Daily Archives: November 26, 2008

Party boy Rothschild hanging out with son of Gaddafi


Gaddafi’s son: We lied about Lockerbie

That Rothschild clan in full: eccentricity, money, influence and scandal

Elitist image dogs Britain’s Conservatives

The Man Who May Become the Richest Rothschild

Rothschild friendly with Gaddafi’s son

First Post | Nov 26, 2008

saif-al-islam-al-gaddafiNat Rothschild, the hot-shot hedge fund manager and scion of the famous banking dynasty, certainly has an eclectic group of friends and associates. Not content with being in business with the Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska (who is not allowed to enter the US for unspecified reasons), he is now getting close to another colourful figure, Seif al-Islam Gaddafi (pictured), the son of the Libyan leader, who he recently invited to a party at his town house in Greenwich Village, New York.

Rothschild has wisely kept out of the headlines following his well publicised spat with George Osborne – in a letter to the Times in October, he condemned the Tory shadow chancellor for leaking stories about private conversations he had had with Lord (Peter) Mandelson while staying at the Rothschild’s villa in Corfu in the summer.

While it is not known what Rothschild and Gaddafi junior discussed at the soiree, it is undoubtedly smart of him to get to know Seif al-Islam as he is widely tipped to succeed his father when he finally relinquishes control of the Arab state. (Continued below)

Meanwhile, Taki Theodoracopulos, the Spectator columnist who was also at the party, better watch out he doesn’t suffer the same fate as Osborne He told the Daily Telegraph: “I found him [Gadaffi’s son] even less interesting than reading Leo Tolstoy, which is to say he was not at all interesting.”

Intelligence agencies connected with mafia gangs and terrorists in the Balkans


Secret services are combating terrorism, but their parts which are in the mafia or within the terrorist core for high profits or “higher goals” work for terrorist groups. Inside terrorism is becoming a soft connection between the mafia and political and ethnic extremist organizations.

Emportal | Nov 26, 2008

Connection between secret services, the mafia groups and terrorists in the Western Balkans

In the western Balkans there is a connection between the secret services, national and international, and criminal cartels, which are, indirectly or directly, influenced by terrorist groups.

By Nikos Arvanites

The detention of three Germans in connection with a recent bomb attack on a European Union office in Pristina, Kosovo, has highlighted tensions over a plan to replace a nine-year UN presence with an EU mission and raised once more many question over the “New Kosovo”.

Last Saturday, a judge ordered the three suspects held for one month while prosecutors gather evidence for terrorism charges. The three are accused of carrying out a Nov. 14 dynamite attack that shattered glass windows at the EU office, but harmed no one.

The Pristina EXPRESS daily has published that three German citizens, suspected of placing a bomb in front of the seat of the International Civilian Office, are actually members of German secret service BND.

The paper reported that BND has admitted that some members of its have been arrested, but rejected the allegations that it was they who mounted the bomb attack.

Quoting its sources, the daily states that the arrested persons have ordinary and not diplomatic passports and that they have been in Kosovo for several months now.

Citing court documents, the Associated Press reported that the Kosovo prosecutors believe the Germans “intended to disrupt the bloc’s efforts to deploy its new police mission.”

Prosecutor Feti Tunuzliu alleged that the three suspects wanted to “hamper and hinder” the mission, according to documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

Tunuzliu wrote that one of the suspects threw 300 grams (0.6 pounds) of dynamite at the EU offices from a building across the street Nov. 14 as the two others kept watch.

But the BBC reported that the three detained men insist they were themselves investigating the blast site.

German and Kosovo media report that the men are German intelligence agents but officials in Berlin refuse to comment.

Lawyers for the detainees say the prosecution is seeking terrorism charges that carry a maximum 20-year sentence.

The German weekly Der Spiegel said the men worked for the German intelligence agency BND, and that they told investigators they had been examining the scene of the explosion, but had not been involved in it.

The Christian Science Monitor reported, and later brokered a deal with Serbia over the deployment of a replacement EU mission. But now some in Kosovo reject the deal as an affront to the nation’s fledgling sovereignty.

A Reuters report noted that the Nov. 14 attack came four days after Kosovo leaders rejected the UN deal.

The AP reported that Kosovo can’t accept Serbia’s terms for the EU mission’s deployment.

The Bundestag should be officially informed on Thursday about the arrests of three alleged agents of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) in Kosovo, Radio Deutsche Welle said on Monday, stressing that German public security experts believe Albanian extremists are in fact behind the relevant bomb attack in Pristina.

All the circumstances involving this incident should be presented at a session of the German parliament’s intelligence oversight committee by BND Chief Ernst Uhrlau.

Politicians in Berlin also doubt that any German intelligence service members in Kosovo actually took part in the bomb attack on November 14 which resulted in material damages alone, Deutsche Welle said.

“Such things are beyond my imagination. It seems that these are arbitrary accusations, but they must be looked into, even as such,” Bundestag’s Supervisory Committee President, Social Democratic Party MP Thomas Oppermann said.

“It all smacks strongly of a plot that could be connected with the Kosovo government and its interests, and perhaps also with other (foreign) intelligence services or the local judiciary,” Committee member, Green Party MP Hans-Christian Stroebele said.

Secret services are combating terrorism, but their parts which are in the mafia or in the terrorist core for high profits or “higher goals” work for terrorist groups.

Inside terrorism is becoming a soft connection between the mafia and political and ethnic extremist organizations. The core activity of the influence of the mafia and terrorists is concentrated in the Albanian political movement, which skillfully uses the mafia as its allies and partners aiming at the independent Kosovo and great-Albanian politics in the western Balkans.

The mafia has a major influence in the western Balkans and represents a “branch of economy” with a substantial profit. Included in the mafia affairs is the majority of “soldiers” and those considered to be “manpower”. Secret services are waging a global war against organized crime, but at the same time they are part of the system. The mafia gives support to financing or ethnic terrorism in the other logistics.

In Kosovo and Metohija there is the strongest connection between the mafia and separatist movement on the one hand, and terrorist groups on the other.

The secret service of Kosovo, which is in the process of establishment, largely builds on the former police structures of Albanians that were educated till 1991 and after 1991 in Albania.

The Albanian movement has a big influence on the network of secret services in Kosovo and Metohija (over 20), which are, in various ways, present in the country with their interests and goals.

The core activity of the influence of the mafia and terrorists is concentrated in the Albanian political movement, which skillfully uses the mafia as its allies and partners aimed at the independent Kosovo and great-Albanian politics in the western Balkans.

The strategy for combating terrorism is to focus on organized crime and the reform of secret services whose information is of importance to the mafia that uses it excessively because of the connection.

Leading lawyer seeks to integrate Islamic law with British legal system


Stephen Hockman: The QC reportedly said Sharia law should be incorporated into the English legal system

A leading barrister has said that Sharia law should be incorporated into the English legal system, it has been reported.

Telegraph | Nov 26, 2008

Sharia law should be introduced into legal system, says leading barrister

By Jon Swaine

Stephen Hockman QC, a former chairman of the Bar Council, reportedly suggested that a group of MPs and legal figures should be convened to plan how elements of the Muslim religious-legal code could be introduced.

After speaking at an event organised by the website Islam4UK at the National Liberal Club, Whitehall, Mr Hockman reportedly told The Daily Express: “Given our substantial Muslim population, it is vital that we look at ways to integrate Muslim culture into our traditions. Otherwise we will find that there is a significant section of our society which is increasingly alienated, with very dangerous results.

“There should perhaps be a standing committee comprising Parliamentarians, lawyers and religious leaders to consider how this could be achieved and what legal changes might be framed.”

Sharia law has been criticised for its prevention of some rights for women. Mr Hockman reportedly conceded: “The position of women is one area where the emphasis is, to the say the least, rather different.”

He reportedly added that the incorporation of Sharia could improve relations between faith groups and boost the country’s security.

He said: “I am also sometimes confronted by those who point out that there are elements within the Muslim community who pose a threat to our very security. My answer is not to dispute them but to suggest that it is for those of us forming part of the majority community to address such problems.”

British biometric ID card system vulnerable to cloning

Security Park | Nov 11, 2008

TSSI has branded the Government proposal by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to ask companies such as the Post Office to collect biometric data as irresponsible. It said that such a system that allowed private companies to gain ownership of public identity data could be vulnerable to abuse.

“Handing over the keys to public identity data to organisations such as Royal Mail will open up a whole new can of worms. It seems preposterous to put public data into the hands of a third party when data loss is as commonplace as it is,” said Stewart Hefferman, COO, TSSI Systems Ltd. “It’s clear now that the government has intended to link the ID card scheme into its other services. I’ve been concerned about such an extension of ID card use since they were very first announced.”

“The big concern with ID verification is impersonation. Unfortunately, the Government’s ID card scheme does not go far enough to address this problem – and by opening up a photo kiosk style fingerprinting service at a post office with data made accessible to various employees – will further exacerbate the problem.”

“The two main weaknesses are firstly, an over-reliance on biometric security, and secondly, the preference for centralised data storage. Together these leave the ID card system vulnerable to cloning.”

“Stronger verification technology needs to be in place. Biometric technology alone does not suffice to prevent fraud – despite strong encryption, the Dutch biometric passports were cracked soon after launching. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a 100% secure solution – and saying you’ve got one is an open invitation to hackers! All you can do is minimise the risk as far as possible.”

“What’s needed if the ID card scheme is to work, is a belt and braces approach. Storing the biometric data as an algorithmic encryption makes it impossible for even the most sophisticated fraudster to read or substitute. Even authorised personnel – and therefore any successful hackers or corrupt employees – would only be able to view binary code, and not the finger, iris or facial data itself. They would also be unable to replicate the algorithm to clone the card.”

“The way the information is stored and structured needs to be carefully implemented to avoid sowing the seeds of disaster. Storing this data centrally and then linking this into a variety of databases is a security concern. Other countries such as France and Italy have stipulated that biometric information is stored only on the cards themselves – thus still within the possession of the individual.”

“If it is stored centrally, then the biometric data must be stored separately from any other personal data. This would make it harder for any hacker to join up the dots and steal someone’s identity or clone a card. I also strongly advise that back-end systems enable an audit trail of those personnel who have accessed individual records on those back end systems.”

Jewish neo-Nazi gang jailed

Eight teenagers have been jailed in Israel for carrying out a series of neo-Nazi attacks that shocked the nation.

Telegraph | Nov 24, 2008

The eight young men, aged from 16 to 19, were found guilty of attacking religious Jews, homosexuals and drug addicts, and the desecration of a synagogue.

The group, immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union, were sentenced to between one and seven years in jail.

One of those convicted was the grandson of a Holocaust survivor.

The court found that several members of the gang, based in the Tel Aviv satellite town of Petah Tikva, had even planned to celebrate the birthday of wartime German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in a country set up as a refuge for Jews after the Holocaust.

In delivering his verdict, Judge Tsvi Gurkinkel described the attacks as “a grave phenomenon, shocking and horrible, which remind us of the darkest events of the Crystal Night.

“The fact that they are Jews from the ex-Soviet Union and that they had sympathised with individuals who believed in racist theories is terrible,” he added.

November 9-10, 1938 was known as Crystal Night, when widespread attacks were carried out against Jews and Jewish property across German cities, including attacks on shops where store windows were smashed.
Gang leader Erik Bonite, who is also known as Ely the Nazi, was sentenced to seven years in jail.

Mr Gurkinkel said it was not possible to hand out “lightweight sentences because Israeli citizens cannot accept the frightening phenomenon revealed by the acts” of the gang.

Known as Patrol 36, the gang operated between 2005 and September 2007 when police announced that they had broken up the gang.

Israel, which was founded in part in 1948 as a refuge for survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and where the memory of the six million Jews murdered during World War II runs deep, was profoundly shocked by the revelations.

The accused even videotaped some of their attacks with the intent of posting them on the internet.

The videos, widely played on Israeli media, show the youths kicking and beating homeless people, drug addicts and religious Jews.

Searches of the suspects’ homes turned up Nazi uniforms, portraits of Adolf Hitler, knives, guns and explosives, police said.

New Blackwater Iraq Scandal: Guns, Silencers and Dog Food


Despite four separate federal grand jury investigations of its operations, Blackwater’s contract to provide security services for the US State Department was renewed earlier this year. The contract pays Blackwater $250 million a year and runs for five years. Collapse

Ex-employees Tell ABC News the Firm Used Dog Food Sacks to Smuggle Unauthorized Weapons to Iraq

ABC | Nov 14, 2008


A federal grand jury in North Carolina is investigating allegations the controversial private security firm Blackwater illegally shipped assault weapons and silencers to Iraq, hidden in large sacks of dog food, ABCNews.com has learned.

Under State Department rules, Blackwater is prohibited from using certain assault weapons and silencers in Iraq because they are considered “offensive” weapons inappropriate for Blackwater’s role as a private security firm protecting US diplomatic missions.

“The only reason you need a silencer is if you want to assassinate someone,” said former CIA intelligence officer John Kiriakou, an ABC News consultant.

Six Blackwater employees are under investigation by another federal grand jury, in Washington, D.C., in connection with the shooting deaths of at least 17 civilians in September 2007 at a Baghdad traffic circle. Prosecutors are expected to return indictments in the next few weeks, according to people familiar with the case.

The investigation of the alleged dog food smuggling scheme began last year after two Blackwater employees were caught trying to sell stolen weapons in North Carolina. The two, Kenneth Cashwell and William “Max” Grumiaux pleaded guilty in February and became government witnesses, according to court documents.

Two other former employees tell ABCNews.com they also witnessed the dog food smuggling operation. They say the weapons were actually hidden inside large sacks of dog food, packaged at company headquarters in North Carolina and sent to Iraq for the company’s 20 bomb-sniffing dogs.

Larger items, including M-4 assault weapons, were secreted on shipping pallets surrounded by stacks of dog food bags, the former employees said. The entire pallet would be wrapped in cellophane shrink wrap, the former employees said, making it less likely US Customs inspectors would look too closely.

In a statement, Blackwater did not address directly the allegations involving silencers but says “all firearms shipped to Iraq by Blackwater were given proper US government license.” The statement denied Blackwater owned or possessed any M4 weapons in Iraq.

US Army officials told ABCNews.com earlier this year, at least one Blackwater M4 weapon was discovered during a raid on an suspected insurgent location in Iraq.

Last year, a US Department of Commerce inspector at JFK airport in New York discovered a two-way radio hidden in a dog food sack being shipped by Blackwater to Iraq, according to people familiar with the incident.

Blackwater says the radio did not need a license and was hidden among the dog food sacks, not inside the dog food.

The company says it is a common practice “to prevent corrupt foreign customs agents and shipping workers from stealing the valuables.”

In addition to the grand jury investigation, Blackwater sources say the company is facing a multi-million dollar fine for some 900 instances in which it violated State Department licensing requirements for the export of certain weapons and technical know-how.

Blackwater acknowledged in its statements “numerous mistakes in complex and demanding area of export compliance,” saying most of the violations were failures of paperwork not “nefarious smuggling.”

Of the 900 cases, about 100 of them have been referred to the Department of Justice for possible criminal prosecution, according to lawyers briefed on the case.

Last month, Blackwater hired a team of former federal law enforcement officials and defense experts that it said would review the company’s compliance with export laws.

Andrew Howell, Blackwater’s general counsel, said, “Ongoing reviews by the Department of Justice, State and Commerce have highlighted the need for a significant and systems-wide initiative.”

Another former Blackwater insider who talked with ABCNews.com said company executives made the decision to smuggle the weapons and silencers in the dog food “because it’s a war over there and our guys need them.”

Despite four separate federal grand jury investigations of its operations, Blackwater’s contract to provide security services for the US State Department was renewed earlier this year. The contract pays Blackwater $250 million a year and runs for five years.

Parents offered cash for naming children after Mussolini


A far-right Italian party is offering 1,500 euros (£1,275) to parents who name their children after the fascist dictator Mussolini.

Telegraph | Nov 25, 2008

Bounty offered to parents who name children after Mussolini

By Nick Squires in Rome

The right-wing Movimento Sociale-Fiamma Tricolore will give the cash to parents who name their newborn sons Benito.

The parents of baby girls will not miss out – they will receive the same amount if they name their daughters Rachele, after Mussolini’s wife.

The party stipulates that the money must be used to buy baby clothes, cots and food.

The offer extends to an area of southern Italy in which the party is active, around the town of Potenza, in the poor southern region of Basilicata.

The money will go to babies that are born during the course of 2009.

The regional head of the party, Vicenzo Mancusi, said the offer was part of efforts to increase the birth rate of the region, which suffers from depopulation.

He denied the choice of names was overtly political. “It’s purely casual. They’re beautiful names.”

Fiamma Tricolore – or Tricolor Flame – is a reference to Italy’s national colours of green, white and red.

The party owes its origins to Mussolini’s fascist regime and the post-war neo-fascist party Movimento Sociale Italiana.

Mussolini became Italy’s prime minister in 1922, leading the country into war as Germany’s ally in 1940.

He was deposed three years later but rescued from prison by a daring German special forces raid.

In April 1945 he was captured while trying to flee the country by Italian partisans and executed near Lake Como.

Writer to Co-Produce Monster of Florence


The scene of a double-murder attributed to the Monster.

DVD Feed | Nov 25, 2008

by Una Cruickshank

Screenwriter Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie) is set to write and produce the film adaptation of Douglas Preston’s The Monster of Florence. United Artists, the production company currently helmed by Tom Cruise, acquired the rights to the book earlier this year. The Monster of Florence is a true-crime book, written by Preston in collaboration with investigative journalist Mario Spezi. After moving from the United States to Italy in 2000, Preston was intrigued to learn that a notorious double murder once took place in an olive grove on his new property. He met with Spezi and the pair set out to uncover the identity of Italy’s answer to Jack the Ripper – the so-called ‘Monster of Florence’.

The Monster of Florence was a serial killer who preyed on couples making love in cars. He shot and stabbed fourteen people to death between 1968 and 1985; although a number of suspects were arrested over the years, the real Monster was never caught. Preston and Spezi’s investigation took a particularly bizarre turn when the police began to suspect them of involvement in the crimes. Preston was placed under surveillance and interrogated on the grounds of obstructing justice, while Spezi was arrested on suspicion of actually being the Monster.

The book became a bestseller, but despite several promising leads, Preston and Spezi were unable to solve the mystery. Police harassment and Spezi’s arrest effectively put an end to their investigation, leaving the identity of the Monster, or Monsters, unknown. Tom Cruise and his business partner Paula Wagner will co-produce with McQuarrie. It’s unclear whether Cruise intends to appear in the movie, but it seems fairly likely; he’s starred in every United Artists production since taking over the company in 2006.

U.S. agency sees robots replacing humans in service jobs by 2025

In the year 2525
If man is still alive
If woman can survive, they may find

In the year 3535
Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies
Everything you think, do and say
Is in the pill you took today

In the year 4545
Ain’t gonna need your teeth, won’t need your eyes
You won’t find a thing to chew
Nobody’s gonna look at you

In the year 5555
Your arms hanging limp at your sides
Your legs got nothing to do
Some machine’s doing that for you

In the year 6565
Ain’t gonna need no husband, won’t need no wife
You’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too
From the bottom of a long glass tube, whoa-oh

– Zager and Evans, In the Year 2525 (1969)

Robot workers could ‘disrupt unskilled labor markets,’ federal report says

Computerworld | Nov 24, 2008

By Patrick Thibodeau

A U.S. government intelligence agency thinks robots may be so capable by 2025 that questions such as “Would you like fries with that?” may be uttered by a smiling machine at the order counter.

In a report titled “Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World” that was released last week, the National Intelligence Council offered its long-range strategic thinking about the military and economic challenges the U.S. will face from other countries over the next 17 years, as well as the environmental challenges ahead. The report also looks at technologies, and it includes some sweeping ideas about the future.

IT workers have long been familiar with the ways that advances in automation can reduce the need for people, especially in data centers. By 2025, robotics technology will be far enough along to take over low-skill jobs, according to the NIC.

That could provide benefits, such as enabling robots to be used to help provide care for the elderly. But the machines also may be far enough along “to disrupt unskilled labor markets,” the NIC said, adding that they could also affect immigration patterns by taking over some jobs now performed by migrant workers.
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Vendors such as MobileRobots Inc. already are offering products that provide an idea of what the future may look like. Meanwhile, last year a British artificial intelligence researcher wrote a book predicting that humans will fall in love with and even marry robots by 2050.

The NIC’s report doesn’t address that possibility. But it does say that robotic technologies may be used to augment human capabilities, much like in the 1970s television show The Six Million Dollar Man and its spin-off, The Bionic Woman. At the extreme end, the report foresees the possible development of an exoskeleton resembling “a wearable humanoid robot, that uses sensors, interfaces, power systems and actuators to monitor and respond to arm and leg movements, providing the wearer with increased strength and control.”

What may be more widespread, the NIC said, are “human cognitive augmentation technologies” — wearable devices that can help improve vision, hearing and memory.

Separately, the agency also predicted that by 2025, there will be an “Internet of Things” created by the ubiquitous use of radio frequency identification tags on a wide variety of physical items, such as food packages, furniture and paper documents. Such objects will be able to be located, identified, monitored and remotely controlled via the Internet, according to the report.

The vast reservoir of RFID data will be managed on high-performance computers connected via next-generation Internet technologies, the NIC said. It contended that the trend toward increased use of RFID is inevitable and will be driven by the need to improve supply chain operations and logistics as well as energy efficiency and data security. But privacy concerns will create a big barrier to entry for companies, the agency said.

Other predictions in the report include a belief that new kinds of energy storage technologies, such as batteries and fuel cells, will emerge by 2025. In addition, much of the report focuses on how the U.S. will fare in a changing world. “By 2025, the U..S will find itself as one of a number of important actors on the world stage, albeit still the most powerful one,” the NIC report said.