Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’

US consumers likely to lose privacy protections for their web browsing history

March 29, 2017

Congress voted to kill rules meant to prevent internet service providers from selling users’ web browsing histories and app storage histories to advertisers

By Olivia Solon

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and screen

Without these protections, ISPs are free to track your browsing behavior and sell that data to advertisers without consent. Photograph: Tolga Bozoglu/EPA

US politicians voted Tuesday to kill privacy rules meant to prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from selling users’ web browsing histories and app usage histories to advertisers.

The planned protections, proposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and scheduled to take effect by the end of 2017, would have forced ISPs to get people’s consent before hawking their data.

Republicans in the House of Representatives followed their colleagues in the Senate with a vote – of 215 to 205 – to approve a resolution that uses the Congressional Review Act to prevent the privacy rules from taking effect.

Without these protections, ISPs such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T are free to track your browsing behavior and sell that data to advertisers without consent. This represents a huge treasure trove of personal data, including your health concerns, shopping habits and visits to porn sites. ISPs can find out where you bank, your political views and sexual orientation simply based on the websites you visit. The fact that you’re looking at a website at all can also reveal when you’re at home and when you’re not.

“Give me one good reason why Comcast should know what my mother’s medical problems are,” said congressman Mike Capuano during the hearing before the vote, explaining how he had researched her condition after a trip to the doctor. “Just last week I bought underwear on the internet. Why should you know what size I take? Or the color?”

“Consumers should be in control of their own information,” added congressman Jared Polis. “They shouldn’t be forced to sell it to who knows who simply for the price of admission to access the internet.”

Others argued that repealing the privacy rules would be anti-competitive and give more power to a handful of companies.

Democrat Ro Khanna pointed out that Americans already pay much more for broadband than Europeans thanks to “monopolistic, anti-competitive practices”.

“Instead of making the industry more competitive, what this bill wants to do is give these four or five ISPs even more power,” he said.

“These companies are not going broke,” Capuano added. “The internet is not in jeopardy.”

Those in favor of repealing the privacy rules argued that it levels the playing field for internet service providers who want to get into the advertising business like Google and Facebook. According to ISPs, scrapping the rules will allow them to show the user more relevant advertising and offers, which would give the companies better return on the investment they have made in infrastructure. They argue that web browsing history and app usage should not count as “sensitive” information.

Read the rest:


House votes to wipe away the FCC’s internet privacy protections which could lead to Internet providers being allowed to sell customer information

March 29, 2017

  • The House voted 215-205 Tuesday to reject a rule that would have given more control to consumers over how internet service providers share information
  • However, 15 Republicans sided with Democrats to keep the rule in place
  • Trump-appointed FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, wanted to roll back the broadband privacy rules

The House voted Tuesday to block online privacy regulations issued during the final months of the Obama administration, a first step toward allowing internet providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to sell the browsing habits of their customers.

The Federal Communications Commission rule was designed to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers share information.

But critics said the rule would have added costs, stifled innovation and picked winners and losers among Internet companies.

Ajit Pai, Trump-appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is a critic of the broadband privacy rules

Ajit Pai, Trump-appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is a critic of the broadband privacy rules

The House voted 215-205 to reject the rule, and sent the legislation to President Donald Trump for his signature. The vote is part of an extensive effort that Republicans have undertaken to void an array of regulations issued during the final months of Democratic President’s tenure. But the vote was closer this time than previous rescind efforts, with 15 Republicans siding with Democrats in the effort to keep the rule in place.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the Republican-led effort was about putting profits over the privacy concerns of Americans.

‘Overwhelmingly, the American people do not agree with Republicans that this information should be sold, and it certainly should not be sold without your permission,’ Pelosi said. ‘Our broadband providers know deeply personal information about us and our families.’

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi advocated for this rule to be upheld for privacy concerns

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi advocated for this rule to be upheld for privacy concerns

Internet companies like Google don’t have to ask users’ permission before tracking what sites they visit. Republicans and industry groups have blasted that discrepancy, saying it was unfair and confusing for consumers.

But proponents of the privacy measure argued that the company that sells you your internet connection can see even more about consumers, such as every website they visit and whom they exchange emails with.

Undoing the FCC regulation leaves people’s online information in a murky area. Experts say federal law still requires broadband providers to protect customer information – but it doesn’t spell out how or what companies must do. That’s what the FCC rule aimed to do.

The Trump-appointed chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, is a critic of the broadband privacy rules and has said he wants to roll them back. He and other Republicans want a different federal agency, the Federal Trade Commission, to police privacy for both broadband companies like AT&T and internet companies like Google. GOP lawmakers said they cared about consumer privacy every bit as much as Democrats did.

The House voted 215-205 to reject the rule which is designed  to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers share information

The House voted 215-205 to reject the rule which is designed  to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers share information

‘What America needs is one standard across the internet ecosystem and the Federal Trade Commission is the best place for that standard,’ said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.

Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said the FTC has acted as America’s online privacy regulator since the dawn of the internet. He called the rule an effort to strip the agency of that role.

‘The internet has become the amazing tool that it is because it is largely left untouched by regulation – and that shouldn’t stop now,’ McCarthy said.

Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas parted ways with his Republican colleagues on the issue. He said the privacy protections were ‘commonsense measures’ that would have ensured internet users continue to have control over their personal information.

‘We don’t want the government having access to our information without our consent, and the same goes for private business,’ Yoder said.

Broadband providers don’t currently fall under FTC jurisdiction, and advocates say the FTC has historically been a weaker agency than the FCC.

The American Civil Liberties Union urged Trump to veto the resolution, appealing to his populist side.

‘President Trump now has the opportunity to veto this resolution and show he is not just a president for CEOs but for all Americans,’ said the ACLU’s Neema Singh Guliani.

Republicans repeatedly discounted the privacy benefits generated by the rule. Over the last two months, they’ve voted to repeal more than a dozen Obama-era regulations in the name of curbing government overreach. The criticism of their efforts was particularly harsh Tuesday.

‘Lawmakers who voted in favor of this bill just sold out the American people to special interests,’ said Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


Dick Cheney says Russia’s U.S. election interference could be seen as ‘an act of war’ and predicts more Moscow cyber-meddling

March 28, 2017

Image may contain: night

  • Former vice president slammed Moscow during New Delhi speech for meddling in U.S. elections
  • ‘In some quarters, that would be considered an act of war,’ Cheney said
  • Vladimir Putin ‘has designs on the Baltics. He wanted Crimea and he took it. And he is trying to undermine NATO,’ he warned
  • Also called Russian cyber interference ‘the kind of conduct and activity that we’ll see going forward’

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney has criticized Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election, calling it a hostile act.

‘There was a very serious effort made by Mr. Putin and his government, his organization, to interfere in major ways with our basic fundamental democratic process,’ Cheney said during a speech Monday at a conference in New Delhi.

‘In some quarters, that would be considered an act of war,’ he added.

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday during a speech in India that Russia's election meddling could be seen as 'an act of war'

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday during a speech in India that Russia’s election meddling could be seen as ‘an act of war’

Vladimir Putin 'has designs on the Baltics. He wanted Crimea and he took it. And he is trying to undermine NATO,' Cheney warned

Vladimir Putin ‘has designs on the Baltics. He wanted Crimea and he took it. And he is trying to undermine NATO,’ Cheney warned

Cheney said the Cold War was long over but Putin is on a course to re-establish Russian power following the collapse of the former Soviet Union.

‘Putin has aspirations of trying to correct what he sees as a disaster. He has designs on the Baltics. He wanted Crimea and he took it. And he is trying to undermine NATO,’ Cheney said.

Russian cyber interference is ‘the kind of conduct and activity that we’ll see going forward,’ he said.

But he also warned that Russia should not ‘underestimate the weight that we as Americans assign at Russia’s attempts to interfere in our democratic processes.’

Cheney’s accusation comes at a time when both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives intelligence committees are investigating possible Russian interference in the election that brought President Donald Trump to power.

Among the other threats faced by the United States, Cheney listed an aggressive China, North Korea, Iran and the terror threat posed by the Islamic State group.

Cheney described North Korea as the 'most dangerous part of the world with an unpredictable head of government,' Kim Jong-un

Cheney described North Korea as the ‘most dangerous part of the world with an unpredictable head of government,’ Kim Jong-un

He described North Korea as the ‘most dangerous part of the world with an unpredictable head of government’ who is developing nuclear warheads and missiles to add to his stockpile.

Cheney said these threats come at a time when the U.S. military is at a ‘significantly diminished level’ following eight years of budget cuts under the Obama administration.

The U.S. budget debate in the coming weeks will focus on how to allocate more funds to rebuild the military and restore the relationships that the United States had with its allies and adversaries in the past, he said.

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Young black man dies in conflict with Paris Police — Deadly police shooting — 35 people arrested outside police station in northern Paris — Chinese authorities question killing of Chinese man

March 28, 2017


© AFP archive

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-03-28

A violent confrontation between demonstrators and police broke out outside a police station in northern Paris on Monday night, a day after a man was shot dead in his home by officers responding to an emergency call.

Three police officers were slightly injured and 35 people were arrested outside a police station in the 19th district of Paris, according to authorities, after around 150 people gathered outside the precinct to denounce what they said was yet another case of police brutality.

Protesters, including many high school students, have organised several protests in and around the French capital in recent weeks, following an incident in which a young black man was allegedly raped with a police baton.

Paris – Situation tres tendue entre les forces de l’ordre devant le commissariat et 200 manifestants.

Police conduct has been called into question in a separate incident last year, in which another young black man – Adama Traoré – died while in police custody.

Protesters threw objects at police officers and burned the back end of a squad car during the clashes in northern Paris on Monday night, police sources told the AFP news agency. The clashes ended around 11pm, after several arrests were made.

‘Did not threaten cops’

The previous evening, a man identified as Liu Shaoyo, a 56-year-old Chinese national, was shot dead in the same neighbourhood by police responding to an alleged family dispute. According to police sources, the victim rushed toward one of the cops “as soon as the door was opened”, compelling a fellow officer to open fire and kill him.

Calvin Job, the lawyer representing the victim’s family, said they “completely disputed” police officers’ version of the incident.

Authorities say officers were responding to a call from a neighbour who heard screams coming from the victim’s apartment, but Job said there had been no quarrel among members of Shaoyo’s family that evening.

Job said the victim was with his four children, aged 15 to 21, and was “cutting fish with scissors,” when “police officers kicked the door in, propelling him backwards.”

Shaoyo did not threaten the cops or rush toward them, the lawyer said. Police officers “fired without warning”, hitting the victim in the thorax, he added.

Chinese authorities on Tuesday responded to the incident by calling on the French government to protect its citizens who live in France.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)


Paris suffers almost 2 years of unrest:

 (June 15, 2016)

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor

Paris, June 14, 2016

There were other disturbing scenes of public violence that add to this list and the perception of a city (Paris) with a severe security situation….

Paris Labour Reform Protests:

Rail workers and taxi drivers are also on strike, disrupting transport.

Demonstrators clash with police officers during a protest against proposed labour reforms in Paris, 14 June

AFP photo

Protesters gather during a demonstration against proposed labour reforms near the Grand Palais, in Paris on June 14, 2016


Masked youths and French police clash during a demonstration in Paris as part of nationwide protests against plans to reform French labour laws, France, June 14, 2016.


Image may contain: 2 people, suit

French President François Hollande and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls prior to the weekly cabinet meeting at Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 15, 2016 Christophe Petit Tesson, EPA


Masked youths face off with French police and gendarmes during clashes at the Invalides square during a demonstration in Paris as part of nationwide protests against plans to reform French labour laws.


French CRS riot police apprehend a demonstrator during clashes at the Invalides square during a demonstration in Paris as part of nationwide protests against plans to reform French labour laws.


A shopping cart burns as protesters gather near the Invalides during a demonstration against proposed labour reforms in Paris on June 14, 2016.


A picture taken on February 7, 2017 shows the wreckage of a burnt car in one of the main streets of the Cite des 3000 in Aulnay-sous-Bois

The wreckage of a burnt car in Aulnay-sous-Bois after angry French youths clashed with police over the alleged rape of a local man during his arrest. CREDIT:GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT /AFP/GETTY IMAGES 

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, crowd and outdoor

 Paris — April 2016 — A protestor kicks a tear gas cannister as demonstrators clash with anti-riot police. Photograph by Joel Saget, AFP, Getty Images
Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor
Paris, March 2016
Image may contain: 1 person
French riot police clashing with union members and students demonstrating against labour law reforms, in Paris on March 31, 2016. PHOTO – AFP


Euro 2016 Football:

Violence flares between England fans and youths in Marseille

Fans used chairs as missiles during the clashes (Photo: Twitter/DailyMarseille)

Violence flares between England fans and youths in Marseille

A plume of smoke where French police used tear gas on England fans(Photo: Twitter/DailyMarseille)

A tear gas canister discharged by police to disperse England football fans after an apparent clash with locals in Marseille ahead of the first game in Euro 2016

A used tear gas canister found lying in the street the morning after.(Photo: PA)

WhatsApp accused of giving terrorists ‘a secret place to hide’ as it refuses to hand over London attacker’s messages — Whatsapp has end-to-end encryption

March 26, 2017

The Telegraph

No automatic alt text available.


Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, has accused the messaging service WhatsApp of giving terrorists “a place to hide” as she revealed the US firm has failed to hand over the content of the last message sent by Westminster attacker Adrian Ajao.

Amber Rudd


Scotland Yard and the security services cannot access encrypted messages sent on Whatsapp, meaning they have no idea what Ajao said – or to whom – in his final communication three minutes before he began Wednesday’s slaughter.

Ms Rudd said: “This terrorist sent a Whatsapp message and it can’t be accessed.”

In a scathing attack on Whatsapp, as well as Google and social media platforms which have failed to take down extremist material, she said: “They should be on our side.”

Adrian Ajao
Adrian Ajao killed four people before he was shot CREDIT: METROPOLITAN POLICE

Referring to Whatsapp’s system of end-to-end encryption, she said: “It is completely unacceptable. There should be no place for terrorists to hide.

“We need to make sure that organisations like Whatsapp – and there are plenty of others like that – don’t provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other.

Watch | Corbyn concerned about higher security to monitor Whatsapp


“It used to be that people would steam open envelopes or listen in on phones when they wanted to find out what people were doing – legally, through warrantry – but in this situation we need to make sure that our intelligence services have the ability to get into situations like encrypted Whatsapp.”

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr, she said of companies like Apple, Google and Whatsapp: “We do want them to recognise that they have a responsibility to engage with government, to engage with law enforcement agencies when there is a terrorist situation.

“We would do it all through the carefully thought-through legally covered arrangements but they cannot get away with saying ‘we are a different situation’. They are not.”

She added: “We have to have a situation where we can have our security services get into the terrorists’ communications. That’s absolutely the case.

“Where there are ongoing investigations with terrorists – these people have families, have children as well, they should be on our side and I’m going to try and win that argument.

“That’s why I’ve called them in this Thursday, I’m seeing a group of them, to work with them to try and set up an industry board to make sure that we really stop this happening. I’m calling time on terrorists using social media as their platform.”

Whatsapp was blocked three times last year in Brazil for failing to hand over information relating to criminal investigations. Judges ordered telecoms providers to block the service.

Whatsapp has said in the past that it cannot itself access messages because the encryption prevents that.

Ms Rudd said: “You can have a system whereby they can build it so we can have access to it when it is absolutely necessary. We can’t have a situation where terrorists can talk to each other.”

Google and a “fairly long list” of other firms have been called to a summit at the Home Office on Thursday to create an “industry board” on terrorism.

The Home Secretary said she wanted to make sure that “everybody takes responsibility for this”.

She said it was “completely unacceptable” for Google and other internet firms to fail to take down terrorism handbooks published online.

“What these companies have to realise is that they are now publishing companies, they are not technology companies, they are platforms and we need to make sure that that stops. We will not resile from taking action if we need to.”

Asked if Google, Apple and other firms were now too big for the Government to take on, Ms Rudd said: “I would say think again. We want to do this, but we also want other countries to do this.

“I know it sounds like we’re stepping away from legislation, but we’re not. What I’m saying is the best people who understand the technology to stop it going up in the first place are them. They could have an industry-wide board set up to take care of this. I want to make sure that they do.”

Ms Rudd admitted the “sad truth” is that not every attack can be stopped, as lone attackers using low-tech methods such as cars and knives cannot always be detected in advance.

Meanwhile Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, said he was “furious” about the failure of internet companies to block extremist material. He told The Sunday Times: “I think it’s disgusting. They need to stop just making money out of prurient violent material.”

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said the security services had “huge, huge powers of investigation already – there is a question of always balancing the right to know, the need to know, with the right to privacy.”

Asked if the balance was right at the moment, he said: “I think it probably is.”

Pakistan has to walk away from terror, India says — Pakistan’s President Calls for End to Terrorism and Criticizes Intervention by U.S.

March 26, 2017

By  — Times of India

NEW DELHI: A day after Pakistan‘s envoy expressed Islamabad‘s desire to have good relations with India, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Gopal Baglay on Friday said that the neighbouring country has to walk away from the terror”.

“Pakistan has to walk away from terror,” Baglay said while addressing MEA’s weekly media briefing.

Image result for Times of India logo

He also said the terrorism emerging from Pakistan is affecting not merely India but other neighbours.

“… and this remains core concern,” the MEA spokesperson said.

View image on Twitter

Pak has to walk away from terror, terrorism emanating from Pak and affecting not merely India but other neighbours,remains core concern: MEA

On Thursday, Pakistan’s ambassdor to India, Abdul Basit, said that the Pakistan has always tried to maintain good relations with its neighbours and they want good relations with India too.

“We hope that we will be able to solve our differences and issues especially the Kashmir issue,” the Pakistan envoy had said.
Pakistan’s President Calls for End to Terrorism and Criticizes Intervention by U.S.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — President Asif Ali Zardari addressed a joint session of Parliament on Saturday, his first speech there since his election two weeks ago, and offered a program of peace and reform while vowing to root out terrorism and extremism.

Mr. Zardari, who is seen as pro-American but is confronted by public hostility to American policy toward militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas, said his government was determined to meet the challenge posed by terrorist and extremist elements in those areas.

His government would offer peace to anyone willing to renounce violence, and would invest in development and political reform of the border areas, but would use force as a last resort to those who challenged the authority of the government.

He declared that his government should be firm in its resolve not to allow terrorists to use Pakistani soil to carry out terrorist activities against any foreign country, and said he wanted to improve relations with two of Pakistan’s neighbors, Afghanistan and India.

But he also warned that Pakistan would not abide further American military incursions into the border areas. “We will not tolerate the violation of our sovereignty and territorial integrity by any power in the name of combating terrorism,” he said in a comment that was broadly greeted by legislators, who loudly thumped on their desks to show their support.

His warning followed a strong statement last week by Pakistan’s military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, warning that the country would defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity at all costs against any incursion.

Mr. Zardari placed a framed photo of his wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated by a suicide bomber in December and whose Pakistan Peoples Party he now leads, on the lectern before he began his speech.

Asif Ali Zardari outlined his goals in his first speech to Parliament on Saturday.CreditAssociated Press of Pakistan, via E.P.A.

“We are here, this Parliament is here, because of the historic choices she made,” he said. “It is indeed her day. I wish she was addressing the Parliament today and not me.”

Mr. Zardari pointed out that he was addressing Parliament within two weeks of his election, and would do so annually as required under the Constitution, unlike General Musharraf, who addressed Parliament only once in the eight years of his rule.

Mr. Zardari recommended a return to the 1973 Constitution, and offered to give up some of his presidential powers, calling on Parliament to form an all-parties committee to review amendments made under General Musharraf that gave the president powers to dismiss Parliament and to appoint the senior military chiefs, among others.

Read the rest:

Image result for Musharraf, photos

Pervez Musharraf

London Attacker Khalid Masood Led Itinerant Life Punctuated by Violence

March 25, 2017

Born Adrian Elms, he used multiple names, changed addresses often, and served time for knifing a man

The Preston Park Hotel in Brighton, where London attacker Khalid Masood spent his last night.

The Preston Park Hotel in Brighton, where London attacker Khalid Masood spent his last night. PHOTO: BEN STANSALL/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES


March 24, 2017 6:57 p.m. ET

BRIGHTON, England—On Tuesday, Khalid Masood ate a takeout kebab for dinner and spent his last night alive alone in a small, budget hotel in this English seaside town. He checked out before 8 a.m. the next morning, like anyone else with plans for the day. “He just put the key on the counter and left,” the hotel’s receptionist said.

Hours later, police say, Masood went on a rampage 50 miles to the north in London—mowing down pedestrians with his car, killing three, before leaping from the vehicle and stabbing an unarmed policeman to death outside the British Parliament. Police then shot and killed Masood.

In the days before the attacks, Masood, a 52-year-old British convert to Islam, crisscrossed the country, traveling from Brighton on the south coast to the central city of Birmingham and back before aiming himself at the heart of the capital to undertake the last acts in an itinerant life punctuated with violence.

Khalid Masood in an undated photo released by the Metropolitan Police.

Khalid Masood in an undated photo released by the Metropolitan Police. PHOTO:METROPOLITAN POLICE/REUTERS

On Friday, police and intelligence officers were still trying to assemble the elements of Masood’s confusing story and decipher his motives. Born Adrian Elms in southeast England, he used multiple names and aliases, police said.

He changed addresses regularly, appearing in recent years to move among places that have had connections to extremist plots. He had multiple criminal convictions—the first when he was still a teenager—and served jail time.

Since Wednesday’s terrorist assault, the worst in Britain since a series of coordinated bombings in 2005 killed 52 people, hundreds of detectives have worked to trace Masood’s movements and associates.

After a series of raids on locations connected to Masood, police on Friday were holding four people on suspicion that they were preparing terrorist acts. A fifth person was released from custody on bail.

“Our determination is to find out if either he acted totally alone, inspired by perhaps terrorist propaganda, or if others have encouraged, supported or directed him,” said Mark Rowley, deputy commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police.

A British intelligence official said authorities were looking into whether Masood became radicalized while in prison, an increasingly common path to terrorism. The official also said it was unclear what role several trips Masood made to Saudi Arabia had played.

A postcard is left among candles during a candlelit vigil at London’s Trafalgar Square on Thursday night.

A postcard is left among candles during a candlelit vigil at London’s Trafalgar Square on Thursday night. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

“We’re trying to piece together what we can,” the official said. “The big question is at what point did he decide to do this and why, and who else is involved.”

Extremist group Islamic State this week said Masood was one of its “soldiers” and claimed responsibility for the attack. But the intelligence official said authorities had found no evidence Masood was linked to or had communicated with Islamic State.

It wasn’t clear when he became a Muslim. Prime Minister Theresa May said earlier this week that Masood had been investigated years ago in connection with extremism, but had been deemed a “peripheral figure.”

Long stretches of Masood’s life are difficult to account for. He was born on Christmas Day in 1964, according to police. He attended high school in Kent, southeast of London. By the late 1990s, when Masood was in his 30s, he had landed in the quiet village of Northiam in nearby East Sussex.

A police officer exits a residential building in Birmingham that was raided by anti-terror forces in the early hours of Thursday.

A police officer exits a residential building in Birmingham that was raided by anti-terror forces in the early hours of Thursday. PHOTO: PAUL ELLIS/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

At the time, he was still using the name Adrian Elms. People who knew him said he worked at a small family-owned business called Aaron Chemicals and went by the nickname Aidy. He wasn’t known to practice Islam. But amid these signs of a conventional life, there were signs of internal turmoil.

“He was a normal guy until he had a couple of drinks,” said Nigel Gill, who runs a local convenience store and used to sell beer to Masood. Mr. Gill said Masood once attacked a woman’s car with a baseball bat after an argument.

In 2000, Masood lashed out again. Heather Mott said her late husband, Piers, the owner of a local cafe, was in a pub then called the Crown and Thistle when Masood started an argument with another customer. Mr. Mott stepped in.

An angry Masood attacked her husband with a knife, Mrs. Mott said. The assault left a 3-inch gash on Mr. Mott’s face, according to a report of the court proceedings published that year in the local newspaper, the Argus.

A lawyer for Masood argued there were “racial overtones” to the dispute, the Argus said. Masood’s mother is white, his father black. Masood was sentenced to two years in prison.

Adrian Baker, who owns a carpet shop next to the pub where the attack took place, said he would cross the road to avoid walking past Masood. “You could tell he was a bit of a troublemaker,” he said. After the knife attack, Masood “just disappeared,” Mr. Gill said.

Masood went to Saudi Arabia after he was released from prison. The Saudi Embassy in London said Masood was in Saudi Arabia on a work visa to teach English from November 2005 to November 2006 and again from April 2008 to April 2009.

In 2015, he obtained a pilgrimage visa through a travel agent and was in the country in March of that year, the embassy said. “During his time in Saudi Arabia, Khalid Masood did not appear on the security services’ radar and does not have a criminal record in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the embassy said.

He was very fatherly and loving and I was quite shocked. There was never any indication that he’d be radicalized or aggressive. I felt sickened.

—Katie Garricques, a former neighbor of Masood in Luton, England

Katie Garricques, who lives in Luton on the outskirts of London, said she recognized Masood from a police photo as her neighbor for a couple of years around 2010 and 2011. He lived there with his wife, who wore African attire, and two children, she said, adding he worked frequently in the garden. She said they would exchange hellos.

“He was very fatherly and loving and I was quite shocked. There was never any indication that he’d be radicalized or aggressive,” she said. “I felt sickened.”

Masood’s time in Luton, home to a large population of Muslims, coincided with bursts there of political and sectarian ferment. At around that time, a man named Junead Khan was also living in Luton. Mr. Khan was later convicted of preparing a terror attack in connection with a plan to kill Royal Air Force personnel. Mr. Khan posted a video on YouTube in those years showing himself listening to music that features in some ISIS propaganda while driving across the Westminster Bridge, scene of Masood’s attack this week.

Later, Masood seems to have moved to Birmingham, a city with a history of connections to terror. Since the Wednesday attack, police have searched a series of addresses in the city and detained two people there.

Ciaran Molloy and other neighbors said they recognized Masood as a previous occupant of one of the houses being searched from a photo circulated in the media. They said he lived there with a woman and small children and rarely spoke to other residents on the quiet street.

Several neighbors said that Masood occasionally dressed in traditional Muslim attire—a white robe and a skullcap—while his wife always wore a head scarf but didn’t cover her face.

Fernando Costa, a 46-year-old auto mechanic from Portugal, said his interactions with Masood amounted to regular neighborly banter—questions of lawn mowing, driveway parking, and the weather. “I’d never think this guy could do something like this,” Mr. Costa said.

Masood and his family lived on the street for at least three years, several neighbors said, and left just before Christmas. “It was pretty sudden,” Mr. Molloy said.

Last Friday, St. Patrick’s Day, Masood checked into the Preston Park Hotel in Brighton late in the evening, according to the hotel receptionist, and left early the next morning.

By the start of the week, Masood was back in Birmingham, where he rented a gray Hyundai Tucson compact SUV at an Enterprise Rent-A-Car in a dingy industrial park about a mile from the house where neighbors said he once lived.

He drove it back to Brighton and returned to the Preston Park. The receptionist said he spent most of Tuesday in his room. He paid by credit card and didn’t make any phone calls, before leaving the next morning, bound for London and mayhem.

Khalid Masood was born Adrian Elms. The headline on an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated he was born Adrian Alms. (March 25)



London attacker Khalid Masood: how hard-drinking, drug-taking village thug sought help over his urges to kill

March 25, 2017

The Telegraph

Khalid Masood - formerly known as Adrian Ajao

A younger Adrian Ajao takes part in a tug-of-war in Northiam, E Sussex, where a former friend said he showed a ‘blood lust’ CREDIT: JULIAN SIMMONDS FOR THE TELEGRAPH

The terrorist who murdered four innocent people in an attack on Westminster had long harboured a “blood lust” and had sought professional help over his urges to kill, a former close friend has told The Telegraph.

An astonishing picture has emerged of the journey Adrian Ajao took from polite schoolboy from a well-to-do family to Isil-inspired killerwho called himself Khalid Masood.

Watch | Five things we know about Khalid Masood


But within a few years, Ajao, who attended Huntleys Secondary School for Boys in Tunbridge Wells in Kent, had already begun to go off the rails, falling in with the wrong crowd and beginning to drink heavily and take drugs.

Adrian Ajao (circled) is photographed with school friends who were taking part in a charity five-a-side tournament
Smiling broadly for the camera, Adrian Ajao (circled) is photographed with school friends who were taking part in a charity five-a-side tournament

Kenton Till, 52, one of his closest school friends, said: “Adrian was a bloody good footballer, one of the best players in the school. He was one of those kids who was very popular. He had a big personality and everyone liked him.

“He was very bright and very good at chemistry.

“But I remember he came to a New Year’s party at my house with a group of lads who were drunk and on something and my parents asked them to leave. After that we sort of lost touch.”

Ajao was 18 when he received his first conviction for criminal damage in 1983.

Over the next 15 years, he would lurch from one scrape to another. But by the mid-1990s, Ajao appeared to have settled down, living with Jane Harvey, the mother of his two daughters, in a bungalow in the village of Northiam in Sussex.

It would all turn sour in July 2000 when Ajao, already earmarked as a village trouble maker, was jailed for slashing the face of Piers Mott, a local pub landlord.

Khalid Masood
Khalid Masood

Lee Lawrence, 47, a friend of Ajao’s at the time, said a fight had broken out over claims he had been subjected to a racial slur. Suddenly without notice, Ajao, whose mother is white and father is black, pulled out a knife and slashed Mr Mott.

“There were some big boys in the pub, and they couldn’t stop him,” recalled Mr Lawrence, “He was stronger than a bull. If you went for him, he would do you with a knife.

He said he was having help, some kind of anger managementLee Lawrence, former friend

“I was driving past and I saw what was happening. I got out of my truck and said everybody just get back in the pub and leave him with me. His eyes had rolled and he was out of this world.

“Once outside the pub, he also began slashing Mr Mott’s car seats.”

Mr Lawrence tried to calm Ajao down, Instead his friend went for him. “He had the knife against my throat and he is going: ‘I want some blood, I want some f—ing blood, I want to kill someone.’

“After he calmed down a bit he was saying: ‘What have I done? What am I doing? I am going for help, I just want blood or I want to kill someone.’

“He said he was having help, some kind of anger management.”

On one occasion Mr Lawrence remembered Ajao’s fury that his partner had been banned from playing in the village netball team because of his violent outbursts.

Ajao’s response was “to slash a few of the car tyres” of the female players.

At other times, he had told Mr Lawrence: “I dream about blood. I dream about killing someone.”

The attack on Mott resulted in Ajao being jailed. His relationship with Ms Harvey, the only person in the village who could calm him down, inevitably fell apart. She ran a chemical company in nearby Bodiam and Ajao did odd jobs for the family firm.

While he was in jail Ajao converted to Islam and started using the name Khalid Masood.

He moved to a bedsit in the seaside resort of Eastbourne where he slashed another man’s face with a knife and went back to jail in 2003 for possession of a knife.

Watch | Hotel manager says Westminster attacker didn’t arouse suspicions


The victim was believed to have been Danny Smith, who told the Sun Ajao sliced his nose and tongue. Mr Smith, a scaffolder, said part of the knife snapped off in his face in the attack, for which Ajao was eventually acquitted.

Mr Lawrence said he had seen Ajao on one occasion since he left prison, driving through the village, when he put a finger to his throat and made a “slashing gesture”.

In 2004, a year out of jail, Ajao married Farzana Malik, then aged 25, from Gillingham in Kent. On the marriage certificate, Ajao used his birth name Adrian Russell Elms and gave his profession as a teacher. Elms was his mother’s maiden name while Ajao was his father’s name.

The marriage did not last and Ms Malik now lives in Greater Manchester.

A relative of Ms Malik said Ajao had been “very violent” towards her and “controlling in every aspect of her life”.

“He was a psychopath and I mean that in the very medical definition of the word. He came from a nice family, had everything, but there was something very wrong with him,” the family member said.

At one stage she reportedly fled their home with just her clothes and stayed with friends out of fear. She is now believed to have remarried

Ajao maintained contact with his daughters especially his youngest Andi, who at the age of 16 would suffer terrible injuries when hit by a lorry as she crossed the road on her way to school in 2008. It seems remarkable – given what would happen almost a decade later on Westminster Bridge –but Ajao would spend hours at his daughter’s bedside, praying for her recovery.

Khalid Masood
Khalid Masood died after police opened fire during his attack in Westminster CREDIT: PA

One neighbour recalled: “Andi was knocked down as she ran to get the school bus and she almost died. She was severely injured and her parents had to keep a bedside vigil. She was in hospital for ages and it took her a long time to fully recover.” Andi, who was devoted to her father, would spend more and more time with Ajao and would eventually convert to Islam herself.

Andi, now aged 24, is understood to wear a full face veil and has changed her name. There is no suggestion that she shared her father’s extreme beliefs or knew about his plans to launch Wednesday’s terror attack.

Watch | Masood’s neighbour describes normal family man who was keen to help


From Eastbourne, Ajao went on the move. He travelled to Saudi Arabia and lived variously in Luton, east London and latterly in Birmingham, where he hired the car before launching his murderous onslaught.

A CV he circulated earlier this year showed he had become an English language teacher in Luton and then in 2012 set up a tutoring business for Arabian students in Birmingham called IQRA. On his CV he listed his interests as body building and described himself as “friendly and approachable, as well as being a good listener.”

On the eve of the attack, Ajao drove from Birmingham back to his old stamping ground on the south coast, checking into the £60-a-night Preston Park Hotel in Brighton. He stayed in room 228, ate a last evening meal of a kebab and told hotel staff: “I’m off to London today” as if he were on a sightseeing tour.

His parents Philip, 77, and Janet Ajao, 69, who now live on a farm in Wales having moved there from Tunbridge Wells, have been left devastated. Mrs Ajao, 69, runs a business from the remote farmhouse selling hand-made cushions and handbags. Hers is a very British cottage industry, and Mr and Mrs Ajao are a model of respectability. A far cry from the jihadist path their son took before his violent journey was finally halted by a policeman’s bullets at the palace of Westminster.

First picture of Khalid Masood reveals how he went from football-loving teenager to London attacker

March 24, 2017

The Telegraph

Khaldid Masood, circled, during his school years

Khalid Masood, circled, during his school years

This is the first photo of Khalid Masood, the terrorist responsible for the Westminster attack. Smiling broadly for the camera, he is photographed with school friends who were taking part in a charity five-a-side tournament.

The picture was taken around 1980, when Masood, who was known as Adrian Ajao was around 15-years-old.

Almost 40 years later, he would go on to wreak havoc at the heart of British democracy, murdering four innocent people.

Masood was born Adrian Elms and used the name Adrian Ajao, his stepfather Philip’s surname during his school years. In the photograph, Masood is sixth from the left in the back row. His arms are folded and he gives no clue as to the murderous path he would take. Masood went to Huntley School for Boys in Tunbridge Wells in Kent where he grew up.

Westminster terrorist school

One of his teammates in the picture, Kenton Till said he was an extremely popular pupil, who was bright and sporty.

Mr Tills said: “We were quite close for a few years. The picture was taken when we were taking part in a 24-hour five-a-side tournament for charity.

“Adrian was a bloody good footballer, one of the best players in the school. He was one of those kids who was very popular. He had a big personality and everyone liked him.

“He was very bright and very good at chemistry. I think he wanted to do something like that after he left school. We lost touch eventually. I remember he came to a New Year’s party at my house but he was with a group of lads who were drunk and on something and my parents asked them to leave. After that we sort of lost touch.

“This has come as a huge shock to me, it is hard to take in that this is the same bloke.”

Watch | Five things we know about Khalid Masood


It was after school that Masood’s life appeared to go off the rails, with him getting involved in petty and violent crime.

At 19 he received his first conviction for criminal damage. He went on to receive a string of convictions over the next 20-years.

Masood, may have eventually snapped because of racism in his village leading him to slash the face of a cafe owner.

It is thought he may have then been radicalised while in jail, eventually leading to his involvement in terrorism.

Reports emerged on Friday that the Muslim convert had recently become a grandfather, after neighbours said that the daughter of his wife had just had a baby.

Records suggest that Masood, who had given his occupation as an English tutor on several forms over the years, was married to a 39-year-old woman named Rohey Hydara, who lives in an Olympic Village apartment in east London.

Neighbours confirmed that Hydara lived in the flat and said she and her 14-year-old brother had seen Masood several weeks ago. Vera Amade, a 21-year-old mother of two said:

“My brother saw him a few times quite recently in the last few weeks.

“It was definitely him, the woman has two kids, one of the daughters has just had a baby. They all live in the same flat. She was quite polite, there was nothing bad to say about her.

“He was really nice and polite as well, he was very pleasant. I’m very shocked. We were watching it on TV last night and trying to figure out if it was definitely him and it is.

“He was always dressed in a suit, I don’t know what he did for a living. He used to come back from work at about five or six. We can’t believe it, it’s shocking.”

Masood went off the rails in July 2000, slashing a man across the face after an argument that had “racial overtones”. The attack would land him in jail and his life, already in a fragmented state, would fall apart. In another attack three years later, he stabbed a man in the nose before reportedly travelling to Saudi Arabia.

The extraordinary revelations will cause deep unease. Elms – or Masood, the Islamic name he adopted – was known to the authorities as  a vicious thug whose ‘violent extremism’ had brought him to the attention of MI5. Yet at some point a decision was taken that he was no longer considered a threat.

Paramedics attend to alleged attacker Khalid Masood outside the Palace of Westminster
Paramedics attend to alleged attacker Khalid Masood outside the Palace of Westminster CREDIT: STEFAN ROUSSEAU/PA

On Wednesday, having stayed the night before the attack in a cheap hotel in Brighton, he got into a hired car, drove to London and then used it as a weapon to kill pedestrians on Westminster bridge.

Then brandishing a knife, he slaughtered a police officer, trying to protect the palace of Westminster, in cold blood.

Masood told staff at the Preston Park Hotel: “I’m off to London today” as if he was a tourist. The capital, he declared, “isn’t like it used to be.” Masood, whose mother was white and father black, was born in Dartford in Kent.

Masood was 35 and living in the quiet Sussex village of Northiam when in  2000 he slashed cafe owner Piers Mott in the face with a knife after a row that had ‘racial overtones’.

Hove Crown Court heard that  the attack left Masood and his young family “ostracised” in the village. He had been in conflict with his victim before. After leaving the pub, in which he argued with his victim, Masood lost his temper and slashed seat covers in Mott’s car.

When Mott arrived at his car, Masood waved the knife at him and caught his face, leaving him needing more than 20 stitches.

The court heard at the time that Masood had consumed four pints during the afternoon and had the knife because he was decorating his daughter’s bedroom.

Alexander Taylor-Camara, defending, said: “When the defendant moved to the local area it was to try to give his family and himself a better and more tranquil way of life.

“The majority of people seemed to get on well with them but there was a problem with this man. Things got out of hand on this particular day.

“There were racial overtones in the argument between himself and the victim. He let that get to him – unusually, because in the past he has been able to shrug off that sort of abuse.

Watch | How the Westminster terror attack unfolded on video


“He lost his temper and decided to take it out on this gentleman’s vehicle. But in one movement the knife came into contact with the victim’s face.

“His wife and family have now become ostracised in the village. It is a very small community and his wife and family have been extremely affected by this.

“He will effectively have to move his family from the village and start to live his life all over again. It will leave the village with a view of black people in the area. The trust that may have been there in the beginning is now completely lost.

“He does deeply regret this incident ever arising and expresses remorse for what he has done.”

Judge Charles Kemp sentenced Elms to a total of two years in prison.

Commenting on the row between the victim and Elms, Judge Kemp said: “While it doesn’t afford any excuse for your behaviour it may afford some degree of explanation.”

Theresa May speaking to MPs in the House of Commons in the aftermath of the attack
Theresa May speaking to MPs in the House of Commons in the aftermath of the attackCREDIT: PA WIRE

Masood, one of only two black men Northiam – according to a court report at the time – was ostracised from the community. He was jailed for two years for the attack.

Three years later and now out of jail, Masood was accused of stabbing a man in the nose, leaving him needing cosmetic surgery. He was sent back to jail for another six months for possession of offensive weapon. He served time in Lewes jail, East Sussex, Wayland prison in Norfolk, and Ford open prison, West Sussex.

It is quite likely he was radicalised during a spell in jail.

By 2005 he was working in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, then teaching workers at the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in Jeddah, according to The Sun, which says it obtained a copy of Masood’s CV.

In the CV, which was sent out just weeks ago, he is said to describe himself as “British”, “friendly and approachable” and a good listener.

The document reportedly claims he had a economics degree. He apparently began in sales and was later promoted to manager at Aaron Chemicals in Bodiam, East Sussex.

In 2004 he is understood to have married a Muslim, Farzana Malik. It is unclear what became of their marriage and whether Masood converted to Islam at the time. In the same year, The Sun reports, Masood’s CV claims he gained a TESOL certificate, allowing him to teach English to foreigners.

In spring 2009, Masood reportedly returned from Saudi Arabia to the UK. After a five-month gap, he is said to have joined a TEFL college in Luton as a “senior English teacher”.

Theresa May, in a statement to MPs at 10.30am on Thursday, was quick to absolve her security services of blame.

“His identity is known to the police and MI5 and, when operational considerations allow, he will be publicly identified,” she said.

“What I can confirm is that the man was British-born and that – some years ago – he was once investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism. He was a peripheral figure. The case is historic – he was not part of the current intelligence picture.

“There was no prior intelligence of his intent or of the plot.”

Five hours later, the Metropolitan Police made public one of his adopted names – Khalid Masood-  in a short statement that gave scant details of his long history of violent crime. None, they stressed, were for terrorism offences.

Police finally admitted on Thursday night that Masood was not his birth name, adding to mystery about why his real name Adrian Elms was being withheld.

Masood, a burly bodybuilding enthusiast, received his first conviction in November 1983 for criminal damage when he was 18 and his last one in 2003 for possession of a knife.

Watch | Eyewitnesses describe seeing bodies on Westminster Bridge


In a 20-year criminal career he also received convictions for causing grievous bodily harm.

He has lived a nomadic existence including stints on the south coast as well as in Kent.

It is thought that after his time in prison, he came onto MI5’s radar. A Whitehall source said he had been a person of interest but “peripheral” to a terror investigation. The source declined to identify the terror cell.

Over the past five or six years, Masood, his wife, aged 39, and their young children, have been on the move. Electoral roll records show him living in areas notorious for pockets of Islamist extremism.

He lived for more than two years until 2013 in Luton, where Anjem Choudary, an influential preacher now in jail for terror offences, had been a regular and often mob-handed visitor.

A former neighbour in Luton, Katie Garriques, 48, a former headteacher, remembered a “polite, shy” and “quite portly man” whom she often saw gardening at the front of the property and playing with his children.

When she saw the photograph of Masood having been shot in Westminster, she recognised him instantly. “I’m just saddened. I feel sick to be honest,” she said.

Watch | Theresa May: Attacker was once investigated by MI5


Monica, another neighbour in Luton, said she only ever saw him at night. “He was like a shadow, you wouldn’t often see him. He was often in Islamic dress,” she said.

From Luton, Masood and his family moved to Forest Gate in east London. A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said Masood frequented a mosque in nearby Leyton. Another neighbour, Ibrahima Kone, 57, a cab driver, said the family lived there for three years. At some stage Masood’s wife had moved to a new property on the site of the Olympic Village. A property there was raided by police on Wednesday night.

In the past year, Masood and his family moved to Birmingham to a block of flats at Quayside in Winson Green. It is not clear why they moved there, but that property was also raided by anti-terror police following the attack.

Student Kaodi Campbell, 25, confirmed the man in the picture was her neighbour. “He was always polite and would say ‘hello, hello’ to me,” she said.

“You could tell they were religious, his wife always wore traditional dress. I last saw them just over a month ago. They had three children. He had a job and you would see him leaving for work or taking his children to school.”

Watch | Birmingham flat raided over Westminster terror attack


Local children remember him joining in games of football. One boy said: “Sometimes he’d play as well, though he wasn’t very good. He wore a skull cap and had a long bushy beard.”

On Monday or Tuesday, Masood turned up at the car hire company Enterprise at its Spring Hill depot in Birmingham and rented the Hyundai SUV used in Wednesday’s attack.

He gave his profession as a teacher and, it is understood, his address as a rented flat close to Edgbaston and not far from the Enterprise offices. On Wednesday at 11pm, armed police stormed the upstairs flat at Hagley Road. More than a dozen officers armed with machine guns stormed the premises, making three arrests. One witness, who works in a shop near the second-floor flat, said: “The man from London lived here. They came and arrested three men.”

Scotland Yard said on Thursday it had made eight arrests, seven in Birmingham and one in east London of a 39-year-old woman. A property in Brighton, where The Sun reported Masood spent his last night, and another in south-east London were also searched.

David Videcette, a former Scotland Yard counter-terrorism officer and security expert, said it was odd that Masood had committed the atrocity at the age of 52.

Watch | Westminster attack: how the world reacted


“His age is surprising as most terrorists are radicalised at a much younger age,” said Mr Videcette. “It would be my assessment that he has probably had quite a troubled past, with involvement in drink or drugs leading him into criminality.

“Then at some point, possibly in the last decade, he has converted to Islam and changed his name. Then it appears that he has fallen under the malign influence of others who have encouraged or persuaded him to carry out this attack, possibly for money for his family.”

Mr Videcette added: “What will be key is establishing why he has suddenly and quite recently moved to Birmingham, having spent most of his life in the South East.

“Pretty much every terror case I worked on had some Birmingham connection somewhere along the line. It is likely there were people there who were part of his close circle and the police will want to look at that aspect very closely indeed.”

No automatic alt text available.



London attack: counter-terrorism officers make two more ‘significant arrests’ — Police ask for help from the public

March 24, 2017


© AFP | A flower left in tribute to the victims of the London March 22 terror attack placed next to the Palace of Westminster
LONDON (AFP) – Two more people have been arrested over Wednesday’s terror attack in London, police said on Friday, also giving the attacker’s birth name as Adrian Russell and appealing to the public for information about him.”We have made two further significant arrests overnight,” counter-terrorism commander Mark Rowley said, confirming that there are currently nine people in total in custody over the attack.

One woman arrested earlier was released on bail.

Police had earlier named the attacker as Khalid Masood but said he had been using “a number of aliases”.

Rowley said police carried out more than dozen searches, seizing 2,700 items including “massive amounts of computer data” and were attempting to work out whether others had “encouraged, supported or directed him”.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, saying the attacker was one of its “soldiers”.

“There might be people out there who did have concerns about Masood but did not feel comfortable for whatever reason in passing those concerns to us,” Rowley said, appealing for them to come forward.

The anti-terror police chief said “at least 50” people were injured when Masood ploughed through pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before knifing a policeman to death just inside the gates of Britain’s parliament and being shot dead by another officer.

A total of 31 people of 12 nationalities have been treated in hospital and one person has “life-threatening injuries”, Rowley said.

He also named a 75-year-old man who died of his injuries in hospital on Thursday as Leslie Rhodes from Streatham in south London.

His death brought the number of victims to four.