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Wed, 20 Feb 2019
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Al-Shabaab's Twitter account, run by Brit and American, shut down again


Yes, this is satirical, but it's in keeping with the absurdity of clandestine 'rebel islamists' claiming responsibility for terrorist attacks via Twitter
The flagship Twitter account of Al-Shabab, Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked terror group, was closed Friday for the second time this year, less than 24 hours after a US-based terrorism expert reported violations of Twitter's terms of service.

The closure comes only days after Al-Shabab claimed a failed assassination attempt against Somalia's president and tweeted that the next time the president wouldn't be so lucky.

Al-Shabab uses Twitter mainly to make claims of enemy kills and to spread its view of events in Somalia and East Africa. A United Nations report on Somalia released last month said UN experts believe the person running the English-language account is a British member of Al-Shabab.

Twitter in January suspended Al-Shabab's previous account two days after the group used the platform to announce a death threat against Kenyan hostages. Twitter's terms of service says it does not allow specific threats of violence against others in its posts.


Al-Shabaab, Somali al-Qaeda wing, claims responsibility via Twitter for assault on Westgate Mall, Nairobi

© Reuters
Attackers threw grenades and opened fire at the Westgate mall, which has Israeli ownership; Israeli Foreign Ministry says three Israeli citizens escaped unharmed.

Somalia's Al-Qaida-linked rebels said there would be no negotiations with the gunmen who killed at least 30 people in a Nairobi shopping mall on Saturday and were now involved in a standoff with Kenyan security forces.

"The Kenyan govt (government) is pleading with our Mujahideen inside the mall for negotiations. There will be no negotiations whatsoever at iWestgate," the al Shabaab militant group said on its official Twitter handle, referring to the mall where the attack happened.

The attackers remained inside and firing subsided as military surrounded the mall hours after the attack. People continued to trickle out from hiding places within the Westgate mall, which is frequented by expatriates and rich Kenyans in Nairobi's affluent Westlands neighborhood.

The Qatar-based news network Al Jazeera said the Somali Islamist militant group Al-Shabbab had told the channel that it had carried out the attack.

Somali's rebel group al-Shabab vowed in late 2011 to carry out a large-scale attack in Nairobi in retaliation for Kenya's sending of troops into Somalia to fight the Islamic insurgents.

Arrow Down

Google wants to be your doctor; And its director of engineering wants you to have a brain chip

The Real Evolution
© Google Plus
Google is launching a health care company called Calico. In partnership with Arthur Levinson, former chief executive of Genentech - the first genetic engineering company founded in 1976 - Google will strive to "significantly expand the human life span."

Are we headed to a Rollerball like future in which corporations have replaced countries and their governments? According to Parag and Ayesha Khanna we are indeed headed in that direction. In the Hybrid Age, mega coporations will provide advanced technology to their constituents and thus gain loyalty. As we stray away from broken governments to provide security and prosperity, these entities will fill the gap.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt - who expects to be swallowing nanobots in the not too distant future - envisions life in this technological age as a streamlined and convenient existence.

Up until now, radical life extension has been a subject discussed by niche groups, think tanks and tech executives far out of reach for the general public.

The U.K. Ministry of Defense published a 2006 report titled The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007-2036.The report outlined possible scenarios surrounding life extension. The report states, "The divide between those that could afford to 'buy longevity' and those that could not, could aggravate perceived global inequality. Dictatorial or despotic rulers could potentially also 'buy longevity', prolonging their regimes and international security risks."

Calico, working with Genentech, will likely utilize genetic engineering and synthetic DNA in its quest to extend human life. The Supreme Court's ruling earlier this year ruled against the patenting of natural human genes. However, there was a vital part of the ruling that allows for the patenting of synthetically engineered DNA.


Under siege: Many dead, dozens injured in attack on Nairobi shopping mall, Kenya

Gunmen attacked an upscale shopping mall in the Kenyan capital on Saturday, leading to a fierce gunbattle with police and leaving dozens of casualties.

The Kenyan Red Cross reported 20 dead, though a government official, Joseph Ole Lenku, only confirmed 11.

Fifty more people were wounded in the attack at the mall in Nairobi, said Abbas Gullet, head of the Kenyan Red Cross.

A security agent told CNN's Lillian Leposo at the scene that the violence was a terrorist attack, but officials had yet to confirm that information, Leposo told CNN.

"They have strong reason that these men are terrorists," Leposo said.


Max Keiser: We are on a gold standard now, even though it is not recognized

Gold bars
© Reuters / Shannon Stapleton
If you believe that gold no longer plays a role, think again. In effect, if you know what to look for, the world is on a gold standard now.

In 1971 the US 'closed the gold window' starting an era of global fiat money reference pricing that has been unprecedented in history. Never has the world operated on the basis of no country having a currency tied to something with intrinsic value like Gold. The 'petro-dollar' - a US dollar exchange rate based on the deal struck between Saudi Arabia and America - for the US to buy their oil and for the Saudis to buy US dollars and bonds in return - started a period of oil companies (with the military machinery in their pocket) bullying the world into buying US dollars or getting cut off from oil and dollar supplies led to our current political situation with the US now involved in multiple wars in various oil dependent economies and their satellites - and this lulled many into believing that Gold no longer played a role, but recent events prove these assumptions wrong.

Bad Guys

From Syria to 9/11: Saudi spymaster Bandar 'Bush' bin Sultan - Prince of Terrorists

Bandar bin Sultan
© Unknown
Bandar bin Sultan is the director general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency. In that capacity, he has earned a well-deserved reputation as the "Prince of Terrorists."

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bandar is leading the rebel forces trying to overthrow the Syrian government. Many analysts consider Bandar a prime suspect in the apparent false-flag chemical weapons attack in al-Ghouta.

Adam Entous of the Wall Street Journal says that Prince Bandar and his Saudi Intelligence Agency manufactured "evidence" that the Syrian government had used sarin gas prior to the al-Ghouta attack.

Entous stated during a Democracy Now interview: "Bandar's intelligence agency concluded that chemical weapons were being used on a small scale by the regime. Followed by that, the Brits and the French were convinced of the same conclusion. It took US intelligence agencies really until June to reach that conclusion."

In other words, Bandar used his money, clout, and connections to make sure that "the intelligence would be fixed around the policy" - just like Bush did with the alleged Iraqi WMDs in 2003.


Russian Deputy Foreign Minister blasts U.N. report on Syria chemical weapons attack as "politicized, preconceived and one-sided"

Walid al-Moallem, Sergei Ryabkov
© Getty
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, right, meets Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in Damascus, Sept. 17, 2013.
Russia all but dismissed Wednesday a report by United Nations weapons inspectors who visited the Damascus suburbs to investigate the facts surrounding an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack, and said Syria had handed over evidence allegedly showing it was rebel forces who carried out the attack.

The U.S., Britain, and France, along with many other nations and global organizations, concluded even before the U.N. report was published on Monday that Syrian President Bashar Assad's military fired the rockets containing sarin gas into the Ghouta suburbs early that morning.

Snakes in Suits

Teenager becomes first person arrested under China's new anti-gossip law

A 16-year-old pupil at a school in west China has become the first person arrested under the country's draconian new anti-gossip law.

© Unknown
'Why do we allow venom on the internet and believe ourselves powerless to stop it?’
Last week, China's Supreme Court warned that anyone spreading a rumour on the internet faces three years in prison if more than 5,000 people see it, or if it gets reposted more than 500 times.

"Society has demanded serious punishment for [...] using the internet to spread rumours and defame people," said Sun Jungong, the court spokesman. "No country would consider libel to be 'freedom of speech'," he added.

The new measure was widely criticised as an expansion of the police state onto the internet, which until now has been censored far less stringently than the traditional media. Critics warned that the law gives government officials another tool to arrest their opponents and that it would spread fear over the web.

"I am really scared now that any whistleblowing might lead to an arrest," said Zhou Ze, a rights lawyer with more than 165,000 followers on Sina Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. "We all have to talk less, and more carefully," he added, to Reuters.

However the first person to fall foul of the law was not an activist or a whistleblower, but an outspoken teenager.

Bad Guys

Ridiculous DHS list: You might be a domestic terrorist if...

© Flick/piazzadelpopolo
An 18-year veteran in law enforcement warned to beware of Homeland Security training that is being pushed to local law enforcement. "You might be a Domestic Terrorist If" you believe in civil liberties, or if you actually believe in your Constitutional rights. Sadly, this is NOT a joke.

We've all heard the "You might be a Redneck If" jokes, but in this series "You might be a Domestic Terrorist If" you believe in civil liberties, or if you actually believe in your Constitutional rights. Sadly, this is not a joke. You might also be a terrorist if you have ever expressed concerns of Big Brother. Are you a Christian who has ever discussed the anti-Christ, the apocalypse, or even mentioned the book of Revelation? Guess what, according to DHS then you too qualify as a potential domestic terrorist.

An 18-year veteran in law enforcement warned to beware of Homeland Security training that is being pushed to local law enforcement. James Wesley Rawles recently posted on AxXiom for Liberty some very disturbing trends in law enforcement training. He reports a shift in focus in the last 18 years from local community to a "federally dominated model of complete social control" coming out of, not surprisingly, Homeland Security. More specifically, the long-reaching DHS arms of TSA and FEMA have been pushed heavily in the last two years to local law enforcement.


Whale of a fine: After blowing $6bn, JP Morgan's trader costs another $920m

© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
JP Morgan chairman Jamie Dimon: 'We have accepted responsibility and acknowledged our mistakes from the start.'
Chairman Jamie Dimon sends letter to staff warning of 'more to come' after regulators hit bank with fine

Last spring the City of London was rife with rumours about a trader at the vast JP Morgan investment bank who was making such huge bets on the highly complex - and deeply risky - derivatives markets that he was known as "the London Whale" or "Voldemort". After racking up losses of $6bn (£3.7bn) from his reckless trading, the London Whale blew another hole in the bank on Thursday - landing the Wall Street firm with one of the largest fines ever levied against a single bank.

The Whale was a French-born trader, Bruno Iksil. When stories of his dangerous dealings and the scale of the potential black hole first surfaced, JP Morgan's chairman Jamie Dimon, then Wall Street's most respected banker, shrugged off the losses off with a phrase that will haunt his career: "It's a complete tempest in a teapot," he insisted.

On Thursday, however, the bank agreed to pay some $920m in penalties to US and UK regulators over the "unsafe and unsound practices" that had allowed the bank's losses to balloon to $6.2bn. The near record fine comes as former JP Morgan bankers face criminal action in the US and it has all but sunk Dimon's once promising political career. It is also just one of a series of costly and damaging scandals that are rocking the financial institution.