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Trump nominates Christopher Wray as new FBI head

Donald Trump has announced that he will nominate former Justice Department official Christopher Wray to head the FBI. The announcement comes a day before former FBI Director James Comey is to testify to the Senate. US President Donald Trump announced on Twitter early Wednesday that he has selected former assistant attorney general Christopher Wray to lead the FBI, nearly a month after he controversially sacked former FBI Director James Comey. Wray, now a partner at the law firm King & Spalding, was assistant attorney general between 2003 to 2005 during George W. Bush's tenure. At that time he dealt with white collar crime and financial fraud, including leading the government task force investigation into energy giant Enron, according to the King & Spalding website. While at King & Spalding, he represented Republican New Jersey Governor and former Trump campaign adviser Chris Christie in the "Bridgegate" scandal. Christie was never charged, but two of his aides were convicted of plotting to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge to retaliate against a Democratic mayor who had refused to endorse Christie. The announcement comes a day before James Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate intelligence committee about allegations of Russian meddling in the US election and ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Comey is also expected to provide new details about the weeks leading up to his sacking on May 9. This includes allegations Trump asked the FBI director to drop an investigation into ties between Russia and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who was fired for misleading the White House about conversations he had with Russia's ambassador in Washington. The Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the federal investigation following Comey's firing. Wray's appointment will require confirmation at a special Senate hearing.

Donald Trump has announced that he will nominate former Justice Department official Christopher Wray to head the FBI. The announcement comes a day before former FBI Director James Comey is to testify to the Senate. US President Donald Trump announced on Twitter early Wednesday that he has selected former assistant attorney general Christopher Wray to lead the FBI, nearly a ... Read More »

Police arrest London Bridge attack suspect as May hints at limiting suspects’ rights

Police have made a fresh arrest tied to last week's attack in central London. With security in the spotlight ahead of elections, the UK's prime minister has proposed undermining human rights to improve public safety. Police on Wednesday arrested a 30-year-old man in the east London suburb of Ilford in connection to a deadly terror attack that left seven people dead and dozens more wounded in central London on Saturday. In a statement, authorities said the suspect was arrested on "suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorist acts." "Detectives investigating the London Bridge terror attack have carried out a search warrant at an address in east London in the early hours of Wednesday," police said. Read more: Banishing the 'extremist' image: A crucial task for British-Pakistanis The announcement comes as police have been pressed to explain their handling of suspected attacker Khuram B., who was known to authorities prior to Saturday's attack and appeared in the 2016 television documentary "The Jihadis Next Door." 'No intelligence to suggest attack' Although Khuram B. was known to authorities, police on Monday said, "There was no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned and the investigation had been prioritized accordingly." Earlier this week, authorities identified the assailants of the attack as 27-year-old Pakistan-born British citizen Khuram B., 30-year-old Libyan-Moroccan national Rachid R. and 22-year-old Italian-Moroccan Youssef Z. The self-styled "Islamic State" (IS) militant group claimed responsibility for the attack on Sunday. However, authorities have yet to announce whether the attack was coordinated by the militant group's operatives in Iraq or Syria, or by a UK-based cell. A spate of terror attacks on British soil has moved security into the spotlight ahead of key parliamentary elections slated for Thursday. British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday announced that she is willing to weaken fundamental rights in order to make it easier for authorities to detain suspected militants even when authorities did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute them. "If our human rights laws stop us from doing it, we will change the laws so we can do it," May said at an election rally. Read more: UK's 'Big Brother' anti-terror strategy is flawed, UN expert says Human rights organizations lashed out at May's proposal, saying it was "reckless and misinformed." Amnesty International said it "will not stand by silently when threats are made to 'rip up human rights laws.' Human rights are there to protect all in society - that is just pure common sense." May also proposed to extend the length of time authorities could detain suspects without charge from 14 days to 28 days, according to an interview published by the British newspaper The Sun. Security is a hot election topic In response to May's tough proposals, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said, "We will always keep the law under review, but don't believe would-be terrorists and suicide bombers will be deterred by longer sentences or restricting our rights at home." He also pledged to hire more police officers. The issue of security would appear to have closed the one-time large gap between the Conservatives and the Labour party. According to a poll published Tuesday by the group Survation, May's previous 20-point lead over Labour has withered to barely more than a single point - 41.6 percent to 40.4 percent. Most other polls, however, log a more comfortable lead between 5 and 10 percent. Editor's note: In a bid to limit their exposure, Deutsche Welle has decided to withhold terror suspects' names and obscure their faces.

Police have made a fresh arrest tied to last week’s attack in central London. With security in the spotlight ahead of elections, the UK’s prime minister has proposed undermining human rights to improve public safety. Police on Wednesday arrested a 30-year-old man in the east London suburb of Ilford in connection to a deadly terror attack that left seven people ... Read More »

German cabinet recommends moving Bundeswehr from Incirlik base

Germany's government has recommended pulling the Bundeswehr from the Incirlik air base. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said earlier that the troops at Incirlik could be moved from Turkey to a base in Jordan. Germany's cabinet on Wednesday recommended pulling troops from the Incirlik air base in Turkey. The Bundeswehr has about 280 military personnel stationed at Incirlik, from where they fly Tornado surveillance missions over Syria and refueling flights for partner nations in the coalition against the Islamic State (IS). Ahead of the meeting, Bundestag deputies sought to remind the cabinet that parliament has the last word on military deployments. "In all circumstances, the Bundestag, which has the relevant authority, must consider the new situation," Hans-Peter Bartels, the parliamentary ombudsman for the armed forces, told the RND newspaper group for reports published on Wednesday. A majority of deputies, including Greens and the legislators for the ruling Christian Democrats and their junior coalition partners, the Social Democrats, support moving the troops from Turkey to a nearby location. The Left would like to see the Bundeswehr pull out of its mission against IS entirely. 'We cannot accept' The pullout looked inevitable after testy talks on Monday between German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and his counterpart in Ankara, Mevlut Cavusoglu, who said Turkey would block a Bundestag delegation from visiting troops stationed at Incirlik. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen refused limits being put on lawmakers' ability to visit troops. "Incirlik is a good air base for the fight against Islamic State, but we cannot accept not being able to visit our soldiers," she said on Monday, adding that an alternative had been identified in Jordan's Azraq air base. She added that King Abdullah supports the move, which could halt refueling missions by two to three weeks and surveillance flights by two to three months. Gabriel quickly shifted to damage control mode. "Above all, we should organize the withdrawal so that there is no megaphone diplomacy where we trade insults," Gabriel told Deutschlandfunk radio on Tuesday. "We have no interest in pushing Turkey into a corner," Gabriel said. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO would take no sides and lamented that the key alliance members had been unable to achieve their own diplomatic solution to what has been a long-running dispute. "It has no effect on NATO activities," Stoltenberg said in May. "The dispute is a bilateral issue between Turkey and Germany." A speaker from the Pentagon said the United States also had no official opinion on the matter.

Germany’s government has recommended pulling the Bundeswehr from the Incirlik air base. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said earlier that the troops at Incirlik could be moved from Turkey to a base in Jordan. Germany’s cabinet on Wednesday recommended pulling troops from the Incirlik air base in Turkey. The Bundeswehr has about 280 military personnel stationed at Incirlik, from ... Read More »

Twin attacks strike Iran’s parliament, Khomeini’s tomb

Two attacks have hit major targets in the Iranian capital killing at least 12 people. Armed men stormed the parliament while attackers detonated explosives at the tomb of Iran's former leader Ayatollah Khomeini. At least 12 people were killed and dozens more injured during two coordinated attacks targeting major landmarks in the Iranian capital of Tehran. Iran's Intelligence Ministry said authorities prevented a third assault from taking place. "This morning two terrorist groups attacked the parliament and Imam Khomeini's shrine ... Members of a third group were arrested before being able to carry out an attack," the ministry said in a statement circulated by state media. The self-styled "Islamic State" militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, according to terrorism watchdog SITE Intel Group. However, Middle East observers have expressed skepticism over the claim, saying the group may be seeking to capitalize on the attack. If confirmed, it would mark the Sunni militant group's first known attack in Iran, a Shiite-majority country that has been a major backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Shiite militia in Iraq battling IS. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said Iran's actions against militants in Syria and Iraq proved they had become an enemy. "Iran is an active and effective pillar in the fight against terrorists and they want to damage it," he said. 'Significant targets' Holly Dagres, Iranian-American political analyst and curator of the weekly newsletter The Iranist, told DW that the attacks "appeared to be very well planned." "The attackers chose two very significant targets that symbolize the Islamic Republic, the parliament and the Imam Khomeini mausoleum. They were targeting the very core of the Iranian government," Dagres said. Dagres told DW that while the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, some observers suspect the involvement of different actors, including an Islamist leftist militant group known as People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), which has called for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic. Attack on parliament One attack Wednesday targeted the parliament, where several armed assailants stormed the building. At least one of them detonated a suicide vest strapped with explosives within the building, according to local media reports. The other assailants wielded assault rifles. "A person entered Iranian parliament today and started shooting at the guards. He shot one of the guards in the leg and ran away," the Fars and Mehr news agencies reported in their Telegram messenger feeds. Press TV, Iran's international broadcaster, also showed footage of people fleeing parliament and gathering outside the building. Following an hours-long siege of the parliament, security forces shot dead the remaining assailants. Iconic leader's tomb targeted Press TV and other state-run news outlets reported that a suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden vest near Khomeini's mausoleum, located in southern Tehran, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) away from the parliament building. Khomeini is a crucial figure in modern Iranian history. He effectively launched the Islamic Revolution in 1979 that witnessed the founding of an Islamic republic marked by the overthrow of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran. During the attacks, authorities placed Tehran on lockdown, warning against using public transport and preventing journalists from reaching the site of Khomeini's tomb. Regional tensions The high-profile attacks are likely to raise tensions between rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia, who are battling for influence across the region in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and the Gulf Arab states. It also comes as Gulf Arab states spar with Qatar in part over its relations with Iran, and after US President Donald Trump met with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia earlier this month urging a united front against extremism and Iran. Read: Saudi Arabia vs. Qatar vs. Iran Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards blamed Saudi Arabia and the United States for the attack in a statement run by Iranian media. "This terrorist attack happened only a week after the meeting between the US president and the [Saudi] backward leaders who support terrorists. The fact that Islamic State has claimed responsibility proves that they were involved in the brutal attack," it said in a statement. Opinion: Young princes in the Persian Gulf are playing with fire World reacts The EU's top diplomat Federica Mogherini expressed her "condolences to the victims" of the attack, saying her team is following the events "closely." Germany's foreign ministry condemned the attacks, saying "once again, unscrupulous criminals have killed many innocent people." "I condemn in the strongest terms the attacks in the Iranian parliament building and the tomb of the revolutionary leader Khomeini," Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a statement. France's foreign ministry also issued a statement expressing condolences to the families of the victims, noting that its embassy in Iran was monitoring the situation. Russian President Vladimir Ptuin said Russia "resolutely condemns" the violence, saying such incidents underscore the need for more international cooperation on uprooting terrorism. In a surprising statement, the UAE, which has accused Iran of creating instability in the region, condemned the attacks, saying: "Our position on terrorism is very clear … Any terrorist attack in any country, in any capital, directed at innocent people is something that the UAE abhors and the UAE condemns."

Two attacks have hit major targets in the Iranian capital killing at least 12 people. Armed men stormed the parliament while attackers detonated explosives at the tomb of Iran’s former leader Ayatollah Khomeini. At least 12 people were killed and dozens more injured during two coordinated attacks targeting major landmarks in the Iranian capital of Tehran. Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said ... Read More »

Echoes of ‘92 as Denmark recall glory days

Tuesday night's friendly in Brondby was an experiment for Joachim Löw’s Germany team. But 25 years on from Denmark's most famous victory, the contest was a reminder of Danish glory and pride. With a well-earned 1-0 lead against Germany at halftime, the red-and-white-clad players walked off the field to thunderous applause. Yet the clapping quickly grew to roaring cheers as a group of middle-aged men briefly replaced them on the pitch. They are living Danish legends. 25 years ago, these same men won Denmark’s first and only major title: the 1992 European Championships in Sweden. Tuesday’s friendly commemorated the tournament’s final in which the Danish team shocked the world by beating the World Cup holders, Germany, 2-0. “The whole tournament was surreal, nobody expected anything from Denmark, it was a miracle,” said Patrick Hansen, a schoolteacher attending the game with a group of young students. Indeed, Denmark were lucky to be at the tournament at all after initially failing to qualify. But after Yugoslavia were excluded due to the ongoing conflict in the Balkans, Denmark, who had finished second in their qualifying group, took their place. Back then, Patrick was just 12 years old, the same age as most of his students today, as his country's team went from failed qualifiers to European champions in the space of a few weeks. But his students have not been so lucky - Denmark have never progressed further than a quarter-final and have failed to qualify for five major tournaments. Patrick and his class traveled about 500 kilometers on a field trip to Copenhagen. The schoolteacher then asked his students if they wanted to see “a bit of culture” and brought them to the match. “A lot of them know the story and obviously they’re not old enough to have experienced it themselves but they wanted to come and celebrate with us,” said Patrick. Lucky number 18? In the 1992 European Championship final, the Danes took the lead during the 18th minute after an unstoppable right-footed striker by John “Faxe” Jensen. In a similar fashion on Tuesday night, Christian Eriksen put Denmark in front. Coincidentally, his goal also came in the 18th minute. The goal, along with the hosts’ commemorative shirts with chevrons on the shoulders in the style of those Euro '92 kits, reminded the fans of past glory and the nostalgia inspired continuous chants. The number 18 has played a major role in for the Scandinavians. Even for schoolteacher Patrick, 18 was the number of the night as he needed 18 tickets at the last minute to take all of his students to the game. But he took a more proactive approach than just trying his luck. “I contacted the Danish Football Association on Twitter to see if there were any tickets available and they got straight back to me in about five minutes," he explained. "It was the perfect solution for us." Still reminiscing about the 1992 victory, Patrick and many fans at the Bronby stadium, as well as football romantics, hoped for a 2-0 win against an inexperienced German side – a repeat of the legendary final. However a late equalizer from Joshua Kimmich brought those dreams to an end. Still, a draw was enough for Patrick this time around. “I think it’s important that the Danish Football Association has tried to do something to raise team spirit surrounding the national team,” he said. The most important part was celebrating the time the Danish national team made him truly happy and passing that happiness along to the newer generation.

Tuesday night’s friendly in Brondby was an experiment for Joachim Löw’s Germany team. But 25 years on from Denmark’s most famous victory, the contest was a reminder of Danish glory and pride. With a well-earned 1-0 lead against Germany at halftime, the red-and-white-clad players walked off the field to thunderous applause. Yet the clapping quickly grew to roaring cheers as ... Read More »

Myanmar looks for military plane lost over sea

Rescue teams have reportedly found debris from a Myanmar transport plane that vanished en route to the southern city of Yangon. The Chinese-made aircraft was carrying over 100 people, mostly soldiers and their families. Authorities deployed navy ships and rescue planes to search for the missing aircraft on Wednesday, after the plane broke radio contact while flying over Andaman Sea. At the time, the Shaanxi Y-8 turboprop transporter was flying at over 18,000 feet (around 5,500 meters), towards Myanmar's financial capital of Yangon. According to the military, the transport plane was carrying 14 crew members and 106 passengers, mostly soldiers and their families. Over a dozen children were believed to have been on board. "Communication was lost suddenly" at about 1:35 p.m. local time, the office of military commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing said in a statement. Debris found The weather at take off had been "normal" with good visibility when the plane left the airport at the coastal town in Myeik roughly half an hour earlier, aviation official Kyaw Kyaw They said. Rescue teams have found "debris" believed to be from the plane while searching the sea, an air force source and tourism official in Myeik told the AFP news agency. The Chinese turboprop plane was delivered to Myanmar in March last year, according to the army. The military junta often uses these models to transport cargo. Its leadership often bought Chinese-made aircraft to bolster fleet during decades of Western sanctions.

Rescue teams have reportedly found debris from a Myanmar transport plane that vanished en route to the southern city of Yangon. The Chinese-made aircraft was carrying over 100 people, mostly soldiers and their families. Authorities deployed navy ships and rescue planes to search for the missing aircraft on Wednesday, after the plane broke radio contact while flying over Andaman Sea. ... Read More »

North Korea in mind, Japan town holds evacuation drills

The residents of Abu, on Japan's west coast, started evacuation drills after the government asked local officials to prepare for a possible attack from North Korea. Pyongyang slammed the US and China over new sanctions. About 280 people took part in Sunday's drill, with sirens sounding while a group children and their parents were cleaning up a field at the local elementary school. The anti-missile alarm "rang all of a sudden while we were picking grass, so that scared me," 10-year-old Taison Ito said. The small fishing town of Abu is located in southwest Japan, close to the Korean Peninsula. Experts estimate that it would take about 10 minutes for missiles to reach the coastal area from North Korea. However, it would also take several minutes for the government to detect the launch and alert the public. During the drill, school officials instructed children to head evacuate to the school gymnasium, which they accomplished in about three minutes. "It was a good way to understand how to evacuate," one of the parents said. "But again it didn't feel very realistic." 'Move away from the windows' Despite protest from Japan and the rest of the international community, North Korea continues to test its missiles. It has launched about a dozen since the beginning of the year, with many of them falling in the Sea of Japan. The tests, combined with the country's nuclear program, have stoked fear in the region. Japan's government has published a list of tips in case of a missile strike, including a recommendation to "take shelter in a robust building nearby" and "move away from windows or, if possible, move to a room without windows." Government officials also instructed local authorities in different areas of Japan to hold drills similar to the one in Abu. Residents of the nearby Fukuoka conducted a drill last week, with others scheduled in the coming months. Pyongyang doubles down On Sunday, Pyongyang announced that it "fully rejects" the latest sanctions passed by the United Nations on Friday, which targeted 18 North Korean officials and entities. "Whatever sanctions and pressure may follow, we will not flinch from the road to build up nuclear forces, which was chosen to defend the sovereignty of the country and the rights to national existence and will move forward towards the final victory," North Korea's Foreign Ministry declared in a statement. In another sign of a growing rift between Pyongyang and Beijing, North Korea criticized the United States and China for "railroading and enforcing" the resolution at the UN Security Council "after having drafted it in the backroom at their own pleasure."

The residents of Abu, on Japan’s west coast, started evacuation drills after the government asked local officials to prepare for a possible attack from North Korea. Pyongyang slammed the US and China over new sanctions. About 280 people took part in Sunday’s drill, with sirens sounding while a group children and their parents were cleaning up a field at the ... Read More »

Taiwan offers to help China transition to democracy on Tiananmen anniversary

Taiwan's president has offered to help China shift into democracy on the 28th anniversary of Beijing's crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. Thousands also gathered in Hong Kong for a vigil. Nearly three decades since Beijing ordered tanks and troops into the squareto crush the student-led pro-democracy uprising, and any public commemoration of the subject remains banned across the Chinese mainland - where the government has never released an official death toll from the brutal crackdown. Hong Kong, the former British colony that was returned to Chinese rule in 1997, is the only place on Chinese soil where large-scale commemorations take place (above) to honor the victims. The annual protest, which draws tens of thousands, symbolizes the financial center's relative freedom compared with the mainland. "I don't want this part of history to become blurred," said office worker Emily Yu, 42, who was attending the gathering in Victoria Park. "It was really a massacre of people. Those young people came out and did all they could for freedom and democracy but didn't achieve it." This year's events are especially tense as they come only a month before a planned visit of President Xi Jinping to mark the 20th anniversary of Britain returning Hong Kong to China. "When Xi Jinping comes, he'll know the people of Hong Kong have not forgotten," said Lee Cheuk-yan, a veteran democracy activist and an organizer of the annual candlelight vigil. Fighting for their future "The students who died still haven't got what they deserve. They fought for their future in the same way we're fighting for our future," said 17-year-old high school student Yanny Chan. Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, said the biggest gap between Taiwan and China is democracy and freedom, needling Beijing at a time when relations between China and the self-ruled island are at their nadir. She said Taiwan was willing to share its experiences of transitioning to democracy in the late 1980s to ease the pains of such a transition for the mainland. "For democracy: some are early, others are late, but we all get there in the end," Tsai said, writing in Chinese on her Facebook page and posting some of her comments in English on Twitter. Taiwan labored under martial law for nearly 40 years before it began moving toward democracy in the 1980s. It has held regular presidential elections since 1996. On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had long ago reached its conclusions about June 4. "I hope you can pay more attention to the positive changes happening in all levels of Chinese society," she said without elaborating. In Beijing security was tight as usual at Tiananmen Square, with long lines at bag and identity checks. The square itself was peaceful, thronged with tourists taking photos.

Taiwan’s president has offered to help China shift into democracy on the 28th anniversary of Beijing’s crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. Thousands also gathered in Hong Kong for a vigil. Nearly three decades since Beijing ordered tanks and troops into the squareto crush the student-led pro-democracy uprising, and any public commemoration of the subject remains banned across the ... Read More »

Greek extremists go abroad for training in revolution

From anarchists to nihilists, militant Greek youth are increasingly networking with other global forces of violence. Left unchecked, they risk turning into loose cannons, disregarding all costs, reports Anthee Carassava. Greek extremists are fleeing to Syria to fight against the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) group, and the surge is stoking concerns among authorities in Athens that a fearless, new-fanged generation of militants could usher a fresh wave of domestic violence here. Although the flight has long been speculated among leading security circles here, concerns mounted recently as local media published pictures showing Greek anarchists fighting alongside the International Revolutionary People's Guerilla Forces in Rojava, near Syria's northern border with Turkey. Read more: Child refugees in Greece sell sex for smugglers' fees Brandishing AK-47s and wearing ski masks with military fatigues, the so-called Greek contingent is seen posing against a brick wall emblazoned with an ominous message: "From Rojava to Athens." In another picture, the extremists feature alongside a French team, part of the so-called 161 crew, warning in a separate banner: "No step back." Authorities contacted by DW said police were examining the pictures published in the Athens daily Eleftheros Typos to detect homegrown extremists evading arrest for years. "There is serious concern about this development and we are on alert as we are in the midst of a flare-up of domestic violence here," said a senior police official. The official refused to elaborate, but security experts said the Rojava recruits risked returning back to Greece with an updated cause. Worst yet, they could return with more dangerous means and methods to upgrade their long-standing fight to subvert the state. "There is a growing networking among violent anti-establishment forces," says Mary Bossi, professor of international security in Pireaus University. "The recruitment is extremely rigorous because unlike traditional terror groups of the past, these groups are open - posting, recruiting and spreading their messages freely," she explains. Regular attacks In a recent interview, a leading IRPGF member said the Rojava movement was bent on fighting IS. But its purpose, he explained, was also to "train [anarchists with] both guerilla and conventional warfare for their respective struggles back home and to gain experience in how a revolution functions on a social level." Greek anarchists are the latest to join in the Rojava movement since Amir Taaki, an Iranian-British Bitcoin coder, set out to Syria's northern border to fight against IS. For Greece, though, the stakes are high. Any revival of violence here could erase gains made after the successful bust up of November 17, a deadly terror group that evaded arrest for more than two decades. It could also add to lingering financial woes that have already dealt a devastating blow to Greek society. Experts are concerned. About 480 extremist groups, ranging from far-left anarchists to self-proclaimed nihilists, have emerged since the breakup of November 17, targeting symbols of wealth and the state as Greeks grapple with seven years of brutal austerity. With two to three militant groupings claiming responsibility for mainly low-grade attacks that rattle the country almost daily, a resurging tide of domestic terror is swelling, intelligence officials concede. "I don't want to think of the warfare these recruits in Rojava are going to bring back home and the situation that will transpire," said a senior intelligence official. Experts warn of deaths to come In recent weeks, conservative lawmakers and security experts have urged action, accusing authorities of not doing enough to crush a new generation of extremists feeding on resentment of the country's feckless political elite and seven years of austerity measures prescribed by Western monetary institutions. "Any state that wants to do away with its homegrown extremists, can do so," Bossi told DW. "Greece has both the technology and resources for the task. "Unfortunately, though, amateurism is at play. "Once an attack happens authorities scramble with crackdowns for a few days and then interest in addressing the real causes of the violence fade." Last week, and in a major escalation of violence, homegrown terrorists attacked former Prime Minister Lucas Papademos as he was being driven home, in Athens. Two members of his security entourage were also injured as the former central bank governor opened a booby-trapped envelope in his car, suffering major injuries from shrapnel that darted into his chest, groin and stomach as a result of the powerful explosion. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but the hit bears the hallmarks of a homegrown militant anti-authority group of anarchists called the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fires. Known also for posting a similar parcel of explosives to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble earlier this year, the small band of extremists has rapidly evolved into an urban guerilla force, upgrading its attacks from crude pressure-cooker bombs to more sophisticated explosives in recent years. Even so, Greece's new vintage of extremists remain dangerously reckless. Unlike the careful and calculating tactics used by older terror groups, their pursuit of disrupting and destabilizing the state comes at a high cost. Worse yet, any deployment of militarized techniques in upcoming attacks risks turning them into volatile loose canons, plunging Greece into a new reign of deadly terror. "Their complete disregard for any collateral damage is alarming," Bossi says. "That alone should have authorities on extra alert, trying to bust them up before it's too late. "Left unchecked," she warns, "any future hits are bound to come with a kill."

From anarchists to nihilists, militant Greek youth are increasingly networking with other global forces of violence. Left unchecked, they risk turning into loose cannons, disregarding all costs, reports Anthee Carassava. Greek extremists are fleeing to Syria to fight against the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) group, and the surge is stoking concerns among authorities in Athens that a fearless, new-fanged generation ... Read More »

Shiite militants push IS out of key Iraqi town of Baaj

The pro-Baghdad Popular Mobilization Forces have driven the "Islamic State" out of the Iraqi town of Baaj, cutting one of the group's supply lines between Mosul and Syria. The Shiite fighters are endorsed by Iran. Iraqi air force backed the militia's push into the border town, the Popular Mobilization group announced on Sunday. The victory over the self-styled "Islamic State" (IS) fighters was a "big and qualitative achievement" in the larger operation to retake the city of Mosul from the IS jihadis, said deputy chief of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The border town is located west of Mosul, and its loss cuts a key IS supply lines connecting the city with Syria. Baghdad's troops launched the offensive to liberate Mosul eight months ago and uprooted the jihadi militia from several parts of the city. However, IS forces are still holding the western section of their last remaining urban stronghold in Iraq. Iranian advisors active in Syria and Iraq Despite the US backing, the anti-IS coalition was forced to slow down its efforts while facing car bombs and sniper fire in the densely populated areas of Mosul. The retaking of Baaj comes several weeks after the Popular Mobilization Forces started their push to reclaim the area near the Syrian border. IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is believed to be hiding in the region. While the Shiite-dominated militia nominally answers to Baghdad, it is supported by the Shiite power Iran. Tehran provided training and military advisors to the Iraqi group, and also helped organize thousands of Shiite fighters from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in Syria.

The pro-Baghdad Popular Mobilization Forces have driven the “Islamic State” out of the Iraqi town of Baaj, cutting one of the group’s supply lines between Mosul and Syria. The Shiite fighters are endorsed by Iran. Iraqi air force backed the militia’s push into the border town, the Popular Mobilization group announced on Sunday. The victory over the self-styled “Islamic State” ... Read More »

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