Showing posts from May 27, 2012

NATO troops exchange fire with Serbs in Kosovo

NATO-led peacekeepers on Friday exchanged fire with angry Serb protesters seeking to prevent international troops from removing roadblocks in Kosovo's tense north, leaving four rioters and two alliance soldiers wounded. ZVECAN, Kosovo — NATO-led peacekeepers on Friday exchanged fire with angry Serb protesters seeking to prevent international troops from removing roadblocks in Kosovo's tense north, leaving four rioters and two alliance soldiers wounded. The bloody clash revived tensions in the Serb-controlled area, where Kosovo Serbs who reject Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia set up roadblocks last year to prevent the ethnic Albanian government in Pristina from extending control over the region. While some of those roadblocks have since been removed, a few still remain in place. The latest incident took place near the town of Zvecan, where NATO-led troops blocked a bridge with armored vehicles and barbed wire as they moved to remove

Mexico cartel drops aerial leaflets against gov’t

Drug traffickers took the unusual step of using an airplane to drop thousands of leaflets on the northern city of Culiacan accusing the governor of Sinaloa state of taking orders from drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, authorities said Wednesday. Drug traffickers took the unusual step of using an airplane to drop thousands of leaflets on the northern city of Culiacan accusing the governor of Sinaloa state of taking orders from drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, authorities said Wednesday. Drug cartels in Mexico have long posted videos and hung banners from bridges to get their messages out, and they have recently taken to dumping truckloads of bodies on roadways to intimidate rivals or publicize threatening messages. But the incident in the Sinaloa state capital of Culiacan on Tuesday is the first time in recent memory that traffickers have resorted to aerial leafleting. It may mark a further escalation in what has become a nationwide, military

Confirmed: US and Israel created Stuxnet, lost control of it

The new account is unlikely to alter Iran's view of the US, seen here in a mural on the old US embassy in Tehran In 2011, the US government rolled out its " International Strategy for Cyberspace ," which reminded us that "interconnected networks link nations more closely, so an attack on one nation’s networks may have impact far beyond its borders." An in-depth report today from the New York Times confirms the truth of that statement as it finally lays bare the history and development of the Stuxnet virus —and how it accidentally escaped from the Iranian nuclear facility that was its Source:

'Seven killed' in Syria-linked unrest in Lebanon's Tripoli

At least seven people have been killed and many injured in the Lebanese port city of Tripoli, in clashes linked to unrest across the border in Syria. Supporters and opponents of the uprising against President Assad of Syria clashed with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades on Saturday evening. Tensions in the northern port city have mounted since Syria's uprising began. Recent months have seen increased clashes between armed Alawite groups and Sunni fighters in the city. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is an Alawite, while the supporters of the uprising against him are mainly Sunni. In Syria itself, opposition activists reported yet more violence. Two civilians were killed - one during an army raid in the capital, Damascus, and another by gunfire in the city of Homs. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said rebels had killed six soldiers in the southern province of Deraa and at least eight others

Mali's Tuareg rebels, Islamists restart talks after unity pact fails

Tuareg MNLA rebels restarted talks Saturday with Islamist group Ansar Dine after withdrawing from a deal made last week. The MNLA says the Islamists' insistence on establishing sharia law goes against their secular principles. By News Wires (text)   REUTERS - Senior members of Tuareg-led Malian rebel group MNLA have ditched a week-old pact with al Qaeda-linked Islamists to turn the desert north of the West African country into an Islamic state, saying it was against their secular principles. The separatist MNLA, which wants an independent state it calls Azawad, seized the north of Mali in early April with the backing of local Islamist group Ansar Dine, whose goal is to impose sharia, Islamic law, across all of Mali. “The political wing, the executive wing of the MNLA, faced with the intransigence of Ansar Dine on applying sharia in Azawad and in line with its resolutely secular stance, denounce t

Iraq deaths increase for second straight month

AFP - The number of Iraqis killed in May increased for a second consecutive month, but remained near the lowest level since the 2003 US-led invasion, according to official figures released on Saturday. In total, 132 Iraqis -- 90 civilians, 20 policemen and 22 soldiers -- died in attacks nationwide, figures compiled by the ministries of health, interior and defence showed. That compared with 126 deaths in April and 112 in March, the latter of which was the lowest monthly figure since the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. A total of 248 people were wounded in violence in May, including 115 civilians, 80 policemen and 53 soldiers. The figures also showed that 20 insurgents were killed and 105 arrested. The worst violence took place on May 31, when a spate of bombings across Baghdad killed 17 people, while shootings in the north of the country left three others dead. Source:

Ukraine Blast Suspects Threaten New Bomb Attacks

Baku-APA. Four people detained in Ukraine on suspicion of organizing bomb attacks, which injured dozens in the city of Dnepropetrovsk in April, threatened more attacks unless they were paid money, Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) chief Ihor Kalinin said on Friday, APA reports quoting Xinhua. Ten bombs rocked Dnepropetrovsk on April 27, injuring 30 people, including eleven teenagers. Investigators did not rule out political motives behind the blasts, but also said the suspects demanded $4.5 million after the attack. Kalinin said the SBU had transferred a sum of money to their banking account. “We even allowed them to withdraw a certain amount of the sum,” Kalinin said adding that the attacks were not aimed at destabilizing the situation in the country ahead of the 2012 Euro Cup, which Ukraine jointly hosts with Poland this month. “There is no evidence that the explosions were desigend to destabilize the situation in Ukraine before Euro-2012. The only thing they

4 aid workers rescued in Afghanistan

UK Foreign Office issued this image of British aid worker Helen Johnston, who was freed. Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Four aid workers kidnapped last month in a remote area of northeastern Afghanistan were rescued Saturday morning, the International Security Assistance Force said. The four worked for Medair, a nongovernmental organization based in Switzerland. They were kidnapped by the Taliban in Badakhshan province on May 22, officials said. The aid workers -- a British woman, a Kenyan woman and two Afghans -- were bringing food to children and pregnant women in the remote and mountainous area when they were abducted. The NATO-led coalition did not give any details on the rescue, but confirmed that all four were freed. The two women were identified as Briton Helen Johnston and Moragwa Oirere, from Kenya. "They are all now safe. Helen and Moragwa are receiving support from British Embassy staff in Kabul," the U.K Foreign Office said. "The t

2 militants in Pakistan killed in drone strike

(CNN) -- A suspected U.S. drone strike in Pakistan killed two militants in Pakistan's tribal region on Saturday, a local government official said. The drone fired two missiles at a motorcycle the militants were riding, the official, Javed Marwat, told CNN. The incident happened near the town of Wana in South Waziristan, one of the seven districts in Pakistan's tribal region. The area is thought to be a safe haven for militant groups fueling the insurgency across the border in Afghanistan. It was the 19th drone strike in Pakistan this year . U.S. officials rarely discuss the CIA's drone program in Pakistan, though privately they have said the covert strikes are legal and an effective tactic in the fight against extremists. The Obama administration justified its use of unmanned drones to target suspected terrorists overseas in a rare public statement recently, with John Brennan, the president's top counter-terrorism adviser, saying the strikes are c

Euro 2012 massive security challenge for Poland

Warsaw:   As its team prepares to take to the pitch at Euro 2012, tournament host Poland is bracing for its biggest security challenge in decades. With hundreds of thousands of fans from across Europe set to flood in, Poland is sanguine about heading off risks ranging from hooligan brawls to terrorism. As the first edition of the 16-nation tournament behind the former Iron Curtain, Euro 2012 is a crucial showcase. Terrorism fears swirling around major events such the quadrennial European championship have led host nations to boost security over the years. That's not to say that the Poles see a major risk. "There is no sign of the existence of any real external threat concerning the security of our country during Eu

Bin Laden's commitment to the covenant

Among the more interesting revelations from the documents recovered during the raid on Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad compound was bin Laden's angry reaction to Faysal Shahzad's effort to detonate a bomb in Times Square on May 1, 2010, based on the notion that Shahzad had violated the oath of allegiance he swore to the United States in a naturalization ceremony.  The critique was included in an October 2010 letter from bin Laden to ‘Atiyatullah ‘abd al-Rahman, a veteran Libyan fighter who would go on to become al-Qaeda's second-in-command after bin Laden's death.  The dispatch is part of a larger selection of documents that the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point released on May 3, 2012. In the letter, Bin Laden criticizes both Shahzad and Hakimullah Mahsud, the Pakistani Taliban leader who offered him training and advice: Perhaps you monitored the trial of brother Faysal Shahzad. In it he was asked about the oath that he took when he got America

Syria: Fears of civil war deepen as violence continues

A Syrian man mourns over his dead relative, one of 11 workers killed by gunmen on their way to work Thursday at a state-owned fertilizer factory in the central province of Homs. It began with a bang, and ended with the whimpers of butchered children. Syrian army tanks and mortars reportedly launched the most brutal massacre of the country’s 15-month conflict last week. But most shockingly, the killing of some of the 108 men, women and children in the town of Houla appeared to be done face to face, by a militia that entered homes and shot and hacked the inhabitants to death. Read more: Arab Awakening “Fatima, only 25 years old, was my friend at Aleppo university, where she was studying history,” said exiled student Hadeel Kouki in gruesome testimony to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday. “She and her two infant daughters were found decapitated in their house . . . her son’s body was found with his arms and leg

Moroccan terrorist fights to stay in Canada on humanitarian grounds

Said Namouh is an unrepentant terrorist. From his apartment in Quebec, he spread al-Qaeda propaganda over the Internet and posted anonymous messages threatening the West with “slaughter” and urging violence until “religion will be for Allah alone.” A Quebec court convicted him in 2009 of four counts under the Anti-Terrorism Act, including participation in a terrorist group, extortion of a foreign government and plotting a bomb attack with a co-conspirator in Europe. Once he has served his federal prison time, Canada intends to deport him back to his native Morocco. But now Namouh is quietly asking Ottawa to let him stay on “humanitarian and compassionate” grounds. Arguing his case before the Immigration Refugee Board recently, he complained he was the victim of a conspiracy involving the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Conservatives and Israel, and said he should not be deported in the interests of his child. Namouh is unique among those convicted so far under Can

The spread of Red

Way back in 1978, a Manipuri student of IIT-Bombay, Bedamani Singh, left his studies mid-way to participate in what he called the "Maoist revolution" in eastern India. He met students from the North-east in Delhi, Guwahati and Imphal to spread the ideology. The same year, recall old-timers, about 10 Delhi University students from Manipur dropped out to join the People's Liberation Army (PLA). This was the beginning of the spread of Maoist ideology in the North-east. In 1976, N Bisheswar Singh along with other Manipuri youths crossed over to China to obtain ideological training from the Chinese communists. They returned to form the PLA, a militant group that was crushed by the army in the 1980s but managed to regroup by the early 1990s. Maoism now appears to have returned to the northeast. On the morning of May 9, Assam policemen killed four senior armed Maoist cadres, including a local commander Siddhartha Borgohain, in an encounter at Sad

Pakistan: Two Shia Muslims injured in a bomb blast in Hangu

According to reports, a bomb went off in Hangu’s market yesterday, the target of which was in fact a Shiite Zakir Gul Badshah. The bomb left 2 Shiites severely injured. ( A hlul B ayt N ews A gency) - According to reports, a bomb went off in Hangu’s market yesterday, the target of which was in fact a Shiite Zakir Gul Badshah. The bomb left 2 Shiites severely injured. Furthermore, the bomb was fitted in a car in Khayber Bank, Hangu. And the injured have been identified as Ataullah, the son of the Zakir Gul Badshah who was the actual target, and Iftikhar s/o Nisaar. Both the injured men have been shifted to a nearby hospital. Hangu is a small city of Khaiber Pakhtoon khua, Pakistan where Shiite Genocide has been going on for several years now with Shiites being killed at the hands of SSP, LeJ and TTP terrorists on and off. The reason behind this genocide is doubtlessly the increased influence of Saudi Arab’s extremist policies which claim Shiite people are out of Islam.

Syria Crisis: Assad's Shabiha Gunmen Cause Of Fear In Syria

BEIRUT — The swaggering gunmen operate as hired muscle for the Syrian regime, clutching rifles and daggers as they sweep through towns and villages, sometimes after regular military troops have pulled back. Recruited from the ruling elite's Alawite sect, the pro-regime militiamen known as "shabiha" are believed to be carrying out some of the most ghastly attacks of the Syrian uprising, allowing President Bashar Assad's government to deny direct responsibility for the crimes. The U.N. says there are strong suspicions that pro-Assad fighters were responsible for at least some of the carnage during a weekend massacre in Houla, bringing fresh attention to the shadowy fighters who appear to be taking on a bigger role in Syria's bloody conflict. More than 100 people were killed in the massacre, many of them women and children who were gunned down in their homes. Damascus has unequivocally denied any role, blaming the slaughter on terrorists – the same

ISI created Indian Mujahideen to spread terror in India: Anti-terrorism squad

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) has, for the first time, said that Indian Mujahideen (IM) is a creation of Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI). This was mentioned in the 13/7 triple blasts chargesheet. This is the first time that any police agency in the country has openly said that IM has been created by the ISI. Several police agencies had earlier said that IM was a splinter faction of the Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which was banned in 2001. The IM was banned on June 2, 2010. In its 4,478-page chargesheet against the four arrested accused filed before a special MCOCA court on May 25, the ATS said, "The IM has been expressly created by (the) ISI of Pakistan ostensibly to spread terror in this country through Indian front outfits." In 2008, the then Gujarat DGP, P C Pande, said that IM was a splinter faction of SIMI. He had made this declaration during a media briefing after the arrest of around half-

Terrorism-Crime Nexus a Growing Concern, DOD Official Says

By Cheryl Pellerin American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON, June 1, 2012 – The convergence of crime, terrorism and insurgency and its threat to U.S. national security is a growing concern for the Defense Department, whose role in the fight began in the 1980s and continues to evolve, a senior defense official said today. William F. Wechsler, deputy assistant secretary of defense for counternarcotics and global threats, spoke during an irregular warfare summit sponsored by the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement. “The Department of Defense’s role in this effort goes back … to the 1980s,” Wechsler said, when America was flooded with vast amounts of cocaine coming from Colombia and across the Caribbean into Florida. “This was a direct invasion of our sovereignty, of … our borders. And before the Department of Defense was asked to [intervene], this issue was only getting worse,” he added. At the time, 75 percent of all the cocaine that came i

Terrorism Paranoia Gets Plentiful Laughs in "The Sleeper"

Mandy Levin and Benjamin Mathes in "The Sleeper" at Theatre Tribe. (Photo by Nancy Savan) While there have been a few dramatic plays dealing with the aftermath of 9/11 (notably The Guys and The Mercy Seat ), comedies have been in short supply. Considering the tragic subject matter, that’s understandable. Catherine Butterfield’s play, The Sleeper , takes place after the fall of the World Trade Center, but although a character’s fears concerning further terrorist attacks are part of the story, what it’s really about is how legitimate concern can bloom into paranoia. Her treatment of the subject, however, is deft and light and witty, and the new production at Theatre Tribe is delightfully entertaining. Suburban mom Gretchen (Mandy Levin) is under-appreciated. Her teenage kids are oblivious to her efforts, her unsuccessful actress sister Vivien (Corie Vickers) mocks her loveless marriage, and her husband Bill (Pete Gardner) acknowledges her only with conde

No Peace Until Palestinians Stop Glorification of Terror

This Thursday, Israel released the bodies of 91 Palestinian terrorists to the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a 'goodwill gesture' to President Mahmoud Abbas. However, Abbas' decision to honor these murderers shows that Palestinian glorification of terror remains the key obstacle to peace with Israel. Included amongst the bodies turned over to the PA are suicide bombers responsible for some of the most gruesome acts of terror over the past decade, killing hundreds of innocent Israelis and many foreign citizens, including American. They include Ramez Aslim, the suicide bomber who in 2003, blew up the crowded Cafe Hillel in central Jerusalem, murdering 7 people and injuring over 50. Amongst the dead were Dr. David Applebaum, a world renowned doctor and head of the emergency room at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem and his daughter, Nava, aged 20, who was to have been married the next day. They were both dual Israeli and American citizens. Also r

Uganda: Suspect Al-Shabaab Terrorist Sneaks Into Country

A suspected al-Shabaab terrorist has sneaked into Uganda through Kenya, the Inspector General of Police, Lt Gen. Kale Kayihura told journalists during the launch of the annual crime report at Imperial Royale hotel in Kampala Thursday. Kayihura said that man traveled to Uganda by a public bus from Nairobi with the aid of the driver and conductor [taut]. The IGP said the man dodged being photographed at the bus terminal in Nairobi when he moved out of the bus at the time local authorities started taking pictures of all passengers on board before it embarked on the journey to Kampala. Kayihura explained the suspected terrorist who is being trailed by the police re-entered the bus about three kilometers from the bus terminal. He carried a bag which the conductor later put in the luggage chamber. At this moment a suspicious female passenger reportedly took the photograph of the man using her phone. Kayihura said the woman whose identity he declined to name told the po

The wisdom of reforming terrorist designations

In 2008 -- 18 years after New York City threw him a ticker tape parade for helping to end apartheid -- it took an act of Congress to ensure that Nelson Mandela did not need a special waiver to enter the United States, finally removing his terrorist designation. In November 2011, Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyah was removed from the "Individuals and Entities Designated by the State Department Under E.O. 13224" terrorist list. He had been dead for three and a half years. The "German Taliban," Eric Breininger , was dead for more than a week when he was added to the list. Although these may seem like bureaucratic oversights, they are indicative of wider problems in terrorist listing systems. While attempting to punish terrorist groups and restrict their activities, these systems have reduced the space for diplomacy, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). These disparate examples also highlight the continuing lack of agreement on who is a &q