[VOA News] Authorities in Afghanistan say that a female policewoman who killed an American contractor in Kabul this week is an Iranian national. However, those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things... they have not presented any evidence that the woman has links to orc groups, or that Iran may have orchestrated the "insider attack."
The female police officer is being interrogated for killing Joseph Griffin, a 49-year-old American adviser to Afghan police. The shooting took place at Kabul's police headquarters and is being described as the first known "insider" attack by a woman.
Interior Ministry front man Sediq Sediqi disclosed at a news conference on Tuesday that the attacker, identified as Nargis, is a native Iranian and is married to an Afghan who works at the Ministry's criminal investigation department.
Sediqi said the policewoman illegally obtained her Afghan citizenship identification with the help of her husband before joining the national police force five years ago. He said she apparently acted alone.
The front man described the "mental condition" of the policewoman as "unstable" and said he has no evidence that would link her to orc groups involved in terrorist acts in Afghanistan. He said she holds an Iranian passport, but offered no evidence that Tehran was involved in the shooting.
Monday's attack has once again raised questions about the ability of Afghan authorities to manage their country's security after most foreign troops pull out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
"This incident shows that there are some gaps in the system and it proves that there might be many more like this particular woman who shot (to death) an American individual," said Said Mohammad Azam, a Kabul-based political commentator and a former government official.
At least 60 coalition members have been killed in such incidents this year, referred to as "green-on-blue" attacks, and they have severely undermined trust between foreign and Afghan forces as they jointly fight the Taliban insurgency.
[Rooters] Egyptian voters overwhelmingly approved a constitution drafted by President Mohamed Mursi's allies, results announced on Tuesday showed, proving that liberals, leftists and Christians have been powerless to halt the march of Islamists in power.
Final elections commission figures showed the constitution adopted with 63.8 percent of the vote in the referendum held over two days this month, giving Mursi's Islamists their third straight electoral victory since veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak ...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011... was toppled in a 2011 revolution.
Opposition groups had taken to the streets to block what they see as a move to ram through a charter that mixes politics and religion dangerously and ignores the rights of minorities.
Mursi says the text - Egypt's first constitution since Mubarak's fall - offers enough protection for minorities, and adopting it quickly is necessary to end two years of turmoil and political uncertainty that has wrecked the economy.
"I hope all national powers will now start working together now to build a new Egypt," Murad Ali, a bigwig in the Moslem Brüderbund's Freedom and Justice Party, told Rooters.
"I see this as the best constitution in Egypt's history."
[VOA News] Gunmen in northeastern Nigeria killed at least six people early Tuesday when they shot up a church during a Christmas Eve service.
Officials and residents say the attack happened shortly after midnight in a village outside the city of Potiskum in Yobe state. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Yobe is next to Borno state, the home of Islamic radical sect Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
Rights groups say the gunnies have killed well over 1,000 people in the past four years.
Boko Haram attacked churches at Christmas in both 2010 and 2011. Last year's attacks killed more than 40 people.
Either the Nigerian government deals with these guys or else the local Christians are going to have to get some guns and start defending themselves. If it's the latter than we'll be reading all about attacks on Nigerian mosques, and we'll be reading about them in the New York Times, natch...
The VOA is, as almost all media do, under reporting the Islamic angle. The headline should have read,
"Islamic Terrorists Slaughter 6 More Christians at Nigerian Church"
The first paragraph should have read,
"The Islamic Terrorist genocidal war against Christians in Nigeria continues. Terrorists groups declared the war formally in the summer of 2012 after carrying on a war for years before that. The Islamic Terrorists have slaughtered or injured thousands of Christians and destroyed or damaged dozens of Churches in the past 5 years. No UN resolution has been approved related to this and no leader of any Islamic country has denounced these persecutions.
Posted by: lord garth ||
Security forces in the United Arab Emirates have arrested a group of UAE and Saudi Arabian citizens planning to carry out terrorist militant attacks in both countries and in other states.
The arrested group had acquired materials and equipment for use in what the official news agency WAM called terrorist operations. WAM said, "The security authorities in the UAE, in coordination with the related security parties in Saudi Arabia, announced the arrest of an organised cell from the deviant group that was planning to carry out actions against national security of both countries and some brotherly states."
The phrase "the deviant group" is generally used by officials in Saudi Arabia to describe al Qaeda members.
The UAE has escaped the tumult that has rocked the Arab world but moved swiftly to quash any sign of political dissent by detaining more than 60 Islamists this year over alleged threats to state security and links to a foreign group. Those detainees, who belong to an Islamist group called al-Islah, have confessed to setting up a secret organisation with an armed force whose goal was to take power and establish an Islamic state, local media said in September. Islah denied the accusations.
Many of the detained Islamists come from the more religiously conservative northern emirates such as Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah, from which came one of the Sept. 11 hijackers.
[Al Ahram] Yemen's army Tuesday launched an offensive against rustics suspected of repeatedly sabotaging an oil pipeline in east Yemen, sparking festivities which left 17 people dead, tribal sources said.
The dead included 10 rustics and seven soldiers, said the sources, who added that the army offensive in Marib province's Habab valley, 140 kilometres (87 miles) east of the capital Sanaa, was launched in the early hours of the morning and was backed by air raids.
The sources said the army was "randomly shelling" the area where some Al-Qaeda hard boyz joined rustics ranks in battling Yemeni troops. Marib is a major Al-Qaeda stronghold in the country.
Tribesmen, of whom 18 were also maimed according to the same sources, fought back with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, one source said.
The army did not immediately confirm the deaths of four soldiers.
According to official figures, lost production due to attacks on the oil pipeline in the east cost the government more than $1 billion dollars in 2012, while oil exports fell by 4.5 percent.
A tribal source told AFP that the offensive was aimed against prominent figure Salah bin Hussein al-Dammaj, who has allegedly blown up the pipeline several times to pressure the authorities to pay him 100 million riyals ($480,000) in compensation for land he claims was taken from him in Sanaa.
The 320-kilometre (200-mile) pipeline carries oil from Safer oilfields in Marib to an export terminal on the Red Sea. It produces around 180,000 barrels per day.
Gunmen on motorbikes shot dead two senior Yemeni security officers in separate attacks in Sanaa on Tuesday, officials said. Intelligence officer General Fadl al-Zamani of the national security services was shot dead at Bab al-Yaman, the entrance to the old city in Sanaa, a security official said, adding that the assailant had managed to escape.
In another shooting, a gunman on motorbike opened fire at Colonel Salim al-Gharbani, a member of the elite Republican Guard, in the capital's Dar Solom district, before fleeing, another security official said. Gharbani was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his wounds, the official said.
The killers have not yet been identified but such attacks, which are becoming increasingly frequent in Yemen, have in the past been been carried out by Al-Qaeda militants.
A total of nine unidentified individuals were shot to death in Sinaloa state Christmas eve, according to Mexican news accounts.
According to a news report originating from an El Universal wire dispatch published on the website of El Porvenir news daily, the president of Concordia municipality, Eligio Medina Ríos, told the press that armed suspects entered the village of El Platanar de los Ontiveros and started shooting at residents who were on foot.
Among the dead was the spouse of a member of the village counsel.
Medina Ríos telephoned Sinaloa governor Mario Lopez Valdez to ask for emergency aid for the area.
It is unclear where in Concordia municipality El Platanar de los Ontiveros is, except that it has been noted it is in a remote mountainous area of Sinaloa state.
The report also notes that many residents of the area have fled violence, including those from the villages of La Cieneguilla, El Tiro, El Llano and Zaragoza.
Concordia itself sits on Mexico Federal Highway 40, the northern-most contiguous major east-west road in Mexico. The highway connects the seaport of Mazatlan in Sinaloa state on the Pacific coast to Reynosa and Matamoros in Tamaulipas state.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
Russian investigators say unknown attackers have gunned down a ruling party official in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. Two gunmen burst into Boris Zherukov's office in Nalchik, the republic's capital, on December 25 and shot him twice in the head.
Zherukov was head of the United Russia party faction in the local parliament. He was also rector of the local State Agricultural University.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Vladimir Markin, the spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee, said an investigation is underway and did not rule out the involvement of Islamist terrorists militants.
Thirteen militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) were killed in the Hatay and Osmaniye provinces as a result of a special operation conducted by Turkish Security Forces, the Hurriyet newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Six militants were detained during the special operation. Also ammunition owned by the PKK was seized.
Over 10 months Turkish security forces have rendered harmless 716 PKK militants, including 496 terrorists have been killed, 21 were wounded, 44 were arrested and 155 surrendered to the authorities. During this period, the security forces have held six large-scale and 19 local operations against militants.
[Dawn] At least 11 people were killed and several others injured on Tuesday, including a key leader of the religious Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) party in separate incidents of violence in Pakistain's commercial capital of 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... , DawnNews reported.
Maulana Orangzaib Farooqi, a key ASWJ leader, was injured when gunnies opened indiscriminate fire on car near Gulshan-e-Iqbal's Moti Mahal area, killing his guard, driver, and four coppers.
Farooqi sustained bullet injuries, however, his condition was said to be stable.
Following the incident, businesses were closed down as panic gripped several city areas, including Nagan Chowrangi, Abul Hasan Isphahani Road, Stadium Road, Guru Mandir and Patel Para, where myrmidons resorted to arson. Unknown men also torched two cars near Rizvia Colony and Waterpump areas.
Meanwhile, ...back at the saw mill, Scarface Al had tied Little Nell to the log and was about to turn on the saw... three people were killed by unknown gunnies in Orangi Town, while another was man was killed by gunshots in Shah Faisal Colony's Azeempura area. A man was also injured in the firing incident in Azeempura.
Another man also fell victim to firing when he sustained gunshot wounds in Landhi's Sharafi Goth area.
Earlier on Tuesday, a police officer's son was bumped off in Clifton's Darakhshan area. According to police sources, the incident was a result of personal enmity.
[Dawn] Police in Indian-administered Kashmire said two suspected gun-hung tough guys and a police officer were killed in a gunbattle in the disputed Himalayan region.
Police officer Manoj Panditha said in addition to the dead, one Indian army soldier was maimed in the fighting late Monday in the southern Kashmire village of Dodhiporao.
Panditha said Tuesday that police believe men belonged to the Lashkar-e-Taiba ...the Army of the Pure, an Ahl-e-Hadith terror organization founded by Hafiz Saeed. LeT masquerades behind the Jamaat-ud-Dawa facade within Pakistain and periodically blows things up and kills people in India. Despite the fact that it is banned, always an interesting concept in Pakistain, the organization remains an blatant tool and perhaps an arm of the ISI... cut-thoat group.
There has been no independent confirmation of the incident.
Kashmire is divided between India and Pakistain and claimed by both in its entirety.
About 68,000 people have been killed since 1989 in an armed rebellion against Indian rule and in an ensuing Indian crackdown that has largely crushed the cut-thoats. That's down from 90,000 a few years ago.
How very odd. Usually cumulative numbers run the other way. How on earth did they manage that?
[Al Ahram] Gunmen opened fire on a car carrying a senior figure from an beturbanned goonMoslem Sunni group in the Pak city of 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... on Tuesday, killing four coppers and two other people, police said.
The target of the attack, Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqi, was hit in the leg by a bullet and needed hospital treatment but his injuries were not life-threatening, police said.
His group, the Ahle Sunnat wa Al-Jamaat, said that he had been targeted by a rival minority Shiite group.
Bloody Karachi, Pakistain's biggest city, is in the grip of a long-running wave of political and sectarian violence involving Sunni and Shiites, who account for around 20 percent of the 180 million population of Moslem-majority Pakistain.
"At least four coppers, a guard and a driver were killed in firing by unknown gunnies," senior police official Shahid Hayat told AFP.
Bloody Karachi police chief Iqbal Mehmood confirmed the attack and casualties and said that initial investigations showed that the gunnies were on a cycle of violence, and the coppers who were killed had been escorting Farooqi.
Witnesses said that Farooqi's supporters blocked roads and burnt used tyres to protest against the attack.
A senior Hamas leader called on Tuesday for a third intifada and the resumption of suicide bombings against Israel. The demand came in response to the government's recent decision to approve the construction of hundreds of housing units in east Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim.
Ahmed Halabiyeh, director of the Jerusalem Department in Hamas, said that armed Palestinian groups, including Hamas, should initiate a confrontation with Israel over its plans to build new apartments in Jerusalem and its suburbs. The Palestinians, he added, should resort to various methods of resistance, first and foremost "martyrdom operations in the heart of Israel."
He urged Palestinians to "ignite a third intifada to save the Aksa Mosque and Jerusalem."
Any chance that Ahmed himself will strap on a boom belt?
The "enemy is waging a fierce onslaught on Jerusalem and accelerating plans to Judaize the city geographically and demographically," he told reporters in Gaza City.
Israel, he charged, was spreading the "cancer of settlements to all parts of Jerusalem."
Since you guys have been rejecting peace and conciliation for the past fifty years, the Israelis have decided that you're not interested in peace and conciliation. So they're going about their business. Funny how that works...
The Hamas official also accused Israel of working to undermine the foundations of the Aksa Mosque to bring about its collapse so it could replace the structure with the Third Temple.
Just motivating the rubes...
Halabiyeh urged Arabs and Muslims to declare a state of full mobilization to "liberate Jerusalem, the Aksa Mosque and Palestine."
Also on Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority warned that the recent Israeli plans to build new housing projects in Jerusalem would undermine the two-state solution and foil international efforts to reach a just and comprehensive peace in the region.
Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for the PA presidency, said that the government's plans would eventually lead to a one-state solution. The "State of Palestine would take all available measures to respond to the Israeli plans, which are a red line that the Palestinians won't allow to be implemented," he said.
Abu Rudaineh also condemned Israel's decision to withhold tax and customs revenues belonging to the PA as a "criminal and aggressive act."
Israel would have to bear the consequences of its actions, he declared.
[Al Ahram] The Shin Bet internal security service has tossed in the calaboose Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! 10 members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Paleostine ... Paleostinian Marxist movement, founded in 1967. It is considered a terrorist organization by more than 30 countries including the U.S., European Union, Australia, Canada, and Antarctica. The PFLP's stated goal is the establishment of a socialist State in Paleostine. They pioneered armed aircraft hijackings in the late 60s and early 70s... accused of planning to kidnap Israelis, the agency said on Tuesday.
The arrests were made several months earlier but a media blackout was imposed.
The two are being charged with plotting to kidnap a soldier.
"Shin Bet, with the help of the army and the Israeli police, arrested an armed cell of the PLFP that was preparing to kidnap Israelis who could serve as bargaining chips in exchange for the release of PFLP chief Ahmed Saadat, who is held in Israel," the agency said in a statement.
The two key suspects, residents of the West Bank city of the Ramallah, allegedly plotted to kidnap an Israeli soldier to be traded for Saadat, who was sentenced to 30 years in Israeli prison in 2008 over his involvement in multiple attacks.
The two are being charged before a military tribunal with plotting to kidnap a soldier. The other eight face charges of "terror activities against soldiers" and disturbing public order.
A member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was blown up when a hand grenade he was holding accidentally went off Saturday. Colonel Prudencio Asto said the incident occurred at 7 a.m. in Barangay Banaba, Datu Abdulah Sangki, Maguindanao.
Citing a military field report, Asto said the victim was identified as Teng Said, 48, member of the 105th base command stationed in Barangay Dansalan, Sultan sa Barongis, Maguindanao.
Banaba Barangay chairperson Hanon Sangki said they were awakened by a very loud explosion in Said's house. When they responded, they found the mangled body of the victim.
[Al Ahram] Syrian faceless myrmidons ambushed and killed a military intelligence officer near Damascus ...The capital of Iran's Syrian satrapy... while the army pounded several rebel bastions in and around the capital, a watchdog reported on Tuesday.
"Rebel fighters ambushed the military intelligence chief in Jaramana on Monday night, after which he was killed," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Jaramana, southeast of Damascus, is home to a majority Christian and Druze population and to pro-regime militia. It has suffered numerous rebel kabooms in recent months.
The Observatory said the army on Tuesday renewed shelling on the capital's southern districts and that fresh violence erupted on the outskirts of the capital.
Analysts say Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor... 's regime wants to ensure its hold on the capital so it can be in a position to negotiate an end to the nearly 21-month conflict that the Observatory says has killed more than 44,000 people.
Elsewhere in Syria, rebels seized the town of Harem in the northwestern province of Idlib, large swathes of which have slipped out of army hands, said the Britannia-based monitoring group.
"Insurgents from several rebel groups have seized total control of the town of Harem, after taking ... the army and pro-regime militia's last bases there," said the Observatory.
Pro-Assad forces surrendered to the rebels after a siege lasting several months, said the watchdog.
Syria's conflict broke out when a peaceful uprising against Assad morphed into a bloody insurgency after the regime unleashed a brutal campaign of repression against dissent.
The latest violence comes as UN-Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi visits Damascus in yet another bid to end the conflict.