Monday 31 March 2014

Multiple Explosions Rock Kenyan Capital, 5 Feared Dead

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Officials in Kenya say that an explosion in downtown Nairobi has killed at least five people.
The National Disaster Operation Center said on Twitter that explosions had occurred Monday evening in a neighborhood known for its large Somali population. Sometimes called Kenya's "Little Mogadishu," Eastleigh has seen several grenade attacks over the last year.
The agency said five people were killed and several injured. Officials did not immediately say what caused the blasts.
Kenya has suffered from a long string of grenade attacks presumed to be thrown by Somali militant sympathizes. Officials also recently discovered a large, undetonated car bomb in the coastal city of Mombasa.

Associated Press

United Kingdom Launches CyberSecurity Team

United Kingdom's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-UK), which will co-ordinate the country's cybersecurity defence, has been formally launched. The body will deal with "cybersecurity incidents" of national significance. It will also provide advice and alerts on cyber-threats to government, industry and academia.
Speaking at the launch, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said that 93% of large corporations had had "a breach" over the past financial year. The attacks cost on average between £450,000 and £850,000, he added.
The minister also repeated the claim that one London-based company had suffered a security breach which cost it "£800m worth of revenue".

Military Bombs Sambisa Forest: Hundreds of Terrorists Killed, Many Soldiers Missing Due to Operational Blunder

Hundreds of insurgents were said to have been killed in a joint operation by Special Forces and the Nigerian Air Force on Friday and Saturday in the volatile Sambisa Forest of Borno State, which has become a prominent hideout of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram.

What would have been a great victory for the Special Forces was, however, marred by an operational misunderstanding between the ground troops and the officers in the Air Force Alpha Jet.

It was learnt that mid-way into the operation, the Air Force Alpha Jet radioed the ground forces who had advanced in three companies, that they should withdraw because it was running out of bombs. While the second and the third battalions withdrew, the first company of soldiers did not get the critical operational order hence they had to fight their way in desperation back to their Base.

About 20 soldiers were declared missing from the operation but many of them have rejoined their Base. According to military tradition, a soldier cannot be declared dead unless the corpse is sighted. Where the corpse cannot be found, that soldier will be declared missing in action (MIA).

Defence Spokesman, Major Gen. Chris Olukolade confirmed that the Special Forces bombed the main operational headquarters of the insurgents where many of them were killed in droves.


Sunday 30 March 2014

Detained Boko Haram Suspects Stage a Kamikaze Escape From SSS Detention Facility in Abuja

Boko Haram members detained at the facility of the Department of State Security, Abuja staged a kamikaze escape today but were reigned in by officers of the State Security Service and support from the military. Some of the detainees reportedly overpowered their guards, shot several operatives and broke down heavy doors at the detention facility to stage a daring escape. The militants were said to have succeeded in freeing several inmates and almost taking over the complex before reinforcement came from the Nigerian military. SSS operatives, aided by soldiers, went on the offensive after the detainees who had obtained weapons had run out of ammunition. Many of the detainees were said to have been killed in the process while the SSS also sustained casualties.

Saturday 29 March 2014

Beware of Drones That Wirelessly Sniff Information From Your Smart Phone!

Security firm SensePost has unveiled its Snoopy drone that can steal data from unsuspecting smartphone users, at the Black Hat security conference in Singapore. The drone uses the company's software, which is installed on a computer attached to a drone.
That code can be used to hack smartphones and steal personal data - all without a user's knowledge.
It does this by exploiting handsets looking for a wireless signal.

Insurgents attack Kabul guest house

A Taliban attack on a guest house in Kabul has come to an end with police killing the last gunman inside, Afghan military sources have told the Reuters news agency.

At least four people were trapped inside the guest house during the attack, officials say.
Afghan special forces were rushed in to fight the attackers, police said. Fighting continued for much of Friday and the AFP agency has reported that a girl has been killed.
Security has been tight in the Afghan capital, one week ahead of the presidential election. It is unclear how many have been killed or injured in the attack.

It is the latest in a recent spate of attacks on targets in Kabul
Kabul police chief Mohammad Zahir told the BBC that there were four attackers, including one who detonated explosives in his vehicle, allowing the others to get inside the guest house.
It was unclear how many people were trapped in the guest house, which is run by US-based NGO Roots of Peace.
Roots of Peace country manager Hajji Mohammad Sharif Osmani told Reuters news agency that four people were inside the building during the attacks as the rest had all escaped.
But officials also said they had been told by a man rescued from the building that six others were inside.

Police battled the attackers throughout Friday - Kabul is already on high alert ahead of presidential elections on 5 April

The forthcoming elections will be a major test for foreign donors hesitant about supporting the government after most Nato troops based in Afghanistan withdraw later this year.

The Taliban on Friday put out a statement saying they had carried out the attack.
Witnesses described how the initial explosion shattered windows. Mohammed Sadi, a resident in the area, told AP news agency that the force of the blast rattled buildings several blocks away.
"At the beginning a powerful explosion happened, which also broke the windows of our house," he said. "Then gunfire started and the police blocked all the roads."

Afghan special forces surrounded the area, officials said, and television footage showed military convoys headed towards the district.
The attack is the latest in the run-up to the vote to choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai next Saturday.
Three days ago, the Taliban launched a gun and bomb attack on an office of the Afghan election commission in Kabul.
Another attack a week ago left nine people dead when gunmen broke into an upmarket hotel in Kabul.


Suspected Boko Haram Weapons Suppliers Captured by Cameroonian Authorities

Cameroon said on Thursday it had arrested three suspected arms dealers believed to be linked to Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram.
Also some other suspected terrorists were also arrested while attempting to escape into Cameroon through Taraba and Gumti, Adamawa State by the Nigerian Joint Military Task Force.
The men were caught in the far north of the country on Wednesday, near the border with Nigeria where the group has been waging a brutal armed insurgency.
“Members of the BIR (an elite rapid-response unit of Cameroon’s army) and the police found a significant stock of arms including a kalashnikov and rocket launchers near Goulfey,” a Cameroonian police official told AFP, on condition of anonymity.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Is Boko Haram Using Helicopters To Ferry Arms, Launch Attacks?

Sometime last year, the Director General of the National Task Force on Illegal importation of Light Weapons and Small Arms, one Osita Osakwe made a stunning revelation that, ‘’The Governors use their private jets to build up arms ahead of the coming 2015 elections’’.

In a related development, reports in some Nigerian dailies suggest the plausibility of Boko Haram employing Choppers to ferry arms as well as launch attacks. A March 18th article in Tribune , a March 23rd article in THISDAY, a March 21st DailyTrust report of a Senate hearing in which Senator Abu Ibrahim alleged the use of helicopters to drop supplies and attackers to attack Katsina; and another March 25th investigative report in DailyTrust all presented shocking details of how helicopters may have been used to ferry terrorists and ammunitions in the recent terror incidents in the north, the attack on 21 Armoured Brigade, Giwa barracks precisely and the massacres in Katsina.

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) oversees the Nigerian Airspace. Is it that NAMA is not living up to expectations or their responsibilities? Recall that NAMA was said to have acquired a state-of-the-art equipment that enables them monitor the entire Nigerian air space.  Could it be that the alleged helicopters flew below the 'line of sight' undetectable by Nigerian radars? Is there a slightest possibility that the supposed choppers are stealth, the type allegedly used by the United States Special Forces when they stormed Osama Bin Laden's house in Pakistan?

Where are the experts. Let's mull over these probabilities, insinuations.

Friday 21 March 2014

Boko Haram: Nigerian Military Recover Arms Cache from A Burnt Church

Nigerian military authorities on Friday claim it recovered weapons hidden in a church burnt earlier by terrorists in Kalabalge Local Government Area of Borno State.

The weapons, which included anti-aircraft guns, rocket propelled guns as well as general purpose and other brands of machine guns, were found following the arrest of a middle-aged terrorist, the military said. Several rounds of ammunition were also recovered.

According to a statement by the Director of Defence Information, Major Gen. Chris Olukolade, the arrested suspect claimed to be a Cameroonian and an arms courier for the Boko Haram.

Major Gen. Olukolade said the suspect led troops on the cordon and search operation. He said the terrorist also disclosed to the military that the weapons were stockpiled to be used in a pending attack on some communities around the Nigeria- Cameroon border.

The military spokesperson also noted that all the weapons have been evacuated while the military continues to patrol the area. Major Gen. Olukolade said a particular cave in the area is undergoing a thorough search for terrorists who are believed to have taken refuge there.

He said the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Kenneth Minimah, has taken it upon himself to check on deployment and disposition of troops in various locations in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States; the three states under emergency rule.

Major Gen. Olukolade said the military is undertaking a comprehensive air surveillance of the entire mission area in addition to the direct inspection of some key locations where operations are being conducted.

Posted by:
Don Okereke
Premium Times

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Chechen Rebel Leader Umarov 'Dead'

The leader of the Chechen rebels, Doku Umarov, has died, according to Kavkaz Center, the main website of Russia's Islamist militants.
The website said the Caucasus Emirate leader "became a martyr", but no further details were given.
There has been no official confirmation from the Russian authorities.
The militant group has claimed responsibility for a string of deadly attacks in Russia in the last few years.

Most wanted
A spokesman for Russia's national anti-terrorism body was quoted by Russian state news agency RIA as saying he could not confirm Mr Umarov was dead, Reuters reports.
The Kavkaz Center website wrote on its Twitter account that Ali Abu-Mukhammad had been chosen as the new emir by the Caucasus Emirate.
The website is seen as sympathetic to Islamist militants fighting against Russian rule in the North Caucasus.

In the past, it has used the line about "becoming a martyr" both for people who were killed and for Islamist militants who died of natural causes, so it is not clear if Doku Umarov died peacefully or if he was killed, says Artyom Liss, head of BBC Russian.
Over the last few years, the Russian authorities have announced his killing several few times.

He has often recorded video statements just days after his alleged killing by the Russian forces, our correspondent says.
The self-styled emir of the Caucasus Emirate is one of Russia's most wanted rebels.
He has claimed to have ordered the January 2011 Moscow airport bombing that killed 36 people, and the March 2010 suicide bombings in the Moscow Metro, in which 39 people died.

He is also said to have ordered the November 2009 bombing of a train from Moscow to St Petersburg that left 26 dead.
Mr Umarov also urged his fighters to target the Winter Olympic Games, which recently took place in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Russia has been battling Islamist insurgents, who are seeking to carve an emirate out of Russia's mostly Muslim southern Caucasus provinces, for years.

Posted by Don Okereke


Tuesday 18 March 2014

Nigeria Launches 'Soft Approach' to Counter Boko Haram

Nigeria's national security adviser has unveiled plans for a new non-military strategy to combat a four-and-half year old Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands of people. The strategy would complement, not replace, military efforts to fight radical sect Boko Haram.

About 10 months ago Nigeria launched its biggest military push ever against Boko Haram insurgents, imposing emergency rule on three northeastern states. Many urban centers were quickly secured, but the violence continued in the countryside. More recently, northern cities have again come under attack. Human Rights Watch says 700 people have been killed this year alone.

Amid the growing violence, Nigeria’s National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki says the government will take a “soft approach” to counter terrorism, in addition to military efforts.
“My approach has been to understand the problem in order to apply the appropriate solutions. What we have learned is that there is not one particular path that leads to terrorism. Rather, there are many, often complicated, paths
that lead to terrorism.”

Poverty, social injustice, isolation and sectarianism are among the causes of insurgency, he says. And prison reform, economic development, peace talks and educating the public are among the solutions.
Under the plan, two prisons will become “de-
radicalization” facilities. The next step, Dasuki says, is to train the staff. “The initiative will require substantial capacity building of prison staff in areas such as psychology, sport and art therapy, faith-based instructors and vocational training experts that would engage beneficiaries.”

Another key tenet of the “soft approach” to counter terrorism, he says, is economic reform in northeastern Nigeria, where most people live in abject poverty, fueling the insurgency.
But the insurgency also makes the region poor, adds Gbenro Olajuyigbe, a human security
manager at anti-poverty organization ActionAid.
The soft approach, he adds, needs to follow better security on the ground. “If people are in insecure environment --
economics has collapsed, rights have collapsed, there is an intrusion of fear -- I think the best thing to do is to stabilize the country first.”

The United Nations calls the Boko Haram insurgency “increasingly monstrous,” saying nearly half a million people have fled their homes, and tens of thousands have fled to neighboring countries.


Troops ambush terrorists on Yobe mission, kill 8 -Defence Spokesman

Troops operating in North-East Nigeria have ambushed a group of terrorists on a mission to penetrate and attack Goniri Community in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe.

This is contained in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja by Maj.-Gen Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information and Coordinator, Joint Information Centre Counter Terrorism Campaign.

Olukolade said that the mission failed as the terrorists were ambushed by troops on patrol who were already alerted on the their intention.

"Troops are still in pursuit of the fleeing terrorist elements after the encounter which resulted in some casualties on both parties.

"Rockets and machine guns were freely used by the terrorists who eventually lost over 8 of their fighters with several others wounded.

" Arms were also captured from the terrorists while others fled.

" The troops, however, lost a soldier while an officer was seriously wounded in the encounter, " he said.

Goniri is not far from Buni-Yadi where the terrorists killed school children recently.

The director also said that the troops, operating around Gamboru Ngala and Dikwa Local Government Area towards the borders of Chad and Cameroun, were busy throughout the weekend.

He said that the troops were recovering weapons hidden by terrorists who were dislodged from the area.

"Assisted by captured terrorists, the troops were led to the sites where arms have been hidden in farms and cemeteries. The cordon and search of the entire area is still in progress," he said.



Sunday 16 March 2014

Nigerian Military Intercepts Boko Haram Cache of Arms and Money.

A statement signed by the Director of Information, Defence Headquarters, Major General Chris Olukolade, assert that Nigerian troops recently captured a Boko Haram arms dump with massive arms, ammunition and money in different currencies.

The statement said that the large quantity of weapons recovered in the raid was still being evacuated from the scene of the night raid in which several terrorists died.

There was also a coordinated operation with the troops of Multi-National Joint Task Force in other camps located on the outskirts of Duguri,  Polkime, Malafatori near Lake Chad.  

Major General Olukolade further stated that the troops conducting a cordon and search operation to mop up remnants of the kamikaze terrorists that attacked Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri, had an encounter with some of them in Kayamla and Alu Dam on the outskirts of Maiduguri.

“Those captured in the encounter are providing useful information towards the discovery of other hide outs of the daring terrorists,” he said.  “It has been revealed that the terrorists are now desperate to either free or kill the ones being detained, with a view to avenging or preventing further revelations about their operations and hide outs as this has been frustrating their plans lately.”

The statement went further to say that cordon and search as well as coordinated patrols and pursuit by air and land is continuing in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.

At Least 100 People Slaughtered In Southern Kaduna By Suspected Herdsmen

Reports say armed men purported to be Fulani Herdsmen attacked Me-Sankwai, Tekum and Ungwan Gatah villages in Moro'a Chiefdom, Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State, North Central Nigeria, killing at least 100 people including women and children in the early hours of Saturday morning. Several homes were also set ablaze by the rampaging assailants.

A while ago, about 100 people were killed in Katsina State. Benue State also witnessed wanton killings. Is Nigeria turning into a slaughter house?

Enough of this bloodletting!!!

Wednesday 12 March 2014

57,000 Nigerians Now Refugees, Half a million Displaced Sequel to Boko Haram Rampage

According to a report by the United Nations, about 57,000 Nigerians may have fled to neighbouring countries such as Cameroon, Chad and Niger due to the Boko Haram onslaught and the declaration of a state of emergency in the hotbeds insurgency/terrorism in North East Nigeria.

The United Nation's report also suggests that about half a million people have been internally displaced in the country which it described as a very alarming situation.
Spokesperson of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, Mr Adrian Edwards, who spoke with reporters in Geneva said of 57,000 people who fled Nigeria, 17,000 are registered as Nigerians while the rest are nationals from neighbouring countries who have been living in Nigeria for ages.

He disclosed that Niger received the majority — some 40,000 concentrated in the Diffa region, a desert in the country’s eastern edge. Mr. Edwards fears that many of those fleeing North-Eastern Nigeria are traumatized and left with very few possessions, adding that besides the Lake Chad area, some of the new arrivals are from the Borno State capital, Maiduguri.

Mr. Edwards recounted that the UNHCR reiterates to all parties to the conflict in north‑eastern Nigeria, the vital importance of protecting civilians from harm.
He said the UNHCR was working with partners, including the International Rescue Committee, the governments of the neighbouring countries, to try and ensure that countries keep their borders open and also ensure that they help people on arrival.

Benue State Governor Escapes Death By The Whiskers

The spate of wanton insecurity in Nigeria is worrisome, unpredictable and shows no sign of abating anytime soon. A while ago, plausibly 50 kamikaze armed men were said to have attacked the Enugu State Government House. The latest is the Governor of Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswam who was said to have escaped death by the whiskers on Tuesday 11/03/2014 when armed men purported to be Fulani herdsmen opened fire on his convoy in North-Central Benue state in Nigeria.

The Fulani herdsmen were said to be grazing on some farms around Umenger village as well as burning houses. On sighting the Governor's convoy, they opened fire and the Governors escort responded.

The Governor was traveling with the House of Assembly Speaker, Barr. Terhile Ayua, and the Commissioner of Police, Adams Audu visiting villages recently raided by the Fulani herdsmen.
The Governor visited the Ukpam village of Mbabaai in Guma Local Government before the shoot out where there were reports of yet another attack on the residents.

28 people allegedly died from an early morning raid; the Governor was visibly upset on being shown four corpses.

A Ukpam resident, Iorhen Mbaiorga, said the women and children left the village before the raid, leaving just the men.

"We would have confronted them but we were empty handed, while the people have very sophisticated guns…”

He added sobbing, "We are being attacked, our foodstuffs including yam barn and farms burned and destroyed without anyone coming to our aide. Some of our people were killed and taken away while some captured and taken alive."

Source: SaharaReporters

United States Fears Boko Haram Onslaught May Hamper 2015 Elections

The United States Consular-General in Nigeria, Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins has expressed fears that Boko Haram terrorist activities in the northern part of Nigeria may hamper the 2015 polls.

Mr. Hawkins however assured that the U.S. will continue to support Nigerian government to fight the terrorist group. The diplomat opined during an interactive session with journalists in Ado-Ekiti, South West Nigeria, that the U.S. government had given in form of aid the sum of $15 million to the Nigerian government to strengthen the electoral process.

He expressed optimism that the 2015 elections will mark the watershed of credible election in Nigeria if the stakeholders can eschew violence. Mr. Hawkins decried the killings of innocent school students in Yobe State by Boko Haram and described the activities of the religious sect as worrisome that may mar the conduct of the 2015 general elections in Nigeria if not checked.

He also commended the Federal Government’s efforts for deploying military to engage the terrorists group, stressing that the war against terrorism was a must-win for the country to secure lives and property of the citizenry.

Culled from:
Guardian Newspaper Nigeria

Saturday 8 March 2014

Tips For Safe Electronic, Internet Banking Practice

There is a global surge in financial, electronic (ATM) fraud and this ugly phenomenon is increasingly becoming very sophisticated. In their bid to swindle unsuspecting victims, Criminals are upping their ante, in many occasions, deploying a mix of social engineering and reverse-engineering to circumvent security/safety measures deployed by financial institutions. Interestingly, insiders- bank staffers (Management, Cashiers, IT guys, Security Officers) are sometimes complicit in growing financial/electronic frauds. As will be gleaned from the ensuing part of this treatise, despite a global notoriety for 419 and fraud buoyed by bad Press, the Nigerian elements of this ignoble trade are pretty much dilettantes. This essay is an attempt to x-ray the escalating trend in financial, electronic (ATM) fraud and to proffer solutions to forestall such incidents.

The Audacity of ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorism

The gruesome daylight murder of a 25-year-old off-duty British Army Drummer- Lee Rigby, in Woolwich, Southeast London after the Boston Marathon bombings in the United States of America, has once again brought to the fore, the growing threat of ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorism, a new terror impetus towards unsophisticated and uncoordinated attacks that are virtually impossible to thwart. A cardinal analogy between the London and the Boston incidents is the prospect that the suspected masterminds became radicalized and may have inculcated their proficiency from extremist publications on the Internet. The potency of terrorism generally is that it alters the psyche of a society and instills fear in the minds of people.

The Shifting Face of Terrorism
Some analysts have described the London attack as a form of "open-source jihad". Recent incidents lend credence to the assertion that 'lone wolf' attacks seems to be the new corridor to terror. Lone Wolf terrorism narrows the ease with which terrorists slip between the seams of a country’s security, military/defence establishment.

Resolving Extra-judicial Killings, Assasinations, Crimes & Spurious Acquittals in Nigeria

The is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria is awash with unresolved criminal infractions and frivolous acquittal of high profile suspects. This tendency casts aspersions on Nigeria's Security agencies and the Judiciary whether or not they are directly complicit. According to Lord Hewart (1870-1943), 'justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done'. In the words of Martin Luther King, 'injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  It is a crime to allow an innocent person to rot in jail while the guilty waltz free.

Wednesday 5 March 2014

If The United Kingdom is Negotiable, Why isn't Nigeria?

The United Kingdom, Nigeria's colonial master, has a date with history. Come September 18, 2014, voters in Scotland will be asked a straight Yes/No question: "Should Scotland be an independent country from the United Kingdom?. Let's quickly bring to mind that Scotland became part of the United Kingdom on May 1, 1707, more than 300 years ago! The principle of 'Devolution' ascribed greater autonomy to Scotland hence they enjoy quasi independence - they have their own Parliament, Health Care System, Police (Police Scotland), Educational System, and a large chunk of the North Sea Oil largesse accrues to them. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Scottish people yearn to take their destiny in their hands after more than 300 years of a political marriage with England and Wales.

Latest Boko Haram Rampage, Massacre of School Children: Matters Arising

Probably basking on the euphoria of a new Staff of office, Nigeria's Chief of Defense Staff - reportedly exuded optimism that Boko Haram onslaught will be a thing of the past sooner than later. Rather than dampen the Sect's penchant for bloodletting, the statement seem to have galvanized them to up the ante.
Again Boko Haram is credited with the recent barbaric slaughtering of dozens of students of Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State. Recall that in 2013, the Sect killed about 42 students of Government Secondary School, Mamudu, Potiskum. It also emerged Boko Haram once again had a free rain in Michika LGA of Adamawa State. On March 1st, two explosions occurred in a busy market in Maiduguri claiming the lives of dozens of people. At the time of penning this Piece (1700HRS GMT, 04/03/2014), news filtered in that 40 people were hacked to death at Jakana village in Bornu state. It is daunting to keep pace with the the Sect's rampageous campaign. Butchering hapless unarmed individuals especially school children negates the rules of engagement; it is unmanly and a crime against humanity.

Saturday 1 March 2014

How Nigeria Can Overcome Terrorism/Insurgency & Instability (Concluded)

*Continued from pt 1
Nigeria Urgently Needs A Coherent Counter-Terrorism Strategy/Policy
Rather than our typical haphazard approach, it is high time Nigeria articulated a coherent and unified strategy towards countering terrorism and insurgency. We cannot continue doing the same thing, the same way over and over again and expect a different result.
The United Nations Counterterrorism Committee advocates countries to have comprehensive national strategies that include countering incitement motivated by extremism and intolerance. In the same vein, the United Nations Counterterrorism Implementation Task Force (UN-CTITF) also recommends promotion of public-private partnerships. It posits that developing partnerships with the private sector especially where State resources are limited.
Sequel to the complexity of the Security situation in Nigeria with a mix of economic, political and social strife, the United Nations Counterterrorism Implementation Task Force (CTIF) accentuates the importance of strategy and a collective effort to counter terrorism.