World View: New Terrorist Bombing in Pakistan, as Taliban Ceasefire Expires

World View: New Terrorist Bombing in Pakistan, as Taliban Ceasefire Expires

This morning’s key headlines from

  • New terrorist bombing in Pakistan, as Taliban ceasefire expires
  • John Kerry’s ‘Poof’ speech infuriates the Israelis
  • Palestinians develop political plans to defeat Israel
  • ‘Heartbleed Bug’ requires all users to change their passwords

New terrorist bombing in Pakistan, as Taliban ceasefire expires

A powerful explosion in a fruit and vegetable market in Islamabad,the capital city of Pakistan, killed at least 24 people andinjured hundreds. It’s believed that the bomb was storedin a wooden fruit crate and was detonated when the fruit cratewas delivered to the market.

A Taliban linked terrorist group, United Baloch Army (UBA) claimedresponsibility for the bombing, giving as reasons revenge againstgovernment security forces, and demanding a separate state forBalochistan.

However, Pakistan’s Interior Ministry is denying that UBA wasresponsible for the bombing, and is saying that it was the consequenceof a disagreement among factions of the Pakistani Taliban(Tehrik-e-Taliban – TTP). Last month, TTP announced a unilateralceasefire, in order to give peace talks with the government a chance.( “11-Mar-14 World View — Terrorist bombings continue in Pakistan despite so-called ‘cease-fire'”)

That one-month ceasefire expires on April 10, and there is bitterdisagreement among the leadership of various TTP groups about whetherthe ceasefire period should be extended. It’s believed that thebombing attack is related to that disagreement. However, a TTPspokesman said that the TTP had nothing to do with the bombing.

Like the Mideast peace talks, the Taliban peace talks are consideredsomething of a joke by observers. TTP originally demanded that threeconditions be met before any peace talks can begin: TTP prisoners mustbe released from jail, the army must be withdrawn from the tribalareas where it has been fighting the Taliban, and the government mustagree to impose Sharia law on the entire country. Finally, the TTPagreed to the one-month ceasefire, but it only recently emerged itturned out that this commitment was made because prime minister Nawaz Sharif agreed to release 19Taliban militants from jail. Sharif secretly kept this process lastmonth, though the secret was revealed last week.

If it weren’t so serious, it would be amusing that both the Mideastjoke, are both about to expire, and were both based on a promise torelease convicted militants from jail. Daily Times (Pakistan) and The News (Pakistan)

John Kerry’s ‘Poof’ speech infuriates the Israelis

As I reported yesterday,U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Israel in a Senate hearingfor the collapse of the Mideast “peace talks” that he had set up lastyear in July. I quoted the official transcript on the State Dept. website, but apparently there was an additional statement that didn’tmake it onto the web site.

Kerry said that the Mideast “peace talks” collapsed when Israelrefused to release the fourth batch of prisoners who had beenconvicted of terrorist acts prior to the 1994 Oslo accords.And then, according to Kerry, Israel moved ahead with plans toapprove 700 West Bank settlements.

“And, poof! That was sort of the moment. We findourselves where we are.”

Kerry was implying that, until that moment, the “peace talks” were ontrack, or close to being on track, but “poof!”, Israel threw it allaway.

This particular remark is infuriating Israelis, who point out that thePalestinians had broken a number of commitments, and hadrefused to commit to continuing the peace talks before applyingto 15 United Nations agencies.

At any rate, as I’ve written many times, the “peace talks” that Kerryset up were never more than a theatrical show, considered a joke inthe Mideast, and now Kerry is painting himself as a victim, as if tosay, “I worked soooooooooooooo hard to set up these peace talks, butthe two of you, especially Israel, just won’t listen to me and do whatI say.” Jerusalem Post and Commentary

Palestinians develop political plans to defeat Israel

There are still military resistance groups among the Palestinians, butPalestinian leaders don’t have faith in them because they don’t appearto have serious, workable plans to change the status quo with respectto Israel. Instead, Palestinian leaders are pursuing twononviolent resistance plans to defeat the Israelis:

  • The “anti-wall resistance” is essentially a public relations effort focusing on the wall around Israel, which allow Israel to easily adopt oppressive practices, denying Palestinians their rights and maintaining an illegal military occupation.
  • The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that advocates economic measures to be taken against Israel.

Leaders of both Fatah and Hamas have praised both movements,but some, include Mahmoud Abbas, oppose the idea of boycottingthe state of Israel, because it generates sympathy for Israel.

The total collapse of the peace negotiations, which many people nowexpect, will boost the anti-wall and BDS resistance movements, andwithout the distraction of the negotiations, these movements may be alot more successful. Al-Monitor

‘Heartbleed Bug’ requires all users to change their passwords

Security experts are warning that a newly discovered securityvulnerability exposes almost all web sites to compromise by a hacker.The bug was accidentally put into the popular OpenSSL (Open sourceSecure Socket Library) software library that’s used to encrypt secureconversations between user browsers and web sites. The library iswidely used within web servers for e-mail, banking and other websites, but the bug permits a hacker to steal usernames and passwordsof logged on users. The bug has been around since December 2011, butwas only recently discovered, and was announced on Monday. Oncediscovered it was easy to fix, and most major web sites have fixed thebugs by now.

However, the real question is whether any hackers discovered the bugbefore it was announced and fixed, and have been harvesting usernamesand passwords for weeks or months. This is not a far-fetchedscenario, since there are teams of hackers in China, Russia andeastern Europe who work full time to discover vulnerabilities likethis. For these reason, security experts are strongly recommendingthat all users change their passwords on all the sites they visit,starting with the most important sites.

The bug was discovered in a specific function in the OpenSSL softwarecalled the “heartbeat” function. This function causes your browser toexchange information with a web site every few seconds, in order toverify that the connection still works. The bug is that the serverleaves the heartbeat information in unencrypted form in server memoryfor a brief period of time, and during this period a hacker coulddownload it. For this reason, it’s called the “Heartbleed Bug.”CNet and

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Pakistan, Tehrik-e-Taliban, TTP, Pakistan Taliban,Islamabad, United Baloch Army, UBA, John Kerry, Israel,anti-wall resistance, Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, BDSHeartbleed bug, OpenSSL
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