Libya rebel general Abdel Fatah Younes killed: head of NTC

the Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the rebel Libyan armed forces, General Abdul Fatah Younes, gives a press briefing at the Independant Libyan Foundation office in Brussels - AFP
the Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the rebel Libyan armed forces, General Abdul Fatah Younes, gives a press briefing at the Independant Libyan Foundation office in Brussels - AFP
General Abdel Fatah Younes, a former senior official in Muammar Gaddafi's regime who defected to lead rebel forces, has been killed, the head of the rebel National Transitional Council has said.
"With all sadness, I inform you of the passing of Abdel Fatah Younes, the commander-in-chief of our rebel forces," NTC chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil said late yesterday.
"The person who carried out the assassination was captured," Abdel Jalil said without elaborating. Younes was shot and killed by an armed group while he was on his way to Benghazi after he had been called in from the front to answer questions over the military situation, Abdel Jalil said. He said there would be three days of mourning in Younes's honour.
Rumours circulated in Benghazi earlier yesterday that Younes, known as the number two in Gaddafi's regime prior to his defection in the early days of Libya's revolt, was arrested but they could not be confirmed by AFP.
Abdel Jalil said he was giving a final warning to armed groups to either join the rebel armed forces on the front or NTC security forces in the cities. Moments after the announcement, two vehicles loaded with an anti-aircraft gun and at least a dozen armed men came into the driveway of the Tibesti hotel, where the announcement had been made, an AFP reporter witnessed.
A witness said that they managed to enter the hotel with their weapons but security forces calmed them down and convinced them to leave.
"They shouted 'You killed him,'" in reference to the NTC, he added.
READ MORE - Libya rebel general Abdel Fatah Younes killed: head of NTC

U.S. Spy Plane Shot Down In Iran

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/311554/thumbs/s-IRAN-HITS-US-SPY-PLANE-large300.jpgTEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's Revolutionary Guard shot down an unmanned U.S. spy plane that was trying to gather information on an underground uranium enrichment site, a state-owned news site said Wednesday.

Lawmaker Ali Aghazadeh Dafsari said the drone was flying over the Fordo uranium enrichment site near the holy city of Qom in central Iran, the state TV-run Youth Journalists Club said.

The report did not say when the plane was shot down.
Iran is locked in a dispute with the U.S. and its allies over Tehran's disputed nuclear program, which the West believes aims to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran denies the accusations, saying its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity and producing isotopes to treat medical patients.

Long kept secret, the Fordo site is built next to a military complex to protect it in case of attack. Iran only acknowledged Fordo's existence after Western intelligence agencies identified it in September 2009. The facility is reportedly located 295 feet (90 meters) underneath a mountain.

Iran says it is planning to install advanced centrifuges at Fordo to speed up its nuclear activities.

U.S. nuclear experts say by increasing the enrichment level and its stock of nearly 20 percent low-enriched uranium, Iran could reach a "break out" capability that would allow it to make enough weapon-grade uranium for a nuclear weapon.

Iran has claimed to shoot down U.S. spy planes in the past. Earlier this month, Iranian military officials showed Russian experts several U.S. drones they said were shot down in recent years.
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Gen. Petraeus Steps Down

He's off to CIA following troubling assassinations

The outgoing US and NATO led International Security Assistance Force  commander in Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus claps as he welcomes his replacement, US Gen. John Allen.
The outgoing US and NATO led International Security Assistance Force commander in Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus claps as he welcomes his replacement, US Gen. John Allen. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

Gen. David Petraeus has stepped down as commander in chief in Afghanistan in preparation for taking over the CIA, leaving a bit of a mess behind. He turned the reins over to US Gen. John Allen in a Kabul ceremony the same day a top aide to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai was shot dead in his home, and just days after Karzai's younger brother was killed in his house by a family bodyguard, notes the BBC.

Petraeus espressed a "profound and lasting" gratitude to Afghan and coalition forces.

"You have shown enemies of Afghanistan that you are willing and able to resist a campaign of violence and intimidation," he added in remarks aimed at the Afghanistan people. Allen, who made a reputation in Iraq forging alliances with Sunni leaders, warned of "tough times" ahead.

"I have no illusions about the challenges we will face," he added.
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Brazil to build nuclear submarines which will dramatically alter balance of power in South America

The Brazilian government has started work on a submarine programme which will include the construction of South America's first nuclear subs.
The move will boost Brazil's claim to be the strongest force in the region, and strengthen the country's military assertiveness.
This new-found power may harm Britain in the event of another flare-up over the Falklands, according to U.S. news agency Global Post, as Brazil thinks the islands should belong to Argentina.
Sub: Brazil plans to build its first nuclear submarine in the next few years
Sub: Brazil plans to build its first nuclear submarine in the next few years
The defence plan was announced in 2008, and will eventually involve the construction of five new submarines. Each will cost around $565 million.
The first, being built in collaboration with a French contractor, is due to come into service in 2016.
By the time the programme is complete, Brazil will have four extra conventional submarines as well as a nuclear-powered model. It would be only the seventh country in the world to build a nuclear sub.
'A necessity': Former president Lula says the country needs new subs to protect its oilfields
'A necessity': Former president Lula says the country needs new subs to protect its oilfields
Former president Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva, who commissioned the programme, described the submarines as 'a necessity'.
Government officials claim that the subs will be used to protect the country's offshore oil reserves, and the exploration platforms which are intended to expand those reserves.
However, Brazil is an outspoken advocate of Argentina's right to claim the Falkland Islands - or Las Malvinas, as they are known in South America.
Tensions over the islands have risen in recent years as oil has been discovered close to the shore, making the tiny outcrop not only crucial to Argentinian national pride but also financially lucrative.
If the disagreement develops into military action, as it did in 1982, Brazil's new submarines would significantly reinforce the position of Argentina's closest ally.
READ MORE - Brazil to build nuclear submarines which will dramatically alter balance of power in South America

Karzai advisor, lawmaker shot dead in Kabul

Kabul: Jan Mohammad Khan, an advisor to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a former provincial governor, was shot dead along with a visiting lawmaker during a raid on his home here by gunmen, Xinhua reported.

The attack occurred around 8.00 p.m. Sunday. MP Hashim Watanwal who was visiting Khan's home in Kabul's kartai Char area was also killed, an official said requesting anonymity.

One of the attackers died in the firefight between his guards and the militants. A police officer was injured.

Witnesses said there were two or three attackers. Afghan and NATO-led troops cordoned off the area.

Zabiullah Mujahid, purported Taliban spokesman, said in an email statement to the media that his group carried out the attack. He said Khan was killed as he was helping the coalition forces in carrying out raids against the group.

Khan, a member of Popolzai Pashtun tribe, was governor of southern Uruzgan province from January 2002 to March 2006.

Khan's killing comes less than a week after Karzai's half-brother Ahmed Wali Karzai was assassinated by Taliban militants at his home in Kandhar last Tuesday.
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Taking down terrorists

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Ilyas Kashmiri is alive: Report

Islamabad: Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri, the Al Qaeda commander who was believed to have been killed last month in a US drone attack in Pakistan, is alive, a media report said Saturday.

Kashmiri is still active in the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Dawn said on its website quoting unnamed sources.

Media reports had earlier said that Kashmiri was killed in a US drone attack in Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal region.
The US and the Pakistani government however could not confirm his death.

Anti-terrorism experts describe Kashmiri as one of Al Qaeda's main commanders. He was held responsible for a number of attacks in Pakistan, including the May 22 attack on a navy airbase in Karachi and the 2009 attack on the army headquarters in Rawalpindi.
The US believe that Kashmiri, who is also a member of the terror group Harkat-ul Jihad al Islami (HuJI), was behind the March 2006 suicide bombing of the US consulate in Karachi that killed four people and wounded 48 others.

The US State Department designated him as a "global terrorist".
READ MORE - Ilyas Kashmiri is alive: Report

Pentagon to treat cyberspace as 'operational domain'

Washington: The US Defence Department unveiled a new strategy for protecting military computer networks from hackers on Thursday, designating cyberspace as an "operational domain" US forces will be trained to defend.
US Deputy Defence Secretary William Lynn said the Pentagon wanted to avoid militarising cyberspace, but aimed to secure strategic networks with the threat of retaliation, as well as by mounting a more robust defence.
"Our strategy's overriding emphasis is on denying the benefit of an attack," Lynn said in a speech at the National Defence University. "If an attack will not have its intended effect, those who wish us harm will have less reason to target us through cyberspace in the first place."
Pentagon to treat cyberspace as 'operational domain'
Identifying intruders and responding to serious cyber attacks are part of the strategy, he said. But the military now focuses its strongest deterrent on other nation states, not transnational groups.
"Terrorist groups and rogue states must be considered separately," Lynn said.
"They have few or no assets to hold at risk and a greater willingness to provoke. They are thus harder to deter. If a terrorist group gains disruptive or destructive cyber tools, we have to assume they will strike with little hesitation."
Lynn said currently the most sophisticated attacks come from other nations. Nation states are the most sophisticated intruders at this point but can be deterred by the threat of military power, he said, whereas transnationational groups have less fear of military retaliation.
"There will eventually be a marriage of capability and intent, where those who mean us harm will gain the ability to launch damaging cyber attacks," Lynn said. "We need to develop stronger defences before this occurs."
Protecting its systems has become increasingly critical and complicated for the Pentagon. Defence Department employees operate more than 15,000 computer networks and 7 million computers at hundreds of installations around the world. Defence Department networks are probed millions of times a day and penetrations have caused the loss of thousands of files.
$1 TRILLION IN ECONOMIC LOSSES
Lynn said in one intrusion in March, 24,000 files at a defence company were accessed, and over the past decade terabytes of data have been taken from military and defence company computers by foreign intruders.
He said a recent estimate pegged economic losses from cybertheft of intellectual property, loss of competitiveness and damage to defence industries at over $1 trillion.
The cybersecurity strategy calls for the Pentagon to treat cyberspace as an "operational domain" - like air, land and sea - where the military must organise, train and equip to take advantage of its full capabilities.
Lynn said as part of its active defences, the Pentagon would introduce new operating concepts and capabilities on its networks, such as sensors, software and signatures to detect and stop malicious code before it affects US operations.
General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Pentagon must shift its thinking on cybersecurity from focusing 90 per cent of its energy on building better firewalls and only 10 per cent on preventing hackers from attacking US systems.
"If your approach to the business is purely defensive in nature, that's the Maginot line approach," he said, referring to the French fixed defensive fortifications that were circumvented by the Nazis at the outset of World War Two.
"If it's OK to attack me and I'm not going to do anything other than improve my defences every time you attack me, it's very difficult to come up with a deterrent strategy," he said.
Cartwright said most viruses are only a couple hundred lines of computer code, but the patches to fix the holes they exploit can run into millions of lines of code.
"Every time somebody spends a couple hundred dollars to build a virus, we've got to spend millions. So we're on the wrong side of that. We've got to change that around," he said.
He said part of the answer was in building up the military's offensive response capabilities.
"How do you build something that convinces a hacker that doing this is going to be costing them and if he's going to do it, he better be willing to pay the price and the price is going to escalate, rather than his price stays the same and ours escalates," Cartwright said.
"We've got to change the calculus."
READ MORE - Pentagon to treat cyberspace as 'operational domain'

Rebels-in-waiting: The children as young as SEVEN being trained to fight on the front lines against Gaddafi

With smiles on their faces, these young boys could be playing soldiers with their friends.
But the youngsters are in fact helping rebel fighters in Libya to overcome Colonel Gaddafi's troops as the bitter civil war rumbles on.
Boys as young as seven have been pictured carrying automatic weapons and cleaning rifles in Misrata as rebel forces battle loyalist troops in the outskirts of Zlitan.
Crossfire: Boys help rebel fighters carry automatic weapons in Misrata, Libya, after a gun battle with Gaddafi troops
Crossfire: Boys help rebel fighters carry automatic weapons in Misrata, Libya, after a gun battle with Gaddafi troops
Misrata rebel fighters
Misrata rebel fighters
Defiance: The boys, some as young as seven, are being taught to clean and operate firearms as the civil war rumbles on in Libya
Although they do not appear to have been involved on the front line, the boys are clearly being trained to operate the weapons.
Since the uprising broke out in February, armed rebels have seized control of much of Libya's east - where they set up an administration in Benghazi.
They also control the coastal city of Misrata and much of the Nafusa mountain range south-west of the capital Tripoli.
After a string of victories in recent months, rebel forces have expanded the area under their control in the mountains.
Death dealing: This boy concentrates as he cleans the breach of a rifle
Death dealing: This boy concentrates as he cleans the breach of a rifle
Training: The boys strip and clean the guns in a base in Misrata
Training: The boys strip and clean the guns in a base in Misrata
Lost innocence: Misrata has seen some of the worst fighting during the five months of conflict, with heavy shelling by Gaddafi troops
Lost innocence: Misrata has seen some of the worst fighting during the five months of conflict, with heavy shelling by Gaddafi troops
Rebel fighters have also begun constructing makeshift weapons to take on the better-equipped loyalist troops.
Heavy weapons are in short supply in Misrata, but ingenius fighters have created workshops where impromptu missile launchers and machine guns are being welded from spare parts.
Sadiq Mubakar Krain, a former oil company foreman, is busy welding some of the weapons using scavenged equipment.
Pointing to a 16-tube rocket launcher, he said: 'This is the first time I make one of these.
'I have learned to make other things and to weld, so God willing, I have got this one right.'
Battle: A Libyan boy gives a victory sign after a firefight near Zlitan
Battle: A Libyan boy gives a victory sign after a firefight near Zlitan
Conflict: The Libyan government has trained up women and re-enlisted retired army personnel to battle rebel fighters
Conflict: The Libyan government has trained up women and re-enlisted retired army personnel to battle rebel fighters
Chop shop: A rebel mechanic welds a weapon shield to a pick-up truck in a Misrata workshop
Chop shop: A rebel mechanic welds a weapon shield to a pick-up truck in a Misrata workshop
Heavy weapons: This machine gun has been welded on to the back of a pick-up truck as rebels attempt to oust Colonel Gaddafi
Heavy weapons: This machine gun has been welded on to the back of a pick-up truck as rebels attempt to oust Colonel Gaddafi
The workshop is busy manufacturing new housings for heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft guns that will be mounted on the back of pickup trucks.
Nato air raids on military targets have decreased, leaving rebel forces with a lack of firepower to combat the better-equipped Gaddafi troops.
It comes after the Human Rights Watch condemned rebels for looting shops, homes and medical facilities in towns seized in the western mountains.
Homes belonging to Gaddafi supporters are also believed to have been torched.
A report by the New-York based group called on rebel commanders to hold their forces responsible for damaging civilian property.
Joe Stork, deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa in the group, said: 'Opposition forces have an obligation to protect civilians and their property in the areas they control so people feel they can return home safely and rebuild their lives.'
Repairs: Mechanics work on an anti-aircraft gun before installing it on a pick-up truck in Misrata
Repairs: Mechanics work on an anti-aircraft gun before installing it on a pick-up truck in Misrata
Makeshift: A puff of smoke rises after a test fire of a vehicle-mounted missile launcher
Makeshift: A puff of smoke rises after a test fire of a vehicle-mounted missile launcher
READ MORE - Rebels-in-waiting: The children as young as SEVEN being trained to fight on the front lines against Gaddafi

Al Qaeda manual tells terrorists to pretend to be gay to avoid female spies

Place: London

Al-Qaeda fanatics in Britain were told to lie about their sexuality in an attempt to avoid women who may be spies, it has emerged

According to Mirror.co.uk, a new terror-training manual told Islamic extremists to pretend to be gay if a woman approaches them in case she is a "honeytrap" spy sent by security services.

"Many hotels - especially in busy UK cities - have women hanging around the lobby areas in order to attract men," said the manual.

"A young beautiful woman may come and talk to you. The first thing you do to protect yourself from such a ­situation is to make dua (prayers) to Allah for ­steadfastness," it said.

"The second thing is to find an excuse to get away from her that is realistic and sensible, such as you having a girlfriend for the past few years and you are loyal to her or you are ­homosexual," it added.

The 64-page guide in English was written to try to stop the police and MI5 from uncovering the identity of terrorists plotting attacks on British soil, the report said.

It was produced by Taliban warlords in Afghanistan and was discovered by Mirror investigators on a Jihadist website used by UK cells.

It has emerged just months after MI5 launched a recruitment drive for women to work as spies.

The guide was placed online after Osama Bin Laden was killed, suggesting Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders are determined to launch revenge attacks on the UK.
READ MORE - Al Qaeda manual tells terrorists to pretend to be gay to avoid female spies
 
 
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