Saturday, February 13, 2016

‘Sophisticated’ bomb on Somalia plane passed airport X-ray, older scanners to blame.


‘Sophisticated’ bomb on Somalia plane passed airport X-ray, older scanners to blame. (TOI).

The bomb that detonated in a Somali plane earlier this month, blowing a large hole in its fuselage before the aircraft was able to land safely, was a “sophisticated” device that was able to get through X-ray security checks at Mogadishu airport undetected, CNN reported, quoting a source close to the investigation.

It was not immediately clear how the X-ray machine was fooled, or whether the bombers’ “success” in getting the device through security has wider implications for airport security elsewhere.
The news network speculated that the machine may have been an older generation single-view machine still used in less developed countries, rather than a newer multi-view machine.

It also mentioned that some African countries do not use Explosive Trace Detection technology (ETD) in which passengers are swabbed to find minute quantities of explosives.

Such security weaknesses, CNN said, may have contributed to the terrorists’ ability to pass security clearance. The source did not say whether he believed the sophistication of the device could have overcome more advanced security measures.

An explosives expert told CNN that lax security at African airports has been the “elephant in the room for a long, long time.”

The Serb pilot who landed the jetliner after the explosion has described the security at Mogadishu Airport as “zero.” The pilot, Vlatko Vodopivec, called the facility “chaotic.”

“When we park (the plane) there, some 20 to 30 people come to the tarmac,” said Vodopivec, a veteran pilot who has made numerous flights to the airport. “No one has a badge or those yellow vests. They enter and leave the plane, and no one knows who is who … They can put anything inside when passengers leave the aircraft.” Read the full story here.

Related

Obama releases top al Qaeda explosives expert from Guantanamo

Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed al-Sawah, 58, was transferred to Bosnia, where he holds citizenship. He is an admitted member of the terror group who developed specialized bombs, or improvised explosive devices (IEDs), to use against U.S. military forces and civilians, according to his official file posted by The New York Times. “These IEDs included the limpet mine to sink US naval vessels and the prototype for the shoe-bomb used in a failed attack on a civilian transatlantic flight,” his file said.

Turkish IHH Delivers Aid to Somali Terrorist Group  more Here, and Here.

'Sometimes NATO Ally' Turkey Shells Kurdish-held Areas of Syria's Aleppo.


'Sometimes NATO Ally' Turkey Shells Kurdish-held Areas of Syria's Aleppo. (Naharnet).

Turkish artillery on Saturday bombarded areas of Aleppo province in northern Syria controlled by Kurdish forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The monitoring group's head, Rami Abdel Rahman, said Turkish shelling struck areas of Aleppo, including Minnigh, recently taken by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia from Islamist rebels.

Ankara considers the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its YPG militia to be branches of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state.

The shelling came shortly after Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Ankara would, if necessary, take military action against the PYD.

A YPG source told AFP that the Turkish shelling targeted the strategic Minnigh military airport, which Kurdish forces retook late on Wednesday.


"We can if necessary take the same measures in Syria as we took in Iraq and Qandil," Davutoglu said in a televised speech.Abdel Rahman said the Minnigh base lies between two key roads leading from Aleppo city to Azaz to the north, which would have given Kurdish fighters a launching pad to attack jihadists further east. 

Syrian government forces lost control of Minnigh air base in August 2013, two years after the start of the conflict in Syria that has now killed more than 260,000 people and displaced millions.

Russia Sends Brand New Cruise Missile Ship 'Zelyony Dol' to Syria


Russia Sends Brand New Cruise Missile Ship 'Zelyony Dol' to Syria. (Naharnet).

Russia has dispatched a new ship armed with cruise missiles to the Mediterranean, the navy announced Saturday, as reports said it is bound for Syria.

The Zelyony Dol, a patrol ship armed with Kalibr cruise missiles that only joined the Black Sea fleet in December, departed for the Mediterranean, the Black Sea fleet said in a statement.

RIA-Novosti news agency further quoted a security source in Crimea -- where the Black Sea fleet is based -- saying that the ship is bound for Syria and may take part in Russia's campaign to support the Syrian army.

"The goals of the ship are not public but considering that it is carrying long-range cruise missiles, its participation in the military operation should not be excluded," the source was quoted as saying just a day after world powers agreed to cease hostilities in the war-ravaged country. Read the full story here.

Source and HT: 

'Refugee flood' 'a near existential threat to Europe': Kerry.


'Refugee flood' 'a near existential threat to Europe': Kerry. (DS).

MUNICH, Germany: The mass influx of refugees and other migrants into Europe spells a "near existential threat" to the continent, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday.

"We are facing the gravest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II," he said at the Munich Security Conference, which has been dominated by the Syrian conflict which is driving the mass flight.

"The United States understands the near existential nature of this threat to the politics and fabric of life in Europe," he told the meeting.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Saturday that the view in Paris is "not favorable" to Berlin's call for a permanent quota system to distribute more refugees across the EU, adding that France had already agreed to take in 30,000 refugees.

Kerry said about the refugee influx: "We are not saying, 'This is your problem, not ours'. This is our problem."

"And that is why we are joining now and enforcing a NATO mission to close off a key access route," he said of an alliance naval surveillance mission off Turkey and Greece.

"And we will join you in other ways to stem this tide because of the potential of its damage to the fabric of a united Europe," said Kerry.  Hmmmm.........A hardly mentioned fact is that the *Immigration minister of Germany is a TURKISH descent Moslima.....I can't help wondering if she's close to Erdogan's AKP party. Read the full story here.

*  Her brothers Yavuz Özoğuz and Gürhan Özoğuz, both staunch and avowed admirers of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Hizballah, run the Islamist internet site Muslim-Markt. Aydan Özoğuz distanced herself from her brothers on their radical Islamist viewpoints in a newspaper interview in October 2011

Video - ‘Never’: 'Erdogan ‘tells’ Russian pranksters no chance he would apologize to Russia for downed Su-24.


Two Russian pranksters known for high-level prank calls claim they spoke to Turkish President Erdogan posing as Ukraine’s President Poroshenko and PM Yatsenyuk. 

The 13-minute exchange, which a Turkish source denied ever took place, is explicitly anti-Russian.
The alleged tricksters are Vladimir Krasnov and Aleksey Stolyarov, known as Vovan and Lexus on the internet, who have a history of impersonating Ukrainian and other politicians to try and prank high-level officials of different states.

In the audio, uploaded online by the duo, a voice similar to that of Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the “fake” Petro Poroshenko via an interpreter translating from Turkish into Russian.

The Turkish speaker says he would “gladly” take part in an economic – and even “naval” – blockade of Crimea and join “a dialog of states that suffered from the Russian sanctions.” The two sides exchange warm words pledging mutual support of the unofficial Crimean Tatar body Mejlis, which has opposed Russia’s reunification with the peninsula.

The supposed Turkish leader then stressed he would “never, never” apologize to Russian President Vladimir Putin for downing the Su-24 bomber on the Syrian-Turkish border in November of 2015. 

An unnamed Turkish official has denied that the telephone conversation with Erdogan ever took place, denouncing the pranksters’ claims as “fake.”


I know nothing of such [telephone] call… The president [Erdogan] cannot be reached so easily. I believe it is a fake, as special communication channels as well as special procedures are used for such negotiations, a source in the Turkish president’s office told RIA Novosti.
However, the pranksters themselves say there are many different ways to reach a targeted person, adding that Erdogan was “neither the first nor the last” high-level official they have managed to get through to for an interview on the radio station Govorit Moskva (Moscow Calling).

Vovan and Lexus have become famous (or infamous) in Russia for making fun of high-profile personas, including politicians and celebrities. In September of 2015, they played a prank on Sir Elton John, prompting the iconic musician to boast on Instagram that he had been personally contacted by Putin via phone. Read the full story here.

Russia-NATO relations have fallen to new Cold War level – Russian PM.


Russia-NATO relations have fallen to new Cold War level – Russian PM. (RT).

The relationships between NATO and Russia have slid down toward a new Cold War, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a panel discussion during the Munich Security Conference, describing NATO's policy as "unfriendly and not transparent."
"Almost every day we are referred to as the most terrible threat to NATO as a whole or to Europe, America and other countries specifically," Medvedev said. "Although actual threats that exist in our small world - and I hope, you understand that - are absolutely different."
Terrorists are gaining influence and benefiting from Russian-Western discord, Medvedev told the gathering. "Terrorism is a challenge to the whole of civilization: we must not divide terrorists into friends, enemies, extremists or 'moderates,’" he said.

"I think Daesh [Arabic acronym for IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] has to be grateful to my colleagues, some Western leaders who disabled such cooperation [between intelligence services]," Medvedev said.

Addressing Russia’s anti-IS deployment, Medvedev said the air operation is not targeting civilians. "No one has yet presented any evidence of our air strikes hitting the civilian population."

The Russian PM called on his Western counterparts "not to threaten a ground operation" in Syria, stressing that Moscow is doing its utmost to pave the way for a lasting peace in the war-torn country.
"It is important to save a united Syrian state, preventing it from falling apart into religion-based [fragments]. The world can't afford another Libya, Yemen or Afghanistan. The outcomes of such a scenario would be disastrous for the entire Middle East," Medvedev said.

The Russian PM called on his Western counterparts "not to threaten a ground operation" in Syria, stressing that Moscow is doing its utmost to pave the way for a lasting peace in the war-torn country.
"It is important to save a united Syrian state, preventing it from falling apart into religion-based [fragments]. The world can't afford another Libya, Yemen or Afghanistan. The outcomes of such a scenario would be disastrous for the entire Middle East," Medvedev said. Read the full story here.

"Russia’s economic crisis is worse than Moscow admits" says Former Central Banker.


"Russia’s economic crisis is worse than Moscow admits" says Former Central Banker. (Rferl).

former deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank has said Russia’s economic crisis is worse than Moscow admits and that the Kremlin’s optimism about future prospects "has not been based on reality."
Sergei Aleksashenko told RFE/RL on February 10 that "the Russian economy is not going to grow" in the near future "and the most likely scenario is stagnation in the medium term."


He said Russian authorities “have not acknowledged the real nature of the crisis, at least publicly” and the crisis “is not over, as the Kremlin claims.”

On the contrary,” he said, “the Russian economy is set to continue downward."

The Russian economy has been hit hard by falling global oil prices and international sanctions imposed in response to the Kremlin’s illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula two years ago and its support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin has wagered that ordinary Russians will withstand the hardships brought about amid deteriorating relations with the West over his foreign policy maneuvers.

But now, Aleksashenko said, Russia is experiencing a series of negative trends that, by his estimate, dragged down Russia’s GDP by 9 percent in 2015.

Russia’s state statistics agency said GDP fell by only 3.7 percent last year.

Aleksashenko called that a “statistical miracle” that “does not reflect the real problems.”

As the saying goes, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics,” he said. “If we slice and dice [the official statistical data,] it would be evident that the only growing component of Russia’s GDP was net export.”

For all other components, investments in Russia have been decreasing. Hmmmmm.......Nothing's more dangerous than a cornered and wounded animal.Read the full story here.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Morocco - Spain: Police searching for Terrorists dress like women in Niqab and use fake passports.

Source.

Morocco - Spain: Police searching for Terrorists dress like women in Niqab and use fake passports. (LeMag). [GoogleTranslated].
Madrid: Spanish police services would be on the track of a Moroccan-Spanish terrorist cell, a special kind of 'Transvestites'.
Indeed, terrorists, moving between northern Morocco and Spain, have invented a new method to escape police vigilance in Morocco and Spain. According to the Spanish news site El Confidencial Digital, citing sources at within the Spanish intelligence services, terrorists disguised as women, dressing in Niqab or Burka, would be closely sought in Spain and that this kind of new terrorists who dress up as women to escape police vigilance, have created big concerns in Madrid.

El Confidencial Digital said, according to his sources, that this method of dressing up as a woman to escape the police, was invented in northern Morocco, by terrorists who move between the two countries.

It is in Nador says the Spanish media that the Moroccan police had discovered in the location of a dismantled terrorist cell , women's clothes and manuscripts containing recommendations to terrorists, to dress up as women, wearing Burka and Niqab, to escape the vigilance of the security services.

The Spanish newspaper said that through this method, the Moroccan-Spanish terrorists with false documentation of women, could, hiding under their Niqabs,  not being worried, going back and forth between Morocco and Spain.

El Confidencial Digital concluded at the end that dressing up as a woman is the new way for recruiters to daech, Spain and Morocco, to bring out their radicalized recruits and send in Libya, Syria and in Iraq.

HT And Source.

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