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Archive for December, 2014

Blast kills one, injures three at busy street in Bengaluru

Posted by :) on December 29, 2014

source- ,TNN | Dec 28, 2014, 09.33 PM IST

BENGALURU: A low-intensity bomb blast on the busy church street in Bengaluru’s heart has left one person dead and three injured. The injured are being taken to local hospitals.

The deceased Bhavani (37) and one injured Karthik (21) are from the same family where the former is the latter’s aunt. The other two injured are name is Sandeep H (39) and Vinay MR (35). Sandeep and Vinay are being admitted to Hosmat Hospital while Karthik is being treated at Malya Hospital.

Bhavani was brought to the hospital in a critical state with serious injuries to her skull. Neurosurgeons tried to revive her in the hospital in vain.

READ ASLO: High alert in Delhi after Bengaluru blast

They were on their way to Amoeba, a gaming place along with children.

Priya, Kartik’s sister told TOI that they all walked on the same pavement outside Coco Grove, a popular joint on the road and the injured were the last in the group.


The blast occurred in this area.

“All of us passed the place when we heard a huge blast. My aunt was thrown on one side and I could find my brother. My brother has a small injury on his back but my aunt bled a lot even in the auto,” she said.

B Narsimha (65) rushed the injured to the hospital in his auto.

Police landed on the spot immediately, but a confirmation on what caused the blast is yet to come.

Tens of shocked people were found screaming and a host of them helped the family transport the injured.


Answering the cops, the auto driver who took the victims to the hospital.

“From preliminary investigation, the minor explosion was caused by an improvised explosive devise (IED) placed on the footpath. We have mobilised the entire force in the city. Experts from internal security division and anti-sabotage teams have been called in,” Bengaluru commissioner of police told reporters.

“There was a threat perception to the city due the upcoming festivities and some other circumstances. However, it was general in nature and not specific,” city police commissioner said on threat perception.

Read also: Are agencies still testing waters or acting?

Chief minister Siddaramaiah has said high alert has been sounded in the city and has appealed the people not to heed for rumours that disturb peace and bring fear among the people.

“Act should be condemned. A detailed inquiry has been ordered,” he said.

The home minister also confirmed the blast. According to the latest reports, chief minister Siddaramaiah has spoken to home minister Rajnath Singh about the blast. Singh has assured all central assistance to the state.

 

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A Guide to Different Types of Terrorism

Posted by :) on December 19, 2014

Different types of terrorism have been defined by lawmakers, security professionals and scholars. Types differ according to what kind of attack agents an attacker uses (biological, for example) or by what they are trying to defend (as in ecoterrorism). Here, a comprehensive list of types of terrorism, with links to more information, examples and definitions.
Troop of soldiers in camouflage uniforms, helmets and gas masks - Frank Rossoto Stocktrek/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Frank Rossoto Stocktrek/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Types of Terrorism

Researchers in the United States began to distinguish different types of terrorism in the 1970s, following a decade in which both domestic and international groups flourished. By that point, modern groups had began to use techniques such as hijacking, bombing, diplomatic kidnapping and assassination to assert their demands and, for the first time, they appeared as real threats to Western democracies, in the view of politicians, law makers, law enforcement and researchers. They began to distinguish different types of terrorism as part of the larger effort to understand how to counter and deter it.
Nazi rally during WWII - creative commons license

creative commons license

State Terrorism

Many definitions of terrorism restrict it to acts by non-state actors.

But it can also be argued that states can, and have, been terrorists. States can use force or the threat of force, without declaring war, to terrorize citizens and achieve a political goal. Germany under Nazi rule has been described in this way.

It has also been argued that states participate in international terrorism, often by proxy. The United States considers Iran the most prolific sponsor of terrorism because Iran arms groups, such as Hizballah, that help carry out its foreign policy objectives. The United States has also been called terrorist, for example through its covert sponsorship of Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s. More »

bioterrorism - U.S. Government

Bioterrorism is the use ob biological agents to terrorize. U.S. Government

Bioterrorism

Bioterrorism refers to the intentional release of toxic biological agents to harm and terrorize civilians, in the name of a political or other cause.The U.S. Center for Disease Control has classified the viruses, bacteria and toxins that could be used in an attack. Category A Biological Diseases are those most likely to do the most damage. They include:

  • Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis)
  • Botulism (Clostridium botulinum toxin)
  • The Plague (Yersinia pestis)
  • Smallpox (Variola major)
  • Tularemia (Francisella tularensis)
  • Hemorrahagic fever, due to Ebola Virus or Marburg Virus

Cyberterrorism

Cyberterrorists use information technology to attack civilians and draw attention to their cause. This may mean that they use information technology, such as computer systems or telecommunications, as a tool to orchestrate a traditional attack. More often, cyberterrorism refers to an attack on information technology itself in a way that would radically disrupt networked services. For example, cyberterrorists could disable networked emergency systems or hack into networks housing critical financial information. There is wide disagreement over the extent of the existing threat by cyberterrorists.
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Ecoterrorism

Ecoterrorism is a recently coined term describing violence in the interests of environmentalism. In general, environmental extremists sabotage property to inflict economic damage on industries or actors they see as harming animals or the natural enviroment. Thes have included fur companies, logging companies and animal research laboratories, for example.
nuclear terrorism - courtesy of Department of Homeland Security

courtesy of Department of Homeland Security

Nuclear terrorism

“Nuclear terrorism” refers to a number of different ways nuclear materials might be exploited as a terrorist tactic. These include attacking nuclear facilities, purchasingnuclear weapons, or building nuclear weapons or otherwise finding ways to disperse radioactive materials.More »

Narcoterrorism

Narcoterrorism has had several meanings since its coining in 1983. It once denoted violence used by drug traffickers to influence governments or prevent government efforts to stop the drug trade. In the last several years, narcoterrorism has been used to indicate situations in which terrorist groups use drug trafficking to fund their other operations.

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Emergency Preparedness

Posted by :) on December 17, 2014

 Planning Ahead

Preparing for an emergency now, provides you your best chance of survival, in the event of an actual attack. Emergency preparedness should always be considered in the home and workplace for any unexpected event.

This site provides a step-by-step approach to emergency preparedness by walking the reader through emergency plans in a variety of scenarios. As you make your emergency plan, carefully consider the information you’ll find throughout this website.

Introduction To Emergency Preparedness

Devastating acts, such as 911 and the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, have left many concerned about the possibility of future events and their potential impact. They have raised uncertainty and heightened our awareness of the importance of emergency preparedness. There are specific steps you can take to prepare for the unexpected and reduce the stress that you may feel now and later should another emergency arise. Taking preparatory action can reassure you, your family and co-workers n that you can exert a measure of control even in the face of such events.

Emergency Preparedness – What You Can Do 

Finding out what can happen is the first step. Once you have determined the events possible and their potential in your community, it is important that you discuss them with your family or household. Develop a disaster/ emergency preparedness plan together.

Create an emergency communications plan.

Choose an out-of-town contact your family or household will call or e-mail to check on each other should a disaster occur. Your selected contact should live far enough away that they would be unlikely to be directly affected by the same event, and they should know they are the chosen contact.

Make sure every household member has that contact’s, and each other’s, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers (home, work, pager and cell). Leave these contact numbers at your children’s schools, if you have children, and at your workplace. Your family should know that if telephones are not working, they need to be patient and try again later or try e-mail. Many people flood the telephone lines when emergencies happen but e-mail can sometimes get through when calls don’t.

Establish meeting places.

Having predetermined meeting places away from your home will save time and minimize confusion should your home be affected or the area evacuated. You may even want to make arrangements to stay with a family member or friend in case of an emergency. Be sure to include any pets in these plans, since pets are not permitted in shelters and some hotels will not accept them. Have two emergency locations, each in opposite directions. You won’t know, until an actual emergency, which direction you will need to evacuate.

Assemble a disaster supplies or 72 hour emergency preparedness kit.

If you need to evacuate your home or are asked to “shelter in place,” having some essential supplies on hand will make you and your family more comfortable. Prepare an emergency preparedness kit in an easy-to-carry container such as a duffel bag or small plastic trash can. Include “special needs” items for any member of your household (infant formula or items for people with disabilities or older people), first aid supplies (including prescription medications), a change of clothing for each household member, a sleeping bag or bedroll for each, a battery powered radio or television and extra batteries, food, bottled water and tools.

It is also a good idea to include some cash and copies of important family documents (birth certificates, passports and licenses) in your kit. Copies of essential documents-like powers of attorney, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, life insurance beneficiary designations and a copy of your will-should also be kept in a safe location outside your home. A safe deposit box or the home of a friend or family member who lives out of town is a good choice.

Check on the school emergency preparedness plan of any school-age children you may have.

You need to know if they will they keep children at school until a parent or designated adult can pick them up or send them home on their own. Be sure that the school has updated information about how to reach parents and responsible caregivers to arrange for pickup. And, ask what type of authorization the school may require to release a child to someone you designate, if you are not able to pick up your child. During times of emergency the school telephones may be overwhelmed with calls.

  • Remain calm and be patient.
  • Follow the advice of local emergency officials.
  • Listen to your radio or television for news and instructions.
  • If the disaster occurs near you, check for injuries. Give first aid and get help for seriously injured people.

If the disaster occurs near your home while you are there, check for damage using a flashlight. Do not light matches or candles or turn on electrical switches. Check for fires, fire hazards and other household hazards. Sniff for gas leaks, starting at the water heater. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows, and get everyone outside quickly.

  • Shut off any damaged utilities.
  • Confine or secure your pets.
  • Call your family contact, do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially those who are elderly or disabled.

What Could Happen – Emergency Planning

As we learned from the events of September 11, 2001, the following things can happen after a terrorist attack:

  • There can be significant numbers of casualties and/or damage to buildings and the infrastructure. So employers need up-to-date information about any medical needs you may have and on how to contact your designated beneficiaries.
  • Heavy law enforcement involvement at local, state and federal levels follows a terrorist attack due to the event’s criminal nature.
  • Health and mental health resources in the affected communities can be strained to their limits, maybe even overwhelmed.
  • Extensive media coverage, strong public fear and international implications and consequences can continue for a prolonged period.
  • Workplaces and schools may be closed, and there may be restrictions on domestic and international travel.
  • You and your family or household may have to evacuate an area, avoiding roads blocked for your safety.

Evacuation in an emergency

If local authorities ask you to leave your home, they have a good reason to make this request, and you should heed the advice immediately. Listen to your radio or television and follow the instructions of local emergency officials and keep these simple tips in mind.

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and sturdy shoes so you can be protected as much as possible.
  • Take your disaster supplies kit.
  • Take your pets with you; do not leave them behind. Because pets are not permitted in public shelters, follow your plan to go to a relative’s or friend’s home, or find a “pet-friendly” hotel.
  • Lock your home.
  • Use travel routes specified by local authorities, don’t use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous. Have planned routes out of any possible danger areas. Plane for leaving in any direction, North, South, East or West.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Listen to local authorities.Your local authorities will provide you with the most accurate information specific to an event in your area. Staying tuned to local radio and television, and following their instructions is your safest choice.

If you’re sure you have time …additional emergency prepareness actions

  • Call your family contact to tell them where you are going and when you expect to arrive.
  • Shut off water and electricity before leaving, if instructed to do so. Leave natural gas service ON unless local officials advise you otherwise. You may need gas for heating and cooking, and only a professional can restore gas service in your home once it’s been turned off. In a disaster situation it could take weeks for a professional to respond.
  • Close and lock all windows and exterior doors. Turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems. Close the fireplace damper. Get your disaster supplies kit, and make sure the radio is working.
  • Go to an interior room without windows that’s above ground level.
  • In the case of a chemical threat, an above-ground location is preferable because some chemicals are heavier than air, and may seep into basements even if the windows are closed.
  • Using duct tape, seal all cracks around the door and any vents into the room.
  • Keep listening to your radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community.

Additional Steps You Can Take

Raw, unedited footage of terrorism events and people’s reaction to those events can be very upsetting, especially to children. We do not recommend that children watch television news reports about such events, especially if the news reports show images over and over again about the same incident. Young children do not realize that it is repeated video footage, and think the event is happening again and again.

Adults may also need to give themselves a break from watching disturbing footage. However, listening to local radio and television reports will provide you with the most accurate information from responsible governmental authorities on what’s happening and what actions you will need to take. So you may want to make some arrangements to take turns listening to the news with other adult members of your household.

Another useful preparation includes learning some basic first aid. To enroll in a first aid and AED/CPR course, contact your local American Red Cross chapter.

In an emergency situation, you need to tend to your own well-being first and then consider first aid for others immediately around you, including possibly assisting injured people to evacuate a building if necessary.

People who may have come into contact with a biological or chemical agent may need to go through a decontamination procedure and receive medical attention. Listen to the advice of local officials on the radio or television to determine what steps you will need to take to protect yourself and your family. As emergency services will likely be overwhelmed, only call 9-1-1 about life-threatening emergencies.

Emergency preparedness – Each Persons Responisbility

Don’t wait until disaster strikes to realize the benefits of a good emergency preparedness plan. Begin gathering the items you will need and going over your plan with all family members, at regular intervals.

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Horrifying Pictures of Peshawar School attack

Posted by :) on December 17, 2014

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Massacre in Peshawar

Posted by :) on December 17, 2014

Source : New Yorker

by- Basheer Peer

A soldier escorts students from the Army Public School in Peshawar during the attack by Taliban gunmen.A soldier escorts students from the Army Public School in Peshawar during the attack by Taliban gunmen

.CREDITPHOTOGRAPH BY KHURAM PARVEZ/REUTERS

A soldier escorts students from the Army Public School in Peshawar during the attack by Taliban gunmen.
A soldier escorts students from the Army Public School in Peshawar during the attack by Taliban gunmen.
CREDIT PHOTOGRAPH BY KHURAM PARVEZ/REUTERS
In Peshawar, Tuesday began with the promise of a sunny winter day. Several hundred students between the ages of ten and eighteen arrived at the Army Public School. They wore their uniforms—green sweaters for girls, green blazers for boys—and tin badges printed with the school motto: “I shall rise and shine.” That morning, some of the students were in class, some were taking examinations, and some were in the school auditorium, where a visiting group of soldiers was training them in first aid.

Around 10 A.M., nine men dressed in the uniforms of Frontier Constabulary, a Pakistani paramilitary force, climbed over the school boundary wall. A school worker told Reuters that at first he mistook them for errant older students, but then he noticed the assault rifles slung around their bodies.

The terrorists entered the auditorium; Ebad, a tenth grader, told Radio Free Europe that he saw the men kill forty or fifty students there. They then entered one classroom after another, firing upon the students. “I was writing my examinations. Our teacher was overseeing it. We heard gunfire. We ducked and huddled together in a corner of the classroom,” a student told Samaa television network.

By noon, a state of siege had developed, as Pakistani troops cordoned off the school complex and began to enter it. Several reports claimed that about five hundred students were trapped inside the school at the time.

Shortly after noon, Muhammad Khorasani, a spokesperson for the Pakistani Taliban, told the A.F.P. that the Taliban had sent the attackers. “They include target killers and suicide attackers. They have been ordered to shoot the older students but not the children,” Khorasani said. The Pakistan Taliban, a coalition of terrorist groups formed in 2007 and linked to Al Qaeda, was responsible for the shooting, in 2012, of the teen-ager Malala Yousafzai, who last month won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Taliban described this latest attack as retaliation for the Pakistan Army’s current campaign against them in North and South Waziristan.

The battle between the military and the terrorists continued for about eight hours. The terrorists had planted improvised explosive devices throughout the school, Major General Asim Bajwa, a spokesperson for the Pakistani Army who was tweeting the progress of the operation, said. During the gunfight, three of the terrorists executed suicide attacks, Reuters reported.

By early evening, the military had killed the other six attackers and cleared the school complex. A hundred and thirty-two students and nine staff members had been killed, and a hundred and twenty-one children were injured, Major General Bajwa told the press. Most of the survivors were rushed to Lady Reading Hospital, in Peshawar. Pakistani social media was filled with pleas for blood donations throughout the day, as doctors tried to save the lives of injured students.

Sami Yousafzai, a reporter for the Daily Beast, spoke to Jihad Yar Wazir, a Taliban commander, on the phone after the attack. Wazir sought to justify the massacre of young students by saying that their parents were soldiers in the Pakistan Army, which was “behind the massive killing of our kids and indiscriminate bombing in North and South Waziristan,” he said. (In fact, students at the Army Public School came from both civilian and military families.) “To hurt them at their safe haven and homes—such an attack is perfect revenge,” Wazir said.

One of the most vivid accounts of the attack came from a sixteen-year-old student who spoke to the A.F.P. at Lady Reading Hospital. He was in the school auditorium when the terrorists barged in and opened fire. The students ducked under their desks. He heard one of the attackers encouraging the others to shoot the students in their hiding places. “I saw a pair of big black boots coming towards me, this guy was probably hunting for students hiding beneath the benches,” the student said. He was shot in both his legs; he stuffed his school tie in his mouth to keep himself from screaming, and played dead. “The man with big boots kept on looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies,” he said.

The brutality of the massacre was unprecedented even in Peshawar, where suicide attacks have been a constant for more than a decade. Last September, the Taliban killed more than eighty people, mostly Christians, in a suicide attack on a church there. “What happened today is beyond what we could imagine,” Raza Wazir, who lived and studied in Peshawar for several years, told me. “They killed students from point-blank range while they shouted, ‘Allahu Akbar.’ I never thought we would see such barbarism, such cruelty, even in Peshawar.”

Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, arrived in Peshawar shortly after the attack to supervise military operations there and declared three days of national mourning. “This is a national tragedy unleashed by savages. These were my kids,” Sharif said in a statement. “This is my loss. This is the nation’s loss.” The attack was also condemned by Jamaat-e-Islami, the largest Islamist political group in Pakistan, on Twitter: “Attack on innocent children in the name of religion is not acceptable.”
Remarkably, the massacre was even condemned by Hafiz Saeed, the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, whom India considers the mastermind of the 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai. Saeed released a statement describing the murder of children as “cowardly behavior” and said that Islam “never taught us to kill innocent children and women even in war.”

Funerals began after sunset. As night fell over Peshawar, the Pakistani military launched ten airstrikes against the Taliban. “I feel that until and unless this country is cleansed from terrorism, this war and effort will not stop, no one should be doubtful of this,” Prime Minister Sharif told the press in Peshawar. “Such attacks are expected in the wake of a war and the country should not lose its strength.”

Some analysts believe that the massacre may force a final break between the Taliban and Pakistan’s military establishment, which has long distinguished between “good” and “bad” Taliban and found strategic uses for militant groups. “This black Tuesday is going to radically affect political will in Pakistan,” Amir Ali Khan, a veteran analyst with BBC Urdu, wrote. “After they have mourned the slain children, people will seek unambiguous answers from Pakistan’s rulers.”

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Australia Café Siege Leaves Gunman, 2 Hostages Dead

Posted by :) on December 17, 2014

VOA News

Australian police have confirmed three people, including the hostage-taker, were killed during a day-long standoff at a Sydney cafe.

The siege ended around 2 a.m. local time Tuesday when heavily-armed police stormed the shop where New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said a gunman held 17 people hostage for about 16 hours.

New South Wales police called the attack an “isolated incident” by 50-year-old Iranian immigrant Man Haron Monis.

A 34-year-old man and 38-year-old woman were also killed. The police commissioner said gunfire was exchanged when police raided the cafe, but would not confirm the causes of the three deaths.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monis was politically motivated, calling him mentally unstable. He said Monis was well known to law enforcement. Abbott also said the way police handled the situation should leave Australians reassured.

Four hostages and a police officer are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The takeover of the Lindt chocolate cafe in Sydney’s central business district began around 9:45 a.m. local time on Monday.

Five people escaped the cafe on Monday and another five early Tuesday, just before the police assault. At least three more fled with help from emergency workers.

A barrage of gunfire and flashes could be heard as security forces in tactical gear surrounded, then entered the storefront early Tuesday morning, local time.

A police spokeswoman said the attacker made contact during the siege, but negotiators had not been able to establish a motive for his action.

At times throughout the standoff, hostages inside were seen standing with their hands pushed up against the windows. A black flag with the Islamic creed known as the Shahada written in white could be seen through the glass.

Man Haron Monis came into the public eye earlier with a letter campaign to the families of Australian troops killed in Afghanistan in which he criticized the soldiers’ actions. The Sydney resident entered the country in 1996 seeking political asylum. He was out on bail after charges related to the 2013 killing of his ex-wife and the sexual assault of a woman earlier this year.

“This is a country that’s been on heightened alert for fear of domestic Islamic terror, so I would imagine that the period ahead for Australia will involve quite a painful and intense debate about where minorities sit in this country, how this country deals with the threat of extremism, and how this country deals with its minority groups,” freelance journalist Phil Mercer said.

Mercer also told VOA from Sydney that the police response was swift once shots were heard inside the cafe.

“It was over pretty quickly,” he said. “Within an hour or so, the center of Sydney was extremely quiet as the hostages were taken to hospital for checkups.”

Sydney, AustraliaSydney, Australia

A police spokeswoman said the hostage-taker made contact during the standoff, but negotiators had not been able to establish a motive for his action.

Monis, a self-proclaimed Muslim cleric, was facing charges including sexual assault and accessory to murder in separate cases.

He was found guilty in 2012 of sending offensive and threatening letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed overseas, according to media reports. He had been sentenced to 300 hours of community service, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Monis had obsessed over an ongoing legal battle over the letters, according to the Herald, which said a court on Friday refused to overturn charges against him.

Local media reported that Monis had changed his name from Manteghi Bourjerdi.

Black flag displayed

Early in the crisis, hostages were seen standing with their hands pushed up against the windows. A black flag with the Islamic creed known as the Shahada written in white could be seen through the glass.

The phrase is a declaration of faith for Muslims and translates to “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.” Radical Islamists, including the Islamic State group, have co-opted the Shahada to use on their flags.

New South Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione on Monday refused to call the situation a terrorist act. But Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the incident at the cafe may have been politically motivated.

The cafe is in the heart of Sydney’s financial and shopping district, an area packed with holiday shoppers at this time of the year.

Nearby buildings, including the U.S. Consulate in Sydney, had been evacuated. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the department had monitored the situation and accounted for all its personnel with the mission.

The New South Wales state parliament house is also just a few blocks away.

Security experts

Although Monis was well known to authorities, security experts said preventing attacks by people acting alone could still be difficult.

“Today’s crisis throws into sharp relief the dangers of lone wolf terrorism,” said Cornell University law professor Jens David Ohlin, speaking in New York.

“There are two areas of concern. The first is ISIS [Islamic State] fighters with foreign passports who return to their home countries to commit acts of terrorism,” Ohlin said. “The second is ISIS sympathizers radicalized on the internet who take it upon themselves to commit terrorist attacks to fulfill their radical ideology.

“We are entering a new phase of terrorism that is far more dangerous, and more difficult to defeat, than al-Qaida ever was,” Ohlin said.

Australia, a staunch ally of the United States and its escalating action against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, earlier this year raised its domestic terror threat level from medium to high, mainly because of concerns about home-grown extremists.

About 70 Australians are thought to be fighting for militant groups in the Middle East.

In September, Australia’s largest counterterror raids took place in Sydney and Brisbane. One person was charged with terror offenses.

Tough anti-terror laws were passed by the Australian parliament in October in response to the threat of homegrown extremism.

Phil Mercer contributed to this report from Sydney. Some material for this report came from Reuters, AFP and AP.

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‘Mehdi Masroor Biswas extremely radicalised, believes beheading correct’

Posted by :) on December 17, 2014

Last Updated: Monday, December 15, 2014 – 21:07
'Mehdi Masroor Biswas extremely radicalised, believes beheading correct'

New Delhi: Mehdi Masroor Biswas, who is alleged to have been operating a pro-ISIS twitter account, has been dubbed by his interrogators as an extremely radicalised youth who believes that beheading of the “enemy” and making abducted women sex slaves was nothing wrong.

The 24-year-old, who was arrested on December 13 in Bengaluru, told interrogators that he believed in the extreme form of Islam and that one day the so-called caliphate or Islamic State will come into existence in the world.

“Mehdi described Indian Muslims as ‘sarkari Muslims’ who were incapable of fighting against government forces. He believes deeply that beheading of enemy and making abducted women sex slaves is nothing wrong,” official sources quoted the statement of the West Bengal-born youth.

The electrical engineer-turned-jihadi propagandist, who was running the twitter handle ‘ShamiWitness’, told interrogators that since 2009, he has been following the political developments in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and became a ISIS sympathiser running a propaganda campaign for it.

Mehdi said he was not aware of anybody joining ISIS and nor has he ever spoken to any fighter of the Islamic State with agencies now verifying those claims.

He said that one of the three Mumbai youths who are still in Iraq-Syria is handling a pro-ISIS twitter handle and posting sympathetic tweets, sources said.

Mehdi was apparently very hassled 4-5 days prior to his arrest and reportedly spoke to his mother, telling her that he was not sure about his future.

Britain’s Channel 4 News had first aired the report regarding Mehdi’s link with the twitter account that is followed by foreign jihadis.

Mehdi has been arrested under Sec 125 of IPC (whoever wages war against the government of any Asiatic power in alliance or at peace with the Government of India or attempts to wage such war, or abets the waging of such war), different sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Information Technology Act.

Source -PTI

First Published: Monday, December 15, 2014 – 21:03

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132 children killed as Taliban gunmen storm Pakistan School

Posted by :) on December 17, 2014

Source – Hindustan Times , Imtiaz Ahmed reporing from Pakistan

A group of heavily armed Pakistani Taliban gunmen in salwar kameez and suicide vests massacred 132 children and nine staff members during a seven-hour siege at an army-run school in Peshawar on Tuesday.

Military spokesperson Maj-Gen. Asim Bajwa said the siege ended in the evening after troops killed six militants and rescued over 900 children.

Bajwa said explosive devices planted in school buildings by the militants thwarted clearance efforts.

https://i0.wp.com/www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/12/Coffin.jpg
Rescue workers move the coffin of a student who was killed during an attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School in Peshawar on Tuesday. (Reuters photo)

A government official said, “At least 122 people were wounded … some of them critically as the militants sprayed bullet indiscriminately, going from classroom-to-classroom.”

A student who managed to escape the carnage said, “Our teachers locked the door and we ducked on the floor, but they broke down the door. Initially they fired in the air and later started killing the students… The attackers had long beards, wore shalwar kameez and spoke Arabic.”

Shahrukh Khan, 15, who was shot in both legs but survived after hiding under a bench, said, “One of my teachers was crying, she was shot in the hand and she was crying in pain.”

“One terrorist then walked up to her and started shooting her until she stopped making any sound. All around me, my friends were lying injured and dead.”

Hours into the siege, three explosions were heard inside the school, and heavy gunfire was heard as troops surrounded the building.

The hard-line Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), fighting to topple the government and set up a strict Islamic state, claimed responsibility for the attack as retaliation for a major military offensive in pro-Taliban tribal strongholds of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

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Pakistani soldiers transport rescued schoolchildren from the site of an attack by Taliban gunmen on a school in Peshawar. (AFP Photo)

This is the same terror group that shot at Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai on October 9, 2012.

TTP spokesperson Muhammad Khorasani said the attackers included “target killers and suicide attackers”, and were “ordered to shoot the older students but not the children”.

“It’s a revenge attack for the army offensive in North Waziristan,” he said, referring to the anti-Taliban military offensive that began in June in the area.

“We selected the army school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females,” said Khorasani, “We want them to feel the pain.”

More than 1,600 militants have been killed since the launch of operation Zarb-e-Azb in June, according to data compiled by AFP from regular military statements.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described Tuesday’s attack as a “national tragedy unleashed by savages”.

“These were my children. This is my loss. This is the nation’s loss,” he said.

Former cricketer Imran Khan, who is now chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party, condemned the attack. “There is no justification for this,” he said.

Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif said the army would redouble its efforts in North Waziristan after this incident, which was reminiscent of the September 2004 Beslan school siege when  Chechen rebels stormed a school in Russia.

In New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the terror attack as a “senseless act of unspeakable brutality”.

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Pakistani soldiers take position near the site of an attack by Taliban gunmen on a school in Peshawar. (AFP Photo)

Military officials said the attackers did not take any hostage and their sole aim was to kill as many children as possible.

“The smallest coffins are the heaviest,” said a nurse at Lady Reading Hospital where the wounded and the dead were rushed to, encapsulating the mood of a nation shocked by and angry over one of the worst attacks in its history and the bloodiest strike since the 2008 suicide bombing in Karachi that killed 150 people.

As helicopters rumbled overhead, distraught parents thronged the hospital, weeping uncontrollably as children’s bodies arrived — their school uniforms drenched in blood.

Irshadah Bibi, 40, whose 12-year-old son was among the dead, beat her face in grief, throwing herself against an ambulance. “What is the sin of my child and all these children?”

The school on Peshawar’s Warsak Road is for children of military personnel and civilians. Army wives often teach there.

“My son was in uniform in the morning. He is in a casket now,” wailed Tahir Ali as he came to the hospital to collect the body of his 14-year-old son, Abdullah. “My son was my dream. My dream has been killed.”

Witnesses said the militants scaled the rear wall of the school campus and targeted the auditorium where many children had gathered for a function. Bursts of bullets from automatic assault rifles cut down those who tried to flee.

“I was sitting in the corridor with 10 of my classmates when we heard gunshots. We ran towards the classroom to hide but the militants chased us down and found us. The only thing they told us is to read the kalma (Muslim prayer),” said Ali, the lone survivor in his group.

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As the children ducked for cover, lying low on the floor and hiding in cupboards or storerooms, the militants hunted them out and shot them. “They shot the children in the head,” said a teacher.

“We were sitting in the hall during a lecture when we heard firing from the back. The sound of gunshots kept moving closer when suddenly the door behind us was kicked open and two people started firing indiscriminately,” said Kashan, a Class 9 student who was hit on his feet.

Soldiers had by then made a hole in the wall to rescue the trapped children and staff.

“We found bodies of children one on top of the other,” said Maj-Gen. Bajwa, adding commandos managed to encircle the attackers and push them into the administrative block where they were eventually killed.

In September, 2013, dozens of people, including many children, were killed in an attack on a church, also in Peshawar, a sprawling and violent city near the Afghan border.

Tuesday’s attack calls into question whether the militants have been crippled by the military or will be able to regroup.

The violence also underscored the vulnerability of Pakistani schools, which was dramatically exposed in the attack two years ago on Malala, a Pakistani girl shot in the head by a Taliban gunman outside her school in Swat Valley for daring to speak up about girls’ rights.

She survived, becoming the youngest Nobel Prize laureate and global advocate for girls’ education; but out of security concerns she has never returned to Pakistan.

“I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold-blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us,” said Malala in a statement. “I, along with millions of others around the world, mourn these children, my brothers and sisters, but we will never be defeated.”

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