#AceNewsReport – Oct.10: An Israeli missile strike on an airbase in central Syria has killed two Damascus-allied foreign fighters and wounded several Syrian service personnel, a Britain-based war monitor said on Saturday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the two foreigners were killed in the raid on the T4 airbase late Friday, but their nationality was not immediately clear.
The official Syrian news agency SANA earlier said that, ‟at around 9:00 pm (1800 GMT), the Israeli enemy… fired a volley of missiles towards the T4 military airport.”
‟The aggression wounded six soldiers and led to some material damage,” it added.
The Observatory said the attack targeted a drone depot at the base.
Contacted by AFP, an Israeli army spokesperson said the military did not comment on foreign media reports.
Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Israel has routinely carried out air strikes inside Syria, mostly targeting Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces allied to the Damascus regime, as well as Syrian government troops.
The Israeli army rarely acknowledges individual strikes but has said repeatedly that it will not allow Syria to become a stronghold of its arch-foe Iran.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.17: On Tuesday, Aug 10, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers at an express consignment hub in Memphis, Tennessee, examined a package described in the paperwork by the shipper as “HARDBACK BABY BOOKS GREETINGS CARDS X 5.” The shipment, which was a box originally holding a map of astronomical constellations was sent from Edinburgh, Scotland to a small business address at a shopping center in San Mateo, CA.
#AceDailyNews reports that CBP Memphis has found ‘Israeli Passport and IDs’ in hollowed out book being sent from Scotland ….
Inside the box were two books and several cards with envelopes. The books were “Fill-in-the-Blank Notes for Lovers,” some kind of novelty book with tear out notes to be completed, and “The Art of Handmade Living: Crafting a Beautiful Home” by Willow Crossley. Perhaps intentionally ironic, there was a little handcrafting going on with the book.
The center had been hollowed out, and snuggled in the gap was one Israeli passport and two Israeli identification cards, all for the same man. Records checked showed the man had no entries into the U.S. nor encounters with CBP. He does not have any visas nor legal status in the United States. The passport had Colombian and Brazilian entry stamps from 2020.
CBPOs seized the shipment as the passport appeared to be altered due to a photo substitution. The purpose of these smuggled documents is unknown, but someone already in the U.S. may be the man whose photos were illegally pasted on top of the original photos in the passport and identification cards.
This seizure took place within the Area Port of Memphis, which covers ports of entry throughout the state of Tennessee and falls under CBP’s New Orleans Field Office. This Field Office includes all ports in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee.Box with greeting cards and books Hollowed out book with passport insideExterior of constellation box
#AceNewsReport – Aug.13: Local sources said the soldiers invaded and ransacked several homes in Hizma town, before abducting two Palestinians, identified as Ezzeddin Osama Salahuddin and Zayed Kanaan Khatib….
#AceDailyNews says the army abducts three Palestinians in and it is worth mentioning that, on Tuesday, the soldiers invaded Hizma, leading to protests, and fired many gas bombs and concussion grenades according to IMEMC
In Silwan, the soldiers invaded home in the al-Wista neighborhood and assaulted a young man with clubs and tasers before abducting him.
#AceNewsReport – July.20: They are on a list of some 50,000 phone numbers of people believed to be of interest to clients of the company, NSO Group, leaked to major news outlets.
#AceDailyNews says Pegasus Spyware sold to governments that ‘targets activists’ according to AFP sold to Israeli surveillance firm media reports and it was not clear where the list came from – or how many phones had actually been hacked as NSO denies any wrongdoing by leaking to major news outlets….
It says the software is intended for use against criminals and terrorists and is made available only to military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies from countries with good human rights records.
It said the original investigation which led to the reports, by Paris-based NGO Forbidden Stories and the human rights group Amnesty International, was “full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories”.
The allegations about use of the software, known as Pegasus, were carried on Sunday by the Washington Post, the Guardian, Le Monde and 14 other media organisations around the world.
Pegasus infects iPhones and Android devices to enable operators to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones and cameras.
What do we know about the people targeted?
The numbers on the list were unattributed, but media outlets working on the investigation said they had identified more than 1,000 people spanning over 50 countries.
Among them are politicians and heads of state, business executives, activists, and several Arab royal family members. More than 180 journalists were also found to be on the list, from organisations including CNN, the New York Times and Al Jazeera.
Many of the numbers were clustered in 10 countries: Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to the reports.
When contacted by the outlets involved in the investigation, spokespeople for these countries either denied that Pegasus was used or denied that they had abused their powers of surveillance.
It was not clear how many of the devices on the list had actually been targeted, but forensic analysis of 37 of the phones showed there had been “attempted and successful” hacks, the Washington Post reported.
This included people close to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2018 and his body dismembered.
The investigation found that spyware was installed on his fiancée’s phone days after his murder, and that his wife’s phone was targeted with spyware between September 2017 and April 2018.
EPA: Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, was targeted in the days after his murder, the investigation found
The NSO Group said its technology was “not associated in any way with the heinous murder”.
The phone of Mexican journalist Cecilio Pineda Birto also appeared twice on the list, including in the month before he was murdered, the investigation found.
His phone disappeared from the scene of the murder so a forensic examination was not possible, but NSO said that even if his phone was targeted, that did not mean that data collected was connected with his murder.
More details about who has been targeted are expected to be released in the coming days.
WhatsApp sued NSO in 2019, alleging the company was behind cyber-attacks on 1,400 mobile phones involving Pegasus. At the time, NSO denied any wrongdoing, but the company has been banned from using WhatsApp.
The allegations here are not new but what is new is the scale of the targeting of innocent people that’s allegedly taking place. Nearly 200 reporters from 21 countries have their phone numbers on this list and more names of high-profile public figures are expected to be revealed.There are plenty of unknowns in these allegations – including where the list comes from and how many of the phone numbers were actively targeted with spyware.
NSO Group have once again come out swinging and deny all accusations but it’s a blow for the company that is actively trying to reform its reputation.Only two weeks ago they released their first “transparency report” detailing human right policies and pledges. Amnesty International brushed the 32-page document off as a “sales brochure”.These latest allegations will do further damage to its image, but they won’t hurt the company financially: There are very few private companies able to produce the sort of invasive spy tools that NSO sells, and clearly the largely unregulated market for the software is booming.
#AceNewsReport – June.12: The Crown Prosecution Service has now authorised charges of conspiring to facilitate illegal immigration, and they will appear before Southend Magistrates later today:
NCA Update: Three charged in investigation into Harwich fishing boat people smuggling event: The trio, Arturas Jusas, aged 34, a Lithuanian national of Wandsworth Road, Lambeth; Kfir Ivgi, 32, an Israeli national living in Corrigan Close, Finchley; and Sergejs Kuliss, 39, of Hartlake Road, Tonbridge in Kent, were detained by officers in a series of raids yesterday [8 June].
Update: 09 June 2021
The operation follows the interception of the fishing boat Svanic off the coast of East Anglia on 17 November last year, as part of a joint operation involving the NCA, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force.
The boat had sailed from the Ostend area of Belgium and was carrying 69 Albanian passengers.
It was escorted into Harwich where the three crew, a Latvian national and two Ukrainian nationals, were arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration. They were subsequently charged.
08 June 2021
Three men have been arrested in London and the south east as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into the attempted smuggling of 69 Albanian migrants into the UK on board a fishing vessel in November 2020.
The trio, a 34-year-old Lithuanian national living in Lambeth, a 32-year-old Israeli national living in Finchley and a 39-year-old Latvian national living in Kent, were detained by NCA officers in a series of raids this morning.
They are now being questioned on suspicion of attempting to facilitate illegal immigration.
The arrests follow the interception of the fishing boat Svanic off the coast of East Anglia on 17 November last year, as part of a joint operation involving the NCA, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force.
The boat had sailed from the Ostend area of Belgium and was carrying 69 Albanian passengers, who were offloaded in Harwich to be dealt with by the immigration authorities.
The three crew members, a Latvian national and two Ukrainian nationals, were arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration and were subsequently charged.
NCA Regional Head of Investigation Jacque Beer said: Those arrested today are suspected of having played a key role in the events which led up to the interception of the Svanic in November last year: This was a serious attempt to breach the UK’s border controls, and our investigation into that incident continues: But today’s activity once again demonstrates our determination to disrupt and dismantle people smuggling networks wherever they are operating. It is a key priority for the NCA.”
#AceNewsReport – June.07: Police said the 23-year-old was accused of participating in riots: Ms el-Kurd’s twin brother Mohammed was also questioned after handing himself in to police. Both were later released:
ISRAEL: Arrests Palestinian activist Muna el-Kurd in East Jerusalem: Video footage showed Muna el-Kurd being taken in handcuffs from her home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.
Tensions in Sheikh Jarrah played a role in recent fighting between Israel and the militant group Hamas.
The conflict last month saw 11 days of hostilities in which more than 250 people were killed, most of them in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas.
Following Muna el-Kurd’s arrest on Sunday, a spokeswoman for the Israeli police said officers had arrested a suspect “under court order”.
Footage posted on social media early in the morning showed Ms el-Kurd in handcuffs being escorted out of her home by Israeli security forces.
From the property, she and her brother Mohammed have used social media to bring the issue of the potential forced eviction of several Palestinian families to international attention. The families include her own, which has lived in East Jerusalem for decades.
They face eviction after Israeli courts ruled that the land belonged to a Jewish settler organisation in a long-running and bitter legal case. The case has moved on to Israel’s Supreme Court, which allows the families to appeal.
Getty ImagesMohammed el-Kurd (R) addresses reporters alongside his sister Muna following their release by Israeli authorities
Mr el-Kurd turned himself in at a police station hours after his sister’s arrest after receiving a police summons, according to reports. They were both released after questioning.
Their father, Nabil el-Kurd, told reporters he was surprised when Israeli security forces turned up at the family’s home and “searched the whole house”.
“They will not frighten us or our children,” he said.
Dozens of Palestinian supporters showed up outside the East Jerusalem police station where Muna el-Kurd and her twin brother Mohammed were being held.
Heavily armed Israeli border police watched as the twins’ father Nabil gave a press conference under the shade of a tree.
“I don’t care if they arrested them, because they are fighting for Jerusalem and for Sheikh Jarrah,” he said.
As he spoke his daughter was suddenly escorted out of the police station – causing Palestinians and the press to move towards her.
Israeli police then fired at volley of stun grenades, despite the peaceful nature of the event. I saw a Palestinian man later carried into an ambulance.
It felt like a further needless escalation ahead of this week’s potential rise in tensions again in Jerusalem, with a planned march by Israeli religious nationalists through the Muslim Quarter of East Jerusalem’s Old City.
Many Palestinians and their supporters have come to see Muna and Mohammed el-Kurd as powerful new young voices of protest.
The family’s lawyer, Nasser Odeh, said the pair faced charges of disturbing public order and “riotous acts”, AFP news agency reported.
Muna el-Kurd’s arrest came just hours after a journalist for the Al Jazeera news network, Givara Budeiri, was briefly detained while reporting from Sheikh Jarrah.
Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Getty ImagesAl Jazeera journalist Givara Budeiri (R) was reporting on a sitting protest in Sheikh Jarrah when she was arrested
Israeli police accused Ms Budeiri of assaulting officers. She has denied the allegations.
Al Jazeera condemned the arrest of its journalist, who was covering a sitting protest against the threat to evict Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah and wearing a press vest at the time.
The network said in a statement that the incident showed a “total disregard for the fundamental human rights of journalists”.
#AceNewsReport – May.26: Other journalists, in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank as well as Gaza, said their accounts had also been blocked.
WhatsApp blocks Palestinian reporters, violating digital rights: Messaging app WhatsApp has blocked the accounts of dozens of Palestinian journalists following this month’s Israeli violence against the Palestinians and resistance group Hamas, reporters said according to French Press Agency – AFP
Shortly after a cease-fire went into effect at 2 a.m. Friday (11 p.m. GMT Thursday) ending 11 days of deadly Israeli violence, two journalists in Agence France-Presse’s (AFP) Gaza City bureau received notices from WhatsApp in Arabic informing them their accounts had been blocked.
A crew from Qatar-based satellite news channel Al-Jazeera said their accounts had later been restored after they lodged complaints with WhatsApp owner Facebook. The vice president of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, Tahseen al-Astall, said “around 100 journalists” in Gaza had seen their accounts blocked.
As a necessary part of reporting on both sides of the conflict, Gazan journalists receive Hamas statements, including via WhatsApp, even though the Palestinian group has been blacklisted by the European Union and the United States, accused of belonging to “groups and entities involved in terrorist acts.”
The Arab Center for the Development of Social Media said the blocking of WhatsApp accounts was not an isolated incident. In a new report, the group, based in Israel’s third city Haifa, documented 500 cases in which Palestinian “digital rights” had been violated between May 6 and May 19.
“Content and accounts were removed, reduced and restricted, hashtags were hidden and archived content deleted,” the report said.
Some “50% of these reports were about Instagram, 35% Facebook, 11% Twitter and 1% Tik Tok.”
“Companies did not provide an explanation for the deletion or suspension in the majority of their responses to users,” the report said. “However, the reasons presented to users included hate speech, violation of community standards, requesting proof of identity, among others.”
We have seen an “escalation against digital rights of Palestinians” in recent weeks, 7amleh campaigner Mona Shtaya told AFP.
Social media remains an important tool for Palestinians in exposing the violence against them, many of whom believe traditional media coverage does not sufficiently capture the reality of the crisis.
Tensions came to a boil earlier this month over the looming expulsions of Palestinian families from their homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah to make way for Israeli settlers. Israeli airstrikes and artillery fire on Gaza killed more than 250 Palestinians, including 69 children, and wounded over 1,900 people in 11 days of violence from May 10, the Gazan Health Ministry said.
#AceNewsReport – May.16: A barrage of Israeli airstrikes at dawn Friday destroyed several homes in the town of Beit Lahiya, in the north of the Strip, resulting in the killing of a mother and her three children from the al-Attar family:
GAZA STRIP: A mother and her three children among 10 Palestinians killed in latest Israeli strikes leading to four deaths were identified in the preliminary inspection of the mass damage, while the mother and her three children, together with two other bodies, were pulled out from the debris sometime later’
WAFA correspondent said Israeli fighter jets carried out a crazy barrage of about 160 airstrikes concurrently, which coincided with bombing by the Israeli artillery and navy that mainly targeted civilian facilities in the northern Gaza district.
The Ministry of Health said the latest figure bring up the number of Palestinians killed by the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza to 119, including 31 children, in addition to 830 injuries, including 139 children.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.21: This is the way some extremist Israeli settlers extended their greetings to Palestinian Muslims in this blessed month. Israeli police also escalated their harassment, firing tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinians. One Israeli policeman was filmed beating up a Palestinian at the Damascus Gate. Who stopped him? Nobody.
Jerusalem: On verge of exploding thanks to Israel’s fires: Firefighters have to be at the ready at all times and cannot afford to take holidays. Right now, the new US administration and major European powers are watching from the sidelines: The final bonfire is over Palestinian elections: The Israeli government is determined not to allow any Palestinian political activity in East Jerusalem, even though Palestinian elections were permitted under the Oslo Accords: Palestinians in East Jerusalem voted in 1996, 2005 and 2006. Even then, Israel compelled them to vote by post to indicate that they were voting from abroad. Of course, the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem have no right to vote in Israeli general elections, and now they may even be denied the right to vote for the emaciated and semi-powerless body that is the PA: Arab News Sources:
The second possible candidate for PA president is Marwan Barghouti: Like Dahlan, in a face-off with Abbas he would win 60% of the vote. He’s a member of one of the largest and most powerful clans in the West Bank; there are Barghoutis everywhere. Marwan Barghouti has only one handicap – it’s the very thing that makes him so popular. He’s currently serving five life sentences (plus 40 years) for being involved in murdering five Israelis. Abbas may try to disqualify him, insisting that if Barghouti won, he could not govern from an Israeli prison. But that’s not necessarily the case. Politicians have been known to govern from jail. Americans may remember James Michael Curley, who served as Mayor of Boston for two years from his prison cell. Barghouti has made sure that his wife is running for the Palestinian Legislative Council:
He could govern by employing her, and a group of male Barghoutis, along with Nasser al-Kidwa, as his proxies. They could be sent directives from his prison cell. He could even use the Internet to broadcast his messages to his people. It’s not crazy — Marwan Barghouti would be “working from home.” Barghouti, it turns out, much to the chagrin of Mahmoud Abbas, has decided to run: A report on this new challenge to Mahmoud Abbas is here: “Marwan Barghouti to run in PA presidential election,” by Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, April 15, 2021:It all kicked off with the Israeli decision to ban all seating on the stairs at the main entrance to the Muslim Quarter at the Damascus Gate. This is a major gathering place for Palestinians on Ramadan evenings.
There is another possible way for Abbas to remain as president, aside from cancelling the elections: That is to declare that “because of his genuine remorse for his long-past defalcation, and because he has earned gratitude for persuading the UAE to deliver 50,000 dose of coronavirus vaccine to the Palestinian people, Mohammad Dahlan is hereby declared eligible to run for president of the Palestinian Authority.” Then Abbas can hope that his two rivals will split almost evenly the 60% of the electorate that is against him, while he wins with a plurality of 40%. It’s not impossible, when you’re dealing with Mahmoud Abbas, President-For-Life:
Israeli riot police deploy water cannon during clashes with Palestinians close to the Damascus Gate on Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Screengrab: Twitter)
Restrictions on Palestinian numbers have also exacerbated tensions. Israel allowed only 10,000 people to enter Jerusalem from the West Bank, compared to many times that amount in recent years: On the first Friday in Ramadan, only 70,000 Muslims were able to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Despite Israel’s hollow claim that it allows freedom of worship in the city, it routinely restricts numbers and most Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza cannot go to Al-Aqsa:
The Israeli authorities also decided to cut the wires to the loudspeakers at the mosque in yet another deliberately inflammatory move: This year is even tougher and Israel has demanded that all Palestinians entering Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank have to have been vaccinated against the coronavirus disease. Of course, if Israel had carried out its clear international legal and moral duty of vaccinating Palestinians under its military rule, the story would be different:
Ramadan used to be a time when Israel showed some degree of reverence and respect toward Palestinians: This custom is being torn up. As a result, Jerusalem is on the verge of exploding. What we have, therefore, is a highly combustible situation in this, the world’s most combustible city. Even a passing knowledge of the history of this great city tells us that small clashes can soon lead to a dangerous explosion.
Three major bonfires are being lit. The first and perhaps most dangerous is that Israel is tearing up the delicate status quo that governs Al-Haram Al-Sharif: For starters, it is allowing Jews to pray openly on the platform. They boast of this by broadcasting it on YouTube. This included the uber-racist Kahanist and newly elected member of the Knesset, Itamar Ben Gvir. The status quo arrangements for the holy sites do not permit Jewish prayer on the platform. According to the agreement, as acknowledged publicly even by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Al-Haram Al-Sharif is exclusively a Muslim place of worship, which all Israeli prime ministers have accepted since 1967: Palestinian Muslims fear the “Hebronization” of Al-Haram Al-Sharif, whereby the platform is divided into both a mosque and a synagogue with less access for Muslims. This is what happened at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. That was sensitive enough, but tampering with the status quo in Jerusalem escalates the situation a hundredfold:
What makes it different this year is that no outside powers are saying anything. If this was happening in the days of John Kerry as US secretary of state, for example, he and his colleagues would be working the phones between Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to calm the tensions. The trouble is that Netanyahu and King Abdullah of Jordan are no longer on speaking terms. Tensions between the two have rarely been higher.
The second bonfire is the serious attempt to bring about mass evictions of Palestinians in key areas of Jerusalem. Since the last major evictions of Palestinians on June 10, 1967, Israel has managed to insert more than 220,000 Israeli settlers into occupied East Jerusalem, but without the mass displacement of Palestinians. Much of this is happening in the shadow of the Old City, notably in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan. Settlers have used the Israeli legal system to obtain eviction orders for dozens of families. Many of these families are UN-registered refugees who were given the land after the Nakba, when Israel confiscated theirs:
This legal system was designed to enable Israeli Jews to kick out Palestinians and the settler groups are using this to the full. It may be slowed down with appeals and the like, but ultimately it leads to one destination: Mass evictions of Palestinians as part of the broader plan to downscale the Palestinian presence in the city:
The Israeli authorities have also ramped up home demolitions in the Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem. They can do this because they have denied more applications from Palestinians for building permits, meaning that Palestinians have no choice but to build without them. More than half of all Palestinian homes in the city are built with no permit:
What we have is a highly combustible situation in this, the world’s most combustible city.
Israeli forces have arrested Palestinians engaged in any form of electioneering, including three candidates who were planning to hold a news conference. All of this leads some to believe this will be an excuse for PA President Mahmoud Abbas to postpone the May 22 legislative elections. This would delight the Israeli government, which has no desire to see Palestinian democracy at work, especially if it means Hamas has a chance at a share of power. The pyromaniacs have taken over the firefighting. The Israeli authorities, instead of restraining extremist settler groups such as Elad and the Temple Mount Faithful, are actively pursuing their agendas. Do not be surprised, therefore, if full-scale riots return to the streets of this extraordinary city. The world had better wake up.
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News’ point-of-view
#AceNewsReport – Apr.01: An Israeli national pleaded guilty today for his role in operating DeepDotWeb (DDW), a website that connected internet users with Darknet marketplaces, where they purchased illegal firearms, malware and hacking tools, stolen financial data, heroin and fentanyl, and other contraband.
Organised Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation: ‘DeepDotWeb received over $8 million in kickbacks from purchases of fentanyl, firearms, and other contraband on Darknet marketplaces: ‘According to court documents, Tal Prihar, 37, an Israeli citizen residing in Brazil, owned and operated DDW along with co-defendant Michael Phan, 34, of Israel, beginning in October 2013. In addition to providing general information about the Darknet, DDW provided users with direct links to illegal Darknet marketplaces, which are not accessible through traditional search engines’
For providing these links, Prihar and Phan received kickback payments from the marketplaces in the form of virtual currency, including approximately 8,155 bitcoins (worth approximately $8.4 million based on the bitcoin trading value at the time of the transactions). To conceal the nature and source of these illegal kickback payments, Prihar transferred the payments from his DDW bitcoin wallet to other bitcoin accounts and to bank accounts he controlled in the names of shell companies. DDW was seized by federal authorities in April 2019, and Prihar has agreed to forfeit $8,414,173.
“Tal Prihar served as a broker for illegal Darknet marketplaces — helping such marketplaces find customers for fentanyl, firearms, and other dangerous contraband — and profited from the illegal business that ensued,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This prosecution, seizure of the broker website, and forfeiture send a clear message that we are not only prosecuting the administrators of Darknet marketplaces offering illegal goods and services, but we will also bring to justice those that aim to facilitate and profit from them.”
“Tal Prihar today acknowledged his leadership role in operating a web site that served as a gateway to numerous dark web marketplaces selling fentanyl, heroin, firearms, hacking tools and other illegal goods,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman for the Western District of Pennsylvania. “Mr. Prihar and his codefendant extracted a fee from each customer routed to these illegal sites, profiting in the millions of dollars.”
“For six years, DeepDotWeb was a gateway to facilitate the illegal purchase of items to include dangerous drugs, weapons, and malicious software,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Carlton Peeples of the FBI’s Pittsburgh Field Office. “Prihar profited as a byproduct from other people’s dangerous transactions and today’s guilty plea sends a message to other cyber actors across the globe who think the dark web is a safe haven. The FBI works with our local, state, federal and international partners regularly to dismantle illicit websites and go after those responsible for them.”
Prihar pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 2, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The FBI’s Pittsburgh Field Office is investigating the case:
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania and Trial Attorneys C. Alden Pelker of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Alexander Gottfried of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section are prosecuting the case.
The department thanks the French authorities as well as its law enforcement colleagues at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, IRS, Brazilian Federal Police Cyber Division, Israeli National Police, Dutch National Police, Europol Darkweb Team, Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany, and National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom. Significant assistance was provided by the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.
This case was brought in conjunction with the Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) Team. Established within the FBI’s Hi-Tech Organized Crime Unit, J-CODE is a U.S. Government initiative announced in January 2018, aimed at targeting drug trafficking, especially fentanyl and other opioids, on the Darknet. The J-CODE team brings together agents, analysts and professional staff with expertise in drugs, gangs, health care fraud and more. J-CODE entities, including the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Department of Defense, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and Department of Justice focus on disrupting the sale of drugs via the Darknet and dismantling criminal enterprises that facilitate this trafficking.
This prosecution also is a result of an Organised Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten communities throughout the United States. OCDETF uses a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
#AceWorldNews – WEST BANK – Nov. 22 – Minister of Defence not content with moving Palestinians to the back of the bus, means to keep them off entirely.
In response to reports that Israeli Minster of Defense Moshe Ya’alon intends to yield to the settler demand to prevent Palestinian day labourers from returning home to the West Bank on Israeli public buses.
Israeli human rights group B’Tselem says that Minister Ya’alon is not content with merely moving Palestinians to the back of the bus, but means to keep them off buses altogether.
It is time to stop hiding behind technical arrangements such as the demand that Palestinians return to the West Bank through the same checkpoint they entered Israel, and admit this military procedure is thinly veiled pandering to the demand for racial segregation on buses.
The holy site has been a focus of tension since last week, when Israel closed it to Muslim worshippers.
The Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound behind the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, a densely-populated Palestinian neighbourhood on a steep hillside flanking the southern walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. (AFP Photo)
Al-Aqsa, also known as the Temple Mount, is Islam’s third most-venerated site.
Israeli police closed it for the first time since 1963 in retaliation for the killing of a prominent right-wing Jewish activist, provoking outcry from the Arab population.
Access was renewed a day later, but males under 50 were still banned from entry.
The renewed shut-down of Al-Aqsa on Wednesday comes after daily clashes in the streets of East Jerusalem and the Old City. Palestinian youths attack Israeli police with stones and fire crackers.
Police said they sent forces to the holy compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, as clashes erupted near it minutes before it was due to be opened to the public.
“Police entered the area, pushed the masked rioters back, and they fled back into Al-Aqsa. Police closed the front gate of the mosque but did not enter,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld as cited by Reuters.
Israeli security forces used stun grenades to disperse the protesting crowd.
Some 20 people were reportedly injured in the fresh clash.
#AceNewsServices (Exclusive) WEST BANK – September 23 – On the morning of 10 August 2014, a soldier shot 10-year-old Palestinian boy Khalil ‘Anati in al-Fawwar Refugee Camp in the West Bank. The boy was rushed in his uncle’s car to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Khalil ‘Anati’s father next to a poster in memory of his son. Photo by Alex Levac, 18 Aug. 2014
An investigation by B’Tselem field researcher Musa Abu Hashhash revealed that at approximately 9:30 A.M., a white Water Authority jeep drove into the refugee camp, accompanied by two army vehicles.
The white jeep reached a water facility inside the camp and the army vehicles stopped nearby, at two different locations close to the camp’s main road.
The alley where ‘Anati was shot. Photo by Musa Hashhash, 11 Aug. 2014
Some five boys and youths, including Khalil ‘Anati, threw stones at one of the army vehicles from alleys leading off the main road.
Some ten minutes later, the white jeep drove out of the camp, followed by the army vehicles.
One of the military vehicles had parked facing the centre of the camp and turned around close to one of the alleys from which the stones had been thrown. On its way out of the camp, the vehicle stopped next to another alley, from which stones had apparently been thrown, too.
The driver opened the door, fired a single shot, and resumed driving. About half a minute later, the second vehicle drove by the same alley without stopping.
The single shot, which was preceded by no warning or use of non-lethal measures, killed 10-year-old ‘Anati. Medical records obtained by B’Tselem show that he was struck by a live bullet that entered his lower back and exited through his thigh.
The video footage and B’Tselem’s investigation indicate that four or five boys and youths were throwing stones from alleys. It is not clear whether stones were thrown at the army vehicle when it stopped at the entrance to the alley where ‘Anati was shot.
However, it is clear that the soldiers were not in mortal danger and therefore were not permitted to use live fire. It is doubtful that the circumstances even merited the use of less injurious means. The shooting that killed ‘Anati was certainly unjustified. Use of live fire in such a context is unlawful, and the circumstances raise the suspicion the soldier aimed directly at the boy.
B’Tselem sent the MPIU all the information it gathered concerning the incident. However, the MAG Corps and the MPIU cannot make do with investigating the soldier who fired the lethal shot: they must investigate the orders given to the soldiers before they entered the camp.
The law enforcement authorities must speedily conclude the investigation, publish its findings and bring those responsible for the killing of 10-year-old Khalil ‘Anati to justice.
#AceBreakingNews – JERUSALEM – September 23 – Israeli special forces stormed a West Bank hideout early on Tuesday and killed two Palestinians suspected in the June abduction and slaying of three Israeli teenagers.
The deaths of the two suspects, identified by the Israeli military as well-known Hamas militants, ended one of the largest manhunts conducted by the Israeli security forces.
#AceNewsServices – GAZA – September 01 – Ariel Video Footage and Extent of Damage and Ruins on Gaza’s al-Shujaiyya Neighborhood. caused by ground attacks by Zionist Military forces.
Over 2,000 Palestinians were martyred and more than 10,000 others were injured in the Israeli regime’s 51-day onslaught on the blockaded territory, further destroying hundreds of residential quarters, schools, mosques, hospitals and other public facilities.
#AceBreakingNews – ISRAELS (Tel Aviv) – July 15 – Israel’s security cabinet accepted the Egyptian cease-fire offer on Tuesday morning, which, according to the proposal, is supposed to go into effect at 9 A.M. local time and gives both sides 12 hours to stop the attacks once the proposal is accepted by both sides.
Several Hamas officials rejected the Egyptian proposal, but sources said that Hamas is holding talks with Egypt regarding the cease-fire and an official statement by the Hamas political leadership is expected later Tuesday.