UK will ‘look at all options’ to aid Scots hostage

A still from the video released by IS showing Steven Sotloff moments before his murder. Picture: Reuters

A still from the video released by IS showing Steven Sotloff moments before his murder. Picture: Reuters

 

by CHRIS MARSHALL

FOREIGN Secretary Philip Hammond declared yesterday that every possible option will be explored to protect a Scottish hostage whose life is being threatened by the same jihadists who have already killed two American journalists.

The 44-year-old aid worker appeared in a video released by Islamic State (IS) extremists on Tuesday. His family has asked for him not to be named.

At the end of the chilling film, a masked knifeman stands above the captive Scot, warning countries entering an “evil alliance” with the United States against IS to “back off”.

Speaking after a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee yesterday, Mr Hammond said the latest video – which depicts the murder of American Steven Sotloff by a jihadist with a British accent – appeared genuine. Continue reading

Turkey should close its border to ISIS

Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, June 11, 2014. Since Tuesday, black clad ISIL fighters have seized Iraq's second biggest city Mosul and Tikrit, home town of former dictator Saddam Hussein, as well as other towns and cities north of Baghdad. They continued their lightning advance on Thursday, moving into towns just an hour's drive from the capital. Picture taken June 11, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT) - RTR3TDQT

Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, June 11, 2014.  (photo by REUTERS)

US President Barack Obama is reviewing a range of options to deal with the takeover of Mosul and other Iraqi cities by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

Summary⎙ Print The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has depended on the Turkish border for its operations in Syria; US Sen. Tim Kaine offers a blueprint for US-Egypt ties; Al-Monitor’s Year in Review and Back Channel.

Author Week in Review Posted June 14, 2014

Translator(s)Sibel Utku Bila

The prospects are daunting for Iraq, now split in three, to be put back together. The potential for a political dialogue among Iraq’s political factions, also urged by Obama, seems distant.

Even US airstrikes, which the administration is considering, would need to be coordinated with ground operations by the Iraqi army, whose effectiveness is in question after its collapse this week in facing ISIS.

Continue reading

Cyber experts to assess Kenya’s readiness of combating cybercrime

English: Flag of Nairobi (Kenya) Español: Band...

English: Flag of Nairobi (Kenya)  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Chrispinus Omar NAIROBI, (Xinhua) — Cyber security experts from the world are due to meet in Nairobi next week for an international conference aimed at assessing the readiness of Kenya to combat cybercrime.

The Kenya 2014 Cyber Security Conference will provide an opportunity to review the outcomes from the previous conference, chart a way forward as well as disseminate advancements and trends in the security sector, organizers said on Tuesday in Nairobi.

“We have noted that the trend globally is for a public private partnership approach to solving cybercrime problems,” said William Makatiani, Managing Director of Serianu Limited, a local cyber security consulting and intelligence firm.

Serianu Limited has teamed up with experts from Canada, Singapore, South Africa, India and the United States to organize the conference.

The June 11 conference is a follow up to the inaugural conference held in 2012 that provided a basis/benchmark for the state of cyber security readiness in the country and region. Continue reading

British hate preacher managed London strip club

08 May 2014 07:58

British hate preacher Abu Hamza has told his US terror trial how he once jointly managed a London strip club in his quest to live a Western, movie-style life.

NEW YORK: British hate preacher Abu Hamza told his US terror trial on Wednesday how he once jointly managed a London strip club in his quest to live a Western, movie-style life.

Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, 56, better known in Britain as Abu Hamza al-Masri, has pleaded not guilty to 11 kidnapping and terror counts that pre-date the 9/11 attacks.

Blind in one eye and with both hands blown off in an explosion in Afghanistan, he faces life in prison in a maximum security US prison if convicted by jury at the New York court.

Taking the stand for the first time in his trial, wearing tracksuit bottoms, a blue T-shirt and orange socks, the Egyptian-born former civil engineer spoke softly. Continue reading

Tailored coercion Competition and Risk in Maritime Asia

March 2014
Tailored coercion Competition and Risk in Maritime Asia
By Patrick M. Cronin, Dr. Ely Ratner, Elbridge Colby, Zachary M. Hosford
and Alexander Sullivan
Table of Contents
I. Introduction 5
II. Introduction: The Contours of Tailored Coercion 8
in Maritime Asia
III. U.S. and its Allies’ Responses 11
IV. Responding to Tailored Coercion: 21
The Diplomatic, Institutional
and Legal Dimensions
V. Conclusion: The Agenda Ahead 24
http://www.cnas.org/sites/default/files/publications-pdf/CNAS_TailoredCoercion_report.pdf

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Maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea

  • Author: Gustavo Plácido dos Santos
  • Source: Intelligence unit
  • Published: 19 March 2014
  • Filed: 19 March 2014

Fighters with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), pictured in 2008 (Photo: Pius Utomi Ekpei)

Summary

  1. Maritime insecurity incorporates a range of criminal activities, including piracy, smuggling and illegal fishing.
  2. The Gulf of Guinea has recently surpassed the more infamous Gulf of Aden as the epicentre of maritime insecurity.
  3. It is likely that the United States will increase its naval presence in the Gulf of Guinea during 2014.
  4. It is likely that the EU will also participate in an international intervention in the region, though this could possibly be stalled.
  5. It is likely that the international community will push West African countries to legislate for the deployment of armed security guards on their vessels and agree to greater inter-state collaboration.
  6. The potential conflict of interests between the international community and shipping companies over armed guards and/or external intervention will likely force a consensus approach that will possibly fail to address the root of the problem.
  7. It is highly likely that the above moves will lead to a temporary increase in violence in the region.
  8. As such, maritime insecurity in the region is likely to increase throughout 2014, and Benin, Togo and Guinea-Bissau, in particular, are likely to witness an increase in criminal activities across their territorial waters.

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http://www.openbriefing.org/regionaldesks/africa/maritime-insecurity-in-the-gulf-of-guinea/

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Was the Malaysian Plane Hacked? Probably Not

2672775_ml featureThe mysterious vanishing of the Malaysian flight raised a startling amount of rumors and theories of all kinds. While most are at least somewhat feasible, the recent cyber attack theory is closer to science fiction

By Maty Kishinevsky and Natalie Novitski

Over the last few days a new thoery concerning the disappearance of the Malaysian flight popped up: Hostile elements managed to take over a cellular phone on the plane, using it to connect to the plane’s avionics and bring the aircraft down. This feat is almost impossible even when the target is a ground vehicle, and when the target is airborne things get even more complicated.The plane itself uses radio to communicate with ground stations, but mobile devices use other means of communications. “There’s a way to control a phone remotely, but the device has to be connected to a network – cellular or internet.” This according to Avi Rosen, CEO and co-founder of cellular security developer Kaymera. “If you’re outside cellular reception range, or if you don’t have a stable internet connection on the plane, there’s no way to infiltrate the phone and remotely control it.” Continue reading