Why not a day for Jihad asks Lashkar?

There has been a warning by the ministry of Home Affairs stating that the ongoing cricket world cup is under threat. The threat is specific to the world cup final which will be played on April 2 and the attack is said to have been planned by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Jamaat-e-Ahle-Sunnat.

Almost a month before the world cup, sources in the Intelligence Bureau had said that this grand event would be a target for terrorists. The Lashkar hatred towards cricket is quite an old one. Although the official line that the Lashkar tows while making its anger public against the game is connected to Jihad, the real reason is that the attention that they get in such an attack is immense.

The IB says that the latest threat from the Lashkar is interesting. They have roped in the Jamaat-e-Ahle-Sunnat for this attack. If one may recall this is the same outfit which had made news when it had warned people in Pakistan against offering prayers for the assasinated Salman Taseer.

The home ministry advisory of these two groups coming together during an attack indicates a deadly cocktail of Islamic fanatics. The IB says that the JAS is just another off shoot of the Lashkar. It was predictable that more such splinter groups would come out in the wake of the international pressure on the ISI to shut down the Lashkar.

If one looks closely at the JAS, it comprises mainly religious scholars. These were the same scholars who put out an ideology regarding cricket which the main bosses of the Lashkar had acted upon. Since quite some time the Lashkar has been making it clear that cricket will not be accepted in Pakistan. They had always been vocal about the fact that Pakistan should never play cricket. They did carry out the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team sometime back which ensured that cricket in Pakistan was banned for a long time.

The scholars who now belong to the JAS were originally part of the Lashkar. These persons are generally the think tanks who give a very religious feel to the madness practised by the Lashkar. The IB says that the final result is just chaos and madness and the Lashkar always wants to create panic and see as many people dead in any attack. However each attack needs to be justified for public consumption and that is when these religious scholars come into the picture to justify the attack either by connecting it to God or religion.

In the case of cricket, the Lashkar’s theory is simple.They feel that each and every Pakistani should focus all its attention on jihad. They find that there is more frenzy in Pakistan towards cricket than jihad. The Lashkar had made it clear that people can sit an entire day watching a game of cricket and could also waste up to five days watching the game. However they will not spend a single day for jihad which is clearly more important to them. Hence this group has always thought that the best way to send out this message is to target the game and its players.

Security agencies however rubbish this ideology and say that the only intention in their mind is mass murder. Sport has always been a soft target and they are well aware that providing security around stadiums is no easy job. The entire security pattern apart from screening and detection revolves round intelligence who will need to give very specific information about the movement of these terrorists.

Coming back to the instant case on hand the fact that the Lashkar has roped in the JAS is another indication that they want this organisation to gain recognition in the international community. They are clearly not content with the world knowing the JAS as a small fanatic group and would like the world to know about their capabilities. While the Lashkar would also want some of the heat on it to reduce, it would also want to create a new group which would carry out its activities in their name and hence the birth of the JAS.

The intercepts pertaining to the existing threat suggests that 17 militants of the JAS have purchased tickets and would be travelling to the venue and carry out a fidayeen styled attack. Currently all venues where the matches are being played are under tight scrutiny and the names of all the ticket holders are also being scanned.

When a police source was contacted, he said that the threat was serious. We would need the cooperation of all those present at these venues. We know that it is hard for them to keep down their excitement levels but they would have to cooperate and also inform the security about any suspicious movement in the interest of over all security.

In addition to this the intelligence also says that police officials should not focus all their attention just on the cricket ground. The team routes and important locations of the place in which the games are being played could also come under attack. Hence a state of high alert needs to be maintained everytime a game is played in the cricket world cup.

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I wont target BJP just because Congress wants me to

Justice Santosh Hegde. Photo courtesy: The Hindu
On a lighter note, the controversial Lokayukta of Karnataka, Justice N Satosh Hegde says, “ I am in the news even when I keep quiet.” This was a reference to the remarks by the Law Minister of India, Veerappa Moily who had said that the Lokayukta’s actions against the corrupt were superficial and he can do more. Moily was however quick to retract and said that he had been quoted out of context.

Justice Hegde is however not amused with these comments and says clearly that that he would not make life miserable for the BJP just because the Congress wants him to do it.

Sir, you are back in the news once again.

(Laughs) Yes I am. Do you think it is a good thing (laughs again)

The Law Minister has said that he was quoted out of context and what was printed was wrong. What do you have to say about this?

The Union Law Minister has apologized in writing. He has also stated the same in the press. So I guess the matter is closed now and I do not think dignity permits me to take the matter forward any more.

He had said that the actions by you are superficial and you are not doing enough. What are your thoughts on this?

I don’t think he needs to tell me what I am doing. If he has information then he is free to give it to me. I will act upon it. He is wrong when he makes such statements and I am not the one who has been just issuing statements.

Considering that such a statement is coming from a law minister of the country, how does that make you feel?

I do not need a certificate from him. Let the people of the state give me a certificate. I will be content with that.

Does it put more pressure that such statements are coming from a law minister of the country?

Why should it as long as I am doing my job? It is a democracy and everyone talks and so he is free to talk too. However when a person in authority talks loosely it is unbecoming of a person holding such a high position. Let his talk statistics and give me information. I will not hesitate to act upon it.

Do you think Moily has an understanding of the office of the Lokayukta?

(laughs). He thinks the Lokayukta is all permissive. As a law minister he should know what my powers are and up to what extent I can act. Being in such a position he would do well to give the Lokayukta more powers and enhance the institution instead of making such lose statements. It looks like he has forgotten what my powers are.

Were you representing him in the JMM bribery scam?

Yes I was. Moily has forgotten that I had represented him in that Rs 3.5 crore scam. He should also remember that I had not charged him a single penny when I represented him in that case.

Going by the statements of Moily it appears that he was trying to say that you had not acted upon the scams in which the Chief Minister of Karnataka, B S Yeddyurappa was involved in.

He should not talk without knowing the facts. For them it may be politics, but for me it is not. I will act when there is proof and I am not going to make life miserable for the Chief Minister only because the Congress wants me to. That is not my job. I will act without hesitation when there is a strong case on hand. I will not step aside from doing that.

We are sorry, the case is not good enough

India is desperately looking for at least 80 terrorists who are hiding both within and out of the country. It has been ascertained that most of these men are hiding outside the country and the only way in which they can be brought down to the country is with the help of the Interpol.

Now here is a shocking fact. Most of the requests that have been sent to the Interpol have been rejected and this would mean that there will be no international support for India to bring these men down and question them.

The list of persons whose requests have been rejected is an interesting one. They include three key persons- Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal, Asadullah and several others who are very close to the underworld and have taken refuge outside the country.

Letters of request have been sent to the Interpol seeking the arrest of these men. However these requests have been rejected on the ground that the police have not built a strong enough case against them. The information regarding these men have been vague in nature and it was not good enough for the Interpol to take up the request and arrest these men.

As per the procedure what first India requires is an extradition treaty and once that is in place the Interpol can go about its job and track these men down. Moreover once the Interpol takes up the request a red corner alert will be sounded against the terrorist which would mean that every moment of his is being tracked.

In so far as Riyaz and Iqbal, two very important terrorists, the last information suggested that they were in Karachi. While it is certain that Iqbal is in Karachi, the case of Riyaz is a bit murky since there was news that he had been shot down by the Chota Rajan gang.

An official of the intelligence bureau says that it is hard to get someone who is hiding in Pakistan, but if there is a red corner alert against that person, he could be well arrested when he is moving out of the country he is hiding in. when an Interpol rejects a request by the respective police force then a red corner alert cannot be sounded and this would mean that these persons can move around freely between countries without coming under the scanner of the Interpol. The IB can only pick up intercepts and pass it on to the police force. It cannot conduct a personal investigation of its own in such cases and it is the duty of the police to do that. The police will have to gather details of the person apart from collect evidence and then hand it over the Interpol who will keep these persons under a watch list. Unless the details given are strong, the Interpol will not act on any such request.

Police sources say that the information on most occasions that they receive from the intelligence is vague in nature. It is very difficult to build up a strong case and provide the exact details that the Interpol is looking for. However it is not the end of the road if the request is rejected since they can always do it again. Terrorists operate in a very smart manner and most of the time they leave behind very little trail. It is hard to find people to testify against them and hence building up the case is a battle. The Ajmer and Mecca Masjid blasts are a clear cut example. The investigations went in one particular direction for two years before taking a swing in a completely opposite direction.

The police say that in some cases it is virtually impossible to suit the requirements of the Interpol. There have been cases where they have to resort to other tactics to bring their target down to the country. One of the most famous incidents involved Sarfaraz Nawaz, an accused in the Bangalore serial blasts case. An Interpol request against him did not work out and hence they had to go to Muscat undercover as tourists and get in touch with him. Nawaz was however aware of the law and resisted the police and the latter had to resort to various other tactics before he agreed to come down with them.

The police say that it is easy to raise a hue and cry over such incidents, but the fact of the matter is that it is extremely difficult to bring down through the Interpol. The other problem is that they cannot take too long either to build up a strong case before the Interpol. There is every chance of these men planning something else or even slipping into hostile nations, like how Riyaz, Iqbal and Dawood Ibrahim did.

Now Pak says Mir is a cleric

Sajid Mir

The hunt for the mysterious Sajid Mir will only get tougher for India as Pakistan continues to remain in denial about the existence of this man. Do not expect Pakistan or its dreaded ISI to tell us the truth about this man, is what the member of every agency said when contacted for information regarding Mir.

We all know what Mir is capable of and his skills were out on display during the 26/11 attack when he spoke to the terrorists who had gone about mercilessely killing people. India has been making consistent efforts to get information regarding Mir and his whereabouts. The latest bit of information that has poured in regarding Mir from Pakistan is strange. They go on to say that the only Mir that they know is a religious leader who operates out of Pakistan. He is a cleric and has never been associated with the army or any other major establishment in Pakistan is what the Pakistan authorities have had to say about him.

India did make a last ditch attempt to interrogate Saeed Hafiz and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi but were refused access recently. Although expected the response from Pakistan was quite disappointing the Indian agencies say. The entire case of 26/11 is pretty clear, but there are two factors which continue to haunt the Indian agencies and unless this is clear there is no way in which one could say that the investigations are complete. The role of Hafiz Saeed in this attack is crystal clear. It is public knowledge that he is the top man in the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and his affiliations with the Pakistan establishment are all very clear.

However through Saeed India was looking to get more information on Mir since at the moment is more important than any other person involved in this plot. India was looking to interrogate Saeed in order to get a clear picture on Mir, his antecedents and also his whereabouts. However that will not be a reality now as Pakistan has flatly refused access to this man.

India’s tryst to get its hands on Mir commenced four days after the 26/11 attack. Although the voice samples of this man took a while to ascertain, it was based on intercepts and other sources of intelligence that the name of Mir came out in the open.

Six months after the attack there was immense pressure on Pakistan to make arrests in connection with this attack and at that point of time they had claimed that Mir too had been taken into custody. However an expose later revealed that they had taken in some ordinary man in order to show to the world that they were doing their job. Later it was announced that they had got the wrong man.

The IB says that this is one big bluff on part of Pakistan. Today they say that Mir is just an ordinary cleric in Pakistan who has no affiliations with the Pakistan army as is being reported in the media world wide. If this is what they have to say now then why was an arrest made and the world told that the man who was picked up was Mir. This just adds to the confusion and it becomes clear that they are trying their best to hide the identity of this man.

India has made various attempts to get some clarity regarding this man. However as was reported earlier the confusion regarding his name still remains. In some circles he is known as Sajid Mir and in some as Sajid Majid. On the other hand the US media says that he was part of the Pakistan army and continues to be well connected with the establishment. However these facts too are not adding up since there is still confusion regarding his age. India maintains that he joined the Lashkar when he was 16 years old. However it is unclear how he made the transition into the Pakistan army as an officer after that. The interpol notice on him says he is 32 years old but Headley whose handler was Mir says he is 34 years old. The big question is that whether someone so young could have been handed over such a huge responsibility right from the age of 16. It somehow does not add up and there is a great deal that Pakistan continues to conceal.

India says that Mir is a global operative and has been wanted in several cases across the globe. His conviction in absentia by a French court a few years back is a testimony to India’s claims. The intelligence bureau also says that he was once arrested in Dubai along with a few others. He was allegedly plotting a major terror attack, but he was released mysteriously without proper interrogation or investigation. It is suspected that his close links with the ISI helped him wriggle out this situation.

India will now have to find an alternative to find out more on Mir. The door leading up to Saeed or Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi are shut now. The interrogation of Headley too did not give much on Mir. The NIA feels that Headley too did not know much about this man and hence the responses on him were extremely contradictory in nature. There is a need to coordinate with the French who have tried this man and also seek access to Tawahur Rana who also was in the know of Mir.

While these efforts would clear up the 26/11 mystery to a large extent, it would also give India more information about what is in store. It is a known fact that the videos shot by Headley fell into the hands of Mir and this is worrisome since Mir is very capable of acting upon it which can prove fatal to the security of India.

Hawala, D and 2G

The death of Sadiq Batcha appears to be getting murkier as the second round of investigations into the 2G scam was all set to focus on the D link and the hawala transactions.

The CBI coupled with its own evidence and inputs from the intelligence bureau had managed to link some of the transactions to hawala operators who were part of the D gang which is headquartered in Pakistan.

The CBI’s investigation shows that Batcha who hails originally from Perambalur which is also Raja’s home town had floated a company in Singapore in the year. This company which came into existence in the year 2007 was an arm of the Green House company. It is said that this arm was set up at a paltry Rs 3 lakh and in the next two to three years it grew into a Rs 600 crore company.

The investigators suspect that this company was just a front to channelize the money made out of the 2G spectrum scam through hawala networks. The CBI had managed to establish all the money that came to Raja as part of the 2G scam was channelized into the Singapore based company through a well laid out hawala network. It was further established that Batcha who himself was well versed with the hawala network due to past experience had played the lead role in channelizing the money.

However the more important thing is that every hawala network in the country is controlled by the D gang and the CBI was trying to find as to what extent this horrific gang had played a part in channelizing money which emerged out of the 2G scam.

Sources say that the next round of interrogation in connection with this scam was to largely revolve around the money trail. The CBI wanted the names of four very crucial persons who helped Batcha channelize the money between India and Singapore. These men are alleged to be operative of the D gang and this was something that even Batcha wanted to avoid coming out in the open. Sources say that they wanted to grill Batcha further on this and he was to be interrogated today regarding the same link. Apart from this the investigators also suspected that the close circle of Raja and other top political leaders were aware of the manner in which the funds were being channelized. It would have been a major embrassment for all those involved in this to have their names associated with members of the D gang and hence the panic button was pressed, sources also say.

The hawala angle to the 2G scam has been doing the rounds for quite some time now. The interrogation of Paramesh Kumar, Raja nephew it was found that there were large money transfers through export orders. Further investigators were also looking at the manner in which the money could have been transferred through hawala operators. The last round of investigations looked into the possibility of money being transferred through vegitable vendors and textile exporters.

The intelligence bureau points out that vegitable vendors, exporters, courier services and other such small time unassuming businesses are usually set up to transfer money through hawala transactions. The IB also points out that the D Gang specializes on this front and the three major businesses after a drop in arms smuggling for this gang is drugs, hawala and fake currency. All these markets have been set up in India which acts as a major centre, the IB pointed out.

AOL-Moving ahead

From a 1000 employees to a bare 100. A pale of gloom has descended over the employees of the online media company AOL most of who have been laid off. At a recent meeting AOL India head Kumar Talluri and officials from the US had told their staff in Bangalore that around 500 employees would be laid off which included the entire management team.

We spoke to a couple of employees who faced the axe recently thanks to this big lay off. These employees who did not want to be named for this report say that it has been a major set back, but they did see this coming. One of them says that he felt this was about to come and he had changed his job almost a year back.

The first axe was on those employees who were appointed on contract. Last year itself we were being told that the contracts would not be renewed and that is when we realised that there was something wrong. On many ocassions we did ask our bosses about this, but they themselves did not know exactly as to what was happening. Our discussions always revolved round this and on most ocassions we did conclude that we need to be prepared for the worst since AOL does have a history of laying off its staff.

The news regarding the lay offs have been doing the rounds for quite sometime. However today it is official and most of them have got their letters officially today. Says another employee, “I got my letter two days back. I am yet to look out for another job. Our higher ups were not being clear about anything since the past 4 months. There was a buzz in the office regarding this and we just hoped that it was a phase and would pass by. It is quite shocking, but them I am not alone. There are 100 others who are in a similar situation.”

Yes there have been reports that companies such as HP and Mindtree would absorb some of the employees. However that is only for those who are on the technical side. The editorial employees do not have any such thing. We have to start looking out now and hope that we are able to find something. Most of my friends had already started looking out. For some it has materialised and for some it has not. However our company has been kind enough and has offered a good severence package. Regular employees have been given salaries for four months and we have been told to leave by April.

Says Jatin (name changed), we have been finding it hard to get jobs. The market knows the situation and on many cases companies have tried to run us down in terms of salaries as they know we are desperate. Fortunately the silver lining is that we have four months of a salary as per our severance package and we do have some time on hand to look out.

The letter which was sent to us was quite vague in nature. I wish they had been more honest. It just says that there is a strategy chance and we did not fit into their plans. This is in the case of the regular employees. The ones who were on contract were told almost a year back that their contracts would not have been renewed. We should have sensed what was going on at that time and started to look out.

Says Amar (name changed), I was quite lucky. The moment I realised that there was something wrong in here, I put out my resume and looked out. My job offer has just come and I should thank God for this. I was to get married next month and there was no way I could have gone about it if I did not have a job on hand. You know the commitments involved when one has to get married. I had taken a couple of loans and the pressure on me was very high. I only hope all my friends in AOL are as lucky as me.

 

 

Did Batcha have too much on him?

Sadiq Batcha
Sadiq Batcha. Photo courtesy: Samay Live

A key aide of former telecom minister, Sadiq Batcha is said to have committed suicide at his residence in Chennai on Wednesday. Currently the police are seeing this as a case of suicide, but do not rule out foul play either.

Ever since the arrest of A Raja, there was immense pressure on Batcha who according to the Central Bureau of Investigation was the key man of the former minister.he

promoter of a company by the name Greenhouse. The investigation by the CBI points to the fact that Greenhouse was the front company belonging to Raja and all the money earned through the 2G spectrum scam was parked in various places through this company. The investigations have also shown that Batcha handled all the money which came into Raja’s hand. It was also found that he had invested this money in a lot of real estate projects in Tamil Nadu.

Today there is no reason for the police to believe that it could have been a case of murder as well. He had on him too much information and he was the man who would have given the CBI the exact route of the 2G money trail.

Sources say that even if it was a case of suicide it could have been due to immense pressure since the CBI was also looking into the underworld and the hawala link to the money trail made out of the multi crore 2G scam. It is said that Batcha was the link between the 2G money and also the underworld and the hawala operators.

The CBI which has raided Batcha’s house on two ocassions was all set to question him in connection with the money trail. Moreover the CBI had also decided to arrest Bathca and question him under their custody.

This was something that none of those involved in the money trail could have afforded since it would have blown the lid of many persons remotely connected with the scam. Sources say that at any cost the persons involved wanted any questioning of Batcha and could have stepped up the pressure on him. The police would verify his call records to see if there were any death threas which ultimately led up to the suicide of Batcha.

The CBI during its probe had found that Raja had many fronts through which 2G money was parked. However all aspects of the probe showd that it was the firm managed by Batcha which had played the most crucial role. Sources say that Batcha was just a front man and did not take any decision on his own. He was brought into the picture due to his contacts that he had built up when he was a realtor. He is alleged to have contacts with hawala operators and also the underworld through which he had managed to park funds in various places. The CBI questioning of Batcha would have led them to the route of the money trail. In addition to this they were also trying to find out if Batcha had parked any money for party that Raja was part of.

Investigators say that this is a big blow to the investigation since it was extremely important that this man was questioned since he knew the exact details regarding the money trail as he had played a huge part in it

For Saba and Ansari there is no release in sight

The acquittal of Sabahuddin and Fahim Ansari by the Bombay High Court in connection with the 26/11 case has not guranteed the freedom of these two men. The two suspects were taken to Uttar Pradesh where they are facing allegations of taking part in the CrPF Rampur attack.

Fahim Ansari who emerged as the first suspect in connection with the 26/11 case also faces charges of being involved in the Rampur case. He will now be lodged in a jail in Uttar Pradesh and will have to remain there until his trial is complete.

However in the case of Sabahuddin, there are two more cases he will have to face. He is an accused in the Rampur case as well as the Indian Institute of Science attack case in Bangalore.

The legal battle ahead for these two men is a long way ahead. In both the Rampur and the IISC case charges are yet to be framed and once this is done the trial could commence. In addition to this the two of them will also have to defend themselves against the Special Leave Petition that will be filed by the state of Maharashtra before the Supreme Court of India. The state had decided to go in appeal against the acquittal order of the Bombay High Court which absolved the two men of all charges in connection with the 26/11 case.

Advocate for Sabahuddin, Ejaz Naqvi said that currently the focus is on filing a petition seeking compensation from the state of Maharashtra. We would like to complete this job first and also make Ujwal Nikam, the prosecutor liable since he had filed the appeal before the High Court in his name when it should have been done by a police official involved in the investigation of the case.

In so far as the Rampur case is concerned the line of arguments would be that the evidence against Sabahuddin was planted and there is no independent panch witness. All the witnesses are that of the police and there is no independent witness in the case.

Where the Bangalore IISC case is concerned, the trial is expected to start soon. In fact it may be sooner than that the Rampur case. However in the Bangalore case too there is a one problem and that is regarding the main accused in the case, Abu Hamza. The defence points out that Hamza is hiding in Karachi, Pakistan and till date no red corner notice has been issued against him which goes on to show the seriousness of the investigation.

‘Reddy’s no mining stand will have no impact

Janardhan Reddy. Photo courtesy: greatandhra.com

Janardhan Reddy, a cabinet minister in the BJP government in Karnataka has decided to hang his boots as a miner. This is a very interesting decision considering the Lokayukta of Karnataka Justice N Santosh Hegde is all set to submit his explosive report on illegal mining in Karnataka.

Justice Hegde when contacted said that this decision by the minister would not have any bearing on the report. I do not know whether it is a threat to quit mining of is he trying to be good. It really does not matter as it would have absolutely no impact on my report.

Justice Hegde however refused to divulge details about the probe and said that many politicians and officials are likely to be named in his report. Earlier I was to submit the report by the end of this month, but it would be a possibility by mid April. There are many other agencies probing the same issue and we just need a bit more time to re-check facts, reverify and also corroborate them. There are plenty of issues which need to be corroborated and once this is done the report will out. This issue would mainly focus on the loss the states exchequer had incurred due to illegal mining. However I would not want to speculate the amount as of now and only the final report would give you those details, he also said.

I really cannot say what action the government of Karnataka would take on my report. My first report ran into 1600 pages and today it has gone to the waste paper basket. Let us wait and see what they will have to do about this report.

I am trying to submit the report as early as possible. I would want to be in office when the report is out. I am aware there are bound to be accusations and complaints regarding the report and hence it is very important that I am in office to react to all this, Justice Hegde further pointed out.

The earlier report of the Lokayukta had pointed out various illegalities which the state government did not act upon. It clearly stated that miners were earning Rs 5000 per tonne, but the state only got Rs 27 out of this. The report also dealt with the manner in which ore was being illegally transported and also the health hazards the people faced due to this issue. Further the report also pointed out that there was a great deal of danger to the forest cover in Karnataka due to illegal mining.

Help Japan, but beware

Japan has witnessed its worst tragedy till date. As the world sets out to help those victims and their families, there are already some frauds online who are trying to make the best of the situation.

As the death and injury tolls continue to rise with each passing day, there are some malicious people who attempt to exploit such situations, under the guise of charitable institutions and governmental organizations. Emails marked URGENT, requesting for help by appealing to the humanity in every internet user, or urging consumers around the world to offer donations to those affected, are doing the rounds.

Click here to see the screen shot of one such fraud email

Symantec has observed that more than 50 domains with the names of either “Japan tsunami” or “Japan earthquake” within the first few hours of this unfortunate event. These domains are either parked, available for sale, or are linked to earthquake sites. Don’t be surprised if you see these domains been used in phishing and spam attacks. Below are a few of the samples:

3-11-2011-[removed].com

3-11[removed].com

earthquake-[removed].com

earthquaketsunami[removed].com

earthquakerelief[removed].com

It has also observed a classic 419 message targeting the Japanese disaster. The message is a bogus “next of kin” story that purports to settle millions of dollars owing to an earthquake and tsunami victim:

Previously, when such disasters occurred, it was observed a sudden surge in virus attacks in the form of nasty attachments and .zip files embedded in spam sent from such predatory attackers. Do not open them, especially if you don’t know the source. Use caution when opening forwarded messages related to the Japan earthquake and tsunami, and any other tragedy or event that stirs international news coverage, legitimate and otherwise. Nefarious attackers may be sending malicious Java scripts and other threats that could compromise both your personal data and your computer.

Other methods that the cyber mafia uses during such events include search engine poisoning. With several internet users searching for earthquake-related news and information online, cybercriminals can poison search results for malicious websites to appear at the top of the results. Users who click on these links assuming that the information will help them make sense of the tragedy, may end up downloading malware instead.