cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16

1.02.2010

watch the corporate media *not* make the connection

1. Mumbai terror suspect David Headley was 'rogue US secret agent' - times online, December 17, 2009

According to documents put before a court in Chicago, Mr Headley had links with the Pakistan Army and, through it, with al-Qaeda.

As well as helping to co-ordinate the Mumbai atrocity, Mr Headley is accused of planning attacks on Mumbai’s Bollywood film industry, the Shiv Sena, a Hindu extremist group also based in Mumbai, a major Hindu temple, and a Danish newspaper that had published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

The US authorities allege that he was close to Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a former Pakistani schoolmate and businessman who is also being charged with planning to attack the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten. Mr Rana is accused of having known about the attack on Mumbai in advance.

The CIA denied that Headley had worked for the organisation.

more at link



2. Danish police shoot 'terrorist' trying to enter Mohammed cartoonist's home - telegraph uk, January 2, 2010


Danish police have shot a Somali man linked to al-Qaida who tried to enter the home of an artist who drew controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

The man, 28, who was armed with an axe and a knife, went to the home of Kurt Westergaard at 10pm local time on Friday, police said.

Police shot him in the leg and arm and he was arrested. The man, who is expected to recover, was later charged with two counts of attempted murder.

Mr Westergaard, 74, was commissioned by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper to produce caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed five years ago, including one which depicted the Prophet with a bomb in his turban.

He has received several death threats since the cartoon was published, but had spoken recently about trying to live as normal a life as possible at his home in Viby near the western city of Aarhus.

Mr Westergaard was there with a five-year-old granddaughter when the attacker tried to get in.

"I locked myself in our safe room. He tried to smash the entrance door with an axe," he said.

He said that the assailant shouted "revenge" and "blood" as he tried to enter the bathroom where Mr Westergaard and the child had sought shelter.

"My grandchild did fine," he said. "It was scary. It was close. Really close. But we did it." [they "did" it? was it an assignment? that's a bit of a strange thing to say. - ed.]

Officers arrived two minutes later and tried to arrest the assailant, who wielded an axe at a police officer. One officer then shot the man in a knee and a hand, authorities said. Nielsen said the suspect was admitted to hospital but his life was not in danger.

Mr Westergaard was said to be "quite shocked" but was not injured.

Jakob Scharf, who heads the Danish intelligence service, PET, said the attack was "terror related".

"The arrested man has according to PET's information close relations to the Somali terrorist group, al-Shabaab, and al-Qaida leaders in eastern Africa," he added.

An umbrella organisation for moderate Muslims in Denmark condemned the attack.

"The Danish Muslim Union strongly distances itself from the attack and any kind of extremism that leads to such acts," the group said in a statement.

Denmark's cartoon crisis began in September 2005 when the Jyllands-Posten cultural editor Flemming Rose commissioned the satirical drawings as part of a discussion on free speech.

The cartoons inflamed anti-Danish and anti-Western sentiment among Muslims across the world.

In January 2006, after both the newspaper and the Danish government refused Muslim demands for an apology, a wave of violence ensued during which several Danish embassies were set alight, a boycott of Danish goods was encouraged across the Muslim world and violent anti-Danish demonstrations were held, particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Several demonstrators were killed in separate incidents as security forces sought to control the protests.

In the past several people have been arrested on suspicion of plotting Westergaard's murder, Danish police have since offered protection to everyone in the country called Kurt Westergaard.




1.01.2010

we are slowly awakening after centuries-long enslavement


Viktor Zoloty, our reader from Mykolaiv oblast, first wrote to The Day last February and immediately had his letter published. Editor in chief Larysa Ivshyna then wrote in the foreword to his letter that Zoloty reminded her of “an almost lost but all the more interesting culture of epistolary genre.”

Our regular readers remember that when Zoloty read in The Day about the publication of Oxana Pachlovska’s book Ave, Europa, he was eager to get hold of one, but, naturally, it is impossible to do this “in a faraway Mykolaiv region village.” Then he “dared” to turn to The Day’s editorial board. We sent him the book he dreamed of and, simultaneously, a gift from The Day – a collection of articles James Mace: Your Dead Chose Me. Since such a well-mannered person as Zoloty was too embarrassed to accept valuable gifts, the editor in chief offered “barter.” “As a sign of gratitude, please send us a photo of your special cows,” Ivshyna wrote. (Zoloty also wrote in his letter about his pets that they are sometimes “wiser than some people.”)

We have received photographs only now. Zoloty, naturally, had no time to resume correspondence because of the heavy workload in the summer and fall. As the farming work went on, his letter, which we consider extraordinary, not in the least because of the level of the problems addressed, was included into Extract 150, a collection of Den’s key articles, so now the letter can be read nationwide. Zoloty is certain to receive this two-volume book as a gift from us, as well as our Christmas and New Year greetings.

“Good afternoon, dear Ms. Ivshyna,

I sincerely apologize for being silent for so long. You may not remember that you mailed me earlier this year as a gift three books, which I think are invaluable, especially for the Ukrainian reader. It is Ave, Europa! by Oxana Pachlovska, Your Dead Chose Me by James Mace, and The Apocrypha of Klara Gudzyk. But even if you remember, you must have thought that I am no longer living. For it is at least uncivil to get a gift like this and then keep silent for months on end. But you magnanimously offered me a ‘barter’ of sorts to alleviate my torments, i.e., to send to the newspaper a photo of me and my, as you put it, ‘special’ cows, which I have failed to do so far.

My son photographed me with the cows, but the photos were dark and of low quality. But the main factor that delayed the photos was a perennial shortage of time.

For, to survive in very difficult conditions (and we have always had such conditions in our village), one has to work very hard. This takes up all your strength and, what is more, time.

I have just received some classical music discs from a Kharkiv family leisure club: Bach, Liszt, Beethoven, Wagner, Vivaldi, Schumann, Paganini, Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky … but I don’t have time to listen to them.

When I retired in March 2000, I hoped I would have lots of free time. For a human exists not only to work – he also works to create conditions for a full-fledged intellectual life, as well as to travel, know the surrounding world, read, listen to music, and mingle with interesting people.

Unfortunately, this did not happen.

I have no opportunities to use the Internet. The only little window for cultural self-improvement is the three or four months of winter. And the newspaper Den’ occupies ranks topmost for me in this connection.

I only wish I had not lost as many as eleven years, when I could not read this newspaper before 2008, when I accidentally heard and saw on TV the editor in chief, i.e., you, charming Ms. Ivshyna, and began to subscribe to it.

It is hard to imagine how many extremely interesting things were published in Den’ at the time thanks to an editor in chief like you – and all this went past me.

Now I would like to raise some sore issues of nationwide importance. Maybe, my reflections are not worth being spotlighted in a newspaper. But I do not insist on this. I just have a desire to share them with you, respected Ms. Ivshyna.

The newspaper Den’ addresses all kinds of very acute problems in our life. It is perhaps impossible to add something new to this. And I am not actually going to do so.

Please forgive me for my possibly too categorical judgments. I do not think my opinion is the ultimate truth. You should not think that everything in our life is clear to me.

Our greatest woe, the woe of Ukraine, is that most of our people are bereft of historical awareness and national self-identity, i.e., patriotism. We are very slowly awakening after the centuries-long slavery.

For the first time in the years of independence, we only recently formed, by a narrow margin, a seemingly national-oriented majority in the Verkhovna Rada. Where has it gone? What criteria are the majority MPs guided by? And the rest of MPs and different-level officials are taking an openly hostile attitude to the state.

Take, for example, our energy dependence on Russia. It is a noose on Ukraine’s neck. Why aren’t we exploiting our own fuel deposits?

Our press reports that we have a unique phenomenon – Black Sea gas outbursts discovered by an expedition of the Institute of the Biology of Southern Seas in 1989–1991. The total output of these seafloor rock discharges is about one billion cubic meters in 24 hours. The phenomenon is so obvious that outbursts in the vicinity of Serpent Island reach the water surface, and the sea is ‘bubbling’ there. The explorations carried out by our and foreign specialists show that the Black Sea shelf contains more oil and gas than there is in the Caspian Sea or the North Sea.

It is also known that huge deposits of natural gas (about 120 trillion cubic meters) were discovered in the late 1970s in the so-called estuary triangle: Sloviansk—Starobilsk—Luhansk. This would suffice to meet the needs of entire Ukraine for several centuries.

It is not accidental, of course, that anti-Ukrainian separatists and their supporters among Moscow’s top officials chose, of all places, Severodonets to proclaim the so-called PISUAR autonomous republic on the territory of sovereign Ukraine. For this city is next to the object of interest for those who hate independent Ukraine.

It is also known that the US oil industrialist Richard Hart visited Ukraine in 1993. He studied all the NASA exploration data as well as the results of Soviet geological surveys, which had leaked, for unfathomable reasons, from the USSR Ministry for Geology to the West. After making a fact-finding tour, Hart said: ‘You have a sea of oil here, as well as a two-kilometer layer of methane hydrate and a meter-thick layer of anthracite. I offered you favorable conditions: I take 10 percent of the extracted oil and you take 90. But the offer was turned down. I all probability, you have quite a lot of those who are interested in keeping Ukraine dependent on imported energy resources.’

Academician Heorhii Lapin, chief of the Odesa regional branch of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, once said: ‘Today, when the invaluable results of geological surveys are resting in special repositories of Russia’s Ministry of Geology, Kyiv pretends to know nothing about our underground treasures, and those who know too much and are very stubborn are told that there are no funds available. Does it mean that there are funds to buy somebody else’s and there are no funds to produce your own?!’

Let us make a conclusion from all this. There are no problems with energy resources in Ukraine. We have big problems with anti-Ukrainian sabotage and the antinational ‘fifth column.’

If we are afraid of Americans but still unable to develop our deposits, why not invite someone else, for example, Norwegians who have great experience in extracting oil and gas in the North Sea. You can be sure the Norwegians will not colonize us.

Our energy dependence on Russia is the most powerful and by no means the only economic instrument of pressure on Ukraine. Electronic and print media of mass information (disinformation?) hold sway here. Books, cinema, and television are almost all Russian or pro-Russian. Very powerful forces are acting against us, and their arsenal is rich. But we are so defenseless with our disunity. To hold out in such conditions and keep up Ukraine’s and Ukrainians’ movement for genuine independence and a better life, we (or the vast majority of us) must rally together, instead of lying low, and at least elect patriots, not ‘janissaries’ and aliens, as our pastors.

Actually, unity is the hardest and almost impossible task for us. For, over centuries, especially in the past few decades before we gained independence, our enslavers have squeezed love for freedom and the feeling of national pride out of us, Ukrainians. It is now in our genes. We are even born with an inferiority complex: ‘please come and sit down on our neck.’ This is why we are being treated so brutally.

But I still hope that not evething is lost. I was not on Kyiv’s Independence Square in 2004. My son and I were on a smaller Maidan in Mykolaiv at the time. We were chanting ‘Yushchenko!’ so avidly and sincerely that our voices became coarse and we could not speak for two weeks after that.

But this is just by the way.

We were glued to the television, watching the Main Maidan – as long as it was shown. I could not fight back tears because I felt happy and saw Ukraine rising from its knees.

The hopes were optimistic…

Now, five years later, how can we assess Viktor Yushchenko’s presidency?

It is impossible to give an unambiguous answer.

On the one hand, instead of bringing election riggers and lawbreakers to justice, he has been conferring state awards on them. I cannot fathom this from the viewpoint of common sense.

And his ‘memorandums’ and ‘universals’ helped Yanukovych stage a comeback from political oblivion.

All this greatly encouraged anti-Ukrainian forces and triggered a mayhem of lawlessness and corruption, which, naturally, pushed Ukraine away from Europe.

On the other hand, Yushchenko has revealed, on the official level, the truth about the Ukrainian Holodomor. He has also rightly assessed and extolled the UPA and Ukraine’s liberation movement. He has instituted the freedom of speech and promoted the Ukrainian language as an indicator of our identity and independence.

He has been making strenuous efforts to have Ukraine admitted to the Euro-Atlantic system, for membership in them, especially in NATO, would guarantee Ukraine’s sovereignty. But his practical actions inside the country did not harmonize with these intentions. Anti-Ukrainian forces in the Verkhovna Rada and in society, which he encouraged with difficult-to-understand actions, have thwarted this by far the most important step.

Yes, Yushchenko have made mistakes. But he is an honest, frank, and faithful person who boundlessly loves Ukraine. He is not afraid, if it is to the state’s benefit, to take unpopular steps that can adversely affect his rating. Now, too, on the eve of the presidential elections, he is not among the race’s leaders. This is very sad.

We, those who are concerned about the destiny of Ukraine, are sure to ‘bite our nails’ (and very much so!) and repent that we did not vote for Yushchenko and elect him for the second presidential term.

Should Yanukovych win the elections, Ukraine will be neither democratic nor independent.

There will be no Ukraine at all.

If Tymoshenko wins, it is not clear whether Ukraine will go East or West.

Kostenko and Hrytsenko have, unfortunately, no chances – just like Tiahnybok.

So in the runoff we will have not to elect but to choose between the well-known non-existence (Yanukovych) and the unknown (Tymoshenko). I’d rather have the unknown than well-known and guaranteed non-existence.

We have a lot of problems.

Take, for example, the attitude of our people to the environment. There is a garbage dump all around. Trees in the forests are being cut down and even uprooted because somebody cashes in on selling the sand on which these trees, once planted to solidify the sand, grow.

What is a still bigger eyesore are our rivers into which garbage is dumped. There is almost no fish left in them. Fishnets were set up 50–100 meters from each other. Meanwhile, the fishing authorities are busy collecting ‘tribute’ from the owners of these fishing cobwebs, thus legalizing poaching.

But what worries me the most is whether Ukraine will manage to hold out and preserve its statehood, taking into account the indifference, or even hostility, that we can see everywhere, and a formidable foreign danger that keeps hanging over us. And the most terrible thing is that our society does not see and is not aware of this.

The newspaper Den’ is pursuing a great cause by rousing the Ukrainians. But, unfortunately, it is only read by people who share its position.

And how can one reach those who do not read Den’ or read nothing at all? They just watch the ‘boob tube’ which mainly pours out dirt, obscenities, and anti-Ukrainism.

I am sending a photo with one cow, Kvitochka, only. Incredibly hard as it is, we had to do away with her mother, Chaiechka, who lost her reproductive power. It was impossible to keep a cow (a big animal, not a cat or a dog) until it died a natural death, like in a zoo, spending expensive fodder, efforts, and precious time.

Some strangers led her away from my homestead. I ran away from home not to see this. But this could not ease my mind.

I am sorry for being sentimental and robbing you of your time.

Yours very truly, Viktor ZOLOTY, Vasylivka, Snihurivsky raion, Mykolaiv oblast


source

12.31.2009

lookie who we found here

1. Americans killed in Afghanistan were CIA agents

WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Eight Americans killed in a military base blast in Afghanistan were agents of the Central Intelligence Agency, CNN reported Wednesday.

The report cited an anonymous U.S. official, but didn't provide any details. The State Department confirmed the death of the eight in a suicide blast at the Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost province, southern Afghanistan.

Department spokesman Ian Kelly didn't provide any details, nor did he say whether those killed were military personnel or civilians.

The blast occurred Wednesday afternoon when an attacker wearing a suicide vest detonated the explosive device.

source: chinaview



2. Petraeus, total Israeli tool who wants to be president someday, 90% sure about this. revealed: Iran's involvement in Briton's Baghdad kidnapping

The five British men kidnapped in Iraq were taken in an operation led and masterminded by Iran's Revolutionary Guard, according to evidence uncovered during an extensive investigation by the Guardian.

The men – including Peter Moore, who was released yesterday after more than two years in captivity – were taken to Iran within a day of their kidnapping from a government ministry building in Baghdad in 2007, several senior sources in Iraq and Iran have told the Guardian.

They were held in prisons run by al-Quds Force, a Revolutionary Guard unit that specialises in foreign operations on behalf of the Iranian government.

The former US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, told the BBC he was "90% certain" Moore was held in Iran for some of his two and a half years in captivity.

read more @ guardian


3. and why?


And the Iranian regime's motives for the abduction can be confirmed: retaliation for the arrest of key Iranians in Iraq by the United States; anger at the direct threats against Iran by President George W Bush and the desire to prevent Moore, the computer expert among the five kidnap victims, from installing a sophisticated tracking system that would show how billions of pounds in international aid money from Iraqi institutions was diverted to Iran's militia groups in Iraq.

...Unknown to the kidnappers, they were followed by undercover agents working for Iraq's intelligence service who, by chance, had been outside the Ministry of Finance when the men were taken.

read more @ guardian


4. Indo-Israeli plan to counter terrorism

Islamabad—Indian and Israeli military officials have discussed a new secret plan to jointly counter “threats” from Pakistan and ‘Islamic’ militants in Afghanistan.

Reliable reports reaching here say that during a two-day meeting early this week held in New Delhi Indian Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar and the Director-General of Israeli Defence Ministry Retired Brigadier-General Pinchas Buchris formulated a joint offensive strategy in this region.

According to reports Indian and Israeli defence officials and senior military strategic planners met in New Delhi on December 22 and discussed a detailed approach to a joint plan to counter-terrorism and share intelligence on Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Gulf region. Other secret meetings and engagements were not revealed to the media.

The reports reaching here also say that Israeli officials agreed to train and equip Indian Special Operation Forces (SOF) to counter terrorism threats in India and Afghanistan.

read more @ pakistan observer



5. COULD TERROR WAR BE RESPONSE BY GOP AND ISRAEL AGAINST THREATS TO THEIR GLOBAL PLANS?

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

(STORY CONTINUALLY UPDATING WITH BREAKING NEWS!)

When nothing adds up, its time we starting looking at what we know. Our recent terrorist, now dubbed "the crotch bomber" is another dupe. He could have been working for anyone, drugged, brainwashed or simply influenced, maybe by crazy Arabs, maybe by the Mossad, maybe by the CIA. We only know the game is falling apart.

We do know a couple of things. Dad, back in Nigeria, ran the national arms industry (DICON) in partnership with Israel, in particular, the Mossad. He was in daily contact with them. They run everything in Nigeria, from arms production to counter-terrorism. Though Islamic, Muttalab was a close associate of Israel. He has been misrepresented. His "banking" is a cover. Next, what do we know about the two Al Qaeda leaders Bush had released, the ones who planned this?

According to ABC news, the Al Qaeda leaders running the insurgency in Yemen were released from Guantanamo, although two of the highest ranking known terrorist there, without trial.

Guantanamo prisoner #333, Muhamad Attik al-Harbi, and prisoner #372, Said Ali Shari, were sent to Saudi Arabia on Nov. 9, 2007, according to the Defense Department log of detainees who were released from American custody.

Both of the former Guantanamo detainees are described as military commanders and appear on a January, 2009 video along with the man described as the top leader of al Qaeda in Yemen, Abu Basir Naser al-Wahishi, formerly Osama bin Laden's personal secretary.



With all the hoopla about trials in New York, not a word is said when top level terrorists are released to Saudi friends of the Bush family who let them go. We are now fighting these two Bush friends in Yemen. They are running a major insurgency there. We have been using Cruise missiles and our jets to attack their bases in the last weeks.

...

MUTALLAH MEETS WITH CIA CHIEF OF STATION IN NIGERIA, NOVEMBER 19

We have confirmed that Mutallah met with the CIA chief of station in Nigeria.

Imagine this person of great power and influence, with friends at the highest levels of the CIA and Mossad. When he came to announce his son may be a terrorist, he was a loving father asking for help? He would have made this points:

  • My son is a danger to himself and others, please keep him safe
  • Do not allow my son to travel to the United States under any imaginable circumstances as he is likely to be involved in acts of terrorism
  • Please assure me that you will act immediately and contact me as to what measures you have taken

Were any of this true, this is what would have been said. Were any of what we have been told true, none of what we saw in Detroit could have happened. What we know is that something very different than this really happened. Go ahead and Google "muttalab, nigeria, bank, mossad, defense"

read more @ veterans today



6. meanwhile, back in Israel, Shin Bet overlooked that whack job Tytell for a looooong time

Earlier in the day, documents released to the media revealed that police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) knew about Tytell, for a number of years prior to his arrest.

Police have alleged that Tytell was behind an unprecedented series of deadly terror shootings and bombings spanning over a decade, in which two Palestinians were killed and Israel Prize Laureate Prof. Ze'ev Sternhell, as well as 15-year-old Ami Oritz, from a messianic family in Ariel, were wounded.

Tytell was at one point investigated regarding the 1997 murder of a Palestinian taxi driver but the investigation was closed without his arrest, police said. The probe into Tytell also revealed that he allegedly intended to attack leftist activists after his supposed attempt to bomb Sternhell was unsuccessful.

The investigation of Tytell's alleged crimes has revealed that he is suspected of intent to continue with nationalist-motivated murders as well as attacks on politicians.

According to the new details released Thursday, Tytell said he "wanted to attack an Arab and murder him in front of the cameras." He reportedly went on to say that he "wanted to cause an Arab riot and pressure the police to cancel the gay pride parade."


read more @ jpost

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1261364556378

underpants narrative -- justifying what we're going to do next

1. HUMAN ERROR, INCOMPETENCE: the clues piled up, but why did US security fail to act over terrorist?

America's much-criticised intelligence agencies were back under the microscope yesterday, as an urgent inquiry ordered by President Barack Obama got under way into how they failed to prevent the Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from almost blowing up a US airliner on Christmas Day.

New details make clear that the authorities had unusually abundant clues that such a terrorist attack was imminent: not only the father's warning to the CIA in November that his son had developed alarming extremist Islamic views, but also intercepted "chatter" from al-Qa'ida leaders in Yemen about "a Nigerian" who was being trained for a terrorist operation.

Yet Abdulmutallab, 23, was only placed on a register of 550,000 people who might have links to terrorism, not on a smaller list of 14,000 subject to special screening before being permitted to board a plane, or on a 4,000 person no-fly list. Nor was his multiple-entry visa to the US revoked.

...

Dennis Blair, who as Director of National Intelligence is in overall charge of the 16 US intelligence-gathering agencies, told The Wall Street Journal that although improvements had been made since 9/11, "gaps remain and they must be fixed".

His words are acknowledgement of the similarities between today and eight years ago, when bureaucratic rivalries between the CIA and the FBI prevented the pooling of information that might have thwarted the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Something similar appears to have happened this time, prompting the thinly veiled anger of Mr Obama on Tuesday as he ordered a preliminary investigation into what happened to be completed within 48 hours, in other words today.


read more @ independent


2. Obama hits out at failures

HONOLULU - PRESIDENT Barack Obama has lashed out at systemic intelligence failures over the attempted attack on a US jet.

He has demanded answers on why information was never pieced together by the US intelligence community to trigger 'red flags' and possibly prevent the botched Christmas Day attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner.


read more @ straits times



3. of course despite all the failures this will JUSTIFY bombing targets in Yemen. and who will die? you can be sure some innocent civilians who never did anything to deserve being blown into the next life by the US military.


The US and Yemen are looking at new targets in Yemen for a potential retaliation strike, two senior American officials told CNN Tuesday following the failed Christmas Day attack on a Detroit-bound airliner, which al-Qaeda in Yemen claims it organized.

...The CNN report said that "by all accounts, the agreement would allow the US to fly cruise missiles, fighter jets or unmanned armed drones against targets in Yemen with the consent of that government." [that was the WHOLE POINT of the underpants bomber exercise -- to get to this step, to justify bombing Yemen. also useful of course for stripping away additional rights. - ed.]

read more @ al manar tv


4. other incidents now coming out of the woodwork, to justify after the fact


A TERROR suspect armed with hidden explosives and a syringe was caught trying to board a commercial flight, it emerged yesterday.

The Somali man was caught with equipment almost identical to that of ­Detroit bomber Umar Farouk ­Abdulmutallab on a flight from ­Mogadishu to Dubai.

The arrest in November lends weight to Abdulmutallab’s claims to the FBI that he is just one of many Al Qaeda-trained terrorists willing to kill themselves to destroy Western targets.


read more @ express.co.uk


5. Chinaview version of this story sounds much less exciting because it happened a month ago and was a ROUTINE PROCEDURE.

MOGADISHU, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- A Somali man with chemical powder and liquid was arrested last month by African Union peacekeeping forces based in Mogadishu as he tried to board a plane at the international airport in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, spokesman for the AU forces said on Wednesday.

... "We have intercepted the man before he boarded the plane because he was carrying nearly one kilogram of powder and almost one litter of liquid in a bag," Barigye Bahoku, spokesman for the AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM), told Xinhua.

Bahoku said that AU forces apprehended the man in November and handed him over to the Somali government for further investigation.

He said that he was not aware of the nature of the powder or the liquid found with the man, adding that "the interception was a routine procedure" to prevent any liquid or chemical on board a plane.


read more @ chinaview


6. and now the Saudis killed in Niger were whacked by al Qaeda, although at first it was just a robbery -- more justification

RIYADH: The search for those behind the murder of four Saudi tourists in Niger has been intensified, said Umru Tahiru, chargé d’affaires at the Embassy of Niger.
...“Our government has deployed a special team to investigate the incident,” said the diplomat, adding that his government is waiting for the findings of ongoing investigations to take the next course of action.

The governor of the Tillabery region of Niger told a local radio station that the attack, near the village of Djambala in the remote Tillabery region, happened in a restive zone where Tuareg rebels and Al-Qaeda cells are active.

The attackers wore turbans, carried AK-47s and attempted to tie up the travelers after forcing their three-vehicle convoy to a halt. The attack has increased tensions in the Sahel region, which has already been wracked by a wave of hostage-takings. Four Westerners — three Spaniards and one Frenchman — are believed to be in Mali and held hostage by Al-Qaeda operatives.

read more @ arab news

see earlier stories here

news related to Iran trap

1. turmoil in Iran heading for the worst: EXPERTS.

KUWAIT: The current turmoil in Iran is rapidly snowballing into a grave issue between the regime and opposition parties. International reactions have been direct and prying especially since Iran has adopted a defiant stance on the issue of its nuclear capability. This, incidentally, has been the center of United States' international policy.

...He explained that internal division keeps widening and that the regime lacks the ability to take firm stands on foreign policy. So the Iranian regime faces a period of crises.

He said that during times when no decisions have been taken by the Iranian government, other countries such as Israel will consider this hesitation to be an intentional obstruction.

...He continued by saying that Western countries will not bear with delays anymore. Iranians have been asked to give explanations even though they are unable to do so because of internal turmoil. The Iranian opposition is exerting increasing pressure on the regime hindering it from adopting a more rational and lenient policy towards unrest.


read more @ kuwait times


2. Iran studying Kerry's request for visit


He described massive media reports by the West on Kerry's request for paying a visit to Tehran as a new psychological warfare, saying that the measure is aimed at increasing pressures on Iran in case it denies Kerry's request.


read more @ fars



3. no developments regarding Israel's withdrawal from Ghajar


BEIRUT, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- UN Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) deputy spokesperson said on Wednesday that currently there are no changes regarding Israeli withdrawal from al-Ghajar village. Andrei Tenenti told Xinhua that the peacekeeping forces has delivered proposals regarding the Israeli withdrawal to both Lebanon and Israel, but they have received no response till now.

...The UNIFIL statement came a day after local daily An Nahar reported that Israel will pull out of the northern part of the border village by the end of January 2010 following a deal between UNIFIL and Israel. Well-informed U.S. sources told the local newspaper that the Israeli troops will evacuate from the Lebanese side of the village in accordance with UN Resolution 1701 based on a UNIFIL plan.


read more @ chinaview


4. Kazakhmys secures $2.7B loan from China development bank

Kazakh copper producer Kazakhmys (KAZ.L:Quote) secured a loan of up to $2.7 billion from the China Development Bank and Kazakh state welfare fund Samruk-Kazyna to develop growth projects, the firm said on Wednesday.

The loan will further boost ties between Kazakhstan and resource-hungry China, which has invested $13 billion into the oil-rich former Soviet republic this year, the head of Samruk-Kazyna told Reuters on Tuesday.

Most of the loan, about $2 billion, will fund the development of the Boschekul copper project in northern Kazakhstan, which could produce 12.5 million tonnes of copper ore annually.


read more @ mineweb


5. China needs overseas base

BEIJING - CHINA needs a permanent naval base overseas to resupply its ships contributing to the multinational anti-piracy flotilla in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia, a prominent Chinese naval researcher was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

The suggestion marks a further step away from China's avowed policy of not maintaining foreign military bases or alliances. Beijing says a more active naval presence abroad is necessary to protect sea lanes through which its vital foreign trade and natural resources travel.

read more @ straits times

flu psyop news

1. IN A FIT OF STUNNING HYPOCRISY AND DISINGENUOUSNESS: WHO chief admits she has not been vaccinated. HEY MARGARET, TAKE YOUR DAMN SHOTS.

In contradiction to the World Health Organization's mandate, WHO chief Margaret Chan revealed Tuesday that she has yet to be vaccinated against the swine flu virus.

"I have asked my medical service to enquire where I can go to get my vaccination," she told reporters in Geneva, pointing out that she has just returned from leave.

The WHO director-general stressed that she would "of course" get vaccinated and that "many of my staff" at the WHO have already taken their jabs against the A(H1N1) virus.

Many countries rolled out their vaccination programmes over the past two months, but the take-up rate has been lower than expected.

Germany said in early December it wants to sell spare vaccines to other countries, while Switzerland said in mid-December that it would give away part of its stock to developing countries and sell another part to countries that are still trying to procure vaccines.

source: prevent disease


2. Indonesia reports 20 H5N1 cases in 2009, 19 fatal


Dec 30, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesia's Ministry of Health, updating information on H5N1 avian influenza for the first time since January, quietly reported this week that the country has had 20 human cases so far this year, with 19 of them fatal—a 95% case-fatality rate (CFR).

A terse notice from the Ministry of Health on Dec 28 listed the figures and said the latest reported case was identified in South Jakarta on Sep 23. Indonesia's cumulative H5N1 toll since 2005 is now 161 cases with 134 deaths, for a CFR of 83%.

The World Health Organization (WHO) updated its chart of H5N1 cases and deaths today to include the new numbers from Indonesia, but it posted no report on the cases. The global H5N1 total is 467 cases with 282 deaths, a CFR of 60%. Indonesia is the hardest-hit country overall, though Egypt has had more cases this year—39, with just 4 deaths.

...The often deadly H5N1 virus has not yet gained the ability to spread easily from person to person, though it has circulated widely in birds for the past 6 years. Disease experts still fear that it could gain transmissibility through mutation or by reassorting with another flu virus.

read more @ CIDRAP



3. New Hampshire probes anthrax case -- appears to be naturally occurring

Dec 29, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Health officials in New Hampshire are investigating whether a woman who is ill with gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax contracted the potentially deadly infection at a drum circle gathering in Durham, N.H.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported the anthrax case in a woman from Strafford County, N.H., on Dec 26 and said she was in critical condition. Officials think the woman may have been infected at a drumming circle at the United Campus Ministry building in Durham on Dec 4.

...DHHS officials believe the New Hampshire case is the first confirmed GI anthrax case reported in the United States, according to an Associated Press report today. The other two types of anthrax infection are inhalational and cutaneous.

Contaminated animal hides from Africa were blamed for two cases of cutaneous anthrax in Connecticut in 2007. Also, African hides used in drum-making were linked to an inhalational anthrax case in a drummer from New York City in 2006. He was hospitalized for a month before recovering.

read more @ CIDRAP



4. undeterred, Swedish researchers look for vaccine for stomach cancer -- big potential market

New research at Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg in western Sweden might be an important step towards creating a vaccine against ulcers and stomach cancer. Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that causes ulcers, tricks the immune system so that the body can't defend itself against the infection. “By tricking the immune cells, the bacteria can keep the infection – and itself – alive,” Malin Hansson, a PhD student at Sahlgrenska, told TT news agency. Around half of the earth's population are carriers of the Helicobacter pylori. Most people aren't affected by the bacteria at all, but it some individuals it can lead to ulcers or stomach cancer.
...
Her research has received international attention. [eyeroll]

read more @ the local

murder, assassination and suicide news

1. Filipino confesses to murder in Vienna

MANILA, Philippines—A Filipino has confessed to the murder of the stay-in housekeeper of the Lebanese Ambassador to Austria Ishaya El-Khoury, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Esteban Conejos told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview.

He said he could not give out the name of the suspect and other details about him yet.

...On the other hand, Administrator Carmelita Dimzon of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration said she was told that the motive in the murder was “jealousy.”

read more @ inquirer.net


2. Iran: Ashoura Day's assassination carried out by 'rare gun'

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said one of those killed in Tehran on Ashoura day was shot with a "rare gun."

He said that there was a "Western scenario" aimed at inciting violence in Iran through killing people on Ashoura day. "After close reviews it was revealed that he has been assassinated by a rare and special gun," Iran's interior minister said in remarks that seem to be an indirect reference to Ali Mousavi, the nephew of the defeated presidential election candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi. "He was assassinated in an area that was not the scene of protests," Mohammad Najjar added. "Foreign agents assumed that they could incite tension by making such moves," press tv quoted the Iranian official as saying on Wednesday.

...Meantime, the intelligence minister dismissed the reports that Seyed Ali Mousavi, the son of Mir-Hossein's sister, was killed during the Sunday frenzy in Tehran. "The incident has happened in the form of a terror attack and in a place other than the area of the unrests," he added.

read more @ fars



3. Finland: six now dead in shopping mall murders


Finnish police have said that a sixth body found after a shooting at a shopping centre in the country's second city this morning is that of the gunman.

The suspected gunman's former-wife has been found dead in an apartment in Espoo, according to state broadcaster Yle.

The gunman has beenidentified by police as 43-year-old Ibrahim Shkupolli.

...Finland, a nation of 5.3 million, has 1.6 million firearms in private hands and ranks among the top five nations in the world in civilian gun ownership.

Politicians, social workers and religious leaders have all urged tighter gun laws, more vigilance of Internet sites, and more social bonding in the small Nordic nation. [reaction, solution...]

read more @ irish times



4. UK: Christmas suicide mystery of millionaire tycoon who ran shooting parties for royalty


A millionaire businessman is believed to have killed himself at his shooting estate just days after Christmas. Father-of-two Jonathan Wraith apparently shot himself at the estate, which has been visited by royalty, hours before he was due to host a shooting event. Mr Wraith, 35, had concentrated on running the shooting business since selling a portable accommodation firm which he ran with his father for £30million in 2007.

...

Police are not treating the death as suspicious and it is understood no suicide note was left. A source close to the family said Mr Wraith's death 'did not make any sense'.


...Jonathan Wraith was involved in a bitter family feud after his parents divorced in 1988. David and Shirley Wraith were teenage sweethearts who enjoyed a millionaires' lifestyle, living in a £1.6million estate in Kent, with a yacht, a penthouse in Majorca and three other apartments there. They hit the headlines six years after their divorce when Mr Wraith successfully sued his former wife for slander in the High Court after she alleged he gave her a sexually transmitted disease contracted from a Dutch sex club, an allegation he said was part of a 'ferocious campaign of spiteful vengeance'. Jonathan, their only child, sided with his father after the split. He gave evidence at the hearing alleging that his mother used to beat him with a cane and 'went crackers at the tiniest thing'.

read more @ daily mail


5. three critics of mine proposed by B.C. firm in El Salvador recently killed

Three activists opposed to a mine proposed by a Vancouver-based company in El Salvador have been murdered, two in the past 10 days.

Pacific Rim Mining Corp. had hoped to develop its El Dorado gold mine, approximately 65 km east of the country’s capital San Salvador, but has been unable to obtain the necessary permits, according to the company’s website. (The company did not respond to voicemail messages asking for comment.) As a result, in July 2008 the company decided to stop all drilling in the area.

Yet despite the lack of activity, tension between the anti- and pro-mining groups appears not to have abated. In the last 10 days, two members of Cabanas Environment Committee, an environmental group opposed to the opening of a mine, have been killed. Dora Recinos Sorto, who was eight months pregnant, was killed on Saturday. The youngest of her six children, a son whose age has not been confirmed, was shot in the foot. A second activist, Ramiro Rivera, was killed Dec. 21. Another anti-mining activist, Marcelo Rivera (no relation) was kidnapped and killed in June, according to news reports.


read more @ vancouver sun


trafficking news

1. Thailand: 2 arrested in large drug haul

Two members of a network linked to drugs kingpin Wei Sia Kang have been arrested with a large quantity of drugs, including heroin, worth more than 500 million baht. The suspects were identified as Arthit (also known as Tee) Sae Tao, 26, a native of Chiang Mai's Chiang Dao district, and Kuangyung sae Jao, 28, of Bangkok's Khannayao district. Police seized 1.98 million speed pills, 2kg of crystal methamphetamine and 3.5kg of heroin from the two men. Authorities said it was the biggest drug best ever in Bangkok involving multiple drugs and narcotics.

...Pol Maj-Gen Atithep said the gang had been smuggling illicit drugs from a neighbouring country since October. The drugs were awaiting delivery to sellers during the New Year festival....Ethnic minority groups based near the northern border are engaged in armed conflicts with neighbouring countries. The groups are expected to produce more drugs to raise money to finance the war.

countries on Thailand's northern border: Myanmar, Laos - ed.

read more @ bangkok post



2. China discloses arrest of 4 foreigners in September for drug trafficking, countries not identified

BEIJING - FOUR foreigners may face execution in China over a big seizure of heroin, a Hong Kong newspaper reported on Thursday, after China and Britain clashed over the execution of a Briton found guilty of drug smuggling.

The four were among nine people arrested over 144.5kg of heroin found by police in Shenzhen, the far southern Chinese commercial city next to Hong Kong, in August, the Beijing-backed Ta Kung Pao newspaper reported.

'Under Chinese law they may face the most extreme penalty,'said the report, which cited Shenzhen officials. It did not specify the nationality of the four foreign suspects, who were arrested in September after detectives uncovered and then tracked the shipment of drugs from Pakistan.

...The latest case involved high-grade heroin in 289 bags hidden in bales of cotton.

read more @ straits times



3. Italy: Indian man wanted in Belgium held in human trafficking


ROME - ITALIAN police have arrested an Indian man sought by Belgian authorities for alleged human trafficking and helping illegal migrants, an Italian newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Pal Devinder, 32, who was being hunted on a European arrest warrant issued by Belgium, was picked up in northern Italy as he tried to leave a building with his bags packed, according to the Piacenza Sera paper's website. Police raised the alarm after they carried out checks on Devinder near Piacenza and realised the European arrest order had been issued against him. Officers launched a hunt and found him staying with another Indian in the nearby city of Fiorenzuola. Devinder was taken to prison in Piacenza and Italian authorities will now decide whether to extradite him to Belgium. -- AFP

source: straits times


4. Sweden: court rules taking picture of sleeping girl's genitals not a crime, not punishable. also, it's ok to show the pictures too.

A court in Halmstad on the southwest coast of Sweden has dismissed charges against a man who reportedly took a photo of a 17-year-old girl's genitals while she was sleeping. The court said that the incident was was not a punishable offense.
The girl had laid down to sleep on a sofa during a New Year's party. The 49-year-old reportedly lifted up the girl's skirt and photographed her genitals. The man, whose teenage son was hosting the party, was indicted on charges of sexual harassment, local newspaper Hallandsposten reports.

Citing several other cases, the Halmstad district court said that the man had not committed a crime. There is no general prohibition against photographing people without their consent. The same applies to people who are asleep.

The fact that other people have seen the photograph, as claimed by the prosecutor in this case, doesn't make the incident a punishable offense either, according to the court.

The court cited a Swedish Supreme Court (Högsta domstolen) case that cleared a man who had been brought to trial for filming sexual intercourse without the consent of the woman involved.

source: the local

12.30.2009

the link to Kazakhstan, it had to be Kazakhstan

1. Iran plans to import uranium from Kazakhstan; "could be" closer to acquiring nuclear weapons
hmm, hmm?


An intelligence report released Tuesday claims that Iran has made plans to import over 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan in return for $450 million. This deal would break rules the UN Security Council had previously established for Iran as means to prevent the country fro obtaining nuclear weapons. Tehran has already been placed under sanctions by the UN for their refusal to disclose information on their uranium enrichment program and although Iranian diplomats had recently signaled that they were prepared to accept an agreement to outsource the program, this development appears to rescind the offer.

Iranian officials have also recently signaled their intention of trading low level enriched uranium abroad for nuclear fuel. Iran claims that these fuel swaps should indicate that their interest is in peaceful production of nuclear technology but Western powers, including the US, fear that these actions could help Tehran weaponize their fuel on a faster timeframe than previously anticipated.

source: gather news



2. Iran dismisses reports on uranium imports from Kazakhstan

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian mission in New York strongly rejected reports on Tehran's intentions of importing 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan.

The Iranian mission said a report by the AP that "Iran is close to clinching a deal to clandestinely import 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan" serves as a part of the propaganda campaign by the "aggressive powers" against Iran's peaceful nuclear program.

...The US and its western allies allege that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program while they have never presented corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations against the Islamic Republic.

read more @ fars



3. WHY KAZAHKSTAN? DID YOU KNOW THAT KAZAKHSTAN IS "ISRAEL'S PARTNER IN EURASIA?"


Kazakhstan: Israel's Partner in Eurasia

Ariel Cohen

  • Israel and post-communist, resource-rich states have similar geopolitical priorities in opposing terrorism and radical Islam.
  • By developing closer ties with Kazakhstan - and with Eurasian countries in general - Israel can expand its ties to the secular Muslim Turkic states and its role in the new "great game" of Eurasia: economic development fueled by exports of the region's massive natural resources.
  • Israel and the countries of Eurasia are economically complimentary: Central Asian countries are rich in natural resources, and can benefit from Israeli solar, irrigation/agricultural, medical and other know-how. Israel can offer high-tech, military, and advanced agricultural technology, cutting-edge medical sciences, and educational opportunities. As always in international relations, common interests define strong ties.
  • On occasion, President Nursultan Nazarbayev used his good services to appeal to Iran on behalf of missing Israeli servicemen or call on Tehran to abandon its nuclear weapons, as Kazakhstan did in 1994. Unfortunately, these appeals usually fall on deaf ears.
  • With oil prices rising, Kazakhstan may have left the nadir of economic decline behind, although banking and construction sectors were hurt particularly hard.

The June 2009 visit by Israeli President Shimon Peres to Kazakhstan once again focused Israel's attention on energy-rich, secular Muslim states of the Caspian and Central Asia: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. This was not Peres' first visit to the steppe country in the heart of Eurasia: he visited Kazakhstan several times before as foreign minister and deputy prime minister. This was a good long-term investment: Kazakhstan is as large as the entirety of Western Europe, but with a population only 1.5 times larger than the population of the city of Moscow. It is one of the most sparsely populated countries on Earth.

http://tinyurl.com/yfw6d8h


read this and other recent news items about Kazakhstan at my post on 12/13/09


further reading on Kazakhstan's next door neighbor Kyrgyzstan, such as a Russian journalist recently being tossed out of a building with his hands duct taped behind his back, here

the cracking down commences immediately

1. in preemptive action, anticipating something, Iran puts ten Swedes on interpol wanted list

Ten Swedes of Iranian descent are named on Interpol’s list of criminals wanted for terrorism and international organized crime.

The men, all of whom hail from Iran’s Kurdistan province, came to Sweden as political refugees twenty years ago, the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reports.

Despite being active critics of the Iranian regime for more than thirty years, the men’s names and pictures only recently appeared on Interpol’s list of wanted fugitives, following a request from Iran.

“I was obviously surprised that Interpol would simply describe us using the same words as the Iranian police. It seems very strange to me,” Khaled Haji Mohammadi, one of the men now labeled as a fugitive by Interpol, told The Local.

Mohammadi is one of twelve members of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran - Hekmatist whose names were posted on the Interpol list.

“I don't know what sort of political or economic agreement Iran may have with Interpol, but it's very surprising that Interpol would abide by the demands of a request from a regime that has executed so many of its critics.”

Mohammadi doesn't deny he has long been critical of the Islamic regime in Iran, which he claims has imprisoned and killed many fellow activists in the years since he left the country to seek political asylum in Sweden.

“I'm used to being harassed and criticized by the Islamic regime in Iran,” he said.

But Interpol's decision to agree to Iran's request to list him and his colleagues as organized criminals and terrorists left him puzzled.

read more @ the local



2. two Iranians detained in far east while sneaking on ship to Japan

Two Iranian nationals have been detained at Russia's Far Eastern port of Vladivostok while trying to sneak on to a Japanese-bound cargo vessel, a border guards spokesman said on Wednesday.

The two men, both with expired Russian tourist visas, arrived in Vladivostok two months ago and have since been seeking illegal entry into Japanese territory. One of them had a criminal record in Japan and could not enter the country legally.

"The Iranians stayed illegally in [Far Eastern region of] Primorye, without registering at an office of the Russian migration service. During this period they were seeking an opportunity to illegally enter Japan by sea," the spokesman said.

They were detained in the port early on Monday. Two days later, a court ruled to deport the two Iranians from Russia.

A total of 25 Iranian nationals trying to illegally enter Japanese territory have been detained in the Far East this year.

VLADIVOSTOK, December 30 (RIA Novosti)




3. German man wanted for supplying chemicals to....IRAN....arrested in Austria

A German man wanted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for supplying chemical weapons to Iran has been arrested in Austria, criminal police said on Wednesday.
The man, named only as Peter W., 67, had been on the run for 21 years after being charged in the United States with supplying Iran with 115 tons of chemicals used to produce lethal mustard gas in the late 1980s, the Austrian daily Kronen Zeitung reported.

"The arrest took place in Hall, in Tirol on December 28th," criminal police spokesman Alexander Marakovits told news agency AFP, confirming the newspaper report.

"Peter W. travelled to Austria with a false Irish passport and was here under a false name, but investigators were still able to find him," he added.

"He appears to have felt safe in Austria and it took him by surprise when he was arrested." The arrest resulted from a joint operation by Austrian criminal police, local Tirol police and US authorities, Marakovits said.

W., who had travelled to Austria with his family, is currently being held in Innsbruck until the court rules whether to extradite him. It is unclear when the decision will be made.

According to Marakovits, US investigators had been tracking W. for years. He was arrested in Croatia in 1994 but the court decided there was not enough evidence to keep him and he fled to Germany.

source: the local

assume the position

PROBLEM: terrorism on the rise worldwide, particularly against Americans. !!!!!

1. package destroyed in Milan

ROME - BOMB experts destroyed a suspicious package that was found at Milan's Malpensa airport on Tuesday, but officials said it contained no explosives.

...The package - about 20 by 10cm - was scotch-taped all around and had an antenna sticking from it. Pepe said it contained no explosives, but police were trying to determine its contents.

The parcel was abandoned in a men's bathroom in the check-in area for charter flights, said Carla Fossati of the SEA company that operates Milan's airports. Mr Pepe said that the area is near the part of the terminal where US-bound passengers check in.

Following a botched Christmas Day attack aboard a Detroit-bound plane from Amsterdam, Italy's civil aviation authority ordered airports to tighten security for passengers leaving for the United States. Measures include increased body and baggage searches.

Tuesday's scare caused no air traffic disruption at the airport, Mr Pepe said. The area where the parcel was destroyed was cordoned off and passengers were taken to a different check-in area. -- AP

source: straits times


2. white powder in envelope triggers Commons terror scare - UK

An envelope containing suspicious white powder was sent to the communities minister Shahid Malik at the House of Commons, triggering an anti-terrorist investigation, the Guardian has learned.

The letter, sent from within the UK, led to a major alert on Monday as it was intercepted by security screening staff who feared it held potentially deadly anthrax. Comments on the envelope suggest it was sent by a supporter of the far right or someone purporting to be one.

Emergency procedures were activated and the powder was tested and found to be harmless. It is understood that the Speaker, John Bercow, and his most senior officials were kept fully informed.

Detectives are examining the envelope, the written comments and the postmark to try to trace the sender. They want to establish whether this is an isolated incident or the beginning of a campaign by criminal elements on the far right.

Malik, Britain's first Muslim minister, was unavailable for comment but a spokesman said: "Mr Malik is grateful to the police and very grateful to the parliamentary authorities for their alertness and dedication in ensuring the safety of all correspondence to parliamentarians. He has been in his Dewsbury constituency all week and will continue serving constituents and carrying out his ministerial duties."

Many high-profile minority politicians endure racist hate mail but Malik has long been a particular target for violent and abusive supporters of the far right.

read more @ the guardian



3. HAARETZ: would-be airline bomber: there are many like me in Yemen

The messages **likely posted** by failed airliner bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on an Islamic web forum reveal a young man who suffers from loneliness and struggles between a commitment to Islam and the temptations of the West.

...Officials have not ye
t confirmed that the internet postings by Farousk1986were written by Abdulmutallab, but the many biographical details written by the poster match reports about Abdulmutallab's life. [and WHO ELSE COULD POSSIBLY HAVE SUCH INFORMATION???? - ed.]

Abdulmutallab told U.S. investigators that he is only one of many trained in Yemen who plan to attack Western targets. "There are more just like me who will strike soon," he warned.

According to ABC news, FBI sources claim that Abdulmutallab underwent a month-long training in Yemen, and during this training he learned how to detonate explosives and how to pass the security check by sewing the explosives to his underwear. ABC also reported that two former inmates of Gunatanamo prison were among the architects of the attempted terror attack. [nice touch - ed.]

Yemen's foreign ministe
r said on Tuesday that there are over 300 Al-Qaeda activists in his country and requested intelligence aid from the West.

CNN also reported on Tuesday that U.S. and Yemeni officials were looking at fresh targets for a possible retaliation strike in Yemen, citing two unidentified American officials.

The officials stressed that efforts were aimed at being ready with options in the event that U.S. President Barack Obama orders a retaliatory strike, CNN reported. It said the officials were trying to identify
targets linked directly to the airline incident.

A RETALIATORY STRIKE?????? - ed.

more at haaretz
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1138739.html


REACTION: nobody has ever learned anything in all this time since 911. people are making the same stupid human errors that they did when 911 happened. oh my gosh, this is terrible. Woe. WOE. HUMAN ERROR HUMAN ERROR HUMAN ERROR!!!!! YOU HUMANS MAKE SO MANY DAMNED ERRORS!


4. CIA sat on suspect warning

WASHINGTON - THE father of the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a US airliner bound for Detroit on Christmas Day spoke with a CIA official in Nigeria about his son's radicalisation, CNN reported on Tuesday.

The official prepared a report on the meeting, but it was not disseminated by CIA headquarters, according to CNN, which cited an unidentified source.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, is accused of trying to ignite the explosives on Northwest Flight 253 from Amsterdam as it approached Detroit on Dec 25. Abdulmutallab's father, a prominent Nigerian banker, had relayed concerns about his son's behaviour to the US Embassy in Abuja, but the son's name was never placed on a no-fly list. President Barack Obama on Tuesday blamed a combination of 'human and systemic failures' in security for allowing the botched attack.

Mr Obama said in Hawaii: 'When our government has information on a known extremist and that information is not shared and acted upon as it should have been so that this extremist boards a plane with dangerous explosives that could have cost nearly 300 lives, a systemic failure has occurred, and I consider that totally unacceptable.' -- AFP


source: straits times


5. OBAMA, with very angry face on, and breaking his vacation for the second straight day: this is totally unacceptable, a potentially CATASTROPHIC failure

President Barack Obama lashed out at systemic intelligence failures, after learning a US security agency had prior information that might have averted the attempted attack on a US jet. "There was a mix of human and systemic failures that contributed to this potential catastrophic breach of security," Obama said.

"A systemic failure has occurred and I consider that totally unacceptable," Obama added, breaking his Hawaii vacation for a second straight day as recriminations mounted over the botched December 25 attack on a Northwest airliner.

...It was not the first time that intelligence failures had opened the door to "a terror attack": the September 11 attacks in 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 people, were blamed on similar errors.


read more @ al manar tv



SOLUTION: we must "crack down" we must submit to more inconveniences we must give up our privacy and our money and our very lives to the never-ending fight against the evil terrorists. ASSUME THE POSITION. SIGH. it never ends why does it never end?????

6. Yemen: Please help us crack down on these al qaeda militants!!!!!

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi called for more help from the Western community to train local security forces to "crack down on several hundred Al-Qaeda militants who may be operating in Yemen."

He added that they also could be planning attacks like the alleged attempt to blow up a US-bound passenger jet. "Of course there are a number of Al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen and some of their leaders. We realise this danger, they may actually plan for attacks like the one we have just had in Detroit," he told the BBC.

Asked to specify the number of Al-Qaeda operatives, he answered: "I can't give you really an exact figure, maybe hundreds of them, 200 or 300. I don't have a real figure."


read more @ al manar tv


7. Dutch to use full body scanners

The Netherlands will immediately begin using full body scanners for flights heading to the United States to prevent future terrorist attacks like the foiled Christmas Day attempt.

read more @ independent


8. German police against body scanners as airport security debate reignites


The failed terrorist attack on a transatlantic flight to Detroit has re-started a debate in Germany on full-body scanners. The national police union (GdP) has declared itself against their use.

National GdP chairman Konrad Freiberg told reporters on Monday that while there was always a need for better security technology, the so-called 'naked' scanners, which allow personnel to see through clothing, were an unacceptable compromise.

"The private or intimate sphere of passengers should not be invaded," he said.

But Freiberg also warned the German government against watering down security measures.


"If the security laws are diluted, it will give terrorists the opportunity to strike," he said, commenting on the Free Democratic Party's (FDP) intention to limit police powers for keeping an information database. "No-one should believe that Islamist terror has become less dangerous."

Freiberg also argued that while the technology for detecting potential bomb threats at airports needed to be constantly updated, it was just as important that there was constant pressure on suspected terrorist cells. "A potential terrorist should not be allowed to get as close to execution as in the recent case," he said.

read more @ the local

diplomacy: you're doing it wrong

1. diplomat a suspect in hit and run

THE Romanian diplomat who claimed that his embassy car was stolen at the time it was involved in a hit-and-run accident a fortnight ago is now a suspect in the case.

Dr Silviu Ionescu, the charge d'affaires of the Romanian Embassy in Singapore, has not been ruled out as the person behind the wheel of the Audi car in the early morning hit-and-run.

One of the three men who was hit in the Bukit Panjang accident has died. In response to queries on Dr Ionescu on Tuesday, the police would only say they had 'not ruled out any suspect surfaced in the course of our investigations'. Investigations were still under way with officers 'following up on all available leads'. The police had earlier written to the embassy asking for more details on the accident. Checks by The Straits Times revealed that Dr Ionescu left the country sometime last week. Attempts to reach him on his Singapore mobile have been unsuccessful.

source: straits times


2. Filipina housekeeper found dead in Vienna identified


MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs has identified the Filipina housekeeper who was found dead Tuesday (Vienna time) in the house of the Lebanese ambassador to Austria.

Romalyn L. Basalo, 30, bore stab wounds when she was found December 29, said lawyer Eduardo J. Malaya, DFA spokesman, quoting a report from the Philippine embassy in Vienna.

read more @ global nation


3. Lebanese ambassador returns to Vienna after housekeeper found dead

Lebanese ambassador to Austria Ishaya al-Khoury has interrupted his holiday to return to Vienna after his 30-year-old Philippine housekeeper was found dead.

Khoury was out in Beirut when the ambassador's cook, the only person in the residence at the time, found the Filipina's body in the building's cellar, local police said. She appeared to have been stabbed several times.

A statement from the Lebanese foreign ministry said Khoury "interrupted his holiday to return to Vienna."

They did not consider the incident as an attack on the Lebanese mission there but a personal matter and promised full cooperation with Austrian investigators, the statement added.

Austrian foreign ministry spokesman Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal said Lebanese authorities had alerted them to the discovery and had allowed Austrian police to enter the building.

Under normal diplomatic rules, an ambassador's residence does not fall under Austrian jurisdiction.(Naharnet-AFP)

source: naharnet



4. Swede in coma after Philippines attack


A Swedish citizen is fighting for his life after being assaulted by two security guards at a nightclub in Angeles City in the Philippines.

The 51-year-old from western Sweden is being treated at a hospital in Angeles City after he was seriously beaten by the guards at a nightclub in the city's entertainment district shortly before Christmas.


Sources say the victim remains in a coma after the attack. "Two security guards have been indicted on charges of attempted murder," foreign ministry spokesman Anders Jörle told The Local. The Swedish Consul General in Manila was not available for comment when contacted by The Local.

Located in the Pampanga province, Angeles City is widely known as a popular destination for sex tourists and is especially notorious for child prostitution.

source: the local

LESSON: Britian powerless over China

LONDON - RELATIVES of a Briton executed in China accused Britain on Wednesday of being diplomatically powerless due to its economic dependence on the Asian giant, after Beijing ignored London's clemency appeals.

Two cousins of Akmal Shaikh, who travelled to China in a last-ditch attempt to save the 53-year-old's life, also accused the West of double standards for citing human rights abuses to justify its invasions of countries such as Afghanistan but failing to take the same approach towards Beijing.

Shaikh, a father-of-three whom supporters say was mentally ill, was executed on Tuesday for drug smuggling despite extensive British ministerial lobbying that continued almost up until his execution. But in a letter to the Guardian newspaper, his cousins Amina and Ridwan Shaikh lamented the lack of real British influence in the case.

'Did the British government pull out its diplomats in protest? Did it have a hard-hitting strategy to persuade the Chinese authorities to change their decision?' they wrote.

'This is an example of Britain's powerlessness in the world. Their strategy of being shoulder to shoulder with the US in the 'war on terror' has not given them the status they so desperately desire.' The cousins noted that 'one of the justifications we are told for invading countries like Afghanistan is 'human rights violations'.' 'If it is accepted by all that there are gross violations taking place in China, why aren't they too invaded? This is purely to do with the fact that China is a powerful country economically. -- AFP

source: straits times

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