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Thursday, 4 December 2014


A Hawke's Bay Muslim man is calling on "souljahs of Allah" to make their way to Hastings and join him in forming the "Islamic State of Aotearoa". Te Amorangi Kireka-Whaanga, of Hastings, who heads the Aotearoa Maori Muslim Association, said in a Facebook post yesterday he had changed the organisation's name to the Islamic State of Aotearoa. Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule said Mr Kireka-Whaanga's Facebook posts were "very concerning," considering the Islamic State's violent reputation in the Middle East. "I don't think any normal, law-abiding Kiwi would think there's any time or place for this kind of behaviour. When you have our own citizens setting up a terrorist-style cult within New Zealand, then the agencies on behalf of New Zealanders will do anything they can to stamp them out. I don't think there's any place in New Zealand for these Islamic cults." Mr Kireka-Whaanga has previously pledged his support for Islamic State on social media, saying it would bring down Western civilisation and true Muslims were behind Islamic State. In 2010, he was named as one of the world's 500 most influential Muslims, one of two New Zealanders to make the list, by a group in Jordan. Isis, or Islamic State, has been taking over cities in Syria and Iraq and conducting high-profile beheadings of hostages, as it tries to establish an Islamic caliphate in the region. Mr Kireka-Whaanga maintains he is "a peace advocate trying to achieve my goal of winning a Nobel peace prize". Yesterday on Facebook, where he has 936 friends, he called on "Muslim souljahs, warriors and followers of prophet Muhammad" to make their way to Hastings and "blow everyone away with the beauty and magic of love, truth, wisdom and divine blessings". "Out with the old and in with the new, let's radiate the power of truth the magic of it upon the starving souls of mankind." He also said "average normal kiwi New Zealanders" had approached him to take action against the Prime Minister, John Key. In response, a spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said he did not comment on individuals. A sign put up outside Mr Kireka-Whaanga's house warned media and government employees against setting foot on his property. His partner yesterday came to the edge of the property and told Hawke's Bay Today he was unavailable for comment. Hastings residents who live near Mr Kireka-Whaanga's house were unaware of his status as a Muslim leader when spoken to by Hawke's Bay Today . A neighbour said Mr Kireka-Whaanga and his family "keep to themselves". "They just don't mix. We wouldn't know they even lived there, basically." Another resident said: "He's obviously kept it under wraps on this street." A Muslim man who worships at the region's sole mosque, the Hawke's Bay Baitul Mokarram Masjid and Islamic Centre Trust, and did not wish to be named, said Mr Kireka-Whaanga's views did not reflect those of the wider Muslim community. Known as "Izhaq" to local Muslims, Mr Kireka-Whaanga did not worship at the mosque regularly and it was believed he had "gone mad". Police declined to comment about Mr Kireka-Whaanga yesterday. The Herald also interviewed Mr Kireka-Whaanga 10 years ago when he claimed to be regularly visiting prisons, as part of a project to convert inmates to Islam. He is understood to have been since banned from visiting prisons.

Thursday, 27 November 2014


The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) is causing a mass media outage after the group hacked a comment system used by a number of high profile news websites across the globe. Websites affected include The Independent, Chicago Tribune ,Italian newspaper Repubblica, CNBC, Forbes and the Telegraph. Users are met with a notification saying "You've been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)" and then are blocked from visiting the page. It is believed that websites using the popular Gigya comment platform are being affected by the outage after the hackers posted a picture of service, which is owned by American Israeli company, on its Twitter page. However, it is not just media outlets being affected - sports websites are being taken down by the SEA too. French football club Toulouse FC, the NHL's website and Canadian broadcaster CBC are all reporting problems. PC World has also been hit by SEA hacking. According to the SEA's website, the collective describes itself as "a group of young Syrians, not belonging to any governmental entity." LINK:

Friday, 21 November 2014


Plans by the West Australian government to close more than 100 remote and primarily Indigenous communities is the “biggest threat to our people since the shocking events of the 1960s”, traditional owners and native title holders of the Fitzroy Valley have said in a joint statement. The statement, released on Tuesday by a number of groups representing people in Fitzroy Crossing and 35 surrounding communities, said they were “appalled” by the recent announcement by the premier, Colin Barnett, that between 100 and 150 of the state’s 274 remote communities face closure. More than 1,300 Aboriginal people live in 174 of the smallest communities, according to the ABC. “We are deeply fearful about the potential impact of such a move on our people and communities, and the township of Fitzroy Crossing. We see this as the biggest threat to our people since the shocking events of the 1960s, and we believe the impact of such a move could be almost as devastating,” it said, referring to the devastating social impacts when Aboriginal people moved off stations and into townships after the equal wage case. “We assert the right of people to live in and on their traditional country, for which they have ancient and deep responsibilities. To be talking of relocating people off their traditional country does indeed take us back 50 years in a very ugly way.” Barnett has said there is no other option but closure of between 100 and 150 communities which it has described as “unviable”, and cited “high rates of suicide, poor education, poor health [and] no jobs”. “[The smaller remote communities] are not viable and the social outcomes, the abuse and neglect of young children, is a disgrace to this state ... This is the biggest social issue this state faces,” he said. The Fitzroy Valley groups rejected the link between suicide and other social issues with closure as “nonsense”. “We acknowledge that there are serious social and health issues in our communities. But we also assert on the basis of evidence and our direct knowledge that, on balance, the people in the smaller bush communities are healthier and happier,” it said. It said forcing people out of the communities would just relocate and intensify underlying problems of poverty, disadvantage and unemployment. In parliament last week Barnett acknowledged the closures would cause “great distress” to Aboriginal people and cause problems in the towns they move to, but said he had no other choice after the federal government announced it would withdraw its two-thirds share of the funding of power, water and services from the communities, and hand control over to the state from July next year. However, the federal minister for Indigenous affairs, Nigel Scullion, denied there was any link between the two and said the state had been discussing closures “well before” the transfer of responsibilities was announced. Aboriginal advocates and social service workers are also anticipating a drastic fallout if the closures go ahead. Priscilla Collins, chief executive of the North Australian Aboriginal justice agency (NAAJA), told Guardian Australia the WA government’s decision was “extremely disappointing”. “Where do they expect these people to go? Where is their housing? Where are their services, their families? Are they just trying to split up Aboriginal people in communities?” she said. “I just don’t understand the logic behind it. These people are entitled to essential services just like in the urban areas.” David Cole, chairman of Darwin-based youth suicide prevention program, the Balunu Foundation, said the closures were “point-blank genocide” and he was anticipating devastating consequences among the affected populations. “It’s genocide, it’s land dispossession,” Cole told Guardian Australia. “People being removed, pushed off, forced off the land and pushed into small communities is a recipe for social challenges on every level. Not to mention the cultural lore challenges that creates for our communities.” Wyndham, in Western Australia, experienced an influx of displaced residents when a nearby community, Oombulgurri, was closed in 2011 by the WA government, citing high levels of violence, suicide and sexual assault. The remaining residents were evicted from the town, and services shut off or closed down. It is being demolished. The transition for residents was “terrible”, Amnesty International Australia’s Indigenous campaign manager, Tammy Salonec, told Guardian Australia, and Amnesty fears the same mistakes could be made. “There was no integration strategy in place, people were forcibly evicted,” Salonec said. “Eventually most were rehoused, but some still don’t have suitable housing, some are still homeless. “It was a tragic case of error upon error upon error, with no consideration for how traumatic it would be for these people. We want to ensure that when the government is looking at this sort of thing now, that they do it in a better way.” Since Barnett made the announcement to parliament a week ago, no plan has yet been put forward, and no target list of communities or services drawn up. “Consultation with affected parties is essential and will occur,” a spokeswoman for the premier told Guardian Australia. “However, it’s early days and the government is just beginning the work to determine a path forward. This process will be comprehensive and will not be rushed.” She said the closures would not stop anyone returning to country, but there would be no government-funded services there when they did. A spokesman for Scullion said the future of remote communities was “largely a matter for the Western Australian government”. “Providing essential and municipal services in towns and cities across Australia has always been the responsibility of state and local governments and it should be no different in Indigenous communities,” he said.

Friday, 7 November 2014


A column of 32 tanks has crossed into Ukraine from Russia as a ceasefire between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists becomes closer to collapse. In a televised briefing, military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said that a convoy of 32 tanks, 16 howitzer cannons and 30 trucks of troops and equipment had crossed into the rebel-held area of Luhansk. "The deployment continues of military equipment and Russian mercenaries to the front lines," he said. The move by Russia comes just a day after five Ukrainian soldiers were killed in fighting with rebels in the country's restive eastern regions. Ukraine's military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said: "Over the past day we lost five Ukrainian soldiers and 16 were wounded." Rebels in eastern Ukraine have claimed that President Petro Poroshenko has broken the peace agreement signed between Kiev and the separatists in September by proposing to cancel autonomy for the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk. Poroshenko had this week stated that the rebel elections had jeopardised "the entire peace process" following a conflict which has taken the lives of more than 4,000 people since April. The European Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has warned that the "bloodletting" in the country is continuing despite the ceasefire with many incidents of shelling, including one which killed two children in Donetsk. LINK:

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


IN NEW ZEALAND, THERE ARE NOW DIFFERENT GROUPS IN THE WHITE POWER MOVEMENT. SOME OF THEM ARE WHAT WE COULD CALL 'OLD SCHOOL'. They remind me of 80s and 90s ACTIVISM. They are active on the ground and give value to the action in their communities. NATIONAL FRONT and RWR belong to this 'OLD SCHOOL'. They blame what they see as an INTERNET SKIN WAVE of activists, who prefer creating their own groups online rather than fighting on the ground. INTERNET is really a powerful instrument and allows any Skinhead creating their own community online in an easy and international way. It looks like the old boys (NF and RWR) are losing members or finding it hard to get new ones. Sign of the times. A new Hamilton-based organization of Skinheads is Division 88 NZ, co-created in June 2014 by a former RWR High Officer. NF, RWR and DIV 88 are atm the main orgs in NZ. Other groups are minor or not easy to find online. To find out more about this matter, please check these websites:


The scale of the Democrats’ defeat in the US midterm elections became apparent on Wednesday, with the party losing control of the US Senate by a wider margin than predicted and their Republican opponents on the verge of securing their largest majority in the House of Representatives since the 1940s. President Obama’s party awoke to the political equivalent of a pounding hangover with defeats more numerous and deeper than many Democrats had feared, while Republicans rode a wave of victories that gave them significant momentum going into the 2016 presidential elections. Republicans gained seven Senate seats from Democrats, cementing the GOP’s power base on Capitol Hill. They were poised to take an eighth, Alaska, and if they win a runoff in Louisiana, Republicans would command a 54-vote majority in the Senate. On a night of few positives for Democrats, Republicans also outperformed them in most of the 36 governors’ races, clinching stunning victories in Democratic strongholds including Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois. “This is ugly,” one top Democrat involved in the party’s election strategy told the Guardian in the early hours of Wednesday morning. “It is so much worse than we expected.” The defeat is a significant blow to the president, whose low approval ratings contributed heavily to his party’s electoral drubbing. Obama, an already isolated and unpopular leader, must now see out his remaining two years in the White House with his Republican opponents controlling both branches of Congress. The White House said he would speak at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon. The extent of the rout will also be a cause for concern for Hillary Clinton, the heir-apparent for the Democratic presidential nomination, who, along with her husband, former president Bill Clinton, stumped for several of the party’s Senate candidates who lost badly. By the early hours of Wednesday, Republicans were assured of 52 seats in the upper chamber, making Mitch McConnell – who easily saw off a well-funded challenge in his home state of Kentucky – the new Senate majority leader. “The message from voters is clear: they want us to work together,” Harry Reid said in a statement, shortly after his demotion to Democratic minority leader. “I look forward to working with Sen McConnell to get things done for the middle class.” Prominent Republicans were jubilant. The governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, widely seen as a potential candidate for the party in the 2016 presidential elections, said he was delighted with the result and urged Obama to work with the new political reality in Washington. “The president took a beating last night, and the fact is, you’ve got to sit down then with the folks on the other side and say to them, ‘OK, let’s see what we can agree on together’,” he told ABC. Democrats lost seats in West Virginia, Montana, South Dakota, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa and, perhaps most surprisingly, North Carolina, where Democrats were confident Senator Kay Hagan would hold on. Republicans, in contrast, held on to all the seats they were defending, including close races in Georgia and Kansas. In Louisiana the race was pushed into a runoff election that will take place in December, where the Republican challenger Bill Cassidy is favoured to unseat Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu. If, as seems likely, Alaska also goes the Republicans’ way, the GOP will have picked up nine seats, a higher tally than even the party’s most optimistic forecasters had expected. In the House, Republicans already enjoyed a comfortable 233-199 majority. That lead has now been extended yet further, with the GOP appearing on course to achieve a net gain of at least 12 seats, which would match or even exceed its largest majority since Harry Truman was president more than 60 years ago. No result will be more unnerving for Democrats with an eye on the 2016 presidential race than Colorado, where the incumbent senator, Mark Udall, was comfortably dispatched by Republican Cory Gardner, a candidate Democrats tried and failed to paint as a rightwing extremist. But in a pattern echoed by Republicans across the country, Gardner disavowed several previous policy stances and mounted a concerted effort to appeal to female and Latino voters. Colorado is increasingly regarded as a bellwether in presidential elections, akin to Ohio; the percentage of voters who supported Obama in the state during the last two presidential elections closely mirrored the nationwide breakdown. Although midterm electorates look very different to presidential years, with lower turnout among young, minority and single-women voters, who tend to lean Democratic, there were worrying signs for the party. There were defeats for Democrats, for example, in two other presidential swing states, Iowa and North Carolina. In Florida, another pivotal state for 2016, Democrat Charlie Crist narrowly failed to dislodge Republican governor Rick Scott. A clutch of other Republican governors in Wisconsin, Maine, Michigan and Kansas also held on to their posts, despite divisive terms in office and fierce opposition that resulted in closely fought races. As they engage in damage limitation, Democrats will in the next few days argue that their defeats in the House and Senate were expected and consistent with historical trends. The party that controls the White House has only gained seats in a midterm election three times since 1862. And in contrast to Tuesday’s poll – where Democrats were defending an unusually large number of Senate seats – the party faces a much more favourable electoral map in 2016 when it will hope to regain seats in the upper chamber. Democrats will also take solace in success in two other states that could be important in 2016: Pennsylvania, where Republican governor, Tom Corbett, was beaten by Democrat Tom Wolf, and New Hampshire, where Democrat Jeanne Shaheen held on to her seat in the face of a challenge from Republican Scott Brown. Yet the scale of Tuesday’s Senate defeat, on a tide of support for Republicans that rippled across House and gubernatorial races, with only a handful of exceptions, will undoubtedly unnerve Democrats. Over the past two decades the party of the incumbent president has lost, on average, four Senate seats during midterms. This year’s Democratic losses in the Senate are likely to be at least double that – a defeat compounded by the Republicans’ huge majority in the House.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


NATO jets have intercepted a group of Russian fighter planes flying over the neutral Baltic sea. The German jets were scrambled from Estonia on Tuesday following the discovery of seven Russian jets. NATO says the interception was the biggest seen in recent years. The discovery comes after a Russian spy plane allegedly violated Estonian airspace last week. NATO says the plane entered airspace illegally before being seen off by NATO jets. Russia has denied the claims. Latvia's Defense Ministry has reported a rise in the number of Russian jets and warships observed near Baltic territory this year. "All these processes cause concern. I have a question, why is such a demonstration of force needed? There must be some political reason behind it. There should not be fear of a direct threat, as we have to see the full picture about how the escalation will turn out. However, we know that any escalation can lead to unpredictable moves," Raimonds Graube, the head of Latvia's Armed Forces said last month, cited by the LETA news agency. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blasted NATO's thoughtless and limitless expansion. "Instead of making OSCE a normal organization, which would become a real security organization, ensuring security for everyone, our western colleagues took the course of thoughtless, limitless NATO expansion, telling us directly, that legal security guarantees can only be given to those who join the North Atlantic Alliance," Lavrov said in an interview with the Life News TV channel and the Izvestia newspaper, cited by Voice of Russia. LINK:

Friday, 24 October 2014


Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Friday of endangering global security by imposing a "unilateral diktat" on the rest of the world and shifted blame for the Ukraine crisis onto the West. In a 40-minute diatribe against the West that was reminiscent of the Cold War and underlined the depth of the rift between Moscow and the West, Putin also denied trying to rebuild the Soviet empire at the expense of Russia's neighbours. "We did not start this," Putin told an informal group of experts on Russia that includes many Western specialists critical of him, warning that Washington was trying to "remake the whole world" based on its own interests. "Statements that Russia is trying to reinstate some sort of empire, that it is encroaching on the sovereignty of its neighbours, are groundless," the former KGB spy declared in a speech delivered standing at a podium, without a smile, in a ski resort in mountains above the Black Sea city of Sochi. Listing a series of conflicts in which he faulted US actions, including Libya, Syria and Iraq, Putin asked whether Washington's policies had strengthened peace and democracy. "No," he declared. "The unilateral diktat and the imposing of schemes (on others) have exactly the opposite effect." Putin, 62, has stepped up anti-Western rhetoric since returning to the Kremlin as president in 2012, helping push up his popularity ratings since the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March. Even so, the speech was one of the most hostile Putin has delivered against the West and it appeared partly intended to show Russian voters he will stand up to the rest of the world and defend their interests. The criticisms of a world order dominated by Washington, more than two decades after the Cold War, recalled a 2007 speech in Munich in which Putin shocked the West by lambasting Washington's "unipolar" world view. The speech prompted many Western leaders to reassess their view of Putin. The annual meetings of what is known as the Valdai Club have rarely featured such open, direct and tough language in their debates on Russian policy. Critics say the meetings have become a showcase for Kremlin policy, with the session attended by Putin shown live on state television and little discussion of Russia's record on human rights and democracy, which is criticised in the West. Putin rejected criticism over the Ukraine crisis, in which Moscow has sided with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, and threw the West's criticisms of Moscow back in its face. Repeating accusations that Western governments helped pro-Western groups stage a coup d'etat that ousted a pro-Moscow president in Kiev in February, Putin said: "No one wanted to listen to us and no one wanted to talk to us." "Instead of a difficult but, I underline, civilised dialogue they brought about a state coup. They pushed the country into chaos, economic and social collapse, and civil war with huge losses," he said. Dismissing US and European Union sanctions imposed on Moscow as a mistake, he said: "Russia will not be posturing, get offended, ask someone for anything. Russia is self-sufficient." He made only passing references to the decline of Russia's $US2 trillion ($2.27 trillion) economy, which is in danger of sliding into recession as its currency tumbles along with the price of oil, its main export item. But he said in a question and answer session after his speech that Russia would not burn though its gold and foreign currency reserves thoughtlessly to prop up the economy. Putin has increasingly sought to shift blame for the economic crisis onto global problems, the sanctions and the oil price. He and other Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, have also used increasingly tough language to blame the West for the Ukraine crisis. A ceasefire has been in force in Ukraine since September 5, but it has been violated daily and the West says Moscow continues to have troops and weapons in east Ukraine. Russia denies this. Read more:

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


TORONTO - Homegrown terror struck at the heart of Canada on a fall morning, leaving a soldier murdered, the shooter dead and a nation reeling in shock. Canada, it seems, is under siege from within. For the second time this week, Canadian soldiers came under attack on our own soil. Yet another terrorist took aim at the people who stand on guard for us, this time right at the epicentre of our democracy within metres of Parliament Hill. And even more egregious — the gunman targeted a military reservist guarding the National War Memorial — a revered national symbol in memory of so many brave men and women who have given their lives to protect our freedom and way of life. The Western way of life that seems to so offend these jihadi terrorists. Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a 24-year-old father of one and a reservist with Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Hamilton, was standing sentry at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier when he was executed at 9:52 a.m. Wednesday by a masked man bearing a long-barrelled rifle. One witness told reporters the young shooter with long black hair and a “black and white Palestinian type head scarf over his face” raised his arms in triumph after shooting Cirillo twice at point blank range. Despite frantic efforts by a tourist and later by emergency responders, the soldier died in hospital from gunshots to his abdomen. Warmly remembered as a man who loved dogs and had joined the cadets as a 13-year-old, Cirillo had just arrived in Ottawa for sentry duty a few days before. In addressing the nation, a grim Prime Minister Stephen Harper called it a “cold-blooded murder” and a terror attack on our values and our society. “Let there be no misunderstanding,” he vowed, “we will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated.” By nightfall, the gunman had been identified — ironically first by U.S. officials — as 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, Canadian-born and a convert to Islam. Media reports said he was one of the many “high risk travellers” identified by Canadian intelligence officials and had his passport seized to prevent his joining Islamic terrorists overseas. So he launched his attack at home. The gunman stormed his way into Parliament Hill where Conservative and NDP MPs had just begun their respective weekly caucus meetings. The Prime Minister himself was in the building as well. There could be no better prize for a terrorist intent on making a terrifying impact. Harper, of course, was one of the targets of the so-called Terror 18, the ragtag group of radicalized young men who had unsuccessfully plotted to attack Parliament Hill and behead the prime minister. Eight years later, was Zehaf-Bibeau striving to make those pipe dreams a reality? And if not for a brave sergeant-at-arms, would he have been successful? The brazen gunman certainly managed to evoke a scene never before witnessed in this nation’s 147-year history: A wild firefight erupted in the seat of Canada’s government between the shooter and the guards bent on stopping him. In a chilling video recorded by a Globe and Mail reporter, the exchange of bullets could be heard echoing through the beautiful marble hallway of Centre Block. “Will always remember the sound. Parliament will never be the same,” tweeted NDP MP Ryan Cleary. As the smell of gunpowder filled the air, frightened MPs barricaded themselves behind doors reinforced with furniture. “Shots fired during caucus meeting. at least 30 shots. MPs piled out. I’m safe with 2 colleagues but we’re still at risk...,” tweeted MP Tony Clement. “PM was in Caucus but now secure. Assuming it’s not safe to venture out yet.” During the hail of gunfire that rang through the main Hall of Honour, one parliamentary guard was shot in the leg and another was grazed by a bullet. In all, three people were treated in hospital and released. It’s terrifying to think how high the body count may have been if not for the courage of Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers. The former Mountie is being widely praised as a hero after he shot and killed Zehaf-Bibeau just outside the parliamentary library before he managed to reach the MPs. “He was in his office and went out to deal with it,” MP Julian Fantino told the Sun’s Joe Warmington. “He is definitely a hero and there are a bunch of heroes here today.” Prime Minister Stephen Harper was rushed out of Parliament to a secure location. A photo of him being briefed by security officials was released to the media to quell public fears he may have been injured in the terror attack. While he was safe, his staff received an e-mail ordering them to remain in their offices and take cover under their desks. “There are currently active shooters in the Parliament Hill vicinity,” they were warned. Fear and panic filled the capital as authorities couldn’t determine the number of accomplices still on the loose. The Rideau Centre mall, the U.S. embassy and other downtown buildings went into lockdown as rumours spread that at least one other gunman was still at large. Residents were warned to stay away from the area and if they were in the vicinity, they were to stay away from windows and not tweet police locations as the hunt continued for an “active shooter.” By evening, though, no other suspect had been apprehended. More, though, was being learned about the dead gunman. Zehaf Bibeau had a long criminal history including convictions in Montreal and Vancouver. Wearing a black and white kiffeyeh similar to the one described by witnesses, his photo appeared on an #ISIS Twitter account, poised for battle. Was he inspired by his fellow jihadist just a few days before? This was the second attack on the Canadian military in three days — on Monday, extremist Martin Rouleau ran down one soldier and injured another in Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que. before he was shot dead. The radical convert had been under watch by the RCMP and had his passport seized when he tried to fly to Turkey this past summer to join ISIS — just as Zehaf Bibeau’s travel documents had been revoked. And they are just two of an estimated 90 potential terrorists in our midst. It’s not as if we had not been warned. Just last month, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney tabled his report “2014 Public Report On The Terrorist Threat To Canada” and warned “Terrorism remains the leading threat to Canada’s national security.” How prophetic those words now ring in Ottawa. No one really paid much heed. On Oct. 8, NBC News reported that Canadian officials had thwarted an ISIS-inspired plot to carry out a “knife and gun” attack at a “public place” in Canada. It seemed the stuff of over-reacting Americans. Terrorism doesn’t happen here. It was admittedly alarming when two intelligence agencies told Parliament two weeks ago about their increasing concerns about radicalized jihadists. But still, they had assured us there was no imminent threat. How wrong they would be. CSIS director Michel Coulombe told a Commons committee that they know of at least 80 violent radicals who have returned here after being involved in terrorism overseas. “By the time I leave this room, it’s going to change,” he warned. “Are there some that we are not aware of? Probably. I don’t want to speculate.” RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson told the same committee that they had 90 Canadians under investigation for suspected terrorist leanings — and we’ve now learned that Rouleau and Zehaf-Bibeau were among them. Known to the government, and yet nothing could stop them. Last Friday, just days before the Quebec attack, the domestic terrorism threat level in Canada was quietly raised from low to medium for the first time in four years. Intelligence agencies had picked up increased “chatter” from radical Islamist groups about possible attacks after Canada announced this month that it was joining the battle against Islamic State fighters who have taken over parts of Iraq and Syria. Despite this warning, two fatal attacks on Canadian soldiers have now followed. It proves the startling and terrifying truth we now must face — no matter how vigilant we may be, it will be incredibly difficult to protect ourselves from the radicals hidden among our own countrymen. Now an innocent man’s blood stains the granite Cenotaph, spilled not by a foreign enemy, but by an enemy within. LINK:


THIS AKL-BASED BLOG STARTED IN MARCH 2014. In SEVEN months, I've got followers from 59 countries in every continent, but mostly from (in order): New Zealand, US, France, Germany, Russia, Turkey, Australia, Ukraine, UK, Poland. This blog is really international. SPECIAL THANKS to the NZ, US, French, German and Russian Comrades. Just keep following THE FREE VOICE OF AUCKLAND. Suggestions and ideas to improve the blog are welcome. Just e-mail me at: Thanx, Kingsland Wolf HERE THE COMPLETE LIST OF THE COUNTRIES: Canada, USA, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Chile; Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, UK, Ireland, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania, Spain, Greece, Cyprus; Israel, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bahrain, Iraq, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan; Morocco, Egypt, Angola, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa; Australia, NZ.


What is going on in Vladimir Putin’s mind? That’s the question a panel of Russia experts was trying to answer Tuesday morning. Attention on Russia and the crisis in Ukraine has dwindled as the press has focused more on the West’s fight against the extremist group calling itself the Islamic State. US Secretary of State John Kerry also announced Tuesday increased intelligence-gathering cooperation with Russia on the group — also known as ISIS — a particularly significant development given the recent thaw in US-Russian relations. But this panel, which was moderated by Reuters, took a much more alarmist tone when speaking about America’s relations with Moscow and speculating about Putin. All the experts in attendance warned Putin’s recent moves in Ukraine might only be the start of new territorial ambitions. Three of the four panelists — New Yorker editor David Remnick, journalist and author Masha Gessen, Russian political activist and former grand chessmaster Garry Kasparov, and former Treasury Department official Roger Altman — agreed Putin could soon try to stretch his influence into the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. “They already are under pressure,” Gessen, the author of a 2012 unauthorised biography of Putin, said of the Baltics. “That’s very much where he’s doing his nuclear saber-rattling, and that’s where he’s planning to call NATO’s bluff.” Unlike Ukraine, all three Baltic states are NATO members. NATO’s Article 5 requires all members of the alliance come to the defence of any member that is attacked or targeted. Putin last month made casual mention of his country’s nuclear arsenal, around the same time NATO accused Russian forces of an “incursion” in Ukraine. Many analysts have speculated Putin’s next move could come in the Baltic states, something that would be a clear challenge to NATO. Amid the bluster from Putin — who also reportedly said in a private conversation he could invade Poland, Romania, and the Baltic states if he really wanted to — NATO states made a point of countering with strong rhetoric of their own. President Barack Obama traveled to Estonia last month on the way to a meeting in Wales with other NATO states, in a trip the White House said was aimed at reassuring NATO allies in the Baltics that felt threatened by Putin’s moves in Ukraine. The message, a White House adviser said, was for Putin to “not even think about messing around” with the region. But members of the panel were sceptical the US and other European members would rush to the Baltics’ defence if they were targeted. And they said Putin would love a chance to try to embarrass NATO and paint it as nothing more than a symbolic alliance. For his part, Kasparov speculated Putin may try to push NATO by employing some of the same tactics he used in Crimea, which Russia formally annexed from Ukraine in March. He said that, rather than marching across the border, Russia would try to stir up some pro-Moscow “form of dissent” in the Baltics. This would allow Russia to maintain plausible deniability and characterise any military action in the region as a reaction — something that would make it difficult for NATO members to call it an invasion. Remnick agreed a potential Putin playbook for the Baltics would resemble Crimea. He added a potential Putin push into the region wouldn’t resemble “Czechoslovakia in 1968,” when the Soviet Union lined up tanks and invaded the country to crack down on reformist trends. “There’s a rich tradition of these highly crude, sophisticated provocations,” Remnick said. “It’s not going to look like Czechoslovakia in 1968. Thousands of tanks are not going to cross into [the Baltics]. The operation in Crimea, on a military intelligence basis, was brilliant. Brilliant.” What may be most disconcerting about Putin in general, however, is his lack of predictability. All of the panelists agreed on one thing: Putin’s end goal is to stay in power. And if that goal is suddenly best furthered through making noise in the Baltics, then there’s a very real possibility he’ll take action. “We’re talking about a man who doesn’t have a plan. So we’re trying to figure out what his plan is, but he doesn’t have one,” Gessen said. He sees that as an option. It is definitely an option, he is considering it, and he may wake up one morning and do it.” LINK:

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


A red-headed Australian jihadist has appeared in a new Isis [Islamic State] video, warning that the terror group will continue its war on the west until it flies a "black flag on top of Buckingham Palace". Abdullah Elmir, 17, refers to himself as Abu Khaled during the video, in which he is surrounded by his fellow Islamist militants. During the video, entitled Message Of The Mujahid 4, Elmir launches a scathing attack on the US-led coalition which is conducting airstrikes on the group's "caliphate" in northern Syria and Iraq. "This message I deliver to you the people of America, this message I deliver to you the people of Britain and this message I deliver especially to you the people of Australia," Elmir begins. "I say this about your coalition: you threaten us with your countries, bring every nation that you wish to us, bring every nation that you want to come and fight us. Whether it's 50 nations or 50,000 nations, it means nothing to us. "Bring your planes, bring everything you want to use because it will not harm us because we have Allah which is something you do not have," he continues, seemingly reading from a script. It is believed that Elmir travelled to Syria to fight for the terror group after disappearing from his home in Sydney in June. He is believed to have told his mother that he was "going fishing". He travelled with his friend Feiz to Turkey, where they crossed the border into Syria after making stops in Malaysia and Thailand. The video was released by IS just one day after Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced that the country was to send special forces to Iraq to fight the Islamist insurgency. "Is it not apparent to you how are these victories possible?" Elmir asks. "It comes only from Allah and that is why [with] these small numbers of soldiers that we have, we take these massive victories. "To the leaders, to Obama, to Tony Abbott, I say this: these weapons that we have, these soldiers, we will not stop fighting. We will not put down our weapons until we reach your lands, until we take the head of every tyrant and until the black flag is flying high in every single land. "Until we put the black flag on top of Buckingham Palace, until we put the black flag on top of the White House, we will not stop. We will keep on fighting and we will fight you and defeat you." In response to the video, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott reiterated the dangers posed by the militant group to western populations. "This video again highlights the threat posed by ISIL [another term for Islamic State]," his spokesman said. "As the Prime Minister has said on many occasions, ISIL is a threat that reaches out to Australia and our allies and partners." In northern Syria, fighting has continued between Kurdish defenders and IS militants for control over the city of Kobani on the Turkish border, following two days of calm after weeks of clashes. Turkey has performed a U-turn and given permission for Kurdish peshmerga forces from northern Iraq to use Turkish territory to reach the Syrian city and aid depleted People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters. LINK:

Monday, 20 October 2014


This Saturday marks 147 years since the U.S. bought Alaska from Russia. If the man in charge of Russia's defense industries gets his way, Sarah Palin will not only be able to see Russia from her front porch, but her front porch will be in Russia. Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin wrote a foreword to a book published earlier this year, "Alaska Betrayed and Sold: The History of a Palace Conspiracy," which argues that Russia has a right to get back "Russian America." Rogozin endorses the author's conclusion, which recognizes "the historical and judicial right of Russia for the return of the lost colonies, Alaska and the Aleutian Islands [island chain in the Northern Pacific Ocean], over which the Russian flag flew 150 years ago." Before he became deputy prime minister, with responsibility for coordinating the work of the defense industry, Rogozin was Russia's ambassador to NATO. In 2003, Rogozin was the leader of the Rodina Party, a political organization that received Kremlin support in an effort to draw votes from nationalist parties. Rodina's nationalist message was given extensive exposure on Russian television until about two weeks before the election, when Kremlin spin doctors realized they had overshot and Rodina might do too well at the polls. Rogozin's loyalty in accepting Rodina's downgrade has been rewarded with major appointments. The author of the book on Alaska's sale, Ivan Mironov, was accused of attempting to assassinate Russia's privatization architect, Anatoly Chubais, in 2005. He spent two years in prison before being pardoned by the Russian Duma. Mironov's treatise initially appeared in 2007 with the title "Fatal Bargain. How Alaska Was Sold." Mironov's view of history is that it needs frequent revision in response to how people understand world events. This leads him to revise the evaluation of Russia's sale of Alaska, recognizing it as a betrayal equivalent to Chubais's privatization program in the 1990s. Rather than viewing the sale of Alaska as a decision to jettison unprofitable overseas projects, it now should be seen as a betrayal of Russia's great power status. Rogozin's foreword fully embraces Mironov's version of history. "Russia giving up its colonial possessions makes it necessary to look in a different way at our diplomacy in the era of Gorbachev and Yeltsin, trading away pieces of the Soviet Empire." Rogozin argues that by refuting "the outright lies and falsifications" about the transfer of Alaska it becomes possible to "bring down the liberal idols of the 19th century — the Russian reformers of Alexander II and his brother Grand Duke Konstantin." They betrayed Russia's geopolitical interests in the Pacific, demonstrating "the impossibility of establishing diplomatic relations exclusively on concessions and compromises." For Rogozin, Mironov's book illustrates that a single mistake in foreign policy "can produce an entire century of loss and defeat of a great power." He concludes his short foreword with a call for the return of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands to Russia. It may well be the case that Putin is simply using Rogozin's hyperbole as a way to put pressure on diplomatic interlocutors. But the fact remains that Rogozin is not on the fringes of Russian politics — he has consistently been promoted and, as deputy prime minister, now oversees the Russian defense industry. The fact that such a prominent figure could make such statements about Russia's claim to Alaska is significant. After the annexation of Crimea in March, which was only part of Ukraine because of a "historical mistake," according to Russia, could Alaska be next on Russia's list? LINK:


Russia's deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin has argued that Moscow has a right to get back Alaska from the United States 147 years after it sold "Russian America" to Washington. In a foreword to the revisionist book Alaska Betrayed and Sold: The History of a Palace Conspiracy by Ivan Mironov, Rogozin acknowledges the historical right of Russia for "the return of lost colonies", the Moscow Times reports. Supporting the author's view that the Alaska sale was a betrayal of Russia's power status, Rogozin argues that the transfer of Russian America was marred by "outright lies and falsifications". "Russia giving up its colonial possessions makes it necessary to look in a different way at our diplomacy in the era of Gorbachev and Yeltsin, trading away pieces of the Soviet Empire," he wrote. The Russian empire offered to sell Alaska to the US a first time in 1859 but it was not until 30 March 1867 that secretary of state William Seward agreed to a proposal of $7.2m (£4.5m). President Andrew Johnson signed the treaty on 28 May and it was transferred on 18 October of the same year. Critics called the move "Seward's Folly", but were silenced after a major gold deposit was discovered in the Yukon in 1896. It became a state in 1959. Rogozin's remarks about the historical right of Russia to take Alaska back are especially sinister because they echo similar comments by Putin in the wake of Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula. In a referendum that the US and the EU said violated the Ukrainian constitution and international law, 97% of voters in Crimea, part of Russia until 1954, voted for secession from Ukraine. In a special address to a joint session of the Russian parliament that gathered to accept the Republic of Crimea as part of the Russian Federation, Putin said that Crimea "has always been an inalienable part of Russia". The Black Sea peninsula was "saturated with our common history", he added. He said that Russia was "robbed of Crimea", which was handed over "like a sack of potatoes" after the breakup of the Soviet Union. "Millions of Russians went to sleep in one country, and woke up in another," Putin said. "What seemed incredible became a reality - the USSR fell apart." Putin has repeatedly stated his intention to protect ethnic Russians living in Ukrainian regions due to the strong cultural connection between them and "Mother Russia". In August he referred to the restive eastern regions of Ukraine as "Novorossiya" or New Russia. Approximately 21% of Ukraine's population is Russian and it has deep cultural and historical links with Russia. The Russian ambassador to Ukraine has even stated that "Ukrainians and Russians are a single nation." Since he was reelected president in 2012, Putin has appealed to the traditional nationalist and religious base of his electorate, calling for a return for Russia among the superpowers. LINK:

Friday, 17 October 2014


Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they are concerned about an Ebola outbreak in the United States, and about the same amount say they want flight restrictions from the countries in West Africa where the disease has quickly spread. A new poll from the Washington Post and ABC News shows 67 percent of people say they would support restricting entry to the United States from countries struggling with Ebola. Another 91 percent would like to see stricter screening procedures at U.S. airports in response to the disease’s spread. Thus far, some countries in Europe have restricted flights from these countries in West Africa, and an increasing number of U.S. lawmakers are calling for similar bans. The White House has yet to increase restrictions, with federal officials saying such a move could actually increase the spread of the disease by hampering the movement of aid workers and supplies. Concern about Ebola, at this point, is real but not pervasive. About two-thirds (65 percent) say they are concerned about an Ebola outbreak in the United States. But while people are broadly concerned about an outbreak, they are not necessarily worried about that potential outbreak directly affecting them. Just 43 percent of people are worried about themselves or someone in their family becoming infected – including 20 percent who are “very worried.” That finding echoes a Pew poll from last week which showed just 11 percent were “very worried” about themselves or their families becoming infected. Since that survey, Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan died, and news that a nurse who provided care for him became infected broke on the final day of the Post-ABC poll. By comparison, slightly more Americans said they were worried about the H1N1 virus – a.k.a. the swine flu – in October 2009 (52 percent). Concern about Ebola is about on-par with concern about Avian influenza – a.k.a. the bird flu – in 2006 (41 percent) and slightly higher than concern about Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 (as high as 38 percent). The support for increasing restrictions puts the White House in a tough spot. Given the moves by other countries and the American public’s stance, there is increasing pressure to act. And given the very real -- but still somewhat muted -- concerns about the disease, that's significant, especially if the disease continues to expand. LINK:

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


The Islamic State (IS) group renewed propagandist threats against Rome and the Vatican in a new issue of its official magazine, which had a Photoshopped picture of a jihadi flag flying atop the Holy See on the front cover. The extremist group formerly known as Isis has tried to characterise a US-led effort to counter its advance in Iraq and Syria as a religious war akin to medieval Christian crusades. According to the group's rhetoric, all westerners are offspring of the cradle of Christianity, Rome, which in turn becomes a symbolic target. IS reaffirmed such credo in the fourth issue of its English language magazine, Dabiq, which ran a cover story titled The Failed Crusade. "Rome in the Arabic tongue of the Prophet refers to the Christians of Europe and their colonies in Shām [Greater Syria]," the article read. It was accompanied by a picture depicting IS's black flag risen atop the Egyptian obelisk at the centre of St. Peter's Square, in the Vatican. The magazine reproduced parts of an earlier statement attributed to IS spokesman Mohammed al-Adnani, claiming jihadists will one day conquer Rome. "We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted," Al-Adnani said. "If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market." In the last section of the 12-page piece, the Islamist militants' mouthpiece called on jihadi sympathisers across the world to attack westerners "wherever they can be found." "At this point of the crusade against the Islamic State, it is very important that attacks take place in every country that has entered into the alliance against the Islamic State, especially the US, [the] UK, France, Australia and Germany," the article read. "Every Muslim should get out of his house, find a crusader and kill him ... And the Islamic State will remain until its banner flies over Rome." Rome was first singled out as a target also by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in its first statement since the group changed name from Isis to an Islamic "caliphate" earlier this year. Baghdadi's Ramadan message was followed by rumours of possible attacks against the Vatican and Pope Francis that were played down by the Holy See. IS militants have been accused of atrocities including crucifixions, torture and summary executions carried out against Western journalists and aid workers as well as religious minorities and fellow Muslims. LINK:


Photographs of millions of Australians will be stored by the Immigration Department, and this "biometric data" gathering could extend to fingerprinting and iris scanning under the Abbott government's controversial counterterrorism laws. The "foreign fighters" bill means there will be a major expansion of facial recognition imaging of Australians passing through international airports in a crackdown on passport fraud that could eventually apply to a wide range of biometric data – which could be shared with other government agencies. Critics say the danger of such information being hacked is profound, given many personal electronic devices are now secured by fingerprints and iris scans. The sheer scale of the personal information that would stream into the government's databanks is set to open one of the first fissures in the largely bipartisan approach to national security, with Labor warning that the legislation poses a danger to privacy. "It's clear that this provision would be a significant expansion of biometric data collection by the government," shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said. "Australians deserve a clear explanation from the government about what protections will be put in place to protect the privacy and security of their information." The legislation specifically clears the way for all Australians as well as foreigners to be photographed when they leave Australia and when they return if they go through automated passport gates – which are set to become far more commonly used. The department estimates that between 40 and 60 per cent of the 35 million travellers leaving and entering Australia each year would be photographed, many millions of them Australians. The department can also share the biometric information for "specified purposes" according to the bill's explanatory memoranda, though it does not explain what these purposes are. The foreign fighters bill is being scrutinised by the high-powered parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security before a vote expected by the end of the month. It would allow the government to collect and store fingerprints and iris scans without needing to pass new laws. This could instead by done through regulations, which can be blocked only if opposition parties muster a majority of MPs in either house. The Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, told a recent parliamentary hearing into the legislation that under the changes, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection would hold personal biometric information to an unprecedented "extent and volume". The Immigration Department was rocked this year by an embarrassing data breach in which the personal details of nearly 10,000 asylum seekers were mistakenly made available on the department's website. Underscoring the extent of security concerns, the growing biometrics database would be secured by the nation's top defence cyberspooks, the Australian Signals Directorate, according to testimony given by the department to the intelligence and security committee last week. The ASD has indirectly suffered its own data breach recently in the case of renegade American intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, whose massive leaks of Western intelligence files involved some relating to the agency including, most spectacularly, details of Australian spying efforts against Indonesian leaders. Privacy advocates are particularly worried about the consequences of biometric data being hacked because, unlike a passport or a tax file number, it cannot be changed. "You can't readily change your fingerprints or your face," Australian Privacy Foundation chairman Roger Clarke said. Labor MP Anthony Byrne, the intelligence and security committee's deputy chairman, expressed deep concern at a public hearing last week about the privacy implications. "I am deeply, deeply uncomfortable with that level of data being kept by that department, particularly given the potential for someone to break into that and basically lift hundreds of thousands of fingerprints of Australian citizens," he said. "Think about the privacy implications of that with iris recognition, which is used for laptops and computer systems. Iris scans are now being used on portable devices." Emily Howie of the Human Rights Law Centre said more debate was needed about the government's counterterrorism laws. "Australians' right to privacy is often eroded through the use of new surveillance powers and technologies without proper legal safeguards," she said. "Of course the government has a responsibility to protect the community, but it must do so in a manner that is reasonable and accountable." Read more:

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


New Zealand's prime minister says a review of how the country deals with "foreign terrorist fighters" is likely to recommend urgent law changes. John Key said current laws did not address the risk posed by radicalised fighters returning to New Zealand after exposure to the Islamic State (IS) militant group, also known as ISIL, in Iraq and Syria. "We know that a small number of New Zealanders have travelled overseas to engage in the fighting," he said. "We're also aware of people within New Zealand who have a desire to travel and fight for ISIL. "Although the number of New Zealanders in these situations is modest compared with the actual numbers of our partners, they are significant relative to New Zealand's size." The country's terrorism threat level has been raised from very low to low, meaning an attack was considered "possible, but not expected". Mr Key said New Zealanders could not be complacent about the potential threat posed by returning fighters or people who may have fallen under the influence of jihadist propaganda on the internet. "If anyone believes that there's no risk of a form of domestic terrorism here, then they're actually deluded," he said. New Zealand's Cabinet has ordered a review that will consider a range of issues including tighter passport controls and the effectiveness of current laws to deal with people who fight with terrorist groups overseas. The four-week review will be led by the department of prime minister and cabinet. Mr Key said if the review should recommend law changes, he would seek bipartisan support to push them through before Christmas. He said it was important New Zealand's laws were aligned with those of its close allies, such as Australia, which recently announced a suite of new anti-terrorism laws. LINK:


An ISIS-run Website with an address in New Zealand has been shut down in Iceland. Internet in Iceland Inc or ISNIC said in a statement on Oct. 12 that it had suspended domains "used for the Website of a known terrorist organisation." According to reports, ISNIC said a group that called itself ISIS has been running the site "" Iceland traced the web hosting company of the ISIS Website to New Zealand. The managing director of the Web hosting company said he was "horrified" to find an ISIS Website was registered to his company, ONE News reported. The Website address has been tracked to a safe deposit box in Parnell which was provided by the New Zealand company Private Box. Managing director Gareth Foster has confirmed his company provides a mail drop service for Suite 4551 but said the ISIS Website's domain was under the name of a certain Azym Abdullah. He was not a customer of Private Box. Foster said the company will be working with authorities to determine the relationship of the account associated with the name on the registered domain. Private Box had introduced more security measures in March for personal accounts identified as high risk. Foster told media that the customer had signed up in 2012 before the new measures were in place. New Zealand Federation of Islamic Associations president Anwar Ghani said he does not know anyone by the name of Azym Abdullah and confirms the person has no ties with the organisation. Ghani said the address in Parnell is not used by anyone in the association. Other Websites with similar names which ISIS militants claim to run in parts of Iraq and Syria are operational in other countries without clear ties to the group, reports said. ISNIC head Jens Petur Jensen claimed it was the first time that Iceland was forced to shut down the site because of its content. A spokesperson for New Zealand's intelligence community said they are aware of the story but will not give a statement. ISIS is known to be using the Internet to attract supporters to join them in Iraq and Syria as fighters. LINK:

Monday, 13 October 2014


The terrorist group ISIS has its finger pointed to Australia as one of the "crusaders" that shall suffer its barbaric attack. The threat was published in the recent edition of its propaganda magazine written in English, the Dabiq. The article in the magazine also calls for attack against the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. "It is very important that attacks take place in every country that has entered into the alliance against the Islamic State, especially the US, UK, France, Australia and Germany," ISIS wrote. The group calls for every single Muslim to get out of their house, find a crusader and kill him. Such call implies that the ISIS is calling for random attacks across these countries. However, such random attacks are to be validated as acts of the patrons of the ISIS. Hence, media should not describe it as random killings, the ISIS declares. "It is important that the killing becomes attributed to patrons of the Islamic State who have obeyed its leadership... otherwise, crusader media makes such attacks appear to be random killings." The ISIS had also specified its advice for the patrons. It said that when planning the attack, patrons are encouraged to keep the number of people involve. They are also instructed not to over think their strategy because it may just lead to aborted attacks. Secrecy is upheld if the number of those who know it is kept in minimum. Also, patrons should not prolong the discussion about the attack. There should not be too much complication and purchase of suspicious armaments. "Rely upon Allah and stab the crusader," the ISIS advised. These call for attack echoes the September statement released by the chief representative of the ISIS, Muhammed al-Adnani. In his statement, he advised for the patrons not to ask for anyone's opinion and verdict when conducting the killings. He urged to just "kill the disbeliever" whether he is a civilian or military, as long as they oppose the group's ideology. Al-Adnani's statement was more than eleven pages, dramatically promoting martyrdom. Around this time, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed the validity of the statement. However, she clarifies that as opposed to the group's claim that attacks are aimed against international alliance, the ISIS are conducting its atrocities against Australians "for who we are and how we live," the spokeswoman said. LINK:


A shirt-front is a front-on charge designed to knock an opponent to the ground. It is commonly used in Australian rules football. Mr Abbott's tough talking over Moscow's role in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over east Ukraine in July has prompted a shrill response from Russia. In an opinion piece published in the Russian political newspaper Pravda, the author claims Mr Abbott displays "insolence" and Australia has a "colonial chip on its shoulder". The language in the opinion piece, which was penned in response to Mr Abbott's earlier comments about Mr Putin's attendance at the G20 summit, but before his "shirt-front" declaration on Monday, gives an insight into the strong reaction expected to emerge from Russia over the coming days. "I would advise Russia's President Vladimir Putin to wash his hands carefully and sterilise them after shaking the paw offered to him by Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the forthcoming G20 summit in Brisbane," columnist Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey wrote. "Tony Abbott displays a degree of insolence, arrogance and incompetence which mirrors the intrusiveness, belligerence and chauvinism inherent in other members of the Anglo Saxon alliance in NATO." Mr Bancroft-Hinchey noted he hoped his opinion piece would not offend Australians who did not support Mr Abbott. "Once again, we see a country whose political class is divorced from the collective will of its people, yet we see a politician who thinks it is cool to be rude, insolent, insulting, impolite, impertinent, unpolished, gross, unpleasant and downright impudent," he wrote. Mr Abbott was one of the most vocal critics of Russia in the days after the MH17 tragedy, sparking suggestions Mr Putin may not come to the summit. But the Russian leader is now expected to make the trip. Mr Palmer told Fairfax Media calls to block Mr Putin from attending the G20 were misguided. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten does not want Mr Putin to visit Australia. "Jaw-jaw is better than war-war," Mr Palmer said, quoting the late British prime minister Winston Churchill. On Mr Abbott's shirt-front threat, Mr Palmer said: "I don't see the Prime Minister physically attacking anyone. I think a handshake and a stern word could be more effective". In a Facebook post, PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie said Mr Abbott and Mr Shorten were behaving like "hormone affected schoolboys trying to out-macho each other on the footie field". "Start acting like mature leaders of a great country," she wrote. Ms Lambie also praised Mr Putin's "no-nonsense attitude" to Islamic extremism. "And unlike most Australian political leaders there's no BS about him," she wrote. Comment is being sought from Russia's ambassador to Australia. Read more:

Friday, 10 October 2014


Geneva/Mursitpinar, Turkey: Thousands of people "will most likely be massacred" if Kobane falls to Islamic State fighters, a UN envoy said on Friday, as militants fought deeper into the besieged Syrian Kurdish town in full view of Turkish tanks that have done nothing to intervene. UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said Kobane could suffer the same fate as the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, where 8000 Muslims were murdered by Serbs in 1995, Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two, while UN peacekeepers failed to protect them. "If this falls, the 700, plus perhaps the 12,000 people, apart from the fighters, will be most likely massacred," de Mistura said. The United Nations believes 700 mainly elderly civilians are trapped in the town itself and 12,000 have left the centre but not made it across the border into Turkey. "Do you remember Srebrenica? We do. We never forgot and probably we never forgave ourselves," said de Mistura, the UN peace envoy for Syria. "When there is an imminent threat to civilians, we cannot, we should not, be silent." The plight of mainly Kurdish Kobani has unleashed the worst street violence in years in Turkey, which has 15 million Kurds of its own. Turkish Kurds have risen up since Tuesday against President Tayyip Erdogan's government, which they accuse of allowing their kin to be slaughtered. At least 33 people have been killed in three days of riots across the mainly Kurdish southeast, including two police officers shot dead in an apparent attempt to assassinate a police chief. The police chief was wounded. Intense fighting between Islamic State fighters and outgunned Kurdish forces in the streets of Kobane could be heard from across the border. Warplanes roared overhead and the western edge of town was hit by an air strike, apparently by US-led coalition jets. But even as Washington has increased its bombing of Islamic State targets in the area, it has acknowledged that its air support is unlikely to be enough to save the city from falling. "Our focus in Syria is in degrading the capacity of (Islamic State) at its core to project power, to command itself, to sustain itself, to resource itself," US Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken said. "The tragic reality is that in the course of doing that there are going to be places like Kobane where we may or may not be able to be effective." Blinken said Islamic State controlled about 40 per cent of Kobane. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war, gave a similar estimate and said fighters had seized a central administrative area, known as the "security quarter". Ocalan Iso, deputy head of the Kurdish forces defending the town, said that Islamic State fighters were still shelling the centre, which proved it had not yet fallen. "There are fierce clashes and they are bombing the centre of Kobane from afar," he said, estimating the militants controlled 20 per cent of the town. He called for more US-led air strikes. The Middle East has been transformed in recent months by Islamic State, a Sunni militant group that has seized swathes of Syria and Iraq, crucifying and beheading prisoners and ordering non-Muslims and Shiites to convert or die. The United States has been building a military coalition to fight the group, which requires intervening in both Iraq and Syria, countries with complex multi-sided civil wars in which nearly every state in the region has allies and enemies. International attention has focused on Turkey, a NATO member with the biggest army in the region, which has absorbed 1.2 million Syrian refugees, including 200,000 from Kobane in the last few weeks. Erdogan has so far refused to join the military coalition against Islamic State or use force to protect Kobane. "We would like to appeal to the Turkish authorities ... to allow the flow of volunteers, at least, and their own equipment in order to be able to enter the city and contribute to a self-defence action," the UN envoy de Mistura said in Geneva. The Kurdish uprising in Turkey provoked a furious response from the Turkish government, which accuses Kurdish political leaders of using the situation in Kobane to destroy public order in Turkey and wreck its own delicate peace process. Turkish Kurds fought a decades-long insurgency in which 40,000 people were killed. A truce last year has been one of the main achievements of Erdogan's decade in power, but Abdullah Ocalan, jailed co-founder of the Kurdish militant PKK, has said the peace process is doomed if Turkey permits Kobane to fall. In a televised speech on Friday, Erdogan accused Kurdish leaders of "making calls for violence in a rotten way". "I have put my hand, my body and my life into this peace process," he said. "And I will continue to fight until my last breath to restore the brotherhood of 77 million at any cost." The three days of riots in southern Turkey were the worst street violence in many years. The attempted assassination of a police chief in eastern Bingol province was the first incident of its kind since 2001. The armed wing of the PKK denied involvement in the attack. The southeastern border province of Gaziantep saw some of the worst violence overnight, with four people killed and 20 wounded as armed clashes broke out between protesters calling for solidarity with Kobani and groups opposing them. Footage showed crowds with guns, swords and sticks roaming streets of Gaziantep. Two local branches of the Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) there were torched, Dogan reported. Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of HDP, Turkey's main Kurdish party, has called for calm and for protests to remain peaceful. Many of Turkey's Kurds say the refusal to defend Kobane is proof the government sees them as a bigger enemy than Islamic State. At the frontier, dozens of Kurdish men watched Kobane's fighting from a hill where farmers once tended pistachio trees. "I believed in the peace process, because I didn't want any more children to die. But the Kurds were fooled. The peace process was insincere. The government either wants to wipe out Kurds or to enslave them," said Ahmet Encu, 46, who came 500 km to watch Kobane, where four relatives are fighting. His own 12-year-old son was killed in 2011 when Turkish F-16s killed 34 Kurdish civilians who were smuggling cigarettes and fuel across the Iraqi border. "For two years, Erdogan has been cultivating Islamic State, at the same time he was saying he wants to make peace. All along he has sought to annihilate the PKK. Apo (Ocalan) made a mistake declaring a ceasefire," he said. One of those watching the fighting phoned a Kurdish soldier inside Kobane. He said the man told him of heavy losses, with corpses lying in the streets. Gulser Yildirim, a lawmaker with the pro-Kurdish HDP, gathered with a group near a farmhouse to hold Friday prayers in view of the border. Men completed ablutions from water pumped into an irrigation ditch. Yildirim said she had spent 18 days along the border, watching Islamic State forces steadily move westward towards Kobane, gaining about 30 km of territory. "If this government still prefers these monsters, this gang called (Islamic State) over Kurds with whom it is engaged in a peace process, what message does that send Kurds about our chances of living together?" she said. The US State Department, which has been pressing Ankara to join the fight against Islamic State, said Turkey had agreed to support efforts to arm and train the moderate Syrian opposition. Turkey says it would join an international coalition to fight against Islamic State only if the alliance also confronts Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government. Erdogan wants a no-fly zone to prevent Assad's planes from flying over the area near its border and a protected buffer zone there for refugees. Washington has said it is studying the idea but has made clear it is not an option for now. Imposing a no-fly zone or buffer zone would require the United States to take on the air force of Assad's government, which so far has not objected to US flights over Syrian territory to strike Islamic State. Blinken, the US deputy national security adviser, said creating a buffer zone is "not on the front burner". Read more:

Wednesday, 8 October 2014


A RAAF fighter has launched Australia's first attack against the Islamic State, dropping two bombs on a militant facility overnight. The strike was launched from a RAAF Super Hornet fighter. All Australian aircraft have since exited the area and returned safely to base, Defence said in a statement. The weapons dropped on the Islamic State target would either have been 500-pound GBU-12 laser-guided bombs or JDAM (joint direct attack munition) bombs which are directed by GPS and come in 500-pound and 2000-pound versions. Both types weapons have similarly high levels of accuracy with an error margin of only about one metre. The Defence statement did not say what target was hit, describing it only as a "facility" – which is significant because it suggests a more static target. Most of the RAAF combat missions are expected to focus on moving targets such as vehicles carrying Islamic State fighters. "Overnight the Australian Air Task Group operating in the Middle East attacked its first target in Iraq," the Defence statement said. "Two bombs were dropped from an F/A-18F Super Hornet on to an ISIL facility. All aircraft exited the target area safely and returned to base." It was the first time that Australian fighters have actually launched an attack, though this was the fourth combat mission flown by the Super Hornets. Defence chiefs revealed on Wednesday that Super Hornets pulled out of a potential strike on a moving Islamic State target in Iraq on Sunday night because of fears of killing civilians. The revelation from Australia's first day of combat operations underscores what is likely to be a typical pattern for coalition air missions, with Islamic State fighters adapting to bombing raids by fleeing for the safety of civilian areas when confronted by a threat from above. Chief of Joint Operations David Johnston said on Wednesday their commanders were tracking a target but employed the "red card" system – which cancels any strike – after it moved into a built-up area. "One of our [Super Hornet] packages on the first night … had an identified target which it was tracking and that particular target moved into an urban area where the risks of conducting a strike on that target increased to a point where it exceeded our expectations of collateral damage, so they discontinued the attack at that point," he said. The RAAF has now carried out three combat missions on each of the past three nights. Vice-Admiral Johnston said they would now fly such missions "on most evenings". The missions tend to be about seven hours long, with two hours flight time each way and two to three hours patrolling for targets. Read more:

Monday, 6 October 2014


Australian special forces have been cleared to start work on the ground in Iraq, helping local troops as they face the grinding task of driving Islamic State fighters out of their stronghold towns and cities. Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to announce on Tuesday that the final legal hurdles with the Iraqi government have been cleared, meaning the Australian commandos can begin their "advise and assist" work with the Iraqis. The paperwork from Baghdad came as RAAF Super Hornet fighters returned safely to the United Arab Emirates from their first combat mission in Iraq, providing air cover for local troops in the country's north, though they did not launch weapons. But even as the RAAF missions began, Defence Minister David Johnston acknowledged that the Islamic State fighters were quickly adapting to air strikes. "I think that's pretty certain that they will adapt very quickly not to be out in the open where the Iraqi security forces can call in an air strike," he said. Air strikes would less frequently be against fixed targets but would rather be in support of Iraqi and Kurdish forces on the ground, as the US was currently doing in the besieged northern Syrian town of Kobani, he said. But Senator Johnston acknowledged this would be harder in the major Islamic State strongholds in Iraq such as Fallujah, Ramadi and Tikrit, where the Iraqi forces would need to "step up" and drive the militants out. "I think it was always going to be … that the Iraqi security forces would have to step up and go into these towns and clean them out." The former Chief of Air Force, retired Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd, said the militants would "melt among the population". "At the start of their campaigns, they were massing as a military force … but they're smart enough now to melt back into the population and it will be more difficult to contain them by air power alone." He warned that this could raise the risk of civilian casualties, which would need to be avoided. "We're not going to win this just by bombing. We're going to win it by challenging their ideology and their view of the world, and every time we kill an innocent civilian … that drives people into the arms of jihadis." Syrian Kurds warned that air strikes were failing to halt the advance of the Islamic State in that country's north as they lay siege to a key town near the border with Turkey. "Air strikes alone are really not enough to defeat ISIS in Kobani," said Idris Nassan, a senior spokesman for the Kurdish fighters trying to defend the town, using an alternative name for the militants. "Each time a jet approaches, they leave their open positions, they scatter and hide. What we really need is ground support. We need heavy weapons and ammunition in order to fend them off and defeat them." Up to 200 Australian special forces soldiers will work in Iraq, bolstering the local troops on the ground. It is understood that some left Al Minhad air base in the United Arab Emirates before the final legal clearance, to begin work. Their focus will be on strengthening the leadership ranks among the Iraqis to avoid the military collapses that allowed the Islamic State to seize large swathes of territory in recent months. But Fairfax Media understands that among the troops will also be elite joint terminal attack controllers – special forces experts who can call in air strikes from the ground with great accuracy. They would work with the RAAF Super Hornets and Wedgetail surveillance and control planes to hit moving Islamic State targets while the Iraqi army fight them on the ground. The Australian government needed a detailed legal agreement with the new government in Baghdad that ensures Australian Defence Force personnel have the necessary legal cover if, for instance, they are involved in the deaths of civilians. Read more:

Friday, 3 October 2014


The Abbott government has committed Australian military forces to a dangerous and potentially open-ended war against Islamic State militants in Iraq with RAAF airstrikes authorised immediately and special forces set to enter in an advisory capacity soon after. The historic decision followed the signing of a legal contract between Baghdad and Canberra and comes more than a fortnight after the pre-deployment of 600 personnel and eight RAAF jet aircraft – six of them F/A-18 Super Hornets. Flanked by Defence Minister David Johnston and Chief of Defence Force Mark Binskin, Prime Minister Tony Abbott acknowledged the mission would be dangerous and hinted that it could last years. "I have to warn that this deployment to Iraq could be quite lengthy - certainly months rather than weeks," Mr Abbott said. "I want to reassure the Australian people that it will be as long as it needs to be, but as short as it possibly can be [but] I also need to warn the Australian people that this is a dangerous mission. It is a dangerous mission, but I am confident that the CDF has put in place all possible measures to minimise risk." Asked whether Australia might expand its mission into neighbouring Syria, Mr Abbott refused to "speculate on what might be done in months or years to come". Air Chief Marshal Binskin described the Australian force as "a potent air traffic group" and a commando unit along with all of its support and equipment which, he said, had already been moved 12,000 kilometres in readiness for the mission. "The air traffic group's been flying supporting missions and some training missions over Iraq for the last couple of days and we're ready to get on with the job," he said. Mr Abbott said IS, formerly known as ISIL, was an "apocalyptic death cult" that had declared war on the world and it was therefore a matter of Australia's national interest that it be degraded and destroyed if possible. "It's a fight which has been joined, one way or another, by upwards of 60 countries … it's Iraq's fight at one level, but at a deeper level it's the world's fight because ISIL has declared war on the world; ISIL is launching an assault on civilisation, not just upon the people of Iraq right now." But he stopped short of conceding that Australia was now at war. "I know that you'd love to have that headline," he told reporters, "but it's not strictly accurate." He said the combat operations were directed against an "insurgency" and therefore did not technically constitute a war. Peter Jennings, a former senior Defence official who now heads the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said RAAF planes would start missions quickly and would continue the work done by the US and other allies, targeting Islamic State checkpoints, vehicles and heavy weapons. He said this "bottling up strategy" had been effective but soon the fight needed to shift towards Iraqis on the ground retaking villages and towns, with the help of Australian and American advisers. This would take at least months, he said. "We are in for a long haul and what the US is going to find is that, as they realise that demand … the pressure will come on Obama to allocate more American trainers." Defence and strategic experts said the definition of mission success would necessarily be modest. Bob Bowker, a former ambassador to Egypt now at the Australian National University, said the most realistic goal was simply to maintain the integrity of Iraq. "We're facing an open-ended conflict, though still with some possibility of that conflict being contained and ultimately reduced to a point where some semblance of sovereignty for the Iraqi government can be maintained," he said. The announcement came as the gathering war on IS militants in control of vast territories in Syria and Iraq was boosted by the inclusion of Turkey in the US-led coalition of countries attempting to disrupt and degrade the terrorist organisation. A member of NATO, Turkey had been seen as a crucial part of the puzzle because of its proximity, and the fact that the IS organisation had been transferring funds and people across the border, providing it with vital capacity to wage war. The Turkish parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of involvement by 298 votes to 98. Mr Abbott and the Defence leadership declined to go into mission specifics on operational security grounds, but stressed that Australia, while not providing ground troops, believed Iraqi security could not be achieved by third countries. "I want to stress that only Iraq can defeat ISIL, but Iraq shouldn't be alone and as far as Australia and our allies are concerned, Iraq won't be alone," he said. Read more:

Thursday, 2 October 2014


New Zealand's Labour Party MPs have demanded an early resolution to the party's leadership crisis. David Cunliffe, Opposition leader and Labour's parliamentary party chief had already resigned and is planning to seek re-election through the party-primary. His rival will be Grant Robertson. The MPs are worried that a perception of infighting within the party will add further injury to the party's standing after the drubbing in the elections. The parliamentary party is now led by acting leader David Parker and Annette King as deputy leader. On Tuesday, Parker held a meeting with the party's 32 MPs and sought their views. They all wanted the party primary to be held before the inquiry into the Labour's election campaign is concluded, reported yahoo. nz news Some MPs felt an interim report before the primary will be appropriate. Mr Parker has ruled himself out of the contest and the only other MP having some interest is former leader David Shearer. This opens opportunity for Mr.Cunliffe, but his problem is lack of majority in the caucus after the responsibility of the defeat was thrust on his shoulders. The Labour party had the most miserable performance by garnering a measly 24.7 per cent of popular vote. Cunliffe's rival Grant Robertson is optimistic. He counts on the support of the caucus that is "very strong" and believes that message will go down to all levels in the party primary. The primary voting is weighted in such a fashion, with Caucus controlling 40 per cent, members 40 per cent and party unions 20 per cent. In the last primary held in Sept 2013 that replaced Mr Shearer, Labour had strength of 34 MPs, of which one third supported Mr Cunliffe. Mr Cunliffe is insisting on a fresh mandate for himself to lead the party to victory in the 2017 election. Despite the defeat, Mr Cunliffe is confident that he is the right person to lead the party. Calling himself a battle-hardened leader, Cunliffee even said he is the only leader whom PM John Key may not want to face. Cunliffe's suffered a setback on Tuesday when David Parker withdrew his support, reported Stuff.Co.Nz. But Cunliffe was offered support by influential MP Louisa Wall. She said she would nominate him to contest via the primary. LINK:


France’s far-right National Front (FN) party has won its first two seats in the French Senate, amid a broad swing to the right that saw Socialist President François Hollande lose his majority in the upper house of parliament. France's Senate is not chosen by universal suffrage but by a "super-electorate" of elected representatives who vote to renew roughly half of the 348-seat Senate every three years. Half of the Senate’s 348 seats were up for grabs in Sunday’s vote. The conservative UMP party of Hollande's predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy and its allies from the centrist UDI won 188 seats –– 13 seats more than needed for an absolute majority. The FN, which also has two MPs in the National Assembly, was jubilant on Sunday evening after its first Senate victory since the anti-immigration and anti-EU party was founded in 1972. "These results are beyond what we hoped for," said FN leader Marine Le Pen. "Each day that passes, our ideas are increasingly being adopted by the French people... We have great potential." "There is only one door left for us to push and it is that of the Elysée," said newly elected National Front Senator Stéphane Ravier, referring to the French presidency. The swing to the right, and the inclusion of FN senators for the first time, reflects this spring’s victories for the FN and the UMP conservative opposition party in local elections. For the Socialist Party (PS), a drubbing in the Senate vote was bad news as it lost the majority it enjoyed there since September 2011, although it still controls the lower National Assembly, which is France’s dominant legislative body. It is also yet another blow to Hollande’s seemingly cursed mandate, which has seen his popularity plummet to record lows as the debt-saddled country suffers unprecedented unemployment levels amid massive national debt and zero growth. The FN has successfully capitalised on growing discontent over unemployment and resentment over immigration, and hopes to score an upset in the 2017 presidential election. The fortunes of the FN have been on the ascendant this year with the anti-immigration eurosceptic party gaining electoral ground in municipal elections and topping the European Parliament vote in May. An opinion poll this month showed that FN leader Le Pen would beat Hollande in presidential elections in 2017 in the event of a second round run-off between them. A new Senate leader will be chosen on Wednesday from the UMP ranks, to succeed socialist Jean-Pierre Bel. Former prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin is among the front runners. LINK:

Wednesday, 1 October 2014


Moscow: President Vladimir Putin appeared on Wednesday to throw his support behind a plan to isolate the Russian internet from the rest of the World Wide Web, but said the Russian government was "not even considering" censoring internet sites. In a speech to the Russian National Security Council, Mr Putin said the plan was intended to build a backup system to keep websites in the Russian domains - those ending in .ru and .rf - online in a national emergency. Mr Putin said other countries had taken to using the internet "for not only economic, but military and political goals" and said information security was a priority for the country. The Russian news media have labelled the plan, some details of which were reported last month by Vedomosti, a Russian daily, a "kill switch" for the internet, or Russia's answer to the Great Firewall put up by the Chinese. "It's important to secure the Russian segment of the internet," Mr Putin said, according to a transcript posted on the Kremlin website. "We do not intend to limit access to the internet, to put it under total control, to nationalise the internet. "We need to greatly improve the security of domestic communications networks and information resources, primarily those used by state structures," Mr Putin added. The Russian goals appear for now distinct from those of the Chinese, experts on internet policy say, and inspired partly by a revelation this northern summer in Wired magazine by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden, who lives in Moscow, that US government hackers inadvertently crashed the Syrian web in 2012. Russia has recently promulgated policies to censor the internet through laws banning extremist content and requiring social networking and financial companies to base their data servers in Russia. The goal of the new system, however, appears not to block foreign content, but rather to keep Russia's own news and information machine online in times of crisis. Oleg Demidov, an authority on Russian internet policies at the PIR center in Moscow, said that Russia wanted to create a "double channel" for the internet. The backup channel would, of course, be under government control. "In normal times, it would work like it does now," he said of this Russian vision. "But in an emergency, the reserve system would come alive." Brazil President Dilma Rousseff proposed isolating the country from the US-centric internet last year, but efforts to force global internet companies to store data in the country, away from potential US spying, were met with opposition. New York Times LINK:


Australia's new federal police chief says low-tech terrorism, which can be incited from around the world, makes the Islamic State era a new kind of threat that will take years to stamp out. Andrew Colvin, named by the Abbott government on Wednesday as the next Australian Federal Police Commissioner, said the new kind of terrorism was fundamentally different from past waves. Stopping one plot no longer gave authorities the assurance that another will not spring up, he told Fairfax Media. "If we look at instances like Operation Pendennis and Neath in the past, we were very confident that, in taking the action we did, that we had removed the threat that had been posed by that group," he said. "The operation we're doing now is removing immediate threats. It's obviously taking action against people that are committing criminal offences, but we don't believe it's having the same effect as what we've done in the past. The threat is different." In the wake of counter-terrorism raids in Sydney and Brisbane a fortnight ago, followed by the fatal shooting of a terrorism suspect who allegedly attacked two police officers in Melbourne and then Tuesday's raids in the same city, Assistant Commissioner Colvin said it would be "unwise" to think these had quelled the threat. He has a long history of dealing with counter-terrorism with the AFP, including receiving the Order of Australia for his work after the Bali bombing. But, he said, the new kind of low-tech attack was "a police officer's worst nightmare". He said that the ability of Islamic radicals to communicate through social media around the globe meant a group such as the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, had extraordinary reach. The allegations that the Melbourne man arrested this week, Hassan el Sabsabi, had raised money for an American man to go and fight in Syria – knowing him predominantly through social media – was a perfect illustration, he said. "It is remarkable … The idea that a group of people would conspire to do us harm is one thing. A belief, an inspiration, is more pervasive than that. And [the idea that] people use social media – something as simple as Facebook – to help support somebody they may never have met on the other side of the world, presents a whole range of new challenges for us." He said one effect was that the police might increasingly need to move quickly to stop a terrorist plot to ensure public safety even at the expense of being able to gather as much evidence as they would like for a prosecution. They also needed to work with overseas partners quickly and efficiently, as was the case with the FBI, which led Australian authorities to arrest Mr el Sabsabi. "We need to work with our partners overseas like never before because the speed at which these things are developing, the speed at which they are moving, mean there's no time for us to delay in talking to the FBI for instance. There's no ability for us to wait until all the information has been tested and wrapped in a nice bundle." He stressed that, as well as through policing, the new terrorism threat needed to be solved through good relations with the Muslim communities and programs to counter radical messages with more moderate ones. Asked how terrorism differed from other crimes, such that it warranted the massive funding boost given by the Abbott government, Assistant Commissioner Colvin said terrorism could change "Terrorism is different ... The potential for fear, the potential to fundamentally change what it means to live our way of life, can be influenced in a way that other crimes don't necessarily influence," he said. "The ability to so significantly influence the psyche of a community and change our way of life is far greater with something like terrorism." As for how long the heightened threat would last, Assistant Commissioner Colvin said "it's more generational, so we're talking about years, not weeks and months". "It's the reach of ISIL into communities and their ability to influence that just gives us pause for greater concern … The speed at which people can be influenced and motivated by events far beyond Australia's shores is not something we've dealt with before." Assistant Commissioner Colvin will be sworn in at Government House in Canberra on Thursday. Read more: