An internal Australian Federal Police investigation found that the senior close personal protection officer carried model aircraft as part of his personal luggage on a flight from Brisbane to Canberra.
But he was cleared of allegations he may have seriously breached the AFP’s code of conduct by carrying these goods in the cargo hold of the PM’s plane.
The officer, who was initially contacted in January by the Daily Telegraph over the claims, operates a private business, Helipal Australia, which sells model helicopters through the internet.
The agency’s Professional Standards Unit examined whether the Canberra-based officer had “seriously breached … the AFP code of conduct by using an official aircraft to transport personal goods related to his secondary employment”.
The investigation lasted several months with the AFP telling the officer on March 29 that “you have not breached protocols” and had not abused his position.
“The model aircraft were within your personal luggage and accepted as part of your baggage for the return flight from Brisbane to Canberra,” said Superintendent Con Coutsolitis, Coordinator Investigations (National), in a minute to the officer.
The bodyguard is part of an elite team paid to take a bullet for the Prime Minister and other VIPs.
As many as 40 armed suspects attacked the facade of the police station and city hall in San Cristobal de la Barranca municipality in extreme northern Jalisco state Sunday morning, according to Mexican news reports.
A report on the website of El Sol de Zacatecas news daily said that the suspects arrived aboard ten pickup trucks at about 0600 hrs, dismounted and then proceeded to fire on the police station. The firing last five minutes.
The suspects then left board their vehicles in the direction of the nearby village of La Lobera. The attack left no one hurt. About 500 spent shell casing from AR-15 and AK-47 rifles were found at the scene.
San Cristobal de la Barranca is on the mountain highway Mexico Federal Highway 23 which connects Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco state in the south with Teul de Gonzalez Ortega in Zacatecas state in the north.
The area since at least 2011 has been a scene of an intense and deadly competition between Los Zetas, and La Valencia Drug Cartel and Carteles Unidos, both of which are aligned with the Sinaloa Cartel.
That competition has led to large scale armed encounters between the groups, the bloodiest of which was an unconfirmed gunfight in San Cristobal de la Barranca municipality, which led to as many as 20 dead a year ago.
Gunmen opened fire on the president’s armored convoy in the Alamada area, about 15 kilometers west of the capital, Mogadishu. He was returning from a visit to the town of Afgoye, which African Union and Somali troops had liberated from the al-Shabab group Monday.
Seynab Abukar, a reporter for the VOA Somali Service who traveled with the convoy, says the president was unharmed, but a bodyguard was killed and seven other people were wounded.
“The attack happened between Alamada and Elasha Biyaha when the convoy of President Sheikh Ahmed was ambushed along with his delegation including the acting prime minister, interior minister and military commanders form AMISOM and Somali forces as well as parliamentarians. It happened at the same place where he stopped by on his way to Afgoye earlier in the morning, where he spoke to the people in the area, asked them about their situation, if they had problems with the government’s troops…and asked them to open the shops,” Abukar said. “On the way back, we suddenly we heard gunshots as we drove on the road. The government troops and AMISOM forces dismounted from the vehicles and took positions, and there was exchange of heavy and small gunfire. The convoy drove through as the fighting continued. The death of one soldier is confirmed and seven others were wounded. A member of the president’s delegation, Mohamed Hussein Awliyo, was also wounded. “
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack. Authorities say they have arrested four suspects.
Abukar says the presidential convoy reached Afgoye safely for the first time after six years.
The reporter says the president toured Afgoye bridge, the police station and the district offices. He also visited Sheikh Zaid Farmhouse where he had spoken as the leader of the Islamic courts in 2006.”
Also Tuesday, Kenyan warships fired on Port Kismayo, the militants’ largest remaining stronghold in Somalia.
Kenyan military spokesman Cyrus Oguna said that warships opened fire after being attacked by al-Shabab fighters on shore. Oguna said this is the first time Kenya’s military has engaged in combat in Kismayo.
Witnesses told VOA’s Somali Service that two warships began firing at Kismayo overnight Tuesday. The attack continued after sunrise, with one shell hitting a house and wounding a child.
Al-Shabab once controlled most of southern and central Somalia, but has steadily lost ground in an offensive by AU, Somali, Kenyan and Ethiopian forces.
Reports from southern Somalia on Monday indicated that al-Shabab leaders were mobilizing fighters in Kismayo and other locations.
Al-Shabab is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s transitional government and impose a strict form of Islamic law.
MEXICO CITY (AP) – Prosecutors in northern Mexico say a drug cartel lieutenant has been detained in a series of firebombing attacks on a PepsiCo subsidiary, the Mexican potato-chip company Sabritas.
Experts say the weekend fire-bombings were the most violent and concerted attack on a private transnational company in Mexico to date in the country’s 5 1/2-year drug war.
The state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos oil company has suffered hundreds of non-violent fuel thefts from pipelines and the kidnapping of some of its employees. But Mexico’s drug cartels have usually not openly attacked large private companies.
In four attacks between Friday and Sunday, several warehouses and dozens of Sabritas delivery trucks were torched.
Prosecutors in Guanajuato state said Monday they have arrested several suspects including a lieutenant of the Knights Templar drug cartel in the attacks.
Abubakar Shekau is the leader of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, which has carried out a series of deadly attacks across northern Nigeria. Abdullahi Tasiu Abubakar from the BBC Hausa service looks at Nigeria’s most wanted man.
The leader of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram is said to be a fearless loner, a complex, paradoxical man – part intellectual, part gangster.
Fondly called imam or leader by his followers, Abubakar Muhammad Shekau was born in Shekau village in Nigeria’s north-eastern state of Yobe.
Some say he is 34 or 35, others that he may be 43 – the uncertainty adds to the myths surrounding Nigeria’s most wanted man.
Radical theology student
Mr Shekau was once thought to have been killed by security forces in 2009 – only for him to reappear in videos posted on the internet less than a year later as Boko Haram’s new leader.
The group’s founder, Muhammad Yusuf died in police custody, and hundreds of others were killed during that massive crackdown – which many blame for making the group even more violent.
Mr Shekau has not been seen in public since.
Instead, still images and video clips of him are released from time to time, mostly online, by the group’s faceless “public enlightenment department”.
Mr Shekau is said to have met his predecessor in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State and now Boko Haram’s headquarters, through a mutual friend, Mamman Nur.
Nigeria’s authorities say Mr Nur masterminded the August 2011 bombing of the UN office complex in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.
All three were theology students – and Mr Shekau was seen as the quietest and perhaps the most radical of them.
“He hardly talks, he is fearless,” says Ahmed Salkida, a journalist with such good access to Boko Haram that, at one stage, he was suspected of being a member.
He says he only escaped summary execution by Maiduguri police after an intelligence officer intervened.
“He is one of those who believes that you can sacrifice anything for your belief,” Mr Salkida says.
Mr Shekau is fluent in his native Kanuri, Hausa and Arabic languages – he does not speak English.
“I used to joke with him that he should teach me Arabic and I would teach him English,” Mr Salkida says.
When Yusuf was killed, Mr Shekau is said to have married one of his four wives and adopted their children – perhaps, say sources who do not want to be named, to preserve Boko Haram’s cohesion or “purity”.
The group has a highly decentralised structure – the unifying force is ideology.
Mr Shekau does not communicate directly with the group’s foot soldiers – he is said to wield his power through a few select cell leaders, but even then contact is minimal.
“A lot of those calling themselves leaders in the group do not even have contact with him,” Mr Salkida says.
Mr Shekau has neither the charismatic streak nor the oratorical skills of his predecessor – but he has an intense ideological commitment and ruthlessness, say people who study the group.
“He is the leader of the more militant wing of the group as testified by his aping of Osama Bin Laden in his video appearances,” says Abubakar Mu’azu from the University of Maiduguri.
Mr Shekau issued a chilling message in one of those appearances – which provides a major insight into what his leadership of the group will bring.
“I enjoy killing anyone that God commands me to kill – the way I enjoy killing chickens and rams,” he said in the video clip released just after Boko Haram had carried out its deadliest attack so far, killing at least 180 people in Kano, northern Nigeria’s largest city.
Mr Shekau is also the group’s spiritual leader – and, judging by video footage, he seems equally comfortable delivering sermons to his followers.
“He has a photographic memory and is well versed in theology,” Mr Salkida said.
He is nicknamed “Darul Tawheed”, which translates as a specialist in Tawheed. This is an orthodox doctrine of the uniqueness and oneness of Allah, which is the very cornerstone of Islam.
But Nigeria’s mainstream Muslim clerics do not regard Mr Shekau as a scholar and question his understanding of Islam – and regularly condemn the bombings and drive-by shootings committed by his followers against anyone who disagrees with them.
The International Armoring (CORR) Corporation (IAC) supply heads of state and wealthy businessmen with vehicles that can withstand rocket attacks in some of the most dangerous countries in the world.
Now, they have reported a massive rise in interest from UK-based clients willing to pay up to £60,000 to have their cars secured as the countdown to the Games continues.
Mark Burton, 50, who is chief executive and president of the company who are world leaders in armoured car manufacturing, said: “The UK is one of our two fastest growing markets, along with South Africa.
“There has been a huge increase in interest and I would say it is around 200 per cent in the last year-and-a-half.
“This is a trend that has been going on for a number of years here, probably since the bombings in 2005 occurred.”
Business in Britain is now booming with the eyes of the world on London ahead of the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee.
Mr Burton added: “Here in the UK, there is such an international feel and a lot of individuals who work here are accustomed to a certain level of security in their own country so when they come here, that is something that they want.
“In early 2002, Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Olympics just after the September 11 attacks and we saw the same demands and requirements.
“Local security forces got involved and we are seeing similar interest here from forces who need added protection.
“They have recognised there is a threat and need to be discreet in what they offer.
“We do quite a few government agencies around the world, and a lot of corporations depending on there certain individuals are going and the type of concerns they face.”
The company also produces high-tech vehicles that come complete with James Bond-style grenade-launchers, tear gas and laser cannon.
The cars are created to withstand “almost anything you can bring to your shoulder” such as a rocket launcher, says Mr Burton.
The al-Qaeda attacks in New York in 2001 and London in 2005 have created a flourishing market in the both England and America.
He added: “Before 2000, there was a feeling – a lot like there was in the United States – that it would not happen here.
“But post 9/11, there has been more awareness and these fears have been brought home more.
“People used to find it secure and safe, but now we’re finding it a lot more that people are willing to pay additional amounts of money for peace of mind.
“I think that is because of an increased awareness that the situation out there is of concern.
“In the UK, a lot of it is perceived threat because of who the individual is – because they are wealthy or because of their political affiliation.”
The company are based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and have more than 300 employees worldwide.
Their UK operation is based in Ipswich, Suffolk, where they have 12 members of staff.
Since 1993, they have built and enhanced almost 8,000 vehicles for a variety of clients including more than 40 different heads of state and the Popemobile.
Although they cannot disclose details of customers, they include some of the wealthiest people in the world.
Mr Burton said: “In terms of highest demand, there is a lot of business in countries such as Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, the Phillipines and all over the Middle East too, such as Pakistan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
“These vehicles are not tanks, but the entire passenger compartment is protected.
“It is like you’re in a cocoon, but doesn’t look like it. If you went past one of our cars, you wouldn’t notice that it was armoured at all.”
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) are currently running a massive test of their preparation for the Olympics.
The operation – dubbed Exercise Olympic Guardian – has seen police, army, navy and RAF working together to test their ability to combat potential threats to the summer Games.
Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond said: “Whilst there is no specific threat to the Games, we have to be ready to assist in delivering a safe and secure Olympics for all to enjoy.”
It was also revealed that surface-to-air missiles could be deployed at six sites in London during the Games.
In less than two weeks, 19 members of the Colombian security forces have been killed and other 16 have been wounded at the Colombia-Venezuela border. The killings were perpetrated by two fronts of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) that assault Colombians and Venezuelans in the area.
The Colombian Army blamed the recent massacres on the 33rd and 59th FARC Fronts. One of the attacks occurred on May 10th at the Norte de Santander Department (Colombia), specifically in La Gabarra, located south of Zulia state (northwest Venezuela). There, seven Colombian National Police officers were killed.
“These men and their partners managed to penetrate the criminal heart of the 33rd Front of the FARC, thus achieving, among other results, the eradication of more than 600 hectares of coca leaf crop,” said the Colombian National Police in a press release.
On Monday, twelve Colombian Army troops were killed as they guarded a group of workers repairing electricity pylons. The incident occurred in Majayura, Maicao Municipality of Colombia, some 980 feet away of the northwestern border of Zulia state, Venezuela.
Colombian Ministry of Defense Juan Carlos Pinzón blamed the attack on the 59th FARC Front, which according to him, has had a base in Venezuela “for quite a long time.”
An overview of the fronts
The 59th FARC Front belongs to the so-called Caribbean Block. The Chief of the First Army Division, Brigadier General Jorge Eliécer Suárez Ortiz, said last March to Colombian newspaper El Heraldo de Colombia that it was formed by 132 men.
This front reportedly operates in La Guajira Department (northwest Colombia) and in places such as La Villa del Rosario and Machiques de Perijá (Zulia state). According to news website Minuto30.com, the head of the aforesaid Front is a.k.a. Leonardo Guerra, who is wanted by Colombia. Authorities have offered a USD 227,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
Meanwhile, the 33rd FARC Front is part of the Magdalena Medio Block, which is commanded by a.k.a. Rogelio, who acts with his alleged partner, Víctor Ramón Navarro (a.k.a. Megateo). Navarro comes from Colombian guerrilla group People s Liberation Army (EPL). Colombia offers USD 1.071 for his capture.
Presence in Venezuela
Reports about guerrilla camps in Venezuela are not new. In 2010, the Ambassador of Colombia to the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Alfonso Hoyos, presented to the Permanent Assembly a report about the presence of 87 FARC camps located some 13-15 kilometers inside Venezuelan territory.
The 33rd FARC Front reportedly was responsible for the killing of five Venezuelan military officers and an engineer of Pdvsa in Apure state (northwestern Venezuela) in 2004. The case was reported by the Regional Chief of the Scientific, Criminal and Forensic Investigation Agency (Cicpc), Eddie Alberto Ramírez, who was later dismissed from office.
(Reuters) – A former Mexican police officer accused of organizing a hit squad for the once-powerful Tijuana drug cartel pleaded guilty in a U.S. federal court on Friday to racketeering and drug trafficking, prosecutors said.
Carlos Cosme, 36, was an officer with the Baja California State Attorney General’s Office when he hired a colleague to set up a hit squad for the Tijuana cartel, which dominated trafficking to California in the 1980s and 1990s.
That officer, Jose Ortega Nuno, a supervisor with the office’s sex crimes unit, pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges in December 2011, prosecutors said.
Both men were among a group of 42 suspects arrested in California in July 2010.
The Tijuana cartel, which was run by the Arellano-Felix brothers, funneled hundreds of millions of dollars worth of narcotics to U.S. markets.
After the death and capture of many of its leaders over the past decade, including three Arellano-Felix brothers who headed the clan, the feared cartel is now a shadow of its former self.
The rival Sinaloa cartel, run by Mexico’s most-wanted man, Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, has largely taken over the cartel’s valuable turf in Tijuana.
Cosme admitted to conspiring to commit murder and to selling and importing several pounds of methamphetamine for the Tijuana cartel in court, prosecutors said.
His guilty plea is the 39th conviction in a massive multi-agency effort to target drug cartel operations on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border that resulted in a 2010 indictment.
The lead defendant in that indictment, Armando Villareal-Heredia, was extradited to the United States to face charges earlier this week.
Cosme faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of more than $10 million. He will be sentenced on August 27.
In April, cartel kingpin Benjamin Arellano-Felix was sentenced to 25 years in U.S. federal prison for drug trafficking, racketeering and money laundering.
His brother Ramon, the cartel’s flamboyant enforcer, died in a shoot-out in 2002. Francisco Javier is serving a life sentence in U.S. federal prison after being captured on a fishing boat in 2006. Eduardo is in jail in Mexico awaiting extradition.
Roughly 55,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico in the past six years as rival cartels fight each other and government forces.
(Additional reporting by Lizbeth Diaz in Mexico City; Editing by Tim Gaynor and Stacey Joyce)
(Reuters) – The mysterious cloak and dagger world of international espionage and its real-life heros and villains are exposed in a new exhibition, the first to be sanctioned by U.S. intelligence agencies.
“Spy, the Secret World of Espionage,” which opens at the Discovery Times Square on Friday, includes hundreds of artifacts, some from the vaults of the CIA and FBI and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
They range from a World War Two-era collapsible motorbike that could be dropped by parachute and deployed in 10 seconds and a German ENIGMA machine to create secret messages to a camel saddle used by one of the first CIA agents in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks to bugging devices, microdots and surveillance equipment.
“This is the first and only time these items will ever travel. It is kind of an unparalleled cooperation and collaboration with the CIA and FBI,” said H. Keith Melton, an author, intelligence historian and expert on spy technology who contributed items from his own collection.
The interactive exhibit, which will travel to 10 U.S. cities, offers a glimpse into a part of history and a secret world peopled with real-life agents, who Melton says are often completely misdefined by Hollywood and are nothing like James Bond.
“Pop culture is about two things — assassination and seduction. The real world is about information and communication. The sad thing is information and communication don’t sell movies,” said Melton.
“James Bond wouldn’t last four minutes in the real world.”
Melton, the author of several books on espionage including “Ultimate Spy,” has spent decades gathering unusual spying gadgets from Germany, Russia, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Great Britain and the Czech Republic that explain what espionage is.
“I have devoted most of my life to tracking down obscure bits of spy gear around the world,” he said.
The exhibition, which runs through March 2013, traces the world of international intrigue from the start of World War Two, to the establishment of the first U.S. spying agency, Office of Strategic Services (OSS), after Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cold War, the downing of Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 and the September 11, 2001 attacks.
It also includes the expulsion by the U.S. of 10 Russian spies in 2010, including Anna Chapman, who had been dubbed a modern-day Mata Hari by the popular press.
Although Melton said Chapman was a “darling of the media,” he added that she was not a trained intelligence officer. The best spies, he added, are the ones no one knows about.
“They stay beneath the radar,” he explained. “We hear of the ones who are caught but the ones we should worry about are the ones we don’t hear of.”
Oleg Penkovsky, a Soviet military intelligence officer who spied for the U.S. and Britain in the early 1960s is one of the most valuable double agents to work with the U.S. because of the Soviet missile secrets he provided to the United States during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
A U.S. Navy chief warrant officer named John Walker has the dubious distinction of being the most damaging spy in U.S. history.
He offered to sell secrets to the Soviet intelligence agency, the KGB, in the 1970s. Codenamed “number 1” by the KGB, by the time he was arrested in 1985 he had recruited his best friend, his brother and his son into his spy ring.
The exhibit’s debut in New York seems appropriate.
“New York is a hotbed of spies,” said Melton. “There are more spies at the U.N. than diplomats.”
A suspected FARC guerrilla has been arrested in the southern section of Bogota in connection with the bombing last week targeting former Colombian Interior Minister Fernando Londoño that killed his driver and a bodyguard, officials said.
Andres Felipe Rios Giraldo, who allegedly belongs to the Antonio Nariño Urban Network, or RUAN, of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, appeared before a judge on Wednesday, media reports said.
Police found bomb-making materials and FARC propaganda at Rios Giraldo’s residence in Bogota’s El Paraiso neighborhood.
Rios Giraldo is the first person arrested for the May 15 bombing, which occurred a few blocks from the financial district in Bogota.
President Juan Manuel Santos has said on several occasions that it was not clear who carried out the bombing.
Londoño, for his part, said in a press conference Wednesday that FARC rebels staged the attack with a limpet bomb.
The bomb was meant to kill Londoño, who served as interior minister from 2002 to 2004 in the administration of Alvaro Uribe.
Londoño called on Santos to show the leadership expected of him as president in the war against the rebels or Colombia “will have to find another one.”
Thirty-nine people were wounded in the bombing, which destroyed a bus and several other vehicles, and damaged nearby buildings and businesses.
Londoño’s vehicle was going through a busy intersection in the northern section of Bogota, near the financial district, when the bomb exploded.
The FARC, Colombia’s oldest and largest leftist guerrilla group, is on both the U.S. and EU lists of terrorist groups. EFE
KABUL: Two foreign women and three Afghan colleagues doing aid work in northeastern Afghanistan were taken hostage on by unidentified kidnappers.
An official in the Badakhstan province told the dpa news agency that it was possible that criminal gangs had carried out the kidnapping, hoping to secure ransom money.
“An African and a European woman working for the Med Air organization were traveling from Yaftal district to Ragestan district when armed men stopped their vehicle and took them hostage,” Abdul Maroof Rakish, the provincial governor’s spokesman, told dpa – also issuing similar comments to other agencies.
Med Air is a not-for-profit Christian NGO that aims to “seek out and serve the vulnerable women, children and men in crisis who live in often difficult-to-access regions in Africa and Asia and other areas with extraordinary need,” according to its website.
The kidnapping is thought to have taken place roughly 90 kilometers (56 miles) north of the provincial capital Faizabad in the remote northeast close to the border with Tajikistan. Government spokesman Rakish said the hostages might have been taken to the Shahr-e-Bozorg district in the mostly peaceful province.
Ten members of a volunteer medical team were found killed in August 2010 in Badakhstan.
Navarro filed the lawsuit in L.A. County Superior Court, in court documents he claimed that during the May 11th concert at Nokia Theater he was assaulted, battered, pushed to the ground and handcuffed by Gloria’s security team.
Mr. Navarro does not explain what provoked the guards to attack him and ultimately hold him against his will but he says that the attack occurring in from of so many people caused him “mental and physical injuries.”
$1 million is a lot of money for an assault case but given the celebrity of Gloria Trevi Elvis Navarro could have a case if witnesses testify that the severity of the attack was uncalled for.
In the meantime Gloria Trevi’s representatives are not commenting on the case and further details have not been released. With 4,000 people in attendance we would think at least one person with a camera phone managed to capture the assault on video.
For Olentangy school board member Adam White, “the more defense, the better” when it comes to the board’s biweekly meetings.
A personal bodyguard and a sheriff’s deputy sat in on a May 10 school board meeting — measures White said are necessary to ensure his safety.
The bodyguard, a large man wearing a black blazer and sunglasses, sat in the front row; the armed Delaware County deputy sat in the back row as board members discussed district finances and school lunch prices.
White hired both last month after he claims he was threatened by district Superintendent Wade Lucas during a closed meeting of the school board. Later, he alleges, he was followed partway home by a man in a van.
Now, he said, he is concerned for his safety and fears physical harm.
“My life has been threatened,” he said. “I’m harassed at board meetings. It’s a hostile environment and this is protection for myself and my family.”
As of May 10, White said he had paid the sheriff’s deputy $245 to attend board meetings April 26 and May 10, a total of seven hours. Documents released by the sheriff’s office confirm the hours.
According to the sheriff’s office, it costs $35 per hour to contract a special-duty deputy.
White declined to say how much he is paying the personal bodyguard, adding he wouldn’t offer details about who the man is. The man attended the last two school board meetings and also shadowed White at a policy committee meeting May 4.
The May 10 meeting ended peacefully, though there was some verbal sparring among board members after White said he couldn’t attend evening committee meetings because of work conflicts. White works for Atrium Centers, a nursing-home company.
School board members are assigned to attend a monthly volunteer committee meeting and report back to the board as a liaison.
White said the bodyguard and sheriff will shadow him “as long as necessary.”
He said the precautions are a “deterrent” to future harassment after his claims that Lucas said, “Somebody’s going to get you,” in the midst of a heated exchange during a closed session of the school board following the April 11 regular meeting.
Track back to full story:
A bomb targeting a hardline former interior minister killed two of his bodyguards and injured at least 31 people in Bogota’s uptown commercial district Tuesday in the type of brazen attack not seen in Colombia’s capital in years.
The former minister and morning radio host, Fernando Londono, suffered minor shrapnel wounds and was out of danger, authorities said. Video footage showed a stunned Londono, his face bruised, being led from the wreckage in a dark suit and red tie.
Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro said a pedestrian attached an explosive to a door of Londono’s armored SUV and set it off remotely. He said authorities had video of the attack.
The attacker “walked away disguised” and a wig of long black hair and a hat were found in the area, Petro told reporters.
It was the first fatal bombing in the capital in nearly a decade of an apparently political nature.
Bogota’s police chief, Gen. Luis Eduardo Martinez, blamed the country’s main leftist rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, though without offering any evidence.
President Juan Manuel Santos said immediately afterward that it was too early to assign blame.
“We don’t know who is behind this attack,” he said after meeting with police and military brass, Bogota’s mayor and the chief prosecutor. He said, however, that the FARC was behind a car bomb that was detected and deactivated elsewhere in the capital earlier Tuesday.
Santos said Londono, 68, had in the past received death threats and had a sophisticated protection scheme involving about 19 bodyguards.
An archconservative and a stringent critic of the FARC, Londono was interior and justice minister in 2002-2003 under former President Alvaro Uribe.
He hosts a daily radio show called “The Hour of Truth” and firmly opposes peace talks with the FARC, calling the rebels “terrorists” and “murderers.” He has also been critical of Santos for allegedly being soft on the rebels, who have stepped up attacks in recent month.
As the days roll by it is looking more like the 49 killed in Cadereyta were in fact migrants. Additional information is slowly leaking to the public such as the facial features of the dead were those similar to Central Americans and people in the south of Mexico.
Monday, May 14, 2012
MANILA — The security aide of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima whose body was found in San Ildefonso, Bulacan, may have been tortured before he was killed.
This is based on the National Bureau of Investigation’s autopsy results on the 32-year-old Alister Quintos’s body.
De Lima earlier said Quintos, a member of the Department of Justice’s Internal Service Operations Group, died of gunshot wounds while autopsy results also showed bite marks in his body, a broken left hand and wounds made by a knife.
His body was found in Bulacan on Friday morning. But prior to the incident, de Lima said Quintos was on his way home to Antipolo City when he was dropped off in Cubao, Quezon City on Thursday night.
“When an unconfirmed report came out, some of my security tried to call his numbers, both Smart and Globe. His Smart line was unattended while it was a police who picked up the other phone line,” de Lima said.
She said she never heard Quintos, whom she described as cheerful and polite, talking about death threats.
“We’re all shocked (about his death),” she said.
The NBI was expected to give de Lima an update on the autopsy reports before lunch today, Monday. (
The headless torsos of 43 men and six women were found early Sunday along a highway between the U.S. border and the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, the latest in an escalating series of horrific mass killings among warring drug gangs here.
The dead were discovered just after midnight by a military patrol, according to officials in Mexico’s Nuevo Leon state. Some were in plastic garbage bags, others were scattered about in the dust, as if dropped from the back of a dump truck. All were without heads and extremities, officials said.
Scrawled on a banner left with the 49 victims was a message from the Zetas drug gang asserting responsibility for the killings, said Jorge Domene, a spokesman for the state government. The message included threats to Mexican authorities and the Zetas’ main criminal rivals, the Gulf cartel and Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
It was signed by the Zetas’ alleged top leaders, Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, known as “Z-40,” and Heriberto “El Lazca” Lazcano Lazcano, Domene said.
“This was an act of total barbarity,” Domene said by phone. “It’s part of the same thing we’ve been seeing all over the country.”
A newspaper office was attacked with small arms and hand grenades last Friday night in the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas state, according to Mexican news and Twitter accounts.
According to a web posting Sunday morning by El Universal news daily, the offices of El Manana was attacked at around 2300 hrs Friday by armed suspects. The firing last five minutes.
No one was reported hurt in the attack and damage was limited to the walls of the building and nearby parked cars. The armed suspects committing the attack then left a blanket painted with a message, the contents of which were not disclosed in news accounts.
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Diplomat Armored Rentals is based in Texas, and we maintain a large fleet of armored SUVs and sedans for rent in Texas and throughout Mexico. We also have armored vehicles for rent in Brazil, Colombia, Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq.
We can provide our clients with the just the armored vehicle for rent, or we can also provide security drivers and an executive protection team. We only utilize ex-Special Forces, ex-Secret Service Agents and ex-Intelligence Personnel on our executive protection details. This ensures that our clients receive the best executive protection details in the industry.
Diplomat Armored Rentals can start in Texas, Arizona or California and escort clients across the border to their destination. All of our agents are experienced working in the border cities of Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana and Nogales. We also have extensive experience working in the interior cites of Mexico. (Monterrey, Acapulco, Mexico City, Mazatlan, Culiacan.
We rent our armored vehicles by the day, week, or by the month. We also provide armored vehicles for lease through our long-term lease program.
Diplomat Armored Vehicles has armored vehicles for rent in Texas, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey, Mexico City, Nogales & Tijuana. We can also ship our vehicles anywhere that they are required in Mexico and Latin America.
Contact us today to book a vehicle US-979-942-0946 (52) 661-612-0489 (Mexico) or email email@example.com
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