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‘No contact’ with Taliban over office

Afghan authorities have said negotiations with the Taliban can only take place after they stop their attacks, reject Al Qaeda, and accept the Afghan constitution, which guarantees civil rights.

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The country and its international backers have increasingly looked for a political solution to the 10-year insurgency as NATO-led International Security Assistance Force combat troops prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014.

But despite the ongoing debate about the location and conditions for a Taliban office to push forward peace talks, finding a genuine Taliban representative to engage with has proved difficult.

“There hasn’t been formal contact,” an official in the High Peace Council said on condition of anonymity.

“We have been trying for several years for contacts. There have been efforts made, but we haven’t reached a tangible result.

“If we are going to have an office we want to engage with genuine Taliban representatives.”

One Western diplomat said he understood the US and Germany had agreed with the Taliban on the opening of an office in Qatar before Afghanistan voiced its opposition at having been left out of the talks.

Afghan authorities have not ruled out Doha, the Qatari capital, as a possible location for a Taliban address, despite recalling their ambassador over the perceived snub.

President Hamid Karzai convened a top level meeting on December 15 involving members of the High Peace Council to discuss how to move forward with the peace process, which was derailed by the September assassination of council chief Burhanuddin Rabbani.

The meeting put forward Saudi Arabia or Turkey as the preferred location to open a Taliban office abroad.

Afghan authorities also say Pakistan, where many members of the insurgent group are based, must be involved in any talks.

“If Pakistan are not on board the people of Afghanistan will not be able to reach peace,” the High Peace Council official said.

Relations between the United States and Pakistan have severely deteriorated this year. On November 26, US air strikes near the Afghan border killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, leading Islamabad to halt supply routes for NATO forces.

The Taliban issued a statement ahead of the 32nd anniversary of the Soviet occupation on Tuesday vowing to continue fighting US-led forces until the country is “liberated from the occupation” once again.

“The current invaders are bound to be destined with the same fate that the former ones befell,” the statement said.

The Russian occupation lasted nine years and claimed more than one million lives before Soviet troops withdrew.

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Tour de France: Results after stage 12

Cadel Evan maintains third place overall.

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Here are the stage and overall results after stage 12, a 211-km mountainous trek from Cugnaux.

Stage 12 Results:

1 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 6:01:15 2 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:07 3 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:00:10 4 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:30 5 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 6 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 7 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:00:35 8 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:00:43 9 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:50 10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar

GC After Stage 12:

1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 51:54:44 2 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:01:49 3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:02:06 4 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:02:17 5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:03:16 6 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:03:22 7 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:04:00 8 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:04:11 9 Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:04:35 10 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:57

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Syrian forces kill scores in Homs blitz

Syrian forces killed at least 68 civilians as they blitzed the city of Homs and a village in Idlib province, monitors said, as the US expressed support for a humanitarian ceasefire proposed by the Red Cross.

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In the most significant incident, at least 33 people were killed in the village of Abdita in the northwestern province of Idlib, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Another 31 were killed in Homs province, including 21 people who died in “intensive shelling” that targeted Homs city’s Baba Amr neighbourhood, with the Khaldiyeh and Karm al-Zaytoun districts also blasted.

And despite a plea by activists to allow women and children to flee Homs’ besieged Baba Amr neighbourhood, more troops were sent to the outskirts of the restive city, with activists expressing fear they were preparing to storm it.

Homs-based activist Hadi Abdullah of the General Commission of the Syrian Revolution told AFP “large reinforcements were heading to Homs.”

“We counted at least 150 shells crashing in Baba Amr within two hours this morning. We gave up counting afterwards,” he said.

Omar Shaker, another activist, told AFP the neighbourhood had “no electricity, nor fuel,” and that “snipers have hit water tanks,” rendering the situation “bad beyond imagination.”

Human Rights Watch emergency director Peter Bouckaert told AFP the watchdog had confirmed the use of Russian-made 240 mm mortars in Homs, which has been under assault for 18 days.

“We have little doubt that those extremely powerful mortars are being fired by the regime forces into civilian neighborhoods of Homs. We are talking about a 250-pound mortar round that can only be fired from a heavy specialised armoured vehicle and it requires a nine person crew to operate,” he said.

AFP was not able to verify the death toll nor the reports of shelling, as foreign reporters are given only limited access within the country.

Security forces also opened fire to disperse a sit-in by 2,500 students at the University of Aleppo, the northern city that until recently been spared anti-regime demonstrations.

And secular groups demonstrated outside parliament against an article in the draft constitution that would require the president to be a Muslim.

The International Committee of the Red Cross called for a daily truce of two hours in Syria so it can deliver vital aid to afflicted areas, after saying a day earlier it was in talks with both sides to halt the violence.

The head of the rebel Free Syrian Army, Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad, welcomed the call but voiced doubts that the “criminal” regime would commit.

And the UN under secretary general for humanitarian affairs, Valerie Amos, called on Syria to allow aid groups unimpeded access to the country.

“This is a major human rights crisis that is now moving into significant humanitarian consequences,” Amos said.

In Washington, White House press secretary Jay Carney said “we support calls for cease-fires to allow for the provision of humanitarian supplies to Syrians who desperately need it.”

“Reprehensible actions taken by the Assad regime have led us to a situation where basic supplies, humanitarian supplies are very scarce.”

And although top US military officer, General Martin Dempsey, has said it was “premature” to arm Syria’s opposition, top Republican Senator John McCain called again for the outgunned rebels to be supplied with weapons.

But State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said “from our perspective, we don’t believe that it makes sense to contribute now to the further militarisation of Syria.

“What we don’t want to see is the spiral of violence increase. That said, if we can’t get Assad to yield to the pressure that we are all bringing to bear, we may have to consider additional measures,” she said.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Syria was increasingly under pressure.

A Friends of Syria meeting in Tunis on Friday will “demonstrate that Assad’s regime is increasingly isolated and that the brave Syrian people need our support and solidarity,” she said.

The meeting “will send a clear message to Russia, China and others who are still unsure about how to handle the increasing violence but are up until now, unfortunately, making the wrong choices,” she added.

Russia announced that it will not take part in the meeting because it was being convened “for the purpose of supporting one side against another in an internal conflict,” the foreign ministry said.

China, meanwhile, refused to commit to attend the meeting.

The Friends of Syria group will meet for the first time after being created in response to a joint veto by China and Russia of a UN Security Council resolution condemning the bloody crackdown.

It is backed by members of the European Union as well as some Arab nations and the United States.

“China has received the relevant invitation,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said. “The Chinese side is currently researching the function, mechanism and other aspects of the meeting.”

In other developments, several hundred people demonstrated in the Gaza Strip calling for the downfall of Assad, whom they called a butcher and a criminal.

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Gaddafi found ‘in drain with golden gun’

Muammar Gaddafi, the “king of kings of Africa” who for eight months refused to surrender, was captured in a sewage pipe waving a golden gun near his hometown Sirte, Libyan fighters said.

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“Gaddafi was in a jeep when rebels opened fire on it. He got out and tried to flee, taking shelter in a sewage pipe,” National Transitional Council (NTC) field commander Mohammed Leith told news agency AFP.

NTC fighters “opened fire again and he came out carrying a Kalashnikov (assault rifle) in one hand and a pistol in the other.”

Gaddafi “looked left and right and asked what was happening. Rebels opened fire again, wounding his leg and shoulder. He died after that,” according to Leith.

But according to interim prime minister Mahmud Jibril, Gaddafi was shot in the head “in crossfire” between his supporters and new regime fighters after his capture.

“When he was found, he was in good health, carrying a gun,” Jibril told a press conference in Tripoli. Gaddafi was transferred from the pipe to a pickup truck, at which point he was shot in the right hand.

“When the vehicle started moving, it was caught in crossfire between Gaddafi fighters and the revolutionaries, and he was shot in the head,” according to Jibril.

“He was alive up to last moment, until he arrived at hospital” in the town of Misrata.

Outside the hospital in Sirte, the Mediterranean city where Gaddafi diehards for weeks put up a last stand against a revolt which broke out in mid-February, a young fighter proudly brandished what he said was the strongman’s golden gun.

Mohammed Shaban, who said he took part in Gaddafi’s capture, said the 69-year-old who ruled Libya for four decades had been cornered in the sewage pipe. “His blood is on my shirt. I’ll never wash it,” he said.

A fugitive since the NTC forces with NATO air support swept into Tripoli at the end of August, Gaddafi’s whereabouts had remained a mystery.

A wounded Gaddafi was seen alive and standing as he was being manhandled by Libya’s new regime fighters before the announcement of his death, in a videotape aired on Arab satellite channels.

Bloodied in the head, face and shoulders, NTC fighters circled Gaddafi, who was hailed as the country’s “king of kings” by African tribal chiefs in 2009, as he apparently tried to cry out.

One fighter appeared to hold a gun to his head but it was unclear if he fired before Gaddafi was hauled onto the front of a vehicle, amid chaotic scenes in the video broadcast on Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera television channels.

“We announce to the world that Gaddafi has died in the custody of the revolution,” NTC spokesman Abdel Hafez Ghoga announced earlier.

In France, Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said French warplanes fired a warning shot to stop a convoy of up to 80 vehicles carrying Gaddafi before he was captured.

The convoy of several dozen vehicles “was stopped from progressing as it sought to flee Sirte but was not destroyed by the French intervention,” Longuet told journalists.

Libyan fighters then intervened, destroying the vehicles, from which “they took out Colonel Gaddafi,” he added.

The minister said a French Mirage-2000 was “informed by the integrated general staff (of NATO) of the need for an intervention to prevent this column from advancing.

“A French warning shot was fired to prevent the column from proceeding and it divided,” he said, after which some of the vehicles were confronted by the NTC fighters.

“In these clashes, vehicles were destroyed, people were wounded and killed and it was among them that… Gaddafi was a part,” he said.

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Somali famine ‘an injustice’

With famine now declared in parts of Somalia, the search is on for more aid.

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Some is arriving, but militant activity means it’s being delayed, and there are fears the world is reacting too slowly.

The future for thousands of malnourished children is bleak, with mothers fleeing famine-declared southern Somali villages – only to end up in an already over-crowded refugee camp.

The situation is desperate.

African famine: how you can help

It’s bone dry; crops have failed for three consecutive years, and the presence of militant Islamists is hampering the all-too-minimal aid efforts.

The confronting images of malnutrition are an eerie reminder of a humanitarian crisis of yester-year.

The events of 1984 in Ethiopia’s famine – it’s all appearing to happen again in huge numbers.

World Vision fears the situation will significantly worsen in the long term unless African nations are permitted to deal under World Trade Organisation guidelines

“Those in Africa who only have their crops to sell are blocked, are locked out – that’s immoral it’s an injustice”, says the Reverend Tim Costello, World Vision CEO.

Even then, it won’t be easy.

HELP FROM OVERSEAS

On a smaller scale African refugees in Australia are beginning to mobilise their own aid efforts.

Refugee Hanadi Sahmed regularly sends small amounts of money and second-hand clothes to her parents, six sisters and two brothers in Sudan.

While she works two jobs supporting her own children, Hanadi is like many African refugees wrestling feelings of intense guilt, leaving loved ones in impoverished and sometimes dangerous situations.

“Someone has been struggling with disease and you not be able to help it really make you feel sad”, Sahmed says.

Welfare groups like Melbourne’s Spectrum Immigration support service are even creating group counselling for the increasing problem.

But in Africa, the snaking hospital queues grow ever longer, the infants even hungrier, and the situation more helpless.

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US urges Libya to probe Gaddafi killing

The United States has urged Libya to uphold human rights and to probe a report of summary executions of Muammar Gaddafi loyalists, calling the allegations “extremely disturbing.

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The US State Department also called on Libya to respect the rights of women after Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the interim leader in the wake of the NATO-led intervention, spoke of the imposition of Islamic sharia law including polygamy.

Human Rights Watch said it discovered 53 decaying bodies in Sirte at an abandoned hotel in Sirte, the site of Gaddafi’s last stand, and that some had hands bound behind their backs when they were shot.

“Extremely disturbing report,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

US Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz “raised it with the Transitional National Council today and asked them to conduct a full investigation,” she said.

The rebel council on Sunday declared “liberation” after the death of Gaddafi, whose own killing has been the subject of intense controversy after footage showed him bloodied but clearly alive shortly before death.

Interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said in a speech to the nation that “any law that violates sharia is null and void” and pointed specifically to restrictions on polygamy that were imposed under Gaddafi.

“We seek a democracy that meets international human rights standards, that provides a place for all Libyans and that serves to unify the country,” Nuland said.

While not objecting to Islamic law in itself, Nuland said: “The number one thing is that universal human rights, rights for women, rights for minorities, right to due process, right to transparency, be fully respected.”

The European Union also called on Libya to respect human rights after Jalil’s comment on sharia. Jalil has sought to reassure the West by saying that Libyans are moderate Muslims.

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Pakistani journalist investigating ISI found dead

Syed Saleem Shahzad, 40, worked for an Italian news agency and an online news site registered in Hong Kong.

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He went missing on Sunday after he left his home in the capital to take part in a television talk show, but never arrived. Officials said his body was identified by relatives after being found near his car in Sarai Alamgir, 150km southeast of Islamabad.

“Relatives visited the police station and now they have identified the dead body. They said it is the body of journalist Saleem Shahzad,” police official Zulfiqar Ali said.

He disappeared two days after writing an investigative report in Asia Times Online that al-Qaeda carried out last week’s attack on a naval air base to avenge the arrest of naval officials arrested on

suspicion of al-Qaeda links.

ACCUSING THE ISI

Ali Dayan Hasan, senior South Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch, said Shahzad had complained about being threatened by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.

“The other day he visited our office and informed us that ISI had threatened him. He told us that if anything happened to him, we should inform the media about the situation and threats,” Hasan told AFP.

“We can form an opinion after the investigation and a court verdict, but … in the past the ISI has been involved in similar incidents.”

The naval base attack on May 22 took 17 hours to repel.

Officials said six militants destroyed two US-made surveillance aircraft and killed 10 security personnel in the standoff.

The country’s umbrella Taliban faction claimed responsibility, saying the attack was carried out to avenge the US killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, which reopened questions about complicity with al-Qaeda within the military.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani ordered an inquiry into the kidnapping and murder, pledging that the culprits would be “brought to book”.

Shahzad’s Italian employer Adnkronos (AKI) confirmed the death and earlier said it feared he had been kidnapped. He was also Pakistan bureau chief for Asia Times Online.

In 2006, he was kidnapped by the Taliban in Helmand in southern Afghanistan. Then, his kidnappers accused him of being a spy but set him free after seven days.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan had earlier on Monday expressed alarm about Shahzad’s disappearance and described as “exceedingly disturbing” reports that he might have been abducted by a state agency.

Hamza Ameer, a brother-in-law of Shahzad, told AFP that his car and identification papers had also been found.

Shahzad is survived by his wife and three children.

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One million told to evacuate as typhoon nears Japan

More than a million people in Japan were warned to leave their homes on Tuesday as an approaching typhoon brought heavy rain and fears of landslides and flash flooding.

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Typhoon Roke, packing winds of up to 144 kilometres (89 miles) an hour near its centre, could land in central Japan Wednesday and move northeast, possibly towards the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, the Japanese weather agency said.

“While keeping its strength, the typhoon could make a land fall on Wednesday,” an official with the Japan Meteorological Agency said in a televised press conference.

“We ask that the highest level of caution be used because of the heavy rain, strong wind, and high waves.”

The city of Nagoya, a regional commercial hub located near the home of Toyota Motor, issued an evacuation advisory to some 1.09 million residents, because of worries that rivers might burst their banks.

Nationwide, evacuation advisories have been issued to a total of 1.32 million people, national broadcaster NHK said.

It was not known how many people have heeded the warning, which falls far short of a mandatory evacuation order.

Water has poured into Nagoya’s subway system and underpasses, with television images showing pedestrians walking through knee-deep water and assisted by rafts operated by firefighters.

The typhoon was located 200 kilometres southeast of Tanegashima island, in southern Kagoshima, as of 4:00 pm (0700 GMT), and was on course to hit Nagoya and the main island of Honshu on Wednesday, the weather agency said.

The storm was then expected to move towards the disaster-ravaged Tohoku region north of Tokyo, with the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant located on its possible path.

Roke was expected to move to northernmost Hokkaido by Thursday afternoon, the weather official said.

“Its speed will accelerate. In similar cases in the past, we have seen strong wind and high waves occur suddenly. Rain will increase in northern Japan. We ask that people take early counter-measures,” he said.

The storm has already dumped 400 millimetres (16 inches) of rain over the past 24 hours on the southern province of Miyazaki.

The agency warned of downpours over a wide area of the country on Wednesday, saying as much as 50 millimetres of rain could fall in an hour.

Japan was hit by Typhoon Talas earlier this month, leaving around 100 people dead or missing, mostly in the west of the country.

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Rat cyborg gets digital cerebellum

An artificial cerebellum has restored lost brain function in rats, bringing the prospect of cyborg-style brain implants a step closer to reality.

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Such implants could eventually be used to replace areas of brain tissue damaged by stroke and other conditions, or even to enhance healthy brain function and restore learning processes that decline with age.

Cochlear implants and prosthetic limbs have already proved that it is possible to wire electrical devices into the brain and make sense of them, but such devices involve only one-way communication, either from the device to the brain or vice versa.

Now Matti Mintz of Tel Aviv University in Israel and his colleagues have created a synthetic cerebellum which can receive sensory inputs from the brainstem – a region that acts as a conduit for neuronal information from the rest of the body. Their device can interpret these inputs, and send a signal to a different region of the brainstem that prompts motor neurons to execute the appropriate movement.

“It’s proof of concept that we can record information from the brain, analyse it in a way similar to the biological network, and return it to the brain,” says Mintz, who presented the work this month at the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence meeting in Cambridge, UK.

One of the functions of the cerebellum is to help coordinate and time movements. This, and the fact that it has a relatively straightforward neuronal architecture, make it a good region of the brain to synthesise. “We know its anatomy and some of its behaviours almost perfectly,” says Mintz. The team analysed brainstem signals feeding into a real cerebellum and the output it generated in response. They then used this information to generate a synthetic version on a chip that sits outside the skull and is wired into the brain using electrodes.

To test the chip, they anaesthetised a rat and disabled its cerebellum before hooking up their synthetic version. They then tried to teach the anaesthetised animal a conditioned motor reflex – a blink – by combining an auditory tone with a puff of air on the eye, until the animal blinked on hearing the tone alone. They first tried this without the chip connected, and found the rat was unable to learn the motor reflex. But once the artificial cerebellum was connected, the rat behaved as a normal animal would, learning to connect the sound with the need to blink.

“This demonstrates how far we have come towards creating circuitry that could one day replace damaged brain areas and even enhance the power of the healthy brain,” says Francesco Sepulveda of the University of Essex in Colchester, UK, who was not involved in the research. “The circuitry mimics functionality that is very basic. Nonetheless, this is an exciting step towards enormous possibilities.”

The next step is to model larger areas of the cerebellum that can learn a sequence of movements and test the chip in a conscious animal – a much greater challenge. “This is very demanding because of the decrease of [neural] signal quality due to artefacts caused by movement,” says Robert Prueckl of Guger Technologies in Graz, Austria, who is working with Mintz. He thinks this can be achieved, though, by developing improved software to tune out noise and better techniques for implanting the electrodes. Ultimately, the goal is to build chips that can replicate complex areas of the brain.

Such implants will be vastly more complex, but Sepulveda says the challenges aren’t insurmountable. “It will likely take us several decades to get there, but my bet is that specific, well-organised brain parts such as the hippocampus or the visual cortex will have synthetic correlates before the end of the century.”

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‘Hactivists back after FBI arrests’

After a brief hiatus and an FBI takedown of several alleged ‘hacktivists,’ two groups that have claimed responsibility for a recent wave of cyber vandalism say they are back.

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A statement was posted online on Thursday jointly by the groups, Anonymous and Lulz Security, after U.S. authorities arrested 16 people earlier this week for several attacks, most prominently Anonymous’ attempt to cripple eBay’s PayPal site after it stopped accepting donations to the WikiLeaks organization.

The arrests allowed a peek into the lives of those alleged to be hacker-activists — cyber-criminals who shut down or break into computer systems to make political points or defy authority, rather than to steal credit card numbers or commit espionage.

Some did not seem to have sophisticated technology-oriented jobs. The group included a former janitor, a landscape foreman and a college student, ranging in age from 20 to 42.

“We are not scared any more. Your threats to arrest us are meaningless to us as you cannot arrest an idea,” the hacker groups said in the statement, which could not be independently verified. Lulz Security had previously suggested it was disbanding.

The groups said their statement was a response to comments by Steven Chabinsky, deputy assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division, who told National Public Radio it was “entirely unacceptable to break into websites and commit unlawful acts.”

The groups promised to continue attacks on governments, which they accused of lying to their citizens and inducing fear and terror by “dismantling their freedom piece by piece.”

They also said they would focus on companies as well for working with governments and taking billions of dollars in contracts, but failing to deliver.

“These governments and corporations are our enemy. And we will continue to fight them, with all methods we have at our disposal, and that certainly includes breaking into their websites and exposing their lies,” the statement said.

The FBI declined to comment.

Anonymous and LulzSec also have claimed responsibility for attacking websites in Syria, Tunisia, Egypt and India for political reasons, as well as the public websites of the CIA and the Senate.

ARRESTS AROUND THE COUNTRY

The response came after FBI agents arrested more than a dozen people in nine states and the District of Columbia on charges they participated in cyber attacks on corporate and government websites.

According to the indictment, Mercedes Haefer said on her Facebook page she was a college student in Las Vegas working multiple jobs. She also went by “No” and “MMMM” when she allegedly helped with the attack on PayPal last year.

During her initial appearance earlier this week in federal court, a judge ordered her to stay off any computers except for her pizza job, and to surrender her laptop computer, according to court records. Her public defender was not available for comment.

Vincent Kershaw, 27, who has a day job as a foreman for a Colorado landscaping company, is accused of using the pseudonyms Reaper, Trivette and Triv to participate in the attacks. His public defender declined to comment.

The indictment accused them of using a program dubbed “Low Orbit Ion Cannon” — a name that harks back to a video game and a Star Wars movie — to send huge amounts of data to PayPal in a bid to overwhelm it and render it unavailable for legitimate requests.

Scott Arciszewski, 21, a University of Central Florida student and former janitor, was arrested for a separate cyber attack, allegedly uploading malicious files to the website of Tampa Bay InfraGard, an FBI-sponsored group. He then informed LulzSec about the vulnerability, according to court papers.

His public defender was also not available for comment.

The question remains whether the charges of conspiracy and trying to damage a protected computer as well as the related potential prison sentences of up to five and 10 years respectively, will serve as an adequate deterrent.

One cybersecurity expert raised the possibility that the PayPal attack was “just a bunch of kids” messing around, particularly since the threshold to participate was low.

“So many people spend so much time online now, the threshold to becoming a political activist has dropped to close to zero,” said James Lewis, with the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

“If we’re lucky the arrests send a signal that will tamp down on this kind of thing, but if there’s some deeper underlying tension that’s driving people to do this or some other external cause we’re just going to see more of this,” he said.

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