Friday, November 20, 2015

Mali Hotel Attack: Gunmen Take 170 People Hostage in Bamako, Special For...

Monday, November 16, 2015

What to Expect After the Nov. 13 Paris Attacks


Update (9:30 a.m. CST): The death toll from the Nov. 13 attacks has now reached over 120, according to France 24.
Update (6:00 p.m. CST): According to French media reports, French security forces have stormed and secured the Bataclan theater. The attackers apparently used grenades inside the main concert hall, Aujourd'hui Paris reported Nov. 13. Details are still emerging.
As many as 60 people died Nov. 13 in multiple terrorist attacks throughout Paris. At least five gunmen – likely jihadists judging from witness's accounts – conducted the attacks.

Timeline of the Attack

The attacks, which were clearly coordinated, took place in multiple locations and involved different methods. In the first wave, two suicide bombers detonated their explosives at locations near the Stade de France, where a soccer match between France and Germany was taking place. (French President Francois Hollande himself was at the stadium at the time of the attack. He was escorted from the scene and met with French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve in a closed meeting shortly thereafter.) It is unclear whether grenades or other explosives were used, and it is possible a suicide bomber may have been involved.
Meanwhile, gunmen also opened fire, reportedly with Kalashnikov rifles, on a tightly packed Cambodian restaurant in a drive-by shooting. Shots were also fired at the Bataclan concert hall, where a hostage situation is now underway.
Roughly 25 minutes later, gunmen also opened fire on Rue de Charonne. And about an hour after the initial attacks, attacks by other terrorist cells took place at the Louvre and Les Halles.
Special police units, including RAID, a police intervention unit, have been rapidly mobilized and are currently securing the areas around the stadium, the bars and restaurants in the area of the 10th and 11th arrondissement, a part of Paris popular with young people and tourists, and the Bataclan concert hall, where at least some of the gunmen, allegedly armed with explosives, are reportedly located and holding up to 100 hostages.
Events in Paris could evolve rapidly – the standoff with the gunmen at the Bataclan concert hall could end at any moment if the French special police units believe that the gunmen are going to harm the hostages.
Though shocking, the attacks are not completely surprising. Multiple individuals from France and other European countries have traveled to Syria to join extremist groups there. As the Charlie Hebdo attacks have also demonstrated, there is a persistent risk of terrorist attacks within Europe. An important question going forward is whether the attacks were entirely grassroots in nature or whether the assailants received instruction or assistance from abroad from groups such as the Islamic State or al Qaeda. Furthermore, the recent influx of refugees into Europe from places such as Syria highlights the risk that jihadist groups could have placed some of their members among the large refugee flow in order to conduct attacks in Europe.
In an address to the nation, French President Francois Hollande said that the country will close off its borders. The French government will prioritize immediately locking down the city, protecting civilians and capturing the attackers. The next piece of that will be to close down transportation and the borders to prevent any perpetrators from escaping. Finally they will begin to investigate to uproot the parties responsible for the attacks. Notably, Hollande has officialy declared a state of emergency.

Political Fallout

The attacks will surely have political consequences. They come five days before France's only aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, is due to set sail for the Persian Gulf for actions against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. France has been carrying out airstrikes in Syria since late September. Should the attacks be traced back to the Islamic State's core area of operation, France will probably deepen its involvement in anti-Islamic State operations in Syria and Iraq at a time when the Syrian battlefield in particular is becoming crowded and complicated.
From a political perspective, the attacks are a reminder of France's longstanding ethnic frictions following several months in which the focus has been on neighboring Germany. High numbers of migrants have been entering Germany from the east and south, with very few carrying on to France. As a result, France has kept a relatively low profile in the attempts to stem the flow of migrants, though it has been present at the numerous summits on the issue and has supported Germany's push for a relocation of asylum seekers across Europe. Nevertheless, this event can be expected to strengthen the argument of those groups that have been calling for a halt in the flow of immigrants and the closing of borders in countries such as Germany, Sweden and much of Central and Eastern Europe
In the wake of these attacks, Marine Le Pen and her far-right National Front party could see their popularity rise. Le Pen kept a low profile after the Charlie Hebdo shooting in January and still saw an increase in her party's popularity because of its longstanding anti-immigration message. Hollande also saw a brief uptick in popularity after the Charlie Hebdo attack because of his reaction to the events, but a repeat of this trend is not expected because people will now question whether the anti-terrorism measures that were approved this year actually worked. The leader of the center-right Republicans Party, Nicolas Sarkozy, also has a history of taking a strong stance on security issues; he was campaigning on the subject only last week. He is expected to battle the milder Alain Juppe for his party's nomination in the 2017 elections, and voters may swing to his side in the wake of the attacks.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sudanese man tries to ‘Slaughter’ Israeli Passenger on an #Ethiopian Airlines flight | Diplomat News Network

Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines
Addis Ababa , Ethiopia ( Agencies + DIPLOMAT.SO) – A Sudanese passenger on a flight to Ethiopia was arrested after allegedly attacking an Israeli traveler and trying to “slaughter” him last Thursday.
Ethiopian authorities arrested the suspect, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday, after he attacked the Israeli citizen on an Ethiopian Airlines flight last week from Chad to Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, according to Ynet.
“We are aware of the event and the Israeli embassy in Addis Ababa has updated us with details,” representatives at the ministry said.
The Israeli victim, identified as Arik, works in Africa and was traveling on to Israel. He said that the alleged attacker choked and threatened to “slaughter” him.
“About 20 minutes before the plane started its descent the passenger sitting behind me identified me as Israeli and Jewish,” Arik recounted. “He came up behind my seat and started to choke me with a lot of force and at first I couldn’t get my voice out and call for help.”
“He hit me over the head with a metal tray and shouted ‘Allah akbar’ and ‘I will slaughter the Jew.’ Only after a few seconds, just before I was about to lose consciousness, did I manage to call out and a flight attendant who saw what was happening summoned her colleagues,” Arik said.
One Lebanese man and a few other passengers came to Arik’s aid, while the majority did not, he said. The attacker also called on the other passengers to attack the Israeli traveler.
“After they pulled him off me he hit me and shouted in Arabic. Some of the flight staff took me to the rear section of the plane and two guarded the attacked during the last part of the flight,” Arik said.
“After we landed the Lebanese guy told me that I’d been saved twice, because after they’d overpowered my attacker he said to everyone: ‘Let’s finish him off,’” he continued. “During the moments when I thought I was going to die, I’d already begun to separate from my family in my thoughts.”
Ethiopian Airlines identified the suspect as Ahmed Mohamed in a statement, saying that the alleged attacker “showed no signs of violence as he was boarding the flight.”
“He attacked not only the Israeli but also other passengers and members of the flight crew. He is still in detention and is due to appear in court on Wednesday,” the airline stated.
“The Israeli passenger was taken to a medical clinic in the airport and released shortly after. He was able to continue on to Tel Aviv as planned. We are sorry for the incident and will do everything we can in order to prevent further such attacks on our Israeli customers.”
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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Somalia: Al Shabaab Ambushes Ethiopia Military Convoy Near Halgan Area

"Heavy fighting has erupted between Ethiopian troops, allied with Govt forces and Al shabaab in a location outside Beledweyne city, the capital of Hiiraan region.

The militants of Al shabaab ambushed a convoy carrying Ethiopian troops of AMISOM contingent in an area close to Halgan of Hiiraan region, local residents told Radio Shabelle.

Reports say the fighting began on Tuesday afternoon and continued until early hours on Wednesday morning. There were no immediate reports of casualties on both sides and the civilians.

In the meantime, Mohamed Omar Aden Gududow, a senior Somali military commander has confirmed the combat during an interview with Radio Shabelle by phone.

"The battle broke out when Al shabaab ambushed the allied troops; convoy on Tuesday afternoon while driving near Halgan and it is going on in Garisyani, Burdaaq Nur Fahah areas, all located west of Beledweyne city," said Guduow. Al shabaab did not comment on the attack"

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Government to hold conference on human trafficking in Eastern Sudan - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

Government to hold conference on human trafficking in Eastern Sudan - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan: "A Sudanese presidential aide Monday announced the organization of a large conference on human trafficking and illegal migration, in collaboration with local community leaders in Kassala and El-Gadaref states in Eastern Sudan.

Sudan’s presidential assistant Musa Mohammed Ahmad (ST file photo)
Sudan is considered as an origin as well as transit country for the illegal migrants and human trafficking. Thousands of people from Eritrea and Ethiopia are monthly crossing the border into the Sudanese territories on their way to Europe through Libya or Egypt.

After a meeting with the community leaders in Kassala state which borders Eritrea, presidential assistant Musa Mohamed Ahmed told reporters that the efforts of community leaders are very important to combat the human trafficking and illegal migration.

Ahmed further said that they agreed in their Monday’s meeting to unify community and security efforts to combat the human trafficking.

However he didn’t set a specific date for the beginning of the conference.

Sudan will participate in the international conference of human trafficking and illegal immigration due to take place on 11 and 12 November in Malta.

The conference will build on existing cooperation processes between Europe and Africa, particularly the Khartoum and Rabat processes on migration, and the EU-Africa Dialogue on Migration and Mobility.

Last month, the EU envoys in Sudan have visited Eastern Sudanese state of hKassala and meet with the local Sudanese official on the issues of human trafficking.

The EU is focused on strengthening the capacities of Sudanese authorities in charge of combating human trafficking.

Late last year, Khartoum hosted a conference on human trafficking in the Horn of Africa, organized by the African Union (AU), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Sudanese government.

In January 2014, the Sudanese parliament approved an anti-human trafficking law which punishes those involved with human trafficking with up to 20 years imprisonment."

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