Monday, November 23, 2015

Gunfire & explosives -- and combatting extremism with 'Rick Astley'

The number of fatalities is often one of the factors which determine whether or not an incident makes it on the news. It's lamentable, but that's reality. Sure, "hundreds killed" grabs more people's attention than saying that the death toll numbers half a dozen. But then lives mean individual persons, and each person matters, so here is news about some of last week's ISIS-related attacks in Africa, regardless of the body count. Nigeria (Nov. 17 and 18), Mali (Nov. 20), Cameroon (Nov. 21)

Female suicide bombers strike Nigeria with second mass casualty attack in two days
Two female suicide bombers launched a deadly attack that killed an estimated 15 people at a packed mobile phone market in Kano, Nigeria, on Wednesday. Kano is the largest city in Northern Nigeria. The explosion ripped through Farm Centre market just after 4:00pm local time and comes only a day after a terrorist attack killed 32 and wounded 80 in the Northeast city of Yola.

Mali hotel attack: Hunt for three suspects
Malian security forces are hunting three suspects connected to the attack on a hotel in the capital, Bamako, on Friday, in which 19 were killed.
Two militants were also killed, after special forces stormed the hotel, freeing dozens of trapped guests.

Eight dead after suspected Boko Haram attack in Cameroon
Four civilians were killed in northern Cameroon on Saturday in a suicide bomb assault by suspected Boko Haram militants in which three female attackers and one man blew themselves up, security officials said.

Belgian police mount raids in Brussels and other towns
Belgian armed police mounted raids across the country late on Sunday after the prime minister announced another day of lockdown in the capital for fear a new, Paris-style mass attack may be imminent.Shortly before midnight, the public broadcaster, announcing several arrests, said the operations had concluded and the mayor of a Brussels borough that is the focus of a manhunt for a key suspect in the Paris attacks said shots had been exchanged.

And, via a story included in a previous post, Anonymous -- the group of online hackers -- is taking on ISIS online. Now the group has started its quest with a spunky method: by "rickrolling" the terrorists' online presence. If the goal is to disrupt communications between the terrorists and to foil as many attempts at promoting its cause as possible, it certainly is accomplishing much -- and with some entertainment along the way.

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