Showing posts from October 5, 2014

U.N. says thousands likely to be massacred if jihadists take Kobani

 Thousands of people most likely will be massacred if Kobani falls to Islamic State fighters, a U.N. envoy said on Friday, as militants fought deeper into the besieged Syrian Kurdish town in full view of Turkish tanks that have done nothing to intervene. U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura said Kobani could suffer the same fate as the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, where 8,000 Muslims were murdered by Serbs in 1995, Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two, while U.N. peacekeepers failed to protect them. "If this falls, the 700, plus perhaps the 12,000 people, apart from the fighters, will be most likely massacred," de Mistura said. The United Nations believes 700 mainly elderly civilians are trapped in the town itself and 12,000 have left the centre but not made it across the border into Turkey.   "Do you remember Srebrenica? We do. We never forgot and probably we never forgave ourselves," said de Mistura, the U.N. peace envoy for Syria. "When th

Militants kidnap 11 people from Mizoram

"NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura) extremists on Friday evening abducted 16 construction workers from Rajivnagar village along Tripura-Mizoram border. Later, the rebels released five people," a Tripura police officer said. He  said all the 16 people - Bengali Muslims and Chakma tribals - were residents of southern Assam's Karimganj district. They went to Rajivnagar village under Mamit district in Mizoram through Tripura's Kanchanpur area as construction workers.  Police suspect that abductors might have taken these people to Bangladesh. "The NLFT rebels might have taken the hostages to Bangladesh as the place is just a few kilometre away from the India-Bangladesh border. Senior police officials have asked the Border Security Force to hold a flag meeting with the BGB (Border Guard Bangladesh) to rescue the hostages," the official said. The security forces of Tripura and Mizoram have jointly launched a search operation to rescue the captives and to

Al-Qaeda convoy en route to Mali 'destroyed' by French

An al-Qaeda convoy carrying a shipment of weapons from North Africa to Mali has been destroyed by French forces, according to officials in Paris. The convoy was transporting its cargo from Libya but was destroyed as it passed through neighbouring Niger. French troops temporarily intervened in Mali in 2013 to fight al-Qaeda-linked militants. UN peacekeepers are now stationed in the country but are being attacked by the Islamist insurgents. "The intervention enabled a large quantity of weapons to be seized and to neutralise a number of those in the convoy, including some who were captured," a statement from the office of French President Francois Hollande said. The statement added that the convoy belonged to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a North African affiliate of the group founded by Osama Bin Laden. It was not immediately clear how the shipment was destroyed or how many people were captured. France and several African nations intervened in Mali in

Cameroon says 27 Boko Haram hostages released

Cameroon's president has said that 27 hostages, including 10 Chinese workers, held by suspected Boko Haram militants have been released. Also freed was the wife of Cameroon's Vice-Prime Minister Amadou Ali. President Paul Biya said that the hostages, seized in May and July close to the Nigeria border, were safe. Boko Haram is seeking to establish an Islamist state in Nigeria but its fighters often cross the long and porous border with Cameroon. Many Nigerian civilians in border towns have fled to Cameroon to escape Boko Haram attacks, which have been stepped up in recent months. In July, Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad and Niger agreed to form a 2,800-strong regional force to tackle Boko Haram militants. Cameroon has reinforced its troops in its northern regions. Girls' abduction President Biya said in a statement on state radio: "The 27 hostages kidnapped on May 16, 2014, at Waza and on July 27, 2014, at Kolofata were given this night to Cameroonian aut

Thousands of students demonstrate over Police excesses in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of students from Mexico City's National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) marched through the capital Friday, demanding greater say in university matters. The students, who originally took their demands to the streets on Sept. 25, called for transparent election of the university's leadership, among other things. The Interior Ministry last week agreed to response to their demands, and proposed changes to the institution's administration. However, student leaders said Friday the changes were not enough. Deputy Interior Minister Luis Enrique Miranda said their demands would be reviewed along with the Ministry of Public Education, and an answer would be provided by noon Tuesday, the El Universal daily reported. In September, more than 10,000 IPN students blocked one of the city's main roads and forced the cancellation of classes. Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong offered dialogue with them, saying: "We will list

Algerian troops kill three militants in Bouira

ALGIERS, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Algerian army forces on Friday killed three armed militants in the heights of the province of Bouira, 120 km east of Algiers, local media reports. Citing a security source, Alhadath news website reported that the army troops ambushed and killed three armed men in the upper woods of Lakhdaria locality, in the province of Bouira, while two kalashnikovs and a seminov guns were retrieved. The source specified that forensics are working on identifying the dead bodies. On Thursday, the Defense Ministry said it raided a camp used that sheltered the Islamic State (IS) linked group who assassinated a Frenchman last month in eastern Algiers. The army troops launched a massive search and combing operation around the camp in the upper mountains of the adjacent provinces of Tizi Ouzou and Bouira, 120 km east of Algiers, since the abduction of the French national on September 21. The Defense Ministry said the search and dragging operations in the Djurdjura moun

Michael Brown: Hundreds attend new Ferguson demonstrations

Hundreds of protesters have joined the first march of a planned weekend of demonstrations in St Louis against police shootings. The protests were sparked by the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by police in August. Weeks of protests and violence in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson followed Mr Brown's shooting. Tensions in St Louis are high after another black teenager was shot dead by a police officer on Wednesday. Police in riot gear used pepper spray to try to dispel protesters angry at the shooting of Vonderrit D Myers, 18. Police said Myers shot at an officer, but the victim's parents say he was unarmed and racially profiled. Ferguson October Friday's protest saw hundreds of demonstrators line up against police in riot gear outside the office of the St Louis prosecutor Robert McCulloch. Demonstrators chanted slogans calling for Mr McCulloch to charge Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Mr Brown in August. Protesters held up signs echoin

IS jihadists execute Iraqi journalist, 12 other people

The jihadists on Friday shot dead Raad al-Azzawi, a 37-year-old cameraman for local news channel Sama Salaheddin, his brother and two other civilians in the village of Samra, east of the city of Tikrit, relatives of the journalist said.       "IS executed him, his brother and two other people in public today," one relative said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from the jihadist organization.      According to the media the father of three was detained by IS on 7th September. "They came to his home and took him and his brother," the relative said. "He did nothing wrong, his only crime was to be a cameraman, he was just doing his job."      "There must have been some people in the village who accused him of working for the government and tipped him off the jihadists... He always had his camera with him," he said.      According to an RSF statement issued last month, the Islamic State group had threatened to execute Azza

Pitching tents, Hong Kong democracy protesters dig in for long haul

Hundreds of student activists camped overnight at major protest sites in  Hong Kong  as the democracy movement sought to regather momentum after the government called off talks with its leaders aimed at defusing unrest in the global financial hub. Protests escalated late last month, after Beijing`s decision on August 31 to impose conditions for nominations that would effectively stop pro-democracy candidates from contesting an election for the city`s chief executive set for 2017. The occupation movement suffered a noticeable dip in support over the past week, but strong crowds of over ten thousand returned on Friday evening for a series of rallies in the former British colony. "We have tents here to show our determination that we`re prepared for a long term occupation," said Benny Tai, one of the leaders of the movement, said emerging bleary-eyed on Saturday morning from a tent pitched outside the Hong Kong government`s headquarters. Hong Kong Chief Secretary Carr

Suicide attack kills 2 police, wounds 5 in S. Afghanistan

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Two police were killed and five others injured as a suicide attack rattled Helmand 's provincial capital Lashkar Gah, 555 km south of capital Kabul on Saturday morning, a senior police official Pacha Gul Bakhtiar said. "A terrorist with explosive device and wearing police uniform was attempting to enter a police compound in Lashkar Gah city at 08: 15 a.m. local time. When police asked him to prove his identity, he exploded himself leaving two police dead," Bakhtiar told Xinhua. The bomber was also killed in the blast, while five other police personnel sustained injuries, the official said. He also put the attack on Taliban militants. However, the armed outfit is yet to claim responsibility Source:

Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai who survived shooting by Taliban, becomes youngest Nobel winner at 17

OSLO - Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for advocating girls' right to education, and Indian children's right activist Kailash Satyarthi won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. With the prize, Yousafzai, 17, becomes the youngest Nobel Prize winner, eclipsing Australian-born British scientist Lawrence Bragg, who was 25 when he shared the Physics Prize with his father in 1915. Satyarthi and Yousafzai were picked for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said. "The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism," said Thorbjoern Jagland, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. "It has been calculated that there are 168 million child laborers around the world today," Jagland said.

China’s Cyber War on the Protesters

As  Benjamin Bissell noted a few days ago , Hong Kong protestors have developed some interesting ways of trying to avoid Chinese repression, including the use of an app,  FireChat , that allows them to communicate without using the internet at all.  But, as you might expect, China was not likely to stand idly by.  Consider this  report from The Diplomat , outlining some of China’s efforts to counteract the protestor’s activities.  They have, on the whole been incredibly sophisticated. They include a quite complex new piece of malware, dubbed Xsser, that infects both Android and Apple iOS systems — such cross-platform code is very rare and much harder to write. It also involves only the third known Man-in-the-Middle attack originating in China — this one against Yahoo. And, of course, we’ve seen traditional internet censorship increase, now blocking search terms such as “Occupy Central” and “Hong Kong students” Perhaps most disturbing of all, it may not be the case that FireChat is as s

21 Terrorists Killed, 36 Arrested in a Week in Egypt

Twenty-one terrorists were killed in army raids in different Egyptian provinces during the past week, Egypt's military said today. The army launched raids in North Sinai cities as well as Ismailia, Port Said and Daqahlia governorates killing 21 militants, including two dangerous leaders of the Sinai-based militant group Ansar Biet el-Maqdes called Hamed Abu Freeg and Yousef Abu Eta in the period from October 3 to 9, military spokesperson Brigadier General Mohamed Samir said. The army has also arrested 36 other militants in the past week, Samir said in a statement. Six vehicles and 13 motorcycles used by terrorists in their attacks against army and police personnel as well as 11 tunnels leading to Gaza were also destroyed. Meanwhile, state-run  MENA  news agency reported that the military has destroyed a total of 1,813 smuggling tunnels in the Sinai peninsula since January, 2011. The network of smuggling tunnels connects the desert region with the Palestinian Gaza Strip, controlled

How US organizations are losing the cyber war

Cyber crime, hacking and data breaches have seldom been out of the news in 2014, but just how well are organizations coping with it? Not very well, according to a new infographic released by security solutions company  CSO  that's based on the results of a survey of over 500 private and public sector executives and security experts. Among the findings are that 77 percent of organizations have reported a security breach in the past year, with an average of 135 incidents per organization. Yet only 38 percent have a system to prioritize security spending based on risk and business impact. Of those that detected an incident, 69 percent said they weren’t able to estimate the cost. Those that did, put the average annual loss to cyber incidents at $415,000. However, 19 percent of US companies put losses at between $50,000 and $1 million. Among the major concerns are that most organizations don't take a strategic approach to security, supply chain risks that aren’t adequately assessed

Another View: Hacking of JPMorgan shows need for serious U.S. cyberwar plan

Every day seems to bring a new story about a digital hack or intrusion. The recent incident at JPMorgan Chase & Co., however, warrants extra attention. The bank revealed last week that a data breach had affected the accounts of 76 million households and 7 million small businesses. Exactly who conducted the attack, and why, is murky. But the perpetrators were sophisticated and ambitious, and investigators have pointed to Russia. That makes some sense. Russia is angry at the U.S. generally for imposing sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine. Russia is angry at JPMorgan specifically for facilitating those sanctions. And Russia happens to be home to legions of talented cybercriminals whom the government notoriously tolerates. If the Russian government was responsible for this attack, or knew it was happening and didn’t stop it, that could constitute a pretty serious international incident. The U.S. should be ready to respond – but in cyberwar, as in chess, overreaction is a fool’s gamb

Indo-Pak cyber war: After Pakistan's PPP, Press Club of India website hacked

New Delhi, Oct 9: A day after Pakistan People's Party (PPP) was hacked by an Indian group, Pakistan hackers barged into Press Club of India (PCI) website on Thursday. In a retaliation, Pak-based hacker group- ‘Team Cyber Warriors' hacked After defacing PCI's homepage, the hackers had written: The hackers left a warning message on the website.  "Our Target is your Government's Websites ... We will Inshalaah with The help of Many Muslim Hackers Take You Off From The Internet."  "Your Credit Cards , Your Bank's Account , Your Servers ... Are In Danger ! We Never Forget what You Do against the Humanity ... In Jammu and Kashmir Millions Of People Were Dead... Pakistan's Muslims Are Killed In The Force's Attacks... Indian Forces Destroyed Kashmir's Families ...Killed Innocent Childrens ... But No One Cares !!!! ," reads the message. The message ends with a challenge,  "You Want To Stop Us !! But Let me guess !

Cartoons steer youth away from ISIL

LONDON –Struggling for his own identity, a British Muslim has created an animated web series for a Muslim hero called "Abdullah X" to fight for the hearts and minds of young Muslims, and to stop them from treading the path of extremism. "I was struggling with my own identity and sense of belonging when I was growing up -- issues around self-esteem and confidence, and where you fit in with regards to your Britishness or your Muslimness," Ahmed, as he asked to be called for this story, told CNN on Tuesday, October 7. "Abdullah X," the new Web-only cartoon series, tells the story of a young British Muslim man in London who is struggling with his identity and his faith rather than criminals in Gotham. Ahmed, the creator of the web series, said that the story of his hero is similar to his own. "Young people -- the most vulnerable groups in society -- were caught between government policy perspectives on how you combat terrorism and extremism, and this wall