Al-Qaeda leader calls for lone wolf attacks on West


November 3, 2015

Source: The Telegraph

The Al-Qaeda leader hailed the past month’s attacks by Palestinians against Israelis in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel and the West Bank.

Ayman al-Zawahiri

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has called for lone wolf attacks against Western countries, in particular America, and praised recent Palestinian attacks against Israelis.

Zawahiri spoke in a video released on Twitter and published and translated on Monday by US-based SITE, which monitors violent extremist websites.

SITE noted that the video was broadcast on Twitter on Sunday, rather than on extremist websites as is usually the case.

“The first matter is striking the West and specifically America in its own home, and attacking their interests that are spread everywhere,” Zawahiri said, according to SITE.

“The supporters of Israel must pay with their blood and their economy.”

As examples of lone wolf attacks, he cited the 2013 Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev. Their attack with pressure cooker bombs killed three people and wounded 264.

The Al-Qaeda leader hailed the past month’s attacks by Palestinians against Israelis in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel and the West Bank.

He also repeated an appeal first launched in September for jihadists to unite from Turkey to North Africa, despite his rejection of the caliphate proclaimed by the Islamic State group, which controls large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

A US-led coalition of countries has been bombing IS positions since August 2004.

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Kidnapping – Reporters in Yemen seen as high-value targets


August 7 , 2013

Source: Al Jazeera

A video confirming fears that a Dutch couple had been kidnapped in Yemen has increased concerns about the risks facing journalists in the country

Reporters-in-Yemen-seen-as-high-value-targets

Reporters in Yemen seen as high-value targets

A video confirming fears that a Dutch couple had been kidnapped in Yemen has increased concerns about the risks facing journalists in the country.

Evidence that Dutch freelance journalist Judith Spiegel and her husband Boudewijn Berendsen had been seized was posted on YouTube in mid-July.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is warning that reporters are now seen as “high-value targets” in a wave of kidnapping that has plagued the country, while Reporters Without Borders has voiced alarm at the growing threat to media staff.

In the the minute-and-a-half video, Spiegel and Berendsen – missing since June – appear scared and tearful as they plead for help.

“My name is Boudewijn Berendsen…”

“And my name is Judith Spiegel. We are kidnapped, here in Yemen. We have a huge problem,” they tell the camera.

Negotiations to secure their release are not proceeding well, Spiegel adds: “So far, nothing has been done. No reaction, no results. These people are armed. If there’s no solution, they will kill us.”

It remains unclear who is holding the couple, who claim on the video that their captors were demanding progress within 10 days, but do not specify what their demands are.

Their abductors’ deadline has since expired.

Premonition

The freelance journalist and stringer for multiple Dutch media knew she risked kidnap, writing in a column for the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad in March: “When I’m lying awake at night, I realise that I’m nowhere safe in this country…

“The idea of having to spend months with these extremists troubles me, and I don’t want to appear in a movie with a Kalashnikov pointed to my head, as happened to Dominik [Neubauer, an Austrian student who appeared in a video in February 2013], ” she wrote.

Soon after Spiegel and Berendsen were reported missing, a Sanaa police official told Yemeni press it was likely they had been kidnapped .

Both the Yemeni and Dutch government remain tight-lipped about the case, and the journalist’s parents have released few details about what is known.

Frans Timmermans, the Dutch foreign affairs minister, posted on his Facebook page a short statement claiming that victims of abduction always have the ministry’s full attention and that it was important to remain calm.

In a a short written statement, Spiegel’s parents said they knew the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was dealing with the case.

“We realise it’s [the ministry’s] policy that no information is released, and that when it does, it’ll be us knowing first.

“Of course, we find this very difficult, but our only priority is that Judith and Boudewijn are released as soon as possible and are in safety.”

The Yemeni human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Karman called on her Facebook page for the country’s president and prime minister to direct their personal attention towards efforts to effect the pair’s release.

“If not for Judith and her husband, for the sake of the reputation of Yemen that’s worsening with each passing day this couple is kidnapped,” she wrote.

Wave of kidnapping

Anthropologist Marina de Regt, who has worked and lived in Yemen and knows Spiegel, told Al Jazeera that kidnapping was now a prominent feature of life in the country where an old “tradition” has grown into a lucrative business.

“The situation has become increasingly dangerous since the Arab Spring in 2011,” said de Regt.

Recent victims include a Finnish couple and Neubauer, kidnapped by al-Qaeda fighters then freed four months later. A week ago, an Iranian embassy employee was seized by gunmen.

“It’s a result of the Yemeni government, not being able to hold on to its people, which is devastating for the country,” explained de Regt.

“The Netherlands and Yemen have a very good relationship, and are probably working very closely to solve this. Still, every case differs… [and that is] what makes it so difficult to negotiate.”

The CPJ argues that “disgruntled tribesmen have resorted to abductions to pressure the government to release imprisoned family members and extort political and financial compensation. Some captives have been sold to, or abducted by, al-Qaeda linked Islamist militants”.

Quirine Eijkman, a researcher at the Counterterrorism Centre of Leiden University , told Al Jazeera: “Over the past two years, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has grown stronger, making Yemen a more fragile country than it already was.

“It’s not for nothing that the United States started employing drone strikes in Yemen. Although I believe that because of these drone attacks, bad sentiment and anger towards the West has grown.”

Reporters Without Borders condemned the abduction, and media outlets have expressed their concern for Spiegel and Boudewijn and are following the case closely.

Rebecca Murray, a journalist who has worked for Al Jazeera from Yemen, praised her Dutch colleague: “[Judith] is one of the few foreigners here that has ventured beyond compound walls and the sensational headlines, to show the world what Yemen and Yemenis are really like, and the daily hardships they face.”

Murray stressed that all the Yemenis she knows – including local journalists – were outraged at the kidnapping.

“There is always a nagging fear you could be abducted on your way to or from the field,” she said.

“We are definitely watching each others’ backs more closely, evaluating risk and tightening security precautions. But as journalists, we still need to go out to get the real story.”

 

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Revealed: Hundreds of words to avoid using online if you don’t want the government spying on you


June 1, 2013

Source: Daily Mail

Dept. of Homeland Security Forced to Release List of Keywords Used to Monitor Social Networking Sites.

  • Department of Homeland Security forced to release list following freedom of information request
  • Agency insists it only looks for evidence of genuine threats to the U.S. and not for signs of general dissent

Homeland_Security

The Department of Homeland Security has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to monitor social networking sites and online media for signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S.

The intriguing the list includes obvious choices such as ‘attack’, ‘Al Qaeda’, ‘terrorism’ and ‘dirty bomb’ alongside dozens of seemingly innocent words like ‘pork’, ‘cloud’, ‘team’ and ‘Mexico’.

Released under a freedom of information request, the information sheds new light on how government analysts are instructed to patrol the internet searching for domestic and external threats.

The words are included in the department’s 2011 ‘Analyst’s Desktop Binder‘ used by workers at their National Operations Center which instructs workers to identify ‘media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities’.

Department chiefs were forced to release the manual following a House hearing over documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit which revealed how analysts monitor social networks and media organisations for comments that ‘reflect adversely’ on the government.

However they insisted the practice was aimed not at policing the internet for disparaging remarks about the government and signs of general dissent, but to provide awareness of any potential threats.

As well as terrorism, analysts are instructed to search for evidence of unfolding natural disasters, public health threats and serious crimes such as mall/school shootings, major drug busts, illegal immigrant busts.

The list has been posted online by the Electronic Privacy Information Center – a privacy watchdog group who filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act before suing to obtain the release of the documents.

In a letter to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counter-terrorism and Intelligence, the centre described the choice of words as ‘broad, vague and ambiguous’.

Scroll down for full list

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Threat detection: Released under a freedom of information request, the information sheds new light on how government analysts are instructed to patrol the internet searching for domestic and external threats

They point out that it includes ‘vast amounts of First Amendment protected speech that is entirely unrelated to the Department of Homeland Security mission to protect the public against terrorism and disasters.’

A senior Homeland Security official told the Huffington Post that the manual ‘is a starting point, not the endgame’ in maintaining situational awareness of natural and man-made threats and denied that the government was monitoring signs of dissent.

However the agency admitted that the language used was vague and in need of updating.

Spokesman Matthew Chandler told website: ‘To ensure clarity, as part of … routine compliance review, DHS will review the language contained in all materials to clearly and accurately convey the parameters and intention of the program.’

MIND YOUR LANGUAGE: THE LIST OF KEYWORDS IN FULL

article-2150281-134E3C22000005DC-49_634x882

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Risk Assessment – Threat of ‘lone wolf’ terrorism growing, experts warn


April 30, 2013

Source: The daily telegraph

All eyes may be on Africa, but there are fears of a new, unpredictable threat in the west: the so-called “lone wolf”.

Anders-Behring-Breivik-ABB

This isn’t about a particular country or cause, and some worry it could be a growing trend.

In 2011 Anders Behring Breivik shocked the world with a Norwegian terror rampage. He bombed government buildings in Oslo before going on a shooting spree at a camp held by the country’s Labour Party. The bombings killed eight people, and the shooting left 69 dead.

Breivik was later found to hold various far-right beliefs, including a perception of Islam and Marxism as “the enemy”.

There are fears this kind of attack could happen more often.

Workplace violence

In America, Nidal Malik Hasan is set to undergo court martial proceedings this year after being accused of carrying out a mass shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas. The shooting, which happened in 2009, left 13 dead and 30 injured.

The Fort Hood attack is regarded by some as terrorism because of Hasan’s alleged radicalisation, with reports he had been emailing Anwar al-Awlaki, a cleric and alleged al-Qaeda recruiter based in Yemen, and monitored for several years as a security threat. The US Department of Defence, however, has referred to it as an act of workplace violence.

Lone wolf attacks could be related to various forms of extremism – for example, Islamism or neo-Nazism – but the danger is that they are hard to track. People operating alone can be harder to follow than a large organisation.

In a recent book, Lone Wolf Terrorism: Understand the Growing Threat, security consultant Jeffrey D Simon argues that lone wolves can be more creative than terrorist groups.

Terrorists

Terrorist breeding ground

He also points out the importance of the internet as a potential breeding ground for terrorists – though this is also an opportunity for counter-terrorism agencies to monitor potential threats.

Britons present their own risks, with a potential rise in British-born terrorists who have trained abroad before returning to the UK.

Last year the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank predicted that terrorists could put their training in countries including Somalia, Yemen or Nigeria to use on UK streets.

In a report, RUSI director-general Michael Clarke wrote: “The threat they pose, so far, is in the possibility that high numbers of such individuals, operating alone and unsupported, albeit in an amateur way, may nevertheless be lucky in a few attempts.

“They are harder to track and their behaviour much harder to predict.”

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The Algerian fuck-up – 35 killed in an attempt to rescue the hostages


January 17, 2013

Source: Daily Mail,

‘Al-Qaeda have got me’: Trapped oil worker’s desperate phone call to family from Algerian gas siege where ’35 hostages were killed’

  • Stephen McFaul barricaded himself into room as militants raided complex
  • Was on phone to family who heard gunfire in distance as line went dead
  • But he managed to escape as Algerian forces launched bungled rescue
  • David Cameron said Britain should be ‘prepared for the possibility of further bad news’
  • Prime Minister said one British national has been confirmed dead
  • Helicopters ‘began strafing’ complex, also killing 15 militants, claim rebels
  • Militants had earlier threatened to blow up the hostages if they intervened
  • Al-Qaeda group also demand safe passage out of facility with the hostages

Algeria-Terror

An oil worker held hostage at an Algerian gas plant made a desperate ‘last phone call’ to tell his family he had been captured by al-Qaeda hours before a botched rescue attempt killed up to 35 foreigners.

Stephen McFaul, who later escaped, barricaded himself into a room with dozens of others as armed militants stormed their compound in the remote African desert.

Islamic extremists launched an attack on BP’s Saharan oil field in revenge for France’s crackdown on rebels in neighbouring Mali. Britain is providing support and so became a target.

As the terrorists closed in, the 36-year-old father made what he feared may be his final call his family to say ‘al-Qaeda have got me’, his brother revealed today.

Mr McFaul’s family today revealed that he managed to escape alive, but up to 35 others are feared dead after Algerian forces launched air strikes overhead in a bid to rescue the trapped workers.

The assault on the was made without warning Western allies including David Cameron.

Fighting back tears, Mr McFaul’s brother, Brian, said of his sibling’s frantic phone call: ‘They locked themselves in a room for safety.

‘At that stage they heard gunfire. They kept talking and he gave me a text, but then we lost contact.

‘Than at 9am that morning he phoned saying al-Qaeda have got me’.

Mr McFaul’s family have told of their joy after receiving a phone call from him at 3pm today saying he was alive and well.

His 13-year-old son, Dylan, told the BBC: ‘I can’t explain the excitement. I can’t wait until he gets home. I’m going to make sure he never goes back there.’

His father, Christopher, added: ‘The last 48 hours have been hell, but as a family we have been very strong.’

algeria_terrorism

 

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Explosion outside the Prime Ministers Office in Oslo – Norway


The attack left several people injured but the prime minister was reported to be safe [Photo by Geir-Olav Goksøyr]

An explosion has blown out most windows of a government building housing the prime minister’s office and left several people injured, news agencies say.

Friday’s blast blew out most windows on the 17-storey building housing Jens Stoltenberg’s office, as well as nearby ministries, including the oil ministry, which was on fire.

Camilla Ryste, a government spokeswoman, told the Associated Press news agency Stoltenberg was safe.

A Reuters correspondent, Walter Gibbs, said he counted at least eight injured people. The cause of the blast was unknown but the tangled wreckage of a car was outside one building.

And an Associated Press reporter said newspaper offices in the area were also damaged and smoke could be seen drifting in the streets.

The reporter said he saw a young man with a bleeding leg being helped away from the area. It was not immediately clear whether there were other injuries.

Kristina Overn, a Norwegian journalist, said people were surprised that Norway had been targeted.

“People are really surprised. I am very surprised. People are shocked that this could happen in Oslo,” she told Al Jazeera.

“People are quite calm, they are not running around or anything. But people are quite shocked. I think most Norwegians consider themselves to be outside of incidents like this.”

Last:  Several people shot at the labour partys summer camp

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They killed Osama Bin Laden


Today U.S Navy Seal Team six killed Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden

By: Robert W. Johnson The military team that killed Osama Bin Laden is an elite special forces group unofficially called Seal Team 6. Officially, the team’s name is classified and not available to the public, technically there is no team 6. A Tier-One counter-terrorism force similar to the Army’s elusive Delta group, Team 6’s mission rarely make it to paper much less the newspaper. It shows how important the publicity about Bin Laden’s killing is to the U.S. that this morning, Team 6 is front pages news. The members of Team 6 are all “black” operatives. They exist outside military protocol, engage in operations that are at the highest level of classification and often outside the boundaries of international law. To maintain plausible deniability in case they are caught, records of black operations are rarely, if ever, kept. The development of SEAL Team 6 was in direct response to the 1980 attempt to rescue the American hostages held in Iran. The mission was a terrific failure that fell apart at many points and illustrated the need for a dedicated counter-terrorist team capable of operating with the utmost secrecy. The Team was labeled 6 at the time to confuse Soviet intelligence about the number of SEAL teams in operation at the time. There were only two others. Team 6 poached the top operatives from other SEAL units and trained them even more intensely from there. Even among proven SEAL’s the attrition rate for Team 6 is reported to be nearly half. There are no names available for current Team 6 members, but the CIA does recruit heavily from their numbers for their Special Operations Group, so it makes sense that they were chosen to work with the CIA on this mission. Team 6 is normally devoted to missions with maritime authority: ship rescues, oil rigs, naval bases or land bases accessible by water. There are no waterways near Bin Laden’s compound. When a former Navy SEAL was called for a comment about this article all he could say was: “You know I’d love to help you man, but I can’t say a word about Team 6. There is no Team 6.” Click here to see photos of people celebrating Bin Laden’s death > Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-team-that-killed-bin-laden-seal-team-6-2011-5#ixzz1LEfGRIA5 Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook