Dutch police officers search a car as he conducts an investigation at the residence of an alleged jihadist in Arnhem, on 27 September. Photo: AFPDutch police arrested seven men Thursday suspected of plotting to carry out a “major terrorist attack” at a public event using explosive belts and an AK-47 assault rifle, the public prosecutor’s office said.“Police arrested seven men on Thursday… suspected of being at a very advanced stage of preparation for a major terrorist attack in the Netherlands,” it said in a statement, adding one of the suspects had wanted to kill “many victims”.Prosecutors and investigators were “convinced that a terrorist attack was prevented” as a result of the arrests in the cities of Arnhem and Weert which followed a months-long police operation.Officers had placed a group of people under surveillance, a central figure being a 34-year-old man of Iraqi origin convicted in 2017 of attempting to reach territory controlled by the jihadist Islamic State group, the statement added.Those arrested by elite special anti-terrorist police teams with helicopter support ranged in age from 21 to 34.The suspects came from Arnhem, the port city of Rotterdam and villages close to those two cities. Two others in the group also had convictions related to attempts to travel to Iraq or Syria.“One of the men from Arnhem wanted to commit an attack with a group at a major event in the Netherlands and kill many victims, according to the Dutch Intelligence Service (AIVD),” the prosecutor’s office said.Police had yet to identify the target of the planned attack which the prosecutor’s office said was to have included a separate car bombing.The suspects, who investigators said said were in possession of small arms when they were detained, are expected to appear in court in Rotterdam on Friday.“They were seeking AK-47 assault rifles, grenades, explosive belts and raw materials with which to make other bombs,” investigators said.Dutch on alertThe arrests came three months after two men were arrested in Rotterdam on suspicion of preparing attacks in France and in the Netherlands. Prosecutors said earlier this month they were “close” to launching their attack.There has been no mention of what the target in France might have been.In the Netherlands the pair are said to have staked out and “identified several possible targets” in Rotterdam, including “a police station and the Erasmus Bridge”, the country’s second largest.On 31 August, an Afghan aged 19 and with a German residence permit stabbed and injured two American tourists at Amsterdam’s busy Central Station before being shot.The prosecutor’s office said he had chosen the Netherlands for the attack believing Islam to be “frequently insulted” there.The Amsterdam incident came following a Taliban call for attacks on Dutch troops after far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders organised a Prophet Muhammed cartoon competition.Many Muslims consider images of the prophet to be blasphemous.The likelihood of a terror attack in the Netherlands “remained substantial”, the Dutch anti-terror agency NCTV said last week, with terror threat levels remaining at level four out of five.
GABRIEL C. PÉREZ/KUT NEWSOver the last three weeks, a bombing spree in the Texas capital city shared eerie similarities to a string of Austin killings from 1885 that continued for over a year.“The idea that these were crimes aimed at minority residents, in a weird way pacified people in Austin in 1885,” Skip Hollandsworth says. “And you can see it in the same fashion in the last three weeks.”Hollandsworth is the author of a 2016 book called The Midnight Assassin about the Austin serial killer in the 1880s. He’s also executive editor of Texas Monthly magazine.He says once the current series of explosions reached an upper class white neighborhood, though, everything changed. “Everybody was terrified of opening packages. They would not ride their bikes down city trails. There’s just been this sense of foreboding and fear and prickly panic.”He says these explosions lasted for three weeks, but the 1885 case stretched on for a year.“The Austin killings in 1885 became a precursor for what was to come in American society, which were these loners who felt a need to draw attention to themselves and loved the idea of creating mayhem,” Hollandsworth says. “So every city that’s had to deal with such a killer has had to deal with the same set of factors: ‘When will he strike again? Why is he striking? What can we do to stop him? And how do we stop it from ever happening again?’ And the answers are still as murky and mysterious today as they were 138 years ago.”Written by Christopher De Los Santos. Share
(Updated 9/23/2016) The Rev. Errol D. Gilliard Sr., pastor of Greater Harvest Baptist Church and president of the Baptist Minister’s Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity, died Sept. 17. The cause of death was not known at press time. Gilliard, a son of Baltimore, served as Pastor of Greater Harvest Baptist Church for more than 30 years.The Rev. Erroll D. Gilliard, a passionate advocate for Blacks. (Courtesy photo)Gilliard is remembered as a passionate advocate for African Americans and the under-served from every background according to Rev. A.C.D. Vaughn, senior pastor of Sharon Baptist Church and a board member of the Baptist Minister’s Conference. “He was one of the greatest preachers God put on this earth. He did not spare anybody who he did not think was protecting our people,” said Vaughn. “He was just like a son to me,” Vaughn reflected. During Baltimore’s Civil unrest in Spring 2015, Gilliard led members of the Conference in de-escalating violence by walking through the streets of West Baltimore hand-in-hand. More than 100 clergy flooded the streets of West Baltimore, serving as human shields between community residents and law enforcement dressed in riot gear.Gilliard also worked with former state senator and current radio host Larry Young, whom he knew for more than 20 years, on anti-violence issues. “Last year we did a 16 week prayer vigil for the gun violence, Earl helped intiate that. Regretfully, we don’t have the ministers today who care enough about our community to get things done,” Young told the AFRO. “The one thing most people will tell about Earl is that he was very frank. Most ministers try to be political correct but that wasn’t how Earl did it.”After the historic march, Gilliard and others are credited with bringing opposing factions, including gang members, public officials and ministers together at New Shiloh Baptist church to discuss how the civic and community officials can work together with youth to keep the peace during the historic unrest. The Minister’s Conference voted unanimously to change its name from the Baptist Minister’s Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity to the Minister’s Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity, to reflect the interdenominational spirit embraced by Rev. Guiliard, said his friend and colleague, Rev. Dr. Frances Draper.During his more than 30 years as pastor of Greater Harvest, Gilliard organized the Greater Harvest Baptist Church Housing Corporation as well as the Family Life Center. In 2012 he was one of the leaders of the ultimately unsuccessful fight against same sex marriage in Maryland.Gilliard had a reputation for straight talk from the pulpit and spoke out often about violence, gang activity and the responsibility of the church, community and public officials in Baltimore. “My generation and the generation present have failed our young people. We’ve got to stop cutting them off, stop writing them off,” Gilliard said during a television interview in 2013 when questioned about the surge of youth violence in the city. “Gangs are obviously giving the youth a sense of acceptance and belonging. So let’s go forth and take the ministry to the streets without shamming and scamming because they can see that as well.” Gilliard graduated from Graduate of Carver Vocational High School in the city. He Matriculated at the Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia and was attending the Palmer Theological Seminary in St. David’s Pennsylvania at the time of his death.Rev. Errol D. Gilliard Sr. will lay in state in the sanctuary of Greater Harvest Baptist Church on Sept. 23 from noon to 8 p.m.The Celebration of Life service will be held on Sept. 24 at 10 a.m. at Greater Harvest Baptist Church (GHBC); 1617 West Saratoga Street in Baltimore.An additional evening of celebration in honor of Rev. Guilliard’s life will be held Friday, Sep. 30 at 7 p.m. -11p.m. at Martin’s West, 6817 Dogwood Rd., Donation for the evening is $100.00. Please contact GHBC at 410.945.2287.
The most sought after mela is back again. Touted as one of the most entertaining crowd pullers, SurajKund International Crafts Mela brought together some delectable dishes from across the India in Haryana this year.The food court spread in the sprawling area of the mela has a fantastic range of cuisines with a regional uniqueness. To keep special care of the health and hygiene of the visitors, the authority has ensured that cleanliness is maintained and there is a provision of several garbage bins in the mela premises. Drinking water has also been made available at various places for the convenience of the visitors. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Focussing on the food stalls which display specialities and delicacies of their respective states. From Mumbai’s bhelpuri to Jaipur’s Dal Bhatti Churma and theme state Karnataka’s Sukka Chicken, Masala Dosa and filter coffee and Bihar’s Lithi Chokha, the mela has different state cuisines to be relished. Aloo tikki, Golgappe, Chaat, flavoured milk and Pav Bhaji are the most popular street foods at the Mela. Bhelpuri and Kulfi are other food items high on demand. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe cuisine of the theme state, Karnataka offers a wide variety of food items, which include Bijapur Mirchi, Chakkali, Khadak Rotti, Shavige Bath, Uppittu, Chicken Sukka, Akki Rotti, Kyatsandra Ttiol, Gokak Karadantu and Dharwad Pedha.‘People are very happy to eat authentic South Indian delicacies at out stall. They take keen interest in knowing about our recipes,’ said K. Seenappa, Assistant General Manager, Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation. The wines of Karnataka are also being displayed at the Mela purely for promotional purposes. Praveen Deshpande at the Karnataka wine counter, says, ‘The concept of manufacturing wines is relatively new in India, so we are aggressively marketing our wines in the Northern region, as people here are fond of wine and even the climate is well suited for wine consumption.’ He further added that an array of wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Martot and Cabernet Franc are being produced in their state from French varieties of grapes spread over an area of 2,000 acres.Hot Gulab Jamuns, Gajar Ka Halwa teamed up with ice cold chuskis are some desserts served. The famous Banarasi paans adds to a mouth freshening experience. Cultural performances in the food court add to the wholesome entertainment.DETAILAt: Surajkund Mela Grounds, FaridabadOn till: 15 FebruaryTimings: All day
From not asking for bedsheets and toiletries unnecessarily to making good use of door cards, there are many ways one can make a vacation eco-friendly while having fun, say experts. Here are few tips to make a vacation eco-friendly. Don’tsAsk for fresh bedsheets and towels if not really necessary: A lot of water gets wasted in order to wash the bedsheets and towels. Being conscious about what you request for will lead to a more eco-friendlier space and help reducing carbon-footprints that today stand as a cause of destruction of our planet. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAsk for more toiletries: Almost all of us at some point of time have taken that shampoo we liked so much and kept it in our bags. A lot of hotels actually prefer to refill the bottles with shampoos and save the cost of buying another plastic bottle, you can do your bit to save that extra plastic bottle.Leave the power connection turned on: Leaving your room without turning off the lights or taking that key card out of the power socket. Take the responsibility and don’t waste that energy for no use. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDo’sMake use of door cards: We often ignore doors cards and directly call up the housekeeping to get cleaning done. Door cards can be really useful when you don’t want the housekeeping to clean your unsoiled bedsheets or towels by putting the ‘Do not disturb’ card at the knob. Make use of the water from the restaurant or hotel: The essence of not purchasing that bottled water and going for the tap water instead lies in saving your own carbon footprint. Plastic is also absolutely non-perishable and hence it really helps to use that water jug.
Kolkata: Seven Bangladeshi nationals were recently arrested at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport with a large amount of foreign currency. Officers of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) grew suspicious when the airport officials were checking bags.The money was spotted during the scanning of luggage. According to sources, on Wednesday morning, when the luggage of the flyers was being checked for a Dhaka-bound flight, the on duty Central Industrial Security Force officer had some suspicion about a few bags after he saw their images on the scanner screen. To investigate the matter, the officer decided to check the baggage physically. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAfter opening the luggage nothing suspicious was found. Later, during a thorough check a small false space were found at the bottom of the every luggage bag. Immediately, the bottom of the luggage bags were cut open and the Central Industrial Security Force officer found a huge amount of foreign currency inside them. Seven passengers were immediately detained and taken to the Central Industrial Security Force custody. They have been asked to submit valid documents in support of carrying such a huge amount of foreign currency. As they were not able to produce any document, the money was confiscated and all seven of them have been handed over to the customs authority. Later, customs authority arrested the accused persons. A source informed that the total amount of the seized money is valued at $7.43 lakh, which is worth Rs 5.14 crore. On Saturday morning, a Bangladeshi national identified as Alam Sah was arrested with $ 70,000 which is worth Rs 47.42 lakh. The dollars were hidden inside a false compartment at the bottom of his bag.