TWO terror suspects linked to the Westgate and Mpeketoni attacks have been arrested in Garissa as they crossed over to Somalia.
Ahmed Mohamed and Noor Gatut, who are in their mid 40s, are of Somali origin and were arrested by a combined police force drawn from the Rapid Deployment Unit and the CID last Thursday. The two wanted terror suspects, who had been on detectives‚Ä™ radar for some time, were arrested after they communicated with their colleagues in Somalia.
Investigations told the Star that the two made two calls to al Shabaab commanders in Somalia just before they made it through the Kenya-Somalia border. A detective assigned for terrorism communication on mobile data said the two had planned and participated in the September 21, 2013 Westgate attack and June 14-15 Mpeketoni killings of more than 100 people.
‚ÄúWe have been chasing these two suspects for long. They first made communication outside Riyadha Mosque in Majengo, Nairobi. Their mobile communication data shows that they participated a lot in Westgate and Mpeketoni attacks,‚ÄĚ he said.
A senior ATPU officer said the two are well trained militiamen, with lot of experience.
The two were taken to Mpeketoni police station under tight security by KDF officers, before being transferred to Malindi on Sunday.
Garissa county CID boss Musa Yego said the arresting officers were drawn from police headquarters in Nairobi. He said the suspects will be taken to any court after investigations.
The Star has also established that junior officers from Lamu AP post may be interdicted and charged for allegedly facilitating and communicating with the attackers, especially at Mpeketoni during the first attack. The nine officers are said to have made several calls and sent congratulatory messages to the killers.
The detectives are also analysing a CCTV footage, which the attackers thought they had destroyed at one of the banks in Mpeketoni. They suspect the other men who were in a private Probox car might be the officers who showed them the directions.
Lamu county commissioner Njenga Miiri, who did not want to disclose more about the junior officers, said they are not only probing high profiled individuals but also junior staff who may have participated in the killings.
[Libya Herald] Contrary to reportes, Spain has not followed example of the Germans, Austrians and some other European states and closed its embassy in Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn... , an embassy official said today. "The embassy is functioning and the ambassador is there", a Foreign Ministry official in Madrid confirmed. However, there's no worse danger than telling a mother her baby is ugly... Canada has announced that it is temporarily withdrawing its diplomatic staff from Libya. Portugal is also temporarily closing its embassy.
The Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said in a statement that the Candian diplomats in Tripoli would temporarily work out of the Canadian embassy in Tunisia "until appropriate measures are put in place to respond to the changing operational environment" in Tripoli.
"This decision is solely due to concerns about the security of our personnel and has no connection with our continuing and long-standing diplomatic relations with Libya", the statement said.
Spain, he said, could not and would not "completely eliminate" its diplomatic presence in Tripoli. It would remain as a "clear sign of support" both for Libya and for the new House of Representatives which opens on 4 August.
The number of Spaniards living and working in Libya was 150, he said.
On Sunday, Spain like most other EU states issued a advisory notice telling Spaniards not to travel to Libya.
Portugal is reported to be working with Spain in the evacuation of its own citizens. The Portuguese news agency Lusa reported that the Portuguese government had announced today that it had decided to temporarily suspend the Portuguese diplomatic representation in Tripoli due to the lack of security in Libya.
[Libya Herald] Former Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur has been kidnapped according to reports, although it has not been confirmed.
Abushagur, who was elected in Suq Al-Juma last month as one its five members of the new House of Representatives, is said by an intelligence source to have been seized late this afternoon by a group who went to his house in Hay Al-Andalus in an ambulance and forced him at gunpoint to get in, in front of his wife and a relative.
According to the source, another group, claiming to be involved in security, had gone to his home earlier and advised him to leave because it was not safe for him to stay. He had refused. He had then phoned those the group were supposedly working for but was told no one had been sent.
The family member who witnessed the abduction tried to follow the ambulance, but two other vehicles moved in and blocked the road.
It is not known who was responsible. However, it was a brave man who first ate an oyster... it is thought that the real target is the new House of Representatives. Abushagur won the largest number of votes of any candidate in the country on the general list 14,305 and was widely expected to be elected President of the House when it first meets on 4 August.
There were already concerns that some Death Eaters in Libya would try to prevent it from meeting and functioning. Other members of the House are now seen as being at high risk.
[Libya Herald] In a major blow to its power and position, Benghazi's Saiqa Special Forces ...Libya's elite army unit, insofar as they have one, formed from a mixture of paratroopers and commandos. The group emerged from a militia with the same name in 2010. It now numbers a few thousand and reports to the Ministry of Defence. It deployed in Benghazi in an attempt to control the carnage. As a result, it has been attacked and several of its officers murdered. The force is popular in Benghazi for its stance against Ansar al-Sharia group... Brigade has been forced to abandon its headquarters in Buatni district after another day of intensive missile strikes by Ansar Al Sharia and its allies. Pictures of Ansar's head Mohammed Al-Zahawi and Wissam Ben Hamid, the leader of Libya Shield ...a conglomerate of pro-Islamist militias deployed across Libya. It reports to the Libyan defense ministry and is organized like a real army unit. Its commander used to head a Benghazi brigade called Free Libya Martyrs... l were shown in a video posted today standing in front of the headquarters.
Saiqa had earlier denied the loss. However, there's more than one way to skin a cat... Saiqa Commander Wani Bukhamada acknowledged the decision to pull out late this afternoon.
Ansar are reported to have also entered the nearby 21 Battalion headquarters, another Saiqa unit under the control of Salim Nayli.
In a further blow, a Mig jet fighter being used by the Operation Dignity forces of which Saiqa is a part, crashed into waste ground in Kuwaifiya,. However, there's more than one way to skin a cat... no one was hurt. The pilot ejected safely. According to Mohammed Hejazi, front man for Operation Dignity, the aircraft suffered a malfunction. It had not been shot down, he insisted.
Ansar and its allies launched their offensive against the Saiqa base a week ago. Following the attack, Bukhamada put out an appeal for urgent reinforcements to repel its opponents. Since then fierce fighting between both sides, which has seen continued missile attacks by Ansar and its allies and air strikes by Operation Dignity planes, has inflicted massive damage in the district and surrounding areas, notably Leithi, an Ansar stronghold. Dozens have been killed and many more injured.
Late last night there was heavy fighting in Leithi until well after sunrise as Operation Dignity forces tied to weaken Ansar and its allies. Further fighting in the district is expected tonight.
Earlier today, the head of Saiqa Special Forces Investigations Unit, Fadel Al-Hassi, said that Saiqa had captured 12 Ansar members in the Buatni area near its headquarters. Claiming them to be snipers, he said three were Syrians, five were from Derna and the rest from Benghazi.
Also speaking to the Libya Herald today, Hijazi would not divulge much but insisted that everything was under control. In noticeably defiant mood, he refered to Ansar and its allies as "dogs" who did not care about the Libya people, declaring that "these are their last days".
The same sort of defiant language came from Air Force Brigadier-General Saqr Adam Geroushi, the commander of Operation Dignity's air forces a couple of days ago when speaking to this newspaper he too said Ansar was facing destruction. "This will take time. But we will win," he said, divulging that Operation Dignity had new equipment.
Reports however say that Ansar has also been receiving new equipment.
Meanwhile, ...back at the abandoned silver mine, there was another kaboom... roads in Buatni and Budaima districts remain closed and resident are not being allowed in.
Libyan forces on Tuesday battled Islamist militants with rockets and warplanes for control of an army base in the eastern city of Benghazi after at least 30 people were killed in overnight fighting, Reuters reported. Intense fighting in Benghazi, Libya's second city, and battles between rival militias in the capital Tripoli have pushed Libya deeper into chaos after two weeks of the fiercest violence since the 2011 civil war ousted Muammar Gaddafi.
A rocket hit a fuel depot near Tripoli airport two days ago, igniting a huge blaze that Libyan fire-fighters on Tuesday were fighting to put out. Italy's government and Italian oil group ENI had agreed to help them, the government said.
Three years after Gaddafi's fall, the OPEC nation has failed to control ex-rebel militias who refuse to disband and who are threatening the unity of the country. The extent of recent hostilities has increased Western worries that Libya is sliding towards becoming a failed state and may once again go to war.
In Benghazi, battles have intensified since special forces and regular air force units joined ranks with a renegade army general, Khalifa Haftar, who launched a campaign against Islamist militants entrenched in the city, the home of the revolution against Gaddafi's more than 40-year rule.
"Groups of terrorists calling themselves al-Shoura Council Forces are attacking the government's main military base," Colonel Wanis Bukhamada, a special forces spokesman in Benghazi, told Reuters. "We have received 30 corpses so far," a medical source told Reuters at Benghazi's main hospital.
Islamist fighters from one of those groups, Ansar al Sharia, classified as a foreign terrorist organization by Washington, have been blamed by authorities for carrying out the attack on the U.S. Benghazi consulate in 2012 in which the U.S. ambassador was killed.
A government MiG warplane crashed during Tuesday's fighting in Benghazi. A Reuters reporter saw the pilot parachuting to ground after hearing an explosion. A spokesman for Haftar's forces said it was due to a technical problem.
It was a combination of technical problems and a SAM missile. But mostly the SAM missile...
Tripoli was quieter on Tuesday than over the last fortnight during which the two brigades of former rebels, mainly from the towns of Zintan and Misrata, have pounded each other's positions with Grad rockets, artillery fire and cannons, turning the south of the capital into a battlefield. At least 160 people have died in Tripoli and Benghazi during the clashes in the two cities, according to the health ministry.
A spokesman for the National Oil Corporation said on Tuesday the armed factions in Tripoli had agreed to a brief cease-fire to allow emergency services to fight the blazing fuel storage tanks containing millions of litres of fuel. The tanks are operated by Brega oil company, which is owned by NOC, and store oil for local consumption in Libya.
Black smoke was billowing from one of the tanks hit by a rocket on Sunday near the airport road. The highway and surrounding areas were empty after homes in the area were evacuated, except for occasional militia roadblocks.
Fire-fighters were spraying the area with water to cool down storage depots near the fuel tank that was set ablaze to try to extinguish the inferno.
Italy, the former colonial power, and Italy's Eni have agreed to help Libya to counter the blaze, Libya's government said in a statement without giving further details. Libya formally requested aid from France to fight the blaze, the French foreign ministry said.
[The Nation (Pak)] YAOUNDE : At least 15 people were killed in two attacks blamed on Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality... in northern Cameroon ...a long, narrow country that fills the space between Nigeria and Chad on the northeast, CAR to the southeast. Prior to incursions by Boko Haram nothing ever happened there... , with the wife of the country's deputy prime minister among a dozen people reportedly kidnapped, a security source said Monday.
The corpse count from the two reportedly simultaneous raids on Sunday by Nigerian Islamic murderous Moslems on the palace of the Sultan Kolofata, and the nearby home of one of the country's most senior politicians, deputy premier Amadou Ali, rose on Monday from six to at least 15. The sultan, Seiny Boukar Lamine, his wife and their five children are among the hostages, a government front man confirmed.
Two gendarmes and a member of the Cameroonian army's elite Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) were among the dead, a gendarme involved in the follow-up operation against the faceless myrmidons told AFP. 'We listed around 15 dead, including two gendarmes and a soldier from the BIR,' he said.
'About a dozen people were kidnapped.' Around 200 faceless myrmidons were involved in the raids, Cameroon's minister of communications, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, told local TV on Sunday.
The attacks come after Cameroon stepped up its fight against Boko Haram in the wake of the international outcry over the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls on April 14. 'It's a big blow, the country is in a state of shock,' a journalist on national television said. He claimed that some of the victims had been 'burned alive'. Boko Haram has long considered the northern Kolofata region, close to the Nigerian border, as a haven for its activities, and as a route for smuggling weapons.
Asked about the fate of the hostages, the gendarmerie source said there were reasons to be optimistic and 'that maybe we will have a happy ending rather quickly, but at this moment that is not the case.' The dramatic raids follow the deaths of several Cameroonian soldiers and gendarmes killed in two attacks blamed on the faceless myrmidons on Thursday and Friday.
[LATIMES] Police shot and killed "several dozen" people in northwestern Xinjiang province during festivities on the eve of an important Moslem holiday, Chinese authorities confirm.
Reporting of the incident was delayed almost 48 hours, and details remained vague.
The festivities took place Sunday night and Monday morning in villages near Yarkand, also known as Shache, a desert oasis near China's western border with Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
A report released by the official Xinhua news agency late Tuesday said several hundred people armed with knives and axes attacked local government and police offices in Ailixihu township, then launched a similar attack in adjacent Huangdi township.
"They smashed and burned multiple vehicles and slashed innocent civilians,'' the Xinhua report said. "Police responded swiftly and shot and killed several dozen assailants.''
Unconfirmed reports from people who were in the area said 13 police and 20 protesters were killed.
Chinese police in the region have taken up arms and adopted shoot-to-kill policies after a string of terror attacks.
Tourists who were in the area described military checkpoints on roads leading into and out of Yarkand. One tourist who asked not to be quoted by name said she saw a convoy of 20 canvas-covered military trucks driving into Yarkand on Tuesday night.
The tourist also said Internet and telephone service had been cut off intermittently.
A blogger wrote that the altercation started when police were "doing an inspection in a village."
URUMQI, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Dozens of civilians were killed or injured in a terrorist attack early on Monday morning in Shache County, Kashgar Prefecture, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, local police said.
A gang armed with knives and axes attacked a police station and government offices in Elixku Township, and some moved on to the nearby Huangdi Township, attacking civilians and smashing vehicles as they passed. Dozens of Uygur and Han civilians were killed or injured, according to the local police.
Police officers at the scene shot dead dozens of members of the mob.
[The Nation (Pak)] KHUZDAR - At least seven people were reported injured on Monday in an kaboom in Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... 's Khuzdar area.
Security forces reached the site of the blast and cordoned off the area where rescue operations were immediately launched.
Khuzdar is considered one of the most sensitive districts of Balochistan where forces of Evil have been targeting security forces and national installations for more than a decade.
Worsening law and order situation has forced hundreds of families to migrate from Khuzdar to different parts of Balochistan and Sindh.
[The Nation (Pak)] Ahrar-ul-Hind (AuH), a splinter group of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP), the other day (Friday) threatened to stage suicide kabooms across the country if the government did not stop military operation against turbans in North Wazoo Agency. Weren't they doing that before the operation started?
"We will target security forces all around the country. Our jacket wallahs have reached the major cities of the country. This time the focus of our attacks will be Punjab, as all policies are formulated there," said Asad Mansoor, a spokesperson for AuH, while talking to The Nation on phone from some holy man's guesthouse an undisclosed location.
The AuH under the leadership of Maulana Umar Qasmi parted ways with TTP when the former initiated peace talks with the government earlier this year. "AuH had asked the leadership of TTP not to initiate any peace talks with the 'infidel government' until the Mujahideen did not take Dire Revenge" of the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud. They did not agree with us and the result is in front of all," he added.
He further said that talks were under way between AuH and TTP and hoped that both the bully boy groups would soon reconcile, as both have a common enemy (security forces of Pakistain). According to the AuH, the ongoing military operation has resulted in the killings of innocent people and AuH 'will avenge the killings.'
The AuH became active when the TTP leadership initiated peace talks with the government and during that period the group grabbed credit for different attacks against the security forces. "We had carried out attacks in different parts of the country like 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. and Quetta and we have the capability to reach our targets," warned Abu Mansoor. The spokesperson also revealed formation of a new central Shura of AuH under the leadership of Qasmi. "We have formed a new Shura (council) with members from all around the country," he added.
[The Nation (Pak)] DIR Unidentified gunniesshot up guest house of a former provincial minister in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... today and killed at least six people, police said.
Bakht Baidar Khan, former minister and sitting member of provincial assembly, survived the attack as he was not at the guest house at the time of the attack in Lower Dir district. Brother of Khan, who belongs to the opposition Qaumi Watan Party, and a police guard, was among the dead, family sources and the police said. Four people were also maimed in the attack. The gunnies, reportedly wearing military uniform, fled after the shooting. Police sources said that a tribal jirga, or council of elders, was underway at the guesthouse to resolve a dispute between two communities, when the gunnies opened fire, killing four people at the scene. Two later died in hospital.
No group grabbed credit. However a Taliban Twitter page praised the attackers. Opposition political parties have condemned the attack and demanded investigation into the incident.
[IsraelTimes] The Times of Israel is liveblogging events as they unfold through Wednesday, the 23rd day of Operation Protective Edge. The day began with allegations of an Israeli shelling of a UN school in Gazoo, with 20 people reported killed. Following another day of heavy Israeli strikes on Gazoo, and Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, rocket fire aimed at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, among other towns and villages nationwide, Israel and Hamas were both reported to be considering ceasefire moves. But there were no formal confirmations that an end to the conflict was near. The Israeli security cabinet is set to meet Wednesday to discuss whether to expand the ground offensive or halt it, after some in the IDF say most of the Hamas cross-border tunnels have been found and are being demolished.
Fifty-three Israeli soldiers, two civilians and a foreign worker have been confirmed killed in three weeks of fighting, while Gazook health officials put the corpse count there at over 1,200. Israel says hundreds of those are Hamas fighters.
And probably scores more are Islamic Jihad and other hard boyz eager to get a piece of the glory.
[ARABNEWS] A senior PLO official proposed a 24-hour humanitarian cease-fire Tuesday in the Gazoo war, saying he spoke in the name of Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason,, but was contradicted a short while later by a front man of the Islamist movement.
In Gazoo, a health official said at least 100 Paleostinians were killed in Israeli Arclight airstrikes and tank shelling Tuesday, as Israel escalated its military campaign. The official, Ashraf Al-Kidra, said the day's corpse count was expected to rise.
There have been several instances in which the daily Gazoocorpse count in more than three weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting has surpassed 100.
Israel has lost 53 soldiers, along with two civilians and a Thai national.
Tuesday's cease-fire offer was made by the Paleostine Liberation Organization (PLO), of which Hamas is not a member. The largest group in the PLO is the Fatah movement of Paleostinian President the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas ... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial... , Hamas' main political rival.
However, the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits... the PLO's secretary-general, Yasser Abed Rabbo ... Paleostinian politician and a member of the Paleostine Liberation Organization's (PLO) Executive Committee. He holds an M.A. in economics and political science from the American University in Cairo..... , said the offer came after consultations with Hamas and Islamic Jihad ...created after many members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood decided the organization was becoming too moderate. Operations were conducted out of Egypt until 1981 when the group was exiled after the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. They worked out of Gaza until they were exiled to Lebanon in 1987, where they clove tightly to Hezbollah. In 1989 they moved to Damascus, where they remain a subsidiary of Hezbollah... , a smaller murderous Moslem group in Gazoo. Paleostinian officials said Abbas has been in touch in recent days with Khaled Meshaal, the top Hamas leader in exile.
"The Paleostinian leadership, following consultations with the leadership in Hamas and Islamic Jihad, announces in the name of all of these our readiness for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire for 24 hours," Abed Rabbo said in the West Bank.
A Hamas front man in Gazoo, Sami Abu Zuhri ...a senior spokesman for Hamas. Zuhri gained notoriety in 2006 when he dropped his money belt containing somewhere between 640,000 and 900,000 euros, which was confiscated by Paleostinian security and customs officials at a routine border crossing from Egypt to Gaza. The news brought competing Hamas and Fatah forces to the crossing checkpoint for an epic face-making and hollering contest... , said that "the remarks of Mr. Abed Rabbo are not true and have nothing to do with the positions of the factions at the moment."
It was not clear if Abu Zuhri reflected the views of the Hamas leadership in exile.
In Israel, government front man Mark Regev declined comment.
Tuesday's strikes came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday warned of a "prolonged" campaign against Hamas. It was not clear if this meant Israel has decided to go beyond the initial objectives of decimating Hamas' ability to fire rockets and demolishing the group's military tunnels under the Gazoo-Israel border.
Already, the intensity and the scope of the current Gazoo operation is on par with an invasion five years ago, which ended with a unilateral Israeli withdrawal after it hit Hamas hard.
Gazoo's power plant also was forced to shut down Tuesday after two tank shells hit one of three fuel tanks, said Jamal Dardasawi, a front man for Gazoo's electricity distribution company. He said the damage would take months to repair.
Even before the shutdown, Gazoo residents only had electricity for about three hours a day because fighting had damaged power lines.
Syrian rebels pressed on with a fresh advance in the central province of Hama, as they bid to take out its military airport, a rebel commander and a monitor said on Tuesday.
‚ÄúThe rebels are now nine kilometres away from Hama military airport, which they want to put out of action,‚ÄĚ said Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman.
A rebel leader in the area, who gave his name as Hassan, said Hama military airport was important because ‚Äúthat is where the regime makes its barrel bombs, and warplanes take off from there to carry out air strikes on (opposition-held) areas across Syria‚ÄĚ.
According to the Observatory, rebels and their Al Qaeda ally, the Al Nusra Front, took over a major checkpoint north of Hama city, which is firmly under regime control, on Monday night. The takeover of the checkpoint at Tarabih comes on the back of Sunday‚Ä™s capture of a weapons depot in the area.
‚ÄúThe regime has suffered several defeats in Hama province in recent days,‚ÄĚ said Abdel Rahman.
As they have advanced, rebels have cut off the road linking Hama city, the provincial capital, to a string of regime-controlled Christian and Alawi villages in the west of the province, he added.
According to Hassan, the regime is sending reinforcements.
‚ÄúThey are stepping up their troop presence here, which will limit the regime‚Ä™s capabilities in other areas, such as Aleppo,‚ÄĚ said the rebel commander, who spoke via the Internet. As for the military airport: ‚ÄúWe are already striking it with Grad missiles,‚ÄĚ said Hassan.
In Aleppo alone, air strikes including barrel bomb attacks have since December killed hundreds of civilians including children, and forced thousands of families to flee, as the regime has unleashed a massive aerial offensive there.
Rights groups have hit out at the regime for its use of barrel bombs, which they describe as failing to discriminate between civilian and military targets.
Dumb bombs, whether made from barrels or fromthe finest casings, can't discriminate between civilians and military targets. That's the job of the pilot...
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.