- - Wednesday, May 16, 2012

UNITED KINGDOM

LONDON — A top British defense official warned Wednesday that a cyberattack aimed at a NATO member could mobilize the entire 28-nation alliance to act against an aggressor.

Nick Harvey, secretary of state for the armed forces, told members of Parliament that NATO’s Article 5 could be invoked in the case of a cyberattack “the same way it might be invoked for a conventional attack.”

Article 5 provides for the collective defense of NATO members and states that an attack on one member is an attack on every member. It has only been invoked once - after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist strikes in the United States.


Lawmaker James Arbuthnot asked Mr. Harvey whether he believed NATO could have intervened in the 2007 cyberattacks against Estonia, an electronic onslaught which the tiny Baltic nation blamed on Russia.

“Potentially, yes,” Mr. Harvey replied.

YEMEN

Troops, warplanes strike al Qaeda strongholds

SANAA — Government troops and warplanes pounded al Qaeda positions in southern Yemen on Wednesday, killing at least 29 militants as part of a ramped up campaign against the terrorist group, military officials said.

Al-Qaeda-linked fighters have taken over a swath of territory and several towns in the south, including the Abyan provincial capital of Zinjibar, in the past year, pushing out government forces and setting up their own rule. In recent weeks, the army has launched a concerted effort to dislodge the militants from their strongholds and is closely coordinating with U.S. troops who are helping guide the operations from inside Yemen.

On Wednesday, Yemeni airstrikes hit a farm in Moudia, 25 miles east of the town of Lawder in Abyan, where al Qaeda fighters were holed up, killing at least 16 militants including top local commander Samir al-Fathani, officials said.

His brother, Abdel-Monem al-Fathani, was involved in the bombing of the USS Cole in October 2000 and was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Abyan in late January.

The fighting is part of a four-front offensive the military began Tuesday.

RUSSIA

Police arrest protesters in crackdown on dissent

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