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World Terrorism: News, History and Research Of A Changing World #8 Security Watch
International Relations and Security Network (ISN) ^ | 16 April 2007 | Brooks Tigner

Posted on 04/15/2007 4:43:46 PM PDT by DAVEY CROCKETT

Europe's bio-threat readiness questioned

Image: European Community Europe discusses how to prepare itself in the face of bio-terrorism threats and "perversions" of science, not to mention naturally occurring bio-threats to human health.

By Brooks Tigner in Brussels for ISN Security Watch (11/04/07)

The EU must work much closer with its 27 national capitals and across the Atlantic to combat the growing threat of bio-terrorism, according to EU and US policymakers and scientists.

The European Commission aims to fire up discussion of the issue and prompt some solutions when it issues a consultative document on bio-preparedness in the coming weeks.

While Washington is pushing ahead with high levels of government spending and close public-private coordination to protect the US population against bio-attacks, policy in Europe still lacks focus and is splintered into separate national policies, despite universal concern among EU and national experts that their continent is highly vulnerable to attack. Pan-European research is just as fragmented, though current and forthcoming EU-funded projects aim to pull researchers in the same direction.

~~~~~~~~ snip~~~~~~~

There is no policy coherence in bio-preparedness in general across Europe, whether the issue is one of vaccine production, security at bio- and virological laboratories or national immunization policies.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: history; islam; muhammadsminions; research; rop; russia; terrorist; worldwar; wot; wt
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JI Man Faces 7 Years for Hotel Bomb (back)

June 14, 2007

Indonesian police will prosecute high-profile terror suspect Abu Dujana for crimes including the 2003 Jakarta Marriott hotel bombing after yesterday announcing his capture.

National police chief General Sutanto said several days of denying the key arrest had been ‘for operational reasons’, as the elite Detachment 88 anti-terror squad mopped up remnants of a Java-based Jemaah Islamiah terror network loyal to Dujana.

However, he added that investigators had known ‘from the beginning’ that Dujana was masquerading as bag salesman Yusron Mahmudi, in the central Java district of Banyumas.

Dujana was shot in the right thigh while trying to escape during his arrest around midday on Saturday, but did not require surgery. Seven of his followers are also under police guard in central Java after being arrested in the central and east Java cities of Yogyakarta, Karanganyar and Surabaya .

Jakarta-based terrorism analyst Sidney Jones yesterday predicted the military strategist would face ‘at least seven years’ in jail, but warned that his capture did not automatically reduce the possibility of further attacks on Western targets.

Police spokesman Inspector General Sisno Adiwinoto said the hope was Dujana’s arrest would tighten the noose on two of his most dangerous associates, JI master strategists Dulmatin and Umar Patek, believed to be somewhere in the southern Philippines.

The remaining master criminal in the gang, Noordin Mohammed Top, appears to still be on the run in Indonesia .

Ms Jones concurred, saying: ‘All the big operations of the past four years have been the work of Noordin, not of JI generally, except in the case of Poso (central Sulawesi ).

‘It’s Noordin who has focused on Westerners from the beginning, not JI, so the question remains, where is Noordin, and what are the relationships between the senior leaders of JI?’

Nonetheless, Ms Jones described Dujana’s capture as a ‘goldmine’ in Indonesia ‘s fight against terrorism.

Inspector Adiwinoto criticised Foreign Minister Alexander Downer for prematurely releasing details on Monday of the operation.

‘We had no responsibility to tell neighbouring countries about operational matters,’ he said.

While the raids that netted the eight men were conducted wholly by Indonesian police, Australian Federal Police have an extremely close relationship with their Indonesian counterparts.

Mr Downer raised Jakarta ‘s ire after telling Sky TV and the ABC on Monday that Indonesian authorities had informed him of the terrorist leader’s arrest.

‘I can confirm this is what the Indonesians are saying,’ Mr Downer said.

‘At this stage we haven’t got any corroboration of it, but assuming it’s correct - and Indonesians think it is - then we would warmly welcome it.’

Australian Ambassador Bill Farmer was forced to explain the minister’s behaviour during a scheduled Tuesday morning meeting with General Sutanto.

The ambassador’s explanation fell short of an apology - Inspector Adiwinoto later made this clear - but nonetheless involved a delicate rewording of Mr Downer’s statement.

‘The ambassador said, ‘look, it wasn’t quite like that’,’ the Inspector told reporters after Mr Farmer’s visit.

‘What the minister meant was to extend his congratulations to Indonesia , not offering any detail, but congratulations on our handling of terrorism. (Mr Farmer) didn’t apologise - he simply said that that (Dujana’s capture) wasn’t what the minister said.’

The arrests came after raids in March in central Java that netted seven men - killing one of them - and a large number of explosives, ammunition and weapons, much of it destined for the strife-torn region of Poso, in Sulawesi .

Information was found about an evolving JI military structure, with Abu Dujana as its head, and led to Dujana himself.

Dujana studied battle strategy in Pakistan and fought in Afghanistan alongside fellow terrorist Hambali, now a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay .


5,061 posted on 06/15/2007 12:09:00 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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Dhiren Barot Accomplice Found Guilty (back)

June 13, 2007

A man has been found guilty of plotting to murder along with an al-Qaeda operative who planned to kill thousands of people in the UK and the US .

Qaisar Shaffi was one of seven men who supported Dhiren Barot, who is now serving a life sentence.

Shaffi, 28, of Willesden, north west London , was convicted of conspiracy to murder and is now awaiting sentence.

He went to the US with Barot to view possible targets including the New York Stock Exchange and the IMF building.

Dhiren Barot was jailed for a bombing plot on the UK and US

Shaffi’s six co-defendants have already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life and are awaiting sentencing.

Photographs of the potential targets were used in Barot’s plans to attack the US , and would have provided a blueprint for further attacks on buildings in London and the transport system.

Phone call

The jury heard police found pages of the Terrorist Handbook at Shaffi’s house after his arrest in August 2004.

The book referred to chemicals, explosives and recipes for producing explosions.

It also emerged during the one-month trial that Shaffi had been overheard ‘effectively admitting’ his part in the terrorist planning to his father.

In a phone call, he was heard to say: ‘They know I went to America , they know who I met, they know names and say I know people.

‘Dad, pray for me. I’m sorry for what I have done.’

The jury was not required to return verdicts on two further charges facing Shaffi - conspiracy to cause an explosion or explosions likely to endanger life, and possessing a record of information for terrorist purposes.

Barot, 35, was jailed last November for plotting attacks using explosives-packed limousines and a ‘dirty’ radiation bomb.

He had intended a ‘memorable black day’ of terror, Woolwich Crown Court was told.


5,062 posted on 06/15/2007 12:10:40 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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Missing Terror Suspect Identified - Zeeshan Siddique (back)

June 14, 2007

A UK terror suspect under a control order who absconded can be named as Zeeshan Siddiqui, a court has ruled.

The BBC won a battle to name the former London Underground worker of Hounslow, west London , who trained with a London suicide bomber in Pakistan .

The 26-year-old was subject to a UK control order in 2006, meaning he could only be identified as AD.

He was one of the first men to abscond from an order, jumping from a window at a mental health unit in September 2006.

Mr Siddiqui was named in court evidence as a member of a British network of men including bomb plotters.

I can only repay this debt of gratitude by giving my life and blood for his cause - I just pray that Allah makes this path easy for me
Zeeshan Siddiqui, 2005

Other members of this network were Mohammad Sidique Khan, the London suicide bomber and Omar Khyam, the recently jailed ringleader of a plot to build a massive homemade fertiliser bomb.

Mr Siddiqui associated with these men in Pakistan and attended the same paramilitary training camp as other British extremists.

According to evidence heard at the Old Bailey during the fertiliser bomb plot trial, the Hounslow man was proposed as a potential suicide bomber.

Papers relating to Mr Siddiqui released to the BBC as part of the court case, including his diary, indicate he aspired to so-called ‘jihadi’ martyrdom, although they do not detail any clear plan.

Evidence during the trial suggested the suicide bomb idea was dropped because he himself did not think it would work.

However, the papers also reveal he, along with other British men, met Abd Al Hadi al-Iraqi, a senior al-Qaeda figure now being held by the US military in Guantanamo Bay .

Pakistan arrest

Mr Siddiqui was arrested in Pakistan in May 2005 and questioned for three months, during which time he alleged he was tortured.


Born November 1980

Raised in Hounslow

Former London Underground worker

Pakistan Feb 2003

Paramilitary training July 2003

Arrested May 2005

Deported to UK 2006

Control order April 2006

Absconded Sept 2006

Later deported to the UK , he worked in customer services for a firm with links to the Euro-Disney resort in Paris . He sought to alter his control order’s ban on travel, saying it prevented him attending training at the theme park.

Soon after, he was hospitalised suffering hallucinations and flashbacks, saying he had been tortured in Pakistan .

The papers also show Mr Siddiqui rejected allegations in intelligence reports that he was involved in extremism and that he was the victim of ‘untested allegations’.

In his witness statement he said he had travelled widely in Pakistan over two years as part of a personal spiritual mission to better understand Islam.

He said he ended up carrying out humanitarian work in areas of Pakistan close to the Afghan border where people were fleeing fighting.

Some 30 pages of his statement have been blacked out by officials on national security grounds. These pages appear to relate to his time in Pakistani detention and a meeting with British officials after the 7 July suicide bombings.


5,063 posted on 06/15/2007 12:13:39 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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Extracts from Zeeshan Siddique’s diary (back)

June 14, 2007

Until Thursday morning, the identity of Zeeshan Siddique, a 26-year-old British jihadi who has escaped his control order, was a closely guarded secret. The BBC has won the right to release his name, and has been given access to his diaries.

Cold, alone and suffering from terrible diarrhoea, Zeeshan Anis Siddique’s dream of being a heroic warrior in the name of God, was faltering.

‘The greatest tests are truly to be soon alleviated and the greatest rewards will be given to those who bore them with patience only for the sake of Allah,’ he comforts himself.

No running water, dreadful food and terrible neighbours who live in ‘filth’. Just another day in the utterly miserable existence of a would-be British jihadi who had given up the creature comforts of London surburbia to rough it in one of the poorest parts of Pakistan .

The BBC has won a legal battle to release his identity and thereby tell the story of Zeeshan Siddique, one of six men who have absconded from UK anti-terrorism control orders. And his story can be told thanks to a diary he kept in Pakistan after paramilitary training with British bomb plotters. The BBC obtained the diary and other papers on the 26-year-old through its court action.

An extract from Siddique’s diary, which had been written on a computer

Two of the men who trained with Zeeshan are better known. Mohammad Sidique Khan was the ringleader of the 2005 7 July suicide bombers. The second was Omar Khyam, the now jailed head of a plot to detonate a massive fertiliser bomb in England .

Zeeshan’s whereabouts are today unknown after he skipped his control order by jumping out of a window of a mental hospital in Britain in September 2006. He had been sectioned after suffering what he says were flashbacks of torture at the hands of the Pakistani authorities.

But back in March 2005 - two months before his arrest - he was consumed by anger, albeit often the result of rather prosaic events.

Having trained to fight - and built himself up psychologically to do so - he seemed to be lacking a definite target for his intentions. Many of his British contacts were in custody and the ‘brothers’ he was associating with appear from the diaries to be heading nowhere.

Much ‘suffering’

And so, as his mind deteriorates at the same rate as his stomach, he convinces himself he is going through a test of faith that God has reserved for the chosen.

I’m always constantly laughed at and ridiculed

Zeeshan Siddique

Missing terror suspect identified

‘Extremely cold and troublesome night,’ he writes, occasionally invoking strong language. ‘Awoke first time after Fajr [dawn prayers] 0724 HRS then bk 2 sleep. Pain in head and flank.

‘I’m covered in shit and there ain’t a drop of water. Only Allah knows the suffering I am going thru.

‘He will not let the suffering of his believing slaves go to waste. Allah knows that the thing I hate most is being covered in filth.

‘All alone in a strange land with strange ppl [people] and a strange language. I’m always constantly laughed at and ridiculed. I can trust no-one except Allah - for he alone is my only helping and protecting friend.’

Redacted: Case won but material blacked out

While these do not appear to be the thoughts of a stone-cold killer, security officials judged him a sufficient risk on his return to the UK to place him on a control order, a version of house arrest.

By that time they had seen his diaries and probed his links with other extremists. He was questioned at length by the Pakistanis. British officials met him after the London suicide bombings. We don’t know what was asked or said because the government has blacked out those parts of the papers on national security grounds.

But during the dark days in Pakistan , he attacks local shopkeepers for being not as Islamic as he is because they play pop music. Others are con-men who are eating into his precarious finances. Muslims who don’t share his world view are unbelievers.

But most of all, he fears for his brothers-in-arms as the authorities close in.

Tube worker

‘Found out some bad news. The relaxing place was done over. 7-8 of the guys taken whilst asleep. 2 others 72ed,’ jihadi slang for killed, referring to ‘martyrs’ rewarded with 72 virgins in paradise.

A further extract

A key question for the British security services is whether Zeeshan himself was a potential suicide bomber. Evidence heard at the Old Bailey during the fertiliser bomb plot trial, which ended in April, suggested he was being groomed for that task because he worked as a London Underground station assistant. Zeeshan was said to have rejected the idea - but his diary reveals other thoughts.

‘The armies of Islam are coming, we are ready. I must endure and outdo all the others in endurance. I will do what Allah has willed for me indeed only then will Allah make me successful both in this life and the next.’

And as his health finally improves, he concludes that God has singled him out for blessings and that he now must rejoin the cause.

‘I can only repay this debt of gratitude by giving my life and blood for his cause. I just pray that Allah makes this path easy for me.’

Troubled man

Some days he busies himself with his potato plants and making furniture. Other days, when he is feeling down, he entertains himself with violent jihadi videos or the news. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a ‘black witch’. Iraqi prime minister Ibrahim Al Jaafari is a ‘dog of the hell fire, the Shatan [devil] used to live in Wembley.’

Peering into his mind through the diary, what emerges is an exceptionally troubled young man consumed with anger.

‘I just can’t imagine how other Muslims... including my own brother can go about their daily lives as normal, rejecting the strife of the battlefield. Today Islam needs those who are prepared to fight to the death.

‘I must rejoin my contingent I must make an all-out immense effort. I have come to the conclusion to just go for it.

‘I am still allowing this world to overcome me... once I am back on the field Allah will improve my health automatically.

‘Do not waiver or become weak against the enemy. This is the only way I can be reunited again with mummy and daddy in jannah [heaven].’


5,064 posted on 06/15/2007 12:15:36 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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Jemaah Islamiyah (back)

June 14, 2007

What is Jemaah Islamiyah?

Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) is a militant Islamist group active in several Southeast Asian countries that’s seeking to establish a pan-Islamic state across much of the region. Anti-terror authorities struck a blow against Jemaah Islamiyah (’Islamic Organization’ in Arabic) when they arrested its operational chief, Nurjaman Riduan Ismuddin, also known as Hambali, in Thailand August 2003. JI is alleged to have attacked or plotted against U.S. and Western targets in Indonesia , Singapore , and the Philippines . The most recent attack believed to have been carried out by JI operatives came on October 1, 2005, when a series of suicide bombings killed at least nineteen people and wounded more than 100 in Bali , a beachfront city and international tourist destination.

Have authorities pursued Jemaah Islamiyah?

Authorities in the region have arrested more than 200 members of the group for allegedly planning an October 12, 2002, bombing that killed 202 people at a Bali nightclub. Three of the four main suspects behind the bombing have been sentenced to death in Indonesia . JI is also suspected in the August 5, 2003, car bombing of the J.W. Marriott hotel in Jakarta that killed twelve, and the September 9, 2004, attack, which apparently targeted the Australian Embassy in Jakarta . Before the Bali bombing, Indonesian authorities had not aggressively investigated the group, though Singapore , Malaysia , and the Philippines had cracked down on it. After the Bali attack, the United States —which suspects the group of having ties to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network—designated Jemaah Islamiyah a foreign terrorist organization.

Has Jemaah Islamiyah targeted Americans or American interests?

Yes. State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said in January 2003 that ‘information indicates that Hambali was involved in a 1995 plot to bomb eleven U.S. commercial airliners in Asia and directed the late-2001 foiled plot to attack U.S. and Western interests in Singapore,’ referring to Jemaah Islamiyah’s plans to attack the U.S., British, and Israeli embassies in December 2001. In the most recent Bali attacks, two Americans were reportedly wounded.

Why hadn’t the United States designated Jemaah Islamiyah a foreign terrorist organization before the Bali bombing?

Because of reluctance to anger Indonesian public sentiment. While Singapore and Malaysia would have supported adding the group to Washington ’s list earlier, the United States had been trying to secure Indonesia ’s cooperation on the war on terror without alienating its Muslim political parties or undermining its then-moderate president, Megawati Sukarnoputri. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a former general who was elected Indonesia ’s president in October 2004, has done more to clamp down on JI and other Islamic extremist groups than his predecessor, experts say. The first Bali bombing also spurred Indonesia to acknowledge the extent of its terrorism problem, and the U.S. designation followed. Listing Jemaah Islamiyah as a foreign terrorist organization restricts the group’s finances and its members’ travel.

Does Jemaah Islamiyah have links to al-Qaeda?

Probably, but experts disagree on the extent of them. Some U.S. officials and terrorism experts refer to JI as al-Qaeda’s Southeast Asian wing and say the group is capable of opening a second front against U.S. interests in the region. Other experts argue the two terrorist groups are not that closely linked and add that Jemaah Islamiyah’s regional goals do not fully match al-Qaeda’s global aspirations. Abu Bakar Bashir, JI’s alleged spiritual leader, denies the group has ties to al-Qaeda, but has expressed support for Osama bin Laden. A Qaeda operative arrested in Indonesia reportedly told U.S. investigators that Bashir was directly involved in Qaeda plots.

At the very least, a few individuals have been linked to both groups. Hambali is the Jemaah Islamiyah leader thought to be most closely linked to al-Qaeda. He allegedly has been involved in several terrorist attacks and plots in the region. Some experts say he may have delegated some of his operational responsibilities while he was being pursued by Indonesian and other intelligence services. Other individuals with suspected ties to both al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah have been detained in the region, and some have been turned over to U.S. investigators.

What is the size of Jemaah Islamiyah?

It’s unclear. Experts say the group has cells operating throughout Southeast Asia, including in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and possibly the Philippines, Cambodia, and Thailand. Weak central authority, lax or corrupt law enforcement, and open maritime borders in some of these countries ease JI’s ability to operate throughout the region. It is unclear how crackdowns in several countries since the Bali bombings have affected the group. Officials estimate the size of JI may vary from several hundred to a few thousand members.

When was Jemaah Islamiyah founded?

The name Jemaah Islamiyah dates to the late 1970s, but experts aren’t certain if the name referred to a formal organization or an informal gathering of like-minded Muslim radicals—or a government label for Islamist malcontents. The group has its roots in Darul Islam, a violent radical movement that advocated the establishment of Islamic law in Indonesia , the world’s most populous Muslim country and also home to Christians, Hindus, and adherents of other faiths. Darul Islam sprang up as the country emerged from Dutch colonial rule in the late 1940s, and its followers continued to resist the postcolonial Indonesian republic, which it saw as too secular. Some experts say JI was formed by a small handful of Indonesian extremists exiled in Malaysia in the late 1980s. In its early years, JI renounced violence, but the group shifted tactics in the late 1990s because of suspected links with al-Qaeda figures in Afghanistan .

Who is the leader of Jemaah Islamiyah?

Abu Bakar Bashir, an Indonesian of Yemeni descent, is thought to be the group’s spiritual leader—and, some speculate, an operational leader as well. Bashir joined Darul Islam in the 1970s and was imprisoned in Indonesia for Islamist activism. In 1985, after a court ordered him back to prison, Bashir fled to Malaysia . There, he recruited volunteers to fight in the anti-Soviet Muslim brigades in Afghanistan and sought funding from Saudi Arabia while maintaining connections with former colleagues in Indonesia .

After the Indonesian dictator Suharto stepped down in 1998, Bashir returned home to run a pesantren—a Muslim seminary—in Solo, on the Muslim-majority island of Java. He also took up leadership of the Indonesian Mujahedeen Council, an Islamist umbrella group. Bashir has denied involvement in terrorism. Following the October 2002 Bali bombing, Indonesian officials demanded Bashir submit to questioning about that and earlier attacks. In 2003, he was convicted of treason, but the charge was soon after overturned by the Jakarta High Court and, in April 2004, Bashir was released from prison. Citing new evidence, Indonesia authorities re-arrested Bashir the same day. On March 5, 2005, he was acquitted of charges that he participated in the 2003 attacks in Jakarta but was found guilty of conspiracy for the 2002 Bali bombings and sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison, which the U.S. and Australian governments criticized as too lenient.

Who are the other leadership figures?

Among Southeast Asia ’s most-wanted terrorists are Azhari Husin and Mohammed Noordin Top, both Malaysian-born members of Jemaah Islamiyah. Husin, a Britain-educated engineer and explosives expert, and Top, a former accountant, are allegedly behind the attacks of the Marriott and Australian Embassy in Jakarta .

Until his arrest in 2003, Hambali played the most important leadership role in Jemaah Islamiyah, according to U.S. and Asian intelligence officials. He was the group’s operational chief, they say, and was closely involved in several terrorist plots. U.S. officials announced August 14, 2003, that he was arrested by Thai authorities in Ayutthaya, about sixty miles north of Bangkok, and handed over to the Central Intelligence Agency. The U.S. State Department says Hambali was the head of Jemaah Islamiyah’s regional shura, its policymaking body, and suspected of being al-Qaeda’s operations director for East Asia . The State Department in January 2003 froze Hambali’s assets and the assets of another suspected terrorist, Mohamad Iqbal Abdurraham, also known as Abu Jibril. The department said that, until his arrest in Malaysia in June 2001, Abu Jibril was ‘Jemaah Islamiyah’s primary recruiter and second-in-command.’

What prior attacks has Jemaah Islamiyah been linked to?

The group—or individuals affiliated with it—is thought to be tied to several terrorist plots. Among them:

The October 1, 2005, suicide bombings in Bali that killed at least nineteen people.

The September 2004 suicide car bombing outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta that killed three people and left more than 100 wounded.

The August 2003 car bombing of the J.W. Marriott hotel in Jakarta that killed twelve people.

The October 2002 bombing of a nightclub on the predominantly Hindu island of Bali that killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists from Australia and elsewhere. Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, a forty-one-year-old mechanic from East Java , was convicted on August 8, 2003, for buying the vehicle used in the main explosion and buying and transporting most of the chemicals used for the explosives. He was the first of thirty-three suspects arrested for the bombings to be convicted.

A December 2000 wave of church bombings in Indonesia that killed eighteen. Asian and U.S. officials say Hambali had a hand in these attacks, and Indonesian officials arrested J.I. leader Bashir for questioning in connection with this anti-Christian campaign.

A December 2000 series of bombings in Manila that killed twenty-two people. The State Department says Hambali helped plan these attacks. Fathur Rahman al-Ghozi, a Bashir follower, reportedly confessed to a role in the bombings. In April 2002, he was convicted in the Philippines on unrelated charges of possessing explosives.

A 1995 plot to bomb eleven U.S. commercial airliners in Asia that, the State Department says, Hambali helped plan.

How have Southeast Asian countries dealt with Jemaah Islamiyah?

It varies. Singapore and Malaysia , two countries with strong central governments, have outlawed the group and arrested suspected members. Singapore , for example, foiled a JI plot to attack U.S. , British, and Israeli embassies in Singapore . The Philippines , which has struggled to contain Abu Sayyaf, another local Islamist militant group with suspected Qaeda ties, has also pursued Jemaah Islamiyah. These three countries have shared intelligence with the United States and sometimes turned over suspects. By comparison, Indonesia had done little until the Bali bombing.

How has Indonesia dealt with Jemaah Islamiyah?

Following the September 11, 2001, attacks, the government spent months resisting pressure from its neighbors and the United States to detain alleged JI leaders. Many Indonesian authorities questioned whether the group even existed. Indonesia also resisted U.S. and Asian government requests to arrest Hambali, then JI’s suspected operations leader, and he eventually went underground.

Some Indonesian officials said that targeting the extremist group could generate public sympathy for it and help build a following for Bashir and JI in the otherwise largely moderate Muslim country. Indonesia-watchers said the government was also worried about appearing to cave in to U.S. demands and so antagonize Islamic political parties. Following the Bali bombing, however, Indonesia changed its tune, passing new antiterrorism legislation and ordering Bashir’s arrest.

Have these security measures had any effect on Jemaah Islamiyah’s operations?

It’s unclear. Some experts say the recent attacks in Bali , which consisted of three bombers strapped with ten kilograms each of tightly packed explosives and steel ball bearings, were considerably smaller in scale and less sophisticated than previous attacks by JI. That might suggest the group is lacking outside funding, says Zachary Abuza, assistant professor of political science and international relations at Simmons College . ‘Maybe they simply just cannot afford to purchase trucks or minivans to use in large operations,’ he said in an October 2 interview with ABC’s The World Today. Other experts say security crackdowns and arrests of key JI leaders have created a schism within the group between a radical branch that advocates violent jihad and a more mainstream one that favors more peaceful means to achieving its aims.


5,065 posted on 06/15/2007 12:21:55 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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Taking the ‘War on Terror’ to Africa (back)

June 13, 2007

Last week, European investigators slammed the US for its handling of terror suspects. But little seems to have changed. Now, the CIA has set up shop on the Horn of Africa.

When Swedish citizen Saafia Benaouda, 17 years old and pregnant, left on a multi-stop trip through the Persian Gulf region with her husband, 25-year-old Mounir Awad, in December, they were looking forward to an exciting Christmas vacation. It didn’t take long, however, for their adventure holiday to deteriorate into a nightmare. Following a stop in Dubai , the couple decided to make an ill-advised detour into Somalia — for a quick holiday stop in a country torn by civil war. At the time of their trip, fundamentalist Muslim militias and groups allied with the unstable transitional government were involved in heavy fighting.

‘I love to travel and wanted to get to know another Muslim country,’ Saafia Benaouda says in justification of her unusual itinerary. A substantial degree of naiveté seems to also have played a role: Benaouda reports she had not read the newspaper for ‘two or three weeks’ while in Dubai and had not checked other media either. She says she knew nothing about the unstable situation in Somalia and the official warnings not to travel there.

She wasn’t impressed with the country anyway: ‘ Somalia wasn’t at all what I expected. I didn’t like it there,’ says the daughter of a Moroccan, whose mother converted to Islam and directs a Muslim organization in Sweden . ‘I think Somalis don’t like white people.’ But that wasn’t the worst thing that happened to her on her trip to Somalia .

When Ethiopian troops entered Somalia around New Year’s Day, she fled towards the Kenyan border with her husband. That’s where it happened: ‘I heard shooting everywhere. There were three US soldiers with the US flag on their uniform, and 10 Kenyans,’ the 17-year-old remembers. The men were apparently part of the Kenyan Anti-Terrorism Police, which is heavily financed by the United States and is part of the US-sponsored, $100 million East Africa Counter-Terrorism Initiative.

On Jan. 27, 2007, Saafia was flown to Mogadishu in Somalia on an African Express Airlines flight (flight number AXK527), along with 84 other ‘terror suspects,’ including several children.

US citizens were present at each of these stops, Saafia’s husband Mounir Awad told SPIEGEL. ‘When we landed, we were immediately photographed by Americans in civilian clothing,’ he says, adding that he and the others were repeatedly insulted as ‘Qaida bastards.’


5,066 posted on 06/15/2007 12:23:30 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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Kuwait Bars Women from Night Jobs (back)

June 11, 2007

The Kuwaiti parliament Monday passed a law banning women from working at night, except those in the medical profession, and barring them from jobs considered ‘immoral.’

The law, which was passed unanimously, prohibits women from working between 8.00 pm and 7.00 am and in jobs that ‘contravene with public morals and in all-men service places at any time.’

Conservative and Islamist MPs, who form a majority in the 50-member house, said that the law aims at protecting women from ‘being exploited in immoral activities.’

Kuwait is a conservative Muslim emirate where alcohol is banned, but it does not have a strict dress code for women such as that enforced in neighboring Saudi Arabia .

Kuwaiti women took part in parliamentary elections for the first time in June 2006, one year after they were granted full political rights following a struggle lasting four decades ?


5,067 posted on 06/15/2007 12:24:29 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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Kurdish Women Resent Iraqi Passport System (back)

June 12, 2007

by Koral Tofi

A few months ago, Rezan Muhammad Ali was invited to stay with a relative who lives in England . Excited about the prospect of a trip to Europe, Ali rushed to apply for a passport so she could travel to the British embassy in Jordan to attend an interview for the entry visa required.

But at the local passport office, the 34-year-old was told that to apply for a passport, she would need a male guardian to support her application.

Ali shook her head in disbelief. ‘I almost cried,’ she said. ‘I am not a child who needs to ask a guardian’s permission.’

Reluctantly, Ali asked her husband to sign a document vouching for her and is now waiting to receive her passport.

For years, the authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan have overlooked a piece of Iraqi legislation which states a woman who applies for a passport first has to have her father, uncle, or brother’s written permission.

In the past, women in this part of the country simply applied and were given a passport without fuss.

But the introduction of the new G edition passport in March 2007 - which is electronically read and difficult to forge - means that all passports are now issued on a special printing machine in Baghdad where the law is enforced.

Women’s groups in Iraqi Kurdistan are now campaigning to abolish the legislation: they are gathering a petition and have taken their case to the government.

Moves to introduce the new passport were set in motion in January 2007, when Swedish immigration officials said that the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm had issued thousands of passports based on false information.

The Swedish government decided to disallow the use of Iraqi S edition passports, which lack up-to-date security features and are easy to forge, as the information they contain is handwritten and the holder’s picture is attached with glue.

Other countries, including the US , the UK , and Jordan , followed suit and now only let Iraqis into the country if they carry a new G edition travel document that meets international anti-forgery and security standards.

The enforcement of this controversial law, which was previously ignored in Iraqi Kurdistan, is not the only problem created by the new passport system.

Staff at the passport office in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah have to

take applications 330 kilometers to Baghdad .

They face many risks on the perilous journey to Baghdad , where they wait until the passport is ready before bringing it back.

Colonel Salih Osman, the director of Passports and Residency in Sulaimaniyah, says that each month his office sends an officer and two policemen to Baghdad to process travel documents.

‘We are constantly in touch with them because both the journey to Baghdad and the situation inside the city are extremely dangerous,’ he said.

A further problem caused by the new system is that the Baghdad passport office - which serves the whole country - can only process 250 to 350 applications a month, said Osman.

‘Priority is given to government delegations and organizations whose members go abroad,’ said Osman.

Many Kurds say the system is open to bribery. But with the application process taking weeks or even months to complete, it is no surprise that people are prepared to pay extra to speed it up.

‘I received my passport within two weeks after I paid several hundred

US dollars [in bribes],’ said a young man from Sulaimaniyah.

A Kurdish worker for a local non-governmental organization, which requires him to travel abroad, said he had to pay more than $1,000 to get a passport within a week.

These sums are apparently divided between several people, including the driver who takes the application to Baghdad and returns with a passport, and officials in the city’s passport office.

But what has caused the greatest concern by far is the fact that under the new system, women now need a male guardian to vouch for them before they can apply.

Women’s Kurdish groups say the law discriminates against them and is in

breach of their human rights.

They point out that it goes against the Iraqi constitution which guarantees every citizen the right to travel both inside and outside the country, and also contradicts Iraqi legislation in place since 1959 which states there are no restrictions on women applying for a passport to travel.

Last month, Nazaneen Rasul, 45, wanted to apply for a visa to a European country to visit her husband’s relatives, but, like Ali, she was asked to have guardian consent to approve her passport application.

‘I am a guardian to my kids and now I am required to have guardian consent for my passport,’ she said, incredulously. ‘Why is it I cannot get a passport at this age on my own?’

Those women who do not have a guardian to sign their form are prevented from applying altogether.

Sroosht Wahbi, 36, a lawyer, had been sponsored to go on a business trip to Turkey and Saudi Arabia . Wahbi, who has no father or brother and is not on speaking terms with her uncle, was unable to apply for a passport, and as a result, she missed out on the trip.

‘There is no legal or social justification for this,’ she said.

Nasreen Muhammad, a Kurdish women’s rights activist, said women’s groups have taken their concerns to the Iraqi parliament, ‘We will never let women be degraded, and we will continue to criticize the law until it is abolished.’

The groups are collecting signatures to put pressure on the ministry of interior. Roonak Faraj, head of the Women Media and Cultural Centre in Sulaimaniyah, said in the first week of their campaign they had gathered 1,000 names.

Faraj said they will take the signatures to the Kurdistan regional parliament, the interior ministry in Baghdad , and the Iraqi parliament, ‘We want women to have a united voice on this issue.’

Osman from the Sulaimaniyah passport office confirmed that the restrictive law had been in place even when they were issuing the S edition of the passports. ‘We were just ignoring it,’ he admitted.

He said they have taken the women’s concerns to the ministry of interior in Baghdad , writing to them twice and requesting that they deliver a machine that prints the new passports to the Kurdish region.

Barham Salih, the Iraqi deputy prime minister, is said to be working on the issue, and the word is that a machine will be brought to the north this summer.

Until then, Salih advised, women will have to be patient.


5,068 posted on 06/15/2007 12:26:22 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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Clintons sell off stock holdings
Bill and Hillary Clinton have sold the stocks held in their blind trust to avoid any conflict of interest as she runs for the US presidency, aides say.

The Clintons would not reinvest the proceeds, valued from $5m (£2.54m) to $25m (£12.6m), US media reported.

Documents show the Clintons amassed most of this money since leaving the White House through investments made on their behalf and without their input.

In addition, Mr Clinton earned about $10m (£5m) from speeches in 2006.

Blind trusts are devices which place the management of a person’s assets into the hands of experts who decide how those funds are invested.

The Clintons’ trust was set up in 1993 after Mr Clinton took office and then registered as a Senate blind trust when Mrs Clinton was elected as a senator.

They were advised by federal ethics officials that they would need to reorganise the trust to comply with the rules for presidential candidates, which differ from those for senators.

Mrs Clinton, who is bidding to be the Democratic candidate in the 2008 election, and her husband decided instead to dissolve the trust.

Their stocks were converted to cash in April to avoid any questions about possible conflicts of interest, their legal and financial advisers said.

Documents show the trust had included investments in oil and drug companies, and companies based overseas.

Presidential candidates are often questioned about their investments, especially those in sectors which might be at odds with their stated positions or policies, correspondents say.


The Clintons’ decision to cash in their holdings was a reminder of the couple’s previous history with investments that haunted them politically, the New York Times says.

The Clinton presidency was dogged by the Whitewater real estate scandal that questioned the couple’s involvement in an Arkansas land deal dating back to 1978. They were only cleared of wrongdoing in 2000.

Since leaving office, Mr Clinton has earned more than $40m with speeches and other public activities.

The couple have assets of at least $10m (£5m) and as much as $50m (£25.3m), with no liabilities, according to Mrs Clinton’s Senate financial disclosure report published on Thursday.

Other House and Senate members also filed disclosure reports outlining their finances on Thursday.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/06/15 11:52:59 GMT


5,069 posted on 06/15/2007 12:52:50 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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To: All; DAVEY CROCKETT; struwwelpeter

Russia to probe UK spy activity
Russia is to investigate alleged British spying on its territory after claims made by the prime suspect in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.

A spokesman for the Federal Security Service (FSB) said a criminal case had been opened based on remarks and extra information given by Andrei Lugovoi.

Mr Lugovoi accused Mr Litvinenko, the ex-KGB agent poisoned in November 2006, of having contacts with British spies.

The UK Embassy in Moscow said the murder was not an intelligence matter.

A statement by the FSB said a criminal case has been opened relating to allegations of espionage following an investigation into remarks made by Russian businessman Mr Lugovoi.

It said the investigation was based on additional information received from Mr Lugovoi about the activities of the British intelligence services on Russian territory.

The press service of the FSB said this was “not against Lugovoi” and that he as a Russian citizen had simply made a statement to the FSB as was his right.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the British Embassy in Moscow said: “The Litvinenko affair is a criminal matter and not an issue of intelligence.

“A British citizen was killed in London, and UK citizens and visitors were put at risk. We are seeking and expect full cooperation from the Russian authorities in bringing the perpetrator to face British justice.”

Public health scare

Diplomatic relations between London and Moscow have been strained by the case.

Mr Litvinenko died aged 43 after being exposed to the radioactive isotope polonium-210. The incident sparked a major public health scare as a raft of London buildings visited by the former agent were checked for radiation levels.

1 November 2006: Alexander Litvinenko meets Andrei Lugovoi and another Russian at a London hotel
23 November 2006: Litvinenko dies in a London hospital
24 November 2006: A Litvinenko statement accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of involvement in his death. Experts say Litvinenko was poisoned
6 December 2006: UK police say they are treating the death as murder
22 May 2007: Lugovoi should be charged with Litvinenko’s murder, British prosecutors say
28 May 2007: UK makes formal request for Lugovoi’s extradition from Russia
14 June 2007: Russia’s prosecutor-general rules out extraditing Lugovoi
15 June 2007: Russia launches spy case over accusations made by Lugovoi

In May, Mr Lugovoi claimed that both Mr Litvinenko and Boris Berezovsky, who is exiled in the UK and an opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government, had contacts with the British foreign intelligence agency MI6.

The UK’s director of public prosecutions has recommended Mr Lugovoi be tried for murder by “deliberate poisoning” and a formal extradition request has been submitted to the authorities in Moscow.

The request has been made under the 1957 Council of Europe European Convention on Extradition, of which Russia is a signatory. However, Russia does have the right, under Article 6, to refuse to extradite one of its nationals.

On Thursday, Russian prosecutor-general Yuri Chayka was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying: “Extradition is out of the question, because it contradicts our constitution.”

Mr Putin previously described the request as “foolish”.

The BBC’s security correspondent Frank Gardner said a trial in Russia would not be considered safe for key witnesses like Mr Litvinenko’s widow Marina, and Moscow was unlikely to allow a trial in a neutral country.

A Russian security service investigation into British espionage - something both countries actively engage in - was likely to muddy the waters still further, our correspondent added.

Mrs Litvinenko has dismissed Mr Lugovoi’s claims that British secret services had a part in her husband’s death.

She said his case was different from anything that had happened before and Russia should reconsider its law over extraditions.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/06/15 17:11:39 GMT


5,070 posted on 06/15/2007 12:54:38 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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Soldier accused of giving secrets
An Army interpreter has appeared at the Old Bailey accused of passing on secret information from the military.

Iranian-born Corporal Daniel James, 44, of Cliff Road, Brighton, faces a charge under the Official Secrets Act.

Mr James is accused of communicating information that may be “directly or indirectly useful to the enemy” - widely believed to be Iran.

He appeared via videolink before Mr Justice Calvert-Smith for a brief preliminary hearing on Friday.

Mr James, who speaks Farsi and Dari, worked as a translator for Gen David Richards, who was the British commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan.

He is alleged to have committed the offence on 2 November last year.

A plea and case management hearing is due to take place on 13 July.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/06/15 16:05:34 GMT


5,071 posted on 06/15/2007 1:13:25 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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Abbas appoints new Palestinian PM
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has appointed a new prime minister, a day after dissolving the Hamas-led coalition, officials say.

Former Finance Minister Salam Fayyad, an independent, has been asked to take over and form an emergency government.

It comes amid political upheaval in Gaza, where Hamas has forcibly taken control from its Fatah rivals.

But Ismail Haniya, of Hamas, said he was still prime minister, while Hamas denounced Mr Abbas’ move as illegal.

Hamas’ exiled political chief, Khaled Meshaal, meanwhile said his movement will work with Mr Abbas.

“He is an elected president, and we will co-operate with him for the sake of national interest,” he said.

Pledge of support

A former World Bank executive, Mr Fayyad is a well-respected figure internationally.

In recent months, foreign governments have chosen to deal with him directly as a means of bypassing Hamas, but Hamas swiftly rejected the appointment, saying it viewed the entire interim administration as illegal.

“It is a coup against legitimacy and a transgression of all the laws,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told the AFP news agency.

Born in 1952 near West Bank city of Tulkarm
Holds a PhD in economics from the University of Texas
Worked at the World Bank in Washington from 1987-1995
IMF representative to Palestine until 2001
Finance minister under the Fatah-controlled administration from 2002-2005
Credited with cracking down on official corruption

The group of Middle East mediators known as the Quartet - the US, UN, EU and Russia - pledged their “full support” for Mr Abbas, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, said.

Arab foreign ministers are holding an emergency meeting in Cairo, while Egypt has pulled its envoys out of Gaza in protest at Hamas’ takeover.

An uneasy calm has returned to the Strip after a week of fierce fighting between members of Mr Abbas’s Fatah movement and Hamas, which claimed at least 100 lives.

Vehicles returned to the roads and shops were open in Gaza. Few armed men were visible on the streets and there were reports of only sporadic gunfire.

However, outbreaks of looting at former Fatah strongholds were reported, while the home of Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan was stripped bare.

Masked Hamas gunmen ransacked Mr Abbas’ seafront offices on Friday, discarding portraits of the Palestinian Authority President and his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, on the floor, their glass frames in pieces.

As Hamas consolidated its grip on power, the group said it had released several top Fatah military commanders seized during the violence under a prisoner “amnesty”.

Hamas’ military wing called for the immediate release of BBC journalist Alan Johnston, abducted in Gaza in March.

They said his continued detention was unacceptable and Hamas TV reported on Friday night that “practical steps” were being taken to bring about Mr Johnston’s freedom.

Meanwhile, about 200 Fatah officials from Gaza have sought refuge in Egypt since Thursday.

A further 3,000 Palestinian civilians are now stranded on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing which is closed. Rafah provides the people of Gaza with their only point of access to the outside world.

Hamas has said it intends to take control of the crossing point. However, it is not certain that Israel, Egypt and the European monitors who operated the facility will allow that.

Rule by decree

President Abbas dismissed the three-month-old unity government on Thursday and declared a state of emergency.

He has said he will rule by presidential decree until the conditions are right for early elections.

Under the Palestinian Basic Law, essentially the Palestinian constitution, the president can rule by decree for 30 days. This can be extended with the approval of the parliament.

The BBC’s Matthew Price in Jerusalem says this may be an irrelevance, as Mr Abbas appears to no longer have any influence in Gaza.

Our correspondent says the West Bank and Gaza Strip will now effectively be split from one another - Gaza run by Hamas and the West Bank by Fatah.

There are also fears that violence will spread to the West Bank, where Fatah is dominant.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/06/15 19:46:30 GMT


5,072 posted on 06/15/2007 1:16:53 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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The politics of Russia’s spy game
By Steven Eke
BBC Russia analyst

The announcement by the FSB, Russia’s security service, that it has opened “an espionage investigation” on the basis of Andrei Lugovoi’s recent accusations, is an unexpected twist in an already highly convoluted story.

Mr Lugovoi, whose extradition from Russia on suspicion of murder has been formally requested by the UK, made a series of serious accusations relating to the British secret services.

He alleged that Alexander Litvinenko had contacts with British intelligence, and that he had tried to recruit him to gather “compromising material” on President Vladimir Putin.

In separate interviews to the Russian media, Mr Lugovoi has alleged that he was “blackmailed”, and his business interests “threatened” by the British authorities. So far, he has presented no evidence for any of this.

Source of authority

The British secret services do not comment publicly in response to accusations of this type. However, the Foreign Office insisted the Litvinenko murder was a criminal matter, and not a question of intelligence.

There is a now dominant faction in the Russian administration whose method is to bolster its own grip on power and influence over the country by fomenting anti-western sentiment

Mr Lugovoi made the accusations at a time of considerable antagonism between Russia and the West. One of the reasons behind the tension is the level of espionage, which both sides allege has returned to levels not seen since the Cold War.

The influence of the FSB, and Russia’s other security services, can not be overestimated. They have arguably become the most important source of authority in the country.

They have provided the majority of candidates for appointment to senior bureaucratic posts over recent years. And they have had a central role in determining both the conduct and outcome of many of the most controversial trials.


Last year, the Russian secret services were further strengthened by amendments to Russian law, which effectively allow the assassination of “enemies” of the Russian state abroad.

Officials insist the changes were aimed at boosting the fight against terrorists, including the killers of Russian diplomats in Iraq. Critics say they gave the security services carte blanche to target political opponents too.

There is a now dominant faction in the Russian administration whose method is to bolster its own grip on power and influence over the country by fomenting anti-western sentiment.

This helps explain why the Russian security services have become so visibly engaged in a case Britain insists is purely criminal.

The approach is to whip up “spy-mania”, and accentuate the alleged harm caused by Russia’s “enemies” abroad. The question of how such a campaign looks from afar is irrelevant; it is intended, above all, for domestic consumption.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/06/15 11:10:13 GMT


5,073 posted on 06/15/2007 1:18:18 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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Fiji expels New Zealand diplomat
Fiji’s post-coup leadership has expelled New Zealand’s top diplomat, accusing him of interfering in the country’s domestic affairs.

The interim government said “provisions remain open” for New Zealand to replace Michael Green as high commissioner.

But Wellington reacted with fury at the expulsion, and warned Fiji that there would be repercussions.

New Zealand was one of dozens of nations to strongly criticise last December’s bloodless coup in Fiji.

It imposed sanctions following military leader Cmdr Frank Bainimarama’s move to topple elected Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and his government.

Media reports suggested Mr Green, who had been high commissioner in Fiji since December 2004, had upset the government by meeting members of the deposed government.

Diplomatic backlash

“The practice of quiet diplomacy was foremost given all the chances to prevail by Fiji authorities in our efforts to seek understanding and co-operation of... Mr Green to stop interfering in Fiji’s domestic affairs, “ the Fijian government statement said.

It also went on to say that Fiji’s own diplomat in Wellington had “continuously been snubbed” by the New Zealand authorities, “and the attitude of his counterpart in Fiji has done little to help the situation”.

The statement ended by saying Fiji considered this a “purely bilateral matter”, and should not have any implications for its relations with other countries.

New Zealand said it would now be assessing what next steps to take. It has already suspended military ties with Fiji and imposed travel bans on the new leadership since the coup in December.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters told the BBC that New Zealand was “looking at every aspect of our bilateral relations” and may impose measures as early as next week.

He said the action could involve issuing new travel advisories or putting a freeze on New Zealand bank accounts held by Fiji’s leadership.

But he insisted aid would not be affected. “We regard the Fijian people as innocent in this matter. We would not want to act in a way that would seem to be a mirror image of the country we are dealing with, in terms of the government.”

Cmdr Bainimarama said he had no choice in carrying out the coup on 5 December 2006 because Mr Qarase’s government was corrupt.

He was also angered by a government plan to offer amnesties to those involved in a 2000 coup that he had helped put down.

But he has come under huge pressure from overseas since the coup, and lifted a state of emergency in the country at the end of last month.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/06/14 08:03:46 GMT


5,074 posted on 06/15/2007 1:19:45 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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Bomb explodes on Philippine bus
At least five people have been killed and a further five injured when a bomb exploded on a bus in the southern Philippines, police said.

The blast was one of two bombs on the island of Mindanao, targeting vehicles run by the Weena Bus Company.

The second blast caused no injuries, because the vehicle was empty when the explosion was detonated.

Police said the motive was unclear, but added that the company had recently been targeted by criminal groups.

“We’re looking at a number of motives behind the attack,” police chief Andres Caro said.

“One is the terrorism angle, another is a management problem, a third is possible extortion.”

On 18 May a bomb exploded on another bus owned by the company.

It was detonated at a bus terminal in the southern city of Cotabato, leaving three people dead and wounding 15 others.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/06/15 13:48:52 GMT


5,075 posted on 06/15/2007 1:21:17 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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More China brickwork slaves freed
By Dan Griffiths
BBC News, Beijing

The Chinese authorities say they have freed another 200 people who had been trafficked to work as slaves at brickworks in northern China.

More than 460 people have been rescued in recent weeks from brick kilns in the central provinces of Henan and Shanxi.

The case has revealed the dark side of China’s booming economy.

The story attracted widespread media coverage after parents of some of the children set up an online campaign to free them.

Inquiry called for

Hundreds of people, some of them children thought to be as young as eight years old, were kidnapped, held captive and forced to work long hours for no pay.

Many were beaten and starved.

The online campaign claims that about 1,000 children have been forced into slavery - many of whom are still in captivity.

Now Chinese President Hu Jintao and other senior politicians have called for an investigation into the scandal.

But the sad reality is that forced labour and human trafficking are common in rural parts of this vast country.

For the people caught up in this trade, China’s rapid economic growth has brought nothing but misery.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/06/15 15:27:12 GMT


5,076 posted on 06/15/2007 1:22:39 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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FBI tries to fight zombie hordes
The FBI is contacting more than one million PC owners who have had their computers hijacked by cyber criminals.

The initiative is part of an ongoing project to thwart the use of hijacked home computers, or zombies, as launch platforms for hi-tech crimes.

The FBI has found networks of zombie computers being used to spread spam, steal IDs and attack websites.

The agency said the zombies or bots were “a growing threat to national security”.

Signs of trouble

The FBI has been trying to tackle networks of zombies for some time as part of an initiative it has dubbed Operation Bot Roast.

This operation recently passed a significant milestone as it racked up more than one million individually identifiable computers known to be part of one bot net or another.

The law enforcement organisation said that part of the operation involved notifying people who owned PCs it knew were part of zombie or bot networks. In this way it said it expected to find more evidence of how they are being used by criminals.

“The majority of victims are not even aware that their computer has been compromised or their personal information exploited,” said James Finch, assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division.

Many people fall victim by opening an attachment on an e-mail message containing a virus or by visiting a booby-trapped webpage.

Many hi-tech criminals are now trying to subvert innocent webpages to act as proxies for their malicious programs.

Once hijacked, PCs can be used to send out spam, spread spyware or as repositories for illegal content such as pirated movies or pornography.

Those in charge of botnets, called botherders, can have tens of thousands of machines under their control.

Operation Bot Roast has resulted in the arrest of three people known to have used bot nets for criminal ends.

One of those arrested, Robert Alan Soloway, could face 65 years in jail if found guilty of all the crimes with which he has been charged.

In a statement about Operation Bot Roast the FBI urged PC users to practice good computer security which includes using regularly updated anti-virus software and installing a firewall.

For those without basic protections anti-virus companies such as F Secure, Trend Micro, Kaspersky Labs and many others offer online scanning services that can help spot infections.

The organisation said it was difficult for people to know if their machine was part of a botnet.

However it said telltale signs could be if the machine ran slowly, had an e-mail outbox full of mail a user did not send or they get e-mail saying they are sending spam.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/06/14 13:18:58 GMT


5,077 posted on 06/15/2007 1:24:30 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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UK al-Qaeda cell members jailed
Seven men have been jailed for up to 26 years over an al-Qaeda-linked plot to kill thousands in the UK and US.

Woolwich Crown Court heard they were in a “sleeper cell” led by Dhiren Barot, who is already serving a life sentence.

Barot planned attacks including blowing apart a London Underground tunnel and bombings using an explosives-packed limousine and a dirty radiation device.

Six of the men admitted conspiracy to cause explosions and a seventh was found guilty of conspiracy to murder.


In the plot, countered by police in Operation Rhyme, the men played supporting roles to Barot whom prosecutors say had devised multiple bombing operations. These resembled professional business plans in their complexity and detail.

He also researched blowing apart a London Underground tunnel beneath the River Thames to drown hundreds of commuters.

Prosecutors said that Barot presented his meticulous plans to al-Qaeda figures hiding in Pakistan. He submitted detailed funding requirements and explained how the campaign would benefit their cause.

Back in the UK, the seven men were vital for Barot to push ahead with the plots in the summer of 2004, playing roles as couriers, drivers and taking counter-surveillance measures in an attempt to throw the security services off the scent.

Barot sub-contracted key parts of his plotting to other members of his team, utilising their skills in devising false identities, as minders and researchers, prosecutors said.

The men who pleaded guilty admitted roles mostly confined to plotting against UK targets.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, said that although the seven did not instigate the planned attacks, Barot needed their help and expertise.

He added: “Dhiren Barot and his gang were determined terrorists who planned bombings on both sides of the Atlantic.

“The plans for a series of co-ordinated attacks in the United Kingdom included packing three limousines with gas cylinders and explosives before setting them off in underground car parks. This could have caused huge loss of life.

“The plans to set off a dirty bomb in this country would have caused fear, panic and widespread disruption.”

Mr Clarke said the men were skilled in anti-surveillance techniques, with Feroze and Jalil having travelled hundreds of miles to use an internet cafe.

‘Terrorist planning’

Each one of you was recruited by Barot and assisted him at his request
Mr Justice Butterfield

Mohammed Naveed Bhatti, 27, of Harrow in north London, was jailed for 20 years; Junade Feroze, 31, of Blackburn, received 22 years and Zia Ul Haq, 28, of Wembley in north London, got 18 years.

Abdul Aziz Jalil, 24, of Luton, was jailed for 26 years; Omar Abdur Rehman, 23 of Bushey in Hertfordshire, was jailed for 15 years and Nadeem Tarmohamed, 29 also of Wembley, received 20 years. Qaisar Shaffi, 28, of Willesden, north-west London, was sentenced to 15 years.

Sentencing the seven, Mr Justice Butterfield said anyone who participates in such a plan “will receive little sympathy from the courts”

He added: “Barot was the instigator of this terrorist planning, he was by some considerable distance the principal participant in the conspiracy.

“Each one of you was recruited by Barot and assisted him at his request.”

The judge told the men the pain caused to their families as a result of their imprisonment “is but a tiny fraction of the suffering that would have been experienced had your plans been translated into reality”.

Woolwich Crown Court was told that Bhatti used his first-class degree in engineering to research how the bombs could work. Feroze acted as a driver and led counter-surveillance checks - but also researched bomb parts in catalogues.

Ul Haq had a degree in architecture and acted as a “consultant” on the best way to bring down buildings. Jalil rented a safe-house for the men and researched radioactivity.

Rehman is said to have studied how to disable electronic security and fire control systems.

Shaffi was the only man to plead not guilty. He joined Barot on his US reconnaissance trip, although he was replaced by Tarmohamed in the States after falling ill.

Home Secretary John Reid said: “The outcome of this trial once again shows the extent of the very real and serious threat the UK faces from terrorism.”

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/06/15 13:07:02 GMT


5,078 posted on 06/15/2007 1:26:03 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
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To: All; FARS

Thanks to Milford421 for this report:

Border Guard Helped Smuggle Hezbo Muslims Illegals Into U.S., Took

By Debbie Schlussel

Someone please tell me how the Immigration Amnesty Bill will stop
more cases like that of Adam Bender, a now former Customs and Border
Protection (CBP) inspector at both Detroit-Windsor, Canada entries—
the tunnel and the bridge:

A former U.S. border inspector pleaded guilty Wednesday to alien
smuggling charges.
Adam Bender, 49, of Eastpointe pleaded guilty before U.S. District
Judge Robert Cleland and faces up to 5 years in prison and a
$250,000 fine at sentencing Oct. 11.

“He was a dupe,” his lawyer, Marc Lakin of Birmingham, said
[DS: Riiiight.]

He said a co-defendant, Hassan Saad, 35, of Detroit, a roofing and
home improvement contractor, befriended Bender and his family and
exploited the relationship to smuggle friends and relatives into the
U.S. for a profit. Lakin said Bender would wave through immigrants
at the bridge and tunnel in Detroit, based on Saad’s word that they
were legal.

[DS: Uh-huh. CBP inspectors at the border aren’t actually there to
inspect the immigration status of parties entering the U.S. Instead,
they’re there to be “duped” and to take the word Muslim Hezbollah
supporters’ word for it that smuggled aliens are “legal.” Because
they would nevah-evah lie.]

Saad has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit alien smuggling and
is awaiting sentencing. He faces a possible 6-12 month prison
sentence based on an agreement with prosecutors. Saad told Cleland
that he gave gifts and money to Bender.


An associate of Bender’s, Hassan Saad, would accompany the aliens
through Bender’s station at the U.S.-Canada border.
Saad, 35, of Detroit, and a Windsor man, Hani Bazzi, pleaded guilty
earlier and await sentencing.

What neither article points out—and what I’ve reported many times
on this site—is that the Bazzi family is a well-known Lebanese
family active in Hezbollah. The family comes from the Hezbollah
stronghold of Bint Jbeil in South Lebanon, where a Bazzi is the
Hezbollah-installed Mayor. So, it’s safe to assume this CBP
inspector, Adam Bender, was allowing Hezbollah illegals into America
for bribes. GUH-REAT.

My sources at the border tell me there are plenty of Adam Benders
who are never caught. They got lucky catching him. And hopefully, he
gets the book thrown at him for betraying America at the northern

And the Bush immigration bill will stop them how?

Posted by Debbie at 01:50 PM

5,079 posted on 06/15/2007 4:20:10 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (When God spoke to the world, were you listening?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5051 | View Replies]

To: nw_arizona_granny

Hi Granny did you see this one?
10 Pakistani Navy sailors go AWOL during rare Tokyo goodwill port call

At least 10 Pakistani sailors ditched their crews and apparently went absent without leave in Tokyo during a rare goodwill visit to Japan by two of the country’s naval ships on a training cruise, an official said Friday.

A Pkistani Navy destroyer (right) and a supply ship are seen docked at Harumi Wharf in Tokyo on Thursday.

“They went out for sightseeing and then they disappeared,” a Pakistan Embassy official said on condition of anonymity, citing protocol. “We’ve asked (authorities) to apprehend them so they can be deported to Pakistan for violation of the law.” (snip)

5,080 posted on 06/15/2007 7:45:18 PM PDT by Velveeta
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