Two UN blue helmets killed in attack in northern Mali

“A pedestrian patrol of MINUSMA was attacked in an ambush around 6:30 am this morning, five kilometres from Aguelhok,” the Mission announced. Strongly condemning “this murderous attack,” MINUSMA, chief Mahamat Saleh Annadif, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Mali, said the Mission immediately deployed a rapid response force at the scene and proceeded to evacuate the wounded and the deceased.”This attack adds to a wave of violence that, over the past few weeks, has targeted the civilian populations, the Malian Armed Forces and the international forces without distinction. The violence is aimed only at undermining […] efforts to bring stability and unity to Mali,” Mr. Annadif said. He went on to reiterate the solidarity and determination of the Mission to support the efforts of the Malian Government, other signatory parties and the people of Mali in the implementation of the Peace Agreement.“MINUSMA is prepared to make all its contribution to the identification of the perpetrators of this attack so that they are promptly brought to justice,” he said.Later in the day in remarks to a meeting on Force generation for MINUSMA, Mr. Guterres paid tribute to the courageous peacekeepers who lost their lives in the ambush, calling it “a dark reminder of the dangers facing MINUSMA on the ground.” According to the UN chief, since the establishment of MINUSMA four years ago, Malians have made significant progress towards peace and reconciliation. However, tragically, this progress has not been translated into peace. Violent extremist groups are actively seeking to spoil and halt the peace process. New armed groups emerged, while some existing groups were divided into different factions. Instability has spread from the north to the center of the country and beyond the borders of Mali in neighboring countries, he explained.Peacekeeping operations, continued Mr. Guterres, must be equipped to meet the requirements of the new operational environments. “Mali is a test for the international community […] we cannot deploy MINUSMA peacekeepers to areas where terrorist groups and transnational criminal networks operate, without providing them with the means to cope with the difficulties they face.”As such, he said MINSUMA must be given the means to support the Malian institutions to gradually exercise their responsibility to restore stability. “We need armored personnel carriers and helicopters for peacekeepers to be able to intervene more effectively. We need the rapid reaction force and its integrated helicopter support team in Mopti to respond quickly to incidents, protect civilians and counter the spread of violent extremist elements.” read more

Gangs targeting autistic gamers in bid to create next generation of cybercriminals

Gangsters operating online are identifying teenagers who are willing to bend the rules and cheat at computer gamesCredit:Dominic Lipinski/PA Gangsters operating online are identifying teenagers who are willing to bend the rules and cheat at computer games Organised crime gangs have been recruiting autistic teenage gamers to become the next generation of cyber-criminals, police have warned.Gangsters operating online, have targeted the most vulnerable youngsters, exploiting their desire to fit into a virtual world that values their computing prowess.By identifying teenagers who are willing to bend the rules and cheat at computer games, they are then able to draw them into increasing levels of criminality.According to the latest research, more than 80 per cent of cyber-criminals have a background in computer gaming and the pastime can provide a fast track for those who graduate to hacking, fraud and other online offences.Specialist detectives are now working with the gaming industry to identify the most at risk teenagers and are developing initiatives that will help steer them towards lucrative careers in the legitimate computing world. “They live in quite an enclosed world which tends to be the bedroom in the housed they spend a lot of time online because they tend to be highly intelligent, highly technically proficient individuals and they are saying that almost all their self worth came through their ability to be sophisticated and successful at gaming.“Part of that is about chucking other people and learning how to cheat and if you start to do those things you are already in computer misuse act territory.“They gain a level of confidence and kudos from that so it is really easy to start taking the next steps into perhaps sending some malware to their school because they don’t like the way they have been treated…then they might understand how they can use some of these skills to get some money.“So we can see a very clear route for people who are going to find it quite difficult to take a normal route to success in society.”Mr Goodman said there was anecdotal evidence that these youngster were being targeted and exploited by organised crime groups and he said local cyber-crime teams would be looking to identify those most at risk.“We are working with the gaming industry with a view ti understanding. These are very skilled, talented individuals that the UK needs in its economy. We are not saying do not develop your skills we are saying use them in a legitimate way. The warnings come as the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) announced that every force in the country has now got its own dedicated cyber-crime unit.Speaking at the official launch of the multi-million pound programme, Chief Constable Peter Goodman – who is the NPCC lead on cyber crime – said online offences could not be ignored simply because there was national concern about the knife crime epidemic. “We are not saying, ‘don’t stop doing this, don’t stop developing your skills, but stop committing crime.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. He said: “We are all very concerned about knife crime but it should not be a case of either or.“Cyber crime is a tier one national security risk, alongside terrorism so we have a responsibility to ensure that we have an effective law enforcement response.“This is the new criminality, it is the new way that criminals are finding victims and the new way in which they are making a profit.”He said as well as investigating offences and helping victims, local cyber-crime teams would work to divert youngsters away from becoming involved in illegality on the web.“When we look at this particular group of offenders and we look back into their history, 82 per cent are engaged in gaming as a pastime,” he explained.“In the gaming world they will develop their skills such as knocking competitors offline but I think doing that they are developing their skills where they can transition into becoming online criminals.“They are not always aware that they what they are doing is criminal and is in breach of the computer misuse act.”Mr Goodman went on: “Many of the youngest cyber criminals are somewhere on the autistic spectrum, they find it very hard to have any credibility, any confidence, any traction in the real world.  read more