Showing posts from May 25, 2014

Boko Haram: Why France won’t send troops to Nigeria now —French ambassador

Recently, President Goodluck Jonathan alongside some other West African leaders were in your country to discuss the issue of the Boko Haram insurgency, which is threatening the stability of the region. How do you think this parley would help solve this problem? The summit was organised at the request of President Goodluck Jonathan when he discussed the issue of the Boko Haram insurgency on telephone with President Francois Hollande. The Nigerian president has a feeling that the insurgency has reached a dimension where it requires regional cooperation, and this is also the French analysis. We can see that there is the need for security in the countries in this region, and we don’t have forces that can move from one country to another as easily, freely and quickly as the terrorists do. So, the idea is to work together and find a way to bring about lasting peace to the region. The countries will be cooperating in the area of intelligence, joint patrolling, among others. However, it takes

Suicide Bomber Is Identified as a Florida Man

WASHINGTON — An American who blew himself up in an attack in Syria on Sunday has been identified by law enforcement officials as Moner Mohammad Abusalha, a man in his early 20s who grew up in Florida and traveled to Syria late last year. The officials said they believed that Mr. Abusalha, who adopted the nom de guerre Abu Huraira al-Amriki, used a large truck in helping to carry out the bombing in the northern province of Idlib, where he had traveled after spending two months in a training camp of the militant group the Nusra Front in Aleppo. The officials said they thought it was the first time an American had been involved in a suicide attack in Syria. Mr. Abusalha’s identity was confirmed Friday night by the State Department. American law enforcement and intelligence agencies made the identification after analyzing intelligence from Syria and in foreign governments, and information gleaned from interviews with family members and friends of the bomber in Florida, one official said. T

Grenade blast kills two militiamen, injures five in Masbate

By   Frances Mangosing 1:21 pm | Friday, May 30th, 2014 MANILA, Philippines—Two were killed and five were injured in an explosion in a militia detachment in Masbate on Thursday, the military said. A 40mm grenade exploded at Tulda Detachment in Mandaon town past 8a.m., Brigadier General Joselito Kakilala, commander of 903rd Brigade, said in a text message on Friday. Two militiamen were killed while undergoing treatment at the Provincial Hospital in Masbate. The rest who were wounded were airlifted to Legazpi City. An enlisted personnel, identified as detachment commander Sergeant Havetacion, was also wounded. A separate report reaching Camp Aguinaldo said a certain militiaman named Romy Arriola was cleaning his rifle when he accidentally fired the grenade that exploded. “This Command will conduct immediate investigation on the incident to determine possible infraction of regulations or SOPs and prevent its recurrence in the future,” Kakilala said. Source

One killed, four injured in Leh blast

Srinagar: One person was killed and four injured in Jammu and Kashmir's Leh town when a shell went off while labourers were collecting scrap, police said on Friday.  Five labourers from Jharkhand were collecting scrap on Thursday evening from the Army's firing range in Leh, 470 km from here, when the shell went off, police told a news agency in Srinagar. "Arjun Singh, son of Surjeet Singh, died on the spot because of this accidental explosion while four people working with the deceased were injured.”  "The injured were shifted to a hospital," police said. Earlier this month, a girl was killed and her brother was critically injured when an explosive device, they were fiddling with, went off. They had brought it home from the forests in Drang village of Budgam district.  The boy was incapacitated for life as doctors trying to save his life had to amputate both his legs.  Locals in Drang village and adjacent areas have been demanding the removal of the Army from the

2 killed, 6 injured in Manipur blast

Securitymen inspect the site of a bomb explosion at Singjamei Chinga Makhong in Imphal West district on Thursday. At least two persons were killed on the spot and six others wounded in a bomb blast on Thursday at Singjamei Chinga Makhong in Imphal West district. One of the injured is battling for life. Police sources said that the market shed where the bomb was detonated is the place where migrant workers usually assemble. Five of the six injured were migrant workers. All the injured are treated at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal. No one has claimed responsibility for the blast so far. Source

Gunfire in CAR capital amid anti-government protests

Bangui: Security forces fired warning shots as protesters in Bangui demanded the resignation of the interim government and the removal of foreign troops from Central African Republic on Friday, a military source said.  Troops and police fired in a bid to stop the protesters gathering in the capital, the source said, who numbered in the thousands, according to an AFP journalist at the scene. The protesters dispersed around an hour later.  Bursts of automatic weapons fire were also heard in the central Bangui neighbourhood that is home to the presidential palace, and in the area of the airport on the outskirts of the city. The capital has experienced an upsurge in violence in recent days, prompting the authorities to set up many checkpoints on the main roads. No vehicles were circulating on Friday.  Several civilians were wounded Thursday during clashes between young people and African forces deployed in Bangui.  On Wednesday at least 15 people, including a priest, were killed and severa

Oscar Ivan Zuluaga Drops Threat to End Revolutionary Armed Forces of ColombiaTalks

Bogota:  Colombian presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, who faces incumbent Juan Manuel Santos in a run-off vote, on Thursday dropped his threat to end peace talks with Marxist rebels if elected, softening his stance on the election's most pivotal issue. The right-wing Zuluaga won the most votes in a first round vote on Sunday but not enough to avoid a run-off set for June 15. He is now neck and neck with Santos, a poll showed on Thursday, raising the suspense in the Andean nation's tightest election in years. Zuluaga told Caracol radio that if elected, he would still demand that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, cease combat and criminal activity to continue the talks Santos initiated in late 2012, but would no longer immediately suspend talks as he promised previously. Zuluaga did not say how long he would give FARC to declare a ceasefire, a condition it has rejected until now, but said he softened his stance at the request of Conservative Party leade

Three Linked to Mexican Drug Lord Tunnel Out of Prison

Culiacan, Mexico:  Three prisoners linked to jailed Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman escaped from prison through a tunnel, officials said Thursday. The men, serving time for drug trafficking and weapons charges, escaped Monday from a prison in Culiacan, capital of the drug-plagued northwestern Sinaloa state, an official of the federal government said, requesting anonymity. The tunnel was 470 meters (yards) long. It was dug from the outside in, as there was no evidence of dug-up dirt inside the prison, said the deputy secretary of public security for the state, Hector Castillo Medina. Sinaloa on the Pacific coast is the home region of many of Mexico's top drug kingpins. They include Guzman, who led the powerful Sinaloa cartel, a huge exporter of cocaine and marijuana to the United States, until he was captured by navy forces in February. After Monday's breakout, nine guards at the jail were arrested and another 50 are being investigated as potential accompli

Apple device hijacking spreads to US as Aussies urged to change passwords

May 29, 2014 - 12:23PM Step-by-step guide to prevent hackers from accessing your iCloud password. By  Ben Grubb Apple device owners who have iCloud accounts are being told to change their passwords by Australian authorities in the  wake of a hijacking attack  that appears to have spread to the US. The Australian government's Stay Smart Online service and the NSW Police have both issued warnings to Apple users, which state that as a precaution they should  change their passwords . "With the possibility that this attack is linked to your 'Apple ID', affected users are advised to change [their] Apple ID password as soon as possible,"  Stay Smart Online wrote in an advisory . "Users not affected may also consider changing their Apple ID password as a precaution." iCloud users are being urged to change their passwords. "The best course of action is to change your Apple ID password ASAP,"  NSW Police said . Meanwhile, Apple issued a statement to Fair

CIA winds down drone strike program in Pakistan

WASHINGTON –  The CIA’s targeted killing program in Pakistan, once the mainstay of President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism effort, is winding down. Because of stricter rules, diplomatic sensitivities and the changing nature of the al-Qaida threat, there hasn’t been a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal areas since Christmas. And American officials say opportunities for drone attacks will dwindle further as the CIA and the military draw down in neighboring Afghanistan, reducing their intelligence-gathering footprint. “The program (in Pakistan) appears to have ended,” said Peter Bergen, who has closely studied drone strikes for the New America Foundation, a Washington think tank. U.S. officials won’t go that far, but Obama announced this week a plan to pull nearly all American troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2016. The targeted killing program in Pakistan relies on drones flown from, and intelligence gathered in, U.S. bases in Afghanistan that would then be closed. In a major

China's Ready to Rumble - Maritime disputes

China's Ready to Rumble By Joshua Kurlantzick May 29, 2014 1:48 PM EDT Xi came into office vowing to restore the greatness China enjoyed for centuries Over the past two months, as China’s maritime disputes with Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam have escalated, most foreign observers and American officials, though worried, have shown little concern that the conflicts would explode into a full-scale war. After all, for more than three decades China has profited enormously from being part of the global economic system. Its military, though growing, remains far less technologically advanced than American armed forces. And for 30 years, predictions that China one day would try to dominate its region by force have always been proven wrong. Repeated warnings, with nothing coming of them, created a boy-who-cried-wolf scenario in Washington. In the early 1990s many human-rights activists, including some Democratic politicians, worried that China, ostracized after the Tiananmen

UN concerned at Malaysia exiling 3 men accused of trying to revive Tamil Tiger rebels

London:  The United Nations (UN) have said that it is concerned at Malaysia banishing three men, who were accused of trying to revive the Tamil Tiger rebel group to Sri Lanka. UN has reportedly warned that the men, out of which two were refuges and another was seeking asylum, were now at risk of ‘serious harm’. According to the BBC, the three men have been accused of raising funds and spreading propaganda for the Tamil Tiger rebels, who were defeated by Sri Lanka’s army in the north of the country in 2009. At least 10,000 people are reportedly estimated to have been killed in Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war that ended with the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, also known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in 2009. The UN’s refuge agency UNHCR, who had asked the Malaysian government to delay the deportation of the men, said in a statement that they are deeply concerned that these deportations took place without their office being given an adequate opportunity to assess the security

32 Killed in Attack Near Nigeria-Cameroon Border

ABUJA: At least 32 people were killed Thursday as suspected Boko Haram gunmen stormed a village in Nigeria's northeastern state of Borno along the Cameroon border, security officials said. A military officer said the operation by the gunmen had similarities with that of Boko Haram, Xinhua reported. According to police, the gunmen stormed the village on motorcycles, shooting sporadically throughout the one-hour-long attack. Some people fled into neighbouring Gamboru that had earlier witnessed the massacre of over 100 people by Boko Haram. The Islamist Boko Haram group, which was added to the UN's terrorism list in May, is against Western education and wants to incorporate Sharia law in the country's constitution. The Boko Haram killed 40 people Wednesday in an attack in northeastern Nigeria. Source

Three security officials killed in IED blast in Bannu

The security officials were patrolling in the area when an IED device planted by unknown militants went off at around 10:30am, said an official. PHOTO: FILE BANNU:  Three security officials were killed while two others were injured in an IED explosion in FR Bannu on Thursday morning. According to a security official the incident occurred in Seen Tanga Towda Chena area of FR Bannu. The security officials were patrolling in the area when an IED device planted by unknown militants went off at around 10:30am, he said. The deceased security officials were identified as Nasir Ali, Jaffar and FC official Muzafar while the injured include Captain Obaid and Sepoy Safarash. He added that the vehicle of the security officials was also badly damaged in the blast. The injured were rushed to CMH Bannu while a search operation was under way after the incident in the area. However, no one has claimed the responsibility for the attack. Previous blasts in Fata At least eight people, including three poli

China restricts smartphone chat apps

China  is targeting popular smartphone-based instant messaging services in a month-long campaign to crack down on what the government calls "rumours and infiltration of hostile forces". The services let users post photos and updates to their friends, or follow the feeds of companies, social groups or celebrities, and more worryingly for the government intellectuals, journalists and activists who comment on politics, law and society. They also post news reports shunned by mainstream media. Some accounts attract hundreds of thousands of followers. The official Xinhua News Agency said the crackdown was aimed at people spreading rumours and information related to violence, terrorism and pornography. Public accounts on services including WeChat, run by Tencent Holdings, were among those being targeted. Tencent and other companies did not answer calls or immediately respond to emailed requests for comment on Beijing's latest move to restrict online freedom of expression. This y

China Holds Public Rally to Punish 55 in Northwest

BEIJING — In a stadium filled with 7,000 people, a Chinese court announced guilty verdicts for 55 people on charges of terrorism, separatism and murder as the government tries to display its determination to combat unrest in the troubled northwest region. The public event was a show of force in Xinjiang after 43 people were killed last week in an attack at a vegetable market in the regional capital, Urumqi. Such sentencing rallies — designed to humiliate the accused and feed a public thirst for retribution — were formerly common across China, but have in recent years been mostly restricted to Xinjiang and the neighboring restive region of Tibet. That appears to speak to a separate brand of justice carried out against government critics and others accused of crimes who hail from minority ethnic groups, underscored by the announcement last week of a special one-year security crackdown in Xinjiang focusing on suspected terrorists, religious extremist groups, illegal weapons makers and ter

Humans are the Weakest Link in Cyber Security, Experts

Dubai:  Organisations are more vulnerable to cyber intrusions now than ever before. As the attacks become more sophisticated, simple security controls are not effective for tackling this growing menace, experts have said. Addressing delegates at the first Kuwait Industrial Automation and Control Systems - Cyber Security Conference held recently, Michael Porier and Senthil Kumar, global consulting firm Protiviti's Managing Directors, presented effective solutions that organisations can leverage to set up a well-structured cyber security protection mechanism. Delegates at the conference included ministers, government officials and senior leaders from leading oil & gas companies. According to SANS 2014 Survey on control system security, the number of entities with identified or suspected security breaches has increased from 28 per cent to nearly 40 per cent. Only nine per cent can say with surety that they haven't been breached. "Organisations need to understand that c

Five Years Later, India's Taj Mahal Beats Terrorism

Five years after a four-day rampage claimed the lives of 164 people in Mumbai, the center-piece of the city’s luxury hotels is finally seeing a turnaround. The Taj Mahal Palace, not to be mistaken for the glowing white Taj Mahal near the Ganges River thousands of miles away, was bombed out by terrorists on Nov. 26, 31 people died in the attack that ultimately led to a shoot out between the Indian military and militants inside the property. The lobby now has a walled-in waterfall with the names of the fallen. It cascades down in silence behind a glass as homage to the victims. Outside, the Mumbai scene is as frenetic as ever. Soldiers carrying MP5 submachine guns stretch out in a white van under a rooty bodhi tree. Auto-rickshaws grind their way through traffic, including pedestrians; like hundreds of pedestrians. Car horns play a bad sidewalk symphony. A pre-monsoon sun bakes down. The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. The corner floor of the property was bombed in 2008 by a Pakistani