Showing posts from June 13, 2010

Is terrorism on the rise? by MÜMTAZ’ER TÜRKÖNE

XSource: todays zaman This time, it seems, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is fearful of the weapons in its hands. This is because these weapons backfire on them. The soundest method is always trial and error. The PKK made its first move in İskenderun on May 31. As the proclaimed “moderate war” goes on, the PKK leaders revise their tactics based on the reactions they receive. And the first reaction: Kurds do not want violence. By resorting to violence, the PKK is losing its public support. The “moderate war” which was launched with the PKK’s İskenderun attack has no strategic target. A war without a clear strategy will bring only bloodshed, even for a terrorist organization. What will the PKK gain by killing people? Even the PKK leaders in Kandil cannot answer this question. The PKK is trying to protect its organizational structure and interests. Bu

Imagine if they had been white

Source: National post Imagine if they'd spoken English, and if their names had been Kelly and Murphy instead of Parmar, Reyat and Malik. Imagine if the plane the terrorists targeted in 1985 had "British Airways" painted on it instead of "Air India" -- and that the cause they espoused was Irish Republicanism instead of Sikh separatism. That hypothetical terrorist attack would have been no less despicable. But it also would have been a lot less deadly. In fact, no one at all would have died. The RCMP would have discovered the plot long before the explosives had been placed on the aircraft. The terrorists would have been arrested and jailed, instead of being allowed to kill 329 innocent people over the Atlantic Ocean. The Air India bombing plot wasn't allowed to proceed because of racism, exactly. At no time did the RCMP, or anyone else in government, decide that lives of Indo-Canadians and Indian nationals en route to India were worth less th

The unimaginable

Source: Ottawa citizen The more we learn about the 1985 bombing of Air India Flight 182, the more the Canadian security establishment takes a beating. That's expected. There was plenty of bungling, misjudgment and poor communication. Surveying the intelligence 25 years later, it's pretty clear that Sikh fanatics were going to attack a civilian passenger jet. Yet Canadian officials just didn't get it. Among the signs of nonchalance: Security agents surreptitiously followed Sikh extremists into a British Columbia forest where the latter were practising the detonation of explosives. The security agents didn't bother to bring cameras, and never properly identified one of the suspects. Canada messed up, bigtime, and consequently more than 300 people died when Fight 182 exploded over the Atlantic. If we really want to make sense of what went wrong, however, it's important to recognize that this security failure was a shared one. The problem wasn't ju

Legal challenge to ban on Muslim preacher Zakir Naik

 Source: BBC Mr Naik is seen by some as an authority on Islam An Indian Muslim preacher banned by the home secretary from entering the UK for his "unacceptable behaviour" is to challenge the ruling in the courts. Zakir Naik, a 44-year-old television preacher, had been due to give lectures in Sheffield on 25 June and Wembley Arena the following day. Theresa May said that visiting the UK was "a privilege, not a right". The Islamic Research Foundation, based in Mumbai, India, said he was seeking a judicial review in the High Court. The home secretary can stop people entering the UK if she believes there is a threat to national security, public order or the safety of citizens. That includes banning people if she believes their views glorify terrorism, promote violence or encourage other serious crime. However, somebody cannot be banned just for having opinions that other people would find offensive. Ms May said: "Numerous comm

What had Zakir Naik said one week before he was banned?

Source: By TwoCircles .net Staff Writer, New Delhi: “I have spoken out on numerous occasions against all and any acts of terrorism and I have unequivocally condemned such acts of violence; acts including 9/11, 7/7 and 7/11 (serial train bombings in Mumbai) which are completely and absolutely unjustifiable on any basis,” eminent Islamic scholar Dr Zakir Naik had said on June 11, exactly a week before he was banned (June 18) from entering Britain for his alleged support to terrorism and “unacceptable behavior”. Dr Naik had issued his signed statement in response to media reports in Britain preceding his scheduled visit (June 18-28), portraying him as “Preacher of Hate” and “Terror Backer”. “I believe recent press reports in the UK media have given a warped and wholly unjustified impression of my work by portraying me as “Preacher of Hate” and “Terror Backer”. I categorically reject as falsehoods any such allegations. These are totally untrue and a misrepresentation of the

Pak may seek withdrawal of Armed Forces Act from Kashmir

Source: HT Pakistan is expected to seek the withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Jammu and Kashmir and the release of political prisoners to improve the ground situation in Kashmir during the upcoming Foreign Secretary-level talks, diplomatic sources said on Thursday. Senior Pakistani officials have broadly classified the issues to be raised during the meeting of the two Foreign Secretaries in Islamabad on June 24 into four categories. These include outstanding issues like the Kashmir issue, humanitarian matters like the release of prisoners and fishermen, terrorism and trade and commerce, sources said. The Pakistani side will press for strengthening of confidence-building measures in these areas so that the two sides can ultimately make headway in addressing issues that have bedevilled relations for many decades, they said. There are indications that the Pakistani side could ask for the withdrawal of the AFSP Act in Jammu and Kashmir on the ground th

Kosovo: Suspect Arrested in Terror Plot

European Union authorities arrested a man in Kosovo on Thursday who is accused of being part of a plot to carry out terrorist attacks at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va., and in Kosovo. The United States Attorney’s Office in Raleigh, N.C., said Thursday that the suspect, Bajram Asllani, 29, of Mitrovica, Kosovo, is accused of plotting with men in North Carolina to engage in terrorism in Kosovo. The authorities say he asked the Americans for money to buy land in Kosovo to build a base to store weapons and ammunition for terrorism.

Eight soldiers killed in Kurdish rebel attack

( AFP) ANKARA — Eight Turkish soldiers were killed overnight in an attack on an army post by Kurdish rebels in southeast Turkey, near the border with Iraq, the army said Saturday. The attack blamed on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) took place at a military post near the city of Semdinli close to the Iraqi border, and also left 14 soldiers wounded, the army said in an online statement. The military responded with helicopters and reportedly killed 12 rebels, the army statement added. Fighter jets then launched a bombing raid targeting PKK rebel positions in northern Iraq where the separatists have rear bases, the military said. On Friday the Turkish military announced that at least 130 members of the PKK had been killed inside Turkey and in an air raid on rebel hideouts in Iraq since violence flared anew in March. The military had lost 43 personnel. The military also said it expected the PKK to further intensify and spread its attacks. The mounting v

Finally, Ansam lifts Manipur blockade

Source: TOI IMPHAL/KOHIMA: Naga students on Friday temporarily withdrew their 68-day-long blockade of national highways in Manipur, giving a breather to 25 lakh people of Manipur who have been facing hardships due to scarcity of fuel and essential items. The All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (Ansam), took the decision after a meeting of various Naga groups at Kohima. It said the economic blockade in Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur along with the National Highways 39 and 53 has been "suspended temporarily with effect from 4pm on Friday". Ansam had launched the blockade on April 11 midnight in protest against the Autonomous District Council (ADC) elections in hill districts of Manipur, alleging that the ADC Act suppressed the rights of tribal people. Ansam was initially stuck to its stand of continuing the blockade, despite Naga Students Federation (NSF) temporarily suspending its blockade in Nagaland on June 14. Ansam took the decision during a five-h

Human Rights—Rhetoric and Reality

Mainstream, Vol XLVIII, No 25, June 12, 2010 D.R. Chaudhry Human rights are those rights and freedoms by acquiring which one achieves one’s potential in various fields. Since the dawn of human civilisation, human beings have been striving for human rights. Undoubtedly, there has been a marked progress since the time of slavery when human beings were no better than chattel, yet a lot is yet to be achieved in this field. In pre-modern cultures, the concept of human rights did exist but it suffered from serious limitations. Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, extensively wrote on the rights of citizens to property and participation in public affairs. However, citizens included only free members of the Greek city-States and slaves were outside the purview of human rights. Slavery, in fact, was justified as a natural phenomenon both in Greek and Roman society. For a ling time, the Divine Rights of Kings Theory prevailed in Europe. The sovereign was supposed t

The West's Victim Complex

Source: Huffington post A wave of righteous indignation sweeps the West with every alleged act of terror, while quotidian civilian casualties in Iraq or Afghanistan are treated as a humdrum affair, barely meriting mention. In the wake of Faisal Shahzad's arrest, Pakistan's image as a breeding ground for terrorism is taking hold in the Occident. Without condoning his purported actions, this essay asserts that to defuse the current conflict, the West needs to first get over its victim complex. The present-day discord is quite often painted in simplistic terms. Ranged on one side are the good guys, the cops chasing the evil robbers, who are running afoul of every established norm of etiquette and decency and therefore must be brought to heel. Were those pointing fingers at others to look at their own selves in the mirror, they would discover multiple digits pointing back at them. But either they disdain self-scrutiny or perhaps the mirror itself is muddied, not so much by di

Emergency law is necessary evil, says Nazif

Source: Zawya 13 June 2010 CAIRO: Emergency law is a necessary evil, important for citizen's security and the protection of the investments, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif said on Wednesday.He stressed that judicial supervision would not be overridden and that the law would not be used in publishing or political cases, but will be restricted to crimes related to narcotics and terrorism. The premier discussed the emergency laws, subsidies and poverty in an interview with Lamees El-Hadidy on state TV Wednesday night. "I hereby confirm that the emergency law will not be used for any other purpose," he said, adding that numerous detainees have been released since the state of emergency -- in place since 1981 -- was renewed last month for two more years. Muslim Brotherhood lawyer Abdel-Meniem Abdel-Maqsoud questioned this statement saying, "The application of the emergency law is restricted to the involvement in terrorism and drug dealing, so how come there are c

The three blind mice By Jawed Naqvi Monday, 14 Jun, 2010

Source: DAWN Suicide and torture have a strange nexus. Both are increasingly used as strategies in today’s terror war. There is no dearth of survivors of the most horrendous forms of torture in liberal and democratic India. Not everyone survives the ordeal of course. In the wider world, prisoners including, ironically enough, death-row convicts are said to have hanged themselves to escape the pain inflicted on them. Gory details of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib are beyond normal human capacity to absorb or accept. But India’s middle classes and its ruling elite made a strong statement to the contrary when they stood by George W. Bush, the overseer of some of the worst forms of torture, after everyone else had deserted him. There is a widespread belief that Muslim suicide bombers kill themselves for some divine rewards in the afterlife. The theory does not explain, however, why LTTE cadres carried poison vials or the fact that the American crew of the plane, which dropped the bomb o

From Kabul to Kingston Army tactics in Jamaica resemble those used in Afghanistan – and it's no mere coincidence

Source: gaurdian For two weeks, the Jamaican army and police have fought gun battles in Kingston. The many allegations of human rights abuses committed by the security forces – including extrajudicial killings and the disposal of bodies – have received almost no international attention. Nor have the linkages between the Jamaican crisis, the security establishments in the US, Britain and Canada, and the mutations of the "war on terror". But strategy and tactics deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan are being applied in Jamaica. Drones fly over Kingston, and were used in the 24 May assault to select targets. On 7 June, Tivoli residents discovered that to enter or leave the area they had to produce "passes" issued by the police (revised, after protests, to restrictions on movement after dark). There is blanket surveillance of electronic communications in breach of Jamaican privacy protections – indeed, it was the illegal provenance of some of the evidence agai

Turkey's inhumane treatment of Kurdish children must be stopped

Source: Khurdish aspect Kurdocide Watch CHAK The Constitutional Court’s decision last falls to ban the pro-Kurdish party DTP led to massive demonstrations and riots in Turkey and Northern Kurdistan. These actions were followed by a wave of arrests of children, which took place mainly in the Kurdish cities as Diyarbakir, Mardin, Batman, Sirnak, Van, Hakkari and Urfa. The crimes that these children were considered to commit, was making victory signs with their fingers and to take part in various demonstrations , which in fact was approved by the state itself. Also shouting slogans, participate in funeral ceremonies with their faces covered was considered as crimes. However, the reason why these children had covered their faces in the first place was to avoid being arrested because of their views. According to the sources of CHAK, hundreds of Kurdish children and adolescents are in various prisons of Turkey and Northern Kurdistan today. Since 2006 in Northern Kurdistan, approximately 5

The US is responsible for fomenting Jihadi culture

Mon, 2010-06-14 13:51 — editor News Analysis By Asif Haroon Raja Illegal creation of state of Israel in 1948 with the help of USA and Britain at the cost of Palestinians sowed the seeds of antagonism and extremism in Middle East . It gave birth to several radical groups including PLO within the Arab world. Defeat of armed forces of Arabs in 1967 Arab-Israeli enhanced the prestige of Israeli forces. Occupation of additional territory of Egypt, Syria and Jordan by Israel and its policy of forward settlement of Jews in occupied lands to extend perimeter of security propelled PLO activists to resort to air piracy. This was a new form of terrorism to combat Israeli oppression and chauvinism. Egyptian forces broke the Israeli myth of invincibility in the 1973 war by breaching the unassailable Barlev Line; Syrian forces too gave a tough fight to Israeli forces. Psychological advantage gained by the Arabs was squandered when Egypt agreed

Sudan media slam the return of censorship

KHARTOUM: Media censorship and repression have made a comeback in Sudan since the re-election in April of President Omar al-Beshir, opposition and independent papers say. "During the electoral period there was no censorship... but now it is back," said Annur Ahmed Annur, editor-in-chief of the independent daily Al-Sahafa . Last September, Beshir announced the lifting of press censorship, ending a system under which newspapers were screened by censors every night to purge sensitive articles before publication. But newspapers were also informed of red lines that should not be crossed, including matters of national security and articles sensitive to public morality in the conservative Muslim-majority country. During the election period Sudanese journalists covered the country's first multi-party polls in two decades without having their articles screened by intelligence services beforehand. But since the return to power of Beshir, who is wanted by the International C