Monday, March 18, 2019

Turkish-born suspect, 37, on run after 'potential terror attack' in Utrecht

Emergency services stand at the 24 Oktoberplace in Utrecht

Police are hunting a Turkish-born 37-year-old in connection with a potential terror attack in the Dutch city of Utrecht. 
A gunman who shot dead at least one person on a tram has been on the run since this morning, and police are treating the shooting as a potential terrorist attack.
Officers reported "multiple" injuries having been called to the incident in a residential neighbourhood on Monday morning.
Police said that although the investigation was still ongoing, terrorism was one possible motive. Local media reported the perpetrator escaped in a red car. 
Gunfire erupted at several locations in the city, the Dutch national counter-terrorism chief said after the incident on the tram.
Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg told a news conference in The Hague: "Shooting took place this morning at several locations in Utrecht. A major police operation is underway to arrest the gunman."
De politie vraagt u uit te kijken naar de 37-jarige Gökman Tanis (geboren in Turkije) in verband met het incident vanmorgen aan het in Utrecht. Benader hem niet zelf maar bel direct de opsporingstiplijn 0800-6070

Counter-terror officers preparing a raid on a house in the Trumanlaan district have surrounded a building a few hundred yards from 24 Oktoberplein where the shooting took place.
All mosques in Utrecht have been evacuated and the Utrecht University and Utrecht Central train station are also on lockdown, according to NOS.
Three trauma helicopters were called to the scene and police have appealed for the public to keep the roads clear for emergency services.
A witness, Jimmy de Koster, told RTV Utrecht he saw a woman lying on the ground shouting: "I didn't do anything."
Four men rushed towards her in an attempt to drag her to safety, but a gunman opened fire again, forcing them to take cover, he said. 
It was not immediately clear if it was a lone attacker or if it was a coordinated attack involving more than one gunman. Local news outlet AD said police were looking into other reported shootings at nearby locations and whether or not they are linked. 
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the Government and the country's anti-terrorism coordinator were holding a "crisis meeting" in the aftermath of the shooting.
He said the situation was "very worrying", and security was tightened at The Hague. Schools in the area have been told to keep their doors closed.
Mayor of Utrecht Jan van Zanen said: "Shortly before noon a shooting took place on a tram in Utrecht around 24 Octoberplein.  A horrible and radical incident in which victims have fallen.  My thoughts are with them and their loved ones.
"I am in close contact with the police and the public prosecutor... I can confirm that the police and the public prosecutor are currently looking for the person responsible for this incident.
"The most important thing at the moment is taking care of the wounded and investigating the circumstances of the incident. We do not exclude anything, not even a terrorist attack."
No arrests have been made.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Irish stamps found on London bombs at airports and station

London bombs

The bombs were discovered today at Heathrow Airport, London City Airport and Waterloo station. 
They were described as "A4-sized white postal bags" capable of "igniting an initially small fire when opened".
All of them were marked with a “love stamp” issued by the Republic of Ireland in 2018, showing a red heart and the words “Love” and “Eire”.
They were sent by post from Dublin, the Irish Times reports. 
The first package went off at Heathrow Airport offices at 10am this morning. 
Nobody was injured in the ensuing small fire but the building was evacuated and anti-terror experts rushed to the scene. 
Shortly after 11.30am, a similar device was found in the post room at Waterloo station with the area sealed off. 
The third package was received around midday at City Aviation House in the Royal Docks. 
Staff were evacuated and bomb squad experts took over. 
There were no casualties and Scotland Yard said officers are treating the incidents as linked.
The force said in a statement: "The Met Police Counter Terrorism Command has launched an investigation after three suspicious packages were received at buildings in London today, Tuesday, 5 March.
"The packages - all A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags - have been assessed by specialist officers to be small improvised explosive devices.
"These devices, at this early stage of the investigation, appear capable of igniting an initially small fire when opened.
"The Met Police Counter Terrorism Command is treating the incidents as a linked series and is keeping an open mind regarding motives."
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan posted on Twitter: "The @metpoliceuk Counter Terrorism Command has launched an investigation after three suspicious packages were found at locations in London.
"Our thanks go to the police, security, transport staff and all involved for their swift actions to keep our city safe."

Friday, March 1, 2019

Sweden confirms arrest of second person on spying charges

The Swedish public prosecutor’s office has confirmed media reports that a second espionage-related arrest took place in Stockholm this week. The latest arrest came just 24 hours after a man was arrested in the Swedish capital on Tuesday, allegedly for spying on behalf of Russia. As intelNews reported yesterday, a man was apprehended on Tuesday while meeting with a foreign diplomat in central Stockholm. The diplomat is allegedly a member of staff at the Russian embassy in Sweden. He is believed to be a Russian intelligence officer operating under official cover. A representative of the Swedish Security Service, known as SÄPO, later said that the man who was meeting with the Russian diplomat had been recruited by Russian intelligence in 2017 or earlier, and had been in regular contact with his Russian handlers. His name has not been revealed to the media, but he is believed to be working for an unnamed technology company in Sweden.
On Thursday, the Stockholm-based newspaper Dagens Nyheter said that it had seen court papers involving the arrest of a second individual on Wednesday, reportedly in connection with espionage for a foreign power. The paper said that the arrest took place in the Swedish capital and the individual in question remained in detention. It added that Hans-Jorgen Hanstrom, of the public prosecutor’s office, had confirmed the arrest and that the main suspect had been charged with spying against Swedish interests for a foreign power. Hanstrom added that the suspect had been found to engage in espionage from April 10 until September 30, 2018. But he did not disclose the person’s name or nationality. SÄPO spokesman Karl Melin also confirmed the espionage-related arrest, but did not comment on whether it was related to Tuesday’s arrest.
Earlier in the week, officials from SÄPO’s counterespionage directorate said that Tuesday’s arrest was the result of a lengthy operation that took “a substantial period of time” and involved “intensive intelligence and investigation work”. The alleged spy was scheduled to be placed in pre-trial detention on Thursday, but his hearing was postponed for Friday. The Russian embassy in Stockholm has not commented on the reports.

Macron: France Could Ban Hate Speech Convicts From All Social Media For Life

French President Emmanuel Macron has floated the idea that those convicted for crimes of hate speech could be banned from social media networks permanently.

President Macron floated the idea at the annual dinner of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIR) saying that a new bill to fight against hate speech online was being tabled for May of this year broadcaster BFMTV reports.
While the bill is being floated at a time where Jews are facing rising levels of real-life anti-Semitic attacks driving whole communities out of French cities, the proposal to stifle speech online comes as President Macron faces unprecedented levels of criticism from the anti-government Yellow Vest movement. The French state has cracked down hard on Yellow Vest activists, arresting 8,400 protestors in just a matter of months.
“The European fight must continue, but it is too slow,” Macron said and compared banning those convicted of hate speech from social media to football hooligans being banned from attending football matches.

How the government will enforce the ban remains unclear with Secretary of State for Digital Affairs Mounir Mahjoubi saying, “the IP address is what Twitter has on each user who publishes a message on its platform. It must, as soon as possible, send it to the justice system to quickly identify the author and then ‘we can continue’.”
“It is no longer acceptable today that platforms that have the means to help justice and the police to identify the person who has committed an offence online take several weeks, even months, before giving the information,” Mahjoubi said.
Some have reacted to the proposal with criticism including French journalist Gabriel Robin who said the proposal could lead to anti-establishment voices, such as mass migration critic Eric Zemmour being totally excluded from social media.
“Never, I repeat, ever has a liberal government taken so many repressive measures,” he said.
While Macron and other globalist politicians have pushed for ever increasing laws and regulations to combat hate speech and so-called fake news online, the new proposal would mark a significant shift to the current punishments of fines and prison sentences.

Hezbollah Says British Terror Ban Hurts ‘Feelings’ in Lebanon

Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist movement on Friday condemned Britain’s decision to outlaw its political wing, describing the move as an “insult” to the Lebanese people that hurt the “feelings” of many of its local followers.

The heavily armed Shi’ite group, which is backed by Iran, said it was a “resistance movement against Israeli occupation” with no designs on violence. It described the British move as an “insult to the feelings, sympathies and will of the Lebanese people that consider Hezbollah a major political and popular force.”
“Hezbollah sees in this decision servile obedience to the U.S. administration, revealing that the British government is but a mere a follower in service of its American master,” the statement added.
Britain said on Monday it planned to ban all wings of Hezbollah due to its destabilizing influence in the Middle East, classing it as a terrorist organization. Hezbollah is already deemed a terrorist organisation by Washington.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:
My priority as Home Secretary is to protect the British people. As part of this, we identify and ban any terrorist organisation which threatens our safety and security, whatever their motivations or ideology which is why I am taking action against several organisations today.
Hezbollah is continuing in its attempts to destabilase the fragile situation in the Middle East – and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party. Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety.
Hezbollah is an illegal, anti-Semitic group, designated as a terror organization in its entirety by the Arab League, Bahrain, Canada, France, Israel, Australia, the Netherlands, and the United States. It was founded in 1982 by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
Members of Congress in the United States have urged the E.U. to designate all branches of Hezbollah as a terror group, after several Hezbollah parliamentarians in Lebanon were caught on camera calling for terror against Israelis.
There are currently 74 international terrorist organisations proscribed under the UK Terrorism Act 2000, alongside 14 organisations connected to Northern Ireland proscribed under separate legislation.

Police in Canada Are Tracking People’s ‘Negative’ Behavior In a ‘Risk' Database

Police, social services, and health workers in Canada are using shared databases to track the behaviour of vulnerable people—including minors and people experiencing homelessness—with little oversight and often without consent.

Documents obtained by Motherboard from Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) through an access to information request show that at least two provinces—Ontario and Saskatchewan—maintain a “Risk-driven Tracking Database” that is used to amass highly sensitive information about people’s lives. Information in the database includes whether a person uses drugs, has been the victim of an assault, or lives in a “negative neighborhood.”
The Risk-driven Tracking Database (RTD) is part of a collaborative approach to policing called the Hub model that partners cops, school staff, social workers, health care workers, and the provincial government.

Information about people believed to be “at risk” of becoming criminals or victims of harm is shared between civilian agencies and police and is added to the database when a person is being evaluated for a rapid intervention intended to lower their risk levels. Interventions can range from a door knock and a chat to forced hospitalization or arrest.

Osama bin Laden's son Hamza stripped of Saudi Arabian citizenship

Saudi Arabia has stripped Osama bin Laden's son Hamza of his citizenship, the country's interior ministry has confirmed.

Hamza, thought to be around 30 years old, was named as a “specially designated global terrorist” by Washington in January 2017. 

The US State Department have since stepped up their search for the key al Qaeda leader by placing a $1million reward for information leading to his capture.

Hamza bin Laden has been the subject of speculation for years with reports of him in Pakistan, Afghanistan or under house arrest in Iran.

In a statement, the US State Department said: “The Justice Program is offering a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the identification or location in any country of al-Qa’ida (AQ) key leader Hamza bin Laden.
“Hamza bin Laden is the son of deceased former AQ leader Usama bin Laden and is emerging as a leader in the AQ franchise. 

“Since at least August 2015, he has released audio and video messages on the Internet calling on his followers to launch attacks against the United States and its Western allies, and he has threatened attacks against the United States in revenge for the May 2011 killing of his father by U.S. service members.”

Last August it was revealed he had married the daughter of Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker in the 9/11 terror attacks.

His family have said he has taken a senior position up within the terror network to avenge the death of his father, shot dead during a US military raid in Pakistan eight years ago.
Hamza bin Laden is the son of one of Osama bin Laden’s three surviving wives, Khairiah Sabar, who was living with her husband in a compound in Abbottabad, near a large Pakistani military base, when he was killed.
He has since made public statements urging followers to wage war on London, Washington, Paris and Tel Aviv and is seen as a deputy to the terrorist group’s current leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
In 2015, Hamza released an audio message urging jihadists in Syria to unite, claiming that the fight in the war-torn country paves the way to "liberating Palestine."
And in a message a year later, following in the footsteps of his father, he urged the overthrow of the leadership in their native Saudi Arabia.
Osama himself had been the world's most wanted man since the 9/11 terror attacks on America in 2001.
The al-Qaeda leader was tracked down to a compound in Abbottobad, Pakistan, and killed on 2 May 2011 in a raid by US special forces.
His body was later buried at sea.
Speaking at the time, President Barack Obama said: "Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, US citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations."
The politician said he ordered the operation after receiving undisclosed intelligence information on Osama's whereabouts.