New Age Islam
Tue Dec 01 2020, 06:31 AM

Islamic World News ( 6 Jan 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Fidayeen terror returns to Srinagar after two years

Two terrorists killed as Srinagar gunbattle ends

Failed Detroit bombing used to justify crackdown on British universities

Dartmouth Muslim woman refused entry to U.S.

The French continue their battle against the burqa

Kashmiri behind CIA attack

CIA bombing prompts 'change' in US security

CIA takes revenge with missile strikes in Pakistan

Plane bomb suspect joined al Qaeda in London: Yemen

Mumbai terror suspect Rana was a Pakistani army deserter

D-gang threat to US interests in S. Asia

Acquittal plea of six Mumbai attack accused rejected

Faith clash brews in Bodh Gaya

The Politics of 'Allah'

Attack at a Church in Egypt Kills 7

Suicide bomber at Russian police compound kills six

Bombs greet Thai PM on visit to troubled south

No direct military intervention in Pakistan: US

Pakistan not to give guarantee for Iranian gas flows to India

Three schools come under attack in tribal areas

No threat to democracy from CIA, ISI: Kaira

350 terrorists killed in Mohmand tribal region in 2009

America behind terrorism in Iran: acting consul general

Yemen doesn’t need US troops’

Afghan blast kills 4 children, wounds 3 US soldiers

Great grandson of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani meets Qazi

Christians find Oman an oasis of religious tolerance

Following Rafah Clashes, Egypt Says Losing Patience with Hamas

Israeli war game eyes Gaza 'occupation'

Anti-terror chief killed in Iraq bombings

Attorney: Fort Hood suspect's mental exam set

Teenager arrested in West Bank mosque blaze

Muslim march planned for UK army town

Azerbaijan accused of crackdown on Muslim worshippers

In line with US demands, Afghan parliament rejects cabinet proposals

Sudan’s new year of fear

Dubai's DP World seeks London listing

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

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Fidayeen terror returns to Srinagar after two years

Thursday, Jan 07, 2010

Srinagar : Fidayeen militants returned to Srinagar after two years on Wednesday when two men carrying AK rifles and grenades appeared in the busy Lal Chowk market and attacked a police vehicle, killing a policeman and injuring eight people, including a cameraman.

At the time of going to press, the militants were holed up in a hotel.

This is the first major militant strike in the city after a consistent decline in violence across Kashmir in the past few years. In fact, Director General of Police Kuldip Khoda recently said that ever since militancy erupted in Kashmir, violence was at its lowest in 2009.

Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen, a little-known militant outfit, has claimed responsibility for the attack. A caller identifying himself as Jamait spokesman called a local news agency in Srinagar and said that three of its cadres carried out the attack at Lal Chowk.

Eyewitnesses said that the militants were hiding their rifles beneath the phiran (long traditional gown).  “Around 2.30 in the afternoon, I saw two-to-three persons who were wearing phirans. They threw a grenade at a police vehicle. The driver of the vehicle died on the spot,” said Mukthar Ahmad, a shopkeeper. “Shopkeepers, customers, passers-by, everybody ran for cover. The militants ran towards Punjab Hotel that is close to the CRPF camp and are still there,” he said.

Inspector General of Police Kashmir Range Farooq Ahmad said that at least one militant is holed up inside a hotel building at Lal Chowk. “We have cordoned off the area and are going ahead very carefully as there are a number of civilians still holed up in the hotels and adjacent buildings.”

Ahmad, who is monitoring the operation at the spot, said one policeman was killed in the initial attack. 

After the attack, J-K Police and Central Reserve Police Force encircled Lal Chowk, sealing all its entry and exit points. In fact, the police blocked the city’s two main highways — Residency Road and MA Road. Gunshots were heard after a long time in the city centre where groups of anxious residents had gathered, looking for information about the civilians.

Policemen, wearing full combat gear, were firing occasional shots to pin-point the exact location of the holed-up militant. However, the presence of dozens of civilians in Punjab Hotel and the nearby buildings has hindered the operation.

Police officers said that the final operation would only be launched after all the civilians are safely evacuated.

“Around 70 persons are trapped inside my hotel for the past four hours. Most of them are customers who were having lunch at the time of the attack,” said Muneeb Ahmad, owner of Peak View hotel, who is also trapped inside the security cordon. “We have been asked by the police to wait for evacuation and stay calm,” he said. “All the civilians are anxiously waiting.”

CRPF spokesman Parabhakar Tripathy said two militants were holed up inside a hotel building. “The militants attacked the vehicle of Station House Officer, Maisuma and later took refuge in a nearby hotel. The hotel has been cordoned from all the sides.” He too insisted that the final assault would be launched after all the civilians were rescued. “We want to avoid collateral damage.”

The police and CRPF men have halted the operation after sundown and are trying to ascertain ways to rescue trapped civilians.

This is the first fidayeen attack in Srinagar after more than two years. On November 11, 2007 militants stormed the battalion headquarters of the CRPF. The last such attack in Lal Chowk was on October, 4, 2006 when fidayeens stormed Standard Hotel after killing nine policemen.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/fidayeen-terror-returns-to-srinagar-after-two-years/564444/

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Two terrorists killed as Srinagar gunbattle ends

7 January 2010,

SRINAGAR: Security forces on Thursday stormed the hotel in Lal Chowk killing two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists including a Pakistani in the 22-hour

The operation intensified on Thursday morning, even as the death toll in the major terror attack in the heart of the city rose to two with a civilian succumbing to injuries. ( Watch Video )

The Pakistani terrorist was identified by the security agencies through wireless intercepts as Qari while the other was named as Usman from Sopore.

Hotel Panjab in Lal Chowk caught fire this morning as the security forces inched closer to the terrorist who was believed to be holed up in the top floor and was hurling grenades and firing at them.

The operation launched by police and paramilitary CRPF to neutralize the terrorists was suspended at around 11pm on Wednesday was resumed at 0700 hours today, officials said.

Meanwhile, one of the eight civilians injured in the incident on Wednesday succumbed to his wounds on Thursday morning at the SHMS hospital, the officials said.

One policeman was killed when the terrorists hurled grenades at security forces in Lal Chowk area before they entered the hotel. Several people were rescued by authorities from the area.

Lal Chowk has witnessed several such attacks in the over 20-year-long militancy. It is thronged by thousands of people everyday.

This is the first terrorist attack after two years in the Kashmir valley and has come at a time when the state government has been claiming a sharp decline in violence here.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Two-terrorists-killed-as-Srinagar-gunbattle-ends/articleshow/5419140.cms

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Failed Detroit bombing used to justify crackdown on British universities

By Paul Bond

7 January 2010

The British ruling establishment has been quick to use the failed attempt to bomb Flight 253 into Detroit on Christmas Day to demand greater security monitoring. In particular there have been demands for the exertion of greater control over universities. Attention has focused on student societies and on the regulation and restriction of foreign students.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian-born attempted bomber, had studied Mechanical Engineering at University College London (UCL) between 2005 and 2008. During that time he was President of the UCL Islamic Society, and organised a number of speaking events. Abdulmutallab’s family have suggested that he may have made contact with Al Qaeda while in London, but they believe that he was trained by Al Qaeda later on a subsequent trip to Yemen. His father, a former banker, alerted US authorities to his suspicions.

In the aftermath of the incident, Home Secretary Alan Johnson stated that Abdulmutallab, who had studied legitimately at UCL, had had his second application for a student visa rejected. Abdulmutallab had claimed for a non-existent course, resulting in the British authorities placing his name on a watch-list. This list is shared with treaty partners, such as the United States. Johnson has described the cooperation between British and US security agencies as “among the most profound and important collaborations in security in the world.”

On December 28 Johnson told the BBC that British police and security services were investigating whether Abdulmutallab had been radicalised during his time at UCL.

Staff at UCL, however, have described Abdulmutallab as a quiet student who gave his tutors no cause for concern.

This has not satisfied sections of the media, led by the Daily Telegraph and the Times. Their frenzied attacks on academic “liberalism” have been aimed at justifying a clampdown on university campuses.

Quoting Douglas Murray of the right-wing think tank the Centre for Social Cohesion, one Telegraph headline accused UCL of being “complicit” in the radicalisation of students like Abdulmutallab. Under the headline “Academic liberalism is a danger to life,” the Telegraph editorialised that “Over the past decade, institutes of higher education in London have consistently provided sanctuary for Islamist students who parrot the hate-filled rhetoric of al-Qaeda and its allies.”

In another Telegraph article Anthony Glees, professor of security and intelligence studies at the University of Buckingham, was quoted as saying, “Universities and colleges like UCL have got to realise that you don’t get suicide bombers unless they have first been radicalised…. British universities must look at their Islamic Societies and demand assurances that no radicalisation will be allowed. If they can’t give those assurances, they should be disbanded.”

There are demands for the security services to be given ever-broader powers and scope. Johnson has pledged to ensure “the most appropriate security measures to protect the public from the terrorist threat wherever it originates from.”

A clamp down on student visas is being prepared. Conservative Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling has claimed that the Detroit attack showed the need to tighten the student visa system. The Tories are due to announce their proposals for further restrictions on student visas shortly.

Labour has already implemented restrictive changes to student visa requirements. Under the points-based system, students required a university or college to act as a sponsoring body. At the beginning of last term, the Borders Agency implemented new regulations making the sponsoring bodies responsible for monitoring students’ attendance. Failure to provide adequate reports could lead to loss of sponsor status, with potentially catastrophic financial implications for institutions increasingly dependent on higher fees from overseas students. Despite the unhappiness of staff, the universities have complied with the regulations.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown ordered a review of the system in November, with the results expected soon. Ahead of this year’s General Election, it is already apparent that there is broad consensus across parliament on visa restrictions. Grayling accused Johnson of being “utterly complacent if he thinks we have a tight and secure student visa system,” while the Liberal Democrat spokesman Chris Huhne called for the system to be “properly targeted to ensure we allow the right people in.” The Telegraph has gone further, criticising the fact that Abdulmutallab was “allowed [sic] to be elected president of the Islamic Society” even though he was not a British citizen.

Then there have been demands for the intervention of the security services on campuses. In an editorial the Telegraph complained that “our security forces have consulted vice chancellors in order to impress upon them the urgency of the threat. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done.” Rashad Ali, a former member of Hizb ut-Tahrir who now works for “counter-extremism group” Centri, has urged “government and the university authorities” to “gain the confidence to use the powers they already possess to stop radical preachers.”

Malcolm Grant, president and provost of UCL, said the institution was “currently providing all assistance to the authorities, and…setting up a full independent review of Mr. Adbulmutallab’s time at UCL.” In a comment piece in the Times, Professor John Sutherland of UCL asked, “At what point must institutional tolerance give way to heavy-handed control?”

One of Abdulmutallab’s chief offences at UCL, in the eyes of the right-wing press, was to have organised a “War on Terror” week in 2007. This event, with lectures and seminars on Guantánamo Bay and what the Times calls “allegations of torture,” was, according to the Telegraph, “criticised as anti-Western propaganda.”

This is a clear threat against any form of student political activity opposing the routine illegal detention and torture of prisoners by US imperialism. This repression would surely be aimed at Islamic student groups. But the primary aim of the anti-democratic drive against the campuses is to head off the formation of genuine socialist opposition to imperialist militarism.

These anti-democratic developments take place within the context of a broader attack on public education, particularly at the universities. Facing the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, the government is committed to a savage assault on public finances.

When Chancellor Allistair Darling gave his pre-budget report in November, conspicuous in its absence was any mention of secured funding for tertiary education. Thousands of jobs face elimination and curriculum is threatened with the government demanding universities make £180 million of cuts as “efficiency savings.”

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jan2010/brit-j07.shtml

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Dartmouth Muslim woman refused entry to U.S.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ayat Manna of Dartmouth, N.S., said she was stopped from boarding a flight to the U.S. because she is a Muslim. Ayat Manna of Dartmouth, N.S., said she was stopped from boarding a flight to the U.S. because she is a Muslim. (CBC)

A newlywed Nova Scotia woman hoping to visit her husband in the United States says she wasn't allowed to board a flight at Halifax Stanfield International Airport this week because she is a Muslim.

Ayat Manna, 25, of Dartmouth, said she thinks she was picked out of the crowd Monday night because she wears a Muslim headscarf. She said U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents questioned her for four hours, fingerprinted her and then escorted her out of the airport.

"I was walking downstairs in front of everybody. I had two guards and the police. They're all walking beside me as if I'm a terrorist," she said Wednesday.

Originally from Jordan, Manna has lived in Nova Scotia for 15 years and has been a Canadian citizen for 12 years.

The United States has tightened security after a Nigerian man with a bomb concealed in his underwear attempted to blow up an American flight about to land in Detroit on Christmas Day. Washington wants passengers from 14 countries closely screened before they enter the United States.

Jordan is not one of the countries on the list.

Manna had a one-way ticket to visit her husband, Tariq Abouhash, in Cleveland, Ohio.

She said the interrogation by the border agents was humiliating.

"They asked me about my background, how much I pay in rent and why I don't own my own house. I don't know why they ask me these questions, if I'm pregnant or not," she said.

"They were rude, yelling at me — very humiliating and very bad — and at the end they asked the aircraft to take my bags off the airplane."

Manna said she wasn't told why she wasn't being allowed in to the United States, but she has her own ideas about that.

"Well, since they picked me, I'm the only one with a scarf on. They picked me out of the whole group, and I think that's what it is — because I'm a Muslim," Manna said. "That's what it is."

Profiling denied

That suggestion is flatly denied by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Spokesman Steve Sapp said that while there is enhanced security after the attempted bombing of a plane Christmas Day, Manna's case has everything to do with her status as a non-U.S. resident.

"They told her why she was inadmissible and told her how she can get admissible," Sapp said. "That's all it is — it's administrative action. Her Muslim headdress has nothing to do with admissibility or inadmissibility."

Will King, director of the Centre for Islamic Development, said he thinks racial profiling is going on.

"In light of the recent incident from the Nigerian man, it seems like there's profiling being done," he said.

Manna's bags are still packed and ready to go. "I left them here. Maybe one day I will travel," she said.

Transport Minister John Baird said Canada would have to review a U.S. plan to single out travellers arriving from specific countries for additional screening at airports to see whether adopting it might violate the rights of Canadians.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/01/06/ns-muslim-flight-profile.html

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The French continue their battle against the burkha

Jeff Taylor

January 7th, 2010

In a move that he says is intended to protect the dignity and security of women the President of the ruling ‘Union pour un Mouvement Populaire’ (UMP) party, is drafting a new law to ban the veil in public. This move by Jean-Francois Cope comes in the wake of the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, saying that the veil is unwelcome in France.Jean Francois CopeThe intention is to create a law that would enable the fining of anyone fully covering their face by up to €750 (£700). So it is not specifically aimed at Muslim dress, but at all people in public places.

Mr Cope has previously stated that “Permanently masking one’s face in public spaces is not an expression of individual liberty, it’s a negation of oneself, a negation of others, a negation of social life.”

But of course there will be objections to this under human rights legislation on the basis of religious freedoms, which may scupper the legislation. Also, very few women wear them anyway.

This whole debate has actually been going on in France since the October 1989, when three female Muslim students were suspended for refusing to remove their veils at a school in Creil. Over the years mongst other names this topic is sometimes referred to in France as ‘l’affaire du voile’ (the veil affair), ‘l’affaire du foulard’ (the scarf affair) or ‘l’affaire du voile islamique’ (the Islamic veil affair). The wearing of any conspicuous religious items, not just veils, in French schools was also banned from mid 2004.

This all seems to revolve around the subject of ‘French identity’ and the nation’s secularity, despite there being some five million Muslims living in France today, or about 8% of the population.

The French do though seem to be taking a firm cultural stand on the issue. They are making a decision and are following through on it. It may well lead to a period of discontent but, at the end of the day, I believe they will successfully enforce their view and it will lead to a happy outcome in the fullness of time.

Some of the more disaffected may elect to move out of France even if they don’t wear the veil on the basis of it being an attack on their religion. But they are as likely to head across the English Channel as they are to go Southwards across the Mediterranean. This may become a debate that we in the UK will have to have in the future

 http://www.economicvoice.com/the-french-continue-their-battle-against-the-burkha/5005270#ixzz0bw7ZvUUk

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Kashmiri behind CIA attack

Islamabad, January 07, 2010

Suspecting the hand of Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami commander Ilyas Kashmiri in coordinating the suicide strike on the top secret CIA base in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. authorities have asked Pakistan to hunt down and extradite the dreaded terrorist.

India believes Kashmiri played a key role in the Mumbai 26/11 attacks.

Eight CIA operatives were killed when a Jordanian terrorist walked into the Chapman base in the Khost region and blew himself up. U.S. intelligence officials said later that the Arab militant was a triple agent and could have been used as a human bomb by Al Qaeda.

A media report here said that an investigation had revealed that the attack was planned in Pakistan’s restive North Waziristan tribal region and the bomber is believed to have been sent by Kashmiri, the fugitive chief of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir chapter of HuJI.

US intelligence agencies have earlier marked Kashmiri as being closed to both Al Qaeda and Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.

Media reports last year had said that Kashmiri was killed in a US drone attack in North Waziristan in September along with Al Qaeda leader Nazimuddin Zalalov.

However, he resurfaced the following month and promised retribution against the US.

An interior ministry official said Pakistani authorities are trying to trace Kashmiri for his involvement in several terrorist attacks across the country.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Kashmiri-behind-CIA-attack/H1-Article1-494614.aspx

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CIA bombing prompts 'change' in US security

Thu, 07 Jan 2010

US military officials say the country is changing security procedures after an attack against a US military base in Afghanistan killed seven CIA employees.

On December 30, a bombing of the CIA post at Camp Chapman in the Afghan province of Khost left at least seven employees dead.

In response, US military officials said that new security procedures would be put in place.

"Suffice it to say that after any serious incident we evaluate the circumstances, think through the threat implications given our current practices and disseminate guidance to the field if adjustments are necessary," CNN quoted a senior military official as saying.

The official, however, did not elaborate further on the specifics of new procedures which would be adopted. "We don't broadcast the specific changes we've made to security postures or our intelligence procedures."

According to another US military official, the security guidance is intended to adjust procedures on a large scale.

"We don't want just the military intelligence guys looking out for specific things. We need MPs and ground forces to [also] be aware," the official said.

While the security guidance is meant to be disseminated on a large scale, the official said, more specific guidance on intelligence operations is confined to a much more restricted distribution.

The incident has added to growing pressure on President Barack Obama to reshape the top ''US intelligence'' team.

"There's [little connection] between [the] intensity of [President Obama's] rhetoric and what he proposes... If the situation is as bad as the President says it was... someone will have to go," Republican congressman Peter King said Wednesday.

"I don't think they (the president and his security agency chiefs) learned the lessons from this," he added.

Full report at: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=115560&sectionid=3510203

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CIA takes revenge with missile strikes in Pakistan

By Bill Van Auken

7 January 2010

In an apparent campaign of revenge at least 20 people have died in drone missile attacks in Pakistan since the December 30 suicide bombing that killed seven CIA operatives and a Jordanian intelligence agent.

The most deadly of the strikes by the CIA’s Predator drone aircraft took place Wednesday in the Datta Khel region of North Waziristan, near the Afghanistan border.

Citing unnamed intelligence officials, the Associated Press reported that one of the pilotless drones fired two missiles into a house, killing seven people. This was followed more than an hour later by another missile, launched as local villagers struggled to rescue survivors and pull bodies from the rubble. This second strike killed at least another five people. Some Pakistani media put the total death toll from the two missile strikes at 15.

The Islamabad-based International News Network Web site reported that the missile strikes had sown widespread panic in the area. There are growing fears in Pakistan that the response to last week’s suicide bomb attack at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Afghanistan’s Khost province, just across the border from North Waziristan, will be an intensified and sustained campaign of drone attacks that will claim many more lives.

The Predator strikes have provoked widespread anger in Pakistan, both because of the loss of life and the blatant trampling on the country’s sovereignty. Government officials have also routinely condemned the attacks, though it is evident that Islamabad has allowed the strikes, many of which are launched from a covert airfield in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan.

The CIA agents and private contractors killed at the base in Afghanistan were responsible for choosing targets for the drone attacks.

The bomber who killed them, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, was a Jordanian doctor, regarded by the US intelligence agency as one of its most important “assets” in the covert war on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Full report at: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jan2010/cia1-j07.shtml

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Plane bomb suspect joined al Qaeda in London: Yemen

Mohammed Ghobari and Mohamed Sudan

Thu Jan 7, 2010

SANAA (Reuters) - A Nigerian man accused of the attempted bombing of a U.S.-bound plane on Christmas Day was recruited by al Qaeda in London and met a radical American Muslim cleric in Yemen, a top Yemeni official said on Thursday.

World

Yemen, the poorest Arab country, was thrust into the foreground of the U.S.-led war against Islamist militants after a Yemen-based wing of al Qaeda said it was behind the failed bombing.

"The information provided to us is that Umar Farouk (Abdulmutallab) joined al Qaeda in London," Rshad al-Alimi, Yemen's Deputy Prime Minister for Defense and Security, told a news conference.

Abdulmutallab, son of a prominent Nigerian banker, is believed to have embraced extreme religious views during trips to Yemen to study Arabic and Islam. He also studied engineering at University College London between 2005 and 2008.

Alimi said that Abdulmutallab had met Muslim preacher Anwar al-Awlaki during his time in Yemen -- a U.S.-born cleric linked to the gunman who ran amok at the Fort Hood U.S. army base in Texas in November.

A Yemeni security official said last month that Awlaki may have been killed in a strike on al Qaeda militants, but other reports say he escaped and is on the run.

Yemen, located on the Arabian Peninsula's strategically important southern tip, is trying to fight a threat from resurgent al Qaeda fighters as well as quash a Shi'ite revolt in the north and separatist sentiment in the south.

The authorities launched an operation this week to root out al Qaeda militants who they said were behind threats that forced Western embassies to close on Sunday.

The raid, which killed two militants, allayed U.S. concerns and allowed the heavily fortified U.S. embassy to reopen.

Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi told CNN that fighting al Qaeda was "the priority and the responsibility of our security forces and the army."

Asked whether it would accept direct U.S. intervention, he said: "No, I don't think we will accept that. I think the U.S., as well, has learned from Afghanistan and Iraq and other places that direct intervention can be self-defeating."

MULTIPLE FRONTS

Full report at: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6061AS20100107

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Mumbai terror suspect Rana was a Pakistani army deserter

Chicago, January 07, 2010

Pakistani-Canadian terror suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana, under investigation for possible links to 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, offered a novel plea for bail saying as he is a deserter from the Pakistani army he's not a flight risk.

Rana, arrested for plotting to attack a Danish newspaper made the deserter plea before US District Judge Matthew Kennelly in a Chicago court on Wednesday making a bond request that has already been denied by another federal judge. Rana contended that because he deserted the military and isn't welcome back in Pakistan, he's not a flight risk and should be released on bond.

But judge Kennelly postponed a decision on Rana's bond pending a new indictment against the suspect, which prosecutors say could come by Jan 14. That indictment could send the case to a different judge, hence the delay in ruling on bond.

Federal prosecutors say he should remain behind bars because he knew about plans to commit terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008 that resulted in 166 deaths.

In affidavits filed in federal court, the FBI said Rana, 48, co-conspirator of Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley, "knew in advance" about the 26/11 Mumbai attacks after which he "complimented" the Pakistan-based terror outfit.

It is unclear whether the federal grand jury indictment that the government promises before Jan 14 will include additional terrorism charges against Rana. Rana's attorneys say that the allegations are serious, but maintain the defendant's role as alleged in the complaint is comparatively minor, given the scope and purpose of the supposed plot.

Regardless, the motion filed by Rana's lawyers provided new details about his background-including Rana's admitted desertion from the Pakistani army.

"Defendant's Pakistani background should raise no concerns whatsoever regarding risk of flight," it said suggesting that while serving as a physician in the Pakistani military Rana suffered from two high altitude conditions as he was transported to high elevation in the Northern Areas of Pakistan without proper acclimatisation.

Rana then requested and was granted leave to seek medical treatment and subsequently flew to England for treatment, the motion said. Rana's extended treatment forced him to overstay his leave, making him a de jure deserter from the Pakistani military.

"Defendant has not returned to Pakistan since, and any attempt to flee to Pakistan would be met with incarceration and court martial proceedings. As such, Defendant presents no risk of fleeing to Pakistan because to do so would only change the location of his detention," the motion said.

"Furthermore, the United States and Pakistan have a long standing bilateral extradition treaty, so any attempt to flee to his home country would ultimately be in vain," it said.

www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/americas/Mumbai-terror-suspect-Rana-was-a-Pakistani-army-deserter/Article1-494680.aspx

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D-gang threat to US interests in S. Asia

January 7th, 2010

Washington, Jan. 6: Running a criminal syndicate of 5,000 members with strategic alliance with the ISI, LeT and the Al-Qaeda, the Karachi-headquartered D-Company, is an example of “criminal-terrorism” fusion model and poses a threat to the US security interests in South Asia, a Congressional report said.

“Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company, a 5,000-member criminal syndicate operating mostly in Pakistan, India, and the United Arab Emirates, provides an example of the criminal-terrorism fusion model,” the Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in its latest report.

A research wing of the US Congress, CRS, prepares reports on various issues for the American lawmakers.

The report “International Terrorism and Transnational Crime: Security Threats, US Policy, and Considerations for Congress” was released by the CRS on Tuesday. The US department of treasury designated Dawood Ibrahim as a specially designated global terrorist in October 2003.

In June 2006, the then US President, Mr George W. Bush, designated him, as well as his D-Company organisation, as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act.

Noting that the D-Company is reportedly involved in several criminal activities, including extortion, smuggling, narcotics trafficking, and contract killing, the CRS said that it has also reportedly infiltrated the Indian filmmaking industry, extorting producers, assassinating directors, distributing movies, and pirating films.

The CRS says D-Company’s evolution into a true criminal-terrorist group began in response to the destruction of the Babri Mosque in December 1992 and the subsequent riots.

“Reportedly with assistance from Pakistan government’s intelligence branch, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), D-Company launched a series of bombing attacks on March 12, 1993, killing 257 people,” the report said. Following the attacks, Ibrahim moved his network’s headquarters to Karachi.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/international/d-gang-threat-us-interests-s-asia-021

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Acquittal plea of six Mumbai attack accused rejected

07 Jan, 2010

RAWALPINDI: An anti-terrorism court rejected on Wednesday the acquittal plea of six men accused of planning and abetting last year’s Mumbai attacks.

The accused whose applications for acquittal were turned down by the court are: Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Ammad Amin Sadiq, Mazhar Iqbal, Abdul Majid, Shahid Jameel Riaz and Mohammad Yunus Anjum. Jamil Ahmed, the seventh accused in the case, had not sought acquittal under Section 265-k of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Judge Malik Akram Awan, who has been holding the trial in Adiala Jail, also rejected applications moved by defence lawyers against separation of trial of Ajmal Kasab and against admissibility of his confessional statement under Pakistani laws.

The judge directed the prosecution to get the statements of their witnesses recorded and adjourned hearing till July 16.

Defence lawyer Khawaja Sultan Ahmed had argued that the prosecution had relied on Section 4 of the Pakistan Penal Code (extension of the code on extra-territorial offences) but the law applied only to offences under the PPC, and not to acts of terrorism.

He said the accused had been charged with criminal conspiracy but neither the motive or purpose nor the place where the conspiracy had been hatched was mentioned in the charge-sheet. According to law, he said, the motive of the conspiracy should have been specified.

The accused sought acquittal saying the judge had not acted independently while charging them because the charge-sheet given to them was the same to which they had earlier objected.

In the other petitions, the accused criticised the court’s decision to conduct separate trial of Ajmal Kasab who was being tried in India and said that under Pakistani laws the accused could not be tried separately.

They also requested the court to direct the prosecution to present legal reasons about not producing Kasab in the court.

In another application, the accused challenged the admissibility of Kasab’s confessional statement in a Pakistani court saying the statement handed over to them was not duly verified.

They said their lawyers could not cross-examine Kasab or the magistrate who had recorded his confessional statement in India as a necessary part of the trial. Therefore, they said, Kasab’s statement could not be considered legal.

www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/16-acquittal-plea-of-six-accused-rejected-710-hs-08

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‘Pak terror groups plan fresh attacks on India’

07 Jan 2010

Washington, Jan. 5: Pakistan-based terror groups have a "strategic intent" to launch major new attacks on the Indian soil to trigger a conflict between the two countries, according to a US intelligence and security think-tank.

In its annual forecast released on Tuesday, Stratfor predicted that 2010 might see the US intensifying its drone strikes in Pakistan as the bulk of the Al Qaeda leadership is believed to be hiding there.

As the nature of the war shifts to Pakistan, Stratfor said, there is a strong jihadist strategic intent to launch a major attack against India in order to trigger a conflict between India and Pakistan.

"Such an attack would re-direct Pakistani troops from battling the jihadists in the country’s west, towards the Indian border," the think tank Stratfor said in its security forecast for South Asia in 2010.

But the think tank said both Washington and New Delhi were well aware of such tactics and since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, India and the US had garnered better intelligence on groups with such goals, making success less likely. "But that hardly makes such attacks impossible," the Stratfor said.

The Mumbai terror attacks, orchestrated by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2008, left Indo-Pak relations severely strained and stalled the composite dialogue process. —PTI

www.asianage.com/presentation/leftnavigation/news/international/%E2%80%98pak-terror-groups-plan-fresh-attacks-on-india%E2%80%99.aspx

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Acquittal plea of six Mumbai attack accused rejected

07 Jan, 2010

RAWALPINDI: An anti-terrorism court rejected on Wednesday the acquittal plea of six men accused of planning and abetting last year’s Mumbai attacks.

The accused whose applications for acquittal were turned down by the court are: Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Ammad Amin Sadiq, Mazhar Iqbal, Abdul Majid, Shahid Jameel Riaz and Mohammad Yunus Anjum. Jamil Ahmed, the seventh accused in the case, had not sought acquittal under Section 265-k of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Judge Malik Akram Awan, who has been holding the trial in Adiala Jail, also rejected applications moved by defence lawyers against separation of trial of Ajmal Kasab and against admissibility of his confessional statement under Pakistani laws.

The judge directed the prosecution to get the statements of their witnesses recorded and adjourned hearing till July 16.

Defence lawyer Khawaja Sultan Ahmed had argued that the prosecution had relied on Section 4 of the Pakistan Penal Code (extension of the code on extra-territorial offences) but the law applied only to offences under the PPC, and not to acts of terrorism.

He said the accused had been charged with criminal conspiracy but neither the motive or purpose nor the place where the conspiracy had been hatched was mentioned in the charge-sheet. According to law, he said, the motive of the conspiracy should have been specified.

The accused sought acquittal saying the judge had not acted independently while charging them because the charge-sheet given to them was the same to which they had earlier objected.

In the other petitions, the accused criticised the court’s decision to conduct separate trial of Ajmal Kasab who was being tried in India and said that under Pakistani laws the accused could not be tried separately.

They also requested the court to direct the prosecution to present legal reasons about not producing Kasab in the court.

In another application, the accused challenged the admissibility of Kasab’s confessional statement in a Pakistani court saying the statement handed over to them was not duly verified.

They said their lawyers could not cross-examine Kasab or the magistrate who had recorded his confessional statement in India as a necessary part of the trial. Therefore, they said, Kasab’s statement could not be considered legal.

www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/16-acquittal-plea-of-six-accused-rejected-710-hs-08

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Faith clash brews in Bodh Gaya

Zia Haq

January 06, 2010

A clash of faiths is brewing in the seat of Buddha’s enlightenment, Bihar’s Bodh Gaya, where monks are agitating to wrest total control of Buddhism’s most sacred shrine from Hindu managers.

Six monks are on a fast unto death at the Mahabodhi temple. Dissident monks have also threatened a bigger uprising for theological upper hand, prompting Spalzes Angmo, member in-charge of Buddhist affairs at National Commission for Minorities (NCM), to seek the Centre’s intervention.

“We have urged the Centre to take note of Bodh Gaya Temple Management Act 1949, which goes against Article 26 that grants a community-exclusive rights to run its places of worship,” Angmo, who briefed Union home minister P. Chidambaram on the issue on Tuesday, told HT.

According to the act’s provisions, the shrine is to be managed by both Hindus and Buddhists. Under a power-sharing deal, five of the nine members of the temple committee, including the chairman, have to be Hindus.

Following representations from Buddhist groups, the NCM has recommended that the Bihar government amend the Act.

At heart of the conflict is a concern that newer Hindu rituals, allegedly encouraged by local BJP leaders, were diluting Buddhism’s core aspects.

“The temple has now become the favourite site for pindadan, a Hindu ritual for salvation of one’s dead ancestors. Foreign Buddhist pilgrims are often inconvenienced. We want separate timings for this,” Bhatey Bodhcharan, a monk leader said.

He also pointed out that the sanctum sanctorum itself housed a Shiv Lingam, a sacred Hindu symbol. “We should be able to decide where it should be installed,” he said.

Kaliprasad Bodh, another monk, said no other religious institution in the country was allowed to be run by people not professing the faith to which the institution belonged.

Hinduism and Buddhism, both born in the sub-continent, have a long, shared history. Hindus take Lord Buddha to be one of Hindu god Vishnu’s incarnations. Both religions believe in re-birth and the teaching that life experiences come as result of karma, or past deeds.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/newdelhi/Faith-clash-brews-in-Bodh-Gaya/Article1-494568.aspx

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The Politics of 'Allah'

Thu, 07 Jan 2010

Malaysia is still struggling to uphold basic freedoms.

God means love in many places, but in Malaysia it can also mean politics. That's the takeaway from the United Malays National Organization-led government's attempt to quash the use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslim groups.

At issue is the Catholic Herald's two-year court battle to use the A-word in its Malay-language edition—which it claims it needs to do because there's no other suitable word for "God" in Malay. Last week, the High Court overturned an arbitrary government ban. Yesterday, however, the church agreed to a stay of the decision—at the government's request—until the ruling can be appealed. So the Herald is once again muzzled.

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail characterized the decision as "a matter of national interest," which implies that somehow Muslims across Malaysia would revolt if the Herald were allowed to reference God in another language. Never mind that Malaysians of many faiths have peacefully co-existed for decades.

The real reason UMNO is politicizing the issue and pandering to its conservative base may be to deflect attention from its own political vulnerabilities. The opposition coalition, led by Anwar Ibrahim, has gained popularity by touting a vision of a secular country in which all religions have equal rights. Even the opposition's Islamic partner, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party—which hasn't always supported liberal ideas—issued a statement Monday saying that the Herald's use of "Allah" is its constitutional right.

Prime Minister Najib Razak called the A-word controversy a "sensitive issue" Sunday. But by allowing his party to continue curtailing freedom of speech, he is only stirring tensions. What a disappointment for a man who ran for office promising to create "One Malaysia."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704842604574641654054959272.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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Attack at a Church in Egypt Kills 7

January 7, 2010

CAIRO (AP) — Three men in a car sprayed automatic gunfire into a crowd of churchgoers on Wednesday in the southern Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi, killing at least seven people as they left a midnight Mass for Coptic Christmas, security officials and the church bishop said.

The Interior Ministry said three people were seriously wounded in the attack, at St. John’s Church, which was suspected to be retaliation for the rape in November of a 12-year-old Muslim girl by a Christian man. A statement said witnesses had identified the lead attacker.

Bishop Kirollos said six male churchgoers and one security guard were killed. He said he had left the church, about 40 miles from the ancient ruins of Luxor, minutes before the attack.

“A driving car swerved near me, so I took the back door,” the bishop said. “By the time I shook hands with someone at the gate, I heard the mayhem, lots of machine gun shots.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/07/world/middleeast/07egypt.html

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Suicide bomber at Russian police compound kills six

January 07, 2010

A suicide bomber blew up an explosives-packed car at a police station in Russia’s troubled North Caucasus on Wednesday, killing at least six officers and wounding 16, police said.

But the officers who died took action to prevent far greater devastation at the traffic police station on the outskirts of Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, where the bombing took place as 150 officers lined up outside for roll call, city police chief Col Shamil Guseinov said.

The bomber detonated the explosives at the station gate after police stopped him from driving through, Guseinov said. Those killed were at the gate, including three officers in a police jeep that blocked the attacker’s path, he said.

Police estimated that 50 to 200 kilograms of TNT was packed into the Niva, a small Russian-made SUV. The blast damaged the police station and blew out the windows of a nearby building.

Buckshot from the bomb was scattered across the area. Guseinov said police had received information about a planned attack and had moved the daily roll call well inside the station’s territory, 200 metres from the gate.-- AP

http://www.dailypioneer.com/227466/Suicide-bomber-at-Russian-police-compound-kills-six.html

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Bombs greet Thai PM on visit to troubled south

Yala, January 07, 2010

Suspected separatist militants detonated two bombs in Thailand's Muslim-majority south on Thursday as Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva arrived for a visit, police said.

The first blast was just 100 metres (yards) from where Abhisit was due to open a road later in the day in the town of Yala, and slightly wounded a policeman who was part of the security team for the trip, they said.

The second was also in Yala but there were no casualties. Police said they were defusing a third bomb on the road nearby.

Abhisit, who admits he has failed to stem the violence in the south, landed in Narathiwat province and was due to also visit Yala and Pattani provinces during the one-day visit.

More than 4,100 people have died during a six-year anti-government insurgency across the three provinces led by a shadowy mix of Islamist and separatist militants who never publicly state their goals.

In other violence, gunmen on motorcycles on Wednesday shot dead a Buddhist man who ran the local meteorology department in a district of Pattani, police said.

A 25-year-old Islamic militant was shot and killed in Narathiwat provincial town on Wednesday after he clashed with a security team that was clearing the area ahead of Abhisit's visit.

Thai authorities have mobilised more than 1,000 security forces plus eight helicopters to protect Abhisit and senior ministers as they open roads, give gifts to children and visit a model village during the trip.

It comes just one month after the Thai premier visited the region with his Malaysian counterpart to rename a bridge between the two countries.

Tensions have bubbled in the south with occasional flare-ups since predominantly Buddhist Thailand annexed the former Malay Muslim sultanate in 1902.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Bombs-greet-Thai-PM-on-visit-to-troubled-south/H1-Article1-494674.aspx

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No direct military intervention in Pakistan: US

By Anwar Iqbal

07 Jan, 2010

WASHINGTON: The White House and the US military chief indicated on Wednesday that there would be no direct military intervention in countries like Pakistan or Yemen where Al Qaeda seemed to have established its bases.

The White House, however, said that the United States would continue to use “actionable intelligence” to target Al Qaeda hideouts, indicating that drone strikes at suspected terrorist targets would also continue.

In a speech at the George Washington University, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said that for “a big part of the next couple of years (the United States will be focussed on) the execution of this Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy” that President Barack Obama announced on Dec 1.

The debate over direct US military intervention to prevent terrorists from attacking the United States has been reignited after the Christmas Day attack on a Northwest Airlines plane over Detroit. Several lobbies, particularly those on the extreme right, are demanding direct US military actions against suspected terrorist targets, with or without consulting the governments concerned.

Responding to a question about this possibility, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that the United States would continue to support actions taken by local authorities against suspected terrorist facilities in their areas.

“We’ll continue to do so and continue to be supportive of those efforts,” he said.

Separately, President Obama told a briefing at the White House on Tuesday that his administration had “taken the fight to Al Qaeda and its allies wherever they plot and train, be it in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in Yemen and Somalia, or in other countries around the world”.

At the university in Washington, Admiral Mullen also tackled this question, reminding his audience that countries like Pakistan and Yemen were sovereign states and the United States respected their sovereignty.

Full report at: www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/16no-direct-military-intervention-in-pakistan-us-710-hs-07

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Pakistan not to give guarantee for Iranian gas flows to India

06 Jan, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided not to give any guarantee for gas flows to India through the multi-billion-dollar Iran gas pipeline, it is learnt.

Informed sources told Dawn on Tuesday that Pakistan and Iran had resolved almost all other issues pertaining to the pipeline project, including pricing, project details and quantity of gas to be purchased.

They said that work on the project could be undertaken immediately if Iran did not press Pakistan too much on the guarantee that it had sought to ensure unhindered gas supplies to India through the pipeline.

The sources said Tehran had been told that a friendly project between two neighbourly Muslim countries should not become victim to the interests of a third country and, hence, Iran should not ask Pakistan to guarantee uninterrupted supplies to India given the history of relations between Pakistan and India.

The sources said Iran wanted Pakistan to agree to performance guarantee for gas deliveries if India decided to become part of the tri-nation project. This would require Pakistan to pay penalties to India for gas disruption even in case of sabotage activities or war between the two countries.

The sources said Pakistan was ready to put in place all security measures required to protect the pipeline in the Pakistani territory, but it could not pay the price of gas disruption when its own security was threatened by India itself or any sabotage activity. Pakistan’s defence authorities had also objected to providing iron-clad sovereign guarantees to India for gas supplies through the pipeline crossing Pakistan, the sources added.

India has so far avoided becoming part of the pipeline project although it has been in discussions with Tehran for joining the project and had participated in some trilateral meetings.

The sources said Islamabad required gas supplies from Iran to meet its growing energy needs but it could not compromise its long-term national interests and more so when India and Pakistan could not make any progress to resolve their longstanding issues.

Iran and Pakistan signed gas sales and purchase agreement (GSPA) in June last year under which Islamabad would purchase at least 750 million cubic feet of gas per day (MMCFD) from Tehran’s Southern Pars gas field. The gas supplies could be increased to one BCFD at the time of project implementation, the sources said.

www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/pakistan-not-to-give-guarantee-for-iranian-gas-flows-to-india-610

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Three schools come under attack in tribal areas

07 Jan, 2010

Three schools were damaged in explosions in different tribal regions on Wednesday.

In the Mohmand Agency, a government-run school was damaged in a blast and teachers of another school received threats from suspected militants.

Residents and officials said some people had planted explosives at the Government High School in Subhan Khwar. The blast damaged the school’s boundary wall.

The staff of the Government High School, Yakghund, received a threatening letter asking them to close the school, otherwise it would be blown up.

Meanwhile, five militants were killed and one security man was injured in a clash in Mohmand on Wednesday.

Sources said militants attacked security checkposts in Mamad Gat and Dowjangi areas of the Safi tehsil. The forces repulsed the attacks and killed five militants.

A jirga of Qasimkhel and Darodkhel sub-clans of the Taragzai tribe on Wednesday formed an 81-member peace committee in lower Mohmand. The jirga held in Ghalanai was attended by a large number of tribal elders.

Malak Khaista Gul was made chief of the peace committee. The elders of the sub-clans agreed to make joint efforts for maintaining peace in the region.

KHAR: A government-run school was damaged by rockets and two local people were injured in a landmine explosion in the Bajaur Agency on Wednesday.

Residents said unidentified people fired rockets on the Government Primary School for boys in Barani Kandaro early Wednesday morning, damaging the building.

Yasin Khan and Anwarzada were injured when a landmine planted by suspected militants on the Chilargam-Pashat road exploded near the Jabrarhi village in Salarzai, 30 kilometres from agency headquarters of Khar.

LANDI KOTAL: Militants blew up another girls’ school in the remote Bazaar-Zakhakhel area of Landi Kotal tehsil.

Officials of the local political administration said masked militants had planted explosive material at the two-room Government Primary School and detonated it at midnight. The explosion destroyed most parts of the building.

Full report at: www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/three-schools-come-under-attack-in-tribal-areas-710

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No threat to democracy from CIA, ISI: Kaira

07 Jan, 2010

GUJRAT: Federal Information Minister Qamaruz Zaman Kaira says ‘non-state actors’ are hatching conspiracies against the government, whereas there is no threat to democracy from American CIA and ISI because of the people’s support for the system.

He was addressing a gathering of police personnel, religious scholars and notables of the district as a chief guest at the Police Lines here on Wednesday. Provincial finance minister Tanveer Ashraf Kaira, DIG Zulfiqar Cheema and DPO Tariq Abbas Qureshi were also present.

The information minister said the non-state actors, who want to destabilise society for their own nefarious designs, had emerged due to political compromises of the past. Mr Kaira said the PML-N should join the federal cabinet.

He said the security forces had dismantled terror network in FATA and now only some splinter groups were operating in the area. Later, the both ministers gave away certificates to religious scholars for cooperating with the government to ensure peace in the district during Muharram.

Meanwhile, journalists announced boycott of the event to protest the attitude of DIG Zulfiqar Cheema who reportedly kept snubbing members of the electronic media who were covering the function. However, the information minister intervened and convinced the journalists to call off the boycott.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/16-no-threat-to-democracy-from-cia-isi-kaira-710-hs-05

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350 terrorists killed in Mohmand tribal region in 2009

January 07, 2010

GHALANAI: Around 350 terrorists were killed by the security forces in operations while 104 pro-government elders and volunteers of a peace committee as well as 65 security force personnel were martyred in the Mohmand tribal region in the year 2009, authorities said on Wednesday.

“We have secured vast areas of land from the militants’ control in a short span of time,” Mohmand Agency Additional Political Agent (APA) Ahmed Jan told reporters from Peshawar. “There are some pockets of [militants’] resistance in the region,” he said. He said terrorists’ strongholds in Saafi, Aleemzai, Tarakzai and Pandyalai tehsils were destroyed and life had returned to normal in the areas.

Jan said Taliban activities were reported in Baizai, Sheikh Baba, Chamarkand, Suran and Gharobi areas. The APA said terrorists killed 104 pro-government elders who were members of a peace committee, adding that residents from various areas had to move to safer places because of security concerns and were reluctant to return.

“We appeal to the displaced people to return to their homes as there is peace in the areas,” Jan said. “The militants are using abandoned homes as bunkers against the security forces and if these displaced people come back, the militants would not be able to use their homes to attack government forces.”

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\01\07\story_7-1-2010_pg7_37

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America behind terrorism in Iran: acting consul general

January 07, 2010

Nisar Mahmood Says US acts of violence in Pakistan, Afghanistan have no match

PESHAWAR: The acting Consul General of Iran in Peshawar, Aqai Hussain Nasaji, has accused the United States, Israel and France of interfering in Iran’s internal affairs and supporting elements who were out to destabilize the Islamic republic.

He said the Iranians were, however, well aware of such elements and would never let them succeed in their nefarious designs. Talking to journalists at the Iranian Culture Centre Wednesday, he said those found involved in anti-state activities and violation of the constitution would be taken to task.

Nasaji said foreign countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Israel, France, some European and Arab states were meddling in Iran’s internal affairs and supporting those bent upon disturbing development activities.

He said such elements were creating uncertainty to deprive the people of fruits of Islamic revolution and destabilize the Islamic republic of Iran. “They are against Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme and want to deprive Iranians of fruits of Islamic revolution, but their bad intensions will never materialise,” he added.

The Iranian diplomat said there were clear proofs of US involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan. “The US acts of terrorism and violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan have no match in the world history. This is the reason that America is facing a shameful defeat in Afghanistan and has been forced to hold talks with the Taliban for restoration of peace,” he argued.

To a question, Aqae Hussain Nasaji said according to Iranian constitution there were no curbs on media and freedom of expression was ensured. However, he added that anti-Islam and anti-state propaganda was not allowed.

Full report at: http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=217236s

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Yemen doesn’t need US troops’

January 07, 2010

 SANAA: Yemen’s foreign minister said Wednesday that his country opposes any direct intervention by US or other foreign troops in the fight against Al-Qaeda.

Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi told The Associated Press in an interview that “there is a lot of sensitivity about foreign troops coming to Yemeni territory.” The United States has ramped up its counterterrorism aid to Yemen in an intensified campaign to uproot Al-Qaeda’s offshoot here, which Washington warns has become a “global” threat. US military personnel have already been on the ground training Yemeni security forces in the fight, and intelligence cooperation has increased.

Al-Qirbi said Yemen’s government would welcome more military trainers, “but not in any other capacity.” “There is a lot of debate among them about how far they should get involved in Yemen,” Al-Qirbi said, referring to the United States and its allies. “I’m sure that their experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan will be very useful to learn from — that direct intervention complicates things.” So far the US has indicated it is not aiming to deploy ground forces in Yemen. President Barack Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, said earlier in the week, “We’re not talking about that at this point at all.” But Al-Qirbi’s comments underscored how Washington must tread carefully as it strengthens its partnership with Yemen’s government.

Earlier this week, Al-Qirbi insisted there is no agreement between Yemen and the United States allowing the American military to use cruise missiles, drones or warplanes in strikes on Yemeni territory. “And there is no proposal for such an agreement,” he added. The issue is highly sensitive for the Yemenis. In 2002, the government was infuriated when US officials made public that US cruise missiles were used in a strike that killed a top Al-Qaeda figure, Abu Ali Al-Harithi — believed to be the mastermind of the 2002 bombing of the USS Cole off Yemen.

Full report at: http://www.arabnews.com/?page=24&section=0&article=130811&d=7&m=1&y=2010&pix=world.jpg&category=Gulf

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Afghan blast kills 4 children, wounds 3 US soldiers

January 07, 2010

 KABUL: An explosion tore through a group of children gathered around foreign soldiers visiting a US-funded road project Wednesday, killing four kids and a policeman and wounding scores, including at least three American troops, officials said.

The Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement that the blast in Nangrahar province in Afghanistan’s east occurred when a passing police vehicle hit a mine. The ministry called it a terrorist act, implying the mine had been planted by insurgents.

Adjman Pardes, chief of the province’s health department, said four children and a policeman died. He also told The Associated Press that 81 people, the vast majority of them schoolchildren, were wounded.

Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, the spokesman for the provincial governor, told the AP earlier that the wounded included three US soldiers.

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=130805&d=7&m=1&y=2010&pix=world.jpg&category=World

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Great grandson of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed meets Qazi

January 07, 2010

THE great grandson of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani, Abdur Rahman, who has embraced Islam, called on Jamaat-e-Islami former Ameer Qazi Husain Ahmed at Mansoora on Wednesday.

He was accompanied by Allama Ibtisam Elahi Zaheer, the son of Allama Ehsan Elahi Zaheer.

Abdur Rahman, elder son of Mirza Nasir Ahmed, embraced Islam in the year 1999 after going through Allama Ihsan Elahi’s book “Qadiniat, Mirzayat and Islam.” He has command of seven languages and is working as a translator at Bhasha Dam. His Qadiani name was Mirza Ahmed Bilal.

Abdur Rahman told Qazi that after embracing Islam, he had given up his inherited property. Last year, he applied for Hajj and the Saudi authorities had asked him for documentary evidence of his embracing Islam which was produced to them.

He said that a fortnight back, a group of Qadianis abducted him and subjected him to severe torture at Aiwan e Mahmud near Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and his nose was fractured. He fell unconscious after which they abandoned him near Anarkali Bazaar. Allama Ibtisam Elahi provided him with protection and arranged his medical treatment.

Qazi Husain Ahmed condemned torture and said it exposed the cruel face of Qadianiat. He told Abdur Rahman that embracing Islam by him was a breakthrough and a big news. He said that if the people in Rabwah were given basic human rights, their majority would revert to Islam. At present, he said, Rabwah people were under great pressure.

Qazi called upon the government to provide proper security to Abdur Rahman and warned that if any harm was done to him, Qadianis would be held responsible.

He said Muslims all over the world were happy over embracing of Islam by Abdur Rahman. He also thanked the religious parties for expressing solidarity with Abdur Rahman.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=217381

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Christians find Oman an oasis of religious tolerance

Saleh al Shaibany,

January 06. 2010

Father John stands beside the pipe organ that was donated by Sultan Qaboos. Akil Hamdani for The National

MUSCAT // As another Christmas season winds down, Christians in Oman say they enjoy tolerance and a number of privileges in this deeply conservative Muslim society and that the country’s ruler has made a point of supporting the diverse community.

“We are lucky that His Majesty the Sultan has placed a special interest in Christianity in Oman. In our church, the Sultan of Oman has bought us a new organ, imported from Britain, after the original one was destroyed by Gonu,” 52-year-old Father John Fernandaz, the head of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Muscat, said.

Oman was devastated by cyclone Gonu in 2007, which destroyed hundreds of homes throughout the country, the strongest tropical storm to hit the region in 50 years.

“Gonu also destroyed a lot of properties in the church yard, but His Majesty ordered repairs. God bless him,” Father John said.

The church also enjoys free maintenance, electricity and water, and also receives occasional financial donations from the state.

Christians in Oman pray regularly for the long life of Sultan Qaboos, and say he has always been their greatest supporter.

“We hope that we will always enjoy the same freedom of worship we have today, thanks to His Majesty. It is not only his moral support but his financial donations as well that we appreciate,” Patrick Mascarenha, a 50-year-old Indian plumber, said.

The Holy Spirit Church, built in 1987, shares the same yard with a Protestant church and both conduct four Friday Masses a week for nearly 1,000 worshippers.

Father John, an Indian national who has lived in Oman for nearly four years, said there are about 60,000 Catholics in Oman, from many different nationalities. In addition, Protestants number about 40,000.

All of Oman’s Christians are expatriates, mainly from the Indian subcontinent, followed by Filipinos and Arabs. Foreign workers and their families make up nearly 30 per cent of Oman’s population of 2.9 million people.

Full report at: http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100107/FOREIGN/701069854/101

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Following Rafah Clashes, Egypt Says Losing Patience with Hamas

07 Jan 2010

Egypt warned Hamas on Wednesday night that there was a limit to its patience and that any attempt to provoke the Egyptian security forces would claim a price.

 The Foreign Ministry in Cairo made the announcement following Wednesday's violent clashes on the Gaza-Egypt border, which left an Egyptian border guard killed by sniper fire and nine policemen injured. Dozens of Palestinians were also hurt in the riots.

The violent riots began on Tuesday night at the El-Arish port, after Egyptian authorities refused to allow member of the Viva Palestina international organization to bring all of their aid vehicles into the Gaza Strip.

The delegation included international activists calling for an end to the blockade on Gaza, led by British Parliament Member George Galloway and 17 Turkish parliament members. In response, the activists hurled stones and barricaded themselves, taking four policemen with them.

Some 520 activists belonging to the convoy broke down the gate at the port in El-Arish to protest the Egyptian decision. Police used water cannon to force the protestors to leave Arish harbor, which they had occupied, a security source said. Around 40 members of the convoy had injuries.

Different participants in the convoy also told satellite channels on air that the Egyptian attack on them was carried out unexpectedly following a sit-in staged by the convoy at the port terminal in protest at the Egyptian refusal to allow more than 50 aid cars into Gaza.

For his part, Ali Abu Sukkar, a member of the convoy, noted that the Egyptian authorities refused unjustifiably to allow into Gaza the most important aid vehicles which are loaded with medicines and medical equipment, adding the policemen deliberately damaged several cars of the convoy, which reflected the level of hatred and insistence on not helping Gaza people.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman added that the Egyptian authorities have announced they plan to ease the convoy's movement and have informed the Turks, who are part of the delegation. He claimed, however, that Egypt was surprised by 43 cars "lacking any human character, which were not carrying any aid goods and which were not reported to the authorities."

Full report at: http://www.almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=118694&language=en

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Israeli war game eyes Gaza 'occupation'

07 Jan 2010

An Israeli TV channel reported the military drills on Thursday, saying the rightist government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely gearing up for a massive attack on Gaza shortly after the anniversary of the deadly Gaza onslaught last year.

It further revealed that Tel Aviv plans to occupy the entire coastal enclave this time to compensate for the failure to overthrow Hamas, the democratically elected ruler of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army is said to be practicing to forestall the mistakes which led to the deaths of several of its soldiers during the last offensive, the poor handling of which cost Tel Aviv severe criticism at home and forced senior army officials to resign.

The report added that Israeli tanks have been equipped with a new system able to identify friendly units operating in the battlefield — even when they are among civilians.

The 22-day Israeli offensive last year saw weeks of relentless air, land and sea incursions against the Palestinians in Gaza. It left more than 1,400 people, including hundreds of women and children, dead.

It also devastated a large part of the infrastructure in the impoverished coastal sliver which has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007.

Israel has recently stepped up saber-rattling against the Palestinians in Gaza, with Israeli planes dropping thousands of leaflets across Gaza in December, urging Gazans against cooperating with the resistance fighters based in the region, and threatening a new attack.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=115562&sectionid=351020202

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Anti-terror chief killed in Iraq bombings

07 Jan 2010

Early morning bombings Thursday rocked the town of Heet in the western Iraqi province of al-Anbar, killing seven people including an anti-terror chief, an emergency official said.

"At 3:00 am (0600 GMT) men planted bombs around the bedrooms of four houses belonging to members of the police force, including Major Walid al-Heeti, the head of Heet's anti-terror department," said Lieutenant Colonel Fadhil Nimrawi, the head of the town's emergency response unit.

"The bombs killed seven people, including the anti-terror *chief, and wounded six others, including women and children from the four families," AFP quoted the official as saying.

The four houses targeted in the attack are reportedly in different neighborhoods in central Heet, which is about 60 kilometers (40 miles) west of the Anbar provincial capital, Ramadi.

The town has been sealed off. Police say an unspecified number of people have been arrested in connection with the attacks.

The blasts come a week after twin bombing attacks hit the city of Ramadi, leaving more than 23 people dead and wounding at least 30 others, including the provincial governor.

Terror attacks have plagued Iraq since the US-led invasion of the country in 2003.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=115551&sectionid=351020201

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Attorney: Fort Hood suspect's mental exam set

Jan. 7, 2010,

By ANGELA K. BROWN Associated Press Writer © 2010 The Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas — The suspect in the Fort Hood shootings will be evaluated next month to determine his mental status that day and if he is competent to stand trial, his attorney said Wednesday.

Attorney John Galligan said he learned from prosecutors late Tuesday that a three-person board of military medical professionals — known as a sanity board — has been named and will start reviewing documents in the case. Galligan has previously objected to such an evaluation.

Board members will evaluate Maj. Nidal Hasan after the review process, which is to be finished by Feb. 7, Galligan said.

Galligan declined to release the names or medical specialties of the board members, who are to report their findings to Army prosecutors by the end of February.

Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the Nov. 5 shootings on the Texas Army post. Authorities have not said whether they plan to seek the death penalty.

Fort Hood officials did not immediately return calls Wednesday.

Galligan said he plans to file more objections to the evaluation, citing a military rule that says the board's review is to include a report from the Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a grand jury proceeding. He said military prosecutors have said they have not decided whether to hold such a hearing for Hasan.

"They're putting the cart before the horse," Galligan told The Associated Press on Wednesday from his Fort Hood-area office, about 150 miles southwest of Fort Worth. "And I still don't have the documents I need: the White House investigation, the supposed e-mails and other information."

Galligan said he has been given copies of witness statements but has been denied access to documents about the investigation.

Federal authorities have been reviewing a 2002 file on a radical Muslim cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, who apparently communicated with Hasan via e-mail. Al-Awlaki was at large in Yemen, where he may have been killed last month in an attack on al-Qaida hideouts.

Full report at: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/6802293.html

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Teenager arrested in West Bank mosque blaze

January 7, 2010

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli police briefly detained a teenager from a West Bank settlement in connection with the torching of a West Bank mosque in December.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a minor was questioned last week in the attack, believed to have been the work of Jewish extremists in the West Bank. Israeli law prohibits publication of information that might lead to identification of minors suspected of crimes.

The attackers burned prayer carpets and a book stand with Muslim holy texts. They also left Hebrew graffiti on the floor. The arson sparked outcries from both Muslims and Jews. Israel's chief rabbi visited the damaged mosque to denounce the Dec. 11 burning.

Authorities suspect Jewish extremists carried out the attack in retaliation for a government-ordered slowdown in West Bank settlement construction.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/01/06/us/AP-US-REL-Religion-Briefs.html?_r=1

The Twisted and Dangerous Republican Record on Terrorism

The Republican record on terrorism is pretty damn terrible. Naturally, this hasn't stopped them from milking whatever remains of their purely cosmetic tough-guy reputation in order to fear-monger the failed Underpants Bomber incident irrespective of their lengthy history of failure, cowardice and stupidity on the issue.

I think we all understand and begrudgingly accept that Americans have a short attention span, and an even shorter memory, but the Republicans are really counting on it as they exploit the post-underpants freakout.

For example, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) said the other day:

I'm hopeful that the president will become forceful, that we will return back to the direction where we are prosecuting the war on terror

I know. It doesn't read very well, but the senator was suggesting that we go back to the way the Bush/Cheney team ran the "war on terror" -- that the previous administration's strategy was much more effective. Another attempt to sell the inaccurate notion that shit-kicker boots, a southern drawl, a waterboard and hillbilly bumper-sticker justice succeeded in knocking al-Qaeda into oblivion.

Wrong.

Full report at:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/the-twisted-and-angerous_b_413818.html?view=print

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Muslim march planned for UK army town

Emma Alberici

January 7, 2010

TONY EASTLEY: A controversial Islamic group is organising a demonstration march through Wootton Bassett, a town in England which is famous for honouring dead British soldiers.

Islam4UK, a branch of the extremist al-Muhajiroun movement, claims its march will honour the thousands of Muslims killed in Afghanistan.

The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called the plan disgusting and offensive.

Here's Europe correspondent Emma Alberici.

EMMA ALBERICI: Not even the freezing temperatures and snowfalls kept the crowds away as hundreds of people lined the streets of Wootton Bassett overnight.

The Wiltshire town has become the symbol of the homecoming for British troops who've lost their lives in battle.

Being honoured today are 19-year-old rifleman Aiden Howell and David Watson, a 23-year-old bomb disposal expert, both men were killed in Afghanistan last week.

Their bodies were flown back to nearby RAF Lyneham before the funeral cortege passed through Wootton Bassett, the town closest to the air force base.

This solemn scene has become a target for an extremist Islamic group wanting to stage its own day of mourning, for the unknown number of dead civilians in Afghanistan.

Anjem Choudary is the leader of the group calling itself Islam4UK.

ANJEM CHOUDARY: Dozens of people are slaughtered. And you know this hardly makes the news but if it is a soldier, you see, an American one or a British one, you know people know their name, they know about their family. You know, for Muslims it feels as if the American and British blood is like red, but the Muslim is black, it doesn't really, it can run like water.

EMMA ALBERICI: There's been a lot said in the last two days about your group. What does it stand for?

ANJEM CHOUDARY: Islam4UK is a platform of al-Muhajiroun. Al-Muhajiroun was set up in order to invite society to Islam. So I think that we can live together as human beings but ultimately the question is to whom does sovereignty belong?

I think today in the world we have two camps. One camp where the people believe sovereignty and supremacy belongs to God, and whether we like that or not the head of that camp at the current time is Sheik Osama bin Laden. He's the one who is struggling and symbolic of that.

Full report at: http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2009/s2786294.htm

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Azerbaijan accused of crackdown on Muslim worshippers

7 January 2010

BAKU — A rights group in oil-producing Azerbaijan today accused security forces of a crackdown on Shi’ite worshippers in the former Soviet republic’s remote Nakhchivan region.

The Institute for Freedom and Security of Reporters, a non-governmental organization, said a police blockade had been in place since Tuesday in the village of Bananiyar near the Iranian border, after police and worshippers clashed on the Shi’ite mourning day of Ashura on Dec 27.

It said up to 30 people had been arrested.

Analysts say Azerbaijan’s secular authorities under hardline President Ilham Aliyev are concerned at the perceived threat to stability by the growing influence of Islam in the mainly Shi’ite country, a key oil exporter to the West.

“The village is blockaded by police, women and children are afraid to go into the streets,” a source at the institute, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

“Journalists aren’t being allowed in, and people giving information are being investigated.”

The Azeri Interior Ministry declined to comment and there was no information about the alleged crackdown on state-controlled media.

Citing villagers, the independent Turan news agency reported yesterday that police had arrested and beaten 15 people in Bananiyar after the Ashura festival, when Shi’ite worshippers traditionally beat their heads and chests to mourn the death of revered Shi’ite martyr Imam Hussein.

Turan said that in protest at the intervention, a 35-year-old man had set himself on fire and later died.

Nakhchivan, the native region of President Aliyev’s family, is an autonomous republic geographically separate from the rest of Azerbaijan and sandwiched between Iran and Armenia.

In recent years, Azeri authorities have discouraged the traditional Ashura bloodletting and said worshippers should instead donate blood to help the sick.

Azerbaijan, courted by the United States and European Union for its oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea, says it has thwarted a number of plots by Islamic militants to attack Western embassies in Baku.

But critics accuse the authorities — frequently criticized by rights groups for curbing freedoms — of exerting pressure on the Islamic community, including closing a number of mosques. — Reuters

http://themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/world/48858-azerbaijan-accused-of-crackdown-on-muslim-worshipper

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In line with US demands, Afghan parliament rejects cabinet proposals

By James Cogan

7 January 2010

Last Saturday, the Afghan parliament refused to endorse 17 of the 24 cabinet ministers proposed by President Hamid Karzai, who was named the winner of the fraudulent elections held last August. What on the surface appeared to be a considerable blow to Karzai was more akin to a political charade. A cabinet is now being assembled consisting only of individuals who have been vetted and deemed acceptable by the Obama administration and its main NATO allies.

The majority of the rejected ministers are linked with either Karzai’s inner circle or the ethnic Tajik, Uzbek and Hazari warlord factions that assisted the US in ousting the predominantly ethnic Pashtun Taliban in 2001. For the past eight years, the US-backed groupings have presided over the wholesale plunder of state resources and an estimated $18 billion in so-called international aid donations. Key Karzai allies are accused of drug running.

As the resistance against the US/NATO occupation has intensified, fueled by the rampant corruption of Karzai’s administration and Pashtun resentment of the power of the warlords, there have been increasingly strident demands by the occupying powers for a government “clean up”. Sidelining some of the most prominent warlords is also intended to try to breathe life back into the discredited claims that the US-led occupation has brought “democracy” to the Afghan people.

When Karzai announced his proposed cabinet last month, it was clear he had sought to balance between the demands of the occupation forces and paying off the regional powerbrokers and factions that assisted him to rig the election. The parliament served as the mechanism to overturn his attempted compromise. Once parliament rejects a ministerial candidate, they cannot be re-nominated.

The highest-profile figure rejected was ethnic Tajik powerbroker Mohammad Ismael Khan. A leading commander of the anti-Soviet mujahaddin in the 1980s, he controlled the western city of Herat until the Taliban drove his forces out in 1996. His militia retreated over the border into Iran, where it received aid from Tehran. Backed by the Iranian government, Khan returned after the US invasion and rapidly rebuilt his fiefdom in Herat.

In 2004, Washington took initial steps to marginalise him, suspicious of his relations with Iran and angry over his refusal to pay the central government in Kabul the revenues from taxes on the lucrative cross-border trade. Under US pressure, Karzai dismissed him as the governor of Herat province in 2004 and instead made him the water and energy minister. Violent clashes between his forces and the militia of the new governor left more than 100 dead. He still exerts a major influence in the city.

Full report at: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jan2010/afgh-j07.shtml

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Sudan’s new year of fear

Ros Wynne-Jones

The peace deal that ended what was Africa’s longest-running conflict is on the brink of collapse.

A young fighter at an undisclosed location in Sudan’s western Darfur region on April 18, 2008.

On January 8, there will be exactly a year left to prevent the return of a conflict that was once the longest-running in Africa — Sudan’s north-south war, which claimed about two million lives. With elections due this year and 365 days left until the crucial referendum on independence for the south, concern is growing among analysts, advocacy groups and NGOs working in Sudan that the spectre of widespread conflict is once again a reality.

The comprehensive peace agreement that ended the 22-year civil war between north and south Sudan has its fifth anniversary on January 9. Anyone who visited the south during those years, the camps of displaced people in the north, or the refugee camps that sprang up along the Ethiopian border, will know how important it is to prevent the re-ignition of that war.

Of the millions killed, hundreds of thousands were burned to death in their southern tribal villages, with women and children captured and taken to the north of the country. Entire communities were eradicated from the map in a country whose remote vastness hid the atrocities from the eyes of the world.

This week sees the launch of Sudan365, a global campaign, as well as a major joint-agency report — Rescuing the Peace in Southern Sudan — which warns that a cocktail of rising violence, chronic poverty and political tensions has left the peace deal on the brink of collapse. On January 11 Daniel Deng, the archbishop of the Episcopal church of Sudan, and Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, will meet British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to discuss the growing crisis. A new report by the Chatham House thinktank urges the international community to re-engage with Sudan; and Glenys Kinnock, the Minister for Africa, is travelling out there this week

By comparison with past casualties recent skirmishes seem minimal. But with the inter-agency report recording 2,500 lives lost in a single year — a serious spike — the ceasefire is in open crisis. Meanwhile, 350,000 people have been displaced from their homes.

Analysts note that both sides of the divide are now moving into a potentially explosive endgame. And even as trouble grows in the south, in the western region of Darfur and in neighbouring Chad millions continue to suffer daily in refugee camps — seven years after the Darfur conflict erupted. People there are unsure whether their fate is worse than death. Militias surround these supposed places of safety, and women are raped walking for firewood; rations are meagre; and the hope of returning home diminishes with every passing year.

 (Ros Wynne-Jones is the author of Something Is Going to Fall Like Rain, a novel based in south Sudan)

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/01/07/stories/2010010755480900.htm

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Dubai's DP World seeks London listing

By Sarah Arnott

7 January 2010

Just days after committing £130m to kickstart the London Gateway container port scheme, Dubai's DP World is looking for a London listing for its shares.

The global ports group – which is a division of the beleaguered Dubai World conglomerate – said the move would help address its "continued disappointment" with its market valuation.

DP World will keep its primary listing on Nasdaq Dubai, but hopes for a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange as early as the second quarter of this year. "The board remains committed to our shareholders in the region and believe that they will also benefit from this move," the company said yesterday.

DP World's shares have not performed well since it first listed on its home exchange in November 2007: the stock was trading at about 43 cents yesterday, more than two-thirds below its $1.30 initial public offering price. It hopes that a dual listing will improve the group's access to international investors, and also help to overcome the lack of liquidity on the Nasdaq Dubai, where DP World is the only daily-traded share.

The group is not involved in the high-profile restructuring of parent Dubai World's $26bn (£16.3bn) debts. The government-backed parent group sent shivers around the world's stock markets in late November when it asked for a six-month standstill on a $3.5bn sukuk – Islamic bond – issued by its Nakheel real-estate subsidiary. In total, Dubai World's debts top $80bn, but only a portion of them is included in the restructuring process.

Unlike the property ventures, DP World is a profit-making division of Dubai World, and within days of November's debt row it was formally ring-fenced from the restructuring of other parts of the business.

DP World has strong links with the UK thanks to the £1.5bn London Gateway project it inherited when it bought the P&O shipping company in 2005. The vast plan will cover 1,500 acres, create 36,000 jobs and handle more than 3.5 million containers every year.

The plan was put on hold in March as the recession wreaked havoc in the global shipping business. The £130m committed to this will enable DP World to lay the essential foundations, but the company says it will continue to review the proposal. And although a £300m European loan has already been agreed, the scheme may need further government aid if it is to proceed.

"The London Gateway project sends a message to companies worldwide that the UK is the number one place in Europe to invest," the Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said when the initial construction funding was announced this week. "It is an excellent example of the long-term investment that the UK is looking for."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/dubais-dp-world-seeks-london-listing-1860077.html

URL of this Page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/fidayeen-terror-returns-to-srinagar-after-two-years/d/2340



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