Morning Security Brief: Deadly Texas Tornados, Security Personnel Kidnapped, and more

By Holly Gilbert

► Tornados in North Texas have left at least six people dead and injured around 100 others. NBC reports the death toll could grow, with 114 people still unaccounted for. The town of Granbury, about 65 miles southwest of Dallas was hit the hardest. All six deaths reported came out of the same neighborhood, Rancho Brazos, on the outskirts of Granbury. “At least ten tornadoes touched ground across Texas on Wednesday evening according to Mark Fox, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Dallas-Fort Worth,” reads the news report. This outbreak of tornados is the deadliest on record this year.

► The Associated Press is reporting that six security personnel have been abducted in Egypt’s Sinai region by suspected militants. The kidnappers ambushed two separate taxis carrying the five policeman and one border guard in the city of el-Arish. Since the uprising against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, a security “vacuum” has formed in Egypt, and has since been targeted by criminal and Islamic militant groups. The state news agency reported that President Mohamed Morsi has called an emergency meeting with officials to discuss the kidnapping.

► In other international news, a NATO convoy was attacked this morning by a suicide bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan, resulting in at least 12 deaths. According to USA Today, officials say two NATO troops and four civilian contractors are among the deceased. Two children also died, and more than 35 others were wounded. Hizb-e-Islami, a Muslim militant group, claimed responsibility for the attack, and said their “martyrdom” unit had been stalking the convoy for weeks.

► The results are in from a review of security measures at schools in Knox County, Tennessee, ordered three months ago by the superintendent. Local television news station WBIR reports the findings of the review included problems with “cameras, motion detectors, and burglar alarm keypads” at 20 of the 28 schools surveyed. Of 750 cameras at all the schools, only 2 percent were reportedly in need of attention. Some produced “grainy images or no picture” while others needed simple maintenance due to “dirty lenses, lack of focus, and readjustment of angles.” One school had 17 cameras with problems, and one of those devices didn’t work at all. "It generally supports our knowledge that our security systems, generally speaking, are functioning properly and appropriately," said Knox County schools superintendent Jim McIntyre. He says the school system has requested money in next year’s budget to upgrade all of their security measures.


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