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TerrorismCentral Newsletter
-- For the week ending January 6, 2008 --

This is the last edition of this Newsletter in this format. Please refer to section 8, Asset Management Network New, for more details. News coverage this week begins with more deadly bombings in Algeria, and ends with highlights of 2007, in Recommended Reading. In between, you will read of the failed hostage rescue attempt in Colombia, money laundering among Zimbabwe's banks, the black eye the US got in privacy ratings, tests of anti-missile systems for passenger planes, celebrity do-gooders, and many other topics.

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1. Global Terrorism Monitor
2. Political Risk Monitor
3. AML/CFT Monitor
4. Emerging Threat Monitor
5. Critical Infrastructure Monitor
6. Disaster Reduction Monitor
7. Recommended Reading
8. Asset Management Network News

1. Global Terrorism Monitor

Terrorism is a global phenomenon, and The Global Terrorism Monitor, is the only publication that directly addresses the key transnational issues this represents. Published monthly, it includes expert analysis, statistical trends, and the policies, practices, and technologies that help to mitigate this persistent threat.
GTM Africa
Following two deadly bombings in December, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on Wednesday, when a small explosives-laden truck struck a police station in the town of Naciria. Four policemen were killed and at least 20 people injured. Immediately after, security forces launched a major anti-terrorist operation in the province of Tizi Ouzou.

Kamal Mouhoune has been identified as the bomber.

Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno on Saturday threatened to pursue and strike Chadian rebels inside neighboring Sudan and repeated charges that Khartoum was trying to destabilize his country. Sudan accused Chad of bombing Darfur.

A Moroccan court has convicted 50 members of Ansar el Mehdi ("Mehdi Partisans") for planning bombings and robberies, and collecting money to finance terrorism. Leader Hassan Khattab was jailed for 25 years, and the rest received terms of between two and 25 years, including four women sentenced to 5-year terms.

Nigeria's main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) promise more bloodshed in 2008, and say they will cripple oil exports by providing arms including anti-aircraft gunships to the leader of the Niger Delta Vigilante Movement, Mr Ateke Tom. The year opened with mourning in Port Harcourt as militant attacks on two police stations and other locations left 14 dead. On Saturday suspected militants kidnapped the 15-year old son of the Secretary of the River State branch of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Master Ogochukwu Orisa Onyiri, and are demanding for N60 million ransom.

This is a transcript of Vanguard newspaper's telephone conversation with militant leader Ateke Tom, describing his New Year's attack.

The peace pact signed between militants, Nigeria's federal and Bayelsa State governments last December yielded results on Saturday with the arrest of two pirates by militants in the Southern-Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa who handed them over to the police.

In Somalia, the year ended as it began: with violence, and more Ethiopian troops. In Somalia a family of six and a visiting friend died last Sunday when a mortar struck their home. Others were injured in neighboring homes. Al-Shabab Islamists claimed responsibility for a landmine that exploded under Colonel Farah Abdulle Gaal's car when as he traveled to work on Monday. He and his bodyguard died in the blast. Clashes between insurgents and security forces overnight led to a joint Somali-Ethiopian operation on Tuesday to seize weapons across Mogadishu (where the cost of a Kalashnikov rifle has fallen to $15).  Two kidnapped aid workers were freed on Wednesday after a week in captivity. Their abduction had led Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to withdraw its assistance operation. On Wednesday night a roadside bombing killed three civilians and two soldiers. Clan militia fighting in Kismayo port kept it closed for three days. Two Ethiopian and one Somali soldiers were killed while several civilians were wounded in clashes on Thursday. Militia fighting in central Somalia left 12 dead and ten injured on Friday. Two Libyan diplomats were kidnapped on Saturday, and later released.

The Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/SPLM) is reopening the investigation into the plane crash that killed their founder Dr. John Garang, and other matters.

Darfur war crimes suspect Ahmed Mohamed Haroun attempted travel on a forged passport. Sudan's minister of state for humanitarian affairs is wanted under an international arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court.

Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels have rejected a government deadline for peace talks of 31 January and instead set mid-March for talks.
GTM Americas
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) had negotiated with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to release three hostages. Venezuelan helicopters were sent to collect the hostages, and waited for three days when late on Monday FARC told Chavez that Colombian military operations had ended any chance of a handover. One of the hostages FARC had promised to release was a 3-year-old boy born to hostage Clara Rojas, but it has since been confirmed that the boy was not in their custody, but rather had been placed in state foster care. Meanwhile, FARC continues to hold up to 800 hostages, including 45 high-profile captives, including presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, three US nationals, police and military officers, and politicians. About 500 FARC are in Colombian prisons.,,2233982,00.html

FARC leader Manuel Marulanda ("Tirofijo") has announced a general offensive against the Colombian government.

On Tuesday, Colombian forces engaged in three separate clashes with FARC. Three rebels were killed in southwestern Cauca province, another northeastern Norte de Santander province, and two more in El Carmen de Bolivar town.

Former hostage Ulrich Kunzel, a German development worker, was kidnapped in 2001 and held for three months. In this article he discusses his experience and encourages those still held hostage to persevere: "They must do everything possible to keep busy, even if it's by playing simple games. They must read, if it's possible. They must keep their minds intact".,2144,3037311,00.html

In the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo the last time a public official promised to restore law and order he was shot forty times, at the hands of drug traffickers. Incoming mayor Ramon Garza has launched a 3-month plan to restore the erstwhile tourist attraction to its former peace and prosperity.

Paraguay's role in the tri-border area adjacent to Argentina and Brazil has led to suspicion that the country is a financial hub for terrorism and organized crime.,0,1336126.story

Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori has denied having any knowledge of death squad activities or ordering a dirty war against the Marxist Shining Path rebels in the early 1990s. This week his trial resumed with testimony from massacre witnesses. Death threats have been made against the human rights lawyer in the trial.

US Attorney General Michael Mukasey released the following statement:
"Following a preliminary inquiry into the destruction by CIA personnel of videotapes of detainee interrogations, the Department’s National Security Division has recommended, and I have concluded, that there is a basis for initiating a criminal investigation of this matter, and I have taken steps to begin that investigation as outlined below.  This preliminary inquiry was conducted jointly by the Department’s National Security Division and the CIA’s Office of Inspector General. It was opened on December 8, 2007, following disclosure by CIA Director Michael Hayden on December 6, 2007, that the tapes had been destroyed.  A preliminary inquiry is a procedure the Department of Justice uses regularly to gather the initial facts needed to determine whether there is sufficient predication to warrant a criminal investigation of a potential felony or misdemeanor violation.  The opening of an investigation does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow.  An investigation of this kind, relating to the CIA, would ordinarily be conducted under the supervision of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, the District in which the CIA headquarters are located.  However, in an abundance of caution and on the request of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, in accordance with Department of Justice policy, his office has been recused from the investigation of this matter, in order to avoid any possible appearance of a conflict with other matters handled by that office.  As a result, I have asked John Durham, the First Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, to serve as Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia for purposes of this matter.  Mr. Durham is a widely respected and experienced career prosecutor who has supervised a wide range of complex investigations in the past, and I am grateful to him for his willingness to serve in this capacity.  As the Acting United States Attorney for purposes of this investigation, Mr. Durham will report to the Deputy Attorney General, as do all United States Attorneys in the ordinary course.  I have also directed the FBI to conduct the investigation under Mr. Durham’s supervision. Earlier today, the Department provided notice of these developments to Director Hayden and the leadership of the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees of the Congress."

The Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General released "Audit of the State of Colorado Homeland Security Grant Program". They found: "Colorado has improved its management of the grant programs, including the hiring of additional executive and technical personnel and initiating program reviews to improve the effectiveness of its homeland security efforts. However, Colorado has not complied with critical Homeland Security Grant Program requirements, as the state has not assured adequate oversight of program activities and compliance with its homeland security strategy. In addition, the state’s internal controls for managing homeland security grant programs, and ensuring sub-grantee compliance and program readiness were ineffective." Colorado officials received and spent more than $156 million from the federal government in the past four years. Up to $7.8 million of this - 29 percent - was spent questionably, including more than $3.9 million for a radio system (that should have been paid by the state); more than $3 million in transfers among grant programs (to avoid returning money to the state); and $230,000 in consulting fees. They also found that the state's Department of Public Safety was ineffective and "provided only minimal assurance that its processes were well controlled or that program funding was allocated in a collaborative and transparent manner".  Fire and police departments were not trained to respond to terrorist attacks or other disasters. Governor Bill Ritter and other state officials responded to the blistering report with assurances that improvements are on the way, the confusion at first was the fault of confusion with DHS, and the state will be secure.

On a videotape released today, American al Qaeda member Adam Yahiye Gadahn renounces his US citizenship, destroys his passport and cites Bush's upcoming trip to the Middle East.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is making another attempt to identify Dan Cooper. The hijacker commandeered a plane, then parachuted from it in 1971.

Thirunavukarasu Varatharasa is one of the six suspected South Asian arms dealers who have pleaded guilty to trying to ship restricted, high-tech weapons to Tigers in Sri Lanka in 2006. He was sentenced to five years in federal prison.,0,2180005.story
GTM Asia Pacific
Former terrorism suspect Dr Mohamed Haneef says the Australian Government may compensate him to "build bridges" following his arrest ordeal. He remains in Bangalore pending determination of a date for a judicial inquiry into the case. His family is concerned for his safety should he return to Australia.,23599,23005969-1702,00.html

Indonesia is proceeding with the trial of Jemaah Islamiah military leader Abu Dujana.

Indonesia has had great success in using former radicals to turn around militants in the making.,1,3891230.story

Japan's prime minister pledged Tuesday to resume naval operations near Afghanistan after he resolves a political dispute over Tokyo's role in the global fight against terrorist groups.

Malaysia's police chief accused ethnic Indian activists of having links with terrorist groups, including the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, Tamil Tigers). Hindu rights activist P. Uthayakumar has responded by filing a $30 million libel suit against the Malaysian government. He and four associates were arrested on 13 December, under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Malaysia released four suspected Jemaah Islamiah members detained under ISA almost five years ago.

Philippines vice-chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Antonio Romero, said the conflict with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will not end while armed groups are allowed to bear firearms. The government was supposed to have resumed negotiations last month, but Romero says MILF must disarm first. He also acknowledged that the 2007 military target for dismantling the remaining 87 fronts of the New People's Army (NPA) were not met, and promises to work double time to accomplish this goal.

NPA claimed responsibility for an armed raid against the Tampakan copper and gold mining project, in protest against plundering natural resources - or because protection monies were not forthcoming. Although the attack included grenade launchers, automatic weapons, and arson, there were no casualties. Property damage cost Sagittarius Mines some $280,000.,24897,22999398-643,00.html

The Isara News Center released its annual report on southern Thailand. Narathiwat recorded the highest number of violent incidents: 2,025 (compared to an annual police report of 1,800 cases). Across the four southern provinces, militants killed 867 and injured 1,720. Yala recorded 688 incidents, Pattani 574, and Songkhla 69.  The total death toll since the insurgency flared in 2004 has passed 2,848.
(in Thai)

Last Sunday night five devices exploded outside two hotels and a disco in the town of Sungai Kolok in Narathiwat province, injuring more than 30 people: two critically. Five suspects have been arrested: Muhammadsakee Maduereh, Saheh Sa-a, Asro Mayi, Amsoh Lae, and Morsordik Saelae.

Other incidents this week included a bomb explosion at a food shop on Monday that injured two security officers, a Wednesday shooting that killed a man in his own home. Both incidents were in Yala province. On Thursday in Pattani a roadside bomb targeting a teacher escort unit seriously injured two soldiers. On Saturday, a Muslim was shot dead in a drive-by shooting as he left mosque. A village defense volunteer was shot and injured. And a gunfight between a patrol and insurgents left one soldier and two insurgents injured.
GTM Europe
In Austria on Wednesday, unknown assailants threw four Molotov cocktails at the Turkish Consulate General, causing property damage but no casualties. Turkish Ambassador Yenel has asked for additional security.

Dutch authorities arrested three suspects on New Years Eve on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack. Two of the men have Dutch and Moroccan nationality, and one is Sudanese. Reports that they planned to blow up the Erasmus bridge were dismissed, and the actual target, if any, is unknown at this time.

A bomb exploded at a branch of the Komercijalna Banka in the town of Dragas, an ethnically mixed region in the southern tip of Kosovo late on Tuesday, causing considerable damage but no injuries.

Basque separatist group ETA predicts that Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero's decision to suspend dialog will lead to long years of conflict. dialogue

Former leading member of ETA, Juan Antonio Olarra Guridi, has been sentenced to 30 years for ordering the murder of Andalusia prosecutor Luis Portero

ETA this week claimed responsibility for two bombings in Basque country, in Sestao on 16 December, and in Balmaseda on 24 December. There were no casualties in either attack.

Turkish security forces have been successful in recent operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), perhaps at the expense of domestic security, particularly in cities.

In the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, the PKK exploded a bomb targeting a military convoy.  Five people were killed and at least 67 injured, several seriously.

On Friday Turkish police detained more than 40 suspected Hezbollah members.
GTM Middle East
Eight members of Egypt's banned Muslim Brotherhood movement were arrested on Monday.

Rockets launched from Gaza were enhanced to reached further into Israel. Prime Minister Olmert deemed this a terrorist escalation, and launched increased operations in Gaza.,7340,L-3490793,00.html

An Israeli missile strike on Tuesday killed one Hamas fighter and injured three. Early Wednesday clashes between Israeli forces and the Popular Resistance Committees left six Palestinians dead, and a senior PRC commander injured. Israeli soldiers shelled a house in central Gaza Thursday, killing four people and injuring 16 others. Infantry assaults killed two Hamas operatives and injured seven. A tank shell killed an Islamic Jihad commander, his mother, and sister. Dozens more people were injured. Israeli fire killed a Hamas militant and another with the Popular Resistance Committees, and injured three other men, on Saturday. Two civilians were also injured. An IDF operation in the central Gaza Strip ended early Sunday evening. During the operation two Palestinian civilians and three militants were killed and seven Israeli troops were injured. Dozens of people were arrested.,7340,L-3490651,00.html

In Iraq on Monday a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest killed four Iraqi neighborhood patrol volunteers and injured two others at a northern Baghdad checkpoint. In Baquba a woman wearing a suicide vest attacked a police station, injuring two policemen and five civilians, including a child. A roadside bomb in central Kirkuk injured two policemen.

On Tuesday a suicide bomber struck a funeral in eastern Baghdad's Zayouna district, killing 15 people, including two women, and injuring 22 others. Near Balad gunmen killed a policeman and injured two others.  Fallujah police found a body on the highway. In Mosul, US forces killed an elderly couple in their car when they failed to stop. A soldier kidnapped on Monday was found dead in Mosul on Tuesday, and two shot bodies were also found. A roadside bomb in al-Zab injured three Iraqi soldiers.

On Wednesday, Baghdad Police found three bodies across the city. South of the city a roadside bomb killed a US soldier.  Clashes between an Aadhamiya neighborhood patrol and the Iraqi Army injured four patrolmen. Small arms fire in Diyala province killed two US soldiers. Gunmen near Kut attacked a house and killed two brothers, one a soldier and the other a policeman. Clashes between gunmen and police in Mosul left one policeman dead, two injured, and 16 suspects detained.

On Thursday in the New Baghdad district a roadside bomb injured four street cleaners. In southern Zaafaraniya district a roadside bomb killed two and injured five. A rocket in western Washash district landed on a house, killing one and injuring two. In Baquba province police found 16 cars rigged as bombs, and more than 25 suspects were detained. Hawija gunmen attacked a checkpoint, injuring three neighborhood patrol volunteers. In Ifach, Iraqi and Polish forces arrested three gunmen. A rocket propelled grenade struck a police checkpoint in Mosul, killing three policemen and injuring four. A roadside bomb struck a Tal Afar convoy. US forces returned fire, killing two civilians, including one child.

On Friday a US helicopter struck a house just south of Baghdad, killing one suspected insurgent and injuring two. Five suspects were detained. Gunmen in Jurf al-Sakhar killed a civilian in a drive-by shooting. A US operation targeting al Qaeda near Muqdadiya left two insurgents dead.

On Saturday in Baghdad's northern Adhamiya district, four mortar bombs injured three rubbish collectors and a girl. In southern Doura district a roadside bomb injured seven people traveling in a minibus. 12 bodies were found across the city. A roadside bomb in Diyala province left one US soldier dead. A roadside bomb near Muqdadiya struck a minibus. Six travelers were killed, including two women and a child, and three were injured, including a woman. Police found four human heads in Muqdadiya.

Today in Baghdad's central Karrada district a suicide bomber killed nine people and injured 17. In central Nahda district three explosions killed one person and injured four. In northern Qahira district a parked car bomb killed three people and injured 15. Gunmen killed Ismail Abbas, leader of the Awakening Council in Shaab district, outside his northern Baghdad homed.

A teenage terrorist in Iraq tells his story:,1518,524425,00.html

In the West Bank, Israel completed a 4-day raid on Nablus. More than 40 people were injured during the operation.
GTM South Asia
In Afghanistan on Monday a roadside bomb in Musa Qala, southern Helmand province, left two police officers dead. An Afghan soldier died in a similar bombing in Paktia. Late that night, in western Badghis province, Taleban rebels attacked a police checkpoint. Ten Taleban and a policeman were killed. On Tuesday a man wearing a suicide vest was shot dead near a checkpoint in the eastern province of Khost. Wednesday, five suspected Taliban militants were killed when a suicide car bomb they were building went off prematurely in the southern province of Kandahar, and just outside Kandahar city a remote-controlled roadside bomb killed a former anti-Soviet militia commander and two bodyguards.

The first Afghan suicide bombing of the year occurred on Thursday, as security forces investigated an earlier explosion in western Nimroz province. There were nearly 150 such attacks in 2007. Six policemen and an Indian road construction worker were killed, and ten policemen and two workers injured.

In Bangladesh, bomb attacks by Janajuddho cadres of the outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) in Jhenidah show no sign of stopping, despite several anti-crime drives and death of at least 53 cadres. At least six bomb attacks took place in Jhenidah district from 18 November to 27 December 27.

A gunfight between Bangladesh Rifles and pirates in the Sundarbans left five pirates dead and two injured.

In the Indian state of Assam, at least three United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) militants were killed and one injured, in clashes with government troops.

Suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists attacked a police camp in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday, killing seven policemen during the New Year celebrations. Five policemen were injured.

Indications that Benazir Bhutto’s doctors felt pressured to conform to government accounts of her death added to the pressure for an international inquiry. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says British investigators arrived in Pakistan to help clear up the confusion surrounding the assassination. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) information secretary said the government was not fully cooperating with the team from Scotland Yard.

On 1 January, tribal militants in South Waziristan abducted four Pakistani paramilitary soldiers. Subsequent clashes left five rebels dead and 20 detained. The military response on left at least 27 militants dead.

On Wednesday suspected Tamil Tiger rebels exploded a powerful Claymore mine at the side of a road by the Nippon Hotel in the capital Colombo, killing at least five people and injuring 28.  Heavy fighting in Mannar on Saturday reportedly left ten Tigers dead and four soldiers injured. More were killed in other fighting across the north.

Sri Lanka's Cabinet on 2 January unanimously decided to withdraw from the Norwegian arranged Ceasefire Agreement entered with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2002, taking into account the number of Ceasefire violations by the LTTE. Although it has abandoned the ceasefire, the government has no current plan to ban the LTTE.

2. Political Risk Monitor

What may appear to be a small local event, like publishing a cartoon, can often turn out to have a surprising international impact. Your subscription to the Political Risk Monitor provides this analysis, as well as detailed profiles of individuals and other entities. Each monthly issue also includes quick tips for executives managing multinational operations.
PRM Africa
The Dakar Rally has been cancelled due to the increased terrorism threat across much of its Saharan route, and specific threats against the race.

The death toll from political violence in Algeria jumped to 56 in December from six in the previous month, bringing to 491 the number of those killed in 2007, according to a Reuters count based on newspaper reports.

Seven years after the Eritrea and Ethiopia fought a bloody war over the seemingly insignificant border town of Badme, fears are growing that conflict will resume, this time with implications far beyond the Horn of Africa, which the West has long feared could become a safe haven for Islamic extremists. Some quarter million troops are amassed on either side of the tense border zone, which has still not been delineated, after the international commission was physically restrained from completing its work.  The UN is investigating an outbreak of gunfire at the border, and has called on both sides to show restraint.

The dubious conclusion of the most fiercely fought election in Kenya’s history has pitched the country into chaos, and brought one of Africa's most stable countries to the brink of civil war.  A mob attack on a church in the western town of Eldoret, where hundreds of people were hiding from the rampant violence, was set fire. At least 30 people were burned to death. As the death toll exceeds 300, and some 80,000 are displaced in the inter-ethnic violence, some have raised fears of genocide. Many of these political killings have been at the hands of armed youths targeting different ethnic factions. Mediators are looking at the possibility of a coalition government to ease the political crisis. Kenyan and independent international election monitors have called for an independent inquiry into accusations and evidence of vote rigging. Kenya's Electoral Commission may go to court this week to set up an independent audit of the presidential ballots.,2144,3032352,00.html,1518,525977,00.html

A Nigerian court remanded 30 suspected members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) into custody, on charges of conspiracy and treason.

In Senegal, presidential peace envoy Dino Samsidine Nema Aidara was assassinated in his home near the Gambian border on 20 December. Three children were injured, and shops were looted as the unknown attackers fled. Two suspects have been detained. Government officials say that his assassination will not derail the lagging peace process with the Movement of the Democratic Forces of Casamance, which began their secessionist rebellion in 1983. Casamance is separated from the rest of Senegal by Gambia, which juts into the center of the country. In recent years, rebels have split into factions. Rebel and bandit ambushes are frequent. In recent years more than 1,200 people have been killed. (in French)

It has been one year since Ethiopia' entered Somalia. In Mogadishu along more than 6,500 civilians were killed and over 8.500 injured last year, and more than 1.5 million were displaced. Thousands more were affected throughout the country. In the year since Ethiopia's intervention, the situation has dramatically deteriorated. At this time, Ethiopia is bogged down in Somalia and dragged the US into the conflict, the country faces one of the worst humanitarian situations in the world, Eritrea is even more isolated and threatened, and Somalia continues in chaos.

This 5-part editorial from Eritrea's Ministry of Information provides their description of the historical context and what has transpired in Somalia over the past year. Note that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) began as an opposition movement against the dictatorship. Its members dominate the current Ethiopian government.

Somalia's interim Prime Minister Nur "Adde" Hassan Hussein named 15 members of his 18-member Cabinet on Friday as President Abdullahi Yusuf flew to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. Not everyone is happy with the composition of the new, smaller, cabinet, but most of the ministers were sworn in non Saturday.

In the Darfur region of Sudan, more than 200,000 people have been killed and another 2.2 million have been displaced, in one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. An overwhelmed African Union mission has served in Sudan, with little effect. On 31st December, the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur has taken over peacekeeping operations. The green beret of the AU will be exchanged for UN blue. Although it is set to be the largest peacekeeping operation in the world, with some 26,000 personnel, barely a third of the necessary troops have been deployed. Furthermore, critical equipment to support the troops is still lacking, particularly helicopters and other air assets. On the political front efforts are being led by UN and AU Special Envoys for Darfur, Jan Eliasson and Salim Ahmed Salim. They have been pursuing a political settlement to the crisis through negotiations aimed at a achieving a peace agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Darfurian movements. Squabbling between the many rebel factions, the Sudanese government and the international community may still derail their efforts.
PRM Americas
From Saturday midnight, (Sunday 00:00 Hours) the time in Argentina jumps forward one hour as part of a broad government plan to conserve energy as demand for power surges amid strong economic growth. Clocks will turn back on March 16.

Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur announced elections on 15 January. Candidate nominations opened on 1 January.

Colombia and Venezuela exchanged blame for a failed Venezuelan mission to rescue three hostages held by Colombian rebel group FARC. The Organization of American States (OAS) has urged the two countries to stop blaming each other.

Last weekend at least ten Jamaicans were killed in gang violence sparked when an angry mob chopped to death three men accused of stealing a goat. A wave of murders across the country claimed more than 1,500 victims in the past year.

The US Presidential election, which will take place in November 2008, election has begun nearly a year in advance with contests for the nominees.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez granted amnesty to many 2002 coup opponents, and may widen the scope of an amnesty law to cover additional political prisoners.
PRM Asia Pacific
The Conference for Electing Deputies of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) convened its first session on Thursday in preparation for electing new-term deputies to China's top legislature.

In East Timor on Thursday international peacekeepers and UN police intervened in a brawl on the capital Dili's streets between hundreds of gang members. Police warning shots dispersed the gangs. On Friday seven houses were set fire.

Fiji's interim government is advocating a one-person one-vote system, which could require constitutional changes.

A poll confirms that Japanese voters are disenchanted with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's government. Nearly half of those surveyed would support the opposition Democratic Party. Fukuda's approval rating is at 30 percent.

Former Philippines presidents, including Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, and Joseph Estrada, are interested in running again for President, but under the current constitution former presidents are barred from running again.
PRM Europe
Georgian former president Mikhail Saakashvili has won Saturday's presidential election with 53.8 percent of the votes.

Kosovo's two leading political parties on Saturday reached an agreement on forming a coalition that will rule the independence-seeking Serbian province. Russia has reiterated its warning against a declaration of unilateral independence.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown shares his vision for 2008:,,2236250,00.html
PRM Middle East
An Egyptian court in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria sentenced a police major to five years in prison and two policemen to one year for forcing a detainee to wear women's underwear and parading him before the public,

Islamic Jihad says that factional fighting between Hamas and Fatah has become very dangerous. The latest sectarian clashed killed at least eight. In an effort to reconcile the rival factions, the Arab League plans to form a special council. Hamas rejected a European mediation offer, but is prepared for unconditional talks with Palestinian president Abbas.,1,3039108.story

Iran has expelled a German diplomat for undiplomatic behavior.

Arab League chief Amr Mussa said today he will head to Lebanon to discuss a plan adopted by Arab foreign ministers calling for the election of presidential candidate Michel Suleiman.
PRM South Asia
Afghan tribes are hoping to tackle the Taleban.

Internally Displaced Persons, returnees from Iran and Pakistan, food-insecurity, widespread poverty and conflict-related disasters are some of the main humanitarian challenges that millions of Afghans will face in 2008.

Bhutan held its first parliamentary elections, taking another step in transforming the country from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional democracy.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Maoist rebels the biggest threat, and a virus that needs to be eliminated. He linked economic inequality to internal security, and said  that uneven development was giving rise to many of the security problems.

Nepal's governing coalition has moved away from its long-standing monarchy toward a republic, but the change will be implemented only after general elections to be held by next spring.

Pakistan's general election has been postponed by six weeks, to 18 February.

Bilawal Bhutto, 19, the newly appointed chair of the Pakistan Peoples Party and son of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, told a press conference, "My mother always said democracy is the best revenge". His father, Asif Ali Zardari, himself a controversial figure, will continue to carry out day to day duties while Bilawal returns to his studies at Oxford University in England.

President Pervez Musharraf, in a CBS 60 Minutes interview, conceded that a gunman may have shot Benazir Bhutto, but that the government had done everything it could. He said, "For standing up outside the car, I think it was she to blame alone. Nobody else. Responsibility is hers".

Thiagarajah Maheswaran from Sri Lankan opposition United National Party (UNP) was a vehement critic of the government's escalating war against Tamil Tiger rebels and a campaigner for the rights of Tamils in the Sinhalese-majority island. He was shot and killed during a New Year service at a Hindu temple in the capital Colombo. One of his bodyguards was also killed. A suspect has been arrested.

Following the Sri Lankan government's decision to end the 2002 ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) is leaving. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama says that this decision will not hamper reaching a negotiated political settlement.

3. AML/CFT Monitor

Anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism is not simply an issue of compliance with local regulations. It is a global crime that can only be understood by crossing national or regional boundaries. Subscribers to the monthly AML/CFT Monitor receive information and analysis of worldwide incidents, trends, legal and regulatory issues, modalities, and related topics such as financial fraud and narcoterrorism.
AML/CFT Incidents/Cases
In Israel, the Jerusalem District Court convicted Firas Asila of money laundering for transferring $390,000 from an unnamed Arab country to former legislator Azmi Bishara.

An international expert in the trade in blood diamonds will be the first witness to testify at the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor when it resumes Monday.

Hassan Khattab, leader of Ansar el Mehdi ("Mehdi Partisans") was jailed in Morocco for 25 years, and 49 other members received terms of between two and 25 years, for collecting money to finance terrorism, and for planning bombings and robberies.

Swiss authorities have dropped a 6-year investigation into Saudi businessman Yasin al-Qadi, who was alleged to have used Swiss bank accounts to transfer funds of over $1 million to individuals tied to al Qaeda. However, attention has turned to Bhutto's widower, Asif Ali Zardari.,1,1135126.story

In a Middleton UK court, John David Joyce was sentenced to 17 months in prison after pleading guilty to five counts of money laundering. His girlfriend Stephanie Taylor was given a 12-month conditional discharge after pleading guilty to one charge of money laundering. His actions were associated with fraudulent earnings.

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega's battle against extradition to France to face money laundering charges will resume next week after federal district judge Paul Huck set 9 January for the hearing.

Daniel L. Prewett is back in federal custody in the US, nine months after the former Sarasota, Florida, investment company owner fled to Italy to avoid a federal money laundering

Alan M. Ralsky, Scott K. Bradley, Judy M. Devenow, John S. Bown, William C. Neil, Anki K. Neil, James E. Bragg, James E. Fite, Peter Severa, How Wai John Hui, and Francis A. Tribble have been indicted in an international spamming and stock fraud scheme. The indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy, fraud in connection with electronic mail, computer fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, criminal asset forfeiture, and making false statements to law enforcement.

The grand rabbi of a Brooklyn, New York-based Orthodox Jewish group - Naftali Tzi Weisz - and five other men accused in a tax fraud and money laundering scheme pleaded not guilty.

Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari is charged with accepting an unspecified amount of money to transfer $152,000 that he believed was being sent to Pakistan and Afghanistan to support the camp. He pleaded not guilty to terrorism financing charges in New York court, claiming his dealings were solely for personal enrichment.,,-7198838,00.html

Texas prosecutors are charging Mauricio Celis with money laundering and other charges connected with Mexican drug trafficking.
AML/CFT Legislation and Regulation
This article discusses money laundering in Armenia:

Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko said the US ambassador would be expelled, and trade in US dollars banned if Washington broadens sanctions against the country.

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), a federal agency that analyzes financial transactions for potential signs of money laundering and terrorist financing, will be able to levy fines in 2008 and operate under new disclosure rules.

Gibraltar published revised anti-money-laundering guidance notes.

Nearly 90 Member States have reported to the UN Security Council committee monitoring sanctions imposed against Iran.

In Nepal, the Kathmandu police have set up a separate Cyber Cell to address cyber crimes including online scams for laundering money..

Asian Development Bank (ADB) will assist State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to strengthen the anti-money laundering regime including effective consolidation of AML/Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT) monitoring and analytical measures within a single financial intelligence unit.

The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) of the Philippines has reported more than $10 million of funds in banks and insurance proceeds frozen from January to November last year.

Rwanda's money laundering law is still in parliament.

Trinidad and Tobago's Central Bank Governor, Ewart Williams, says that there is great disparity among banks in the islands with regard to the level of preparation and commitment to implement robust anti-money laundering strategies.,70797.html

Many recruiters, in the view of HMRC and HM Treasury, now fall within the regulated sector for the purposes of Anti-Money Laundering legislation.

St Helena's Attorney General has published a Money Laundering Bill for public consultation.

The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) enhanced due diligence (EDD) provisions will apply to correspondent accounts for certain foreign banks established on or after 5 February 2008. On 5 May EDD provisions will apply to all applicable correspondent accounts, including those established prior to February 2008.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has directed banks - some of which were found to have been working with so-called cash barons - to adhere to Zimbabwe's anti-money laundering laws and report any suspicious transactions,,2-11-1662_2245909,00.html
AML/CFT Modalities
Paraguay's role in the tri-border area adjacent to Argentina and Brazil has led to suspicion that the country is a financial hub for terrorism and organized crime.,0,1336126.story

An online banking scam in India involves using unsuspecting people are made to transfer stolen money for fraudsters, in what is being called a money mule operation. In a money mule operation, the fraudster first steals bank account details of unwary customers through phishing then has the money transferred to his account by a third person. Once a mule transfers the money into the fraudsters account, usually in a different country, the money is withdrawn and the account closed.

The 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate, a ruthless and mysterious network of 155 families born in the rough hills here in southern Italy's Calabria region, now dominates the European drug trade. By establishing direct ties with Colombian producers and building a multibillion-dollar empire that spans five continents, the syndicate has metamorphosed into one of the craftiest criminal gangs in the world.,0,2007165.story

4. Emerging Threat Monitor

Climate change, pandemics, and global economic imbalances are just a few of the threats emerging in this 21st century. Subscribers to the Emerging Threat Monitor stay a step ahead with monthly analysis of trends and responses worldwide. It offers executives a heads-up of new risks, and details of the policies and best practices gleaned from every country around the globe.
ETM Corruption and Transnational Crime
The World Bank’s Department of Institutional Integrity (INT) released "Improving Development Outcomes: Fiscal Year 2007 Annual Integrity Report". It describes the bank's contributions to the global fight against corruption in 2007, with a 25 percent increase in closed investigations from the previous fiscal year, the launch of a Voluntary Disclosure Program to deter private-sector corruption, and agreement on a coordinated approach to rooting out corruption among the International Financial Institutions.,,contentMDK:21590415~pagePK:34370~piPK:34424~theSitePK:4607,00.html

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has been honored for its anti-corruption work.,3343,en_2649_201185_39805106_1_1_1_1,00.html

The OECD Working Group on Bribery has called on Brazil rapidly to amend its legislation to make companies directly liable for the payment of bribes to foreign public officials, and to ensure that effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions are applicable. They also recommend that Brazil be more proactive in detecting, investigating and prosecuting cases of foreign bribery; clarify that tax rules prohibit the deductibility of bribes to foreign public officials; strengthen its efforts to raise awareness about the fight against foreign bribery in both the public and private sector; and boost the existing law enforcement resources dedicated to fighting complex economic crimes.,3343,en_2649_201185_39802475_1_1_1_1,00.html

Transparency International launched the Corruption Risk Analysis for Southern Africa.

On December 27, 2007, Nigeria's Inspector General of Police Mike Okiro ordered Nuhu Ribadu, the head of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to resign his office to attend a one-year course of study at a Nigerian policy institute. The removal of the anti-corruption removal has been widely condemned, and undermines the independence of anti-corruption agencies as well as entrenching the impunity enjoyed by many Nigerian public officials. Pro-democracy and human rights groups are calling on the government to reverse its decision.

Romania is the leading source of organized fraud on eBay, so the company has sent a team to help authorities there combat the cyber-scourge.,0,2735131.story

In Thailand, the Department of Special Investigations (DSI) Office of Special Criminal Cases reports that an increase in fraud is expected in 2008 due to poor economic performance. DSI pointed to fraudulent internet offers, through which investors lost some five million baht.

AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline have been instructed to provide confidential papers to the UK Serious Fraud Office as part of its investigation concerning bribes supposedly paid to Saddam Hussein's former Iraqi regime under the Oil-for-Food program. Eli Lilly is also implicated.

The Honest Leadership And Open Government Act Of 2007 was passed to "provide more rigorous requirements with respect to disclosure and enforcement of lobbying laws and regulations, and for other purposes".  Lack of enforcement and delays in key provisions aside, lobbyists are already finding loopholes in the law.,5143,695241137,00.html
ETM Economies and Financial Systems
The conservative Heritage Foundation released the 2007 Index of Economic Freedom.

Note the Economist Intelligence Unit report "Heading for the Rocks", which addresses financial turmoil following the subprime mortgage crisis.

When the Taliban regime lost power in 2002, it left a devastated country behind. With no functioning banking system, Afghanistan's entire economy was financed by informal moneylenders. The World Bank, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), and the donors that followed, seized the opportunity to establish a model microfinance industry. Four years later, microfinance is thriving despite deteriorating security.,,contentMDK:21590188~pagePK:2865106~piPK:2865128~theSitePK:223547,00.html

Political turmoil in Kenya threatens the country's once stable economy. Depending on the country's response, this is likely to pose only a short-term risk.\ACQDJON200801041733DOWJONESDJONLINE000733.htm

From 1 January all public companies in Norway must ensure that at least 40 percent of their board directors are women. About 75 out of the 480 or so companies it affects have not yet complied, and unless they act by the end of February they face legal consequence that could include dissolution. Prior to this law, seven percent of board directors were female. This has now risen to 36 percent, the highest in the world. Across Europe the average is nine percent. In the US the Fortune 500 has an average of 15 percent.

Before the law was proposed, about 7% of board members in Norway were female, according to the Centre for Corporate Diversity. The number has since jumped to 36%. That is far higher than the average of 9% for big companies across Europe—11% for Britain's FTSE 100—or America's 15% for the Fortune 500. Norway's stock exchange and its main business lobby oppose the law, as do many businessmen. “I am against quotas for women or men as a matter of principle,” says Sverre Munck, head of international operations at Schibsted, a media firm. “Board members of public companies should be chosen solely on the basis of merit and experience,” he says. Several firms have even given up their public status in order to escape the new law.
ETM Environment and Climate Change
California and 15 other states have sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its decision to prevent California from adopting its own, stronger, car emissions standards.,0,6039527.story

Nevada is one of 24 states that have mandated that a portion of electricity is derived from renewable sources. Even the city of Las Vegas, known for its bright lights and 24-hour operations, is becoming more environmentally aware. A new solar thermal plant in the desert supplies peak power to the city, and other solar and geothermal power projects are planned, with production expected to quadruple in the next few years.

Energy Northwest is giving up on plans to filter certain carbon-dioxide emissions underground at its recommended Pacific Mountain Energy Center outside of Kalama, Washington, after the public-power coalition announced it could not guarantee it would be able to obtain carbon and keep it in rock formations, as well as other complications.
ETM Human Rights
In " Libya: Rights at Risk", Human Rights Watch reports that despite some improvements in recent years, in Libya serious rights abuses persist. The absence of a free press, the ban on independent organizations, the torture of detainees, and the continued incarceration of political prisoners, some of them “disappeared,” remain matters of deep concern. To date, international engagement with the oil-rich country has focused on counter-terrorism and business ties. Improved relations between Libya and other governments are welcome, but not at the expense of human rights and the rule of law. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Rice hosted a visit from Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel-Rahman Shalqam. Human rights were not on the agenda.

Thousands of former child soldiers have returned to their communities in Nepal over the past year, but there are huge challenges facing their successful reintegration.

The separatist Tamil Tiger rebels and a breakaway group known as the Tamil Makkal Viduthali Pulikal (TMVP)/Karuna faction continue to abduct children to fight as soldiers in the bloody conflict in Sri Lanka.

The Southeast Asia Press Alliance (SEAPA) reports that press freedom and freedom of expression declined throughout Southeast Asia in 2007.

States in the US have hesitated to adopt different procedures in the commonly used process of lethal injections used in most capital cases.
ETM Infectious Diseases
Note "The International Polar Year, 2007–2008, An Opportunity to Focus on Infectious Diseases in Arctic Regions":

Scientists have discovered a new key to flu transmission, helping to better monitor H5N1 changes that could trigger a human pandemic.

Avian influenza was detected in multiple locations in Bangladesh.

H5N1 was also detected among birds at a kindergarten in Israel.,7340,L-3490335,00.html

Eight dead monkeys in Uganda's Rwenzori National Park have raised the specter of another Ebola outbreak.

Roundworms may infect close to a quarter of inner city black children, tapeworms are the leading cause of seizures among US Hispanics and other parasitic diseases associated with poor countries are also affecting Americans.

US officials are conducting a 17-state search for passengers on a recent transatlantic flight who sat within five rows of a woman infected with the drug-resistant TB.
ETM Legal Systems
Bangladesh's caretaker Council of Advisers discussed the draft of the proposed Anti-terrorism Ordinance 2007. They asked for a draft incorporating a "more specific and clearer definition of terrorism".

Jiang Xingchang, vice-president of China's Supreme People's Court (SPC), said half of the country's 404 intermediate people's courts use lethal injections. This will be expanded to replace gunshot executions, as the injection is considered more humane.

The Czech government has approved the draft of a new penal code that raises the maximum penalty for murder to 20 years in prison, establishes house confinement as a form of alternative punishment, and other measures.

Israeli human rights group Yesh Din reports that Israel routinely denies Palestinian detainees due process rights in military court hearings. Almost all trials lead to convictions, and the average hearing is two minutes long.,7340,L-3490698,00.html

Through hunger strikes and protests, militant inmates in Morocco have won perks -- including use of the conjugal rooms -- that make them the envy of the other inmates.

Just before Thailand's first elections since the 2006 coup, parliament approved an internal security law that allows the military to maintain significant control.

Trinidad's army chief wants soldiers to be given police powers of arrest to help tackle rising crime.

US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts urged Congress to raise the pay of federal judges in a year-end report that emphasized improving communications with Capitol Hill and the White House.
ETM Natural Resources
The Communist Party of the Philippines armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), claimed responsibility for an armed raid against the Tampakan copper and gold mining project, in protest against plundering natural resources.

Two oil companies have been given permission by the Peruvian government to explore on lands inhabited by un-contacted tribes.

At Sierra Leone's largest diamond mine, Koidu Holdings Mining Company in Kono, demonstrators protested the delay in compensating families adversely affected by the mining operation. Police responded violently, shooting dead two people and sending several others to the hospital. The government has launched an inquiry into the matter.

In the US state of Alaska, residents are weighing the funds that would be brought by a proposed gold mine against the impact on the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery, and traditional ways of life.
ETM Populations
On the first anniversary of their historic court judgment, the  First People of the Kalahari, released an open letter to Botswana's President Mogae to act in accordance with the Bushmen's rights.

Police in the Indonesian province of West Papua are killing, torturing and intimidating tribal people with impunity.

Japan's population fell by 16,000 in 2007, a government survey said yesterday, renewing fears of a demographic crisis with a smaller working population forced to support a mass of pensioners.

While considerable efforts have been made to assist hundreds of thousands of people displaced by conflict in Sri Lanka, more must be done to ensure their safety and access to livelihoods so that they can lead normal lives.

For the first time in 35 years, the US fertility rate has climbed high enough to sustain a stable population - unique situation among industrialized countries.
ETM Social Responsibility
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has decided to launch the development of an International Standard providing guidelines for social responsibility (SR). The standard for social responsibility will be published in 2010 as ISO 26000.

CSRWire reports the top corporate social responsibility news of 2007.
ETM Technology
Chemical and Engineering News highlights numerous advances in structural analysis and other major stories of 2007:

MIT's Technology Review looks at developments over the past year in:
* Biotech
* Energy
* Hardware
* Nanotech
* Software
ETM Weapons (WMD, Proliferation)
North Korea denied claims that it had missed the 31 December deadline for a full nuclear declaration, and instead said it has provided the list to the US. The US Department of State says that it has not received a full list. Talks have stalled amid the dispute, and North Korea has stepped up anti-US propaganda, including a suggestion that it may not want to dismantle its nuclear programs.

Samar Mubarakmand, Chairman of Pakistan's National Engineering and Scientific Commission, dispelled the notion that Pakistan’s atomic program had been capped, and also denied that infamous nuclear scientist A Q Khan had headed the team that carried out Pakistan’s nuclear tests in May 1998.

Sibel Edmonds, a former Turkish language translator for the FBI, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office, and has now made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt government officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets.

Russian customs officials blocked more than 120 attempts at nuclear smuggling in 2007.

The US Bush administration is balking at Libya's request for more money to destroy 23 tons of mustard gas.

5. Critical Infrastructure Monitor

The 21st century is the interdependent century. Understanding the implicit and explicit networks on which we rely, and the interdependencies among the sectors of the critical infrastructure is essential for business continuity, economic success, and our very survival. The Critical Infrastructure Monitor, published monthly, analyzes these sectors, regulatory frameworks, and issues of enterprise risk management in global supply chains.
CIM Agriculture and Food
Cereal prices, particularly for wheat and maize, have surged to their highest levels in a decade, driven by poor harvests in key producing countries, fast-growing demand for bio-fuel production and supply constraints on the rice economy. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) latest Food Outlook report anticipates that many countries will reduce purchases, not always in response to improved domestic supplies but rather due to high international prices. Moreover, higher energy costs may force many of the poorer developing countries to curtail expenditures on imported staples to sustain their fossil fuel need. Global expenditures on imported foodstuffs in 2006 could reach a historic high of $374 billion, over 2 per cent more than 2005. Import bills for developing countries are anticipated to rise by almost 5 per cent, mainly due to price increases rather than growth in imports. Forecasted world wheat output in 2006 stands at 592 million tons,  down almost 33 million tons - 5.3 percent - from 2005, but increased winter plantings and good growing conditions raise expectations for a strong rebound in 2007. Typhoons, drought, flooding, diseases and insect attacks marred prospects for rice crops in 2006, so virtually no growth in global production is anticipated this year, and the 2007 outlook is also negative. Increased grain costs will ripple to the meat and dairy sectors. However, sugar production is expected to outpace demand after three years of deficit.

Child malnutrition rates have reached their highest level in three years in the Darfur region of Sudan, reaching 16.1 per cent this year, compared to 12.9 per cent last year, surpassing for the first time since 2004 the emergency threshold of 15 per cent. Continuing insecurity has compromised humanitarian access.

Rising world demand, climate change and energy security have combined to make agriculture a strategically important industry once more. British farmers are calling for government assistance to help farmers be more productive.

US chemical security guidelines continue to have an unpredictable impact on the agriculture sector.

Arizona State University's Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness are studying the potential monetary losses that may arise in the event of an agriterrorism attack or contamination of imported produce coming through the border between Arizona and Mexico.
CIM Banking and Finance
Hardware authentication is proposed as a potential next step for validating online banking transactions.

Mobile banking is one of the areas for which new security systems are being developed.,1000000567,10006894o-2000440756b,00.htm

The Electronic Payments Association NACHA announced that it has formed a Mobile Banking Work Group under the leadership of its Internet Council to develop an ACH payment platform strategy for mobile banking.

Greek police arrested eight people in Crete on Saturday in connection to a series of bank heists on the island and also targets criminal gangs in the mountainous area around Zoniana. On a number of occasions, the thieves used a crane to lift an ATM it onto a small truck, while residents attacked police with stones and metal bars. The thieves were then able to get away and empty the ATM in the mountains.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stipulates security measures for financial and banking institutions, even to the ingredients used for constructing strong rooms, but there is no mechanism to ensure these requirements are met. A major Christmas robbery has highlighted major vulnerabilities.

India's stock exchange is cracking down on insider trading.

This article provides five suggestions to ensure security in Indian banks.

The US Treasury plans to introduce prepaid debit cards, particularly in low-income communities, to make it easier to access social security benefits.

Washington state attributes its lowest robbery rate in 20 years to good service.
CIM Chemical
A new Accenture study finds that chemical companies have invested to improve their supply chains, but there is room for improvement in several areas, including sharing of best practices and training

The Center for Chemical Process Safety has released new guidelines for process safety and a Process Safety Incident Evaluation Tool

New US chemical security rules will affect the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has reportable levels of several chemicals used in their research.

The Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate Act of 2007 was signed into law on 26 December. Although ammonium nitrate is used as a powerful explosive - as in the Oklahoma City bombing - this bill falls far short of provisions requested by counterterrorism and law enforcement officials, although the Fertilizer Institute is pleased with its provisions. Intended to regulate sales of the potent explosive, the laws provisions are weaker than controls in Australia, Germany, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and many other jurisdictions. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is reviewing the law and considering how to harmonize it with existing chemical facility rules.,0,1022490.story,0,988868.story

Diacetyl, a flavoring chemical linked to bronchiolitis obliterans, a lung ailment in popcorn plant workers, has been removed by the four biggest microwave popcorn -makers in the US.

US health officials are concerned that mercury can be released into the atmosphere from dental fillings of cremated bodies. Not all morticians are willing to pull the teeth of the deceased.,0,3146009.story
CIM Commercial Facilities
The cancellation of the Dakar Rally is a reminder that sporting events remain attractive terrorist targets.

Fire and security systems on average only account for five percent of the total building budget, but security budgets are mushrooming.

Indian cities may soon see buildings with over 100 floors.

In Ireland, at least 300 people will be refused a Private Security Authority (PSA) license to work as door supervisors or security guards in the coming weeks, mainly due to concerns about previous criminal convictions.

Pakistan's businesses have taken security into their own hands, after law enforcement was nowhere to be seen during looting and arson following Benazir Bhutto's assassination.

In the US state of Indiana, the city of Indianapolis will install 46 new security cameras in public areas before the end of 2008 in order to increase results in a push against street crimes, using Department of Homeland Security grants.

Nevada is encouraging energy savings with financial incentives. New construction that complies with Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) standards will be eligible for rebates on state sales taxes and property taxes. MGM Mirage hopes to obtain LEED certification for its planned 68-acre, $7.5 billion CityCenter project, potentially reducing costs related to air conditioning and electricity.

The Nashville, Tennessee building from which thieves stole two computers containing sensitive voter data does not have security guards on duty for half the day on weekends, and it has no alarm system or video surveillance.

School officials continue to examine new security systems.,0,4993659.story
CIM Cybersecurity
An unpatched vulnerability in RealPlayer poses a severe risk.

The Delf-CTK Trojan poses as a " security application whose license has expired. Windows machines infected by the malicious software are confronted by a full-screen message that poses as a Windows error, and attempts to coerce victims into paying a ransom to unlock their computer.

Following an increase in email threats and hack attacks in Nepal, the Kathmandu police have set up a separate Cyber Cell.

Privacy International released its 2007 International Privacy Ranking.  Key findings include:
* The 2007 rankings indicate an overall worsening of privacy protection across the world, reflecting an increase in surveillance and a declining performance o privacy safeguards.
* Concern over immigration and border control dominated the world agenda in 2007. Countries have moved swiftly to implement database, identity and fingerprinting systems, often without regard to the privacy implications for their own citizens
* The 2007 rankings show an increasing trend amongst governments to archive data on the geographic, communications and financial records of all their citizens and residents. This trend leads to the conclusion that all citizens, regardless of legal status, are under suspicion.
* The privacy trends have been fueled by the emergence of a profitable surveillance industry dominated by global IT companies and the creation of numerous international treaties that frequently operate outside judicial or democratic processes.
* Despite political shifts in the US Congress, surveillance initiatives in the US continue to expand, affecting visitors and citizens alike.
* Surveillance initiatives initiated by Brussels have caused a substantial decline in privacy across Europe, eroding protections even in those countries that have shown a traditionally high regard for privacy.
* The privacy performance of older democracies in Europe is generally failing, while the performance of newer democracies is becoming generally stronger.
* The lowest ranking countries in the survey continue to be Malaysia, Russia and China. The highest-ranking countries in 2007 are Greece, Romania and Canada.
* The 2006 leader, Germany, slipped significantly in the 2007 rankings, dropping from 1st to 7th place behind Portugal and Slovenia.
* In terms of statutory protections and privacy enforcement, the US is the worst ranking country in the democratic world. In terms of overall privacy protection the United States has performed very poorly, being out-ranked by both India and the Philippines and falling into the "black" category, denoting endemic surveillance.
* The worst ranking EU country is the United Kingdom, which again fell into the "black" category along with Russia and Singapore. However for the first time Scotland has been given its own ranking score and performed significantly better than England & Wales.
* Argentina scored higher than 18 of the 27 EU countries.
* Australia ranks higher than Slovakia but lower than South Africa and New Zealand.[347]=x-347-559597

This article provides a personal account of a theft of personal data in Ohio.

Recent terrorism incidents in the Indian capital Delhi led to a government order mandating proof of identity. This has already proven controversial, and is likely to prove impractical when the order comes into force on 15 January.

Alan M. Ralsky, Scott K. Bradley, Judy M. Devenow, John S. Bown, William C. Neil, Anki K. Neil, James E. Bragg, James E. Fite, Peter Severa, How Wai John Hui, and Francis A. Tribble have been indicted in an international spamming and stock fraud scheme.
CIM Defense Industrial Base
India's civil aviation ministry wants to extend its concept of flexible airspace to some 30 defense airstrips across the country, opening up the military spaces for commercial traffic and reducing congestion at existing commercial airports.

In October, the US Army trained 20 women to work as security guards in a Baghdad suburb after a female suicide bomber entered a nearby building without being searched.

The US military is having second thoughts on reinforced vehicles - MRAPs - that are poorly suited to Iraq, and could undermine the value of feet on the ground.,0,3353495.story
CIM Emergency Services
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has approved a new policy requiring at least two officers to respond to dangerous calls.

Waste management company BGP has developed a mobile unit that could incinerate pathogens from bioterrorism, avian flu and mad cow disease.

Many US Virgin Islands residents have complained about for some time that emergency response is inadequate. A recent response scenario verified these concerns.

US hospitals are increasingly shutting down their burn centers in a trend could leave the nation unable to handle widespread burn casualties from a fiery terrorist attack or other major disaster. EMS systems need to revise Myocardial Infarction strategies to take this into account.

New Haven, Connecticut, fire officials are concerned that fire fighters were exposed to asbestos earlier this month when up to 60 fought a fire at the Kresge department store. Two debris samples sent to the Department of Public Health tested positive for asbestos, though daily tests have shown safe air quality in the area around the building.,0,669307.story
CIM Energy
Will $100/barrel oil change your life?

Bangladesh's first-ever rice-husk-burn biomass power plant began commercial operation yesterday at Giaspur, a remote village in Gazipur.

China exceeded its 2007 target of closing small coal-fired generators by 43 percent, amid increased efforts to save energy and cut emissions.

Gazprom has offered to take control of Serbia’s state-owned petroleum monopoly, Petroleum Industry of Serbia (NIS), in exchange for investments in a gas pipeline and storage facility. This proposal has raised concerns in Serbia and Europe over Russia's control of the resources, and the cost of its political support.  Serbia is looking for a higher valuation than initially offered.
CIM Government Facilities
Israeli media reported that a bunker is being built at Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's residence, to withstand a nuclear or chemical attack. The construction includes thickening walls, digging, and installing air purification equipment capable of countering chemical agents. Olmert's office denied the report, and said that workers are merely adding a safe room, which is commonly installed to protect residents in case of rocket attacks. A nuclear bunker is being built outside Jerusalem. It is expected to be completed in 2011.

The US state of Colorado has modified the Capitol building to control access, following two shooting incidents last year. Once fully open, it can now take up to ten minutes to pass through security.
CIM Information Technology
Burma opened the Yadanabon Information and Communication Technology Park ("Yadanabon Cyber City") on 14 December. This is the country's largest ICT center, but is located east of Mandalay, while most universities and IT businesses are based in Rangoon or Mandalay.,%20Dec,%202007.html

The One Laptop Per Child group sharply criticized Intel's withdrawal from the project but said the departure of the semiconductor giant would not hinder the effort.\ACQDJON200801041732DOWJONESDJONLINE000729.htm

A scheme to give one million low-cost laptops to Nigerian schoolchildren has stalled because some policymakers say the money would be better spent on other educational projects, while government officials and private computer companies have actively worked to undermine the project.
CIM National Monuments and Icons
Bulgaria has some of the richest archaeology sites in the world. Grave robbers and plunders are aware of the valuable treasures - and often get there first.,1518,524976,00.html

Malaysia's government unveiled a major initiative to protect Hindu temples in an apparent bid to pacify ethnic Indians who complained that hundreds have been demolished in the Muslim-majority country.
CIM Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste
India's external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee said that a civilian nuclear deal with the US, in addition to sources such as coal, would meet India's nuclear requirements, even in the face of rising oil prices.

India and Pakistan exchanged lists of their nuclear sites, under an agreement to do so each year on New Year's Day.

A new generation of nuclear power plants could burn 100 tons of surplus weapons-grade plutonium as a good way of keeping it away from terrorists.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released instructions for companies building new nuclear power plants in the US to enter into a Conditional Agreement with DOE to qualify for a portion of the $2 billion in federal risk insurance.

The fallout from a video showing nuclear power plant guards sleeping on duty continues today.

Exelon Corp will replace Wackenhut Corp. with an in-house security force at its nuclear power plants, including Oyster Creek Generating Station in New Jersey.
CIM Postal and Shipping
Guyana's customs officials had thwarted several attempts to install security cameras at post offices to help stamp out drug trafficking, by arguing it would be an invasion of privacy.

The watchdog of Switzerland's postal services says that Swiss Post is massively overcharging for postage stamps every year, by $266.4 million.

Washington, D.C., got an early Christmas present in the form of the restoration of the D.C., postmark, which had been largely replaced by a Maryland postmark after the 2001 anthrax attacks.
CIM Public Health and Healthcare
Treating children with severe pneumonia at home is just as safe and effective as treating them in hospitals.

Cuba has achieved the lowest infant mortality rate in Latin America, at 5.3 per 1,000 live births. The worldwide average is 52, and the average in Latin America is 26. The US records 6 infant deaths per thousand live births.{6F4E0660-5CA6-4E5F-8879-FD9AB86521FB})&language=EN

The Czech healthcare system underwent a minor revolution on 1 January as patients were asked to pay a small fee each time they visit their doctor.

The parasitic disease river blindness, once thought eradicated from Ivory Coast, has re-emerged in some regions following years of armed conflict that wiped out mechanisms for surveillance and control.

The scale of Scotland's binge-drink culture was exposed on 1 January - Hogmanay - as it emerged that ambulances were sent to three alcohol-related incidents per minute at the height of New Year celebrations. Similar problems were seen across the UK.
CIM Telecommunications
The French Health Ministry on Wednesday issued a warning against excessive mobile phone use, especially by children, though it recognized science had not proved cellular technology was dangerous.

US telecommunication company Verizon Communications has not yet been accorded security clearance for offering data services in India.

Kuwait is to reduce the charges of international phone calls charges by 20 percent in 2008, the minister of communication said yesterday. The new reduced fees will apply to all international calls, via both fixed-lines and cell phones, except those made to other Gulf countries. Abdullah Al-Muhailbi said in a statement received by the Kuwait Times that such a move is meant to help counter the spread of illegal call agents.
CIM Transportation
The US will test anti-missile systems on several passenger planes.

The new policy to limit lithium batteries on passenger aircraft came into effect 1 January.

The Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) continues to enroll federal port workers.

Pakistan is increasing security at railway stations and bridges.
CIM Water
Kosovo has asked NATO to secure a large reservoir in the north out of concern Serbs living there might cut vital water supplies if the Albanian majority declares independence from Serbia within weeks.

A new ultra-modern $58 million water treatment plant outside Kano, Nigeria’s most populous city, came on line in December but experts say that the city’s basic water needs will still not be met.

6. Disaster Reduction Monitor

Natural and manmade events are inevitable, but they need not become disasters. Subscribers to the monthly Disaster Reduction Monitor learn from past incidents to prevent future disasters. It includes analysis of historical events, emerging risks and risk mitigation, and features new techniques to address disaster reduction, ranging from technical advances to regulatory best practices and micro-finance.
DRM Incidents
Huge waves struck eastern Indonesia, wrecking a ship and four fishing boats, and killing two passengers. Flooding across central and east Java killed more than 110 people in the last week.

Four more people have drowned in Zimbabwe, bringing to 31 the numbers killed in flooding caused by a month of heavy rains, which have also claimed two lives in neighboring Mozambique.

A volcano erupted in Chile, forcing hundreds to evacuate.

Munich Reinsurance reports that economic losses from natural catastrophes were up 50 percent on the previous year and insured losses totaled just under $30 billion.

The number of aircraft accidents in 2007 fell to its lowest level since 1963, according to the Aircraft Crashes Record Office.
DRM Response and Recovery
Eastern Sri Lanka is beginning to dry out from heavy flooding brought on by monsoon rain during much of December that at its height displaced 250,000 people.

A deadly December flood in the Pacific Northwest of the US has led to anger and recriminations associated with debates over how to balance people, water, fish, forests, and farms. In particular, logging is accused of damage to the fishing industry and contributing to mudslides.
DRM Risks
A devastating health emergency looms in Kenya where an explosion of post-election violence has killed hundreds and displaced a quarter of a million others.

Israeli experts from the geophysical institute of Lod warn that three minor quakes in December are a reminder that Israel and the West Bank are on a sensitive fault line, and a major earthquake is fast approaching.

In the US motor vehicle accidents claim the lives of up to 6,000 teenagers each year. A new survey commissioned by Allstate Insurance reveals:
* Nearly 90 percent of teens surveyed said they hope their friends will be safer on the road in 2008
* Just 11 percent included driving more safely among their personal New Year's resolutions.
* 34 percent reported being frightened as a passenger because the driver was being careless, but did not say anything to the driver.
* 57 percent admitted to driving more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, 22 percent have raced another vehicle and 19 percent have received a traffic ticket.
* An alarming 18 percent of respondents admit to being a passenger in a car being driven by a teen who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
* Supporting the importance of peer influence among teen drivers who are willing to break the law yet want their friends to drive safer, respondents were specifically interested in having their friends eliminate unsafe practices including driving without seatbelts (41 percent) and speeding (40 percent). And, while teens may be excited about the new MP3 player their friend as a holiday gift this year, they don't want them distracted by it while driving. More than two-thirds of teens surveyed said they wanted their friends to avoid technology distractions (i.e. texting, talking on a cell phone, and scrolling through an MP3 player) while driving.
DRM Mitigation
In the Indonesian province of West Sumatra, Governor Gamawan Fauzi opened a 2-day National Exhibition of Disaster Preparedness with the warning, "West Sumatra is a supermarket for disasters, earthquakes and tsunamis.... Society must be provided the knowledge to minimize fear, and the system of disaster response must be perfect".

7. Recommended Reading

Here is a roundup of stories that summarize events in 2007 and look forward to 2008.

FOREIGN POLICY: The Top 10 Stories You Missed In 2007
10. Armed Robots Take the Field in Iraq
9. American Jews Turn away from Israel
8. Dengue Fever Runs High
7. Thai Junta Gives Itself a Raise
6. The American Heartland Grows Crops—with Human Proteins
5. The Cubans Are Coming
4. Waiting on the Iraqi Navy
3. Dear Osama: We’re Breaking Up
2. U.S.-Mexico Border Fence Gets Cut in Half
1. The Cyberwars Begin


ECONOMIST: Christmas Specials
"The Bible v the Koran: The battle of the books"
"Hunter-gatherers: Noble or savage?"
"Staying at the top: Mao and the art of management"
"Fraud and financial innovation: The match king"
"Retailing: Birth, death and shopping"
"Charts: Worth a thousand words"
"Counting people: Census sensitivity"
"Beauty and success: To those that have, shall be given"
"The sex life of the panda: Black and white and red all over"
"Falling off high places: Human lemmings""
"Poker: A big deal"
"Mormons: From polygamy to propriety"
"Urban poverty in India: A flourishing slum"
"18th-century climate change: The summer of acid rain"
"Japanese sea-drifters: When Japan was a secret"
"American spirituality: Where 'California' bubbled up"
"Kitchens: Downstairs Upstairs"

A Reuter's AlertNet put actress Angelina Jolie at the top of a poll for the best celebrity humanitarians of 2007. She was followed by
2. Bono
3. Desmond Tutu
4. Bill Gates
5. Bill Clinton
6. Jimmy Carter
7. Kofi Annan
8.  Mia Farrow
9. Don Cheadle
10. Brad Pitt
The worst names in celebrity humanitarianism:
1. Madonna
2. Paris Hilton
3. Oprah Winfrey
4. Bono
5. Bob Geldof

With 65 journalists killed, 2007 has been an unusually perilous year for the press, as Iraq and Somalia have driven the death toll to its highest point since 1994. Capsule summary of all journalists killed:

1. Java is becoming the new Cobol
2. Sun Microsystems is back in the game
3. Hackers take aim at Mac OS X
4. There are some threats you can worry less about
5. Companies may have found a way around H-1B visa limits
6. Open source's new commercial strategy
7. End-to-end Ethernet finally arrives
8. Blade servers arrive for the masses
9. BI is dead; long live BI
10. Balance of power shifts to software buyers

From Western Australia, we hear of a year of wild weather extremes:,21598,23010475-2761,00.html

The Canadian Press named the top newsmakers of the year:

Toronto Star newspaper columnist Jennifer Wells culls her files for the best business quotes of the year.

From China, the People's Daily lists the top 10 international news events in 2007:
1. CPC's 17th National Congress draws more global attention to China
2. Soaring crude oil price makes energy safety more crucial
3. UN Bali summit seeks ways to ease global warming as it menaces humanity
4. Situation turns volatile in Pakistan with assassination of B. Bhutto
5. China launches Chang'e-1 amid upsurge in outer space exploration
6. US Middle East policy starts to adjust; Palestine-Israel talks restart
7. Korean Peninsula Situation eases off with breakthrough in 6-Party Talks
8. US intelligence report denies Iranian nuclear arms bid, but US government keeps up pressure again Iran
9. US sub-prime loans affect whole globe, with repercussion being felt worldwide
10. Russia's might beefs up as a major power, its frictions with West exacerbates

The People's Daily also lists seven major changes related to people's livelihood in 2007:
Change 1 Poor students can afford college education
Change 2 New job offers available
Change 3 Minimal welfare standards shelter those hard up for money
Change 4 Housing to rent at low-price makes housing affordable
Change 5 Peasant farmers can afford to seek medical help
Change 6 Pensions raised for retirees
Change 7 Clean atmosphere no longer a dream

German cities rang in the new year with a clean air campaign.,,3031262,00.html?maca=en-bulletin-433-html

In New York City, crowds have hailed the arrival of the New Year with a brightly lit giant crystal ball. This year, it dropped for the 100th time with a new energy-efficient system of light emitting diodes replacing incandescent bulbs.

Nasdaq Announces Year-End Index Performance Statistics:\ACQPMZ200801031319PRIMZONEFULLFEED133742.htm&cdtime=01%2f03%2f2008%20+1%3a19PM

OMB WATCH: A Year for Failure: Regulatory Policy News in 2007
* White House Interventions
Part I: Systemic Regulatory Changes
Part II: Manipulating Agency Rulemaking
* Import Safety
* Industry Influence
* Ignoring Science

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation provides its top 52 news stories of 2007:

In December 2005 the UN General Assembly declared 2008 as the International Year of the Potato. In taking this action, the Assembly affirmed the need to focus world attention on the role that the potato can play in providing food security and eradicating poverty, and in achieving internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.

Christian Science Monitor editors and reporters have come up with eight global themes for readers to keep an eye on this year:
1: Why the era of cheap food is over
2: Global elections watch: All eyes on US race
3: Global flash points: How to spot signs of peace
4: As oil passes $100, the question: will it stop?
5: China's Olympian year
6: Iraq: A year of Transition?
7: Global warming: Now what?
8: Will the credit crunch continue?

BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson gazes into 2008.

8. Asset Management Network News

It is the perfect time to renew your subscription or purchase another product, and take advantage of this special offer:
The Asset Management Network has gone red again this year. For every publication purchased by 31 January, ten percent of the purchase price will be donated to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

This is the last edition of this Newsletter in this format. Popular demand and practicality have led us to the decision to provide a smaller, more digestible weekly updates, targeted for each of our audiences:
* Subscribers to the AML/CFT Monitor will also receive the AML/CFT e-Newsletter;
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* Subscribers to the Critical Infrastructure Monitor will also receive the Critical Infrastructure e-Newsletter;
* Subscribers to the Disaster Reduction will also receive the Monitor Disaster Reduction e-Newsletter;
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We will no longer provide free weekly updates to non-subscribers, but you do have the option to purchase the e-Newsletters separately. There are also discounts for people interested in purchasing multiple titles. Email or phone +1

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All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2007 by The Asset Management Network Inc.

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