Showing posts from August 26, 2012

3 killed in anti-terrorism raid in Indonesia

September 01, 2012  Eds: Updates with details of slain terrorist suspect, quotes from anti-terror chief.   By NINIEK KARMINI Associated Press JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Two suspected militants and a member of an elite Indonesian anti-terrorism squad died in a shootout as police attempted to capture a group responsible for the death of a policeman a day earlier, authorities said Saturday. Another suspect was injured and arrested, they said. Police received a tip that members of a terror group believed to be responsible for the killing of the police officer were planning more attacks on Indonesia's main island of Java, national police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said. He said members of the anti-terrorism squad tried to capture the three suspects late Friday at a food stall in Central Java's Solo town, the hometown of radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, but shot them when they resisted arrest, killing two and wounding another


PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) -- In the Pakistani tribal regions that harbor al-Qaida and a cauldron of other jihadist groups, militants from Central Asia, China, Turkey and even Germany are growing in number, eclipsing Arabs and possibly raising new challenges not just for the U.S. but for Europe, Russia and China, say intelligence officials, analysts and residents of the area. Al-Qaida, the organization that plotted the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks from Afghanistan, consisted largely of Arabs, who were led by Osama bin Laden, a Saudi. But stepped-up U.S. drone strikes, Pakistani military offensives and dwindling cash reserves have driven out many of the Arabic-speakers in recent years, says Mahmood Shah, a retired brigadier and former security official in the tribal regions. While there are no exact numbers, Shah said intelligence sources in the tribal regions put the number of Arab and African jihadists at about 1,500, compared with 3,500 to 4,000 ranging from Chinese Uighurs and Uzbeks to

Vietnam's Phony War on Terror

Sometimes being Orwellian is too much even for Communists. So it is with news that Hanoi has changed the charges against a U.S. citizen it arrested in April. Nguyen Quoc Quan is no longer accused of "terrorism" for his pro-democracy activism, but rather with plain old-fashioned "attempting to overthrow the government." Mr. Quan, a naturalized American and father of two, was detained in April when he landed in Saigon intent on discussing peaceful ways to advance democracy. He was arrested on similar grounds in November 2007 and spent six months in jail before being released and deported. Hanoi has branded Viet Tan, the political party to which Mr. Quan belongs, as a terrorist group. But Viet Tan appears nowhere on any international terrorism watch list. It's a peaceful advocacy organization. The last time Mr. Quan was arrested—also on "terrorism" charges—he and his friends were caught smuggling in a book on nonviolent resistance. Associated Pres

Of Chinese Snakeheads And Mexican Coyotes: Globalization Of Crime-Terror Pipelines – Analysis

By Vanessa Neumann The latest White House Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime [1] and the Department of Defense Counternarcotics and Global Threats Strategy [2] both clearly prioritize combating transnational criminal organizations as a cornerstone of a national security strategy that will effectively undercut foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs). Indeed, the goal of disrupting crime-terror pipelines (CTPs) is at the center of a strategic re-alignment of the different branches of government to enable a whole-of-government approach that applies all the elements of national and international power to this global threat. But the global threat grows at the pace of global business. Triad Trafficking: An Expanding Business U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers The Ciudad del Este-centered Tri-Border Area (so named because it is bounded by Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil) has been the traditional Western heartland of illicit trafficking and Islamist funding, the e

Blast in Pakistan kills 11

Sep 1, 2012 A car bomb exploded in a busy marketplace in northwestern Pakistan on the outskirts of Peshawar, killing at least 11 people, with dozens more injured. 30 stalls were completely destroyed. Police are working on site. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the area borders on Afghanistan, so Taliban forces are the prime suspect. Explosion in Pakistani village kills 7 Seven people were killed and 18 injured as a result of an explosion of a car in the village of Matani near the Pakistani city of Peshawar. The explosion took place at the village’s market on Friday. No one has yet claimed responsibility for this terrorist act. “Russia 24”, TASS Source

Europe: a rise of discrimination against the Roma

Aug 31, 2012 16:46 Moscow Time Jovan Damjanovic, President of World Roma Organization sharing his concerns and reservations about the position of Roma in contemporary Europe. In recent years in entire Europe we can see a rise of discrimination against the Roma community, especially in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Italy and now France. But also there are problems in the UK, of course on the Balkans. And what is a great issue now is that ultra extremist political leaders are coming into authority in numerous European countries. And we know that all European countries are signers of all relevant declarations, for example the European Charter of Human Rights and the Universal Convention of Human Rights of the UN. But what we can see in Europe in the past decades is terrible. Roma are being expelled and they are treated like the worst part of the society only because they are Roma. They mustn’t be expelled from France for example, because France has signed the contract ab

China sweeps up American crumbs in debt-stricken Europe

On Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel began a visit to China. This could come as a routine piece of news about foreign policy activity of one of many world leaders, but there are too many details pointing to the fact that the visit is far from being a routine one. To start with, it is the second visit to China by the head of the German government this year – which in itself is highly unusual. Second, the usual entourage surrounding visits by Western leaders to China – all the fuss concerning "human rights" and press freedom – this time is obviously subdued. A German official did say before the visit that Ms. Merkel will raise the issue of the freedom of the press and the topic of human rights in her talks with her Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao, but that was clearly admitted only after German journalists pressed him for an answer. Indeed, the German Chancellor's role during this visit resembles that of a petitioner, and Ms. Merkel may hardly feel herself in a

Spanish court says sick Basque separatist can be freed

MADRID (Reuters) - A top Spanish court ruled on Thursday that a Basque ETA separatist jailed for his involvement in several kidnappings and murders could be freed because he has cancer. Jesús María Uribetxeberría Bolinaga last week abandoned a two-week hunger strike that had prompted around a hundred fellow ETA prisoners to refuse food to press for his release. ETA, which wants independence for Basque lands in northern Spain and southern France, laid down its weapons last October after four decades of armed struggle that resulted in more than 800 deaths. But it remains a thorn in the side of the center-right government. Judge Jose Luis de Castro of the Audiencia Nacional court, who visited Bolinaga on Tuesday, ruled that he could leave the Basque Country hospital where he is currently being held. However, Bolinaga will not walk free immediately, as the public prosecutor's office has five days to appeal. If freed, Bolinaga would also be subject to certain conditions, such as

Soldiers wounded in PKK bomb attack in eastern Turkey

ISTANBUL Six soldiers were wounded today in Van when their military vehicle was hit by a remote-controlled bomb as they were heading to an area that was recently hit by a landmine placed on a railway by suspected members of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK). The first blast occurred at around 2.30 p.m. on a railway between the Keçikayası and Çaybağı villages in the eastern province's Saray district, causing a freight train to derail. The crew of the train was not injured, but four wagons were damaged in the blast. The militants remotely detonated the second bomb 500 meters away from the site of the first blast as the military vehicle was coming to investigate the scene. One solider with heavy injures were reportedly taken to Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Hospital with a helicopter, while the other wounded soldiers were rushed to Van Military Hospital. An operation has been launched to apprehend the militants. Meanwhile, state official Ubeydullah Sancar, who w

Factbox: Syria's Kurds part of wider ethnic group

31 Aug 2012, 08:32 PM (Reuters) - Here is a look at the Kurds, a mainly Sunni Muslim people with its own language and culture, who live mostly in the mountainous region where the borders of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria converge. Despite their long history, the Kurds have never achieved a permanent nation state. * SYRIA Kurds make up about 8 percent of the population. Damascus has deprived thousands of Kurds of citizenship, banned the teaching of their language and clamped down on Kurdish political activities. However in April 2011, President Bashar al-Assad vowed to grant citizenship to Kurds in an attempt to cool resentment. In June 2012, Abdulbaset Sieda, a Kurd, was chosen to head the opposition Syrian National Council, but Kurds have taken little part in the anti-Assad uprising. More than 12,000 Syrian Kurds have fled to Iraqi Kurdistan. * TURKEY Kurds form about 20 percent of the population. Turkey has threatened military intervention in Syria if Kurdistan Workers Party (

Suicide bombing kills at least six Afghans at NATO base

Agence France-Presse | Updated: September 01, 2012 09:18 IST Ghanzni, Afghanistan: A suicide bombing at a large NATO military base in central Afghanistan killed at least six Afghan civilians around dawn on Saturday, officials said. A spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance force said there were no ISAF casualties. "A suicide bomber on foot detonated near the gate of the base in Sayedabad, Wardak province, opening the way for a truck suicide bombing that followed him," provincial government spokesman Shahiddullah Shahid told AFP. "Together they have killed six local civilians, wounded four civilians and two intelligence personnel. There might be other casualties as well but I don't have information about them," he said. A witness said a small bazaar near the base was "totally destroyed" by the huge explosion. Many civilians work on or near NATO bases and bazaars often spring up to cater for them. A spokesman for Taliban i

Colombians support peace talks with FARC: Poll

FRIDAY, 31 AUGUST 2012 07:04 ADRIAAN ALSEMA Support for a negotiated end of Colombia's 48-year-old armed conflict with leftist guerrillas has increased significantly, pollster Gallup said Thursday. According to the latest Gallup poll, 60% of polled Colombians are in favor of a political solution to the problem. In June, a negotiated end of the conflict could count on 52%. Support for a military-only solution to the conflict decreased from 44% to 37%, said Gallup. The bi-monthly poll was held in the same week that President Juan Manuel Santos announced representatives of his administration had been having "exploratory talks" with the FARC about a negotiated end of the armed conflict. While support for negotiations went up, the poll also revealed that 66% of Colombians disapprove of the way the president was dealing with the rebels. The Gallup polls are held among 1,200 people in Colombia's five largest cities. source

Tough mama led counterattack on rebels

By Philip C. Tubeza Philippine Daily Inquirer Friday, August 31st, 2012 She first secured her baby in her cot and then, armed with an M-16 Armalite rifle, Senior Insp. Charity Galvez led 24 of her men in beating off a communist rebel attack on their police station in Agusan del Sur last year. “Maybe they underestimated our station because its commander was a woman. They were mistaken,” said Galvez. Galvez, who barely escaped with her life after a sniper’s bullet grazed her hair during the attack by 250 New People’s Army rebels, was recognized as one of the Top Ten Outstanding Policewomen of the Philippines (TOPWP) in ceremonies at Camp Crame Thursday. “I’m lucky. I feel that this award is important. I’m happy that our accomplishments were recognized,” she said. Undersecretary Austere Panadero of the Department of the Interior and Local Government led the TOPWP awarding rites. ‘Women have gone far’ “This shows that women have gone far in our organization. While

2 cops slain, 4 hurt in N. Cotabato rebel attack

Thursday, August 30, 2012 KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Two members of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were killed while four others, three of them civilians, were injured when at least 15 fully-armed members of the New Peoples' Army (NPA) sprayed them with bullets. The police were conducting traffic inspection along the national highway in Makilala town in North Cotabato around 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Senior Inspector Joyce Birrey, chief of the Makilala police, identified the slain HPG traffic enforcers as PO1 Raul Pablo and P03 Rufino Sumugat. Wounded were SPO2 Ponciano Pahkiat, also of the HPG Cotabato, and civilians identified as Jeremias Ranon Jr. and Policarpio Villarica, both residents of Cagayan de Oro City, and Aragon Napthalia, of Kidapawan City. Birrey said the HPG members had just flagged down motorists Ranon and Villarica, both onboard a Honda XRM motorcycle when the rebels -- all clad in military uniform and armed with high-powered fir

Paraguay Creates Security Council to Fight Elusive Guerrillas

Thursday, 30 August 2012 Written by Elyssa Pachico A new security council will be dedicated to strengthening intelligence operations in the fight against drug trafficking and guerrilla group the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP), Paraguay’s Interior Ministry announced. The council will be supported by the Presidency, the Interior Ministry, the Defense Ministry, and will be headed by the former head of the armed forces, Admiral Cibar Benitez, according to a statement by Interior Minister Carmelo Caballero. Its priority will be the fight against the EPP. “Although they are a weakened group, the effects provoked by their crimes are important in terms of security,” the statement reads. “It is perhaps a lesser phenomenon than international drug traffficking, but they must be fought in order to keep them from growing.” InSight Crime Analysis After the controversial removal of President Fernando Lugo last June, it appears that new President Federico Franco does not intend to break awa

Ledesma: Why crucify Pastor Apollo?

August 29, 2012 THE last time human rights activists and the New People’s Army ganged up on Pastor Apollo Quiboloy was when they heaped the blame of the death of Datu Domingo Diarog on the allegation that the pastor was after the land of the lumad chieftain. Reading from the press statements issued by leftist organizations then and now, one would think that the ancestral land of Diarog is just next to Tamayong, where the prayer mountain of ACQ is situated; and that the pastor has all the reason to employ all the dubious means to acquire what belongs to the late datu. The truth is that the land of Diarog is too distant from the little Eden that Pastor Quiboloy has developed it would take the likes of a Bishop Jaime Jurie and for Karapatan to fantasize that ACQ can intrude into the ancestral domain of the lumads. I do not wish to revive the past but wasn’t it the chieftains of the lumads themselves who later bared that family feud and murder within the family was behind the death

Peru: Officials rescue children kidnapped by Shining Path

At least 150 minors are under the control of the Shining Path, according to the Peruvian government. By Carmen Alvarado for – 28/08/2012 President Ollanta Humala and Minister of Women Ana Jara embraced one of the 11 children who were freed from the Shining Path during “Operation Shelter” in early July. (Courtesy of the Peruvian Presidency) LIMA, Peru – Elite agents of the Anti-Terrorist Directorate (DIRCOTE) and the Peruvian Anti-Drug Police (DIRANDRO) were stunned by what they found after raiding a Shining Path camp in San Martín de Pangoa in the Junín region on July 5. An estimated 30 children between the ages of 2 and 9 were discovered living in the camp, where they were being indoctrinated with Marxist-Leninist ideology and trained to use weapons by the Quispe Palomino Brothers Clan, the narco-trafficking wing of the Shining Path, according to the National Police. The agents stormed the camp, intent on freeing the children and apprehending their abductors

Peru Confronts Its Past – Analysis

By W. Alex Sanchez Nations trying to come to terms with violence from their recent pasts have a difficult road ahead, and the Andean country of Peru is no exception. The country is grappling with a host of issues stemming from its violent struggle against insurgent movements in the 1980s and 1990s. In the short term, such challenges include determining the fate of individuals –– teachers, for example –– who were prosecuted for terrorism charges and have since served their jail sentences. In the long term, questions have emerged about how the country should teach Peruvian youth about this dark period in their country’s history. Finally, in the background, there is a growing debate regarding what limits, if any, should be placed on organizations and individuals that sympathize with these guerrilla movements. An Age of Insurgency Comrade Artemio now captured and prosecuted, facing a lifelong term in prison From the early 1980s through the mid-1990s, the Peruvian government clashe

Red rebels call bandh against 'fake encounter'

KORAPUT: Security has been tightened across the district on the eve of a 24 hour bandh call given by the Maoists on Friday. The Srikakulam-Koraput division of the CPI (Maoist) has called for a bandh in protest against the killing of Teli Kadranga alias Rajendra in an encounter on August 19. "Anti-Maoist operations have been intensified. While vehicles in Maoist-hit areas are being frisked, additional security forces have been deployed at few strategic locations," said SP (Koraput) Awinash Kumar. While police claimed that Rajendra was the commander of Jhanjabati area committee of the CPI (Maoist) and was killed during a fierce gun-battle between security personnel and Maoists in Bodomathuru forest, extremists claimed that Rajendra's killing was orchestrated by police. "Rajendra was not a Maoist. He was a farmer and picked up by police at night while sleeping in his hut and shot dead. We will observe a bandh call to protest against police action and appealed to

US slaps sanctions on 8 LeT leaders including 26/11 mastermind

The United States on Thursday slapped sanctions on Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e- Toiba's top eight commanders, including Mumbai terrorist attack mastermind Sajid Mir and its founder Hafiz Saeed's son. Announcing the sanctions, the US said LeT, despite being designated as a foreign terrorist organisation in January 2002, continues to "operate in Pakistan" and throughout the region and engage in terrorist activities worldwide. "LeT has conducted numerous terrorist acts against Pakistani, Indian, Afghan and US interests and is responsible for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed more than 160 people, including six Americans, and the July 2006 Mumbai train bombings that killed more than 180 people," the Department of Treasury said. Besides Mir, other LeT leaders slapped with sanctions are Abdullah Mujahid, Ahmed Yaqub, Hafiz Khalid Walid, Qari Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh, Amir Hamza, Abdullah Muntazir, and Talha Saeed, the son of the LeT leade

Two Afghan children beheaded in separate incidents

An adolescent boy and a young girl have been beheaded in two separate incidents in Afghanistan, local officials and police said on Friday, in the latest brazen attacks that have raised fresh questions about a splintering Taliban. A 12-year-old boy was kidnapped and killed in southern Kandahar province on Wednesday, his severed head placed near his body to send a warning to police, said provincial governor spokesman Jawid Faisal. The brother of the boy, neither of whom were named by officials, was a member of the Afghan Local Police (ALP), a U.S.-trained militia charged with making Afghans in Taliban strongholds, like Kandahar, feel more secure, Faisal said. "It's a Taliban warning to the ALP and to others who support the government," Faisal said of the killing, which happened in Kandahar's Panjwai district. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf denied the group was involved. Separately, a 6-year-old girl was beheaded in eastern Kapisa province on Thursday, said provincia

Mamata Banerjee the best Maoist fighter

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has proved to be a better administrator in containing Maoism than the chief ministers of the nine Maoist-affected areas, according to data compiled by the home ministry. In contrast, Maharashtra’s Prithviraj Chavan has emerged as one among the worst. The latest compilation of data shows that Maoist-related killings have come to zero in all the three Moist-affected districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura. Not a single death was reported in all the three districts this year till August 15. These districts, especially Midnapore, which accounted for 453 killings and 636 incidents, had emerged among the worst Maoist-affected districts during 2009-11. As far as the incidents this year are concerned, West Midnapore has reported only 5 and the other two districts have not reported any incidents. In comparison, the two Maoist-affected districts of Maharashtra - Gadchiroli and Gondia - have seen an increase in both Maoist-related incidents

Security on high alert as 18 Taliban enter Punjab: Report

ISLAMABAD: Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan dispatched a group comprising 18 terrorists — young Pathans and Punjabis — to twin cities Rawalpindi and Islamabad to act against high profile military and civil officers, a report issued by national crisis management cell of the Ministry of Interior said. The report was sent out to all home departments, Law Enforcement Agencies and Islamabad chief commissioner They may resort to killing or abduction for subsequent bargain for their high profile prisoners, the contents of the report stated. Suspected Afghan terrorists arrested from Wah The report further stated that terrorists belonging to Bajur Agency had been tasked to carry out terrorist attack at Pakistan Ordinance Factory (POF), Wah Cantt. The terrorists were planning on entering via gate no. 1 of the factory, where Nobel Plastic Factory is located. An investigation has already been carried out. It was earlier reported that police had arrested 51 suspects in search operations in

Terrorism “cost of Turkish support for Syrian people”

The increased terror attacks in Turkey is the price for the country’s support for the ‘Syrian people,’ according to Iraq’s exiled vice president Tariq al-Hashemi. Escalation in the terrorist activities of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey is to be expected, because of Turkey’s allying itself with the Syrian people against the al-Assad regime, fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi has said. “PKK terrorism is the cost Turkey is paying because of its alliance with the people, not with the regimes, of the region. I am expecting more attacks will be carried out by the PKK, because this is a pressure card played by the Syrian regime and supported by other regional forces to blackmail Turkey to stop its support for the people of this region,” al-Hashemi said, speaking to Hurriyet Daily News Aug. 30. Asked if the Turkish government’s talks with the Kurdistan Regional Goverment (KRG) seeking greater cooperation on preventing PKK activities in northern Iraq would

Russia and Islam: The end of peaceful coexistence?

Until recently traditional Muslims and Salafists lived harmoniously side-by-side in Tatarstan. No longer Sep 1st 2012 | MOSCOW | FOR years Tatarstan was held up as a model of stability and tranquillity as the Muslim-majority republics of the Russian north Caucasus became embroiled in a separatist conflict that spawned a still-continuing civil war along religious lines. More than half of Tatarstan’s 4m people are Sunni Muslims who have long enjoyed friendly relations with the rest of Russia. Kazan, the regional capital on the Volga river 450 miles (724km) east of Moscow, is a prosperous and attractive city. That sense of calm has changed since July, when assassins shot dead a prominent Islamic leader, Valiulla Yakupov, and nearly killed Tatarstan’s chief mufti, Ildus Faizov, with a bomb detonated under his car. The exact motive remains unclear but many in Kazan seem to think it is related to the public campaign of both men to combat the rising influence of Salafism, a fundamentalis

'Civil War' Among Muslims Shakes Russia's South

MOSCOW — Three recent attacks that left 30 people dead and 15 wounded have cast a spotlight on the growing religious warfare in Dagestan, Russia's southernmost republic. First, a border guard serving near Azerbaijan killed seven colleagues before he was shot dead himself. Superior officers said they had tried twice but failed to have him discharged because he was constantly reading about Wahhabism, a conservative form of Islamic fundamentalism. Then Georgian special forces said they intercepted a heavily armed unit of Islamic insurgents crossing over from Dagestan. A firefight near the border killed three Georgian soldiers and 12 militants. In the most politically significant case, a female suicide bomber attacked Sheikh Said Atsayev, a leading moderate Muslim cleric in Dagestan who had been leading peace talks with militant adherents of Wahhabism, the form of Sunni Islam that is widely practiced in Saudi Arabia. The suicide bomber, the widow of another militant, killed Ats

In Kosovo, Mother Continues Fight To Learn Truth About Missing Son

PRISTINA -- Nesrete Kumnova says it was "with a lot of pain" that she removed a photograph of her missing son, Albion, from a fence near Kosovo's parliament. Photos of hundreds of young men and women missing since the Kosovo war were posted there in a January 2005 protest organized by Kumnova, founder of a group called Mothers' Cries. Since then, the fence has served as a memorial and a reminder to the authorities of the need to resolve questions about the fate of the missing. But on August 30, the International Day of the Disappeared, relatives took the photographs down under an agreement with Kosovo's authorities. In return, the government is erecting a permanent memorial to war victims at another location in the capital, Pristina. 'Sole Request' Like 1,700 other families in Kosovo, Kumnova still doesn't know what happened to her son. She has no doubt that Albion is dead. But she has never found his remains. She last saw Albion in their