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Gunmen target Egypt truck convoy, nine killed: medical, security sources

CAIRO (Reuters) – Suspected militants shot dead at least nine truck drivers in Egypt’s Sinai region late on Thursday when they targeted a transport convoy, setting the vehicles on fire, medical and security sources said on Friday. Egypt’s security forces have since 2014 been battling an Islamic State affiliate in northern Sinai, where militants have mostly hit police and soldiers but also occasionally targeted infrastructure and businesses. Two security sources in al-Arish, the area capital, said armed men attacked the convoy, which was carrying coal to a cement factory.

The bodies of the truck drivers, all shot to death, were taken to the morgue of Suez public hospital, four medical sources said. A military spokesman said there was no official statement . An interior ministry official did not respond to a request for information.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

“They have threatened us repeatedly, asking that we don’t work for the army’s companies . We informed the factory management of the threats and asked them for more protection,” one local truck driver, Ismail Abdel-Raouf, told Reuters. Hundreds of police and soldiers have been killed since the insurgency quickened pace in northern Sinai after the 2013 ouster by the military of then-president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood during massive protests against his rule.

A home-grown jihadist group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, declared allegiance to Islamic State in 2014 and has since tried to spread outside the peninsula by targeting Christians with attacks on churches on the mainland. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who presents himself as a bulwark against militants in the Middle East, has said Islamic State fighters might try to enter Libya and Egypt after their defeats in Iraq and Syria. Security forces have also faced attacks in the western desert region bordering Libya, where security sources say a former Egyptian special forces officer turned jihadist allied to al Qaeda was responsible for an ambush on a police operation last month.

(Reporting by Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, Ahmed Tolba, Mohamed Abdellah; Writing by Patrick Markey; editing by John Stonestreet)

Cupich won’t beef up security at churches after Texas massacre

A church is supposed to be a place of safety and security. But Sunday s mass shooting in Texas marks the second time in two years a gunman has turned a place of worship into a place of war. It’s raising new questions about church security . But the head of Chicago s archdiocese says don’t expect to see armed guards or metal detectors. Cardinal Blase Cupich says thoughts and prayers are nice, but the church shooting in Texas demands more than just talk. “It’s time now to act, and we need to do something about the growing violence due to these high powered weapons in our country, Cupich said. The head of Chicago s archdiocese says he has already instituted a ban on guns in churches . but even after the carnage in Texas and the massacre of nine people by a white supremacist in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina two years ago, Cupich says he does not see the need to beef up security in Chicago s Catholic churches. “I don’t want to make our churches places in which people feel as though they should be fearful about coming in .

We want to create safe environments where people do come in and for people to be alert, Cupich said. “What you have with churches, you have a collection of people all in one spot . Unfortunately, someone with bad intentions, that’s an attractive target, said Mike Verden. Former secret service agent Mike Verden says churches are considered soft targets with little security . He says short of armed guards and metal detectors, there are ways churches can make themselves more secure, including controlling access points, monitoring social media, meeting with local police and fire officials to develop an emergency response plan and awareness training for staff. The Reverend Michael Pfleger, whose St . Sabina s church is in one of the city’s toughest neighborhoods, agrees armed guards aren’t the answer. “We are not ever going to have armed security in our church . I refuse to fall into this madness of more guns .

I heard the Attorney General in Texas talk about more people should bring their guns to church . That’s madness, said Rev . Michael Pfleger.

EXCLUSIVE: Barclays security chief takes leave of absence

EXCLUSIVE: Barclays Security Chief Takes Leave Of AbsenceLinkedin

  • Barclays’ security chief Troels Oerting takes leave of absence.
  • Oerting involved in internal investigation over efforts to identify anonymous Barclays whistleblower.
  • Leave of absence said to be unconnected with whistleblowing incident.

LONDON Barclays’ security chief Troels Oerting took a leave of absence from the bank on Tuesday, according to two people familiar with the situation. Oerting joined the bank in 2015 from Europol, Europe’s law enforcement agency focusing on serious international crime and terrorism. As chief security officer and head of information security at Barclays, he is responsible for protecting the bank against everything from cyber threats to information leaks. A spokesman for Barclays declined to comment.

Oerting’s name turned up in an internal investigation over a whistleblowing case at Barclays . CEO Jes Staley asked Oerting to identify the writer of an anonymous letter sent to the board about a senior executive hired by Staley. Barclays said that Oerting’s group “received assistance” from US law enforcement officials in the attempt to find the whistleblower.1

His leave of absence is unconnected with the whistleblowing incident, one of the people said.

Both Jes Staley and Barclays have been the subject of investigations by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority over the affair. After hearing about the incident earlier this year, the board appointed a law firm, Simmons & Simmons, to investigate. Staley said in a statement at the time: “I have apologised to the Barclays Board, and accepted its conclusion that my personal actions in this matter were errors on my part .

I will also accept whatever sanction it deems appropriate.” The board issued a “formal written reprimand” to Staley and made “a very significant compensation adjustment” to his bonus. Oerting was due to appear on Thursday in a panel discussion at a Barclays conference along with Royce Curtin, Barclays head of intelligence and former deputy assistant director at the FBI and Christopher Greany, Barclays head of investigations and insider threat .

It is unclear if he will still attend.

References

  1. ^ from US law enforcement officials in the attempt to find the whistleblower. (uk.businessinsider.com)