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Old 12-31-2015, 08:56 PM   #26
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My guess in Texas many with concealed carry that are out to celebrate will switch to open carry when the ball drops!
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:48 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catbird View Post
I don't think we have anyone near Munich, but in case someone is traveling the area, heads up please!

Translated from:

https:[email protected]

Current indications that in # Munich terrorist attack is planned.
Please avoid crowds and the train stations Hauptbahnhof + Pasing

Pasinger Bahnhof and Hauptbahnhof already vacated. The trains run on this no more! Please observe the instructions of the police.
Glad to hear the threats didn't materialize - typically there is a disconnect from events/incidents such as these, but this time these personally hit a little home given that my family has been through these particular stations multiple times during our vacation this August/September. Berlin also had concerns and police were stopping people with bags from going in the area around the Bradenburg Gate - another place we visited too...

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/01...acuations.html
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:38 AM   #28
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Toner, I thought of you and your family when I posted the warning, and felt glad that you did your trip as a summer vacation and not a holiday one. (Sysiphus, I saw your post mentioning Rome, so I'm keeping an eye out for info for y'all as well. )

The Munich threat seems to have been quite specific and valid, according to the info being released by the police.

Fireworks were cancelled in Brussels and Paris and even Red Square was closed off. Thousands of police, security and intel agencies, and military troops were deployed world-wide tonight and so far, thankfully, there doesn't seem to have been any significant or organized terrorist activity. (For a very interesting country-by-country round-up about how the New Year was celebrated, and protected, see an article titled "New Year's revelers unfazed by attack worries" by CBS and that other news agency.)

Hello 2016... when the sight of police and troops on our streets to keep us safe from terrorists (and I believe that there will be at least some times when they'll have actual, valid reasons) will be the new normal by this time next year.

(NOTE: If anyone has a particular interest in a specific city or country, and would like me to keep a special eye out, please just let me know. As some of y'all may have gathered, I'm just a bit of a news feed junkie and I come across all kinds of odds & ends that don't get much major media attention. There's a lot that I read that I don't post about, but I can if I know that it would help someone. )

Back to Munich...


Munich suicide bomb plot: police hunt Isis suspects behind New Year's Eve threat


Quote:
German authorities receive foreign intelligence tipoff warning that up to seven suicide bombers would attack two of the city’s train stations

Police in Munich are hunting Islamic State suspects after a foreign intelligence agency warned of a “concrete” plan to send suicide bombers to the city’s train stations during New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Five to seven suicide bombers were planning attacks on the main Hauptbahnhof station and Pasing station at the western end of the city centre, German authorities said in what was a “serious, imminent threat”, prompting them to evacuate the sites and warn people to stay away.


About 550 officers have been deployed to secure the city and no arrests had yet been made, said Munich police president Hubertus Andrä.

The Bavarian interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, told a media conference on Thursday night: “The threat was very concretely centred on midnight and at these two places.” He added that all necessary security measures were being taken.

Citing anonymous security sources, Bavarian state broadcaster BR reported that Germany had received warnings from both US and French intelligence agencies earlier in the day. According to the intelligence, seven Iraqis living in Munich were named as the potential attackers, and they were planning to enter the stations in pairs and blow themselves up simultaneously.
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:02 PM   #29
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Thanks Cat. All safe and sound, now in London. Not nearly as many cops and soldiers here as there were in Rome.
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Old 01-02-2016, 08:22 PM   #30
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Headin back to NYC. Was home for the holidays and loved it, but now back to the real world. But as we all known home isn't safe from Muslim terrorists either...


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Old 01-13-2016, 04:38 PM   #31
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Just found out that all school trips "overseas" have been cancelled for 2 years due to "terrorism". DD is fuming mad, her group was going to Germany/Lichtenstein/France next year.

The data would tell you it's safer for an American to go to Europe than anywhere in the US (yes, skewed by 9/11, but you can't throw out the data) when it comes to terrorist deaths, but lets not cloud the issue with data...
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:03 PM   #32
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Ex, my daughters were in band in high school. Every four years they went to Scotland and England. My oldest daughter was scheduled to leave on TWA flight 800 on July 21, 1996. Exactly one week before her trip, TWA flight 800 went down off the coast of Long Island with 230 people. 16 were high school kids from Pennsylvania on a school trip. Reports from people on the ground said a streak of light hit the plane and then it exploded. There was a meeting at the school and we decided the trip should go on as planned. I don't think I would do it again. Not now.
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:12 PM   #33
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That could just as easily happen on a flight from NY to LA. Or Philly to Pittsburgh. I don't see the rationale that going to Europe is more dangerous than going anywhere in the US.
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:16 PM   #34
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True. I would be concerned about any long distance trip.
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:24 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodia View Post
Just found out that all school trips "overseas" have been cancelled for 2 years due to "terrorism". DD is fuming mad, her group was going to Germany/Lichtenstein/France next year.

The data would tell you it's safer for an American to go to Europe than anywhere in the US (yes, skewed by 9/11, but you can't throw out the data) when it comes to terrorist deaths, but lets not cloud the issue with data...
Ex, if it were me, I'd do some checking into who made this decision and what they based it on. Sometimes, local school board politics can be pretty interesting.
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:41 PM   #36
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Trust me, that was the first thing we thought.
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Old 01-15-2016, 08:51 PM   #37
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Default Burkina Faso: 20 killed and hostages taken by masked jihadi / Seige ended 1/16



Terror in Burkina Faso: 20 killed and hostages taken by masked jihadi gunmen in attack on top tourist hotel as they wage fierce gun battle with security forces after triggering two massive car bombs

At least 20 people have died in the attack on a hotel in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso in West Africa

Eyewitnesses say two car bombs exploded at 7.30pm local time

Masked gunmen then stormed the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou

Local media reported at hostages have been taken and several people have died

Business district hotel is used by UN staff and westerners

Security forces reportedly exchanged fire with the men at the scene





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At least 20 people have died after masked jihadi gunmen attacked a four-star business hotel in Burkina Faso's capital tonight, amid an ongoing hostage situation.

Two car bombs exploded outside the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou's business district before several gunmen stormed the hotel.

Security forces arrived as the men fired in the air to disperse the gathering crowd and soon engaged in a fierce gunfight with the suspected jihadis as cars burned around them.

Witnesses said the attackers claimed to be from ISIS, but a local Al Qaeda affiliated group called AQIM has reportedly claimed the attack on the capital in West Africa, according to SITE Intelligence Group.

In a message posted in Arabic on the militants' 'Muslim Africa' Telegram account, it said fighters had 'broke into a restaurant of one of the biggest hotels in the capital of Burkina Faso, and are now entrenched and the clashes are continuing with the enemies of the religion.'


A hospital chief said at least 20 people have been killed and another 15 wounded in the ongoing assault.

'For the dead, we do not have a precise figure, but there are at least 20 dead,' said Robert Sangare, the head of Yalgado Ouedraogo hospital.

'We have had at least 15 wounded with bullet wounds and others who suffered injuries during the panic to escape.'

A police officer was shot trying to reach the Splendid hotel opposite where the attackers remain, according to officers.

A senior official with the national gendarmes said suspected Islamist fighters had taken an unknown number of hostages.

'It is continuing at this time. We are trying to know how many attackers they are to better coordinate our actions. Hostages have been taken. The operation could take several hours,' the officer said asking not to be named.

A journalist on the scene told CNN that French and US soldiers arived at the hotel.

Eyewitnesses said two car bombs exploded at approximately 7.30pm local time before up to six masked men stormed the hotel.


The four-star hotel is reportedly used by UN agency staff and is near a cafe called Cappucino, said to be popular with expats, although U.N. spokesman in Ouagadougou, Emile Kabore, told CNN he did not believe any U.N. staffers are currently staying at the hotel.

A witness who gave only his first name, Gilbert, said that when security forces first arrived, they turned around rather than confront the attackers.

'But we know that the gunmen won't get out of the hotel alive,' he said. 'Our country is not for jihadists or terrorists. They got it wrong.'

The French Embassy in Burkina Faso released a statement on its website calling incident a 'terrorist attack and urged its citizens to return home and to avoide the hotel, the Cafe Capuccino and Kwame N'Krumah Avenue.

The U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou tweeted: 'We are closely following the situation downtown.'

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack, though jihadists have attacked hotels before in neighboring Mali, including a devastating attack on the Radisson Blu hotel in November that left 20 people dead.

The attack would be the first in Burkina's capital by Islamists in a country that is diverse in religious terms and has a population that is around 60 percent Muslim, according to government figures.

It would present a significant challenge to President Roch Marc Kabore, who was elected in Nov. 2015 as Burkina Faso's first new leader in decades.

The French embassy in December warned its citizens against traveling to a national park in eastern Burkina Faso after reports that Malian jihadists were threatening to kidnap foreigners.

An Islamist militant group Al-Mourabitoun said in May, 2015, it was holding a Romanian man kidnapped from a mine in northern Burkina Faso the previous month.

Around 50 unidentified gunmen attacked a Burkina Faso gendarmerie brigade near the country's western border with Mali in Oct. 2015, killing three in an attack the then government blamed on the leaders of a failed coup one month before.

Burkina Faso has endured bouts of political turmoil since October 2014 when veteran President Blaise Compaore was overthrown in a popular protest, but has been largely spared violence by Islamist militants who have staged attacks in neighboring Mali.

Two militants killed 20 people from nations including Russia, China and the United States at a luxury hotel in Mali's capital on Nov. 20, 2015, before being killed by the security forces.

Three Islamist groups including al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed that attack, the most prominent by militants who are based in the north of the country and have staged a series of attacks over the last year.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...kina-Faso.html


---------- Post added at 07:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:48 PM ----------



Burkina Faso attack: 'At least 20 dead' in Ouagadougou hotel

Gunmen have attacked a hotel used by westerners in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, taking hostages and reportedly killing at least 20 people.

Eyewitnesses said two car bombs went off outside the Splendid hotel at around 19:30 local time (same as GMT).

Three to four masked men then stormed the Splendid Hotel, which is used by UN staff and westerners, witnesses said.

Robert Sangare, a hospital director in the city, said at least 20 people had died and 15 more wounded.

Foreign Minister Alpha Barry said security forces would launch a raid to free hostages. He said he was "not ruling out possible support of foreign forces including French special forces".

One group that monitors jihadist networks said al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed it was behind the attack.

Witnesses said the gunmen had initially entered the Cappuccino cafe near the hotel. One employee at the cafe told Agence France Presse that "several people" had been killed there.

Eyewitnesses reported hearing exchanges of gunfire between the men and security forces, as well as sporadic gunfire from inside the four-star hotel close to the country's international airport.

In the latest developments:


Local TV station Burkina 24 says that security forces are preparing to intervene

France's ambassador to Burkina Faso, Gilles Thibault, says a curfew is in place until 06:00 local time

The US embassy in Ouagadougou says it is aware of the incident and is "closely following" the situation







http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35330169
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:04 PM   #38
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CNN reporting a "US military presence on the ground" that will probably be providing some sort of assistance. If that's the case, CNN needs to shut up.
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:10 PM   #39
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147 room hotel - pretty sprawly in layout. Going to be interesting getting this one back.
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:25 PM   #40
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Reuters is reporting that the hotel is sometimes used by French military forces who are based in Chad to assist local forces fighting Islamist militants.

I'm thinking it might be a R&R kind of place for French troops which would certainly make it a target.
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:40 PM   #41
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What ISN'T a target these days?
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:55 PM   #42
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Burkina Faso hostage crisis: 20 dead at hotel & cafe; counter-assault begins; Al Qaeda claims attack





An ongoing hostage situation is being reported at a hotel in the city center of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, after at least three armed turbaned men began shooting at a restaurant and a hotel frequently used by Westerners and UN staff.

Two groups of security forces began an assault to neutralize the situation at the hotel, Reuters quoted a witness as saying. Both groups entered the hotel lobby, according to the witness. No gunfire has been heard, but the lobby was on fire.

At least 20 people have been killed and 15 others injured in the ongoing attack, AFP quoted the head of Yalgado Ouedraogo hospital, Robert Sangare, as saying.

“For the dead, we do not have a precise figure, but there are at least 20 dead,” Sangare said. “We have had at least 15 wounded with bullet wounds and others who suffered injuries during the panic to escape.”

Quote:
#BREAKING According to local reports, there are more than 100 people inside #SplendidHotel, attackers still firing.
— Barzan Sadiq (@BarzanSadiq) January 15, 2016

The gunmen first attacked a restaurant, which is located across from the hotel and owned by a Ukrainian national, Russia’s Honorary Council in Burkina Faso, Anna Rachina-Kulibali, told TASS.

Rachina said that there are foreign nationals among the dead, adding that is still unknown whether any of the victims were Russian.

“There are foreigners [among the dead], possibly Europeans and locals.”


American and French soldiers have reportedly arrived on the scene, according to local reporters who tweeted out pictures of special forces gathering by the hotel.




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Old 01-15-2016, 10:16 PM   #43
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Lobby of hotel under attack in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, reportedly on fire, Agence France-Presse journalist says - France 24

France has requested US intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support in Burkina Faso, says US Defense official - Reuters
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:26 PM   #44
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Any idea if that's the result of one of the car bombs or if was separately set?

And thanx for the updates.
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:37 PM   #45
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From what I can tell, the fire was accidentally started when security forces tried to get into the hotel. But from what I'm reading, it's still pretty much complete chaos so it's hard to know what is really happening.
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:46 PM   #46
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It's about 0245 in Burkina Faso.

From the NY Times:
Quote:
French soldiers were on the ground outside the Splendid Hotel early Saturday, an eyewitness said, assisting Burkinabe security forces as they prepared for an assault on the jihadist hostage-takers inside.

Olympia de Maismont, a French journalist for the radio station Radio France Internationale, estimated that 30 French troops were working with 40 Burkinabe soldiers. The security forces began to buzz with activity shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday, she said.

“I am about 50 meters from the hotel. I can see both French and Burkinabe soldiers, and they are preparing for the assault,” she said. “There is truly a concentration of troops. We are seeing more and more arrive, and we see that they are studying plans — which I assume are the plans of the hotel.”
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:52 PM   #47
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I have an awful feeling about this...
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:15 AM   #48
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Being a hostage to jihadis is always a dire situation but being a hostage in a country like Burkina Faso reduces your survival chances even more. Those African soldiers are not very well trained and prepared and at the same time, there will be no negotiations with jihadists.


Oh and did you notice that sentence in the reports? :

Quote:
A witness who gave only his first name, Gilbert, said that when security forces first arrived, they turned around rather than confront the attackers.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:19 AM   #49
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Yeah - certainly didn't give me the warm fuzzies.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:51 AM   #50
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One of the freed hostages is the Minister of Labor. I really can't tell if the operation is over, or still ongoing. There aren't very many verifiable sources on the ground.

AFP news agency ‏@AFP 13m13 minutes ago

#UPDATE: 63 hostages, including 33 wounded, evacuated from Burkina Faso hotel besieged by Al-Qaeda-linked gunmen
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