Showing posts from October 7, 2012

Nigeria crackdown risks playing into Islamists' hands

A military crackdown across Nigeria has hobbled Boko Haram for now, but as the army campaign intensifies it is likely to fan popular anger in the impoverished north that could ultimately make the Islamist sect's 3-year-old rebellion stronger. The group, which wants to carve an Islamic state out of Nigeria, remains the top security threat to Africa's leading oil producer, and Western powers are worried about its growing links to more fiercely anti-Western jihadist groups in the region. At least 2,800 people have died in fighting since the insurrection began, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday. Nigerian soldiers and police have swept through the largely Muslim north in past weeks, raiding suspected Islamist hideouts, seizing weapons and killing or arresting scores of suspects. Last month they intercepted a vehicle carrying the sect's spokesman and ideologue, Abu Qaqa, whom they said they killed in a shootout, although its leader Abubakar Shekau said Qaqa was captur

French terror cell planned to join 'jihadists in Syria'

 The Paris prosecutor said Thursday that he will be seeking “attempted murder” and “terrorism charges” against seven of the suspects arrested Saturday. He also said the cell was potentially the most dangerous established in France in over a decade. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins confirmed at a press conference Thursday that some of the 12 suspected cell members arrested over the weekend had plans to join jihadists in Syria. Molins also told the banks of reporters that he will be seeking “attempted murder” and “terrorism charges” against the suspects. The Paris prosecutor’s office earlier reported that five of the 12 people had been released. A RADICAL ISLAM EXPERT ON WHAT APPEARS TO BE AN UPSURGE IN HOME-GROWN TERRORISM IN FRANCE By   FRANCE 24 Underlining the importance of the case, Molins said the group was potentially the most dangerous established in France in over a decade. Bomb-making material The press conference comes a day after police

Srebrenica love story stirs hope for Bosnia

To an outsider, there may be nothing strange in the love story between Almir Salihovic and Dusica Rendulic: boy meets girl, they fall in love, live together and have a child. But he is Muslim and she is Serb and they are the first mixed couple in Srebrenica since Serb forces slaughtered around 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the overwhelmingly Muslim Bosnian town in 1995, Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two. They say they are not bothered how people perceive them in the town, where Serbs now outnumber Muslims, and expect no problems for their son, whom they named Jusuf after one of Almir's six uncles killed in the Srebrenica massacre. If I had six sons, I would name them all after Almir's late uncles, said Dusica, 24, pointing at abandoned houses that once belonged to her partner's uncles. For many in the impoverished country, their tale offers hope Bosnia's Muslims, Serbs and Croats can learn to put their animosities behind them, even in places where

Tough task as Syria rebels fight crime

AFP -   Rebels drove the much-feared Syrian security forces out of the northern city of Minbej in July, but as calm returned to the streets, so did the criminals. The victorious rebels are now slowly rebuilding Minbej's police force to combat the rise in crime, which ranges from theft to murder, but due to a severe lack of funding and equipment, face a mammoth task. A unit comprising around 50 "revolutionary police" has been formed to restore law and order to the city, which lies near the border with Turkey and 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the key battleground city of Aleppo. The fledgling force is headed by Abu Mohammed, a police chief who defected from the regime in another part of Syria and ended up in Minbej. "There are some citizens who think that freedom means that there is no system -- no!" Abu Mohammed told AFP in an office in the city's main administrative building. "Of course, from the time of the liberation of Minbej until now, t

PKK threatens France with retaliation over detention of leader

Adem Uzun, a PKK leader in Europe The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has threatened France with retaliation, following the detention of one of the group’s leaders by French security forces last week. The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organization that includes the PKK, said in a statement that France is guilty of being part of a conspiracy for taking Adem Uzun into custody, Turkish-language   Hurriyet   newspaper reported on Friday.   “The Kurdistan freedom movement and the Kurdish people will use its right to retaliation and to make decisions against France’s benefits, unless France abandons its hostile attitude against Kurds,” the statement added.   French police detained Uzun in Paris on October 6.   The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s.   Source:

Strange bedfellows: The MNLA’s on-again, off-again marriage with Ansar Dine

The Tuareg separatist MNLA has long denied any ties with the Islamist Ansar Dine or al Qaeda. But now they’re not so sure - and that does not bode well for the breakaway region of northern Mali. One day, they’re allies burying their differences. The next day, they’re not – but they’re still trying to sort it out. A few days on, it’s splitsville: irreconcilable and official. Then hours later, they’re back together again – or not. In the ungoverned breakaway region of northern Mali, the Tuareg separatist group MNLA has been on-again, off-again with the Islamist Ansar Dine, forging and breaking alliances, with all the impetuousness of a Hollywood couple. But unlike a celebrity romance, the mercurial Malian rebel alliance saga has been largely ignored by the international community, although the implications are grave for regional and global security, as well as for the countless ordinary citizens entrapped by the latest destructive forces of history. In a shock announcement on