In a pole barn in Franklin, sharing space with a motorcycle and a boat, sat an imposing military vehicle designed for battlefields in Iraq or Afghanistan, not the streets of Johnson County.
It is an MRAP — a bulletproof, 60,000-pound, six-wheeled behemoth with heavy armor, a gunner’s turret and the word “SHERIFF” emblazoned on its flank — a vehicle whose acronym stands for “mine resistant, ambush protected.”
“We don’t have a lot of mines in Johnson County,” confessed sheriff Doug Cox, who acquired the vehicle. “My job is to make sure my employees go home safe.” Continue reading
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Are terrorists setting U.S. wildfires?
As the 2013 season of devastating wildfires continues to rage across the American West, the question of arson as a form of major terrorism is again being raised.
Already this year, 35,440 reported fires have burned a total of 3.9 million acres, with a quarter-million acres scorched the iconic Yosemite National Park.
Large blazes continue to burn in several states, with six alive in Idaho, five each in California and Montana, and one each in Alaska, Louisiana, Oregon, Texas and Washington.
In July 2012, William Scott, a former National Security Agency official and Aviation Week editor, told the American Center for Democracy that terrorists are using fire as a tactical weapon of war. Continue reading