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Police Scotland steps up security at mosques after terror attack

Armed police are being deployed amid heightened security at Scotland s mosques after a terror attack on worshippers in London. Darren Osborne, 47, has been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder1 after a van was driven into pedestrians near Finsbury Park Mosque in the early hours of Monday morning. Police Scotland said it would have an increased presence at the country s 84 mosques to provide reassurance to local communities. One man died in London following the attack on those leaving evening prayers after breaking the Ramadan fast. Witnesses described hearing the man, who was detained by members of the public at the scene, shout: I m going to kill Muslims. Police confirmed searches were being carried out at a residential address in the Welsh capital. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, of the Metropolitan Police, said: Our thoughts are with all those affected by the incident at Seven Sisters Road and their families, friends and communities.

This is being treated as a terrorist incident and is being investigated by the counter terrorism command. The investigation is ongoing and we are working fast to know the full details of how and why this took place. All the victims were from the Muslim community and we will be deploying extra police patrols to reassure the public, especially those observing Ramadan.

Earlier in the day, security minister Ben Wallace confirmed the attacker was not known to the intelligence services. He said: What I can say on this case is this individual, so far as we know at the moment, was not known to us, but we are aware of a rise in the far right. The attacker, who is believed to have acted alone, struck as the area was busy with worshippers attending Ramadan night prayers at the mosque. Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the incident as every bit as sickening as the recent atrocities in London and Manchester. After meeting faith leaders at Finsbury Park Mosque, she said: The terrible terrorist attack which took place last night was an evil borne out of hatred and it has devastated a community. I am pleased to have been here today to see the strength of that community coming together, all faiths united in one desire to see extremism and hatred of all sorts driven out of our society.

There is no place for this hatred in our country today and we need to work together as one society, one community, to drive it out, this evil which is affecting so many families. Police and community leaders have praised those who restrained the van driver and stopped others from attacking him before police arrived. Imam Mohammed Mahmoud was hailed for his efforts to calm the chaotic situation in the aftermath of the attack and was said to have used his body to shield the suspected terrorist from the fury of onlookers. Witnesses said the suspect was smiling and waving as he brought carnage to Seven Sisters Road, with video posted online showing him give a nonchalant wave as police put him in the back of their vehicle. Other footage showed a scene of chaos as people could be heard shouting and screaming amid the chaos, with bloodstains visible on the pavement. One witness described being surrounded by bodies in the wake of the incident outside the nearby Muslim Welfare House.

Another witness, who wanted to be identified as Abdulrahman, which is not his real name, said: I managed to get the driver of the van. He wanted to run away and was saying I want to kill Muslims. So he came back to the main road and I managed to get him to the ground and me and some other guys managed to hold him until the police arrived. Abdulrahman claimed the driver said Kill me , as he was being held on the ground. He is also alleged to have told the injured: You deserve it. Officers were in the immediate vicinity as the attack unfolded and responded within one minute. Police declared it a terrorist incident within eight minutes. After chairing a meeting of the Government s Cobra emergencies committee earlier, Mrs May said the attack was every bit as insidious and destructive to our values and our way of life as the recent string of terror attacks apparently motivated by Islamist extremism. We will stop at nothing to defeat it, she added.

Eight people were taken to hospital, with one since discharged, while two others were treated at the scene. All of the casualties were Muslims. Police said it was too early to say if the man who died did so directly because of the attack, as he was already receiving first aid from the public at the scene when it happened. Images of the van used in the attack showed it was rented from Pontyclun Van Hire in Pontyclun, near Cardiff. South Wales Police are working with officers from London on the investigation. Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid also visited the scene and said he will seek advice from the local community as to what measures the authorities can take to give Muslims across the country maximum reassurance that they are being protected.

The perpetrator of this attack – and those terrible attacks that we saw recently in Manchester and London – their intention is to seek to divide society . My message to them is that they will always, always fail, he said. Flowers have been laid near the scene, with one card reading: This is an attack on all Londoners – and on my community. In a statement, the Muslim Council of Scotland condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms . It said: This attack was aimed directly at the vibrant Muslim community during the month of Ramadan at a time when many families would have been returning home after night time prayers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, the injured and anyone affected by this tragedy .

Our heart goes out to the people of London who have been through so much in the last few months and are still waiting for news on many friends and family in the Grenfell Tower tragedy. This attack goes to show how hate and terrorism has no religion or face . The motive of these people is to spread division .

Together, as a united community, we can defeat those who seek to divide us. Assistant Chief Constable Nelson Telfer, of Police Scotland, said: There is no specific threat to Scotland, however, Police Scotland is increasing armed patrols in response to the attack in London. We continue to engage with all communities providing reassurance and appropriate support.

Communities absolutely do defeat terrorism: if you see or hear something that could be terrorist related, act on your instincts and call the police on 101 or, in emergency 999, or in confidence on 0800 789 321.

References

  1. ^ has been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder (www.scotsman.com)

Arson attacks on German railways spark security fears ahead of G20 summit

A departure board at the main train station in Dresden, eastern Germany, shows delays in traffic caused by the arson attack | Arno Burgi/AFP via Getty Images

There has been 12 seemingly coordinated incidents of arson nationwide on railroad tracks, police said.

By 1 and 2

6/19/17, 12:49 PM CET

Updated 6/19/17, 1:43 PM CET

Rail traffic in parts of Germany was disrupted after seemingly coordinated arson attacks early this morning on segments of track, sparking security fears in the run-up to the G20 summit in Hamburg next month. Police in the Saxony region of Germany said there were 12 incidents of arson nationwide between 1 a.m . and 4:30 a.m . Monday on railroad tracks of national rail operator Deutsche Bahn. The statement said the police found fire in trackside cabling at each of the incidents and believe they were part of a coordinated plan .

German media cited3 security fears connected to the upcoming G20 meeting. An official at Deutsche Bahn said disruption was ongoing in the Leipzig area and on the track between L beck and Hamburg . Commuter services on Berlin s S-Bahn metro system also were disrupted and a spokesperson could not confirm when the problem would be resolved . Trains on the Cologne-Dortmund route were also disrupted, Deutsche Bahn said, and no services were running on the stretch from Dresden to the Czech border a tight stretch of track frequently used by freight and passenger traffic. The attacks occurred three weeks ahead of the G20 meeting during which world leaders will meet in Hamburg for a two-day summit .

The Saxony police said a link with the G20 summit could not be ruled out. The Operational Center of Defense, which is based in Saxony and handles cases of extremism, is now investigating the incidents in cooperation with Germany s Federal Criminal Police Office. The incident comes a month after Deutsche Bahn was hit by a global malware attack4 that disrupted departure boards across the country.

Related stories on these topics:

References

  1. ^ (www.politico.eu)
  2. ^ (www.politico.eu)
  3. ^ media cited (www.faz.net)
  4. ^ global malware attack (www.politico.eu)

Companies warned over cyber security risk

A fast-growing Edinburgh-based fintech company aims to uncover key concerns around the evolving cyber threat landscape in Scotland at an event on the sector being held in Glasgow this week. The Future of Cyber Security Scotland Conference is taking place on Thursday and issues lined up for discussion include reducing risk and ensuring compliance, data breaches on the so-called dark web and encouraging a better gender balance in the industry. Among speakers and panellists are Don Randall, former head of security and chief information security officer of the Bank of England, and Alisdair Matheson, partner at law firm Brodies. Also on the list is Stephen Budd, product manager specialising in data solutions at cyber security specialist ZoneFox, a spin-out from Edinburgh Napier University. The firm s founder and chief executive Jamie Graves told Scotland on Sunday: As a Scottish company, I am delighted that we are able to partner with the conference to share knowledge across the cyber community in Scotland and educate on the best strategies and technologies to identify threats and reduce risk. Failure to protect sensitive information in the current business climate has serious consequences from reputational damage to huge financial loss, to the fallout for individuals that comes with the leak of their personal information. The firm will discuss whether Scotland is ready for general data protection regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in 2018 and will impose strict new rules on the way organisations collect, store and use personal data.

A recent study found that nearly half of UK firms were not ready for it coming into effect. Graves added that with the forthcoming GDPR, pressure has never been so high on organisations to safeguard their data and monitor its movement. As well as the increasing amount of state attacks and large organisations being breached, there have never been more attacks on businesses by cyber-criminals than we are seeing today, but, worryingly, knowledge and awareness about how to prevent such attacks is still very low. ZoneFox will present to delegates on the likes of how user behaviour analytics and machine learning can highlight threats to an organisation before they turn into incidents . Police Scotland, one of the conference s backers, said this month that there have been 34 ransomware attacks in Scotland in the past year, including 13 on NHS health boards on 13 May.

The conference s organiser is OSP Security Professionals, which last year took the Global Security & Cyber summit to Aberdeen, where it was predicted that oil and gas and the NHS were perfect targets for cyber hacks .