At least six Western hostages were killed when Algerian forces stormed a BP gas field in the Sahara today.
Eleven or more Islamist militants were said to have died when Algerian special forces, helicopters and – according to one account – warplanes launched a series of attacks on the sprawling complex seized by an Islamist group linked to al-Qa'ida on Wednesday. Twenty Britons remained unaccounted for, British sources said.
David Cameron said earlier that Britain "should be prepared for the possibility of further… very difficult news" following the death of a British oil worker in the initial Islamist attack. He postponed a speech he was due to give in Amsterdam today on Britain's future in Europe, saying he "simply cannot be away" until the crisis is resolved.
For most of the day utter confusion surrounded the Algerian military operation. An unknown number of foreign captives and 600 Algerians were reported to have been freed or to have escaped from their captors during the assault. Algerian security sources said last night that 30 hostages had died in the battle, including eight Algerians, two Britons, two Japanese and one Frenchman. Algerian state television said earlier that two Britons and two Filipinos were among the dead.
Stephen McFaul, 36, from Belfast, was one of the lucky ones who got out. Last night he telephoned his family to say he was safe.
One of the freed Algerian hostages told the French newspaper Le Monde last night that the Islamist raiders were a multinational group from a number of countries – including a man who spoke English with a perfect British accent.
The Algerian Communications Minister, Mohand Said Oubelaid, claimed the operation was a success. "A large number of hostages were freed and a large number of terrorists were eliminated and we regret the few dead and wounded," he said.
According to one report, seven hostages were held for many hours after the main assault by a die-hard group of militants who resisted in part of the gas plant near the town of In Amenas, near the Libyan border. Radio France Internationale reported from Algiers that the raiders had made four attempts to flee this morning.
A convoy of buses and trucks was finally attacked from the air by the Algerian military. The Algerians had told the raiders that they could leave the country without their hostages but the kidnappers had attempted to take some foreigners with them. The conclusion to the siege has strained relations between Britain and Algeria, with Mr Cameron admitting he only learnt the intervention was under way when he rang his opposite number Abdelmalek Sellal at 11.30am. He had stressed Britain wanted to be warned before any military operation. Mr Sellal said events were changing so quickly that his forces had been forced to act.
The Algerian assault came as French operations in neighbouring Mali entered a seventh day, with warplanes and helicopters continuing to pound targets in the centre and north of the country. Despite pledges of support from a number of European nations at a meeting of EU foreign ministers, none are sending troops.
Last night the former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told Channel 4 News: "We are waiting for the British... please come."
A French captive contacted by the newspaper Sud Ouest said the raiders had strapped explosives to some hostages. It appeared that the 20 or 30-strong gang of kidnappers had difficulty in controlling so many captives. There were reports during the day of small groups of Algerian and foreign workers escaping.
The unnamed Algerian captive who spoke to Le Monde last night said that the raiders "seemed to know the site well and knew exactly what they were looking for.… They searched the living quarters for foreigners and told muslims that they were in no danger."
Press reports in the NY Daily news and elsewhere have revealed that the NYPD is building a phone number database from a very unique source -- 911 calls. Utilizing data collected as far back as 2003, details on over 20 million 911 calls are already on file.
Of particular value to police investigators are calls that came in from prepaid or disposable cell phones. Traditionally, the carriers for these types of phones have no registrant name or address information on file. Now, if the phone has previously been used to make a 911 call, an address can be linked to the phone number.
An unnamed police source said the system already resulted in the arrest of a serial burglary suspect who had left a slip of paper with his prepaid cell phone number behind at crime scene. Previously, he had been assaulted and called 911 -- placing the prepaid phone number and his home address in this special phone database!
New York Shuts Down Mystery Shopper Websites
Is Safety Training killing officers?
Trainers preach to officers to "never place yourself in a crossfire situation". Avoiding crossfire is sound tactical advice. What if however, the subject places the officers in a crossfire situation? Are the officers prepared to win that fight or are they going to hesitate because of training, or lack there of?
read more http://www.waytogo.net/newsletter-8-2011.htm#article-2
Are you a target? Know someone who is?
What to do
Older consumers are frequent targets of deceptive telemarketers. Here are some tips to help protect yourself against fraud.
Don?t be fooled by a sympathetic name. Some operations use names that promise more than they deliver. Many causes clearly deserve generous public support, including veterans, law enforcement and fire fighters, but some marginal operations claim connections with such groups yet provide them with very little support. Contact your local sheriff or police or fire department or veterans? organization to check out claims that a donation ?will be used locally.?
Ask questions. Be wary of claims that the caller is a charity worker or volunteer, that most of your donation goes to the cause, or that your donation will be used locally.
Ask phone solicitors to send written information. Check out the charity before you make a decision. Be suspicious if they insist on a pledge before they?ll send you information. Check them out at the national Better Business Bureau ?wise giving? site ? www.give.org.
Don't give your credit card or checking account numbers over the phone to someone you don't know. Give wisely! Giving to a known charity you?re confident about is often the best option.
This has been a good week to do just that. The Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday over whether the government can attach a GPS tracker to your car without a warrant
Students in Hazard Mitigation Planning, a course at Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment, explore mitigation planning across the United States. As part of their final project, groups created websites describing the Disaster Mitigation Act 2000 hazard mitigation planning process, how it is implemented in various states, and offering a critique of these states' plan:
Every citizen has a right to inspect and take a copy of any public writing of this state, except as otherwise expressly provided by statute. Provided however, registration and circulation records and information concerning the use of the public, public school or college and university libraries of this state shall be exempted from this section. Provided further, any parent of a minor child shall have the right to inspect the registration and circulation records of any school or public library that pertain to his or her child. Notwithstanding the foregoing, records concerning security plans, procedures, assessments, measures, or systems, and any other records relating to, or having an impact upon, the security or safety of persons, structures, facilities, or other infrastructures, including without limitation information concerning critical infrastructure (as defined at 42 U.S.C. §5195c(e) as amended) and critical energy infrastructure information (as defined at 18 C.F.R. §388.113(c)(1) as amended), the public disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be detrimental to the public safety or welfare, and records the disclosure of which would otherwise be detrimental to the best interests of the public shall be exempted from this section. Any public officer who receives a request for records that may appear to relate to critical infrastructure or critical energy infrastructure information, shall notify the owner of such infrastructure in writing of the request and provide the owner an opportunity to comment on the request and on the threats to public safety or welfare that could reasonably be expected from public disclosure on the records.
Compilation of State and Federal Privacy Laws (1997 ed.),
"X" next to the topic means that state law covers the subject (but not necessarily that the law affords a great deal of privacy protection) and an "0" means that the state does not have a law covering the topic. In some cases, there is less privacy protection in states that have a law than does who do not.
Arrest Records X
Bank Records X
Cable TV 0
Computer Crime X
Criminal Justice X
Gov't Data Banks X
Mailing Lists 0
Privacy Statutes 0
School Records 0
Soc. Security Numbers 0
Tax Records 0
Tele. Service/Solicit 0
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), working in extreme temperatures is not only uncomfortable, it can be life threatening. An OSHA official stated: ?It is important for workers and their employers to minimize the chances of heat-induced illnesses, and imperative that they recognize the signs of heat stress and take proper precautions to reduce the chance of illness or death.?
Because first responders must frequently perform duties in extreme heat environments, OSHA advises that proactive and aggressive precautions should be enforced. Therefore, the following tips from multiple sources are provided for the consideration of ESS departments and agencies:
The Verizon RISK Team with the cooperation from the U.S. Secret Service, Australian Federal Police, Dutch High Tech Crime Unit, Irish Reporting and Information Security Service, and the Police Central e-Crime Unit (modeled after Scotland Yard) has released an 80-page study -- the 2012 Data Breach Investigation Report. The report covers threat agents and actions, compromised assets and data, attack difficulty and attack targeting, anti-forensics, breach discovery, and the the impact of data breaches.
Investigative and security professionals, even if not directly involved with computer forensics, should consider reviewing the report which covers the entities behind many of the data breaches, the manner in which they occur, and the commonalities that exist.
2012 Data Breach Investigation Report