Pak-born London terrorist was trying to get job with Wimbledon

first_imgsecurity firm: reportLondon, Jun 11 (PTI) Pakistan-born British citizen Khuram Butt, the London Bridge attack ringleader, had been trying to get a job with a security firm that provides stewards for Wimbledon and other sporting events, raising concerns whether he had considered targeting the prestigious tennis tournament.Security services and counter-terrorism police are now investigating 27-year-old Butts motive in trying to get the job with the security company, the Telegraph reported today.Citing well-placed sources, the paper said that Butt had set up the job interview with the security firm that supplies safety stewards to Wimbledon and to Premier League football clubs. The interview was scheduled to take place at the end of this month.”One possibility is Butt had considered targeting the tennis tournament but decided to speed up the plot, following the Manchester Arena bombing, and switched the attack to London Bridge,” the paper said.Butt had previously worked for six months on the London Underground until quitting in October.Although he was under lowlevel investigation by MI5 and counterterrorism police, Butt was able to get a job working at Westminster station because employers are not made aware of security services concerns when performing criminal records checks, the paper said.”The security firm would check his background but it does not have access to the police watch list or have knowledge of any MI5 investigation. There would have been no reason for him not to get the job. Butt could not only have caused serious damage but potentially helped other terrorists to get into one of these events,” the paper said, quoting a source close to the intelligence services.advertisementButt and his aides Moroccan-origin Rachid Redouane and Moroccon-Italian Yousef Zaghba rammed a high-speed van into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing revellers at the nearby Borough Market, killing eight people before being shot dead by armed police officers last week.Scotland Yard last night released photographs of the fake suicide belts Butt, Redouane and Zaghba wore during the attack.The trio had attached water bottles to leather belts and covered them in silver masking tape. The belts were still being worn by them when they were shot dead by armed officers.”It is hard to speculate what the motive was for wearing the belts. It could be that they had plans to take the attack in to a siege situation or it might be that they saw it as protection from being shot themselves,” said Commander Dean Haydon, who is leading the investigation. PTI ZH AKJ ZHlast_img read more

Indonesia bids spectacular farewell to Asian Games

first_imgBy Bharat Sharma Jakarta, Sep 1 (PTI) Indonesia bid an emotional farewell to the 18th Asian Games, displaying the same gritty spirit with which it organised the 15-day sporting extravaganza as thousands braved heavy rain to turn up for a spectacular closing ceremony here on Sunday. The 76,000 capacity Gelora Bung Karno stadium did not attract many people when the track and field events were on but they made a beeline to watch the two-hour long closing ceremony that was high on entertainment. Indonesia’s love for Bollywood was also on full display as singer Siddharth Slathia and Denada sang popular numbers ‘Koi Mil Gaya’, ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hain’ and ‘Jai Ho’. As expected, the closing ceremony was not as spectacular as the opening when Indonesian President Joko Widodo made headlines with his bike stunt to enter the venue. But it was fun nonetheless with a heady mix of song, dance and fireworks. Widodo’s video message to his countrymen and the entire Asian continent also added to the excitement. For the organisers, it was the end of an intense and successful campaign, having got four years to prepare for the second biggest multi-sporting event in the world following Vietnam’s withdrawal. Having two cities — Jakarta and Palembang — as co-hosts was a first in Games’ history, making the herculean task all the more challenging. Hosting more than 11,000 athletes from 45 countries across two contrasting cities was no mean feat but a determined Indonesia pulled it off, overcoming the triple threat posed by terrorism, crime and its notorious traffic.advertisement “Everyone supported, that’s the key. The whole of Indonesia became one and supported the Games. We had a plan since March, 2016. As an organisation we made sure we implemented that plan. We also got the best Indonesian talent to support the Games. Did everything work? Not 100 percent. But we tried to solve the issues and did not run away from them,” said Erick Thohir, chief of organizing committee INASGOC. The successful staging of the Games, happening for the first time in Indonesia since 1962, has also given the country the confidence to bid for the 2032 Olympics. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, who was at the VIP area alongside OCA chief Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah and Indonesian Vice-President, has also given a thumbs up to the countrys Olympic bid. While the grand opening ceremony showcased Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage, the closing of the Games was a modest affair but still scored high on liveliness. The spectators revelled in the united spirit of Asia as artists from India, China and Korea performed. India’s Slathia, one among the six singers who sang the Games anthem in their local language, enthralled the spectators alongside the reputed Ikon and Super Junior from Korea besides Indonesia’s very own like Isyana Saraswati, Dira Sugandi, RAN and Bunga Citra Lestari. For the physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted athletes, the ceremony gave them an opportunity to let their hair down. Forgetting the intense competition for the moment, the sporting champions mingled to celebrate the occasion rather than parading separately. China and Japan, who finished an expected first and second in the medals tally, were welcomed vociferously but the roar got louder when the Indonesian contingent marched in. Indonesia finished fourth in the medals tally, a drastic improvement from a top-20 finish in Incheon four years ago. The Indian contingent was led by women hockey team’s captain and flag-bearer Rani Rampal. It was also a memorable Games for India as it produced the best ever performance with 69 medals including 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze. The loudest cheer, however, was reserved for the 13,000 volunteers who worked tirelessly to contribute to the Games success. The ceremony culminated with Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah calling on the athletes to meet in four years in Hangzhou, the host for the 2022 Asian Games, before the symbolic handing over of the OCA flag to the Mayor of the Chinese city, Xu Li Yi. A sneak peek video of the next host city was also played out on the giant screen, followed by a short cultural performance. PTI BS PDSPDSlast_img read more

ISL: Bengaluru FC maintain unbeaten streak with win over FC Goa

first_imgBengaluru FC edged past FC Goa to maintain their unbeaten streak in the Indian Super League.Rahul Bheke and Sunil Chhetri scored a goal each as Bengaluru registered a 2-1 victory over Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Thursday.Bheke opened the scoring with an improvised backheel flick in the 34th minute. Both teams were then reduced to 10 men after the restart as Mohammad Ali and Dimas Delgado were sent off.Brandon Fernandes equalised for the hosts in the 72nd minute but Chhetri notched the winner for Bengaluru five minutes later.The win takes Bengaluru — only unbeaten side in the ISL — level on points with FC Goa at the top of the table with two games in hand.Bengaluru had the first sight of goal after Chencho Gyeltshen and Udanta Singh combined well on the right flank. The Indian winger delivered a teasing ball across the face of goal, but Mohammad Nawaz punched it away from danger.At the other end, Carlos Pena’s cross from the left was intercepted by Juanan at the near post but the ball fell to Hugo Boumous whose close-range shot was brilliantly saved by Gurpreet Singh.Hugo Boumous’ defence-splitting through-ball midway through the first-half allowed Seriton Fernandes to sneak in behind the Bengaluru defence but Gurpreet was alert to the situation and got to the ball in a jiffy.The visitors took the lead in the 34th minute when Delgado’s corner-kick fell to Xisco Hernandez at the edge of the box. The Spaniard’s weak shot was gorgeously flicked into the net by Bheke at the far post.advertisementThe defender almost doubled his side’s lead at the stroke of half-time after Mourtada Fall’s poor first touch gifted him the ball inside the box. Bheke’s effort, however, skimmed off the crossbar.The hosts were reduced to 10 men two minutes into the second-half when Ali picked up a second yellow card. The full-back pushed the ball away with his hand to prevent Xisco from getting to it on the right flank and received a second yellow card.Bengaluru were also dealt a blow at the hour mark when Delgado was shown a straight red card for a high-footed tackle on Hugo Boumous.The game stretched in midfield as Goa sought an equaliser.Chhetri found Nishu Kumar in space down the left flank and the full-back used his first touch to skip past Seriton Fernandes into the box and forced a good low save from Nawaz.Goa got their equaliser in the 72nd minute when Ferran Corominas fought his way into the box through a crowd of defenders and found Brandon in the centre. The Indian midfielder slotted the ball into the net, helped by a deflection.Bengaluru restored their lead five minutes later. Thongkhosiem Haokip played Udanta Singh into space on the right flank and the Indian winger delivered a terrific cross to the far post where Chhetri lost his marker and headed home to secure all three points for his side.(With inputs from IANS)last_img read more