Institute of Security
Institute of Security
News Article | May 7, 2017
A Mozambican girl arriving to buy fish in Palma, where large deposits of natural gas where found offshore (AFP Photo/John Wessels) Palma (Mozambique) (AFP) - The small, palm-fringed fishing town of Palma was meant to become a symbol of Mozambique's glittering future, transformed by one of the world's largest liquefied natural gas projects. But construction has fallen far behind schedule and the town's fate is uncertain after gas prices fell and the government became engulfed in a $2 billion debt scandal. Tucked between the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean and thick tropical forests, Palma remains a sleepy village of 3,000 people, still waiting for the promised arrival of new jobs and infrastructure. The discovery of gas reserves in 2010, estimated at 180 trillion cubic feet (five trillion cubic metres) in the surrounding Rovuma Basin, was the biggest natural gas find in recent decades. Experts have predicted that Mozambique could become the world's third-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) -- and an African version of wealthy Qatar. Plans to exploit the reserves moved fast, and Palma's residents were soon looking for opportunities to lift themselves out of poverty in one of the world's poorest nations. "It's only through such projects that we will get proper jobs because otherwise we just depend on the sea," said 46-year-old fisherman Pedro Abuda-Nchamo. Since the discovery of the gas, the face of the town has started to change. Excavators and construction vehicles are working on the planned liquefaction plant and export facilities. A gated residential complex for the anticipated influx of skilled workers is almost ready, and the town's first shopping mall is being built. But the much-touted gas project has run into strong headwinds. Initial estimates were that the first LNG would come on stream in 2016 but now it is expected in 2023 -- or later. The plunge in global gas prices has led energy companies to slow down capital expenditure. Meanwhile the government in Maputo is caught up in a debt scandal that has triggered an economic crisis unseen since the end of the southern African country's civil war in 1992. News emerged last year that the government had borrowed massively -- including three secret loans amounting to $2 billion -- between 2012 and 2014 to fund a coastal protection project. As a result, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have suspended budgetary support. The loans, which the government is unable to repay, were taken out in anticipation of the gas windfall that remains elusive. "The government thought it would repay the loans with gas money," said Borges Nhamire, analyst with CIP, an anti-corruption non-governmental organisation. Analysts fear that Mozambique's state-owned Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH), a minority partner in the gas project, may now struggle to raise its contribution of the share capital -- although ENH insists it will honour its share of the deal. Meanwhile, other players in the multi-billion-dollar gas project appear to be making investment decisions. In March Exxon announced that it was buying for $28 billion, a 25 percent stake in Italian energy giant ENI's Mozambique gas resource. That same month another major player, US oil and natural gas company Anadarko, also said it was investing $770 million in its deepwater project in Mozambique where it "expects to continue advancing" and that it has "made good progress on the legal and contractual framework." But Nhamire said it will take a "long time" for any benefits from the gas project to reach average Mozambicans. The long-running conflict between the ruling Frelimo party and opposition Renamo fighters engaged in a low-key armed insurgency resurfaced in 2013, but a ceasefire in place since December has raised hopes of progress towards permanent peace. Yet the debt controversy has dented investor confidence and provoked fears that Mozambique is another African victim of the "resource curse". "It's been really a pretty serious disaster that impacted right throughout the economy," said Peter Fabricius, a consultant with the South Africa-based Institute of Security Studies. "What it does indicate is serious deficiency in governance and that is at the heart of any discussion about whether resources are going to become a blessing or a curse." For a decade until 2014, Mozambique experienced galloping growth of more than seven percent annually, fuelled by foreign capital inflows on the back of coal and natural gas discoveries.
News Article | April 22, 2017
ADVANCE TO GO WITH STORY SYRIA CHINESE JIHADIS BY BASSEM MROUE. This frame grab from video provided in August 6, 2016, by Turkistan Islamic Party, a militant website outlet that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows a fighter from the Turkistan Islamic Party prepares to fire a missile, during a battle against the Syrian government forces, in Aleppo, Syria. Many don't speak Arabic and their role in Syria is little known to the outside world. Chinese fighters of the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria are organized, battled-hardened and have played instrumental roles in ground offensives against President Bashar Assad's forces in the country's northern regions. ( Militant Website Turkistan Islamic Party, via AP) BEIRUT (AP) — Many don't speak Arabic and their role in Syria is little known to the outside world, but the Chinese fighters of the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria are organized, battled-hardened and have been instrumental in ground offensives against President Bashar Assad's forces in the country's northern regions. Thousands of Chinese jihadis have come to Syria since the country's civil war began in March 2011 to fight against government forces and their allies. Some have joined the al-Qaida's branch in the country previously known as Nusra Front. Others paid allegiance to the Islamic State group and a smaller number joined factions such as the ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham. But the majority of Chinese jihadis are with the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria, whose vast majority are Chinese Muslims, particularly those from the Turkic-speaking Uighur majority native to Xinjiang in China. Their growing role in Syria has resulted in increased cooperation between Syrian and Chinese intelligence agencies who fear those same jihadis could one day return home and cause trouble there. The Turkistan Islamic Party is the other name for the East Turkistan Islamic Movement that considers China's Xinjiang to be East Turkistan. Like most jihadi groups in Syria, their aim is to remove Assad's secular government from power and replace it with strict Islamic rule. Their participation in the war, which has left nearly 400,000 people dead, comes at a time when the Chinese government is one of Assad's strongest international backers. Along with Russia, China has used its veto power at the U.N. Security Council on several occasions to prevent the imposition of international sanctions against its Arab ally. Beijing has blamed violence back at home and against Chinese targets around the world on Islamic militants with foreign connections seeking an independent state in Xinjiang. The government says some of them are fleeing the country to join the Jihad, although critics say the Uighurs are discriminated against and economically marginalized in their homeland and are merely seeking to escape repressive rule by the majority Han Chinese. Abu Dardaa al-Shami, a member of the now-defunct extremist Jund al-Aqsa group, said the TIP has the best "Inghemasiyoun," Arabic for "those who immerse themselves." The Inghemasiyoun have been used by extremist groups such as IS and al-Qaida's affiliate now known as Fatah al-Sham Front. Their role is to infiltrate their targets, unleash mayhem and fight to the death before a major ground offensive begins. "They are the lions of ground offensives," said al-Shami, who fought on several occasions alongside TIP fighters in northern Syria. Xie Xiaoyuan, China's envoy to Syria, told reporters in November that the two countries have had normal military exchanges focused on humanitarian issues, although Chinese officials have repeatedly rejected the possibility of sending troops or weapons. In the last year, however, Chinese and Syrian officials have begun holding regular, once-a-month high-level meetings to share intelligence o militant movements in Syria, according to a person familiar with the matter. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to reveal military secrets. "These people not only fight alongside international terrorist forces in Syria, but also they will possibly return to China posing threat to China's national security," said Li Wei, terrorism expert at China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations and Director of the CICIR Institute of Security and Arms Control Studies. Rami Abdurrahman who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said there are about 5,000 Chinese fighters in Syria, most of them with the TIP fighters in northern Syria who along with their families make about 20,000. Li, the terrorism expert, said Abdurrahman's numbers are way too high, adding that he believes the number are about 300 Chinese fighters in Syria who brought with them about 700 family members. "As the control of the passage along the borders between Turkey and Syria is being tightened, it is becoming more difficult for them to smuggle into Syria," Li said. Syrian opposition activists and pro-government media outlets say dozens of TIP fighters have carried out suicide attacks against government forces and their allies and for the past two years have led battles mostly in the north of the country. The suicide attackers include one known as Shahid Allah al-Turkistani. He was shown in a video released by TIP taken from a drone of an attack in which he blew himself up in the vehicle he was driving near Aleppo late last year, allegedly killing dozens of pro-government gunmen. In 2015, members of the group spearheaded an attack on the northwestern province of Idlib and captured the strategic town of Jisr al-Shughour on the edge of Assad's stronghold of Latakia region. They reportedly damaged a church in the town and raised their black flag on top of it. In late 2016, TIP was a main force to briefly break a government siege on the then rebel-held eastern parts of the northern city of Aleppo. The role of the Chinese jihadis in Syria was a topic that Assad spoke about last month in an interview with Chinese PHOENIX TV, saying "they know your country more than the others, so they can do more harm in your country than others." Unlike other rebel groups, TIP is a very secretive organization and they live among themselves, according to activists in northern Syria. They are active in parts of Idlib and in the strategic town of Jisr al-Shughour, as well as the Kurdish Mountains in the western province of Latakia. Abdul-Hakim Ramadan, a doctor who was active in Idlib province, said one of his teams was trying to enter a northwestern village to vaccinate children when TIP fighters prevented them from entering, saying only Chinese can go into the area. Ramadan said unlike other fighters who have come to Syria, the Chinese have not merged into local communities and the language has been a major barrier.
Torki A.M.,University of Belgrade |
Zivkovi I.,Institute of Security |
Radmilovic V.R.,University of California at Berkeley |
Stojanovic D.B.,University of Belgrade |
And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Modern Physics B | Year: 2010
This work reports the preparation of SiO2 and TiO 2/poly (vinyl butyral) nanocomposites with enhanced dynamic mechanical properties. Silica and titania nanoparticles were introduced in the matrix as the neat powder and as colloidal sol using the melt mixing process. Composites reinforced with colloidal sol silica and titania showed higher mechanical properties than the ones reinforced with as-received particles. When sol TiO2 particles are used, the highest increase of storage modulus of about 54% is obtained for 5 wt% loading, while for sol SiO2, the storage modulus increases with the addition of nanosilica with the largest increase of about 99% for 7 wt% loading. In addition, nanocomposites were introduced within Kevlar/PVB composites. The addition of 5 wt% silica and titania colloidal sol lead to the remarkable increase of the storage modulus for about 98 and 65%, respectively. Largest contribution of nanoreinforcements in lowering the glass transition temperature is observed for 7 wt% loading of TiO2 and SiO2 colloidal sol. © 2010 World Scientific Publishing Company.
Ilic N.,Institute of Security |
Marinkovic A.,University of Belgrade |
Mijin D.,University of Belgrade |
Nevescanin M.,Institute of Security |
Petrovic S.,University of Belgrade
Chemical Industry and Chemical Engineering Quarterly | Year: 2010
The electron-ionization induced mass spectra of twenty six N-monosubstituted cyanoacetamides were recorded and their fragmentation patterns were studied. The effect of N-alkyl and N-aryl substituents to the fragmentation of the investigated compounds was discussed. Mechanistic generalization lead to a conclusion that fission of the carbon-carbon bonds next to carbonyl function or nitrogen were processes common for N-alkyl and N-(4-substituted phenyl) cyanoacetamides. In some amides, the elimination of the acyl group by a ketene fragment gave rise to the more stable ion. Cycloalkyl amides could not fragment by single carbon-carbon bond fission, but subsequent rearrangement resulted in formation of stable even electron ion. N-(4-substituted phenyl) cyanoacetamides were more stable showing also characteristic fragmentation depending on substituent present at phenyl ring.
Nevescanin M.M.,Institute of Security |
Avramov Ivic M.L.,University of Belgrade |
Petrovic S.D.,University of Belgrade |
Mijin D.Z.,University of Belgrade |
And 2 more authors.
Journal of the Serbian Chemical Society | Year: 2013
The catalytic abilities of a gold electrode were tested for the quantitative determination of amphetamine (A) and 3,4-methylenedioxy-N- methylamphetamine (MDMA) standards by their oxidation using cyclic voltammetry (CV). The values of the oxidative currents of A and MDMA standards at 0.80 V vs. SCE in 0.05 M NaHCO3 at a scan rate of 50 mV s-1 were linear functions of the concentration in range of 110.9-258.9 -M and 38.7-229.2 -M, respectively. Square wave voltammetry (SWV) revealed a linear increase of current with the concentration of MDMA (range 30.9-91.6 -M), which enabled the quantitative determination of amphetamine derivates. SWV analysis was also successfully performed in spiked urine samples. A and MDMA in the presence of sucrose and as a content in illegally produced tablets were also determined. The voltammetric determinations of A and MDMA derivatives using CV and SWV at gold a electrode are rapid, selective and simple procedures and their accuracy was confirmed with a reference method, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The analysis of spiked urine samples offers an additional possibility for the rapid detection of A and MDMA in human urine. Copyright ©2013 SCS.
Qazanfari K.,University of Tehran |
Mirpouryan M.S.,Institute of Security |
Gharaee H.,Institute of Security
2012 6th International Symposium on Telecommunications, IST 2012 | Year: 2012
Existing misuse-based intrusion detection methods are often not sufficient in detecting zero-days attacks. As a result, anomaly or learning based intrusion detection mechanisms have been developed to cope with such attacks. Among variety of anomaly detection approaches, Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Multi Layer Perceptron (MLP) are known to be two of the best machine learning algorithms to classify normal from abnormal behaviors. In this paper a hybrid anomaly-based intrusion detection method is proposed that is based on these two methods. These methods are trained in supervised way. We use the following additional techniques to improve the performance of proposed approach: First, a feature selection technique using the entropy of features is used for extracting optimized information from KDD data set and second, a novel method is proposed to combine the results of these two learning based methods. Lastly, we demonstrate the effectiveness of proposed hybrid approach by using the KDD dataset. The simulation results show that which features of KDD are better to distinguish the normal from abnormal traffics. Also these results show the detection precision of the DoS, Probe, U2R and R2L attacks by using our method are 99%, 100%, 100% and 100% respectively. © 2012 IEEE.