EGYPT The Copts fear the “protection” of the army, which turns on NGOs

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Fears of new attacks against churches in the celebrations at the end of the year and Orthodox Christmas. Muslim Brotherhood announced their commitment to protect Christians. Military raid against 17 foreign NGOs engaged in human rights. Blocked all funds and transactions. Caritas among the associations. Spokesman for the Catholic Church “The soldiers think only of themselves and protect their power.”Cairo (AsiaNews) – The Arab Spring is increasingly being betrayed by the authorities. About 10 months after the fall of the Mubarak regime, sources tell AsiaNews that there is an atmosphere of instability and fear in the country. In view of the end of year festivities and the Orthodox Christmas (January 6), the Coptic community fears new attacks against the churches, similar to those that occurred after the New Year of 2011 in Alexandria and in 2010 at Nag Hammadi (Luxor). Tensions have been increased by continuous military statements about the presence of unspecified external forces interested in wreaking havoc in the country before January 25, the anniversary of the Jasmine revolution.

In recent days, Kiryllos, Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Nag Hammadi appealed to General Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), asking that safety be guaranteed during the celebrations. “I have received several bomb threats against my diocese – he says – and I asked the police to protect the community.” Yesterday, the SCAF assured maximum protection for Copts. Even the Muslim Brotherhood, winners of the first two rounds of parliamentary elections, have responded to the bishop’s call. In a statement posted yesterday on their site, they announced they will collaborate with the military in maintaining security around Coptic churches during the holiday.

On New Year’s Eve 2011 in Alexandria, a car bomb exploded during a Mass of the Coptic community, killing 21 people. Because of the attack clashes erupted between Christians and Muslims, but it turned out that the attack was orchestrated by the secret services of Habib el-Adly, the interior minister of the Mubarak government. On January 6, 2010, an armed commando opened fire on a group of faithful of the church of Saint John in Nag Hammadi, killing seven people. At the time the police had ignored repeated requests for protection of the Coptic communities. No policeman was on guard at the time of the attack. Read the rest of this entry »

Nigeria Christmas Day bombings: Boko Haram terror attacks indicate deep threat to country’s stability

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Dec 25, 2011 – 3:03 PM ET

REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

A car burns at the scene of a bomb explosion at St. Theresa Catholic Church at Madalla, Suleja, just outside Nigeria’s capital Abuja, December 25, 2011. Five bombs exploded on Christmas Day at churches in Nigeria, one killing at least 27 people, raising fears that Islamist militant group Boko Haram – which claimed responsibility – is trying to ignite sectarian civil war.

By Tim Cocks

LAGOS — Christmas Day bomb attacks against churches in Nigeria by Islamist militant group Boko Haram targeted the country’s religious and ethnic faultlines in an apparently escalating campaign to fracture the nation’s stability.

The shadowy group from Nigeria’s Muslim north, blamed for dozens of bombings and shootings in recent years, said it was responsible for a string of blasts, three of them in churches, including one that killed at least 27 people at a packed Christmas service on the outskirts of the capital Abuja. Read the rest of this entry »

U.N. examines cybersecurity

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Published: Jan. 29, 2010 at 4:49 PM

BERLIN, Jan. 29 (UPI) — U.N. members gathered for a workshop in Berlin to discuss how terrorist groups and organized criminal enterprises take advantage of the Internet.

The U.N. Counter-terrorism Implementation Task Force organized a two-day workshop in the German capital to discuss laws in place aimed at examining the safety and use of the Internet for criminal activity.

The U.N. Security Council included Internet security in November as one of the areas of focus for the global effort to combat extremists. Read the rest of this entry »