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


useful failed states in the War on Terror: Somalia

1. Somalia: minister says Yemeni rebels send weapons to Somali Islamist groups

Mogadishu, (RBC Radio) Somalia’s defense minister of state had said on Saturday that the Yemeni rebel groups sent weapon to Somali islamist groups, to support the fighting against the government.

...The Shabab rebel groups had vowed on Friday to send their fighters to contribute the fighting between Yemen government and Shias rebel group of Huthis in the northern province of Yemen.

...He added that two boats carrying arms from Yemen and arrived at the port of Kismayo, which is controlled by a group of young people in southern Somalia last week.

There is no effective central government in Somalia since 19 years and has undermined the insurgency led by the youth movement which Washington regards as an agent of al Qaeda in the region, the West’s efforts to install a government.

And Western security services say that the role of Somalia as a haven for militants, including foreign jihadists are using Somali territory of conspiracy to carry out attacks in the region and beyond has grown over the years.

read more @ rbc radio

2. Alhu-Sunnah recapture strategic central town from rebels

Fighters loyal to Somalia’s Ahlu-Sunnah Wal-Jama have reportedly recaptured central Somali town of Dhusamareb, the capital of Galgadud region after battling with Al-Shabaab insurgents who earlier took the control of the town.

Heavy fighting in the town on Saturday claimed the lives of at least 30 people, including combatants and civilians while 70 others who were wounded are now getting treatment in a hospital in central town of Guriel.

...The two groups have long history of animosity and the latest clashes are feared to ignite more violence in the central regions where they both have large military presence.

read more @ garowe online

3. US & UK close embassies in Yemen due to aq threats

The US and Britain shut their embassies in Sana’a on Sunday after security threats from a Yemen-based al-Qaeda group that has claimed responsibility for the foiled Christmas day attack on a transatlantic passenger jet.

On its website, the US embassy said the closure was “in response to ongoing threats by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to attack American interests in Yemen”. The UK embassy made no comment. However, the closure of the embassies in the Yemen capital underlined the seriousness with which western governments are taking the threat posed by AQAP.

read more @ financial times

4. UK to help US in Yemen AND Somalia

LONDON, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Britain has agreed to continue working hand-in-glove with the United States to tackle the evolving threats of terrorism from Yemen and Somalia, the prime minister's office said on Sunday.

...British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the BBC on Sunday that Britain has been working closely with the Americans to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation in Yemen.

read more @ chinaview

5. piracy picks up off Somali coast

After an apparent lull in activity, pirates off the coast of Somalia have hijacked four merchant ships within one week, including two British-flagged vessels. Over 250 seamen are now held hostage.

...Although the location of the seized vessels is well known, they can all be seen anchored off the Somali coast, experts say it would be impossible to liberate the hostages without severe loss of life.

"If the pirates are already on board, then there is not much that we can do - if you value the lives of the hostages," Commander Pieter Bindt, head of the EU's anti-piracy taskforce, NavFor, said.

In the past, heavy ransoms amounting to millions have been paid for hijacked ships.

But it's believed the ransoms have merely encouraged the pirates, enabling them to equip themselves with faster boats, better guns and state-of-the-art tracking technology.

read more @ dw-world

6. piracy money being laundered through Kenyan real estate

Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua said that there is suspicion that some of the money that is being collected in piracy is being laundered by the purchase of property in the country especially at this time when Kenya is facing global challenges of security such as terrorism and others, it is very important for them to know who is where and who owns what. Mutua also hopes that this will also help the government catch tax evaders. The reason why Kenya may be an attractive spot for pirates to launder their money is because it shares borders with Somalia and has investment opportunities and a large Somali community in the country.

read more @ newstime africa

7. LONDON - A cargo ship and a chemical tanker have both been hijacked by pirates in the perilous waters off the coast of Somalia, officials said yesterday....the Singaporean-flagged Pramoni, a chemical tanker with a crew of 24, was seized by pirates in the heavily defended Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest waterways.

source: boston globe

8. limited hangout -- yeah so maybe we missed a few things what of it?

LONDON: British intelligence agencies knew three years ago the accused Detroit bomber had made contact with Islamic extremists while studying at university in London but failed to flag him as a possible terrorist risk.

And, according to counterterrorism officials, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had had ''multiple communications'' with MI5 targets who had been the subject of email and phone surveillance.

read more @ sunday morning herald

9. UN sanctions Eritrea for helping Somali rebels because *somebody* needs to be punished

Somalia — The Islamist officials of Hizbul Islam have sharply denounced the arm embargo which the United Nations imposed on Eritrean government which allegedly supporting the Islamist fighters in Somalia, officials said on Wednesday.

The information secretary said that they were very sorry for the sanction against the Eritrean government pointing out that there are more governments intervening Somalia and were not imposed any sanction.

read more @ angop

10. China to establish naval base around Somalia

Rear Admiral Yin Zhou’s, a senior Chinese naval officer has suggested that China will establish a permanent base in the Gulf of Aden to aid its anti-piracy operations. The proposal was posted on China’s Defence ministry website. The Admiral went on to say that supplying and maintaining the fleet off Somalia was challenging without such a base, and said other nations were unlikely to object. The Chinese navy currently has no overseas bases, but media outlets and forums in China are calling for this to change. On Monday, a Chinese cargo ship and its crew of 25 were rescued from Somali pirates on Monday, and a $4m ransom was paid to their kidnappers.

read more @ newstime africa

11. Aha, solution solution: bring in the international community.

In various circles—especially within the Somali Diaspora—there are lively discussions on the seemingly forgotten values of compromise, coexistence, collective security and common-good. And the consensus seems to gravitate toward two particular priorities.

...On their part, as was reiterated in the 16th meeting of the ICG (International Contact Group) recently held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the international community is committed to take a more active role in the Somali issue.

...Though the international community’s interest in Somalia is broad, here is some of the oft-cited strategic rationale:

- To prevent potential spread of transnational terrorism
- To prevent radicalization of Somali Diaspora youth
- To find a home for the floating command center known as AFRICOM ( Africa Command Center )
- To control the Indian Ocean and thus control the life-line of China ’s energy security as its oil imports from various African nations travel through that route
- To protect one of the world’s most critical commercial arteries from piracy
- To monitor and stabilize the threat coming from a volatile geographical area that the Pentagon refers as The Arc of Instability [ Somalia , Sudan , Eritrea , Ethiopia , Yemen , and Kenya. 2/3 of the world’s refugee population come from three of these countries]
- To provide access to the identified but unexplored natural resources DING DING DING DING DING!

read more @ global politician

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