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Brussels raises terror alert, 'serious and imminent' threat

Brussels raises terror alert- Belgium raised its terror alert in Brussels to the highest level Saturday after a "serious and imminent threat," closing the city's metro until Sunday and encouraging people to avoid concerts, shopping centers and other crowded areas.

Prime Minister Charles Michel said the threat of attacks against the Belgian capital are similar to those that happened in Paris last week. Football games have been canceled and armed soldiers and police were deployed outside many hotels.


Post-Paris calls for expanded surveillance fall flat for many

Post Paris Calls for More Surveillance falls flat for moneyIt is perhaps not surprising that an event like last Friday’s Paris attack would raise questions about why government surveillance didn’t spot such a sweeping and apparently coordinated assault in advance. But the speed with which intelligence and law enforcement professionals worked to play down their own possible shortcomings — and in some cases invoke the attacks in a play for broader powers — has caught the attention of security experts, privacy rights advocates and editorial boards.

Editors at The New York Times called this turn of events “a wretched yet predictable ritual,” singling out statements made Monday by CIA Director John Brennan as “a new and disgraceful low.” Brennan went to the press with complaints that recent “policy and legal” moves have made it harder to spot and disrupt potential terror plots.


Hasna Aït Boulahcen was not the St-Denis suicide bomber

woman was not s.t denise bomberThe French TV station iTele is reporting that an unidentified man – not a woman – was the suicide bomber who blew himself up on Wednesday during a violent police shoot-out in St-Denis, write Kim Willsher (@kimwillsher1) and Luke Harding (@lukeharding1968):

It was previously believed that Hasna Aït Boulahcen – a 26-year-old French national whose passport was found in a handbag in what remained of the apartment raided on Tuesday – had blown herself up by detonating a suicide vest. She was killed during the battle with police but wasn’t the suicide bomber, the TV station reported.


Over 20 reported dead in Mali hotel siege, hostage crisis ‘over’

Mali hostage crisis endsMore than 20 people have reportedly been killed as armed gunman stormed a luxury hotel in Bamako, Mali on Friday morning. The attackers held 170 people hostage in Radisson Blu hotel, while it is reported that there are no more civilians in the hotel.

The CEO of Rezidor, the company that owns the Radisson, has released a statement.

"I want to express my deep personal concern for all of the guests and employees affected by the terrible events which are happening today at the Radisson Blu Bamako Hotel in Mali," Wolfgang M. Neumann said.


Malian special forces storm luxury hotel after gunmen take hostages

Malian hotel taken over by terroristsAn Malian armed group affiliated with Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility Friday for an attack on a five-star hotel in the capital Bamako that has left at least three people dead, while dozens more are still being held hostage.

Earlier Friday, Malian special forces stormed the hotel, where there were reports of heavy gunfire as the operation to rescue some 138 people still being held inside continued. Al-Mourabitoun, a group based in northern Mali, posted a message on Twitter saying it was behind the attack on the Radisson Blu hotel.


Police: Terror Ringleader Blown to Bits

Abaaoud killed in raidFrench police confirmed Thursday that the alleged ringleader of the Paris attacks was killed in Wednesday’s siege of an apartment about a mile from the football stadium where the ISIS assault began.

Along with Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 28, police reportedly killed a female, believed to be the cousin of Abaaoud, who blew herself up. Hasna Aitboulahcen, 26, is thought to be Europe’s first female suicide bomber, but analysts say she would have been attempting not to be captured.


Pair of Palestinian attacks kill 3 Israelis

3 Israelis knifedA pair of attacks by Palestinians, including a stabbing at an office building in Tel Aviv, killed three Israelis Thursday, intensifying a two month-long wave of violence.

Much of the recent unrest has focused on the West Bank city of Hebron, a frequent flashpoint. But the attack in Israel's economic hub of Tel Aviv returned the violence to the Israeli heartland, shattering a lull that had set in outside of the West Bank, and stoking Israeli fears that a full-fledged Palestinian uprising could erupt.


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