidelines for the treatment of obesity exist, other studies have found that two-thirds of obese patients don’t get diagnosed or get counseling from their doctors.

Quick, imagine what the U.S.’s next terrorist attack will look like. Odds are, you pictured a big city under threat from international agents. That’s in part because since 1970, nearly a third of terrorist attacks have taken place in five major cities:  New York (343 attacks), Los Angeles (156), Miami (103), San Francisco (99), and Washington (79). But, according to a new study by the University of Maryland, more rural counties have also emerged as “hot spots” of terrorism.  Per the study’s terms, a terrorism “hot spot” is any county that’s had more than six attacks from 1970 to 2008. And many of these attacks — such as those in Maricopa County, Arizona — were the work of domestic groups. “Despite the clustering of attacks in certain regions, it is also clear that hot spots are dispersed throughout the country and include places as geographically diverse as counties in Arizona, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Texas,” note Gary LaFree, professor of criminology at UM. Most places that saw multiple attacks were under threat from groups with the same motivation — for example, the Bronx experienced only extreme left-wing terrorism, while Texas’s Lubbock County had the opposite result — attacks from only the extreme right-wing.

Would-be Hopkins Student Accused of Terrorism

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If you were a college freshmen arriving on campus to begin your fall semester, you might find yourself rooming with someone other than the student originally named in your housing information. Maybe your original roommate requested a transfer to a different dormitory or withdrew from his classes at the last minute. Or maybe that student was arrested on terrorism charges before the semester started.

Okay, so that last scenario is not that likely. But for whoever was slated to room with Mohammad Massan Khalid, 17, at Johns Hopkins this fall, that’s what happened.

Khalid, though a citizen of Pakistan, is a graduate of Mount Hebron High School in Ellicott City and would be right now attending classes at Hopkins on a full scholarship, if he hadn’t been arrested on July 6. He is accused of soliciting donations for a violent, jihadist organization—and even recruiting people to participate in terrorist operations—over the Internet.

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