►Many Middle Eastern countries, including Syria and Afghanistan, are on heightened alert amid fears of violence during celebrations marking the end of Ramadan, according to The Globe and Mail. The month-long fast broke this morning with prayers and feasts, but bombs and threats of violence kept authorities on edge. In Syria, mortars fell near the mosque where President Bashar Assad was attending morning prayer, and in Indonesia a small bomb exploded outside a Buddhist temple. And a high-profile, well-respected Muslim cleric was killed Monday in Thailand. Governments in Vietnam and the Philippines also strengthened security efforts in preparation for the celebrations. “The end of Ramadan is the period the insurgents would attempt to show off their strategies and attacks,” said Thailand’s Col. Jaroon Ampha.
►INTERPOL has issued a global security threat
in response to a wave of al Qaeda prison escapes in Iraq, Libya, and Pakistan. “With suspected Al Qaeda involvement in several of the breakouts which led to the escape of hundreds of terrorists and other criminals, the INTERPOL alert requests the Organization’s 190 member countries’ assistance in order to determine whether any of these recent events are coordinated and linked,” the statement said. The organization also pointed out that the risk of attacks may be higher because August is the anniversary of many violent terrorist attacks, including incidents in Mumbai, India, Russia, and Indonesia. August also marks the 15th
anniversary of the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed more than 200 people.
►Also in the news, a recent survey of the defense community by ClearenceJobs.com found that the overwhelming majority of security cleared defense professionals believe that Edward Snowden’s disclosures have been harmful to national security. They also believe that the government has become too relaxed in granting access to sensitive data, according to the poll. ♦ A report issued by the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., which processes U.S. stock trades, found that cybersecurity is the greatest threat
to markets and governments around the world. “Given the diverse and global nature of cyber-attacks, DTCC does not expect this risk to dissipate significantly in the near term,” the report stated. ♦ And in an unusual move, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security tentatively granted asylum
for seven Mexican immigrants who lived in the United States but feared persecution should they return to Mexico. The immigrants had previously resided in the U.S. but either returned voluntarily or were deported to Mexico. When they were unable to re-enter, they requested asylum. An immigration judge will have the final say on whether they can remain in the U.S.