Morning Security Brief: Costa Rica Earthquake, ‘Hundreds’ of Afghan Troops Fired, Bizarre Bank Robbery, and More
In Costa Rica, ‘concrete and steel’ minimized damage from Wednesday’s earthquake. Afghanistan fires hundreds of soldiers after an increase of green-on-blue attacks. Two bank robbers pull off a heist after kidnapping bank manager. And more.
►Experts attribute the low amount of damage in Costa Rica after Wednesday’s earthquake to strict building codes . "We have a culture of concrete and steel," Olman Vargas, president of the national College of Architecture and Engineering, told The Associated Press. "Years ago we abandoned building in mud and adobe, something that's caused a lot of problems and that they're continuing in other countries.” The magnitude-7.6 earthquake caused landslides and some houses to collapse, but there were no reports of major damage. The only death was a heart attack caused by “fright.” The last deadly earthquake in Costa Rica was in 2009. Forty people died in that 6.1 quake. The AP reports that Costa Rica's codes are on par with those of California and Japan.
►One-hundred fourteen NATO troops have been killed in 76 green-on-blue attacks since 2007. Thirty-five of those attacks happened in 2012. In an effort to address the growing problem of Afghan soldiers turning on their NATO trainers, Afghanistan announced that it has fired or detained “hundreds” of Afghan army soldiers . “Authorities believe only one in four of such attacks are related to the insurgency. The rest are the result of personal grievances,” CNN reports. In many of the attacks, investigators found that the attackers weren’t properly vetted. U.S. Special Operations forces have suspended training Afghan police while recruits undergo additional background tests.
►A bizarre and brazen daytime robbery has police in Los Angeles puzzled. Early Wednesday morning the manager of the East LA Bank of America was kidnapped from her home by robbers who attached a device to her chest that they told her was a bomb. She was instructed to take the money from the bank and throw it out of the back door, where the two robbers were waiting, well out of range of surveillance cameras. Current and former investigators say kidnapping a bank manager to rob a bank and using a bomb in a bank robbery are rare.
►In other news, private companies are marketing software, typically used for companies for corporate branding, to local police for monitoring social media . ♦ In new court documents, the USDOJ accuses BP of "gross negligence and willful misconduct " in the 2010 oil spill that leaked five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days. The case will go to trial in January. ♦ And Nigeria frees a Singapore-owned oil tanker off the coast, but questions remain on how pirates were able to hijack a ship so close to the coast and how they managed to escape. Nigeria says the hijackers fled the ship as the Navy approached and that no shots were fired.