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Study shows that Islamic State terror cells in Europe are led by former al-Qaida terrorists

A recent study conducted by the Henry Jackson Society shows that the former Al-Qaida terrorists are training Islamic State cells in europe

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ISIS. Wikimedia Commons
  • Henry Jackson Society, a London-based research institution, looked at the al-Qaida-linked terror networks in Europe and compared them to current networks linked to Islamic State
  • Many of the elder members of former al-Qaida networks had traveled to fight in Afghanistan the previous decade, and passed on their knowledge
  • Former al-Qaida operatives also passed on expertise in how to evade detection on their return to Europe

There are direct links between the al-Qaida terror networks of the last decade, and the Islamic State-linked terror cells in Europe that have carried out a series of attacks in recent months, according to a new report.

The study by the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based research institution, looked at the al-Qaida-linked terror networks in Europe in the early 2000s, around the time of the NATO-led invasion of Afghanistan, and the current networks linked to Islamic State that were responsible for the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels. Time and again, the same names appeared.

‘Training and grooming’

“The recidivism of those individuals who had originally been convicted of al-Qaida activism, almost training and grooming those individuals who would go on to be involved in the Paris and Brussels attacks,” said Rupert Sutton, co-author of the report.

Those individuals included Abdelhamid Abaaoud, chief coordinator of the Paris attacks in November 2015, and Najeem Laachraoui, one of the network’s chief bomb makers, who detonated a suicide bomb at Brussels airport in March.

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“They were connected to a number of individuals with previous convictions for al-Qaida activity, and to a cleric called Khalid Zerkani, who acted almost as a father figure to a number of these individuals. He was actually known as ‘Papa Noel’ [Father Christmas] because he used the proceeds of his petty crime to shower them with gifts and look after them at the same time as radicalizing them,” Sutton said.

Many of the elder members of former al-Qaida networks had traveled to fight in Afghanistan the previous decade, and passed on their knowledge to embryonic terror cells in Europe as the Syrian civil war became a rallying call for jihadist fighters.

“Providing them with expertise on bomb-making or network formation, but also providing them with advice on perhaps how to travel to a conflict zone to gain training, how to gain combat experience and how to use those conflict zones as areas in which you can formulate your own ideas and formulate your own attacks,” Sutton said.

Combat experience

He added combat experience appears key, as the most serious Islamic State-linked terror plots in Europe have been planned by European citizens returning from the Syrian frontline, however, those individuals are often beneath intelligence radars.

“Often these individuals perhaps haven’t come into contact with the authorities in the past. So whilst there are direct connections between the two networks, the individuals that are recruited by those veterans perhaps have only come into contact with the police through a record of petty crime,” he said.

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Sutton said former al-Qaida operatives also passed on expertise in how to evade detection on their return to Europe. “Perhaps one of the most worrying factors is that a number of these individuals were stopped by police on their returns, showed fake identities and gave fake names, and were able to continue on their journey.”

The report’s authors say the links show the need to improve efforts to challenge radicalization in prisons and develop better ways of preventing offenders from being drawn into terrorism. (VOA)

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Players to Follow Various Guidelines for Training Resumption

Hockey India to allow training of upto 6 players in one group

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The probables for the Indian men's and women's senior hockey team players have been placed in the campus since before the start of the lockdown on March 25. Wikimedia Commons

Players will be allowed to go home and there will be no physical contact outside of what is required during normal play at training, according to the Standard Operating Procedure for resumption of training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Bengaluru centre.

Teams can train in groups of maximum six people in an area of 40x20m. Players are allowed normal physical contact during training but celebrations such as high fives, first bumps are banned. They have to carry their own training gear, hand sanitiser and towel. All training equipment will be sanitised after each session. Players are also not allowed contact with those from other teams.

The probables for the Indian men’s and women’s senior hockey teams have been placed in the campus since before the start of the lockdown on March 25. Hockey India stated that players and staff who are feeling homesick shall be allowed to go home.

“Government of India, SAI and Hockey India will determine the duration of this leave in consultation with the respective Chief Coaches. Each party has the option to change the duration based on information at hand. At all times the safety of the athlete and staff member is paramount,” says HI in the SOP.

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Celebrations such as high fives, first bumps are banned while training. Pixabay

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Players have been provided instruction of avoiding contact with anyone outside of their direct family while at home. They are also to leave home only for necessary requirements with enough protection. Once they return to the camp, they will be placed in “strict quarantine for 2 weeks.”

“If testing is available on day 10 of return, then the person will be tested. If a person tests negative/doesn’t have the virus they can leave quarantine. If person has the virus, then that person will stay in quarantine and follow medical guidelines provided by designated medical personnel. If testing is not available every individual must complete the full 2 weeks of quarantine and will follow rules of social distancing anywhere and everywhere for week 3,” says HI. (IANS)

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My Journey With Internshala – From Finding Internships to Hiring Interns

Aashish Goyal talks about his journey and experiences with Internshala

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Aashish-Goyal on hiring interns
Aashish Goyal, a student of Hindu College of Engineering, tells us about his experience with Internshala and his journey that began with looking for an internship and ended with looking for interns.

About the Author: Aashish Goyal, a student of Hindu College of Engineering, talks about his experience with Internshala. He joined Internshala as a student and after launching his own startup, he used the same platform to hire interns. 

I began my college in 2013 with a hope of learning and exploring new horizons. After my first year of college ended, my seniors introduced me to the concept of internships and the importance they hold. I googled internships for further information and stumbled upon Internshala. Though I didn’t apply to any internships at that time, I registered myself on the platform.

I would often receive emails from them regarding various campaigns. One such email was regarding the 5th edition of their flagship program – Internshala Student Partners. I found it exciting and applied for it. After a month-long wait, I came to know that I had been selected as an ISP. As an ISP, I performed various activities to market Internshala in my college and introduce it to the students there. Having performed exceptionally well, I was promoted to an ISP buddy for the next edition of the ISP program. This 6-month venture saw me leading a team of 110 students and inculcated essential leadership skills in me. I helped the ISPs in organising different activities, solved their queries, and motivated them to perform better.

Meanwhile, I was applying to various internships on Internshala, waiting for the right opportunity to come my way. Initially, I would make various mistakes while applying to the internships, but with the passage of time, I improved upon them. I applied to a content writing internship at Smarterjon, a company based in Delhi. I was shortlisted and called in for an interview. The interview revolved around the work profile and lasted for about 15 minutes. Soon, I was informed of my selection there. I joined the organisation and was responsible for writing content about the services that the company was offering. During the internship, I worked with some amazing team members and developed essential work ethics and humility.

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Ashish talks about his learning experience of how he wasn’t hired for an internship due to some mistakes that he made during his interview. (Representational Image). Pixabay

I also applied to an internship at Internshala itself. After shortlisting my application, the HR manager contacted me for a telephonic interview wherein I was asked about my family and educational background. She asked me relevant questions about the profile that I had applied for. The next day, she informed me that I had cleared that round and was asked to come for an in-office interview with Sarvesh. Out of nervousness, I made some mistakes during my interview due to which I wasn’t hired. However, this experience gave me an insight into how a start-up functions and how the process of hiring runs smoothly.

Read More: Children Need Extra Help To Build Psychological Resilience In Pandemic

As soon as I finished my graduation, I, along with three of my friends, started my own venture called Invincible Web Solutions. It is a startup that aims to spread awareness about the trending technologies among students and to achieve the same, we conduct workshops across different colleges. Within a short span of time, we covered around 10 colleges in Haryana and soon expanded our reach. Apart from conducting workshops, we also started providing digital marketing services to various clients. The office dimensions grew, and we launched a course named I M Digi – Be Digital, which provides professional training in digital marketing. As the need to expand the team arose, I turned to Internshala once again, only to hire interns this time.

Courtesy: Internshala (Internshala.com) – an online internships and trainings platform

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Learn Digital Skills With ‘Grow with Google OnAir’

Grow with Google OnAir to help jobseekers learn digital skills

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Google launches Grow with Google OnAir to help people with digital skills. Pixabay

Search engine giant Google on Monday launched Grow with Google OnAir that will help impart free digital skills training to everyone in the US and Canada for the first time.

The in-person ‘Grow with Google’ was launched in 2017 to help Americans get the digital skills they need to succeed.

To date, the Grow with Google programme has trained more than 4 million Americans on digital skills.

“Though we’re no longer able to gather in person, that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. So we’re announcing virtual programmes from Grow with Google that can help,” Jesse Haines, Director, Grow with Google said in a statement.

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“Though we’re no longer able to gather in person, that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. So we’re announcing virtual programmes from Grow with Google that can help,”said Jesse Haines, Director, Grow with Google, in a statement. Pixabay

The aim is to empower people — particularly jobseekers and small businesses — who are facing uncertainty and looking for digital skills training to help them increase their economic potential.

Google said it will offer digital skills training, interviews with career experts and programming from partners including Merit America and the National Congress of American Indians.

Read More: Low Magnitude Earthquakes Are Usual in Delhi: Scientists

Topics will include “How to manage your business remotely in times of uncertainty” and “How to improve your resume with four practical strategies.”

After attending a Grow with Google OnAir workshop, attendees who are looking for more personalized help can register for a free one-on-one coaching session with a Googler.

“In addition to Grow with Google OnAir, which is available across the US, we continue to support our team of local Digital Coaches and our network of more than 7,000 local partner organizations, so that they can teach virtual workshops in their communities,” said Google. (IANS)

Study shows that Islamic State terror cells in Europe are led by former al-Qaida terrorists
Players to Follow Various Guidelines for Training Resumption
My Journey With Internshala – From Finding Internships to Hiring Interns
Learn Digital Skills With ‘Grow with Google OnAir’