Rabat – Morocco has adopted a new terrorist strategy to deal with potential terrorist or extremist threats within the country.The new strategy, implemented by the Ministry of Interior on February 28th, centers on preventative measures such as the monitoring of lone wolves who are not necessarily affiliated with terrorist groups and increasing the capacity of local authorities and enforcement officers to handle extremists in their localities.According to media reports, local enforcement officers were trained on methods and techniques of gathering intelligence. They received intense marathon meetings and training courses, supervised by Bachas, heads of districts and Caids, in coordination with officials of the National Security apparatus (DGSN) and the Royal Gendarmerie. The meetings and workshops were designed to arouse awareness among local enforcement officers who are well aware of the situation in their regions, including the moqadems and chioukhs, and urging them to increase surveillance around the new residents in their neighborhoods and villages, and gather as much information about them.Once collected, the information will be shared during weekly meetings planned across all prefectures and provinces, reported Al Massae newspaper.The information will be then examined by members of a common cell that will consist of representatives of the national security apparatus, which will be called upon to inspect and surround the extremists, the Arabic-speaking daily added.According to the same source, the objective of the new anti-terrorism strategy is to accelerate the suspects’ recognition process, especially as extremists are likely to act alone and be guided from abroad by transcontinental groups via social networks.
Master’s student Ashley Hobden with children in a favela or shanty town in Rio de Janeiro.After finishing her undergraduate degree in psychology and child and youth studies at Brock University, Ashley Hobden spent a good part of a year volunteering in impoverished communities in Brazil.She worked with families and children living in the mountainside shanty towns known as favelas in Rio de Janeiro. The lifestyle and culture of the favela was quite different than what Hobden experienced growing up in Burlington, Ont. The concept of childhood began to interest Hobden as she continued with her volunteer work, particularly what childhood means and how it’s defined.“I started to question the ideologies and assumptions about what it means to be a child,” she says. “When we think about children, there’s a tendency to subject our experiences, attitudes and views universally – a one-size-fits-all idea of the childhood experience.”Those questions led Hobden back to Brock last September to begin a master’s degree in child and youth studies. Her thesis work also means a return to Rio de Janeiro this year to spend four months studying the daily life and cultural practices of the favela as it relates to the childhood experience.“It’s not uncommon in the favelas in Rio to walk into a bar at 11 p.m. and see kids sitting at a table with parents. Your immediate reaction is to think that this is wrong, but this is cultural,” she says.“Around Christmas, you’ll find six-year-olds signing up their families for a campaign to be provided with food. Your first thought is to ask why they are doing this and not their parents. But you have to put aside your preconceived notions as to what you think is right or wrong. Instead, you have to ask yourself ‘What can we learn from this?’”Hobden hopes her research will bring new understanding to alternative approaches to viewing childhood, and the impact culture and society have on the perceptions and concepts of childhood.“By looking at childhood in certain ways, there are implications in regards to policy, practice, and education for children,” she says. “I think there are huge implications for seeing childhood in cultural ways and recognizing the importance of cherishing children’s voices in developing and shaping policy that affects their lives.”Hobden is one of about 125 graduate students presenting research at the Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Research Conference on April 10. The annual showcase of graduate student research and scholarship will feature oral and poster presentations, the 3MT (Three Minute Thesis) Contest, and the presentation of the Graduate Mentorship Awards.The conference runs 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Plaza 300 and 400 levels and the Cairns 300 level. All are welcome.
FILE – In this Dec. 1, 2014 file photo, John P. Elwood, attorney for Anthony D. Elonis, who claimed he was just kidding when he posted a series of graphically violent rap lyrics on Facebook about killing his estranged wife, shooting up a kindergarten class and attacking an FBI agent, speaks to reporters outside the Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court on Monday threw out the conviction of a Pennsylvania man convicted of making threats on Facebook, but dodged the free speech issues that had made the case intriguing to First Amendment advocates. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for seven justices, said it was not enough for prosecutors to show that the comments of Anthony Elonis would make a reasonable person feel threatened. But the court did not specify to lower courts exactly what the standard of proof should be. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday threw out the conviction of a Pennsylvania man prosecuted for making threats on Facebook, but dodged the free-speech issues that had made the case intriguing to First Amendment advocates.Chief Justice John Roberts said it was not enough for prosecutors to show that the comments of Anthony Elonis about killing his ex-wife and harming others would make a reasonable person feel threatened. But the high court sent the case back to the lower court without clarifying exactly what the standard of proof should be.The ruling was a narrow victory for civil liberties groups that had urged the court to make it tougher to convict people who make crude comments on social media that might be viewed as threatening.Yet the high court declined to lay out broad constitutional protections for such comments. “It is not necessary to consider any First Amendment issues,” Roberts wrote.Elonis, of Freemansburg, in eastern Pennsylvania, was prosecuted under a law that makes it a crime to threaten another person after he posted Facebook rants in the form of rap lyrics about killing his estranged wife, harming law enforcement officials and shooting up a school.One post about his wife said, “There’s one way to love you but a thousand ways to kill you. I’m not going to rest until your body is a mess, soaked in blood and dying from all the little cuts.”Elonis claimed the government had no right to prosecute him if he didn’t actually intend his comments to be threatening to others. He argued that his musings were protected by the First Amendment.But the government said it didn’t matter what Elonis intended. It argued that if the comments provoked enough fear and anxiety to make a reasonable person feel threatened, that was enough to prosecute it as a crime.Seven justices on the high court agreed that it was not necessary to reach First Amendment issues in reversing Elonis’ conviction. Roberts said the reasonable-person standard is “inconsistent with the conventional requirement for criminal conduct — awareness of some wrongdoing.”Justice Samuel Alito agreed with the outcome, but said he would have made clear that a person can violate the law if he disregards the risk that comments will be interpreted as a threat.Justice Clarence Thomas dissented, saying he would have found Elonis’ posts to be “true threats” under the objective standard accepted by the vast majority of appeals courts prior to Monday’s ruling.Facebook was not a party in the case.Elonis had claimed his posts under the pseudonym “Tone Dougie” were a form of therapy that allowed him to cope with the breakup of his marriage and being fired from his job at an amusement park.His lawyers said the comments were heavily influenced by rap star Eminem, who has also fantasized in songs about killing his ex-wife. Elonis’ wife testified that the comments made her fear for her life and she persuaded a judge to issue a protective order.After his wife obtained a protective order, Elonis wrote on Facebook: “Is it thick enough to stop a bullet?”Those and other comments led to his arrest. A jury found Elonis guilty under a law barring interstate communications that contain “any threat to injure the person of another.” He was sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison and was released last year.Elonis was arrested again in April for allegedly throwing a pot that hit his girlfriend’s mother in the head. Police charged him with simple assault and harassment.Steven Shapiro, national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the decision “recognizes that the law has for centuries required the government to prove criminal intent before putting someone in jail.”“While today’s decision insists on fairness, it is not a license to threaten, which remains illegal when properly proved,” Shapiro said.While the ruling was seen as a minor victory for First Amendment advocates, University of Maryland law professor James Grimmelmann said it was also “not much of a loss for people concerned about harassment and domestic violence.”Elonis’ attorney, John Elwood, said he is confident Elonis will be vindicated when lower courts reconsider his case, possibly at a new trial.“We’re pleased that the Supreme Court saw the case for what it was: A criminal conviction for a “crime” of speech based on only a showing of negligence,” Elwood said.The Justice Department says 63 people were indicted on federal charges of making illegal threats in the 2013 fiscal year, up from 53 cases the previous year.___Follow Sam Hananel on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SamHananelAP by Sam Hananel, The Associated Press Posted Jun 1, 2015 9:26 am MDT Last Updated Jun 1, 2015 at 2:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Supreme Court throws out conviction over threats posted on Facebook