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French Police Arrest Several People on Suspicion of Planning a Terrorist Attack

Aged between 29 and 37 years, the arrested suspects were from France, Morocco and Afghanistan

Representational image. Pixabay

Paris, November 22, 2016: French police have arrested seven men on terrorism charges over the weekend and foiled a planned attack, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Monday.

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“The work of the DGSI (Directorate General of Internal Security) made it possible to foil a terrorist action planned for a long time on our soil,” Cazeneuve told the media.

The suspects were arrested over the weekend — two in the southern city of Marseille and the others in Strasbourg in east France, where the country’s largest Christmas markets are due to open later this week, Xinhua news agency reported.

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Aged between 29 and 37 years, the arrested suspects were from France, Morocco and Afghanistan, according to the minister.

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“In spite of the effort we deploy, zero risk can not be guaranteed,” Cazeneuve noted.

The French minister said 418 people had been arrested so far as part of anti-terror operations following deadly terror attacks in the country. (IANS)

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Facebook, Twitter Urged to Do More to Police Hate on Sites

Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Twitter starts the initiative #BloodMatters. VOA

Tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Google are taking steps to police terrorists and hate groups on their sites, but more work needs to be done, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Tuesday.

The organization released its annual digital terrorism and hate report card and gave a B-plus to Facebook, a B-minus to Twitter and a C-plus to Google.

Facebook spokeswoman Christine Chen said the company had no comment on the report. Representatives for Google and Twitter did not immediately return emails seeking comment.

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Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, said Facebook in particular built “a recognition that bad folks might try to use their platform” as its business model. “There is plenty of material they haven’t dealt with to our satisfaction, but overall, especially in terms of hate, there’s zero tolerance,” Cooper said at a New York City news conference.

Rick Eaton, a senior researcher at the Wiesenthal Center, said hateful and violent posts on Instagram, which is part of Facebook, are quickly removed, but not before they can be widely shared.

He pointed to Instagram posts threatening terror attacks at the upcoming World Cup in Moscow. Another post promoted suicide attacks with the message, “You only die once. Why not make it martyrdom.”

Cooper said Twitter used to merit an F rating before it started cracking down on Islamic State tweets in 2016. He said the move came after testimony before a congressional committee revealed that “ISIS was delivering 200,000 tweets a day.”

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This photo shows Facebook launched on an iPhone, in North Andover, Mass., June 19, 2017. VOA

Cooper and Eaton said that as the big tech companies have gotten more aggressive in shutting down accounts that promote terrorism, racism and anti-Semitism, promoters of terrorism and hate have migrated to other sites such as, a Facebook lookalike that’s based in Russia.

There also are “alt-tech” sites like GoyFundMe, an alternative to GoFundMe, and BitChute, an alternative to Google-owned YouTube, Cooper said.

“If there’s an existing company that will give them a platform without looking too much at the content, they’ll use it,” he said. “But if not, they are attracted to those platforms that have basically no rules.”

The Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center is dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, hate, and terrorism. (VOA)