Iran News Round Up April 23, 2014

 

English: Evin House of Detention فارسی: زندان اوین

English: Evin House of Detention فارسی: زندان اوین (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by the AEI Critical Threats Project’s Iran research team. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online. 

(E) = Article in English

Excerpts of these translations may only be used with the expressed consent of the authors

  • An editorial in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) weekly publication sobh-e sadegh outlined the seven duties of the IRGC:
    • 1. Aiding in the affairs of enforcement, security, control, pursuit, and arrest of anti-revolutionary elements
    • 2. Armed fighting against armed anti-revolutionary currents
    • 3. Defending against the attacks and occupation of foreigners and their domestic elements
    • 4. Effective coordination and cooperation with the armed forces
    • 5. Aid in the implementation of the orders of the Supreme Leader and the Islamic Republic government’s prosecution
    • 6. Supporting freedom and righteous seeking movements under the Supreme Leader’s supervision
    • 7. Aiding in the advancement of civil projects
  • IRGC Hazrat-e Seyyed ol-Shohada Unit (Tehran Province) Commander Brig. Gen. Ali Nasiri defended the IRGC’s role in the economy and said “The IRGC has appropriately planned for all sectors of the population across the country and has taken valuable measures in the construction arena.” Continue reading

Global Cyber Spying Incidents Triple in 2013

By April 22, 2014 11:51 GM

Cyber surveillance

Reports of espionage hacking increased significantly in 2013, with a growing proportion of attacks attributed to Eastern European governments.

A comprehensive study on global cybersecurity has revealed that hacking for the purposes of spying grew significantly in 2013, partly as a result of increased cyber-espionage from eastern Europe.

The Data Breach Investigations Report, an annual security study by US telecoms firm Verizon, detailed more than 63,000 confirmed security incidents reported by 50 major organisations. Continue reading

Israel Launches OFEQ 10 Spy Satellite

Apr 9, 2014

A Shavit satellite launcher lifts off from the Palmachim test range south of Tel Aviv April 9, 2014, carrying the OFEK 10 satellite, the eights satellite in the OFEK family, built by IAI MBT Space division. Photo: IMOD

The Israeli spy satellite Ofeq 10 was launched this evening, (April 9th 2014, 20:15 GMT) from the Palmachim Air Force Base on Israel’s Mediterranean coast. Once the satellite enters orbit around the Earth, it will undergo several tests to confirm its serviceability and accurate performance. Few hours later the satellite reached its intended orbit and communicated with IAI’s ground control sending telemetry and images. Further tests are underway before the satellite begins its operationalservice. The deployment was completed with minimal manoeuvring, leaving more fuel for extended life cycle, IAI sources told Defense-Update.

The new satellite is the third Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite built by IAI MBT Space Division and Elta Systems. The first two examples of this satellite were launched on the Indian PSLV rockets. OFEQ 10 carries a more advanced version of the EL/M-2070 SAR payload, introducing evolutionary enhancements over the first two models.

For the OFEQ satellites Israel have utilized an indigenously developed three stages launcher called ‘Shavit’ which, according to foreign sources, is based on a ballistic missile system developed in Israel since the late 1960s, the missile itself was based on a French missile design. The current configuration of Shavit is sufficient to lift the weight of the TECSAR’s 295 kg, using the three solid fuel rocket stages and a liquid-propelled upper stage motor. According to IAI, since 1988 Shavit successfully launched several satellites, with maximum Weight of 290 kg (Westward). The advanced variant of the SHAVIT Launcher is configured to increase lift capability to 350 kg (Westward) which will be required to lift the OPSAT 3000, expected to weigh about 400 kg. Israel is determined

“Ofek 10″ is an earth-observing remote-sensing satellite that employs SAR technology to deliver advanced, high-resolution imagery, capable of operating day or night and in all weather conditions.

As its predecessor OFEQ 8, the Ofeq 10 uses the new bus system developed by IAI MBT Space division for mini-satellites. The same platform is also being used for the new OPSAT 3000 imaging satellite being built for the Italian government. It is also likely that the forthcoming OFEQ 11 will also follow this configuration, as well as the future EROS-C (yet to be ordered).

Israel currently has three operational remote sensing satellites in heliosynchronous low-earth orbit (LEO) – OFEQ 7, OFEQ 9 and TECSAR I radar imaging satellite. In addition, two additional commercial satellites are deployed in polar orbits – EROS A and EROS B. These two satellites are believed to be similar to the OFEQ 7 class. Continue reading

Germany outlaws ‘Hezbollah fundraising group’

A Lebanese flag appears behind Hezbollah's yellow flag in the Bekaa Valley on May 25, 2011
.View photo
A Lebanese flag appears behind Hezbollah‘s yellow flag in the Bekaa Valley on May 25, 2011 (AFP Photo/Joseph Eid)

Berlin (AFP) – German authorities banned a group Tuesday accused of raising millions for the Lebanese militant organisation Hezbollah and staged raids across the country against its members.

The interior ministry said it had outlawed the “Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon” (Orphan Children Project Lebanon) with immediate effect.

“The name of the group masks its actual purpose,” ministry state secretary Emily Haber said in a statement.

She said the organisation, based in the western city of Essen, had raised 3.3 million euros ($4.6 million) in donations between 2007 and 2013 for the Lebanese Shahid Foundation, an “integral” part of Hezbollah. Continue reading

Congolese Forces Take the Offensive Against Uganda’s ADF-NALU Militants

Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 6

March 20, 2014 07:17 PM Age: 9 days  By: Andrew McGregor

Congolese Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Genera...

Congolese Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Kisempia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Fresh from a victory over the rebel troops of the Mouvement du 23 Mars (M23) in the unsettled but resource-rich Nord-Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Congolese army has launched an offensive against the self-described “Islamists” of the Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU) who have operated in that region since 2004. [1] After several years of dormancy, ADF-NALU renewed operations in July 2013 with a wave of raids, kidnappings, massacres of civilians and attacks on security forces and UN peacekeepers. The once poorly-armed ADF-NALU militants appear to be newly supplied with machine-guns, mortars and rockets to replace their previous reliance on machetes and knives. According to the UN, M23’s defeat was followed by large-scale surrenders by thousands of members of various militant groups in the Nord-Kivu region, but few of these came from ADF-NALU (IRIN, January 27).

Operation Sokola

The operation against ADF-NALU was intended to begin in December 2013 but was delayed after the intended leader of the campaign, Colonel Mamadou Moustafa Ndala, was killed by a rocket in an ambush originally attributed to ADF-NALU fighters in early January (Uganda Radio Network, February 1). Continue reading

Ansar Jerusalem confirms deaths of 6 members, 2 tied to Syria conflict

By

In a statement released to jihadist forums on March 23, Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis) confirmed the deaths of six of its fighters in clashes with Egyptian security forces on March 19. Egypt’s Interior Ministry had originally said that the raid, which took place about 20 miles north of Cairo, resulted in the deaths of five Ansar Jerusalem members and two Egyptian security personnel, as well as the arrest of four jihadists; the ministry later stated, however, that six jihadists had been killed and eight arrested.

The six members of Ansar Jerusalem who were killed in the clashes were identified by the jihadist group as: Fahmi Abdul Raouf Muhammad (Abu Dujana), Samir Abdul Hakim (Abu al Bara), Muhammad Mohsen Ali Muhammad (Abu Musab), Muhammad Sayed Mahmoud Ahmad (Abu Musab), Osama Saeed Abdul Aziz (Abu Omar), and Abdul Raouf Fahmi Abdul Raouf (Abu Mu’adh). At least two of those named had previously been identified by Egyptian authorities as suspects in recent attacks in Egypt. Continue reading

Canadian Intelligence Tracking 80 Men Who Have Fought With Militants in Syria or Elsewhere Abroad

Red Ensign (pre-1965 Canadian flag)

Red Ensign (pre-1965 Canadian flag) (Photo credit: Lone Primate)

March 24, 2014

CSIS tracking 80 Canadians who came home after going abroad for ‘terrorist purposes’

Douglas Quan Ottawa Citizen March 24, 2014

Intelligence officials are aware of about 80 Canadians who have returned home after going overseas for “terrorist purposes,” according to speaking notes prepared for the director of the nation’s spy agency.

The document obtained by Postmedia News does not offer explicit information about their activities, though it makes it clear that not all were involved in combat. While some individuals may have engaged in paramilitary activities, others are believed to have studied in extremist Islamic schools or provided logistical or fundraising support. Others never achieved their goals and simply returned home.

Continue reading

Egypt death penalty verdict triggers global outcry

image

AP Mohamed Morsy. File photo

An Egyptian court on Monday sentenced 529 supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy to death.

The death sentence passed by an Egyptian court against 529 supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has triggered an outcry against the verdict among a wide cross-section of the legal community at home as well as influential human rights groups abroad.

The stunning verdict that has put hundreds on death row was issued by an Upper Egyptian court in the city of Minya. The defendants were found guilty of murdering Mostafa El-Attar, deputy commander of a local police station, who was killed during riots that followed the storming by security forces of two pro-Morsy sit-ins in August last.

Continue reading

Royal Air Force pilots departing after dropping explosives over Utah

Posted on: 5:40 pm, March 23, 2014, by Mark Green

Photo Gallery Expand 1 of 4

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An RAF Tornado. Image courtesy Hill Air Force Base.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — During the last three weeks, Utah’s Hill Air Force Base has played host to a squadron of pilots from the United Kingdom and their Tornado planes.

The RAF Tornado Training Squadron from northern Scotland has been using the Utah Test and Training Range to drop a variety of weapons–as the squadron can’t drop weapons at home.

Continue reading