Showing posts from November 29, 2015

Colombia's FARC captures vacationing soldier, government says

BOGOTA: Colombia's FARC rebels captured a soldier who was on vacation in the country's southern jungles, an incident that violates the group's unilateral ceasefire but will not affect ongoing peace talks if he is freed, the government said on Friday. Jesus Rojas was seized by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) near San Vicente del Caguan, in Caqueta province, while he was visiting family. The guerrilla group accused him of spying, Defence Minister Luis Carlos Villegas told reporters. "The soldier is in the hands of the FARC, it has confirmed as much to his family and has said it will hand him over quickly. The Red Cross has been contacted by the military to arrange the operation, which I hope will be in the coming hours," Villegas said. The FARC has not publicly responded to Villegas comments. The government and the guerrilla group have been engaged since late 2012 in peace talks in Cuba aimed at ending a five-decade war that has k

Boko Haram: Three female suicide bombers kill at least 27 people on island where refugees were seeking safety

Three female suicide bombers have blown themselves up at a market in Chad, killing at least 27 people. Boko Haram is suspected of orchestrating the blasts on Koulfoua Island in Lake Chad, which borders Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad. Security officials told the Associated Press that at least 90 people were injured in Saturday’s attack, carried out by three women. As Chad s army battles Boko Haram its people find themselves on the front line in the fight General Banyaman Cossingar, the director general of Chad’s national police, said there had been no official claim of responsibility but Boko Haram was suspected. The terrorist group has carried out several bombings and massacres in the region, causing the government to impose a state of emergency last month. Thousands of refugees have been fleeing to Lake Chad in recent months in efforts to escape the Boko Haram’s violent insurgency in Nigeria. A report by the UN’s refugee agency described people arriving in canoes and boats, includi

Bangladesh national among five arrested in Malaysia for suspected terror links

A Bangladesh national is among five arrested in Malaysia for suspected links with militant groups like Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda, reports Reuters.

Triple suicide blast kills around 30 people on Lake Chad island

N'DJAMENA: Three suicide bombers attacked the island of Koulfoua on the Chadian side of Lake Chad on Saturday, killing around 30 people and injuring 80, two security sources told Reuters. The sources said the attacks coincided with market day. Earlier this year, thousands of people fleeing Islamist militant group Boko Haram sought refuge on the island although it was not immediately clear if they were still based there Source:

Days after Paris attacks, France mulling shutting 100-160 mosques

Paris: In the aftermath of attacks in Paris last month, France is set to close as many as 160 mosques in the coming months. Talking to Al Jazeera on Wednesday, Hassan El Alaoui, who is in charge of nominating imams for official positions, noted that the recent closure of three mosques in France was a precedent that was likely to turn into a trend. The chaplain for Muslims in French prisons said: “According to official figures and our discussions with the Interior Ministry, between 100 and 160 more mosques will be closed because they are run illegally without proper licenses, they preach hatred, or use takfiri speech.” “This kind of speech shouldn't even be allowed in Islamic countries, let alone secure countries like France.” Police have shut down three `radical` mosques since France declared a state of emergency after last month`s Paris attacks. The closures are part of a huge security crackdown after 130 people were killed in the jihadist attacks on

British bombers hit oil field targets in Syria for second time

British bombers made their second round of strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria late on Friday, again hitting oil fields, British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said on Saturday. LONDON: British bombers made their second round of strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria late on Friday, again hitting oil fields, British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said on Saturday. "Last night we saw the Typhoons in action for the first time, successfully hitting an oil field, oil well heads in eastern Syria out in the Omar field," Fallon told Sky News. British lawmakers approved the bombing of Islamic State targets in Syria on Thursday. Hours after that approval, British bombers struck the oilfields that the government says are being used to fund attacks on the West. The Typhoon fighter bombers had only arrived at Britain's airbase in Akrotiri, Cyprus on Thursday, bolstering its strike force of Tornado warplanes. Fallon was speaking during a visit to the Br

French Government publishes guide on surviving terror attacks

Paris: Three weeks after the Paris terror attacks which left 130 victims dead, the French government on Friday issued a guide showing citizens how to survive an attack and to learn how to live with the risk of terrorism. Flee, hide and raise the alarm are among the government`s basic advice "to better prepare and protect citizens against the terrorist threat", Xinhua reported. The guide recommended people flee the scene of danger and help others to escape and seek a safe place. It instructs to hide behind a wall or push a sofa behind a door of a hideout room. People in hiding should turn off the lights and cut off phone ringers to avoid attract attackers` attention, it added. It also recommended calling the emergency services. The guide will appear on posters in public places such as supermarkets, city halls, stadiums and museums Source:

Daesh, Maoist threats to dominate DGPs’ meet

In a first, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will spend almost three days with the top policemen and internal security heads of the country in December, deliberating pressing internal security matters like the influence of Islamic State, role of social media in violence, crime and Left Wing Extremism (LWE). The annual three-day conference of Directors-General of Police (DGP) of all States and heads of the paramilitary forces is being held at Rann of Kutch, Gujarat from December 18 to 20. Besides the PM, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, his junior ministers and top officials will also attend it. On Thursday, Prime Minister held an hour’s review meeting with top officials of the PMO Nripendra Mishra, P.K. Mishra, A.K. Doval, IB chief Dineshwar Sharma, MHA officials and officials from Gujarat, Chief Secretary G.R. Aloria, DGP P.C. Thakur and Mr. Modi’s trusted aide K. Kailashnathan, who is Chief Principal Secretary of Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel. This is the first time tha

ISIS in US: Terror group claims San Bernardino shooters were supporters and praises them as 'martyrs'

ISIS has claimed the married couple who massacred 14 people at a work party in California were its supporters, praising them as "martyrs". Syed Rizwan Farook walked into a conference centre and opened fire on his colleagues with his wife, Tashfeen Malik. The FBI is investigating Wednesday's massacre as a possible terror attack and reports emerged yesterday that Malik may have used a fake name to pledge allegiance to Isis on Facebook. In Saturday's daily bulletin on the group's Al-Bayan radio station, the couple were described as "two followers of the Islamic State" and praised as "martyrs". The claim also appeared in extremists' written news briefing, which called Farook and Malik "supporters". Charlie Winter, a counter-terrorism expert and senior research associate at Georgia State University, described the claim as "opportunistic". "It confirms IS inspiration not direction," he wrote on

Bangladesh Police chief promises action against those preaching radicalism

Directives have been issued for collecting information on the people who are ‘tactfully’ preaching radicalism, the police chief has said.

Twin blasts in Guwahati's Fancy Bazar area

GUWAHATI: Five persons, including a girl child and a woman, have been injured in the two blasts that rocked Guwahati on Saturday afternoon amidst threats from Ulfa (I) and Ndfb (S) against Hindi-speaking people. The district civil administration later confirmed that the blasts were not a handiwork of militants but due to firecrackers that accidentally exploded while being carried by rag pickers. The blasts occurred at about 10 minutes past 3 pm within about three minutes at the commercial hub at Fancy Bazar area of the city, which plunged the city into a deep crisis. Shops and offices in the downed shutters and people rushed indoors. A huge deployment of police and para military forces cordoned off the entire area. Kamrup (metro) district deputy commissioner M Angamuthu said, "The blasts were not due to an IED or grenades. It was some firecrackers that went off accidentally when a rag picker was trying to play with it. These five people, who were near the rag pi

LeT operatives planning suicide attacks in Delhi: Police

NEW DELHI:   Delhi Police  is searching for two suspected   LeT operatives who have allegedly hatched a conspiracy to carry out "suicide attacks" in the national capital targeting "high profile personalities".  The conspiracy was unearthed when the Special Cell of Delhi Police received an intelligence input about two suspected  Lashkar-e-Taiba  (LeT) operatives, identified as Dujana and Ukasha, who allegedly infiltrated in Jammu and Kashmir through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, following which an FIR was registered, said a police source.  The FIR was registered on December 1 at the Special Cell office in Lodhi Colony here under Section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and doesn't name any suspects. It was submitted at the concerned anti-terror court, said the source.  According to the complaint, LeT is conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks in Delhi and other places in the country, for which all

California Shooting - What We Know So Far

San Bernardino:  The FBI said Friday the mass shooting in California was being investigated as "an act of terrorism," amid reports the female assailant had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group online. Here is a summary of developments in the probe: Killer couple Wednesday's attack was carried out by a married couple, parents of a six-month-old baby girl, with no known history of violence or radicalism. The assailants have been identified as Syed Farook, a 28-year-old US citizen who worked for the local county in environmental matters, and Tashfeen Malik, 29, a Pakistani national. They were killed in a shootout with police hours after the attack. The couple had left their infant daughter with Farook's mother before the attack, according to a relative. 14 dead, 21 wounded Fourteen people were killed and 21 wounded when Farook and Malik opened fire inside the Inland Regional Center, a social services facility in San Bernardino, California. The attack took place

Barack Obama Calls David Cameron to Discuss UK Air Strike Against ISIS

Washington:  US President Barack Obama has discussed recent UK Parliament vote that authorised airstrikes against ISIS terrorist group's targets in Syria with British Prime Minister David Cameron, the White House has said. Obama welcomed the outcome of the vote and expressed his appreciation that British air forces have joined with ours and those of other Coalition members in striking Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria as well as in Iraq," a statement by the White House said yesterday. President Obama and David Cameron discussed further steps that can be taken to degrade and destroy ISIS, and reiterated that all countries are welcome to join the existing Coalition, if their political and military objectives in Syria are consistent with those of the Coalition, it said. "They also discussed ways to further bolster our already robust counterterrorism cooperation, and the President, on behalf of the American people and accepted the Prime Minister's (Cameron) condolences for th

Unconfirmed Reports of Afghan Taliban Leader’s Death

FILE - Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor, Taliban militants' new leader, is seen in this undated handout photograph by the Taliban. Unconfirmed reports suggest the leader was killed in a shootout in Quetta. ISLAMABAD— The fate of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour remained unclear Friday, two days after Afghan authorities alleged he was wounded in a gunfight during a meeting of militant commanders in neighboring Pakistan. “Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour died of injuries,” Sultan Faizy, a spokesman for the first vice president of Afghanistan said in a Twitter posted late Thursday.   Faizy informed media, including VOA on Wednesday about the alleged firefight that he said took place near the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta a day earlier (Tuesday). The Taliban swiftly rejected the claim, saying it was “fabricated” by the Afghan intelligence agency as part of its campaign to create divisions within the Islamist insurgency. But late Thursday, Afghan Chief Execut

Dispatches: 3 Films to Watch on Oscars' Documentary Shortlist

The Oscars unveiled its shortlist of 15 documentary features this week. We were thrilled that the Human Rights Watch Film Festival featured three of those films this year. They share a strong cinematic and storytelling vision, a remarkable level of access to their subjects, and tackle important rights issues, from police violence against African Americans in the United States, to drug cartels in Mexico, to the repercussions of genocide in Indonesia. “ 3½ Minutes Ten Bullets ” is an emotionally charged film about the shooting death of teenager Jordan Davis in Florida. In 2012, four unarmed African American teenagers stopped at a gas station, a middle-aged white man parked beside them, and an altercation began over the volume of rap music playing in the teens’ car. In a matter of moments, Michael Dunn fired 10 bullets into the teenagers’ car, killing 17-year-old Davis instantly. As the Film Festival was considering this film in the spring of 2015, new incidents of police brutality perpet

Australia to Strip Dual Citizens of Citizenship for Terror Activities

( – At a time when legislation introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)  to deprive Americans who join terror groups of their citizenship faces Democratic opposition, Australian lawmakers have passed a comparable measure. Australian terror suspects with dual citizenship will now be stripped of their Australian citizenship if they are involved in terror activity abroad, or convicted of a terrorism offence at home. Legislation passed by the federal Senate late on Thursday will affect any person aged 14 or older, and in the case of a suspect whose activity takes place overseas, no conviction of a criminal offense will be necessary for the citizenship to be lost. The legislation also allows the authorities to prevent any terrorist with dual nationality located abroad from returning to Australia, and to expel dual nationals who engage in terror activities in Australia, wherever possible. The government estimates that as many as half of the at least 100 Australians who are

Leaders call for joint response to security threat

European leaders warned today that the security situation in  Europe  remains complex and fragile following the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people last month.  The leaders, gathered at a ministerial conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said that only a joint global response can be effective in countering the threat.  German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier has called for unity saying "the situation is too dangerous and freedom and stability too fragile for us to counter each other in lengthy statements over many days."  He was apparently referring to the spat caused by the downing of a Russian plane by Turkey. Foreign ministers from the two countries are scheduled to meet in Belgrade later today for the first time since the incident.  EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini added that "as threats become global and borderless, cooperation on a global scale is also crucial."  Mogherini said that "security in Euro

US Raid in Syria Sets Template for New Operations

The United States has been eliminating a mid- to high-level Islamic State figure every two days, on average, contributing to President Obama's decision to send a new Special Operations force to Iraq to intensify efforts to locate and kill militant leaders there and in Syria, a senior administration official said Thursday. The official described the mission of the force as self-expanding - more raids on Islamic State sites will garner more intelligence leading to more sites. "The more intelligence we get, the closer we'll get to these guys," said the official, who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity set by the White House. In testimony earlier this week, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said that key militant figures "removed from the battlefield" in recent months included the Islamic State's second in command in Iraq, Haji Mutazz; and British-born militants Junaid Hussain and the executioner known as Jihadi John, both reportedly killed in