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Bin Laden’s son steps into father’s shoes as al-Qaeda attempts a comeback

May 29, 2017 1 comment

Hamza bin Laden has vowed to seek revenge for his father’s death

Bin Laden’s son steps into father’s shoes as al-Qaeda attempts a comeback

The voice is that of a soft-spoken 28-year-old, but the message is vintage Osama bin Laden, giving orders to kill. When the audio recording began turning up on jihadist websites two weeks ago, it was as if the dead terrorist was channeling himself through his favorite son.

“Prepare diligently to inflict crippling losses on those who have disbelieved,” Hamza bin Laden, scion of the Sept. 11, 2001, mastermind, says in a thin baritone that eerily echoes his father. “Follow in the footsteps of martyrdom-seekers before you.”

The recording, first aired May 13, is one in a string of recent pronouncements by the man who many terrorism experts regard as the crown prince of al-Qaeda’s global network. Posted just two weeks before Monday’s suicide bombing in Manchester, England, the message includes a specific call for attacks on European and North American cities to avenge the deaths of Syrian children killed in airstrikes.

The recording provides fresh evidence of ominous changes underway within the embattled organization that declared war against the West nearly two decades ago, according to U.S., European and Middle Eastern intelligence officials and terrorism experts. Decimated by U.S. military strikes and overshadowed for years by its terrorist rival, the Islamic State, al-Qaeda appears to be signaling the start of a violent new chapter in the group’s history, led by a new bin Laden — one who has vowed to seek revenge for his father’s death.

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This Is Why the World Should Fear India’s Nuclear Weapons

India, the world’s most populous democracy, occupies a unique strategic position flanked by powerful adversaries. As a result, its 1.3 billion people are guarded by an arsenal of approximately one hundred nuclear weapons deployed on land, at sea and in the air. Despite its status as a Cold War holdout, the country was forced to develop its own nuclear weapons.

India’s nuclear program dates back to 1948, just one year after independence. The Nehru government looked to nuclear power as an inexpensive energy source for the young country. An Indian Atomic Energy Commission was created that year to oversee the country’s nuclear efforts. Due to a lack of uranium on Indian territory, the country naturally gravitated towards using plutonium instead. India’s first nuclear reactor, Apsara, was built with help from the United Kingdom and went critical in August 1956.

New Delhi originally considered building nuclear devices, not as weapons, but as what were then called “peaceful nuclear explosives” capable of building harbors, excavating for natural gas, and other large construction and mining projects. While functionally identical to nuclear weapons, the plan demonstrated that India was not yet convinced it needed an actual nuclear deterrent—yet. As a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, India was a bystander to the feverish pace of the nuclear arms race between the United States and Soviet Union.

The 1962 war with China, however, changed that. The limited attack on Indian territory could have been much worse had the two countries engaged in all-out war, particularly if Pakistan and China had paired up together. Furthermore although China was not yet a nuclear power, its nuclear status was considered an inevitability and a nuclear Beijing could blackmail India into territorial concessions—at the risk of atomic annihilation. New Delhi’s nuclear race was on.

India’s first nuclear test was conducted on May 18, 1974, at the Pokhran Test Range in the Rajastan desert. The device, nicknamed “Smiling Buddha,” had an explosive yield of between six and fifteen kilotons (the Hiroshima device is generally estimated at sixteen kilotons). The test was conducted in an underground shaft to contain radiation. India described the test as peaceful in nature but China’s nuclear status, achieved in 1964, meant that it was almost certainly designed to be a weapon.

The test propelled India into the so-called “Nuclear Club” that had previously consisted of the United States, Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, France and China. India refrained from nuclear testing for another twenty-four years, until detonating three devices on May 11, 1998, and another three on May 13. Most of the devices had low yields, between two hundred and five hundred tons, suggesting they were designed to be tactical nuclear bombs, but one device was a thermonuclear device that failed and reached a yield of only about forty-five kilotons.

Today India is estimated to have at least 520 kilograms of plutonium, enough for, according to the Arms Control Association, “between 100 and 120 nuclear devices.” New Delhi describes this a “credible minimum deterrent” against neighboring nuclear powers China and Pakistan. By comparison, China—which must also contend with nuclear rival the United States—has enough fissile material for between 200 and 250 devices. Pakistan is thought to have an arsenal of 110 to 130 devices. India has a firm No First Use policy with regards to nuclear weapons, vowing to never be the first to use them in any conflict and only use them to retaliate in kind.

As a result India has built its own “triad” of land, sea and air forces, all equipped with nuclear weapons. The first leg to develop was likely tactical nuclear devices for strike aircraft of the Indian Air Force. Today, India possesses more than two hundred Su-30MK1 twin-engine fighters, sixty-nine MiG-29s and fifty-one Mirage 2000 fighters. It is likely at least some of these aircraft have been modified and trained to carry nuclear gravity bombs to their targets.

The land-based missile leg of the triad consists of Prithvi tactical ballistic missiles. First produced in the late 1990s, Prithvi initially had a range of just ninety-three miles, but future versions increased their range to 372 miles. Despite this, Prithvi is still firmly a tactical weapon, while the Agni I-V series of missiles, with ranges from 434 to 4,970 miles, are strategic weapons with the ability to hit foreign capitals—as well as all of China.

The third leg of the triad is new, consisting of nuclear ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs) of the Arihant class. Four submarines are planned, each with the ability to carry twelve K-15 Sagarika (“Oceanic”) short-range ballistic missiles with maximum range of 434 miles, or K-4 medium-range ballistic missiles with a 2,174 mile range. Using the Bay of Bengal as a bastion and protected by assets such as India’s carrier INS Vikramaditya, the Arihant SSBNs can just barely reach Beijing.

India’s nuclear buildup has been relatively responsible, and the country’s No First Use policy should act to slow escalation of any conventional conflict into a nuclear one. As long as India’s nuclear deterrent remains credible, it should cause rational adversaries to think twice before edging to the nuclear threshold. Still, the country’s volatile relationship with Pakistan, which has no such policy, as well as its “Cold Start” blitzkrieg plan of action against its neighbor, means nuclear war cannot be ruled out.

Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national-security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and the Daily Beast. In 2009 he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami.

Image: Indian Air Force Jaguar GR-1 Shamser. Wikimedia Commons/Public domain

The One Big Reason Russia Might Lose a War Against America

An air campaign requires a sprawling, complicated supply chain. Fire enough missiles and drop enough bombs, which require a heavy investment in materials and chemicals, and there will come a point when the logistics trail starts to strain.

Nearly 20 months into Russia’s intervention in Syria’s civil war, the strain is starting to show.

Russia has heavily relied on airpower to support Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad. At times, the Russian air force has dropped bombs at a faster pace than the United States in Syria, benefiting from significantly shorter flight times, and being hampered by the need to rely on a greater number of unguided bombs.

The results include the deaths of more than 9,000 people including 4,000 civilians from the start of the campaign through September 2016, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group.

Every bomb contains chemicals, and every rocket requires a propellant to send it from a plane or helicopter’s pylon or pod to the ground. The strikes have “bled our arsenals, according to some estimates, nearly 40 percent,” the influential Russian defense newspaper Military-Industrial Courier noted in a recent report about the Russian military’s chemical shortage. “And there is no way to quickly replenish them.”

The good news for Russia is that there are enough high-explosive compounds and rocket propellants to keep the Kremlin’s aircraft in the war for years to come, if necessary. The bad news for Russia is that the declining stockpiles will reduce its ability to engage in a large-scale, major conflict—which to be fair, is unlikely.

Russia does not lack raw materials, in many cases, but the post-Soviet decline in industry has affected production in terms of quantity and quality.

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, research institutes and production plants went bankrupt. They lost valuable workers and technical documents. Machinery turned into scrap metal. The Bijskij chemical plant, one of the Soviet Union’s most important ballistic powder and composite solid propellant plants, went under.

Years of planning came to an abrupt halt. Russian plants currently manufacturing high-explosive chemicals have a poor safety record, while Russia faces a shortage of qualified engineers. Opening up a new military powder plant—which Russia hasn’t done in decades—is also a highly complex, capital-intensive project that takes years.

The engineering jobs at military-affiliated plants and institutes have become devalued, the newspaper notes, and have lost certain Soviet-era perks, such as housing and childcare provided for workers. More importantly, the Soviets relied on a centralized system which distributed graduates from universities into ready-made jobs. Many young Russians today prefer to go into other fields.

Only one Russian company manufactures ammonium perchlorate—a critical compound used in rocket propellants. To be fair again, there is only one company in the United States which makes it, too. However, the Russian firm, Anozit, is facing financial uncertainty, according to the newspaper.

It’s not going away, but without a steady supply of orders, plants must make costly tradeoffs, such as delaying needed refurbishment and upgrades. The biggest problem is that Russia’s plants can’t simply keep pace.

“If no action is taken, the Russian army in the near future will be left without ammunition,” the paper warned. “Tanks, ships, planes and helicopters will become a common means of transportation.”

That may be an exaggeration. And in the short-term, no one can say Russia’s air campaign isn’t achieving results. It helped stabilize the Assad regime and push back the rebels which have fought for years to try and topple him, and Russia’s presence in the country remains a major deterrent to a deeper American intervention.

However, it’s come at a cost to Russia’s military, weakening it in this one important respect. But it’s a short-term cost. The consequences are much greater, longer-term or permanent for those in Syria—on the ground.

How To Improve Your Odds Of Surviving If A Massive Catastrophe Hits Your City

May 28, 2017 1 comment

city-catastrophe-disaster

Joshua Krause

The main thread that seems to run through the prepper community, is that most preppers really want to get out of the cities and live a rural life. It’s easy to understand why. Most preppers rightfully believe that the cities would be the most dangerous places to be if society collapsed. Rural areas are generally safer, have less burdensome governance, and provide the opportunity to gain some degree of self-sufficiency.

Unfortunately, making that transition away from the city is difficult. There’s a reason why the vast majority of the population in America lives in urban and suburban areas. That’s where the jobs are, and that’s where most modern conveniences exist.

So if for whatever reason you can’t move away from the city, the next best thing you can do is find a city that will give you better odds of surviving a SHTF scenario. I know, it sounds like blasphemy. However, not all cities are created equal and believe it or not, there are certain conditions that make some urban areas better suited for preppers over others, such as:

City Size and Density

The best cities for preppers are on the smaller size, with a slightly lower population density. And obviously, I’m not talking about one of those cities that is part of a larger metropolitan area. There are plenty of cities that range in size from 50,000 to 250,000 people and aren’t subsumed by a wider urban sprawl. Instead, they are surrounded by a few suburbs, small towns, or even just wilderness. If you lived in one of these places, you’d have the benefit of job security while still being just a stone’s throw away from rural areas that you could flee to.

Conservative Values

I hate to sound biased. Though I don’t consider myself liberal or conservative, I have to confess that cities with populations that lean a bit more to the right are much better places for preppers. Aside from the fact that local governments and regulations would be less onerous, these cities are a lot more stable. The cost of living tends to be less in conservative cities, and there usually isn’t as much wealth inequality as there is in liberal cities.

That means there won’t be as many people dependent on the government and not as many people living on the streets. It means fewer people who are living at the end of their rope by the time catastrophe strikes. It means fewer people with a “kill the rich” attitude. So in short, living in a conservative city means that when the SHTF, there won’t be as much looting and rioting, and law and order won’t erode as quickly.

Logistics

When you’re prepping in a rural area, it’s important to consider how connected you are to the rest of the world. Since you’re probably trying to protect yourself from people fleeing the cities, you don’t want to be living down the road from an interstate. However, when a prepper is looking for a city to live in, the opposite strategy should be employed.

Since self-sufficiency isn’t an option, you have to think about what will allow a city to recover faster from a disaster. I’d wager that the more connected that city is with the rest of the country, the faster it will recover. If you’re in living a place that is landlocked in the mountains with only one major road running through it, you might be in trouble. It’s going to be so much easier for that city to be cut off, which will make it harder for aid to arrive. It will also make it harder for people to flee. If you’re stuck in a city during a disaster, you want people to leave, and you want it to be easier for you to leave if need be. If society collapses, a city can only support a very small population, so the fewer people there are the better your odds of surviving are.

So look for cities that have plenty of ways in and out. Better yet, pick a city that is at least near a railroad that carries freight. We all know that if there was a nationwide disaster, the freeways would be clogged for miles in every direction. But railroads won’t have that problem. And if they suffered any damage, then they’ll be a lot easier to fix.

Are You Downwind?

If the grid goes down for a long period of time, there is a serious risk that many of America’s nuclear power plants could meltdown, so it would be wise to live in a city that isn’t downwind from these facilities. You should also be wary of any major military bases or nuclear silos. They will be prime targets if there is a nuclear war, and you certainly don’t want to be downwind from that.

Water

You should also seriously consider what kinds of water resources are in or near your city. Throughout the 20th century, sprawling cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles, have grown in areas where there is very little water. These populations are heavily reliant on water that is piped in from long distances. Should society collapse, these cities will die with it. So you should find a city that isn’t so reliant on the water that comes from hundreds of miles away.

Energy

And finally, consider how your city is powered. If the city you choose is near a flowing source of water, check to see if it’s near a hydroelectric dam too. In an urban area that is receiving at least some of its energy from a dam, it’s probably not going to take long to get the lights back on. Cities that are powered by natural gas aren’t such a bad choice either since gas pipelines are relatively stable. It may not take very long to make that infrastructure functional again. However, those pipelines could easily be destroyed during a war.

Cities that are powered by coal would probably be the worst choice because coal needs to be delivered by truck and train. This will be especially true for cities that reside further inland, where many miles of roads will need to be cleared before coal shipments can be delivered. In most cases in America, coal is delivered by train, so if you pick a city that is also near a railway then there are better odds that your city will receive power after the SHTF.

Top Five Media-Generated Non-Stories from Trump’s Foreign Trip

The media latched on to a few absurdly overblown stories to keep the bad vibes flowing during President Trump’s first overseas journey. Editorial judgment is apparently easy to suspend when the opportunity to hype an odd photo or curious video clip presents itself.

The Orb: By far the most entertaining non-story was the photo of President Trump, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and President Sisi of Egypt posing with their hands atop a mysterious glowing white sphere.

Internet wags had a field day coming up with humorous theories about the Orb, including the lively wag subdivision of Breitbart News, whose contribution made the New York Times roundup of Orb-related merriment.

A good time was had by all, but really, there’s nothing terribly mysterious about the Orb. It’s not a relic from some obscure desert nomad ritual given a high-tech gloss by the Saudis, or an alien artifact, or a leftover prop from the Lord of the Rings films. It’s just a translucent globe of the Earth with a very bright light inside, which makes it look weird in photographs. It’s part of the decor at the high-tech new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh, and the three leaders were posing for a routine photo op.

Evidently the management of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology has a keen sense of drama, as the New York Times describes the scene: “When the king and Mr. Trump touched it, background music of the kind that might accompany a reality show’s elimination sequence or introduce a cable news program soared and pulsed. The screens glowed with statistical displays and videos about fighting terrorism.”

That orb is destined to show up in a lot of selfies.

The First Lady swats President Trump’s hand away: Shooting wars have gotten less coverage than a few seconds of video that appeared to show first lady Melania Trump evading President Trump’s attempt to hold her hand on the tarmac in Tel Aviv, while walking the red carpet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara.

CNN analyzed what it called “the swat heard round the world” as if it were the Zapruder film, offering a variety of theories as to the meaning of Mrs. Trump’s 1.5 seconds of body language. Verdicts ranging from “awkward” to “she hates his guts” were rendered.

Mrs. Trump’s facial expressions and posture were scrutinized for signs of her dismay with the business of being first lady. Signals from distant stars that might host intelligent alien life are examined less carefully than the signals Melania Trump is supposedly sending. As for the Ogre-in-Chief, well, the “experts” see nothing but brutish misogyny in his body language.

None of that has anything to do with what people who actually know the Trumps say about the state of their marriage, but why let common sense ruin a good news cycle?

If anyone needed further evidence that a great deal of modern reportage is driven by whatever “viral sensation” happens to float across the Twitter and Facebook pages of journalists, here it is. Hundreds of pages of news and commentary milked from one second of video is the best return on minimal effort since Jack planted a handful of magic beans and grew a beanstalk that punched through the stratosphere.

Trump body-checks the President of Montenegro: The media flipped out over video from President Trump’s visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels that showed Trump apparently shoving the hapless Prime Minister Dusko Markovic of Montenegro aside, so he could claim a choice position in a group photo shoot.

“The Balkan state is in the process of formally joining NATO, but membership, it seems, does not earn it a spot at the front of the line,” sniffed the New York Times.

Now that you mention it, no, tiny nations that aren’t even part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization yet would not normally stand in front of the Commander-in-Chief of the global hyperpower in a NATO group photo. Also, group photos are arranged by photographers and diplomatic staff, not shoving contests between world leaders. Of course, most of the media types trying to make hay out of the Trump Shove know this, since they work with photographers on a regular basis.

Alas, even as new heights of media dudgeon were reached, Markovic ruined the fun by declaring he was not offended by Trump’s pat on the arm.

“It didn’t really register. I just saw reactions about it on social networks. It is simply a harmless situation,” Markovic said. Then he blew up the rest of the narrative by noting, “It is natural that the president of the United States is in the front row.”

Trump attempts to dismember French president with brutal handshake: Not content with tossing the Prime Minister of Montenegro around like a sack of potatoes, Trump also came close to crushing the new French president’s hand at the NATO summit.

According to the Washington Post, the only reason President Emmanuel Macron didn’t draw back a stump is that he was warned in advance about Trump’s gorilla grip. The ensuing encounter featured some of the most spectacular hand-to-hand combat since Agent Smith faced off against Neo at the subway station:

Macron strides along the blue carpet to the wall of world leaders walking toward him. As the president of the United States stretches out his arms in a “hey, buddy!” greeting of the newest member of the elite club, Macron veers to the right like a decoy Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House. Trump looks on as his French counterpart double kisses German Chancellor Angela Merkel and shakes hands with other leaders. When Macron does get around to greeting Trump, Trump goes for the grab-and-pull. But Macron immediately yanks back and employs his left hand to try to hold down The Donald’s rising right arm as the insecure alpha tries to assert his dominance as cameras clicked.

President Macron is but a student of Trump-fu. Melania is the master. Macron had to parkour his way across half of NATO headquarters to escape. Melania countered Trump’s iron fists with a mere twitch of her fingers.

Veils at the Vatican: Melania Trump could not so easily evade the misogyny of the Catholic Church. The breathtaking hypocrisy of the Trump White House was laid bare when Mrs. Trump refused to don a headscarf in Saudi Arabia, but submitted to wearing a black veil at the Vatican along with Ivanka. How could the Trump women defy Islamic dress codes while obeying Catholic ones?

This particular non-story had a short shelf life, because most media organizations already knew the answer. They still tried to milk it with headlines like “Melania Trump Wears Veil, But Not a Headscarf,” but the body text of the very same stories admitted the Vatican’s dress code is long-established and well known, while the Saudis did not even request she wear a headscarf. They don’t make such requests of visiting VIP women as a general rule.

Furthermore, as Canada’s Globe and Mail noted, the Vatican is a holy site, and Mrs. Trump happens to be Catholic. She did not visit any holy sites in Saudi Arabia, where head coverings or the removal of shoes might have been required.

The Trumps also respected religious traditions during their visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, which has a published dress code for visitors. Mr. Trump wore a yarmulke head covering when he became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Wall.

There are three main reasons we saw a brief shower of “Veil But No Headscarf” headlines: reporters noticed people were popping off about it on Twitter, they were hoping for a cheap “Islamophobia” hit, and they remembered Donald Trump criticizing Michelle Obama for not wearing a headscarf in Saudi Arabia. Try Googling stories about Melania and the headscarf from May 20th, and you’ll see a string of stories from virtually every mainstream media organization recalling that Trump “attacked” or “slammed” Mrs. Obama for declining to wear one. They’re also still pretty sore about conservatives mocking President Obama for bowing to the Saudi king, so they scrambled to make a story about Trump bowing too. The Memory Hole is very real, but there are some things the media does not forget.

Rand Paul: Paris Climate Deal Would Kill 6 Million American Jobs

“I think it would be terrible for our country.”

Rand Paul: Paris Climate Deal Would Kill 6 Million American Jobs

Breitbart

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a leading ally of President Donald Trump’s in the U.S. Senate, told Breitbart News exclusively in an interview in his office this week that at least six million U.S. jobs are at risk if President Trump does not pull out of the leftist Paris climate deal.

Paul told Breitbart News of the Paris deal:

I think it would be terrible for our country. We have the potential of losing 6 million jobs and it would cost $3 trillion. Really, I don’t think President Obama had the right to do it. He did it by himself without the approval of Congress. One of the problems we have in government is we let one person have so much power that he could do something that could cost 6 million jobs and nobody gets to vote on it—I think that’s outrageous. It kind of looks like a treaty. If it’s a treaty, it should come to the Senate and be passed. But I think President Trump has the ability and he indicated during the campaign that he wanted to get rid of and get out of the Paris accord so we hope we will. We have introduced a resolution to send it to the president to encourage him to get out of the Paris accord.

President Trump promised the American people during the 2016 presidential campaign he would pull out of the Paris deal since it is a job-killer. Paul was not sure why Trump has not yet pulled out, since it would be very easy for him to do so to unleash the U.S. economy and protect jobs, but he said Senate Republicans stand ready to back up the President when he does pull out of the deal.

“He has a few other things on his plate, maybe,” Paul said when asked why Trump has not yet pulled out of the Paris deal. “I don’t have an answer to that. We want to encourage him and let him know we have his back and are going to point out how terrible it is for our jobs in America.”

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Chipotle says hackers hit most restaurants in data breach

Signage for a Chipotle Mexican Grill is seen in Los Angeles, California, United States, April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Lisa Baertlein

Hackers used malware to steal customer payment data from most of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc’s (CMG.N) restaurants over a span of three weeks, the company said on Friday, adding to woes at the chain whose sales had just started recovering from a string of food safety lapses in 2015.

Chipotle said it did not know how many payment cards or customers were affected by the breach that struck most of its roughly 2,250 restaurants for varying amounts of time between March 24 and April 18, spokesman Chris Arnold said via email.

A handful of Canadian restaurants were also hit in the breach, which the company first disclosed on April 25.

Stolen data included account numbers and internal verification codes. The malware has since been removed.

The information could be used to drain debit card-linked bank accounts, make “clone” credit cards, or to buy items on certain less-secure online sites, said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy at the non-profit Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

The breach could once again threatens sales at its restaurants, which only recently recovered after falling sharply in late 2015 after Chipotle was linked to outbreaks of E. coli, salmonella and norovirus that sickened hundreds of people.

An investigation into the breach found the malware searched for data from the magnetic stripe of payment cards.

Arnold said Chipotle could not alert customers directly as it did not collect their names and mailing addresses at the time of purchase.

The company posted notifications on the Chipotle and Pizzeria Locale websites and issued a news release to make customers aware of the incident.

Linn Freedman, an attorney at Robinson & Cole LLP specializing in data breach response, said Chipotle was putting the burden on the consumer to discover possible fraudulent transactions by notifying them through the websites.

“I don’t think you will get to all of the customers who might have been affected,” she said.

Security analysts said Chipotle would likely face a fine based on the size of the breach and the number of records compromised.

“If your data was stolen through a data breach that means you were somewhere out of compliance” with payment industry data security standards, Julie Conroy, research director at Aite Group, a research and advisory firm.

“In this case, the card companies will fine Chipotle and also hold them liable for any fraud that results directly from their breach,” said Avivah Litan, a vice president at Gartner Inc (IT.N) specializing in security and privacy.

Chipotle did not immediately comment on the prospect of a fine.

Retailer Target Corp (TGT.N) in 2017 agreed to pay $18.5 million to settle claims stemming from a massive data breach in late 2013.

Hotels and restaurants have also been hit. They include Trump Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG.L) as well as Wendy’s (WEN.O), Arby’s and Landry’s restaurants.

Shares in Chipotle Mexican Grill ended marginally lower at $480.15 on Friday following the announcement.

(Additional reporting by Natalie Grover and Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru and Tom Polansek and Nandita Bose in Chicago; Editing by Grant McCool and Lisa Shumaker)

 

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