And the latest from the search for those missing Mexican college students.
We begin with amped volume from The Hill:
Feinstein warns police, military personnel to guard against lone wolf attacks
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein warned on Sunday that police and military personnel should be “on guard” for lone wolf attacks inspired by Islamic jihad.
“The police and the military have to be on guard,” Feinstein said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We need to think in some new ways.”
Last week, a lone wolf attacker killed a Canadian soldier, and a man who had recently converted to Islam attacked four police officers with a hatchet in New York.
Feinstein said Internet propaganda and specific individuals are “really firing up this lone wolf phenomenon.”
Disputation from the Jakarta Globe:
Kurds Reject Erdogan Report of Deal With Syrian Rebels to Aid Besieged Kobani
A senior Syrian Kurdish official on Friday rejected a report from Turkey’s president that Syrian Kurds had agreed to let Free Syrian Army fighters enter the border town of Kobani to help them push back besieging Islamic State insurgents.
The Free Syrian Army is a term used to describe dozens of armed groups fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad but with little or no central command. They have been widely outgunned by Islamist insurgents such as Islamic State.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is a leading opponent of Assad and has allowed his more secular, Western-backed opponents such as FSA fighters to use Turkey as a base and sanctuary.
Erdogan said on Friday said 1,300 FSA fighters would enter Kobani after the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) agreed on their passage, but his comments were swiftly denied by Saleh Moslem, co-chair of the PYD.
And linkage denied, via BBC News:
Ottawa shootings: No Islamic State link found
There is no evidence so far that a gunman who attacked Canada’s parliament had links to Middle Eastern Islamist extremists, the government has said.
Foreign Minister John Baird told the BBC gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was “certainly radicalised”, but was not on a list of high-risk individuals.
Zehaf-Bibeau killed a soldier at Ottawa’s war memorial before being shot dead in the nearby parliament building. Police have released video showing how the gunman stormed parliament.
It has also emerged that Prime Minister Stephen Harper hid in a cupboard in parliament for about 15 minutes during Wednesday’s attack as MPs sharpened flagpoles to use as spears against the gunman.
Fuel thrown on flames, via the Jakarta Globe:
India ‘Love Jihad’ Claims Fuel Hindu-Muslim Tensions
When a Hindu woman tearfully claimed to national media recently she had been kidnapped, raped and forcibly converted to Islam, India’s religious hardliners seized the chance to hike their “love jihad” fears.
Hardline Hindu activists, encouraged by the media attention, claimed scores of Muslim boys were attempting to abduct, seduce and elope with Hindu girls across the country for the sole purpose of conversion.
On websites and leaflets, right-wing groups warned India’s Hindu majority of the “dangers”, and a senior government minister called for talks between religious leaders “to find a solution to the issue”.
Last week, the woman, from northern Uttar Pradesh state, sensationally retracted her claims, saying she had in fact been pressured by her family to concoct the story.
But hardliners remain adamant that Muslims, numbering about 150 million in India, have a secret strategy to turn the secular country of 1.25 billion into their own.
From Channel NewsAsia Singapore, and they’ve done it before:
British forces hand over control of last base in Afghanistan
The handover was hailed by British Prime Minister David Cameron, but the southern Helmand province that foreign troops are leaving behind still confronts a resilient Taliban insurgency
British forces on Sunday (Oct 27) handed over formal control of their last base in Afghanistan to Afghan troops, ending combat operations in the country after 13 years which cost hundreds of lives.
The handover was hailed by British Prime Minister David Cameron but the southern Helmand province that foreign troops are leaving behind still confronts a resilient Taliban insurgency and remains a hub for opium production. The Union Jack was lowered at Camp Bastion while the Stars and Stripes came down at the adjacent Camp Leatherneck – the last US Marine base in the country.
All NATO combat troops will depart Afghanistan by December, leaving Afghan troops and police to battle Taliban insurgents on their own.
The Independent covers a curious conversion:
Councillor from French far-right party Front National converts to Islam – and urges others to follow
A local councillor representing Marine Le Pen’s far-right party, the Front National, has announced he has converted to Islam – and has urged fellow party members to do the same.
Maxence Buttey, 22, has been suspended from a regional Front National committee after he went public with his decision and sent out a “proselytising video” to the party in which he praised the “visionary virtues of the Koran and urged them to convert, the Telegraph reported.
Mr Buttey, who is a councillor in the eastern Paris suburb, Noisy-le-grand, said the Front National and Islam had a lot in common.
He told French newspaper, Le Parisien: “Like Islam, the FN defends the weakest. The party denounces exorbitant interest rates charged on the debt of our country, and Islam is against the practice of usury.”
From InfoWorld, notable:
Clueless FBI sabotages its own anti-encryption campaign
- FBI Director Comey says smartphone encryption puts law enforcement in peril. Too bad he doesn’t seem to understand technology
FBI Director James Comey continues to bang the drum about the evils of smartphone encryption and the harm it will do to U.S. law enforcement efforts. Fortunately, few people are persuaded, possibly because Comey himself seems of two minds — and baffled by technology to boot.
Comey has been on a media tear denouncing the default smartphone encryption provided by Apple, with its recently released iOS 8, and Google, with its next-generation Lollipop Android OS. No one without the passcode — not even Apple or Google — can break the encryption, which leaves law enforcement “struggling to keep up” with criminals, Comey said in a speech to the Brookings Institution.
Comey called on Congress to update CALEA to require tech companies to build into their systems “lawful intercept capabilities” (don’t call them backdoors), saying mistrust of government in response to the NSA leaks by Edward Snowden “has gone too far.”
But in an interview with “60 Minutes” this month, Comey led off by saying, “I believe that Americans should be deeply skeptical of government power. You cannot trust people in power.” He then illustrated this by sidestepping the question of whether the FBI gathers electronic surveillance and passes it to the NSA, and insisting (incorrectly) that the FBI can never read your email without a court order.
Tech companies have good reasons for adding extra data protection to their products. And the FBI’s own website recommends using encryption on mobile devices “to protect the user’s personal data in the case of loss or theft.”
Drones over the Ukraine, from TheLocal.at:
Austrian drones fly high, over Ukraine and beyond
In the middle of the Austrian countryside, a few sleek, high-tech drones sit in a bright production hall, ready for missions over Ukraine, the Mediterranean or the Middle East.
Schiebel, a small company originally specialised in landmine detection, has been manufacturing Camcopters — a 3.5-metre (11.5-foot) long mini-helicopter equipped with cameras, radars and other sensors — for close to 10 years.
But it has gained prominence with a new mission in Ukraine, where the Camcopter will assist observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to monitor a ceasefire with pro-Russian rebels.
The latest from Mexico, via the Latin American Herald Tribune:
Relatives Say They Won’t Let Mexican Government Incriminate Missing Students
Relatives of the 43 trainee teachers who went missing nearly a month ago in the southern Mexican city of Iguala after being attacked by municipal police warned the federal government not to try to lower social tensions by leveling false accusations against the students.
“The federal government should know that we’re not at peace, much less so now that they’re trying to distract attention from this (crime),” Felipe de Jesus, a relative of one of the missing youths, told Efe Friday, insisting that the families will not rest until they are found.
Relatives and classmates of the students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School, a nearby teacher-training facility in Guerrero state, said their attorneys have learned that the federal Attorney General’s Office is pursuing a line of investigation that seeks to link the missing youths to the Los Rojos cartel.
And from Agence France-Presse, a report on the troubled Mexican state where the tragedy has been unfolding:
Gangsters paradise: Mexico’s Guerrero state
For years drug cartels have been waging bloody turf wars in Mexico’s southern Guerrero state.
After the jump, China throws a bank into the Game of Zones, government and businesses direct warnings at protesting Hong Kong Students and a shift in their plans, Washington and Tokyo plan for joint military actions in time of crisis, and growing discontent with Japan’s new official secrets law. . . Continue reading