Soccer (football) club chairmen in Britain are warning of a new threat of football hooliganism from retired grandfathers.
Dave Doggett, boss of the soccer team Cambridge United, says a hardcore of around 10 men in their 50s and 60s are trying to relive the 1980s by arranging fights with rivals on match days.
“Club chiefs say ageing thugs who took part in violence during the 1970s and 80s are returning to the terraces,” according to the Daily Mirror.
Mr. Doggett warns the violence has increased recently as the men return to the club in their retirements after being distracted by years of having a career and raising families.
Doggett says there is a danger that they will spread violence as they try to encourage younger men to join their “gangs,” states The Telegraph.
Writing in his club’s latest program, Mr Doggett says: “Unfortunately football clubs still attract an undesirable element of society that appear determined to ruin the enjoyment of real supporters of football clubs.
“Our promotion to the Football League appears to have encouraged our ‘risk’ from the 1980s to come out of retirement.
“Many of them are grandparents trying to encourage the next generation to join their ‘gangs’.
“It sounds pathetic but unfortunately it is reality.”
Doggett states they are working closely with police on the matter.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Memphis Division reportedly warned police officers about a threat to blow up the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge sometime in December.
FOX13 News obtained the FBI bulletin sent to Mid-South Law Enforcement agencies warning about a possible Islamic State terror plot targeting the I-55 Bridge.
“According to an anonymous complainant, as of December 2014, ISIS instructed an ISIS member, a presumed USPER in Memphis, with a direct order to blow up the Memphis-Arkansas bridge on an unknown date, activating ISIS terror cells in the United States,” the warning reads.
USPER is a law enforcement acronym for U.S. person.
Described as “an unsubstantiated, anonymous threat,” the Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned authorities in Tennessee and Arkansas about a threat made by the Islamic State to blow up an expansion of the Mississippi River bridge that connects the two states.
The question remains: Why would a terror group choose a bridge between Arkansas and Tennessee?
The White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism opened in the United States capital on Tuesday, February 17th. A group of 40 participants were at the beginning of the three-day event.
The summit was not just about the Islamic State, it also had a focus on American domestic issues.
“We all understand that in dealing with violent extremism, we need answers that go beyond a military answer,” said US Vice President Joe Biden. “We need answers that go beyond force. Countries, all of us including the United States, we have to work this from the ground up.
He added: “We have to work from the ground up and engage our communities and engage those who might be susceptible to being radicalized because they are marginalized.
Biden said societies need to provide immigrant communities with a sense of opportunity and a sense of belonging to counter radicalization.
“Societies have to provide an affirmative alternative for immigrant communities with a sense of opportunity, a sense of belonging – and that will discredit the terrorist appeal to fear, isolation, hatred and resentment.”
An important issue at the summit is how to stop lone-wolf attacks, which is usually violence plotted by a single person who may not share their plans with anyone.
Attention was also paid to social media.
U.S. intelligence and officials from Homeland Security have said that social media campaigns by extremist groups have fueled recruitment and inspired lone wolves in cities including Paris, Copenhagen, Ottawa and Boston.
To counter the messages by ISIS and al-Qaeda, the US State Department will expand its Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications to amplify its own messages.
President Barack Obama is set to address the meetings twice with an emphasis on how civil society and the private sector have roles to play in countering violent extremism.
The meeting – which features speakers and participants from the US and abroad – has been in the works for months as part of a program the Obama administration began in 2011.
It comes just as a new report warns of a rise in violence by “lone wolves” or “leaderless resistance” groups composed of no more than two people.
It comes at a time when recent events seem connected to Islam: The shooting deaths last week of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, N.C., by a suspect who may have been motivated by religious hatred as well as other issues, and the shooting attacks that killed two and wounded five at a free speech event and synagogue in Copenhagen, Denmark, over the weekend, believed to have been inspired by Islamic radicalism.
The vice president upheld as examples the work of Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, where the Justice Department has launched a series of pilot programs involving local religious leaders, law enforcement and advocacy groups. Administration officials said one goal of the conference was for leaders from those cities to share best practices with others.
Overcoming distrust has been a challenge for federal officials. Some critics say the apprehension of young men – such as Christopher Lee Cornell, recently charged with plotting an attack on the US Capitol – amounts to legally questionable entrapment.
The Los Angeles program has drawn criticism from civil rights groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is worried that the program will infringe on Muslims’ freedom of speech and religion, and might hurt their public image.
The council’s national office issued a statement ahead of the summit questioning the effectiveness of programs closely tied to a government that many Muslims don’t trust.
“Credible community voices who are not viewed as ‘being in the government’s pocket’ are necessary,” it said.
More than 22 Somali men from Minnesota have gone to Somalia to fight for the radical group al-Shabab. Several others have gone or tried to go to Syria to fight for the Islamic State group.
“The most important lesson we’ve learned, and we don’t always practice it, but it’s that inclusion counts,” Biden said of the need to effectively integrate minority immigrant groups into American society, particularly Muslims. “Let me say it again: Inclusion counts. Inclusion counts.”
The Muslim Public Affairs Council in Washington has taken what it calls “a proactive approach to identifying and intervening individuals who may be susceptible to violent extremism.”
Authorities are studying whether the killing of the three Muslim students in Chapel Hill – allegedly by Craig Hicks – was a hate crime. On his Facebook page, he had written: “I hate Islam just as much as (C)hristianity, but they have the right to worship in this country just as much as any others do.”
Though Hicks apparently acted alone (possibly set off by a dispute with the victims over parking spaces), it’s unclear whether he can be thought of as a violent extremist “lone wolf” in the usual sense.
In a report last week – “Age of the Wolf: A Study of the Rise of Lone Wolf and Leaderless Resistance Terrorism” – the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) examined more than 60 domestic terror incidents. Almost three-quarters of these were carried out or planned by a lone wolf, a single person acting without accomplices. Ninety percent of the incidents were the work of no more than two persons, according to the report.
The study, which included violence from both the radical right and homegrown jihadists from April 1, 2009 to Feb. 1, 2015, also found that a domestic terrorist attack or foiled attack occurred, on average, every 34 days.
“It’s important to recognize the trend away from organized groups committing acts of domestic terror,” said Mark Potok, SPLC senior fellow and editor of the report. “As Timothy McVeigh demonstrated with the Oklahoma City bombing, lone wolves and small cells of domestic terrorists can create massive carnage.”
“It is imperative that authorities, including those gathering at the White House next week, take this threat seriously. Anything less would be an invitation to disaster,” said Potok.
Some European publications found that not enough attention was paid to America’s own right-wing extremism, whereas some American news sources felt that not enough attention was paid to ISIS or religious-related terms like “Muslim” extremism.
The Guardian: “On Tuesday, the White House will convene a national summit on combatting violent extremism – but, despite a plethora of attacks by domestic right-wing extremists and the increase in white supremacist hate groups, no one expects that to be on the agenda.”
Washington Times: “From Afghanistan and borderlands of Pakistan to Iraq and North Africa, radical Islamists eager to spread their strict interpretation of the Muslim faith and topple Western values have bombed, beheaded and slaughtered — undermining the White House narrative and raising questions about its strategy.”
Bloomberg claimed that the term “Muslim extremism” won’t be used much: “President Barack Obama and his staff have gone to lengths to avoid characterizing the ideology driving Islamic State and other terrorist groups as religious extremism. The semantic exercise is intended to avoid legitimizing acts of terror as expressions of religious belief. It’s also part of a strategy to draw in the domestic Muslim leaders who Obama is leaning on…”
As President Obama seeks to ramp up military action against the terrorist group ISIS, Americans are unsure of Islam’s place in the United States, a LifeWay Research survey shows, as reported by Baptist Press.
37 percent of Americans say they are worried about Sharia law — an Islamic legal and moral code — being applied in America.
Roughly 1 in 4 Americans (27 percent) believe the terrorist group ISIS reflects the true nature of Islam.
4 in 10 (43 percent) believe Islam can create a peaceful society.
Most Protestant senior pastors (76 percent) say they support military action against ISIS.
Those are among the results of two surveys of 1,000 Americans each, along with a survey of 1,000 senior pastors of Protestant churches, from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.
“ISIS has stirred an odd religious debate in America today,” said Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research.
A terrorist attack on a satirical magazine in Paris last month and the rise of ISIS have possibly renewed concerns over extremist versions of Islam. In particular, ISIS is known for its brutality. The shooting deaths of three Muslim Americans in North Carolina recently has also made headlines and caused concern about possible backlash against Muslims.
The daily coverage of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris has subsided, as with the talk of “no-go zones.”
In an exclusive interview, VICE News meets Luz, a surviving Charlie Hebdo cartoonist. Luz created the green “I am Charlie” magazine cover published the week after the shooting. He says he was probably not shot that day because he stayed in bed longer than usual and came to work late.
He spoke with Vice in his sniper-proof Paris apartment. He describes the scene he witnessed after gunmen attacked the magazine’s offices, explains the ideas behind the magazine’s latest cover, and addresses the mixed reactions it has sparked.
He also discusses how things can quickly spiral out of control when breaking taboos in the internet age, and offers his surreal sense of becoming an unwitting icon of free expression.
There are varying accounts, but Mashable and the LA Daily News are reporting that 19,000 French websites have been attacked by hackers.
The Independent claims only 100 websites were hacked. AFP / Yahoo reported that “over 1000” websites have been hacked.
The Independent states that Islamist hackers hacked French websites and called for death to France and Charlie Hebdo, in apparent response to Anonymous’s vow to avenge the Paris shootings.
Anonymous made a commitment to avenge the attacks under the banner “OpCharlieHebdo”, which it announced last week.
A Twitter account with the same codename, @OpCharlieHebdo, shared a video about the operation on Saturday; it also paid a tribute to the people who were killed in the attack; the ten magazine workers and the two police officers.
According to filehippo.com, the new attacks on French websites are being carried out under the name “OpFrance”. Much of the imagery used in the new hack — seemingly perpetuated by someone or a group calling themselves AnonGhost — derives from Anonymous, but the groups are now supporting opposite aims.
AnonGhost also called Anonymous racist for running OpCharlieHebdo, which saw them take down extremist websites and try to suspend Islamist Twitter accounts..
Experts told AFP that “cyber-jihadist” hackers from North Africa and Mauritania have claimed responsibility for the hijacking of over 1,000 sites since the January 7 Charlie Hebdo attack, and have threatened a surge of activity on January 15.
The French newspaper Charlie Hebdo was burying several of its slain staff members on January 15th.
Most of the hacks have targeted relatively small sites operated by local government, universities, churches and businesses whose home pages were defaced with messages that included “There is only on God, Allah,” “Death to France,” and “Death to Charlie.”
Calling it an unprecedented surge, Adm. Arnaud Coustilliere, head of cyberdefense for the French military, said about 19,000 French websites had faced cyberattacks in recent days, some carried out by well-known Islamic hacker groups.
The attacks also hit military regiments websites. None appeared to have caused serious damage, said Coustilliere.
“What’s new, what’s important, is that this is 19,000 sites — that’s never been seen before,” Coustilliere said. “This is the first time that a country has been faced with such a large wave of cyber-contestation.”
In related news, the U.S. military Central Command Twitter and YouTube sites were hacked several days ago, although no classified material was reported breached.
The sites are back online after being taken over by hackers claiming to support the Islamic State militant group, and Pentagon officials are reviewing some security protocols in the wake of the breach.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, visiting Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, said Tuesday that the hack “was a violation, it wasn’t a big deal. But it shows you, it reminds you, once again, of how dangerous these different groups are and how capable they are.”
The hacker group, calling itself CyberCaliphate, was already under FBI investigation for incursions into the Twitter feeds or websites of media outlets in New Mexico and Maryland, prompting officials to question whether the group has any real affiliation with the Islamic State militants.
“Hundreds of bodies – too many to count – remain strewn in the bush in Nigeria from an Islamic extremist attack that Amnesty International described as the ‘deadliest massacre’ in the history of Boko Haram.
“Fighting continued on Friday around Baga, a town on the border with Chad where insurgents seized a key military base on 3 January and attacked again on Wednesday.
“‘Security forces have responded rapidly, and have deployed significant military assets and conducted air strikes against militant targets,’ said a government spokesman.
“District head Baba Abba Hassan said most victims are children, women and elderly people who could not run fast enough when insurgents drove into Baga, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on town residents.”