The White House is considering sending suspected militants currently held at Guantanamo back to Afghanistan in a bid to kickstart stalled talks with the Taliban, it has been reported.
Citing US and Afghan officials as its source, the Associated Press said that under a plan being discussed, some Taliban fighters captured in the early days of the 2001 invasion would be transferred out of full American control but not released from custody.
To be put into a Yemeni prison, surrounded Saudi style, so that they can promptly escape...
It represents a leap of faith on the US side that the men will not become threats to Nato forces once back on Afghan soil. But it is meant to show more moderate elements of the Taliban insurgency that Washington is still interested in cutting a deal for peace.
The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and others have said that while negotiations with the Taliban are distasteful, they are the best way to settle the prolonged war. The new compromise is intended to boost the credibility of the US-backed Afghan government.
President Hamid Karzai and American officials are trying to draw the Taliban back to negotiations toward a peace deal between the national Afghan government and the Pashtun-based insurgency. The Taliban have always been indifferent at best to negotiations with the Karzai government, saying the US holds effective control in Afghanistan.
And besides, Karzai is crazy...
Under the new proposal, Guantanamo prisoners would go to a detention facility adjacent to Bagram air field, the largest US military base in Afghanistan, officials of both governments said. The prison is inside the security perimeter established by the US military, and is effectively under US control for now. It is scheduled for transfer to full Afghan control in September.
Defence secretary Leon Panetta would have to sign off on the transfer and certify that the men did not pose a danger. He would not confirm details of the new proposal at a Pentagon news conference Friday, but he said discussions continue to try to promote a peace deal.
"There are no specific commitments that have been made with regard to prisoner exchanges at this point," he said. "One thing I will assure you is that any prisoner exchanges that I have to certify are going to abide by the law and require that those individuals do not return back into the battle."
Any such transfer is unlikely to include the five most senior Taliban figures held at Guantanamo, the subjects of separate stalled negotiations, a senior US official said.
Republicans in Congress bitterly opposed the plan to send those men to house arrest in Qatar, which has emerged as a key broker with the Taliban. The opponents feared the men would be set free and endanger the US.
Though house arrest is Qatar isn't so bad...
The latest proposal was a topic of recent discussions in Washington with members of Karzai's peace committee, a group of elders charged with reaching out to the Taliban on the government's behalf.
"The possibility is strong," for a transfer to Afghanistan that includes the five top figures, said Ismail Qasemyar, international relations adviser for the Afghan High Peace Council.
The Taliban has demanded release of all the Guantanamo detainees as a condition for talks. The Islamist group abandoned direct talks in March, accusing the US of reneging on several promises.
So we'll just have to drone-zap a few more...
The United States considers the talks pining for the fjords suspended, not dead.
Karzai has long sought the return of all 17 Afghans imprisoned at Guantanamo, men he sometimes calls brothers, as a point of national pride. He has argued that their imprisonment at Guantanamo undermines his credibility as a national leader, and that Afghanistan's own institutions should deal with captured insurgents.
"Gather your stuff Hamid, you're being transferred from your cushy Gitmo cell to ... a prison cell in Afghanistan!"
"Can I appeal?"
The US has said publicly that, in regards to the five senior Taliban, they would be transferred to another country's control, not released. But terms for the proposed transfer to Qatar were fairly loose.
Officials briefed on the discussions said the men would have to agree not to return to fighting, forswear any ties to al-Qaida, and submit to a ban on their travel. Beyond that it was not clear how closely they would be controlled by the Qatar government.
The Taliban would have been asked to release Bowe Bergdahl, the only US prisoner of war from the Afghan conflict. Saturday marks the third anniversary of the American soldier's capture.
GITMO closes, Obama ends lease with Panama Cuba, provides $100,000,000,000. through EO to Cuba for base rehab and clean-up. Ten year savings said to exceed $ 900,000,000,000,000. Host nation renames facility Ernesto Guevara Naval Base (EGNB).
Personally I'm for flying them back. Just nobody said anything about providing a landing...or, you know, have the plane carrying them blow up after the pilots jump out. That works in movies, about Obama's level of intellect.
Posted by: Charles ||
Why not transfer them to Eric Holder's house?
Posted by: Rambler In Virginia ||
gorb, good plan, as long as one implants a locating transponder before releasing.
(Sh. M. Network) Gunmen kidnapped four aid workers and killed a driver at Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp near the border with Somalia on Friday, in the first kidnapping of foreigners since Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October to try to crush Islamist bully boys.
The gunnies are suspected sympathizers of Somalia's al Qaeda-linked 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... beturbanned goons, regional deputy police chief Philip Ndolo, told Rooters.
In Somalia, al-Shabaab said it was not aware of the attack.
"So far we are not aware about any aid workers kidnapped from Kenya's refugee camps," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, the front man for al-Shabaab's military operations, told Rooters.
Kenyan police said the four were nationals of Norway, Canada, Pakistain and the Philippines. A Kenyan driver in a second vehicle was killed during the attack.
They were working for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the group's secretary general, Elisabeth Rasmusson, was also in the convoy and was unharmed, the aid group said.
A Kenyan driver was shot in the attack had died of his injuries while being treated, Ndolo said. Two other Kenyans were also shot, another driver and a contractor for the NRC, he said.
Police and the military were now pursuing the kidnappers who drove towards the Kenya and Somalia border, police said.
"I can confirm that military helicopters have been dispatched," Colonel Cyrus Oguna of the Kenya Defence Forces told Rooters.
Ndolo said the car in which the aid workers were travelling had been abandoned by the attackers, and that the group were probably using another vehicle or were on foot.
He could not say if they had already crossed into Somalia.
Dadaab, about 100 km (62 miles) from Somalia, was set up in 1991 to house Somalis fleeing violence in their country. It has since become the world's biggest refugee camp with almost 500,000 residents.
Kenya deployed its troops days after two Spanish women working for Medecins Sans Frontieres were kidnapped at Dadaab last October. They are still being held.
That kidnapping took place within weeks of two incidents that saw Somali gunnies seize Western female tourists from beach resorts in northern Kenya. One of the women, a Briton, has been set free while the other, from La Belle France, died in captivity.
Ndolo said the gunnies shot at a convoy of two vehicles.
"They shot at the first of the two vehicles, but it drove off. It had other workers. The staff were driving from one camp to another," Ndolo said.
Oslo-based NRC confirmed there had been an incident with an NRC convoy in Dadaab.
"There has been an incident involving the general secretary of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Elisabeth Rasmusson, but she is now safe," said Rolf Vestvik, director of advocacy and information at the NRC.
"We can confirm that our secretary general was part of that convoy. And she is unharmed and safe. We are now trying to get more information on what has happened."
I may be preaching to the choiur here ... but how come these humanitarian agencies keep driving into high-risk zones with no weapons and no armed security. This makes no sense. Somebody needs to kick the a** of the high-level execs in these groups. It's not a game when people wind up as hostages with Al Shabaab or the Somali pirates.
(Sh.M.Network)- Kenyan security forces on Saturday scoured border regions with war-tornSomaliain the hunt for armed kidnappers who seized four foreign aid workers from Dadaab, the world's largest refugee camp.
The two men and two women, who work with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), come from Canada,Norway,Pakistainand the Philippines. A Kenyan driver was killed and two others were maimed during Friday's attack.
"The search is intensifying and more security forces have been sent to make every effort possible but, so far, no one has been recovered," Kenyan army front man Cyrus Oguna told AFP.
Aerial searches were ongoing using both military helicopters and aircraft, while vehicles and troops on foot searched the remote scrubland either side of the mostly non-existent border withSomalia.
Kenya, which invaded southern Somaliain October to attack Al Qaeda linked Islamist beturbanned goons, has troops some 120 kilometres (75 miles) deep into Somalia. However, the way to a man's heart remains through his stomach... the forces control only pockets of the vast territory.
While many fear the gunnies and their hostages crossed swiftly intoSomalia-- only some 100 kilometres from Dadaab -- Oguna said he was still hopeful they remained inside Kenya.
"We are thinking that they are inKenya, we are making every effort that we can, and we are hopeful of a positive outcome," he added.
The aid workers' vehicle, which the gunnies stole after killing the driver, was found abandoned a few hours after the attack. Similar abductions in the past have seen the gunnies disappear into the bush to evade capture.
NRC is working to support some 465,000 inhabitants in the Dadaab complex, which constitutes Kenya's third-biggest town in terms of population.
The kidnapping is the latest in a series of attacks in Dadaab, where gunnies last October seized two Spaniards working for Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). They are still being held hostage in Somalia.
The abduction of the Spaniards was one of the incidents that spurredKenya to send troops and tanks into Somalia to fight the Al-Shabaab ... the personification of Somali state failure... forces of Evil Nairobi blames for abductions and for cross-border raids.
However, those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things... Kenyahas also voiced concern that Dadaab, too, poses a security threat, and has blocked registration of new refugees to the camp.
"The information we have is that the attackers came from the camp, and it raises serious questions that if they were refugees, how they got into the camp armed," Kenyan Defence Minister Yousuf Haji said.
Al-Shabaab still control large parts of southern Somalia, despite recent losses to 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... troops, government forces and ∆thiopian soldiers, who have wrested several key bases from the beturbanned goons.
Representatives of the countries of those kidnapped said they were ensuring every effort was being made to secure the release of the aid workers.
"We are pursuing all appropriate channels... We will not comment or release any information which may compromise these efforts," said Canadian foreign ministry front man Claude Rochon, adding that the "first priority is the safety and security" of its citizens.
Philippine foreign affairs front man Raul Hernandez said the embassy in Nairobi had asked the Kenyan government for assistance, and was coordinating with the embassies of the other hostages.
Since the 1991 ouster of then president Mohammad Siad Barre,Somalia has been variously governed by ruthless warlords and militia groups, each controlling their own limited fiefdoms.
Hundreds of thousands of Somalis have fled to neighbouring countries since the collapse of a formal government two decades ago, while crippling drought and famine racked the lawless nation last year.
(Sh. M. Network)-At least two soldiers are reportedly killed after gunnies launched an ambush attack on Somali government troops in Gedo province, southwest of the country, residents said on Saturday.
The attack came after heavily armed gunnies attacked on a convoy of vehicles carrying the government army at Tuulo-Barwaqo township, a village sits between Bald-Hawo and Garbaharey towns near Somali border along withKenya. Two government soldiers reported dead.
"The army convoy was traveling from Balad-Hawo back to Garbaharey, the quiet provincial capital of Gedo when they were came under attack by gangs at Tuulo-Barwaqo area, some 22 kilometers north of Garbaharay," a resident told Shabelle Media by phone.
During the combat, the two parts used different weapons including rocket propelled grenades, mortars and machine guns, according to the local inhabitants.
No government Official in region has yet released any comment on the attack.
[An Nahar] About 1,000 people were set to sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison with a life-long lock You have the right to remain silent... and hundreds injured -- many by tear gas -- during anti-regime protests on Friday in Sudan, an activist group said on Saturday's anniversary of President Omar al-Bashir Head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi and eventually appointed himself president-for-life. He has fallen out with his Islamic mentor, Hasan al-Turabi, tried to impose shariah on the Christian and animist south, resulting in its secessesion, and attempted to Arabize Darfur by unleashing the barbaric Janjaweed on it. Sudan's potential prosperity has been pissed away in warfare that has left as many as 400,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced. Omar has been indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court but nothing is expected to come of it. 's coup.
The information minister called the protesters "rioters" who threaten the country's stability.
"Some were tossed in the calaboose Drop the rosco and step away witcher hands up! and released," said an official from the Organization for Defense of Rights and Freedoms.
The organization's figures indicate a dramatic rise in the number of arrests on Friday, the 14th day of anti-regime demonstrations sparked by inflation.
"The figure of those tossed in the calaboose Drop the rosco and step away witcher hands up! before yesterday (Friday) was about 1,000 in the whole country," said the official who asked not to be identified because of the tense situation.
Many are still being held in prisons or "ghost houses," the location of which is unknown, he alleged.
"They don't tell you where they are. You are not even allowed to ask," he said.
One of those set to sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison with a life-long lock You have the right to remain silent... is Sudanese journalist Talal Saad, who had brought some freelance photos of the protests to the Agence La Belle France Presse bureau in Khartoum on Friday.
Armed national security agents raided the bureau, ordered AFP's correspondent to delete the photos and took Saad away.
He has been unreachable for about 21 hours.
Police said in a statement that "some of the rioters" were tossed in the calaboose Drop the rosco and step away witcher hands up! and would be brought to trial after "small groups" demonstrated in Khartoum and elsewhere.
Police contained the situation "with a minimum use of force," they said.
The Organization for Defense of Rights and Freedoms said "a few hundred" people were maimed during the Friday protests.
Many elderly people were affected by tear gas, but other injuries came from rubber bullets, tear gas canisters or beatings, the Rights and Freedoms official said.
Information Minister Ghazi al-Sadiq issued an appeal for people "not to allow the rioters to undermine security and stability of the Sudan."
In a statement on the official SUNA news agency, he said Sudanese have the right to peaceful expression without resorting to violence "to allow the enemies to exploit these protests to carry out foreign agendas against the country."
Activists had called for a major day of protest on Friday.
In one key disturbance, witnesses said police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of peaceful protesters who had gathered in Hijra Square beside the mosque of the opposition Umma party in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman.
One witness said demonstrators carried Sudanese flags and banners reading "The people want the regime to fall," a slogan used by protesters during the Arab Spring uprisings against regional strongmen over the past year.
They burned tyres and threw stones at police before running for cover, the witness said.
Similar running battles between protesters and police took place elsewhere in Khartoum, the witness added.
International criticism of Sudan's crackdown increased on Friday with Canada's top diplomat expressing concern.
"We condemn the arrests of bloggers, journalists and political activists that have taken place over the last week and call for their immediate release," Foreign Minister John Baird said.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has urged the government to avoid "heavy-handed suppression" of protests and to immediately release those set to sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison with a life-long lock You have the right to remain silent... for exercising their rights to freedom of assembly and expression.
Britannia and the United States have also sought the release of those set to sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison with a life-long lock You have the right to remain silent... for peaceful protest.
On June 30, 1989, Bashir seized power from democratically elected prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi, who currently leads the Umma party.
Bashir was declared winner of a multi-party election in 2010, but observers from the European Union ...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing... and the U.S.-based Carter Centre said the ballot failed to come up to international standards.
Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court ... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ... for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide allegedly committed in Sudan's western region of Darfur.
He has played down the demonstrations as small-scale and not comparable to the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and elsewhere, maintaining that he himself remains popular.
[An Nahar] Egypt has seized a large weapons consignment, including Grad rockets ...Soviet-developed 122-mm rockets, usually launched from trucks. Newer versions are reported to have a range of up to 30 km.... , that had been smuggled from Libya and could have been headed to the Gazoo Strip, press reports said on Saturday.
The haul, which included 138 Grad rockets and a further 139 Grad warheads, was made in the Mediterranean coastal town of Marsa Matruh, not far from the Libyan border, Egyptian newspapers reported.
The interior ministry said that police were searching for two men suspected of trafficking weapons "to the Sinai Peninsula or towards Paleostine."
Libya has been awash with weapons since last year's armed rebellion which led to the ouster and killing of veteran dictator Muammar Qadaffy ...The late megalomaniac dictator of Libya, admired everywhere for his garish costumes, funny hats, harem of cutie bodyguards, and incoherent ravings. As far as is known, he is the only person who's ever declared jihad on Switzerland... , and Egyptian authorities have made a string of seizures near the porous desert border.
On May 10, the security forces said they had seized a large cache of weapons, including 50 rockets, in Marsa Matruh.
Israel has expressed concern ...meaning the brow was mildly wrinkled, the eyebrows drawn slightly together, and a thoughtful expression assumed, not that anything was actually done or indeed that any thought was actually expended... that such shipments are intended for the Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason,-ruled Gazoo Strip, through the extensive network of smuggling tunnels under the Egyptian border.
It has also voiced concern that Islamic krazed killer groups might be taking advantage of what it sees as the growing lawlessness of the neighboring Sinai.
[An Nahar] Renewed tribal festivities in the Libyan city of Kufra have claimed at least 47 lives and left more than 100 others maimed in three days, local leaders and a medic told Agence La Belle France Presse on Saturday.
"Thirty-two have been killed this week in the two Toubou residential areas," a medic treating Toubou casualties in Kufra told AFP.
"The number of maimed exceeds 100. Women and children make up more than half of the injured, with the majority of them hurt by mortar fire," added Doctor Taher Wehli.
The medic said his clinic had documented eight deaths on Saturday alone.
Tribal leader Hussein Sake said the shelling against Toubou areas in the desert city was ongoing and unrelenting.
"It is a situation of war with continuous attacks on Toubou neighborhoods," Sake told AFP. "They keep shelling us, so of course now we hit back to defend ourselves."
Sake blamed the outbreak of violence on rival Zwai rustics and their allies, who he said include the Libya Shield brigade, a force deployed by the interim government to act as a buffer between the conflicting camps.
Wissam Ben Hamid, commander of the brigade, insisted his forces were neutral and trying to broker a new truce after festivities broke out late Wednesday.
He said the fighting pitted Toubou rustics against Zwai and other tribes.
The commander confirmed the corpse count was "high, about 30" and stressed that "negotiations are now underway to calm tensions."
Abdullah Zwai, meanwhile, said his tribe had also suffered heavy losses at the hands of the Toubou, "with 14 people killed in the past two days."
[An Nahar] Mohammed Morsi took the oath of office on Saturday to become Egypt's first Islamist president and its first elected head of state since Hosni Mubarak's ...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011... overthrow last year. Hosni would be taking the gas pipe if he wasn't in a coma.
The ceremony took place in the constitutional court rather than parliament, the result of an ongoing tussle with the military that took charge after Mubarak's overthrow and insists on retaining broad powers now.
"I swear by the Almighty God to sincerely preserve the republican order and to respect the constitution and law, and completely care for the people's interest," he said at the ceremony at the court.
Morsi had wanted to take the oath before parliament, but the military has disbanded the Islamist-dominated house following a court order.
In an address at Cairo University following his swearing-in, Morsi thanked the military for seeing through the presidential elections but pointedly mentioned the "elected parliament" several times.
"The elected institutions will return to fulfilling their roles. And the great military will devote itself to the task of protecting the country," he told his audience, which included the military's leader, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.
He then set out some of his international and domestic objectives, saying he would be a "servant of the people" in a "democratic, modern and constitutional state".
Internationally, he said Egypt respected would back the Paleostinians and called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria.
"I announce from here that Egypt, its people and presidential institution stand with the Paleostinian people until they regain all their rights," he said.
"We support the Syrian people. We want the bloodshed to stop," he added.
He repeated that Egypt would respect its international treaties, in an allusion to its 1979 peace accord with Israel.
"We carry a message of peace to the world, accompanied and preceded by a message of right and justice."
Armed fighters of Mail's al Qaeda-linked Ansar Dine Islamist group on Saturday destroyed mausoleums in the ancient trading city of Timbuktu, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, witnesses said.
The attack came just four days after UNESCO agreed to a request by the West African state to place Timbuktu on its list of heritage sites in danger following the seizure of its northern two-thirds in April by separatist and Islamist rebels.
A little late for that, isn't it?
"They have already completely destroyed the mausoleum of Sidi Mahmoud (Ben Amar) and two others. They said they would continue all day and destroy all 16," local Malian journalist Yeya Tandina said by telephone of the 16 most prized resting grounds of local saints in the town.
"They are armed and have surrounded the sites with technicals pick-up trucks. The population is just looking on helplessly," he said,
Why is the population helpless? Do they not have weapons?
adding that the Islamists were currently taking pick-axes to the mausoleum of Sidi El Mokhtar, another cherished local saint.
"It looks as if it is a direct reaction to the UNESCO decision," Timbuktu deputy Sandy Haidara said by telephone, confirming the attacks.
Since government forces were routed in April, Ansar Dine and other Islamist groups with links to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) have gained the upper hand over less well-armed Tuaregs whose goal is a secular, independent northern state.
Ansar Dine is pushing for strict sharia, Islamic law, across the whole of the country and deems un-Islamic the shrines of Timbuktu, an expression of the local Sufi brand of the religion.
[An Nahar] Nigeria's military on Saturday said it had placed in durance vile Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! the leader of a gang responsible for a series of attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta region.
Seifa Gbereke, known locally as "General Cairo," is also suspected of stealing crude from pipelines, a widening practice that costs Africa's largest producer roughly $5 billion a year, according to some estimates.
"We've been on the trail of General Cairo for five months," Lieutenant Colonel Oyeama Nwachukwu, front man for the military's regional Joint Task Force (JTF), told Agence La Belle France Presse.
"It is a very significant development, considering the fact that he's been terrorizing the entire Delta region," he added, referring to the Thursday arrest.
Gbereke, said to be 25, is accused of orchestrating kabooms on pipelines and wells in the three Nigerian states with the largest crude deposits: Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers.
He and his seven associates are also thought to have stolen a considerable amount of oil to fund their criminal operations, according to the military front man.
Oil theft has been a growing problem in Nigeria, and Shell chief executive Peter Voser said in April that there have been estimates that 150,000 barrels of oil and condensate is stolen in the country each day.
Nigeria, the world's eighth largest oil producer, has been producing between 2.0 and 2.4 million barrels per day in recent months. The sector generates 90 percent of the country's foreign exchange earnings.
(Sh. M. Network) A British marine expert was killed for standing up to a gang who tried to cash in on false claims that Somali pirates had attacked their ships, an inquest heard.
David Mockett defied the "bully boys" and paid for it with his life when a bomb blew apart his car as he drove from work in Aden in July last year, the hearing was told.
He had been investigating the Brilliante Virtuoso, a Liberian registered oil tanker allegedly attacked by Somali pirates 20 miles off the Yemen coast. In an email to his wife, Cynthia, 65, Mr Mockett had said that he "could not find any evidence of bullet holes or exposure to grenades".
After his death, Mrs Mockett spoke to one of her husband's friends, John Murphy, who claimed that Mr Mockett had been killed "because of his investigation" into the tanker.
She said that Mr Murphy told her two other ships had the same captain as the Brilliante Virtuoso and both had also allegedly been attacked by Somali pirates, which was described as 'unusual'.
Mr Mockett had been in the Middle East for 34 years and Aden for the past decade.
Det Supt Jonathan Tottman, from Scotland Yard's counter terrorism squad was sent to Aden after being "authorised at the highest level of deployment" by the Government to investigate his death.
He ruled out official Yemeni claims that al-Qaeda was behind the bombing because, he said, such terrorist groups boasted about what they had done.
Mr Tottman told the inquest that Aden and Yemen are "very dangerous places to work" and only a handful of British workers remain there, with no British passport holders left in Aden. "David had obviously upset somebody. Money is a great motivation for people," he said
Mr Tottman said Mr Mockett's last job was to investigate "criminal enterprise, piracy on the high seas where a third of the world's oil goes through at any one time in very busy shipping lanes".
Somali pirates had made targets of these shipping lanes but a fraud was being operated so insurers would pay out once "attacked" ships had been surveyed for damage and loss, he claimed. "This was a scam and a lot of money was being made," he told the Plymouth and south Devon coroner Ian Arrow. "David had great integrity and professionalism and would not bow to bully boy tactics."
[Yemen Post] Seven Yemeni soldiers were poisoned last Thursday, while they were performing their tasks in a checkpoint located in a main entrance of the capital Sana'a, military sources said.
The sources affirmed that the soldiers were transferred to hospitals, pointing out that their cases are very serious and that they were put at the intensive care unit.
They made it clear that the soldiers were provided with poisoned sandwiches by an unknown person, accusing Al-Qaeda of attempting to kill them.
They said that Al-Qaeda aimed at killing the soldiers to enter the capital Sana'a, asserting that Yemeni security forces were mostly deployed after the incident in anticipation of Al-Qaeda operatives infiltration to Sana'a.
Meanwhile, ...back at the revival hall, the SWAT team had finally arrived... the front man of the Military Committee formed under the GCC power transferred deal, Ali Saeed Obaid, has revealed that the Yemeni government has a plan to put an end to tribal support for Al-Qaeda in some Yemeni governorate including Abyan ...a governorate of Yemen. The region was a base to the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army terrorist group until it dropped the name and joined al-Qaeda. Its capital is Zinjibar. In March 2011, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula declared the governate an Islamic Emirate after seizing control of the region. The New York Times fastidiously reported that those in control, while Islamic hard boyz, are not in fact al-Qaeda, but something else that looks, tastes, smells, and acts the same. Yemeni government forces launched an effort to re-establish control of the region when President-for-Life Saleh was tossed and the carnage continues... , Shabwa, Marib and al-Jawf.
He affirmed that the committee dispatched new military reinforcements with the aim of taking part in the military offensives conducted by the Yemeni army against Al-Qaeda hard boyz in some districts of Abyan.
Obaid reaffirmed that most areas of Abyan were cleansed from landmines planted by the hard boyz before their withdrawal to other areas, stressing that morale of the army is high after the defeat of Al-Qaeda hard boyz and get them out of Abyan. He revealed that al-Qeada hard boyz are currently positioned in some remote villages and areas located in borders of Abyan.Yemen's Interior Ministry had cautioned against the infiltration of Al-Qaeda operatives to the capital Sana'a, pointing out that Al-Qaeda has plans to carry out a suicide kaboom using car booms.
For a map, click here. For a map of Durango state, click here
By Chris Covert
A total of four bodies were exhumed from two mass graves in far eastern Durango state Thursday, according to Mexican news reports.
The find was made in Lerdo municipality which is in the western part of the region colloquially known as La Laguna, which includes Ciudad Lerdo and Gomez Palacio, Durango and Torreon Coahuila. A Mexican Army unit had been dispatched to the area based on an anonymous tip, which found the graves.
According to a report in El Siglo de Durango news daily, two graves were found three kilometers away from each other, the first was a grave in Las Noas canyon area which contained the remains of two women in advanced state of decomposition.
The second pit was located in an area dubbed Los Compadres, which contained the remains of two men, also in a state of decomposition.
The report said the new find raises the death toll in Durango to 335, but plenty of doubt exists to that claim.
More than two weeks ago a Mexican Army unit began to excavate a site in Cristobal Colon colony in Durango city, where the last 50 dead were found last January. That report said the remains of at least one individual had been uncovered, and more were expected.
To date no further news has been released as to the new death toll by the Durango state Fiscalia General del Estado (FGE) or attorney general from the latest excavation in Durnago city. The Durango FGE has been maintaining the official count to date.
Last January when the last of the Cristobal Colon bodies were exhumed, confusion reigned as to the final death toll. Local press had the total at 300, while Proceso news weekly counted 321. This writer had the death toll at 330.
The great bulk of the dead found in Durango, more than 90%, were killed in Durango city itself, while ten total were found in Lerdo municipality. It had been determined by Durango state legal officials that nearly all the dead were killed between 2007 and 2011 in the course of normal organized crime business.
While cumulatively the Durango mass graves are the worst in modern Mexican history, the honor of the worst mass murder goes to the San Fernando, Tamaulipas mass graves were 193 individuals were killed and buried between August 2010 and March 2011. Those murders were all apparently done by the same criminal group.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
A joint force consisting of Mexican Naval Infantry troops and police agents with the Veracruz state Secretaria de Seguridad Publica (SSP) raided two locations in Xalapa, Veracruz early Saturday morning, detaining nine suspects and killing one, according to a news relase posted on the website of the Secretaria de Marina (SEMAR), the controlling agency for the Mexican Navy.
According to the news release the group raided a hotel and subsequently a safe house located on Calle Cesar Velarde. The release said one armed suspect died at the encounter at the safe house.
A news report posted on the website of El Diario de Coahuila said that a Mexican Marine unit came under small arms fire near the hotel as the joint patrol attempted to stop a group of armed suspects. The report also said that hand grenades were used in the counterfire by the armed suspects.
The El Diario de Coahuila report also said that the fighting spread throughout the city ending at the safe house.
At the safe house were recovered weapons and vehicles, but the news release did not detail any quantities. A total of nine detainees were taken into custody in the aftermath of the raids. El Diario de Coahuila reported six of the detainees were from Guatemala.
The raid was conducted by a joint force as part of the Seguro Veracruz, a security program which is intended to concentrated federal and state forces at transportation choke points to make the cost of contraband such as drugs guns and migrants much higher. Similar operations are under way in Tamaulipas state and in the La Laguna region which is astride the borders of Coahuila and Durango states.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
[Dawn] A man suspected of association with al Qaeda has been incarcerated You have the right to remain silent... here and charged with providing material support to the terror network and possessing and using firearms to promote violence.
The indictment of Minh Quang Pham was announced by Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York and other security officials.
According to court papers, in December 2010, Pham travelled from Britannia to Yemen where he showed up at the principal base of operations for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
While in Yemen, Pham took an oath of allegiance to AQAP, carried an automatic assault rifle, obtained training from the group and helped it prepare online propaganda.
Pham returned to the United Kingdom from Yemen in 2011. Prior to his arrest, Pham was held by British authorities in immigration custody.
If convicted on all counts, Pham would face a maximum sentence of life in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 40 years.
His nationality has not been announced.
"The international law enforcement cooperation that led to today's arrest of Minh Quang Pham, an alleged associate of a terrorist organization committed to killing Americans both here and abroad, underscores our joint commitment to identifying, prosecuting, and punishing those who would do harm to our country and our people," Bharara said in a statement.
The US launched its second straight drone strike in a remote valley in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan today, killing six "militants."
The remotely piloted Predators or the more advanced Reapers fired a pair of missiles at a compound in the Shawal Valley in North Waziristan, according to AFP. Pakistani officials said six "militants" were killed in the strike while the compound was set afire, burning several of the bodies beyond recognition. Sounds nice, but eventually someone will 'recognize' them as Mrs. 'bunny and the five kiddies.
No senior al Qaeda, Taliban, or allied jihadist commanders are reported to have been killed in the strike.
Today's strike in Shawal is the second in the valley this week. On June 26, a similar strike on a compound in Shawal killed five militants. So far this year, four of the 25 drone strikes in Pakistan hit targets in the Shawal Valley.
[Dawn] Bodies of five civilians were recovered from Alamgudar locality of Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency on Friday.
The security forces had claimed on Thursday night that they killed three suspected beturbanned goons during a search operation in Qambarabad where beturbanned goons targeted an army vehicle with a remote-controlled bomb, killing eight soldiers,
including a captain.
Bullet-riddled bodies of three local residents, including Ubaidullah of Karigar Garhi (Sipah tribe), Tahir Qambarkhel and Khan Mir Qambarkhel, were found near Alamgudar on Friday morning. Local sources said that all the three were watchmen at the house of a Sipah elder Haji Mir Badshah, which was located close to the site of attack on military vehicle.
They said that all the victims were non-combatants with no affiliation with any turban group and also they did not pose any resistance during the search operation by the forces. Volunteers of Al-Khidmat Foundation handed over the bodies to their relatives after they were removed from Alamgudar.
In the same locality, beheaded bodies of two more persons were found by residents.
Sources said that the two were residents of Bazidkhel village in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar and identified as Munir Khan and Inamullah. Nobody has so far grabbed credit for their killing.
PRISONERS ON STRIKE: Three under-trial prisoners went on an indefinite hunger strike at Landi Kotal lockup on Friday against their incarceration.
Relatives of two brothers, Akhtar Hussain and Fida Hussain, told Dawn that they were tossed in the slammer Into the paddy wagon wit' yez! on murder charges two weeks
ago and released after submitting surety bonds with the local administration.
However, corruption finds a dozen alibis for its evil deeds... both were again tossed in the slammer Into the paddy wagon wit' yez! two days ago on charges that they were wanted to commandant of Khyber Rifles for allegedly committing murder on the army land.
Another prisoner Qismat Ali of Sultankhel area was tossed in the slammer Into the paddy wagon wit' yez! by the local administration on suspicion of having links with turban groups.
His relatives, however, contended that he was declared 'white' after undergoing interrogation in Peshawar a few weeks ago.
All the three went on hunger strike against what they called their illegal confinement by the political administration.
Local officials, however, claimed that while Mr Akhtar and his brother had murdered a local person over a land dispute at daytime, Mr Ali was accused of demanding ransom from wealthy people in the name of Taliban.
[Dawn] Holding police responsible for the murder of its chief Fahimur Rehman and his three associates, the Bazidkhel Qaumi Lashkar on Friday decided to move the court for seeking help in getting a murder case registered against some top Beautiful Downtown Peshawar police bosses.
On the other hand, Sherlocks are clueless about the two missing officials of the Anti-Terrorist Squad, who accompanied the lashkar leaders from Peshawar to Islamabad 'on a mission'.
"We have been continuously contacting the missing coppers but their mobile numbers have not been responding since the murder of the four," an investigation officer told Dawn.
Asif Khan, brother of Mr Rehman, blamed Peshawar SSP Tahir Ayub and DSP Shah Nawaz for the murder of his brother and
He said police had sent them on a mission with their guards but they were later found dead with the whereabouts of the said
guards not known.
Mr Asif rejected the claims of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain and Lashkar-e-Islam, to have killed the lashkar leaders and said none of the peace body members was ready to buy the orc outfits' version.
"Everyone knows very well that Taliban and Lashkar-e-Islam never kill their opponents. They rather separate behead opponents, dump their bodies by roads and pathways with warning notes, and distribute video clips among people," he said. He
said it seemed his brother had been killed while he was asleep.
Mr Asif said he would decide about the next line of action in a meeting of area elders but he was sure that a murder case would be registered against the culpable police.
He said Mr Fahim had taken around Rs0.3 million and sophisticated weapons with him but nothing was found when his body was recovered. A member of the lashkar said the peace body would continue anti-militant activities without seeking help of
"We will never trust police unless they take the sought-after steps to our satisfaction," he said.
When contacted, DSP Shah Nawaz denied role in the four killings and said he had no relations with the lashkar people.
"I am the in charge of the Anti-Terrorist Squad and have to follow the directives of my bosses," he said, and added that he had send two ATS officials, sub-inspector Javaid Akhtar and assistant sub-inspector Mohammad Gul with the lashkar leaders as
guards on the orders of the Peshawar SSP (operations).
He said relatives of the missing coppers were contacting the relevant officers but their cellphones had been found switched off since June 25.
SSP Tahir Ayub told Dawn that he was hopeful that after return of the coppers, things about the killings would be clear.
"I have done nothing wrong. The lashkar people voiced doubts after police guards went missing," he said, adding that they had gone on a mission to Islamabad and wanted to go to Murree.
[Dawn] Five men, including a suspected gangster, were rubbed out in different parts of the city on Friday, said police.
The officials said 27-year-old Dur Mohammad alias Durra was found rubbed out in a Mauripur locality. They added that area people informed them about the body lying on an open plot in Mowach Goth.
"It's yet to be ascertained if the killing was the result of a feud within his gang or a rivalry with another gang," said an official at the Mauripur cop shoppe.
"He was wanted by police in a number of criminal cases, including kidnap for ransom, murder and armed robberies."
He said the body was found in the area known to be a stronghold of Shiraz Comrade said to be the leader of one of the criminal gangs in Lyari ...one of the eighteen constituent towns of the city of Karachi. It is the smallest town by area in the city but also the most densely populated. Lyari has few schools, substandard hospitals, a poor water system, limited infrastructure, and broken roads. It is a stronghold of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Ubiquitous gang activity and a thriving narcotics industry make Lyari one of the most disturbed places in Karachi, which is really saying a lot.... though Dur Mohammad did not belong to his gang, indicating that he might have been kidnapped and killed by rivals.
After medico-legal formalities at the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... , the body was handed over to the family, said the police.
Man found rubbed out
A young transporter who had gone missing on Thursday was found rubbed out a few kilometres from Sohrab Goth, off the Superhighway, officials said. The police believed that 26-year-old Shahzad Chandio was killed over personal enmity.
"The victim was a resident of Jamshed Quarters and associated with some transport business," said DSP Iftikhar Lodhi, the area's sub-divisional police officer.
"We have reason to believe that it was not an act of assassination but a matter related to some personal issues. The family is in a state of shock and grief. We will definitely seek their cooperation to set the course of investigation."
Shop owner killed
Another young man who had gone missing on Thursday was found rubbed out in Ramswami within the remit of the Garden cop shoppe.
The police said the killing of 29-year-old Junaid Habib, who had a shop in the Ramswami area, appeared to be mysterious. "He was not associated with any political or religious group, while his family also denies his enmity with any individual or group," said Garden SHO Inspector Athar Malik.
"He was probably kidnapped from his shop," he added.
Labourer bumped off
Earlier during the day, a 25-year-old labourer was bumped off in a drive-by shooting near a bus stop in Pak Colony, said police.
"Sajid Brohi was targeted just after he left home in Jehanabad for a garment factory where he was employed as a labourer," said Pak Colony SHO Inspector Abdul Moid.
The officer said that the victim was intercepted by gunnies riding a cycle of violence near the bus stop. One of them fired a single shot at him before they sped away. The victim sustained a single gunshot wound to his head and was struck down in his prime, the inspector added.
"The reason is not yet clear but the way he was killed indicates that criminal gangs are behind this incident," he added.
Young man rubbed out
A tyre puncture shop owner was rubbed out in Buffer Zone over what police believed personal enmity.
Imran, 24, was at work when gunnies riding a motorbike pulled up there and fired at him before fleeing, said Taimuria SHO Inspector Sajid Javed."Initial findings show that he fell to prey to personal enmity over some monetary issue," he added.
[An Nahar] Bombings and shootings in Iraq killed three police, two soldiers and two civilians on Saturday, security and medical officials said. The Zarqawi Memorial Turban Club is up to a major attack a day now.
Two roadside kabooms at a checkpoint west of Samarra killed three federal coppers and maimed three others, police and a medical source at the Samarra hospital said.
In the north, a roadside kaboom killed a soldier and maimed two others in the city of djinn-infested Mosul, while another roadside kaboom near the town of Tal Afar killed an army captain, and gunniesrubbed out a civilian near the village of Baaj, an army officer said.
And gunnies with automatic weapons killed a civilian in Al-Tun Kubri, an area north of Kirkuk city, police said.
Saturday's deaths brought the number of people killed in attacks since June 13 to at least 224 -- an average of 12 per day. That is a far higher toll than the 132 official figures show were killed in May.
MANILA: Philippine soldiers killed 13 communist guerrilla rebels in two separate clashes yesterday, in what military officials described as one of the biggest victories over the insurgents in years.
Eleven New People's Army (NPA) rebels were killed around noon in San Narciso town of Quezon province, southeast of Manila, while two rebels were killed in a pre-dawn gunbattle in Botolan town in Zambales province, northwest of the capital.
Military spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos said both clashes were a result of tip-offs from civilians, which showed that the government's new counter-insurgency strategy was working.
"This is by far the largest number of NPA casualties in one single encounter in recent history," he said, describing the San Narciso clash.
Fifteen rebels were setting up an ambush for troops on a roadside when soldiers intercepted them, said local army commander Col. Eduardo Ano. Two soldiers were also wounded in the 30-minute gunfight, he said, adding that six guns and two grenade launchers were recovered.
"The (local population) gave us information. They must be getting tired of the NPA," Ano said.
Just hours earlier, soldiers clashed with about a dozen NPA fighters in Botolan, killing two and capturing four, said local army commander, Lt. Col. Michael Samson. Five rifles and two grenades were recovered in the incident, he said in a statement.
Turkey has scrambled six F-16 fighter jets near its border with Syria after Syrian helicopters came close to the border, the country's army says.
Six jets were sent to the area in response to three such incidents on Saturday, the statement said, adding that there was no violation of Turkish airspace.
Turkey's government has been outspoken in its condemnation of Syria's response to the 16-month anti-government uprising, which has seen more than 30,000 Syrian refugees enter Turkey.
Turkey's military has more than 500 miles of border with Syria to defend. It has now decided to treat everything that happens on the Syrian side of the border with extreme suspicion.
The scrambling of the jets is a sign of continuing tensions. A little over a week ago, Syria shot down a Turkish warplane. Syria says that the aircraft was flying inside Syrian airspace - a charge denied by Turkey.
Following this incident, the Turkish government announced that it had revised its military rules of engagement towards Syria. From now on, every military element that approached the Turkish border from Syria would be considered as a threat. The military has now acted on its new rules.
Turkey is keen to show that it's protecting its territory. The government allows its southern border region of Hatay to be used as a staging ground for Syrian opposition rebels. But it doesn't want this region to become an actual battleground.
On Friday, Turkey said it had begun deploying rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns along the border in response to the downing of its F-4 Phantom jet on 22 June.
The move came after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Turkey had changed its rules of military engagement and would now treat any Syrian military approaching the border as a threat.
Four of the six jets were scrambled on Saturday from the airbase of Incirlik in response to two occasions of Syrian helicopters flying close to Hatay province, Sunday's army statement said.
Later, two more F-16s took off from a base near Batman, in southeastern Turkey, after Syrian helicopters were spotted close to the province of Mardin, it added.
The military said the helicopters flew as close as 6.5km (4 miles) to the border, according to the AP news agency.
[An Nahar] At least 53 people were killed, mostly civilians, in violence across Syria on Saturday, and hundreds more were trapped in Douma as regime forces stormed the town in Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... province, monitors said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights urged the International Committee of the Red Thingy and the Syrian Arab Red Islamic Thingy to "urgently send medical teams" to Douma.
"The security forces have seized control of the main hospital in Douma," the Observatory said. "There are no doctors in the town, though dozens of maimed need urgent care."
The Britannia-based monitoring group warned of a "catastrophic humanitarian situation" in the city, which "has been subjected to a fierce military campaign since June 21."
Violence has killed "scores and maimed hundreds" there since regime forces escalated attacks on the outlying suburb of Damascus, the group said.
"More than 100 families remain in the town, unable to flee and forced to take refuge in shelters," it said, adding that most of those trapped were women and kiddies, after the majority of the men had fled repeated arrest sweeps.
The Observatory said those killed on Saturday included a civilian rubbed out by a sniper in Douma; a rebel in Daraa, southern Syria; a family of three killed by shelling in the northwestern province of Idlib and 14 soldiers.
Douma has seen frequent fighting between rebels and troops in recent months.
The watchdog also reported fierce festivities in the capital itself and the suburbs of Damascus, with regime troops using helicopters to shell several neighborhoods on Saturday.
Elsewhere, the army shelled Rastan in the central province of Homs, the watchdog said, adding that the town has been under rebel control since February.
Meanwhile, ...back at the scene of the crime, Lieutenant Queeg had an idea: there was a simple way to tell whether Manetti had been the triggerman -- just look at his shoes!... an kaboom rocked the Qaboon district of Damascus, the Observatory said, and a blast hit the country's second city Aleppo ...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins... in the north. No casualties were reported.
Another blast hit an oil pipeline in a rebel-held area of the eastern province of Deir al-Zour.
The latest violence came amid fierce countrywide festivities and a day after 75 people were killed nationwide.
More than 15,800 people have been killed in violence since an anti-regime uprising broke out in March 2011, the Observatory says.
[An Nahar] World powers agreed Saturday to a plan for a transition in Syria that could include current regime members, but envoy Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... doubted if Syrians would pick leaders "with blood on their hands".
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ... sometimes described as The Woman to Call at 3 a.m. and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as Another Henry L. Stimson ... made it clear that Washington did not see any role for Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs... in the new regime, even though there was no explicit call for him to cede power.
"Assad will still have to go. He will never pass the mutual consent test," said Clinton.
While Annan did not name names and said it was up to the Syrians to decide who they want in a unity government, he added: "I would doubt that Syrians... would select people with blood on their hands to lead them."
The deal came despite initial pessimism from participants about the prospects of the Geneva talks due to deep divisions between the West and China and Russia on the future of Assad.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said following the meeting that Moscow had convinced other parties to accept that the transition would be decided by Syrians and that no party should be excluded from the process.
"How exactly the work on a transition to a new stage is conducted will be decided by the Syrians themselves," he said.
"There are no demands to exclude from this process any one group. This aspect had been present in many of our partners' proposals. We have convinced them that this is unacceptable," Lavrov said.
A long-time Syria ally, Russia is loathe to cast Assad aside, even as relations between Moscow and Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... have cooled.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi also stressed that "outsiders cannot make decisions for the Syrian people."
As divisions threatened to scupper talks earlier Saturday, Annan had warned at the opening of the meeting that history "will judge us all harshly" if world powers failed to bridge their gaps on how to end the bloodshed in Syria and chart a transition.
A failure to unite also raised the spectra that the conflict that has claimed 15,800 lives over 16 months in the strategic Middle East country could spill over to the region and expose the world to fresh threats, said the former U.N. chief.
"History is a somber judge -- and it will judge us all harshly if we prove incapable of taking the right path today," Annan told the five permanent Security Council members -- the United States, Russia, Britannia, China and La Belle France -- as well as regional powers Qatar, Turkey, Kuwait and Iraq.
[An Nahar] United Nations ...the Oyster Bay money pit... Interim Force spokesperson Andrea Tenenti said on Saturday that a dispute occurred between peacekeeping troops and the residents of the southern border town of Maroun al-Ras .
According to the National News Agency, the UNIFIL peacekeepers were taking snapshots of the area when several civilians came across and took the camera from them.
The UNIFIL and the Lebanese army are working on resolving the incident and recover the camera, the NNA said.
However, there's no worse danger than telling a mother her baby is ugly... security sources told Future News that a UNIFIL patrol was intercepted by members from Hizbullah.