Category Archives: Terrorist

Barcelona truck attack reportedly leaves at least 12 dead and 80 injured

Thanks;

Published: Aug 17, 2017 4:27 p.m. ET

MW-FS548_barcel_20170817131833_ZHPeople move from the scene after a van crashed into pedestrians near the pedestrianized central thoroughfare Las Ramblas in Barcelona

Officials embark on terrorism investigation

MADRID (MarketWatch) — A popular promenade in Barcelona, Spain, became a scene of panic and devastation on Thursday after a van rammed pedestrians, leaving a dozen people dead and dozens more injured.

The incident took place on Las Ramblas, a long, tree-lined street that is typically packed with tourists and locals, around 5 p.m. local time (11 a.m. Eastern time).

Local media were at one point reporting that hostages were being held at a bar near the scene of the attack by other assailants, but later reports cast doubt on the matter. The Associated Press cited the regional president in reporting that two suspects had been arrested.

The Wall Street Journal, citing the jidahist-activity-monitoring organization SITE Intelligence Group, reported that Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the attack. Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, tweeted that terrorists would never defeat a united people who love freedom.

The seaside city was on lockdown in the immediate wake of the attack, with residents told to not leave their homes and many reported to be sheltering inside stores and restaurants and bars that closed the moment news of the attack reached them.

Media reports in Spain and the U.S. indicated the police were treating the incident as a terrorist attack. The police presence on streets in the Spanish capital Madrid, some 600 kilometers southwest of Barcelona, was sharply escalated in the wake of the Barcelona attack.

Nathalie Lezcano Sticchi, a 28-year-old resident of Barcelona who lives near the area, told MarketWatch she had passed the scene of the attack just five minutes before, stepping off the Ramblas to go into a Zara clothing store on a side street.

“When I was on the first floor, one of the guys who was working [at Zara] said, ‘You have to go outside, we are going to close because something is happening at the Ramblas,’ ” Sticchi said in a telephone interview. She said a friend had forwarded her a message from his mother, who had been at Las Ramblas and seen a truck crashing into people.

Sticchi ran to her house, as stores drew their shutters all around her. “People were running everywhere, and no one understood what was going on,” she said, “and I started hearing ambulances.”

Several metro lines were closed in Barcelona, and the area remained sealed off into the evening. Police were urging individuals not to share images of the crash site on social media. They also thanked the media for pixellating images they had chose to use of victims:

India celebrates 71st Independence Day – peacefully

Thanks;Asia NEWS network

published:16 Aug 2017 13:42

                        NEW DELHI (The Statesman/ANN News Desk) – Millions poured out of their homes to take part in Independence Day related events across the country. 

India on Tuesday celebrated its 71st Independence Day peacefully, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that “goli” (bullet) and “gaali” (abuse) cannot resolve the Kashmir problem.

Millions poured out of their homes to take part in events big and small across the country. A shutdown called by separatists affected life in the Kashmir Valley and in some parts of the northeast.

The highlight of the day was Modi’s fourth speech from the 17th century Red Fort where he unfurled the national flag and vowed to build a “New India” minus corruption and terrorism by 2022.

“Security of the country is our priority. Internal security is our priority. Whether it is our oceans or borders, cyber world or space, for all kinds of security India is capable of defeating all such inimical forces,” Modi said amid a dragging border row with China.

He said “bullets” and “abuses” cannot solve Jammu and Kashmir’s problem but love can, urging people to embrace Kashmiris and asking the militants to take to the mainstream.

Beyond India, the day was also celebrated by Indians living abroad. Even the Indian cricket team got into the act at its hotel in Colombo.

Amid clear weather, thousands thronged the Red Fort to listen to Modi. Similar scenes were seen in almost all major venue across the country.

From tricolour marks on cheeks to flag designs printed on T-shirts, from tricolour caps to suits, the Indian flag could be seen everywhere.

Despite persistent tensions, border guards of India and Pakistan exchanged sweets along the International Border in Punjab.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s unfurling the Indian tricolour at a government-aided school in Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram even after being told by authorities that political personalities are not allowed to do so triggered a row.

Days after over 60 children died in a Gorakhpur hospital, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath termed the tragedy an “eye-opener” and sought to blame it on encephalitis.

In neighbouring Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar pledged to provide good governance and not to compromise with corruption.

In Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti asked the young to give up guns and stones and also vowed to fight for the state’s special Constitutional status.

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar ordered a crackdown on rave parties and late-night music events in remote areas of his state.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee unfurled the tricolour and oversaw a colourful parade at the arterial Indira Gandhi Sarani.

In Bhubaneswar, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik suddenly felt unwell while addressing the gathering. Aides later said he was fine.

Independence Day celebrations were also reported from Hyderabad, Shimla, Thiruvananthapuram, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Gurugram, Gurdaspur, Aizwal and other state capitals and major cities.Tulips.jpg

6 Victims and 3 Suspects Killed in London ‘Terrorist Incident’

Thanks;Danica Kirka and Jill Lawless / AP


Updated: 11:47 PM ET | Originally published: 6:24 PM ET

LONDON (AP) — Terrorism struck at the heart of London, police said Sunday, after a vehicle veered off the road and mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge and witnesses told of men with large knives stabbing passersby at nearby Borough Market.

Police said six people died and 20 were injured in the attacks, while police shot dead three suspects. The Metropolitan Police head of counter-terrorism, Mark Rowley, said police believe all of the attackers were killed, but investigations are underway to ensure there are no more.

The violence turned a summery Saturday night in an area packed with bars and restaurants into a scene of panic and chaos, with officers running through crowded streets screaming for people to flee and lifeboats drafted to help clear the area.

The Metropolitan Police force declared the attacks “terrorist incidents.”

Hours after the attacks began, a large area of central London remained cordoned off and police told people to avoid the area, leaving tourists and revelers struggling to get home. It was unclear whether any of the attackers was on the run.

Bursts of gunfire echoed through the streets — likely from armed police — and at least three blasts rang out as police performed controlled explosions. One image taken by a witness showed a man on the ground surrounded by police; he appeared to be wearing a vest with canisters attached to it.

Gerard Vowls told The Guardian newspaper that he saw a woman being stabbed by three men at the south end of London Bridge. He said he threw chairs, glasses and bottles at the attackers in a bid to stop them.

“They kept coming to try to stab me . they were stabbing everyone. Evil, evil people,” he told the newspaper. “I want to know if this girl is still alive. I’ve been walking around for an hour and a half crying my eyes out. I don’t know what to do.”

Bartender Alex Martinez said he hid in a garbage bin for a half hour when a man stormed the restaurant where he worked, which was nearly full.

“I saw that man with a knife in his hand and after that a man started screaming so I knew something wrong was happening,” he said.

Medics treated the injured near the market as shocked people cried and shouted around them. Police officers yelled at people to run from the area.

Simon Thompson told Sky News that he was just outside Borough Market when he saw crowds fleeing.

“We ran for like 100 meters and then saw loads of police cars turned up and there was kind of a period of quite intense gunfire,” he said. “I hid in a restaurant basement for about an hour. … Police told us to get out and then there was more gunfire.”

The mayhem began just after 10 p.m. (2100GMT), when police responded to reports of a vehicle hitting pedestrians on London Bridge, which crosses the River Thames in central London. Multiple witnesses reported a vehicle veering off the road and hitting as many as six pedestrians.

“We saw injured people on the road, injured people on the pavement,” witness Will Heaven told Sky News.

Soon after, reports started coming in of stabbings at Borough Market, a nearby area full of bars and restaurants surrounding a popular food market. Witnesses reported seeing as many as three attackers with knives.

Police initially said officers were also responding to a third incident, in the Vauxhall neighborhood, but later said that turned out to be an unrelated stabbing.

Police tweeted a warning telling people in the area to run to safety, hide and then call police if it is safe to do so. They asked Londoners to “remain calm but be alert and vigilant.”

Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed the attack “is being treated as a potential act of terrorism” and said her thoughts were with “those who are caught up in these dreadful events.” May’s office said she would chair a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency committee on Sunday.

As thousands of people flooded from the area of the attacks — many unable to get home with nearby subway stations shut — locals were quick to offer assistance.

The Royal Oak pub, near the area of the attacks, opened its doors to people evacuated from hotels. At least one taxi company offered free rides to people stranded in the area. Phaldip Singh, who describes himself as an entrepreneur and youth activist, tweeted that Sikh temples were open to provide food and shelter for those affected.

If confirmed as terrorism, this would be the third attack to hit Britain in as many months.

In March, a British convert to Islam ran down people with a vehicle on Westminster Bridge, killing four, then stabbed a policeman to death outside Parliament.

On May 22, a British suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured dozens at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. After that attack, Britain’s official threat level from terrorism was raised to “critical,” meaning an attack may be imminent. Several days later it was lowered to “severe,” meaning an attack is highly likely.

A charity concert for victims of the Manchester attack, featuring Grande and other stars, is due to be held in the northwest English city on Sunday.

Dozens dead after Coptic Christian churches in Egypt are hit by Palm Sunday blasts

Thanks;Dahlia Kholaif

Published: Apr 9, 2017 9:33 a.m. ET

At least 36 killed in attacks on churches in Tanta and Alexandria

A relative of one of the victims weeps outside church in Tanta, Egypt.

CAIRO—Twin blasts struck Coptic churches in Egypt as worshipers gathered for Palm Sunday services, killing at least 36 people, as violence escalates against the country’s Christian population.

Security officials said an unknown assailant planted a bomb under a seat in the main hall of the Mar Girgis Church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta, some 60 miles north of Cairo, in the morning.

The ensuing explosion killed 25 people and wounded another 69, an adviser to Egypt’s health minister told state media. Footage aired on official television showed blood stains sprayed over the floor of the church hall, shattered furniture and rubble sprayed on wooden benches.
Separately, a suicide bomber attempted to enter Saint Mark’s Church in the center of the coastal city of Alexandria, blowing himself up at the entrance after being stopped by security, state media reported.

HOW ISIS GROOMED IRAQI ORPHANS INTO BECOMING CHILD SOLDIERS

Thanks;REUTERS 

Published; 2/17/17 AT 10:41 AM


Boys from a Mosul orphanage were indoctrinated by the jihadists to become a network of informants and fighters.

http://europe.newsweek.com/isis-groomed-orphans-child-soldiers-557803

Turkey detains 400 Islamic State suspects in nationwide raids

When the boys first arrived at the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) training facility in eastern Mosul they would cry and ask about their parents, who went missing when the militants rampaged through northern Iraq in 2014.
But as the weeks passed they appeared to absorb the group’s ultra-hardline ideology, according to a worker at the former orphanage where they were housed.

The children, aged from three to 16 and mostly Shi’ite Muslims or minority Yazidis, began referring to their own families as apostates after they were schooled in Sunni Islam by the militant fighters, he said.
The boys were separated from the girls and infants, undergoing indoctrination and training to become “cubs of the caliphate—a network of child informers and fighters used by the jihadists to support their military operations.
The complex in Mosul’s Zuhur district, which had been home to local orphans until they were kicked out by ISIS, was one of several sites the jihadists used across the city.
It is now shuttered, its doors sealed with padlocks by Iraqi security forces.
ISIS withdrew before Iraqi forces launched a U.S.-backed offensive in October to retake the city, but during a Reuters visit last month there were still reminders of the group’s attempt to brainwash dozens of children.
A saying attributed to the Prophet Mohammed is painted in black on one wall, urging children to learn to swim, shoot and ride horses. Inside the building is a swimming pool, now dry and full of rubbish.
In another room sits a stack of textbooks ISIS had amended to fit its brutal ethos.
Arithmetic problems in a fourth grade maths book use imagery of warfare, while the cover bears a rifle made up of equations. History books focus exclusively on the early years of Islam and emphasize martial events.
Another textbook entitled “English for the Islamic State” includes ordinary words like apple and ant beside army, bomb and sniper. Martyr, spy and mortar also appear alongside zebra crossing, yawn, and X-box.
The word “woman” is depicted by a formless black figure wearing the full niqab covering. All faces in the books—even those of animals—are blurred, in keeping with an Islamic proscription against such images.
The orphanage worker, who was cowed into staying on after the militants took over in 2014, said girls who were brought to the center were often married off to the group’s commanders.
The man asked not to be named for fear of reprisals by ISIS, which still controls the entire western half of Mosul. He was shot in the leg during recent clashes.
He said the militants, mostly Iraqis, taught the Shi’ite children how to pray in the tradition of Sunni Islam and forced the Yazidis to convert.
They memorized the Koran, were taught to treat outsiders as infidels and conducted physical exercise in the yard, which has since grown over.
A pair of colorful plastic slides and swing sets now sit untouched amid shattered glass, casings from a grenade launcher and a suicide bomber’s charred remains—signs of the militants’ fierce resistance as they retreated late last year.
Reuters could not independently verify the orphanage worker’s comments. But local residents gave similar accounts, and ISIS has published numerous videos showing how it trains young fighters and even makes them execute prisoners.
New batches of children arrived at the Zuhur orphanage every few weeks from outside Mosul, including a few from neighboring Syria, while older boys were sent to the town of Tel Afar west of Mosul for intensive military training for duties including with ISIS’s courts or vice squad, residents said.
“After six months at the camps, some of the boys came back to spend a weekend with their younger brothers. They were wearing uniforms and carrying weapons,” the orphanage worker said, fingering black and yellow prayer beads.
One of the boys, Mohammed, was killed last summer during the battle in the city of Falluja, west of Baghdad, he said, recounting how the other children wept upon learning the news.
A few weeks before the Mosul offensive began, ISIS canceled lessons and sent the boys to guard an airfield near Tel Afar which pro-government forces later seized, he said.
“I told them, ‘If you see the army, drop your weapons and tell them you are orphans. Maybe they will spare your lives'”.

The Latest: Italy: 9 Italians die in Dhaka siege, no Koreans

Thanks; AP Photo/Koji Sasahara

Published;JUL. 2, 2016 10:22 AM EDT

Japan International Cooperation Agency President Shinichi Kitaoka listens to reporters questions during a press conference following the incident at a Bangladesh restaurant, in Tokyo, Saturday, July 2, 2016. Shinichi Kitaoka said one Japanese hostage has been hospitalized, and the fate of seven others remains unknown. They were outside consultants working for Japan’s development agency on an infrastructure project.

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — The Latest on the attack on a restaurant popular with foreigners in a diplomatic zone in the Bangladeshi capital (all times local):
8:45 p.m.
A Japanese government spokesman says that seven Japanese are among those killed in the overnight siege of a restaurant in Bangladesh.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Saturday night in Tokyo that five men and two women who were Japanese had died in the attack.
They were among eight Japanese nationals eating at the restaurant. One man who had been shot was rescued, and being treated at a hospital.
The Japanese were consultants working on a Japanese government aid project in Dhaka.
___
8:15 p.m.
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry says it received confirmation from Bangladesh government officials that no South Koreans were among the 20 hostages killed during an attack at a Dhaka restaurant.
The ministry also said there were no South Koreans among the injured. Italy has confirmed nine Italians died.
An Indian government official previously said South Koreans were among the dead, as well as Japanese and one Indian woman.
___
7:45 p.m.
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni says the bodies of nine Italians have been identified among the dead in the Dhaka restaurant attack.
Gentiloni told reporters Saturday that there was another, unidentified body in the military morgue of Bangladesh but its nationality hasn’t been determined. Italian news reports had said about 10 Italians were inside the restaurant when it was attacked by militants on Friday night.
___
7:30 p.m.
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry says officials from the country’s embassy in Bangladesh are in contact with local government authorities to confirm whether there were any South Koreans among the 20 hostages killed during an attack at a Dhaka restaurant.
The ministry earlier said no South Koreans were among the injured.
An Indian government official said Saturday evening that South Koreans were among the dead, as well as an Indian woman and other foreigners. The official was not authorized to discuss details of the crisis and spoke on condition of anonymity.
___
7 p.m.
The rescued Japanese hostage in Bangladesh has been identified as an employee for a Tokyo consulting firm that specializes in construction projects.
Japanese broadcaster NHK, citing an unnamed government official, said Saturday that he is Tamaoki Watanabe and works for Almec Corp.
He is among eight Japanese who were at the restaurant when it was attacked by militants on Friday night. The fates of the other seven have not been confirmed, but Japanese officials have called the situation “dire.”
NHK reported that Almec is part of a Japanese development agency project to develop an urban transportation system in Dhaka.
6:30 p.m.
Italian media have identified one of the victims in the Dhaka restaurant attack as a 47-year-old manager from northeastern Italy. The Italian agency ANSA says the man, who was married and the father of 3-year-old twin girls, was in Bangladesh for work. ANSA said word spread Saturday in the town of Feletto Umberto, near Udine, that the man was among the 20 who died in the attack by extremists.
Bangladesh authorities have said 20 hostages died in the 10-hour siege that paramilitary forces ended Saturday morning. Many were foreigners.
Premier Matteo Renzi said earlier no details were being made public until families of the victims are officially notified. An Italian government plane was headed to Bangladesh, but Renzi didn’t say if any victims’ relatives might be aboard or if the aircraft was going to fly back bodies to Italy.
___
6:30 p.m.
Emory University says in an email to employees that one of the Dhaka restaurant attack victims was Abinta Kabir, a student at the school’s campus in Oxford, Georgia. She was visiting family and friends in Bangladesh when she was taken hostage and killed.
University president James Wagner said that Abinta’s mother, with whom he had had contact, was in “unspeakable pain” upon receiving news of the death of her daughter.
“Please, as you are inclined, direct your kindest thoughts and sincerest prayers in her behalf and that of her family,” Wagner wrote.
___
6:30 p.m.
Pope Francis is condemning the Dhaka restaurant attack as an “offense against God and humanity.”
The Vatican said Saturday that Francis sent a condolence message, describing himself as “deeply saddened by the senseless violence perpetrated against innocent victims in Dhaka.”
Bangladeshi authorities say 20 hostages were killed by the extremists who began the attack Friday night. Paramilitary forces ended the standoff Saturday morning, killing six of the attackers.
Francis prayed for the dead, and assured “the grieving families and the wounded.”
___
5:50 p.m.
An Indian government source who was not authorized to discuss details of the crisis said on condition of anonymity that the 20 hostages killed during the attack in the Bangladeshi capital included Italians, Japanese, South Koreans, Bangladeshis and one Indian.
The source said seven Bangladeshis and one Indian had been among the 13 rescued when commandos stormed the restaurant and killed six attackers. One attacker was taken alive and was being interrogated, the source said.
Some were in a hospital being treated for injuries, including at least two Sri Lankans, a Japanese and an Italian.
Two Bangladeshi police officers also died of wounds received Friday night when the hostage crisis began.
___
4 p.m.
Italy’s premier says Italians are among the victims of the Dhaka attack, but won’t say how many or give any other details until the victims’ families have been notified.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said a government plane was on its way to the Bangladeshi capital. He told reporters in Rome on Saturday that “we followed the events” in Dhaka “all night hoping for a different outcome.”
One Italian who managed to escape the attack was earlier quoted as saying there had been 10 or 11 Italians seated at two tables when the attack began on Friday night in the diplomatic quarter of Dhaka.
“I was seated with my wife and a customer, at the other (there were) seven, eight persons,” Gianni Boschetti told the Italian news agency ANSA, without giving any details about the fate of his wife or the others. Earlier, Italian radio reports said an Italian cook had escaped unharmed, but it was not immediately clear if Boschetti might be the cook.
Renzi said the “Italians are hit, but not bent” by the “folly'” of radical extremism.
___
4 p.m.
The head of Japan’s development agency has expressed his strong indignation toward the attackers in the Bangladesh restaurant attack, saying the Japanese taken hostage were working hard for the development of the South Asian country.
One Japanese hostage has been hospitalized, and the fate of seven others is unknown. They were outside consultants working for Japan’s development agency on an infrastructure project.
Bangladesh authorities say 20 hostages were killed but have not identified them.
Japan International Cooperation Agency President Shinichi Kitaoka said Saturday evening in Tokyo that that the restaurant was believed to be in a safe area, though it is also could have been a soft target for militants.
He said his agency would strengthen security precautions while continuing to contribute to the development of Bangladesh.
The Latest: 7 Japanese killed in Bangladesh, 9 Italians

JUL. 2, 2016 10:48 AM EDT

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5 photos

 Japan Bangladesh Attack

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DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — The Latest on the attack on a restaurant popular with foreigners in a diplomatic zone in the Bangladeshi capital (all times local):
8:45 p.m.
A Japanese government spokesman says that seven Japanese are among those killed in the overnight siege of a restaurant in Bangladesh.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Saturday night in Tokyo that five men and two women who were Japanese had died in the attack.
They were among eight Japanese nationals eating at the restaurant. One man who had been shot was rescued, and being treated at a hospital.
The Japanese were consultants working on a Japanese government aid project in Dhaka.
___
8:15 p.m.
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry says it received confirmation from Bangladesh government officials that no South Koreans were among the 20 hostages killed during an attack at a Dhaka restaurant.
The ministry also said there were no South Koreans among the injured. Italy has confirmed nine Italians died.
An Indian government official previously said South Koreans were among the dead, as well as Japanese and one Indian woman.
___
7:45 p.m.
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni says the bodies of nine Italians have been identified among the dead in the Dhaka restaurant attack.
Gentiloni told reporters Saturday that there was another, unidentified body in the military morgue of Bangladesh but its nationality hasn’t been determined. Italian news reports had said about 10 Italians were inside the restaurant when it was attacked by militants on Friday night.
___
7:30 p.m.
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry says officials from the country’s embassy in Bangladesh are in contact with local government authorities to confirm whether there were any South Koreans among the 20 hostages killed during an attack at a Dhaka restaurant.
The ministry earlier said no South Koreans were among the injured.
An Indian government official said Saturday evening that South Koreans were among the dead, as well as an Indian woman and other foreigners. The official was not authorized to discuss details of the crisis and spoke on condition of anonymity.
___
7 p.m.
The rescued Japanese hostage in Bangladesh has been identified as an employee for a Tokyo consulting firm that specializes in construction projects.
Japanese broadcaster NHK, citing an unnamed government official, said Saturday that he is Tamaoki Watanabe and works for Almec Corp.
He is among eight Japanese who were at the restaurant when it was attacked by militants on Friday night. The fates of the other seven have not been confirmed, but Japanese officials have called the situation “dire.”
NHK reported that Almec is part of a Japanese development agency project to develop an urban transportation system in Dhaka.
6:30 p.m.
Italian media have identified one of the victims in the Dhaka restaurant attack as a 47-year-old manager from northeastern Italy. The Italian agency ANSA says the man, who was married and the father of 3-year-old twin girls, was in Bangladesh for work. ANSA said word spread Saturday in the town of Feletto Umberto, near Udine, that the man was among the 20 who died in the attack by extremists.
Bangladesh authorities have said 20 hostages died in the 10-hour siege that paramilitary forces ended Saturday morning. Many were foreigners.
Premier Matteo Renzi said earlier no details were being made public until families of the victims are officially notified. An Italian government plane was headed to Bangladesh, but Renzi didn’t say if any victims’ relatives might be aboard or if the aircraft was going to fly back bodies to Italy.
___
6:30 p.m.
Emory University says in an email to employees that one of the Dhaka restaurant attack victims was Abinta Kabir, a student at the school’s campus in Oxford, Georgia. She was visiting family and friends in Bangladesh when she was taken hostage and killed.
University president James Wagner said that Abinta’s mother, with whom he had had contact, was in “unspeakable pain” upon receiving news of the death of her daughter.
“Please, as you are inclined, direct your kindest thoughts and sincerest prayers in her behalf and that of her family,” Wagner wrote.
___
6:30 p.m.
Pope Francis is condemning the Dhaka restaurant attack as an “offense against God and humanity.”
The Vatican said Saturday that Francis sent a condolence message, describing himself as “deeply saddened by the senseless violence perpetrated against innocent victims in Dhaka.”
Bangladeshi authorities say 20 hostages were killed by the extremists who began the attack Friday night. Paramilitary forces ended the standoff Saturday morning, killing six of the attackers.
Francis prayed for the dead, and assured “the grieving families and the wounded.”
___
5:50 p.m.
An Indian government source who was not authorized to discuss details of the crisis said on condition of anonymity that the 20 hostages killed during the attack in the Bangladeshi capital included Italians, Japanese, South Koreans, Bangladeshis and one Indian.
The source said seven Bangladeshis and one Indian had been among the 13 rescued when commandos stormed the restaurant and killed six attackers. One attacker was taken alive and was being interrogated, the source said.
Some were in a hospital being treated for injuries, including at least two Sri Lankans, a Japanese and an Italian.
Two Bangladeshi police officers also died of wounds received Friday night when the hostage crisis began.
___
4 p.m.
Italy’s premier says Italians are among the victims of the Dhaka attack, but won’t say how many or give any other details until the victims’ families have been notified.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said a government plane was on its way to the Bangladeshi capital. He told reporters in Rome on Saturday that “we followed the events” in Dhaka “all night hoping for a different outcome.”
One Italian who managed to escape the attack was earlier quoted as saying there had been 10 or 11 Italians seated at two tables when the attack began on Friday night in the diplomatic quarter of Dhaka.
“I was seated with my wife and a customer, at the other (there were) seven, eight persons,” Gianni Boschetti told the Italian news agency ANSA, without giving any details about the fate of his wife or the others. Earlier, Italian radio reports said an Italian cook had escaped unharmed, but it was not immediately clear if Boschetti might be the cook.
Renzi said the “Italians are hit, but not bent” by the “folly'” of radical extremism.
___
4 p.m.
The head of Japan’s development agency has expressed his strong indignation toward the attackers in the Bangladesh restaurant attack, saying the Japanese taken hostage were working hard for the development of the South Asian country.
One Japanese hostage has been hospitalized, and the fate of seven others is unknown. They were outside consultants working for Japan’s development agency on an infrastructure project.
Bangladesh authorities say 20 hostages were killed but have not identified them.
Japan International Cooperation Agency President Shinichi Kitaoka said Saturday evening in Tokyo that that the restaurant was believed to be in a safe area, though it is also could have been a soft target for militants.
He said his agency would strengthen security precautions while continuing to contribute to the development of Bangladesh.
___
3:50 p.m.
India’s foreign minister says an Indian girl was among the 20 hostages killed in the attack on a restaurant in Dhaka.
Sushma Swaraj said in a message from her Twitter account that she is “extremely pained to share that the terrorists have killed Tarushi, an Indian girl who was taken hostage in the terror attack in Dhaka.”
She said has spoken with the girl’s father and “conveyed her deepest condolences.”
The army has said 20 hostages were killed in the attack, but it has not disclosed their nationalities.
Bangladesh paramilitary troops mounted a rescue operation Saturday morning, about 10 hours after the hostage crisis began in the diplomatic quarter of the capital.
___
1:15 p.m., Dhaka
A top Bangladesh military official says 20 hostages were killed in the attack on a Dhaka restaurant where heavily armed militants held dozens of people hostage in a 10-hour standoff.
Nayeem Ashfaq Chowdhury said six of the attackers were killed in the rescue operations early Saturday. Thirteen captives, including some foreigners, were rescued.
Two police officers were killed when the attackers stormed the popular restaurant and opened fire Friday night.
Chowdhury did not disclose the identities of the hostages.
The paramilitary troops who mounted the rescue operations recovered explosive devices and sharp weapons from the scene, he said.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
___
12:45 p.m., Dhaka
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has condemned the Dhaka restaurant attack by militants who took dozens hostage and vows to fight what she calls terrorist attacks that have rattled Bangladesh.
Hasina also said that security officials arrested one of the militants. Six others were killed, 13 hostage rescued while seven Japanese are unaccounted for.
Hasina says: “Because of the effort of the joint force, the terrorists could not flee.”
She vowed to fight terrorist attacks in the country and urged people to come forward.
She says: “Anyone who believes in religion cannot do such act. They do not have any religion, their only religion is terrorism.”
___
12 noon, Tokyo
A Japanese government spokesman says a Japanese hostage has been rescued but seven others unaccounted for in the restaurant attack in Bangladesh.
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda said Saturday that the eight were together at the restaurant during the attack.
Hagiuda says the Japanese man who was rescued was shot and is still being treated. He declined to give specifics about the hostage’s condition but said he is able to talk.
He says the eight people were from different companies involved in the same project led by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
___
11:35 a.m., Bangkok
The owner of the Bangladeshi restaurant at the center of the bloody hostage-taking says he wasn’t able to communicate with his staff.
Nasirul Alam Porag was in Bangkok in Saturday when news reached him that militants took dozens of hostages at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s Gulshan area, a diplomatic zone. Ten hours later, security forces stormed the restaurant, killing at least six of the militants and rescuing 13 people. Two police were killed in an earlier gunbattle and 26 people wounded.
Porag told The Associated Press: “Up until five minutes ago I didn’t know anything. There is no one on the ground we can communicate with, not even the staff.”
He said the restaurant employs about 50 staff but 20 were present at the time of the attack.
It opened two years ago, and he is one of three owners. They decided to open a new restaurant in Bangkok, which he is managing.
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10:35 a.m., Dhaka
The commanding officer of Bangladeshi commandos says at least six of the militants have been killed and 13 hostages rescued after security forces cleared the main restaurant building at the end of the 10-hour standoff.
Lt. Col. Tuhin Mohammad Masud told The Associated Press that some militants were captured.
He says: “We have gunned down at least six terrorists and the main building is cleared but the operation is still going on.”
About 35 people were taken hostage, including about 20 foreigners, when gunmen stormed the Dhaka restaurant on Friday night.
Masud says the rescued include a Japanese, who was injured, and two Sri Lankans.
He says there are casualties among other hostages, but did not provide details.
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9:30 a.m., Dhaka and Tokyo
The sound of two big explosions has been heard from inside the Dhaka restaurant where security forces battled militants holding dozens of hostages, and a police official says five bodies were seen lying in pools of blood.
Security forces stormed the restaurant early Saturday to end the 10-hour standoff with militants.
In Tokyo, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda says 12 people were rescued in the raid, including two foreigners, but he couldn’t say if they were Japanese.
About 35 people were taken hostage, including about 20 foreigners.
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8:20 a.m., Dhaka
Gunshots and explosions are heard as Bangladesh security forces are moving to end the 10-hour standoff with militants who stormed a Dhaka upscale restaurant and took dozens of people hostage.
Local TV stations reported that the operation began at 7:40 a.m.
Army personnel with automatic weapons have joined the operation.
At least seven armored vehicles are being used while several ambulances are on standby.
Local media reported that an Argentine and two Bangladeshis were rescued from the restaurant early Saturday, but details about their condition were not immediately available.
Journalists are not allowed near the scene.
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7:20 a.m.
A news agency affiliated with the Islamic Group has posted photos purportedly showing the bodies of hostages lying in pools of blood in the Dhaka restaurant where militants were holding about 35 people.
The authenticity of the pictures, carried by the Amaq news agency and monitored by the SITE Intelligence Group, could not be independently confirmed.
The same report says 24 people have been killed and 40 wounded, including foreigners. That figure could not be confirmed either.
Police say two officers were killed and 26 people wounded in a gunbattle with the militants as the standoff continues into Saturday morning.
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Japan says that Japanese citizens may be among the hostages being held in Bangladesh.
The top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said at a hastily called news conference Saturday morning in Tokyo that the government is trying to confirm the information.
He says the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka set up a response center at 2:45 a.m.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that saving lives is the top priority.
Heavily armed militants struck at the heart of Bangladesh’s diplomatic zone on Friday night, taking at least 35 people — including about 20 foreigners — hostage in a restaurant. Two police were killed and at least 26 people wounded in a gunbattle.
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5:50 a.m. , Dhaka
A member of Bangladeshi security forces say authorities are planning to launch a coordinated response at dawn Saturday to end the hostage-taking by militants inside a Dhaka restaurant popular with foreigners.
According to internet service provider Aamr, authorities also ordered internet services to be blocked across the country.
A member of the Rapid Action Battalion, identifying himself as Lt. Col. Masood, told Indian TV that he attackers “have not responded to authorities’ calls for negotiation.”
He says a police cordon would prevent any of the attackers from escaping.
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3:00 a.m.
The U.S. State Department says it has seen the claims of responsibility by the Islamic State group for the hostage-taking in Dhaka but cannot yet confirm it.
A White House official said President Barack Obama was briefed on the attack by his chief counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco. The president asked to be kept informed as the situation develops, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the president’s meetings.
State Department spokesman John Kirby says the U.S. is in contact with the Bangladesh government and has offered its assistance to bring those responsible to justice.
He said all official American personnel are accounted for with no injuries reported, and the department is working with local authorities to determine if any U.S. citizens and locally-employed staff were affected.
___
1 a.m.
Police say two officers have been killed by attackers who stormed a restaurant popular with foreigners in a diplomatic zone in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, taking dozens of hostages and exchanging gunfire with security forces.
Hospital authorities said another 25 officers and one civilian were being treated for injuries, including 10 people listed in critical condition. The injuries include bullet wounds and broken bones, they said.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency said the attack on the restaurant was carried out by “Islamic State commandos,” according to the SITE Intelligence Group which monitors jihadist activity. Bangladesh authorities did not immediately respond to the claim.
As many as nine gunmen attacked the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s Gulshan area on Friday night.

FBI Insists Apple Cooperate Despite Resetting iCloud Password on Shooter’s iPhone

Published;Sunday February 21, 2016 9:52 pm PST

THANKS;Joe Rossignol

iPhone-Passcode

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed that it worked with San Bernardino County government officials to reset the iCloud account password on an iPhone belonging to suspected terrorist Syed Farook, according to a press statemencot obtained by Re/code.

Apple told reporters on Friday that the Apple ID password associated with Farook’s iPhone was changed “less than 24 hours” after being in government hands. Had the password not been altered, Apple believes the backup information the government is asking for could have been accessible to Apple engineers.

Nevertheless, the FBI insists that the iCloud password reset does not impact Apple’s ability to comply with a court order demanding it create a modified iOS version that allows authorities to unlock the shooter’s iPhone 5c by way of a brute-force attack.

The FBI further stated that “direct data extraction from an iOS device often provides more data than an iCloud backup contains,” and said investigators may be able to extract more evidence from the shooter’s iPhone with Apple’s assistance. Tim Cook and company, however, have thus far refused to cooperate.Even if the password had not been changed and Apple could have turned on the auto-backup and loaded it to the cloud, there might be information on the phone that would not be accessible without Apple’s assistance as required by the All Writs Act order, since the iCloud backup does not contain everything on an iPhone. As the government’s pleadings state, the government’s objective was, and still is, to extract as much evidence as possible from the phone.Cook shared an open letter on Wednesday stating that while Apple is “shocked and outraged” by the San Bernardino attacks last December, and presumes “the FBI’s intentions are good,” the company strongly believes that building a “backdoor” for U.S. government officials would be “too dangerous to create.”

The White House later denied that the FBI is asking Apple to “create a new backdoor to its products,” but rather seeking access to a single iPhone. On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice called Apple’s opposition a “marketing strategy” in a motion filed to compel Apple to comply with the original court order.

The dispute between Apple and the FBI has ignited a widespread debate over the past six days. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have publicly backed Apple, and some campaigners have rallied to support the company, while U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and some San Bernardino victims have sided with the FBI.

Apple now has until February 26 to file its first legal arguments against the court order.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

 

How to Cope With Anxiety During Terror Threats

Thanks; KATIE ROGERS

Published;NOVEMBER 19, 2015

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the attacks in Paris, spectators took pictures of the added security at Times Square.

HILARY SWIFT FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

The headlines this week are reminding psychologists of the anxiety and fear that followed the Sept. 11 attacks.
Suicide bombers and shootings in Paris. Attacks in Beirut and Nigeria. Threatening videos and public officials holding news conferences. Diverted planes. Suspicious packages. Lockdowns on campuses and fears of mass shooters.
“We will not be intimidated, and we will not live in fear,” William J. Bratton, the New York police commissioner, said Wednesday in response to an Islamic State propaganda video.
The point of terrorism is to terrify, public officials often say in these situations, so the best reaction is to go about your lives.
But what if you’re still anxious?

Terrorism’s unpredictable nature instills people with anxiety over the lack of control in their fate, Anne Marie Albano, a clinical psychologist and the director of the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders, said in an interview.

“It’s becoming sort of everyday life,” Dr. Albano said, “knowing that we cannot predict with good accuracy at all when something may happen.”
If you’re feeling anxious, here are a few ways to cope:
Compare your fear with the facts.
Humans are bad at assessing risk, Martin Seif, a psychologist who specializes in treating anxiety disorders and the fear of flying, said in an interview. This means that when we fear the worst, it’s hard to rationalize that the outcome of, say, a flight or a train ride, is incredibly likely to be safe. But you have to try.
“Every single anxiety-management technique is based on the premise that your reaction is out of proportion” to the likelihood of danger, Dr. Seif said.
Limit your exposure to social media and the media.
It is natural to want to follow along with incremental updates on social media and in the news. But it’s important to know that this can heighten your anxiety.
Designating times to plug into the news — checking Twitter in the morning over coffee, but not listening to the radio while driving your kids to school, for instance — can help you manage anxiety if you are feeling stressed.
This will help you balance a realistic and credible threat with information that is sensationalized, Dr. Albano said, “or a rush to report something or talk about something that doesn’t have the impact that you would think it has.”
Breathe.
A guide to dealing with terrorism released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation encourages closing your eyes and taking deep breaths to feel calmer. Taking a walk or talking to a close friend can also help.
The guide also recommends avoiding alcohol and drugs, exercising regularly and eating healthy foods — basic self-care guidelines that help reduce stress.
Create a plan with your family.
It’s a good idea to draft a plan that details how you’ll get in contact with your family if something happens. But remember that you likely will not need it, Dr. Albano said.

If you have children, the American Psychological Association recommends asking them how they are feeling about the news. Keep in mind that it is possible for children to be influenced by news reports and adult conversations.
Keep your daily routine.
Dr. Albano said that a primary worry in the field of psychology is people “going out of their way to be so safe that it shrinks their world.
“Terrorists thrive on this kind of thing,” she added. “They want to see the population change their practices.”
There is a particular concern that going out of your way to avoid interacting with strangers — by taking mass transit, for example — can stoke fear and anxiety in children, she said.
The antidote to this is keeping a routine that enables you to meet people who don’t look like you, people who you wouldn’t otherwise know.
“Parents and adults have to similarly look around at one another and get to know people,” she said.
Dr. Albano praised the people of Paris for returning to cafes.
“That was a message to us from Giuliani after 9/11,” she recalled. “ ‘Get back to the ballgames. Get out there. Let’s go.’ ”

Americans Warn Airlines of Toothpaste Bombs on Sochi Flights

Thanks;Denver Nicks @DenverNicksFeb. 05, 20149

Officials say there is no specific threat to the U.S.

http://youtu.be/pfGOmJFqwt0

American authorities are warning airlines with flights to Russia for the Olympic Games to be on the lookout for bombs in toothpaste containers or other similar cosmetic tubes.

Citing unnamed government officials, CNN and ABC News report that the warning was issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to both domestic and foreign airlines. The warning says intelligence reports suggest such containers could be used to store the ingredients for a bomb to be assembled aboard an aircraft. Authorities cautioned that they haven’t identified any specific threat to the U.S., CNN and ABC report.

“While we are not aware of a specific threat to the homeland at this time, this routine communication is an important part of our commitment to making sure we meet that priority,” an official told ABC News. “As always, our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, and DHS will continue to adjust security measures to fit an ever evolving threat environment.”

Security in the host city of Sochi has been high for months, as the Russian government prepares for the Winter Olympics that start this week while also combating the threat of militants operating in the Caucasus. In the months leading up to the Olympics, terrorist groups have issued threats, and three suicide bombings in as many months have rocked cities in Russia. That has clearly had an impact on observers in the U.S. — in a CNN poll released on Wednesday, 57% of Americans said they believe a terrorist attack at the Sochi Games is likely.

“Out of an abundance of caution, [the Department of Homeland Security] regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners, including those associated with international events such as the Sochi Olympics,” the department said in a statement.

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Russia bombings spark Olympic concerns

Thanks;EDDIE PELLS
December 30, 2013

The bombings in Russia serve as a chilling reminder of what the Winter Olympics represent to terrorists: a high-profile target with more than 2,500 athletes waving the flags of nearly 90 nations.

So, while many Olympic leaders called for calm the day after two bombings about 400 miles from Sochi killed at least 31 people, some of the athletes heading to Sochi spoke of a different reality — their security is never sure thing.

U.S. speedskater Jilleanne Rookard said she was concerned but believes the Russians will have things locked down, if for no other reason than to avoid a national embarrassment.

Russian Olympic leader Alexander Zhukov said the bombings didn’t spark a need for additional security measures because “everything necessary already has been done.”