Two Swedish citizens appeared in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York on Friday on charges that they had trained and fought with al-Shabaab, a Somali group designated as terrorists by the United States.
"The defendants are not aspiring terrorists, they are terrorists. They did more than receive terrorist training: they used it in terrorist operations with al-Shabaab," said George Venizelos of the FBI in New York.
The two Swedes, aged 27 and 29, along with a 23-year-old defendant, are accused of participating in weapons and explosives training with al-Shabaab, a United States-designated terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda, during a four-year period beginning in 2008. If found guilty they could face lifetime in prison.
The men were arrested in August by authorities in Africa while going to Yemen. They appeared in the Brooklyn court with the aid of a Swedish interpreter.
Much of the case is shrouded in mystery, reports the New York Times. It remained under seal for four months and the court documents unsealed on Friday contained little elaboration on the crimes or any indication of why the case was brought in New York.
According to the Swedish Foreign Ministry, staff from the Swedish consulate visited the two Swedes and reported that they are well "considering the circumstances".
Sweden has not objected to the men's extradition to the United States.
"This is a legal issue between Djibouti and the USA," Sara Brandt-Hansen, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, told the TT news agency.
from the article, "For Boko Haram is not the Nigerian Taliban, as another early media nickname deemed it..."
Actually it is. Both are Islam with the western gloss removed.
Posted by: lord garth ||
Western governments could be instrumental in pressuring on the Nigerian government to stop extrajudicial killings and bar corrupt officials within its ranks, but the lack of a political will makes serious efforts unlikely.
Given the attitudes towards the West, it is not likely such efforts would make much difference.
[An Nahar] A fire in a Yemeni prison known for its overcrowding killed eight inmates on Saturday, a security official said.
The blaze was reported in several rooms of the central prison in the city of Ibb, some 200 kilometers (120 miles) south of Sanaa, the official added, without saying whether it was thought to have been started deliberately.
Local officials said fire crews were slow in responding, and that several prisoners also suffered from smoke inhalation.
Ibb prison has been the scene of recent protests by prisoners against poor conditions and overcrowding, the local officials said.
[Dawn] Police defused an improvised bomb weighing around 11 kilos in Lyari ...one of the eighteen constituent towns of the city of Karachi. It is the smallest town by area in the city but also the most densely populated. Lyari has few schools, substandard hospitals, a poor water system, limited infrastructure, and broken roads. It is a stronghold of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Ubiquitous gang activity and a thriving narcotics industry make Lyari one of the most disturbed places in Karachi, which is really saying a lot.... on Friday.
Concealed in a cement block, the IED had been placed near Cheel Chowk in the Kalakot area, police said.
They added that it was spotted by Rangers personnel who noticed a few wires connected with the cement block at around 8:15am. Subsequently, the bomb disposal unit (BDU) of police was called and the area was cordoned off.
An official of the BDU said that the total weight of the IED was around 11 kg.
"The explosive was laced with ball bearings, nuts, blots and pieces of shaving blades," he said. The ball bearings were arranged in away that they would have gone in one direction in case of kaboom, the official said.
The IED was attached to a detonator, seven batteries and with a remote-controlled device.
The bomb disposal unit official explained that multiple batteries were meant to keep the IED active for a long period of time.A similar IED attached to nine batteries was found a few months back in North Nazimabad, he added.
Commenting on a possible target of the IED, Lyari SP Sarfraz Nawaz said: "While a Rangers van is often parked near the place where the IED was planted, nothing can be said for sure. The motive could also be causing fear and chaos in the area," he said.
[Dawn] Violence erupted following the killing of a local leader of the Awami National Party in the Saddar area in which a passer-by was killed and a suspected attacker was also rubbed out inside the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre on Friday, police said.
They said that during the evening rush hour, assailants riding a cycle of violence emerged at a teashop near Beautiful Downtown Peshawar ...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire. i Ice Cream in Bohri Bazaar where ANP leader Ramzan Kakar was sitting with his associates. The assailants fired shots at Mr Kakar and tried to escape.
However, women are made to be loved, not understood... the ANP leader's associates returned fire and bullets hit one of the assailants who fell down from the bike, they added.
Two passers-by were also maimed in the firing and taken to the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... for treatment. However, corruption finds a dozen alibis for its evil deeds... Mr Kakar died before he could be taken to hospital, the police said, adding that the body and the maimed suspect were shifted to the JPMC for medico-legal formalities and treatment.
The victim was a brother of Abdul Bari Kakar who is a senior member of the ANP and also chairman of the All Empress Market Association.
As the news of the ANP leader's killing spread, the entire Saddar area reverberated with heavy gunfire and commercial and business concerns shut down within minutes. The firing was so intense that people ran for cover.
Assistant Sub-Inspector Mohammad Qasim and Police Constable Tariq Shafiq suffered gunshot wounds near the Empress Market when a police contingent reached the area to control the situation. The maimedcoppers were taken to the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi for treatment.
A passer-by was also maimed in the firing and was rushed to the Civil Hospital. He died during treatment late in the night. He was identified as Imdad, 30, said a front man for the Sindh Police.
Fear and panic gripped the JPMC when a large number of ANP workers reached there and had gun sex. People present at the hospital ran for cover amid firing. A man present in the hospital suffered a gunshot wound.
Abdul Rehman, had been brought to the JPMC's emergency and accident department with a relatively minor gunshot wound. However, some suspects entered the emergency ward and shot him dead on the hospital bed
Police and hospital sources said that the suspected attacker, identified as Abdul Rehman, had been brought to the JPMC's emergency and accident department with a relatively minor gunshot wound. However, today is that tomorrow you were thinking about yesterday... some suspects entered the emergency ward and shot him dead on the hospital bed, said the sources.
Paramedic staff and doctors at the JPMC were also forced to take cover in the firing and, according to Dr Simeen Jamali, the official in charge of the emergency and accident department, they had abandoned the hospital.
She said that a man, identified as Habib, was said to be in a critical condition and admitted in the neurological ward of the JPMC.
"He suffered a gunshot wound in the head during firing in the hospital and is critical."
A heavy contingent of police and Rangers reached the hospital and it was after their arrival that peace was restored and doctors and paramedical staff resumed their duties.
"We have tossed in the clink Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try! a man who had carried out firing in the hospital and killed the reported attacker," DIG-South Asif Ajaz Sheikh said, adding that the police recovered two AK-47 assault rifles from his possession.
The police collected 17 spent bullet casings of an AK-47 rifle from the emergency ward of the JPMC.
The police collected 17 spent bullet casings of an AK-47 rifle from the emergency ward of the JPMC.
Man rubbed out in Baldia Town
A man was rubbed out in Baldia Town on Friday evening, police said. They said that Muhammad Hanif, 22, was waiting for a bus at a bus stop in Baldia Town No 7 near the route G-3 bus terminus when he was targeted by two gunnies riding a cycle of violence.
The assailants fled following the shooting.
The victim died on his way to the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi.
The police were not clear about the motive for the killing.
Trader killed in Orangi
An office-bearer of a local market association in Orangi Town was rubbed out on Friday, police said.
Tension gripped the locality following the shooting within the remit of the Pakistain Bazaar cop shoppe.
The police said that Abdul Razzaq, 55, was returning home after Friday prayers when gunnies riding a motorbike shot at him in Gulshan-e-Bihar, Orangi Town, Sector 16.
The victim was rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He's dead, Jim! on arrival. Following the medico-legal formalities, the police handed over the body to the victim's family.
The victim was father of three and a Gulshan-e-Bihar resident, the police said, adding that he had a gift shop in the local market and was general secretary of the area market association.
However, denial ain't just a river in Egypt... the police said, the motive for the killing had not been ascertained.
found rubbed out
A resident of Martin Quarters, who had gone missing on Dec 9, was found rubbed out near the Aga Khan Jamaat Khana in Garden area on Friday, police said.
The shifted the body to the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi where the victim was identified as Nabeel Rehman, 18.
The police said that the victim's family had lodged a report about his disappearance with the Jamshed Quarters cop shoppe.
However, a hangover is the wrath of grapes... a few days later, he told the family over phone that he was in Multan, the police said. They quoted the family as saying that they had no further contact with him afterwards.
It seemed that the victim was kidnapped and later rubbed out, said a police investigator. However, ars longa, vita brevis... he added, the motive for the killing was yet to be ascertained.
A police constable, who had been shot at and maimed by bandidos near the Frere police lines, died on Friday at a hospital during treatment.
Constable Noorul Amin, 30, had sustained gunshot wounds while trying to overpower one of the three bandidos who had been depriving women of their cash and valuables.
Posted in the CID Civil Lines, the victim was a resident of Frere police lines.
[Dawn] A 21-year-old polio ...Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by infection with the poliovirus. Between 1840 and the 1950s, polio was a worldwide epidemic. Since the development of polio vaccines the disease has been largely wiped out in the civilized world. However, since the vaccine is known to make Moslem pee-pees shrink and renders females sterile, bookish, and unsubmissive it is not widely used by the turban and automatic weapons set... worker was threatened by an unidentified man in the Jhangi Syedan locality of Tarnol on Friday.
The police said they were considering registering an FIR against the unidentified man.
Syed Hareem Abbas Zaidi, an electrical engineering student at the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, was engaged by the CDA for the polio vaccination. Mr Zaidi informed the CDA management that he went to a house to give vaccine to children.
When he came back to the vehicle in the field, he found his files missing. In the meantime, a man, whose height was over six feet, reached there and twisted his arm. The unidentified man warned the vaccinator that like his files he would make him vanish.
The vaccinator said that on Thursday another person, who was speaking Pashto, had told him that polio vaccination was a US conspiracy against the Moslems and he should not take part in the campaign.
Dr Hassan Urooj, the CDA director health, told Dawn that after getting the information the member administration and he reached the spot and filed a complaint with the police. "The police assured us that an FIR would be lodged," he said.
He said after the incident in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... , polio team members were reluctant to go out. "But we told them to continue the campaign in the best interest of the nation."
A member of the polio team requesting not to be identified said they got Rs250 per day and spent all the day moving from door to door. "We also prepare and submit the record to our supervisors. Our life is in danger but still we get only Rs250," he said.
It may be noted that on July 16, Mohsin Ali, a polio team member reached the house of one Nadir Khan in the Johda village of Golra police to vaccinate his children against polio. However, it's easy to be generous with someone else's money... Khan allegedly tortured him.
The next day, the accused got bail before arrest from the court.
[Dawn] Police in Indian-administered Kashmirejugged Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! a young woman accused of throwing stones at government forces during anti-India protests two years ago. She has been charged with attempted murder, a police officer said Saturday.
Zahida Akhtar was arrested on Friday in southern town of Anantnag and also is charged with instigating protests, said police officer Ramesh Jalla.
In 2010, Kashmire witnessed some of the largest protests against Indian rule that left at least 112 people dead in firing by government forces.
Police have arrested over 5,000 people since then, but freed most of them.
Adil Ahmed Dar, Akhtar's brother, denied the police claim and said his sister was hit by a police bullet and had to drop out of school. "I took her to the cop shoppe after police came to my shop and said she was wanted for an inquiry. When we reached there, they simply arrested her," Dar said.
"This is even worse than jungle rule. First they (government forces) almost made her an invalid. Now, after two years they've arrested her," he said.
Kashmire is divided between India and Pakistain, and it is claimed by both countries.
According to some estimates, an armed uprising and ensuing crackdown by Indian forces have left an estimated 68,000 people dead in the region since 1989. In recent years, the armed conflict has largely subsided, with public opposition to Indian rule now seen mostly in street protests, where government forces and rock-throwing youths regularly face off.
Meanwhile, ...back at the alley, Slats went for his rosco... a top separatist leader in the disputed region Saturday condemned the woman's arrest and said India has converted Kashmire into a "police state."
"On the other hand, they've not brought to book any police or soldier involved in 2010 killings," said Syed Ali Shah Geelani in a statement.
Many women actually attend training camps where they are taught to kill soldiers. One of their favorite weapons is a folding wrist rocket type slingshot which they can easily hide beneath their clothing. A group of women will approach their intended victom. When close enough the woman with the slingshot will fire a sharp pointed projectile laced with home-made poison. The women then scatter and hide. One of the women will drop the slingshot in a pre-arranged spot where it will be picked up by a group of children who also scatter and are too fast for the soldiers to catch.
Since the poison is home-made, it is impossible for the soldiers or police to carry an antidote. One of the more common poisons is some concoction of animal urin and snake venom. Most victoms survive but many spend months in the hospital. More recently soldiers have been claiming that they have contracted HIV and other terminal illnesses as a result of being struck by one of these projectiles.
It is not just young people, but even grandmothers have been arrested for engaging in this type of attack, in both Kashmire and the Gaza Strip.
[Al Ahram] A cameraman for Syrian state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
has been bumped off outside his home in Damascus ...The place where Pencilneck hangs his brass hat... , the broadcaster reported on Saturday, blaming the attack on "terrorists".
"Our colleague Haidar al-Sumudi, cameraman for Syrian Arab Television, was rubbed out by an armed terrorist group outside his home in Kfar Sousa in Damascus," the television said, without specifying when the attack took place.
Even before his death, at least 17 paid journalists and 44 citizen journalists had been killed in violence in Syria since the uprising against Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad The Scourge of Hama... 's rule erupted in March last year, according to mid-December figures from media watchdog Reporters Without Borders.
[Al Ahram] The total number of injuries resulting from festivities that broke out between President Mohamed Morsi's Islamist supporters and secular opponents in Egypt's second-largest city, Alexandria, on Friday rose to 77, stated Egypt's health ministry front man Ahmed Omar late on Friday.
"Twenty six of those injured have been released from the hospital while 51 are still being treated in four different hospitals in Alexandria," Omar detailed.
Clashes erupted shortly after masses of Salafist Islamists gathered at Alexandria's Qaed Ibrahim Mosque Friday for what they dubbed "the million-man rally to defend [Islamist] holy mans and mosques."
The rally, which was initially peaceful after Friday noon prayers in the Mediterranean city, broke out into festivities between Islamist demonstrators and opposition.
Rounds of teargas were fired into the crowds, forcing people to escape onto the Corniche (major seaside boulevard) near the mosque.
The Islamist rally was called for after a well-known Alexandrian Salafist holy man, Sheikh Ahmed El-Mahalawi, was held captive inside a mosque for 14 hours by worshippers angered by overtly Islamist rhetoric ahead of a constitutional referendum.
El-Mahalawy demanded in his sermon that worshippers seek the implementation of Sharia (Islamic law). The sermon was regarded as a not very discreet call to vote 'Yes' for the constitution that was drafted by a heavily Islamist constituent assembly.
Over 20 people were maimed Friday in the ensuing confrontations in Alexandria and a few vehicles were set ablaze.
Fifty one were incarcerated You have the right to remain silent... on Saturday during the riots; 18 of whom are supporters of the Salafist holy man and 33 are from opponents, an Alexandria security official told Al-Ahram Arabic-language news website.
[Al Ahram] A boom-mobile killed five people and maimed dozens in the eastern Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... district of Qaboun on Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Another activist group in Damascus gave no figures for the number of people killed in the blast but said bodies were still being recovered from wreckage caused by the kaboom.
The British-based Observatory, which monitors violence across Syria through a network of sources on the ground, also reported festivities between rebel fighters and forces loyal to Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Lord of the Baath... on the edge of the southern Damascus neighbourhood of Hajar al-Aswad.
The district is next to the Paleostinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, which was taken over by rebels this week.
[Al Ahram] Sistan-Baluchestan province, bordering Pakistain, faces serious security problems including bombings and frequent festivities between police and drug pushers and bandidos.
"Border agents learned that subversive groups wished to enter our territory," said Ahmad Reza-Radan, Iran's deputy police chief, according to the Mehr news agency.
"The agents were successful in identifying and seizing a large shipment of explosives which had entered our country."
The haul included 20 bombs, Radan said. He did not say when exactly the explosives were found. One person had been jugged Drop the rosco, Muggsy, or you're one with the ages! in connection but others had escaped to Pakistain.
"We request that the Pak government act on its obligations in controlling border regions, because its border has become a way for bandit traffic," he was quoted as saying.
Radan did not identify the arrested person or the suspected groups involved.
In the last major attack in Zahedan, the scenic provincial capital of Sistan-Baluchestan, a jacket wallah killed dozens at a Shiite Mohammedan mosque in 2010.
[BBC.CO.UK] Egypt's vice-president has announced his resignation, on the day the country completed its voting in a controversial referendum on a draft constitution.
Mahmoud Mekki, a former judge who was appointed vice-president in August, said the "nature of politics" did not suit his professional background.
Polls have now closed in the second leg of the referendum, which is widely expected to approve the draft.
However, a lie repeated often enough remains a lie... opponents say this will not end the country's unrest.
They say the constitution favours Islamists and betrays the revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak ...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011... last year.
President Mohammed Morsi and his supporters say the document will secure democracy.
Late on Saturday, state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
announced that the central bank governor, Farouq al-Uqdah, had also resigned from his post. However, a lie repeated often enough remains a lie... a cabinet official later denied the report.
November decree Mr Mekki announced his resignation just hours before the end of voting in the second round of the referendum.
He said, in a statement read on television: "I realised a while ago that the nature of politics does not suit my professional background as a judge."
[Al Ahram] Partisans of Tunisia's Islamist ruling party attacked a hotel on Saturday where members of a secular opposition party met to commemorate the alleged murder of one of their officials, an AFP correspondent said.
Hundreds of demonstrators brandishing banners hostile to the opposition party Nidaa Tounes gathered outside Hotel Midoune, on Djerba island, where the meeting was being held, the correspondent said.
The meeting marked the end of 40 days of mourning for the death of Lotfi Naguedh, who the party claim was beaten to death in October during a demonstration in the southern city of Tataouine.
Some demonstrators threw rocks at officials of the opposition party and later broke through a police and military cordon, besieging the entrance to the hotel and threatening to attack if the opposition officials were not expelled.
Nidaa Tounes (Call of Tunisia), founded in July and led by former premier Beji Caid Essebsi, is accused by Tunisia's ruling coalition of regrouping former regime officials and seeking to undermine the government.
[Al Ahram] Syrian rebels have warned two Christian towns in the central region of Hama they will be attacked if they do not evict pro-regime fighters, according to a video distributed by a watchdog on Saturday.
The footage released by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and entitled "Warning mainly to Christian cities in the province of Hama", shows seven Islamist fighters armed with Kalashnikovs.
"We issue this warning so that you expel gangs of (President Bashar al-) Assad and shabiha (pro-regime militia) from your towns and convince them not to bomb our villages and families," said a fighter who identified himself as Rashid Abul Fida, head of the Al-Ansar Brigade in Hama.
"If not, we will immediately attack the hideouts of Assad's gangs and shabiha."
Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said the towns of Mharda and Al-Sqilbiya to which the rebel video was addressed both had pre-war populations in the tens of thousands but most of their residents had already fled, taking refuge in the coastal province of Tartus.
Rebels on Monday launched an all-out assault on army positions across Hama, according to the Observatory.
"Since the start of operations to liberate Hama province, the (rebel) Free Syrian Army has attacked the tyrant's soldiers and shabiha in the majority of towns and villages," said Abul Fida.
There are some 1.8 million Christians in Syria, many of whom have remained neutral in the country's conflict. Others have taken Assad's side, for fear of the rise of Islamism.
We support the sunnis but they are less tolerant than the Shias.Why?
Because the Sunnis were always a physical majority as well as the ruling sect in most of the Moslem world, and so they never learnt to submit, Hupert Omuque5563, or so it seems to me. Even today, as I recall, Sunnis are 90% of the total Muslim population, while Shiites are 10%. Except for Iran and Bahrain, they are a small minority...and they only actually rule in Iran, if I understand correctly.
[Al Ahram] A suspected jacket wallahwent kaboom! Saturday when he rammed his car into the office gate of a major mobile phone company in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, police said. "There has been a kaboom at Airtel office. From what we hear, it was a suicide kaboom. The bomber rammed his car into the gate and went kaboom!. The building is on fire," said a policeman who requested anonymity.
[Al Ahram] On a relatively uneventful day, Egyptians in seventeen governorates voted in the second phase of the referendum on the new constitution.
In a throwback to the first phase in the poll last Saturday the opposition has complained of violations that threaten the legitimacy of the whole process while the Islamist parties, especially the Moslem Brüderbund, rejected the opposition's allegations.
In the governorate of Ismailia on the Suez Canal members of the leading opposition's National Salvation Front announced the withdrawal of their delegates from monitoring the referendum in the afternoon to object to "massive violations."
On the other hand, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Board member Mohamed Gamal Heshmat accused rights groups and monitors of "falsely" creating problems in an attempt to taint the image of the referendum.
Accusations of voting improprieties throughout the day included rigging votes, banning rival voters from entering polling stations, and attempts by partisans to influence voters as they cast ballots.
Observers say that the turnout in this phase will not be higher than the first phase that saw about 32 per cent participation.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Electoral Commission had extended the voting hours from 7pm to 11pm due to "high voter turnout."
[An Nahar] Egypt's cabinet denied on Saturday that the country's central bank head had stepped down, state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
said, hours after reporting Faruq El-Okda's resignation.
There was no immediate explanation for the conflicting reports.
The press had speculated for days that El-Okda would resign for health reasons.
[An Nahar] Spanish satellite operator Hispasat has dropped broadcasts by two of Iranian state broadcaster IRIB's channels because of EU sanctions against its chief, the Mehr news agency reported on Saturday.
The English- and Spanish-language channels Press TV and Hispan TV were no longer available via Hispasat from Friday because of the sanctions against IRIB head Ezzatollah Zarghami, Mehr said.
No immediate comment was available from Hispasat.
"Iran will take the necessary legal measures to confront this new wave of attacks by the Americans and Europeans targeting its media," IRIB's official responsible for international affairs, Mohammed Sarafraz, said on its website.
Press TV and Hispan TV issued a joint news release denouncing what they called a "flagrant violation of freedom of speech" and "attempt to silence the truth-telling media."
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.