Dilitas Weekly Security Brief

The threat to the UK from International Terrorism is SEVERE
The threat to Great Britain from Irish Republican Terrorism is MODERATE

SEVERE means that a terrorist attack is highly likely;
SUBSTANTIAL means that a terrorist attack is a strong possibility;
MODERATE, means that a terrorist attack is possible, but not likely.


A Muslim teenager who idolised the killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby was arrested on his way to behead a British soldier, a court has heard. Brusthom Ziamani, 19, was arrested in east London in August last year carrying a 12in knife and a hammer in a rucksack. He had researched the location of army cadet bases in the south-east of the capital, the Old Bailey in London was told. Ziamani had reverted to Islam early in 2014, and his arrest came after he showed his ex-girlfriend the weapons, described Rigby’s killer Michael Adebolajo as a legend and told her he would kill soldiers, the prosecution said.

A man and two women have been arrested on suspicion of terror-related offences. The man, aged 31, is being held on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism and his arrest comes as police searched five addresses on Merseyside.

Two women from the Black Country have been arrested by officers from West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offences. A 23-year-old from Walsall is suspected of preparing for acts of terrorism, while a 33-year-old woman, also from Walsall, has been held on suspicion of failing to disclose information. Both were detained at their home addresses on 11 February and we being held at a police station in the area.

Two fugitive jihadis who skipped bail and fled London to join ISIL have been reunited on the battlefield with one claiming that extremists “are in place waiting to attack” the UK. Abu Rahin Aziz, 32, and Siddhartha Dhar, 31, posted an image online showing the pair brandishing AK47s beneath a downed plane at a captured Syrian airbase. In an online exchange with the Standard […] Aziz, who uses the alias Abu Dugma al-Britani, claimed ISIL was plotting to kill a UK politician. The extremist has previously said that the terror group would capture Downing Street and hold executions in Trafalgar Square. He claimed he was now part of the terror group’s “regular fighting force” unit, adding, “It’s inevitable an attack will take place [in the UK soon]. There are people, already in place, waiting.”

A London terrorist who was declared dead as a cover for his return to Britain from Syria was jailed on 6th February for twelve years. Imran Khawaja, 27 of Southall, had been pictured carrying an Islamic State banner and holding the severed head of a Syrian government soldier. He was arrested at Dover after spending months at a Syrian terrorist training camp and being hailed a hero by the terrorist group, Rayat al-Tawheed, which had falsely announced his death. [During sentencing] the judge said that Khawaja had been “a willing and enthusiastic participant in the films and images which had been designed and intended to encourage others in the UK to take up arms in the cause of Islamic State.”

The last British detainee to be released from Guantánamo is in line for a £1 million compensation payment from the UK government – despite claims of his terror links to al-Qaeda in official US documents. Shaker Aamer, a father-of-four, has been jailed in Guantánamo for 13 years, seven years longer than any other British citizen or resident. The campaign to ensure his release has been stepped up in recent months and as a result, Aamer has been cleared for release. Aamer, a Saudi Arabian citizen, had been living in London prior to travelling to Afghanistan with his family in 2001. He insists he went there to open a school and run a charity while the US authorities have accused him of being a senior al-Qaeda figure, who acted as a ‘special interpreter’ for Osama bin Laden, was trained in the handling of explosives, and had alleged links to terror networks both in the UK and US.

Thousands of British Muslims gathered near Downing Street 8 February to protest against cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. A leaflet issued by the Muslim Action Forum (MAF), which organised the rally, said recent republishing of cartoons, caricatures and depictions of Muhammad by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and other publishers is a “stark reminder” that freedom of speech is “regularly utilised to insult personalities that others consider sacred”. In response to the demonstration, a small number of counter protesters supporting the English Defence League and Britain First also gathered on Whitehall, shouting “Je Suis Charlie” and some chanted racist slogans.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal evidence of an astonishing legal cover-up that threatens to wreck one of Britain’s biggest terrorism cases – the convictions of the five men jailed for a combined total of 153 years for the ‘21/7’ attempted London bombings in 2005. In an exclusive interview, two top Government explosives experts who were directly involved in the case have revealed that in 2006, a year before the trial, they filed a highly critical report saying that the forensic tests that would become central to the prosecution case were fatally flawed (this relating to the viability of the devices deployed by the five men).

An Egyptian man who officials said led a London terrorist cell will serve 25 years in prison, according to the US Justice Department. Adel Abdel Bary, 54, led an al-Qaeda terrorist cell in London that helped spread the organisation’s propaganda both before and after the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He was extradited to the US from the UK in 2012 and pleaded guilty in September to terrorism charges. “Adel Abdel Bary occupied important positions in Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al-Qaeda,” the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York said, adding, “As he admitted […] he facilitated communications by Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders, including publication of the 1998 al-Qaeda fatwa to kill Americans.” In addition to the jail time, Bary has been ordered to pay nearly $34 million, including $7.5 million in restitution to victim’s families.Bary’s son, Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, who used to be a rapper in London, is believed to have joined extremists fighting in Syria (and who is suspected by the media as being the IS ‘executioner’ referred to as “Jihadi John”).


Dissident republican terrorists planned to use a rocket launcher to kill Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister, it has been revealed. Martin McGuinness said he was warned of the CIRA (Continuity) IRA plot by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). In a statement, Mr McGuinness said, “I have been made aware the PSNI has discovered a plan to launch a rocket attack against me. “The PSNI has said that a group calling itself ‘CIRA’ considered an attack against me using a rocket launcher.” A decision by Mr McGuinness to meet the Queen in 2012 caused outrage among hardline dissident republicans opposed to the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Secret recordings of alleged Continuity IRA terror plot meetings revealed plans to attack Northern Ireland’s transport infrastructure, the High Court heard 12 February. Discussions also explored future sniper strikes on high-profile targets, prosecutors said. Further details of the covert MI5 operation at a house in Newry, Co Down were disclosed as bail was refused to one of the men accused of attending some of the gatherings. Terence Marks, 54, denies charges of belonging to a proscribed organisation, namely the IRA, and conspiring to cause an explosion likely to endanger life. The father-of-six’s lawyer claimed the recordings were of singing and drink-fuelled bravado.

A man who sparked a major security alert at the home of a DUP politician during the flags protests has been jailed for 13 months. Belfast Crown Court heard that while Robert Colgan (26) was not a member of any paramilitary organisation, he made a total of six hoax bomb calls, most which he said were on behalf of the ‘Real UDA’. His five-week campaign caused widespread disruption.


At least 300 migrants are feared to have drowned after attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa in rough seas, the UN said last week. UNHCR official Vincent Cochetel said it was a “tragedy on an enormous scale”.

Galvanised by the recent terror attacks in France, European Union leaders on Thursday debate a range of ambitious steps to better protect their 28 nations, including exchanging airliner passenger manifests, tightening controls at the border and combating extremism on the Internet. “Europe is facing an unprecedented, diverse and serious terrorist threat,” Gilles de Kerchove, the bloc’s counter-terrorism coordinator, told EU member governments in a report last month.


Egypt says it has bombed Islamic State targets in Libya, hours after the group published video showing the apparent beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians. State TV said the dawn strikes had targeted camps, training sites and weapons storage areas.

Islamic State (IS) has captured an Iraqi town about 8km (5 miles) from an air base housing hundreds of US troops, the Pentagon says. US officials downplayed the fall of al-Baghdadi, which is within striking distance of the Ain al-Asad air base. Ain al-Asad was itself attacked by IS on Friday though the militants were repelled, officials say.

Egypt has offered to evacuate its citizens from Libya after Islamic State (IS) released photos which it says show 21 Coptic Egyptians kidnapped there. President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said Egyptians would be airlifted out of Libya, state-run news agency Mena said. The pictures of the hostages were released in the latest online edition of IS magazine Dabiq.

The US has confirmed the death of aid worker Kayla Mueller, the last American hostage known to be held by Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria. Her family said they were “heartbroken” to learn the news, and released a letter written during her captivity.

Islamic State will hold territory on the shores of the Mediterranean within two months unless Britain and its allies help to restore order in Libya, the country’s former prime minister has warned.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group is facing a shortage of willing martyrs, after a recent string of defections following the loss of a key Syrian border town, activists within its territory say. Since the loss of Kobane late last month to Kurdish forces, many militants marked for suicide operations within the group have either fled or defected to rival militias, and anti-ISIS activist group has claimed.

Airstrikes carried out by the US-led coalition in Iraq have killed a chemical-weapons expert working with the Islamic State extremist group, officials with the US military’s Central Command said late January. Abu Malik, an Islamic State chemical-weapons engineer, who also had ties to the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, was killed 24 January during strikes in the vicinity of Mosul, Central Command officials said. “We don’t know that they have a chemical-weapons capability,” a defence official said. “He presented a risk in the fact that he had some chemical-weapons know-how.

John Cantlie, the British journalist held hostage by ISIL in Syria, has appeared in a new propaganda video in which he interviews a French-speaking jihadist who urges further Charlie Hebdo-style attacks in France. The video is the latest in a series of broadcasts by Cantlie […] and in it he interviews an unidentified French-speaking gunman to ask his thoughts on January’s massacre at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris, in which Islamist gunmen killed 12 people in revenge for the publication printing cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. The gunman […] tells Cantlie, “These three attacks on made us happy, and every time we hear about one or more brothers defending their religion in the West we are delighted.” He then urged other Muslims living in France to carry out further “lone wolf” strikes. He says, “Start carrying out individual attacks, be wolves on earth, for each man among you can be an entire army.”

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad says his government is receiving messages from the US-led coalition battling the jihadist group, Islamic State. Mr Assad said that there had been no direct co-operation since air strikes began in Syria in September.
But third parties – among them Iraq – were conveying “information”. He also denied that Syrian government forces had been dropping barrel bombs indiscriminately on rebel-held areas, killing thousands of civilians.

Some 5,000 members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Qaeda terrorist groups are westerners who can travel to the United States without a visa, Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security Representative Michael McCaul said during a hearing on preventing terror travel and homegrown terrorism. “Up to 5,000 of these fighters are westerners, many of whom are able to travel into the United States without obtaining a visa,” McCaul said last week. He added, “More than 150 American citizens have attempted to, or succeeded in getting to, the battlefield and we know some have already returned to our shores.”

A top US official has said that Iraqi troops will begin a major ground offensive against ISIL in the coming weeks. Retired General John Allen, the US coordinator for the anti-ISIL coalition of Western and Arab countries, said the offensive would be launched “in the weeks ahead. When the Iraqi forces begin the ground campaign to take back Iraq, the coalition will provide major firepower associated with that,” he told Jordan’s official Petra news agency.

Air strikes have degraded ISIS’ capabilities by 20 per cent after bombing efforts against the group were recently intensified, the head of the Jordanian airforce has claimed. He said that Jordan has carried out nearly a fifth of the sorties of the US-led coalition against ISIS in Syria to date; conducting 56 bombing raids against the militants in northeast Syria within three days after the brutal killing of one of its pilots, First Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh.

The widow of Paris kosher supermarket gunman Amedy Coulibaly has linked up with ISIS, the terror group claims. The second issue of an ISIS French language magazine, which began circulating on pro-ISIS Twitter accounts last week, contains a purported two-page question-and- answer story with Hayat Boumedienne, who is believed to have disappeared into Syria before the attack. The magazine, entitled Dar al Islam, claimed Boumedienne safely reached the Islamic State, but offered no pictures or any other proof to corroborate the claim.

A senior militant and former Guantánamo Bay detainee who recently pledged allegiance to Islamic State has been killed in Afghanistan. A drone strike in Helmand province, killed the militant along with a small group of insurgents, according to a provincial police spokesman. A spokesman for the US-led coalition declined to reveal names of the targets but confirmed that a precision strike had caused “the death of eight individuals threatening the force”


Reported 9th February 2015 – A drone strike in Afghanistan has killed a militant commander who recently swore allegiance to Islamic State (IS), officials say. The police chief of Helmand said that former Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Rauf had died in the Nato strike. It emerged last month that Rauf had sworn allegiance to IS after falling out with the Taliban. Tribal elders in northern Helmand say a car carrying up to six people was destroyed while crossing the desert. The car was loaded with ammunition and exploded, reports said.


Air strikes by Syria’s air force around Damascus have killed almost 200 people over the past 10 days, activists say. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the strikes were in the Ghouta green belt outside the city, particularly in the suburb of Duma. Rocket attacks launched from parts of the Ghouta by rebel group Army of Islam killed at least 10 people last Tuesday.


The US, UK and France are closing their embassies in Yemen due to the deteriorating security situation and political crisis in the country. The US and UK governments have withdrawn diplomatic staff from Sanaa and urged their citizens to leave. France’s embassy closed on Friday.

Reported 13th February 2014 – Saudi Arabia has suspended operations at its embassy in Yemen, as the security situation in the country deteriorates. It is the first Arab country to suspend its diplomatic mission. Many Western embassies have also closed.


Taliban militants have attacked worshippers at a Shia mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar with guns and grenades, killing at least 20. Police killed one of the militants in a gunfight around the mosque, in the wealthy Hayatabad district. Another of the militants blew himself up with a suicide vest, and a third was arrested, police said.


Reported 13th February 2015 – A bomb detonated by suspected Islamist militants wounded eight police officers and one civilian in the Cairo neighbourhood of Ain Shams, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said. The wounded included a police captain. A bomb squad was combing the area for other possible explosives, a ministry statement said.


Observers are to try again to reach the besieged Ukrainian town of Debaltseve, where fighting has continued despite a ceasefire. The OSCE were denied access to Debaltseve by pro-Russian rebels on Sunday, the European security group said.


Nearly 50 soldiers have been killed in a week of fighting between government troops and Kokang ethnic rebels in Myanmar, state media report. The Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said air strikes had been used in the response to the flare-up in Shan state, near the Chinese border.


Some 29 pilots working for Taiwanese airline TransAsia have been suspended after failing or missing safety tests, a week after a fatal crash. The airline said the results were not acceptable and promised to improve the training of its pilots. Regulators ordered the tests after a TransAsia plane crashed in Taipei, killing at least 42 people. The airline has offered $470,000 (£309,000) in compensation to the family of each victim.


Police in the Australian city of Sydney have charged two men with planning to carry out an imminent attack. The pair, aged 24 and 25, were arrested in a raid in the western suburb of Fairfield on Tuesday. Details of the alleged plot are not known, but police say a hunting knife, an Islamic State (IS) flag and a video describing an attack were seized.

Police in Australia have seized 3D-printed weapons after a raid in a suburb of Gold Coast City, Queensland. The haul included plastic knuckle dusters and what are suspected to be printed gun parts. If confirmed, the state’s police force has said it would be the first time it had discovered 3D-printed firearm components in a home.

Two men charged with planning a terror act in Sydney had made a video saying they would ‘stab kidneys and strike at necks’, the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has told parliament. The men were arrested by police in the city’s suburb earlier last week. Police say a hunting knife, an Islamic State flag and the video were seized. Police allege Omar Al-Kutobi and Mohammad Kiad were about to kill or harm a member of the public with a knife when they were arrested. Mr Abbott said the video showed one of the suspects promising to “carry out the first operation for the soldiers of the [IS] caliphate in Australia”. “He went on to say … ‘I swear to almighty Allah, blonde people, there is no room for blame between you and us. We only are you, stabbing the kidneys and striking the necks’,” the prime minister said. The suspects, aged 24 and 25, are expected to appear via audio-video link at the court on 16 March 2015.


Danish police have said three officers were shot and wounded at blasphemy debate in Copenhagen where the French ambassador was speaking. Two gunmen are said to still be at large. Reports say up to forty shots were fired outside the venue in the Danish capital. Controversial Danish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who has drawn caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, was also present at the debate, according to local reports.


Reported 11th February 2015 – A Belgian court has jailed the leader of a group that sent jihadists to Syria, in the largest-ever trial of its kind in the country. The court in Antwerp found a total of 45 members of the Sharia4Belgium group guilty of terror-related offences. The judge called the organisation “a terrorist group” and sentenced leader Fouad Belkacem to 12 years in prison. The other 44 members were given sentences, some suspended, ranging between three and 15 years. The group sent recruits to militant groups such as Islamic State (IS), prosecutors said. Only seven of the accused were at the court for the ruling. Most others are said to still be in Syria, and some may already be dead.


Reported 14th February 2015 – Boko Haram Islamist militants have attacked the north-east Nigerian city of Gombe, residents say. Fighters overran a checkpoint on the edge of the city and explosions and gunfire were heard, they added.

Reported 13th February 2015 – Nigerian Boko Haram militants have carried out an attack on Chad overnight, the first such assault on Chadian soil, officials say. Fighters crossed Lake Chad in four motorboats and attacked a village, an army spokesman told the BBC. The Islamist militants were pushed back by Chadian troops after killing several people, residents said.

Niger’s parliament has voted to send troops to Nigeria to join the fight against militant Islamist group Boko Haram. The vote took place after Boko Haram attacked a prison and detonated a car bomb last Monday in the town of Diffa, near Niger’s border with Nigeria.

Nigeria’s National Security Adviser has said the country’s general election, which has been postponed until March 28, will not be moved again and that all known camps belonging to the armed group Boko Haram will be destroyed in the next six weeks. He said, “All known Boko Haram camps will be taken out. They won’t be there. They will be dismantled,” Sambo Dasuki told reporters. He added that he believed the new military co-operation agreed to between Nigeria and its neighbours – Cameroon, Chad and Niger – will prove decisive against Boko Haram.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau vowed in a new video released last week that the group would defeat a regional force fighting the extremists in Nigeria’s far northeast, Niger and Cameroon. “Your alliance will not achieve anything. Amass all your weapons and face us. We welcome you,” he said in a 28-minute speech, one of three videos posted by the Islamists on YouTube.

Suspected militants from Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram have hijacked a bus in northern Cameroon, abducting at least 20 people, residents say. Militants reportedly seized a bus carrying market-goers and drove it toward the border with Nigeria. Some reports put the total number kidnapped in Cameroon as high as 30.

Reported 9th February 2015 – A Somali member of parliament has been shot dead in Mogadishu by Islamist militants from the al-Shabab movement, officials say. Abdullahi Qayad Barre was killed near the presidential palace when gunmen opened fire on his car.

The UN has withdrawn its backing for a planned offensive against rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after the government refused to sack two generals, a spokesman has said. UN troops could not join the offensive because the generals were accused of human rights abuses, he added. The planned offensive was aimed at disarming the FDLR rebels who are seen as a threat to regional stability.


An Argentine prosecutor has asked a federal judge to investigate President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over allegations she helped cover up Iranian links to a deadly 1994 bombing. Prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita inherited the case from Alberto Nisman, who was found dead in mysterious circumstances. The president denies the allegations, with the government calling the probe an “anti-democratic attack”. The attack on a Jewish centre killed 85 people. Iran denies being involved.


An ex-air force general has been arrested and more than 10 other people implicated in a plot to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, officials say. The group planned to attack the presidential palace and other buildings, Mr Maduro said.


Canadian police say they have foiled a plot to carry out a mass shooting in the Halifax area on Saturday. Three suspects were arrested and a fourth reportedly shot himself dead after police surrounded his home. At least two suspects had intended “to go to a public venue… with a goal of opening fire to kill citizens, and then themselves”, police said.


President Barack Obama has asked Congress to formally authorise the use of military force against Islamic State (IS) militants. The president says he already has the statutory authority to attack IS, but he wants the clear backing of lawmakers. This new measure would expire in three years and would not permit “enduring offensive combat operations”.

US police in North Carolina have arrested a man after three Muslim students were found dead in their home. Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, is charged with the triple murder of Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. They were discovered last Tuesday, all with gunshots to their heads. US President Barack Obama has denounced the killing of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina as “brutal and outrageous murders”. In a statement, Mr Obama said no one in the US should be targeted for “what they look like” or “how they worship”. His comments came after criticism from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over Mr Obama’s silence on the case.

A man accused of planning to blow up the US Capitol in Washington has been arrested by the FBI. Christopher Cornell, 20, is charged with plotting to attack the building and kill US government officers with explosives and guns. Also said to be known as Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, he came to the notice of the FBI after tweeting support for groups such as Islamic State. He is said to have told an FBI informant they should “wage jihad” and showed plans for targeting the Capitol — where the House of Representatives and Senate meet — with pipe bombs. Cornell, who lives in southern Ohio, was arrested after buying two semi-automatic rifles and about 600 rounds of ammunition, authorities said.

A hearing for five alleged 9/11 plotters held at Guantánamo Bay came to an abrupt halt last week after two of the defendants said they recognised a court interpreter as having worked at a secret CIA prison where they were previously detained. Alleged al-Qaeda conspirator Ramzi bin al Shibh interrupted proceedings in a high-security courtroom at the US Navy base in Cuba, telling the military judge he recognised his male translator from his internment at a so-called CIA “black site”. Another of the accused, Walid bin Attash, also claimed to recognise the man, his lawyer telling the judge that her client had been “visibly shaken” by coming face-to-face with one of the people responsible for “his illegal torture”

Six Bosnian Muslim immigrants to the St. Louis area have been indicted for sending money and military equipment to ISIS and al-Qaeda. An indictment unsealed two weeks ago in the US District Court in St. Louis said the defendants donated money themselves and in some cases collected funds from others in the US and sent the donations overseas. While investigations of ISIS presence and support are currently taking place in 49 of the 50 states, the indictment in St. Louis says two of the defendants used some of the money to buy US military uniforms, firearms accessories, tactical gear and other equipment, which was shipped to people in Turkey and Saudi Arabia who forwarded the supplies to terrorists. Three of the six are naturalised citizens of the US and all were in the US legally. One or more were in the US as “refugees.”

Top Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi took the witness stand in New York last week as the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Liberation Organization fight a lawsuit that would force them to pay up to $3 billion to victims of Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel. Victims and their families have sued the PA and the PLO over six shootings and bombings in the Jerusalem area from 2002 to 2004 that killed 33 people and wounded more than 450, saying the defendants provided
support to the terrorists who carried out the attacks.


Up to 100 banks and financial institutions worldwide have been attacked in an “unprecedented cyber robbery”, claims a new report. Computer security firm Kaspersky Lab estimates $1bn (£648m) has been stolen in the attacks, which it says started in 2013 and are still active. A cybercriminal gang with members from Russia, Ukraine and China is responsible, it said.

US Health insurer Anthem Inc has warned its customers about an email scam targeting former and current members whose personal information was suspected to have been breached in a massive cyber attack. The No. 2 US health insurer said that hackers breached its computer system containing data on up to 80 million people. Anthem announced the warning about the email scam in a statement, saying they purport to come from Anthem and ask recipients to click on a link to obtain credit monitoring. Anthem advised recipients not to click on links or provide any information on any website. Anthem said there was no indication the email scam was connected to those who perpetrated the security breach.

Britain’s £6 billion aircraft carriers could be rendered useless by a cyber-attack because of their reliance on ageing software, a report has warned. The Royal Navy and its international allies must “fundamentally rethink” how they use technology on expensive warships such as the carriers because of the relatively short lifespan of their computer operating systems, the study by a research team at Lancaster University found. The reliance on computers and online connectivity creates another weak link in the form of the crew. State-sponsored cyber-attackers, criminals and cyber-terrorists could use social media to target and compromise individuals and access the main network, the report also said. The Future of Maritime Cyber Security was published by Security Lancaster, the politics department’s unit of security and protection sciences. It was based on issues raised at a workshop held by a Ministry of Defence think-tank.

The Hacktivist group ‘Anonymous’ has claimed to have taken down more than 1,000 (Islamic State) ISIS sites, accounts and emails since launching an offensive against the militant group in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. The group released a video boasting of the online accounts it has ‘exposed and destroyed’ since declaring war against jihadists in January. In this latest video a red outline of the group’s masked front man warns, ‘there is no safe place for [ISIS] online’.


Two women who dressed in skimpy, “sexy” police officer costumes, allegedly showed up at a prison in Brazil’s interior Mato Grosso state last week, according to local media reports. The women talked guards into letting them inside and seduced them, spiking their drinks in the process, according to reports. What happened next is what one might expect when strangers in lingerie appear unannounced at your work place: the guards were found the next morning, naked and handcuffed with little recollection of the night before. And 26 prisoners had escaped from the prison, located in Nova Mutum, a small city near Cuiaba. A spokesman for the Justice Secretariat of Mato Grosso, which oversees prisons, confirmed to CNN that officials found bottles of spiked whiskey and a pair of provocative, police-themed costumes next to the handcuffed guards, who were passed out. “We assume that is what the women were wearing when they seduced the guards,” a spokesman said adding that he did not know who was behind the prison break but saying that civil police were handling the investigation. Eleven of the inmates were soon recaptured. The escape plan had apparently been organised by the inmate boyfriend of one of the women who seduced the wardens. Some of the escaping prisoners took shotguns, rifles and pistols from the jail’s weapons caches before leaving out of the prison’s front doors. Eight prisoners were soon recaptured after police launched a widespread manhunt.


16 Feb 1992 Sheikh Musawi – spiritual head of Hezbollah, killed by Israeli helicopter gunships in Southern Lebanon
16 Feb 1999 Greek Embassy in London is stormed and occupied by hundreds of Kurdish protesters.
16 Feb 2015 US Public Holiday – President’s Day
17 Feb 2003 Congestion charging started in London
19 Feb 2015 Chinese New Year
20 Feb 1998 Japanese Red Army member sentenced to 30 years for attack on US Embassy in Indonesia
22 Feb 1995 Anglo/Irish joint framework published to bring peace to Northern Ireland
23 Feb 1998 Osama bin Laden issued a ‘global Fatwa’ allowing attacks against American nationals worldwide
25 Feb 1991 Coalition forces start land offensive against Iraq in first Gulf War
26 Feb 1993 Vehicle bomb at the World Trade Center kills six and injures 1,000 – Ramzi Yousef later convicted of this attack
27 Feb 1991 Kuwait City liberated by coalition forces. Coalition forces halt offensive actions the following day.
27 Feb 1980 Colombian extremists (M-19) seize Dominican Embassy in Colombia holding 85 hostages (20 of whom were Ambassadors).
28 Feb 1994 NATO carries out first ever offensive action since it was formed: Two USAF F-16’s shoot down four Bosnian-Serb aircraft that were infringing a “No Fly” zone in Bosnia