Perth mosque targeted in petrol bomb attack

Perth mosque targeted in petrol bomb attack

Perth, June 29 (IANS) Western Australia police were investigating a racist firebomb attack at a mosque in state capital Perth while hundreds were praying on Tuesday evening, officials said on Wednesday.

No one was injured in the attack, during which a parked car burst into flames outside the mosque, Xinhua news agency reported.

It was believed petrol or a fire accelerant was used in the blaze.

Anti-Islamic graffiti was also spotted on a wall near the Australian Islamic College, close to the mosque.

Perth Now daily reported Australian Islamic College Yahya Adel Ibrahim wrote on Facebook that worshippers finished their prayers despite the chaos outside the mosque.

Ibrahim said the Perth community had been “visited by hate” but “wouldn’t start playing blame games and singling out groups of people in our society.”

“Despite what just transpired, everyone stayed to finish their prayers, refusing to give in to the terror that had just occurred,” he added.

New framework tells when terrorists are likely to attack

New York, June 29 (IANS) Researchers have developed a new framework to predict future terrorist attacks by analysing the relationship between more than 140,000 such attacks that took place between 1970 and 2014.

Developed by Salih Tutun and his colleagues from Binghamton University, the framework calculates the relationship between select features of terrorist attacks like attack time and weapon type.

“They are learning, but they don’t know they are learning. If we don’t have social media or other technologies, we need to understand the patterns. Our framework works to define which metrics are important,” Tutun said.

“Based on this feature, we propose a new similarity (interaction) function. Then we use the similarity (interaction) function to understand the difference (how they interact with each other) between two attacks. For example, what is the relationship between the Paris and the 9/11 attacks? When we look at that, if there’s a relationship, we’re making a network,” he added.

Tutun presented his work recently at the 2016 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference (ISERC) in California.

Previous studies have focused on understanding the behaviour of individual terrorists (as people) rather than studying the different attacks by modelling their relationship with each other.

Terrorist activity detection focuses on either individual incidents — which does not take into account the dynamic interactions among them — or network analysis — which gives a general idea about networks but sets aside functional roles of individuals and their interactions.

“Predicting terrorist events is a dream, but protecting some area by using patterns is a reality. If you know the patterns, you can reduce the risks. It’s not about predicting, it’s about understanding,” Tutun said.

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