Showing posts from November 28, 2010

Watchdog warns India, Somali pirates nearing India

Source: HT The dreaded Somali pirates have extended their operations from the Gulf of Aden waters to the west coast of India, openly using previously hijacked vessels as mother ships, a piracy watchdog body said here. "The pirates are now rampant in the west coast of India and Maldives, their favourite haunt sued to be the Gulf of Aden in the Arabian Sea," Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting centre, said. "They are now using previously hijacked vessels as their mother ship in open waters," he said here. He said though there had been instances of pirates attacking off the coast of India the frequency had increased lately and attributed this partly to the end of the monsoon season in September. He urged vessels plying the international waters to maintain vigil and radar watch and try and steer clear of small boats which looked "out of place" in the open sea, the New Straits Times said. Last week, a ship owned

Qaeda says suicide bomber killed Yemen Shiite spiritual head

Source: Hindustantimes Al-Qaeda said on Friday the aging spiritual guide of northern Yemen's Shiite rebels was among those killed in a suicide bombing in November, dismissing accounts that Badreddin al-Huthi died of natural causes. Huthi was among the dead on November 24 when Al-Qaeda bomber Abu Aisha al-Sanaani al-Hashemi struck a Shiite procession in Al-Jawf, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said in a statement on an Islamist website. The rebels, observing an uneasy truce with Sanaa since February, said a suicide car bombing killed 23 fighters or backers at the religious procession, but that Huthi, an asthma sufferer, died a natural death a day later. The Zaidi Shiites "claimed that the cause of death was natural" and "concealed his death and spread rumours contrary to the truth," AQAP said in a statement monitored by US-based SITE Intelligence Group. Badreddin al-Huthi was the father of rebel commander Abdulmalik al-Huthi and of his predecess

CBI website hacked by 'Pakistani Cyber Army'

Source: Indian Express In a major embarrassment, the website of premier investigating agency CBI was hacked on Friday night by programmers identifying themselves as "Pakistani Cyber Army". The home page of the CBI website had a message from the 'Pakistani Cyber Army' warning the Indian Cyber Army not to attack theirwebsites. The hackers have made a mockery of the country's cyber security by infiltrating into the CBI website, supposed to be one of the most secure websites. The CBI is connected to the command centre of world police organisation - Interpol - 24x7. The message from the hackers also spoke about the filtering controls provided by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), a body which mans computer servers across the country. Intelligence agencies have been often warning the government that proper cyber security was not being ensured in government offices and that no security audit was being carried out. The Pakistani Cyber Army has also

pak cleric offers 5 lakh for killing a christian woman

A Muslim cleric of an historic mosque in the capital of Pakistan's Khyber Paktunkhwa province offered Rs 5 lakhs for killing Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was recently sentenced to death by a court for allegedly committing blasphemy. Maulana Yusaf Qureshi, the imam of the well-known Mohabat Khan mosque, announced the reward for killing Asia Bibi during his sermon at the Friday prayers. He announced that he would pay Rs 5 lakh to the person who killed "blasphemor Asia Bibi". The payment would be made from the mosque's fund, he said. Qureshi is known for his outspoken ways and has issued several controversial fatwas in the past. The death sentence given by a lower court in Punjab to Asia Bibu, a 45-year-old mother of five, has triggered a heated debate across Pakistan on the need to repeal or amend a controversial blasphemy law.  A report submitted to President Asif Ali Zardari by Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti concluded that the blasphem

WikiLeaks: Assassination threats, new warrant for boss

Source: Deccanchronicle Stockholm: Sweden said on Thursday it would issue a fresh arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as new revelations from his website's expose of US diplomatic cables saw Russia branded a 'mafia state'. While the elusive whistleblower laid low, his British lawyer insisted police knew his whereabouts and it emerged that an initial warrant was defective. The United States meanwhile named an anti-terrorism expert to lead a review of security in the wake of the leaks which have angered its friends and foes. After the Supreme Court in Stockholm refused to hear an appeal by Assange against the initial warrant over allegations of rape and molestation, Swedish police said they would issue a new one as a result of a procedural error. "We have to refresh the warrant. It's a precedural fault, we agree. The prosecutor Marianne Ny has to write a new one," Tommy Kangasvieri of the Swedish National Criminal Police told AFP.

How terrorists from across the globe conspired to execute 26/11?

Source: Rediff I t has been two years since the horrific 26/11 attacks shook Mumbai and India, but there are still plenty of loose ends in the case thanks to the fact the Pakistani spy agency Inter Services Intelligence and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba relied on operatives from around the globe to execute the dastardly attacks, reports Vicky Nanjappa . Just when the Indian investigation agencies thought that they had completed the probe in the 26/11 case in record time, the name of Pakistani American LeT operative David Coleman Headley cropped up. While his interrogation put an end to all doubts as to who conducted the recee for the attacks, there were still some doubts on the financing of the operation, the obtaining of the SIM cards used for the terror communications and also the creation of fake documents. Today when one takes into account the investigation into the 26/11 case, it looks incomplete, thanks to the fact that there has not been much cooperation internationa

Taliban kidnap demining team in east Afghanistan

Source: HT An Afghan demining organization says the Taliban are holding eight of its workers after kidnapping a group of 16 in eastern Afghanistan. Fazel Wahab, from the OMAR humanitarian group working to find and dismantle homemade bombs, said militants attacked the 16-member team on Wednesday morning near the Torkham border crossing in Nangarhar province. He says the militants also set fire to two of the group's vehicles. Wahab says several hours later, the Taliban released eight of his colleagues, who contacted the organization to report that they had been freed. Gen. Aminullah Amerkhail, border police commander for eastern Afghanistan, and Hazrat Mohammad, a spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial police chief, also confirmed the kidnapping.

Nepal new haven for militants?

Source: HT Rajkumar Meghen, chairman of the banned United National Liberation Front (UNLF) of Manipur, also known as Sana Yaima, has yet another name - a Nepali one. If police in Bihar's Motihari are to be believed, one of Northeast India's most wanted militant, arrested in Bihar's East Champaran district Tuesday, also called himself Raju Shreshtha. The details of his arrest are still sketchy but the use of a Nepali name and Meghen's alleged attempt to cross over to the neighbouring country seems to be part of pattern among ultras of north east India. Faced with an 'unfriendly' government in Bangladesh, leaders of banned outfits from Northeast could be looking at Nepal as their next safe haven. An open border and lax authorities could be reasons for the move. In October this year, Anthony Shing, of Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muivah) was arrested in Kathmandu while Niranjan Hojai, 'commander-in-chief' of the Dima Halam Daogah

Garo militant group chairman killed in encounter

Source: HT In a major breakthrough, Nikson G Momin, the self-styled chairman of the Garo militant outfit Liberation Achik Elite Force (LAEF) was killed in an encounter with security forces in Meghalaya's East Garo Hills district in the early hours on Thursday. On a tip-off, a special Meghalaya police team combed the Rongsak area during which militants fired at them leading to a fierce encounter at Darugree at around 3:00 am in which Nikson alias Dilkam and his personal security officer Rakpat were killed, Superintendent of police Sylvester Nongtnger said. A grenade was hurled at the police vehicle, but it did not explode, while 28 rounds were exchanged in 15 minutes between the two sides, the SP said. Two managed to escape. Two pistols, one grenade and some documents were found from the slain rebels, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said making a suo moto statement at the Assembly after the incident. LAEF, a Garo rebel group, floated in 2005 for fighting for a separate Achik (Ga

Garo militant group chairman killed in encounter

Source: HT In a major breakthrough, Nikson G Momin, the self-styled chairman of the Garo militant outfit Liberation Achik Elite Force (LAEF) was killed in an encounter with security forces in Meghalaya's East Garo Hills district in the early hours on Thursday. On a tip-off, a special Meghalaya police team combed the Rongsak area during which militants fired at them leading to a fierce encounter at Darugree at around 3:00 am in which Nikson alias Dilkam and his personal security officer Rakpat were killed, Superintendent of police Sylvester Nongtnger said. A grenade was hurled at the police vehicle, but it did not explode, while 28 rounds were exchanged in 15 minutes between the two sides, the SP said. Two managed to escape. Two pistols, one grenade and some documents were found from the slain rebels, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said making a suo moto statement at the Assembly after the incident. LAEF, a Garo rebel group, floated in 2005 for fighting for a separate Achik (Ga

Navy wary of unguarded WB stretch

Source: HT The Indian Navy has asked the Border Security Force and the customs department to beef up their presence along the 160-km-long stretch of water that runs through the Sunderbans. Commodore Brian Anthony Thomas, naval officer in charge of West Bengal, said here on Thursday that this vast unmanned stretch might threaten India’s security. The reason: This stretch provides almost free-entry rights to the Indian waters where ships from Bangladesh are allowed to travel a long stretch before reaching the customs checkpoint at Namkhana, about 120 km south of Kolkata. According to an Indo-Bangladesh trade agreement, ships from Bangaldesh can enter India through Bihari Khal by going through a routine check by the BSF. At present, seven to eight ships enter India from Bangladesh everyday through this route. Navy officials are concerned that even two years after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, such a long stretch remained unmanned. For, the Pakistani killers reached Mumbai throug

Nigeria Oil Clashes Threaten Production in Challenge to Jonathan

Source: Bloomberg A surge of violence in Nigeria ’s delta region is threatening output in Africa’s biggest oil producer and may thwart President Goodluck Jonathan’s ambition to win next year’s election. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg A surge of violence in Nigeria’s delta region is threatening output in Africa’s biggest oil producer and may thwart President Goodluck Jonathan ’s ambition to win next year’s election. A year after thousands of fighters laid down their arms under a government amnesty program, militants this month struck an Exxon Mobil Corp. offshore platform, Afren Plc ’s shallow water field and a pipeline supplying crude to two refineries. They also clashed with government troops and vowed more raids. “Any increase in violence is likely to affect oil output,” Mark Schroeder, director of Africa analysis at Strategic Forecasting Inc. , an Austin, Texas-based global intelligence group, said in a t

1,000-man militia being trained in north Somalia

Source: AP (AP) – 12 hours ago NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — In the northern reaches of Somalia and the country's presidential palace, a well-equipped military force is being created, funded by a mysterious donor nation that is also paying for the services of a former CIA officer and a senior ex-U.S. diplomat. The Associated Press has determined through telephone and e-mail interviews with three insiders that training for an anti-piracy force of up to 1,050 men has already begun in Puntland, a semiautonomous region in northern Somalia that is believed to hold reserves of oil and gas. But key elements remain unknown — mainly who is providing the millions of dollars in funding and for what ultimate purpose. Pierre Prosper, an ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues under former President George W. Bush, told AP he is being paid by a Muslim nation he declined to identify to be a legal adviser to the Somali government, focusing on security, transparency and anti-corruption.

Somali militants lose more territory

Source: Newvision Museveni greets a Ugandan female Police officer serving in the peacekeeping force in Somalia By Joshua Kato in Mogadishu THE al-Shabaab Islamist insurgents fighting the Somali government are slowly losing control of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, as the Transitional Government Forces, backed by the African Union forces (AMISOM), continue capturing more areas of the battered capital. “In July, we controlled about eight positions in Mogadishu. But by the end of September, we had 16 positions,” said the Ugandan contingent commander, Col. Michael Ondoga. A young soldier, who was watching the al-Shabaab positions just a few metres away, said: “They regularly try to push us back, but every time they attack, we chase them away and capture more territory.” Such is the closeness of the two forces that sometimes the al-Shabaab attack the AMISOM forces using stones. “When you call al-Shabaab, they answer back wit

Obama takes aim at Africa's Lord's Resistance Army

Source: Minipost By Tristan McConnell NAIROBI, Kenya — With a campaign of kidnapping children to make them hardened soldiers or sex slaves, tactics including amputations, torture and the murders of entire villages, the Lord's Resistance Army has been a vicious, destabilizing force in central Africa for more than 20 years. Under the cunning leadership of Joseph Kony, the LRA has evaded all efforts to eradicate it by the Ugandan army as well as the United Nations. Now the LRA must also battle the efforts of the United States to disarm it. U.S. President Barack Obama has announced a strategy aimed at ending the scourge of the LRA , notorious for abduction, rape, murder and pillage across a swath of central Africa. Obama said the strategy “identifies priority actions related to protecting civilians and eliminating the threat posed by the LRA.” In a letter to U.S. Congressmen last week, Obama said it was necessary to bring, “political, economic, military, and

Shia militias helping Haqqani network evade US drone attacks, cross Pak-Afghan border

Source: Sify Shia militias in Pakistan's tribal regions are helping the Al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network- one of the fiercest enemies of NATO- evade US drone attacks to cross safely into Afghanistan, a tribal activist has revealed. The Daily Times quoted Munir Bangash, who is familiar with the deal, as saying that Shias, who control a key piece of the tribal real estate, cut a deal with the Haqqani network to give insurgents a safe, alternative route to Afghanistan through the Kurram region. A second tribesman from Kurram, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the deal. The deal in Kurram was brokered two months ago during Ramazan, when a delegation of Shia elders and militiamen from Kurram met representatives of the Haqqani network, and laid the groundwork for the deal, said Bangash, who is the chairman of the Community Rights Programme, an independent organisation trying to broker peace between Kurram's Shias and Sunnis while bringing development to

Afghan, coalition force targets Haqqani Network senior leader in Khost

Source: Dvids KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan and coalition security forces killed several insurgents and detained one suspected insurgent during an operation targeting a Haqqani senior leader in Khost province yesterday. The targeted individual coordinates suicide attacks in Sabari district as well as improvised explosive device attacks against coalition forces operating in the area. Intelligence reports led the security force to a compound east of Taraka in Sabari district to search for the targeted individual. As the security force approached, they immediately took contact from insurgents in established fighting positions. The security force responded, killing several insurgents and destroying their fighting positions. Afghan forces then called for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully before the joint security force cleared the compound finding multiple grenades, automatic weapons, a pistol and IED materials, including blasting caps. Af

Pakistanis, Nigerian held in Spain over terror links

Source: AFP on Google By Denholm Barnetson (AFP) – 18 hours ago MADRID — Spanish police have arrested six Pakistanis and a Nigerian suspected of providing forged passports to organisations linked to Al-Qaeda, including the group accused of plotting the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, the interior ministry said Wednesday. Three others -- two Pakistanis and a Thai national -- were held in Thailand as part of the same Operation Kampai, which "neutralised a vast cell that helped provide passports for Al-Qaeda," it said in a statement. A police source in Thailand said four people were arrested in the country as part of the operation, but gave no further details. Spanish police detained the seven suspects in raids in and around the northeastern city of Barcelona, which has a large Pakistani community, late on Tuesday. The gang stole documents, including passports, which were sent to Thailand to be forged and then delivered to Al Qaeda-linked "terrorist groups," i

WikiLeaks: Pakistan continues to support Mumbai terror attack group

Source: Telegraph Pakistan continues to support the militant group which carried out the 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai despite its claims to have launched a crackdown on the organisation, the United States Ambassador to Islamabad wrote in a cable.  Ten Lashkar e Taiba 'fedayeen' commandos killed 166 in a three day attack on Mumbai in 2008   Photo: PA By Dean Nelson , New Delhi 5:49PM GMT 01 Dec 2010 In a review of Washington's strategy on Pakistan and Afghanistan, its ambassador to Islamabad, Anne Patterson, said Pakistan was supporting four militant groups, including the Taliban's Haqqani network and the Lashkar e Taiba (LeT) terror group, and could not be persuaded to abandon them. The Haqqani network is based in North Waziristan, from where it launches attacks on Nato forces over the border in Afghanistan. The LeT has been n

How foreign diplomats charted response to 26/11: WikiLeaks

Source: The Hindu In the aftermath of 26/11, diplomats from U.S., Australia, New Zealand, U.K. and Canada had decided not to get “sucked into” the Indo-Pak blame game and stop short of blasting India on the huge intelligence failure, disclosures by WikiLeaks show, according to New Zealand media. A confidential cable released by WikiLeaks relating to the Mumbai terror attack relates to the international response to the deadly incident that killed 183 people, including foreigners. The cable from December 2008 describes a meeting between New Zealand, US, Australian, British and Canadian diplomats in the aftermath of the attacks, according to New Zealand Herald. All the representatives resolved not to get “sucked into the blame game” being played by Pakistan and India, the cable said. It said the representatives decided that any offers of assistance to India should be made “carefully” to avoid being interpreted as politically motivated. They had earlier agreed to send sympa

Top 8 IT forecasts for 2011; cyber attacks to boom

Source: rediff T he world's leading IT research and advisory firm Gartner has forecast that by 2015, online sabotages will become multi-modal and very damaging and that even a G-20 nation's critical infrastructure will be disrupted and damaged by such cyber attacks. This was stated in 'Gartner's Top Predictions for IT Organisations and Users, 2011 and Beyond: IT's Growing Transparency' released on Tuesday. "Such a multimodal attack can have lasting effects beyond a temporary disruption, in the same manner that the 9/11 had on the United States," it adds. The forecast also says, "By 2015, new revenue generated each year by IT will determine the annual compensation of most CIOs across the world." Analysts said that the predictions highlight the significant changes in the roles played by technology and IT organisations in business, the global economy and the lives of individual users. 1. By 2015, a G20 nation's critical

Suicide bomber targets police in Bannu, 6 killed

Source: Dailytimes * Policeman, eight-year-old girl, among those killed * 16, including two policemen, injured in attack Staff Report PESHAWAR: A suicide bomber targeted a police van in Bannu, killing six people including a policeman, on Tuesday. “A suicide bomber attacked Saddar Police Station van near Milad Chowk,” police official Aurangzeb Khan said. It was the fourth suicide attack in the country this month and the first in Bannu since February 11 this year when eights policemen and seven civilians were killed in twin strikes by terrorists. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Bannu police suspects it must be the work of Taliban or banned sectarian outfits trying to disrupt peace during Muharram. “An eight-year-old girl and his father were among the fatalities,” the police official said. He did not confirm whether the bomber was targeting police van or simply trying to create terror before the start of Muharram. The attack left two police

Book review: Terrorism from an Economist’s Angle

Source: faith freedom Book review by U. Mahesh Prabhu TERRORISM AND THE ECONOMY: HOW THE WAR ON TERROR IS BANKRUPTING THE WORLD | Author: Loretta Napoleoni | Publisher: Seven Stories Press | ISBN: 978-1-58322-895-1 | Pages: 170 | Price: $10.46 When President George W. Bush assumed office in 2000, his administration inherited a small budget surplus. President Barack Obama, today, faces a national debt of $10 trillion – about 70 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) or 18 percent of the world economy. So where did all that money go in a span of eight years? Answers Loretta Napoleoni, author of TERRORISM AND THE ECONOMY: HOW THE WAR ON TERROR IS BANKRUPTING THE WORLD, “Two wars, still underway, and an extremely ambitious – albeit inconsistent and inefficient – security system have drained American finances and pushed the United States into the ranks of the nations with the highest public debt.” The book intends to “trace the finances of the war on terro

Compromise on terror by Pak inadmissible: Russia

Source: Zeenews New Delhi: Backing India's position on normalising ties with Pakistan, Russia on Monday said any compromise on terrorism was "inadmissible". "We welcome the position of the two countries to build up ties and solve some problems together. But we think that anything that involves compromise is inadmissible when it comes to terrorism and this is our final position," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in reply to a question. He was interacting with reporters after talks with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to finalise the programme for the visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to India from December 21-22. Lavrov said that Russia favoured gradual settlement of ties between India and Pakistan the presence of both the countries as observers in multi-lateral bodies like the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) would help in this direction. "Our position is that relations between Delhi and Islamabad should be settled

Mali strengthens law against terrorism

Source: Afriquejet Bamako, Mali - Mali has strengthened its laws against terrorism with the passage of the bill on terrorism financing by the country's parliament on Sunday. The new law extends the powers of the national information processing unit, a national body that collects and processes financial information relating to money laundering and information on terrorist financing. It also defines the legal framework for the fight against terrorism in Mali by implementing the UN Convention of December 9, 1999 for the suppression of terrorist financing, among others. The new law complies with the Uniform Law on the Fight against terrorism in the Member States of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).

Top Iran Nuclear Scientists Attacked

Source: NYTimes Reuters One of the two cars bombed Monday in Tehran. One Iranian nuclear scientist was killed and another was wounded in the attacks. By WILLIAM YONG and ROBERT F. WORTH Published: November 29, 2010 TEHRAN — Unidentified assailants riding motorcycles carried out separate bomb attacks here on Monday against two of the country’s top nuclear scientists, killing one and prompting accusations that the United States and Israel were again trying to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program . The slain scientist, Majid Shahriari, managed a “major project” for the country’s Atomic Energy Organization, Iran ’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, told the semiofficial IRNA news agency. His wounded colleague, Fereydoon Abbasi, is believed to be even more important; he is on the United Nations Security Council ’s sanctions list for ties to the Iranian nuclear effort. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that “undoubtedly the hand of the Zionist regime and Western governme