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Obama Authorizes Use of Drone Airstrikes in Libya...
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
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Page 6: Politix
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Good morning
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [216 views] Top||

#1  Happy Birthday/Daily Gam Shot

Catherine Mary Stewart aka Maggie Gordon in "The Last Starfighter" aka Regina "Reggie" Belmont in "Night of the Comet" aka Gwen Saunders in "Weekend at Bernie's" aka Jessie Collins in "Samurai Cowboy" (age 52)


Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 04/22/2011 1:33 Comments || Top||

#2  A guy walked into a bar. On the door was a sign that read "If you can make my horse laugh then I will give you $50."

So he walked up to the bar tender and said "I can make your horse laugh." So he went out in the back alley and came back and the horse was laughing. So the bar tender said "A deal is a deal but before I pay you, tell me how you made my horse laugh."

He said "I told him mine is bigger than his."

Then about three months later the same guy came back into this bar and say a sign on the door it read: If you can make my horse cry then I will give you $50.

So he walked up to the bar tender and said "I can make your horse laugh." So he went in to the back alley and made the horse cry. He came back in and the bar tender said "A deal is a deal but before I pay you, tell me how you made my horse cry."

He said "I showed him!"


I'm guessing that the horse is laughing because he' read half the joke so far. I'm guessing Betty is laughing because she reads faster than the horse.

Catherine apparently also reads faster than the horse, but I cannot tell from her smile whether or not she has a sense of humor.
Posted by: gorb || 04/22/2011 3:45 Comments || Top||

#3  (Statements redacted due to family oriented nature of website)

Trust me guys it was a doozy.
Posted by: Bill Clinton || 04/22/2011 10:13 Comments || Top||

#4  Good joke, Gorb. Good graphic too. There was a time in Tijuana when you could buy those. I never did so I can't say whether or not they were genuine. Haven't been down there in so long that I don't know if they're still available or not.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 04/22/2011 11:03 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan
17 Insurgents Potted in Afghan, Isaf Operations
[Tolo News] At least 17 faceless myrmidons were killed in joint Afghan and Coalition forces' operation in eastern Kunar province
... which is right down the road from Binny's house in Chitral...
on Tuesday, Isaf said in a statement on Wednesday.

The operation was launched in Dangam district of Kunar province during which seventeen faceless myrmidons including imported muscle were killed and one suspected Death Eater was jugged during a search for an al-Qaeda senior leader, Isaf said in a statement.

"The senior al-Qaeda leader commands and facilitates faceless myrmidons throughout the province and border region, directing weapons acquisition, movement, employment of fighters and equipment to Kunar for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces," added the statement.

Three snuffies started shooting at Afghan and coalition forces when they were killed by an air support team, Isaf said.

Dangam district is bordered by Pakistain and faceless myrmidons have been active in most villages of it planning attacks on Afghan border police check posts.

Afghan and foreign forces have previously launched military operations to clear the insecure parts of the province of bad turbans.

Insurgents have recently been targeting provincial officials of Kunar province.
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [200 views] Top||


Bomb blast kills 3 policemen in Afghanistan
[Arab News] Fighting has escalated in eastern Afghanistan as Afghan and coalition forces step up their attacks on Islamic fascisti along the Pakistain border and faceless myrmidons retaliate with attacks on pro-government forces, including a kaboom Thursday that killed three Afghan coppers.

Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a front man for the governor of Nangarhar province, said the three coppers were killed by a bomb that was placed on a bus.

The bus was transporting Afghan coppers and trainees to a training academy in the quiet provincial capital of Jalalabad.

Six others on the bus were maimed in the kaboom, Abdulzai said.

Afghanistan's spring fighting season is expected to be in full force by the end of this month.

Before winter set in, tens of thousands of US and NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Originally it was a mutual defense pact directed against an expansionist Soviet Union. In later years it evolved into a mechanism for picking the American pocket while criticizing the style of the American pants...
reinforcements routed the Taliban from their strongholds, captured leading figures and destroyed weapons caches. The bully boys, known for their resiliency, responded with high-profile attacks across the nation.

What's unknown is how strong the Taliban will prove to be as the fighting gears up in what could be a defining year in the nearly decade-old war.

"In the last several weeks, the activity is starting to go up more, so they (insurgents) are starting to come back" from Pakistain, said Maj. Gen. John Campbell, commander of coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan.

Campbell spoke to news hounds Wednesday night at Bagram Air Field.

"We've hammered the Haqqani network and the bad boys," he said, referring to the bad boy network, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda and often blamed for attacks in the Kabul. "We killed a lot of low level and mid-level leadership, especially the Haqqani network, because we have really been going after that. And what we have started to see is that leadership is much younger and less experienced."
Oboy -- getting inside their management training loop! Once we did that in Iraq, it was just a matter of executing the plan.
Campbell said the spring offensive would continue to attack safe havens and supply lines in eastern Afghanistan with the help of Pak forces on the other side of the border.

At least 21 US troops have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year, at least 10 in eastern Afghanistan.

In other incidents in the east, two Afghan men were killed and four other people -- three women and a child -- were maimed Thursday when their van struck a roadside mine in Dih Yak district of Ghazni province, said Sher Khan Yousefzai, the top local official in neighboring Andar district.

A French soldier was killed and nine others were maimed when their armored vehicle struck a road side bomb Wednesday in Kapisa province, the French Defense Ministry said.

Also, 17 bad boys, including imported muscle, were killed Tuesday in Kunar province
... which is right down the road from Binny's house in Chitral...
by Afghan and coalition forces searching for a senior leader of the Al-Qaeda network, NATO said late Wednesday. According to the coalition, the Al-Qaeda leader commanded Islamic fascisti and directed the purchase of equipment used to attack pro-government forces in the border region.

NATO also said that a Haqqani operator was captured Wednesday in Tere Zayi district of Khost province
... across the border from Miranshah, within commuting distance of Haqqani hangouts such as Datta Khel and probably within sight of Mordor. Khost is populated by six different tribes of Pashtuns, the largest probably being the Khostwal, from which it takes its name...
, which borders Pakistain and that several suspected Islamic fascisti were jugged in the quiet provincial capital of Khost. According to NATO, the individuals have been conducting military training and developing a compound linked to Al-Qaeda leaders based in Pakistain.
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [202 views] Top||


Africa Horn
South Somalia clashes leave 24 dead
Clashes between government soldiers backed by African Union
...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful...
forces and al-Shabaab
... Harakat ash-Shabaab al-Mujahidin aka the Mujahideen Youth Movement. It was originally the youth movement of the Islamic Courts, now pretty much all of what's left of it. They are aligned with al-Qaeda but operate more like the Afghan or Pakistani Taliban. The organization's current leader is Ibrahim Haji Jama Mee'aad, also known as Ibrahim al-Afghani. Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, a Kenyan al-Qaeda member, is considered the group's military leader...
fighters have left at least 24 people dead in southern part of Somalia.

At least 24 people were killed on Wednesday evening after festivities broke out between al-Shaboobs and the transitional government troops in Dhobley and Elwak towns near the border with Kenya, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Most of those killed were members of anti-government al-Shabaab group while scores of people were also injured during the deadly festivities.

Al-Shabaab fighters had controlled Dhobley town in Lower Jubba region since January 2009. However,
The contradictory However...
it fell under pro-government militia Ahlu Sunna Waljama's control last week.

Boilerplate follows...
Somalia has not had a functioning government
since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Over the past two decades, up to one million people have been killed in Somalia in the fighting between rival factions and also due to famine and disease.

There are more than 1.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia, with over 300,000 of them sheltering in Mogadishu alone.

Most of the displaced live in poor and degrading conditions on makeshift camps in southern and central Somalia, according to the United Nations
...an international organization whose stated aims of facilitating interational security involve making sure that nobody with live ammo is offended unless it's a civilized country...
High Commissioner for Refugees.
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [388 views] Top||


Dozens killed in south Sudan clash
[Al Jazeera] At least 31 people have been killed in a clash between south Sudan's army and rebel militia fighters, the army said, the latest violence to unsettle the region ahead of its independence in July.

Twenty of the victims were southern army soldiers who died on Tuesday in the clash in the oil-producing Unity state with fighters loyal to Peter Gadet, a former senior southern army (SPLA) officer who rebelled this month, the military said on Wednesday.

"They (the rebels) overran a village in Mayom county. They burned it to the ground before the SPLA chased them off," Philip Aguer, a southern army front man, said.

Two drivers were also killed when two civilian trucks hit landmines in the same county, Aguer said, adding that the rebels fought alongside Misseriya rustics from the north.

Southern leaders have accused their former civil war foes in the north of arming the renegades to try and destabilise the region and keep control of its oil, charges Khartoum denies.

The Misseriya who drive their cattle south to graze during the dry season claimed sole responsibility for the attack.

"We attacked an SPLA base in ...Unity state to return 1,700 cows that the SPLA had stolen from us," said Ismail Hamadein, a senior Misseriya official.

He said 11 of his tribe died and 22 were maimed during the attack on Tuesday, but said they had no links to Gadet.

Northern staff expelled
Unity authorities responded to the latest violence by expelling northern Sudanese staff working in oil-producing areas of the state, underscoring the risk from rising tensions.

"Unity State have ample evidence that these militia are being encouraged, sponsored, organised and planned by elements in the national government," Gideon Gatpan Thoar, the state's information minister, said.

Oil is the lifeblood of both economies and how to share the revenues after separation remains unresolved.

Southern oil is currently spilt roughly 50-50 with the north, and the south will still have to rely on pipelines in the north after July.

The United Nations
...aka the Oyster Bay Chowder and Marching Society...
has said more than 800 people have died in the violence in south Sudan this year stemming from tribal fighting and festivities between soldiers and at least seven bands of renegade fighters in the territory.

Analysts have warned any further deterioration could destabilise the whole region. South Sudan's neighbours include Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Renegade fighters have accused the south's government of corruption and crackdowns on opposition supporters, charges denied in the southern capital Juba.

Rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused both SPLA and rebel fighters of human rights
...which often intentionally defined so widely as to be meaningless...
violations during a battle in Upper Nile State in March. Aguer dismissed the allegations against the SPLA.

The south has fought the north for all but a few years since 1955 over differences in religion, ideology, ethnicity and oil.

The conflict has claimed an estimated two million lives.
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [209 views] Top||


Somali pirates hijack South Korean ship
[Iran Press TV] Somali pirates have hijacked a South Korean-owned container ship with 20 crew members onboard in waters off the coast of the Horn of Africa nation.


The Panamanian-registered 75,000-ton Hanjin Tianjin ship was sailing from Spain to Singapore on Thursday morning when pirates seized it several hundred kilometers off the Somali coast, a Press TV correspondent reported.

The vessel has a crew of fourteen South Korean and six Indonesian nationals.

Somali pirates are reportedly taking the hijacked South Korean ship to Harardhere, a town in the Mudug province of central Somalia.

The waters off the Indian Ocean coast of Somalia are considered the most dangerous in the world for persistent piracy attempts in the area.

Attacks by the heavily armed Somali pirates in speedboats have prompted some of the world's largest shipping firms to switch routes from the Suez Canal and send cargo vessels around southern Africa, causing a hike in shipping costs.

Somalia does not have a functional government, and the Transitional Federal Government lacks control beyond the capital city Mogadishu.
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [217 views] Top||

#1  There are only so many ports. A nice dose of naval mining would go a long way to obstruct traffic. If you have too little nerve to consider that, there are a lot of mothballed vessels that could be scuttled in those same traffic lanes which the locals would be unable to remove.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 04/22/2011 23:27 Comments || Top||


Somali pirates hijack Iran-bound ship
[Iran Press TV] Somali pirates have hijacked an Italian ship with 21 crew members off the coast of Oman in Indian Ocean waters, the European Union's Naval Force says.

The MV Rosalia D'Amato was hijacked by Somali pirates, nearly 350 nautical miles southeast of Oman's port of Salalah, EU Naval Force Somalia front man Paddy O'Kennedy said on Thursday.

The Italian-flagged ship was on its way to Iran's Bandar Imam Khomeini from Brazil with a cargo of soya beans.

"There is no further information about the crew at present," Rooters quoted O' Kennedy as saying.

"Coalition warships had communications with the vessel and were told, 'pirates onboard stay away'," the EU Naval Force said in a statement.

Rampant piracy off the Indian Ocean coast of Somalia has made the waters among the most dangerous in the world.

The Gulf of Aden, which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, is the quickest route for more than 20,000 vessels traveling annually between Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

However,
The well-oiled However...
attacks by heavily armed Somali pirates on speedboats have prompted some of the world's largest shipping firms to switch routes from the Suez Canal and reroute cargo vessels around southern Africa, leading to climbing shipping costs.

Strategically located in the Horn of Africa, Somalia has been embroiled in a bitter civil war for two decades.

The country does not have a functioning government and the authority of the Transitional Federal Government is limited mostly to the area around the capital, Mogadishu.
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [202 views] Top||


Africa North
Mortars pound Misurata as toll mounts
[Al Jazeera] Civilians have been caught in the crossfire in Misrata as the city continues to come under intense fire from forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qadaffy.
... a proud Arab institution for 42 years ...

Mortar fire poured on Thursday into the besieged city, the only rebel stronghold in the country's west.

"Upto 50 or 60 people... are being injured per day," Mohammed Al Fagieh, chief surgeon at a hospital in Misrata, told Al Jizz.

"I'm talking about the hospital, I'm not talking about Misrata. The number might double or triple sometimes."

Hundreds of people are reported to have been killed in the weeks of attacks, with at least five civilians left dead after fighting on Wednesday.

Among the casualties were Western journalists Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington, both photojournalists, who died in the fighting in Misrata on Wednesday, doctors at a hospital in the city said.

Meanwhile,
...back at the shattered spaceship, Fffflirgoll the Arcturan slithered stealthily toward the control room, where the humans had barricaded themselves...
the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has urged the Libyan authorities to "stop fighting and stop killing people" and said the world body's priority was to secure a ceasefire.

"At this time our priority is to bring about a verifiable and effective ceasefire, and then we can expand our humanitarian assistance, and we are going to engage in political dialogue," Ban said during an official visit to Moscow, the Russian capital.

Signs of 'war crimes'
The United Nations
...an organization whose definition of human rights is interesting, to say the least...
has said it is looking for signs of war crimes in Libya. However,
The ever-popular However...
the UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said the situation has not yet reached the point where the UN needs NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Originally it was a mutual defense pact directed against an expansionist Soviet Union. In later years it evolved into a mechanism for picking the American pocket while criticizing the style of the American pants...
troops to secure humanitarian supplies in the country.

"At the moment, we have an agreement with the European force and with NATO that should we reach a point where the utilisation of civilian assets becomes impossible because of the security situation, we, the UN, would call on them for support for military assets."

In further signs of hardship, however, long queues have formed for petrol while electricity has been cut so residents have to depend on generators.

The government denies it is attacking civilians in Misrata.

Contention over foreign forces

Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, the Benghazi-based spokesperson of Libyan Transitional National Council, said that opposition forces would not object to the presence of foreign ground forces to protect a safe haven for civilians.

"Protecting civilians requires having safe passages to deliver humanitarian supplies," he said.

"If that [protecting civilians] does not come except through ground forces that will ensure this safe haven, then there is no harm in that at all."

Al Jizz's Sue Torton, reporting from the opposition stronghold of Benghazi, said many Libyans are looking abroad to see when international help will come.

"There has been talk of possibly foreign troops on the ground. Whether or not foreign troops are allowed on this soil is still a matter of contention. I've been told by the national council that maybe those troops could be provided by some of the Arab countries rather than the European countries."

However,
The ever-popular However...
David Cameron
... has stated that he is certainly a big Thatcher fan, but I don't know whether that makes me a Thatcherite, which means he's not. Since he is not deeply ideological he lacks core principles and is easily led. He has been described as certainly not a Pitt, Elder or Younger, but he does wear a nice suit so maybe he's Beau Brummel ...
, the British prime minister, insisted on Thursday that NATO isn't edging toward the deployment of ground troops in Libya despite the decision by several European nations to send military advisers to assist rebel forces.

"The UN Security Council does limit us. We're not allowed, rightly, to have an invading army, or an occupying army," Cameron told BBC Scotland radio.

"That's not what we want, that's not what the Libyans want, that's not what the world wants."

While Russia said the sending of advisers exceeded the UN Security Council mandate to protect civilians.

"We are not happy about the latest events in Libya, which are pulling the international community into a conflict on the ground. This may have unpredictable consequences," Sergei Lavrov, foreign minister, said.

Border crossing seized

Meanwhile,
...back at the shattered spaceship, Fffflirgoll the Arcturan slithered stealthily toward the control room, where the humans had barricaded themselves...
pro-democracy forces took control of the Libyan side of a key border crossing with Tunisia, in a remote western region where they have been fighting government troops.

Witnesses say pro-Qadaffy forces abandoned their weapons and decamped into Tunisia.


Click on image for comprehensive coverage on Libya
Our correspondent in Benghazi said there was fierce fighting before pro-democracy forces were able to seize control of the post.

"The post ... has some 6,000 Libyans trying to get into Tunisia trying to flee the fighting here. People are camped out there," she said.

"We're also hearing from the national council here that this isn't the first time that they've taken control of that outpost. They're just watching to see whether Qadaffy forces strike back and try to take the post back again."

Elsewhere in the country, Libyan state television said.
... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
early on Thursday that NATO forces had struck the Khallat al-Farjan area of the capital Tripoli, killing seven people and wounding 18 others. The report could not immediately be independently verified.

But NATO has denied that an alliance air raid killed civilians, saying the target was a command and control bunker in a military compound.

"There was a NATO air strike in the broader area of Khellat Al-Ferjan," a NATO official told AFP news agency on condition of anonymity.

International forces have been carrying out air strikes on forces loyal to Qadaffy since March 19, in a mission headed by NATO since March 31.

The NATO-led coalition is enforcing a UN mandated no-fly zone in Libya, which authorises "all necessary measures" to protect civilians from attack by Qadaffy's forces.

It is also policing an arms embargo and has targeted Qadaffy's military infrastructure.

The rebels have been trying since mid-February to end Qadaffy's 41-year-old rule but have struggled against his more experienced and better equipped forces.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [213 views] Top||


Obama Authorizes Use of Drone Airstrikes in Libya...
At this rate, it's going to be a generation before UAV manufacturers will be able to cut back to only two shifts.
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [243 views] Top||

#1  The plot thickens.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 04/22/2011 3:05 Comments || Top||

#2  The plot thickens.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 04/22/2011 3:05 Comments || Top||

#3  Time for a coffee.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 04/22/2011 3:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Yes - when the Plot Thickens Twice (good name for a crime novel), it's time for coffee.
Posted by: Pappy || 04/22/2011 9:19 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Yemen's Saleh remains defiant
[Iran Press TV] Yemen's President President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh
... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, after serving as a lieutenant colonel in the army. He had been part of the conspiracy that bumped off his predecessor, Ibrahim al-Hamdi, in the usual tiresome military coup, and he has maintained power by keeping Yemen's many tribes fighting with each other, rather than uniting to string him up. ...
has remained defiant against the Yemeni opposition's calls for his resignation, arguing that a power shift should only occur "based on the constitutional legitimacy."

Addressing a group of his female supporters on Wednesday, Saleh said "change should be made via ballot boxes and based on the constitutional legitimacy", Yemen's news agency SABA reported.

"Those who want power or [want] to gain the seat of power should do it by heading to the ballot box. Change and departure will be through voting under the legal framework of the constitution," Saleh claimed.

The beleaguered Yemeni president stressed that he will remain in office until his term expires in 2013 and that he will not yield to "conspiracies and coups."

Saleh's speech coincided with anti-government protests that were organized by the Yemeni opposition to condemn Tuesday's bloody crackdown on peaceful demonstrators and to honor the deaders of the ongoing brutal repression by Yemeni government forces.
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [209 views] Top||

#1  ION WORLD NEWS > WHAT YEMEN'S NEW JIHADIST THREAT MEANS TO THE US?

Govt. by + for PRO-ISLAMIST MILTERR'ISM.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/22/2011 3:01 Comments || Top||


Bahrain police chase, arrest protesters
[Iran Press TV] Bahraini security forces have reportedly been sighted hunting down demonstrators in a village in the northwest of the country.

On Thursday, police forces were seen chasing and arresting anti-government protesters in Bani Jamrah, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Since mid-February, thousands of anti-government protesters in Bahrain have poured onto the streets, calling for an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty's 40-year-plus rule over the country.

Manama tossed in the slammer six senior Bahraini opposition leaders on March 16, whose fate remain unknown.

A new report has also pointed to the arrest of dozens of Bahraini doctors as part of an intimidation campaign against medical staff for treating victims of the deadly crackdown.

On March 13, Saudi-led forces were dispatched to the island at Manama's request to quell nationwide protests.

According to local sources, dozens of people have been killed and hundreds tossed in the slammer so far during the government-sanctioned clampdown on peaceful demonstrations.
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [226 views] Top||

#1  ION DAILY TIMES.PK > IRAN GUARD WARNS ENEMIES AS FAR AS INDIAN OCEAN. IRGC General Mohammad Jafari].

ARTIC = GEN. JAFARI = IRAN + IRGC steadily dev the potent new mil capabilities to strike far outside of the Persian Gulf in simil to how the US-NATO project mil power overseas, e.g. US FIFTH FLEET IN BAHRAIN OR JUST OUTSIDE THE PERSIAN GULF.

* PEOPLE'S DAILY FORUM > ARMY COMMANDER WARNS OF IRAN'S "CRUSHING RESPONSE" TO AGGRESSORS.

ARTIC > HMMMM, HMMMMM, perhaps its just me, but IMO this particular warning as described is aimed mainly at the SAUDIS + GCC, NOT THE US-ISRAEL???

* PAKISTANI DEFENCE FORUM > SAUDIS NEED NAVAL BUILDUP TO FACE IRAN.

They seem to favor the idea of AEGIS-ARMED, USN-style LCS = BMD/"BATTLESPACE" STEALTH SHIPS, CRAFTS.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/22/2011 23:30 Comments || Top||


Bahrain clerics slam mosque demolition
[Iran Press TV] Senior Bahraini holy mans have reportedly released a statement, condemning what the describe as 'the shameless destruction of mosques' in the Persian Gulf country by Saudi and Bahraini forces.

"We will not keep silent on destruction of mosques," said the kingdom's top five clergymen, a Press TV correspondent reported.

The clarics emphasized that the events in Bahrain reflect a dark spot in the country's history and described the demolition of mosques and other acts of sacrilege by Bahraini and Saudi troops as a slap in the face of freedoms of religion and ideology.

The signatories reportedly included prominent Shia holy man sheikh Isa Qassim.

Since mid-February, thousands of anti-government protesters in Bahrain have poured into the streets, calling for an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty's 40-year-plus rule over the country.

On March 13, Saudi-led forces were dispatched to the island at Manama's request to quell the countrywide protests.

According to local sources, dozens of people have been killed and hundreds tossed in the clink so far during the government-sanctioned clampdown on peaceful demonstrations.

Saudi and Bahraini forces have destroyed 25 mosques and 18 mourning halls since the start of the revolution.
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [205 views] Top||


Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
'Al-Qaeda envoy' Moganned killed in Chechnya
Russia has said that its forces have killed a senior Saudi-born al-Qaeda figure in the North Caucasus region.

Haled Yusef Muhammad al Emirat, described as al-Qaeda's chief envoy in the region, died with another rebel in a clash with troops in Chechnya. Chechnya's president said the rebel, nicknamed Moganned, trained and funded insurgents, and planned acts of terror.
Call up another number 3! Perhaps the AA club in Bahrain has someone they can spare...
Russia's National Anti-Terrorist Committee said in a statement that Moganned was killed along with another militant in a raid on Thursday near the village of Serzhen-Yurt, in Chechnya's southern mountains.

It said that the militant has been operating in the North Caucasus since 1999 and that by 2005 he had emerged as the top liaison official with al-Qaeda, helping raise foreign funds, particularly from the Arabian Peninsula.
Oh, which part of the Arabian Peninsula, we all wonder, we do...
"Almost all acts of terror using suicide bombers in the last years were prepared with his involvement," a spokesman for the National Anti-Terror Committee said in a televised statement, according to AFP news agency.

The pro-rebel website kavkazcenter.com confirmed Moganned was killed on Thursday in a clash with security forces in Chechnya. It said that at least two other militants had died in the attack.
So he's gonna have to share the virgins raisins...

This article starring:
Haled Yusef Muhammad al Emirat
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/22/2011 15:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [211 views] Top||

#1 
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 04/22/2011 17:06 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
Dupe URL: 3 suspicious passengers taken off United flight in Denver
A United flight had to return to the Denver International Airport gate Thursday night because of three suspicious passengers on board.

The flight was United Flight 593 to Orange County.

According to reports, Denver Police boarded the plane after it returned to the gate and arrested four people. Everyone was taken off the plane for a security sweep.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, the four suspects were questioned in the terminal and were released. Witnesses described the suspects as middle aged. Two are Caucasian and two are of Middle-Eastern descent.

It is unknown at this time why the people were deemed "suspicious."

The flight departed after about a 2.5 hour delay.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/22/2011 20:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [196 views] Top||


India-Pakistan
Many dead in explosion in Karachi
[Al Jazeera] At least 14 people have been killed and several others maimed in a kaboom in Pakistain's biggest city, Bloody Karachi.

Police said they suspected Thursday's kaboom was caused by a planted bomb.

"We are gathering details," they said.

Al Jizz's Kamal Hyder said a bomb squad is seeking to ascertain whether the explosive had been a large bomb or a hand grenade as earlier reports had suggested.

"The attack appears to be linked to the pie fight that has been going on for some time and was also alleged to be a gambling den.

"According to some estimates, up to 300 people were at the location at the time of the kaboom."

The number of dead is likely to rise, with up to 35 people injured, our correspondent said.

No one grabbed credit for the bombing at the club, and officials said that the club was also run by criminals and was home to illegal gambling.

They suspected that the attack might be a result of a gang war.

Bloody Karachi has a long history of bloody feuds between rival ethnic, political and sectarian groups, in which hundreds of people have been killed.

Fighters linked to al-Qaeda and the Taliban have also carried out attacks in the city in the past.
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [204 views] Top||

#1  Boys will be boys.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 04/22/2011 2:53 Comments || Top||


Seven of the 35 kidnapped tribals feared killed
Seven of the 35 tribals who were kidnapped in an attack on a civilian convoy in Kurram Agency
...home of an intricately interconnected web of poverty, ignorance, and religious fanaticism, where the laws of cause and effect are assumed to be suspended...
last month, are feared to have been killed by their suspected myrmidon kidnappers.

"Members of a jirga that met in Islamabad on Tuesday were told about the killing of the seven captives," said a source privy to the first round of talks.

Bodies of the hostages killed were likely to be handed to the jirga on Thursday, according to the source.The jirga was convened to discuss ways to secure the release of the kidnapped tribals and salvage the peace agreement that two warring sects of the restive area signed recently. Both sides are represented in the jirga and stand by the agreement.

"During (the Islamabad) talks we were told about the killing of the seven but whereabouts of the remaining kidnapped persons are still unknown," said the source.

It was believed that they were in the custody of Mullah Toofan group, an offshoot of the banned but still somehow murderously active Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistain myrmidon group operating in parts of Orakzai and Kurram agencies.

Armed men had attacked three passenger coaches going from Beautiful Downtown Peshawar to Parachinar in Beggan, lower Kurram on March 26.

Three people were killed and two injured in the attack, while 47 were kidnapped.

Twelve women and kiddies among them were set free the same day while 35 people, four of them belonging to Mardan district, were kidnapped.

Sources said that faceless myrmidons had demanded huge ransom for the release of the kidnapped passengers. However,
The essential However...
they didn`t disclose the ransom figure. They said that the jirga would decide its future line of action after the recovery of the hostages. Under the peace agreement the jirga will recover Rs2 billion as fine from the tribe, which violates the accord.

The jirga comprising elders of the rival factions, parliamentarians and notables from other agencies of the tribal areas met Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
Governor Barrister Masood Kausar here on Wednesday evening.

However,
The essential However...
details of the meeting could not be ascertained. An official said that statement about the meeting would be released to media on Thursday.

Prior to the meeting an elder told Dawn that the jirga would ask the governor to take action for the release of the kidnapped persons and ensure security on Thall-Parachinar Road and adjacent settled areas, where passengers had been frequently attacked in the past few weeks.

The Thall-Parachinar Road, the only route linking Kurram with the rest of the country, was reopened to traffic after the peace deal was implemented in February last.

Sources said that rival factions had agreed to deploy army on the main road and in lower Kurram. The jirga, according to sources, has agreed that paramilitary forces cannot address the situation and suggested deployment of army to stem the tide of violence.

"People of the area don`t trust paramilitary forces anymore and want army troops," said one source.

He alleged that paramilitary forces instead of providing security to people were extorting money from transporters carrying goods to Kurram at checkposts. They were involved in cross border smuggling, he alleged.
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [202 views] Top||


U.S. to supply Pakistan with 85 mini-drones
Mini or not, they're still valuable technology......
Unarmed,for surveillance.
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [210 views] Top||

#1  D *** NG IT, well, this explains why all of the RC's suddenly disappeared from local shelves???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/22/2011 2:03 Comments || Top||

#2  And will KABUL get 1/2 of 'em???

TALIBAN = RADICAL ISLAM???

* ION MILWARES, DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > CHIEF OF RUSSIAN GROUND TROOPS WANTS USED [German] "LEOPARD II'S" MBTS INSTEAD OF [Russian-made] T-90M'S, essens arguing that Moscow can purchase many, better, more potent + modern MBTS for the same $$$ it uses to upgrade elderly, Cold War-era Soviet MBTS to T-90M standard.

* SAME > SECOND "HELICOPTER DESTROYER" COMMISSIONED INTO JAPAN MSDF.

* SAME > [American Chemical Society]US EXPANDS SEARCH FOR [Cold War-era] WMDS TO EAST AFRICA, to include Nuclear Weapons.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/22/2011 2:56 Comments || Top||

#3  OOPSIES, forgot CHINA DAILY FORUM > [Russian Prosecutor-General] RUSSIAN MILITARY ARSENAL "POORLY PROTECTED", agz Weather + espec TERROR, TO INCLUD RUSS NUKES.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/22/2011 2:59 Comments || Top||

#4  We should be supporting India not supplying Pakistan with military equipment!
Posted by: Angeretle Snore6772 || 04/22/2011 7:36 Comments || Top||

#5  84 on the LOC in 5...4...3...
Posted by: Frank G || 04/22/2011 8:27 Comments || Top||

#6  85 micro drones for pakistan
85 micro drones
they fly through the air
and crash over there
84 micro drones for pakistan.
(repeat)
Posted by: rammer || 04/22/2011 8:47 Comments || Top||

#7  We should be supporting India not supplying Pakistan with military equipment!

Thank you for your as-always, in-depth analysis, Sir Obvious.

That out of the way (minus the ever-present exclamation point), there are two tiny facts.

One is that India isn't the route for sending equipment and supplies to Afghanistan.

Second, India isn't where Predators are methodically eliminating Taliban, and where there's a low level civil war between hardcore Islamists in the military and ISI supporting the Taliban and others, and not-so-hardcore Islamists in the government and military, who occasionally and for various reasons, decide to beat up on the former's bully boys.

Uh, make that three points. Third, there appears to be a general consensus growing with US circles that the 'Pakistan relationship' will likely be done with once it's decided Afghanistan is "over". The Paks are aware of that and more than likely would completely shut off the supply line now in a fit of pique.

So in the interim, it's advantageous to provide somewhat low-level technology in order to keep the not-so-hardcore Islamists happy and the supplies moving.
Posted by: Pappy || 04/22/2011 10:18 Comments || Top||

#8  This is a palliative for the Paks. Ravens (RQ-11) are usually company-level assets with a range of about 9 miles and an endurance of 80 minutes. The technology, including the sensor, is pretty plain vanilla. This is not a persistent Killer-Scout like the Predator or a Hunter-Killer like the Reaper.
Posted by: rwv || 04/22/2011 10:51 Comments || Top||

#9  U.S. to supply Pakistan with 85 mini-drones

So they've found uses for the Obamanauts?

drone (drn)
n.
1. A male bee, especially a honeybee, that is characteristically stingless, performs no work, and produces no honey. Its only function is to mate with the queen bee.
2. An idle person who lives off others; a loafer.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 04/22/2011 15:54 Comments || Top||

#10  #6 rammer - best laugh I've had all day.
Posted by: RandomJD || 04/22/2011 17:14 Comments || Top||

#11  @ #4

Paul , is this you ?

always good for a laugh :p
Posted by: Oscar || 04/22/2011 19:28 Comments || Top||

#12  more goddamn bullshit from this admin. yet we cut our programs here
Posted by: chris || 04/22/2011 19:46 Comments || Top||

#13  It's a rather common type of Drone that is used by alot of countries. Guess you could call it the "common" drone. Not our in-dephth military grade stuff. Norway, Italy, and Spain use it. So it's more like 5-year old Clearance sale stuff. I beat ya they could get it easily elsewhere, better we get paid for it though.
Posted by: Charles || 04/22/2011 20:19 Comments || Top||


Iraq
Death penalty for three Saddam-era spies
BAGHDAD -- Iraq's High Criminal Court on Thursday sentenced to death three Saddam Hussein-era spies convicted of assassinating the father of a sitting Iraqi lawmaker in Beirut in April 1994.

"The court sentences to death Hadi Hassuni, Abdul Hassan al-Majid and Farukh Hijazi, who were agents of the intelligence services," tribunal spokesman Mohammed Abdul Saheb told AFP.

Two other men, military intelligence chief Saber Duri and Saddam's secretary Abdul Hamid Mahmoud, were sentenced to life imprisonment at the conclusion of the trial, which began in October 2009.
See the companion story from Aswat al-Iraq.
Sabawi Ibrahim Hassan, the executed dictator's half-brother, and Saddam's deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz were acquitted in the trial.
Those two will still swing, just not for this one.
The convictions came over the murder of Sheikh Taleb al-Suhail al-Tamimi, head of the Banu Tamim tribe, who fled Iraq for the Lebanese capital with his family after a Baath Party coup in 1968. He later attempted his own coup against Saddam, who rose to power in 1979, but was gunned down outside his Beirut home on April 14, 1994.

Lebanon severed its ties with Iraq in the aftermath of the killing, but arrested five Iraqi diplomats and one Lebanese accomplice over the assassination. All but one were released without charge, with one diplomat having died in prison in Lebanon.
The other four diplomats later returned to Iraq only to flee after the 2003 US-led invasion that ousted Saddam.

Tamimi's daughter, Safia al-Suhail, has been an Iraqi lawmaker since 2005. She was elected to the Council of Representatives in March 2010 polls as part of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's slate, but is now an independent lawmaker.

"I am satisfied because I have expected this decision for 15 years, but at the same time I will continue my fight to bring to justice those who managed to escape and take refuge abroad," Suhail told AFP by telephone.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [214 views] Top||


Life sentence for 2 charged with killing "father" of Iraqi Legislature
The wheels of justice do indeed grind exceedingly fine. Saddam had a hit put on al-Shuheil. See the companion story.
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: The High Iraqi Criminal Court has issued life-imprisonment sentences for Sabir al-Douri and Abul-Hamid Mahmoud, charged with killing the Iraqi opposition leader, Sheikh Taleb al-Suheil in Beirut on April 12, 1994, the semi-official al-Iraqiya TV Channel reported on Thursday.

The Iraqi opposition leader, Taleb Ali al-Shuheil, was assassinated in Beirut on April, 12, 1994. Lebanese security bodies had managed to arrest the men involved in the operation hours after it took place, including four diplomats of the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut, followed by the rapture of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The first court session was held on October 4, 2009, based on a complaint raised by the Iraqi Legislature, Safiya al-Suheil, Sheikh Taleb al-Suheil¬'s daughter, against Iraq¬'s former President Saddam Hussein, his Deputy Prime Minister, Tareq Aziz, Saddam¬'s Secretary, Abed Hmoud, Foreign Minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Chairman of the Intelligence Body, Sabir al-Douri and Iraq¬'s Ambassador to Jordan at that time, Nouri al-Wayis.

Among other defendants, charged with having been involved in the assassination incident, were the Charge d¬'affaires in Beirut in 1994, Awadh Fakhri, the Cultural Attache, Mohammed al-Dhamdhumawi, the Trade Attache, Khalid Khalifa, the Iraqi Consul in Beirut, Ali Sultan Darwish, the Embassy Guard, Hadi Hassouna al-Rikaby and the defendant, charged with having facilitated the assassination of Taleb al-Suheil, George Terjinian, a Lebanese Armenian of an Iraqi origin.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [210 views] Top||


33 wanted men detained in Basra
BASRA / Aswat al-Iraq: A total of 33 wanted men were arrested in separate areas in Basra on Thursday, media and information office of Basra police said.

"Our forces waged 13 security operations in Basra, where they arrested 33 wanted men, including two Pakistanis
They got lost on the way to the bathroom.
and an Egyptian,
He was looking for the kitchen, to get a drink of water. It wasn't that the Israelites were lost in the desert for 40 years, you know, it's just that Moses had borrowed an Egyptian map.
who entered the country in a legal way," a source from the office told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

"The criminal police managed to defuse a bomb planted in al-Baradiya region, central Basra," he added.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [204 views] Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Saudi-Australian charged as Hamas spy
An Australian citizen of Saudi origin was indicted in the Central District Court on Sunday for membership in the Hamas terrorist organization and attempting to aid the organization in attacking Israel.

The man, Ia'ad Rashid Abu Arja, was arrested by the police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) last week, when he attempted to enter the country at Ben Gurion Airport.

According to the indictment, Abu Arja was recruited to Hamas and met with its operatives in Syria, where he also underwent weapons training. The indictment states that Abu Arja, who has a background in computers, was asked to acquire technologies for encryption, photography, and missile guidance.

The indictment states that the purpose of his visit to Israel was to test whether he would be able to get past Israeli security and enter the country for future missions. He was also allegedly asked to form business contacts with local companies.

Police and Shin Bet forces told Channel 2 news that Arja's attempt to enter Israel is one more example of ongoing efforts by Hamas and other terrorist organizations to recruit agents who have the ability to enter the country and establish various connections here.
Ha'aretz adds:
Channel 2 displayed what it said was the indictment Tuesday night. It said the man, Iad Rashid Abu Arja, who also holds Jordanian and Saudi citizenship, was arrested upon entry to Israel last month.
Goodness. One wonders how many Social Security numbers the busy man has acquired along the way.
Posted by: || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [212 views] Top||

#1  Whoa. Looked up this dudes SSN and came back 042-68-4425.
Posted by: Zebulon Thranter9685 || 04/22/2011 5:16 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Indonesia on top alert after bomb found near church
[Straits Times] INDONESIA said on Thursday that the nation was on its highest level of alert ahead of Easter after police tossed in the slammer suspects over a series of 'book bombs' and a foiled attack near a church in Jakarta.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto said the Indonesian president 'has instructed military, police, and people who care about combating terrorism to ensure security ahead of Easter'.

'Starting tonight, tomorrow morning and on easter day, the military and the police will be on the highest alert at all designated places,' Mr Suyanto said.

National police front man Anton Bachrul Alam said that anti-terror police have tossed in the slammer a total of 19 people, including two in Aceh province, north Sumatra.

The 'book bombs' were sent to several addresses including those of liberal Mohammedan figures and a counter-terrorism official, but no one was killed.

Another parcel bomb was found on Thursday morning near a church in Serpong on the outskirts of Jakarta, local police chief Heribertus Ompusunggu told AFP.
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [195 views] Top||


Indonesia arrests six over 'book bombs'
[Bangla Daily Star] Indonesian police yesterday tossed in the clink six people suspected to be behind a series of recent parcel-bombs in Jakarta, they said, as another device was found near a church in the morning.

"We tossed in the clink six people at 5:10 am," national police front man Anton Bachrul Alam told news hounds.

"We're still investigating their possible links with terror groups," he said.

The men, held in anti-terror raids on two rented houses in East Jakarta, were believed to be connected to mysterious deliveries of bombs hidden in hollowed-out books last month, an unnamed police source told AFP.

The "book bombs" were sent to several addresses including those of liberal Mohammedan figures and a counter-terrorism official, but no one was killed.
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [212 views] Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Dupe URL: Death Toll Continues Rising in Syria
Ninety as of Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:55 am (KSA) 09:55 pm (GMT)
[Al Arabiya] - At least 90 people were reportedly killed and dozens were injured when Syrian security forces fired live bullets and teargas to disperse ¬"Good Friday¬" protests in several cities, witnesses reported. The death toll seemed to be rising late Friday.

The reported deaths have created a new crisis for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, raising questions about whether he is fully in control of Syrian security forces. The deaths raise questions about how far Mr. Assad is prepared to go to stay in power, and if the international community will take steps to prevent a humanitarian disaster in this geopolitically strategic Arab country.

The deaths on Friday also bring back memories of large numbers of political opponents who were mowed down by security forces in the city of Hama when Mr. Assad¬'s late father, President Hafez al-Assad was in office. Mr. Assad¬'s brother, Rifaat al-Assad, personally conducted a ¬"scorched earth¬" campaign in February 1982 against Sunni Muslims who protested against the Alawite regime of Hafez al-Assad. Estimates of those killed in Hama range from 10,000 to 40,000.

On Friday, thousands of protesters swarmed the streets in the southern flashpoint town of Deraa, Moadamia, Latakia, Banias, and the mainly Kurdish northeastern city of Qamishli. Thirty were killed in the southern town of Izzra¬', 22 in Damascus, 18 in the Homs area and the rest in other towns and villages, activists said, in what was the deadliest day so far during weeks of protest.

Human Rights Watch said in a statement that two boys aged 7 and 10 years old were among those killed in Izzra¬' as was a 70-year-old man.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/22/2011 20:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [205 views] Top||


Death Toll Continues Rising in Syria
Ninety as of Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:55 am (KSA) 09:55 pm (GMT)
[Al Arabiya] - At least 90 people were reportedly killed and dozens were injured when Syrian security forces fired live bullets and teargas to disperse ¬"Good Friday¬" protests in several cities, witnesses reported. The death toll seemed to be rising late Friday.

The reported deaths have created a new crisis for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, raising questions about whether he is fully in control of Syrian security forces. The deaths raise questions about how far Mr. Assad is prepared to go to stay in power, and if the international community will take steps to prevent a humanitarian disaster in this geopolitically strategic Arab country.

The deaths on Friday also bring back memories of large numbers of political opponents who were mowed down by security forces in the city of Hama when Mr. Assad¬'s late father, President Hafez al-Assad was in office. Mr. Assad¬'s brother, Rifaat al-Assad, personally conducted a ¬"scorched earth¬" campaign in February 1982 against Sunni Muslims who protested against the Alawite regime of Hafez al-Assad. Estimates of those killed in Hama range from 10,000 to 40,000.

On Friday, thousands of protesters swarmed the streets in the southern flashpoint town of Deraa, Moadamia, Latakia, Banias, and the mainly Kurdish northeastern city of Qamishli. Thirty were killed in the southern town of Izzra¬', 22 in Damascus, 18 in the Homs area and the rest in other towns and villages, activists said, in what was the deadliest day so far during weeks of protest.

Human Rights Watch said in a statement that two boys aged 7 and 10 years old were among those killed in Izzra¬' as was a 70-year-old man.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/22/2011 20:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [195 views] Top||


At least 27 dead in 'Great Friday' riots in Syria
Headline at link now says "At least 40 dead ..." @ 17:39

Drudge has death toll up to 90 now.
Posted by: ryuge || 04/22/2011 11:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [224 views] Top||

#1  Hey, Iraq's right next door! Think Obumble will undertake some more Kinetic Military Action??

If 3 wars are good 4 must be better.
Posted by: AlanC || 04/22/2011 13:13 Comments || Top||

#2  Death toll more than 50 now.
Posted by: tipper || 04/22/2011 14:24 Comments || Top||

#3  Think Obumble will undertake some more Kinetic Military Action??

Nope. Syria did not give up its WMD.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 04/22/2011 14:58 Comments || Top||

#4  "Syria did not give up its WMD."

Syria didn't give up Iraq's WMD, either. >:-(
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 04/22/2011 15:13 Comments || Top||

#5  I thought that Libya had held on to CBW weapons even though they lost the nukes, no?
Posted by: AlanC || 04/22/2011 15:21 Comments || Top||

#6  He gave up Scuds C = ability to reach out to Europe.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 04/22/2011 15:25 Comments || Top||

#7  Death toll more than 50 now.

Bashir Assad's a pussycat compared to his dad. If he wants to end this quickly, he will need to re-enact Hama soon.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 04/22/2011 17:02 Comments || Top||

#8  Yep, Assad has to stop this quickly. Otherwise, post Libya, the West will have to been seen to do something to stop the killings.

In reality the West can do little, except useless sanctions.

Otherwise we are hearing little about Syria's Kurds, and I expect them to be well armed and some trained via Iraqi Kurdistan.

If Syria does go into a Libya-type slide into civil war, Turkey will panic and may well invade Syrian Kurdistan.
Posted by: phil_b || 04/22/2011 20:49 Comments || Top||

#9  Syria didn't give up Iraq's WMD, either. >:-(

As I recall, they were trucked into Lebanon's Beqaa Valley, Barbara.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/22/2011 21:14 Comments || Top||

#10  Obama condemns 'outrageous' use of force
Strongly worded letter to follow, that 'ill teach 'em.
Posted by: tipper || 04/22/2011 22:03 Comments || Top||

#11  True, tw, though I'd be shocked if it weren't to both countries.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 04/22/2011 22:06 Comments || Top||

#12  lol

from Barry_044 on twitter,

Damnit! That F'n CNN is showing all this Syria BS. They're gonna force me into a humanitarian mission in the next month
Posted by: phil_b || 04/22/2011 22:13 Comments || Top||

#13  Yep, Assad has to stop this quickly. Otherwise, post Libya, the West will have to been seen to do something to stop the killings.

In reality the West can do little, except useless sanctions.


I don't think it's the West he has to worry about - it's government officials who see an opportunity to strike out on their own, by claiming to represent the rebels or the grievances of the populace. Pretty standard issue palace politics.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 04/22/2011 22:33 Comments || Top||

#14  In reality the West can do little, except useless sanctions.

Well, there's this little bit of payback that the Iraqis could provide for all the aid and abetting of the terrorist funded, supplied, and deployed from Syria. Not to mention acting as a shelter for the butchers who fled their old handiwork in Iraq. Just talking up the possibility with the Iraqis playing the role, maneuvering some troops to the border could produce some interesting anxiety in Damascus.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 04/22/2011 23:33 Comments || Top||

#15  Well, there's this little bit of payback that the Iraqis could provide for all the aid and abetting of the terrorist funded, supplied, and deployed from Syria.

I don't see how that's going to happen. Shiite are in charge of Iraq. Alawites are basically Shiite heretics - cousins, if you will. I don't really see al Assad as backing terrorists in Iraq so much as using Iraq as an outlet for all the Sunni nutjobs who would otherwise be making trouble in Syria. Assad's philosophy was probably closer to "Better you than me" than "Kill the infidel", given that Sunnis consider Alawites infidels (or worse, apostates).
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 04/22/2011 23:54 Comments || Top||


Iranian espionage plot uncovered in New York, California
Islamophobia! Quick -- somebody inform the good people at Slate!!
A U.S. businessman and his New York-based company and two others and their company in California were indicted today in Washington, D.C., on charges of illegally exporting millions of dollars worth of computer-related equipment from the United States to Iran via the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Jeng "Jay" Shih, 53, a U.S. citizen, and his Queens, New York company, Sunrise Technologies and Trading Company, were indicted in the District of Columbia on 27 counts relating to the illegal export of computer-related equipment to Iran without first having obtained the required license from the Department of Treasury.

The indictment charges Shih and his company with one count of conspiracy; 13 counts of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA); 13 counts of making or causing to be made false statements to the United States; and one allegation for criminal forfeiture of property and proceeds derived from these offenses.

Shih was arrested on a criminal complaint in New York on April 6, 2011, and had his initial appearance in court in New York on April 7, 2011. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for each of the IEEPA counts and five years for each false statement count.

In addition, Massoud Habibion, 48, aka "Matt Habibion" and "Matt Habi," and Mohsen Motamedian, 43, aka "Max Motamedian" and "Max Ehsan," both U.S. citizens, and their Costa Mesa, California, company, Online Micro LLC, were indicted in the District of Columbia on 32 counts relating to the illegal export of computer-related equipment to Iran without the required license from the Department of Treasury.

Habibion was charged with one count of conspiracy, 14 counts of violating IEEPA, 14 counts of making or causing false statements to the United States and four counts of obstruction of justice. Motamedian was charged with one count of conspiracy, 14 counts of violating IEEPA, 14 counts of making or causing false statements to the United States and one count of obstruction of justice.

Habibion and Motamedian were arrested on a criminal complaint in California on April 7, 2011, and had their initial appearance in court in the Central District of California on April 7, 2011. If convicted, both defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $1 million fine for each of the IEEPA counts, and five years for each false statement and 20 years for each obstruction of justice count.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the Shih criminal complaint, in 2006, Commerce Department agents conducted an outreach visit to Shih's business in New York where they met Shih and informed him about U.S. laws governing the export of goods from the United States to other countries, particularly embargoed countries like Iran. In April 2010, ICE-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents seized hundreds of laptop computers that originated from Sunrise and were destined for Dubai, UAE. Communications related to these shipments indicated that the purchasers were located in Iran, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit alleges that agents subsequently identified a company in Dubai that was purchasing millions of dollars of computers from U.S. companies for export to Iran, through Dubai. ICE-HSI agents arrested one of the company's agents, who pleaded guilty in December 2010 and began cooperating with the government. In interviews with agents, this individual indicated that he and his company in Dubai had purchased millions worth of laptops from Shih in recent years for shipment to Iran, averaging $700,000 worth of computers each month. The affidavit alleges that agents also obtained documents indicating that more than 1,000 computers had been shipped by Shih's company to Dubai and later to Iran, between April 9, 2010, and May 28, 2010, alone.

In February 2011, the cooperating individual met with Shih in New York. In recorded conversations, Shih allegedly told the individual he was aware of the U.S. embargo against Iran and U.S. export control laws. According to the affidavit, Shih also told the cooperating individual how to avoid detection when shipping goods to Iran by using fake invoices and indicated that he treated the seizure of some of his shipments as a "loss" when reporting business income and loses on his U.S. taxes.

The affidavit filed in support of the complaint against Habibion and Motamedian alleges that a company in Dubai, referenced above, purchased millions of dollars worth of laptop computers from Online Micro and that these computers were subsequently shipped to Iran. According to the affidavit, the agent for the Dubai company, who was arrested, pleaded guilty and began cooperating with the government, told federal agents that Habibion and Motamedian sold roughly $300,000 worth of computers to the Dubai company each month and that Habibion and Motamedian fully understood that the computers were destined for Iran.

In December 2010, the cooperating individual met with Habibion and Motamedian, wherein these defendants allegedly instructed the cooperating individual to make fake invoices to conceal that Iran was the destination of the shipments and to indicate that the end-users were in Dubai.

In addition, the affidavit alleges that in a Jan. 5, 2011, meeting, Habibion told the cooperating individual to lie to federal agents about conducting business in Iran, stating, "If they ask you, for instance, 'Do you do business in Tehran?' 'No, I don't have any business in Tehran. I go there to visit my family, but I have no business there.' They will ask such questions, it is part of their routine."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/22/2011 08:43 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [199 views] Top||

#1  should've loaded the computers up with Stuxnet and worse and let em go....
Posted by: Frank G || 04/22/2011 16:36 Comments || Top||

#2  I take it someone's check didn't clear.....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 04/22/2011 16:50 Comments || Top||


Syria braced for anti-government protests
[Al Jazeera] Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, has appointed a new governor in the central city of Homs, where witnesses say security forces have been deployed in anticipation of more protests.

The official news agency said on Thursday that Ghassan Abdul-Al was named for the post after the government sacked his predecessor on April 7.

Al-Assad also issued decrees ending nearly five decades of emergency rule, abolishing state security courts and allowing citizens to protest peacefully, state television reported on Thursday.

The announcements, made successively in news flashes on state television, said Assad was ending the state of emergency - imposed when the ruling Baath Party seized power in 1963 - as well as the state security courts.

A third decree said citizens would be granted "the right to peacefully demonstrate" and noted that this is one of the "basic human rights guaranteed by the Syrian constitution".

However, Haitham al-Maleh, a prominent Syrian opposition figure, dismissed the decrees, arguing that the move was "useless" without an independent judiciary and accountability for security apparatus.

"The problem is that the ruling elite and the security have put their hands on the judiciary and other legislation [introduced by them] exempt the security forces from being held accountable to law," he said.

Maleh is a lawyer and a former judge who has long campaigned for an end to the emergency law.

Ghias al-Jundi, a rights activist based in London, said neither the move to end emergency rule, nor the dismissal of the head of the security services in Baniyas [a coastal town] and other concessions by Assad, would stop the protests.

"The people want proper reform and democracy, and a real end to emergency law," he told Al Jazeera.

"I think of the demonstrations started with demands of reform but the regime responded badly, by killing and detaining people. Now they're asking for regime change and demands are getting higher. In all funerals and protests now we are hearing the people want to topple the regime."

The developments came as rights activists said lorries carrying soldiers and vehicles equipped with machine guns were seen on highway linking Homs and Damascus, the Syrian capital, in preparation for Friday's protest rallies called by online activists.

"The feeling here on the ground is certainly that the Syrian government is playing a carrot-and-stick game," Al Jazeera's Cal Perry reported from the city.

He said that the mood in Damascus "seems like the calm before the storm".

Violent crackdown
Homs has been shaken by violent confrontations as Syrian security forces have cracked down on anti-government protesters over the past weeks. Activists said about 20 demonstrators were killed earlier this week when when security forces fired on people.

A witness in Homs said almost all shops in the city were closed for the third straight day on Thursday, after activists had called for a general strike.

Residents in the southern city of Daraa said army units took up positions closer to the city after having abandoned them in the last two days.

Separately, a small protest was held outside Hasakah University in the country's mainly Kurdish northeast. Dozens of people gathered, chanting their support for those in Daraa, Baniyas and Homs calling for more freedom.

One of the organisers told Al Jazeera that the students were prevented from leaving the university to protest in the city and that police and pro-government students were used to break up the rally. There were no reports of injuries or arrests.

Protests took place on Wednesday in several parts of the country, including a student protest in Aleppo, the country's largest city, where no major rallies have yet been held.

Activists say nationwide rallies are planned to be held on Friday, dubbed Great Friday.

Amnesty International, the London-based rights organisation, says about 220 people have been killed in the crackdown on the protests.

The unrest began with a small protest calling for the release of political prisoners in Damascus on March 15 and gained strength three days later when thousands marched in Daraa.
Posted by: Fred || 04/22/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [207 views] Top||



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Two weeks of WOT
Fri 2011-04-22
  Obama Authorizes Use of Drone Airstrikes in Libya...
Thu 2011-04-21
  Nigeria: Over 200 dead in the post-election riots
Wed 2011-04-20
  Syria government approves lifting state of emergency
Tue 2011-04-19
  Suicide Bomber Attacks Afghan Ministry of Defence
Mon 2011-04-18
  Five Hurt as Regime Agents Disperse Rallies in South Syria
Sun 2011-04-17
  Egypt: Justice orders the dissolution of the former ruling party
Sat 2011-04-16
  Qaddafi bombards Misrata
Fri 2011-04-15
  Pro-Hamas Italian activist hanged in Gaza
Thu 2011-04-14
  Pro-Hamas Italian Kidnapped By Salafists In Gaza
Wed 2011-04-13
  AU Libya Peace Plan Flops
Tue 2011-04-12
  Syrian soldiers shot for refusing to fire on protesters
Mon 2011-04-11
  Metro blast in Minsk kills several
Sun 2011-04-10
  Shooting erupts in seaport of Baniyas, Syria
Sat 2011-04-09
  22 Syrian protesters killed, hundreds wounded
Fri 2011-04-08
  Gulf states expect Yemen's Saleh to quit: Qatari PM

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