INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS POST

News Briefing – Week Beginning 8 May 2017

 

Advertisements

Times Square crash: No indication of terrorism as New York man, 26, charged with murder

A 26-year-old man by the name of Richard Rojas has been charged with murder and 20 counts of attempted murder after having plowed his car into pedestrians in New York Times Square in what seemed like a terrorist attack.

Rojas was arrested Thursday afternoon after he drove his car for three blocks in Times Square, before hitting almost two dozen people before finally being stopped by  steel security barriers. He has been charged with five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide.

An 18-year-old tourist from Michigan was killed. Her 13-year-old sister was among the 22 injured, four of them are in critical condition. Officials say following disciplinary actions, he was discharged from the US navy. He apparently told police he was “hearing voices”, after his arrest, and expected to die, two law enforcement officials said.

Following the wreck he emerged from his vehicle running, yelling and jumping before being subdued by police and bystanders in a riotous scene.

New York police department is still carrying out investigations of his intoxication levels as his Rojas intentions remain unclear. However, Mayor Bill de Blasio said there was “no indication that this was an act of terrorism”.

This comes after vehicles have plowed through pedestrians in recent terrorist attacks in the UK, France and Germany.

News Briefing – Week Beginning 20 March 2017

 

London attack: Almost Four killed in Westminster attack

Four people including a police officer and a suspected assailant are believed to be confirmed dead, and 20 people sustained injured in a UK terrorist attack.

This follows the stabbing of a police officer near the House of Parliament, Westminster after a car ploughed into people on London’s Westminster Bridge then it crashed into the railings by the House of Parliament in the early afternoon of 22 March 2017.

This comes two after an alleged gunman attacked a female soldier and held her hostage at Orly Airport south of Paris, France before being shot by is shot by her colleagues.

 

 

6 people killed in Nigeria as teenage girls detonate explosives

According to Nigerian officials, it is believed that at least six people have been killed following the detonation of body explosives worn by four teenage girls on the outskirts of Maiduguri city in NIgeria.

The National Emergency Management Agency  (NEMA) reports that the blasts which happened early Wednesday killed the four bombers and two others, wounding 16 others.

Boko Haram continue to cause havoc in the region having killed more than 20,000 people in its seven-year insurgency.

Live streaming: A likely Tool to be espoused by Terrorists

 

Live-streaming which involves transmitting real-time videos over the internet has been very beneficial in the media world when it comes to Press conferences, Debates and talks such as the recent first presidential Conference by President elect, Donald Trump. However, like all good things, it seems to be used for a different purpose. Facebook has a live-stream facility and so do many other social applications.

So far Facebook live has been used to live-stream and capture the beating and torture of a mentally disabled man for which four teens have been charged with hate crimes.

Also, on 12th Jan, a 12-year-old girl, by the name of Katelyn Davis live-streamed her apparent suicide after alleging to have been sexually abused by a relative for which police officials say they are powerless to remove the video from the internet which has been widely shared. This was done on a different live-streaming app.

Moreover, on 21st January 2017, police raced to a house in Uppsala, Sweden where Facebook users had allegedly seen a live-streaming of armed gunmen sexually assaulting a young woman lady in  a closed Facebook group. Three people have supposedly been arrested while the apartment is being examined.  

However, the level at which live-stream facilities are been utilised, one may suggest that it is more than likely that it may soon be utilised by terrorists in their rampage against the world as the war against terrorism continues.

Image result for facebook live

Facebook live which was launched on 6th April 2016, refers to a feature in the world’s largest social media website, used to live-stream events as they happen showing it to the world in real time as the Facebook user views the event and transmits it online, all at the same time.

Friday the 13th: Reinforcing Counter Terrorism on Certain Days

Friday the 13th occurs at least once (mostly once) every year for which it occurs twice in the year 2017: Friday the 13th January 2017 and the next being Friday 13 October 2017. Given the supposed trend of terrorist attacks on this day, there is the need for authorities in all parts of the world to take a cue from recent happenings and beef up security measures, especially around potential targets worldwide.

On Friday the 13th Nov. 2015, terrorists killed 132 people in Bataclan theatre and carried out other suicide bombings in Stade de France and a popular restaurant in Paris for which ISIS claimed responsibility for those attacks. Less than eight after, terrorists held hostages in a popular international hotel known as Raddison Blu in the early hours of Friday, the 20th of November 2015 in Bamako, less than eight.

It is instructive that although the attacks occurred in different territories and geographical regions of the world, they have several things in common, ranging from perpetrators seeking the destruction of lives and property for political, economic and religious reasons, to the creation of an Islamic State and the dismantling of Western values which they perceive as ‘haram,’ or just seeking maximum publicity by attacking high profile targets, soft targets, hard targets and inflicting the most damage wherever possible.

The aforementioned attacks  in Paris on Friday the 13th of November, 2015 bear resemblance to the movie franchise with the title ‘Friday the 13th,’ which supposedly occurs once a year. Movies with the title revolve around bloodbath and killings of gleeful innocent teens that end up most times in a cabin. Furthermore, Friday, the 13th usually conveys an ominous meaning. Likewise, the attack at the Raddison Blu hotel in Bamako bears resemblance to the movie, ‘No escape’ (2015), which features Owen Wilson. The group that attacked in Bamako were largely aware of the presence of international personnel and guests which would necessitate the need for the attacks to besiege national and international headlines.

Just last on Friday the 13th of Amy 2016, a bogus terror attack panicked guests at the French Riviera hideaway of several Hollywood stars at the Cannes film festival. The involved a speedboat full of men in helmets and “ISIS-like” military style uniforms and flag attempting to storm the dock of the five-star Hotel du Cap which is just around the bay from Cannes.

Also, ISIS militants massacred at least 13 Real Madrid fans in a shooting attack on a café in a predominantly Shia city of Balad, Iraq in the evening of the 12th.

From the above, terrorism remains a serious threat to the socio-economic and political foundation of any society, and its defeat should be a collective responsibility. The problem cuts across national boundaries and requires a common solution. An understanding of the best counter-terrorist strategy is also highly essential.

At this juncture, it is right to suggest that leading to up to day and after, security should be beefed up. The UK’s introduction of ‘Project Servator‘ is a step in the right direction to deter various forms of crime. However, strict measures should be taken to safeguard “soft targets” like public transportation systems, the likes of London underground transport system which does have occasional security but a lot more can be done.

Furthermore, more intelligence coordination and liaison with civilian should be of top priority as what the officers do not see, the normal individual walking on the road sees.

This article comes amid fears of likely terrorists attacks in Europe as warned in an Europol report. The report supposedly warns of new terror tactics by so-called Isis on Europe involving the use of car bombs and chemicals.

News Briefing – Week Beginning 12 Dec 2016

News Briefing – Week Beginning 05 Dec 2016