Sunday, December 25, 2011

Nigerian Bomb attacks kill up to 35 churchgoers in Nigeria | World | Deutsche Welle | 25.12.2011

Bomb attacks kill up to 35 churchgoers in Nigeria

An Islamist sect known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for an attack on a Catholic church during Christmas Mass in Nigeria that has killed up to 35 people. The group has claimed other weekend attacks as well.

A bomb explosion during Christmas Mass at the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, Nigeria left as many as 35 people dead on Sunday. Madalla is near the Nigerian capital Abuja.

Angry youths gathered around the blast site after the attack as police tried to cordon off the area. The youths lit fires and threatened to burn down a police station before they were dispersed by officers firing rounds into the air.

The attack was claimed by an Islamist sect known as Boko Haram, which also took responsibility for another bombing near a church on Sunday in the city of Jos.

Onlookers and security staff gather around a car destroyed in a blast next to St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, Nigeria, Sunday,Islamic terrorists have taken responsibility for the attacks

Widespread attacks

According to government spokesman Pam Ayuba, gunmen opened fire on police guarding that site after the blast and killed one officer.

There have been four blasts in Nigeria on Christmas Day altogether, with two additional blasts occurring in Damaturu. One of those was a suicide attack which killed three security agents. On Christmas Eve, a fifth attack took place in the town of Gadaka, with no injuries reported.

The Vatican swiftly condemned the deadly attack in Madalla, saying it was an act of "blind hatred."

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also condemned the attacks in Nigeria, as well as a suicide attack that killed 20 people in Afghanistan.

"Even on Christmas Day the world is sadly not spared the cowardice and horrors of terrorism," he said.

The White House called the attacks "senseless violence and tragic loss of life" in a statement, adding that the attacks initially appeared to be terrorist acts and that the US would assist in bringing those responsible to justice.

Onlookers  gather around a car destroyed in a blast next to St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, Nigeria,There were five blasts altogether, with at least 27 deadHistory of Christmas violence

Boko Haram is known in Nigeria for its increasingly bloody attacks which are aimed at implementing strict Shariah law across Nigeria. Nigerians are split roughly evenly between Muslims in the north of the country and Christians in the south.

In the native Hausa language, the name Boko Haram has the meaning "Western education is sinful." The group is based loosely in its thinking on the Taliban movement in Afghanistan and has emerged as a major security threat in the country of some 160 million people.

Last year, a series of bombings in Jos on Christmas Eve took at least 32 lives and left several dozen wounded.

Author: Matt Zuvela (AFP, AP, Reuters)
Editor: Ben Knight

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bangladeshi woman's husband 'chopped off her fingers' BBC News -

Hawa Akther Jui recovering from the attackMs Akther hopes to continue her studies using her left hand to hold a pen

Related Stories

Human rights groups in Bangladesh have demanded a severe punishment for the husband of a young woman who allegedly cut off most of her right hand.
Police say Rafiqul Islam, 30, attacked her because she pursued higher education without his permission.
They say Mr Islam, a migrant worker, admitted to the crime shortly after returning home from the Gulf.
However there has been no independent confirmation from the suspect that he carried out the attack.
The incident is one of a number of acts of domestic violence targeting educated women in recent months.
Police say that Mr Islam, who works in the United Arab Emirates, tied up his 21-year-old wife, Hawa Akther Jui, earlier this month. He then taped her mouth and cut off the five fingers.
'Severe consequences'

Bangladeshi woman's husband 'chopped off her fingers'

A young Bangladeshi woman, whose husband is accused of cutting off her fingers after she began a college course without his permission, has spoken to the BBC about her determination to carry on with her studies.
The attack on Hawa Akther Jui, 21, is the latest in a series of acts of domestic violence targeting educated women in the country.
The BBC's Anbarasan Ethirajan reports.
Doctors say the fingers cannot be re-attached and it appears that Ms Akther will have to live with permanent disfigurement.
Rafiqul IslamRafiqul Islam is reported to have confessed to the crime
"After he came back to Bangladesh, he wanted to have a discussion with me. Suddenly, he blindfolded me and tied my hand," Ms Akther told the BBC from the town of Narsingdi.
"He also taped my mouth saying that he would give me some surprise gifts. But, instead he cut off my fingers."
She said her husband, who is not well educated, did not approve of her enrolling in a college for higher studies.
During their earlier telephone conversations, she said, he warned her of "severe consequences" if she went against his word.
"Doctors said my fingers could be re-attached within six hours but he refused to give them. After that time, another relative of my husband threw the fingers in a dustbin.
"We finally recovered them but it was too late," said Ms Akther, who is still recovering at her parents' house.
She said that she did not want to live with her husband - who is now in police custody - any more.
The police officer investigating the case, ARM Al-Mamun, said "preliminary investigations" had led police to believe that it was a "pre-planned attack".
"He [the husband] admitted to cutting off his wife's fingers. We will be pressing charges against him," Mr Al-Mamum said.
A family member of Mr Islam said that the couple had "differences" on some issues, including her decision to pursue higher studies.
Ms Akther - who is eager to continue her studies - said that she wanted her husband to be severely punished for the attack.
"I have now started practising writing with my left hand. I want to see how far I can go. I never imagined that my fingers would be chopped off like this because of my studies."
The attack follows an incident in June in which a university lecturer lost one eye while the other was badly wounded in an attack allegedly carried out by her husband.
The accused man in this case, Syeed Hasan Sumon, died in custody earlier this month while awaiting trial.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Al-Qaida offshoot hopes to turn Africa's Sahel region into a 'new Somalia' | World news | The Guardian

AQIM terrorist bases across sub-Saharan strip pose a growing security threat to Africa and Europe, says panel of experts

Libya weapons
The threat from al-Qaida in the Maghreb has been exacerbated after terrorists plundered advanced weapons from Libya during the fall of Gaddafi. Photograph: Sipa Press/Rex Features

An offshoot of al-Qaida is working to turn the whole of Africa's Sahel region into a "new Somalia" and terrorist bases there pose a growing threat to European and pan-African security, a panel of experts has warned.

Jerome Spinoza, head of the Africa bureau in the French ministry of defence, said the sub-Saharan Sahel area, up to 1,000km wide and stretching from the Atlantic in the west to the Red Sea in the east, presented challenges that western policymakers ignored at their peril.

"Instability is on the rise," Spinoza told the Chatham House thinktank in London on Thursday. "Without a meaningful policy, the area could constitute a lasting safe haven for jihadists."

Robert Fowler, a former UN special envoy to Niger and Canadian diplomat who was kidnapped and held hostage for four months in 2008-9 by al-Qaida in the Maghreb (AQIM), said the 31-strong group of captors was well-disciplined and wholly concentrated on its aim of creating an Islamic caliphate embracing the Muslim lands of Africa and the Middle East.

"These men are highly motivated and totally ascetic," Fowler said. "These guys have no needs. They are dressed in rags. They have a bag of rice and a belt of ammunition and that's it. I was held in 23 different locations in about 70 days. They are organised. They can break camp in under four minutes."

Fowler continued: "This was the most focused group of young men I have ever encountered in my life. They are totally committed to jihad. They said to me, 'We fight to die, you fight to go home to your wife and kids. Guess who will win?' Even if it takes 200 years … They want to turn the Sahel into a new Somalia."

Fowler said the terrorist threat to Europe's southern flank had risen after advanced weapons were plundered during the collapse of the Gaddafi regime in Libya. "They (AQIM) are now equipped with enormous amounts of Libyan weapons and I mean sophisticated weapons such as 20,000 [shoulder-mounted] SA-24 missiles, heavy mortars, heavy artillery and thousands of anti-tank mines … The UN has demanded they be handed over. Well, good luck with that."

The Sahel region embraces southern Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, southern Algeria, Niger, northern Nigeria, Chad, South Sudan and Darfur in western Sudan, northern Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Spinoza said a host of critical issues faced the region going beyond terrorism. They included recurring rebellions by nomadic Tuareg tribesmen, some of whom were armed by and fought as mercenaries for Gaddafi in this year's Libya conflict, cocaine trafficking to Europe from the west African coast, and people and arms smuggling.

The region was also confronted by rapid population growth, weak and ineffective governance, inter-state tensions, poor access to education and employment, and increasingly acute food supply problems exacerbated by climate change and the southward advance of the Sahara desert, he said.

AQIM was exploiting the resulting instability, he suggested, spreading its influence south from Algeria and raising the prospect of transcontinental link-ups with Boko Haram militant Islamists in Nigeria and al-Shabaab in Somalia.

Spinoza called for a joined-up approach by the international community, suggesting interested countries including France, the Netherlands and the US needed to coordinate their policies with regional and local players. "The EU's strategy for security involves development, rule of law and (non-military) security but the EU needs to be more concrete," he said.

Speaking this week, Kristalina Georgieva, the EU commissioner for humanitarian aid crisis response, said the Sahel was likely to experience severe food shortages next year because of erratic rainfall and localised dry spells.

Seven million people were already facing shortages in Niger, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria and Burkina Faso, she said. Current trends pointed to a massive problem of food availability next year.

The European commission last month increased humanitarian funding to the Sahel by €10m (£8.5m) to a total of €55m this year. Niger and Mauritania have already declared a crisis, prepared national action plans, and appealed for international help.

At the eastern end of the Sahel arc, 13 million people remained in need of emergency help and the crisis there was expected to last until the spring and perhaps the summer of 2012, Georgieva said.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Al-Qaeda returns to Egypt under Iranian cover

Huda al Husseini

With the rising of tension in several areas of the Middle East, Iran feels that nothing should detract it from its plan. On the contrary, it is seeking to take advantage of everything. In the past it invested in relations, particularly with al-Qaeda, and now it is time to reap the fruit.

At the time when the whole world knew that the United States would withdraw from Iraq by the end of this year, hoping that it would leave behind some troops or bases, it emerged that US President Barack Obama has not spoken to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki since February, and that contacts were only resumed following his recent surprising announcement that US troops would withdraw completely. Throughout this period of time, Iran was busy working on its investments at all levels. Once it was clear that Al-Maliki had carried out every order, Ayatollah Khamenei breathed a sigh and described the US withdrawal as a “new page” and a “golden victory”.

However, Iraq alone is not an adequate area for Iran`s activity. Iran is also seeking to manipulate other Arab areas for its plans. Egypt appears very important in this regard, a country which Iranian Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi has "attempted to reorder".

A meeting was held last May in Tehran, between Atiyyah Allah al-Libi, an al-Qaeda leader (who was later killed in July), and Heydar Moslehi. They agreed on a set of activities to infiltrate Egypt, to be carried out by active "Islamic Jihad" members of Egyptian origin. The aim was to promote Islamist movements, which would then support Iran’s regional policy. They discussed the cases of dozens of prominent "Islamic Jihad" militants whom Iran had released from prison along with their families. A number of them, most of whom were of Egyptian and Libyan origin, were released before the start of the revolutions in the Arab world, as part of a clandestine agreement between Iran and al-Qaeda. Others were released after the start of the disturbances, on the condition that they would join those who were already active in Egypt, and maintain contact with Iran.

However, Iran realized that the long-term objective of the al-Qaeda was to create an infrastructure in Egypt that would promote its dream of establishing an Islamic caliphate, something that is not in Iran`s interests.

During the Tehran meeting between Moslehi and al-Libi, the latter agreed to receive a sum of money to cover the cost of some necessary measures, including the cost of fake passports for those who had been released from Iranian prisons. Instructions were given by the Iranian intelligence services to those who had entered Egypt, through certain routes, to set up al-Qaeda cells and establish infrastructures to carry out activities and logistical work in order to destabilize Egypt, through tactics of sabotage and terrorist attacks. They were to take advantage of the weakness of the Egyptian security services (The Financial Times published a long report on Egypt on Saturday 29th October, in which Egyptian people complained of the decline in the role of the Egyptian security forces, and the open spread of drug smuggling). At the meeting, it was agreed that the funds should be used to purchase documents for those who had been recruited earlier in Egypt, in order for them to be sent to training camps, particularly in Sudan, and to be provided with equipment and weapons: explosives, machine guns, RPG missile-launchers and so on.

Until his death in July, Atiyyah al-Libi was in charge of coordinating relations between al-Qaeda and Tehran, through the instructions he was sending to the al-Qaeda infrastructure based in Iran. He was killed in North Waziristan by a drone-fired missile, and this deprived al-Qaeda of one of its most prominent visionaries. Following the dispersion of the Al-Qaeda leadership, as a result of the US campaign in Afghanistan in 2011, he had worked as the organization`s representative in Iran, and as the regional envoy of al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula.

In his book on Hezbollah, published in 2008, Al-Libi tried to convince his jihadist followers that Iran`s foreign policy was not based solely on religion, but that it was also pragmatic and opportunistic. In March, he wrote an open letter to the people of Misrata, Libya, in which he used his real name, Jamal Ibrahim Ashtawi al-Misrati. He called on the Libyan people to ensure the supremacy of Islam in governance, and enshrine Islamic Sharia in the constitution, as stated by al-Qaeda.

The returning members of Islamist organisations have benefited from the reforms introduced by the "new regime" in Egypt, which under an amnesty annulled the court sentences that had been issued against them, completely oblivious to the agreement that had been struck by Iran and al-Qaeda. Hence we witnessed the return of no fewer than four of the most prominent members of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya to Egypt after forty years. Among them was Muhammad Shawqi al-Islambouli, the brother of Khalid al-Islambouli who killed President Anwar al-Sadat, and was sentenced to death in the 1990s. His family and a great number of the leaders of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya welcomed him at Cairo Airport in August. He surrendered to the representative of the Egyptian Army, and he will be tried in accordance with Egyptian laws.

Among other prominent returnees is Hussein Shamit, who was involved in the assassination attempt on President Hosni Mubarak in Ethiopia in 1995. He returned with al-Islambouli, and was acquitted of all accusations of terrorism. Ibrahim Muhammad al-Saghir was also pardoned. He was known as " the religious authority” in al-Qaeda, and returned to Cairo in May with his wife and three of his children.

As a condition for their release from Iranian prisons, these men agreed to be Iran`s mouthpieces in Egypt, and to encourage the emergence of radical Islamist regimes in Arab countries, particularly in Egypt. As before, al-Qaeda promised not to undertake any sabotage activity against Iran, and work with it against Arab regimes.

The junior members and the less known figures in the Islamic Jihad organisation were smuggled out to Egypt through other routes, without the knowledge of the authorities. Among them was Hisham Ramadan, who returned secretly to Egypt from Iran after spending years in Afghanistan.

The secret deal between Iran and al-Qaeda was no secret to the US intelligence service. On the 28th July, the US Treasury announced sanctions against six individuals, whom, according to the US announcement, were members of the Iran-based Izz-al Din Abdul Aziz al-Khalil network, which was helping to transfer funds to al-Qaeda in Pakistan. The announcement compliments US Executive Order 13224, which imposed sanctions on organizations that support terrorism. US Treasury Secretary David Cohen said that part of the "secret deal" between Iran, the "leading country in the funding of terrorism", and al-Qaeda, was Tehran`s approval of the transfer of terrorist funds through Iran.

This coming month will be decisive. The Egyptian elections will be held. The IAEA report is expected to reveal noticeable progress in the Iranian (military) nuclear program. Iran may try to anticipate reactions by launching an operation in an Arab country, after its attempts failed in Washington. For its part, Washington is concerned over possible Israeli military action against Iran following the publication of the IAEA report, as any military action would not necessarily converge with US interests. US Republican and Democrat hawks are pressing for an Israeli military strike against Iran before the US withdrawal from Iraq. The Syrians and the Iranians, and their supporters in Lebanon in particular, are offering counter threats, saying that thousands of missiles will strike Israel if the Syrian regime is threatened, or if a NATO attack is launched against it.

What is being talked about behind closed doors is that Iran is not concerned with the interests of Arab countries; it sees them as mere arenas to carry out its plans. A US journalist put it to me this way: Iran and Israel agree on one thing, which is to maintain the status quo in Syria, but keep President Bashar al-Assad weak. The official told me that Israel will not attack Iranian nuclear facilities, and Iran will not attack Israel with nuclear weapons. Iranian nuclear capability grants legitimacy to Israel’s nuclear capability.

In conclusion, if Arab countries are not attacked by Israel, they will certainly be attacked by Iran, and al-Qaeda is ready to help.

(The writer is a prominent columnist. The article was published in the London-based Asharq al-Awsat on Nov. 13, 2011.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sinai, arrested two leaders of Al Qaeda - - Gmail

Sinai, arrested two leaders of Al Qaeda

Rome / Arish, 14 November 2011. For several years EveryOne Group denounces the presence of Al-Qaeda in northern Sinai and the links between the terrorist organization and trafficking of weapons, drugs, human beings and organs. Through the gangs, Al-Qaeda finances its activities and supplies of weapons from Iran violent fundamentalism in the Middle East. The numerous complaints that civil society has sent to international institutions, to protect sub-Saharan refugees and to say stop to organized crime and jihadist fundamentalism, finally gives important results. In recent days, the Egyptian security forces have begun to prosecute the traffickers of the tribes Rashaida, Sawarka, Al-Tarabin. Today the police of the governorate of Northern Sinai has arrested two leaders of Al-Qaeda:
Mohammed Eid Muslih Hamad, called "El Tihi" and Abdel-Halim Hassan Heneidi. The two leaders of Islamic fundamentalism were stationed in Al-Arish, a center of international terrorism, the Arab mafia and trafficking in drugs, weapons, slaves and human organs.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ethiopian extremist group has plans for Sharia takeover

Ethiopia (MNN) ― Ethiopia has seen its fair share of radicalism. But recently, radical Islamic propaganda was found encouraging people to support Sharia law alone.
In a recent press conference, the Ethiopian government expressed its concern over the growing violence against moderate Muslims and Christians by radical Wahhabi Muslims, reports Voice of the Martyrs, Canada.
The government also announced the discovery of plans by the Wahhabi Muslims to turn Ethiopia into an Islamic country governed by Sharia law.
"We have found evidences and pamphlets [which] were publicly distributed during the month of Ramadan calling on the Muslim community to stand up against all non-Wahhabi Muslims and followers of other religions," said Mersessa Reda, the Director General at the Ministry of Federal Affairs of Ethiopia.
International Christian Concern reports that radical Islamic teachings of Wahhabi among Muslims in Ethiopia have been spreading. The group reports that a UN embassy cable previously warned that the Wahabbies "teach interpretations of the Koran that promote a far less tolerant view of other Muslims and non-Muslims alike."
Such information is troubling for Christians in Ethiopia, a nation that ranks within the top 50 for World Watch List of the persecuted church. Ethiopia comes in at #43 for persecution, just worse in its treatment of Christians than Palestine, which ranks 44th on theOpen Doors list.
Pray for protection and courage for Christians living in Muslim-dominated areas of Ethiopia. Pray that the Wahhabi Muslims would not gain any more power to turn Ethiopia into an Islamist state, a move which would lead to increased persecution of Christians. Pray for continued guidance for the leaders of Ethiopia who are trying to deal with this recent news.
Pray that the church might continue to grow despite threats like this.Learn more about the Ethiopian church here.

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

An Ethiopian Married to the Daughter of S. South Sudan President Sudan, the journalist arrested in Juba - Sudan Tribune

November 4, 2011 (KHARTOUM) - On Wednesday 2 November, Ngor Aguot Garang, a journalist at Sudan Tribune, was taken into custody by South Sudan’s security services following the publication of an opinion piece criticising South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir in The Destiny, a newspaper which Ngor edits in Juba.
JPEG - 26.8 kb
Sudan Tribune journalist Ngor Garang who was arrested by South Sudan’s security services on Wednesday 2 November. (ST)
In the article, published in The Destiny’s first edition on 26 October, its author Gengdit Ayok, who is also the newspaper’s deputy editor in chief, said that that Kiir should not have allowed his daughter to marry someone from outside South Sudan, claiming it was unpatriotic.
Ayok’s comment piece, entitled ‘Nyan Bany’, literally meaning daughter of the president, questions why president Salva Kiir married his daughter to an Ethiopian man, whom he constantly referred to as a ’foreigner’.
"We condemn in the strongest terms the arbitrary arrest of Ngor Aguot who has showed during the past several years a very high sense of professionalism in his large coverage of political and economic developments in South Sudan," Mohamed Nagi Sudan Tribune’s editor in chief said in a press release on Friday.
Friday’s statement called for ’Ngor’s immediate release’ asking ’civil society, press freedom groups, the international community and other concerned actors to demand the South Sudanese authorities [...] release Ngor immediately and to uphold the freedom of the press.’
Sudan Tribune described Ngor’s detention as ’illegal’ and said that ’he has not been charged with, nor has he committed any crime’. Ngor is being held in Juba at a prison near Jebel Marra,Sudan Tribune understands.
Sources at The Destiny told Sudan Tribune on Friday that they had received a letter, addressed to its editor in chief, on Thursday 3 November from a senior security official accusing the newspaper of failing to follow professional ethics and publishing illicit news, which was defamatory in nature. The letter did not mention the actual article which led to Ngor’s the arrest but it is widely thought to be due to Gengdit Ayok’s opinion piece.
The Destiny newspaper has since been suspended by South Sudan’s information ministry despite an apology from the newspaper. Ayok, is also understood to have been suspended from his position. The Juba-based newspaper, which only launched on 24 October is the English version of Al-Misier an Arabic daily. Both are believed to be published by Naivasha Production Company limited.
On Thursday reported that Ngor’s arrest happened after he was summoned for a meeting on Tuesday with national security after the article was published in to the The Destiny’s only edition.
As well as Ngor, the editor-in-chief of Al-Misier, Atem Simon, and the president of the board of directors, Dhieu Mathok, also attended the meeting reported.
Abraham Malek, a senior editor with Al-Misier said that Arabic paper was still publishing, despite the closure of The Destiny. “Until now, we don’t know where is our colleague, and what his situation is going to be,” reported Abraham as saying.
Press freedoms are uncertain in South Sudan as there is no direct legislation enshrining freedom of expression in the media. A recent report by the Committee to Protect Journalists found that ’local journalists fear the former rebels turned government officials still harbor a war mentality that is unaccustomed to criticism, and that they are not prepared to extend the freedoms they fought hard to attain.’
South Sudan became independent in July as part of a peace deal that ended decades of civil war with north Sudan.
"We are still recovering from a war culture," Oliver Modi, chairman of the Union of Journalists of Southern Sudan, told CPJ in September.
"There is just too much ignorance toward the press. We are not used to systems, structures—even the media," he said. According to figures from the journalism union this is the ninth attack against the freedom of the press this year.
Below is the article, published in The Destiny Newspaper on Wednesday, October 25, that is believed to have triggered Ngor’s arrest.

Nyan Bany
By Dengdit Ayok
Juba, the temporal capital city of our new born nation on Saturday, October 22, 2011 witnessed a disappointing social episode that was found disgusting and denounced by many patriotic South Sudanese across the country. Our revered and acclaimed President, Sir Salva Kiir Mayardit, who is one of the symbols of our long historic struggle and who is also a symbol of our sovereignty, dignity, integrity and source of our national pride, handed over his beloved-beautiful elder daughter (Adut) to a foreigner in a wedding ceremony held in the Catholic Cathedral at Rajaf.
The wedding raised our eyebrows because we didn’t expect Nyan Beny (daughter of the President) to be married by a foreigner when many national suit her profile for marriage; this without saying that it matters not how long she may stay in her father’s house. A wedding as we all know is a social function that people go to cheerfully with women ululating. However, the wedding of Nyan Beny that took place last Saturday was attended by a small crowd of people with clouds of sadness gathered in their hearts as it was clear from their faces; because they were upset by the decision taken by the President to give his daughter in wedding to a stranger.
The wedding that could have been attended by thousands of South Sudanese with elation and delight, to display their traditional dances and turn it into a national wedding like the British royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, was reduced to a very low morale standard function with the attendance of just a few government officials and a minute crowd.
This wedding has not only shocked and angered members of Kiir’s family, but divided it and turned its peace into quarrels and squabbles, it has also shocked the whole nation; because Kiir is a patriotic leader that fought two wars for the wellbeing of his people, a thing which made him valued and highly respected by South Sudanese. But now that he has given his daughter in wedding to an alien, he has to some extent reduced himself in the eyes of his people.
I am writing about about Adut`s wedding because my heart is in pain like the hearts of many zealous South Sudanese who have opposed it, and I am happy that I have a public platform to air out my wrath and the wrath of many fellow countrymen and women. By giving his daughter to a foreigner, our President has stained his patriotism and turned his leadership questionable in our eyes.
This wedding is a demonstration that foreigners have not only monopolized our market, economy and robbed our integrity after penetrating it, but it is also a demonstration that they have taken over our national pride. What else is left if an alien could penetrate all the hedges and invade the house of our President, eloped and impregnated his daughter? Where were the security presidential personnel when that strange guy entered the house of the President?
This wedding of the First Girl which is supposed to be blessed by all South Sudanese including this author is rejected and the religious leaders who blessed the couple in the house of God regardless of their knowledge that she had conceived, have committed a great sin against God for making unholy matrimony holy!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The LWOT: Georgia men charged with bioterrorism plot - by Jennifer Rowland | Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy and the New America Foundation bring you a twice weekly brief on the legal war on terror. You can read it on or get it delivered directly to your inbox -- just sign up here.


Georgia men charged with bioterrorism plot

Four elderly men identified as Frederick Thomas, Dan Roberts, Ray Adams and Samuel Crump were arrested by FBI officers on November 1 in their hometown of Toccoa, Georgia for allegedly plotting to blow up government buildings and assassinate officials using ricin, a powerful toxin derived from castor beans (NYT, Post, BBC, CBS/AP, LAT, CNN, Reuters, AFP, Tel). The FBI conducted a several month-long surveillance operation, during which a confidential informant recorded the alleged ringleader Thomas saying he "could shoot ATF and IRS all day," as Adams and Crump allegedly attempted to obtain castor beans, with plans to spread ricin across Washington, Atlanta, and New Orleans among other cities. Roberts and Thomas were also charged with attempting to purchase an explosive device and an illegal silencer (AP, LAT).

The suspects told the informant that they had been inspired by a violent online novel written by right-wing militia member-turned-blogger and Fox News commentator Mike Vanderboegh (AP,LAT). The novel tells the story of a violent conflict between militia members and a government that they see as being too strict on gun control, and Vanderboegh writes in his introduction that it was intended to be a "cautionary tale" as well as a "field manual...and call to arms." All four suspects, believed to be members of a fringe Georgia militia group, appeared in court on November 2 and were remanded into custody without bail at least until a hearing on November 9 (Reuters, CNN,CBS/AP).

A federal appeals court in Atlanta upheld the convictions of five members of the so-called Liberty City Seven, who were sentenced in late 2009 to between six and 14 years in jail for conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaeda (Miami Herald). The five men argued in their appeal that the replacement of a juror during their trial in April 2009 was grounds for a retrial. And a U.S. District judge in Anchorage, Alaska refused on October 31 to move the trial of three alleged right-wing militia members accused of illegal arms possession to another location out of "safety concerns," though it is unclear whose safety he is concerned about (AP).

A friend of alleged terrorist supporter Tarek Mehanna, who is accused of attempting to train with militants in Yemen in 2004 and translating and disseminating extremist material on the Internet, testified in court on Thursday that Mehanna referred to former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden as a "friend" and "as being [his] real father, in a sense," and spoke of watching videos of suicide bombers and hostage beheadings with Mehanna (AP).

Russian arms dealer guilty on all charges

A federal jury in Manhattan convicted Russian arms dealer Victor Bout on November 2 of four counts of conspiring to supply weapons to the banned militant group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to kill Americans (Post, WSJ, BBC, Guardian, NYT, AP). The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) led at least a year-long sting operation, during which it convinced two federal informants to contact Bout about a potential weapons purchase on behalf of FARC in order to get Bout out of Russia to Thailand, where he was arrested in 2008. Russia has vowed to return Bout to the "motherland" and questioned the "validity of the judicial decision" as well as the legality of Bout's extradition from Thailand to the United States (Guardian, Tel).

A Turkish court on November 1 charged 23 people, including a university professor and a publisher, with "membership of an armed terrorist group" for their alleged links to the banned separatist group the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) (AP, Reuters, NYT). The international literary community has decried the detention of publisher Ragip Zarakolu, whose publishing house Belge has long pushed the limits of Turkish law by publishing controversial books by Greek, Armenian and Kurdish authors (Guardian, LAT). They see Zarakolu as a champion of political and academic freedom, and have called for his immediate release.

Gitmo authorities reading attorney-client mail

In a November 1 letter to the deputy assistant secretary of defense for rule of law and detainee policy William Lietzau, nine lawyers representing inmates at Guantánamo Bay accused authorities at the detention facility of reading confidential communication between the attorneys and their clients (Post, WSJ). A military official said that new Guantánamo commander Rear Adm. David Woods changed the policy last month to allow officials to check the legal relevance of all detainee communications, a move the defense attorneys have pledged to fight to "the fullest extent" in court.

The military prosecutors of the alleged U.S.S. Cole bombing mastermind Abd al-Rahim al-Nashirirefused to accede to the defense attorneys' request to promise the release of their client if he is acquitted, saying that as an "unlawful enemy combatant" al-Nashiri can be held as long as hostilities continue (Politico, Miami Herald, NYT). And Canadian-born detainee Omar Khadr officially requested his transfer to a Canadian jail on October 31 as part of a plea deal he accepted in October 2010, when he pleaded guilty to throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. serviceman (AFP).

Former Gitmo guard Specialist Brandon Neely reveals in an interview with CNN correspondent Jenifer Fenton the shocking incidents of detainee abuse he witnessed at the facility, including beating and hogtying detainees thought to be resisting, but who according to Neely were later revealed to be under the impression they were being executed (CNN). Fenton also interviewed former detainees who corroborate Specialist Neely's reports of maltreatment, one of whom spent eight years at Gitmo on what he says was false evidence before he was released in 2009 (CNN). And the former chief prosecutor for the U.S. government at Guantánamo Bay Air Force Col. (ret.) Morris Davis told a human rights conference last week that the Bush administration set up a "law-free zone" at Guantánamo, and described the interrogation techniques used at the detention center as "torture" (Guardian).

Trials and Tribulations

  • The Somali militant group al-Shabaab posted a suicide message on the Internet on October 30 believed to be from Somali-American Abdisalan Hussein Ali, claiming that Ali was one of two suicide bombers who attacked African Union and Somali troops the previous day, killing at least a dozen people (NYT, LAT, CNN, AP, AFP, Tel). The FBI has said it is looking for evidence that Ali was indeed involved in the attack.
  • British intelligence officials believe over 100 British residents have been trained by and have fought with al-Shabaab, and around 40 of them are currently active in Somalia (Guardian).
  • An Ethiopian court on November 3 dropped a charge against two Swedish journalists of conspiring to commit acts of terrorism, but the suspects still face two charges of supporting Ethiopian separatist group the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) (Reuters, AFP, BBC, CNN).