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terrorism

The Board of Supervisors for the City and County of San Francisco are a long, long, long way down the pecking order when it comes to legislation. Unlike the US Congress, where Members can pass motions that amount to comment not law, the Board of Supervisors can pass law - but it may well have no practical effect. So exactly what is the newly announced law and how much weight will it carry?

Mark Steven Domingo, 26, of Reseda, a former U.S. Army infantryman with combat experience in Afghanistan, faces federal charges. It is alleged that he expressed support for violent jihad, a desire to seek retribution for attacks against Muslims and a willingness to become a martyr. He was, the authorities allege, developing a terrorist plot in which he planned to detonate an improvised explosive device (IED) for the purpose of causing mass casualties.
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The UK and the USA have decided to revoke the citizenship of two women who went to the middle east to join a terrorist organisation. These are headline grabbing moves and the media is happy to co-operate because they are women and young. But they are a tiny fraction of an enormous global problem.

There's a basic truth about terrorism: terrorists need to keep themselves in the news. From stabbing attacks on "soft" targets to mass-beheading on the side of a road, Da'eas (ISIS / ISIL ) and their loose network are past masters at getting the kind of attention that ramps up shock with periodic changes in strategy. Attacks in Indonesia combined several reasons for anger and some for shock. ChiefOfficers.Net analyses why it was so successful and the fact that they have brought horror and terror, in equal measure, from an "it happens" state of mind to "it could happen to me, anytime, anywhere" and, therefore achieves the primary objective of terrorism, i.e. terror amongst the general population.

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Not long ago, it's hours not even a day, a man drove, at high-speed a rented van along pavements and up streets in the face of incoming traffic in Toronto, Canada.The man has been arrested and is in custody. He has been named as Alek Minassian, aged 26. Whatever Minassian's motive, one thing is clear: publicity was inevitable because the choice of weapon, the fact that it's in Canada and the fact that it took place only a few kilometres from a G7 ministers meeting convened to discuss developments in terrorism and counter-terrorism. Media has provided blanket coverage around the world. It's time to think about that.

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It's a hard lesson for many people to learn but here it is: terrorism can never be stamped out because terrorism works.

The controversy over so-called "swatting," (a stupid name that only an idiot would come up with because it makes something heinous sound cuddly) was the first high-profile spill-over from a massive online computer game to the real world. Yesterday saw the second and it caused extraordinary disruption and expense to public services in the UK. It was launched from the USA.

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The advent of services such as Airbnb has , in some parts of the world, created an interesting effect: hotels are seeing that groups would often prefer to rent serviced apartments via websites than use several hotel rooms. This has had a cooling effect on rates at the same time as making hotels improve their service levels or it has started a race to the bottom where room-only rates are coupled with reducing quality of service. That's competition but, just as Uber has been lambasted for encouraging unregulated drivers to compete with highly regulated drivers, so Airbnb, etc., are facilitating unregulated accommodation whereas hotels are subject to increasing levels of regulation.

The UK's Home Office has announced that it intends to "update" anti terrorism laws to identify and act against those who use the internet in ways that suggest that they may be "radicalised" or in some other way involved with terrorism or a terrorist act, or the preparation for such an act.

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Case Summary: 

The defendant, an Uzbek national in the USA, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for conspiring and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and possessing an unregistered destructive device.

Type of conduct: 
Terrorist Support

Every so often, Bitcoin hits the news because a criminal gang is using it for some nefarious purpose. We examined BitCoin in a special issue (see here) in 2013. It was not our first look at virtual currencies: that was way back in the mid 1990s, before we even launched World Money Laundering Report, and we've kept a watching brief ever since. Here's the current scary stuff.

The news that two bombs were detonated, about five minutes apart, at a busy bus station in Jakarta last night is, at the time of writing, the latest in a series of mass murders, apparently perpetrated under the false-flag of Islam. The bus station, in the Eastern part of the city, is a primary transport hub for working class Indonesians, the vast majority of whom are Muslim. The two suicide bombers succeeded in killing three police officers and injuring about 30 members of the public. What is worse, is that the attacks are disrupting preparations for the Holy Month of Ramadan which begins on Saturday.

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The full details have yet to be uncovered but police are certain of one thing: the bomb that was triggered by a suicide attacker in the lobby of the Manchester Arena late last night is being classified as terrorism. Who, what and why remains to be seen but the fact that a second device, apparently intended to cause harm to those escaping from the first and/or emergency services arriving on the scene are indicative of long-established terrorism tactics.

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In 2008, the USA removed North Korea from its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. But as relations between KIM Jong Un and the rest of the world reach worrying levels of tension, the USA is getting ever closer to putting it back on the list. What does it mean and why are Malaysian banks exposed to a particularly high level of risk?

As actual and threatened famine spreads across Africa, aid schemes are struggling to get funding for relief. But that's only a part of the story. The real - and hidden problem - is where the famines are. That's a major risk for governments, aid agencies, charities and individual donors. Worse, the crisis is going to amplify existing problems.

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