August 23, 2013
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A sting operation stopped a plot to abduct, torture and kill police officers to bring attention to the antiauthority sovereign citizen movement, Las Vegas police said Thursday.
David Allen Brutsche and Devon Campbell Newman were arrested at an apartment a few miles off the Vegas Strip before they could carry out a plan to snatch officers, “put them on trial” and execute them in a vacant house, Las Vegas police Lt. James Seebock said.
Federal authorities regard sovereign citizen extremists as domestic terrorists. Authorities have linked sovereign citizens groups with violent confrontations in recent years, including deadly shootings in Louisiana and Arkansas.
Brutsche, 42, and Newman, 67, wanted to draw attention to the group’s rejection of governmental authority, making the case a domestic terror plot, Seebock said.
Pirates have kidnapped five crew members from a cargo ship off Nigeria, a piracy watchdog and a security source said on Monday, part of a growing trend of attacks that are pushing up maritime insurance costs in the Gulf of Guinea.
ABUJA | Mon Apr 29, 2013
(Reuters) – The Antigua and Barbuda-flagged MV City of Xiamen container ship was attacked late on April 25 off the coast of oil-producing Bayelsa state, a security source said.
The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said 14 heavily armed pirates attacked the container ship, breached its citadel – a strong room designed to protect the crew from attack. The pirates took five crew captive before escaping with cash taken from the ship and the crew, the IMB said in a piracy report.
Pirates in a speed boat off Nigeria chased and fired upon another container ship on April 24 but the vessel increased speed and escaped, the IMB said.
West Africa is an important source of oil, cocoa and metals for world markets, but international navies are not engaged in counter-piracy missions at present. Many vessels are forced to anchor off Nigeria with little protection, making them a soft target for criminals.
Naval patrols and the presence of armed guards aboard merchant vessels have helped reduce piracy off Somalia on Africa’s eastern coast.
(Reporting by Joe Brock; Editing by Tim Cocks and Jon Boyle)
The Sri Lankan military is using rape and extreme sexual violence against men and women suspected of links to the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), according to a report by Human Rights Watch.
The international human rights group said rape and sexual violence against Tamil Tiger suspects was common during the 26 year long civil war which ended with the LTTE’s defeat in 2009 but continues to be used today against the government’s political opponents.
Its report details 75 cases of rape and sexual assault by members of the Sri Lankan security forces from 2006 to 2012 – three years after the civil war ended when the army encircled the remaining LTTE forces in a tiny ‘no-fire zone’ in the far north of the country and killed most of its leaders.
The Sri Lankan government has been accused of war crimes for its conduct of the final stages of the war, including allegations that thousands of civilians were killed by shelling of the ‘no-fire zone’ but has rejected the claims as politically motivated. Opponents say it has developed a siege mentality and allowed a culture of impunity to continue.
Last week, Channel Four News published photographs it said indicated the son of the late LTTE leader Prabhakaran had been shot dead while in the custody of Sri Lankan security forces. The government has strongly denied the claims and said it believes photographs, showing the 12 year old boy alive in dead in army custody, were ‘morphed.’ These latest allegations of continuing abuses will further isolate Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa and intensify international pressure on his government amid growing concerns over the country’s human rights record.
Human Rights Watch said it had interviewed most of the 75 victims whose cases it details after they had fled the country and said their testimony revealed that those detained as LTTE suspects remained under threat. “The Sri Lankan security forces have committed untold numbers of rapes of Tamil men and women in custody. These are not just wartime atrocities but continue to the present, putting every Tamil man and woman arrested for suspected LTTE involvement at serious risk.” said the group’s Asia director Brad Adams.
A 32-year-old woman said she was stripped and photographed naked by two men in plain clothes who had abducted her.
“They told me to confess about everything. I refused to confess as I thought they would kill me. I was beaten up and tortured continuously. On the second day, a man came to my room and raped me. I was raped by different men on at least three days. I can’t remember how many times,” she told the group.
The Sri Lankan government has dismissed claims of human rights abuses as propaganda circulated by Tamil groups and political opponents.