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Islamic World News ( 11 Jan 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Ninth Church Vandalized in Malaysia as Tensions Rise

7-yr-olds groomed as suicide bombers

Lucknow Pathans have Jewish roots?

The Bible may have been written hundreds of years earlier than believed

Karachi politics takes toll: 39 dead in 3 days

Was Salahuddin behind new J&K attack?

US-Pak trust deficit will take long time to bridge: Mullen

Pak against inclusion of India in Afghan council

Lashkar threat to 10 top Indian scientists

Shourie finds Jinnah repelling

UK to ban controversial Islamist group

Af-Pak border still epicentre of al-Qaida: Obama

Israel to build fence along border with Egypt

BSF foils infiltration attempt along Indo-Pak border

Indians left stranded take refuge in Kabul gurdwara

Denmark Adds Terrorism Charge to Cartoonist Attack

Gambia launches first Muslim phone

‘Over 12,800 militants caught in 2009’

India soldier killed by fire from Pakistan Kashmir

Somali militia executes Shabaab rebel commander

Three US and one French soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Yemen prez open to talks with Qaida

UAE, Germany urge Iran to abandon nuclear stand

Three Jihad Militants Killed In Israeli Air Strike

No intention to send troops to Yemen or Somalia: Obama

Blast at Khost: CIA ignored warning signs

Britain probes allegations troops 'executed' Iraqi woman

Muslim cleric flown back to Kenya

Pak had nukes before India: AQ

What the US knew about Al Qaeda plot

Don’t Pakistanise Yemen

25-year-old Queens College graduate Charged in terror case

"Cultural Jihad" Exploits American Freedoms, Documentary Shows

Who Commands Obama? 

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

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Ninth Church Vandalized in Malaysia as Tensions Rise


January 11, 2010

BANGKOK — A ninth church was vandalized Monday in Malaysia in a series of arson attacks that have raised religious tensions surrounding a dispute over the use of the word “Allah” by Christians in this mostly Muslim nation.

“Allah” is the common term for God in Malay-language Bibles, but the government and many Muslim groups insist that the word should be reserved for use in Islam.

The attacks, which began on Friday, came after a court ruling on Dec. 31 that overturned a government ban on the use of “Allah” by Christians. That ruling has been stayed while the government appeals.

Only one of the churches has been seriously damaged, and some of the attacks were minor. In Monday’s attack, the Sidang Injil Borneo Church in the central state of Negeri Sembilan was slightly damaged when its door was burned, according to local reports.

Government officials condemned the violence Monday but defended their position, saying conditions are different in Malaysia from those in neighboring Indonesia or in Arab nations where “Allah” is the common term for God.

“These outrageous incidents are acts of extremism and designed to weaken our diverse communities’ shared commitment to strengthen racial unity,” The Home Ministry secretary, Gen. Mahmood Adam, told reporters after briefing foreign diplomats on the situation.

“They don’t understand the situation here,” he said of the diplomats. “They just want to know why it can be allowed in other countries and not here.”

He said he told them: “Be fair, you have to compare apples to apples, oranges to oranges. Our landscape is different from other countries. Malays here are different from other countries. The landscape here is different from Indonesia so we can’t compare.”

The violence has strained relations among Malays, who are mostly Muslim and who make up 60 percent of the population, and the Chinese and Indian minorities, who are Christian, Hindu and Buddhist.

Indonesia is less divided, with Muslims making up 90 percent of its population of 240 million.

Some Muslims in Malaysia say they fear that Christians are trying to win converts by using the word “Allah.” They say Muslim believers could be confused by the use.

On her blog last week, Marina Mahathir, a commentator and columnist, disparaged this view as a “copyright issue.”

She said a confident Muslim “will not walk into a church, hear a liturgy in Malay or Arabic where they use the word ‘Allah’ and then think that he or she is in a mosque.”

Business leaders have voiced concern that further attacks could threaten trade and investment.

The tourism minister, Ng Yen Yen, said foreign visitors could be frightened away, although the ministry had not received any information on the effects so far.

“This is the communication era, so information travels fast,” she said. “Tourists will choose not to visit a country faced with conflicts, especially religious conflicts.”

In a sign of the country’s racial and religious complexity, a leading Hindu organization said it would hold a candlelight vigil at a church in solidarity with the Christian minority.

Church officials urged their parishioners not to participate in the vigil.

“It sends the wrong message as if the non-Muslims are going against the Muslims,” Father Phillips Muthu of Assumption Church told, an independent online news service.


7-yr-olds groomed as suicide bombers

11 January 2010

LONDON: A number of children in Britain, as young as seven, are being groomed by jihadists as potential “terrorists” and “suicide bombers”, a

media report said on Sunday.

According to The Telegraph, UK police have identified at least 10 primary school students, aged between seven and 10, who are at risk of being radicalised and turning to violence.

Some have taken inspiration from jihadi websites or after viewing extremist material in Islamic bookshops; and one child was even referred to the programme by his teacher after writing on a school book: “I want to be a suicide bomber.”

Others were identified by their parents after suddenly adopting traditional Muslim dress or espousing extremist views, the report said.

In fact, 228 people in total, mostly teenagers and young men aged 15-24, have been referred to the anti-terrorism Channel project, a government outreach programme, after being singled out as “potentially vulnerable to violent extremism”, the newspaper said.

“For people to be identified have to be distinct changes in behaviour and warning signs. We assess each one on its own merits. There is a very small number of children aged seven, eight and nine.

“The programme is not appropriate for people who are dangerous or have passed over into violent extremism. The whole purpose is to persuade,” Craig Denholm, deputy chief constable of Surrey police, who oversees the programme, said.


Lucknow Pathans have Jewish roots?

Sachin Parashar

11 January 2010

NEW DELHI: Despite their animosity, do Jews and the Pathans in India come from the same ancestral stock — the biblical lost tribes of Israel? A

subject of speculation among academicians in the past, the Israeli government has now asked an Indian geneticist, Shahnaz Ali, to study the link between the Afridi Pathans based in the Lucknow region and certain tribes of Israel who migrated from their native place to all over Asia a few thousand years ago.

Ali, who has been granted a scholarship by Israel’s foreign ministry to work on the project, is genetically analysing blood samples of the Afridi Pathans of Malihabad near Lucknow which she collected earlier to confirm their Israeli origin. Ali is based in Haifa where she is working in collaboration with the prestigious Technion — Israel Institute of Technology.

‘‘Shahnaz’s research would be important if it does establish the genetic link between Pathans and Jews, as it could be seen as a scientific validation of a traditional belief about the Israelite origin of Pathans and can have interesting ramifications for Muslim-Jew relations in particular and the world at large,’’ Dr Navras Aafreedi, a researcher in Indo-Judaic studies and one of the first proponents of the common-origin theory in India

It is believed that the Pathan are descendants of the Ephraim tribe, one of the 10 Israelite tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel who were exiled by Assyrian invaders in 721BC. Some descendants of these lost tribes are said to have settled in India between AD1202 and AD1761, Afridi Pathans of Malihabad being one of them.

According to experts, Israel’s decision to facilitate the research could also be because of the theory supported by many that Afghanistan’s Pashtun fighters, the community from which the Taliban draw their strength, are descendants of Afridi Pathans.

‘‘Malihabad in Lucknow district is the only Pathan, or Pashtun, territory safely and easily accessible to those interested in the probable Israelite origins of Pathans. It is certainly not possible to collect DNA samples in Afghanistan or the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, where most of the Pathans or Pashtuns live,’’ Aafreedi said.

India has only a sprinkling of Pathans, primarily at places like Malihabad near Lucknow and Qayamganj in Farrukhabad, predominantly of the Afridi tribe. But these were the only Pathans, said Aafreedi, who could be approached for academic purposes.

According to Aafreedi, the Afridi Pathans in India, even though they claim Israeli origin, are just as hostile and

antagonistic towards Israel as Muslims anywhere else in the world.


The Bible may have been written hundreds of years earlier than believed

11 Jan, 2010

Washington: An Israeli professor has decoded the Hebrew inscription on a 3,000-year-old piece of pottery, which he says provides evidence that parts of the bible were written hundreds of years earlier than suspected.

The pottery shard was discovered at excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa near the Elah valley in Israel - about 18 miles west of Jerusalem.

According to Fox News, carbon dating by places it in the 10th century BC, making the shard about 1,000 years older than the Dead Sea scrolls.

Professor Gershon Galil of the University of Haifa, Israel, deciphered the ancient writing, basing his interpretation on the use of verbs and content particular to the Hebrew language.

The inscription is the earliest example of Hebrew writing found, which stands in opposition to the dating of the composition of the Bible in current research.

Prior to this discovery, it was not believed that the Bible or parts of it could have been written this long ago.

The significance of this breakthrough relates to the fact that at least some of the biblical scriptures were composed hundreds of years before the dates presented today in research and that the Kingdom of Israel already existed at that time.

The inscription itself, which was written in ink on a 15 cm X 16.5 cm trapezoid pottery shard, was discovered a year and a half ago at excavations that were carried out by Professor Yosef Garfinkel at Khirbet Qeiyafa near the Elah valley.

The inscription was dated back to the 10th century BCE, which was the period of King David's reign, but the question of the language used in this inscription remained unanswered, making it impossible to prove whether it was in fact Hebrew or another local language.

Professor Galil's deciphering of the ancient writing testifies to its being Hebrew, based on the use of verbs particular to the Hebrew language, and content specific to Hebrew culture and not adopted by any other cultures in the region.

"This text is a social statement, relating to slaves, widows and orphans. It uses verbs that were characteristic of Hebrew," Professor Galil said.

"The present inscription provides social elements similar to those found in the biblical prophecies and very different from prophecies written by other cultures postulating glorification of the gods and taking care of their physical needs," he explained. (ANI)

Copyright © Yahoo India Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved.


Karachi politics takes toll: 39 dead in 3 days

11 January 2010

KARACHI: Members of a Pakistani regional party have asked their leaders to allow them to leave the ruling coalition in response to what they said

was violence against their workers in the country’s commercial hub of Karachi.

Unidentified assailants shot dead 11 more people in Karachi, taking the death toll in clashes between workers of rival political groups to 39 over the past three days. Karachi has a long history of factional bloodshed although it has been relatively peaceful in recent years.

Karachi is home to Pakistan’s main stock market, the central bank and its two main ports. While investors in Pakistan have got used to almost daily Islamist violence in the northwest, bloodshed in Karachi has a more direct impact on sentiment. The Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), the dominant political party in Karachi, said the provincial government, dominated by president Asif Ali Zardari’s party, had failed to stop the violence in the city.

The MQM is a member of Zardari’s federal coalition government and the threat to leave the alliance could destabilise the government which is already facing criticism over corruption, a potent Taliban insurgency and a troubled economy. “The terrorists of the Lyari gang have complete protection from some elements in the Sindh government,” the MQM said in a statement late on Saturday, referring to the neighbourhood of Lyari dominated by Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Though in the PPP-led coalitions at both the federal and provincial level, the PPP and MQM have long been the main contenders for power in Karachi.


Was Salahuddin behind new J&K attack?



The role of Pakistan's ISI and Hizbul Mujahideen commander and United Jihad Council chairman Syed Salahuddin is not being ruled out in the recent terrorist attack in Srinagar aimed at disrupting the peace dialogue initiated by the government in Kashmir.

Sources said that with Pakistan -- and leaders like Salahuddin -- kept out of the dialogue process, such attacks are suspected to be a signal from pro-Pakistan elements that they cannot be ignored.

While the Centre is probing the role of "non-state actors" in Pakistan in the attack, former RAW chief and Kashmir expert A.S.

Dulat told this newspaper: "The recent quiet diplomacy between Srinagar and New Delhi, ignoring Islamabad, adds to apprehensions among `non-state actors' in Pakistan. In that sense, the recent Lal Chowk attack is a followup of the earlier murderous attack on Hurriyat leader Fazal Haq Qureshi. It boosts hardliners and sends a message to moderates not to step out of line."

"Every Kashmiri leader is prepared for a dialogue (with New Delhi)," Mr Dulat said. "Even Salahuddin will be happy to be involved." He noted a lot of recent violence in the Valley was centred around Sopore, hometown of separatist hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani. "It is not a coincidence that Geelani, dumped by Pakistan not long ago, is hogging most of the limelight among separatists in the Valley," Mr Dulat said.

One of the militants who stormed Lal Chowk last week was Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, a 24-year-old carpenter from Sopore.

Mr Dulat sought to highlight a recent speech by Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari while on a visit to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir early this year, when he talked of a "1,000-year war" and said it would be "a war of ideology that will be continued by coming generations."

Mr Dulat said that in the past few days there had been much talk of "more terrorist modules in the Valley and a revival of militancy". The government is

planning to increase security for the separatist leaders involved in the peace process, and Mr Dulat said: "There is an earnestness in the home minister's initiative which has helped him build a constituency for the Government of India in Kashmir. The Kashmiris also see in this a ray of hope for peace." But he warned: "If the moderates fail, or if Delhi fails with the Hurriyat, we will find Kashmir reverting to the days of UN resolutions and self-determination". At the same time, he said New Delhi had no alternative but to resume dialogue with Pakistan at some point. "But the government also needs to continue its confidencebuilding measures to help build the credibility of the moderates, as much as the Hurriyat must realise that it needs credibility in Delhi," Mr Dulat added.


US-Pak trust deficit will take long time to bridge: Mullen

11 January 2010

WASHINGTON: Acknowledging that trust deficit existed between the US and Pakistan, America's top military general today said it would take a long

time for both countries to bridge that gap.

"We have a long history of support for Pakistan. And we've also left them hanging several times. So, it's going to take, I think, a long time to fill up that trust gap," Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff told CNN.

"That's one of the reasons that I go there so often to understand really through their eyes, what their challenges are and try to rebuild that trust," Mullen, who has visited Pakistan as many as 14 times in the recent past, said.

Mullen, who was the first top US official to publicly say that the leadership of the Afghan Taliban is concentrated entirely in Pakistan, said he has seen a substantial change in the country's attitude towards the Taliban and al Qaeda.

"I would say it is shifting," he said, asked if there was any change in Pakistan's attitude towards militants.

Mullen said lately there has been a lot of focus against militancy, commending Pakistan Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani for conducting the "challenging" military operations.

"These are discussions I've had with General Kayani... And I've met with him many, many times," he said.

"I see more and more focus on this... He just finished his ninth campaign over the last year, year-and-a-half, up in South Waziristan -- very challenging for him. He's shifted his forces over there, learning counterinsurgency," Mullen said.

The situation in the troubled Swat, he said, was "completely reversed," as against a year ago.


Pak against inclusion of India in Afghan council

Rezaul H. Laskar


Jan. 10: Pakistan has expressed its reservations over the inclusion of India in a regional council on Afghanistan proposed by Britain, even as it asked to maintain the "historic neutrality" to ensure that Afghan soil is not used against any of its neighbours.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani conveyed Pakistan’s concerns to visiting British foreign secretary David Miliband during a meeting on Saturday, the Dawn newspaper quoted its sources as saying.

Mr Gilani said the move to include India might compromise Pakistan’s interest. He also discussed the alleged use of Afghan soil by India for "subversive activities in Pakistan" and asked allied forces to address Islamabad’s concerns. "The forthcoming London conference on Afghanistan must exclusively focus on Afghanistan," Mr Gilani was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his office.

"The historic neutrality of Afghanistan should be maintained with the commitment that Afghan soil will not be used against any of its neighbours," he added.

Mr Miliband told Mr Gilani that UK considered Pakistan’s role as Afghanistan’s neighbour as vital and assured him that Islamabad’s interests will not be compromised.

United Kingdom is actively working on setting up a "regional stabilisation council" after hosting an international conference on Afghanistan, scheduled to be held in London on January 28. The creation of a regional framework is being projected by UK as a key theme of the London meet.


Lashkar threat to 10 top Indian scientists

January 11th, 2010

Jan. 10: Security around 10 scientists working in sensitive areas has been tightened in the wake of threats from Pakistan-based terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT).

The scientists, who have not been identified, are working in crucial areas of nuclear, defence and space fields. The names of these scientists was mentioned by Sarfaraz Nawaz, who was deported from Muscat, during interrogation and which was further corroborated by T. Nazir, LeT’s pointsman in South India.

Sources said on Sunday that following corroboration of the threats, a security review was carried out after which it was decided to enhance the security of the scientists as a precautionary measure.

While Nawaz (33) was deported and brought back by security agencies from Muscat, Nazir was arrested along the Indo-Bangladesh border in Northeast recently. Both of them had played a key role in the Bengaluru blasts.

Nazir allegedly had a direct hand in executing the blasts in 2008 and is accused of having supplied electronic components used by Indian Mujahideen to fabricate improvised explosive devices used in other strikes.

Based on the information from the interrogation of US terror suspects David C. Headley and Tahawwur Rana, security around the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre and some Bollywood studios in Mumbai have already been tightened.


Shourie finds Jinnah repelling

Jan 10, 2010

Mumbai: He might have got perilously close to facing disciplinary action in the BJP for siding with Jaswant Singh, but Arun Shourie does not share the expelled leader's view on Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah whom he finds repelling.

"He unleashed the armed thugs shoring up the Muslim League in his Direct Action against the Hindus. He paralysed the interim government through Liyaqat Ali. From 1935 onwards, he worked stealthily and continuously with the British to thwart every scheme that might have preserved a united India," Shourie says in his latest book.

In his 25th book titled "We Must Have No Price And Everyone Must Know That We Have No Price", the former Editor of The Indian Express and The Times of India and ex-union minister "profoundly" disagrees with Jaswant Singh's assessment of Jinnah.

"Ever since I read the multi-volume Jinnah Papers brought out by the National Archives of Pakistan -- the two-volume Foundations of Pakistan and four-volume History of Partition of India, he (Jinnah) seemed to me to be a pinched, narrow-minded, diabolic schemer, one who used and was used by the British to divide India," the BJP leader says.

Voicing his contempt for Jinnah, Shourie goes on to say, "His (Jinnah's) contemptuous characterisations of India, of Hindus, of our national movement and its leaders make one's blood boil to this day."

The book released yesterday touches upon a variety of issues ranging from internal security, India's Tibet policy, reforms in higher education and climate change. There is also a section containing Shourie's "Alice in Blunderland" interview with Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta, besides one on Jaswant Singh's book "Jinnah-India, Partition, Independence". Attempts to portray Jinnah as secular also fails to impress Shourie who says, "That he talked Islam and drank whiskey, ate ham, and the rest, that he hardly knew Quran to say nothing of living by it, do not prove his secularism to me; they make him out to be a hypocrite."

"In a word, far from being attracted by Jinnah, as my senior, Jaswant Singh is, I am repelled by him," he says. Shourie also differed with those "who still dream of a grand confederation of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh" and who talk of "Akhand Bharat".

"The best thing that has happened for us is the Partition. It has given us breathing time, a little time to resurrect and save our pluralist culture and religions. Had it not happened, we would have been bullied and thrashed and swamped by Islamic fundamentalists," he says.


UK to ban controversial Islamist group

January 10, 2010

London, England (CNN) -- Britain is set to ban a Muslim group that recently caused outrage by proposing a demonstration in the town that receives the bodies of British war dead killed abroad, the Home Office said Sunday.

The ban would prevent Al-Muhajiroun, also known as Islam4UK, from having meetings or raising money. Attending a meeting or being a member of Al-Muhajiroun or Islam4UK would be a criminal offense, a Home Office spokesman said. The spokesman declined to be named, in line with government policy.

"Proscription is a tough but necessary power to tackle terrorism," said the Home Office, which is responsible for domestic security in the United Kingdom.

Two offshoots of Al-Muhajiroun, Al-Ghurabaa and Saviour Sect Group, were banned in July 2006.

The ban should come into force in a matter of "days, not weeks," the spokesman said. It would require approval from both houses of Parliament.

The group's leader, controversial British Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary, has been threatening to stage a march as a protest against the war in Afghanistan.

Choudary -- informed of the government's plans by CNN -- said the Home Office could not shut him down.

"We're not going to stop because the government bans an organization," he told CNN by phone. "If that means setting up another platform under another label, then so be it."

A ban "will just make the use of those names ... illegal, but Muslims everywhere are obliged to work collectively to establish the Islamic State and Sharia law in the UK or wherever they are -- those things can't change," he added.

Asked if he was surprised or disappointed by the decision, Choudary said "No, not at all, we expect this and much more than that."

His Web site appeared to have been shut down as of Sunday, apparently by Islam4UK itself.

In place of a full Web site, now contains only a new, relatively conciliatory letter posted Saturday and labeled "An Appeal to Families of British Soldiers to have an Honest Dialogue," and a note saying "Islam4UK Back Soon."

It was not clear when the Web site was scaled back.

Full report at:


Af-Pak border still epicentre of al-Qaida: Obama

11 January

WASHINGTON: The Pakistan-Afghanistan border remains the epicentre of al-Qaida activities, US President Barack Obama has said, ruling out sending

troops to Yemen where the group has become a concern of late.

"The border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan remains the epicentre of al-Qaida," Obama said in an interview to People magazine, the excerpts of which were released today.

At the same time he acknowledged that al-Qaida's branch in Yemen has become "a more serious problem", but ruled out sending troops to Yemen at this point of time.

"I have no intention of sending US boots on the ground in these regions," Obama said.

"I have every intention of working with our international partners in lawless areas around the globe to make sure that we're keeping the American people safe," Obama said.

US has currently deployed a large number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, with Obama saying the war's focus is the latter country. The number of US soldiers in Afghanistan is set to cross the 100,000 mark.

al-Qaida's activities in Yemen came to prominence following the failed attempt to bomb a US plane by a Nigerian national, whose responsibility was later claimed by al-Qaida in Arabian Peninsula, which has its base in Yemen.

The President's words were echoed by his top military generals too and the CENTCOM Commander General David Petraeus, told CNN that Af-Pak, not Yemen, remains the most important location for the war against al-Qaida.


Israel to build fence along border with Egypt

11 January

JERUSALEM: Israel will close off its southern border with Egypt by building a fence to prevent the entry of "infiltrators and terrorists", Prime

Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

"I decided to close Israel's southern border to infiltrators and terrorists. This is a strategic decision to ensure the Jewish and democratic character of the state of Israel," Netanyahu said.

Israeli police estimate that some 100-200 labour immigrants, refugees and criminals cross illegally into Israel through the border with Egypt each week.

The prime minister's office confirmed that the barrier will include both a fence and technological measures such as radars. It clarified that while Israel "cannot allow the arrival of thousands of illegal workers via the southern border" it will remain open to war refugees.

In the first stage, the fence will be built along the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip as well as in the area of the southern Israeli city of Eilat. Radars to detect human movement will be deployed along the entire border.

In addiction to this measure, Netanyahu announced that his government will issue in the coming weeks a draft legislation against employers of illegal workers.


BSF foils infiltration attempt along Indo-Pak border

11 January 2010

JAMMU: In the fourth infiltration bid in a week, militants triggered a blast to cut into the border fencing but BSF troops foiled their attempt

after a fierce gunbattle between the two sides in Akhnoor sector of Jammu district in the wee hours today.

Taking advantage of the dense fog in the area, a group of militants triggered a blast near the border fencing in Alfa Machel border outpost in Akhnoor, 35 km from here, a senior BSF official said

BSF troops of 122 battalion fired at the infiltrating militants and the subsequent gunbattle between the two sides continued for over an hour. The militants then fled back.

As the fence has been cut, a major search operation has been launched in the area to find out whether any militant has managed to sneak in.

This is the fourth infiltration attempt along the International Border and Line of Control (LoC) in a week.

The first infiltration bid this year was foiled by BSF at Narianpur Border Out Post in Ramgarh sub-sector of Samba district on January 4.

It was followed by another infiltration bid along Line of Control (LoC) in Balakote area of Poonch district on January 8.

A patrolling party of BSF also foiled another infiltration bid after a brief firefight when militants after cutting the fence had come inside in the forward area of Garkhal in Pargwal belt of Akhnoor tehsil in Jammu district yesterday.


Indians left stranded take refuge in Kabul gurdwara



Dozens of Indian rs have been forced to take refuge in a Kabul gurdwara after job agents who promised lucrative jobs disappeared, leaving the men penniless and without passports.

Around 200 stranded men were crowded into the Karte Parwan Gurdwara, centre of Afghanistan's small Sikh community, last month. Many flew home after their families scraped together funds for flights and travel documents, but over 30 are still stuck there.

Subhedar Khandu from Mumbai is one of them. He said he paid Rs 1.5 lakh to an agent who promised he would earn $800 (over Rs 36,000) a month doing construction in Afghanistan. "I took out a loan to pay the agent, who I met in Bombay. I thought I would get a one-year contact," said Khandu. Instead, when he arrived in November, he was locked up in a house with other labourers, given only one meal per day and no work or salary. When his visa expired a month later, the agent vanished and the men turned to their embassy in desperation.

"We were locked in a kind of camp for one month. This is much better but we have nothing to do still, we just sleep a lot."

Contractors supplying foreign troops, who have been fighting in Afghanistan for over eight years, often rely on foreign migrant workers for menial but comparatively well-paid jobs in construction, food preparation and other fields.

Many of those stranded had been transferred from Dubai, a popular destination for poor Indians who often pay hefty fees to secure work earning much more than they could at home.

"About six months earlier,

we had stray cases of Indians sent by unscrupulous agents to Afghanistan from Gulf countries, mainly from Dubai, on the false promise of remunerative employment," the Indian embassy said in a statement. "This trickle suddenly turned to a veritable flood, including also some cases of use of fraudulent visas," the statement added.

The embassy is helping cover the costs of feeding the men, and has also sent doctors to check their health. Diplomats helped arrange for the men stuck in Afghanistan to stay at the gurdwara. Gurdwaras traditionally offer free food and in Kabul a central hall has also been turned into an adhoc refugee camp.

A mix of men from Rajasthan, Mahrashtra, Andhra Pradesh and other states now spend most of the day huddled round a brazier or dozing under blankets waiting for rescue. They are trained as carpenters, electricians and masons, but work is short in Afghanistan and they worry about security problems if they go out.

The embassy says it is doing as much as it can to help this batch and prevent a repeat of the fiasco.


Denmark Adds Terrorism Charge to Cartoonist Attack

January 11, 2010

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish prosecutors have added a terrorism charge to two charges of attempted murder against a Somali man who broke into the home of a cartoonist whose 2005 drawing of the Prophet Mohammad sparked global Muslim outrage.

The 28-year-old man, who police have said has links to al Qaeda and other militant organizations, was charged with attempting to kill cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and a police officer on January 1 in the town of Aarhus.

Marian Thomsen, chief prosecutor with the East Jutland Police, said the charges were expanded "because trying to kill Kurt Westergaard had a bigger purpose than just killing him."

She declined to elaborate on the new charge which she said has yet to be put before a court.

Under Danish law, certain crimes can bring penalties of up to life in prison if they are deemed to be carried out with the intention of terrorism. The attempted murder charges alone would not lead to such a severe sentence.

The man, whose name has not been released, broke into Westergaard's home armed with an axe and a knife 10 days ago, but the illustrator fled to a safe room and was unhurt.

Police who responded to an alarm shot and wounded the man in the leg and hand and then arrested him after he threw the axe but narrowly missed one officer, police have said.

The man has denied the charges of attempted murder but has not denied being at Westergaard's home.

His attorney, Niels Christian Strauss, could not be reached immediately but he told Danish news agency Ritzau that he would not comment on the terrorism charge.

Danish police intelligence have accused the man of having links with al Qaeda and with Somalia's al-Shabaab militant group and have called the break-in at Westergaard's home a "terror-related" assassination attempt.

Westergaard's 2005 picture of the Prophet Mohammad with a bomb in his turban was one of 11 caricatures that infuriated many Muslims and led to death threats.

Most Muslims consider any depiction of Mohammad as offensive, and when other newspapers reprinted the caricatures in 2006 it triggered violence in several countries.


Gambia launches first Muslim phone

News - Africa news

The Gambia GSM mobile company, QCell, has introduced its latest product, the QCell Muslim Phone, into the country's telecommunication industry.

The Muslim Phone, which is dedicated to the former Imam of the Pipeline Mosque, the late Imam Mass Jah, has an Azaan alarm, FM radio, colour display and a long battery life.

The Muslim Phone was launched in Malaysia last week for the first time in the world and with the vision of the QCell Company in Banjul, the phone arrived in the

Gambia's telecommunication market, being the first of its kind not only in the country but in Africa.

Speaking at a press conference, QCell's Chief Executive Director, Mr. Muhammed Jah, emphasised that whenever records are broken, especially a record which will positively affect the lives of the people, it will be worthwhile to recognise and celebrate the event of "the record breaking.

'This is good because it will set a new challenge for the rest to try to break the record and that is what brings about development. It creates ambition for the young and growing and increases the quality of life for our people,' Jah obse rved.

He remarked: 'today, another record has been broken not only in the Gambia but in the whole of Africa. We are committed that QCell was not going to be just an other GSM operator. The idea of bringing to The Gambia 'the highest and the best' in telecommunication technology is our goal.'

Jah stressed that nothing short of the best would do as they aim to place themselves as industry standards in the Gambia and as such, their goal and challenges are very high.

He noted that the President's Vision 2020, the Silicon Valley project and many other initiatives were timely responses to the technological challenges of the present age.

According to him, by all standards of reckoning, QCell is what the Americans call a game changer, as it continues to raise the bar in terms of its technology, services and products.

He reiterated that QCell is the only 3G network in The Gambia, with facilities and services that no other operator can offer.

"With a QCell SIM card you can have fast internet access throughout the length and breath of the Gambia, from Banjul to Koina; video call service that allows you to send and receive video, music and photos from one mobile to another, this product is particularly interesting among young people.

"QChat service is a social networking application which allows our customers to have fun chats in groups or in private; QTunes allows you to select the music you want people to listen to when they call you," Jah explained.

He added that on occasions one may find the need to switch off his mobile phones but with the QAlert, one will never have to miss a call, as the service is there to alert one of missed calls; QWAP is another fantastic facility, which allows those with low-end, non-3G phones to access the net and enter the world of rich content, including videos, sport and news.



‘Over 12,800 militants caught in 2009’

By Amir Wasim

11 Jan, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Over 12,800 suspected militants, 75 of them belonging to Al Qaeda and 9,739 local Taliban or members of other banned groups, were arrested during operations conducted by law-enforcement agencies and armed forces across the country in 2009, says a report issued here on Sunday.

The report titled “Pakistan Security Report 2009” released by Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), an independent think-tank, said that compared to 313 operational attacks conducted in 2008, 596 were carried out by security forces in 2009.

“If the casualties in terrorist attacks, operational attacks by the security forces and their clashes with the militants, inter-tribal clashes and the cross-border attacks of the US and Nato forces in Fata are counted, the overall casualties amount to 12,632 people dead and 12,815 injured.”

In 2009, the report says, 2,586 terrorist, insurgent and sectarian-related incidents were reported that killed 3,021 people and injured 7,334.

The highest number of 1,173 attacks was reported from the NWFP, followed by 792 in Balochistan and 559 in Fata; 46 attacks took place in Punjab, 30 in Sindh, 12 in Islamabad and five each in Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

The Taliban seem to have changed their tactics and they are now carrying out coordinated attacks, instead of using a lone suicide bomber. Part of that change was evident in choosing different and increasingly civilian targets, such as a university in Islamabad and markets in Lahore and Peshawar, the attack on the military’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, and drive-by shootings targeting senior military officers in Islamabad.

Although the number of terrorist attacks and casualties increased in 2009, the government forces were able to inflict heavy damage on terrorist networks and infrastructure in Fata and adjacent areas.


India soldier killed by fire from Pakistan Kashmir


An Indian paramilitary soldier was fatally shot in India's portion of Kashmir on Monday by fire from Pakistan's side of the disputed region, the Indian army said.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Biplab Nath called the shooting "from a Pakistani military post" a violation of a cease-fire in the troubled region.

Indian and Pakistani troops have observed a truce in Kashmir since November 2003. However, there have been isolated shooting incidents in the past.

Monday's shooting occurred in Poonch sector, 110 miles (180 kilometers) southwest of Srinagar, the main city in the Indian portion of Kashmir, Nath said.

"We exercised restraint and are lodging a protest (with Pakistan) at an appropriate level," he said.

There was no immediate Pakistani comment.

More than a dozen militant groups have fought Indian forces since 1989, seeking independence for the Muslim-majority state or its merger with Pakistan.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training Muslim militants, a charge Islamabad denies.

India and Pakistan have fought two wars over control of Kashmir _ a territory claimed by both in its entirety _ since their independence from Britain in 1947.


Somali militia executes Shabaab rebel commander

By Abdi Sheikh

Jan 11, 2010

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A pro-government militia in Somalia executed a commander from the al Shabaab rebel group in public on Sunday, ramping up the stakes in battles for central regions of the failed Horn of Africa state.

The Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca militia, which is aligned with Somalia's weak Western-backed government, has been fighting al Shabaab insurgents in central Galagadud region. The United States says al Shabaab is al Qaeda's proxy in the country.

Ahlu Sunna's spokesman said it had captured many rebels during clashes last week around Galgadud's capital Dusamareb, including the commander who was sentenced to die by firing squad after he refused to renounce al Shabaab's hardline ideology.

"We don't normally kill al Shabaab members. We arrest them and make them understand that Islam means peace. We have detained and then released many of them," the spokesman, Sheikh Abdullahi Sheikh Abu Yusuf, told Reuters by telephone.

"This commander insisted that all people were infidels except his group ... We will execute al Shabaab members who insist that it can be right to kill the innocent. What else are we supposed to do to those who believe they will go to paradise for killing us and the whole human race?"

Al Shabaab and another rebel group, Hizbul Islam, want to impose a harsh version of sharia law across the nation, and have previously carried out executions, stonings and amputations in southern and central regions under their control.

Sunday's was the first known execution by Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca. It came as residents said Somali government troops and Ahlu Sunna fighters also battled Hizbul Islam insurgents for hours for control of another strategic central town, Baladwayne.

The rebels want to extend their area of control from the south towards the pro-government northeast region of Puntland. The U.N.-backed administration of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed controls just a few blocks of the coastal capital Mogadishu.

Fighting has killed 19,000 Somalis and driven 1.5 million from their homes since the start of 2007, and Western security agencies say the country has become a safe haven for militants, including foreign jihadists, who use it to plot attacks.

© Thomson Reuters 2010 All rights reserved


Three US and one French soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Jan 11, 2010

Three US soldiers have been killed while fighting insurgents in southern Afghanistan, Nato officials say.

Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) gave no further details about the incident.

In a separate attack, a French soldier was killed and another seriously injured north-east of Kabul, the French president's office said.

It said the soldiers were patrolling with Afghan troops in the Alasay valley, some 80km (50 miles) of Kabul.

France is among the top five contributors to Isaf operations and has almost 3,000 troops deployed, mainly in eastern Afghanistan.

Taliban militants often target Afghan and foreign troops in the south, where the insurgency is at its strongest.

On Sunday, an American service member and two Afghan road construction workers were killed in separate attacks in southern Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, a suicide bomber killed seven CIA agents at America's Forward Operating Base Chapman near the eastern Afghan city of Khost.

President Barack Obama announced last month that an additional 30,000 US troops would be deployed quickly in Afghanistan to fight the insurgency.

The reinforcements will take the total number of US troops in Afghanistan to more than 100,000.


Yemen prez open to talks with Qaida

11 January 2010

SAN’A: Yemen’s president said on Sunday, he is ready to open a dialogue with al-Qaida fighters who lay down their weapons and renounce violence,

despite US pressure to crack down on the terror group.

The United States has complained in the past that Yemen struck deals with al-Qaida fighters and freed them from prison after they promised not to engage in terrorism. Some later broke those promises and are now believed to be active in al-Qaida’s offshoot in Yemen.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh vowed that his government is “determined to stand up to the challenges” of al-Qaida and that his security forces will track down as many fighters as possible among those who refuse to stop violence. But he left the door open for negotiations.


UAE, Germany urge Iran to abandon nuclear stand

11 January 2010

ABU DHABI(UAE): The United Arab Emirates and Germany has said that Iran must do more to allay the international community's concerns about its

nuclear programme or fresh sanctions would be likely.

Following a meeting in Abu Dhabi, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan yesterday said he hoped Iran would cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog.

"We are very concerned about Iran's non-transparent behaviour with regard to its nuclear programme," he said after talks with his visiting German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle.

"That is based on its lack of cooperation with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). We want more active cooperation from Iran. That would be in the interests of the world, the region and Iran itself."

Sheikh Abdullah noted that the UN Security Council could soon pass a fourth round of sanctions to try to force Iran to abandon sensitive nuclear work, which the West fears is a cover for an atomic weapons programme.

Tehran denies wanting to acquire a nuclear bomb. "We hope that Iran will behave so cooperatively that sanctions will not be necessary," the UAE foreign minister said.

Westerwelle, who is on a tour of Gulf states and whose country is one of six working to convince Tehran to cooperate with the IAEA, said he and Abdullah were in "broad agreement."


Three Jihad Militants Killed In Israeli Air Strike

11 Jan, 2010

 (RTTNews) - An Israel Air Force (IAF) strike on the northern Gaza Strip is reported to have killed three Palestinian militants and critically injured another, as they were attempting to fire rockets into Israel.

Israeli aircraft struck the militants of the Islamic Jihad outfit, around 7 P.M. (0500 GMT) Sunday night when they were spotted while setting up rocket-launchers east of the city of Dir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.

One person killed was Awad Nasir, a 29-year-old resident of the city who was a senior commander of the Al-Quds Brigade, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad. His aides Hassan al-Qatarawi, 22, of Bureij refugee camp and Hudhaifa al-Hams, 23, of Nuseirat refugee camp, were also killed in the strike.

The air raid came hours after four mortar rounds hit southern Israel without causing casualties.

It also came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved plans to erect a wall along a part of Israel's border with Egypt and install advanced surveillance equipment to keep out illegal migrants and militants.

Hamas and the smaller factions are worried that the barrier will severely limit the ability of Gazans to smuggle weapons and other goods into the area.

Ten Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes in the past two weeks, which witnessed dozens of rocket and mortar fire attacks launched at Israel from Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Several high-ranking Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) officers doubted that Hamas was behind the recent rocket and mortar fire, although last week the Islamist group did slacken efforts to prevent smaller, more radical factions from launching projectiles into Israel.

These officials said despite the apparent escalation of violence, Hamas was not interested in a wider confrontation with Israel after the severe pounding it received during the Gaza war, and were expecting calm would soon return to the Gaza border.


No intention to send troops to Yemen or Somalia: Obama

11 January 2010

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama said he has no intention of sending American troops to Yemen or


Obama told People magazine that he still believes the center of al-Qaida activity is along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Terrorism concerns are rising in Yemen, at the bottom of the Arabian peninsula, and in Somalia, critically located along key global shipping routes to Mideast oil fields. US officials say they believe the suspect in the Detroit airliner attack received al-Qaida training in Yemen.

Obama said in the interview conducted on Friday that he doesn't rule out any possibilities. Still, he says that for countries like Yemen and Somalia, he believes working with international partners is most effective for now.


Blast at Khost: CIA ignored warning signs

11 January 2010

WASHINGTON: The bombing of the CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan is being regarded as the costliest mistake in the agency’s history, and critics

have said that the agency wasn’t paying enough attention to the counterintelligence threat posed by al-Qaida.

CIA veterans also cite that a series of warning signs against Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a Jordanian doctor who killed seven CIA operatives when he blew himself up at base, was ignored by the agency. “They didn’t get lucky, they got good and we got sloppy all over Afgha-nistan,” a veteran said.

Criticism has narrowed on how Balawi bypassed checkpoints and was allowed onto the frontline base, which he had never visited before.


Britain probes allegations troops 'executed' Iraqi woman

London, January 11, 2010

British military investigators will examine allegations about the death of a 62-year-old Iraqi woman who was caught up in crossfire during a raid on her home, the Ministry of Defence said on Monday.

One of Sabiha Khudur Talib's sons claims British soldiers were involved in "torturing" and "executing" the grandmother in 2006.

Police in the Iraqi city of Basra reportedly concluded that the woman's body was dumped on a roadside in a British body bag and documents detailing their findings are to be passed to British ministers, The Independent newspaper said.

The newspaper reported that police had established there was a bullet hole in her abdomen and her face bore injuries consistent with torture.

The MoD confirmed the woman was shot by British troops when she was caught in crossfire, but deny she was murdered or tortured.

Her family say the house was raided in the early hours of November 15, 2006 and they saw Talib being led away live by soldiers afterwards.

Another of her sons, Karim Gatii Karim Al-Maliki, reportedly fired a rifle into a ceiling to scare off what he believed were criminal intruders and he was killed when the soldiers fired into the house.

Lawyers for the family demanded a full inquiry.

Phil Shiner, of Public Interest Lawyers, told The Independent: "The possibility that British forces in 2006 could have tortured and executed an innocent elderly woman should shock the nation.

"Such an allegation must be immediately independently investigated as a possible murder."

The case is one of 47 claims of abuse and torture lodged by Iraqis represented by Shiner which are being investigated by the British government.

A spokesman for the MoD said: "A post-incident report from 1st Battalion the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment (1PWRR) describes an incident on 15 November 2006 in which soldiers from the unit were conducting an arrest operation when an Iraqi national, Karim Gatii Karim, opened fire on them.

"One British soldier was wounded and Karim Gatii Karim was shot dead. Mr Karim's mother, Sabiha Khudur Talib was regrettably wounded in the crossfire and, despite attempts to save her, she sadly died of her wounds.

"She was not tortured by British Forces and her body was not dumped by the roadside, it was returned to Iraqi authorities.

"The Royal Military Police will be investigating allegations made by Mr Karim's brother and attempting to ascertain exactly where Sabiha Khudur Talib was treated and by whom she was pronounced dead."

The spokesman added: "120,000 British troops served in Iraq and the vast, vast majority conducted themselves to the highest standards of behaviour, displaying integrity and selfless commitment."


Muslim cleric flown back to Kenya

January 11th, 2010

A radical Jamaican-born Muslim cleric who led a British mosque attended by convicted terrorists was flown back to Kenya after an attempt to deport him failed, officials said.

Nigerian authorities refused to grant a transit visa for Sheik Abdullah el-Faisal and instead sent him back to Kenya on Sunday, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to release the information.

Al-Amin Kimathi, head coordinator for the Muslim Human Rights Forum, said el-Faisal was now being held in a Nairobi prison. He said el-Faisal had been invited to Kenya by Muslim youths to give lectures.

Kenya deported el-Faisal on Thursday, as the Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang said the cleric posed a serious threat to the country's security.

Kajwang said the cleric had chosen Gambia as a destination, and Gambia accepted, after attempts to fly him to Jamaica failed. Britain, South Africa, Tanzania and the US have declined to grant el-Faisal a transit visa that would allow him to connect to flights to Jamaica, which has said it would accept him but would keep a close eye on him.

El-Faisal served four years in Britain for inciting murder and stirring racial hatred by urging followers to kill Americans, Hindus and Jews. Britain deported him to Jamaica in 2007.


Pak had nukes before India: AQ

January 10th, 2010

Islamabad, Jan. 9: Pakistan’s disgraced scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan said on Saturday that he made Pakistan nuclear weapons 14 years prior to India.

“I made the nuclear bomb 14 years prior to that of Indian bombs,” he said while addressing the Rawalpindi district bar, near Islamabad. The father of Pakistani nuclear bomb said that it was not an easy task to make the atomic bomb “in a small period of six years.”

Expressing his grievances and the loss of his six years in detention, Dr Khan said that he would have been of great benefit for the country in that period. “I would have done a lot for the betterment of this nation, would have given significant solution for the power shortage and poor education system,” Dr Khan added. He said no judge could give the verdict against the nation and country now. He said the judiciary has realised that nation stands behind it in right decisions. He said Pakistan and India are the only countries where food and medicines are adulterated.

“It is the duty of public instead of government and clerics should also play their due role in this connection,” he added.

Dr Khan said, “The enemy could only make noises but could not harm the country.”

He had confessed in 2004 that he exported nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya. Dr Khan was house arrested but recently the PPP-led government released lifted the restrictions on him. Dr Khan now says the confession had been made “in the national interest” but denied its contents were true.


What the US knew about Al Qaeda plot

By Dan De Luce

11 Jan, 2010

WASHINGTON: US spy agencies in recent months picked up clues pointing to an Al Qaeda attack out of Yemen and were moving to disrupt it, but a crucial piece of information fell through the cracks.

Intelligence officials describe a trail of warning signs for the botched Christmas Day attack on a US-bound airliner dating back to August, when the National Security Agency reportedly intercepted chatter among Al Qaeda operatives in Yemen.

The NSA, which runs an elaborate global eavesdropping operation, heard conversations from Al Qaeda figures describing a plot to recruit a Nigerian man for a terrorist attack, the New York Times reported.

The discussions about a possible attack coincided with an alarming demonstration of Al Qaeda’s growing strength in Yemen.

The same month, a bomber crossed from Yemen and staged a suicide attack against Saudi Arabia’s anti-terror chief, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

The attack failed but Saudi officials in October reportedly told President Barack Obama’s top counter-terrorism adviser that the bomber had sewn explosives into his underwear, the same tactic used in the Christmas Day plot.

In September, the head of the National Counterterrorism Centre, Michael Leiter, warned a senate hearing that Al Qaeda had gained a dangerous foothold in Yemen and was turning it into a regional base for operations.

Sometime in October or November, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab – the father of the Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up Northwest Flight 253 – approached US embassy officials in Abuja and told them he was worried his son had become radicalised by extremists in Yemen, the Times wrote.

His son’s name, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was passed on to intelligence agencies – including the National Counterterrorism Centre – and entered into a vast data base of individuals with suspected links to militants or terrorist groups, officials said.

But as the father apparently gave no indication that his son planned an attack, US authorities did not add Abdulmutallab’s name to a higher level terror watch list or to the “No Fly List” designed to prevent suspected terrorists from boarding aircraft.

Moreover, State Department officials remained unaware that Abdulmutallab had a valid US visa due to a misspelling of his name, and therefore did not review his visa status.

By mid-December, senior intelligence officials – hoping to derail a possible attack in the works – reportedly ordered two waves of missile strikes against Al Qaeda training camps in Yemen.

Full report at:


Don’t Pakistanise Yemen

11 Jan, 2010

Yemen, a second-tier preoccupation for terrorism trackers in the west until Christmas day 2009, has now been elevated to the highest-risk category. According to John Brennan, President Obama’s counterterrorism advisor, it was Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni cleric of the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who helped radicalise, train, and equip Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to attack Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit. Other terror attacks that are being attributed to the Yemen-based AQAP include the November 2009 killing of 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, by United States Army major Nidal Malik Hasan; and the August 2009 assassination attempt on Prince Mohammed bin Nayef of the Saudi royal family. The most unmistakable sign of a spike in the perceived terror threat from Yemen was the temporary closure of the embassies of the U.S., Britain, and France in Sana’a this week. These threats to western interests have come on the back of the U.S.-Yemen allied offensive against AQAP in parts of Sana’a and in Abyan, al-Jawf, and Shabwah provinces.

The joint military operations of December reflect a growing yet tenuous bond between Washington and Sana’a. Financial assistance is of course at the heart of the relationship. The U.S. is expected substantially to increase the $70 million in security aid it provided Yemen last year. Its development assistance is poised to reach $120 million over three years. But these levels pale into insignificance compared with the $2 billion that neighbouring Saudi Arabia provides. As the U.S. and Saudi Arabia pump and more funds into Yemen in pursuit of their own foreign policy goals, there is a risk that they will ignore an important fact: political power in the country is still significantly beyond the control of its government, headed by President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Not only is the President embattled with conflicts involving Shia Houthi rebels in north Yemen and discontented secessionists of the south; his authority is further undermined by dwindling oil reserves and allegations of corruption against his administration. However, it is President Saleh’s occasional tolerance of Sunni jihadists and his past reliance on them in his fight against the northern Shiite rebels that must be most worrying for Washington. In this fraught polity, ever-increasing surges of American aid will distort the domestic balance of power and deny Yemenis the political space they need to resolve these complex issues. In turn, the U.S. may itself pay a heavy price for the Pakistanisation of Yemen.


A 25-year-old Queens College graduate Charged in terror case

William K. Rashbaum

A 25-year-old Queens College graduate who travelled to Pakistan in 2008 with the Denver airport shuttle bus driver indicted last year in a Qaeda bomb plot was charged on Saturday with conspiring to commit murder in a foreign country and receiving training from a terrorist group.

The charges against the man, Adis Medunjanin, 25, contained in an indictment unsealed early Saturday afternoon in federal court in Brooklyn, did not relate directly to the bomb plot in which the shuttle bus driver, Najibullah Zazi, 24, was charged in September.

A Bosnian-born naturalised American citizen, the black-bearded Medunjanin pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on the charges, a four-minute proceeding before Magistrate Viktor V. Pohorelsky. Medunjanin faces a maximum of life in prison if convicted.

“We have declared very loudly that he is not guilty,” said Medunjanin’s lawyer, Robert C. Gottlieb.

Medunjanin is one of two men who made the trip to Pakistan with Zazi, who told FBI agents in September that he had received training there from the al-Qaeda in weapons and explosives, according to court papers filed in Zazi’s case. Justice Department officials have called that plot the most serious threat to the U.S. since the Sept. 11 attacks. Medunjanin and the other man, Zarein Ahmedzay, 24, have been under intense scrutiny by FBI agents and police detectives since the investigation of a plot burst into public view in mid-September.

On Thursday, shortly after investigators seized Medunjanin’s passport at the Queens apartment where he lives with his parents, he rammed his car into another motorist near the Whitestone Bridge, law enforcement officials said. According to the officials, he had just used his cell phone to dial 911, and, invoking Allah, exclaimed, “We love death more than you love life!” — © 2010 The New York Times News Service


"Cultural Jihad" Exploits American Freedoms, Documentary Shows

By Kevin Mooney

Americans who remain blithely unaware of the subtle, sophisticated techniques radical Islamists have used to successfully penetrate U.S. institutions should be introduced to a new documentary that explores the historical development of Jihad.

The film calls attention to a 15 page document FBI agents uncovered back in 2003 authored by the Muslim Brotherhood that outlines goals and strategies for radical Islamists operating inside the U.S. The movement's infiltration of American society includes a variety of avenues such as the manipulation of academic institutions by way of large donations, the establishment of secret communities and training camps and the radicalization of prisons and mosques, the documentary shows.

"The Third Jihad: Radical Islam's Vision for America" is particularly relevant in light of President Obama's callow response to recent terror attacks and the administration's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the admitted 9/11 mastermind, in New York City. As the film explains, there is now a concerted effort on the part of Islamists to exploit western freedoms as part of a "cultural jihad."

 Zuhdi Jasser, president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), serves as the primary narrator. He formed the organization in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks because he wanted moderate Muslims to have a platform to speak out against radical acts committed in the name of their religion.

As an alternative to overt, violent attacks, Islamists are advancing their agenda by way of stealth and with considerable assistance from America's pliable judiciary.  This is what is meant by the "Third Jihad" now underway in the 21st Century. The first Jihad took place between 622-750 AD impacting the Middle-East, Central Asia, North Africa and parts of Europe, while the second Jihad occurred between 1071-1683 AD  when the Turks invaded the Balkans.

Although the threat of radical Islam is does not appear as front and center here in America as it does in Europe, Jasser and other commentators warn that the U.S. is not immune to "Creeping Sharia."

Some of the extremist groups now operating in America have identified 2050 as a target date for transforming the U.S. into a Muslim country, according to the documentary. In the aftermath of the Christmas bomber, Fort Hood, Fort Dix ( and has everyone forgotten the aborted attacks in Dallas) it would seem 2010 would  be a good time to jolt America's detached citizenry back to reality.


Who Commands Obama?

By JR Dieckmann

10 January 2010

In August of 2008, I wrote about The Senate Mentality of John McCain, who was then the Republican candidate for president. In response to this article, I found myself in a discussion with some of my fellow writers and publishers over the McCain candidacy. My position was that I could not vote for McCain and could not encourage others to do so either.

But there was only one other choice, and that was Barack Obama. I certainly couldn't vote for him, and for all the same reasons that I couldn't vote for McCain but 10 times over. To try to deter an Obama disaster, I was told that I had to hold my nose and support McCain.

I made the point to my associates that the likely outcome of the general election would be that Obama would win against McCain and that we should consider the inevitable results - that with Democrats in control of both Congress and the White House, the country would finally be able to see exactly what their agenda is and what they are all about.

On the other hand, if somehow McCain pulled off a victory, it would be a huge loss for conservatives, and the Republican Party would be encouraged to continue moving even further to the left - leaving no hope for conservatives to have any representation in government for a very long time.

The only way to move the Republican Party back to its founding conservative principles would be to lose to the Democrats for lack of conservative support. As unpleasant as it would be for a few years, the end result would ultimately be the reestablishment of a conservative Republican Party. Although this idea didn't go over well with my associates, it is exactly what is happening now.

While Republican Party leaders are beginning to recognize the value of conservative voters, they are also working toward restoring those conservative values to the party instead of being dragged ever further to the left and trying to be more like Democrats. Republican leaders are now learning the need to contrast with the Democrats, rather than appease and emulate them.

Democrat Party leaders are now dragging the Democrat Party directly into socialism and Marxism, which is not going over too well with the American people. Over the past few months we have been seeing Democrats losing elections and now dropping out of the race for the 2010 elections as a result of their socialist ideology.

Had McCain won the election, the Republican Party would be doing the same thing by compromising with the left and making nice with the Marxists in the Congress. Without contrast to the Democrat agenda, Republicans would be no better off now than they were in 2008. It has taken the disaster of Obama to make them realize that the future of the Republican Party points to the right, not to the left.

Full report at:

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