Showing posts from June 23, 2019

Victim’s parents back call to prevent terrorists hiring vehicles as weapons

The parents of a Canadian woman mown down during the London Bridge attack have called for stricter measures to stop terrorists using hire vehicles as deadly weapons. Social worker Christine Archibald, 30, who lived in The Hague, Netherlands, died in the arms of her fiance, Tyler Ferguson, after being struck by the terrorists’ rented Hertz van. The June 3 2017 attack followed similar atrocities involving hire vehicles, including on Westminster Bridge. View photos CCTV image of Christine Archibald and her fiance, Tyler Ferguson, on London Bridge (Metropolitan Police/PA) Barbara and Greg Archibald issues a statement after Chief Coroner Mark Lucraft QC concluded the eight victims of the London Bridge and Borough Market attack were unlawfully killed. In his summing up, the coroner touched on the issue of preventing dangerous extremists from getting their hands on high-powered vehicles. They said: “We are relieved that the coroner acknowledged the danger of la

Why is Turkey alone in Idlib?

Despite UN warnings about the potential for the worst humanitarian tragedy this century, the situation in Idlib has escalated - not only because of intensive air strikes by Russia and the Syrian regime, but also due to the reluctance of the international community to intervene.  Turkey is trying to prevent this potential humanitarian disaster, while simultaneously struggling with Moscow, Damascus and Tehran over their differing visions for the future of Idlib. As the Turkish-Russian de-escalation agreement is being violated, the Assad regime’s advances on the ground - backed by Russian airpower - will ultimately fuel a deep humanitarian and political crisis.  An estimated 200,000 people in and around Idlib were displaced in the first two weeks of May, with most heading further north towards the Turkish border. In response, Turkey has given assistance to the rebels in Idlib, in hopes of repelling the attacks. Ankara seems alone, however, in this effort to prevent a hu

'The UAE is an invader': Yemeni fishermen bewail Emirati 'liberation'

When war broke out in Yemen, rebel Houthi forces took over Mocha, the eponymous southeastern seaport from which the coffee drink traces its name. Residents say regular life did not change much in the area following the takeover, and fishermen continued to fish and practice their regular life. However, when pro-government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition took Aden back from the Houthis, they decided to advance and liberate Mocha, situated in the Taiz Governorate, from the rebels. 'I tried to go towards the sea, but the UAE boats shot at me' -  Abdulsalam, fisherman Battles in Mocha broke out at the beginning of 2017 and thousands of families fled their houses, others were killed and injured, and most of the civilians lost their work as fishermen. After a few months, pro-government forces backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) "liberated" the coastal district in Taiz from the Houthis and displaced people from Mocha began to return to t

8 far-right German extremists charged over plan to start violent uprising

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities have indicted eight far-right extremists on suspicion they planned to start a violent uprising. Federal prosecutors said Friday that they have formally indicted the German men, aged 21 to 31, on suspicion of forming a terrorist organization. The suspects were arrested last year in eastern Germany’s Chemnitz area. They are alleged to have formed a group calling itself “Revolution Chemnitz.” Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up Several of the suspects are alleged to have been involved in an attack on a group of migrants in Chemnitz on Sept. 14. Authorities intercepted communication between the men indicating that they were trying to obtain firearms. In this June 13, 2019 file photo a picture of Walter Luebcke stands behind his coffin during the funeral service in Kassel, Germany. (Swen Pfoe

Art display highlighting dangers of extremism held at PNCA

Pakistan National Council of the Arts. PHOTO: FILE ISLAMABAD:  Pakistan Peace Collective (PPC) – a project of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting- under its District Level Engagement Programme (DLEP), held an exhibition highlighting the need for intervention in four thematic areas; promoting safer charity, interfaith harmony, tolerance and enhancing resilience in society to prevail in the long fight against violent extremism. The national exhibition showcased paintings by students from 24 universities across the country. Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Aashiq Awan inaugurated the event at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA). The exhibition received over 3,000 entries from across the country and a jury of distinguished judges selected the best among them for display at PNCA. The exhibition attracted crowds of art enthusiasts who expressed profound appreciation for the talent, drive and imagination of

Tunis bombing: Explosions shake busy parts of Tunisia's capital

ISIS claims responsibility as one person is killed and eight wounded in two blasts Tunisian forensic police work at the site of attack in the Tunisian capital's main avenue Habib Bourguiba. AFP Tunisian civilians react at the site of an attack in the Tunisian capital's main avenue Habib Bourguiba. AFP Tunisian forensic police work at the site of attack in the Tunisian capital's main avenue Habib Bourguiba. AFP Twin blasts rocked Tunisia's capital on Thursday, killing at least one police officer and injuring eight people. The first explosion hit a police patrol in a popular shopping area in central Tunis,

Meet the former neo-Nazi who says being an extremist is 'exhausting'

About six months after he became a skinhead, Arno Michaelis walked into a McDonald's in his home town and was served by an elderly black woman with “a radiant, beautiful smile for everybody who walked through the door”. That smile made Mr Michaelis deeply uncomfortable, he said this week, “because that smile alone is blowing my bulls*** out of the water”. Arno Michaelis, was an American white supremacist in his youth but has now drastically changed his views. Credit: Ryan Stuart To make matters worse, he had just gotten a new Swastika tattoo on his hand, and because he knew that the racist hatred he preached was wrong, he tried to hide it from the woman about to sell him a burger in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, restaurant in north-central America. “She said to me, ‘What’s that on your finger?’” Mr Michaelis recounted. “And I couldn’t say, ‘It’s a symbol of my race because I am a white warrior for my people’. I was completely disarmed. I said, ‘It’s nuthin’.” “I kno

ISIS leads extremist stampede to small social media platforms after campaigns for online bans

Small sites like are making strides against extremist content but others refused to take action Extremist users are moving away from traditional social media platforms. Reuters As the larger social media platforms step up efforts to purge extremist activity on their sites, banned users targeted for hate speech and recruitment are regrouping on smaller, largely unregulated platforms, say experts. Speakers at the Terrorism and Social Media

Syria facing 'perpetual conflict' as Bashar Al Assad fights on

Britain says 'new routes' need to be considered as regime frustrates peace effort Syrian Civil Defence White Helmets civilians carrying a body after airstrikes by Syrian government forces on Hish in Idlib province, June 20, 2019. Syrian Civil Defence White Helmets Syria is facing perpetual war as President Bashar Al Assad's forces fail to regain territory in Idlib despite a relentless campaign that is killing civilians and aid workers, UN officials said on Thursday. In signs that belief in a peace

Artificial Intelligence is Too Dumb to Fully Police Online Extremism, Experts Say

Artificial intelligence tools aren’t yet smart enough to root out all the extremist content posted on social media sites, despite tech executives’ claims to the contrary, experts told lawmakers on Tuesday. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have spent years building algorithms to weed out posts promoting terrorism and other radical causes, but today’s tech is unable to grapple with the complexities of human communication, witnesses said before a House Homeland Security Committee subpanel. As a result, tools often misidentify extremist posts as legitimate content or vice versa. “The world’s best machine-learning resembles a crowd of millions of preschoolers—there are certainly problems … which a humongous group of children can be taught to solve,” said Alex Stamos, the program director at Stanford University’s Internet Observatory and Facebook’s former chief security officer . “Modern machine-learning can be incredibly powerful for accomplishing r

Turkey’s Africa strategy threatens to breed Islamist extremism

When the Carter and Reagan administrations began supporting Islamists in Afghanistan, few policymakers recognized the Pandora’s box they were opening. The great global threat, after all, was Communism. And even if radical Islamism was a threat —  as early as 1946 , the U.S. intelligence community predicted it would be — Afghanistan was half a world away. While the notion that the Pentagon and the CIA once allied themselves with the Taliban or al-Qaeda is a popular but achronological myth, the blowback from Cold War support for Islamists is hard to dispute. Hand-wringing about Islamist terrorism and the post–9/11 “global war on terrorism” created a smokescreen that obscured China’s rise and distracted from Russia’s resurgence. A woman holds a flag with a picture of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a symbolic funeral prayer for the former Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi at the courtyard of Fatih Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey REUTERS/Murad Sezer Cold War leaders

Canada reveals measures to tackle online extremism

Canada has announced several measures to combat online extremism . Public Safety Canada said the government will provide up to $1 million CAD ($762,000) to a program called Tech Against Terrorism. The funding will help set up a system to inform smaller companies when terrorist content pops up to help them remove it faster. The agency said that will "help to achieve the commitment under the Christchurch Call to Action to support small platforms as they build capacity to remove terrorist and violent extremist content." Last month, the nation joined other countries and tech companies in adopting a pledge to eradicate online violent extremist and terrorist content in the wake of mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. The shooter livestreamed the attack , and copies of the footage spre

‘We Have Been Lazy on Hate’

“It was much later that we began asking, What’s going on emotionally with these young people that is moving them to a place where they find this appealing?” she said. In her telling, groups such as ISIS exploited the fact that the Muslims who grew up after 9/11 had to grapple with what it meant to be Muslim in the modern world, and that many experienced a sort of identity crisis. “We all know every adolescent growing up deals with this question of identity. This is not unique to Muslims. We all ask these questions,” she acknowledged. “But when you have a dedicated force of people that understands that these kids are going through an identity crisis and they provide answers that are peer-friendly and make sense, we have a problem.” She asked the audience to reflect on how common it is for people to be influenced by emotional appeals to buy something. “Behavioral and social listening can be deployed to make you buy something to eat or to wear,” she pointed out. “It can a

Liberals add far-right extremist groups to list of outlawed terror networks

The Liberal government has added two international neo-Nazi groups to Canada's list of outlawed terrorist organizations — part of a series of new measures to combat online hate. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has announced new measures to tackle online hate. (The Canadian Press) The Liberal government has added two international neo-Nazi groups to Canada's list of outlawed terrorist organizations — part of a series of new measures to combat online hate. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced today that Blood & Honour and its "armed branch," Combat 18 — which have a presence in Canada and have carried out murders and bombings outside the country — are the first far-right extremism groups to be included on Canada's terror list. "Small toxic segments of society continue to peddle vile, hateful intolerance," he said at a news conference in Regina. "We need to be alert to it in all its forms, and work relentlessly to

House Dems Stiff-Arm DHS on Domestic Terror Funds

The Trump administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census—which it estimated would decrease Hispanic participation in the census by five percent—has been temporarily shelved by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision. The reason? The administration lied. “Reasoned decisionmaking under the Administrative Procedure Act calls for an explanation for agency action,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the opinion for the Court. “What was provided here was more of a distraction.” That is music to the ears of Trump’s critics. Finally, there is a limit to how much this administration can lie and get away with it. Notably, the case was not a complete victory for opponents of the question. The Court held that a citizenship question is constitutional, and that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is responsible for the census, was within his authority to set aside the dire warnings from the Census Bureau that the question would depress participation. But i