1. detained Americans under investigation
TEHRAN: Three Americans arrested in July after crossing into Iran from neighboring Iraq are still under investigation, a prosecutor said yesterday, adding that Tehran was concerned about 11 Iranians it says are being held in the US The Tehran prosecutor did not link the two issues, but officials have increasingly mentioned their campaign for the Iranians when speaking about the detained Americans.
US officials have been concerned since the arrest of the Americans that Iran would try to use them as bargaining chips in its dealings with the West. "The Americans should know that there are 11 Iranian nationals in US prisons. We hope the Americans are treating them based on regulations," Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi said, according to the official IRNA news agency.
The 11 Iranians on a list Tehran released this month include a nuclear scientist who disappeared on a pilgrimage to Mecca, a former Defense Ministry official who vanished in Turkey and a man held in Canada on charges of trying to obtain nuclear technology. Iran believes all of them, including three others who it says were abducted in Europe, have been transferred to the United States. Others on the list have been tried in the US on charges of business dealings that violate trade sanctions against Iran.
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2. all your psyops fail
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said on Monday that Lebanon will be able to confront any psychological war launched by the Israeli enemy in the future just like it did in July 2006.
Speaking through a giant screen while commemorating the fifth night of Muharram, Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the Israelis telling them that they have tried all forms of psychological wars in the past but failed. "With every psychological war, we became even more courageous and firm. In any upcoming war, we will be the same or even better," his eminence declared.
Sayyed Nasrallah started his speech by noting that the purpose of the Israeli psychological wars is basically to terrorize and intimidate the other side in order to lead to its surrender and withdrawal from the battle. His eminence also noted that the Israeli maneuvers that took place following the July war sought to tell the "Israeli people" that their army is regaining its strength, durability, capacity and vitality.
read more @ al manar tv
3. kingdom gives ultimatum to Yemeni intruders
AL-KHOBA/JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has given Yemeni infiltrators still hiding in the southern border village of Jabiriya 24 hours to vacate the area or face death. “They have 24 hours to surrender, or we will destroy them,” Prince Khaled bin Sultan, assistant minister of defense and aviation, warned Tuesday....
The following day, Saudi military jets began bombing enemy positions. Prince Khaled said that the main operation is now over. “The southern border is now under the complete control of Saudi forces.”
Informed sources told Arab News that the southern border area was calm on Tuesday.
Prince Khaled said Saudi forces would remain in the area until the last of the intruders are expelled.
“What we are doing now is bringing things to normal. We have also made arrangements to prevent infiltration and other crimes,” the minister told reporters.
He indicated that the infiltrators were backed by foreign parties. “It seems that their allegiance is not to their country.”
4. India, Israel discuss counter-terrorism, intelligence sharing, arms delivery
NEW DELHI, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- India and Israel Tuesday began a meeting of joint defense working group focused on counter-terrorism and intelligence sharing, delivery of weapons and enhancement of cooperation in research and development, reported the Indo-Asian News Service.
The group is co-chaired by Indian Defense Secretary Pradeep Kumar and Israeli defense ministry director-general, retired Brig. Gen. Pinchas Buchris, said the report.
The report quoted a defense official at the meeting as saying that the main focus of the talks was on enhancing the counter-terrorism cooperation based on intelligence sharing especially after the Mumbai terror attacks.
This meeting followed a low-profile visit of Israeli chief of defense staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, earlier this month to India, during which he had met the top brass of the Indian armed forces.
India has bought military hardware and software from Israel worth about eight billion U.S. dollars since 1999, making India the biggest buyer of Israeli arms, according to the news service.source: chinaview
5. Gitmo hell on earth: Somali
HARGEISA, Somalia: A Somali just home from eight years in the US jail at Guantanamo Bay told AFP the prison was "hell on Earth", and alleged torture there had scarred some of his fellow inmates. Mohamed Saleban Bare, who arrived in his hometown of Hargeisa on Saturday, said he was innocent of any charges that would have caused security forces to arrest him in Pakistan in 2001 and transfer him to the US jail via Afghanistan.
Guantanamo Bay is like hell on Earth," he said in an interview Monday with an AFP reporter who visited him at his hotel in Hargeisa, capital of the northern breakaway state of Somaliland. "I don't feel normal yet but I thank Allah for keeping me alive and free from the physical and mental sufferings of some of my friends," he said. Sporting short hair and a long scrawny beard, Bare says he is in good physical health but looks dazed, speaks very softly and walks gingerly.
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6. OBL's family in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria
DUBAI - SIX of Osama bin Laden's children and one of his wives, missing since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, are under house arrest in Iran, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper said on Wednesday, quoting a family member.
'Until a month ago we did not know where the siblings were,' Omar bin Laden, 29, the fourth son of the Al-Qaeda chief, told the Saudi-owned newspaper. Omar bin Laden, who lives in Qatar, said he only learnt that family was in Teheran after receiving a call from his brother Uthman about a month ago. A young Iranian had lent his mobile phone to his brother to make the call.
Mr Saad, 29, Mr Uthman, 25, Ms Fatima, 22, Ms Hamza, 20, and Bakr, 15, along with Hamza's mother Khairiya are under house arrest in Teheran, Mr Omar said. Mr Omar's brother Saad had reportedly been killed in a US drone strike a year and a half ago in Pakistan. Meanwhile, a sixth sibling, Mr Omar's sister Ms Iman, 17, recently sought asylum at the Saudi embassy in Teheran.
'Iman has lived for more than 25 days inside the Saudi embassy,' Omar said. Fuad Qassas, the Saudi charge d'affairs at the kingdom's embassy in Teheran, confirmed that Iman was staying there, according to Asharq Al-Awsat.
Efforts to allow her to leave Iran have so far proved unsuccessful. Omar said that five of his father's other children are currently in Saudi Arabia, while three, along with his mother Najwa, are in Syria.Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast did not deny that six members of the bin Laden family were in Teheran, at a weekly press conference on Tuesday. -- AFP
source: straits times