Showing posts from November 27, 2011

Far-right cell links to Saarland attacks probed

There may be links between the far-right terror cell and a series of crimes in the western state of Saarland, including a bomb attack on a controversial exhibition and arson attacks on foreigners. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Saturday that the neo-Nazi terror group from Zwickau could have carried out the 1999 bomb attack in Saarbrücken on an exhibition on war crimes committed by the German army during World War II. It may also be behind a series of arson attacks in the town of Völklingen that only ended in September 2011, the paper suggested. According to information obtained by the newspaper, a Turkish organization in Völklingen received a copy of a DVD which the group produced, claiming responsibility for the murders of nine men with migrant backgrounds between 2000 and 2006. The group, calling themselves the National Socialist Underground (NSU), are alleged to have killed eight Turks and one Greek man in a killing spree across the country, as well as a poli

Terror for sale, terrorists for hire in south Philippines

Dec 03, 2011 (Philippine Daily Inquirer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Zamboanga. southern Philippines (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) -- Terror groups have turned bombings and bomb-making into a profitable criminal trade, offering to manufacture bombs or set these off to anyone willing to pay the price, a top regional police official in southern Philippines said Wednesday. Chief Supt. Felicisimo Khu, chief of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, said "bombers for hire and bombers for sale" have emerged in Maguindanao and Lanao. A group under wanted terrorist Basit Usman is believed to be behind the rising criminal enterprise, said Khu. "In a sense, Usman's group is earning locally," said the officer. "They're like NGOs (nongovernment organizations) now. They make projects and activities. They also get money when their foreign supporters see that their performance is good," Khu said.

‘Battlefield’ Today: Congress unveils 53 ;Jihadist plots since 9/11

US is facing a spike in homegrown jihadist-inspired terrorist activity, research by Congress says. It seems that a new bill that allows for Americans to be held for terrorism-related charges and detained without trial will not go to waste. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, released November 15, has criticized President Obama’s domestic Countering Violent Extremism strategy (CVE) saying “the Administration’s CVE strategy lacks specifics” including only “general philosophical statements and the insistence that the strategy does not center solely around fighting one particular radical ideology.” As of December 3, American counter-terrorist strategy is very specific, targeting Americans with all available military might. Under the new bill, Americans can be arrested, detained, tortured and interrogated without charge or trial. The bill was passed through the Senate on December with overwhelming support from 93 per cent of lawmakers. The report, largely overlooked by the m

Authorities: 3 Kurdish rebels killed in Turkey

Authorities say troops have killed three Kurdish rebels in southeast Turkey. The Diyarbakir province governor's office said the clash occurred in the town of Lice early Saturday, when the rebels attempted to sneak into the town for an apparent attack. The rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK have been fighting for autonomy in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast since 1984. The fighting has claimed tens of thousands of lives. (AP) Source,7340,L-4156388,00.html

COLOMBIA “We are a peaceful army”

Indigenous Guard defends native lands and autonomy. At least 35 indigenous peoples in Colombia are facing extinction due to ongoing land conflicts, issues with large-scale land owners, businesses and multinational companies, and illegal armed groups that have operated in the country for more than 40 years. The country is home to 1.3 million indigenous people, 2.8 percent of the country’s 47 million people, according to the National Statistics Department, or DANE. They represent 80 ethnicities, and the country’s constitution recognizes their right to own their native lands. But this population is mired in conflicts. “More than 1,500 members of our communities were killed between 2002 and 2010,” said Luis Evelis Andrade, president of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia, or ONIC. “Both civilians as well as members of armed groups kill and displace us. They want to take our ancestral lands away from us.” Faced with this situation and a lack of protection by the state

FACTBOX-Key political risks to watch in Colombia

By Jack Kimball BOGOTA Dec 2 (Reuters) - Ongoing bloodshed caused by guerrillas and drug gangs, growing protests against oil and mining companies and sensitive ties with neighbors Venezuela and Ecuador are key risks to watch in Colombia. THE WAR, GUERRILLAS AND DRUG GANGS Colombia dealt Marxist guerrillas one of the strongest blows in their history, killing rebel chief Alfonso Cano in early November. However, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dashed hopes that his death might bring the Andean nation closer to peace when they chose hard-liner Timoleon Jimenez, or "Timochenko", as their new leader. Chances of ending the nearly five-decade war seemed even more elusive after the government said FARC rebels executed four members of the security forces who had been held hostage for more than a decade. [ID:nCOLOMBIA] Santos has kept up former President Alvaro Uribe's tough stance against left-wing rebels and drug gangs, and pledged to further improve se

HTML5 to create new challenges for security pros in 2012: Sophos

The move to HTML5 will enable a whole host of new web applications, but could also create new challenges for enterprise security professionals, according to UK security firm Sophos. In its security predictions for 2012, Sophos identifies new web and networking technologies – such as HTML5 – as one of the major security risks for the year ahead. While these technologies introduce some impressive new capabilities that are exciting for rich web application development, they also introduce new attack vectors, the company explained. HTML4 has driven content on the web for many years, but it is a very basic programming language, so developers have supplemented it with add-ons such as JavaScript, Adobe Flash and Google Gears. These add-ons are often littered with unpatched vulnerabilities, making the whole system very insecure, Sophos said. HTML5 removes the need for most of the add-ons, because it is a more sophisticated language and comes with a full database that enables users to stor

Intel Experts: CIA Penetration By Terrorist Group is Catastrophic

The recent setback for the U.S. Intelligence Community – specifically CIA – wherein scores of operators working for the Agency were seized by Iranian security forces in Iran and Hizballah, Iran's proxy army, in Lebanon; speak to two disturbing truths. The first is that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hizballah, which is both financially and operationally supported by the IRGC, maintains human intelligence and counterintelligence capabilities that are as “formidable” as any fielded by the West. Secondly, they are aggressively operating against us. According to Reuters, former CIA operations officer Bob Baer said, "Hizballah's security is as good as any in the world's. It's the best. It's better than that of the KGB, [the former Soviet spy agency]." And at least one expert refers to Iran and Hizballah's aggressive counterintelligence operations and recent success as bordering on war. Prof. Walid Phares – an advisor to th

Homemade Bomb Explodes in Santiago De Chile

A homemade bomb exploded Monday outside the military prosecutor’s office in Santiago, but no injuries or damage were reported, Chile’s Carabineros militarized police force told Efe. No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, which occurred at 1:00 a.m., a few hours before the trial of six people accused of setting off 20 bombs between 2006 and 2010 started at the Justice Center. More than two dozen bombings have been staged in Chile since 2006, targeting banks, large corporations, churches and public buildings. Responsibility for the blasts is usually claimed by anarchists or anti-globalization groups, some of them linked to Chile’s disgruntled Mapuche Indians. The six defendants are being tried for planting bombs and financing terrorist activities. A total of 476 witnesses and 152 experts are slated to be called to testify during the trial, which is expected to last at least six months. The six defendants are part of a group of 14 people arrested in August 2010 for belon

Persecution without borders

“The arm of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” - Martin Luther King Operation Condor, the 20th century’s largest transnational statesponsored terrorist coalition, came into being in South America during the bloody era of military dictatorships. Its very name would send shivers down the spine of thousands of exiled and persecuted political activists across the continent. When this plan came to light, it shocked the world. In 1975, the United States and the military governments of Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia and Peru adopted a plan to share intelligence on opponents and arrange for them to be abducted, swapped, extradited and executed. This was Operation Condor. Some of the masterminds have been brought to trial in Argentina and Chile, and the long arm of the law is now reaching out to Brazil. Brazil’s military junta seized power in 1964 and ruled the country till 1985, relying on terrorism and intimidation. They could hardly imagine in

Trial in Chile for 6 accused of setting off bombs

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A trial has begun in Chile for six people accused of setting off small bombs outside various buildings. If convicted, the six could face sentences of 10 to 15 years in prison. Chilean authorities allege the group was made up of anarchists who set off explosives outside banks and other buildings between 2006 and 2010. The only person who died was a young man whose bomb exploded in his backpack. The six were initially part of a group of 14 prosecuted under an anti-terrorism law. An appeals court dismissed the terrorism counts, but other charges remain. Four of the defendants are charged with placing the bombs, and two are accused of financing the attacks. The trial began Monday and is expected to last several months Source

Did Uzbekistan Bomb Its Own Railway?

That's the provocative theory that is beginning to circulate, fueled by the Uzbekistan government's refusal to disclose basic information about an alleged attack, and some pointed questions being asked in Tajikistan about who has benefited and who has suffered from a rail bridge explosion near the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan border. When the bridge was blown up on November 17, the Uzbekistan authorities called it a "terrorist act" and most observers, not least this blog, speculated that it might be Islamists trying to scuttle U.S.-Uzbek cooperation over the war effort in Afghanistan. Initial reports about the area affected suggested that it could have been on a line renovated by the U.S. for use in its Northern Distribution Network, by which the U.S. and NATO ship military cargo overland through Central Asia to Afghanistan. But since then, Uzbekistan has said nothing more about the incident. And it's emerged that while the U.S. military traffic to Afghanistan wasn

Global rebellion: The coming chaos?

Global elites have managed to capture the financial system, managing it to their own benefit [EPA] Santa Barbara, CA - As the crisis of global capitalism spirals out of control, the powers that be in the global system appear to be adrift and unable to proposal viable solutions. From the slaughter of dozens of young protesters by the army in Egypt to the brutal repression of the Occupy movement in the United States, and the water cannons brandished by the militarised police in Chile against students and workers, states and ruling classes are unable are to hold back the tide of worldwide popular rebellion and must resort to ever more generalised repression. Simply put, the immense structural inequalities of the global political economy can no longer be contained through consensual mechanisms of social control. The ruling classes have lost legitimacy; we are witnessing a breakdown of ruling-class hegemony on a world scale. To understand what is happening in this second decade of th

Muslims of France

There are an estimated five million Muslims in France today, which is the largest such population in Western Europe. A century ago, they were called "colonials"; in the 1960s, they were known as "immigrants"; today, they are "citizens". With issues of immigration and integration raising the political temperature in Europe, this three-part series looks back at the history of Muslim immigration into France. It is a history that remains alive today, with the ongoing debate over how to reconcile France's long-standing tradition of secularism with religious diversity. What challenges have Muslim immigrants in France faced and overcome in order to retain their cultural identity in a foreign country? Colonials In 1904, 5,000 Muslims were working in mainland France on shop floors in Paris, in Marseille soap factories, or in the northern coalfields. They were called "Kabyles" as most of them came from Kabylia in northern Algeria. "

Afghanistan most dangerous place for women;

Education is a privilege for most Afghan women due to poverty and a conservative social environment [AFP] Afghanistan has been ranked as the world's most dangerous country for women, with Congo taking a close second position, a Thomson Reuters Foundation expert poll has said. Violence, dismal healthcare and brutal poverty afflicts women in Afghanistan, while in Congo there are horrific levels of rape, the survey conducted by TrustLaw, an arm of Thomson Reuters, said on Wednesday. Pakistan, India and Somalia ranked third, fourth and fifth respectively in the global survey of perceptions of threats ranging from domestic abuse and economic discrimination to female foeticide, genital mutilation and acid attacks. "Ongoing conflict, NATO airstrikes and cultural practices combined make Afghanistan a very dangerous place for women," Antonella Notari, head of women change makers, a group that supports women social entrepreneurs around the world, said. The survey asked 2

Lebanon's intelligence war

In Lebanon, electronic devices and spyware have been found on individuals charged with spying for Israel [EPA] Beirut, Lebanon - The confirmation by officials in the United States of the exposure of their CIA informants in Lebanon has caused a flurry of excitement in both the local and international media in recent days, adding yet another chapter to intelligence activities on Lebanese soil. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah revealed in a press conference in June 2011 that the Lebanese Shia resistance movement had discovered and arrested at least two of its members, whom Nasrallah said were working for the Central Intelligence Agency. Although the US embassy denied the story at the time, unnamed US government officials recanted and confirmed the arrests last week. Media reports claim that the intelligence agency has gone so far as to shut down its Beirut bureau after it was compromised by Hezbollah's announcement. The intelligence war playing out in Lebanon is nothing new, h

Thousands in Tunisian protest against extremists

TUNIS — Thousands of people rallied in central Tunis Thursday to express fears of extremism under an Islamist party that swept to power in October polls, but also to denounce unemployment and corruption. About 2,000 to 3,000 students, teachers, miners and other protesters gathered outside Bardo Palace, where Tunisian lawmakers are gathered to draft a new constitution. The protest was partly a response to ongoing demonstrations at a university outside the capital, where Islamists disrupted classes demanding a stop to mixed-sex classes and for female students to wear the full-face veil, or niqab. University professors among the group chanted: "No to extremism" and "Hands off the teachers", among other slogans. Students held up placards with anti-niqab phrases including: "Neither mini-skirts nor niqabs", and: "If you want to wear the niqab, do it at home." Moderate Islamist parties have been winning elections since the toppling of dictators in

FM: No such thing as kosher terror funds

Avigdor Lieberman slams cabinet's decision to transfers PA tax funds, warns Palestinian Authority will 'use money to shelter murderers' Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman expressed his discontent of Israel's decision to transfer withheld tax funds to the Palestinian Authority, saying the PA was sure to use the money to fund acts of terror. Israel collects approximately $100 million a month in various taxes on behalf of the PA. The transfer of funds collected in October and November has been suspended following UNESCO's decision to grant Ramallah's bid for full membership. The decision to unfreeze the funds followed a demand to that effect by Defense Minister Ehud Barak. "This is an unfortunate decision that will do nothing to rehabilitate Israel's relations with the Palestinians," he said, referring to the special eight-minister' forum's decision to unfreeze the funds. "All it will do is allow the PA to use the funds to enco

Is UK on a cocaine high? Share | Larger | Smaller

Over one in every 10 banknotes in circulation in UK are contaminated with cocaine, police drug experts have said. Finding of the Home Office's advisory council for the misuse of drugs (ACMD) substantiates earlier studies that indicate the use of cocaine powder in Britain is the highest in Europe, and higher than in the US and Australia, The Guardian reports. Police experts said cocaine is now being widely sold on the streets and added it was being cut with MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine), which leads to ecstasy, in clubs. They suggested longer pub hours since 2006 might have increased its use, as cocaine powder is widely used during night out to carry on drinking without falling asleep. A Kent police drugs expert, PC Adrian Parsons, said cocaine was widely used by people aged between 18 and 45 years and that people whom he checked following a positive palm swab on his scanning machine at nightclub doors were working, had their own homes, and no previous convictions. &

NATO troops ordered to stay out of Af-Pak buffer zone

US-led NATO troops in Afghanistan have been ordered not to approach the buffer zone on the Af-Pak border in order to avoid recurrence of last week's air trike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. An order in this regard has been issued by Gen John Allen, the Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the November 26 air strike, pending the detailed investigation into the incident announced by US Central Command (CENTCOM), Ivo Daalder, US Permanent Representative to NATO, said here yesterday. The real facts of the incident, he said, would be known only after the investigation is over. "The most important thing we have already learnt is that Gen Allen has ordered the troops not to approach the created buffer zone at the border in order to reduce the chances that something like this would happen in the future," Daalder said in a breakfast meeting with the Defence Writers Group here. Giving his brief of the incident that has plunged the US-Pak rela

New WikiLeaks files show global surveillance industry

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange launched the website's new project, the publication of hundreds of files it claims show a global industry that gives governments tools to spy on their citizens. The files reveal the activities of about 160 companies in 25 countries, which develop technologies to allow the tracking and monitoring of individuals by their mobile phones, email accounts and Internet browsing histories. "Today we release over 287 files documenting the reality of the international mass surveillance industry – an industry which now sells equipment to dictators and democracies alike in order to intercept entire populations," Assange told reporters in London on Thursday. He said that in the last ten years it had grown from a covert industry, which primarily supplied government intelligence agencies such as the NSA in the United States and Britain's GCHQ, to a huge transnational business. Assange has been in Britain for the past year fighting extradition t