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US imposes Sanctions on Yemeni Money Exchange for Helping Al-Qaida Terrorist Group

Treasury said the exchange holds al-Qaida accounts, including money the terrorists extorted from Yemeni businesses

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FILE - The U.S. Treasury Building in Washington, D.C. VOA
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November 2, 2016: The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on a Yemeni money exchange and the two brothers who own it for doing business with the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula terrorist group.

U.S. assets belonging to the al-Omgy and Brothers Money Exchange are frozen, and Americans are now barred from doing business with it.

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The al-Omgy exchange and its owners “are responsible for financially facilitating and supporting AQAP in its violent attacks,” said Adam Szubin, the U.S. Treasury’s top terrorism official. “Treasury will continue to work with our allies to protect the international financial system by exposing and taking action against AQAP supporters.”

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FILE - Nasr al-Ansi, a leader of the Yemeni branch of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, is shown on televisions at a shop, delivering a message in which AQAP claims responsibility for the attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, in Sana'a, Yemen, Jan. 14, 2015. VOA
FILE – Nasr al-Ansi, a leader of the Yemeni branch of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, is shown on televisions at a shop, delivering a message in which AQAP claims responsibility for the attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, in Sana’a, Yemen, Jan. 14, 2015. VOA

Treasury said the exchange holds al-Qaida accounts, including money the terrorists extorted from Yemeni businesses.

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It also said the brothers who operate the money exchange, Said Salih and Muhammad Salih Abd-Rabbuh al-Omgy, have been involved in recruiting fighters and smuggling weapons for AQAP.

The United Arab Emirates recently imposed similar sanctions against the al-Omgy brothers and their business. (VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons
Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?