Monthly Archives: August 2011

Norway massacre: Special elite police unit concluded training for near identical scenario just minutes before Breivik’s bomb attack


Police emergency squad trained at Utøya scenario 22 July

Editor’s Note: The following is a rough Google translation of an article by Aftenposten in Norway

Only 26 minutes after training for emergency squad was closed, went car bomb in the government quarter.

Only hours before Anders Behring Breivik began shooting children on Utøya, concluded the police emergency squad an exercise where they practiced an almost identical situation.

aftenposten.no | Aug 29, 2011

by ANDREAS GROUND FOSS

The four days in advance, and also the same Friday that the attack was carried out, trained police special unit on an ongoing terror campaign that was approximately equal to the situation that hours later, met the 22 police officers in the emergency squad on Utøya.

Aftenposten is confirmed from key sources in the management of the Oslo police that exercise was terminated at 15 that same Friday.

All officers from the emergency squad that participated in the government quarter after car bomb and later came ashore on Utøya and arrested Anders Behring Breivik, had earlier that same day and in the days ahead participated in training on a very similar scenario.

So did the police so far to stop the exercise until they had trained on the reality.

Related

The training shall thereafter Aftenposten know, have gone straight into the met police in Tyrifjorden the same day: a mobile terrorist attack in which one or more perpetrators only goal is to shoot as many people as possible and then shoot the police when they arrive.

– It was very close to the answer key. Chance would have it that way, says a key police source, who declined to quoted by name.

Massacre

The police should not have trained in a scenario with as many victims as they met on Utøya.

Police special unit trains continuously. But every quarter, the “blocks” where they train to different types of scenarios.

These are different scenarios police envisions might occur where the emergency squad must be inserted. There may be actions indoors, in cities or out in other environments.

According to police, this is a scenario they train on several times a year and has trained for several years, especially after some events in other countries.

26 minutes

Only 26 minutes after training for emergency squad was closed, went car bomb in the government quarter. Emergency Squad was early room.

At 17.30 was the staff of the Oslo police told a shooting at Utøya. They attached so much trust in the message that the emergency squad sat in the cars they already had in its ministries and cars that came from the police station at Grønland in Oslo.

On the way they struggled to reach the North Buskerud Police District, but at 18.02, six minutes before they arrived, they contact and agreed to meet at Storøya.

There were seven people from the emergency squad and three officers from Nordre Buskerud Police District into a 4.9 meter long rubber dinghy. This was so heavily loaded that it began taking in water. The police were assisted by a civilian boat and drove towards Utøya.
Full Coverage on the Norway Massacre

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Doctors raise money for new David Kelly inquest against cover-up of his killing


Dr Kelly had spoken of “dark actors” and feared he would be “found dead in the woods”

Doctors unleash legal challenge over inquest Dr David Kelly never had

Daily Mail | Aug 28, 2011

By Miles Goslett

Doctors are preparing to challenge the Government’s decision not to hold an inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly.

In June, Attorney General Dominic Grieve ruled one out after telling Parliament evidence that the weapons inspector killed himself was ‘overwhelmingly strong’.

He was responding to legal papers sent to his office by the doctors.

But now they have told the Daily Mail that they still believe it vital that a coroner consider the case and are seeking a judicial review of Mr Grieve’s decision.

The doctors said they had spent ‘a considerable amount of time reflecting on the situation’ and had read Mr Grieve’s recent response ‘extremely carefully’.

But they concluded that there were matters which he did not address satisfactorily and they felt ‘a duty’ to carry on with their campaign.

This month the doctors were given a 33-page legal opinion by Aidan O’Neill QC, a colleague of Cherie Blair at Matrix chambers in London, indicating that Mr Grieve’s decision could be judicially reviewed, paving the way for an inquest. They are now set to proceed, managed by solicitors Withers LLP.

Following a meeting with John Cooper QC last week in which they discussed how the case would be taken forward they have now asked to be represented by him during the judicial review.

The doctors are acting because they believe there are unanswered questions about Dr Kelly’s death.

Speaking on behalf of the other three doctors involved in the case, Dr David Halpin said: ‘We need to raise about £50,000 to cover stage one legal fees to take this to the High Court but we believe this must be done. Britain has great potential for good but many people know it is now mired in mendacity. They must help the doctors get light into the dark corner of the Dr Kelly cover-up. Truth must out.’

The lawyers must be formally instructed by August 30 so that proceedings can begin by September 8, the legal deadline by which the judicial review must be under way.

The doctors’ decision is likely to cause significant unease within Whitehall.  No full explanation has been supplied for closing down the inquest into Dr Kelly’s death, which began as a matter of routine immediately after his body was found. It was replaced with a public inquiry chaired by Lord Hutton, who did not hear witness evidence under oath.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one former MP told the Mail that Dr Kelly’s death ‘almost certainly encompassed highly sensitive matters of national security which is why there was no inquest’.

Dr Kelly, a world-renowned weapons inspector, allegedly killed himself after being named as the prime source of a BBC report accusing Tony Blair’s government of lying to take Britain into the Iraq war.

His body was found in woods close to his home in Oxfordshire on July 18 2003. He had booked a return plane ticket to Baghdad, where he worked, on the morning he disappeared.

The Hutton Inquiry found that he killed himself after slashing his wrist with a blunt pruning knife and overdosing on painkillers.

Mr Grieve was presented with fresh evidence by the doctors and others questioning the official finding and highlighting irregularities.

This included the fact that there were no fingerprints on five items found with Dr Kelly’s body: the knife he allegedly used to kill himself, a watch, his mobile phone, an open water bottle and two blister packs of pills he supposedly swallowed.

Despite the police knowing about the lack of fingerprints at the time this was never raised at the Hutton Inquiry and was only established years later using the Freedom of Information Act.

There is also photographic evidence suggesting Dr Kelly’s body was moved after it was found.

Last year it emerged that in 2004 all medical and scientific reports relating to his death – including photographs of his body – were secretly classified for 70 years.

Much of the material affected by this highly unusual gagging order has still not been released and no legal explanation for it has ever been made.

Mr Halpin added: ‘Coroners,  not politicians, should determine how, where and when someone has died. That is our law in our country. There is an element of David and Goliath here.’

If you would like to donate, visit The Dr. David Kelly Inquest Fund

‘Swarm technology’ could allow UAVs to work together like insects


The ScanEagle system recently took part in the successful test of a Boeing-developed narrowband communications relay.

theengineer.co.uk | Aug 22, 2011

Autonomous aircraft could one day work together like swarming insects to complete missions, thanks to technology tested by Boeing last month.

The US-based aerospace company used swarm technology, developed by the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), to allow different types of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to communicate and operate as a group.

The technology allowed two ScanEagle aircraft manufactured by Boeing subsidiary Insitu and one Procerus Unicorn from JHU/APL to complete a mission in eastern Oregon on 7–10 July, the company revealed last week.

The UAVs worked together to search a test area, mapping the terrain and creating their own flight path, while simultaneously sending information to teams on the ground. A broader demonstration is planned for the end of September.

‘This is a milestone in UAV flight,’ said Gabriel Santander, Boeing Advanced Autonomous Networks programme director and team leader.

‘The test team proved that these unmanned aircraft can collect and use data while communicating with each other to support a unified mission.

‘This swarm technology may one day be used for search-and-rescue missions or identifying enemy threats ahead of ground patrols.’

JHU/APL principal investigator Dave Scheidt said: ‘The decentralised autonomous vehicles we demonstrated show the potential for improved response time and reduced manning requirements when compared with current systems.’

The ScanEagle system also recently took part in the successful test of a Boeing-developed narrowband communications relay that was used to link handheld radios in the mountains of California.

Libyan rebels using Canadian urban surveillance drones


An Aeryon scout UAV drone is pictured in an undated grab from a promotional video. Aeryon

defence | Aug 25, 2011

Libyan rebels are using the Aeryon Scout micro unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in their fight against pro-Gaddafi forces, after receiving one of the aircraft from Canadian manufacturer Aeryon Labs.

While numerous UAVs operate over Libya (such as the Predator, Fire Scout and ScanEagle), these are all NATO assets, leaving rebels without their own platform. However, Aeryon Labs earlier this week revealed that rebels have been using its Scout to acquire intelligence on enemy positions and to coordinate resistance efforts.

The company said that representatives from the Transitional National Council (TNC) were looking for an imagery solution to provide to the troops on the ground and chose the Scout after evaluating a series of micro UAVs.

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In cooperation with the private security company Zariba Security Corporation and the Libyan Transitional National Council, Libyan troops were trained in-country on the use of the Scout UAV. Docking in the besieged city of Misrata, after an 18-hour boat ride from Malta, a representative from Zariba Security delivered and conducted Scout UAV training, which began at the Misrata Airport.

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How high-tech Canadian drones gave Libyan rebels a boost

“After only one demonstration flight, the TNC soldiers operated the following flight,” said Charles Barlow of Zariba. “I was amazed how easy it was to train people with no previous UAV or aircraft experience, especially given the language barrier. Soldiers need tough, intuitive equipment – and the Scout delivered brilliantly.”

With only a day and a half of training flights and a few familiarization flights, Aeryon Labs said the rebels put the Scout into service on the frontline and have so far operated it without any incident.

The Scout, developed from 2007–2009, is a small vertical takeoff and landing UAV that weighs only 1.5 kg (3 lbs) and can be packed into a suitcase or a backpack. Instead of using joysticks, the Scout uses a map-based, touch-screen interface that allows new users to pilot the system in just minutes. The Scout essentially flies itself, allowing the operator to focus on acquiring imagery, Aeryon Labs said.

The Scout has four rotors, each powered by a brushless DC electric motor, ensuring nearly silent operation. The vehicle can operate up to 3 km from the user, with a designed operational altitude above ground level of 300–500 feet at flying speeds of up to 50 km/h. It can tolerate winds of up to 80 km/h.

Libyan rebels are using the Scout’s day and night-time cameras. The day camera allows them to gather detailed images and video, while the night-time camera is a thermal imager, gathering heat images of equipment and people on the ground. Each image is embedded with date and time stamps and latitude and longitude information for every target.

Aeryon said other countries in the Middle East are in the process of buying the UAV. It is currently being used by police in Canada and a company called Geo-Rhea is flying it to collect environmental data, including, for example, the size of coal piles. And BP used several Scouts to monitor the oil spill during its clean-up efforts in the Gulf.

Libya: Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi found ‘close to death’ in Tripoli


CNN are reporting that their journalist Nic Robertson has found the man convicted of the 1988 PanAm 103 bombing, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, in Libya Photo: CNN

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, was tracked down in Tripoli last night, scotching rumours that he had been spirited out of the Libyan capital.

Telegraph | Aug 28, 2011

By Jon Swaine

Reporters discovered Megrahi lying comatose and surviving on an intravenous drip in a room in his family’s palatial villa.

Relatives said that he was close to death, and that looters had “stolen all his medicine”. They insisted that they were being given no help from Gaddafi loyalists. Megrahi was pictured, clearly unconscious.

His son, Khaled al-Megrahi, told CNN: “We just give him oxygen. Nobody gives us any advice. There is no doctor. There is nobody to ask. We don’t have any phone line to call anybody. We just sit next to him … he has stopped eating and sometimes he goes into coma.”

Asked about the calls for his return to Britain, Megrahi’s son said: “If he is sent to Scotland, he will die, by the way. Here or there.”

The overthrow of Col Gaddafi, who paraded Megrahi as a victory over his western enemies, prompted calls by US senators for him to be sent back to Britain to complete his sentence.

But on Sunday night Mohammed al-Alagi, the National Transitional Council’s justice minister, dismissed suggestions that he may be extradited.

“We will not give any Libyan citizen to the West,” he said. “Al-Megrahi has already been judged once and he will not be judged again … We do not hand over Libyan citizens.”

Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, the senators for New York, home to many of the Lockerbie victims, last week called his release a “total miscarriage of justice” and demanded his extradition.

Megrahi was jailed for life in January 2001 for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 from London to New York in December 1988. It killed all 259 on board and another 11 below in the Scottish town of Lockerbie .

Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice secretary, ruled in 2009 that Megrahi should be freed. His release came after Libyan leaders threatened to cancel lucrative oil and trade deals with Britain.

Gordon Brown and other British ministers insisted that they had not intervened and that the decision was one for the Scottish executive alone.

However documents released in February showed that ministers reversed their position on the transfer of Libyan prisoners in part due to commercial concerns, including after lobbying by the oil firm BP.

In an accompanying note, Sir Gus O’Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, said that the British Government had come to the position that it “should do all it could” to ensure Megrahi’s release.

A secret US diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks and published by The Daily Telegraph in January disclosed that British ministers sent Libya detailed legal advice on how to use Megrahi’s cancer diagnosis to push for his release from Scotland. David Cameron described the decision to release Megrahi as “profoundly wrong”.

Norway killer’s isolation extended to prevent contact with accomplices


Confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik arrives at court in the back of a police car in Oslo Aug. 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Scanpix)

Confessed Norway killer’s isolation extended

Anders Behring Breivik must be kept in complete isolation for fear he would tamper with evidence and contact possible accomplices.

AP | Aug 19, 2011

OSLO – A Norwegian court on Friday extended by four weeks the isolation detention of the man who confessed to killing 77 people after a shooting rampage at a youth camp and a bombing in the capital saying it still does not know if he acted alone.

Anders Behring Breivik must be kept in complete isolation for fear he would tamper with evidence and contact possible accomplices, the Oslo District Court ruled.

Judge Hugo Abelseth acknowledged Breivik had described his isolation as “boring and monotonous, and a sadistic torture method,” but said he must nonetheless spend at least four more weeks there. He said the next hearing would be held on Sept. 19.

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Breivik’s mother ‘in shock’ over violence

Survivors and victims were not allowed into Friday’s session, but were represented by lawyers.

The 32-year-old right-wing extremist has admitted killing eight people when he exploded a truck bomb outside government offices, then fatally shooting 69 people on Utoya island nearby.

Breivik arrived at the closed hearing in a dark car, dressed in a dark suit, under heavy police protection. It was his second court appearance since the July 22 attacks.

His earlier request to wear a long black tuxedo to the session had been rejected by the court, which described it as “unnecessarily disturbing and provocative.”

Breivik denies criminal guilt because he believes the massacre was necessary to save Norway and Europe. He said the attacks were an attempt at cultural revolution, aimed at purging Europe of Muslims and punishing politicians that have embraced multiculturalism.

The court ruling said “there is a considerable likelihood that he has a realistic opportunity” of tampering with evidence unless he is held in isolation.

The court also said that police “have not been able to verify whether the suspect could have had accomplices,” and for that reason he should also be kept in isolation.

Breivik has said he acted alone and after weeks of questioning and a reenactment of the shootings police said they believe he is telling the truth.

On Friday, police said they wanted to keep Breivik in isolation because they didn’t want him to talk to other inmates although they still believe he acted alone.

“We don’t want him to be able to communicate with people outside the prison,” prosecutor Paal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby told The Associated Press.

Breivik appeared calm at the hearing but showed no remorse, his lawyer Geir Lippestad said.

“In his explanations he says these acts were gruesome, but necessary, and he hasn’t changed his view on that,” Lippestad said after the 20-minute hearing.

In the first court hearing on July 25, officials decided Breivik could be detained for eight weeks, including four weeks in isolation, meaning he has not been given access to television, newspapers and the Internet.

Lawyers representing victims’ families and survivors pilled into the courtroom for the Friday session.

“It would have been good for my clients to see him in handcuffs and chains around his feet under police escort,” said Brynjar Meling, a lawyer for one of the survivors.

Another lawyer representing the victims, Sigurd Klomsaet, said Breivik appeared to lack any humility.

“His comprehension for the pain and the hurt he has caused others is completely absent. Instead, he is fully occupied with his own situation,” Klomsaet said.

If found guilty on terrorism charges, Breivik could be sentenced to 21 years in prison. An alternative custody arrangement — if he is still considered a danger to the public — could keep him behind bars indefinitely.

Friday’s hearing came as survivors, relatives and close friends of the victims were visiting Utoya to grieve at the massacre site. Some 1,500 people were expected on the island at the weekend, which was closely guarded by police.

Shielded from the press and braving cold, pouring rain, groups of families were shuttled to the island by boat where they were accompanied by guides and police officers to the scenes where the victims were killed.

Psychiatrist Trond Heir said there had been “displays of emotion,” but declined to give details.

“A drama has occurred out there,” Heir said. “You see bullet holes in the walls, smashed windows and out on the plain you can see traces in the terrain from where they’ve jumped out (into the water).”

Breivik fired at youths in the lake as they tried to escape from his deadly shots. Many were killed while trying to swim to safety.

Norway’s General Director of Health Bjoern Inge Larsen told reporters he hoped the visits to Utoya would help families come to grips with the deaths.

“Of course, that will be a very difficult day for the people coping out there, but in the long run we know that seeing the scene of where these murders were taking place is actually helpful.”

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said he would visit Utoya with survivors on Saturday.

“I will be there as a friend, as a prime minister,” told reporters in Oslo. “Just to take part in their mourning and be there for them.”

Breivik flagged as security risk months before mass killing


A man reads messages where people placed flowers to pay their respects to those killed in last month’s bomb and shooting attack at the Oslo Cathedral August 22, 2011. Anti-immigration zealot Anders Behring Breivik has admitted to last month’s bombing on July 22, 2011 in central Oslo and shootings at a Labour Party youth camp on nearby Utoeya island. Photograph by: Fabrizio Bensch, Reuters

Telegraph | Aug 26, 2011

By Fiona Govan

Anders Behring Breivik, the mass killer, was flagged up to Norway’s security police after he tried to buy bomb-making chemicals four months before the July 22 attacks that killed 77 people.

Geir Hoiseth, who heads the border control department of Norway’s customs agency, said Breivik’s name came up as a result of the Global Shield program, an American initiative, after he attempted to buy chemicals from a Polish firm.

Mr Hoiseth said the information was passed on to Norway’s security police, the PST, in March. The PST has said Breivik was on a list of people who had purchased chemicals from the Polish company, but the transaction was legal and the investigation was dropped.

The disclosure came after a British far-Right activist, believed to be the gunman’s “mentor”, said he thought Breivik was not a “lone wolf”. Paul Ray, a founding member of the English Defence League (EDL), made the comment after being interviewed by Norwegian police.

Police in Norway are said to be “very interested” in links the killer may have had with British far-Right cells.

Mr Ray has admitted he may have been the inspiration behind the anti-Muslim ideology developed by Breivik in a 1,600-page manifesto ahead of the massacre. The 35-year-old Briton, who now lives in Malta and writes a blog ranting against multiculturalism under the name “Richard the Lionheart”, travelled to Oslo to be interviewed voluntarily by police.

“I don’t believe Breivik is a lone wolf.?.?. he is part of a larger movement which has its own agenda,” Mr Ray said after a day of questioning by investigators in the Norwegian capital on Thursday.

“The police were very interested in the British cells,” he added. “They asked me if I was [head of] a cell.”

Mr Ray, who left the EDL and now leads a so-called “Knights Templar” movement, came forward after recognizing himself as the “mentor” in the rambling manifesto written by Breivik.

Breivik, 32, wrote in the document that an Englishman, whom he gave the pseudonym “Richard”, “became my mentor”.

Mr Ray, who has condemned the attacks, said he had never met Breivik and had travelled to Norway to help police and clear his own name.

“I have never spoken to Breivik or had contact with him in any other way,” he said. But he has previously admitted his writings could have influenced Breivik.

“It does worry me that he was possibly inspired from my blog,” he said.