Mike Pompeo calls on Germany to ban Hezbollah as UK did

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is greeted by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas prior to talks at Villa Borsig in north Berlin on May 31, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 01 June 2019

Mike Pompeo calls on Germany to ban Hezbollah as UK did

  • The UK banned Hezbollah early this year, calling it a “terrorist organization”
  • Pompeo is in Germany as part of a four-nation European trip

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Germany to also ban the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah during his state visit on Friday, saying it should follow the UK’s lead.

The UK banned Hezbollah early this year, calling it a “terrorist organization.”

Pompeo made his first visit to Germany as secretary of state at the start of a four-nation European trip as tensions rise between the US and Iran.
Pompeo was set to meet Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday before continuing to Switzerland, which has long represented Washington's interests in Tehran and has in the past been an intermediary between the two.
Germany is one of the signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that is trying to keep it alive after the U.S. withdrew last year.
Pompeo's stop in Berlin makes up for a visit that he abruptly called off in early May to fly to Iraq. He is also traveling to the Netherlands and Britain.


Hackers attempt to take down UK Labour Party’s web services ahead of election

Updated 12 November 2019

Hackers attempt to take down UK Labour Party’s web services ahead of election

  • Britain’s security agencies have warned that Russia and other countries could use cyberattacks messages on social media to attempt to disrupt the election
  • The nature of such attacks often made it difficult to attribute responsibility to any particular group, a NCSC spokesman said

LONDON: Hackers attacked Britain’s opposition Labour Party, bombarding its web services with malicious traffic in an attempt to force them offline just weeks ahead of a national election, party and security officials said on Tuesday,
“We have experienced a sophisticated and large-scale cyberattack on Labour digital platforms,” Labour said in a statement. “We took swift action and these attempts failed due to our robust security systems.
The party was confident data breach occurred, it said.
Britain’s security agencies have warned that Russia and other countries could use cyberattacks or political messages on social media to attempt to disrupt the Dec. 12 election.
Moscow has repeatedly denied Western allegations of election interference and a person with knowledge of the matter said an initial investigation had found nothing to link the Labour Party attack to a foreign state.
Britain’s National Cyber Security Center, part of the GCHQ signals intelligence agency, said the attack was a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack — a technique used by hackers to take down websites by overwhelming them with malicious traffic.
“DDoS attacks are a common form of attack used by a very wide range of attackers. Mitigation techniques are available and worked in this case,” a NCSC spokesman said.
The nature of such attacks often made it difficult to attribute responsibility to any particular group, he said.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the attack was very serious but was successfully repelled by the party’s defense systems when the digital assault began on Monday.
“But if this is a sign of things to come in this election, I feel very nervous about it all,” he said. “Because a cyberattack against a political party in an election is suspicious and something one is very worried about.”
A Labour spokesman said that while the attack had slowed down some campaign activity, they were restored on Tuesday.
The person with knowledge of the matter said any Labour Party web services currently offline were not directly connected to the attack.
Britain goes to the polls on Dec. 12 in an election called by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to try to break the Brexit deadlock in parliament more than three years since the country voted to leave the European Union.
A report by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee has investigated Russian activity in British politics and reportedly includes charges of spying and interference in polls, including the 2016 Brexit referendum and the 2017 national election.
The government, however, has declined to publish it before the upcoming election.