Germany: Synagogue photo prompts police raids on Chechens

(File photo: Reuters)
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Updated 14 January 2020

Germany: Synagogue photo prompts police raids on Chechens

  • Berlin prosecutors said some 180 officers took part in the raids at nine sites in the German capital

BERLIN: German police raided premises in four states early Tuesday on suspicion that a group of Chechens were scouting locations for a possible attack that may have included a synagogue, officials said.
Berlin prosecutors said some 180 officers took part in the raids at nine sites in the German capital and the states of Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia.
In a statement, prosecutors said the five suspects, who are aged between 23 to 28, are accused of “having scouted out locations for a possible later attack motivated by Islamism.”
“According to current information there was no concrete threat of an attack yet,” prosecutors added.
Martin Steltner, a spokesman for Berlin prosecutors, said authorities acted after discovering photographs, including of a synagogue and a shopping mall, on one suspect’s cellphone during a police check. He declined to say where the photographs were taken.
Later Tuesday prosecutors said the evidence collected so far wasn’t sufficient to justify arrest warrants against the five suspects, but that the material seized in the raids — which included knives, cash and data storage devices — was now being reviewed.
Two passers-by were killed last year when a suspected far-right extremist tried to attack a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle.

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10-year-old Bangladeshi’s communication app creates buzz

Updated 20 January 2020

10-year-old Bangladeshi’s communication app creates buzz

  • “I thought we should have something of our own, which inspired me to start working on my communication app”: Ayman Al-Anam

DHAKA: A Bangladeshi fifth-grader’s new communication app — Lita Free Video Calls and Chat — has created a huge buzz among local internet users. Already, 10,500 people have downloaded the app from the Google Play Store since Saturday.

Ayman Al-Anam submitted the app to Google on Dec. 27. After scrutiny and manual verification, Google uploaded the app on its Play Store on Dec. 31.

 “Currently, Bangladeshi internet users are mostly dependent on apps like WhatsApp, Viber and Imo for communication overseas,” Al-Anam told Arab News.

“I thought we should have something of our own, which inspired me to start working on my communication app.”

It took the 10-year-old 10 months to create the app, which he said he accomplished by himself, without the help of any mentor. “I learned the process through different YouTube tutorials. The rest was just trial and error,” he added.

 The app provides better-quality, high-definition video calls to its users. It also works for transferring big data in a shorter amount of time compared to similar apps.

Al-Anam’s success at such an early age has surprised his parents. “From a very early age, my son had a knack for technology, and I encouraged him to pursue it. He used to spend his free time in front of computers, smartphones and other devices,” said proud father Tauhedush Salam Nishad. “I always supported him, but I never dreamed that he’d see this sort of success so young.”

Recalling the first successful test run of the new app, Nishad said: “One night, I returned home from work and Ayman took my smartphone and installed the raw file of the app. Later, he did the same with his mother’s phone and connected the two devices with a video call. It was the best moment in his life. He shouted with joy, ‘I did it!’” 

Al-Anam named the app after his mother Lita. The young inventor is currently studying at South Point School and College in Chattogram, 248 km from the capital. He dreams of becoming a software engineer and wants to work at
Google headquarters.

His creation has drawn much attention from local experts. “We should nurture this sort of extraordinary talent very carefully,” Prof. Mohammad Kaikobad of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology told Arab News.

 “This new generation will lead the technology world of tomorrow if they’re guided and
encouraged properly.”