Tag Archives: riot

No evidence Antifa or ‘fake’ Trump supporters spurred Capitol riot, FBI’s Wray testifies

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday sought to beat back right-wing conspiracy theories suggesting that fake supporters of former U.S. president Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

It was Wray’s first testimony in Congress since the attack — a failed bid to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s November election victory — was carried out by supporters of Trump who, in a speech near the White House, exhorted them to march to the Capitol in protest.

“I was appalled that you, our country’s elected leaders, were victimized right here in these very halls,” Wray testified before the Senate’s judiciary committee.

“That siege was criminal behaviour, pure and simple. It’s behaviour that we, the FBI, view as domestic terrorism.”

Early on, Republicans on the panel sought to equate the Jan. 6 riot to the occasional violence that ensued in months of racial justice protests in dozens of U.S. cities last year.

The senior Republican on the panel, Chuck Grassley, made repeated references to Antifa and violence committed by those who might be described as being left on the political spectrum, including a fatal shooting incident in Portland last year and the near-fatal shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise in 2017 by a suspect who posted a photo of Bernie Sanders on his Facebook profile.

But Wray was unequivocal in terms of what the agency has learned so far about the events of Jan. 6.

“We have not to date seen any evidence of anarchist violent extremists or people subscribing to Antifa in connection with the 6th,” he said.

Last month in another Senate hearing, Republican Ron Johnson of Wisconsin brought up the possibility that “agent provocateurs” and “fake Trump protesters” had circulated among the crowd on Jan. 6, citing an article by a right-wing think-tank.

Wray said there had been no evidence presented yet of fake Trump protesters crashing the event, which appears to have been planned for weeks according to previous testimony, and he reiterated his assertion from 2020 hearings that white supremacists “have been responsible for the most lethal attacks over the last decade” in terms of domestic terrorism.

Hundreds charged so far

The U.S. Justice Department has charged more than 300 people on criminal counts ranging from conspiracy to attacking police and obstructing Congress.

Five people in attendance died that day, including a Trump supporter who was fatally shot and a Capitol police officer who was killed in circumstances that are still unclear. Three others suffered fatal medical episodes, according to reports.

At least 18 people associated with the far-right Proud Boys — which Canada labelled a terrorist group last month — have been charged and nine people tied to the anti-government militia known as the Oath Keepers are facing charges they conspired as far back as November to storm the Capitol to prevent Biden from becoming president.

Biden took office on Jan. 20.

Federal investigators including the FBI have come under scrutiny since Jan. 6 over why more was not done to protect the Capitol ahead of the attack.

On Jan. 5, the FBI’s Norfolk, Va., office distributed a raw, unverified intelligence report which warned that violent extremists intended to disrupt Congress.

Still unclear how Capitol Police officer was killed

Wray told lawmakers on Tuesday the intelligence was shared with other law enforcement agencies three different ways, but acknowledged he personally did not see the report until a few days later.

As to why other top law enforcement officials did not see it, Wray said: “I don’t have a good answer to that.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, said to Wray: “What I don’t understand is why this … raw intelligence didn’t prompt a stronger warning and alarm.”

The FBI has yet to arrest any suspects in the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, or for pipe bombs that were discovered outside the headquarters of both the Republican and Democratic national committees.

The FBI has obtained a video that shows a suspect spraying bear spray on police officers, including Sicknick, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation.

Citing an ongoing investigation, Wray said he couldn’t yet disclose a cause of death for Sicknick.

Democrats and some Republicans condemned Trump for his weeks of false claims leading up to Jan. 6, that the election was stolen. He repeated that claim in his first significant speech since leaving the presidency last week.

But Wray said he stood by comments made by former attorney general Bill Barr, who had infuriated Trump after the election when he said the Justice Department did not have evidence of any widespread election fraud.

“We are not aware of any widespread evidence of voter fraud, much less that would have affected the outcome of the presidential election,” Wray told lawmakers.

We are not aware of any widespread evidence of voter fraud, much less that would have affected the outcome of the presidential election,” Wray told lawmakers.

In a newly unsealed search warrant, investigators say rioters carried weapons inside the Capitol including tire irons, sledge hammers, stun guns, bear spray and, in at least one case, a handgun with an extended magazine.

“Everyone involved must take responsibility for their actions that day, including our former president,” said Grassley, who was among those who voted to acquit Trump on a count of incitement of insurrection in a Senate impeachment trial last month.

WATCH | Former FBI agent Jack Cloonan on the domestic terrorism threat:

Given the events of Jan. 6, the likelihood of someone attempting an attack around the presidential inauguration is ‘extremely high,’ says former FBI special agent Jack Cloonan. 7:46

Senate judiciary committee chair Dick Durbin, a Democrat, said the government has not done enough to protect against threats from far-right extremists and white supremacists, and accused the Trump administration of playing down those threats.

He said the Trump administration “never set up a task force to combat the numerous incidents” from the far-right, and instead focused on Black Lives Matter activists.

With respect to other issues, Wray said he was concerned about violent attacks against Asian Americans during the past year. But he stopped short of condemning  what he called “rhetoric” — offensive language used by Trump and other legislators regarding the pandemic that Democrats have characterized as pejorative or racist.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Trump, Giuliani sued in federal court over role in Capitol riot

A Democratic congressman accused Donald Trump in a federal lawsuit on Tuesday of inciting the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and of conspiring with his lawyer and extremist groups to try to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the presidential election he lost to Joe Biden.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson by Joseph Sellers, a Washington lawyer, and the NAACP, is part of an expected wave of litigation over the Jan. 6 riot and is believed to be the first filed by a member of Congress. Thompson, the Democratic chair of the House’s homeland security committee, could be joined by other members of Congress, lawyers said.

The case also names as defendants the Republican former president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and groups including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, extremist organizations that had members charged by the Justice Department with taking part in the siege. The suit seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.

A Trump adviser, Jason Miller, said in a statement Tuesday that Trump did not organize the rally that preceded the riot and “did not incite or conspire to incite any violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6th.” A lawyer for Giuliani did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

The suit, filed in federal court in Washington under a Reconstruction-era law known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, comes after Trump was acquitted on Feb. 13 in a Senate impeachment trial that centred on allegations that he incited the riot that saw five people in attendance die, including a Trump supporter who was fatally shot and a Capitol police officer who was killed in circumstances that are still unclear.

Trump’s acquittal is likely to open the door to fresh legal scrutiny over his actions before and during the siege.

WATCH | McConnell highly critical of Trump despite vote to acquit:

Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top Republican, excoriated Donald Trump on Saturday for the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, but defended his vote to acquit him at the impeachment trial. 2:49

Even some Republicans who voted to acquit Trump on Saturday acknowledged that the more proper venue to deal with Trump was in the courts, especially now that he has left the White House and lost certain legal protections that shielded him as president.

“We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation and former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one,” Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said from the chamber floor after the Senate voted 57-43 to find Trump guilty of the impeachment charge, a result that didn’t meet the threshold of a two-thirds majority for a conviction.

Riot a ‘foreseeable culmination,’ suit alleges

The suit traces the drawn-out effort by Trump and Giuliani to cast doubt on the election results even though courts across the country, and state election officials, repeatedly rejected their baseless allegations of fraud.

Despite evidence to the contrary, the suit says, the men portrayed the election as stolen while Trump “endorsed rather than discouraged” threats of violence from his angry supporters in the weeks leading up to the assault on the Capitol.

“The carefully orchestrated series of events that unfolded at the Save America rally and the storming of the Capitol was no accident or coincidence,” the suit says. “It was the intended and foreseeable culmination of a carefully co-ordinated campaign to interfere with the legal process required to confirm the tally of votes cast in the Electoral College.”


Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. president Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, was at the pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, where he encouraged a ‘trial by combat’ in his speech. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

Presidents are historically afforded broad immunity from lawsuits for actions they take in their role as commander-in-chief. But the lawsuit filed Tuesday was brought against Trump in his personal, not official, capacity and alleges that none of the behaviour at issue had to do with his responsibilities as president.

“Inciting a riot, or attempting to interfere with the congressional efforts to ratify the results of the election that are commended by the Constitution, could not conceivably be within the scope of ordinary responsibilities of the president,” Sellers said in an AP interview.

“In this respect, because of his conduct, he is just like any other private citizen,” Sellers said.

Though the impeachment case focused squarely on accusations of incitement, the lawsuit more broadly accuses Trump of conspiring to disrupt the constitutional activities of Congress — namely, the certification of election results establishing Biden as the rightful winner — through a months-long effort to discredit the outcome and to lean on individual states and his own vice-president to overturn the contest.

The case against Trump was brought under a provision of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which was passed in response to KKK violence and prohibits violence or intimidation meant to prevent Congress or other federal officials from carrying out their constitutional duties.

“Fortunately, this hasn’t been used very much,” Sellers said. “But what we see here is so unprecedented that it’s really reminiscent of what gave rise to the enactment of this legislation right after the Civil War.”

Defending use of ‘trial by combat’

The suit cites incendiary comments that Trump and Giuliani made in the weeks leading up to the riot and on the day of it that lawyers say were designed to mobilize supporters to work to overturn the election results and to prevent the Senate’s certification process. That process was temporarily interrupted when Trump loyalists broke into the Capitol.

Giuliani has said his exhortation to those in attendance for a “trial by combat” was a Game of Thrones reference to encourage investigations of voting systems used in the Nov. 3 vote.

Dominion Voting Systems, which has headquarters in Toronto, is one of two voting software companies to target Trump allies in lawsuits.

Trump told supporters at a rally preceding the riot to “fight like hell,” but lawyers for the former president adamantly denied during the impeachment trial that he had incited the riot. They pointed to a remark during his speech in which he told the crowd to behave “peacefully” that day.

Defence lawyers are likely to revisit those assertions in the lawsuit. They may also argue, as was done during the impeachment case, that Trump’s speech was protected by the First Amendment.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that her chamber will move to establish an independent, Sept. 11-style commission to look into the insurrection. Pelosi said the commission will “investigate and report on the facts and causes” relating to the attack and “the interference with the peaceful transfer of power.”

At the White House on Tuesday, press secretary Jen Psaki said the president supports the formation of a commission. Biden “backs efforts to shed additional light on the facts to ensure something like that never happens again,” she said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Trump’s defence begins making the case for acquittal on inciting U.S. Capitol riot

Donald Trump’s defence lawyers will make their case on Friday why the former U.S. president is not guilty of inciting last month’s deadly riot at the Capitol, as the Senate races toward a final vote in his second impeachment trial as soon as Saturday.

Trump’s lawyer, David Schoen, said the defence team would take “three to four hours” on Friday to lay out its arguments against convicting Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 riot, which sent lawmakers scrambling for safety and resulted in the deaths of five people, including a police officer.

Schoen did not discuss the defence strategy, but Trump’s lawyers have argued his rhetoric was protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech and that prosecutors had not directly connected the actions of the rioters to Trump.

Democratic prosecutors on Thursday wrapped up two days of arguments for Trump’s conviction, saying the Republican knew what would happen when he exhorted supporters to march on the Capitol as Congress gathered to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s election win, and that he should be held accountable.

WATCH | House prosecutors wrap up impeachment case:

House prosecutors wrapped up their impeachment case against Donald Trump on Thursday insisting the Capitol invaders believed they were acting on ‘the president’s orders’ to stop Joe Biden’s election and warning that he would do it again if not convicted. 2:44

“If he gets back into office and it happens again, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves,” lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin told senators.

Senate conviction unlikely

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives charged Trump on Jan. 13 with inciting the insurrection, but Democrats are unlikely to gain a Senate conviction and bar Trump from running for office again.

Conviction requires a two-thirds majority in the 100-member Senate, which means at least 17 Republicans would have to defy Trump despite his continued popularity among Republican voters.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted largely along party lines to move ahead with the impeachment trial even though Trump’s term ended on Jan. 20. Six of 50 Republican senators broke with their caucus to side with Democrats.

In their arguments, the Democratic prosecutors provided numerous examples of Trump’s actions prior to the rampage to illustrate what he intended when he told supporters to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell” as lawmakers convened for the election certification.

Trump falsely claimed his Nov. 3 election loss was the result of widespread fraud.

“He knew that egged on by his tweets, his lies and his promise of a ‘wild’ time in Washington to guarantee his grip on power, his most extreme followers would show up bright and early, ready to attack, ready to engage in violence, ready to ‘fight like hell’ for their hero,” Raskin said.

WATCH | Several Republicans criticized Trump in immediate riot aftermath:

House manager Joe Neguse used Republicans’ video statements about Trump’s involvement in encouraging the riot to further the Democrats’ argument that he incited violence. 2:08 

Several Republican senators praised the presentation of the Democratic House prosecutors, although they questioned whether it had changed any minds.

“There was a lot of useful information presented today and the Democrats certainly presented an emotionally jarring and powerful argument, but it doesn’t change my opinion that removing a former president from an office he no longer holds is unconstitutional,” Republican Sen. Mike Braun tweeted.

Republican senators met with defence lawyers

Three Republican senators who are sitting as jurors at the trial — Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Mike Lee — met with the Trump defence team on Thursday night to discuss its legal approach, a source familiar with the meeting said.

“We were discussing their strategy for tomorrow and we were sharing our thoughts in terms of where the argument was and where it should go,” Cruz told reporters.

Republican Senator Bill Cassidy told reporters he wanted to hear the defence respond to the timeline laid out by House prosecutors detailing Trump’s inaction as the riot developed and his call to a senator even as lawmakers were being evacuated.

“Now, presumably since we were at that point being evacuated I think … there was some awareness of the events,” Cassidy said. “And so what I hope the defence does is explain that.”

Neither side has so far announced an intention to call witnesses, leaving senators on track for final arguments and a vote as soon as Saturday.

Trump is the first U.S. president to be impeached twice and the first to face trial after leaving office. His first impeachment trial, which stemmed from his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden, ended in an acquittal a year ago in what was then a Republican-controlled Senate.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

U.S. warns of heightened domestic terrorism threat after election, Capitol riot

The United States could face a heightened threat of domestic extremist violence for weeks from people angry at Donald Trump’s election defeat and inspired by the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol, the Department of Homeland Security warned on Wednesday.

The advisory — which said there was no specific and credible threat at this time — comes as Washington remains on high alert after hundreds of Trump supporters charged into the Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress was formally certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory. Five died in the violence.

“Information suggests that some ideologically motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fuelled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence,” the department said in a national terrorism advisory.

Biden’s inauguration last week occurred under heavy security, with more than 20,000 National Guard troops on duty. Officials have said about 5,000 troops will remain in Washington for the next few weeks, when Trump will face his second impeachment trial in the Senate on a charge of inciting insurrection.

Trump spent two months peddling the false narrative that his defeat in November’s presidential election was the result of widespread voter fraud. He urged a crowd of thousands of his followers to “fight” in a fiery speech before the Jan. 6 violence.

The DHS advisory said so-called domestic violent extremists were motivated by issues including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results and police use of force.

It also cited “long-standing racial and ethnic tension — including opposition to immigration” as drivers of domestic violence attacks.

White supremacist groups have posed “the most persistent and lethal threat” of violent extremism in the United States in recent years, Trump’s acting Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf told a congressional hearing in September.

‘Wildly overdue’

DHS warned that the attack on the Capitol could inspire domestic extremists to attack other elected officials or government buildings.

“This step is wildly overdue, and I applaud the Biden administration for taking it,” Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Reuters.

DHS typically issues only one or two advisory bulletins in a year. The bulletins have mostly warned of threats from foreign terrorist groups.

The last one, issued by the Trump administration in January 2020, declared Iran a state sponsor of terrorism and designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization.

Biden last week directed his administration to conduct a full assessment of the risk of domestic terrorism. The assessment will be carried out by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in co-ordination with the FBI and DHS, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.

“The Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known: the rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat. The Biden administration will confront this threat with the necessary resources and resolve,” Psaki said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Biden orders review of domestic terrorism threat in wake of U.S. Capitol riot

U.S. President Joe Biden has directed law enforcement and intelligence officials in his administration to study the threat of domestic violent extremism in the United States, an undertaking being launched weeks after a mob of insurgents loyal to Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The disclosure Friday by White House press secretary Jen Psaki is a stark acknowledgement of the national security threat that officials see as posed by American extremists motivated to violence by radical ideology.

The involvement of the director of national intelligence, an office created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to prevent international terrorism, suggests that American authorities are examining how to pivot to a more concerted focus on violence from extremists at home.

The threat assessment, co-ordinated by the national intelligence office, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, will be used as a foundation to develop policy, the White House said.

In addition, the National Security Council will do its own policy review to see how information about the problem can be better shared across the government. And the administration will work on a more co-ordinated approach, with a focus on addressing social media and radicalization, Psaki said.

“The Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we all know: The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat.” 

She said the administration will confront the problem with resources, policies and “respect for constitutionally protected free speech and political activities.”

Riot raising questions about national security

The riot at the Capitol, which led last week to Trump’s second impeachment, raised questions about whether a federal government national security apparatus that for years has moved aggressively to combat threats from foreign terror groups and their followers in the U.S. is adequately equipped to address the threat of domestic extremism.

It’s an issue that has flared periodically over the years, with different attacks — including a massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue — renewing debate over whether a law specific to domestic terrorism is needed.

WATCH | New war on terrorism in U.S. is domestic, former FBI agent says:

Given the events of Jan. 6, the likelihood of someone attempting an attack around the presidential inauguration is ‘extremely high,’ says former FBI special agent Jack Cloonan. 7:46

It is unclear when the threat assessment will conclude or whether it will precipitate law enforcement and intelligence getting new tools or authorities to address a problem that officials say has proved challenging to combat, partly because of First Amendment protections.

FBI Director Chris Wray said last fall that, over the past year, the most lethal violence has come from anti-government activists, such as anarchists and militia types.

Law enforcement agencies are under scrutiny for their preparations for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. More than 150 people are facing charges so far, including a man who was photographed wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” shirt, as well as QAnon conspiracy theorists and members of militia groups.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Portland racial injustice protesters breach fence, police declare riot

Authorities declared a riot early Sunday in Portland, Ore., where protesters breached a fence surrounding the city’s federal courthouse building where U.S. agents have been stationed.

Police described via Twitter the “violent conduct of people downtown” as creating a “grave risk of public alarm.” Police demanded people leave the area surrounding the courthouse, around 1:20 a.m. Sunday, and said that those who fail to adhere may be arrested or subjected to tear gas and impact weapons.

By 1:40 p.m., both federal officers and Portland police could be seen on the streets, surrounding the courthouse, attempting to clear the area and deploying tear gas.

In the hours leading up to the declared riot, thousands of people gathered in the city Saturday evening for another night of protests as demonstrations over George Floyd’s killing and the presence of federal agents sent by U.S. President Donald Trump showed no signs of abating.

Crowds began to march toward the city’s federal courthouse around 9:15 p.m., some marching from eight kilometres away. A big group of demonstrators in the North Portland neighbourhood also paraded by the police precinct there, which was roped off and had officers in riot gear standing outside the building.

They paused outside a downtown hotel, where federal agents are staying, chanting “Feds go home” and yelling the names of Black people killed by police.


Federal law enforcement officers fired tear gas to try to break up the protest. (Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)

As protesters marched down the streets, the Portland Police Bureau posted on social media for people to not walk or block the street as they may be subject to charges such as disorderly conduct and interfering with peace officers.

Hundreds of others crossed the Steel Bridge around 11 p.m. to the courthouse, meeting up with thousands of people that had already been tear-gassed by federal agents.

The fence surrounding the building had flowers and banners draped across as federal agents emerged from the courthouse to inspect it. They were met with fireworks shot over the fence.

Federal agents tossed canisters of tear gas at the crowd, while people ran toward the plumes, picked up some of the canisters and threw them back over the fence.

As some protesters attempted to cut the fence using power tools, streams of pepper spray were spewed at the crowd.

WATCH | Fireworks and  tear gas in Portland:

Protesters and federal agents clashed again into the early hours of Saturday outside a Portland, Ore., courthouse. 2:24

At the nearby Justice Center, images and words were projected onto the building including “Keep fighting. Keep pushing.”

During demonstrations the previous night federal agents repeatedly fired tear gas to break up rowdy protests that continued into the early morning Saturday. Authorities say six federal officers were injured and one person was arrested.

Demonstrations have happened in Oregon’s largest city nightly for two months since Floyd was killed in Minneapolis in May. Trump said he sent federal agents to Portland to halt the unrest but state and local officials say they are making the situation worse.


Demonstrators tore down a fence surrounding Portland’s federal courthouse building where U.S. agents have been stationed. (Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)

There were demonstrations for police reform and against the increased presence of federal law enforcement in cities across the country Saturday. In Seattle, police declared a riot Saturday afternoon following large demonstrations and deployed flash bangs and pepper spray to try to clear crowds. Authorities made more than 40 arrests said 21 officers suffered mostly minor injuries.

Chuck Lovell, the Portland police chief, released a video message on social media Saturday night calling for peace.

“Across the country people are committing violence, supposedly in support of Portland,” Lovell said. “If you want to support Portland then stop the violence, work for peace. Portland police officers and police facilities have been threatened.


Here, a protester stands in front of the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in downtown Portland on Saturday. For 56 consecutive nights, protesters have faced off in often violent clashes with the Portland Police Bureau and, more recently, federal police. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

“Now more than ever, Portland police need your support. We want to be with you in the community and working on the real relationships that will create change. We want to get back to the critical issues that have been hijacked by people committing crimes under the cover of the crowds.”

Late Friday, a federal judge denied a request by Oregon’s attorney general to restrict the actions of federal police.

The Federal Protective Service had declared the gathering in Portland that began Friday evening an unlawful assembly. Harry Fones, a Homeland Security spokesperson, said at a news conference Saturday afternoon some people launched large fireworks, threw hard projectiles and used power tools to damage property.


Demonstrators gathered on Saturday night for another protest against racial inequality and police violence in Portland. (Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)

Craig Gabriel, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, said at the news conference that of the six federal officers who were injured, one suffered a concussion and another was taken to the hospital for burns.

He said one person was arrested for failing to comply with orders. That person was later released without charges, bringing the total number of people arrested on or near the courthouse property since early July to 60.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Seattle police declare demonstrations held in solidarity with Portland protests a riot

Seattle police declared a riot Saturday following large demonstrations in the city’s Capitol Hill neighbourhood and deployed flash bangs and pepper spray to try to clear an area near where weeks earlier people had set up an “occupied protest zone” that stretched for several blocks.

Police said via Twitter they had made at least 16 arrests and were “investigating a possible explosive damage” to the walls of the city’s East Precinct police station.

Authorities said rocks, bottles and mortars were thrown at officers as they attempted to clear the area. One officer was hospitalized with a leg injury caused by an explosive.

Earlier, protesters in Seattle broke through a fence where a youth detention facility was being built, with some people setting a fire and damaging a portable trailer, authorities said.

Thousands of protesters had initially gathered peacefully near downtown Seattle on Saturday in a show of solidarity with fellow demonstrators in Portland, Ore.


Thousands of protesters had initially gathered peacefully near downtown Seattle on Saturday in a show of solidarity with fellow demonstrators in Portland, Ore. (Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press)

Portland has been roiled by nightly protests for two months following the killing by police of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. U.S. President Donald Trump said he sent federal agents to Oregon’s largest city to halt the unrest, but state and local officials say they are making the situation worse.

The clashes in Portland have further inflamed the nation’s political tensions and triggered a crisis over the limits of federal power as Trump moves to send U.S. officers to other Democratic-led cities he says are violent.

Initially there was no sign of law enforcement near the Seattle march. Later, Seattle police said via Twitter that about a dozen people breached the construction site for the King County youth detention facility. Also, police said protesters broke out windows at a King County court facility.

Earlier this week King County Executive Dow Constantine said he would work to eliminate youth detention centres in the county by 2025 in response to long-standing demands by community activists.

After the fire at the construction site authorities said they had ordered people to leave a different area, in a section of Capitol Hill, near downtown, where the East Precinct is.


Construction buildings burn near the King County Juvenile Detention Center in Seattle on Saturday. (Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press)

Earlier this month police cleared the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone after two fatal shootings. A group had occupied several blocks around a park for about two weeks following standoffs and clashes that were part of the nationwide unrest over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Prior to Saturday’s protests, Seattle police Chief Carmen Best had announced officers would be armed with pepper spray and other weapons, promising officers would not use tear gas and urging demonstrators to remain peaceful.

“In the spirit of offering trust and full transparency, I want to advise you that SPD officers will be carrying pepper spray and blast balls today, as would be typical for events that carry potential to include violence,” Best said.

WATCH | Seattle police clear city’s protest zone:

Seattle police swarmed the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone set up near the city’s downtown Wednesday. Police, many dressed in riot gear, herded protesters and tore down demonstrators’ tents in the zone after the mayor ordered it cleared. 0:59

At an emergency hearing on Friday night, U.S. District Judge James Robart granted a request from the federal government to block Seattle’s new law prohibiting police from using pepper spray, blast balls and similar weapons.

The temporary restraining order halts the law that the Seattle City Council passed unanimously last month after confrontations that have largely been peaceful but were occasionally marked by violence, looting and highway shutdowns. The law intended to de-escalate tensions between police and demonstrators was set to take effect on Sunday.

But the U.S. Department of Justice, citing Seattle’s longstanding police consent decree, successfully argued that banning the use of crowd control weapons could actually lead to more police use of force, leaving them only with more deadly weapons.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Riot Games’ New Anti-Cheat System Runs at System Boot, Uses Kernel Driver

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use.

Cheating is a scourge in multiplayer games. A single cheating player can ruin the fun of 10-20 other people in a competitive match, and while teams of pro gamers have repeatedly demonstrated they can smash cheaters in live play, most ordinary mortals don’t have much of a chance. Riot Games has every reason to work to keep cheaters out of Valorant, its new multiplayer team shooter, but how the company is doing it has raised security concerns.

While the anti-cheat client only launches alongside Valorant, there’s a kernel-mode anti-cheat driver that loads as soon as your operating system boots. According to Riot, this is required because some cheating software also injects kernel-mode drivers into the operating system, making it much harder for userspace applications to detect and stop them. In a blog post earlier this year, Riot wrote:

In the last few years, cheat developers have started to leverage vulnerabilities or corrupt Windows’ signing verification to run their applications (or portions of them) at the kernel level. The problem here arises from the fact that code executing in kernel-mode can hook the very system calls we would rely on to retrieve our data, modifying the results to appear legitimate in a way we might have difficulty detecting. We’ve even seen specialized hardware utilizing DMA to read and process system memory—a vector that, done perfectly, could be undetectable from user-mode.

Longtime tech enthusiasts are likely to get twitchy any time the phrase “kernel-mode driver” is uttered, and for good reason. The Sony rootkit fiasco of 2005 was a security disaster in which Sony BMG installed an actual rootkit on user PCs that was later exploited by additional malware.

Image from Riot’s blog.

Riot is aware that people are concerned about the security implication of this practice, but it argues the following (in condensed form):

  • If we wanted to steal data off your computer we could do it in a much easier way.
  • Cheaters are using cheats that rely on kernel-level drivers, so we need kernel-level anticheat software.
  • Riot’s anti-cheat team can’t spend as much time on this problem with multiple games to support.
  • Other anti-cheat services like EasyAntiCheat, Battleye and XignCode 3 use an anti-cheat kernel driver already.
  • It’s for your own good.

The company has affirmed that it does not send data back from individual PCs at any time other than when the game is running and that it limits its activities to cheat detection, not any other type of activity. Security experts are divided on whether or not this represents a flaw, with some taking the position that this is a fundamentally bad idea because it intrinsically increases the attack surface against the operating system, while Riot has emphasized its ability to quickly respond and its consultation with multiple expert security firms and code audits to make certain no bugs exist in the existing implementation.

The bottom line is that Riot is right — other anti-cheating systems also use kernel-mode drivers — but people still may not be comfortable granting that kind of access to any company. Malware and scam offers have surged during the pandemic and it wouldn’t be surprising to see black hats looking for new attack vectors to exploit.

Riot does not currently use this system in League of Legends but has explicitly stated it will do so at some point in the future. If you find the concept objectionable it might be best to plan to move to a different game.

Now Read:

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

ExtremeTechGaming – ExtremeTech

Hong Kong riot police move to curb airport protest after violent clashes

Hong Kong riot police took up position at the main rail station serving the airport on Sunday to prevent a new anti-government protest targeting air travel after a night of violent street clashes in the Chinese-ruled territory.

Protesters have targeted the airport before, occupying the arrivals hall, blocking approach roads and setting street fires in the nearby town of Tung Chung, and trashing its subway station.

The Airport Express train, which takes passengers under the harbour and across a series of bridges to the airport, built on reclaimed land around an outlying island, was only allowing passengers to board in downtown Hong Kong, not on the Kowloon peninsula, the Airport Authority said.

And only people holding flight tickets were allowed to enter the terminal. Bus services were also affected.


Hong Kong has been plunged into months of pro-democracy protests and unrest, and Beijing has repeatedly accused foreign governments of helping to support the protesters. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images)

“There are calls online for using fake boarding passes, fake air tickets or fake flight booking information to enter the terminal buildings…. The Airport Authority reminds that such behaviour could amount to forgery or using false instrument,” it said in a statement.

One man, a 73-year-old retiree from Canada travelling to Hong Kong, said he had no problem with the protests if they were “legal and peaceful.”

“They are just trying to voice their demands. As a civilized resident I think these demands are legitimate,” the man, who asked to be identified only as Chow, told Reuters.


Pro-democracy protesters fight with a police officer after he tackled a protester during a march in Hong Kong Saturday. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Australian traveller Jody Paul, 55, who spent a week on holiday in the former British colony, said the protests hadn’t affected her trip.

“It was lovely — we didn’t see any of the protesters or any of the action. I was hoping for a glimpse.”

The violence has hit pockets of Hong Kong at different times over more than three months, allowing life to go on as normal for the vast majority most of the time.

‘Lennon Walls’ pulled down

But pictures of petrol bombs and street clashes broadcast worldwide present a huge embarrassment for Beijing just days ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic on Oct. 1.

The Hong Kong government has already called off a big fireworks display to mark the day in case of further clashes. China, which has a People’s Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong, has said it has faith in Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to solve the crisis.

Police fired tear gas to disperse pro-democracy protesters who threw petrol bombs in two new towns on Saturday after pro-China groups pulled down some of the “Lennon Walls” of anti-government messages. There were violent clashes elsewhere in the city.

Police condemned the violence and said there had been many serious injuries in fights between people of “different views.”

“They threw petrol bombs at police vehicles and police officers, and even attempted to snatch the revolver of a police officer,” police said in a statement on Sunday.

The protests picked up in June over legislation, now withdrawn, that would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial. Demands have since broadened into calls for universal suffrage.

The protesters are angry about what they see as creeping Chinese interference in Hong Kong, which returned to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula intended to guarantee freedoms that are not enjoyed on the mainland.

China says it is committed to the “one country, two systems” arrangement and denies meddling. It has accused foreign governments including the United States and Britain of inciting the unrest.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

ISIS militants riot in Tajikistan prison, 32 dead

Three prison guards and 29 inmates have been killed in a high-security prison in Tajikistan after convicted Islamic State militants started a riot, the Central Asian nation’s Justice Ministry said on Monday.

The ministry said the riot broke out late on Sunday in the prison in the city of Vakhdat, 10 km east of the capital Dushanbe, as militants armed themselves with knives and killed three guards and five fellow prisoners.

One of the instigators of the riot was Bekhruz Gulmurod, a son of Gulmurod Khalimov, a Tajik special forces colonel who defected to Islamic State in 2015 and, according to the ministry, has since been killed in Syria.

Security forces have killed 24 militants and restored order in the prison which has 1,500 inmates, the ministry added.

Islamic State, which at one point controlled large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq but has now lost its strongholds, claimed responsibility for another Tajik prison riot last November, which followed a deadly attack by its followers on Western tourists in July 2018.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News