From: Homeland Security News Wire
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: World Report: Libya's parliament attacked | Syria: 162,000 killed | Russia's bioweapons
Date: Mon May 19 17:24:18 MDT 2014
Body:
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SECTOR REPORT
Monday, 19 May 2014
Libya's disintegration continues as armed militia attacks parliament

The disintegration of Libya continues, as militiamen loyal to Khalifa Haftar, a rogue former general, attacked Libya’s parliament building Sunday in a new challenge to the authority of the nation’s nominal central government, a government which exists in name only. The group later reportedly declared it had replaced the lawmaking body -- a body which also exists in name only. A spokesman for Haftar later appeared on television to say the assailants had created a 60-member constituent's assembly to take over for parliament and that the current government would act on an emergency basis. The spokesman called the attack not a coup but “fighting by people's choice.” The assault on parliament came two days after the fighters affiliated with Haftar, who was prominent in the 2011 revolt against Col. Muammar Qaddafi, launched an offensive against bases belonging to armed Islamist groups in the eastern city of Benghazi. That fighting, involving commandeered military aircraft, left 70 dead and more than 140 injured.

Syria death toll reaches 162,000

At least 162,000 people have been killed in Syria's three-year-old conflict, and thousands more are missing after being captured by President Bashar al-Assad's forces and rebel militias. The pro-opposition, London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said losses among fighters on the government side were higher than those among pro-rebel groups, and estimated that at least 54,000 civilians had been killed since the conflict began. The organization estimated 62,800 deaths among the army, pro-Assad Syrian militia, Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, and other foreign Shi'ite gunmen. This compared with 42,700 people who had died on the rebel side, including fighters from al Qaeda's Nusra Front, other Islamist brigades, and soldiers who defected from Assad's army. Nearly 3,000 fighters of unknown identity or affiliation had been killed. The Observatory said the figures did not include 18,000 people who disappeared after being detained by Assad's security services. Thousands more were missing after raids by security forces. Another 8,000 soldiers and pro-Assad militia were also missing after being held by rebels. The Observatory noted that since all sides play down their losses, the overall death toll was likely around 70,000 higher at 230,000.

U.K. Houses of Parliament to outsource security screening

Security screening at The U.K. Houses of Parliament is changing its security screening system by outsourcing it to a private contractor. The move is part of a series of cost-cutting measures. The Metropolitan Police Service currently monitors and guards all public entrances to the Palace of Westminster, but officers will be replaced by a security firm in April 2015, when Scotland Yard's current contract expires. The Met will still provide armed police and continue its other work in the Houses of Commons and Lords, while a company takes over "airport-style" searches for visitors.

Canadian professor to be extradited to France to face terrorism charges

A Canadian court upheld a ruling ordering the extradition to France of Hassan Diab, 60, an Ottawa professor involved in a deadly 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue. In a decision last Thursday, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s 2011 finding that Diab should be handed over to French authorities. The appeal court ruled that the lower court and Canada’s justice minister made no legal errors in concluding that Diab should be extradited to France. French authorities say that Diab, a sociology professor in Ottawa, was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which made and planted a bomb that killed four people and injured more than 40 on 3 October 1980 outside the Rue Copernic synagogue in Paris.

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Terrorist, transnational organized crime activity in West Africa on the rise

The existence of militant groups, organized criminal gangs, and the nexus between them is not a new phenomenon. In recent times, however, their manifestation of this phenomenon, and the intricate links between terrorism and organized crime, have become more pronounced in Africa, and have become a growing source of concern at the national, regional, and international levels. In West Africa in particular, terrorist activities by Islamist groups such as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), Ansar Dine, Boko Haram, and Jama’atu Ansarul Musilimina Fi Biladis Sudan (Ansaru), in addition to other sleeper militant networks, has increased. Complicating the security landscape further is the increase in the outbreak of transnational organized crime which feeds into the terrorist loop in West Africa.

UN wants to deploy drones in Mali

The UN has cancelled plans to deploy surveillance drones as part of its peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast because security conditions in the country have improved, but is now seeking a company to provide the drones for its peacekeeping mission in Mali. The UN wants to expand its use of UAVs after they proved to be an effective surveillance tool when first deployed in December to assist UN peacekeepers in Democratic Republic of Congo. The UN has called for companies to submit proposals to provide surveillance drones for Mali, based in the northern towns of Timbuktu and Gao. The deadline is this Wednesday, according to the request by the UN.

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Experts: Russia should be more open about its biological weapons R&D efforts

A number of experts testifying before a congressional panel urged Congress and the Obama administration to insist that Russia reveal more about its biological weapons research and development efforts. The experts noted that the effort to persuade Russia to come clean on its biological weapons program has largely been on the back-burner of American diplomacy since the George W. Bush administration. Russia at one point had at least eight weaponized agents, including small pox. Russia denies keeping a stockpile of biological weapons or engaging in illegal development of them, but President Vladimir Putin has also raised the prospect of creating experimental weapons in the future. One expert said he was troubled by comments Putin made two years ago raising the prospect of new genetic weapons, which could alter pathogens to make them resistant to vaccines. The expert said it is almost impossible to evaluate the extent of the Russian biological weapons stockpile because three Russian laboratories remain closed to outside inspection. “One can never know more by not having on-site inspection. You’re not going to learn more by not getting in the front door than you will if you go through the front door,” he said.

Illegal immigration to EU member states grows

The number of people detected trying to enter EU countries illegally in 2013 rose by nearly half on 2012, with nearly one in four from Syria, an EU agency reports. A total of 107,000 detections were registered by the EU's borders agency, Frontex, compared with 72,500 in 2012. The figure rose by 48 percent, but it is still much lower than in 2011, when the Arab Spring drove numbers to 141,000.

Also noted

U.S. seeks to bypass Assad so more aid can reach Syrian civilians | Brazilian anti-World Cup protests hit Sao Paulo and Rio | Narendra Modi’s ambitious agenda will face difficult obstacles | U.S. justice department charges Chinese with hacking | Everything you need to know about Boko Haram | Syria air defense head killed near Damascus | Official: Canada revisiting ballistic missile defense | Ingredients of nerve agent still in Syria, official says | In twist, talks on banning Mideast WMDs shift to Geneva

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Legion of the Rearguard - Dissident Irish Republicanism from ISBS
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Homeland Security, Criminal Justice, Law & Public Policy - Master of Science Legal Studies 100% online - CALU Global Online
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State, Political Community and Foreign Relations in Modern and Contemporary Syria
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