May 13, 2019 : Burkina Faso : church attack by gunmen leaves 6 dead 

May 13, 2019 | Brainwave Science

SITUATION

Gunmen killed six people including a priest outside a Catholic church in Burkina Faso on Sunday, the government said, the second attack on Christians in two weeks in a nation increasingly overrun by jihadists.

Congregants were leaving church around 9 a.m. (0900 GMT) in the town of Dablo in the Central North region when about 20 men encircled them and shot six dead, according to a government statement and local sources.

The attackers then burned the church, looted a pharmacy and some others stores, and left, Dablo mayor Ousmane Zongo told Reuters. “These terrorist groups are now attacking religion with the macabre aim of dividing us.”

Burkina Faso has been beset by a rise in attacks in 2019 as groups with links to Islamic State and al Qaeda based in neighboring Mali seek to fuel local tensions and extend their influence over the porous borders of the Sahel, the arid scrubland south of the Sahara.

The government declared a state of emergency in several northern provinces bordering Mali in December because of deadly Islamist attacks.

But violence has only worsened since. Two French soldiers were killed in an operation to rescue four people taken hostage in Burkina last week, France said. Over 100,000 people in Burkina Faso have been displaced by the unrest this year, the United Nations has said.

Roughly 55% to 60% of Burkina Faso’s population is Muslim, with up to a quarter Christian. The two groups generally live in peace and frequently intermarry. Then in late April unidentified gunmen killed a pastor and five congregants at a Protestant church, also in the north, suggesting the violence was taking a religious turn.

CHALLENGE

Before the deadly January 2016 attack, Burkina Faso had been largely free of extremist and terrorist incidents. This history was all the more remarkable considering the country’s proximity to terrorist groups operating in neighboring Mali, where the government has long struggled to combat terrorist groups like AQIM, al-Mourabitoun, Ansar al-Dine, and others.

For nearly three decades of military rule under President Blaise Compaoré, Burkina Faso had been free from armed conflict and documented instances of Islamist terrorism. In January 2016, the country witnessed its first major terrorist incident in recent memory, as al-Qaeda-affiliated militants attacked a hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital, killing 30 people, and wounding more than 70 others.

Despite being one of the poorest countries in the world, Burkina Faso has been frequently heralded as a relatively secure and moderate country in a notoriously volatile region. For that reason, the extremist threat to Burkina Faso is believed to come primarily from neighboring countries.

Burkinabe President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré has repeatedly declared his commitment to combat the threat from terrorism. Nonetheless, corruption and scarcity of adequate military personnel continue to plague the country’s counterterrorism forces.

Even for a country strapped for cash and resources, extremism cannot be ignored. It remains a threat. For the investigative agencies to nip terrorism in the bud is extremely challenging with limited resources. Even with abundant resources, gaining useful intelligence takes time and tremendous effort.

To add to this, there is the need to coordinate with foreign countries. This adds to the time taken in gaining intelligence. During this time the perpetrators might optimize and/or slip through the hands of the agencies.

Medical science and Information Technology must come up with a novel method to tackle investigation. It is expected to deliver reliable results.

WHY ICOGNATIVE?

Brainwave Science, a company based in the US has come up with a technology iCognative which takes on straightforward and complex cases alike.

Is a breakthrough technology augments investigation and interrogation techniques in use? It is surprising that although DNA and fingerprinting are popular and considered to be decisive tools in investigations, they are uncovered in only 1-2% of all cases. To add to this, they are extremely costly, labor-intensive and time-consuming to gather, preserve and process. This adds to delays and inefficiencies in the judicial process. iCognative is applicable to 85-90% of all civil and criminal cases.

iCognative has been introduced by Massachusetts based company Brainwave Science can help to solve cases related to counter-terrorism.

If compared to traditional techniques, iCognative is highly accurate, to a degree of more than 99%. Not only that, it is extremely accurate and reliable. This is just the thing that law enforcement and investigative agencies are looking for. Besides that, iCognative is highly-customizable, easy to teach, cost-effective, provides immediate results, and requires significantly less manpower. The test subject is not put through any torture if he or she is interrogated using the iCognative process. In fact, he or she barely needs to exchange any words with the test administrator. The interrogation process takes place using a specialized headset and a computer system which runs the iCognative system. The testee is shown images, words or phrases related to the crime or the criminal organization under investigation.

At the same time, the brain responses to each stimulus are recorded and transmitted to the computer system where these are analyzed by the iCognative software. iCognative technology can tell whether the information shown to the suspect was already known by him or her or not. This knowledge is extremely important in identifying culprits and exonerating innocents.

In this case, when persons are arrested, they can be put through iCognative test. It will non-invasively determine the presence of crime-specific knowledge directly from the brain. Because iCognative is really objective and accurate, if the system says that that crime-related information is absent, then it is likely that he or she is the perpetrator. The stimuli which he will be exposed to can be pictures, details, times, locations of all the places which the suspects have been around the time of the killings.

Not only can the presence of crime-related information be indicated by iCognative software, but his or her ties with terror organizations and/or criminal organizations can also be discovered using this technology. If the suspect is thought of have been radicalized, then the same can also be tested using this technology.

iCognative, provided by Brainwave Science can assist the agencies of Burkina Faso to effectively interrogate and investigate the suspects, with confidence and precision.

Main source: NEWS