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Canadian who plotted NYC attacks appeals conviction, 40-year sentence – CTV News

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TORONTO —
The conviction and 40-year prison sentence for a young mentally ill Canadian who plotted terrorist attacks in New York City should be set aside, his lawyer argues in a new appeal brief.

The brief on behalf of Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy argues that the trial judge violated his rights, and the sentence handed down to him last December was unreasonably harsh.

“The District Court’s sentence of Bahnasawy to 40 years in the custody of an agency that indisputably could not provide him proper care was substantively unreasonable, shocking and at odds with American ideals of fair punishment,” the brief states.

“In relegating the young and impaired Bahnasawy to a virtual life in prison without proper care, the District Court gave lip service, but little more, to all of the mitigating factors that compelled a humane sentence.”

Canadian prisons provide the kind of mental health care that inmates like El Bahnasawy need, while the U.S. Bureau of Prisons does not, according to the factum filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Court records show El Bahnasawy was a 17-year-old living at home in Mississauga, Ont., when he met an undercover FBI agent online. The defence argued the agent encouraged him to plan attacks on the Big Apple, while prosecutors maintained the plot was well underway before the two connected.

The FBI, with help from the RCMP, arrested the then-18-year-old El Bahnasawy at a hotel on the outskirts of New York in May 2016. Investigators said he had bought bomb-making materials and helped secure a cabin within driving distance of the city for the purpose of building explosive devices.

El Bahnasawy pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in District Court for the Southern District of New York later in 2016. The plans involved conspirators arrested in Pakistan and the Philippines and called for attacks on the New York subway and Times Square.

The appeal brief argues that Judge Richard Berman was wrong to ignore El Bahnasawy’s right to lawyers of his choice. Despite months of prevarication, the brief states, the young Canadian ultimately told the judge he wanted to be represented by private lawyers, rather than legal-aid lawyers, who wanted to step down.

Berman, however, ordered both sets of lawyers to be “equally responsible” for defending him. That decision, his lawyers now argue, undermined any challenge to the guilty plea he had entered on advice of his public lawyers, and violated his constitutional right to counsel of his choice.

The submission by lawyer Andrew Frisch decries the lengthy sentence Berman imposed despite evidence about El Bahnasawy’s youth, mental illness and severe addictions. The judge, who said the risk of a repeat offence was high, ignored El Bahnasawy’s treatment progress and disavowal of violence, his lawyer says.

“The true risk of a sentence of 40 years on this especially robust record is not that the maturing Bahnasawy might one day conspire again, but that we do irreparable harm to the ideals most likely to keep us safe,” Frisch states.

In a letter previously filed with the District Court, El Bahnasawy said he was motivated by American air strikes in the Middle East and expressed regret.

“There are many issues in this world but I don’t want to lose my life or freedom to try fixing them, and I definitely do not want to resort to violence or harm to fix them,” El Bahnasawy wrote. “I sincerely apologize for my (behaviour) and I only ask for a second chance.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 23, 2019.

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Top soldier says he won't confirm or deny that Canadians troops are on the ground in Ukraine – CBC News

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Canada’s top soldier is declining to confirm media reports that Canadian military members are on the ground in Ukraine to train locals in fighting invading Russian forces.

Gen. Wayne Eyre, Canada’s chief of the defence staff, appeared on Power & Politics on Monday following reports from Global News and the New York Times that Canadian Forces special operations members are training Ukrainians during Russia’s ongoing invasion. 

But when asked about the reports, Eyre said the military is “never going to talk about discreet or sensitive special operations or confirm or deny them.”

He called the media reports “disappointing” and speculative.

“If it was true, it would put our troops at risk. And why would anyone deliberately want to put Canadian troops at risk?” Eyre said. 

WATCH | Eyre says media speculation feeds Russian disinformation: 

Gen. Eyre declines to say if Canadian troops operating in Ukraine

23 hours ago

Duration 8:44

Chief of Defence Staff General Wayne Eyre declines to confirm reports that Canadian special forces are on the ground operating in Ukraine in a training capacity: “We’re never going to talk about discreet or sensitive special operations.”

Host Vassy Kapelos asked whether or not it’s problematic for Canadians not to have an accurate depiction of the country’s participation in a war.

“The other aspect we need to think about is speculation in the media feeds Russian disinformation as well,” Eyre said. “We’re seeing, as the character of war evolves … disinformation is itself becoming a weapon. So we just need to be very, very cognizant of that aspect as well.”

“Does that mean that if Canadian soldiers are on the ground in Ukraine at any point during this conflict, Canadians will not be aware of that?” Kapelos asked. 

“Every situation is going to be different,” Eyre replied. “You balance transparency with operational security and try to find that sweet spot in the middle.”

Last week, Defence Minister Anita Anand announced Canada will commit a contingent of soldiers to the British Army’s program to turn Ukrainian civilians into fighting troops. That training will be held in the U.K.

The plan amounts to the restart of Operation Unifier, the long-standing training mission which saw — until its suspension last winter — more than 33,000 Ukrainian soldiers given advanced combat instruction by Canadian soldiers.

That mission, conducted on Ukrainian soil, was halted and the troops pulled out of the eastern European country in mid-February on the eve of the full-scale Russian invasion.

The new iteration involves up to 225 personnel, the majority of whom will work as trainers, supported by a command and control element, Anand said.

The initial deployment is expected to be four months.

“Training is something that we have done very, very well and has proven to be of great value to our Ukrainian friends, starting with the start of Operation Unifier,” Eyre said Monday. “That’s something we want to continue.” 

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Beware the Darkverse and the Cyber-Physical Threats it Will Enable

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DALLAS, August 8, 2022 – Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global cybersecurity leader, today released a new report warning of a “darkverse” of criminality hidden from law enforcement, which could quickly evolve to fuel a new industry of metaverse-related cybercrime.

To read a full copy of the report, Metaverse or MetaWorse? Cyber Security Threats Against the Internet of Experiences, please visit: https://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/us/security/news/cybercrime-and-digital-threats/metaworse-the-trouble-with-the-metaverse.

The top five metaverse threats outlined in the report are:

  • NFTs will be hit by phishing, ransom, fraud and other attacks, which will be increasingly targeted as they become an important metaverse commodity to regulate ownership.
  • The darkverse will become the go-to place for conducting illegal/criminal activities because it will be difficult to trace, monitor and infiltrate by law enforcement. In fact, it may be years before police catch up.
  • Money laundering using overpriced metaverse real estate and NFTs will provide a new outlet for criminals to clean cash.
  • Social engineering, propaganda and fake news will have a profound impact in a cyber-physical world. Influential narratives will be employed by criminals and state actors targeting vulnerable groups who are sensitive to certain topics.
  • Privacy will be redefined, as metaverse-like space operators will have unprecedented visibility into user actions – essentially when using their worlds, there will be zero privacy as we know it.

Bill Malik, vice president of infrastructure strategies for Trend Micro: “The metaverse is a multibillion-dollar hi-tech vision that will define the next internet era. Although we don’t know exactly how it will develop, we need to start thinking now about how it will be exploited by threat actors. Given the high costs and jurisdictional challenges, law enforcement will struggle to police the metaverse in general in its early years. The security community must step in now or risk a new Wild West to develop on our digital doorstep.”

As imagined by Trend Micro, the darkverse will resemble a metaverse version of the dark web, enabling threat actors to coordinate and carry out illegal activities with impunity.

Underground marketplaces operating in the darkverse would be impossible for police to infiltrate without the correct authentication tokens. Because users can only access a darkverse world if they’re inside a designated physical location, there’s an additional level of protection for closed criminal communities.

This could provide a haven for multiple threats to flourish—from financial fraud and e-commerce scams to NFT theft, ransomware and more. The cyber-physical nature of the metaverse will also open new doors to threat actors.

Cybercriminals might look to compromise the “digital twin” spaces run by critical infrastructure operators, for sabotage or extortion of industrial systems. Or they could deploy malware to metaverse users’ full body actuator suits to cause physical harm. Assault of avatars has already been reported on several occasions.

Although a fully-fledged metaverse is still some years away, metaverse-like spaces will be commonplace much sooner. Trend Micro’s report seeks to start an urgent dialog about what cyber threats to expect and how they could be mitigated.

Questions to start asking include:

  • How will we moderate user activity and speech in the metaverse? And who will be responsible?
  • How will copyright infringements be policed and enforced?
  • How will users know whether they’re interacting with a real person or a bot? Will there be a Turing Test to validate AI/humans?
  • Is there a way to safeguard privacy by preventing the metaverse from becoming dominated by a few large tech companies?
  • How can law enforcement overcome the high costs of intercepting metaverse crimes at scale, and solve issues around jurisdiction?

About Trend Micro

Trend Micro, a global cybersecurity leader, helps make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Fueled by decades of security expertise, global threat research, and continuous innovation, Trend Micro’s cybersecurity platform protects hundreds of thousands of organizations and millions of individuals across clouds, networks, devices, and endpoints. As a leader in cloud and enterprise cybersecurity, the platform delivers a powerful range of advanced threat defense techniques optimized for environments like AWS, Microsoft, and Google, and central visibility for better, faster detection and response. With 7,000 employees across 65 countries, Trend Micro enables organizations to simplify and secure their connected world. www.TrendMicro.com.  

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Mike Tyson up in arms with Hulu claims it stole his story

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Los Angeles, United States of America (USA)- Former heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson, has accused American streaming service, Hulu, of making a biographical series about his life without his approval and providing him with compensation.

In an Instagram post, Tyson made it clear that he doesn’t support the series, called Mike, and said that Hulu is the streaming version of the slave master.

“Don’t let Hulu fool you. I don’t support their story about my life. It’s not 1822. It’s 2022. They stole my life story and didn’t pay me. To Hulu executives, I am just a n—– they can sell on the auction block.

Hulu tried to desperately pay my brother (UFC president) Dana White millions without offering me a dollar to promote their slave master take-over story about my life. He turned it down because he honours friendship and treats people with dignity. I will never forget what he did for me just like I will never forget what Hulu stole from me.

Hulu stole my story. They are Goliath and I am David. Heads will roll for this. Hulu is the streaming version of the slave master. They stole my story and didn’t pay me. Hulu’s model of stealing the life rights of celebrities is egregiously greedy.

(Neither) Hulu nor any of their supercilious team ever tried to engage in any negotiations with this black man. In their eyes, I am still just a n—– on the auction block ready to be sold for their profit without any regard for my worth or my family. They say this story is an exploration of a black man. It’s more like an exploitation of a black man.

Hulu thinks their tracks are covered by hiring black sacrificial lambs to play the part of frontmen for their backdoor robbery is appalling, but I will always remember this blatant disregard of my dignity.

Someone should get fired from Hulu. Producers were lying to my friends saying I supported the unauthorized series about my life,” said Tyson in an Instagram post.

The eight-episode season of Mike which is set to premiere on the 25th of August stars Michael Jai White, George C. Scott, Paul Winfield, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, and Tony Lo Bianco. The show is directed by Uli Edel.

According to Hulu, Mike is an eight-episode limited series, which explores the tumultuous ups and downs of Tyson’s boxing career and personal life from being a beloved global athlete to a pariah and back again.

 

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