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by CSO Contributor

No Basis for Arrest of Suspect Cleric; Serbians Caught Selling Arms to Iraq; Earthquake Shuts Down Alaskan Pipeline; New Cryptography Uses Photon Streams; Bugged and Billed for It

Nov 04, 20023 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

No Basis for Arrest of Suspect Cleric

The fiery London-based Muslim cleric Abu Hamza Al-Masri is believed by British counterterrorism officials to be at the ideological center of a web of Al Qaeda cells in Europe, according to an article in todays Boston Globe. Those officials say that despite active investigations of Abu Hamza’s alleged connections to Al Qaeda in Europe, to shoebomber Richard Reid and to other Islamic militants, they have yet to produce enough direct evidence to arrest him. U.S. authorities are reportedly furious and are putting pressure on British officials to do so. British freedom of speech statutes have shielded Abu Hamza from prosecution. Also, as a British citizen, Britain’s new and stringent antiterrorism laws against foreign conspirators do not apply to him. Serbians Caught Selling Arms to IraqMiddle East and North Africa Business Report last week. NATO-led peacekeepers conducted a surprise raid of the state-owned Orao Aviation Firm two weeks ago, after receiving information from U.S. intelligence reports that the company was illegally selling equipment to Iraq.

The Bosnian government has imposed a ban on exports of all military equipment following the disclosure of a Serbian factorys violation of the United Nations arms embargo on Iraq, according to the

Earthquake Shuts Down Alaskan PipelineWashington Post. Support structures were damaged on the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, but the pipeline was intact, the report quoted Mike Heatwole, spokesman for the Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. Heatwole said company officials may know by midmorning Monday how long it will take to restart the pipeline. One injury was reported. The 7.9 magnitude quake, centered 90 miles south of Fairbanks, was shallow and effects were felt all over the continent, from Seattle to New Orleans, where boats rocked on Lake Pontchartrain.

A major earthquake rocked a sparsely populated area of interior Alaska early this afternoon, triggering an automatic shutdown of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline and cracking highways and roads, according to an AP report in todays

New Cryptography Uses Photon StreamsThe New York Times today. The New York-based company says it will have a commercial version available in the second half of next year. With the system, keys to the code are transmitted as a stream of photons, sent over a fiber optic cable. Because of the properties of quantum physics, the mere act of observing the transmission would alter the photons, rendering their information useless to any eavesdroppers. The system would not work on the Internet, only over dedicated fiber cables in which the photon transmission can be carefully controlled.

A startup company, MagiQ Technologies, plans to announce today a cryptogaphy system that uses a technology called quantum key distribution to thwart eavesdropping on a fiber optic communication channel, according to a story in

Bugged and Billed for ItRegister reports that recently some customers of mobile phone operator O2 noticed an unusual phone number on their bills they didn’t recognize and a call charge associated with the number. Further investigation revealed that the number belonged to the German secret service. The number was showing up on people’s bills because they were being buggedand billed for it. A software error was blamed.

Today the UKs