Latest updates as Belgian authorities fear terrorists in bomb attacks on airport and Metro could still be on loose after suitcase and suicide belt blasts
By Danny Boyle
3:53PM GMT 22 Mar 2016
• Click here for a summary of the latest on Brussels’ day of terror
• Brussels airport explosions: Two blasts early on Tuesday morning
• Third explosion rocks Metro system close to EU buildings hour later
• 34 killed and 198 injured in coordinated attacks on Belgian capital
• CCTV released of three suspects in Zaventem airport bombings
• Islamic state claims responsibility for twin blasts in Brussels
• Security tightened on nuclear plants following intelligence
• Britain steps up security at UK airports in wake of multiple attacks
• Everything we know so far about Brussels attacks
• Who are the likely terror suspects behind these attacks?
• Gallery: Coordinated attacks on Belgian capitals – in pictures
Did Brussels bombers use ‘Mother of Satan’ explosives also used in 7/7 attacks?
The Brussels bombers are thought to have used an explosive nicknamed “Mother of Satan” that was also used in the July 7 attacks in London in 2005, reports Colin Freeman.
Acetone peroxide can be made from household items like hair bleach and nail polish remover, and has been used in numerous previous terrorist bombs and suicide attacks.
Terrorists particularly like it because it does not contain nitrogen, and therefore can pass through security screening devices that rely on a nitrogenous presence to detect explosives.
The deadly substance – which forms highly unstable crystals – was also used in the suicide vests worn by the men involved in the Paris terror attacks in November.
One of the men who allegedly made the vests – named by Belgian police last week as Najim Laachraoui – is still on the run, and is regarded as a likely suspect in the Brussels bombings.
Typically, the acetone peroxide is packed into a hollow container, which can then be covered with nails or other sharp metal objects that will have a shrapnel-like effect when the bomb is detonated.
The explosive gets its nickname because it is extremely sensitive to shock, heat and friction, and frequently ends up killing the bomb-maker during the manufacturing process.”
“Hackers trace ISIS Twitter accounts back to internet addresses linked to Department of Work and Pensions
18:39, 14 DEC 2015 UPDATED 15:06, 16 DEC 2015
BY JASPER HAMILL
Teenage computer experts unveil astonishing web of unpublicised interactions linking extremist social media mouthpieces to the British government.
Hackers have claimed that a number of Islamic State supporters’ social media accounts are being run from internet addresses linked to the Department of Work and Pensions.
A group of four young computer experts who call themselves VandaSec have unearthed evidence indicating that at least three ISIS-supporting accounts can be traced back to the DWP.
Every computer and mobile phone logs onto the internet using an IP address, which is a type of identification number.
Update: British government admits it can’t stop ISIS extremists using internet addresses The hacking collective showed Mirror Online details of the IP addresses used by a trio of separate digital jihadis to access Twitter accounts, which have been used to spread extremist propaganda.
At first glance, the IP addresses seem to be based in Saudi Arabia, but upon further inspection using specialist tools they appeared to link back to the DWP.”
“While serving with Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers’ brother, John Ayers, on the Board of the Joyce Foundation in Chicago (1994-2002), then state Senator in Illinois, Barack Obama, funded the establishment of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). The Head of the CCX quotes the future worth of the annual business of the CCX at TEN TRILLION DOLLARS, 2/3 of the worth of the trading of all American businesses on the financial exhanges per year (FIFTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS).
Who owns the CCX? Fifty percent ownership is GOLDMAN SACHS. Another 10% is owned by an outfit out of London which includes Al Gore, David Blood/Goldman Sachs, + 3-4 other former Goldman Sachs executives.
How did the CCX get major funding from 2002-2010? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are heavily invested in the CCX.
The CCX stands to make its 10 TRILLION DOLLARS per year once Obama gets the Congress to unwittingly pass the infamous Cap & Trade Bill, personally crafted and overseen by Obama and his cronies.
The Cap & Trade Bill will cause your electricity energy costs in your homes and businesses to (in Obama’s own words) “SKYROCKET”. The Cap & Trade Bill taxes businesses AND individuals for carbon dioxide emissions.”
“Trump Shuttle, Inc., doing business as Trump Airlines, was an airline owned by Donald Trump from 1989 to 1992. The landing rights and some of the physical assets necessary to operate the shuttle flights were originally part of Eastern Air Lines and known as the Eastern Air Lines Shuttle. It operated hourly flights on Boeing 727 aircraft from LaGuardia Airport in New York City to Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C., then known as Washington National Airport. Trump Airlines also had regularly scheduled flights between LaGuardia and Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida.
As the financial outlook for Eastern Air Lines became more pessimistic in the late 1980s, the carrier began to sell its routes and aircraft. It organized its profitable Northeastern air shuttle operation into a separate company headed by Bruce Nobles with the intent of selling it to raise cash. On October 5, 1988, amidst a prolonged threatened mechanics’ strike action, Donald Trump arranged to purchase the shuttle. In June 1989 the deal was completed, financed through a $380 million loan from a syndicate of 22 banks. The new airline began service as Trump Shuttle on June 23. It’s IATA designator code, TB, has since been assigned to Jetairfly.
Trump pushed to make the new shuttle a luxury service and a marketing vehicle for the Trump name. Its aircraft were newly painted in white livery and the interiors redecorated with such features as maple wood veneer, chrome seat belt latches, and gold colored lavatory fixtures. The airline also was a leader in the adoption of advanced technologies; it introduced some of the first passenger self-service check-in kiosks in coordination with Kinetics at its LaGuardia base and partnered with LapStop, a startup firm which rented laptop computers to passengers.
Trump’s previous experience with airlines was operating a scheduled helicopter service to Atlantic City, New Jersey. Trump was to expand this service to include helicopters from Manhattan to LaGuardia Airport and offer scheduled helicopter service between New York and the Hamptons. The airline operated three 24 seat Sikorsky S-61 and two Boeing 234 Commercial Chinook helicopters for a brief period. The airline also maintained and operated a single Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma as an executive transport.
Almost from its inception, the company encountered financial problems. The Shuttle’s core passengers chose it for its convenience, not its costly luxury features, and during the prolonged labor strike at Eastern Shuttle many defected to the competing Pan Am Shuttle or to Amtrak‘s Metroliner service. In late 1989 the U.S. Northeast entered an economic recession which depressed demand, while the August 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait caused jet fuel prices to double.
Trump Shuttle never turned a profit. The high debt load incurred in the company’s formation unnerved Trump’s creditors as his other high profile, highly leveraged interests failed. In September 1990 the loans were defaulted and ownership of the airline passed to its creditor banks, led by Citicorp. With airline share prices depressed by the recession and anticipation of the Gulf War, they were unable to sell the operation at a desired price despite lengthy negotiations first with Northwest Airlines, then American Airlines and US Air Group.
The banks finally negotiated a complex marketing arrangement in which US Air Group would assume 40% ownership and agree to manage the operation for ten years, including fares, financial record keeping, advertising, promotions, aircraft maintenance, and labor relations. The same agreement gave USAir an option to purchase the entire shuttle operation on or after October 10, 1996 with an exclusive right to do so until April 10, 1997. On April 7, 1992 Trump Shuttle ceased to exist when it was merged into a new corporation, Shuttle, Inc., which began operating as the USAir Shuttle on April 12, 1992.
US Airways subsequently purchased the remainder of Shuttle, Inc. on November 19, 1997, and the service subsequently operated under the name US Airways Shuttle. Shuttle, Inc. remained as a subsidiary of US Air Group until July 1, 2000, when it was merged into US Airways. In October 2015, US Airways merged with American Airlines, at which point the shuttle became the American Airlines Shuttle.
The demise of the shuttle almost meant a demise of Trump’s scheduled helicopter service to Atlantic City and the Hamptons. However, he was to continue to operate a private service for highrollers. Trump’s involvement in airlines was evoked frequently in the television show The Apprentice.”
“Serco Receives “Supplier of the Year” from Boeing for Enterprise Architecture Expertise
Serco Inc. has been recognized as Supplier of the Year by The Boeing Company in the Technology category for its state-of-the-practice Enterprise Architecture solutions.
…Serco’s Enterprise Architecture Center of Excellence is based in Colorado Springs, CO. The team provides a variety of services in support of Boeing’s business units as well as research and development efforts. Serco’s architecture employs object-oriented (OO)/Unified Modeling Language (UML) to define, design and satisfy defense agencies’ mission-critical requirements, including Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I). This approach improves system developer’s understanding of operational requirements and how best to integrate enterprise operations and systems for the optimal fulfillment of C4I and other operational needs.
About Serco Inc.: Serco Inc. is a leading provider of professional, technology, and management services focused on the federal government. We advise, design, integrate, and deliver solutions that transform how clients achieve their missions.
Our customer-first approach, robust portfolio of services, and global experience enable us to respond with solutions that achieve outcomes with value. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Serco Inc. has approximately 11,000 employees, annual revenue of $1.5 billion, and is ranked in the Top 30 of the largest Federal Prime Contractors by Washington Technology.
Serco Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Serco Group plc, a $6.6 billion international business that helps transform government and public services around the world. More information about Serco Inc. can be found at http://www.serco-na.com.”
“Combat Missions is a one-hour-long reality TV show produced by Mark Burnett and hosted by former Survivor castaway Rudy Boesch that aired from January to April in 2002 on the USA Network. It pits four teams of highly experienced military and police operatives against each other in physical challenges and “mission” scenarios. Each team has a call sign and corresponding color. The four teams are Alpha (Red), Bravo (Blue), Charlie (Yellow) and Delta (Green). The team members were past and present members of SWAT, the United States Army Special Forces, the Navy SEALs, Marine Recon, the CIA Special Operations Group, the Delta Force, and the U.S. Army Rangers. The mission scenarios has each team face off against the opposing “Shadow force” (not another team) using MILES gear in real-life combat situations. The show was not picked up for a second season. Scott Helvenston, one of the contestants from the Delta team went on to work for Blackwater USA in Iraq after the show and was killed in action on March 31, 2004.”
“Mark Burnett was born on 17 July 1960 in London, the only child of Archie and Jean Burnett, both Ford Motors factory workers, and was raised in Dagenham, Essex. His father was a Roman Catholic and his mother was a Presbyterian, although it is not known in which denomination he was raised. Aged 17, he enlisted in the British Army, and became a Section Commander in the Parachute Regiment. From 1978–82 he served with the 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment in C Company and saw action during the Falklands War. He has been a naturalized United States citizen since 1990, according to some reports.
In October 1982, Burnett decided to emigrate to the United States, where he met up with a friend, Nick Hill, who had emigrated from the UK several years earlier and was working as a nanny and chauffeur. Hill knew of an open position for a live-in nanny position with the Jaeger family in affluent Beverly Hills. Despite having no experience as a nanny, Burnett went on the interview. The Jaegers, realizing the advantage of having a nanny and security at the same time, hired him. After a year of working for the Jaegers, he moved on to another family in the beach city of Malibu, also in California, taking care of two boys for $250 a week. He was eventually given a position in the insurance office owned by Burt, the father of the two boys. Two years later, he decided to rent a portion of a fence at Venice Beach in Los Angeles, and sell T-shirts for $18 each during weekends. Realizing he made more money selling T-shirts, he left his insurance job. In 1991, Burnett, along with four others, joined a French adventure competition called the Raid Gauloises. After competing, Burnett saw a business opportunity in holding similar competitions. He purchased the format rights and brought a similar competition, Eco-Challenge, to America. Eco-Challenge launched Burnett’s career as a television producer.”
“Before Donald Trump made great reality TV, before his campaign to make American reality great, he never watched any of the shows.
He didn’t like the whole idea of reality TV. “That’s for the bottom feeders of society,” Trump told friends.
Then, in 2002, “Survivor” creator Mark Burnett came to see him at Trump Tower. Burnett, a former T-shirt salesman on Venice Beach, had achieved stratospheric ratings with a show based in exotic spots such as the Australian outback and the Polynesian islands. But he had little kids at home, and he was desperate to do a show in a U.S. city. Burnett’s road home, he realized, was through Trump. Above: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a November campaign stop in Fort Dodge, Iowa. (Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post)
“The Apprentice” would star Trump as judge, jury and executioner in a weekly winnowing of young go-getters vying to run one of his businesses. Trump’s agent told him it was a terrible idea — business shows never work on TV, he said.
Trump disagreed. Indeed, he fired the agent shortly thereafter. “If I would have listened to him,” Trump told The Washington Post, “I wouldn’t have done the show.”
Nothing reveals more about politicians than the decisions they make — why they chose to do something, how they made it happen, what came of it. In the days before the first votes are cast in Iowa and New Hampshire, The Washington Post is exploring one key choice by each leading presidential candidate and explain the insight it offers into the way he or she might operate in the White House.
Not halfway into that first, hour-long meeting with Burnett, Trump made up his mind. He sensed that “The Apprentice” had enormous potential to introduce him to a broader audience, and especially to younger people.
“My jet’s going to be in every episode,” he told Jim Dowd, then NBC’s publicity director and now head of a PR firm, Dowd Ink. “Even if it doesn’t get ratings, it’s still going to be great for my brand.”
Burnett walked out of the meeting with a handshake deal. Trump secured not only a starring role on a show made by TV’s hottest producer but also a 50 percent ownership stake in “The Apprentice.”
The man who now seeks to be commander in chief had consulted no one, done no research. He liked the idea. He bought it.
It was a classic Trump moment, an example of the gut-instinct decision-making that he proudly touts in nearly every campaign speech. Buy a show. Build a wall. Pull out of a debate. Make America great again. “It’s very easy,” Trump promises.
What was harder was the decision to run for president, which Trump had talked about for decades. He didn’t run for president because of “The Apprentice,” but according to the show’s executives and producers, without “The Apprentice” there would be no candidacy.”
“Loan Improvement Jan 31, 2001 SBA modernizes to help feed its growing programs
BY PATRICIA DAUKANTAS | GCN STAFF
Under a five-year plan for overhauling its information technology systems, the Small Business Administration recently acquired new software for financial and other administrative tasks. .. In the first phase of the modernization, the agency has upgraded systems for managing its extensive portfolio of guaranteed loans, chief operating officer Kristine Marcy [Field McConnell’s sister] said. SBA processed its first electronic loan last November through its Sacramento, Calif., office and plans to add more private lenders during fiscal 2001. .. Marcy said. Banks had been asking SBA to make faster decisions on loan guarantees. The agency decided to aim for a [onion router] turnaround time of one hour. In the second phase of modernization, SBA is revamping its financial, human resources, procurement and travel systems with Web-enabled Oracle Corp. applications. .. The second-phase integrator, SRA International Inc. of Arlington, Va., has subcontracted with a number of small firms for things such as training and data conversion [Note Serco protégé Base One opened a document conversion center in the Bronx in 2006, presumably to deal with Obama’s passport problems]. .. In the final phase of the modernization, SBA will upgrade the computers in its 8(a) Business Development Program, which assists small businesses in competing for government contracts, Marcy said. The agency wants to be able to improve its tracking of clients’ successes and failures [through to liquidation by the SBA’s preferred lenders and sureties such as HSBC and Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America – note merged with Citigroup and John Deutch’s CIA friends!].”
“Preparing the 8(a) application package
You do not need to pay anyone to prepare your 8(a) application. SBA designed the application forms so the applicant can complete the application. However, a consultant can assist in completing the application. Please be advised that no one can guarantee that an application for 8(a) program participation will be approved. The application process is intended to assure that each applicant receives a fair, unbiased review, free from favoritism and influence. Any irregularities in the application review process should be immediately referred to the SBA Inspector General.
Definition of Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individuals Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identities as members of groups without regard to their individual qualities. The social disadvantage must stem from circumstances beyond their control.
In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the following individuals are presumed to be socially disadvantaged: Black Americans; Hispanic Americans (persons with origins from Latin America, South America, Portugal and Spain);
Native Americans (American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, and Native Hawaiians);
Asian Pacific Americans (persons with origins from Japan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, Samoa, Guam, U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands [Republic of Palau], Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Laos, Cambodia [Kampuchea], Taiwan, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Macao, Hong Kong, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, or Nauru);
Subcontinent Asian Americans (persons with origins from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Maldives Islands or Nepal);
And members of other groups designated from time to time by the SBA.
In addition, an individual who is not a member of one of the above-named groups may apply for 8(a) certification. However, the applicant must establish social disadvantage on the basis of clear and convincing evidence.
Economically disadvantaged individuals are socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities, as compared to others in the same or similar line of business and competitive market area who are not socially disadvantaged. For purposes of program entry, an individual whose personal net worth (excluding the equity in their personal residence and business) exceeds $250,000 will not be considered economically disadvantaged.
A woman-owned business may be recognized as a “socially disadvantaged firm” if the owner is a member of one of the groups for which social disadvantage is presumed. If the woman is not a member of one of the groups for which social disadvantage is presumed, she must establish her individual disadvantage on the basis of clear and convincing evidence that she has suffered discriminatory treatment because of her gender and that this treatment has impeded her entry into or advancement in the business world. SBA will consider any pertinent evidence but will give particular attention to evidence of discriminatory practices suffered in the areas of education, employment and the business world.”
“Time called on Serco’s NPL contract
By Gill Plimmer
Serco, the FTSE 100 outsourcing company, has lost its contract to run the National Physical Laboratory – which built the first atomic clock – after the government said it would seek academic partners to take over the centre instead.
The laboratory has been managed by Serco on a profit-share basis since 1994. But David Willetts, science minister, has decided that the government can “encourage greater interaction with businesses” by ending the contract in March 2014, when the company’s 17-year tenure comes to an end.
The decision highlights the vulnerability of some of the government’s biggest suppliers to political change. Although the coalition is widely accepted to be engaged in the biggest wave of outsourcing since the 1980s, contracts can be pulled at the last minute, even once companies have spent significant amounts on the bidding process.
Kean Marden, analyst at Jefferies, said there were still UK government contracts worth £3.5bn in revenues in the pipeline, as advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union. But this is down from the £4bn of bidding opportunities it found in May. The decrease takes account of a surprise decision last month to cancel a programme to outsource nine prisons each year to the private sector and instead keep the running of custodial services in-house.
It also includes a scaling back of the private sector’s involvement in police services after Surrey Police Authority pulled out of discussions with G4S in the wake of the company’s failure to provide 12,000 security staff it had promised for the London Olympics. The National Physics Laboratory still has a role in setting UK time, with radio signals based on its clocks used to set everything from the pips on the radio to the rail network. An apple tree grown from a cutting of Newton’s famous tree is still growing at its site in Teddington, London.
Serco said it was disappointed by the decision and pointed to a 30 per cent reduction in overhead costs over the life of its deal, as well as a doubling of scientific citations as well as third party revenues.
“We have managed NPL for the last 17 years and we are very proud that during that time it has flourished, both scientifically and commercially,” Serco said. The company has won £5.6bn of contracts so far this year.
Mr Willetts said there were significant “opportunities which would be difficult to realise under an extension of the current contract”. He said the change would reflect the government’s aim to strengthen “both fundamental research and engagement with business” at the centre.
“I consider that the partners should have a clear, long-term stake in the ownership and operation of the National Physical Laboratory which would not be possible under the current arrangements which, of necessity, must be time-limited,” Mr Willetts said. “A partnership with an academic institution would also allow for the formation of a dedicated applied science postgraduate institute.””
“Serco announces office carbon reduction initiative
International outsourcing business Serco has announced it is to introduce new software aimed at helping its offices cut back on carbon emissions.
Under the new initiative, the company’s offices in 35 countries will make use of the newly-launched Acco2unt software from Greenstone Carbon Management.
This new technology will be used to help office managers measure, store and report levels of carbon emissions, thereby making it easier to carry out green audits and assess where cuts can be made.
In addition, it is intended that the data compiled through the use of the software will also enable Serco to draw up [carbon-capping death-pool onion-router] benchmarks for its operations across the globe.
Announcing the development, Tim Davis, head of assurance reporting at Serco, said: “The complex nature of Serco’s business operations demanded an easy to use enterprise carbon accounting tool that would help us aggregate, measure and manage carbon emissions – quickly, accurately and cost-effectively.”
This comes as the Federation of Small Businesses has joined forces with the Prince’s Mayday Network to help UK companies cut their carbon emissions.”
“Serco do a bunch more that didn’t even make our story: As well as thanking God for his success, CEO Chris Hyman is a Pentecostal Christian who has released a gospel album in America and fasts every Tuesday. Amazingly, he was also in the World Trade Centre on 9/11, on the 47th floor addressing shareholders [such as Wells Fargo with an insured interest in the leveraged lease on the WTC Twin Towers]. Serco run navy patrol boats for the ADF, as well as search and salvage operations through their partnership with P&O which form Defence Maritime Services. Serco run two Australian jails already, Acacia in WA and Borallon in Queensland. They’re one of the biggest companies In the UK for running electronic tagging of offenders under house arrest or parole.”
Field McConnell, United States Naval Academy, 1971; Forensic Economist; 30 year airline and 22 year military pilot; 23,000 hours of safety; Tel: 715 307 8222
David Hawkins Tel: 604 542-0891 Forensic Economist; former leader of oil-well blow-out teams; now sponsors Grand Juries in CSI Crime and Safety Investigation