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Lockerbie bomber home in Libya amid US anger
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
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Afghanistan
Afghan officials count votes as polls close
[Al Arabiya Latest] Afghanistan's officials started to count votes as polls closed Thursday after the country held its second presidential elections in its war-torn history with a sweeping security clampdown in force to prevent Taliban attacks.

Dozens of people queued up at polling stations in the capital Kabul and at towns in the largely peaceful north, but early turnout was poor in parts of the south where the Taliban have a strong presence owing to security fears.

Shops and business were closed and around-the-clock squads of extra police checked the few cars on the streets in Kabul.

In the southern city of Kandahar, a few small rockets landed just before polls opened, Provincial Governor Tooryalai Wesa said, after casting his own vote. A Reuters reporter heard two blasts, and two security sources said four people were injured.

Incumbent President Hamid Karzai cast his ballot in Kabul at the start of the vote expected to deliver him a second term and urged his fellow Afghans to flock to the polls.

Karzai voted in a boys' high school near his heavily fortified palace soon after polling stations opened in Afghanistan's second presidential election.

"I ask the Afghan people to come and vote so through their vote, Afghanistan will be more peaceful, more secure and a better place," said a smiling Karzai after casting his ballot for president and a provincial council.

Karzai faces an unexpectedly strong challenge from his former foreign minister, Abdullah Abdullah. Polls show Karzai winning by a wide margin, but possibly falling short of a majority and headed for a run-off in October.

Karzai is relying on the endorsements of most of the country's notorious former militia chiefs, raising alarm in the West that warlords could return to power.

The election is also a test for U.S. President Barack Obama, who has ordered a massive troop build-up this year as part of a strategy to reverse Taliban gains.

Posted by: Fred || 08/21/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [340 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  Karzai's camp has claimed outright victory. Which surprises me a little, because I thought the Pashtun vote would be down substantially.

Perhaps the opposition was just too fragmented.
Posted by: phil_b || 08/21/2009 2:53 Comments || Top||


Africa North
Algeria security services thwart Ramadan terror attack plan
[Maghrebia] Three alleged al-Qaeda cell members are accused of plotting a Ramadan attack against the headquarters of Algeria's Directorate General of National Security (DGSN) headquarters, El Watan reported on Thursday (August 20th). The suspects are said to belong to the Al Feth brigade in the "2nd region" of al-Qaeda's Algerian operations. The plot was uncovered when a former Algiers municipal employee was arrested for photographing the DGSN headquarters in Bab El Oued.
Posted by: Fred || 08/21/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [311 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in North Africa


Lockerbie bomber home in Libya amid US anger
[Al Arabiya Latest] The terminally ill Libyan convicted over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing arrived home from Scotland on Thursday after being freed on compassionate grounds despite U.S. anger over the decision.
Because they sent him home, they don't have to pay for his cancer treatments. The National Health Service has run low on funds to treat actual British citizens and more or less law-abiding illegal aliens. Or am I being overly cynical?
Hundreds of young people waving Libyan and Scottish flags greeted the aircraft carrying Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi as it landed in Tripoli amid heavy security and to the sound of patriotic music.

Loudspeakers pumped out patriotic songs ahead of a celebration later in the heart of the Libyan capital that Megrahi was expected to attend, said a source in the delegation that accompanied him from Scotland.

U.S. disappointment
Megrahi, the only person found guilty of blowing up a U.S. Boeing 747 airliner and killing 270 people, said earlier he was "very relieved" to be freed, but described his original conviction as a "disgrace."

But the release was immediately condemned by the U.S. government, which asked Libya not to give a "hero's welcome" to the Lockerbie bomber.

U.S. President Barack Obama said that the release of the dying Lockerbie bomber by the Scottish government was a "mistake" and that he should be placed under house arrest on return to Libya.
It's not a 'mistake', it's an outrage.
"We have been in contact with the Scottish government, indicating that we objected to this, and we thought it was a mistake," Obama told a U.S. radio journalist, giving his first reaction to the decision. "We're now in contact with the Libyan government and want to make sure that if, in fact, this transfer has taken place, that he's not welcomed back in some way, but instead, should be under house arrest."

Justice vs mercy
" Our justice system demands that justice be imposed but compassion be available, our beliefs dictate that justice be served but mercy be shown "
Scotland Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill
Scotland's justice minister announced Thursday that he had granted release on compassionate grounds to the Libyan man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, Britain's worst terrorist attack.

Kenny MacAskill said al-Megrahi, who is suffering from terminal prostate cancer, could return to Libya to die because Scottish law required that "justice be served but mercy be shown."

"For these reasons, and these reasons alone, it is my decision that (Megrahi)... be released on compassionate grounds and allowed to return to Libya to die," he said.
A lot more compassion than the passengers on the plane ever got ...
The United States fiercely opposed the release of Megrahi, jailed for 27 years over the murder of 270 people when Pan Am Flight 103 was blown from the skies over the Scottish town of Lockerbie late on December 21, 1988.

Compassion and mercy
" Compassion and mercy are about upholding the beliefs that we seek to live by, remaining true to our values as a people no matter the severity of the provocation or the atrocity perpetrated "
MacAskill
But the Scottish minister insisted he had not taken political pressures into consideration.

"Our justice system demands that justice be imposed but compassion be available, our beliefs dictate that justice be served but mercy be shown," he said.

And he added: "Compassion and mercy are about upholding the beliefs that we seek to live by, remaining true to our values as a people no matter the severity of the provocation or the atrocity perpetrated."

"It's my decision and my decision alone ... We have done so on the basis of following due process. I know that there will be those who disagree," he said, adding that he made the decision "without political or economic consideration."
Posted by: Fred || 08/21/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1117 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A victory celebration? gosh! Whoda thunk that wuz coming?
Posted by: Frank G on the road || 08/21/2009 0:04 Comments || Top||

#2  What about compassion and justice for these people, Mr. MacAskill? It is too late for them. I went by Lockerbie on a stormy day in November of 1992 and paid my respects. I am so steamed today I cannot see straight. A pox on you and your house, Mr. MacAskill.

Lockerbie_disaster_memorial
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 08/21/2009 0:56 Comments || Top||

#3  “We have said to Libyan officials quite clearly that he is not entitled to a hero's welcome,” said State Department spokesman PJ Crowley.

“We will be watching very carefully to see what they do upon his return and we have told them that this will be something that will potentially affect our future relations.”

In other words Uhbama will adopt the position and grab his ankles, all in the interest of "future relations'.
Posted by: tipper || 08/21/2009 2:52 Comments || Top||

#4  Because they sent him home, they don't have to pay for his cancer treatments. The National Health Service has run low on funds to treat actual British citizens and more or less law-abiding illegal aliens. Or am I being overly cynical?

I'm sure the majority of us Brits would prefer that the man had been executed swiftly and cheaply after being found guilty.
Posted by: Bulldog || 08/21/2009 4:43 Comments || Top||

#5  What the majority of Brits wants has no more to do with what HM's Gov't. does than what the majority of people want has to do with what the Zero does.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 08/21/2009 6:53 Comments || Top||

#6  And that is especially true in Scotland, I suspect.
Posted by: lotp || 08/21/2009 7:18 Comments || Top||

#7  What the majority of Brits wants has no more to do with what HM's Gov't. does than what the majority of people want has to do with what the Zero does.

Mostly true, but in this case the decision was, we are told by the Labour Government in London, enmtirely the responsibility of the Scottish (self-styled) 'Government' , elected only by Scots. Brown et al could have forced the Scots' hand to keep him in, but it suited their purpose to publicly keep quiet over the issue, in the role of Pilate, and let the Scots take the flak. Brown and his gang are eyeing oil deals with Ghadaffi, and a also lot of their middle class supporters and activists are the perverted types who think that releasing a mass-murderer on medical grounds is a 'humanitarian gesture'.

I won't be buying Scottish for some time.
Posted by: Bulldog || 08/21/2009 7:19 Comments || Top||

#8  Kentucky and Tennessee Whiskey/Bourbon is cheaper than Scotch.... Now if those 2 states were to embargo the sale of Whiskey Barrels to Scotland ... things might get interesting...
Posted by: 3dc || 08/21/2009 8:45 Comments || Top||

#9  Alaska Paul is correct. One cannot visit that cemetary without it leaving a lasting memory as well as silent anger. Rest in peace "Tiny." You and your service are not forgotten
Posted by: Besoeker || 08/21/2009 9:48 Comments || Top||

#10  Boy and Girlcott Scotland...
Posted by: hammerhead || 08/21/2009 10:54 Comments || Top||

#11  The " Scottish Justice Minister " NEEDS A MAGNANIMOUS KICK UP THE ARSE.
Posted by: Dave UK || 08/21/2009 12:00 Comments || Top||

#12  I've long wondered why many Poms have such a disregard for Scotland. Now I know why.
Posted by: Besoeker || 08/21/2009 12:07 Comments || Top||

#13  I believe that mercy requires remorse as a prerequisite. I see no remorse here.
Posted by: liberal hawk || 08/21/2009 12:19 Comments || Top||

#14  I find it heartening, in a microscopic way, that at least President Barry didn't issue an abject apology to Scotland and Libya.
Posted by: Don Vito Crolutle2068 || 08/21/2009 12:48 Comments || Top||

#15  3DC is right. The scotts would take note if we quit selling them our used barrels of Jack.
Posted by: 49 Pan || 08/21/2009 12:57 Comments || Top||

#16  I went through that whole boycott Scotch thing when the Brits banned Michael Savage. But then I read here about the Scottish sniper who took out a Taliban drug lord from over a mile away. Then I think about how our own fellow citizens elected Barack Obama. We're suffering from the same illness that they have. They're just a little further along.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 08/21/2009 13:03 Comments || Top||

#17  Other than the usual US State Department tricks, there was nothing stopping the US Government indicting the bombers in US courts for murdering US citizens [as we have in other cases with overseas terrorism] and having extradition requests standing if and when the Scots decided to give him up. Our states to that with people being held by other states, just in case.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 08/21/2009 13:23 Comments || Top||

#18  I'll boycott Scotch if you find me a producer who applauds that decision.

Megrahi has another "welcome" reserved for him in a few weeks or months.

Will be hotter, longer and not televised.

Did I mention much hotter?
Posted by: European Conservative || 08/21/2009 14:13 Comments || Top||

#19  there was nothing stopping the US Government indicting the bombers in US courts for murdering US citizens. Procopius2k.

Quite right. Nothing save Janet Reno and her number-II at the time, Mr. Erik Holder.
Posted by: Besoeker || 08/21/2009 14:24 Comments || Top||

#20  The parents of one of the victims are here in CT and have been on local news. They have that dazed look of those who have been mugged by reality Scottish compassion.
Posted by: regular joe || 08/21/2009 17:11 Comments || Top||

#21  I'm sure it has nothing to do with BP's $900 million contract with Libya. Pure coincidence. Nothing to see here, move along.
Posted by: DMFD || 08/21/2009 19:20 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Yemeni army tightens noose round Shiite rebels
[Al Arabiya Latest] The Yemeni army is tightening the noose around Shiite rebels in the north of the country, according to military sources quoted on the defense ministry's website on Thursday. "Army and security forces units have taken control of many areas which were in the hands of the rebels and are conducting cleaning up operations" as well as pursuing fleeing fighters, one of the sources said.

Other military sources said the 10-day-old campaign has been stepped up in the past 48 hours, chiefly through air raids on rebel positions in Saada and Amran provinces. "The eagles of the air force continue to land painful blows on the saboteurs, destroying their fortifications," one of the military sources said, without giving figures for losses amongst the rebels or the army.

The campaign, dubbed Operation Scorched Earth, targets Zaidi Shiite rebels, also known as Huthis, in the rugged mountainous region.
Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh pledged on Wednesday to crush the Shiite rebellion in the north as the army pressed on with the offensive launched in Saada province 10 days ago. The campaign, dubbed Operation Scorched Earth, targets Zaidi Shiite rebels, also known as Huthis, in the rugged mountainous region, local officials said.

Fighting began in Saada province on the border with Saudi Arabia and has since spread to Amran province to the south. The rebels accuse government forces of having killed dozens of civilians.

An offshoot of Shiite Islam, the Zaidis are a minority in mainly Sunni Yemen but form the majority community in the north. President Saleh is himself a Zaidi.
Posted by: Fred || 08/21/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [344 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Seems as though a few people took the lesson of the Tamils to heart, and are following their example. We still need to do something in Somalia, though.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 08/21/2009 14:10 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
USS New York Delivered - Including WTC Steel
A ship built in Avondale from 7 1/2 tons of steel taken from the fallen World Trade Center towers was formally signed over to the U.S. Navy today.

Apparently by coincidence, shipbuilder Northrop Grumman signed the ship over at the Avondale shipyards precisely at 9:11 a.m. The towers fell after being attacked by terrorist on Sept. 11, 2001.
Anybody remember 911? Wasn't it something Dick Cheney did?
The ship is called the New York for now. It is the fifth of 10 U.S. Navy "landing platform dock" ships in the San Antonio class, which are designed to haul Marines and their gear to war.
It will be commissioned as the U.S.S. New York on Nov. 7 during a ceremony in New York City.
And I hope thereafter it only carries exceedingly pissed-off Marines.

Posted by: Matt || 08/21/2009 14:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [427 views] Top|| File under:

#1  As a bubblehead, I'd say that you just can't tell with Marines when they're p-o'd, happy, drunk, sober, whatever. Wotchoo say GolfBravo? ;-)
Posted by: AlmostAnonymous5839 || 08/21/2009 15:43 Comments || Top||

#2  "Apparently by coincidence, shipbuilder Northrop Grumman signed the ship over at the Avondale shipyards precisely at 9:11 a.m."

Coincidence? I certainly hope not....
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 08/21/2009 18:41 Comments || Top||

#3  Nice touch. I have always opposed rebuilding the towers. Why? Because they composed of 20% of then office rental space in NYC. Good old capitalism has already met that need. NYC doesn't need the space.
Posted by: Sheger McGurque5408 || 08/21/2009 21:59 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Blast reported in Rawalpindi
[Geo News] A blast is reported to have occurred at Misryal Road in Dhok Sidan here, said CPO Rao Iqbal said on Thursday. According to an eyewitness, a police picket seems to be the target of the blast. Police is trying to locate the exact site of the blast.
Posted by: Fred || 08/21/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [339 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Pakistan


Close aide of Fazlullah, 60 others surrender to DCO Mingora
[Geo News] Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan commander Khurshid (a close ally of Fazal Ullah) alongwith 60 persons voluntarily surrendered to DCO Mingora at Saidu Airport. According to ISPR, Search and clearance operations are continuing in Swat and Malakand.

Two terrorists were killed in seach operation at Kukarai and apprehended 5 Afghan nationals from Charbagh. Security forces apprehended 3 suspects during routine checking at Rashagatta. Security forces conducted search operation at village Suripao and destroyed a terrorists Training Camp/Markaz; demolished 10 houses and discovered a cave of about 20 feet length.
Posted by: Fred || 08/21/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [376 views] Top|| File under: TTP


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Israeli troops brutally attack ISM cameraman filming raid
[Iran Press TV Latest] Israeli soldiers brutally attack a number of peace activists, who were documenting an overnight raid on a Palestinian house in the West Bank town of Bil'in.

The incident happened in the early hours of Thursday as 25 Israeli soldiers, with their faces painted black, were raiding the house of Mohammad Abu Rahma -- a member of the village's Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements.

A number of International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activists were present at the scene with one of them filming the raid, which saw the Israeli soldiers breaking into the house, beating Rahma and dragging him out all the way to the separation wall where they dumped him into one of the vehicles that were waiting for them.

During the course of the raid, the Israeli soldiers attacked the ISM members, brutally beat two of the peace activists and broke their camera. One of those battered was cameraman Haitham Khatib who lives in the village.

Israeli soldiers conduct overnight raids on Palestinian houses in the West Bank on a routine basis. Five days ago they had taken Rahma's 14-year-old son Nashmi Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Rahma.

For the past five years, Bil'in residents have been continuously protesting against the de facto annexation of more than 50% of their farmlands under the excuse of constructing the separation wall, also known as the Apartheid Wall.

In another incident, the Israeli military kidnapped four Palestinian civilians in the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) on Thursday morning.

Local sources reported that troops stormed a number of homes in the city and took the four men by force.

The military announced that the men were taken to military detention camps for questioning and that all four were on the army's Wanted List.
Posted by: Fred || 08/21/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [414 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In the words of Capt. Zap Brannigan (and GirlThursday), never have I heard of such a brutal injustice that I cared so little about.
Posted by: SteveS || 08/21/2009 0:09 Comments || Top||

#2  If it's even true.
Posted by: gorb || 08/21/2009 3:32 Comments || Top||

#3  In a venue where there are suicide bombers, media gets in the way. Blame the enemy.
Posted by: Sheger McGurque5408 || 08/21/2009 22:01 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Most wanted terrorist arrested in the Philippines
One of the most wanted terrorists in the country was arrested by authorities in Marawi City Friday afternoon, police said. Dinno-Amor Rosalejos Pareja, aliases Khalil Pareja, Abu Jihad and Al-Luzoni, was arrested by members of the police Intelligence Group at Sitio (sub-village) Tuca in Marawi City past 1 p.m. Friday, said Senior Superintendent Leonardo Espina, Philippine National Police spokesman.

Pareja, who was a ranking leader of the terror group Rajah Solaiman Movement, was arrested by virtue of an arrest warrant for rebellion issued by Judge Marissa Macaraig-Guillen in June 2006 in Makati City. No bail has been recommended for Pareja’s release, Espina said.

Pareja reportedly belongs to the core group of the RSM and believed to have assumed leadership after the arrest of RSM leader Hilarion Santos in 2005. Pareja is the brother-in-law and the most trusted man of Santos, Espina said.
Posted by: ryuge || 08/21/2009 09:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [322 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Good, Phillipinos seem able to contain their local jihad without a massive US presence, that makes lots of things easier.
Posted by: liberal hawk || 08/21/2009 12:11 Comments || Top||


Multiple attacks leave several dead across southern Thailand
A Muslim village chief was shot dead as he entered a mosque and two soldiers were killed in an ambush by terrorists suspected insurgents in Thailand's deep south on Friday, police said. The attacks took place in Narathiwat and Pattani, two of three mainly Muslim provinces near the Malaysian border where close to 3,500 people have died in violence since 2004.

The village leader was shot four times by unknown gunmen on a motorcycle as he entered the mosque for morning prayers in Pattani, police said. That was followed a few hours later by an ambush on an army patrol in Narathiwat, in which two soldiers were killed and another was wounded. Militants detonated a roadside bomb, which killed the two troops, and shot another in the five-minute gunfight that followed. The rebels escaped.

A Buddhist man was gunned down outside his motorcycle repair shop in Pattani on Thursday, police said. A bomb left next to his body was detonated as investigators arrived, but no one was hurt. A Buddhist defence volunteer and a female Burmese migrant worker were also killed by gunmen on motorcycles earlier this week. Police blamed Muslim terrorists insurgents for the attacks.
Posted by: ryuge || 08/21/2009 08:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [358 views] Top|| File under:


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Lebanese Army Recaptures Prison Fugitive
A senior Lebanese security official says army commandos have recaptured fugitive from an al-Qaeda-inspired group a day after he escaped from prison. The official says Taha al-Hajj Suleiman of the Fatah Islam group was captured Wednesday in the woods north of the Roumieh prison east of Beirut.
Someone left a pick and a file in his birthday Koran?
A day earlier, eight Fatah Islam staged a dramatic prison break but only Suleiman was able to escape. Police and army forces launched a search campaign in areas around the prison until Suleiman was captured.

Fatah Islam fought a three-month battle against the army inside the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared in northern Lebanon in 2007.

This article starring:
Taha al-Hajj Suleiman
Posted by: Steve White || 08/21/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [334 views] Top|| File under: Fatah al-Islam


Good Morning!
Posted by: Steve White || 08/21/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [434 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ???
Posted by: gorb || 08/21/2009 3:30 Comments || Top||


#3  "Oldie Hawn"

Hey, now. She IS almost 65.

My first cousin is friends with Kurt Russell. Says they're good folk.
Posted by: Mizzou Mafia || 08/21/2009 17:21 Comments || Top||

#4  My wife is still hotter.
Posted by: DarthVader || 08/21/2009 21:31 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
56[untagged]
8Govt of Iran
2al-Qaeda in North Africa
1al-Qaeda in Pakistan
1Fatah al-Islam
1al-Qaeda
1Govt of Pakistan
1HUJI
1Iraqi Insurgency
1Taliban
1TTP

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In no particular order...
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Two weeks of WOT
Fri 2009-08-21
  Lockerbie bomber home in Libya amid US anger
Thu 2009-08-20
  Maulvi Faqir claims TTP leadership, Muslim Khan replaces Omer
Wed 2009-08-19
  Khatami, Karroubi join Mousavi's Green movement
Tue 2009-08-18
  Maulvi Omar nabbed
Mon 2009-08-17
  Maulvi Nazir one with the ages
Sun 2009-08-16
  Iran chooses hardliner to head judiciary. Wotta surprise.
Sat 2009-08-15
  Eight killed, 80 injured in Hamas, radicals clashes
Fri 2009-08-14
  Missing cargo ship found near Cape Verde
Thu 2009-08-13
  Seven Pak preachers gunned down in Puntland mosque
Wed 2009-08-12
  Georgia Man Guilty In Terrorism Trial
Tue 2009-08-11
  Kuwait arrests al-Qaida linked group
Mon 2009-08-10
  Tests say Noordin Mohammad Top's not the dead guy
Sun 2009-08-09
  Surprise! Abbas reelected Fatah chief
Sat 2009-08-08
  Noordin Mohammad Top reported titzup
Fri 2009-08-07
  Fat Lady sings for Baitullah

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