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01.11.10 North Korea calls for US peace treaty
SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) January 11 - North Korea said today it wants a peace treaty with the United States as a precondition for giving up its nuclear weapons, and called for sanctions to be scrapped before it returns to disarmament talks. The foreign ministry statement was the first time the North has publicly stated its position on the disarmament negotiations since US envoy Stephen Bosworth visited Pyongyang last month. Mr. Bosworth was trying to persuade the communist state to return to the six-nation talks it abandoned last April, a month before staging a second nuclear test. No clear agreement was reached. The statement said it was "good to move up the order of action" in light of the failure of the six-party talks.
01.11.10 Iran's Mehdi Karroubi defiant amid government 'threats'
January 11 - Leading Iranian opposition figure Mehdi Karroubi has said he remains defiant despite threats, and that he and his family are "prepared for any disaster." He also accused Tehran of suppressing people in the name of religion. Mr. Karroubi, who stood in June's disputed presidential elections, also said he survived an attack last week when a car he was in was fired on. Meanwhile, Iran's top prosecutor called for "strong action" against those behind the "post-election sedition." Gholam Hossein Mohsen Ejeie said calls by some hardline clerics to put opposition leaders on trial should be answered, Iran's ISNA news agency reported. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed victory in the vote, but opposition leaders said the election was rigged. The election led to a series of street protests and crackdowns.
In a letter on his party's website, Mr. Karroubi said that he remained "firm in the path that I have chosen." "I have not faltered on my way in the face of increasing intimidation and threats," he said. "I have become more determined, and prepared myself and my children for any disaster." ..."May God stand witness how they have turned a political dispute into a religious war to suppress people demanding political rights in the name of religion," Mr. Karroubi said. "We were not aware that reclaiming your vote and protesting against political robbery is equal to being corrupt on earth and mohareb in these gentlemen's eyes." [Full story>>bbc.co.uk]
01.11.10 Israel's US envoy: Obama peace plan unrealistic
(DPA) January 11 - Israel's ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, deemed U.S. special Mideast envoy George Mitchell's vision of peace within two years an "unrealistic goal." Oren told The Washington Post in remarks published Monday that Mitchell's timetable "is unrealistic and might prove counterproductive." "We know from our experience that state-making takes a long time," he added. Oren's response came two days after Mitchell suggested that Barack Obama's administration was free to withhold loan guarantees from Israel should the latter delay the peace process any further.
01.11.10 Gaza rocket hits Israel for fifth consecutive day
January 11 - A Qassam rocket fired by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip struck the Western Negev on Monday, a day after an Israel Air Force assault killed three Islamic Jihad men posed at a launching ground in the coastal territory. There were no casualties or damages reported in the incident Monday. Israeli security forces were summoned to the area to identify the location of the rocket. The IAF strike Sunday came hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed a "powerful response" to recent rocket and mortar shell attacks from the coastal territory. The strike targeted a cell as its members, which included a senior Jihad field commander, were launching rockets at Israel. Four mortar shells were also fired at Israel from Gaza on Sunday, but they exploded on the Palestinian side of the border. Addressing an increase of rocket fire into Israel from Gaza, Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Monday advised Gaza's Hamas rulers to "watch their step, and not to cry crocodile tears if they force [Israel] to take action." [>haaretz.com]
01.11.10 Official: 7 al-Qaeda suspects arrested near US embassy in Yemen
SANAA, Yemen, January 10 - Yemeni anti-terror forces have arrested seven suspected members of an al-Qaeda-linked sleeper cell in a quarter, adjacent to the US embassy in Sanaa, a higher-ranking security official of Interior Ministry said on Sunday. The anti-terrorism forces on late Tuesday raided al-Houri house at Sawan quarter, and captured three members of the family Esam, Majid and Kamal al-Houri, the official said on condition of anonymity. One of al-Houri members was reportedly killed in Iraq three years ago, as he was fighting alongside al-Qaeda. The house and the US embassy are all located in Sawan district in Sanaa. [More w/related stories>>xinhuanet.com; See related story,
01.11.10 6 foreign troops killed in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan (AFP) Six international soldiers were killed on Monday in a wave of violence in some of the most volatile regions of insurgency-wracked Afghanistan, NATO said. The dead included three Americans killed in southern Afghanistan, one French soldier northeast of the capital Kabul, and two more whose nationalities were not officially given, NATO and military officials said. The deaths bring to 15 the number of foreign soldiers who have died in Afghanistan fighting a virulent Taliban insurgency since the start of this year. "An ISAF service member was killed today in an IED strike in southern Afghanistan," NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement, announcing the sixth death of the day. [>timesofindia.indiatimes.com; See other details,
01.11.10 Wanted Taliban commander held in Karachi
KARACHI, Pakistan, January 11 - The Karachi Police have arrested an important militant commander, member of Tehrik Taliban Swat, from Orangi Town in Karachi. According to reports, the police raided a house situated at Baloch Goth in Orangi Town. The arrested commander is among the most wanted militants’ and is currently placed at No 181. SSP Raja Umar Khatab said that the four accomplices of the accused were still holed up in Karachi. [>thenews.com.pk]
01.11.10 Official data confirm China as world's biggest auto producer, consumer, challenges remain
BEIJING, January 11 - Official figures Monday confirmed China had overtaken the United States to become the world's top auto maker and market in 2009 boosted by government stimulus measures. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) announced annual sales rose 46.15 percent year on year to 13.64 million units. Output increased 48.3 percent to 13.79 million units. Passenger car sales were up 52.93 percent to 10.33 million units, and production was 10.38 million units, up 54.11 percent year on year. The brisk sales in China is in contrast with the United States where 10.43 million units were sold last year, 2.8 million units less than in 2008, as the global financial crisis kept US consumers out of the showroom. The three top-selling brands last year were Shanghai Volkswagen, FAW Volkswagen and Shanghai General Motors — all joint venture brands between Chinese auto makers and the German or US counterparts. [More>>xinhuanet.com]
01.11.10 40,000 Indians 'missing' in Malaysia: PM Razak
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia, January 11 - Nearly 40,000 Indian nationals have gone "missing" in Malaysia after the expiry of their tourist visas, Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Razak said, indicating that he may take up the issue with New Delhi during his forthcoming visit to India.. "Almost 39046 are missing. Thankfully they have not become terrorists. They are here for economic reasons," he said adding that "their names are not in official records. They may have gone back to India or working here in restaurants or plantations," Najib told visiting Indian journalists here. Most of the missing Indians in Malaysia belong to Tamil Nadu. [More>>indianexpress.com]
01.09.10 US shifts Iran focus to support opposition
WASHINGTON, January 9 - The Obama administration is increasingly questioning the long-term stability of Tehran's government and moving to find ways to support Iran's opposition "Green Movement," said senior US officials. The White House is crafting new financial sanctions specifically designed to punish the Iranian entities and individuals most directly involved in the crackdown on Iran's dissident forces, said the US officials, rather than just those involved in Iran's nuclear program.
01.09.10 Good faith negotiations could end conflict in Middle East: Clinton
WASHINGTON, January 9 - Asking for an early resumption of the staled peace talks between Israel and Palestine, the US today said that a comprehensive peace in Middle East based on two-state solution could be achieved through good faith negotiation between both the sides. "The US believes that through good faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines with agreed swaps. And the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a joint press conference with her Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh.
01.09.10 Egyptian imams launch attack on Hamas
January 9 - Mosques across Egypt have launched scathing attacks on Hamas in the wake of the killing of an Egyptian border guard by a Palestinian gunman earlier in the week, the London-based- Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported Saturday. According to the report, imams throughout the country used their Friday sermons to lash out at the Islamic group which controls the Gaza Strip. One, at a Cairo mosque, asked the gunman what he would tell his God "tomorrow." Another said that Egypt had sacrificed thousands for Palestine. Yet another blamed Hamas for the ongoing besiegement of Gaza at the hands of Israel, saying its leaders wished to stay in power "even at the cost of the starvation and expulsion of their people." He added that the Palestinian gunman would go to hell if he does not repent. [More>>jpost.com; See also,
01.09.10 Report: Hezbollah funded by drug trade in Europe
January 9 - German police suspect the Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah, of using drug trafficking in Europe to fund part of its activities, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday. According to the report published on the magazine's website, German police arrested two Lebanese citizens living in Germany last October after they transferred large sums of money to a family in Lebanon with connections to Hezbollah's leadership, including the Shiite group's Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah. Suspicion was first raised in May 2008, when police found 8.7 million Euros in the bags of four Lebanese men at the airport in Frankfurt. Police searched the men's apartment in Speyer, Germany, and found an additional half a million Euros.
01.09.10 CIA bomber struck moments before pat-down search
January 9 - The Jordanian doctor arrived in a red station wagon that came directly from Pakistan and sped through checkpoints at a CIA base in Afghanistan before stopping abruptly at an improvised interrogation center. Outside stood one of the CIA's top experts on al-Qaeda, ready to greet the doctor and hear him describe a way to kill Ayman al-Zawahiri, the organization's number two and a man long at the top of US target lists. The Jordanian exited the car with one hand in his pocket, according to the accounts of several U.S. officials briefed on the incident. An American security guard approached him to conduct a pat-down search and asked him to remove his hand. Instead, the Jordanian triggered a switch.
01.09.10 China port faces worst ice threat in 30 years
BEIJING (AP) January 9 - A northern China port that is one of the world's largest was facing the worst ice conditions in 30 years Saturday, and icebreaking ships were working to keep the path to it open. Some ships were having trouble reaching the port at Tianjin the port for China's capital, Beijing, and the third largest in the country, China Central Television said. Footage showed ships on the Bohai Gulf working to keep shipping lanes open. About 40 people had already been saved from ships in danger from the ice; a news agency cited maritime officials as saying. The region has been hit by its worst winter weather in decades over the past week, including Beijing's coldest morning in almost 40 years and its biggest snowfall since 1951. Temperatures over the next week in Beijing are forecast to remain below freezing. [More>>timesofindia.indiatimes.com]
01.09.10 Rationing imposed on UK's dwindling supply of grit
January 9 - Temperature drops as low as -2C, and even colder weather is forecast for weekend in Britain's worst winter for three decades. Bitter winds and fresh snowfalls were forecast to bring further disruption to Britain during the weekend, as temperatures fell to their lowest level of the winter so far. People venturing outdoors over the weekend have been told to be aware of the twin dangers of snowdrifts and an increased wind chill factor, as roads and pavements remain icy and supplies of grit are dwindling. Yesterday, a temperature of minus 22.3C (minus 8.1F) was recorded in the village of Altnaharra in the Scottish Highlands, making it officially the coldest day of a winter which is already the most severe in three decades. Today and tomorrow are set to be even colder, with no let-up expected for at least another week. Up to 20cm of snow is forecast for parts of South Yorkshire and south of London. [More>>independent.co.uk]
01.09.10 The Deep Freeze of 2010
January 9 - Multiple Deaths Blamed on Frigid, Below-Normal Temperatures Affecting 60 Percent of Americans. The unyielding cold spell gripping much of the nation was expected to hang on tight over the weekend, though some areas that saw snowfall during the week were expected to have drier weather. And the big picture? By the end of the weekend, 180 million Americans may shiver through record-setting cold. Sixty percent of Americans will see and feel temperatures 15 to 30 degrees below normal. [More>>cbsnews.com]
01.09.10 Four killed in N. Waziristan drone attack
MIRANSHAH, Pakistan, January 9 - A US missile strike on Saturday killed at least four militants and injured five others in North Waziristan . According to sources, the missile struck a compound in Ismail Khel village, 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan tribal region on the Afghan border. Eyewitnesses said that drones were seen flying across the area following the above strikes. [>thenews.com.pk; See more details,
01.09.10 CIA attack 'revenge for Mehsud'
January 9 - The suicide bomber who killed eight people at a US base in Afghanistan said he was carrying out the attack in response to the death of Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban leader killed by a US drone. In a video released to Al Jazeera on Saturday, Hammam Khalil al-Balawi is shown shooting a gun as he describes how the attack would target US and Jordanian intelligence agents. Seven American CIA officers were among the dead when al-Balawi, a "double agent" recruited by Jordanian intelligence services to inform on al-Qaeda, blew himself up at the base in Khost, a province bordering Pakistan. [More>>aljazeera.net]
01.09.10 Malaysian churches firebombed over 'Allah' row
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, January 9 - Four churches struck in unprecedented spate of attacks. A Malaysian church was firebombed Saturday, police and church officials said, the fourth such attack in two days as a row escalated over the use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims. The Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in southwest Kuala Lumpur was the latest target. There were no reports of injuries. Molotov cocktails were thrown at the windows of the first and second floors of the three-storey building, the church's Bishop Philip Loke told AFP. "They narrowly missed it, but part of the walls are burnt," he said, adding "we suspect this attack is linked to the other attacks." At least three churches were struck early on Friday in an unprecedented spate of attacks in this mainly Muslim country as a row over a court ruling that allowed a Catholic newspaper to use the word "Allah" in its Malay language editions presented a major challenge to the government. One of the churches attacked on Friday was badly burned while firebombs thrown at two others failed to cause damage. [More>>alarabiya.net' See background stories, Maravot News article 01.08.10 3 Malaysian churches firebombed in 'Allah' dispute.]
01.09.10 Christians furious after Egypt arson attacks
BAHGURA, Egypt (AFP) Muslim gunmen shot dead six Copts. Residents of a southern Egypt village were furious on Saturday after houses and shops owned by Coptic Christians were burnt as sectarian tensions flared in the wake of a deadly drive-by shooting. Muslim gunmen shot dead six Copts in the nearby town of Nagaa Hammadi on Wednesday night as worshippers emerged from Christmas Eve mass, one of Egypt's deadliest sectarian attacks in years in which a policeman was also killed. On Saturday, men in traditional flowing robes and with crosses tattooed on their arms surveyed the damage in Bahgura, where shopfronts that were once blue and green were now charred black after overnight arson attacks. They charged that Muslim "thugs" who live in the town went on the rampage on Friday night, lobbing fireballs into Christian-owned shops and some houses. Muslim residents said the action was in retaliation for the shooting death of a member of their community, while Christian villagers said a woman from their community had died in fire attacks on their property. Security sources denied there had been any deaths. [More>>alarabiya.net]
01.08.10 US job losses in December dim hopes for quick upswing
January 8 - The American economy lost another 85,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate remained at 10 percent, setting back hopes for a swift recovery from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. The latest monthly snapshot of the national job market released by the Labor Department on Friday provided one potentially encouraging milestone: Data for November was revised to show that the economy gained 4,000 net jobs that month, in contrast to initial reports showing a loss of 11,000 jobs. That was the first monthly improvement since the recession began two years ago.
01.08.10 Man is arrested in NY City terror bomb probe
January 9 - A man linked to a former New York food-cart worker now charged in an al-Qaeda bomb plot crashed his car while fleeing investigators. The New York Post reported today a source said Adis Medunjanin, who is on the US government's no-fly terror watch list, made a dash yesterday from the home that investigators have been watching for months. The investigators pursued him, but 25-year-old Medunjanin, a Bosnian immigrant who reportedly accompanied alleged terror bomb plotter Najibullah Zazi on a trip to Pakistan in 2008, sped off down a major freeway. Earlier in the day, the Feds had picked up his passport for reasons that remain unclear, sources said. Near Manhattan's 20th Avenue, Medunjanin crashed into another car and tried to run away, but FBI agents tackled him, sources said. Medunjanin was not seriously injured and was in police custody, but charges against him have yet to be released. [More>>news.com.au; See more details,
01.08.10 3 Malaysian churches firebombed in 'Allah' dispute
KUALA LUMPUR (AP) January 8 - Assailants attacked three Malaysian churches with firebombs Friday, extensively damaging one amid a growing conflict over the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims, officials said. The attacks sharply escalated tensions in the Muslim-majority country ahead of planned protests by Muslims later Friday against a Kuala Lumpur High Court verdict which struck down a 3-year-old ban on non-Muslims using "Allah" in their literature. "I condemn these actions because they will destroy our country's harmony," Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters. "The government will take whatever steps it can to prevent such acts."
01.08.10 'Gun attack' on Iranian politician
January 8 - The car of one of Iran's opposition leaders has been hit by gunfire in the northern
01.08.10 Blair to Haaretz: Terror is one struggle with many arenas
January 8 - Without a doubt, it was Iraq that ended his career at 10 Downing Street. The campaign against Saddam Hussein continues to dog him. It was Iraq that largely prevented him from becoming "the first president of the European Union." Nevertheless, Tony Blair does not apologize, does not express regrets and does not attempt to justify himself. "It's really important to understand that Saddam was actually a threat to the region," he resolutely says in an interview with Haaretz, during his most recent visit to Israel as the Quartet's special envoy. "And quite apart from anything else you may remember, he used to pay the families of [the Palestinian] suicide bombers." When asked whether the wave of global terror, with its roots in countries like Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen, proves it was a mistake to focus on a single dictator, he replies: "Personally I think we will defeat this terrorism when we understand it is one battle, one struggle. This is a global movement with an ideology."
01.08.10 Israeli strikes on Gaza kill three Palestinians
GAZA CITY, January 8 - Israel claims strikes response to rocket firing. Three Palestinians are killed and others wounded in heavy Israeli air strikes on the Gaza borders with Egypt, a day after Israel accused fighter groups of launching dozens of mortar bombs into the Jewish state, Al Arabiya correspondent in Gaza reported. Israeli jets hit seven targets in the tunnels area, which Palestinians use to smuggle goods into the besieged coastal strip, medics and Hamas security officials said. Israeli aircraft also hit three targets near Gaza City and two near the southern town of Khan Younis, witnesses and Hamas officials said. All the strikes hit empty buildings or open spaces. On Thursday, Israeli planes dropped thousands of leaflets over the Gaza Strip warning residents to stay clear from the border after Palestinian militants fired mortar shells into Israel. [More>>alarabiya.net]
01.08.10 US missile strike kills 3 in N. Waziristan
MIRANSHAH, Pakistan, January 8 - A missile fired by the suspected US drone plane killed three people in North Waziristan tribal region on Friday. According to sources, the unmanned US aircraft targeted a house situated in Tappi area near Miramshah. The house was completely gutted after the attack. [>thenews.com.pk; See more details,
01.08.10 2000 militants dead, over 800 held in Swat offensive
SWAT, Pakistan, January 8 - Some 2000 militants were killed and more than 800 were apprehended in Swat during Operation Rah-e-Nijat, in charge [of the] operation Maj-Gen. Sajad Ghani said on Friday. Speaking to media in Swat, Maj-Gen. Sajad Ghani said Pakistan Army has reconstructed 33 destroyed schools, 10 hospitals, 13 bridges and 30-km long road in Matta and Khawaza Khela tehsils of the scenic valley. He said that peace had been fully restored across the district while [the] military operation was near to close. Ghani further said that [the] nighttime curfew had also been lifted on permanent basis. [>thenews.com.pk]
01.08.10 6 children trained for suicide blasts presented to media
MINGORA, Pakistan, January 8 - Six children, who were trained in Peuchar area of Swat for carrying out suicide attacks, were exposed to media on Friday. The children aged between 12 to 14 years were identified as Shah Hussain, Amanullah, Zakirullah, Hazrat Bilal, Ziaur Rehman and Rehmatullah. According to the authorities, these children were being trained to become suicide bombers. The children told media that they were kidnapped from schools and homes on gunpoint. However, after finding a chance to flee, they came to security forces. In addition, security forces also recovered hundreds of Kalashnikovs, pistols, thousands of bullets and a cache of other arms from the raided area. On this occasion, father of a militant commander was also brought to the media. [>thenews.com.pk]
01.08.10 Immigrants riot in Italy amid racial unrest
ROSARNO, Italy (Reuters) January 8 - Thousands of immigrants protested against racism in a southern Italian town on Friday, after a night of rioting sparked by an attack on African farm workers by a gang of white youths. In one of Italy's worst episodes of racial unrest in years, dozens of Africans in Rosarno, in the Calabria region, smashed car windows with steel bars and stones and set cars and rubbish bins on fire late into Thursday night. Police said at least one car was attacked while passengers were inside -- several of whom were injured. The immigrants, who also blocked a road, clashed with police in riot gear. Police said 7 immigrants were arrested. Thirty-two people, including 18 policemen, were injured. The incidents took place after white youths in a car fired air rifles at a group of African immigrants returning from work on farms, injuring two of them.
01.08.10 Seven killed in blast in Karachi
KARACHI, Pakistan, January 8 - At least seven persons were killed and several others injured in the southern Pakistani city on Friday when a blast ripped through a house where explosives and weapons were stored. (Watch Video) The blast in Baldia Town area of the port city appeared to be accidental and bomb disposal squad personnel were trying to determine its exact nature, police officials said. Two Kalashnikov assault rifles, 22 grenades and two suicide jackets were found in the one-room house, which collapsed due to the explosion. Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters in Islamabad that the home had been rented by a man from the militancy-affected Swat valley. Some persons from Swat had come to visit this man last night, he said.
01.08.10 Suicide attack at militant group headquarters in Khyber, six killed
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, January 8 - A suicide bomber blew himself up on Friday at the headquarters of a banned militant group in Pakistan's Khyber tribal region, killing six persons and injuring 12 others. The attacker tried to enter the main gate of the headquarters of the Ansar-ul-Islam group in Tirah valley of Khyber Agency, witnesses said. He detonated his explosives when a watchman stopped him. Witnesses and local residents said six persons were killed and a dozen others injured. However, Ansar-ul-Islam leader Mehboob-ul-Haq claimed only one person was killed. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. The Ansar-ul-Islam has been engaged in a bitter rivalry with the Lashkar-e-Islam for the past five years. Dozens of members of both groups have died in clashes between the two groups. [>indianexpress.com]
01.07.10 Iran posts banned websites list in cyber crackdown
TEHRAN (AFP) January 7 - The Iranian judicial authorities have published a long list of banned Internet websites in a new crackdown on online networks, including those deemed immoral, the press reported on Thursday. They said the list, drawn up by a "committee of experts," bans any site that contains pornography, prostitution, sexual deviation or anything considered to be "contrary to the morals of society" in the Islamic republic. Websites containing material “contrary to security and social peace” as well as those seen by the authorities as "hostile to government officials and institutions" bound to lead to “crimes” are also banned...Any articles that “insult Imam Khomeini and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei” are banned, the reports added in reference to the founder of the Islamic republic and his successor. [Full story>>khaleejtimes.com; See related Twitter postings:
♦ #Iran Accuses Five of Warring Against God. NYT #IranElection (Is it AN, SL, & 3 random mullahs?) http://bit.ly/4yS6V9 : (nytimes.com, January 7) TORONTO - At least five protesters arrested in Iran last week during anti-government demonstrations will be tried on charges of warring against God, which carries the death sentence if they are found guilty, Iran's judiciary said Thursday. The severity of both the charge and punishment, coming so soon after the defendants were arrested, suggested that the Islamic theocracy was stepping up its efforts to intimidate protesters into ending the anti-government demonstrations that began over the disputed election results in June and have erupted periodically ever since despite a brutal crackdown.
♦ The whole world is watching. (NSFW) (GRAPHIC) TEHRAN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae4W7E9XKGc #Iranelection
01.07.10 Terrorists were in touch with Pakistan handlers: Home Ministry sources
NEW DELHI, India, January 7 - The Lashkar-e-Talba terrorists who were killed by security forces during the siege at Lai Chhowk in Srinagar, were in constant touch with their handlers in Pakistan when they were holed up inside a hotel there. (Watch Video) According to highly placed sources in the Union Home Ministry, nearly 700 terrorists, half of them foreign mercenaries, are active in Jammu and Kashmir. They said some more attacks were expected to take place as the holed up militants at the hotel in Lal Chowk area had communicated the same to their handlers in Pakistan, the sources said. According to the official data available with the Home Ministry, 413 infiltration attempts were made from across the border during which 93 terrorists were killed while 110 managed to sneak in. Out of the 110 who had infiltrated, 70% were foreign militants while the remaining locals. The attacks in Srinagar was a result of shifting of focus of the police forces towards Jammu, which is the winter capital of the state, a senior official of the Home Ministry said. [More w/blog comments>>timesofindia.indiatimes.com]
01.07.10 Four more terrorists killed in Swat: ISPR report
WANA, Pakistan, January 7 - Four more militants have been killed in Swat as military operations continue in South Waziristan and Swat, ISPR said Thursday. Security forces conducted [a] search and clearance operation at Chaghmalal on Jandola Sector and cleared 25 compounds. On Shakai Sector, security forces conducted search operation[s] and cleared Ghani Khel, Ane Zhawar, Yargha Khel, Ghundaka Mamei Khel near Kaniguram and recovered cache of arms and ammunition. Security forces conducted search operation[s] near Pash Ziarat, Qalandar, Makeen, Dashkai Algad, Pir Khel near Mir Khoni near Makeen on Razmak Sector, cleared 82 compounds and recovered cache of arms and ammunition. Terrorists fired with small arms at Lita Sar Post near Makeen which was effectively responded by the security forces.
01.07.10 Deaths in Afghan suicide bombing
January 7 - At least seven people have been killed and 24 others wounded in a suicide bombing attack in southeastern Afghanistan, officials said. A bomber detonated an explosives-filled vest outside a branch of the Kabul bank in central Gardez, the capital of eastern Paktia province, on Thursday. Officials said the bomber was targeting the head of an Afghan private security firm working with the US military. "This was a suicide attack," Rohullah Samon, a spokesman for the governor of Paktia, told the AFP news agency. "The head of a security company... was moving with his convoy when he was attacked by a suicide bomber wearing a suicide vest." The head of the security firm, two of his guards and two young girls were among those killed in the blast, Samon said. "All were killed on the spot," he said, adding that 24 other civilians were injured.
01.07.10 Anti-terror chief among 7 killed in Iraq blasts
RAMADI, Iraq, January 7 - Bombs planted around officers’ house bedrooms. Three bombs exploded in a residential area near Ramadi in Iraq's western Anbar province on Thursday, killing seven people including an Iraqi Army anti-terrorist special forces commander and members of his family, police said. "At 3:00am, 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 Lt. Col. Fadhil Nimrawi, the head of the town's emergency response unit.
01.07.10 Yemen details actions of suspect before bomb attempt
SANA'A, Yemen, January 7 - A senior official here said Thursday that the young Nigerian man accused of trying to bring down an airliner approaching Detroit on Christmas Day had met with al-Qaeda operatives and probably with Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American-born Internet preacher, in Yemen before setting out on his journey. But the official, Rashad al-Alimi, the deputy prime minister for national security and defense, cited Yemeni investigations and said that the Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, had acquired the explosives used in the failed attack not in Yemen, which he left on Dec. 4, but in Nigeria, where he changed planes at the Lagos airport on Dec. 24, boarding a flight to Amsterdam and then Detroit.
01.07.10 Yemen: Hunt for would-be teen bomber
January 7 - The hunt is on in Yemen for a teenage boy suspected of having been recruited as a suicide bomber by al-Qaeda. The 16-year-old from northern Yemen is believed to be heading for one of five foreign targets in the key southern port city of Aden, sources close to Yemeni security officials said. Several members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — the wing of al-Qaeda that operates in Yemen and Saudi Arabia — have entered Yemen in the past few days, officials believe. They think that a senior terrorist is still hiding in Abyan, a Yemeni province in southern Yemen. Abyan is the former home of the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army, a group of Islamic militants who were active in the late 1990s and are believed to have been involved in the bombing of the USS Cole in Aden in 2000, which left 17 American sailors dead. [More>>news.sky.com]
01.07.10 Qaeda trained for attacks in Arabian Sea: report
KUWAIT CITY, January 7 - Gulf states urged to boost security for oil, gas tankers. Western intelligence warned Gulf states that al-Qaeda is on the verge of launching attacks mainly on ships after regrouping in the past few months, the al-Qabas daily reported Thursday. Citing unnamed Kuwaiti security sources, the daily said al-Qaeda has trained operatives in the region to carry out attacks on war, commercial and passenger vessels in the Gulf and Arabian Sea. [More>>alarabiya.net]
01.07.10 Katyusha lands near Ashkelon for 1st time since Cast Lead
January 7 - Just after Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the Iron Dome missile defense system would not be enough to solve all the problems in the South, the scale of those problems was all too clear to see Thursday night when, for the first time since Operation Cast Lead, a Katyusha rocket landed south of Ashkelon. The rocket landed in an open field, causing no casualties or damage. Air sirens sounded throughout the area, causing panic among the residents, who for the past year have enjoyed a period of quiet. Earlier Thursday, terrorists in Gaza fired an anti-tank missile at IDF troops near the periphery fence. [More>>jpost.com]
01.07.10 France deports radical imam to Egypt
(AFP) January 8 - France today deported to Egypt a radical imam who for months had been inciting followers in Paris area mosques to rise up against the West, the government said. Described as dangerous, Ali Ibrahim Al-Sudani was detained and sent back to Egypt under an emergency deportation order, Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said in a statement. "The secret services had identified this dangerous individual who for the past months had been delivering sermons calling for a fight against the West in several mosques in the Seine-Saint-Denis area," said Hortefeux in a statement. Sudani showed "contempt for our society's values and incited violence," he added. The man was the 29th imam or Islamic preacher to have been deported from France since 2001, according to the interior ministry. In all, 129 Islamic radicals have been expelled from French territory, it added. [>news.com.au; See related story, france24.com, "France deports 29,000 illegal residents in one year" ]:
01.07.10 Judiciary website hacked over 'Allah' issue
PETALING JAYA, Malaysia, January 7 - The Malaysian Judiciary's website was discovered hacked and defaced on Thursday night and its homepage substituted with a threat to not pursue the issue of the Catholic weekly the Herald's use of the word "Allah." The hacker, using the handle "Brainwash," defaced the site with a bright-red headline saying "TakeDown by Brainwash!" and what can only be described as "creative" use of the English language. Blazed across the page in huge letters was "Mess with the best, die like the rest." The hacker also wrote: "Allah only restricted to Muslim only. Dont touch us as we dont touch you. Unless ...." [More>>thestar.com.my]
01.06.10 Malaysia court reinstates Allah ban pending appeal
KUALA LUMPUR, January 6 - A Malaysian court temporarily suspended its decision to let non-Muslims use the word "Allah" to refer to God on Wednesday, pending an appeal by the government in a case that raised religious tensions in the Muslim-majority country. High Court Judge Lau Bee Lan said her Dec. 31 ruling will not take effect until the Appeals Court decides on a petition by the Home Ministry. No date has been set for the Appeals Court hearing. Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail welcomed the suspension...In her landmark decision, Lau struck down a 3-year-old ban on the use of "Allah" to refer to a God other than the Muslim one. The decision was seen as a victory for ethnic minorities, who practice Christianity, Hinduism and other religions.
01.06.10 Suicide attack on CIA agents 'was planned by bin Laden inner circle'
January 6 - US intelligence officials believe the suicide bomb attack that killed seven CIA officers in Afghanistan last month was planned with the help of Osama bin Laden’s inner circle, raising fears that the al-Qaeda leader is enjoying a lethal resurgence. The attack, carried out by a Jordanian triple-agent whom the CIA believed was about to divulge the whereabouts of al-Qaeda’s deputy leader, could not have taken place without the prior knowledge and assistance of the Haqqani network, US officials believe. The powerful Taleban faction is thought to be shielding bin Laden.
Editorial note: See Maravot News 01.05.10 article Pakistan: Taliban brainwashes kids with visions of virgins for relevant article on achieving paradise as a jihadi — of al-Balawi's vision "of luxurious palaces..positions of the martyrs in the higher heaven."
01.06.10 Suspected drone attack kills 13 in N. Waziristan
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, January 6 - Two suspected US drone missile strikes have killed at least 13 people in volatile North Waziristan near the Afghan border, Geo News reported Wednesday. A suspected drone fired two missiles at a house in the Datta Khel region of North Waziristan in the first attack Wednesday, killing seven people. Another strike occurred as locals were retrieving bodies from the rubble of the house, killing five people. The identities of those killed in the attacks were unknown. [>thenews.com.pk; See more details,
01.06.10 Five militants killed in Kurram blast
PARACHINAR, Pakistan, January 6 - Five terrorists were killed when an explosives laden vehicle went off with a blast in Kurram Agency. According political administration, the militants were on their way in an explosives laden vehicle towards a target of carrying out terrorist activity when the explosives went off in Dar region of Ali Sher Zari in central Kurram, killing all the five terrorists riding the vehicle. Over 50 militants have been killed and more than 60 apprehended in the security forces operation which has been underway in central Kurram for the last two months. [>thenews.com.pk]
01.06.10 Yemen security forces capture key Qaeda leader
SANA'A, Yemen, January 6 - Foreign missions reopen after threats. Yemeni security forces, under US pressure to rein in extremists, Wednesday captured a key al-Qaeda leader believed behind threats that saw foreign embassies in Sana'a hastily bolting their doors, police said. The arrest of Mohammed al-Hanq and two other suspected al-Qaeda militants at a hospital in Raydah, north of capital, came as Yemen's authorities said al-Qaeda militants were being choked countrywide and forced into "holes." Hanq had evaded arrest on Monday during a security force raid in Arhab, 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Sana'a, in which two of his relatives were killed and three other people wounded.
01.06.10 Egyptian border guard killed in clash
AL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) January 6 - Egyptian security forces and Palestinians clashed at the Gaza border on Wednesday over the delay of an international aid convoy, killing one Egyptian border guard and wounding 15 Palestinians. The incident further raises the tension between Egypt and the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip who see Cairo's attempts to seal the border as a direct threat to their survival, particularly a new effort to build a steel wall blocking cross-border tunnels. It was the worst violence on the border since an Egyptian major was killed by Palestinian gunmen during Operation Cast Lead in December 2008. The Egyptian state news agency said Palestinians shot and killed the 21-year-old border guard who was in an observation tower overlooking the frontier. Nine other guards were injured by the stones thrown across the border by hundreds of Palestinians. [More>>jpost.com]
01.06.10 Death toll in Dagestan suicide bomber attack rises to 7 - TV
MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) JANUARY 6 - The number of police killed in a suicide bomb attack in Russia's North Caucasus Republic of Dagestan has risen to seven, after a police officer died from blood loss, Russian TV channel NTV reported on Wednesday. Surgeons are now struggling to save the lives of 15 police officers wounded in the deadly bomb attack, NTV said. The suicide bomber drove a car into a traffic police depot in Dagestan's capital, Makhachkala, early on Wednesday but was blocked by a police vehicle before exploding. A police spokesman said that casualties could have been considerably larger, if the car had not been blocked by the police officers who died as a result of the explosion. The force of the explosion is estimated at 50-60 kg of TNT equivalent, the spokesman said. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday ordered the Federal Security Service to tighten security in the North Caucasus following the suicide bomb attack. [More>>en.rian.ru]
01.06.10 Srinagar gunbattle: JUM claims responsibility, 100 evacuated
SRINAGAR, January 6 - A policeman was on Wednesday killed and three civilians were injured as terrorists struck in the heart of Srinagar, entering a hotel lobbing grenades. (Watch Video) Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen, one of the rebel groups active in the area claimed responsibility for the attack by faxing a statement to the local offices of a news agency. "The attack is in response to India's propaganda that the armed struggle has weakened in Kashmir," the statement said. As it grew dark, the security forces put up floodlights around the Punjab Hotel building where the militants are holed up. The area has been marked off with concertina wires to ensure the guerrillas do not escape under the cover of darkness.
01.06.10 13 slain in single day in Mexican border city
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico, January 6 - Gunmen killed 13 people in a single day in the violence-plagued Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, state prosecutors said. Two of the dead were police officers. The Chihuahua state Attorney General's Office issued a news release Tuesday that said Monday's string of killings might be tied to organized crime, but police had not arrested anyone. The shootings occurred in eight different locations throughout the city. Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, is Mexico's deadliest city. Authorities say turf battles between the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels are largely responsible for a continuing wave of drug-related violence that cost more than 2,500 lives in 2009. In the western border city of Tijuana, prosecutors said four people were killed in separate attacks Tuesday and six others died on Monday. [More>>japantoday.com; See also elpasotimes, January 6, "Shooting pushes death toll past 40" (with long list of links to articles on Juarez killings)]