Iraqi security forces broke up an al-Qaida plot to use chemical weapons, as well as to smuggle them to Europe and North America


June 2 , 2013

Source: The Tribune Review

Iraqi security forces broke up an al-Qaida plot to use chemical weapons, as well as to smuggle them to Europe and North America, the defense ministry announced on Saturday.

Five men were arrested after military intelligence monitored their activities for three months, Gen. Mohamed al-Askari said duringa news conference broadcast on television.

Three workshops for manufacturing sarin and mustard gas were uncovered, he said, and remote-controlled toy planes were seized.

Iraqi-Gas-Terror

Iraqi soldiers display containing chemical materials confiscated from four men accused of planning to make chemical weapons such as nerve and mustard gas.

Al-Askari said the group intended to put gas in the toy airplanes to attack Shiite Muslim pilgrims visiting the holy shrine of Kadhimiya in Baghdad, according to al-Mada Press.

Group members said they also intended to smuggle the weapons to a neighboring country and use them on targets in Europe and North America, al-Mada cited al-Askari as saying. Two chemical manufacturing sites were raided in Baghdad and another unidentified province in the country, the ministry said.

The terrorist cell planning to use the poison gas received instructions on how to make it from al-Qaida outside of Iraq, al-Mada reported.

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Al-Qaida in Iraq is believed to be the only offshoot of the terrorist network to have used chemical weapons, the BBC reported. It detonated 16 crude chlorine bombs in Iraq between October 2006 and June 2007.

Chlorine inhalation made many hundreds of people sick, but no deaths resulting from exposure to the chemical were recorded, U.S. officials said at the time.

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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

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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

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Kidnappings in Mexico: 11 kidnapped in daylight from Mexico City bar


May 31, 2013

Source: nbcnews

MEXICO CITY — Eleven young people were brazenly kidnapped in broad daylight from a bar in Mexico City’s Zona Rosa, a normally calm district of offices, restaurants, drinking spots and dance clubs, anguished relatives said Thursday.

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The apparent mass abduction purportedly happened sometime between 10 a.m. and noon on Sunday just off the Paseo de la Reforma, the city’s main boulevard, near the Angel of Independence monument and less than two blocks from the U.S. Embassy.

The incident was the second recent high-publicity blemish for the city’s largely unregulated entertainment scene, coming 20 days after the grandson of American civil rights activist Malcolm X was beaten to death at another tough bar in the downtown area.

Calling for authorities to find their loved ones, family members marched Thursday morning from the Interior Department building to the Zocalo, the city’s main square. Later they protested outside the bar, which bears a sign that reads Bicentenario Restaurante-Bar, and demanded to see the bar’s surveillance video.

“How could so many people have disappeared, just like that, in broad daylight?” asked Josefina Garcia, mother of Said Sanchez Garcia, 19, her only son. “The police say they don’t have them, so what, the earth just opened up and swallowed them?”

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She said her son wasn’t involved in any criminal activity, and worked at a market stall selling beauty products.

City prosecutors said they had received 11 missing-person reports, but Garcia said residents of the tough downtown neighborhood of Tepito where the victims live thought as many as 15 or 16 people could have been abducted.

The known missing include six men, most in their 20s, a 16-year-old boy and four young women.

While no clear motives had been revealed in the attack, residents of Tepito said there has been a wave of abductions of neighborhood young people in recent months that could be related to organized crime activities. Tepito is the center of black market activities in the city, where guns, drugs, stolen goods and contraband are widely sold.

MexicoMap

Mass abductions have been rare in Mexico City, but are common in parts of the country where drug cartels operate and are fighting with rival gangs over territory.

Prosecutors slapped closure stickers on the front doors of the Mexico City bar Thursday, with inscriptions saying the city’s anti-kidnapping unit was investigating abductions at the site.

Late Thursday night, dozens of members of a special police intervention unit, many carrying automatic weapons and wearing helmets and bulletproof vests, blocked off the street in front of the bar and searched inside. Officers would not comment on what they were looking for.

Isabel Fonseca, whose brother is among those missing, said a man who escaped told her that masked men arrived in several white SUVs and took the group away. She said her brother, Eulogio Fonseca, is a street vendor who sells cellphone accessories.

“We want them alive,” Fonseca said. “They went out to have fun; they are not criminals.”

Mexico City’s chief prosecutor, Rodolfo Rios, said investigators had been able to glean little information on the disappearances.

Relatives believe the youths were at the club, which they know as “Heaven,” around midmorning Sunday, when waiters and bar employees herded them out to the street and armed men bundled them into waiting vehicles and spirited them away.

Rios said police had not located any employees of the bar and no other witnesses had presented themselves.

Note:

For the CAC course (Conduct after Capture) contact ABP World Group. The objective of this course is to better prepare civilians for a kidnap/hostage situation and improve their chances of getting home alive.

 

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