Man arrested for hacking
Police yesterday arrested a man suspected of being behind a computer hacking campaign following an exhaustive hunt that at one stage had authorities tracking down a cat for clues, reports said. Yusuke Katayama, 30, was arrested on charges of using a remote computer and sending a mass-killing threat to a comic book event after months of evading investigators with a series of vexing riddles, broadcaster NHK said. The channel aired footage of detectives escorting a chubby man with glasses into a police station. He is believed to have sent numerous threats from computers around the country, including against a school and a kindergarten attended by grandchildren of Emperor Akihito. An anonymous hacker sent messages to newspapers and broadcasters last month, claiming details of a computer virus used to dispatch the threats were strapped to a cat living on an island near Tokyo. After cracking a set of riddles, police found the cat and removed a digital memory card from its collar that revealed a message saying “a past experience in a criminal case” had caused the hacker to act.
Car bomb kills five soldiers
Five soldiers were killed yesterday in a bomb attack by suspected insurgents in Yala Province, police said. The bomb, which also wounded a sixth soldier, was detonated as the troops passed by in their patrol vehicle. “About 10 insurgents are believed to have hidden nearby and detonated the bomb, which was attached to another car,” Police Major Torphan Phusuntiae said by telephone. He said a man and a woman working in a rubber plantation were also wounded in the blast.
Police detain 271 in probe
Police have detained 271 people, most of them from the North Caucasus and central Asia, in an investigation into involvement in “terrorist activities,” authorities in St Petersburg said on Saturday. The regional investigative committee said that most detainees were from the North Caucasus and the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan. An Egyptian and an Afghan were also detained. The committee said they were detained “in order to check if they had legal grounds for being in St Petersburg and their possible involvement in terrorist activities.”
Six win ice pole contest
Six contestants have braved butt-numbing cold and boredom to win an annual ice pole-sitting contest in the northern town of Vilhelmina. Two women and four men shared the 20,000 kronor prize (US$3,100) for remaining on 2.5m blocks of ice during the 48-hour contest, which ended on Saturday. Competitors said the worst part was not the cold — temperatures dipped below minus-28°C — but the monotony, even though they were allowed to come down for 10-minute toilet breaks.
Jailed activists on strike
Seventeen jailed cyberactivists have begun a hunger strike in protest against delays in their appeals, media reported yesterday. The activists in Samayl central prison launched a hunger strike on Friday “to protest against what they claimed to be a delay in reviewing their appeal by the Supreme Court,” the Times of Oman quoted their lawyer Yaqoob al-Harthi as saying. “The activists will only drink water until their demands are met,” Harthi said, adding that their families had submitted a letter to the Supreme Court demanding speedier hearings.